Friday, May 28, 2010

Just because they make me smile.

Just some random shots from the other day.

He makes me smile.

He especially makes me smile when he wears his shades. I don't even have to see him in them. Just thinking about him wearing them makes me smile.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why do we have to go to school if it's summer?

My kids are very confused.

They don't understand why they are still in school when it is ninety degrees outside. They can't comprehend that learning their lessons is more important than swimming in Lake Michigan.

Excuse me? Did you say swimming?

You heard me right. Yesterday my kids were swimming in Lake Michigan. Swimming in the big lake on May 24th. I don't recall ever in my almost 39 years swimming in Lake Michigan in May. I remember one year over Memorial Day weekend my cousins and I swam in Muskegon Lake - but even that seemed early and it was probably freezing cold - but we were kids so the warmth factor doesn't matter too much.

We are in the midst of a heat wave right now. High eighties with ninety degree heat indexes. It is warmer outside right now than it is in late August. I don't know how long it is predicted to last, but we are sucking the marrow out of it!

Spencer is a water bug - he was so happy to be back in the lake.

Hailey claimed the sun was too shiny on her eyes. She quickly commandeered my shades.

Hailey doing dances and yoga poses on the beach.

Looking at this picture, I can just smell the sunblock on her sandy little body.

Evan has come along way in his swimming abilities.

I love this picture of Spencer. I think that someone else has found their "strength".

The two handsomest boys in the world.

Once again the lake was like glass. I love how in this picture it is totally smooth except for the rings around Evan.

I love this picture of Hailey dancing down the beach. It was very hazy but if you look really closely just above her head you can see the lighthouse in the distance.

The beach was awesome, but it was stifling hot. Without a breath of wind, we could only take it down there for so long. So what do you do when it is still unbearably hot outside?

You wash all of your sand off in the sprinkler!

Don't worry boys, school will be over soon and summer will be here before you know it. Lets hope it stays warm out and doesn't revert back to the normal " it's early June but feels like April" weather.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr. Black and Elizabeth

It is a balmy seventy degree day here today.

I have a million things I should be doing to get ready for the early morning bargain hunters at tomorrows garage sale. It seems I have lost the wind in my garage "sale". I know that was bad. The forecast for our next two days is predicting rain and that makes me very frustrated. I have so much stuff that needs to sell because I am beyond tired of looking at it and dealing with it and tripping over it. I am pricing to go - so it all better go!

I promised the kids a beach trip so Hailey and I picked Evan up at the bus stop with lunch and pails and shovels packed. It was amazing down there. The lake was like glass. Why is it never like that on the days I have to ride that dreaded ferry? The kids finished their sandwiches and juice pouches and immediately started fighting over who gets to use the blue shovel. Ugh! In an attempt to snuff their fuses I suggested that we play their "game". This game is one of Evan's favorite things in the world. It was made up by him and Grama. Evan is Mr. Black. Grama is Mrs. Brown and Hailey is Elizabeth. Sometimes Spencer plays with them - he is Mr. White. The game up until now has consisted of them making forts in the basement and then leaving their forts to hunt or find food and to stay safe from the "Bobcat" - otherwise known as Dickens. Today we made the game about pretending to be shipwrecked on an island - sort of my own personal homage and farewell to LOST. Evan was enthralled. He immediately took to the beach to look for driftwood for a fire. After his fire was "high" - his term - he ran to the water pretending his shovel was a fishing pole and vowed to catch us some Nile Perch for dinner. I honestly can't get enough of his imagination. He played so nicely up until we had to head back for Hailey's nap. I just remembered that he never did give me a name.

Elizabeth bringing her fish to the camp.

Mr. Black foraging for firewood.

I was so grateful that there was no wind because I wanted to bring my new camera down to the beach, but was not looking forward to getting sand in all the crevices which is the case with my other camera. I tried to convince the kids to let me get a few shots of them by telling them they were for the posters that we would hang up to say that we were missing on an island. They bought it for about a minute.

I love this picture of Evan for some reason. It just looks to me like you can see his mind working.

There's my happy boy.

And there's my boy that has had enough of my camera in his face.
It was a great reprieve - now back to work! Keep your fingers crossed that we sell it all!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Perhaps we should rethink all the Wii hunting games?

The kids love to watch birds at our bird feeder. I don't what it is, but lately we seem to have an abundance of different birds feeding at the feeder or hanging out on our deck rails.

Yesterday while the kids were eating lunch, I spotted this cardinal and told the kids to quietly but quickly come over to the window to see. They tip toed over to the door as quiet as PB & J eating little mice. Oohed and aahed over how beautiful the bird was and then Evan looked at me with a smirk on his face and asked "Can I shoot it?"

I haven't posted anything in so long. We have been so busy and there is just no end in sight. My main time taker the past week or so has been digging through toys and junk for our garage sale this weekend. I am very proud of the kids because they are letting us sell A LOT of their toys. Well, the toys are in the garage at least - I will get back to you on how many actually stay out there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

For Evers

Dear Evan,

The last month or so that I was pregnant with you, Spencer's favorite movie was Winnie the Pooh and the Search for Christopher Robin. I bet we watched that movie just about every day - which was a wonderful almost two hour break for a mama that was great with child. Since I saw the show so much I began to memorize the words and found myself singing the songs from it. One of the songs really stuck with me and I remember singing it to you while you were in my belly and then weeks later when you were in my arms.

Forever and ever
Is a very long time Pooh
Forever isn't long at all
When I'm with you

I wanna call your name, forever
And you will always answer, forever
And both of us will be
Forever you and me
Forever and ever

I wanna stay like this, forever
If only I could promise, forever
Then we could just be we
Forever you and me
Forever and ever

Forever and ever
Is a very long time Pooh
Forever isn't long at all, Christopher
When I'm with you

I wanna be with you, forever
I want you here beside me, forever
One thing you should know
No matter where I go
We'll always be together
Forever and ever

You mean so much to all of us Evan - because you are so much.
You are a big brother. You are a little brother. You are a son. You are an artist. You are a soccer player. You are a voracious learner. You have an awesome imagination. You are a snuggle bug. You are a baseball player. You are all of those things and so much more. The six years that you have been in our lives has gone by in a blink. I can't wait to see what your future holds. Happy birthday my six year old baby boy. I will love you - Forever and Ever!

Love, Momma

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't call A & E yet...

Blogs tend to skip over a lot of the day to day messiness of life.

I am just as guilty as the next blogger - it is much more satisfying to put on pictures of kids looking cute by a tulip tree than the reality of kids laying in front of the TV watching a maybe not quite appropriate show and spilling their snack of cheesy puffs all over the floor and wiping their orange stained hands on the couch.

It just makes you look more successful as a mom to document the good stuff. And don't get me wrong - there is a lot of good stuff. Most of it is good stuff - even if it leaves an orange residue.

So here is the not so good stuff. I am not proud - just trying to get it out there. Just trying to own up to it. This is our den. Our office. Our creative space. I guess I don't need to wonder why I feel such a lack of creativity lately. The space is cluttered. Stagnant. Simply a place where feng shui goes to die.

This table is my scrap booking/crafting space. Can you tell that I have done a lot of scrap booking lately? It is covered with photos, kid's schoolwork and other various memorabilia that I have no idea what to do with. I need to get it cleaned up because I need to use the table for our garage sale in two weeks. Oh....the irony is classic!

Camera bags and equipment, old scrap booking magazines that have not enticed anyone on Craig's list to give them a new home. What to do with it all.....?
I hope to use these photos for an extremely dramatic "office makeover" reveal. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed that I don't get too many paper cuts while purging.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If at first you don't succeed....

Our neighbor has this tree in his yard that is absolutely gorgeous when it blooms. I had an image in my mind of a photograph that I wanted to take of this tree blooming, the incredible blue sky and one of my adorable, smiling children. I may or may not have been outside trying my hardest to pose my daughter on a stepladder in front of the tree trying to recreate the image in my head.

It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The tree and the sky were the easy part. Throw a person into the mix and that is where the manual camera programming begins.

If I tried to expose Hailey correctly, the background totally washed out. Blue sky? Did someone say there was a blue sky today?

If I metered for the sky, then she was totally dark. Who is that in this photo? And yes, she does have a different outfit on in these two shots because I became obsessed and we tried to get this photo on a couple of different blue sky days. And for the record, she wasn't a very willing subject - not even with the candy bribe.

After numerous attempts and fiddling with every thing I knew how to work on my camera. I came up with the solution. I dialed back the exposure one notch (I think) and had to use my off camera flash with the cord. It worked great because I could light up Evan's face from the side and not wash out the blue sky. Oh - and I had to change my model. Evan was much more willing and he was especially excited that I let him climb up in the tree - Hailey was relegated to a step ladder for her modeling gig - not nearly as fun.

I was extremely happy with the results.

For this last one I don't know if I had the flash on or not. It may have been the regular camera flash. I know that the exposure was still dialed back. I thought it looked kind of different and cool.

I am hoping to get a new camera for my birthday at the end of the month. It will be a step up, and a different brand. I really want to start using a Canon again. My first SLR was a Canon Rebel and I loved it. When I went digital Trent bought me an Olympus DSLR which is a great camera and has served me well - I am just ready to step it up and want to go with one of the big guys. The only part about this that has me apprehensive is that I know what every button and knob on the Olympus does. On the Canon I will be starting nearly at step one all over again. That, and all the accessories that I have accumulated over the years will not be compatible with the Canon. I guess you have to start over again sometime.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spirit Week 2010

Last week was spirit week at the boys' school. The week of dress up fun culminated last night with the school's spring carnival. Instead of showing their get ups each day, I decided to put them all into one big week long post.

Monday - Pajama Day

Evan insisted on bringing his blanket and two doggies. Spencer just wanted his Snuggie.

Tuesday - Crazy Hair Day

For some reason Spencer totally reminds me of Ed Grimly in this picture. Hair day was a toughie. Neither one of them liked how they looked, but the bus was coming and we were running out of time and options. Personally, I thought Evan's 'do looked awesome.

Wednesday - Sports Day

Sort of a lame theme I thought. And can you tell the boys are SO over me photographing them every morning? Evan wore his baseball uniform and left his hat on the bus. So he was without his hat for his first game. Why do my kids ALWAYS lose things?

Thursday - Mismatch Day

These pictures don't scream mismatch to me because they are outfits that my kids would actually chose to wear. In fact, Hailey wasn't even supposed to be in the picture - that just happened to be the outfit she assembled that morning. It worked, so I told her to hop up with her brothers.

Friday - Blue and White Day

Fortunately for them they have a Daddy that knows how to work the stage makeup. 'Nuff said.