Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paying It Forward


The gals over at Success Bound responded to another bloggers challenge to Pay it Forward (also one of my favortie movies). I decided to take the challenge and issue the challenge to you as well! So here goes. The first three people to respond to this post will receive a fun gift from me in the next month or so and all you have to do is comment on this post and then post the challenge to get your readers invloved. Don't forget to leave an email addy so I can contact you and don't forget to come back and leave me a link to your post!

Here is something else I did to pay it forward for a local couple! They are young and just had their first baby a few weeks ago and she is absolutely gorgeous! I gave her mom and dad my card and told them that I would photograph her for free! Her mom hugged me and thanked me! I know they are just starting out and don't have much money for photographs so I thought I would help out in that area to pay it forward!

What can you do for your fellow bloggers and those in your hometown? You would be surprised at how far a little kindness will go! I think I just like to see the joy in the eyes of others when they are given something out of the blue! How much good could we do in the world if we did this once a day? Come on guys, lets rise to the challenge!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I ♥ Faces Week #12 Pout/Pet Week!





I ♥ Faces is doing Pout/Pet week! I am so excited because well, the pet photos I have down pat but the pout took a lot of work and I was beginning to think that I was not going to get it! Ugh, kids can be hard to work with, especially MINE!! LOL!


The kids entry is one I thought I would NEVER get! I have tried to capture a pout for weeks but kept getting the all out fit! The diva is great at that, trust me! So I finally caught the pout a few days ago and if you want to see it with different renderings click here.


The special Pet catagory entry is my faithful beagle, Boscoe! He is so loving and has been my little snuggle bug since we brought him home in 2003! There is nothing better than a beagle face with those soulful eyes to melt your heart! Here he is doing what he does best.............chillin'!! OK, second best I think his gold medal sport is eating!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Silent Sunday



Signs of Spring in spite of the cold and snow!!!!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sneak Peak


OK, here is the sneak peak from Chet & Amanda's shoot last week! If you want to see some more you can click http://pictureperfectbyjo.blogspot.com/!

I Love Your Site Saturday!

I have told you all that I have been playing with PSE and loving some actions that I have been using and it is time to divulge my secret (or not to some of you) blog that keeps me supplied with endless hours of PSE fun and some great photos after! Without further ado....................................

Her name is Rita and she is the blogger and creative mind behind CoffeeShop where you can find free tutorials, templates and PSE/PS actions! ALL FOR FREE! This site totally rocks and deserves your attention especially if you are into digital photography!! Some of her actions make life so much easier! My favorite, at the moment, is Perfect Portrait! All you do is run the action on your photo, adjust the layers you want to adjust and you are done!!

The photos from the past couple of days have had CoffeShop actions run on them!! I love this site and the really cool thing is you can make a donation to Rita for all her rockin' work if you feel so moved!!

Thanks for a great site Rita!! Check her out and come back because I will be using her actions to do some more work on my already cool photos!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dump's Old Truck






A few days ago I posted a photo of Sadie in an old truck that her Daddy had worked on over the winter for a friend of ours and I promised more photos! So today I will deliver those photos done in a fun way and one complete photo of the truck!

Now I have been playing with the PSE actions again and if you come back tomorrow I will let you in on a wonderful secret that I discovered on I Love Your Site Saturday! If you haven't figured it out by now I will showcase a different blog each Saturday that I have found while wandering the blogoshpere! I promise there are some true gems in the bunch that you will not want to miss! The next couple of Saturday's are for those PSE/digital photographers in the crowd!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toddler Talk with Sadie




I am all out of cool words right now so I am kickin' back and relaxin' in the back of the Pancho (Pontiac Chiefton) while Sadie speaks! Keep in mind that she has been talking in complete sentences since she was 9 months old! Her first string of words were directed at our dogs and they were "dogs, go lay down!", said while emphatically pointing in the direction she wanted the dogs to go!

Sadie: Could you please clean up?
Translation: I made a big mess and since you are at my beck and call, would you mind picking it up?

Sadie: Daddy needs to potty train!
Translation: Daddy has to go potty.

Sadie: I can't breach it!
Translation: I can't reach whatever it is I am trying to get that I am not supposed to have!

Sadie: We can go for walk?
Translation: Take me for a walk now or I will throw the biggest fit you have ever witnessed!

Sadie: I want to go see Alex.
Translation: I want to go to Church and play in the nursery with my friends! Please get me into a weekly play group!

Sadie: My hands are icky!
Translation: I did not tell you I needed to use the potty and went in my pants! Oh yeah, and I stuck my hands down my diaper to make sure I had really gone and now it is all over my hands!! (She actually did this twice on Monday!! Can you say gross?)

Today's photos are just some fun that I have been having in PSE! I was using Paint Shop Pro Photo and now I am learning about PSE and liking, NO LOVING some of the actions I have found to use in the program!

The first photo is me kickin' back, literally! The second is Sadie off on walk with her sippy! What more could a girl need?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stellan

Prayers for Stellan


Stellan just went into prolonged V-tach!! Please pray for this sweet little baby! Click the button above for more info.

Wordless Wednesday

Sadie in an old hot rod truck that daddy helped a guy build earlier in the winter! I will post more photos of the actual truck when I get them edited later this week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In The Shadows







I know the title sound ominous but I have been playing with shadows in photography this week and having a pretty good time doing it! Last week I told you all that my favorite "room" in the house is our enclosed front porch and I found more reason to love it on Saturday at around 3:00 PM!

I took note of the time because of the shadows I was seeing and wanted to remember so I could do more on another sunny day! These photos are my favorite from that afternoon!

The first photo is the shadows cast by the windows and you can see a corner of a shadow from my porch swing (my favorite place to "hang")! The second photo is the stroller for darling diva's baby and I just love the dramatic shadow that is cast! The final photo is MY FAVORITE of the day! It is our dog Zoe catching some rays and I just happened to catch her shadow. Her profile is just beatutiful! I set this as my screen saver because I love it and I love her!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not Me Monday!!


BEFORE I START MY CONFESSIONS, PLEASE PRAY FOR STELLAN MCKMAMA'S YOUNGEST WHO IS IN THE HOSPITAL IN THE PICU WITH A DANGEROUSLY HIGH HEART RATE!


As you have figured out, NOT me Monday is a way that we can confess the things we have done over the past week! This carnival was the brainchild of MckMama so hop on over to her place and join the fun and see what everyone else has NOT done this past week.

Here are my confessions for this week:

It was NOT me whose Home Depot Card was declined because the $2000 payment I made on March 2nd was credited to her account in a timely manner! It was also NOT me who told the representative, on the phone while still trying to check out, that she could NOT refund my payment and I would NOT pay her $20 a month! It was NOT me who got angry when I was NOT told it can take up to 20 days for a large payment to NOT be credited! It was NOT me who told the rep. I a was switching to Lowes. Nope, I would NEVER do that!

It was NOT me who borrowed (OK stole) MckMama's idea to put 4 ponies in my little diva's hair! Nope NOT me, I would NEVER borrow (steal) such a cute idea!

It was definately NOT me who cried when the news came that my husband has to go back to Iraq for the third time. I have NEVER been so happy in my whole life!

It is NOT me who gets a tad frustrated when she tells the darling diva to smile and she gives me the pirate grin! Argh maties! It is NOT my darling diva who is full of personality!

Sorry for the short list today but life has been crazy and not so full of NOT Me's!!

I ♥ Faces does No Flash! Week #11


Kids Entry



Adult Entry


It is time again for I ♥ Faces week #11, No Flash! This week was a no brainer for me because all of my outdoor portraits are......... no flash! The hardest part for me was deciding my favorite because there are soooooo many! So I started this post on Friday and have changed the photos a couple of times! I hope I did the right thing!!

For my child entry I chose Drake, what a cutie he was and so much fun to work with! He was such a natural that he really did not need much direction from me!! He has done this before when he was modeling in Chicago as a toddler! Look out ladies, he is a future heartbreaker! I chose this photo becase the natural light coming into the barn was perfect!

For my adult entry I chose Darla, who is Drakes mom! What a beautiful person she is (on the inside as well as the outside)! We did the shoot with her and Drake at Lincoln Log Cabin which is one of Abe's childhood homes and we had a blast trecking all over his old stomping grounds! The actual cabins and out buildings are still there complete with animals that they would have kept and gardens like they would have been back in the day! It is a cool place to spend the day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Silent Sunday

Sadie is also happy that it is Sunday! It is a beautiful, sunny day
just waiting for us to come out and play!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Love Your Site Saturday!

La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

I love sharing some of my favorite sites with you all so you can check them out and love them too! Today's site is La Dolce Vita. Kristen is not only cool, she is very talented! She also has an Etsy shop called Kristen's Custom Creations where she features her hand stamped jewelry! I have fallen in LOVE with her stuff and ordered a necklace, entered to win one on another blog and hope to win yet another one when she features my blog on hers in May! You will be hearing more about how you can help me win a necklace to put away for my darling diva that matches the one I recently purchased!

Please go on over and check her out, you will be so happy you did! Remember there are some dates coming up that her creations would make great gifts for such as: Mother's Day, Graduation, Wedding, JUST BECAUSE (my favorite)!

Friday, March 20, 2009

And the Winner is.....................................

Tim at Fort Thompson! He actually had the closest guess with the tire valve. They are actually lug covers for a semi tire! Pretty cool, huh? So why does my hubby have them you may ask? Well, since he is done with the motorcycle his next project is a 1954 Pontiac Chiefton! Yes I said a '54.


She may not look like much now but with a new paint job, head lights, tires and some TLC she will be road ready in no time! I am excited because this is something the whole family can enjoy (unlike) the motorcycle! The lug covers are going to be part of the grill! I cannot picture it myself but I know it will be cool as all get out when dear hubby is done working his magic! He is so darned talented when it comes to working with his hands! I am blessed to have him!

So there you have it, the story behind the photo! Tim, leave me a comment and let me know if you want the ECs or the ad space (as if I didn't already know)! TGIF to you all!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not So Talkative Thursday

I am at a loss for words right now but there are so many things running through my brain that I really do not know where to start so for today just some photos while I organize my brain! If that is even possible! LOL!





Sadie stacking "coins" in Daddy's shop!

What am I? If you guess I will give you 200 ECs or a link on my blog!
Your choice! Just comment!

For lighting and cool air!

Tools of the trade.

OK, so the second photo with the blue background is what you are guessing! My hint is: they are in my husband's shop (that is the theme of today's photos) and they have nothing to do with Madonna or a motorcycle! LOL!
So take a guess and you could win 200 ECs or a thirty day add on my blog! It will be your choice. Come on take your best guess! If no one gets it, I will give it to the most creative answer! I am working on some really cool give aways so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Am On the Wagon!


NO, I don't drink so it is not that wagon! The wagon I am referring to is the diet and fitness wagon! Yup, it has been 48 hours since this venture started and I have already lost 1.5 lbs. on my way to a goal of 40-45 lbs. by August!


No I am not crash dieting!! I am walking and eating healthy and watching my portions and drinking tons of water! No really, I mean tons, I am not joking here! OK so the proper translation is gallons but I like tons better!


I am not taking any pills except a daily vitamin and fish oil capsules and I like how I feel so far! Now, I am not saying this is all a breeze because my hubby is NOT on a diet so I have to cook him the same old foods he always ate: steak, pizza, burgers, fries, spaghetti, you know, the good stuff! I am also making myself chicken, broccoli, salads, other various veggies and fruits. The good news is I can have 2 pieces of mushroom pizza a week so that will help with that craving plus I get 1 protein bar a day which helps with the chocolate cravings and I can eat out once in a while I just need to make sure it is in line with the rest of the day!


As far as will power, I have 0 but my motivation is shopping for a dress for the Colorado wedding in August! My nephew is getting married and I am doing the photography! Besides, I just want to look decent and feel GREAT! That is motivation enough for me!


I have done this before but usually when my hubby has been in Iraq! It was easy to cook like I need to and to hit the gym every day after Zach went to school! Now hubby is home and likes to eat and Sadie is with me all the time so the gym is not an option which is why I chose walking! I am working up to 3 miles a day! Right now I am at about 1.25 miles per day! Not bad for just getting started! I have also started doing squats and lunges and tricep dips. I have dug some hand weights out of the basement and I am ready to go!


I am going to post my journey once a week and you all are my new accountability partners!! Anyone want to join me? We can encourage each other!! Leave a comment if you would like to join me and let me know what you are doing so I can try it to!!! Good luck!


Today's photo is not the greatest self-portrait but I was playing! I will be posting a better one soon I promise!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Favorite Room.


Our enclosed front porch is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house, especially since the weather is starting to warm up! I lock the front door so Sadie and her two amigos (as she calls the dogs) can have free reign! The open windows and ceiling fan allow the breeze to come in and revitalize us as we play and relax.

I love to sit on the porch and read or blog hop while Sadie plays with the dogs and her toys! It is a place where the whole family can relax at the end of a long day. I am now in the progress of redecorating this space. We have a porch swing and two dark wicker conversation chairs and a table. Of course, there are comfy pillows on all the chairs and the swing! Today, Spencer brought home three concrete column plant stands that I will probably paint in a distressed brown to match the rest of the space! And the next order of business will be an area rug and a coffee table! I just cannot tell you in words how much I adore this extra room!

Today's photos were taken on the porch on Sunday evening as we were relaxing after dinner. The top one is Sadie discovering her "green" thumb! Keep in mind this is a fake plant! She did, however, play in the dirt at Papa's house earlier in the day and is very excited to plant her tomatoes again this year! She had such a good time watching them grow and eating them last year that this year should really be fun!

The second photo is the three amigos watching Daddy move his truck from the street to the driveway! The dogs were whining and Sadie was crying because they all thought he was leaving them! Too funny!

Do you have a favorite space in your house? I sure hope so because everyone deserves a place just to hang and relax! Happy St. Patty's Day to you all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's NOT Me Monday!



As you have figured out, NOT me Monday is a way that we can confess the things we have done over the past week! This carnival was the brainchild of MckMama so hop on over to her place and join the fun and see what everyone else has NOT done this past week.

Deep breath.........here goes:


It was NOT me, who while cleaning out the trunk of my car, discovered a bag with black, rotten bananas in it! Yuck! It was NOT me who laughed hysterically as I reached in to the bag and squished one between my fingers.

It was NOT me who gave the little diva Barbie Gummies but only after I did NOT pick out all the orange ones for myself! I would NOT deny my daughter that orangy gummy goodness!


It was NOT me who told dear hubby to take his truck to Home Depot to get the new grill knowing that it would fit in my car trunk. It was NOT dear hubby who listened insisting it would NOT fit. It was NOT dear hubby who had to remove the grill from the box and it was NOT me who said "told ya so"! Nope, I would NEVER do that EVER!

It was NOT me who laughed while dear hubby was cleaning up dirty diapers by the trash can in the alley this past week! It was also NOT me who discovered the culprit was a HUGE squirrel! It was NOT said squirrel who has been living off of our garbage all winter long and tossing diapers into the alley!

It was NOT me who laughed at my little diva when Daddy turned her favorite show off and she went into a tizzy like no other! I would NEVER laugh at my child's unhappiness! It was also NOT me who drug my husband into the world of reality TV! He is NOT watching Celebrity Apprentice with me every Sunday to see who is NOT fired. He is NOT watching because he does NOT like Jessie James! I am NOT laughing very hard!

It was NOT me who heard a sermon on Sunday about denying self and did NOT interpret that as a sign from God that I am NOT supposed to eat less food! I am NOT wanting to lose some weight before I fly to Colorado to photograph my nephew's wedding because I do NOT need to lose any weight!

It was NOT me, who in all her groggy glory at 3 AM, told her husband that she could care less if he had any of the bed because he could NOT always sleep on the couch! Again, I would NEVER do that because I do NOT love my dear hubby!

Since I really do NOT love my hubby, I thought I would NOT share one of my favorite pictures of him! I do NOT love his relaxed, natural smile!

Let's be honest!! What have you NOT done this week?

I ♥ Faces! Goes Green Week 10.







It is time once for the I ♥ Faces contest for week 10 and since St. Patty's day is tomorrow the theme is, you guessed it, GREEN! The only requirement was there had to be green in the photo somewhere! If you have not been to this site please visit soon because there are tons of really cool guys and gals sharing their art through photography! It is one of my new fun places to hang out!

My adult entry is Spencer and his green lucky clover hat! He loves the thing although I really don't know how lucky it is! LOL! My child entry is Sadie staring at her balloon! This thing is HUGE! She got it for her birthday in February and it is still singing! Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that it sings happy birthday when you bump it even gently! Most annoying but she loves it!!

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Loyal Commenter Award!!


I love to get awards and my best bloggy buddy Lin over at Duck and Wheel with String passed this one on to me! She is fun and her blog is really cool! Stop over and pay her a visit! I promise if you do, you will keep coming back for more!! Lin is also one of my top commenters. Now I need to pass this along so here are some of my loyal commenters:

Harriet @ I am Harriet who always has fun spin on the goings on in the world. This is the place to go to keep up with the happenings of the world! Harriet seems to have an inside source somewhere!

Tim @ Fort Thompson who is a good friend and always has a nice word for me! It is uncanny how he knows when I need to be uplifted! Tim is a good guy with a great blog.

Michelle @ My Crazy Life with a Toddler is also a good friend and a real sweetie. Check her out and then head on over to her photo blog, because like me she is crazy enough to have two!

Elizabeth @ A Nut in a Nutshell who is a lot of fun to "hang" with. She is funny and down to earth! Stop by her place and say "hey"!

Silent Sunday

Caption this!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

EC Troubles

OK, is it me or is EC having issues today? So far I have only been able to drop 6 cards and the rest keep saying invalid! I have tried several times to log out and back in and still nothing! So to my loyal droppers I am sorry if I don't get to you today but I will be back in full swing tomorrow! I thought Friday the 13th ended at midnight? Guess not, huh?

I "Stalk" Your Site Saturday!


Button


Most of you know that I am a confessed site stalker and I have finally found a site dedicated to us stalkers! Imagine my excitement! It is called Blog Stalkers Unite and they ROCK and I guess that means, by proxy, I rock because I am one of them! Yup, they are a cool group! Head on over and check them out and don't forget to love them with some comments! Heck, join the group if you want to admit that you are a stalker too!!




Today's photo was inspired by one of Sadie's FAVORITE birthday gifts! She got a barbie with all these cute little dogs and did not give one hoot about the barbie! Instead, she took a liking to this little dog who takes a bottle and then pees on the floor! Like I need another creature to make a mess around here!


Later this week I will announce my FIRST give away! Stay tuned, I promise you will LOVE it as much as I do! Here is a hint: I featured her blog not too long ago!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Sadie Shoot!




OK, so I decided to do another photo shoot with Sadie all by myself and we had a blast! This one was more fun than the last one since her official 2 year pictures were already in the can and complete! This time we just had some fun and talked and made faces at the dogs! I still wish that I could capture just one "normal" smile from the girl instead of the pirate grin that I get when I tell her to smile! I guess "doing your own thing" is part of being two and discovering who you are and what kind of boundaries you can push with your Mom/photographer! My emphasis this time was also to get just the face and not the whole body so it allowed for some intimate Mommy/Daughter moments for us to share.


I promise that one of these days I will do a really cool shoot with Zach. His senior pictures are coming up you know! I hope I don't have to wait a year and a half to pin him down, but with his schedule who knows!


TGIF the 13th (lol) and remember I am still working on some surprises for you all that you will not want to miss! Cross my heart on this one! Head on over to Life is Sweet to see who else has been doing some cool shooting this week!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Fit






I cannot remember what prompted this fit but she was MAD! This is the norm these days when she does not get her way! The emotions are bigger than she is! So I took the opportunity to take some shots for future blackmail when she is a teen and has her first boyfriend!! Don't think I won't show him what she is capable of! Hopefully it will scare him away for a while!!

The top photo is the original shot SOOC (straight out of camera), good photo, captured the emotion of the moment but I wanted to play! So I have two programs that I "play" with, Photoshop Elements 6 and Paint Shop Pro Photo! Both are fun programs but I am still learning PSE and looking for some cool actions for that program and I am more familiar with PSP since I have had it longer.

The second photo is enhanced by playing with color, curves and the histogram. I like the second photo a lot because I see the emotion in a more enhanced way. I think it is my favorite but I am not really sure. The last one is just the second photo converted to infrared which is kind of fun! I just really wanted to show you what you can do with your photos if they don't come SOOC like you would like!

I may be a little crazy because I am starting blog # 2 which you can check our here. It is not done but will be soon and the main purpose is to showcase more of my photography! Also check back because I am working a surprise for you all! And by surprise I mean give aways! I am still working on the details but they will be fun, I promise!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Help ME!

I think I've lost it!! I started another blog! I must be out of my mind! Stop by and tell me what you think Picture Perfect by Jo!

Stormy Skies





Here are some shots from late Saturday afternoon. The sky was looking very stormy but nothing ever happened, thank goodness! The top photo was taken our way to church! Of course, I did not have my camera so the cell phone was the next best thing! The rays shining down and just above our church and they were a sign of the great things that were going to happen Sunday morning! Let's just say the presence of the Lord was there without a doubt! It just kind of reminded me that we face several storms in life but they always pass! Sometimes the storm is nothing big and sometimes they shake us to the very core of our being but I know that no matter what the outcome, I will be a stronger person once the sun starts to shine!



Are you facing a storm? Be patient, the sun will shine again!

 

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