Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Horse Head

   Often times we find gratitude through opposition.  That was my morning.  We run on a pretty tight schedule on school days, mostly trying to maximize morning sleep time for my son.  Add to the pressure of the morning was the fact that today was a MSP testing day.   Of course, this would be the morning that I couldn't find the car keys.  Normally we keep the keys on this:

Yes, you are seeing that right.  It is a horse head.  One of Jim's co-workers had gone home to Mexico and brought this gift back for Jim.  My girls complain and have tried to remove it but there it is and there it will remain until further notice.    Since I have a tendency to lose things this horse and I have become friends.  I am faithful in placing all keys there.  I haven't lost my keys for ages, (except for the spare key to my car)  that is until this morning.  Walker and I looked everywhere.  Desperate, I called my friend, Denise.  She picked Walker up and took him to school in time for testing.   Later I found my keys in a pocket. I know, the first place I should have looked.

It is a sweet feeling to find that which was lost.  A feeling of gratitude, as clear cut as it gets.

I can't let the day go by without mentioning friends.  Thanks, Denise for saving the day.  She is a very giving person and someone I can count on.    

Maybe a little opposition in life is good.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gratitude number two.  Laughter.   A great companion for any day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The other day I was reading about someone who did  365 days of gratitude in pictures.  The idea intrigued me.  Could I do it?  Keep it up?  I'm not sure.  It might be worth a try.  
The first problem I encounter with this project  was there were too many things I am grateful for so I'll have to pace myself.  Yesterday was Mother's day.  I love my mom and I love my kids and I love my grandchildren.  It was the best Mother's Day that I've ever had.  Really.  That is why I am starting with a picture of Jim. Maybe that only makes sense in my mind but my logic is simple.  He is my partner in life.  WE love our family.   We are making this journey together.     I am grateful for him. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life Lesson

Yesterday I taught my primary class a lesson about Josiah, the boy king. He is the one that had the temple repaired and the workers found the lost book of the law. (the scriptures) Josiah was distressed when it was read to him because the people had strayed so far from the truth. The lesson plan suggested that I bring a book that was a personal record of some type to show that we need written records to remember the past. When I opened the cupboard above my computer that contains genealogy and photo albums I did a quick scan and then grabbed a binder that was simply labeled with a piece of tape, Dad's letters. I knew that would work.
During the class I shared the book. Dad would combine a memory from his past with current events. Of course he would add humor. They are well written and a treasure since my dad's short term memory is struggling at this time. I'm so very grateful to have his writings.
I randomly opened the binder and my eyes fell upon the opening of one of his letters. I laughed and shared the following story with the kids. The letter was dated November 24, 1984.

"There was this farmer, see, and he and his teen-age grandson had just finish loading a wagon load of hay and were going to cross the highway to unload it on the part of their farm which was on the other side.
Well, they no sooner got to the middle of the highway when the horses decided to balk, leaving them blocking both lanes.
Naturally, a sports car came over the crest of the hill doing 130 mph. When the driver saw the wagon full of hay, and the team of horses in the middle of the road he locked his brakes, spun around a half dozen times, skidded through the fence into the farmer's hay field, jumped a couple of ditches, crossed behind the wagon, broke through the fence in another place, bounced back up on the highway again, and, recovering his control "put the peddle to the metal" and went on his merry way.
"Wow! We sure are lucky, huh, grandpa?" exclaimed the grandson.
"I'll say," said the grandfather, "we got out of the hayfield just in time."

The girls laughed. Most of them got it. I got it on another level. It is something I've been pondering lately. Perspective and mistakes. My dear friend, Paula, is an amazing photographer up in Alaska. ( She shared, on facebook, some photos from a flight in a small plane over Wasilla not too long ago. In all the years I lived there I never saw Wasilla from Heaven's view. I saw it with my earthly eyes with all it's trials and struggles. (there were bright spots too) Her pictures made me cry. If only I could have had a different perspective back then. I would have seen more joy, appreciated the bigger picture.
I've come to look at mistakes differently too. I've made my share. Now I see that mistakes can be an opportunity to overcome and grow. When I'm taking photos I don't spend much time editing the photos that work perfectly. Now and then I come across one that missed the mark. Maybe my white balance was set wrong or something. I've learned to shoot in 'raw'. That gives me the greatest opportunity to correct. Still there are times the mistakes allows me to throw all caution to the wind and explore the vast palate of options that photoshop offers. Here is an example. The pictures are of my dear niece, Sidse, at a recent photo shoot. A before and after. I saw that there was something good in the picture even though it was so....wrong in so many ways. Still there were great lines and her beautiful eyes. I'm grateful for the mistakes. I love the results. Life lesson.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jim goes 55

It has been a busy week.  Two birthdays and a visit from our 'Arizona' daughter.  Andria was the one who grabbed my camera last night and took pictures of my hubby's birthday party.  Okay, it was dinner, and a few presents but hopefully he felt loved.

The old man hinted that he needed a new belt, so he got two. 

Check out Walker trying to get into the picture.  Silly boy. Rose, I love your smile. 

Andria noticed that the net on our hoop was pretty sad (a few pieces of string). 

This is the card that Tess made for Papa.  She is quite the artist and becoming an excellent reader.
Tess still remembers how to be 'cute'.  

Andria told Walker to smile normally.  This is about as close as he gets. 

Isn't Eli getting big?  He has been changing so much lately.  Not a baby anymore.

A big girl picture.
Sad, but Andria leaves tonight to go back to Arizona.  I'm glad she was able to come up and enjoy some beautiful fall weather and help us celebrate the birthdays.   (Brenna had one too, but I have no photo proof.  You'll  just have to take my word for it.)
Thanks, Andria for taking most of these photos.  Thanks for coming.  We love and will miss you tons.  Walker was sad on the way to school  this morning.  He doesn't want you to leave.  Hurry back.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Have you noticed the change in the air?  Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  Beautiful  warm colors, sweaters, school supplies and new hairdos.   The best!!
One day last week I had some visitors.  Three grand kids came to play while their mom went to a doctor's appointment.  Out came grandma's bucket of clips and hairbrush and grandma's hair became a canvas for their creative minds and hands.    Eli looks a bit concerned but look at the proud expression on little Tess.  Big sister, Rose, was the photographer.
When it was Roses turn I could tell something special was in the making.  She used every clip in the  bucket.  It was a good thing I had Tess take a picture or I never would have known the spectacular hairdo I was getting.

Can you believe it? I feel so blessed.    Hope you are enjoying the changes in your life.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I wanna go back

May 2009 has a special place in my photographic mind.  It was the time when Maisie fell under the same spell the rest of us suffer from.  She learned to love the beach.    That May brought beautiful clear skies and nice enough weather that we took Maisie's shoes off.   When those first grains of cold sand got on her feet she screamed.   She was dirty!!!  Oh, NO!! 

After adjusting to being barefoot her mom tried to introduce her to the ocean and it's waves.  She was....reluctant.

She was very, very reluctant.

An introduction was made.   Waves meet Maisie,  Maisie meet the Pacific Ocean.     

Completely content with the world.  Everything makes sense now.