Where did you get your white bookshelf in your front room (the piano room)? I love it.
I found a really reasonably priced woodworking guy and had him copy one I found in a magazine.

I’m curious if there are things that your parents did (or things you feel might have helped) with you being so shy & dreading going to school.
My daughter is starting 1st grade & I’m searching for ways to help her, she is shy & scared. It was nice to read the feelings you felt when you were little, somehow it helped me understand how my daughter probably feels. {this question was from this post}

Oh that’s a tough one. It makes my heart ache for her! I’m sorry to say that I think I was painfully shy until I hit my junior year in high school and I don’t know what really triggered it. Maybe it was that we lived in England for half of my freshman year and I had no choice but to start morphing out of my shyness. Maybe it was the nice friends that were boys who built my confidence. Maybe it was just a gradual process.

But most of all I think it had to do with having a family who built me up and believed in me.

The good thing to remind yourself of is that shyness is something she’ll mostly likely grow out of…hopefully a little sooner than I did! šŸ™‚

I noticed a couple of comments on homeschooling and couldn’t help but wonder what your feelings are about it? Have you ever considered homeschooling your kids? I know, without a doubt, that home-school is definitely not for everyone…but I would love to hear YOUR thoughts regarding it.

I totally would love to home school. I know some of the most amazing home-school parents and every time I talk to them I wish I were that cool. One in particular goes on regular field trips with her kids…places like Washington D.C. and Jerusalem. Yes. I ‘m serious. Now with my love of travel, you can imagine that that sounds like my kind of home school.

There are two problems, however, that I find when I think of me homeschooling: 1) I do not think my kids would listen to me one whit. They are bonafide experts at ignoring their mother. and 2) I think they would wither away and die without their friends. They are all so social and although they don’t jump head over heels for the “work” part of school, they adore the “friend” part.

In my regular routine of begging Dave to take us to live in China for a while, one of my come-backs to combat the looming problem that American schools are approx. $20,000 per child there is that I tell him I will become the best home-school mother ever. Then he reminds me the reason we’d go is to help our kids get a purely cultural experience there. Does he not realize that my home schooling would be a very cultural experience?

Anyway, I digress. The bottom line is that I admire home-schoolers so much but I don’t think our family is cut out for it.

I am in the process of organizing my digital pictures on my computer. I was wondering what process you use to organize yours.

I know there are many ways to do this (I’ve heard iPhoto, for one, is awesome), but I use Lightroom. And I love it.See how all the dates are on the left, starting with year, and group-title? And then I label each picture with keywords so I can find them later (see on right). So if I need to do a “star of the week” poster or look up what happened at Easter last year I can just click on one of my “keywords” and all the pictures in that category come up.

How did you get into photography? I’ve read your tips for photography, but what are your tips for those just purchasing their first DSLR camera?

See the tab on photography f.a.q. at the top of this blog (or click here) for how I got into photography.

As far as tips on purchasing your first DSLR, I’ve had a bunch of people ask this lately so I’ll just say that my biggest advice would be to do lots of research on the internet. The last time I did camera research was last year and boy howdy in the digital photography business that was light-years ago. I always recommend that you completely outgrow what you’ve got before moving up to a new camera. That way you’ll know if you’re serious enough to warrant putting in the big bucks for an upgrade. Everyone likes different cameras for different reasons. When I picked my camera I went to a camera shop that let me hold, experiment, take pictures with the two cameras I was debating between. That really helped.

I love Nikon and Canon equally and don’t think you can go wrong with either. I know there are others that are really, really good but I have not had experience with them.

How tall are Max and Elle? They seem very tall for their ages.

Max just passed me up by a hair (especially when his “hair” is fluffy) so he’s six feet tall. Elle is five feet six inches. I think she looks taller because of the length of those legs šŸ™‚

Do you print your blog? If so, how often and what program do you recommend?

If I were organized I would have books and books of my blog printed by now. But I’m still (just like I was last year and they year before) trying to figure out where/how to do that. I’ll let you know if I figure it out…I know others have suggested great things on this blog before…I just haven’t had time to take their advice yet.

I really like your happy birthday banner. Did you make it?

I found these happy birthday banners (a pink one and a blue one) at Pottery Barn Kids on clearance when Max was a baby. Man alive have they come in handy!

How do you pronounce your oldest daughters name?? Is it like the letter “L” or is it with the long “e” sound like Ellie?? Just curious šŸ™‚ And she is an absolutely beautiful girl!

Thank you! Dave and I call her Elle like “L,” my Dad even spells it “L,” but most of her friends call her Ellie (with the long “E” sound).

I’ve loved meandering through your recent posts tonight. What a great place for moms and dads to come. Thanks for creating such a forum. Now let’s hear more about your cute single sister. (smile)

You mean this beautiful, thoughtful, passionate, adventurous, great-with-kids, travel-loving, incredibly smart sister?Well, you can find out more about her here on her fabulous blog. (She has some pretty fabulous European adventures she’s reporting on right now.)

She lives in San Francisco and I am currently working up a plan go visit for Thanksgiving. Would that be fun or what?

Anyway, she is an amazing girl. And I love her. There you go.

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  1. We need a Mom's retreat here in the SF area! November's good for me. Or you can just come for dinner while you're here and let me pick your brain! šŸ˜‰

  2. I love reading your Friday Q&A. So I have a question. You talk about the cookies that you have been teaching your children to make and that you love to eat and I was hoping you would be willing to share some of the wonderful recipes you have and your secret to amazing cookies. Thank you! Laura

  3. I was painfully shy as a child too… and really began to come out of it as a junior in high school also. But when I think back to elementary school and junior high in my still super shy stage, I have so many good memories… and it is because I had one really really good friend. I was a bit of a nerdy little thing in elementary school–glasses, braces, a bit plump–but once again I had one good friend (not always the same one) through most of that time, and so I was still happy. Maybe the mom worrying about her daughter's shyness can help her find one good friend she can really feel safe and connect with?

    I also had an incredibly loving and supportive family environment.

    I know you have a great influence on others and parenting. I was hoping you and your husband would go see the movie "Courageous" that just came out. If you like it do a shout out for it. It could be such a powerful influence in the lives of families!
    (go see it while it is in still in theaters. done by a church in georgia. it needs our support!)

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