Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School

It is back to school time around here ~ while I did enjoy the lazy days of summer and not having to get the kids up and off to school every morning, I so miss the routine that school brings to our day, especially the earlier bed times!!!

Trevor started High School on Monday, I don't know how that happened so fast as I'm pretty sure I just sent him off to his first day of Kindergarten a year or so ago!

This is the only photo I got of him on his first day, it was his idea to wait until the Tuesday morning so that we could include Meghan, aaahhhh, so sweet, right? Tuesday morning it was the "it's not the first day of school so why do we have to take pictures" line, somehow I knew his "thoughtfulness" was to good to be true!

He didn't have a lot to say about school besides "it's boring, my German teacher was trying to be funny but no one was laughing, it was really awkward, and there are only 2 freshman in my math class, all the rest are juniors, that is awkward". He went straight from classes to football practice, as he will just about everyday until the season is over so I didn't pick him up until 5:30, man that's a long day!

Tuesday was Meghan's first day of school, she wasn't overly excited to get back to school, although part of it may be that her cousins are in town and she would much rather be hanging out with them than going to school.

She is still at Gehringer and her teacher is Mrs. Snider. I don't really know the 2nd grade teachers but I did know Mrs. Snider and was hoping that is who she would get. I've heard from another parent that she is awesome, so I'm really excited to see what this year brings for little Miss Meghan!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting Away {Part 1}

Last week we got to take off and go camp for the week (somehow I never thought that would be something I would be happy about doing!). We spent the week up in Myers Flat in the Giant Redwoods. The week started off a little on the wet side but since we were snuggly in the trailer it really didn't matter, it rained mostly at night and sounded so cool pounding on the canvas, I'm sure it wasn't raining as had as it sounded. Since it was muddy and wet and on the cool side, there was some of this going on

On Wednesday we took off for a drive, it is so beautiful up there. We went to the Famous One Log House and saw tress that were 1800 years old and a log that was hollowed out and made into a house! A little on the tiny side, but considering it was a log . . . kinda cool how they made it work.

It cleared up mid-week and we were finally able to go down to the river . . . I'm sure it was only once or twice that the kids asked to go to the water, but it sure seemed like 100! Somehow they just do not see the beauty in kicking back and relaxing!

I spent much of the week reading my book on Lightroom, and can I tell you how happy I am that I have edited everyone of the photos 300ish that I took that are worth keeping and that I actually deleted many that were not worth keeping! That is huge for me. I also figured out how to make templates in Lightroom, so quick to do and I can blog so many more of them!

Stay tuned for part 2, it's time for me to step away from this computer I've been sitting at for more hours than I care to count!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It finally feels like summertime!

The rain has finally gone away and the temps hit the 80's and 90's this week. Hard to believe last week it was storming! That's ok, I'll take a little sun.

I've had lots of things I've wanted to blog but I've been pre-occupied with getting my new computer up and running. The hard drive on the old computer decided to die a month ago and we decided not to invest any $$$ to fixing a 3 year old computer, which is good and bad I suppose, but we were not planning on getting a new computer but after a week of working on the old laptop decided it really wasn't an option! Let me tell you how awesome Backblaze is though. Backblaze is an offsite backup system that works behind the scenes constantly backing up your files. Daryl was very much against me doing something like this a few years ago when I signed up with Mozy, I had been bugging him for is ok when that computer had a little crash, we were lucky enough to save the hard drive on that computer and recover all my data, so needless to say, I signed up for Mozy without his ok after that. He has finally come around to it being ok!

I switched to backblaze from Mozy a few months ago due to Mozy's outrageous price increase ($5.00 to about $30.00). You never know how good or bad off-site storage is until you need it, and at that point, it's too late, right? Well I have to say I was very impressed! 90% of my data is on an external hard drive, so I knew when the computer failed even if Backblaze didn't live up to what it was supposed to do I would still have my 40,000+ photos and thousands of digital supplies and most of my documents. But the things that always worries me are the thousands of emails and things I've saved in Outlook, would I really be able to recover all of my contacts and saved emails?

I purchased a new copy of Microsoft Office from Academic Superstore. This is a great site if you or your children are in school, there are tons of programs that you can get at a very discounted rate. I downloaded what looked to be my outlook data file from Backblaze and saved it to my computer, I installed outlook and when you set it up the first time it asks you if you want to import data, so I pulled in the file that I hoped contained all my data, and like magic outlook opened with EVERYTHING, looking just like I had left it a few weeks ago. I was seriously doing the happy dance!

What I have learned or I guess reminded, because I did know that my Photoshop Elements Catalog was not being backed up, is that I need to back up the catalog separately so that I don't lose all the tagging and organizing of the photos, which I hadn't done. This was actually ok since I can also access it from the laptop, but not ok when I had a space issue on the EHD that I was backing up to and in the end couldn't get to the catalog on either computer, and had to resort a data recovery tool to find the catalog! So now I am putting a reminder on my calendar to back it up monthly along with iTunes. Silly me thought that once I downloaded iTunes on my new computer and singed into my account all of my purchases would appear. Well, no, apparently they don't. Apparently you are also supposed to be making a back up straight out of iTunes of all of your iTunes stuff. So, I'm not to sure what is going to happen the first time I plug in my iPhone and iPad . . . . how soon is icloud coming?

As of last night I finally have PSE up and running on both the computers along with a new program, adobe Lightroom. I've been hearing/reading a lot about this program and am going to give it a try, the biggest draw for me is that you can batch edit photos that need the same type of editing, that will save a ton of time. I'm having some attachment issues with my photoshop catalog though, so I will probably be keeping it up to date until I'm more comfortable in Lightroom.

So, all that to say that has been what I've been doing the last month, along with all of the end of year activities that were going on with the kids. This school year went by so quickly and I now have a 2nd grader and a high schooler! YIKES!!!! High School!!!! It really doesn't seem real. He doesn't let me take many pictures of him these days, but I twisted his arm before his 8th Grade Dance to let me take a few ~

ok, time to get on with my day, happy Saturday everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mustard Weeds

The weather actually cooperated with us and we made it out to the mustard weeds, the sun even poked through for a little bit. For some reason I thought that as the girls got older this little adventure would get a little easier . . . uuuummmmmm . . . not so much. But in the end we got a few cute shots and made some memories!




The girls loved climbing up the hill and throwing their "wedding" flowers up in the air.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Antique Store Finds

I love going to Antique stores and finding just the right something that I never knew I needed but can't live without! Steph and I went over to our local Antique store a few weekends ago, I had been wanting to go for weeks but hadn't made it over there, and I found several new treasures!

I've decided to collect mismatched silver (thanks Steph for the great idea!) so here is the beginning of my collection, needs a little polishing though!

Then I found this cool tin, I've always love containers! And I've been wanting something to put the dog food in, this is perfect and fits perfectly by the dog bowl, it is very rusty but love how it looks. And I must be rubbing off on husband, I thought for sure he would wonder what the heck I saw in that, but he actually liked it!

And the an old suitcase, these are good for storing craft supplies in, and it was brown and red and matched my scrap room, so I had to have it, right?

And my best find of the day was an old headboard, I've been looking for headboards for both the kids beds and saw some possibilities in this one. The best part is the lady said it was priced to high (I didn't think so, and I'm so not good at bartering with them!) so she took $10 off!

So after a little sanding and a few coats of paint and some more sanding, Meg got a new headboard for her bed.

I love how it turned out and the little table that I picked up in Sutter Creek in December that was still waiting for a little make over looks perfect with it.

Love the babies tucked into her bed!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break

It is officially Spring!!! Yeah . . . we made it!!!! I love spring, the longer days, warmer weather, although I'm still waiting for the warmer part!

I'm very happy because spring means that my favorite mustard weeds are popping up everywhere.
And I'm even more excited because my 2 cute nieces are coming this weekend and I'm really hoping that the weather will be somewhat cooperative so that we can go take a few pictures like we did 2 years ago. Crossing my fingers as the forecast is looking very wet.

The kids have been off of school all of last week and this week. I'm sure I've said it before, but I really do like this modified schedule. It seems like it is just about the time that the kids have had about enough and I'm at my wits end with getting everyone up and going in the morning and homework in the afternoon, that break time comes. Two weeks of no routine is nice, I usually take a few days off to break it up a bit for the kids and to not have to burden any one person with them for 2 weeks!!! Today and tomorrow are 2 of those days, I love days with no agenda.

We have been getting a few projects done around here which also makes me very happy! I brought this phone home from Mom's house last October or November. it's been sitting in the living room since then waiting for me to decide on it's new home.

I finally decided on the small wall next to the entertainment unit in the family room. Well, I decided on it awhile ago, but I had to have Daryl actually hang it, it's HEAVY and I don't need if falling out of the wall, which is probably what would have happened IF I had hung it up!!! This phone belonged to Mama & Popi, and I so remember Popi holding me up to it as a kid and turning the handle to make it ring. It was still hanging in Mama's house when we lived there. but we didn't take it down when we left.

It ended up at Mom's house and she was {gasp} thinking of selling it!!!! Well, I couldn't let that happen, so I brought it home, along with the desk and the high chair that were also Mama's. Greg was also parting with his old typewriter, so it came along for the ride too! I love antique furniture and old, dirty, grimy stuff!

And I already had this cradle that also belonged to Mama. (Don't laugh at the funky looking pillows! The patchwork one I made with my Grandma Topps and the green one in the back was Mama's, I used it to sleep on when I would spend the night with her).

ok, well enough about all my old stuff! Gotta go run to Safeway for some cheap tortilla's and then get some dinner started, no excuse for not making dinner when I've been home all day, LOL!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


LIP being the operative word here. Meghan called me into the bathroom tonight after she had taken a bath, this is what I saw! When I asked her what the heck was all over her face, she said Lipstick! I had a moment of "oh my goodness what the heck have you done to yourself, you are so in TROUBLE!" But then I decided it was best to just close the door, laugh, and of course yell for Trevor to bring me up the camera!

Luckily with a little baby oil it came right off. And this is her "I'm so sorry Mom" face!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Catching Up

Seems like I'm always catching up, why is that? I'm either terrible with time management or there is just to much to do or that I want to do! I'd like to think I'm not too bad with time management, LOL!

I think we are all finally healthy. Since my last post Meghan had a relapse and Daryl finally joined in our fun. But it's been a week now and we are all well.

We celebrated Trevor's 14th birthday, here are a few bad photos! Boy am I ready for springtime and some light. I've got to figure out how the heck to get decent pictures in my dark living, oh, I mean family room.

I also went to parent's night at Freedom High School. I guess that is what happens when you have a boy turn 14, but I still can't believe we are already registering for High School! I have to say that I walked away feeling it would be ok! The Principal and Counselors that spoke all seemed genuinely interested in the students and it felt like a very nurturing environment. But seriously . . . High School! Trev is actually really excited, and High School has changed so much since I was there 25 years ago. There was a whole course catalog with so many elective options it's crazy, so much more than what we had, so many options to help them prepare for College, it is kind of exciting.

I'm knee deep in 2 different on-line classes right now, what was I thinking? I'm loving Karen Russell's Photographers Workshop, she is an awesome teacher. I feel like these first few weeks have been sort of a review of many things I already know and hoping that as we progress she will hit the areas I'm still weak in, such as low light family room shooting! And we've all been waiting for probably a year or more for Jessica to come out with her final advanced digital scrapbooking class, and of course it started the week after the photography class did! I'm very behind but that's ok, got through the first lesson today and am loving digging into photoshop again and I plan on spending much of this rainy 3-day weekend at the computer, catching up!

Oh, and I almost forgot the other big news of our newest addition ~ meet Oreo our hamster.

We got this for Meghan, our pet lover. She had begged me to go to the pet store on Saturday, which we did, just to look. She really really really wanted a hamster, but I told her that she would have to convince her Dad. She had gotten him to agree to go to the pet store on Sunday, but then Meg ended going home with Kaitlyn so that they could go shopping and to see the new Justin Bieber movie! So Daryl, Trev and I went by to take a look on our way home. Somehow we got him to let us bring one home!!!

We surprised Meg on Sunday night after dinner. We were at the Tidwells house and decided to play a round of "telephone", one of her favorite games. I clued Kaitlyn in that she need to say "what should Meghan name her new hamster?"

Can you tell she was surprised? Here she is watching the video Daryl took on his iPhone.

And her first look when we got home.

She's in love, she sleeps in her room and so far hasn't woke her up a night spinning on the wheel, or me either for that matter!

oh and mom, take a look at these ~

yep, the heels that we both told her NO to. She went shopping with Kaitlyn and she took her purse, which had her VISA gift card in it. And what is the first thing she does, goes and buys something I told her I wouldn't buy for her. Oh the teenage years are going to be such fun, I can tell already.

Ok, well this ended up being a long post!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I ordered these 3 right after Christmas, 2 of then really cheap cause I had a groupon from Love Stamped for them, they other one I just ordered from The Rusted Chain cause I wanted something with my "word" for the year on it. I love them! I've been eying this style of jewelry for awhile and just never could decide WHAT it was I wanted! The one with the camera says "capture life" and then the last one has 5 different charms on it, mine & Daryl's initials, the kids names, on that says EST. 9-8-91, and one that says love.

I think I have one more groupon left, hummmmm . . . what else should I order?

Will the germs please leave now?

So my last post was about my sick babies, of which one missed the entire week of school, and today asked if we could please leave the house for a little bit, I think HE is finally feeling better. Ended up taking him to the doctor yesterday when he was still feeling pretty bad, I was afraid he might have ended up with pneumonia and/or bronchial asthma, like I did. Luckily his lungs are clear and he got some antibiotics and is finally feeling better. Now if that cough would just go away! I'm feeling much better . . . amazing what 1 dose of antibiotic and a mucinex will do for you when your feeling really bad! So Trev and I have pretty much spent the week home together coughing in sync with each other, so not fun, I wouldn't recommend it at all.

So most of my photos this week looked like this

And why the 5 bottles of liquid antibiotic you ask? Well, my son, since he was a baby, has had a major gag reflex and can't get most pills down. A motrin is about all he can do. I tried to give him a mucinex yesterday morning since it had helped me so much. I gave him pudding and said to put it in a bite of pudding and then just swallow, well, I almost ended up with chocolate pudding in my face! So the doctor was concerned that the pill form would be to large for him, so she prescribed liquid, a lot of liquid. Even at the pharmacy they asked why it was for a liquid when he was 14 years old and told me that my insurance may not cover it that way. Great . . . but luckily they did cover it and my receipt shows that my insurance saved me $219.00, so I'm thinking that I basically got 5 prescriptions for my one $5.00 co-pay! And I don't have to get a pill down his throat, thank goodness!

So hoping to have Trev's birthday dinner tomorrow night, only a week late, I would have never thought he would have been sick for an entire week, I think this is a first, and hopefully the last!