Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sky-phonagraphy

In 2011 I became somewhat addicted to iphonagraphy.  What is more convenient than having your phone also take pictures which can be quickly uploaded to the internet?  Once I stumbled across Instagram, it was really over. With a couple quick clicks you can take a cool picture, crop, add a filter and share. Although the resolution of the photos from my phone aren't that great, the pictures look great in the smaller size. 

Another thing I've become somewhat obsessed with....mostly since the June 1st tornado....are crazy skies and cloud formations.  Scary clouds, beautiful clouds, sunrises, sunsets....I always seem to be in tune these days with what is going on in the weather and in the sky. This is a sad realization...and just one of the ways the craziness of 2011 has impacted me personally.  And I sure can see a whole lot more sky than I used to.

So here are some of my favorite sky-phonography pics....

May 5th - as the boys were warming up before an early evening baseball game.

Crazy sky

June 25th - Chasing a double rainbow behind the mall.

Double

July 7th - newly traumatized by weather, this sky scared the be-jesus out of me.

Get me outta here!

August 8th - a happy cloud....a heart straight ahead on our way to Cape Cod

Heart

August 12th - the most gorgeous sky from 2011...cloudless Chatham Lighthouse Beach

Cape

August 24th - Gorgeous night of summer baseball

Baseball

August 31st - Soccer game at dusk

Pretty sky

September 8th - just creepy

Crazy cloud

September 8th - pretty sunset

Sunset

September 10th - the swimmer cloud - identified by Ben

Swimmer

October 2nd - storm clouds approaching the Circle

Nasty

November 28th - most beautifully colorful sunrise ever, even behind the unattractive backdrop

Fire

November 28th - the most beautiful pink clouds covering almost the entire sky

Princess clouds....unfiltered, unedited

December 9th - neat cloud formation seen from the Pike

Clouds

January 6th, 2012 - Gorgeous sunset coming out of  doctor's office

Sunset over route 20

These were just some of my favorite sky-phonagraphy pics from the last year!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Summer Excursions

There were a couple of little excursions I took with the kids over the summer that were never documented.  The other day one of the kids asked if we could go to Magic Wings again.  That's when I looked back on the blog and realized I'd never posted about our strawberry picking or our trip to see the beautiful butterflies.

A friend and neighbor had mentioned going strawberry picking locally. So after one of Jack's ortho appointments I took the kids strawberry picking for the first time. We had had a very wet winter and spring and it was towards the end of the picking season, but we still were able to find enough strawberries to make it worth the trip.

We were the only ones in the field until we were just about ready to leave and another family came along.  Jack was pretty comedic about the whole experience, particularly after he realized the strawberry stems are a little sharp. Ben wasn't super interested for very long and the only picture I got of him was extremely blurry (sorry Ben!)







Summer strawberry pickin

We never did finish all the strawberries we picked, but they were sure good!


Another summer day when the weather wasn't so great we ventured a little north to the butterfly museum. I  was personally very excited about this trip! We brought the boys about 9 years ago when Jack was about 3 and Ben was about 1.5.  I was very pregnant for Luke and remember when a butterfly landed on my big belly. Ben DID NOT like being around all the butterflies, but I was hoping that was just a toddler thing.

The beautiful butterflies were swarming everywhere! I brought my 50 mm lens so I could have a wide aperature for natural light, but unfortunately many of my photos had a little too much blur.  I did manage a few good ones.



We sat on the benches and played the waiting game for some butterflies to land on us.  Jack played it calm and cool and wouldn't you know a beautiful butterfly landed on his bright blue shirt?




Chica was also calm and patient and had a few visitors come along.




Luke cracked me up. He was both anxious to have the butterflies land on him, and a big freaked out.  This is probably one of my most favorite photos from 2011. I just love how I was able to capture his sqeamishness.


Eventually, he calmed down and had many more visitors.



Now Ben....unfortunately his toddler fears did not subside completely. He was the least interested in having butterflies land on him and did not enjoy them flying around his head.  Eventually, he did have some visitors and was able to endure both his fears and the big tickle from his beautiful friend....barely. (Again interesting that the bright green butterfly landed near his bright green shirt)



I could have stayed all day long but the kids were anxious to move on to Yankee Candle.



So off we went to Yankee Candle where the kids and I had fun exploring and they all made wax hands. 

These were some of the excurions that made our summer happy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fall Sports Wrap

I've learned that I'd rather be busy juggling sports activities for four kids than at home with four kids and no activities! I don't know what I'd do if my kids didn't enjoy sports.  Sports keep the kids active and teach so many good life lessons.  The only problem for me is that there is no way to see every game for all of my kids. There are always conflicts. But I strive my best to keep my attendance even.

Ben's team played U-11 A-Division in a local league.  They ended up in third place out of twelve teams with a record of 10-4.  This was the boys' first time on the big field playing 11 vs. 11 players. The boys adjusted well and had an overall great season.  Ben played consistently well and played all the positions...both sides of the field. He plays with a great group of kids! The boys made it to the playoffs but lost,  playing that chilly morning before the snow began during the crazy October snow storm. 

My favorite thing about the way Ben plays is how when he gets possession of the ball he takes it up the field as far as he can, always looking for the best thing to do with the ball.






This was Luke's first season in the local 'traveling' soccer league. He played U-9 with a bunch of other boys in 2nd grade.  The team was over their heads a little in the B Division. I think they won just one game...but that was enough to keep their little spirits alive.  They were coached by a man who doesn't have any kids on the team...a man who's youngest son plays for our town high school team in his senior year but was out with an ACL injury.  Coach Frank was just amazing...teaching the kids good skills and always maintaining incredible patience and a great attitude. He was highly regarded by all of the parents and the kids.  Luke seemed to really enjoy the team and enjoyed playing all of the positions. He played goalie a handful of times and early in the season saved a penalty kick.  My favorite thing about watching Luke play is how excited he got when his teammates scored. He always seemed to be there with a congratulations hug.






Our only non-soccer player in the fall months was Jack. Jack played Fall Ball again for the same Springfield Titans team he played for last fall. This team offers a different mix of personalities that Jack really enjoys and we were thankful that he was able to play with them again. He played against a couple of his buddies/classmates from town and that made the fall ball games even more interesting and fun.  They were the same kids he played against in the summer wooden bat league. Jack hit like crazy in fall ball. He was so consistent that his fall ball coach told us he would tease his regular season coach about how Jack was hitting "lights out" for him.  Let's hope he can do that again this spring!!!






And that is what my three men did this fall!! I am hoping that next fall the fields are a little drier then they were this past fall!!!