Sunday, August 16, 2009

Help a sister out

I'm visiting my mom and dad for a few days, so this will be a short post. Don't bother going to my house to rob it, because a) there is absolutely nothing worth your trouble and b) my husband and incredibly vicious dog are still home.

Anyway, voting is now open for the round two challenge at Croppin Paradise. If you are so inclined, go vote for your favorite card. You don't have to register or anything. Thanks, and if you are lucky I will soon return with a video of my 2 year old nephew singing "Boom Boom Pow."

Oh, and the voting is only open for 24 hours.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Queen of Paradise Update

Tonight over at Croppin Paradise they announced the immunity winners from round two, and I didn't get immunity this time. Boo hoo, boo hoo. Tomorrow we'll find out what the next challenge will be, and those entries will be posted for voting on Sunday.

For the round two challenge, we were shown a photo of a tropical beach scene and told to create a layout using at least two colors from the photo. I made these two and chose (with a little help from some friends) to submit the first one.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We will not be expecting an Oscar*

Yesterday Thomas "graduated" from Oakland, the small private school he has attended for the past two years. When I posted photos from the ceremony on my Facebook page, a couple of people commented that they couldn't believe it had been two years already, and we certainly share that feeling. It was no small decision to make the substantial financial commitment to give Thomas this opportunity, but we believe it is an investment that will pay off big in his future. The Oakland School's literature refers often to "the Oakland Way," and whatever that "way" is, it works. Thomas said yesterday that Oakland feels like a big family because students of varied ages all have the chance to really get to know one another, their teachers, and the staff. My bright but distractable and disorganized son is so much more confident and responsible than when he began at Oakland, and he has been loaded up with skills that should (fingers crossed) help him continue his success when he returns to public school in three weeks. He will start eighth grade working well above grade level.

Each graduating student chooses a teacher to deliver a brief speech about them at the ceremony, and Thomas chose his main reading teacher, Jamie. This video is pretty awful, both because of where we were seated and the unspeakably dreadful lighting in the gym. (If we had any more money, I swear I'd give a donation earmarked for improving the gym lighting in the interest of saving the photographic sanity of future parents.) The audio is excellent, though.

Before I show you a few more photos, I want you to know how bad it really was. This first one is straight out of the camera, and this was the BEST of the white balance options. (I know that only my few photography geek buff friends will care about this.)

So that should make my edited shots look pretty good by comparison. Here is Thomas listening to speeches.

Receiving his certificate.

Thomas and Oakland director Carol Williams.

With his favorite teacher, Jamie. (Is that my little boy or a junior senator?)

*The post title refers to the bad video, but it also reminds me that in the annual dorm awards, Thomas was voted "Most Likely to Be a Movie Star." Help me, Rhonda.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I have the immunity idol!

So I entered the Queen of Paradise contest at Croppin Paradise. It's a Survivor-style contest where everyone participates in a challenge, and then the "locals" choose four participants to receive immunity for that round. Those who aren't granted immunity participate in a mini-challenge, and their projects are voted on by the general public, and the lowest vote-getters are eliminated.

The first round's challenge was to create a layout about your favorite restaurant, and the round winners were announced tonight. I was lucky enough to be one of the four who received immunity, so I am safe until the next round. Can I get a "woohoo"?

I am very nervous about what will happen if I don't get immunity and have to move on to a voting round, because a) I don't have tons of online friends who will vote, and b) I am reluctant to browbeat those I do have. But for now, I am thrilled that my torch was not snuffed out.

We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise Saturday night so that I could take photos for the layout, and my coaster had a picture of a drink called a Pink Flamingo Rita, with a pink plastic flamingo pick in it. Thinking that the pick would be a cute page accent, I said to the waiter on one of his visits, "Could I possibly have one of those pink flamingos?" As soon as he left, it occurred to me that he was, of course, going to bring me the drink. Never let it be said that I have not sacrificed for my craft.

School Days Scrapping

Last week I picked up a cute school-themed paper pad by My Mind's Eye, and it's got me in school-scrapping mode. I am really ready for school to start, not because my kids are bored and driving me crazy, but because I am bored and ready to get back into a routine. Both children have been at camp all day for weeks, and I miss them. I am at loose ends with nothing to do, and feeling a bit useless. I realize that this is a problem many moms would love to have, but I am ready for fall and back-to-school and church activities and an upcoming trip to Chicago with some wonderful friends.

These papers have wonderful texture, spot embossing, and glitter, which makes even these very simple pages look a little bit fancier, and somehow sparkly school buses are perfect for Annamarie.