Monday, August 28, 2006

M's on the Grow

Here we are in the last week of August, the end of summer. Next Tuesday, a week from tomorrow, Melissa will be meeting her new Grade 2 teacher. That same day Michael will be stepping into a Grade 1 classroom. And our sweet Madeleine, who once was our "final baby", will be starting Kindergarten. Where does the time go, eh?

The M's - August 10, 2004

The twins and Madeleine - August 11, 2005

Maribeth and Megan - August 15, 2006

But really, not all our chicks are ready to start exploring the big wide world on their own. Megan and Maribeth will still be at home making mayhem and ruckus for their mother for another year or two to come.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm a student - it's official!

My books are here! I have 4 textbooks for 2 classes sitting here on my desk. It was well worth the $10 to have them shipped to me instead of driving an hour each way to wait in a long line with 5 children. (since the bookstore is only open from 9am - 4pm right now). So here's what I've got for books.

English 105
Writing Prose - Techniques and Purposes
Thinking it Through: A practical Guide to Academic Essay Writing

POSC 110
Canadian Politics concise Third Edition (is there another 3rd edition that's not concise?)
Crosscurrents: Contemporary Political Issues 5th edition

I looked at the books - The political science should be interesting - though maybe more work for me as I've never studied Canadian history and it seems to assume a certain level of knowledge.

But I'm scared of the English class. I don't like writing essays esp ones using different literary devices. Then the books is full of those dreaded questions "What do you think is the authors purpose?", "analyze the "tone" and how does the "tone" make you feel?

It's about enough to trigger nightmares from high school English classes. For the record - I got straight A's in high school English and hated every minute of it!

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I don't know if Andy Warhol ever envisioned how thin that fifteen minutes would actually be sliced with the coming of the world wide web and self-publishing via blogs.

Last week we got a note via our Flickr account from an Alex Walker asking if we minded if he used a couple of our pictures in a 'how to article' he was writing up to highlight the HDR function in Photoshop CS2. His name looked a little familiar so I looked him up and it turns out he writes design articles for in Australia. SitePoint is well known in web design circles, so it was somewhat flattering to be asked for the use of some of my photos. Heck, even I've heard of SitePoint. Though truth be told, my photos were used in an example of how to use Photoshop to improve a photo before it could be published. Oh well.

If you're like I was at the beginning of this process, and you don't know anything about Photoshop, and much less the HDR function, here is a complete explanation. My friend Chris at work clued me in with a more simplified description. Digital cameras are not able to capture all of the range of colours that our eyes can sense in a scene. A digital camera using different exposure settings can capture different ranges of colours in the same scene. Photoshop's HDR function can digitally combine multiple images of the same scene at different exposures to produce a single image with a much broader dynamic range - making the image in effect "more realistic" in that it more closely approximates what our eyes actually "see".

Source Picture 1 - Christmas Deer

Source Picture 2 - Christmas Deer

Alex's transformed image

The actual SitePoint article: HDR For Web Designers

Flickr's HDR group.

Townsleys on the Coast

Last Saturday we spent the day with Jamie, Melissa, Pam, and their combined offspring - cousins all. Cheryl made up a spread that would make any calorie atheist believe: potato salad, cannelloni, baked chicken breast, and a NY-style cheesecake to make you think you'd died and gone to heaven.

Afterwards we piled kit and kaboodle into the vans and took 'em down to one of our favourite local spots: Crescent Beach.


Jamie and Elijah

Bucket Boy


Afterwards we came back to our place, fed the kids popcorn and fruit salad and chatted late into the evening (way past the kids' bedtimes) and then sadly had to wave g'bye.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Feel bad about your post-kids body?

This blog might help you feel better about your body. It is really amazing as it has real life photos of what real woman's post-childbirth bodies look like. Very eye-opening!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fire and smoke

Drying shoes by the fire
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

While having an actual campfire with 5 small children was - how shall I put it? interesting? challenging?downright terrifying at times! - the kids LOVED it.


They loved sitting next to it, adding sticks to the fire, roasting marshmallows, hot dogs and even toast over it. They just didn't like the smoke and the smoke got into EVERYTHING. We've been back quite a while and despite my best bathing and laundry efforts - every now and then I STILL catch a whiff of that wood smoke smell here at home.

Looking for coals

Out of all our children the FIRE made the biggest imrpession on the twins - esp Maribeth - Maribeth who was the most intrigued with the fire and the least scared of it. Melissa and Maddy kept a healthy distance back but for the twins and Michael the campfire was probably the highlight of the whole camping trip. We didn't get any photos on the campout of Maribeth - a tiny 2 year old who looks more like 1 year old holding a stick up with the end in flames and proudly proclaiming "I have FIRE!"

(ACK - heart attack!)

Get yer stick in

Yesterday morning - it was a little chilly and I was getting Maribeth and Megan dressed for the day.

Maribeth said,"I cold", then looked around her own room and said, "OH NO - NO FIRE!"

Megan chimed in with, "Mama - Daddy forgot to make the fire."

Maribeth adding in, "need to make fire in ROOM."

By the fire

"Oh no - no fires in your room, no fires in the house."

Both twins pouted at me, "but I want fire."

Then Maribeth piped up with her next idea, "I have IDEA! We have fire at de WATERSLIDE."

Fire - right up there with the waterslide - the waterslide at Aquaboggin in Maine we've heard about everyday. Fire is right up there with the waterslide for Maribeth - whatever have we unleashed??

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

We're Home!

Hello everyone. It's been quiet for a while here on our blog, but things haven't been quiet for us. We've been away adventuring, but we're home now and ready to start posting about our travels.

I started writing this up last night, but our internet was down and blogger is having problems again. Grr!

We actually got home on Monday night around 10 pm from our latest long-weekend adventure in Washington state. Before that we spent the first three weeks of July in Maine visiting with Cheryl's family.

This past weekend was a long weekend in most of Canada. We made the most of our time off by heading down across the border to visit a spot on the map that none of us has ever been to before: the outer-coast of Washington state. Click on the thumbnail to get a larger view of the adventure map.

Where we went