Sunday, February 27, 2011

Putting Starbucks $ Back In Our Pockets

Once Dennis got hooked on Starbucks, we were spending a lot of $$$ a month.  That had to change.  Have to say the DeLonghi we purchased for $100 for Christmas is starting to put $ back in our pockets.  It really makes a difference and it really is better than going to Starbucks...not as quick, but worth it...
 Another change, even though small, is moving some rooms around to make room for Emma to have one big play room a/k/a the dining room, and for us to have some open space in the house again.  Archie has been very happy about his new spot in my new scrap room...


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Friday, February 25, 2011

I Think Spring got Sprung Over

I am not a fan of sweating!  The heat right now outside, feels like summer, but without the very very high humidity.  So at least when you walk outside, you don't start sweating without even moving around...BUT you just get baked by the sun right now.  I'm just more of a fan of cooler weather...

Right in the middle of my photography class...and when Emma and I got home from school, we spent the rest of the day outside by the pool (under the shade)...I brought my camera to get my practicing in...  Yes, that's a car and there are no little boys in the house, but she loves cars too, so we sometimes get the boy Happy meals at McDonald's...
The clock is showing the temperature...it was 80...humidity was low, but still HOT!  Bottom picture on the right was a quick trip back inside and she was overly tired and crying ;)  But today, I wasn't going to use up a quarter of a tank of gas driving her around for 2 hours to try to get her to sleep...
I'm not a huge fan of taking pictures of plants...but since I was practicing...I walked around to find all of the new growth on trees and bushes...
Some 'family' pictures...Archie too!


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

the long roadThis is one of my favorite expressive shots of Emma.  The lighting so pretty at the tea house where we were this day...but she was sooo sleepy, as usual.  The girl just is NOT a sleeper!


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time Keeps Going

It is still hard to believe that just two weeks ago Arnette passed away so suddenly.  I honestly try not to think of it.  Dennis is doing okay, also trying not to think of it.  It's so sad that she never got to even see the pictures I had sent them on a disc in December.  

Emma and I have bonded even more, if that is even possible.  It really is amazing that she and I bonded right away when she was handed to me, she never looked back.  But she is definitely a Daddy's girl.  I'm the one that has to keep schedules and routines and make things flow...I guess that's the way it is with most Mom's.  But with the trip, she and I got even closer.  Even before the trip, if something happened, she got hurt, scared, etc., it was me she would go to...so I think with the trip taking her out of her routine and so many people wanting to touch her, she clung to me more, while Dennis could be with family and friends.  

And I've been practicing more with my camera as I'm going through the photography class online.  I know I need practice, but I'm really anxious to get to the parts that are driving me nuts...hoping I can put it all together a lot better...here's some shots from this weekend...
 And here are some with the many faces of Emma ;)

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Guest for Two Peas

Several weeks ago, when I uploaded tons of layouts I had done, one of the Designers from the Two Peas website asked me to be a guest designer for her free monthly sketch class.  I thought it was funny, because I usually do not do well with sketches, but I have been doing more and more lately...so I was up for the challenge.

You can find my layout along with Two Peas' Garden Girl, Jen Gallacher's free class here:  Stretch your Sketch with Jen Gallacher.  She asked me to pick one side of this month's sketch and turn it, eliminate photos for embellishments or vice versa...just make it my own.  So I picked the left side and moved the top photo to the left...replaced some of the journaling for misting some hearts and embellishments, and used a die cut I cut using the Silhouette to represent the four photos at the bottom.  So I changed mine up to use just one photo...

I still wanted to do a lot of journaling, and the one BW photo helped me with my thoughts I wanted to say...keeping it all to the right...
Besides a beautiful photo of Emma...I have recently been amazed at just how well Emma is doing with talking, understanding and comprehending, starting to write, etc.  And she loves the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins...so since I could only think of the word Amazing...I thought this word was a little more "clever" and a better fit...She really does amaze me!
I used the Who's Who's kit from Studio Calico...but you can go to my Two Peas layout to see the list of supplies...

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

Thank you so much for the comments here and on Facebook.  Dennis really appreciates them.  Now that he and his brother and sister and Clarence are back to a "normal" life is when it is the hardest.  Prayers are still with them as they go through a lot of emotions while they grieve...
the long road

I have been inspired by Lisa's photography skills when I saw her on the Chenzhou Yahoo Family boards post pictures of her recent trip to the orphanage where Emma was for a year.  I thought I would join in on her Black and White Wednesdays this time and use this picture of Dennis with Clarence right after the funeral services of his Mom, Clarence's Wife.  Totally bad exposure, but a moment I'm glad I captured...



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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Call...

Tuesday, February 8th was one of the better days for Emma at school...but Dennis called with some bad news.  His Mom had a massive heart attack.  She was not sick, not ill, no heart disease, it just happened. Clarence said she was hurting under her left arm pit and felt nauseated.  He wanted her to go to the hospital, but she had stomach problems, so she thought if she could just throw up, she'd feel better.  She was in the bathroom, when Clarence heard a loud noise.  She had fallen to the ground, and did not gain consciousness.  The emergency unit finally got to the house and worked on bringing her back over an hour.  She was back, but the brain damage she had suffered was unknown and she was not breathing on her own.  They put a stint in her and were putting her in ICU, and thought she would be okay, but she didn't make it.  She was only 65.  

Emma didn't get a chance to really know her Maw Maw, but this is one picture I was able to get of them together...
Praying for Dale, Denise, and Dennis.  My Mom's death was sudden also, but every relationship is different, so they will each grieve in different ways.  It is so unfair that they lost their Dad at 52 and now their Mom at 65.  I truly believe God is Righteous, but I also believe life just isn't always fair, not while we are here...
 Dennis and Clarence hugging at the grave site.  Clarence and Arnette were married for 16 years.  Prayers to him to stay strong and accept the help that is offered to him...he will not be forgotten...

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

We were invited to a celebration of the Chinese New Year by a local FCC (family of Chinese Children) group for Saturday and the for Sunday we were invited for a lunch at a Chinese restaurant, which we must go to again!  So here's some favorites from our busy weekend.  Emma woke up Sunday morning saying, "I had fun last night."  But then Sunday, I don't think she wanted to part from the stone pandas sitting in front of the restaurant!
Okay, I saw this on another blog, and decided to try it.  I laid out two white foam boards, and propped others up around her to create a backdrop and hopefully reflection.  My first attempt.  But I still cannot seem to get the hang of the focus on my camera.  I missed some incredible shots, totally blurred, even though the shutter speed was up.  These are not that great either, but the best out of the picks...
I have loved all things Asian since I was a kid.  My room as a tween was decorated with fans, ceramics, bamboo pictures, you name it...so there was a lot of eye candy for me and I snapped away!

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

 Of course we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant and Emma was treated like royalty.  The owner, "Uncle Frank" gave her two very nice gifts.  Emma loves to make the sad faces right now for the camera ;)  gotta love 2 and a half year olds.
 Someone from the table next to us said he would take a picture, so we went outside real quick to get a shot of the 3 of us...
 We couldn't leave until she could fed the fish...it's pretty cold right now, so we told her to do it FAST!
 I had put together the "red" envelope using the Silhouette.  It's not really red though ;) but I did it quick...she was excited to get the money and went with Dada and picked out a blue car...she was so excited
Prosperity and Longevity

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The New Shoes

A fun song for the challenge on Scrapping the Music is up, "New Shoes" by Paola Nutini.  Had to scrap about those fancy new princess shoes and the dress that had to go with it!  Have to say, she looks adorable in the shoes!  They light up and they make her look like a little lady!  did this using the Who's Who kit from Studio Calico...

Fighting yet another one of my daily headaches and only have a half of pill left so waiting for my new Rx to be mailed...I don't think I'm gonna make it...luckily Emma played on her own when we got back home from Ballet today...



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