Wednesday, April 27, 2011


3 years ago our town had a flood. Two hurricanes hit the gulf that year, and sent a lot of water our way. They opened all 10 gates on Table Rock Dam that year, and set some new records for lake levels and flooding.

Those records are now broken.

In the last few days we've had over a foot of rain. It's been crazy, scary, historical, and amazing to watch. We took the kids to see the flood gates opened last night. It's humbling to see what mother nature can do.

(1/3200, f5.3, iso 1000)

My photo assignment for the Opposites photo class day 11 is FAST. Take a picture of something fast. Well, this water is fast. Flowing at a rate that every second it could fill an Olympic sized pool. Ellie commented that it looked soft and fluffy, but she knew it wasn't.

More pictures...

We're praying for all our friends that are being affected by the flooding. The water is beautiful, but it's also devastating parts of our town and area. The silver lining is the heart warming stories coming from friends and neighbors about the outpouring of help.

Flooding and all, I love where I live.

Field Trip!

Annie's class on a field trip to the Zoo! Fun times in Kindergarten!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Day 10, Opposites Photo Class...FAR.

I took this picture from a distance. We had some friends over for dinner the other night. Great friends, college era friends. They brought their kids, and I didn't stress at all. Yay! This picture shows Annie and Austin with one of our friends' kids. As you can tell by the photo, there was a little destruction in the playroom. :-)

(1/25, f3.8, iso 800 - should have bumped up that shutter speed!)

In my opinion, the mess means they were having fun!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Light and Near

I'm going to cheat. I'm going to do something WILD and CRAZY. I'm going to do one blog post for two photo class assignments.

And I'm doing them in reverse order.

Livin' on the edge.

Or maybe I'm just wiped out and since I took the pictures for both of theses assignments in the same day, in this order, it just makes sense.

Nah. I'm a rebel.

We did the annual easter egg coloring session at my mom's house yesterday. Even though I wasn't thrilled to have midday sun for my photo class assignments, I was thrilled that we were able to color eggs outside as opposed to inside. I'm pretty sure mom was happy about that too. :)

I'd like to say that I took lots of pictures and that the egg coloring session was a wonderfully fun. But...not so much. Ellie was having a rough day, and Austin was having an active day, so instead I snapped pics as I could, in between trying to help manage the chaos. Which of course means lots of pictures of Annie. :)

Opposites Photo Class, Day 9...Near.

Annie was loving it. She is a budding little artist, and was having a great time creating masterpiece eggs. Her hands were rainbow colored by the end. I tried showing her how to use a bag as a glove to keep her hands clean, but that was cramping her style. Here are my two favorite NEAR pics...

Annie creating art.

(1/4000, f5.6, iso 400)

Annie's eggs, with Grammie and Austin having fun in the background.

(1/4000, f9, iso 400...could have changed some settings here, but was managing chaos. :)

Then we drove down the road to my Grandma's house. Grandma has a beautiful yard, with beautiful trees. After we changed them into their pretty Easter clothes, the kids hid eggs for the Grandma's to find. Then promptly forgot where they hid all the eggs. They were real eggs though, so if there are still any left, maybe the neighborhood animals will have a nice snack.

Opposites photo class, Day 8...Light.

This was a challenge in my world this week. We haven't had much light. Lots of clouds, not much sun. And like I said earlier, when the sun did come out, it was midday. I was glad though, for all the advice and tips that beth gave. I am really starting to understand a lot more about how to make a picture turn out the way I want it!

I took this LIGHT picture using some open shade from Grandma's dogwood tree. I stood in similar light, and set my camera to spot metering to capture the glow of the sun. I think it turned out beautifully!

My Mom, my Grandma, and my kids.

(1/640, f4.2, iso 400)

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Me and My Shadow...

That's the title to a song I did a sing and dance routine to at a church talent show, with two of my good friends. We wore top hats and carried canes.

If that's not cool, well then, I don't know what is.

Maybe this... The Opposites Photo Class Day 7 Theme: Shadows.

Have you ever taken a picture of a shadow on purpose? Well I hadn't, until yesterday. We spent the day at our favorite local theme park, and all day I was looking at the shadows.

I was amazed at the beauty of the shadows around me. Thank you Beth, for this assignment. What a fun way to expand our perspective! Here are two of my favorite shots...

Annie playing in the fountains.

(1/3200, f4.5, iso 400)

Austin walking by the trees.

(1/400, f3.5, iso 400)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photo Class, Day 6

LOUD! That is the assignment for the Opposites Photo Class this time.

Well, that ought to be easy around here. ;-)

Today we went to our favorite local theme park. It was an absolutely perfect day. The weather was great, the kids had a great time, and when we returned home, everyone was still in good moods! Success!

While at the park, Ellie was in super big sister mode. She proudly took her baby brother and sister on ride after ride. She did a great job, and I was proud of the way she handled herself.

The first ride she took them on was the little roller coaster. Talk about LOUD. The coaster is loud and all the kids screaming at the tops of their lungs are quite loud. Including my 3 little munchkins.

They had a blast, they screamed, they laughed. So fun! My oldest and youngest are in the back car, and Annie is in the pink shirt in front of them.

(1/400, f5.6, iso 400 taken in manual mode. definitely needed a faster shutter speed though, but again, I am learning! :)

Today it was a great day to be loud. :-)

Back porch Picnic

Not much beats a back porch picnic with sweet friends!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo Class, Day 5

Day 5 of the Opposites Photo Class brings us the theme, Quiet.

This is hard at my house, because things are most often loud, or insanely loud. Rarely quiet.

Today Austin had two sweet buddies over for some playtime. These two little guys are the twin 2 year old's of my good friend Jen, who just happens to be doing this photo class too. Actually, she's the reason I found out about this class! The boys had a blast today. They played hard, then sat down for some lunch, and what do you know? They were quiet.

(1/40, f4.5, iso 800, no flash, manual mode)

These cute boys are a blast, and Austin and I had fun with them today. I couldn't help but laugh when I read Jen's "quiet" post just a few minutes ago, and saw that her quiet moment with the boys was also with them eating. Ha! So funny!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Photo Class Day 4

The assignment for Day 4 in the Opposites photo class is OUT. As in OUTside. The assignment was to take a picture outside, using some open shade, and trying to capture catchlights in the subjects eyes.

Annie Grace and I ran outside after dinner tonight, and she was more than willing to be my model. :) That girl is precious! I understand the concept of catchlights now, and am wishing I had more light to work with tonight! The sun was starting to set, but I got a sweet picture of my sweet girl.

(1/40, f4.5, iso 200)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photo Class Day 3.

Day 3 of the Opposites photo class, assignment - In.

We were challenged to take an INside picture. Using my camera on manual mode inside scares me. But I went for it, and am fairly pleased with the results.

(1/20, f4.8, iso 200)

This is inside my oldest daughters bathroom. I recently redecorated it, and painted these canvases for the wall. My prayer is that these verses will get IN her heart.

With a bit of editing I brought the exposure up to where I really wanted it. I'm thinking my iso was set too low for the light in this windowless room at night.

I'm learning! :)

Photo class day 2.

The Day 2 assignment for the Opposites photo class was NEW.

I took this photo this evening...

(1/100, f5.6, iso 500)

Wow! I am SO excited about how this came out! I took everything I could remember from the beth v photography blog, and put it to work. I am most excited that I know HOW I took this photo, instead of just accidentally taking a good photo. YAY!

So obviously the NEW part comes in with the new flower. New life. New beauty for my new garden spot. I love this new flower. It's a Ranunculus. I've never planted these before, but was completely taken by their beauty at the nursery the other day. And now, after this picture, I love it even more. It was mid evening when I took these pictures, and very cloudy, so my iso was higher than I think I would normally have it set for outside pictures. (At least I think! :)

Here's one more photo of my new Ranunculus, this one a beautifiul yellow. Again, I am so pleased to say I took this picture!

(1/80, f5.6, iso 500)

Happy Spring!

Scenes from Easter Morning

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day One Photo Class- Old

I love to take pictures, but really REALLY want to get better at it. So when this free photo class thing popped up on my friend Jen's blog I thought, why not? I'll join in! It's not like there are 3 loads of laundry that I should be putting away instead...

The host blog is beth v photography and looks really cool, check it out!

So today's assignment is "Old." And here is my sooc (straight out of camera) pic...
(1/80, f3.2, iso 400)

And my edited pic...

My crazy boy, about a year ago. The "old" part is his sisters rain jacket. I bought this precious pink rain jacket and some matching boots for my first daughter when she was a mere two years old, and our only child. Little did I know then, that several years later my wild little boy would be wearing it in our backyard, when I realized at the last minute that he didn't own a rain jacket, and he wanted to play in the rain! It looks like he's crying, which just adds to the hilariousness of the picture, but really it's just rain drops on his face. He looks quite pathetic though, with that toy story bandaid on his head, and the "tears", and the pink jacket. So sad. :) He plays the "baby-of-the-family" role quite well!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Outdoor Fun!

We love spending a warm spring day at Razor Ridge with the fam!