Just A Minute for Reflection

So I am a little down right now. So I thought I would take a couple of minutes to look back at the past month and post about the great times that have occurred.

My little one turned 4 and we had a couple of different parties. With two parties that meant two cakes 😀 .

This was a “Cookie” cake biggie sized chocolate chip cookies with chocolate icing. It was delicious.

Here was the little guy and his good friend.

My wonderful daughter entered the Reflections contest with this entry. The theme was diveristy I love that she was able to envision this and make her vision come to life.

For Halloween we went to Gardner Village for the night of the Witches.

And a final shot of one of my favorite models. 😉

Thoughts and Regrets

Over the weekend we were down in Southern Utah for a funeral of a family friend. She was a wonderful lady and the core of a great family; taken much too young. I have lots of regrets as a person, but as I looked at the program for this friend of mine I regretted not asking to take pictures the last time we got together. It wasn’t that it was a bad picture it was a really good picture taken with a point and shoot, and who knows I might not have been able to do any better. However, I should have tried.

That being said we wanted to get some pictures of my wife’s Grandmother before we left to come home. We asked where she wanted to take the pictures and she choose the only place that I was afraid of… the atrium. Direct sun, trees, glass, a dark room behind, and probably 100 degrees, just not what I would have chosen, but that is what she wanted and so that was what I was going to do.


I think that the picture turned out pretty good. There are things I could have done better, but there always is…

The moral of the story for any of you photographers, and I mean ANY of you photographers. Heavens knows I am not as skilled as many, but I would urge you all to learn from my regrets. Pull out your camera today and take the best picture you can. There may not be a tomorrow.

The Last Hoorah

While summer ends socially on Labor Day and by the calendar on September 23 (this year). For me summer is officially at an end when we go to Maple Grove for our end of summer/beginning of fall fling. This year was a little different as it became an reunion of sorts for my family. Unfortunately, my youngest brother and his wife could not make it, but everyone else was there with bells on 🙂
The weekend started out with a dark cloud over the proceedings; I mean a literal dark raining cats-and-dogs cloud. However, Saturday morning the sun came out and fixed everything. For the rest of the weekend there was nothing short of weather perfection 😀

The kids had fun playing whatever games their minds could imagine, hide and seek, run and scream, climb and jump, and most frightening: chop and burn.

My sister had a couple of different activities planned, but the only one we did was sock tie-dye. Which was a big hit with the kids and adults alike.

I was in charge of the dinner that night so I didn’t get many pictures in but the brisket pot roast was well received and I think I will have to do it again. (hint hint Belinda 😉 )
We went on several kid friendly hikes and had a great amount of fun hiking to the spring (where the kids were able to drink water as it comes directly out of the ground)

On one of the hikes we were even able to find the only leaves that had started to change colors. Generally, we are in the middle of the fall color changes, but this year has been warm for fall.

My kids, as usual, loved the rope swing and spent hours out on the swing over the water.

On the last night I was able to get in some time with the brilliant central Utah night skies. There is a method for great star trails, and I haven’t figured it out yet.

I was amazed that my flash was able to light the cliff face for the pictures. Even just a little. (ps stupid airplanes 🙁 )

Until next year keep your face to the sun…

A Day (or 2) At Cub Country

Now that my son is involved in the Cub Scouts I (my wife) am very concerned about everything that could happen to him.  With that in mind I (my wife) decided that I should go to Cub Country this year.  I (my wife) thought that my son might need some parental guidance through the dangerous waters presented by the Cub Scouts.  I was not too excited about the proposal of spending a couple of days surrounded by crazed Cub Scouts, but I was excited that I would be able to spend some time with my boy.

It was a 2 day event with the first day themed Superhero Academy and the second day was Jurassic Journey. I didn’t take my real camera so all of these were taken with my phone. Anyways here a several of the highlights.

Bow and Arrows I was quite surprised at this station. After a couple of arrow he was shooting straight and was actually hitting what he was aiming for, maybe there is a little natural talent.

My wife’s favorite activity. When I tweeted that we were at this station she replied back that she was holding her breath. It was easily all of the scouts favorite activity in fact it made me want to buy the kid a new Red Rider BB gun. An idea that was immediately vetoed by my wife 😉

Why do they come home so dirty?? I don’t know it is a big mystery?!? ;D. Here they were digging for “fossils” really it was 20+ boys flinging dirt everywhere.

What is a Cub Scout camp without a new pocket knife 😀

It was a challenge, but oh so worth it. I don’t know why, but this is my favorite picture of the the whole series. It a monkey bridge that was part of the obstacle course. I was in charge of stabilizing it for some of the less stable boys, with this one I was able just to take a picture.

All in all it was completely exhausting and I was thoroughly done with dealing with some of the boys, not mine (I was in charge of 3) but some of the others in our group. When I (my wife) decides that I will be going next year at least I will know what I am in for.

Twitter stream of day 1

Someone tell me…. am I *really* ready to spend all day at a cub scout camp? #notsosure
15 July

15 minutes in and we have had our first meltdown #cubcountry
15 July

Let the chaos begin #cubcountry http://twitpic.com/5qjmji
15 Jul

Obstacle course #cubcountry http://twitpic.com/5qk8x5
15 Jul

Superhero mask… Complete http://twitpic.com/5ql3r1
15 Jul

Huh!? Who would have thought $3 was enough for candy AND a pocketknife #cubcountry http://twitpic.com/5qlxou
15 Jul

At the firing line. #cubcountry #noinjuries http://twitpic.com/5qmzuw
15 Jul

Motion

Kids or funny they are in it for the here and now.  Parents are even funnier we support that behavior for as long as it is convenient.  Take this slide for example, he wanted go down it, and they were charging a freak’n dollar to go down a blowup slide.  ROBBERY!  So who do you think won the argument.  Guess what; I did. I gave him his choices he could go down the slide or get a treat. It is apparent what he chose.

Most of the evening I was spent with a friend from work’s family.  This little girl is a joy to see in motion.  You see I have literally held her heart in my hand, granted it was an experimental, mechanical heart at the time, but it was still life changing. Every time I see her I am reminded that miracles still happen, and they come in so many ways.  It can be our Heavenly Father himself intervening to prolong a sweet young life, the mercy and kindness of strangers giving at their time of greatest tragedy, and amazing minds, talents and dedication that so many people share with the world.  However they come to us I am reminded of the tender mercies of the Lord.

My Favorite Week Of The Year

We went to the jewel of the Utah State Parks for the last week of July.  We stumbled on the Fremont Indian State Park a couple years ago and it has been one our family’s favorite places since then.  This year we went to there for a week.  I have to admit I am still in a photography rut and was not interested in taking any pictures.  I did have a a couple of pictures that I had in my head one of the Hoodoos in the campground with the brilliant central Utah skies in the background.  The other was inside the pit house with some basic off camera flash.

It didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, but I really like this picture.

Of course the we went to the museum several times and were able to see petroglyphs on a couple of different hikes we went on.  Unfortunately, I had messed my knee up loading the trailer or something and really was laid up for most of the trip.

In the shadows of these amazing Guardians we cooked, ate, and laughed.  The kids really enjoyed playing in the stream that ran through the camp they created a “dang” so as to not overuse the term “dam”  Logan practiced his sling shot skills until the 20 year old sling shot broke.  Chey and Logan created a game “stick ball” that could be played under the canopy of the trailer, which was fortunate because it rained most days we were there.  We learned from a Tribal Elder about the meanings of the writings and from their cultural systems.

We always enjoy visitors and we had a couple of different groups my Dad and Julie came by for my favorite dinner of the trip. Dutch oven chicken caccitore.  The Carsons were able to tear away from their busy live for a couple of nights to come and share their fire, their breakfasts, and good times with us.

Did I mention rain; it rained almost every day and a couple of the days it was torrential.  I think that experienced my closet lighting strike ever as the trailer was lit with a blinding light as the thunder rattled the dishes.  One of the campers on the other side of the loop from us claimed to have seen it strike between his camp and ours and I wasn’t about to disagree.

WHY????

I posted this as part of my 365 challenge and thought I would post it here as well.
I watched a video a couple of days ago that has had me thinking, a lot. It has me asking “Why?” About everything I am doing. I know what I do, I know how I do it, but I want to figure out why. I hope that as I move to a why model many of the external things that frustrate me the most will start to frustrate me less.
I start with why matters. Why you do something influences how you do what you do. The easiest examples I can think of come from heroes in the comic books of my youth. If all you have to go by is the movies it may not make as much sense, but the concepts should remain.

Batman: Batman kept his real identity secret to protect Batman. No one would be afraid of Bruce Wayne in a Batman suit, but everyone was afraid of the Dark Knight. Why he did what he did was to strike fear into the bad guys.
Spiderman: Spidey was just the opposite of Batman. He wore the mask out of fear Peter Parker was afraid of his enemies discovering how he was and hurt those he loved. Why Spiderman did what he did was fear that he would let someone down like he let down his Uncle Ben. With great power come great responsibility.
The Fantastic Four: They didn’t keep their identities secret because they believed that as a team they were “Fantastic” they would always have each other back and protect each other and everyone around them. Why they did what they did, well because they were awesome and if they didn’t no one else could.
They all did basically the same thing, but how they were heroes was motivated by why they were heroes.

For today’s post I have used a picture of the Human Torch.
image
I used the Little Photo app for the edits on this picture.

If you are interested in the video here it is. If you offer any type of service I think that this is a great way to start setting yourself apart from the crowd.