Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Photography News

Well, there are a few things new in my photography world. I'm proud to report they are:

1. I joined another photo contest on Boston.com. I know there is no chance of winning (and the prize is only $100), but hey..maybe as I get better I'll get an honorable mention. The first month was a "Beach" theme and this month the theme is "My Neighborhood". There are a lot of great shots, mostly landscape shots. I submitted this cool picture I got of Jack holding a snake. Frankly, this is what happens in my neighborhood. Anyway, here is a link to the entry: My entry on Boston.com. You'll have to page down to find mine, but it's fun to look at the other pictures and see how people wanted to portray their neighborhoods. Wish me luck. And if you are really my friend...vote for me when it's time to vote!

2. My friend Jamie insisted that I join his photo group. It's a small group of three people who post pictures on different subjects/categories on a weekly basis. I'm excited because it gives me incentive to photograph something other than my kids, my kids playing sports and my kids. I started last week and the category was "Object". This week is "Colors". Come take a peak if you'd like! My new photo club link! The pictures that I posted will be noted as by "Fotos4fun".

3. I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but a good friend and I started a little photography business this past spring. I have been shooting pictures of Jack and Ben's team and their opposing teams and have finally posted them to our site. I even got an order from a person from another team! Yeah! Check out our website - Frozen Action Photos !

That's all for today!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday Fun

On Friday morning we went to visit our friends for some play time. Our special friends were also watching Chica's friend, Miss R. Chica and Miss R are both the babies of their families, fourth-borns, less than two week apart in age, and have very similar hair. I think I see a special friendship in their future. Perhaps we'll blink and the two of them will be playing soccer together or having their dance recitals or posing for prom pictures. But for now, we'll enjoy the smiles. I love the pictures below where they are smiling at each other. The smiles are genuine....they were excited to be riding the John Deere together.

And here is the whole crew posing...

And here is a picture of Miss R alone. I was pleased that I captured such an adorable shot of her and had to post it. Got some catch lights, Deb.... :>

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chica Drencha

It's a rainy couple of days here. Not iffy rain. Definite rain. I've been waiting for a rainy day to do some indoor chores like going through clothes, filing paperwork, cleaning, making some overdue phone calls, etc. I was on one of those calls when Chica snuck outside in the rain and decided that she could still ride bikes and play outside despite the rain. The snapping fingers and hand gestures were not going to get her inside. And before I knew it, she was past the point of slightly wet. So I ran and got my camera, continued to finish my call and snapped some pictures of Chica enjoying herself in the rain....in her barefeet.

I finally convinced her to come in...shivering...and we got her changed, warmed up and went to get Luke.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big "One"

Today is a very special day for one very special little girl. Our goddaughter, Audrey, is one today! Happy birthday Audrey!! Hugs and kisses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sweet Caroline Turns Sweet 16

A big happy birthday shout to one of my favorite people...my niece, Caroline. I still can't believe you are only 16. We all hope you have a wonderful birthday, CC.

Some fun pictures of you and the kids...

You and the Chica at 6 weeks old

You and all the boys!

Love from all of us....

You try resisting....

Quickly posting some pictures of the Chica from yesterday. Could not resist grabbing my camera when she was laying on the grass outside looking way too cute for words. The hair is a little messy, but that curl between her eyes had to be captured.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Tied Up

Okay, I realize the soccer posts might get boring for nonfamily and those not interested in sports. But it's the life I'm living right now and what I'm taking pictures of....so soccer postings it'll be!

We had to split up on Saturday because the big boys and Luke both played at noon. I took the big boys and Chica and Chris took Luke. Luke's team ended up with their first win.... very exciting. I never got a clear final score, but it was something like 5-1. Luke got his first goal and was so excited! The big boys lost a heart-breaker 2-1.

Sunday, we all got to go to both games. Jack and Ben played first. It was quite a match-up. The opponent got a 3-0 lead and I was not optimistic about either a tie or a win. But the boys battled back and did end up with a tie. Jack played goal for the second half so I was on pins and needles. He did an outstanding job and had a few great saves. Below are a few action shots of Jack vs. penalty shot.

Phew...close one. Jack was pleased with his second-half shut-out.

Ben once again played his little heart out.

Luke and the Lightening played next and they ended up in a 2-2 tie. He was able to score twice for his little team and I was so glad I was able to see and capture his excitement. Here he is...focused on the prize. (Lisa - see the cleats? The same ones that Ben had to wear to the Science Museum? They are lucky for Luke!)

And here he is getting some skin from coach.

And although she's not playing soccer yet, the Chica continues to make us laugh with her antics. Sensitive to good blogging material, Daddy captured this picture Saturday morning. Great job, hon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Fall Tradition

It's late September....and all of you locals know what that means - The Big E! My husband gets very excited for this event every year. We've both been going to this fair since we were kids. Before we had our own kids, we would walk for hours through the buildings trying to decide what gadget to buy - the Sham Wow, the Juicer, the Hand-hammered wok???? It's an annual fried food-eating and beer drinking feast. I've marveled at what Chris has been able to pack in his stomach over the years. I was ready and armed to snap pictures of all the food he ate this year so you all could see first hand. As it turns out, you don't eat as much food when you have four kids who want to ride on rides for 4 hours straight.

We got the kids out of school about an hour early. They were thrilled with this, of course. It was a perfect day to go weather-wise - clouds, sun and dry. And it wasn't crowded either. We had to go on a weekday to use our slightly discounted passes that Chris got early. The first building we hit was the Young Building, where you see all of the cows and goat and sheep. Right outside we saw the annual butter sculpture and I snapped a shot - hoping that maybe Pioneer Woman would find it someday. The guy was actually in there sculpting away. Cool, huh?

After that building we happened upon the mini-donuts. This is usually the first food purchase. Even the kids know that tradition. Chris was beyond thrilled when he discovered that they now offer a mini bucket of these donuts instead of the bags.

The mini-donut place is right near the rides area. This is basically where we spent the next almost four hours straight. Luckily, we ran into Deb as we were getting the kids' wristbands and we hung with them for the afternoon/evening. Our kids had lots of fun together. Here are some ride pictures.

We had a breakthrough this year with Luke. He had finally grown past the 42 in. limit and could go on a bunch of rides. Last year was hard having to tell him that he wasn't big enough to go on most of the rides. This year the Chica was about an inch and a half short of being able to go on most rides - even the kiddie rides. She could only go on the merry-g0-round, the little train and the slide with mom or dad. It was a bit of a challenge trying to keep her happy while the others went in different directions. Ben got a little queasy after going on "Crazy Mouse" six time straight. He was curled up in the double stroller for a while.

After rides we grabbed some grub and did make it through Farm-a-rama where we saw the traditional baby chicks, baby pigs, huge pumpkins and my personal favorite, the Clydesdale horses.

All in all a good time. Just much different from the years before kids. Chris barely ate anything compared to his usual performance. I think he grabbed a sausage sandwich at the end and picked on Jack's fried dough. He did manage a few beers along the way. We did pass this traveling "tack shop" (see below) early on and I had to listen to him whine about how "this was my life when I was young blah blah blah". That's been getting old over the years...

Oh, wait.... maybe he's telling the truth after all...

Look at his skinny little waist with the belt drawn tight.

And here is an amazing shot that Deb took of Chica when she decided to lay down on the pavement near the merry-go-round. Deb was playing with my camera and captured the shot of the night. Chica had to have been posing without knowing it. Thanks, Deb!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nifty News

It's an important day, today. 9/17/08 marks the 50th birthday of my brother-in-law, Chic. Chic is a very good guy. He doesn't remind me of a typical first-born child - or what I've personally learned as characteristic first-borns. (Chic, this is a compliment). As I understand it, he was a horribly collicky baby, but now he is a quiet, sweet guy and I'm finally starting to forgive him for taking my place on the trip to Hawaii with his brother, my husband. He plays the guitar, jogs to stay fit, is a great dad and mows his lawn for hours and hours and hours....

Here is Chic as a child - isn't he cute?

Here is Chic as a teenager - I guess this was the look back then.

And here is Chic last year, walking with his boy, my nephew Chad. Chic is on the right, of course. Doesn't he look like a movie star?

Chic, I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Love, your favorite sister-in-law :>

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Scooter

Chica "borrowed" a princess scooter from her friend, Miss A (Not sure Miss A will be getting it back any time soon). She has been having the best time scooting back and forth in front of the house. She's pretty good at it and I think she's trying to keep up with the big boys. Last week it was the just the two of us and she was scooting once again....and also looking particularly cute. There was a soft wind that was blowing her hair and she had on this orange shirt and jeans. So I ran up and got my camera with my 50 mm lens that my blogging friend, Deb, told me about. I was chasing her with my camera and I had to get up close for these shots because there is no zoom on this lens at all. I was surprised how clear the pictures came out because I can guarantee my hand wasn't steady. She loved that I was chasing her and was laughing up a storm.

She did stop a couple of times and I took a still shot which I really like. You'll notice that her face is dirty after eating some snack...something chocolately I'm guessing. I did a quick attempt to photoshop off the dirt but the shadowing in that spot was going to pose a challenge and take some time so I decided to leave it as is. This is what her face looks like 90% of the time anyways. I'll take dirty as long as she keeps smilin'.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Soccer, Soccer and More Soccer

Four games in total this weekend...which is norm for families with lots of kids. Luckily there were no conflicts so that I got to see all of the games. Talked about Luke's opening debut in yesterday's post. Saturday was Jack's birthday and he really wanted a goal on his birthday. Well, he got his birthday wish when he converted a penalty kick. The team ended up losing, but Jack had to be pleased with his performance.

Today Ben had his first game with a U8 team which he was asked to play with when he could. We showed up and there were three friends from school on that team. So that was fun! Ben did great and was able to put one in the net for that team. His confidence was up and he went to his U9 game in the afternoon and played more aggressively and confidently than he has yet this season. The team ended up with their first win to put them at 1-2-1 (I think).

One serious shot of Ben and I'll wrap it up for the weekend. Winding down and getting ready for the week ahead!

Oh, I almost forgot the Chica. She is such a trooper at the games. Today she insisted on wearing the size 6 dress that her friend Miss A gave her recently. Here she is all disheveled and excited pointing out that Daddy was arriving at the field.

Lightening Strikes

It was the official first game for Luke and the Lightening. Good news was the team all looked so cute in their uniforms and were happy and ready to play. Bad news was that their first match up was against a second-year team that had a lot of six year olds. Six year olds vs. 4 year olds....hmmmm...any guesses how that went? Nobody bothered to count the goals against us. There was maybe only one time that the Lightening had the ball on the other team's half of the field other than at kick-offs. But like I said, the Lightening was gosh darned cute.

Luke got his foot on the ball a few times and even had a little break-away before the other team ran him down.

After his first full week of school and his first soccer game, who can guess what Luke did all afternoon??