Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Mr. T get's his locks shorn! This was one of the first times he went to the "grown-up" haircutting place and was only swayed to believe this was OK once he was assured of having a lollypop afterward. Now his hair is short short short and he looks a couple of years older. I am missing my shaggy little boy but with how fast his hair grows, he should be back soon!

On a photo note, trying to get attractive photos inside an unattractive, gray-walled, fluorescent-lit room is fairly difficult. I ended up boosting the color on this one to brighten it up a bit and make his face a bit more rosy. And check out those dimples! They kill me, they really do. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

After-Dinner Walk

I'm a few days behind on posting these but that is the way things have been lately. Miss E and Mr. T are getting ready for school to start - or should I say, I am getting ready for school to start and we are trying to finish up our summer jobs and prepare for fall. When I started this picture-a-day project, I promised myself that I wouldn't feel guilty if I fell behind in posting. The pictures are all taken on the actual day of the posting date, some of them just don't make it into/onto the computer until a few days later. I wish they did but this was supposed to be a fun project for me so I don't feel too bad if it's a few days behind.

Some nights after dinner Peter takes the kids (and Ginger if she is on the sunny-side of the street that day) for a walk around the block. We used to do this together before we had kids but I find now I enjoy the quiet at the house while they are gone. Tonight I ran out and snapped this as they were heading back up toward our house.

I love those kids. And that guy. And even that dog (mostly). 

Sunday, August 29, 2010


These Zebras were so sweet, I love the way the mama is standing over her baby while he (or she) is resting and I love the contrast between those bold, graphic strips and the earthy tones of the grass. 

We spotted these while touring through Wildlife Safari in Roseburg, OR. The kids love that we are in the cars while the animals go free and I always wonder why the animals don't really mingle amongst themselves. They could, after all, but it seems that you never see a giraffe hanging out with the Zebras or a yak hanging out with the camel. Maybe they are like people and like to stick to their own kind. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our family

This is another picture that isn't great - color is off, husband is wearing a dirty hat (we'd been camping...) , my niece was trying to scoot in on the side, etc., BUT I love it because it's our family! All four of us! We hardly ever get pictures of all four of us taken so this is lovely to have, with all it's imperfections. Kind of like our family itself - lovely despite all it's imperfections. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


One of my favorite parts of camping.

So, this last camping trip I was still playing around with the aperture priority (Av) button on my camera and I learned a few things.

1) This is a great setting when the light is good or just a little bit dark and you don't want to get the glare lighting from a flash.

2) If the light is dark, you need a subject that doesn't move around much (i.e., NOT CHILDREN)

3) As a result of this, a good deal of my pictures from the trip are blurry and I need to learn a few more camera tricks.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Feed Me

This is the look I get every night after the kids go to bed from Ginger. It's less of a look and more of an intense non-verbal communication. 

"Feed me. Did you forget?" No Ginger, I didn't. "Please won't you feed me?"  OK, in a minute. "I really would prefer it if you feed me now - you see how good I'm being?"  Oh all right. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This swing has been the yard-hit of the summer! The way it is set up, the kids can climb on one of three things, grab the swing and jump off. This is in no way safe, as most of these things are unstable, the swing is unstable and there are trees well within head-bonking distance (one of the trees now has padding around it as the mama was getting nervous). However, we have not had serious injury yet (fingers crossed!) and the kids love it! Mr. T went from being afraid to touch it, to swinging with style and ease as you can see below.

As a mother, it's hard for me to let my kids do things that look dangerous like this and that in all reality probably are. But we have made it almost six years without serious injury (again - fingers crossed!). Most importantly, I remember how FUN it was as a kid to climb on rickety things and jump off things and swing through the air. There aren't many grown-up activities that allow that and in terms of the kids learning to trust themselves, trust their bodies, try something that might be scary, etc.. I have chosen to err on the side of letting them do things that a lot of parenting books might not consider "safe".  And look at Mr. T's expression! When he figured out how to jump off the slide and fly through the air, my boy felt brave and proud and strong and that is pretty much all the justification I need. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dinner on the Deck

4 grubby kids enjoying dinner on the deck.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Snack Time

Watermelon on the back deck. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010


We have been having a hard time lately convincing the kiddos that eating vegetables is good for you and that they don't actually taste like vomit. So, I got a kids cookbook from the library and let Miss E pick which dinner we were going to have and then had her help me make it. She seemed thrilled to have picked the recipe and to be doing most of the cooking and in the end, actually ate some of the meal. Here she is putting basil in the food processor to make a pesto. 

I continue to have a hard time with lighting and composition for pictures in the house. In this one, the sun light is streaming in from a window on her left but her face was also shaded by some up-above cupboards. A full flash would have been too much but no flash seemed like too little. I do like how the light shines up the side of her beautiful face and greens up the basil though. It gives it a warm summer-afternoon effect.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The kids were running around at Farmer's Market this weekend until I walked up and put this box of blueberries on the ground. Running around done - commence eating giant box of blueberries. I love the look on Mr. T's face - it makes me remember that, at this age at least, they are very easy to please.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In a Tree

Miss E has been taking every opportunity she can to climb in trees and today she spent quite awhile in this one. It's almost hard for me to watch because I feel like she is going to tumble and break something at any second, so I usually stand back and don't watch too closely. Today though, I got right under her and took some lovely pictures. She always amazes me with how strong she is! 

And no, I do not make her wear her helmet while tree climbing, we just so happened to be riding bikes at the park just before this. (Although I have to admit, the helmet does make me feel better!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Yes, they fight and can be down-right cruel to each other but in the end, we have more pictures like this than of them throwing things at each other. 

I've been trying a few new tricks for taking indoor pictures in terms of managing light and composition and the lighting I think turned out well in this one but I didn't manage the clutter! Should have picked up that PlayDough box and the book sitting in front of them. That can be tricky though because if you spend too much time moving stuff around, the moment is gone and they are both looking at you wondering what the heck is going on. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Yes, I do have another smiley, happy picture of Mr. T and his dimples that I could have used today. However, Miss E and I have been feeling more like the photo below. Tired, discombobulated, and generally out of sorts. You see, Miss E and I are creatures of habit and routine and when things get off or uncomfortable (say, with a heat wave followed by a family near-tragedy followed by Daddy unexpectedly leaving...) we end up a little off. This was taken this morning as she was heading down to Zoo Camp (which she is loving by the way). Tomorrow will be smoother. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am the parent and that our days and moods are greatly impacted by my decisions and attitude. And I am deciding that tomorrow will feel easier. It will be easier. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today has been one of those days. A day things can just change in an instant, a phone call, a moment. Something unexpected happens and suddenly things take a different direction. It's reality but a reality that many of us, myself included, forget until it comes slamming into our lives. My heart is heavy for our family and for my husband, who had a foundation-rocking day. 

This morning Mr. T and I hit the zoo while Miss E was at Zoo camp. It was great to be some of the first folks there and we got to see the animals up and about in the cool of the morning.  The African predators exhibit is one of our favorites, so we spent the most time there watching the wild dogs, the caracal, and the cheetah. The lions weren't out at that point but we had fun playing on the lion statues. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


This is my new garden sculpture! It's an old car part welded to a piece of diamond plate and it's rusty as can be, so basically, it's the perfect piece of art for a garden. I love the geometry of it - there is something about the circles playing off the stalks of the plants that sings to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We headed out to Art in the Park this morning to wander about and enjoy the day before it got too hot. After we checked out the booths we stopped for a snack and to watch some live music for a bit. There were about six people in the crowd that early and Mr. T had a great time watching the singer and guitarist perform for such a small group. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010


To me, summer conjures up images of a passed out, fluffed up orange kitty sleeping either on our porch or the deck all day, only moving as the shade does. They always look so blissfully relaxed and it is a welcome sight coming home from work or an activity with the kiddos. It's kind of like taking a deep breath, inhaling in the pace of summer and welcoming us home. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jameson Park

We spent the afternoon at Jameson park with some friends today and I ended up taking a bunch of pictures worthy of being the daily photo. I couldn't resist this one though simply because of the expressions on everyone's faces. I don't know what they are laughing at and really I'm not sure I would want to know but the picture makes me smile every time I look at it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Queen Miss E


Miss E has been playing "queen" a lot lately and when I walked into her room this afternoon she was sitting like this. When I asked her what she was doing she replied "I'm being a queen and queens sit and do nothing".   O.K.  I had to explain to her that queens were actually really busy being in charge of everything and doing stuff like climb trees.
    On a photo note, I have been having a really hard time taking pictures I'm happy with in the house. The light is either weird or I don't know what I'm doing (both most likely) so I end up with a lot of overly-lit flash pictures, or these softer, out-of-focus ones. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Peacocks

Baby peacocks! Some of you have wondered what they look like so here they are - 3 little baby peacocks. If had had my bigger lens I might have been able to get closer but the mama was pretty wary of me - even though there was a cat following them as well.  I'm thinking E and I were the lesser threat but there's no reasoning with peacocks. 

Monday, August 9, 2010


So, this is a terrible picture. Truly and in all seriousness a terrible picture. Howerver, I think that it highlights one of the hazards (problems? complications?) of photographing children. The kids were playing dress up and Miss E was all prepared to be the fairy queen- adorable and something we might want to remember. However, the lighting, composition and location were terrible. The picture behind them is a terrible background and provides glare, nothing was really working in this shot except the kids. But, that's where they were playing and so it had to be. Sometimes I guess you trade a terrible picture for capturing a moment. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010


This picture shows you how good today's auto feature is on a camera - it was taken by my 2-year old niece. Really. I helped her but we basically pointed the camera at her mother and pushed the button. We had been waiting for a long time at a restaurant for breakfast after a very hectic morning and I just love the expression captured on her mama's face- it's sort of a an "I'm humoring you because you want attention but I really would love a cup of coffee, some food and the ability to eat it in peace." Kind of what we all were feeling at that point. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Green Goggles

Miss E in the very deepest part of the pool. We loved swimming this trip and I think I could have gone to the pool at least once a day.

Friday, August 6, 2010


This was taken in the meadow at Black Butte. We rode there a couple of times just after the sun set and the light was incredible one night (the night I didn't have my camera) and pretty good the next night (with my camera). I love the color of the lupine, it almost seems to glow against the greenery.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cousins on the Engine

By the time Mr. T is 10 we will probably have hundreds of pictures of him posed on fire engines. In this one I love Miss E's expression - that's the sort of thing you just have to be lucky to catch. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Girl Cousins

The 2 girls on the deck. This picture could have used a bit better lighting or having E lift her face a bit but kids just won't be posed. Or, if they are posed, you get the most god-awful cheesy smiles or the back of a head of curls in the case of my nephew. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Miss E went fishing with the boys and apparently had a great time learning to cast. Peter captured this picture of her with her worm.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Snacks Are Better Than Swimming

Mr. T having a pensive moment by the pool. He was a bit reluctant about swimming this time and preferred to be out of the water eating snacks, sunbathing or hanging out with Nana.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bike Helmets Make You Swim Faster

This is my niece, the darling Miss Uma, on our first night at Black Butte. She proved to be a willing and charming photo subject on this trip.