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Archive for July, 2009

I waited patiently for the UPS guy to deliver me this:

dp1

And this:

book_understanding-exposure

He finally arrived yesterday and I’ve been nose-to-book ever since.  Well maybe not the whole time.  I did get a chance to get out and try some of the things I read about.  I took my camera everywhere we went (which honestly only consisted of the backyard, the neighbor’s house, a neighboring sheep farm, and Carls Jr.) and clicked away.

Here are some of the shots I caught.  (Really, they are so much better if you click on them)

watermom-cornsheep2brodyline-up-sepiashakepoolveggiessheepprizemaddy-cross-legscooter

Yes, it’s a fact.  We live in the country.  We’ve got barns and tractors and livestock galore.  I’m left wanting for cityscapes, cabs, and traffic here.  That’s why we’re packing up and heading off to The Windy City next week. Well,  that’s not really why we’re going.  We’re actually going to visit Oma and Opa, but I’m still a little giddy to get back to civilization the city. We’re stopping in Salt Lake on the way to drop off my niece Hannah who has been staying with us for about 10 days.  We will miss her! It’s been a non-stop fun fest with her here.  It was nice to level the playing field a little too with another girl around.

Some good friends are staying at our house to water the garden, bring in the mail, feed the horse, cow, bunnies, and dog, keep the pool busy and the trouble-makers away.

If I can access my blog while we’re away, I’ll post some pictures of our Chicago trip.

Happy Weekending!

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FacesFixIt

Another fix-it friday.

Original:

southern belle

To me this looked old fashioned.  I played around with a vintage edit but nothing was making me happy.

So I turned it into a watercolor using Elements.

Pretty basic stuff.

southern-belle-copy-4

I’ve been editing photos I took of my neighbors grandkids all evening and I’ve gotta get in bed.

So this will have to do for this week’s fix-it friday.

Goodnight!

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button - at the beach[3]

It’s beach time at iheartfaces this week.  I heart the beach hard so this week’s entry was a fun one.

Here’s Will after a long day in the water.  Can you tell he insists on wearing goggles?

(Click on it for the best result)

willbeach watermark

Go take a look at all the fun beach photo entries at iheartfaces.  I really am amazed and inspired by all the talent over there every week.

Happy Monday!

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Remember when I did what-in-the-heck Wednesdays? Right after we moved to small-town Idaho?  When all things “farmy” shocked me?

I guess I’ve become desensitized to the farming lifestyle because not too many things shock me anymore. Yikes!

Not even last week at church when the sacrament meeting  included a talk about the llama that couldn’t make it the last quarter of a mile of a 20+ mile Youth High Adventure hike and had to be shot put down.

A moment of silence for the llama please….

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Or the local  High Council speaker who told the congregation that (and I quote…well sort of)

I learned some of the most important lessons in life from my cow. (!!!)

Or the Sunday when a quarter of our ward (congregation) was missing from church because they were all out looking for an escaped calf who was eventually found napping in the tall grass in it’s own fully fenced pasture.  (Note:  when your livestock appear to be missing, check the pasture first.)

So, when I stepped out onto our back porch last evening to put the garden burgers on the grill and saw our good friend in our empty pasture on his horse, I was not at all shocked.

Nor was I shocked when he said he was going to leave the horse there to eat the pasture grass.

Nor was I shocked when he hurried home.  I figured the sumptuous smell of our garden burgers got him salivating for some dinner (or wondering what the heck a garden burger was).

But, I have to admit that I was, if not shocked, surprised enough to grab my camera when I looked out the front window and saw this:

calf-wrangling

And this:

calf

Apparently he had been walking both animals over from his house when the calf decided he’d have no part in going the rest of the way.  Our friend had to hurry back, not for dinner (well technically a future freezer full of dinners) but for the stubborn calf who would also be joining our pasture temporarily.

Meet May:

may

And Slobber Face (I think their last calf was named Hamburgesa):

slobber-face

They’ll be staying with us until they either find a way to escape, or they eat down all of our alfalfa.

Speaking of escaping, Molly (the dog) was a little shocked that there were 2 large farm animals in our backyard and got a little excited.  She chased the calf around and got the animals riled up a little.  We quickly put her back in the house but the next thing we knew, Slobber Face had gotten out and was making a bee-line back home!

It was quite a sight to watch us try and wrangle her back into the pasture.  I would have taken pictures but I was so engrossed in outsmarting the little bovine and shooing her in the right direction, that I didn’t grab my camera.

BUT, if I had, I might have caught May laughing at us:

may-laughing

Or Smiling.   Rookies!

may-smiling

It should be an adventure sitting for these guys.

pasture-horse-maddy

All the excitement kept us out till the wee hours of dusk.

moon

Erik and my cute niece Hannah who is staying with us for a week.

silhouette

I betcha can’t guess who this Jedi is….

light-saber-silhouette

Happy Weekending!!!!

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FacesFixIt

Before:

mr-handsome-original

Aside from some greenish skin color I thought this was a pretty good photo to start with.  Since there wasn’t much to mess with I concentrated on changing the background.

after:

mr-handsome-final-try

It was all done in Elements.  I can’t remember exactly what I did but here’s a guess:

cropped

selected the background and changed it to gray to go better with his shirt and added a vintage texture

warmed his face

decreased the saturation

sharpened the eyes using Coffeeshop’s Powder Room 2

unsharped the mask

I think that was it.  Head on over to iheartfaces and take a lok at everyone else’s take on Mr. Handsome.

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Kiara

First off, thanks for all the great advice about Kindergarten.

I have consumed it and am now digesting it all.  I think I know in my heart… or my gut …or some sort of anatomical organ what the right answer is.  Now I just have to break the news to the fearful rest of me.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve plunged head first into reading all I can find that will teach me to take fantastic photos.  It’s kind of a crash, self-taught, course on digital photo 101  (unitil I can find an honest-to-goodness official photography class around here, which at this point is not looking likely)

As I’ve scoured the internet, blogs, and books, one thing I’ve read over and over is this

practice, practice, practice

is the key to improving

To take lots and LOTS of pictures.

So lately I’ve been grabbing the closest willing body and sitting them smack dab in the middle of some fairly good lighting.  Let this be a warning to you.  If you’re around me in the morning or late afternoon hours, don’t be surprised if you find yourself the subject of a study on composition or bokeh or backlighting.

My sweet neighbor allowed me to grab her niece Kiara for a few shots today.  I was thrilled because my own kids are growing weary of all the grabbing and the posing.  I’m just about left with only the dog as a willing model.

kiara

I know, I know.  The shadow that cuts across her head is not ideal.  But I like the water drips and her cute expression.

kiara 4

I like the bokeh in the back.  She cleans up nicely, doesn’t she?

kiara 2

Here I am trying to guess the names of the two cutest boys in her class.

kiara 3

Success!  With a few clues, I guessed right!  But I promised her not to tell.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Thanks Kiara.

Now I’m off to check out some preschools.  🙂

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erik pool

It’s the middle of July.
Our sprinklers are struggling to keep up with scorching of our lawn.
The veggies in the garden are morphing into edibility.
The kids are marinating in the pool.
I should be basking in the nakedness of our schedule.


But something is threatening to unravel the ease of my summertime Zen.

I keep asking myself one question:

Did I make the right decision to hold Will back for one more year before starting Kindergarten?

Obviously from my last post, he just turned 5. The cut-off here is September 1. He’s small for his age and having a solid knowledge of his letters and numbers is not high priority in his Jedi life.

But I worry that many of his friends are starting this year. And I don’t want him so far ahead of his classmates next year if he makes big leaps and bounds in his learning in preschool this year. I don’t want him to be bored in Kindergarten like his other brothers were.

But then I don’t want him to be the smallest kid in sports, if that’s what he takes an interest in.

But it would also be nice to have all my kids in school.

But then I love having him at home too.

And there’s a new crazy schedule here for kindergarten this year with full days M,W,F one week and full days T, Th the next week. How crazy is that?

I’m just not sure if I’m doing the right thing.

What do you think? Have you faced this dilemma before? Have any advice? Care to share any success/horror stories with me? I’m all ears.

I’ll check back in later. For now, I’m off to marinate with the kids in the pool run to the grocery store for more sunscreen and pool filters.

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