Monday, March 31, 2008

School Obligations

I'm going to try to post as often as I can but I've got a lot on my plate right now.

I'm taking a class right now online, it's called Intro to Criminal Justice. It's a self paced class, and because I'm a procrastinator I haven't done a lot with it lately. Well imagine my surprise when I was looking at the syllabus yesterday and saw the class ends on April 2, not April 15 like I had thought. So I need to bust out some assignments and go take the final by Wednesday. I had 10 to do as of yesterday and now I'm down to 4. They aren't all that hard, just long. Thank goodness I had already written the term paper, lol :)

The good news is that I work well under pressure, as long as I don't start to feel overwhelmed. I will never take another self paced online class again though, because I need those due dates to keep from letting the assignments pile up. I need this class for my minor so I couldn't just let it go even if I wanted to (besides the fact that it cost 400$).

The other two classes I'm taking right now, Substance Abuse and Criminal Investigations, are 8 week terms instead of the normal 16 week semesters. So they cram all the information from the 16 week classes into 8 weeks, which means a faster pace and more work, lol. In some ways I like the 8 week classes better than the traditional because there is no chance for me to get bored because we are always doing things, not just reading the book and hearing a lecture. The assignments need to be done quicker, which sometimes is good and other times bad, depending on how my home life is that week, if anyone is sick, or I have other things to deal with.

In these next 7 weeks, not counting the online class, I will have to write 8 papers or presentations, take 2 midterms and 2 finals, and 7 pop quizzes. Oh yeah, and a lot of reading :)

So it will be pretty hectic around here for a bit. I am also waiting to hear about the two jobs I interviewed for, they said I will be notified either way so we'll see.

I'll try to keep you updated as to my progress, and sanity, lol. I need to find the time to take some pictures, I think I only picked the camera up once or twice in the last week or two.

How do you juggle all the separate obligations you have, like family, school, social, work, etc? I could really use some tips right about now.

Odd Shots Monday

Taken the other night out my back door with the Night Shot setting on my camera. The reason why it is odd is because we live in a housing development, there shouldn't be deer anywhere near here! I took a bunch of photos, both with and without flash, but this is the only one that came even close to turning out :)

For more Odd photos, visit Katney's Kaboodle.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Time Tells All

1. It's 1:00pm on Sunday and I'm usually on the computer at this time.

2. It's 6:00pm on Monday and I'm usually eating dinner at this time.

3. It's 9:00pm Wednesday and I'm usually on the computer at this time.

4. It's 4:30pm on Friday and I'm usually on the computer at this time.

Wow, I need to get a life LOL :)

Play along at The Saturday Special.

PhotoHunt - High

For more players, head on over to

Out The Window

Taken back in February while going down the highway. I'm so glad the snow is gone :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Photo Friday - Emotions

Sky Watch Friday

Photos from earlier this week....

Same picture as above, only played with in Photoshop. I like the bottom version better, it's more dramatic :)

For more Sky Watch Friday, head on over to Wiggers World.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten Things To Do Before You Get Married

Note: Some of these are tongue in cheek :)

1. Watch him sleep to see if he snores.

2. Experience a stressful event with him to see how he copes.

3. Check his credit.

4. Spend some time with his mother, remember she will be your future mother-in-law :)

5. If you want children, or already have some of your own, see how he acts around kids.

6. Find out what you want out of life.

7. Find out what he wants out of life.

8. Decide which one of you will handle the finances, then teach the other one how to do it just in case.

9. Everyone has baggage, find out if you can handle his, and vice versa.

10. And finally, make sure you have that feeling inside of you, "this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with," other wise just don't do it.

For more things to do before you get married, check out Ten on Tuesday.

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Easter

This weeks theme is Easter....

We just love those Cadbury eggs :)

Monday, March 24, 2008


This weekend we took Leanna and two of her friends bowling. Both my husband and Leanna love to bowl, but we haven't done it in a while. (I usually sit on the sidelines and cheer). I think they all had a great time, I brought out the camera and the girls posed for me, so I had fun too :)

Check out more Weekend Snapshots.

Odd Shots Monday

This of course, is my Mischief. I just love the way this picture came out. Obviously it wasn't supposed to turn out this way, but I think it's pretty cool the way he is barely there and it looks like he is staring you down :)

For more odd photos, visit Katney's Kaboodle.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekly Winners

The first sign of spring in my yard....

My beautiful dog, able to lay outside because its not too cold or wet....

My beautiful dog again :) Does anyone know how to get rid of the "pet eye" he has? I would love to see his pretty brown eyes in a photo instead of always yellow....

A gorgeous plant I bought, can't remember what it is called....

Again in black and white :)


And more azaleas :) Love the water drops....

Visit more Weekly Winners.

MacroDay - Temperature

My entry for this weeks MacroDay.... Temperature.

Another photo from our infamous ice storm :)

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Money :: rich
  2. Unhappy :: frown
  3. Joking :: laugh
  4. Chipmunk :: hamster
  5. Date :: dress up
  6. Slideshow :: pictures
  7. Chicago :: cold
  8. Lifetime :: movies
  9. Skid row :: bums
  10. Edward :: scissorhands
For more mutterings, please visit Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shutterday Challenge - Home

While working in the yard this weekend (ok, while watching my husband work in the yard, lol) we found this abandoned bird's nest inside a big tangle of dead Clematis vines. I don't know what kind of bird used to live in it, but I know that there were a lot of small ones flying around last year. I thought maybe they had a nest in the eaves of the house but could never find an entrance. Well now I know where they called home :)

From Another Angle

These photos were taken at ground level with me sitting on my feet. They are of a hole in the bottom of a tree. At this angle the photos make the holes look like instead of an insignificant little hole in a tree, they are caves, large and deep enough to go inside and explore :)

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lens Day - Toys

One of Mischief's favorite outside toys, a soccer ball. He likes it even more now that it is popped, because he can get it in his mouth and carry it around :)

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Birds

The theme for this weeks challenge is Birds.

This is a swan picture I took back in October when we were visiting our hometown. I love to look at these beautiful birds, but I never go anywhere near them. The swans and geese on that pond tend to chase and bite at those who stray too close.

Ten Places I'd Take a Tourist To See in My Hometown

Well my hometown is Rockford Illinois, so let's see....

1. Magic Waters - a giant outdoor waterpark on the outskirts of town

2. Cherryvale Mall - a two floor mall with tons of awesome stores.

3. Beefaroo - a fast food restaraunt that serves the greatest Beef and Cheddar sandwiches and Cheddar Fries, yum :)

4. Nickel World - an arcade where each game is only a nickel.

5. Discovery Center Museum - a hands on children's museum where all the exhibits can be touched and played with. We have been there many times :)

6. Midway Village - a real 19th century village and museum, they do civil war reenactments and a really fun Halloween program.

7. Ski Broncs Water Show - a spectacular water ski show done every week in the summer.

8. Rockford Speedway - a quarter mile Nascar racing track that runs from spring to fall and has lots of special events. When we are home, you can expect to see us there every week :)

9. Sinnissippi Park - on the river, in the summer they have the most beautiful rose garden, in the winter there is the Festival of Trees and the Ice Sculpture Competition.

10. Rock Cut State Park - camping and fishing and hiking, you name something outdoorlike, and it can be done here :)

For other peoples favorite hometown places, head on over to Ten on Tuesday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Black and White

This is my entry for both Weekend Snapshot and Mute Monday this week. I'll show you these gorgeous azaleas in all their colorful splendor later on when I have a minute :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekly Winners

My (late) Weekly Winners this week are all nature photos :)

This is the state of my flower garden....

and this dead rosebud looks like it was flash frozen last year. Kind of beautiful actually :)

This is one of the areas that Mischief and I walk in a lot....

and this is the first sign of spring growth that I've seen so far.

This is the best water drop photo I have been able to take.

I am frustrated and I can't seem to get my camera settings right. Does anyone out there know approximately what settings I would need to make a decent water drop picture? I believe I took close to 75 of them, trying all sorts of camera settings and I'm just not liking them.

MacroDay - Keys

Here is my entry for this weeks MacroDay challenge.... Keys.

Still working on getting the camera to focus on what I want it to, instead of what it wants, but I think I'm getting better :)

Blog Carnivals #2

This week a couple of my posts are featured in five new blog carnivals! They are the Carnival of Inspiration and Motivation.... The Mommy Blog Carnival.... Mom's Blogging Carnival.... The Carnival of Positive Thinking.... and The Dog Blog Carnival. I want to thank the hosts of these carnivals for letting me be a part of them :)

Check them out, there are some excellent posts listed in there :)

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Paranormal :: Ghosts
  2. Alarm :: Fire
  3. Operative :: Undercover
  4. Changing :: Seasons
  5. Framed :: Busted
  6. Beer :: Yuck
  7. Referral :: Help
  8. Unmasked :: Batman
  9. Movie star :: Rich
  10. Handbook :: Procedures
For more of today's mutterings, head on over to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

This is what it looks like outside today. It is supposed to snow but I don't think it is cold enough. Although, here in Kansas the temperature can drop 40 degrees in an hour so you never know :)

For more Sky watch Friday, head on over to Wigger's World who is hosting for us again this week :)

New Scrap Freebie - Alphas

I was playing in Photoshop today and came up with some effects that I liked and so made a few alphas to share. I might make some elements to go along with them if I get some more time and can figure out how to recreate the effects. Note to self - next time write it down :)

So here's the preview, all three alphas are in the same zip file.... I like the bottom one the best, it's hard to see in the preview but it is like a muted camouflage.

Here is the link to download - GR_MixedAlphas.

I would really appreciate a comment if you download them, and would love to see your finished creations if you use any of my scrap freebies, just drop me a line :)

Photo Friday - The Good Life

My daughter is going to be mad when she sees this one lol. This is Leanna and Mischief about 3 or 4 years ago. Both of them sprawled out asleep :) I thought it was perfect for The Good Life Challenge over at Photo Friday.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blog of Excellence Award

This week I received my very first blog award, the Blog of Excellence Award, from Laura at Laura Williams Musings. Thank you Laura! This is a huge milestone for me, as it shows that people are reading my blog and they like it :)

So with that said, I'd like to give this award to a few of my favorite bloggers:

1. Skeet over at Skeet's Stuff.

2. Karla at Looking Toward Heaven.

3. Kailani over at An Island Life.

4. Melissa at Melissa's Idea Garden.

5. Lara over at The Lazy Organizer.

I love each of these ladies' blogs and read them all the time :)

Thursday Photo Challenge

The theme for this challenge is Green, and the only thing we have around here right now that is green are the pine trees. This tree is right outside my back door. It used to be a very large, very full tree.

When we got the big ice storm that closed everything down and killed power to most of this area, this tree was so weighted down with ice that it caught the power lines. A lot of the branches broke because of the weight of the ice, but it was the city that did most of the damage when they chopped it to get it off of the lines.

They took way more off of it than was necessary and now this is what I see whenever I open the back door. Poor tree!

Tell Me Thursday

Here is the link to my Wordless Wednesday photo.

I took this photo while out taking Mischief for a walk. He is becoming a little less irritated when I stop a million times and make him stand still so I can shoot :)

We have pine cones all over the place here and I usually don't think anything of them, except when I'm walking through the grass and step on one wrong and it tries to trip me :) That day instead of looking at the whole picture, I decided to look at some of nature's elements individually and see if I could make them interesting.

I like the way I shot with the front one in focus and everything else blurred out. I have been having trouble focusing on certain things and not others. A lot of the pictures from that walk didn't turn out because of the focusing thing, but this one I really loved.

So there you have it, and if you want to see others explanations of their Wordless Wednesday photos, hop on over to Tell Me Thursday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Can't Find My To-Do List!!

I usually keep a very detailed to-do list sitting on my desk by the computer. It isn't there. This weekend my husband and I did some spring cleaning/decluttering in the house. Which is all good and everything except when he does not know what something is, or where it goes, he puts it on my desk. I put most of the things away that he stashed there, and my list is not in the pile that is left.

So now I have to remember and remake the whole thing again.


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Talk About Tuesday - Photography

Last night Leanna and I went to a beginners digital photography class put on by the Arts and Crafts here on post. It was free, and I like free, so I said, "why not?" I know I have so much to learn about taking a good photo, and after going to the class I now realize how much.

Before I bought my camera I did a lot of research on the different brands and features that are available. I read a lot about things like F-stops and shutter speeds and stuff like that, that didn't mean very much to me.

It wasn't until that teacher was standing in front of us and explaining why you have to do this and that, with examples, that I really understood some of the concepts.

Other things like composition and the rule of thirds, things I never realized were important, were explained, showing why the photos look better when you follow those guidelines.

  • Don't just put your subject in the center of the frame and leave them there, experiment with them off to the left or right, towards the top or bottom.
  • Look for the interesting shots, or the wow! factor.
  • Get some contrast in your photo, for example if the baby you are taking the photo of has blue eyes, put a blue blanket in with them. It will make the baby's eyes stand out.
The first thing she said was, "Never use your first shot of something, because that is the same perspective that everyone else sees." When I thought about it, I realized she was right and that I usually always delete the first photo of my subject when I get the pics into the computer, because the next ones are always framed better, or look more interesting, or whatever.

For portraits she told us:
  • The most important thing to get in focus is the person's eyes.
  • Natural, or diffused light is best.
The teacher gave us an assignment, to photograph one object 50 times. She said that way we will use our minds to come up with ways to photograph something creatively.

I think Leanna enjoyed it too and learned some things, I even saw her taking notes :) We are going back next month for another class, I'll let you know how that one goes.

To see what other people are talking about today, visit The Lazy Organizer.

Ten Things I'm Looking Forward To In The Spring

1. To take Mischief for a walk when it's not so bitterly cold.

2. To open the windows and let the fresh air in.

3. To pick out the flowers we will plant this year.

4. To watch the grass turn green instead of brown.

5. To sit outside.

6. The fact that it gets dark later.

7. To have new subjects to take pictures of.

8. Easter - even though she is a teenager, I still love putting together and giving my daughter an Easter basket.

9. Mother's Day - ummm, because I'm a mother :)

10. My birthday in April!!

For more spring lists, head over to Ten on Tuesday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

So Tired....

I've been sleeping so well since I went to the doctor and got some new medicine, no more insomnia.... until last night.

I'm wondering if it is because I took the meds and didn't go right to bed. The doctor told me to take them within 10 minutes of getting in bed so that is what I've been doing.... until last night.

I ended up staying up to do a few things after I took the pills, and then my daughter was coughing really bad so I took some cough medicine in to her and then sat and rubbed her forehead for a little while (she's always liked that since she was a baby). She has allergies and at night all that crud goes down her throat and irritates her chest so much that she just coughs and coughs. It hurts my heart to see her in pain and discomfort and I can't do anything to help her. I just had her allergy medicine changed so we'll have to wait and see if that helps any.

So today I am so groggy and blah, its noon and I want to go back to bed. But I can't, I have so many things on my to do list and tonight Leanna and I have our very first digital photography class. I'm really looking forward to it and I think she is too :)

Ok, it has taken me 30 minutes to write this post, I need to get moving and try to wake up, see you later....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Blog Carnivals

I have recently discovered the world of blog carnivals. The purpose behind them is for bloggers to write on certain topics, post them on their blog and then submit the links to be included in one big blog post on that topic.

So I picked a couple of my posts and submitted to a few of them. Well....

This week I am featured in The Carnival of Family Life.... The Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival.... The Friday Ark.... and The Canine Carnival!!

Pretty cool huh? I'm just tickled pink :)

Unconscious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Homicide :: death
  2. Divisive :: determined
  3. Flash :: camera
  4. Steaming :: broccoli
  5. Crunch :: cereal
  6. Look out! :: falling
  7. Anticipating :: waiting
  8. Slim :: jim
  9. Navel :: belly button
  10. Help :: 911
For more mutterings, head over to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Unique's Photo Challenge - Macro

I've been practicing my macro shots today and finally came up with a couple usable photos. Its been hard though, they are either blurry, or the background is in focus but not the item, or too much light or not enough, the list goes on.... Here is one that I liked....

They have a 4th of July carnival here and have all those booths where you can buy things. Last year me and my daughter went and I loved these wooden roses. They come in all colors and some are sparkly etc etc. So we each got 6 of them. This picture turned out so clear you can see the dust on the rose... lol. Guess I should have cleaned them before taking photos of them :)

Here's another picture just because I liked it, lol :)

For more macro shots, head on over to Unique's Photo Challenge.

Role Model

When I was getting ready for my job interview last week I went in my daughter's room to talk to her. What she said to me is something I never expected to hear.

"You know mom, you are my role model."

I was completely floored, speechless and all that. Those words are something you might expect from a 5 year old and maybe up to age 9 or so. But a 16 year old teenager? With all of the other influences in their lives, the TV and movies, music and celebrities. All that glamour influences kids, in both good ways and bad.

I didn't realize I had as much influence on her as that.

She has seen me struggle, trying to find an identity of my own in the midst of being a wife and stay at home mother. She watched me go back to college 3 years ago in my quest of who I wanted to be. She has seen all I've dealt with during the Army separations from my husband, both the year he was in Korea and the year he was in Iraq. When I decided to try to get a job in my chosen field, it wasn't because we needed the money (although it definitely wouldn't hurt), it was because I wanted to make something of myself, something that I wanted to accomplish for me, and not just as an extension of the family.

I guess I didn't really realize that she was watching the whole time and taking it all in.

Even if I don't get that job, which they said it might be several weeks before I am notified, it won't be the end of the world. I have earned my daughter's respect, I am secure in knowing that I am a positive influence in her life. If I can overcome the obstacles, and go out and buy dress shoes with heels and then learn how to walk in them, deal with the shyness and anxiety I've had all my life and get out there and try, then she knows she can do anything! I hope she also knows that I will always be there to pick her up when she stumbles and falls.

Everytime I think about it, I smile inside :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Ultimate Blog Party!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Welcome to my blog!!

For those of you that don't know me, I'm Gloria, married and a mom to a teenage daughter. (Guess you probably saw that stuff in my About Me section, didn't you? Well I'm new to all this and a bit nervous so I'm just not sure what to say .:grins:. )

I started this blog way back in 2006 to showcase and give away my digital scrapbooking freebies. Then when my husband went to Iraq I kind of lost interest in a lot of my hobbies and the scrap freebies and the blog fell by the wayside. Well my husband is back safe and sound from Iraq, so with less things to worry about, I started picking up some hobbies again. I've dabbled a bit with the scrapping but my newest adventure is with photography. My husband bought me a Sony H9 for our anniversary. You'll see I have photos in most of my posts, I do a lot of practicing :)

I've gotten addicted to doing memes as you may have noticed. I think they are a good way to get to know people. Most of mine are photography related, but I have seen some others I've liked. I've never been tagged though, maybe I haven't been around long enough for that....

I've been working on making my blog better and more friendlier, so if you keep checking in, you'll see good things I hope.

So take a look around, meet Mischief my dog, and my daughter Leanna, and even see an OLD picture of me. (There are no recent pics of me on the site, I can't find any I like, lol.)

I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and hopefully making some new friends :)

Jump on over to 5 Minutes For Mom to catch up with the rest of the party goers. See you there :)

OH!! I forgot to tell you about the prizes! This party has some awesome prizes. Since I don't have any little ones running around some of the prizes wouldn't pertain to me, but here are some of my favorites.

91 - Burt's Bees Naturally ageless skincare, provided by Geggie.
58 - Customized 6 Week Fitness Plan, provided by Cindy Posey at Go Workout Mom.
113 - Arbonne Pampering Basket, provided by The Truest Thing.

I also would love to win any of these, in no particular order:
60, 70, 46, 21, 39, 45, 114, 124, and 152.

See you around, I'm going blog hopping!

Sky Watch Friday

For more Sky Watch Friday this week, head on over to Wiggers World.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No More Pictures!!

Since I got my new camera, Mischief has been my one willing subject for me to practice on. My husband hates to have his picture taken, and my daughter will only let me take hers when she is "ready". Things started out well with Mischief, he was willing to pose for me....

.... At first.

Then he started getting a little more reluctant when I started putting the camera in his face....

"You mean you want more pictures?"

"Not now mom, I'm busy!"

Then he started getting stubborn.... "I don't want to do it anymore!"

Now we are at the point where he sees the camera....

.... And ducks!!

There goes my willing participant, lol. I guess I'll have to go back to taking pictures of trees.... sigh.

Related Posts with Thumbnails