Saturday, May 31, 2008


Did you know that to greet people in Swahili, you say "Jambo!" How much fun would that be? I mean, "Hi" and "Hello" are so boring compared to "Jambo!" I can just see yelling it as loudly as possible. It just seems so exciting! "JAMBO, Tink!" LOL! I think today I'll just go around yelling "JAMBO!" at people. I can probably get the kids in on it too. So we'll either make people smile and laugh, or we'll be committed to the looney bin. [shrug] It's all good.

Yesterday's weather was AMAZING! Sunny, hot, perfect for hanging out outside after the kids got home from school and Steve got home from work. Steve decided to smoke the turkey he shot the other day. Did I post the picture of that here? I probably didn't, thinking I'd offend someone or gross someone out. But too bad. I'm posting it now. Just because I think it's funny that my 4-year-old has no problem posing next to her daddy, who is holding a dead bird upside down that is larger than her. And that fact that she has a camo hat that matches her daddy's hunting clothing makes it that much better. Ahhhh... I love the redneck life.

A Girl, Her Dad and a Dead Bird

Anyway, while Steve smoked the turkey, we all just hung out in the yard by the pavilion, taking pictures (me) and playing baseball (the rest of the family). I got some awesome shots that I'm excited to start editing. I did manage to edit a few last night.

This is Steve throwing Hannah around, which is easy to do considering her size.

Fly, Little One

Then this one is Grace, fascinated with the feather she found (which happened to be from when Steve cut up the turkey on Monday, but I didn't have the heart to tell her).

Fascinating Feather

And this, my friends, is possibly my favorite picture I've taken to date. It totally cracks me up and is so typical of Grace. Makes me laugh every time I look at it. I'm totally getting it printed out and I'm framing it and hanging it the living room. It's my photo for Project 365 for yesterday.

Squishy Face

And now, I must go shower or something. We have more T-ball games and softball games today. Sigh. I'm getting a little sick of being at the ball field, but the girls have fun, so I guess that's all that matters, huh? I'm secretly hoping it starts raining before the games, but I'll deny that if my kids ask. Later, gang!

Quote of the Day:
Progress depends on people knowing they'll be able to profit from their ideas.
--Deborah Neville

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tere! (That's hello in Estonian.)

I've decided I'm going to start stalking Tink. I have no rhyme or reason behind this decision. But the link to her honeymoon cruise in six-months made me decide that I should be on that cruise too, dammit. So me, Steve, her and Hoop are going to get adjoining cabins, whoop it up, get shit-faced, and have a blast. What's that you said? It's their honeymoon and they should be alone? Pfft! Whatever. They'll have years of "alone time." A wedding is a time to whoop it up. Right Tink? Right? Um, hello? Tink, you there? Shit. Maybe there won't be a cruise for me after all. Sigh.


So I found the coolest website today. OK. So I didn't technically discover it. It's not like some poor sap in a basement in Arkansas had a website that no one found until today. But I got the link through a blog I read (or newletter? or article? I don't remember. Something.) Anyway, I digress. The site is called Tag Galaxy and it's amazingly cool. You type in a tag (like you'd use on Flickr) and these little planets whirl around on your screen (and at you. Note to self: Don't drop acid and then visit this site). Anyway, you can continue to click on search tags and then whenever the mood strikes, you can click on a link to go find all of the photos on Flickr that have that/those tags. Then they whirl around on your screen and land on a photo sphere where you can click on to see the photo, etc. So cool! Go check it out. Even if you don't give a rat's ass about Flickr, the Tag Galaxy site is fun to play with and watch.


Speaking of cool websites, I also ended up here today at Big Huge Labs, found through Flickr. Now a few Christmases ago, you may remember where I made a bunch people in my family a CD calendar. It's a standard CD jewel case simply snapped back and sitting on your desk like an easel. Then every month, you just slide your monthly calendar in it and enjoy.

Anyway, I needed a calendar page for June since June is occurring sooner than  I would care to admit or face. So I went to that there link up there, picked a starting month/year, chose a photo right from my Flickr account (although you can just upload a photo if you'd rather go that route), and clicked the Create button.

A few seconds later,  the calendar page appeared on my screen, I saved it to my computer, opened it in Photoshop, resized it to 4.25" and printed it out. (It sounds WAY more complicated than it is. Trust me.) And here it is... my page for June. Sweet.

CD Calendar


OK. I just fell asleep like 3 times sitting here, so I guess that's my cue to head to bed. It's been a pleasure talking to you, my friends. See you soon!  I'll leave you with a few more photos I managed to post-process this morning.

Filling the Watering Can


This was Hannah sleeping this morning (That's Grace's head behind her. LOL!) She looked to cute and peaceful not to take a picture.

Sleeping Beauty


Grace being her typical self, hanging upside down on the swing. The kid kills me.

The Unconventional One


Grace just playing in the yard over the weeekend...

Grace in Yard


And this is Hannah yelling at me. She just wanted to play ball and I kept snapping her picture. She was pissed. LOL!

Knock it off Mom!

Quote of the Day:
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
--William James

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm Boring.

So... (I just realized how often I start out my posts saying, "So..." Go ahead. Scroll down and look. You'll see.) Today was rather uneventful in terms of blog post material. And yet, I felt so damn busy all day, I didn't know which end was up. How does that happen anyway? Weird.

Anyway, I had all sorts of stupid, uninteresting things I had to do today -- none of which you'd be interested in. And now it's 1:30 in the morning, I'm not even remotely tired (yet know that I NEED to go to bed), and I have nothing to say to all of you. Nice.

Uhhh... how about looking at some photos? Because I'm sure that you all are just giddy with anticipation every day, waiting for me to post more photos of my kids, right? Uh huh.

Oh! I know! I won a contest today! As I've mentioned before, I'm a blog whore and read a billion of them a day. (God bless Google Reader by the way.) Well, today, one of my feeds came through and the blog was giving away $30 gift cards to a cool store that sells gorgeous photo albums. All you had to do was be one of the first 5 people to comment on the post. Well guess who was #5? Yup! That would be me! [grins] I'm so excited! They have some gorgeous albums and I can't wait to check out the site closer and decide what to buy! Yay me for my obsessive blog addiction!

I bet other readers are pissed though. A lot of the readers are professional photographers and I'm sure they figure they have way more use for the prize than I do. Too bad suckas! You snooze, you lose! Mwaaahaaahaaa! [insert maniacal laughter here]

OK. So what else? Uhhh... yeah. Drawing a blank again. I guess I'll just post the photos and hope that tomorrow at least ONE funny thing happens so I can entertain all of you adoring fans. ;)

These first two pictures are from Monday. Every spring, the girls and I buy a bunch of flowers and plant them in a bunch of pots. (Our soil in the yard is way too crappy to really start a "real" flower garden.) We have a ton of fun, the girls like getting dirty, and it's my little signal to myself that spring is finally here. :)




These other three are from Hannah's t-ball game tonight. That's my mom giving Grace a kiss while she was shoving food in her mouth (which is pretty typical of Grace, actually. LOL!)

Through the Fence

Stolen Kiss

And this last one is my photo for Project 365 today. :)

On Deck

Quote of the Day:
The secret pleasure of a generous act Is the great mind’s great bribe.
--John Dryden

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's her secret?

Why, what possibly could Hannah be hiding? What is it that made her slap her hands over her mouth while giggling uncontrollably?

You Can't See!

Gasp! It's a new gap in her smile! :)

Missing Tooth

That's right. Today, my sweet 4-year-old (almost 5-year-old) lost her very first tooth while eating a Twizzler at Grandma's house. She's so excited and proud and just beside herself with the fact that the tooth fairy is coming to visit her tonight. How cute is she with that new space in her smile? LOL! Adorable if I do say so myself. ;)

(And the truth is, in that first picture, I didn't tell her to do that and she wasn't actually hiding her smile. I was trying to snap some pictures of her big milestone tonight when she slapped her hands over her mouth and started laughing. I thought she was just trying to be funny/cute/etc. and said (while laughing), "C'mon! I want to get a picture of you with your tooth gone." Her response? "No Mom! I wasn't trying to hide it. But I just farted and couldn't help but laugh." Nice. See? It's good when my children remind me that there's no way they could be anyone else's child but my own. It keeps me grounded.)

Quote of the Day:
It takes a steady hand to carry a full cup.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Good Mornin'

Morning gang. Wow, the past few days have flown by. We ended up going to the party with my friends on Saturday night, and I must say, we had a blast. The people I've known since high school (or earlier in some cases) are just hilarious. So I'm glad we went. Good times.

Here are a few photos from the night.








Then, yesterday morning, Steve decided we were having a Memorial Day picnic... in a few hours. What the hell? The house was trashed, we had no food, we had no beer, and the yard was a mess. But he invited everyone before he really talked to me about it (LOL), so we sucked it up, busted ass, and managed to get everything bought and ready by the time people started showing up.

It was actually fun, and I'm glad we had it, but a little bit of prior notice next time would be nice. LOL!

Anyway, it's going to be GORGEOUS today, and I promised the girls we'd go buy some flowers and plant them, so I guess I have to get started with my day. Off to shower. I hope everyone enjoys their last day of their Memorial Day vacation!

(Oh, and Chelle, the reason you don't see the reflection in my photos is because I didn't use a flash. That's why I took them in Grace's room (best natural light). Plus the lens I have on my camera right now takes awesome pictures in lower light situations so I didn't need a flash.)

Quote of the Day:
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
--John Kenneth Galbraith

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fun with Focus

Sooo... I spent over 3.5 hours today at the local ball fields for Grace's softball game and then Hannah's T-ball game later in the day. Other than that, I've done nothing productive. The girls have been really good actually, and managed to occupy themselves reading and drawing.

In a bit, I'll take them to my parents' house for the night. Steve and I are SUPPOSED to go to two parties/picnics -- one with his old high school friends and one with my old high school friends. Truthfully though, I'm not in the mood to go to either (which is odd for me). Steve left at 4 AM to go turkey hunting this morning and I haven't heard from him since (it's now almost 5 PM), which tells me he's not that excited about the parties either. LOL!

But see, we have this bad habit of ditching ALL of our friends' parties. Sometimes just because, and sometimes because we have other obligations and just can't get there. But these people come to ALL of our stuff, so we REALLY need to at least go to the party with my friends. Sigh.

So while the girls were occupied today, I messed around with some more photos I took the past few days. Yesterday, no one else was home and I felt like experimenting with my camera again. I'm really trying to learn about depth of field, focal point, aperture, etc. Since I really have no interest at all in taking photos of things that aren't people (it's just not my thing... Photos of flowers and bugs and random buildings do nothing for me), I set up a mirror on the floor in Grace's room (best natural lighting) and had at it. I felt like a total dork at the time, but it's always fun for me to mess around in Photoshop afterwards. Anyway... here are a few shots (because I'm sure you really care).



This one is/was totally out of focus, but for some reason I liked it, so I changed it to sepia and declared it "artsy." LOL!



And I call these two "Fun with Focus" (LOL!) because I had set my focal point on my feet in the reflection of the mirror.



I especially like this last one because I like how my real feet and my reflection are out of focus and the reflection of my feet is in focus, which is what I was trying to do. (Please note the small spots of nail polish on each large toe. I NEVER paint my toenails (or fingernails), but a few weeks ago, I threw on some open-toed sandals to wear to work and my nails were dirty underneath, so I quick whipped some of Hannah's polish on them. I don't own nail polish remover, so I'm waiting for it to just naturally wear off of my nails. LOL!)



And here are a few from Grace's softball game last night. This one is Hannah watching the game through the fence.

Watching Grace's Game


A close up of Grace I took while looking through the fence.

Grace at Softball Crop


And one of Hannah. Don't you wonder what she was thinking? I do.

Hannah in Thought

Well, I suppose I should call Steve's cell phone and see if I should shower or something for these stupid parties. Grumble grumble. More later I guess...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Drive by post...

Soooo... I'm supposed to be working, but I also have laundry and dishes to do before Grace's softball game tonight. But I was procrastinating, so I decided to post process some more photos I had taken the past few days. I started messing around with this one I took of Grace yesterday morning:


Now as much as I realize the expression her face isn't the greatest, I loved the catchlights in her eyes and the fact that I had actually focused on her eyes (The new camera can be tricky and mastering your focus is a huge part of it.)

So I opened it in Photoshop and zoomed in on her eyes a bit to enhance the catchlights and sharpen the irises a bit like I always do. As I was doing that, I was sort of wondering what exactly had given her such an odd shaped catchlight. We had been standing outside, waiting for the bus in the morning and I couldn't figure out what could've given them that shape.

So I zoomed in closer. I'm so glad I did! How cool is this?!


Do you see that? Do you know what that is? That's right folks. That's me, reflected in her eyes. I had taken the photo vertically, so that's my arm over my head, holding my camera sideways to snap the picture and the sky behind me.

I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by this, but I think it's pretty neat.

Anyway, just wanted to post this quick. I'll post again later with my Project 365 photo for today and catch up on what's been going on around here. Happy Friday everyone! :)

I'm Really Bad at Blog Post Titles.

This is going to be short and sweet. I feel bad posting pictures and running. But frankly, I don't have the brain power I'd need to type anything out. I'm whooped. I PROMISE y'all tomorrow that I'll have a good blog post.

Anyway, here are some photos I took today. Enjoy! These were all taken while waiting for Grace's school bus this morning. :)






Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crazy Night...

Wow. Yesterday and last night were insane. I won't even go into it all now, but the highlights include:

** Busy day at work.

** Left work and drove to mall to schedule Hannah's Libby Lu party in two weeks. She's so excited! But I need to make the invitations pronto! LOL! It's going to be so cute. Each girl gets a rock star (or princess... or Hannah Montana) makeover, gets to play dress-up, gets to lip-sync at the end, etc. So cute!

** Left the mall and drove to the daycare where I had to attend a mandatory meeting about the summer program Grace will be in. I was a little nervous about the fact that they go to the public pool every day, but I was calmed down a little bit by the information I got at the meeting.

** Left there and tried to make it home to catch the end of Grace's softball game. No such luck. But Steve said she did great and even made a double play... caught it in the air and then threw a kid out at first. That's my girl! :)

** Came home and saw THE most amazing rainbow I've ever seen in my life. Snapped some photos and will post those later.

** Settled in for American Idol. Wow. Was SHOCKED at how big the vote spread was. I really thought it would be closer. Don't want to ruin it for anyone who TiVo'ed it and didn't watch yet, but tonight's post WILL discuss it, so go watch it now if you didn't yet.

** Around 11:30, Hannah puked all over her (and Grace's) bed. Total mayhem. Vomiting for an hour and a half straight with barely a break in between. Poor kid. Her and slept on the couch, so needless to say, I'm exhausted this morning because there wasn't much "sleeping" going on. Sigh.

** So her and I are home today and although I'm supposed to be working, my house is absolutely, positively trashed, I have a TON of laundry to do (thanks to the vomiting), and I really need to get this place in order. Sigh.

So with that, I leave you with my photo for Project 365 from Tuesday. More later tonight...

Hannah Closeup

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

WWC - May 13th - 20th

I'll be back later with a "real" post. But here are my photos for the Weekly Word Challenge (WWC). This week's words were PEACE and REGRET.





(I regret ever having started this habit.)

WWC - Regret

You will always be my baby...

Sorry, once again, for the blog post title that comes from some song lyrics. But my music is streaming (currently, it's David Cook's American Idol performances) and that line actually fits today's posts in some way.

Hannah has her first loose tooth. That's right. My "baby" is going to lose a tooth soon. Now I'm not normally a sentimental type of person. But the fact that the tiny little girl that drives me insane more often than not is about to enter another level of growing up kind of has me in a stupor. She's only 4 after all. And her baby teeth are so tiny (like the rest of her), that I'm seriously afraid that once that sucker does fall out, we'll never find it. LOL! Sigh. My baby is growing up. And I'm cool with that for the most part. But when it's thrown in our ("our" as in the collective group of moms out there) faces, it kind of takes it to a whole new level and makes us a bit weepy whether we'd like it to or not.


Everyone else in the house is (mildly) sick right now except me. Which gives me one more notch in my mental argument belt that drinking beer kills evil germs and that everyone should do it. Beer is good. Beer does wonderful things. Go drink one.


So speaking of David Cook, is anyone else as excited for tomorrow's American Idol finale as I am? I feel like such a dork even caring. But I'm soooo excited to see what good ol' Cook pulls out of his hat this week. Get 'em boy!


I have an awesome idea in my head for one of the photos for Tink's Weekly Word Challenge tomorrow. I already have the "Peace" one snapped and ready to go. But I haven't taken the "Regret" one yet. And I'm glad. Because tonight, I thought about what I wanted to do and tomorrow, I'll give it a whirl. I'm working from home so I'll have time to mess around with it and see if I can translate what's in my head into an actual photograph. Stay tuned...


For those of you who asked if I'm going to start up Project 365 again now that I have the new camera, the answer is yes. I already have actually. I've been posting to my 365 blog and you're all more than welcome to visit me over there too.


And with that, I leave you with a bunch of photos I took today after work. I took all of them at Hannah's dance class tonight.

Hannah Dance Class 7

Hannah Dance Class 4

Hannah Dance Class 5

Hannah Dance Class 2

Hannah Dance Class 3

Hannah Dance Class 1

Grace Blows a Bubble

Quote of the Day:
Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image.
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lazy Days and Good Friends

Ahhh... everyone needs days like today. It was raining and overcast almost all day. The kids couldn't go outside, but for some reason, they were OK with that.

We played board games almost all day, while watching the Indiana Jones marathon on the Sci-Fi channel, and just chilling out.

Rainy Day

I had gone grocery shopping first thing this morning, so we had food in the house (unlike the past few days). I did at least 6 loads of laundry (mostly blankets, sheets and towels), and actually put them away instead of letting them stacked (but clean) in the laundry room.

So it was one of those half-lazy and half-productive days that are my favorite. The guilt of being lazy is balanced out by the fact that you did, indeed, get things done. Awesome.


I forgot to mention that last week one day, I finally got to talk to Tink on the phone. First of all, she sounds exactly like I expected her to sound. Too funny. But what struck me was that the second we started talking, you'd swear we'd been friends for years. (Which, technically, I suppose we have been. But we hadn't actually "spoken" other than in blog comments and email until now.) Both of us babbled... both of joked and laughed... and we somehow came up with an idea to revolutionize the beer keg. We swear we're going to get rich with this idea. Watch for it. You won't be disappointed. ;)


I actually have nothing else to say about today. And I'm OK with that. Sometimes the most uneventful days are the best ones. :)

So with that, I leave you with my Project 365 shot (the first one), and a few others just for good measure.



A Girl and Her Stuffed Animals

Laughing Grace

Hannah TBall Uniform