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19 posts from March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He's a Cool Dude and a Heart Melter

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That's my boy.  He's a cool dude. He's going to have the ladies wrapped around his finger some day.  Even now, when he's out in public view, the girls take a double-take.  They wink.  They smile.  They fan their faces.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ready, Steady, Spaghetti - Cooking with Kids

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Every once in a while I run across something I really like, and if it involves something that I can do with my kids that is fun and educational - well, you can bet I'm going to try to get my hands on it.  Or, in this case - "get my hands in it," and if you would like this great book for yourself, then read on ...

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Yo Yo Central

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Do you remember when you were a kid and would try to do all those fancy tricks with a yo-yo?  I sure do.  Matthew found this yo-yo in his night table drawer and he wanted to show me some of his fancy moves.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Window Cleaning ©

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Honestly folks, I must have way too much time on my hands to have been cleaning windows today.  I know what you're thinking "What's the big deal?" Right?  Well, it's a little more complicated than that.  I started out taking pictures of Matthew in our Sunroom playing with his yo yo, unfortunately, when I pulled the pictures up in Photoshop, the exposure was all wrong.  I'm still learning how to use my Nikon D300 - it's a complicated machine I'll tell ya that.  Like Photoshop, I don't think I will ever completely learn what it will do. 

No, I'm not running off on a tangent here.  Back to cleaning windows.  I was playing in Photoshop.  And here is what I accomplished ...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making the Most of Photoshop

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Yanik Chauvin Photography

I know that many of my readers have blogs of their own, and many more use Photoshop, whether they have a blog or not.  We all take photographs at some point or another in our life, and Photoshop has been, for me, the bridge between a boring or lousy photograph and one that is simply incredible.  Being the perpetual lifetime student that I am, I have become passionate about photography and learning Photoshop almost as much as Fine Art and painting.  It is the creative process that draws me in (no pun intended - ha ha).

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Monday, March 23, 2009

How Did You Do That?
Creating An Animation Gif in Photoshop CS3 ©

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Yesterday's post resulted in quite a few emails from readers saying "How did you do that?" with that cute animated gif I created in Photoshop CS3.  It isn't difficult, although it took me a good 3 hours to figure out how to do after reading numerous tutorials and viewing numerous videos from others who tried to explain it.  Why did it take so much time?  Probably because whoever was writing the tutorials would either skip a step entirely or start talking about something else altogether.  Plus, I'm full of determination.  When I want to learn something, daggonit I buckle down the hatches until I've figured it out.  I was so proud of myself.  As I've said before, if I learn something new that I think you all might be interested in learning, I'll share it with you here.  It's fun!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Puppy Play

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Who can forget the famous Coppertone Ad of the puppy pulling down the little girl's bathing suit and exposing her bottom?  Well, we've got a bit of that going on at our house right now with Hannah.  Fortunately, she isn't pulling down anyone's underwear, although she does find them in the laundry room and walks around the house with them on her head.


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Homeschooling Comfort ©

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Matthew and Glen got busy on their math lessons today and immediately sat in their favorite place to do their lessons.  Matthew gets comfortable in one recliner while Glen curls up in the other.  I think it helps their ability to focus and it works for us.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Take Better Pictures Of Your Children with
A Little Help from Connie Groah and Nikon

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Welcome Connie Groah to Raisin Toast Photography!  We are excited to learn from your experience as a professional photographer!  Take it away Connie ...

My name is Connie Groah and I am a contemporary child photographer and the owner of Barefoot Photography® (http://www.barefoot-photo.com) in Annapolis, Maryland.  I use a mixture of documentary-style photography and relaxed poses to capture my young subjects and specialize in birth through teens.  Susan asked if I would be willing to share some photographing thoughts and tips with her readers from time to time and this is my first share here at Raisin Toast.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trust But Verify

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Story updated 3/21/2009:

As you all may know, I have a teenage daughter.  She is 15 years old.  She is also my 3rd daughter - in other words, I've been through this stage before with my other daughters, and it isn't easy.  The occasional sarcasm, stinky looks, crossed arms, sassing back, sneaky behavior, little white lies, and rolling of the eyes.  For the most part, Sarah has been a good girl and a good student - until this semester.  Her grades have been suffering a bit and so has her attitude.  We had a situation this past week that required our immediate attention and we took care of it.  We nipped it in the bud before it got entirely out of control.


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chimney Fires and Local Heroes

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Our house is never short on excitement, and Saturday night was definitely exciting - but not in a good way.  We were all snuggled up in the family room enjoying a movie "The Bourne Identity" that we had seen a number of times before.  The lights were out and we had a roaring fire burning in the fireplace.  It had been cold and rainy all day.  The fire felt good.  Until ...

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Friday, March 13, 2009

The State of Our Economy and Our State of Mind

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An Open Letter to NBC Nightly News and Brian Williams:

Tonight, as my Big Bear and I were watching the NBC Nightly News, we were inspired by your segment "Making a Difference" and the goodness in people to help others.  You have had similar such stories on a regular basis and I believe that you may just be onto something good - how about paying it forward to all who watch NBC and make this more than just a "segment" on the Nightly News, but rather, make it an hour show.  Let's get America back in a positive frame of mind.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Darlin' You've Got Paint In Your Hair

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Kathleen is so much like her mother (me, of course) it scares me.  We've begun the process of painting together in my studio.  I set Kathleen up with her own easel and canvas, made her a glass tabletop palette, and showed her the ropes to start painting in oils.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

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Having Kathleen home has been great, if for no other reason than getting a kick out of the fact that she is turning into her mother - aka "Me."  Poor child.  We have found ourselves on more than one occasion saying the exact same thing at the exact same time and then looking at each other and laughing, or she'll say something to the kids and you'd swear it was me talking.  There has been a lot of laughter.  In so many ways, Kathleen and I have grown up - together, albeit apart for the last 9 years.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Sticking my Neck Out - For Good Reason

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It's like she's never been gone.  Kathleen has settled in to being at home and is getting comfortable.  We are so happy that she is here and doing well.  The Lord has truly answered all of our prayers.  Now  if only Bob could find a job then life would be near perfect. 

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Prodigal Daughter Comes Home

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Many of you have prayed for the healthy return and well-being of my first born, Kathleen.  I am thrilled to tell you all that she is coming home - today.  And, there is special significance to this event and I thought I should share it with all of you so that you know that your prayers - our prayers - have been answered abundantly.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Swiss Cheese Quiche with Spinach - Yum! ©

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Real men eat quiche - and your kids will too!

Beth always has a way of making my stomach growl.  She'll pop a recipe over into my inbox with her lovely pictures, and instantly my stomach starts growling.  I really need to be a better cook.  No, I take that back - I really need to cook.  ha ha.  Yeah, right.  As long as Big Bear harbors the kitchen, I think I'll stay clear of it until it needs cleaning.  I know, it sounds silly, but I like the arrangement.  Fortunately for me, Big Bear loves to cook Beth's recipes, and that's how I know first hand that you'll love it too.  Growl.  I'm hungry.

Ready for a great recipe?  I thought so ...

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Snugglin' By the Fire on a Snowy Evening

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I love sitting by the fire on a cold, cold night with a cup of hot cocoa and the lights on out back just watching the snow flakes fall.  Having moved to Charlotte from Woodbine, Maryland, we know how much fun it is to play in the snow.  But, in Charlotte, we don't get a lot of snowfall.  So, when we do, the kids get so excited.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Clean Room, A Happy Daughter,
A Happy Mom too

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It took me 3 days, but I cleaned every square inch of Sarah's room - every drawer, every article of clothing, every tiny Barbie accessory, everything was put in a place and organized.  Sarah now has the cleanest and most organized room in the house.  She is really proud of her room and so am I.  Next stop - Matthew and Glen's room.  They've been working to clean their own room while I was working on Sarah's and that has surely eased up on the amount of work I'll have to do.  Still, it sure feels good having cleaned out all the "stuff" that can go to the goodwill or in the garbage.  Less is definitely more in this case.

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