Monday, April 2, 2012

Alright, I'll stop now

Ok, ok, I think that's enough for the day. I just had to post three more. Again, if you want to see the edited pics just of Derek and Marcie's wedding and the events of the day, check out my Flickr account instead. Hope you like.

I could go on and on ...

... In case you didn't notice, we took a few pictures. I really don't have time to post all of the greats, but it's just so tempting to keep adding more and more of the fun ones! I will burn a copy of all the pics we took and saved for Derek and Marcie if you are ever interested in seeing the complete set. Might be worth a trip to their house for the night.

Cheapening Shots

What can I say? I do love your hands, MOM!

Cheaper Shots

...And so it continues ....

Cheap Shot

Well, maybe cheap shot isn't the most fitting title, but these were some of the funner pics that we captured down in Arizona for the wedding. More to come, but here's just a few of my favorites that both Jared and I took. By the way, the new pic of the chicken legs on our blog title head is another on of my favorites! Think I'll title it "The Cock Walk."

Derek&Marcie's Wedding Pics --Flickr Account

After editing some of the pics from the wedding, I decided that it would be easiest to just post the pics to my Flickr account, so the above link should take you to all of the edited pics from the wedding that we took. I will try to post some of the candid/funner shots on the blog as I get a chance.... hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Glen Canyon Dam

Yeah, we walked across this bad boy on our way down to Phoenix last week for Derek and Marcie's wedding. This is the Glen Canyon Dam, for those who aren't familiar (Steph, I'm sure you are all too aware of what this looks like!) with the area around Lake Powell. Jared, Kimball, Koria and I all stopped here to stretch our legs out a bit on our journey. It was well worth the time it took to walk across it and back and the short trip we made into the visitor's center, although I think it may be a while before the other tourists forget Kimball flashing them as he made his way into the restrooms. How many times do you need to remind a kid to keep his pants on until the door's closed? Public restrooms are always an adventure in this family. Anywoos, here's a few pictures that we took before and during our walk. That's a long way down ......
Thanks again to Jana and Kevin for watching Luke and Layne for us while we were down south! Made the trip much quieter, a lot easier ... but a lot lonelier too. About an hour into the drive, Koria turned to me and said, "I sure miss Luke and Layne. Don't you?" Sure, make me cry, kid! I didn't need that after a sleepless previous night! It was great to get them back with us again on Sunday night.

Koria and Kimball Turn 6!!

I can't believe it. My pups are growing up on me. 6 didn't seem so old when I was that age. I remember longing to be older .... oh, how things change! Now we find ourselves making deals with the kids to try and convince them to not grow older and just stay the age that they are at now forever. Too bad the plan doesn't work that way.
Anyway, here are just a few pictures from the celebration of Koria and Kimball's 6th birthday. They finally decided to go with a castle cake this year, as long as they could put a few Star Wars figures on the top! We ended up helping out Jana and Kevin by picking up their kids the night before so that they could be to a tennis tournament in Cali that weekend, so we had a houseful for the festivities. After breakfast in bed -- which turned into the counter (who doesn't want to eat with their cousins on their big day for breakfast?) -- K&K headed off the school, then returned home after a short school day (bonus, right?) and opened up some gifts. We topped in off with cake, then headed up to Orem with all 8 kids. the 10 of us invaded Chuck E. Cheese's for a few hours (better known as Yucky Cheeses to Luke). Afterward, Jared dropped Jana's kids off in Ogden to spend a couple days with their dad, and I took the others shopping with some money they received for their birthdays. Great, fun, exhausting weekend, but well worth the effort.
Jared and I can not ever put into words how humbled and richly blessed we are to have our children. It's been worth every sacrifice, every heartache, every shot in the thigh and stomach and hip and every procedure and sleepless night and .... well, you get the point. These two sets of twins literally are our visible evidence each day of God's tender mercies. We love them without end. Thanks, Kimball and Koria, Luke and Layne, for making each one of your birthdays as big a deal for Jared and I as they are for you!

Pretzel Light Sabers

Jump back to the middle of March, say around the 16th ... Kimball and Koria's 6th birthdays, to be exact! This year for their treat for school, they let me know a week or two in advance that I couldn't just take cupcakes for their treat.
"Everybody does that, and who really likes cupcakes anyway?"
I had to agree. I've never been a fan of cake, mini or otherwise, so I came up with a fun idea that would please us all and our taste buds too. Since my two older kids are Star Wars nuts, I suggested that we make "light sabers," a.k.a. giant pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and a variety of sprinkles and candies. Worked out great. They had a lot of fun helping me make them and the kids thought that they were a great break from the boring cupcake fest that tends to hallmark elementary school kids' birthdays. Wish we still had some!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


These three pictures are an example of different aperture settings, measured in f/stops that I am just beginning to play around with. The aperture, or opening in the lens that allows light to come in, can greatly affect a photo's depth of field. I'm playing around and trying to learn how to blur the background when I want in portrait work, etc. It's a lot of fun experimenting. I have a lot to learn, but it's something I'm becoming more and more interested in, so why not? These pictures were all taken at the same place, within a few seconds of each other after I manually adjusted the aperture (or f/stop) on my camera. It depends on the look that you want to achieve for each pictures, but what a difference the background, or lack of it, can play into your portrait. It's interesting, isn't it?

Boot Cast

Just thought I'd update on how Jared's ankle is doing. As of last week, he is now in a boot cast that he takes off (a bit more than he should, but I don't blame him) when he sleeps, showers, and when he feels like he wants a break. He has started putting weight on his ankle, which is very painful still, but he is making progress. The swelling is starting to work it's way up his leg again, which he hopes is a good sign of increased circulation. When it gets too painful, he uses his crutches, but he's been trying to stick to walking whenever possible.
I guess I could sum it all up by saying two things:
1) He's a man ... and 2) He's stubborn.
Do I need to explain more? For example, notice him pushing multiple kids at a time on the swings. I will refer to numbers 1 and 2 again. And yes, I realize that the fact I listed both numbers as an explanation is redundant. One implies the other. That being said, he's a good man and father. We are all excited he is doing as well as he is.

Jasper, the Red Fire Engine

So last weekend when we went out to the pioneer houses, the owner also happened to have an old-time fire engine that the city of Cleveland had given him and that he had restored. He wanted to take Kimball and Koria out for a ride, so the kids enjoyed a ride in a vintage fire truck around the country. The highlight for them was the fact that they got to sit in the front seat and blow the fire alarm. Their ride lasted about 10 minutes, but it's safe to say that they could have gone much longer. How fun is that? That's Koria sitting up there in the seat. Kimball was in the middle, and Mr. Olsen was driving.

The playground

Yesterday the weather was beautiful enough for us all to head out to the local parks after Luke's and Layne's naps. Here's just a few pictures from our outings. It feels great to be outside again. It's also very insightful to go to the school playground and have your children tell you about all the creative games they play at recess! I knew our kids were entertaining, but talk about an overdose of creativity! Love it!!

Kimball's Loses 2 Teeth!

It seems like life gets so busy that I forget to mention when the big stuff happens, and losing teeth as a kids IS one of those big things. Thursday morning, Kimball and Koria ran into our bedroom at 6:30 to announce that Kimball had just lost his first tooth -- he had pushed it out with his tongue. Well, the tooth next to it had been lose also, so I tugged on it and wa-la! One tooth become two. The tooth fairy came that night and left a dollar for each. He was very disappointed when he woke up and the tooth fairy had taken his teeth but not left anything in their place. I told him to check again. We are very aware of his wild sleeping patterns. Upon further inspection, she had left a trade. Thank goodness ... Koria found it under his bed and all was right in the Black world again.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

2 more ... and I'm done

Kor looks great in every photo, so it's hard to decide which ones to post. I will just post these two others.


More of Kor

Here's a few more from the day ...

The Diva

She's a natural poser -- the good kind. I didn't give her any direction for these pictures. It's a gift that comes with the hair, I guess!

Koria, my almost-6-year-old

Just playing today with the camera and experimenting with different setting, apertures and f/stops, etc. I asked Koria to be my model today, something she has no problem with! What a babe, right? Can't believe she will be 6 in less than a week!