Saturday, July 27, 2013

Layout | Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

It's been a few weeks, but I played along again for the challenge this week at CSI. Here was the case they presented us with:

And here's how I interpreted it:

The evidence was to use a grid pattern, so deciding how to arrange the photos was fairly easy. I sanded the ends of them to have them stand out a bit.  The paper behind the photos has texture (another evidence item).  I incorporated the colors through the strips of paper, all of which I had in my stash. 

I had a light bulb moment when I realized the background paper already had lines on it, so I just outlined the journal space with jute (evidence) and wrote write on the paper. Added a few metal swirls to create a visual triangle, and I was all done. 

For the testimony, I chose a journal jar prompt about an outstanding family vacation. This was our first stop on our first-ever out-of-state family vacation, and it was outstanding... for all the wrong reasons.  The journaling reads:
  "Why the sand dune climb in Sleeping Bear Ntl Lakeshore is a tourist attraction is beyond me.  It doesn't look very daunting when you drive up, but then your feet touch the sand and you realize how hot it is.  It only took about 10 steps up before Annaliese was begging to be carried. Darrin carried her, and both he and I, with the shifting sand creating an intense workout, had to stop every 10 steps or so. Ian would run ahead, unaffected, then sit and wait. We never made it to the top. We gave up and decided to find a beach instead." 

Sketch: Scrapbook Generation
Patterned Paper: Authentique, My Mind's Eye, We R Memory Keepers
Cardstock: BazzilllTwine: Teresa Collins
Alphas: American Craft ThickersMetal swirls: Paper Studio
Stickers: October Afternoon, My Mind's Eye
Brads: Fancy Pants,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Random Photos from the 4th Weekend

Had a few photos that didn't fit into any of the other posts I wrote..

Ian played ladder ball for the first time with Darrin and Grandpa. Throwing the ball was a bit difficult for him, but I'm sure he'll get better.

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Annaliese put my glasses on, and I had to grab a shot of my diva.

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Ian, just posing

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Grandpa has a big rock on the land, which Ian dubbed his "King Chair".  It also works great to go and pout behind when your mom tells you that you can't drive the tractor anymore.

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The rest of the pictures were ones Annaliese took all by herself with our big camera.  I didn't crop or adjust them in any way. I'd say my 3-year-old is pretty darn good at composing a picture, with a camera that's huge.
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Backbone State Park

Backbone is a state park near where we grew up. Two years ago we took the kids there, and I was excited to go back and creek stomp again (my favorite activity) and try paddle boating. We did all that and more this time.

We started off our trip by hiking the Backbone trail.  It's a very rocky trail. I remember as kid climbing it and feeling like I was conquering a mountain. For some reason, I didn't quite have that same thought when we went on Saturday...

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By the time we were done on the trail, we were all hot and sweaty, but luckily we had our swim gear on already and were ready to head into the creek. Annaliese was a FISH! She was swimming in the water and putting her head under.  I could have kept the camera on her the entire time and captured nothing but a smile and fun. Ian would have fun if I suggested something for him to do (splash, sit down, throw rocks, etc), but he'd quickly grow bored with it and complain, asking when it was time to get out. Both completely diferent reactions from two years ago when she wasn't sure what to think about the water and he was in heaven exploring.

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Much to Ian's delight, Grandma and Grandpa showed up, so it was time to get out of the water and have a picnic lunch (and do our best to eat fast and get away from the gnats).  We then left the streams and headed to the lake to do a bit of paddle boating.  Ian could sit on the very edge of the seat and reach the pedals. he did a great job and pedaled pretty much the entire time.  Annaliese could reach them, too... if she propped herself up on her arms with her butt hanging off. It was fun to have a new experience with the kids.
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I think our last activity, swimming in the lake, was there favorite. The whole time while we were stomping in the creek, Ian would ask, "When are we going swimming?" He didn't even know at that time the lake existed, or that swimming was an option. I'll admit I wasn't to keen on the idea, but they saw it from the boats, and I couldn't stop them from getting in.  It wasn't very deep (not even up to Darrin's waist) and they had a blast having Darrin throw them in the water.  They would both come up with a smile on their faces, saying, "MORE!"  Grandma got in the water to play, too. There came a point, though, when Darrin was done throwing them, and you can really see their personalities about water come out- Ian headed to the beach to play in the sand, and Annaliese didn't follow directions and ventured farther into the water. 
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tractors and More

One of the things I appreciate most about visiting our parents is the fact they live in a completely different setting than we do. My kids are able to travel down gravel roads, see miles of green, visit farm animals (that aren't at the zoo), and drive tractors. Lots and lots of tractors.

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He got this tractor for his second birthday from my parents, and he still can ride it- though much faster now. Love that he still loves riding it (I don't ever want him to get too big to ride on it).
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She's big enough to ride it, too. Baby Belle enjoyed many rides in the wagon.
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Fast forward a few days and he's moved up to a bigger tractor- one he drove and drove and drove by himself. 

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He even can handle reverse- look at him checking his path.
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And what he does, she must do. Notice he hung around, ready to take over as soon as she was done. It wasn't very long, she wasn't a big fan of driving.
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She'd rather sit and play on it while it was parked.
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Well, then Grandpa was asked to get out the big tractor, and Ian drove it around as well.
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Annaliese got to drive, too- and it was even her first time on the big tractor. She enjoyed driving this much more than the lawn tractor. Girl knows red tractors are always better.
Another thing I love about back home- you don't have to go to a public park to have smores, or worry about disturbing neighbors with fireworks.
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Ian and Grandma roasted marshmallows for us to share.
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Another first, or at least I couldn't find previous photographic evidence, of her first s'more. She took a few bites, and then gave it to me to finish. She did eat one later, with Grandma holding it.
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Chilling around the fire...
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Ian did join in sparklers Friday night. He hated it on Thursday night because the sparks might fall on him- so we saw a friend post the solo cup idea, and then he was finally able to play.
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He also caught a firefly, several actually. One was willing to climb up his arm while he ate another s'more.
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A little bit of our own fireworks in the country to conclude the evening.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fourth of July Festivities

We celebrated America's Independence Day with our kids the way I grew up celebrating it. We spent the actual day with my family attending the local parade, having a BBQ with friends, and ending the night watching fireworks.

We couldn't have asked for better weather for watching the parade. We were joined by my sister and nephew. It was adorable watching him, at two-and-a-half, take in all the tractors and big trucks- reminded me so much of Ian at that age.  Ian was all about collecting the candy. Annaliese would go between collecting the candy and snuggling with Darrin or Grandpa. They, of course, loved eating the candy. We got Ian to try a sour candy, and I had the camera ready to capture his reaction. He puckered his face and drank lots of water, but never spit it out.  
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After lunch and nap, we went to visit my parents' best friends. They were like my second family growing up, and I love getting together with them. While we were there, the kids went on lots of gator rides (they were always the passengers, but had fun playing on it, too). Since we were all color-coordinated, I tried to get a family picture. It didn't work to get all four of us... I couldn't even get just the two of them, but they happily sat with Grandpa and Grandma. 
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Then it was off to watch the fireworks... and for me to play with the settings on my camera. I captured Annaliese having fun with the sparklers (Ian did one, but was scared of the flying sparks and didn't try any more after that).  I got a few cool shots of the fireworks, but most of them weren't great because I forgot the tripod.  This was Annaliese's first time ever seeing the fireworks. Every time they launched some, she'd say, "Did you see that one? How about that one?! They're so pretty!" It was on constant repeat for the first few minutes, but eventually it turned into, "When is it going to be done? I'm cold. I want to go to bed."  That was, until the grand finale, and then she fell in love with them again. 
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