Spring Flowers

Spring is coming – actually, it’s starting to feel like it’s here.  Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and trees are leafing.

(Is that how you would say it?  Trees are leafing out?  I don’t know.  But, whatever. :))

Anyways, here are some flower photos that I have taken recently.

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Autumn Self-Portraits

Thursday was a beautiful day – in the morning the sun was out, but in the afternoon the clouds rolled in.  There was a brisk breeze and it was just a bit nippy.  The weather plainly said “Autumn.”

It was the perfect day for some self-portraits.  I headed out with my camera and got a few shots.  I only spent about 45 minutes out there, which, although it sounds like a lot, isn’t that long.  My first self-portrait shoot took about, oh, an hour, maybe a bit less.  My second self-portrait shoot took probably 2+ hours.  Which was very, very fun.

Anyways, there are not all that many different shots, so this post won’t be too terribly long (although I don’t need to tell you that, since you will find that out in a few seconds).

So, without further ado, here they are.

(Breaking news alert:  I just went and selected all my photos, and there will be more than I originally thought.  Many more.  Just thought you would like a heads up.)

 

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This spot is right in the front yard, and I could see it from the window.  It called my name all day, “Come.  You need to take some self-portraits right here.”  So I listened.

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Throwing leaves.  Yay!

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1…2…3…

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…Throw!

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I love this fence!  You may remember it from this picture.  This lovely tree has a few branches that bend over the fence.  This was another spot that was calling my name.

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Bare feet!

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At the edge of our property, standing on the road, looking up – the lovely orange and red of the maple and oak trees, respectively.

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See the leaves flying?  The wind was blowing quite briskly.

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I really like how these turned out.  I underexposed them some by accident, but I am quite happy with the resulting effect.

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I found this tree out in the woods behind our property.  Just a perfect place!

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I thought that it would be fun to jump.  I ended up only proving to myself that I can’t jump gracefully.  This is the only one that turned out.  All the others look extremely ridiculous.

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Just to prove the last point, here is an example of how the rest of my jumping shots turned out.  *Sigh*  Rather pathetic, and ridiculous.  But they made me giggle.  🙂

To Catch Up

Time for some catch-up!

We have been so busy that I haven’t been able to post as much as I’ve wanted to.  We’ve had company staying with us since late September, which has been very fun, but has filled our time.

So here is a pictorial synopsis of what we’ve been up to.  Don’t worry, there will be plenty of words, too.

 

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On Friday we went to our first Winton’s concert of the week.  We’ve seen them twice before, so this isn’t our first Winton concert.  This is just our first one for the week.  (Now that I’ve just completely restated what was said in the first sentence, I think it is time to move on).  We attended two over the weekend, and will go to one more this weekend.  We are turning into groupies!

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Trying to get a little more creative with my photos. I really love this one.  A lot.

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Meiling enjoying the concert.

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[Don’t ask.]

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Daddy and Meiling enjoying the music.

 

The trees in our area are turning all sorts of lovely shades right now!  It is amazing that in these photos I posted a few weeks ago the same trees where still bright green.  Now they are vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds.  I saved a mirror from the trash a few weeks ago, so I could take it out and take pictures with it.  Since Mom wanted me to take pictures of the trees this past Saturday and Dad was cleaning out the garage, it seemed like a good time to use my mirror before getting rid of it.

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Bare feet.  Colored leaves.  Jean skirts.  Autumn.

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Sometimes trying to find the perfect white balance and exposure result in WAY to many pictures. 🙂

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 I really like the effect of lying the mirror down on the ground.  Isn’t it neat how the ground is all out of focus, while the reflection isn’t?

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Now there are no more green leaves out there.  Just lovely deep reds, vibrant golds, and a wonderful orange.

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This was even harder than doing regular self portraits.  This is the best shot I got.  😛

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Looking straight up

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There are even more leaves on the ground now!

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On Sunday – looking out from our front porch to the left front corner of our yard – actually, the same place where I was taking pictures the previous day.  Now the oak that is in the left part of this photo is a deep red.  I’ll have to get a photo of it now.

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When the sun peeped out from behind the clouds, it lit the trees in a much more interesting way.

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Doesn’t God make the most beautiful colors for Autumn?

 

Yesterday I went over to a friends’ home to a talk about health.  Quite a few ladies came, and we all just sat around the table, and shared about our health journeys, asked questions, and told what we have been learning.  It was so wonderful to sit there with all these women, all in different places, who are all seeking health, while seeking God’s will.  It was an amazing time and such a wonderful opportunity.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to attend, and to know all these ladies.  Thank you so much, A. family, for hosting and organizing it!

 

Until the next time post,

~Allison

Jeweled Jell-O Cups

Today is my little sister’s birthday (previously mentioned here).  It is our tradition to make the birthday person the dinner and dessert of there choice on their birthday.  Meiling requested Sloppy Joes for dinner and Jell-O for dessert.  Not just any Jell-O, but specifically red and orange Jell-O.  Today I made Jell-O.

I haven’t made Jell-O in years.  It was so long ago, I can barely even remember the last time I (or anyone in our family, for that matter) made Jell-O. 

Well, it wouldn’t be any fun to just make two bowls of Jell-O, especially since they were to be two different colors.  I considered layering them in a bowl, and making a batch of the Jell-o Jigglers on the side.  Mom then suggested to me what her dad used to do with Jell-O:  Make individual-sized servings in stemmed glasses, pouring each color as a layer and chilling in-between to make each layer distinct.  She said that he used to take the glasses and put them in a fridge with a wire rack, then tip them while they set, so that the layers were on angles to each other.

As our only fridge with wire shelves is downstairs and my toe is pretty sore from a procedure that was done yesterday (no details – trust me, you don’t want to know), that idea was pushed aside pretty early.

After some thinking and crafting, this is what I came up with.

Jeweled Jell-O Cups

3 – small packages Jell-O, either two of one flavor and one of a third flavor, or all three different flavors
1 – small package Jell-O, different flavor that the ones above, made into Jigglers and chilled according to package directions

1.  Collect 7-8 stemmed glasses, each with a capacity of about 1 cup.  If you want the serving sizes/layers to be smaller, use more glasses.  I used 7.

2. Make 1 package of the Jell-O according to package directions, then divide (somewhat) evenly between the glasses.  If you are using a total of 2 colors, you should be using the color that you have 2 boxes of.

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Refrigerate until firm.  They don’t need to be super firm – about 1 1/2 – 2 hours is fine.

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In the fridge

3.  In the meantime, cut up the Jigglers into little pieces.  The biggest side should be less than 1/2-inch in length.  Vary the sizes!  It will make this more fun.

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4.  Remove the glasses from the fridge, and place 4-7 of the Jiggler pieces in each glass (these are the jewels).  Return to fridge.

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Not the best picture – those lumps are the Jiggler pieces.

5.  If using 2 colors, mix up the contrasting color as directed on package, except don’t add the cold water just yet.  Let the hot molten Jell-O liquid cool for at least 10 minutes.  Once it has cooled,  add the cold water.  After you add the cold water, stick your finger in it to test the temperature.  It should be just warm.  Remember, you don’t want the Jell-O to harden in the bowl.

6.  Divide (somewhat) evenly between the glasses.  Return to fridge for about 20 minutes.

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Starting to look pretty!

7. Once the Jell-O is semi set, take it out and drop more Jiggler pieces on top. You want them to go into the second layer, so you may have to use a knife or some other tool to push them in.  Refrigerate until second layer is firm.

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8.  Mix up the last box of Jell-O, just like you did for the second layer with the cooling.  Divide that (somewhat) evenly between the glasses.  Refrigerate until set.  Voila! You’re done!  There are all kinds of variations – different colored Jiggler pieces, more thinner layers, three different color layers, and the jewels in the first and third layers instead of in the second layer.  The possibilities are endless!

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All three layers

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You can see the colors a little better in the glass on the right

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A fun picture – doesn’t this look like wine a little?  It’s Jell-O, though!