Thursday, January 31, 2008

Theme Thursday - Focus

It seems like lately I am always late to the party....I just can't seem to get it together! But since Thursday isn't over, there is still time to join in on the Theme Thursday fun - and this week's theme is FOCUS!

Because I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off somewhat unfocused lately, I have to use an old shot for this week's theme. But I love it and haven't used it for any other BSM or TT, I think it still counts.

Nature in the Winter (6)

I love the way that this turned out, and it's SOOC. Sometimes you just get lucky!

For more focused shots, don't forget to check out Stacy's!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fantastic Fours

Shalee has tagged me for the four things here goes!

Four jobs you've had in your life

  1. Nanny
  2. RN
  3. Little Gym Director/Instructor/slave
  4. Student

Four movies that you would watch over and over:

  1. Adventures in Babysitting
  2. I am Sam
  3. The Wedding Planner
  4. Bourne Identity/Supremecy/Ultimatum

Four places you've lived:
  1. Arnold, MO
  2. St. Louis, MO
  3. Kansas City, MO
  4. Overland Park, KS

Four TV shows that you love to watch (or used to watch):

  1. Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy
  2. Numbers
  3. Criminal Minds
  4. CSI/CSI:NY (but NOT CSI:Miami)

Four places you've been on vacation:

  1. Grand Canyon
  2. Riviera Maya, Mexico
  3. New York City
  4. Pensacola, FL

Four websites you visit daily:

  1. WebCT/Blackboard (for school)
  2. Webkinz (Garrett loves computer games in a way that I can't even begin to explain, and these don't make me want to poke my eyeballs out)
  3. Google/Google Reader
  4. MSNBC

Four of your favorite foods

  1. Chinese Food
  2. Bread - especially fresh, home-made bread
  3. Mexican Food
  4. Peanut Butter

Four places you would rather be right now:

  1. On vacation
  2. Sleeping
  3. At a spa
  4. Did I mention sleeping? Because other than that, here isn't actually too the moment...

Five people I’m tagging:

  1. Christina
  2. Jennwa
  3. Arizaphale
  4. Brittany
  5. Natalie

There are lots of other people I would like to tag, but I'm trying to follow the rules! But if you want to play along, consider yourself tagged - at let me know when your answers are up....inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Funky Mama Giveaway!

It's time for the Winter '08 Giveaway Carnival - hooray! For my contribution, I'm giving away something that the boys and I simply could NOT get through the day without. Funky Mama! We listen to her CDs at home and in the car - we all love it, and can now sing every song by heart.

So this giveaway is for a Funky Mama CD, so that you too can enjoy her throughout your day. She's appealing to kids and adults alike, so what's not to love about that! To win, simply leave a comment on this post before midnight on January 31st. You don't have to have a blog to win, but please make sure that I have a way to contact you in case you are the lucky winner! The winner will be drawn on February 1st.

This is a little clip (which doesn't do her justice) of Funky Mama, but there are clips of all her songs on her website.

Good luck to everyone!

Best Shot Monday - Order Up!

As I have said before, Wonderscope is one of the happiest places on Earth. Garrett is CRAZY for that place - I'm quite sure if they let him, that he would live there.

For my BSM this week, here's Garrett cooking up some pizza for lunch...perhaps not the most amazing shot, but it's just one of the ways that he has really started to get into 'pretend play' in the last few weeks. And the fact that he will 'pretend play' on his own? It's just icing on the cake...

Garrett cooking up pizza

For more Best Shots from last week, don't forget to check out Tracey's!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Summary Saturday - Project 365, Week 4

January 19:

Jan 19

January 20:

Jan 20

January 21:

Jan 21

January 22:

Jan 22

January 23:

Jan 23

January 24:

Jan 24

January 25:

Jan 25

And don't forget these other great projects!

And if you're playing along too, then let me know so I can add your link!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

100 Things About Me, Part 7

61. I can count on one hand the number of times in the last year that I have been to the movies.

62. I wish I were smarter.

63. I am terrible at lying, but I could probably be hired by the CIA as a human lie detector. Apparently being bad at lying makes me really good at knowing when others are lying.

64. I have a complete and utter phobia of the dentist. I can’t even talk about the dentist (or hear about one) for more than 30 seconds without flipping right the %$(*$ heck out.

65. I am a talker. Seriously. I can talk about anything, to anyone. I don’t necessarily consider this a positive trait.

66. I embarrass easily. VERY easily. And this is no looking down at the floor type of embarrassment – this is turning BRIGHT RED embarrassment. Good times. Because nothing helps embarrassment more than when people notice that you are fire engine red and then stare at you more.

67. I have a high tolerance for alcohol…a very high tolerance for alcohol.

68. I tend to hold my liquor well.

69. Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I love sending them and getting them and displaying them.

70. I used to go to Girl Scout Camp with my childhood best friend for a week or two every summer. I loved it. You would now probably have to pay me to camp.

And in case you haven't gotten enough, there are more fascinating facts to be seen!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Theme Thursday - Books

This week's theme is books. And given that I spend a significant amount of time reading various books every day, this is actually a theme that didn't cause me a great deal of stress - which is always a good thing!

Every week we go to the library. Some weeks we even go more than once.

There are books to be read and story times to attend.

Brianna, Garrett, and Bennett at the Library (3)Brianna, Garrett, and Bennett at the Library (14)

And as much as my days are filled with the reciting of books that I now know by heart, these are not the books that take up most of the room in my brain. I would like to say that most of my time is spent on these books:


And one of my very favorite books on my shelf is this one:


Not only because it is fantastic and wonderful, but also because I happen to be friends with the author and got to witness the writing of (at least a good portion) the book. And I even got a special surprise when I read my special edition copy.


The books are not widely available yet, but keep your eyes peeled - they are well worth the read!

But alas, the books that take up most of my time and brain power look like this:



Such is the life of a student.

For more great takes on books, don't forget to check over at Stacy's!

****And a HUGE thank you to everyone who had such helpful tips for how to fix the gross nose from my BSM! I am pleased to report that the snot is gone! Hooray!

snot be gone!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Best Shot Monday

It's that time again....Best Shot Monday time!

Bennett - black and white

Garrett Watching Veggie Tales

Bennett watching veggie tales

I will be the first to admit that these shots all have their own issues. I really do think that I like the top one the best, although I really would like to figure out a way to use photoshop to get that lovely running nose out of the shot. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful - I tried a few different things and nothing looked right.

****Edited to add****
A HUGE thanks to everyone who had suggestions on how to remove the snot from the first shot! It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be (once you told me how!) and I'm thrilled to have been able to get it out!
As always, don't forget to check out more best shots from the week over at Tracey's!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who's your Baby Mama?

Perhaps it is only because my brain cells are dying at an alarming rate due to studying whining alcohol life in general, but I thought that this was one of the funniest previews I have seen in a long time. And, as previously mentioned, I LOVE previews.

It should be noted that some people find my taste in movies is questionable. But what, I ask you, is wrong with the fact that I am currently watching Bring It On? For the umpteenth time. And enjoying it.

We all have our guilty pleasures. Stupid movies just happen to be one of mine. What's wrong with that?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Summary Saturday - Project 365, Week 3

January 12:

Pastry Class (11) Pastry Class (8)

January 13:

Sunrise in Council Bluffs

January 14:

Bennett the Knight (5)

January 15:

Show Week - January 2008 (179) - cropped Show Week - January 2008 (64) - cropped

January 16:

A half moon

January 17:

A Snowy Afternoon (37) A Snowy Afternoon (52)

January 18:

Morning Hugs (6)

Curious? Check out some of the Project 365 shots by these awesome people:

Friday, January 18, 2008

100 Things About Me, Part 6

Time for another riviting installment...

And in case you didn't get enough:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

51. Sometimes at night I have a very over-active imagination and can easily convince myself that the slightest noise is someone coming after me.

52. I am very social, but I hate to be the center of attention. It makes me very uncomfortable.

53. I am very bad at taking compliments. Very, very bad.

54. I worry that #53 makes me seem ungracious, when this is not at all the case. The case is really just that I am a big dumb idiot who doesn’t know how to take a compliment.

55. I don’t want to look like a slob, but I am quite sure that I do more often than I don’t. This makes me sad.

56. You will almost never see me leave the house without at least a little bit of make-up, unless I’m going to the gym. This is not because I am crazy, simply because I feel better about myself with a little make-up on because I think I look better. I don’t care if anyone else thinks so or not.

57. I love photography.

58. I have finally figured out that a cell phone is for my convenience and safety, so if it isn’t convenient for me to answer it, I don’t.

59. Sometimes (although not always) talking to people that I don’t know makes me uncomfortable.

60. The previews are my favorite part of going to the movies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Theme Thursday - Winter Wonders

I will be the first to admit that there is something wrong with me I am somewhat unique in that I actually like snow. I think that it is beautiful and peaceful and calming. And when you're outside and it's snowing? There isn't a quieter time - ever.

So this week's theme is winter....and what symbolizes winter better (at least to those of us in colder climates) than snow? Especially since it snowed all night, and there is currently a beautiful, fresh blanket of snow to look at.

Bennett plays in the first snow of the season (17)

Garrett plays in the first snow of the season (15)


Don't forget to head to Stacy's to check out more winter shots!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Best Shot Monday - Spring Around the Corner

Nature in the Winter (3)

Don't forget to check out other best shots at Tracey's!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Summary Saturday - Project 365, Week 2

January 6:

Afternoon on a sunny day (3)

January 7:


January 8:

Peanut Butter Cookies (10)

January 9:

Nature in the Winter (6)

January 10:

Fortune Wok

January 11:

Train from the Interstate

Friday, January 11, 2008

100 Things About Me, Part 5

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And the newest additions to the list:

41. Sometimes when I watch people I make up little stories for them in my head like where they are going or what they are doing.

42. I feel compelled to sing along to songs on the radio, even if I don’t know all the words.

43. I love to make lists. More than that, I love the feeling of checking something off of a list when I finish it.

44. I think that Caller ID is one of the greatest inventions ever. I will admit it: I screen my calls.

45. I always wear perfume or a scent of some kind.

46. I know that a lot of the things that are important to me are important to me because they were not important to my mother.

47. I am totally aware that #46 makes me extremely passive aggressive. Case in point: I always thought it would be nice if she sent out Christmas cards, and she almost never did. I not only send them to lots of people, but I hand make all of my cards…and love it.

48. If you had told me at 16 what my life would be like in 10 years, I never would have believed you.

49. It might not be what I expected, but I love my life.

50. I make my bed as soon as I get out of it every day almost every day.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Theme Thursday - Contrast

Stacy picked 'contrast' as the theme for this week's Theme Thursday. Which caused me a significant amount of stress, since I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do for it. I am, as I have stated before, not all that great with photoshop, and usually post all my shots SOOC for fear that I would just make them worse if I tried to edit them.

Then I remembered the shot I wanted to use. It is actually one of my favorite shots of all time, taken several years ago at Coronado Beach in California. I actually didn't even notice my favorite part of the shot until after I was home and had loaded it onto my computer.

sunset at coronado beach

The man in the corner, who appears to be very absorbed in whatever he is thinking about, provides the perfect CONTRAST to the blazing sunset.

Don't forget to check out the other contrast shots for Theme Thursday!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's A Thin Line...

...between love and hate.

I hate:

  • Photoshop. It might just be the most aggrevating program ever created. Not to mention that it doubles as a giant, time sucking vortex.

  • whining. Serioulsy, if I could have a day where no one whines for me or at me, I would consider it the best day ever.

  • cartoons. How much cartoon action can a girl take during the day? Saying no to cartoons can lead to whining - see above.

  • the computer. Sometimes I wonder where all my time disappears to. Then I realize that a significant portion of it has been spent in front of a computer screen, for any number of important reasons.

I love:

  • Photoshop. It can turn a mediocre shot into a great one. Not to mention fix flaws...and all sorts of other cool things. I heart Photoshop.

  • being needed. It's nice to be useful, even if the sounds of being useful sometimes sound like nails on a chalkboard whining.

  • cartoons. Because sometimes you just need those 24 50 120 precious minutes of peace.

  • the computer. You must have a computer to blog, and to read blogs. And to use photoshop. The computer is the best invention ever.

  • blogging. Because it is the thing I never knew I was missing, until it wasn't missing any more. For all sorts of reasons, including the fact that it is filled with people who brighten my day EVERY day.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Best Shot Monday - A Bright Spot

Here in the midwest, winters are not generally known for being mild. This is not to say that things are terrible, but in general winter is cold and fairly grey. Just enough snow, a little bit of ice - all things that I am more than willing to endure for the love of having four very different seasons. But the grey days that seem to stretch on forever, that is something that tends to grate on me.

Which was why Saturday was so fantastic. It was warm, it was sunny - it was the perfect bright spot in a grey winter. Which is where I got my BSM:

Crown Center (3) handpainted

The boys and I ventured to Kaleidoscope, which is a free art program run by Hallmark. The last time I went I was ten, so needless to say it was a very long time ago! But it was worth the wait - there was painting, coloring, puzzle making, and enough other creative outlets to make your head spin. And it was free! It's an activity I highly recommend.

Kaleidoscope (6) Kaleidoscope (15)

Kaleidoscope (30)

And, after exploring Crown Center and catching some sun out by the fountains, we even got to go to the Fritz's train restaurant, a definite bonus. Because seriously, how cool is it to have your food delivered by a train?! And let me assure you, when you're under the age of seven, having your food delivered by a train is without a doubt the coolest thing on the planet.

Fritz's (12) Fritz's (8)


As always, don't forget to head to Tracey's for more best shots!