Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome Baby Bryan

Yesterday we got to meet a new addition to the family, baby Bryan. Born to Julianne's cousin, Teresa, and her husband James just one week ago today. James has yet to meet his son as he is serving our country with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq. Welcome to the family little Bryan! Isn't he adorable?

Teresa and Bryan

Fast asleep after his bottle

Feeding time

Look at those feets!

Too cute

Mommy and son

Be sure to check back on Saturday, Sept 6 for the details of my photo project I'll be hosting. Click here for preliminary details.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Calling All Photographers

I've decided to host my first photo project. I have no idea if anyone will participate but I'm going to give it a try. I've had this idea stirring in my head for a while now. I'll give some details here and now, and then more will follow. The specific will be posted here Saturday, September 6.
  • The project will go on for one week. It will begin Sunday, September 7 and end Saturday, September 13.
  • There will be one main theme but each of the seven days will have a different focus.
  • You'll be asked to shoot specific objects or concepts in creative ways. (That's as detailed as I'll get for now! Maybe because I haven't actually picked them yet.)
I'd love for you to participate all 7 days but don't feel obligated. I won't have rigid rules for two reasons: 1) most of you would break them and 2) I want you to be creative. I'll ask you to try to shoot specifically for the project rather than looking for past images you've taken. But again, I'm not going to hunt you down if you don't do that. You may post one photo or a series; add comment (my preference) or be wordless.

If you know others that might enjoy this pass on the news. I want everyone to have fun with this and I'm really excited to see what everyone posts. Let me know if you think you'd like to participate.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Feeling Patriotic

In light of the current political climate, with the conventions taking place, and the presidential race heating up, I'm taken back a few years. I find myself reflecting to when we lost Ronald Reagan to his battle with Alzheimer's disease. Living so close to the Reagan Library, I remember how amazed I was at the tremendous outpouring of well wishes, mementos, and memories left at the entrance to the library. It was a wonderful tribute to, in my opinion, one of our finest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Denial

I'm back at work and fighting the thought. Denial about the end of summer. Sure I'm excited about starting a new school year in a new school. But I've also enjoyed my time off. Ok, I could have done without the surgery part, but still. My friend at work just got back from Hawaii. So I'm dreaming once again. Here are some images from 3 long years ago when Julianne and I went to Maui. Maybe Lily would like to go next summer. Something to think about.

These first two shots were taken at a Luau. I like the slow shutter speed on the first one with the dancer. And I love the contrast on the guy eating fire in the second shot.

This statue shot was taken at Mama's Fish House. This place is to die for.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hodge Podge Vacation Pics

These are just a few more from Oregon. There was not a particular theme for these, hence the post title. I really love how the bench image turned out. I think it may make its debut as a new header in the near future.

I got into my classroom today! What a mess. The previous teacher retired and left lots and lots of trash stuff. Perhaps she was being thoughtful and thought that maybe her successor might benefit from all the junk she left. Either way, I've got lots of cleaning left to do. It feels good to be setting up a classroom again. It's really getting me back into the sense of teaching again. I'm nervously excited about having my own classroom again. Pray I keep this enthusiasm as the semester moves forward.

I love this bench I found in Jacksonville.

Lily playing at a park in Ashland

We stayed in Sacramento on the way up and the way back. This was taken by on a very hot day on the way up to Oregon. Can you tell we were having fun?

I had been seeing bumble bees in the front yard every time we went over Donna and Perry's home. I finally got a shot of them as we were heading out of town. This is one of the last shots I took in Oregon.

Lily kept running in and out of the house. Here she is looking oh so cute looking out at us on the patio.

I'm so glad Julianne asked me to take this one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Oregon shots just keep coming

Hope you're not sick of images from Oregon yet. I just edited another dozen or so. I'll spread them out over a few days and be done with Oregon and I'll move on to something else.

I went in to set up my new classroom today. I loaded my truck with all the things that were packed in the garage for the past 4 years when I left classroom teaching. I got to the new school and no one was there. I received a nice welcome letter last week which stated that we could start coming in to set up. I think today must have been some holiday of which I was unaware. My apologies to you if today was the most sacred of occasions for you as I sit here in ignorance. So I'll try again tomorrow.

Ok, on to the pictures. These five images were all taken in the cute little town of Jacksonville.

I've been loving brick lately. I saw this wall and knew I had to use it. Julianne's cousin, Perry, got them laughing like this. Thanks Perry!

I saw this beautiful sky formation. I thought it worked well with the lines of the buildings below.

When I saw this bike approaching, I had to get a shot of the goggled doggy.

Julianne's uncle Claude wanted me to get a shot of the interior of this old time barber shop. So I also got the exterior. I like them in b&w. I might go back and try sepia.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wildlife Excursion in Oregon

Last Sunday we went on another excursion while in Oregon. This one took us to a place called Wildlife Images - an animal rehabilitation and education center. We saw lions cougars and tigers wolves and bears. And some other fun critters. Most of the animals were behind heavy-mesh fencing which made taking pictures rather difficult. The blurriness of some of the following pictures is actually the out-of-focus fencing. You could imagine my excitement when we went to see the eagles, they rolled up a window leaving no barrier between us and them. I have always wanted to get shots of eagles so this was a real treat. Here are some favorites from this excursion.

These two shots of this eagle and the following shot of another eagle are my favorites.

An awesome shot if it weren't for that mesh fencing.

Right after shooting this picture, this HUGE bear got up and walked toward us. We were putting an awful amount of faith in a very simple and thin fence. The bear was about 1 foot away from me as we were both right up against the fence. Take note of those razor sharp claws. I had my long lens on and couldn't get any good shots at that range. You'll have to take my word for it. :)

Do wildflowers count? I couldn't resist.

Party #2

Julianne already posted about Lily's panda party so I'll avoid retelling the same thing. I'm including just one of the pictures she used. So many of you were impressed with the store bought cake we had up in Oregon. But Lily's panda cake was really impressive. Made the night before the party by Julianne and my sister, it came out wonderful. And it tasted even better than it looked, if you could imagine that! So you're getting a repeat picture of the cake and a few other shots from Lily's big day.

Lily and Emma playing

Lily and Rachael in the pool

Lily absolutely adores Samantha

Mommy and Lily saying "cheese"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl: Party #1

I had planned on posting pictures of another excursion from Oregon but several of you commented on how you missed pictures of Lily. How could I resist posting more pictures of our baby? Lily turned 2 while on our trip to Oregon. Actually, the same day as my surgery. But I was back to the house in plenty of time to celebrate the occasion with everyone. We had a small celebration up in Oregon and tomorrow we are having a small party here at home; nothing like the bash we threw last year for her first birthday. So here are some pictures from our celebration in Oregon and tomorrow night I'll have some pictures of her birthday party.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nature Walk

Last Saturday we drove from where we were staying in Medford, Oregon, up to Julianne's cousin and her husband's (Debbie and Ron) place up in the city of Rogue River. The house is on 30 acres of land. Several of us went for a walk down near the creek. Donna (Julianne's cousin Perry's wife) and I were armed with our cameras and lenses and were ready to shoot. Aside from the heat we had a great time and stumbled upon lots of great finds. Here are my favorites from our walk.

Debbie and Ron's home in Rogue River

The path leading to the creek

This woodpecker easily got our attention.

Just as the woodpecker flew away I was greeted by this butterfly

I was so excited to see these two down near the creek. One of them stuck around for quite a while so I could get lots of great shots.

I think I'm being told what he (she?) thinks of me taking so many pictures

Julianne's cousin, Perry, didn't want to scare the deer away and stood very still like this so we could keep getting many great shots. Whata guy!

Reflection on the creek/pool

Here are what the deer were after: wild blackberries

While shooting the deer I looked down and found this guy just staring at me.

Walking back to the house

Back at the house, Perry was giving a tractor ride to Julianne and Lily

Back at Debbie and Ron's place