Dashing Through the Snow!

Okay, so I just had to try out the awesome 3fps continuous shooting and the Farmers just had to go sledding! This is was our trip to the subdivision park located just behind our house.
D.J. and Devin start their run.
Devin DJ jump 1 Approaching the jump.
Devin DJ Jump 2 Lift off!
Devin DJ Jump 3 Touch down!
Devin DJ Jump 4 D.J. goes solo.
DJ Jump 1 For Miss Is, it was just another lazy day at the park.
Maddy snow 2 crop
This is Devin, doing his best to fly like an eagle.Devin Mid-airLike any testosterone drenched male, his attempt was met with rousing barks of enthusiasm.
Devin Victory Of course, little brother had to try too. He upped the ante with a running start.
DJ Takeoff
DJ Mid-air PSI suppose watching your children throw themselves off the hillcrest and into a snow drift is worth this…
He tossed his beanie into the air and squealed,
DJ Post Jump 1 DJ Post Jump 2
DJ Post-jump 3 Devin was thoroughly impressed. Devin Snow Then it was back to racing down the hill. I guess driving reckless is the point here.
Better now than when they’re sixteen, eh?
Devin DJ Jump Tilt This picture was taken mere seconds before they ran into me as I squatted at the bottom of the hill, happily snapping away and quite content to do just that. I think D.J. was purposely aiming for me, that little Farmer! His tongue hanging out of his mouth says it all.
Devin DJ Awesome
Walking Home
Then it was time to head home, David asked me if I “had an accident”.
“What? Why would you think that?” I looked at him like he was slightly retarded for suggesting that I was, “Why would I pee my pants?”
Apparently, the snow from the back of my muck boots melted on my jeans as I sat on my heels to take the pictures, giving the unfortunate yet rather accurate appearance that something warm had runneth over and down my legs. Great. The only thing warm I want is a mug of hot cocoa and the fake log glow of our gas fireplace. Though D.J.’s blue eyes and rosy red cheeks makes my heart all warm and fuzzy on their own.
DJ Closeup Snow
And NO, I haven’t touched Photoshop, NO PHOTOSHOP!!!!! I love my D60!
Lots still to learn, even more buttons and toggles to figure out and two owners’ manuals to try and educate myself with. I think I needed to adjust the white balance to lighten up the background snow. Watch my depth of field and pay attention to those little range numbers below the viewfinder. Readjust the exposure…. I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you all the details.

Battlefield Victory: Princess Dresses

Earlier this month, I shared the spoils of my budget-crunching victory. As per Grandma’s request, Miss Is in her princess dresses. The Sunday before Christmas, she was precious in pink. I swept up her hair in a loose bun and made tight ringlets out of the ends that stuck out from underneath.

Maddy Pink Dress 1

Maddy Pink Dress 2


Maddy Pink Dress 3

The Sunday after Christmas, she wore red and her attitude was anything but lovely. This was all I got. In her diva defense, I had just spent fifteen minutes curling her hair and to stand ‘like a statue’ when your five is nearly torture. Spending another minute posing for pictures was just that.

Maddy Red Dress 1 Maddy Red Dress



“Honey, hold your dress out so we can see how pretty it is.”

Response: grumble, grumble, grrr, grumble.

Maddy Red Dress 2 Maddy Red Dress 3I guess she’s done. Merry Christmas to you too, Sweetheart!

Good-Bye My Little Surfer Dude

I loved D.J.’s long hair, he’s the only one in the family that can pull that look off with moderate success. Blond locks, a golden tan from spending the entire summer in the pool or on the lake and knee length, brightly colored board shorts; quite the man, I must say. But it was time to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and embrace the sharp dressed man I know still lives underneath it all.

DSCF0002 Oh, it was hard to watch those first few passes of the clippers.
DJ Haircut 2 If I tell her to stop now he could still have a pageboy, sort’a. DJ Haircut 3He seems to be happy. DJ Haircut 4
Mom will try to be happy too and not let him hear my stifled sobs of mourning.
DJ Haircut 5
Oh. I guess he heard.DJ Haircut 7

*shot with FugiFilm FinePix S700


Who needs scrubbing bubbles when you got three farmers and a new video game to hold over their heads? Our master shower is a 4.6’ x 5.6’ tiled room that was in desperate need of a good scouring and since they needed to earn a little game time, it was the perfect match. It was an enjoyable moment that I had to capture because honestly, it might not happen again.

DSC_0031 DSC_0032

Hacking All The Way

For the past week leading up to Christmas, I’ve had that *sultry, sexy voice that merrily turned into Bronchitis. To top it off, I “heard the bells” ringing long before Christmas Day thanks to a raging ear infection.

Needless to say, I’ve been M.I.A. - literally down for the count and viewing way too much daytime television that I never want so much as a sniffle ever again. However, it wasn’t a complete wasted time. I learned that if someone wants to sue me on television, there are about 15 different judges of all shapes and sizes, each with their own, stylized authority issues to settle the case and that as a defendant, I can embrace the moronic without hurting my counter-arguments no matter how far removed from the original charges. And if I’m not as fortunate to publicly make a complete arse of myself, I can make five different Greek/Italian/Indian dipping sauces for grilled, skewered meats thanks to P.B.S. Creative Cooking. Then I got to go to Copenhagen and see the sites with Rick Steves and later took a boat ride down the Danube. Learned about Masters DeVinci and Raphael and the restoration of the Last Supper.

If it wasn’t for the fact the David was the bigger mule last Tuesday by dragging my sorry biscuits into the doctors office, I wouldn’t be writing this post let alone being in an upright position with at least one fifth of my “normal” brain functioning power to amuse myself with.

It was, however, a good Christmas. The Farmers were happy and well fed. Hubby’s happy and well fed. Mommy was happy in a drug-induced sort of way and thanks to thoughtful friends, well stocked with homemade chicken noodle soup and fresh baked bread.

Santa remembered what was on the list. Things like…

Maddy Scooter 1 Maddy and her Barbie scooter!
DJ Camera 2 D.J. and his camera.
Devin audio Devin and his stereo/iPod player.
David was surprised to find his G2 and completely shocked at the bargain price I paid for it. Thank-you Woot!
And I…. I was absolutely spoiled. I mean S-P-O-I-L-E-D!!! *Notice the tissue box and the disheveled, right-out-of-bed-and-not-a-stitch-of-make-up-nor-use-of-a-brush and still in my p.j.’s look?
Stacey Box Opening
Stacey Camera
Miss Is got the world wrapped up in a big red bow; Mommy gets to view the world from her palm of hand. A Nikon D60 with two VR lenses. It wasn’t a Cabbage Patch Christmas after all. I would have been doing the happy dance if it wasn’t for the fact that such joyful exuberance would trigger another round of hacking which would’ve led to an even paler, slightly more vampire-ish complexion. So, expect lots of pictures; it’s just what you’ve always wanted.
Merry Christmas!

* Shout-out to Tia!

Mission Impossible: Episodes 4-7

Fourth Night: With all of our agents dressed in night gear, we headed out to drop the fourth Secret Santa gift, a Warm Delights single serving of fudgy brownies. Agent “Scarecrow”, “Flash” and “Pretty-Pink Princess” exited the assault vehicle through the right-side, rear hatch and plunged into the darkness. They were quick on their feet, scurrying up to the carport alongside the row of tall hedges. “Scarecrow” raised his fist, stopping his team in a instant. Something was wrong, he could sense it. He felt that tingle in the pit of his stomach, like just before Agent “Momma” would catch him simulating “battle” tactics on the super-spy training computer, the x-box 360 when he should have been solving complex gene sequences and equations like F=ma for the later, daytime cover mission as a middle-school student. “Pretty-Pink-Princess” pulled ahead, peeking around the corner to make sure the drop-zone was clear. Green light, time to move.

As they left the cover of the hedges, as stated in Agent “Flashes” report, the subject’s head popped up from the back door of her vehicle and forcefully asked, “Who’s there!” They were caught.

Quick on his feet, Agent “Scarecrow” revealed his locale, the other agents following. “It’s us.” Agent “Flash” handed the Warm Delights over to the subject as she continued to question them. Luckily, their years of interrogation training from their commanding officers readied them to remain silent, only giving out the mission’s objective.

“Who are you?” She asked with a plastic bag of groceries in her hand.

"Scarecrow” answered, “We’re your Secret Santa.”

“Do you go to my church?” the subject rounded the trunk of her car, “Are you in the program?”

The agents remained silent, though “Pretty-Pink-Princess” as about to break.

“I don’t recognize you, who are your parents?”

The agents held firm and smiled, backing into the abyss before running to the extraction point where “Butta G” and “Momma” were fully debriefed of their harrowing capture and narrow escape.

Never have our agents been caught before. This was the first time a subject had been outside the neutral zone, the warm comforts of their home, to interrupt a Secret Santa drop. The agents were devastated and yet proud that they did not reveal any pertinent information and that for all intents and purposes, Secret Santa was still a go.

Fifth Night: Gate locked.

Sixth Night: Gate locked.

Seventh Night: Gate locked. The agents are starting to wonder if the subject has had enough of Secret Santa, good tidings we bring or not.

Until the next episodes….

Holiday Concert

Devin Trumpet 2

Devin had his Holiday Concert last night. He was looking sharp in his all black suit and being the snap-happy mother that I am, took a second to capture his momentary maturity. Notice the look he’s giving me? What does that say to you?

It was nice to hear the songs he’s been practicing as a whole. Intermediate band played “Pegasus”, “Castle Armamgh”, “Holiday Melody” and “Versions of a French Carol” Due to the number of kiddos and parents and the size of the Civic Center, we left promptly after Devin’s performance. Usually I like to listen to all the bands, but with a hacking cough and chain smokers sitting next to me, it was time to go. Besides, it gave those parents who were sitting out in the hall a chance to watch their son or daughters concert.

Looking forward to the next program in March!

Self Portraits… Ugh!

Treasure Hunt Tuesdays theme was hard to swallow, self portraits. Hardly a subject I could take delight in though like most moms who stay behind the camera, I don’t seem to exist unless I make that extra effort. It’s never fun to suck in that baby gut that just won’t go away, to hope that black really is slimming and you just happen to be wearing it – all over. Praying that your barely in the shot and that your ‘good’ side makes it and not the powdered sugar lipstick ring from that raspberry jelly doughnut you shoved into your mouth. Oh… I suppose I’ll just get on with it. Thank heavens for magic of Photoshop!

Yep, I’m a dork. Out at the lake with my tripod around nine in the morning. I took a bunch of pictures, but this is the only one I could muster up the courage to post. Blame it on bad shots; it happens more than I’d like it to. My point and shoot doesn’t like to focus on nothing (go figure) so I have to “lock” the auto focus on the tree and then rotate the camera to where I guess I might be in ten seconds if I’m successful at hurdling over the logs in my way, fixing my hair and remembering to sit properly all in under 9.234 seconds. The proof is in the pudding, look at the vertical stump to the left.
Finding the silver lining of this trip; it was beautiful, the landscape that is, despite the pop-pop-pop of gun shots in the distance. I think it’s duck season and good ol’ Elmer was at it.
Self Port 2

That’s me, (duh, Stace! Self-Portraits….) laying on the floor in the great room, you can see the back windows reflecting in my eye. Note to self, don’t rest your head on anything unless you want to look much older than you really are. Stupid wrinkles anyway.

Self Port 5 copy

As soft as a feather. My best impression of an angel, not to be mistaken as a “Victoria” kind of angel. They have fleece in heaven, right? Washed out, blended background, dodging, burning, hues & sats, sponging… there’s a lot of trickery going on in this one but if the “cover girls” can get away with it, so can I. Still learning, mind you.

Self Port 4

See!!! Lots of deception, but at least I’m being honest. Below is the naked, untouched original.

Ah, much better as an angel. Forget you saw the truth. “You can’t handle the truth!”

Self Port 4

And to prove that I really do have two eyes, my favorite – if I were to go so far as to ever call a picture of myself a ‘favorite’. I think this one captures “me” the best or at least the happy version I’d like to believe. Young at heart, wishfully doe-eyed in an old-fashioned way, with a quirky sense of humor. Doer of good, a hopeless, hapless romantic and lover of three very particular farmers.

Self Port 3 copy

Sunday Snow

Our first barely measureable snow of the year. The Farmers ventured outside to play provided that their Sunday clothes were laid out, socks and belts included, so we wouldn’t be frantic getting ready for church.
D.J. went right to making snowballs and Devin happen to be the first with an official throw. Of course a war began and nobody was safe.
DJ Snowball Devin Snowball Throwing 2 DJ & Devin Snowball
Maddy was an angel – at least for a moment.
Maddy Snow Angel Maddy Snow

Don’t let that sweet face fool you, she promptly tossed one at me (“Not when I have the camera!”) and then nailed poor Spike as he cowered at the door.


D.J. came to our defense. “Go get her, Dude!”

Maddy & D.J.
Devin had no loyalties, though he did take it easy on his younger siblings because experience has taught him that Mom and Dad get testy if he rails against either one.

Devin Snowball Throwing
They spent about an hour running around in the snow and when the time came for hot showers, there was no need for me to hassle them. Surprisingly enough, things went smoothly for a Sunday morning.
More snow is expected to fall throughout the week as high temperatures dip into the twenties, setting the perfect mood for a real white Christmas.