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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Patterns of Evidence ~ Exodus ~ DVD Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to Sam, the winner of this DVD!


Recently I was given the opportunity to preview the DVD Patterns of Evidence.  However, due to being super busy with the photography business and butterfly raising, I set it aside and forgot about it.  :(  So today's review is brought to you by my teenage daughter, Keira, who graciously agreed to help me out with it.

About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:
For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible's account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, "Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?"  He decides to tackle this issue wit a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary's goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.  

The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres. 

Released on DVD August 4, 2015 
Run Time:  119 minutes
Special Features:  Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews
      Behind the Music
      From Film to Book
      Additional Books and Resources
      Host a Patterns of Evidence Movie Event
Genre:  Documentary 
Rating:  NR 

And Keira's review on the film:
I very much enjoyed this take on the history of the Exodus of the Israelites as slaves from Egypt to Canaan and finally as an independent nation. The director/filmmaker Timothy Mahoney was an excellent guide into this view; his determination to prove his faith and the archaeological evidence he was able to uncover were just tremendous. 

The most interesting point that he made in the film, in my opinion, were the claims against the credibility of the chronological timeline of the Egyptians. His view that the timeline was warped a few centuries was a mind-boggling claim that he supported with the alignment of the biblical, the Canaanite, and all the other cultural timelines that depended on the Egyptian’s events in history by cutting out unnecessary time in the Egyptian Dark Age after the New Kingdom period. So many scholars and historians who study this particular time in history say there is no evidence to support the actuality of the Exodus because of this warped sense of time in the last Dark Age after Egypt’s New Kingdom. But through the biblical timeline, Mahoney shows the series of events in Egyptian history. 

This film shows the different views of many different archaeologists and historians who both support and oppose such an Exodus in the Egyptian and Israeli history. 

Wow!  I can't wait to get time to sit down and watch this DVD myself after reading Keira's thoughts.  And I'm thinking I should have her do more reviews for me in the future.  :)

For more information about the film, check out:

Twitter:  @PattofEvidence

Official Website:  http://patternsofevidence.com

Official Website to Purchase:  http://shop.patternsofevidence.com

Blog featuring interviews with director Tim Mahoney and an article by Anne Graham Lotz:  http://patternsofevidence.tumblr.com

And now for the fun part: giveaway time!

In order to enter to win, just leave a comment on this post letting me know what fun stuff you have done/are doing this summer.  Easy peasy!  Last day to enter is Tuesday, August 11.  I will randomly pick a winner and announce it here at the top of this post on Wednesday, August 12.  If you don't follow my blog and wish to be notified if you win, please leave an email address in your comment.  I promise not to SPAM you.  No time for that!  :)

Lastly, the legal stuff:
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 7/5/15 - 7/11/15

Spent the week prepping for a Monarch presentation on Saturday.  I presented to the Christian Women's Artistic Connection group and a few guests.  They are a great group of ladies that get together every couple months to learn a new art.  Monarchs aren't art, but the ladies wanted to learn about them, so they asked me to present.  And we made a few greeting cards that I designed.  Nothing fancy.  

Did okay keeping up with my photo a day challenge.  I used a couple recent archive photos this week.  It happens.  :)

{July 5: Begins with "W"}
July 5: Begins with "W"
And soggy. 
And gross. 
Those are the words you can use to describe our month of June. So. much. rain! 16 out of the 30 days in June had measurable rain and I suspect there were a few sprinkles thrown in there during those other 14 days. Now that July is here the weather seems to be shaping up some. Still some rain but this weekend was super nice! We actually had several nice days in a row. Yay!
Anyway this photo was taken a couple weeks ago right after we had a heavy rainfall. The sun came out and made everything sparkle. And since I needed to take advantage of the little sunshine we were getting, I walked around outside with my camera. Our tiger lilies were blooming and looked so pretty glistening in the sun.

{July 6: Rule of Thirds}
July 6: Rule of Thirds
This photo was chosen as one of the Top Shots of the day! WOOT!

{July 7: Vanishing Point}
July 7: Vanishing Point
When the sun is dipping below the horizon - nearly at its vanishing point - marking the end of another day. Hope to see it again tomorrow!

{July 8: Bedtime}
July 8: Bedtime
Keira obviously stayed up past her bedtime. Or else that was a very uninteresting book. Maybe a little of both.  :)

{July 9: Alphaphotography}
July 9: Alphaphotography
You know I had to figure out a way to include one of my Monarch caterpillars into a prompt somehow, right? Don't ask how many tries it took to get him to stay in the shape of a C for me.  :)

{July 10: Just Another Day}
July 10: Just another day
Just another day of searching milkweed looking for Monarch eggs and/or caterpillars and finding none. frown emoticon I did see lots of blossoms though and several other butterflies, moths, and skippers. I will search again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

{July 11: Technology}
July 11: Technology
Thanks to technology, I was able to photograph and instantly share the photo of this super cool-looking caterpillar I found this evening. Ah, smart phones.  :)
It is a Promethea Moth caterpillar. The first I have ever found.

Linking with Tamar:

On Monday I met with Sherry to discuss the details of my Monarch presentation.  We met at Panera and were able to sit outside - it was so nice!
I had a couple things rescheduled due to weather and emergencies.  A family photo session was supposed to happen on Tuesday morning but the rain interfered once again.  And on Thursday I was to meet with my friend, Sharon, about the upcoming wedding she was helping me photograph, but she needed to make an emergency trip to the vet
Saturday I did my Monarch presentation to the CWAC ladies.  I was a little nervous because I was so used to talking to kids about Monarchs.  But I told them they were my guinea pigs for an upcoming talk to a garden club.  :)  Everything went very well and they all enjoyed my presentation.
Saturday afternoon I stopped by a graduation party of one of my senior photo clients.  Her mom and I have become friends and they invited me to her graduation party.  It was a nice time and another beautiful day.  We had so much rain in June, it was great to have nice weather finally.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 6/28/15 - 7/4/15

I'm a couple weeks behind in posting.  Again.  {sigh}  

But we're having a great summer!  
Plenty of fun.  
Lots of busy.  
Hence the lack of blog posts.  :)  
Just enjoying life.
I am keeping up with my 365 Photo challenge though.

{June 28: Timeless Beauty}
June 28: Timeless Beauty
I don't know about you, but I think this Black Swallowtail is quite beautiful. Or in this case handsome as it is a male.  :)

{June 29: Let's Go}
June 29: Let's Go
On Friday I said to my husband, "Let's go to Ohio tomorrow to pick up some Monarch eggs and caterpillars." He, knowing how much it meant to me, agreed to drive. We met up with a very generous lady who so graciously shared some of her babies with me. I now have 16 tiny caterpillars and 6 eggs. Late last night 4 eggs hatched and I stayed up to watch 2 of them. This little guy seemed to take forever to chew his way out of his egg. But, tired as I was, I stayed up to witness his entrance into this world. Here's hoping they all make it to butterflydom.  :)

{June 30: Thankful}

June 30: Thankful
Like many I am thankful for many things. My faith, my freedom, my health ... but today especially I am thankful for this crazy crew that I call my family. We spent the day at Idlewild and had a super fun time. We came home exhausted, which means it was a great day! Keira took this picture with her phone since mine was running low on battery and is being used for my pic of the day with her permission.  :)

{July 1: Wonder in the World}

July 1: Wonder in the World
Or in this case, a wonder out of the world. Tonight's full moon is spectacular! Have you seen it? If you missed it, there will be another at the end of July. The only month in 2015 with two full moons.

{July 2: Adventurous}

July 2: Adventurous
The kids and I love to be adventurous and go for walks and hikes to see what we can find. This particular evening Alex and I saw hundreds of these damselflies while out exploring. A few of them were nice enough to be still while I photographed them.

{July 3: Leadership}

July 3: Leadership
Of my three children Keira has the greatest leadership traits. She was born a leader. I can remember when she was in 3rd grade her teacher asked me what her strengths and her weaknesses were. My answer was the same for both. She's a natural born leader, which is a great trait, but that also makes her tend to be bossy and other kids don't like that too much.  :)  She's a great person who has a bright future ahead of her.
This photo was chosen as one of the Top Shots of the day! WOOT! 

{July 4: A Reflection of Me}

July 4: A Reflection of Me
If you know me, then you know that I am a butterfly lover. I raise Monarchs every summer and this year am raising Black Swallowtails also. This gorgeous girl decided to arrive today. Our 4th butterfly on the 4th of July.  :)  I have had people tell me that when they see a butterfly, they think of me, so it may be a stretch, but this beauty is a reflection of me.   :)

Linking with Tamar:

A rundown of our week:
June 28-30
Nick got home from his Bible Quizzing trip in Boston Sunday night.  He had a good time and earned a silver award.  The quizzers don't compete against each other.  They try to answer the questions as best they can and are basically graded based on their answers.  Nick's voice was very scratchy when he got home so I suspect he was shouting a lot.  :/
Monday the boys had their 6-month dental check ups.  Both got two thumbs up.
Cupcake, one of our Black Swallowtails, decided to join us.  We had kept Rocky a couple days because of the weather and once we set him free, Cupcake eclosed.  He had to stay with us until Wednesday because of the rain.
Keira had a violin lesson Monday evening.
Doug took a vacation day on Tuesday and we spent the day at Idlewild.  We had a great time!  Nick decided to be brave and try riding some things that always frightened him starting with the roller coaster.  Once he got off that first ride, he got right back on.  In fact, the lines were so short that we rode it several times in a row before moving on to other things.  He also road the ferris wheel with me.  He freaked out a little but I helped calm him down.  We prayed and talked about how safe he was and then he was fine.  We even got stopped at the very top and he did great!  It clouded up a couple times and sprinkled on us a little but overall we had a great day.  Not too hot and no downpours.
July 1-4
Wednesday we had an appointment at PA Cyber to get Keira enrolled for the fall.  We had a little trouble finding the place.  We turned at the correct turn but couldn't find the office, so we stopped and asked a woman who was outside having a smoke break.  Turns out we were at the right building, just on the wrong side.  :)
Since we were already in Wexford, we tried to find Trader Joe's which is just down the road a few miles but I went left when I should have gone right and we didn't find it.  And our stupid GPS is no help at all.  I think we need a new one.
On the way back we stopped at Barnes & Noble so the boys could use gift cards that they had.  Oh the drama!  Wanting to buy toys instead of books.  And not having enough for what they wanted.  I'm such a mean mom sometimes.  :)
July 2 was the 30th anniversary of my dad's death.  I shared some pictures on Facebook.  I don't have very many pictures of my dad, so the few that I do have are precious to me.  It is hard to believe that he has been gone for 30 years.
Doug had Friday off for the holiday.  We didn't really do anything.  Puttered around outside.  He pulled weeds in the vegetable gardens and I pulled weeds in my butterfly garden.
On Saturday we were going to visit Doug's parents but they were coming our way anyway, so they visited us instead.  Doug cooked dinner and we had a nice time talking about their upcoming 50th anniversary party.  Pickle, our 4th Black Swallowtail butterfly, had eclosed before they came so I hung onto her until they got here so they could see her.  We set her free shortly after they arrived.
We were going to go see fireworks but everyone wanted to stay close to home.  Our neighbors up the road set them off so we could see them a little.  There are trees in the way.  Honey doesn't like fireworks so she was very close by the whole night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 6/21/15 - 6/27/15

Vacation Bible School week!  Fun. Long. Exhausting. But oh so worth it!

{June 21: Performance}
June 21: Performance
Alex's performance in yesterday's kickball game wasn't stellar, but he still had fun. Until he decided that jumping on the trampoline would be more interesting.  :)

{June 22: Loud}
June 22: Loud
Nick definitely lives life out loud. He can have fun in just about any situation. He can also get himself in trouble in almost every situation.  :)

{June 23: Tickled Pink}
June 23: Tickled Pink
I was tickled pink to see these two Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies loving on my milkweed blossoms this afternoon. They aren't Monarchs, but I'll take what I can get right now.   :)

{June 24: Photographer}
June 24: Photographer
One from the archives. During Vacation Bible School week my time is not my own. Plus I hate taking selfies. That is probably why I became a photographer ... so I could spend time photographing other people.  :)  This particular photo is my profile pic on my Facebook photography page, Kimberly Vensel Photography.

{June 25: Stands Out in a Crowd}
June 25: Stands out in a crowd
This gorgeous lady, who surprised us with her arrival, most definitely stands out in a crowd. Say hello to Frances, formerly known as Rambo.  :)  We came home from Vacation Bible School to find this beauty had emerged from her chrysalis. Then we walked up to show her to our recently-widowed neighbor and asked her if she would help us rename her since Rambo isn't a good girl name. Her sister's name was Frances, so we blessed her day by allowing her to name our first Black Swallowtail butterfly.  (Posted this in the group on Friday due to being so busy with VBS stuff on Thursday).

{June 26: Tick Tock}
June 26: Tick Tock
The window of time to capture a gorgeous sunset is limited. Although sometimes when you slow down, sit, and enjoy watching the sun setting, God treats you to an even more beautiful sky.

{June 27: The Big Day}
June 27: The Big Day
The big day for this incredible couple is in just under a month. I have the honor of photographing their wedding in July. I can't wait!
This photo was chosen as one of the Top Shots of the day!  WOOT!

I posted in time to link with Tamar!  :)

Sunday we celebrated Father's Day.  Doug cooked dinner, as he often does on the weekends.  I offered but he said he didn't mind.  That way he can cook what he wants (corn and sweet potatoes).  :)

Monday VBS started.  Need I say more?  :)
We actually had a great week at VBS.  Everyone who helped was right where they were meant to be.  Everything meshed together nicely.  We had an average of 40 kids each day.
Also on Monday my sister-in-law sent me a cell phone picture of a Monarch butterfly she saw while out walking.  Yay!  It was about 10 miles from my house.  I have yet to see one with my own eyes.  Soon, I hope!  If this stupid rain would ever go away for more than a day at a time.
On Thursday after VBS Nick left for Boston.  He qualified to go to the Regional Bible Quizzing event.  It was kind of tough letting him go alone but I knew he was in good hands.  They got to the college in Quincy around 2 a.m.
I was up until almost 2 a.m. finishing up the slideshow for Friday's VBS.  I always take pictures all week and make up a slideshow to show the kids on Friday.  They love seeing their pictures up on the big screen.
The last day of VBS we always host a picnic in the fellowship hall for the kids and their parents.  Everyone had a great time.  We had been raising money all week to help dig water wells in Burkina Faso, Africa.  On Friday at the end of VBS, Jenn announced that we had raised $3,000!   But then during the picnic she announced that someone had put in an additional $1,000 taking us up to $4,000 raised!  It costs around $6,000 to dig a water well so the villagers can have clean drinking water.  We plan to continue to raise money until next year when missionaries from Burkina Faso come to visit our church.  I can't wait to present them with the amount we raise!
Keira had made chocolate chip cookies for the picnic.  They were a huge hit!  Several people asked for the recipe and there were NONE left at the end.  
When we got home from VBS, we had a wonderful surprise.  Our first Black Swallowtail butterfly had eclosed!  She is pictured above as the June 25 photo.  I didn't get to post my photo on Thursday because of VBS busyness.  Some days are like that.  :)
On Saturday we got up early (instead of sleeping in like I usually do after VBS week) and Doug drove Alex and me to Ohio to get some Monarch eggs and baby caterpillars.  A very generous woman that I met on one of the Monarch butterfly groups on Facebook offered them to me.  And since she was just over 3 hours away, we made the drive out.  It rained and poured and rained some more, which made me very thankful that Doug was driving.  :)  Sarah, the butterfly lady, was so gracious.  She took us to lunch at a local diner called The Nutcracker.  We loved the place!  They had nutcrackers all over the place and an old jukebox where you can play 3 songs for a quarter.  And very cool retro decorations.  We didn't let her pay for lunch though.  After her generosity with the Monarchs, I couldn't let that happen.  :)  Buying her lunch was the least we could do.
On the way home we stopped at Cabela's.  I bought a tent for butterfly rearing.  Got the idea from Sarah.  I am hoping to breed some Monarchs this year and have eggs and cats to share with others.  Wish me luck!  We made it back home around 7:00, exhausted but excited to be back in the Monarch raising swing of things!
On Saturday I also got word that Nick was awarded a Silver medal at Bible Quizzing Regionals.  So proud of him!

Here's hoping for another great week!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 6/14/15 - 6/20/15

Our first week off from school!  Finally!  Thanks to all the "snow" days, which were more like "too stinkin' cold to go outside" days, the kids' school year got extended by a week.  After losing almost their whole Easter break.  :/  It was another busy week (aren't they all?) but we had some fun in there too.

{June 14: Within My Reach}
June 14:  Within My Reach
My camera is almost always within my reach so when I see something cool, like one of my Black Swallowtail caterpillars eating while upside down, I can snap a quick pic.  :)

{June 15: Masculinity}
June 15: Masculinity
Apparently the proper way to show their masculinity was to scowl at the camera. No smiling allowed when you are trying to look manly.

{June 16: Hat}
June 16: Hat
About this time last year Nick learned how to make paper hats. This is one of his creations.   

{June 17: Begins with "C"}
June 17: Begins with "C"
I was pondering what to photograph for this prompt and then it hit me. Caterpillars and Chrysalises ... in a Collage.  :)
These are my babies right now. As of today, we have three Black Swallowtails in chrysalis, one getting ready, and two still munching away. Their names are (top row - left to right) Cupcake, Sylvester, and Stallone; (bottom row - left to right) Rocky, Pickle, and Rambo. Nick named four of them and Alex named the other two. I'll let you figure out who named whom.  :)

{June 18: Inside}
June 18: Inside
Alex bought a new toy at our church's rummage sale today and then we went to buy batteries for it. He loves it! However, he's not allowed to play with it inside because it makes a lot of noise.   :)

{June 19: Casual}
June 29: Casual
Just a casual, make-believe phone conversation on a cool, old-looking phone that doesn't work.  :)

{June 20: All Dressed Up}
June 20: All Dressed Up
How convenient that Keira was participating in a Story Book Princess day today and the prompt is All Dressed Up. She certainly was all dressed up and had a great time playing princess with some sweet little girls.

About our week:
Doug cooked supper on Sunday.  I love when he cooks!  Even if it does usually involve sweet potatoes and corn.  :)  I'm actually starting to like sweet potatoes.
Monday morning I taught a friend how to use her camera in manual mode.  We had a fun time learning and exploring her property.  Alex came with me and had a great time playing with some trains she has for her grandkids.  After that we went to my friend Sam's to fill up her bird feeders.  She was away on vacation and wanted to make sure the birds didn't go hungry.  :)  Keira's violin lesson in the evening wrapped up our day.
Tuesday we lost power for 9.5 hours.  It went out while I was in the shower.  I was almost done so it wasn't a big deal.  But it is so dark in the bathroom when the lights are out!  :)  We were gone for a lot of the down time.  I had a meeting regarding VBS prep work.  And we finally had a day that was nice enough to get in Abby and David's engagement session!
Wednesday we did more VBS stuff.  :)
Thursday too.  And the youth group's rummage sale started.  Keira helped with it all weekend.
On Saturday morning Keira got to dress up like a princess and help entertain some little girls.  She had a great time.  I stayed to help with registration for a little while.  I went home for lunch and then the boys and I piled in the car with my sister in law and one of her girls and drove to Pittsburgh for my cousin's birthday party.  The kids had a blast!  The rain held off until almost the very end.  My mom and sister were there along with a bunch of other people I didn't know.  :)  The boys swam and played kickball and had a really great time.  We all came home exhausted.  
I have to add that I am proud of Keira for making the tough decision not to go to the birthday party.  She had already agreed to help tear down the rummage sale and didn't want to go back on her word.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pirate's Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson ~ Movie Review & Giveaway

Since no one entered to win here on my blog, I took the giveaway to Facebook and Jennifer S. is the winner!  This giveaway is now closed.

We are big movie watchers in our house.  Friday nights have been designated "popcorn and movie night" so we can make a point of getting together as a family, if only for a few hours.  Although now that the kids are on summer break, they watch a movie almost every night to unwind after a fun and busy day.  Some nights I join them.

Last night I did just that and we watched Pirate's Code: The Adventures of Micky Matson! again.  The boys really like this movie.

About the movie:
In this follow up to Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Mickey Matson is at it again; this time pitted against the evil Admiral Ironsides and his gang of pirates who are intent on destroying civilization.  They're new invention, the Tesla Coil, is a weapon of mass destruction that will send an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world, destroying every electronic device in existence.  With the help of a secret organization, Mickey and his best friend Sully embark on a mission to stop the pirates from taking over a submarine and stealing the last part needed to complete their devastating weapon.  If Admiral Ironsides succeeds in his plan, civilization will be sent back to the Stone Age.  It's a race against time, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.  

Released on DVD June 2, 2015
91 Minutes // Genre: Adventure // Rating:  NR

Nick give the movie 1.5 thumbs up because the fight scenes aren't quite convincing to him.  :)  Alex gives it 2 thumbs up.  He loved the movie!  I liked it, though it is definitely geared more towards kids.  If you have younger kids in your house that like adventure movies, they will love this one.  Oh, and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) is in it.  I love him!  And the movie is Dove approved for all ages.

Here are some places to find out more about the movie:
Facebook:  Mickey-Matson

Official Website:  http://mickeymatson.com

Trailer:   You Tube Mickey Matson

Official Website to Purchase:  http://pureflix.christianbook.com/

One of my readers has a chance to win a copy of the DVD movie!  Just enter via Rafflecopter:

Last day to enter is June 27.  A winner will be chosen and announced right here on this blog post, so be sure to check back.  If you include your email in your comment, it will be easier for me to notify the winner.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 6/7/15 - 6/13/15

I realize that it is already Thursday and I am just now getting a chance to post my weekly pics, but I didn't want to have a super huge post next week.  Besides, VBS starts on Monday so who knows if I'll get a post up next week.  :/  Between VBS prep and having no power for almost a whole day on Tuesday, I'm just a little behind. :)

{June 7:  Inspired}
June 7:  Inspired
A friend first inspired me to raise Monarch butterflies several years ago. She gave me 4 big, fat caterpillars to take home and raise. It was the coolest thing. Since then I have raised approximately 250 Monarchs over a 5 year span. This year I am branching out to raise other butterflies. Like this black swallowtail. Sylvester, our largest caterpillar, is getting pretty big and will be pupating soon. I can't wait to see if Sylvester is a male or a female!  :)   I also can't wait to start finding Monarchs to raise! Hope they get here soon!

{June 8:  Urban Geometry}
June 8:  Urban Geometry
This prompt taught me something about myself. I very seldom take photos of buildings and such. I'm such a nature lover and people person. However, I did take a few photos with my phone when we went on my son's field trip last month. (I actually left my big girl camera at home). And since we went to the city and this photo has geometric shapes in it, I'm using it.   :)  The artwork is made entirely out of license plates.

{June 9:  Smile}
June 9:  Smile
Somehow I got a "smile" out of Kobe during a recent visit.   :)   She's so much fun!

{June 10:  Balloons}
June 10:  Balloons
Or in this case ... balloon. I ordered these "light-up balloons" to try and they just so happened to come in the mail today. Alex couldn't wait for it to get dark(ish) so we could try them out. However, we were a bit disappointed as they don't light up very well. At least this one didn't. We will try the others tomorrow night when the kids can stay up later and enjoy them if they do work. Tomorrow is the last day of school before summer break. Yahoo!
*** This photo was chosen as one of the Top Shots for the day! WOOT! ***

{June 11:  Jagged}
June 11:  Jagged
The jagged look of a future coneflower that is ready to bloom in my garden.
*** This photo was chosen as one of the Top Shots for the day! WOOT!  Two days in a row! ***

{June 12:  Forced Perspective}
June 12:  Forced Perspective
This was not my original plan but rain keeps interfering with that idea, so when the sun actually came out for a bit today, I ran outside to capture this.

{June 13:  Clever}
June 13:  Clever
Keira is so clever. She sees something she wants to make and figures out how to make it. Like this crocheting project which she says will be a shawl when it is done.
*** This photo was chosen among the Top Shots for the day!  WOOT!  That makes three in one week! ***

Normally I link up with Tamar but I missed the link up this week.  I think things will be hit and miss around here this summer.  Spending time with the family and in my garden instead of on the computer seems more important.  :)  Instead I will link up with image-n-ing this time and see how that works out.  :)


My quick rundown of the week:
Sunday after church Keira and I went to my friend Rainey's for some crafting and girl time.  We did more girl time stuff than crafting but that's okay.  We had fun and got away from the boys for a few hours.  :)  We ran to Panera to pick up dinner.  Yum!
Monday was all about VBS.  Met with Sharon, the leader, about what still needs done.  We were supposed to take Abby and David's engagement photos in the afternoon but Mother Nature had other plans for us.  Just at the time we were to start (after we had already decided to reschedule), the skies opened up.  I did manage to get some weeds pulled in my garden before and after the rain though.
Tuesday I made cupcakes for the 6th grade awards ceremony and Keira had a violin lesson.  And I spent more time pulling weeds.  So.many.weeds!  :)
Wednesday I attended the 6th grade awards ceremony at Nick's school.  Honestly I wasn't expecting him to get much in the way of awards based on his performance and attitude this year but I was pleasantly surprised that he received a few.  Even an academic one!  And every year the teachers give candy awards based on the kids' personalities ... Nick got the Whoppers award for being quite the story teller.  :)  At the end they showed a slideshow of photos from the year.  I somehow managed not to cry.
The kids brought home the yearbooks on Wednesday also.  They turned out great!  Diane did a wonderful job designing it.  It was fun being a part of making the last Oakland yearbook the best one yet!
Thursday was finally the last day of school.  The kids only had a half day.  I picked Keira up at 11:15 and we zipped home to be here when the boys got home.  Once they did we hopped in the car and went to eat lunch at Valley Dairy.  I usually try to do something with them on the last day of school.  The restaurant was busy and the kids were whining about it taking so long to get our food.   I joked with our waitress when she finally brought our food that I wasn't going to be able to take their whining much longer.  :)
Later in the day Alex managed to get a wire stuck in his mouth.  Apparently he was trying to straighten a wire that was in a circular shape - like a key ring - with his teeth, and managed to get it through his bottom gums.  I took one look and knew it was more than I could deal with - beyond my mom expertise.  :)  So off to the ER we went.  They were really great.  The PA that took care of him was incredible.  She answered all his questions and made him feel at ease.  She numbed up his mouth and wiggled the wire out.  We were in and out of the ER in just about an hour.
In the meantime Keira was supposed to be at worship practice at 6:00.  But we were at the ER.  Thankfully Doug got home just after 6:00 and took her.
When we left the ER, we zipped home, picked up Nick, and went to the church for a pasta dinner fundraiser for MS.  I wasn't all that hungry after eating lunch late, but I ate anyway.  The boys both took a few bites and went off to play so we ended up taking their dinners home.  Along with a couple to-go dinners for Doug and Keira.
Friday I spent a good part of the day in my garden pulling weeds.  So.many.weeds!  Wait, I think I already mentioned that.  My strategy is to dig up everything and pitch the bad stuff and save the little milkweed seedlings that are growing.  I have way more milkweed than I will ever need so I plan to give some away to friends.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through the garden.
The sun actually came out on Friday for a while.  We have had so much rain and so many thunderstorms, it was so nice to have some sunshine!  Even if it didn't last.
We also went up to help our neighbor with her pool.  She told me that if I helped her get the pool ready to swim in that the kids could swim in it whenever they wanted.  With all the rain and thunderstorms, however, it has been hard to find time to get it going.  And now with VBS coming up, it may not be ready until July.  She shouldn't have to worry about the water getting low though.  :)
Saturday was spent pulling weeds (when it wasn't raining) and doing stuff in the house (when it was raining).  I made gnocchi soup for supper.  Yum!

Well, I think that's about it.  If you made it through all of that, thank you for stopping by!
I will be posting a movie review and giveaway either later today or tomorrow so be sure to check that out.