Am I blue?

I’m posting this picture at the risk of this blog looking like a food/cooking blog. Who am I kidding? I’ve never put anything cooked up on this here blog. It’s a food/junk food blog.

I found blueberries on sale at Target today so these little guys came home with me. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have another fruit lover in this house: Ethan. I’ll have to fight him for these.

138/365:

On another note, we are getting ready to finish up the school year. Jackson and I counted today and we have 10 1/2 days left! This year has gone pretty quickly but I am ever so happy to see it come to an end. I’m ready to be done with homework, car line, lunches and all the other things that come along with school. Say hello to days with no schedule and a short get away to Georgia! We’re not planning any big vacation this year. Last year we visited South Dakota and it was one of the best family vacations we’ve had. This year, we’re going a little cheaper. I’m sure we’ll have just as much fun, though. Does anyone have any suggestions of what we HAVE to do in Dahlonega, Georgia? We’ll be staying, along with my parents, in a cabin. Our plans are tubing, shopping in Helen and what ever strikes our fancy. Any other suggestions?

What are your plans for the summer? Staying close to home? Going somewhere extravagant?

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Midnight train

Friends of Giants had a show in Tarpon Springs tonight. It’s a cute little town that my sister in law & I promised to go back and visit. By the time I had a chance to take some pictures, it was pretty dark but I snapped a few of this railroad sign. I want to come back and see if it’s just a trolly type train or a real one.

120/365:


The show went well. It was just me and my brother since there was a conflict in some schedules. It was a fun night. Can’t wait to go back and visit again.

 

Cracker Country

One of the things I love most about being a stay at home mom is being involved at my children’s school. I wouldn’t consider myself the crazy type that volunteered in the school office so I can spy on my kids all day long. But I do volunteer in the class weekly. And pretty much any time they do something fun. And on field trips. OK, so I’m sounding more crazy than I thought.

Last week, the 2nd graders went to Cracker Country. This is located on the Florida State Fairgrounds. It’s a living museum that recreates a 1880’s Florida town. It was one of the favorite trips for my older son, Ethan. I was sure that Jackson would love it as well. Since their Social Studies have been all about the early days of America, this trip fit perfectly. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to drive and we rode with our kind friends that own a van. I have vowed to give everyone a ride whenever they need it if I ever have the chance to have a mini van. I never thought I’d say I wanted that quintessential transportation for moms. But when you have two kids and they want to bring a friend or two home with them, it gets hard having a normal sized car. Anyway…back to the field trip. All of the children were given hats or bonnets. Cute, huh? I’m sure these photos will be the source of blackmail once they start dating.

The children learned how they made candles back in the day:

After making candles, they went on to make a rope. Each child got a turn to turn the machine & the teacher got to take the rope back to the school. I’ve already seen the girls playing jump rope with it at recess. Ah, memories:


They taught the the children how how to do laundry and ironing. As I listened to the all the work that went into just laundry, I suddenly felt pretty lazy about myself. Now Jackson has no excuse:

After laundry, it was time for school:

Jackson writing his name on the mini blackoboard:

They showed us what kind of toys children played with. Even I cannot imagine life without electronics. These were Jackson’s favorites:

We watched the blacksmith, too:

I think Jackson enjoyed the trip just as much as his older brother did 3 years ago. Way to go, Cracker Country!

Chasing chickens and penny pinching: take 2

I went to Ybor on Friday and tried to recreate this day with my boys. I picked them up from school & we headed to Ybor before meeting Ken in Brandon (he was returning home from a trip to Georgia). We parked in the same garage and headed down the same street to see the chickens. They didn’t disappoint. It was almost as if they knew we were coming & were waiting for us – about 10 of them – as we walked out of the garage. However, I don’t think they boys were quite as impressed as Alisha, Anna & I were.

Now, we need to wait for the train to come so we can pinch our pennies. We waited and waited and waited. And while we did that, I got some pretty cute pictures of some pretty cute boys.

Ethan wanted to pretend he was tied to the tracks & that the train was on its way (this from the kid who said he didn’t want to be in drama):

A discarded railroad tie:

We waited and waited for the train to come so we could squish our pennies but it never showed up so we headed to 7th Avenue. (OK locals, please settle down. It was still daylight so the “nightlife” wasn’t out yet. It was still just normal, working, tourist people. No loud clubs with half dressed girls running around yet.) The boys stopped to watch a cigar maker:

We headed back to our car so we could pick up Ken in Brandon. I was a little bummed that the train never came but happy we had a good time. As we left the garage and came to the first stop sign, I saw the arm come down & the light start blinking. Could it be? Could it be that the train was coming? Why, yes it could! I jumped out of the car and put 5 pennies on the track. I’m pretty sure the engineer was not happy with me being so close to the train but I made it safe and sound. I had successfully recreated my first trip to Ybor and this time the boys got to reap the benefits!

Photo of the day

After much deliberation (boy that sounds way more serious than it really was), I’ve decided to post my 365 Challenge photos here on my blog. I wasn’t going to, but I’ve found myself participating in a few other photo challenges and I’m always wanting to link back here. So, here are some recent photos.

A cool find on my way home from taking the boys to school one morning. 068/365

I really wish I had inherited my grandmother’s green thumb. She creates things like this with no effort. 069/365:

My boys hopping the tracks at Ybor City in Tampa. 070/365:

There’s always fun things to find at the flea market. 071/365:


We took the boys to the park & enjoyed some time on the shore. Jackson, my youngest, would be barefoot every day if I let him. 072/365:


My parents own a bunch of slides and I can’t wait to transfer them into photos! 073/365:

 

Fear of self (portraits)

So, I faced a fear of mine today: putting myself in FRONT of the camera. I feel like I should get some sort of gold star or something. You have no idea how much I love to take pictures. I just love it. I love to set up a shot and figure out what’s going to be in focus, what’s not, what’s in the background, what’s in the foreground, where the light is coming from and what my subject looks like and where it will be in the photo. I love all those things. Unless I’m in front of the camera.

I envy all the girls that have countless photos on their facebook pages. They can smile all pretty for the camera and come out looking like a supermodel. My sister-in-law, Crystal, is like this.  I don’t think I’ve seen one, solitary bad picture of her. Sometimes it makes me want to call her bad names.

I found a tutorial on how to take a self-portrait of yourself. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Not so, according to selfiemagic.com. When I first stumbled upon her blog I thought to myself, “Of course I’d love taking pictures of myself if I looked like that.” But while looking at some people that post on her site, I found lots of girls that looked…normal and their self portraits came out just fine. Then I found myself thinking, “I should try that.”

And try I did. Oh boy, I got some doozies. They ranged from just out of focus to terrible. Disturbing to downright scary. Some were nauseating, even. But I picked a few that I thought weren’t too bad. If professionals have to take a few just to get a good one, why would I be any different. With a little help from Aperture, I made them even better.

But I learned a few things about myself. I never knew that I had circles under my eyes. I never knew my mouth was crooked. I mean it. Think bell’s palsy. But with a little bit of cropping and retouching, I’m circle free and no one is wiser to my novocain affected lips. No need to worry, I won’t be posting daily self-portraits of myself. There’s no amount of retouching that will fix my tummy pooch or short legs but it was an experience. And I might be willing to try it again.