Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crafty....

Today the girls' & I did some crafting before we retreated to the 74 degree temps & full sun that was calling to us outside.
While waiting for them to wake up this morning I spent some time getting caught up on my blog reading.  Seems I never have enough time to do that lately.  It was wonderful.  My brain is swirling with many ideas - but this one caught my attention because it came complete with a video!  I found this on  Scrap Tiffany BlogThe original idea is for mini flowers to use on cards & layouts, but at the end Sheri show this example.  A much larger one!
So the 3 of us set off to the creative corner & started digging through my drawer of scraps!  We used the largest scalloped circle I had, about 4", from my Nestabilities & ran them through the Cuttlebug.
I cut the back circle out of chipboard using my large circle cutter from Coluzzle.  I cut an identical size from a patterned paper.  After we had the whole flower assembled we glued the patterned paper circle over the chipboard circle on the back.  Then we punched 2 holes to thread the coordinating ribbon through so that we can hang them in a window or on the door or on the wall!
Too - too cute!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break 2010

Steve & I decided this year to stay home for spring break.  So I invited my nieces to stay a few days with us.  It's not too often that the girls outnumber the boys in my home, so this is awesome!  
The weather is supposed to turn really nice starting today - with temps hitting the 70s by tomorrow.  So yesterday we spent the day pampering ourselves.  The sun was in & out most of the day, but the temps barely reached out of the 40s.  We pulled out the foot bath, nail polish & lotions to give ourselves mani & pedicures!  
 



We had also gone out & bought some fun springy colors to paint our toes with.  Kylie's look like Easter eggs with her little polka dots on them.  Dani's are just a pretty iridescent purple and I have a shade of blue like the summer skies!
Dani completed my pedicure with white stripes on my big toes!
After a dinner of tortilla pizzas on the grill we walked down to the park in the center of our village so the girls' could get goofy on the swing set & I could practice my camera skills for my homework.
 I can't believe I'm in the final week of this class.  We have been working with shutter speeds, long & slow.  It's been so much fun learning how to work with my camera outside of the auto mode! 
Well - we're off for a fun day of lunch with Uncle Steve at "The Root Beer Stand" and maybe some picture shooting along the way.  This afternoon we're thinking of lounging in the backyard and soaking up a few rays as the temps continue to warm up!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Has It Really Been 32 Years???

It's kind of like the movie Steel Magnolia's. It's been almost 32 years since we graduated from high school & we're still friends - friends through thick & thin - always there even when you can't see them.
This is Terri (right) & Gail (center).  We have been friends' since high school.  Terri & Gail even longer since they went to the same lower elementary school.  I went to the one across town.  We all became good friends in high school and that friendship has remained steadfast through all these years.
We got married within 6 months of each other, Gail had 4 kids, Terri had 3 and I had 2.  Our lives changed as we grew older with our families, but no matter what - we manage to come back together at some point in our lives.
It seems lately as though it's been through tough times.  When my mom died - Terri & Gail were there.  When my dad died - Terri & Gail were there.
When Gail's oldes son died suddenly in February, Terri & I were there.  To lose your parents is so very, very hard.  To lose your child - it's just not natural.  They aren't supposed to go first, ya know?
So last week, after a month had passed since Dirk's death, we got together for dinner.  We spent hours reminiscing, not to mention crying and laughing and then crying & laughing at the same time!
I am so very blessed by God to have these 2 ladies in my life.  I know that no matter how good or bad things are, they are at the other end of my phone line.
I love these ladies!!

This is my command, " Love one another the way I have loved you.  This is the very best way to love.  Put your life on the line for your friends.  You are my friends when you do the things I command you.  I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking & planning.  No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father."  John 15:12-14  The Message

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Do You Ever......

Get a song stuck in your head and it's the most annoying song EVER and it just won't go away??????  I have that this morning, so I thought I'd share it with you so you can enjoy it too!!!
Give me back that filet o' fish..
Give me that fish!
Give me back that filet o' fish..
Give me that fish!
What if it were you
hanging up on this wall.
You wouldn't be laughing...
it's not funny at all!
Give me back that filet o' fish..
Give me that fish!
Give me back that filet o' fish..
Give me that fish!

So.......have a wonderful day!  Are you craving a filet o' fish now?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just A Wee Bit O' Irish In Me Blood......

Even though I have a strong Dutch heritage in my blood line, there is a wee bit o' Irish in me too.  I don't normally pay much attention to the St. Paddy's celebrations, but this came across my email this morning & I thought I would share it with you.  I found it very interesting.  It is from Pastor Beth Jones of the Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo.  She is also an author of many devotionals & a public speaker.   Hope you enjoy this little history lesson....

Do you know the story behind St. Patrick and his strong faith in God? According to two of many websites detailing St. Patrick's history, we are told:
…He was the son of a Roman-British army officer. One day a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland. He was there for six years, mostly imprisoned. This was when changes came to him. He dreamed of having seen God. Legend says he was then dictated by God to escape with a getaway ship. So he set out for Ireland with the Pope's blessings. There he converted the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, to Christianity.

He was confident in the Lord; he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even among the royal families. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. For 20 years he had traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils.

It is said that he used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity, which refers to the combination of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence its strong association with his day and name. Legend also has that Saint Patrick had put the curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland. And he drove all the snakes into the sea where they drowned. (theholidayspot.com and wikipedia.com)

Over time, the legend of St. Patrick has grown and includes fantasy, tales and myths about leprechauns and fairies. The truth and passionate zeal Patrick had for God and for making converts to Christianity has been overpowered by an emphasis on green beer, shamrocks and lucky charms.

So today, while everyone wears green and celebrates St. Patty's Day, just remember his godly roots! And...don't forget about the real "charm" with all power in heaven and earth—the Name of Jesus!

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; [green beer, shamrocks, fairies, leprechauns and lucky charms--emphasis mine] but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." (Psalm 20:7, NKJV)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello...

So I've been working a little on this & a little on that.  I'm in the 3rd week of my photography class & we had our first official assignment.  By Thursday I was frazzled on my camera & not feeling like I was getting it at ALL!  So I pulled out the trusty camera manual & started reading.  Going with different pointers from my teacher & reading through my manual, I finally learned how to use the meter readings on my camera which is NOW helping me get my F-stops & shutter speeds to work for me.  We had to take 3 pictures at different aps - small- medium  & large to work on our depth of field.  So I pulled out my camera collection from my grandpa & used them as my "props".   It's been rainy & gray here the last 4 days & so I had to work on them inside.
Here is the outcome:
While the changes are subtle - they are there.  Look at the focus on the plant in the background & you can see it.
My younger son sent me a recent picture of him & his new girlfried.  He recently peldged a fraternity & this is a picture of them together at a recent event.  He is wearing an extra special bow tie from his Auntie Pam  :)
Her name is Kylie (just like my niece!) and she's from Minnesota....don't ya know!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Homework!

I started an online photography class 2 weeks ago.  We are studying F-stops & shutter speeds.  I really am enjoying it because it is starting to "click" in my brain.  Steve & I went out yesterday & today and he recorded my settings as I took some shots.  He was very good about not putting in his 2 cents worth on how to "work" it.  He is VERY mechanically inclined, so he interprets things much differently than me. 
While I have studied & listened to the video presentation several time & I seem to be understanding the concept in my head - it's totally different when I actually get the camera in my hand & have to put it into practice.  But I think it's coming along.........practice, practice, practice.
While our 1st assignment won't actually come until this week, our teacher gave us some ideas in this past week's lessons to maybe do some "extra credit" work.
Here a few of my results:
Look at the difference in the water flow.  How cool is that????   I took one more with an even slower shutter speed - but it's a little overexposed.  Gotta learn not to look at my pic w/o my sunglasses on....
The water is even more soft here - but as I said, it's a little overexposed.  So - I think I'll play w/ my photo editing software & try to fix it!