These pictures make me so happy. It delights my heart to see my children developing friendships and I feel very blessed by the circle of friends, both old and new, that surrounds our family.

These girls get wildly excited to play together. Ruby and Abby are good buds who seem to be cut out of the same cloth. Knock at the door. "Abby!!!!" "Ruby!!!!!" Every time they get to play at each other's houses, they pretty quickly peel down to their undies and then dive into the dress up box. Costume after costume goes on and then the parades and the "shows" begin. I popped into Ruby's room to check on them, and the light was perfect as they were crooning away to the Veggie Tales Christmas album so I ran for my camera.

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Sugar.

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Here's a little note about how I photograph children. These are not "look here and say cheese" smiles. Has anyone ever photographed an authentic smile from that phrase? I really doubt it. I get such a better result when I ask questions that lead to them laughing as they tell me the answers, or when I tease them, or when I have mom or dad make silly noises. For little guys sometimes I bring out my little puppet. And I really love a not smiling face too. Photographing children is a lot of work but it is so fascinating and engaging for me.

Recently, I unearthed my old sticker book from grade two. I paged through all my treasures which I remember painstakingly organizing....the smurf stickers, Holly Hobby, scratch and sniff goodies (the skunk was scratched many, many times). And then when I got to the end of this album, I found this little drawing, with the initials of my best little bud, Karen. It made me happy. I remember loving her with all my heart, and hers was a rich friendship that helped secure, grow and nourish me. I am so pleased to see my children learn how to be friends too.

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