Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Re-Cap

One more photo from yesterday - with the added twist of a reflection. But it is today's POTD.

What can I say, it was a busy day getting things besides photography done.

But I did go to a design team meeting for Keepsakes by Design and the plans for the next four or five months are really exciting. We drooled over catalogs, chatted excitedly about new products released at CHA, and made plans for classes and events.

I'm going to have a lot of classes to teach, and I'm excited. I'll get to use products from Basic Grey, 7 Gypsies, Tim Holtz, Melissa Francis, Prima, Donna Downey, and oh so much more! I'm pretty excited. I'll be doing tags, mini albums, scrapbook pages, altered items, and . . . I can't believe I'm saying this, but cards too! I feel like such a failure with cards, but I'm going to give it a whirl using Studio 490 stamps and grunge paper. I pray I do well with all of this!

Also got to have a friend over to to chat this afternoon while the boys were off at Grandma and Grandpa's watching the Stanford basketball team lose in a big way. I think I got the better end of that deal! Jennifer, I enjoyed our relaxing time this afternoon - just what I needed! Although J did get to go sledding with his grandma, so he's pretty happy with his day. The only one not so pleased it the Stanford Cardinal fan, but he gets over it pretty quick.

As I type the guys are in the kitchen making a special batch of chocolate chip/m&m cookies to take to the Super Bowl party at Grandma and Grandpa's tomorrow. And I am off to my craft room to get going on some of those classes I need to design!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Down By The River Side!

Went down to the Gallatin River, just under a little bridge I know to take photos of the ice as it's breaking up. It was a beautiful day today with warm sunshine to enjoy. Loved it!

Here is a SOOC of my POTD shot:

Don't worry, I played with it!

Then same thing with some PSE fiddling - I'm a total PSE hack, but I'm starting to be brave with a bit more exploration of what I can do:

Then with the Goldenrod Black and White Conversion:

And lastly with a Sepia conversion.

Finally, I picked this guy up from school and we went back to the river because I just had to show him how totally cool it is!

Plus, it's Friday, and we need to do something pure fun after school on Fridays just to make it special.

First weekend with no studying, and I'm hoping to be very relaxed. Have a design team meeting at the LSS, where I'll get to hear all about CHA from my buddies and plan for classes to be taught between now and June. Kind of excited about that!

Not making much progress on the quilt - not looking like it will be done for the birthday. Sort of a bummer, but sometime I just think I can do too much in too short a time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm a little under the weather today, but dealing with it. I hate that half way in between feeling good and being sick. I always want to cancel everything but then I get bored and need something to do. That was today - back and forth between I'm too sick to do something and I'm too well to do nothing.

I did go on a walk with Andy and shot a couple of photos:

We found a new little road in our small town that takes us up to this view of the Gallatin River. It is a road I hope to take J biking on this summer.

Struggling with J and school. Not him understanding his work, but him being focused and organized enough to complete it and get it turned in. It seems just when he's had a couple days of bringing home really great scores he suddenly takes a nose dive and blows it. I know it is only third grade and not like these things will keep him out of college or anything. Still, it is such a let down whenever the screw ups come. I want to cling to the fact that he shows every sign of understanding the materials he's studying - it's third grade and he's working problems like:

25 + n = 47.

And he can figure it out correctly. That is a good sign that he's probably not lagging behind in his actual math skills. But I have no idea how to teach him to focus so he can finish in the time allotted. And keeping his papers such that he can find them . . . well, that seems like an insurmoutable task right now.

Somebody tell me, do boys mature into some of these focusing and organizational skills, of have I messed up and left him without an important life skill? Parenting is so full of unknowns!

1 Peter 5:6 was discussed on the radio as I was driving home from town today (one of the four trips I had to take, which is absolutely dispicable!). It says:

"Humble yourself, therefore, under God's mighty hand,

that he may lift you up in due time."

That verse sticks with me today, and I'm pondering it. No sudden insight, just a need to think about that. Especially what it is to humble myself to God's hand, and that the lifting up comes "in due time." What is due time? I guess only God knows, so the implication is a need to trust His timing. Those are my thoughts there.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playing playing!

Went for a drive this afternoon to see what I could see. Here it is:
Played with a couple of them in PSE. What I am most pleased with is that they reflect the starkness of today's weather/landscape combination.

It's Wednesday!

Just in case you didn't know already. I'm having a hard time keeping track! It's also one week from J's birthday. My POTD is this birthday gift for him that I need to finish! Like fast! Help! I'm going to have to be busy. But I love the bright colors! Also have this page to share that I made last night (when I probably should have been sewing on the quilt). I did it for the BASB challenge this week, which is to do a page using one piece of patterned paper and no cardstock. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
I used Creative Imaginations paper and then added some older Heidi Grace rubons, and of course the prima flowers. But the centers of the flowers are pretty special. See:

I used pieces of vintage lace that my friend Tamara gave to me for my birthday. It is beautiful stuff, and it made great centers. The full lace is on the page too, so it all ties together.

Pictures are of my niece this past summer while camping. We'd done a pre-breakfast dip in a natural hot spring, and she was all bundled up for the hike back to camp. She's beautiful and has the best expressions - no hiding the way that child feels. Gotta love it!

Had a productive morning, but need to go so the afternoon doesn't waste away!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's been a while!

Yes, last night I got the first chance in over a month to do a scrapbook page.

After that long it felt good to work on this project. I'm ambivalent about my project and about sharing it with everyone. One thing is that this page is flat, and that is not normal for me. That makes me a bit uncomfortable. But, who cares! I'm back to getting some scrapbooking done.

It's all with the January Studio Calico kit, which I opened for the first time last night. The some of the paper is Studio Calico's own brand, and I wasn't sure what to do with it but I knew I liked it.

I'm doing okay with the transition back to regular life. J is better and off to school today. Temps are still bitter cold - well below zero. And my to do list is getting longer and longer.

I want to say that God has mysterious ways of working, and even as I went through the day yesterday several things happened that demonstrate he may be opening an unexpected door or two that would have remained shut during a study period.

As we are working hard to teach J:

"Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18. It so applies to this situation. I will not wallow (really it is easy to find things to rejoice about). Praying is a constant in our lives these days because honestly Andy and I without any ability on our own to manage our lives - clearly God has responded to our prayers about doing the right thing by bringing this correction in our current directions. And frankly, knowing where to go from here is something I cannot do on my own - need lots of time on my knees to get the answers to that quandary. There are so many things to be thankful for and this situation is one of them.

But for me, the most reassuring part of that verse it that God has a will for me in Christ Jesus. It includes rejoicing, praying and giving thanks. But it is so much more than that. If I let Him, he will carve out for me a life that is exactly what He wants for me. I am the one who often gets in the way of His plans, not the other way around. That is humbling and reassuring all at the same time.

Off to care for my home and family, and wait on direction from the Lord!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Change in Plans

Might as well get this out of the way first thing.

Is that good or bad? Frankly, I'm not sure - there are advantages and disadvantages no matter what I do. This decision came about out of necessity and practicality. The decision making process was driven by my husband but I'm not blaming him by saying that. He just has the final word on these kind of things, and I respect that. It is not easy to give up on doing this when I've put so much work into it, but I'm trying to look at is as an opportunity to do some other things.

So, what happened? We had hit a bit of a bump in the road/potential ditch in that California would not allow me to practice law in Montana unless I change my status with their Bar Association from inactive to active. But the cost of doing that is not practical at this time, and the deadline for doing it is next Monday. In order to come current on the continuing legal education requirements and the increased dues it would have cost us literally thousands of dollars we just aren't going to have next week or in the next 60 -90 days.

I guess I sort of knew this could be an issue, but didn't really put it all together until yesterday. Then I chewed on it all day, talked with Andy about the possibility of just dropping out of the California Bar so they would have no authority over what I do in Montana, but he was adamantly opposed to that. He would rather delay the whole process a year and have me keep both Bar memberships. There is some logic in that, and there is some value in the California membership, but emotionally I'm frustrated with California for thinking they can reach beyond their boarders and control me. If I wanted to practice in California, I can see needing to submit to their supervision, but why should they care if I practice somewhere else? Really, it is that they want the higher dues of my active status - a money maker for them!

What now?

Umm, I'm going to get our taxes ready, clean my house to the degree I want it to be clean, hopefully do some crafting by the end of the week, resume daily (or most days) walks with my husband, and try to be more organized with my days than I was before I started to study for the bar.

Today I'm adjusting the the idea. And taking care of J, who has the stomach flu - although he's recovering now after a pretty rough night.

I did run into town this morning to pick up school work for J and have a meeting about the school fundraiser dinner. And it is cold today - double digit negative numbers this morning. It showed on the back of the car, which had to be addressed half way to town with the scraper because the wiper just couldn't get it clean.

Now it is after noon, and the temps are still sub-zero, but I think only by a few degrees. But, it is clear and sunny - really quite beautiful.

And, I might take a bit of a nap here on the couch in the sun of the living room.

Regrouping unexpectedly is always a challenge for me. I need to rise to the occasion and do that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Totally Whimpy Today!

My photo taking was not high priority today. I did it as I drove out of the library parking to go pick J up from a Birthday party. Got this one of some graffiti that I presume has a bit of a Native American influence (not a surprise here in Montana). But what I was really after was this roof, which caught my eye from the library window as I was studying. I had to climb on the roof of my Subaru to get this (don't tell my husband I was up there) and it was only 2F out, so I was trying not to slip off, get knocked unconscious and die of the cold before anyone found me. The view wasn't as great as I wanted when I got up there, but I took the shot anyway because after all that effort I needed to drive away with something! So this is my POTD.
Hopefully tomorrow will have something more interesting to look at. Thanks for looking! Hope your week gets off to a great start!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

White Water

Water water every where, not a drop to drink. Yes, this is a photo of Beaver Creek - but you can't see the creek for all the frozen white stuff. But there is a treasure trove of little crystal scenes in my yard.
The flakes are so beautifully formed, and they are so light.
When you walk outside it looks more like the cottonwood trees are dropping their fluff than actual snow.
Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Technology Allows . . .

these photos to be played with . . .

and become these . . .

The end of a long week. J has two friends from school over and it is so nice to see them playing together. We absolutely have to do this more often.

My studying was side tracked the past three days, and needs to get on track a.s.a.p. Tomorrow it is off to Saturday at the library for at least 3.5 hours. Maybe more. Then off to Grandma and Grandpas for Andy's birthday celebration.

I'm feeling a bit like this old stove I saw at the rodeo grounds today:

old and tired and a bit worn out. Good thing the weekend is here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Gift

We are working on a birthday gift for Andy. It doubles as my POTD but isn't on any themes. J picked the place, and we went and took our photo today. He likes the flags on this wall.
Yes, that is me looking not my very best in the above photos. Below, I like me better, but J isn't looking very cute/happy. I'm giving J's appearance the priority when I select a photo for this project because he is starting to notice if he looks goofy in a photo, and doesn't want those. Will be sending it off to Costco tonight and picking it up on Saturday.

Hope Andy will like it. It is affordable and from the heart, so we're excited to give it to him.
It was fun to do it with J. Wish we could have taken more to get both of us looking our best at the same time. But J got bored pretty quickly and wanted to go get the Blizzard at Dairy Queen that I promised him. Guess that's an almost 9 year old boy for you.

Stressful part of the week is over. Got to see the power of prayer on several fronts today but not at liberty to share it all.
Very tired.

Time to get some sleep and get ready for tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tagged With a Challenge

I got tagged today by Heather and it sounds like some fun.
The tag challenge is to :
1.Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2.Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3.Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
4. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.
So here is the photo that I ended up with. The story behind this photo is that it is the daughter of a friend. My friend asked me to take her daughter's photos at our annual trip to Polson/Flathead Lake over Labor Day weekend. Apparently this beautiful young girl is camera shy for her mom, so I tried to sneak a few of her in throughout the weekend. This was when we were having a time of worship and Bible Study lake side on Sunday morning. Thanks Heather! This was a fun challenge!
I'm going to pass along the award and the photo challenge to Liz, Danielle, Jenn, Heather, Denise and Helen. All of you should have some pretty interesting photos to share! I'll be excited to see what you come up with.
This is my POTD, using Denise's prompt of "red". Its my boy, and I love him so.

He's doing so well in so many parts of school, but we are working on improving his penmanship, which really requires increasing his fine motor skills, and increasing his reading speed. He's not behind on the substance of his subjects, but he is struggling to keep up with the class as they go through the lessons. That results in quite a bit of homework to finish what he didn't get done in class. That is discouraging for him, and as he gets into fourth and fifth grade the problem will be compounded.

So, we are on a mission. Lots of reading at home to improve his speed (just reading to practice, not racing). Plus, I've looked up some small motor skill development exercises on line. Right now the poor guy is using a pair of tweezers to move dried split peas from one bowl to another. You try it, and see how fast you can do it!

To keep the big guy motivated, we've developed a point system - for doing the exercises he earns points. When he's earned 2500 points he gets a Wii - I need that many points so I have time to save up for the darn thing! He can earn from 20 to 50 points a day, with some exercises being mandatory and some be elective. So far he's excited about it, but then we're only on day two. The key is going to be me keeping the challenges interesting and varied so that it doesn't become boring.

The reading today is in the book: Drummer Boy's Battle. J is so hooked in it, he doesn't want to stop reading. He read out loud to me for over an hour, and got through 21 pages. He's pretty stoked. I think after that one we'll move on to Indian in the Cupboard, which I am excited about!

Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Looking Back: Looking forward!

I stayed in my car for almost an hour and a half to hear the radio broadcast of today's historic events.I remember when I was in 5th grade I became aware of the injustices that had been heaped upon African American people, and it stunned me. There was a family down the street from us who were black, and I remember looking at them and thinking "How can those horrible things have happened to people just like them? It's not fair." For some reason at that point it just all hit me - might have had something to do with the report I did for school about slavery. Anyway, that was 1974 or 1975, and I think at that time I would have hoped for a black president but thought it was not possible in my life time.

Now, here we are, and I'm driving my child to school trying to explain what makes this so special - a third grader does not quite get it as demonstrated by the fact that when I said this was our first African American president he said "Obama's African American?" with a great deal of puzzlement, followed with "I just thought he was American."

I admit to having serious disagreements with Obama on policy, but I also was really excited today as he was sworn in - more excited than any other inauguration I remember.

Congratulations to our country!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Many photos!

Photo shoot this morning went pretty well. There was a lot of blue sky and bright sun, but that is to be expected. And fortunately the sun was pretty low in the sky most of the time, so we had some space to work. At a little before 10 a.m. we headed into the barn and gave that a try - at the barn window. I haven't processed all of the photos by a long shot. Just chose a few random from throughout our time together and threw them up here.
I got permission to share a few of these photos, and am open to constructive criticism - really, help me make it better, whether its the next time I'm behind the camera or anytime with my pp. The black and whites are all the Goldenrod action from Photoblast/EZActions, which I'm pretty happy with, but willing to keep an open mind if you know of something better.
I also too a few shots of little things I noticed while out there. It helped that my friend is into photography too, and she was so excited by the little things she saw. Having her eyes on the property that is generally very familiar to me was such a blessing. A new perspective is some places. Love that!
I am using this one below as my POTD for this, January 20. It is peaking under a patch of snow that juts out over the creek.
Also got a walk in with my hubby today - wasn't at the library all day because it was closed for MLK day. So, studying from home allowed me to take a break with him. That was GOOD! So nice to have time to chat just a little. And we saw this: Yes, for free you can have this beautiful vintage home-made stove - if you get to it before my husband and I do. We're thinking it might be something Daniel would like - what do you think Daniel? A treasure by the side of the road for sure!
While on the walk I took this photo and will be using it as my current self portrait. I love it! Never before have I had such long legs - and skinny ones at that! I like to think of myself this way. Have a great Tuesday everyone!