Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Newest Beta Member

Last night was a proud night for Jessica. She was invited and accepted membership into the National Beta Club, so she and 24 other students were inducted last night. I am excited that she is going to be part of this group.... I think there are some great opportunities for her there!

I have some other shots to share too... I have been playing with my camera again today. This was our backyard at sunset tonight... I just loved how pretty the sky was behind the pond. I didn't even touch the contrast when I cropped it to size... I just wanted the colors as they were outside!

There are about 6 of these little yellow finches that are flying around our yard between the trees... they are so pretty! However, they are obnoxious to photograph... won't sit still , won't look at the camera, and they take off anytime I try to get closer. Pure brats... lol.

And this little guy wasn't very cooperative either.. kept hiding behind his momma. He is only a day old, and still very wobbly on his feet. I think he is so pretty with that black mane and white star on his forehead!

The late frost a couple of weeks ago killed a lot of my garden plants that were already up, so we have replanted some new tomatoes and green beans. However, my lettuce plants survived the frost and are thriving! Salad in motion, baby!

And this is one of my groups of peas... I have about twelve feet of these little yummies sprouting up along their trench. My spinach, my corn, and several of my squash and watermelon plants are getting big and proud too... I can't wait for summer! (Never in my life have I said that before... lol) I must admit... I like shooting plants. They don't ignore me nearly as much when I plead with them to sit still and look my way just once!

Mom will be here tomorrow to visit for the weekend. I am also taking new pictures of Jessica in her prom dress, and dressing all the kids up to get some nice portraits to replace the flubbed Easter shoot. I will be back when I can! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

pictures from the weekend

Well, we survived the weekend... lol. I ended up with a 3rd degree sunburn on my neck and upper arms, but I am recovering from that! I knew there was a reason I never hang out in the sun!

Beth was so excited to go to her first practice, but it must have been cancelled because nobody showed up. There was no way she was leaving there without some practice, though, so Faith decided to be her personal coach. First she pitched the ball to her to hit, but Beth was having some technical issues with her helmet. This is the smallest size helmet I found, but I don't think it will work out well for her if she continues to wear it like this!

Then Faith ran the bases with her. The first time around they only touched one base, so they went back around to practice making sure they touch the base as they run by!

Matt's team did really well in the soccer tournament. They played in the finals on Saturday, and then one more final game on Saturday, and did well enough to end up in the championship game. Unfortunately, they lost that game, but still, second in state is not too shabby at all!

I tried and tried to get a shot of any of the kids bouncing a ball off their head, but this is the closest I got. Matt had just hit it away with his head, and was on his way back down when I was able to get the shot. I want to practice that some more. Soccer is a lot harder for me to shoot because the action is not nearly as predictable as it is in baseball!

I was walking by the goal line when I saw their goalie going for the block, and just took the shot without looking too much. I really wish that goalpost hadn't been in it... I was thrilled with how the motion of both the goalie and the ball was frozen, but that goalpost is driving me crazy! LOL

Matt and some of the other kids from the team tagged my car with their team numbers. Matt kicking the ball as he launches himself in the air.

Here they are... the state finalists, with their trophy and medals.

Matt's medal

Of course, since I was in one part of the state at the same time Jessica was in another part getting ready for prom, I wasn't able to take her pictures. I tried to give Jack a crash course on framing the photo, and setting the backdrop up for the best lighting, but I wasn't clear enough on what I meant. Most of the pictures can't be made to look much better, and they either had their eyes closed or Tony wasn't smiling in the others. I have to give Jack a lot of credit, though, he really did try. He even built a huge PVC backdrop frame for me to use for prom pictures. I played with this one a lot, trying to reduce some of the harsh shadows and give it a dreamier look. I might play with some black and white and gradient layers on a couple of the others to see what I can do to fix them up.

My chess set was released at ScrapVillage this week. I have it up here on my store blog if you are interested!
The weather is calm right not, but there is a severe tornado outbreak storm heading this way. I might not be online again tonight. We don't usually get the actual tornadoes in the mountains where we are, but we do get the severe t-storms, hail, and crazy wind that they like to hang around with. The kids are supposed to have practice, but we will be hunkering down at home if it does get bad. To my buddies in the path of it as it heads this way... stay safe!
Jessica is being inducted into the National Beta Society tonight, so I will have some pictures of that up tomorrow if all goes well! Talk at ya then!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Busy week

It was another busy week! Jessica was taking her ACT test last Saturday, so I ended up taking Faith and Chet to Kansas City to visit my mom at the chess tournament.

There was a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit we tried to go see, but it was the last day and it was sold out. I guess that just means I have to get us to the Smithsonian to see it there instead! The kids had so much fun just hanging out at the chess tournament and playing chess. My mom spoiled them, and they came home with tournament chess boards, books, t-shirts, a clock... everything they would need to to continue to develop their chess skills. I can't remember this man's last name, but he wrote the book Chet is holding, which is literally the rule book for the chess tournament.

Baseball, softball, t-ball, ... we spend a lot of time at the ball fields now... lol. The official games start in a few weeks, but we still have practice several times a week. Tonight will be Beth's first real practice with her team... I can't wait to see all that cuteness in action!

I need to brighten this photo up.... but I love that I got her with both of her feet off the ground. Those are just fun pictures for me!

Last night was Todd's first practice. I have to say... t-ballers are probably the funniest group of kids I have ever seen. Here is Todd swinging for that ball.

When he was on second base, and another kid hit his ball, everybody called out "Run, Todd!" and he did... straight to outfield.... LOL

And I just love the way they are out there moving and trying to catch the ball. Isn't he graceful? I missed my favorite moment, when the ball rolled between his legs. Instead of turning around after it, Todd put his head on the ground and looked between his legs to look behind him to see where it went.

We have a really busy weekend planned. Tonight is Beth's practice, tomorrow is Jessica's prom, and Matt is playing in the state championship soccer games this weekend. I will have a new slew of pictures up when I get home on Sunday. I am going to leave you with some of the funny things these little guys were saying out on the ballfield last night.

Todd was at guarding third base, and decided to sit down. Jack told him he needed to stand up. Todd said, "Why... none of them can hit it this far anyway!"

Other kids... "Hey Mom, my hand is sweating!"
"She hits like a girl"
and my personal favorite... "I am hot. Could someone bring some shade over here?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Heading Out Today

Last night Faith had her first softball practice. I really like both the girls on her team and the coaches... very nice people! Faith has never played before, so she needed to get the hang of how to use that glove. As soon as she quit trying to catch the ball like this... (I accidentally had my camera on the wrong settings, hence the blurriness)

she started to get more comfortable. It didn't take her long to get the hang of catching the ball and immediately throwing it where it needed to be, so I think she will do pretty well this season. The coach saw my camera and asked if I would take the team pictures this year... woohoo!

We thought spring was here for good, but winter has pulled a sucker punch on us! It has been cold the last week! Sadly, the majority of the plants in the garden froze, but some of them are pulling through, so we might still have a good crop in a few months. Last night we lit a fire in the burnpit on the porch, and sat around it and roasted marshmallows. See the dog in the bottom left corner? That is Rupert. He isn't our dog, but he is always over here. He loves to come play with the kids and the dogs who do live here. He is a sweet dog. We call him our Dupree... lol.... he eats our food, wants to sleep on our furniture, and has basically made himself right at home here. Funny things like that are always happening around here.

I am taking Chet, Faith, and Jessica, and we are heading up near Kansas City to go visit my mom this weekend. She is up there helping out with a chess tournament, and since it is only a few hours away I can't msis the chance to go visit. There is a Smithsonian exhibit with the Dead Sea Scrolls up there I am looking forward to going to see! I will be back on Sunday. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I hope everyone had a nice Easter! Ours was pretty quiet and really cold. The temps have been in the freezing zones the last few days, so we had a hot-chocolate Easter! After church the kids came home and dyed their eggs, then we started dinner and watched The Pursuit of Happyness. I love stories like that.

Every year I take the kids' pictures on Easter. It is the one day everyone is dressed in really nice clothes that coordinate with each other, and they are all usually pretty happy from waking up to baskets full of candy. However, nobody matched today, and my lighting was bad, and I had some unhappy campers, so it looks like our traditional Easter Sunday pictures will be re-taken on another day! This is the closest I came to getting one I liked... and I think it probably looks better in black and white, but I am looking forward to taking new ones! I am going to need a cute hat for Beth, though, because this afternoon she snuck upstairs with a pair of scissors and cut off most of her hair. Sigh. It's a good thing that tomorrow is a brand new day.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Junque Shoppe is up and running!

I spent all day on it, but I finally have my blog up and running. I wanted a seperate one so my personal posts and business posts weren' so mixed up! If you are willing to help spread the word, I would really appreciate it! I am getting ready to start searching for a creative team, so if you know anybody interested in that please pass the word along! Click here to go see the blog!

my "He is Risen" set

This digital set is up for sale now here at Scrap Village. If I don't make it back online before the weekend is over, have a wonderful Easter everyone! I just finished the digial chess set an hour ago, so as soon as that is up for sale, I will post the link to it as well. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Momma's Boys

I told you on Monday that we were heading out to be Chet's rooting section at his chess tournament, and I have some of the pictures uploaded now. Chet won both rounds of the tournament, and had a lot of fun in the process. In the first round he played a girl named Kim, and he didn't want to upset her by beating her, so when he could have had her in checkmate, he made a different move. All she had left at that point was her king, and since Chet was being such a softy she actually was able to get eight more of his pieces with that one king... LOL. She was allowed to go on to the next round also because she fought back so hard with just a king on the board! Chet wasn't feeling so generous the second round (how many times in your life do you expect to tell your kids to stop being so nice? LOL) Good job, Chet!

Here he is studying the board intently.

I love the little smile on his face when he got Kim's queen. This is just about the closest he comes to being smug.
And this, my friends, is checkmate. (second round)

Kyle also put forth a real big effort this week at his first baseball practice. He has never played before so it is all new to him. Silly me went and got him a glove for left-handers, so the first part of the practice didn't go so well for him as he tried to catch with his right hand and throw with his left. His coach figured out what his problem was, had him give me the offensive glove, and from then on he was on fire! Suddenly he was picking that ball up and throwing it back right where it needed to be. He had so much fun! They only practiced some throwing and catching, and then practiced touching the bases a little bit, but you could tell all those boys were happy to be there! I know that having five kids in baseball and softball through the spring and summer is going to be a grueling schedule, but I am looking forward to it!

Next week Faith, Beth, and Todd will be starting their practices. I am working on some digi baseball kits because I really want to be able to put their books together as the season goes on. I am going to have a chess set up soon too!

I sent an Easter set to be uploaded to Scrap Village, and I am hoping it is up tomorrow. I will post a link as soon as it is! Talk to you then!

Monday, April 02, 2007

34 today

Today is my 34th birthday. We really don't have any plans made, but Chet is taking part in a chess tournament today that we are going to go be spectators at. Good luck, Chet!
Tomorrow is the first day of baseball practice for Kyle, and the other kids are starting this week too. Life is about to really start revolving around sports schedules again. I can't wait to put my new lens to work for those shots!
This bird was up in one of our trees jabbering at me yesterday. I couldn't tell you what kind he is, other than he might be a finch, but I thought he was pretty. (I am assuming it is a he since most of the females aren't nearly as pretty as the males.)
I am off to be the Chet's cheering section. I will post pics tonight!

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