Saturday, November 28, 2009

A question from Cholita

"Mom, do you think the cape is too much?"
Because she's all about subtlety and quiet elegance ....
And would hate to commit a fashion faux pas....
....or possibly go overboard.

"No, Cholita, I think the cape makes the outfit."

Oh, and she's very proud of the pig tails which she did herself, a skill I find rather advanced for a four year-old fashionista.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Review--MY book

My blog book has arrived! I used Blog2print and literally was done with the process in under five minutes. The beauty of Blog2print is that all you need to do is put in a date range that you'd like to have made into a book and it's done. The downside of that is that you can't make any changes. What you see is what you get. The only creative freedom you have is choosing the photos for the front and back and the color or print you'd like for the cover.

So, in case anyone is interested, I'll share with you what I feel are the pros and cons.
*good looking
*seems sturdy and well made
*The layout is set and cannot be changed. This, for me, is a biggie. For most posts, it's not an issue, but when my blog had a caption under a specific photo and Blog2print didn't keep it that way, it made the post confusing. The text might say something like, "...Looking a little concerned..." which on its own doesn't make sense, but it did make sense on my blog when it was under a photo of Bruder getting ready to parasail. In a post with lots of photos, Blog2print may have put all the photos on one page and the writing on another and without the picture right along with the caption, it's a little strange.

*I would have liked to make some photos bigger, but again, no freedom to do that.

*The colors in the photos seemed a bit off and muted.


Overall, I did quite like the blog book, but for the price I didn't love it. Another option offered by Blog2print is for $7.95 you can get a PDF of your book. I would assume that then I could make some of the minor changes I'd like to make and then have it printed somewhere else. I don't know if that would wind up saving me money or costing me more.

So, unfortunately, the quest continues. The perfect solution is out there; I know it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas Card Rejects

It was a beautiful Veteran's Day in the Northwest. The kids had the day off and I had a new camera lens--a perfect day for shooting Christmas card pictures.
Now if I only had perfect children.
Bruder seems to be pondering that thought.

What should the caption be for this picture? I'm thinking maybe,
"Wishing you peace and love at the Holiday season..."

Cholita fell down numerous times as a result of well-meaning siblings who were constantly trying to reposition her.

Click on this picture to see it large.
I don't know what's going on here but it definitely wasn't in the script.

And as if four children isn't enough, I thought I'd add the dogs.
Cholita was in charge of Charlie.
That didn't work.
Maybe next year we'll go back to the professionals.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me

Normally I have no problem waiting until December 25th to open my Christmas presents....well, not a huge problem. But this year, I had a very legitimate reason for treating myself a few weeks early. I needed a new lens to take Christmas card pictures! If I took pictures myself this year, my present would actually be saving us money, right?

And really I'm fine with nothing for me under the Christmas tree...although Lyle says that's not true. Anyway, with gleeful anticipation I tracked my lens on-line in its journey from New Jersey to my doorstep. The UPS man rang the doorbell just as I was making Cholita her lunch. She was in a great mood and always appreciates an excuse to delay her nap, so she would make a perfect model. I clicked the new lens onto my camera, flipped the "on" button........and nothing. Uggh. Needed to recharge the battery. While that was happening, Cholita went to sleep and I had only Olaf as a model. He wasn't thrilled but at least he doesn't move much.

My new lens is a Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8D and since I need to use manual focus on my camera, subjects that actually do move are a little tricky. This first picture of Cholita right after she woke up is blurry, but I do so love the sleepy-eyed look.

This one's a little better.
She moved from the couch to the table for some chocolate chip banana bread. Man, she's cute.

Next the junior high schooler arrived home. She was annoyed with my picture taking, but humored me.
Rose doesn't stand still for long, as evidenced by this out of focus shot. Obviously I need some practice.
But every once in a while I get one that I love. Cholita has the brightest eyes, but that usually doesn't come through in pictures. I think I'm gonna like my new lens.

O.K., if Lucy and Rose were annoyed with me, I shouldn't have even made an attempt with the resident teenage boy. Here he's doing homework, or maybe indulging in his new favorite love on our Mac--Garage Band.
Just one more. I love how this lens blurs the background a bit. So now you hardly even notice that Cholita is sitting on laundry, right? That's what a I need, a lens that hides all background imperfections. Maybe next Christmas.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

That's My Boy

When I was in high school, I believe our cross country team numbered about 5--and that was a big high school. Long distance running just wasn't something that high schoolers twenty years ago seemed very interested in doing.

I was shocked when I arrived early to pick Bruder up from practice one evening and saw a stampede of runners barreling past, numbering at least 50. Cross country has come a long way.

Bruder recently had his last meet of the year, districts, out in Sequim. I can't believe this is my little guy who took forever to walk. He was a Jabba the Hut baby--so much fat that walking just seemed way too much of an effort.

He certainly has no fat on him anymore.

What I love about cross country that I didn't see so much in track and field, is that the entire race is exciting. It's not just about 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but all about finishing and putting forth your best effort.

There were a few kids out there who took a very long time to finish the 5K, but they did it--to lots of applause and congratulations. It inspired me to keep running, because although my 15 year-old makes it look easy, it's a hard slog. Maybe I just need a team.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Left on my pillow

Don't some kids just ask for video games?

Like it or not, adoption opened a whole new world of possibilities for my kids. Rose sees nothing wrong with being very specific in her request for a new sibling. It must be a boy and he must be younger. To quote Rose: "Definitely under 8. Having another person younger than me would only increase my power."