September 30, 2008

Keller Family Follies, Day Two

Day 1 was in the canyon just below our neighborhood. Day 2 was in a different wilderness park, on a trail we hadn't been on before. Here are Day 2's rejects:

This first one is undeniably the best one I got of all three boys together. But the white sky, boring CA scrub bushes, and all the nasty sweat pouring thru my shirt and the Big Dude's shirt (it was a STEEP hill we climbed) make this a solid reject.
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family photo rejects2

Isn't this a neat rock? Quite tricky getting in there in less than 10 seconds (self-timer shot, y'know) without banging my head!
family photo rejects3

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September 29, 2008

The Annual Keller Family Follies

So, once a year I frantically scour through our closets to try and collectively find five outfits that won't clash with each other. I then FORCE plead with my four men to WEAR them, and then I herd everyone together for our annual torture family Christmas card portrait.

Here is last year's portrait. Yes, the portrait that I was allowed exactly THREE FRAMES to capture - quite the irony considering that when I take friends out for portraits, I get HUNDREDS of frames to try and get one great shot. And I don't have to run and jump myself into those photos.

So, without any more ado, I hereby present you with some of the pictures we will NOT be using on this year's Christmas card...

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Ok. Getting closer. But Middle Dude is still not appreciating the process. If you know what I mean.

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All right. The Middle Dude is on board this time. But I look all squinty-eyed. And y'know, if the Mama doesn't look good, the picture's not going on the card ...

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Whoops. I'm losing them quick. This gig's almost over.

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This gig is DONE.

Details: It was HOT. Like, Africa Hot. And there were ants - thousands upon thousands of them. And flies. Oh my, the flies. And I think I just about had a heart attack on the climb back up the hill. And would you believe, we actually headed back out Sunday on more hot hikes to try other possible portrait locations?!? I'll post some of those tomorrow.

And, yes. I did get a picture on Saturday that I love and will be thrilled to put on our card this year. :-)

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September 28, 2008

Psalm 119:105-112, 129-136


Thy word is a lamp to my feet,
And a light to my path.
I have sworn, and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Thy righteous ordinances.
I am exceedingly afflicted;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Thy word.
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD,
And teach me Thine ordinances.
My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Thy law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not gone astray from Thy precepts.
I have inherited Thy testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Thy statutes
Forever, even to the end...

Thy testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.
The unfolding of Thy words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth wide and panted,
For I longed for Thy commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Thy manner with those who love Thy name.
Establish my footsteps in Thy word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Thy precepts.
Make Thy face shine upon Thy servant,
And teach me Thy statutes.
My eyes shed streams of water,
Because they do not keep Thy law.


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September 26, 2008

Photo Tip Friday

Hold on to your seat, here comes more of my total photographic brilliance (please read that statement with your tongue firmly in your cheek!)...

When you take pictures inside and flourescent or tungsten lighting gives your photos an ugly color cast, convert them to B&W or Sepia. All of sudden, they don't look quite so bad.

These photos are all from this weekend when we watched As You Like It for our family movie night. We needed the Shakespeare book to figure out what was going on. I've always been a bit dim-witted when it comes to interpreting The Bard.

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September 25, 2008

Fall in the Canyon

Another Lightroom Example. First one is the original, SOOC (straight out of the camera)

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Fall in the Canyon6Fall in the Canyon4Fall in the Canyon5

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Lightroom - Some Preset Links

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Matt Kloskowski's Video Explaining How to Install Presets

Matt Kloskowski's Lightroom Killer Tips Blog - has regular addition of new presets

The Ultimate Free List at Pro Photography Show

Heather Green Photography - keeps a lengthy, regularly updated list of various free presets

Presets Heaven Blog - a great site that lists various free presets. Includes instruction for importing presets into LR 2.0.

A couple learning tools:

Lynda.Com has a super large library of video tutorials for Lightroom. A $25 subscription gives you unlimited access to the tutorials for one month. (I got a free one month subscription with my PS purchase. I think $25 is a bargain for the wealth of information available there!)

Scott Kelby's Lightroom book is a great reference also.

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September 24, 2008

More Books added to my Love List...

The Giver by Lois Lowry (this is part of a thus-far trilogy. I loved The Giver. I only mildly liked the sequels Gathering Blue and The Messenger)

The Willoughbys, also by Lois Lowry. Here are some hilarious snippets from the book jacket:
"Recalling literary heroes and heroines such as Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and James with his Giant Peach, the Willoughbys concoct a diabolical plot to turn themselves into worthy and winsome orphans."
"Villains, benefactors, no-nonsense nannies, abandoned infants, long-lost heirs, and late-life romance all make their appearance..."
"Influenced in her childhood by a mother who insisted on surrounding her with books instead of roller skates and jump ropes, Lois Lowry grew up lacking fresh air and exercise but with a keen understanding of plot, character, and setting. Every morning she opened the front door hoping to find an orphaned infant in a wicker basket. Alas, her hopes were always dashed and her dreams thwarted. She compensates by writing books. Today she is a wizened, reclusive old woman who sits hunched over her desk thinking obsessively about the placement of commas."
What's not to love about this?!

We all just recently discovered Natalie Babbit (of Tuck Everlasting fame, which I enjoyed). But going on my list is:
The Search for Delicious. 'Twas delightful :-)
I'm also currently reading Goody Hall, which is quite quirky and fun. We'll see if it makes the list, too.

Another delightful book/series we found is:
Eoin Colfer's (of Artemis Fowl fame, tho we haven't read any of those...) The Legend of... series. So very cute and laugh out loud funny, especially The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World.

Ok, so that's it. No pics today, but great books, instead. I'm, like, so multi-dimensional, eh?

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September 23, 2008

Just Us and Our Shadows...

This post over at Candid Reflections cracked me up, put a smile on my face, and inspired these muscle-boy shadow pictures at the beach this weekend.



Two of the reasons I married the Big Dude 15 years ago:
he made me laugh and he had a great sense of adventure.
Now, not only does he make me laugh, but he makes the boys laugh, too.
And he still has a great sense of adventure. :-)

Moss Cove1

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~e.e. cummings

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~Victor Hugo

Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

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September 22, 2008

Fun under the Sun

Here's where I headed yesterday after church to scope out a possible place to take our annual family portrait this year. This is the canyon right below our neighborhood. Last time I posted pictures of the canyon it looked much much different. I definitely prefer the Springtime look, but all this glowy golden light is pretty, too.


Then later in the afternoon we all headed to the beach.



I'll post more Laguna high-jinx tomorrow.

added later: I don't know what the glitch is in the photo table above, but I can't make it go away, so it stays.

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September 21, 2008

And the Rocks will Cry out...

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And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying,

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."

And He answered and said, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"

Luke 19:37-40

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September 20, 2008

The Boys and I got to hang out with this Sweet, Young Thing Yesterday Afternoon.


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You know I'm thrilled any time I get the opportunity to take pictures of a G.I.R.L. And this Little One was sweet, soft, spunky and very very busy.

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September 19, 2008

Blog Around the World Guest Post

note: This is the same post that ran over at Blog Around the World. I'm just duplicating it here for ease of reference. Y'know, in case I ever get around to Blurp-ing (printing) this year's blog...

If you had told me this time last year that I would be a "blogger," I would have scoffed. Because, you see, I thought blogging was necessarily all about writing. And I Don't Like Writing. At all. It stresses me out.

Whoops. Let me back up and introduce myself. (I'm afraid I'm going to be a little wordier than usual, as y'all may not know me. I promise, it won't happen again!) I'm Susan: a 40-something Wife/Mom living in a testosterone-filled home with my husband, three sons, and dog. And I'm a HUGE photography afficionado. I had an epiphany one day last November: that I could document our family life by blogging with photos, NOT words, and thus I began Short on Words.

Homeschooling is a quite-large ingredient of our lifestyle. Here's a sampling of how it plays out in our family and how I document it on my blog ...


Light saber duel1

This Counts as PE at our home...1


Frisbee by Moonlight


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Oh yeah - my guys pal around with Einstein...
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Books are a really BIG DEAL around here...

Like a hand in glove:  Boys & Dragons

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Art Appreciation

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Date Night
Oh yeah. Sunsets count as art. They're my favorite kind. Art by the Master Artist.

Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream

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Too bad I couldn't find a photo of my youngest son throwing a tantrum. He's the Drama King in our home.



Yup, they like to read the nutrition information on the back of the box...
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Christian Studies

Good Friday - A Legos Interpretation

Merry Christmas

Life. Faith. Photography. Schooling. Blogging. This is the year, for me, that it all converged.

And as a result of this whole "Blog Journey", I've come away from the experience with some unexpected surprises. My photography has improved ten-fold from all the practice, practice, practice. My "documentation" of our family's year is exponentially more detailed than it's ever been. (Can I confess something? As a homeschooling mom, I've had more than an occasional guilty moment where I've wondered whether our boring quiet home lifestyle and schooling provides enough excitement and fun for the boys. When I look through the last several months of blog posts, I clearly see that YES!, our life affords them plenty of joy.) And this year ... [drumroll, please] ... I don't have to WRITE my annual Christmas letter. I'll simply reference my blog. :-)

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