Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Favorite August Picture

Family Camp 2011

I was able to take some time for myself and take a walk with my camera.

  I only had the kit lens with me but the kit lens is not too bad.  I don't have editing software so I only touched up the fill light, highlights, and shadows.

Its fun to take pictures of flowers.  I think that I should have moved over a little (or waited for the cloud to move over) to make the cloud off to the right of the picture more and more blue to appear behind the flower.  Each picture I look at carefully teaches me something new to look out for next time.  Hopefully I'll remember this the next time I'm shooting the sky!

Want to see all the other August favorites?  Go here:

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, August 29, 2011

Noticing the Gifts:: First Day of Homeschooling

Sometimes I am so surprised by where God takes me.
I still can't get over that I am here in Minnesota, that I'm a wife and a mother, and that I have five kids!
I'm still amazed at how God carries me through and accomplishes things in my life that I can't imagine doing on my own.

I'm also often surprised by the beauty each day holds.  I'm so thankful for how the camera can capture that beauty and since I've been practicing taking pictures I seem to find beauty more and more.  I see "the most perfect picture" when my daughter runs up to the open doors of the ballet studio and squeals with delight.  I see how the light reflects off the water at the lake, I see the sun falling on the table...

I see the beauty in school supplies!

And it's not just beauty for beauty sake.  It is a reflection of our Heavenly Father's beauty.  It is His goodness and love and do you know what?  It is everywhere!

I'm so thankful that:
34. He is with me and taking me to new places every day.
35. He helps me to plan.

36. And clean.

37. and prettify.

38. and pre-test.

39. And just love schooling at home.

I love these pictures because they make school look so

  My last post might have worried you a bit.  You might have thought that there was no way I was going to start school today.  YET, I was able to clean up (with God's help - seriously it was like someone else was cleaning for me!) and things were organized just in time.
oh, so that was number 40 up there:  He got me organized just in time.

So to be real let me just tell you that today was not perfect.  There was some yelling from mom, a crying three year old, a broken glass in the sink, a bathtub full of seashells, chocolate frosting all over the kitchen, and a lot of TV watching.

Yet, I'm thankful that:
41. Ben is learning to read.
42. My daughter is learning to cook.
43.  I am able to leave the house on short notice ALONE!

Remember that our God is good and that we are his beloved children.  We are His children!

And yes, I did say a bathtub full of seashells.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The last hurr- (ha ha)

So this is my attempt to be witty.

Yesterday we went on our last "field trip" of the summer.  Our last hurrah, so to speak, and we went to Minnehaha creek.  Get it?  Hurr-haha.  Don't blame me if you hurt yourself laughing.

Going to the falls was something I've wanted to do since we moved here.  I was a little afraid that I would get some grief from my olders about walking around in nature.  But a few days stuck in the house with nothing to do really changes ones perspective.  They were glad to get out and do something... anything!  And guess what?  They really enjoyed themselves!

Ok, the picture above really made me laugh when I took it.  Do you see there on the right how the middle sister is hanging on the big sister?  She posed like that right at the last minute because she knows that big sis would NEVER let her touch her like that!  Big sister's face is reflecting the shock and horror.  I'm so glad I got to capture this!

So here is the falls.  Amazing that this is next to the airport and really close to downtown.  We climbed down the stairs and ate lunch.  Even though there were a few buses of day care kids (a nightmare for homeschool field trips)  the place was still peaceful.  See a class of them on the top looking over?  They were the yellow t-shirt group.

We walked down the path just a little ways and we reached an area to wade.  We really didn't know what to expect on this trip.  We could not find much information about this park online or even a map when we got there!

This ended our little trip.  It was just long enough to want to come back.  We have some plans for Nana and Grandfather!

And this being our last hurrah, homeschool starts on Monday.

Wish me luck!  (yes, that is my school room.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yarn Along :: 10 on 10 edition

I'm linking up two places today.  Something I said I would never do but I really don't want to do two posts in one day.  SO...if you are here for the yarn along and wonder what the 10 on 10 thing is go here and if you are here for the 10 on 10 and you want to see what people are knitting and reading go here.

For the yarn along look for the 4:00 picture.


My coffee brewing.  The picture is a bit blurry but it accurately depicts how I felt.  Turned off my alarm in my sleep and 9:00 is what happened.

Needing a little pretty in my life.

Collecting the goggles to take to the lake.

12:00ish - 1:00ish

Fudged on this one.  We were not having fun.  Having a family full of girls sometimes is really hard.  We were still home and not very happy.


Their first plunge.  Waiting for the life guard to let them in after the hourly safety check.  (notice the goggles)


Wafer break.  The goggles are very important as you can see.

I am still knitting myself the same sweater.  It is taking forever to knit the scarf-y thing that goes around my neck.  I still LOVE this grey color and a few months back I was knitting in a group setting and a little girl squeezed the yarn and said,  "Oh, soft and squishy."  Yes, soft and squishy it is!

I'm reading this EXCELLENT book on prayer.  Paul Miller is so real about our human condition and what real prayer is supposed to be like.  
Here is a quote:
"This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God.  God cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers.  Jesus does not say, "Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest."  No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest".  The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness.  Come overwhelmed with life.  Come with your wandering mind.  Come messy."

If you ever have struggled with prayer this book is for you!  (wow, that sounded like a Reading Rainbow moment - da da da - could you hear that?)


(taken by Emma)
Packing up to leave.
The lake was a much needed breath of fresh air.  It was cool and breezy and the puffy clouds gave us breaks from the sun.  Praise God for His little blessings!

So this turned out to be 8 on 10.  I did enjoy taking pictures today, and knitting, and playing at the lake, and being with my kiddos.  (even though that was pretty touch and go for a while!)

ten on ten button small

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I learned... Manual Mode.

Not so long ago I got brave (about my camera that is) and after reading only a few pages of this book, switched my camera over to manual mode.  I had LOVED the pictures I was getting from my new DSLR but I quickly got restless and wanted even better pictures.  I set the Fstop to 5.6 like he said and started to shoot.  I couldn't believe how easy it really was!

Here is one of my first attempts.  On auto my camera would generally be taking pretty dark pictures in this room.  I had my son stand by the window and I metered his face and... ta da!

(March 2011)
I couldn't believe that it actually worked!  I have been practicing in manual ever since and just this last month I went to visit my dad.  He said he had some lenses and I said, "Yea, but not for a Nikon."  He said, "Um, yes they are."

HE GAVE THEM TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it? 

So right now I'm practicing on a lens that has a much higher aperture range (not sure if that is how you actually say it).  I love that I can get a blurry background now.  The only problem is that the lens doesn't really match up with the camera and it doesn't auto focus.  I'm really working hard trying to do everything myself.  The kit lens works better when I'm trying to get the kids on an outing but this new lens works nice when I can take time to figure it all out.

Here is a picture from just the other day.

(settings: ISO200, F2.8, ss1/2000)
This is a repeat from my last post but I love this one.  I don't think that it is completely in focus but I think that the blurriness makes it look soft.  What do you think?  What settings would have made this better?

To check out some other really great photos go here:
(who knows, you might be tempted to try manual mode too!)

Click it Up a Notch

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Dress by Sunday

I haven't been blogging all summer.  I have some thoughts on that.  I might share, not sure.
being on vacation for 3 1/2 weeks really set off my rhythm.  Only part of it though!  Now on to the post!

When I saw this I knew I had to make it.  Here is mine!

I've had this fabric for a while.  I bought it at the thrift store for a $2.50.  I've kept it on the shelf wondering what I was going to do with it.  I knew I had to have the perfect pattern for it and here it is!  I still have enough to make another dress if I wanted to!  Yay.  The fabric is sheer so I needed to line it with white cotton.  I makes it pretty thick but still comfy and cute!

And like the last thing I made for my little one we had to do a photo shoot.
 Not so sunny this time.

Oh, and just to keep it real...

This is why her face is not in any of the other pictures.  I think that she is getting tired of me taking her photo all the time.

And these are cute but don't look to closely at the hose on the deck or the weeds.  Yikes.

Hope to see you soon!