Monday, September 29, 2008

I have to RANT for a moment...

Sometimes I think the American Public is stupid and blind.

The $700 billion Bailout is not what most Americans think it is. The government is buying assets that are basically on sale, big time sale. They are not just bailing out those big stupid companies.

What would it cost the Americans to not pass this? Not passing it today and Today alone the Stock Market erased $1.2 trillion from very important items like your IRAs, 401ks, etc. And your parents and grandparents IRAs and 401ks.

You think you are not going to be effected by this? Want more where that came from?

If your neighbor were smoking in bed and his house caught on fire, what would you think? Well, when the fire spreads to your house, it is already too late. Think ahead people, think ahead!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just a quick update - I told you too soon that I was back in business. Right after I posted that blog I was listening to Hk read one of her books that she reads each night. She kept saying her throat hurt. I told her not to complain and that she needed to drink more water. I then went and got the flashlight - I have a two year old and the emergency flashlights in my nightstand and my husband's were both missing. I about passed out when I saw her throat. I've NEVER seen that much white nasty stuff in all my life. It was everywhere - on her tonsils, the back of her throat, her uvula, the sides of her cheeks. Now I feel guilty for telling her not to complain because she's been hurting for a few days and just told me about this. Oh boy, so here we go again...

ANYWAY - Ever need a quick lesson that even the little ones can enjoy? Print this out on white cardstock, cut them out, and then laminate them. This small version can be put inside a snack size plastic bag and placed in your scripture case for easy storage. I used to carry a simple version I made with plain paper and crayons in my scriptures as a missionary. I taught Lesson 18 in the Joseph Smith Manual last Sunday. Although that only covers part of the plan - go back to lesson 17 to get the first part of it. I figured it was just the push I needed to finally use Adobe Illustrator to 'draw' these illustrations of our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.

I made a large version for the chalk board, but this small version is great for use in Family Home Evening, small classroom settings, or Visiting Teaching - used it just the other day with a Sister just getting back into activity. You can even give it as a gift for someone going on an English speaking mission. I will be working on making an Elder to add to the plan. Hopefully you'll see it sometime in the next few weeks. I'm also sharing this at The Errand of Angels Blog.

Feel free to print as many copies as you would like and share it with your friends and family. If you are going to place this someplace online, please give credit where credit is due - Illlustrations by Laura Vanderbeek Thanks!

getting back in business

Well, I am almost back in business, meaning, almost over the flu. CJ had it for 4 days, HK had it for one, and I've had it for 4. I got ready for church this morning and ended up crawling back in bed. I went right back to sleep. I am still a little nauseated, but I think things will be even better by morning. In fact I am already yawning like crazy. Good thing, with school and dance tomorrow and loads of laundry. Tyler helped a TON and scrubbed the kitchen down - all the pots and pans, ran the dishwasher, vacuumed and mopped. What a man! So helpful and I so appreciate that!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I've been Spotlight-ed on another Blog

I'm really excited! I'm the Spotlight today at the Errand of Angels Blog. Go check it out if you have a minute - it's a really neat site. I love that I have a place to share my testimony along with other women. There are frequent Give-Aways and great decor tips as well as spiritual insights. Make sure you take a second and leave a comment and let them know what you think!

If you haven't tried Google Reader - uhm, hello, you NEED to! I was wasting a lot of time each day checking to see if anyone had posted anything. Now I just click on my GoogleReader bookmark and it shows me who has posted and lets me see it right there. The only thing is that you can't check private blogs. Whah!

A tender Moment

You need a few of these tender moments in the middle of all the chaos. BUT this is a very strange sight around our house, one reason we had to capture it on camera. Hk loves to cuddle, but CJ HATES it. He is usually beating up his sister trying to get my attention or take her spot. Who knew it would be followed by a night full of the flu. I mean every 15 minutes for 4 hours. I had the washer and dryer going all night. Of course, it just slowed down after that, it didn't stop until 8pm tonight. That was last night. HK is taking her turn tonight. That is why I am on the computer at 1 a.m. I couldn't sleep anyway. So we'll probably spend lots of time curled up reading in bed tomorrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Officially FALL!

Haeley let us know that Sunday, Sep 21st, was the first day of FALL! We went camping last night and then walked around the nearby lake. Things are definitely changing up there. And I absolutely love Autumn.

We had a breakthrough last night - both kiddos slept the entire night with no problems and they stayed completely inside their sleeping bags instead of rolling out and getting cold.

It did rain on us a little but we were mostly protected from leaks and we all stayed dry.

The kids had a great time watching the fire and sitting far enough away for ME to feel comfortable about it. We roasted marshmallows and ate tinfoil dinners.

Although I am a bit exhausted because the rain kept waking me up, I am grateful for the peace I felt up there. I feel happier inside and more relaxed.

And I am so grateful for the chance to give my children these kinds of experiences. They love it and we love it. Haeley is a girly girl but she loves camping and I am very grateful for that.

And our dear friends Greg and Erin went with us and they brought yummy hot chocolate mix to warm us up. They'd never seen the lake and there couldn't have been a better time for them to see it - well except that we didn't get to walk all the way around because of the lightning and rain! Regardless, it was a wonderful little overnight camping trip!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Haeley's Photography!

Last night, I gave Haeley a little photography lesson. You know, this wide angle lens is fun, but she needed to know how to focus it. We talked about how and where to focus it and how to change where the focus is in the lens (mine only has 5 points of focus). We also talked about background. She crouched down on the ground and got most of her shots. She got close and far away. She went on a photo safari in her own backyard and she was so proud of herself when she got done. Then we looked at them on the computer and she chose her favorites. She gets to enter one in the PTA contest at her school. I think it will be the first photo you see here, but it was hard for her to choose. Today I am going to teach her how to upload it to our lab and she will get to choose what size - it has to be mounted and sprayed - although it might look cool on metallic paper - I have to let her decide all on her own. Either way, fun stuff for being 6!

Monday, September 15, 2008

a good day

today is a good day because:
I get hydro-seed today - that means that next spring we will have a lawn the kiddos can play on for a change.
Hk has dance. She loves dance class!
I already uploaded a clients photos and processed them and it's only 9am
CJ is just waking up
I cleaned my kitchen counters and picked up all the clutter in my room and bathroom as well as HKs room.
And my friend Krysta and her family in the Houston area are doing ok. click here to see the photos on her blog
Now I get to play with CJ in the dirt as I mark off the garden areas so they don't spray them with hydro-seed.
Did I mention I get my dirt covered up with hydro-seed?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I went to a very small high school

OK, so for 9th and 10th I went to a big high school in Alaska, but for 11th and 12th I went to a very small school on a military installation in the middle of the desert near the salt flats of Utah. My dad was air field commander out there. My class was the largest ever, which is really not saying much. Anyway, we made some good friends out there. And we just had a school reunion, well sort of. It was more like a Dugway get together because so many of our parents attended as well. If you are from Dugway and want to attend next year, I will forward the info to you. It will be the first Saturday after Labor Day weekend. I completely spaced the fact that I know where some Dugway-ites are, that others don't. Chemo Brain! My decision to go was last minute because luckily my BIL changed the time of their daughter's baby blessing to an earlier time and I was able to attend both events. Tyler and I drove down and picked up my mom and we drove to Draper - not Dugway - since most of us don't live there anymore. One of the families that attended drove over from Dugway, but the rest of us are living all over the state and some in Arizona. Maybe you read the article on Jamie Gibson Hartly in the March 2006 issue of the LDS Ensign Magazine. Jamie and I went to high school together. In fact, her older brother, Ben, was in my class. I was really excited to see her at the reunion and meet her husband. HK couldn't help but hug Jamie. Jamie was really nice because every time she turned around, there was HK, wanting to give her a hug. HK doesn't usually do that with people she just met, but I think she sensed Jamie's kind spirit. It was interesting to see where everyone has gone with their lives. I gained strength from hearing their stories and how they have grown through their trials. I haven't been to Dugway since Trishelle got married. I shared my cancer story as well after several questions and how so much good came from it. It was good to share it again. I don't want to forget how much good came from it.

Those of us who went to high school together:

With some of our moms:

Every once in a while I see the resemblance between HK and I. There was something about this photo, besides the fact that I am zoning out, where I saw a little of me in her. I just wanted to write that down since it rarely happens.

Thanks for inviting me Tishelle!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Foam Haunted House

It took us several days to get this one done, but here it is! Haeley was a pro helping with the glitter - and there was lots of it to apply. We had fun together and I can hardly wait to display this in our living room.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Haeley and I have been busy with projects for Fall. We made a large foam haunted house that was covered with Glitter - it is too cute. I'll post that later

Then we went to Michaels craft store. I bought wooden letters - the small one with the white background. The larger block looking letters are cardboard. I bought everything at Michael's, including the paper and spiders from K and Company. Drill holes in the cardboard ones so that you can loop them together with ribbon. Paint the edges of the letters with flat black paint. trace your letter onto the paper. Then I mod-podged the paper to the letters. I didn't put it on the front of the paper because this paper had glitter on it and I wasn't sure what would happen. Once dried I sanded the edges of the paper to get them just right and added black ink to the edges of the paper. On the small Boo I hot glued the ribbon between the pieces and put dots of hot glue to keep it from scratching the wall. On the large BOO I took a piece of wire and folded it in half and used it to pull the ribbon through. I tied the ribbon and then pushed the knot down inside the letter for a clean look. Last of all I added the spiders. It was a fun project.

Here is the project work space:

Today Tyler went to work for a couple of hours. We had corn on the cob for dinner along with baked potatoes and grilled pork chops. I grabbed the corn out of the garden and threw them on the grill. 10 minutes each side. We've tried this twice and boiled the corn once in between. The grilled version was so much more tender it was unbelievable. And it's probably better vitamin wise. Anyway, grill some corn and you'll see what I mean. After you are done grab the end with a pot holder and peel the husk back and then bend the end off and you are ready!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Camera RAW instruction

Using Camera Raw is like having a negative to go back to each time you adjust your photo. When you adjust a jpeg and save it, it is changed forever, unless you save it with a different name. And if you save and re-save it several, the photo becomes more and more pixelated. Did you know that? Not with RAW. We use to use RAW just for family portraits that were going to be enlarged to 20x30 or larger, but with CS3 there are so many more options that make my life easier that I use RAW when ever I get the chance. Now let me tell you, RAW is easier with my Nikons than it is with my Dad's Canon - but I guess once you get the hang of it, it will be okay whatever camera you have. Mostly it was difficult to install the Canon camera RAW plug-in. Of course, since it makes such a big file, we have had to upgrade to a larger card - well several larger cards. The 2GB pro card I just bought cost me $50. Oh and I use compact flash, not SD. But whatever you use, RAW is incredible and quick. Today I am showing a few of the things I adjusted with a quick slider for my garden photos. There is also a way to take what you did to one RAW photo and add it to several all it once while in Adobe BRIDGE, but I'll get to that later.

Here is how I quickly added contrast and brightened my photo. The nice thing about RAW is that if you decide a year from now that you don't like what you did, you select camera RAW default and you can start over again. It always keeps a knowledge of its original settings.

Here is another screen you can choose in RAW and here I added the dark Vignette. Yes, a slider, well 2, and it took me all of 3 seconds to get it the way I wanted. It's not perfect for all photos, but for this it was the best and the easiest way to vignette.

I would not normally vignette with white, but I have with some snow photos of my daughter and that is the only time I have used the white.