Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photo Collages

I saw some really cute photo collages on Minted the yesterday!  I have a photo wall in our entry way that I would really like to redo.  Now to decide which of these I "need"! ;)

Texas!

I love these hearts!

So pretty...

These butterflies are cute to.  This one would most likely be better in one of the girls' rooms.

I think I need 3 of these! ;)

And I LOVE this heart collage!

So, what's your favorite?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Meredith's Emotions

During one of our school lessons we talked about emotions.  I did this same activity with Mackenzie a couple of years ago, so I was sure it would be fun.  Unfortunately, she didn't like it as much and only did a few faces. :(

These are the cards from 1+1+1=1.  She's looking at all of them and deciding which one she wants to mimic.

She said "Happy" and "Joyful" looked the same, so she held them up together.  I LOVE her "excited" face!

Yep, she looks surprised! ;)  And cold, looks a little more pensive without seeing her shake her body a little.

That's a perfect "shy" face, but I'm not sure about the loving face.  It looks a little angry, maybe?

Even though she didn't do as many faces, we still had a lot of fun!  I thought it would be fun to see Mackenzie and Meredith's expressions side by side.

Mackenzie and Meredith - Surprised
Mackenzie and Meredith - Shy

So cute!  I can't wait to do this activity with Miranda in a couple of years!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November continued...

I left off my last post on November 14 with 4 doctors visits for the girls and one BIG dentist appointment for me.  I had hoped it would get better, but as it turns out we were only in the middle. :/

Nov 15 - Brandon has a dr visit and diagnosed with strep. - Third person in our family to take amoxicillan.
Nov 16 - Miranda and Mackenzie wake up with fevers.  Earliest appointment we could get on Sunday at our pediatrician's after hours is 7:15pm. :/ This dr. visits 6 & 7.  Miranda has double ear infections - prescribed amoxicillan.  Mackenzie has nothing (not even a fever by the time we go in).  Send strep test off for culture, but other than that, the doctor sees nothing wrong.
Nov 18 - after going back to school and seeming like all is back to normal, the pediatrician calls to say that Mackenzie's culture came back as positive for strep.  She now completes our families' record for having all of us take amoxicillan at the same time! That's a fun record, huh? :/

We haven't had any big issues since and everyone seems to be doing much better.  Tomorrow we are supposed to have some bad weather, so here's hoping nothing breaks or has problems with the wind and possible hail.  I really don't want to add home issues to our list for November.

On a happier note, Miranda stayed with a friend for about an hour this week and didn't cry!  That's a BIG improvement and hopefully opens up the door for other activities. YAY!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 2014

I know we are only half way through November, but as far as I am concerned, I am done with this month.  So far, November hasn't been kind to our family...

Nov 1 - sleepless night for Miranda and subsequently me and Brandon
Nov 2 - Miranda has a fever and another sleepless night
Nov 3 - Miranda's fever comes back :(
Nov 4 - Dr. Visit #1 - Miranda's prognosis - head cold (no meds other than benedryl and tylenol)
...
Nov 6 - Call from school nurse - Mackenzie is sick.  Dr. Visit #2 - the dreaded virus.  Meds to help stop vomiting, but otherwise "wait it out".
Nov 7-8 - "quarantine" Mackenzie to guest bedroom to avoid spreading the virus.  I did not want throw up everywhere.
Nov 9 - Meredith has fever after church.  Dr. Visit #3 - nothing wrong other than basic drainage.  Mackenzie sleeps in her own bed after 3 nights of being sick, however Meredith wakes up choking from her drainage and throws up.  Back in the guest bedroom for me.
Nov 10-12 - Meredith's fever is off and on and both her and Miranda have yucky coughs and constantly runny noses.
Nov 13 - I make an appointment for me at a dentist because of a toothache.  Ended up having a root canal and two crowns (one is over the root canal).
Nov 14 - Meredith wakes up with ear ache.  Dr. Visit #4 - ear infection - started antibiotics.

So to sum up, four dr visits in 11 days plus major dental work for myself.  Luckily, Brandon was off all this week to offer some help with the dr visits and/or babysitting.  My laundry is stacking up and I feel like I'm constantly giving medicine.  And I guess the medicine will continue to happen with Meredith and myself on antibiotics. 

I sure hope the remaining 16 days are normal and without incident!  I would be thrilled if I didn't have to go to the pediatrician until Miranda's 15 month check up in December.  Again, I would be happy to end November now! ;)  But since that's not going to happen I guess I need to get the house in order and everyone well so that I can host Thanksgiving in 13 days!  Busy Busy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Photography Challenge - Day 09

Another challenge day complete!  This one took a little more time and will be something I continue to work on to get better at it.  If you want to join me on the challenge, buy Courtney's book and learn some awesome photography tips/lessons.

Day 09 - White Balance

I re-learned how to use "grey cards" and also learned some new functions on my camera.  So all in all a great lesson!  Below are all my pictures including the grey card pictures I used when setting the white balance.




And here are the edits.  All the pictures below include my straight out of camera image (left or top) and my edited image (right or bottom).  I tried not to edit my photos too much unless I could tell the balance was off.  If it looks unedited between the photos, then obviously I achieved the skill for the challenge.  I used my Canon EFS 50mm lens to take all of the photos.  I'll list the details of each shot below if you are interested.

One of my first pictures.  Nope, not a good white balance.  Her skin (and everything else) is too yellow.
50mm   f/1.8    1/400ss    ISO-1600

In the same series as above, so again, a little off in balance.
50mm   f/1.8    1/400ss    ISO-1600



Great balance, just a little over exposed.  Still has a good skin tone, so I'll take it! ;)
50mm   f/1.8    1/125ss    ISO-1600



Same set as above photo, so good balance.  I edited the photo just a bit to lower the exposure.
50mm   f/1.8    1/125ss    ISO-1600


Not too bad.  I didn't really edit the photo, but it still looks a little yellow.  It's hard to use grey cards on moving subjects since the light on their face changes with every movement and angle they turn.
50mm   f/1.8    1/250ss    ISO-1600


She got tired of me taking pictures, especially when I would stick the card in front of her face. This is her throwing a fit.  ;)
50mm   f/1.8    1/250ss    ISO-1600

She loves the ipad. I adjusted the balance just a little.
50mm   f/3.5    1/100ss    ISO-1600


Just a little edit.
50mm   f/3.5    1/60ss    ISO-1600

Another good balance.
50mm   f/2.5    1/60ss    ISO-1600

I said she loves the ipad, right? ;)
50mm   f/2.5    1/80ss    ISO-1600

So after several different uses of the cards, I decided to see what my camera functions did when it comes to white balance.  I took a picture of her in the same spot using the different presets in the camera menu.


I ended up liking the 3200 Kelvin setting for this particular lighting.  I used it to take the below picture and it did a pretty decent job at balancing the skin tone. 
I'm still working on this challenge as I take pictures of our every days activities.  Sometimes I have to take two pictures of the same thing because I'm adjusting the white balance.  As with everything in manual mode, it will take time for it to become natural, but I think well worth it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween costumes were super simple this year!  Mackenzie wanted to be a butterfly using wings we already had and all I had to buy were black leggings and black shirt.  Done and done!

Meredith wanted to be Princess Sofia "with the amulet, but not the crown".  You know, so her hair can be in her face at all times! Ha!


And Miranda could care less, so she went in the same costume all three girls wore at 13 and 14 months.


Group photos didn't go as well.  Mackenzie was in her room as part of a punishment while I took this photo.

And by the time she was out and happy again, Miranda was done! ;)


The big girls went trick or treating with Brandon while I sat on the porch with Miranda and passed out candy.  When Brandon and the girls returned, I went inside and they passed candy out.  It was beautiful weather and no bugs - a perfect combination! ;)

Just for fun, here is all the girls in their tinkerbell costume!

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