Only 34.5 Pictures a Day

Heading to the white board, Joshua did some math calculations to see how my 11K pictures averages out for the year. It’s day 321 of Project 365, so if you take 11,000 and divide it by 321, you end up with close to 34.5. Hmmm, since I haven’t been taking many pictures these days (18 today, 5 yesterday and 2 on Thursday), I guess there must be some weeks when I am very picture happy. A Snap Happy, Camera Lovin’ Mama!

craft time

This morning we went to Michael’s for their Saturday craft workshop.

Thankfully we aren’t listing how many GOOD pictures I have taken this year or how many BLOG-Worthy pictures, or even how many EMBARRASSING shots.

20 Great pictures
3500 Bad pictures
That leaves me with 7480 average, not particularly note-worthy pictures.

What a legacy for the year! :)


We joined some friends from the Hey Kids Club.

I had a lengthy conversation with a friend this week about scrapbooking and faith journaling. I was impressed with her idea of recording the meaningful aspects of her family’s life. She shared that her joy comes in photographing and scrapbooking the traditions and special aspects of their family and heritage.

I was moved by this concept of purposeful journaling, although I did have to warn her, “Honey, you’re never gonna make 12,000 pictures a year that way.” Strangely she wasn’t terribly concerned by my words.

Jaalah and Sarah

Snowflake ornaments were the craft of the day.

The burning, yet unspoken, question in my family is whether we will attempt Project 365 for 2008. The other is, how many hard drives will we need to back up all these pictures. Ha!

I also need to develop a better way of sorting and identifying my pictures. Right now I name them according to the date and have files for each month of the year. It’s a simple system but it works well. I use the pictures quite a bit for blogs and other projects so I’m usually pretty familiar with what photos we have in the files. Joshua does some photo-editing as well so he is also a great resource in locating specific pictures.

Two of my scrapbooking friends are currently using Adobe’s Photoshop for sorting and organizing their pictures. I looked over their system and LOVED the way the program allows you to “tag” your pictures according to person or event. It would be wonderful to be able to hit “Sarah 2007″ and have all of the pictures I’ve taken of Sarah come up.

How, I have to ask, do I find the time to sort through and tag 11,000 pictures?? And that’s only the ones we’ve taken in 2007. Gulp! I need to sit down and take a few deep breaths.

Maybe this is a good time to start angling for my own laptop. How do you all organize your pictures? Do you use Photoshop or Creative Memories or another organizer? I know some people have theirs on Snapfish or Flickr. Do pass along your tips!!

Project 365 – Day 321

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Family Photo

This year I am bound and determined to get some professional pictures taken of our family. Yes, I know, you were worried that I didn’t have quite ENOUGH photos of all of us. Project 365 is hurrying to a close and I have taken over 11,000 pictures this year.

11,000 pictures.
In one year.

Does that seem like a normal number? What about if you are a serious blogger? An intense scrapbooker?

Help me out here, folks! What is the most amount of pictures you’ve taken in a week, month, year, decade? I know my friend Casey took an extraordinary amount of photos when she went across the US with her family this past summer. Surely 11,000 pictures is pretty average for a busy family of 7, it’s probably even a bit low in some respects.

I’m just a normal, camera lovin’ mama, right?

Okay, my children are NOT allowed to answer.
And neither is Tim.

The more I learn about photography, the more I appreciate true masters of the art, and the more I covet fancy cameras. Something like this, maybe:

Nikon D80

A cute little Nikon D80 with an extra lens.

Since this is definitely the Year of the Picture, I should have no problem getting some gorgeous photos of our whole family. Although we take an unbelievable amount of candid, home shots, we rarely visit a photography studio. The last time we had professional pictures taken of the children, there were only three of them and Daniel was a toddler.

Um, that’s 2 children ago.

This year we’re heading BACK to the studio. They thrive on repeat business like ours. We’ll have gorgeous, coordinating outfits (as soon as I pull them all together), we’ll be smiling, stunning, and full of Christmas cheer. We’ll have beautiful backdrops and professional poses.

Until then, I’ll share a picture taken at co-op, last week. A photographer came in and took photos for the yearbook. Families had the option of paying for a CD of individual and group shots. Tim teaches a class at the co-op so he was available for the picture.

family shot

Yes, I knew ahead of time that they were taking pictures that day. Yes, I have cute matching (or at least coordinating) clothes the children could have worn. No, I didn’t panic when they announced it was Picture Day.

“We’re going for the eclectic look,” I announced tersely to the children, who couldn’t care less about pictures, clothes or color-coordination.

Never panic when there’s a camera near by. Smile pretty and hope for the best.
Words to live by.


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Pancake Conspiracy

For the past two years and more, my beloved Kathy has carefully regulated the foods she eats. As with many frothing fanatics enthusiasts, it wasn’t long before her critical attention fastened on those around her with less healthy eating habits.

While I’m not quite in Scott’s league with his love for Cheese, I certainly enjoy food a lot more than is good for me. I almost never wake up hungry, and I’m often at work an hour before my thoughts turn to breakfast. At the office, culinary options are minimal, and I often settle for Diet Coke and Pop Tarts, known in Olympic circles as the Breakfast of Also-Rans® ™.

It didn’t take long for Kathy to suggest that I eat some of her healthy pancakes for breakfast, instead of my sugar-saturated fare. Her pancakes come fortified with egg, blueberries, steel-cut oats, and a variety of other complex grains which defy the body to metabolize them in less than five or six hours.

I tried ‘em:

“Hey, these are like hockey pucks made out of sawdust! Who ruined these poor blueberries?”

It is these little supportive comments that set me apart from other, less sensitive, husbands.

The Treasured Grill
Kathy’s beloved grill and waffle-maker

Kathy was unamused. Craftily balancing the oat-to-sugar ratio, and adding pineapple or mandarin oranges as available, she came up with a delectable recipe that I can eat without complaint, and which is filling enough to last me the long, weary hours until lunch. (This was a significant improvement over the Pop Tarts, which stave off hunger for about 15 minutes).

At first, Kathy pain-stakingly grilled my pancakes on our griddle, but she soon found a quicker way to make them: the delightful George Foreman Grill that her Mom sent for her birthday. These days she usually makes a large batch of the pancakes on Sunday nights, and freezes them the rest of the week, for the days I don’t work from home. Each morning, when I get to work, I pull them out of my lunch bag happily and reheat them, chortling gleefully in my cubicle, to the general consternation of my co-workers.

Today, the chortling was cut tragically short. As I examined my pancakes (actually now in the form of waffles), I realized that the re-assembled shape of the tasty jigsaw was incomplete — someone had eaten one of my pancakes. I present Exhibit A below, with the missing piece carefully highlighted, for your consideration:

Stolen Pancake Fragment
Who could have done this dastardly deed?

Here I was, slaving my little fingers to the bone, rising well before there is anyone around to call me blessed, sacrificing my time and energy to support my little family; yet someone, probably a trusted member of my own household, was guilty of this vile theft. My blood boiled and epithets formed on my lips: Pancake Purloiner! Waffle Weaseler! Flapjack Finagler!

I called my carpool buddy, who I assumed must have ‘liberated’ one of my pancakes while my attention was on the road: “Al, how dare you eat one of my pancakes?”, I shouted into the handset. (I’ve often been praised for my diplomacy and tact.)

Of course, Al denied the theft, and our company physician staunchly and uncharitably refused to stomach-pump him for evidence. As I filled out the Crime Complaint Form on the Washington State Patrol forensics website, I sadly checked the theft by persons unknown box.

My Precious
One jar to rule them all, one jar to find them …

There was really only one thing I could do that would console me in this bitter loss: I turned for comfort in this dreadful hour to a birthday present I received from a good friend: my faithful jar of Nutella.

Pancakes Reborn
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t how Kathy envisioned her pancakes being eaten …

Project 365, Day 319

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Where Did the Evening Go

Well, it wasn’t spent blogging, let’s just get that right out in the open. No laundry was done or dusting, mopping or sweeping. The house was pretty much completely ignored as was fitness, Bible study and school organization.

The hours went by, though, I’m pretty sure of it as it’s now midnight. Let’s see, what did I do?

I think basically I read lots of email, blog postings and comments.

It sounds pathetic, I know, but we receive so many wonderful comments on the blog that it is a joy to dialogue with readers and fellow bloggers. I try to visit other blogs on a regular basis, comment when I can, and connect with as many internet friends as possible.

It can take a LONG time. I guess that’s where a good portion of the evening went, in making bloggy connections. I never regret the time reading, laughing and gleaning wisdom from other bloggers.

I even stumbled on some fun giveaways this evening:

Boo Mama’s Jewelry Bag

Rocks in My Dryer Weekly Giveaways

5 Minutes for Moms Christmas Treats

I’m sure there are many more giveaways going on in the blogosphere, these are just a small sampling. If you are hosting something on your blog or know of another one going on, please leave a comment and share the link.

Over the past few months I have won several things online through the generous, um, generosity (hey, it’s late) of fellow bloggers. I received a fantastic birthday plate, a music cd and a Princess DVD. People are constantly running comment contests or blogging giveaways, it’s our duty to encourage them and support them in their philanthropy.

Enough rambling.

Coming soon, a discussion on Advent Calendars! Get your Christmas notebooks ready.


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WFMW – A Girls Weekend Away

WFMWThis weekend I had the delightful pleasure of sneaking away with some girlfriends. It wasn’t an official Women’s Retreat or a Homeschooling Conference. There was no business that needed attending or meetings scheduled for the entire weekend. We had a wonderful time and I knew immediately that this would be the perfect topic for this week’s Works for Me Wednesday post.

Planning a Girls Getaway Weekend

  1. Find a friend with a birthday. This should not be difficult as most people have birthdays. It is helpful if the birthday girl has parents with a timeshare or a second home at the beach. This keeps costs down considerably. Improvise as necessary with both the birthday friend and the accommodations.
  2. our birthday girl

    Michelle was the birthday girl who organized our weekend away.

  3. Hand off children to the beloved, helpful, and thoroughly capable spouse. If you do not have children or spouse, please skip this step. If your spouse is not helpful or capable (I’m presuming they are beloved) begin training immediately. This is key as children are not welcome at Girls Getaway Weekends. Unfortunate but true.
  4. Gather a collection of very silly friends. The problem here is narrowing it down to just a few, too many silly friends and things get out of hand. If you find yourself with a plethora of wacky girlfriends, do not despair, you can schedule several weekends away.
  5. wacky friends

    Victoria, Kirstin, Michele and Nancy pose for the camera. They obviously qualify as Silly Friends.

  6. Plan some relaxing entertainment. Suggestions include chick flicks, magazines, games, and shopping. All of the above should, of course, include abundant amounts of coffee and chocolate. Delegate as necessary.

    On our weekend, Beckie and Michelle prepared two delicious meals, Victoria created a relaxing ambiance with candles, music, and cozy blankets, Michelle brought up her espresso machine, Kirstin led us in some dancing with a Dance Dance Revolution game and I took pictures.

  7. anyone up for toast?

    If things begin to get dull, a small kitchen fire is proven to liven up the day.

  8. Be sure to include opportunities for outdoor activities. This is often best scheduled BEFORE the chocolate but AFTER the coffee, although professionals have been known to disagree.
  9. Jackie O

    Grab some fantastic sunglasses and hit the beach. I never had learnt how to read contact lens prescription, so I just bought some power sunglasses. Plus, I’ve found lenses to be hindersome, ironically.

    kirstin and michelle

    Kirstin and Michelle led the way on our Sunday morning hike.

  10. Remember this is a grown up getaway with no diapers to change, noses to wipe, sibling arguments to diffuse or kid meals to prepare. Revel in the luxury of an all adult weekend.

    Another alternative is to completely indulge your inner child.

  11. shall we swing

    Michelle and I hit the swings.


    Beckie tries out the zipline.

    tether ball

    It turns out Nancy is a KILLER tether ball player. I lasted about 2 minutes. Michelle fared a little better but the battle was fierce. The things you learn on a girls getaway are very interesting.

  12. Last but not least, take lots and lots of pictures. The blackmail, I mean blog fodder, alone is priceless. Use the self-timer liberally.
  13. getaway girls

Go and plan your own getaway weekends. There are many other tips at Rocks In My Dryer.


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