Archive for November, 2009

I Heart… Tooshies?


Months ago, I entered a photo in the I Heart Faces contest that showed more of the flip side than the faces, and my friend Sue mentioned that it would have been PERFECT for an “I Heart Butts” contest. Heh. Like THAT would ever happen.. right? Yeah. Well, this week’s contest theme is “We Heart Tooshies”… no lie! Here are the essentials:

After all these weeks of entering face photos, we are going to take a break from them and focus on something completely different instead.

How about some butt photos?! lol!

(You wouldn’t even believe how many times this theme idea has been sent to us and we think it’s going to be hilariously fun!)

Each photo entry this week should have a person’s tooshie in it. That’s the only requirement! No faces need to be in the photo at all.

Nice. I’ve already entered the perfect photo under another theme, so what to do? Oh.. maybe lurk around at the school fall festival and find opportunities to photograph the derriere? Maybe. I do love this picture.. the texture, colors, and implied motion all work together nicely. And the fact that it’s all tooshie? Bonus. :<)
So.. please get "behind" me with a little comment love here, and then head over to I Heart Faces for what promises to be one of the most interesting contests yet! And if you see anything that’s really inspiring, please come back here and leave a comment so I can go peek!

The view from the backseat

BugHunter and I spent Thanksgiving with my mom in Tennessee. It’s not a bad drive (well, other than on the day before Thanksgiving, when there are far too many cars for the amount of available asphalt, and much time is spent sitting and pondering the dents in the fender ahead). Usually, BugHunter watches a movie, and the remaining time is spent in conversation. On the way home, however, he asked for my camera, stating that the rock formations on either side as we drove across Monteagle mountain “fascinated” him. So, I put the camera on “sports” setting to account for the moving vehicle and let him have at it. Forgetting, of course, that “sports” mode means continuous shooting, and that, to a 9 year old boy, sounds like a machine gun. So, yes, by the time we got home, over 750 “bullets” (pictures) had been shot, and an imaginary wasteland of carnage lay behind us. Sifting through nearly 800 pictures was quite a task, but it was pretty amazing to see the drive through my boy’s eyes. I do believe that it was much better time spent than if he had watched “Clash of the Titans” yet again, and I might just have to make a little photo book of his journey to leave in his stocking at Christmas. So, here’s what happens if you give a boy a camera….

Sometimes, the truth hurts


I was all set last night to do a “True Story Tuesday” post about the day we had (which was very surreal); I had uploaded pictures and was thinking through how I wanted to do it. And then, I visited a friend’s blog and read her post, and the wind was totally knocked out of me. A sweet young man named Jack fought neuroblastoma years ago; when I started following Caringbridge sites, he was already finished with treatment and NED(no evidence of disease). His mom made the decision to close down his CB site in 2007, although she continued to do email updates for quite a while whenever Jack had scans. But it’s been over 5 years now, and Jack was considered to be living the cure. WAS. This weekend, after persistent leg pain, it was discovered that there was something lurking in Jack’s leg. The biopsy yesterday confirmed the devastating news that the NB is back. When I read that news on Kristie’s blog, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Just two weeks ago, a feisty young lady who attended both Lighthouse Retreats with us was confirmed to have a relapse of NB, and as I type this, I feel sick to my stomach. I realize that cancers like breast and prostate have far greater numbers of people who are diagnosed with them, but did anyone ever stop to think about the unfairness of just counting numbers? Kids are only considered kids (and therefore pediatric cancer patients if they should be so unlucky) for 18 years. The potential number of years that an adult could be diagnosed with any cancer type is up to 60-70, depending on lifespan. Of course there will be more adults diagnosed, but in that brief timespan of childhood, ANY cancer diagnosis is beyond horrible. The time and innocence lost in the midst of treatment is irrecoverable. And in cases like Jack’s and Sarah’s, the only thing certain about the near future is that it will be filled with things that NO child should have to face.
So, the only true story that I can focus on right now is the very real need for a cure. And, with the lack of funding paired with the continued budget cuts, that translates into an even greater need for CARING. These precious children are our hope and our future, and they deserve every chance that we can give them to beat this beast. One absolutely wonderful organization that does amazing things in so many ways is CURE Childhood Cancer headed by the incredible Kristin Connor. Another worthy place to park any charitable donations is Rally Foundation. Of course, while the donations don’t go towards a medical cure, one of my very favorite support groups is The Lightouse Family Retreat; the heart healing that they provide is priceless. Another group that does wonders for the kids themselves is Camp Sunshine; our buddy Tyler loved that place so much.
There’s a very special thing going on right now, though, and I would love for anyone who reads this to not only consider it themselves but to pass the link on to at least 10 people. Back in January 2007, a precious little girl named Catie died from complications of treatment for medulloblastoma, a brain tumor. She was 4 years old, but she left behind a hole as big as the ocean. Catie had an amazing sense of humor and loved to laugh; probably her most coveted possession was her hair, for the brief time she was able to grow it between the end of treatment and relapse. Isn’t she beautiful?

Catie LOVED Christmas, and she especially loved a mischievous little elf who came to visit and was constantly getting into trouble at her house. After she died, her mom, Jenny, wanted to do something that would keep Catie’s spirit alive while helping other sick and hurting children. She ultimately came up with “Elves From Catie“, in conjunction with the Host an Elf folks. For $20, you can purchase an elf that will be delivered to a child at whatever children’s hospital you choose. Stop for just a minute. Try to imagine your child having to spend Christmas in a hospital room, perhaps even in isolation due to lack of an immune system. And then imagine the joy on your child’s face if they were to receive a special elf friend who could keep them company through the lonely hours. Yep, Catie’s elves are special, just as Catie was and is special. Take a look for yourself; I feel sure you’ll agree!
I know this wasn’t a funny post, but pediatric cancer just isn’t. Having to treat children with protocols developed for adults because there just isn’t any money to do research specifically for kids? Not funny at all. Spending Christmas in the hospital while your friends are waking up to Christmas lights and Santa-cookie crumbs? So far from funny that you just can’t get there from here. Please help. Together, we CAN make a difference, and that is the REAL true story. Thanks.

BIG sunflare at sunset..

Why yes, there was some serious sunflare agony going on over here over the past few days/weeks/month. Really.. I do take my I Heart Faces themes seriously, and this one was just hard to nail down. So, I chose the subtle picture for the contest, but this was the other contender, with BIG flare (but the bug hunter just seemed too dark). I think I could probably attend a week long “sunflare” session and still come out not knowing what I needed to do; perhaps there’s a reason why the average person looks at a sunflare shot and says “What did you do wrong? Can you take that picture again?” And maybe.. just maybe… we “artsy photog types” just need to listen…

I Heart Faces-Sunflare at Sunset

So, the contest theme this week is “Sunflare”. I’m all over the board on this one, with HUGE sunflare in some photos (click here to see the other photo I thought about using) but the face is too dark; or very little sunflare but the face is at least OK. Crazy stuff. But I’m learning, so I guess that makes me a winner, no matter what. This was not only a new process (sunflare), but I edited in PaintShopPro X2 (new program) using a RAW picture (scary). A trifecta of “why I should not enter these contests!” but I’m doing it anyway, because I LOVE “I Heart Faces”! So, go there now and look at the other entries so you can see what sunflare really SHOULD look like! Oh, wait.. can you leave me a little comment love first? I’ve been feeling a bit neglected lately.. *sniff*

Saturday Psalm of Praise

At Bug Hunter’s school, the 4th graders study the Psalms and learn who wrote them and what they are. They then write a psalm of their own, and in place of a Thanksgiving feast, they do a “Psalm Reading and Brunch” in the classroom. The parents sit and weep softly as their children share their hearts, and the Spirit of God is very present. Here’s what Bug Hunter had to say:

Oh Messiah,
You are my protector and friend; You gave your very life to save me. Thank you for going through all the perils you had to go through to let me go to Heaven. You are stronger than the strongest steel and kinder than the kindest man. You know the future and you saw the past. You have no beginning or end. You made all things and without you I would be nothing. You love me eternally You let me go to Heaven even though I sin. You rule over death itself. You tell the clouds to rain and they obey. You tell the waves to keep going and they never stop. You have no boundaries or end of love. You care about the worm, so how much could you love me? Nothing compares to you, Lord, thank you for all you have given me. Thank you for my parents, who cook and work. You have also given me a house and a bed to sleep on. You have blessed me with the chance to go to a great school with a kind teacher who teaches me a lot. You gave me a fun dog and you let Kayla, Lindsey and Ronny be my friends. Thank you for letting me live in a free country. You have given me more than I deserve. It was a hot summer day. I was nine and me and my mom were going to church. I was thinking about the Lord and I thought, “Do I have Jesus?” I then began my friendship with God. I prayed that I would never leave Him. Dear Lord, thank you for salvation. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This is the verse that gives me the strength to do what I do. The Bible was written by You and we should not take it lightly.

Your child,

AD (BugHunter)

Compare and contrast

Yesterday afternoon, an impromptu kickball game broke out between the kids and dads of our home and our neighbors. I grabbed my camera and tried to avoid getting run over, kicked, hit in the head by a ball, or drowned by the copious tears that flowed from the two youngest team members (when you’re 3, you truly do feel that you should be allowed to kick no matter WHICH side is up to bat). I also played around with sun flare yesterday and today, AND I took pictures of a few written things that crossed my line of sight, as well. Oh, and one long-tongued doggie got HER mug in there, too. So, here’s a little of what made me smile:

Evening sun flare:

vs. Morning sun flare:

Happy:

Happier:

Sad:

Sadder:

Sweet:

Sweeter:

Silly:

Sillier (OH, how I wish I had this for the I Heart Faces contest!):

Sweet, silly AND happy all rolled into one:

Fun:

Sweet (no more long lunchbox notes allowed, but I CAN sneak ’em in):

Cool! (from the kid who has been saying “I HATE math” for years):

NOT so cool (but it made me giggle):

Whew.. that was fun! What have YOU been up to lately?