Posts filed under ‘sisters’

baby pictures

i am unofficially my sister desiree’s official photographer.  while i have absolutely no intention of going professional with my hobby,  i have enjoyed being the photographer for her wedding:

maternity/family shots (blogged about here):

and the most recently, here new son’s baby photos:

i took the shots in my parents sunroom, at the end of a crazy day just as the natural light was about to fade.  desiree brought a blanket and stuffed animal props, but we were über short on time and sunlight, so we didn’t go too crazy with the set-up.   i used the prime 50 lens exclusively and did minimal post-editing in picnik.   when i’m framing a shot of my kids or like the above wedding photo, i like to include beautiful surroundings to compliment the subject of the photo and to help tell the story.  taking a picture of a baby sends me in the opposite direction, because the child is so beautiful on his/her own that absolutely nothing else is required.

what i love most about being my sister’s official unofficial photographer is seeing pictures like her maternity belly shot juxtaposed with the baby that was once hidden from my camera.  there’s an inexplicable thrill that i can’t seem to put into words to think that when i was taking pictures of her belly just a few months ago, i was taking pictures of my precious new nephew.   and that when i was taking her wedding photos, i was documenting the beginnings of a new family, a new generation.

i am a story-teller.  i write when i’m overwhelmed and need to sort it out,  i make up stories to tell my children and have goals of writing them down one day along with the true and crazy story of growing up with 6 siblings.  when my appendix was exploding and i was being prepped for surgery (forever ago) i remember constantly murmuring “this is going to make a great story” over and over.  and i take pictures to tell stories.  these pictures of my sister and her family are bookmarks in the chapters of her life, and THAT, is exactly the appeal of photography for me.

May 17, 2011 at 21:11 4 comments

last week in pictures

the theme of last week was totally “family & friends”.  i’m already super late with this post, so i’m just going to get straight to it:

wednesday was a super-pivotal day for team gilmore.  derek’s older brother kevin** (and sometimes his friend) have been staying with us for the last 2 years while he’s been at college.  last wednesday we celebrated not only the end of his college career, but also the milestone birthday of derek’s youngest brother, daniel.  elliot has 8 uncles, and his favourite by far is “uncle dan”.  my in-laws brought cake & pizza and we had a grand celebration while simultaneously emptying the top floor of our house.

immediately after the first party, we headed out to the francois’ house to celebrate dwayne’s birthday.  two parties in one day- totally my kind of week!   we had a lot of fun with friends, chicken wings and more yummy cake.  my kids were total champions and accommodated the late night really well by crashing at the francois house.  there was some initial resistance (party downstairs vs sleep) but i have to give my kids props because without their cooperation, we wouldn’t have been able to stay up way too late, eat too much food and discover fat booth (which became the app of the week and the source of many many laughs).  also going to give homeschooling props because without the great sleep-in the next day, the rest of the week would have been impossible.

and now props to God, because wow– i prayed that my homeschooled kids would have more time to play with their friends (y’know… social skills and comradery and all…) and last week was FULL!   tuesday through sunday- every day was full of play time and with minimal initiation on my part.   in the above pictures my kids are playing at the heemskerk house, which is one of their favourite places to be.  there’s anne colouring with her princess buddy alora, and then two of the kids in the awesome tree fort, and then the last one is of the heemskerk ladies attacking elliot on the trampoline.   the funniest thing was elliot’s casual conversation with rachel later on when they were having a snack together:  “so, rachel.  how many kids should we have?  we can have 2, 4, 10, or even 100!”  elliot been pretty convinced for the last 2 years that rachel will be his wife someday, even though we keep telling him that he’s too young to make those decisions.  there’s just no arguing with a gilmore boy, and to be honest i wouldn’t mind the union one bit.  y’know, in 20 or so years.

not only did we celebrate with the gilmores last week, but the kids and i were also able to head down to niagara on easter sunday and surprise my parents when we showed up at their church for sunday school.   that was a really long day for myself and the kids- we woke up at 5:30!  pretty crazy, but the 3 hours sleep deficit was worth it because we got to say goodbye to derek (he had to work) before leaving and we arrived in niagara with plenty of time to spare. the above picture shows most of those in attendance while we attempted to have a proper sit-down dinner all at one table.  there are about 5 people not in the shot, and of course melissa was out of province so she couldn’t make it either, but this is a pretty accurate glimpse of my chaotic lebrun family!   all of the cousins were under one roof though, and i love seeing them all play with each other now that they’re getting older.

so that’s my review of last week.  i know i summarized quite liberally, but i’ve been really busy cleaning the top floor, moving the rooms that had been stored in the basement back up to their normal rooms,  moving the kids into their own rooms from the shared space they had while we were a bigger family, and of course fitting in the usual stuff like baking/cooking/homeschooling/running errands/yard work/gym and bla bla bla.  there is never a shortage of excuses for being late!

**edit: kevin is derek’s younger brother, but daniel’s older.  whupps.

April 28, 2011 at 11:19 1 comment

niagara visit #898304958439

this past weekend i had my second opportunity to take photos of my youngest sister and her little family while i was in niagara for one of our sorta-monthly sister knitting parties.  the first time was a couple summers ago on her wedding day, and this time it was to celebrate her family while they wait for baby #2 to come along.  basically i just followed them around and told them where to stand when a neat spot came along.  they took me to the short hills in font hill (a lot of hills) and once again i realize that i lived in niagara most of my life and didn’t know about any of the great stuff there!  there’s so much more than just clifton hill and the gorge!    here are some of the edits:

November 21, 2010 at 23:34 1 comment

sign of the times

when my sisters and i were younger we had a variety of ways of preventing boredom in church.  there was passing notes in our secret language of poppyup, tic-tac-toe (or gigantic boards of S.O.S), playing with our hair, and the colouring thing that i introduced to elliot the other night to help him with his boredom:

alienfirefoot the first person draws the head, while the other isn’t looking.  elliot had a hard time with this part because he has my sense of curiosity.  however he also has derek sense of justice so when i used the “cheating” word to describe his actions, he quickly sat back in his chair and waited patiently for me to finish.  once i was done the head, i taped a piece of paper over it and passed it to elliot to draw the body.  when we were kids we’d just fold over the top of the paper to hide the previous drawings, but elliot requires crease-less paper (derek’s sense of perfection… (aside: this is how derek ended up with moi)) so we did the taping thing.

i’m sure you’ve all played this game because i know it wasn’t original when my sisters and i drew our various humanoid representations.  i’d nearly forgotten about it though and i’m really glad that it’s been resurrected in my home.  elliot wants to play again tonight, and this time he gets to start.  i’m predicting a mario head and can’t wait to pair it with a fat belly and a pair of butterfly wings.  so glad that my son is old enough to play this game with me!

July 25, 2010 at 17:56 2 comments

i forgot my camera

this past weekend the kids and i tagged along on derek’s grand biking adventure to london.  my sister lives in strathroy, so we stayed there and played.  i was kicking myself for not bringing my T1i, but derek’s van got broken into and cleaned out during his friday night ride, and i’m 98% positive that i would have left my camera in there to be stolen had i remembered to bring it. (and since our insurance company isn’t replacing anything for us, i’m doubly-grateful that it didn’t get stolen!)
hooray for the adventure-cam though!  i really like always having a camera on my person, even though the white balance on my little olympus is garbage.  photographs of the memory are still appreciated, even if they’re not the best quality.
so without further bladdy-blah, here’s my weekend:

1. arrive in strathroy in time for some delicious beef stew and an evening swim.  bernadette’s dog was hilarious in the pool, and watching it scramble over the edge was one of the most hysterical sights i’ve ever seen.  after the midgets were in bed, bernadette and i biked all over her little town with a small break at the ice cream stand halfway through.

sometimes it falls into the pool, and sometimes onto the ground.

2. wake up saturday morning and take it extremely easy until around 10:30 when we left to go to clovermead apiaries.  we spent our time there learning about bees, playing in the sandpit and taking pictures in the barn.  bernadette brought her camera, and i thought that i’d transferred the pictures over to my computer, but it seems that i was mistaken and all of the good pictures are in her possession.  the kids went absolutely crazy over feeding the goats from their hands, and over a little barn kitten that attached itself to anne.  the rest of the day involved more fun stuff and the watching of shutter island (and if you know me, you know i can’t handle suspense!) and just chilling out with family.

reading about how many wings are on a bee

racing on the go karts

3. sunday we went to berni & greg’s church in the morning, and then derek and i spent some kidless time looking for some replacements for the things that were stolen from the van.   the reason for the “date” wasn’t so great, but i really enjoyed being able to hold hands and talk together.  the kids and the sisters spent the afternoon in the pool while derek educated greg about the world cup while watching the finale.  elliot did AMAZING in the pool!  he’s always been a bit timid with water, but because the dog was swimming,  elliot tried to doggy paddle and discovered that he could actually trust his water wings.  long after anne and berni had abandoned the pool in favour of gardening, elliot was still going strong and adamant that we never get out of the water.   of course eventually we had to get out, dry off and begin the unpleasantly necessary task of packing up our stuff.  it didn’t take long before the robinson house was de-gilmored and our bellies were full and on the road again.

found a wheat field beside berni's church

elliot! take a picture of us!


they gave up swimming in favour or rescuing flowers from the evil weeds.

elliot and buttons practicing their "doggy paddles" together

the kids were so disappointed that they had to leave “aunt desiree’s house” and even more upset about leaving the cat and dog behind.  elliot requested a dog for his birthday, and when i turned him down he tried to negotiate one for christmas.  um, no.

the kids are already talking about the next time :)

July 13, 2010 at 09:48 Leave a comment

summer kick-off

last weekend team gilmore headed down to niagara for my daddy’s annual barbecue.  it happens every year, and every year i blog about it in an attempt to make all of you realize what an awesome family i come from.

every year is a little different, mostly because our [already huge] family is growing and i have 10 or 11 nieces and nephews now (can never keep it straight) plus all of the second-cousins that are being born to my first cousins.  it takes a bit of skill to remember the names of us all, especially since the majority are fair-skinned and blonde-headed.
another thing that makes it a bit different, is that my own little midgets are getting progressively older and more independent.  i actually had time to sit and visit with my sisters and cousins  (and practice some name-remembering skills) without running after my kids every three seconds.  in fact, at the end of the day i realized that i’d hardly seen my kids at the party, and that’s definitely a sign of them getting older.

it was a whirlwind of a weekend, and i hardly have words to explain where the time went.  i just know that the time flew by, and at the end of the weekend i was satisfied with how it was spent.

here’s a picture of my nephew and second-cousin sharing a special moment during dinner.  i think it adequately captures the awesomeness of my big family :)

July 3, 2010 at 12:39 Leave a comment

last weekend

last weekend pretty much KILLED me!  it was a wonderful way to die though, so i thought i’d write from the after-life to tell you all about it.  it all started with a knitting party…

it ALWAYS starts with a knitting party!  i know that the world in general doesn’t get the “knitting party” thing, and can’t imagine it being fun or even why those words are juxtaposed.  but we do these knitting parties so that my sisters, my mom and i can all stay in touch with each other, and trust me– this is a group worth staying in touch with!  the food theme this month was “mexican” and hosted at pauline’s house (she recently came back from a trip to mexico).   after all of the yummy food,  the lebrun sisterhood (and mom, who i automatically include in that group) banned together to surprise pauline with a new sewing machine so that she could release her inner Martha.  it was a “just because” gift, and she had an awesome reaction.  after all of the food, the suprises and of course, knitting, i pulled out snorta.  i got snorta for mother’s day, and i was SO looking forward to playing it with becky, noah and all my sisters!  we had a great time yelling animal noises at each other and getting rowdy late into the evening.

the next morning i met up with my friend sherri at a little greasy spoon on the canal in st. catharines.  we ordered breakfast, were entertained by my kids chatter and caught up on the what’s-what of our lives since the last time we’d seen each other.  sherri and i have been friends since grade 7!  i don’t know what grade i’d be in now if we were still counting, but it amounts to ALOT of years as friends!    after breakfast (and the unfathomable chaos of sorting out my bill) we went for a walk on the canal path where my kids got to watch a boat go under a bascule bridge.  (sherri, i totally looked that up.  and i didn’t know what it was called before!).   eventually we headed back to our cars and our respective homes.  it was a good visit, and great to get some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful day.
we went back to becky and noah’s place and spent (no joke) the rest of the day on ATVs.   my parents used to farm about an acre of their land (which they referred to as “the garden”… an acre of garden!) and last weekend that area was a veritable swamp!  it was awesome!  also the paths through the woods and brush made it so adventurous.    i took a break after a few hours to bat a ball with greg (berni’s husband) and when i wasn’t batting, i was chasing the balls that my other family members hit (some weren’t such a huge run… ahem… berni…. cough, cough..).  i felt so rebellious every time that i took off after a ball, knowing that i shouldn’t be running but remembering my love for the sport every time i took off.  my knees are still feeling the results of that one though, despite my return to physio stretches.  boo-urns.  and then back on the ATV!  my mom ordered pizza and we all ate outside around the huge fire that my daddy built.  sounds like a really great day, right?   it totally was!
and then after i got my kids showered and into bed that night (where they fell asleep INSTANTLY) and i spent 20 minutes brushing mud globs out of my hair, my mom and i headed over to desiree’s for more knitting and a movie.  and candy.  yay!

there's mud on her teeth!gotta refuel!

when sunday morning dawned, i was so exhausted!  and i hurt.  like, all over.  every muscle group was sore! my daddy made me breakfast (his sunday morning breakfasts are legendary) and then i packed up the car and headed to my parents church, making it just in time to get to my dad’s sunday school class.  after church i said goodbye to the family, and then the kids and i headed home.  we stopped on the way for a lunch picnic in the car, and not long after that the midgets were asleep.  absolutely no surprise there!  my kids had so much fresh air and exercise that weekend, and they loved every moment of it.  when we got home, i succumbed to my exhaustion.  i didn’t care where i was or who was there or if my sleep for the night would be wrecked– i was passing out and nobody could stop me.   it was a wonderfully deep sleep and try as i might, i couldn’t come out of it.    and that is why i say, niagara killed me.

May 22, 2010 at 11:07 2 comments


  1. yesterday anne started calling elliot, “elliot”.  formerly she referred to him as “eh-yutt”.
  2. i find this picture extremely hilarious:
    fun with photo booth
  3. i’m going to see iron man 2 tonight.

May 12, 2010 at 13:53 2 comments

my life in pics