Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trivia Tuesday!!

The answer to the previous trivia is...........
17 vehicles!!!
(Which does not include either Noah's 2 vehicles or Seth's 5 vehicles.)
I had planned to show a picture of each one, but you'd be surprised of all the pictures of our cars that we don't have!! :)
Dad and Mom started out with the tough little 'Rabbit'. It was the little car that could!! :)

The station wagon, which made it's own fair share of trips back and forth from Kansas to the East Coast!!

The tractor-- okay, so maybe it isn't one of the vehicles they have owned, but growing up, we used it all summer long for those memorable 'tractor rides' out in the pasture. With Dad at the wheel, each trip though the field was unique!! :)
The 12-passenger white van, on our summer trip out East!
Looks like we're out-growing the 12 passenger!!

I guess you could say the white van served a multitude of purposes!! :)

The bus entered our lives in 2002. After our 15 passenger van quit in August of 2001, our family traveled everywhere we went in 3 cars. The bus was a blessing from the Lord-- we could travel as a family again!!
And the new trivia is..................
"Where did our Mom grow up???"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prizewinning Photography 2009.

On Sunday I returned from a 6 day trip to Dallas, TX to attend Prizewinning Photography.
It was a week full of photography instruction and learning new things about my camera. Despite having owned my D80 for 6 months, I was surprised a the number of functions I had not yet discovered my camera capable of!!!
I was blessed with the instruction delivered by the 4 talented instructors; whose qualifications lay not in their galleries of stellar images captured worlwide, but in the undying passion they had to glorify the Lord with all that they do, and the desire to train godly photographers.

Though I'd been up in the air once previously, this was my first commercial flight. (I watched for you in Dallas, Uncle Bernard!!)

Our class consisted of 23 students, and 4 instructors.
The first day we had a photo-shoot in downtown Dallas. There were hundreds of things to photograph, but we were limited to 24 images-- and absolutely no review!! Talk about a challenge!! :) We had three contests that day-- The Concept Spring, RED, and Picture of the Day.

--- Some of the buildings had very fun paintings!!---
My fabulous shooting partner-- Abby!!

--Two of my fellow classmates posing for me--
At the end of the day, our class split into small groups and each with an instructor. Each student received individual critique on their images.

On Wednesday, we went to the Farmer's Market!! What a busy place!!
I took a different approach to capturing the images on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I wandered around finding things to take pictures of that fit the assignments. That night, I had a handfull of pictures that fit the assignments perfectly, but yet had little or no other significance. They weren't pictures I would want to look at over and over again. So on Wednesday, I made a quick sweep of the area, camera in hand. Occasionally I would see something and instinctively raise my camera. Then I would make the picture I wanted to take fit the assignment.
Our three contests for the day were 'Blue', 'Commerce' and Picture of the Day.


'Blue' Contest winner.
On Thursday we went to 'Pioneer Plaza' to shoot the Cattle Drive there. This was the most challenging shoot for me. Wednesday afternoon, our instructors had unlocked the world of shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how they work together to create a really good picture or a really bad picture!! Experimenting with the newly learned concepts created some very interesting images, to say the least!!

Our three contests were 'Shadow', 'Texture' and Picture of the Day.

--Learning to blur water--

'Texture' Contest Winner.

'Shadow' Contest Winner.

Friday morning began with a stop at Starbucks, then we were on to a new location for the shoot that day. Thunder rumbled overhead as we piled out of the vans at the Dallas Arboretum-- 60 acres of the most beautiful flowers, bushes, trees, waterfalls and lakes you will ever see!! The initial plan for the day looked like this--Our instructors were each going to hold a workshop for us students to observe-- a landscape session, a bridal session and a Senior portrait session. After the workshops concluded, we were to be released for 2 hours of shooting portraits of each other amongst the beautiful gardens!
The day played out much differently than anticipated!! It began to rain, and rain, and rain. It wasn't drizzling, but yet not pouring, just a constant, steady cascade of raindrops over everyone. The instructors led their workshops, staying under awnings to avoid getting wet, and then we broke for lunch. After two hours of tromping through soaking wet grass and standing out in the rain, almost every single student was soaked. It was okay to get a little wet, but it was so wet, that keeping the expensive camera gear we all had dry was becoming a problem. After a quick discussion, the instructors announced we would return to the conference center and switch our schedule up a little bit.
Our portrait shoot was rescheduled to Saturday morning. After changing into warm, dry clothing, we had two sessions and a open forum for the rest of the day.
Saturday morning, we split into groups of three to begin our portrait sessions with each-other. We were outside once again, with raindrops falling occasionally, but the rain held off until just before we got back to the conference center, allowing us to shoot for 2 hours without the rain!!
Our contests for the day were 'Black and White' and 'Picture of the Day'.


Cameras everywhere!!!

Sometimes shooting portraits isn't quite as easy as you might think!!! One of my 'models' was quite tall-- just barely shy of 7 feet!!! He was over a foot and a half taller than me!! It was quite challenging!! Finally, I had him kneel, and stood on a nearby fench post. :)

--Experimenting with Black&White--


More Portraits!
Picture of the Day Contest Winner.

I was thrilled to be there with two dear friends-- Anna Rehm and Chelsy Bontrager!! We also roomed together, which was so much fun!! Chelsy and I are both night-owls and would stay up quite late talking, but Anna never complained!! She just sweetly went right to sleep, never mind our jabbering. :)

So yes, it's my fault that there have been no new posts, and the Trivia Tuesday's have been absent for two weeks!!! You can be watching for the new trivia this afternoon!! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NCHEA 2009!!

The last week-end in March found several members of our family busy serving at the 2009 Nebraska Kids Conference. NCHEA, the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Association, has their annual conference each spring and while the parents are attending the conference, their 5-12 year old children enjoy two days of Character lessons, Scripture memory and singing songs of Praise to their Creator.

This year Esther was once again the 'Head Chef' providing meals for the 90+ staff serving at the Kids Conference. While Tabitha, Moses and I were leaders on teams, Noah had a part in the 8-scene drama. Seth joined us on Saturday to cordinate cleaning and clearing the church by our appointed time that evening.

With over 300 children in attendance, it was their largest conference yet, but the Lord blessed mightily!!! The strengh, grace and stamina He showered so abundantly over the staff members and the drama team was such a testimony of His goodness!

It's difficult to sum up an entire week-end with just a few pictures, but I'll do my best to give you a glimpse!!

We arrived in Lincoln bright and early on Wednesday morning. Our first priority was to purchase all the food supplies neccesary for the seven meals we would prepare. Although Sams is a bulk food store, our caravan of 4 heavily loaded carts attracted a number of smiles and chuckles.
In the midst of our shopping excursions, we had some minor trouble with the bus. After a quick moment of prayer, we called another member of the core staff cordinating the Kids Conference. He was able to drop by and quickly fix the problem, getting us on the road once again!! Thank You Lord!!

After a full day of shopping it's time to take a couple of minutes of down to to gear up for the next couple of days with some pizza and........

......a little bit of laughter!

Another Praise the Lord-- The garbage disposal in the church had been previously clogged with a dishrag. One of the staff members (who is actually a plumber) brought in his tools and after a little bit of work, had the dishrag removed and we were up and running again!!

With breakfast serve at 7:30, we needed to be at the church at 5:30 to begin the preparations. Those early mornings were filled with myraids of different kitchen tasks.
Baking cookies.....

Tabitha and Bryant preparing snack trays.

The famous cinnamon rolls!

----The Drama----

The highlight of the conference is the eight part drama. This year in keeping with the Westen theme it traced settlers travelling west in search of a better life! It follows their lives as some of them trust in Him, and yet others rely on their own judgements to meet the obstacles that they come across.

The leader; Garrett. He was a wise counselor to the other settlers, urging them to set their eyes on the Heavenly Father to direct their paths.

The ever clever Mr. & Mrs. Harris, and Dodge & Shadow.

Jenny, Garrett's daughter & Nellie the irish school teacher who travels with them.

As they arrive in the West they are greeted by Rich E. Lands, a powerfull landowner who control most of the western town. His offer seems quite good, but yet; they are cautious.

Rich offers his best deal to the new settlers.

Though Garrett counsels him to reconsider, Dodge foolishly signs the contract.

Sylvester warns the settlers not to trust Rich E. Lands. Yet they will have nothing to do with him.

Mrs. Harris accuses Ethel of stealing her valued teapot!! Ethel learns the valuable lesson of honesty!!

Rich E. Lands with the crooked sherriff and the two cronies, plotting against the settlers.

Kate, the landowner's daughter, helps her father with his scheming.

The scary, sneaky Mr. Sylvester!!

Mr. Sylvester happens upon Ethel at the general store. Frightened, she runs to the protection of her husband Wayne.

Mr. Sylvester rescues the Wards after their barn collapses during a tornado.

Catching the cronies.

They caught him!!

Praying for wisdom.

Rich E. Lands refuses to listen to his very own brother Sylvester as he confronts him about his wicked trickery towards the settlers.

The hysterical cronies!

Rich E. Lands plan to destory the settlers backfires on him, and he blow up his entire ranch with dynamite!!

Following the explosion, the cronies try to piece themselves back together!!

Rich mourns the loss of all his material wealth.

Rich listens humbly to the settlers.

The settlers offer Rich their forgiveness- through Christ's power!

Sylvester shares with his brother, the glorious truth of the Gospel.

Finally ready to bend the knee.

"Oh Kate, can you forgive me??" The reconciliations between Father and daughter begins as they both seek the Father.

"Let us serve God together!!"

A huge thank-you to the drama team for their phenomenal job!!
(For more drama pictures; go here!!)

I don't have pictures of us leaders with our teams, but I do have random images captured during small group session in my room and also during main group.

Rachel led Main Group singing sessions.

Thomas, the Program Director, Dismisser and Award-Giver-Outer.

Lots of little cowboys and cowgirls present!!

The 13th Infantry-- the All boys team who presented a special presentation.

Esther chases Skeeter, who was trying to meddle with her cookin'!!

Listening attentively!

I was leader to a team of 17 excited children, and was very grateful for the service of my fellow team-mates!!

Two of my assistants.

Lunchtime in my room.

Our special visitor who read to our class!!

Sweet 'lil cowgirl!

Andrew and Ruth teach the Bible verse.

The Staff.