Thursday, May 31, 2012

52 Week Photo Project Week 22

I am working on teaching Jadyn a few thinks about using my DSLR.  I rarely shot in automatic, and since Jadyn likes to take pictures, I think it would be great if she never realized automatic was there.  I mainly shoot in AV mode (aperture priority) so I set that for her, but I have taught her to move the red box onto her subjects eye as often as possible and the rule of thirds.  I am sure there are more technical terms for all this, but she is 9 and well, I am me.  We both need it simple.  Here is what she took.

We also played around with backlighting for these.  I am trying to raise up an amazing photographer.  So far, so good I think.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 21

Amanda and I have worked very hard to encourage a close friendship between these two boys.  It has nothing to do with us wanting to use them as an excuse to hang out together during the day.  Maybe it does a little.  We are finally there.  Here are our 3 year olds as knights.  Gotta love that each boy is looking a different direction no matter how many times I called both of their names!

Friday, May 25, 2012

End of School Daze Part 4

This post isn't about one of my children.  It is about my best friend, a wife and a momma of 4 kids (3 of which are under 4).

She finished grad school this past weekend.  Rusty and I had the privilege of joining her family as she walked across the stage.

She is the perfect example of no excuses!  She completed this while working part time, having her 2 youngest babies, 1st grade VBS director and MOPS Co-Coordinator, wife-ing, and mom-ing her 2 oldest.

And, just for fun...the two babies she had during the quest for the masters.


Amanda, girl we are all so crazy proud of you!  I am glad you are done!  Now, you can forget working and school and focus on crafting with me all day :)

End of School Daze Part 3

Field Day, Day 2.  Jadyns field day.

We ended yesterday with Colton being OVER IT!

We pulled out the big guns today.

Cherry slushee.  This is something Colton really only gets when Aunt Wendi is in charge of the Sonic drinks so it was an especially exciting treat this morning.  Boy was it worth it!  This slushee kept him happy and entertained in the stroller for the entire first hour!

Jadyn had a great time.  There was an odd number of kids in her class.  Jadyn managed to play her card just right and she was able to have 2 partners and do every activity twice.  That's our girl.

Wrapping the teachers in toilet paper.  A teachers favorite, I am sure.

Busting water balloons.  The students favorite, this I know.

The girls have had a great time this year, but they are SO READY for summer to start next week.  I am too!  We will see how I feel mid July, but for now, bring on the lazy mornings and late evenings, no routines, weekends at the lake, days at the beach, afternoons at the pool...yep, we are ready.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

End of School Daze Part 2

Next up on this week's end of year events was Rylee's field day.  All week prior to field day, Rylee complained about not wanting to go to field day.  And, surprise, surprise, she had a blast anyway!

Rylee and BFF Allie Arnold
Her partner was her good buddy Joey.  They all did amazing, and her class placed 1st or 2nd in every event!  Woohoo Branner's Barracudas!  Way to finish off the year!

Rylee and Joey

I must admit, in true Alicia fashion, I found myself tearing up behind my sunglasses (thank goodness they hid my tears!).  Watching all these kiddos having such a blast doing something I remember loving as a kid myself...just a reminder of how fast time flies and what an amazing time childhood is.

As much fun as the big kids have at field day....well, for Colton, not so much....

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 20

This weeks photo (well, technically last week) is a little sneak peak of a  project I did for a friend.  I actually SOLD one of my creations!  It was so fun!  I am waiting for a full reveal until she has it all hung up.  More pictures to come!

End Of School Daze Part 1

Phew!  You can tell the end of the school is quickly approaching!  The end of school year activities really begin to pick up.

Jadyn, Brooke, Chloe on final race day
Jadyn painting houses in 3rd Ward 
Jadyn and Jackson painting houses in 3rd Ward
Jadyn is one of those kids who loved to be involved in whatever activities are available at school.  She could not wait for leadership opportunities.  She has been involved in Math Buddies and Morning Announcement roles in school, and this year Read, Deed, Run.  This was Copeland's first year to have a Read, Deed, Run program.  It is a year long marathon of 26 books or 2, 600pages read, 26 hours of good deeds within your community and 26.2 miles ran over the course of the year (broken down into 1 mile at a time increments).  With 25 miles ran, the kids finished off their "marathon" by coming together at the end of the year for their final race 1.2 mile race.  Afterwards, they all celebrated by receiving a medal and some refreshments.

One of the only reasons I am probably considering running a half marathon this year is because of the miles I have had to run with Jadyn.  Running with her taught me that I could do atleast one mile and at one point I thought that to be in possible.

We are so proud of Jadyn's accomplishments and really hope we can continue to encourage her to read, deed and run!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Little Getaway

We spent this past week in Cibilo (just outside of San Antonio) for a quick getaway at Noonie and Poppie's house.  The kids LOVE it here and would never leave if we didn't make them come home.  Mommy and Daddy love it here, too, but its because the grandparents do all the work :)

We started Friday evening off with dinner at Catalano's.  It is a little pizzeria in this small town.  SERIOUSLY some of the best pizza ever.  We try our hardest to arrive early enough on Friday nights to start the weekend off here!  YUM!!!!

Saturday (after our first 3 mile run!) we drove over to Guadalupe River State Park for a little river fun.  We were here last year with the Collins family and wow what a difference rain makes!  We were in such a terrible drought last year that the river was PERFECT conditions for little ones.  This past Saturday, not as much.

Guadalupe River September 2011
Absolute SAME direction May 2012
It might not have been the most calm conditions on the parents behalf, but the kids LOVED it anyway.

Colton was thrilled to have Daddy teach him how to skip rocks on the water.  Of course he wasn't able to master it yet, but had fun looking for rocks and throwing them anyway!

Finished the weekend off with a grill out. Wonderful, much needed weekend away!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This is no doubt a picture I would have deleted 6 months ago.  I tend to lean towards "posed" pictures of my family, and when I do take candid shots, I rarely love them.  I am trying to step out of that box and look for the story the pictures tell.  And, this picture does just that.  It tells the story of a husband who is being a bit to "handsy" and borderline inappropriate for a picture.  It tells the story of a husband who is a goof ball and apparently behaves as badly as his children when a camera comes out.

Now, this picture tells the story of a husband who finally obeys after the wife threatens him :)
Rusty believes the sun bouncing off his head is a halo effect

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just Another Sunday Evening

Nothing overly exciting this particular Sunday evening.  Chicken tostada's on the grill, dinner on the patio, kids playing outside.  One of those perfect, Spring evenings.

We have enjoyed dinner outside as frequent as possible this spring.  Jadyn has even declared all of our food tastes better outside!

Colton skipped his normal afternoon nap, so he decided to take a brief one outside.  

And this is what happens when I ask my girls to take a sweet, sisterly picture together.  These pictures do show a sisterly love, though, even if it wasn't what I was originally aiming for.

Jadyn thought they should build a little pyramid with Colton at the top.  Colton didn't understand what was being asked of him.  He thought Rylee wanted to be a horse, and that he should ride her.  This kid cracks us up!

I absolutely love nights that end like this one did.  And, I also love how good looking my husband is in this picture.  I'm sure he won't find this awkward at all :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 19

We ran our first 3 mile run!  We are on week 4 (I think...) so we are still running 90 seconds walking 60 seconds.  This is our last week like that.  Next week we are running 1/4 mile, walking 1/4 mile for 3 miles.  We are visiting Noonie and Poppie in Cibolo this weekend and the weather was gorgeous at 7:30 this morning.  A beautiful 63 degrees!  We are pretty happy with our first 3 miles stats (using Endomondo running tracker)!