Sunday, August 30, 2009


There is nothing sweeter then little girls playing with dolls. Madison got this dollhouse for her first birthday and she is just now discovering it. She absolutely loves it and puts the dolls in their bed and kisses them. It is just too cute watching her play and use her imagination...

Can you tell I went picture crazy! Can you blame me... a cute little girl, a wooden dollhouse, a pretty pink dress... the camera just wouldn't stop! :D

kisses for my new friend...
Setting her down in her chair
hmmm... which one should I play with... Do I prefer blondes or brunettes.... :D

Mommy leave me alone.... put that thing away

Can I play without you calling my name every 30 seconds for a picture.

My poor little man...

Have I ever told you that my son Jacob has the highest tolerance for pain and sickness in the world. He is the complete opposite of his dad (who does not handle being sick very well at all.. whine whine whine.... sob sob!) and he is much better then I am when I am sick too... I get cranky and tired and just want to be left alone (Good luck with that when you have three kids!)

This morning he woke up with a swollen cheek and crying out in pain. We thought it was a canker sore but there was no sign of one. Thank God my little sister works in a dental office and she thinks he has an abscessed tooth. He got a cavity in it a few months ago and we had it filled but she thinks it turned into an abscess. No dental office is open on Sunday's so I will try and schedule tomorrow... but he keeps telling me that it doesn't hurt anymore and he wants to go to school. So unfortunatley for Jacob he may miss his first day of school. I just don't want to take ANY chances with his teeth. I have learned the longer you wait on dental the more it costs AND THE MORE IT HURTS!!!

He was soooo annoyed at me for making him take this picture. He has been in so much pain and you can just see it in his face. Poor kid... I hate when they are in pain and you can't do much for them. You can see the swelling on his cheek.... :(

1st Grade Meet and Greet

So it wasn't technically the first day of school but we did get to walk up and meet the teacher on Friday. I am so dissapointed in public education. I talked to the school about advanced classes for my son but they don't offer anything like that at his school or anywhere in the area. My son is in 1st grade and can do mulitiplication, read at a 3rd grade level and is well above average on most things. He gets this from his dad (i wish I could take credit... but I can't retain information like they can!) School is so easy for him and I think it get's boring for him because all the stuff he is learning he already knows. Anyone ever gone through this? What did you do?

Anyways his teacher seems awesome and she is coming from a 3rd grade class and she said that she would try to challenge him if he is getting bored. I trust that she will, but with 25 other kids it would be hard for her to do that. I WISH we could afford a private school because their are so many wonderful schools in this area but they are just too expensive... and with Ryan starting school next year I don't think it would be in the budget for two kids to go to private school. I wouldn't want to favor one child over the other either... even though Ryan cares less about education at this point in his life! :D He is more like his mommy.... bless his heart....poor kid has no chance!! LOL!

In the meantime for Ryan's education I have put together preschool at home for him. I want him to be able to read and write before kindergarten and I am hoping to obtain my goal. He has the capacity to learn... but the problem is does he have the will.... I can't wait though to start this with him I have so many fun things planned for him. I want him to get excited about education! Get his mind off of TV and the Wii... I swear that is all he thinks about!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fix-It Friday #26 - Hands-On Photo Editing Fun!

Isn't this little girl just absolutely darling! I love her beauitful princess dress and her expression. The brick wall is perfect for this picture. What a great picture. Here are my edits.
Each of my edits were very simple. Here is what i did on all the images
1) Sharpened the image in Photoshop
2) Straightened the image in Photoshop
3) Used a clipping mask in Photoshop
4) Adjusted the tonal contrast on the brick only using Nik software
5) Added font using Photoshop

For this image only I did a gold reflector filter and a glamour glow using Nik Software
Here I did a paper toner filter and brought out the colors on her dress and the flower only using Nik Software
Using photoshop I adjusted the levels and then did a gradient tool to darken the colors on the brick but keep her bright and then adjusted the contrast to make her pop in the photo.

All I did on this one was use a gold reflector filter using Nik Software
Here is the original photo.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bargain Hunting!

I LOVE... I MEAN LOVE TO DECORATE... the problem that I have is that budget that lingers over your head.... So I had this space that set empty in my front living room (You know the room everyone sees when they first walk in.... so embarrassing!) for a long time that finally got a makeover! For over 3 months I have been searching for a oversized chair to put into my space and it had to be off-white, microfiber and pretty much brand new for less then $100.00. Guess who found one! :D

Here is my new living room... where Josh and I sit every morning and have coffee and tea. Look at my new oversized chair from Craigslist for only $80.00, pillow from Fred Meyer for $7.99, and the 4 new curtain panels from Ross for only $11.99 each. They are also microfiber with the metal rings (the style I totally wanted but wasn't going to spend more then $20.00 a panel).

My coffee table was refinished recently. It used to be black but when we bought the red sofa the black didn't look good anymore so we used some paint left over in our garage to refinish. These pillows were my inspriration from the room. They were very spendy but I had to have them. They were $19.99 each at Fred Meyer... but they were a must have... And the wicker basket on the coffee table was from Ross for $9.99 on clearance. I got the sofa on clearance for $299.00 at Mor Furniture.
I didn't get all this at once but I am very good at remember prices...that is how I get my thrills is a good bargain... so with all this I spent well under $600.00 (minus the coffee table that was bought brand new and I spent way too much money on that over 4 years ago... so it doesn't count!) This space with the windows is such an awkward and small space and we used it to store our extra kitchen chairs and our vacuum.... totally looks better now!

My husband is out of town... I wonder if he will like it... Is it too girlish? I tried to think of him when decorating... good thing he really doesn't care... but I still want him to like it! :D He pretty much gives me run of the house as far as decorating... because if he had it his way all his stuff would come from Goodwill and all in the same trip so nothing would match... he just doesn't care! And don't get me wrong... I love Goodwill (the pictures on the wall next to the curtains were from Goodwill) but it isn't the place to go to redecorate your house!!!

Week 33 - “Nostalgia” Photo Challenge!

This week at the theme is "Nostaligia." Ironically we have a male guest photographer named Jose Villa. I wonder how he feels about barbies, dolls and tea parties! I am a girl so I mean that is what I think about! LOL! I guess we will find out!

This week was especially challenging for me because when I think of my childhood we grew up on a farm running around in corn fields, chasing fireflies, playing in the old barns, playing in an old abandoned cemetary near my grandma's house, stealing Swan's ice-cream push pops out of my grandmas freezer in the basement (shhhh! don't tell her) and watching the lightning storms on my grandmas porch. We lived with my grandma in a small town called Highland Illinois and we now live in Boise Idaho which is the complete opposite of my childhood. If I could have had it my way I would have been chasing fireflies in this picture or pouring salt on slugs (Me do that... never!) but we don't have those here in Idaho.... at least none that I could find!

So anyways here is the next best thing for me. Good Ol Fashioned Lollipops from Goody's Ice Cream Parlor! And look even her outfit matches and has swirlies! I remember these and those giant jaw breakers my parents used to get me... and what about the candy cigarettes... I know they are terrible but I used to love to get them as a child!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sugar Highs... and Grandma's Birthday!

So my husband was in charge of watching the kids Friday morning while I ran some long overdue errands! Too my surprise I walk into this when I got home.... Josh was watching the news and had no idea what the kids were up too.

He asked what we should do about the situation and I said... "Take pictures!" how can you punish a child in complete sugar bliss... plus he should have been watching them a little better anyways!

mmm....I'm in heaven!

I'm so sweet and innocent
A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. finger lickin good!
Okay so here is my mother... Can you believe she is 48 years young! Doesn't she look fabulous! She is a hottie.... and still single.... and stubborn... and set in her ways... LOL!
My mom and my little sister Courtnee to the right. We took her to Goodwood Restaurant for her birthday. MMMM MM! Their food was delicious!

My little Boise State Fans....

I can't believe we are heading into football season already... It is the reason my husband has this gigantic - enormous - oversized TV in our living room. He didn't appreciate our little 27" square TV anymore... that I thought worked just fine...

Anyways while Josh was out of town I wanted to surprise him with some pictures of the kids. We got their jersey's in the mail the other day so we headed off to downtown Boise and got some pictures. Madison absolutely would not cooperate (no surprise) so most are of the boys. Madison started a finger picking stage... as you can see in the pictures! My husband said I was gross for taking those pictures... and I said "Hey all I did was take the picture... she's the one that did it!" :D Yeah so maybe I should have stopped her... but I had to wait till the picture was taken first... (Future Blackmail!)

This was a test shot taken to make sure the settings were okay... and I thought he turned out sooo adorable here! This is totally a Ryan expression... you will see it lots in his photos.. Here is one of the hundreds of silly faces he makes for photos. This is probably the only one I have of Madison with the boys. She wouldn't sit still.
So in case you haven't heard of Boise State Bronco's we are the team with the smurf blue turf... Yes... Blue!
I love this picture of te boys! They are so handsome!
Ryan and his goofy face... Madison wouldn't sit still.... Arrgh! But those are the memories right!
My handsome little man... he is the most photogenic of all my kids.
This is a smile for Ryan... he doesn't really smile... but he squints alot with his eyes... I think that all started because I used to tell him to open his eyes for photos....
Not sure what they were doing with there hands but I only had about 2 seconds to get this shot before Madison took off!
I love this photo! So neat. And here is another goofy face of Ryan!
When Ryan smiles he squints... see! He can't do both... but still so cute!
One of my favorites!
LOL! She just wouldn't quit doing this! Does your child do this?
Yup... I took this photo... and I am still laughing about it... yes it's gross... but it's what kids do... we just have to break them of it! :D I was told to cut their fingers off... any other suggestions?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Random Pics from Albertson's Park

My little Monkey Man!
How do you teach an 18 month old to look at you when you have a camera... any tips? She absolutely refuses... she purposely looks the other direction.....
He was just posing left and right for me... most shots he had his tongue hanging out making faces at me... but I got some "handsome" shots of him.
This is his fake smile...

My failed attempt at bubble shots....

I knew what I wanted in my pictures... but achieving that was the hard part! About a year ago I bought these fairy wings for Madison. I have been wanting to use them and this week's theme was the perfect excuse.

I counted on my 4 year old to blow the bubbles near Madison while I took the pictures of her playing with them... only Ryan had a little trouble staying out of the pictures. Feet, Hands, Heads.... they were all apart of most of my shots. He thought the closer he stood next to Madison the better the bubbles would turn out. And then he didn't quite understand to blow the bubbles in the direction of the wind and they kept blowing the wrong way. He wanted to help so bad and was getting so frustrated that those stinkin bubbles were going the wrong way.

I will have to try another time when my husband is around or my oldest son to help. These are some of the shots that I got.

This would have been adorable if only she would look at me!
Here she is chasing the bubble
She actually dropped her bracelet and was picking it up here

She was waiting on Ryan to blow more bubbles.
Oh no she discovered that she had wings on... and insisted on throwing a fit until they came off.
I love the sun flare on this one.

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