Thursday, January 31, 2008

Valentine's Shoot

I took these shots last night (making my poor boys freeze!) in preparation for Valentine's Day cards. I love how they turned out! I have to give credit to Brendaleann for the idea though.

And I can't decide which of these two photos I like better:

I'm thinking I like the first one, without the shirt. What do you think?!

Love, Thursday

This photo was taken a couple years ago but I love it. It's not technically perfect, but I like the emotion in it. sigh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Photos

January 26, Saturday, taken at Sabatino's restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy.

January 27, Sunday, laundry day. sigh.

January 28, Monday, self portrait of me taken in our entryway mirror.

January 29, Tuesday, Kaden and Kohler have just started running (with Stoehr when he can). It's great exercise and they love it!

January 30, Wednesday, my hungry boy after school. Loves honey nut cheerios.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Self Portrait Tuesday and other Flickr goodies

I've been totally addicted to Flickr lately! There is so much photo inspiration on there that I can't tear myself away! I've been busy adding Groups and Contacts to my flickr site, and I'm finding that I'm especially drawn to photos taken with old polaroids, holgas, and a technique called through the viewfinder (ttv). So I've made a couple of purchases! First, I purchased a Kodak Duaflex with a ttv attachment already attached from ebay. Then I decided I had to have a Holga, so I bought one from Holgamods, a one-man operation that modifies Holgas with a couple neat features. Then finally, I bit the bullet and purchased an old Polaroid SX-70 off of ebay. Unfortunately Polaroid no longer makes the most desired Time Zero film for this camera, so my options are to either purchase 600 type film off the shelf and modify the camera to use it, or purchase very expensive 70 Blend film from the Netherlands! In any case, I can't wait to get these three new camera and start experimenting!

Here are some totally inspiring flickr sites using these types of cameras:
through the viewfinder inspiration
polaroid inspiration
holga inspiration

Now how can you not want to try these cameras out after seeing all that?! can't. wait. Along with these totally useable cameras I bought, I also picked up two for display only. I've always loved old cameras, and have a few of them already, but I saw these two at a thrift store the other day and couldn't resist.

The one on the left is actually an old movie camera, while the one on the right is an old Polaroid Square Shooter. They are both in good condition, very clean with nothing broken. I was hoping I could use the Polaroid, but after an extensive search it seems that Polaroid no longer makes the type 88 film I need for it, so it will have to be for display only. It's too bad as the photos I saw taken with this type of camera were very cool. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for more old Polaroid's at the thrift store though!

I'm also discovering that there are certain types of photos that appeal to me as well. I really love to take photos that show great depth of field (dof), reflections (mirrors or other shiny surfaces), and feet! Maybe I like the challenge of having something specific to look for, but they are fun.

I've also joined a few challenge type groups on flickr:
color+color -- a group that posts a new color combination every week. Your photos must mainly feature these colors.
self portrait tuesdays -- pretty self explanatory.
{On A Wednesday} -- photos taken on Wednesday, or featuring the word Wednesday.
Love, Thursday -- not a flickr group, but an amazing website run by a group of female photographers that just started up.

Well that turned out to be a longer post than I had planned. More photo a day pictures later.

Friday, January 25, 2008

So much for resolutions!

Somehow life got in the way of blogging this week! I didn't even realize it had been a week since the last post. Oops! Here's all the photos-a-day that I missed over the past week:

January 18, Sunrise off the front porch.

January 19, Family musical afternoon! Stoehr and I pulled out our old instruments (violin for him, flute for me), Kohler played his electric guitar, and Kieran directed. Stoehr and I took turns at the piano. Photo by Kaden!

January 20, Three of Kaden's favorite things: wearing his pajamas, sitting in this chair by the window with the heater on, and surfing the web on his laptop.

January 21, Kohler had no school today (MLK day), so he made himself and me breakfast: pancakes with peanut butter and lots of syrup.

January 22, My favorite hat of Kieran's that he's about to outgrow! The light was beautiful outside, so I made him put this hat on and pose for me!

January 23, Breakfast before school. Kohler had already left for the day. Kaden and Kieran love cereal, and Kieran finally decided to try it with milk! Don't ya love his bed head!

January 24, Stoehr heading off to work in the morning, wearing my favorite blue sweater of his.

January 25, Kaden, post-shower, checking out his reflection in the freshly cleaned bathroom mirror!

That's it! Our week in bits and pieces. We have had some sad news overtake us this week though, that's taken a lot of my time. A good friend of ours had been having headaches for over a week, and finally had to go to the ER on Monday night. They discovered a mass on his brain. He was transferred to Johns Hopkins Medical Center where further tests showed a 3cm tumor. Surgery was performed tonight (Friday) and we are still awaiting the outcome. How quickly life can change in one week.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Two photos from yesterday (Thursday), but since I combined them, it should count as one, right? Breakfast today was some new GoLean cereal with banana. I picked up this mug at Starbucks last night. Couldn't pass up the red color!


Things I don't want to forget about Kaden as he turns 10.

--he is the gadget boy. if it is new and electronic, he wants it. iPods, iPhones, radios, PSPs, the Wii, his GameBoy DS, a laptop, he loves it and wants it all.

--he is full of energy and never stops moving. sitting still is very difficult, and even then some part of his body is usually moving. he fidgets a lot!

--he is top of his class in 4th grade, even though he just skipped 3rd grade! no problem catching up.

--he loves war history. for a while he was really into the Civil War (especially after we visited Gettysburg), but now he's interested in WWI. he pores over books on the subjects and even looks up info on the internet to read.

--he will be a millionaire someday. Kaden loves to earn money and counts and keeps track of it all the time. especially when he's saving up for something (see electronic gadgets above).

--he is the best money finder (see millionaire above). Kaden constantly finds money on the ground, in vending machines, and phone booths.

--he loves to sell things to his brothers (see millionaire above). Kaden hoards his candy and when he needs extra cash, sets up shop and sells it to Kieran (who is an easy mark for candy) and Kohler.

--Kaden is the one who invents all the games the boys play. underground cheetah. bears & bunnies. seller by the deller. bocce ball. fun activities. not only that, but he makes up new rules to already invented games. his brothers are truly bored when he's not home as they miss his inventive ideas.

--Kaden loves to listen to his radio in his room. he turns it on as soon as he gets home from school, and leaves it on until he's fallen asleep and we turn it off. the only station he listens to is WGTS 91.9.

--his favorite things to read are Calvin & Hobbes comics. Kaden is too full of energy to sit down during the day and read, but when he does, or at night in bed, this is his favorite thing to read. followed closely by books about war history.

--he is a big Orioles fan. i'm not sure how it happened, but he loves this team. we went to a few games last summer, he collects their cards, and has a shelf in his bedroom devoted to O's items. we even redecorated his room with an Orioles theme last summer!

--he is a great chess player. he regularly beats me, his dad, both his brothers, and even his grandfather! he gets frustrated that he can't find more people to play with.

--he's not too sure he wants to go away to camp this summer. i'm trying to encourage him, but he's pretty sure he'll miss us too much and be homesick.

--Kaden loves playing soccer and baseball. he plays soccer everyday at recess and from what I hear, is a great player. although not aggressive, he's fast and quick. on his organized team, he prefers to play defense.

--his best friends are Ryan, Jeff, and Tucker. play dates and sleepovers are important and to be scheduled as often as possible.

--he's a great artist. he's always loved to draw and is very good at it. he loves the cartooning class he's currently taking with Kieran.

--Kaden loves his alarm clock and watch. his alarm clock is set for school mornings, and i never have to get him up. he also loves to wear his watch and tells me how much he loves it. in conjunction with that, Kaden hates to be late to anything, especially school. he and Kieran are both constantly hurrying me up in the morning. not only can we not be late, but we must be early!

--Kaden cares what other people think about him and has a fear of being embarrassed. because of that, he's never once gotten in trouble at school, and i've never heard anything but praise for him from anyone he comes in contact with. just watch out at home though!

--he's almost ready to test for his red belt in tae kwon do.

--he loves showers! on nights when i say then can skip showers, Kaden still wants to take one. even on nights when we get home really late (like saturday's), Kaden always asks if he can take a shower. he's envious of Kohler taking a shower in the morning, and recently asked if he could take a shower both in the morning and at night!

Love you, Mom

Photo A Day Monday & Tuesday

Sloppy Joes for dinner tonight. Haven't made these in a while, but they sure are good!

Kohler, eating breakfast before leaving for school. I like to give him something he can take with him in the car in case he's running late! This was one of his favorites: scrambled egg and cheese in a tortilla.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We made it to the Corcoran today! Our tickets were for 3 p.m., so we showed up (luckily) at 2:30. There was already a short line--outside--that we had to wait in to pick up our will call tickets, but the line quickly got longer, so we really weren't too early. They let us in right at 3:00 and we grabbed our tickets and headed in to explore. Luckily they allowed us to apply the ticket charge towards a family membership, so we are now members for the year!

We had to wait in line to enter the Annie Leibowitz exhibit, but it was worth it. It was a mix of personal snapshots and professional photos taken from 1990-2005. I especially enjoyed the large boards covered with small shots of all the photos in the exhibit. Great display idea. My favorite was a shot of Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and Peter Jennings. Don't know why, I just liked it.

After Annie Leibowitz, we went over to the Ansel Adams exhibit. Kaden & Kieran were ready to go, but Kohler enjoyed the exhibit with me. He preferred the landscape photos over the portraits. Beautiful images; it was interesting to note how Adams' interests and way of shooting changed over time.

By the time we were done, it was almost 5 p.m. and we all were starving. We headed to Chinatown, and ate at Chinatown Express. They make their own dumplings and noodles fresh there, and they were delicious! We made it home just in time to catch the end of the football game, with the Chargers beating the Colts.


Some inspiring photos I've found recently while browsing through Flickr. The images can be found below.

1. Untitled, 2. Ice Rink, 3. The Storm is Coming, 4. .carefree., 5. Untitled, 6. 別‧Look Away, 7. Zipper, 8. Je t'adore Paper Wreath, 9. Sunrise on prayer flags, 10. Let it snow!, 11. Ghent panorama, 12. mini cab, 13. the meeting rooms, 14. gap. color., 15. bay.bridge., 16. TERRA MIA !

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hirshhorn Museum

1. IMG_1286, 2. IMG_1285, 3. IMG_1284, 4. IMG_1257, 5. IMG_1255, 6. IMG_1254, 7. IMG_1246, 8. IMG_1240, 9. IMG_1233

We started the day with the intention of heading to the Corcoran Gallery of Art to see two exhibits that are ending soon: Annie Leibovitz and Ansel Adams. Annie Leibovitz's exhibit was ending this weekend, and Ansel Adams in two weeks. When I checked the Corcoran's website to see what time they opened, they was a warning message posted that they expected tickets to sell out, so we rushed the boys out the door and drove as quickly as we could downtown. Unfortunately, when we got there they were indeed sold out. I called a friend quick and had them purchase tickets for us for tomorrow before they also sold out, then we headed to the Hirshhorn Museum instead.

The Hirshhorn is a beautiful, small, easily manageable museum to visit in a few hours with kids. There are lots of sculptures, and mostly modern art. The boys enjoyed it (except for Kaden's being constantly hungry) and we picked up a couple sketch books and pencils in the gift shop on the way out. Here are some photos from our visit:

And finally, in spite of all the photos above, here's the photo for the "Photo A Day" challenge:

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Clothes & Age of Empires

Today's a two photo day! I couldn't pick just one. Kieran's new favorite thing is playing "Age of Empires". His brothers have been playing it for a few years now, but I kept telling him he was too young (mainly I thought it was too complicated for him, and didn't want to take the time to help him!). Somehow he decided that I had said he could play when he was eight. I don't actually remember saying that, but that was irrelevant to him. So fine, I let him play the other day for the first time, and after running through the tutorial, he was off and running. Apparently it's not too complicated for him after all! Now he begs to play it every day but since we don't play games every day, he has to suffer and wait for the couple days he is allowed to play. Of course this involves lots of persuasive arguments and deal making! I'd thought with the other two having their own computers now, I wouldn't have to share mine anymore--wrong!

I had to take the car in for an oil change today, so since I was in the area (Columbia), I figured I might as well do a little shopping! There is nothing better than finding new clothes that you feel good in! And I actually found four new tops today! Mostly red and black, but the one at the back is a bright turquoise color. Love it! I cleaned out a few old clothing items recently, so I feel o.k. getting some new! Might have to save the top in front for Valentines Day. Can I wait that long to wear it?!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thrift Shop Finds

I made a quick run to the local thrift store today to get rid of a bunch of stuff, and while I was there, went inside to see if I could find any cool stuff. Not too much today, but I did get a few things. It's actually hard to find good deals at this particular thrift store, as many of the items are over priced. For example, silver bowls/platters; it's not unusual for them to be marked $8 or more, with the small the same price as the large!

This silver footed bowl was only $4, and I wanted to use it to display old photos (I've seen the idea in a few places). I got two books, Anne Tyler's "Breathing Lessons" and Philippa Gregory's "The Boleyn Inheritance". I've never read any Philippa Gregory, but I keep hearing they're great stories, and with the new movie coming out, I thought I'd try one! The best find though is the box of Slang Flashcards. They are the funniest things, and for under a dollar, I had to get them! The cards are large (5"x7") and look like traditional flash cards, with Dick-and-Jane type illustrations. The words are current slang words though, with "dictionary" definitions and sentences using the words. The words include bling, sick, mad props, jack, ice, etc. These words next to the prim illustrations are hillarious! My favorites include a dad going off to work hugging his little boy with the sentence "Yo, lil' dawg, daddy's got to bounce." Also older couple with a birthday cake, with the grandma saying to the grandpa "Yo baby, after all these years, you're still my mack daddy." Too funny! I want to use them for scrapbooking, maybe some cards, and maybe even frame a couple. Love it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


It's been a week and I've not missed a photo a day yet! I'm so jealous of the amount of sleeping Molly does! And she picks all the best, warm spots. Lucky dog.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to School

Today Kaden and Kieran went back to school after 2 1/2 weeks of vacation! Kohler already went back last week. Beautiful weather today--up to 70 degrees--so the boys were disappointed they had to go to school. But this afternoon they got out for a bit, and took Molly for a walk. Tae Kwon Do tonight; only a month and a half until their next test, and then they'll be red belts! Kaden had asked for pigs-in-blankets for dinner, so that's what I made. Quick and easy.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Book Report

Kaden had a book report due right after vacation that I had forgotten about, but he hadn't! I never have to remind him to get his homework done--he's on it first thing. He did this by himself too! He had to read 350 pages total about animals, fiction or non-fiction. He read a Redwall book which was 330 pages, and then read an Animal Ark book to make up the final 20 pages. He did a great job on the book reports, then we worked together to make a paper bag animal representing one animal from his report. We made a bear using fake fur for the ears and arms, toothpicks for the claws, and google eye and a pom-pom nose.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Another Hike!

Two hikes in one week, and two photos today! And this hike was actually my idea! Kaden and Kieran have been into birds the last few days, looking for them at home and photographing them and identifying them in a bird book. So I thought it would be fun to go to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge for a hike and some birdwatching. We got there around noon and first went down to the birdblind and boardwalk area, where I took the top photo. We took a great family photo Christmas day wearing these same shirts, and I want a series to frame, so I made the boys take their jackets off and freeze so I could get some shots!

We also hiked about 1.5 miles on a trail through the woods and beside the lake. Not too many birds this time of year, but we did see some geese flying and on the ice, and a killdeer. The boys (and Molly) loved it and we'll definetly go back in the spring when there are more birds.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Lunch Out

When Kohler has a day off school, I like to take him to lunch. He's easy because he loves all types of ethnic foods. But these two . . . they'd prefer McD's! I have no interest in that, but luckily they also like California Tortilla. Today was their last day off for Christmas vacation, so we went to lunch. I got what I always get, the Nacho Chili Bowl. Yum yum! The boys loved it, and so did I.