Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Alison Krauss

There was a special on GAC last night about her, I recorded it, but caught this song... Jacob's Dream. You may need a tissue. I could listen to it over and over. 

Her voice resonates each note that is touches your soul, even more than the words. Such clarity. As close to perfect as you can get. So powerful. 

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Word for 2008: ACCOMPLISH

It is that time of year again. A new year approached, new hopes, new dreams, new possibilities. People are thinking about the changes they want to make in the new year, deciding what resolutions to make, etc... But I learned long ago, I am not good with resolutions. Maybe it is because they focus on one thing. If you mess up, it is easy to give up the whole idea. 

Last year a scrappers blog suggested coming up with a word for the year. Of course tying that in with the idea of scrapping your goals and later results. I never picked a word. I couldn't think of one that fit what I wanted to change in my life. 

The challenge was issued again by a friend. I thought about my habits and actions. I realized I am a top notch planner. I have great ideas. My problem comes in the execution of those ideas. Actually, the lack of execution. I looked up synonyms for execute, didn't want people fearing their lives if my word was execute. As I read the list, I came across my word... ACCOMPLISH! 

Yes, that is what I want to do. I want to accomplish things in my life. No lofty goals here, no marathons or mountain climbing in my future. I want to send out the Valentine cards before March. I want to stay caught up with my school work. I want to scrap more. I want to become a better photographer. All of these things I want to ACCOMPLISH! I will be posting often about this goal. I will be adding it to my sidebar. I will accomplish many things this year.

So... what have you accomplished today? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Presenting... My Christmas Tree

Here it is, my tree. I really love all the lights. It is quite full, heck it touched the ceiling in the house. Not hard to do, but still. I have a multitude of ornaments on there. Ranging from the ones Amelia has made in school to the ones I have received as presents, to the few snowmen I have collected over the years.



I was experimenting with flash compenstation on these photos. Actually turning down the flash exposure. I was happy with the results. The photos are a little brighter than with no flash, yet still capture the warmth of the dark room. Full flash was too bright.



One more experiment here. I was going for a silhouette of Amelia. I still need to work on this technique. There is a little shadow behind her. But I am proud of my first try.



I have to share with you. The star is actually zip tied to the tree. There wasn't enough room for my angel, so I put the star in front on the middle branch, zip tied it on, and rearranged the branches so you can't tell.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Adventure

We were making our way to Suwannee, GA on Wednesday morning. Michael is on the pone with his parents, confirming our lunch plans, I am looking ahead, watching the trees go by. I see us passing a car then... BAM... shattering glass. I am waiting for the SUV to spin out of control, and I can't figure out why that person slammed into us. A moment later I realize Michael has full control of the car, I hear him tell his dad 'hit a deer'. Michael gets the SUV over to the right shoulder, and I finally grasp what has happened.

A deer darted out onto I-75 north, the car in the middle lane hit the deer, causing the deer to turn sideways and fly through the air. Our SUV was in his flight path. The body of the deer (an 8 point dh thinks) slammed into the passenger side of our SUV, the head near the back and the hind legs at my window.

The impact cause every window on the passenger side of the car to shatter, there is glass everywhere. But thank goodness for safety glass, I am not cut at all. Amelia was sitting in the middle of the back seat. There is a fine dusting of deer fur all over the dashboard. Michael inspects the car, decides to finish the drive to Atlanta, about 2 hours. Luckily it is a warm day and no rain. It was a noisy ride, but not horrible. We get to Suwannee and the restaurant, I get the obligatory photos of the car. I will scrap this after all. All the doors have some type of damage and dents.

This is the side view of all the blown put windows.


Most likely where the shoulders of the deer hit.


Different view of the rear damage.


The front door has a couple small dents and no mirror.


For Tigger, this is probably where the head hit the car!


Michael will end up getting plexi-glass and cutting it to cover the windows. That made the ride home much nicer that plastic sheeting. Now the front door will no longer open, the mechanism is stuck. I will be calling the body shop tomorrow and hopefully will have it repaired in a week or so.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just Fun Stuff


What Classic Pin-Up Are You?




You're Brigitte Bardot!
Take this quiz!






Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jack-O-Lanterns



Tonight was Wendy's annual Halloween party, with pumpkin carving of course! Every one did a fantastic job. When they were done, I had everyone take them outside to a place in the yard that was fairly dark.

I put the camera on a stack of books. I laid on a towel to set the focus and exposure. This was taken in manual mode. I used the self timer to reduce camera shake. Lots of warning the kids not to walk by the pumpkins. And making sure everyone else had their flashes turned off. These both had a 30 second exposure due to the light. I think I am getting better every year.


Next year, I WILL take the wide angle lens for the group shot. woulda, coulda, shoulda!

This is Amelia's jack-o-lantern. She did it all by herself.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Middle School Night at the Football Game



Tonight was middle school night for the band and color guard at the high school football game tonight. Amelia's color guard marched on the field with the high school guard. Then they sat together in the stands and performed. Here they all are together. The middle school girls are in the purple tie dye shirts.

They had a great time. This was a great way to school the younger girls what to expect in high school and how fun it can be.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Daughter.... The GEEK!!!

I am one proud mama tonight. I am beaming, literally. My baby is a geek. It is official!!!

She got pulled out of lunch today with 30 other kids, by the counselor. Her state test scores put her in the top 5%... yes I said the TOP 5% of ALL the 7th graders in the states of FL!!! Top 5%!!!!

She qualifies for the Duke University Talent Identification Program!!! Upon enrollment, she can take the ACT or SAT this year. She will be eligible for special programs offered by Duke and other stuff. I am going to enroll her for the ACT in February. Those high schoolers will get a quite a shock when they see my little on walk in to take the exam!!

Can you tell I am so proud!!! The biggest reason I am so proud... She is supposed to be in 6th grade this year. Because she was reading at 4 & 1/2, counting, adding and other stuff, I was able to get the school district to accelerate here into first grade. She has always done well, and is in advanced classes.

Excuse me while I brag just once more!!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Day! The Cake!

It is that day again. The one Amelia looks forward to for 364 days. The one I can't believe comes so fast every year... her birthday. As I sit her typing, she is becoming a 12 year old. My only consolation is that she isn't a teenager yet!


Each year she deliberates the theme for the party. She starts early. This year 'Movie Night' caught her eye. I ordered the decorations and looked for cake ideas. Thus far, I have made 10 of her 11 birthday cakes. Last year being the first time I ordered one. I enjoy baking, so I wanted to make this years. I found a beautiful cake that looked like movie reels. I did a test run. Good thing, the cake was a flop. Someone one scrapdawgs found a director's clapboard cake. That I could do.



I spent the morning baking two cakes. I dyed the chocolate frosting black and got busy. It isn't perfect. You can see the 'lines' I made smoothing out the frosting. The white is uneven. But honestly, I love it. I made it and that means something to me. Amelia likes it, and that is all that matters.

I hope that one day, when I am the bad mom, she will remember these little things I do. One can hope!!

Well, I am about to be over run with 12 & 13 year olds, wish me luck.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Parade Time



Fall means high school homecoming. The middle school Amelia attends will split between tow high schools (although 90% will go to one). Because of this, the band is invited to march in both homecoming parades. That means the color guard marches as well. This year some of the girls will be spinning a rifle during the parades. Here are a couple photos. It was dark, so they are not the best. That is ok, I get another chance in a couple weeks!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Birds on Sanibel

Here are some of the birds we saw on the island. I went out about 7:30 am to get these, keeping the sun behind me.

First up is a Great Blue Heron. He was standing around watching the waves.


Next is a gull. He was looking for food in all the shells.


Finally, an Eastern Willet.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Our Views in Sanibel

Michael & I spent the weekend on Captiva Island, just north of Sanibel Island. The resort was very nice. Here is the view of one harbor from our balcony.




Also a view across the golf course.



Finally, a sand dollar and driftwood on the beach.



I have some bird photos to edit and post. Look for those this week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ego Boosting




Me first, the pressure is on! Not really. Janelle, my first thought is fairies, wonder why?!? But there is so much more to this strong, brave woman.

Read your blog, you aren't afraid to post your thoughts. These random thoughts share a part of you. You are facing your struggles head on, not many people do that. Or do it as successfully. Your 'organgia' post shows your wonderful humor. You are also sharing your BOM pages with us. You don't just have photos of your past. You are sharing your loves, passions, and struggles.

This brings me to the above page you posted. What drew me to this page? These words "Conquering Mental Illness". These words show strength and bravery. You are 'treating' or 'dealing with', you are CONQUERING!!! That takes courage. Not only to do, but to share. You are inspiring others with your honesty. I applaud you!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I Love the Beach


Really, I do. Despite the hurricanes, I would love a beach house. But it would be far enough away to not destroy the sand dunes! The sounds of the waves crashing, the ocean breeze on your face, the sight of dolphins jumping. aaaahhhhhh, so relaxing. A nice chair to curl up in, the perfect tree or umbrella for some shade, and a refreshing beverage (ice cold water is wonderful). Add a good book, and I think I am in heaven.

I think I will sit here and imagine it for a little while. Luckily I am close enough to go to the beach, but it isn't the same as being able to walk out my back door onto the beach. Enjoy your Sunday, where ever you are.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Uplift Challenge


Dear, sweet Donna. What can I say?? She is wonderful. She has a great scrapbook store and gets us stuff we want! She is a wise person, with great advise should anyone ask. I love her passion for coffee and how she shares it with everyone. She is almost a saint, I believe she puts up with a lot from work, but you never hear her complain. She faces life head on and with a smile. See, this is a good post, I will not mention the burping or cigar smoking!! Although they show she is human!! I am honored to call her a friend.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Teacher Tag

1. I am a good teacher because... I love my job, I enjoy working with young children and can handle their quesitons

2. If I weren't a teacher, I would be... something that involves working with young children

3. My teaching style is... hands-on, I prefer getting the kids involved when ever I can, a little chaos is a good thing

4. My classroom is... bright, inviting, warm, and can seem chaotic, see above.

5. My lesson plans... are an overview, not intended for a sub, I plan the specifics as the day goes on

6. One of my teaching goals is... being a first grade teacher, to get all my students reading and loving books.

7. The toughest part of teaching is... getting other to realize how hard it can be sometimes

8. The thing I love most about teaching is... I love seeing a child go from non-reader to reading, it is so fun.

9. A common misconception about teaching is... that anyone can do it. Anyone can teacha child to remember that 2 + 2 = 4, but can you explain why it is always true?

10. The most important thing I've learned since I started teaching... nothing prepares you for what being in a classroom with 20+ kids all day is really like, rewarding and tiring at the same time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Michael's New Toy


Michael sold his boat and telephoto camera lens. He bought a motorcycle instead. He as to take the riding course still. Now he can go ride with my friend's husband, giving the girls more time to scrap!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wild Life on the Ranch


I usually don't see much wild life on the ranch. Lots of birds, but not much else. This morning, I looked out my window, there was a bobcat walking along the edge of the ditch. On my side of the ditch. It walked to the bridge, sat and looked at the house. I grabbed Amelia's camera as it was closest. I shot this through a window, so it isn't the best.After about 30 seconds, it ran across the bridge and into a feed strip.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Busy Scrapbooking!

This is my kind of busy... scrapping!! I have been able to do quite a bit this month. I have gone back to the summer of 2001. It was a busy summer for us with visits to Pensacola, Daytona Beach, North Dakota, and Atlanta.

I redid my slide show with my latest creations. Scroll down to see them.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

You've Changed 28% in 10 Years

Ah, the past! You may not remember it well - because you're still living in it.
While you've changed some, you may want to update your wardrobe, music collection and circle of friends.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Firewoks Challenge


I love long exposures with moving lights. This is Amelia playing with a sparkler on the 4th. She had to be very still and just move the arm with the sparkler. The exposure lasted 21 seconds. Unfortunately my tripod isn't quite strong enough for my camera so she is not in focus. Plus I am still working on focusing issues myself.

This is for the fireworks challenge, not your typical fireworks, but some we enjoyed nonetheless.

I've Been Tagged

Donna tagged me, so here goes

Instructions: These are the rules…. each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment.

1. I am addicted to the internet, I head straight for my computer when I get home.

2. I want to take pictures that take your breathe away.

3. I love chocolate, it is my weakness.

4. My family is my life, I've known Michael for 21 years, we are already an old married couple, plus he spoils me which is wonderful. Amelia is my precious child, ad even thought she is entering those preteen years, she still cuddles some. I luff it.

5. I want to travel the world.

6. I could be a perpetual student. I enjoy learning new things. I hear about something and it sounds interesting to me. I am not flaky but have broad interests.

7. I would like to have a children's book published. (I don't tell many people that) I have finished one, but am to afraid of rejection to do anything with it.

Everyone I know already got tagged.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Storm Warning


One advantage of living on a ranch is the wide open space. You can see the weather changes as they move through the area. Yesterday evening some nasty thunderstorms started moving through. Here you can see the curved pattern of the front edge of the storm and the dark clouds that promised lots of rain. Michael & I stood on the porch and watched the storm as it approached.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Spoonbill Sighting



Canon 5D, 70-200mm at f/5.6 ss 1/40 and ISO 800

Thanks to the rain, we have had birds on the property again. When I came home today, I glimpsed a pale pink bird in the ditch. I slowed just as it turned, noticed the obvious bill, it was a spoonbill. Of course no camera.

Took Amelia and some friends bowling, had a great time. Then she & I went to the gym. As we came home the spoonbill was back. He flew away at the sound of the car, but only a little further down the road. I took a side route home, and got the camera. Drove back, the bird was still there. I used the car as a blind and got as close as I could. The spoonbill knew something was up. I was able to get a couple photos before it flew away again.

It is amazing how far away a 200mm zoom really is, not that close. I should have grabbed the extender to get in closer. Next time!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Summer Time



Summer is here. YEAH!! I love summer. It must be why I became a teacher, the perk of having summers off. I use summer as a time to relax and refresh. I get to catch up on my reading. Living in Florida works for me also, I enjoy the beach, the sounds and smells of the ocean.

When Jeanne asked 'what screams summer?', beach stuff popped into my head. there is nothing like sitting on a beach blanket, under an umbrella (an absolute necessity for the beach), listening to good music, and reading a trashy novel.

Don't forget the sunscreen.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Not Much Going On

So school ended, I had a few days off, now summer school has started. My day is 7:30 to 12:30, then I have all afternoon off. I hope to get some scrapping done in the afternoon time.

Amelia is going to a flag camp all weekend. It is called Music 'N Motion. They work on flag, rifle and saber skills. I hope she gets to spin the saber this year.

I am planning our trip to Disney in July. My sister, Tori, will be joining us. She will be 17 and hasn't been to Disney before. We are going to Sea World one day and then spending 4 days at Disney. I have our hotel and nice dining experiences planned. Not just to count down.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Academic Excellence


Friday was the last day of school and Amelia got her awards. She finished 6th grade with straight A's as her year-end averages. She earned 2 B's all year. One in Language Arts, grammar stuff. She is doing so well in school. I am so proud of her. She has so much ahead of her.

But it is official, she is a geek. She loves science. By year end she was getting frustrated with the kids in her pre-algebra class. She said a couple tests got postponed because kids were complaining they didn't understand. Amelia said, "But it's so easy". This from a girl who says she doesn't like math. lol And to top it off, she earned an Academic Excellence medal on Friday in....... Math!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust


Yes, another year is over. My 'students' are no longer mine. They have moved on beyond my role. YAY!!! TOday was the last day of school. I will miss them over the summer, but expect to see them roaming the halls before long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Flag Team Banquet


Tuesday night was the 'banquet' for the AMS flag team. The girls voted to go to Check E Cheese. They had a fun time playing and 'hamming it up' with Chuck E. This is the group photo.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yeah, that's me!


So I cheated and used the computer's camera. I wanted to get in before the 24 hour deadline! lol

There are 11 days of school left and they are going to be busy.

Tomorrow night: Amelia's winter color guard recital
Monday: doctor's appointment
Tuesday: Amelia's school color guard dinner (at Chuck E Cheese) yes, the girls picked it
Thursday: meet friends for early dinner and end of year celebration
5/21: Amelia has a dentist appointment, & I have a wedding shower after school
5/25: Last day of school & PIRATES!!!! know where I will be that night

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Walk America



Today was my county's day for Walk America for the March of Dimes. It wasn't that hot when the walk started at 8:00, but the humidity was at least 90%. Yikes. But I feel good for walking. My school, the kids bringing in donations, raised $10,000!!!