My father-in-law has a Zebu farm…also known as ‘mini-cows’. A new baby was born this week, so we went over to catch at glimpse at the cute little boy or girl. Each new baby cow is named after a grandchild. Firecracker is really hoping this baby ends up being a girl and gets her name!

The baby was less than 24 hours old, so we stayed a good distance away and tried to be quiet so as not to worry the momma too much. It was so wobbly on its legs. Cutie.

Little One has been making the silliest faces to get us to laugh lately. Her favorite is to close her eyes and walk…

We had such a busy Memorial Day weekend. Lots of time with friends and family, which is always good…and includes lots of good food. Little One’s palate repair surgery was supposed to be next week, but we’ve postponed it until July for a few reasons. I’m thankful for the extra time to prepare for it…and to celebrate both girls birthdays before surgery. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend….

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  • EclecticE - So was the calf a girl??

  • AshleyAnn - We can’t get close enough to tell yet…

  • Nicole C - Oh that made me laugh seeing Little One walking with her eyes closed. So sweet.

  • the inadvertent farmer - I did the eyes closed walk…actually run, as a kid and still have the scar from the stitches in my forehead! I’m hoping for safer passages for little one. Love the rope ladder from the tree, does it lead to something? Kim

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Praying for you and hoping all is well for the surgery. Hugs.

  • RaD - Oh great! Now I have that song stuck in my head! :)

    (“The Song of the Cebu” by Veggietales)

  • Natasha Metzler - There is something so wonderful about visiting new animals. :)

  • Amanda Keeys - I didn’t even know there was such a thing as mini cows! How adorable.

  • Lisa M. - I just recently joined Instagram and am having a really hard time navigating in it. Is it just me?? I don’t understand the app at all. I’m following two of you now (you and Edie Wadsworth, Life in Grace) and, well, I can’t even explain the frustration. Guess I’ll have to google it and get some instructions.

  • fran luxton - Loving the pictures if your beautiful family x

On loan for the summer from friends: One Huge Super Fun Water Slide!

4 out of 5 kids are fans. 1 is not so sure.

Photo tip: I find it too hard to try to take a bunch of shots of moving subjects and hope for one to be in focus. When I am trying to capture the kids moving I usually do one of two things. One – I use the AI Servo mode, which tracks a moving subject. Two: I wait. In the slide shots below I didn’t have enough room to track them. Instead I picked the middle of the slide, focused and waited for the boys to come down the slide in that spot. The picture on the left shows where I got him in the right spot. The picture on the right shows my other son just past the area that I was focused on – so he is out of focus. I was shooting at f/2.8.

Not sure why she wanted goggles, she makes me laugh. I also feel the need to say I did not cast a vote for that swimsuit purchase.

Photo Tip: If you are learning photography, don’t always be caught up in a technically great photo. Since I teach others the basics of photography, it would be easy for me to want to always post technically great photos. But, to me, photography is part technical and part capturing something I love. I want to know the techniques for using my camera to the fullest, but at the end of the day I am just a mom taking pictures of her kids. In the photo above, my girl is not super in focus. I should have changed my aperture to get a better, more focused shot of her face. BUT – as her mom, I love this shot. Total keeper – half blurry and all.

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  • Pamela - Awesome!! So jealous, we are just going into winter. Although with days like we have had this past week you would never say so. It is 24degrees C here today – felt like we needed one of those slides.

  • Sarah - That picture of FireCracker with her goggles is PRECIOUS~!

  • Amy @ PaintWineRepeat - That looks like so much fun!!

  • Danielle - That looks like so much fun! My boys would love it!

  • Kate - ohhh That looks so Awesome, have you been on it yet? I love that you take blurry photos and still keep them <3

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Your place is the place to be this summer!
    I am still trying to learn how to use my camera…
    I love your reminder, and I agree, in the end it’s
    all about capturing the moment!

  • Natalie - How do you ever get them back inside to eat, sleep, bathe, etc.?!

  • Debbie C - That thing is awesome. Hee hee…you made me laugh about your need to comment on the swimsuit…I’m also not a Disney Princess fan. But we got some Disney books for Christmas and guess which books she always wants to read at bedtime? Sigh.

  • Kimberlee Jost - I love it that you say that you love that blurry shot of Firecracker. I have a tendency to not love a shot that I’ve taken that is out of focus even though I love what my kids are doing in the shot. Note to self: quiet those perfectionist tendencies or you might miss the moment.

    See you soon!!!!! ;)

  • Christin - They look like their going to have a blast this summer! Just wondering what was your aperture set at in the photo of firecracker and the goggles and what would you have changed the setting to?

  • Corrie Anne - Amazing waterslide!!!!!!!

  • Sarah - first of all lets take a moment and hug your friends. how generous. AND who just had a huge blow up slide/pool? amazing!

    I am terrible at deleting photos right off if there is a twinge of bluriness but i love what you said about the picture of firecracker. I will definitely take a second look before cutting blurry pictures loose.

  • Travis - Wow, you could charge admission on that thing. That is awesome.

  • Susan Blunden - your photos are always lovely to look at…I so need to sign up for your next course!! But I was just thinking how lovely it would be for little one’s birth family if some day they could have access to all these beautiful photos of her growing up with her brothers and sisters.

  • Nicole C - Oh the last one, I love it.

  • Kara M - WOW! That looks like a lot of fun…especially if mom gets to watch from the shade with a glass of lemonade! :D

  • Traci - That slide is…..a-maz-ing. I need one. I need one like now!

  • Kristin S - I really hope that close up goggles shot will be blown up and framed at her rehearsal dinner. Darling. Perfectly imperfect.

  • Maloree - I love how Little One just runs! What a testimony!

  • bethblntn - I ama self taught photographer. Nowhere near as good as you are and though I want so badly to take your calls I lack the funding (not that its terribly costly or over priced because I KNOW its not… I’m just broke -.-) so I am ever thankful that you post side tips like this and list your ISO and lines information and such on your post. What a blessing you are to people like me. Thank you for having such a caring, teaching heart. <3

  • bethblntn - class*

  • RaD - I hope you remember to move that thing around this summer. It looks like a grass killer indeed, LOL! :0)

    That being said, I am so jealous of your kids!

  • Taralynn Dixon - Hahahaha my daughter has a very similiar bathing suit but in light blue, and I feel the same way about it! HA! So not my choice :) But she loves it. Part of letting go right:) ?!?!

  • Sarah - That is one epic slide! I bet it’s like Christmas in May for them!

  • emily anderson - ummmmmmmmm. we’ll definitely be stopping by on our trip to KS this summer! the kids will have a hay day.

  • Kristina - I love your blog! My friend Cara told me about it because of my work as a pediatric feeding therapist (SLP) and I couldn’t wait to check it out. I’m trying to find some posts that you may have specifically journaling life with feeding challenges! Glad to “meet” you! Your family and pictures are beautiful!

  • Andrea - How fun!! I love this reminder that photography is part technical and part capturing something you love. I have a tendency to get so caught up in the technical part of it and needed this reminder :)

  • Kelleyn - A perfect place to spend summer!

  • amber - Awesome. Princess swimsuit & all. Haha!!

  • Karla Swalve - what a fun summer! I was cracking up at your dislike for firecracker’s swimsuit ;) I’m with you in not being a fan of character stuff and of course the kids love it! I try to keep the characters to pajamas and underwear, lol :) In any case, she looks adorable no matter what!

Registration for the June SnapShop began at 9:00am this morning and closed by 9:20am – thank you to all of you that registered! Thank you also to past students who have continued to recommend the course. I am humbled and grateful. I will be doing a couple more SnapShops in 2013. Thank you!

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  • Tiffany - Argh! That was today. All week I kept saying to myself, “Make sure you put the snap shop registration date on your calendar so you don’t miss it….AGAIN!” At any rate, I am so thrilled for you that spaces filled up that fast. I believe you are truly walking in your calling – you are inspiring and the success of your life shows in the fruit you are producing. And just know I’m thrilled there will more snap shops this year. Consider me in line for the next :) Thanks again for all you do, and I hope you are having a great day! -Tiff

  • the inadvertent farmer - I hope someday my schedule clears enough to take this. I’m so glad you are finding success in something that is obviously a great gift of yours! Kim

  • Melanee - Congrats on the success of these workshops, but wish they weren’t so successful since I can’t get in to register in time (selfish of me?) It will remain on my list because you inspire me in so many ways.

  • Kallie - I received a gift certificate for your workshop in 2013. I have some personal questions comments and would like a way to contact you. Please email me at this address so I don’t spill my beans around here! Thank you!

  • Tanny S. - Just recognized your cute kids (& hubby) in the new MPIX email ad. A great plug for your amazing everyday, family photography skills. Thanks for always sharing!

  • christy getz - Hi. I signed up for your next class but have not received confirmation/instructions, etc. I am hoping that I didn’t do anything wrong. The paypal payment went thru and I got a receipt. Could you please let me know how to proceed and confirm if I am in fact signed up properly. Thank you.

  • Cynthia - Hi, I also signed up for the workshop and the payment went through. I haven’t received any information or confirmation so I was wondering the same as Christy. Can you contact me at this email with details? The class starts today and I don’t want to miss anything. Thanks!