November 29, 2010

'Twas a wonderful, relaxed, Thanksgiving Vacation Week ...

Middle Dude turned 11, and in honor of that, the Kellers went bowling. Middle Dude discovered that he's read more books (stacked) than he is tall ...

(all this from the boy I despaired would ever pick up a book of his own accord, just to read for pleasure)

Eldest Dude, the Teen, turned 14 and celebrated by playing Halo with a couple buddies.


Who says you can't shop on Thanksgiving day? Big Dude went Craigslisting (oh yes, that is a verb!) and instead of coming home with just the Halo Reach game that was his intended purchase, he came home with the seller's whole Xbox kit and kaboodle. oy. Happy Bdays and Early Merry Christmas, Dudes!


We had a great Thanksgiving dinner (No Turkey here; osso buco + sweet potato risotto), followed by a walk on the beach, followed by Pumpkin Pie & Mexican Train dominoes back at Mom & Dad's house.

thanksgiving 2010

I created a fun vacation album and caught up to date my regular annual family album. Wanna see some vacay pages?!? I know you do .... ;-)

Keller Travels 2010 album 12in 001 (Sides 1-2)

Keller Travels 2010 album 12in 006 (Sides 11-12)

Keller Travels 2010 album 12in 007 (Sides 13-14)

Keller Travels 2010 album 12in 011 (Sides 21-22)

Keller Travels 2010 album 12in 018 (Sides 35-36)

Littlest Dude got all caught up in Black Friday madness and purchased a Nerf gun as big as himself ...


We introduced the Dudes to Napoleon Dynamite ...

napoleon dynamite

And ... the epitome of cuteness ... at church this weekend, as we were dropping Littlest Dude at his class, he was filling out his name tag and said, "I'm going to add a little excitement ..." and drew an exclamation point at the end of his name. Gosh, I love that kid!

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Lightroom on Sale!!!!

Y'all know by now, I'm a HUGE fan. Couldn't imagine my photography workflow without this amazing software. If you've been considering purchasing, NOW is the time. Amazon has it deep discounted to $150 for CyberMonday ...

Btw, I don't usually do quickie one-liner notices here on my blog of neat things I find on the web. But I do list these often on Facebook. Feel free to join me on Facebook, if you'd like to follow along ... :-)

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November 25, 2010

I Will Give Thanks ...


I will give thanks to You, O LORD my God,
with all my heart,
and will glorify Your name forever.
Psalm 86:12

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November 21, 2010

Establish my footsteps according to your word ...


Deal with your servant according to your lovingkindness
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your testimonies.
It is time for you to act, LORD;
for they have broken your law.
Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, yes, above fine gold.
And because I esteem right all your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul observes them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth wide and panted,
longing for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as you always do with those who love your name.
Establish my footsteps according to your word;
and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of water,
because they do not keep your law.

You are righteous, LORD,
and your judgments upright.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
they are fully trustworthy.

Psalm 119: 124-138

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November 19, 2010

I Heart iHeartFaces ....

and I was so bummed to miss their recent wonderful workshop (our Kauai trip and the workshop overlapped). I Heart Faces has been such a fabulous community to be a small part of these last couple years. It's just an encouraging, educational, fun place to hang out. And, even though I missed the workshop, I feel like I have a sweet reminder of it. Look what Amy & Angie mailed to me this week:


Seriously darling necklace! Made by the super-talented Erin at The Vintage Pearl.

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but if you haven't explored I Heart Faces yet, I strongly recommend that you do. Their Fix-it Fridays alone are an amazing way to learn editing and to grow and stretch your abilities. This week my editing process is pure Lightroom, no Photoshop. Here's the "after" image. My editing process is detailed here.


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November 18, 2010

The Sweet Town of Kapaa


The first part of our vacation on Kauai was all about the pool ...

kapaa life in the pool

and sunrise on the beach ...



and easy meanderings to the shopping center for McCafe hot chocolate for the dudes and Coffee Bean Latte for me.

kapaa morning walks

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November 16, 2010

Sometimes ...

those self-timer shots to get your family picture for your Christmas cards don't work out quite right. And instead of looking like this:


end up looking like this:


especially when your "tripod" looks like this:



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November 15, 2010

Book List: Kauai

To my way of thinking, it wouldn't be a relaxing island vacation without some dedicated reading time.


Middle Dude brought: the last book in the 39 Clues series, and The Blue Fairy Book and The Green Fairy Book (both by Andrew Lang)

reading kauai

Littlest Dude brought an assortment of Magic Tree House books.


The Teen needed to bring along some school books (Classical Writing Herodotus & Caesar's The Gallic War) for his online classes. But he also brought along Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.


Big Dude's selections included Hunger Games (also by Suzanne Collins) and The Willoughbys (by Lois Lowry).


And there's my stack. By the way, I HIGHLY recommend both authors' books that precede Laughing without an Accent and Half Broke Horses (Funny in Farsi & The Glass Castle).

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It's silhouette week at iHeartFaces. And, hands down, this is my favorite silhouette from this year - my neighbors creating a beautiful life as a brand new family ...

Head over to iHeartFaces for beautiful silhouette images this week:

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Aliso Viejo Family Photography

November 14, 2010

Open to me the gates of righteousness ...


Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His love endures forever.

Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say:
“His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say:
“His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD;
He brought me into a spacious place.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
The LORD is with me; He is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
All the nations surrounded me,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
They surrounded me on every side,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
They swarmed around me like bees,
but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them down.
I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my defense;
He has become my salvation.

Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for You answered me;
You have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.

LORD, save us!
LORD, grant us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.
The LORD is God,
and He has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will praise you;
You are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
his love endures forever.

Psalm 118

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November 12, 2010

Send a Photo Christmas Card–and put yourself in it!!!

A Holiday Card. Every. Single. Year. That includes YOU. Yes, You!

I know. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. First I encourage you to get in more pictures. Now I’m asserting that YOU should be in a picture annually that you send to all your nearest and dearest friends and family. Every year. Wanna know why I think this is a good idea?

1. Because your friends and family will think You look great (and they’ll be happy to see you!) and

2. Because they won’t see you aging if they “see” you regularly.  It’s like the frog in the kettle effect: all your aging happens a tiny little bit at a time – so slightly each year that no one notices. It’s a highly effective technique. Here, let me show you with 10+ years of my own family pictures …


See? I don’t look 15 years older, do I? Don’t answer that! Just nod your heads, smile, and tell me that I don’t look a day (or decade) older. And put yourselves in this year’s card (and next year’s and next year’s …), ‘kay?

November 10, 2010

Paradise …. Found.

And thy name is Jade Lily

jade lily-13

The house where we stayed the second part of our vacation was magical.  Glorious.  Delightful.

jade lily-8

With a view to-die-for …

jade lily-7

And a warm welcome-ness that invited us to go ahead and make ourselves at home …

jade lily-4

jade lily-5

jade lily-12

jade lily-10

And a pretty spectacular backyard …

jade lily-1 

right on a stream with giant monkey pod trees …

jade lily-6

and kayaks to take us down to the beach …

jade lily-11 

Even our computers were right at home (smirk).

jade lily-9

‘Twas a wonderful little “tree house” to live in for a week.  :-)

jade lily-3

And I want to go back. Yesterday. And stay forever. ps.  the “glow” that you see in many of the pictures is not post-processing; it’s the condensation that lived in my lens the whole time we were at Jade Lily.  :-)