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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.

An Unforgettable Night!

Oh, Ya'll!!!  Last night was quite a night.  My hands are still shaking a little bit this morning from all of the excitement last night!  And before you roll your eyes and tell me that basketball is just a game....let me tell you that there is so much more to our evening. 

The coach had been telling the girls all last week about this team.  Apparently, they like to press and run fast.  The girls worked hard to get ready for the game.  Finally, it was here!

Our Hannah got to jump for the jump ball opening and then we were off!  They fought hard on the court and our girls did too!  Hannah jumped, guarded, jumped some more, and even shot a few free throws:

And at the end of the half the score was...are you ready for this????.....10-8 us!  Ten to eight!  This was the lowest scoring game our girls have ever played and the toughest too!

After the buzzer rang it was time for round 2.  All of our hearts were beating fast.  The girls played so hard.  Here you can see Hannah shooting for two points against a mighty tall defender...and she made it!  The coach called a timeout with 49 seconds left in the entire ball game.  The score was 19 (us) to 18 (them)....and he was looking at my baby girl in the huddle!

I'm quite sure that I held my breath during this entire play but somehow managed to take pictures!  The girls lined up to throw the ball in....Hannah watched....waited...and made her move.  Her friend Amber threw her the ball, Hannah jumped high in the air.....caught the ball....shot it....and the ball went in the hoop!!!!!!!!!  The score:  21(us) to 18 (them) and there was only 22 seconds left on the clock. 22 LONG seconds!
The other team got the ball...and shot and made their first 3 pointer of the game.  Tie game at 21-21.  And the buzzer rang~signaling the end of the game and on to overtime.

The teams all huddled with their coaches before the first overtime began. The score at the end of the first OT was 26-26.  Oiy!  The crowd was electric, the girls were running on adrenaline, and preparing for the 2nd overtime of the night! 

I didn't take one picture of the second overtime....I guess I was a bit on edge and couldn't be bothered with my camera, but our girls won the game in DOUBE OVERTIME.  The score?  Oh, it was 28-26.  What a game!!!!

But there is much more to our evening..... I'm in my pink fluffy bathrobe this morning posting this recap and I don't want to be late for school.  I'll try to post the rest of the story tomorrow!  Ya'll have a blessed day!!!!

The "R" Family {A Sneak Peak}

Saturday afternoon I had the fun of photographing the "R" children. I had a precious little 3 month old at my house for an hour for his photo shoot and then we had some fun finding a few places around town for some more photo opportunities for all four of them. Here is baby Jet looking right at me with those dreamy eyes:

He was getting very sleepy so we layed him down in this old tub that I have had in my family for generations and he drifted right off to sleep:

But we woke him up to put on his baby bumblebee costume and he was the happiest little bee ever:

We changed his clothes one more time and then had some fun taking pictures of them all together:

This little guy was so funny.  He would only smile when I mentioned Iron Man.  I'm not sure what he was thinking about here, but I like that ornery look in his eyes:

Big brother looks like he stepped off the pages of an American Eagle catalogue...they all did for that matter.  Their mom did such a great job putting all of the outfits together so perfectly. 
And super model pose time!  I love how the light is streaming through this old door. 
They liked the old door too.....peek-a-boo!

With one more outfit change, we headed to the railroad tracks.  I love how blue the sky is in this picture it makes Miss Madison really stand out.
After a few pictures we heard was a train....and it was coming quickly!  I had flashbacks of watching the movie Unstoppable last weekend (great movie-just very intense) so we got of the tracks as quickly as possible.
And watched as it flew past us....thankful that we finished in perfect timing. God is so good!

"R" family, I hope that you enjoyed your sneak peak.  More pictures to follow in your gallery soon!

Our Miracle Celebration

We couldn't let the one year anniversary of Rachel's miracle go by without a celebration.  I got up early that day and wrote my blog post through tear-filled eyes...the Lord and I had a mighty fine time together reflecting on all that He has done and continues to do.  The memories are so seemed just like yesterday.  After my time with the Lord, He and I set out to decorate the house for Christmas.  Even though, I really wanted to decorate on my birthday, the week before, His timing was perfect.  I was thankful to have all of my Christmas decorating to do on the date of Rachel's one year anniversary.  The girls woke up a few hours later and helped me finish the decorating.  We still have our large family tree to decorate and the outside lights too but the rest of it is done. 

We called the family and invited them all over for a good old fashioned shrimp boil.  This is one of Rachel's, and Hannah's, favorites so it seemed fitting.  This was a day to celebrate!

Rachel wore her Cook Children's Hospital jersey (thank you Grandpa!):

I LOVE my girls so much.  I thought this was a special picture.  My girls have grown so very much since their 1 year pictures.  I should have had them switch seats though.  Hannah's 1 year picture is on the left and Rachel's is on the right.  And the dolls in the  middle belonged to my precious Aunt Faye who I miss so very much!  On the day of Rachel's surgery I felt "surrounded by such a crowd of witnesses."  I can't explain it but I felt like they were cheering us on to keep the faith throughout Rachel's pain, surgery, and recovery.  God is amazing!

The house was decorated, cleaned up, we showered, got ready for company, and then began boiling the water for a shrimp boil.  The black pot on the left belonged to my grandmother who use to can in it.  I am so thankful to have it and I think about her every time that I use it. 

I've posted the recipe for my "Low Country Shrimp Boil" but just in case you have forgotten it, here you go.

10-12 whole small red potatoes4-6 small ears of corn (I use the frozen ones)

1 pound of cleaned, de-veined shrimp w/ tails
2 links Cajun smoked sausage cut diagonally
2 T Old Bay Seasoning (I use a lot more!)

Boil 8 quarts of water, with salt and Old Bay Seasoning. After your water is boiling:
Add potatoes and cook for 10-12 min.
Add sausage and corn on the cobb and cook for 7 minutes.
Now add shrimp and boil another 3-5 minutes (just until pink).
Drain and pour contents onto your newspaper lined table(now that is an easy table scape....newspaper that's it!). Sprinkle w/ salt and serve w/ butter, Old Bay Seasoning, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Since we were having 12 over for our shrimp boil, I used 2 different kinds of sausage:  andouli (cajun~spicy) and regular smoked sausage that is a bit more mild.  I had about 12 links cut up in this bowl:

I like to use Green Giant's Nibblers~they are sweeter than others:
And I used 3 sacks of red potatoes:

I found this shrimp at HEB and it was on I bought 12 pounds....yum!

Then it was time to gather in a circle to pray and to thank God for all that He has done for our family...and for Rachel....Mr. Incredible started to cry....and then we all heard "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" playing in the background (we had Christmas music from Sirius playing in the background when our guests arrived but I forgot to turn it off before the prayer~oops).  It lightened the mood a bit as we all chuckled and then it was time to eat!

The shrimp boil was delicious...the company was fantastic....God' marvelous work was definitely celebrated!
We finished the meal with the Cheesecake Factory's Red Velvet Cheesecake and Starbucks coffee.  It was a day to reflect and treasure. Thank you, Father for your glorious gift!  To You be all of the glory!

One Year Ago This Very Day...

...I saw a miracle with my very own eyes. 

I saw God do what only He could do!

I felt like I could have a conversation with Jairus...Jesus healed his daughter too! And we could share with each other how the Faithful One came to our daughters' rescue....only Jesus!

I saw mercy and grace like I have never seen before.

I felt so wrapped up in and covered and in the palm of His very hands that at times I could hardly breathe. 

I felt peace that I have never known.

I felt completely surrounded by prayers of so many faithful friends..from so many of you!

I was surrounded by a bustling hospital who had 110 surgeries to do that day and our daughter, Rachel, was one of them...and even in the midst of one of the most agonizing seven hours of my life, I watched as my precious family reached out to other family members who were waiting for God to do what only He could do for their children too.

I had been believing God for the nearly a year before that He was going to set the stage in Rachel's life to best show His glory...and that day year ago today.

You see, The Strong Tower, the Healer, the Great Physician, the Faithful One, the one who can DO ANYTHING did what only He could do....and we saw it! He stepped in and saved the day!!!!  Rachel's year long suffering ended that day.  In all of His mercy and grace, He healed her!

Oh, my heart knows there is so much more to Rachel's story and one day I will sit at the feet of my precious Saviour and take in every word that He shares.  His presence is so thick in my room this morning that the tears are flowing as I pour out my heart of thanksgiving to Him.

On that year ago today, He gave our daughter back to us.  He taught us many things about Himself to us that year, He held us in His arms of love when we could have given in to despair and asked us to keep believing that nothing was too difficult for Him.  And so many of you helped us do that.  We kept believing even when we didn't understand why she was having to suffer daily....and it was agonizing.

He lovingly reminded us that He often waits to send help until the time of our greatest need so that His deliverance will be clearly seen and so that we will put our complete trust in matter what our circumstances.  And that day of help and deliverance arrived one year ago today.

I don't know all of His reasons for Rachel's suffering that year but I do know He was and is over it all.  He knows what is best for us.  Our surroundings are determined by Him and wherever He places us He does so to strengthen our faith and to draw us closer to Him (Streams in the Desert). He asked us to stand firm and that we would see the deliverance of the Lord (Exodus 14:13). 

And oh did we see the deliverance of the Lord!!!!

We serve a God who delights in the impossible and who asks, "Is anything too difficult for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).  And my heart cries, "No! Nothing is too difficult for you! Praise, You Father, great things YOU have done! May you continue to receive all of the praise and all of the glory because it was only You!"

I don't know what you are facing in your life today, but I do know there is One who can do what seems impossible to man.  If you need a little encouraging today, here are some words I penned last year as I reflected on all that He did for Rachel.  Keep believing...stand firm....He could be setting the stage in your life to show you and the world His great glory.

Reflections on Rachel's Surgery Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

From a heart filled to overflowing with grattitude and thankfulness to God, may you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Hoopin' It Up

I really didn't mean to leave you with "Feeling a Bit Frazzled" for so long (my last post if you missed it). I am doing much better.  Life is still busy...but God is soooooo good!  Photography orders are coming in and UPS and Fed ex are beginning to make daily stops at my house delivering all of the photos, cards, storyboards, and canvas orders. 

It is beginning to feel alot like Christmas~I said feel like, not look like.  I didn't get to decorate on my birthday after all, but I'll find the time soon...I keep telling myself... because I'm feeling the need to deck the halls and walls and trees.  After all, we have the birthday of the King of kings and Lord of lords to celebrate!  I can't wait!

In the middle of it all, my baby girl had a basketball game last night.  Mr. Incredible, Rachel, Poppie, and I made the long trip to watch her play and I'm so glad that we did!  How could I miss it!?  Hello!

Here is Hannah (red #50) getting ready for the jump ball.  I giggled when I saw this picture and the look on the opponents face and a few of the fans (from the other team) in the 4th row in the stands.  It wasn't an even match up. Hannah towered above this girl...and I have to admit....I like it that way!

I have several more pictures that I snapped with my camera between the first picture and this one (I can get a minumum of 7 frames per second), but I'll spare you and just show you the jump. 
Hannah got the ball to her team and off they went.  I think we scored 12 points in the first few minutes.  Hannah did her thing on the court by having 5 slams (I think they are her favorites).  She looks so tall in this picture:
She surprised us by playing power post.  I was wondering why she wasn't on the baseline but instead at the 3 point line.  It was exciting to watch. 
She still managed to post up near the basket  and scored 13 points for her team.
And we think she had 8 assists.  This was a sweet play.  She would be the power post, get the ball, turn, her friend Skylar would set a fierce screen, and then Hannah would throw it to her team mate who was strategically placed on the baseline. It worked every time!
I love this next one too.  I have 8 more pictures of her taking this shot.  She made it, by the way, and I cheered like normal. I just need to remember to take a picture of the ball actually going in the basket.  I get so excited when she makes a basket that I snap a picture of her shooting it and then I cheer.  Note to self:  snap picture then cheer.  Ha! The girls won 58-18.  Woo hoo!!!!
This next picture is for prove to her daddy that she does jump in the games (I love you Mr. Incredible...but see??  Our baby does jump...when she wants too). 
I love basketball season!!!!  Go Hannah!

Feeling More than Frazzled

The above picture sums my day up perfectly!  How about you?  I called Mr. Incredible nearly in tears to tell him that if I let one tear roll down my cheeks I might just not be able to stop the flood gates.  Can anyone relate??? 

I am busy at school, at home, and in my photography business.  They are all wonderful blessings in my life and I am thankful for every one, but right now all of it together is a lot and I'm having one of those days so my sense of perspective is a bit off. Do you know what I mean?

Let me explain, in the middle of my multi-media class, a tacky screen appeared on EVERY computer in the entire high school system stating that we were out of non-geek terms that means brace yourself Bessie your system is about to come crashing down all around you...ready or not!  My students couldn't save their work or even log out of the system.

So, for the next hour I exhibited great grace under pressure.....not!  I probably looked like a crazed woman or better yet a chicken with her head cut off running from classroom to classroom begging teachers to please remove their personal pictures off of the network because we needed to free up major memory.  When there are over 200 students and less than 50 teachers and staff and the teacher memory is 2 times the student memory there is a problem.  And we need to fix it pronto rapido....pretty darn fast please or you are going to make my face stick like this!!!!  And it is NOT pretty right now! 

Thankfully, I had a few moments to compose myself before my next class because Mrs. Cruella Deville is not who I want to present to my student....and finding their teacher curled up in the corner crying in the  fetal position would not be a good thing either. Lunch hour came at the perfect time!

Seriously, I really think I could really come unravelled just about now.  I'm thankful that I don't have to do it all in my own strength.  God is too good to leave me all alone in this mess or to let me feel sorry for myself.  How do people do life without Him?  It would be impossible!!

On a lighter note, Rachel came to my classroom and gave me a ginormous hug at just the right time.  I love her so much!  She kept me company for a while during 7th period class of 18 freshman who I'm convinced often live on one combined brain.  I warned them at the beginning of class that it had been a rough day and that they needed to be on their best behavior (I realize that is asking a lot from them) or they could expect an additional assignment on Friday. 

I think I had "DO NOT MESS WITH ME TODAY!" written on my forehead because, for the first time since the beginning of school, they all stopped what they were doing at the same exact time and they all looked at me.  I saw 36 eyeballs staring right at me and could have heard a pin drop.  I knew they could do it! Ha!

 I've never been so blunt with my students ever....and despite saying patience is the "P" word, I really do try to have patience with my students and I try to view teaching as a ministry but today I was on the brink... of I'm not sure what, and if I was going down, they were going down with me.  They worked quietly for several minutes and then the questions began:

A Student:  "Do we print this in portrait or landscape?"
Me:  "What does it say on the board?"
Another student:  "Do we print this in portrait or landscape?"
Me:  "What does it say on the board??"
This continued for a while...I'm not exaggerating one bit.

A few seconds later, after I passed out the much anticipated Journal Test I had this question. 

A Student:  "I can't answer question # 5 on the journal test because I was absent that day.  Can I borrow your journal?"
Me:  "I'm sorry that you were absent that day, but your absence was a few weeks ago and it is YOUR responsibility to get your journal caught up when you return!"
A Student:  After rolling her eyes and huffing says, "I can't borrow your journal?"
Me:  "No!  This is a journal TEST.  You have to use your own journal.  I'm sorry that you don't have an answer to that question but I cannot make you get your journal caught up when you are absent."
A Student:  More huffing and puffing and rolling of the eyes...and then she asked her neighbor for the answer and then they both received zeroes!  Oiy!

After a few minutes:
Another Student:  "Hey Mrs.__.  Do we print in landscape or portrait?"

Oiy!  I looked at my dear daughter and asked her if she was sure that she wanted to be a teacher some day.

She looked at me and laughed out loud and said, "I think I will look forward to Kindergartners who color outside the lines and pee in their pants!"  And then we both laughed until our sides hurt.  I'm thankful for laughter...especially on a day like today when I look like Cruella Deville or the crazy woman running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Calgon here I come!

All Star Cast~Our Drama Queen!

We always knew she had it in her...a little drama that is.  I have no idea where she gets that (I type that as I flip my hair from side to side) must be from her daddy's side of the family.  Ha! 

Our baby girl has been working hard for weeks learning her lines and perfecting her part. Did she ask any of us for help???? No how, now way!  She wanted it to be a surprise.  And it was. 

They performed "the Magic Well" and Hannah beautiful daughter...played the part of....the Old Hag!  Really, she did!  And they won first place!!!!  And our daughter was named All Star Cast!  Wow!

Here she is, still with some makeup from the play on her face holding her awards:

First Place and All Star Cast.  I am over the top excited for her!
Would you like to see the most beautiful "Old Hag" ever?  I thought you might....thank you for humoring me.  Here are a few pictures that I took at the dress rehearsal Sunday afternoon. 
Love the nose and the wig.  She named her wart "Marty!"  Ha!  I love her sense of humor!

Here she is in action:

Making a concoction to place in the well:

Being the drama it!

And after the play hanging out with her friends:

The First Place Cast and Crew:
And a little photo-op with her proud Momma.  (Thank you Grandpa for taking our picture). 
I think she got the family nose!
Just a little Photoshop humor!
Even looking like an "Old Hag" she still managed to catch another actor's eye at the competition.  Only, Hannah!