embrace the camera!

About once a year, my friend Ashley and I decide to do a week long challenge where we encourage YOU to embrace the camera.  I started ETC years ago (when I actually blogged), when I noticed that I didn't have lots of photos of my mom.  She was ALWAYS the one to hide behind the camera for whatever silly reason she had.  She didn't think she looked good, her outfit didn't match, hair was out of place, whatever it was---it was dumb.  Now that she's gone, I treasure the few photos I do have with her...but I'm always longing for more. 
So, I became determined to get in more photos with my kids, and decided to start challenging others to do the same.

So, this week over on Instagram (and heck, I might even post over here too)...we will be sharing photos where we decide to be IN them, not just taking them.

Ashley posted a few good tips on her blog, here is just an excerpt:
There are a couple of ways I achieve getting in the shot with those I love…of just in a shot in general.
SOMEONE ELSE: I either put my camera on full Auto or I get all the settings how I want and then ask someone to take the shot. I also try to be very descriptive of what exactly I have in mind. Poor Chris. (I also do this with my older kids)
PHONE: This is often the easiest, but phone quality does not compare to most DSLRs. I am really trying to do a better job of using my DSLR more and phone less for shots that include me.
TIMER: When taking shots with my DSLR, I set the camera where I want it and then focus where I am going to be in the shot. Once I take a few practice shots to make sure the settings look good, I turn on the timer. Then I focus again and press all the way down to start the timer. Then I step into the shot in the area that I focused.
Head over to her blog to read more from her, she is the Queen Bee of photography tips.
And today?  I am embracing the camera with Kohen (or KoKo as he likes to be called).  This week is his birthday week...he will be turning 6!  I can hardly believe it.  Thankfully, he still loves me and would rather be snuggling with his mama then doing most anything else.  We shall see how long that lasts!

So, get on out there today and get in the picture...you won't regret it!
If you post on Instagram, tag me (@theandersoncrew), Ashley (@underthesycamore) and hashtag it #embracethecamera so we can see all your smiling faces!  And while you're on that hashtag, pop over to another brave face and leave a little love.  It's not easy putting our faces out there for the world to see...we could all use the encouragement! 


first day of school photos, in october.

Oct. 2nd seems like just as good a time as any to let y'all know that YES, we started school.  Thanks to homeschooling, we took our sweet time in starting our school schedule.  We've been at it for 2 weeks now, and I already want to quit.  Soon enough, I will be handing the teacher hat to Mr. Anderson and I'm literally counting down the days.  ONE MORE WEEK.

I thought you might like to see what my children look like these days.
First up is my man child.  I mean, how do I have a middle schooler already?  Surely that means I'm old.  This can't be true, just hold me.
He's good at all the things these days, especially talking back.  He would still choose to go to the mall and make a Build A Bear though over anything else, so I'm thinking we still have a good kid on our hands.  He likes to wake up every.single.morning and compare his height to mine.  Always reminding me that he is inches away from being taller than me.  Pipe down kid, I still have at least a foot on you.

Up next is my 9 year old, going on 16.  Can we say SASS?  I love the girl so much, but man.  Who taught her to roll her eyes at me?  She is especially close to my sixth grade man-child, so I'm sure she's learning all her ways from him.  She's the queen of drawing, being creative and lyrical dance moves.  I can see her entering every talent show in the near future.

Hello to my model of a child.  Third grade Elsa is as tall as sixth grade Caedmon.  Her hair adds like 6 inches, but still.  Why doesn't this girl have a modeling contract already?  Sister knows how to work the camera like nobody else.  She is a handy dandy helper, people pleaser and just all around fun human being to be around.  She has learned to draw this past year...like, really good.  Also?  She would like to work at Target when she grows up.  Such big dreams, kid.

Oh my Milo.  He was not happy about having to take a picture.  Who am I kidding, he's never happy about having to do anything that doesn't involve a sport.  I ask him to write his spelling words out and he acts like the world is ending.  Brother can name every sports team IN THE WORLD though.  You're looking at your next sports radio announcer, I'm sure of it.  Or, if he follows his dream, he'll never get married and sit and watch sports for the rest of his life, all while eating whatever he wants (his words, not mine).  What a way to make your mother proud.

I know as a parent you're not supposed to have favorites, but this kid is mine.  I'm not ashamed.  I especially like him when he's grumpy because I think it's the funniest thing ever.  Like literally, I can't get mad at this kid.  It's impossible.  He is my big kindergartner, and approximately 7 minutes into school "his hand hurts" and he needs to take a break.  Every.Day.  I mean, sure Kohen.  You do whatever you need to do.  (wrapped around his finger!)  He's like my cute little gremlin.

Last, but we all know certainly not least, is the star of the show, Miss Olive.  She's a big preschooler this year which means ALL OF MY KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL.  How is this possible?
She packs her lunch and lays her clothes out every night before school.  When it comes to her clothes, she picks them out and the crazier and more colorful, the better.  Green plaid with red polka dots?  Sure, let's look like a Christmas elf today Olive.  She rocks it all.

It's so hard to believe that my kids are all in some sort of school.  I can remember the days of 6 kids, 7 and under and thinking that I WAS DROWNING in poopy diapers and PBS kids.  Some days, we ate Cheerios for dinner because that was the best I could do.  But you know what?  We survived!  To all the mamas who are in the trenches, keep pushing through.  One day, they get to be older and they learn how to wipe their own hineys and make their own lunches.  Who knew life could be so glorious?  And I have a feeling it's only going to get better.  Minus the talking back and sass.
OH, and P.S....we still eat Cheerios for breakfast.