Friday, December 23, 2011

Manatees!!! Well.....almost.....

As we get ready for the Holidays, my family is also preparing for our upcoming Manatee Trip through Divers Incorporated.  This is an amazing trip!  The first time I snorkeled with the manatees was 6 1/2 years ago when I was pregnant with Natalie & Olivia!  I have been fortunate enough to make this trip several times after, and I had incredible interactions with the manatees each time!  They are SUPER friendly, and will come right up and investigate you!  Some will even roll over on their backs to get a belly scratch!

This will be Natalie and Olivia's first time snorkeling with the Manatees (outside the!)  They have practiced at White Star Quarry this summer to make sure they can snorkel.  They were fish (not that we expected much different!)!  They have taken swim lessons for years, and swim amazingly!  They just had to get the hang of breathing through a snorkel, using fins, and wearing a mask.  It took a bit, and thankfully Daddy is an instructor, and has the patience of a saint, but they eventually had the hang of it.

The picture above is of Natalie (left) and Olivia (right) trying on their gear to make sure they hadn't outgrown anything in the past couple of months!  In a few short days, we will begin our trek to Crystal River to enjoy interacting with these gentle giants!  We are driving from Michigan to Crystal River......fortunately, most of the trip will be during the night while the girls are sleeping! 

As our trip goes along, I will post updates and more pictures.  They girls are getting dSLRs for Christmas (we got 2 first generation Canon rebels at an AMAZING deal) so they will be able to record the trip from their point of view also!  



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Something old, something new......

Here we are upon the holiday season again. I have worked for a jewelry store in the mall for 15yrs, and quite frankly, I am burned out. It is a different world in jewelry from 15 yrs ago, and I suppose that happens with most everything. I still LOVE jewelry and always will, but I think I am ready for a change.

With that being said, I think I may have found my niche (maybe I have been crafting for as long as I can remember along with photography (this is my one true passion). I opened my Etsy store in March of this year and a few short months later, my Zibbet store. I have also begun selling my old odds and ends on eBay. Fortunately, eBay has been selling some of my loved, but no longer needed "things". Etsy has sold a few things, and unfortunately, Zibbet, none. I am hearing I am not alone in my Zibbet situation.....I will just keep promoting, and spreading the word.

I have 2 new ventures in addition to the online stores (as if I am not busy enough with that AND a family!) I have been dabbling in portrait photography which I have been having an amazing time doing!!! I have been "practicing" with friends and family, and now have my first PAID job! I am SO excited! It is a maternity shoot. I have not done this before, but am really excited to try something new!

The other new venture is being a substitute clerical worker and substitute lunch/recess aide at the girls' school. I have been having a GREAT time working there! This is an amazing school! It is like one BIG, crazy family. But, then who's family isn't crazy! Lol!! The kids are so much fun! They definitely keep you on your toes! Something is always going on......from cuts to fights to vomiting to drama! It is similar to what I do at the jewelry store.....just a different crowd! lol!

Anyway....enough is enough....I will post about my Sunday night photo shoot next week.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Calder's Farm and Dairy

I took the girls to a local dairy today.  We had a fabulous time!  The video above shows to girls feeding calves.  What a cool experience!  There was a calf that was born this morning.......he was super cute!

So many animals live on the farm.  There are horses, ponies, cats, cows, pigs (regular and pot bellied), peacocks, goats, donkeys, and on and on.  The general store offered pond food and goat food for sale.  We ended up buying 5 bags of pond food and a bag of goat food.  The ducks, geese, and swan were a BLAST to feed!  They surrounded us, ran through our legs, and demanded food! The girls were a little freaked out at first, but relaxed after a little bit.

Calf feeding is at 3pm daily, and we arrived around noon.  Needless to say, we had some time to kill.  We wandered around, checked out the barn, milking area where we ran into an employee.  The girls had  asked me a question earlier about how the ears are tagged, so we asked this great young lady.  She told them that it is similar to us getting our ears pierced, but they have it done as soon as they are born.  She then showed us another area with calves, and she told us there was a calf just born this morning.  He was SUPER cute along with the others!!!  We kind of hung out around there because there were a lot of people waiting to feed calves, and this area was off the beaten path.  Another family came over and was asking questions, and I overheard her telling them that they couldn't feed these calves as they were too young.  They were shuttled off to the other area with the older calves.  When they were gone, I approached the young lady, and asked her if we needed to go to the other area to feed the calves.  I could see the wheels turning, and she told us to hang tight, and we would be able to feed the tiny babies!!!  SO cool!!!  We fed 4 of the calves, and then followed her to the other calf area.  I made the girls stand at the end of the line to feed since they had just fed 3 calves (I fed one!)  They got to feed another 2 babies (the video at the top).

All in all, it was a fantastic day!  We collected some feathers for our scrapbook, and of course had a scoop of ice cream!

If you live close by, it is worth the trip.  It is completely free to get in, pet the animals, feed the calves, and watch the cows be milked.  The only thing you pay for is treats for you and the other animals.

Calder Farm Visit

This pony LOVED Olivia's shirt!

Feeding the ducks, geese, and swan.

Wait a minute!  That's not waterfowl!  Lol!!  This little guy was quite the character!

The lone swan......

The roosters were crowing to each other......they girls thought this was quite annoying.....

Trying to sneak up on a cat.....(you can see him between their heads far off in the background)....they were as sneaky as a herd of elephants!  Never got to pet that cat!  :(

We stumbled upon this big guy.  I am pretty sure it is a pot belly pig.  He could care less we were there.....

We went over the check out the "teenagers" and this even BIGGER pig was having a snack!

Yup......that's Thanksgiving Dinner!!!  ;o)

This is the calf that was born this morning!  Such a cutie!!!

These calves were 3 and 4 days old.

These are the older calves.....and the girls with our new friend.

This is Bingo......she was waiting to be milked.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fun Times the past few Days!

This weekend was fun!  I took the girls to a Pumpkin farm near our home on Sunday.  They had a blast as always!  They each got to ride a pony.....this was the first time I didn't have to beg them to ride!  :'(  They are growing up SO fast!  The farm has a bunch of animals (go figure, huh?  lol!) like turkeys, chickens, horses, goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and ponies.  All of the animals were fascinating.  The piglets were super cute!  When we were standing there looking at and playing with the piglets, a family walked up and their teenage daughter says, " Oh My Gosh!  Those pigs are SO cute!  I could just eat them!  (insert GASP)  Oh, NO, I didn't mean it that way!!"  LOL!!!  I laughed so hard!

A few minutes later, Casey tickled Olivia with a feather in turn scaring the crap out of her!!!  She jumped 10 feet in the air thinking a bug was on her!  Too bad I didn't have my camera going.......we would have won $10,000 on America's Funniest Videos!!

Monday, Rich, the girls, and I saw Dolphin Tale.   If you haven't seen it already.....GO SEE IT!!!  What an AMAZING story!!!  You will cry (unless you are heartless!  LOL!), but it is a good cry with a happy ending!   We are going to Florida during Holiday break in  December........We are going to try to visit Winter!  I will keep you posted.....

I have also been working on my Christmas cards!  So far, I am pretty pleased with how they are turning out........I have been embossing the base card to add some flair to the overall card.  Adding my pics, and a simple greeting on the inside, then I am good to go!  Hopefully, I will have them done by the weekend so I can get them listed!

Tomorrow will be the first day I get to volunteer in Natalie's class.  I am pretty excited!  She doesn't know I am going to be worked out best that way last year.  We will see how this year goes.  Last year, I was banned from Olivia's class because she would get too upset when I had to leave.  Hopefully, when I am able to work in her class, she will be better.  I am optimistic because she has been really secure in herself and with Natalie that (knock on wood) she hasn't cried once when I have dropped her off!

More later!  Stay tuned.....

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking

So....I downloaded the software and a BUNCH of FREE digital paperpacks.  I just started working with it today, and it is really fun!  I can see it becoming really addicting!  I decided to do a fully customized layout (I don't well inside the box), and I really like how my first page turned out.  I used one of my daisy pictures as the background with a picture of my girls on it.  Nothing fancy, but definately fun!

In other has been a beautiful week!  I have been outside with my girls everyday after school soaking up the warmth and sun!!  We don't have many of these days left.......  :o(  Someday, we will live in a warm climate!

We have a fun weekend planned!  Tomorrow, we are seeing a movie, having a playdate with a great friend that I haven't seen in a while, and having an adult dinner while the kids stay with a sitter.  Sunday, I am taking the girls to the pumpkin patch! I love going to the farm!  They have tons of animals, pumpkins, and a few activities for the kids.  I will post pics when we are done.

That's all for now.....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbooking

I was approached by My Memories Suite to use and review their scrapbook software
 All of my friends, fans, and followers will reap the rewards for my efforts! 
 They have provided me with a special code for everyone who follows me to receive $10 off of their software.  

enter in the special code (STMMMS50135), and receive $10 off! 
 It's that easy!  

I will be downloading and trying this software out. 
 I am pretty excited, as I have never done digital scrapbooking before!  

There is one more exciting announcement.......
ONE of my followers, fans, or friends will WIN My Memories Suite for free!! 
 I will post more details about how to win in my next blog after I have used the software. 
 I will also post some examples of what I have done!

Crazy Busy!

This week has been crazy!  I worked at White Star Quarry, which is always a blast!  I am quite sad to see the summer fading quickly.  Even though I am not looking forward to the cold and snow, I am looking forward to the next few months.

There is a ton of stuff going on at school.  I was recruited as the PTO president for this year and next, so life has been nuts!  We have a walkathon this Friday.  It is always a fun time!  The kids collect money from their family and friends, and we walk around a path designed by our phys ed teacher.  We even have a DJ!  The next 2 weeks 3-6th grades are taking proficiency tests, and our Halloween Skating Party is coming up.  

My favorite Holiday of the whole year is this month!!!  I LOVE Halloween!!  Getting dressed up, going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, apple picking, trick or treating, and SO much more!!!  What's not to love?

I have been receiving my supplies to start making Christmas Cards!  I am pretty excited!!!  This is the first time I have created cards to sell.  I have a variety, and they can be mixed and matched!  I should have them done by next week sometime (providing my Cuttlebug arrives soon!), and I will have them listed on my Esty and Zibbet sites.  Below are the photos I am using......
You may recognize some of them if you are in my area.....The Shark, Huge Tree, and Panoramic were taken at the Toledo Zoo.  The ornaments were taken last Christmas at my Aunt and Uncle's house.  (the decorated tree is theirs too).  The ceramic tree was my Grandma's.  She gave it to me before she passed away, and I cherish it!  It is one of the things that I always remember from her house at Christmas (that, the Candy cane wrapped with a dollar, and her famous sugar cookies!)  She always had a cherry candy cane for me!  I didn't like peppermint......

I guess that's all for now!!  Thanks for reading!!  Next time, I will talk about my Grandma.  My husband, Rich, has encouraged me to write down my memories of her and being with her.  He said he wished he had done that with his grandparents.  Why not share my memories with everyone!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Something New

So.....a bunch of people I know have started blogs.  I figured, why not?  I may as well add another thing to my plate!  Lol!

I have been doing some creating the past few days.  My husband, Rich, gave me a bunch of fossilized sharks teeth, and I have been making necklaces and magnets out of them.  It has been fun!

I have also created a pair of earrings, which I don't really want to sell.....I LOVE how they turned out.  They will be listed though.......  :o)

Besides creating for Etsy and Zibbet, I have been busy with PTO duties.  ( I was recruited as president of the pto last school year)  We have a BILLION things going on!  Thank goodness I have a great team behind me!

I guess that's it for now.......Hope I can keep you interested!