Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I love Boys!

Especially my two nephews Silas and Salem!  Arent they cute?




Silas is 2 1/2 and Salem will be 1 next month! They are so cute!  I wish they lived closer and I got to see them more. We are all going to my parents house for Christmas and I cant wait to see them.

For now I have to be satisfied with pictures on snapfish and listening to them in the background when I talk to my sister on the phone.  Sometimes Silas will talk to me on the phone.  That is always nice.

The other day he was “reading” me one of his books. It must have had pictures of different animals because he kept saying things like “Sea turtle” and “sea lion” and “Penguin”.  After he said Penguin I could hear my sister as him, “What kind of penguin?”  Silas promptly answered “MAC and CHEESE Penguin” to which my sister began to laugh hysterically!  Apparently the Penguin in the book was a Macaroni Penguin and Silas associated macaroni with mac and cheese! What a smart kid!

Have you ever heard of a Macaroni Penguin?  I hadn’t! Here is a picture!

Macaroni Penguin - Picture borrowed from the Tennessee Aquarium Website

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I have decided that for my 30 day challenge I will do something creative or something new everyday.  I like that this leaves me open to a WIDE possibility of topics and subjects.  I already have some ideas brewing in my mind.  I will be incorporating some ideas Sarah and Melanie gave me in their comments on my last post as well! 

For day one of my 30 Days of Creativity I decided to learn a new technique using the Photoshop Elements program I got for my birthday last year.  I decided to alter a photo of my nephew.  I learned how to use the adjustment layers to change and enhance coloring.  First I took this SOOC (straight out of camera) picture I took of my nephew Silas.

I think this is an adorable picture!  I love the way the color of his shirts compliments the bluish gray color of his eyes!  I decided to alter this picture by changing it to black and white but enhance the blue of his shirt and of his eyes to make them stand out a little more.  Here is what I came up with!

The change is not overwhelming but it definitely draws you more into his beautiful eyes! Juju love you, Silas!

Here they are side by side.


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My mom and dad own the Orchard House Bed & Breakfastin Lovingston, VA.  We went to visit them a few weeks ago.  The even closed down for a few days while we were there so we could do some sightseeing and hang out with the place to ourselves.  Mom and dad live in such a great area.  There are always some really neat things to do it is always a fun trip.  Every summer it seems to go by so fast though.  Mom and Dad will be hosting Christmas at their place this year though so it wont be too long til we go back.  Plus my sister and her family will be coming down too!

Here are some pictures from around my parents place.

My  mom and her cat Cali.

A view of my parents house from their vineyard.

My parents dog Lacy.

My Dad – showing of his grapes!  They are growing Petit Manseng grapes which will be bottled at the Lovingston Winery.

A view of the Apple Blossom FarmHouse from the vineyard.

Richie (You can also see my mom relaxing in the chair in the upper right hand corner of the picture)

If you want to learn more about the Orchard House you can visit their website http://www.orchardhousebb.comor visit their blog at http://orchardhousebb.wordpress.com.

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This year I decided that I really wanted to try to do more handmade items for Christmas gifts.  I always try to include something handmade but I just wanted to try to do more this year.  I began working on several gifts back in September and finally got everything done just in time for Christmas.  Since all the gifts have been opened I can post pictures now.

For my mom I made a doily.

My mom and sister both got wellness bags.

These bags included hot and cold therapy packs, eye pillows, some lavender bath salts and a foot scrubber.  I made these based on this tutorial that I found over at Sew Mama Sew.

I also sent my grandmother and my aunt Sue one of the eye pillows.

My dad got a bird house.

My mom and dad own and run the Orchard House Bed and Breakfast and the Apple Blossom Farm House so I made my dad the Apple Seed Bird House!  The bird house was store bought but I painted it.

For my nephew Silas I made a mat that he can play with his toy cars on.  I designed the mat after the town that they live in and included their house and street and the buildings and landmarks in the area.

My mother-in-law got a pair of lounge pants I made from a pattern in an Amy Butler book.  I know I took a picture of them but I can’t find it.

Richie got a waffle maker which isn’t handmade but since he doesn’t cook and I will be making all of the waffles that come out of it I think it counts!

I also handmade all of the gifts I made for the staff at the school where I teach.  Everyone got a Christmas ornament made from a recycled aluminum can lid.  I found the patterns in the Dec/Jan issue of MaryJanes Farm Magazine.

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I love Christmas!  Here are some pictures of my tree and my pets enjoying the season as well.

This year all but 5 of the ornaments on my tree are handmade.  I am also making most of the Christmas presents I am giving this year but I can’t post about those until AFTER the holiday.

My handmade yo-yo garland.

My handmade yo-yo garland.

Eggnog sleeping.

Eggnog sleeping.

Okay - eggnog pretending to sleep.



Thunder sleeping.

Thunder sleeping.

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