Making the Most of Snow Days

My daughter came over and tried her hand at photography.  She didn’t do a bad job for someone who never takes pictures.  A few details were missed:  the strap on my dress, a head turn here or there.  But all in all, she did a great job.

I had this big idea for some Christmas pictures.  And it was a pretty great idea, too.  Here.  See for yourself.

I just know this is a great idea!

getting the boots off

I know this is a great idea!

I know this is a great idea!

All set with matching dresses

All set with matching dresses

Darn that strap

Darn that strap

A great pic -- except for that stinking strap!

A great pic — except for that stinking strap!

that is cold

preparing for the red nails in white snow pic

We  were supposed to have our red-painted fingernails in the snow beside each other.

Mmmmmm.  It needs work.  My butt needs to be smaller, and we definitely have to work on the hand placement.  I can’t believe Kate is acting like she can barely stand to put her hands on the snow.  She has been out in it for days!  Loving it!  Sledding, eating snow, throwing snow balls.  She did have on gloves, though.

It was a great thought

perhaps the planning was a tad flawed

Then we tried for the red toenails.  Kate, who is the hot potato, never gets cold, runs around with shorts all winter, was acting like she was freezing!  Normally she is one tough cookie… especially when it comes to cold!  I never know about that girl anymore.  She’s seven going on 17.  BooHissBoo

Actually it wasn't too bad.

Actually it wasn’t too bad.

We had fun sticking our toes in the snow.

Maybe we’ll try again on the next snow storm.

Sunflower House 2011

Our first sunflower blooming

Kate wanted to take pictures of the sunflower house yesterday when she was here.  She is a novice photographer that can get some pretty good shots sometimes.  She will aim and look in the viewfinder.  If it doesn’t look good to her, she moves her position or moves her subject.  I’m actually amazed at her.  Here is her shot of our first sunflower bloom:

Kate's view of our first bloom

She took several pictures of the sunflower house.  Some of them are excellent, especially for a five-year-old.  Actually, they are excellent for an any-year-old!

I made her a front door and a back door this year.  We had to get all the bird houses out and hang them around.  Then the door bell was next.  Add a chair and a little table to the mix, and the little house is starting to look like home.

still has some growing to do

view from the front: front door is by the blue birdhouse and path goes around to come out by the gate

Here is a look at some of Kate’s photographs.  I love them!  And she took all of the following pictures:

She really worked on this one to get it just right and close.

finally got just the shot she wanted

She tried to get a shot of this flower outside the “house,” but couldn’t get her angle right, so she said, “I think I can get this better on the inside.”  So in she goes and then tells me to hold the sunflowers away from it so she can get a good shot.  After she took the picture, she looked at the view and said, “That’s a good one.”  I love when she does that!

Some of the flowers inside the house

One of the many birdhouses

The sunflowers still have a little bit of growing to do.  Some will get taller than others giving the house a full look as well as a tall look.  There are plenty of sunflowers left if anybody would like to bring a bucket of water and gather some for your own sunflower house.  It doesn’t take a lot of room for one.  Of course, there’s not a lot of room in them either.

My Rainbow Day

Today was a rainbow day.  One of those days where the future looks good; the rain has gone and the promise has come, spreading joy across the sky.

Kate posing with her rainbow painting she painted on the screened-in porch

Kate wanted to paint because her Uncle Nate and I were painting the kitchen, so I mixed her up some red, green, blue, and yellow paint (made with water and a little food coloring) and gave her a paint brush.  She painted away for quite awhile, and then very excitedly ran to the kitchen door to tell me to come look what she had painted.  It was a rainbow.  A rainbow that brought a promise of happy things for my little granddaughter: a sound mind, a curiosity that will lead her to a fulfilling career, an excitement for creating, a joy that comes from God.

Her next job was photographing various objects around the house.  She’s very careful with my good camera (although I do keep saying things, like, “Be careful with my camera.”)  She had me as a photography assistant as she was doing the photo shot of her Barbie bike.  My job was to follow orders and move the handle bars just so-so in order for her to get a good shot.

the bell on her Barbie bike

the wheel of her Barbie bike

There were several close-up shots of the Barbie bike bell.  I am going to have to get a video camera in order to get her doing all this stuff.  It is just so funny.  She will take a picture, look at it on the camera, and say, “That was a good one.”

Nate and I could see the flash going off like crazy in the living room, just one after another.  I couldn’t imagine what she was photographing!  It was a big mess in there with everything from the kitchen in the living room.  Kate’s photo shoot was filled with things that caught her interest, things that she liked.  She would place them just the way she wanted them, and snap photos.  It turns out there was a whole series of my antique dishes in the chiffarobe my brother had altered into a glass-doored cabinet.

she took a picture of every shelf on each side! she loves those dishes!

Kate has a lot of her Greatgreataunt Gladys and Gigi in her. She loves fake flowers. I can envision her yard full of them now.

Kate loves jewels.  She can find them among the rocks at school.  And she finds them all over the place at my house.  Not real jewels, of course, but nevertheless, to her adventurous, imaginative little self those fake flowers, my oh-so-neat dishes and little tea spoons, her toys, my ink pens are all jewels to her.  And she is my jewel.

Kate's close-up of her jewel. She adores jewels and is always on the look-out for them.

We yelled at her to come and take our picture.

Nate getting photographed

Nate and me

There were other reasons this was a rainbow day.  Church was good; the dinner at church was delicious; getting my kitchen ready for the new flooring and appliances tomorrow was satisfying; and spending time with my son doing something constructive, with pleasant conversation, having a normal day was just rainbow.  I’ve been cheated out of those days; days that I will never get back and harbor resentment in my heart and soul that they are lost to me.  (That’s another story for another day.)

But on this rainbow day, I will rejoice in those everyday, humdrum things that people take for granted: spending a day with a child and/or grandchild, working, talking, laughing.

Encompassing my Essence

The apron that totally describes who I am!

My good friend, Dolores, came by one evening awhile back, quite awhile by now, and brought me this oh-so-cool apron to celebrate my blog.  I have been wanting to put it on here for ages, but for some reason didn’t. (who knows with me?)

So today I took some close-up shots of all the stickers that most aptly describe me to a T!

my favorite Scripture

I can’t tell you how many times God has lifted me up to soar above the storm that surrounded me.  I would show you my eagle, but my sis would frown at me showing, literally, my a** once again.

playing piano, singing, listening...

I love music.  It soothes my soul or peps me up to a good mood; it gives me joy to see others learning how to play or stepping out to sing at church; and, of course, I can’t dance without it.

I love summer!!! I love chatting!!!

These aren’t my best photo shots, but was trying to get close, in a hurried sort of way.  Never pays to hurry: the story of my life.  How does the time get away from me like that?  And why do I feel I always need to rush, rush, rush?  “I’m not ready!”

happy mood? sad mood?

We have a lot of issues in my family, so sometimes we have a lot of heartache.  Some days we just smile and act like everything is fine.  And some days, well, everything is fine.  What a great day!  Those are the days we cherish… and try to remember on the “other” days.

children, sisters, brother, cousins, nephews, nieces, the greats, friend family, church family

One of my very favorite things:  people.  I collect them, much to my sister’s chagrin. (look that up, girlie)  She gives me specific orders NOT to talk to anyone when we go shopping.  She has finally got me trained because I don’t remember her saying that in a while.  Now, she is the Chatty Cathy (do you remember her?) and meets all kinds of people she knows.  It’s the same with my sister-in-law, Annie.  I feel like I’m with a celebrity when I’m with her because everybody, and I mean everybody, knows her and gushes all over her and wants her attention and talks to her.  While I stand there invisible.  It’s tough.  But…

yellow circle tag! I'm almost there!

I am a celebrity in training!  “Well, isn’t that special?”  Yeah, baby, I have a blog!  Woohoo, watch out world.  Okay, okay.  So only a handful of people actually read it and less than a thimble full comment, I still have it!

I’m not quite sure what that little green thing means.  Surely, it does not mean those nasty, littlebig, ugly words that I neverever-almost neverever-wellmaybesometimes-okayonoccasion-everyday say!!

novice photographer that needs to take some lessons

Pictures are just so cool.  And since I want to be cool, I take pictures.  On occasion I even take a good one.

Thank you, my friend, for such a gift of the heart.  To know that you pay attention to someone, me in particular, enough to know the essence of who that person is brings joy to my heart.

Capturing Sunflowers

beautiful sunflowers

Every summer I grow sunflowers; started them years ago from seed, and now every year they reseed and pop up all over the backyard. Sometimes the seed falls over the fence, and there are baby sunflowers growing along the alleyway.  Springtime brings the Big Transplant where I gather all the frail little plants and congregate them into one area.  I just can’t bring myself to throw any of them away or let them be trampled by alley traffic.  On the day of the Big Transplant the little sunflower seedlings always fall over, as if touching their toes, looking forlorn and heartbroken.

pathway to the Sunflower House

It doesn’t take too long for them to perk up and start growing stronger; some growing ten feet tall and others barely reaching the three-foot mark.  And every summer I take pictures of them: my sunflower children, my Sunflower House, my sunflower sanctuary.

My photography skills are by no means something to brag about, but every now and then, after furiously clicking away on my camera, I get a decent shot, a salvageable photo.  The photo of the butterfly on the sunflower at the top of the page is one of mine.

door into the Sunflower House

Making the Sunflower House is almost a tradition now, starting back ten years ago or more, when Maddy (my gorgeous teenage niece) was only four or five.  It stood empty many years until the greats and the grands started coming along.  Now I have children hiding again among the tall, leafy plants; dragging their tiny children chairs inside, checking the birds’ houses to see if anybird’s home, coming out all itchy and needing washed off with the water hose.

roof of the Sunflower House

Maddy liked to hide in it; Jack and Sam did, too, as did the kids from church.  Kate was into decorating the  House this past summer, hanging little chimes from the leaves (her doorbell) , setting tables around (that was a tight squeeze; it’s small), and hiding her treasures from the “farm” (a story for later).

They just make me smile: sunflowers and children.