Monday, November 23, 2009


Last week I dropped the boys off at school and like any other morning before they get out of the car they each give me a huge hug, a kiss on the cheek and as they are gathering their books and getting out, they always leave me with a "I love you Mommy", always without fail.
They are so not embarrassed and are self proclaimed "Mama's Boys" and when asked they say "Yeah I'm a Mama's boy, you got something to say about it?"

LOL, I love those boys of mine. "Mama's Boys", in part made that way by their Dad who always told them "You only get one Mama, you better treat her like the Princess she is".
And they do. :0)

When I went back that afternoon to pick them up, a teacher, whom I didn't know at the time, was watching us that morning, came over to my car and said to me "Ma'am I just wanted to tell you that you have the two most sweetest, polite and pleasant boys I have ever met. You didn't know this but this morning I pulled them to the side when you drove off and complimented them on being such awesome sons telling them I bet you really made your Mom's whole day".
It's always nice to get a compliment and although I wasn't really surprised, cuz they are great kids, I was taken slightly when she told me what they told her.
They said, "Thank you but we love our Mom, we don't do that because we are supposed to, we do that every morning because we love her".

I think my heart grew times 1000 right then and there. :0)

Kody would get in a picture with me any day. Kolin on the other hand is always on the go so to catch him for a snap, it is darn near impossible.
Imagine my surprise when he actually "asked" to have one taken with me. Sigh.....

Since I was in front of the camera this time {which is rare, believe me}, I had Kaysha take this one...


In that photo the only thing in PS I did to my own eyes was to tone them down. Yes, you heard right, down. LOL...they are so darn blue outside that in photos I swear I could be some neon blue eyed alien weirdo from some florescent day glo planet far, far away. Hehe...

Anyway, apologies for not getting on all weekend. Saturday we were out of town all day and yesterday was one of those rainy, headache, migraine kinds of days so I did my best to kind of sleep through it.

Today though, the sun is shining and it is fixin' to be a balmy 83 degrees by lunch. It's a great day to live where I do, that's for sure.

Have a beautiful day everyone!!


Friday, November 20, 2009

WOO-HOO No T-Shirts!

I have a confession.

I do not like t-shirts.

There, I said it. OK, now don't get me wrong, I like them the first few times they are worn but after that they look worn and raggedy and worn stretched and I just...don'

My boys are typical boys. They love their t-shirts. They love their black t-shirts.
Kody loves his black t-shirts with skulls and Kolin likes his black t-shirts with skateboard company logos smacked on them.

I am sooooo over black t-shirts, seriously, they wear the same 5 all the time.
Last week after I washed them, I hid them for a day. I thought they'd each have a stinkin' coronary.

Anyway, there is a point to this.

Two nights ago I asked the boys to wear polo shirts to school the next day and they both gave me a two thumbs down
But, it is so not like me to quit.
I begged, I pleaded, I bribed and then I went into a mini "your so hurting my heart" hysteric.

It worked. They let me pick out their outfits for school the next day. WOO-HOO!!!!!

Because it will be months before I see this again, Kody let me snap a few...


That was just one of maybe three. Kolin on the other hand disappeared as soon as the camera came out. After a long day at school dressed in a blue striped polo shirt, the last thing he wanted to do was fake a smile.
I'll get him next time, mark my word. :0)

Have a great day everyone...whats left of it anyway, I know it's late.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wild Oats

Crazy how you can find such incredible beauty in a dusty parking lot full of dump trucks and asphalt. :0)


That's it for now. I am really trying to get motivated and think of Christmas pictures. Makes me miss having little kids cuz big ones like I have don't take real well to being dressed cute. LOL, it was everything I had in me this morning to convince the boys to wear a polo shirt to school today. If they just let me have that one "let Mom pick out your clothes" pleasure maybe once every two months I'd be so happy.
BTW, they did look real handsome walking out the door today. You know I am taking photos later! LOL!!

Have a beautiful day everyone!!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Playing With Fire

Playing with fire I don't really recommend.
Playing with fire in Photoshop..I highly recommend. :0)



Christmas colors to try and get me in the mood...


In case your wondering, this is how I did it.

You need a photo with a black background, such as these fire ones, smoke works too if you can light up the smoke ring. I haven't tried that yet but it is on my "to do one day" list.

1. Open up photo in PS. {or download one of my orange fire ones if you want to try but have nothing to try it on}

2. In the layer palette, click on the icon that looks like a black and white cookie.

3. Click on "Gradient"

4. Double click on the gradient color you like. In the next window choose your angle then click "OK".

5. In your drop down blending modes box, click on "color" and flatten.

Ba da bing!

Oh, one more tip..if you sharpen a few times it will bring out lots more detail.
Go ahead, give it a try but be warned, it can be addicting. LOL!!

Have a great day everyone!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Space Shuttle Atlantis

We had an awesome launch yesterday and living in Florida, all we ever really have to do is walk outside and look up.
I took these in the parking lot at Karlio's job.

spaceshuttle 002 copy

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I always love the smoke trail left behind the best....

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Take care everyone!!


Monday, November 16, 2009

A Glimpse Into Our Family Sunday Nights

The nights around here are getting a little chilly, so a couple weeks ago, Karlio built us a little fire pit in our backyard. Since then every Sunday night we have dinner, clean up and then head out around the fire.
Normally we roast some marshmallows and one day I swear I'll remember to buy the "Smores" fixins' that these three ask for every week...


We stare into the flames which can be really mesmerizing..

FIRE 006 copy

FIRE 009 copy

And we always play the "ABC" game, which goes a little something like this.
One person starts with the letter "A" and has to think of a word quickly that starts with an "A". The next person in line goes to letter "B" and does the same thing. Since there is 5 of us, this works out nicely cuz we play five rounds and every gets a chance to start and end.

Now, the whole point of this is to see who can come up with the longest words.
Kolin is usually pretty good at this but last night Kody smoked him {hehe, no pun intended}.

OK, now this is our family we're talking about here and usually by round three the words are completely over the top, ummm....let's just say to keep things clean, goofy, Kolin being the biggest "goof" of them all.
That kid is just freakin' hilarious, I swear.

It's a lot of fun and gives us something to look forward to all week.

Fires are cool, I mean hot..yeah their hot. :0)

FIRE 011 copy



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dad And The Kid

Last weekend when I took Kolin out for some photo's, Karlio..he likes to go with us. Actually, he is very nervous that if I'm in some out of the way, stranded location that some moron will try and get that camera from me.
So...he body guards as I do my paparazzi thing.
Sometimes, it's a team effort.

Case in point...I could not for any reason, explain to Kolin how I wanted him to pose.
So after a few unsuccessful attempts, Dad jumped in to the rescue.

"Do it like this man, and hurry up cuz I'm starving and I want to get home"
{yes, I do love to make plans at exactly dinnertime}

Kolin Ross 060 copy

Hehe...their cute and I don't care what anybody says.


Here's one more..

Kolin Ross 077 copy

Dang it, I do love that green building.
As I sit here I am thinking of how I can pull off all three kidlets to come together, at one time, in a cooperative mood, dressed kool, with one of my "ugly/kick butt kool" chairs as a prop.
I can envision it already in my mind.

Have an awesome day everyone!!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Walking The Sunshine Trail

As predicted, yesterday was a wonderful day dahling...simply divine, outstanding, terrific and chilly.
Wait...chilly? Well in the morning yes, in the afternoon...not so much.
It was a good day to pass on the flip-flops finally and swap over to a pair of *thump thump* my beloved Converse for the day.

My Chucks

Anyone who knows me well knows I have this "thing" for Chuck Taylor's, in every color but classic black will always be my favorite. :0)

The boys report cards came home a couple weeks ago {I forgot if I mentioned it or not}.
Kody brought be home three "A"'s and the rest "B"'s. Kolin did pretty good too, not as good as Bear but good nonetheless.
I do have a very good feeling geography is not nor will ever be his first love. LOL!
However, coming from a kid who never cared much for math, he is now claiming it to be his favorite subject. Thank goodness for awesome teachers, huh?

We pulled him off his ADD med's last May and because the med's he was taken is actually legal speed {and I wonder why he is always hyper} we decided there must be a better way.
Someone had told me at one time that drinking one Mountain Dew in the morning can help tremendously.
So, after always making sure he has a great breakfast with 100% juice, extra fruit and a one-a-day multi vitamin made specifically for teen boys every morning, this week we sent him on his way with one small bottle of Mountain Dew in him.
I'll be darned if after day one his teachers were sending me notes telling me how great he was doing and was he back on his med's.
LOL, nope.
Anyway, yesterday he brought me home his work from the week and he got excellent reports written on them and...and...and...


So now I can relax some and perfect my happy dance a whole lot more.

About the self portraits, sure I can share NP.

This is what I did and believe me every time you practice it gets a whole lot easier. I can complete one start to finish in less then 10 minutes.

In that photo I was sitting against a wall in my living room. To the right is the TV and to the left {you can see it a little} is my bedroom doorway.
I set a small continuous light softbox low and at a 45 degree angle to my right.
I opened up the front door which was about 45 degrees left, to let some natural light in.
I put the camera on a tripod. This day I had Kaysha home so I used her as a focus point. I had her sit where I wanted to, back button focused on her {I believe my f-stop was a 4 and my ISO was at 400. I have no idea about the SS but it was fairly low, less then 100}
When my camera beeped tot ell me I had focused, I flipped the AF {auto focus} on the lens only {not the camera, only the lens} to "MF" {manual focus}.
That locks in the focus and it won't change until you change it back to AF.
Then I flipped the camera setting to reflect using the remote control. On Nikon it looks like a little candle {it's not but that's what it looks like}.
I sat where I needed to and hit the remote.
Ba Da Bingah, done.
If you look closely you can see me fumbling around trying to hide the remote. :0)
Oh, one more thing. I always take a test shot or two and leave my camera LCD on "highlights". That way, if I see the blinking highlights, I know it is way too over exposed and I readjust my settings accordingly.

Hope ya''all have a great day today. I'm about to head out and get some laps done this morning.
Then Karlio wants to take a quick trip out to the mall {I have no idea why} and I rented "The Taking of Pelham 1...2...3", so I really want to make time to watch that.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Friday The 13th

It's always been my lucky day. :0)


**edited to say**
I took it myself with a camera remote control. :0)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mental Note Today Is Thursday

Let's face it, I know I can't possibly be the only one here.
When the kids are off from school in the middle of the week, that day automatically becomes Saturday which make today, pretty much clueless to me, cuz they are not home yet it's not Sunday.

Mental note, today is Thursday and they will need a ride home from school.
Don't forget. ;0)

Not much going on today. I did some decorating in our bedroom yesterday and it's really getting to be just how I envisioned it. We're not done yet but things are looking good and mildly gothic.
After the holidays I am making a promise to myself to finish up the living room and kitchen, which sort of got pushed to the side.
Kitchen theme: "Italian Bistro" which will tie in nicely to the living room which will be "Italian Mobsters". LOL OK don't laugh, I promise it will be cool. If I can do anything, I can put together a cool living space that you would never normally see walking into just anybodies home.
But then again, we're just not nobody. :0)
I believe everyone should incorporate some of their heritage into their home. Fortunately for me, I married someone who is willing to forgo the German side so I can have things my way.
After all, when Mom is happy, isn't everyone happy? LOL!

After that we have Kody who wants his bedroom in his two favorite colors, black and red with enough shelf space to show off his "K.I.S.S.", skull, motorcycle and music collections.
And Kolin who wants skateboards covering every possible space.
Kaysha? Ummm...not sure yet, she changes her mind a lot.

Our bathrooms are pretty much done. They are all tropical, bright and beachy {blues/bright greens/orange/white}. :0)

Well, I better get going but before I do, I'll leave you with two.

Kolin Ross 044 copy

Same picture but in B&W...

Kolin Ross 044 copyBW copy

Have a good one today!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Kolin's favorite after school and weekend activity...

skaterupclose copy


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just One More

Sorry, I just can't stop..these have to be some of my favorites ever. :0)

Kolin Ross 034 copy

Off to pick up the kid's.



WOO-HOO For Dilapitated Buildings

Dilapidated, textured, rusted, chippy painted, all these words are like sweet music to my ears.
Crazy, I know, but when I drive down the road and see this in a huge open field with the good side {not overrun by bushes and weeds} facing the west, I gotta have me some a' that.


Cuz before I even take out the camera and take that first click I already have "the vision" and I already know how to make that vision a reality...

Kolin Ross 047 copy

You know how sometimes you click the shutter and you just *know* that is the "one"?
Then you look on the view finder and your for sure it is the favorite?
Then you upload to your 24 inch HD monitor {I am so totally in love my monitor} and you darn near fall out your chair cuz if there is only one picture that comes out of the whole day, that is the one.

Well, this was my "one"....

Kolin Ross 036 copy

This was shot only minutes before the sun went down. I can honestly say that I will patiently wait all day for that few minutes to get out and shoot because the warm glow that covers everything cannot be duplicated no matter how many expensive lights one buys or how much a Photoshop genius.
Natural sweet light baby, there is nothing like it.

Kolin Ross 041 copy 3

Same picture in B&W....

Kolin Ross 041 copy 4

And just one more {for today} from the blue and yellow building...

Kolin Ross 022 copy

I love that green building so much, I may have to take our Christmas pictures there.
See..I am getting into Christmas, kind of...sort of..a little at a time. :0)

Have a great day everyone!!

PS. Sheila, what in tarnations is a "burning bush?" Hehe....


Monday, November 9, 2009

30 Minutes Till Sunset

Yesterday at around 5 o'clock Karlio transported Kolin and me down the road for a quick photo session.
Every so once in a while, I love taking just one kid out at a time and snapping a few.
Since I don't buy school pictures, I still like to keep in the memory box/noggin what they were like at say for example, Kolin at 12 years old and in the 6th grade.
It's all about the attitude, but equally important is the crazy silliness that comes with being the youngest.

OK..truth be told, I bought him that "Fedora" from Target last week and I wanted pic's done in it, badly. LOL!
I love fedora's A LOT!

The location is a closed down car fixing place that is just a mile down the road. It's right across the street from the gator pond.
It's small but bright.
Sometimes it's all about finding that tiny little spot that otherwise you might drive by 6 times a day and give it no thought.
I had my eye on that spot since the first day we moved in. :0)

Anyway, here's a few out of 79. LOL, yeah you read that right.

I love the way his hair is flying cuz of the breeze that came through at exactly the time I clicked.

Kolin Ross 010 copy

Kolin Ross 002 copy

Kolin Ross 023 copy

On the other side of this building is the back way of a small strip mall of assorted stores that have mostly been closed.
While I was snapping away, Karlio struck up a conversation with a couple who were working on a tattoo shop that was opening in that building next week.
We were invited in to look around but since I had 15 minutes of good light left and another building to bother closer to home, we had to decline at the time.
However, we are going to go back cuz this Mama...oh, she is dyin' for another tattoo soon.
Tattoos are scrumptious and I don't care what anybody says. hehe....
I am keeping my fingers crossed maybe they might want to exchange some photographs for their new place for a small tattoo of....
Oh, well, I can't give everything away, can I? will be very kool with a lot of deep meaning to it when it gets done, that's for sure.

More Kolin pictures to come with a "pull back" shot of the next location.
I'll get a pull back of these too, I just forgot to yesterday.

Have a beautiful day everyone!!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Later Gator

Right down the road from us lives a little pond. In that little pond lives a little gator. He's awful cute, as far as reptiles go anyway.

Look at him just posing away.....


Oh, lookie how he likes to swim after having his picture taken, they simply don't get much more adorable then that...


Wow, he's swimming towards something....ummmm, wait hold up one minute, he's swimming towards,!


It was right about now when I said to myself..."Self, now would probably be a very good time to mosey on outta here"
And so I did.
End of story. :0)



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