Wednesday, November 03, 2010

More about Picasa Web Albums

Charlotte asked a good question and, since others might not know about these Picasa albums, either (I didn't until last night!) I thought I'd try to explain it a little better here (as well as I'm able!). I checked and I don't see anything in the new editor that shows how much photo storage has been used, so if you're using the new editor, you'll first want to click "Settings", scroll down to the bottom, and select "Old Editor". If you're already using the old editor, this is the box you'll see when you click the "Add Image" button in a blog post:

I've added a big red arrow next to where it says, "You are currently using xxxMB (xx%) of your 1024MB". There's an orange question mark next to it and if you click it, you should reach a page that will explain a little more about the Picasa Web Albums (with a link to them, too). From what I understand, these Blogger albums are not viewable to the public unless you choose to make them so. From the side bar of my album page: "Blogger albums are unlisted by default. You can make these albums public and searchable to the entire Google Photos community as well as Google Search for Images." I won't choose to make mine public, and I'm relieved to know that they won't be without my permission! But I was surprised to see how very, very MANY photos were there that I uploaded just as tests (old banners, backgrounds, posts I never published, etc.) I'm sure there are more I can delete, BUT! It states clearly (also in their side bar): NOTE: If you delete an image from the Blogger album here, the image will be removed from your Blogger blog as well, so please delete images with care! Yikes! That scares me. For some reason, I have duplicates of some photos, but I'm afraid that if I delete them I'll lose them here, as well!

Anyway, hope this explanation helped a little bit. I think that from now on I might have to be a little more selective about what photos I post, LOL! I never knew I might actually someday reach a limit! ;)


That was a close one! I experienced a brief moment of panic when I tried to upload this totally adorable photo of Austin after voting last night and Blogger told me I'd reached my limit of photo storage!  What?!  I never realized such a thing was even possible!  Guess I should have been paying more attention to that little note in the photo upload box (hmmm, I know it's there in the old editor, but now that I think about it, I'm not so sure it's there in this new one...) Anyway, I spent some time today (too much time, if you ask me) deleting old photos that I had no idea were being stored in the Picasa web albums that I didn't even know I had. Apparently Blogger stores them there automatically every time you upload a photo, even if you never publish it!  Good grief!  I couldn't even believe the number of useless photos I had stored there taking up valuable space.  But, by clearing out those cluttered albums I've gained more room for new photo uploads, so I'm happy.  :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birthdays! (Better late than never.)

Dylan turned NINE years old in September and we recently celebrated Caitlyn's SEVENTH birthday!!!  I love that their birthdays are right at the beginning of fall, kicking off my favorite time of year with back to back celebrations!  This year Dylan decided to have a Lego themed party, and he got some really neat Lego gifts.  One of my favorites was a Lego game called Creationary, similar to the classic Pictionary but with Lego pieces used by the players to build their creations instead of drawing them!  (And let me tell you:  this is harder than it looks!  But with three levels of difficulty, it's a game that several of us can enjoy together.)  We had bid on (and won) some SpongeBob minifigures from eBay just prior to his birthday, but we told him that since they were a gift, he had to wait until his birthday to have them.  So, he decided to use them as decorations on the Lego brick cake I made!  It turned out so cute.     

I had originally planned to make a Barbie cake similar to this one for Caitlyn's birthday (she LOVES Barbies right now!) but she reminded me that she really wanted a  pumpkin cake this year.  She really enjoys fall and Halloween, but I had never used that as a theme for her birthday until this year!  We looked at a lot of really neat pumpkin cakes at this website, and we just loved the way her cake looked when it was finished.  It was SO easy to make, too!  (Um, that is to say: it was easy AFTER I discarded the top layer, which completely fell apart when I was trying to frost it!  Oops!)  Her birthday was extra special this year because it was her last day of swimming lessons.  Being a June baby myself, I remember going swimming on many of my birthdays, but this was definitely a first for her!!!  And, since her birthday was on a Friday and I had that whole weekend off from work, our family was able to visit the pumpkin patch the next day!  That was so much fun, deserving an entire post of it's own.  :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Blogging

Ahhh.  Perhaps now that I've finally gone ahead and switched over from my summer template to a more suitable autumn layout, I might actually be inclined to blog here more frequently!  Hope to see you here again real soon.  :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No contest

"Who loves you?" I prompt my two year old, nuzzling her soft cheeks and covering her sweet neck in kisses.
"Daddy!" is her immediate reply.
"Yes, Daddy loves you, but who else loves you?" I hint, hugging her tighter.
"Um, Grandpa!" she answers, enjoying this little game.
"Yes, you're right.  Grandpa does love you.  But who else loves you?"
"GOD!" she shouts, laughing now.

That's it.  I'm beat.  Not even Mama can compete with God.  :)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Seasons change

This morning, during this blending of seasons in southern New Mexico where chilly mornings are a sweet reprieve and hot afternoons greet early evenings, one of my girls clings tightly to the fading days of summer, bedecked in a now-too-small Fourth of July sundress and a huge bow headband while her sister, eagerly anticipating the cool, cozy days of fall, has dressed herself in khaki pants and a soft orange, long sleeved, lace trimmed tee.  Equally appropriate, each is uniquely beautiful.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Trying my hand at digital scrapping

Darren has been kindly reminding me for the past week that it's been nearly a month since I've updated my blog. I've got many other topics about which I could post, including the most recent Lego contest Dylan and Caitlyn entered, the comic book class Dylan participated in, the astounding rate at which Austin is growing, the plans I have for our upcoming school year, the designs I have for my girls' room, the joy and beauty of our summer days, the abundance of our vegetable gardens, the sweetness of sisters, the creativity of my children...but, I'm afraid those will all have to continue waiting patiently for another time. Here's something, though: my newest addiction hobby--digital scrap booking. Oh my goodness, what fun! I thought I'd see if I could design a couple of cute poster size layouts to have developed and framed for the kids' rooms, and I just have to say that I love these; they're my two favorite so far. I'm sure there will be many more. :)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Bingo! Beating Summer boredom, one square at a time...

We had been doing a pretty good job of staying busy during the first few weeks of our summer break, but had recently lost a little bit of that momentum. The unhappy result was boredom, irritability, and overall bad attitudes. We've still got a few more fun activities planned for later this month, but in the meantime, we are SO thrilled to be playing the SUMMER BINGO game! I first heard about this wonderful idea when Celeste posted a link on facebook, and then Jessica shared how she and her family had adapted it for their own use, and after talking about it with Darren, we decided to go ahead and give it a try! I spent most of last Saturday making game sets for each of the three older kids, and I love how they turned out!

I basically used the same set of rules shared generously by Stacy. In fact, I think our entire game is put together much like hers: small ring holding a 4x6 laminated card stock "cover" with a photo of each child, laminated Rule Card, then a BINGO card (I didn't laminate the actual playing cards because they'll be using a new one each week).

Like Stacy, I used a 5 x 5 table filled with activities to do during the week. Many of them are duplicated on all three cards, so they can all work together to earn a sticker for that square, but quite a few are specific to each child according to their interests and tasks I'd specifically like them to complete. (Dylan, for example, has three separate squares that say "Practice Piano for 30 minutes", one that says "Post something new on your website", and "Create a Comic Book and mail it to someone").

Their cards are nearly full now, lacking stickers only for the squares that say "Make up a water game in the backyard", which we'll be doing tomorrow morning. ;) I am SO proud of how they've all responded to this game! Meghan, especially, has so enthusiastically embraced it, asking me every day what she can do next. I'll leave you with a final photo, because I think it's so cute: "Have a tea party in your playhouse". :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Laziest Fourth of July Ever.

I haven't decided yet whether I find it more hilarious or pathetic that the only photos I managed to take over an entire four day holiday weekend were these few of my patriotic children drinking the delicious watermelon slushies we whipped up in the blender (twice, because they were just so good). What a lazy few days! They were wonderful while they lasted. :)

"Look, Mama! I found my feet!"

Friday, July 02, 2010

Original Creations by Dylan: LEGO Shrek and Fiona Minifigures

Backyard Beauty

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments on my last post! I honestly wasn't expecting any, but I had just had to share those beautiful photos of my Meggie! And Blair, you were right! While I'd still really LOVE an SLR, these were taken with my poor little point-and-shoot. I'd done nothing but bad talk it at every photo taking opportunity, cursing it's poor picture quality, ruing the day in December that I'd bought it as a cheap replacement for my previous camera, which had finally succumbed to one too many falls at the hands of certain little people who live here. ;)

The indoor picture taking capabilities of my current camera are just absolutely horrid. Awful! No matter what settings I use I get blurry, grainy, washed out disappointments. But a few weeks ago, having finally started taking outdoor photos again on a regular basis, I was delighted to discover that under proper conditions, this loathsome little lens is actually quite capable of capturing perfectly lovely pictures! It was such an "ah-ha!" moment of discovery when I finally realized it that I laughed out loud! There's just no stopping me now. I'm just so happy when I'm out there snapping photos!

Here are just a few of my favorites from the many dozens I took tonight. :)

Thursday, July 01, 2010