Edit Me Challenge, February 29, 2012

After months and months of not posting, I thought I’d jump in again with an “Edit Me” Challenge. I saw this when updating my Google Reader after receiving a reminder from Branson that the Google Friends thing was being discontinued. Who knew? Anyway, seeing the cute photo waiting to be edited just had me itching to join in the challenge, so here I am.

Here’s the before… cute little guy. I miss my kids being this age… sigh.


Anyway, here’s the after.

I did a curves adjustment to lighten it up, turned down the reds, did an unsharp mask layer, but then erased most of the sharpening on his sweet little face. I sharpened the eyes a bit. I then ran Paint the Moon’s Vanilla Pop action and adjusted the different layers to my liking. I finished it off with an edge burn to give a bit of color to the sky.

Here they are side by side so that you can compare…



So… here I am again, bloggy world! I can’t promise that I’ll be consistent as it seems a million things are happening right now in my life, but I hope to be back in some capacity!

Edit Me

Sorry folks!

I had hoped to be able to post consistently and balance it with homeschooling.  So far getting into the schooling groove has been challenging.  Saying all that to say… bear with me as I try to figure out some balance.

I do LOVE posting, writing, taking pics and I will get to that as soon as I can.  I must say that I’m horribly behind on housework.  I’m also horribly hot with grumpy kids, so I think doing some swimming is in order.  I think the latter will win out!  Hoping to return tomorrow with an actual post!

Happy Wednesday everyone!


Letting Go…

“Back to school, back to school”… (cue Adam Sandler song from Billy Madison)

Today’s Miscellany Post is a little different from my usual 5 point post.  I do love a list of any kind.  I’m always making to-do lists.  The problem is that I make lists and forget about them. Sometimes I keep making lists over and over again because I forgot where I put the original list.

You see, I recently took a right brain/left brain test (well, an online thing anyway… I’m not sure how credible it was.  If you’re curious about your noggin, take your test here).  I’ve always been confused because I love organization and perfection, yet I have a creative side and sometimes I can be disorganized.  So which is it?  What am I?

Turns out… I’m both pretty equally… slightly more right brained (creative)… something like 52% right brained, 48% left brained.

Saying all that to say this… I’ve struggled with my lack of ability to keep up with my perfection standards.  It’s always puzzled me.  I expect it out of myself yet I don’t always know how to go about achieving things.  Sort of like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.  Dr. Jekyll wants everything checked off of the list, but then Mr. Hyde takes over (whether it be a huge need for creativity, for fun, or whatever) and then my list is out the window.

This happens in many areas of my life, including homeschooling.

You see, we start school today.  This year I not only have my oldest son (who is beginning 2nd grade) but now have my daughter (she’s beginning Kindergarten) depending on me to get her some learnin’.  This scares me, because now I have to try to be even MORE organized to make sure I meet the needs of two of my children in schooling (in addition to my 2 year old running around).  The logistics of how it will all work out is still beyond me.

What is the point?  (As I’m typing this, Dr. Jekyll is itching for some sort of nice summary.)

Here it is… I’m not perfect.  I never will be.  I am both organized and unorganized.  I’m human.  I have to learn to relax.  I have to do everything as unto the Lord, but I need His help.  I have to realize that He’s called me to do this and that He will equip me.  I want my kids to learn.  To LOVE learning.  To have fun, but also to gain knowledge and wisdom.

So, as you’re reading this, I’m sitting at the table with two sweet little blonde hair blue eyed students (while the third one is running around getting into things, I’m sure) looking at me.  One is super-excited to begin school (my daughter) because she’s finally going to be in “big” school.  The other has already stated (my son) that he doesn’t like school.  Maybe it’s because of my past efforts to do worksheet after worksheet attempting to check off each little box on my lesson plans.  That is, when I could find them.

Speaking of lesson plans, I bought this great lesson plan book at Books A Million and have side-by-side pages where I can put Nathan’s plans and then Ashlyn’s plans on the opposite page.  I filled out the first column, left for a few seconds, then came back to Joshua scribbling on the pages.  In ink.  How symbolic… even though I have plans for how a perfect day will run, I know life will have its own “interruptions.”  I need to accept that they’ll be there and persevere through them.  Learn to love those little interruptions.  So, I thought it’d be befitting to put a pic of those imperfect lesson plan sheets here…


I so want this year to be different.  I’m praying that this year is a year when I can let go.  A year when I can plan but not give up from lack of perfection.  I’m excited… I think God’s going to do great things through our learning times together if I’d get out of the way!

Anyway, thanks for listening to my back-to-school ramble.  I plan on annoying the children with a camera aimed at them several times today while they’re trying to do their lessons.  Gotta satisfy the inner Mr. Hyde, too! ;)
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sad day…

Today is the 19th anniversary of the day that my little brother died.  And while I mourn him (still to this day) I rejoice that he’s with Jesus and that I have hope that I will see him again.

Last year I wrote more about my feelings about it… you can click here to read that post.

Anyway, I plan on spending the day hugging my little ones, taking them to a children’s museum and letting them play.  I’ll think about the times that I played with my brother growing up and how he was truly my best friend.



Hope in the storm…

Today is my oldest son’s 8th birthday… wow.  I have an 8 year-old!  And an awesome one at that.  Nathan is smart, kind, enthusiastic, super-organized, and a great motivator.  He’s constantly wanting to know what’s on the agenda for the day.  He’s constantly coming up with activities for the day (whether or not they fit in with what mom has in mind).  He is a sponge… he remembers EVERYTHING.  Everything.

Anyway, Nathan was born on August 10th, 2003.  He was born during a storm, LITERALLY.  There were tornadoes all around us that weekend.  But he was such a delight to welcome into this world.  And although there were alot of struggles going on at the time (we moved to Florida a month before, we were between houses, I was sick with preeclampsia), being given this “gift of God” (that’s what his name means) was totally overwhelming.  I can’t thank God enough for him (or for any of my children).

You see, August has usually not been my favorite month.  My brother died on August 12 and I’ve always dreaded seeing that day come.  When I found out I was due in August I BEGGED God to please let my baby be born any day other than August 12.  I’m thankful that he came a couple of days before.  And although August still can be a stinky month, I’m so thankful for hope.  There’s hope in the future.  God has great plans for us, even in the midst of a storm.

When I saw today’s Edit Me photo over at My Reflection of Something, I was scratching my head, wondering what to do with it.  It’s a great ominous-looking photo.  But the more I looked at it, I could see bits of sunlight peeking through.  I could see the reflection of sunlight ahead of the sailboat (at least I think it’s ahead of it… I’m not well-versed in sailing direction).  I’d like to believe that the boat has already come through the storm and that hope is on the other side.

With that in mind, I edited my photo to accentuate the sunlight

BEFORE: photo courtesy of Amber’s Articles

AFTER: Edited in Photoshop CS4, adjusted saturation, did a hue/saturation adjustment and upped the yellows.  I did Pioneer Woman’s “Sunshine” action and then took away layers I didn’t like, lowered others.  I added text from a Casting Crowns song ;) and then used MCP’s Web sharpening (crystal clear, I think).

My Reflection of Something