Monday, January 2, 2012

Mullen family photos and service projects

My brain is tired, I had a cute little man crawl in bed with us this morning at 5am. He then proceeded to tell me all about the two books he had brought with him, Cars and Thomas the Train. So if you find any little hiccups in the post you know why ;) 

Karisa and Pat are both very intelligent motivated people and I am excited about their service projects. I LOVE music too and admire anyone who can sing or play an instrument (Karisa has a beautiful voice by the way). Pat is a science guy and I love that he found a service project that makes use of his skills. 

Karisa in her own words telling about her service project...

"Sometimes it gets depressing when you are so busy raising a family and fulfilling your many responsibilities and you start to not even know who you are anymore. I wanted my kids to see me having a hobby that I love, and friends. I hoped this would make me come home a better mother and be a good example for them in their own lives. I thought, what are my hobbies? Interests? Well music, of course! I have always loved music, and wished I could sing like I used to with my friends.  Our community could really use a music group.  We could perform all sorts of music! I've just got to find people who are interested in joining... (harder than it sounds).

A day or two after that, I heard from DeAnn about her exchange of service (pictures) for service, and although I didn't start this specifically for her, I thought it fit perfectly, and she kindly let me use it for credit for pictures. So I got started contacting families in my home-school group, church people in several congregations in the community, and I found a great accordion player from an accordion club in Albuquerque! It has turned out to take 10 times the effort to gather everyone, and time than I thought it would, so I can't say that it fell together, but I actually got people to come, so that was a start. Right away they told me I needed to be a stronger leader, and I forced myself to do the best I could at that. I have NEVER lead a choir (besides primary), nor have I ever been in a school music group of any kind, so I was intimidated a bit by others in the group who are obviously more experienced than I, but hey, I started this thing, and they had a point... I needed to lead it!

We decided to choose some Christmas music (enough for a two hour program), and get our feet wet by caroling during December. We sincerely hope to bring joy to people and lift their spirits with this gift of music. We have met 5 times to practice our songs in October and November, and I scheduled three performances in December. Our first performance went great, thanks to the talented singers and instrument people in the group. It was a police charity event at the community center where many struggling families were given a fun night, a tree, gifts, and food from the police. We provided the awesome music! Everyone was really thankful that we came and I'm sure the other performances will go great.

As to whether or not I'd do this again... it is so much time and money, copying music for everyone, sending our emails, calling everyone weekly, arranging performances, etc, it's too much for one person, but I hope it doesn't die. Hopefully others in the group would help now that they've got the idea. Everyone in the group has been very supportive and it's been fun.  I've gotten to know people in the community who I would not have known otherwise, and I hope we continue to play together, and that we can draw in more people from different faiths and backgrounds, and that the group can just keep growing and improving. I figure this year is just the stress of starting something new. It takes a while to get it rolling. In 2012, I hope to do the Edgewood parade in August, and then Christmas stuff again, and then just add more as we're able in the following years. I personally have always wanted to be in a Mariachi/Latin band, or a kids music band like the Wiggles, or Rock, Country, Celtic, Polka... it never ends!  I love it all!"

Photos from her service project...

                                           At the Edgewood police station...

                                    At one of the Hospitals in Albuquerque...

Caroling at Wal-Mart...                

Pat in his own words talking about his service project...

For my service I worked with the students at Amy Biel High School in Albuquerque to refine their science/engineering projects.  They had already sat down with their teachers and gotten a general idea of what they were doing, my job was to sit with them and plan specifics for hypothesis, how they would measure their results and to read through the scientific literature with them and help them choose five papers they could use in their write up when they were done.  I chose this project because I love science but I don't spend much time around teenage kids. I thought it would be a good chance to interact on a positive level with high schoolers while hopefully conveying the excitement that science can have.

I went to the school twice for three hours each.  In those three hours I would assist in two separate classes, and in each class I would be assigned to help a group of 4-5 students.  The projects ranged from shooting potato guns to find the best angle for distance to watching the behavior of fish in different lighting conditions.  The student that I felt benefited the most from my help was one girl that wanted go and build bridges in undeveloped countries for the safety and convenience of people nearby.  I helped her settle on a nice engineering project where she could research the type of terrain in a likely country, choose a bridge type, calculate the weight it would need to support and then to build different models out of balsa wood and show that they could hold the required weight.   It worked out well, and I was glad to be able to help.
**He didn't have any pictures from his because it would take forever to get the releases from the parents to have their picture taken**

I am excited to introduce the Mullen family to you all this fine morning and show you a few of their photos. They are adorable! Really the cutest little boys imaginable. I had fun as I walked behind the family as we moved from spot to spot trying to catch some candid shots (not an easy feat in Old Town Albuquerque with sooo much packed in such a small place.) They weren't hyper like my brothers were, but they are still very much on the move and sweeties ta boot! I can't forget sweet little daddy's girl Leia, lucky girl will have three older brothers. (I always wanted older brothers...I think.) Mom and Dad are awesome as well, karisa whom I don't know super well but have enjoyed talking with when we get a chance to. Determined and sweet is how I would describe her. Pat was pretty chill, he was hungary the whole shoot and I didn't hear one complaint, which is better then I would have done. Happy go lucky Pat. 

Hope you enjoyed the post! My intent is always to inspire us all to get out there, and use our talents to make some positive changes in the World we all call home.

              Happy New Year!!! Muah!!!

Here's hoping we all make this a great year, one filled with positive changes and even some that scare us a little at getting out into our communities and getting involved.


Cookie party and a little service too
        You might also like:
           Cami's service project and portraits

Gratitude notebook tutorial



  1. The Mullens are such a wonderful family, I am not surprised they chose to do 2 service projects! Great pictures, Old Town looks fantastic as their back drop.

  2. Thanks Sarah :) They are pretty awesome.

  3. Great pics! They are awesome and so are you!

  4. Those turned out adorable! Is that in Old Town??? And what a cool service project...It's always cool when you can use your talents to uplift others...just like you, Miss D!!! (c:

  5. Um, yes duh, you said right there that it's in Old Town...great spot!

  6. Thanks Aubrey! I would love to take portraits in Old Town. They did a good job for sure.


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