Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Scaling the Mountain

Between General Conference sessions on Saturday afternoon, we took a family hike and scaled the majestic Rainbow Mountain.  With it's peak soaring up to a towering 1,100 feet in elevation, our heads were spinning, vision blurred, and we nearly collapsed due to a lack of life giving oxygen.  Somehow, someway, we all dug down deep within ourselves to find the steely resolve to conquer this grueling beast....

...ok, so maybe we drove up to the top in about 5 minutes, but we still had a nice hike.  Below are some photos.

Look how excited she is!

Defying death one step at a time

Spreading his wings to fly

Give me that camera

Happy times on the mountain

Although a little too much mountain air does mess with your mind

My hiking buddies
Perfect day for a hike

Surfing down the rock

This was a very over exposed photo that I messed with and converted to B&W

Such a poser

Lazy fall afternoon

HD is such a chick magnet

Here are my favorite people

It was a beautiful day to be outside

There was a hint of fall colors

6 Candles, 4 Candles, and a Few More

Last Friday we celebrated birthdays for Bimmer (6), Firebolt (4), and Grandma (more than the other two).  I kinda failed on my photographic responsibilities and didn't get many photos, but here are a few.  I took some video as well, but haven't had a chance to look at it yet.  Maybe one day I'll get some video posted...maybe.  :)

Birthday girl on the right

This was Firebolt's cake per request.  Nice job Mommy!

Bimmer's dinosaur fossil cake per request. Awesome job Q!

Laura and Aunt Sonnie

Bimmer with his best bud Chocolate George

With his new picture drawn by grandpa Jack.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Become as Little Children

OK, so I know this is my photo blog, but I've had something on my mind the past couple of days and I thought I'd share it.  And since this blog centers mainly around photos of my kids, I think it's appropriate here.  :)

I was recently reading a talk about one of the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The Savior was asked by His 
disciples who will be the greatest in the kingdom of God. In response Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)  The talk focuses on what it means to become as little children, and how having qualities like them can help us prepare to enter the kingdom of Heaven.  Below is a link to the talk.

As I read this I thought about my children, and what attributes they have that I need to try and emulate more in my life.  I first thought about my oldest son, who will turn 6 in a few days.  Almost anytime I am home, he wants to be with me.  If he is drawing dinosaurs or volcanoes, he wants me to draw them with him.  If he's playing with his Hotwheels cars, he wants me to have some as well to play with him.  If I'm going out for a run, he wants to go running with me.  If I'm just going to the store, he wants to be with me.  

As I considered how much my son wants to be with me, I wondered: how much do I want to be spending time with my Heavenly Father?  Am I looking for enough opportunities to spend with him?  For instance, am I spending time in prayer everyday and also keeping a prayer in my heart throughout they day?  Am I reading and pondering the scriptures and how the application of the principles taught in them can bring me closer to Him?  Am I reading and pondering the words of the current prophet and apostles?  Am I serving His children and about doing good?  Or, am I more content to follow after more selfish and worldly pursuits and entertainment? 

Also, my daughter, who will be 4 in about two more weeks, wants to do things that make me happy and make me proud of her.  For example, she constantly shows love by giving hugs and kisses and saying that she loves me and that I'm her best friend (she also says that to her mom and brother).  When she remembers something she is supposed to do, like eating over her plate or getting her pajamas on, she is looking for me to notice that and beams whenever I do notice.  She wants so much for me to be pleased with her.

How much do I want to please my Heavenly Father?  Do I make decisions and do good to others that will help Him be happy with me?  Do I try and keep His commandments so that I can show Him that I love Him and so that He will be pleased with me?  Or again, am I too centered on myself by focusing on selfish desires and wants?  

Of course there are many applications of the admonition of the Savior to become as little children, but these are just some of my thoughts from reading the article mentioned above.  I hope that maybe they can be of benefit to anyone who reads this.  I'm grateful for the teachings of the Savior.  I know that as I try to incorporate these teaching in the way I live everyday that the Lord will bless me and my family and prepare us for eternal life with Him.  I also know that when I fall short of these teachings, He is ready and willing to help me get back up and try again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Camera, Same Cute Kids

I have sold all of my Pentax gear.  It was a great camera system and they produce excellent lenses.  However, I have decided to go a different route.  I now own a Panasonic GH1.  It is a micro 4/3 camera, meaning it uses a little bit of a smaller sensor than a DSLR, but still produces excellent photos.  Not quite to the level of a DSLR, but also not too far behind it.  One of the big advantages of this camera is it is smaller, lighter, and takes awesome video.  I have decided that I want to do more video of the kids instead of just photos, so it made sense to go to this system.  I do have some photos I will eventually post that I took with my Pentax K-x right before I sold it (I attempted some senior portraits of my sister, Taylor), but I'm still slowly going through and editing them...very slowly.  Sorry Taylor. :p

However, I haven't posted any photos of the kids lately, so I wanted to get some more recent ones posted.  The following photos were all taken with my new camera system.  I will get videos uploaded hopefully later in the week.

Hope you all are doing well.

She REALLY loves her little brother

My boys

Our little Firebolt loves to dress up with any accessories she can find.

HD enjoying a little time in his super saucer.

He was playing in the back of my truck and saw me with the camera and just stared at me like this. He has to make sure he looks cool.  ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hiking in the Chattahoochee Forest

Here's a few photos taken during a hike last month in the Chattahoochee Forest.  I was there from some boys from our church on a High Adventure activity.  The hike was 7 miles one way and we had to cross a river...not on a bridge, but through the river...about 20 times each way.  The hike was exhausting, but well worth it.  We hiked to a waterfall, had fun jumping off of it, then hiked back.  I didn't really get any photos of the falls because I was too busy jumping off them.  I did get some photos of the boys jumping off though.  :)

The couple of photos I have of the river were using a slow shutter speed of 1/8 of a second.  I should have been using a tripod but didn't bring one with me.  With the photos shrunk down some they still look fairly sharp, but next time I'll have to bring the tripod with me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Swept Away

You may remember the photo below that I took a few months back of the Lone Tree.  Normally if I feel like going for a drive I'll go down this road because it's quiet with lots of open space, and I always enjoyed seeing this tree as I passed by.  OK, call me a tree hugger if you'd like, but I do really enjoy observing nature.

Lone Tree
After all the tornadoes blew through on April 27, I wondered what happened to this tree and if it made it through.  I knew that one of the huge EF-5 tornadoes went right through the area where the tree was.  I tried several times in the following couple of weeks to drive down there, but the road was blocked off while recovery efforts were in the works.  I finally got a glimpse of the tree a couple of weeks later and noticed that much of the tree had been destroyed in the storms, but it was still standing.  I didn't have my camera with me at the time, but I finally made it back last week and found that the tree had been cut down.

I realize it may be a silly thing, but I'll miss seeing "my" tree when I drive down this road.

So long

Probably one of my favorite things to observe in nature is water.  Anything from rivers, streams, lakes, rain, and especially the power of the ocean.  Last month I took a hike with some youth from church in north Georgia where we had to cross a stream several times before making it to a waterfall.  I've got quite a few water shots, so I'll hopefully get some of those posted soon...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Using Nicknames

I've been thinking about this for a while now and have finally gone back and taken out all of the times I've used the names of family on this blog.  Since this is a public site, I feel better about withholding the names and using nicknames I've come up with for this blog instead.  I've noticed other people have done similar things on their blogs.

I apologize for deleting any comments from my previous posts.  Again, I'm just removing all given names from my blog.  I always appreciate your comments!

So here are the new names you'll see:

This is Q, my beautiful wife.

This is Bimmer.  Before he was born we were trying to decide what to  name him, and since I drove an old BMW for the first few years of our marriage, we nicknamed him Bimmer until we finally came up with his real name.

This is Firebolt. Just matches her fun and fiery personality.  :)
This is hot dog bun (HD for short). The story with this is I was joking with the kids about what we should name him, and  being silly I suggested hot dog bun.  They both started cracking up, so the name stuck. 


I haven't been able to get many photos posted lately.  As I'm sure you all know we had several tornadoes pass through our area a couple of weeks ago.  This caused much destruction and devastation to our area and many other places around north Alabama. Our home was spared any damage, just didn't have power for a week.  It's been heartbreaking to see families who have lost their homes, friends, and family members.  However, it's been very inspiring to see the community come together to help out their neighbors.

Another deterrent from my photo taking/posting has been a major work project that has been keeping me working between 12-13 hours a day leaving little energy for any photo work.  Hopefully that will come to an end in the next week or so.

However, I do have a few photos to post from before the storms came through.  I'll just post one for now, which is now one of my favorites.  Bimmer loves to dress up, especially as super heroes like Spiderman and Mr. Incredible.  For Easter Q got Bimmer this Spiderman mask to match his Spidey costume.  He loves it!  He was out in the yard with his heroic garb on and I asked if I could take a photo of him.  He grabbed the funnel you'll see on his hand (I guess maybe as a special, terrifying weapon?) and struck this pose.  So funny.  I love this kid!

This photo was taken with my 50mm prime and edited in LR3.  I used many clarity adjustment brush layers on Bimmer and his costume to give him that "edgy" look.

Villains and enemies beware!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not too Young to Drive

Here's a video of Bimmer driving the jeep.  Can you guess what he's doing when he stops and sticks his hand out?  I couldn't, so I asked him.  Around the Orlando area there are many toll roads, and Bimmer had observed us stopping at the tolls and paying money.  He told me he was paying his toll to drive on to the field.  :)

Roady to Florida

Earlier in the month we were able to take a family trip to Florida.  I had to go down for a work conference, but we left a few days early so we could go down and do some things as a family.  We first stopped to visit Q's grandparents, then went to Mommy Dearest's house to hang out with her and her family.  Before I had to check in for the conference, we even made a trip to Dinosaur World! We had a great trip.  The only thing that I can think of that didn't go well is we found out HD hates to travel.  For the 12 hours we were in the car on the way down he cried for probably 8 hours...and I'm NOT exaggerating.  He was much improved on the way back.  He probably cried for only 6 of the 12 hours.  We contemplated just mailing him home with overnight shipping, but decided that might be a little too expensive.  :)  <- Just in case someone didn't pick up on the sarcasm there...I'm totally kidding about mailing him home. 

Here are some pics from our trip.  I didn't really take any at the conference.  Didn't think anyone would be too interested in checking out a bunch of people listening to lectures.

Firebolt sleeping with the horse (pronounced 'hussy') at Mommy Dearest's house.

HD checking out the dinos with Mommy Dearest

Bimmer seems unconcerned with the large reptile sneaking up behind him.

It's the T-Rex!!!

This is the last we saw of Bimmer.  I hope he tasted good anyway.  ;)

HD decided dinosaurs are pretty darn cool.

On the way back from Dinosaur World we stopped by dad's grave site.  It was his birthday that day. Happy birthday dad, I miss you man!

Bimmer riding the jeep.  I think he may have thought he was in Heaven at this point.  Obviously he was wrong considering there was no surf in that lake.

Faster than fast, quicker than quick!

On the drive home we stayed the night in Tallahassee to break up the trip and stopped by mine and Q's first apartment after we were married.  The top left used to be our old pad.