Saturday, January 31, 2009


January's last bit of light...

When I originally took this picture I just wanted to capture the cloud. While creating the title for my post I then realized what day it was - the last day of January. I felt a photo capturing the end of today would be the perfect photo for the end of the month. When I began photographing the sunset, I had included the horizon. I then decided to focus on just the cloud because I loved the shape. (This is what had drawn me to it in the first place.)

As I reflect back on my first month of photos, I am proud to say that I made everyday! There were a couple that were close. They say that it takes doing something at least 30 times before it becomes a habit. I'm not sure how accurate this theory is...I have actually proven it wrong on several occassions. I will have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge. It seems that I've caputured images of things that before I wouldn't have taken the time to photograph. I'm looking forward to going to some other locations. My commute is so short that there's not much variety.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Base Ten Blocks...

Something I love about my school is that we provide our students with a 30-minute intervention block at the end of each day. During this block, all non-classroom teachers work with a small group of students on either reading or writing. I truly enjoy this opportunity to work with students. I have watched their self confidence grow over the months.

Thinking back to my time in elementary school, I don't remember having Base Ten Blocks. I'm sure we probably did, I just don't remember them. (I wish they would have had something like this for me in my high school geometry class!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Well, the wait is is my amaryllis. Not really as exciting as you thought it might be? I decided I had better get a pre-bloom photo up soon since it seems like it may be getting close. (The paperwhites will probably bloom this weekend...they love the southern sun during the day and haven't gotten as tall as they usually do.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Our lights have lights!

Work on the basement is starting to come to and least we think. We've been told things will be done next Friday and we can start moving things in the following Monday. We had hoped for a Super Bowl Party, but that won't be happening. I guess we'll have to wait until next year...maybe the Bronco's new coach will get them to the big game!

The photo is of one of our bar pendants...there are five in all. Chad picked them out and we've been very excited to get them installed. They went in last week but just got light bulbs yesterday. We are looking forward to seeing the "magma" lights and black granite counter tops...they get finished tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Well, I'm hopeful that no one is disappointed tonight...I didn't post a photo of my amaryllis.  (At least I have a back-up plan for tomorrow if necessary.)

To honor my father on his XXth birthday, today's photo is for him.  I was taught to respect my I  couldn't reveal his age.  :o)  With my candle, I have created more of a problem than a gift - he has to figure out how to blow it out!

I owe you a German Chocolate Cake...and I think some golf & beer from last year's birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY you!

Monday, January 26, 2009


About a week ago I started some Paperwhite bulbs. I love these delicate, little flowers and they always add a fun touch to my office as I look outside past them, at the snow and brown grass.

I was excited when I found the bulbs at Home Depot after Christmas...on sale! I also purchased an Amaryllis. I don't think it's going to get as tall as most do, but I'm looking forward to it blooming. (Maybe I will post a photo of it tomorrow.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


A perfect weekend breakfast...chocolate chip and pecan pancakes.

It's not the best photo, but I wanted to meet this month's photo challenge of posting a photo of my breakfast. Yummy!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Yes - I REALLY took this photo today...fireworks in January, compliments of the Town Center @ Castle Rock.

Well, I still haven't been able to find out why the fireworks display occurred, but it was fun to watch. I managed to get my camera on the tripod (already had my telephoto lense on) and get a few shots. It was great, I was able to stand out on the back deck. We used to enjoy the 4th of July show from the deck when we first moved here, but in the last couple of years the city has moved the display to the south side of town...bummer!

Friday, January 23, 2009


As I was leaving the school today after a GREAT work day, the bison in the adjacent park caught my eye.

Since it's opening this last fall, I hadn't been over to the park. I've heard great things about it from the kids...they love it.

We had just received a dusting of snow and some was resting on the back of bison.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Work, work, work...

I was sitting here, creating a wiki for my professional development sessions with our staff and realized that I didn't have a photo for today. I missed the beautiful colors during the sunrise this morning - was on the elliptical and I didn't come across much inspiration during the day.

As I looked around, I figured I could capture all of my "stuff" for tomorrow's work day. I'm creating a wiki that will house technology resources related to our literacy framework. I'm hopeful that the teachers will find it useful and that it will be something everyone contributes to in the months and years to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


These are the jumper cables that I keep in the trunk of my car...thanks to my dad.

Well, my father had to raise three daughters...I doubt that contributes to any of his grey hair.  ;o)

Anyway, I'm sure it goes without saying that he was protective of his daughters.  Always making sure we had enough gas in our car, calling him when we made it to our destination, could change a tire, and just being prepared in general. 

I'm not even sure when he got me the jumper cables, maybe him or my mother would know that, but I'm guessing it had to be when I was in college.  Well, I still have them today and am proud to say that I have been able to use them twice this year at work!  There have been two instances when a parent, there to pick up a student, has had trouble starting their car.  When the announcement came over the intercom, "If anyone has jumper cables, could you please go to the front of the school?" I was ready and jumped into action! 

As we helped the folks get their cars started, I even made the comment, "My dad would be so proud that I'm using these."  So thanks papa for helping me prepared for never know when you might need some jumper cables.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Fellow Digital Educators watching the Presidential Inauguration. (I am out of the classroom today at district training.)

I write today's blog as I sit and watch the Presidential Inauguration. I get goosebumps just looking at that crowd of people - flags waving, children in their parents' arms, tears being wiped away, people huddled together for warmth. No matter what political party you belong to, today is an historic day. Even though there are a number of Obama's proposed policies and ideas I may not agree with, as an American, I have to hope that he is successful as our 44th President.

A few pieces of Obama's speech: "A new era of responsibility..." & "...price of citizenship."
I think just these few words are something that every American should truly take to heart. I believe that the true price of citizenship in our country is taking on personal responsibility. Personal responsibility...something so many have forgotten.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Once again, Bailey and I were out on a walk.  The weather was nice again today - did have a little more wind.  With the warm weather, the snow piles from the last few weeks are melting.  As we passed through one of the many puddles along the cart path, Bailey's footprints caught my eye.  He hasn't been groomed recently, so his longer hair left marks as well.  It made for an unusual footprint.  I began to other people walked by these prints, what would they think passed this way?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Just a piece of trivia for everyone, but Colorado's state grass is the Blue Gramma Grass.  It's a fun shaped grass - it always reminds me of eyebrows.  I have seen a number of Blue Gramma patches around Castle Rock...even in the grassy area next to Walgreens! 

Today while I was out walking our cocker spaniel, Bailey, I came across several great patches of the grass.  This particular patch caught my eye because it somewhat "glowing" in the sunlight.  I actually got down lower to take the photo.  (The photo shows just one small clump of the grass.)  Had I captured all of the individual grasses glowing, I would have gotten too much of the houses just beyond the grass.  I thought the blue sky won hands down compared to the houses.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I was just finishing up my cleaning and glanced outside at the sunset. It seems that you often need clouds for the real beautiful sunsets, the ones with every shade of orange, red and yellow. But I think there's something to say about the sunsets you see with no clouds at all. Everything just looks so crisp and clean.

It was an absolutely beautiful day here in Colorado...t got up to 58 degrees here in Castle Rock. (Sometimes I feel we are so spoiled.) Unfortunately, I was in the house today - putting away Christmas decorations and cleaning. :o( I can say that things look a little better and it's nice to have the place somewhat back to normal. (We still have boxes, furniture, and misc. items sitting around from the basement finishing.)

Friday, January 16, 2009


Just last weekend my sister and I did a Geocache just inside these scrub oak...and now the cache is buried in snow. It's probably not a high-traffic cache during the winter months. It's name, "Deer Play" is perfect. This is just about the exact same area where I saw the deer that I referenced in a previous post. She had a Travel Bug (TB) that she had previously found and we left in the cache. We also took a TB from the from Jeep's giveaway last year.

The photo is a little dark. I was originally going to take the photo this morning, but I spent too much time on the Wii fit and was running a little late. As you know from yesterday's post, I needed some gas. Due to the fact that I was late, I didn't make it to the gas station. Fortunately, I made it to school and back safely!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's a good thing that I have such a short commute. As I pulled out of the garage this morning and got the "Fuel Low" message. I made it back home but will probably have to run by the gas station tomorrow on my way to school. I could probably make it to school and back again...just don't want to risk it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been teaching a DEstreaming class this week, so I've been spending extra time at school.

While sitting at my desk today, my shark pen just caught my attention. Those of you who know me, know I LOVE sharks! Not much reflection today...just a fun, foam pen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today's picture is of the new pile of "stuff" that has gathered on our living room floor. I think I've mentioned this in a previous post, but we are currently having our basement finished. (It should be done in a matter of weeks - the electricians began installing lights, switches and plugs today!) During this process I have realized just how much stuff we would toss in the basement...just because. On top of these items, we also have a LARGE number of boxes and items that are waiting to be taken down to the basement and installed.

Anyway, Chad worked his butt off today around the house and the pile was from all his hard work. He managed to repaint our front door - inside and out. (We replaced the handle over a year ago, but had never patched the unpainted spot that was left from the old handle.) He also sanded and painted portions of the window sill outside where the paint was peeling. He also took down our address sign, pulled off the numbers and repainted that. He painted our wine closet in the basement - we wanted it a different color than the rest of the walls. And while he was doing all of that, he even did some laundry. I am married to an amazing man!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


The morning snow storm that hit Colorado surprised even the meteorologist. (Imagine that!) We got several inches in here Castle Rock...just enough to make the morning drive a complete mess! (I was glad that I only have about 7 minutes to drive.) Heading out to my car after work tonight I was met by my cold, icy car. Fortunately, the scrapping went quickly.

Well, I went into tonight's post thinking it would be short and sweet...and then I saw RJ Stangherlin's daily post on Changing Connections. Yesterday she mentioned that she would be dedicating her post to me. My first thought was, "Oh no...what pictures did she take during the DEN LC Institute?" I met Stangherlin for the first time at the conference and as she mentioned, we have stayed in touch "virtually" since July. We have been friends on Facebook and Tweeted a few times. I'm hopeful that we met in person again.

I was absolutely flattered by Stangherlin's post...I think she was too kind. I love's something I've done for many years. When I was in high school I received a horse-pack trip to the mountains near Gunnison, CO for the opportunity to photograph bighorn sheep in their lambing grounds. It was an amazing experience that I will always treasure. I do however feel that I have so much more to learn about photography. Maybe the 2009/365 Flickr Challenge will finally get me into the local photo store where I can learn some new techniques and strategies.

RJ, I loved your Animoto video. (It is still a tool that I haven't used.) If I would have known you were going to put that together, I would have been a little more picky on my first photos. ;o) And I love your photos of Allie Cat...she is a very cute! Maybe her and Fiji could have a virtual play date.

The one quality that everyone at our DEN conference admired about RJ was her ability to make people feel special and appreciated. (Those of you at our dinner table will remember a certain pink drink that was remixed several times - in order to get the perfect color to match a specific blouse.) It was a sweet gesture that made the evening special. And she continues to do that, even through the virtual world.

Turbo Tagger

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Here is my Mii getting ready to walk across the tightrope in a balance game of Wii Fit. It took me four or five tries to get to the other side.

Well, I'm not sure if I should be in total depression or not. I tried out the Wii Fit for the first time today. When you first begin you have to do balance testing, weighing, BMIing, etc. and then you get your Wii Fit age...mine was 8 years HIGHER than my actual age. YIKES! I'm not sure how accurate this is. My husband, Chad, said that his was higher at first and after redoing his balance testing, he was back down at his actual age. When I get on next time I'll have to give it another try.

Anyway, I began my workout on the Wii - went for just over an hour. I managed to try each of the areas: yoga, strength, aerobic, and balance...I performed the worst in the area of balance. Maybe that's why I'm so accident prone! ;o) As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm trying to get back in the habit of working out and I think the Wii Fit will be a fun addition to my weekly routine. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Isn't it amazing how resilient plants can be? At least this is the case for the ones who get stuck living at my house. After taking this photo and watering the plant, I continued to work at my desk. Within about 20 minutes I kept hearing these weird, little noises. I finally realized that it was the plant. The stems were beginning to stand back upright. It made me wish I had taken video of the entire process or some stop motion photography. Maybe next time...I know I will probably be late watering it again.

Coming back into my office after the plant was back to it's usual self, I realized I was pretty similar to the plant. There's times when I feel rundown, out of energy, or just in a "slump." It never fails though; someone or something comes along and re-energizes me, helping me get ready for the next challenge.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Well, I have finally dusted off the elliptical for the new year. Now, it isn't truly as dusty as it looks...we are currently having our basement finished and needless to say, drywalling and concrete grinding are NOT clean! He have so many things just laying around that it's about to drive me crazy. I don't think I've ever had such an enormous erg to clean and can't! Not only am I anxious to put out new space to use, but I'm also anxious to get everything cleaned up and put away.

As for my elliptical, I plan to frequent it more often....have to get in shape for my sister's wedding this spring. About a year ago I had gotten into a great routine - up in the morning and working out before school. I felt great! I'm not sure what happened, but I want to get back in a healthy routine.

Turbo Tagger

Thursday, January 8, 2009


For those of you who know me, there are days that I am definitely a rule follower. Than there are those other days that rules were made to be broken! Well, today is a day for rule breaking. The photo that I’m posting today was actually taken on my trip to Silver Springs, MD this summer for the Discovery Education Network’s Leadership Council Institute. I promise I will still take a photo today. :o)

My friend, RJ Stangherlin, had been contemplating joining the 2009/365 Flickr Challenge…and I am excited to say that she has thrown her hat in the ring! In her post yesterday on Changing Connections, RJ mentioned that she was camera challenged and was often cutting off her subjects. Well, I would have to disagree with RJ because I have seen her in action. Her words brought back a specific vision from the DEN institute. The group had gone out for an amazing dinner at Sequoia and afterwards we were all walking down by the Potomac. Several of us wanted to get a group photo and RJ volunteered to operate the camera. Well, as you can imagine, that one camera turned into several cameras. Leave it to a bunch of technology educators to need their own photo – versus taking one and uploading it to Flickr. ;o) (And I put myself in that group.) Anyway, I decided to turn my other camera on RJ and captured this photo. I was looking through my trip photos and was unable to find the fruits of her labor, but I do know we all had our heads! (If I came across that photo I will add it to this post.)

I am also excited that I got two other people, my mom and friend Kim, involved in the challenge as well. You can view my mom’s blog at I started…. I think Kim’s still on the fence about blogging and is just uploading to Flickr right now. I am looking forward to a wonderful year of reading everyone's blogs and seeing their 365 days of photos.

Turbo Tagger

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


For the last two nights I have left school WAY after the sun had gone down. Tonight I managed to make it out of the building with just a little bit of light left...and this is what I saw from our parking lot. The hills that surround our school make for some great scenes in the evenings. (I've even heard that there has been a mountain lion sighted on the paths.)

While I was creating today's post my TwitterFox popped up a Tweet from pearlgirl22, AKA RJ Stangherlin, and the phrase "Flickr 365" caught my eye. So, I headed over to her Changing Connections blog and read her most recent post. I was very excited to learn that she had chosen to join the 2009/365 Flickr Challenge. (I will even have a special post in honor of her tomorrow.) I think she will do a fantastic job and I am looking forward to watching her "sharpen her rough edges."

Turbo Tagger

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I actually went into today with a picture all planned out...until I looked out my window this morning while I was getting ready for work. We do have a small resident hawk that frequently cruises through the backyard, but this was not him. The hawk this morning was about 2 1/2 feet in size. He looked out of place on our fence next to the bird feeders. (I wished it would have been later in the day...he was in the shadows of the house.) He didn't manage to snag any breakfast from our yard, but we was keeping a close eye on the birds in the trees. I don't mind him hanging long as he only eats rabbits or magpies and leaves my bluebirds alone this spring and summer. They are amazing creatures.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Well, it was back to school for me today. Prior to break I had cleaned up the desktops of the lab had become similar to "Where's Waldo?" for my students trying to find files. Going in today and seeing those clean desk tops really felt good. Like I was getting the new year off to a good start. The kids also appreciated it, "Finally Mrs. Jensen!"

I have to share this story because it was a missed photo opportunity. Today definitely felt like a Monday. I was running late and anxious to get to school. One of the roads I travel on has several curves. When I came around one of the corners there was a large SUV stopped right in the middle of the road. (Don't worry mother, I wasn't driving crazy.) I'm thinking, "What the heck? You people are going to cause an accident and I'm running late. Move!" There appeared to be an adult and child in the vehicle, so I couldn't get too upset...could be from my school. Slowing down I finally noticed the reason they were stopped. There was a deer standing about 2 feet off the road just looking at them, munching away on some grass. My first thought...get out of the road, I'm late! Second, thought...that would make a great picture for my blog. And my third thought...relax!! Let them enjoy this wonderful scene. Wildlife was a daily event for me growing up on a farm in Eastern Colorado. This deer could have been the first one they had ever seen...and I was trying to hurry them up. (And don't get me wrong, I love to watch the deer along this road - they are usually there several times a week.) They ended up heading down the road and I was very tempted to stop, but I could hear my mother's voice telling me it wouldn't be safe. Anyway, to wrap up the story, I realized that I need to give others the time to enjoy the things around them, appreciate their surroundings, create their own memories - even if it means being another minute or two late for me.

Turbo Tagger

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Well unfortunately, the snow storm wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I think we ended up with about 2 inches. A lot of it got blown around today. I did manage to get a few good shots of some cold house finches this morning, one of my husband grinding concrete in the basement, and snow swirling around on a neighbors roof. But today I knew I had to post a photo to commemorate the first of our monthly, family dinners for the year 2009. In this photo a pot of water was being boiled for the homemade noodles...yum!

I have two younger sisters and last year the youngest had a New Year's Goal of getting the three of us, along with our husbands/fiance, together one Sunday of every month for dinner. Kelly and her fiance did an AMAZING job. Each month there was a theme and not only was it evident in the dishes they prepared, but also in the table settings, the dinner favors, and even the quotes that she printed on the back of our place cards. And they never skimped on the food...believe me, no one went hungry.

I am very happy to report that we made it ALL 12 months. Now, I won't say there weren't a few close calls - especially the month my middle sister, Renee, had her baby - but we managed to get all of them in. We were even lucky enough to have our parents join us for a few.

Well this year we wanted to continue the tradition. Renee and I, along with our hubbies, will be sharing the hosting responsibilities this year. We decided to go with an Italian theme - this gave a great excuse to try some new wines! Tonight marked the first of our dinners and it was FANTASTIC! They did a great job and everything was delicious...needless to say, there weren't many leftovers. I'm looking forward to cracking the Italian cookbooks over the next few weeks and finding some tasty dishes for February.

I have come to truly value this time with my family. I look forward to catching up with everyone and seeing my nephew. And it never fails - some childhood stories or memories get shared. (Some are better left in the family "memory vault.") Just tonight we talked about my grandpa & grandma's candy dishes. We all had something different that we remembered about the candy, based on which type we liked. I always enjoyed eating my grandpa's black licorice. I was taught from an early age that family is what truly matters in life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Enjoying the morning sun...waiting for the first snow of the new year. I like the contrast of the sun and approaching storm clouds, along with the shadows cast by the houses on our block. I don't often think about the shadow of my house. We are forecast to get 3-6 inches. I bet you can guess what the topic of tomorrow's picture will be!

Well RJ Stangherlin, a wonderful woman with an amazing spirit that I met this summer at the DEN Leadership Conference in DC, has really put some pressure on me. We are friends on Facebook, and while checking my Newsfeeds this morning, I came across her update that included a link to a new post on her blog - "Changing Connections".

I'm probably not the only one who feels this way, but I can find myself on the computer for hours with really nothing to show for it when I'm done. I shared a little of why I took on this challenge in my first post, but another reason I took it on was to make my time online more intentional and productive. I have dabbled in blogging for several years now, but I hope to use "everyday in a photo" as a playground for learning more about the technical aspects...tags, embedding elements like Slideshare, improving my links to resources, etc. (Some of which I am already trying thanks to Stangherlin.)

In some regards this challenge has become almost like an experiment. As Stangherline noted in her blog post: "Could it be an see something of each day captured and posted in a photo. And that's the part I really like--the notion of seeing life reflected through a lens that captures the essence, the spirit, the sense of a day." How would this challenge change my view of the world around me? Would I become more appreciative of the small things? Would I see things that I never noticed before? As the days and months go by, would posting everyday become easier or more of a challenge? The good thing is, I have 362 days to answer these questions.

Turbo Tagger

Friday, January 2, 2009


My first "official" day of the challenge.

While working in my office, my cat Fiji, enjoys keeping me company. She is either curled up on my lap or laying in the rays of the warm sun. I'm sure you will see more of Fiji in the days and months to come.


Well, I wasn't a part of 2009/365 flickr challenge on January 1st, but I was organizing and editing photos yesterday. I am trying to decide which photos I want to enter an annual photo contest. I enjoyed going back through all of the photos I had taken on our recent dive trips...great memories.

This was the first photo I submitted to the challenge. I'm doubtful I will use it for the contest, but it's one of my favorites from our time aboard the Caribbean Explorer II live aboard in Turks & Caicos. The sharks on this trip were amazing. I hated having my head down in the reef looking at the small creatures...I would look up and a shark was swimming right by.

Let the journey and the challenge begin...

While on Twitter today, a fellow educator mentioned her excitement for the 2009/365 flickr challenge. Well, I love photography and I love a challenge, so I had to check it out. I'm sure you can guess by now that I have taken on the challenge.

I decided to add another dimension to my about the photos I add to the flickr group. Now I will warn you, some days will be more interesting than others. I'm guessing I will come out of the gate strong at the beginning (getting my posts up consistently)...I'm hopeful that I can maintain a steady pace throughout the entire year.

I'm looking forward to this challenge as an opportunity to grow as a photographer and to reflect on those random thoughts I have everyday.