Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to School

The kids are back in school.  Yeah.

They were ready to go... even if they deny it. 

It's been a busy week between my work and getting forms / supplies and all the misc. items that are needed at the beginning of the year.   So far, so good.  Everyone seems to like their teachers and the year appears to be off to a good start.  Now to keep it going that way.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Movie Night

The hubby and I are watching the Watchmen tonight.

I haven't decided if I like it or not yet... it's interesting, but definitely rough.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The new hair style continues. I had highlights done on Tuesday and here's a picture of my new hair style... admittedly a bad one, but a picture none-the-less.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Updating Facebook

Tonight, I'm updating my information across all the wonderful social networking sites. I don't update nearly the way other people do, but once in a while I get the urge to make sure what's up is halfway current.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Website Updated

I've been working on my freelance website this weekend. I've gotten about 80% of the change over to the new design complete. I'm much more pleased with this design than what I had up previously. I still need to change out the graphic designs and image retouching pages and to create a new interface for my interactive gallery, but for the moment, I'm satisfied with how it stands.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Long Evening

It's nearly 1 am.  I've been working for the last three hours on a PowerPoint presentation for work.  This one is going to end up a huge presentation but it will be great when it's complete and there is a comprehensive presentation to draw from whenever we need to pull together any type of presentation. 

The older two kiddos spent last night at my parents - from what I've heard from them they had a wonderful time with their grandparents and cousins (my brothers children). 

Terry's in his last week of summer school.  The hubby and I have been very pleased with his progress this summer.  He's been working on his math and reading skills during the extended school year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to Work

It's been a long weekend.  Not that anything went badly, other than maybe my mood, it's just been long.

The kids went to Buddy Break on Saturday.  I really think they enjoy the three hours out of the house.  They get to go be kids and the hubby and I get three hours of not having to worry about them fighting each other or Terry getting into anything.  Not that I can say we've done anything with the time other than just vegetate.  We had discussed going to the park for this last one, but I ended up being to exhausted to even think about going anywhere.

That pretty much summed up my whole weekend - exhausted. 

I had so much that I wanted to get done - none of which happened.  I didn't even manage to "catch-up" on my sleep.  Terry let me sleep till 11 on Sunday, but I still got up feeling just as tired as I did when I went to bed the night before.  I know the causes: stress, money, the house, the kids, my health, etc...  you know all the usual suspects, but I haven't been able to get a hold on it for the last week or so.  Normally, I do pretty good at keeping it all together and staying a bit upbeat - I guess right now the chinks in my optimistic armor are showing. 

What I'd really love is a vacation.  Can't afford it and really don't want to stay home & look at everything I need to fix and don't have the money to repair.

Deep breath and back to work... at least I still have a job.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Holiday Weekend

It's been a busy weekend.

We started off by getting the yard mowed. Thankfully, the hubby was able to get our push mower running since our riding mower decided that it was done with mowing yards. Our oldest got some practice at push mowing. (He's not thrilled he's not getting to "drive" around the yard, but I'm thrilled it got mowed.)

Saturday we headed to my parents to have a cook-out. The kids got to have fun making tie-dyed t-shirts, some of which came out really cool, and us adults got a chance to do a little visiting. As you can see from the picture all the kids (and my sister-in-law) were enjoying hamming it up for the camera in their new t-shirts.

It was a beautiful day. We stayed out on my parents back deck for most of the afternoon - such a change from July 4th's in prior years when it was too hot to be outdoors. We all enjoyed good food and company and had a little celebration for my brother and sister-in-law who celebrated there twelfth wedding anniversary on the 4th.

No fireworks for us this year. It's too much excitement for our little man to handle, especially on top of already having a full day out and about. Overall, it's been a nice holiday weekend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yard work today

While the kids were enjoying there time at the Buddy Break I took the opportunity to trim the trees in the back yard. I went through & took off the branches that were head height or lower to ensure that I could ride the mower around the edge of the yard without the trees competing at which one would be able to knock me off the mower.

I went to the trimming with gusto & ended up with a huge pile of branches.

Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with my dad - who has a truck - and get his agreement to do a run to the dump for me.

Drew, Cassie and I got the truck loaded up with the help of my dad. The he, Drew and Cassie took the load off to the dump. My understanding is dad did more to unload than the kids did, but this way I was able to stay home & handle the fussy little guy (not too thrilled that he was left behind). I managed to get him to take a brief nap while they were gone and that improved his behavior for a little while.

As a reward for their labor Drew and Cassie got to play the X-box till 8 pm. They were amazed when they asked that I said yes so easily - I told them, when you've done work to earn it, I don't have a problem saying yes. Maybe they'll take more initiative - okay, I doubt it, but a mom can hope!

Buddy Day

Our first experience with Buddy Day has been a success.

It appears as if all the kids had fun. Andrew was a Buddy Helper, Cassie and Terry both had buddies. No problems reported and a lot a exuberance about the time there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a day!

Wow. It has been a day. Things finally start to look as if they are going to settle and move in a positive direction when the car decides I don't have enough stress in my life.

On the way home today I started smelling something - off. I was sitting at the light to turn into my neighborhood & glanced down at the gauges. My display showed five bars on the temperature gauge. Normally there are only four. This got me a little concerned, but then as I drove down the street beside the stores at the front of the neighborhood the gauge went up to six bars. Now was nervous. Thankfully the house was two quick right turns away. I pulled in the driveway & cut off the car to a wave of steam pouring out from under the hood. - NOT GOOD.

I popped the hood and let the steam billow out & found not only was there steam, but the underside of the hood was dripping with water/anti-freeze. REALLY NOT GOOD.

I let the engine cool down a bit & went inside to tell the hubby and fix the kiddos some dinner.
The hubby stated that hopefully it was a hose. So, one I got dinner underway - out I went to check and see if I could find a leaking hose. With some suggestions from my brother - I found it. It wasn't a little leak it was a fully blown out hose. But thankfully just a hose.

Thinking I would have to make a trip to the local auto supply store, and not having a running vehicle, I called my dad to take me. While waiting I started to loosen the clamps on the hose - figured that it would be easier to replace if I had the original piece with me. My hubby came out to help me take it off & discovered that we already had a replacement hose in the shed.

About this time my dad showed up, and although no longer needed to take me to the auto parts store stayed around to oversee the hoses replacement. After a bit of sweat and frustration the hose went back on and was clamped in place. Added a bit of anti-freeze and water & started the car up & great joy - the temp never went above four bars - back to normal.

Frustrating, stressful, but thankfully all it ended up taking was a bit of time & elbow grease.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Life is a bit stressful at the moment. Too much going on that I should have been more active in preventing, but it's too late at this point for should haves and what ifs.

The kids are out for the summer and we had hoped to take them to Busch Gardens this year, but that plan has had to be placed on hold indefinitely. It's a huge disappointment all the way around. But we're just accepting what can't be and trying to move on and do the best that we can.

Work...well, I'm looking at another 100+ hours of map creation. This time it's a bit frustrating only in the scale of the maps to be created. It's covering an area about the size of Virginia and we're looking at 18 or so roads. The details of the road when it's multi-lane can be bad, but I'd rather be dealing with 20 miles of 8-lane roads than 100's of miles of 2-lane.

The kids and I got the back yard mowed today and Troy & I got the swing set trimmed up around the posts and under some of the swings where the lawn mower wouldn't fit.

Cassie found a box turtle while she was pushing Terry on the swing. It was under the two person swing he was sitting in... unfortunately, she found it when she stepped on the little guy, but thankfully she didn't cause any harm to him. She held back the swing and I moved the turtle over under the slide. He sat there for a couple of minutes and then started making his way to the back fence (we've assumed he's heading into the wild strawberry patch back there).

The birds are having a great time out in the back yard now... the grass had gotten up over a foot so now that it's been cut they are more easily able to find bugs and the yard has a number of them hopping and pecking before flying off again.

The front and side still need to be cut and trimmed up, but that may come tomorrow.

The kiddos and I headed out after getting the back yard mowed. We dropped Cassie off at the library. She's been begging to go since they closed the library at the school over a month ago. She spent two hours in library heaven while Andrew, Terry and I went to Costco. She's been thrilled since we got back home now that she's got eight books to read - and set up her online access and has requested two more. (You might think she likes to read ... hmm, wonder where she got that from.)

Andrew's finishing up his dinner (too busy playing xbox to eat when the rest of us did). Boy is he goofy. He's giving me such a hard time lately - he's finally reached the same height as mom and he's not letting me live down that he's taller than me. It's expected of course. I'm only 5'4 and his father is over 6'. I expect Drew to top 6' - just don't tell him that. I' keep threatening to put weights on him to shrink him.

Well, he's asking me to help him get his blog set up and linked into the family site so I'm going to ge. (I got his sister set up a little while ago so it's only fair.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Long Week

It has been a long week. Between work and home, sometime is seams as if time flies, and other times it drags along as slowly as possible.

This week has had a bit of both, but overall it has been a long and draining week. Home has been a bit more stressful than usual - but that's to be expected from time to time when you have a child with special needs and deal with the social security administration. They seam to have major issues over my bi-weekly pay schedule.

Twice a year I make too much money and my youngest looses benefits - the amount of paperwork that arrives during those two months generally results in a bit of stress. Notices stated he's no longer qualified for benefits, notices requiring repayment of funds (How we owe anything when they receive my paychecks every month & they calculate his payments is beyond me), and notifications stating a resumption of benefits. When you're not expecting it to arrive it can cause a bit of a panic.

Then my office has been changing over our benefits to no providers and we've all had to go through re-enrollment so that's given me a whole new set of things to try and figure out. This of course coincided with a proposal.

I do freelance design - so I've had a couple of other projects I've been working on, when I'm not "working" Oh what fun - okay - these have been fun. :)

Well it's all settled for the moment (I hope) and I intend to get a break this weekend. Okay, I still have a house to clean sometime in there, but I desperately need some sleep - so I'm off of here - Night.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Cook Out

Okay - it's not Memorial Day yet, but we still had our cook out a day early. We had a nice time at my mother-in-laws. Troy was in charge of the grill and I spent my time running interference between Terry and everything he wanted to get in to.

Once tummies were full, and cupcakes eaten, the kids settled down. Terry had been asking for cupcakes since I made them this morning. I have to say, he did very well with being told that he had to wait until he'd gone to Nanna's and eaten dinner.

Terry took a very brief "power nap", but it did put him in a better mood. We read "the Foot Book" and then he settled in to play with his toys while Troy and I visited.

All in all it was a very nice visit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I'm still working my way through the Structure of Man. I'm working on the hands at the moment. I've got two lessons left and I'll have the entire skeleton complete. I've learned so much. I do LOVE these training videos. I feel like I need to go back and revisit a couple of videos just to make certain that I'm certain of the entire skeletal structure before I move on to the muscles.

My eldest son, is giving me a hard time, because he started these videos after me and is about 20 video's ahead of where I am. I'm thrilled he's working on them, but he doesn't understand I'm not in this to try and finish first, but to complete them so I have a good understanding of how to draw the human figure.

I'd love to jump around, but so far have been steadfast in my resolve to do the video's in order and to be comfortable with my progres before moving on to the next topic.

When i get a through the skeleton I'll scan in a couple of images to post.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week's end

It's Friday - YEAH! Okay- it's 12:28 am and I still have a full day of work to go, but it's a three day weekend come 5:30 pm. So, yeah!

It looks like we'll be headed over to the in-laws one day this weekend. It should be nice. The kid's will have fun visiting with their grandparents and it's nice to get out of the house now and then.

I will be working on Terry's bedroom this weekend. I want to get the panneling stained before the weekend ends.

I haven't had a chance to work on my drawing in the last couple of days, but I have made a little progress on the family website. I'm still working to develop an interactive side that will contain the expected activities and instructions for them for standard household tasks. My goal it to create a comprehensive guide for the kids to be able to access and find out what they need to do to clean each room and what steps are involved in each task. It will be nice, when I finish it.

Well, I'm off to bed - got to get some sleep in there somewhere.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

RSS feed

It took a couple of hours but I was finally able to figure out how to get my blog to feed into my family website page. This will make it so much easier to keep my website up to date. I was able to use BuzzBoost in FeedBurner to convert the atom feed into javascript.


It's been a busy day at work... we're in the final stages of a proposal and that always results in a bit of chaos especially as everything ends up at my desk on it's way to final production. I'm the Graphic Design Specialist at the office so I do the final layout and the graphics for all the proposals.

On the home appears as if the family has finally gotten over the stomach flu.

Terry's been adjusting to the new siding in his room. So far he's not tried to pull it down - yeah - nor has he managed to headbutt it hard enough to put his head through it.

I started staining the paneling tonight - I think it's going to come out really nice when I get it finished. I'll take a picture of it soon and post it up here.

I'm almost throught with the first half of Riven Phenoix' "The Structure of Man". I'm currently working on the skeletal structure of the hand. My goal is to have the skeleton finished up during this Memorial Day weekend. Then I'm starting the human figure all over again with the muscles.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Women in Swimsuite

This is an illustration of an image I purchased from iStockPhotos. This image was created in Illustrator.