Saturday, July 17, 2010

(Almost A Complete) Family Picture

We went to the Point Defiance Zoo today with *almost* our entire family.  It is *almost* because we are missing Trish’s family, but since they live in Idaho, and it isn’t that easy for them to trek to Tacoma for a day, we won’t hold it against them!
We all had a great time!  Watching the kids enjoy all the sights was a blast for us all to enjoy.  It was so great to get the little kids together because they play so well together and just have an overall great time!

We all met at the zoo in the morning and spent a few hours there, then we left the zoo and had a nice picnic lunch at Owen Beach, then returned to the zoo to finish looking at all the exhibits.

I’ll post more pictures from the day *hopefully* later this week.

(On a side note:  I wore SPF 50 sunscreen and I still burned the bejeesus (sp?) out of my skin…my poor, part-albino skin just can’t hold up for very long to the sun’s powerful rays!  Poor me!)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Parker & Hailey

Parker loves his big cousin Hailey sooooo much!  Tonight when we were at dinner I told him Hailey was there and he immediately wanted out of his high chair so he could go see her.  His eyes light up at then mention of her name!  He definitely knows his big cousin is someone special!

Here are Parker & Hailey from this evening:

Hailey & Parker

Such a good picture of the two of them!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Learning To Use My Camera

I am trying to get better at taking pictures.

I am also trying to get better at editing pictures.

In order to do this I have had to learn so much about my camera.  And there is a lot to know.  Who would have thunk it?

It’s fun.  I like it.  Learning, that is.

And taking pictures.  I like that, too.

Here is one of my practice shots then I’ll tell you something I learned to try to make the shot better.

Whatcom Falls

This is a picture of Whatcom Falls in Bellingham, WA.

I always like looking at pictures of waterfalls when you see the water looking all silky and smooth.

In order to take this picture I knew I needed a longer exposure.  This is how long your camera lens stays open allowing light to reach the sensor.  Cool, huh!  That is something I learned. 

When you use a longer exposure you can’t move your camera because then you get a blurry image.  So I had to use my tri-pod (Thanks Steve & Jackie for the tri-pod).

Even when you use a tri-pod you can get shake just from pressing the shutter button.  To prevent this I used my remote (Again, thanks Steve & Jackie for the remote, too!).  This way I didn’t have to touch the camera to get the shutter to release.

To take this picture I set my camera to shutter-priority mode which allows me to control the length of time the shutter stays open.  I wanted to use a longer shutter speed like 2 or 5 seconds to see what it would do but the thing about long shutter speeds is you have to have low light.  It was simply too early and there was too much light for me to use a long exposure.  So to take this picture I set my shutter speed to 1 second.  Anything more was just too much light and my picture would have become washed out.

One year ago I would not have known how to take a cool picture of a waterfall.  I would have just set my camera to auto and started shooting.  Which would have been fine too.  But it would have stopped motion and the waterfall would look more crisp and sharp than I desired.  So I got my learn on and figured out how to make it less “crisp and sharp”.

I like how the picture came out.  I would have liked to use a longer shutter speed and see if I can make it prettier and silkier and more smooth.  Maybe one day I’ll plan better and go when the sun is setting and there is less light and try again.  I have to practice so I can take cool pictures of waterfalls when we go to Hawaii this fall.  See, there’s my motivation!

So anywho…I just wanted to share something that I learned and something I enjoy doing.  It isn’t way super cool (well, to me it is) and it’s not professional quality but it’s me.  And I kinda like being me!

Corn on the Cob

The other evening we had corn on the cob with our dinner.  Justin asked me if I thought Parker would eat it off the cob.  I answered no, we’d better cut it off the cob because otherwise he’d probably drop it to Maya after about 3.24 seconds. 

(Which, by the way, would have made Maya very, very happy because she LOVES corn on the cob).

Anyways, back to the story….

So we are eating dinner and Parker has a little red bowl with his corn off the cob in it which he ate very quickly (the kid loves corn).  When he is about done with his corn I give him some chicken, which he also eats.  At this time I am still nowhere done eating (since I am a slow eater) and Parker is getting a bit antsy-in-his-pantsy being stuck in his high chair.

So he starts to whine.  He wants down. 

I don’t want him to get down and I don’t want him to whine. 

I want him to sit quietly in his high chair with a smile on his cute face while I slowly finish my dinner.  When will I ever learn that I don’t get what I want?  When will I ever learn that my stubborn determination to get what I want probably won’t pay off?

Probably never to both of those questions.

Anyways, getting distracted again…

So to distract him I give him my corn on the cob thinking it will buy me about 3.24 seconds of peace. 

Which, by the way, I have taken a whole 2 bites of.

At this point I fully expected him to inspect the corn on the cob, get bored with it then throw it overboard.  But much to my surprise he didn’t inspect the cob then give to Maya.  He started eating it…

Then he ate it. 

Parker Corn on the Cob Close-Up


Parker Corn on the Cob

With a BIG smile on his face!

I guess I win after all!