Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's all about the Hair

When Ashley was just toddling around like Daniela is now I took a 2 night course in hair braiding through the community college.  It was fun and it was well worth the money I spent.  For a couple years I braided Amanda & Meghan's hair, until the younger girls had enough to braid  and then there were four heads to work on.  Now it's Daniela's turn.  Sydney is less fond of having her fixed than my girls were, but she has let me a handful of times fix her hair in braids when I've visited.

Anyway, what can you do with their hair when they are so small? Ashley doesn't want her to have bangs, so it's constantly in her eyes, unless she has a headband, or barrettes or some type of pony tail in it.

Well Saturday, I put her in the highchair and gave her some Gerber Fruit Snacks she received from her Grandpa for Valentine's Day and persuaded her to let me fix her hair.  It turned out just adorable.

This particular braid I did is very easy, it's
called a rope braid.

And so I didn't get put on probation for giving
my granddaughter something sticky and not
brushing her teeth, we did it right away.

And I took pictures to prove it.
She has beautiful teeth and we want to keep it that way.

She's a ham.  She can smile and get her
picture taken and brush her teeth all at the same time.
She's very talented that way.

Daniela's top two bicuspids have broken through,
and apparently this is the best way
to get those top ones that are hard to reach.

Here's a  fun link I've located that will help you fix your girl's hair
if you are interested in giving it a try.

And here's a couple of the hairdo's I've gotten Sydney to sit still for.

This was taken after we'd spent a few hours at the pool, so
a good bit had come loose, but still looks very cute on her.

A french braid this time.
She looks so darn cute with her hair braided,
I wish she'd let me do it more often.

Happy hair-fixin everybody!

Oh!  My record for braiding hair is ten heads in a row.
One year at a girl scout camping weekend, I started
braiding Audra's hair, and then it was Ashley G. and
then Nicole, Jessica, Emily, Brianna, Megan, and ......
You get the picture.  My hands started cramping up
after a while.  But boy those girls looked sharp.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Take Off My Shackles So I Can Dance!

There was a time in my life when this was my theme song.
I felt so shackled.
So bound down with my circumstances
 and unable to dance like I longed to.
You lifted my load and now
I'm asking you to do this for others.

 I have friends and family; (those I love dearly),
that are in the valley and feel shackled.

Please God lift their loads and bless them so they
too can dance & praise you.

I will not name them,
but this song is dedicated to these friends:

One who is losing her home...
One is who suffering a grave medical condition..
One who has lost a fellow comrade....

Lord please take their shackles off, so they can dance.
We just want to praise YOU!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Packing my Book Bag

How should I pack my book bag?

Is there more than one way, you ask?


One trip to North Carolina I packed four books to read
and I chose four semi-skinny books, so I could read two going
and two coming home.  Worked like a charm.

When I recently babysat for a friend (an all day job),
I took two books and thought I'd probably over packed.
Several chapters into the first one I realized it wasn't getting any better.
The second one was a complete dud.
I was so bummed, I had so looked forward
to some great reading time.

In the past I've looked up who's waiting for books I have
listed on and took those to read on
another vacation, so when I returned I could trade them in.
That's another way to go.

Or do I choose two off my autism shelf, and two off
my good fiction shelf and two photography books?

It's hard to make up my mind.
And is it any wonder considering.......
I just scanned my bookshelves and I have about 60 books waiting to be read.

Any advice?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WBW #26

This Way Back When Post has been on the back burner for quite some time.
The words just won't come, but my eyes well up with tears each and every time.

My father was a much handsomer man than this picture portrays.
He was a man of few words just like his father before him.
The shy/quiet gene has been passed on to his grandchildren,
each of my siblings and I have a shy/quiet child.
Will it continue into the next generation?
I do believe there is at least one great-grandchild so far
that fits the bill, although they are pretty young yet to tell.

My Dad inherited his father's love of gardening, which was then
passed down to my brother Steaven, my sister Martha & I, skipping
only the youngest child in the family.
Two of my four daughters, share this love of gardening
and one of my sister's enjoys growing flowers.

As I read back over the post, this is not what I intended to write at all.
In fact, I think I said it all once before......
The words are stuck inside my head and in my heart.
Someday, maybe the words I want to say will  just pour out naturally.
Until then I will just say,.....
This is my Dad and I miss him today and every day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweater Renewal

This past week I received a new book in the mail.

Felting Knits into new Sweaters and Accessories
by Sharon Franco Rothschild

I was inspired to give felting a try.
So I read the first couple chapters on which fibers are feltable.
I searched my closet and resale boxes and came
up empty handed.
Well almost empty handed.
I do have one sweater I paid over $100 for that
I intend to make a pillow out of, but I don't want
to start with that project...I want to practice
with something less expensive and
that has less emotional attachment to it.
I bought this moose sweater right after my daughter
 landed a job as an Audiologist in Maine.
My hubby shrunk it a year or so ago,
but I'm not ready to part with it.
I thought it would make a nice pillow
or his and her matching Christmas stockings.
What do you think?

So I took a trip to our local Salvation Army
looking for some wool sweaters to start my
experimentation with felting.
I thought it would be easy to locate wool sweaters, but
found out it wasn't easy at all. 
I did find three, but they were around $5.00 each
and the colors clashed with each other, so I left
empty handed. 
I intend to go back when they are willing to practically
give them away... soon I hope.

**Note to family and friends.
If you have any wool sweaters you are
throwing out or see some at garage sale for $1.00 or $2.00
pick them up for me.

Feltable fibers - must be 85% (or above) wool, cashmere,
 alpaca, lamb's wool or angora.
Anything less may not work.

Any size ---kids, adult man or women's sweaters.
Any colors, solids or patterns.

In the meantime, I'll keep reading and dreaming of future projects.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Early Birthday Greeting

Tomorrow is my Birthday, but today I received an early
Birthday message from my Grandkids in Maine.

For those of you reading that are not in
our family circle.....that's me!
Gramie La La

How original...
How cute...

(Thanks for the out-takes too of Henry trying to
eat the letter etc.)

To Ava & Michael:

What a great surprise!
You painted the letters very nicely
and I love your smiles even
if you have teeth missing.

Thanks so much,
it was a great Birthday surprise.

And La La loves you two three
and Mommy & Daddy too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WBW #25 Those were the Days

Way back when I first met G.T. and started doing respite care for him.
I found him so adorable, though few others may not have thought so themselves..
He was to big for a pacifier by neuro-typical kid standards,
but it kept him from chewing up his shirts and blanket.

I took this picture of him hiding behind my back.
Lost in his own world.
A quiet moment with no bouncing, no nonsense jabbering,
no hands moving in front of his face.

Just playing in the gravel on the playground.
A picture perfect moment.
True, it was, but mass chaos ensued shortly
there after when diarrhea escaped from
his diaper and I had to persuade him to go
to the car.
At one point he threw himself to the ground
and I stumbled over him and fell too.
A Dad and his kids witnessed the whole scene.
I laughed out loud.
What's the alternative?

Honestly, I really miss those days.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Necklace Pictures

Through the Lens Necklace
XO stands for those I love to photograph
My seven-grands....
Michael, Ava, Sydney, Griffin, Daniela, Rowyn & Henry

Ashley's key to my heart necklace.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just one

The is the one that almost got away.

I accidentally erased it and had to re-download it off my camera.
Thankfully, I hadn't deleted them off the camera yet.
If I hadn't been able to recover it I would
have remembered it always and
it would have haunted
me forever.

I'm proud to say I took this adorable picture
of Daniela eating yogurt by herself.

Happy Valentines!
Spread your love around today - Everybody needs some!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Special Request

Someone commented on how they couldn't see much of Henry in the sled photos.
So by special request, here's a couple close-ups!

How's that Martha, it's so close you can see the drool.
He's Adorable with a capital A.

And Kudos to Donna who took me seriously
and learned how to comment.
I'm impressed!
Come on everybody else that visits routinely
if Donna can comment you can too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My New Necklace

For my upcoming birthday I bought myself a new necklace.  I tried to copy a picture of it, but gave up and provided a link instead..  So here's my Through the Lens necklace.  And since I truly love it and figured I'll be wearing it fairly often I had to go out a buy some sterling silver hoops to go with it.  Thank you, Meijer Thrifty Acres (why pay more?) for having a 70% off sale on your sterling silver jewelry in my time of need. The hoops were $49.00 and I just had to pay $15.00, can't beat that.
Instead of initials on the two round discs I had an X put on one and an O on the other one.  I wanted seven discs with each of my grand kids initials on them, but it couldn't be done, so instead the XXXXOOOOO symbolizes hugs and kisses to my grandchildren, who are my favorite subjects to photograph.

Maybe on Sunday while I'm dressed up for church I'll try to get some pictures of me in my new finery that are decent enough to post.  We can all hope, anyway.

Ashley bought the Key to my Heart necklace on this page, it's near the bottom of the page.  Miguel's name is on the key and Daniela's on the disc.  She loves her new jewlery too.  So Lisa Leonard, you have two new happy customers.  Meghan won their $50 gift certificate in the giveaway and purchased a new necklace, she's a repeat customer.  I think she chose the my treasure necklace.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unconventional Gifts

If I'm not careful I'm going to make a reputation for myself for giving unconventional gifts.

When my oldest daughter, Amanda was engaged to be married I gave her a bicycle at her bridal shower given to her by her fiance's side of the family.  No China or silverware pattern, a bike.  Her hubby-to-be had a bike and so to be able to ride together she needed one.  When I gave them a bridal shower, I passed up the linens, the appliances and all other typical gifts and I bought him a backpack.  Amanda loved to hike and so for them to be able to go backpacking together, he needed one.  You know what they say don't you? A family that plays together, stays together.

Well when my grandson, Henry was born they either had what they needed from his prior two siblings or were given it at a shower, so he didn't really need anything.  Except maybe this...............

His very own Pelican sled with a windshield to keep out the snow and wind.

You see they live in Maine and the bus stop for the kids is
around 300 yards from the house.

Their drive is a curvy trail through the pine trees.

You can't leave a baby in the house alone and you
can't send little ones out to stand by a very busy highway without supervision.

The answer!
This super-duper baby sled.
Little Henry stays warm and snug in his cool ride.

As you can see they've received more
than their fair share of snow this winter. 
Several more storms have gone through since this picture was taken.
According to Amanda they've paid more for snow removal this
year already than they did for the total winter last year.

Unconventional - Yes! 
 But the whole family loves Henry's sled.
And hopefully he'll still fit in it next year.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WBW #24 Belated Happy Birthday!

I never forget this girl's birthday
because she shares it with a National Holiday
known as Ground Hog's Day.

Belated Happy Birthday, Melissa!

She was born a sweet baby and continues
to be a very sweet girl to this day.

Chad, Melissa & Matt  - My niece and nephews

I meant to get an e-card out to you, but the duties
of everyday life got in the way.

I wish I had a recent picture of these three to show you today,
they are now all in the 20's and
the two oldest have little boys of their own.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pink and Not Suprised...

I beg ask my daughters' to send pictures of my grand babies,
the six that live very far away.

These are some of the best that Audra has ever sent.

Could that be a raspberry?

My personal favorite!

Rowyn is 4 months old now.

Now for the Bad News/Good News Situation.
The bad news is.... it's been a whole month since their Christmas visit.
The good news is .... in less than a month I'll be with them in New Mexico
for almost 2 weeks.

Here are the same pictures cropped a little closer.
Closer is better, but there is always some loss in
clarity.  It's better to take them closer to begin with.

A month or so after my visit her Daddy should
be coming home from his tour of duty.
I bet he's counting the weeks, days, and hours.
As hard as it is for me, the Gramie
to be far away.
It's has to be ten times harder
for a parent.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Editing Criteria

I'm just finishing up on the Photographing Children & Babies book.

Shooting tons of photos is a must and it's one thing I'm good at. 
I almost never take just one or even a few photos.
That's why I have too many photos on my computer,
in my files, on my photo cards and my flash stick or whatever you call it.

Editing has always been hard for me.
Sure I can delete the blurry ones, or the
pictures that are obviously bad, but after that it get tough.
The rejects are easy to get rid of, they are usually deleted
straight from my camera to make room for more pictures.

The next level gets more difficult. 
These are the C Level photos,
those that are technically okay, but have no punch.
They are boring.

The B Level pictures are good pictures,
but they are not framing quality.

The A Level are the first selects,
the best technical & aesthetic quality
AND they have emotional impact.

I'm going to strive to use better editing skills, so the pictures
that I keep my best work and it's not diluted by a
bunch of ho-hum, so-so pictures.

So here I go.

Why? The wire

Why?  The tongue thing

Why?  No Punch

Why?  Hand in picture

Why?  Boring

Why?  I kept a similar one

So these are the ones I deleted and so painstakingly
tried to arrange them so they didn't take ups so much room in the post.
(Read that...spent way to much time...tore half my hair out!!!)

Here's a couple of the keepers.

Do you agree with my Editing?  

Just thrilled to have a lady bug toy


Cute expesssion - Like she's getting ready to give you her opinion

Playing is serious business

Nice close up - Profile
That's it.  I frustrated myself enough for one day, trying to position pictures that just don't want to cooperate.
How did I do?  You may not completely agree with my choices, but just to let you know I did let Ashley copy the ones she wanted to before I deleted in case she like different ones than I did.

Friday, February 4, 2011

On my Wish LIst - Lady Bug Girl

Several of the kids books on my wish list at
 is all about the Lady Bug Girl by David Soman & Jacky Davis.

I've never read one of her books, but the illustrations are just so darn cute, I've gotta believe they are awesome books and they do get high ratings from the reviewers at the club.

Until I get my hands on one of these books I'll have to be content to play with my own Lady Bug Girl.

Yes, this is what we did during the big blizzard.
Ashley dressed her up and I took 50 pictures.

Much to our delight I did capture some good shots.

Isn't this just an adorable dress.
Her mama picked it up for just a few dollars,
she's a bargain shopper like her MOM.

I took some great ones in black & white,
perhaps I'll share those another time.

Lady Bug Girl............