I remember last year's baseball assessments - chilly, damp and windy. We wore our winter coats.
Tonight, warm sun and the smell of spring was in the air.
Taken with the iPhone, because I was too lazy to drag the big camera out of the car.
Erica also started soccer practice tonight, formally kicking off the Spring season of logistics (both kids had to be at their respective activities at the same time).
Week 12 was our Spring Break week, and instead of going somewhere, the kids enjoyed a relaxing week at home, making pizza, cake and generally lazing about. I think they had a fabulous Spring Break!
Jessica Turner hosts Project Life every Tuesday, a resource to encourage P365 participants. I recommend checking it out.
Be Strong now
Because things will get better
It might be stormy now
But it can't rain forever.
Just some small signs of the upcoming holiday.
We're not big on the "Easter Bunny", but the kids enjoy a good egg hunt. After a couple years away from the egg dyeing and baskets, our oldest wants to make some pretty eggs again. I guess it's cool again.
Mary at Little Red House hosts Mosaic Monday. I'm sure there are plenty of Spring themed mosaics being shared this week, so go check them out.
My new baby nephew (and as of the publication of this post, yet to bear an official name):
Picture courtesy of my sister's iPhone and flickr stream.
Born a little after midnight this morning (March 28). The picture was taken on the 29th. And that's proud daddy, Andrew holding the little guy.
I think he's beautiful, of course - makes this new Auntie very proud.
Well, it was a lazy Saturday for Brian and Scott, who both slept in until 10:30.
It was lazy for me, too, but only after I finished running 9 miles this morning (and yes, I finished before 10:30, only to come home and realize both boys were still in bed).
In reality, Scott did go out and run this afternoon, so it wasn't a completely lazy day for him.
But I didn't go grocery shopping (my normal Saturday afternoon task), and we went out for dinner, where I took this picture of Brian enjoying his milkshake.
I also figured out what was wrong with the sewing machine (I couldn't get it to stitch properly last night) - of course, it was operator error. So really, nothing was wrong with the sewing machine - I just didn't thread it properly.
And some exciting news - my sister, Michele (whose Flickr stream may be seen on the right sidebar towards the bottom of this blog), went into labor this afternoon. She and husband, Andrew, are just about to enter parenthood with their first baby! More updates tomorrow.
Today's pictures were taken by Brian.
I love that my son shares my love of photography. He often points out things to photograph and if something strikes his fancy, he'll pick up my big SLR and start clicking away.
He was the one who noticed the cardinal at the bird feeder yesterday. Today, he took a couple pictures of Hannah, who was immersed in bird watching herself.
Because the cardinal is back.
He brought a friend, too (sorry, no pictures of the female, but I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to take her picture soon).
The amaryllis has finally bloomed, six deep scarlet flowers on one stalk, and a second stalk will bloom this week.
Two textures applied, a lighter one using the Soft Light Blending mode at 100% then a darker one using the Overlay Blending mode at 40%
From the back, the petals look like velvet:
First, today's capture - the sky after a long day of cold, rain and wind. I knew it would be fantastic when I saw the sky clearing through a wall of clouds. Right at sunset, too.
Finally, The Pioneer Woman, with the help of Rita from CoffeShop and Erin from Texas Chicks, released the PSE compatible versions of The Pioneer Woman Actions. I downloaded and installed both sets of actions this afternoon and played around with a couple of the conversions.
Vintage Action applied:
70s Action applied:
I really liked the two effects above, along with the "Heartland" action.
If you are a PSE User and always felt "left out", now is your chance to download these fun actions and have some fun playing around with your photos.
Finally, a visitor to the bird feeder! I bought a huge bag of black sunflower seeds back in January with the hope that we would see some pretty birds at the feeder [the feeder has stood empty for the last three or four years due to my laziness].
I knew "someone" was feasting on the seeds, but in thinking that the squirrels or crows had invaded the feeder, gave up on it.
But today, a welcome sight:
And I used The Pioneer Woman's Boost Action for PhotoShop Elements (PSE), freshly downloaded and installed this afternoon. I'll be posting more examples on my photography blog
The rain and wind put a chill into our Spring Break today. Hopefully things will warm up a bit tomorrow!
After the kids lounged around all day and complained about how bored they were, I suggested going outside to play [response - it's BORING outside]. I then suggested they "make" something - like cake.
Oh, that got them excited, so much that I had to run to the store to buy two boxes of cake mix (the kids can't handle cake from scratch - too much work, they said).
Rainbow Confetti for Erica, Triple Chocolate for Brian.
Both kids can break the eggs without getting shells in them. That's a cooking milestone, for sure!
And one MUST taste the batter to make sure the cake will be OK:
And the cake turned out just fine. Yummy!
The garden is showing real signs of growth, now that we've had some warmer days.
To my surprise, the chives I planted last year re-emerged and haven't been discovered by the resident bunnies. I think some baked potatoes may be in order this weekend.
And in my neighbor's yard, I spotted these fuzzy branches:
Soon, we'll have green popping up everywhere.
The sun coming through the neighbor's trees caught my eye this morning as I was making my coffee. The camera captures the view a little differently, but I still liked the picture. Just ignore all the dust and spots on the window!
The kids are on spring break this week, which means sleeping in and hanging out all day long. This is the first spring break in several years where we haven't gone away, but I think the lazing around suits the kids just fine. The weather has cooperated, with copious amounts of sun in the afternoon and balmy temperatures.
Here's my Week 11 Summary. Can you believe we are already up to day 80+ of the year?
Links to each day:
3/14 - March Madness
3/15 - Flipping Through the Pages of my Past
3/16 - Baseball
3/17 - Braces no more!
3/18 - The Road to Work
3/19 - Texting Inspirational Wallpapers
3/20 - Taking Care of Midnight
Jessica Turner hosts Project Life Tuesday. Stop by to check out the other Project 365 Participants.
Another fun photo challenge from I ♥ Faces - using a different angle to gain a new perspective on your subject.
Here is my entry - a picture of my daughter as she was standing above me. I figure this is a great angle, as she has almost grown as tall as me and she's not even a teenager yet! I guess I should get used to it!
Head over to I ♥ Faces for this challenge - and check out the other different angles out there!
I don't remember the last time I brought out the sewing machine. I know I sewed some window panels since we moved here in 2002. That was probably 2004 (around the time I got around to putting up the fabric window treatments).
What's the special occasion? I've decided to make some small cushions for a tote bag I'd like to use as a camera bag. The foam cushions will line the bag's bottom and sides in order to protect my camera.
So what you see is the wrong side of the fabric I'm using to cover the foam. I'm sure I'll have enough leftover fabric to make a coordinating lens case for my 70-300mm zoom lens. Maybe even a little bag to hold my phone, too....
Especially when the facility next door has an explosion and fire. I'm sure the management there is not going to have a fun week.
Fortunately, the main safety valves contained the damage to one furnace, and no one was injured as a result of the incident.
I couldn't let the weekend pass without highlighting the DVD we bought Saturday afternoon. No, we didn't go to the midnight premiere parties [we're too old]. We subsequently watched two times on Saturday and once on Sunday.
And we're still "Team Jacob" here. Erica still prefers Edward in the books, but prefers Jacob in the movie.
Today's post inspired by Develop on Fridays' post on Catching the Light.
Develop on Fridays is a great creative and technical resource for those developing their photography.
Go out and seize the light this week!
I am late on my Weekly Gratitude entries, but I intend to catch on last week's missed entry. This month's theme is "home":
The picture is a 5 picture panoramic of the "media" portion of the basement. No big screen TV or projector, but it meets our needs perfectly.
It's not too late to join in on Weekly Gratitude. You can find resources, templates and inspiration at Karen and Lori's site and flickr group. Hope to see you there!
Our friends are taking care of the elementary school bunny, Midnight, for the next three weeks, and since they are out of town this weekend, they asked us to look in on the cute black bunny. Of course, the kids were so excited to feed, pet and hold Midnight.
Erica wanted some "cool" backgrounds for her cell phone, so she downloaded this Backgrounds App to my phone and she texted the from my phone to hers (after checking with me first, as I don't have a text plan).
I like this one she picked out:
A bit of my morning commute this morning. Fog seems standard when our daytime temperatures tip over 60 and the nighttime lows dip into the 30s. With Daylight Savings time in effect, I head down the highway as the sun starts to rise above the fields.
The sun burned off most of the fog quickly, but left a soft, misty film that allowed the morning sun to cast its golden hue along the highway.
What did you see driving around today? If you look for beauty, you will find it, even along the road.
I had to work from home today, and I set up on the kitchen table to take advantage of the sunny day.
And while those tulips are way past their prime, I'm keeping them until the petals fall off - I just love the color!
We reached a major milestone today - the removal of Brian's braces!
A couple "final pictures" with the braces:
And an hour later, voila!
Can you tell how excited he was to get them off? Now the challenge - wearing the retainer consistently for the next year (or two?). I hope we don't have to go through another phase of orthodontia!
My week 10 summary of Project 365 photos.
I am still working through the journaling cards for February. I've been keeping up with March. Then I'll have the 4x6's printed. I've realized that while blogging these 400+ days has been great, I really need to get the pictures into a physical album.
Jessica Turner hosts Project Life Tuesday. Stop by to check out the other Project 365 Participants.
Last night, Brian discovered Scott's High school yearbook. Flipping through its pages, he and Erica laughed at the fashions and the hairstyles. They wanted to see my yearbook, so this afternoon I pulled mine out for Brian to see.
When I watch my kids turning the pages of my old photos, I am reminded why I am taking pictures every day. Because in 25 years, I want my kids' kids to enjoy these captures, and for my kids to "remember when they were growing up among the cornfields".