Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Photoshop Fun

I've been teaching my students a rockin' cool Photoshop technique.  You can actually create photos out of words; it's called typography and it is the coolest thing since I don't know when.  I am really liking this technique and my students are too.

Here are a few examples using pictures of my girlies.  Rachel's is straight typography:

 And Hannah's involves making a silhouette and blurring the the typography.


I heart Photoshop!!!!

A Little Friday Funny

I heart Baby Blues comics?  Anyone else?  They are so fun and so relatable...that and Zits now that I'm a mom of two teenagers.  So, on this Friday, I thought it would be fun to participate in my friend Kim's Friday Funnies meme.  Here are two of the latest Baby Blues comics that I like:


And then there is this one:


Oh, the difference between men and women! God has a great sense of humor.  Ya'll have a blessed weekend!

My Favorite Soup Recipe!

Have you ever eating at a Cheddar's Restaurant?  Oooh, they have the BEST Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  And since our local Cheddar's closed, I was on a mission to find a similar recipes. I finally found it.  I think I've probably posted this recipe before, but on the off-chance that I haven't, I want you to have this delicious recipe.

It's not the healthiest soup ever, it has yummy ingredients like sour cream, butter, and cheese but it sure makes a girl feel good on a cold day.  On our last snow day, I made this soup for my family and we devoured every bit of it.  There is never any soup left over when I make it..

Hannah learned how to make crescent rolls.  No, they were not homemade.  Who can compete with the Pillsbury Dough Boy?  But, she had fun separating them and rolling them into crescent rolls and they were perfect with the soup!
Here is what you will be making:


Please, make sure you add some delicious rolls too:

Now on to the recipe extraordinaire!  And I have to give credit where credit is due.  It's not my recipe, but I would surely claim it for my own if I could! I found it at Allrecipes.com.

You will need these Ingredients:


12 slices bacon
 2/3 cup margarine
 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
 7 cups milk 4 large
baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (I don't peel mine)
4 green onions, chopped  (optional)
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (just pour in 2 cups if you want...it's okay!)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

And here are the Directions:

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet (I often use my microwave to save time). Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.

In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes (they should already be baked and cubed) and onions (if you want.  I've been known to save this step and just use Onion Powder). Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.

And then serve it up....it is delicious!!! I bet you won't have any leftovers!  Let me know what you think if you try it!

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

One of my co-workers sent this to me and I thought it was so appropriate.  We are a blessed nation...and in turn we need to be a blessing too!

A Few of My Favorite Things

My title makes me think of "The Sound of Music."  Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes; Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes; Silver white winters that melt into spring; These are a few of my favorite things  Are you singing it now too?

Mr. Incredible cannot stand that movie.  Anyway, sometimes it's the little things in our life that are some of our favorite things.  One of my favorite things is my charm bracelet that my man blessed me with years ago.Through the years, he and my girls have added special charms to my bracelet.  I have charms that represent my girls, graduation from college, teaching school, when we built our home, gardening, places we've been blessed to visit, my faith, etc.  but my favorite charm by far is the one that says, "Expect a Miracle!" 

Most of you know that our oldest daughter suffered for an entire year with excruciating headaches until finally she had to undergo brain surgery.  Through it all the Lord kept encouraging our hearts to "Expect a Miracle!"  And we did...and oh how He blessed.  She is perfect and we will never stop praising the One who did it all...nothing is impossible with God! 

Naturally, this charm is one of my favorites:

My Favorite Charm

Do you have a favorite thing?

Booking Photo Shoots for Spring!

Spring is in the air!  Woo-hoo!  I adore spring...and I adore spring photo shoots.  Which makes me want to offer a Spring Break Special!  Are you interested?  Let me know, I only have a few spots open!

If you are a graduating senior this year....the month of March is your last chance to do a Kiki's Corner Senior photo shoot that is uniquely you!  Please, don't wait!  Email me today!

Pioneer Woman Picked My Photo!!!!!!!

Ya'll, I am sooooooooooooooo excited!  I can hardly stand it!  I adore Pioneer Woman.  I visit her blog daily.  I have her cookbook and one day I would love to meet her in person. 

I often enter her photography assignment competitions for fun.  This week's competition is "Love."  So, I thought about a precious little girl at our church and the photo I took of her this summer.  And then I threw caution to the wind and decided to enter this photo:

Precious

And.........she chose my photo to be in Group 5. Little ol' me!  
 It's on PW's blog today.  Really!  Go check it out. 
I can hardly type, I am so excited!!!! 

Here is the link:
 http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2011/02/your-love-photos-group-5-2/

Delight! Delight!

P.S.  This news could not have come at a better time!  Our CPA just told us that we will owe major money for our taxes this year.  We've never had to pay this kind of money before.  Yuck! So, my thoughts this morning revolved around whether I should give up teaching or photography...to avoid having to pay additional taxes next year.  I love doing both so much!  That would be an awful decision to make. 

I gave it to the Lord this morning in my prayer time and tried my best to leave it with Him (the Faithful One) and find joy in my day.  An hour later, a sweet friend sent me an email telling me about my photo being chosen.  God's timing is ALWAYS perfect!  He cares about every detail in our lives and He often goes to great lengths to show His love to us and to encourage His children. There is no god like our God! Instead of worrying, I'll be delighting in His love...how about you?



Hello Spring?!


Two weeks ago, these were our temperatures:



And this week?  Wow!  What a difference!


Only in Texas! 

Hello Spring?  Are you here to stay?  Your golden sunlight makes me long for homemade tomatoes and getting my hands dirty in the soil.  Is it too much too hope that the Groundhog could be right and Spring has sprung?  

Hannah's Birthday Bash...Let the Games Begin!

Yesterday, I posted pictures from Hannah's birthday bash but I left off details about the game we played.  Have you seen the show, "Silent Library?"  Yes, I know it's on that channel....really, our girls don't watch that channel unless this show is on.  All of their friends have been talking about it so we decided to check it out.  It is so stinkin' funny.  Funniest Home Videos has nothing on this show...and I like the title of the show far more than that other Jack show on this same channel.

Hannah hosted a fun scavenger hunt party last year.  Here is the link in case you missed it.  Some of her friends were hoping we would do another scavenger hunt, and to be honest I nearly hosted a mall scavenger hunt, but then I found my mind and realized this might be a disaster...for the shoppers. Ha.  So, we settled on our take of the show Silent Library.

If you haven't seen the show, it involves a group of people who draw cards.  The person who turns over the skull card has to do a crazy stunt. Now the stunts on this show involve outrageous stunts that we would never think about doing because hello! we would have to face these parents and we want their children to be allowed at our house again one day.

So, we seriously modified some of the stunts. To get ready for the party, Hannah and I headed to our local Dollar Tree where everything is a dollar.  Hannah and I had fun looking through the store and coming up with crazy games to play.  We must have been a sight to the other shoppers when we found a few items that we were really hoping to find. 

My little mastermind had a blast picking out props and clever titles for the games.  And thankfully, all of her friends enjoyed the game although a few were a little nervous about what game they might have to play. Naturally, if they didn't want to participate they didn't have to play...but they all did!

We divided the group of 20 (Rachel was our helper) into two teams.  And we didn't play with cards that had skull and cross bones, we used regular playing cards.  The person from each team that drew the Joker card had to do the stunt for their team. If they finished the stunt before the other team did, then their team earned a point.  The team with the most points won!  But, there is always a catch, right?  Silent Library is held in a library...a place where you have to be quiet.  That's a tough feat when you are doing outrageously funny stunts.  And it's tough with a room of 21 teenagers too!

Here are a few of the games we tortured Hannah's friends with played:


Got Milk?  Okay, it wasn't really milk.  It was a concoction of Milk, Dr. Pepper and a shot of Buffalo Sauce in a baby bottle:

 This game was called Cannibal Crackers.  They were dog treats in the shape of people...people treats.  This guy ate his the fastest while downing a can of Sprite.  (Don't worry!  I checked the ingredients...it was all edible).

 This game was called, "Snap, Crackle, POP!"  They had to carefully place a tiny Pop Rock in their nose and wait for it to pop.  Hannah got to do this one:
 This next game was called, "I'll Shoot Your Eye Out!"  We had the contestants put on silly glasses and noses while a team mate shot rubber washers out of a toy.  It was funny!

 Okay, this game I wasn't so sure about but my little mastermind talked me into it.  We called this game, "Bite Your Tongue."  We found disgusting treats made out of dried mango and chili.  The contestants had to eat one and finish it before the other team.  Kaitlyn wasn't so sure. 

 And neither was Caleb.  There were extras in the package (I didn't want them) so we asked if anyone else wanted to try it.  One of Hannah's macho guy friends decided to give it a go...and he ended up in the guest bathroom.  Oiy!  

 This game was called, "Got Spam?"  Icky!  Just the sight of my man pulling the spam out of the package made me queasy.  These two guys were game for the challenge.  The one on the right dry heaved the entire time but he finished it and he won for his team!

 A milder game involved having contestants chew an entire package of that rolled up kind of bubble gum.  They had to chew it until they could blow a bubble. 
 And this was the much anticipated game!  Anything with the words, "Stink," and "Bag," are going to be big hits, don't you think?  This game Hannah named, "Eat it!"  And we definitely took this game outside because who wants this smell in your house...it already smelled like 21 teenagers!  Ha!

There were three packages inside.  Without opening the package, the contestants had to crack open the liquid packet inside and then quickly throw it on the ground.  The instructions explained that the package would swell up until it popped...and then the contestant had to get close to the ground and open their mouths to "eat" the stinky air.  No, those are not the instructions on the back of the package....it was all Hannah. Now, do you get the mastermind nickname? 


 Her brave friend Sydney, who is a cowboy, didn't think twice about this game...he was all in! He gulped in the stinky air and proudly expressed it was, "The worst thing he ever smelled in his life!"  And then three other guys begged to try the game too.  And course, we obliged...we are great hosts like that!

 There was another mild game that involved eating Tapioca pudding out of a snack pack without a spoon.  Easy peasy:


And the last game was called "Sausage Toss!"  The two contestants donned black trash bags as their teammates hurled 3 vienna sausages at them.  And yes, we did this outside too.  If you look closely, you can see 2 tiny Vienna sausages flying through the air.  It was all fun and games until one of them tracked squished vienna sausages into my livingroom.  Yuck!  I called in the dogs later that night...they were glad we had a Silent Library party.


All of Hannah's friends were great sports...and they all still love Hannah.  A lot of them posted on Facebook that this was, "The best party ever!" Yes!  I'm thankful we have a year to plan the next party. 

Hannah's Birthday Bash

Our Hannah turned 14 last week....14!  Please, time could you stop for a while!  The time is flying much too quickly.  We planned a fun birthday party for Hannah and 21 of her closest friends.  Yes, we had 21 teenagers in the house.  The good news?  Our house survived!  Ha!  And we did too. 

Here are a few, okay more than a few, pictures from Saturday night's Birthday Bash. 

We had the Xbox Kinect going while Hannah's friends arrived.  It was fun to watch them compete:
Finally, they all arrived and the pizza was ready.  Time to eat.  We served pizza (I ordered 9 large pizzas thinking the boys would eat way more than they did.  We have been eating leftover pizza for two days...please no more pizza!) and Hannah's favorite drink~Dr. Pepper.  Dr. Dr give me the news....sorry let me get back on track!
And then the sugar from the Dr. Pepper and M&M's kicked in apparently:
I'm thankful we have cathedral ceilings!  We've never had a pyramid in our family room until now:
Not wanting to be outdone by the boys, the cheeleaders decided to show their stuff.  Their pyramid was way taller...and way scarier. Be c-a-r-e-f-u-l!  Yes, she did a stunt and praise the Lord, they caught her.  I didn't capture that in pictures, because I was holding my breath and praying all would be fine.  And then I may have just looked in my cabinet for some valium (I'm kidding, I don't have any. Do you?). 
Hannah stole some stinkin' boy's hat for a while and he seemed to enjoy letting her wear it.  Really?  At this sight, I found Mr. Incredible curled up in the fetal position in the corner practising breathing in and out ...is our baby really at this age?  Please!  Say it isn't so!
We played an outrageously funny game...but that's a post in it self.  Here is the winning team complete with dinasaur masks.  Our baby is old enough to flirt with stinkin' boys but still wants cute dinasaur masks for prizes.  Oh, to be a teenager again. 



 




And here are the losers...they clearly are not fine with being the runners up.  Is he sticking his tongue out at me?  Where is his mother! 






And here is the entire motley-crew. (The photographer in me is really bugged by the horrendous light being emitted from the ginormous flat screen tv on to their faces!)


By the look on their faces, I think Hannah's Birthday Bash 2011 was a huge hit!

Thankfully, we have an entire year to recoup!




Zane~Senior 2011 {A Sneak Peak}

I have to admit surviving my first photography busy season during the months of November and December left me ready for a little break;  January provided just that.  It was a welcome rest but I was quickly growing anxious to start photographing again.  Zane's momma and I spoke in the fall about his senior portraits and this past Saturday was the much anticipated day.

We could not have been blessed with a more perfect afternoon.  The temperature was a perfect 67 degrees and the sunlight was absolutely glorious!  What a joy to get to photograph such an amazing young man.  He plays soccer for his school and one day hopes to be a pilot...so cool!

Although his team had just lost their soccer game only hours before our photo shoot, he was a great sport and still flashed his amazing smile...and those eyes...don't get me started.  He told me that he doesn't have a date to prom, but after these photos, I think he is going to have several offers to choose from.

Zane, thank you for spending part of your afternoon with me.  I'm praying big blessings over your life as you follow the path your Heavenly Father has prepared for you.  Enjoy your sneak peak!











Homemade Marshmallows for our Snow Day!

Yes!  Even our part of Texas got to participate in the great Snow-Fest 2011.  Delight!  We were blessed with a snow day last Tuesday. 
With my snow pajamas on, I decided to make homemade marshmallows Monday night....in hopes of having a snow day on Tuesday.  And it totally happened!  Woo hoo!  The marshmallows were a sticky mess in my mixer but oh so worth the effort.  The recipe is from Alton Brown. Click here for the link.

Here is a glimpse of the homemade marshmallow-y goodness. 

While I cut them into squares, the girls made Paula Dean's homemade hot chocolate.  Oh my merciful heaven, it is a wonderful recipe.  A warm cup of chocolate delight.  Here is Paula's fabulous recipe. 

And to top off the hot chocolate, I added one of my marshmallows.  And oh, ya'll!  It was the best hot chocolate ever!!!  Totally worth the hot mess I made in my kitchen the night before!
What goes best with hot chocolate and a snow day? Pancakes with chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Yes, it was sugar overload...but so worth it!  While my girls put the finishing touches on the pancakes,
I made bacon (you need protein to counter balance the sugar-right?) and then ventured outside on my front porch to take a few pictures of our snow.  Don't laugh!  I have snow-envy.  You northerners get your snow amounts by the foot, we are blessed to get it by the inch....or half inch.  But, it is still snow!  And our dry land seemed to soak in every bit of the moisture.  Speaking of northerners, my Uncle is and Okie (from Oklahoma) and he sent me an email asking me to please stop wearing my snowflake pajamas because they are expecting more snow~too funny!


After watching several chick-flicks with my girls....movies like the Proposal (love this movie!)....relax! don't do it.....sorry got side-tracked for a second.  We made homemade potato soup for dinner and then had a burning desire for smores!

Mr. Incredible is not a huge fan of smores...until now! I'm telling you, the homemade marshmallows are the bomb!

Hannah wore this hat all day long. I thought she was pretty cute making smores:


Look at all of the deliciousness.  Unlike store bought marshmallows, homemade marshmallows take half the time to roast and the sugar caramelizes perfectly.  They are crispy on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside. 

Just look at this beauty:




We had fun taking a smore kit over to my parents house too.  They made their smores in the microwave and said they were just as good.  There is just something about roasting marshmallows in the fire.  It's probably the fun in trying to find the perfect balance between roasted and on fire.   What are you waiting for?  Go and make some and then let me know what you think about the recipe!