Friday, December 31, 2010

Project 365

New camera...check. Upgraded editing software...check.

Now, I've got to learn how to use this stuff (all over again). So, like many photographers, I am going to attempt Project 365:

One photo...Every day...For one year.

I've followed lots of photography bloggers who have tried it, but I haven't seen anyone complete it yet. At the same time, even those who have tried and failed have said they were better photographers for trying. So it's my turn.

I'm going to heed the advice of those who have gone before me--no rules, no themes--just one photo every day--starting tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spies Among Us

Warning...long, boring post ahead...birthday documented here for memory-keeping!

Several weeks ago, we hosted the MOST fun birthday party any of my kids have ever had. (Does it count as THE most fun birthday party if I'm the one saying it?)

Sammy's 7th birthday spy party was as much fun to plan and organize as it was to host!

Each of Sam's friends received a "TOP SECRET" file folder with an invitation to attend the "Spy Academy of Metropolitan Chicago" (SAM).

As the kids arrived, we had Mission Impossible music playing in the background and the Academy Director (Secret Agent Rocky--aka Rob), greeted kids at the door.

Spy Rocky Roberto

The kids had to choose a code name and then they received their SAM Secret Agent badge. We had 5 games planned. After each game, the boys put one fingerprint on their badge. By the end of the party, all five fingerprints were on their badge.

Spy Academy Badge

The boys played games that helped develop skills needed to "graduate" from SAM as a successful secret agent. We played "Who Am I," cracked codes, and tested physical agility with an obstacle course in the garage.

Spy Who Am I game 3

spy code cracker caleb

Spy Physical Agility

Everyone received a certificate of completion...

Spy certificate

...and a goody bag complete with mustaches for disguise! (which of course, Sam didn't want to try!)

Spy boys 2

The party was a hoot--we all laughed a lot. I had sort of burned out on do-it-yourself birthday parties and had resorted to Chuck E. *heese for one party, but I really think this party kicked me into gear again and I'm excited to plan a Chinese New Year party for Lily's pre-school class!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The reason I haven't been blogging...

Joey ornament 2

First...we gutted our kitchen and I've spent most of my "extra" time sweeping, mopping and trying to make dinner without a stove. No, Christmas time is NOT a good time to rehab your kitchen, but it sure is a great gift to ourselves!

The night before everything came down, I let the kids draw all over the walls. Mostly, they just wrote notes to the contractor, who is starting to feel like part of the family....


Second, I got a new camera and I'm having quite a difficult time learning to use it! (It's another perfect gift though!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Join the Christmas Fun!