Friday, December 28, 2012

FMTSO: Gifts

This week's theme for the Friday Town Shoot Out is gifts.
Here are just a few people shots from this Christmas.

There is nothing like seeing the joy on the face of a kid.
It's so real.

Super Hero Gifts.
Big brother watching little brother open his gift to see which one he got.

Rome and Titus.
Sheer concentration on the first gift they opened.
Santa books, courtesy auntie JarieLyn.


My youngest brother's girlfriend and her children.
(we consider them his children)

My youngest brother, Joey.
My sister standing behind him ready to unwrap a naughty picture.
I never did see what was inside that package.

Me, my sister-in-law Tabbitha, and my sister Cheryl.
There were lots of presents opened on Christmas Eve but the best present was visiting with my siblings.
The following present is one I bought for myself.
Justin and I do not exchange gifts.
We buy something for ourselves and say it's from the other one.
Not very romantic, but it works for us and it alleviates a lot of stress.

This arrived just in the nick of time.
I've been using it every day for a week now and I love it.
I thought it was good value for the money too.

We draw names in our family because it just makes it easier on everyone.
However, this heart ornament was a little something extra that my brother's girlfriend got me.
I love it. She said she saw it and it reminded her of the mail art I sent her and so she wanted to get it for me.  Thank you Sara, I love it.

My mom drew my name.
I sent her a wish list from Amazon, mostly books, stationery, washi tape, postcards, etc.
These gloves and hat was a surprise.
I've always love gloves, hats, and boots and these are perfect for me.


Two postcard books that were on my list.
Some of you may or may not know that I started another hobby.
It's much more fulfiling than my photography.
I love writing letters and sending mail and creating mail art.
It's a lot of fun
You can check out my incoming and outgoing mail here

My sister got me a blouse and a Starbucks gift card.
She is always so thoughtful.
She wasn't supposed to get me anything.
A letter set that I had on my wishlist.
From my mom.

This is from my mother-in-law who lives in Oregon.
She is not part of the name draw.

One of the books my mom got me from my wish list.
I read it as soon as I had free time.
It was quite interesting.
Now, I need to get the original book about Gryphon and Sabine.
Has anyone ever read it?

Another wish list item from my mom.
I love any kind of book that is about letter writing and writing in general.

I got this cute necklace form my MIL.
Also, from my MIL I received two coloring books and a box of crayons.
We were shopping one day and I mentioned that I still love to color in kids coloring books.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened that package.
I actually colored in it last night.
It's very relaxing.
Well that's it for now.

Friday, December 21, 2012

FMTSO: Rainy Theme

Happy week-end everyone. 
Well, today's theme for the town shoot out is rainy.
We don't get a whole lot of rain in Las Vegas, and the other day about a week or so ago, when it finally rained, I forgot to photograph it falling down to the ground.

But, I did capture some rainfall on our vacation last September.
This above photo was taken in Tombstone, Arizona.

You can see a few people out and about.

But as you can see, Tombstone really is a ghost town especially, when it rains.

This is somewhere in Texas just before Galvastan I believe.

I wish I had taken more photos of the rain during our vacation because it rained a lot.
We traveled through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma and it rained the majority of the time while we were driving. It's so funny because the rain would clear up every time we would reach one of our destinations, just in time for us to enjoy the city or town where we stayed.

I do enjoy rainy days.
If you enjoy them to, why don't you check out what others see through the rain.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Twas 11 days before Christmas......

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air ...
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their Savior; the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name,
and in that moment with joy that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King,
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can,
and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Friday, December 14, 2012

FMTSO: How Do I Celebrate My Favorite Holiday?

If you know me, then you know that Christmas is my favorite holiday.
I am always with my family and although chaotic at times, we do have a lot of fun.

The Christmas Tree 2009

My youngest brother going for some treats before dinner.

2009 Hanging out in the kitchen. Dinner is almost ready. Sister-in-law, Tabbitha in the foreground.

Me & Sasha 2010

I sure do miss my dog, more than anyone will ever know. 2010

Sometimes we do karaoke.  2010

My parents are still in love.

Money can be very useful. My niece 2010

My brother Bobby, My sister Cheryl and me.
Christmas 2011. My youngest brother Joey is missing.

Every year, I go to my parents house for Christmas.
Sometimes, not all the siblings are able to be there at the same time.
We have a big dinner on Christmas Eve.
We have lots of goodies to munch on throughout the day and evening and the days that follow.
After dinner, we open our gifts.
Sometimes we do karaoke and sometimes we play Wii.
There is usually some form of cocktail or wine for the adults.

Christmas day we don't do anything special, maybe go to the movies or something, but normally we just relax and watch TV, etc or take a drive somewhere.

There is one Christmas tradition that I created.....

It's a journal that everyone has to write in before they leave.

I like this tradition because it reminds us of things past.
This is a program from my nephew's kindergarten class.
It was the first thing to go in my journal.

1998. Justin and Me.
Wow, what a horrible picture.
It's fourteen years later and I think I look much better today.

The most precious entry in the entire journal.
It was written by my grandma, her last Christmas with us.

It's very special to me that her last Christmas was the best one she remembers having.
I miss her very much. 
She was my best friend in the whole world besides my sister.

I thought I had a lot more pictures that were good enough to post, but I'm sorry to say I don't.

Happy holidays to everyone.

Friday, November 30, 2012

FMTSO: Things that look like faces

It's another Friday Town Shoot Out Theme. This week it's all about things that look like faces.
I haven't really been out much and I didn't know what the theme was until this morning so I took a photo from a workshop I attended last week, turned it into an abstract so you can still kind of see the faces.  Yeah, I know, I didn't really challenge myself that much and I'm not sure it really falls within the guidelines but I didn't want to let another week go by without posting to this wonderful group.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Being Creative

A few weeks ago I attended a food photography workshop through Photographic Adventures, a meet-up group that's run by a couple of my friends who also happen to be fellow Nevada Camera Club Members.

The above photo was one of the props that we had the opportunity to shoot.
I decided to get creative with my editing software and changed the photo into the following.

I really like it. 
What do you think?

We had a fog machine to create smoke.
That's why the picture looks a little hazy.

I like this one best out of the three.

Hope everyone has a magical Monday.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

FMTSO: Water in Motion


Can you believe it. Finally, Finally, I am able to upload photos. Not being able to upload pictures for this long really pissed me off.  I mean I was livid with blogger. I  thought I was going to have to say goodbye to this blog forever, but alas, it came through for me and thank goodness I have perseverance, otherwise, I never would have kept checking. 

Well, It's about time I get to participate in another FMTSO. This week's theme is water in motion. I just have two photos but I promise as long as blogger works, I will be sticking around for quite awhile. You can't get rid of me that easy.  Haha!

This photo was taken on Galveston Island in Texas while I was on vacation this September. This shot was taken just as the sun went down. I was also playing with my shutter speeds and I like the slower speed. It makes the photo look kind of dreamy. I like the next photo better.

That it's for my return to The Friday My Town Shoot Out. Be sure to check out all of the other participants.
You can learn more about this group by clicking on the link.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

FMTSO: My Town in Black & White

Thank God it's Friday! That means I'm getting closer to vacation time as well. Woo Hoo! Here are some photos of my town in black & white, the theme for this week's Friday My Town Shoot Out. Anyone can participate. All you have to do is click on the link and add your URL. Just make sure you've uploaded black & white photos of your town before adding your link. There's nothing more aggravating than clicking on the link and being routed to the blog entry and when you get there, it has nothing to do with the theme. I love discovering new blogs so if you follow the rules I will be more than happy to follow and  read your blog even when you aren't posting in the FMTSO.  With that being said, I will get on with my town in black & white.

This is a neon sign behind an iron stairwell inside the Paris Hotel Casino.
Ok blogger is really pissing me off right now.
I am unable to upload more of my photos.
I keep getting an error message that says:
Upload Failed
Server returned invalid repsonse.
Until I get this figured out.
I guess this is the only photo I have for now.
I'll keep trying to update though.
If anyone knows what the problem might be I sure would appreciate some tips to get it resolved.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FMTSO: Vacation Spots

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 8/24: Vacation Spots

Where do you love to vacation?
Do you go on vacation to rest and relax...
or do you DO vacation and keep busy with activities? 

Every year my husband and I go on one big vacation for about 10 days or so.
This year we are going for three weeks and I cannot wait to take my vacation. 
Last year we went all over Wyoming and South Dakota and had a blast.
Driving through certain parts of Wyoming is kind of boring because there is nothing to look at for miles and miles and miles, but when you finally come across landscape like what's in the photo above, it makes it all worthwhile.

We prefer to go someplace where we haven't been before because we like to explore and see what's out there. This year we are headed to the big state of Texas.

But before I get sidetracked on Texas, I better show you some photos from last year's trip.

South Dakota wasn't even part of our planned agenda last year.
It was a spur of the moment decision and we decided to drive there from our friends house in Wyoming to see Mt. Rushmore. 
On the way to Mt. Rushmore we saw a sign that said Bear Country.
It was a drive thru wildlife park and zoo.
So we drove through and this little Alaskan fox was in the zoo part of the park.
Even our dog got to experience the park with us.

Another fox trying very hard to scratch his itch.

South Dakota was such a beautiful state. 
We really enjoyed the black hills.
We went hiking and found some waterfalls, rivers, creeks, etc.
It was just so beautiful and so much to do.

Mt. Rushmore was exciting to see but it kind of sucked because we hadn't checked into a hotel yet and we had to take turns getting to the good spot because we weren't allowed to take our dog past a certain point. But it worked out and we did what we had to do.

Even better than Mt. Rushmore was Crazy Horse. It's so much larger and the light show at night was freaking awesome. I think this was one of our favorite things from our vacation last year.

The light show was phenomenal, and so was the narration and the story.

One of the waterfalls we hiked to. It is so pretty here.

A different waterfall.

Caught this little chipmunk munching away while we hiked to the waterfalls.

Another thing we love to do on vacation is eat and drink and be merry.
This neon sign was taken in Deadwood, SD on my birthday.
We didn't go inside this establishment but I can tell you that I danced the night away on my birthday last year.

This is inside Saloon No. 10 where I spent my birthday.
Before the band came on later that night, the staff did a re-enactment of Wild Bill Hickock's last day. Supposedly he was killed right there in this bar. 
It was kind of cool.

Which way shall we go? 
I believe we were in Custer at the time.

Justin and Sasha exploring the town.

We ate breakfast here and the food was excellent.
They had the biggest breakfast burrito I've ever seen.
Custer, SD. This was on our last day in SD.

When you have children, you usually gear your vacation towards things the whole family can enjoy, mainly something for the kids to remember. Well, I can tell you when you have a dog and no children, it's like having a kid so you gear your vacation towards things you can do with your dog as well.  Our dog Sasha, RIP, always loved the water. 
We found this creek at Custer State Park. Just across the water there were wild buffalo, one of which chased my husband and scared the crap right out of me.
Sasha, on the other hand could care less. She just wanted to get wet.

Buffalo hunter. LOL

So, I'm counting down the days til my next vacation.
I don't want to waste a single day so I want to do all kinds of things and go to lots of different places. I know I want to rent a boat of some kind whether it be a pontoon, a motorboat, peddle boat or canoe. I want to enjoy at least one day out on a lake somewhere. I've even thought about white water rafting on this next trip. I'd also like to go horseback riding, maybe explore some caverns, etc.  All I know is that I want this to be one of our most memorable vacations.
I have to say that last year was pretty good but so far nothing beats the year my husband and I went to Tennessee. It was the best. Hawaii didn't even come close to the fun we had while in Tennessee.

I do plan on spending a few days relaxing by the pool of one of our hotels. 
I just need to get my husband to relax and enjoy taking it easy.
After all, we've got three weeks to go explore new territory.

To see more Vacation spots please visit the FMTSO home page.


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