Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My shot at macro photography

I've been experimenting some more with my new lens today by adding some macro filters that I purchased recently on Amazon.  These were taken indoors on a cloudy day near a north facing window.

I'm really loving how they turned out.  Can't wait to get this lens outside - come on spring!

When Eric works second shift, it makes for a whole different family experience, but it's nice to have him around for the first half of the day.  We got a lot done this morning, and he made some wheat free biscuits made with almond meal/flour.  I'm glad we are together on this 'wheat belly' way of life.  We both notice a difference in our general state of well being, and in how our pants are fitting!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birthday shopping vs. Mass

Well, I did not get both things accomplished last night.  The shopping won out, what a way to put my faith first!  A number of other things factored in as well, and then I found out that the chrism Mass was packed - standing room only, and that Bishop Rhoades gave a wonderful homily.  Oh well, there's always next year. 

My wonderful friend, Teresa, brought me a dozen roses today and perfect timing too because my new lens needed some breaking in. 

I did various edits on each of these, but my favorite I think is the second to last one done with an action called Velvet Rita - thank you, Rita!

Sarah and Josh volunteer every Tuesday and today was the end of this session so they'll have a bit of a break until the next one begins sometime in April.  I love hearing their horse stories.

Good Tuesday night!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A real-time art project!

Every Monday we meet with another homeschool family to have a dedicated art project and some time to just hang out.  This week was more of a science experiment than an art project so Lisa called it a real-time art project, which fit!  All that was needed was 2% milk (or higher), food coloring and dish detergent.

The idea came from this website found on Pinterest, of course, and after some research, I could explain to the kids how the fat and the protein in the milk reacted in different ways with the dish detergent to cause this cool reaction!

All of the birthday girls have some birthday money to spend and want to do that as soon as possible (tonight!) and there is a chrism Mass tonight.  Eric is unavailable for the evening so I'm trying desperately to see if I can pull off both things.  I've never been to a chrism Mass before and would like to go.  Also, thanks to Lisa, I'm going to see if the library has the movie 'The Gospel of John' as a way to celebrate this Easter week.  Apparently it is 3 discs so we could plan that for the evenings through Holy Thursday and it sounds like everyone will enjoy it. 

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am anxiously awaiting my new-to-me 35mm lens and when the doorbell rang today I think I fought the dog to get to the door first!  But it was only a delivery of printer ink...  heehee

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Signs of spring!

There are finally a few things growing!  Snow is in the forecast yet again, but thankfully only a small amount here. Hopefully no shoveling will be necessary.  I was so excited to get outside and get a few shots of new life on Thursday. 

I used a Matte action on this last one, thanks to Rita again :)
We got our tax return recently and Eric strongly encouraged me to get the lens (35mm f/1.8) that I have been wanting for a while so...I got one! I've been watching them on eBay, and after having the winning bid, I saved $30 versus a new one, and I feel like a child waiting to dive into their Christmas stocking, but having to wait until after breakfast!  I'm most excited to test its capabilities in low light situations. 

We are looking forward to an evening spent with some friends we haven't seen lately.  They've had a rough winter with whooping cough (yikes!) in their family, a robbery which has affected them in so many ways, and a broken ankle for Dennis.  I hope they have gained a lot of indulgences for the suffering. 

I'm going to try even harder to post every day because I really enjoy this and I'll have more pictures to post soon, too! 

~Happy Palm Sunday~

Friday, March 22, 2013

The last of our March birthdays

Lyndsay turned *11* yesterday and she had quite a celebratory week.  She got to have a sleepover at Maria's (on a school night!) and they did a lot of cool girly things.  Maria gave her some pretty jewelry and gave her an acceptance letter from Hogwarts.  She got to spend the day at Grandma & Grandpa Bloom's on her birthday and attend the dual feature of 101 Dalmatians and Cinderella at Corpus Christi last night...after a delish dinner at Chik-fil-A.  Grace and Josh also gave her an awesome acceptance letter to Hogwarts so she is most definitely going!

We will celebrate with grandparents on Saturday night!

Happy Birthday, Lyndsay!

On a side note, sometimes the weekends feel busier than the weekdays.  We are going to the last soup supper and Stations tonight at church, then Sarah has 3 friends coming over for a sleepover (not my favorite thing) which should be great fun!!   Tomorrow we always have some errands to run and loads of laundry to do as usual.  Grace has a couple of friends coming for the afternoon and then the birthday celebration for Lyndsay Saturday night.  Sunday is open so far, but I'm sure that will change. 

Today ends the 3rd quarter and Spring Break officially starts at 2:30 next Thursday!!  I don't know if we can wait that long.  Everyone's grades are very good and we are proud of all of them!

Thanks to Teresa, I went to Ace Hardware a couple of weeks ago and got a free quart of paint.  I picked what I call a retro red and Teresa helped me caulk and paint the bead-board side of the island.  I love it!  It is a much needed spot of cheerfulness. 

And, lastly, here are a couple pictures of Mom & Dad's old phone that I took for the 365 Challenge.  I'm thankful to have something to photograph.  By the way, it's the second full day of spring, it was 17 degrees this morning, and they are calling for light snow Sunday through Tuesday.  :(

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where is spring?

Happy Spring!  Except it isn't anything like spring.  It's 20-something degrees with flurries this morning.  Everyone is pretty tired of winter and anxiously awaiting some small sign of spring.  Temperatures in the 40's with a bit of sun would be nice!!

I had lunch yesterday to celebrate Erin's birthday.  We ate at LePeep and, aside from her Tourette's outbreak, we had fun! 

I learned that the picture I recently posted with, what I thought were, the three popes does not include Pope Francis.  So I came across this one...

This shows a bit younger looking Pope Francis and a bit older looking Pope John Paul II, which makes sense.  The excitement over Pope Francis is not dwindling yet.  The major TV networks are covering all of these events quite heavily, and I am so happy we get to be a part of this important time in Church history. 
I heard a great story about Pope Francis yesterday.  I tried finding it on the internet to get all the facts straight, but I couldn't.  It is worth retelling even with limited details.  When Fr. Jorge was a seminarian, he was traveling by train in Greece with another seminarian.  Fr.  Jorge wanted to get off the train to pray at a tomb of a saint that was located nearby.  The other man protested somewhat because they were on a schedule, but Fr. Jorge said that he just felt strongly about it and needed to go pray at this tomb.  The other man agreed, they disembarked and prayed at the tomb.  Later that evening, they saw on the news that the train they had been on was bombed and 80+ people had died.  What a great reminder that we are here only to serve God and He does have a plan for each one of us!
On a side note, Eva likes to help out with schoolwork whenever she can...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sarah's 15th Birthday!

The hardest part about having teenagers in the house is believing that we're old enough to have teenagers in the house!!

Sarah picked Taco Bell for her birthday dinner (yum). 

Her friends, Abbey & Lexi surprised her by coming over unannounced right after dinner with some cupcakes (her fav) and a birthday balloon.  So sweet!

After a short visit, they left and the grandparents came over.  It has also become a family tradition to have a wrapping-paper-and-tissue-throwing battle after presents have been opened which is always lots of fun!


I am so proud of the young woman she has become!  Happy 15th Birthday, Sarah!

Meredith's 7th Birthday!

March is a busy month for birthdays around here.  Meredith's birthday is the 8th, Sarah's is the 13th, Lyndsay's is the 21st.  Then we have both grandma's birthdays; Grandma B's is the 14th, Grandma C's is the 18th.  Eric's sister's birthday is the 25th and one of our nephew's is on the 24th!  Then the kids have some friends with birthdays sprinkled in there as well.

Our tradition is to let the kids pick their birthday dinner, even if it's at a restaurant.  Meredith picked Chuck E. Cheese for the second year in a row!  She now knows that this was probably the last time we will go there...ever!  Definitely not my favorite place to go, but they did have fun.

Eric is apparently a closet Ski-ball champion!  He scored 45- and 46000 a number of times and the tickets just kept coming out.  They were all for the birthday girl, of course!

She enjoyed having her grandparents here at our house afterwards to finish the night!  Happy 7th Birthday, Meredith!


God Bless Pope Francis I!

The conclave began on Tuesday, March 12th and by Wednesday, March 13th we had a new pope!  Eric and I were leaving Martin's at 2:11pm and I heard the bells at St. Therese's Little Flower Church ringing and knew that there must have been white smoke.  We learned a lot about the conclave this year and it made the process even more interesting and very exciting!  Listening on the radio to it all happening live in St. Peter's Square was great!

He was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina (their population is 92% Catholic!), and he is now Pope Francis I.  We are learning a lot about him.  He is being called the "people's pope" because of his humility.  Even as cardinal, he never asked for a Vatican car to bring him to Rome, he takes a cab or a bus.  He is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first Jesuit pontiff. 

This is a great picture showing Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis I from a long time ago - wish I knew when this was taken. 

Habemus papam!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

2 week recap

Oh my...can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since the last post.  So much for wanting to post every day - I guess life just gets in the way!  This Lent seems lackluster as far as my spiritual goals - I just haven't done the things I set out to do.  Maybe I planned too many things.  I am continuing to read the Lenten reflection book based on Bl. John Paul II's messages, which I started posting on a daily basis, I just haven't continued to post them.  I have not been keeping up with Fr. Pacwa's New Testament Bible Study Guide though, and that is disappointing.  Our new session of Arise continues to go well and it is nice to get to know new people. 

Josh's K12 school schedule has been grueling for him and me.  Math is always an issue and takes up most of our time.  We are both looking forward to freshman year at Marian!!  He got to spend a day shadowing Sarah's friend, Joe, at Marian, and he really enjoyed it.  He says he is ready!

Lyndsay and Grace finished up a lesson on Neptune and Pluto and seemed to really enjoy it.  They had to write a 2-page book on whether they think Pluto should be a planet or not, listing reasons and drawing pictures and they turned out really good.  The lesson ended with a fun experiment...making ice cream!!  It showed them how chemical reactions cause things to happen and can explain some of the amazing things that go on in space.  It was delicious ice cream too!

Meredith has finished her 1st grade math book and has moved on to a 2nd grade enrichment math book.  I am not going to push her into a 2nd grade math curriculum just yet.  I'll let her work on this new book at her own pace hoping to give her confidence that she really knows her stuff!

While learning about Argentina last week, Lyndsay and Grace told me they love homeschooling because they can take the time to color neatly and not feel rushed (they were working on coloring the Argentinian flag). 

Sarah continues to do well at Marian and her social life is becoming busier every weekend it seems.  We are so happy for her and hope that she continues to enjoy herself. 

I haven't even been taking a picture every day which was another goal I really wanted to stick to.  Here in northern Indiana it becomes quite a challenge to find good light indoors and there is really not much worth photographing outdoors.  I can't wait for spring!!  Here are a couple that I did take this past week...

This is one of my grandpa's first Kodak cameras.

Thanks to Rita, she inspired me to go out and buy some pears and make my own still life.  I used her painting textures to do this edit. 
Here's to being back more often....