My wife Karen’s volunteer role at our kids’ co-op is the annual Branches Biltmore Yearbook Director. All year long she snaps away all the classes and events, manages the online store, designs the yearbook, receives the box loads of books and distributes them to the families. She LOVES doing this – and I know how much time she puts into it!! It was really a very nice compliment that she received from Picaboo Yearbooks themselves – they asked her to write a feature blog post to inspire other homeschool groups thinking about having their own yearbooks! My small role is that I’ll come in, set up the studio lighting + backdrop and take a portrait of every student present on photo day specifically for insertion into the yearbook. Then of course, is the big, rambunctious, crowd photo full of excited kids and their parents. ;D Branches Homeschool Community is a blessing to hundreds of families across the Valley. If you’re a homeschool family and are looking for a co-op we recommend checking them out. There’s usually a wait list……. don’t wait too long. Read full post on our sister website HappyFish.com >> “Published on Picaboo Yearbook blog” Read original post on […]
Excited for this weekend! It’s the 32nd annual Arizona’s Families for Home Education Convention and we’ve been invited to photograph kids and teens for the Student ID Cards that they are selling as a service to the community. We have donated a photography session for 1-2 hours on-location within Phoenix/Scottsdale for the silent auction benefiting both AFHE and the Home School Foundation Arizona Ambassador Fund. At our booth we’ll also be offering a drawing for a chance to win a free family mini session! If you’ll be there come over and say hi! If you are thinking about homeschooling, the AFHE website has a ton of information as well as links to support groups around the valley. HSLDA is also an important resource available to homeschooling families throughout the nation.
We’ve been homeschooling for 4 years so far (starting our 5th) and 2 years ago, friends of ours created the unbelievably awesome Branches Homeschool Community. They had to convince Karen that joining would be a good idea… and she did when there were about a dozen families. By the time that first semester was rolling – there was something like 80 families. In their second year, around 180 children at ONE location! They opened up a second location called West Valley Branches as well. Karen not only volunteered to teach classes in drawing, PictureSmart Bible and Smash* booking – but also took on the Branches yearbook for 2014-2015. She did not all, but most, of the snapshots capturing all the classes, parties and special events that took place every week – but also designed the 76 page side book. She used Picaboo Yearbooks and they arrived last month. They are fantastic and affordable – and excellent customer service. Out of the entire order, only 4 books had a slight ‘bend’ in the corner. She let them know and they reprinted the books without a problem. In January, I volunteered to take ‘traditional student pportraits’ of all the children at Branches […]
For those of you that REALLY know us……… this comes as a bit of a shock. You read that right. I’ve been in denial for a long, long time but am pretty certain I have an allergy to coffee. After many attempts at testing the theory out – without milk, without sugar……. with other types of sweetener etc. seems to result in the same thing — headaches and sinus pressure. Started researching tea. A whole new world opened up to unlimited possibilities. My wife Karen had to get ready for marathon taste testings!! (Over our many years of marriage she has gotten used to my quirks of comparing coffee beans from different roasters. Our favorite by the way was KLATCH.) Bought tea samplers from different suppliers online and locally: green, roobois, honeybush, herbal, fancy custom blends with dried fruits, berries……..even CANDY CANE!….. black, assam, flavored black, gunpowder, dragon pearls, raw pu-erh, aged pu-erh, chocolate pu-erh (from loose, to brick to tuocha, to cake)……. different regions, years……. the works. Karen almost fell over when I showed her this video: Yes, I even bought the Purple Clay Pu-erh tea set to try. Guess what……. there is something to the disposing of the […]
Our family LOVES to go camping. Dog Town Lake, AZ is a nice spot that we’ve been to a couple times – beautiful trees, nice little lake for paddling around in. Besides cooking in the great outdoors… our next favorite part of camping is relaxing in our hammocks. In fact, we’ve gone from hanging out in hammocks to ditching the tent and sleeping in special enclosed hammocks all night long! No more back pain in the morning – I had to talk my wife into getting off our cots and Nemo pads. She thought she was comfy then, but there is nothing like the feeling of sleeping in a hammock under the stars. The kids LOVED it immediately. Now they have hammocks in their rooms for fun under their loft beds. 😀 Here are some shots I took around the campsite.
My wife made me my FAVORITE of all time desert … Key Lime Pie ! I can count on one hand the number of times she’s made it… so I cherish it when one is made. Our recipe of choice is from Martha Stewart with a minor adaptation. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs (crushed crackers via food processor OR rolling pin over a ziploc bag) 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled 5 tablespoons brown sugar (never white!) 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice (best with key limes, but just as good with regular limes too if you can’t find) 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled OR whipped cream ready to squirt out in abundance 1 can (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk 4 large egg yolks DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch pie plate, and bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled […]
Visited Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale. Very cool place where you can walk through a large atrium full of butterflies that will land on and around you. They have an ’emergence gallery’ of pupas in different stages, a bee hive, creepy desert arachnids, live ant colony, 3D theater and an Amazon Aquatic Life experience. Our youngest son did NOT care for the butterfly landing on his head !! Caught some fun close up photos during our visit there. If you are in town check it out! They are building a new Ocean OdySea Experience next door – should be opening very soon.
We aren’t blessed with green thumbs… in fact we’ve had cacti and succulents in our garden wither. So when they are thriving, we like to enjoy it! Seems like twice a year butterflies come and lay eggs on our baby citrus trees. The eggs are TINY and the little caterpillars have a hard time surviving whether we leave them alone to fend for themselves on the tree leaves or take them into a butterfly ‘house’ to take care of til ready for pupa stage. She wrote about the caterpillars on our homeschooling blog at HappyFishSchool.com.