Monday, October 27, 2008

Photo Challenge #22 S.O.O.C. (Straight out of the Camera)

I was hopeful that our trip to the pumpkin patch would result in several good pictures to choose from for this week's challenge. The weather was beautiful.....clear and sunny! I took many pictures. When we got home and I downloaded everything into the computer, I was sad to see how most of the pictures looked so washed out. I had tried several settings on the camera, but none really did the trick. Sticking to this week's rule of not editing, there was little to choose from. I'm glad that digital cameras allow editing! LOL

My entry of the pumpkins is the best of the pick without editing! I like the contrast between the blue of the sky, the orange of the pumpkins and the brown and texture of the dirt and vines. Thanks for a fun challenge, Wendy!!

It's Pumpkin Patch Time!

The weekend before Halloween each year we make our annual trip to our favorite pumpkin patch in the area. It's always a walk down memory lane for me, as we've been going there since we moved here 10+ years ago. Because James was born in October, I always think back to that first time we brought our precious 10 day old son to the pumpkin patch! And ever since, when we make this annual pilgrimage, I stop and reminice, seeing how much he's both grown and grown up!! When you're with a child day in and day out, you don't often see the growth. But this annual trip provides me with the bittersweet mile marker of my son's growth and development.

This year's visit was on a beautiful warm and sunny day! There were many great pumpkins to choose from and a fun corn maze to walk through! It was a fun afternoon!

Dad, the pumpkin carrier!

Our choices for this year.....

Who IS that big kid????

Time to Carve!

When we got home from the pumkin patch, James and Dusty set to the task of carving our Jack-o-lanterns. With Dusty working nights now, Sunday afternoon was the only chance they would have to do it before Halloween on Friday night! Here are some of the pictures we took of James working on the pumpkins, on our front steps.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo of the week .... is ME!!!!


WOW!!!! I'm so very pleased that my entry for this week's photo challenge has been voted the winner by our group of awesome photographers!! This week's theme was "Zen Photography" and pictures entered were supposed to depict things that bring us (inner) peace. Please see below for my entry! All of these gals (and now a couple of men too!) post truly amazing photographs for this challenge on a weekly basis, so I feel honored that they've voted my photo as "Photo of the Week"!! We've all joined this group to learn more about our cameras, more about photography, to help us "think outside the box" and most importantly, to have fun taking pictures!! I'm having so much fun participating and am learning a lot! For those of you who are interested in learning more about this group, you can click on the icon on the right side of my blog and it'll take you right to the photo challenge blog.
Thanks again, gang, for the honor this week! It's just raised my enthusiasm level and has made me even more eager to get out there with my camera!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Photo Challenge #21 - The Zen of Photography

An interesting challenge to say the least......and with a busy week and weekend, it being James' birthday, I've had no time to take pictures other than birthday and family pictures!

And so I've decided to offer my favorite sunset picture of the summer for this challenge. I LOVE this picture! It is my screen saver and I have done exactly what Helen's description says to do with it..."A photo that you can imagine sitting in front of and meditating on the contents". The many hues in the sky that night were really amazing! It was truly spectacular! For me, this photo also evokes memories of that evening......the warm breeze as we drove through the open fields, the smell of the air, the sound of the crickets and water running through the irrigation ditches!

I hope that I've at least come close to achieving this week's challenge. Since it can be interpreted many different ways, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with!! Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Fun Friday for Mom in 2nd Grade!!

With Sunday being James' 8th birthday, I contacted his teacher, Mrs. Swihart, and asked her if I could bring cupcakes and drinks in for a little celebration today. She was happy to have me come and even invited me to come for the hour that they study math! It was fun to join James at school for awhile! Here are a few pictures from the day......

Mrs. Swihart doing a math exercise with James.
James with the cupcake birthday cake that he chose......military motif complete with barbed wire and an army tank!!
Mrs. Swihart leading the class in singing "Happy Birthday" to English AND in Spanish!!
James and the "Big Deal Day" buddy that was his today in celebration of his birthday! It kept him company all day at his desk!

A Rough Wednesday......

I know I'm two days behind, but we're going into James' birthday weekend (and Dusty's, too, as his birthday is next Wednesday!) and I figured that if I didn't write about the happenings of the past few days, it just wouldn't get done!

On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call at work from James' school telling me that he had fallen on the playground and had hit his head. He didn't knock himself out, but he had cut his scalp, he was bleeding and he's eyes were dilated. Not good! On my way out the door to pick him up, I called his Dr. who told me to take him to the emergency room at the hospital. When I got to the school he was sitting with an ice pack on his head, covered in blood. Of course, a head or face wound always bleeds so much more than any other kind and I knew that, so it didn't worry me too much. But he was pretty out of it and so unlike James....glazed look on his face and very quiet..... and THAT had me worried!! I got him to the hospital and after cleaning him off and doing a neurological exam, the attending Dr. decided not to run any scans for the time being. He said James had done very well with the neurological tests and the Dr. didn't think he had a concussion. He wanted us to keep a close eye on him for the next several days, but he was sure James would be fine. He just didn't see any reason for putting him through a scan at this point, and introducing all that radiation, especially it being his head.

The Dr. did, however, think that the cut needed to be attended to (it's so small and I thought it was nothing and would heal fine on it's own.....but I'm no nurse!!!) so he used one staple to "seal the deal". James was great and said it was "no big deal". Stitches would have been so much more traumatic for him!!

When we got home, there was a box from "Aunt Rita" (my dear friend for many years) of hand-me-down toys from her now 13 year old son!! WOW!!! Did James ever do well!!????? He loves "Bionicles" and she sent him about 10 of those, plus awesome Legos and more!!! What a wonderful thing to find, upon returning from the hospital. That certainly lifted his spirits and it was great to see! After sleeping with Mom for the night (so I could keep an eye on him throughout the night), he's been doing great!! I haven't seen the need for him to go to Physical Education the rest of the week, so he's been staying quiet. He's aware that he needs to be protective of his head until that staple comes out next week. But other than that, he's doing great! We're so proud of him and grateful, too, as we know it could have been a whole lot worse!!

Ouch!!! The little cut with staple!

James' was thrilled to get the box filled with Bionicles and other goodies!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Photo Challenge #20 - The Colors of Nature

This weekend was so not the best time to go to the mountains for the Autumn colors! It was cold, windy, rainy and even snowed on us while we were up there!! Not the best for pictures either, as the weather system that came through brought with it a lot of fog, so many of the pictures I took lacked sharpness and looked just plain dull and fuzzy!!

This first one was my favorite of the bunch. We've had such a wet Autumn in the mountains that most of the colors are already gone. There are just pockets left! This was one such pocket.

I couldn't help but sneek in one picture that I took last year at the same the middle of October. It was a very different kind of Autumn (with the colors holding on for several more weeks!) and a very different kind of day than we had yesterday.....lots of blue skies that day!
Another from yesterday.....some kind of red berry bush in a grove of Aspen trees that had already lost their leaves.....looking much more like winter than Autumn!
And one more, which was taken coming down off the mountain.....very foggy, but the colors were still pretty!

We stopped at a fruit stand on our way home and bought a bag of apples. Today we'll be making an apple cobbler!! Happy Fall everyone!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just because.....

My friend, Melissa, left me a sweet comment about my photos for this week's photo challenge and said she'd like to see the last one I posted in color, so here it is!! I was experimenting with the black and white with these pictures......something I'm rarely comfortable doing and I wanted to leave my comfort zone and try something new for me. I like the way most of them came out, but I still like the color!! So this one's for you, Melissa, and anyone else out there interested in seeing the difference between these two pics!!

Photo Challenge #19 - Art of Portraiture

This was an interesting challenge for me. James is almost 8 years old and has had the camera in his face since he was born. But now he's going through a very uncooperative stage whenever Mom picks up her camera! It's so hard to get a good picture of him, NOT making a silly face. (And the other member of our family -- the father -- is going through his annual Autumn ritual of growing hair on his face and currently looks like a cross between an unkempt bear and a homeless person, so taking pictures of him was not currently to my liking!! LOL).

So you work with what you have!! I realized this morning that with all the pictures I've taken of James throughout his life, I've never tried a "photo session" at home. He's been to a professional photographer a few times, but those visits are few and far between! So I grabbed a sheet, rearranged the livingroom temporarily and started taking pictures. He was remarkably cooperative and I did get a few good shots, inbetween the silly stuff! I'm just posting three from this morning, one of which Lacey had to get into too!! The first one was actually taken the other night, while we were deep in conversation about something.....somewhat less posed, but I think my favorite!

So, thank you, Rania, for a fun challenge! I ended up with some good pics of my little guy that I wouldn't have without your suggestion!! Have a great week everyone!!