~Snow Day~

Ahem.  {taps microphone}  Um, is this thing on? 

A dear friend reminded me today that it’s been nearly two months since my last post!  Eee Gads!  It’s certainly not for lack of mundane exciting things to report, it’s more the time in which to write anything resembling a coherent thought among the thousand other things that we’re actually doing!  But, today being the beautiful gift in which teachers and students alike find ultimate happiness, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to do some fun Christmas Craftiness and get a post in to boot!

With only 7 school days remaining until we’re officially on holiday, I’m hoping to sneak in a few more posts for good measure too!  While some of you may be disappointed that these photos are not of my two growing kiddos, you can imagine for yourselves the squeals of delight and umpteen-thousand reminders that “No, it’s not time for reindeer treats yet!” both Garth and I uttered between 8am and noon.


In other holiday endeavors, I spent close to an hour this morning listening to yet another YA audio book (it’s the only way to stay on top of what my students are reading or should be reading!) while stringing cranberries to decorate the adorable little pine in the corner of our lot.  A strand or two or popcorn and we’d have all sorts of birdies coming by to snack – the kids would just love it!

Speaking of the kids, they finally woke up, so we headed upstairs to get them.  A few tickle matches and a change of clothes later, we were back in the kitchen admiring the reindeer treats when I asked, “Babe, did you move the –” and I pointed to the table where our beautiful strung cranberries had been.  Instantly we both realized that our “beloved” pup had eaten the e-n-t-i-r-e strand!  So, until we get more supplies, here’s all I can share of my cranberry craftiness today!


Sounds like both kids are actually sleeping today, so I think I’ll indulge in a little snow day rest myself!

Finally – Fireworks!

Still much to learn, but lovin’ the fact that I was able to get a few nice shots of “firecrackles” this year!  We went to Cascades on Friday night with my dad and it was perfect!  No bugs (surprising!) and while I was ridiculously focused on taking pictures, I could hear the too-perfect “oooh-ahhhs” from Calder.  I think my absolute favorite though, is his “I just love this one, Mom!”

Hoping everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Fireworks 1

Fireworks 3

Fireworks 2

Fireworks 4

Fireworks 5

Fireworks 6

Fireworks 7

Best Shot Monday ~ Perfect Present

In a perfect world, this post would have appeared a few weeks ago – you know, right about the time school started back again after the holiday break, a couple weeks before grades were due, smack dab in the middle of horrible Michigan winter weather, and an altogether low-point emotionally speaking.  So, suffice it to say I don’t reside in a perfect world, and I’m guessing most of you don’t either.

With a few sane moments sprinkled amidst the chaos, I think I’ve managed to claw my way to the surface long enough to recognize that without preciousness such as this, without the gift of a God greater than I can comprehend, my life would be vastly different.

Perfect Present 2

Perfect Present

Check out others’ Best Shots this last January Monday.

Theme Thursday ~ Holiday Aftermath

I don’t know if this qualifies as “aftermath” necessarily, but I’m using today’s theme to catch up on the third, and I believe final round of family Christmas pictures…until next year.  Or would that be this year, considering it’s already 2009 and I’m just getting around to posting now….Hmm?!

It seems like the theme for end of the year holidays was togetherness.  For Thanksgiving, we had my entire family together for the first time since January and for Christmas this year, Garth’s entire family was together for the first time in a while as well.  We thought we’d celebrate by capturing some great family shots.

Today you get to feast your eyes on the “formal” shots of our holiday gathering.  Just curious if anyone else has trouble with their images getting “goofy” when the size is adjusted to fit the display window?  In some of the shots below eyes are squished, lips disappear among other oddities.

Great and Grand kids

Little ones + sugar + crowds – naps = a very real snapshot!


Think they’re proud grandparents or what?!

Cornwell Clan

The entire family!

First Christmas as a Family of Four

I really like this family picture!  Seneca’s expression is such a reflection of the little personality she’s starting to flaunt! 


I wanted to try a texture here because the picture was too bland by itself.  I like the sepia tone of this background, but forgot how to replicate it for the one of them together.  And, I know I erased too much, but I had to run and was too lazy busy to come back and fix it.  I also wanted to fix her hair where the light was hitting it, but I was having no luck with the paintbrushes!  Believe me, it wasn’t pretty!

Holiday Smiles 2

This “surprised” look was the best I could do to get them together.  For a good laugh, take a peek at this outtake!  I’d love to hear ideas or suggestions about better ways to use texture to enhance images.  I’m all ears! 🙂  If anyone wants a hand at processing these images differently, I’d love to see other interpretations!

Family Christmas ~ Round Two

With inclement weather in the forecast for the following day, we decided to head northward late Saturday night, following our Christmas get-together with my family.  The darkness and snoring from the backseat made it a little dicey to stay alert, but we managed to down a few Coca Colas and keep each other talking….until I too succumbed to the slumber about an hour south of the bridge.

The first few days of our arrival found me feverishly typing away to finish our Christmas novelletter and the festive atmosphere and family fun provided the perfect breaks!  Growing up we always spent Christmas Day with my mom’s side of the family and while the fun used to take place at Grandma and Grandpa’s it’s now moved to Aunt Meri and Uncle Jeff’s house.  And, as I’ve learned over the past seven years, our “tradition” is in being non-traditional.

I recall my mother-in-law showing me a picture of Garth’s second Christmas.  Not only was I struck by the adorable toddler, but also by the place settings with crab salad and either pineapple or tomato juice.  Even if the red table cloth hadn’t given it away, the meal would have signified Christmas. 

The fact that our kids get to grow up with both the long-standing practices of Garth’s family and the ever-changing ways of mine gives them a very unique opportunity.  Having a full two weeks of break this year was great!  It allowed us to spend a full week up north and still have a good amount of time to come home, recover, and ring in the New Year with my family.  We still battled some sleepless nights again – but this time they were courtesy of our newest addition.  We’re already looking forward to relaxing evenings of next year when both kids will be consistently sleeping through the night!  (I know, I’ll likely be eating these words 12 months from now!)

Here’s a whole host of family fun, U.P. style!

Christmas Morning 7

Papa and Grandkids

Kegan and Grandma

Holiday Smiles

Smile Pretty Klaire

Gretchen and Deacon

Family Fun 2

Family Fun

Christmas Table

Emily and Papa

Dad and Seneca

Sweet Lily

Concentrating on Presents

Christmas Fun