Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

presents are wrapped
tucked under the tree
family asleep
now where can he be?
Santa slipped in
without even a trace
true Christmas story
of the ultimate gift
shared and recieved

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

naughty or nice


today is the big day!!
We're going to see the Big Man tonight...
I hear he is at the mall waiting to see all of his faithful followers
the believers
I believe
how could anyone not??
We still have yet to put up our tree...
I made space for it today.
Our deal with Santa is if we get the tree up with lights he will decorate it for us.
We leave all the trimmings out for him along with fresh cookies from the oven and some homemade candies.
He has never let us down.
He did the same for me when I was a little girl... what a great guy!!
So today I will tackle making homemade butterfingers!!!
This is proof he came last year... I set the timer on my camera and got a pic of him nibbling some cookies the kids left out...

Monday, December 08, 2008


the mom song

where have I been?
laundry
supervising school projects
making cookies
changing diapers
enjoying a few migrains...not...
helping the kids find Christmas joy :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

sandbox time


I came outside to get some fresh air for all of us.... hoping naptime would go a little smoother!!

I also brought my camera (go figure) to practice using "fill flash"

I hope to get an external flash to use in low lit indoor sessions in the future... so I can learn to bounce the light when I can't use manual settings without so much noise.

Mr. T had a great time throwing sand without anyone telling him to stop.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Specials


I am such a sucker for Christmas specials on tv with my kids. I seem to be taken back to my own childhood, waiting for anticipation of holidays, family, presents... love that!

So even though Polar Express was not one I watched as a child it is one I have found to love now... sharing with my kids... watching their eyes dart around the screen, listening to the words of believe, spirit, magic, Christmas...

love that.

Monday, December 01, 2008

so Mom calls me...


hurry! get the kids outside

look up!!

this is the only time for the next 50something years for this to happen!!

Mercury and Venus this close to the Moon!!

I *had* to get a shot of this momentous occasion. It was freezing outside- brrr!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

read to me



it doesn't matter what you read


just read


sing it to me


hang out with me


just read


to me

Friday, November 28, 2008

Give Thanks


We have a lot to be Thankful for...

for family
for friends
for a safe birth
for husband's job
for healthy children
for clothes on our backs
for food in the cupboard
for a roof over our heads
for unconditional love from God

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankful morning


this what I saw this morning peeking through my blinds!
such gorgeous colors glowing on the front of our home!!
I love the rays bursting through the clouds- just delicious!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

growing so big


I can't believe how much she has grown in such a short period of time!

Soon she will be able to sit up in this basket!! she is so pleased with herself, isn't she??
The blanket in this pic was made by Joey's grandma, I think.... it was a gift when Lady G was a baby... love it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tips For An Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life

My day started at 3:30am changing a diaper
4:00am Mr. T comes ripping into our room crying telling me "Ta roar in my dream" (it's a recurring nightmare of Queen V chasing him and roaring at him like she is a dinosaur or lion... I have threatened to wake her in the middle of the night to snuggle his fears... she really does chase him around the house roaring.,.. ugh!)
5:30 shhhhhhhhhh, Mr. T.. go to sleep!!
5:50am alarm'/radio goes off to wake me.. ha! that is ironic! I listen to a few favorite tunes- Journey being one of them :)
6:00 talk to dh about new job opportunities.... he is changing... and looking forward to playing trains with Mr. T and building stuff with the girls.. fun stuff
6:30 get girls up.. they slept in...
6:45 make lunches/ breakfast
7:00 do French braids in girls hair so they look loved :) and not an unmade bed
7:30 chase Mr. T down to get sneakers on him
7:35 change another diaper.. I am sure there was another one in there somewhere...
7:40 take girls to school and listen as Lady G sings a song I learned at Camp Merry Acres./.. I didn't teach her this one.. a girl friend did on the playground. I sang with her.. wouldn't you? A childhood song that made you smile when you used to sing it??
7:55 find friend in school parking lot and ask about our daily walk.. yep, we are on! super!!!
8:10 nurse, change another diaper, find blanket, get Mr. T to go potty
8:30 walk with friends on a glorious day!!! lovely way to get the day going!
10:00 sister comes by with fresh salsa- yummy!
10:30 over to another friend's house for a play date where we discuss cooking as a group and sharing the meals... I have always wanted to do this... one friend suggests to do it while we have a few bottles of wine.. a super idea!!!!
1 pm drive around till Mr. T crashes
1:30 get home and snuggle sleeping babies....

does this look like a great day?? I tell ya, this was a FABULOUS DAY!
while blog hopping for ideas on OAMC (once a month cooking)or Freezer Cooking I found this...

Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life!

1.) Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

2.) Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.Buy a lock if you have to.

3.) Buy a Tivo (DVR), tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4.) When you wake up in the morning ask yourself, "What do I really, really, really want today?"

5.) Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6.) Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.

7.) Always pray and make time to exercise.

8.) Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of Six.

9.) Dream more while you are awake.

10.) Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11.) Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12.) Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13.) Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14.) Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your
energy in the positive present moment.

15.) Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class .......but the
lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out chargecard.

17.) Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18.) Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19.) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20.) Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21.) You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22.) Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

23.) Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24.) Ladies - Go on and burn those 'special' scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china and wear our fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.

25.) No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26.) Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

27.) Forgive everyone for everything.

28.) What other people think of you is none of your business.

29.) Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!

30.) However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

31.) Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.

32.) Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

33.) Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides remember?!

34.) The best is yet to come.

35.) No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

36.) Do the right thing!

37.) Call your friends/family often.

38.) Each night before you go to bed complete the following statement: 'I am thankful for __________.'

39.) Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

40.) Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it
and enjoy the ride.

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH. LIFE'S A GIFT ... UNWRAP IT! Have a Blessed day. Please share with friends!
(Received list in an email from a friend-source unknow.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Who really won last night...


I walked into my dd's room this morning and woke her up gently...
"do you want to know who is going to be our next President of the United States?"
"yes" rubbing sleep from the corner of her eyes...
"Barak Obama"
"wow"

yea, wow...
this has so much significance for our nation.
I look at this from so many directions... as a mother, as a former teacher- a social studies and ESL teacher at that.... but mostly as an American. Where will this take us as a nation?
One can listen to all the hype from both political parties... like I used to tell my students, "there is your side, my side and the truth." The truth will not be known or understood until history is made..
Will we as a nation understand the ramifications of electing Mr. Obama in this year?
I mean truly understand?
Will we see what decisions made at particular times in his presidential carreer will affect our children and other future generations?
I for one, am in awe of anyone wanting to take on such an awesome and powerful position... look back in history at any one of the presidents- compare picture of them at the time of innaguration and then of them as they leave the Oval Office. The graying of hair, the added wrinkles on the face... is the step as lively?? The weight of the world is upon this man.... did you see how many nations watched our nation last night??
I was amazed at how jubilant other nations were at us electing Mr. Obama... why are they? What do they have to gain? And do THEY see how gracious John McCain was to concede?? no skirmish broke out... no bullying... it was a peaceful acknowledgement of how the power in our country will shift. I hope it remains this way... this is what is so great about our nation... we will come together... it is what America... Americans are best at.
We might not like what one of us is doing but when push comes to shove we have each other's back!!

ok.. enough of the soap box... let's talk about who really won... it wasn't red or blue states...
it wasn't one race or another...
it was Sasha and Malia!!]
they won something really important in a kid's life!!
yep, they get a puppy!!!
The White House will have a puppy...
I just ask one favor... don't let the pup teeth on anything of historical significance,girls...
remember to take the pup out to do his business...
feed and water him...
brush him
teach him commands so he listens to you
and pick a cute name!

Congrats, Obama Girls, on your new puppy!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Go Get Your VOTE on!


I did it
yep
I did
baby strapped to my hip with my ever popular sling
Mr. T teasing the pollsters.. is that what they are called?

I got my vote on... did you??
with 2 little kids in tow there are not enough Goldfish to keep one content... you know?? a little bribery with library books and a movie borrowed from the library... Buzz Lightyear, I think it was... and I GOT MY VOTE ON!!

As a former social studies and history teacher I am telling you to get out and VOTE!!
You can't "gritch" if you don't vote!!!
Yep, I don't want to hear it..
I know my limitations.
I know what policies are important in my book!
I know what is important this time...

DO YOU??

OH....and one more thing... say a prayer- now, I don't care how you vote or voted- but say a prayer for Mr. Obama and his family. His grandma died on Sunday... 2 days shy of getting to see what happened in her grandson's election. I was told by my mom that she did vote absentee... but Obama and his family are grieving right now. Can you imagine the added pressure... say prayers for him, his wife and children.... they need it..
and while you are there... say a prayer for no fraud in the election... on EITHER SIDE! Man, I can't stand liars or cheaters... it's an Aggie thing...

Gig 'em and GET YOUR VOTE ON!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

boo to you!


cast of characters:
Princess A: Larry the Cucumber
Mr. T: Farmer Boy... because "trick or treating is no fair!"
Queen V: dalmation puppy
Lady G: rocker chick

setting:
backyard prior to Grandpa hauling us around on a trailor full of hay

Theme:
my favorite things of Halloween 2008
Princess A: is all full of smiles... just like Larry the Cucumber in this pic...
Mr T: bought one Buzz Lightyear costume but when it had to slip over his head it was history so I brought out super chicken and that was good for a giggle but not to put on.. then I placed cowboy horse in front of him and that got on but then off... go figure.. I turned Mr. T over to Daddy and this is what they came up with. Trick or treating was still "no fair" BUT clothes were now on my boy...
Queen V: dalmations are the favorite puppy with chihuahuas running a close second for my girl... like the face paiting?? I did it myself, thank you very much.. ha! I had a pic of Lady G with the same face painted by a professional and I tried to mimic it. I think I did pretty well... The costume was a white sweatshirt and white leggings with black iron on patches I cut up to make the spots- perfect! Thanks to my sister for giving me that direction!!!!
Lady G... recognize the costume.. it's what she gathered for her school play.. she liked it so much it went back on for Halloween! hooray!

I am kind of glad it is behind us... nursing a baby on a hay trailor in front of inlaws is a trick for sure.. whew! but we all made it... and then went to roast s'mores at friends... a tradition from my childhood. I hope to post about it tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

it's the great pumpkin!!


The school carnival was last week and I was asked to help volunteer...
with a new baby... that was going to be a bit difficult..
but
I can bake in between nursing, diapering and overseeing homework...
This was one of the 2 cakes I sent in for each Queen V and Lady G's classes.
They were both pumpkin cakes... it's what Lady G asked for
so on I went to figure out how to create such a cake...
white cake mix 50 cents
frosting $1.50/ can
gel for coloring $5
pumpkin cake for school carnival and envy from other mommies...
PRICELESS!
mwahahahahaha (evil mommy laugh)

so I don't have the huge wallet that some mamas seem to have around here but I have creativity, kids that think I can do all with frosting.... wonder if I can create the medallion to go above my chandelier in my dining room with it... hahahahahaha and time.. who needs sleep when your oldest tells you to splurge on good coffee beans and yummy fru-fru cream??

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

little this once


so little

just this once....

how precious

how loving...

how accepting...


her love is never ending and I find myself at more peace with this one

she makes me take a step back and remember to just breathe

to enjoy

to take the moment in and savor it


I also find myself questioning my behavior with my others...

do they get enough love?

do they get enough understanding?

do they get enough attention that is positive...

do they feel loved... know they are loved... for everything they do.....


what a great gift I have been given in this little one...

who will be little just this once...


Ellie Lash QP
WA by Elegant WA

Monday, October 20, 2008

photoshop and digital insights

So I have listed some resources that I use from time to time to help me out. I hope this helps some of you out!!

hybrid tshirts
http://littledreamerdesigns.typepad.com/little_dreamer_designs/2008/06/june-hybrid-cha.html
love this idea! I have seen it in magazines before but wanted to share here too
this is what the kids will get for my dds' birthday parties

layers and histograms
http://www.sketchpad.net/photoshp.htm
I found some really great tutorials here dealing with levels and histograms to show what part of your photos is under or overexposed- makes processing your photos so much easier

http://www.planetphotoshop.com/tutorials_effects.html
http://www.vtc.com/products/photoshopelem.htm
http://tutorialoutpost.com/tutorials/photoshop/photo-editing
http://myjanee.home.insightbb.com/tutorials.htm
http://www.myjanee.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?s=bc30b17a4c0f7d9ad3ef40252b3b80f5
http://www.adobe.com/education/digkids/training/pse_videos.html
http://photoshopwire.tripod.com/tutorial/photoshop_elements.htm
http://www.photoshop911.com/tricks/text_to_watermark.html
http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop/
http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop/color_cast/index.html
http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/tutorials/index.php
http://www.webworksite.com/photoshop_elements_tutorials.shtml
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototip-archives.html
http://psp8.homestead.com/BetterBW1.html
http://psp8.homestead.com/
http://psp8.homestead.com/Shadows_Details.html
http://www.sketchpad.net/photoshp.htm
http://www.planetphotoshop.com/category/effects/?id=tutorials_effects
http://www.softwaretrainingtutorials.com/photoshop-elements.php
http://www.easyelements.com/free-photoshop-brushes.html
http://www.easyelements.com/making-photoshop-brushes.html
crop using the rule of thirds
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/3867
glow:
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/2837
dreamy
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/3953
soft focus
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/3953
http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php?lesson=5
STEP by STEP how to make and out of bounds photo
http://smilesnapper.blogspot.com/2007/04/out-of-bounds.html
this link will give you (if you have Photoshop Elements) a boost in creating those stunning black and white photos from a color one! http://www.optikvervelabs.com/default.asp
for CS2: http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tutorials/cs2-photoshop-9.html
http://mistycatodesigns.blogspot.com/2007/05/index-of-tutorials.html

actions
http://bellasactions.blogspot.com/

digital scrapping
http://www.digiscrappingtutorials.com/
http://photoshop911.typepad.com/help/2004/01/building_templa.html
for learning how to add depth to your letters:
http://www.thegoldenmean.com/technique/depthmask.html
why reinvent the wheel??
these are some simple lessons...
http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tutorials.html
how to stitch
http://www.myjanee.com/tuts/brush7/stitch/stitch.htm
index of sorts: http://www.23outlet.com/
fiber filter tutorial
http://www.hummiesworld.com/tutfiberfilter.html

how to make your own digital swirls
http://lizness.typepad.com/a_little_life/quickrefs/1004QR-ALittleLife.html
http://danidraws.com/2007/04/20/not-your-typical-round-brush/
creating grass: http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=30882&rl=1
more control lessons here
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=80893
click on the presets of the brush itself..
I kept opening presets and expecting them there
I clicked on the "dynamics" not checking the box and it came up!!
did you know there was a hidden world under all those words in the preset box?? click on them and find out!!!
to make your subject pop while blurring the environment around it
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/5719
again with the blur
http://tutorialoutpost.com/count/4142

creating your own brushes
have made my own signature brush that I place on my photos and on my sketches (look in my gallery)
I used a few dingbats and a font I like, a few layers, defined the brush and it is mine!!!
if you want a link to some photos of how to make your own in your own photoshop here you go:
http://www.brushes.obsidiandawn.com/tutorials/creating/index.htm

http://www.myjanee.com/tuts/brush/cbrush7.htm

this one is so up Twistedsoda's alley!
http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/stampps.html

this one is a video that requires flash
http://layersmagazine.com/make-your-own-custom-brush-2.html

one more that uses your photos to find a pattern you like
http://inobscuro.com/tutorials/read/17/
Cinda gave me this tip: You can use your magic background eraser to get rid of the white. If you save as a jpg you'll get the white, but psd or png should maintain the transparency.
and from Rikki: Create the image you want to use as your brush. Everything that is white in the image is transparent in your future brush. Max. siez is 2500 x 2500 px.
Select the area with the marquee tool or another slection tool
Go to Edite -> define brush preset
Don't forget to save the brush in an existing or a new preset. Otherwise if you replace the existing preset, it will be gone.
That's it.
Now you can use your brush to stamp anywhere.

how to make a photo a circle (by Rikki)

Just use the marquee tool, draw out a circle, place it over the part of the photo you want to keep, inverse the selection (in PS Ctrl+Shift+I) and hit delete.


FRAME VERSUS A MASK (by Cinda)

A frame is made to lay over your photo while a mask you line it up with your paper and/or photo and (if using PSE) click ctrl-g to group them together - then your paper is in the shape of those pretty swirls You could actually do the same thing on the frames, but only the frame would fill and your photo underneath would still show through.
You can do the same thing with text and "cut" your text out of any paper or photo.
One of the many things I love about Photoshop!

and from Rikki

A frame is an embellishment that you actually use as is on your page. You put it there, and maybe re-colorize it, and that's it.
A mask like Shandy's you use to change the look of something else. You can use it for example as a clipping mask to clip papers or photos to the shape of the mask.
You can use anything you want as a clipping mask. One example:
You could take the shape of a star and use it as a clipping mask to clip a square piece of paper into the shape of that very star.


GOLD TEXT
http://www.mccannas.com/pshop2/tip19.htm

LAYERS
http://www.mccannas.com/pshop/pshop5.htm







grograin ribbon
I saw on the blog that Michele is a contirbuting editor for how to make a striped ribbon but I want a different texture.. is that all there is to it? making a different texture??
http://everydaydigitalscrapbooking.blogspot.com/search/label/Ideas%20for%20Ribbon
there's a good grosgrain tut at SBB:
http://www.scrapbook-bytes.com/a-tuts/publish/article_226.shtml (thanks ChrisGr)

make your own flourishes
http://www.bittbox.com/illustrator/28-free-illustrator-brushes-for-making-swooshes-and-swirls/
http://www.bittbox.com/illustrator/illustrator-how-to-make-custom-swooshes-swirls-and-curls/



some more tips for brushes
http://www.arraich.com/ps6_tips_7aausebrush1.htm

special digi thanks goes to Michele, Cinda, Rikki, and Chris for helping me learn so much while we all played at The Shaker Box the last 5 years.
I don't think I would have learnes and researched so much without you guys helping me out and cheering me on!

photography insights

I need a place to put all of the ideas and links I have gathered to share in scrapping, photography and stamping...
it's a long list and will be added to throughout the next few days..

window light: http://super.nova.org/DPR/Window/

sharpening a photo:
there are many ways to do this..
I know Jane does a defog using her USM
I use USM at different scale
but now I found this tutorial.. had to share!
http://www.bythom.com/sharpening.htm
I am just getting the hang of this... my focus fell slightly on some recent photos and I wanted to get them back- the capture was so cute.. but how to make it look right??

well, use your USM in your photoshop. It's called UNSHARP MASK but it does seem to sharpen.. It has to do with how it was done in a real darkroom versus how we do it in a computer digitally. "It gets it's name because it unsharpens (de-focuses) the image and uses the difference with the original image ..." (this quote from Focus Magic)
Anyway..
there are 3 things to understand.
The first being amount which is measured by percentage.
The second being radius which is measured by pixels.
The third being threshold which is measured by levels.

I have some links to some sites and I would really like to get a discussion going on this great filter!!! What do you say?? are you ready to clear up some of your photos that are soft on focus??

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-usm.shtml
this one is studied by a lot of people. He is right on in his explaining- some times a little technical but you might be into that!
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/unsharp-mask.htm

maybe you want a quick once over??
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsharp_masking

photos and diagrams here:
http://www.scantips.com/simple6.html

this guy is really clear and explains it very well!! I love this site!
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/unsharp-mask.html

clear and concise with photos to go with the information! He shows you with the filter pulled down
http://www.naturescapes.net/122004/tg1204.htm

explains different ways of how to use USM (from global to detailed to parts of a photo)
http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/11242.html

another explanation with great photos for visual learners (tips inside this one!!)
http://docs.gimp.org/en/plug-in-unsharp-mask.html

about dot com always has tons of references!
http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/photoshoptutorialssharpen/Photoshop_Unsharp_Mask_and_Other_Sharpening_Methods_and_Tools.htm

another quick description:
http://www.steeldolphin-forums.com/htmltuts/unsharp.html

in podcast form:
http://kabili.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=155509

another great tutorial:
http://www.photocritic.org/articles/usm.php

for those of you using PaintShop Pro
http://www.scenic-route.com/tutorial/psp/tutor/unsharp/Unsharp.htm

tutorial with comments from others so you can learn from their mistakes:
http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/000169.html

to show you that you can go TOO FAR with this
http://www.digicamhelp.com/processing-photos/advanced-editing/unsharp-mask.php

and the last tutorial/article came from the great Lone Star State!!
http://www.lonestardigital.com/usm_fade.htm



curves tutorial:
so you want more from your photographs, more umph, more contrast??
if you have gotten the hang of levels then try curves.
Matt Greer has a great tutorial on his blog
http://mgreerphoto.blogspot.com/2006/12/photoshop-adjustment-layer-curves.html

Depth of Field (DOF)
do you know how to get a background blurry??
do you know how to get good bokeh?
do you know how to get the background in focus but the foreground out of focus (OOF)???
well, here, check out this DOF calculator and play away!! it will tell you how to get the look you want, good exposure and where to place your subject from your camera.. amazing
http://dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

fine tuning your photos:
http://www.prodigitalimage.com/tips.html

taking your own school photo:
it is possible for you to try and do this yourself!!!
place your child at a 45* angle from the light
have your child sit up straight and lean over their belt buckle
have them slightly twist towards you
move eyes directly at the camera for eye contact
tilt a girl's head but never a boys!!! (makes them look efeminite)
background:
have them sit on a stool with a pleasant background.. try your clean garage wall or even outside- do this when the sun is not directly overhead or you will wind up with shadows that are too harsh
the school playground before dusk...
need a reflector? get a piece of foam core board (HObby Lobby sells it for about $5) and place close to your subject.. move it so it catches the light and reflects this on your subjects shadow...
ok.. seriously.. try this.. do you photograph a face 2 dimensionally or 3??
http://groups.msn.com/Asktheoleproaboutphotography/theroleoflightinginphotography.msnw

smooth skin:
http://www.lunacore.com/photoshop/tutorials/tut020.htm
I thought this tutorial was really cool
dig how NOT to use the gaussian blur.. I did this forever.. glad to see another technique
don't forget to erase back the eyes

creaeting sepia:
http://www.lunareclipse.net/funwithsepia.htm
great with fall photos...

great bloggers:
love her style!!!
http://www.amycoffeyphotography.com/blog/blog.html
http://www.jennywaring.typepad.com/
http://artbynaomistudiotreats.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maiasuvi/
http://www.bludomain.com/blog.cfm
http://www.karlgrobl.com/index.htm
http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm teaches
http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/

yep, a class online
you have to check out- it will give you so much info in what will help you become a better photographer
http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/
http://www.photographyboard.net/

printing
http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/motivator.php

FIREWORKS
over the water fireworks:
http://www.calphoto.com/firework.htm

super help tips:
http://malektips.com/digital_fireworks_photography_help_and_tips.html

tips from the Smithsonian:
http://photos.si.edu/firew/firew.html

digital photography school
http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/how-to-photograph-fireworks/

Bob Atkin's description
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/fireworks.html

Better Photo dot com
http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/fireworks.asp

Gary Black Photog.,
http://www.garryblack.com/fireworks.htm

about.com
http://cameras.about.com/od/cameratips/a/fireworks.htm

The Imaging Resource
http://cameras.about.com/od/cameratips/a/fireworks.htm

great shots (photos)
http://photographyreview.webphotoschool.com/Get_Great_Shots_at_Fireworks_Shows/index.html

Dobson Central
http://www.dobsoncentral.com/articles/fireworks.htm

to add wings to your photo
sites I have visited while on this adventure:
http://www.autofx.com/ (you have to pay for the brushes but how cool are they!)
http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tools/plugins/photo-frames-borders-edges.html
www.escrappers.com (this is the site I was looking for first!)
http://escrappers.com/fairytales.html
http://www.photoshopsupport.com/tools/brushes.html#Painted_Passion_orghttp://www.brushes.obsidiandawn.com/sets/wings.htm
http://www.loreleiweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4553

balancing shaddows
http://psp8.homestead.com/Shadows_Details.html

Oronton Technique
it takes a photo and puts a fairytale like quality to it- facinating!
http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0106/dw0106-1.html

Saturday, October 18, 2008

bugs and boys


bugs
boys
dead bugs
pockets of overalls
dryers

getting a picture here??
yea, so my dryer eats socks and deposits dead bugs on the rim to scare the bajeebers out of me when I open the door...
I knew Mr. T liked bugs but did not know that he was sticking bugs in his pockets of his overalls...
and when I go to wash and then dry the bugs can no longer handle a spin cycle or the heat of the dryer...
ewwww

so what is a mama to do???
take a pic of a daddy long legs for her boy... one that is alive but NOT crawling or spinning or being dryed to death!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dude!!


Here's to one cool dude... uh, dad.. lol!
Happy birthday to the coolest brother in law a girl could ask for!
I am so greatful you are a part of our crazy family and that we get to be friends for a long time now!!
I just wish we got to party together more often than a few times a year!!!
I hope all your birthday wishes come true and that you have many more!!!

A special happy birthday also to your darling daughter and my lovely niece!!! I can't wait to see her walk!!!

Lots of love,
your favorite American sister in law ;)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

last day being 40


alarm/radio sings me awake
nurse baby
check on Queen V to see if she made it into clothes yet
close Mr. T's door so he continues to sleep
breakfast for kids (all different cereals)
make lunches
draw on napkins and write notes to each girlie girl
set bags by garage door
take pic of Lady G in her rocker chick costume
load kids in van and drive to school
come home and take a look at pics I took
organize photos and surf photogs for inspiration
get things ready for Princess A's Thusday photoshoot
storytime
meet Mom and Queen V at library
lunch
photos of baby
back to school for testing of Queen V... she needs a little help in rhyming...
pick up Lady G
discuss scool
snuggle sleeping baby
find orange hair spray paint for Lady G pretending to be rocker chick
dinner
get ready for play
back to school for evening performance
rock out!!!
showers for kids
rock baby to sleep
log
now time to dream
good night

textures: Joy St. Clair
WA: Elegant Word Art by Bethany

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

3rd grade sucks...

yea, you heard it here first...
4 hours of homework...
math is NOT my forte... long live Liberal Arts!!
Once again I feel as though I am doing the preteaching prior to teaching being done... this kills me as a professional...
I have scheduled a parent teacher conference to head any bad karma off at the pass..
Lady is deliberate in how she studies...
she wants to please...
She is smart but like her mama it takes a while to get it to sink in....

I explain what is what to my mom... another tax payer in our school district of what I see is going on, what my lovely Lady G explains to me...
her response?? "are you going to run for school board?"
my response to that... "only so I can become vice president some day... and because I can see Mexico from my backdoor"

Hopefully we can all work together to get Lady G where she can knock off homework in an hour... and still have time to learn to climb a tree, rollerblade down a hill, whistle really loud with 2 fingers and write silly poems in her journal..... isn't that what being a 3rd grader is about?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

3rd grade rocks!


So Lady G has 2 main teachers and the electives all have separate teachers...Big difference this year is that homework is given each night instead of the beginning of the week where we can pace ourselves as to how I want her to learn to study...
She has a planner but it's kind of hard to follow and we had another we were going to use. I want to see if the teachers are willing to use what we already had going on in our home. Lady G's grandma gave it to her and it was a great way for all of us to keep track - communication is definitely key in a family of 6!!! I can only imagine what it will belike when all the kids are in school. At one point we will have one in college, one in highschool, one in middle and the last in elementary!!! wow!

Anyway, I had to get one page scrapped for Lady G's book... this was a quickpage I found online and I must say it was a time saver for sure! I hope to get some more to make pages for Queen V and when we got shots of the girls on the first day of school.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

3 weeks old...


in 3 weeks we have done the following....
had shots
gone through so many diapers it's hard to keep track
seen Queen V off to kindergarten (this is worth an entry into the blog itself)
seen a lady be nominated as a VP in the Republican Party
seen an African American nominated as President in the Democratic party
changed more diapers
taken a real bath
colored my hair... twice... it's much better now...
seen Lady G into a new hallway in school... the 3rd grade hall
seen Mr. T pull toys out that HE wants to play with... (another worth it's own blog entry and photos)
found the self timer on my new camera (amazing what happens when you read the manual!)
got cards to write numerous thank yous out to friends and family
and the big one for Princess A... found and pulled her own hair... yea, she is her own bully... poor kid...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thursday Book

Each of my girls were born on a Tuesday and brought home on a Thursday... My sister-in-law gave me a really nice book for photos but what pics would go in???
I looked at what day I consistently took photos of Lady G and it was Thursdays. I took her photo with the gifts she had been given by relatives, friends and students. Well, for each kiddo it's a tradition that Aunt Jenny give a special book to the baby... this time was no exception :) So every Thursday I will take Princess A's photo and slide it into her book. It shows so much how they change... here are the first 3 photos that were taken. I hope to take her to the Botanical Gardens and take her pic today... we'll see how the day pans out :)
Home
Bath
classic

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

where to begin...


Mr. T has just realized in the last few days that the baby is no longer in my tummy...
Mr T: where baby, mama?
me: what?
Mr T: baby not in tummy?
me: no, baby right here in my arms (snicker... )
Mr T: oh, gosh!!! she's coot! (otherwise known as cute!)

Queen V: oh, mama, why do you have to wake me at night for school?
me: the sun is coming up... take a look...
Queen V: I don't want to go to kindergarten... I'm just so tired!
me: get up and get going, you'll be late....
Queen V: what's the magic word? say it and I will get up...
(like bargaining with me is going to work.. if it were my mom she would have flicked on the light, shuffled over in her trademark slippers and sung "wake up, wake up with a heart full of cheer! wake up, wake up or I'll spit in your ear!" lol!)
me: Queen V. A. Z.... get your bottom out of that bed!
Queen V: that'll do... and she jumped out of bed...
see, once she's up she is good to go.. but dragging that bag monster out of bed is a difficult task.. I see this will be going on for a few years... my, how my little one loves to sleep! lol!

Lady G: I had a great day, Mama!
me: you did? tell me about it..
Lady G: I got to chase the boys!! We had a great time!
me: and the boys still want to play tag?
Lady G: oh yea, and we girls are catching up with them!
a little later we talked about the day...
Lady G: 3rd grade is fun.. it's not hard like you said...

everyone wants to hold the baby... oh, and Mr. T calls her George... and then laughs.. he knows he is funny.. he just cracks me up!!

as for me... I pulled the coffee pot out today... after being up since 3:20am I knew it would be a long day. I lost all the baby weight... yep, hate me now... lol! I am actually lighter than before I got pregnant with Princess A (aka George)and I hope it just keeps going off of me! I colored my hair but it needs a trim... maybe in a week when the girls are coming home more or less at the same time. Right now kindergarten is out at 11:30 and the rest of the school is out out at 3. It's not enough time for me to get to the other side of town and get it cut.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

two little feet to walk right into our hearts


I have to share this...
yep, while I was getting stitched I got Jeff to send the camera my way :)
I waited for these little feet to pop up... all inked and ready for the baby book!!
c'mon...
a little higher...
a little higher baby girl...

gotcha!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

home again, home again....

We are all home...
all 6 of my clan are home...
what a wonderful feeling to have such a full home.
We have been blessed with a little girl.
We are going to call her Princess A.
She was born August 12 and weighed 9 pounds 3 oz. and was a whopping 21 inches long!
She gave me one last kick before she left my womb... just one last reminder of how our relationship will be?? lol!

I am exhausted and need to rock a wee one...
thanks to all for the prayers, thoughts and emails :) They will all go in the baby book.
I am too tired to work on photos tonight but will get one up soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

finally!


When I graduated college Mom gave me a tshirt that read
I'm OUTA here!!

well, after many hours of contractions I am headed to the horse-pistol to see who has been growing in me for the last 9 months...

Queen V is playing computer games
Lady G is practicing blowing bubbles with the last piece of bubblegum
Mr. T is sacked out in Daddy's arms

We are waiting for grandparents to arrive...
My mom has called and is ready to pounce... her BatCar is waiting to do multiple Bat Turns... those of you who have ridden with Mom know these turns well... hahahaha

If this turns out to be nothing I will have to take up high diving... seriously... this baby has got to come out.. DH just saw me do "the sway" and commented how he knew we were going to have a baby... he remembers my faces and how I move my body back and forth getting ready for the moment..

I better go grab my pillows.. hospital ones slurp!

**don't forget to say prayers for 10 fingers, 10 toes, cute little button nose... and no ripping on mama :) **

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mr. T turns 3!!


Happy Birthday, Mr. T!!!
So you wake up at 6:30 and come ripping into our room... "Ta chase me... Roar!"
Yep, another bad dream about Queen V chasing you around the house pretending to be a crazed horse...
Lots of snuggles follow and you sleep diagonal in our bed for another hour or so...
You wake smothering me and Daddy with kisses telling us you want Party Cake for breakfast... we tell you you have to wait... poor fella, can't have what you want for your own birthday breakfast..
We watch Fox & The Hound and you are mesmerized by the mean bear... I can imagine that will show up in dreams soon... go figure...
You wander out of our room only to see all the streamers in the hallway and tons of balloons in the front room.
Politely you ask if each of the presents on the hearth are yours... of course they are!! :)
You open Queen V's first... The Amazing Bubble Blower... there are batteries attatched and you tell us they are for Daddy... sweet boy!
Next you open the mit and ball Lady G gave you...
Next you open the Little Chef's cooking tools. YOu have had such a great time cutting and stirring with me in the kitchen lately that we thought you needed some of your own tools. Please don't whack your sisters with the whisk or rolling pin... you will now have 3 minutes of time out... oh, I can hear the tears now...
We run out to the back porch to see how amazing the Amazing Bubble blower is... it's pretty darn amazing!!
We still have to take you to go get your big present... your very own cowboy boots!!!
Grandparents come and we enjoy a great meal of Roar, babies, me cheese, memade and Party Cake... yummo, buddy!! You picked a great menu!!
Grandpa wasn't too keen on you licking the chocolate Teddy Grahams and putting them back on the Party CAke.... that's ok... we'll enjoy them later... well, you will... I don't care for prelicked cookies! lol!
Finally, after lunch we got to see you open presents from grandparents... tools, tools and more tools! Your very own desk, color wonders and bubblegum... what a treat!! Because we ran into nap time you pretty much came unglued and needed a nap. You woke to ask for yet more Party CAke and "me cheese."
We played a bit more and went outside to blow more bubbles....

mind you... all of this was done after MOmmy had been up since 4am with contractions that led to guess where... NO WHERE!! Nope, my son, you will not be sharing this day with a sibling but this day will forever be your day... perhaps tomorrow you will get the gift of being a big brother...

The night draws near and Daddy is playing a great game of Hide and Go Seek with you and the girls... lots of giggles and grins... what a great day!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mr. T's last day of being 2


wake up before everyone else- check
tell Daddy to wake up and play- check
ask Mommy to go outside and play- check
shut girls door really loudly so I don't wake them up- check
watch my pick of the library movies Mommy got- check
put on play clothes before Mommy changes my nighttime diaper- check
ask for cereal and then spill it on floor- check
pick it all up and make Mommy proud- check
get piggy back from Lady G- check
find girls' secret hiding place in Mommy and Daddy's closet- check
swim in pool- check!
hold Prince's leash- check
hand out pickles at pool picnic- check
swim more in Gran's pool- check
go home with Daddy and fall asleep in his arms for nappy- check
get up and find gummies to snack on - check
get dressed for Mass- check
get yummy Mac-n-cheese from grocery store deli
check Party CAke with Mommy- check
watch some Olympics with Mommy and Daddy- check
wonder where girls are and if I can help wrap presents- check
discuss party list and guests for tomorrow... Gran, Papa, Gandeeeeee, Daddy, Ta, Weeeeee.... hooray!!
Party Cake Me!!! check
fall asleep in Daddy's arms for nighttime- check
sleeping in big boy bed dreaming of "party cake"- check

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lucky or Unlucky???


so wehre is this bambino??
seriously
I have had enough contractions to kill a moose...
it's the luckiest day in China.. 8/8/08... what is this kiddo waiting for???
if he or she were born today "shim" would have his/her own birthday and would not have to share...
but... I would get to watch all the Olympics I wanted without someone asking me if I could change the channel... ha! I am an Olympic Hog.. it's true...
I love the Olympics...

do you have an Olympic story?? I do!!
When we were kids the kids on our street made our own Olympic Games.. it was 1976 and we had a great time... even though I got a javeline in my foot...

yep, you read that right!!
We had all sorts of track and field events...
high jump (we used the neighbor's horse jumps for that)
swimming (neighbors had a great pool)
diving (borrowed their pool again- super meter board with great spring!!)
tennis (back by the barn)
gymnastics (neighbor had a trampoline)
javeline (you know those flag things you put on the back of a kid's bike so cars can see them coming???... do you see this coming.. here is the story for the day....

I asked Norris to toss me the javeline so I could practice...
He threw it at me...
I thought I lifed my foot enough to have it just miss me..
nope...
it lodged in between my big toe and the one next to it..
I picked up my foot and the bike flag aka javeline was sticking out of my foot!!!
ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!
I pulled it out and my neighbor, Jan, picked me up and carried me in her house to clean out this open wound... I cried and cried.. She told me to go home and tell my mom...
I hopped a few acres and got to Mom and told her the story of what we were doing...
She calmly called Dr. Miller and discussed stitches and such...
yikes!! all my siblings had had stitches but not me... I didn't want to do that!!!
So the result was I had to soak my foot in epsom salts and wait for it to heal from the inside out...
no more Olympic Dreams for me... I would have to watch Mark Spitz and Nadia Comeniche and be happy....
And for now???
Well, I can't curl my toes as much as I used to... I can on my right foot but not my left... bummer...
So, did I tell my kids about it? Yep... and warned them that if I caught them taking the flags off of their bikes they would be in big trouble! lol!
Live and learn...

GO TEAM USA!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

bet you thought the baby was born...

NOPE!
this kid is in there for the whole 40 weeks!! lol!
Mr. T's birthday is on Sunday.... what do you bet this one stays until then?? All Mr. T wants is "party cake... me!" He doesn't care where... just as long as the cake is where he is on his birthday!! lol!
Sooooooooooooo... we wait...

It's been so blinkin' hot that it's too much for me to get going on a big walk around here... 11 days at least over 100*. I did get out and swim today.. only because my kids let me get a decent nap in the afternoon. I was exhausted!!! So we went for a swim when we knew the sun would be behind some trees and we wouldn't have to use sunscreen but could just enjoy the pool...
Mr T jumped off the diving board again and again
Lady G and I had swim races back and forth in the pool... she can keep up pretty well with her mama :) I give her a head start but get into a zone and just swim. I love to stretch and make those muscles work, pulling the oxygen through me.. oh.. reminds me of when I would swim a mile (kid you not!) in Mom and Dad's pool. They would come out and watch me just find my rythym and let me swim away!! Soon I bet Lady G will be wanting to do the same. DH was there to watch the others while we raced.
Queen V pretended to be a puppy. She has the most graceful stroke for freestyle... Hard to believe she was frightened during swim lessons last year and now she is a fish!! She starts school in about 20 days... I can't believe it... It struck me so hard tonight when we were hanging out in the deep end just chatting... What a great kiddo, she just plugs right along, finding her own rythym... I hope the teachers in kindergarten realize what a gem she is when she starts. She has such a way about her...

My bedtime/labor curfew is coming up so I better sign off... tomorrow I have plans of getting some things from the Grocery Game and making more meals to stuff in the freezer for our family. The kids all have helped out and it is such a blessing!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

how a 5 year old explains it to a 2 year old...

A few weeks ago the girls went with me to see the doctor...
The doc wanted to check and see if I was dialated because I was telling her things were feeling a little different. Sure enough things had started. Well, when I went to pull down my shorts and Queen V says, "mom!!! Mom!!! What are you doing??? Mom!!! I see your tushy!!!" I laugh and tell her the doc has to check to see what is happening inside...
She turns and shields her eyes in the corner of the room....
When we go to pick up Mr. T Queen V tells him, "T, you are not going to believe what Mommy did today... " She procedes to tell him that the doc checked my tushy to see how the baby was doing.. because that is where the baby is going to come out!
silence fell in the van....
In a little voice you hear, "grossssssssssss!!!!"
I almost wrecked the van... so funny...
yes, my son... gross... but you will get to hold and snuggle your very own baby very soon... hahahahaha

I know it doesn't match with the Middle Wife but for Mr. T to listen, understand and come up with his own reasoning just cracked me up! His language is still pretty limited but he understoond this concept! ha!


Now... on to the story Aunt Lorine sent to me... it's called "The Middle Wife"
The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher.

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes,

pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) 'My Dad called the middle wife.. She delivers babies, but she doe sn' t have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this. ' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Now you have two choices...laugh and close this page or pass this along to someone else to spread the laughs. I know what I did!!!


Live every day as if it is your LAST chance to make someone happy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

time keeps on tickin, tickin', tickin' into the future...


I wanna glide like an eagle
to the sea
la lalalalalala let my spirit carry me...

how does that song go??
Lady G took this photo of me before we went to my niece's First Holy Communioun. I think she did really well!! I have a new camera and she was learning how to back button focus... hard to do but she got the hang of it..

contractions are coming wheather I am sitting, standing or walking...
time keeps on tickin'./....

I grabbed a finger Rosary out of dh's drawer that belonged to his grandparents...
off to grab a few winks if anything turns serious...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

labor map... mood map... bad hair day map...

ok.. had to share this link with you.. I find it really funny but at the same time my kids have followed these maps when they are born..
Yep, I guess there is the barametric pressure that plays with labor and delivery rooms?? hahahaha

Maps of all sorts

Anyway, click on the link and go check out what type of mood, hair and labor I could have... perhaps I should share this with Dr. Emily??? hahahahahha So the look for my area tomorrow I won't have labor but I will have a bad hair day (sounds like ponytail time to me...) and will be able to think clearly... perhaps I can make some casseroles and not get burned? ha!

since I am sharing things I am looking up I am looking at acupressure to deal with the pain. See, truth be known, labor kicks my butt!!! I don't take pain killers due to making labor longer, baby sleepy and I chose to be what is known as a crunchy granola mama... yep, that's me.
So here is the acupressure link to induce labor (if needed) and to control the pain (that is what I am after!!!) Controling the Pains of Labor And this is the e-book I am considering on getting... I think doing this will help me a bunch...
When I have my kiddos I have them so fast that.. well, let's just say the doc's comments have been "it's like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together... and I am there for quite some time while they stitch me up... last time it was way over an hour.. ouch! Oh, yea, the ebook... here it is:

Maternity Acupressure What could go wrong?? I have used acupressure before for my migraines and it works for me... again no drugs, just using the body to heal itself...
that and a few dozen Hail Mary's... right??
Wish me luck in the near future

and I have how long??

oh my
I have to run
just one more errand
make one more meal
fold one more set of laundry
check my bag... again...

I went to the doc today... She set me up on some machine that watches baby's heartbeat, counts contractions and when the baby moves, kicks or wiggles I push a button and it registers...
nurse walks in..
"hey, that was a big contraction.... did you feel that??"
uhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah... but it wasn't the pull the bottom lip over my head to handle the pain so it's all good...
right???? lol!
So Dr. Emily checks and I am effaced at 50% still.... but all those crazy contractions I had this last weekend finally got some dialation... to a 2
This is where I was the night before with my other 3... ack!

time to put it in hyperdrive....
I got the calendar to mark what the baby does and who comes to visit for the first year...
I have done this for all of my kids and it's always something fun to look at after the year is gone.. but also it helps when I have to go to the pediatrician to ask questions... I can never keep things straight...

I have been looking for a WaterBaby for Mr. T... he is not too happy that a baby will take over a crib. It's not imperative that we move the crib up but it sure does make for cute photo ops! lol! Anyway, a waterbaby is a dolly that can be filled with water so it has the weight of a baby rather than a doll. It does not poop, pee, cry or anything else... it is just there to be snuggled by the youngest sibling. The nurses are all into this at our hospital and know that we have done this for the other kiddos so they put warm water in the dolly, wrap it in a hospital blanket and put a cap on the baby just like the real baby. It is then put into the baby bassinet in the hospital room so that the sibling has a chance to meet her/his baby and take care of it.

So, one more thing... find the baby for Mr. T so he has a baby of his own....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

checklist


focal point (photo of kids)
knobby thingy for back pain/labor
ponytail holder.. even though I chopped off my hair!
watch for counting contractions
Rosary to ask for Mary to guide me in my labor and to be a good mother to my children
brush
makeup
slippers
robe
camera
back up batteries
extra cards
scrappy paper for footy prints.. awwwwwwwwwww
presents for kids from baby (Polly Pockets and Waterbaby)
newborn onesies
clothes for going to hosp.
clothes for coming home
nightgown for hospital
car seat purchased

Need to do...
phone list
snacks in bag for kids to have when they come visit
pick name
have dh wash baby coming home outfit in Dreft (waiting for this one since we don't know if #4 is a boy or girl)
grab pillow
place car seat in van

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I want to be a princess when I grow up...


Queen V:mama.... when I grow up I want to be a princess.
Me: oh really? (dh and I glance at each other)
Queen V:yep, I want to be a princess... like Princess Mia.. and people will call me Princess Mia.
DH: sweetie, I have news. You can't because I am not a king.
Queen V: oh, Daddy. You can be a king if that is what you dream. You can do whatever if you want to and be a king...... and tell us whatever you want us to do.
D: Whatever I want you to do, huh?

I just had to pop up from dinner and write this down so we didn't forget the wisdom of a 5 year old...

Just dream it and you can be it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

birthday girl... you mean the world to me!!


Our oldest turned 8 yesterday and as a child in our home you get to pick the menu and Mommy gets to figure out how to do it...
here was the 8 year old's menu
bacon wrapped shrimp (yummy)
pecan crusted trout (I cook this in olive oil on the stove)
risoto
dinner salad (compliments of Grandee)
fresh fruit: cantelope, grapes, strawberries (strawberries are a staple in this house since she arrived! lol!)
fruit juice mixed with sprite
desert was a Betty Crocker Icecream Torte It was so easy and so delicious!! Usually the kids test my ability to create this 3D cake with a barbie sticking her head out as a mermaid or some princess... not this time- strictly icecream and brownie! She said she wanted to keep it easy for me since I have been going so crazy with nesting and Braxton Hicks contractions...

So what does the birthday girl get?? Well, aside from that yummy meal she got a new bike!! She gave her older bike to her younger sister because she didn't have one. yep, that is the kind of kid she is... gives to others in need and turns the other cheek when needed... what a good kid. We had the bike specially made for her and it will last a while :) I am glad- she deserves it!!

materials used:
paper:coloriages by Fran
border: will have to look up, sorry.

Friday, June 27, 2008

oye- quick run down on my crazy week...


Monday: found out I am 50% effaced
Tuesday: took my kids and best friend to zoo and bought a big girl bike for my oldest... shshhhhhhhhhhhhh- it's a suprise for her birthday!
Wednesday: I can't remember so we will blame it on the baby sucking my brain cells from me....
Thursday: Bunco for the first time
Friday... today: dd's birthday :) Yippeee!!

side note...Mr. T is now getting a new name of "bruiser".. one because he is going around licking everyone... yep, even strangers... and he is continuously wrestling adn chasing the girls...
Lady G got her lip popped by him (I am not even sure how) and a remote thrown at her head...
Queen V had her neck sat on... he seems to be going for the neck.. ugh.. what is up with 2 year old boys??? sometimes I just don't get them!!

whew- what a week!
so.. tomorrow is a birthday party for both of my girls and then off we go to Mass followed by bed!!! I need sleep!
I hope to do more nesting on Sunday to get my ds's room in order.. it's a wreck!! Mr. T has been a tornado for sure!!

materials used for digi LO:
papers, bird, heart, flowers: Patricia Amaral
cluster frame: Welli Designs
quote: Elegant Word Art by Bethany
overlay: Lively Up Designs

Sunday, June 22, 2008

old memories


So today dh and I packed up the kids to head back to his granparent's home. Nobody has lived in this home for 2 years now... we are just now going through items...
We all got to chose different things.
What was special to each one of us... the daughters had already gone through a bunch but today was more of a time of the grandkids to pick. Dh asked what was important to us...
a well worn quilt that perhaps his greatgrandma made
a Rosary made from the fruit of a sweet gum tree (that will go in our room, I think, and hang on the wall like Grandma and Grandpa had it.)
a Crusifix that will go above our bed
a Walter Cronkite autobiography we gave Grandpa for Father's Day in 1997
some pilsners that match highballs in my grandparent's home
and then the girls got to pick out some costume jewelry.. they were so happy!

What a day... full of memories.... and silly stories...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Meerkat, it's what's for dinner...


remember the old beef commercials with Sam Elliot talking in the background about how great beef was.. I can't remember the song that played but I can hear it in my head... at the end of the ad Sam comes on and says, "beef.. it's what's for dinner!"

Well, in Lion King 1 1/2 they say, "meerkat, it's what's for dinner... " Cracks me up.. this is all I can think when Queen V asks to see them at the zoo. She does a great meerkat impersonation and yes, I have pictures of it.. I need to put it on a LO. She cracks me up and when I start laughing she can't help but laugh about it too! lol!

Her little camera won't work so she and her sister took their summer writing journals to the zoo to draw photos of the animals they saw. From there they will journal or write poetry around the picture.

I just got this new action from Patricia Aranal.. the ribbon tie action.. it is so cool. I wanted to test it out on a LO before I try and create a few things for my photography clients. With the baby coming I will have to put my camera down and perhaps create some cards or templates to use for other photographers.

crazy settings... I don't know what I was thinking! lol!
f3.2
1/640
iso800

materials used:
template: Shandy Vogt
bow action: FafBr
papers : Patricia Amaral - Digital Designer
http://scrap-a-dream.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Change in Priorities coming full Circle


I was given this horse when I was 14 and she was 3. She was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen...
I was given her and her companion, Cloud, who was 6. Cloud died 2 years ago. YoYo has the pasture all to herself with neighbors bringing other horses in and out... She is something so cherished from my teenage years. Having grown up my priorities changed to being responsible toward my family more... She is an old lady now who grazes when she likes, where she likes, doesn't answer to the kick of my heel...
Now my own Lady G has taken a liking to horses... where will this lead our family in years to come??? hmmm


materials used:
QP: Rebecca Labbe
quote: Designer Digitals


Photograph:
f4.0
ss 1/125
iso 200
wb: cloudy

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary (a little late)


I just realized the date... and it is too late to call my sister and wish her a Happy Anniversary!!! Yep, the baby of the family got married a year ago and I was fortunate enough to be there to witness it!!!
She made a lovely bride!!!
She picked a great man who loves her dearly.... you can tell when you see them together....
What a sweet couple they make!

already in the first year of marriage they have experienced
1. birth of their first baby
2. new job for L
3. picking out a new home together... twice!!
4. getting ready for a move...

whew!! that's a lot to tackle in one year!!
Happy Anniversary, you guys!! I love you to pieces! to the moon and back!!!!
May you have many more wonderful years together, sharing each other's company and falling in love again each day!!!
Big hugs and kisses!
Me

Forever Cousins

since my scrappy room is an avalanche of paperwork from the end of school, dh taking over my space for a home office and constant artwork by my 2 little girls..
I am going to have to get serious about doing digi..
I have not done any scrapping in quite sometime
except for the occassional card to accompany a present
I took my dd out to the front pasture to get some sunshine shots
I saw how the sun hits the bitterweed my horse won't touch the other night and thought- THERE!! it's perfect there!!!
Well, instead of sunshine we got raindrops which we desperately need!
I still got to practice on my focus and exposure!
settings for photo:
f2.8
1/250
iso 200
I know the ap is pretty wide but I didn't want to raise my iso... should have since there was some noise on my photo but I still like it!!

materials used:
quote png: http://sonjascraftspot.blogspot.com/
paper/frame: http://www.digitalcandy.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=5901
tempate: http://jilljackscraps.blogspot.com/
soft blue paper: http://imaginebyfran.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

hello... anyone out there?


ok
I had to get my life in order
started to build my photography portfolio and it was really picking up the pace
I have a new niece that I photographed...
came home and thought God was done with us having more children
apparently not
we are blessed yet again
after so long of waiting
to have baby #4 coming into our lives in a few short weeks
I have kept it to myself
until I couldn't any more
there is no escaping
one gal at the park overheard me talking to a friend
another baby?
are you serious?
I could not dream of it.
I am 40
really??? so am I...
God has a great sense of humor...
I wanted to be a young mom.. playing with kids without knees creaking! lol
My mom says she is too young to have a daughter with gray hair
I guess not since I have a head full! lol!
I do not color my hair when I am pregnant.
Oh, sure, some people say it's ok
I cannot even dream of the risk.
We waited 9 long years
I had 9 surgeries
countless medications and procedures
and nothing...
until I had what I call my "come to Jesus meeting"
Now, every 2 years we are blessed... with beautiful children...
it's time as my oldest said.. she knew we would have another because the youngest is 2
I will try and write more and share more before this bundle arrives...
Here is a shot of me and my oldest on Father's Day...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Princess... you are remembered



May the angels carry you higher
May you feel the warmth of God
May your light shine in those who love you...

For those who have not heard me speak of or write aboutSheye or of her daughter, Ava this blog entry is all about the love a mother shows her children, her husband and her family. I started reading Sheye's blog a few years ago and so related to what she had to say about being a mom to a free spirit. I laughed and nodded as she typed and loved the way she captured her children on film. Last year a tragic accident occurred- but one with a lesson I quickly taught my children, my friends and anyone who would stand still long enough to hear about the Super Princess and how one day she found herself locked in her parent's car... not knowing how to get out. Teach your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren.. .how to get OUT of your car!!! Teach them how to crawl to the front, try the locks, try the door handles on "Mommy's side" and to lean on the horn!!!! It is so vitally important. It is Ava's lesson to us all.. .along with being a super princess.
Go to Sheye's blog and leave some love...
Go to Ava's website and light a memorial candle...

most of all.. hug your children, breathe in deep when you hug them... snuggle them to sleep- it won't spoil them.. just YOU!

Monday, February 04, 2008

tagged, Mr T and lovely conversations



my little guy with his new big boy hair cut.. his grandma cut his hair... he looks so cute!

These are the rules:-You must post the rules before you give your answers.You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don't have a middle name, just use your maiden name.After you've been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers.At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

M is for Married.. to the best man ever!
A is for Aritisic when I find the time
R is for Real... I am a real person... take me as I am
I is for Inspiration... I find ispiration in people, things, stories to make me a better mom and wife
E is for Entertaining.. my dh says he married a cartoon character.. that is entertaining.. right?? and not something bad? lol

I am going to tag: Michelle(twistedsoda), Allison (again.. sorry sweetie!), Inkastamp (sorry, Ana.. I need help! lol!), I still need to find one for R and now E... hmmmm who will be next??

I found Sandy's blog by way of the Organized Junkie and boy, does she throw a party! She has a book that she swears by and posted about it here non her blog: The Reluctant Entertainer. I love a good conversation.. my parents would talk for hours and I want to have my kids see me and my husband do the same... communication is key for sure in a family...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

5 things about me...

I have been tagged by the Garage Sale Diva!!
Five things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. teaching Texas history, department chair for the social studies dept, mentor to 5 teachers
2. completing my house plans
3. having surgery... again
4. watching the birth of my godson
5. sleeping as late as I wanted on the weekends

Five things on my to do list today:
1. make good Sunday breakfast
2. Laundry
3. make recipe of fresh guacamole! yummy
4. play with my kids outside
5. read to my kids

Five things I will do when I'm a millionaire:
1. pay off my bills
2. get dh flying lessons and his own plane
3. place enough aside for kids' college
4. get new furniture
5. give to worthy causes more often


Five things I'll never wear again:
1. peg leg pants
2. Huxtable sweaters
3. leg warmers
4. wedding dress (got married once and that is how it will be forever!)
5. Big, fluffy bows in my hair (diva said this and it made me crack up! lol!)


Five of my favorite toys: (I am going to make this from the past too...)
1. my camera
2. Adobe Photoshop
3. trampoline
4. my Geronimo horse I used to play with for hours on end as a kid
5. the tall pine tree in my parent's yard I used to climb all the time


Five banes of my existence:
1. people who don't say please, thank you or you're welcome (have some common courtesy people!)
2. liars
3. my weight
4. people telling me I am spoiling my kids
5. that the damn dryer eats socks!

I am going to tag...

1. Allison
2. Durcan Designs
3. Ana

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

more silliness from Queen V


as I go back to tuck in Queen V and Lady G...
Lady G: Mama, V said she smelled smoke.
Me: Probably the fires outside people are burning in their homes...
Lady G: no, she said she smelled smoke in here
Queen V: no... uh... it was just me, I farted...
Me: so it was smoke! hahahahaha
Queen V: no, G, it was me... my tushy stinks... (this in all seriousness)
Me: so, G, if you see smoke and fire especially coming from her tushy, call me! I'll come running! (laughing at this point)
G and V: fire from the tushy>??? (all serious.. I better turn this around... )
Me: girls, I am just kidding... it's all ok.. no fire coming from your tush or smoke... go to sleep...

and that is how my sweet darlings got tucked into bed last night... ahhhhh sweet dreams, little stinky ones!

by the way, the card is what Queen V made for her aunt for her birthday.. they are playing soccer and my dd's mouth is open yelling, "MMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the world according to Queen V

love 4 year old intuition...
Queen V told her grandmother tonight....
"if you swallow an icecube you will become and iceberg!"
makes complete sense to me and to her grandmother...

created a quick "kickstand card" tonight.. super simple following SCS instructions!


now, if I could just get some sleep tonight minus the insomnia I have had lately... having that and chasing 3 kids is not a good thing... makes me quite grumpy and lethargic....