Saturday, February 28, 2009

Date Night!

The weekend started out with me picking the kids up after band practice on Friday. We then spent the evening with my brother and his wife playing Scrabble. As you can see, my brother really needs to study his tiles.

I have the Scrabble game my parents purchased before I was born. It still has the price marked on the front of the box - $2.98 (can you believe) - and the tiles are solid hardwood, and the racks are wood too.

Today, we went prom dress shopping and I'm utterly exhausted. The mall we went to is not our regular little mall but a huge megamall with a bazillion shops! There are two parts to it, one is called the Court and one is called the Plaza, with the Plaza containing the pricier stores.

We had success! We got a dress that was on sale (see photo) and we actually made the purchase in one of the shops in the "expensive" Plaza. I found this sale rack tucked away in the back of the store. The dress is beautiful and the perfect color - a deep blue. The price was even more perfect and way less than I expected to pay for a prom gown.

Then hubby and had our first date night tonight in years, and I mean years. We should have, but never did, made it a point to go out at least one night a month all of these years but truthfully, we enjoyed being home with the kids - it just felt cozy and I have never been one that has gotten bugged to out somewhere. Anyway, we went to see Slum Dog Millionaire and absolutely loved it! It was a bit intense for me at times as I don't like violence of any sort but I just closed my eyes when needed - I could sense when something bad was going to happen.

I did take a few photos on Friday but the Slum Dog and prom dress photos are not mine - I found them on line. I think the dress is very flattering on that model, don't you?.

Well, I think that wraps up my day. It's late and I'm going to watch my daughter play Wii! G'night all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Sunrise Over Suburbia

Right now, on these frigid mornings, I am limited to where I can take a sunrise photo. This was shot out my front door in about 20 degree temps. Come summertime,I hope to get a little more view of the sky. For now, this will have to suffice.

Be sure to go and check out Skywatch Friday for a peek at sky photos from all around the globe.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Heart Faces - B/W Entry

Here is my attempt at a conversion from color to black and white. I know I didn't do it the right way and eventually I will learn who to use CS4 to do it the right way. Anyway, once I converted to B/W, his freckles just completely popped out!

Be sure to visit I Heart Faces to see all of the amazing entries into this week's category.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Academic Honors Convocation

Tonight, both of my kids will be honored for being in the top 10% of their classes - my son in his freshman class and my daughter in her junior class.

I never, ever, ever EVER really say much about their academic achievements to any of my friends. I don't want to appear to brag at all but on my blog I feel I can because if people don't want to hear about it, they can just simply click off my page.

Bottom line is I have to two kids who were never really accepted into the "cliques" in grade school - not that I wanted them to be but it was tough to watch large groups go off together and your child is just left standing there. The kids were never blatantly mean to them, it was just that they were always excluded from the main group of kids that hung out together. I won't lie and say I wasn't sad through most of their grade school years because I was. However, I knew that things would be fine once they left that school and moved on to high school.... and things are. But, I also didn't want to wish away their childhood. If anybody reading this blog has felt the pain of watching their kids experience tough times at the grade school level, take heart - it does get much better. There are still bumps in the social settings on very rare occasions but all in all, it has been a wonderful experience and I feel I can say on this blog that I am so very proud of my two kids. My daughter ranks 13 out of 460 kids in the junior class and my son ranks 14 out of 365 kids. I am proud, not only because of their academic accomplishments but also proud because they are turning into kind, compassionate, and just down-to-earth nice kids. I couldn't ask for more than that and for this first time, I am expressing how I feel to someone other than my husband - anybody who has occasion to read my blog.

Here are a few photos from this evening's events.

Unfortunately, I could only capture the backs of their heads when they received their certificates. The big guy in the robe is the president of their school - a super nice teddy bear-kind of man with a warm heart and a great sense of humor.

One photo is of my daughter and two of her closest friends - they met at band camp the summer before freshman year and became fast friends.

I tried to snap a photo of my two kids together but that just wasn't in the cards for tonight. Oh well, I can forgive them this time - they done good!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday

I dug into my sky archives for these photos which were taken last summer while in Avalon, NJ.

Be sure to check out other amazing sky photos from all over the world at Skywatch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dogs On Thursday

I dug into my photo files to find some action shots of Freckles. The only real action photos were with him and Ceili when they used to wrestle. He was his most active when he had the sarcoma removed from his leg back in December 2007. He couldn't wait to run around and the two of them had a grand time. I wonder if in some way he misses her..... or is relieved of being terrified of her... we'll never know. She was quite a photogenic little girl, however.

Be sure to visit Dogs On Thursday to see some cute pet pics!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In My Past Life

Before I had kids, I used to be able to draw.... and I took classes right up until a few months before delivering my daughter who is now 17. It's funny how you can devote so much time to something and then suddenly you realize 17 years have gone by and you may no longer posses this ability. I think the drawing talent cells got pushed out with the baby those many years ago. I still have my box of 130 pastels safely tucked away for "some day when I get back to it" but I don't know if that day will ever come. I haven't so much as even opened the box to check to see if the pastels are whole or if they've turned to dust.

Honestly, I don't know where I'd fit it in between quilting, knitting, photography, and "Photoshopping". I can tell you one thing, I am never bored. However, if there should come a lull down the road, I will be picking those pastels back up and trying my hand to see if I can still do it.

The fruits of my labor hang in my home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Heart Faces Entry

I had squirreled away some money to purchase a Wii system for us since Christmas time. So, while on our way back from visiting yet another college, we stopped off at Target (Tar-Jay as we like to call it) and picked one up on sale! I had planned on getting Wii Fit too but they were out of stock. That will have to wait.

My son and hubby will be setting up the system tonight. I think it'll be a fun thing for the four of us to do together. I hope to get some pics!

These past few weeks of planning college visits have really made me think about the fact that we don't have a whole lot of time left with the four of us all living together under one roof. Sure, they come home from college on weekends and at vacation but at that point they are also starting the cut that cord and think about where/how they will begin their new lives after college. And mom and dad are wondering how their lives will be now that the nest will soon be empty.....

Speaking of wonder (trying to lighten up the mood and segway into this week's I Heart Faces category), here is a photo I took of my kids old babysitter a while back. She's my entry into the Adult category, and the little guy is my entry into the Kids category.

Be sure to and check out all of the other entries to I Heart Faces.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Good Weekend, College Touring

Since my daughter is currently only a junior in high school, we are afforded a bit of luxury in time to check out various colleges. She's scared to death to even think about college right now but it's something we have to start. Our visit on Friday took us through some very scary parts of the city but the campus itself, which is patrolled by the city's police force, was very impressive. I went hoping that I wouldn't be impressed but I was. Tomorrow, we will cross state lines to tour another campus. That will bring us up to a total of four that we have visited. My daughter's not sure of what she wants to study but is leaning towards nursing. She's definitely not interested in the business world. She can't see herself as she words it "in a cubicle all day".

We are fortunate in that she does very well in school and I attribute that to her early start on reading as evidenced by the first photo.

It feels like we were just choosing preschools and now it's already time to think about college. Where did the time go???

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Glimpse Of My Last Week

My freshman son was asked to a Winter Ball by an old friend from his early grade school years. I thought they made a rather dapper couple. He gave up getting out of school early Friday afternoon to head to the mountains for some skiing so he wouldn't have to say no when she asked him. We ended up going the next day and he did get to ski. I have to upload those pics soon.

The outdoor photo is my attempt at photographing my view of the sunrise from in front of my house. There's too much foliage, houses, and cars to get the kind of picture I really want to capture, however I thought this one was passable. I got the colors of the sun coming up - I just couldn't see the sun itself!

My daughter is over her bad head cold but unfortunately my son has gotten hit hard with it and with a fever and last night with a horrendous bloody nose. He's getting a lot of extra TLC from his mom, dad, and sister this weekend.

We visited Temple University today and loved what they have to offer academically. Monday will take us to another college for another tour. Only a few more to go and hopefully the decision on what colleges to apply to will be easier for my daughter to make.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dogs On Thursday

Boy was it ever windy here today. I didn't venture to take Freckles for a walk in it for fear of something hitting him (or me for that matter). On a brief errand run, I did note a huge old tree had fallen down, just missing the owner's house by a mere couple of feet. The tree was massive. I didn't have my camera with me but I know there's going to be a lot of firewood for that house - I wonder if they even have a fireplace....

There were some amazing clouds blowing by also (I didn't take pictures, though) and the contrast between the bright sun and the dark, dark clouds was really interesting. Had I gone out to my sister's house for our weekly Thursday get together, I would have had my camera with me and I would have taken pictures. Unfortunately, she scheduled a dentist appointment smack dab in the middle of MY TIME SLOT with her. How dare she! We will get together next Thursday and work on Photoshop together. She can show me some things like unlocking locked layers, etc. (Angie, I hope to get a handle on my layer problem after my visit with her). She's a graphic artist who worked for years using Photoshop so I think she'll be able to help me out.

Other than that, not much is happening in my neck of the woods, except for my entry into this weeks Dogs On Thursday! Be sure to go and visit other fantastic dog photos and also read about the latest news in the pet world, including dangerous items for our furbabies to watch out for around Valentines Day.

Ceili 10/28/06 -8/7/08

He's not supposed to get on the furniture but lately Freckles has been feeling "entitled" for some reason and this is how I found him several mornings ago. Please note that the green blanket was neatly folded on the back of the couch just minutes before.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Me And The Bean

I finally went to the doctor this week with my complaint of having fairly severe headaches pretty much every day since mid December. I got the impression from him that he was a bit annoyed that I waited so long - oh well. It seems that I have a sinus infection. I didn't realize that one could have a sinus infection with absolutely no nasal stuffiness or running whatsoever. Now I know. Today was the first day in two months that I didn't have a headache at any point in the day. I guess my doc knows his stuff.

I've been missing a whole file of photos I shot last year. The youth ministry of my parish put on a "Senior Social" last spring for our senior citizens. They were served up a hot pasta dinner and enjoyed lots of music. I needed the photos to do a collage to hang up at the church entrance to help advertise for this year's social. I finally found them backed up on a CD along with a photo somebody took of me back in 2006 underneath The Bean in Chicago. I had forgotten about this photo. I loved The Bean and Millenium Park. I hope one day to go there with my family. I had gone out to meet fellow beagle lovers I had been corresponding with.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's The Little Things

Today I went to Produce Junction - a store where you basically by fresh produce in bulk for a really good price. For under $15 I came home with a head of cauliflower, a dozen green peppers, three gala apples, a pack of sliced mushrooms, a pint of grape tomatoes, three avocados, 2 lbs of broccoli crowns, and three packs of carrots. BUT, the most exciting purchases were the two hydrangea bushes I bought, each for $7.50. I've shown my existing planted hydrangea recently on my blog and every year it just blesses me with such colorful blooms. That hydrangea was purchased at Produce Junction so I figured I'd add to my "collection" with today's purchase. You really can't go wrong at that price.

I had fully intended to start painting my office today but when I pulled out the can of paint my hubby purchased at Home Depot, it wasn't the right wall paint. So, I did a bit of knitting instead.

I had a good day - I'm easy to please. For me it truly is the little things that make me happy...Throw some peanut M&Ms into the mix, and I'm truly over the edge with excitement!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ski Day For The Kids

We took the kids skiing. Hubby and I stayed at the lodge and watched. He read and listened to his iPod while I knitted. Here are some of photos of the day. Daughter got sick the night before we left so it was all she could do to stay on the slopes. She came in occasionally for a nap - fever will do that to you - but she wanted so badly to ski.

I hope to catch up on my blogging buddies' blogs in the next couple of days.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Other Men In My Life

I am married nineteen years but I do have a couple other men on the is rather short in stature with dark wavy/curly hair but is sort of prematurely graying - which I think makes him even more handsome. His name is Charles.

The other guy is much, much younger and is full of energy and likes to have fun. He makes me feel young when I'm around him. He's really cute but he can tend to wear me out.

I do like being around these guys, just don't tell my hubby.

Oh, the other guy's name is Tucker!

Be sure to check out other furry friends at Dogs On Thursday (DoT).