Night Photography

Have I mentioned how much I love and adore my new camera? My poor children, really I pity them. They thought their life was full of photographical (I’m sure that’s a word, look it up) torture. They didn’t even know the half of it. Now I have different lenses and a dozen new settings to try out.

Poor dears.

Adding to their torment is the fact that Tim is also an avid shutterbug. In fact, truthfully, of the two of us he is the better photographer.

He attributes his steady hand to M-16 marksmanship training.

Um, okay, you got me there, honey.

Here’s a stellar example of our two differing skills, using the night setting on the new camera. Apparently that preset mode uses the flash to capture nearby objects, yet keeps the shutter open long enough to make sense of the darkness. Who knows how those clever camera people do this? Not me, that’s for sure.

saucy chick

Look at that incredible sky! Great shot, Tim!

We’re studying the gospel of John in our Sunday School class — which turns out to be surprisingly relevant to this topic:

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5

And then there’s my shot. In all fairness, let me just say that Tim has been rather blurry for the last several weeks … I’ve been trying to get him to see someone about this problem, but you know how men are about medical care …

maybe you should try again

I wonder where I can get some of that marksmanship training. Nikon Boot Camp, here I come!

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

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Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters. In all kinds of weather, we stick together, the same in rain or snow.

Name the movie and win a chocolate prize.

Advent calendars

Sarah and Rachel hold their (now empty-sob) Advent calendars.

sweet girlsopening presents

Sarah and Rachel share a bedroom. They are six and a half years apart. They share a love for all things beautiful, collectible, and “girly.” They fight over whose turn and responsibility it is to clean the bedroom, over ownership of toys, over what movie to watch or how to spend the day. But through it all they love deeply and fiercely. They adore playing together and every night you can find them talking and sharing thoughts.

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

Project 365- Day 364 (the end is in sight)

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The Splendor of Christmas

One of the great things about having a large family and many generous relatives, is that Christmas gift-opening lasts practically forever. We’ve been concentrating on out-of-town relatives today, since people start to wonder by the end of the Christmas week (when you don’t mention their gift) if there was some kind of a mishap in shipping.

The problem is that many of our relatives are the careful, send-packages-early sort — the kind that make the temporally-challenged rest of us seem very slapdash and irresponsible. Their gifts were delivered much earlier in the month and so were at the bottom of the pile, covered up by Johnny-come-lately gifts purchased locally late in the day on the 24th. Now that we’ve worked our way down, the tops of these packages accuse us reproachfully, and so we rushed to open them.

Horn-warmers, the perfect gift
Gifts from Thailand and Norway, brought together with Daniel’s unique touch.

So many have been so generous to us, I feel rather shamefaced, especially when I think of less privileged people around the world. Then again, when I consider how these gifts reflect the love that is lavished upon us, I’m less embarrassed by the splendor, but rather I’m challenged to think of ways that we can splash that splendid love on others.

Purple in Pigtails
Now that Sarah knows her reindeer name (Prancer), it is killing her to wait to open a few last presents.

It is a glorious season, and our hearts are full of gratitude and thankfulness to the One who has made all this love and delight possible — our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Project 365 — Day 362

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Making Christmas Last

We stretch celebrations out as long as possible in our house. Birthdays can last a week or two or even longer if you are careful. We’re certainly not done with Christmas yet. There are many presents still under the tree and others that haven’t arrived yet. We open presents S*L*O*W*L*Y around here.

We do, however, try to start thank you notesright away.

i wish to thank the academy

With a large family (each of whom buy for every member) we end up with an impressive collection of gifts. Since we also take time to focus on each person as they open their presents and stop after a bit to PLAY with the new toys, present opening takes a LONG time. I love gifts and surprises so I encourage everyone to savor the experience.

david's new helicopter

Unfortunately, all of this savoring and celebrating means I am quite behind on my Christmas cards. At what point to they become Happy New Year cards? I’m in the “I’s” but that still leaves a LOT of people left on our address list. Also, I have to finish the 2007 Christmas newsletter. In our Christmas cards, I’ve been directing people here to the blog. This would normally be great, but it would be nice if I had something for them to actually see. I have the newsletter part written. It’s not very witty or clever but it does a decent job or summarizing our year. I’m in the process of adding pictures. I made it through April this afternoon.

My goals for the weekend – edit and complete the newsletter and finish another (large) chunk of Christmas cards.

What about you? Are you taking Christmas decorations down this week? Starting homeschool back up? Dancing with your beloved under the twinkling Christmas lights? Did you finish your Christmas/holiday cards? Do share!

sarah loves her present

Project 365 – Day 361

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Merry Christmas to Me!

It’s important to create a little suspense and anticipation on the blog. Keep people hungry (and that’s a difficult thing during the holidays) for more.

Here’s a little clue about my new present.

give a girl a big stick

Obviously this picture creates more questions than it answers:

  • Tim and Kathy’s folks are a little stingy and got her a new hat and scarf for Christmas.
  • Kathy’s tastes are simple and she is “thrilled, tickled, delighted and excited” about winter wear.
  • Kathy needs a haircut and some time at the salon
  • Tim went all out and carved Kathy a new walking stick for the holidays

Perhaps this is a better clue (this is fun, right?), the hint is not what’s IN the picture but the picture ITSELF.

Did you guess?
I know, this is killing you.
Okay, you’re bored silly and wish I would just get on with the blog and post some other cute pictures (preferably of the children).

Tim and my parents decided taking 11 thousand pictures this past year, give or take a thousand, proved I really was interested in photography. They put their heads (and cash) together and treated me to a wonderful new camera.

A fancy, schmancy new digital SLR camera by Nikon.

I picked up the “fancy, schmancy” name from Cindy who also received a new camera for Christmas. Mine is a Nikon D40X – the name alone sounds cool and impressive.

Tim got a fantastic deal and then went back and convinced the sellers to drop the price even further (he threw around the words price matching and Nutella, it’s a powerful combination).

I was totally surprised and amazed. Now I can take “real” pictures and turn this blog into something truly special.

Oh, the pressure is on now.

I am still learning about all the different settings and options. We took around 400 pictures between 1 pm Christmas day and 6 pm Wednesday. At that rate we’d hit something like 73K pictures in the upcoming year.


It’s a good thing I have one of these on hand. Nothing like a nice, little external hard drive to store your photos.

Joshua, Tim and I had a great time using the action function of the new camera to take some shots of the kids sledding this morning.

sarah's gonna sledwait for melet me fix my hair firstoh yeah, this is fun

I’d love to hear from other Nikon photographers – share your comments, tips, favorite lens, books, etc. I want to learn everything!! I think I need to add the Nikon D40X field guide to my Amazon wish list.

Now to find the perfect camera bag. This one in chocolate brown by Jill*e is gorgeous but seems a wee bit pricey.

Happy shooting!
Project 365 – Day 360

Thanks, Carl, for encouraging Tim to consider this camera.

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