Monday, November 29, 2010

Cross Ornament

My Wife and I found this ornament and we really like the message on it.


Here is what it says:
"Lord make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred,
let me sow love where there is injury,
pardon where there is doubt,
faith where there is despair,
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life."

I think it is good to remember this as we come to the season of giving.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The other day when I went down to take pictures of the storm, I found some bald eagles were flying around and I took some pictures.  It was right at dusk so they are a little noisy.  But still good. 




Thursday, November 25, 2010


We have a fountain in our courtyard where we live and every day it has been freezing more ice builds up.  Its pretty cool to see.  The first photo shows what it looked like when the snow first started falling.  I accidentally focused on the snow and not the fountain.  I mean, I meant to focus on the snow.  Anyway, I thought it looked cool, and then as we go to the following images you can see the snow build up.




Happy Thanksgiving to all,we have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The first couple pictures were taken the night before, and then the last 6 were taken the following day.  All the ice is from the sea water that was splashing onto the objects.  Pretty cool ice.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here comes the Train

More pictures to come of our snowy region. I really like how this one turned out though.


First Snow

We got our first winter storm of the season And to think that winter doesn't really start for another month. Anyway, went out yesterday after the snow stopped falling and took some pictures. It was a stormy blustery day. More pictures to come.





I also learned how to add a border to the photos in HTML. Just add style="border:5px solid #000000;" to the code after the img src, and it will add a 5 pixel black border. You can change the color by using a different color code in place of 000000. Hope that makes sense.

All these pictures were taken with the 70-200mm F4L lens I am borrowing from my school.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Contentment and Joy

The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control.  -Gal 5:22

So I have been spending some time thinking about being content, and the whole happiness thing. 
I am going to define that happiness is temporary, it is a feeling that comes and goes like any others (just like sad, and angry).  Joy is something altogether different, it is something that is a way of living.  I haven't quite figured out how to define it exactly yet.  Joy is more than happiness, one can be a joyful person, but feel sad (kind of an odd concept huh?).  Paul even goes as far to say that Joy is a fruit of the spirit, it is something that we should all (as Christians should produce).  To produce fruit it has to come from within.  Nothing from the outside can make us a joyful person.  Just like something outside the apple tree can not make an apple, it must come from the tree. 

I do know however, that it is almost impossible to be a joyful person without being content (I'd say that it is a requirement of being joyful).  Talking with my wife about it, she was curious if that meant not wanting anything else.  And I don't think that is the case, I can be content and still have goals in my life. I want to be a joyful person, but I feel like joyful people are so hard to find.  I'm kind of curious, but how many people do you know that you would qualify as a truly joyful person, a contagiously joyful person.  I'm not talking about a fake happy person, its easy to see through those people.  There are a lot of people that I can see joy in, but not to the extent that I feel like I should.  I feel like so often people are trying to get joy by things.  When you notice that it is easy to see why no one is happy, let alone joyful.

Joy also needs love through relationships.  Love is such a funny word I think, I mean, who decided to use the same word for my feelings of ice cream as for my wife?  I think that love is a so many things that it is almost necessary to qualify what you mean each time you say it.  I love (like to eat) Ice cream. I love (feeling and/or a way of life) my wife. Anyway, I think you get it.  I recently read that people view of marriage is becoming obsolete. However, I think it is more because people don't understand the fullness of love.  Love has come to mean a feeling. It is about how I feel.  I am 'in love' (in the post modern sense)  And as soon as I don't get what I want or I don't feel like it anymore I can move on.  If that is being in love, of course that is going to go out.  It is only in building a long term lasting relationship that one can experience the fullness of love.  Love (in out post modern world) has become about me, love was never meant to be about me, it was and is supposed to make me think outside of me.  Love is an action, a lifestyle, a fruit that I produce (thus it has to come from with in me and can't be something I look for and find).  It is supposed to push me to think more of others.  If one is going to look for 'love' (Post modern love) everyone is going to be disappointed (the other person is human and will let you down) and of course marriage will become obsolete.  That isn't what marriage should be based on or about.  It's hard to be joyful if you are looking for love (and not producing love).   
Anyway, I think that is enough rambling for now.  Today I am thankful for the promise of life everlasting.  That can and should change the way that I live my life. I am no longer bound by the rules of this world, Christ has redeemed me.  Now its my turn to go and produce fruit. 

(btw - I turned on Anonymous comments, so anyone can add comments to the blog)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Portrait Sessions

Did some family portraits today, but can't show them yet, but I can show you this picture of my first subject of the morning. Pretty awesome shot, I think.

More to come...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Thanksgiving is only one week away.

Today I am thankful for all the little things that make life so good. Food, cold water, warm water, ice cream, milk, OJ, heaters, blankets.

I have no clue who this guy is but I thought this was a killer quote. I have been trying to talk to one of the older kids at my daycare about this very concept. It's definitely easy to say and harder to practice.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
-Frederick Keonig

Maybe the Grinch said it best, "maybe Christmas, he said, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more." - Dr. Seuss.
Life isn't really about the things its about us and whats on the inside. One could be content with very little, and one could be unhappy and have 'everything' imaginable.

Ecclesiastes 4:8
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Collage

Here are the rest of the photos from the baby shoot. I hope you enjoy. It was so much fun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Photos Preview


Deb and I took some photos of this precious baby the other weekend and will share some more pictures in the coming days. Here is a preview of what we did. It was so much fun and we really look forward to being able to do more of this type of work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everything is amazing and Nobodys Happy

We start today off with a hilarious video about how amazing our world is and how people just complain about it. Caution: one swear word and its beeped out, otherwise its a clean video.  One of my good friends shared this with me.

It's far too funny, I think, because it's true.  When was the last time I got upset on my way home because traffic was bad (lets see, friday).  I was still going 30+MPH.  A whole lot faster than if I was walking, plus I had a roof over my head and a heater so I wasn't even cold.  It's humbling to me to see video of people around the world appear to have a genuine joy for life and contentment, and here I am struggling, ungratefully for every last thing I want.  I really do believe that joy (the spiritual fruit) comes from being thankful, being content.  It is impossible in my mind to be a truly joyful person without being a thankful person.  May I learn to contentment.
Today I am thankful for my family and friends who have helped shape me into the person God wants me to be. Also I am thankful for technological advances that make my life easier.

 Two bible verses to end today with. 

Philippians 4:12 (New International Version)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

1 Timothy 6:6-9 (New International Version)

 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Camera Resources

So, I had a friend ask me a lot of questions about DSLR cameras yesterday, so I put together some resources for him, and thought it would be worthwhile to share here...

Thought I'd throw together some information on SLR's and resources to learn about them that I have been using. 
Here is the review of the T1i that I have.  The guys at DPreview I really like.
And here is the review of the T2i, which is a model newer, and compares itself with the T1i.
You could obviously also look at the Nikon d5000 there as well. 
I Chose canon for several reasons over the Nikon.  First, I really didn't like how the Nikon felt.  Second, Nikon uses different lenses for their 'consumer' line than for their 'professional' line of cameras.  So if I were to step up later I would have to buy new lenses.  Canon has two lines of lens and one line (the higher end line denoted EF (the other line is EF-S)) works on both their consumer and professional cameras.  I also know some other people that have Canon cameras and lens, so I thought it would be better if we could share lenses, etc.  I don't know anyone with a Nikon, but I know of a lot of professionals that shoot with them. 
I don't use the camera to take movies, I've tried, but I've only really tried with a lens that doesn't have and zoom (prime lens of fixed) and so it was really hard to film the kids because they were always trying to get really close and I couldn't zoom out.  Also the movie mode was a little cumbersome and hard to get to a point where I'd be happy with the video. 
Anyway this is where I bought from.
And like I said the other night, you should get a good SDHC card to go with it, at least class 6, but I'd just go with class 10.
I own the bottom link, I wish I could own the top link.

That''s enough about equipment for now,
These guys put on a 20minute show every week about cameras and camera gear. I really like watching, In the beginning they talk almost exclusively about Nikons, but in the more recent episodes they talk about Canon's as well.  Most anything they say or show (accessory wise) Canon makes as well as Nikon, so it still all applies. I would start by watching some of the early episodes, but the last two (58-59) have been about lenses for sports (mostly outdoor) and might be good to watch too, since that seems to be what you want it for the most.
This website has also been a great resource for me to learn about how to take better pictures.  This article explains a lot about getting the lighting right, and at the bottom it has further articles to read to help understand more.  It also has some 'rules' (which can be broken, but are generally good to follow) for taking good pictures (

Friday, November 12, 2010


Sorry no picture with this recipe, I had a hard time rolling the dough out, and only now read the footnote that says to roll each out a little bit, then go back through and roll them out the rest of the way. So my pretzels don't look very picture worthy.  I guess I didn't realize how hard it would be to roll out dough (its not like Playdough, who knew?).  Anyway, these turned out ok, not as good as what I remember Costco having at the deli there. 

1 1/3 C Warm water
2T oil
1T Honey
1.5 C Whole Wheat Flour
1.5 C All Purpose Flour
1t salt
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 t)
Optional: 2 T Flaxseed and 2T Wheat Germ

1 Egg White
Salt to top

Oven: 400 degrees

I made a dough out of the top list of ingredients and let it rise for an hour (I used my bread maker on dough setting).  I then split it into 6 pieces (the original recipe called for 12 pieces, but I couldn't get that many out of it).  I rolled each piece out (18 inches long) and folded it around like a pretzel and placed them on a greased cookie sheet.  Make them as skinny as you can, mine really rose in the oven while cooking.  I then spread the egg white over the top of them and salted them.  Then I put them into the oven. 

Next time I may try a recipe where you boil them first, but I didn't get a chance to do that yesterday. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deals of America

Deals of America

A few years ago a friend of mine told me about this site.  They surf the internet and post the best deals they can find on all sorts of stuff. If you are into saving money you should check this site out.  It's also listed under my favorite sites on the right of the page.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ferry sailing into the Fog

Took this picture a number of years ago of the Ferry sailing off into the fog. I love it. It has long been one of my favorite pictures.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Philippians 4: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

Today I am thankful for my family who has been so important in my life and development.  They have blessed me so much and I thank God for the great family I have been given.

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.  ~William Jennings Bryan

This quote goes along with what we have been reading in my Mere Christianity study, that we need to acknowledge our bankruptcy to God.  That anything we give back to God was already his, and that we can't give him anything he hasn't already given us.  

Lewis talks about the story of a dad giving his daughter a sixpence, because she wanted to buy him a gift.  When he receives the gift he is over joyed, but only a fool would think the dad is sixpence richer. Thus the quote, sixpence none the richer.  

Canon Wireless Remote

I had someone ask me what I use for my shutter release so that Deb and I can both be in the picture.  I use this canon RC-6.  It is super simple.  You can choose to have it take a picture right away or after 2 seconds.  There are others out there I'm sure, but this is the one I chose to use. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Studio Lighting

This photo is of my wife and I taken in our apartment. The camera was against the other wall and we used a remote shutter release so we could both be in the picture. We had our two new umbrellas set up. I think the picture turned out quite well.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wife's Birthday

Here are some pictures we got of the flowers Deb received for her Birthday. These were all taken with the 100mm Macro lens and ringlite flash. Some of them turned out looking a little fake for some reason.
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Friday, November 5, 2010


Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Today I am thankful for the love and support of my wife.  She is so good to me.  

Thanksgiving may be in a couple weeks, but leading up til than I will be posting what I am thankful for, hopefully it will give you a moment to pause and be thankful for something in your life. 

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
-- Oprah Winfrey

Not quite sure what I think of the Oprah quote, I've been working with a kid at work who has had a hard time being thankful for what he has been given, he always wants something else and lets it keep him down.  If he would just enjoy the things he has he might be happy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Again with the macro lens, this was kinda fun to do, take pictures with the focus at different parts, and play with it. Doesn't really show the lens off too much, but I think they are some pretty cool pictures.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thorns that Hinder

Was reading the Bible this morning on my way to school and came across this passage...

Mark 4:
 1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
 9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
   “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
   and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]
 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” (boldness added)

What hinders me from fully practicing what Christ has taught?  What gets in my way from full devotion to God?  I find that my worries, my thoughts are what hinder me.  It's not that I don't believe, its that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of my desires. I work so hard to get ahead, but am I worried about the things of Christ?

The song here, is about coming back to the Heart of Worship, being focused on all that really matters, when all else fades away. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


I wanted to get some cool ring shots, while I had the macro lens, here are two of my best so far, I will be playing with this more later, to get some other pictures. I also am renting the ring light flash, so, the one with both rings, I took with flash, the other one, was outside.

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