30 November 2011

20 October 2011

Day 293

Mia’s class performed a musical today in front of class parents and the rest of the 5th grade classes.  It was called “Rats” and was based on The Pied Piper.  Here are the kids doing a musical number.  Mia is front center stage in gray.


Mia was Narrator 1 in the script and as such, she had the most lines.  She barely spent any time at home practicing her lines, so I was leery about how well she would do; but she kept assuring me that she was ready.  She did a fabulous job and looked really calm up on stage, even though she told me she was nervous that morning. By contrast, Narrator 2 (standing next to her in the photo below looked super nervous….he had that deer-in-headlights look and spoke in monotone).  After the play, I told her what a great job she did and that she looked like a natural.  Mia sassily replied, “Mother, I was born to be on stage!”.  LOL.  Actually I thought the kids did a great job all around and it was really fun to watch.  There were a few hiccups (forgotten lines & lyrics, incorrect stage locations, prop malfunctions, etc.) but those just made us parents giggle!


End of finale number!


After the show….with cast mates and her music teacher.



Mia and one of her BFF’s, Jordan.


17 October 2011

Day 290

Brian and one of his buddies took my cousin’s boy, Timmy, bank-pole fishing down in southern Illinois on the Ohio River this past weekend.  At some point, they made the short trek over to one of our favorite areas in the Shawnee l Forest.  Here are a few photos that Brian took with his point and shoot camera.







16 October 2011

Day 289

I had a senior photo shoot planned for this afternoon, so I made Mia pose as my stand-in model this morning so that I could check some settings.  Reminds me that even though she’s only 10-1/2, it won’t be long before I’ll be taking her senior pictures.  Time goes by so fast.  Oh, she’s such a beauty (if I do say so myself)!


Today’s senior portrait session was of my friend’s daughter, Kitt.  Of my friend’s 3 daughters, I knew Kitt the least so I welcomed the chance to get to know her a little better (even though it was my first senior photo shoot and I was nervous that I wouldn’t get decent shots).  She wanted her photos taken on her grandparent’s property out in the country.  The property offered some beautiful backdrops for our session.  Kitt is somewhat of an old-fashioned girl and so I loved her retro headphones for these first few shots.  Please imagine these photos with more vivid color….Blogger is making them look so faded and washed out, but I don’t have the time to upload to Flickr before posting.  Also, she is a simple and serene soul and likes rustic backgrounds and straightforward shots (not a lot of different poses, hand positions, etc.).




Next, we had an outfit change and headed over to the swing. 



And then onto a downed tree.  This first shot was difficult.  I wanted to capture the beautiful sky behind her but the sun was coming from that direction and it put her face in shadow.  I had to use my flash to light her up a bit and play around with it in Photoshop.  In the second shot, there is a rail missing from the fence and at some point, I will try to recreate it in Photoshop.



Kitt plays in a marching band and she wanted to wear her band shirt for a few photos.  Unfortunately the words she wanted in the shot were on the back of the shirt.  We tried this pose first, wanting to have her face showing, but the words are all off-kilter and hard to read on the far side.


So we tried this instead.


Here’s a shot with her clarinet.  She wanted it taken inside her grandmother’s house but the lighting was really dim and I didn’t have my external flash along.  I positioned her by the window but still had half of her face in shadow and part of her was so blown out from the sun.  I turned it to black and white and it looks better.


These next shots were taken in the backyard overlooking her grandparent’s beautiful property. 



And a final one in the front yard with some gorgeous backlit sun.


I got some great shots and I got some OK shots, but definitely learned a lot during this photo shoot.  And by the end, Kitt and I were both more comfortable.  Still not sure I love portrait photography though mainly because there is more pressure to get the “perfect” shots.  Nature photography is more my speed…calm & stress-free.

15 October 2011

Day 288

I taught Seth how to do dishes tonight.  He had done a few in the past, but this time he had more to do and I gave him more instructions.  I looked over to check on him and saw Felix at his feet (at one point the cat was under the stepstool but of course he moved by the time I got my camera out).  Such a cute sight, especially when someone else is helping with chores!  The only downside was that the floor was covered in water by the time he got done.  I’d say he definitely needs a little more practice at this task and I need to get a rug on the floor.


14 October 2011

Day 287

The gym where Seth plays basketball prohibits street shoes, so this means he has to carry his basketball shoes inside before putting them on.  Which means he has to keep track of 2 pairs of shoes.  Thus he started saying that he needed a gym bag for his stuff.  Because I just bought him 2 new pairs of Nike shoes (one for basketball and one for everyday wear), I was not in the mood to make another purchase.  I happened upon a garage sale in our neighborhood and scored a new black cinch sack for 25 cents.  I wanted it to be easy to see and have his name on it as well.  Enter day-glo green duct tape.  Needless to say, Seth loved my creation.


13 October 2011

Day 286

Seth got some new basketball shoes earlier this week and he wore them to practice tonight.  Do you think they make him jump higher?



When we were at practice, we ran into one of Seth’s friends from daycare.  The two boys were happy to see each other.  The last time they were together was August of 2009.  I’m so glad they remembered each other.


12 October 2011

Day 285

No pics again today.  I think I was a bit photo’d out after the weekend.  I’ll take a pass.

11 October 2011

Day 284

Another day with no photos, so here are some of Seth and Merrik wrestling over the weekend.  It’s Seth’s favorite thing to do!





10 October 2011

Day 283

I didn’t take any pictures today, but I wanted to share a photo of Mia from our weekend getaway because she’s finally sporting a wonderful smile!  She’s 10-1/2 going on 15 and a real beauty!  We’re in serious trouble!


09 October 2011

Day 282

Mason had an afternoon football game, so my brother’s crew had to leave mid-morning.  Before they left, I gathered the kids together for some photos.  I took some really great ones right off the bat, but later realized my camera had been on the wrong setting so they were super fuzzy.  The kids were too tired of posing to recreate them, so I settled for this.  Wish they weren’t in such a pyramid-like position, but it will work along with a few additional ones that I got earlier by a fence.  Kids are not easy to photograph, especially when there’s 5 of them and you have no assistant!


Once the kids ran off, I snapped some photos of some nearby insects.  I much prefer shooting the latter as they don’t talk back and fidget!!



After my brother and his kids left, we had lunch and then drove over to the swimming hole we had found on our last trip here.  Though the adults didn’t plan to swim, we figured the kids would get in; however, the water was a little too chilly for them as well.  They stuck to wading instead.  They enjoyed looking for frogs & crayfish.  Meanwhile, I strolled the shoreline looking for some beautiful nature subjects.  The water was a lot shallower today so there was more to explore.











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