29 January, 2009

Days 26 - 29 It's alive!!!

Well, the boys have succeeded in giving me their cold.  I finally succumbed to it yesterday.  I stuck out the day at work but I did not feel well.  I managed to go to moms' group this morning but I napped all afternoon after that.  Luckily, the boys let me.  It's just one of those annoying eyes watering, nose running, head sometimes aching kind of colds.  Hopefully it will go away tomorrow.  I did get to do something fun tonight... I attended my first speed scrap online.  It's a digital scrapbooking thing where you go to a forum and get instructions.  Basically, they give out a new instruction every 10 minutes for an hour and you follow them with your own interpretation.  When you're done, you have a page done.  It's quite fun, actually and stretches your creativity.  Here's the page that I scrapped:
Kits - Floral Reminiscence by Stolen Moments
Gems & Greenery from Gloss and Charm by Sev
I thought it turned out pretty cute.  The instructions are things like pick 4 patterned papers - one will be a matte for your picture and the other three cut into strips.  It gives you a lot of license but direction, too.  It was fun.

The week has just been busy as the beginning of the week always is (since that's when I work).  Tomorrow we still have a check up for Xander to go to so I hope the roads aren't too bad.  The light snow was making them fun!  I think I need to be a little more creative with my P365 pictures.  I realized that I always fall back on a picture of the boys if I can't come up with anything else.  I need to be more creative than that!  Anyway, here are my pics from the last few days:

Day 26:
Our toilet broke last week.  It wouldn't fill and then it started leaking.  Now, admittedly, it is old (it's blue, after all), but it's just one of those pain in the butt kind of things.  (It's always something when you have a house!)  Jason also couldn't get the shut off valve to turn off so we just had to put a pail under it.  On Monday, Jason's dad came to help us fix it.  It was a quick fix but, of course, everyone had to crowd into the bathroom to watch.  Jason was learning, while Xander had to be where the action and the people were.  Evan just couldn't be left out so he wandered in too.  Maybe they'll all know how to fix it next time!

Day 27:
Xander and I made cupcakes on Tuesday.  He was supposed to go to a birthday party on Friday for a little girl whose parents go to our care group.  They play together during care group Wednesday nights.  Because he was sick, we didn't go.  Instead, we made cupcakes for care group and Xander gave her her gift then.  Xander even helped ice them this time.  He did it all by himself but had trouble a couple of times because he wouldn't listen to Mom and put MORE icing on them.  He was so skimpy on the icing!  It was fun, though.

Day 28:
It's alive!  My tulip did not entirely freeze and die.  This was just a bud when it froze and it ended up blooming so I guess it did not freeze too hard.  It will live to be planted in the spring soil this year!

Day 29:
Here is Xander playing video games.  It seems that he does this a lot.  I guess I must have done the same thing when I was a kid (or watched TV etc.).  It's just crazy how a 3 year old can pick up a game.  He can do everything to set it up himself except that he's not allowed to touch the CDs so he can't change games himself.  Sometimes it boggles my mind just a little.  It also occurs to me that he's only 3 and I'm already wondering if he plays too many video games...

Well, I'm off now.  Hopefully I'll feel better and more creative tomorrow.

Until next time...

25 January, 2009

Day 21- 25 It's Almost a Habit...

It's been a busy weekend around our house.  I spent Thursday/Friday with a sick boy (Xander) but I did manage to get the rest of my doors/hardware down in my kitchen - yay!!  When Xander's sick he just likes to sit on my lap and cuddle.  It makes for unproductive days but at least I know how to make him feel better (I'm the same way when I'm sick.  I'm sure I annoyed my mom with constant requests for her just to sit on the couch with me when I was a child...).  Now Evan's getting sick but he doesn't like to be held or cuddled so I'm more at a loss with how to comfort him when he wakes up crying in the night and so on...  

Beyond the business of sick children, I also attended a Children's Ministry workshop at our church Saturday morning.  I teach 2 year olds so a lot of it doesn't apply but it was still interesting and I can even use some of it at home.  It was amusing to watch some of the leaders present various attention getting games/ideas.  Jen and Justine sure can ham it up!  

Saturday evening we went to Jason's office Christmas party.  It was just appetizers, door prizes and karaoke at a club in town.  We had a decent time and I even won a door prize.  I never win draws or things like that but I seem to have some luck at Jason's work functions.  However, the items I win are not particularly useful.  This summer at a golf function, we won some alcohol and a "party in a tub".  Now the party in a tub did come with some cups that I use but other than that it was not the most useful things.  At the Christmas party I also won a prize.  It is a dock so that you can network your printer and not have to have a computer on to use it.  This is useful in an office but not so useful at home (especially since it doesn't appear to work with USB printers, which most are now days).  However, Jason talked to the local computer salvage/building guy at church to see if he could use it and he mentioned that one of the pastors was looking for something like that.  Yay - I'm very happy that my useless door prize might actually have a useful life somewhere!  When we had desserts at the Christmas party, there were no clean forks or spoons to be found.  Jason had gotten me this really yummy chocolate mousse/ice cream thing and it was so good from my finger lick but I had no cutlery.  Jason offered to get me a knife to eat it with so I took him up on it.  It was a fairly solid dessert so it was pretty easy to eat with a table knife.  He thought that should be my picture for the day but I'd forgotten to put the little camera back in my purse so I guess it'll just have to be a story.

While I was out last night, one of the 2 year old workers from church called to say that she was sick so she couldn't work.  It was too late to call around for a sub when I got home so I just worked two services in with the two year olds.  I really don't mind but at this time of year it can be exhausting.  It's been so cold so everyone is more cooped up than usual.  Also, when spring is around the corner, you can sure tell it in little kids.  All of the kids were a little punchy today.  It was just a little louder and a little more rambunctious than usual.  However, it still went fairly well.  From there, we had a meeting at church this evening and now we are back home.  I can't believe that it's already time to go back to work tomorrow.

I have continued on with my picture taking.  A couple of days I almost forgot but so far I've gotten every day.  I think they say that if you do something 30 days in a row, it will become a habit so I've almost made a habit of picture taking!  It has been hard to come up with ideas some days but I'm happy with what I've been getting.  It's also fun to edit the pics in my software program and play around with them.  You can get some very interesting effects.  Anyway, here are my next pictures...

Day 21:
I love sleeping pictures of kids.  I think they are so sweet and adorable when they sleep.  I want to get at least one of both my kids for this project so hopefully I don't forget Xander's.  He goes to bed much later so there's less time when he's actually asleep.  Evan goes to bed pretty early so I can sneak up and get a cute picture like this pretty easily.  Both my boys have been really good sleepers, which is a good thing, because I don't function well on little sleep!

Day 22:
Thursday Evan had his check up at the doctor's office.  This is the boys playing with the toys there.  He is healthy (other than his cold) and growing well so that's good.  I love my doctor.  She's extremely blunt, which I think is a great thing when dealing with your health, but she's also very nice.  I'm kind of glad my old doctor left town and I had to find a new one!

Day 23:
This has been our weekend.   Cough syrup and kleenexes.  Xander even had a fever on Friday so we ended up skipping a birthday party.  We'll make up for it, though.  It's too bad that you can't get cough syrup for infants, though, because Evan is only 15 months but his cough is just as bad as Xander's.  Unfortunately, I can't give him anything for it.  Hopefully they will both be feeling better tomorrow and things will be back to normal.  Evan's woken up twice in the three hours he's been in bed, though, so it could be a long night.

Day 24:
The 24th was my Dad's birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!) so I thought this would be an appropriate picture for that day.  My Dad loves flowers and he always has a huge garden full of them in the summer time.  They also have a lot of vegetables but the flowers are really the star of the garden to me.  I did not inherit my parents' love of gardening but I did inherit the love of flowers.  If only someone would take care of mine, they might live.  I got this tulip from the Children's Ministry Workshop.  They were used on the tables as centrepieces and at the end, anyone who did children's ministry and was a mom got to take them home.  I have yet to decide if a tulip, when it's -30C, encourages or taunts.  Anyway, I went to the gym afterwards and left it in the car.  I was thinking that the car retains heat and I'd only be gone less than an hour so it should be OK.  I neglected to remember that in driving about 2 minutes away, the car never had a chance to heat up to begin with.  The plant was frozen when I got back to the car.  It almost looked like glass.  We'll see if it comes back or not.  Oops.

Day 25:
This is another place that I spend a lot of time - my 2 year old Sunday School room.  You can obviously tell that I spliced two pictures together to give you a view.  I didn't think of that until I got home so the pics are at different angles (my camera even has a panoramic assist so I could have done it properly had I thought of it when I took the pictures!).  I love the mural that some ladies painted on the walls.  It's so bright and a great thing to distract sad children with.  I started teaching this class in the fall of 1998 (back then it was 2 and 3 year olds).  I've taken off 2 years when I had babies but I just love to teach these children.  They are so bright and full of energy and they are so smart if you just give them a chance.  Most people don't give kids enough credit.  They will amaze you with the things that they can learn and absorb and how fast they can do it.  They brighten my day, even when I've been having a bad morning.

Well that's been the weekend and I guess I'll go get ready for another crazy week!

Until next time...

22 January, 2009

Day 17-20 Family and more family...

Hi everybody! There hasn't been too much going on this week. I've been trying to disassemble my kitchen and it's looking almost ready for cleaning and priming. I love to paint but the prep work is sure a pain! 

Xander is sick today, which is not so good. I know he is sick because he was in bed and asleep by 8:45 p.m. Usually, it's 9:30 at the earliest and sometimes closer to 10. He also practically begged for a nap this afternoon! I hope he's better tomorrow, because we're supposed to go to a little birthday party. 

Work has been slow so my days have been quiet. It's OK because the next few months will definitely get crazier as we head into busy season. We also have a busy weekend coming up with a Christmas party (Jason's work always has theirs in January) and a couple church meetings. There won't be much time to breathe!

I have my pictures from days 17 to 20 to post. I haven't gotten any more scrapbooking done but it will come. I did, however, figure out how to post so that you can ALWAYS click on the pictures to see a bigger version. Ah, the joys of learning new software! Anyway, here they are:

Day 17:
This is Jason's sister Jen.  This is the best picture I got of her and the cake from the birthday party that I mentioned in the last post.  If you can notice, the little candles are balloons and I believe they spelled happy birthday.  She was quite excited about it!  Jason's family is into celebrating birthdays quite a bit and this was the first time that Jen had had her whole family around in many years.

Day 18:
Here are my Mom & Dad on their visit last weekend.  They were on their way back from vacation and we enjoyed having them stop in.  I think at this point, Jason was blowing bubbles and we were watching the boys' excitement as they played in them.

Day 19:
On Monday night, I realized that I had taken some ground beef out of the freezer a few evenings before with the intention of making meatballs but it had never happened.  Said ground beef was still in the fridge and I figured we'd better set to work.  After supper, Xander and I made meatballs.  He had a good time once i showed him how to squish his hands in the meat and eggs and so on.  He is my little chef.  He loves to make things and often, he doesn't even care about eating them.  He just wants to cook!

Day 20:
Here are Xander and Evan.  This is their "thing".  I'm not really sure how it started but when we take off our winter clothes, Evan insists on taking Xander's toque off for him.  Generally, Xander is very obliging and loves to do this.  Evan even sometimes takes his mitts off for him!  It really is a cute little thing they do.  It's really amazing to watch the interaction between two brothers.  You can see how much they really do love each other and how fun it is to have someone their own age (sort of) to play with!

Well, that's all the pictures I will post for now.  I'm really trying to keep the post sizes down.

Until next time...

18 January, 2009

Days 13 - 16 Family Times

It's been a while since I posted but things have been going on around here.  I did not progress on my kitchen as I had hoped to but that's because my parents stopped in on their way back from vacation.  They stopped in Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon.  It was good to visit with them.  We all enjoy it when they stop by.  Evan wasn't so sure at first because when Grandma showed up he figured Mom & Dad would be leaving again (she stayed with them while Jason & I went to Indianapolis a month and a half ago).  He did get over it, though, and had lots of cuddles with Grandma.  Grandpa and Xander had lots of fun playing on the Wii.  Xander's getting pretty good at bowling, actually, especially after Grandpa gave him a few tips!

Saturday night we got together with Jason's family for his sister, Jen's, birthday party.  Her birthday is two days after mine so I got some presents too.  We had a nice evening - the kids played, we visited and we even played a little Dance, Dance Praise (Christian DDR).  I prefer not to make a fool out of myself in front of quite so many people but I did try once!  (It was an easy song so I did fine...)

Anyway, I'm a little behind in my P365 so here are days 13 to 16 without further ado!

Day 13:
This is my office.  I decided to take a picture of the place that I spend almost half of my week.  I'm finally back in the area that I was before I went on mat leave and I really love having my nice big desk with the under-hutch light back (and my nice chair).  It feels a little like home, I've been there so long.  I never thought I'd be at a job for this long (this is my 9th year) but I've really enjoyed where I work.  Working part-time like I do now is wonderful for me, too.  I'm so fortunate that I was able to arrange that.

Day 14:
I thought that this was a cute picture of Xander.  After care group on Wednesday, I got my camera out, as I hadn't taken any pictures, yet.  He was playing with his cars and just started hamming it up for me (this is kind of unusual for him).  I got some cute pictures but I think this one with his cars was my favourite!

Day 15:
Thursday morning it was so incredibly cold outside (I think it was Wednesday night that it hit actual -40C - not -40C with the windchill but ACTUAL -40C on the thermometer!) but while we were getting ready for Moms' group, there was a gorgeous sunrise out my dining room doors.  This was the view.  The colours were so beautiful.  Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets are one of the things the Prairies are known for!  I would really miss this part if I lived in some other locations!  Amazing skies and vast bodies of water are two of the things that make me feel God's presence the most.  This was at about 9 a.m. Thursday morning, so you can see how short our winter days really are.

Day 16:
It's been so cold outside that the boys have been getting antsy.  I've been looking for indoor fun and Xander always wants to blow bubbles.  I figure, as long as it's not on the carpet it just gets the floor a little soapy.  That can be washed.  So, we started blowing bubbles.  Evan just loves it, too!  He gets the biggest smiles on his face as he watches the bubbles float through the air and tries to catch them!  It's so precious.  I love the expression on his face in this picture.  The other indoor idea that another mom gave me is to let them play with their mini construction machines in a container of grain.  Let me tell you, it is like an indoor sandbox and has kept Xander busy for hours on end!  (Thanks, Lindsey!)

Anyway, that's all the pictures I have ready for today.  I've started scrapbooking week 2 but I've only got one page done so far.

Until next time...

12 January, 2009

Days 10 - 12 It's My Birthday!

Yay!  Today is my birthday.  I'm actually not really into birthdays in a big way but I still enjoy mine.  As a prime example, I spent today at home with a sick boy, took some doors off kitchen cupboards and built a shelf.  I considered that a good birthday.  Now lest you think I don't care at all, we did go out for supper last night and my husband did bring home an ice cream cake for supper tonight!  It was very yummy.  Supper was also really good last night.  We took the boys with us and went to Tony Roma's.  They both did really well in the restaurant and we even got a comment or two on how well behaved they were.  I also got to eat some very yummy ribs.

I have also made it this far and still taken a picture every day.  It's been quite fun, actually, and I'm impressed that I haven't forgotten yet.  Sometimes I'm a little dense that way.  Also I've gotten the first week's worth of pictures scrapbooked already.  That's really on the ball for me.  Here is the first page of my book:

All elements from Just Blossom kit by Digi-Designs by Nicole.

I thought it turned out pretty cute.  Here are the next three pictures in my series.

Day 10:

On Saturday I made homemade pizza pops.  Now these are an amazing amount of work but they are SO yummy!!  I started at about 2:30 p.m. and took the last ones out of the oven at about 8:00 p.m.  This does make about 60 or 70 and we will have them in our freezer for a couple of months so they are worth it.  Also, this is a food that my Grandma and Grandpa Stein used to make back when my Grandpa was still alive.  When we were teenagers you always knew that if you stopped in unexpectedly at Grandma & Grandpa's for lunch, they would at least have two things in the freezer - pizza pops and monster cookies, both of which I loved.  So making them has an emotional tie for me, too.

Day 11:

This was my husband's birthday present to me - a string of pearls.  I've actually wanted one for quite some time.  This is such a beautiful string, too.  I had always wanted Tahitian (black) pearls but when he told me the price of a string of those I knew I would likely never own one.  These are beautiful, as well.  I like how they are all different tones.  He took our 3 year old to buy it and, after telling him that he was not allowed to touch anything in the store, the salesman handed the jewelry right to Xander.  I am very happy with my present!

Day 12:

This is the day of my actual (31st) birthday.  Now before anyone says anything, no I did not actually take this picture.  I did take a picture today (of the cake) but I wanted to use one of me.  I figured I could have set up my tripod and used the timer but my husband is right there so then it just becomes semantics!  Anyway, ice cream cakes are a tradition that my older brother, Jason, and I started when we first moved to Regina.  It was my first year away from home and it was just a way to make each other's birthdays feel a little special.  Now, it's become a bit of a tradition that our families carry on whenever we have the chance!

Now my day is over and it was good (except Evan being sick).  Hopefully Evan feels better tomorrow so that I can go to work, though I'm not looking forward to the forecast 5 - 10 more centimetres of snow we're supposed to get!

Until next time...

10 January, 2009

Days 4 - 9 - Should have blogged sooner!

Well, I guess that I have been a bad blogger.  I meant to do this a couple times a week but this past week has slipped by me.  I guess once will have to do!  Be prepared for a long post...

Today (well, yesterday, since I'm posting this so late) was my very first go round with sanding drywall mud.  If you can't guess who won, just take a look at day 9's picture:

I didn't realize just how white I was until I was cleaning up and looked in the mirror.  Wow!  However, I managed to get all the patches, which my dad mudded for me, sanded in my kitchen (there were A LOT).  Now, the project that I started in August is finally ready for priming and painting.  I am so slow (or life happens, one of the two).  All I did was remove some stipple/stucco and panelling.  It's a good thing it took me so long, though, because I changed my mind on colours, from a grey-green that was similar to my living room to a grey-blue with a rust/copper coloured accent wall.  I'm kind of happy about that.  I like a lot of colour so it was a bit troubling to have my kitchen so similar to the living/dining room.

Here are my other pictures in reverse order:

Day 8:

This is the new generation.  I remember getting a computer, a gaming system and even a VCR.  My kids will take all of that stuff for granted.  It's amazing how much things can change in such a short time.  My 3 year old is seen here playing Wii (his dad's Christmas gift).  He's actually pretty good at the tennis game.  It's amazing!  He's so cute doing it too!

Day 7:

This is a typical Wednesday for us.  I have now termed it fast food Wednesday.  (I always say that it doesn't have the alliteration, but it's still better than Wiener Wednesday!)  Wednesdays are a bit crazy around our house.  I work that day and we host a church care group in our home that evening.  We have amazing people in our group but they show up at 6:30 so we don't have much time to feed ourselves and the kids and make coffee!  On a good day I might pick the boys up and get home around 5:30 but usually it's closer to 5:40 and, on a bad day, as late as 6:00.  I really don't mind having one day a week that I know I don't have to cook!

Day 6:

These are my two boys as we're getting ready to leave the house for work on a typical morning.  All bundled up in their winter gear.  Notice the very unhappy look on Evan's face.  He hates his winter clothes and cries from the moment we put them on.  This is why I now hate winter.  I never used to hate winter.  Sure, I didn't love -40 but that could be dealt with.  Snow was pretty and the changing of seasons is great.  Now, winter is the biggest pain.  I hope as they get older, it won't be so bad, anymore!

Day 5:

This is a picture of my computer monitor.  Not really - it's a picture of Environment Canada's website for January 5th.  On the left, you will see a temp of -31 C.  On the lower right, you will notice the windchill of -45 C.  As well, notice the wind chill warning CONTINUED.  Now, we are from Saskatchewan so this is not entirely unusual.  However, by that point in time, this had been going on for several days straight.  Briefly the windchill warning was lifted but only for a few hours.  There were also several days in December like that and January is usually the coldest month!  It was a little discouraging, to say the least...even to the ever optimistic me.  It's especially bad when you're waiting for a bus, but that's another story.  It has warmed up some now (-21 C or so) and I have enjoyed the balmy weather!

Day 4:

This is a picture of the hedges out in front of our house.  Jason was out shoveling on the weekend (bitterly cold AND snowing...oy!) and he noticed how pretty the snow looked on the stark hedges.  So, Sunday afternoon, I ran out in the  -30 C weather and snapped a few pictures.  I actually got quite a few good ones.  I thought this one was pretty.  The leafless branches are so stark but the snow just gives them a life of their own!  I'm glad I braved the cold. 

OK, I think we're caught up now ;).  I'll try to keep the posts shorter in the future but if you're still with me thank you!  Also, in case there weren't enough pictures on today's entry, I have a couple more of the boys that are so cute, I just had to share them!  They are of Xander and Evan playing in the kitchen cupboards that I've emptied for the reno work and of Evan playing Rock Band 2 on the Wii.  He took those drumsticks and knew just what to do.  It was very cute.  Have a great weekend everyone!

04 January, 2009

Days 2 & 3 - Company and food

Well, so far so good.  I have managed to take a picture for at least four days of the year!  Ha ha - if you know me, I actually have quite a few pictures.  I had some trouble picking which one to use for each day.  Somehow, I think that may be my problem on more than one day!

Anyway, it has been stinking cold here!  I know we're supposed to be tough Saskatchewanian folk but this is unusual even for here.  We've been -30 C quite a few times and often with a wind chill making it feel -40 something.  To be honest, I'm kinda tired of being cold all the time.  I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or what but I never used to be cold all the time so this is a new feeling for me.  It's also just barely January. which is usually the coldest winter month.  I'm glad I only go to work 3 days a week so I can at least hibernate a bit.

On to the pictures now.  Here is day 2:

This is my sister, Michelle.  She is the one that looks like me and we are have very similar personalities/opinions.  My husband often asks if we share one brain (we don't, just in case you're wondering).  She and her husband called up Friday to see if they could stay at our house that night because the weather was pretty yucky.  They were driving home to Manitoba. Visibility was pretty horrible and since they didn't have to be home until Sunday, they figured they'd stick around Regina until Saturday and have an easier drive home.  It's funny, though, how God planned it.  Before they called, I'd gone to take meat out for supper.  The recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts but I know we never eat that so I'd considered halving it so we didn't have leftovers.  When I'd gotten downstairs, there were only 4 breasts left in the box so I figured that I'd just make them all.  Also, apparently, this was not only my husband's, but also my brother-in-law's favourite meal!  I made chicken parmesan and spaghetti.  This picture really encompasses two things that are dear and important to us - our families and opening our home to whoever wants/needs to use it.  We love to have company short or long term and really love to use our home to help others whenever we can.

Day 3 is this:

OK, obviously I couldn't choose just one picture so I had to montage them together, but the theme was just so perfect from that day.  The picture of Evan, our youngest, is from breakfast.  I had just been saying to Xander how I didn't know how I'd ever teach Evan to use cutlery because Evan likes to eat his food with his hands.  Xander was easy because he hated getting his hands dirty in the food.  Just after this, Evan was banging the yogurt with a spoon so I decided to let him try eating it himself and he did!  He made this gigantic mess on his face and bib but that's OK.  Then, Xander had frozen blueberries for night lunch and when I went to help him clean up, he had the older version of Evan's mess.  His face was absolutely covered with blueberries but it was so cute!  I just had to do two variations on a theme.  Besides, when you have little kids in the house, eating is always an adventure and usually a mess!

I must go off to pick my day 4 picture and likely get to bed as I have to work tomorrow.  I hope everyone stays warm and cozy!

01 January, 2009

Day 1 - New Beginnings

Hi all!  This is the start of a new year, a new blog and, I am sure, many other new beginning. I have never blogged before but I have so enjoyed reading other people's that I thought I might start my own.  Hopefully this will bring me some enjoyment and keep others updated on our day to day goings on.

The thing that prompted me to start a blog now was this project I heard of online a few days ago.  It's called Project 365.  It involves taking a picture every day for a year.  These pictures can be of anything you want...daily life, treasured objects, strangers on the street.  It doesn't matter so long as you take a picture every day.  The idea is to document your life in a way that you don't usually do, as well as improve your skills as a photographer.  I'm hoping that posting my pictures on this blog will help me to keep at it.  I also want to scrap the pictures each week and hopefully make a photo book out of them.  I want to try to post the pics a couple times each week and thus remind myself to keep on.

Without further ado, I would like to present day 1's photograph:

I know, I know, it's a little cliche (or a lot) but really, January 1st is all about midnight and the start of a new year.  Since I was starting a new project, I thought that cliche was OK.  Besides, this clock was what we picked out with a wedding gift card so in the grand scheme of things, it does have some meaning.  I kinda liked how this turned out, too.

Since this is my first post, I hope everything posts OK.  I'll learn more as I go on.  Have a great and blessed 2009!