Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bird Photography - Take #1

Saturday afternoon, Daddy Layne took us all to the beach. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, had chips and cookies, and enjoyed the nice weather. Although the beach was pretty packed with people and the tide was in giving you only about 4 foot of walking space, we enjoyed the small time actually on the beach. Lol. Most of our time was spent around the grill talking, waiting for the food, eating chips, smelling the food, eating the cookies and taking pictures.
 The red cardinals were really active around the tables, probably because of the food they were waiting for. We threw some chips out in the leaves and watched them. Thankfully, this time I remembered to bring my camera along and was able to get some really cool pictures.
 The males never came close enough for long enough for me to get a close and really nice shot. But the one above I zoomed in to almost my max to get. He is a real beauty.
 The trees served as a nice place to eat for them because the moss wouldn't let the food go; but it kind of got in the way for me.
 Finally, the sun was going down, the birds were calming down and I didn't think I was going to get any more shots. But this guy came pretty close and perched. (above) Then got comfortable. (below)
This is the best silhouette picture that I have ever been able to capture. I was so super psyched!
And so, this is my first try at bird watching. Not very successful, but I wouldn't put them down.
I hope y'all all have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Senior Portrait ~ Stephanie

A couple of weeks ago, an old friend of mine came and stayed the week with us. When I was 9-11 she came every summer for a whole week, but then she moved. Her family moved to WV and we didn't keep in touch. But she moved back only a few years later.
~She is so beautiful!~
So just recently we've started talking again, and Amy has done a lot of things, and gone a lot of places with their church youth group. But Stephanie is going off to college this Fall and needed her senior pictures done as well as a profile to send in with her application. So here is what we did.


As you can see, we went down a dirt road that was beautifully shaded. The trees came to a really nice cover and it was just recently plowed.

We then were headed to a different location and decided to stop for this one.
These next few pictures were taken out behind a Church, about 6 miles from my house.
"Stephanie, you are an amazing person and I'm glad to call you my friend. Thanks for letting me do your pictures I had a blast!"
I actually am really proud of these pictures because I didn't have to edit hardly any. The last three I did because there was some stuff in the background, but with the locations we picked the lighting and composure was perfect.
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Garden

Hello! I'm so glad you've stopped by. This is the first time doing my own garden, so I'm posting pictures on request (Sarah), and because I'm really excited to see how it works. ☺ So, please excuse the enthusiasm over some of the small things, or un-important things, that you think may be silly, childish, or prideful; I'm just really excited. ☺
Today I finished getting my square-foot garden ready for planting. Here are my two 8 X 4 garden plots. Normally, they would be made out of wood; untreated, 2 X 6 boards. But because of the lack of this, and the plenty of cinder blocks, I used what I had.
(I love my pathway!)
This first plot is filled with Jungle Growth Mix.
 The second plot will be filled with Mel's Mix, from the Square-Foot Gardening book. I bought the materials to mix it myself, instead of buying the pre-prepared stuff.
~ Peat Moss

Mel says to use 5 different kinds of compost, but I only got two (it was all I could find).

 I dumped half of everything onto a tarp. Once you do that Mel says to wet it (lightly) so that the ingredients don't get carried away by the wind. This is very smart because the vermiculite is really light and it was flying away every time I stirred or turned the soil. ☺
 Then you turn it, by pulling the corners of the tarp to each other corner. Back and forth, and back and forth, until its mixed. This was really, really cool because it wasn't as strenuous as trying to stir it all and not bust the tarp. And... turning it this way mixes it up nice and even. ☺
 Once that was mixed I put it in the plot. My tarp started tearing so I finished mixing the rest up in the plot.
Here is where I really appreciated having blocks for my boarders; I could stand on them, lean on them and walk on them to spread and turn the soil. Mixing the soil this way was harder because it doesn't mix as even as fast; you have to use more man-power, (or woman-power lol).
After I mixed it all together and spread it out evenly, I wet the soil, and now I'm ready to plant.
So, what am I planting? Stay tuned and you'll find out. Haha! ☺
Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Photo Edit

This past week we have been keeping the Pastor's kids while him and his wife go off to a couples retreat. Today I took them out for a photo shoot to get some sibling photos, and we had an interesting time.
Where we went there were some terrible sand gnats; (and when I say terrible, I mean they were terrible!) So we kind of cut it short, but here is a picture of Scarlett, the oldest, that I fixed. The picture above is the finished product. Below is the original.

It was really cloudy, and foggy, but with the white and a light glare Scarlett got blown out.
First I darkened the whole photo. Next I brightened the colors, and enhanced the contrast by a smidgen. Below is that difference.
For a long time I've been needing to learn how to fix this next problem and today I did; (I'm so proud of myself. lol) Glasses glare. On Scarlett's left eye you see a glare on her glasses, and here is the simple solution.
Clone the right eye, to the left eye. Then use your Spot Healing Brush to soften the difference and make it a smooth change.
When I got done and compared the two pictures side by side I loved the change. I was so excited!
So there it is, how to take the glass glare off your glasses.
Have a blessed day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Stuffed French Toast

A while back, my sisters and I went to IHOP for breakfast and Jennifer got the stuffed French toast. She let me try it and we both loved it! So for her birthday, she always has waffles and strawberries, this year she had stuffed French toast.
I got online and was looking for a copycat recipe to IHOP's Stuffed French Toast and all I kept getting for the filling was 'Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling'. I finally found a homemade recipe and it is perfect. 
Start out with the French Toast itself.
Add the filling:
4 oz. cream cheese
3 TBS butter, softened
Powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the cream cheese and butter together.
Then add the sugar and vanilla.
Put this on top of 2 pieces of the toast, then squish together to make a sandwich.
Top with whipped topping and strawberries and you have a copycat of IHOP's Stuffed French Toast. =)
Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 5, 2014

the 1st December Birthday

. . .to my favorite big sister! Jennifer is my only big sister, therefore she is my favorite. =) I have to say that we have had some awesome times over the years. From playing dress-up as girls, to singing together in church. From doing tea parties, to shopping. From her playing while I sing, to me playing while she sings.
She is a one of a kind sister. Jennifer has a heart to serve. She goes to the nursing home to visit with the folks there and just be an encouragement and help in any way she can, whether it be reading to them, or coloring with them.
Jennifer is our church piano player and holds the huge responsibility of the singing list and managing the many choirs we have. Many times I look at her work load just for church and I don't know how she does it. On top of that, she teaches the 8-12 year olds Sunday School.
I don't have many pictures of Jennifer from this year. I think we might just have to plan a photo shoot for some this year pictures. =)
This year Jennifer is hard to buy for. I don't know why its any different than other years but it is. So this year I made her birthday presents. I sewed an owl apron, and an owl pillow. I got the pillow pattern from Joanns but had it blown up to make it bigger.
Then I made the apron by looking at the pattern and free handing it: I think it turned out super cute!
Have a blessed day.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Cards

It is getting to be that time of year when all you see are Christmas decorations, ornaments, and lights. The buying of gifts, the keeping of secrets, the joy of the holiday and the excitement in the air. Its here and I'm really excited! Although we first have to go through Thanksgiving an early start on Christmas is always good.
Every year we give Christmas cards to the families we love at the church. But this year is special. It has been almost a year since we've been at this church and the people really are like our family. Most churches we've been in, the people just go there; they were never really close like family. But this church there are several people, families, that love us and have taken us in as their own.
So the topic of cards goes, we are making them all homemade cards! Its a small group so it won't be many to make, but they will all be more special because they're homemade, thinking of them.
So here is the first batch of cards that I've made for the Christmas season.