Photography, Paintings and other creative works

Posts tagged ‘family’

Merry Christmas

I just want to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!  Thank you for following me and looking forward to another fun filled holiday season!!

 

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Florida

Back over the winter, we tossed around the idea of a family vacation and figured we could do it!  I searched, planned and booked…then we waited.  I didn’t want to say “I can’t wait” because I wasn’t going to wish away our summer.  But summer went fast as it always does and it was time to go. First time the girls were on a plane!

We flew out on Tues, had a lay over in Atlanta, and arrived in Tampa 10 min early…but there was a bad lightning storm and they couldn’t unload the luggage so we sat around for over an hour waiting to collect our luggage! Finally arrived at our hotel at 8pm.

At BUF airport waiting to board

At BUF airport waiting to board

Day 2 we took a shuttle to Shell Key Island.  We found lots of shells and saw manatees!  Then we headed to Clearwater Beach so the girls could swim in the Gulf!

Day 3 we headed to Orlando…MAGIC KINGDOM!  I am not a huge fan of crowds or amusement parks…so one day at Disney World was enough for me.  Juli is very into the Princesses and couldn’t wait to see her favorite, Belle.  Rae wanted to see Mike and Sully at the Laugh Floor and Nina’s (and mine) favorite turned out to be Space Mountain!  We rode lots of rides, including Thunder Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain (not me!), Pirates of the Caribbean, among others.  Saw the Electric Parade and the fireworks.  It was a very long day (up at 5am and returned to the hotel at 1am).  But, we did everything we wanted to do…including trying the Dole whip!

Day 4- we slept in a bit on Friday! LOL  We started to the day out at the pool, then headed to Honeymoon Island and back to Clearwater Beach.  We hung around at Pier 60 for the little craft show and saw a gorgeous sunset!

Day 5- Today we headed to the Weedon Preserve.  We saw LOTS of crabs and an armadillo!  Then we spent most of the afternoon at St. Pete beach.  A spur of the moment decision had us back in Clearwater to take a dolphin cruise with Mega Bite!  It was fun and we got to see several dolphins!!

Day 6- We headed to Lakeland to the Circle Bar B Reserve.  I found it in a travel book as a good place to see alligators- one thing Nina really wanted to see while in FL.  We headed out on the trails and heard them.  What a weird sound!  Then, I spotted one!  A wild gator!  It was quite the experience!  We ended up seeing 5 of them along the Alligator Alley trail!  Saw lots of osprey too!  From here, we headed to visit our family that lives outside of Tampa!

Day 7- we headed out early and spent the day along the East Coast.  Swam in the Atlantic at Jetty Park (Cape Canaveral), stopped at the Cocoa Beach Pier and drove up to see the space center!

It was a great week and we were able to fit so much in!  I took over 1300 pics and put 907 miles on the rental car!!  I will be updating my photography website very soon with more pics from our trip!  I hope you’ll stop by and take a look!

My Summer

As you can tell from yesterday’s post, our summer was pretty much consumed with softball (not that I’m complaining!).  We did manage to squeeze a few other things in, though!  In May, Juli had Kindergarten orientation- can’t believe my baby is going to school already (she starts tomorrow!).

An exciting day!

An exciting day!

 

At then end of the Month, I got to go with Nina on her 6th grade trip to Toronto.  We went to the zoo, the Royal Museum, took a tour of the city, and finished with dinner at Medieval Times!  It was a long day, but lots of fun.  (And, for the first time since I started coaching, I had to miss a game.  It was Nina’s 1st game of the season and her, 3 teammates and myself missed the game because of the trip!)

Outside the museum

Outside the museum

At Medieval Times

At Medieval Times

Just a few short weeks later, Nina graduated from 6th grade.  Can’t believe she is starting middle school!!

My "baby"

My “baby”

Receiving her diploma

Receiving her diploma

 

 

Juli at the beach

Juli at the beach

 

 

Our game end "pep talk"

Our game end “pep talk”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Softball 2013

Hello all!

I know it’s been a long time.  If you take a moment to read the upcoming posts, you’ll know why! 🙂  You know I have 3 lovely daughters- who all love softball! My “baby” got to play this year!  So, all 3 girls were playing house….and I was coaching all 3 teams!  And, my middle daughter made the town’s 10U travel team.  LOTS of softball this summer!!

I’ll start with the little one, Juli.  Only being 4, she was the youngest on her team.  I’ve never coached girls this young.  I had mostly 5 and 6 year olds, with a couple 8 yr olds.  (When I started coaching Rae’s team in 2011, she was 7 1/2 and so was the rest of her team!).  It was a blast!  These kids were adorable and played their hearts out.  There was no pressure.  Hit the ball, run.  You get one base at a time.  No one strikes out.  Everyone bats every inning.  Juli loved it.  She played all over the field and did awesome batting.  Yes, 4 years old and this girl was hitting pitches!!  First coach pitch game she steps up to the plate and hits home plate with her bat!  The parents went nuts!  Can you tell she’s been watching the big girls play?

Batter up!

Batter up!

Later in the game, this crazy child is running home, and, looks to me like she trips and falls on home plate.  Skins her knee; normally she hates the sight of blood.  She proudly shows it off saying “look, I’m bleeding like the big girls!”.  She runs over to Gramma asking “Gramma!  Did you see me slide into home?”  Yes, she tried to slide into home!!

Sliding into home!

Sliding into home!

Juli did well fielding, too.  She even asked to play 1st base and was very close to catching throws from her teammates.  She came a long way from yelling at us when we didn’t throw the ball directly into her glove!

Making a play to 1st

Making a play to 1st

Award day the team got their trophies.  She was so proud she took it to our family picnic later that day to show it off!

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Rae played on 2 teams this summer.  I coached her house team and she played travel too!  I’ll start with travel.

She played on the 10U Magic team, practiced all winter long and ended up earning the “Most Improved” award at the end of the season!  We are so proud of the improvements she made in her game.  Travel ball is full blown, regular softball!  She had to learn to slide, run on dropped 3rd strike, steal bases…she had never played live pitch before either!  It was a lot of fun watching the girls come together as a team and start winning games!

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The first game of the season the girls lost by many runs to Lancaster.  We finally won a few games (regular season and tourney games).  We lost to Lancaster again during a tourney, but it was much closer.  3rd week in July we had to face them one more time in a play off game….Magic won 10-2!!!!  It was such a great game.  We showed sooooo much improvement from game 1!  Rae had her biggest hit of the season during this game- a nice drive out past 2nd base!

Biggest hit of the season!

Biggest hit of the season!

These are a couple of my favorite team pics from our first tourney.

OP Tourney 063

OP Tourney 068

The majority of Rae’s house team had moved up with her from the ponytail division…10 of 12 girls were new to the intermediate division  (10U kid pitch) but we managed to take 4th place!  Rae pitched in almost every game and did very well.  She also played 1st and contributed to many outs.

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Her softball face!

Game 10 (last game) she pitched 4 innings, caught 2 pop flies, made a tag out and beat 2 girls back to 1st for outs!!

Fly out #1

Fly out #1

Fly out #2

Fly out #2

On the mound

On the mound

She also hit her first TRIPLE!!!

On 3rd after her triple!

On 3rd after her triple!

4th place- 1st year in the division!

4th place- 1st year in the division!

And I saved the best for last….

Nina moved up to modified this year.  We had a great group of girls and parents.  The girls worked very hard and worked together as  team from day 1.  Nina got to pitch a lot more this season and did very well!  She threw many strikeouts!

Throwing strikes

Throwing strikes

She also played 1st and did awesome!

2nd out in a double play!

2nd out in a double play!

Not too many girls in house slide, but Nina learned to slide and loved it!

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She may not be the biggest hitter, but she was one of the most consistent and had a great on-base percentage!

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Our team went 7 games before they had a loss.  7-0, 7-1, 7-2.  Going into playoff day, we were 7-2.  Playing the team that gave us our 2nd loss; playing for 1st place.  The girls showed up that afternoon ready to win…they batted first and started scoring runs.  Making great outs in the field. We lost the lead…they rallied back.  It was intense.  Last inning, only up by 6.  Nina is pitching and throwing good pitches.  They score a run, and another, and another.  It’s 20-18, our lead, with 2 outs.  The next batter plinks one right to Nina.  She scoops it up and throws to 1st.  Our 1st baseman is ready…makes the catch… WE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There were screams, shouts and tears!!!!  They did it!!!  I was so proud of these girls!!  Out of 11 girls, 4 were new to this division and 2 hadn’t played before!

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Not a brawl, but a celebration!!!

FIRST PLACE!!!!

FIRST PLACE!!!!

This season may have ended at the end of July, but Magic try outs were mid August (oh yeah, did I mention I’m now coaching travel??) and we’re starting our new season this coming weekend!!

Happy Easter!

Hello all! Can’t believe the end of March is here.  Hope you’re March is going out like a lamb…it’s not here!

Tomorrow is my girls’ last day of school before break and we made a little something for their teachers.  I’ve seen similar  ideas all over Pintrest and couldn’t resist!

Peep S'mores

Peep S’mores

Family Vacation!!!!!!

It’s official! We’re going on our first big family vacation!  Airplanes, hotel, rental car and DISNEY!!!!

We’re spending a week in Clearwater, FL and taking a day trip to the Magic Kingdom.  My 4 year old is obsessed with princesses so this should be the “happiest place on Earth” for her! LOL

While it’s 6 months away, and I certainly don’t want to rush summer, I’m already planning.  Softball starts in about 6 weeks and it’s going to be a very busy summer with coaching 3 teams, and, one daughter also on a travel team. So, I figure I’ll get as much done as I can now!  Reservations are made.   I have a box started and I’m adding stuff constantly.  Lists are made and being edited.  I’m constantly looking for ideas and tips (have a good one?  Please share!).

I found this website – WDW Prep School – and it’s AMAZING!!!  Shannon has a WONDERFULLY helpful site and will even answer your personal questions.  Please pay a visit to her sight if you’re even thinking of going to Disney!  From this site I found a great idea- pressed penny tubes.  Apparently Disney had machines that you can squish pennies into souvenirs!  It’s $.51- 2 quarters and the penny to squish.  So, each of the girls (and myself!) now have a penny tube.  Find great labels here.  I put mine into Word and added the girls’ names before I printed them.  Then just wrap around the tube and tape in place with packing tape!

Pressed Penny Tubes

Pressed Penny Tubes

I started each of the girls with $3 in quarters- layer 2 quarters and a penny- much easier than digging for the right coins when you find a machine!  The tubes hold several dollars but they’re digging in their piggy banks for the rest! LOL

 

I’ve seen these on Pintrest and thought they would be a great idea- phone number bracelets. I don’t even want to think of us getting separated but if it does happen, hopefully no one will panic too much and they will remember to find a cast memeber and show them the bracelet!

Phone number bracelets

Phone number bracelets

And with a layover (changing planes) in Atlanta, they’ll be wearing them on the plane too! If you plan on making these, don’t forget your zip code!!

Do you have any great tips about a day trip to Disney?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  I look forward to it! 🙂

DIY Christmas

Hello faithful followers!  I realize we are into February already of the new year….how does time go by so fast??

Here are a few of my favorites I made this Christmas.

Lighted wine bottle

Lighted wine bottle

This wine bottle was one of my favorites this year!  There is only ONE type of wine that I like…thanks to my friend Chris.  I made this for her with the first big bottle we shared (up until October “our” wine was only available in smaller bottles).  With a special glass bit, my husband drilled a hole near the bottle- I fed in the lights, sprayed the bottle with frosted glass spray paint, and added the ornaments and bow…then made one for myself too! 🙂

Lighted vase- my girls

Lighted vase- my girls

Thanks to Pintrest, I found A LOT of things I wanted to make….photo vases were one of them.  I printed the picture on vellum and Mod Podged it to the vase.  Then I sprayed the rest of the vase with frosted glass paint and inserted a flameless votive.  Then, I needed a little something for my oldest daugther’s violin teacher…

Lighted vase- Canon in D

Lighted vase- Canon in D

Side view of Canon in D

Side view of Canon in D

I printed sheet music on vintage paper and did the same thing…it came out great!  I liked the look of the sheet music and made these little snowmen, too…a little brown ink around the edges to make it more vintage.

Snowman ornament

Snowman ornament

 

This year we took our Girl Scout troop to Designing Dish as part of our Potter badge.  The girls painted mugs and ornaments.  They were ready to take home in time for our Christmas party- I made these hot chocolate snowmen as a little something special.  Just baby food jars, dowel sections, felt, paint and, of course, hot chocolate mix and marshmallows!

Hot Chocolate snowmen

Hot Chocolate snowmen

I love the deluxe apples but not the price…so this year I made my own!  I covered large honey crisp apples with caramel then drizzled them with chocolate, toffee pieces and/or pecans.

Deluxe caramel apples

Deluxe caramel apples

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