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Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 2/22/15 - 2/28/15

March is here!  I'm so excited!  Even if it did come in like a lion - dumping about 8 inches of snow on us on Sunday.  That just means it will go out like a lamb, right?  :)

Wishful thinking.

Anyway, let's get straight to last week's photos, shall we?

{February 22: Macro}
February 22:  Macro
Still enjoying the bouquet of flowers Doug bought me for Valentine's Day.

{February 23:  Fix}
February 23:  Fix
The inside of my Big Shot machine that has been sitting here waiting to be fixed for quite some time now. :/
Some days the inspiration just isn't there. This would be one of those days.  :)

{February 24:  12 o'clock}
February 24:  12 o'clock
Time for a cup of tea to help soothe a sore throat.

{February 25:  Reflection}
February 25:  Reflection
When we visit the zoo, I try to get at least one group shot. Even if it is only a reflection in one of the fish tanks.  :)
(Archive shot)

{February 26:  Grow}
February 26:  Grow
Nothing is growing around here since we are still under several inches of snow with more on the way. So I bought a small pot of Primroses to brighten things up a bit. 21 days until spring arrives!

{February 27:  Still life}
February 25:  Still life
Nothing spectacular today. Simply a dead rose from my Valentine's Day bouquet. Surprisingly some of the other flowers are still hanging in there.
(Much to my surprise, this photo was chosen as one of the FAB photos for the day.)

{February 28:  Thank you}
February 28:  Thank you
Thank you, Mom, for being so awesome and letting me climb the snow mountain in the mall parking lot. 
Love, Alex

Last month's completed collage:
February FMS PAD collage

Linking with Tamar:

Quick rundown of last week:
Nick's volleyball tournament got rescheduled to Monday.  It had been scheduled for Thursday the 18th but then school got cancelled.  No school again on Friday.  I was a little peaved that they didn't give us any notice.  Nick got home from school at 3:40 as usual and told me that he needed to be there at 5:15.  Anyway, his team lost right away.  They were playing double elimination so once a team lost two games, they were done.  One of our school's teams won the overall tournament, which was exciting.  There were 11 elementary schools participating.
Tuesday we had yet another school cancellation.  I think they are supposed to go to school until June 10th now.  :(
Doug got sick early Friday morning and stayed home from work.  While I felt bad for him, there was nothing I could do to make him feel better.  So I left the house.  :)  I usually exercise in our living room but he was resting on the couch.  So I went to the mall and walked 5 laps then ran some errands.  He rested all day and felt a little better by evening.  Although he said he felt like someone beat him up.
Saturday morning was soccer, as usual.  Except this time Doug didn't go.  He still wasn't feeling great.  Alex's team lost.  Again.  One of these years he will get placed on a winning team.  He has fun though and I guess that's all the really matters.  

The kids had a 2-hour delay for school this morning.  Which really should have been a cancellation.  As much as I hate adding another day to the end of the year, safety really should be a priority when it comes to our kids.  There were wrecks everywhere.  Keira called me to tell me her bus was taking a detour to school because a truck was blocking the road they usually take.  Then a bus got stuck on the hill right below the school.  For whatever reason, that road is poorly maintained in the winter.  And you would think of all places, that would be taken care of the most.  Tomorrow the forecast is calling for freezing rain then ice then rain but not until after the kids will already be in school.  Here's hoping for no more delays or cancellations!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 2/15/15 - 2/21/15

Another week under our belts.  One more week closer to spring.  Thanks to our lovely Pennsylvania weather, the kids had school cancelled on Monday, Thursday, and Friday last week.  We had record-breaking low temperatures.  Their Easter break is now gone with a couple days tacked on at the end of the year.  And winter isn't over yet.  :/

We had a bit of a warm up on the weekend along with about 6 more inches of snow on Saturday.  But back down to high temps in the single digits today.  Brrrrr!  Global warming sounds really good right now.  :)

Anyway, I'm still chugging along with Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge.  And I think I mentioned last week that I started another Project 365 challenge.  I'm allowing myself to use archived photos when I'm stumped or just not feeling it.  When I finish up my year with FMS PAD, I will make more of an effort to take a fresh photo every day.  After all, that's what these challenges are about.

Of course, now that I said that, the first photo of this week is an archived photo.  :)

{February 15: Spot}
February 15:  Spot
This Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar has spots that look like eyes in order to scare off predators.  We had the pleasure of finding one a few years ago and keeping him in chrysalis form over the winter.  I hope to attract more of these lovelies to our butterfly garden this year.

{February 16:  From where I stand}
February 16:  From where I stand
It may look pretty outside, but from where I stand it is too stinkin' cold to go out! We are in the middle of "it is so cold it makes my face hurt" temperatures right now. Only 31 days until spring!

{February 17:  Routine}
February 17:  Routine
Exercise is definitely part of my daily routine. For now while it is too cold and slippery to exercise outside, I will continue to do my workouts indoors. Today was strength training. Tomorrow will be intervals.

{February 18:  Bedside}
February 18:  Bedside
Today's view from my bedside. Snow, snow, and more snow.

{February 19:  Fresh}
February 19:  Fresh
Fresh blackberries anyone?

{February 20:  This is so me!}
February 20:  This is so me!
Butterflies and sunshine. We had the sunshine today but I had to improvise with the butterflies since it is very much winter here right now.  :) This is a wind chime I bought recently. I can't wait until the weather warms up and I can hang it outside.
(This photo got chosen among the FAB photos for the day!  WOOT!)

{February 21:  Matching}
February 21:  Matching
We bought this matching tea set several years ago for our now-teenage daughter. Sadly it has been stored away for a while. She's a bit old for tea parties. But perhaps my youngest will want to have one with me. He's not too cool (yet) to hang out with his mama.  :)

Linking with Tamar:

Like I said, the kids had school cancelled Monday, Thursday, AND Friday.  
Keira had a violin lesson on Monday.  The boys and I dropped her off and ran a quick errand.  Their doors were frozen shut (motorized sliding van doors) so when we got back to her teacher's house, I asked if I could have some warm water to pour on my doors so we could open them.  When we had run our errand, the boys forgot they couldn't open their doors but they tried anyway.  Well, the doors were closed, but the sensor kept indicating that they were open, so the car was beeping over and over and over again on the way back to Stephanie's.  Ugh.  So incredibly annoying.  Warm water does the trick.  Even if only for a moment.  :)
Wednesday I went up to help set up our store at church.  But then we ended up cancelling Wednesday night kids' classes.  At least it is already set up for this week.  Hope we don't have to cancel again!  Oh spring, you can't come soon enough!  :)
Thursday and Friday were full of movie watching and laziness.  Although Alex and I did run up to the mall.  My Rite Aid register rewards were expiring and I didn't want to lose $8.00.  We also stopped at JCPenney to look for a new purse for me.  Didn't find one.  Alex wanted me to buy him a pretzel.  And a book.  And a toy.  And, and, and ...  Next time I think I will go alone.   :)  (He didn't get any of those things, by the way).
Saturday morning we woke up to snowy roads so we decided it wasn't worth it to go to Alex's soccer game.  When our road looks bad (a main road), it is best to just stay put.  We ended up getting about 6 inches of snow.  However it was a little warmer.  I think we almost hit the freezing mark.  After all those below zero temps, it felt like a heat wave!  :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 2/8/15 - 2/14/15

Ah, February.  Why are you so cold this year?!

I am excited that it is already February 16th though.  More than halfway through the month!  March and hopefully warmer temps will be here before we know it!  At least I keep telling myself that.  :)

The kids had school cancelled today because of the cold.  Originally they were supposed to have the day off for President's Day but they lost it because of a cancellation in January.  Now they will lose another of their Easter vacation days.  I think they will only have Good Friday off now.  That's a bummer.  If they have any more cancellations, days will probably be tacked on at the end of the year.

Anyway, let's get on to last week's photos ...

{February 8:  In my bag}
February 8:  In my bag
In my bag I have been carrying a crocheting project I am currently working on. I'm not good at being idle so if I ever have to wait for a few minutes, I pull out my project and work on it. I figure it is better than spending time messing around on my phone.  :)

{February 9:  Energy}
February 9:  Energy
Our sweet golden, Honey, doesn't have as much energy as she used to, but she will still jump up to get a snowball to munch on.

{February 10:  This inspires me}
February 10:  This inspires me
This inspires me to try to photograph frozen bubbles again. This photo is from January 2014 when it was so bitterly cold that bubbles would freeze. It was an interesting experiment. But I prefer to play with bubbles on warm, summer days.  :)

{February 11:  On the wall}
February 11:  On the wall
The walls in the preschool room at our church are painted with a Noah's Ark theme. This particular section has elephants painted on the wall.  One of the lovely and talented ladies from our church did all the painting. Isn't it amazing?!

{February 12:  Pointy}
February 12:  Pointy
A coneflower in the winter isn't nearly as pretty as a coneflower in summer.  

{February 13:  Temptation}
February 13:  Temptation
The temptation was too great for her. She had to get up to eat the treat.   :)

{February 14:  Love}
February 14:  Love
Even though we don't usually do anything for Valentine's Day, this year my love bought flowers for me and Keira. A bouquet for each of us. How sweet of him!

Linking with Tamar:

My quick rundown of the week:
Nick stayed home from school on Monday not feeling well.  He had thrown up Saturday night, felt fine on Sunday, then threw up again Sunday night and Monday morning.  A friend suggested I get him tested for strep since it can have some strange symptoms, so we went to see our doctor.  No strep though, just a virus.  He was feeling better and went to school the rest of the week without incident.
Tuesday morning we had a VBS meeting at church.  It may seem a bit early to start planning VBS but there are a lot of things that need taken care of early.  
Tuesday afternoon a friend came over so we could experiment with some crafty stuff.  I will share what we did another time.
Wednesday morning I had breakfast with another friend.  We have some things in common and had a nice time chatting.
Wednesday afternoon I took Honey for a nice, long walk at a local state park.  The sun was shining and the temperatures were above freezing, so I decided to enjoy it while I could.  We had a nice walk.  It felt great to be out in the fresh air.
Thursday morning Nick had volleyball practice again.  They are scheduled to play their games this Thursday but the weather might interfere with that plan.  I think the high temp for the day is supposed to be 10 and the low -8.  So we'll see.
Friday the kids had the day off of school for an inservice day.  We didn't really do much.  Just hung around the house being kinda lazy.
Saturday was soccer as usual.  Except that it was picture day.  I always buy the smallest package just so I can get the group picture.  I don't think I have ever done anything with the photos from previous years, yet anyway.  Eventually they will go in Alex's scrapbook.
After soccer we went to lunch and then to Michael's to get more paint for Alex's Titanic model.  Doug said we needed to some touch-up paint.
That's about it!  Nothing too exciting!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 2/1/15 - 2/7/15

It's February!!!!  I'm so excited!  Only 38 more days until spring!

Last week I decided to take on a second photo challenge.  There is a group on Facebook called 365 Photo that posts challenges also.  The FMS PAD group that I am involved in is getting pretty big and this group is much smaller.  I will continue with the FMS group until at least the end of March to get in my full year with them and then I'll reevaluate.  I'm not sure I'll be able to handle two prompts per day.  Especially when business picks back up.

Anyway, here are last week's FMS photos ...

{February 1:  On my plate}
February 1:  On my plate
Alex has been asking for a week or so now if we could have shrimp for dinner.  So today we made that happen.  Grilled shrimp with pasta and broccoli.  Mmmmm.  And we finally got to use our new dishes.  Yay!

{February 2:  Mail}
February 2:  Mail
I love getting happy mail! And conveniently a friend of mine sent me this thank you card and it came today.  :)

{February 3:  Water}
February 3:  Water
My quandary for the day - how to get a water picture without actually leaving my house as I don't feel well today and it is awfully cold out. Thanks to the icicles hanging from the front of our house, I was able to do it.

{February 4:  Reward}
February 4:  Reward
On Wednesday nights at church the kids can earn coins as rewards for doing certain things - like answering questions correctly, saying their Bible verses, or getting caught being good. Then once every two months or so we have a "store" where they can spend their coins for prizes. The kids love it and it seems to be a great motivator.

{February 5:  Something blue}
February 5:  Something blue
There is a special time of the day called "blue hour". According to Wikipedia it is "the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue." 

I'm not sure I captured it exactly, but I still love the look of this photo. I was walking out on my way to a meeting and had to run back into the house to grab my camera so I could capture this. And in case you are wondering, no, I wasn't late for the meeting.  :)

{February 6:  Makes me smile}
February 6:  Makes me smile
"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." ~Woody Allen
We laughed and laughed while Nick was being silly singing and carrying on.

{February 7:  Stripes}
February 7:  Stripes
Colorful stripes help to brighten up this colorless season.

And my usual rundown of the week (feel free to skip this - it's more for me anyway):
Sunday we watched the Super Bowl and even though I truly didn't care who won (since our Steelers weren't playing), I was disappointed the Seattle lost.  Especially after that last drive.
Monday the kids had a snow day.  Or rather an ice day. 
Tuesday evening was spent at the Senior High school watching Nick and a bunch of other 6th graders playing volleyball.  Or at least attempting to play volleyball.  Nick's team won 2 out of 5 games and are moving on to the finals.  Not quite sure how that works.  Must be like the NFL.  :)  Anyway, those games are on the 17th and are single elimination, so if they lose, we get to go home sooner.  :)
Wednesday was normal stuff.
Thursday Keira was sick.  I took her to the doctor since she's been having ringing in her ears which then becomes a nasty headache.  The doc thinks the tinnitus is leftover from Keira's recent illness and gave her an antibiotic to try to kick it out of her.  If that doesn't work, we will see an audiologist.  Keira was playing her guitar some tonight (but not her violin yet) so she must be feeling better.
Thursday was also PTO meeting night.  We had a meeting with the 6th grade activity committee afterwards to discuss what we want to do for the 6th graders at the end of the year.  It is sad that this might be our last year to do this at our current school.
Friday I ran some errands, did some couponing (which I'm going to try to do more of this year), and we had our normal popcorn and movie night.  We rented Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  It was cute.
Saturday morning was soccer.  I finally got to go to a game.  Alex's team lost again but they had fun.  We sat with friends of mine whose son is also on Alex's team.  After the game we ran a few errands and came home.  Doug and I were supposed to go to the symphony that night but he didn't feel well after dinner, so we stayed home.  I was okay with that.  I really enjoy the symphony, but sometimes I just really don't want to go anywhere.  That seems to be happening a lot this winter.  I'm just content to stay home.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 1/25/15 - 1/31/15

Woo hoo!  January is done and February is here!  We are that much closer to spring, which is followed by summer, which is butterfly season.  I can't wait!  :)

I'm still going strong with Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge.  I plan to continue at least until the end of March.  That will give me a full year.  Then I'll see if I want to keep going.

{January 25:  Black and white}
January 25:  Black and white
My beautiful girl outside in the snow.  We played with our dog for a while then went for a walk in our neighbor's woods this afternoon.

{January 26:  Three things}
January 26:  Three things
Three tiny snowflakes sitting on a scarf.
The kids had the day off of school today due to the weather. We got several inches of snow last night and throughout the day today. At one point this afternoon when I let the dog in, I noticed that the flakes on her fur had some detail to them, so I bundled up and headed out to see what I could capture. This photo is just one of several that I am pretty pleased with.

{January 27:  Morning}
January 27:  Morning
I hate to post another snowflake picture already but honestly this is what I photographed this morning. I was out clearing out our driveway after the kids went to school and kept seeing snowflakes falling that were just beautiful. So my macro lens and I went exploring once again. Have I mentioned how much I love my macro lens?  :)

{January 28:  Strange}
January 28:  Strange
This strange-looking caterpillar was found by me in our back yard a few years back. After making sure it was harmless, thanks to our good friend Google, the kids and I had a good time holding it and letting it crawl on our hands. It is a Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar in its last larval stage. It was looking for a place to dig into the ground to pupate. Because of its size it would take about a full year to become an adult, which turns out is just a boring, brown moth, albeit a big one. We never did get to see the moth.  (Archive photo because I just couldn't come up with anything strange today.  Funny thing is - this got picked in the Fab Four photos for the day.)

{January 29:  Summer/winter}
January 29:  Summer/Winter
Definitely winter here today. Honey and I ventured out to play in the snow for a few minutes. It was really coming down for a while! Glad I'm not going anywhere today!

{January 30:  Fave food}
January 30:  Fave food
Friday night means popcorn and movie night with the family. Hot-air-popped popcorn is most definitely a favorite in this house.

{January 31:  On top}
January 31:  On top
I was totally stumped on what to do for this prompt today - thinking I would have to dig into the archives for a photo - when I came home to find my daughter crocheting herself a hat.  Totally unplanned but problem solved!   :)

Linking with Tamar:

Just a quick run down of my week:
Monday the kids had a snow day.  The 2nd of the year.  Today, they are having their 3rd.  :/  Seems to be a Monday thing.
Had a meeting at school on Tuesday morning to discuss Alex's reading challenges and what we can do about them. 
Keira was sick all week.  She just didn't feel well.  Not sure it was the flu though as she didn't have a fever at all.  She just felt icky.
Nick had volleyball practice again Thursday morning.  The tournament was supposed to start tonight but with school being cancelled, I don't know what they will do.  His team was scheduled to play tomorrow evening.
Friday I actually left the house and ran some errands.  :)
Saturday morning we had our artist workshop.  We learned how to crochet.  I used to know how many years ago so it wasn't completely unfamiliar to me.  When it was over I came home for a bit and then went to my friend Rainey's house to do some Project Life scrapbooking.  I really just got some photos and cards inserted into pockets but I'm okay with that.  It is better than nothing!  She made dinner and dessert.  Yummmmm.  It was a really fun day.  We probably won't get another chance to do that for a while since she is in another play in March - Steel Magnolias - and she'll be busy with practices.  Should be a good play!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 1/18/15 - 1/24/15

Last week started with a trip to Lancaster to see the show Moses and ended with me teaching some lovely ladies how to use their cameras in manual mode.  It was a good week!

{January 18:  Today is ...}
January 18:  Today is ...
A day of traveling. We were on the road a little longer than we had planned. We dealt with ice, snow, a snow/rain mix, rain, and fog. We made it to our destination unscathed though. Keira took this picture with her phone while I was driving.  The mountains of Pennsylvania are so beautiful!

{January 19:  Homemade}
January 19:  Homemade
I haven't really made anything (except food) lately. But I haven't photographed any of it. So this is the little rice pack that my daughter made. You heat it in the microwave and put it on sore muscles. My neck has been enjoying the company of this cute little guy quite a bit lately.

{January 20:  Window}
January 20:  Window
This is written on our front window with liquid chalk markers. Counting down until spring arrives. Although I must admit I was excited about the snow that we got today. It wasn't bitterly cold so we could actually go outside and enjoy it.

{January 21:  In a row}
January 21:  In a row
Dipping into the archives for this one. This is my favorite kind of row. A row of Monarch chrysalises just before the butterflies eclose (aka emerge). I am sooooooo looking forward to this year's butterfly season!

{January 22:  Collection}
January 22:  Collection
Alex likes to play with his collection of Toy Story toys. Woody will always be his favorite though.

{January 23:  Something far away}
January 23:  Something far away
Now, in the dead of winter, when surrounded by lack of color, summer seems so far away.
I spent the day getting ready to teach a photography class tomorrow, so this is a stretch, but it'll have to do.   :)

{January 24:  Play time}
January 24:  Play time
I spent the day with these lovely ladies teaching them how to use their cameras in manual mode. We had a fun time playing and practicing their new skills. They want to go for a photo walk when the weather gets nicer so they can practice what they learned. Now, that's my kind of play time.  (Yes, I know that Leslie has her lens cap on.  I didn't notice it when I was taking their photo.)  :)

Linking with Tamar:

We left Sunday right after church for Lancaster.  We took the Bible Quizzing kids since they are doing the book of Exodus this year.  Moses was the perfect show for them to see.  We spent the night at a hotel, got up Monday morning and saw the 11:00 show.  It was incredible!  I had never been to a Sights and Sounds show before and now I can't wait to go back!  

I'm pretty proud of myself for driving all that way.  I'm so used to Doug driving when we go on long trips but he didn't go due to work.  Not everyone could fit in the church van so a second vehicle was needed.  Jenn drove the church van with all the kids (God bless her!) and I drove my van with Keira and two of the moms.  It was exhausting but I did it.  Next time we go I would like to spend more time in Lancaster.  I hear it is a great town full of photo ops!  :)

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful.  I got some stuff done around the house, prepped for my camera class, and watched a movie or two.  Alex had soccer practice on Saturday morning which Doug took him to since I was teaching my class.  We did get some snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, which was kind of nice.

Doug is making slow progress on the bathroom.  He started putting up some of the drywall on the ceiling.  But he's thinking he might want to do something else instead.  When we get time to go shopping together, he's going to show me his idea.

The kids had a snow day today.  We're not getting as much snow as is forecasted for the New England states but we got several inches.  It's about time!  :)   If you are in the area getting all that snow, I pray that you don't lose power!  Keep warm and safe!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly Summary ~ 1/11/15 - 1/17/15

We were away the past few days so I'm late posting.  Again.  Sheesh.  Oh well, we had fun.  And my computer wasn't even turned on for two whole days.  I think that's a record.  :)

{January 11:  I see ...}
January 11:  I see ...
I see someone was playing with my phone.  :)

{January 12:  Bright}
January 12:  Bright
Found these bright red berries while out on a walk through our neighbor's woods back in November.

{January 13:  Lucky number}
January 13:  Lucky number
I don't have a lucky number. I don't believe in luck. I do, however, believe in the power of ONE.
ONE smile.
ONE kind word.
ONE selfless gesture.
ONE small act to brighten someone's day.
We each hold the power to help make the world a little better place. It all starts with ONE.

{January 14:  New}
January 14:  New
Our sweet Honey posing for me in front of our new living room curtains. We have lived in this house for 18 years and we finally got curtains for our big picture window. :) Just need to shorten them a little since they are a few inches too long.

This is not at all the photo I had planned for today. But I wasn't able to make the other idea happen so this is my fall back.

{January 15:  Old}
January 15:  Old
My sister brought me a whole bunch of old photographs recently. It has been fun looking through them and reminiscing. And trying to figure out when they were taken or who in the world is in them. :) The color photo here is of my mom many years ago. The photo to the right shows my Grandma (now deceased) with my mom (the oldest child) and my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle are both deceased now also, leaving my mom the last one remaining. I hope to sit down soon and sort through these photos and make an album for my mom who will turn 80 in two years.

{January 16:  Nature}
January 16:  Nature
Not a whole lot of color in nature around here right now. But as you might expect from me, I did find a milkweed seed pod to photograph. We were on a back road that is not maintained in the winter when I took this photo (the same road that I visit frequently in the summer months looking for Monarch caterpillars and eggs) and the boys had a fun time "skating" on the icy road while I took pictures. :)

Only 62 days and 23 hours until spring! Can't wait for butterfly season to start again!

{January 17:  Jump}
January 17:  Jump
Alex was excited to help me with today's prompt.  :)

Linking with Tamar:

Monday the kids had a school delay due to ice.  The rest of the week went off without a hitch though.  It was still pretty cold.  Alex and I went shopping for new soccer socks, shin guards, and shoes.  He started indoor soccer on Saturday morning.  Doug took him and let me sleep in.  The first couple weeks are just practice anyway.  Nick had volleyball practice early Thursday morning.  The 6th graders have a tournament the beginning of February so they need to get some practice in beforehand.  Our Wednesday night kids' class started back up.  We had a pretty good night.  At least I think we did.  I spent most of the time in the nursery playing with the babies.  Fun stuff.  :)  Doug ripped some of the bathroom walls and the ceiling out on Saturday.  It is like showering in a cave right now.  But it will look so nice when it is all done.