If your life looks anything like mine right now, wow!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
If your life looks anything like mine right now, wow!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
That's code for "I'm sleepy".
"Sure. Come here," Jason replied.
And the rest is history.
I found them moments later nestled snuggly together on the couch. He, in his farm clothes and Wranglers and Kaylyn in her Beauty and the Beast nightgown.
Jason is an amazing man. He will drop nearly anything for his girls. I'm not kidding.
I had to call him today while he was out in the middle of the pasture to come fish out beef liver from my garbage disposal. Gag me with a spoon!
But, this isn't about me. Its about Jason......being amazing. I'm so thankful for every ounce of this man. The Lord is doing an amazing work in his life and I get to have front row seats.
Kaylyn will look back on these moments and be so grateful to have experienced this incredible love that only a father can bring to your life.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
If you know me well, you know I'm always behind on Christmas cards. For some reason, it just ain't working for me to have them in the mail at a decent date. Mostly the reason is because I was busy taking photos of everyone else's family. But, this year I slowed my roll on doing Christmas photos and just did a few that I booked way in advance.
In year's past, I've included our entire family in the photos and my sister has graciously snapped one of us and endured the chaos.
However, this year I decided to nix the chaos, walk to the barn doors seconds from our house, and snap a few of my girls wearing snow hats and cute Christmas sweaters. I had the entire photo session in my brain as I usually do before I go into a photo shoot. I knew what I wanted the end result to be.
I wasn't wanting anything fancy. Just a photo of my two beautiful girls smiling and standing next to each other with the barn doors as the background. I was thrilled with my simple plan.
Jason was thrilled by not having to endure the dreaded Christmas photo session this year. I kind of secretly was to. I'm awkwardly large right now so it didn't sound very appealing to me either.
While supper was cooking, we dressed the girls up and headed straight for the barn. It was approximately 5:15 pm. It gets dark about 5:45 pm so we had roughly 30 minutes of daylight left. Photos are the absolute best right before sunset. See, I'm telling you. I was methodically flawless in my strategic plan.
This photo madness can best be explained through the lens of my camera as we witnessed the Christmas photo disaster unfold before our very eyes. These photos are in EXACT synchronized order as they should be when telling the order of events.
Once we got to the barn, I had Kaylyn in place for the test shot I do to make sure lighting is right.
Next, I had Jason simply put Laney Rae down on the ground right next to her sister. I was ready to fire away. This moment, and this moment alone is when it all went to pot.
Jason picks up Laney Rae to comfort her so that we didn't have Mr. Streaky Red Face pay us a visit. She is such a daddy's girl! All is well. We gave her candy corn. That makes everything better.
Kaylyn- looking confused as to why she is being the good one and not receiving any candy corn.
And then, she just got irritated at the whole situation...............
because this is what was happening on the other side of the lens. Jason decided to let Laney Rae "roam" around and let off some steam as she loves to do on any other day of her life except this particular one.
Kaylyn was looking too cute up against the barn doors. I decided to snap some of her and seriously thought for a brief moment. "Okay, fine. This will be our Christmas card photo this year." But, that is so NOT right to include only one member of your family on your Christmas card.
Doesn't this photo just scream,"Merry Christmas from the Kramer family"????
Meet Mr. Streaky Red Face! He officially paid us a visit. Once he shows up, there isn't much left to do folks who have fair skinned children.
But, for some reason I wasn't fully ready to surrender to Mr. Streaky Red Face. I still thought in my twisted mind that there was still hope of capturing a Christmas photo.
My plan B (because a good photographer always has a plan B) was for Laney Rae to do her own thing and for Kaylyn to casually walk up beside her. We were shooting for the "two sisters walking serenely in the sunset beside each other by a picket fence" pose. Brilliant!
Not so much. Every time that Kaylyn got near her, she did this little number and took off running.
Then it got downright ugly from there. The madness had to stop. Laney Rae was turning to toddler violence- the infamous push the gut. Here is Kaylyn taking one for the Kramer team.
From that moment on, the rest of the photos were all a blur. Literally. Laney wasn't still enough for my camera to capture her active body at 5:45 pm. The sun was gone and we were out of light. I'm not a fan of photos with lots of flash and white faces in them, although I'm most certain Laney Rae's face would have still been red in anything close up.
Jason and I held our heads in defeat as we walked back to the house. It was supposed to be the most low maintenance Christmas photo session ever.
Was it the pink snow hat that threw her universe off kilter?
Was it my ginormous off-camera flash that scared her?
Did she, in fact, know that candy corn was present in Jason's pocket when he sat her down the first time?
Was she mad that the snowman on her sweater was missing a black button eye?
We'll never know what went wrong this year. I thought all of these things as we laid in bed that night.
I'm still in limbo about sending a card vs. not even sending one. Jason with his sweet fatherly heart said to me as we walked back to the house,"Maybe we can try to get one of all of us later."
Later. I'm good with that.
As in when Laney Rae is 3. Its a much better age to photograph I will admit. But, it just doesn't seem right that we don't have a photo to go with our Christmas card......if I do in fact send one out.
After church today, Jason was in the kitchen cooking (how blessed am I???) and I was cleaning up around the house.
I heard Kaylyn say,"Mommy, come and see this!" in the most excited and sweet voice.
I came around the corner and saw this precious moment- a rare precious moment around here.
Kaylyn is our cuddly one and Laney Rae is our busy one.
Ever since Laney Rae took to walking, she hasn't really let Kaylyn hold her much although Kaylyn is constantly trying to squeeze in a few hugs here and there.
It was pretty special that Laney Rae came and laid her head right in her big sister's lap and Kaylyn knew that. Her face was beaming with delight.
The moment lasted all but a few minutes but it meant the world to Kaylyn. I'm one thankful momma. These two girls are so different, yet they each bless my life in words that I can't fully express right now.
In the midst of chaos and the crazy moments of life that come with the territory of having toddlers, I pray that I remember moments like this- a peaceful and precious moment.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I don't know about you. But, I love decorating for Christmas! I love decorating for Christmas so much that I leave them up until the next holiday- Valentine's Day.
I remember our very first Christmas as a young married couple.
We were major ballers on a budget......MAJAH! We had been saving up for a Christmas tree and finally had $25 to go and buy a small real tree.
On our way to the local grocery store to pick out our tree, we passed by Casa Ole'. Jason and I had a thing for Casa Ole'. We didn't get to go out much in those days. It was a real treat to us.
I spat out,"You know. I don't think anyone but us will see our Christmas tree. We don't have anything to put on our tree either. I guess I need to get ornaments too. That will end up being way more money than what we were planning," as we passed by Casa Ole'. I had Casa Ole' on the mind. I was thinking real straight.
"Yep. You're right. I'm hungry," Jason said back to me. He was picking up what I was putting down.
"Want to eat at Casa Ole' instead?" Jason spoke these words of genius to me. Pure genius, I tell ya! I was wanting so badly to be the cute wife on our first Christmas and have our home decorated. But, my love for food got the best of me. Good thing my husband was thinking straight too!
"Sure." I said back to him. Who needed a tree that wasn't even going to be seen? We were spending Christmas with our families away from our tiny little apartment.
Needless to say, our first Christmas together we did NOT have a tree.
I've never regretted that decision not once. When you are on a budget, you know what your priorities are. And green sauce was definitely a priority. We probably even had queso and sweet tea that night with $25 in our pocket.
I had a slight pause in writing this post. Jason and I attempted to take a few photos of the girls for the ole' Christmas card that I feel obligated to send out every year. It was awful. I'm totally stressing. Christmas photos are pretty much awful for our family every year. Almost 2 year olds and photos don't really go well together. More on this later. Just know- it was bad. Really bad.
Back to Christmas and lovely things. Ahhhhh, that's much better. I realize this post is all over the page. But, stay with me.
I'm going to be quiet now and just post some photos.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Everyone goes all out on decorating their floats. I'm guessing its a big deal as most things are around here. There were about 50 floats total all decorated beautifully.
The more we do things around Brenham, the more we fall in love with this place. We sat on the courthouse lawn with the most gorgeous downtown lit up and towering oaks wrapped in white lights. The night was perfect! We were surrounded by family and friends. Grandma, Pops, Tio, Tia, Ava, Aunt Debbie, Megan, and the Robinsons were all there.
And what made it even more special is KK got to ride on her school float. She got to sit right next to her BFF! Kaylyn was adorable and had quite a crowd there cheering and waving to her.
The night before the parade we drove to College Station to hang out with the Hendricks (Jason's sister and her wonderful family). We visited a living nativity and park covered in lights.
Then we went back over to the Hendrick's house for hot chocolate and family worship time. We had a blast and a special time talking about the birth of Jesus with them. Kaylyn adores her cousins with every ounce of her being.
This year has already been so sweet preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Jason and I really wanted us to focus on doing things as a family this year and starting some traditions that will carry on for years to come.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
(Photo credit given to Santa's booth mall girl employee. I'm sure she has an exact title, but we'll go with that one to cover all of the bases.)
We don't do the Santa thing on Christmas morning in our house.
But, we also don't blab to Kaylyn that Santa is a big fat phony who doesn't exist so that she then blabs to all of the other kiddos on the playground at school. Santa is just a fun character in our home. Nothing more- as in, not the meaning, magic, or reason of Christmas. Nothing less.
So, sitting on Santa's lap for the girls is like sitting on Barney's lap or Dora's lap or Teddy Ruxpin's lap.
My mom and I like to take the girls to the mall every year and get their picture taken with Santa as something fun to do and remember. But, this year was summed up perfectly by capturing the above photo.
Kaylyn was excited to get her picture taken with Santa. She walked right up to him and sat in his lap.
Santa proceeded to ask Kaylyn,"Little girl, what do you want for Christmas?"
Kaylyn looked up at him confused. "Ummm. I don't know." We've never asked her this question so you can understand why a strange bearded man in a red suit asking her this threw her for a loop.
Laney Rae on the other hand wasn't quite feeling Santa. I told the photo girl to be ready to snap right when I sat Laney Rae in his lap. But, she didn't head my advice. I guess it had something to do with wanting to give each child their "moment" with Santa. Mine didn't need a moment. We just wanted a cute photo opp.
Instead, we got the above photo.
It took me probably a total of 5 minutes,
a candy cane bribe that you see conveniently hanging out of Laney Rae's mouth,
a reapplication of deodorant,
a couple tries from Grandma and Aunt Terri- it takes a village,
all with people impatiently waiting in line and staring at this flustered momma to even achieve the one we went home with.
The photo girl kept saying,"Do you want to just come back later?"
"Umm. No we don't."
But, I was thinking on the inside,"I wanted you to push the button as I released my child into Santa's lap. But, that didn't happen now did it. And here is the outcome of that poor poor decision. Laney Rae has now discovered that she thinks she is terrified of Santa and I need a shower and chamomile tea to calm it on down."
And lets not forget to mention Santa during this episode. He was terrified of Laney Rae. Can you tell by his face above? Isn't Santa at the minimum supposed to be smiling in the photo??
I'm sure he didn't appreciate the royal fit Laney Rae was throwing on his fuzzy red lap.
Kaylyn on the other hand was sitting pretty and looking like a Christmas angel the whole time. She was the only one who had composure and pose the entire time.
I am framing this photo. I am also placing it in an frame ornament on my tree. You pay like $50 for 3 pictures, so you better believe we will display this fine piece of photographic art.
I love a photo with a good story.
Any mall Santa drama out there? Do tell.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Here is my belly- and my non-smiling self! I truly am thrilled to have a baby in my belly. I was concentrating extra hard on holding the camera just so. And it took me about 27 tries to get it right.
I am 13 weeks and feeling wonderful. I seriously can't believe I'm feeling so good at this point. With the girls, I was still living in a state of nausea. So, I'm thankful!
I'm excited to have my belly documented on this blog. We did not have a blog until Laney Rae was born the last go around.
This third pregnancy has blossomed much earlier than my other two. I've heard that happens. My belly looks like it did with KK and Laney Rae at 5 or 6 months. My doctor told me not to get offended if people start saying things like "Honey, looks like you are about to pop!" much sooner. I won't. I like showing early. It explains the reason why my face looks giant.
My tater tot craving has disappeared. I'm not really having strong cravings anymore. As a result, our eating is pretty much back to normal. Jason is mucho thankful for this. He put on lots of weight with our other two. He likes to call it his "sympathy" weight. Isn't that funny he has a term for it?
I need to get one of those baby ticker counting dillies up on the blog so I know how far along I am. I never know when people ask. I don't write down every week on the calendar. That's awful, but I'm just not good with that. I usually document things using the month system. The weeks are too much to keep up with.
I have a funny Christmas story brewing. I will post about that soon!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
If you are reading this, thank you for not giving up on me! Its been awhile. And its not because I have nothing to say or nothing going on. It's quite the opposite.
I'm so behind on journaling our lives, I'm just going to start with Thanksgiving. I'm just now realizing that I didn't even post pictures of the girls on Halloween. We do go out and get free candy door to door. I just forgot to post pictures of them.
Okay, so onto to Thanksgiving so I can start writing about Christmas stuff once I get this post out of the way.
We had an incredible Thanksgiving.......and I didn't even take a single picture. I think it was probably because we had 50 people out at our farm for Thanksgiving. I was a little busy:). Everyone was so wonderful. They brought all kinds of food and we most definitely had plenty to eat.
Thanksgiving was a mixture of families and friends. Nothing, and I mean nothing, thrills me more to have a house full of people. I'm all about it.
Here is something that I HAVE to get better about. I'm not doing much photography professionally anymore with all sorts of stuff going on in our lives. But, I must get better at capturing my family, holidays, and just life really. I was at one point doing great, but something happened. I'm not quite sure.
Kaylyn had a school Thanksgiving feast. I did manage to get photos of that whole shin-dig. They got to feast on all sorts of snacks. I don't know the rules of posting non-related or friend's children without parent's permission and such, so I'm just going to stick with putting pictures up of my kiddo. So, imagine this giant feasting table filled with about 24 pre-K kiddos.
Turkey treats I made. There is in fact peanut butter in the middle of these! Yummy!
My precious pilgrim. Here is something you should about my daughter really quick. She UN-FIXES her hair at school now. We fix her hair so cute in the morning before school and the next time I see her, we've got hair all over the place. I've yet to understand this but it must stop! I like my girls to have their hair did......that's right, hair did.
As for my pregnancy, things are going amazing! I am feeling wonderful as of this week. I'm beginning my second trimester so that must have something to do with it. There will be a belly shot soon! I'm most definitely certain its not a pot belly. We find out on January 19th what the Lord is blessing us with. I must find out!
Farm life is super busy right now. We are in full-swing. Our farm now offers a complete variety of products- pork, chicken, beef, and eggs. That has helped business pick up tremendously. We feel so blessed that the Lord is showing favor to this farm. He is bringing people to the farm and to our delivery groups all around Houston. We have one delivery a week in various parts of Houston.
Okay, I'm going to stop here for now. But, there will be a new post soon!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Yep. This about sums it up.
Life has been fast, crazy, and messy at times.
I was on the phone with Jason for 30 seconds yesterday and when I hung up the phone, this is what I found waiting for me. Busted!
Those are indeed Lay's Sour Cream & Onion potato chips- only the best chips ever made! Don't be a hater. We had family night and cooked chili dogs by the fire. Absolutely nothing goes better with a chili dog, than Lay's Sour Cream & Onion potato chips.
Do you see that drawer in the background open? That would be the snack drawer- the drawer of death! After this incident, I'm not down with the snack drawer anymore. It has got to go!
I've been awfully quiet here lately. I have so many things going through my head right now that I'm trying to process. The Lord is showing me some not-so-pretty things within me that- just like the snack drawer- have got to go. I'm learning so much about my daily attitude and perception of life's happenings. Its a good thing I'm making progress. I was able to laugh my head off at the above incident instead of roll my eyes and dread another mess to clean up.
Another biggy I'm trying to process is the election. I really wasn't in shock that Obama won. I sort of expected it. Let's be honest, it was seriously one of the worst years for anyone other than a Democrat to be running for President. I don't blame people for wanting things to change and be different. They will most certainly change and be different. But, scripture tells us not to worry in Matthew 6:25-34.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."It also commands us to pray for our leaders of authority in 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be
made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
So that's where I'm at with all of this. Life is full of uncertainties and messes. But, if we are children of the Most High God, we can rest with the assurance that He has our back.
Nothing surprises Him.
Nothing happens that He didn't allow to come to be through His sovereign plan.
And absolutely nothing can separate us from His love and grace.
Monday, November 3, 2008
We got back our meat from the processor a few days ago and I can't quit eating it! We had steak the first night, roast the second night, and who knows what we will have tonight. But, you better believe it will be beef. Sorry- its whats for dinner.
We wanted to try it out and see how it tasted. I'm not just saying this, but it is the most flavorful beef that I've had. I'm picky when it comes to meat. The roast I cooked was the BEST roast I've ever made. And I didn't add anything but veggies, salt, pepper, and garlic.
So, don't just take my word for it. Go tell all of your friends that we FINALLY have beef available. Its going like hotcakes. We are already sold out of a few cuts of meat.
Another exciting thing happening is we are organizing groups that we will deliver to in The Woodlands and Katy areas. This will be a twice a month delivery at a pick-up location for two hours twice a month. We've had tons of interest in these two particular areas, so we are getting groups together there. If you are interested in a group in your area or The Woodlands or Katy, you can e-mail me at LynseyKramer@YonderWayFarm.com.
You can order our beef, pork, and eggs by going to our farm website. CLICK HERE!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Disgusted would be the perfect description of my feelings towards Rowdy, our farm dog.
Folks, do not let the majestic looking dog in the photo above fool you. Up until hours ago, I would have told you that Rowdy was the most loyal and amazing dog that ever walked the face of this earth. I have story upon story to even back that up. Stories that would simply amaze you.
So, you see. When he went missing 4 days ago, I was a sad farmgirl. I spent hours a day looking for him. For the last 4 days, there has been an empty and desolate feel around Yonder Way Farm. A tone that was only broken by the whisper of words like,"I sure miss Rowdy." Or ,"If Rowdy was here, he'd be doing........"
Today, I was going to conquer my quest to find Rowdy. My ammo was none other than fliers made with the help of Microsoft Word. I did what all good dog owners who's dog goes missing does. I made a total of 75 fliers.
My mom graciously drove to Brenham to help me drive around and put them in the mailboxes of every home within a 5 mile radius.
We spent a couple of hours on our mailbox mission, when the last and final 15 fliers were left. We headed down the major highway that our property sits off. Up until this point, we stuck to the back roads. I thought I knew my dog and my dog would be on the back roads in woods.
This was simply not the case. We drove up to a less than curb appealing home with various non-working automobiles in their front yard. My mom reached over to place the flier in the mailbox and I glanced around in awe of the sheer volume of automobiles and automobile parts hanging on this particular houses shed.
As my eyes made their way around the property, they landed on the front porch of the house. The 70s printed couch initially caught my eye. It was loud......really loud. Like orange and yellow shagadelic flower loud.
But, what was laying on the couch, was the shocker of them all. My loyal Rowdy was shacked up with some three-legged Red Bloodhound mutt. It was almost as if I cold-busted my teenage son. Gross!
Now, the a key fact to being able to understand the rest of this story and how it turns out is that Rowdy was NOT NEUTERED. You must know this! We had big plans of finding him a bonafide Blue Heeler female and having beautiful puppies with her.
I got out of the car beaming from ear to ear. I was talking doggy-talk in a high pitched voice overcome by the joy one feels when they find their long lost dog.
"Rowdy! There you are! We found you! Come here boy," I shouted.
Rowdy perked his ears up and remained to lay on the couch. He wasn't as thrilled to see me as I was to see him.
"That's odd," I thought.
"Rowdy. Come here boy. Come here," I commanded and started to walk over towards him.
Rowdy's response was less than admirable. He got up off the couch with his lady friend and took off running in opposite direction.
I ran to the car and grabbed the girl's Nilla Wafers and started throwing them at him (this is all on the side of a major highway, by the way). Rowdy could have cared less about my girls sharing their snack with him. He took off under the house following his lady friend's every move. How ungrateful!
I sat there for a while and talked to him. I tried to talk him out from under the house with several sentences filled with "you are so not loyal" and "I'm so offended at you right now" and "Are you seriously kidding me?" The high pitched doggy talk was gone by this point. It was all business.
I finally got him to come out from under the house. He walked over to me and I began to pet him. This re-acquainting abruptly came to a screeching halt when he decided to snip at me followed by a growl.
"OH NO HE DIDN'T JUST SNIP AT ME!" I shouted. I wanted to snap my fingers in a circle and bob my head from side to side. I would have if I wouldn't have been on the side of the highway talking to a dog.
I was so mad at him I could have spit nails. I was fuming mad with some angry on the side.
At this point, I knew that it was a lost cause and this female was obviously in heat. Why else would my dog's brain have been kidnapped by an idiot?
My hope then quickly shifted to my fearless dog-friendly brother-in-law, David, arriving in just moments. My mom placed a flier in the mailbox and we left to re-group.
Moments before David and I left for attempt number two, we received a phone call. The fliers had an incentive of a $100 reward. He was worth every dime of that to us.....before all of this. The owner of the property that Rowdy was residing at called me to tell me that she had our dog. Little did she know, I had already found him. Except he wouldn't get in the car and come home like a good dog would do.
So, we talked and I told her we were coming to see if we could get him again. She had pork chops and sausage**** in the fridge (great!) and was going to see if she coerce him to her front porch so he would be there when we got there.
He was on the porch when we arrived, but quickly realized what was going down. He recognized David and had a brief normal Rowdy moment. He ran up to him. David tried to put the leash around his neck. Rowdy snipped at him and started growling like a deranged dog.
We spent a total of about 30 minutes chasing him around trying to get him to come up to us. But, went home empty handed........again. What does one do if they can't catch their own dog?
Its the strangest feeling to be staring at your beloved dog, except their body has been taken over by evil dog aliens. Rowdy didn't even act like himself. All he could do was follow this female mutt around. I'm not even going get into how many times he "got" her during the course of our attempt to capture him. It was ridiculous.
Farmer Jason isn't happy about his loyal farm dog betraying us. He was at the fire station today so that's why his name is missing from the story.
Hopefully, this story will end with Farmer Jason bringing our idiot dog home in the morning. If there is anyone that he should and would listen to, it would be Jason. The minute Rowdy is in our possession he is going straight to the snipper to get snipped so it will get rid of all the "idiot" that remains within him.
The moral of this story: take your dog to the snipper to get snipped or he WILL inevitably act like an idiot if given the chance. Even the most loyal of dogs like free shagadelic couches in a junkyard with a three-legged dog in heat on it. Gross! But, it's the truth.
Do you have any funny dog reuniting stories? Let's shift this story to happy thoughts, shall well? Because after he visits the snipper, bliss will then take over once again.
****Don't ever ever ever feed your dog pork. They will get all kinds of sick. I've seen it happen a million times. I use to work for a vet for 2 years. Its bad news on a dog's pancreas.