Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

It's a holiday here in the U.S. so I'm still in my jammies sipping coffee at 8:30 in the morning.
1. I only have 2 more early Monday morning's for school.
2.  Then it's summer school & I won't have to get up quite as early.
3.  Dream Boy & I are waiting for our friends' to arrive to go on a little bike ride.
4.  I only have a 4 day school week this week and NO seniors.
5.  Can you say quiet?
6.  Libbi the Wonder Dog is pooped out - she went swimming again yesterday for almost 2 hours.  She LOVES the water.
7.  So do I.  I floated around in my big pink inner tube.  Libbi was SO excited when I got in she jumped right over me into the lake!  No.Lie!
8.  Guess what?  I screamed!  Yep.I.did.  Imagine that!
9.  I'm asking for prayers for my sister's mother-in-law who took a very bad fall on Saturday & is in the hospital with some serious injuries.
10.  We went to a surprise birthday party Saturday night for our very good friend.
11.  That's him hugging his wife & 2 of their son's sneaking up on him.
12.  Dream Boy was in charge of keeping him busy all day & getting him to his party.
13.  I suppose I should go get dressed so we can go on our ride.  
14.  Have a wonderful day wherever you may be!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Are you having an enjoyable holiday weekend?
It rained here yesterday, but cleared off by afternoon and today has started out as a beautiful, sunshiny morning.
Libbi's in the back yard chasing chipmunks and Dream Boy is eating breakfast on the patio.
I'm posting my SHS & will soon be joining him.
Love moments such as these.
But - it's Sunday, which means another Scavenger Hunt is going over at Ramblings and Photos.
Be sure to head over there after checking out my shots - there are some very creative photographers out there!!
And now, here's my interpretations for this week's prompts:

Beneath Your Feet
Nothing better than the wind beneath my feet with a refreshing lake to dip them in when they get too hot!

Capturing Movement
High school senior's last day - shaving cream fight tradition!

Pioneer Woman's Banana Bread (actually her mom's) recipe!!  You'll never use another recipe!

Face Your Fear
Summer is fast approaching & it's time to get back on the bike and ride.  I hate the scale!

Currently what's blooming in our back yard.  Actually, Dream Boy took this shot last weekend.

I'm heading over to Ashley's blog now to check out some other interpretations - why don't you join me?

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Is Why

I do what I do.
Heaven knows it's not for the "big bucks" I make!  Ha!
It's not for the health benefits that I don't get.
It's not for the summer's off, although they are nice, even though I still work summer school.
It's for moments like this:
 ......the moment one of my senior's realizes he IS going to graduate ON time because of the work he accomplished in my room.  
The smile on his face when I hand him the "special pen" to sign a star on the wall or ceiling of my classroom.
It's a promise I make to them when they come into my class.  If they can get their credits caught up and graduate on time with the rest of their class, they can sign a star. 
I get choked up every year when it all of a sudden hits them, "yeah, I'm going to graduate."
 It's the joy of the shaving cream fight after school for the seniors.  Seeing them have fun and enjoy this last special "Hurrah"!
Then it's this - when I come back to my classroom to see the note left on my classroom board...
...that brings tears to my eyes and makes me know that it was all worth it!
There hasn't been one class more special than the other.  I love them all.  Yes, they can drive me insane and I sometimes feel like all I do is nag, nag, nag to get them to concentrate, focus and do their work.
But when they leave me notes like this, or they stop in the hall and ask to give me a hug & whisper "thank you Mrs. G, I love you" in my ear, that I know it is all worth it.  That I know in some small way I've made a difference in their life.
Funny thing is though - they don't have a clue how much of a difference they've made in mine!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Meet Mama G Flat.
Perhaps you've met her before when she's made an ever so brief appearance.
This week's prompt for P52 was "flat".  I thought & I thought about it, & this idea came to my mind.
Mama G Flat was created in 2006.  She's much like the Flat Stanley, she likes to travel.
In 2006 my mom was very ill and I was not able to go on the annual senior class trip that I plan every year.  Also, I was having some major behavioral issues with that class & chose not to go.
So Mama G Flat was created and a few of my student's who did go on the trip, took Mama G Flat along & took various pictures of her with them.
So she's back - and she would like to travel again.
Would you like to help her in her journey?  Do you live in somewhere that she would love to visit for a few days?  The pacific northwest, the east coast, the southern plains, Italy, Spain, anywhere in the world?
I would love to send her to you for some adventure.  The catch is that you spend 3 days to a week with her and take pictures of her in various places around your town.  Then send me those pics & when she's done visiting, mail her back to me.
If you'd like to play along, email me - check my profile for my email address.
I hope to hear from you & that "The Adventures of Mama G Flat" can once again begin!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial

I really like Ashley Sisk's blog.  I learn so much from her and taking part in the Sunday Scavenger Hunts has really pushed me this year to take my photography to new levels.
On Tuesday she does a tutorial and I have on occasion participated, learning some pretty cool stuff in my PSE10.
This week's tutorial is about Black and White Conversions.
So I jumped on board and played around.  
Here is my before (color/left) and the after (b&w/right)..
Now grant it, my pic is taken with my computer, so it's not the clearest.
I love playing around with black & white because sometimes it makes all the difference in saving a pic.  What might not look great in color, actually does look better in black & white.
Not sure any editing would help this image get any better....LOL!
Here's one more shot that I converted...

It was interesting following Ashley's prompts & taught me a little bit more of what different prompts do in PSE10.
Thanks for the tips Ashley!
Want to see other edits?
Head on over to Ramblings and Photos.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Didn't realize the time...oh my!
 1.  Libbi the Wonder Dog & I went for a swim yesterday.
2.  Actually, she swam, I dangled my legs in & got plenty wet every time she shook her hairy body!
 3.  Looking at this pic I realize I need a haircut & I'm looking a little crosseyed!
4.  I read another book this weekend.  "Mistaken Identities" - true story of 2 college girls involved in a fatal accident in 2006 in Indiana.
5.  Ah-mazing testimony from both families.
6.  I had dinner surrounded by 3 catholic priests Saturday night.
7.  I'm a Dutch Reformed kinda girl!
8.  Had some interesting conversation that night.
9.  Dream Boy & I went to the theatre on Friday night.
10.  Children's Theatre - our friend's daughter was in a lead role.
11.  Splendid job!
12.  Son #2 was home for the weekend.  We've seen more of him in the last 2 weeks than we did his whole 4 years at college!
13.  Not complaining.
14.  Three and a half weeks left of school.  Our seniors are done this Friday ~ hallelujah!
15.  Opened my email at school this morning and received a very nasty email -
16.  I really do love my job, just don't like getting hate mail.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Time for another round of SHS thanks to Ashley Sisk at Rambling and Photos.
It was a beautiful sunny day today, so I was able to get out & play with my camera a little more.
Plus I'm finally getting caught up on all my editing & photo shoots from the past month or so.
Without further adieu.....

Best I could do this week - but these are my favorite doodling markers!

These purple blooms on my chive plant are so fluffy looking as they sway in the breeze.

I pulled out various letters from my scrapbooking collection - the whole alphabet!

 This rusty watering can & wind chime have been hanging in my back corner garden for several years now - I just love rustic and old looking they've become over the years.

Pulled from my archives - a shot of my favorite trees silhouetted against the setting sun.

Thanks Ashley for another great week of prompts.  I really love doing these every week.  I find myself thinking and looking and imagining different ways every week in which to capture the prompts, while continuing to better my photography skills!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

How ya doing this morning?
Me>>I'm counting the Monday's left of school.
We don't have school on Memorial Day, May 28th.
1. I only have 2 weeks left with my seniors. 
2.  That's a good thing.
3.  They are still not in panic mode, but will be by the end of this week.
4.  At least a couple in my classroom should be!
5.  Did you have a great Mother's Day?
6.  I had a very quiet one - very nice.
7.  Son #2 came home Saturday.
8.  We went to church in the morning & then met Son #1 & fiancĂ© for breakfast.
9.  Son #1 & fiance gave me a dozen lavender roses.
10.  Son #2 gave me chocolate.
11.  Dream Boy put in a new garage door opener.
12.  I've been lifting the garage door by hand for more years than I can count.
13.  Now I just push a button.  LoVe!
14.  I finished editing all my wedding photos AND I got their album ordered!
15.  Now I only have 3 more photo sessions and 2 videos to finish.
16.  This week should be fairly quiet so I can work on accomplishing all of them.
Uh oh - just looked at the time......I am waaaaaay late!
Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
What's going on with you?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

First of all - Happy Mother's Day to all of you great mom's!  I hope you are being treated like royalty by your family's today!
I am.
That's why I'm a little late posting my SHS shots today - but better late than never.
Some of my shots aren't from this past week, but are from the last month or so. I spent a WHOLE lotta time this week finishing the editing for the wedding I shot last month, and I also had a photo shoot this past Monday for the staff at a church in Grand Rapids, and I am putting together a video for my friend's son who graduates high school in a few weeks, and.......
let's just I've been busy.
But it's good!
So - here are my interpretations for this week:

On the sidewalk leading up to their wedding venue - a family heart!

These boys' are always inspiring me to be a better mom, wife and person.  
I love them with all my heart!

Two of our student's are into Civil War reenactment.  They recently did a demonstration for one of their history classes and led their fellow comrades classmates across the school grounds into battle.

Close Up
I've been carrying my camera to school a lot lately.  Good thing, as I was able to get "up close & personal" with this guy hanging out on the window just outside of my classroom.

With Mirror

 A bride & her reflection.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Have a wonderful week - be sure to stop by for coffee tomorrow morning!
Oh, & if you want to see more interpretations of this week's prompts, be sure to head over to Ashley Sisk's blog, Ramblings and Photos!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

P::52 Stripe

I know, I know - I missed last week's prompt, which was cuddle!
BUT I will get to it, nothing has presented itself to me yet for that one.
So onto this week's P52 prompt::Stripe

I found several of these striped shells on the beach in Florida this past February.
I love how they not only have a stripe pattern in their coloring, but also the striped ridges of the shell add to the total character of this little guy!
Have a great day everyone - and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Son #1 graduated almost 3 years ago from a trade school, earning his certification(s) in auto mechanics.  He started his job 3 weeks after graduating and is still with the same company.  He went back to school this semester to finish up his associates degree and wants to go further.  
He earned a 4.0 this semester.
My big sister has been working on her degree for the past 6 or so years.  She will finish this next fall.  Last week she was awarded a couple of scholarships and also made the Dean's List!
This past Sunday, as most of you may know, Son #2 graduated from college.
He is the 1st one on both sides to graduate with a 4 year degree.
This shot is the one taken by the "professional" when the graduate exited the stage after receiving their degree.
Hence the blur.
When I opened it up it was crooked and very yellow.  
So I checked into ordering it.
$15.00 for the shot - with NO editing.  If I wanted the people removed from behind and blemishes cleaned up it would be $25.00
Here's their photo of him receiving his diploma from the college president.
Here is mine taken from the bleachers about 14 rows back from the stage.
Yes, his tassel is hanging in his face, but I like this one better!
We had a very long, eventful day.
We left the house at 7:30 so we could attend Baccalaureate at 9:30.  
I love this chapel - and the choir sounds so beautiful.
We celebrated all day long.
Graduation was set for 3pm - we reported to the football field.
Within a half hour of graduating starting, it began to rain.
As the professors formed their lines for the graduates to parade through, lightening flashed & thunder boomed.
The graduates were sent to the tennis house and we were sent back to our cars.
Within 15 minutes we received word to head to the DeVos Arena where graduation began at 4pm.
In spite of the weather and mass confusion, it was a wonderful day.
Graduating couple
Dream Boy and I are so proud of BOTH our sons.  
God has blessed us so richly.
Here are some more shots of our day.
Engaged sweethearts

House Mates

Soggy graduates

Droopy professors


Proud parents!
Team mates

Son #2 has now moved into his new apartment and begun the rigors of a graduate --- working every day.
He is so fortunate to be able to walk out of school and right into a job, one that he really loves!
Dream Boy and I are now officially empty nesters!
I see my Creative Corner moving to the main level of the house in the near future.
I am so proud of my boys - they are such honorable young men.
God has blessed me richly and I am so thankful.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
What a crazy-busy-emotional-wet-soggy-joy filled weekend!
I went from one end of the spectrum -- high school prom --- to the other --- college graduation!
1.  Friday night I helped decorate for said prom.
2.  Saturday I baked, they didn't turn out well at all.
3.  Not sharing what I made.
4.  Saturday night I was the head cheese at our high school prom.
5.  I guarded the door most of the night & let the younger teachers who thought it was "fun" sit inside the room & chaperone.
6. I was thankful when the DJ shut down the music a half hour early.
7.  Really thankful.
8.  Up early Sunday morning & out the door at 7:30am to Holland.
9.  Baccalaureate at 9:30.
10.  Round 1 of pictures.
11.  Brunch with Son #2 and his girlfriend and her family from Minnesota (don't ya know).
12.  Watching the radar even though the school has now posted that graduation will be held outside.
13.  Head over to Son #2's house for Round 2 of pictures.
14.  Walk to the stadium for graduation, carrying our umbrellas & silently praying the rain stays away.
15.  Sitting on the field.....
....waiting in the rain for graduation....
16.  Lightning.
17.  Mass exodus & pandemonium as every rushes to the inside venue for a seat for graduation to begin!
18.  Son #2 walks across the stage.
19.  Proud mom and dad and brother and future sister-in-law!
20.  Graduation cookout with a bunch of crazy boys & their families.
21.  Home and in bed at 11pm.
22.  Phew - I'm exhausted, now off to school to rest up!
Happy Monday everyone - I'll be back with more graduation pics later this week!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Today is a special day.
Son #2 is graduating from college.
The first in both mine & Dream Boy's family to receive a 4 year degree.
Son #1 graduated 3 years ago from Trade School.  Also an honor and further than any of us had gone.
So proud of both my son's and the men they've become.
So while I'm out celebrating and creating memories, please enjoy my interpretations of this week's SHS Prompts.

Toes in the sand in the shade of a palm tree.  Life doesn't get any better!

These belonged to my dad.  He's been gone 4 years, I have no clue to what half of these are for, but he always carried them.......and the key to my heart.

 From a recent wedding I shot.  The smile on his face as he looks at his new bride.

Unedited (SOOC)
Not even cropped!  Aaahhh!  So how NOT to edit a photo now that I have PSE.  But at a recent shoot for a friend's son - I love the colors in that sky beyond the action of the game!

 Just a little nostalgic this week.  Again, this tackle box belonged to my dad.  He loved to fish.  He would take me out with him on Saturday mornings when I was a little girl & never yell at me when I would break things or drop them into the water & watch them sink.  I think he secretly sat there & prayed for the moment when I would finally fall asleep in the bottom of the boat.

Thanks Ashley for another fun week of prompts.
Be sure to head over to Rambling & Photos for more takes on this week's prompts.