September 29, 2010

Orange County Lifestyle Photographer: A Boy & His Dogs

This young man was such a pleasure to photograph!  ‘Twas fun & relaxing to explore the Mission, and we topped off our session with a hike up a hill in the hundred degree heat (summer finally arrived this last weekend!).


senior trio


It’s hard to fathom that any college is going to be able to lure this boy from his dogs …

a boy and his dogs

But I do know this for sure:  the reunion when he returns is going to be joyous!


And here's the session slideshow I posted on Facebook ...

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Orange County Senior Photography

September 26, 2010

Fly …



And I saw another angel flying in midheaven,

having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth,

and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;

and he said with a loud voice,

“Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come;

and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Revelation 14:6-7

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September 24, 2010

Book Miscellany

Rounding out a week of books, plus a photo tip thrown in for good measure ...


Well-loved, thoroughly thumbed, oft referred to ... Camera Manuals. Yes, I know - NOT riveting reading. But helpful. Which leads to my top photo tip for the day: SHOOT MANUAL mode. Use your camera manual to learn how. I know this may not sound like a brilliant tip, but ... shooting manual mode will accomplish two important things: better exposed images & quicker editing time. I wrote a tutorial for I Heart Faces a couple weeks ago that shows the difference that shooting manually can make.


Middle Dude's latest, favorite-est series: The Sisters Grimm ... (part mystery, part fantasy, part adventure)

Fun link:
Book Worm! at Mila's Daydreams (this whole blog is filled with delightful, quirky, imaginative, story-telling, humorous, off-the-chart-creative baby photography). So worth a visit!!

And last, but not least: the story Bible I love best. We start every school year reading thru it. Today's selection: "The young hero and the horrible giant", David & Goliath ...


Thus ends a week of book stuff.

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September 23, 2010

The Teenager’s Freshman Year Pile of Books …

freshman book pile

It’s a hefty pile of books to be sure, but I know he’s up to the task.  This year’s classes include:

Classical Writing:  Herodotus (argumentative writing) – the Teen takes Kathy Weitz’s superb online tutorial

Great Books II – another online class, this one with Artesian Wells

Traditional Logic

Geometry – Euclid’s Geometry & Life of Fred Geometry

Henle Latin 3 & Lingua Latina

finishing Machen’s New Testament Greek

history is sprinkled throughout Great Books, Latin, Classical Writing & Bible.

September 22, 2010

Little Dude's Reading Pursuits

science picture books

A little zoological science + a sweet message + delightful/artistic pictures = one happy, contented, reading boy

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September 21, 2010

Orange County Family Photography: Mini-Sessions!!!

Very limited availability. Proceeds to benefit my son's wonderful school. Call or email quickly to reserve your session! Details below ...

GCA Portrait Promo

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Sorted, sundry books ...

my list from the last several months:

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo - charming, spare, minimal, magical, delightful, quirky, sweet.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith - the latest in the No. 1 Detective Ladies Agency. fun, light reading.

The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean - our ordered copy was backordered for months, so we didn't read this collection of stories til Spring time. I look forward to re-reading this book at Christmas time (little short stories from Old Testament & New Testament, each foretelling the birth of Jesus).

Vilette by Charlotte Bronte - I wanted to like this one, because Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites; but alas, I did not enjoy this book. There was just not a single character (or at least not a character that took up a significant portion of the book) that I liked. Altho, I did find this book to be interesting from an analysis perspective (many claim that it was written as a complementary companion story of sorts to Jane Eyre).

The Kite Rider
by Geraldine McCaughrean - fantasy fairytale-ish story written around the historical period of 13th Century China. Enjoyed it.

The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge. (thank you to Heidi for passing this book on to me) Remarkably well-drawn characters. I re-read entire sections just because the development/description of the character at hand was so well & so intricately done. However, the broken-jump-around presentation of the storyline itself just about drove me batty. Nonetheless, a worthwhile read.

Some thriller by Lisa Scottoline - bleh. ordinary. not terribly sophisticated. won't be reading any of her others.

A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva - thriller/"pulp fiction" genre. wrapped around a powerful Holocaust background story. well-written. I'll probably read more from Silva.

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy - hmmmm. another story developed around the Holocaust. not entirely sure how to describe this book. I did NOT like or enjoy it. Parts of it were extremely artistically, beautifully done. Other parts were horrific (duh, Holocaust), but I would argue, gratuitously horrific.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery - the perfect book for my last roadtrip. Good story, good characters. I did liberally skim entire sections (the sections meant to prove to me a certain character's intellect. I was willing to accept her "smarts" on the author's word; didn't want to slog thru the "proof". smirk).

Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos - such an original, quirky, delightful book that I was willing to overlook one of my biggest literary pet peeves -- when an author changes narrative voice/perspective mid-scene...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson - I detested this book on too many levels to enumerate (which is a shame, because I was counting on bringing books 2&3 on our next vacation. Now I need to find something else!). I vented my frustration on one irritating element on Facebook, and quite a discussion resulted. I'll cut & paste some of it here ...

Me: I'm soooo irritated. I've never before read a book with blatant advertising written into the narrative. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's editor/publisher should be ashamed of themselves. So jarring and intrusive. Dislike. Intensely.

Me, follow up, citing example of above rant: "The rucksack contained her white Apple iBook 600 with a 25-gig hard drive and 420 megs of RAM, manufactured in Jan 2002 and equipped with a 14-in screen..." [narrative goes on ad nauseum about death of said iBook - by car running over it, NOT internal failure, duh - and about her backup 5yo Toshiba, but how she needed a "fast, modern machine" and how] "Unsurprisingly she set her sights onf the best available alternative: the new Apple PowerBook G4/1.0 GHz in an aluminum case with a PowerPC 7451 processor with an AltiVec Velocity Engine, 960 MB RAM and a 60 GB hard drive. It had BlueTooth and built-in CD and DVD burners. Best of all, it had the first 17in screen in the laptop world with NVIDIA graphics and resolution of 1440x900 pixels, which shook the PC advocates and outranked everything else on the market."

A few commenters offered possible reasons. And then my brother {Hi Bro!], with all his sarcasm, jumped in and suggested that with the onslaught of TIVO that "ad execs have to get creative. As long as my Apple shares keep rising, I am cool with it."

Me: bite your tongue! The ends (=Apple ads in TGWTDT) do not justify the means (=$$ in your pocket) in this situation!!!! We already live in a society saturated with marketing efforts (on tv, radio, billboards, advertising screens at gas/dr./dentist/grocery-check-outs, unsolicited junk mail & email, in movies, at the beginning of dvds, etc). I do NOT welcome advertising in "literature". At all.

Bro: But with the extra money I can buy more books ;-)

[ok, I must admit, this *IS* compelling reasoning ... snort]

Bro: By the way, I think all your friends should buy IPhones, IPads and Mac Books. Great products everyone should have ;-P

So, there you have it. My brother (an APPL shareholder), and apparently the publishers of TGWTDT, want you to buy Apple. I don't care if you buy Apple or not. I just don't recommend buying ... or begging/borrowing/stealing, much less reading ... The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Ick, blech, phtooey. If you want a good Pulp-Fiction Thriller, get Mallory's Oracle (and the rest of the series) by Carol O'Connell.

Oh, and since we've just had a discussion on [unwelcome] advertising, in full disclosure ... I am NOT paid for my literary endorsements!! These opinions are wholely & unbiasedly mine.

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September 20, 2010


Here is Littlest Dude, working on his math book. But apparently the sun was bright in his eyes, and his solution to the glare was to wear his shirt on his head?!? Hmmm...


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Middle Dude Reads LOTR Part 1 ...

and declares it to be good. :-)



All books, all week ...

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September 19, 2010

Holding on ...

to that which is good, to sound teaching, to His promises and the hope set before us...


But examine everything carefully;
hold fast to that which is good;
abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you have learned from me.
And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us,
the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:13-14

So God has given us both his promise and his oath.
These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage,
for we can hold on to the hope set before us.
This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God's inner sanctuary.
Hebrews 6:18-19

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September 13, 2010

A Vacation “Day”.

Begins the night before as Big Dude tweaks boat engine in hopes it will start (wry grin) and actually run well the next day …


The next day we get up at o’dark hour and hit the road, seeing this along the way …


Followed by a fun, exhausting day on the River with my brother and cousins …

river sept collage

At the end of the day, we still like each other :-) …


And then a gorgeous crescent moon to accompany us for part of our late night drive home …


‘Twas a good, long day.

ps. photo credit of me skiing goes to Middle Dude!

September 12, 2010

Pure, peaceable, gentle ...


But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:17

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September 8, 2010

Oh yeah. We’re serious about game playing.

Which is why we started snickering when Middle Dude brought his sunglasses to our fierce Uno match.  _MG_3276 He didn’t understand our mirth until Big Dude demonstrated …

_MG_3275 I bet you can guess who the victor was for this particular hand …

_MG_3277 _MG_3278 _MG_3279

Tears soon followed after the next round.  Cause that’s how game playing rolls ‘round here.  :-}

September 6, 2010

Summer in Review ...

2010 summer in review

I Heart Faces is encouraging us to share about our summers. I'm still in denial that mine has come to an end. It seems it came and went all too quickly. But now that I look at it collage-style, I can see that it was jam-packed, even tho relaxed and lazy. It was filled with our giant roadtrip thru western National Parks, swim lessons, reading great books, I Heart Faces' Photowalk, foggy-non-hot weather, trips to the beach regardless, puzzles and more puzzles, canyon hikes, and lots of photos!

Be sure to visit I Heart Faces to see how everyone spent their summer days ...

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September 5, 2010

In the Garden ... Day 7


And God saw all that He had made,
and behold, it was very good.
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done;
and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work ...
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

Genesis 1:31 - 2:4

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September 2, 2010

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone

We arrived at this geothermal site after a recent downpour. These geysers were especially spectacular with the Yellowstone Lake backdrop and their [sulphuric stinky] steam rising as if to greet the clouds that were seemingly reaching down. Awe-inspiring sight!!



West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone





Oh, and Becky posted The. Nicest. Interview. with me over on her blog today. Thank you oodles, Becky, for the tour down memory lane!!

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