Fun with Photoshop Elements

Just wanted to share with you my most recent PhotoShop experiment. I'm getting better. :)
I'm also having fun.

This is the SOOC (straight out of the camera) shot. She's cute.

Here, I adjusted the lighting and enhanced the eyes, eye lashes, and lips.

How are you all??

March 20, 1987

I went rummaging through our crawl space a few weeks ago in search of some missing Christmas stockings. I did not find the stockings (yet!), but I did find some other pretty great things.

Some of my teachers in elementary school required us to keep a daily journal, and my mom, being the thoughtful, forward thinking woman that she is, saved them. I have a whole box of them down there. So, I picked one to read through. I found some pretty great entries, and I'll probably share them with you in time.

The entry I'm sharing today was intended to be inserted in my dad's Christmas present. Needless to say, I forgot. So, I hope he reads my blog...because, this one's for you, Dad!

I know it's hard to read, but if you click on the picture/journal entry, you can view it in a much larger, more legible version. :)

The Class Clown

I have a series of photos I plan to share with you when I have more time. :) They mostly involve several failed attempts at capturing our family, each one looking marvelous, in one shot. But, for now...this will do. :) My husband, the goof ball. :) I love him.

I got Photoshop Elements for Christmas (Thanks, Mom!), and attempted to "Photoshop" my hubby's smiling face into this photo...I think I still need to do some tinkering with Photoshop.

My Christmas Diet

Photo Game

Thanks, Courtney, for the fun idea for a cool blog post.

Here are the rules:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer

2) Select the 4th picture in the folder

3) Explain the picture

4) Tag 4 people to do the same

I took this a few months ago. There was a football game going on against Air Force, and they had some cool planes/jets/bombers (I truly don't know the difference...but they were cool, loud planes that the boys got excited about). This is the view out of our back door.

I won't tag anyone...but if you think it's fun, you should play the game too! :)


I am fascinated with this family....I'll share more about my fascination later. But, for now, congratulations to the Duggar's!!,,20247340,00.html

Bathroom Humor??

So...I don't know about you all, but I have recurring dreams that disturb me. These chronic dreams never repeat themselves identically, but the "themes" of the dreams are always the same. There are basically three such dreams in my life. The first is a school-related nightmare that I will share some other time. The second involves some dental problems...I probably won't ever blog about that dream genre. The third one, the one I will describe to you today, is toilet-related.

This is not a joke. This is a very real occurrence. Not just something to blog about since I haven't blogged lately.

So, in my dreams/nightmares about toilets, I always seem to encounter (in the most urgent of circumstances) a very poorly-designed toilet. Usually, it is a toilet (or a series of toilets) that I absolutely can not bring myself to use. Oftentimes, these toilets are found in huge mansions owned by very rich people. And...they can't seem to install a plumbing system that works for me.

Anyway...let's talk about the root of this problem.

Some of you may know that I went on a mission trip to Kenya in 1999. These are the types of toilets I encountered there:

The seat-less toilet:
This is the type of toilet I most commonly used while on my trip. There were 4 of them for us girls at the "resort" we were at for the majority of the time. These were ok...obviously, you can't actually sit (or shouldn't) when you "go"...and also, the plumbing couldn't handle any toilet paper in the system, so there were trash cans in each stall for toilet paper disposal. Inevitably, people DID try to flush toilet paper, and the darn things would get plumbers to come fix it. Yucky. Oh, and the toilet paper in Kenya:
This is only one of the many shades available. It was fun toilet paper! :)

The throne-less toilet:
I was presented with the opportunity to use a toilet like this on a couple occasions while we were traveling about the country. Basically, a nice, porcelain, flushing hole in the ground. No toilet paper here either. You boys/men might thing this looks like a piece of cake...but it's a little harder for us girls.

The seemingly normal toilet:
This one seems, to the passerby, to be much more normal...and safe. It resembles a toilet at a travel agency we stayed the night at. There were about 13 girls in one bedroom. We shared one bathroom, one toilet. It is also a flushing toilet...and, we were told, we could even flush toilet paper! Woo hoo! Well...I'd say only the first 3 girls actually were able to flush their toilet paper. Then for the rest of our more flushing...period. This toilet experience is much more traumatizing than either of the above ones. The only toilet option: Clogged toilet. Eww...

The bidet:
This looks mighty fancy, yes...but I really think this may be the main source of my toilet nightmares. On my trip to (and from) Kenya, we had layovers in Milan, Italy. This is the kind of toilet they had there: a bidet. What in the world am I suppose to do with this??? It just freaks me out. I think this is why I dream about crazy rich-people toilets that I can't handle. you think I need therapy? Do they "make" therapy for people like me??? Help! I need more restful sleep!!

Hello, My Friends

I'm still here. I've enjoyed being able to update my blog so frequently lately...and now I've ruined my streak. I'm a little out of my element. I'm staying at my parents', taking care of the house and kids and dog while mom and dad are in Mexico for their anniversary. I'm a little busier than usual, keeping up with 2 teenagers and preparing for Christmas.
But...I'm thinking of you all...and will blog soon.
I hope you're enjoying this holiday season and staying warm!! :)


I wanted to share some of my favorite ornaments with you. Most of them have history and are meaningful and filled with fun memories.

My first Christmas ornament. Thanks, Mom for getting it for me, saving it all these 29 years, and handing it down to me when I started putting up my own Christmas tree. :) I love this little thing.

My wedding year ornament. What fun! I love this picture too. I may have put it on the anniversary post in July...I love that we both have such funny/goofy/genuinely happy looks on our faces.

Ok, now the following ornaments were fashioned by my Children's Church leader at our church in Chicago. Each year, we put on this hugenormous Christmas production, and she made ornaments for each of us with pictures of us in our costumes. I this one, I'm a cook named "Cookie". I had a pretty fun role in the play "Wise Guys and Starry Skies". Ha! :)

In this one...I was a shepherd. If I remember correctly, I was not happy to be a shepherd (or shepherdess??). I wanted the lead role with the solo...You know, I think one of my fellow blogging friends got that role... :) I'm not bitter..

I think this was the first production I participated in. Everyone was dressed up as a toy/doll. I'm a doll...a ballerina doll...I think that's the way it went. :) I was pretty cute. :)

Oh, my awkwardness...this was an awkward stage. That's all I really remember about it.

And, this is in a different genre of ornaments. I just love it. So I wanted to share it with you. I love playing piano and can't wait to move into a house that has room for one so I can snatch my mom's from her!

Ok...that's all. Some Christmas fun.

Sorry my comments weren't working...I didn't know until today. So...comment away! :)

A Doldrummy Day

This is how I'm afraid my children feel nowadays. Cooped up...bored...frustrated with their boring, homebody mother, and...bored again.

Don't get me wrong, they've been out to play in the snow when it's not windy out. I even sent them out a few days ago when it was under 20 degrees. They got cold pretty quickly, and came back in of their own free will.

But...when it was nice, we went to the park. The boys stayed outside for hours, playing in the dirt. We went swimming at Grandma's house. We went for walks around the block.

And now...they're stuck with their hermit mother.

I took them to Story Time at the library yesterday, and it was fun. :) I'm going to try to go to MOPS after Christmas.

For now, I'm just trying to keep the TV-watching to a minimum. I got out a huge tub of Legos yesterday. That occupied them for hours...and made a huge mess. :) It was fun.

I'm just venting...If you have any great ideas on how I can keep life in the house interesting...let me know. :)

Missing summer...

A Few of My Favorite Things:

Favorite Thing #1:
I love that this kid dresses himself. I have more funny pictures of such wardrobe selections, but this one is just so dang cute. The gloves, backpack, and hat...he's got a unique (and adorable) style.

Favorite Thing #2:
I took my middle child out for a mother-son outing last Saturday. We went to Walmart, and he held tightly to my hand the whole time. (He's usually running a-muck with his older brother) Then, we went to the Village Inn and got a bowl of ice cream. Every morning since then, when he wakes up, he comes into my bedroom, climbs into bed next to me, and cuddles until I feel like getting up. I LOVE IT. Truly...LOVE IT.

Favorite Thing #3:
Lately, I've been blessed enough to plan all 3 of my kids to take their naps simultaneously. And, since one of my other favorite things is naps, I try to sneak one in too! I lay the boys down, then I rock my baby girl to sleep, and then we find our way to my comfy bed. I tuck her sleeping head right into my left shoulder, and we curl up. She keeps her feet up on my bent legs, and we snooze for a bit. It's perfectly comfy...and, since she's a little heater, I wake up after about a half hour and have to excuse myself from the I can go do something productive for the end of nap time. I was thinking as I laid down for our daily nap the other day, "This is my favorite thing."...and then I was thinking of other things that are my favorite things....I'll share more later. :)


I love a child's imagination. This is what we'll call "playing driving to the grocery store in the van".
The blue jeans are the steering wheel. The purple gloves were part of the preparation for the trip to the grocery store (a cold, snowy day). The couch pillow is the van. And, the baby is in the back (not rear-facing...I hope a police officer doesn't pull him over).
And...the baby is all buckled into the 5-point harness.. :) I'm told, the pair were in search of grapes and milk.

How sweet.
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In case you didn't read this on my old blog...please do now. It's a real knee slapper! :)

No, will take 2.2 minutes. Ha! :)

Thanks, Miz Booshay for the link. :)

Tarzan Update

I have received one comment on the Tarzan post. I have received 3 phone calls from people telling me how hilarious they thought it was. :) That's fun, right?

It has, however, come to my attention that some of my readers did not get the full experience I intended in the post.

So...if you have a moment, read back through the post, and follow these directions:

1. Watch the Tarzan YouTube video (1 minute, 10 seconds), or actually just 1/2 of it (35 seconds).
2. Watch the video of my dear middle child in all his hilariousness.

The YouTube video is a bit of a necessary prerequisite to the the home movie.

:) Happy Weekend, Everyone! I have visions of blogs dancing in my head...I'm hoping they'll waltz out in the form of real, published posts sometime next week.

Funny Faces

Some Mother/Daughter Shots

By this shot, she was expecting the flash. :)...and acted accordingly.

It's beginning to look a lot like....

We got a bunch of snow here yesterday. wasn't windy! So, the boys got to go outside and play...and help Daddy!

Here's my hunky husband "scooping" the driveway. He's such a big man!

I love that the boys like helping dad with "chores".
I'm a proud"Mom" is what my oldest has started to call me lately. Sad. :( I miss "Mama".

Have you seen A Christmas Story?...This reminds me of Ralphy's brother.
I made hot chocolate for post-snow activities this afternoon. I guess it's more fun to drink hot chocolate if you wear swimming trunks.. :)

I love my cuties.


Welcome to my new blog. If you're interested in viewing my old blog, please let me know, and I'll invite you! :) I switched blogs, because I had a bad cyber-experience, and felt the need to make my web-presence a bit more anonymous. I hope this helps me feel at ease.

I'll be making this blog more "my own" in the next few days. I'll list my blog links, etc...

I'm glad you came by for a visit. Leave a comment if you'd like. :)

If you would like to link to my blog from yours, that would be great, but in the spirit of anonymity, please don't mention my name in the link. :) Thanks!

Crazy Train

What do you think about this new toy my boys got for Christmas? It produces "real smoke"...and says, "Danger! May cause choking!". Do you think the choking would be related to the smoke? I guess there's no danger of fire?? The kids love it!...and, secretly...I think it's pretty cool too.

Thanks, Grandma, for the awesome new toy!!

Beautiful Weather


It's been so beautiful here lately...much too warm for November-going-on-December. The boys went out and shoveled some dirt last week.
Aren't they cute?


Tarzan meets Jane

We go through phases in our family. One type of phase the boys go through is a "movie phase". So, the phase they're in now is the Tarzan phase. As a result, we get a good, healthy, dose of Tarzan each day. It's such a sweet story. I love it. :)

The boys love it too: