Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend Photos

We had such great weather again this weekend; it really felt like Spring for the first time this year. Indeed many of the bulbs are up and the snowdrops are even wilting. We spent a few hours on Sunday basking in the sun on the back deck. Ginette and the girls even showed up which was great, the kids kicked into high playing gear.

Later that evening we actually went down to Tapawingo Park which has a play area in addition to a sandy beach area by our local river The Wabash. The kids loved it. As usual, see below a sampling of the photos from the weekend.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Old Pictures...of me, Before and Later

This weeks old photo features me in 1997 on the phone with Lynne. For 18 months, Lynne and myself had one of those long-distance relationships, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin in Madison whilst I finished up my studies in Bradford. I’m pictured doing what I did virtually every Sunday evening during those months, having a marathon telephone conversation with her that often lasted over an hour. Other than the big mop of jet black hair, you’ll notice that since we were still tethered to the phone at that time, I had to move an arm chair to sit by the phone in front of the front door which we closed off with a curtain.

 OK, so Lynne insisted that since she had an old photo of her up on the blog last week, that I too must have the same….see below a picture of me when I was (I'm guessing) between one and two.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Welcome Home Mommy

It’s late Friday evening and although Lynne has experienced a cancelled flight, a re-booking followed by a delay, she is still on track for getting home from New Jersey sometime before the kids wake up….I hope anyhow because I’ve been promising them all week that she’d be here on Saturday morning.

The kids and I will be glad when she is home. Things went just fine this week, no major dramas, Brooke, Randy and Lorraine were a big help, everybody is healthy, we all slept well and life continued as normal, however, there is nothing more depressing as holding a crying two year old every morning sobbing to the very musical tune of “I want Mommy” for 30 minutes, we all missed her.

Shown below are a couple of pictures of the kids in recent weeks. The picture of Anja is extremely typical right now. She has had a breakthrough in independent reading. She reads about one book a day at the moment (her short books that is) and whenever there is a quiet moment, she steals herself off….Have a nice weekend everybody.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancake Tuesday

Happy Pancake (Shrove, Fat, Fettisdagen) Tuesday everybody. Whatever your tradition on this day, the last day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent, be it pancakes, semlor or a margarita at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I hope you enjoyed it.

Lynne is away this week but I still managed to break out the flour, milk, buttermilk, baking soda and eggs for pancakes for dinner. We had cheese and broccoli filled versions for dinner and a chocolate version (to much applause) for dessert. We were all pretty stuffed afterward. Fettisdagen is the equivalent day in Sweden, the traditional day for eating Semlor.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reina, Dave and Emily Visit

It’s Monday evening and I’m finally getting around to reflect on yet another busy weekend. On Friday evening we entertained Brad and Lisa’s little girl, Reina for the evening and a sleepover. The kids get so hyped up when anything new happens, we had very giggly girls all evening, a late night followed by some very tired kids Saturday.

On Saturday, Dave and Emily from Chicago came to visit for the night. Dave and I went for a run, we all went for a walk in the woods and we had some great food and chatted away for the evening. We had some drinks too, or rather Dave and I had way too many drinks….and so, just like the kids the night previously, there were some tired adults the next day. Thanks you guys for coming to visit, we loved having you.

Lynne is now away for the week. She is out in the great state of New Jersey; she’ll be back on Friday. Have a great week everybody.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old Pictures of the Week....A Very Cute Little Girl

This weeks old pictures are of a very cute little girl, one that would grow up to be extremely smart, kind, caring, compassionate, a wonderful mother and a wife to make any man proud and as pretty as the day that photo was taken. You’ve probably figured it out by now, this cute little girl is Lynne when she was about two and half years old, I was not yet born. I love these photos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day everybody, I trust everybody who was expecting flowers and/or chocolates got what they wished for. I saw many great pictures of both on Facebook today. We had a relatively exciting day here, it was a hyper exciting day of course for the girls who emerged this morning all dressed in beautiful reds and pinks.

After our own modest celebrations, the kids got off to school to do their celebrations. Brooke worked with Connor to do a few cards, see picture below, and this afternoon we had an army of people over doing cookies and arts and crafts.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Magic School Bus

The girls and Lynne are off out to Purdue this afternoon to a musical, The Magic School Bus. The Magic School Bus is a well-known series of children’s books about science with the main character, Mrs. Frizzle, a schoolteacher who takes her class on scientific adventures in her school bus. Well they have a touring musical on the theme of Climate Change and today they are at Purdue. They should have fun.

Other than that it has been a relatively normal week and weekend. The children have mostly been playing around the house in dress-up clothes and for the most part behaving well with infrequent bouts of antagonizing (mostly from Connor).  Shown below are a few photos from the last few days. Have a great week, Happy Valentines Day everybody.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Old Photo - Annapurna

This weeks old picture is one of Lynne’s from her travels. In case you were unaware, right after she finished her PhD in 1996 she spent 6 months travelling with one of her best friends, Kate, through Asia, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries.

Whilst in Nepal she did lots of hiking and I think her most memorable was a 10-day hike to the Annapurna base camp on . I don’t have many additional details on the photo below other than it was taken on that hike. I think it speaks for itself. 

Monday, February 06, 2012

HDR Photo Processing

On Sunday morning our extraordinary great weather continued with a beautiful blue sky and temperatures in the 50s. I took advantage and took a little tour out to our local nature reserve, Celery Bog, to take some pictures for my new photo obsession, HDR photo processing. It’s quite cool and if you’re interested in learning more, take a look at this excellent website that has it fully explained with some superb and amazing photo examples.

I have only started playing with this and have lots to understand before getting better. Shown below are some of the pictures I took and below each picture I show what a HDR processed picture looks like. For those that are interested in more details, shown at the bottom are some details.

Camera mounted on a tripod, set in aperture priority mode at f/22, ISO 100, an auto exposure bracket set at -2, 0 and +2, no flash, focal length 67mm. The three resulting photos were processed in Aperture 3 using a HDR plug-in from Photomatix. 

Iron Lady, Musical Instruments, Sewing and more.....

As normal we had a relatively action packed weekend. On Friday, Lynne and I were treated to a night out since Randy and Lorraine offered to take the kids to dinner followed by a night at the Lafayette Symphony’s Lollipop concert. This was preceded by a hands-on instrument opportunity. Many thanks once again. 

We took advantage with dinner at our local Vietnamese restaurant followed by the movies to see The Iron Lady, which I thought was just about OK. They could have done more with the story but Meryl Streep played the role extremely well. 

Saturday we were invited to an Australia Day party, one of Lynne’s colleagues comes from Australia and they throw a party every year. Sunday was more like a normal day, Lynne was working with Anja on her sewing technique, we did some cooking, reading followed by swimming in the afternoon.