Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31

I did a photo shoot today with Addison and Jake. We got off to a rough start, as Addison wasn't too excited about posing for any pictures. But after a while, she opened up to the idea...and then I couldn't stop her from striking a pose!

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30

Audrey in her jammies, with her blanket and crazy pigtail hair...all ready to go night-night!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29

I'm renting another camera lens this week. I decided to casually start doing portraits for people (, and I have a few photo shoots lined up over the next few days. Renting a lens gives me the chance to play around and learn about these lenses before I actually can afford to buy one. This time I rented the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. According to some reviews I've read, it is comparable to the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens I rented last time, but it is about 1/3 the price. I was only able to play around a little bit tonight (while being attacked by a swarm of killer mosquitoes, or at least that's what it felt like!), so I can't make any of my own comparisons yet. I also rented a flash for the week, but I have no idea how to use it. My goal for tomorrow is to learn about when to use flash and how to use this particular flash.

It was a beautiful day today, and Audrey had so much fun playing outside. I had to drag her in kicking and screaming a couple of times, because I was tired of getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I think she would have spent the whole day out there. We played a fun new game called, "run and pick up all the leaves in the yard"...I'll share more about that on the Life with the Shelton's blog soon.

And while I'm waiting for my pictures to export from Lightroom, I might as well keep writing! Tonight we went to the Muni to see Jesus Christ Superstar. The weather was perfect...just chilly enough to cuddle up under a blanket by the end. We went with our friends Bob and Taush. The funny thing is that the last show we went to with Bob and Taush (the only other show we've been to with them) was Godspell. Both musicals are about Jesus and are based on Gospels; Godspell (one of my favorites!) is an almost word for word telling of the gospel of Matthew, and Jesus Christ Superstar is very loosely based on the gospel of John. While both are about Jesus, they are very, very different.

So here's my review of Jesus Christ Superstar. I really liked it. It is very artistic and creative and dramatic. It has been controversial among Christians, though I'm guessing a lot of the people who are "against" it probably haven't seen it. It definitely emphasizes Jesus' humanity, which I think is both good and bad. Good, because we don't always focus on the human side of Jesus. And bad, because it doesn't quite give you a solid answer about Jesus' divinity. Then there is the whole Jesus/Mary Magdalene relationship, which probably drives Christians away from it as well. Though really, I didn't feel like it was emphasized all that much in the show. I wouldn't recommend the show to someone who is looking for a strict biblical account of Jesus' final weeks. But I think there is definite value to the show, both artistically and theologically. I still writing?? This blog has kind of turned into my own personal journal at times. So please don't feel obligated to keep reading when I ramble on like this. I know my husband doesn't! He let me know the other day that he usually just looks at the pictures and doesn't read what I write. I do read every word that he writes on his blog though...just so you know!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28

Every once in a while we pull out the Wii and the Wii Fit, and Audrey thinks it is the best thing ever. She's can't quite figure out any games yet, but she loves to step on and off the Wii balance board and push all the "bups" (buttons) on the remote! She even recognizes our Mii characters on the screen (Mommy, Daddy, Audrey, and even Maggie has her own Mii).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27

It was Family Fun Night tonight for us! This was the first night in what seems like an eternity that all three of us were home together! It has just been so crazy busy lately; it's nice to have a chance to sit down and relax for a while. To celebrate we walked down to Baskin Robbins for dollar scoop night. (Kellie--we really missed you guys as we walked past your house to get our ice cream!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26

Lesson learned tonight: When you are frantically getting your house ready for a large group of people to arrive, make a mental note of where you "hide" everything. Or else you may waste time wander aimlessly around your house looking for a bright red camera bag that was randomly hidden behind a door.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25

We are all pretty excited about this purchase today...a new printer! Now, when I hit print on my computer, my printer will actually print! And I can now print wirelessly, so I don't have to drag my laptop into the office to plug it in and print.

My last printer and I have been fighting for a very long time. I finally decided that it was time to be done with him, so Daniel and Audrey went out and bought me a new printer this afternoon! I hope we have a long, happy relationship.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24

I love this little girl!!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23

It wouldn't be the last night of VBS without someone getting a pie (or some other disgusting thing) in their face. Tonight both Melissa and Mark got to enjoy this experience.
Now that VBS is over, I should be breathing a sigh of relief. But, now I have to spend the next two days frantically getting ready for my big Stampin Up Open House on Monday night. Don't know what I was thinking when I scheduled it so close to VBS. Hopefully on Tuesday I will finally be able to relax a little!!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22

Another good night at VBS! I have had it pretty easy this week. My Marketplace workers are making sure everything runs smoothly, so I just get to hang out and take pictures.

We told the kids that they could come to VBS dressed in Egyptian costumes of their own, and several of them have. I thought this little girl looked especially "Egyptian" in her white dress and gold jewelry and make up.

I'm a little sad and a little glad that VBS is going to be over tomorrow night!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21

This morning our Sprouts playgroup had a playdate at the park. Audrey's favorite activity, of course, was the slide, which she calls "a pie". It sounds like she is saying "up high", but I think she is really trying to say the word slide, even though it doesn't sound like it. She has a habit of putting a "a" at the beginning of her words. I don't know if she is trying to add the article "a" to her words or what. I'm going to have to ask my speech therapist friends if that is common for her age. Watching Audrey learn to talk has made me very interested in the details of speech development. I think it's fascinating how they go from saying nothing at all to speaking a whole language in such a short time period.

And VBS continues to go well. I was telling someone tonight that so far everything is going just how I envisioned and planned it. THat doesn't always happen, so I'm pretty happy. Only 2 nights left...this week is flying by! If you are interested in seeing pictures of all our VBS decorations and fun, I have uploaded a bunch of them to our Facebook page:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20

Look who's back!!! I wish this picture was in focus and better quality because I love her smile in it. For the past couple weeks Audrey has been in love with her "denket" (blanket). She wants to make sure she has it every time she goes to sleep.
I'm glad to have my little girl back. It sounds like she had a lot of fun at Mimi and Papaw's...hopefully the transition from being with her doting grandparents back to real life with her mean Mommy won't be too rough!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19

So here is what I have been doing for the past 4 days. This is just one of the 12 shops in our Egyptian Marketplace. I'm really pleased with how well it turned out. Especially considering that we barely spent any money at all on the decor! Most of the baskets and knick knacks were found at garage sales. And almost all of the fabric we used came from random fabric remnants we found all over the church. It is unbelievable how much (useable) stuff is in our church!

And the most important part is that the kids tonight seemed to really enjoy it! Everything kind of worked out just as I had planned it, which is good especially after all the hundreds of hours of planning and set up. I'll get a link up for some more pictures soon. One night down, four more to go!

July 18

Sorry, I didn't get this posted last night. I was driving home from church at 11 pm and was so exhausted. I even had a moment on my drive home where I thought I was lost and couldn't remember where I was going. And the drive from church is only 1 block and takes about 30 seconds, so if I am getting lost, you know things must be pretty bad. It's a good thing we live so close or else I may not have made it home.

So, last night, besides working like crazy to get our VBS marketplace set up (still more work to do today, but it is going to look great!), our church hosted Big Block Bash in the parking lot. It's a big block party sponsored by the church and some local businesses. I don't know how many were there last night, but it was a good crowd. In the past, we think we have had around 1000 people at this event. We have live music, food, games, and a bunch of bounce houses. It was hot last night, but hot is much better than rain!

It was kind of sad that Audrey wasn't around to enjoy all the festivities last night. Good thing Elliot was around so he could fill in for today's picture! He got to eat his very own snow cone. I think he may have ended up with more on his shirt than in his mouth!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17

Here is Audrey in her carseat and ready to go to Mimi and Papaw's house! Daniel's parents are going to watch Audrey for us for a few days so we can get everything ready for Big Block Bash (an event prior to VBS that Daniel is leading) and VBS (which if you read this blog, you already know I'm helping with that).

It's a bit weird to have Audrey gone. The longest I have been away from her is just over 24 hours. In some ways, I'm looking forward to the next couple of days. I'm so glad to have the freedom to work all day/night at church without having to worry about feeding Audrey or changing Audrey or entertaining her or getting her to sleep. I spent 12 hours at church today, and probably wouldn't have been able to do that if Audrey was here. I'm also very excited about being able to wake up when I want to wake up, and I'm especially excited to be able to get ready for church by myself. No matter what we do, it always is stressful to get both Audrey and I ready and out the door on Sunday mornings. So I'm excited to have a little bit of time to myself, even though I'm going to be spending all that time working like crazy to get VBS ready.

But I'm also going to miss her like crazy. I'll miss all the funny little things she says and does. It is definitely going to be too quiet around here without her (though we won't really be home). It does make me wonder about what we did with all of our time before she was born. She hasn't even been alive for two years yet, but she has definitely changed our lives completely (for the good!). When Audrey is not here, things just don't feel quite right.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16

Tut got his face painted today! And now I am declaring him officially finished. He's ready to go to his home in the Embalmer's Workshop, where the kids will go to learn about how mummies are made.

We also started setting up our Marketplace today and got two shops finished. They look amazing; I'm so excited to see it all put together. Two shops down, ten to go!!

Also I think I almost have all of my volunteers in place now. It took up til the last minute, but we are close to being fully staffed. Now we just need kids to come...lots and lots of kids!! My newest worry is that we are doing all this work, and no kids are going to show up. If you live in town, spread the word about our VBS next week! It's going to be way cool, I promise!

And now I must go to bed. I was at church from 9 am-11 pm today (though I did take breaks for lunch and dinner)....a long day, but a fun day. I really do enjoy doing all of this, even if it is a lot of time-consuming work!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15

Such a sweet little face...hard to believe that this little girl could be so ornery! Lately, she is all about testing the limits. You tell her no, she does it again. Tonight, we were trying to work on how to pet Maggie nicely rather than whacking her with all our might. Audrey did really good petting Daddy nicely, and petting Mommy nicely, but when we got to Maggie...whack! So frustrating!

I got an e-mail the other day from Parents magazine titled "Why Toddlers Hit and Bite". I was hoping it was going to give me the magic answer on what to do when Audrey hits. But...not so much...basically I just learned that hitting and biting (thankfully, Audrey hasn't really done too much biting yet) are totally normal behaviors at this stage of development. Not socially acceptable behaviors and not nice behaviors...but normal behaviors nonetheless. I guess it makes me feel better to know that Audrey is just a normal toddler and that this too shall pass. But it is a frustrating stage. Sweet little Audrey has been spending a lot of time in time out lately. Doesn't seem to be doing much good, but she's still going to time out. I don't know what else to do with her. Suggestions are welcome!

However, just like I said the other day, sometimes she is just the sweetest, funniest little girl. She makes me laugh so much. I've decided that if I am going to complain about some of Audrey's frustrating behaviors, I need to include some of her more endearing behaviors as well. Some things that made me laugh today:
1. We saw an ant outside, and Audrey wanted to pet it. This girl really likes animals!
2. After I got the mail today, she was so excited. She kept carrying around an envelope and holding up and yelling "Nail! Oh Nail!" and then throwing it up in the air.
3. When she wants you to pick her up, she says "Hold you". So cute!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14

Audrey and I played a fun little game with the "hano" (piano) today. First Audrey would say. "Hano. Mommy." So I would sit down and play a little song. For about 3 seconds. And then Audrey would say. "Off, Off." and "I Turn." Then Audrey would take a turn playing the piano. And then we did it all over again and again and again.

(Side story about the piano: The other night we were eating at Jimmy Johns. The music is pretty loud there, so when a live version of a song ended and people clapped at the end, Audrey noticed and started clapping and saying "Yay" with them. Then the next song came on with a piano introduction. And Audrey started saying "Hano, Hano." And then she started looking around and saying "hano", like she was looking around to find the piano that was making that noise. Daniel and I were super impressed that she was able to recognize the sound of a piano in a recording.)

And I know you are just dying to see how Tut is looking these days! Tonight we spray painted him gold. I think he is almost finished. I'm just going to paint a few stripes on the headdress around his face. The rest of him is going to be pretty simple, because I am afraid to try to paint to much on him for fear of messing up. How sad would that be, after like 10 hours of work, to mess up on the very last step! I'm pretty pleased that we were able to create this totally from scratch. He's not perfect, and he's obviously homemade, but many people do you know who have made a paper mache sarcophagus? I feel quite accomplished with this feat.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13

In the midst of all the VBS prep and craziness this week, I had my stamp club tonight. This is one of the cards we made. Very simple, but I really like it a lot. And it's a good reminder that simplicity is a good thing. This week I have a VBS to do list, a Stampin Up to do list, and a general to do list. And I keep floating back and forth between each list, but I feel like I'm not really crossing anything off the lists. Life is a bit too hectic for me right now. I hate the feeling of being behind and not able to catch up. But then when things slow down and I'm not so busy, I'll probably complain that I am bored. I suppose I am just a difficult one to please.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12

Audrey has been quite difficult at times over the past few days. Mostly screaming and throwing fits when she doesn't get her way. And hitting. She keeps wanting to hit me, Maggie, other kids...I don't know what to do about it. It almost seems like a game to her. After we tell her no or put her in time out, she will just go back and do it again. Ugh...maybe we are entering the terrible twos already??

But then at other times she is so sweet and adorable and hilarious. Like when she held up her purse and posed for the camera this afternoon. Or when she tried to say "cockle-doodle-doo". Or when she insisted on praying before we ate all of our meals. Or when she wanted to give a high five to the lady working at Staples. Or when she entertained herself for a long time by holding a bowl to her mouth and talking into it. Or when she danced like crazy to a new CD we got. Or when she asked for a kiss before I put her to bed. If this is the terrible twos, maybe it's not all that bad!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11

Remember this post from back in April? I finally redid these frames! I am much happier with my updated frames...they have a cleaner, simpler look, which I like much better. I actually made the change a while back, but I was waiting to take a picture on a day when I didn't have any other pictures to today!
I should have gone down to the church and taken another picture of our sarcophagus. By the way, I think I'm going to name him Tut ..not the most original name but definitely fitting. So...Tut got his second (and final) layer of paper mache last night and we also added a face! Thanks to Mike and Breanne for coming to help paper mache last night. It was MUCH quicker with three people working!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 10

I am in a much better mood today than I was when I posted last night. Mostly, because our sarcophagus is turning out so good!! (FYI: a sarcophagus is a coffin used to hold mummies). Here he is with the first layer of paper mache ("he" definitely needs a name. I'm open for suggestions). It actually looks like I envisioned it; so that is very exciting. There is still a lot of work to be done...I'm going back to do another layer of paper mache tonight. But we got a lot accomplished today. Thanks to Heather and Jon for helping to make the frame!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9

I am cheating today, because I did not take this picture. I actually stole it from some random guys' blog...hopefully he won't mind if I post it here. It is the basic frame for a life-size paper mache sarcophagus. And I am going to attempt to make the same thing tomorrow morning for our upcoming Egyptian-themed VBS. I'm a bit nervous because 1) this seems kind of hard, and 2) I don't think many people are coming to help me tomorrow. I'm starting to feel like that should be the theme of this year's VBS: not enough people willing to help.'s very discouraging to me. And it's making me grumpy tonight, so I won't whine about it anymore here.

Tomorrow I will post a picture of my sarcophagus. I have a feeling that it will not look like the one pictured above. My goal is to get the frame done and at least start on the paper mache. But I have several other projects that need to be completed, so we'll see what we are able to get accomplished. Time is running out...VBS starts in just 10 days!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8

Audrey and I got to spend the whole day today with my friend Kellie and her two little ones, Ava and Truett. Ava is about 10 months older than Audrey (and I think she weighs about 10 pounds less...Audrey is looking quite chunky standing next to her!). Let's just say those two are still learning how to play together. They kind of have a love-hate thing going on. One second one of them (often Audrey!) would be yelling "no, no" and trying to push the other one out of the way to protect their toys, then the next second they would be giggling and holding hands. Drama! Audrey is sometimes not a very nice little girl when playing with other kids. I'm hoping it is just because she is a 20 month old who doesn't quite understand the concepts of playing with other kids and sharing. Hopefully she will soon learn these lessons and will play better with other kids. Hopefully...

Regardless, the two did laugh and play well together at times (especially when no toys were involved). One of their favorite games was Ring around the Rosy (which is what they were playing in the pool in this picture). They would hold hands and walk in a circle and just laugh and laugh and laugh. It was pretty cute!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7

One of the reasons we came to Indianpolis this week is to attend the North American Christian Convention. Daniel is going to the whole convention; I went for the day today. And Audrey got to spend the day with Mimi and Papaw.

I commented to Daniel tonight about what a busy day we had today. He didn't think it was all that busy, but it felt busy to me compared to my normal days at home with Audrey (when a trip to Wal-mart is the highlight of our day)! We didn't really start the day until 11:00 or so, but then we: had Chick-Fil-A for lunch, walked around the NACC Exhibit Hall, listened to Tony Dungy speak, went to an interesting workshop, walked to Steak n Shake for a shake, went to another interesting workshop, browsed the books at Borders (and added 10 more books to my ever growing to-read list), had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, attended the evening main session, and went to a reception for OCC alumni. That sounds like a busy day to me. Now it's 11:30 and time for bed! I'm looking forward to spending the day tomorrow with Kellie, Ava and Truett! (We will miss you, Amy!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6

Today we went to the Indianapolis Zoo. On the first Tuesday of each month, they offer half price admission for everyone, so we thought that was a good deal (it saved us $14). But I think everyone else in the city thought it was a good deal too, because the place was packed! And it was really hot! But still, we had a good time. I think Audrey's favorite animals were the elephants, the horses, the sharks, the sea lions (which she called sharks) and the dolphins (which she also called sharks).

Audrey also got to try her very first Dippin Dots ice cream. I'm pretty sure it's the most overpriced ice cream ever, and it's really not all that good...but hey, it's vacation!

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5

Since this trip to Indy is our big vacation for the summer, we're trying to make it a little more vacation-like by doing some fun activities while we're here. Today we took Audrey to a nearby pool. It was a really nice pool, and we were excited for Audrey to go swimming again because she had so much fun at the pool in St. Louis. It was about a 20 minute drive to get there, and the whole time, Audrey kept saying, "Hoo Hoo" (her version of swim suit) and "Wa Wa" (her version of water). We knew she was going to be so excited to get in the water.

And then we got in the water. And she was not excited. For about 20-30 minutes, we heard about a million whiny "Noooo"s from Audrey. We tried the kiddie pool, the kiddie slide, the big pool, the stairs going into the big pool, sitting on the edge of the pool--and she didn't like any of it. The water was really cold, so that may have been the problem. You would think that cold water would feel good on a sunny, 90 degree day, but it felt really, really cold. Audrey was much more interested in playing with Mommy's sunglasses (see picture above), than she was with playing in the water.

And then, all of a sudden, Audrey liked the water. And she started laughing and having fun, like swimming was the best thing in the world. We went back to the kiddie pool, the kiddie slide, the big pool, the stairs going into the big pool, sitting on the edge of the pool--and she loved it all! We don't know what caused the switch in her, but we were so glad. Swimming with a happy Audrey is so much more fun than swimming with a whiny Audrey!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4

Happy 4th of July! We are on vacation in Indianapolis this week. Today, Daniel's parents hosted their annual Backyard Bash. It was a good time! I was a bit disappointed with my pictures from the day though. Not my best photography day. But I did get a couple that I this one of our niece Mariah!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3

Baby Julia got to see her first Muni show at just three months old! We went with some friends to see Into the Woods tonight. It was a fairly good show. I like the show itself, I like the music, but I was a bit underwhelmed by the performance tonight. I think my expectations were a bit too high. Plus, the only other performance of Into the Woods that I have seen is a recording of the Broadway production. It's probably not fair to compare our community theater to Broadway. It is a really hard show, with really hard music...and most of the cast did an excellent job. There were just a few rough spots and some things that bothered me that distracted me throughout the night. I guess I am just getting too critical in my old age. Regardless--a night at the Muni with friends is always a good time!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2

Tonight we went to see Eclipse. It was pretty good, probably the best of the three Twilight movies so far. This picture was taken as we were standing in line to get into the theater. (I should have taken it next to the Eclipse sign or something...). We got there about an hour early, but it wasn't quite as crazy as we expected. I guess all the die hard Twilight fans went to the movie at midnight (or at 3 am!) earlier this week.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1

July--go away, I am not ready for you yet! VBS is just 18 days away; I'm beginning to freak out a bit. Especially since I still need about 7 more people to help me out. And especially since we are going to be out of town all next week. And especially since I have SO MUCH left to do!

Now that that is out of my system...on to today's picture. Audrey and I went to the park this morning. The weather this week has been absolutely perfect. I love it, and I wish we hadn't been quite so busy so that we could have enjoyed it more. The park was fun, but I think everyone else decided to take their kids to the park this morning as well. It was pretty crowded. Audrey and I ended up on this little slide that the big kids probably thought was too boring. It wasn't boring to Audrey; she had fun sliding down on her "mummy" (translation: tummy; I'm starting to feel like we need a dictionary to understand Audrey's own language!).