The Comfort Zone

My husband will quickly tell you that I like my comfort zone.  It’s, well, comfy.

My bed.

My pillows,

My fan blowing creating white noise.

Teenagers blow that out of the water…..

Not the sleeping part but all the rest of one’s life.  So we work to find ways to fit into their world and they into ours.  One thing we did this year that was TOTALLY different than anything we had done before was a ski vacation.  Utah, on top of that.  Because I didn’t grow up with such vacations I hesitated introducing our pack to said sacred “mommy/daddy” vacations.

Alas, we had a blast!  Fractured wrist and all.

More recently my daughter and I travelled to Wisconsin to visit her best friend as they have recently relocated because of careers.  Girl TIME!!!

I’m not a fan of airplanes but the two hour direct flight wasn’t bad and we had a great time.

I never knew that part of the country was so beautiful during this time of the year.

Lake Michigan…..

The lake looked like an ocean…..

And was clear and cold as ice!  Anna was the only one brave enough to touch the rocks.  I definitely got wet but it was because I slipped!  You won’t be seeing that photo!

The stones in the water and sand were as smooth as those you would find in a creek bed.

Those just had to make the trip back to Florida with us!

And these two had a blast together!  We miss you Anna!!!

We promise you can come to Florida when the snow is four feet high there!!!

 


Food Photography

Today in our Digital Photography Class we photographed all kinds of food, goodies and treats.  I had a blast with my class!!

I wanted a place to share with my parents what we did today so here is a small sampling of photos I took!

Master Chef Zach made us all types of pancakes.  I saw skittles, chocolate chips, and an array of strange things being cooked inside pancakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these guys!!!  They are my extended children!


Winding up for Summer!

Life has been full of end of the year activities.

A football game that ended in a concussion for one of my boys.

A very hurt toe for baby girl.

And several weddings for me.

Today I took my camera out armed with a plastic bag over the lens just to have fun.  I left a small opening in the middle for focusing.  Here’s my setup:

 

asetup1

 

asetup2

Classy, huh?

And here are the fun photos this produced:

The top of a mushroom…

amushroomWM

Our “very fast” guinea pig’s curious nose…

anoseWM

The perch coming out of our bird feeder…

amacrobirdfeederWM

and a closeup of one of those garden balls in my neighbor’s yard…

aballWM

After a busy month is was nice to take a few minutes to play.  Speaking of which, I think I hear the pool calling!  Have a great day!


Therapy Tuesday – San Marco, Florida

Today after dropping the kids off at school I needed to find something to do with myself for an hour or so before an appointment so I grabbed my camera as we headed out the door for school thinking I would go and explore San Marco a bit.  I have shot there a few times for clients but wanted to explore a little more.

I had no idea I was walking into a rest and a peace God had waiting for me.  There was something so serene about shooting for my own pleasure.  I think as photographers we sometimes forget how important that is.  I know I do.  We strive for the perfect shot, great composition and something that will please others.  But today it was all about me.

So here’s a trip to San Marco, Florida for you non-Floridians…

I love this house.   It has quite the story behind it as told to me by a neighbor today.  But seeing how I don’t know if it’s true, nor do I know who lives there, let’s leave it at VERY IN-TER-ES-TING!!! (insert Sesame Street Vampire voice)

Here is a close up.

Hmmmmm.  The texture!  I especially love the entryway.  This is one of the few houses that has fallen into disrepair.  Good bones though.  Good bones.  And from the front stoop you have this view-

Driving a few blocks down the street brought me to this beauty- (I love shooting here).

There is a well in the middle of the park across the street from this house with the most scrumptious brick sidewalk.  I’m still trying to decide if this is one last name or an initial and a last name –

Around the well I found a lone flower with it’s face raised towards Heaven.  Me and that flower, we were on the same page today!!

I drover further down the block, turned a corner and found this beauty.  I’m definitely knocking on this door for my next photo session.  I wanted to park the car and swing for a bit, but I settled on snapping a couple of shots instead.

I love everything about this house, especially the shutters.  LOVE!!!

San Marco is a wonderful place to dream –

And in doing so I discovered another well…..

Here is that same well from across the street –

I watched squirrels play and chase one another over acorns which are still green here!  EVERYTHING is green in Florida.  Can you find the squirrel?

I stopped for a bit of history…

And I found this sweet “fortress” for sale for a cool five million boasting 12,000 sq ft and 8 full baths!

Next was this sweet one car bridge over the canal.  I could just imagine the clomping of horses hooves as I walked across it…

This was my view from the bridge and between the concrete pillars.  While down on the ground trying to remain inconspicuous I found a bit of spanish moss beginning to grow.  It’s everywhere here, especially near the water.

Oh the colors!!!

I ended up here:

Which was really the oddest little spot.  One circle around this giant acorn (ICE AGE) and three parking spaces in a semi-cul-de-sac!  Yet, it is called Celebration Park.  Not quite a park.

However, this made me giggle.  I wish I had gotten the entire shark fin on top.  It was really cute and situated right by the river.

This was the sewer cover near the “park”.  Quite historical looking I thought.

As I looked out over the water I wondered what this woman was reading and what life is like living on the river.  A client told me that manatees often migrate through here.  I want to pet a manatee.  There is a serenity about San Marco because you can see the hustle and bustle of the city that is right across the bridge yet San Marco itself is remarkably quiet and quaint.

I loved all the textures and sounds.  I watched the mailman walking door to door delivering mail like we once had when we lived in Hopkinsville, KY.  I remember how I loved hearing the slot open and the mail drop onto the hardwood floors of our house.  I stood by one of the wells as grandparents left from visiting grandkids and listened as the recycle truck drove through dumping rectangular blue bins of paper and plastic.  I saw a man sitting on a bench.  I wanted to take his photo (like HONY – Facebook:  Humans of New York:  just a side note, if you do not follow them on Facebook it’s a FB must!  I think he’s my hero.  If you find his story and how HONY began it’s a good ‘un), but I digress.  I chickened out.  Several men were fishing.  The lady walking her dog told me about the first house you saw and it’s strange criminal history that made me want to knock on the door.  Maybe I will one of these days.

I got to experience life today just a little removed from it, as if I had taken one step back.  I observed other people’s lives in a remarkable hour of worship, thankfulness and quiet.  I had no idea my soul had been so restless until I felt the Hand of God usher me into this rest today.  I shot until my battery died.  No worries about smiles or closed eyes or blinks.  Just me, God and a cool Florida morning with shorts and a sweatshirt.

I was a happy and better person after being here today.

Thanks San Marco!  I will visit you again soon!

 

 

 


Life After LearningRx – A LearningRx Review

It’s been about a year, plus a few months, since we finished our training at LearningRx.

So what does our life look like now?

I’ll start with Baby Girl.  She was a very struggling reader!  In our year of homeschooling in second grade she was reading at a first grade level.  She wanted to read.  She tried so hard to read, but just couldn’t accomplish the task.  Why?  Our testing at LearningRx showed her executive processing speed (I call it her attention) to be a year and a half behind her age.  At the end of 36 weeks with LearningRx she tested two years above her age.  Now, at the end of her first in school as a second grader she is reading at grade level and loves her books!  I find her in bed at night reading before she goes to sleep!

Then there is Son #1.  He’s our super smart, super athletic, lover of all things football who has been diagnosed with ADHD!  Our first major accomplishment: (and I say this for me as well as for him)….We made it through the school year.  180 days of 5 days a week school!  He made good grades, grew spiritually and is excited about being a “senior” as school next year.  He stepped into a leadership position this summer with his 904 Elite 7on7 football team in the face of defeat at an intense tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl.  His determination and desire to “leave it all on the field” whether they won or lost was nothing short of amazing.

Here he is making the TOP 15 of all the middle schoolers in the Cam Newton Skills Challenge! SO PROUD!

 

And Son #3.  He’s my steady-freddy.  He did amazing at LearningRx, scored years above his age at the end of 12 weeks and he just keeps on keeping on!  His biggest challenge is overcoming perfectionism.  I just don’t know where he gets that from!  He’s smart, sensitive, witty and has a desire to please those around him.  He is terrific with animals and has a gentle soul.  He enters 6th grade this year!

Still to train is Rocketman, Son #2 and me!

The story isn’t over by any means!!

*Cam Newton Skills Challenge sponsored by Mr. Cam Newton and the Cam Newton Foundation

 

To read more LearningRx reviews and stories from other parents visit: http://www.learningrx-reviews.com/


Nine and Loving Life!

She’s nine tomorrow!  NINE!

Where do the days go?  We surprised her by allowing her to get her ears pierced for her birthday!  She shops at Justice.  She’s sassy and bossy and has the biggest heart EVER.  She spent today helping her oldest brother wash cars to raise money to attend his National 7 on 7 Football tournament in Tampa in June.

She’s my baby girl, no matter how old she is.  The one the Lord told me would sing for Him.  My prophetess.  The one who talks my ears right off my head!

Happy Birthday today baby girl!!!  May God forever watch over you, forever keep you under his wing, forever draw you unto himself and may you always desire him with all that you are!

I love you…..mama.


Road Trip – WAR EAGLE!

This weekend most of my family will be going to Auburn for the Spring Game.  We are all excited.  After this weekend the trees at Tumors Corner will be cut down – the rolling tradition of those beautiful oaks ruined by a crazy rival football fan.  After this weekend the games will exclude the rolling of the trees.

I’m wondering if the stores in Auburn will have to reduce their toilet paper inventory for the fall.

Auburn fans rolled those trees with a lot of toilet paper!!

Oak Trees Poisoned at Auburn

Oak Trees Poisoned at Auburn

ESPN Article here.  AP Photo DAVE MARTIN

Now the poor trees look like this:dead tumors oaks

Photo credit and story here

 

So we’ll go do what my husband and sons love most (well, after Jesus and me!)!  Auburn football!

My third arm (camera) will be ready to record it all!!!

So have a great weekend and remember:  WAR EAGLE!


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