Sunday, December 10, 2006

"revised" jimmy on the pumpkin patch train

okay guys -- after several great suggestions and ideas on what to do to make jimmy's picture better, here's what i have to show for it. i darkened in the background and created it over completely behind jimmy's face. that seemed to make a huge impact on seeing exactly where his nose and chin ended. overall, i'm MUCH happier w/ this picture now that the change is made.

summer took this picture on the way to the pumpkin patch, but i've alwasy been drawn to it as if there were some ethereal feeling to it. trust me, though, there was nothing any more angelic about this little demon today than there was any other day -- making him fit right in with the other little demons present!

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

jimmy on the pumpkin patch train

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i drew and colored this picture of jimmy, riding on the train to the pumpkin patch w/ us. the picture is actually darker in person, but colored pencil seems to lighten up during the scanning process.

anyway, the pictures was taken of jimmy as he watched out the window on the train, so just the side of his face (hardly even any silhouette of his facial features) is visible. i had a hard time doing his skin, as he is so pale-complected that i didn't have pencils that light to work with!

i was happier w/ some sections of the picture more than i was the overall picture -- but it was definitely a learning process.

this drawing was done in a 9 x 12 sketchbook w/ 70# white paper and prang colored pencils, sprayed w/ matte finish sealant to keep it from smearing.

our front porch looking out

here's what today brought us -- the after-effects of 1" of ice covered w/ 10" (and drifts) of snow and a night of fog that froze in the tree limbs. just beautiful this morning!

this is from the kitchen steps looking out on the front yard. the sun was up, but not past the clouds so it still looked fairly dark outside.

these are the trees down the east side of the yard . . . .

jerry took this picture, and i'm so proud of his creative photography! he's really branching out in his interests! this is our front porch looking straight north into the trees across the road. this was a little later, so the sun was up and it was brighter out.

same tree out the kitchen door, but it looks more fabulous with more light shining on it. as i was cropping pictures and stuff, i asked jerry what was that blob on the picture. i figured there was a dot of moisture on the lens or something, but when i zoomed in we saw that it's a beautiful redbird flying over the tree. i feel like i should "touch that out" for the picture to be more pleasing to the eye, but then i think "if that redbird was out flying today, he deserves to be in the picture!"

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the last couple of days have been marvelous, starting w/ ice coming late on wednesday and into thursday morning. then late thursday afternoon, the snow started falling, but once it started -- it flat-out got with it! we had 10" of snow by friday morning, w/ drifts up to 2 ft deep. all that on top of about 1" of ice, so travel was practically at a standstill here. the main roads got cleared off quickly and town was clear -- but that's nowhere near where we are.

we were just trapped at home for the last 3 days, and it was wonderful. jerry and i stayed home from work and scott stayed home from school. we could've gotten out in case of emergency, but sometimes it's just nice and peaceful to just "be home". i absolutely love being trapped at home in situations like this. i love to cook. we spend lots of family time watching movies and playing games. it's better than vacation, b/c at least we're not all exhausted when it's over!

jerry had to make a grocery store/pharmacy run today, though, and found out that once he hit the main roads everything was just fine. it's still a little slick here and there, but nothing like it is still at our house!

Friday, December 01, 2006

our back door looking out . . .

the view out the back door is not quite so pleasant as the view out the front. the boys were intending to sled thru the front yard, but jerry nixxed that idea.

after the round of sledding, the boys came up on the carport and collapsed -- too tired to even make snow angels. jacob was in the drift between the car and van.

scott fell on the smaller drift sount of where jerry parks his car.

when they recovered from sledding, then they decided that they should throw snowballs. that was easier said than done, though, as this snow was still too dry to pack a good snowball -- but it was good enough to get so-so snowballs. after pelting each other a few times, they turned on jerry and plastered him good. he was standing there griping about how they got his clothes all wet and he had been so careful to not get wet already . . . . . as he took his sweatshirt off to shake the snow off of it. uh-oh -- that just made him a better target -- a jerry w/ no shirt on. so they pelted him again. he had a few choice names for "the pups" as he was coming in the back door. fortunately, they were kind enough to not pelt me b/c i was taking pictures and i might hurt them!

they came in the house and thawed for a while and snacked until their body temperature and blood sugar levels were back up to normal, and then they needed something else to do. the conversation sounded something like this . . .

"what do you want to do?"

"i don't know. what do you want to do?"

"oh, i have an idea!"

"oh yeah? what's that?"

"let's shoot something!"

"yeah, that sounds cool. get the guns out!"

(loose translation, of course, but you get the picture!)

so, a few minutes after getting bundled up, this is what our back porch looked like. jacob had snow-shoveled a place to set up his lawn chair where he could "sit and shoot" in comfort. how redneck is this???

while scott was standing at the corner of the house, ready to get the jump on anything before jacob had time to level his gun.

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throw in a few games of lethal and agressive monopoly, a couple of movies, some food -- and that pretty much sums up the day for us on friday. jerry was just knocking them dead at monopoly, though, so it just got that much more dangerous and competitive.

the weather was too bad to go to school or work, but just right for some great family time and fun together.

no more snow fun

ok, that's it. i'm done playing in the snow and i'm going in the house!

raven was soon wrapped up in her fuzzy blanket, getting ready to watch some cartoons.

now that she's in the house and bundled up w/ her blanket to watch some cartoons, a piece of fuzz will make the whole world better. for those of you who don't know raven, she likes "fuzz" like some kids like blankies or that special toy. she just likes a piece of polyfill to rub on her face. i can't for the life of me understand what is soothing about having the piece of fuzz tickle my nose -- but she likes it and keeps fuzz hidden everywhere!

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mommy and daddy are hoping that raven gets tired or the fuzz or gives up on the fuzz before riahna is old enough to pick up on the same habit! i guess it could happen . . . . but probably not!

snow - with big boys and big toys

funny how weather creates situations that make it too difficult to travel to work or school, but these same situations present totally different and fun circumstances for play! jacob came over on friday to go rabbit hunting, but ended up waking scott up "to go play in the snow"! it's been a long time since scott was drug out of bed to go play in the snow, as snow hasn't really been an issue here for several years. mostly, we've just had ice storms and those aren't much fun to play in.

so now we had 2 big boys w/ a sled, a ski rope, and a truck. sounds like the makings of a good accident to me, but they were determined to go out and play in the snow. while they might have been having a great time, it looked to me like they were intent on killing the other one. it was like a game of deadly "chicken," and neither one was willing to be the first one to give out!

scott was the first one on the sled, w/ jacob driving the truck.

it wasn't long before scott was tired and cold and ready for his turn to try and kill jacob, so they switched places. now jacob is the potential victim.

looks like they are stopped here -- negotiating, probably. or planning some better way to carry out this long form of fun/torture.

scott looks like he's saying, "now what was that?"

here's a long range shot taken from about 300 yards away. they drove all over that field at speeds topping the high teens. scott swears he was only going about 17 at the fastest, but i'm sure he meant 70 (seventy instead of seventeen). as if that old "slur the syllables together" will fool mom!

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i don't know how many miles they sledded this morning, but they sure had fun and they were definitely worn out after that escapade. someone flying over our place would probably be sure that we were the victim of a ufo and crop circles, but it was nothing more than the boys having a little fun.

snow angels

this has really been the first time raven has gotten to play in the snow. we haven't hardly had any snow since she was born! just ice storms!! she got a sleigh-shaped sled for her 2nd christmas, when she was about 16 months old -- and we had to pull her thru the house so she even got any use out of it!

she was so excited when it started snowing. she would open the door and snatch a handful of snow and eat it, but suddenly her hands were cold beyond her tolerance. she was suddenly crying and they had to run warm water on her hands to get them warmed up. i guess she just didn't notice they were cold until they were too cold -- all in excitement over the snow.

friday morning, summer and lucas got the girls all dressed up to go outside and play in the snow. yeah, riahna is not going much playing -- but they wanted her to be a part of it. so they dressed her up in her little snow suit and took her out on her blanket. she slept thru their whole play period, which was probably only a few minutes.

here's daddy (lucas), making a snow angel and trying to convince raven to stay outside and play with him. shortly after they got outside, lucas and raven were throwing snowballs at each other. right as lucas threw one at raven, she fell . . . which put her face right in the path of the snowball he had thrown. so, daddy hit raven in the face w/ a snowball, and she was done playing. it wasn't fun anymore!

here's daddy and raven, posing together to get their pictures taken in front of their house.

now here's mommy and raven together, posing for daddy to take the picture.

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ok, that was 30 minutes of work to get them ready for 5 minutes of fun and then whatever other time they had to stay outside for pictures before they could go inside and get warmed up! probably an overall exhausting experience for everyone involved, but a definite memory maker as raven hasn't forgotten that daddy threw a snowball and hit her in the face!