Sunday, December 11, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!



Spreading some joy singing a Christmas special with my buddies Rachel and Julie. My mic is definitely not loud enough, fyi. Don't give up on us...we needed a little time at the beginning to get in the groove;) Check out Selah's version....it's our favorite family Christmas song this year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lacy rocks the studio like a PRO!



A studio recording of Lacy singing Annie's Tomorrow! This is a video made for posting on social sites, since you can't upload a song. We had Lacy sing along to the finished product for the video(and it doesn't always line up exactly). To all our family, let me know if you would like a copy of the recording with a spiffy label and I'll drop one in the mail for you. Some of you are automatically getting one

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Tidbits:
*The video is of Lacy singing along to the recording we already did, just for the purpose of posting on FB and other social sites…It was hard to line of the video and the recording.
*There is no auto-tuning in this recording….it's 100% Lacy and her pipes, and her adorable speech impediments. Just the way God made her:)
*Lacy heard this arrangement the morning we started recording…it's completely different phrasing and it had a key change
*We just recorded this over Labor Day weekend.
*If you have never experienced recording before…it is not forgiving like singing live. It hears EVERYTHING. Lacy was extremely focus to not let any wiggling, looking the wrong way affect her pitch.
*I will also be post a "Making of/Behind the scenes" video because there were loads of adorable moments that could not be included in this video.

*This is not Lacy's first time in the studio, she helped my brother end a song he recorded. You can listen to that HERE

First I need to say the world's largest thank you to my brother(cory robertson) for recording and producing this for us. He left his entire weekend open to tackle the recording and then also spent more time working on all the techie stuff. This frozen moment in Lacy's life will always be priceless to me and I feel so blessed to have such a devoted brother and uncle to Lacy(and Ashley too!) And then a big thanks to my mom for watching Ashley and keeping her far away from the recording in session and making and having meals ready at our break times! And, my dad for putting up with the strict, "QUIET ON THE SET" rule;)

This all started about 6 months ago when I heard Lacy belt out Tomorrow along with the Annie she was listening to on my computer. She held the huge, high note that lasts about 4(or more) measures, ALL the way and COMPLETELY on pitch. I knew she was musical and has an ear for music, but that shocked me. My four year old was belting out a big song.

This wasn't any 'ol song either. It was my ALL TIME favorite song from my childhood. Um, just ask Cory. I FORCED him into watching the movie with me….over and over and over. And, he was not a fan. He was a good little brother though, and would humor me and watch (and even sing along). I loved the movie and really loved the music.

After that morning Lacy belted out the song, I called Cory and asked if he would record Lacy with his studio. It was so moving to have Cory record this on many levels. 1) He was there first hand when I was little and my love affair for the musical began, 2) We all are musical on my side of the family and it's exciting that Cory is able to watch/be a part of the next generation of musicians emerging, 3) Maybe, just maybe with Lacy's help, Cory may now be a fan of the music…at least when his super adorable niece is doing the lead vocals;) (hmm, I may be pushing it with this one) 4)Plus, it's so fun do do this project with family and have an UNFORGETTABLE memory to share together.

The only disappointment for me was we couldn't get the project done before her birthday. She was doing this at 4 years old and I wanted to have it documented in the milestone category at FOUR. But, summer was BUSY. And it was really hard to find an accompaniment track in a decent key, that was not extremely tacky. We started recording earlier in the summer with a different track. It was SO much higher than the original version Lacy had learned. We knew we needed to switch gears.

A couple of tries later, and the NIGHT before leaving for my parents, I found a track I thought might work. Only problem, it was a much different arrangement with very different phrasing and had sections that sounded like key changes. Could my 5 year old nail a key change without any real rehearsal??? Yikes, it was risky, but we ran with it.

Lacy, not only nailed it, she tackled the recording like a PRO! She worked HARD all day Saturday. As much as I will always cherish the finished product, I will not forget Lacy's focus and willingness to get this done. I hope to encourage and develop that character…it will definitely take her far in life.

Only the Lord knows where this love of music will take Lacy, but for now I will treasure this special recording of my musical little one singing an all time favorite song of mine and rejoice that we enjoy music together! That is answered prayer, friends:)

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No biggie, just a KING COBRA!!!!

Yes, this is no joke, but a real king cobra that Lacy is so happy to snuggle. Her buddy Gabe was surprised with The Reptile Man for his birthday and Lacy totally enjoyed all the interesting creatures he brought with him. The Reptile Man does remove all venom from his animals, but those fangs are still strongly attached! Lacy asked to see a picture of a snake's fangs yesterday...we'll see if she's so brave the next time(I think she will be!). If you live in the area and haven't seen his show...DO! I have seen him 2 times now and love it even more than the first. He is super fun for all ages. I have a bunch of photos almost ready to go...that might be more persuasive! Thanks Rogers for the great night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WE GOT PHOTOS, WE GOT PHOTOS!!!

For the first time EVER, my side of the family had professional portraits taken last night. We always had cameras around growing up, but this was the first time(minus our cruise photo) that we did portraits. And Eddy and I haven't had them yet either. Man...it was totally worth the wait. My dear friend took our photos, but I wish I didn't have to type this...they are moving in less than one week to Minnesota. I am so sad, I can't even say anymore about that. She sent us a preview and I thought I would share it with you all. Also, here is bb&co's blog if you want to check them out. (they are on facebook as well)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First backyard pool of the season!

FINALLY.  We had to wait until July to pull out the good 'ol plastic pool. Yesterday in the morning the girls helped me scrub down the pool and get it all sparkling clean. They were quite enthusiastic helpers to put it lightly! So, after the water had some time to heat up and Ashley's nap, the girls went to town. My brother and I spent HOURS in our pool as kids and it's one of my favorite memories, blasting Beach Boys and splashing all day in the pool. Seeing how the girls had so much fun together obviously tugged at my heartstrings. Watching the girls, I was thinking about you Cory! Here is a quite look into our afternoon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blessings?

I believe all of the Bible to be God's word and ALL of it's scripture true. Not some, not part. 100% perfect and true to the last period. However, there are many aspects of scripture that I am unable to fully understand. That can be for a handful of reasons. However, I believe all of God's word in faith when I am not 100% certain of the reasoning behind parts here and there. One example was Romans 8:28, which states,  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." From first glance, that sounds wonderful. Who doesn't want good to come their way? Right? We all like to be blessed. Once we read it again, God tells us in ALL things he works for good of those who love him. Wait....ALL? This is where I pondered. God is telling us that in everything, the good, the bad, the hard, the easy times, God works for good.

Can this really be true for good to come out of massive tragedy? I have heard personal testimonies that shared of this very thing happening in their lives. Thankfully, in my 31 years I had not been through a devastatingly difficult time in my life. Don't get me wrong, I had my fair share of trails and hardship...just not unexpected, gut-wrenching tragedy.

Until March. My brother's best childhood friend of about 10 years took his own life.  This smiley little red-headed boy was so much a part of my family's life and his passing just made me crumble. My heart just ached for him, for his family, my family, my brother and just for my own personal grief. My brother and Sean were attached at the hip for so long, sharing such amazing memories.  No one will forget his amazing smile, and for me...HIS LAUGH. And just days later the horrific tragedies in Japan struck. In the midst of feeling the loss of a life, in front of my very eyes, I saw many people swept away. Lives lost, souls gone. I knew that pain, and here, families, entire cities were washed away. All that combined, and I was in physical pain from the deep, deep grieving.

I was devastated. And for a while I stayed sad, crying often...without losing hope, but just so sad. However, I dug in the Word and into prayer and guess what? God DID work this out for good in my life. God showered me with His perfect comfort and love during this time, on top of using some amazing friends around me to heal the hurt. I'll always miss Sean and be thankful for the great gift of friendship he brought to my brother, but I am at a deeper love and understanding of my Lord through that tragedy. And that, my friend, is a MASSIVE blessing to me.

At this time, my dear friend Rachel sent me an iTunes song gift before it was being played on the radio. As if He sent it through Rachel, JUST FOR ME. It's so wonderful how the Lord orchestrates His perfect timing. This amazing song by Laura Story was a PERFECT way to express how I was feeling. The lyrics were powerfully accurate as to what I was feeling and when I heard these words, I honestly stopped breathing for a moment....

"When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home...
...What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"

It still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

Since this song was such a comfort and a way to sing praises, I had the song on repeat for a while. Before I knew it, BOTH my girls had learned parts of the song. Lacy knows most of it and Ashley would BELT out the bridge of the song. Lacy is really showing a love for music, dancing, art, and performing. We have been talking about how God makes everyone special and that He asks us to share the things that are special with others. She has been asking to sing with me sometime, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  There is just something that resinates to the soul when a little child sings...

Thank for the all your brought into our lives Sean. And thank you Lord for never allowing our pain to be in vain.

Here is the video and the lyrics are below:


We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today is oh, so very special...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Getting Ready...


Getting Ready for the big 2 from tofslie on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just a smile, in color please...

I will admit there is absolutely NOTHING on Ashley's plain vanilla walls in her bedroom. And...she's almost two! I can't stand it a moment more and am tackling her room in hopes of finishing it by the time she has her big birthday. WHICH, being that it is May, the big day is next month. I have a few ideas in mind and a couple project in the works, but I was in need of a vertical photo to add to a wall collage. Ashley's smile just makes me melt and brings me such wonderful joy. Capturing that in a photo...not an easy task! Being that Ashley's walls are a boring vanilla and we don't have the time to take on a painting project, I thought a color photo would work best. That meant I needed good lighting, direct eye contact and a REAL smile. I took my best photography assistant(Lacy) and she was jumping behind my back, making funny faces and all sorts of other funny tricks. Ashley did laugh, just would turn away almost every time! I decided to call it good, knowing I had enough "sweet, pretty" photos and I guess that would have to do.

We arrive home and the whole neighborhood and all the kids were out playing and my little neighbor girl manage to get Ashley to crack a smile...but she is not looking at the camera and...the photo just worked better in black and white. If only I could squish the two together! Not sure which one I will choose...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cherishing every moment...

 It's hitting me a quite hard that my baby is nearing her 2nd birthday. Yesterday, was one of THOSE days. Ashley is battling a little cold and with church, she was down late for her nap, didn't sleep long enough..and she let us KNOW. I have never had a grocery shopping trip with a screaming kid...until yesterday. Sigh....it was UGLY. And, let's just get it out there that I do not tolerate that kind of behavior, but there was not much I could do about it there-she was NOT stopping, so I literally grabbed 3 things and was OUT of there. I was frazzled, worn down, and frustrated. But, we continued on to a new park to test the location for photos. My camera went click and my heart melted. A fantastic way to end the day. Even after a hard day, it does not change how happy and blessed I am to be home with these munchkins. I just wish it did not have to whiz by so darn quickly. Even if that means enduring grocery store screaming melt downs. It. Is. All. Worth. It.
Monkey see, Monkey do. Ashley does and says everything that her big sis does and says and most times they end up in  full-on belly laughs. It is absolutely precious. Well, most of it. She also picked up some of the 'not-so-polite' phrases that Lacy has spoken to her and Ashley will pull them out whenever she can. Ashley will furrow her brow and say, "Sush Yay-cee" or "STOP it yay-cee", and then mommy says, "Ashley use manners". Then, that little one will droop her shoulders and say, "Peez quiet yay-cee" or "No tank you yay-see" She KNOWS what she needs to say:) That aside, they play quite well together and have SO much fun...it just makes my cup runneth over.

This last one is of my big girl 4 year old. She is SO proud of how 'big' she is and that she is FOUR YEARS OLD.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glorious SPRING!

 Oh gooooodness. That little giggle just gets me. My munchkin is 22 months today. That means her birthday is just around the corner. How can she seriously be almost two YEARS old. This little one fills our home with loads of laughs and is such a little lover.


 It feels like the warm weather and sun is so very late to arrive this year. Finally, today the trees are blooming, the sun is shining, and the girls actually took their coats off! Yes...it is quite comfortable today in the sun.
We are enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and hope you all have a fantastic weekend:)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3rd Generation Rider Has Arrived!

If you know our family, you know that my mom, my brother, and myself are HUGE riders. The bigger, faster, crazier the better! My dad? Um....let's just say, it's NOT his thing.

We have so many fantastic memories from Disney, Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farms, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and so many more. We LOVE rides. One of my favorite memories is when we all went to Six Flags and went on Superman and a crazy girl screamed like mad all the way up, stopping just to catch her breath at the top, and then screaming non-stop, high-pitched all the way down. OH WAIT. That wasn't a girl...that was my BROTHER sitting next to me. It still makes me laugh out loud to this day. Some of the others included when we bamboozled my dad on to an intense ride and watching him panic all through the line and then get a crazy hysterical photo once his torturing was done. Awesome:)

During spring break my parents and I took the girls to our local amusement park. My physically cautious Lacy was dominating the kiddie rides and really wanted to try out some bigger rides. And, I should mention that my little 1 year was crying at the end of every ride, begging for more as well:)

I have lots of video and a handful of cute photos, but I wanted to post this video of Lacy who clearly showed us she will be the next generation of riders in the family. This was the second time on the tilt-a-whirl. The first time was a joke, spinning once or twice really fast, then to only rock back and forth the rest of the ride. She begged to go again as soon as we got off and we agreed to go ONE more time, as the rain that was forecasted was beginning to make it's appearance. And man, oh man, did we go out with a BANG! And the icing on the cake is that my mom was there too! And thanks dad for watching Ashley so us three could experience this together:)

I have a hard time choosing to watch Lacy's reaction or the background whizzing by. Here it is! Enjoy!

Our little thrill-seeker!! from tofslie on Vimeo.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My mom's debut leading role on TV!!

 All thanks to my brother for torturing, videoing, editing and submitting the video. My mom is an awesome sport and totally adorable! And...Cory has always kept the family laughing with his antics since the day he was born:) This was totally fun and unforgettable. We had not been home more than 15 minutes and Eddy already had the video downloaded and edited. Yes...he is the internet king:) Enjoy the the segment from the show!

My Mom the TV Star! from tofslie on Vimeo.

Yeah...it should have been top three!!! I'm not biased or anything:) Can you say, "Ooh!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

8 Years


Those would be my anniversary flowers from Eddy. Do you see what he had put in them? I was laughing so hard when the florist delivered these and hardly could say, "There are Hostess cupcakes in my flowers!" She said, "yes, there are 8. Happy 8th Anniversary!" After 8 years, Eddy knows how I can't resist those darn cupcakes and eat them ALL the time. He KNOWS me. Even better, he really loves me 8 years later.

I could pass along more fun memories, but I think I will leave that to the slideshow below. Instead, I would like to reminisce about the second song that closes the slide show.  I sang and had it recorded for a surprise at our wedding. As most of you know I LOVE to sing. When Eddy and I got engaged it was not long before everyone kept asking me if I was going to sing at our wedding. Uh...come on...we all know me and emotions equal gallons of tears;) NO way I could get through an emotional song on one of the most happiest days of my life.

However, I DID want to sing. So, then I started brainstorming how I could get a recording. A real, professional recording. Yeah...that takes a decent amount of money. We already were using every spare penny for the wedding and did not have a budget for a recording.

I got it! The song I wanted to sing was a country song and I had been a loyal listener to a Portland morning radio show(99.5 the wolf) for years. I composed a letter sharing our love story and how I was desperately wanting to record and wondering if they could help. And guess what...THEY SAID YES! I could not believe it! The producer called me and we set up a session and off my mom and I(and Fritz) went to the station.

Of course I was nervous sitting in the lobby waiting to be called back. It was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. It was just me, my mom, little Fritz and the receptionist in the OH, so quiet room. That's when Fritz, failing to be quiet said, "Panette, I passed gas." That did it. Tension eased...in more ways than one:) We all, receptionist included, were in hysterics.

So...we were called back to the studio, tackled the song, and then were given a tour of the station. WOW! I could not believe that happened! However, when we got home, I was less than thrilled with the recording. In fact...it was terrible. The levels were off and my voice sounded like I was singing with my hand in front of my face. Now what?

I did have another idea, but I REALLY did not want to ask. I felt by asking, it was taking advantage of my brother's friendship. His friend had already recorded me once before for free and since then, his studio had started to take off. But...I did not know what else to do, so I asked. I told him about the radio station bomb and was hoping he could help me out. HE SAID YES! And it turned out fantastic. And...all of this went down with only a FEW people knowing. I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone during the ceremony. And...it was:) Right before Eddy's dad pronounced us as 'husband and wife', the song came on. And, I don't think I am exaggerating when I say there was not a dry eye in the church.

Now, eight years later, I am SO happy I recorded it instead of singing it live. We still are able to listen to it! Blake...thank you so much for giving me and Eddy this AMAZING gift. If anyone is in need of a professional recording in the Portland area, check out Clarity Recording, you will love the end product.

So there is the back-story to my song for Eddy and the one to close out the following slide show. Happy 8th Anniversary Eddy....I love you.

8 Years from tofslie on Vimeo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wait spring! I haven't posted on winter yet!

Wow...is it really March already?! What an super charged, full speed ahead winter we had! These first photos were from November 2010 and the last two were just last week...oh yes...March snow! Spring snow is fun. HUGE and wet snowflakes, perfect for molding and shaping. Finally, we made our first snowman of the season...phew! We nearly missed that boat. We are well and as always, I hope to get caught up on here with photos, but I am not sure if that will end up happening! I have been booking more photography sessions and working on my web site and on top of getting repeatedly hit by the sick bug this winter. Oh yeah...and just the full, everyday life of being the mom of two beautiful daughters who are getting SO big.  Whether I get to post the winter photos or just move forward, I am so happy to be posting again!