“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”


Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve: The Little Big Party

When I was growing up, my mom would tell me to spend New Year's Eve doing the things you wanted to do for the upcoming year. Mom, a poet, would often write. And for the past 2 decades, I've been spending my New Year's Eve having fun with my children. It's a tradition around here... to throw the kids an "adult" type party. I get the fake plastic champagne glasses that goes along so well with the fake champagne. The house is completely decorated, everyone has party hats, streamers and horns, and a buffet fit for any swanky adult party is laid out - within reach of the little ones. Though my eldest child, Chrissy, has given up on partying with dear ol' mom and now she throws parties of her own, my three remaining children seem to be content with the festivities. This year Alex had his girlfriend Cassi over (she's been here3 times before), Jake invited our cousin Nick, and for Silas I wanted my two foster grandchildren, Shelby and Lucas. Shelby is almost 5 and Lucas just turned 3. Here they are in the tent watching a DVD. Adorable, huh?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Once Upon A Winter's Solstice....

It's wintertime in Ohio. Everyone is getting ready for the holidays. Our family celebrates the Winter Solstice rather than a religious holiday (though our outside loved ones usually celebrate Christmas, and we enjoy celebrating their special days with them) and we've been hanging decorations, wrapping presents, sending party invitations and deciding what we're going to bake for the holidays. I am one of those "party people" - meaning, I love to host dinner parties and get-togethers. Also, the kids are out of school, but before it ended Alex was in a dinner theater production that was absolutely amazing. I was so impressed with the food, the entertainment and the manner in which it was all pulled together. Alexander High School is becoming quite the place for theater. I loved it. Here's a photo of him and his friend Kye, who was the court jester. Alex, of course, is in the red cape.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Portraits I've taken of other people's children

This is Mary and Caleb and the senior photos I shot of them. They graduated with Chrissy in 2002. (I've known Mary since she was in kindergarten. She had long blonde hair in one single braid and she so petite and pretty. I have a jillion photos of her (and her brother Nick), especially since I had them for many 'a weekends. They're grown up now and we went to Mary's wedding last year. I sure do miss their weekend visits.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Every year I buy an ornament for the family tree and this was this year's. I thought it was adorable! It has all the kids on it plus Alex's girlfriend, Cassi. Sweet, huh? It's a fun way to chronicle the kids growing up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My great grandparents (mom's dad's side)

 An older photo (early 80's)

This is my grandpa and grandma Hiles. He was German and she was part Native American.

Grandma Hiles used to be called the towns Indian Lady and she hated it. She absolutely hated anything that had to do with her indigenous side. Her heritage was a taboo secret that no one was allowed to discuss.. especially around her. She got VERY upset. I wasn't able to ask her anything - not only was she reluctant, but she was also an alcoholic.

She died when I was about 22 and I wanted to know WHY she would hate her Native heritage. Why we couldn't even talk about it. So rather than researching our family history - which was going to be difficult because she hid most of the paperwork - I decided to research what was going on in history and in the American society during the time of her parents and then her childhood. I learned a great deal and it was all so sad and depressing.... I can see why she turned her back on that side of her bloodline.

I still want to learn more about grandma. One day I'll hopefully find the time so I can fill in the rest of the story.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Introducing Miss Shelby Nicole - a future STAR

You'll see blog photos here and there of the beautiful Miss Shelby (my foster granddaughter)... but here's a few of my favorites from when she was a baby. She calls me Nana Terri... which melts my heart every time I hear it. She is quite possibly one of the most beautiful little girls alive on this planet today. If you don't believe me, go through the archives and look for her photos. You'll see what I mean.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Terri Jean + Heather Jean = Trouble

My best friend, Heather, took this pic of me a few months ago. I thought she did a pretty good job. Heather and I have been best friends since we met in August of 1992. She just had Austin and I was about 6 months pregnant for Jacob. We exchanged phone numbers and she called me the following day. Funny thing is, we went to school together and were living about a mile apart - but we didn't know each other. We're two nutballs and I tend to corrupt her quite a bit... but she loves every minute of it (don't let her tell you any different). After baby #2 - Justin - she divorced and remarried and became a military wife; moving to Japan, Maine and Alaska. I was never able to venture out and see her, though she always came home over the summers. She now lives in Dayton Ohio - 3 hours from me, which, after her living all over the world for 8 years, seems like it's just down the road.I'm so glad to have her back... now if only I could get her to move a mile down the road again.

Friday, December 9, 2005


Isn't this a cool photo? I thought, at first,it was stuck in the paint but later I saw it moving around. Apparently, he was just chillin'... having a nice time in the sunshine.