Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 39 ~

Things are pretty boring around here today.  My husband went to Vegas for the weekend and it's always kinda quiet around here without him.  The only thing I like about when he leaves is that I don't have to watch football. :)  But other than that the kids and I miss him like crazy!  This week my son has really started picking up reading and starting to like it more and that makes me so happy.  I love reading so it was really hard having a kid who wasn't really into it.  I'm hoping this is a turning point though.  I even went to a new book club meeting last night with some friends.  I love book clubs...I totally wish I would've discovered them when I was younger.  I might sign my girl up for the Magic Tree House book club at the library so she can see what it's like.  As far as photos for this week, I thought I hadn't taken any so I took some of the kids while they were having recess today only to discover when downloading them that I had taken a bunch of my niece the other day and completely forgotten about them.  So I have a bunch today.  Here are my favorites!

My girl was prank calling me from our home phone to my cell phone today.  I don't have the heart to tell her my cell phone has caller i.d. :)  She was pretty convincing pretending to be Ages (pronounced like Agnes without the n) and then calling pretending to be Mrs. Robertson, Ages' mom.  She even dressed up as Mrs. Robertson and remained in character the whole time I talked to her.  She had on one of my dresses and my heels and put on lipstick.  She's a fun girl to have around, that's for sure!

My boy.  He loves his new cozy jacket he got from Grandmama.  He's looking so grown up these days!

Our neighbor's tree.  My daughter's new favorite place to climb around.

Here they are both jumping out of the tree.  It's much higher than it looks in the photos. Where my daughter is sitting is above my head when I'm standing.

Had to take a picture of her interesting clothing choices today.  Earmuffs with flip flops?  Just for the record it's about 60 degrees out today.

Our garage doors are the perfect color to make eyes pop.

I love this kid.

Our tree in our front yard turns to the most amazing red every year in the fall.  It's mostly green right now, but there are a few red ones popping out already.

This is my niece.  She is wearing a dress that my mom wore when she was a toddler.  So, yes, it's an antique. :)  Somehow we completely forgot to get a picture of my daughter in it.

She looks like a kewpie doll in this one!  So cute.  My mom almost waited too long to put her in could almost see her panties. :)  I love her chubby legs.  My mom always says she's built just like me...poor girl...she's gonna hate those thighs someday!  They're still cute for now though!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 38 ~

I took some photos of my son on the day of his birthday party, and they weren't anything spectacular.  It was the typical, "Stand here and let me take a picture really quick." type of thing where he kept moving and wouldn't look at me and was generally uninterested in having his picture taken.  Sound familiar to anyone?  I did get some cute facial expressions but I was underwhelmed at them in general.  So I thought I would try some creative cropping again.  Nothing too crazy, but I did veer from my traditional 5x7 crop for a few.  :)  Here are my favorites.

This is my absolute favorite!  I tried a square crop (a nod to instagram, which I don't have since I have a Blackberry and not an iPhone).  I really love it!  I think I need to use the square crop more often.  It's hard to tell since his eyebrows are so light, but he actually can raise just one brow and it's so cute.

My traditional type of crop.

Another square crop and another silly expression.  :)

I used to love this type of crop where you crop off the top of the head and it really helps you zero in on the eyes.  I've gotten away from it and I'm going to remind myself to use it more because I really like it.

His mean eyebrows.  He's so expressive with his face.  Too bad I didn't get any smiles this time, but I like to remember all his adorable faces.

Have a great weekend!  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Lego Party

My boy is obsessed with Legos.  He loves them and so when he suggested a Lego themed party I finally gave in.  I wanted to do a pirate party since there are tons of cute ideas on Pinterest, but hey, it's his party...  So I found some cute ideas and did what I could.  He had told us and some friends that he wanted a Lego party that way everyone would buy him Legos.  He said if he got anything besides Legos he would throw it in the trash!  He's too cute...and no, he didn't throw any of his presents away. :)  Here are some pictures of our fun!

The birthday boy opening his presents.

Some of my decorations.  I made that banner with the Lego font.  I got it from someone else's blog and printed the letters, cut them out and glued them on red card stock and stapled them to string.  Easy and it looked perfect!  That's my son with his cousin on the left and that's his Great Aunt with their matching hair on the right. :)  Oh, and I made the most adorable Lego minifigure (that's what they call the Lego men) ice cubes, but I forgot to take a picture!  And we also made chocolates from the same mold and I forgot to take a picture of those too!  What is wrong with me?!  They were soooo cute!

The cake...much harder to made than I thought.  The bumps for the bricks were made with marshmallows cut in half.  It was cute, but definitely not my best looking cake.  He got some money and I'm trying to convince him to save it.  I've convinced him that if he waits until he gets Christmas money he could have $100.  He's pretty excited about that possibility.

Blowing out the candles.  He blew them out before we were even done singing.  He hates when we sing the song for some reason!

I bought this pin the tail on the donkey type game at the party store.  The blindfold was the best part.  The kids had fun with it!

My cute kiddos. :)  My girl looks like a giant because she was wearing fancy shoes with a heel.

I still can't believe my baby is six!  Hope this gives you some inspiration if you are looking for Lego party ideas!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 37 ~

This was our first 'normal' week of school.  We started our co-op this week.  This is a group of about 100 homeschooling families who get together on Mondays at a large local church and they offer all types of classes for preschool through 12th grade students.  I honestly wasn't sure about the whole thing, but you know how people worry about your children's 'socialization' when they are homeschooled, so I decided it would be good for the kids to get out and interact with other kids (although they get plenty of socialization everyday with the neighborhood kids and all throughout the week at church and lessons, etc...don't get me started...).  I was worried that I may have overcommitted myself and the kids with having to do these classes on top of their Ohio Virtual Academy classes, but I figured out how to rearrange our online classes in a way that makes more sense for us and we are able to count their co-op classes toward their regular school hours so I think it's actually going to work out fine.  The kids loved it.  My daughter went on and on about how awesome her teachers were and how fun the classes were.  She even loved her math class called Math-U-Do which incorporates everyday math in a fun way.  I'm hoping it will change her perspective on math a little bit after last year's disaster of a math class at her public school.  They can't wait to go back next week.  I'm even teaching a first and second grade art class and I think it went pretty well.  I get a couple of hours of free time too when I'm not teaching and I'm looking forward to chatting with friends and getting a little reading done during that time.  Also this week was my son's 6th birthday!  We had a lot of fun that day and are looking forward to his party this weekend.  Oh, and I signed my son up for Boy Scouts last night so he is looking forward to hanging out with one of his buddies from his school last year and I'm interested to see how we like it.  I've heard so much good and bad about scouts that I honestly have no idea what to expect...I just hope he likes it. 

That brings me to this week's pictures.  I took some pictures of the kids on my son's birthday and they turned out even better than I initially thought.  Sometimes when I first look through my pictures I tend to be overly critical, but then after a couple days when I look at them again and I see things I didn't see the first time.  I'm always surprised when I look back and find old pictures and wonder why I missed that certain one and never edited it or posted it.  

When I first looked at this picture I dismissed it since I didn't really like the composition and I thought it was kinda boring.  After a quick crop and a little edit, I actually love it!  Her eyes look so pretty and I love her little Mona Lisa smile she does.

 I shared this already, but it's one of my favorites from this week so I'm sharing it again. :)  

I love the light in this picture and the tree in the background with the beautiful bokeh.

My crazy girl being a ham.  I'm glad I've got happy kids!

I love the pop of the red flower on her shirt.  And of course I love her sweet smile!

We're looking forward to a party weekend!  Hope your weekend is fun too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Today my baby turned six!  I can't believe it has been six long years since I held him in my arms for the first time.  I cannot imagine my life without this little boy in it.  I love everything about him, even his love of gross humor and his penchant for going without a shirt and the way his feet get dirty every day no matter what.  He makes our lives brighter with his smile, his infectious laugh, his sweet hugs and his excitement when telling a story.  He is a typical boy in so many ways and I love that.  I love his little boy mannerisms, the way he can make any sound effect with his mouth, the way he loves ninjas, the way he kisses me goodnight.  He has captured our hearts and we treasure every day with him.  I know that sounds so cliche, but something about knowing that someday he will grow up and get married and probably forget to call his mama every day, or even every week, makes me hold him a little tighter.  I want to treasure those times he tells his sister he loves her (he did it today at breakfast) for no reason at all, and the time he just puts his arm around me while we are watching tv, or the way he sits next to his dad and imitates his pose.  I seriously want to remember all of it.  I'm a sentimental sap, what can I say...

I wanted to make his birthday special since we aren't having his party until this weekend.  So last night I hung up balloons in the main hallway of the house for him to see when he came downstairs (thanks, Pinterest!).  Then, his Grandmama invited us to breakfast at Bob Evans.  That was a real treat since we never do that.  He opened some presents there and then we came home and did some school.  He really wanted to skip school, but I'm a mean teacher and wouldn't let him. :)  Then after lunch, his cousin and best buddy came over to hang out and we baked cupcakes.  We let him pick where to go for dinner and he picked Culvers where he gorged himself on cheese curds til he almost got a stomach ache.  We headed over to Papa's house to drop off a cupcake and then we took my nephew home and delivered a cupcake to my sweet niece who was so sad she couldn't join us.  Whew!  It was a long day and after all that we had to come home and put together his Lego present that he got from us.  He had a blast.  I feel like we hardly even need a party with all the fun we already had, but don't let him read that!  He's super excited for his Lego party.  Oh, and yesterday he got a card in the mail with a $50 bill in it (Thanks, Uncle Don!).  I asked him what he wanted to do with it and he said, "SPEND IT!!".  Pretty sure we'll be headed out for some more Legos in the very near future.  So, I guess you could say he had a pretty awesome birthday. :)

I have some photos to share, but first I have to share this questionnaire I did with him this morning.  I totally stole this from some friends and modified it just a little.

~~Dean at Age 6~~
~What is your name?  Dean
~And how old are you? 6
~How does being 6 make you feel? Happy
~What do you want to learn this year? Science
~What was the best thing about being 5? Getting Legos
~What did you do today?  Played with my new Lego monster fighter and I'm going to dinner with my cousin, Ben.
~What is your favorite color? All of them except for pink and purple.
~What is your favorite food? Goldfish and Wheat Thins
~Who is your favorite person? My cousin Ben.
~What grade are you in? First
~What is your favorite thing to do at school?  Recess
~What is your favorite game to play? Chess
~What do you like to do with Daddy?  Play chess and football
~What do you like to do with Mommy? Cuddle her
~What do you like to do with Ava?  Play with her and do the Tango
~What’s your favorite thing to do with the whole family? Play Chinese Checkers (after I commented that we        never play that, he said, we did one time, in the old days). :)
~What’s your favorite store? Toys R Us
~What’s your favorite place to eat? Culvers
~What’s your favorite book? The Official Ninjago Guide
~What’s your favorite song? That radio song.  After much explanation and some clarification from Ava we realized he meant Hey Soul Sister by Train
~What’s your favorite thing about God? He loves us.
~What do you want to be when you grow up? A dad

I really wish I had been doing this survey for a few years...oh well, better late than never! I can't wait to see what he says next year. Now for some photos!

His balloon curtain. It got all tangled up, but oh well. This was before was a long day!


I took him outside for a few birthday photos.

My favorite. Love the light.

Had to put in a picture of him with his signature face. The frown. Love it!

At breakfast with Grandmama.

Waiting with his eyes closed for his present from his sister. It was a Lego Ninjago snake. She really wanted to buy him a present with her own money. What a sweet sister!

Back at home later that day (and shirtless, of course...) he had waited patiently for his daddy to get home from work to open his big present.

I'm super classy and we wrapped it in a Bob Evans bag... My mom had hidden the present at her house and then she brought it to breakfast in the Lego Store bag which was see through so we asked the restaurant for a bag. He totally didn't care that it wasn't wrapped and didn't want to wait for me to wrap it. Gotta love boys...they are so easy sometimes.

The Samurai! He was so excited.

This kid is obsessed with Legos.

Hey, a shot of him with his favorite person! :)

And because I'm obsessed with collages right now, I put together this one of him on every one of his birthdays including his actual birth day. Holy crap, make it slow down! I can't believe how big he is!!

Enough birthday overload for one day. We'll be doing it again this weekend!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 36 ~

I got so busy yesterday that I forgot to post my Photo Friday!  I was working on tagging clothes and toys for the Mother's Exchange Sale that I do twice a year.  It's fun and I make a decent amount of money, but it is a lot of work.  I think this might be my last sale.  I've been saying that for the past year though, so we'll see...  I didn't take any photos this week until yesterday when I snapped just a couple while the kids were eating a snack before we headed out to our last day at the pool.  I am so sad that summer is ending.  I love summer.  I'm a hot weather, summer, swimming kind of person.  I do love fall with the cool breezes and the cozy sweaters and the settling into a routine...but that will never replace summer for me as my favorite time of year.  It's no wonder I'd love to live in Florida. :)   Here are my favorites this week.  Nothing too exciting.  Just a couple pics of my boy.  He's about to turn 6 and I can hardly believe it!

He is too cute!  I'm not biased at all.

Love this too...they are almost the same, snapped within seconds of each other, but I like them both.  His smile is a little unsure here, but I like the light behind him and I think this is a really good representation of his hair color.  I find that in photos it looks way more red than it does in real life.  It's almost blond (insert me crying here about losing his gorgeous red hair).  I never thought I'd be sad about not having a red headed child...

Have a great weekend!  At least what's left of it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trust Your Eyes ~ A Book Review ~

I have to start this book review by being honest and telling you that I do not ever read 'thriller' or 'suspense' books.  Ever.  I actually go out of my way to avoid them.  I find that they usually have too many characters to keep track of and I can never remember who anyone is and I get confused and annoyed and in the end I'm not really sure I ever understood the intricacies of the plot.  Sure the book was fine, but that's just it, it was fine, nothing that touched my heart and no characters that I will think about and wonder about the rest of their story.  I think these types of books are good for passing the time, but not something that I would prefer to spend my time reading.  That's my full disclosure on my opinion of the genre as a whole.

This book had a fantastic premise though.  Really...I was excited to read it and when people asked me about the book and I told them the premise, they were always intrigued.  The premise is this...a schizophrenic man who spends his days on a website called Whirl 360 (exactly like Google Earth) and thinks he is working for the CIA to memorize all the maps in the world in case someday all the maps in the world are wiped out and he can then be a hero has stumbled upon a murder in a window captured by the Whirl 360 cameras.  He and his brother who has become his caretaker after the somewhat mysterious death of their father become entangled into a world of murder and politics after they go poking where they shouldn't.  The book was fast paced and had all that you would expect from a book like this.  Politics.  Murder.  Kidnapping.  Bad cops.  Lawyers.  If you like a book to stick to that formula you will love it.  I'm not saying I didn't like it, I did.  It kept my interest and I wanted to know how it would end.  I'm not sure I'm going to be picking up more thrillers in my future because of it though.  I did find myself flipping back through pages because there were so many characters to keep track of.  Am I the only person that has to do this?  But I did like the main characters and was rooting for them.  I will say the premise made the book sound so good that maybe my expectations were a little too high which may be why I didn't like it even more.  Overall it was a pretty good book and I think if you are a fan of this genre you will definitely like it.

For more discussion about this book, head over to BlogHer Book Club.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.


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