10 on 10 - June

by Amy Rhodes

Well Hello - It's been a while!  

June 10th was perfect.  It was the day I have been looking forward to for a long time.  

Monday was the first time in months that I was able to have a day where I was not required to do ANYTHING.  It was our first "official" day of summer spent at home. 

We started the day out late.  We slept in!  I didn't drag myself out of bed until 9:30!  I felt so guilty, but had to keep reminding myself there was no reason why I should feel bad about catching up on rest!

Clara likes to sneak into our bed once my husband has gone to work, so she made her way downstairs when I did and jumped right on the iPad.  The good, strict mother in me wanted to tell her that she couldn't play on it just yet, but the mother that wanted to have a free day and and throw caution to the wind won the battle and let her stay on and play. 

Thomas REALLY slept in.  I think this guy finally made his way downstairs around 10:30.

lg - 72dpi-6.jpg

For lunch I fixed myself my new favorite, Honey Chia Bread with Peanut Butter and extra Chia Seeds.  If you haven't tried the bread yet, run to your nearest Costco and buy it!  

Once the kids were fed and watered we decided to head to the pool.  This was our first time this year and it was fantastic.  Every year keeps getting better and better now that they are older and know how to swim.  They run off and make friends while I sit on a lounge chair and read.  

While I was helping Clara practice her swimming skills a little boy kept swimming over and jumping right in front of her as she was approaching me.  I was starting to get annoyed.  I asked Clara if she knew the boy and she said, "Yes, he didn't have any friends to swim with so I friended him."  I love her.  I love that she is so friendly and outgoing and manages to teach me lessons on how to treat people kindly.  I also love that she uses the word friended.  

We came home from swimming and ate popsicles and checked out new freckles.  They have become so abundant it is no longer possible to count them all.

Took baths...

and then made my favorite Summer dinner, Chinese Chicken Salad.  

Nappa Cabbage Chinese Chicken Salad

1 head of Nappa Cabbage - finely chopped

1 bunch Green Onions - sliced

1 1/2 lbs chopped cooked chicken

2 packages chicken top ramen

1 package Oriental flavor top ramen

1 TBS butter

Mandrine Oranges

Sesame Seeds

Slivered Almonds

DRESSING

1/2 cup salad oil - I like to use olive oil, but it does have a stronger taste than other oils

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar (could use less, but who am I kidding - I always use the full 1/2 cup)

1 TBS Soy Sauce

In a frying pan, melt butter and then break up the 3 packages of top ramen and stir into the melted butter.  Keep the noodles moving around until they are lightly toasted (you still want them to be crunchy).  Turn off heat and sprinkle the seasoning packets over the noodles and let cool. 

DRESSING:  Mix all ingredients in blenderr.

In a large bowl mix the lettuce, onions, chicken and cooled top ramen noodles.  Pour on the dressing and mix with the entire salad.  

 

Make sure you check out the links below to see how a few other photographers spent the 10th of June.

Sara Arrigoni from The Blessed Everyday

Beth Wendland from Life As A Sports Mom

And our guest blogger, Jennifer, who is blogging about a day in the life of a chef's wife

 

Make sure you follow me on instagram, @theamyrhodes.  I am doing a year long project revolving around gratitude.  Many days has turned into a hunt for pretty light.

Or lets be friends on Facebook.

 

February Blog Circle: Red

by Amy Rhodes

What is your favorite color?  If someone were to ask me this question it would be very easy for me to answer.  RED.  I love the color red, I always have.  It was the accent color at my wedding, the color of my favorite purse and I always have a few different red pairs of shoes on hand.

Last month I had a photo shoot on the Dry Lake Beds that are located about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas.  This is one of my favorite places to shoot.  I love how open the area is and how the vast nothingness allows the focus of the image to be on the subjects.  

I do not use a lot of props in my photography.  I am simple.  However, for this photo shoot I knew I wanted one special prop.  I wanted a red tricycle.  I knew the color would pop and the tricycle would help add an element of fun to the shoot.  I went searching on my neighborhood Facebook garage sale site and within a few hours I had located the perfect, classic tricycle I had been hunting for. 

feb (204 of 7).jpg
feb (206 of 7).jpg
feb (201 of 7).jpg
feb (202 of 7).jpg

The tricycle was so much fun we actually had to hide it from the baby during the second half of our photo shoot.  She was not happy when I wanted her to focus on something else besides playing!

I can't close this blog post without showing you what my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE shade of red is:   the color of my kids' hair!  I have always loved redheads and was thrilled that the result of marrying one gave me my redheaded babies.  

redhair.jpg

Make sure you continue through the blog circle to see how everyone else interprets red.  Next is Tina Erdman, an amazing photographer from Wisconsin.  She recently returned home from Africa and has some amazing images on her blog about her journey.  

Are you ready for a workshop?  The next workshop is up and scheduled for March 22!  

Fabruary 10 on 10

by Amy Rhodes

February 10th was a typical day.  The kids had school and I had errands to run. 

feb (200 of 10).jpg

We woke up and had breakfast.  

feb (209 of 10).jpg

Then it was time for Clara to take her medicine.  Last week she developed a crazy rash out of nowhere.  She didn't have a fever, sore throat and was acting completely fine.  I decided to take her into the Doctor because a few years ago the same thing happened to Thomas and it ended up being Scarlett Fever.   Sure enough, my suspicions were correct and Clara had Scarlett Fever also!  It is so crazy because she had no other symptoms but a rash!  I am so grateful for modern medicine to take care of these sicknesses that wrecked havoc on earlier generations.

feb (201 of 10).jpg

We waited while Thomas tied up he's converse.  PS - they take a long time to lace up, but that's ok.

feb (202 of 10).jpg

Dropped the kids off at school

feb (208 of 10).jpg

Came home and ate breakfast and did some editing.  

feb (207 of 10).jpg

Picked up Clara from kinder and then ran some errands.  

We ran over to Trader Joes to grab some Cookie Butter.  In the last week, 3 people asked me if I have had it yet.  I had no idea it even existed.  Thomas won't touch it because he has a nut allergy and has been trained not to go anywhere near anything that looks like peanut butter.  Clara and I gave it the taste test.  Our verdict:  Two thumbs way up for plain cookie butter, we didn't like the chocolate swirl.  

feb (203 of 10).jpg

We then made the obligatory stop at Target, because that is what you do when you have time to kill.

feb (204 of 10).jpg

We then picked up Thomas and came home for after school snacks.

feb (205 of 10).jpg

Clara made ride crispy treats for our Family night treat.

feb (206 of 10).jpg

Then jumped in the bath beca;use she made rice crispy treats.

Make sure you visit these other photographers and see how they spent February 10th.  

Beth Wendland

Sara Arrigoni

Tina Eardmad

And out guest blogger, Jess Robertson

 

 

January - 10 on 10

by Amy Rhodes

I was excited to do this months 10 on 10 challenge.  I am just coming off an incredibly busy Holiday season and I was feeling like I hadn't taken any pictures for myself.   Photographs of my family and things I love had taken a back seat and seemed to be forgotten.  

January's 10 on 10 fell on the perfect day this month, my daughters 6th birthday party.  Poor thing, her birthday is actually at the beginning of December.  WIth all the holiday parties, preparations and traveling we decided we needed to push her birthday party with her friends back to January.  She had been so patient and was so excited to finally be having her party.  

I decided to break the rules a bit this month.  Instead of taking a picture every 1 hour the entire day, I decided to take pictures of the party preparation and the agony my daughter was feeling waiting for 4:30 to arrive.  She had to endure 2 1 /2 hours of kindergarten, had to tag along to a hair appointment I had and had to wait until all her friends were out of school for the party to start.   

 

Early morning cake preparations.  

Early morning cake preparations.  

FM (1 of 6).jpg
FM (2 of 6).jpg
Instagram:  @theamyrhodes

Instagram:  @theamyrhodes

Trying out her new "twirly" dress. 

Trying out her new "twirly" dress. 

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Shoelace and sparkle beads braceletts

Shoelace and sparkle beads braceletts

FM (4 of 6).jpg
I tried to make sure we had enough activities to last the entire 2 hours, but some kids eat really fast.  The last 10 minutes Clara decided she wanted to have a movie theatre and watch Barbies Dream House.

I tried to make sure we had enough activities to last the entire 2 hours, but some kids eat really fast.  The last 10 minutes Clara decided she wanted to have a movie theatre and watch Barbies Dream House.

While the girls were watching Dream House, I sat on the stairs, took a deep breath and ate the most disgustingly sweett cake ever

While the girls were watching Dream House, I sat on the stairs, took a deep breath and ate the most disgustingly sweett cake ever

Make sure to check out these fabulous photographers' 10 on 10

Elizabeth Wendland

Sara Arrigoni

Tina Erdmann

Neyssa Lee

November Blog Circle - Thankful

by Amy Rhodes

November's theme is so simple, yet so difficult at the same time.  There are so many things I am thakful for, how is it possible to pick just one?  Have you ever heard the quote, "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  It makes you think, doesn't it!?

Today I'm not going to focus on my obvious answers, which would be my husband, my children, my mom, my home, chocolate and salt - and carmel with the salt!  Instead I am going to focus on one thing.

I am thankful for the relationship my children have with one another.  They are best friends and I am so grateful for the love they have and show each other. 

IMG_0005.jpg

I have 2 brothers.  I am the only girl and am stuck right in the middle.  In no way am I saying this was a bad thing.  But lets face the facts...I am a girl, they are boys.  They didn't want to play Barbies and I didn't want to catch bees in the backyard and perform bug surgery in my parents bathroom.  I bothered them, they bothered me.  It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, it was just typical sibbling relationships.  Our relationship was less than steller until we were old enough to realize that brothers and sisters could have civil conversations without poking, pushing or yelling.  The funny thing is now all 3 of us live in the same neighborhood.  We can walk to each others home within minutes and our children play with each other all the time.  I'm pretty sure we all love each other now.  

1113-1.jpg

When I was pregnant with my second child I wanted it to be a girl, but I was resigned to the fact that it needed to be a boy.  I had a boy, I could do it again.  It would be easy.  A boy meant Thomas (my oldest) would have a buddy.  A boy meant there wouldn't be any fighting in the house and that they would have a built-in best friend.  When the doctor told me we were expecting a girl I had to wrap my head around the concept of a girl in the home.  I was so excited for myself, but I was sad that Thomas wasn't going to get a brother.

1113-2.jpg

That was almost 6 years ago!  And let me tell you how wrong I was!  Thomas and Clara have such a great relationship.  They love each other so much.  They rarely fight with one another (can't say it never happens) and when they do, they work it out themselves.  They play with one another and are encouraging.  They miss each other when they are at school and never leave each others presence without a hug and an "I love you."    

1113-3.jpg

I wish I could tell you what we did to "train" them to be like they are, but to tell you the truth I think they just came that way.  We got lucky.  All I know is that I am so thankful for them and the love they show one another.  It makes me so thankful to be their mother.

Now head on over to Me Ra Koh's blog to see her beautiful pictures read her touching words about being thankful.

1113-1.jpg

10 on 10

by Amy Rhodes

I'm so excited to be a part of a fabulous 10 on 10 group.  The 10th fell on a Sunday this month.  Sundays are my favorite day, a day to worship, rest and be with my family. This particular Sunday I had meetings, a sick kid, a forged love letter sent to my husband, a dance party and a dinner party.  

Check out these other 10 on 10 posts: 

Sara Arrigon Photography

Photos by Carmalee

Elizabeth Wendland

1011-1.jpg
1011-2.jpg
1011-3.jpg
1011-4.jpg
1011-5.jpg
1011-6.jpg
1011-8.jpg
1011-11.jpg
1011-9.jpg

October Blog Circle - Comfort

by Amy Rhodes

I LOVE the month of October!  I can finally bust out my jeans (and unfortunately this is the time of year I begin to bust OUT of my jeans) , my fall decorations go up and the weather outside lets up and starts to dip to the cooler 70's.  October is when the heat marathon finally ends and my reward for crossing the finish line is the comfort food of fall!  

As I sat and brainstormed the topic of comfort I had one client come to mind over and over again.  His name is Bernie.  

Actually,  2 clients that came to mind.  Jake and Bernie.  I have been photographing Jake since he was 3 months old.  A common thread in almost all our sessions has been his friend, Bernie, a little monkey that brings him comfort.    

 

mm-102-2.jpg
nb6308.jpg

Do your kids have a favorite stuffed animal they use for comfort?  Make sure you photograph them with it!  Here are a few tips that will help you capture your little ones with their own "Bernie."

1.  Always make the toy a member of the family.  When I photograph Jake I always ask him if Bernie needs a picture taken, too.  If he does, Jake is the one who calls the shots.   He says where Bernie sits and tells me when enough is enough. 

33.jpg

2.  Use the toy to your advantage!  I know what you are thinking.  You're worried that the dirty stuffed animal is going to ruin your picture.  No way!  For Jake, Bernie always serves as a great tool to help me capture authentic pictures.  I can tell him to give Bernie a hug and he is going to do it willingly! 

Bingaman-19.jpg

3. Use the toy as a measurement tool.  I like to use objects to show the growth of a child.  Because Jake has had Bernie for so long, and has had him at each photo shoot, we have gotten many pictures of Jake loving on Bernie.  When Jake was 6 months old Bernie looked A LOT bigger than he does now.  Using an object consistently over a long period of time shows growth the child has made.  

kk-1.jpg

Follow the circle and visit all of our CONFIDENCE Teachers.  Each one of them interpret COMFORT in a different way.  Next up is Janna King, a fantastic photographer and teacher based out of Texas.