fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Thursday, March 31, 2011

hammock required

Isn't there something just so wonderful about a hammock?
Here at the resort in Mexico we have a hammock right on our patio...everyone does.
Actually, a hammock is a vacation requirement here.

I love everything a hammock represents.  It feels like a hug when you get in one.  You immediately feel snuggled, held...supported.  And then when you have little people it only adds to the sweetness and snuggly feeling.  Here half of our family is in our own little snuggle fest cocoon.

Can you just feel Tessa's inner sweetness below?....Here her sweetness is coming right through.  
She is totally relaxed, at ease and being oh so sweet.

A hammock might be required right now for me to see this sort of sweetness....
that is fine with me.  I can swing in a hammock all summer if that is what it takes!

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The Paper Mama
The paper mama "sweet" photo challenge

Guess what....our second photo of us in a hammock won the "Paper Mama's "Sweet" photo challenge!   Now you can vote for it!
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Hola from Riviera Maya, Mexico.
I am blissfully in a state of relaxation at this moment and can hardly muster up the energy to blog....but I must to share with you how much fun we are having.

But don't be fooled, vacation with 4 kids isn't vacation.  There should be its own term for such a venture.   for now I will call it "adventures in parenthood".   Maybe vacation with 4 kids should simply be "crazy time".  Or best yet, "you seriously thought you would be on vacation?" vacation.

Whatever it is....the best part of it is that we are all together doing nothing more than whatever we want.  not on any schedule.  don't need to be anywhere.  not doing homework.  playing in the water (with me on sun screen patrol). Merely getting ourselves to one of the resorts' restaurants to eat is our most pressing activity...sort of vacation.

Yep, life is so good....

Monday, March 28, 2011

i heart faces- slice of life!

A Slice of Life.....i heart faces photo challenge

I love this subject sooo much that I couldn't resist entering a photo even while on vacation.  Take a photo that is a slice of life really is my favorite thing to do.  If you can capture a natural moment, well to me that is beautiful.

Jack Jack is becoming such a big boy.  At times trapped between being my little one and being a big boy.  He idolizes his brother Juddy.  Wants to be just like him in every way.  Sometimes wants to be a big brother to Tessa, but sometimes is frustrated by it.  

Here he is working on writing his name....I can hardly believe it.

I Heart Faces - Photo Challenges, Tutorials and Tips

Thursday, March 24, 2011

little sister gets married.

My little sister is getting married....

This is photo is from brother, Tyler, is about 7.   Krissy is about 3.   I am about 10.

This is us 27 years later.

In this photo, Krissy is about to have this sweet baby.

Eleanor Leona.

 Eleanor knows, like the rest of us, that her Mommy and Daddy love each other very much.

Tomorrow they will say it out loud  .....
commit to a life together through the good times and bad times.
to love and cherish one another as they both grow and change. 
to nurture and love their family.
it will be a truly happy day.

Krissy....I love you and will be with you in my heart tomorrow. are already apart of our family. We love you and how you love our sweet Krissy.
Here's to a lifetime of love together!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Outside my comfort zone....

This is a a sermon.
I know...weird!  It was a surreal experience, for sure.  But now that it is behind me I am so glad I had the opportunity to push myself.  For me, this is REALLY outside my comfort zone.  First of all, it is public speaking.  yuck.   I have always have dreaded it all the way back to communications class in high school.   Really, really dread it.    
Second, I am speaking in a church to a congregation (3 times!) about my "calling" to AIDS Walk Africa and our adoption.  Speaking about my personal journey and spirituality.   I am almost too tired to explain all of that..(more here:gentle-nudges)...but for me this is big.  I have for so long struggled with my own spirituality, the constraints of organized religion and the literally interpretations of the bible.
It is only recently that I have come to understand the role of religion in my life, for my family and my own personal growth.  It is good where I am at today...the struggles aren't completely gone, but I am at more peace with it than ever.  I feel much more at peace about religion and understanding its place in my life...I am even embracing it.  

So, standing in front of a congregation talking about my spiritual calling was meaningful.  The process of writing the sermon was cathartic, it opened my eyes to how God has worked in my life despite my resistance.  It is remarkable god "nudged me" for years about Africa, about adoption and how those journeys were all intertwined.  How I received the call when I finally could hear it.   Certainly, I continue to be a work in progresss, but am grateful for the presence I feel in my life today. 

Today was  way outside my comfort zone.  And so I am officially crossing off:
#38:Do something outside of my comfort zone  &
#13:  Service the church
from my "40 before 40" list.  

2 for one....double bonus points
I am smiling as I type this.....just makes me happy.

P.S.  Isn't my church (St. John's United Church of Christ) just so pretty? The wood, the organ pipes.  There is so much more to show that isn't in this shot....there are stained glass windows surrounding to "ooh and ahh" over.   Not that a church being pretty matters....well, to most.  it does to me and I love that part of going to this church.

Scavenger hunt Sunday


Photography love...

Scavenger Hunt Sunday:
Scavenger hunt Sunday is dedicated to our sweet girl....who is very busy, adorbable, very busy, never stops, she is a little scientist,  experimenting and ripping the house apart at every turn.  How is it that someone this adorable and be full of so much excess energy?...did I mention she is very busy and exhausting me?

1.  Camera

Oh beloved camera and its accessory friends get to sit all snuggly in its new home the epiphanie camera bag.   ahhh....and my favorite colors to boot.

2.  Camera Phone

In the "Vantastic"....Tessa is wiggling around.  I am happy because, well, she is strapped in!  
Really a day in the life kind of shot.

3.   Chair

This is the chair Tessa sits in at the kitchen counter.  
If you look closely it is likely fairly ucky even though I wipe it down daily.
It is also a play toys needed, just climbing objects like this chair.

4. Shoes

These are the Wee Squeak "squeaker" shoes.  We always know what she is getting into with these on those little feet!  Perfect for the most active of toddlers on the loose.  seriously.

The Paper Mama

5.  Imperfection

 I am flawed and sometimes like a little wine to unwind from chasing Tessa all day (among other things)!
This perfect bottle of wine is from our Napa trip last fall....ahh.  
Notice the wine cork floating inside.  yep, I did that.
I could care less....perfectly imperfect.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday
Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Friday, March 18, 2011

what my art is all about.

I am so flattered to be featured as an artist on Julie's blog
click here....
The eyes of my eyes are opened

this is why I create.  This is what my art is all about.  finding inspiration, a message and connecting.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

gentle nudges...

{I am about to take on #13 "Service the church" & #38 "do something outside my comfort zone" from my "40 before 40" list!}

About 6 months ago the pastor from our church called and asked if I would give the sermon on "Lay" (lay person) Sunday in March.  He thought a sermon about what inspired my journey to AIDS Walk Africa (AWA).  I said "sure, I will" and put it in the back of my mind.  It sat there, made me feel nervous and I put it away.  So, now that Sunday is approaching and it is in the fore front of my mind.

First, the fact that "I" am giving a sermon blows my mind.  I have long struggled with parts of the literal biblical teachings and have rebelled against religion in general (a whole different post).  I have been totally resistant to all of it because all I could see was the judgement of religions.  All I could see was what I didn't like.   Only recently (last 2 years) have I found peace in my own Christian faith.  Our family found a church we connected to and that supported our beliefs about the world, so we became members of our United Church Of Christ church here in Monroe.  I love the church, the people, the loving messages.  It fits.  It feels good to be growing spiritually and have a place to plant the seeds for my children.  But to be asked to give a "sermon" still blows my mind.  me?   anyway....

I thought the initial focus of my sermon might be "to whom much is entrusted, much is demanded".  A philosophy I have always believed.  I really didn't even know it was from Jesus' teachings until the pastor told me!  ha!  The process of writing this sermon has lead me to find clarity in what I am really wanting to share about my journey to Africa, both for AWA and to bring our sweet girl to her forever family.  This process has help me understand the calling....the gentle nudges I have been receiving for years and years.

While examining my message for the sermon, I came to the realization that I had a "calling".   Me?  A calling from God, who knew.   Our pastor was kind enough to sit down and talk with me about what I would share.  She listened and said, "what you are talking about is a universal experience, it is "a calling".
Again, me?

For as long as I can remember I was drawn to the concept of adoption.  I was also painfully fascinated by the images of Ethiopia as a child.  In fact, I remember once my mother sat me down in front of the t.v. to see the images of Ethiopia children with the hope of giving me some perspective on my own life (I am sure I needed it)....and she said she was so surprised by how deeply I was affected by it.  I remember it very well and can still see those images in my mind today.  I was deeply affected.  Perhaps that was God's initial gentle nudge.

Then growing up I had all sorts of nudges in this direction, teaching me about the world.  As a young adult I still had the interest in adoption and just "knew" I would adopt internationally.  I even interned and worked in the field of domestic adoption, but knew I would adopt internationally.  There were nudges all along this path.   Then while we were living abroad I kept running into the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, in a magazine, on the BBC network on tv... it became this reoccurring theme that I was running into and thinking about.  I was a young mother with a 1 and 3 year old.  No direct connection to the issue, and yet it kept surfacing for me....nudge after gentle nudge.

Then we moved back to the U.S. and settled in to where we live now.  The issue kept surfacing. Nudging.   Then I had a 3rd son.  The idea of adoption and a fourth child was very strong.... I knew what I needed to do, and thankfully my hubby was with me.   But we thought adoption from China.  The actual day that I sent our initial paperwork and $500 to the Chinese Embassy, we got the call from our social worker that China was not looking good for us due to the delayed time line and the fact that we had so much "good debt" (school loans, mortgage).  Back to the drawing board on the country....but knowing international was right.  Then it hit me....Ethiopia.  I began my research and immediately I knew.  Yes, Ethiopia is where our daughter is from.  I had been receiving all of these nudges about AWA, thinking of Africa, I was drawn to it.  I had decided I wanted to participate in AWA.   I just knew it.   It took my hubby a little longer, but he trusted my strong instincts and jumped on board.

Now as I look back on it, I think it was all apart of the same calling.  God was nudging me in this direction for years.....perhaps my whole life.    I just needed to be able to receive it.  Finally, I was at a place to receive it.  It isn't a mistake that this calling came to me in this form.  How else could I hear it.  I was so resistant to anything biblical or religiously based.  That would not have worked.  But now I can see so clearly that God gave me this calling in a way that opened my heart, that let these possibilities to give back to the world and bring our daughter home.

I didn't know it...which perhaps is the best thing.
Those gentle nudges were opening my other mothers and children in Africa, to adoption and bringing our daughter home to her forever family from Ethiopia.  Those gentle nudges were all intertwined, opening my heart, my mind.   And ultimately, without even knowing it, I let God in as well.

I will be asking the congregation to look within and ask themselves what "gentle nudges" they may be receiving.  What are the gifts and talents they have to share?  They are all different for each of us....
What about you?  been nudged lately?

Tomorrow I go practice the sermon at the pulpit.....yikes.  This is really outside my comfort is both public speaking and at church!   pray for me! ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

40 before 40

40 before 40!

I am excited to be turning 40 on July 19, 2013.  I love where I am at in my life and want to embrace it.  Because I am super visual I really enjoy seeing things right before my eyes.  And so I have decided to try and accomplish 40 things before I turn 40.

Why try to accomplish these goals in the next 2 year and 3 months!?  I think more than anything, because it will just feel good.  There is also the fact that as a full time stay at home mother that it is easy for your "sense of self" to get lost in the everyday tasks.  In addition to giving to the growth and development of my family, I also want to nurture my passions, ideas and hopes.   The "40 before 40"be just that a way to focus on myself and not let those ideas get lost in the everyday shuffle of life as a Mom.

I have scraps of paper with the 40 scribbled...and will be entering the 40 onto an individual page in this journal.  I love owls and this owl is looking straight into my soul, asking "have you been thinking about yourself and your 40 before 40?

Actually, I have been thinking of the 40 for a long time, wrote the scrap paper list months ago and have started making efforts toward them already.  I will journal about the 40 in the owl journal and hope to keep track of some of my progress here as well.

And so, I present to you Jennifer's 40 before 40:

1.  re-establish transcendental mediation practice
2.  learn to ride a horse
3.  host an open studio show with art friends
4.  complete Ethiopia series
5.  have a totally unplugged weekend
6.  long family weekend at boat house
7.  surprise Andy
8.  Run 10K race
9.  go Latin dancing
10.  girls weekend- uninterrupted
11.  finish Studio space
12.  transfer videos to DVD format
13.  service to the church    3-20-2011  service the church
14. reach out to those in need with the kids
15.  alone time with each child for 24 hours
16.  locks of love hair donation
17.  host neighborhood party
18.  get lean, fit and to goal weight
19.  take kids to Disney
20.  go on a ski trip
21.  N.Y.C. to see a Broadway show
22.  visit Washington D.C. with Jud & Drew
23.  spa day with the ladies
24.  finish baby books
25.  complete wooden puzzle and learn to sew a pillow (puzzle post to come)
26.  explore a new art medium
27.  grow a garden with the kids and eat from it
28.  take all the kids on a bike ride
29.  make pickles and learn how to can them
30.  take a photography workshop  
31.  redecorate bedroom
32.  declutter the house and have a garage sale
33.  take bob the bulldog to training
34.  art show in Madison
35.  sponsor an ET child
36.  make a favorite recipe binder
37.  go on a yoga retreat
38.  do something outside my comfort zone    outside-my-comfort-zone
39.  grow out nails
40.  write the children's book with Mom
Then celebrate the first 40 years... BIG!

Of course, this list could change....most likely will here and there.  But to start these are the 40!

random thoughts...about the color purple

Orchids are one of my favorite things.   I can't have enough of them.  I love the color purple.... and wish I had some of this color on the walls in my house.  "The Color Purple"  is also my all-time favorite movie.

I already miss my Mom and Dad.  They just left to go back home to Minnesota.  So today the color purple means gratitude to me.

I feel like rebelling against my kids homework and making dinner.

And I just have to tell you that Tessa crawled out of her crib this has forever changed, yet again!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

scavenger hunt Sunday

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

1. Vanishing Point
this is likely outside the box for "vanishing point", but I see many abstract vanishing points, and 
it was what felt right.  

2. Square Crop

Isn't the inside of red pepper just so beautiful?

3.  Under 

you are not mistaken.
Yes, indeed that is Bob the Bulldog with frozen drool hanging under his chin.
Just a week ago it was indeed cold enough for Bob to go outside, get excited playing with his dog friend, which led to the frozen drool.  Yep, it is one of his many gifts.

Photography love...

4.  Welcome to the Jungle....

my home is like a jungle most the time....
here, my sweet girl is trying to snag my new "jungle mama" 
shoes as she is wearing her own jungle print!
  I think not.  
(And I realize this is the second week these shoes have been featured in my scavenger hunt. 
They are that awesome.)

5. Calm
Jack Jack so unusually calm.    Ahhhhh.
Could also be a potential shot for vanishing point...
but the peace and calm of this shot won out.
Scavenger Hunt Sunday                                                                                                The Paper Mama The Paper Mama
                                                                                      Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Peace

Ashley Sisk  has chosen one of my ideas for a prompt: imperfection

 for next's week scavenger hunt challenge.... it seems only right from me!

here they are all the prompts for next week!

  1. Camera Phone (current Mortal Muses theme - you can either share a picture taken with your camera phone [not limited to iphones since I don't own one] or get creative with the prompt)
  2. Camera (Becky's suggestion)
  3. Shoes (Becky's suggestion)
  4. Chair (Ewa's suggestion)
  5. Imperfection (Jennifer's suggestion)  -   yep, that's me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the soul's kite

Ever just been so completely inspired by a cause?  
Well, I am....and when I feel that way every part of me wanted to support it!  

Julie writes the most beautiful blog, The Eyes Of My Eyes Are Opened,  about her family, created through Ethiopian adoption.  Not only that, her family is raising  big time $$$$ for a school in Ethiopia.   It is best to just visit her here and see the amazing work being done for yourself.  

The fundraiser is for the most ambitious task of building an Ethiopian school.  Even before I heard the school's name..."Tesfa" (apart of Tessa's Ethiopian name Tesfanesh) I knew I wanted to be able to contribute in some way.  

Art for me is about connection. Connecting to a subject, an issue and idea....and communicating it through my soul.  Here I have used Julie's imagery from the kite piece she wrote about her daughter.  When I read it I just knew I had to create these paintings....and I love them.
 click to the link of the article that inspired these here!  How To Fly A Kite    

Both paintings have Julie's original photo's (done with an image transfer) of her daughter and her kite, 
as well as Julie's powerful words incorporated into the works-
"Sometimes a kite is just a kite, but sometimes the wind changes, and a butterfly can get caught in a difficult spot. As that continues to happen, we’ll just have to wait patiently for the wind to die down."
The kite is a part of her soul.  Can she hang on? When does she let go?  how will the kite be released?  Only she knows.

Here Julie's daughter, is between her two worlds.  She is holding the kite that is caught in the Ethiopian acacia tree, representing the soul, the emotions from the past, from Ethiopia.  The acacia tree's roots are sprawling and like an umbilical cord connecting her to her homeland, birth family and forever family.

This is my way of giving to a cause I love.   Please do consider giving to this amazing event.  It is a fundraiser that will touch the lives of so many, many Ethiopian children through education and lift them up for a brighter future.  What could be better?
  Just click the link below and find a way to give....I know you can do it!
Tesfa- Ethiopia Reads Fundraiser!

Friday, March 11, 2011

need a laugh?

Without even knowing it, Bob has a way of always making me happy 
and of course providing some great comic relief here at the Rikkers...
What?  You have never had dual frozen drool before?

I know it almost doesn't seem real...oh, but it is!

This just makes me happy.  Bob, on the other hand, is just ready to defrost.  
Like the rest of us, he too is ready for spring.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

more, more

 This post is overdue.  I have been waiting until the time felt right to write about rocking with my sweet girl.   "The Rockin' Mama Challenge"  was just the nudge I needed to start to commit to rocking together.  We had been rocking from the beginning of our arrival home, now just a year ago, but I wanted to take it to the next level.

A year ago, Tessa had difficulty making eye contact.  She didn't want to be held close and would feel restless.  There were times she would fall asleep in my arms out of exhaustion, but not from being soothed.  More than anything, she would want to suck her thumb and look away.  I could feel her distance, I could feel her pain and my heart was breaking.  

The thumb sucking was a big sign to me that I needed to teach her that I could soothe her.  That she could trust me to care for her, meets her needs, make her feel at ease.  The thumb sucking was so habitual that when she came home she wanted to suck her thumb so much that she would take a spoonful of babyfood and then insert her thumb.  It was the only mechanism she had to soothe herself.   Rocking became apart of the process of building the trust, growing our attachment and ultimately letting go of the thumb.  

There were times when we rocked that I would tuck her left arm away so she would be unable to get to her thumb.  I would distract her from her thumb with "itsy bitsy spider" and the same songs over and over.... "you are my sunshine", "I love you yes I do, "Rainbow connection", and "night, night,'s time to say night, night".  She began making eye contact, smiling, listening more and more. Sometimes if she looked away I would stop singing and then as soon as she re-engaged eye contact again I would happily start right where I left off.   Over time, this became our special routine, so much so that now she will say "more, more" when I stop.  more...more, and so I go again.   

This photo is a self-portrait with a mirror...see the camera on our rocking chair?  The mirror on her closet is perfectly positioned across from the rocking chair.  I can't tell you how many times I was able to make eye contact with her through that mirror when direct eye contact was too much for her.  I could watch her and she could watch me.   The mirror is such a special part of our rocking that we so enjoy.  
She will be all snuggled in, watching "us", we will watch each other.

Tonight I am certain I wanted to write this post because Tessa didn't once reach for her thumb as we rocked.   Tonight she snuggled in tight to me ready to start was the best feeling.
We rocked, looking at each other in the mirror.  
Then she leaned back into the side of my arm to look directly in my eyes and said song, song.  
I sang all of our songs, she listened, watched, smiled...she then said, "more, more".

Later she closed her eyes and began her little squinting game.  She peeks out of her eyes just a bit to see if I am watching.  This fun little game that she has created.  I smile big every time I see her peeking out at me.  She has the best little, happy, content smile coming back at me as she squints her eyes.  
We keep rocking.  
The squinting game turns to sleepiness.  She still hasn't wanted her thumb.  
She falls asleep in my arms and is calm, content....and so am I.  
And I say..."more, more".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

era of the diaper

7-1-2001....marks the first day of the diaper era.  I am unsure when this era will end....but am hoping for 2012.  During this era, Mr. Diaper Genie has been a fixture in our home.  Mr. Diaper Genie has seen LOTS of poo and pee-pee filled diapers.  Here I refer to him as Mr. Diaper Genie because he commands respect.  If you contained diapers day in and day out until you should command respect too.

Recently, I saw the hubby walked a poo filled diaper out of the nursery, away from Mr. Diaper Genie, to grab a bag and go to the garbage can.  I asked myself, "Why isn't he using Mr. Diaper Genie?"  hmmm....

It was a few days later that Mr. Diaper Genie needed to be emptied out.  And so I asked hubby to do it, in part because he hadn't changed a nasty diaper in a while and I felt it was "the least" he could do (I am aware of the passive aggressive nature of this).  So, when I got that doubtful "sure I can" look from him, a bolt of shock ran through my body!  I came into the sudden realization that hubby didn't dislike using the convenient Mr. Diaper Genie.  No.  He just didn't know how to use him....after almost 10 years!   Then second shock wave. Hubby had NEVER....that's right.....NEVER changed Mr. Diaper Genie.   Oh my goodness, how did this happen?!!!  He didn't know how to empty him and reinsert the lining after almost 10 years of Mr. Diaper Genie gracefully containing poo in our home!  seriously?  How had I not noticed this until now?   (classic denial.)

My immediate response, while not the best for a relationship, was (surprise, surprise) confrontation.
Me, "You don't know how to change the Diaper Genie.  Do.  You."  not a question.   a statement
Hubby, "I am sure I could".
Me, "So, your telling me you NEVER have?"
Hubby, "I don't think so".
Me (in my head...."how is this possible"   What the %*&%?)  and then out loud "WHAT!"
Then I went on to challenge him to figure out how to change Mr. Diaper Genie.  Yes, I did.

I did this because I was ticked off.  I did this because I have had my own share of conflict with Mr. Diaper Genie over the years.  Sometimes he is just difficult, but somehow I always get him to work and hold the poo.  But somehow, I was convinced that my highly-intelligent husband, whom everyday saves lives performing surgeries and heals patients, would be unable to solve the puzzle of the Mr. Diaper Genie.

I doubt, that you are surprised to learn that hubby never went in to the nursery and tackled the puzzle that is Mr. Diaper Genie.  Because of course, I ended up being the one to stuff the very last diaper in.

I am not trying to start something here or be passive aggressive.  I  have decided to drop the diaper genie debate (if it is even a debate) and accept the situation for what it is.   The realization that at times we have   incredibly traditional roles.  It hurt a little even though this is the life we have both created by choice.  Somehow, I felt alone in my solo relationship with Mr. Diaper Genie.

Hubby (probably, I hope) can't work Mr. Diaper Genie.....and to be honest, when I think about it there is plenty that I don't or can't "do" that is in his "domain".   Mr. John Deere, his beloved lawn tractor, is a perfect example (as much as I hate to admit it).  Although, I am sure I could mow the lawn, plow the snow with Mr. John Deere, if I really WANTED to and HAD to.  That is the kicker.....he doesn't want to and hasn't HAD to work with Mr. Diaper Genie because I am here doing it.  I do want to be the one here doing all these things, but I can now say that I am officially ready to say good-bye to diapers, my relationship with Mr. Diaper Genie and the era of the diaper.

Who knows, maybe this summer I will surprise Andy and he will come home to a beautifully manicured lawn courtesy of me.  Just have to get a private lesson on how to drive the tractor.

But really, what would that prove?  That I want to do more work around here? no, no, and no.
It would prove that we can cross the lines of our traditional roles.  I am not sure I need to do this, but it is something to think about.  ;)

Simple Beauty....a photo challenge

a photo challenge day....

Fuschia from our daughter's home land, Ethiopia. This photo taken just a year ago represents the beauty of adoption, the love, and how much it has blossomed.

Then I realized that this shot of the beautiful fuschia may not be child centered enough and ineligible for the paper mama photo challenge.

So, I am adding another shot from Ethiopia.  This shot was taken from the window of the bus, where I took in as much of ET as I possibly could.   I made eye contact with this lovely Ethiopian girl walking in the street, she shot me this gorgeous smile....
what I love about it is that she isn't posing.  she didn't get ready to have a photo taken....she lives in Addis Ababa and those luxuries aren't even a thought.  Who knows what her life circumstances are, but she is radiating such beauty.  so simply.
I love this shot so much...that I am sharing the unedited version of the photo, to further emphasize her  simple beauty.

Project64, Weekly Favorite Button

the paper mama photo challengeThe Paper Mama    project64 buttonproject 64:scarlet
 Grace loves the beatles
grace loves the beatles

And isn't this simply beautiful?   Jack created this cookie creation at "Cookie Daze" last summer.
For the Trendy Treehouse Shutter Love: Cookie!

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