Anecdote (13) book reviews (7) chris (1) glimpses (77) marriage (9) mommaville (37) projects (24) recipes (7) scenes (61)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Well... Assignment #3

Well... I have a confessions to make.  I never did Assignment #3.  I figure I can come up with all sorts of excuses.  Like Abs getting the flu.  Like both sets of parents arriving slightly before I had the house ready.  Like everyone coming down with colds.  Like keepin' busy with all sorts of winter fun.  But I figure you don't care much about my excuses.  And I don't either.  Sometimes you need to say, "I pass" on something and move on.

But here are some pictures of all sorts of family fun time.  My camera has still been affixed to my face.  Except for the day Chris and I escaped to Snowbird Ski Resort.  Merry Christ With Us Day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Scene of the week - Self Portrait

Another year, another project! Part #3

And a day late...but you know...
I am thinking this will have to be the last assignment in this project.  As family arrives next Wednesday and the Holiday festivities begin, my time will be spend else where.  Taking lots of pictures I am sure but of the family kind.

Assignment #3: Colors
Create a set of 15 photographs where color is the main subject.  In other words, disregard the actual subject (an umbrella, a sign, a church) and compose so that there are only 2-3 colors.  By reducing the number of colors, the photographs will feel more colorful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How the grinch stole mommy's heart:

For the last 5 years Chris and I have fought a battle I never thought we would... the battle of movie watching. No- not the classic "kids are watching too much TV" battle but instead our oldest daughter wouldn't/couldn't sit though even 5 minutes of a movie unless strapped to her car seat with the DVD player in front of her.

Really this isn't much of a problem- but when tension is running high, and dinner is cooking [burning] and I need 20 minutes to get it all under control, I really wanted/needed them to sit in front of a movie or read a book. I asked myself, "am I really going to pick this fight?"  Yes. I did.  And I won it, more or less.

All this aside - Christmas rolled around and I realized we had no Christmas movies, not a single one. Nor had my kids ever even heard of things like "the Grinch" or even Rudolph. Here is where many parents would see me as failing completely. So I went out and spent my $7 on a DVD copy of the OLD "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Well, last week Chris was gone and I was gone too. Totally frustrated, tired and worn out. Luckily we were on the way to the airport to pick up said husband. And from the backseat Bells starts to pray out loud. I cannot repeat the whole prayer- she actually prayed the entire 15 minute drive. She prayed for her Dad to stay safe, for her Mom to get rested (that melted my heart), for her siblings to know the real God...but most beautifully she started to pray for her own heart. About how she gets so excited about Christmas presents but that isn't what Christmas is really about. She asked God to help her be happy and still sing to Jesus even if she woke up on Christmas and the Grinch stole everything. She told God she was a sinner and need his help and thanked Jesus for living in her heart.

Needless to say I was softening by the moment.  How could I stay angry and frustrated with such displays of humility in the back seat?

So the Grinch stole my heart... or really the Spirit did. But who knew a Dr. Seuss story could lead a child's heart toward the things of God in such profound ways? I won't underestimate the power of a little Christmas movie in the future... or the power of my really big God.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Assignment #2- Travel without Traveling

To say this assignment was hard might be an understatement. Photographing landscapes leaves me hungering...because I never capture what I see. Add to it the fact that my surrounding are familiar, smog covered, cold and dark a fair portion of the day and let's just say I've felt very uninspired.

But I guess I took my not so inspiring surrounding and tried to work with some elements I haven't worked with much before.  Like light, for instance.  The position of the sun, reflections, textures and those impossible to get night time photographs.  And it was fun.  Painful at times but fun.

So without much further ado... I present My World from sun up to sun down, and a little in between:

And I cannot help but stick one Chris took in here.  He snapped as he sat in the hallway waiting to catch the next renegade toddler that was trying to escape nighty night time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Favorite Chicken Pot Pie

4 cups chicken, cubed and cooked
margarine or butter
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
2 celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock, hot
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons whole milk
1-2 cups frozen peas
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
2 frozen pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat skillet and melt butter.  Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper and flour, mix.  Cook for 1 minute and add hot chicken stock.  Stir until combined. Add cooked chicken and frozen peas and cook until thickened.

Prepare pie pan by lining with one of the frozen pie crusts.  Add the chicken mixture and flip the second pie crust upside down and place on top.  press down the edges and slice vents.  Bake for 35 minutes.

Scene of the week- Holiday Festivites

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another year, another project! Part 2

This is what I love about taking pictures: they stop and make me see what I am looking at.  I understand that there is the moment to set it down and join in the fun.  And often I get to caught up in taking pictures.  But last week, what would have been a mundane and forgotten trip to the cupcake store became a story line though my lens that I will not soon forget.

In my crazy dailiness called mommy-hood, I need to stop and see. See my kids for who they are becoming as a person.  See my husband and what he really needs.  See my house, my family, my health - instead of taking them for granted. Does anyone else think it is ironic that black Friday comes immediately after Thanksgiving!  I mean, we cannot stop for even one day without having to plan some momentous occasion to celebrate all the things we want. Ugh.

So here is to truly seeing:
Assignment #2 Travel without Traveling
"Think globally, photograph locally." Make the ordinary extraordinary by creating photographs where you live. This is challenging because we have become over familiarized with our surroundings.  This assignment sharpens our observation skills like no other. Without going more than 5 miles, set out to photograph your geographic context like it has never been done before. Imagine you are a foreigner and have only a short time to capture what captivates you.  Create a set of 10 strong photographs.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Assignment #1- Fill the Frame

We took a little trip to the cupcake store this morning and I snatched up my camera on the way out the door.  Until today I'd been working on the assignment but not been satisfied with any of my images.  Today was better.  And I am learning how much I rely on my zoom to compose a shot!  It worked my brain, in a good way, to not use it! (Not yet having a fixed lens.) So here's our little jaunt on a cold crisp morning, to a sweet warm haven of baking glory! Oh and have I mentioned? If you joined me on this little assignment please post the URL for your pictures in the comment section below!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Another year, another project!

If I were to sum up how I am right now I might use one word: listless.
December usually leaves me feeling this way, a little over stimulated, tired, touchy, hyper, and dismayed.  Dismayed because the Holidays are flying by and that is what I want them least to do. I don't want to get caught up in the frenzy.  I don't want to get caught up in the rush. I want to remember the moments.  I want to capture something of the deeper meanings of this time of year. And I am afraid I will miss it.

I feel like a small child who needs her parents to sit her down and impose a little quiet structure in her life.  So one again I am going to do this myself. Last year I did the Peace Project Countdown. This year I am snatching up my camera again - and applying a few rules.  I love photos.  Good photos. And I am blessed to have some friends that have taken some of the best photos I've ever scene. They inspire me: to stop and really see, to feel, to dream. To capture images that move people.

Each week I will post one assignment (for anyone who wants to join me), taken from the book, "Visual Poetry", by Chris Orwig. And at the end of the week- no matter how horrible the results may be-I will post my completed assignment.  So join me! Please!

Assignment #1 Dec 1-7th, 2011
Fill the Frame
The assignment is designed to get in close with your subjects.  The goal is to create 10 photographs where the subject fills the entire frame.  Use a focal length closest to a "normal" 50mm lens. Use tape to prevent changing the zoom.  Doing this will require that you physically move yourself forward and backward in order to compose.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Kid Project

Well, we moved our Kid Project blog this week to After launching this morning, I am uttering a big sigh of relief. Actually, after I have the next two weeks worth of posts (we leave for Oregon Saturday morning) scheduled, then I can really relax.

I never thought I'd be a blogger. That I would enjoy it so much. Or that I would now have two blogs. But I've always loved to write. After having kid #3, someone asked me what I like to do for fun and my honest response was, "sleep." Followed closely by, "I don't have hobbies anymore." Becoming a Mom is one of the biggest adjustments a person can go through. And in fact many hobbies do go out the window and many have to. Being a parent pushes your daily sacrifices way up.

But as Ezzie passed the "sleeping through the night" mark and on to the "not nursing anymore" mark- I found myself with a bit more energy, hence a bit more time since napping wasn't as necessary. I began to ask myself, what do you love to do, and are there a few things that would nourish your mothering instead of distracting from it. Writing, climbing, and reading (as long as I don't get absorbed into a fiction novel) are some of those hobbies for me. They keep me sane. They help me reflect on what God is teaching me, where I have failed, and what I am really doing with my life.

So here's to a busy week: a newly launched blog, a daughter being home schooled, two others being "toddler" schooled (you mom's of toddlers know what I mean), a house that is getting new siding and windows, a husband who is working hard and doing a class today, making turkey and a cake for house church, a 14 hour road trip in 3 days and a busy holiday season! What a week!
P.S: That little cottage we rented on the coast of Oregon for two nights? Cannot come soon enough!
New siding in the back, door coming soon!
Three little helpers in the kitchen.

Scene of the week-Gettin' that wedge