Do I still Do Photography?

Why, yes! yes I do! But, I do it for me!

I kinda got burned out doing it as a business. All the advertising, photographing, post processing, editing, burning, deadlines… and then my babies being sick or teething,or growth spurt and just needing mom…

It just all got to be WAY more than I could handle. I was stressed out, my customers were unhappy cause of missed deadlines… it wasn’t fair to anybody.

So now, I mainly do photography on my own time, for me. Without deadlines, and without clients most the time.

I still accept clients, but I mostly wait for them to come to me, rather than me actively advertising and searching out clients.

Now, I’m back! I’m back to enjoying photography as my art form again! And it’s SO good!

I’ve done a couple weddings, some family photos, but majority of whats on my computer are just pix of my little girls growing up and having adventures. And those are what I love to see the most!

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I took this photo this afternoon. with no hurry, no pressure. just me and my girls enjoying an enchanted evening!

New Zealand Trip Day 9

Day #9: NZ Date: 25th of February, Thursday; US Date: February 24th, Wednesday.

I hadn’t had a day out with just my lady-in-laws yet, and Johnny hadn’t really had any time out with just his brothers. So, we decided to let Johnny go out hunting with the guys, and us girls would go to Taihape (Tie-Happy).

Let me say now, New Zealand really doesn’t have any BIG cities. Even there bigger towns (they’d call cities) are more rural and usually have 1 main street and a cross street or two, and then mostly consist of houses or older buildings that aren’t in a lot of use at present.

But, the small towns are charming. They usually have a small grocer, a gas station, a church/chapel, and most seem to have at least 1 old theater (though both the ones I’ve seen have been closed down, so sad).

We arrived in Taihape, and Katy & Jenny went over to McDonalds while Nana Deb and I went across the street to the subway (had roast beef this time, yum!). We girls met up with our food in front of the old library (which is lovely and in full operation) to eat our food.

After eating, we went to the bank, then off to a few shops. The shops we browsed were very cute and homey. The first was a quilting/sewing shop, I purchased a couple really pretty pieces of fabric (vintagey with pink roses on it) and some pink wool yarn (NZ made!).


We then went to the local thrift store, called “Caught Short.” I found a little pink sweater and a pink plaid summer dress for baby Vicky, a gift for my sister Naomi, and some more wool yarn I can use.

Then we browsed a cute baby shop, can’t recall the exact name, but it was super cute! So many adorable baby outfits. The lady there had a small basket out with baby headbands, and said she didn’t like any of them, so I could take 1 if I wanted, so nice! I got a cute little red headband with fabric flowers and a sparkly button in the middle.


Last place we visited was called “Wild Roses,” and it was just exactly the kind of shop my Mom and I could spend hours in! Lots of shabby chic items, little birdies, tea sets, vintage toys and candies… I did get my Mom a little something while there.


We then headed towards home, but HAD to stop at the towns icon, the “Gumboot” for a few photos:

Back at home, I helped Nana Deb peel and cut potatoes to go with dinner, then everybody split up to their own places to relax till the guys got back from their thing. I worked more on photos, of course.

The boys got back safely, didn’t shoot anything on there hunt, but they did see a couple deer, and a faun. And on their way back, Johnny spotted a young hedgehog along the road, so they turned back and grabbed him up to prevent him getting smushed by another vehicle. They brought him back to the house, we got to take turns holding him and we tried feeding him, but he was too scared to eat.

Brother Thomas came by and mentioned a lady near where he works that raises hedgehogs. Like, she take sin small ones, fattens them up and raises them, then lets them go when they’re of better size to survive on their own. So we sent this little cutey to this nice lady to brighten her day (as she didn’t have any hedgehogs to spoil just then) and to give this little fella a good start.

Brother Daniel and his wife and family came over, apparently on most Thursday evenings they all get together and have a “Sing-Song.” They use a couple of teh hymnals from their church and just have a night of singing and praising the Lord. It was really nice, got to hear some good oldies that I had grown up with, as well as some oldies that I had never heard before. And Papa Keith made up a few songs for the little kids who kept requesting songs, which was real fun.

I think Baby Vicky really likes the old hymns, felt like she was dancing inside me while we sang, and boy was she kicking hard! Haha!

New Zealand Trip Day 8

Day #8: NZ Date: 24th of February, Wednesday; US Date: February 23rd, Tuesday.

Johnny really wanted to show me the Army Museum in Waiouru. So he, Joey and I went there today.

It was a large building, looks like it was made of concrete, and had several tanks sitting out front.

Inside, there was a small restaurant and a gift shop (overpriced as most gift shops are), and a small cashier desk to get your tickets to enter the museum.

You got your tickets and walked up a hallway to a small-ish foyer, where on one side was a wall laid over with Jade stone, a small waterfall running down it. and above the jade wall, were 2 walls overlaid with knit or crochet poppies, of a brilliant red hue.

On the other side of the foyer, was a blue lit area, with names of battles and/or wars NZ had fought.

Then more stairs going upwards, there was a room dedicated to the nations favorite sport, Rugby, and how it helped to keep up moral for the army’s of NZ.


And then the museum went on to show memorabilia form world war ii and wars with the NZ natives, the Maori, who were among the first to use Trenches in warfare.

Here are some interesting photos I got in the museum:

Downstairs, were memorabilia from more recent wars, and a room of medals that had been awarded to service men. and a hall of guns, showing a rough history of the gun evolution.

After the museum, we went to Subway, had teriyaki chicken with lots of veggies, and a garlic spread, which came out pretty good.

On the way home, we stopped by the Tangawai Disaster memorial. Its near a bridge, the water running under it has a slight smell of sulfur (icky). The memorial is in memory of an event that took place at this location on Christmas Eve 1953. The bridge had collapsed, and the 3pm Wellington-Auckland Express crashed into the river, killing 151 of its passengers and the  train crew. Even queen Elizabeth was on tour in New Zealand at the time, here’s a quote from Wikipedia about that:

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were visiting New Zealand on their first royal tour when the disaster occurred. The Queen made her Christmas broadcastfrom Auckland, finishing with a message of sympathy to the people of New Zealand. The Duke of Edinburgh attended a state funeral for many of the victims.”

The memorial has names listed of all who died, and a small building with the news reports of what had happened and the aftermath.


New Zealand Trip Day 4

Day #4: NZ Date: 20th of February, Saturday. US Date: February 19th, Friday.

Apparently, we arrived just in time for the A&P Show! A&P is Agricultural & Pastural show. Its a once a year show kind of like our local County Fair’s back in the States. Though the main events were horse jumping and log splitting/cutting.

The Donaldson’s (my In-Laws) had actually donated all the wood for the log cutting competitions!

And Nana Debra entered a couple quilts she’d made for grand kids in the show (they have a large shed they show quilts, knit/crochet items, flowers, fruits & veggies, and lots of other small crafts). One of the quilts she made, got 2nd place prize, and a small hand bag (called a Betty Purse) she made and entered got 1st prize!

We also got ice cream cones while there, I got Mango and Johnny got Ginger/Carrot (which was actually pretty good). We met up with brother Thomas, his wife Leah and daughters Kelly & Madison, and brother Joey with his lady friend Annalise.

After we were done browsing at the show, we went across the street to the cemetery and visited Nana Dawn and Papa Alastair’s graves. They still do the large tombstones that are upright in these New Zealand cemetery’s, rather than the small, flat ones you almost can’t find in our american cemetery’s. There were very few graves that didn’t have some sort of flower or gift by them. Saw one of my hubby’s cousin’s graves as well, he told me she had died quite young of cancer, and it had really taken a toll on her whole family. So sad.

Then we loaded up into the truck and decided to go visit Nana Dawn’s old house. Even though she had passed more than a year ago, the house and property still belong to the family. The land is still being used for cattle and sheep, and the house is currently being kept just as Nana had left it. The house is very small, quiet, peaceful. The flower beds out front are a tad over grown, but the flowers are lovely. and the lawn is nicely kept. The house is very old, early 1900’s I believe, and the whole house keeps that feel in the decor.

I some how felt a bit overwhelmed by how quiet and serene the whole place was, so I didn’t take any photos inside the house. But I will be sure to do so before returning State-side.

We went outside and for a short walk up a hill where you could see more the lay of the land.


Of course, sister-in-law Katy (who had tagged along with us) started being all goofy at the top of the hill. So I snapped a few quick ones of her and managed to get a pretty good one of her lovely face:

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Got a few good ones of Joey with Annalise too!

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We then walked to the bottom of the hill, and came to the “Shop.” There’s a pond next to it that the sheep and cattle come to drink from, full of lillypads. Johnny reached in and caught a lily for me, then little brother Joey followed suit for Annalise.

The boys then went in the shop to say hi to brothers Michael and Kenny who were there. I noticed the small herd of cattle behind the shop, watching us. Dare I say it? The Large, Black Angus Bull they have for that herd is the scariest looking fellow I’ve ever seen! His eye brows seriously give him the most angry expression! They say he’s a doll, was raised by hand and is very gentle, he just looks really angry. One of the cows is SO big! She’s pregnant, and it would not be surprising if she had twins in there.

After we got back to the truck, we went home and relaxed for a bit. Watched “Dreamer” with my sister-in-laws, which was a very nice way to relax after so much walking around. Then Joey needed a ride to take Annalise back home. So the two of them rode with me and Johnny! We drove out to Waiouru (why-oo-roo) and dropped off Annalise, then Joey was kind enough to buy the 3 of us pizza. Then we went over to the Large Carrot, Johnny gave it a hug, and we got a pic together.

Then we got a picture of the backside of Mt Ruapehu.

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After we got back from all that, the guys decided to go to the Ruatiti Domain (Roo-uh-tih-tee) to cool down. Its a small patch in Ruatiti where the whanganui (wung-gu-new-ee) river goes through. Its a really pretty spot, and a great place for swimming. The boys even have a spot where they can dive into the water.

Oh, and on the way there we got a nice clear view of Mt Ruapehu:

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Oh, and Kenny took this photo (I edited) of a fern that was down there, and a quick pic of him “petting” a Honey Bee:

And on the way home, we saw the moon rising up over Mt Ruapehu. In the pic, Ruapehu is the mountain on the far right, middle is Mt. Tongariro, and the far left is Brown-Top (can’t pronounce the native name for it at all).

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And then, coming up the driveway to our New Zealand place of residence, we saw a pair of Spur-Winged Plovers! I couldn’t get a good photo of them, so I’ve linked their name to the google images page for them (fyi, they are the ones with the bright yellow on their faces). And here’s a photo I got of Johnny coming back from scaring them into doing their little call, which was a really cute call:

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And then, to the house for a quiet evening and some sleep.

New Zealand trip Day 3

Day #3: NZ Date: 19th of February, Friday. US Date: February 18th, Thursday.

We were SO wiped out from our long flight(s), we just slept in till about 12 noon (3pm US time). Don’t think I’ve ever slept so much at once in my life!

The night before, due to the flight, my feet and legs had swelled really bad, but looked SO much better today! Could actually see the shape in my ankles again, yay! and it just felt easier to get around in general.

Had a nice hot shower and fresh change of clothes and a hearty breakfast of eggs, yogurt and a glass of milk.

We had slept in a separate section of the house that had been turned into a Flat/Apartment a few years back when Johnny’s oldest brother, Daniel, and his wife got married.

We spent the first part of the day just relaxing around the house with the family, chit-chatting, catching up on some local news.

Since my camera batteries had all died, Johnny found an adapter for me to plug in my american battery charger into one of their new zealand outlets (seriously strange looking things, need to get a pic of just those to add in here later). Once charged, I got to go out on my own around the house and get some photos of the kittens, their mom, and the pile of fire wood the boys had cut up.

About 4:30, we decided to go for a walk. Johnny wanted to show me around the farm a little bit. So we walked out around the house, got a photo of the small hill they had in their front viewing area…

And walked a small path going up a small-ish hill. Along this path, Johnny pointed out a tree that he had loved to climb as a child. And a large plant Johnny said was considered just a weed, but had some pretty berries and flowers I had to get a photo:


Also had a great view of some of their property, the rolling hills beyond, and (if the clouds would’ve parted) we could’ve gotten a great view of the Mt. Ruapehu. _MG_0479

We continued to walk, when Johnny decided to hop a nearby fence. Since it was just a wire fence, he pulled the wire’s apart enough for me to fit through. on the other side of this fence, was where his older brother Daniel and his family lived. We walked up towards their house staying along fence line.


We met their pretty little pup (who refused to sit still more than 1/2 a millisecond!), a couple wild goats that the boys had caught and given to Daniel’s wife Sarah (yes, there are now 2 Sarah Donaldson’s in this family), and we saw Sarah’s  Nubian/New Zealand Ferrell goat crosses. Sister-in-Law Jenny came along on the walk with us, and she sure had fun with the pup.

We then went ot the house and visited with Sarah and her lovely children. Johnny gave me a tour of the house, which had originally been built by his Dad when he’d first got married, and then built up as their family had grown. and Now Daniel and his wife were staying in it and working on ways to remodel it and make the place for efficient.

We had tea and toast while we were there, Sarah had made a jam for the toast that was absolutely amazing! If I thought Customs would let me, I would love to smuggle some back to the states! The BEST jam I’ve ever tasted.

When Daniel got home from work, we were invited to stay for dinner, which of course we accepted.


After dinner we played Cranium, which was a blast! Lots of laughs. Daniel then drove us all back to the Donaldson’s place, and we all headed right to bed as it was quite late.

New Zealand trip Days 1-2

We left Portland, OR at 1:29 pm. Arrived in San Francisco about 3pm. went through security fine. The plane was small, 3 seats on each side. It was SO hot when we first got on, actually almost went claustrophobic it was SO warm. But once we sat down and got a/c it was fine 🙂 

Pic of a plane similar to what we flew in:

At San Francisco, we walked a ways to the right gate for our next flight, the area had HUGE windows, which made the space very hot. We just sat, walked, stretched, got some food (caesar salad with chicken, and a roast beef sandwich). drank lots of water, went up and down a few flights of stairs. didn’t have to go through security again, yay!

Flight took off at 7:45 pm. BIG plane this time. It was a Boeing 777-300E. we got to watch “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and ate dinner (was beef with veggies, a bread roll and a small salad). Then we tried to sleep. I don’t think either of us were successful. I would get cozy in one position, then my leg would fall asleep, so I changed to a different position, then my lower back hurt, then another position and I just felt like my lower ribs were stabbing into me! Ugh! trying to sleep on a plane is decidedly NOT fun. On the way back home we’ll have a “SkyCouch,” so hopefully it’ll be easier return trip.

Could feel a lot of turbulence throughout the flight too, which made me nervous since it only got bad once we over the middle of the ocean! Scary! But God was good, and we had a good pilot, so there was no emergency’s or anything. everything was quite smooth going really.

Landed in Auckland, New Zealand about 8:45 am Wednesday (5:45 am Thursday, New Zealand time). It was still super dark when we arrived. we had cheese omelet, fruit and yogurt on the plane for breakfast. Its really nice they include dinner and breakfast for these long flights.

In Auckland, we had to go through Customs, which was really smooth and easy. Told them I had my prenatal vitamins and supplements in my suitcase and they were cool with that.

Then we walked through the main airport, outside, across the parking lot to the smaller “local” airport. Waited for our flight. when we went through the gate…. it was like stepping onto the flattop of an old movie, so simple and open and you actually walked out on it and then up a couple steps into the smaller plane!

Can feel the turbulence a lot more in the smaller planes, fyi.

We landed and met up with Johnny’s family, went to Burgerville for “brunch” (10:30 nz time, 1:30 home time). then we went to Huka falls (Hoo-Kah) then went and saw some black swans. Battery in my camera died right after this, but here’s what I was able to capture first:

Then, we finally went to the Donaldson’s place, saw their cats and cows and house and some of the property. We arrived just in time for Papa Keith’s birthday, so we got to sing “Happy Birthday,” meet the grandkids, say hi to brothers Thomas and Daniel and their families, and had cake and ice cream after a lovely dinner of mutton, mashed potatoes & gravy, and fruit salad. Oh, we also got to meet Papa Keith’s sister, Aunty Loll!

SO tired! Hoping to nap today, sleep in tomorrow and then we’ll see how we feel, if we feel up to actually doing anything or not yet.

Lots of Life Changes

WOW! Its been a long time since I posted on here. So I’ll just give a quick summary of all thats been going on, and then give more detailed posts later with more photos 🙂

Johnny and I were engaged in February, and that came to fruition July 10th, 2015. It was a beautiful day! Lots of wonderful people came to share in our joy. We got married in my grandma’s backyard, and had the reception in her pole barn that my Dad and brothers had built. The guys also built all the tables and benches for the day! My mom MADE the bridesmaids dresses, mens bow-ties, and a special vest for my Special man. Everyone worked SO hard, and it all came out just lovely! Will post more info and photos later on, here’s a few of my favorite photos to tease ya’ll with:

For our Honeymoon, we got a small cabin to stay in right by Mt. Rainier National Park. It really is an incredible area, highly recommend everybody to check it out atleast once in your life!

Oh, and right before the wedding, the last of the goats on my families farm kidded, twin doelings again! Aren’t they darling?!

Shortly after getting back, my nephew Colin was born, isn’t he a doll!?
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Johnny’s family had tog o back to New Zealand, sad.

Johnny purchased me my second Doe goat, a Finished Champion name TW Ranch Fancy’s Bebe Girl. She is just stunning too, and gave me a doeling just a few days ago. here’s some pix of her when I first got her, and a couple of her darling doeling too:

Several of our goats did EXTREMELY well in the online goat show, Durango’s Little Red *P even got Grand, Best Doe and Best Udder in Show!

Johnny and I found out we are expecting a girl, we’ll be naming her Victoria Dawn Donaldson. We are SO excited to get to meet her! She kicks up a storm now, but is very quiet when visiting new people or driving.

And to sum up, we’ve been to the wildlife refuge several times, had my little siblings over most Fridays to hang out, been out to Multnomah Falls, the Gristmill and Moulton Falls.


And we’re now in New Zealand visiting Johnny’s family! Will give some updates later on what we’ve done and seen so far 😉


Times and Trials

Time, times and half a time.

Good and bad. The times are always changing. Everyday presents new challenges to every individual, couple and family.

Don’t get discouraged when the challenges come, take a deep breath, step back, and try to look at things as they really are. Don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that things are the worst they could be. Wait.

In the book of Matthew, Yeshua/Jesus talked about worry.  He said, “Who of you, by worrying, can add onne cubit to his stature?” And he continues to say that we should not swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair of it white or black.

Remember, as humans, we really have almost zero control over things. YHWH/God is the Only one with full control over things. Let him be in charge and take care of the situation.

February 14, 2014: Valentines Day

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February 14, 2014. Valentines Day.

My Special Friend, my Best Friend, Johnny, asked my permission if he could court me. He had asked my Dad early that week, and now sought my permission.

We had gone with my brother and sister-in-law to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Portland, OR for a nice dinner. After the meal (but before dessert), Johnny asked me if I’d take a short walk with him within view of the window we’d been sitting at during dinner. I consented, and we stepped outside.

We looked at the nights reflecting off the water, the trees with twinkle-lights on them, and the moist green grass. It was dark, but the lights and sounds were a lovely thing. He said I had not only been a good friend to him over the years, but had become his Best friend, and he would greatly honored if I would allow him to court me. He promised that he would be faithful and committed and his focus would be, when the time was right, to walk me down the aisle if I was willing.

He even had a Promise Ring all ready to show his commitment and how serious he was. It was a lovely ring, with a purple center stone and embraced with a heart. He had picked it out totally on his own, and I knew, when I saw it, that he had figured out my style.

We held hands for the first time that night, it was very special. I had been yearning to hold his hand for a long time. And when we finally were able to, I didn’t want to let go. Some people seem to take for granted holding hands, but for other people, like myself, holding hands is a very simple, elegant, magnetic, powerful means of bonding. its something very special. Holding hands means leading and being led, it means wanting to be near, and not desiring to be somewhere or with someone else.

1 year ago we began a journey, a season. and as we’re entering another, I feel overwhelmed with what we’ve been through, and how much there is yet to see and experience.

God is good. He has seen us through many things already. And he will continue to bless and guide as we keep him the focus and center of our lives.

Sometimes its hard keeping focus on God when you enter a relationship, its like having to reset your compass every so often. Remember to reset that compass though, its always better to be on course, than to go slightly off course and find yourself overwhelmed and lost wondering how you got somewhere you didn’t want to be.

Thank you, Johnny, for reminding me of these things. Thank you for keeping HIM the center, the focus. Life gets busy, and its easy to be lethargic in the things that really matter, like prayer and reading scripture. Thank you for helping to keep me on track with the important stuff when I need it the most.

Note: The above photos were taken for announcing our courtship 1 year ago. I will be posting Engagement photos when I have more done and have time to load them.

MDGA Goat Show 2012

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MDGA Goat Show 2012

MDGA Goat Show 2012

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This is Sarah’s Scenes, Real Life Photographer.

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