Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The other men in my life

I posted this picture back in February, but it is the only one I have of my dad and my brother Jesse and I, so I am using it again. Today is Jesse's birthday, and tomorrow is my dad's birthday. Happy, happy birthday to both of you!!! I miss you both.

And I found out that my cousin was shipped out, so he and his wife are on my mind and in my prayers. I am not going to post about when he left or where exactly he is going, but be safe out there, Dustin, and get home as soon as you can.

I love all of you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I got it figured out!! Woohoo!

Finally! It really isn't hard to get a video posted once I figured out how to convert the digital file, but getting that conversion caused me some problesms! My troubles are over, though, and I am so excited to share the first video with you! Todd LOVES the All American Rejects... knows every word to every one of their songs! A few weeks ago they were on the Today show, and he couldn't wait to see them and sing along! Sadly, I ran out of battery power on my camera right at the bridge, but I caught enough of it to show you how fun it is to watch him sing and dance!

Monday, June 25, 2007

26 years of service

We have been going to the Methodist church down the street, where Pastor David has been the pastor for 26 years. Methodist pastors don't usually serve that long around here; they are usually sent to work in different churches and moved around on a fairly frequent basis. Everything changes at some point, though, and so David will now be serving in the Methodist church in another city, and we will have a new pastor next Sunday. Yesterday was his last Sunday with us, and it was a very emotional day. Usually when he calls for the kids to come up for the children's sermon before they go to children's church, all the younger kids gather around him. But he was surprised yesterday when he called for the kids to come forward, and all of the kids, all of the youth, and all of the adults who grew up and were once the kids who gathered around him came forward and surrounded him. It was one of the most touching things I have ever seen, and I know I wasn't the only one who was crying. He has a tradition of giving the kids candy, so yesterday all the youth gave him candy and a box to carry it in to take the kids in his new congregation. We are going to miss him.

I thought you might like to see a basketful of kittens. One of Skittles' babies died, so we have twelve left. As you can see, there is a mix of colors, but they are all adorable. I need to try to get one where I can see more of their faces better. Jessica had them all gathered up so she could give them a bath without their moms trying to carry them back off to "safety"... lol.

I did get some scrapping done this weekend.. I just have to scan what I can share right now. I also got some work done for some upcoming features. I will show it to you as soon as I can.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I scrapped!

It has been so long since I have felt creative enough to actually make a page of any kind! Last night I started this one with a new digi kit I have put together, and I was so happy to get it finished this morning! I am going to Johanna's store to scrapbook all day on Saturday and I am really looking forward to it. I might even make some paper layouts... Woohoooo!
I will put the link here when the two new sets I have together are up in the store and I can post them on my store blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some new pictures

I took some pictures of Beth the other day when she was sitting on the lawnmower. They were really underexposed, so I was playing with some filters and effects just to see what they looked like, and this one ended up kind of fun.

It is official... I can bring more than a pan of peas to fruition! Jack showed me this squash of some sort that was fully grown and hidden under its leaves. There are a gazillion more little squashes in the plant, but seeing this big one just made me happy! I have to find out what kind of squash it is, and then figure out how to cook it, but at least I finished growing it! LOL

Jack built the kids some swings in a couple of our big trees the other day. They have had a blast swinging on them. These are Tipsy and Scarfy's kittens. The two of them co-parent, nursing each other's babies taking turns with them, and the kittens all think they are from the same litter. We have started bringing them downstairs and playing with them, and Jessica likes to cuddle them all up with her. Skittles' babies aren't quite big enough to join these guys yet, but soon they will. That little striped kitten is Jessica's, and I love that little calico on her shoulder. All three of those white ones have their gramma Skittles' blue eyes... such pretty cats!
Beth was so happy to find a Beth-sized frog to play with the other day. (Accroding to Todd, if we cooked it, it would be called bite-sized) If it was an inch long I would be surprised. I laugh at some of the things I find out here... we have one inch frogs and eight inch moths... lol.

Matt has his last baseball game tonight, and then the baseball season is over! Woohoo! It has been fun, but I am looking forward to not scheduling everything around a ball schedule for a couple of months!

The satellite guy just showed up to fix our signal, so I better get offline and go see if he needs anything. Hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blast From the Past

Look what is happening 2.5 hours from my house next month! Almost all of my favorites from my high school years will be there.... Slaughter, Dokken, Warrant, White Lion, Poison, Skid Row... and so many more! I saw some of these guys in a concert in Vegas when I was pregnant with Beth, but the last time I saw LA Guns I was pregnant with Matt! LOL... too bad Bon Jovi and Cinderella won't be there... it would be the perfect concert! I doubt I will be going to this, but it would be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,

How does your garden grow? Well, after some trials and errors, ours is growing bountifully! Tomorrow morning I have to go out and pick the peas off my pea vines... there are lots and lots of them out there. I opened this pod today and found nine perfect peas in there... one for each of us!

My tomatoes are taking off too. Hopefully these guys will start getting nice and red soon. I cannot wait to eat some fresh maters off the vine! I have to start getting some canning jars soon, though. I have 20 tomato plants out there, and I certainly don't want all that yumminess to go to waste!
Now this is a monster sized cabbage. I forgot what I planted there, and when it started growing I jsut let it go to see if it bloomed into anything else. I am going to go ahead and pick it tomorrow too, and shred it up into some coleslaw for Jack and Jessica. It should keep them fed for about a week... lol
This is one of my rows of carrots. I have pulled a couple of small ones up, and Todd eats them before I can get them in the house. Since he likes them so much, and I would like to have a few leftover to freeze and use for other recipes, I planted a few more rows of seeds that are starting to sprout now.

I have lots and lots and lots of squash... yellow squash, zucchini, and a couple of other squash plants that I don't know how to identify. These are some of my yellow crookneck guys, which aren't big enough to eat yet. Soon, though, we will be feasting on squash... yum.

Just to give you an idea of how much squash we will end up with, this is just 1 single plant sprouting out over a quarter of my huge garden bed. This has been so fun for me. I really thought I had a black thumb, and when I compare my garden to the Mennonite garden down the street I really laugh at myself, but for a city girl who didn't know how to grow anything but kids, it is coming along pretty good!

We had a good day today. Things have been stressful around here the last month or so, but today was really relaxed. I took the younger kids to the library for storytime, and it was so good to just be out of the house and watching them do something fun. After the story they made toilet-paper-tube binoculars, and then signed up for the summer reading program. We are going back tomorrow for the science activities.

Faith and Todd both had games tonight, and both of their teams won. I was at Faith's while Jack went to Todd's, so there aren't any t-ball shots to share tonight. Faith played second base tonight, and she definately likes that a lot better than outfield!

And these last photos are some I took today of the wildflowers growing along our dirt road. I love, love, love the wildflowers, and I can't wait to get some more pictures of the other species growing around here. I don't even know what they all are, but I do recognize the daisies and the black-eyed-susans. I think the purple one is a thistle, but don't quote me on it. I used one of the pictures I took today to make my new banner. I have a bunch of other flower shots, but they aren't edited yet, and I figured you might not want to see all 200 of them... lol.

If you are into or work with photography or Photoshop, Photoshop World is going to Vegas in September. I am going to try to attend, so if any of you are planning on being there, let me know!
I will probably be on I have to show you all the peas we get picked and shucked! Have a good night!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

They won!! Hurray!!

Kyle and the rest of his team have been playing their tournament games since Thursday night... winning every single one of them. Tonight was the final game to determine first place for the season, and those Braves won that game making them the champs! Kyle had such a good game! He was up to bat three times, and his batting was right on! He got out on the first hit, but that hit brought two of his fellow teammates home, and he came home after the two doubles he hit as well. Woohoo! Those two doubles that he smashed brought home two players each, and those four runs as well as the two he had are what brought his team's score up so high that the refs called the game before the innings were completely over. Whatta kid!

Here he is after his first hit, just as he is releasing the bat and getting ready to run for first. It is hard to see the bat in midair since he lined it up with the baseline so perfectly... lol

And here he is coming home after the next hit.

I love seeing the boys' expressions when they run back to the dugout after the game has been called. Those are some happy boys! (Kyle is in the bottom back right in the second photo.)

And here he is with his trophy, and then his and the team's trophies. Way to go Braves!! Yay!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Summer Begins

School got out last week, and it feels like we haven't stopped running ever since. We have a couple of weeks of baseball left, and then our routine shouldn't be AS busy for a little while. We'll see, though. It wouldn't be the first time I thought things were slowing down to find they were just about to get busier! Here are a bunch of pictures from the last week or so... some better than others!

Beth was standing right in front of this fence at Matt's game the other day, when the ball came flying right into the chain links and get stuck... about four inches from her nose. As much as I hate trying to take pictures through the chain-link fences, it is a good thing they are there!

Todd still cracks me up everytime he is out on the field. He no longer sits on third base, but he doesn't really keep track of what is going on either. The other day he was amusing himself by blowing raspberries into his glove.

And here is more proof he is capable of staying busy even in the quietest of moments... after arriving at second base he kept himself entertained (and me too) by proceeding to dance and sing.
Sadly, Kyle's team suffered their first and only defeat of the season the other day, but they made up for it yesterday by winning their last game of the season 19-0. Kyle has done so well in baseball, and has really come far. His coaches have moved him in from outfield and have had him playing pitcher. A lot of the kids are still trying to catch fly balls this way, but they will grow out of it eventually. He starts his tournaments this weekend, so I will let you know how that goes!

I have said it before, and I mean it still... t-ballers are the funny bone of baseball. I love watching them all play. Beth refuses to be on the field at all without her daddy. When her team is in the outfield, she is nestled up right against his legs. She absolutely refuses to pick up any balls that might come by her because it would mean leaving her safe haven. I like this photo because she was spending time blowing raspberries as well... maybe it is a sibling thing... lol.

She will bat by herself, but only after Jack helps her out with a couple of practice swings.However, once she hits that ball she refuses to run to first base on her own. In fact, she refused to run at anytime on her own, so Jack had to devise a strategy to get her to run without having to carry her everytime.
We call it the "duck strategy." As soon as she hits that ball (or any other kid hits it while she is on base) Jack takes off and walks at a fast pace away from her towards base. She looks at him with an exasperated expression, and then takes off after him trying to catch him... just like a baby duck follows its mom.

This was Beth after her games a couple of nights ago... lol... we all tend to feel like this after the busiest nights! (we usually have 4-5 games in a night)

Faith is still not enjoying softball very much. Here she is walking back to the dugout after striking out. She does enjoy leading the cadence songs the girls like to chant in the dugout, though. She is a cheerleader through and through... lol.

Kyle loves watching other ballgames, especially Matt's. He particularly loves to sit in the dugout and talk to the rest of Matt's teammates. I caught this shot when they were all in outfield, and he was waiting patiently for them to get back.

Here is Matt running some bases.

And here he is getting ready to steal 2nd.

Here is Matt's coach talking to him after he was tagged out on third. I have to give Matt a lot of credit. Most of the kids here have been playing sports all their lives, and during the years when Matt should have been in Little League and learning all the basics, we had to put Chet through his chemo treatments and there was never any money for things like sports. So here he is, 15 years old, and trying so hard out there to get the hang of all the rules, strategies, etc. And sometimes he does really well (he caught a flyball last night, which got the batter out) and sometimes he doesn't, but he gives it his all everytime, and I am so proud of him for that. It can't be easy to get teased like he does sometimes, but even then he takes it in stride and just keeps coming back to try again. Winning is nice, I know that... but I am so proud of him for just getting out there and never giving up.

I was watching the kids in the playground area the other day during one of Matt's games, and I heard a bunch of baby birds start squawking. I looked up and saw this momma robin bringing her babies mouthfuls of worms. She had built the nest in the rafters, and came in and out about ten times feeding the chicks. Then she would sit on them a while, and after a few minutes fly off to find some more worms. It was incredible to watch.

Here is she checking out the kids in the playground before she flew in again. I love silhouette shots sometimes!
I still haven't been able to get the video updates to work, but I will keep working on it and get them up as soon as I can. In the meantime, here is a parting dandelion shot for now. Make a wish!

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