Sunday, November 27, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Merry Doodle Dandy Christmas Card
Quick and easy: Christmas photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Picture Fun -- With a Giveaway!

Sometimes we need friends, sometimes we need mentors, sometimes we get both in one person.

Back last winter Maggie found herself with a new best friend, Kellie. Their friendship started in Girls in Action at church. By summer break they were inseparable, spending several days and nights a week at each other's houses. They are so funny together and love hosting tea parties, luncheons and teaching all kinds of things. Through their friendship God has blessed me with a friend and mentor her mother, Wendy.

While Kellie is Maggie's age, Wendy's oldest three are college age, so when I say friend and mentor she has been there done that once already and now we get to do it together. I love the idea of having a friend who has experienced things with her kids before and then we get to experience them together with these two spunky girls. I know where Kellie gets her caring, loving heart from. (Sorry Greg.) Both of these Gals are a blessing to our family.

Wendy has started her own photography business, Wendy Iven's Photography this past year and I am obsessed with her photography skills. She is an amazing photographer. Last Saturday evening she came over to the house to shoot our Christmas card pics. We had scheduled and rescheduled on both ends for several weeks and finally got an hour that we could do them. Kellie came along to help and spend the night and we were keeping Ty that night so we had extra hands to help with all the animals.

I decided this was an us picture night, nothing fancy, no matching outfits, just us and some fun. I had put greenery on the mantel and a cheesy Christmas tree. I had wanted to finish it but it didn't happen. Nonetheless, we shot. For an hour we laughed, we cried, we laughed, we were scratched, we laughed, we heard sounds from the cat we had never heard before, we laughed, we were licked by the dogs, we laughed, we chased the bunny, we laughed, forgot the fish, moved the furniture, did I mention we laughed? We had an awesome time!

As Mikie went out to bring our almost one year old dogs, Maximus a Great Dane, Blue Healer mix and Lou Lou an English Mastiff up for their part in the pictures, Wendy asked if Mikie was adventurous. Now if you know Mikie you know when he shoots you the smirky, wide eyed grin he is gonna take what you just said and embarrass you. He asked what she meant and she told him she had brought Christmas lights to tie us up in, before she could say anything else he just grinned really big. Then we both knew where that was going and Wendy quickly said the kids were going to tie us up, gag us and it would be a "silent night."

An aside to this picture: I called Wednesday night to check on Kellie and Wendy since they weren't at church and after 30 minutes of listening to Wendy laugh while trying to tell me about this picture she was working on it popped up on Facebook. I'm thinking if she laughs as hard while she works on them as she did while taking them I may send them out for New Years. :)
I'm joking because she is very punctual and quick with her clients pictures!!! Okay and I have to admit I absolutely love Michael's hilarious expression in this photo. He looks like a little mischievous man.

Back to the photo shoot, Mikie brings the dogs to the porch, Maggie catches the cat and Mattie starts to get the bunny out. When I opened the door the dogs bound in and straight to Maggie where Green Eyes begins to scratch her and jumps out of her arms. Somehow she manages to get her and lock her in the bedroom while we chase the dogs all over the house. Lou Lou dug her claws into the hardwood and Mikie's hollering quit pulling her she's scratching the floor. Maximus is trying to pull the trash out of the can, Ty was trying to get out of the way. All Wendy and I could do was laugh.
Mikie sat in the floor and we finally got Maximus and Lou Lou to sit. Wendy tried to put the santa hat on Maximus but Mikie ended up with it. After licks, laughs and Lou Lou kicking Maggie out of the picture this is the preview Wendy sent.

While we waited on Mikie to put the dogs in the basement and Maggie and Mattie to get the other animals Mollie, Michael and I took a break. Can I just say, "I LOVE this picture." I think it's Michael's only sweet face pic in the whole bunch!

Then it was time to take the pictures with Green Eyes the cat and Mia the bunny and the fish whose tank we cleaned and downsized but forgot to put in the pic. I don't have a preview for those, but they weren't the funniest shots either. After that we were gagged and tied. And the kids tried to figure out how to spell NOEL, and showed their signature expressions. Then there were the friends pictures with Kellie and Ty.

The creepiest picture of the night has to be one of the faves on Facebook and Pinterest. The "Grinch!"

After it was all over, Wendy started packing her camera gear up and Mollie asked her to take one more. Mollie doesn't like to have her pictures made so Wendy couldn't miss it! Obviously I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures and I know Wendy is busily working on ours and other families too. 

I know many of you haven't had your Christmas pictures taken yet. Now's your chance! I'm giving away a sitting fee for a one hour session with Wendy of Wendy Iven's Photography with a value of $50. This is good in the East Tennessee area, she is based in Jefferson County but will travel within a reasonable distance. You don't have to use it for Christmas pics, but it would be a great time to get them done. 

To win you need to do any or all of the following and come back to this blog post and comment that you did them:
1. Follow Wendy Iven's Photography blog.
2. Follow Wendy Iven's Photography on Facebook
3. Follow Mommy to 4 MJ's on Facebook
4. Follow my blog mommyto4mjs
5. Tell me what kind of pictures you want Wendy to take.

So you have 5 chances to win. You receive one entry for each of the above that you complete and comment about on this blog post. Facebook comments will not be considered.

Contest ends December 1st.

Have fun looking at Wendy's awesome pics and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: This post is my opinion.  Wendy Iven's of Wendy Iven's Photography did not provide me anything free only a really great time while she took our pictures. The pictures I receive I purchase and the sitting fee I am giving away is paid for out of my pocket. Wendy is a great friend and I want to see her business flourish so let's help her out.