Monday, December 29, 2008

M&M Man Gone Bad? Say It Isn't So.

I was shocked and appalled at the turn of events this Saturday. When we celebrate Christmas with my hubby's side of the family every year, we have a Yankee Auction. Lots of fun and laughter usually accompany the choosing of gifts and the stealing of gifts but nothing ever prepared me for what would find its way into my husband's possession.

My son came to me with a very perplexed look on his face, saying "Mom, is the M&M guy doing what I think it is?" Please look at these pictures and tell me it's just my imagination and that he really may just be waving, rather awkwardly...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where Is The Little Boy I Carried......

My son at the end of a day of "leisure" - he looks refreshed and content. Ahhhh, to be 15 again.

On December 28, 1993, at 2:44 PM this wonderful little spirit came into my life. Happy 15th Birthday to my sweet baby boy who is growing into a fine young man. I love you so much!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Beautiful Day With My Family (Minus my parents)

We had a great day with my family. My parents didn't make it, though, as my mom wasn't feeling up to par. They are aging and seem to really be beginning to fail. We called them on the phone when everyone was here and then I called my mom after everyone left. There are certain aspects of aging that we truly will not be able to appreciate until we are "there". They were missed but I think they were very content to be in their home.

I didn't think to grab my camera today until about 10 minutes before everyone left - I was too busy with the food!

I hope everyone had a good day. Here are just a few photos from our day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!

The food is prepared, the packages are wrapped, and it's time to settle in for a long winter's nap!

God Bless my blogging friends and keep them safe and healthy over this holiday season!
(Amy, I did nab your idea for the photo op but unlike Ruby,he needed to be sleeping first).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Award/Retro Christmas Greeting from CBS

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Amy at the DVM's Wife's Life for choosing me for the Lemonade Stand award for my blog.

It's funny how I never had any intention of sharing my blog with anyone but myself and for about ten months I was the only one who even knew I had a blog. I had to think about for for probably a full week before making the final decision to let others read my blog. Now, I'm glad I did.

Thanks, again, for the award, Amy. I will be listing my selections to pass the award to later today.....after work!

Also, I just got this link emailed to me and as I watched it, a flood of memories poured in. Enjoy.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Photography Club Of One/A Glimpse of Nature Part I

I went on a photo shoot Saturday with myself! After spending time taking what I thought were rather interesting photographs, when I got home from Cape May I decided to google photo clubs in my area and guess what? I really couldn't find any. So, I guess I will forever be a club of one with nobody to bounce ideas off of or to show me some "tricks of the trade". I am therefore left to my own devices. Today, I concentrate mostly on wildlife and landscape/seascape.

If it walks like a duck.......

These ducks live across the street from my friends' shore home all year round and I look forward to seeing them every year. See the tall white goose with the bigger lump at the top of his bill? That's "Trouble". When I first met Trouble many years ago, he was one of a gaggle (I think that's what a group of geese is called) of ten but every year the number is decreased and they are now down to just three. Every year I look for Trouble and am happy to see him. One of the neighbors appeared with food so he had their complete and undivided attention for about ten minutes.

I then had my husband drop me at the beach for a few very, very bitterly cold minutes. But, I found it very calming to be standing there facing the Atlantic ocean in all of its majesty all alone - I loved it but I just couldn't quite feel the shutter button too well due to numbness of my finger from the cold - needless to say, I didn't stand there too long.

Finally, one of the many photos I took of my husband and friends in the heart of Cape May, NJ. We enjoy each other's company very much and they were sad to see us have to leave a day early - it's nice to be missed.... I missed them, too, when we left but they live across the street and I can see them any time. However, here is something special about going away together and having one big PJ party with food and games.

The Snow Ball

I'm posting an extremely brief blog tonight. We returned from our weekend semi-getaway in time to help my daughter prepare for the Snow Ball tonight. Here is one photo capturing the two kids before they left for the dance. As of this moment, the dance is over and three couples headed to Applebees - Thank goodness the restaurant closes at 1 AM because the boy's father and the boy both have a very early morning tomorrow.

I hope they had a good time. More pics to follow in the coming few days of images captured while in Cape May, NJ!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Brief Escape

Hubby and I were supposed to go to Cape May, NJ for a weekend getaway with friends. It's an annual tradition highly sustained on ritual - we eat at the exact same restaurant on Friday night when we arrive

, eat at the same restaurant for breakfast on Saturday morning,

and spend Saturday afternoon shopping at the same mall we shop at every year.

The only variations occur with where we eat Saturday night (usually a higher class restaurant than the pub setting on Friday night) and what we do that evening. Come this Saturday evening, hubby and I will do something we've never done before - come home.... My daughter was asked to a dance (a Snow Ball) and the dance is on Saturday night. So, our weekend getaway will be about 24 hours shorter than it usually is but half is better than none, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Bit Of Our Decorations

Not to be totally outdone by my fellow blogger, Angie of The Arthur Clan, here are a few pics of our decorations. I got the idea for my mantle display about four years ago when my husband's side of the family decided it would be fun if we all celebrated Thanksgiving together in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We spent several days there and one night we went out to a restaurant where they had one of their mantles decorated with lights, garland and huge glass ornaments. While my mantle is not large enough to justify the same huge glass orbs, I think these fit perfectly.

A fair number of ornaments on our tree were made by the kids in school and the two Christmas balls that I show (blue and red) were made by a fifth grade teacher at the grade school who gives one to each of the kids in her homeroom. She first asks all the kids to describe each child's qualities and she then writes those qualities on the ball with the student's name. I thought it was very sweet of her to do this for her students.

I included a photo of the manger we have. I grew up with this manger so it has a history with me. I, being the youngest of four, had the awesome responsibility of setting up the manger scene every year. I loved doing it - we even had trees and mountain paper back then and some fake snow. I also almost got electrocuted by this manger one year when I was plugging the light (the north star) into the back of the stable. Apparently, there was something wrong with the wiring and when I pushed the plug into the outlet, I got blown back a few feet and all the power went out in the house and I was a tad blackened. All was fine and I just felt a little tingly. So, my parents felt it was fitting that the manger become mine in later years since we had such a history. (They had replaced the wiring to the light).

Well, that's about it for now. Hoping to eventually post the kids' Christmas photo if they ever are both home at the same time for me to take it! Have a great day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back Amongst the Living

Been down for the count since about Saturday night but I can feel the life seeping back into my veins. The only after effects of a nasty stomach virus/fever/migraine is the fact that I can't stand the smell of food, especially the sausage my hubby is currently frying up for the kids' dinner. This is the first illness I've had in about four years. I think the last time I was sick, he fried up pork roll for the kids. Invariably, he chooses a food item with a rather overwhelming odor to cook up when the chief cook is down for the count. As I type this, I have the neck of my PJ shirt pulled over my nose to "filter" the sausage smell. It is so reminiscent of being pregnant - a time when I could actually smell celery three rooms away.

The above photo has absolutely nothing to do with my update tonight. It's just a photo I took in Disney World back in August. I was fascinated with the way they got the fruit to be shaped like Mickey Mouse. It's a cheerful photo and takes me back to a fun time when I was feeling great.

Hopefully, tomorrow will bring great health and an abundance of energy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Feeling Hormonal Today

"" A friend shared this YouTube link today about Christian the lion cub and the guys who bought and cared for him many years ago. I had seen this clip a while back but it made me weepy all over again. So, I figured I'd post it here and if anybody stopped by my blog today, they could get weepy right along with me.

Sometimes weepy just is a good thing - it makes me nicer to my kids for the day, it makes me reach down from my desk chair and give my dog a few extra scratches and tell him how much I love him more often, and it just reminds me of the one thing in life that is truly important - love -. The kids may even net a nicely cooked meal this evening just 'cause I'm feeling so darn weepy. And, I'm happy to be sharing this emotional moment with anybody who cares to visit.

Happy Saturday!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Today is Skywatch Friday and today is the third day of rain. Tonight is supposed to be the biggest full moon of the year and I am hoping to be able to take a picture of it, however the clouds are so heavy right now it would seem that it would take a strong, strong wind to blow them out in time. Here's to hoping for clear skies later in the day.

In the meantime, hubby and I will do a little bit of Christmas shopping and then at 6:30 tonight we are running a wedding rehearsal at our church with......are you ready for this....THIRTY-THREE people in the bridal party. This is our biggest wedding rehearsal ever!!! The bride assured me that they are doing everything possible to prevent it from appearing like a circus act. We'll see how this goes. She sounded very organized and to the point so despite the huge herd of a procession, my gut tells me this is still going to run smoothly - even with six little kids involved in it.

I'll update later and let you know for sure.

UPDATE!!! I can participate in Skywatch Friday! Yay!

The skies parted for a little while today and the clouds put on a nice display for my camera. I hope you think so too. One shot is almost an optical illusion, making it appear that the clouds are below us, at least to my eye.

Also, Miz Booshay asked us to dig out the oldest ornament on my Christmas tree and photograph it. Well, here is my "angel"! As far back as I can recall, it was always my job to place her on the tree (eventually her little string broke so I would place her "in" the tree). I think we got her when I was about 3 years old and now at 49, I still have her and she still maintains a place of honor every year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Awesome Christmas Gift Idea!!!

Do you have that special girl/woman in your life who just seems to have everything and you are really stumped as to what to get her? Well, I have found the right gift for every woman who has everything and I found it in my latest issue of Woman's Day. It is a very expensive and "a masterpiece of amazing realism" put out by Ashton-Drake that I'm sure many women would be just dying to have...wouldn't you agree?

If on Christmas morning I found this thing laying under my tree, I think I'd have a bird! Maybe it's just me but I think it is one of the most hideous creations I have ever seen! Don't get me wrong, I do like chimps.... in their natural environment. This is so not natural, and actually a tad creepy.

Need For Sprucing Up A Bit ADDED PHOTOS

I need and want a more vibrant banner. I also need a chunk of several hours to figure out how the heck to do this. I would like to be able to change it based on seasons. I think I need to go back to PW's tutorial on banner making and see if I can follow what she did with her banners.

Wouldn't it be just wonderful if those of us who share an interest in photography and Photoshop lived somewhat near each other? I've made some amazingly wonderful connections with mom photographers all over the country but nobody nearby me has these interests. I'm all alone, out in the "wild", with nobody to guide me...

It's raining today so I will have to call upon some older pics to post. Be back later, after work!

Actually, I ended up throwing the office window up for a brief photo shoot. Here are two of the pics I got - very simple but I think capture the weather and season today. Somewhat bleak, very balmy and very wet!!!

A young boy's dream - meeting an NFL player he really likes a lot! What a sweetheart Philadelphia Eagles kicker, David Akers, was to my son when an usher at a local concert back in June 2007 decided that my son should meet David and get his autograph. By the smile on my son's face, you can tell he was in his glory. The picture quality is not great as you cannot bring anything thing other than a point and shoot to the concerts and my daughter's camera was on its way out. However, the moment was captured forever. What a nice man he is - his autograph reads, "God bless you, David Akers".

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Little Bit Of This/A Little Bit Of That and a REALLY COOL AND FUN LINK

We toured a college today with my daughter, who is a junior in high school, and we dragged my freshman son along - we figured it'd be good for him to see some of the same schools she's seeing - sort of killing two birds with one stone. While in the summer we saw my Alma Mater, St. Joseph's University, I was not thrilled with it and it just didn't seem like a good fit for her. The college we saw today, I absolutely loved. It's smaller than she would like but it has a lot to offer her as far her possible major and her interest in music. We'll see. I know she's thinking she'd like to be a bit further away from home but I have to get the point across to her that whether she is 20 minutes or 4 hours away from us, she will still be able to fully participate in campus life as she will live wherever she goes and mom and dad will not be there breathing down her neck.

Yesterday we put up the tree and baked gingerbread cookies. The cookies still need to be iced and I spent about $45 yesterday buying all I need to ice them. The kids want to ice them tonight so I hope to get some pics of that. Friday/Saturday I decorated and then Saturday I went to the high school's production of "Annie" - my daughter was in the pit orchestra - the kids did a great job - a very professional performance.

Had a bit of a disappointment over the weekend - had my feelings unexpectedly hurt but they were hurt just the same. I'm the type of person that when this happens, it just gets stuck in my brain and I have great difficulty getting past it. I find that the first 24-48 hours are basically miserable for me no matter how hard I try to let it go or give it to God! It feels as though the hurt is a ball on the end of a hi-li paddle and hard as I might hit it away from me, it bounces back quick and hard. It's an exhausting weight to carry around too. However, by yesterday afternoon I had gotten past it and put it behind me. We had such a great family day with baking and decorating. I am blessed in that I have two teenage kids who are still into family traditions.

I will post photos from my laptop in a bit as I still have to upload them. However, I wanted to share a link to a really, really fun site I found the other day. It's called Cubecraft and even my almost 15 year-old son wanted to try.

I'll be back with photos of the weekend in a bit!

Ghost of Christmas past, present, or future?? Your guess is as good as mine.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Skywatch Friday

There are many moments that I wish we lived in a less populated neighborhood. The houses/trees manage to obscure my view of many celestial happenings. However, I was able to capture the sky at sunset the other night and although there's lots of distraction in my shot from houses and foliage on my block, the sky still looked breathtaking to me.

I do want to get up early one day and take a sunrise photo from park nereby but now that the weather is so cold, I'm having great difficulty in motivating myself to do this. It is, however, on my list of "things to do"....that list is ever growing!

Make sure you go to Skywatch and see all of the great photos of the sky from all around the world. They are truly awesome!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Babies, Babies, Babies

I have had the opportunity over the last few months to photograph a friend's baby as well as my nephew. Both were fairly cooperative.

I still see a need for lots of improvement but it will be nice to have this blog to hopefully track my progress, assuming there is any....

Wow, two posts in one day. I must be on a roll!