Thursday, December 30, 2010

amongst friends #61

Edit~I finally did it. I've long worried that I would forget to include someone who sent in a picture. I did. Stacie sent in a Church picture last week and I forgot to pass it on to Kelly. I'm sorry Stacie. :(

She said "So John and I were driving back from seeing family, and I was debating on what church I should photo, but I was wanting something out of the box but not sure what. One exit before the one we had to get off at, this truck pulling a trailer behind it came onto the interstate in front of us and voila lol There was my pic..glad I had my camera with me :)"

It's a funny pic Stacie and I am so glad you reminded me. And I'm glad I got that out of my system. Hopefully I don't forget anyone again and if I do, be sure to let me know!  :)

Due to the Holidays and people being out of town or tied up with family and friends, we were a little late receiving (and posting) the collage. As you can see, we are down several participants from the last few weeks. We hope everyone gets a chance to join again next week :-)

Sheila took her picture on her way into the New Member's Orientation at the church she attends.

Sandy wasn't sure she would be able to get us a Church photo this week due to some ups and downs in her life currently. As it turned out the 19th was the week that the church, in the nursing home where her Dad is, scheduled church service there. She submitted a picture of her Mom and Dad at that service.

Justin said his picture is from his Mom's Christmas Village on her kitchen bar. "Every year she goes all out, and puts up a lit, populated department 56 village. Some of the little figures and buildings cost over a hundred dollars. As assanine as it may seem, everyone has their interests, and it brings her and my stepdad together!"

Renee took a picture of a Christmas card at her Mother's house a few weeks ago.

Realizing her picture was the same as Debbie's (they live in a small town :) Christie dug through some much older photos and found this picture of a retired priest from the same church. She says she always loved this photo. He was such a delightful man who had many stories to share. He was so incredibly proud of this cross he was given as a gift for such long service to the church.

I took mine of the Baptism Pool at my church. I have only witnessed 2 Baptism's since I have been going there, but I love the turquoise color of the water. It's very pretty and calming.

Rayma's picture is of a blanket her friend has. On it is the childhood school and church her friend's husband attended, originally built in the 1930's. He was laid to rest across the street from this spot in Oakhill, TN.

Karen's is a beautiful old church in downtown Tampa.

Debbie wrote "frosty but nestled in for the winter a multicultural view... Russian Orthodox Church, Kenai, Alaska".

Jocelyn stopped to take her picture of a church in her neighborhood that she has gone to a couple of times.

Make sure you have your cameras out for the new year!! This week is celebration. See you all in a 2011! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be safe and enjoy!

After celebration, we have critters, relax and cold. Have fun, be creative. See you soon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

amongst friends #60


I (Kelly) am in charge of this week and next soooo, here it is... :-)

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we are running a little behind this week and a few were unable to send in a photo. Soon enough we will all be back on track. Until then, those who can will and the rest of us will look forward to the next week and theme.

Do all of you enjoy the Christmas season? I know I do! There are so many things to be grateful for!!

Christie's Mom started a nativity collection for her 3 girls years ago when her first child was born. Since then they have acquired many. This particular one is child friendly and stays out year-round. It's a favorite and being available all the time encourages lots of conversation about the birth of baby Jesus.

While spending some time at her Mom's house last week, Renee' took this picture of a nativity set on the table.

Sheila's picture is of a card that she received at work from the CEO's assistant.

Karen saw this piece of artwork in a store when she was out Christmas shopping.

Debbie's message was a simple one~...unto them a child was born.

Jerri visited an Annual Live Nativity just down the street from her home. I love that the star that will guide them is visible in the photo.

Mine is a very simple Nativity Scene. that was made by my Mother many, many years ago. My Father just recently made the Stable for me to display them in.

Janice says "We were told very early on in our marriage that we would never conceive. In our 22nd year of marriage, we were blessed with our very own miracle from Heaven. Valerie Marie."

Sandy sent this picture a couple of weeks ago, she said "I have the privilege of having 5 children in my Sunday School class whose families are from Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Here they are dressed for the nativity play."

There is a face in the background of Rayma's picture, do you see it? She took the photo through a window down the street from her office at a Christian bookstore. She said she doesn't think they planned for the face. :)

Jenny's picture is a Nativity scene that she has in her apartment to celebrate the season.

Jocelyn took hers through a store window while out shopping this past weekend.

Next week is Church, then Celebration, Critters and Relaxation.
 See you all next week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

amongst friends #59


Whew, here it is-Sparkle! FINALLY!

It’s been a hectic week, for more than just me evidently because it took an extra day or so to get all the pictures. Add that to my normal crazy schedule and all of a sudden it’s Wednesday and our amongst friends collage is just going up!

It certainly was worth the wait though. Just look at all the twinkling going on here!

I’ll start this off by telling you I took my picture a couple weeks ago. It was right after a warm spell and my children had taken the top layer of ice off of our Koi pond. They were using it as part of a snow sculpture. With the warmer weather it had started to melt and on that particular sunny day it was winking at me as I got into my car. I stopped, got out and snapped a few pictures. I didn’t realize the sparkles were in the photo until looking at them on the computer later. I more envisioned glittery things but with my lack of time, it turns out I was lucky I’d gotten this when I did. I works just fine! J

Kelly took a picture of Sparkle Barbie, a gift she donated to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

Karen’s sparkly bowtie is super cute. I wonder is she will wear it sometime through the holidays.

Jerri says her photo is just a pretty sparkly heart. That it is!

Rayma sent me a few photos. I chose this wizard because he was different from any other submission and something about him makes me think about my youth. I can’t quite make the connection but I like the photo and his sparkly pearl.

We have two newcomers this week. We are so glad you both are joining in and hope you will stick around. I must say I had several favorites this week and I really love both of their photos.

Stacie chose to photograph a bow on the front of her apartment. I love the composition of the picture and it is definitely sparkly. It’s also one of my favorite colors of the season. It’s not the traditional Christmas green but by far my favorite hue at Christmas time.

Janice said her husband was wrapping gifts one evening when she noticed the sparkly paper glistening under the tree. Again, I love the angle of the photo and how it shimmers.
Plus, I really need to find some of that paper ‘cause it’s so stinkin’ cute!

Renee’ gets the ‘makes me grin’ award because when I got her picture in my inbox, I kind of laughed out loud. Who knew there were sparkle paper towels? Great idea!

Butch took another picture of his Christmas tree this week. You may not think it sparkles much but when you enlarge this picture you will notice there is tinsel on it. This too makes me smile because I do not know one other person who still uses tinsel on their tree. In fact we struggle to find it year after year. I found on old box in my crawl space I’ll be passing on to him in a day or two so he can fill in his tree a little more.

Isn’t it funny how kids think of themselves in photos more often than any other subject? I was looking through some photos of the past year with Cassi and when we came upon this one, she claimed ‘this was the one’! No one can say she isn’t sparkly in this picture.

Cali wanted to enter this picture of herself in her Christmas dress. I found this dress on the day after Thanksgiving and fortunately she loved it. I happen to love this picture of her. She reminds me of Eloise at the Plaza or something like it.

Jenny submitted a jewelry box full of sparkles! Lovely!

Sheila staged a photo of Yoshi in her sparkling new year’s hat with her favorite sparkle bear.

Justin also submitted a photo of his dog in his sparkle bed.

Debbie said she is sneakin’ a little kinder-sparkle into the holidays. I LOVE this picture.

Joanne wasn’t sure her sparkly little lighted Christmas tree came through well in the picture. I love all of them actually and think the display is darling!

Jocelyn’s photo of the city lights is a great idea and if you look closer a really nice photo!

I am mentioning Sandy last- she sent her photo in weeks ago. Her Dad is ill and amazingly she thought ahead to send in three weeks of photos in case she didn’t get back in time to send them. Sandy, I hope your Dad is better and we all wish him well. Prayers go out to you and your family.

Her photo is of sparkly decorated motorbikes. One of the young ladies from her church goes on a ‘toy run’ with the Christian Biker Assc. the first Sunday in December. This photo was from a couple years ago when her husband went along. They decorate their bikes and take a toy for the children in Bernardos charity. There are usually about 2000 bikers. What a fabulous idea and a great way to spread the warmth of Christmas.

I hope you all are enjoying the Holiday-ish themes of late. Remember next week is Nativity, and then we have Church. After that we will move onto Celebration and then Critters. Have fun, be creative and we’ll see you in a few short days! J

Saturday, December 11, 2010

All She Wants for Christmas is her Two Front Teeth

No really, I don't think she cares if they come in any time soon. She is happy to have lost them. Two in the last three days.

She lost the first one at school on Thursday, the 9th. I honestly can't believe it hung in there as long as it did. She was looking rather snaggly for quite some time. I really disliked it, however it stressed her for anyone to bother it so we let her be. I took her picture at the school lunch table and the second tooth is so tilted you can hardly tell she is missing one.

I hear it fell out completely on its own will. She picked it up, took it to the nurse and they gave her a great little treasure chest to pack it up in. (Honestly, I think she'd been praying it would fall out at school just to get that little chest!)

She wrote this great note to the tooth fairy. She let me take a picture of it before she put it under her pillow.
In case you can't read it, it says, Can you leave my tooth. Love Cali  There are also a lot of words. She is learning to read and spell so she writes words on EVERYTHING! I especially love the picture of the tooth!

The Tooth Fairy left a silver dollar to save and a one dollar bill to spend for her first tooth. She decided she was saving both! She carried her tooth and the silver dollar around school the entire next day and when she got home she said, "I proved you wrong Mom, I didn't lose either one!"

This morning she came to us crying that the second tooth was now a bit stuck in the sideways position. I gave her a wet towel and told her to work on it. A few minutes later she came to the kitchen to tell me it wasn't working and while she was talking the tooth hit the floor. It was slimy and she had a hard time picking it up. :)

She is putting it in the chest with the other and trying to figure out if she will get another silver dollar under her pillow tonight. :)  What do you think she'll get? I have a few guesses. :)

Here she is in her toothless glory. It took so long to lose them that the permanent ones are already poking through.


We finally decorated our tree last weekend.   WooHoo!

We love our tree. Although, I think we all agree that with our tall ceiling, we would like it to be larger.  We have decided we are going to watch those after-holidays sales and see if we can find a big one.  It won't be easy as we love the fiber-optic part of ours so...well, if you see one, let us know! :)

The one thing I didn't love while we were decorating, was losing Grandma's reindeer ornament. It wasn't actually lost as you can see, however for a short time, I thought it was. It really upset me and I found that I am quite attached to things of my past. Much more than items from my present.  This also applies to things that belonged to the girls when they were small too. I have most every toy they were ever given. (I figure I'm lining my self up to open a vintage toy shop someday!)

This ornament once belonged to me mother. In fact I can't even tell you how old it actually is, but I believe the story goes, that she bought it the year I was born for our first family Christmas tree. That makes it...well it's been around a while. Ha!

Anyway, I am not so deluded that I find these things more valuable than being together and the memories we are making when we are but I do love to hold and treasure the items from my past. They take me back to those times and remind me of my life, by touch.

Do you do this too? What do you have that is special to you?  This reindeer is one of my most treasured Christmas items. Some day I will share a few other favorites with you as well. I have many!

Monday, December 06, 2010

amongst friends #58


First let me ask, does it give you a warm feeling when you realize some things just happen at all the right times? It does me. It does my heart good!

Today is Kelly’s birthday. Happy Birthday Kidd! It’s funny that our ‘amongst friends’ week of Angels fell this when it did. I am sure I will never hear the end of it! J
Seriously though, Kelly is an Angel to me, the best-friend kind and I love her so! I hope it’s a beautiful day for you Kelly-Gayle, full of all the wonderfulness a girl should have!

As for the photo submissions this week; I expected lots of different views and we got them! I really did think there would be a few sentimental photos; maybe a few pretty ones and even one or two that were fun. The creativeness expressed here encompassed everything I thought of and so much more!

The three most sentimental photos took me aback. One is special to my own heart and even though I have no connection to the second one, the story is just as beautiful. And the third, well, it’s simple and clear.

Jerri found an old picture of her Dad. I heard the story something like this…the photo was taken in 1984, before he had become an angel. It’s possible he was testing his wings for the day in 1991, when he would watch over us all from Heaven. (This is Karen’s, Renee’s and Butch’s Dad too, and my Grandfather!)

Debbie says the swans are her angels, next in line after her kids! The year her Dad passed away, the swan came to visit her lake on his birthday. Then 5 years later, the year her mom died, the swan came to visit on her birthday. It seemed too coincidental to her! <3
By the way, this is Debbie’s first week here and we are glad you are joining in!

When I first got Scott’s photo I didn’t quite understand so I asked him to explain. When he did, I got it!  He says, “That is my heaven. I see it; I feel it when I am there, on the top of those mountains. If you can’t see it, then you won’t see the angels I see when I am there.”

There were several tree toppers and ornaments in our collage this week, all pretty cute in their own way.

Justin took his picture of his tree topper angel in his new apartment.

Rachel’s picture is her tree at home too!

Butch found the funniest angel ornament on his tree. It makes me giggle and is so like him to find something silly!

Karen didn’t tell me about her vintage little angel but she sure is sweet isn’t she?

Joanne took a picture in her angel themed bathroom.  All of those angels are quite beautiful there.

Kelly took a photo of an angel in her home that is out year ‘round.  She says, “My Aunt that passed away several years ago was very into Angels. This is one I inherited from her estate.”

Jenny has her own treasured collection of angels from her mom, who gave one to Jenny each year at Christmas, before she passed away. “The funnier the better”, says Jenny. This is one from the collection.

Cali approached the theme through a child’s eyes. She made the snow angel herself in the fresh Alaskan snow.

Cassi took a picture of a cookie we made the other day. They looked better than they tasted. I think we messed up the recipe but she sure nailed her photo! The cookies are called ‘angel wings’ and are also known as ‘Chrusciki’.

Sandy sent in a photo of a child at church. They were instructed to dress ‘Christmassy’ so she came dressed as an angel!  I think that child and Cali would be fast-friends!

My photo is an angel on the sun-visor in my car. A gift from my mom many years ago, meant to protect my family and me. It’s been in each car we have a time or two.

Sheila’s photo idea was pretty creative! I’m impressed. I thought I’d thought of most everything possible but I didn’t think of that!  Good timing for dessert.

Rayma says these dogs are her angels and I figure they must be because I can’t imagine any other way to get them all in one photo like that!

Jocelyn’s picture reminds us that we should remember the angels in need this holiday season too.  It’s the Salvation Army Angel tree in the lobby at her office.

Renee’ said she was looking all over for her angel picture then she stumbled upon this.
It’s a nice message for Angel week at amongst friends.

I just wanted to mention, if you’ve made it this far, that I really enjoy reading the stories behind the photos. Especially this week, when there were so many special stories to share. Also, I am thrilled that amongst friends continues to grow.  Invite your friends and let them know it’s fun, there is a lot of creativity here to share and see and they are always welcome.

Next week is Sparkle!
After that we have Nativity, Church, Celebration, then Critters.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

amongst friends #57

We posed the question just a couple weeks ago about whether or not to post all pictures in one collage or split them up. My newest question is how many is too many?  Chris and I have been discussing a magic number which will be our cut-off point and we are wondering what you think it should be. What is the maximum number of photos that should be in one collage?  Take a minute to look back through past collages HERE and let us know what you think. We are curious as to whether or not you think this collage has too many pictures in it or not.  If we choose a cut-off number and we reach it, then we will divide the number of entries into two collages and will enter them based on first received. In other words, if 12 is our magic number, when we get 13, we will instead divide the pictures into two collages with 7 in one and 6 in the other. The first 7 we received for the week will go into one and the last 6 will go into the other. So, one more time, do we have a cut-off number or not?  

*******Now onto the collage********

Wow!! We had a record number of participants this week (17). It's been a lot of fun creating this collage. I am really sorry Chris missed out creating this one! Since amongst friends has been her baby for just over a year now, I wish this week would have fallen on her :-)

I think Jenny's picture is of a sunrise on her way to work one morning. She actually sent this one to me last week thinking "yellow" was a week sooner.

Salvaged from a friend's trash, Joanne took this home and asked her Husband if he could revive it. Just so happened, he did it in time for this weeks yellow theme.

Jocelyn's picture is of beautiful flowers on her desk at work.

Here is a yellow rose in Sandy's back garden. They finally had a hard frost, so this is as far open as it will get. She is thinking maybe it can cheer those up who are already in the grip of winter. Roses are Sandy's favorite!

Karen said her's was a Christmas gift from Larry last year. Very nice!!

Scott joins in sometimes, and his picture of a yellow tent was taken up the Yetna River on a bear hunt this past August.

Christie took several yellow pictures recently but used them for other picture meme's, so when her Husband Scott made sweet rice for breakfast, she decided to put it in a yellow mug and use it for her submission this week.

Last Sunday Jerri drove into the parking lot of a local store and there it was, right where she was going. All by itself, a brand new yellow shopping cart!! All of the others by the front door were pushed together getting scratched up.

Who hates washing dishes?? Justin does. His dishwasher is being repaired and he had no other option than to break out the sponge :-)

I like Frank's picture, it reminds me of some of the remote locations I have driven through in Georgia and Alabama.

Memories...Butch's wife, Rachel joins us for the first time this week with a beautiful photo of her own. At the recent funeral of her Dad, she gave those in attendance the opportunity to write their memories, thoughts and prayers of Pop Pop on a yellow balloon to release and send to the heavens. It was a lovely gesture and a perfect contribution to amongst friends. Rachel, we are glad you are here.

Renee's picture is definitely yellow!! :-)

Rayma joined us this week too and wondered how yellow-green would work. I think it works great!!

In Christie's words, on the occasions that Cassi remembers and has the time to participate, she usually wanders around the house looking for things to photograph. This week found Cassi taking a closer look at her own art wall in the kitchen. She made this piece last year while she was studying the moon.

Many of you probably know what the color of my house used to be (ugly dark grey)...After adding my addition, I was very excited to paint it yellow.

Sheila stated that this was the highlight of her Thanksgiving weekend. Finding something different in yellow, she received a Florida Traffic Citation for speeding. This was not the yellow she was looking for! Sorry Sheila :-(

As for Butch, they say a young man will inevitably grow into the man his father was. It is every parents hope that their child takes the very best of who they were and makes better the things they weren't so great at. In like-father-like-son fashion,  Butch has carried on his Dad's love for big earth moving machines, and that is a fun and wonderful thing. For many who follow amongst friends, this image will bring back a memory or two. 

It's so great to see how many people participated this week. It's always interesting to read about the lives of others through something so simple. We are really glad every one is here and hope amongst friends continues to grow, so be sure to invite your friends.

On a side note, if you would ever like to try your hand at creating the collage, let Chris know. It's more of a challenge than you would think.  :)

Good luck on your hunt for Angels this week. I think there are many if we simply choose to see them!

Our upcoming themes are:

12/5 - Angel(s)
12/12 - Sparkle
12/19 - Nativity
12/26 - Church
1/2 - Celebration

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Believe!

Kelly mentioned to me a week or so ago that I haven't been blogging much lately and she's right. So I resolved to catch up just a bit.

While we were in Anchorage for Black Friday Shopping Cali spotted Santa in the mall. Now we know this isn't the real Santa but still she wanted to check him out a little closer! But not too close!

I finally talked her into getting near him as long as I went with her but she didn't want to take a picture with him by herself!!!  So in an attempt to sway her, the big two took a picture with him. It still didn't work. 

She decided she would take one with the girls but not alone!

Then we decided to do the family thing, thinking that might make things better. (By the way, I'd been up since 2:30 am and only had about 4 hours sleep.  This picture was taken about 2:00pm and I was dragging. I know I look like pure H*!L! but I was doing it for my baby!) It didn't do much. 

I did however get to give Santa some bunny ears without him knowing. :)  

And then Scott did it to me, without me knowing. Dang, payback is a pain isn't it?

Finally I got Cali to sit on the chair by him, with me. 

It was a bit awkward so I told her I was going to stand  but when I realized she hadn't noticed I'd moved away, I made some serious sign language at Amber, who had the camera and she tried to snap a picture. It was my tough luck that Cali figured it out before she got a good one. It might have made the lashing I got from Cali worth it! 

Oh well, there's always next year! :)

By the way, don't you just love the rain boots? Yeah, I didn't check her bag to see what she'd packed before we left and Scott let her dress herself rather than using the things I'd brought for her! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We spent ours at Grandpa's house. I am a sucker for traditions and so, we did everything much the same. We ate fairly early, filled our bellies with some awesome Thanksgiving day food and headed for Anchorage just like we usually do.

There were some minor exceptions this year. For one, the girls went with me and Grandpa to Anchorage and Scott went too!  I usually head up with only my Dad but this year everyone wanted to get into the Black Friday festivities. :) Of course, he and I were the only ones to get up at 2:30 am to be at the stores at 3:00! Still the girls got to get out into the thick of things and they too had a great time. It may not be your usual traditions but you know what, they are ours and that alone makes it all right!

We started our day with cinnamon rolls, which we do on Christmas as well. Cali and Scott were icing them and somehow they went flying. It was really funny.  Leave it to Scott to cause all the trouble! :)

I even tried to change up a thing or two for dinner this year and tried my hand at the 'cherpumple'. (Seriously, look it up on you tube! It's wacked! A cherry, pumpkin and apple pie baked into a cake!) Mine was a bust. It would not cook. I am pretty sure it was in the oven for 2 hours. So guess what? It was dry. :) Then I put the frosting on but the pie/cake was still warm on the inside and that added to the fact that it was really warm at Grandpa's house...well it made for a slightly droopy mess. Oh well, I wanted to try it and I did! Next year however I think I'll be looking for something new again!

There were lots of giggles going on while we were there.

Amber got stuck under the table. OK, well actually Aaron was holding her there wile tickling her. Young love is sweet. They are cute together!

Cori spilled tea all over herself on the ride out and ended up in a pair of leggings. I am not sue where all the hair came from, but she decided the vacuum was the only way to take care of it!  I can honestly say it was the first time I've ever seen anyone vacuum themselves off.

Grandpa bought a new elliptical machine and Cali caught rides with anyone willing to give it a whirl. (It kicked my butt!)

I even managed to get GiGi and Grand[a to take a picture together. (I am positive he doesn't know about the bunny ears! Don't tell him! LOL )

We ended the night in Anchorage and Ambe and AJ's apartment playing the Wii. Cali has possible dance classes in her future again. She loved the dancing game. I'm worried someone might think getting her that game for Christmas could be a good thing. Uggg! Just kidding! :)

I hope it was a wonderful Thanksgiving day for everyone. Here's to traditions!- Oh and making new ones!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

amongst friends #56


Here I go at my 3rd attempt at loading our weekly pictures. I have to tell you that it's not the easiest thing to do :-) I give Chris kudos for the year that she has pulled it off!! Thanks Chris! Although this weeks collage lacks some color, I like the outdoor affect that came out of it.

Welcome Butch!! Our newcomer took his picture on his recent trip to Florida. We hope he will continue to join us in the upcoming weeks!!!

On her way home from downtown Tampa, Sheila saw this CSX railroad bridge in the up position. She said it brought back memories because her Father, Ernie Sims Sr. worked for the railroad for 44 years.

Jocelyn's picture was taken this weekend when she and her Husband went to Clearwater for an event that his employer was hosting. It was the view from their Hotel room.

I love Sandy's pictures since there always seems to be something intriguing about them being from another Country. Sandy said "here is a photo of the Ironbridge. It is famous as being the first cast iron arch bridge in the world. It was built in 1779. Its span is 30 metres (100 ft) across the River Severn in Shropshire, England. We stayed there a few years ago. There is a whole series of museums and a period village built up around the concept of the Industrial Revolution and what went into building the bridge".

I have to say Chris' picture is my favorite this week. It was taken while on a field trip with her daughter Cassi Raye. She was playing with different angles of the bridge and decided to test her balance by teetering on the edge and looking down. Love it :-)

Karen took her picture a few years ago after her Mom bought her current home. To allow for easier access to her second piece of property, Karen's Husband build this bridge.

I'm not sure about Jerri's, but I can only guess her picture was taken on a recent trip to the beach with her Niece and Nephew that were visiting from Alaska.

Mine was taken on a Sunday drive after breakfast trying to pass some time before Church. I happened to pull down a side street and found myself looking at this bridge over the Hillsborough River. It seemed very peaceful to me.

Justin's picture is a tree bridge at Myakka State Park. It's 30 some feet off the ground, held up by ropes! I personally have been to the park many years ago with a good friend, and am sorry I didn't see it myself.

"It's a stinking bridge"!! I asked Jenny for commentary on her photo, and that was the response I received :-) Don't quite know the story behind it other than it was taken on a trip to New York.

I know the busy holiday season is upon us all, but please take a minute to look at all of the wonderful things around you. We have tried to tailor some of our themes in the upcoming month to go along with the holidays. Hopefully this will make it easier to continue on our quest for the remainder of the year. Cherish and enjoy your family and friends through the holidays. Happy Turkey Day!

Our next themes are:

11/28 - Yellow
12/5 - Angel(s)
12/12 - Sparkle
12/19 - Nativity
12/26 - Church
1/2 - Celebration

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

I have been wanting to make one of these. Today I finally did it. 

And now, I have to make more.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

~Being Thankful~

Every day from now, November 1st, until Thanksgiving I want to list something I am thankful for. Will you join me? There is no better time to think about it as we head towards Thanksgiving so lets do it together.
I will add to my list each day and keep it at as the top post on the blog so it will be easy to find if you are interested.  Leave me a comment with your blog address if you are going to do it and I would love to follow along with you too! (If you don't have a blog and want to share, just drop a comment every day)  :)

My 2010 List:

* I am thankful for holidays that remind me to think of all the wonderful things in my life.

* I am thankful for my blog that offers me a place to share my thoughts and the everyday moments of my life  with my family, friends and wonderful people I've met through it.

* I am thankful for my home.  It keeps me warm on windy, snowy nights. It houses my family and there I am surrounded by people who love me.

*I am thankful for my Mom and Dad, both of whom not only love and protect me as much today as the day I was born but who are two of my closest friends. I would be lost with them and there is never a day I don't thank God they are mine!

*Today I am thankful for my brothers and my sister. They are fun loving kids who never cease to make me smile. They are wonderful role models for my kids. They keep me young and make me so very proud!

*I am thankful that I live in the state of Alaska. I grew up in very busy southern states and I am so grateful for the less populated, small town appeal Alaska offers. I can't imagine any other place I would have rather raised my children!

*I am thankful for the men and women of the armed forces. Our family has a long history of men who've served including my cousin who is currently serving in Afghanistan. If it were not for the men and women of our military we would not live as we do. I am thankful for all of them and all that they and their families give so I may have the freedoms I have!

*I am thankful for Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. They are everything we often can't be as parents! They are LOVE, they are attention, they are a wealth of spoiling, they are an ear they are a distraction to a parent! :) And all too often they are gone from us way too fast.  I am grateful that I have a Grandparent who is still with me and that my girls have an abundance of the most wonderful Grandparents and Great-Grandparents ever!

*I am thankful for Aunts and Uncles. In our family we have a slew of amazing, quirky, fun and fabulous aunts who love and spoil us all the time! We have many Uncles and they are equally as wonderful! They all love us, encourage us and are all-around great people to Me, Scott and especially to my girls!  Each one of them are special to all of us and we love them very much!


*I am thankful for modern medicine.  Including things that will take my 3-day headache away!

*I am thankful for kind people. Kindness seems to find me just when I need it most and comes from the most unexpected places. 

*I am thankful for all the activities my kids participate in. Namely, cheer, soccer, band, choir, basketball, and I am sure thee are more. It keeps them busy and out of trouble. It keeps me busy and exhausted enough that I never have trouble falling asleep. :) Through all these things we stay close as a family and have so much fun in the process.

*I am thankful for sleep. (For me and my babies) Especially on days I am SO tired!

*I am thankful for friends. Friends who are there when I need them, friends who let me vent, friends who play games and take pictures with me, friends who are just as much family as blood relatives, friends who love me just the way I am, friends who mean the world to me and with whom I'd be lost without!

*Today I am thankful for airplanes and tomorrows. The planes will bring my husband, my Dad, step-mom, brother and sister home to us tomorrow1 It's gonna be a great day!

*I am thankful my husband has work and thankful that it always brings him back home.

*I am thankful for my babies! All 3 of my daughters light my life and make my world go 'round. They are kind, accepting and empathetic.  They are fun-loving, motivated, spontaneous, strong, confident and self-motivated kids.  They are everything I've taught and raised them to be and so much better than I am.  They make me proud every day just being exactly who they are. 

*I am thankful for the school my children attend and the opportunities I have to share the experiences they have there, with them.  I am grateful I get to volunteer and share the things I love to do with them and their friends that attend school with them.  It's a wonderful place and perfect for their first years of the long journey through their education.

*I am thankful for the professionals and businesses in out community. Our policeman and firemen are awesome. I know many wonderful and dedicated guys there. We have several amazing doctors and nurses in the area. There are incredibly supportive and giving businesses in this town. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many and I am grateful for each of them.

*I am thankful for the little surprises and moments in my life that are more important than the grandest of events. Notes in my inbox, special messages from a freind, a pick-me-up token of affection, a kiss, a hug, a loving moment. Those things mean so much to me and I am so grateful to know people who think of me so often!

*I am thankful for the chats I am able to have with my children. We have worked hard to keep open lines of communication between us. I've often shared with them the importance of communicating with each other and have prayed many days that what we share now will continue through their adult lives. I am grateful that they are currently willing to talk to me and will still ask for advice or an ear to vent to.

*I am thankful that I am loved.

*I am thankful for new experiences like... cooking a turkey.  I may not be as thankful tomorrow so I will mention it now. :)

 *I am thankful for my husband. We just work together, even when we don't.  We started as friends and we still are.  I can't imagine life without him and see my future with only him!  I love him with all my heart and am so grateful we were brought together so many years ago!

*I am thankful for my God, for my creation, for this wonderful life I have and for all the gifts in it!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

 My Mom is participating in this with me. She started a little, later than I did (and maybe she will catch up) so she doesn't have as many
 I want to share the things she is grateful for too to compare what we value most. (I imagine it will be a closely related list) I also would like my girls to have it to reflect back on some day.

Grandma's Thankful list:

*I am grateful for my job because in today’s economy it has become increasingly difficult for  many to find work.

*I am thankful that I can get out of bed in the morning and be a productive member of society.

*I am thankful for my only sister and my two brothers.  Without them I would not be who I am today. We grew up together, fought together and still loved each other unconditionally.  I attribute that to my mother’s determination to keep us together, even when the going was extremely tough.

*I am thankful for my grandchildren who make me smile when I think of them. I only wish I lived closer so I could spend more time experiencing their crazy life!

*Today I am thankful that it's Friday and the work-week has come to an end.

Monday, November 15, 2010

amongst friends #55


What a interesting group of photos  we ended up with this week!  Seriously. I think most everyone stretched themselves a bit and it was fun.

I am quite impressed with the subject of Sandy's photo. That car was KNITTED! She saw it at a sewing show a few years ago. The gal who knitted it is kneeling by the car. She has a website you can check out here.
Can you possibly imagine?? I'd be happy if I could learn to thread my brand new sewing machine that I've owned for two years!

I really liked Jerri's plane photo and wondered if she took it the day my Dad may have been flying overhead on his way to Florida. It made me smile thinking it could have been.

Jocelyn's photo was cute. I was surprised her Dad let her take the picture. I wonder if he ever sees these and if he knows so many other people look at it. Regardless, way to let go Poppi! It should always be about having fun with the kids and he obviously knows that!

I asked Kelly about her picture. She said a school bus came to mind when she thought about finding a transportation picture so she headed down to her old school and there was one sitting in the parking lot. A nostalgic trip for the sake of amongst friends! :)

Jenny said "Transportation straight to Jail!"  That made me giggle wondering if people knew she wasn't getting ready to ride in it. She has a close connection but not in that way thank goodness! LOL

Karen has spent a lot of time around some beautiful vintage vehicles. This is one of a few she sent me. Isn't it beautiful? And what I wouldn't do for a yellow car!

My picture came about at the last minute. As usual I had some things I knew I could fall back on but since I was writing this up this week I knew I could put mine off until the last picture arrived in my inbox. I was thinking about Christmas today and my kids and this was my 'AHA' photo. Good timing, right?

I swear (in only the friendliest of ways) that Joanne's picture reminds me of something straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss.  She too was struggling with getting her picture this week. We were talking about options at the hospital where she had an appointment today. We hung up the phone and viola! she came upon this nice gentleman cutting some grass. I do know he was nice because she actually asked him if she could take his picture before she did it! Have you ever done that for an amongst friends picture?  Way to step out of the box Joanne!

I want to welcome Sheila to amongst friends this week. It's her first time joining us and we are glad you did.
Sheila was at the American Diabetes Walk-a-Thon when she happened upon this mode of transportation. She said when she spotted it exhaustion took over.  Sheila I am beyond certain every step you took that day was appreciated and kudos to you for relying on that cart for a transportation picture only. :)

Next week our theme is Bridge(s). After that we have a few seasonal themes to test you. Turn in your photo by Sunday morning if you can. One day I will get it all created and posted by Sunday night. One day. If you've been thinking about joining us, now is a good time to start because really it's nothing more than stopping to take a look at the world around you and snapping a picture. It's that simple. Join us if you'd like. We'd love to have you.
Here are our next themes:
Nov. 28th- Yellow,
Dec. 5th- Angel(s)
Dec. 12th- Sparkle
Dec. 19th- Nativity
Dec. 26th- Church
Jan.  2nd- Celebration

Friday, November 12, 2010

What's your favorite?

I am currently loving this song.
I must say it makes me a little melancholy but, it also reminds me to hold on and treasure my girls. Because all too soon, the winds will blow again and take them the next stop on their life's ride and someday (in the not so distant future) they won't need me to hang onto.

Do you have a favorite song that speaks to you? Just curious.


Sort of! Cassi was on the front page of the Recreation section of the newspaper today! She is very proud of her 'toe-touch' the photographer captured. Once it's up on the newspaper's website I will update this post so you can read the article. It was well written and nice to read.

I must say cheerleading is so important to my girl. Actually to my girls. Cali loves it too! Cassi is involved in many, many things but cheerleading continues to be her true love!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

amongst friends #54


 Hi Folks.  I won't apologize for being late again. It seems it just happens. Besides, there have been too many things happen this week that were out of my control. Suffice it to say, I am simply glad it's done before the next one is due. :)

You will notice I'm showing two different versions of the same pictures. I am looking for a little feedback from you. Whether you are a picture taker or just someone who enjoys following along, I'd like to know what you think. As our group of entries grows it gets harder to fit them all in one collage. The pictures get smaller by default. I worry that some pictures aren't well represented in such a small size. So you tell me, which way do you like better? And if we add more?

This week our theme was Noise. And it seems there is a lot of it going on.

Sandy sent in a a photo she took on Guy Fawkes night- held to remember when the plot was overturned to blow up the houses of Parliament with gunpowder in the time of King James I.  She says iis also called Bonfire night because in the past people burnt scarecrow-like figures on bonfires to represent Guy Fawkes. They have fireworks so she thought it fit with the theme well.  I agree!  

In regard to Guy Fawkes night- she has a nursery rhyme to share:

Remember, Remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
I see no reason that gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Jerri sent a picture of the cutest noise maker of the week, his name is 'Barkley" :)

Renee's picture is a noise maker I a grateful my kids don't have access to. 

Karen's noise picture is something I WISH I had access to!!

I love Jenny's picture. Not sure why but it is my favorite this week. I thought the idea was clever. And talk about being in the right place at the right time.

I had lots of ideas for noise. The phone, Cali chewing gum, but in the end this picture presented itself and so it is. I should probably hear this noise more often!!

Kelly's picture made me laugh, only because it's becoming more obvious that she is a girl with tools! Her house is under construction again so yet another right place, right time moment.

Justin's picture is funny and I must say, I like that girl! I'm not sure I wouldn't have done that for the sake of a photo!  Too cute!

Joanne's photo is probably the most legitimate in regard to noise. The definition I found for noise is-
the auditory experience of sound that lacks musical quality; sound that is a disagreeable auditory experience
Joanne said this happens outside her office window regularly and regularly it would bug me too!

Jocelyn's white noise picture of the TV actually made me smile and think of a horror movie. Another very clever picture in my opinion!

Well, I think I got everyone. And another creative week down! Next week out theme is Transportation, I believe. Do you have any ideas yet? I had better get busy. The way things have been going it may take me a few days to figure it out! 

Don't forget to let me know your thoughts on the two different ways to do the collages.  All in one or broken up between a two for bigger pictures.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

She said What????

I just had to record this here in hopes I never forget!  :)

Cassi told me she has decided what she will name her child if she has a girl.
I think this is special because I knew 5 years before being pregnant what I would name Cori and I did it!
I haggled with my decision for a while but could never get away from the name I'd loved so long before.
Are you ready for it???



ZueLili (pronounced Zoo Lilly)

I'm in love. I may have to pull the Mom-card some day to make her stick to it. :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

amongst friends #53


Can you believe we've been doing this weekly thing for a year? Yup! 52 weeks! I can hardly believe it either. In fact the first week, there were only two of us! If you are interested in seeing all of them you can check them out HERE

The theme this week is HATS and is technically the beginning of another year of amongst friends. I didn't really have many expectations for this theme. It was fairly simple and I thought it would be pretty hard to get too creative. Still, in all I think it turned out fairly well.

Jenny's photo was taken at the Peanut Festival. Hat's for Sale!

Sandy said her photo is of a hat she made a few years ago to go along with a garment about the shining moon. The Hat is the moon. She showed two angles in one photo.

It's interesting that we had two photos submitted that combined two pictures. The photo submitted for Renee' is of her son Randy. One without hair and one with. :)

Jerri went pink with her photo and since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think it was a great choice!

Kelly picture of the cute little bucket hat has special meaning! It was the hat her Mom used during treatment while battling cancer. Her brother bought her Mom the hat and I hear it was by far her favorite. What a sweet way to remember her Kelly!

My picture is of Cali wearing her new winter hat. She got it for her birthday and will likely be a favorite for a while. She looks like a little Eskimo!

Karen took her photo while watching some classics on TV. I thought this idea was a clever way to get her weekly picture. Anyone know what movie she was watching??

Jocelyn said "Talk about a last minute hat find!"  I'm guessing she put of taking her picture a little too long! :)
No worries Jocelyn, cute works!  :)

I saved Joanne's comment for last. She had only this to say,
Roll Tide!

I've heard rumor that there are a few of you thinking about joining in. As you can tell, each person puts what they want in to the project. There are few rules and no worries. Feel free to give it a try, we'd love to have you.

We are coming to the end of our themes and are looking for some suggestions. If you have any, be sure to email them to me. The next three are NOISE, TRANSPORTATION and BRIDGE(S).

It's Been a Little Spooky 'Round Here!

Well, Halloween Week it finally over. It's been a little hectic but then again, when isn't it around this place.

It seems like Halloween lasts for a week and for years we've had numerous costumes depending on the function we were attending.

We started our celebrations with our school Halloween Parade.  While Cali has been around the school for years with her sisters this was technically her first.  Cali is going through a little thing right now and too much attention sends her into a tizzy. I had to be very careful with her costume this year.

For her birthday she got that LaLaLoopsy doll. She loves it dearly so when we saw colored wigs at the store we decided that was what she would be. It wasn't too over the top so she loved it!  I even made her a $24.99 tag to hang from her shirt which she thought was super funny!

Cassi wore a Mad Hatter store-bought costume. It's not like us to not make something of our own but she loved this one and who am I to argue.  One of her closest friends wore an Alice costume. They were very cute together.

Cori didn't really have a Halloween costume day in middle school but it was red ribbon week for a drug-free zone and each day there was a different theme. On the last day before our Halloween break, they had Beach Day so she and her best friend dressed up together. Aren't they cuties!

On Friday night we had a crazy game night out at Wren's house. We played a outside, in-the-dark-game called piggy-want-a-signal. It was really fun and the kids had a great time. Grandpa came our with us and it's a good thing. Since the game requires the adults to scare the be-jeebers out of the kids, he was a great addition.

After 2 rounds and losing one kid for quite some time, we made our way into the house and decided to play charades. It cracks me up that they enjoyed it so much. I remember hating it when I was a kid. I am glad they are as confident as they are. I don't think I was when I was their age. Scott was pretty good at it too and Cali joined in for the first time ever!

We ended the night with a pie-in-the-face game.  We play this like musical chairs but we use a plate full of whipped cream. We have been playing this for years and most of the kids still LOVE it!  Cori, not so much. She will do almost anything to avoid getting it in the face. :)

And in case you are interested, a few facts about whipped cream:

*It takes several washings to get the stiffness out of your hair.
*It will make bleach-like stains in clothing.
*It is ridiculously expensive!  :)

We tied up our week with Trick or Treating of course.

Cassi used her same costume. She thought her Alice friend was going to come. Unfortunately she didn't make it. :(  Still, she looked cute in her costume! Don't you think?

Cali wore a warm little leopard outfit. I have always bought the kids the plush outfits to trick or treat in. It can get really cold here and most years there is snow.

Cori and her best friend went as ghosts. We did their faces with some creepy make-up.

I think they look pretty darn spooky.

The wind wreaked havoc on them though. They fought the good fight but in the end all that tulle proved to be a pain in the you-know-what.

This year we didn't have snow but it was darn sure cold! It was the wind. It was BLOWING! And we all froze. In fact it was kind of a low key Halloween for us. We usually do a lot more trick-or-treating but the kids decided they were too cold and they wanted to be done!

There were too many yummy treats at our friends house where we started and everyone was happy just being together. And I love that!