Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homer House Final Addition

When my brother Rick was 6 years old, he got his first Scottie dog, Pooh Bear. Honestly there has never been a dog like him. When I was 6 I got a puppy named Paddy, and there hasn't been another Scottie in my heart like my first. When Paddy died it left a very large void in the Helland house, so my mom and dad called Ruth Ann (our breeder and close friend) and found out that a litter was born the day that Paddy died. Very serendipitous. We could not wait to go to Wisconsin to pick up our puppy, Foxi. It was a long wait, but well worth it.

When Jared turned six, we had decided that the Homer Kids could continue the tradition. Jared, of course, picked a kitten. I was a dog person. I was NOT a cat person, and neither was Foxi girl. But Rob found a new breed and it was more hypoallergenic then most. They also love water and act like dogs...sounded perfect. The icing on the cake was that the breed name was Bengal. Hello? War Eagle!! Perfect. We found a breeder in North Carolina and went to get Aubie. She is a love and I wouldn't trade her for the world. Aubie and Foxi became very close. That wasn't the best news since Foxi was starting to get older and we weren't quite sure what Aubie would do if Foxi should die. Well, Kevin turned six and he picked a kitten as well. We found a local breeder and we fell in love with her and her cats. She is the first, and only, breeder in Georgia to receive the Breeder of Distinction Award from TIBCS. Ramsay came to live in the Homer House and life was great. All the animals got along great but Foxi was getting older still. In May we had to say a VERY tearful goodbye to our old girl. It was very hard for me and I didn't realize it, but it was very hard for Ryan too. It's been almost a year and the girl mentions every DAY either 1) getting a dog or 2) how we lost Foxi and she misses her so bad. As most of you know, Ryan turned 6 in January. Now when we started this tradition we knew that each child would ultimately choose their own animal. There is nothing in the world like your very own, your very first, pet. So we tried to convince Ryan that a dog was out of the question; no yard, no one home during a bulk of the day and we travel one weekend a month for swimming. Not a fair life for a doggie...she understood but wasn't happy. So we bought her a frog. Still not the answer. We looked into guinnea pigs...whoa-way not the answer. And the only thing we came back to was a kitten. As fate would have it, we just took a gander at Mama Christina's site. We contacted her about the next litter, and possibly getting a snow. Aubie is a brown spotted, Ramsay is a silver spotted and Haley is a snow. Yes, Ryan is getting a kitten. There is plenty of love to go around and now our family is complete. No more pets for the next few decades. To join "Aubrn's Dixieland Daisy" and "Bahiya's Ramsay Little Plainsman"---

I would love to introduce "Haley's Auburn Tiger of Bahiya"Ryan Auburn Homer will have a kitty with the same middle name...
We can't wait to bring her home!!
Do you still want to see more? I have a link to Kittycam...Christina sent this to us last week, all it did was make us love her more. Today we officially found out she will be ours and we are over the moon! I will post more pics as soon as I get them. :)
you can also see more pictures at Christina's Website: Bahiya Bengals

Monday, March 30, 2009

I ♥ Faces-Pouting & anything goes

Head on over to I Faces to see this week's "Pouting" entries...I'm sure it will be a hoot. When I heard "Pout", I immediately thought of Ryan...it comes so natural to her.

We get a pet category again, and "Anything Goes"--yahoo! Lucky for me Ramsay is a very photogenic cat, Aubie-not so much. Here is my favorite picture of the two of them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Confessions of a Swim Mom...

Man that girl can hear the shutter, I was 100 feet away and she heard it. This meet she was loved on by ALL the big girls. She thinks she's hot stuff but doesn't quite know what to do with all the attention...***Huge Brag Alert. If you don't want to hear me go on and on, then stop reading now...
...ok, for the rest of you---fasten your belts, I have tons of good news from the Carrollton Southwest Divisionals :)

I skipped yesterday because I went to Angie's baby shower :) Rob called with the first bit of news, Ryan came in first in her heat for her 25 free. I thought, ok, out of what 4 kids? Nope, all 8, a full heat. She blew her seed time out by 3.5 seconds for a 24 second 25 free. Awesome!! I had to wait until after the meet for full details and the news was great. Jared did ok for his first two events, nothing to blog about. Oh wait, I just did :) Ryan's next event was the 25 fly, to which she shaved off 6.5 seconds-came in 16th out of 50 and got 1 point for the team. Yahoo! Jared was up next with the 50 fly, to which he finally posted a time, and came in 16th as well, also scoring 1 point for Gold. Ryan came in second in her backstroke heat and completely fell asleep for the 100 free. That's ok, she did great. Jared finished strong, dumping 9 seconds off his IM, taking first in his heat & 13th overall to score more points for Gold!!

Day two started hot off the blocks and stayed that way until the end. In Ryan's 50 free she took off almost 2 seconds and 1.5 on her 25 breast. Jared's 100 free was 4 seconds better then his best time and even though he was right on his time for 50 breast-he came in 14th, posting points. More impressively he did a 100 fly for the first time today and came in with a 13th place finish, again, good enough to point. Ryan wasn't going to let Jared get all the glory, she decided to take 3 more seconds off her 25 back to which Jared let her go unanswered for his final event, he was right on his time for his 50 back. If that boy could figure out how to use the flags he would rock the back stroke. The last event was Ryan's 100 IM. She hasn't done it yet, has had kind of a mental thing about it, and needs it for the Iron Man award. I'm not sure how many kids have ever received this award at 6 years old, but she is 2 events away. For her age group all you need to do is post a time in all the 25's, 50's, 100 Free and 100 IM, sound easy right? She needed the IM today and she did awesome on the fly and back, then it looked like she was DQ'd for the turn from breast to free...so close!! We talked to the coach and she thought she was good, a friend called later (thanks Mary!!) and said she did post, 30 out of 33, but it was there! All we need is the 50 fly and we have one shot at it...we'll see what happens in April at Mako Mania...

So here is the run down:

Jared had 5 out of 8 personal bests, 1 heat winner and put points up in 4 events. AWESOME!
Ryan had 5 out of 8 personal bests, 1 heat winner pointed in 1 event and put herself 1 event closer to the Iron Man...stay tuned!
Ready for warm-upsTHIS...is my serious face....Flyin Ryan (love the closed fists)
Jared's fly
off the blocks
not too bad :)
Tell me this girls isn't having fun?? She's smiling....
Jared looking good for his freestyle

Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo Friday-Stone Mountain 2004

Wow, time sure flies! We love to go to Stone Mountain in the summer to watch the laser show. The past few years we have missed it for some reason or another. This year we plan on going back when my cousins come to visit from Norway, what a treat that will be! This picture is from 2004 when we went and had a family picnic on the lawn and stayed for the show. Jared rolled the dice for me this week and we had to laugh at Gran's lollipop!

Have a safe and wonderful weekend. Stay tuned for a swim post...Ryan has her first IM this weekend. Kevin's game got rained out so that will have to wait until next weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Duh dunt. Duh Dunt. dunt-dunt-dunt-dunt-AHHHHH

Here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for...**Parental warning, this post contains actual footage from the shark dissection field trip. Photos contain graphic "nature"....hahaha

So I rarely live out my dreams in the kids. I figured I had my chance, but this was one thing I couldn't pass up. I missed the target program in school by a couple points. Rob missed by a couple points. Jared missed the first couple times and Kevin missed as well. I think I would have loved being in target but it wasn't meant to be. I do however remember the day in fifth grade when "our" sharks came in. I was coming up with every excuse I could think of to get a glimpse of them. I finally found them in the library, on a plastic sheet looking NOTHING like they do when we are on the boat. Now mind you, I have grown up with shark fishing and "dissection" but this was different, this was with my friends and this was gross! Plus I knew I could handle it where as Susie-squirmy sitting next to me wouln't.

SO they needed chaperones for Jared's Target class for the 4th &5th grade field trip to do their Shark Dissection. Who went? I did!!! YIPIEE, only 20 ought years later :) I had a blast and I had my camera. Thanks to the wonderful clarity of my Nikon, you too will feel like you were right there. :)

I also took pics for Karen since she was away and missed it, lucky for me, Katie and Jared were in the same group so that made my job easier and I could oogle at the dead fish instead.
Here's our group, Jared, Katie and Cameron
Counting the teeth looking at the external features...etc
Ready, set, cut!
yes Karen, she actually cut out the liver!
Jared cutting open the stomach to see what the shark had for dinner...not much...

I ♥ Faces-No Flash

Kevin's Bike Ride
I Faces-No Flash. I find this funny since I just got a new flash for my birthday...guess that will have to wait. This was a tough week for me too, I think because I have a very limited picture pool. I need to get out and take more pics! In the rules, you can't use the same picture twice, even if it didn't win the last time. I do have to use the same series of pictures, the kids first time riding bikes, since that is where the bulk of my pictures are from.

Check out more amazing pictures on:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Friday

Oh, this week was a good one! We have been going to our timeshare in the mountains since I was a year old. We love it so much that Rick lived up there for quite a few years. When the kids came along it quickly became one of the highlights of their year. This week we landed in 2004 Sky Valley file. This is actually from my dad's camera, I think, but it's a great shot. Where on earth does the time go!?!?
I will be posting lots tomorrow or Sunday, shark dissection and soccer games...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I ♥ Faces-GREEN

This week, I Faces goes GREEN. This was an uber tough category-all pictures had to have green it it somewhere. I did come across this picture of the HomerHouse monkeys. It makes me laugh every time, I hope you get a smile from it too. :) Head on over to I Faces to see all the other GREEN entries are.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Ever try to get that one great shot for the Christmas card? This isn't it....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Palm Coast-SURPRISE!!

I'm going to set the scene: My mom and dad were going to be in Florida for business. On the way home they were going to stop at my Aunt Marcia and Uncle Paul's home is Palm Coast for the weekend. As a nice treat, my cousin Kristy and her hubby Dennie were going to drive in from Lake Mary and spend some time with my parents. My aunt called two weeks before and asked if Rick and I could come down and surprise my mom. Well, Rick is always in Europe this time of year for the FIQ tournament, BUT, Rob and I jumped at the chance to spend a couple days at the beach. I haven't seen their new place, wanted to see my cousin and surprise my folks. So Rob and I get the kids on the bus on Friday morning and head down to Palm Coast. After a fire drill of errors, we surprised mom and dad and had a good laugh about the fact that we were all "on vacation" and my dad was not in the "Twilight Zone".
The men decided to try Rob's latest batch of home brew and then we hit the strip. Apparently it was biker week and we went out for appetizers to a local hang out. Next we went to the Club and had a wonderful dinner. Later, we put toothpicks in our eyes to stay awake for the night launch of the Keppler rocket, I forgot what the mission was but it was neat to watch!! Saturday morning the boys were up early to fish and the ladies were out on the veranda having coffee and hot chocolates. It was so beautiful, warm and sunny. I will live on the beach at some point in my life...promise! Around 1 the boys came home with LOTS of fish (yummy appetizers!) and my cousin was on her way. She had no idea we were coming either. Was it a good idea to surprise a pregnant person? We'll see. After they arrived, Rob and I hid in the bathroom for a while-we thought that the longer we waited, the bigger the surprise. We were right, the look on Kristy and Dennie's faces were priceless and Rob caught it on film, hehehehe.
Marcia had sent out invitations for a baby shower and all our family had sent their gifts down ahead of time. We had a wonderful surprise shower and it was fun to see all the "new" baby things. It's amazing how many things have changed in the few short years since we had the kids.
It was a nice afternoon of showering love on baby Jack Paul (JP). Afterwords the boys wanted to get out and enjoy some sunshine. They went to hit some balls on the driving range and the ladies followed them to the course. We decided to take a drive on the carts along the path and look for wild life. This was the most beautiful, natural golf course I have ever been on. We did see an armadillo (not in the trees) and some sort of beaver thingy. It was quick to get away.
The guys were on the front nine and they saw turnkeys, gators, armadillos, and an eagle. It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was out, the breeze was warm and the sun was shining through the gorgeous trees lined with Spanish moss. I loved this shot, it reminded me of the poem, the Road Less Traveled for some reason....
Back to the house for fresh fish, and dinner. While things were cookin' I went to the back and saw my favorite color---oh, yeah-this was a beautiful sunset. I'm still learning to use my camera and it doesn't do justice to the colors but it's close...After a yummy dinner, we had one more surprise up our sleeves. Marcia had baked a chocolaty- chocolate-chocolate cake for my mom. We sang Happy Birthday and Ryan provided the purple crown... It was a WONDERFUL mini vacay! What a nice chance for us to get away and relax. Oh, in case you're wondering, we did leave the kids at home. For my birthday I asked if Bob and Barb could babysit them so we could have an adult only trip. They had an awesome weekend with Grammy and Pop Pop and if you have time, they would love to tell you about it, or they can just show you the cool shirts they each made while they were there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo Friday

Well, this week we landed on the "Morgan's Reunion-03". There was a cute shot of Kevin with his head in the apple bucket, but I didn't think posting his "honey buns" would be good. So I went with the next one in line. As you know, part of my reason for the photo roulette, if you will, is to find new pictures to play with. It's also a great trip down memory lane. I get a bit overwhelmed when I look at how many pictures we have. This way I can edit a bit at a time and not freak out. I posted both pictures so you can see the before and after...I think I like the original, his blue eyes are just like Robs-beautiful! I'm still trying to figure out how to pull color into a b/w...we'll see if I can do it-then I'll post that one too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I ♥ Faces-Creative Crop

Monday, Monday-my new favorite day of the week. This week at I Faces we get to do a creative crop. We find an ok picture and turn it into something marvelous (hopefully). So again I chose my favorite subject (sorry boys). Ryan was sitting at the counter having breakfast and I had just gotten my camera for Christmas. I was crazy woman, walking around snapping all kinds of pictures. I thought this one was great.
Then I got hooked on this great little site called I Faces and I realized a great shot wasn't just point and click. It was editing and cropping as well. Ryan is my focal point so I had to zero in on her. I got some free software and started playing around...

Now that I cropped it down, I moved the square over a bit to set her off center. A few touch ups here and there with the filter, contrast and sharpness and viola!...my new masterpiece. I love it and wanted to share it. For other pictures about creative cropping, go to I Faces.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fun Photo Friday

This week we land in the New Smyrna beach file from 2005. I had to laugh at this roll for a bunch of reasons. First off, my parents are there now visiting with my aunt Marcia and uncle Paul, weird coincidence. Second, we took this picture as a joke, pile all the kiddos on the couple with no offspring. Well , I got a picture on FB this week of my cousin Kristy and she's lookin' so cute and pregnant with their first child. The kids in the picture belong to Rob & I, and my cousin Matt & his wife Maureen (Mo). I think Kristy and Dennie were into the photo but not too many of the kids were-they wanted to get down to the beach and play.

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I ♥ Faces-MESSY

Yippiee, I received a 5th place for this photo and I Faces gave me this cool button as a prize:) I can't wait to enter next week! If you want to see all the winners from week 8, click here:
I Faces-Winners Week 8

Yahoo! This week on I Faces--is MESSY. Anyone who knows Ryan, knows we have a plethora of "Messy" photos. When she went through the "two's" she went through the distructo-two's...it was WAY messy, anything from kitty litter sandcastles, to dumping an entire bottle of fuchsia nail polish on our carpeted bathroom floor (she thought her nails were beautiful). She finally outgrew it but we still have pictures. Go to http://www.iheartfaces.com/ to see what all the mess is about...
Getting ready to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner and we can't find Ryan. We discovered her in the upstairs bathroom trying to look presentable for dinner. I guess she thought she knew how to do her mascara from watching mommy and Gran.

I think it looks even better in B/W because it makes her eyes stand out more and mascara kind of -"pops" out at you...A HUGE thank you to Karyn on I Faces, her tutorial on photo size, made this picture larger then life.
This week they have a beginners category (yahoo!)

"You’re a beginner if you can answer yes to 3 or more of these questions...

• Have you recently started taking photos or taking photography more seriously?
• Do you have NO idea how your camera works yet?
• Are your skills average or below average?
• Are you clueless when we talk about Aperture?
• You don't even know what editing means.... let alone have an editing program for your photos?
• Are you willing to be open for constructive criticism from the other participants?"
So if you've been intimidated in the past-now is your week click on the button to get details.