Last month I was asked to photograph a surprise party. It was for a friend and her daughter really wanted me to do it. I am NOT a flash person. I don't like flash because it (usually) causes harsh shadows. But I also know that it's needed in some cases...this being one of them since it was being held at a hotel. I borrowed my brothers "good" flash (mine's just a small one) and studied up on the "best" ways to handle low light and use flash to compliment. I think they turned out great, and won't be so "afraid" to take a job that will require flash again. These are a few of my favorites. (The one's where they are dancing, it was completely dark, other than the music (colored) lights.
SURPRISE! And she surprised us by coming in the wrong door!
These kids danced FOR HOURS...I'm not even sure they stopped for dinner!
And then it was time for bed!
It was nice to catch up with everyone that we haven't seen in a while. We "see" a lot of them on Facebook, but it's so much nicer to be able to sit down and talk. Until next time friends!
We spent a few hours hanging out at a popular spot. It's a spot I will always remember, because this is where I dropped them off and then this accident happened. But we can't always avoid scary memories and must move forward, so we went and hung out. The river is much lower (we're in a drought again), but there's still lots of snakes, so I don't go as much! ;) And while we were there, I scared 1 out of the walking path where we were all cutting across the water. (I held in a screech for the kids sake! Blehhh, they give me the creeps!
This one wanted to fish...imagine that! (Daddy looks like he's got something devious on his mind!
Don't let the nice water fool you, it was freezing! Although that shocked me, since we had such a warm winter and it's been rather hot the last 2 months! (And apparently the cold water doesn't affect the snakes either. )
I was rather impressed. They caught several in the same area the other kids were playing.
I only had a short lens with me, so I couldn't get this guy while he was fishing, but I did see him snag one out of the water!
Cutie pie wanted her picture taken.
Such a beautiful area, but I just wish it wasn't so snakey! I should have taken a picture of all the kayaks and small boats lining up to "float" the river. But weather was moving in and it was time to pack up and head out. We don't play when there's thunder/lightening around!
I miss having little ones to take to the zoo. So when I was invited by a friend to go with her and her granddaughter, I jumped at the chance. It was a picture perfect day...well, a little too sunny, but you can't have everything! :) I took a lot of pictures, so I figured it was easier to to throw them into a blogboard instead of posting just a few.
He/she was so cute!
Love the meerkats! (Looks like they had a rough weekend! :)
Maybe I will get caught up again this week...stranger things have happened! :) I went to the zoo with friends last week (still haven't gotten close to starting to edit those), but I remembered taking this one on our way out of the zoo and decided to go ahead and edit it. And lucky for me, it fit my "Quiet" week perfectly...because this was the first time she was actually quiet...poor thing was just tuckered out. I do miss having little ones to take to the zoo. They just grow so darn fast! :(
Behind again...what else is new?! But motherhood to me means spending time with your kids, doing what they like to do. This was the first one of the set that I took when we spent the afternoon together. Somehow I missed it...not sure how, as those eyes just reach out and grab you!
We participated in our 2nd food drive with our church last month. For such a small church, it just amazes me on everything it does. From busing in and feeding inner city kids on Wednesday night to organizing the food drive. It's all about taking care of your community. We've been to larger churches that don't do it. They may do other things, but I love the fact that ANYONE can help...member or not...adult OR child. Because if we don't involve our children AS children...will they continue to do it as adults? I'm betting they will. I'm thankful it's here, because it saddens me that we still have to do food drives...and that the line starts early, before the truck even arrives.
Pallets of food to be sorted.
Local high school kids help.
We have a lot of fun and talk a lot of smack.
This truck was full of perishable food, so sorting was very important. Some of it was bad, which sometimes can't be helped. We also had a ton of bananas leftover...most were overripe. We picked through to hand out the good ones. These look like good bananas, but we think they were refrigerated, because they were VERY mushy/soft inside.
...which was perfect for...
Banana bread...I made 70 loaves! Everyone that helped out was offered a loaf and what was left was given to the church. It was nice to give back to those that helped!
Boxes being packed.
This was our 2nd food drive and I have to say, it was a very heart-happy day. The rain stopped when the delivery arrived, so our parking people stayed dry/happy, our organization was much better and we gave 220 food boxes to 471 men, women & children...and only 2 cars were NOT from our county. (That is a sad statistic!) We will be there in the fall when we do it again.
On this wet/gloomy Mother's Day, I am thankful for my little family. Thankful that we had a nice day yesterday (amid the rain drops) at the air show (taking 400+ pictures!). I am sitting here waiting to leave for church and have already done... dishes, cleaned up the house and started laundry...and it's only 930am! It seems we really never take a day off! :)
Hunter participates each year in the schools A.R. program. Accelerated Reader is a program of earning points for books read. They read age appropriate books...so kids in 5th grade are not reading books at a 1st grade level, just to get points. Younger kids read books that are a .5-1.0 level and they go up from there. You start reading at the beginning of the year and the cut off is the end of April and you have to earn 100 points. They have rewards for getting to certain levels. Lunch with your friend in the courtyard, lunch at your teachers desk, A.R. banquet, etc...with the ultimate reward being the mystery trip.
At the end of March, Hunter had 68 points. He knew he wasn't going to make the mystery trip, but he was still reading. He decided to read The Hunger Games, because his brother did and because it was worth 15 points. He read that book in about 2 weeks and earned a 100 on the test. (I should of mentioned the points are based on tests you take after you read each book. If you don't get a 100, you don't get the full point value.) So, he was up to 83.0 points. He still had 2 weeks until the cutoff, so he decided HE COULD DO IT! He read a quick small book and got it to 85 points. Now all he had to do was read book 2 of The Hunger Games and if he made 100, he would be right at 100. And he was just shy of 2 weeks until the cutoff date. This child read and read and read. Every time I looked up, he was reading in his kindle. (Again, best gift ever!) He finished up 3 days before the cutoff and went to school to take his test. He didn't make 100 on the test...he missed 1, so he was at 98 points. Never one to give up, he read a couple smaller books and found his way to 100 points that same day and earned the mystery trip. So PROUD of him!
(The mystery trip is a mystery. No one knows where they are going, until they get there. They are given hints as to what to wear/bring, but it's always a surprise. I think I have figured out where they are going based on the hint this year, so we'll see if I'm right or not. :)
Friday was Hunters 1/2 day out of school reward. He really wanted to go fishing, but daddy had to work and I was a little busy too, so I surprised him with lunch at the cafe. He's always asking to go there, so I figured he'd like that. (Check out those eyelashes! )
Afterwards we walked home to wait for the cable guy, that ended up cancelling. And since Maison was going to the movies with the church and daddy was working late, I also surprised him with a trip to his favorite fishing hole. It was a nice (warm) evening...and cooler outside than in the house, so that was an added benefit...he was excited he was catching fish and I was excited by the awesome lighting, which really popped his eyes. I did nothing them, it was all natural. The 2nd picture the sun was almost set, so you can tell his eyes are not as bright. Still beautiful though. :)
It's been a long, HOT week without air conditioning. That, and I'm still editing birthday pictures and it has put me behind for the week. It's no fun editing in a hot house! I get very cranky! ;) I thought maybe we'd finally have a quiet weekend, but with school ending soon, there's a lot of stuff going on...one being the spring band concert. And Maison is playing his tenor sax, so I'm excited to see/hear him since he's only had it a few months. Other than that, I'm praying for the a/c to be fixed...or there may be more tears.