5 Minutes Strawberry Picking

Apparently the whole time we were off galavanting in France (it’s still crazy to me that we even DID it and writing that sentence is crazy to me and so awesome) that it was lovely weather here at home. I love it when Fall holds on to the last lovely warm days with the cool nights and crisp mornings. The pretty colors in the trees but still warm enough to be outside and enjoy it. My favorite time of year actually. Well it was warm the first few days we got home too and we decided to make use of it and go strawberry picking. I had heard of Broxburn Farm before but never actually made it there. And now that I’ve gone, I’ll be back! I loved it. They have a U-pick patch (that is HUGE) of strawberries and raspberries (we got some of both) and then a little fresh vegetable store (totally got some fanatic looking carrots, bibb lettuce, an eggplant, a few HUGE tomatoes and some green beans) and then a cafe that uses the fresh veggies and fruit they grow. All local. I love that kind of stuff. Really one of the things I loved the most about the food in France is that exact thing. The emphasis on fresh and local and good ingredients. That makes a difference in your food! Anyways, I am off on a different tangent, so back to the strawberry picking and the cute littles wandering up and down the rows.

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

5 Minutes in the strawberry field | Just Rhonda

Really these two helped for a bit and then petered out but they had fun running up and down the rows too. We will be back for sure. Perhaps next week if the weather is still good. 😉

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5 Minutes with Giant Bubbles

This past weekend we had a family reunion. And I was in charge. And it was a lot of work. HA! One easy thing I did for the kids was to make giant bubbles. Seriously it entertained them for a long time!!! I used the recipe floating around Pinterest that I’ll share at the bottom of this post. I could have taken pictures all day. In fact I did take a lot. Here are just a few….

Giant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

Giant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

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Giant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

Giant Bubbles | Just RhondaGiant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

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Giant Bubbles

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Dawn Ultra Dish Soap
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP Baking POWDER
  • 1 TBSP Glycerin

Instructions

  1. I used a big tupperware container.
  2. Slowly mix the ingredients together and avoid getting too many bubbles in it.
  3. Then let it sit for 1-3 hours.
  4. Make sure the cornstarch doesn't just fall to the bottom.
https://rhondasteed.com/5-minutes-with-giant-bubbles

Giant Bubbles | Just RhondaGiant Bubbles | Just RhondaGiant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

Giant Bubbles | Just RhondaGiant Bubbles | Just Rhonda

We just let it sit out for two days and they just kept going back to it. To make the big wands we used two straws and they strung some kitchen twine between them. Give it a shot! Your kids will love it!

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5 Minutes with two Sisters

I love to see Norah and Lucy and their relationship grow. It started when Norah was first born.  As they have grown it has developed more and more.

5 Minutes with Sisters | Just Rhonda

It is wonderful. I also wonder if their relationship is similar to what mine and Kelly’s was when we were young.

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I still remember the day she was born and the excitement that I had a sister. It is one of my favorite memories as a child. I was over the moon that I had a sister to share life with. And our relationship continued to grow and develop as we grew.

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Norah loves Lucy. She loves her. And Lucy has learned how to navigate the 2 year old mood swings and how to keep her happy. It is a lovely thing they’ve got going on.

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It really is my favorite to watch these two. I am happy that they get along. It makes me sad to see sisters not enjoy each other.

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Watching these two and their relationship grow fills me with love for them and my for Kelly, who I miss every day.

5 Minutes with Sisters | Just Rhonda

Aren’t sisters the best?!

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5 Minutes with a witch hat

Sometimes your kids find something and then they are really into it for a day. Like this witch hat. It has been at our house for over 2 years. It’s been around. The other day Norah found it and was really excited by it. As in no one had better touch this or I’m going to lose it kind of excited, which naturally meant Oliver had to try and wear it too. For whatever reason she spotted it and had to wear it and was walking around saying “I’ve got my hat. It’s my hat.” These are  the simple every day moments that I want to capture and remember.

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A little every day photo tip: I had my camera out and set and I just followed her around. She was driving the activity and that makes her happy. I just captured what she was already doing. I called her over to me with her hat so that we were situated by a window with great light and just kept her doing what she was doing. When her attention started to wane, I told her to play peekaboo with her hat and that got her all into playing with me again so that I could keep shooting and make sure I got it.

5 Minutes with a Witch Hat

5 Minutes is a wonderful little project where you only take 5 Minutes and capture what your children are doing. I got the idea from this awesome blog.

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5 Minutes with Salsa and Chips

On a Sunday before Christmas in December Norah was feeling sick. She all of a sudden was running a super high fever in Sacrament Meeting, so after it ended we both came home and both had a nap while everyone else was at church. She woke up after about an hour and a half and wanted food. She isn’t the best eater at the best of times so I often will give her whatever she wants to eat, within reason. This day she wanted chips and salsa. It’s funny to me that she’ll even attempt salsa as she is pretty picky at food. But her older siblings all LOVE chips and salsa and so she’s seen them eat and enjoy it. So I set a little bowl up and gave her a few chips and she dipped her chips and mostly just sucked off the salsa off and kept being shocked by the heat of it. It was adorably cute.

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Isn’t she the sweetest. 😉 For all you photo nerds (like me) that wanna know what these were shot in: 1/400 at 1.8 ISO 1000 with my 50 mm lens.

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5 Minutes with Norah and Oliver

Oliver is often not an independent child. In fact, he likes things being done for him. I often think it is because Norah came when he was still pretty little and he wasn’t quite done being the baby of the family. He is more likely to ask to be carried or tucked in or fed or helped onto the chair than Norah. She’s gonna try to do it herself and he’s going to cry that he has to try it. So when he wants to do something for himself, we really try to encourage it. One of the things he loves to do lately on his own is making peanut butter sandwiches. And Norah, being the independent little girl that she is, thinks if Ollie can do it she can do it. Which is how we got here. To this messy, sticky, peanutty, place.

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These two together can be so stinking cute. It was really hard how close they were. I can still remember how upset I was that I was even pregnant with Norah. But now, at almost 2 and 3. These two are little friends and it is such a joy to watch their relationship grow. It is absolutely precious.

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5 Minutes with my Elf on a Shelf

My littlest Norah is an early riser. She’s been worse (as in 5-530 am). Lately it’s 6-630. And after late nights with all the Christmas festivities that makes early mornings and sometimes a cranky toddler. This morning she wanted pancakes to eat. And so I took her to the freezer to find a bag of ones I had frozen. When I first opened the door the first thing she saw was ice cream. And this girl LOVES ice cream. She started shouting excitingly “Ice cream, Ice cream.” Now she is really small and our pediatrician told me to give her anything fatting she wants, but Im not about to start feeding her ice cream at 630 am. So I got out the pancakes and closed the door. She melted down completely. Overtired + being told no = lots of crying.

I took her back into the kitchen so that she was as far from everyone’s bedrooms and tried to distract her with all kinds of things. She wasn’t having any of it. For a small thing, she sure can stick to her guns 🙂 Finally the only thing that snapped her out her crying snotty mess was sitting her on the edge of the counter. Which was in fact, still full of things from the previous nights party. I gave her a bowl of syrup and showed her how to dip her pancake into the syrup. She stopped crying immediately and started dipping. She made a huge mess. Sticky fingers and pajamas and the counter too. After a while she noticed the container of left over veggies and dip and started dipping her pancake into the ranch dressing too. I didn’t stop her. I just got out my camera and took lots of pictures. 5 minutes of Norah in her cute Christmas pjs (and for those of you who are going to ask where they are from it’s here.)

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I love doing these little 5 minutes projects where I capture my kids for 5 minutes totally inspired by this awesome blog here.

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5 minutes

Sometimes Oliver has a hard time playing alone. In the afternoons sometimes I have trouble  keeping Oliver busy. He wants to just play screens. I am often torn since the afternoons that I get done during the day I can only do during those times. But that means that too often Oliver plays the iPad too much. Some days I do better and get him doing things like this: coloring. He was totally into it this day. And as he colored I cleaned up the kitchen around him. He was happy and he was busy and I enjoyed watching him.

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5 Minutes with a Yogurt

I forgot about posting these pictures and just found them a couple days ago. So here they are. Norah with a yogurt. She’s really into feeding herself and it makes a HUGE mess. Most of the time she would rather not eat than let me help her. She wants to do anything that her older siblings do, especially Oliver. And because she is so much smaller than them that if often just not possible. But I try and let her try. I don’t want to squash her desire to be independent.

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I could have stepped in and forced Norah to let me feed her. It would have been filled with tears and frustration. She wants independence and the freedom to do it how she wants too. This is a relatively easy mess to clean up in the end.

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I’ve been thinking about the choices people make with their lives and how sometimes when they chose to do things there own way it makes a mess in their lives.  One of my favorite quotes is from Presdient Thomas S. Monson: “Each of us has the responsibility to choose. You may ask, Are decisions really that important? I say to you, decisions determine destiny. You can’t make eternal decisions without eternal consequences.”

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We have to let them make their own choices. The older my kids get the more I realize how less and less control I actually have over them. I can teach them and encourage them and try and show them through example and word the way to go. But they are each going to have to make their own path. Hopefully it will be a path that leads the right way. I am sure they will each make some messes in their lives, just as I have done. But eventually they will figure out what is important and true and where they want to be one day.

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We just need to be around to help clean up when they ask for help and even encourage them to clean up themselves too.

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Norah will make a huge mess for a while probably. But in the end she’ll figure out how to hold the spoon properly and how to aim it into her mouth. And she might even stop rubbing her hands all over everything once they have anything on them and making everything messier.

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Until then, I’ll just keep cleaning up the messes and offering help when she’ll let me. RLS_7585

For those of you who will ask, these were all shot with my 50 mm lens at 1/320 at f/2.8 ISO 1000.

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5 Minutes at Lunch

You know I love the 5 Minute project. Every time I go check out that blog I am re inspired to take pictures of my kids. Three things I try to keep in mind while I am capturing my 5 minutes.

  1. I first check out where the light is. If I need them to be a little bit closer to a light source I can usually move them to start their “activity” so they are closer. Or I’ll just move or adjust my camera settings.
  2. I want them to interact naturally or do whatever they are doing naturally. Yes I talk to them a little bit, but lots of times I just sit and watch them and let them be cute with whatever it is they are doing.
  3. I try and just enjoy them  and watch their personalities emerge. That’s what I want to capture. A brief  5 minute moment of what they are doing right now, today.

This is Oliver and Norah at lunch together.

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5 Minutes with Eli

I try and do a photo shoot with each of my kids near their birthdays. I think it’s a good way to document them and when they are grow up they will have one session of them as they are for each year. The only problem I face with it is Eli. He detest having his picture taken. Like it is downright painful sometimes. All the other kids, so far, eat up the one on one attention. Eli’s birthday came and went and I never did them. I was dreading the fight. I asked once or twice and it ended in almost tears. So I dropped it. But a week or so ago on a Sunday morning we were running ahead of schedule (miracles can happen) and he was looking oh so sharp and so I just asked him. And he went for it. Amazingly enough. So Eli for 5 minutes in our backyard in his Sunday best.

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Eli’s taught me lots of things and some of them are about taking pictures of kids that don’t want their picture taken. How to work with it, how to get them to cooperate and when to just let it go.

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5 Minutes and some new shoes

I love buying clothes for my girls. And I love dressing them up. And I love it when they are happy to pose for me. And I love great light. All of it together… my favorite!!! This is Norah at 18 months. She is wearing a sweet little dress from Baby Gap that I bought when I first found out I was having a baby girl. And she is wearing some new little shoes from a great site called Fledge Feet which is run by a girl named Callie. She is sweet and a small business. A great thing to support! The shoes are the nutmeg and eden flower soft soled shoes. Super duper cute fold over high tops!! Love them! So here is Norah, in cute clothes and cute shoes and happily posing in great light. Win-Win. 🙂

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5 Minutes (with a case of blueberries and some friends)

It’s been a while since I shared a 5 minute photo project. So I thought I’d share one. If you haven’t seen me post these I got the idea from a fantastic blog apply named the  5 minute project 😉 We had two neighbor boys staying with us for a week while their parents were out of town. One morning the littlest kids were enjoying the case of fresh blueberries and lovely morning light.

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5 Minutes

On the trampoline with my kids. These are the moments I want to capture of my kids. In 20 years, these small simple moments are what I want to make sure I remember. None of these are perfect pictures. And that is okay. It is my kids and they are real and nothing was posed… well except when I tried to make them all lay down together for me…. which didn’t really work out. HA! Real life baby.

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5 Minutes

This morning I’m guest posting over on my friend Rebecca’s blog. You can go check out my easy summer dessert there after you are done checking out the funny pictures of Oliver 😉

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It’s been a while since I shared a 5 minute project with one of my kids. So here is Oliver in the jumpy castle.

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5 Minutes

In the Snow with Lucy.

 

 

I love that she’ll just come and do this with me pretty much whenever I ask.

 

5 Minutes

5 minutes with Alden and his favorite thing.

5 Minutes

Eli is not a kid to stay home. He is all about where the friends are and who he can play with. So making him play with just me for 5 minutes really was mean…..Funny enough, I don’t really feel bad about it. 😉

You can see my other 5 minutes here.

 

5 Minutes

I follow this really great photo blog called the 5 minute project. Go check out the great pictures! Made me think about it and doing that sometimes with my kids. So here is 5 minutes with Oliver (and a little bit Norah) while we colored on the floor. I loved this so much, I’ll be doing this  randomly with my other kids too. (And isn’t Oliver seriously the cutest!)