Friday, January 19, 2018

That time I got a job...

Remember that time I got a job and stopped posting for 5 months? Me too. But I'm back!
I don't think I necessarily have less time now that I am working- taking care of the kids was plenty time consuming, but I have had less mental space for picture organizing and blog post composition. I also had far fewer opportunities to take pictures of the kids. I took over 1200 pictures in the month of June, but only 675 from September through December, and that includes two major holidays. I guess the good news is that sorting through the pictures is a lot easier!
I am going to not worry about all that I have "missed" posting about, with one exception- my trip to Napa with Alaina. That was in July, and that folder has over 2000 pictures in it, and Alaina has already written the post, so revisiting that seems like a no brainer.
Currently, we are on day 3 of the January 2018 blizzard. I love making fun of NC and the way they act when it snows, but this storm was for real. We ended up with nearly a foot! It just kept coming down! It was amazing, and I am so glad the kids got such a fantastic snow fall to play in. The temps have been very tolerable, and they have played outdoors a lot. We did lose power for long enough that we thought it might stay off for a day or two, but it was restored in 9 hours.
On a photography note, I had a chance to do a winter week long "fun" class at the school I now work at, and I took the students to art museums and we all collected photos and videos for a vlog about the local art museums. This gave me a really important opportunity to play with my camera and a new to me technique called back button focusing. I am extremely happy with my results. I think people have fancier reasons for using it, but the reason it is helping me is that I have had to learn a new button sequence to focus, and in learning that, I have started to pay much more attention to my focus, and practice has made me much faster at selecting my focus point manually. Alaina had sent me info about it, and I hadn't gotten around to reading it, but after ruining a few Christmas photos that would have been amazing by letting the camera autofocus, I decided I had to try something. Learning it with my students that were willing to patiently wait for me to fiddle with my camera was perfect, and these are the first photos I have of the kids with it. You will probably think they look like what I generally post, which they do. But what you don't see are the piles of rejected out of focus pictures that I didn't have this time! Woot!
Early in the storm, before full accumulation. I was safely on the porch, feeling especially grateful that I had a zoom lens!





















Kevin collected all the driveway snow to make snow mountain. They quickly decided to transform it into a tunnel, and Kevin graciously helped.

It was truly an overwhelming amount of snow. At one point, Gwen was stuck in the yard, and Stephanie had to rescue her. She tried carrying her for a while, but ended up resorting to kicking a clear path for her. It was just so much to trudge through!

This is maybe it for snow this year? This is our second storm, and Stephanie has missed 6 days of school! I was still off for Christmas during the first storm, but I did miss three days this week. And who doesn't love a snow day!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Science Museum of Virginia

Mid July, I had the chance to go to Napa Valley with Alaina and the kids had a chance to spend a week at Grandma Camp. You should be anxiously awaiting a guest blog on that trip to Napa, but before we get there, the kids and I made a quick pit stop at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Mom and Dad were able to meet me after an appointment in Richmond, so it was an ideal time to get in a few hours before we could meet up.
A while back, Mom and I took the kids and it was a fun place. Part of it was closed for some renovations, but we had a good time none the less. This time it was fully open and really a ton of fun. The two areas we didn't get to do before were an area about "Speed" and an area called "Boost". Boost is hard to describe, but basically you get a little scan tag when you enter and you can scan in at all sorts of activities and have your performance measured (how high can you jump, how good you are at memory games, how fast your reflexes are). At the end, you could scan in and see your results and compare to others that also scanned in. I thought it was a pretty awesome area and would have personally spent a lot of time there even without kids.
In the Speed area, they had one of those wind blowing machines to approximate what hurricane force winds would feel like. It was popular.


In another area, there was a really fun light wall. I have often dragged my camera many places and tried so hard for photos I love, and the light wall made my day. It occurred to me to take pictures so that you could clearly see the light wall and then have the kids step away from it and get the light wall to become a crazy blurry light background. I was really proud of the thought and happy with the pictures. It is the first time I have ever utilized something unplanned or unknown for an effect.





More in the speed area... a little race.

The pendulum- always a fan favorite! I really (REALLY) want to take Stephanie to the DC museums, but Gwen is too little to really enjoy it (and old enough to make it hard for the rest of us to enjoy it). It didn't happen this summer, but we will work it out soon.

On the way out, you can deposit your admissions sticker on the post. She deposited mine, and kept her own. They were pretty cool stickers, so I wasn't surprised.

Bowling

Once again, I find myself behind on the blog. These photos are from our bowling trip, probably about a month ago. The kids had never been bowling and it was a worthwhile way to spend the morning. We went with our neighbors, of course. We played two games, and only had to have the ball retrieved about 6 times after one of the little kids rolled it so slow that it stopped moving prior to reaching the pins. Blake eventually noticed the ball ramp to help speed the little kids balls along, and that rapidly picked up game pace.


It's a heavy ball. No wonder she couldn't always push it hard enough to make it to the pins!

There was much rejoicing for, well, for pretty much anything. They are so sweet to each other!


There is that ramp! Made all the difference!



Some after bowling pictures. Kevin was impressed that I scored as high as I did- then I reminded him about the bumpers.  Which is why you should ALWAYS bowl with kids!!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

You have to catch up somewhere!

I have gotten behind on my photos. I try to keep my digital frame up to date and update the blog simultaneously, and I have been trying to play catch up on both! I am not going to just say the last two months are a wash and start fresh, but at least I can start July off right- and that is with the 4th!
This year we went to the festivities at Carrboro, which was a nice family fun event- including pie eating contests that we will be signing Stephanie up for in the future!
There was the usual kid stuff- bounce houses, face painting, carnival games. Additionally, Stephanie got to participate in the sack race, bucket brigade and the water balloon toss. It was a hot day, but we only spent a few hours out (as a whole family-Hooray!) and had a good time.