Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another fun photoshop trick

Using depth of field to create a "miniature" look to pictures!

In order to get some really cool miniature looking pictures, you really need to have the idea in mind while taking a picture. The effect works best when you are taking a picture from a high perspective. I went through a few of my pics, thinking back to times when I might have taken a picture from this type of perspective and I came up with a few. None of them are spectacular, but I saw the results I was looking for. I will, no doubt, be on the lookout for more opportunities to play around with this idea!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"You'd better get inside or you're gonna catch pneumonia!"

How many of us have been told that line before?

I have been a mom for almost 10 years and, until this weekend, had never had any one of my four kids hospitalized. We've had our fair share of sickies and injuries, but none that have required stitches or broken bones or IV's...or anything more than a quick visit to the doc and some antibiotics for treatment. I consider it a blessing...for sure!

Early last week (3/23) Owen started in with a fever. He didn't have any other symptoms...no runny nose, no cough, no upset stomach. Just a fever that was making him feel really yucky. I did the usual tylenol/motrin treatment and in the midst of his medicine he would perk up and feel pretty good. The instant the that meds would wear off he was instantly very feverish and miserable.

We dealt with this for a good couple of days and having been through it before, I figured his body would eventually fight off whatever it working to get rid of and he would be fine.

On Friday night (3/26) he had been sleeping on the couch next to me..at about 10pm. He woke up and was really uncomfortable and he started to breath very strange. Quick breaths with a grunt sound at the end. It seemed like this process was wearing him out, but he couldn't seem to relax. I couldn't get him in a position that would get his breathing under control so after watching him for a half hour or so, we decided that I would take him to the ER.

We left the house at about 10:30 and got to the hospital at right around 11pm. We headed in to the ER where we happened to be the only patients at the time! The nurse quickly brought us back to take an oral temperature and to check his oxygen levels. She immediately realized that his oxygen was pretty low (not crazy low...but low enough to worry) and that he had a pretty good fever.

She got him set up in a room only a few minutes later with the ER doc by his side. Poor Owen saw the bed and immediately laid down. They quickly assessed that he was very dehydrated, that his heart rate was very high (170's) and that his O2 was not in a happy place (low 90's)...and they took a rectal temp that read 103.something.

They told me that he was "very sick" but that they didn't know what it was yet. After one failed attempt at starting an IV they managed to get one in on only the second try! This was a feat for them as he was very dehydrated and he's just little so that makes hitting a vein very difficult. They had just been given this little machine as a trial that used some sort of light (maybe UV?) to help find the veins. I'm pretty sure that without that, they wouldn't have been able to find his vein. They were very concerned about Owen because he hardly fought the IV process at all...he just didn't have the energy. He was sad though..he cried and said "Owwwwe!"...it was sad.

Once they got the IV in they started pushing fluids right away. They monitored his O2 levels for a while and his heart rate and eventually he calmed down a little bit. As soon as they got him calmed down a bit he went back for an xray. Owen was too cute...he was SO sick and had zero energy, but as he was being wheeled down the hall in his bed he said "weeeeeeeeee!" in his little pathetic energyless voice. The nurses could not get over how sweet he was as he thanked them for giving him drinks and was just a sweet sweet boy the entire time.

Sure enough, the xray showed a clear pneumonia..a bacterial one. IV antibiotics were started right away and we were told that we were getting a room in the ICU (not because he needed intensive care, but because he needed constant monitoring and there was a bed open in there). After some more waiting while paper works was filled and nurses and docs reported all of the 'happenings' we were finally brought up to the ICU at about 2:30 am.

We stayed in the ICU from then until Sunday. The nurses were super great. The continued to monitor him and his breathing was still not good. His fever stuck around for all of Saturday with mid 90's O2 levels. By Saturday night, his fever seemed to be more under control and his O2 level was back to 98 or so. I knew he was starting to feel better. He slept for probably 8 hours of that day. He would sit up to watch tv, but after 5 minutes or so he would get tired and his grunty breathing would start again so he would ask to lay back down and would always go right back to sleep.

This whole day was just Owen and I, because everyone else that I knew was involved with the One Voice Easter show. Cindy took Ethan and Luke for the day and Josh and Jessalyn did the One Voice thing. Then my mom took Jessalyn, Ethan and Luke for the night so that Josh could come out and visit at the hospital. Granny and Papa came to visit too! Even after sleeping for most of the day, Owen went right to sleep and slept all night long. A second dose of IV abx was started that night and by morning with two doses of abx and LOTS and I mean LOTS and LOTS of prayers, he was much better Sunday morning. Still definitely sick, but I felt more comfortable taking him home..so they let us leave.

We were able to make it for the Sunday afternoon One Voice show, but that definitely wore Owen out. By the end he was pretty grunty again...but managed to relax. He slept well Sunday night at home (...in and out of my bed) and as of now (Monday) is ok. He is still pretty grunty at times..but I am told that it will likely take a week or so for his lungs to heal. It is much harder to keep him resting at home...he wants to play with his brothers and sissy. One trip up the stairs or around the house and he gets very tired and the grunting starts.

We will go in later this week for a lung check and hopefully there will be a noticeable improvement.

Owen has certainly been a sweet boy throughout this whole ordeal.

...so today as we were leaving to pick up the kids from school in the rain I told Owen "you better put your hood on...its raining outside and you'll catch pneumonia! Oh wait..you already have pneumonia."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The kids and I have been enjoying the show called "Life" that airs on the Discovery Channel. We've only watched two episodes so far, but we are anxiously waiting for Sunday when a new one comes on. I find myself as enthralled as the kids as we learn and watch all kinds of amazing things that all of these creatures do. The camera work is absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately, the show is heavy on the evolution...talking about the millions of years that these animals have been around and how amazing it is that they all 'adapt' so well to their surroundings. For us, it has been a great time for some discussion. We have been able to have many conversations about evolution vs. creation.

The thing is, for me this show proves creation even more clearly. Even down to the littlest creatures and plants. An example....the Venus Fly Trap. We learned a lot about how these traps work. I wasn't aware that the traps have little sensors (that look like a little hair) on the inside of the trap. In order for the trap to close, something has to trigger TWO of the sensors within 20 seconds. It takes a lot of energy for the trap to close, so it doesn't want to close unnecessarily. Also, when a trap catches a fly it squeezes it until it secretes the exact things that a plant needs to live. For me..it seems that something like this could not just have just 'appeared' out of no where.

One of the things that I find interesting while watching this show with the boys is their reactions to things like a komodo dragon killing and eating a water buffalo. Its harsh..to say the least. I was telling Josh about how I asked the boys if it was scary and they were like "NO! Its awesome", but during parts where a baby was compromised or a mother died (octopus), they were very sad. "Why did the mom have to die?" and "Oh no...the fox is gonna get the baby...run baby, run!"

Josh and I were talking about how these reactions kind of show that our boys understand the idea of hunting and gathering food, and also protecting the moms and babies. In a sort of barbaric way, I really do hope that this is something that we are teaching them. It is most definitely something that is modeled to them by Josh on a daily basis. (not that he takes off every day with his gun to hunt animals...but more in a 'he goes to work and works hard to make money to support his family' kind of way!) I do pray that our boys grow up to become amazing husbands and fathers...just like their father!

...although, it sure is hard to picture them all grown up with families of their own!

*edited to add this thought*
As I was looking at the three pics I just posted, I noticed how Ethan is the only one who seems to be squinting with the light in his eyes. This is common for Ethan. I was always under the impression that people with blue eyes were more sensitive to light..but with my kids its just the opposite. Ethan is always complaining that the light is too bright. Even at the dentist they have to give him sunglasses because he can't look into the light without being uncomfortable. Its just funny that all three boys were in the exact same spot within seconds of each other for these pictures and both Luke and Owen are wide eyed and unaffected by the sun.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just for fun.

I learned a new photoshop technique:) It is now super fun for me to 'wrap' a new texture/design around different things. I mean...there isn't really any purpose to this, except that husbands and teenagers think its pretty sweet.

(I'm still trying to 'perfect' this idea, so please bear with the flaws!)

Here in our family we use the term "Dizzy Hulk" to describe the feeling of being so hungry that you can't quite function properly. (I believe this description came from an episode of "My Name is Earl" many years ago) I figured it would be appropriate to make Josh into a hulk type figure...with a rock effect to match his head wound:)

This guy is one of the teens in our youth group/Sunday school. He is big into basketball. This was an attempt at making him into a basketball. ..and if you only knew how hard it was for him to act serious for this picture. He pretty much always has a smile on his face so this look lasted for about 2.2 seconds.

Another teen from our youth group who is really into playing airsoft..so I tried out a camo look for him!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It feels like spring...

This week anyway:) Who knows what next week will be like, but for now...we in NH...bust out the sandals and embrace the sunshine while we have it!

I'm not sure what happened in my last post, but I got a few messages letting me know that a few of the pictures weren't showing up. I have no idea why that is happening, because I can see them just fine:) I will try to re-post some of them for you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A little family getaway.

After a crazy busy February we decided to take the kids away for the weekend..just the six of us. We had an awesome weekend. We had fun in the condo, we played on the beach at the ocean, we swam in the pool...and played lots of games. It went by very quickly, but it was a much enjoyed and much needed little getaway.

Here are just a few of my favorite pics from the weekend....