Sunday, December 30, 2012

Playing in the Snow::Snowflake::December 30

This was a fun pic to take! I put a black piece of construction paper in the freezer to make it cold (so it wouldn't melt the snowflakes), then I took it outside, laid it on the ground, and got ready for snowflakes to land - there were light flurries going on. When one finally did land, I focused in with my macro lens and took a shot. (It took me over 100 shots to get this one - persistence pays! :) )

After I took this pic I wondered what would happen if someone held a magnifying lens and the other person took the pic...I think I might have to try that! With this picture, I cropped it a little bit; not a lot, but I don't think it would print out much bigger than a 4x6 before looking out of focus. I'd love to have the original picture have a BIG, in focus snowflake..... Looks like there is more playing with the snow in my near future. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Delicious Pancake Recipe::December 25

I found this recipe from one of my old blog posts and decided to give it its own post, since it really is deserving of one.

Want a good recipe for pancakes that are yummy even without the syrup?

I'll give you the mix version to store, and then if you'd like to double it and put some away for later you can.

2 cups flour
2/3 cup of instant powdered milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of sugar

Make as much as you'd like and store it in a sealed container, then when you are ready to make some pancakes take 3 cups of the dry mix and add to it these other ingredients:

1/4 cup oil
2 cups water
2 eggs

This will make thinner pancakes - I have a hard time cooking thicker pancakes all the way through w/o making the outside too cooked. If you want a thicker pancake, just use a little less water.
Happy eating!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012::December 25th

What Christmas morning looked like at our house:

I love those people! I'm so glad that we could all be together this year. Twelve people in our living room is getting to be a bit much though... We might have to move the festivities to the family room soon!

Josh, Karen, & Aiden, and Amber & Tino came to our house for Christmas Eve - eating dinner, singing Christmas carols and hymns, & reading the nativity story, then Amber and Tino went home; Josh, Karen, and Aiden slept over. This morning Amber and Tino came back at 6 a.m. for The Opening of the Gifts. (Note to self: next year, no earlier than 7! ;)

OH! This was a funny thing: While reading in Luke 2, Amber found the first smiley face. Take a look in verse 4.

After gift opening, I made pancakes and sausage. After that, I am not responsible for the empty calories consumed by all ;)

Then, Amber and Tino went to Tino's family's celebration. Josh, Karen, and Aiden went home, too; poor Karen was feeling very sick. Jared went to sleep to get ready for his graveyard shift tonight. And Bill went to rest, since he didn't sleep much during the night.

Which left Steve, Emily, Matt, Michael and me to play, eat, read, watch tv, and eventually I took a nap - passed out was more like it. Holy cow! 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. just wasn't enough sleep!

This picture pretty much sums up the day:

Content. Peaceful. And very sleepy. ;)

I hope that you had a Very Merry Christmas, with family love, lots of treats, and that certain something that you'd wished for.

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Julia and Todd's Family Pics::December 17

I did a photoshoot 2 weeks ago for a super cute family. The boys were so cute and full of energy and it came through in their pics. :) The girls were so pretty and such a contrast to the boys; they were easy to shoot and seemed to belong in front of the camera. The mom and dad were awesome and easy going with the kids, which made the shoot a lot of fun. Julia, the mom, and I went to high school together, so we've known each other for years. It has been great re-connecting with her. :)

Take a look at this cute family:

Thanks for letting me get to know your family better by hanging out with you for a while & photographing your family, Julia and Todd! Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Aren't they adorable?! Such a fun family!

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gratitude::Days 24 & 25::November 25

I think it's about time to change the header again. It seems like yesterday that we went to Pumpkinland and now it is time to put up the Christmas tree. Time flies when you're having fun, eh?

Why is it that time seems to pass quicker the older I get? I have myriads of projects that need to get done and great intentions of getting to them.... I just need to Do It!

A few more days have passed, so here are the gratitudes:

Day 24::So thankful for the good people in my little town. They make it a pleasure to live here.

Lately I've been thinking that it would be a wise idea to move closer to doctors, therapists, and the hospital. I've been thinking about it more and more, but especially since the transmission went out in the car. We are getting by with RideShare for Steve and the school bus for the kids. Mike and I like to just stay home anyway... but it is so expensive in gas to take the van anywhere that we have cancelled a few appointments so far, and there are more to come. 10 miles to the gallon when a gallon of gas is at least $3.70 a gallon is much to much. sigh. So I keep thinking that being across town from all of the places we need to go would be cheaper and easier...

I love our little town though. It fits my lifestyle of keeping small farm animals. My home, thought it has many, many projects to be done, is a cute little cottage style that I love. And the people here are great. It might take a stick of dynamite to get me out of here.....

Day 25::I am thankful for long walks in the evening w/ my Sweetie :)
We even saw our moon shadows tonight :) The darker it got, the cooler the scenery. The Christmas lights on some of the houses. Trees silhouetted in the nearly full moon. And the moon shadows were the frosting.

We don't always get away for our walk, though it calms the savage beast in me. Hiking in the foothills long enough and hard enough tires my body and unravels the bundle of nerves I become after a long day. It is much better than a long soak in the tub. I love talking over the things of the day or the ideas that we've had throughout the day. It seems to just make things right.

Tomorrow will start another work/school week. I always look forward to the routine that the weekdays provide, but then when I get it, I long for the weekend to get here. I need to learn to just be satisfied with where I am at any given moment.

Have a good one!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude::Days 15-23

(From newest to oldest)

Day 23::I'm thankful that I got to go to bed early instead of going shopping. :)
Steve, Michael, Aiden, and I stayed home while everyone else went to the Black Friday sales. Emily and Matt went to assist Amber, Karen, and Josh. They got everything they were after and some stuff that they weren't. :) Then, they came and picked up Aiden and went home.

Day 22::17 years ago today, Steve & I were married. He married me even though my 4 year old was a wild child, my 3 year old bit him, and my 2 year old peed on his expensive stereo speakers. He was a catch back then and has gotten better with age. Love you Steve! ♥

Day 21::12 years ago today, Steve & I were sealed in the Temple. Happy to be his through eternity.

Day 20::I'm very thankful for Steve's job. He enjoys working at Heritage Makers and they are very good to us.

Day 19::I'm thankful for people who help me raise my children. From doctors & nurses, teachers in school, church, and extra-curricular "stuff", and especially friends and family members who show love, interest, and concern for them. I couldn't do it without you ♥
(Missing my mom a lot with this post. She was so involved with my kids' lives & showed such love and support.)

Day 18::I am thankful that most of my children don't have allergies to medicine/immunizations. Most of the time, modern medicine is wonderful. (I'm going for glass half full here; hope I managed. ;) )
Michael had a reaction to the albuterol the doctor gave him today. His chest went red like a sunburn and his cough got worse. After talking to the doc, the nurse said to take him off of it. I'm not sure if he's allergic or not, as both of those reactions are seen as common. So far he hasn't seemed to need it, though, so that's good. He was diagnosed with bronchitis today, after being sick for a week.

Day 17::Tonight I am very glad that my kids watch out for each other so well.♥
Today, as Emily was getting ready for her first date, her date (Jairus) told her that the group they were going with bailed. I have insisted that my kids go on double dates, so what was she to do?!

After asking her about her friends at ALA and insisting that at least one of the girls she's friends with must be sixteen (that is the dating age for most of her friends) and could get a date, and her insisting that none are... my mind turned to her older siblings.

My first thought was to have Jared and Amber go together as a "couple" and drive Emily and her date.... but Tino was off work and Tino and Amber were busy. So then I had Jared call all of the girls that he is friends with and ask them out. He did... none were. So, Jared went alone. Jairus and Jared know each other from school, both of them were fine with the idea and had a great time catching up (they haven't seen each other for a year) and Emily was great with it... now she could go to the dance and have it not be an awkward single date. All's well that ends well. :)

Day 16::I'm thankful for my "family". Blood or not, there are many people who have come into my life (and my heart) and stayed, and for them I am truly thankful.

Day 15:: I am so thankful for my children - the ones I birthed and the ones that my children chose. I am thankful for the love that they show and support that they give to our family. They are amazing!

Day 14::Today is Bill's 56th Birthday. He has worked hard for this one! Happy Birthday, Bill!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Sharpening" Eyes in Photoshop::Santa!!::Nov 21

I've been teaching myself photoshop by looking up the how-to tutorials when I get stumped with a situation. My latest learn was sharpening / defining eyes. Here is the link to the tutorial that I followed:

This is the picture I was working on with the before and after "sharpening"

Santa's eyes look so much clearer and brighter!!

I am working on this pic to go on Santa's business cards. Here is his blog, if you'd like to read what he's doing right now:
Santa's Back In Town

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gratitude::Days 9 - 13::November 13

Day 9: I am thankful that Bill found an EXCELLENT internist today! His old doctor has officially been replaced. :)
He was AWESOME! Very thorough. Very compassionate. Definitely a good fit.

Day 10: I'm thankful for time spent hanging out with Steve and the kids. ♥
I spent the day with Steve, Matt, & Mike. We visited Amber for a bit too. Very nice.

Day 11: Very thankful for yoga pants on sick days. (I forgot to post yesterday.)
Not so awesome. Loved the cozy clothes though.

Day 12: Today I am thankful for second chances.
Some days I have a quick temper. This was one of those days. Very glad for a husband that burns slower than me and forgives much more quickly.

Day 13: I am thankful for Steve. I can't imagine life w/o him. ♥
Even when I am mad at him, I can't imagine being without him. He is my best friend. He is the one I trust with all of me; I don't think there is anything I could tell him that would make him stop loving me, and that is an amazing feeling. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with that, though, and I hope that I never disappoint him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This evening, as I looked out of my kitchen window, I saw all of the icicles hanging off of the roof... so I had to take a picture:

Dripping, no less :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gratitude::Days 5-8::November 8

Thanks kathyo for your comment; you are my hero. ♥

Truth be told, a few years ago I came to this blog just about every day and poured out my heart, the good parts anyway, and always had a few comments within hours. I got to be friends with a few good ladies who always were interested in what was going on in my life, and I miss that. I don't see those ladies much in the blogdom anymore, and I miss the interaction. I miss *them*.

There is something about a blog that is very magical. It is a virtual show-and-tell. When no one's face lights up with what you are talking about, a bit of the magic dies. I don't have much of a thick skin. I see that people come and read... at least 10 read my current post every day. More than that look up my World's Best Pot Roast recipe every day, all year long; it really is that good. :)

I don't mean to be needy. I don't mean to induce guilt.. too much anyway. I know that I go to the big bloggers and don't bother leaving a message; I figure that they have their validation. But for the little guys, the ones who don't have a multitude of sponsers and followers, to them I will leave a message - a virtual smile, if you will, because people are wired to need the validation.

It makes me wonder if my blog makes it hard to comment. I've been on a few of those blogs where you have to enter the letters, numbers, and spaces just so, but the password to copy is artistically abstract. I try and fail several times and then give up. If it lasts long enough, I'll email the person a comment and let them know that I am consistently running into trouble. Usually the next time I visit, the problem is resolved. If that is the case here, let me know. If my blog posts are boring, let me know. If the art doesn't resonate with you, I understand, sometimes I'm the same way. And, while I'm being truthful, I don't usually comment on the artsy blogs I follow... I probably should; they probably feel like they are in a big, echoey virtual room too.

Okay, back to the original reason for this blog post:

Day 5: I'm thankful for grandbaby boys! Especially that I'm getting another one in March :)
Karen and Joshua went to the OB on Monday for an ultrasound of the baby. Karen and I both thought it was a girl.... we were wrong. Hurray for another grandbaby boy! ♥

Day 6: I am thankful that Presidential elections only happen once every 4 years. ;)
Oh gosh. I need a break from everything political!!

Day 7: So very thankful for chocolate on bill paying day. ;)

Day 8: Today I am thankful for Physical Therapists and dentists. Ben, the physical therapist, helped calmed Michael's nerves by playing with him before his dental appt. and Dr. Markham and his staff are so awesome with Michael. Everywhere Michael goes feels like the opening of Cheers: "NORM!!", and how thankful I am for that. :) (AND, Michael left the x-ray bites in his mouth and held still for them + the 360* films that the dentist needed. No cavities!!... though since he has never had a cleaning in 11 years and only lets me brush his teeth half the time I totally see that as God's tender mercies.)

Tomorrow, Bill, Michael and I will be trying out a new Internist for Bill. Since the other one was truly terrible, I am hoping that this one will be the perfect fit.

Also, it is supposed to snow tomorrow. Blah. Bleck. I can do without the fluffy white stuff until Christmas Eve....

I hope that you have a terrific day tomorrow! :) ... and please do say "hi". I'd love to see you too. ♥

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gratitudes::Day 2-4::November 5

Before I forgot, these are the Gratitudes that I've posted on facebook:

Day 2: So thankful that I get to spend time with my grandbaby every week. I love that little guy ♥

Day 3: I am very thankful that I got to go and assist Laura, of Laura Shanae Photography, with a photoshoot yesterday. Laura is one of the sweetest ladies I know. It was a joy to spend time with her. :)

Day 4: I am so thankful that Steve was able to ordain Jared to the Melchizedek Priesthood today. It was so fortuitous that Steve's step-dad was in town this weekend and was able to participate too. (As an aside: I think that for the next 2+ years, I will cry every time there is a mention of "Missionary". I raise my boys with the goal of being a missionary, but theory and application feel so very different. I am proud of my young man, I will just miss him a lot.)

Yesterday in church, the primary was talking about children being a good example in their homes. I realized that I have work to do. We don't read scriptures together regularly or have family home evening as often as we should. I want to do better.

Today, Josh and Karen are going to get an ultrasound of the baby & will learn whether it is a girl or boy. I am so excited!! I'll be waiting on pins and needles for them to call! Karen invited me to go, but it would make the day impossibly difficult. So, I'll just have to look at the picture that they bring home.

And tomorrow, I'll let you know what I find out about the baby too!! :)

P.S. I know that I might just be being needy, but I really, really, really need bloggy friends. I appreciate so much your reading my blog, but I need to know that you are there and that I'm not just in a big, echoey, empty virtual room.... that is all.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful~Day 1::November 1

In honor of Thanksgiving, my goal for myself is to at least write one gratitude every day, whether there is anything else to show or tell about. Please feel free to chime in with your own gratitudes in the comments.

Day 1: Thankful for friends who lend a listening ear, that you can tell stuff too w/o worry of judgement or gossip.