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Quote of the month...

"Standing tall is a very admirable thing. There are very few stories in history of heroes who slouched to the rescue. Likewise, most individuals don't look up to people who are drooped over."
from Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye

my family

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Foto Story #82-- Aurora Borealis

Last Wednesday after helping the youth prepare gift baskets, we came home to settle in and the phone rang. It was my friend letting us know that the northern lights or aurora borealis was visible out the door. How cool is that? We all ran down to stand in the freezing air and watch the lights in the sky. The kids quickly lost interest, it think because of the bitter cold temps one had to endure to view them but I was like: "OK how do I capture these? What settings do I need to adjust?" After trying to ask my brother-in-law, I remembered that Aunt Claudia had given me some photography books and I ran in the house to consult them. To my surprise, there it was right on the page a suggested setting for taking pictures of the northern lights!! So I adjusted the settings and mounted the camera on my trusty tripod and headed for the door. Now my biggest problem was that it was so difficult to see if I had the manual focus focused. These are the best of my attempts at the Aurora Borealis:

This is actually the very first of 13 shots I took and it turned out the best. It was in great focus and so many strips of color showed up!
When I was looking at these with my naked eye I saw a hit of red and the white was more of a greenish tint, so it was interesting to see what the camera captured!

Wishing you all a wonderful 2010!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Foto Story Friday on Tuesday #81-- a little drip

Today we have a guest blogger, Aunt Claudia. She sent me this story she wrote after I posted pictures to Facebook of some recent snow and ice. She writes:
"Hey, Ms Carrie!
Saw your photo and was thinking about busy moms and how the little things get away from us sometimes. Thought about your little drip from a child's view and a hassled mom's view.
Love to all, Aunt Claudia"

It Started With a Little Drip...

by: Aunt Claudia

She noticed it in early spring – nothing too big, really. Just a little drip from the faucet. Not anything to get worried about… Drip-drip.

“Better get that fixed,” she thought. “Shouldn’t let it get out of hand.” And then the phone rang, and a child cried, and something was boiling over on the stove…Drip-drop-drip.

Bright summer and the flowers were growing in the soft, wet spot under the faucet. Birds gathered with the butterflies to enjoy a cool drink. The children laughed as they picked a pretty bouquet for her. “It’s for you, Mommy!”
“Yes, yes, thank you. Now hurry to the car, we’re late for practice”…Drip-drop-drop.

The days grew long and hot and lazy. “Mommy, what’s this pretty soft green stuff?” A little patch of mossy growth, fed by the constant drip. “Oh, don’t get in the mud! Alright, let’s go wash your hands and change your shoes.” “Gotta get that fixed”…Drip-drop-drip-drip.

A little buzzing through the yard. Stop to get a sip under the faucet, then a dab of mud for the new hive. Safe under the eaves of the house. Buzz, buzz, back and forth, busy bees. “Look, Mommy! There’s lots of buzzy bees.” “Don’t get too close or you’ll get stung! Come away, now!”…Drip-drop-drip-drop.

Busy fall days. School work and yard work and football games. The drips go on, unnoticed…Drip-drop-drip-drip-drop.

The wintry winds blow and there’s an icy chill in the air. Overnight a sculpture grows under the faucet. “Oh, look Mommy! It’s a beautiful ice fountain!”
“I should have fixed that long ago! I’ll have Daddy knock it down and fix it right away. Hope it didn’t break the lines”…

So whose eyes do you see it with? Drip-drop-drip-drop….There’s beauty in everything!

Inspired by Carrie Flynn Keiser’s photos “Snow and Ice”
and, by-the-way, she’s a very good Mommy who sees with a child’s eye and a photographer’s heart

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Foto Story Friday #80-- Activities

Recent activities around here:
Savanna played some basketball............. lots of learning the basics and then 2 nights of intramurals.
We have been working on some puzzles.
This is the first one we finished and we are on to another.
Tuesday the twins had a Christmas program. Of course it would be too easy to put them, next to each other, they were separated by one little girl. Thankfully the teacher stepped in the middle.... well she might not appreciate this shot of her, but it effectively blocks the girl!
Last Thursday, Robby had his Christmas program. They did a great job and Robby was one of the few who could be heard and understood in his speaking part.
My oldest decided this year to go out for the wrestling team. He is having a good time learning all the basics and putting them into practice. Problem is, that his first home meet was the same night as Robby's concert :( I was not able to watch his 2 matches, I was VERY bummed. Troy and Grandpa both got to see them. This week he has his only other home meet and we will miss it...... Shantel also has her Christmas choir concert this week, same night as the wrestling meet :(
Why do they make me choose? This week we are choosing to not attend either (we are sending the kids and grandparents, as we have to be elsewhere.)
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Honey Mommy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Foto Story Friday # 79-- decorating the tree and lighting is my boon!

It's that time of year again when we get out all our pretty things and celebrate the birth of Christ. We normally tend to put off all the decorating, but our children are all excited and Scott started to ask if the tree could go up last Saturday. On Monday, we went in search of Christmas decor and located everything except the tree (yeah, I know we just use a fake one, we're lame). Having promised Scott that we would put up the tree I was obligated to go purchase another. We remembered that last year the tree broke and we threw it out (it lasted us about 12 years- not bad for the Kmart special!) Finally, after dinner, we opened the box and set to work.
Scott could hardly wait for the lights to be tossed on before he placed the first ornament.
EmmaLece was right behind him placing hers on.
Robby too was thrilled to be decorating with his ornaments.
BahHumbug, aka Savanna, placed hers in the very back and vowed to not put another one on. (I forced her to place 5 ornaments and she put them all in the back away from sight.
Shantel still enjoys decorating the tree and put several of hers on.
Cody, decked out in his wrestling sweats, happily placed a few as well.
The finished product. Really, I have such a hard time getting the right settings for capturing the right amount of light for the desired effect. While the tree is clear and crisp, you can not tell that the lights are on and you loose something in my opinion.
So I turned off the lights and the flash and got the tripod. Still not exactly what I was hoping for but you can see the lights!
Wishing you all the the Merriest of Christmases and may the Peace of the Babe born in a stable settle in your hearts at this time and throughout the year to come.
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Rachael

Friday, December 4, 2009

Foto Story Friday #78--driving alone

Do you remember back, oh say, 6 months ago when I posted this Foto Story Friday? About a certain young man getting a learner's license? Well, he recently completed his required 50 hours of driving with a licensed adult and the 6 month waiting period, went down and took his driving test........... passed and now is the proud owner of a restricted drivers license that allows him to drive alone, with siblings and 1 non family member! He may only drive between the hours of 6 AM and 11 PM. In another 6 month he can drive 3 friends (yikes!) and 6 months after that he is a full fledged driver!!

He was a wee bit nervous about the parallel parking. I picked him up 1/2 hour early so he could drive around town practicing! Not an easy task when the vehicle you have to drive is a big ole suburban!
Wednesday night we let him drive for the first time without us. He took his sister, her friend and himself to youth group. The friend lives across town (which isn't really that far) and he was excited and announced that they would be taking the freeway! Oh yikes I'm SO glad that I didn't learn this bit of info until the day after! :) Sheesh! I've driven with him on the freeway and he does fine, but really it is a dang scary thought! all arrived safe and sound. Thursday we let him drive all the kids to school. He thought he was pretty cool and his siblings thought that it pretty much rocked getting taken to school by their brother! Scott didn't want to take the bus this morning because he wanted Cody to drive him! Cody had to get to school early for wrestling.Over Thanksgiving we got to visit with most of my side of the family. It was a wonderful time of catching up and measuring up........ As you can see, Cody is catching up to his Grumpa in height!
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Friday, November 27, 2009

Foto Friday #77-- thanksgiving pie

Thanksgiving Huckleberry Pie
We took a trip across the miles to be with my side of the family. We made yummy huckleberry pie and enjoyed a family filled day.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Foto Story Friday #76 -- Desire for greatness

I think we all have a desire for greatness inside us. I look at others and see their greatness, but it is much harder to see the greatness in ourselves.
I desire to make great pictures.
What exactly makes a great picture: Clarity? Beautiful subject matter? Seriousness or humorous? Knowledge of lighting and proper use of equipment?
Photography is a form of art. Beauty in the eye of the composer of each shot. Sometimes we can convey our perception of beauty to others and sometimes it falls flat.
Here are a few examples of the way I see my surroundings, what inspires me and things that contain beauty. (Of course, my kids are beautiful and inspiring!) I love a good showing of colors in the sky but sometimes I try and look elsewhere for the beauty and inspiration that surrounds me.
From the recent construction on my street, which thankfully is complete, I was inspired and humored to find this port-a-pot........... the first I's seen on a single trailer like this. It is truly a portable potty!
Beautiful/ Curiosity:
I like to improve on capturing my human subjects. Robby gave me that mischievous grin and this turned out to be a favorite photo of him taken at a volleyball game.
Beautiful/Growing up:
The fleeting tween years and the ever changing portrait of childhood fades. ANd maybe I need to look with my eye before I look with my camera....... how could I miss the strand of hair?!
Typical kid doing dishes, listening to the iPod and chewing gum..... bigger and bigger until it pops! Which it did all over his face!
Photo night put on by the young men and young women at church. Props can help a person to loosen up. Learning lighting..... need lighting!
Old time photos taken at Kmart........ shooting from the hip. The photographer was not well pleased to see that I had a camera hanging from my neck. She grumpily informed me that I could NOT take pictures of her backdrop they are protected! Well you can see that it is located in a store and they are stetting up and I didn't even try to conceal that is was a photo shoot. Props. Yeah could sure use some cool props.
Beautiful/ Sneaky:
In my ever growing attempts to take good people shots, I do have 6 mostly willing subjects. Everything worked that time!
Mostly this child doesn't stop moving and trying to get and acceptable photo of her proves to very difficult. She was busy looking off into space and I got my chance.
Inspiring/Thought provoking/Beautiful:
Patiently awaiting his turn and wishing his mother would not point that camera at his face, I got lucky to look up and see this glimpse at teen life. What was he thinking? Was he wondering if he could ride the rails on his board? or was he simply wishing the "photo shoot" were over?

So what inspires you? what is beautiful to you?
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Sue

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Foto Story # 75-- Beautiful Skies

Thanks to a high schooler who also has an early morning religious class, seminary, I have been forced... er, blessed with the opportunity of being up before the sun rises. Tuesday morning dawned in radiant splendor! I could not believe how bright and beautiful the colors were. It is difficult to get him to class on time when I really just wanted to have him pull over so I get out and compose a shot or 20! The morning sky changes SO much faster than the evening sky. The bright colors quickly fade and are gone in a matter of seconds.

That same evening the setting sun put on its own display of colors. Evening sky usually gets more colorful as the minutes pass and the challenge is not the loss of color but the loss of light in which to capture the range of colors that have appeared.

May we each take a moment to enjoy the sky whether you are a morning or an evening sky the beauty painted there is calming and inviting.
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and She's a moron and can't remember...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Foto Story Friday #74-- a devine smell and a weird helmet

When the smell of fresh baked cookies wafts through the air in your home, what do your children do? Well Scott goes in close for a big whiff!
I looked up and saw him "just smelling them mom!" I couldn't resist a shot to preserve the moment. It's torture when you haven't had dinner yet and the cookies are cooling on the rack!

And totally unrelated picture....
Scott was going to be Spidey for Halloween until the Monday before when he informed me that Spiderman was "not cool" and he HAD to be Darth Vader. Well, since I live in the middle of NOWHERE, my only choice was Kmart and they didn't have Darth. SO I figured I could wing it... come on it is only black and the helmet. So I visited the Attic for some second hand stuff in the shade of black and possibly something to bulk him up. I lucked out in the bulking up department. I spied 2 motorcycle chest protectors for a whopping .50 cents each... I grabbed both! A nice big piece of black fabric for 2$ and a black sweatshirt for 1$. Then I did a google search on 'how to make a Darth Vader costume/helmet'. Well there were some easy but not cheap ways to make the helmet but since the kids can't wear full masks at the Church Halloween party/trunk or treat I didn't want to make it that way. I figured I could make one.
I stared at a photo of Darth's helmet and got some supplies: cardboard box, scissors, tape and black poster board and set out to figure it out.
It wasn't looking too good so when Cody came home from school I asked for his opinion and we set out to cover it with the black paper. When we were nearly finished Cody said: " this looks more like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs rather than Darth Vader. Seriously google it!"
SO I set it on the table and called it done hoping that Scott would like it.

Well he got up the next morning and told me: "This is WAY better than Jace's Darth Vader helmet!" Thanks for the ego burst! So here are Darth and Ninja Girl!
Trunk or Treat just after getting all gussied up in the bathroom. We got some very nice comments like, "that is the coolest costume I've ever seen!" I was well pleased with the reactions and nearly everyone knew who he was! :)