Category Archives: Hobbies

Gorgeous Christine!

Eric’s younger sister agreed to model for me this afternoon, since I wanted to get in some practice taking portraits with my new camera (also to build up my portfolio for future use).  We went to the forest preserve and park down the road from her house for the first part of the shoot, and for the second part, we went to downtown Rockton, which had a beautiful gazebo and old buildings that make for great backgrounds. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day. (I didn’t even edit these because I just loved how they turned out!)

And because it’s too hard to pick favorites and I don’t want this post to be a mile long, here is a slide show of more of my favorites (including those above)…

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I took well over 200 shots and most of them turned out wonderful – I have to say, it’s pretty easy to take good pictures when your subject is Miss Christine! I will probably apply some filters and special effects to some of these and see how they look. We’ll have to frame a few in time for mother’s day, don’t you think?

Now I am on the hunt for more “test subjects.” Any volunteers?


Filed under Hobbies


My husband’s computer was ruined in the “flood.” In the meantime, he has temporarily relocated to my home office. He is nice enough to limit his game time so that it does not interfere with my work. He was also generous enough to share his keyboard, which is much nicer than the one I was using, but also has quite a bit of wear and tear on a few of the keys. Can you tell which game my husband plays just by looking at the keyboard?


I’ll give you a clue. The name of the game is also commonly used as an expression of surprise or wonder.


Filed under Hobbies

My New Favorite Toy

There is something that I have wanted for years. I have had a digital SLR on my wish list for about eight years now, but they are pretty expensive. When Eric and I got married, we each had that dream toy we promised to buy each other. He wanted a big screen TV, and I wanted that camera. Last year, we finally bought the big screen. It probably wasn’t the best timing, but every time we got some money, he would push to buy the TV and then become incredibly disappointed when it didn’t happen. We always ended up having to spend the money on something else. It never failed, something would break and the extra money would go right out the window. He would bring up the fact that he had spent the money he had saved up for the TV on DATING me, and that guilt trip got really old really fast. Now you understand why I basically agreed to buy the TV so he would finally let it rest. He was so excited he looked like a kid in a candy store. He has thoroughly enjoyed the TV ever since.

The camera was my big screen, so to speak, except nobody was telling me no, but me. I always felt compelled to spend the extra money on other things, like sending in double payments on my student loans. The longer I put it off, though, the more I realized, I am never going to buy myself this camera. One day, I will be 50 and all of my kids will be moved out. There will always be something else. I will have never bought the camera, never pursued my dream of essentially becoming my own professional photographer and filling my photo albums with beautiful memories. I will regret it.

So when we got our tax return this past month, I told my husband, “I have to buy it now or I never will.” I have to make it priority because I want to enjoy it while Micah is still a baby, while there are still so many photos to be taken. Now is the time!

So I bought a Nikon D3000. I absolutely love it. I told Eric, “I want to make out with it.” Haha. Not really. This is one of those things I will never get tired of, just like Eric still really enjoys that TV. Yeah, I could have hoarded that money, but money is not just for paying bills (extra payments, I mean, you should always pay your bills), you have to enjoy some of it, too. It’s my last hurrah before we really crack down on the debt snowball (thanks to Dave Ramsey). From here on out, we’re going to be seriously throwing everything that comes our way towards our debt. The good news is that we can be debt free (including our mortgage) in under ten years if we stick to the plan, and that is if Eric never gets a pay raise. I’d really like to see us become debt free even sooner than that. That is my big dream: to have NO debt whatsoever.


Filed under Finances, Hobbies

Win: Face Recognition

I recently updated my version of Picasa, which has already completely changed the way I organize and use my pictures on my computer. I am completely shocked by the new face recognition feature. As we speak it is scanning all of the photos and correctly identifying nearly every picture of me, my husband, my baby, and the numerous other family and friends that I initially named. I feel like I have been thrust into the future and I am a little freaked out. What is most amazing, is that I was going to manually do this exact thing – to mimic the way photos are organized on Facebook – and I was quickly becoming overwhelmed by the task. Picasa is now doing it for me, occasionally asking me to confirm, and it is taking minutes, not months. I love it!

Kim through the years... Thanks to Picasa!

One thing I am noticing – how fun it is to pull various pictures of one person and see how much they have changed over the years.  In the snapshot above, there are pictures from my prom, my wedding, my first Christmas as a married women, and my most recent Christmas family portrait. (Yes I was a blonde once!) I can already tell I’m going to have a lot of fun with this…


Filed under Hobbies

A Birthday Cake that Says "I Love You"

Last summer I took up cake decorating as a new hobby when I offered to make a wedding cake for a friend. The wedding cake turned out wonderful and I decided I would like to make more cakes. Since then I’ve made a few birthday cakes and a few just for fun. I’d like to think I’m getting better at it. I would love to take a cake decorating class and learn how to make those gorgeous flowers out of frosting. One thing I do not want to learn is how to work with fondant. I know it is all the rage right now, but I hate the taste, so I’d rather not go there. I don’t want to spend hours working on a cake that I won’t enjoy eating afterward.

This is the cake I made for my mom’s birthday this weekend. It’s so colorful – an experiment with food coloring. I baked two 9″ rounds and cut them with a big heart mold that is supposed to go with my cheesecake pan. I used a Duncan Hines mix (coconut) and made my own frosting (buttercream). It was really tasty – I had two pieces! I think coconut cake is my new favorite!!

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Filed under Food, Hobbies

Creativity Pays

Before I had my son, I planned on returning to work. Two weeks into motherhood, with my baby in my arms and tears in my eyes, I resolved to stay home despite the fact it didn’t make much sense, financially speaking. Even though so many able women manage to work outside the home and still care for their children, I could not ignore the desires that the Lord had planted in my heart at nineteen. God’s plans are not subject to our present circumstances, I’ve learned, and somehow I’m still at home six weeks later. I’m still in my home six weeks later. We’re still eating six weeks later. Praise the Lord, we still have gas in the car six weeks later.

I’m confident the Lord will provide for our needs, but I do not think that entails sitting on my couch and waiting for cash to float out of the sky. God has given me certain skills and abilities for a reason, just as he has given all of us different talents and strengths. God blessed the Proverbs 31 woman for her hard work and dedication to caring for her family. I look to her example while staying at home with my son.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

One of my projects is making afghans and other items to sell in my store on I use many different mediums, but crochet is my niche. I love the way I feel after I finish an afghan or bag -it breaks up my routine and I feel productive. When you have a newborn, life is a 3-hour track on repeat and it seems like nothing gets done!

Etsy is a marketplace for all things handmade: the conglomeration of items available on Etsy is mesmerizing. If I wasn’t trying to make money, I’d be shopping!

How can you take your skills to the marketplace?


Filed under Finances, Hobbies