A Different {Sort of} Assignment

Yesterday afternoon I had an unusual (and dreaded) assignment: Christmas Card photo session.

Dum, da, da, dum. And yes, the Prez is doling out skittles in the following photo (more on that later).

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I was not the only one dreading it. I base my feelings of dread on past experiences, people. Just eing real and honest here. Maybe some others in the family were dreading it for the same reason. I didn’t ask them their reasons, but I promised them a monetary payment for their time and a bonus for the child who behaved the best. I also had the Prez grab a bag of candy on his way home from work.

Yes, folks, I bribed my own children. It had to be done. I know, some may say this is ridiculous. They should do this (well all but the three-year-old right?) without being paid, and they should show respect and a willing attitude. I mean, the Prez didn’t require candy or bribing. Well … OK, nevermind that.

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Sunday Snapshot: {In the Backyard}

Winning photos is not my game, but I like the way this one turned out (and a few others too).

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I love her profile and the way the sun’s setting glow is framing her entire face and frame. I just love her, so loving the photo is quite easy for this Momma.

I am not in any way shape, form or fashion a photographer, but I love how Sunday Snapshot gives me an opportunity to blog about the everyday. Here are the settings *I think* though.

ISO400*55MM*3EV*f/5.6*1/100*I post-processed it in iPhoto.

We have a wonderful backyard. We are blessed with a large space, privacy, and plenty of room for an impromptu game of football, woofle ball, soccer, nerf wars, you name it.

We have been outside a LOT lately.

We have been blessed with 80-degree and SUNNY days.

We went outside one evening last week as we awaited the arrival of a reporter and cameraman.

We found ourselves quickly involved in an impromptu game of soccer while we waited.

Well I did.

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The Prez had his hands full keeping a Li’l Bit out of harm’s way, though she was not happy about her situation. At all.
Yes, her tears are HUGE and will break your heart. Trust me. I know.

We don’t play around though.

We play for real.

While some played, I stole away for a few shots as the sun was setting, and to give my Li’l Bit the attention she was needing from Momma. She loves to pose for the camera.

These are a few other favorites from that impromptu photo shoot.

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This one is strange but I like it. Almost deleted it, but then played with editing and I kind of like it!

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This is my second favorite of the evening: all four of our precious sons captured so well: the oldest leading the way, the two middles vying for a ball (in this particular instance) and Li’l Dude trailing behind!

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Since that evening, we’ve spent countless hours outside, namely in various activities during our school days.

Painting Easter eggs using paint tape for relief art.

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Li’l Miss even found a couple of creative painting implements.
And Li’l Bit of course copied her big sis.
Li’l Dude made sure his was ready for the tape to be pulled away.

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All of the painting made a certain Li’l Bit very tired.

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I took these photos one early March afternoon while we waited for Daddy to come home from work. Only some of our children were willing subjects, which is why you’ll only see part of our crew.

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Our azalea bushes are in full bloom. And our Li’l Miss loves them so much, so one day after dance we took advantage of the beautiful red blooms!

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Li’l Miss loves her Bitty Baby.

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And so does someone else.

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Before the above exchange, Li’l Miss was not-so-successfully encouraging her little sister to “share” Bitty Baby, even using sign language to convey her point.

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After some time with her Bitty Baby, Li’l Miss decided she was too busy to care for Bitty Baby and decided allowing her little sister to baby-sit was not all that bad.

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And Li’l Bit decided being the babysitter was not a bad gig either.

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Curly has been hard at work on a Boy Scout Merit Badge for Environmental Science. One of the requirements was to build a compost. We had wanted one again for awhile, so this was a win-win!

I am quite proud of him. He worked for a couple of weeks in the Prez’s workshop on this with very minimal assistance from his Dad.

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I regret not getting photos of his progress, but he was working in the late nights while I often had a certain little someone who wanted to be none other than in my lap.

These photos were taken as he put it all together and put some already-composting leaves in it.

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And finally, when is it not a good day for play-doh?

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TarJay has had some Daily Deals leading up to Easter in the Toy Department, and I happened upon one last Thursday evening. Funny thing is I had play-doh on my list as TarJay had a 24-Pack on sale for $9.99 and I had a $3 manufacturer’s coupon. We don’t do Easter baskets, but we needed some new play-doh anyway … so I hopped on this deal. 🙂

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To my surprise, TarJay had a 36 Mega-Pack as their Daily Deal last Thursday (they are having them through Easter), and I was still able to use my coupon. So 36 tubs for $6.99.

Everyone was excited when they saw the big box. I promised we’d use it the next day.

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Imaginations were used and patience was put into practice as well as some give and take too. Fun was had by all.

A crocodile war even commenced.
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Ni Hao Yall

Sunday Snapshot: {Who Needs the Zoo?}

All of these creatures have been sighted/handled in and around our home, campsite or the Prez’s office.

I could not make this up if I tried.

The Prez found this lovely creature in our backyard while mowing one Saturday afternoon. You can hear the lovely cicadas in the background.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Speaking of cicadas …

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Yes, he filled the recycled aluminum can up …

… and then dumped them out on this planting-bench-turned-outdoor-sideboard to see if “they could get away.”

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I kid you not … this rooster …

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… showed up at The Prez’s office in town one day

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And he seemed to like it there. When these photos were taken, we had stopped by to check on him and found his *foot* bleeding. I told the Prez he had to do something.

So he did what any responsible business owner would do. He retrieved his first aid kit, applied some ointment and gauze and first aid tape.

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Next I show you the … ahem … illegally captured (and I might add LEGALLY RELEASED) baby alligator snapping turtle.

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Mo came home giddily one day after he and Larry rode their bikes down to the creek. “Look what I found, Mommy!”

“There was a big one nearby. I tried to get it, but it was too heavy. I found this little one though.”

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In the following photo, you’ll see my solution for us finding the creature MISSING from its temporary home.

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I do not know why I can’t find the pic I took of Mo HOLDING the creature.

Perhaps because I was running quickly away.

These turtles grow very large and can snap one’s finger O-F-F.

Is it a dragonfly or damselfly???

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A lizard who happened to be at the right place at the right time … at least according to Mo.

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And finally I leave you with the Eastern Click Beetle.

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Let me just say the boys thought it funny that I jumped out of my skin when they conned me into “just touching it” and it CLICKED at me. For more inside information about the Click Beetle or any other 6 or 8-legged creature, try out this cool site Mo and I found the other night to identify a Luna Moth he spotted outside the boys’ bathroom window.

**Please note no animals were harmed during the making of this blog post.**

Sunday Snapshot