Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 27, 2010

Today I'm thankful for play dates.  We had a great basketball practise this morning.

The highschool basketball coach came down to give the kids some new drills to practise on;

and they were all eager to learn!

I thought with all the running and jumping that Bayleigh would be tired,

but earlier in the morning we'd set up a play date with her oldest friend, Ella.

The girls played "Ponies", made bead necklaces, played hide and seek and did their best to play nicely with Eli.  It was so fun having Miss Ella join us today, and next Saturday Bayleigh gets to go over to Ella's house after ball practise.  I'm sure they'll both be looking forward to next Saturday all week long!

I managed to get caught up on the kitchen cleaning while the girls were playing, and then I sorted more photos.  I'm really going to be thrilled when I get through this next bunch of photos, but I'm thinking I may need to order a few more "storage binders".  Especially after I start printing out all my digital photos . . . YIKES!  There may not be enough storage binders in the WORLD.  I'd better get started scrapbooking or purging LOTS of photos!

Since neither child got a nap today, I'm hoping to get them (and myself) off to bed a little early tonight.  I'm completely worn out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Today I am thankful to get back in the swing of things.  I've taken the last two days off from housework, so I did a detailed maintenance cleaning today to get everything back in order.  And then . . .

I thought I'd drag my photos downstairs to start to work on Lesson #2 of the Library of Memories class.  (We're actually on Lesson #3 this week, but I'm behind . . . as usual.)

I purged all the photos above.  They were either blurry, duplicates or photos I would never consider scrapbooking.  I cringe at the money I wasted on processing.  EGADS!  The majority of these, will be passed along to grandparents and relatives.  So maybe it's not a TOTAL waste.

Several of those photos came out of these little books; which are now empty.

And the photos that I kept?  They all fit nicely into this little album with room to spare!  I know as I move on to sorting things into category drawers and cold storage, this album will empty quickly.

School got out early today, and mom came over to watch the kids while I ran to town to pick up her prescription at the pharmacy, and get a few groceries.

After I returned home I got so wrapped up in sorting, purging and filing that I almost forgot to do my layout for the day!  But I finally finished it and now I'm ready for some sleep.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010

Today I'm thankful for after lunch naps.  I've been SO tired the past few weeks.  Now that Bayleigh has finally gotten over her fears of the dark and is sleeping through the night, Eli has been making trips to our room in the middle of the night.  Depending on how tired we are, Dave or I either take him back to bed, or he ends up sleeping with us for the rest of the night.  It wouldn't be that bad, but the boy kicks like a MULE.

Dave is enjoying his new mixer.  He made pizza dough today, and the pizzas turned out wonderful for dinner this evening.

After my after-lunch nap with Eli, I folded laundry and did some room re-arranging.  Bayleigh has been begging for the shelf that I had put together for my retreat, and since it's a hair too tall to line up with the rest of my storage cubes, I decided to surprise her and move it to her room.  I think it looks great and she is now in a cleaning and purging mood, so her room will be "perfect".  My obsessive compulsiveness must be rubbing off on her.

When I ran out to get her off the bus, I heard a rustling in the leaves by the driveway.  I looked over and low and behold!  An armadillo!  He had dug holes all over the yard around my forsythia bush.  This is the closest I've ever been to one.  As soon as I got Bayleigh off the bus, we both ran in the house and I grabbed my camera and my .22 rifle.  I would have got a picture of the LIVE critter, but it was getting away, so I had to opt for shooting him with the rifle first.  It was actually kind of cute, but the destruction it left behind will take me quite a while to repair.

I've shot more critters this year than I have in my whole life!  I'm not a murderer . . . really I'm not.

After Bayleigh got home and we disposed of the armadillo, we went out to do some more yard clean-up.  Another truck load of left over siding and JUNK went to the dump.

I think Eli likes riding in the old truck.  (The seat is really comfy and it bounces alot when you go over a bump.)

This was the only item of interest I found to shoot, while we were unloading everything.  An old hub cap.

After we got home from unloading everything, Dave made pizza, while I finished up my layout for the day and caught up on my blogs. 

Now I'm off to play a game of chess with the oldest, before bathing the kids and putting them to bed.  It's been a wonderful day!

February 24, 2010

Today I am thankful for the priviledge to stay home with my children.  If I were a working mom, I wouldn't get to do things like this:

on a daily basis; or watch my children grow and learn; or support them and answer each of their questions, as best I can. 

Speaking of questions . . . Eli was looking through one of the scrapbooks upstairs, when he came across a picture of me a few days before he was born.  I was ENORMOUS.  He asked me this:  "Mommy?  How did you eat me?"  Hmmm . . . an interesting take on a pregnant woman's condition. 

I've tried to explain that he started out itty bitty and grew inside of mommy's belly, but he's still somehow conviced that I just popped him in my mouth wholem, and ate him.  I'm sure he'll figure things out soon enough.

I love all these bright colors lined up in a row.  This little art kit gets lots of use, and I'm so very glad both kids enjoy it.

I basically spent another day playing hooky from the housework.  I played with the kids instead. 

After Bayleigh got home from school, we dropped off books and movies at the library, and then we all went to the local Extention office for a bunny demonstration.

Since joining 4-H last year, she's been wanting a bunny to show and I think she's getting to an age where she can care for one herself.

So someday soon, we may be the proud owner of a bunny.  To go along with her chickens.  This years fair ought to be interesting.

We had a pretty late evening, but I managed to get the kids fed and put to bed before 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

Today I'm thankful for a day of very little housework.  The daily cleaning schedule that I've come up with, has made cleaning the house and keeping it clean, a snap.  So it's afforded me a little time to play hooky from it all.  And that's exactly what I did today!

I got up and did my Pilates, then headed upstairs to catch up on emails and blogs.  Of course, I had to wake Bayleigh up and get her ready for school, and throw in a load of dishes, but after that, the day was mine.

Eli came upstairs with me and completely destroyed my retreat, while I worked away on the computer.  Editing photos (I finally finished up with January!); catching up on blog posts that I'd fallen behind on;  catching up on emails that were sadly neglected;  and paying bills. 

I did manage to squeeze in some playtime with Eli . . .

and after Bayleigh got home from school, we played a nice long game of chess.  She's really getting quite good at it, and before long she'll be cleaning me out.

I've pretty much decided that March will be my month to "FOCUS" on photo editing and my Library of Memories class, with a little home improvement thrown in for good measure.  I MUST get all these photos in order.  So I've decided, now that I'm caught up with January, to start at the present and move backwards.  I'm thinking March is going to be a VERY busy month.  I have FIVE years of digital photos to weed through.  Wish me luck!

(I'm liking #3 the best out of these few shots.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Today I'm thankful for a productive day.  I got quite a lot accomplished this morning in a very short period of time.  (It might have had something to do with Eli sleeping in until almost 9:00 a.m.!)

Unfortunately my progress came to a complete halt when the phone rang and my brother asked for a favor.  This favor led to another phone call, then another, and I must have been on the phone with various people for close to two hours.  One of the phone calls had to do with watching my niece for a few hours . . .

The kids all played camp-out . . .

and were very well behaved, but I didn't quite make it through all my photo editing, with all the interruptions.

After my brother picked Kasey up, I went out to do chores.  It was a beautiful time of the day, although it was a bit cold.  I'm hoping tomorrow that I get a few free moments to actually take some decent photos, and finish up my editing for January, so I can get started on February.  I'm a little behind. 

February 21, 2010

Today I am thankful for little helpers.  The kids had completely destroyed the livingroom this weekend, so it was time for a little pick-up game.

Although it was cold and rainy outside, the weather didn't bring me down.

It was a brisk and invigorating morning, to head out to church.

(*I'm glad we haven't started working on our yard yet.  We're still getting settled into the addition, but hopefully this Spring/Summer we'll get started on the landscaping.) 

After all the picking up and cleaning up in the livingroom, Eli had to take a break, but Bayleigh insisted on helping me fold clothes.  (*She can be such a sweetheart at times.)

When I went out to chore, the ground was just saturated.  The snow is all melted away, and now we're water logged.

I filled the stove twice today.  I've found that there's a fine art in loading it up.  A few small pieces on bottom; a few medium pieces; a couple of big pieces; a few more medium pieces; and then back to the small stuff to fill in the holes at the top.

I managed to finish my layout for the day, and get quite a bit accomplished on my day off.  Sloppy Joes and Olympic hockey (Congratulations team USA!), and lots of time spent with the kids.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010

Today I'm thankful for my children.  Although they can be difficult and trying at times, they force me to relive my youth on a daily basis.

We basically spent a full day on the basketball courts.  Bayleigh's basketball camp from 10:30 to noon, and then the Alumni games from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. when we finally left.

The rest of my day was spent on laundry.  (Oh joy!)

I'm having a blast with my layout a day project, but I'll be glad to get back to my normal routines in March.  I'm needing a little break.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

Today I'm thankful for old books and learning something new. 

I've been participating in the Develop: on Fridays assignments and here is one of the photos I took for this particular assignment.

Concentrating on different angles.  It was a fun assignment, without too much challenge.

After getting up early for my morning workout (I'm up to 40 push-ups, and I'm beginning to like jumping jacks. There's got to be some psychological malfunction in me somewhere.) I ended up doing a few minor chores around the house and then vegging with Eli on the couch. 

Before lunchtime, Dave took Eli to the park so I could get some rest, but my body just wouldn't cooperate. I ended up coming upstairs to work on my layout for the day, and catch up with emails and computer work.

  Dave has been so busy working on his research paper, that he hasn't really got to spend any time with the kids over the past few months, so I think it was good for all of us.  Dave and Eli got outside to play together, and I got some much cherished quiet time.

Unfortunately our sunny weather didn't extend to today.  It's looking like a storm might be moving in at any moment, and I can hear the thunder booming in the distance.  It's almost time for Bayleigh to get off the bus, but I wanted to get my post in early today, so I could unplug everything for the oncoming storms.  I love a good storm, so I'm sure I'll be taking more photos to add to this post later.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010

Today I'm thankful for good books and more SUNSHINE!

The weather seems to be looking up.  I actually got outside in short sleeves for a short while today.

I, for one, will be glad to see the end of the wood splitting . . .

tree cutting . . .

stove filling weather!  Bring on SPRING!  I'm more than ready!

After getting to bed around 1:15 a.m. and getting up at 5:00 a.m., I couldn't believe how much energy I had.  I ran through my morning chores, and then tried to lay down and rest . . . but sleep wouldn't come.  I ended up finishing the book I started last night at bedtime, and then headed upstairs to put my daily layout together, and edit a few more photos.  When I went out to chore today, I decided to look for something with color, and shoot in RAW mode for the first time.  I love the results!  The little briars above were a perfect subject to start out with.

And I quickly moved on to the garden to help Dave put plastic over some of the beds, to get the soil warming up in preparation for planting.  I couldn't believe I found some remnants of last years crop still hanging on the vine.

Of course Eli had to help out too. 

Fuzz Face wasn't much help, but she was a cute subject, and I couldn't resist getting this shot of her laying on her back soaking up the sunshine.

Right now, I'm still feeling energized . . . like I need to clean or something . . . but I'm going to curb the urge and head downstairs to feed the family.  I'm hoping sleep will come quickly tonight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

Today I'm grateful for SUNSHINE and undemanding friends.  Like Elvis and Miss Kitty.

It's rare that I catch these two in a companionable moment;

when they're not sleeping, they're fighting or chasing each other through the house.

Miss Kitty is my cat.  She runs and hides when anyone else is around, but when I'm sitting alone at my desk, she will come out of hiding to curl up in my lap. 

Elvis is usually Dave's cat, and he can be found pestering Dave any time he sits down.  But today, I think he wanted to join in my scrapbooking fun.  Or maybe I wasn't trimming my paper to his specifications.

While I was scrapbooking, I noticed the sunshine coming through my window and dancing across my very first camera.  It truly amazes me how far we've come (technologically) in such a short period of time.

After I cleaned house this morning, I came upstairs to do some back-ups and photo editing.  I got quite a bit done, but I'm still editing January's photos.  Maybe tomorrow I can finish them off and get them downloaded to my secondary back up.  I sorted and edited until Bayleigh got off the bus, and then I bundled up both kids for a trip to the library and the grocery store.  On the way home, I happened to catch the sun setting in my side mirror, so I pulled off the side of the road and took a picture.  It seems like it's been FOREVER since I've seen the sun, and I regret that I spent my day indoors editing, when I could have been out taking more pictures.  But, alas, there is always something to do around here.  Maybe the sun will come out again tomorrow and I can sneak in a few photos.  Here's hoping!

(My favorite shot of the day . . . #3.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010

Today I am thankful for a little girl who can read bedtime stories to her little brother.

Today has been an extremely busy and trying day.  I've been attempting to catch up on all the laundry, dishes, housework; and basically just MAINTAIN.

Discipline seems to be a hard thing for Eli, but he's understanding that sometimes (a lot of times) things don't go his way, and he just needs to learn to deal with it.  He got sent to bed early for sticking his hand down into his milk glass at dinner tonight, and sloshing it all over the place.  I took his food and drink away, dunked him in the tub for a bath and sent him to bed.  Bayleigh was nice enough to read him some bedtime stories, but he still didn't want to go to sleep, and cried for a full hour, before finally dropping off.  It's tough being a parent, but it's the toughest job you'll ever love.

The past few days I've been dealing with jabs of criticism, and how I "need to do this", or "do this differently" in regards to raising the kids, without any offers of help to actually assist me in changing these things.  I finally got tired of it and aired my opinion on the matter. I don't feel it's right for someone to criticise me, unless they've walked a few miles in my shoes, so to speak.  Right now, I'm the one having to play both parents while hubby is working and going to school.  Maybe when Dave graduates in May, things will level out, and I won't feel like I'm being pulled in twenty different directions at the same time. 

Thank goodness tomorrow is another day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

Today I am thankful for changes.   First of all, for the changes that I've implemented in my life the past few months, and my commitment to FOCUSING on simplifying my life and putting first things first.

After braving Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" again today, I jumped into the housework and got quite a bit done.  School was cancelled today, due to more snow, so after I finished my chores, I took Bayleigh out for a trek through the woods.

I've been meaning to visit this particular spot for quite some time, but just haven't had the opportunity.  I spent many a day laying across this old rock, listening to the creek gurgle when I was younger . . . and I spent hours tromping through these woods in search of new treasures, new sights, new sounds and new textures.  This was my favorite "thinking" spot.

Today the creek was cold and icy, with the snow blowing in all directions.

It amazes me, how water can seemingly freeze like this in thin air.

I'm glad to see that Bayleigh seemed to like this spot too.

Maybe when she's a little older, she'll visit it like I used to do in my younger years.

On our way back from the creek, we tried to search out unique things.  This bright yellow, immediately jumped out at me . . .

but I ALMOST missed this little jewel, hidden away in the cedars.  I'm guessing that this was one of my grandpa's old tractors.  An old Fordson.  Even though it hasn't been used in eons, it still shows a lot of character.

On the way back home, Bayleigh and I stopped to visit my mom, and Bayleigh stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.  After I got back to the house, Eli wanted to go help daddy cut wood, and I went with them so I could watch Eli while Dave cut wood.

The cows weren't impressed by our arrival.

So to keep Eli occupied, we walked through the trees to the pond.

I picked a "cattail" for him to play with, but he soon got cold and we headed back to the truck.

We made it back to the truck just in time to help Dave load the wood. 

This day started out pretty rough . . . with a broken bowl, and a runaway three year old, but I'm happy to say it ended on a much better note.

Here is one of Bayleigh's pictures from our trek through the woods:

She comes up with her very own unique perspective, and I love to encourage her.  She was using my back-up camera . . . an old Nikon Coolpix 4600.  She got a focused picture of the reflection in the creek, and me walking by her side.  I'm so proud of her and glad she likes to take pictures too.

(I can't even begin to pick a favorite here . . . but Bayleigh's photo is pretty close to the top.  I'm also liking that bright spot of yellow in the midst of all the browns and whites.)