Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Big "3" Photo Shoot

Can you call it a photo shoot when the photographer has no idea what she's doing ...?
Well, anyway.  I took Lucy's pictures on Thursday morning - her third birthday. :-)
We were out taking care of the horses, and I grabbed this little #3-adorned chalkboard I made for party decor to use as a prop.
It didn't last long.
She was much more interested in the pretty red leaves falling from the trees.
So I took some shots of that, too. :-)
These are pretty repetitive, but I couldn't pick one or two favorites, so I'm just putting 'em all up here!
Hope you enjoy them!

I have recently begun venturing into the land of Photoshop Elements.
I need help, by the way, so if anyone has some simple tips to pass along, don't be shy! :)~
A few of the above photos were edited using some actions from Paint the Moon for Photoshop Elements.  The action titled "Awesome Sauce" is my very favorite! :-)
I don't know much about photoshop actions, but I've been thrilled with all that Paint the Moon has to offer!  Basically, these actions make using Photoshop Elements possible for me ... without them, I would be 100% lost instead of 75% lost.  Haha!
If you are like me and ready to start editing a little more, then I highly recommend starting with Paint the Moon!  She even has lots of awesome youtube videos to help you through the process!
Good luck! :-)

And as with every Sunday post, I'm linking up with Sara's Photo Swap!  Head over to her awesome blog to check out fabulous photo swap posts and lots more! :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

It's the BEST day of the year!
Lucy's birthday .... the big THREE!!!

I will never understand how life suddenly clicks into fast-forward the second your child is born, but three (blurry) years later, here we are celebrating our "big" three-year-old.

Three years ago on this day was truly the BEST day --- and little did I know then just how amazing this little girl would be.  I am beyond humbled that God chose ME to be Lucy's mama.

We had a little impromptu photo shoot this morning when we went out to the barn to take care of the horses ... here's a couple shots for you to check out. :-)
I'll have more later this weekend ...

I took the day off so I could spend all day with my birthday girl, and I asked her what she wanted to do today ...
Her answer included:  donuts, pumpkin patch, the mall, the "cowboy store" to get some new pink boots, and Jamba Juice .... and we have done them all (and then some!).
It's nap time now, and then we're off to Red Robin for some more celebrating tonight! YUM! :-)
And to top it all off, it is about as beautiful a day as we could possibly ask for here in the PNW.
What a perfect day for a perfect girl to have a birthday. :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Words. .... on Wednesday.

I've been staring at the screen, trying to decide what words to type for the past ten minutes.
I think I'm going to give up and just let these words speak for themselves...
(Pardon the repetitiveness, and thanks for bearing with me while I try to pound something into my own brain. :-)

.... and because tomorrow is my baby's birthday, and she IS my fresh little miracle ....
I know I've posted that picture of her before, but I love it.  
And I could just stare at it all day. :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkins! ... Angry Birds Style

In case you're just tuning in, I'm a teacher.
And at my school, our staff competes in a pumpkin decorating contest every year.
Our student body casts votes for their favorite entry throughout the week before Halloween by bringing in canned food (one can = one vote).
Last year, I was in the top three with a super cool cheeseburger pumpkin ... so this year, I'm hoping for #1!
The trick is appealing to KIDS!
So, I decided to go for the game that's all the rave right now .... ANGRY BIRDS!
And after perusing some pumpkin pinboards on Pinterest, I got some great ideas and got to work.
I spray primed my five pumpkins (sounds silly, I know...), then spray painted them, and cut out the eyes, beaks, etc. out of colored card stock, and hot-glued them on .....

What do you think???
Would you vote for my Angry Birds pumpkins!? :-)

**Side note:  Volleyball season will be ending for me after this week!!!  That means more time for my blog again!
I can't wait to get back "in touch" with all of you fabulous folks again!!!
See you SOON! :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Olivia Party, step 1: Invitations!

There's a very important party coming up around here .... Lucy's 3rd birthday is just around the corner!
(I don't know how that happened.  I must have blacked out about 2 1/2 years ago, because I'm not sure when she managed to "grow up" right before my eyes.)
Lucy got to pick what kind of party she wanted this year .... and she almost immediately decided on Olivia.
Haven't met Olivia yet ...?
Well, allow me to introduce you .....
This is Olivia.  
A book-turned-cartoon character piglet who loves to sing, dance, and boss her brothers and friends around.  
But she is pretty darn cute.... and Lucy LOVES her. :-)

So, Olivia party it is!  
I found some super-cute personalized invitations on Etsy from inviting ink.  
And then I got some red envelopes (that are extra-adorable, with a polka-dotted interior and fun, scalloped edges!) from Craft Warehouse.  
See!?  How CUTIE-PATOOTIE are those!?  Love 'em!

Then I had to add a little somethin'-somethin' (my attempt at being at least slightly creative, since I didn't actually make the invitations and was feeling like a slacker!).
So.  If you know Olivia, then you know she has many "Rules of Life" -- which I get a total kick out of!

I had a great time "researching" all of Olivia's Rules of Life the other day ....

Here are some of my favorites:
Rule of Life #3 - If you have to sit next to a little brother eating spaghetti, you better wear a raincoat.  
Rule of Life #5 - Not everyone looks good in red, especially when you're pink. 
Rule of Life #19 - Sometimes you just have to use your big voice.  
Rule of Life #31 - Most people think animals don't talk, but they do.  They just talk very quietly.  
Rule of Life #38 - Just because a dog looks cute in a nurse's hat doesn't mean he's a very good nurse. 
Rule of Life #42 - If it weren't for mothers, little brothers would be very stinky.  
Rule of Life #48 - If you really really really want something, it helps to use triple please.  
Rule of Life #52 - If your mom is having a baby and she asks you if you want a brother or a sister, that does not mean you're really going to get the kind you ask for.  
Rule of Life #53 - When playing a cowbell, never underestimate the importance of enthusiasm.  
Rule of Life #55 - If your teacher says 'no' to a sea lion or an elephant, a tiger is probably out of the question.  
Rule of Life #100 - Red is the very best color for absolutely, positively everything.  

And the most PERFECT rule I came across -- (and then incorporated into the party inviations) ...
Rule of Life #8 - Never miss a very important party.   

So I printed that out in a cute font with red ink and glued them on the outside of the envelopes!
Very fitting, don't you think!?  :-)

Life is still SO crazy right now (volleyball games, volleyball tournaments on the weekends, team sleepover at my house, parent-teacher conferences, field trip ... on top of "the usual"... all in one week!)
Sure hope I can get my brain to come up with some more cuteness for this shindig!  
I guess if nothing else ... at least the party had cute invitations!

And as always ... thanks for hanging in there with me, folks!
Happy Tuesday! :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Patch, version 2 (Photo Swap!)

I warned you I would be back with more pumpkin patch photos ... and here they are!  (I told you we are practically SURROUNDED by these awesome places, so we just try to visit a different one every weekend .... and by the way, now Scott is convinced WE need to start our own "Fall Festival".  Ugh.)

We got to enjoy Bauman Farms today with some of our best friends ....

...and CIDER.  (That last one doesn't fit so well, but it had to be mentioned, it's SO good!... especially hot, with caramel!:)~

Here are some of my favorites from today....
BFF's daughter, Lily, on the giant bouncy pillow!
 Lucy, watching the goats and geese.
 Cutest lil' piggy ever! :-)
 She spent several minutes "talking" (baaaa .... baaaaa!) to the sheep...
 I couldn't resist throwing this one in here ... hilarious! :)~
 The farm last weekend had a cow train ... this one, a ladybug train.  SO. CUTE.
 Terrible picture, but this is the "nut house" - a little pen, filled with filberts (hazelnuts) - the kiddos LOVE it.  
 And Lucy is quite the little rock climber! :-)  
(with a little help from Daddy)
So thankful for days like today.
Celebrating the beauty and fun of the Fall season in the Pacific Northwest -- with old and dear friends.
Life is good.
Linking up with Sara for her Photo Swap Sunday!  Come on over and take a look! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Patch, version 1

....version 1 because there will likely be others before the season is up! :-)

Remember my past photos of Lucy at the beautiful tulip farm...?  Well, that same farm does a Fall festival, too ...
We went with friends (and now neighbors), Sherry, Ryan, and Cam.  :-)

SO many great things for the littles to do!

Playing on the wheat tables ... I think she could have stayed right in this spot for HOURS.  The way it was, we had to practically drag her away from it at the end of the day ...


Climbing to the top deck of the hay "pirate ship" with Cam...

Running out of the hay tunnel in front of Ryan...

LOVE these horse swings made from old tires ... I think we need one at our house!

And the bumpy pipe slide is pretty cool, too! (and much more Lucy's speed than most slides ... she's kinda a chicken when it comes to slides!:)~
 The giant, bouncy spider web ...
On the hay ride with Daddy ... :-)
And probably our favorite ... the cow train!

Hiding in the corn stalks :)~
Cam took a little rest on a pumpkin :-)
Lucy watched as Daddy and Ryan shot pumpkins from a cannon ....
Pretty cool!
I'll be back with Pumpkin Patch, version 2 next week! :-)