Friday, January 31, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Week 5

All the photos I took this week were basically of my daughter and her birthday festivities which I already posted about.  So I busted out the camera this morning and tried to find something to take photos of. It's been raining like crazy all day, so I was stuck with indoor photos which are my least favorite.  I guess it's good that I'm taking them so I can get some practice in with the indoor lighting which is not my strong suit.  Here at our condo we have so many windows, which is awesome, but sometimes I end up with too much highlight on the side of the photo closest to the light.  I need to learn to underexpose a little when shooting inside to compensate...which is not always easy when you've got kids running around and they are not in the mood to be patient waiting for you to adjust your camera settings.  I'll get it one of these days though.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Here are my favorite photos of the week!

My girl working on her grammar lesson.  I love her spunky little pigtails!  

Selfie of me and my favorite little boy!  Definitely not a technically perfect photo but I love our genuine smiles. :)

He was just hamming it up for the camera today. He had his headphones on but they weren't plugged into anything so he was just jamming to the music in his head, I guess!  He's got some pretty interesting dance moves that crack me up.  He looks like he's trying to be a ladies man.

Just some more silliness.

Have a great weekend! I'm looking forward to an 80 degree day tomorrow and hopefully some time with my feet in the sand at the beach!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Double Digits

My girl is officially 10 now!  I told her she's making me feel old.  She was super excited to be turning double digits.  She did have a few moments of mourning for leaving behind age nine though.  She thought it was sad that she will never again be a single digit and I think she was feeling like she had to grow up overnight now that she's 10.  We've had a few talks and she feels better knowing that 10 really isn't all that different from 9 and we certainly aren't in a hurry for her to grow up.  She breathed a sigh of relief to hear it since she clearly is still enjoying being a kid.  She is so sweet with all her worries and thoughtfulness.  I'm happy to still have her as my little girl for a while longer.  We had a very full day of celebrating.  She chose to go see The Lego Movie as a family instead of having a party with friends (I was excited for that choice because I really want to see that movie and then I didn't have to worry about a party!).  Since the movie isn't actually out yet, we filled our day with other things and are planning to see the movie when it comes out.  We started with a special pancake breakfast, followed by the normal Saturday morning golf lessons that both our kids take.  After golf we headed to Steak and Shake for lunch (her brother's choice for his birthday too) where she got a huge shake for free!  We came home and she opened all her gifts.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to ship gifts to her!  She loved getting her own packages.  After that we went to Target where she spent some birthday money she had gotten and we ended the day with pizza, cake and a movie.  Whew!  It was a pretty full day.  

My sweet 10 year old!

Excited.  A little...

Still excited...

There...a normal face.  She's glad she can still show how old she is with her fingers.  She was pondering how she would show it when she's 11.

Opening her gifts.  I like her Steak and Shake hat. :)

She was so excited about everything that day!

Having a little fun with the packing peanuts.

One of the things on her birthday list was a 'giant bag of candy'.  Her Aunt sent her this as part of her gift and I love her face in each of these pics.  She was so happy!

At Christmas her brother got a giant Beanie Ball and she wanted one too and Grandmama surprised her with this guy.  She loves it.

The giant guys were promptly introduced and began their silly antics.

She helped do every part of her cake this year.  She designed it herself too with a candy theme (of course!).  It turned out really nice and the Nerds where really yummy mixed in the icing.

I just love her cute expression in this picture.  That is her newest stuffed animal that she got at Target that day.  She named him Ruff Buddie.  Spelled with an ie (I told her I thought it should be spelled with a y and she said, "Well, that's just how he spells it.")

Just another cute picture. :)

I've been trying to do this little survey with my kids each year on their birthday.  I think this is the first time I've done it with her...I can't find any links to her old answers.  :(  I did find this old survey I did with her on Facebook from when she was 5.  It's pretty cute.  Here is this year's survey.

~~Age 10~~
~How old are you? 10
~How does being 10 make you feel? pretty good
~What do you want to learn this year? how to be really good at drawing dogs
~What was the best thing about being 9? that I was older than 8
~What did you do today?  went to Steak and Shake for lunch and had a giant shake and we also ate cake and I opened presents
~What is your favorite color? hot pink
~What is your favorite food? pepperoni pizza
~Who is your favorite person? I guess you (I like that answer) :)
~What grade are you in? 4th
~What is your favorite thing to do at school?  Art
~What is your favorite game to play? I like playing Chess
~What do you like to do with Daddy?  I like, um, uh, playing football with him.
~What do you like to do with Mommy? Having girl time where we make bracelets (the rubber band loom kind) and watch tv.
~What do you like to do with your brother?  I like, hmm, I'm thinking...playing outside with him and playing tag.

~What’s your favorite thing to do with the whole family? have movie night
~What’s your favorite store? Give me a minute to think about that...I'm trying to think of a store that sells candy...can you help me out with this? (I suggested Target or Toys R Us) I like Target.
~What’s your favorite place to eat? I like so many restaurants. I like Olive Garden, I like Wendy's, I like McDonalds, I like Jets Pizza. (No favorite?) No not really.
~What’s your favorite book? Anne of Green Gables. (Really?) Why? Should I not like that book? (No, it's one of my favorites too and I didn't know you liked it that much.) Oh, well, I really like that book. Well, I don't know, I like a lot of books. (Like what?) Smells like Treasure, The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog, and a bunch of other books.
~What’s your favorite song? Uh...this is hard. I like the "I Love Candy" (she sang it) song. I don't really have a favorite, but I like that song.
~What’s your favorite thing about God? That He is so cool and powerful, because if He wasn't then He couldn't have made me and I wouldn't be alive and that would be sad.
~What do you want to be when you grow up? Something that has to do with working with dogs, but I'm not exactly sure yet. (like a vet?) Sort of. (I thought you hate blood and stuff.) I do. I just want to work with dogs, but not be a veterinarian.

I love my sweet girl so much. I still can't believe she's 10! It's flying by and I keep thinking it's only going to be 6 more years until she can drive! Whoa...that just blows my mind how fast she's growing up. I am so grateful for the time I have with her due to homeschooling because it will seriously be over before I know it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Week 4

This week I learned my lesson and I actually took my camera out on multiple occasions and snapped some pictures.  We went on another walk to the bay and the kids climbed their favorite tree.  We had one really gorgeous day where we did school out on the balcony.  Then another cold front moved in and I had to wear my winter coat yesterday.  Yes, I am turning into one of those people that I made fun of when I first moved here. The ones walking around in sweaters and Ugg boots when it was like 60 degrees out.  You really do get used to the weather though and just for the record it has been getting into the 30's at night, so I'm not that much of a wimp.  The most exciting news of this week is that my girl got a haircut.  A major haircut.  She loves it and so do I.  Also, her birthday is tomorrow so we've spent the week in anticipation of that.  I can't believe she is going to be 10!  She said this morning that since today is her last day of being 9 she is really going to savor it.  I love her.  She says the cutest things.  Here are my favorite photos of this week!

Normally the bay water is all the way up under that tree.  I guess we were there at low tide.

That is the Bayside Bridge in the distance.  We hear people drag racing on it sometimes late at night.  You can't hear the traffic normally though, so this is actually a really peaceful spot.

This is the tree from the first photo.  It is such a humongous, awesome tree that even I can climb it.  The limbs are so huge that you can walk right out onto them and it's like you are walking on a path.  The kids could climb there all day.  They love it.  The first time we climbed it the tide was up and I was so nervous they were going to fall into the Bay. This time with the tide out it wasn't as scary.  I'm interested to see what the water is like next time we go.

I debated on whether to include this photo, but I decided I like way the water is sparkling and the sun is shining and I like the shadow behind my girl so here it is.  I took this at a little park we drove to that I've always wanted to stop at.  There is a trail and at the end is this little beach.  That's the Bay and the tide was out.  Also, remember the Bayside Bridge in the photo above?  Right behind where I was standing is where the bridge connects to the land.  So while it was really pretty from this angle, from the other angle you were looking at the underside of a massive highway.  So we probably won't be frequenting this little beach much anymore, but it was fun to explore!

I had to include a photo of my girl's new hairdo!  I love it.  She always had a bob when she was younger and I just think she has the perfect face for it.  It's so much easier for her to take care of too.

She was not in the mood for photos, but I wanted to share these because it looks really short in the first photo because it's tucked behind her ear.  These are a better view of the actual haircut.  

I'm getting back in the groove of Photo Friday and I'm so glad that it's back! I've taken so many more photos than I normally would have.  Now the challenge is to be more consistent and get more creative.  I'm working on it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I have a confession to make.  I kinda, the teensiest, tiniest little bit, miss the snow.  I feel guilty saying it after the years and years of complaints against winter.  But really it's not the snow I hate, it's the feeling cold all the time and the dreariness and the feeling trapped inside all the time.  So, I'm going to apologize to the beautiful snow for being lumped in with all my complaints.  Nothing can really compare to the beauty of the sparkling snow covering the world in it's blanket.  And snow pictures are some of my favorites.  Luckily when we were in Ohio over the holidays there was the tiniest dusting of snow one day and I was able to snap this lovely photo of my girl playing in it.

Her snow clothes were a mish mash of leftovers from last year and that gorgeous coat was one I got from a swap at our old church and it looked so perfect on her I kinda wish she had an excuse to wear it down here. But only a tiny bit. :)  My girl loves snow so I'm really glad she got to play in it this year.  I hope next winter we are able to go somewhere and experience at least one good snowy day.  But just one.  Let me know if you know where that exists!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas was a whirlwind this year.  It just seemed to fly by!  Which is kinda weird because normally at Christmas we are way busier but since we moved and we don't have as many friends, there weren't as many parties and commitments like their usually are.  I'm kinda glad though.  It seemed more relaxed.  I missed a few of the traditions though like the church children's program and the choir cantata.  This year we traveled for the first time ever at Christmas.  It was kinda weird to wake up Christmas morning and not be at your own house...but then again, we were at my mom's which is my childhood home, so it felt kinda comforting to me.  We were only able to get away for 5 days because my husband was the new man at his company this year, which meant last dibs for vacation time.  It all worked out fine though.  Originally we were going to have to drive home on Christmas Day, but the week before his boss changed it and we were able to change the dates around so that we could come home the day after.

We had a bunch of stuff crammed into our 5 days at 'home'.  It's starting to get confusing calling Ohio home, because now Florida feels like home.  Anyway, we saw friends and family and I was even able to have a girl's night out.  It was really nice to see everyone and made me miss them so much!  But in a way, it was like I had never left and no time had passed at all.  I hope we are able to continue fitting back in so well and that it never gets awkward, because I intend to come back and visit a lot.

No Christmas post is complete without the usually overkill of photos, so I'm just gonna share and tell some more as I do.  Here goes...

 We started our trip at the in-laws.  The cousins love to be silly together!  I love my girl's face on the top left...I have no idea what gift she had just opened but she must have found it disturbing or something. :)  My boy got the one present that he was dying for and I was so glad he got it early so that way he could finally stop talking about it.

He may have been slightly spoiled this year...

My cutie pie nieces!

The next day my mom hosted a Christmas party for our family so we could get a chance to see everyone.  The kids had so much fun.  We did a white elephant gift exchange which is always a hit.  That singing lobster has been passed around for 4 years now I think!  I'm just really glad we didn't get it!

Wow...that's a lot of kids.  My kids have even more cousins who weren't there!

These are the cousins from my mom's side of the family.  This picture just makes me laugh.  It isn't a good family photo unless at least one kid is crying. ;)

These are my kids with my nieces and nephew.  All of my mom's grandkids (minus one that was born like a week after I took this!).

Next up...Christmas Eve.  My girl wore this dress that was my mom's when she was a little girl!  Isn't it gorgeous!?  She was so excited to wear it and loved that it was old-fashioned.  I think it's pretty timeless. It fit her perfectly too.  I also wore this when I was around her age.  I wish I had a picture.  Someday we'll dig one up, I'm sure.

My boy.  Doing his model face and his fake smile and then cracking himself up...pretty typical.

A new family picture.   I need to start up my 4 people 12 times again because this is one of maybe two or three photos of us together that I took all year.

Seeing this pic just reminded me that I had a collage of all my kids' Christmases so far and I need to add this to it.

More nieces!  I love these two cuties.  I now have 5 nieces and still just 1 favorite nephew. ;)

Opening gifts.  My sister was on bed rest and had her baby just a few days after this!  I am so sad that I haven't gotten to meet her yet, but Skype really helps.

My girl is the perfect height for walking her baby cousin around.  They were so cute together.

 Best friends.  I love these two together.

She is such a cutie pie!  I love pictures with Christmas lights in the background.

Warming their little butts.  Too cute. :)

Christmas morning.  Both kids were so excited about that giant penguin.  We now have the whole collection.  My boy loves those guys.  My girl got a skimboard and a Kindle.   My boy got Legos and a Furby that he was clearly less than thrilled about.  I took a bunch of videos instead of photos, so I really didn't get that many of them opening gifts.

Well, thanks for reading if you made it all the way through this!  Now that I've got the Christmas blog off my list, I'll get back to more of our Florida adventures next time.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Week 3

So...I did it again.  I let a whole week go by without picking up my camera or blogging.  This week I'm blaming it on American Idol.  I was all set to write a couple blog posts the other day when I realized the new season was on and decided to dedicate 4 hours of my life to watching it this week.  I have priorities people. ;)  Anyway, I have a whole list of things to blog about including Christmas.  I'd like to post about Christmas before it's a distant memory and I forget all about it.  So that's my goal this week.  Feel free to remind me about it if I forget. I really have no excuse for not picking up my camera.  I guess nothing we did this week seemed photo worthy.  We didn't really go anywhere because it's been kinda cold.  Like in the 50's, which I know for some of you seems like a really nice spring day, but here it feels like the dead of winter!  We did go on a walk down to the bay one day and we found the most amazing little beach and this super cool tree that was growing right on the beach and leaning out into the water.  It was huge and beautiful and I even climbed it!  It was very climbing friendly and sturdy.  Of course I didn't take my camera with me. Ugh, I was kicking myself the whole time we were there.  I took a few photos with my phone, but I'm still in the dark ages and have a Blackberry and the camera on it is awful.  :(  I am going to upgrade soon and I can't wait.  In the meantime I have an excuse to take another walk to the bay, this time with camera in hand (or around my neck).  So, back to this week's photos.  I just took them this morning while the kids were playing around.  I guess it just goes to show that you don't need to do anything 'photo worthy' to still get a great photo.  Here are my favorites.

My baby playing with his Lego toys.  I love the back light coming from the window behind him and how it really emphasized his profile.

Intense concentration.  I couldn't decide which of these photos I liked best, so I'm sharing both.

I love this.  Every time it's cold outside in the mornings we get condensation on our sliding glass doors.  I like how this looks like abstract art, and how I'm probably the only person who knows just what those shapes really are.

My girl was having a dance party.  She's got some interesting moves. :)

I saved my absolute favorite for last.  I rarely get a sort of relaxed expression from him like this on camera.  He was actually standing there being silly and asking me to take pictures of his armpits (boys are so weird!) and this is one of the shots I got from the in between moments.  I wasn't actually focusing on his armpits, but his face, only he didn't realize it.  I love getting photos that way.  It's like a fun little challenge for me.

I hope you have a great weekend!  I swear I'm going to be better at my own project next week.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo Friday 2014 ~ Week 2

I looked at my calendar this morning and felt a small twinge of panic when I realized that is was somehow Friday again already and I hadn't taken one single photo this week!  I guess this just proves that I really do need some sort of project to keep me motivated and accountable.  I do have a whole list of things that I want to write blog posts about, but actually sitting down and writing them is a problem for me lately.  I really can't pinpoint why.  I think I've just had a lot on my mind.  We are trying to make some schooling decisions and those always weigh heavily on my mind.  I might even write a post about it to help me clarify my feelings.  When I have to write them down they become much more focused.  I tend to shy away from posts about homeschooling because I feel like people might judge us, but I've pretty much gotten over it.  So if you've ever wondered how I'm feeling about school issues, get ready, because I might just spill it soon.  :)

Back to my photos this week.  I took these today obviously.  We went for a walk after lunch and I took my camera.  I didn't really have any goal in mind.  I just snapped away at a bunch of stuff on the way.  These are my favorites...

My silly girl.  I actually love this because it's just so perfectly representative of how she is right now.  She's on the verge of turning 10 and it's an interesting stage.  She's not self conscious at all and so silliness is abundant, and she's even more dramatic then ever which makes for some intensity that is challenging, but she's still a little girl.  My little girl.

He follows her lead of course.  Love the fishy lips.

I love palm trees and I love her. :)

I actually took this one right before we headed out for our walk.  This is some sort of plant that is growing right out of the side of our balcony.  I admire it's determination to grow out of nothing.

Of course this boy had to take off his shirt before we even made it home.  I love this.  I love how dark it is.  Not my usual style, but I've been drawn to darker photos lately for some reason.

That's it for now.  I'll hopefully get another post up before next week's Photo Friday sneaks up on me!


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