Saturday, December 31, 2011

Frame-a-Day Week 52 (!) + One: 12/24-12/31

Well, here we are...the last "Frame-a-Day" installment for 2011.  Honestly, I feel like the older I get, the faster the years could also be related to the kids getting older as well.

But, I did it!  I don't think my friends who haven't done this type of project really fully grasp the feeling of accomplishment with this.

Without any further ado, here are the last 7 plus New Year's Eve:
December 24--"Emmanuel"--Trust and Earnest learned the song "Emmanuel" at Sunday school, which is likely a variation of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". We did not get to attend Mass where the kids were going to lead everyone in singing the chorus, so I told them that they could sing it at the family Christmas party, which they did.

December 25--Merry Christmas--For the third consecutive year, we hosted Christmas Day for both sets of grandparents. We had a great dinner and a day with present opening spread over pretty much all of it. Trust made all of us gifts. I received a pinch pot with my name (Mommy) on it and a homemade locket; while Earnest made a book at school about his family which made me teary. Those were probably among some of the the best gifts, at least in my eyes.

December 26--White Men Can Jump--Gran and Gramps stayed at the [hotel] and we enjoyed a dip in the pool this morning before they headed back home.

December 27--Build-a-Bear-(and-Penguin)--Trust had received a gift card to Build-a-Bear for her birthday from Nana and Grampy and I asked them to get one for each boy for Christmas so they could all go together to make new friends. We went today and we now have Woody the Penguin, Sprinkle the Confetti Bear and Cuddly the Camouflage Bear in our house.

*December 28--Botanical Garden, Revisited--I took Trust, Earnest and Nana to the botanical garden exhibit as she and Chretien did on December sixteenth.  There were even a few crafts to do--a bird feeder and a collage calendar for 2012--a perfect way to spend the morning in Trust's mind.

*December 29--Let It Snow, Man--Exactly six months to the day ago, Trust and I went to a local library and created a giant hot air balloon.  Today was another "big" craft at the library; the seasonally appropriate, but not yet accurate, snowman creation.

December 30--Three Turn Trouble--A local school had free public skating this week and we went over this morning for Trust to get a bit of practice time in.  She is currently in the gamma ISI figure skating level and is struggling a bit on the "three turns" that are required to pass this level.  I caught her mid-turn here and despite her troubles, I think she looks pretty 'professional' here in her set up.

 December 31--New Year's Eve "Fundue" Party--We had our own little New Year's Eve "Fundue" (as Earnest called it) party at home tonight.  We had cheese fondue with homemade bread, apples, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and teriyaki chicken for dinner and then chocolate fondue with Rice Krispie treats, strawberries, bananas and mini marshmallows for dessert.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 11 of 11

Click It Up A Notch

As I'm sure was the case for any of you reading, picking the top 11 for the entire year was so, so difficult. Part of the difficulty is the fact that I'm finishing up a Project 365, so I have over 17000 photos to whittle down to 11 of the best. Granted, some of them could be eliminated right away, but it was still tough.

In the end, I had 22 'finalists'. I really just loved all of these finalists; some because I love the expressions and some because I love that the photo is technically pretty good. So, the 11 that I chose to include here are an attempt to balance the choices in terms of how many times each of my three kids appear in the photos, and from there, how many 'solo' photos of each are included. It's still not balanced, but so be it. Ironically, in my Project 365, all three kids appear the same number of times within 10 photos, which isn't bad for random shots taken over the course of a year.

So, here we go; these are in chronological order...
This one just makes me giggle. How could I not include it?

I love this one of my daughter. She looks so bright-eyed and fresh faced. The funny thing is, it was just a random shot as we sat on a tram back to our car at an amusement park.  This was not one of the pictures in my Project 365 as a photo of my kids and husband on the roller coaster won out.

Love his expression, love the gesture, just love this photo.  You have to know that my older son is the most serious and 'sincere' of my three kids, and I think this photo captures that part of his personality perfectly.

 We went to the zoo for Mother's Day, and we got to try hula hoops.  I love her carefree, having fun expression.  This was not in my Project 365, but a group shot of the two of us hula hooping together was.

 We have this one hanging as a 12" x 16" canvas in our family room (cropped down).  It was also one of the three photos included in our Christmas card this year. 

This one typifies my younger son's personality.  Smiley and happy-go-lucky a majority of the time.  He also is a big Thomas fan right now, so I like that he's wearing the Thomas overalls.

I adore this photo, despite its technical imperfections.  This one is not in my Project 365, as later this day we went to see my nephew play baseball and I included one of him instead.  I really didn't like days where I had to choose between a photo I really liked and one that better represented what we did that day or included someone who wasn't always around.

This is a good memory of our summer vacation.  We visited a swamp and we all got to hold the baby alligator.   His expression is priceless.  I also like my daughter's uncertainty in the background.

This was also from our summer vacation.  My son was enchanted by these parakeets.  He loved seeing them, and having them land on his arm.

Love the lighting on this, and the almost complete blackness. My son loved this Halloween costume, and the nice thing is, it's really PJs, so he can continue to wear it.

I like this action shot, especially since all three kids adore this tire swing in our backyard.

So there you go...some of my favorites from 2011.

Project 64: Green

The color at Project 64 is green.

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You'd think with Christmas around that there would be lots of green opportunity with trees, but they aren't the right color.  We went back to the botanic garden that I visited for my mahogany entry and got this green, which is on a tree, but not the tree itself:

If you can't tell, I loved these exhibits at the botanic garden.  This was the first year we visited, but it won't be the last!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Frame-A-Day Week 51: 12/17-12/23

Only one more week (and a day, which I will probably tack on to Week I guess Week 52 has a bonus day).  Can I say how much I am looking forward to 2012's Frame-A-Day weeks actually beginning on Sunday, the "right" first day of the week?

I know I said it last week, too, but I have really enjoyed shooting the photos this month.  I figured that would be the case.  We're hitting the height of the Christmas holiday photo ops in these next few days.

 December 17--Come Sail Away--...even if it is within the confines of the local YMCA. Today was the boys' last swim class, and for a treat, Earnest's class got to ride in the "boat".

December 18--Another Visit with Santa--Tonight was our neighbors' annual Christmas party, complete with the requisite visit with Santa.  Santa always brings the kids a little goodie at the party as well, which makes it fun for them.

December 19--Play Me a Tune--Trust has been learning the recorder in music class for the last six weeks, and today, she got to bring it home.  She was so excited to play us "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Hot Cross Buns" and can't wait to play for everyone on Christmas Eve.

December 20--The Magic of Santa--Each child received a special personalized video from Santa via my email.  It proves that Santa really does know if you've been bad or good, as well as how your vacation, birthday party, or other special days during the year went.  I would highly recommend this for anyone who has believers--it's at

December 21--Santa-on-a-Stick--Some cheerful flowers came complete with a Santa-on-a-Stick.  It's getting close...I will add that I am so grateful that my 14+ hour Wednesdays are over.  I was concerned about finding subjects to shoot on days when I might not even see my kids, but for the most part, it seemed to work out for the 14 Wednesdays that were involved.

December 22-Rolo-ing Right Along--Look who helped me make some homemade turtle candy.  He actually did quite a good job unwrapping the Rolos.

December 23--Make Your Own Pizza--First day of vacation for Trust and Earnest and I took them out for lunch to break up the day and use an about to expire free pizza coupon Trust received last year at school for reading.  It was a nice way to kick off the Christmas holiday, and I was happy we could do it without my feeling too stressed to take a break from Christmas prep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project 64: Silver

The color this week is silver.

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Silver is such an appropriate color for this week:
Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Frame-A-Day Week 50: 12/10-12/16

Week 50! We're almost there!! Who's signing on for a(nother) Project 365?

The month of December has been so much fun to shoot. I figured it would be. Despite craziness at work with the semester winding down and finals looming, I've managed to capture a lot of holiday cheer.

December 10--Peg's "Birthday" Party--Today was my friend Peg's annual holiday party, although Imp insisted it was a birthday party.  Peg and her husband Rick have hosted such a party every year for at least the past 15 or so.  It's always a bit chaotic and loud and full of fun and holiday cheer  This year I bought some ornament kits; I figured the girls and the younger boys would enjoy them and they did...for about 20 minutes, which is about what I assumed.

December 11--Christmas Tree Cutting--We went to a local farm to select our Christmas tree; in part, because the usual one (and many others) were already sold out.  Here we see the boys setting off for the fields to go find the perfect tree for our family.  We did, although we have yet to decorate it.

December 12--Third Week of Advent--We're already up to the pink candle!

December 13--Trimming Chubby--We name our tree every year and this year the name was an obvious one--the tree is super full and so "Chubby" seemed appropriate. We managed to get Chubby looking his best and he is all decked out for Christmas.
December 14--A Present from Gita--My friend Gita sent some fancy cookies home as an early Christmas gift for the kids.  They were pretty excited about the surprise package.

December 15--A Puzzling Time at the Library--I took the kids to the library tonight; the kids always enjoy the toys and puzzles at this library.

December 16--A Visit to the Botanic Garden--Chretien and I had a date today.  We went to the local botanic garden.  There were about 25 or so different trees, many decked out with ornaments crafted completely of items found in nature.  This is one of my favorite photos.

Project 64: Mahogany

IThe color last week at Project 64 is Mahogany:

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We went to a local botanical garden which had so many beautiful trees, many of them decked out with ornaments made of all natural materials. I found a bounty of mahogany there!

Her hair matches, I think.

The shoulders of this angelic ornament match.

This star, which was my runner up selection...

...and this is my entry for mahogany. The base of the 'person' matches. I know that the star has more mahogany in it, but I love the lighting of this one, so there it is.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Frame a Day Week 49: 12/3-12/9

December 3--Polar Express--We traveled to the North Pole today.  We picked up Santa and brought him back home with us.  He collected the letters kids or their parents had written and just made everyone very happy to see him.

December 4--Holiday Fun--The kids enjoyed decorating gingerbread cookies. I loved that all three seemed to equally enjoy this activity. The newly decked out people will grace our mantel during the holiday season.

December 5--Our New Friends--Some of the finished products from yesterday's "Holiday Fun" activity.  Don't they look festive, gracing our mantel?

December 6--Bachelor Pad--...or something like one.  Last week we moved all the tubs of clothes and other stored items out of the crawl space behind the boys' room and brought up the train table and some of the crafts from downstairs.  I especially love the seating!  The kids have enjoyed playing up in this new addition quite a bit.  Hooray for making use of all available space in a relatively small house.

December 7--Work Neighborhood--Another rainy Wednesday; I notice them since on Wednesday evenings I teach a night class and trudge through the city blocks, attempting to stay dry. This was taken from my office window and the very urban neighborhood is apparent.

December 8--Fun on Mommy and Daddy's Bed--What is it about Mommy and Daddy's bed that is so appealing to kids? It's almost universal. I can still remember climbing into my parents' bed as a small child on weekend mornings.

December 9--Just So--The Y had their holiday party tonight, which was full of carnival games, a bounce house and crafts. Imp was very particular about the decorating of his cookie; the candies needed to be placed in just the right spots.