Parents, if you want wonderful pictures of your children, never teach them to say "cheese"! Please learn from my mistake or you will have thousands of photos just like mine - squinted eyes, scrunched up noses, clenched teeth, and an image that just screams "say cheez!!!". Join me while I search for that one perfect shot that doesn't conjure up images of dairy products. Oh, and unless you like that *messy* look, you'll probably want to clean their faces before you snap away. I never seem to remember myself.

An imporant sidenote is to make sure you document your life! Recording the little details of the who, what, where, when, & why makes for wonderful stories and captures your life for years to come. Because if you are like me, you'll forget it all 5 minutes later!

Friday, June 27, 2008

POTD Week 26: Summer

Summer is...

Splashing around in the back yard

Splashing around in the lake

Splashing around at the shore

The last day of school

Glorious peonies

Sharing my love of peonies with my daughter

Strawberry picking

Searching for the perfect berry

The bounty

Spending quality time with my wonderful family

Summer is {photo overload and} the best time of the year!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some New Fun

I got some great materials to play with from Express Yourself in Bethel. Here are a few layouts using the My Little Shoebox and Scenic Route lines.

Teacher Gifts

The end of the year teacher gifts can be a bit tricky for me. I always give a gift card, but like to do something a little more personal as well. This year I decided to make little bulletin boards/memo boards for the teachers.

I painted a 16x20 canvas and added ribbon, Prima flowers, some stickers from Creative Imaginations, and cork. Sealed it with an acrylic sealer and voila!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Last Day of School! {RP Post}

It is official - J is now a 1st grader and N is a 3rd grader! Yesterday was the last day of school and the kids celebrated in style. Their bus dropped them off at the beach down the road from our house and they were greeted with silly string, squirt bottles, bubbles, Popsicles, and lots of fanfare. They had a blast! What little kid wouldn't love spending 5-1/2 hours at the beach playing with tons of other kids on the last day of school???

They finally were in bed about 10:00pm last night. Today is the first day of summer vacation - and they were up at 6:40am!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Disney Mini Book

I had some fun playing with this one. I used a Maya Road album, some alcohol inks, Pearl X, Scenic Route Papers, and a Copper Leafing Pen. What fun!

Just another small mini album with Maya Road, Basic Grey and some embellishments.

Monday, June 16, 2008

POTD Week 25: Windows

She can make my heart stop in a second. She can drive me to the brink of insanity and then instantly fill me with joy. She can warm the coldest day. She can quickly remind me of what is important in life. She can easily amaze me with her carefree innocence. She can melt my heart with just a look. She is everything to me, and then more.

She is the window into my soul.






Monday, June 9, 2008

POTD Week 24 - Important Men in My Life

This is the most important man in my life. He cares for me like no one else, he provides for me and our family better than anyone could ever imagine, he loves our family more than anything, he does whatever it takes to make sure we are safe, and he puts our family's wants and needs ahead of everything [well, most everything...I still don't have that $1800 lens I want :-)].

He does all the things I can't stand doing, without taking care of the disgusting mouse traps in the winter, he eats my crazy recipe creations without muttering a negative word, takes the kids to movies without me as he knows I can't sit still that long, and has patience when I lose mine.

We've been together since we were sophomores in college - 19 years ago! He has looked out for me, helped me in so many ways, been my rock, my soul mate, and my best friend. He has never stopped loving me through all these years. Even now in th midst of my pregnancy highs and woes, he takes extra care to be sensitive to me. He sees a lovely woman carrying his precious child, he sees the good in me I don't see, he sees the beauty in me I am blind to, he sees the love I have even when I may not fully show it. He is everything that I am not.

Once in a while I wish I could see myself through his eyes.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

I love my Lightsphere!

It makes taking pictures indoors so much nicer! We have a lot of trees and woods around our house and it faces north, so there isn't a great deal of wonderful natural light to work with. Even in the middle of the day, in late spring, I still need to use a flash to get a decent exposure. Thankfully my cloudy Lightspere does a great job of helping me out!

Oh, and I can't believe this is my little 6 year old boy. He is just looking so much older these days...another reminder that time goes by in a flash!

Original image, applied Lightroom's basic color "punch" preset and then ran a USM and sharpened for the web

Image cropped in, did a gradient map layer, and played with the brightness and contrast till I liked what I saw. I am planning on re-doing one of my photo walls with a bunch of 12x12 photographs, so I am starting to play around with my images to see what works!

Monday, June 2, 2008

POTD - Week 23: Flash

Life sure goes by in a flash! It is hard to believe that my son is going to turn 8 this month. It truly seems like just yesterday he entered our world. He has grown so much, in so many ways, and often I wish I could freeze time so that the changes would stop. Don't get me wrong - I love seeing him discover and grow and mature - but sometimes it just seems to happen too fast.

Granted he still has {many} moments when I swear he is acting like a 2 year old, but more and more often he is catching me off guard with how much he is growing up. And I'm not ready for it. Recently we were watching the movie Ice Age. One of the characters used the word "sexy". Oh boy.

Nathan asked me - "Mom, what does sexy mean?"
Me - {crap} "It when you like the way someone looks, you think they are cute."

A minute later:
Nathan - "What is sex?"
Me - {double crap} "Why?"
N - "Because I want to know."
Me - "Why?" {feeling increasingly tense - after all, he isn't even 8 years old yet!}
N - "I just want to know."
Me - "Where did you hear that word?"
N - "At school. I don't want to talk about it. Just tell me what it means!" {Now he is getting frustuated with me.}
Me - "Well it is a complicated subject. I'd like to know what you heard first."
N - "MOM! I don't want to talk about it now! Just tell me what sex means!" {Did I mention that he is incredibly stubborn? This back and forth went on for a little while.}
Me - {Very concerned at this point.} "It is something that grown ups do when they love each other. It involves kissing and sometimes results in a baby being made." {Stressed because I'm totally not ready for this conversation and have no idea how much info is too much and what does a little boy need to know anyway???}
N - "Oh. So you and dad have had sex four times."
Me - {silently groaning} "Yea, something like that."

The next day it was still bugging me. So I asked again.
Me - "What did you hear about sex at school?"
N - "Nothing. Some people were wearing necklaces with their dogs names on them and said sex - M or sex - F, so I was wondering what it means."
Me - {HELLO!!! LIGHTBULB!!!} "Sex is another word for GENDER. Boy or Girl. Male or Female."

AHHHH! If he wouldn't have been so dang stubborn and given me the context of the word first, I would have totally saved myself a TON of agony and stress!!!

Oh, I am so not looking forward to the teen years. I really hope the next 7-8 years don't go by in a flash!