Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You Capture: Peace

I know. Don't even say it.

I come back. Announce I'm back to blogging. And then...nothing.

I have no excuses. BBB-Bad Blogger Behavior.

I apologize.

Now...I've been feeling very uninspired. I did have a wonderful Labor Day celebration with my extended family and I had a pretty good camera to play around with. Yes, mine is still broken. So I got a few shots they happen to tie into the theme at You Capture this week- Peace.

I must say that the entire experience of being at Pat and Joe's represents peace for me. This is Dada's aunt and uncle's house. We often gather there for holiday cookouts with a huge crowd of family! Being there I am so relaxed and comfortable.

I love the hour long drive that just takes me miles away from everything that's been bugging me. And although there is tons of people, which would normally make me a little nervous and feel chaotic-I feel completely calm. I'm surrounded by family who could care less what I'm wearing, what my hair looks like, etc. I'm also surrounded by trees and acres of open land. I get to watch Digger and the other kids just let loose and run, play, laugh, whatever. Peace...yes, absolutely.

Not to mention, it's a great opportunity to get some pics! And that always puts me at peace.

Here's a few pics from our peaceful Labor Day.

When I first saw the You Capture theme, this picture popped in my mind. What could be more peaceful?

Digger's first up close encounter with a horse. They are such sweet and gentle animals.

My big boy swam with NO floaties! Big moment!

We also celebrated Granny's 89th!

And Deven's 18th!

It was also a good chance to bond with Dada! :)

Check out other great peaceful pics at the link below!

Wordish Wednesday


Friday, August 5, 2011

Funny Friday #5: Pretend School

Ok, so big changes coming up in our world this month! Digger is starting Pre-K and if all goes well, Lonnie is starting a new online high school program. I'm excited and nervous about all these changes...but mostly, they just make me tired. I like sleep. I like it a lot. So, getting up at 6 o'clock every (EVERY) morning, does not sound fun to me. But a Mommy's job has to be done!

Basically, what I realized, is that Digger is not the only one that needs to get ready for school. I need to get ready for the changes school is going to bring to our house.

The plan started with the simple idea that we need to get into a routine similar to our school routine. We need to wake up early, have breakfast, get dressed. And yes, these things normally happen in our house, but on their own, usually later in the day, kind of way.

The second part of the plan was to have 'pretend school' and do things like Digger will in school. So we had circle time, story time, group activities, nap, etc., all on a schedule similar to his school.

So today was our first day of 'school.' Digger has done well so far. He got up early on his own and ate a little breakfast. When I turned off the tv and the computer though, suddenly, he doesn't like this whole school thing anymore. It was funny but...

I was a little disappointed that he wasn't as excited as I was. But I pressed on and we started circle time. We talked about what circle time is in real school and what they might talk about. Suddenly, this got exciting! Now, we need a classroom full of other friends (because that's how real school will be!). So, Digger grabbed all his Batman toys and he spread them around the floor in a circle. After all the 'students' were in place, we started our day. It was very cute and back to being funny!

This is our 'class' in circle time. FYI-I'm in process of grouting the floor, that's what the white stuff is!

We also had recess and snack time and in group we talked about school and what it will be like and what will be expected. Digger was so into this, he had a little accident. But always ready to make it a learning moment- we talked about raising your hand and asking to go to the potty at school, which he did!

As a part of center time, I'm blogging, while Digger plays a game. Then on to another group activity to talk about letters! In the group, we reviewed our letters, sang the alphabet and compared big letters to little letters.

Next we had music and movement time. Some songs chosen by Digger were: 'ABC's', 'Gorilla, Monkey, Elephant, Lion, Hippopatomus', 'Bad Boy', 'Fire Chuck E. Cheese', 'Apple, Strawberry, Mixed with Banana', 'Johnny Test,' 'Batman', 'Hulk,' 'Blue Beetle', and 'Rex'. All songs were based on nearby toys that attracted his attention. He made up songs to go with each one.

Here's an example of some lyrics:
"Hulk is running.
He meets his Thor.
They fly off.
Hulk turns into Thor.
And then he changes back into Hulk."

To complete the picture in your mind- remember there was singing, dancing, clapping, and appropriate toy props to act out the songs :) He was so into this, that he called me teacher instead of Momma too :)

Digger is so funny! Now it's lunchtime! It's been a super fun and funny friday of pretend school! I'm so happy that it went so well!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where in the world...

have I been?

I know, you've been up nights wondering. Sorry for those sleepless nights...I'm back now! You can go sleep! the blog first, then go sleep.

Ok. So...let me explain why I haven't blogged in so long.

I know, I know. I hear the cynicism in your thoughts already. I am NOT going to give you a typical round of excuses of why I haven't blogged. I have a good reason. No, really.

Last month, my husband (aka Dada) had to have major emergency surgery. I would give details...but 1) I'm sure he doesn't want me sharing his medical history online with strangers, and 2) it's kinda gross. LOL. Anyway, he had surgery at the beginning of June. He was supposed to be in the hospital a few days and then come home for about a month of recovery. Well, things didn't go so well. After he returned home, a few days later he developed an abscess. In hopes of keeping him out of the hospital and a faster recovery, we opted for outpatient surgery to drain the abscess. Dada spent a week with pain in the front (from 1st surgery) and pain in the back (from 2nd surgery). He was miserable. Finally, back at the hospital, the drain is ready to be removed. They knew they had knicked a blood vessel placing it, so they were prepared to deal with that on removal. They were not prepared to find out an artery was knicked!! They then had to do another emergency surgery to close that artery so that they could remove the drain. And, now he has recovered from all that and returned to work for half days.

So, that's been my summer! Not exactly the beaches, bathing suits, and sunshine I was hoping for.

And caring for him, as well as the rest of the household, and working full time...I've been a little overwhelmed. My camera is still broken. My washing machine is broken. My dog ran away. Just to add to the fun. It's been a little hard to fit blogging in as well.

So, I hope you will all forgive me. I will be blogging again now. But things will have to be a little different...cause you know, this is a photography blog, and the camera is still broken. However, Dada surprised me today, letting me in on a late birthday present secret. He's started making payments on a fancy new camera for me! I'm very excited!

I have a few ideas up my sleeve for blog topics. I'm happy to be back and with a healthier family! I will see you guys soon!


Wordish Wednesday


Friday, June 3, 2011

Funny Friday #4

I figured it was about time for some laughs! Here's Funny Friday #4:
1) Digger brushing his teeth. He swishes the water and spits.

"Was that a cool spit Momma?"

At least he's doing it right! Whatever it takes, lol.


2) One of my favorite things to hear Digger do is sing songs. Most songs he knows are from his favorite tv shows. We were in the kitchen, he was playing on my phone while I put groceries away.

"I'm getting so s-'cited (excited),
Are we there yet? Are we there yet?
I just can't wait much longer.
Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Maybe you had to be there, but trust me, funny!!


3) Digger came in from playing outside in the ridiculous Hot-lanta heat.

Dada: "Want some water to cool you off?""
Digger: "No, I want coke to cool me off."
a few minutes later...
Digger: "Dada, I need some donuts to cool me off too."


No pictures today, as my camera is still broken :(

Have you had anything funny happen this week? Share with me! And link up with Curious Georgi!



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happiness: Week 2-Birthday #2 & You Capture

So on my 32nd birthday....Ahh! No, I guess it makes me happy! Anyway, today, I will share scenes from another birthday.
Stop #2 on our wonderful weekend was another birthday party. This time for one of my dear friends sweet baby girl, Mollie. Mollie turned 6 this year. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that. I held her four hours after she was born, tiny and precious. Now, she's 6! When did this happen?!

Mollie's theme was a Luau Beach party! It was great fun for all the kids! There was a beachy jumpy house, water balloons, water hose,water guns, ring toss, and the awesomest cake! There was lots of fun games and so totally meets the requirements of You Captures's theme this week- Games. Here's some pics from the event:

Side note: I will be probably be using these pictures for an editing post later. When transferring these pictures to Picasa they all got deleted. I was able to recover them with Glary Soft Recovery software. I highly recommend this program if this has ever happened to you. I was so relieved when it was able to pull these photos back up! Unfortunately, I was only able to recover them to my laptop, which doesn't have editing software on it. Anyway, these are unedited and so not necessarily what I would choose to show off. But I hope you enjoy the fun!

The birthday girl and one of her friends.

Digger in the bounce house.

Balloon toss.

Hula Hoops

This little girl was adorable. She kept spinning around in circles trying to hula hoop!

Work those hips Mollie!

Awesome cake, right?

Blowing out candles!

Gotta love a surprised and happy face!

The hit that broke the pinata!

Not sure why Digger had to be the pouty kid, but cute pic nonetheless!

Happy Birthday to Mollie! And wow, Happy Birthday to me! Have a great Thursday!



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Birthday #1

So if you read my post yesterday, you know I had a wonderfully busy weekend with family and friends recently. You also know my camera is broken and so I'm sharing photos from the events we went to this past weekend.

The first event was my stepson's 18th birthday. For the older kids, we take them to a birthday dinner at a restaurant of their choice. Shawn has been requesting Hooter's for the past few years, but always gets talked out of it at the last minute. Usually by me for the sake of the queso dip at Taco Mac. Hey, I know what works. Anyway, this time I didn't fight it. I mean he is 18 now and it's not like he hasn't been before with someone else. So, he got his wish. We had a really good time. Usually birthday dinners are just the birthday kid, Dada, Digger, and myself. This time though, it was a bigger affair. His Nanny came, his aunt and uncle, his cousins, and even a couple of friends dropped by at the end. It was a fun night and I'm glad I didn't talk him out of it :)

Here's some pics from the event:

These two boys were doing tic tac toe and making, well, I can only assume, inappropriate comments. Ahh, the games boys play.  


The sun was coming in at a great angle. Not so great for enjoying your dinner, but great for some black and white pics :) I'm loving this pic of him.

the long road

Digger has been a little clingy lately. This night was no exception. I just tried to take advantage. I feel like this picture captures what it's been like to be me lately- Attached to a kid. Not that I mind much, he's pretty cute.

The Paper Mama

D and some of the Hooters gals, after they dressed him up and embarrassed him in front of the whole restuarant. He seems to have gotten over it quickly, what do you think?

Just a random pic of me and the hubs. Dada is losing weight and looks great in this pic. I just look happy. So basically, I like the pic :)

So, that was the first stop on my fun weekend. Hope you enjoyed. Click all the buttons in this blog to check out more great pics and blogs. Happy Wednesday!

Wordish Wednesday

Seven Clown Circus


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An update

Just wanted to let you know I didn't fall of the face of the earth! Two things went wrong this past week. One, I couldn't sign onto blogger from the computer where all my pictures are stored. No clue why, it made no sense. Did anyone else have trouble with blogger this past week? Two, my camera broke. The camera broke Sunday and we will need professional assistance to fix it. Depending on cost, this could take awhile.

But there's good news too! First off, I had a fabulous few days. I will share that below. Also, my hubby was planning on buying me a new camera for my birthday, which is Thursday. So, we may not have to worry about the broken one, but either way I'm camera-less for a bit. Lastly, over these past few fabulous days, I have gotten lots of pictures from family get togethers and birthday parties! So, I'll be able to blog and share those with you while we figure out the camera business.

Ok, so my fabulous few days. As I may have mentioned before, I work weekends. This means I miss out on a lot of things, such as those family get togethers and holidays, and birthday parties. Because normal people don't work weekends (lol), and they do these things when other normal people don't have to work. This is a downer sometimes. I try to focus on the fact that I get four wonderful days with Digger during the week that most normal people don't get with their little ones, and that lifts my spirits. This past weekend however, I took off all three of my work days and had plans every single day of it! And I loved it! I tried to soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest because it does not happen much! I will share more of these stories (with pictures)as the week goes on.

The fun started on Friday night. My stepson, D, turned 18! He chose to have his birthday dinner at Hooters. We had a good turnout and lots of fun! Saturday found Digger and I at another birthday party for his friend Mollie. She had a luau beach party! Lots of kids and lots of fun! Then Sunday, we were at Pat and Joe's, as we call it. This is Dada's aunt and uncle's house. They have lots of land for the kids to run around on and a pool, pool table, foosball table, music. When we have get togethers down there, everyone comes! Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, get the point. It's always a great time. Lastly, Monday, we made a stop at Dada's brother's house and let Digger and GeeGee (Digger's cousin) swim and splash in the pool on the porch.

So lots of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed being off work and being able to enjoy time with family and friends. I will post pictures and stories this week! Be on the lookout!

Happy Tuesdsay!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Better Photos- Week 2- ISO/Shutter Speed

WOW! I've got 22 followers (my lucky number) and over 1,000 page views! I'm so excited to see my blog growing! Welcome back to the veterans and hello newbies!

For the veterans, sorry I've taken so long to make this second post. I had a lot of trouble with the challenge and just recently figured out a way around it. Good thing I can go at my own pace! For the newbies, I'm following an article 12 Weeks To Better Photos. Recently, we discussed Aperture. This is Week 2- ISO/Shutter Speed. I hope you learn something and I would love it if you joined me on the adventure. Enjoy!

What I learned:
ISO- film speed, or how fast an image will be captured. The higher the number, the quicker the capture and less light required.
   Rule of Thumb (ROT):
  • ISO 100-200 Bright light and outdoors
  • ISO 400- Shade, Overcast, Indoors- lots of light
  • ISO 800-1600- Indoors, Low light, Sports/Action
The higher the ISO, the less time the camera has to make the image accurate. Therefore leading to more digital noise and a grainy-er (yea, so i made it up) picture.

Shutter Speed-how fast the shutter or little door in front of film or sensor operates. A faster shutter speed will freeze action, where as a slower shutter speed may blur it. On your camera, shutter speeds are seen as 60, 120, 1000, etc. These represent 1/60th of a second, 1/120 of a second, and so on. The bigger the bottom number, the faster the shutter speed. You will also see numbers marched with inch marks ("), this is for seconds. So 30" means the shutter is open for 30 seconds and 1"5 is 1 and 1/2 seconds.

  • Anything 1/50th or anything with inch marks, you should use a tripod or flat, stable surface to hold the camera steady. Use slow shutter speed to portray a blurred subject or surroundings.
  • If holding the camera, make sure shutter speed is at least 1/60th of a second. If you are wiggly, try setting the shutter speed higher for a clearer picture.
  • For sports or action shots, set the shutter speed at least at 1/1000th of a second. Faster shutter speeds will freeze the subject in action with less blur.
The Challenge

The challenge was to photograph running water over a surface. These challenges are designed for SLR cameras (which I don't have), but the authors do give you tips on how to use your point&shoot (P&S) cameras as well. I tried and tried, but was unable to photograph the running water in an adequate way, even with their P&S suggestions. So I tried instead to photograph some other moving objects to try to learn the skills. I was finally successful!

It took a lot of practice and playing around with my camera. Also, in order to really get the concept to sink in, I had to put my camera in Manual mode (AHHH, scary!). I'm so glad I did though! Once I played around a bit and figured out my camera, I was able to get some shots that made sense!

1/1600, ISO 800, f 3.5
My ISO was too high here, reason being -I was still learning how to adjust settings on my camera. However, there was a lesson learned! As stated above, a higher ISO can lead to a grainy-er picture, which it did. However, notice here that the shutter speed was set at 1/1600 which froze the action. Digger was shaking the stick wildly, but you can't tell, can you? The action is frozen.

1/500, ISO 800, f 3.5
Ok, so ISO still too high here, but lesson learned. The shutter speed on this one is 1/500. As you can see, the stick that is being shaken wildly is now blurred.

Here is another example:

ISO 800, 1/1600, f 3.2
Ok, so let's ignore the ISO we already know the lesson there. Focus on the shutter speed. The fan was moving at full speed when the shot was taken. At 1/1600, notice that the movement is frozen.

ISO 800, 1/100, f 3.2
The fan was still moving at the same speed. But at 1/100, notice you see the blur. The movement is not frozen.

Hopefully not overwhelming you, but there is a second part to this challenge. The authors then wanted you to put your camera in Manual mode and try to acheive balance with the settings. In order to acheive proper exposure, the aperture and shutter speed need to balance. Luckily, most cameras come with a meter that help you determine the proper exposure for your shot. As previously mentioned, I had to put the camera in Manual mode to get any of this to work. So this second part of the challenge was already accomplished. FYI-this section was shortened extensively by me to shorten this post as a whole. If you are interested in the entire article, please click here, and choose ISO/Shutter Speed.

Lastly, I wanted to give props to this post It was done by Audrey from The Daily Wyatt as a guest post on Paper Heart Camera (links below).  This article really brought home the concepts for this challenge and helped me get over my fear of Manual mode. I strongly encourage you to read it for inspiration or a refresher or alternative lesson on all the skills we've discussed so far, aperture, iso, and shutter speed. I would also encourage you to check out both of their blogs just for pure enjoyment :)

The Daily Wyatt

Photography love...
The Paper Mama

And lastly, my posts for You Capture this week. The theme was Busy.

Busy playing.

Busy laughing.

The result of being busy.

But at least this is all a fun kind of busy! Happy Wednesday! Have a great week!! Check out more pictures and blogs at the links below.

You Capture

Wordish Wednesday



the long road
Nicole's Random Blog Hop