Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Seriously Can Not Believe that October is Almost Over

Where is the time going?  I seriously can not believe that it is almost November.  I also can't believe that it has been a whole month since I have blogged.  A lot has happened in the last month.  There have been some huge changes since I last checked in.  The first major family event was the wedding of my niece Lauren. Lauren married her longtime boyfriend Jeremy on October 8th.     She had a beautiful yet simple wedding at her church and both of my kiddos were special helpers for the event.  Secondly, Ken has been given some great news with regards to his health.  He was granted permission to stop taking all of his immune medications.   For the last six months he was taking pills three to four times per day.  It was emotionally draining and I could see that it was taking its toll on his spirit.  I can not begin to express my gratitude for the improvement in his health and say what a blessing this has been!  His immune medicaitons were not only expensive,  but also a pain to get his prescription filled.  We were required to go through our insurance company's pharmacy and that system in itself is not the easiest to navigate.  And lastly, I am getting back into my photography.  I was able to complete the kiddo's fall and Halloween photos over the last two weeks.  Below you will find a few of my favorites from the Halloween Shoot. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'M BACK!!!!!

So much has happened in the last three months where do I begin.  Jasmine turned 8, Jon turned 7, we spent many weekends at the lake and also took a  family vacation.  However, the biggest change was in Ken's health.  Last month it was decided that Ken had to get surgery to address some pretty serious medical needs.  His surgery near his spine was very scary and there was no guarantee that it would take away his pain but in the end  God was faithful.  The results were more than positive.  Now having said this, there have been many changes to our family routing.  The most significant change has been with Jasmine's education.   Jasmine started her first year of public school after five years at Visitation Academy.  She was enrolled at Viz for third grade but after careful though and consideration we knew that she had to leave.  This decision was based upon Ken's medical needs and my ability to accept the fact that I can not do it all.  Jasmine was given the option to attend another private school of her choice but she declined. She was tired of wearing the uniforms and confided in me that she wanted to get to know the kids in our neighborhood.  I was afraid but I am happy to report that things are great.  She is happy.   She enjoys being able to sleep in and has made a lot of new friends.

As far as this blog goes, I have to admit I was quite intimidated and unsure how to pick back up.  It has been over three months and in the midst of everything that was going on I actually forgot my password.  I decided that the best way to get back in the swing of things is to start from this moment on.  It would be way to much for me to go back and recap everything that has transpired.  I have facebook for that.  LOL. 

With all of these changes, I have decided that I do not want to do things out of obligation anymore.  I want to be a better steward and not waste the family finances.  My first step in that direction is school portraits.   I decided this year to just say no to the school portraits. Year after year I go back and forth about whether or not we need them.   I usually feel so guilty and end up buying them.  Once I get them, I am rarely satisfied.  Besides, they usually cost me about $100 per kid .  That is a lot of money considering they usually aren't the most flattering photos.  Since I have had some formal photography training over the last couple of years and the fact that  I own more than my share of camera equipment, I figured that I would give it a go myself.  Also, with Jon's diagnosis of autism and behaviors associated with it, very few people can even get him to sit still or smile for a photo.  I have been feeling like crap the last couple of days but I had been shooting for taking fall photos on one of the weekend days.  Yesterday, I saw the forecast and realized that it would rain all day today.  So I jetted outside in the front yard  and snapped a few pics of the kids.  Now mind you, I literally only had five minutes (and no I am not exaggerating) but so far, so good.    Not perfect but certainly a start.  I am posting some my favorites from the quickie photo shoot (the quickest one that I have ever had in my life).  I hope to finish the kids' fall photos when I take them to the pumpkin patch next month.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

We spent the Memorial Day Weekend Holiday at the Lake of the Ozarks in my in laws condo.  Our inital plans was to go the week of June 4th but I am so gald that we joined the grandparents. The kids had some very valuable and wonderful time with their grandparents.  This year they  heated the swimming pool and Jasmine was able to drive the boat with Grandpa.  It was great.  It is a blessing to have a vacation home to go to.  Just what the family needed.  Cant wait to go back in a week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Baby Sister Graduates!

Yesterday was a wonderful day for my family.  The second to the youngest of my siblings, my sister Dana graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri Kansas City with a BS in Chemistry and Criminal Justice.  She also received Departmental Honors.  What is most impressive is that she spent most of her senior year also working full time.  The family packed for the trip to Kansas City to celebrate her graduation.  We also stayed an extra day so that we could shop in the plaza area.  It was great.  Below are a few photos that I took to remember the day.

 Dana the graduate

 She was very much surprised to also receive Departmental Honors!

Dana, Jas and Me 

 Very much happy to see her aunt!

 Jas, Dana and Timothy

 The parents and the graduate

 Dana with her aunts Irene and Marcella

Our group.  Not the most flattering dress on me when kneeling but oh well.

First Communion

Jasmine had her first communion on May 1, 2011.  She has been preparing for the big day with all of her classmates.  Although I do not practice for the Catholic faith, Jasmine enjoys the rituals and attending the mass.  I want to be supportive of that.  The day was beautiful.  The girls enjoyed the event.  After which, the all celebrated at Greenbriar Country Club with a joint party for all of the second grade girls.  It was great!

 After the ceremony

 The cross necklace, bracelet and card that was given to Jas the morning of her FC

 Photo that I took prior to the ceremony

All of the girls singing the school song at the end of the ceremony

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where has the time gone?

I cant believe that it has been a whole month since I have blogged.  But then again time has been moving so quickly that it is hard to keep track of exactly what I am doing.  Since my last blog I have been super busy.  There has been so much going on in my life.  One thing certainly worth mentioning is that I got to meet my great nephew for the first time.  His name is Brandt and he is a cutie.

Four Generation of Bouckaert Men

Proud Family, Erin, Justin and Brandt

Another big event in my life was seeing Jasmine perform in the Lower School Spring Concert at Viz.  This year they had a patriotic salute to the troops.  It was nice to see the children learn to respect our veterans and sing many of the classic songs that I grew up singing when I was a kid. 

Jasmine and my Mom

 2nd grade performers

And last but not least was the celebration of my birthday.  My birthday truly did seem to creep up on me this year.  I turned the whopping 3-6.  Yep, 36 this year and it is hard for me to believe it.  The number 36 doesn't sound right, but it is what it is.  And I am  blessed.  This year I was given many things to kick off my big day.  I was given white sapphire earrings, a new lens for my DSLR camera, some clothes and gift cards.   However, the best gift by far was a birthday cake that my baby made for me that said Mom. 

Things have been busy, but things have also been good.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break 2011

This year my kiddos did not have the same spring break.  That is always rough, because I enjoy being able to take them somewhere.  It is always nice to get a little break and see the world.  Initially I thought that we would get away as a family for three days.  However, when I gave Jasmine the option of what she wanted to do this year, I was quickly kicked to the curb.  "I wanna go to the Lake with Grandma and Grandpa."  Although I was disappointed, I understood that they would be able to take her for the entire week and ultimately I want her happy.  After going back and forth about it, Ken and I decided that it would be OK for Grandma and Grandpa to take her to the lake house.  Once we made the decision, Jasmine spent days talking about her plans.  She was so excited about her adventures of miniature golf, Miner Mikes arcade, the Imax theatre and some indoor swimming.   She was also excited about having some alone time with Grandma and Grandpa which is always nice. 

So with Jasmine gone, it was just Jon, Ken and I.  The weather was perfect and Jon was feeling better.  Unfortunately, he spent most of his Spring Break battling a cold.  On Jon's last day of Spring Break, we were able to have some nice mother/son time.  I took him to Mc Donalds and to the playground at his elementary school.  I also snapped a few photos of him the the process.  All in all a good day.

Enjoying being pushed on the swing by Mama 

 Thinking about his next move

Still thinking, edited in cartoon mode