Sweet Sixteen Barn Dance

Hello, dears!

Remember how one of our friends had a barn dance at our shop last year for her birthday party? Well, this year we did it again and it was SO much fun! The shop was a mess, so it was a good thing we had a dance motivating us to clean it up. 😛 I took plenty of pictures throughout the preparation and actual party, of course, and I hope you guys enjoy browsing through them!

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Misty Waters

Hello, dears!

We have this charming little stream on our property that for some reason I’d only explored one side of til recently. But when I did, I found it was even more beautiful than what I’d seen before, if possible!

Shortly after I explored it the first time, a foggy day came by and, imagining how beautiful the stream would look in the mist, I took my camera back down and ended up with some lovely, foggy pictures that I can’t wait to show you guys! Would you like to come explore the stream with me?

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50th Anniversary Celebration {Part 1}

Hello, dears!

This past weekend, Mom’s side of the family came up to our farm to celebrate Grandpa and Grandma’s 50th anniversary! It was AMAAAZING, ahhh! We made so many good memories, had so many fun adventures, and ate so much good food. XD I also took hundreds and hundreds of pictures, obviously. 😀 I got so many pictures that it was hard to pick a small enough amount for this post, but I hope you enjoy this selection of photographs and fun times with family. 🙂 Continue reading

Summer Barn Dance

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Hello, dears!

Just a few weeks ago, we had the privilege of hosting a barn dance in celebration of our friend Sam’s (Samantha’s) birthday! It took a while to prepare for, but we all absolutely LOVED the dance. 😀 It was the first one our family had been to.

Sam wanted Megan and I to take some pictures, and of course we happily obliged. 😉 Today I’m going to show you a few of my favorite photos, from decorations to dancing. Enjoy!

I got to help with the decorating, which was super fun. 🙂 At first we tried hanging streamers from the loft, but it was too damp and humid and they just sort of hung there limply. So we took them down. But while we were hanging them we found this gorgeous moth! Isn’t it striking?

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Don’t these blue gingham tablecloths go perfectly with the barn dance/birthday/picnic atmosphere?

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Our magnolia tree is blooming, so Megan suggested we use some of the flowers for the table. I’m so glad we did, because I had no idea they’d be this beautiful! And they smell amazing.

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Unfortunately they are rather prone to closing up into buds, but they’re still pretty that way too. 🙂

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We also had bouquets of ferns from our woods, chamomile daisies from our pastures, and larger daisies that Sam brought, which they had dyed blue with food coloring! 😀

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I enjoyed making “place cards” for the food, even if I didn’t get around to labeling everything. 😉

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Sam brought these lovely stamped paper fans (because boy was it hot that day!).

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She also brought a bunch of paper medallions and some balloons to hang from the loft. They looked so pretty!

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They set the speakers and such on haybales, which made it seem more like a barn dance. 😀

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Hee hee, I quite like this picture of Sam’s sister Jesse.  😀

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And this one of Sam. 🙂

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Oh, and it was so funny – Sam and I wore almost the EXACT same outfit! Identical shirts and only a tiny bit different skirts. XD She was going to do my hair to match hers too, but we ran out of time, so it kind of looks like an octopus in these pictures. O.o Next time I shall remember to put it back before the dance. XD

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Megan took the picture before and this picture from the loft. Aren’t they so neat?

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Okay, now we’re finally ready for the barn dance part! One of the ladies from church was the “caller,” who patiently instructed all the dozens of people in how to do each dance. We learned the dance slowly first, without music, and then did it once or twice with music before learning a new dance.

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For each dance, we lined (or circled) up in the middle of the shop floor and usually did a short sequence of steps that ended in being whirled off to the next partner, where you repeated the process until the music stopped.

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We learned quite a few dances including the Virginia Reel, the Caroline Promenade, the Spanish Waltz, the Basket Weave, the Snowball Reel, the Patty-Cake Polka, the Posties’ Jig, and one or two more which I don’t remember the names of.

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I think my favorites were the Basket Weave and the Spanish Waltz, although they were all fun.

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I didn’t get pictures of the Posties’ Jig, but HA HA WOW. It was a 10-years-and-up dance for good reason: it had a lot of steps. Our group kind of epically failed at it since we got so mixed up and confused, but it was HILARIOUS. We laughed at ourselves so much. XD

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My brother Logan was my partner for a couple of the dances, which was nice because our heights are a good match. 😀

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One thing I really like about barn dancing is how changeable it is. You don’t stay with one partner for long, which adds to the excitement (and confusion, but XD). It’s also very fast-paced, which makes it feel like a game.

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And I think it’s great that whole families, even younger kids, can participate in most of the dances.

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I’m so glad Sam chose to have a barn dance for her party, and that we got to come. 🙂 Hopefully we can do one again soon!

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So there you have it! At the end of the dance I was EXTREMELY hot and sweaty, and my feet were so sore from going barefoot on concrete for a whole day that I could hardly walk, but it was definitely worth it. XD XD Next time I shall 1) put my hair up and 2) wear shoes. *nods*

Have you ever been to a barn dance? What dance is your favorite (the Virginia Reel, Spanish Waltz, etc.)? Do you have a favorite picture?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

Spring Sisters Photoshoot

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Hello, dears!

Today I’m excited to post these sisters photoshoots Megan and I did a couple of weeks ago! The woods and flowers were so gorgeous! I think they really made the photoshoots.

As always, Megan took the pictures of me, I took the pictures of her, and I edited all of the above. I am running out of interesting introductory sentences, so shall we begin? XD Ahem.

Megan wanted to do a photoshoot with the wild poppies blooming near the Cedar House, and I wanted to do it with the buttercups too. So we did both!

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Poppies are Megan’s favorite wildflower, and while they aren’t quite my favorite I quite like them too. 🙂

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Hee hee, I really like this one. 😀

 

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Eventually the chain broke so I was like, “Aha, I’ll just wear it this way!” XD

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I also found an adorable purple flower in the woods. I remember learning the name but I have now forgotten. :[] Anyone know?

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I quite like this one too. 🙂 ❤

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Oh, ha ha! So Megan was just sitting on this log…

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When she saw this feather and picked it up. She was like, “Ew, this smells bad.” AND THEN WE FOUND AN ANIMAL SKELETON IN THE CREEK IT WAS SO GROSS.

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I love this little stone waterfall at the spot where you come down to the creek! ❤ (And also this picture.)

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We found a lovely patch of ferns that served quite well as a backdrop/setting.

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I don’t know what’s on my pants…?

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A couple of days after the first photoshoot we decided to redo some of the photos. This time we made a daisy (well, chamomile daisy) crown that worked a bit better. 🙂

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I like this one a lot for some reason…?

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HA HA this is one of my favorites. XD I don’t THINK I usually laugh like this, but I guess I don’t know…

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And THIS one too! Although I’m not too happy with the editing. Oh well.

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Annnd that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed looking at those pictures. 🙂 I would love to hear your favorites! Have you ever made a flower crown?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

Bubbles, Selfies, and Strange Goings-On

Hello, dears!

I was originally going to post a “Moving On” episode, but I’ve been doing a lot of complicated, less lifestyle-ish posts lately and I felt in the mood for a good ol’ photography post – one of my favorite kinds to read AND write. 🙂 So I’ll save the moving post for a later date, and hopefully you enjoy these various portrait photoshoots in the meantime! 😀

Bubbles

One day when the sun was setting and it was lovely and golden outside, I asked my littlest sister Carmen if she wanted to do a bubble photoshoot with me. She agreed somewhat reluctantly, but started having fun once we commenced, as usual. XD

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It was fun, but VERY difficult. The hardest part was getting the bubbles in focus. I could have used a higher f-stop, but I wanted the nice blurred background and… anyway, these are only a fraction of the photos I actually took. XD

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Another difficulty was that the bubble wand handle was broken and we kept having to fish the rest of it out with a, um, small scissors. Why didn’t we use a tweezers? You know, I’m not really sure. XD Maybe we couldn’t find it, I forget. Anyway, it worked… sort of. 😛

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I can’t believe I got a picture of a bubble popping! I wasn’t even trying, which is probably how I got it. XD

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After Carmen got too cold and went in, I attempted to take pictures of just bubbles by myself. IT WAS EXTRAORDINARILY HARD. The wind always blew the wrong way at the wrong time, just as I clicked the button, of course. *sigh* Oh well, out of perhaps at least a hundred, I DID get a few good ones. Two, in fact. *weak smile* I do love the color, though! (They aren’t edited.)

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Selfies

Guys, I practically NEVER take selfies (although I do use the self-timer occasionally). Why? Probably mostly because it’s such a  stereotypical teenager thing to do, and thus I don’t (XD). Anyway, the other day I found a charming patch of speedwell, a weed with adorable tiny blue flowers, and decided hey, why not. 😛

Oooops, didn’t exactly point my camera at the right spot… but it works! XD

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An edited one just for fun…

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Hee hee. XD This might be my favorite.

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Strange Goings-On

My sister Megan and her friend MacRae do very strange things together. Trust me on this – VERY strange. Like taking rocks for a walk or racing earthworms. I don’t know if Megan wants me to tell the reason behind these pictures yet or not, so for now let’s just say it’s another of their interesting ideas which they wanted me to photograph. Heh.

That blob of fur in MacRae’s lap is my rabbit Willow. XD

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BAHAHA, poor Willow is a little alarmed at their antics…

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GOOD JOB, WILLOW. Escape is obviously the best option here. I don’t know what Megan’s doing here… contemplating the taste of a spoonful of mayonnaise? XD

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And then Willow, who was obviously the star of the show, got some headshots…

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What do you say, does Willow look good in a mustache? True, she kind of already has one… XD

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Since you never really saw her eyes, I had to include one last one so you can tell that she is actually a living creature. Hee hee.

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And that’s it for today! I have another sisters photoshoot but it’s pretty long, so I’ll save it for its own post. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed these! Which was your favorite photoshoot, and which was your favorite picture? Do you feel sorry for Willow? XD

***Allison***

P. S. Speaking of bunnies, I have some sad news… Diamond and Lily are gone. 😦 Lily was got really sick so we had to put her down, and I don’t know what happened to Diamond – maybe she just died of old age or something. *sad sigh* I’m really glad we still have the other four bunnies, though, and hopefully we can have baby bunnies again soon! But… RIP Lily and Diamond. 😦

~ Winter Stroll ~

Hello, dears!

*sigh* I’m getting rather tired of the freezing weather we’ve had here lately. Winter is kind of boring and cold and hard to photograph, am I right? But I DID get a few good non-snow winter photos here recently that I thought I’d show you! Winter is hard for photography, but not impossible.

 

One recent Sunday we took a family walk after church to explore our new farm a bit. Well, it was more like a walk/drive/ride combined because we took the truck and the fourwheeler too.

I love this picture because of the pink and purple shirts. XD Jeff’s shirt used to be more blue but it got kind of faded.

Maggie adores going on rides with us. 😀 She’s so cute and happy and smiley!

For some reason what looked like a bunch of old tuna cans were nailed up to the wall in one of the sheds? We were puzzled. It’s kind of funny though.

I love this picture for its rustic character and texture. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the house we’re moving into or anything. XD XD It’s just an old shed.)

More rust, and more neat-ness in an abstract kind of way! This stuff went under the concrete they poured in Dad’s “new” shop.

Isn’t the bark on this tree super strange? It’s all flaky and weird – even on the twigs. It kind of looks like lichen, except completely covering the whole thing.

The kids wandered down to the pond while Mom and Dad drove around another part of the farm. Jeff was trying to convince Maggie to take a swim, but she only likes water she can wade in, not swim in, for some reason.

This is Carmen and her prize feather. XD

I absolutely LOVE the pattern the sky and clouds make on the water! It looks so neat, don’t you agree? It would make a neat painting too.

I love the cattails all around the pond!

  The light was gorgeous. ♥The boys went crazy with the fourwheeler – spinning around doing burn outs and driving through puddles and over tiny trees and stuff. -_- Boys, boys… *shakes head* XD Ah well, it is pretty fun to drive.

For some reason I really like this picture too. Probably because it’s winter and I’m eager for green and sunshine like this. Ahhh, so pretty! 

LOOK AT THE LIGHTING! *happy sigh* It was sooo gorgeous up there, but really hard to capture too. It didn’t look quite like this, but you can imagine how pretty the sun looked on the golden grass.

The fun thing about moving to a new farm is that we now have hundreds of acres to explore for the first time, and I LOVE it. The sun was out and it was such a lovely day for winter and we got to wander down paths we’d never been too… ahh, it was great. 🙂 *happy sigh* Walks like these are some of my favorite things!

The lighting here was SO pretty again, and again so hard to capture! I also didn’t want to tell them to stop walking because I wanted to get a candid picture, so most of them turned out blurry. XD At least this one is alright!

 I have no idea what kind of tree produces these strange flower thingies.

HEH HEH. Megan and I were doing photos like in movies when the characters are barely holding onto the edge of the cliff, and then she actually almost fell into the water. XD XD  A sturdy fallen tree over a creek is basically irresistible to young boys (and girls).  Heh heh, see here? Maggie doesn’t mind wading. Her expression… XD 

I love the smooth, curved edges on this ice!

OH I LOVE THIS PHOTO. For some reason I just find it really neat. 😉 I saw this little exposed knob on a tree and had to stop for a picture! Also it really reminds me of an avocado seed somehow? Don’t exactly know why… XD

Oh, funny story. I often randomly spot hawks when we drive somewhere or go on walks. I don’t know why I see them so much more than the rest of my family, but I do, and it’s gotten to be a sort of joke. I’m always like, “HAWK” when I see one, and Megan groans. XD She gets annoyed because I say, “It’s really strange how I always see hawks,” almost every time I see one. Well that’s what she says, but I don’t say it every time… *shakes head* XD

ANYWAY. I found a hawk that day too (it’s in the tree if you look close), so I took a picture for Megan as evidence. 😛

And I shall end on that note. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our winter stroll and seeing for yourself that there ARE things to photograph in winter after all, if you look close enough. 🙂

What was your favorite picture? What was your least favorite? (I want to know! Don’t worry about hurting my feelings – as long as you’re not intentionally mean or rude you won’t. Constructive criticism really helps!)

Do you enjoy winter (or spring or summer or fall) strolls? Do fourwheelers look fun, and have you driven one?

***Allison***

Various and Sundry Sisters Photoshoots

Heyyy, guys!

Megan and I (and my little sister Carmen) have been doing quite a few photoshoots recently, so I thought I’d combine them all into one post for you today! I shall go in roughly chronological order because that’s how I uploaded the pictures. 😉 Also, Megan took all the pictures of me except the “selfie” ones, using my Nikon D3400. Alright, onwards and… upwards? XD

I did this photoshoot back in December when I went to the “island” (a patch of trees in a field) to collect greenery for wreaths. For some reason I decided to do a photoshoot of myself while I was there? I’m trying to get better at “selfies” because GOODNESS they are hard, especially without a tripod. Thus I only have two of those pictures to show you. XD

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(This caption thingy is NOT cooperating so I guess I’ll have to use it instead of deleting it.) Thankfully these two pictures turned out alright at least!

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Ooh, I love this next photoshoot! Megan and I went down to the pond at our new farm one day (see more in this post) and it was absolutely breathtaking! The snow on the trees, the crystal-clear reflections… ahh, isn’t it beautiful? The perfect backdrop. 🙂

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HEH HEH. And then we have this. XD Here’s an at using the self-timer, but it failed so hard it actually worked. XD I turned around just at the wrong time and IT CRACKS ME UP.

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Here’s another little “selfie” photoshoot. When no one else is available to take pictures of, at least I have myself. 😛 It… still didn’t work out the best. It was really hard to stay in focus with self-timer, not to mention getting to the right place at the right time! Morale of the story: SELFIES ARE HARD. Find a sibling if possible. XD

Anyway. I was trying to go for one of those stock photo, Pinterest-y pictures but it turned out blurry. -_- Other than that I think it looks kinda neat, though. I do kind of blend in with the fence post… XD

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AHA! An in-focus picture! Way to go, Allison. And I even jumped at the right time! Wow. *shakes head in wonder*

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This doesn’t exactly fit since it’s just a hand (in case you thought it was a face…?), but oh well, it was in the same photoshoot. AND IT’S NOT BLURRY. SO. Plus you can see how crooked my fingers are. XD This perspective makes them look shorter than they are, though.

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Ooh yes, this photoshoot was probably the most successful in terms of quantity. 🙂 We went for a walk at our new farm and found that the smaller pond was frozen enough to walk on! It was soooo fun, and I’ll have more pictures in a later post. This time Carmen obliged me and we did a little photoshoot. 😀 I love how you can see her reflection in the shallow puddles of water on the ice!

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Once we start she always gets really into it and has all sorts of ideas about how she should pose and stuff. 😉

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Look at this strange ring of bubbles!
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Okay, hold on here, guys – only one more photoshoot to go after this. I hope it isn’t getting too long. Anyway, Megan and I did this one when we were rebaling at the new farm. We had to stack I think over 300 40-pound bales in a semi trailer which was rather hard work… except when it wasn’t. Then we took pictures. 😉 I thought the walls of the trailer would make a neat background and I think it did! How about you?
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HA HA. We sometimes wear masks if the hay is too dusty, and it was that day. It kind of looks like a party hat, eh? An awfully strange one, to be sure.
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OKAY. LAST ONE. This is a related photoshoot because we did it that same day. I think. It was snowing
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I love the contrast in these pictures!
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Heh heh, I was trying to look at the snow on my hood which resulted in me crossing my eyes. XD
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I had the idea of doing some of those rather cliché but pretty snow-blowing pictures. 😛
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BAHAHA THIS IS HILARIOUS. I look like I’m singing a very solemn song to the snow. XD
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YAY, YOU MADE IT THROUGH! What do you say – are you getting tired of sisters photoshoots yet? Do you like shooting and seeing portrait photography or other photography better? Also, what was your favorite of these photoshoots?
Have a beautiful day, beautiful person. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!
***Allison***

~ Etcetera #2 ~

Good gracious, guys, my unposted pictures are backed up all the way to October. XD So as you can see, it’s high time for another random photography/thoughts/etc. post! Enjoy the bits and pieces. 🙂 (And warning: this is going to be a VERY long post.)

Flowers + Butterflies

I love this next picture! The flower and colors are so incredibly bright and cheery. 🙂

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At the new farm we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere and at the end of the line, so it’s really hard to get Internet. You can get it, but it’s quite expensive past a certain monthly amount of data – and we already used that up, halfway through the month! O.o And even worse, the things that use it up the fastest are watching videos online and BLOGGING. HELP. XD Thankfully after you use up the data you still have Internet… it’s just really, REALLY slow. Like barely-moving slow. -_- Hooray.

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I was excited to be able to get decent pictures of a monarch butterfly because they’re pretty rare around here!

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I just finished reading Emma for school. Anyone else read it? I don’t know if I like it or not. It’s definitely very well-written, but it’s also rather boring  – life in the 17th century seems to consist of going to dinner parties and getting married?

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A bunch of other butterflies and moths and bugs came to the zinnia patch as well. 😀

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Guess what? You know how I mentioned we might turn the Cedar House into an Airbnb? Well if we do, and we probably will, my parents are thinking they’ll let me be in charge of it! I am SO excited. That means I’ll get to decorate it, clean it, and add all sorts of fun touches for the customers – eek! 🙂

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I think I found a new favorite word – to say, at least: verisimiltudinous. ISN’T IT GREAT? XD

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Carmen got a cat laser toy for her birthday and Tom (one of our cats) LOVES it. Mom says she feels sorry for him because there’s not actually anything to catch. XD

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Fall Forests & Fields

I took these pictures at my grandparents’ woods which are lovely and gold in the autumn. And the light… ♥

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Ahh, mushrooms. I love taking pictures of them and drawing them, but I don’t like eating them, heh heh. I used to absolutely despise them but I don’t mind them as much now – at least raw is okay.

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Speaking of food, I’m not a picky eater, but I think two of my least favorite foods are black walnuts and goat cheese. They both taste so pungent and strange, and I think goat cheese tastes like goats smell. SORRY. BUT IT DOES.

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This one kind of looks like an art prompt, doesn’t it?

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I took this picture when we were having a Nature Study on hickory trees with our friends and went to search for hickory nuts afterward. I LOVE the lighting. 🙂

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I rather like how you can see two pictures at once here.

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Bittersweet berries are beautiful! There’s a huge vine of it up the hill from our (current) house.

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My friend and I randomly did a photoshoot after church one day when I had my camera along anyway. I won’t put the pictures of her on here in case she doesn’t want me to, but here’s one of the pictures she took of me. 🙂

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The maple tree outside our church is AMAZING in the fall!

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Ooh yes, I really like this one. I edited it quite a lot to make the chopper and wagon into silhouettes, but I love how it turned out!

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Here’s a kind of similar picture. I took this right before we went on the nature walk: one of us spotted a deer on the hill and it walked right along the top so you could see its silhouette. Doesn’t it look neat?

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My siblings put colored lights around the trampoline a while back and they look AMAZING at night! And as bokeh and light painting photos. 🙂

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I’ve also been reading a phenomenal book called Extreme Devotion. It’s a daily devotional, but I’m just reading it as a normal book because it’s composed of many short, very inspiring stories from Voice of the Martrys. One of my favorite quotes from it so far is this:

God, I do not ask You to make my life easy; I do ask You to make me strong.

– From a Jewish child, in a note found in the rubble of a Jewish ghetto in Poland after it was bombed by the Nazis

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AHH THIS PICTURE. Doesn’t it look so warm and bright and sunny? ♥ It makes me happy just to look at it. Actually lots of things make me happy just to look at them. 😛

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Have you ever exploded Ivory soap? If you haven’t you should – it is SO fun! All you have to do is take a bar of Ivory soap (only the Ivory brand will work) and microwave it for a while until you see it start puffing up like a marshmallow. It’s so weird and neat. I did this one day with Carmen when she was bored. 😉

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And now let us end with a picture of three of our adorable bunnies. 😀 ♥ I haven’t posted much about them lately, huh? Probably because we don’t take many pictures of them in the winter when it’s cold and gray. Hopefully I can do another photoshoot soon, when it warms up. 🙂

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And there you have it! One long and random post. XD I finally cleaned up at least SOME of the leftover pictures, which feels great. I still have plenty left, though, so be on the lookout for another Etcetera post soon!

Which picture or topic was your favorite? Do you have the same problem of taking too many photos to keep up with? Are you enjoying winter or ready for it to be over?

 ***Allison***