the cloud project

I’ve been really fascinated by the Colorado sky this summer.  It is so big and expansive that you can see so much variety.  From where we live we can watch the clouds congregate on the mountains and make their way toward the plains, and in the evening light they are quite a site to behold.  There are so many times I’m driving around on errands wishing I had my camera to document the towering layers, but I never have it.  I can stand on my back porch, though.  Here are some of the heavenly sites from right outside my window.


These high clouds are altocumulus.  There are 3 basic types of clouds.  Cirrus clouds are high and wispy, cumulus clouds are the mid sky cotton balls, and stratus clouds cover the sky low and like a blanket.  It gets a bit complicated for me from there because from those 3 divisions they’re categorized into 10 basic kinds of clouds because most clouds are some kind of combination of the 3 basics.

stratocumulus stratiformis

These are cumulostratus– kind of cottony, kind of blankety.

stratocumulis stratoformis

Our very favorite library book on clouds has been Tomie dePaola’s Cloud Book.  You just can’t help but love Tomie’s illustrations and humor along with real, sound information.  The Man who Named the Clouds is about Luke Howard, the man who first devised the way to categorize and name clouds.  It starts with his childhood and shows how following your passion and studying hard can really affect the world.  I also need to get myself my own copy of The Cloud Book by Richard Hamblyn.  It’s a nature guide for naming clouds full of lovely photos and explanations of why clouds are called what they are.

Have you been looking up lately?

up close

up close

Potty– and shameless bribery.  I got a Buzz Lightyear that lives on the a moire and comes down when there’s tinkle in the potty.

up close

A trip to the zoo.  Last week– highs in the 30s and 2 feet of snow.  This week– highs in the 70s.  Colorado– where you can have all 4 seasons in one week!

up close

A welcome, quiet moment to sit and feed my baby.  The only way he’ll let me hold and snuggle him these days.

up close

Blue skies and evening light.

up close

Just a little late night quilting.


Life seems so very, very full these days.  School time, field trips, music lessons, church responsibilities, not to mention diaper changes, feeding people, and trying to dig through the ever accumulating pile of laundry.  But it’s joyfully full– baby squeals, spinning, and jumping, “look what I made,” reading aloud.  When I think of the things that my life isn’t full of I am oh so grateful.  Bring on the laundry– of it comes required with all these sweet blue eyes my life is full of, I can take it.

The Portrait Project :: part 2

With the snow day yesterday we had Dad home, happy kids, and lots of good light.  I got the big sheet back out, set up the tri-pod, and got up and down many, many times to push the self-timer button.

We got a lot of pictures like this:

self-timer family portraits

self-timer family portraits

self-timer family portraits

but we did get one good one to spruce up and hang with the others.

the keeper

I must say, I am one lucky girl.  I have the most handsome husband, and the cutest kids– e v e r.

The Portrait Project

I’ve really needed updated photos of my kids for my mantle since, well, I think the last time I had pictures taken was 2 years ago.  I’ve got lots of snapshots of course, but I needed portraits.  The thought of making an appointment, getting everyone clean and dressed and somewhere on time has been giving me hives.

 I have big windows and lots of natural light in our family room, so yesterday I hung a big brown sheet at one end of the room and snapped away.   Most of the pictures I took turned out like this:

out takes

Out of focus, fake smiles, silly faces, or Ian in the Buzz Lightyear costume he found in the dress-up bin about a month ago and hasn’t taken off since (I had to bribe him with chocolate chips). Click here to see the out takes bigger, if you’d really like.

But the beauty of digital photography is that I could take LOTS of pictures.  I decided to go with black and white pictures so it didn’t matter what color the background or clothes were.  A few clicks in iPhoto, the Costco photo printing center, and $8 later, I’ve got these lined up on my mantle:






Not bad for a day’s work.