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Showing posts from September, 2010

A day to remember forever

Sunday the entire family spent the day at the Center Grove Apple Orchard.  The sun was shining, temperature was perfect, and we had a fantastic time.  The kids played in the corn, fed the animals, played in the three little pigs' houses, rode tractors, jumped on the jumping pillow, did the corn maze, slid down the slide, and picked apples.  We stopped for dinner at Fazolis  in Ankeny afterwards and Mia told me she will remember this day forever.
More pictures available here.

Making lemonade out of lemons

Once again, the weather did all it could do to ruin our wonderful Saturday plans but we just changed course and had a great day. The entire family was to go to the apple orchard for a day of fun but it rained, and rained, and rained some more.  So instead, I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on fruit snacks, Rice Krispie's bars, juice boxes, and fixings for dinner (chile), I picked up Cailey, Mia, and Luke and brought them back to the house to spend some time with them.  They all had different activities they wanted to do.

Mia was checking out pictures Grandpa has taken, including this wolf from our South Dakota trip.
Luke was drawing Star Wars characters, and

Cailey put together a puzzle.  It is interesting to watch her work on the puzzle,.  She is thinking out loud the whole time.  I had to shoot a little video of her working on it.

This is the second time she's put this puzzle together. The first time she was only three and she climbed up on the table in a squatting po…

Picture of the Day

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us. ~ALBERT EINSTEIN

Tuesday happenings

My day started out with my alarm going off at 4:55 a.m. today so I could go to Jeremy and Sarah's to watch Keira while Jaren went to get tubes in his ears.  After she woke up and had breakfast I brought her over to our house. We had a great day together.  The two of us went to Target for some retail therapy.  I picked up some leggings and top in her size and she grabs them out of my hands and hugged them to her. I found a couple more outfits, all which got Keira's seal of approval.
Tonight I finished up the week of September 7-15 of my Sweet and Simple/365 layouts.

The story of two boys, their trains, and the people who love them

Thomas the Train came to a city near us. A couple years ago we went and rode the train with Luke, Cailey, Mia, Carrie and David. This was shortly after Grampa started his hobby of collecting N-gauge trains. Grampa's hobby is still going strong, if not stronger. We now have two more grandchildren who love Thomas and "train tracks." So today we were invited by Jeremy and Sarah to join them, Jaren, and Keira to see "train tracks." The weather was drizzly all day, but it couldn't put a damper on our fun.

Saturday's happenings

Today was the South Des Moines Art Festival I was supposed to work from 9 to 6 p.m. It started thundering and raining at 4 a.m. and continued most the morning. It was a cold damp morning and I decided to leave around 11:30. We drove by around 2 and all the artists were packing it up.  A very sad day for the 2nd Art Festival.
This afternoon the clouds broke up for about 10 minutes and I took advantage to take my daily picture. I stood under a tree in my front  yard, focused on a couple leaves low on the tree that had started changing colors.
We watched a couple movies today, got a nap in, and had an awesome dinner. I also am up-to-date on my 365 project.

Shabby Princess has beautiful new kit for FREE

The plentiful collection is a digital scrapbooking kit by Shabby Princess with gorgeous colors and textures--just perfect for those fall pictures.  The kit includes nine papers, a darling alpha number set, frames, tape, flowers, fall rubons, buttons, and more!  
Here is where you can see the kit, download it, and see some inspiration for using this kit.


Friday!!  What can I say. Two days of rest and relaxation.  Really?

Today I visited the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in Downtown Des Moines.  The sky was blue, temperature was wonderful, and everyone was out enjoying their lunch outside.
This is a side view looking east of the “Nomade,” by the Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa.  Nomade is , a 27-foot-tall hollow human form made of a latticework of white steel letters, and one of the first things you see when entering the downtown from the west (gateway).  Nomade may soon become a symbol of Des Moines the same way Oldenburg and van Bruggen’s shuttlecocks represent Kansas City and their spoon and cherry represent Minneapolis.
The following was taken from the Des Moines Register's Guide to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park:
The figure’s sheer size dominates the park’s landscape, and its human form made from scrambled steel letters seems to suit the city’s vision of itself in the Information Age. The artist envisioned the letters as building blo…

Feeling better

I started not feeling good last night while watching America's Got Talent and the Big Brother. Started aching all over when I went to bed and woke up all achy so stayed home. By noon I started feeling better but am enjoying my day home.
I was supposed to babysit this sweetie and his baby sister this afternoon but because I wasn't feeling good earlier today and because he is to have tubes in his ears in a few days, it was decided that someone else should watch them.

I then decided to catch up on my Sweet and Simple/Life 365 pages. I'm now caught up. I did miss taking pictures two days last week--something that has only happened a handful of times so far this year.
I used Gina Marie Huff's Sweet & Simple Pages - September '10 - 3/4 Photo products, available at Weeds and  Wildflowers.

Trying Kevin and Amanda's tutorial on saving and sizing your image for blogging

I decided to follow Kevin and Amanda's Basic of Photoshop1, Layers and Saving and Sizing for blogging tutorials.

Here's a photo of my precious grandchildren (who would have rather been running around the fountain instead of posing for pictures) straight out of the camera, full size:
I sharpened the photo and ran a couple free actions from The Pioneer Woman. You can download sets 1 and 2 here: The Pioneer Woman Actions. I started out with Fresh and Colorful, using the settings from Kevin and Amanda's tutorial Basic of Photoshop 1 and then Warmer.  Next I resized it to 400 pixels wide and sharpened it once again.  This is my final result (400 pixels wide):
This one I sized the photo at 600 pixels wide to see which size works best:

Check out Kevin and Amanda's tutorials on sharpening and resizing your photos in Photoshop so they are sharp, crisp, and sized perfectly for your blog.

Kevin and Amanda dot com

I was referred to a blog called "" for a contest a week or two ago and dropped by again today.  They have a fantastic tutorial on saving and sizing your images for blogging.  Check it out.
I'm going to play around with this tonight. Great information for all bloggers.

A Foggy Drive to Work

I left the house yesterday morning and was shocked that I couldn't see the end of the street. The weatherman did not tell me it was going to be a foggy morning. Visibility was  pretty low and I had to drive by an elementary school and a high school on my way to work. The high school was the scary part because the students are always dashing in front of the cars to cross the street. I think it is a Superman mentality. Luckily I didn't see any students (don't know if they were out there or not). As soon as I crossed the river the fog cleared over downtown but looking back to the south it was thick as pea soup.

Left work early for a treadmill test (it seemed like everything went great) and decided to come home instead of going back to work. Was sitting down browsing YouTube videos and drinking a glass of wine when the phone rang. It was my son calling to see if I could come out and help him get the kids out of the van and chase one of the neighbor's four dogs away. Two wer…

Welcome to my new Blog

I'm taking a class at Jessica Sprague dot com called Blog Design Basics for Blogger. This class is being taught by Crystal Wilkerson and Kristina Proffitt. This is a self-paced class with great video and online support.  The papers, borders, and emblishments are all from Crystal.  Let me know what you think.

Printing layouts

I have been printing my layouts at home. I have an Epson Artisan 710, which does an excellent job. However, the paper is almost $1 a sheet, plus add in the cost of ink and I'm probably spending $1.50 per print. I was listening to the Paperclipping Digi Show, and heard about Persnickety Prints dot com. I can get a premium quality 8x8 print for 99 cents.

Persnickety Prints also has some freebies, including this gorgeous kit, crazy beautiful by fei-fei's stuff.

Another great freebie link on Persnickety Prints is to a september desktop at digital scrap cafe.

Let me know if you've had prints made by Persnicket Prints.

August Sweet and Simple Pages