Thursday, March 24, 2011

amongst friends #72

Well, I am two days earlier than last week, that counts for something right? :)

I am loving this week's collage. The colors, the content, the quality and effort. Seriously, they are becoming quite unique and I feel like we all get a bit of an insight into
the lives and hearts of others through their photos. I like that.

Guess what, Justin is back! Justin, we've missed you and I hope you will be around a while.

Justin's picture is of a crosswalk. He's been riding his bike to work the past three weeks and says he crosses here, on Hillsborough Road daily, This picture makes me think of Karen's B picture last week.

Jocylyn sent in a great picture of a caterpillar. She had this to say, "
I went to visit some friends at a farm in Webster and these things where everywhere by the millions, they were falling off the trees and it sounded like it was raining and it was the caterpillars falling to the ground…Gross!"  When I was a kid these things were so fun!

I happen to know Kelly has been doing massive amounts of yard and garden work. In her picture we get an idea of just how much!  That doesn't even look fun to me. That is a LOT of cypress mulch!

Karen sent in a picture of Larry's newest car purchase, a convertible.  What I wouldn't give to be rising around in that about now.

Jerri stuck to her Irish roots this week. She said, "The Claddagh, known as the Irish wedding band. The hands signify friendship, the crown loyalty and the heart love. The Irish claddagh is now used internationally as a symbol of friendship and love."

I like Janice's picture but I'm not sure if it's because I am hungry or not. Just kidding. I think it's because I am a firm believer that food brings people together and when she said this, "
During a fun day skiing, we stopped to get a snack............  Chili Cheese fries?  Sure!!" about her picture, I just felt is was probably a happy day!

I like the story with Debbie's picture too.  I am a sucker for anything nostalgic. She said, "This coo-coo clock was a surprise gift from my brother who just got back from Germany.  The clock is Bavarian, purchased in Garmisch.  The gift was truly a delight as it was purchased in a place where we both learned to ski and have fond memories of."

Sheila's sent in a picture of the chapel at Marywood Center where she went camping this weekend. I really like the angles in this photo.

Joanne sent in a picture of her adorable new dog. Her name is ChuChu. Isn't she darling?

Linda took a pet picture too. I think it's her friends cat, Sassy! This is a very cute photo!

Mady get the award for most scrumptious photo and funniest description. She said, "...a photo of a classy chocolate cheesecake cupcake, composed with cutlery and a cliche concept. My friends and I went out to get coffee and pastries and hang out on the beach today (despite the 55 degree weather). We were originally gathering to tell anti-jokes -- we like to celebrate obscure holidays together, like Make Someone Feel Uncomfortable day and National Pick-up Line Day -- but we eschewed that in favor of photography, tree-climbing, and absorbing as much vitamin D as possible before the sun goes away again."  Sounds like fun! :)

My photo is of my clean kitchen table. Lately it is the only thing in the house that isn't cluttered. :)

Jenny's chime picture is nice too. I like the colors...I  just like the whole thing! Great picture Jenny!

Renee's picture of Claussen pickles is, well,  just yum!!  This reminds me of my Grandma, she LOVED pickles too! :)

And finally, Sandy's picture. I love that we learn about things in places so far away. She said "Anyway, the area where we live used to be the estate of a mansion for some nobleman. Back in the days when landscaping the grounds of estates - creating vistas and all that - were in fashion, quite a lot of Cedar of Lebanon trees were planted. It is hard to work out what the pattern was because of all the houses. One by one though these lovely ancient trees have been coming down. Some came down in the Big Storms of 1987. The one on my street had some of the large limbs break when we had the heavy snowfall in Jan 2010. Then they cut all the rest of the limbs off because of health and safety. It makes you grieve. So, here is a photo of one of the most glorious ones which is about a 10 min walk from here."

And there you go. Do you love them as much as me?  Don't you think the collages seem to be getting better
?  I just love it.

I will be out of town next week so if everyone can do me a favor and get me their pictures Saturday night or Sunday morning I'd really appreciate it. I'd like to get it posted before I leave, otherwise it will be a week late.

And now on to "D"  Have a Delightful time, don't do anything Dangerous, just Do it! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

amongst friends #71

The Letter B~

So, here it is another week, more problems. I won’t go into to details but suffice it to say I am working on the problem.  The good thing is, most everyone seems to stay on course now and continue looking for the weeks pictures even if I haven’t posted the collage yet. Thank you for that. 

This week we are back up to 15 players. Whoo Hoo!  Hopefully as others move towards spring they will find renewed energy and available time to start snapping pictures. I know the warmer weather and sunshine is making me want to get out and about.

There were interesting scenarios for the “B” collage this week. First, I think bulldogs must be more popular than I realized. Either that or my family just has a personal affinity for the breed.  Both Rayma and Renee’ sent in pictures of their four-legged furry friends.  Rayma said Baby Girl loves her bed. And Renee’ has a couple of these fellows. I am sure photographing them comes easy.

Kelly and Jocelyn both sent in pictures from their trip the the Plant City Strawberry festival. Their connection to be were similar but no where near the same.  I think Jocelyn was feeling a little guilty when she took her picture.  She sent this description,  “Sad but true beef is what I thought of when I looked at you.”   Food was on Kelly’s mind too and wanted to know, Would you try chocolate dipped bacon??  She said she passed on it! I say, “Chicken!” 

Sheila’s B picture is of her favorite book to read and a bonus, it’s blue!
Mady sends in some very cool pictures in my opinion and this one is no exception.  She said, “Beau, a beautiful boy bunny, balanced between blue and black books. It was a lot trickier than I expected to get him to stay still for one shot, he kept knocking books over and jumping around. But then again, he is a rabbit, so the jumping isn't so surprising!”
Karen sent in the Beatles cover. I smiled when I saw it. It just seemed to suit her.

Jerri said her picture is “Just an old fashioned billboard.”  I guess they aren’ everywhere anymore. We certainly don’t have many of them here.

Cassi Raye jumped in this week. She took her bumps picture on the way to Anchorage.
Sandy said she deliberated with several ideas but when she was working on a project she realized these buttons were just the thing for B.  I love all the color too!
I adore Janice’s picture this week.  She said “Andy will do ANYTHING for his girl.... even play Beauty Parlor.  =)  That is about the sweetest picture I’ve seen the whole week.

Jenny said “This is a picture of Frank's daughters bathroom that I recently redid and it is way out of my color comfort zone! LOL”

Kelly asked me if my picture was ‘branch’ which it technically could be. It wasn’t however what I ws thinking when I took it. I was driving along trying to recall a quote I’d read in a book long ago, that went something like- a branch in the wind must learn to bend in order not to break. I was reminding myself that I needed to remember to bend sometimes when I noticed several trees with bent limbs. So there you go! 

Debbie’s picture and description is super sweet.  She said “This is my Beautiful Breanna.  I celebrate each of my 5 children, but Breanna holds a special place.  Not only as the first born, but for her tremendous courage.  At the age of 17 she was diagnosed with Stage 2b Hodgkins while going to college.  She had multiple tumors, the largest of which was a tumor near her lungs 1/3 the size of her chest cavity.  She never once thought that having cancer was any 'big deal'.  She read Dave Barry books and laughed her way through chemo. She kept a 4.0 throughout her 6 months of chemo because she said nothing was going to get in the way of her education.  Her bravery and courage are an inspiration and something I draw strength from daily.  She has been cancer free for 7 years.”  Congratulation Breanna and Debbie, you took a beautiful picture of her!

Linda was back this week with a beautiful butterfly picture . I really love this one. She said “This is a Butterfly picture taken at Botanica our local botanical gardens I enjoy taking Jimmie there and we do a lot of photos of flowers and insects there.”  Linda I wish we had such a place. And I just wanted to mention it won’t be long before Jimmy will be submitting his own pictures!

And on that note, don’t ever hesitate to invite a friend if you think you might know someone who would like to participate.  It’s a great way to get creative, meet new folks, learn about new things and just have fun. I hope it is all those things for you too!

This week is “C” obviously. I think I already have one or two but the rest of you better get on it. By the time you are seeing this I will be looking for your “C” contributions and you will need to get started on “D”.  I will get a handle on my posting delays some day.

Have a great week. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

These Irish Eyes are Smilin'

Top of the evenin' to ya.

I hope your blessings were many today- love, laughter, family, friendship, and of course a little luck!
It was every bit that and more for me. It may not seem like much for many, but for me, I think I had my own Irish angel looking down on me.

Here's the story. Cassi was due to have cheer practice today. I hadn't realized it was falling on the holiday when they added this extra practice.  When I finally did, it was too late to change it. I tried but it didn't seem it was meant to be.

Most of you are aware, but in the event you aren't, my Grandma, on my Dad's side passed away in early December. She was a unique, fun and a very proud Irish woman. Each St. Patrick's Day, since the day they were born, I have decked my kids out in our finest greenery in her honor. I also always take them to our little hometown parade, where we meet up with friends, from which I called Grandma every year. She got very tickled hearing all the little details about our innocent and very small, little celebration.

When I finally figured out the two events, the cheer practice and the parade, we going to overlap, I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I was torn. The practice was mandatory (with a national competition only a week away), I didn't feel I could take two of my girls and not take the third, and yet I felt if I didn't go, I was somehow ignoring my heritage that my Grandma was so proud of.

Here comes the blessing, really.  Late last night, the coach sent a text canceling practice. :) A small thing to most but to me, HUGE!  I was going to follow our traditions, we were going to make it to the parade and our friends would be there to and all would be right with my world. Another blessing, Scott (the love of my life as he is referred to- even on my cell phone) came home today. He's been gone three long weeks and we have missed him so. dad, he came to town and we went to dinner- for corned beef and cabbage, of course.

So you see, it was a w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l day! And I am blessed- To be Irish, to have love, laughter, family, friends and a little luck!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Friday, March 11, 2011

amongst friends #70

The Letter "A"

The Letter A

It’s the first week of our alphabet theme. What did you all think?  Did you find it easier to do or a bit harder to decide on one thing?  I personally had a bit of a hard time and because I was having yet more problems with my computer.  I had my picture ready to go on Sunday but changed it just today since I hadn’t posted it yet. There is that slight advantage in being the person making the collage. J

Did you notice we have a new player this week?  It’s my sister-in-law Vicki.  Her picture is of her Granddaughter Alexis who is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e! Here she is getting her first haircut.  Can we all say…awwww!

Kelly sent in a picture of an azalea bush in her backyard that is currently in full bloom. She told me she wished it bloomed more that once a year. It’s so beautiful I can see why.

Karen mentioned having a hard time choosing what to photograph. I think she made a great choice and this picture looks fabulous!

I feel like my picture (animal) is a weak connection to the letter A but…this moose was so close!  I took the screen out of my living room window so I could lean out of it to take the picture.  If this gal had decided I was annoying, I am sure she might have got to me before I could get myself back in the window.

Cassi was very proud of her reading average a couple weeks ago. When I told her to look for an A picture, she knew right away what it would be. When she came back with this picture I laughed a little. She struggled the previous quarter with her grades (for all the wrong reasons) so she was very happy to show of this report!

Jerri’s picture of these Alize bottles makes me want to try it, just so I will have the bottle to re-purpose. It’s also the name of her dog. I am sensing there is a story hidden there somewhere, what do you all think?

Janice said “For the life of me I couldn’t find an “A” picture, I was looking everywhere, apple? No…artichoke? No…I was ready to give up when I opened my spice cabinet and there they were right before my eyes.  J

Sheila took a picture of an angel her mom gave to her.

Renee’ and Joanne had similar ideas and I thought it was quite funny. They each took pictures of people they work with.  April works with Joanne and Alex works with Renee’

Mady’s picture is full of A-ness.  She said, “It's of awesome aqua antique artifacts, I wasn't satisfied with just one thing beginning with A! Aqua is among my favorite colors, making this a pretty easy decision. This typewriter is so much fun to photograph because there's so many possibilities and it's a wonderful shade of blue, just a touch darker than the wall in my bedroom. I could go on and on about the color turquoise -- though for your readers' sakes, I'll stop here.”  Great job Mady, Be thinking “B”.

Sandy sent in a great picture this week and once again enlightens us a little about her country.  She said “I went to Guildford last week to visit my son who is in uni.  Even though it was pouring rain, I hoped to find something suitably unique to the UK to
send for an A photo.

So, I was quite pleased to discover this sculpture near the car park! It is about Alice and the White Rabbit. It was made in 1984 by Edwin Russell, local sculptor, to celebrate Guildford's connections with Lewis Carroll and shows the opening scene of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She is with her sister and has just spotted the white rabbit.

I love Debbie’s picture this week.  I rarely see a picture of a mushroom I don’t like and this is no exception. Debbie had this to say, “I was desperate for some fresh air last summer after months of rain.  I figured I'd find something worthwhile to take a picture of so I grabbed my camera and headed out into the rain.  I found so many as yet unidentified mushrooms so that became the theme for my walk in the rain.  This one is unmistakable.  The Amanita is one of the most poisonous mushrooms we have here and they are very plentiful.”   

I saved Cori’s picture for last. I was quite proud of her connection to the letter. She chose to take a picture of a medal for achievement. I have a two-part admiration, 1.) She missed the final game of this tournament that her team won. Her Dad and I have long discussed how sad this made us for her. We wondered if it made her sad too but it evident that she feels a part of the win and that makes me so happy! 2.) Achievement isn’t a word used commonly or on a daily basis. I can’t wait to see where she goes with “B”

Truthfully, I am excited to see where everyone goes. I sincerely look forward to seeing everyone else’s pictures as much I enjoy taking my own. Is it the same for you?  I hope so.

Since this is going up so late, I don’t want you to be confused. I still want “B” pictures by Sunday morning. J  I will get this computer issue fixed eventually. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's a Fairy Party

Well, technically we weren't having a party but I assure you, the fairies will be!

For the last 6 weeks, I have held a craft class after school one day a week.

We have made salt dough and hardened it in the microwave, we made some posters about our teachers based on information they shared about themselves, we made wire hearts, and we made stuffies out of sweater sleeves.

This is one of my favorites!

 These were a few that I made with my older girls at home to take in as examples.  
Cali and I made the caterpillar and Cali's friend Joe made the duck.

During the first class I brought a fairy house book for Cali to look at while she was waiting for the class to end. It turns out it was pretty popular with all of the kids. Our fourth week I asked the kids what they would like to make next and they were unanimous in wanting to make fairy houses, so we did!

Today ended our six weeks of class and also the culmination of fairy houses. We started them last week and finished them today. Here are the results.

This fairy house has a welcome sign and a wonderful path.

I know this picture is blurry but I wanted to show you all the jewels this little girl thought her fairy house needed!

Yes, that sign does read 'Casino'.  This fairy house was made by a couple 6th graders.

And every casino needs a toilet!

I must say all the color in the room was energizing. I am starting a 'energize yourself' project when we return from spring break and one of the things on the list is to wear bright colors. After today, there is no doubt in my mind it works. I know I left the class today feeling pretty peppy and I am certain is was the bright colors and thoughts of spring and summer.

This little girl wanted her little stuffie in the picture. :)   She layered her tent and don't you love the flower-pool of jewels?!

This is a fairy flower forest.

 And here is another one.
That is a flower chair and against the wall is the t.v.  Do you notice the armrests?

Evidently a mean fairy lives here!  :)

Here is Lucy's Garden. Look at the little acorn overhead. So sweet!

And this little girl finished early so she made a sweet little fairy with a darling acorn cap-adorned hat!

It's been a while but I'm hoping to do it more often. I'm joining in at the Magic Onions- Friday's Nature Table-you should too!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

...Rock the Solar System, Rock the Solar System

Cassi's class is doing a study on the solar system. In fact our school is all participating in the study. To tie up the quarter and the study unit, they held a Moon Cafe yesterday. There was amazing art everywhere. There were also performances by some of the older classes.

Cassi and two of her friends wrote and choreographed a Solar System Rap. I had heard that it was really good and very cute and she'd been buzzing around the house joyfully about it. I had high expectations and I was not disappointed.

Here they are in all their glory.  Have fun and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

amongst friends #69


Well, I am in the depths of fundraising, soccer tryouts and drama, drama, drama! I’m seriously just hoping to survive the week. Come Saturday I may just collapse. Don’t try to rouse me, I may just slap you.  Just Kidding.

I really enjoyed all the pictures submitted this week. And we even have a new player this week.  Kelly O. sent in her first picture and the story she sent with it is really sweet. She said “When Danny and I were planning our wedding I asked him about the unity candle and he told me he didn't want a unity candle for just he and I. Well that shocked me needless to say. Then he said we are uniting, as a FAMILY so there should be 4 candles. That made me cry but in a good way. He loves my kids like they were his.”  Kelly, I think you are a lucky girl and so are your children!

I must say, I love, love, love Janice’s picture.  When I look at it, I smile, unknowingly, I just grin! I feel like I am part of the silliness. Don’t you?  She sent this description, “There are many things that I love.  The smell of fresh cut grass, the feel of the surf, fluffy clouds, puppy breath,,,,,  but I LOVEEEEE the sound of my hubby and daughter laughing together.”

Debbie’s [picture jumps out at me. It’s really beautiful. She said ” Love.  Simply and profoundly beautiful.”  I had to ask her what it was- a “bleeding heart” which is one of Debbie’s favorites.

Did you notice I am pictured in this collage twice?  J  I am not especially fond of either picture but Kelly’s message with the picture she sent made that one beautiful.  She said “I don't know how I would have made it through one of the most difficult days of my life without my very Best Friend!!  She has been there for me and with me just over 24 years now.  Thanks, I LOVE you!!”  I love you too Kelly, you know I do!!

My picture you may have seen but I chose to use it anyway. Every year I take thousands of photos; really I do. But I must say there are few I love more that this one photo I take every year on New Year’s. It is our first family picture of the New Year. It’s a tradition I love, that means so much to me. It’s a new beginning with all of us together.  It’s always silly and we are always laughing. I always take the picture myself, by stretching my arm as far as I can. I just love that we begin each year that way, even if it means I have to show you the view of my nostrils, year after year.  J

Sheila’s said “This ceramic pottery cheers me up when I look at it. I love the color and it reminds me that I am loved. “  Awwww! Everyone should be reminded of that, often!

Mady’s picture is interesting and unique. She said “I'm doing the 30 Hour Famine tonight with my youth group, an event where we go without food for 30 hours to raise money and awareness for hunger in impoverished countries. All the money we raise will go to World Vision -- we have a goal to feed ten children for a year! The motto of this year's Famine is "Love Hungry", hence the writing.”  Mady, what a wonderful thing you are doing. I hope it went well for you.

Justin said his picture is ofJjill and Kyle, with their son Gavin on a fun night of bowling. A lot of love is given to that little boy!  He looks adorable and tiny in the vastness of that bowling alley. Sweet stuff right there!

Sandy’s picture is really neat and I can’t say I’ve ever seen it before. She said “I debated on this one; I didn't want something too obvious. But then when I was doing something in the back garden I saw the tree behind the fence and thought mistletoe might make a good connection! Not necessarily the right time of year, but it is always green anyway.” Sandy, it turns out it was the perfect time of year. I think you went outside of the box and made a great connection to the theme.  Love it!

Jocelyn sent her picture in fairly early and I was impressed with the connection she made to the theme as well. She said her picture is “my love for Chinese art.  This painting is in my living room and is the Chinese symbol for love” I really like Chinese writing too. Very cool that it says love!

Karen sent me this message. “My love is my whole family!” And I know this to be true!  J

Jerri sent her picture and said “LOVE NATURE AND A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET!”  It is beautiful, and oh goodness, I do love the beach when the sun is going down.

Rayma had somewhat of the same idea. She said, “I love the water, blue sky and palm trees.”  Not sure why but this picture made me think of my old home in Florida. Maybe I’ve been to that spot before because I got very nostalgic when I looked at this picture. And if you know me well, then you know I LOVE the beach!

Renee’s picture looks like it could be an ad for one of the dolphin experiences. It’s a wonderful picture of her daughter. I love this one too!

Linda’s picture is cute and in fact, she had this to say, “Love to me is silly, squishable, huggable, lovable, sweet and fun and I think this sorta says it all.” 

Jenny gets the overall fun award this week.  She said “In honor of Frank...all cops LOVE donuts. “  I think I really did laugh out loud! 

So, what do you think? I think we are all very fortunate people who have an awful lot to be grateful for. So much love between us all!! 

Are you all ready for the letter A?  You better be, you only have 4 days to get it to me. On your mark, get set, GO!  See you soon!