Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Monday Morning

Boo!
This face should scare anyone 1st thing in the morning!
How's your Monday going so far?
Mine has been crazy busy since I woke up.
1.  Son #2 came home on Saturday from college with strep throat.  He had been on penicilan since Thursday morning and there was no improvement.
2.  Sent him to immediate care on Saturday night.  They gave him a shot in the hiney for the fever and heavy dutier drugs.
3.  HUGE improvement by Sunday - fever broke through the night & his appetite was returning.
4.  Dream Boy & I enjoyed having him home to "pamper" - I know when you're sick, there's no place like home.
5.  Son #1 installed a wood burner in his garage to keep warm so he can continue working on cars throughout the winter.
6.  Dream Boy went over on Sunday to check it out for ventilation and said they were sending up smoke signals!  Son #1's buddy opened the door & put a fan in front of it trying to stoke up the flames, but instead filled the garage with smoke! 
7.  Other than the fan, son #1 did a great job installing it.
8.  I took a cold shower today.....brrrrrrrr.  Son #2 took a shower before me and used almost all the hot water.  Took me back to the days of camping.
9.  We had the parents of the seniors from our soccer team over for grilled pizza Saturday night & a bonfire.  We had a wonderful time - so much fun.
10.  I can't believe that this may be our last week of soccer.......ever.
11.  I'm meeting a dear friend, former co-worker, for coffee after school.  Can't wait!
12.  I have to change my eye appointment for the 3rd time.  Soccer game is Wednesday this week, not Tuesday like the schedule originally said!
13.  Today is Halloween and we still haven't carved our pumpkins......
14.  I need to get to work - clock is ticking & the work is piling up!
Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

P52::Busy

I think I've been saying it for a while now, life sure is busy around here. 
But that's okay - it makes things interesting.
Our prompt for this past week was "busy".....how does one capture the business of their life in a single pic?
Well, I found a great "busy" shot tonite as I was making snacks for my son's college soccer team tomorrow.  Yes, I said college soccer team.  We've been doing it for 4 years and it's a tradition the guys just love...and so do the coaches!
My tradition since son #2's sophomore year is to make Whoopie Pies and this year is no different.  I just spent the last 3 hours making 4 dozen Whoopie Pies.
Yes - about 48 of them, but only 40 of them are going to the team.  The remainder, if I can keep Dream Boy out of them, will be for our friends tomorrow night.  We are having the senior parents over for grilled pizza after the game since it's right here in town.
I'm hoping & praying that Son #2 feels better as he's had strep throat and has been running a fever for 2 days.  He's been on antibiotics now for almost 48 hours, so let's hope a good night's sleep & his drugs will help him feel much improved come morning light.
Speaking of morning light.....I'm going to say GOOD night before the morning light shows up in my window. 
Have a great weekend!  We have a busy one, but it should be lots of fun!

Ohohohohooooh, It's Better......

I have felt a little heavy hearted the last few days.  That heavy heartedness also led to some crabbiness with my students.  That crabbiness led to some brutally honest reality with same said students.
It's only the end of October.
I usually feel this way in March.
I'm being challenged.
Yesterday a student asked me if I believe in God?  My answer, "yes I do."
As I went on through my day and more drama built in the school and then in my heart, I realized it was an opportunity missed!
My answer should have been, "with my whole heart & being I believe in God!"
I left school and a coworker looked at me and said, "do you need a hug?"
Wow - my body language must have been screaming!
We chatted for a few and I left.
I got into my car & prayed.  Then I pulled out my favorite, scratchy, skippy "lift me up" praise & worship CD.
I cranked it up ------ I cranked it LOUD!
I ran a few errands before going home and as I was turning onto my street, this song came on:
"Oh it's better,
Oh better than life.
Oh it's so much better,
Jesus,
Your loving kindness....
IS BETTER THAN LIFE!
So I sat in my garage with the car running until the song was done.
I set the song so it's the 1st thing I hear when I get in in this morning.
As I was dressing for school I saw my verse inside my cupboard door,

"So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it."
I Peter 4:19

Today is going to be better because He makes it so.  HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING even when I don't.
Thank goodness for that.
So this heart that I'm holding --- yea, it's got the words written on the back, 
"Jesus you're loving kindness is better than life!"
It's going on my board right next to me at school so every time I see it, which is every time I answer my phone, I will remember that it's not about me, but about HIM and what HE'S doing through me at school, every.single.day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Senior Night

No - not "senior night" as in I'm old and get double coupons on "senior day" at the local grocery store.
I'm talking about son #2 who played his last home college soccer game of the regular season.  Where have the last 4 years gone?
He entered college in the fall of 2008.  A week of try outs, the most nerve wracking week of mine & Dream Boy's life.  We've gone through try outs with both of our boys over the years but never one like that week.
Then the call finally came on Thursday night - he made the team.  Never did we know that it would not only change his life, but ours too.  We've made such good friends through the past 4 years and look forward to staying in touch with each & every one of them.
After a one hour delay last night due to thunder & lightening the senior players took the field with their parents.
 Yes, the senior way over on the right is on crutches.  He suffered an injury to his knee the 1st weekend of games & ended up having surgery a few weeks later.  It was tough to lose him, but he has been on the sideline helping coach his team onto a great season!
Next fall is going to be so different not having a weekend soccer game after 20 some years of playing between both our boys.
We've enjoyed the ride and have been so blessed to watch the God given talents both our boys' possessed.
But for now, with 2 season games left and then onto tournament for a shot at Nationals, we will continue to enjoy and savor the ride!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Monday Morning.....Coffee On The Go....

Coffee is on the go today - can't get moving the way I should for some reason.
Do you think because it's Monday.....and it's raining....and it hailed in the middle of the night waking me up.....and I dreamed the weirdest dreams last night?
Anywhoooooooo........
Today while we have our coffee on the go let me share with you:
1.  Son #2 plays his last home college soccer game of the regular season tomorrow night.
2.  When did son #2 get to be that old?
3.  Wait - then that means son #1 is even older...
4.  Then that means....I'm even older yet.
5.  Let's not go there, k?
6.  I've had the same song stuck in my head for a week now....."all the other kids' with the la la la la....better run, better run faster than my bullett"....
7.  Stuck in your head now too, isn't it?
8.  I'm eating frosted flakes for breakfast as I write this - yummy, eh?
9.  Dream Boy & I did a lot of laughing this weekend.  Happy Place!
10.  Son #2 won their game Saturday night which put them in 2nd place in their conference.
11.  Son #1 is installing a wood burner in his garage for the winter.  He hates the cold.
12.  I made Beef Stroganoff in the crock pot for dinner yesterday.
13.  I have the best leftovers for lunch today.  
14.  I finally brought my mom & dad their yearly pumpkin last night.  It was dusk in the cemetery.  A gray cat ran across the way in front on me.
15.  Would the cat have been black if it had been dark out?
16.  Should I be worried that a gray cat crossed my path at dusk in a cemetery while standing there at night?
17.  Have a happy Monday - I'm beginning to ramble......what wonder my week is going to be like?
Toodles!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

P52::Collection

Collection.
This past week's prompt.
I'm not a "collector" of anything specific.
My big sister collects Precious Moments figurines.
My mom used to collect Angel's.
I used to collect pigs.
So when this prompt came up, I had to really stretch my mind to come up with a "collection".
Last year, for my 50th birthday, Dream Boy & Our Two Sons (sounds a bit like a t.v. show)....gave me a Pandora bracelet for my birthday.
I guess you could say I collect charms for my bracelet.
Each one I choose has some sort of meaning to it.
1.  The floral clip.  It holds the beads in place so they don't slide around the bracelet.  I love daisies & the floral motif on here reminds me of daisies.
2.  An angel - a birthday gift this year from a very dear friend.  She said I remind her of an "angel".  It reminds me of her & our friendship..but it also reminds me of my mom.  Even the little bare feet on the bottom of the charm.
3.  A camera of course.  While this isn't a Pandora charm, I love it.  I bought it at a Brighton store on our senior trip last spring.
4.  An orange glass swirl bead....to go with the blue glass swirl bead.  The colors of Hope College - home of the Flying Dutchmen, son #2's soccer team.
5.  Again, a Brighton charm.  It says "believe" on one side & has a raised cross on the other.  When our mom was so sick, my sister's & I adapted the word "believe" because we knew that through our belief in God, we could make it through anything!
6.  Faith/Hope/Love....this charm has a cross (faith), anchor (hope) & heart (love).  These are 3 key values in my life.
7.  Peace sign -a Christmas gift from Dream Boy last year.  A personal "joke" between us 2.
8.  See #4 - a blue glass swirl bead.  I also chose this bead because it was the closest to my birthstone, sapphire.  I didn't like any of the birthstone charms, so I chose the bead instead.
9.A pig -- once upon a time I collected pigs.  Don't know why, I just did.  So in memory of that silly enormous collection, I just had to have the little piggy.
10.  A soccer ball - need I say more??  If I do - see #4.
There you have my "collection".  
Next word prompt::"busy"
How do you take a picture of your busy, hectice life style????

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steve & Bonnie -- Engagement Shoot

I've told you about the wedding I booked for next spring.
I've told you how at the same time I am very excited about this opportunity AND very nervous!
I've met the sweet couple and we spent a few hours together on a sunny Saturday morning.
Meet Bonnie & Steve.
 Did I mention they are football fans???
...of different teams?
This will keep things interesting in their life together!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee Time

Good Monday morning to you!
Just a little peak at my kitchen table.  I haven't had Halloween decorations out in forever.....literally!
But what I really focus on is the Gebrara Daisies in the water bottle - classy....I know.  I picked them over a week ago from my back yard & they are still blooming!
So if we were meeting today, this is what I'd share:
1.  Friday night we went to our niece's high school football game to watch her march in the band.
2.  It rained.
3.  We watched the wrong girl the whole time.  
4.  Well - they all look alike in the same uniform & hats & we were at the top of the bleachers under a blanket shielding ourselves from the deluge of rain!
5.  Saturday was homecoming at Son #2's college. 
6.  Son #2 didn't get to play Saturday night because he pulled a groin muscle in practice Friday night.  Bummer.
7.  Yesterday I did a whole lot of nothing.  I scrapped a little, I watched 3 movies, I edited pictures, I made home made spaghetti sauce & meatballs.
8.  My camera lens is in & hopefully fixed!
9.  I think I'm fighting a cold.  Been sneezing a whole lot yesterday & today.
10.  In 4 months I'll be on a sunny beach in Florida with Dream Boy - can't wait.
11.  This week is a quiet week, not a whole lot on the calendar except 2 soccer games.
12.  I baked on Saturday - pumpkin bread.  
13.  It's almost gone.
14.  Speaking of gone - I need to get going to school.
Happy Monday ~~ hope you have a blessed day!  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crockpot Mac-n-Cheese::Pinterest~~Pass or Fail



Yesterday was a college soccer day as is every Saturday from the end of August until sometime in November.
It was homecoming.  The soccer parents host an extra large tailgate for the soccer alumni who come to play in the annual alumni game.  They play & then we feed them.
I wanted something other than the quick tossed salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, cookies, chips-n-salsa or veggie trays.  So I decided on mac-n-cheese.  So many of the alumni bring their families & there are little kiddos there, so mac-n-cheese is a perfect choice!
While browsing through Pinterest yesterday morning I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try.
Let me just say this........
Yum to the OH!
It was so easy & so very, very good!  It was not like some crockpot recipes where you have to do a lot of prep work prior to putting it into the crockpot itself.  No - all I need to do was par boil the macaroni, literally dump the remaining ingredients into the crockpot & stir them up before adding the macaroni.
I used skim milk and regular evaporated milk.  I also used the Italian blend of cheese, but only 5 cups (I doubled the recipe for a large crowd).  I used a cup of cheddar cheese to make a total of 6 cups of cheese.
I was reading a blog the other day, Hope Studios about something from Pinterest she tried.  Jennifer challenged her readers to actually try something they had pinned & give it a review on their blog.
So I'm giving my review on the recipe.
It passed with a blue ribbon from the county fair!
Have you tried anything you've pinned on Pinterest?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

P::52 Calm

This week's prompt was "calm".
We went to our friends' for dinner this past Sunday night with almost all our boys.  
Before dinner I went down to the dock where the sun was just setting & the glassy waters were reflecting the beauty of the fall colors.
The water is a little ripply here, but a fishing boat had just left & the sun was setting fast, so I took advantage of the light while I still had it.
The water is so calm, smooth and peaceful.  
The colors were vibrant!
I just sat there soaking it all in.  No boats, no campers across the lake, no swimmers jumping off rafts, no one out at all.
Most docks are in, most boats are in, most rafts are in.
The silence surrounded me & I just sat in the quiet calmness of the beauty God has painted in the trees around me.
Can you feel the sense of calm?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Mentions......

I like doing my Monday morning's with you, I do -- really.
It's just some Monday mornings totally get past me & it's Monday afternoon before I have a chance to sit down with you & chat.
Please forgive me......I truly think my Monday's start out better when we chat before my day starts. 
I'm serious!  If I spend a few nuggets of time with my cyber friends before my day starts, it seems to help me keep my perspective positive throughout the day!
So I'm thinking that is the reason that this Monday -- at least so far, has not been a real memory maker. So I will do my best to focus on the positives of this day so far & not whine too much...
but if we were to meet today I would share:
1.  It is another beautiful fall day in Michigan w/ temps in the upper 70s.
2.  The colors are spectacular!
3.  Son #2 came home for the night last night & spent time with Son #1 and then met us at friends' house for a wonderful Sunday Supper.
4.  We laughed.......a LOT at our Sunday Supper.
5.  Dream Boy & I are so blessed with wonderful boys & loving friends.
6.  Miss Libbi got to snuggle up in bed this morning with Son #2 after I left for school.  They were both happy.
7.  I had to go to school.
8.  I'm really struggling with a fellow worker who is passing judgement on my classroom & program after spending 1 hour a day for 4 weeks with me.
9.  I'm very protective of the work I've accomplished prior to this "mess" and I resent his claims.
10.  My principal is backing me, but I'm still struggling with this issue.  I don't like this feeling of resentment that is hanging on.
11.  My students at the end of the day were......um......challenging.  One even told me that he can't be held responsible for his reaction if I choose to "raise my voice" at him again!  
12.  Well -- if you would stop talking the 1st time I ask and not continue on & be asked 2 more times to be quiet & then argue with me that you're not talking, I might not have to "raise my voice"!!!
13.  Ugh - do I need anger management classes?
14.  I have photography class tonite - that's a good thing.
Okay - it's your turn.....what would you share with me today?
Oh - & thanks for letting me vent!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

P::52 Shots - Playing Catch Up

I'm just a tad behind in my P::52 photos.  
Our prompt 2 weeks ago was "trail".
I've had several images in my head of unique trails - not the obvious.
The one I was really seeing in my mind's eye was the trail that the deer make through the corn fields as they make their way across them in the summer.
In the fall when the corn begins to dry out, if you are on the right hill above the fields, you can see these paths.
I'm not seeing them so clearly this year - so I kept my eyes open for another trail.
Yesterday as I was heading into town for my engagement session, I noticed this "trail".  It's not far from my home & it is gated off....so it's not open to the public.  But the fall colors were amazing as I glanced down this way.
On my way home, I stopped to take a shot or two of this trail.
I have grown up in Michigan - lived here all my life.
Every fall I never stop being amazed at the beauty of God's work around me as He paints His canvas.  He never repeats it either, the colors are different every fall.
This past week's theme was "today"......
How often in Michigan can you walk around in the grass and fallen leaves barefoot and not be cold?
"Today" in Michigan it is supposed to reach record high temps for this time of year.  It is currently 77 degrees and is supposed to hit the lower 80s.
I want to remember "today".
Now, while my pumpkin pie finishes baking in the oven & filling my home with the most wonderful scent of fall....I need to go work on my homework for my photography class:  White Balance and RAW format shooting.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Beautiful Saturday

I got to sleep in today.
Love that.
I got to do an engagement shoot.
 Loved that.
God's been painting the landscape again....
Love that.
Had an early soccer game tonight.
Loved that.
Home and in my jammies and unwinding before 9pm tonite?
Really love that!
Hope you're loving your weekend wherever you may be!
Be back soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

 My faith is everything to me.  If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that.  If not, then you've learned something new about me.
This last month or so has seemed to swirl about me - leaving me feel unorganized, not in control, dazed.  Getting back into the routine of school and life in general has sent me down that path.  I don't like it.
Last night I had a lot of quiet time, Dream Boy was on a bike ride & I was working on editing pics.  My mind wanders a lot when I'm doing that, but it's a good thing.
I realized that I haven't taken the time I've needed in the last month or so to really talk with my God.  To spend time with Him and bask in His glory.  Yes, I go to church every week.  I listen to the sermons and I'm uplifted.  I pray, but in between this activity & that.
When I went to bed last night I had my quiet time with Him.  I talked to Him and asked God to forgive my lack of focus.  I awoke with peace in my heart & mind this morning.
When I came to school I heard the news that the husband (51 yrs old) of a coworker lost his battle with cancer last night.  My heart breaks for her and their kids.  Too soon in our human minds for one to leave this world.
But as I continue to carry them in my heart & silent prayers this morning, I am reminded that I have a promise of eternal life. 
This song came to mind.....it always gives me peace and great comfort.

I hope it does you too.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Playing With Shutter Speeds.....and Libbi!


My assignment this past week for my photography class was to play with shutter speeds.  In taking shots of my silly Libbi, this little clip was an outtake of some of my favorite shots of her.  
Look at her tongue! 
Then I had to play with "panning" and I came up with this shot.
Panning is where you shoot in a slow shutter speed, but follow the subject while moving.  You get the subject in focus (for the most part), but the background is this big blur.
Thanks to my Dream Boy for participating in playing with Miss Libbi to get these shots!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chris - Senior Pics

Fall has arrived in Michigan.  It came in the 2nd week of September and has not left.  No Indian Summer for us I'm thinking
That's okay - the colors are starting to change and it makes for a beautiful time of year to do senior pictures.
My latest victim, er..um...subject was Chris!
We met at a local park in town and after a little chit chat, he & I walked off with the 'rents in tow.
Chris is a hockey player.  Dream Boy was a hockey player. 
Chris is graduating from LN.  Dream Boy graduated from LN.
BONUS! 
This broke the ice and helped me to get Chris relaxed and really start getting into the whole picture taking thing.
 We had geese surrounding us quickly when taking these shots along the creek.
Chris was laughing at me as one goose decided he want a close up and I turned my camera on it & "flashed" it.  The shot didn't turn out, but the goose went back to its watery home.
 Do you see the colors starting to change in the background?
 Love this shot - if I say so myself......and I do.
 I still have over 150 shots to go through & edit yet, but this is a start.
Thank you Chris for an enjoyable time.
We finished our shoot just in time as right when we got into our cars to leave, the skies opened up & it started pouring.
Oh --- and my lens broke :(   So I headed directly to the Camera Store and they had to send it in, the image stabilizer was going bad.  It could take up to 6 weeks for it to come back.  Thankfully it was still under warranty and I do have my original lens to use in the meantime.
Next weekend I have an engagement shoot!  I'm really looking forward to that!