Friday, May 28, 2010

unrelated

Just posting a few pics...non of which have any particular story...just pics that I like:)

My amazing husband:

Golfing on our anniversary weekend...


at a softball game..


Lake Winnepausakee...Meredith Bay.. (pics I snapped on a walk for some ice cream)..




Jessalyn. Love her. She's really not mad..this is her usual picture taking pose.


Actually..now that I think of it, she was kinda mad because she finished her ice cream and she wanted more. She really thought that I would get her another ice cream after eating an entire cone. She's a hungry growing girl:)

90 degrees in May!

90 degree weather in May in NH is unheard of...until now. We have had some crazy hot weather here lately...which has lead to some great days at the beach and front yard water play. Of course, Jessalyn and Ethan are pretty mad since they are still in school and are missing out on all of this fun!

Here are a handful of the many pics that I took while playing with a hose...

















Thursday, May 27, 2010

BBQ smoke and sun = really cool

So this morning I decided to set my alarm at 4:30 am, in order to wake up in time for sunrise so that I could get a really cool shot of the sunflare in the early morning haze.

...Ok, don't believe that for a second. Actually....

I was driving in the driveway after t-ball today and saw the coolest looking sunflare coming through the trees. I ran inside to grab the camera (even forgetting to take Owen out of his seat). When I got out with the camera, I realized that it looked extra cool because our neighbors were grilling what smelled like a super yummy dinner:) ..which was the exact moment when all my kids decided they wanted steak for dinner.

It really does look like I could have gotten up bright and early for these shots though:)









Now I'm craving some steak on the grill!

Shoe tying 101.

Ok, so I am very excited about this new little trick:) I have found that teaching a kid how to tie their shoes is one of the most frustrating thing to do as a parent.

Lately Luke has been very eager to learn...and I have been very eager for him to learn since he likes to wear his cleats 24/7 (and we don't wear shoes inside the house). This involves lots of tying on my part so him learning would be helpful to both of us.

After a super great trick from a high school friend who happens to be an occupational therapist...we have quickly gone from tears to big smiles as he has pretty much figured it out in just a morning.

The trick? Two different colored pipe cleaners!!

Here is a video...

video

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Waterfalls

It was nice to have a little time to hike all by myself. I'm not sure I've ever done that before:) I had all the time in the world to mess with my settings and tripod...and not have anyone waiting on me to continue on our way.

Here are a couple of my faves from the day.









These photos were taken with my ISO as low as my camera will go (200) with an f-stop as high as my camera will go (f22) and a shutter speed in the range of 1 to 2 seconds. I had my little tripod with me and was also using a a polarizer filter on my lens (to help with some of the glare from the water).

There's a long way between f22 and f1.8.

I love my D40. It has served its purpose well... more than well. I don't know how many shutter clicks it has survived, but I would guess (according to my "my pictures" file) its close to, if not more than, 20,000. So far, its still going strong.

In researching this camera I found mostly nothing but great reviews. It is easily considered the best "entry level" DSLR for the money. I would have to agree. In reading the reviews, one of the things that was mentioned was that the D40 has many of the features of some of the other higher priced cameras, but that the functions were harder to get to. Meaning, you have to wade through the cameras menu to get the settings where you want them....as apposed to having a 'one click' type digital button that allows for quick setting changes.

When I first got the D40, I would have never thought this would be an issue. I assured myself that I would just get to know my camera and the menu...which I did, and up to very recently have not had a problem with this.

Last weekend I was asked to photograph a wedding. This was a small wedding...only Bride/Groom, both sets of parents, 7 year old son, and their dog. They chose a beautiful spot next to a waterfall and the little hike down there was perfect! The ceremony was lovely and the couple looked amazing. I enjoyed this capturing this wedding.

I was a little apprehensive at first, knowing that photographing waterfalls is difficult enough on their own, never mind trying to properly expose a waterfall AND people a the same time. I knew going in that it would be difficult to get that 'perfect waterfall look' while at the same time have a nicely focused couple. My game plan was to try with slightly slower shutter speeds to get the good waterfall look, but hopefully not too slow to get a fuzzy couple...but then to just go back to the good ol' fast shutter speed and normal f-stop to be sure that I got decent shots of the couple no matter what the waterfall in the back looked like. I figured, a wide aperture could possibly make for some decent waterfall bokeh. Still tricky though..considering the exposure issue!

What all this means, is that with my D40, the only way to bump up the f-stop is by toggling the little dial behind the shutter release with my thumb. (imagine, taking a picture with a disposable film camera where you have to advance the film after each picture). Its alot of 'toggling' between f1.8 and f22 (which is what is necessary for good waterfall exposure). Not to mention, once you get to the proper f-stop, then you have to toggle that dial more in order to get to get to the proper exposure.

Most times, this is not an issue for me. More often than not, I am not switching back and forth that dramatically anyway...and never am I trying to do this quickly while a wedding party is freezing cold next to a waterfall! I was trying to go as fast as possible, but for the first time since having my D40 was really thinking...."wow..this would be so much easier with a different camera!".

I will, of course, share a few here, but there are more on smugmug. I'm not totally done post processing...I haven't done any of the actual ceremony pics or the family shots...they will come soon.





















After the wedding, I hiked back down to the falls by myself and spent some time focusing on just the waterfall. I'll be sure to post those pics soon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Finally some competition!

For anyone who knows my family, you will know that we tend to be a little bit on the competitive side...ok, maybe alot:) But..it's all in good fun of course! I've probably mentioned this before, but Josh and I have a habit of turning almost everything into a game....and Josh almost always wins, unless we are playing air hockey and in that case I can usually come out victorious.

Josh would argue with that last statement.

In our town, the kids play t-ball from kindergarten through second grade. In this t-ball league, its strictly instructional with a few scrimmages against the other teams, but definitely no score keeping. This is a good thing for them while they learn the game.

Finally, this year, Jessalyn is on a team that the score is actual kept, strikes/balls/outs are actually counted and in the end their record matters towards something. Jessalyn is on a team that is working very hard and really really enjoying themselves at the same time..at least I know Jessalyn is! She has learned so much in the last month of practicing and now has a couple of games under her belt as well.

She has landed a position at first base which she LOVES...and is doing well with. She's got the stretch down and works very hard to keep her foot on the bag while reaching for the ball.

And..not that it matters...because its all about having fun....but :) we have also won our first two games!

Jessalyn at bat..


at first base..


sliding into home. She was safe:)


My little first baseman. Ok..she's not so little anymore.
..and she's not a man.


A play at first


The runner was safe...but it was close:)


One of my faves of little Molly catching. She might be little...but she is a GREAT player. Not only can Molly throw (she's a great pitcher as well), and catch but she just "gets" it. She knows the game well.


"Good game Moultonboro, thank you officials!"


Many more pics on smugmug of course..in the Events category titled "Softball".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My life is a logistical nightmare.

I was going to post this as my status message for today on facebook...but I couldn't bring myself to do it, because I didn't want it to come across as negative. I mean really..my life is far from a "nightmare" (I absolutely LOVE my life and my family and all of the things my kids are into and really couldn't be happier!), but this last week has proven to be a logistical mess as Josh and I try to keep up with our family's schedule. And before you think I might be "complaining"...I know, I know...we were the ones who did not prevent these little monsters who are a large part of our schedule craziness....I am not complaining, necessarily:)

This week was the start of t-ball for both boys, each two days a week on different days. Add this to Jessalyn's softball schedule, a vbs planning meeting, a National Day of Prayer practice, a board meeting, youth group, the actual National Day of Prayer concert and a worship team practice we have just filled up every single night of this week. This is with a husband who works more than 40 hours per week and would love to be staying late to work on "The Bu" that is not running at the moment. Now, not all weeks are like this. In fact, we try to prevent weeks like these..but there are just times when it really can't be prevented.

Pretty much forget about dinner...its cereal, poptarts and bagels for the Browns:)

As we try to finagle babysitting and who is covering who this week, Josh and I have had some funny conversations. Sometimes our schedule is like a puzzle..and to overhear us trying to work out the pieces has to be a bit comical.

So as I spent today trying to plan out how this evening would work..with me needing to be in Concord, and Ethan needing to be at t-ball, and Josh not able to leave work early...and us only having one car** , it came down to a call to the neighbor (who happens to be Ethan's t-ball coach) for help and an elaborate plan of action for the rest.

Even though I found myself a bit stressed as to how the day was going to go, I was certain that it would all work out in the end. It always does.

This leads me to my devotions for today. I sat down, just a few minutes ago, to stop and read a devotional book that one of my besties, Karole-Ann, gave me. Its a devotional for "ministry wives".

I'm just going to type out what I read today..because it couldn't have been more fitting for me at this VERY moment. (..and am I surprised by that? No. But it sure is encouraging when you God shows himself in these ways!)

I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do no know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. Isaiah 42:16

This is the devotion by Noel Piper:

I'd read in the Little House books about blizzards so thick you could get lost between house and barn. But I never thought blizzards like that happened to real people in real life.


My husband and I were driving home from a speaking engagement in South Dakota-across the prairie through a horizontal gale that was spray painting everything white. Centerline, shoulders, and ditches had disappeared. We couldn't pull off- we'd be buried in the snow and we'd freeze. Anyway, where was "off"? We surely didn't want to stop where another car could plow into us.


A semitrailer saved us. Its driver sat high, with the perspective to make out the snow bumps of sign-posts and other indicators of the road. We fell in behind him, thankfully and trustfully, our eyes glued to his lights. When he slowed, we slowed. When he swerved, so did we. Some days I feel as though I'm in a blizzard, with all the normal pointers obliterated. But Jesus, my Savior, can see my road all the way to my destination, including every curve, bump, and blind spot that confronts me today.


In that prairie snowstorm, I had to keep my eyes on the semi and follow it; I didn't have any other choice if I wanted to avoid crashing. Every day we need to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) and follow him' we don't really have any other choice- besides crashing.


Now, if that wasn't a more practical devotion for my day..for my week...I don't know what is!

I am thanking Him for his constant provision for my life!

**and as for the 'one car' issue. We are blessed that Josh is able to drive to and from work using a vehicle from his boss, but he does not want to take advantage of this by using that vehicle to drive all over the place. He is determined to keep "The Bu" alive...just for a little while longer!!