Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finally

It's almost been a month since my last post. Holy dry period. I've been a combination of uninspired, under the weather and unmotivated. I've barely picked up my camera.

Thanksgiving was nice but very quiet with just our crew and Grandma. Chris did a tremendous job with the turkey, stuffing and gravy.

I didn't get in the Top 10 for my photo of Chica on the dirt bike. The one judge who picked the initial Top 50 disappeared and a new judge had to step in and pick the finalists. I'll never know if I would have made it with the other judge. But thanks to anyone who might have taken the time to go vote. November's theme was Silhouettes and I didn't submit anything (again, unmotivated, uninspired). December's theme is Toys. That should be interesting!

Christmas prep is well underway. We got our tree last weekend but the weather wasn't great so there were no photos. We got a big and beautiful tree at the same place as last year for only $35. I don't think I'll ever go to another tree farm.

The blog police (husband and oldest son) are on my case big time to update the blog. Last week the weather was warm and Chica wanted to go play on the swings. It's one of my favorite spots to photograph her. And she is so cooperative about posing. So I grabbed my camera and joined her by the play set. Here are my favorites.




And one serious pose.

At just about three and a half, Chica is still a happy girl who loves to laugh. She still lovingly refers to her brothers as "my boys". She is giddy with laughter when her Daddy comes home or comes downstairs in the morning. She gives me the hardest time about her hair....won't let me brush it or put in "pretties". She loves school...especially the songs they learn. She is gearing up to learn to ski this winter....but I'm not sure if she or her Daddy is more excited. And she LOVES to do puzzles and play games. She does 100 piece puzzles with a little help from me and loves to play her matching game and play on Nickjr.com. She is still my little Sweet Pea.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Chance

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my photo submission to Boston.com for October made the Top 50 of over 200 photos! The theme was 'Pink' and the judge who picked the Top 50 was looking more at emotion than technical merit of the photos. I submitted a picture I took of Chica racing on the (battery-powered) dirt bike wearing a pink dress. It wasn't on purpose, but Chewie is blurred in the background and it looks like the two are racing. There is clearly a lot of emotion on Chica's face.


So if you have a minute, click over here and vote for my pic! I still have yet to make it to the Top 10!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Chair

I acquired a chair last month from my friend. It is her aunt's old chair that she put in our tag sale. When I saw it I couldn't help but think it would make a neat chair for photographs. So a short while later I told her it was mine. I have seen so many photographers take cool pictures in chairs. They throw the chairs in the middle of random fields and photograph away. The chair was too good to pass up.

So I finally grabbed the chair one day last month just for fun and made Chica come out and pose. It was very impromptu and she was such a trooper about posing.






And although you can't see much of the chair....this last one was my favorite.


I'm think I'm gonna have some fun with this chair....

Perfect

This past weekend we had lots and lots of soccer to officially wrap up our fall sporting season. Ben's team signed up for a tournament and had two games each Saturday and Sunday. They played against a couple of teams from their regular U9 season and a couple of U10 teams. They ended up winning three and losing one. One of their wins was against an older U10 team. The boys played amazing and it was a great game and a very deserved win.

Ben played goalie for a half of a couple of the games. He was still recovering from a cold so I think it was helpful not having to do all the running.


He perked up even more on day 2 and was back to his normal self .

No secret here....love this kid.

And surprise, surprise....Jack was asked to play on day 2 and he went back and forth on his decision but ultimately rose to the occasion and showed up to play! They used him in goal both games but he did get to play out in the field too. It was fun seeing him in that soccer uniform again and he showed where he got the punting abilities from with some great boots to midfield.

And did I mention it was the most glorious weekend for soccer?? Sunday was in the 70's - actually a little hot. The little ones had a blast in the bounce house and just playing with one another and all of the families tail-gated between games. It was better than a great season ending ---- I'd go with perfect.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Great End to the Season

Jack's first football season came to a close last weekend. It was a nice day for a November 1st game. Jack wasn't initially excited about going to his game until his cousins called and said they were going to try and come. After then, his tune changed.

In the pre-game practice there were a lot of throwing plays to Jack and he was looking good. He was making catches with confidence. He was very excited to be moved to wide receiver from cornerback for the last few games of the season.

The team had only won two games during the season. It had been a tough season and there weren't many touchdowns scored for the team. But things were looking good in this game. They went up by a couple of touchdowns and there was definitely team momentum and excitement.

Jack looked good in his blocks.



Toward the end of the game Jack's team had a fourth down. Normally the opposing team would set back 15 yards (I believe) and start their plays, but I learned that you can punt the ball in lieu of giving the 15 yards to set back the team further.

Well, guess who had the longest punts in practice? Maybe from his prior soccer experience, but Jack was going to be called upon to punt if punting made sense. And now it was the last game and the team had not yet punted. And now the coaches decide they would like to punt.

I hadn't seen him practice punting so I was surprised that he actually received the snap and then backed up to punt without the other team rushing at him to try and block the punt. (It sure meant for a nice photo op!)

This could have ended so badly, but I have to give Jack credit for his calmness and composure under pressure. He punted the ball nice and straight and I guess about 30 yards or so. So that was a good coaching decision and probably the highlight of Jack's entire season.

The team ended up winning three TD's to one, Jack's cousins, aunt and Grandma were there to see his punt, and he received a lot of positive feedback from coaches and players.....a perfect season end.

And I have already returned his equipment that has been living on my dining room floor for the last 3 months and sprayed and bleached his white game and practice pants for the last time this year. Very nice!

Explanation

I want to give an explanation to yesterday's post because I couldn't type in the post without ruining the Shutterfly link. As if I don't have enough to do, I got sucked into yet another Pioneer Woman contest. The contest was to create a photobook on Shutterfly of "Faces". There were no specific requirements, so I decided to create a book of some dog faces.

It took quite a while, but it was worth it even if I don't win. I got a hands-on update of Shutterfly's photobook capabilities and now I have a book of all of my favorite pups...should I chose to print it!

Take a look.....you might see someone you know!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Off to the Farm

Last week Chica and I went on our annual pumpkin picking fieldtrip with her preschool. For the last eight years we had gone to this one farm which now is apparently closed. So off we went to another farm on a glorious day. This was the first time that I can remember when I didn't have at least two kids with me for this fieldtrip!

We took our tractor ride soon after we arrived so that we could get that done before the busloads of other kids arrived.


After that fun ride we spent some time feeding the animals. There was an adorable litter of baby piglets, goats, cows, and a peacock. Oh, and not to forget these lovely llamas (or alpacas?) and their pretty teeth.

We walked through the Hay Maze with the kids and got them all to pose together when we were done.


Finally, it was time to pick the pumpkins. Whereas in the past we got to actually stop in the pumpkin patch during our tractor ride and pick pumpkins right off the vine, at this farm we were directed to a specific area where there were pumpkins were sitting on the ground.

Chica made her "final" choice a handful of times. She spent time inspecting and reinspecting her pumpkins and then repicking. I never thought I'd get out of there.

But alas.....she made her final-final decision. And one cute pose before we departed.......

Celebrating Six

Three weeks ago tomorrow Luke turned six. As always, it is a very challenging time a year to schedule a birthday party. The sporting events and the Columbus Day holiday throw a wrench into my planning every year!!

Luke really wanted to see the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs so we invited some of his friends to come see it with him. The kids all came to the house first and we played a couple of games and then went right to the cake, ice cream and presents.

I decided on cupcakes this year and decorated them with 'spaghetti and meatballs'. I thought they actually came out so cute. I spread some yellow frosting on the bottom then squeezed yellow tubed frosting with the smallest tip. Then I put on some red frosting from a tube (bigger tip) as the sauce and topped them with Boston Baked Beans candy. I had gone up and down the aisle at the grocery store looking at the candy and the Boston Baked Beans were the closest I could find to meatballs. Most of the kids pulled them off and put them on the side of the plate when I told them they were candy-covered peanuts. Oh well...they looked good anyway.

My big six year old during his birthday song...


Luke was super excited to get some Bionicles, games and cool army-guy stuff. All were right up his alley. After presents, the crew below loaded up and headed to the theater to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs in 3-D.


It was a fun afternoon of celebration for Luke and his buds!

Friday, October 23, 2009

When Mats Attack

It's always when Chewie is looking his absolute cutest that I start feeling the mats of hair around his body. And the mats continue to expand and multiply until it is too late. This is the second time that our little cockapoo has gone from this.....

to this......


That cockapoo coat is tough to maintain. It requires lots of ongoing maintenance which we, as a family, are just not good at. It would be easier if Chewie liked being brushed!!

Luckily he doesn't mind the cold. He's a tough little 7 pound cockapoo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pure Fun - The Series

Last weekend at Ben's soccer game Chica had a playmate, Mr. K, a brother of Ben's friend and teammate. They were having lots of fun playing while I was trying to catch some pictures of the boys playing soccer. I moved myself to the opposite side of the field for a better angle and a little while later I saw these two running toward me, having a grand old time. Luckily I was armed and ready to shoot a series that is too cute for words.


They stopped and stared at me when they realized I was pointing the camera their way. They almost looked guilty.

And then said 'ta heck with it and kept right along with their fun!


I don't know whose idea it was to hold hands and run, but it was so darned cute. They were just having the best time, their smiles so big and genuine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thankful

It's not Thanksgiving yet, but today I was feeling very thankful for a few things.

I was thankful for the bright sunshine that helped warm the cold temperatures so Luke and his team could play their soccer game without completely freezing.

I was thankful that there were no conflicts with the other kids' activities so that I could be there to watch Luke's game.

I was thankful for the sun so that I could get some pictures of Luke playing. Conflicts and cancellations have made that difficult lately.

I was thankful for Luke's good mood and willingness to play and try hard.



I was thankful that his efforts paid off with a goal.


I was thankful that I was there and could pull it together to lift my camera and grab some pictures of his excitement.

And thankful that he has a great, patient and supportive coach.


And lastly, I am the most thankful that 11 years ago today Chris and I were married and began this family. Happy Anniversary, hon. Love ya.