Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rome ~ Pantheon

A reasonably short walk from the Trevi Fountain is the Pantheon.  It was built over 1800 years ago.  Originally built for pagan gods, it's now a tomb for the famous artist Raphael and several Italian kings.



It was beautiful inside.  Unfortunately very dark, which made it difficult to take pictures.

learning to edit

I might need to edit more pictures before I blog about our trip.  I did a quick "burn" and straighten on the picture below.  I love the difference!  I goggled how to "dodge and burn" and watched a couple clips.  Now I need to apply it many times so I can remember how to do it.


Rome ~ Trevi Fountain

We had a short visit at the Trevi Fountain.  I was surprised at how crowded it was.  It was a challenge to get a decent picture.

This was Bailee's pose for most of our trip.  I'm not sure where she got this idea from but she kept it up all week.  There were a few times I held her arm down so we could get a normal picture with her.  Crazy girl!

We tossed in our coin.  I guessed we're guaranteed to visit again.  I can only hope!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rome ~ catacombs

We landed in Rome around 9am.  As soon as we were loaded on the bus we headed out to our first stop which was Catacombe di San Callisto.  There were over 500,000 tombs here at one time.  There are still tombs with bones today.  Although, the areas we were able to tour, the bones had all been removed. In years past tourists would take bones home as souvenirs.  Crazy!

 The exit for the catacombs was through this small building.  Before we went down they explained most of it with pictures.  The walkways were small and there was only a couple of areas we could gather to hear information.

I took this picture at the catacombs.  I like the way it turned out.

The picture below was taken from the bus.  I was amazed at all the graffiti in Italy and Greece.  At times Brian and I would be walking on our own and my extincts would tell me the area wasn't safe because of the graffiti.  But it was safe.  Just a very different environment then the States.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

almost middle schooler

 A few weeks ago the middle school Mason will be attending had a couple nights the kids could come and test instruments to see what they would like to play.  For over a year Mason has said we wanted to play percussion.  To play percussion he needed to have played the piano.  We started piano lessons.  Most times he has enjoyed lessons.  He does have a talent for the piano that's for sure. 

Then came the night to try out instruments.  The first instrument he tried was the saxophone.  He wasn't too impressed.  Then the french horn.   He was surprised how much he liked it.  He then tried percussion. His smile wasn't nearly as big, but the instructor told him if he wanted to play percussion there would be a spot for him.  The last instrument was the trombone.  A little more challenging plus he didn't like the mouthpiece.  He went and tried the french horn again.  The instructor showed him how to change the pitch.  Then Mason was asked to try and copy the pitch just be listening to what he played.  He was impressed on his control. 
Once he made his decision Mason couldn't 't stop grinning.  He's going to play the french horn!!  For the next few days Mason couldn't stop thinking about it.  He truly surprised us all by his choice.  Now Mason wants to stop piano lessons.  :(

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Last week I had lunch with some very good friends.  The three of us served in the same Relief Society Presidency.  I forget how many years ago.  We had such a good time at lunch.  The rest of my day went great.  I should have lunch with friends more often.  Thanks for lunch J and R.  Love you both!

more sewing

I made this blanket and burp cloth for a friend from church.  I'm having so much fun with my machine.  
The same day I finished the gift I embroidered this little seahorse on a onesie.  Near the end when it was almost finished my needle broke and it put holes in the onesie.  I was devastated.  There's no way I could have prevented the needle from breaking. 
I'm tired of sewing on the kitchen table.  Even though this blanket was simple it took me many days to finish.  I was tired of putting my machine away and getting it out again.  I've been looking for a sewing table.  I was shocked at how expensive they were.  

I found this cute table online.  I love it!  But, I shouldn't spend a lot.  So instead I found a 6'x30" table on craigslist.  It's very sturdy, simple, and only $40.  I still need some storage but one thing at a time.



summer fun

Summer is not quite here but we like to pretend.  Monday was such a beautiful day.  Once we were home, after piano, we didn't have any other plans.  The boys wanted to swim.  The girls ended up soaking up the sun.  I grilled some dogs and we ate on our deck.

Summer here we come! 

school talent show

Over a week ago, yes I'm that far behind, the boys were involved in a school talent show.  The school does one every year.  When the flier first came out Carson wanted to do something.  Piano was really the only option.  He practiced every day.  He was excited.  When the night came he was very nervous. I reminded him to play slow.  He did a great job!

 Mason didn't want to do anything.  Then I got an email about a 5th grade finale.  He was hesitant.  I told him this was his last chance.  His last year in elementary school.  His last chance to be in a talent show.  He agreed...reluctantly. He actually had a lot of fun that night. :)

Then to top off the night, all the students that participated in the talent show received a medal.  Carson was very excited!

Friday, April 12, 2013

district track

Also on Thursday was Karlee's district track meet.  I didn't think we were going to make it in time.  Shortly after we arrived she was setting her block to run.  She ran the 300 hurdles and placed 4th in girls JV.  Wahoo!!  Way to go Karlee! 
It was fun to surprise her and show up at the meet.  She has enjoyed the 300 hurdles more than the 100 hurdles this year.  She's not sure she'll run next year though.  She's learned to like running but struggles with having practice before school.  Plus she does not like to run in the cold.  Me either.  :0)

PACE night

Last night was "Evening with the Experts" for PACE, Mason's last year.  He chose to research about the Rain Forest.  They always do all the work in class then work on the project at home.  Brian helped him and I think it all turned out great!  Way to go Mason!

1st grade field trip

Wednesday was the first grade field trip to UNT.  It was the coldest, wettest day of the week.  Part of the field trip was outside.  We were afraid it would be cancelled.  UNT made some changes and it was still on. 

Carson is touching a fossil that used to live in the ocean.

Here we are outside. We do have a shelter to help but the wind was extreme and the rain would blow in.  By the time we were finished many of us had pink noses. 

The students took turns digging in the sand to find fossils.  They are looking for horse bones. Carson found a shoulder blade and an ankle bone.

They look so cute with their clipboards. :)

 This is a fulgurite.  It was made during a lightening storm in Denton.  (Like the movie Sweet Home Alabama.)  A live electrical wire came loose and as it touched the ground as lightening struck.  I believe it was 17 feet long.  It was very impressive.
 Carson is watching the light bulb to make sure he's pumping fast enough.  It was difficult for these little bodies to work long enough to make electricity.
Last their class had four stations to observe live animals.  They needed to draw a picture of the animal and write down only what they observed.  They had a leech, baby dragonfly, tadpole (a huge bullfrog), and a turtle.

Justin (Carson doesn't understand why he always looks so sad.  Smiling would help.), Dawson, Brady (Carson thinks he has the best smile.), and Carson.  They are all good friends.

start and finish

It's a good thing I have pictures to prove we went to Italy and Greece.  Very quickly we were thrown back into day to day life and it's hard to believe we were ever there.  Four days went by before I had the time to download all my pictures.  Maybe another two weeks before I finally went through all my pictures, fairly quick I might add.  So maybe over the next few months I can share our adventures.
I thought it was funny that my first and last pictures on my SD card were in Germany.  :-)  
 I love to notice the differences in other countries.  In Frankfurt, employees ride bikes through the terminals.  Brian and I looked at each other and laughed.  So I got my camera ready to try and catch the next bike. 
 All 46 of us gathering to make sure everyone made it to the gate to Rome.  It was a thumbs up.

When we left Athens our layover was in Frankfurt again.  But this time snow.  Lots of snow.  We rode out to our plane and boarded from the tarmac.  I'm pulling my carry on bag, walking up the stairs to the door, trying to take pictures.  I'm sure the people behind me thought I was crazy.  But I got a couple good shots.  Our 11 hour flight gained a couple of hours as we waited in line to deice.  Not fun!!