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9 posts from May 2010

May 11, 2010

B&W Wednesday: Peanut Butter Crunch

Gwen cereal box final

I've eaten this stuff until the roof of my mouth bleeds.  Oh man, it's good!

Cereal is like Kid Chow around here.  Sometimes they even eat it for dinner! 

So, what's in your cereal bowl?


For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
More of our Black & White Wednesday posts here:  Black & White Wednesday

May 09, 2010

Mother's Day 2010 (updated)

Mothers day blog

It might sound sappy but every day is Mothers Day around here.

This is my full time job and even though I don't pull down a very impressive paycheck and the hours really suck, the fringe benefits are unbeatable!

Here we are after a fantastic brunch with extended family.  That's me in the center with Gwen standing above me and Maddy on my lap.  Michael is on my left and my Father In Law is seated behind him.  In the front is Andrew (with the camera remote control in his hand) and his lovely mom (my Mother In Law) behind him.  Next to her is our sweet Kelsey (Michael's girlfriend of many years).

Last week, I attended two very special Kindergarten Mothers Day programs.  I sat in a tiny chair and watched through teary eyes as my daughters sang special songs to me and gave me a present:  a little flower pot with a single flower with their photo in the middle.   It was such a sweet day and I couldn't help but remember back when Michael was in Kindergarten and he gave me his gift:  a hat made from a paper plate with flowers and beads glued on top.  I still have it.  I'll post photos later if I get around to scanning and posting them.  :)

I hope all of my wonderful friends and family had a beautiful Mothers Day too!

Okay, I got around to taking a photo of the sweet little flower pots Gwen and Maddy made for me.  I also dug up the really old "hat" Michael made for me for Mother's Day back in 1994.  The bear is wearing it in the photo below.

IMG_5230 framed blog

The flowers were from my Mother and Father in Law (thanks Mum and Dad!) and the cards were from my kiddos.  There was a box of chocolate too but, not surprisingly, there wasn't enough remaining to photograph today (a mere ONE day after Mother's Day).

IMG_5247 While I was looking for the old paper plate hat that Michael made me, I found all of his Elementary School stuff.  What fun to look back through all of those old treasures and drawings and other creations.  It really made me certain that I need to do something with all of his old school work.  I was so good about saving it but I've never gone back and looked at any of it so it seems like I saved it for nothing.  I'm going to remedy that though!  I'm committed to scanning it all and printing it up as a book!  

Saving it was easy.  I purchased six cardboard file boxes that hold one inch of documents and wrote the school year (grade) on each of them.  Then I saved up ALL of the school stuff in a big shoe/boot box on top of the fridge.  At the end of the school year, I sorted through all of it and threw away all but the very best one inch tall stack of papers.  It took really no effort at all to do this and I'm going to do it again with Gwen and Maddy.  In fact, I've been collecting their Kindergarten stuff all year long.

For Michael's birthday (next month), I'll scan the best 20 pages of each year and give him a 120 page book of his best work from grades K through 5.  All of the best drawings and creative stories/writing assignments will be in the book.  Some of these stories really crack me up so I'm excited about printing them into a keepsake that his own children (and grandkids) will someday laugh about and enjoy too.

For Gwen and Maddy, I'll scan and publish their best work each year and give it to them as a hard cover book during the summer before they start the next grade.  One book for each child for each year.  When they graduate from High School, they'll have a beautiful little library of all of their best school work.  I hope this will really motivate them every year to do their very best because their work will be beautifully preserved forever in these books!   I'll post more about the progress of these books when I really kick into high gear and start creating them.  :)

May 06, 2010

Before & After: Bliss

Gwen florabella drop shadow

This is one of my favorite photos.  I took it on a warm day last Spring using my Canon 5D and my favorite portrait lens (EF85mm f/1.8).  I didn't know very much about editing photos so I was happy that this one looked pretty nice SOTC (strait out of the camera). 

Over the last few months, I've learned a lot about how to edit my photos and I've been eager to test my new skills on this photo.  I use Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom2.    One of the things I like best about photo editing is that I can fix most of the problems I encounter because of bad camera settings.  For some reason, I can't seem to totally figure out what all of those buttons on my camera mean.  I can fly a 3 million dollar helicopter but I can't figure out my camera.  Go figure.

Anyway, I took an online class from Lisa and she taught me a dozen simple tricks and even though the individual changes were very subtle, the final results were impressive.

Then I went a step further by layering on a texture from my sweet friend Shana. This time, it was "Florabella Champagne (warm)" and I used a blending mode of "soft light".  Lisa taught me how to do all of this and I tried many different styles and blending modes until I got just the right effect.  When I saw it, I knew it was perfect.  Really, it took my breath away!

Finally, I added a little bit of vignette and a drop shadow and was finished and pretty darn happy with the result.

Here's the original photo:

20090907gwen pose004

Check out the other Before & After photos on Pixel Perfect (click the button below)

May 04, 2010

Lego head STUCK on Gwen's tooth!

Right after we finished dinner last night, Gwen skipped merrily into the living room to show us the clever thing she did.  She pulled the head off of one of her Lego toys, admired the little hole on the underside then got the brilliant idea to stick him on her tooth and bite down hard. 

Yep, she capped her permanent tooth with a Lego head and he was stuck. 

Seriously stuck. 

But he was really really cool!  Notice how she got him facing perfectly forward? 

We tried to remove it using olive oil but it wasn't budging.  If you've even owned a Lego set, you know how tough these toys are.  I don't think it's possible to break or even damage one and we were worried that we'd hurt her tooth long before we hurt her smirking yellow tooth ornament.  

I called our Dentist and left a message with his after-hours answering service then I grabbed the camera because.... well, I'm the type of mother who needs to document stuff like this.   Once upon a time, I might have been embarrassed to admit that but everyone knows it now and my kids have never known any other life than one where Mommy takes pictures of them eating pie off of the floor before making them stop. 

But back to the current situation. 

Gosh, this kid makes me smile!  This is EXACTLY what I'd expect Gwen to do because she's fearless and only thinks about how much fun it might be to do something.  Never about the consequences of doing it.  But she's a smart girl and she must have thought that it would come off just as easily as it went on.  Sorry babe.  You were wrong.

Gwen pirate lego tooth

Thankfully Nana and Granddad are visiting this week so they stayed home with Maddy while Daddy and I took Gwen to the Dentist.   On the way there, we laughed about how this wasn't something we would have ever dreamed we'd be doing at 9:00 PM tonight.  But we were grateful that our first dental "emergency" was something this non traumatic.  

Dr Fred gently pulled with rubber gloves and prodded with pokey things but the yellow dude wouldn't even wiggle a little bit.  Finally he used the drill to cut it from the top to bottom and then it came right off!  Gwen was sooooo brave through it all!   She did great!

Sliced lego

Hey Mr Cool!  You don't look so tough now, do you!


For more Black & White Wednesday fun, check out The Long Road to China.
More of our Black & White Wednesday posts here:  Black & White Wednesday

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