Saturday, April 30, 2011

It’s Gideon’s Happy Birthday.

“It’s Gideon’s Happy Birthday” has been Gideon’s mantra the last few days.  It is extremely cute.  Especially when you realize that it is what he is calling the birthday card he got from his Grandma Marlene.  It has Lightning McQueen on it and he’s been carrying it around since and if you ask him about it he holds it up proudly and says “It’s Gideon’s Happy Birthday.”  Not his birthday card.  His “happy birthday”.  *sigh*  Adorable.

Tonight when we said bedtime prayers we each said something we are like about Gideon and I had to say to I love his enthusiasm.  Every little thing is worthy of a celebration to Gideon.  He loves Lightning McQueen plain ol’ potato chips and bacon (he had that for lunch).  He is absolutely not at all interesting in potty training but loves to make his own Ego waffles and with a little assistance makes some killer scrambled eggs.  What a nut.

So today we celebrated his birth three years ago, such a beautiful, joyful addition to our family.


And maybe a little bit mischievous.


Zion helped me decorate the cake.  And her face.


The cake was a homemade chocolate, my first layer cake usually I do sheet cakes.  I also couldn’t find one of Gideon’s smaller McQueen cars to use.  Until after the party of course.


Isaac loves to hit up our dress up bin when he comes to play.


Matthew acted as a substitute daddy to Elias for a while since he was bored with me and Rob was busy at the barbecue.


Rob picked up How To Train Your Dragon from the Redbox last night and we loved it so we put it on during the party.


And it was a gorgeous day so the kids got to play outside for a while.


Gideon only tolerated my taking his picture for a minute and then he kept saying “No more, Mama! No more!”

On to presents:


Art supplies, yay!


His very own Cars helmet though it doesn’t quite register why he might be getting a helmet.


He also got a Lightning McQueen racetrack and a stuffed Timmy lamb (lower left corner).


And that would be why we gave him the helmet.


Zion helps Gideon take his first ride.


Elias thinks he’s quite big enough to go for a ride too.


He’s got his helmet and his Timmy NOW he’s really ready to go for a ride.


Though the track was a big pain for me to put together the kids had a great time with it.

Time for cake!


And this is when I realized I completely failed as a mother.  Gideon had no idea what to do with the candle.  Even when we tried to show him his teeny little puff of breath between his teeth stood no chance of even making the flame flicker.  Isaac stepped up to help though otherwise I think we’d still be waiting for him to blow out the candle.


And the party is over but I thought I’d tease you with a shot of that yummy cake.  Oh so good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Texture Tue…er, Wednesday?

A day late but not a dollar short.  I’m rather pleased with how this turned out.  Zion was in a dress-up sort of mood today so I took advantage and shot a few pictures.  We just got back from Bible study so I thought I’d get the pics off my camera and play around a bit. 

Here’s the original:


Here’s my edit:


This is with a levels adjustment, a little desaturation of the colors, Kim’s “sweettreat” texture on soft light at 87% and Kim’s “serendipity” texture on overlay at 70% and that’s it.  My pretty little fairy is a little more dreamy now.  I like it.  Go ahead, click on the picture and make it bigger, it’s even better. :)

Came back and did a second one.  I love the wistful (is that the word I’m looking for?) nature of this one:


This one is also using “sweettreat” and “serendipity” but I added a layer of “sweettart” in between and desaturized the colors even more.

Now click on the button to go to Kim’s site and check out more Texture Tuesday offerings.


At pretty much the last minute I also decided to put this up on My 3 Boybarian’s Sweet Shot Tuesday.  It’s been a busy week and I haven’t been feeling well so the fact that I decided to do on Friday something I should have done Tuesday shouldn’t surprise me.  It takes that long for my brain to make a decision right now.  ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My kids are such characters.  They just crack me up all day long.  Gideon for instance, seemed to believe that one must first crack a plastic Easter egg before it would open so you can get the goodies out.

Gideon “cracking” eggs

And this is how Zion asks if she can have a cookie.

Zion asks for a cookie.

Elias won’t be left out either.  He got a kick out of his first ride in a Home Depot racecar cart the other day.

Sorry if the sound isn’t great, these were taken on my iPhone.  Still, you get the point.  Such characters!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good to WOW Week 16–Family/Friends

I feel entirely unprepared to post this week.  It feels like I’ve hardly had time with the camera lately though I know that not to be true.  Maybe I feel unprepared because I didn’t look ahead and shoot something specifically for this week’s theme.  Yeah.  I think that’s it.  Not that it’s necessary but it’s nice when I can post something I’ve been thoughtful about.  I’ve got a few to put up though.  The first three are Rob’s homecoming after being in Guam for almost three weeks.  DSC_7190

Getting tackled right after stepping in the door.  Had to shoot farther away than I would have liked just so I didn’t miss it.


Giving hugs and kisses.  (Sadly, I managed to cut Gabe off, darn it!)


Lifting Gideon up for a great big hug.


This one was Easter morning just before leaving for church.  It’s no where near technically perfect.  I didn’t notice the red blanket was hanging off the corner of the couch and a bunch off stuff on the coffee table snuck into the frame but I can’t resist the moment that Zion and Gideon are sharing.  It draws me in.  I don’t even know what they are cracking up about but it must be hilarious.  Elias is totally focused on me and Gabe is off in La La Land.  How utterly typical of all of them.  That’s why I love it, it’s so them.

Click on the button to go to Jill Sampter’s blog to see more or to participate. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good to WOW Week 15–Easter Part 2

“Crucify him!”

I shouted angrily, pumping my fist in the air.  At the top of our lungs, over and over, I and the others in the riotous crowd shouted.

“Crucify him!”

Not too long ago we had all participated in joyously celebrated this same man’s entry into our city, waving palm branches in the air but now we demanded his death.

And die he did.  But first he was tortured, mocked, spit upon… all the things I deserved and he did not.  He screams out in physical pain and deep anguish for his Father and yet he asks for our forgiveness.   All those who demanded his death, we did not know what we were doing he says. 

And then then he breaths his last and it is finished.

While you may be thinking that it is interesting to put myself in the place of the angry crowd I should tell you that I was there.  Not when it actually happened of course but when the church I used to attend would put their annual Passion Play.  It was a huge church and a huge production, the choir in which I was a soprano was about 150 strong.  We were the extras.  The crowd that waved palm branches in joy, the crowd that cried out, I was a part of it. 

It was that experience, that so-real-feeling experience of demanding the death of my Savior in my stead that brought the deep meaning on Easter into my heart far more than anything else could have.  I will tell you that all the time I was shouting “Crucify him!” in anger my throat was so tight for fighting back the tears.  I did not want to scream in anger I wanted to lay down and cry from heartbreak that in all His innocence He died for me, absolutely unworthy.  Whether I was there when it happened or not, my sin demanded his death.

Here are my final edits, I’m leaving my “before” pictures on the original post if you want to see them.  I think I prefer just posting the “afters” here today.


As usual, click the button for more lovely Easter shots.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good to WOW Week 15–Easter

Easter is my favorite holiday.  I have tried to write why but I can’t get my words out.  So perhaps I’ll work on that this week and maybe sort out my thoughts by Thursday’s part two.

For now, my photos for the Easter/Passover theme:



You may already know that the wine represents the blood of Christ and the bread, in this case specifically matzo, but you may not know that during the traditional Seder one would dip a finger into their cup of wine ten times, each time letting it drip on their plate and reciting one of the ten plagues of Egypt.  The last plague being the death of the firstborn.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not Like Me

I see myself in my kids in so many ways.  Sometimes it’s something they say or something they find funny, a look or a habit.  There is one way it seems, that at least three of them are NOT like me and how glad I am.

We finally got them into swim lessons again.  Swim lessons took a back seat to other things when I was pregnant with Elias and was put on activity restrictions which prevented me from lifting or doing anything strenuous and included being in the water.  Rob continued solo for a session or two but it has still been a while since they’ve been in the pool.

Last weekend was the first lesson day of this session and I wondered how they would do after about a year on dry land.  Not only have they picked up where they left off but the break seemed to be just what they needed.  I don’t remember any of them being as confident or skilled as they have been showing this week and last. 

Gabe is diving for rings and swimming underwater for about 8 feet or so, Zion is dunking herself like a mad woman and Gideon wants me to keep my hands to myself in the deep end of the toddler pool so he can walk around by himself in water that hits him right at the mouth (sorry, kiddo, I’m not quite ready to let go in water that deep yet).

I have never been confident in the water and to this day really hate to get water splashed in my face.  I don’t recall anyone trying to teach me how to swim or being given the opportunity to be in the water much as a child.  I started wearing glasses in the second grade which didn’t help because I either couldn’t see to play in the pool because of water splashed on my glasses or because I tried to play without them.  It’s no fun to play when you can’t see (had the same problem with bouncy houses, they make you take your glasses off to go in).

So while I very much enjoy looking at the water and getting in to wade and even to play with the kids I am nothing like them.  They are nothing like me, in this area at least.  How cool is that?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Action

(Just realized that title sounds a little risqué – oh well, I kind of like it.)  If you are a Photoshop Elements user and like to get your actions on go here – Patti Brown Photography to get a free “oil painting” action.  :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

‘bout Halfway

We have made it about halfway through Rob’s time away and I’m pleased to report that things are going really well.  I’m exhausted as silly things keep waking me up throughout the night (who knew there was a Zhu Zhu Pet tucked under the blanket at the foot of my bed?  I discovered it when it went off at 3AM last night) but otherwise we’ve been keeping busy and having a good time.


We went to play group where I got an adorable shot of Elias’ little bottom and his chubby toes.



I “forced” Gideon to endure a brief photo shoot so I could capture the color green.



Gabe won an award at AWANA.



There was one beautiful sunny day on which I plucked my dying tulips and used the bowl we received for our wedding to capture some really interesting shadows.



There has definitely been some playing going on.


And I’ve lost count of how many little bickers I’ve mediated.  (“Mommy, Wiason (Elias) toucha my stoo’.)



I stood in the rain with an umbrella and my camera to get a shot of a rainbow.


Jamie and I surprised the kids with a visit from her.  They were super thrilled!


I finally got a somewhat OK shot of Maisy’s ginormous feet.  Six toes on each foot instead of 5 on each front and 4 on each back.



And more playing and fun.  When Gideon tries a piece that doesn’t fit he says “Not quite.” and tries again, then says “TADA!” when he finds the right spot.

I can feel all the prayers you guys are sending up.  Thanks so much and keep it up!  A little more than a week left before Rob comes home.  I’m hoping the second week will be at least as fun as the first.

Good To WOW Week 14–Faith Part 2

I always get so anxious to get my post up that I feel rushed to finish my edits.  I tried to slow down a little today and played with a few versions of my photo. 


Slight adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw (my first time so I didn’t go too crazy with the adjustments):GideonPrays

Clean edit and crop:GideonPraysCleanEdit


Clean edit with text added and a corner rounding action:GideonPraysCorners

Clean edit with radial blur added.  I moved the starter point of the blur (wondering if there’s an official name for that) to where his hands would be.  I then brushed over his hands to remove the blur there and added text.  (Probably should try this one with the cropped version.)GideonPraysBlur

Clean edit with a B&W gradient map and a second layer of a brown gradient map and text with a soft light blend mode:GideonPraysChocBW

Finally, I started once again with the clean edit (without the crop as you can see) then applied Pioneer Woman’s Vintage action, removed some of the vignette and added text.  Apparently this one is my favorite because when I look at it my throat tightens and a tear comes to my eye. 


Yes, it must truly be my favorite because this particular little “angel” has been a stinker all morning and in fact starting kicking at my laptop with his feet just as I finished this edit – and I didn’t throttle him.  I may need to make copies of this photo and plaster them all over the house today.

I can’t wait to see the other “faith” photos and am about to click the button.