Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Ought to Cool You Off

For those of you enduring a long, hot summer, maybe this will help cool things least for a bit.

Ice and snow are rare in South Texas, but in the 6 1/2 years we've lived here we've seen it like this a couple of times. This past January, not long after I got my new camera, we got an ice storm. I had not used my camera much at all prior to these pictures but I sure did give it a work out this day.

The Yucca plant in front of the front deck:

The ice hanging off the roof of the back deck:

The ice hanging off the church roof.

My bench on the front deck:

The mini windmill in the yard:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Teen Girls Ministry

My friend Linda and I lead a teen girls ministry at church. We plan fun activities for the girls to do, usually outside the church and have a devotional time that somehow relates back to the activity. We try to plan something each month, but some months it just doesn't work out.

Recently we planned a brunch in which the teenage girls had to choose ladies within the church to invite as their special guests. The girls were encouraged to eat with their guest and get to know them. We're hoping to encourage the development of relationships between the women and the girls and maybe this event will be the beginning of that.

Everyone seemed to have such a good time and the ladies were so excited to have been chosen as a guest! I asked each of the girls to write articles about their guest and am publishing each in the church newsletter.

That's Linda on the left and me on the right. We seem to be very tickled about something!

This is Michele and her guest Janice. Michele has one of the sweetest personalities of any teenage girl I know! Janice is our pianist and also leads the Kids Klub Khoir.

This is Debbie and she's the guest of Heather C. Debbie has the biggest heart! And this is my "other Heather." She used to live just up the road from me and has spent a lot of time hanging out at my house. She and my Heather have birthdays a week apart and this Heather is the cousin of my Heather's Michael.

This is Danie and her guest Alma. Danie learned that Alma loves motorcycles!!!

This is my Heather and her guest Tara, who is Danie's mom.

Linda and I asked Erica to come help us get brunch ready and to help serve. She also snapped a bunch of pictures for me! Thanks Erica!!!

Here's our whole group. What fun we had. We'll have to do this again!

Monday's Sunset

After "Meet the Mats" Monday I had to stay in town to go grocery shopping. What a great night not to have rushed home! The sky was awesome!!!! I can't see the sunset through the trees from my house so when I am out and about at sunset my eyese are usually glued to the sky! I drove around town trying to find the best spot to capture these pictures, but some were snapped just before heading into the grocery store.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Meet the Mats

Yesterday was the first day of school here. Heather is a 10th grader! When did this happen? Just yesterday I was taking her to Kindergarten at my old elementary school and leaving her in the care of Mrs. Hogue. How hard that was! But she was in the hands of a wonderful, loving teacher that we still go say hi to when we head back to Missouri, as well as her 1st grade teacher Mrs. Walker who we all love so much and her 3rd grade teacher who was such a blast, Mr. Wilson.

Last night after school was "Meet the Mats" which is a lot like a pep rally in which the athletes are introduced. The band played, the cheerleaders cheered and the dance team danced. I took a ton of pictures, mostly of the dance team of course!

Here the dance team sits on the field waiting their turn. Heather is in the front on the right side.

Here's part of the group in the middle of their performance. Heather is on the right.

I got a few shots of just Heahter:

The cheerleaders led the crowd in "Go, Mats, Go!" The first football game is a home game this Friday.

At the end of every football game everyone sings the alma mater and the fight song. "Meet the Mats" was concluded the same way.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Compare the Photoshop photos to the originals

Only one photo WASN'T modified in photoshop. Check them out:

Picture 1--This one is the original. Check out the photoshopped version under it.

Not a huge difference, but some sublte color changes.

Picture 2. This original just looks a little dull and has little contrast in the sky.

I just bumped up the contrast some and saturated the colors and it made a huge difference I think:

Picture 3. Just looks pretty boring (even if it does contain a rainbow.) The rainbow was fading fast as I snapped pictures and couldn't revive it completely but did make a bit of a difference.

I really bumped up the contrast and saturation in this one, to the point the blues look almost unreal. But, it sure added color to a gray sky.

Picture 4. Again, pretty gray and drab for a rainbow in the original shot...

Again with the saturation and contrast.

Picture 5. The sky isn't bad but it just doesn't "pop" like I want it to in this original photo.

Here I still didn't get the results I wanted but the saturation of colors sure adds more golds in it.

Picture 6. This is actually the only photo I did not retouch. This is how it looked straight out of the camera.

Picture 7. I wish the blues weren't so gray and that there was a little more contrast in the colors in the sky.

Saturating the colors and tweaking the contrast just a little helped some, but I still wish the blues were just a tad bluer....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Is It Real...Or Is It Photoshop?

Can you tell which, if any, of the photos below are original-straight-from-the-camera shots? Or, which ones, if any, have been tweaked in Photoshop? Leave your guesses in the comments below. I'll post the answers tomorrow.

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Picture 3:

Picture 4:

Picture 5:

Picture 6:

Picture 7:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Sweet 16 Heather

I can't believe I've been blogging long enough to have actually written 100 posts, but here it 100! I thought it would be fun to post Heather's sweet 16 as post 100:

I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all at Heather's birthday party. Her teenage friends were invited to join us early in the day to enjoy swimming, playing pool, etc. Some adult friends were invited to come over later in the evening to roast hotdogs, marshmallows and be here for cake and ice cream.

I am not good at decorating cakes. Never have been and haven't decorated very many. But I have a new toy from Pampered Chef and since I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the cake, decided to try out my new toy. Here's Heather's birthday cake:

Heather's friend Shelby dropped by for a little while. Her family had plans for the evening, but brought her by to give Heather a birthday gift and let her hang out for a bit. We're so glad you were able to come by Shelby!

Michael and Travis chillin' in the game room.

Heather getting splashed in the pool.

All the teenagers lined up ready to jump in the pool together.
From the left, Heather C., David, Michael, Heather, Travis, Mathew, and Michele.

Just enjoying the water.

Heather and Riley. They fight like sisters, but once in a while we see a sweet moment like this.

Marty mid-flight in his "attack" on Erica.

And he gets her good!
Most of the teenagers roasting hot dogs with Freddie for dinner.
From the left, my mother in law Billie, me, Erica and Cameron roasting our dinner.

Erica's working on dessert while Rodney and Richard start their dinner.

Erica really enjoys her marshmallows!

Beverly blackening her marshmallows.
It seems both Nancy and Beverly prefer their marshmallows black.

Some of the kids enjoying the hot tub.

My father in law Freddie and my mother in law Billie. Thanks so much guys for letting us invade your house, pool, and game room yesterday!!!

Just hanging out with friends.

Time for cake!!! Happy Birthday to you, Heather!

It was getting dark so "Pappy" Freddie held the flashlight so Heather could read her cards as she opened her gifts.

Heather choked up when she opened a very touching gift from Granny. She gave Heather a locket that had belonged to her Granny and inside she'd placed a picture of both of Heather's late Papas (my dad and Billie's late husband). It was a very sweet, tender moment.

Before everyone left Heather, Cameron and Riley sang us all a silly song!


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