Sunday, December 29, 2013

POTW - Week 1 - Bokeh

Doing photo of the day has been a thing of my past for a few years now and to go back to that I know will not happen.  So I've decided to try a POTW (photo of the week) with of course with some encouragment  from the girls at Photo Club.  The first week is Bokeh (tiny bubbles of light)

This first one is the Christmas tree totally out of focus (on purpose) making some pretty sweet bokeh

I took a picture of the silver ornament for the reflection inside it but then really didn't like seeing me standing on a chair with a big ole' camera in my face so I did a little photoshop magic on it.  Would have made a good Christmas card..... too late for that.  

And a couple more, just because it's fun.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chickadees and beautiful sky

Today was a beautiful winter day.  It was 35 degrees and the sun was out, if winter could be like this every weekend it would be great.  I was up early, went shopping and back home just as John was getting done with work.  He headed to the woods with the 4 wheeler.  With the nice weather it gave me the itch to paint something so I tried out my new milk paint.  I might not paint with latex ever again.  

The nice weather was calling me outside so I went to the woods for ride on the wheeler.  We bought a new one and it's been almost 2 months and I've never rode on it, it's about time that happens.  

I took a few graham crackers and rice cakes out for the birdies and they were picking on them within 2 minutes.  

On my short drive home I noticed this cloud with a yellow and pink stripe.  The sun must have been reflecting a ring around it and the clouds were picking up the edges of it.  

Here is the sun in relation to the colored clouds.  The cloud is to the far left with the sun flare from my camera settings heading that way in those same colors.  

Then of course since I'm stopped and we have light I need to play with some sun flare.

I hope you enjoyed the warm beautiful day because the weatherman is calling for some cold days this next week.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Family Christmas at home 2013

 Our family Christmas is Christmas Eve.  I used to be flexible and fit us in whenever it was good for all the other families.  
(I have to admit I've never had to share my children and I wasn't a fan of it)

The whole switching days and meals every year was too confusing for everyone so we decided to pick a day and that would be the tradition our family would keep.  It's Christmas Eve for supper and for the last three years it's worked out perfectly.  

I was driving down the road and realized how pretty the house looks with fresh snow. 

The snow outside matched the snow for my Christmas Eve table.  

The house was clean and ready for family.  

Our tree this year was a bit of a needle dropper so we opted for putting it on the tile floor vs the carpet.  I kinda like it right in the middle of the house.

As the kids arrived I took their Christmas photos

Here is Lynn, Jesse, Mallory, & Maxwell

Shannon, Kyle, Ellyn, & Garrett

Adam, Monica and Adam Jr.

John's mom joined us for Christmas Eve again this year.  The kids love having her here and I think she likes watching them open presents and getting excited about their gifts.

There may have been a bit of spoiling happening here.  

Every year I buy them an ornament and take their photo with it.  Hopefully I'll be able to make them all a book of their ornaments when they are 18 or 21 or married or ......... I'm not sure when I'll ever be done buying them so we'll see.

Here is Elly with her BLUE fish

Adam Jr with his penguin, or course he has to chew on something and we thought the tag was safer.

When I wanted the superhero photo at Halloween I could not find capes and masks but of course I find them during my Christmas shopping so Garrett, Mally and Max got them in their stockings.  They were a hit.  I should have got all three of them running around with their masks and capes but I didn't....  

Garrett wasn't happy that he had to take his mask off and stop playing superhero for his ornament picture so he's a bit pouty, that's okay he's still cute.  (we couldn't get his cape off so it's still wrapped around his neck)

Mally with her blue bird, her cape is pink and since Garrett didn't have to take his off neither did she.

Maxwell with his ornament, he's not quite into looking at me vs the ornament.  Silly boy

After many hours of fun Grandma Great is ready to head home.  She says good bye and we holler upstairs for the kids to say good bye and they all come running down and tackle her with hugs around her legs and waist.  She was in heaven with all those hugs, I got a quick picture with them all.  There's and extra one here, that's Jett, he of course wasn't going to not be part of that hug fest.  

Since I didn't get our picture on Christmas Eve it's our tradition to take a self timer photo on Christmas morning before we head out to Gayle's.  

We truly are blessed with great children who have grown up to be wonderful parents to our 5 grandchildren.  Christmas was amazing when our children were little but it's pretty darn amazing with grandchildren too.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  
God bless you all with his love during this holiday.

Mister Bennett is 1

Bennett is one!!  So hard to believe it's been a year since this little man and I met.  It's been wonderful being able to see this family every three months so I kinda hate to see him grow up.  Bennett has a late December birthday which is going to be a struggle for mom to get his birthday party and pictures scheduled every year.  We snuck them in this week on Monday in midst of both our busy lives.  

A couple naked baby shots even though mom knows Bennett will hate these when he's older.  Nothing sweeter than a little bare baby bottom.

While Bennett gets dressed Little Miss Madelyn sported her cowboy hat and boots.  

Here's Mister Bennett, and of course he likes his tongue out of his mouth.  

A few more naked shots of Bennett and his teddy bears.

Can you find Madelyn?

Loved this one in sepia too

I met this family for their maternity photos with Madelyn and now they are good friends, it's very special to spend time with them creating their memories forever.  As you enter their home it's filled with love and family.  Photos of their family fill their home and makes my heart swell.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Programs

Elly's 5th grade Christmas program was in a new school this year, she's now in the Middle School, I'm not sure when that happened.  The school is terrible for parking when there's an event so a brisk mile walk in below zero weather was quite the change for us from her little small town school.  After the walk it was nice to be in a packed gym to warm up.  Her class did so good, they are in the age of sounding like a real concert with altos and soprano sections.  It was an enjoyable concert.  

I don't like to take my camera to the concerts anymore, I can pay more attention to what's happening that moment vs hiding behind the lens so a quick i-phone photo was what I posted for Lynn on Instagram to find Elly.   Even though the class size is much bigger than other years and the gym was so much larger I said to John "I think I can hear Elly singing"  he says "so can I".  That was pretty cool to be able to pick out her voice with all those kids.  

This year we had Garrett's first Christmas program, he's in pre-school and he's a different little boy in school.  He knew all the words and did all the actions to all his songs.  He was so darn cute up there in his antlers and red nose.  I could park in the front row of the school parking lot, 1 minute walk to the door....... it was great.  Here's my quick i-phone photo of his class.  (oh Lynn I thought you were wrong finding Garrett on Instagram but you are right he is the far left in the top row)

Then Mallory had her Family Day that I got to go to.  She's also in Pre-school and her school is pretty small too and the teacher lines up the kids in a row and makes sure they are standing right in front of you.  This teacher is more focused on family and the kids connecting with their family vs just standing up there singing.  They sang a couple songs and then we had to join them in two songs that involved the hokey pokey and dancing.   Here is Mallory waiting to sing her songs, another i-phone photo and this time Auntie Shannon had to find her on Instagram....... she found her but thought Lynn dressed her in the wrong color.   :)

Then for Mallory's program we got to decorate a gingerbread house together.  This was our house.

Mallory with her house.

After Mallory's program I got to take her home, her momma and Max were at home after a night's stay in the emergency room with Max.  We get there and Lynn looks horribly tired after being awake for longer than 24 hours and Max is sick, whiny, and pumped up on steroids so he's not sleepy.  I look at Lynn and after 2 minutes of talking to her I send her to her room.  Max has worn her out and with a growing baby in her belly she needs some sleep.  

Mallory had ballet class that night so after an hour and 20 minute sleep Lynn is up and we're getting Mally ready for a ballet trip with Grandma.  I did have my camera with me so of course with this not being a program I could hide behind the lens.  

Mally's the light pink and black blondie right in the center.  The teacher said the most important part of this stretch was pointing the toe.... I think Mally got it.

This stretch was to touch your head to your knee but still point the toe.

After stretches they go to the bar and of course Mally choses a spot that is behind the door so I can see her through the crack in the jam.  

I tricked her and moved.  

They learned a new move with their feet.  Mally has it down.

Then they learned a dance and going through it a few times these girls knew just what to do.  Amazing they listen so well.  

Still pointing her toes

Last was leaping over the teachers shoe.  The instructions were to leap and always point your toes.  Mally was the first one to leap.... nailed it!!

 We get back to Lynn's house and she comes bouncing down the steps asking how dance was....... hummmm this is a different girl.  A nap did her wonders.  

 Maxwell still isn't feeling the best so he got to snuggle with grandma again today.  He has croup and his little coughing spurts still scare me, poor little guy.