Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 Summer gifts

Time together, open windows on a surprisingly cool day, reading to your heart's content.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gospel Shoes

 This summer the kids and I undertook to trace and cut shoes from old blue jeans.  We partnered with Sole Hope.  The shoes will be sent to Uganda to create employment for widows.  They assemble them for a fair wage and then the shoes are given to kids that have none.   Why are closed shoes so important?  Well, just watch this.

And here is the story that founded Sole Hope.

All you need is...
blue jeans
milk jugs
safety pins
zip lock bags

While busy being a shoemaker's elf, my eight year old daughter so sweetly said, "I will never grow tired as long as I know I am helping someone." May that spur you on to cut some gospel shoes as well. Without the cost of a plane ticket, your faith can walk on a different continent.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wet Dog, Dry Dog

Fritz is our dog walker and the neighbors have taken notice.  In the last few weeks he has been asked to walk three other furry friends. 

Love their matching outfits.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Above the Upperlip

Fritz has been tallying up hours for the summer library reading program. He walked away with his favorite prize this past week.  It suits him so well.  I think the color is a perfect match!  Who knew that reading a book could help you grow facial hair. 

Annual Cows Out to Eat

Monday, July 07, 2014

Birthday Boy

1st Birthday Home- 8 years old
Precious Teddy was excited to help beat the egg whites for his cake and dump the cups of sugar and flour.  He tested the batter and told me "so good."  
 Teddy and I made a yummy lemon cake.  
When I put the cake in the freezer to rescue the wobbly icing,  the cake batter must have turned blue.  (or so goes the embellished story)

 Teddy thought the cake was perfect with its Kirby-inspired decorations.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Experimenting with Editing

With free Gimp software, I added a light beam and gradient flare.  Now Fritz appears to be outside at dusk and the hole in the canopy above lets in a magical bubble of moonlight.
Original photo, unedited
Again with Gimp,
I played with the light curve to get Fritz's eyes to appear more lustrous and added under Render the fog effect.   Editing can make you believe Fritz is peering through a frosted window in a train bound for Siberia while he is really sweating in our Texas backyard. 

With Photoscape, I turned Fritz's photo into a colored pencil drawing of a different boy. 
In this digital age, the options of photo editing are limitless and it can be overwhelming where to start and what to do.  For years I have used Picassa which is super user friendly, and recently I downloaded two new photo editing programs, Photoscape, moderately user friendly, and Gimp, more advanced.  I suggest playing with different options and always making a copy of the original photo.  With a few clicks, you can definitely take an ordinary picture to another level and location without spending a dime.

Optimisim for the Lovelorn

Thursday, July 03, 2014