Sunday, February 28, 2010

And now, on to March...

Well, twenty eight days later and I have one month under my belt over at the new blog where I am taking a picture a day as part of the 365 project. To add a little more fun, I have a monthly color theme. February consisted of 28 photos of the color red. I'll be taking 31 pictures of the color green this month.

Should be interesting.

This is turning out to be a very interesting project. I definitely think I am going to put the images in a book format at the end of twelve months. I am having a hard time trying to find a way to make a collage of images that would include a minimum of 31 images. I have seen 16 and 20.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

B+W Wednesday

A Teddy Bear Tea at school on Friday and the final concert in the Family series of our city's symphony made for a full weekend.

I love this first shot. Lucas and Isabel are like brother and sister.
His mom is a good friend and colleague.
This is just minutes before we went in to the concert.

After the concert, we headed back over to the fountain at The Landing.
Within minutes, a random game of tag erupted.

There is so much I like about this picture. The joy on the kids' faces, the three different races of the kids, the fact that the girls are in both dressed in their Sunday best and -my favorite- that Isabel is actually airborne.

These next shots are rare... Isabel with a serious expression.

Thinking about her Tea Party.

Listening attentively to the teacher.

I have a picture of her right after we got home from China
that is almost a double of this.
As much as she has changed,
there is still glimpses of that little baby girl
that I can catch now and then.

Mother and Daughter

the long road

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Teddy Bear Tea

This afternoon Isabel participated in her second Teddy Bear Tea at school. This has got to be one of the most delightful things that they do at her school. The children are taught manners and table etiquette. They spend a month practicing and all their work culminates in this Tea. The children - dressed in beautiful dresses and suits and all carrying teddy bears - were paired off and walked in two by two after having their names announced.

Upon entering the dining area, they placed their bears on the steps and returned to their assigned table where upon the boys pulled out the chairs for the girls. The children sat up nice and tall and waited until the final two were seated. At that point, they all removed their cloth napkins from their teacups and placed them in their laps. Under the quiet directions of their instructor, the children then took a bite from their tiny heart-shaped cucumber sandwiches, chewed, wiped their mouths with their napkin and then took a sip of their raspberry tea. All the while, in the background, classical music softly played.

It was both lovely and surreal.

After about ten minutes the children were called to the (carpeted) steps and the stage area. A local musician talked about the story of Peter and the Wolf and how Prokofiev used different instruments to identify each of the characters in the story. He had a portable keyboard with him, and on it played the sounds of each of these specific instruments. He then read the story while accompanied by the music. The children were amazing! You could have heard a pin drop. When the story ended, the children were dismissed to return to their classes or to go home with their parents.

When I think of the fact that three years ago, we had just been home from China less than three weeks and compare that 14 month old with the 4 year old this afternoon, it is difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that they are one and the same. It makes me stop and wonder of the changes that lie ahead in the next three years when Isabel will be more than halfway through first grade and a preschooler no longer.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

18 days down, 347 left

This month's color...RED!

I am more than halfway through my first month on the new blog.
This is actually fun and helps me be more focused during my day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

B+W Wednesday

I had the privilege to accompany a close friend and her family to a cemetery on Sunday to honor the memory of both her father and youngest sister whose birthdays were this month.

It is a large Italian family with 10 children - 4 men and 5 woman - still living. The elegance and faith of their mother is undeniable. I loved being able to capture the life of this group of strong women even in the midst of a sad afternoon.

Check out some more photos from other folks at Lisa's blog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Wanna Dance

This week's challenge is I Wanna Dance.
Normally I am teaching during Isabel's dance hour.
On this morning my schedule allowed me to pop over and actually see her lesson.
I just love the joy on her face.

Check out other photos at the I heart faces blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I must say that having a four-year-old makes this day a lot more fun.
We have been making decorations... some started QUITE a while ago.

The cinnamon hearts came out lovely and are strung on the front of the fireplace.

We loved seeing this idea on Martha Stewart's site and decided to try it out.

My idea was to hang the hearts from the dining room light
but, too late, discovered I didn't have any thread.
So, if you can't hang them up, stand it up.
They look very pretty in soft light of this VERY chilly
(for Florida) 32 degree morning.

And of course, you can't have Valentine's Day without some cake...
preferably pink with nonpareils.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Get the Tissues

Check UP

Isabel had her four-year-old check up on Tuesday afternoon. Sure it's been over two months since her birthday but, insurance companies being what they are...

I dropped her off at school early and reminded her we were going to see Dr. Wendy (who she adores!) The day flew by and as I left school, some pretty heavy rain started to fall and slowed traffic to a snail's pace on the Interstate.

I finally arrive at Isabel's class to find her (God I wish I had a camera!) dressed NOT in the cute skirt and shirt I left her in, but in an outfit that can only be described as "interesting". She still had on her big orange bow and white cupcake sandels, but instead of a matching ensemble, she was sporting some faded black [read gray] stretch pants with florescent geometric shapes and a lovely white smock-type blouse with tiny blue roses all over it.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Not much I could do, so off to the doctor's office we went. Now, this exam included a lot of new things: blood pressure, hearing test and vision test. It was during the latter that I just about burst out laughing. Instead of letters, the vision chart that is used has shapes: circle, square, heart and a house. Well, she is reading away and then hits the house and says PENTAGON! That's right. Not house. Pentagon. Hey, let's hear it for those preschool teachers, huh?

The check up continued with a rather extensive question and answer session with the doctor and then ended up with her getting three shots: polio, flu, and H1N1 flu. Even though she knew about the shots ahead of time, she was crying hysterically after the first. I ended up having to hold her down for the last two and was about to lose it crying myself. (Question: Does it EVER get easier hearing your child cry?)

As promised beforehand, we headed over to a local store to get her a treat. Her choice?

which she announced LOUDLY

to all of the other elevator occupants on the way down to the lobby.

(Never a dull moment!)

She was a real trooper though, and we ended up stopping by a library that was on the way (much to her delight!) A little while later, on the way to the store, the rain began to clear and the sky was filled with huge clouds that were tinged with just the slightest bit of rose from the sunset. From the backseat I heard:

" Mom, the clouds are putting on their pajamas."

I had been thinking that I was so glad that the rain finally stopped and the traffic wouldn't be so crazy. My thoughts had been limited by my world, by what was below; ,my daughter's were lifted to what was above.

It took a four-year-old (who had just had three shots) to show me a better perspective. All I had to do was check UP. What a gift.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

We went to a birthday party that felt like
what I remembered them to be like in the 60s.
No pretense or fanfare, just fun
playing, laughing, chasing each other, swinging
and hopping in a sack race.
So refreshing.

After the party, we headed out to a great park at the beach.
It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.

Click on over to Lisa's blog to see some more entries.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"We Heart Kisses"

Mother and Daughter

This week's challenge is celebrating kisses.
As I am usually the one taking the pictures,
there are not many of Isabel and me together.
This was taken last summer by a local photographer.
I just love the gentleness and simplicity of it.

Check out other photos at the I heart faces blog.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Blog

Last month I read several blogs who were participating in Project 365. Basically, it is a challenge to post a picture a day for a year. At the end of the year you get a glimpse into what your day-to-day life was like. There was something about it that I both liked (capturing an image a day) and didn't like (it was too broad for me). Then I saw a variation that I really liked over at Stepping on Legos. Nicki chose to take the challenge but focus on one color a month. She posted this at the end of the month and I just loved it! It was just what I needed to get started.

And so... I started another blog to capture daily images of our life with a monthly color theme. I started February first and just finished the first week. The color theme this month is RED. You can check it out here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New School, New Friends, New Fun

Party Girl

Sure the party isn't for hours but it is important to be ready...
(even if Mommy hasn't even had her coffee yet).

BTW, I love the whole "cape" thing she's got going there.