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Just Say Cheese!

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How do you get 5 kids to cooperate and smile for pictures? Simply put, you don’t but you can try and try we did!

Living on one and a half income (Chris is working part time now) we can’t afford professional pictures, nor could we really when we were a 2 income family, so we usually take our own. But we came across a Groupon deal for Picture People and since we have used them in the past with success, we thought why not.ย  It was $16 for an in-studio photo shoot and eight portrait sheets containing 1 10″x13″ print, 1 8″x10″ print, 4 5″x7″ prints, 10 4″x6″ prints, and 16 wallet prints. Groupon still has the deal, just click on the picture to be taken to the Groupon deal:

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Click on picture for Picture People Groupon deal!

Our thinking was even if we get just one good picture out of it, then it would be worth it.๐Ÿ™‚ We knew going into it this would be challenging, we were trying to get 5 kids to sit still for pictures after all. And our littlest nephew, Grayson, is a little temperamental – he has great days and not so great days. So we were really hoping for a great day when we scheduled the pictures. And….he had an ehhh..day, not his worst but definitely not his best. The other 4 kiddos surprisingly did well, we had a few meltdown moments with the 2 year old and a lot of “Mom, when will be done” moments from the older crew but they all toughed through it and we were able to get some decent pictures out of it.

Overall review of the Picture People: 3 out of 5 stars.ย  The main reason for the mediocre score was because we got snubbed by two of the professionals because of our large party size. We got there at our appointment time but were not seen until after a 35 minute wait. During that time, two of the professionals were chatting about which group to take next, ours or the family that came in 15 minutes after us. One of the ladies said, “oh no, I do not want the big group with all the kids.” Oh snap! So of course, I politely said with a smile, “Oh ya’ll don’t want to take our pictures because of our large group.” Both of the ladies looked like deer in headlights and tried to cover it up saying we had to wait for a larger room. Which was a lie and I know it because the room they used for the family they took before us (who had an appointment after us and came in 15 after we did) was the same room we did our large group photos in. In the end though, I am glad we got the professional the other two ladies dumped us on because she worked it. She never complained about Grayson’s non-complaint attitude or the fact we had such a large party. She also was able to get some pictures that were worth keeping in between his melt-downs. I think we were with her for an hour and a half and by the end everyone was sweating and exhausted. I do believe if we would have had the other two professionals, it would be a 1 out 5 star review.

With the Groupon purchase, Picture People offers a special Groupon deal for the high resolution CD containing session images and also a frame deal. If you purchase both the CD and a frame with the images it is only an additional $100 and each frame after is only $50.ย  That is what we opted to do, so we could have all the images from the session and also a framed pic ready for the wall. Even with the additional $100, the total cost was $116 plus taxes. This is still incredibly cheaper than the one time we hired a professional to do outdoor pictures of our family, that did not include a session CD or a framed picture only printed pictures.ย  The downfall, Picture People is in a studio and you have limited options and no outdoor pics. But truth – the outdoor pictures we had done by a professional and paid out the wazoo for were not as good as the Picture People or pictures we have taken ourselves outdoors.

Will we use Picture People again? Most likely, but only with a Groupon deal. Next time though, we will get the first appointment of the day and take lots and lots of snacks and toys for ornery well-behaved children.

So would you like to see what made us feel like we ran a marathon?

Drumroll please….

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The best group picture of all 5 kiddos.

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See they do love each other!

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D & G

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Mr. Hayden

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Mr. Ty

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Miss Lydia

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Mr. Douglas

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Mr. Grayson – scratches and all.

And somehow we even managed to change all the kids and get pics done to represent our favorite football team!

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Go Dawgs!

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So all in all it was worth the 3 hours we spent there, the very, rude employees, the meltdowns and drama of trying to get 5 kids to cooperate. In the end – we are pleased and we have pics to prove it!๐Ÿ™‚

It’s all about the Que!

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With less than 3 weeks to go until our 1st BBQ competition (What BBQ competition, you ask. Check this post out.) we have been working hard on researching and perfecting our talent. We attended our 1st BBQ competition a couple of weeks ago to get a better idea of what exactly we got ourselves into and now we are really hooked and super excited about our introduction into the competition world.

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The men ready to GO eat some Que!

We went to the Festival of Discovery in Greenwood, SC and if you have never been, we highly recommend it. It was the perfect 1st BBQ competition for us to scope out.ย  It was well organized and with over 85 competitors we were able to get a better grasp on how BBQ competitions work. We sampled about 15 different pork/brisket but we still think ours is the best.๐Ÿ˜‰

The set-ups were quite impressive and a tad bit intimidating but we all have to start somewhere. And we are starting now….and small.No converted RV’s for us, at least not yet.

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This is Bubba Jack’s set up and more our speed.

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One day….

After attending this wonderful BBQ competition, and seeing the logistics, next on the agenda: smokin’ some Que!
We’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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Need we say more?

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BOSTON BUTTS

10341563_10204184788803972_2790903101272224273_nDo we have your mouth watering yet?!? We are getting closer and closer to being ready for our 1st competition. If nothing else, it will be a fun, family adventure with lots and lots of memories made!
Come see us August 15-16, 2014 at the Classic City BBQ Festival in Athens, GA! We’ll have samples!!๐Ÿ™‚

AIDS Athens Walk 2014

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AIDS Athens and the College of Public Health will host their Annual AIDS Walk on October 11th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., starting and ending at Tate Plaza on the University of Georgia campus.

Proceeds from the walk will benefit AIDS Athens. AIDS Athens serves to meet the needs of individuals and families affected and infected with HIV/AIDS in Northeast Georgia and works to prevent the spread of the disease through education and outreach. This 3 mile walk, through downtown Athens and UGA, builds awareness of HIV/AIDS, raises money for HIV/AIDS prevention programming, and fights the stigma and discrimination that fuels this epidemic. On this day, participants make a visible contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS in our community. Together, we can stop new infections.

Please watch a client testimonial video here to see how AIDS Athens is helping those affected by this disease.

Individuals and teams are encouraged to raise money until the day of the walk. The top three fundraising teams or individuals will be recognized during the walk on October 11th. We hope that you can help us reach our goal of raising as little as $500 to benefit AIDS Athens and the community they serve. You will find the link to our fundraising page where you can make a personal donation in support of the cause. Every little bit helps secure a future in the awareness around the HIV/AIDS virus within the Northeast Georgia area.

Please encourage people to walk for the cause. There is no doubt AIDS Athens makes an impact and needs the entire communityโ€™s support. We would love for you to join our team: UGA Psychology Department and help us raise money for AIDS Athens.

Feel free to contact Katie Comer at(770) 842-4367 or katie@aidsathens.orgif you have any questions.

Here are the direct links to our fundraising pages, click on any name you choose to be taken to that family member’s fundraising page. Each of us have a $100 goal – who will you help get there first?? We are all about a good competition and it benefits AIDS Athens. Win, Win!๐Ÿ™‚

Chris

Melissa

Hayden

Ty

Lydia

Please join us in helping AIDS Athens. Thank you for your support!๐Ÿ™‚

AIDS Athens is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to enhance and enrich the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their friends, families and partners. The organization also seeks to effect a fundamental change in society’s attitude toward persons infected with HIV/AIDS. The prevention of the disease is the most important way to eliminate the virus all together, which is why prevention serves a primary component throughout our organization. AIDS Athens serves the 10-county Northeast Georgia Health District. This service area includes: Walton, Barrow, Greene, Clarke, Jackson, Morgan, Oconee, Madison, Elbert and Oglethorpe counties. When you support AIDS Athens, you are supporting a large portion of Georgia as well.
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– See more at: http://aidsathenswalk.kintera.org/faf/help/helpAboutOrg.asp?ievent=1111934&lis=1&kntae1111934=9A300B4FFEBA4E06AE2BE659F3B7229F#sthash.GUkPCznJ.dpuf

AIDS Athens is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to enhance and enrich the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their friends, families and partners. The organization also seeks to effect a fundamental change in society’s attitude toward persons infected with HIV/AIDS. The prevention of the disease is the most important way to eliminate the virus all together, which is why prevention serves a primary component throughout our organization. AIDS Athens serves the 10-county Northeast Georgia Health District. This service area includes: Walton, Barrow, Greene, Clarke, Jackson, Morgan, Oconee, Madison, Elbert and Oglethorpe counties. When you support AIDS Athens, you are supporting a large portion of Georgia as well. – See more at: http://aidsathenswalk.kintera.org/faf/help/helpAboutOrg.asp?ievent=1111934&lis=1&kntae1111934=9A300B4FFEBA4E06AE2BE659F3B7229F#sthash.GUkPCznJ.dpuf
AIDS Athens is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to enhance and enrich the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their friends, families and partners. The organization also seeks to effect a fundamental change in society’s attitude toward persons infected with HIV/AIDS. The prevention of the disease is the most important way to eliminate the virus all together, which is why prevention serves a primary component throughout our organization. AIDS Athens serves the 10-county Northeast Georgia Health District. This service area includes: Walton, Barrow, Greene, Clarke, Jackson, Morgan, Oconee, Madison, Elbert and Oglethorpe counties. When you support AIDS Athens, you are supporting a large portion of Georgia as well. – See more at: http://aidsathenswalk.kintera.org/faf/help/helpAboutOrg.asp?ievent=1111934&lis=1&kntae1111934=9A300B4FFEBA4E06AE2BE659F3B7229F#sthash.GUkPCznJ.dpuf

Our Lovely Little Fourth!

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We could so get used to having 4th of July on a Friday! A long weekend with the family, not having to rush back to work and what made it even better was the weather! It was not the usual scorching, Georgia July heat but a nice, cool breeze and temps in the 80’s.ย  It surprised us all! We stayed outside the majority of the weekend and the kiddos played and played and played. It was wonderful and so relaxing!

So how did we celebrate the 4th of July in a good ole’ Georgia small town?

First up the local parade and festivities:

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You never know what you will see in our hometown parade!

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The men were drooling over this truck.

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Hayden is ready to join these guys! We’ll see…:)

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Ty and Lily watching the parade.

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Lydia doing her thing!

Hayden llama

There were llamas

Snow cones

and snowcones

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and ice cream.

Then we headed to a family baby shower, can you believe we took no pics?!? Oops! Just use your imagination – she is having a baby girl, so there were lots of cute dresses and all things pink.๐Ÿ™‚ The boys were hilarious, Ty said, “I have never been to a baby shower before, are we all giving a baby a shower or taking a shower with a baby…..?” Poor kid, but he wonders no more because the family “showered” the expectant mommy with lots and lots of wonderful presents.

After the shower we headed to real water – the swimming pool! And what a great day to go, we practically had the pool all to ourselves. We did get pics there!

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The kids were spoiled – an Olympic size pool all to ourselves, score!

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Lydia loved the diving board and she is just like her mama – has to hold her nose.๐Ÿ™‚

Swimming Hayden

Hayden has the best expressions!

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Smiling Ty!

Swimming

Lydia and Mama D

The day ended with a family dinner – with everyone! It has been years since we all have been together and enjoyed a meal. It only took us 7 tries to find a restaurant open on the 4th but the hunt was worth it. The absolute best way to spend your 4th of July – with family!

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Of course, we got a pic! Excuse the tired faces, we had quite a busy day!๐Ÿ™‚

How did we end this already fun-filled, jam-packed day?

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With fireworks

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and sparklers

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and brisket!

ย What a wonderful day! Next year has quite the challenge to live up to!๐Ÿ™‚
Hope your 4th was just as amazing as ours!

The 4 F’s!

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Family, Food, Fireworks and of course, the Fourth!

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Last year’s 4th of July was another win, even with the rain. (See post about that here) Today our agenda is just as packed but we wouldn’t have it any other way and chance of rain is only 20% so even better. We are looking forward to spending time with our family we don’t see as often as we all would like, eating some yummy BBQ, and celebrating a new baby that will be joining the family this fall and FiReWoRkS!! But first on our agenda the annual 4th of July parade in our little town.
Hope you all have a great day, full of the 4 F’s!
๐Ÿ™‚

Happy 238th Birthday, America!!

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