Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Day climb

My husband started a tradition years ago that we would hike Rocky Hill every Christmas...which seemed much more reasonable when I was 40 than it does now at 50...but the tradition continues, this year at the insistence of our kids...imagine that.

More pictures to's New Years and I have movies to watch and popcorn to pop :)

Friday, December 28, 2007


Having some technical difficulties with the music on the blog, bear with me.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact--you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries. Avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is in hell.

....C.S. Lewis

For the past year our family has been involved in a pretty intense struggle with one family member (who shall remain nameless) that has truly been a test of faith. I have seen a Christian response from family members who rather than wear their faith on their t-shirts, have lived it. I have seen patience beyond what I thought was possible. I have watched as my little sister LIVES her faith in a way that is inspiring. I have been humbled by the love that has poured out from my mother. I have won battles with my own selfish pride and then lost a few in my desire to do it my way. And in the end, we continue to wait for a resolution. We wait on God's timing...we wait for some kind of miracle...we wait for a happy ending....full in the knowledge that it may never come. But most importantly, we keep on loving, because that is what we are called to do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I love these things... this email questionaire from a friend....

1.Tree – real or artificial? Artificial, tho I love the smell of a real tree I just hate that it dies (not a big fan of getting flowers for the same reason).

2. Egg nog or Hot chocolate? Coffee…I don’t drink anything with the word ‘nog’ in it’s name (or eat anything with the word ‘whiz’ in it).

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? Usually we wait till after the 1st because it's Brad's birthday and we don’t want to interfere with his day.

4. When do you take it down? Some years we put up all red decorations on it after Christmas and call it a Valentines tree (so that’d be around February).

5. Colored lights or white on house? Every color of the rainbow….last year we found purple…cool!

6. Do you have a Nativity set? We have a collection…is that sacrilegious?

7. Favorite gift as a child? Barbie Dream House….ok, so it was a Train set, what of it?

8. Worst Christmas gift? Don’t make me choose.

9. Best Christmas story? The year my oldest sister (she hates when I call her that) went downstairs (at 4am) and un-wrapped ALL the gifts (there were 7 of us kids) and then re-wrapped them. As I was coming down the stairs she proceeded to list my entire gift inventory.... when I went back upstairs crying to my parents about it, I got in trouble for waking them up…… (sometimes it DOES matter who started it).

10. Christmas nightmare? See above.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas (except for the choreography number, we fast forward thru that!).

12. Ever recycled a gift? Of course, it’s called re-gifting, and it’s a lovely tradition.

13. Favorite food during the holidays? Pumpkin Pie.

14. Favorite Christmas song? Pretty much all of them, but fav would probably be…’Mary, did you know’.

15. Open gifts Christmas Eve or morning? When I was a kid we always got to open our gifts from Grandparents on Christmas Eve (usually pjs. which we then wore to bed) so I do the same with my kids. If Grandma is in town, the family comes over and we exchange family gifts after a big dinner. I love the food part and the getting together part the most. We also traditionally give the kids books on Christmas Eve because they kinda get overlooked amidst all the hoopla in the morning.

16. Like snow?...can you ice skate? Love snow, from the comfort of a warm house, lit fireplace and good movie on TV….it makes for a very nice backdrop. And if clinging to the wall as I stumble around a rink counts...why yes, I can ice skate.

17. When did you learn the truth about Santa? You know I always just assumed it was a ‘hoax’ we older kids fabricated for the younger ones entertainment. I really don’t remember ever believing in Santa…

18. Favorite Holiday dessert? Pumpkin Pie…didn’t we go over this?

19. Candy canes, yuk or yummy? I love candy canes…all year.

20. Best part about Christmas? You know, it really is about family and celebrating the birth of Christ. Linus does a great job of imparting to us the true meaning of Christmas...when I'm stressed about how little we can afford in the way of gifts this year, I need that little reminder.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree...

..Oh Christmas Tree...

...I love lights. I love Christmas decorations of all kinds, we (ok...I) decorate every possible surface during the holidays. My ony disappointment this year is that because of the high cost of electricity (and the fact that we usually put up enuf lights to be seen from space :) we will not be decorating our yard this holiday season...bummer. Oh well, we still have them all over the house....some things are just worth giving up food for!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


What do you do when something you have participated in, are involved in creating, has been turned into a sleazy mess…..

Just got finished watching the end of the year football video, a compilation of video highlights and still photographs (mostly mine) from this year’s football season. Good video, nice action shots (ahem) …but the ‘music’ which encompasses the entire video is stomach turning. Offensive, inappropriate, violent….the list goes on and on. I counted the s-word at least 3 times and the f-word once…and in my opinion the use of the n-word is no less disgusting simply because it is uttered by a black man (3 times!). What little censoring they attempted was in muting the sound at the point of the expletive….unfortunately the ‘editors’ were not very adept and most of the language comes thru...loud and clear.

I find it inexplicable that gangsta hip-hop was used to accompany a football video, especially in a rural town where half the kids are probably listening to Tim McGraw on their radios. And our star running back, one of the best in the valley, is a wonderful Christian young man…how sad that his parents will have this as a memento of his junior year….I guess they can always mute the sound. And that tired old, ‘this is what kids listen to’ just doesn’t cut it here. Who’s in charge? And who ultimately is shelling out $30 to purchase this tripe?

If a movie is well-made and intelligently scripted without the use of expletives, the audience doesn’t walk away thinking “great movie, needed more cursing”. Why aren’t we introducing kids to a higher level of thinking about music here? When my 17yr. old, football-playing son watched, ‘Remember the Titans’ a couple years ago, he asked for the music CD for Christmas and it has become one of his favorites. Would he have ever thought to listen to Creedence Clearwater if not for that movie? And classical music, used to inspire and move an audience, is not usually the kind of music kids seek out at the record store, but it can be used quite effectively to impart an emotional response. Background music should be unobtrusive, almost unnoticeable except in its impact on an audience.

So now what, what is my responsibility here? MY name is in the credits, those are my pictures accompanying this filth. At the very least, I will be removing myself from future projects with the organization that was hired to put this together (there are plans to do the same for basketball and baseball). I guess I will be chatting with the gal who owns the company, not looking forward to that. I don’t know her well, but we did have a fairly extensive conversation at one of the games about music and the type that would be used with the video, funny that everything she said that night is completely the opposite of what ended up in the final product. What happened? Tho I wasn’t being paid, the football boosters did give me a fairly substantial gift for taking the photos and donating to the video (as well as doing the program, coach’s gifts, team photos etc.). They’ve done a lot to promote my budding photography business and wanted me to get credit for my “beautiful photos”. I actually feel a bit guilty for taking a stand here, how ridiculous is that?

I want to continue taking sports photos and plan to offer my services free of charge to all teams that want me at their games….but I’ve learned an important lesson here, I will never allow use of my photographs and my name on anything I haven’t gotten to view first.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Probably should wait until Mother's day to print this, but I thought it was funny....

Why did God make mothers? These are answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world and my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time,
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another senior

...and I am such a loser :( Not a great expression on his face (heck, not even a good expression) but it was the only salvageable shot on the bridge, most were out of focus (and over exposed)...UGH!
Maybe sports photography is where I belong (and should stay!!!).
My only consolation was that this was taken at the end of summer and my lens has since been to the shop and back...issue supposedly fixed. It does seem to be performing much better lately so I may just have to redo this session and chalk it up to experience (doing a lot of that lately!)