Friday, September 27, 2013


I'm no photographer but I do have a fabulous camera that makes me feel like a photographer!  I also have lovely, willing subjects - and they help make great photos.

I decided to photograph the baby today.  It was such a beautiful, warm fall day.  The sun was shining around cotton ball clouds.  We have plenty of leaves in our front yard.  So, I grabbed my camera and my baby and headed outside.

I have a Nikon D60 SLR.  I have books and have researched online how to take portrait photos with nice bokeh, but I cheated today.  Hey!  I'm just a mom with a camera and few skills - not to mention I'm photographing an almost 6 month old.  So, how did I cheat?  I slapped a telephoto lens on my camera, flipped the settings to Auto (I can almost hear you groaning), and got to it!  These are a few of my favorites.

Oh, yes...  I made some Photoshop touch ups and created a watermark...  MommyLawyer of course!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Reason Why I Home School - #2

A few weeks ago, news broke that the Chicago Public School System was mandating sex education in its schools... for KINDERGARTENERS!  The curriculum calls for an average of 30 minutes a month.

The concern is that parents are not teaching the facts of life to their children (to put it mildly).  The problem as I see it is that the nanny state isn't giving parents the chance!  Goodbye innocence!

I'm so glad I can home school - if only so I can introduce sensitive topics at the time I feel my children are ready... and Kindergarten is NOT the time for my kids.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Big Family Road Trips

This past summer provided some opportunities for travel for my family.  Not only did we take several day trips, but we had some overnight adventures as well.  I don't know if all moms of large families are like me, but I feel if I don't plan ahead, something will go drastically, tragically wrong awry. 

One thing I've started doing is packing outfits in individual bags.  I purchased mesh lingerie bags from the D0llar Store - $1 for 3 bags.  I have enough bags to put each outfit for each child in a bag.  I also put each child's pajamas in a bag as well.  When I say outfit, I mean the shirt, pants (or shorts or skirt), underwear, and socks (if needed) in one bag.  One day = one bag with one outfit.  It's just so much easier than having each child pack their own suitcase (with 5 children, we are a bit limited on space) and I can contain all of the clothes and find each child's clothing quickly if we have one large suitcase.

 Another thing I do is pack snack boxes.  I bought subdivided plastic, leak proof, microwavable plastic "lunch" containers for each of the children, me, and my husband.  I can pack sandwiches, fruit, cookies, cheese sticks, pretzels, crackers, hummus, etc.  The containers I have only have two separate compartments, but I can subdivide them further using paper cupcake cups.

Finally, I always, always make a packing/TO DO list.  So far, my lists are handwritten, but as soon as I decide to type one up, I'll post it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Microwave Popcorn in a Paper Bag! A Recipe.

Let me begin by saying that I loathe microwave popcorn.  The taste.  The smell.  The headache I inevitably get.  The indigestion that follows.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned you can microwave popcorn kernels - get this - in a brown paper bag!  It's true!  It's amazing!  It's headache-free!

Here's what you do:

Put 1/4 cup of  popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag.  Fold the top of the bag over 3 to 4 times, with each fold measuring about 1/2 inch.  Set the bag upright in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 2 to 3 1/2 minutes.  (The first time I tried it, I cooked it for a little over 3 minutes - TOO LONG in my microwave.)  Listen for the popping to slow.  When 2 seconds passes between pops, turn off the microwave.  Be careful opening the bag due to the steam.  Add melted butter or olive oil and salt or other spices to taste.  I added a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and it was divine!