Thursday, December 25, 2008

one nice Christmas afternoon....

This is for Michael Wayne.
On our way for a walk before Christmas dinner.
It was so warm, we had to put on short sleeved shirts when we returned.
We were not shoveling a foot and a half of snow. We were not cold. We contemplated heading out on the boat but dinner was almost ready.

Yep, just for you Mike. Merry Christmas.

the most wonderful time of the year...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

straight from the box....

the annual gingerbread house. It's not homemade...but still tons of fun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

just a little crafting this year...

This year, I am really trying to go simple. Store bought Gingerbread house kit, no decorating purchases, no gifts between Chris and I, etc.

But Hannah and I decided to make these for gifts for her friends. They turned out sooooo cute! We made extras....they were just too fun!

Monday, December 15, 2008

all by itself.....

I got a new christmas cactus this summer.

The garden books said if I repotted it, it probably would not bloom this season.

I proved it wrong.

Yep, one little ol' lonesome bloom.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

11 days till christmas...

and we have our tree up!
and decorated!
and big!

and it is double sided this year - we can see it from the living room and kitchen!

Monday, December 08, 2008

from Thanksgiving....

A photo from Thanksgiving. Chris and his sibs. I was shooting in camera RAW format, trying to figure it out a little. So maybe not the best photo.....

You see in his family, every year they take a photo of the kids. The original kids that is. Just Chris, his bro and two sisters. No one else. Maybe mom and dad.

If you ask me, it is weird. Don't you ever want a photo with everyone in it??
Guess not.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

because it makes me happy...

This is a small project I made for myself using a butterfly punch and paper scraps.

I wish I could say I came up with the idea myself, but I copied it from a blog I read - Ali Edwards.

I put it over my desk because it makes me happy to look at.

Close up:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

been busy ...

with Thanksgiving.

No, not really.

I have been reading this:

and this:

and going to see this:

and waiting for this to arrive:

Back in later when book 3 and 4 is finished.

Monday, November 24, 2008

trying to warm up...

We are back from the middle school's youth retreat at Camp Grier - Hannah's summer camp our church goes to. I had 2 girls cancel at the last minute - sick and sprained ankle. So only4 kids went. Manageable.,

We had a great time.
But it was cold. Very cold.
I slept on a lower bunk, Hannah and Madeline on the top bunks. The top was warm, the bottom cold. The girls barely needed their sleeping bags, I froze. Really.

And the meals.
Great if you are 12.
Fried chicken strips, lasagne, fried french toast strips, more chicken strips and biscuits and gravy. No fruit.
No veggies - well, barely.
Not ideal for me.

And the boys.
Boys are a pain.
The girls were good. The girls went to their small groups. The girls ate their dinner. The girls performed in the skits.
The boys did not.
Yep, boys at 12 are a pain.

We had a keynote speaker and small groups. The small groups also put on a skit and did part of the sunday church service. We sang. We ate. We got to know new people. We were cold alot. We had fun.

Here is my only picture where the boys actually let me take their picture.... and I had to promise hot chocolate to get this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a little internet marketing for a friend....

crowdSPRING, hire Kelly Purkey for your new Community Marketing Manager!

and here is her blog:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

november is half gone...

Wow, been busy.

Hannah was confirmed at church on Sunday - so all the moms of the confirmees had to hold a post church reception. Fun.

Chris is putting a closet in one of the downstairs rooms - where the treadmill is. Lots of dust.

I've had a cold all week. Not exercising and feeling puney. Not terrible, not great.

Today is cold and the wind is howling. High temp is supposed to be 40. I can hear the wind blowing outside as I type. Up on this hill, we get some wind!

Friday I head to the mountains for a middle school youth retreat - with 7 middle schoolers. I am really hoping it warms up a little before we go....

Hmmm... time to work on a new blog header. What shall i do???? Maybe disney??

I imagine my posting will be light between now and Christmas.....but the next one will have a picture, I promise.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

there must have been a mixup when she was born...

So, right after Halloween I asked hannah to go thru her candy and pull out all the stuff she would not eat and TAKE THE REST UPSTAIRS AND AWAY FROM ME. Yes, I know this is against my rules having her take the candy up to her loft but I figure since I am the one with the least willpower, it needs to be away from me more than away from her.

So she pulls out all the hersey bars, babe ruths, butterfingers, reeses cups, milky ways and snickers. And of course the milk duds, dots, tootsie rolls, suckers and such. But all the chocolate??? Well, not all the chocolate. She kept all the dark chocolate and the m&ms.

Hannah, I ask. What is going on? You are discarding all the chocolate. But mama, I only like dark chocolate now.

Wha?????????????? I think I have it figured out. When she was born, they mistakenly swapped her out for someone else's child. Yep, that must be it.

And yes, I do realize that in this picture I have already eaten all the butterfingers, milky way, baby ruths and snickers. {sigh}

another beautiful Sunday afternoon...

On Sunday, Hannah went to the Renaissance Festival with the church's middle school youth group. Chris and I met up with Keith and Cynthia and headed out on the lake. We had lunch then cruised. I believe the colors were slightly ahead of last week - gorgeous, just gorgeous. It was about 70-75 degrees which was plenty warm...till we headed home and it started cooling down.

On Tuesday, Hannah was out of school for voting - schools used for voting places. We drove to Hickory to do our back to school shopping now that it is cooler.

We both commented the entire way there and home about how amazing the colors were during the drive. I really believe this year the colors are about the best I have ever seen.

But I have noticed today - we have passed the peak - there is alot of brown appearing on the trees and lots on the ground.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

wherefore art thou Romeo.....

Juliet on Halloween. Not a good picture....light was fading fast. Friend Brittany was a pirate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

on a 3 hour cruise...

Sunday, we decided to take a nice cruise around the lake and see how the fall colors were coming along. We rode north to Lake Norman State Park, stopped for cheese and crackers (and m&m's), rode to Hidden Harbor to check on the house then home. Hannah brought a friend and it was quite an enjoyable afternoon. The weather was warm but cool while riding on the boat. The colors were not quite peaking - still a week or 2 out.

While riding home we saw a bald eagle, we stopped to watch, it circled the boat a few times then flew off. Just long enough for me to change to my zoom lens - well, just long enough for me to get it on the camera, not long enough for me to actually get a picture. I believe this was the first bald eagle we have seen on the lake.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ignore...unless you are susaan.....

For Susaan.....Pick one or two....if you like any with the BW images...well, I did these fast and can make the BW contrast look better for the real thing. Let me know which you like best: Black/color images, black/ BW images, White/Color images or White/BW images. Click on the image to see larger.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

an oldie but a goodie...

I have been meaning to post this for ages. Yesterday I was tossing out junk cleaning up and found it again. This is her letter home from summer camp and I just love the illustration at the end! Click on the image to get it larger...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

tuesday night band concert...

Hannah had her first band concert Tuesday night. She and a friend elected to play a duet - Frere Jacques - Hannah on the flute and Mandi on the clarinet. They went second and did great.

Then we had a crummy spaghetti dinner. Very crummy. Then we sat through the chorus - alot of chorus. Then the band played again.

See her tucked in right in front of Mr. Lowe? I think she was hiding from me. Later she said she was worried that Mr. Lowe would hit her with the baton!

It was really fun to see her up there playing an instrument - after only picking it up about 6 weeks ago!

about those letters...

I have made a couple of these with my letters I shot from nature. Or at least found objects that look like letters. Here is one....

This was printed 6"x12" and is in a black frame on my bookshelves. I want to do a large "Lakeview" but I'd like to put it on an old piece of wood or a shutter so I am looking for one....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

where did the weekend go.....

We had a busy weekend.

Early Saturday morning, H and I went to East Lincoln Christian Ministries to work in the clothes closet (like goodwill). Hannah has to do this for her church confirmation classes. Then we had a middle school lock in Sat. night. I stayed till 11pm-ish then returned at 8am to make breakfast.
Hannah had nursery duty at 9:30 then at 11:00 I was the godmother at a baptism. Out to lunch with the family, home for a few hours then back to church for a pig pickin' at 5:30.

So not much else to add.....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

one down....

20 to go. Ha Ha. I actually finished all of them this weekend. This is my first one that hannah got to keep since the stitching was a little wonky. And this is probably the cutest of the bunch.

Church craft sale - I am ready!!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The Rock Family.
Freshly decorated for halloween.
They have names...just cannot remember them...but Hannah knows. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

been busy...

Well, I am still here. Just busy. Yep, busy.

I have been making stuff for my church craft sale - bath salts and craft aprons. Bath salts, done. Craft aprons, started.

I had decided to make bath salts this year due to a suggestion from Julie. I already had scents (essential oils) , glycerin and soap colorant so I really only needed epsom salts and sea salt. So Hannah and I whipped up a trial batch, combining recipes I found on the internet. One of the sites - and only one mind you - suggested drying the mixture in the oven at low temps. So i did.

Big mistake.

First the salts started to melt.
Second, my house stunk up. And bad.
I took it all outside to sit and dry. It dried up fine but I think the smell was baked into my oven. Then I put all my baking sheets into the dishwasher and the dishwasher stunk every time I opened it.

Chris was not happy.
I tossed it all.

Well, I started thinking about it and decided i would make it all outside in disposable pans.

So I did.
Three batches - lavender, honey cucumber and honey almond.

Now it is time to start on the aprons - making them from dishtowels. Hopefully they go quickly.

What else have I been doing other than shopping for and crafting items??? Well, there has been my photo assignment. Yep, my photo assignment. To find letters made from things in nature. Or at least things that are not supposed to be letters. Like this:

So those would be a Z and a J. Why you ask? Because it was a challenge posted on my photo message board and it was fun. So while hannah and friend were wandering around the overly crowded Apple Festival with cell phones attached to their hips, I was wandering around a junk yard having fun looking for letters. Much more fun if you ask me.

So that is for now. Bath salts, aprons and photo letters. Not very exciting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

still here..

Hi just a quickie post.

My back is doing much better. Tomorrow I am going to start exercising again.. I am going to power walk and work back up to 3 miles. but I will hold off on running again. I think I am going to give it up. We will see.

Also doing yoga 2x per week - I think I could get addicted to it.

Hannah has a cold.

I am running a scavenger hunt for middle school youth at church tonight so I need to run and get organized.

Sorry, no picture today.

Monday, September 08, 2008

stalking the mighty blue heron....

Went for a walk this morning and when i was almost home, I saw a blue heron sitting on my neighbors dock - 2 docks to the left of ours. I ran home, grabbed my camera, slapped the 70mm-300mm lens on it and ran back down to the docks.

And he was still there.

Now, normally when I do this, he takes off as soon as I come running and gasping anywhere close. But he let me shoot and shoot pictures of him. Of course the sun was rising behind him so they weren't great, but still.

So here he is - sleeping I believe.

Now I am waiting and waiting for him to take off flying.....I want to catch him spreading his wings...but I get distracted by my faithful companion, Tiger the mighty bug hunter...

and he takes off while I am not looking.

But wait! He flys over to the other side of my dock and perches right on the end of the abandoned dock. So I head over there and catch a few more shots. Once again, he just keeps hanging out, not worrying about me at all.

Of course, my faithful companion is still with me. Kinda of.

And I get brave and head down the dock. 2 steps, stop, shoot. 2 steps, stop, shoot.
Finally he decides enough is enough and off he goes....