Monday, September 28, 2009

Glorious Golden Fall

We did get out to see the aspen leaves up in the mountains on Saturday. While probably not at the full peak of color, it was still beautiful. Given how changeable the weather has been this year, when it was a sunny day with reasonable temperatures all of the leaf reports were saying that this was the weekend to go because they would probably peak in the middle of the week and the weather wasn’t going to be as nice then.

credits: Freestylin' Fall by Jessica Bolton at funkyplaygrounddesigns; Frayed Fabric Templates by Rachel Young at scrapartist; fonts: University Roman LET

Yesterday when we were out ogling the pretty yellow aspen leaves on the mountain sides, I of course took pictures of the kids. It was late afternoon and the sun was perfect for making the leaves glow their golden yellow colors, but not so good for getting nice expressions on the kids' faces since the sun was usually in their eyes- especially when there are 5 of them. For the first time I tried the 'photomerge group shot' function in PSE7, and I'm impressed!! It analyzes and lines up the multiple photos (I was only working with 2, but it says it can do up to 10) and then you choose the best one to start with as your base. Pick the next photo and draw over it with a brush on the areas that you want to put on the base photo. It analyzes the area you drew on, makes some sort of mask automatically for it and plops the extracted piece in the correct place on top of the base photo. If it didn't quite get it right, then you adjust the area it is to work with and it changes it in real time for you to proof again. Click done and it puts everything in a new psd document with layers so you could even do further editing if you wanted to. I'm sold. I will be using this again- don't know why I have waited nearly a year to try it out. No more excuses for pictures with 'ugly' faces of one or two kids if I have multiple photos to play with where there is at least one with a pretty face :)

Oh, and I tried the panorama function too- worked like a charm too. I had used this function in earlier versions of PSE and liked it pretty well. I  never could get it to work right in v6 for some reason, but they've got it straightened out in v7 and improved it a lot. You get a layered psd with actual masks in the end, and the merging is great.

Here are some more pretty fall photos for you to enjoy!
2009_0926_FallColors-kidsfixed  (This first photo is the one I fixed up with the photomerge function BTW.)2009_0926_FallColors-11 2009_0926_FallColors-35 2009_0926_FallColors-37 2009_0926_FallColors-38 2009_0926_FallColors-39 2009_0926_FallColors-41  2009_0926_FallColors-53
What’s up with the red leaves on the aspen tree? very unusual! Mark says he has seen that on another tree up on Barr Trail too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Weekend

I know I’ve said it before, but the weather here in Colorado can be crazy! It is the middle of September and it was snowing here this morning and afternoon. yes. snowing. in the middle of September. It is much too early for this!! I have a feeling it is going to be a long, cold, wet winter.

It was a beautiful fall weekend though with mild temperatures and lots of sun to keep things bright and cheery (the calm before the storm). Saturday afternoon after lunch we headed down to Penrose to the Happy Apple Farm to see about getting some fresh apples. We hadn’t been down there since I was pregnant with Sarah, so Brenna didn’t remember it at all.  We came home with a few apples and a couple of pumpkins. There were still quite a few apples on the trees, but our favorites the Gala were all already picked. There were lots of Golden and Red Delicious still, but because of the high numbers of apples on the trees most of them were pretty small this year. So we didn’t get many apples. I still have to make apple crisp out of what we did bring home- I just haven’t felt like doing all of the coring and peeling yet. This was the first weekend that the pumpkin patch was officially open, so there were lots to choose from there. Hopefully the pumpkins will last until Halloween gets closer sitting in the garage.

journaling:  It’s been several years since we last visited the Happy Apple Farm in Penrose. There is nothing quite like apples picked fresh off the tree with your own hands. Because hail destroyed the whole crop last year , this year the trees were dripping with apples. They were a little small, but they sure did taste yummy!
Delicious and Tiny Vellum Dates by Ellie Lash at scrapbookgraphics
fonts: CK Constitution

Sarah_PerfectPumpkin_9-19-0  journaling: We spent quite a bit of time at the Happy Apple Farm pumpkin patch looking for the perfect pumpkin for the family, but Sarah wanted a little one of her own. We finally found one just right for her while walking back to the farm shop. Sarah was very happy when we left the farm to head home.
credits: at scrapbookgraphics:
Primitive Fall by Jen Ulasiewicz, Sketch Collection 25 by Jen Caputo, Mixed Stitches 2 by Manuella Zimmerman, Newsworthy Alpha by Birgit Kerr; Date Bits 19 by Misty Cato at SweetShoppeDesigns; fonts: TXT Abrasive

And a LO about Sarah’s latest obsession about her looks- freckles. She has at least moved on from insisting she has green eyes- she is back to being content with her blue eyes.Sarah_Freckles_9-2-09

journaling: It's Sarah's latest obsession about her looks -whether or not she has freckles like she sees on the cheeks of some of her older siblings. I don't know why she has become so concerned about things like this. Is it just because she wants to be assured that she really does belong in our family? she wants to be just like them? or something else entirely I don't realize? I reassure her that yes, she does have a few freckles dotting her cheeks that make her look cute and try to move the conversation on. I wonder what the next thing is going to be?
Primarily Educational (recolored), Mixed Paint Alpha (recolored), Eclectic Templates No. 1 (retired), and Teeny-Tiny Torn Tags by Jessica Bolton at funkyplaygrounddesigns; fonts: Tom's New Roman

The aspen leaves around town are starting to turn. It’s a little earlier than usual this year, probably because of the cooler and wetter summer. They always turn a bit sooner up in the higher elevations because of the colder temperatures, and it is always a glorious sight. We haven’t been up to the mountains to take pictures of the aspens in a couple of years now. Mark thinks next weekend will be ideal to see them, so maybe that will be the Saturday outing if the weather is nice since we don’t have any dance things scheduled that day. So, in the meantime I’m still going back and scrapping these older photos- some of them more than once now. I need some new material! You can’t beat the view though, no matter how old they are ;) GoldenDays

credits: Golden Days by Pixel Works at scrapartist; Layered Up Page Templates Vol 1 by Tania Shaw at funkyplaygrounddesigns; fonts: Times and Times Again

GoldenDays2 credits: Golden Days and Golden Days Addon by Pixel Works at scrapartist; Date It by Amber Clegg at scrapartist

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Brenna’s Toothless!

It finally happened- Brenna lost her first tooth Thursday night. I have heard daily reports on how many teeth her friends had lost since school started. She was convinced this childhood milestone was going to pass her by. Oh the impatience of being only 6 years old LOL Here she is in all of her toothless glory. She has a tiny lisp now that is very cute :)


journaling:  It finally happened- Brenna lost her first tooth! Her right lower incisor was loose for months and she was convinced that it would never come out. Like most things, it just needed a bit of patience. She was eating an apple at the time it finally came out. She had already figured out that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, but we went ahead and put the tooth in Mama’s toothfairy pillow and played the parts anyway, just for fun. ~September 17, 2009
credits: Toof Fairy by Kim Broedelet and Gaye Lambert at DSO; Layered Up Template Freebie1 by Tania Shaw at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns; fonts: CK Becky

And here are a few more layouts from the last couple of weeks that I haven’t shared here yet.Brenna_StillLovesBear_7-20-

journaling: It’s been 6 years now, and Brenna is still attached to her Bear blanket. In fact, she now has two that are important bed time companions. She can go without them, but will still often ask me to go find them for her when it is time to turn out the lights. They stay home most of the time as Brenna understands that she lost her first bear on vacation and she doesn’t want to lose them.
Sketch Collection 25 and Torn and Curled Heart templates by Jen Caputo at scrapbookgraphics; Kit No. 14 by ON Designs at scrapbookgraphics; Hand Stitched Alpha by Dani Mogstad at
fonts: CK Becky

Going back in time just a bit to scrap the pictures I had of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on our vacation in July 2006.

description: The Franklin Institute is one of our favorite science museums. Exploring the Giant Heart, sky bike, interactive exhibits on the history of electricity, and transportation offer hours of fun and learning. Of course there is an exhibit on Benjamin Franklin's role in many of the inventions that play important roles in our lives today plays.
Steampunk by Maya at scrapbookgraphics; Template 74 by Yin Designs (modified); font: LD Old Glory


journaling: It took us three tries to finally get the pink bunny ears that the Pink Crew were handing out, as they were very popular. The Hot Hare balloon was one of our favorites this year- he was just so big and so pink!
credits: by Pixel Works at Scrapartist:
Blue Skies, pink ribbons and bird with swirl from Sunshiney Day collab with Rachel Young (retired), Blue stitch from Funky Junky Old School collab with Rachel Young and Kate Hadfield; Date Bits 19 by Misty Cato at SweetShoppeDesigns; fonts: CK Constitution, CK Becky

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let’s Dance!

I never posted the results of the dance auditions at the end of July, so here they are:

Beth and Carissa made it into Youth Tap, which is the tap group a level up from the one they were in last year. They also started working on a duet tap dance together with their tap teacher over the summer. They are dancing to “True Friends'” by Hannah Montana. It’s one of Carissa’s current favorite songs, and I think it says a lot about the type of relationship that they have with each other at the moment (and how I hope it stays this way for them throughout life too).

journaling: Beth and Carissa chose the song “True Friend” by Hannah Montana for their tap duet this year. They started working on it over the summer with Ms. Cindy. This is one of Carissa’s favorite songs and I think it really suits the nature of their relationship as sisters and twins. Things aren’t always lovey and rosy, but in the end they rely on each other and will always be the best of friends. I hope so anyway!
credits: by Michelle Filo: Pencil Lines August 2009 newsletter template (blog freebie) and Sunny Afternoon at LittleDreamerDesigns; Doodle Frames & Masks 2 by Jenna Desai at The-LilyPad; by Michelle Coleman: Messy Date stamps at LittleDreamerDesigns and Painted Hearts (blog freebie); bubblewrap stamps by Micheline Martin; glitter style by Flergs
fonts: Impact, CK Becky, Jayne Print

The two photos below are of Beth and Carissa in their Jazz5 class last Friday evening. At the end of class they started learning the choreography to “Hoedown Showdown” from Hannah Montana: The Movie. What’s sad is that I figured out what song the choreography was to without hearing it- just seeing what they were doing through the window. LOL

2009_0911_B&C-dancejazz5-1 2009_0911_B&C-dancejazz5-8


And Brenna made it into the Guys and Dolls group she was in the prep class for this summer. She also started taking a full ballet class this summer, and at the end of the summer session was invited to try out for the Petite Ballet group too. So, Brenna is in two performance groups this year. I was a bit worried about whether she could handle both, but after some initial adjusting to the full school day during August she seems to be doing alright. We are only in the second week of fall dance classes (they started Sept 8), so I’m sure there will be days that are better than others. I think she can do it.

Watching the ‘big girls’ in Jazz1 through the window last week before the Dolls class started.2009_0908_Dance-3
and a few of Brenna in her ballet outfit. I have some nifty hair gadgets this year that really help make nice looking buns- even with Brenna’s very thin hair.
2009_0914_Brenna-ballet-6 2009_0914_Brenna-ballet-1 2009_0914_Brenna-ballet-4 {ugh! the lighting in the dance place is truly awful!!- these are my corrected photos, and they still don’t look right :P B&W conversion is probably going to be my saving grace for most of these.}

Sarah is taking a full hour combo class this fall on Thursday mornings too and loving it. Here are some pictures of Sarah in her class last week. The last two in B&W were taken through the one-way mirror in the wall. I’m surprised I was able to even get that good of a quality photo from them. I’m going to have to keep playing with them to see if I can get a bit more of the graininess out.
 2009_0910_Sarah-dance-1 2009_0910_Sarah-dance-22009_0910_Sarah-dance-5_filtered 2009_0910_Sarah-dance-4_filtered
So, between all of the things that the four girls are involved in at TDC, I’m sitting in the halls 5-6 days a week for at least an hour. They love it, so it is worth it. Good thing this laptop is portable!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Wrap-up

OK, so I had intentions of getting this post done by the end of last weekend, but it took me longer than expected to edit all of the photos. I did get them up on facebook before the weekend was over at least. Then, I had to scrap a few for the blog post, of course, and since dance classes started on Tuesday there just hasn’t been as much time to scrap.

Friday night, we took the kids to the CO State Fair down in Pueblo. We had been once before several years ago, but none of the older three remembered going. With the hour drive down there, then eating dinner, it was almost 7P when we finally got to the fair so we didn’t get to see everything. I think we got a good smattering of everything in except the rides in the two hours or so we were there.


journaling: The kids brought home free tickets to the state fair, and we decided to take advantage of them this year. We hadn't been in many years, and I don't think any of the kids remembered having gone before. The kids thought the lumberjack show was very cool. Beth & Carissa could have watched the people exercising their horses for an hour. The corn and bean boxes were a favorite part of the Department of Agriculture tent. The lights and smells were classic ‘fair’ memories. The sea lion show and sharks were novel for many Coloradans. The kids were very impressed with all of the 4H entries in the cooking and various sewing categories. And of course the petting barn was a favorite of all of the girls.
credits: Pat Me by Kaye Winieki at TheLilyPad; Storyboard frames by Michelle Filo (blog freebie); hills from No Place Like Home by Pixel Works and HGD by Laurie Ann at; alphas by Dani Mogstad: banner alpha from County Fair, tan alpha from True Blue; Date Bits 19 by Misty Cato; fonts: TXT Abrasive

Saturday and Sunday we went to the Balloon Classic festival in Memorial Park. Saturday morning the weather didn’t cooperate, so the balloons weren’t allowed to lift-off the ground. Several of the pilots chose to put their balloons up for us anyway. Saturday night the balloon glow went off without a hitch. Since the lift-off didn’t go on Saturday we went back on Sunday morning. After a one hour delay to wait for the winds to settle down, the balloons were allowed to go up. Only the lower winds were calm, so the balloons stayed low and hovered over the park. It is always a beautiful sight to see 20+ balloons in the air above you at one time. Carissa was at a friend’s slumber party Saturday night/Sunday morning, so she wasn’t with us to see this. Mark took her down to the park Monday morning to see the lift-off then.

I’ve always found the balloon classic photos hard to scrap- it’s just difficult to get a good balance between the photo and the rest of the page since they are usually so colorful.
quote: When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. ~Leonardo Da Vinci
credits: lifted from
"One Fine Thursday" by AmyK ; Papers by Pixel Works (aka Michelle Godin), from Super Klean Kraft at scrapartist and Over the Rainbow (retired); Dressed Up Dots by Robin Carlton (retired); Alpha and felt circle by Dani Mogstad, from Hand Stitched Alphabet at SweetShoppeDesigns; Paint splashes from Home Life addon by Jessica Bolton (retired); Clay sun by Amy Knepper; Balloon from A Perfect Day by Flergs and Kaye Winieki at scrapbookgraphics; Playing With Paper 15 by Michelle Filo at LittleDreamerDesigns; fonts: Century Gothic, FO Messy Bessy

journaling:  It’s a Labor Day tradition both in Colorado Springs, and in our home. We look forward to the weekend when hot air balloons fill the sky over town. The Saturday morning liftoff this year didn’t happen because of some strong winds higher up, but the pilots were allowed to stand them up for us if they chose. The glow on Saturday night was as beautiful as always, and Sunday morning the balloons finally filled the sky for us after a one hour delay. They hovered over the park showing off their colors as the upper winds were too swift to be safe.

and here are a few more pictures that I took- just because they are so pretty. You can see more in the photo album over at my facebook account.

    2009_0904_BalloonClassic-51 2009_0904_BalloonClassic-61 2009_0904_BalloonClassic-84 2009_0904_BalloonClassic-101 2009_0904_BalloonClassic-117 2009_0906_BalloonClassic-11 2009_0906_BalloonClassic-54 2009_0906_BalloonClassic-55 2009_0906_BalloonClassic-68
We spotted Santa enjoying one of his summer-time activities ;)2009_0906_BalloonClassic-69 2009_0906_BalloonClassic-1402009_0906_BalloonClassic-1512009_0906_BalloonClassic-1932009_0906_BalloonClassic-210

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