Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Throwback Thursday-Happy New Year 2009!!!

Here are some photos from past New current. Enjoy and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Years 1996 (I was pregnant with Jordan here and did not know it):
New Year 1996

(yep, we were pregnant...and didn't know it! What a special new yr to be pregnant with Jordan after the loss of my first child :)
New year 1996

New Years 2007
With Family and Friends. It was our last New Year with our precious GaGa
New Years 2007 4

New Years 2007 3

david and i
New Years 2007 1

david's brother and his wife
New Years 2007 2

New Years 2007  5

New Years 2007 6

New Years 2007 7

New Years 2007

New Years 2007 9

(don't's sparkling grape juice!)
New Years 2007 8

same friends here in 2007 that were from 1996 :)
New Year 2007

New Years 2008
(Husband never lets us take his photo!)
New Year 2008

(we did manage to get his thumb in this one!)
New Year 2008

New Years 2009

New Year 2009 2

New Year 2009 1

New Years 2009 5

Have a Blessed 2009!

God's Cinderella

Well, I've hit the big day 40 with my 365 challenge.

As I finished hanging portraits today, I was reminded of so many years ago...or it seems so so long ago when I wore this wedding gown! These old age-ed hands of mine prove the years have gone by.


This summer of 09 my husband and I will be married 18 yrs. While it doesn't seem like much time, it really is an accomplishment in comparison to the many marriages that fail these days.

Ours isn't a perfect one. We've had our challenges and growing pains throughout the years...still do. Yet, we've continued to put God first in everything we do. No matter what our feelings tell us.

Sometimes we put ourselves first, and we quickly learn that we begin spirally downward when we forget to put God first.

This not only proves to be true in our married life, but also in our personal lives. When we allow other things to cloud our view of God's plan for each of our lives, things go wrong...and fast!

I sooo loved our wedding day. Everything about it! Especially the flowers that were purple with flowing violets streaming down from my bouquet. I felt like Cinderella...waiting for my prince charming to walk down the isle and meet with me.

God put us together, and even though we don't always see His plan, it unfolds throughout the years of joy, sorrow, pain, happiness and even through times of grief. It all works together, and the journey is a beautiful thing, when we relax and join in with His plan.

In Fairy tales we learn about little girls growing up to be the princess, and prince charming sweeping them off their feet to a land of perfect happiness and forever bliss.

After less than one year of marriage one can learn that fairy tales aren't true with all the "feelings" that go along.

What I have learned. God's love, grace and mercy toward us is the only lasting truth. It is real. We can learn to love God's way. The way 1 Corin. 13 teaches. It is a daily dying to self. Not always easy, and I sure slip up, but each day is a new day to start over.

Another Perspective of My Gift; Love Comes Softly


Another perspective of my sister's painting. :) It is actually quite large. As I said before, she painted this when she was about 11 or 12 yrs old. My grandmother had purchased all of my sister's paintings back when she was a teen, because so many of them were ocean scenes. She used them to decorate her beach house. When my grandparents sold their beach house many yrs later, she moved all of the paintings to her home. After they both passed away, my sister gifted me with this one, because from a young age I have always admired it! She kept one of her much smaller 1st florals, and all of the ocean scenes. I got the large bright and beautiful one! :) I love it!

One a separate note...Has anyone seen the "Love Comes Softly" series? Michael Landon, Jr. films them. Those movies are BEAUTIFUL! Sometimes I long for this type of simplicity of living! Don't get me wrong, I know they worked so very hard, and had their share of very hard times too. Yet, it just seems like a lovely way to live to me. To live off of the land God gave them. In today's world we worry over things that just don't really matter. Back then, they were concerned most every day with life and death choices...over needful things!

For Christmas, one of our three gifts to Jordan was the 3 pack of the series. She got movies 1-3 which included: Love Comes Softly, Love's Enduring Promise, and Love's Long Journey. She and I watched the 2nd and 3rd last night. We had seen the first one at her nana's house several months ago and she wanted me to see the newer ones with her too.

Oh, we laughed and cried! It reminded me of Little House on the Praire, but much different! I used to watch Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons every week when I was a little girl. :) I always wanted to look like Mary...with the beautiful blue eyes, and beautiful shiny blond hair....but I was the Laura...always feeling ugly, always getting into mischief with my Auburnish dark brown hair and freckles. :P My older sister Beth was always the pretty one in my eyes. She had light brown/blonde hair, and nice skin...and always thin without even trying. :)

If you've seen the Love Comes Softly series, what did you think about them? If you haven't and would like to, you should be able to rent them. Also, Sam's club or Walmart may be selling them right now... we found them at our local Sam's Club. :)

I'm such a lover for these kinds of movies.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's a Monkey's Business, I Can Hang!

Whooo hooooooo!!!

Talk about small things making people happy. Heeheeeeee!

Ok, we have been renting for the past 2 yrs. At our last rental home of almost 2 yrs, we were not able to hang anything on the walls. We tried to hang some things with command strips....a few stuck pretty good...but have you ever been awakened to a loud THUD! Well, we were when the adhesives would break from the wall. I followed the weight guides and directions. Yet for some reason a few of the adhesives on the larger items would be duds or something.

So we move here to our new apartments a few months ago. Guess what...white walls. UGH! I'm one of these creative types that if I do not get color in my life, I go NUTSO! Like...toward the end of winter...I'm almost in a depression funk from not seeing beautiful green and flowers!

Originally when we looked at the model apt with the "assistant" mgr, she had told us that we could paint, but NO holes...nails...nothing on the walls except command strips. If we painted, we would have to repaint with white primer when we moved. David and I just did not see the sense in spending the extra money to paint. Then have to spend to paint back over when we move.

We resolved to living with white walls cuz hey, it's only for a yr while he does his residency. Yet for is like living in a cave.... That's just me though!

Well, my husband had seen this commercial for something called Hercules Hooks. He told me all about them and wondered if we could use them. Our local Lowe's Hardware has the same thing, but they're called Monkey Hooks! Much more affordable too! I got one pack of (4 hooks) for $2.97. Monkey Hooks claim to hold 35 lbs...but I think they could actually hold more weight!

Today I had planned to clean most of the afternoon. As I was cleaning, I came across the Monkey Hooks I had bought. So I called the office of our apts...I always like to ask first before doing things. I've never thought it right to just go and alter a place that doesn't belong to me, and then play innocent and act like I didn't know...ya know??? lol. Anyway, I call, and the MANAGER answers. I said to her, "I realize the rules are no holes for hanging...but..." and before I could continue she was like chuckling and holes??? Who told you that??? Well, the assist manager had told BOTH David and I TWICE. When we signed our contract we asked again, and she said nope again. The Manager may hang anything you like!!!

YEAH!!!!!!! I pulled every portrait and painting out...didn't even get the house cleaned because I was going room to room trying to figure out what I wanted to hang where. hehe.

This painting below is one I put up in the kitchen. It is actually much bigger than it appears in the shot. (I took this photo for my 365 challenge). My sister painted this floral in oils when she was 11 or 12 yrs old. She is now 45...i think.

Artists run in my family. My mom is also very gifted in making baskets and interior design. My sister could have been an amazing painter...selling her paintings for a nice price(some of her work when she was an older teen is so beautiful!), but she has no desire to pick up a brush at the moment. I hope someday she will again! I can just see her selling paintings in key west...all her beautiful ocean scenes. :)


A Beautiful Book and Movie; Tell Me Your Favorites

As a child I had never read the book, "Anne of Green Gables". It is a classic, but for some reason I missed that one! :) Now that I am teaching the children at home, it is wonderful to go through books with them. We even from time to time rent the movie that goes with the book.

Recently we rented this movie from Netflix. It is a LONG 3 hours...but we sooo enjoyed it! What a beautiful story of hope! Jordan enjoyed it more than Josh (it is a bit girly). So I'm going to rent something more that he will enjoy next time. We have already rented Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn a few months ago. :)

If you have never seen this 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables, I would encourage you to rent it! Only, be cautioned that Anne does get her best friend Diana drunk (by mistake)...she thought she was giving her rasperry delight, but instead grabbed the wrong bottle of muscadine I had to explain with Jordan. It was a good opportunity to let her know about the abuse of alcohol though...because the little girl got very sick from it! :)

I'm so into classics and older movies that instill good values. Even with this one scene, the family values in it are so wonderful!

Some of my favorite classics and musicals are:

Sound of Music
The Music Man
Gone with the Wind

What are some of your oldie favorites? I'd love to know...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not Too Pretty; 365 Resuming...;RANT

365 resuming...

In more ways than one! If you choose to read further, just realize I've had it up to my ears lately and I am on about 3 medicines for all this crud!!! You should also know on my list of new yrs resolutions is to let these kinds of petty things roll off my back, and stay off!


My mother in law always says, "Pretty is as pretty does". Well, I does NOT be TOO PRETTY right now! Been SICK over the Christmas holidays! Still battling it!

I've been away from my 365 challenge for a couple of weeks now. I took some reflective time off and have realized that this is something I really need to finish. Also, that I need to once and for all get comfortable in my skin. I'm not here for people to say, pretty you are...The compliments are nice, but if I am only here for the compliments, then I need to rethink this whole thing again.

Fever blisters...yeah, nasty things I have always gotten since as a child. Passed down from my mother as she still gets them too! Any time I would get sunburned, sick, or extremely stressed, one or two would always crop up. Believe me, I've tried everything to get rid of them...but still open for suggestions. If you offer a suggestion and I have tried it, I will just kindly reply...done that. :)

Currently I have two of the three causes of mine going on...hence I have a multiple case of them....I've been sick with some kind of crud like flu and coughing my head off for a couple of weeks, and I am extremely stressed and quite honestly a bit testy too!

Let me just say I have ZERO tolerance for immaturity! So I'm taking a BIG break from stressors in my life. Including some people who do nothing but like to stir the pot and be ugly toward me or my family to create more stress in my life! That may not be too "Christ-like" in some Christian's eye. Yet, I believe that I can forgive without having to subject to these kinds of people being directly in my life bringing me down.

With that being said...whomever is reading this blog, you know who you are:
For the person who accuses others of digs, when it is them doing the know who you are!! If you are rude, extremely overly sensative and jump to conclusions...(give digs in other website threads)...again, you know who you are. If you constantly have to be flattered, take full credit, be complimented....while subtly and underhandedly slighting someone else's work in the process to make yourself feel superior...then you know who you are! If you are a friend or family member who likes to cause people to squirm with your words and controlling nature...again, you know who you are! If you take pleasure in degrading others with a rude degrading glance, ignoring them because you are just tooo good to talk to them, using mean words, or otherwise in other ways because of their weight, looks, behavior, talents, or just because they are there and you claim that is your twisted way of loving those close to you or helping them...then know who you are.

I realize that some folks are just plain immature MOST of the time (even if they are much older or much younger than) and need to GROW UP and quit thinking the world revolves around THEM and everything THEY do or think should be done in whatever way they think!!!

When you've had it, your done! Nuff said! Rant is soon over! (by the way if you are new to my blog, I have a rant about quarterly...unless needed sooner...a blog is also for ranting! Is it not?) After the new yr, I hope to be a better person than I am today. Today, I'm not so good! Actually I hope to be a better person in about 5 mins when I log off and put this all behind me!

I'm sick AND tired of being accused of words I did not say and things I did not do!!! And getting accused of putting words in others mouth.... when this is NOT the case! It is actually the OTHER way around!!! ...

"Some people" just cannot take constructive critiquing at ALL in any part of their lives. They think what they do is perfect or the right way ALL the time, and have to be told so ALL the time that what they do is astounding! Otherwise they get highly offended for no reason at all. They look for reasons to get offended!

I'm the first to say that I have plenty of room to grow...spiritually, creatively and otherwise!

So if anyone wants to label me after reading this rant, than go right ahead...if you think this is about you, then perhaps it is this time! If the shoe fits, then have a heart ck as we all need to do from time to time, then work it out with the Lord.

Side-note Suggestion that I take for myself FIRST:
As you judge me, while you are at it, take a good hard look in the mirror at YOURSELF too! Believe me, I am the first to say that I am NOT perfect! Obviously...if I thought I was so perfect...I'd be typing a sweet and perfect happy go lucky blog right now, instead of expressing how I really feel-feel like biting the head of a nail off!!!

Gossip separates the best of friends and family! We will never be perfect until Jesus comes. The people who claim they never gossip are liars... to that person they are telling this to, AND most of all to themselves! -jennography

Come quickly Lord!...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Christmas Gift

Something I spent a little Christmas money on myself for...

A fun logo to use for my photos...thanks to HeatherLynn Photography. :) I love it!


another logo test...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, I'm back online!

We've had a wonderful day together celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

I woke up about 5:30 am. The children about 6:30am. Then, Daddy came down about 7:30am. We started the morning by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Then Josh passed out our gifts to open.

Afterwards we had a big Christmas breakfast together of egg,sausage,cheese casserole, bacon, biscuits and homemade gravy. A little later after breakfast we all gathered again for dad to read to us from the Bible the true Christmas Story of Jesus' birth.

One special gift that Jordan and Josh gave to David and I was a photo of them that I had taken....I've posted it here...they gave us this color version in an 8x10. Also with that was enclosed a poem that Jordan had written for us. I'll type it for you:

Christmas by Jordan

Bells will ring, people will sing,
Tidings of joy, to every girl and boy.
Gifts of green, gifts of red,
yummy cookies and gingerbread.

Evergreen trees, decorated with glee,
Santa with his sleigh, Rudolph saves the day.
Candy canes that tie and nutty pumpkin pie,
Stockings will hang, and drums will bang.

But that is not the reason, for this very special season.
Baby Jesus was born, on Christmas morn.
Three kings traveled very far, without a car,
Shephards from the east, to see the baby priest.

So do all your traditions, that you do at Christmas,
But remember this advise....That Christmas began with Christ!

Here is a video of the kids making Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve, and then Christmas morning opening their gifts from our family back home. (despite us all having the "crud"...a nasty RSV, we still managed to keep Christmas fun!)

Hope you all had a blessed and meaningful Christmas with family and friends.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Rap written and sung by Jordan and Josh

Here is the rap song that J &J wrote themselves. Josh mixed the music and recorded their voices. :)

1st Verse is Josh
Chorus: Jordan
2nd Verse is Jordan
Chorus: Jordan

We wish you all a Merry Christmas. And OH, don't be deceived by the obnoxious intro...keep gets better! ;)

Monday I begin my internet fast. I'll be back after Christmas to share with you about our very special and meaningful Christmas.

Blessings to you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Love These; Blog Break Reflection; Forgiveness


After Jesus, my husband...these two sweet kiddos make life such a blessing! I LOVE THESE!!! Our kids?... a barrel of fun, joy,...even frustration and tears, but we learn from each other and grow. (I learn more from them then they do from me. :)

Kids have a way of showing us what really know...keeping us grounded. We don't always recognize some of those ways they keep us grounded.

For instance: Lately, I've been spending way too much time on the computer. Rather than them coming out and saying it (which they have before) they usually act out to get attention. When they were younger they would do things to get my get wild, and do things to get under my skin intentionally...get loud, get wild...wait I said, come and interrupt me like 100 plus times so I can't think and finish what I am doing. Well...they are older now, and still take this approach. lol!...usually means the same. They want my "one on one" time. :) And for more than just a 30 min they want ME talk with, share with...sing with...or just be there with them and listen.

The past couple of days I've limited my computer usage. Not blogging as much lengthy blogs lately...until now! lol!

I've been praying about this, and believe that I need to have an internet fast. Seriously.

God has been working on me personally about using my time wisely.

I've noticed that some have so many internet things going on... twitter (which I just recently joined-but GAH, can't keep up with it all! lol), facebook, myspace, blogs, flickr...a list of even further things I have seen on others that I have never even heard of to tell you the truth!

I wonder what is it all really for?? Is it to share my life? Is it to fill a void in my life? Or to get praise and compliments? Is it to reach the world for Christ? Is it to encourage others? Is it some of these, or none of these things at all?? I'm asking myself these questions, and taking a hard look... and even questioning my own motives to be honest.

In the beginning, my thought was to encourage others for Christ, to learn, and to share my life experiences. Also, to preserve those memories by way of photos and recordings. To grow as a writer and photographer. To get my thoughts out. It is also fun to see what new things are out there that can help make life a little easier on moms. There are so many wonderful, talented and knowledgeable moms on the internet! So much spiritual wisdom to gain too!!

Still, I'm wondering if it is more important to be off of the computer MORE so...and really into the real world even more. Into my family even more. Where they have more of my FULL and undivided attention. I mean...we can all "check out" in different ways. Hey...TV, Sports...Movies...all ways to forget reality for a do things that give us pleasure.

Sometimes I life for those of us in the blogger world really as good as it looks on the blog-side...all the time??? Is it really that good on the inside too??...where no one is rly looking?

To be honest, not for me always! 'Cause let's be takes a lot of time to gather thoughts, get them down, upload photos, edit photos, get them on the blog...etc just takes time...not to mention the computer isn't always as fast (if you have an older model like myself)

I try to do these things at night so as not to take time away from the kids...then I'm not getting my sleep. So then I'm a tired and cranky mama...nobody likes a tired mama...and if mama ain't happy, no one is happy! lol! Not to mention keeping up with 3 to 5 other sites I'm a part of. :S

Isn't it easy sometimes to hide behind these masks that we all put on? Come on...we all have done it, at one time or another. Whether we want to admit it or not. ;) You know...the painted smile, when we feel like screaming...AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! lol!

I'm not here to judge, believe me, I'm judging myself! Only putting the questions out there to think about.

For me personally, I can't see how on earth all of these computer programs can be kept up with regularly without something suffering for it... and truly have the family quality time that gets recorded so often in the blogging world. And WOW, the full time working moms out there...GAH, don't know how you keep up!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "knocking" the blogging. I do really love it! Only putting some personal thoughts out there to reflect on. First with myself, and then whomever wants to join in on the pondering, feel free.

I've also noticed other blogs where people try to share their heart and beliefs about things, and they get creamed! I mean, the whole purpose for a blog is to share, encourage and even rant and rave if that is the mood for that moment. Yet, some take things so to heart and so personally that they think everything written is about them.

Some might say that is called selfish or self-centered...that is what I think too. When a person automatically thinks something is about them...they are usually putting themselves first in the scenario of life.

Aren't we all selfish though? I mean, when it boils down to it, we in our human nature are just selfish beings at times. We came into the world crying...demanding to be fed...

Took me 4 yrs of counseling to learn that NO, not everything is about me. :) And NO I'm not the center of the universe, nor do I have all the answers in life...can't fix it...etc. I've also learned that when I allow myself to be offended, I'm no better than the person doing the offending. Ouch, and I still don't get that sometimes. (my toes are bleeding here!)

So moving right along in my blog and what comes next? Forgiveness...(toes are now flowing the red)

Usually the one offending is going on about their business and won't give it another thought. In fact, they may even treat the other person like, "what's with them??" and try to get others on their side with it all too. Hmmm, been there and done that too...I've been on the giving and receiving end of that scene. Yet we all act like "we never"...

This past week our small Bible study group meeting was about forgiveness. I've always thought of myself as a fairly forgiving kind of person. Awww, I'm nice...NOT!

Someone wrongs me...I smile and say awwww it's ok. I'm over it...really...REALLY...have I convinced you yet...I"M REALLY OVER IT!!! ;) But seriously, are we really as happy go lucky as we appear to be? Sure, some of us might be...not I said the little red hen!

Am I really dealing with it? Or, did I just "sweet" (yeah, i said sweet and not sweep) it under the rug with the pile of other dusty wrongs. Or am I secretly waiting for revenge? These are hard questions to really ask oneself, and to look at "truthfully"..."honestly"..."carefully"..."thoughtfully".....such beautiful words! Aren't they? :)

Some people walk through life and never want to "get real" with themselves. They never want to take responsibility for anything. It is always easier to blame the other person, ignore them, or write them off. I don't want to become this kind of person. Nor am I willing to always take the blame either. So I am continually on this quest of dealing with forgiveness in my own heart, and questioning my motives. This verse comes to mind:

Psalm 51:10 (New King James Version)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast (right) spirit within me.

Let's face it, the chambers of the heart can be quite messy at times.

One thing I learned about is for ME more than the other person. Ah, we can be a little selfish so to speak when it comes to forgiveness. :) The one who offended me may never know the depth of how they hurt me, but I do. I remember that hurt, but can make a choice to "let them off the hook" or release them into God's hands. This takes the burden off of me, and leaves it with the Lord. He knows how to deal with us all so much better.

Throughout my life, there are deep wounds that only God truly knows about, only He can understand, and only He can work them out with me. A lot of those past wounds, mixed with current wounds that can crop up (some not as deep, yet still hurtful) continually place me at a crossroads of make a decided choice to forgive...over and over and is continual.

Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven...He meant this in terms of multiplicity...

Matthew 18:21-22 (New King James Version)

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

First forgive others...and sometimes forgive myself too. Jesus forgave and never brings it up again. Boy I have a lot to learn about forgiveness!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday With Friends; A Little Under the Weather

Yesterday we spent the day with some friends from the small town we recently moved from. It was a pastor's wife and her 4 children...she has 5, but one of them attends a christian academy here where we live now. So, when she brought her oldest son to school, she picked us up to spend the day with them.

We all worked together to make pumpkin bread for their church members (and a few for ourselves to enjoy too-YUM!). ;) Our children got some good quality time with their children too. The mom and I gave each other therapy...haha!

J and J enjoyed it soooo very much tho. We made about 35 mini-loaves in all. My job was chopping nuts...and let me tell you that I love to chop...very therapeutic if ya know what I mean...hehe You can get a lot of frustration out on those nuts! HA! A lot of joy too. :)

The smell of pumpkin was so fragrant in her home, and it gave us such a feel for the holidays and time of year where those spice smells are so wonderful!

Afterwards, we attended a small bible study group meeting later that evening. Since they had to bring us home...the parents had gotten a baby -sitter so they could do a little christmas shopping. Also they had to pick up their oldest son here from school and ball practice. The son came home with the children and I...and he even went to small group with us and entertained J &J while we had Bible study. He is such a polite young man, and such a great christian role model. He taught J&J to use garageband...(he is quite the musician). Last night late, J&J wrote a Christmas Rap Song. I'll post it for you when they get it completed. :)

Today...hubby is very oldest J has a sore throat...and my little J has congestion...on my way to get hubby from his Dr. apt now. Also, my ear is giving me feels clogged and hurts. Also, I can't hear out of it very well. Sooooo, I go Mon. to the E.N.T. In all of this, I am still so grateful. My husband works in PICU and let me tell you, there are some heart-aches going on there will loses and abused children...D and I just cry together at times when he comes home...makes me so thankful we have a loving and healthy family.

Hope all of you are healthy during this time of year. Blessings!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Noise and REM

Ok, I've been reading further about ISO and noise in The Pioneer Woman Photography blog (which by the way is an excellent study and resourse), who mentions that the new thing now is actually photoshop actions which PUT the noise/grain into photos. Interesting...

So hey, guess I'm in style now with my Kodak ISO 400, it does a great job of putting its own noise in there!

Here is a photo where I degrained my noise, and enhanced a bit with color and contrast. Still a little noise-y even so when I zoom in...but hey, we are dealing with a high tech p&s here! LOL!


Here is one that I enhanced the noise with an action in GIMP.

I actually like what it did to the helicopter, but I'm such a sucker for a beautiful clear sky that I don't much think I would use the noise in this normally for looks.

A side note...the NOISE of these copters flying in and out...all hours of the night... is one reason D and I don't get our sleep. I mean...just when I'm about to enter into REM takes off or comes in for a happens all hours of the day and night. The hover right over us. One of the "perks" of living near the hospital. ;-/ Mainly, I don't sleep because I begin wanting to pray for whomever is in the helicopter...because usually it is a trauma.

Seriously, there are plenty of good perks in other ways...we need to invest in some earplugs tho. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nature Appreciation; Meet Max

Today we took a nature walk and ended up at the park, which is within our apartment complex.

We began taking the nature walk with our cameras. Since I love art of all kinds, it is only natural that our children would too! Josh and Jordan both were interested in learning about photography...more in depth...along with me as I am learning. ;)

So we took some fun pics of the sky, a few flower pics too.

While they swang, I got interested in taking photos of textures. You can check out my photostream for more, but here are a few shots of lens flare and textures.

Here are a few of my faves...
My lens flare:

My bark texture:

My babies who are not so much babies anymore...

While at the park, we met a friend named Max. The reason we know his name??? Well, Jordan had check out the rabies tag on said a different street on a different side of town. So, we thought this kitty was lost from home. So we called the 1-800 number, and come to find out...the address on the tag is DUH the Dr.'s office address. But they told us his name, and that he lives in our apartment complex. We have a new friend. ;)

Josh saying hey to the office manager... and then spotting Max...

Hello Kitty!

Very friendly cat!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Christmas Card Crunch! It all worked out in The End...

While we were visiting home last week, my sister-in-law and I talked on a couple of different occasions about trying to meet to take a Christmas photo of our children together.

Unfortunately, her week was one of the busiest while we were there, and we hardly had any time together. =( It seemed the closer the end of the week got, the busier her schedule became. We were bummed!

The last day there, our family got together for lunch. Even our lunch meeting was so rushed! Basically, David and I were finalizing our packing, and loading the car as our Sun. dinner was being prepared to put on the table. David's brother was grilling, I was busy last minute packing, David was packing up the car...for those of you who travel out of town to visit family, you know the drill!

The day before our luncheon I had tried to see if she wanted to fit it in. I had left messages for her Sat., to let me know if she could do the photos on Sun. while we were together. Well, she had worked all day Sat. and into the late evening, and could not get to her phone to call me back...and I know how it is to be so tired and I'm sure all she had on her mind was getting she and her kids into bed for church the next morning!

I really did not think anything of it. We were all so tired when Sun morning rolled around, and I knew they were exhausted because their children actually help out with their business demonstrations.

Sun morning, my kids were slllleeeepy from staying up late and visiting with family and friends. So I decided not to push them into dressing or preparing for photos...especially since I did not know for sure if my sister-in-law was up for it. The short of it...she came somewhat prepared (she brought red tops for them to change into), Yet even her kids looked a bit tuckered out as well.

The luncheon ended up being a bit frazzled for our kids or I to get into doing an unprepared shoot. (you know how photographing your own kids can be...Josh doesn't seem to mind, but Jordan gets irritated by it if she is rushed and pushed into it... not to mention both of our kids are ADHD/ADD and Sensory Integration...they get in a major tizzy if you make them feel hurried or really throws them off!) Plus, I wanted them to just enjoy their time with their cousins for our last few hrs together.

No groups photos of the kiddos that trip around, maybe next. Which I'm kind of glad...not that I even thought of this at the time...but later I thought to myself that I'd rather have some sharper lenses (like a wide angle) for my camera before I do the shot of them together... AND I'd really like to take it outdoors... perhaps in the local park (which is BEAUTIFUL with flowers in the spring!) I'm sure nana will want a good photo of her grandkids. ;)

Here's the story of the Christmas Card Crunch:
My sister-in-law usually takes her own Christmas photo every yr, and encloses it in a fold over card, or card w/ front photo insert. I did not realize until after the fact (yesterday when we talked), that she had not taken a shot of her kids yet to be used for her Christmas cards. She may have mentioned this before at one time or another in chatting, but what we are dealing with here FOLKS concerning ME is... a Right Brained, ADD, Fibro-Fogged gal. Makes good for creativity...not so good for other things. So hey, some things go in the ear and right on out the other if they are not written down or keyed into my Blackberry! I could have snapped a few photos for their card...but if things aren't put to me straight out, sometimes they do not know how hind sight is 20/20?...i live in the 20/20 world! HA!!

Sooooo....Time was slipping away for her now...

She called me yesterday, feeling in a crunch from her oh so busy schedule, and asked me if I would come up with something for her to use this year. I gladly obliged!!! YAY, an opportunity to practice my editing skills. (and let me tell ya, I had a TIME with the cloning tool...GAH! But I think I got it worked out with the help of a new friend in a flickr photography group forum, Tammy)

For her Christmas photos, we had to use photos that she and I had taken previously over the past few months. So I hopped on my iPHOTO to see what I could see.

I had a lot of fun with it and came up with these two designs...

The first one here:
I actually made the template in Scrapblog of all places! (For those who haven't used this website, it is really neat, and very user friendly too!) I found the background, and added/positioned the ornament *stickers* to scale the way I wanted them to look...and came up with this:

kathy christmas card_Page_0-3

The second card:
A few weeks ago I decided to have a go at making some fun Christmas Bokeh photos. So I spent one evening taking lots of bokeh photos. Had a blast doing it too!!! I have an album set in my photostream if you'd like to check them out. I wasn't sure at the time how or when I would use them exactly. Mainly put them out there to share with others for the holidays. One of my bokeh shots came in REAL handy for their Christmas Card:

christmas kathy1

For those is the original SOOC I had to work with. This photo was taken by my sister-in-law at the beach last summer. The high noon bouncing light on the girls faces and backside of William's head worked nicely with the Christmas bokeh background:
SOOC for Christmas card

Even though we could not get our schedules together for photos with my sister-in-law this last trip home... at least concerning her Christmas card dilemma..."it all worked out in the end!" :o)

The End!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-2 Summers Ago

I took these 2 summers ago...

This one made be think of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Wordless Wed-Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Wordless Wed-Josh

Wordless Wed

Monday, December 8, 2008


Some more of my experimenting with Gimp. =)

SOOC (straight out of camera)

After I edited with GIMP
Kaylen 2

GIMP Play and Fun..365 time out!

I've been learning some new techniques with layers, mask layers, and such that I'm still learning....haha. Here are some below photos that I did an eye brightening on.

I know not everyone loves the b/w or sepia with color eyes and such. But I totally think it is fun! I appreciate all kids of art...Realistic or Impressionistic. Personally, I really don't criticize anyone for how they edit, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :) Everyone sees the world differently and we all have opinions. I tend to be a little more open minded when it comes to art.

So, for those who are totally not diggin these photos, that is quite alright. :)

They turned out kinda cool thought I think! Interesting how Jordan's eyes were done the exact same as Josh's..with same opacity. But she has these rly cool hazel eyes that when I brought up the curves all these neato colors popped!


After edit in GIMP

Josh's eyes are a deeper blue. Two very different looks.

After edit in GIMP

I've taken a couple of weeks off from my 365 challenge. I've read this is OK. But with traveling, and being out of town, I had to give it a rest for a week or so until I can get caught up around here! ;) Hope I don't fall out, because I really want to complete this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Ornaments!

This yr I participated in an ornament swap with some other bloggers that was coordinated by Shelley.

We've been out of town, and when we arrived home we had a package awaiting us. :)

It was so fun opening them and being surprised. Our children had such fun seeing what came next, and enjoyed hanging them on our tree.





And she even gave me an issue of Parenting :)

Thanks Mindy...we love them all! You put such thought into our ornaments.

Have a Merry Christmas!