Friday, February 26, 2010

Testing photo sizes

I had seen a tutorial on how to resize photo images for your blog. I really like the impact of the larger photos. I am quite surprised that I was able to do it! I'll have to go thank the person who did the tutorial as she put it in clear English (with lots of visual help). I've tried other tutorials in the past and found myself beyond frustrated. It kind of reminds me of my college physics professor. He was one of the top minds in the field and truly had a love for all things physics. He tried his best, with enthusiasm, to pass that love on. However he couldn't break down these big ideas for our wee little Physics 101 class, and we were all LOST. Ha, ha! I don't remember if I passed that class or not.....hmmmm.....oh well, onto some larger photos. Let me know how you like the larger photos.







Thursday, February 25, 2010

A day or two in pictures

It is a bit difficult to remember to take pictures of the everyday scenes around here. We had a busy day yesterday. I wanted to take pictures of the kids outside at the speech therapists, but it was raining and very col d. Another day perhaps. As we are now in the process of waiting for paper work and insurance to process our claim for the DynaVox, we have decided to not go to therapy in the city and instead pick up an extra day with his school therapist. This will make it a much more regular occurrence and our drive much shorter. So Jed will be having speech three days a week. That does make our days a bit harder as his sessions are all in mid afternoon. Ok, on with the pictures.

Jeremiah piloted the camera for a while. First stop is a lovely photo of Moira.

Jonah pushing his beloved tricycle.

A couple of chicken loving girls. Chickens give our kids hours of fun. Everyone should have a few :-)

See, Jeremiah still has the camera. Me, hanging out, watching children ride bikes down the road. One must make sure no one is getting run over by their siblings.

My only thought was--I sure hope that chicken doesn't have to go potty!! Thankfully (for everyone) it didn't! Phew.

Somehow I keep imagining a majestic Eagle on her arm....but it's just not coming to me. Ha, ha!

Jonah ready for another run down the hill.

Flannery our speed devil. She is the one you need to watch out for.

Saoirse insisted I take a picture of her rock collection. If it was up to her she'd have half her room floor covered in rocks!

I was really diggin' the blue and yellow combo of Moira's outfit. We picked up these boots at Walmart. All the girls want a pair. They have been just the thing for when Moira feeds the animals. We will definitely be getting everyone some soon.

Jonah doing a fine job raking our dirt driveway.

Isabella being a nice big sister and pushing Jed up and down our hill of a road. He's a speed demon in the making!

Jed's turn to push the tricycle around. We've been working on the boys sharing and taking turns these past few days. I have to say our efforts are really paying off.

Saiorse writing in the dirt. I think she was setting up a hopscotch board. One must find uses for ones rock collection.

I asked Saoirse to lay on the grass for me so I could get a close up of her. She is so photogenic.

Flannery likes to be moving in her photos...has anyone else noticed that?

Part of yesterday's breakfast. We had pancakes with strawberries on top. I still can't get over that my children now eat pancakes syrup free! Amazing.

Our beloved pancakes. They are a staple around here. Now if I can only remember to soak my grains!!! Hopefully the e-course I am taking will help me with that! The e-course just started this week and I am SOOO excited about it. It's a course on the Nourishing Traditions way of eating. I love the name of her blog and the intro she has to this type of all need to go check it out---right here. Click on the video in the right side bar titled, "Defining GNOWFGLINS", and for a laugh check out the video, "Real milk comes from" directly under it.

Our food loving boy.

Our recent food consuming boy.

Just a sweet picture of our 12 year old.
That's it for the day. Off to make some pancakes, make a grocery list (shopping day tomorrow), reading/school, and then soccer this evening. It started with a bit of snow this morning. I am hoping it warms up soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Beginnings

So we are turning over a new leaf. I realized that I needed to take my own advice. My advice in short, "You won't die". I suppose that needs some explanation. I will explain it as it pertains to our new overturned leaf. You see we've had some problems sticking to our guns when it comes to parenting. There are so many different avenues one can go down when it comes to "how" one parents. The best way would be a biblical way. But sorting that out and figuring out how that really looks in real life is not always easy. There is one way that I have experienced working. It's called 'tomato staking'. The very basics are that you keep your children with you at all times. You make sure to say what you mean and mean what you say. You need to catch every act of disobedience. The child needs to obey you or there is a consequence. The kicker is that what ever battle you come across you must win! Winning means that the child obeys with a good attitude. You don't give up until their attitude has changed.

This is a lot of work. It is very, very emotionally tiring. It is physically tiring. It is hard. By day three everyone is worn out and you end up letting things slip here and there making future attempts 10 times harder to accomplish. I let up because I feel like I can't survive the suffocation. I can't turn my back on the children. That means no *me* time. Ouch! How can I go on when I can't get any time to recharge?!? Aaahhhh, then I realize I needed to take my own advice. It is so much easier to give advice than take it, isn't it? This really is a great piece of advice. When faced with a tough situation, and you feel like you just can not go on, or that you need to cave need to stop and think....if I can't do what I want (me time in my example) is it going to lead to my death? The obvious answer is, "Of course NOT!" Yet I haven't been living that out. I feel like I might just be crushed by the never ending work and diligence that is needed for this thing we call parenting. Now granted it is a LOT easier starting when children are young. It is going to be a long few months around here to see some much needed attitude changes in some older children. But I need to keep remembering when my *wants* are being drowned out.....I won't die. I can keep doing what needs to be done, right now, today. I don't need to think about tomorrow. I don't need to think things like, "this situation will never change."

So we are off. I started right in the middle of the day. I knew there would be no 'good time' to start. I need to be willing to put all life on hold in order to follow through with the needed consequences. As a matter of fact we had our first clash with 'life' and 'follow through'. Saoirse was refusing to cooperate. So life stopped. And because we didn't back down until her attitude changed she ended up missing her first soccer practice. Ouch. But that has been my weakness. I have let life get in the way of what is most important in children's hearts.

So things will be busy around here. Very busy. I will say that great strides have been made with Jed and Jonah. By evening both boys were coming when I called them. I am sure there will be some needed reminders tomorrow, but I am happy to see some success the first day.

Along with this change I decided to do more photos of our days. The good and the ugly. It is so much nicer to write about the good things that go on around here. I don't plan on sharing everything, nor photographing everything. But I would like to try to be more 'real'. It will sort of be like, 'a day in pictures'. But I know that I will not always be able to photograph everything we do, as a lot of what I do takes both hands :-) But I will try to be mindful this week and take lots of photos. So here is my start:

Yeah, isn't that a site?! This is the real deal. Right before I sat the girls down to have a talk about how things were going to change around here, I decided to snap pics of where we were starting. One of our weak points is not having routines. Clearly we need some cleaning routines. The above is a bucket of dirty utensils awaiting the dishwasher.

Of course my days are not complete without Jed's homeopathic remedies. Here is his first remedy of the day. The jelly bean box is where I store his remedies. On the other side you see the line up of Dixie cups. His remedies need to be given in what we call 'dosage cups'. Too long to go into now, lets just say it takes a lot longer this way. BUT it makes a huge difference in his reactions (or lack there of) to the remedies. He is a much happier camper this way. Which makes the rest of us happy :-) A non stop screaming 3 year old is not a pretty site.

There's plenty of this around here. One of those never ending chores. Sometimes I'm master and sometimes its master over me. Right now I'm losing!

Oh, look, we even have work to do outside! Those are our two garden beds. We will be trying the no till method this year. Mostly because I'm lazy! Not really, but I do have other things that need tending to than having to tend to weeds.

Tonight's scene. I was off to bathe the boys and came across Saoirse 'painting' her nails (that's lip gloss she's using). Jeremiah was in charge of the girls while I tended to the boys.

Some cute boy getting a bath this evening. They love the water!

Coming back to the living room I caught Moira just hanging out. She and Isabella were reading.

I had to print out some pictures for Flannery to write some thank you notes on, and was surprised that Jed wanted some too. He sat right down and got to work. I was totally shocked to come out from putting the baby to bed to see that Jed was coloring his picture the whole time. He colored in the whole thing!

Flannery and Saoirse coloring. It was a coloring fest on the living room floor :-)
That's it for our day. I have a couple of other odd ball pictures I wanted to throw in.

I really loved how Jonah's eyes match his shirt! And what a smile!

This was just too cute. Next to Jonah is my newly crocheted hat. I use it as a night cap of sorts. Well he loves to touch it and pull on it and such....when it's on my head. But he stays clear of it when it's off my head! Too funny. I wanted to take a picture of it on him.....not a chance!
Have a great day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow :-)

First Birthday of the Year...and photos!


The first birthday of the year has arrived! Flannery turned eight. Hard to imagine! Her day was filled with a lot of fun. Earlier in the day Jeremiah went to pick up some new baby chicks. We got 10 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Americanas. The Americanas lay green/blue eggs. That will be cool. I can only hope that none of them are roosters. Once we got the chicks settled we headed off to get Flannery her birthday presents. She really likes Hello Kitty. I remembered that there was a Sanrio store at the mall in the city. We went there first. This mall was 20 times worse than the mall by our house! Yuck! We trudged through the crowds. I couldn't believe how crowded it was. And we finally hit our destination.

Flannery and her birthday sign. This year I had the help of some wonderful women from a study group I am in. We are going through the book, "Created to be His Helpmeet". I had fallen ill this past week and hadn't gotten around to getting the necessary supplies for the sign. So right before the study I ran to the dollar store and got poster board and markers. It was late by the time study finished and I had only gotten the outlines done. And these wonderful ladies helped me color the sign in. If they hadn't I would have been up till 2 AM! Flannery LOVED her sign.

Here was our first stop. Of course the girls wanted everything in the store.

See? We got a lot of, "Ohhh, look at this...can I have it?" Ha! Um no, it's not your birthday, go put it back.

Even Jed wasn't exempt from the temptation. He saw a Hello Kitty in an elephant suite. He had to give it a squeeze. He played with it the whole time we were there, and was disappointed to have to leave it behind.

Isabella I think was a bit on the old side for the store. So she casually looked around, but wasn't all that interested. Now, had this been a store with a bunch of dragons in it.....lets just say that would have been a different story.

The official birthday "cake". This was the brownie recipe with a peanut butter topping. I did use a chocolate bar for the writing. The other chocolate recipe that I found that was healthy only stayed fluid for maybe 30 seconds. That didn't allow me enough time to write! So I went with a Hershey's bar (shhhh, don't tell anyone!). I have to say had I made this pre-sugar free, we would have probably spit it out. It certainly wasn't to die for, but we all enjoyed it. It really did fill you up fast! One piece was all we could handle. Saoirse was asking for it for her birthday. So it wasn't a flop, but not the wonder I was hoping for. I think I will keep my eyes open for other healthy recipes.

The birthday girl and a few eager children ready to dive in.

Jonah was having a lot of fun!

That's it for birthday photos. Yesterday we had a family over for a while. We all had a lot of fun. After they left I took Jonah out to see the chicks. He was not very excited about being in the storage room. Therefore he wasn't too keen on the chicks. Oh well. After that I decided to let him hang outside for a bit. It has been sooooo cold down here the past few weeks. This weekend was actually mild so I let him loose.

Have I told you all how much I am loving my new camera? I have such a long way to go learning how to work it, but I'm having a blast. See how wonderfully blurred the background is? I love that!

Oh, see, more blurred backgrounds. The blurred backgrounds let your subject be the focus. I just love that :-)

Oh, and see here, the things in the foreground get blurred too. How cool is that? Only Jonah is in focus. Never mind the handful of pictures I had to delete because I had the point of focus wrong....ha, ha.

Jonah just being silly. He is such a cutie pie. You can't really see it in this photo but Jonah's hair is now sticking out beyond his ears. So very adorable. All too soon it will be time for a haircut, which will make him look like a big boy :-( Boo hoo.

I love this shot. He was just about to throw a rock. And look I hit is just right, with is foot off the ground.

Saoirse is usually the camera queen. She absolutely loves the attention of getting her picture taken. Well last night she was being fussy about it. But I decided to take her picture anyways to show her how silly she was being. She didn't find that silly. Hmmm. I did, I was sitting there laughing. Oh, well, maybe when she is 20 she will laugh about it.

See? Silliness. I laugh, she pouted. Thankfully she is in better spirits today.

For some reason I like this shot, not sure why. She was actually trying to collect a stash of rocks. She made this rather large pile and then asked if she could take her rock collection inside. Ummm, do you see the size of that rock she has? I don't think so! More pouting.

Look at the cuteness factor of this one! I love it. I'm making sure to end with a cute picture. We wouldn't want Saoirse's poutiness to rub off on anyone :-) We have a busy week ahead of us. Speech therapy, a get together, or two, Bible Study, and the first soccer game of the season!! Soccer? Already? Wow, time flies. I need to go around looking for their jerseys. Off to make breakfast and get set for the day.
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