Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Fever and Memories of Horse Dancing

Are you sucked in to the Olympics yet? 
We sure are! It's been a lot of fun explaining to my almost 8 year old boys what the Olympics are all about. Every evening we've been sitting down on the computer and hitting the highlight videos here. My boys enjoy picking which sports they want to watch and mostly they've either chosen shooting (rifle, archery, skeet) or gymnastics. Who can blame them? Guns, bows and arrows and some really impressive feats of strength and agility in those gymnasts!! 

DR though has been getting pretty tired of watching endless gymnastics. "Gymnastics again??" he asked just the other night. 
"Well" I replied, "at least it's better than horse dancing!

Didn't you know that horse dancing is an Olympic sport?? It IS!!! 
Granted it's not one of those sports that get's a lot of television coverage, in fact, NBC this event at 3am in the morning. And 8 years ago I watched A LOT of horse dancing! (I just learned they call it Dressage) 

Yes, 8 summers ago my twin boys were born right in the middle of the Olympics. Honestly, that summer I wasn't following the Olympics at all. I was doing everything I could to get two babies born! I had grown out of practically all my maternity clothes and I was miserable from being pregnant all summer. Praise the Lord when my two boys decided to finally arrive at the end of August! 

As you mothers out there surely know giving birth isn't a 9 to 5 job. My sister, mom and I were up in the wee hours of the morning, bored and waiting for my husband (that's a whole other story) so I flipped on the television at 3 am and yes, there was Olympic Horse Dancing on. At this point in my hospital stay I needed any diversion I could find to help me from stressing out more than I already was. Horse dancing...now that wasn't something I saw everyday! 

The horse and rider has a large rectangular arena where they would perform a routine to music. Horse Dancing didn't have any obstacles to jump, no...the horses just dance to the music. The horses even seemed to enjoy dancing, but what do I know I'm not a horse whisperer or anything. 

Check out this video where the horse dances to hip hop!! 

I wouldn't say Horse Dancing, okay Dressage, is my favorite Olympic event but it's kind of interesting to watch once or twice. 

What's your favorite Olympic event? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Devotions - Love for the Hatemongers

Love for Enemies

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

Who doesn't love Facebook? I bet if you are reading this post that you are at least a little bit engulfed by the whole social media thing. It's great isn't it? I mean just this week dozens of my friends wished me happy birthday, I saw a newborn's first photo and I got to see some awesome photos of 4H fairs hundreds of miles away. Facebook can be a great way to celebrate events in my friends lives! 

Sadly though Facebook can also be a forum for negativity. Recently something very negative was directed towards me and some friends of mine by another mutual "friend". My first reaction was anger, revenge, a sense of betrayal. She's supposed to be my friend and she said that!! GGGrrrr....I really wanted to call her up and give her a piece of my mind. 

But I didn't, because it wouldn't have changed anything. Me spreading animosity and anger will never be the solution to hurtful words. Besides I was reminded that although my "friend" was spreading negativity that God still loves her. God loves the just and the unjust. God still loves my friend. God still cares about her well being. And I should too. God loves us all. The good, the bad. The positive, the negative. The just, the unjust. 

I do still love my friend, it's hard, but I do care about her. I've deleted my friend from Facebook because even though I still love my friend I won't put myself into a situation where I'm degraded. There may be a very good chance I'll never talk to this friend again. I've prayed for this friend daily for months and I'll continue to do so because.... she needs it. Once I gave up the idea of "giving her a piece of my mind" and just letting go of the whole situation, I felt a lot calmer in my spirit. 

 Dear Heavenly Father, Life is hard and sometimes people are hard to deal with. Thank You for the words of Your Son to remind me that even though someone has dealt with me unjustly that they are still one of Your children and they are loved. If You can love the unjust Lord then so can I. Please just give me the strength to do so. Amen. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My super awesome birthday "fruit" cake!

Yesterday was my birthday!! 

That's right the big (or not so big) 3-6!
Whoop whoop!!! 

And check out my awesome birthday cake!! 

It was too dang hot to heat up my kitchen with a cake. Besides...it was my birthday and frankly I didn't want to go to the hassle of baking (cuz it's the moms who always make the cakes anyway). 

So I peeled up a watermelon, sliced a bunch of fruit and handed it to my kids along with a pile of toothpicks. What a piece of art! 

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday cake....because I ate about half of it and don't fell at all guilty!! LOL 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foody Friday - Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

In the spring when I went to the greenhouse to buy tomato plants I was talked into buying a couple eggplants. Why not, they were only $1 each. I'm now blessed with eggplants!! What to do with them all?

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup 
The latest soup I'm in love with. 

3T olive oil, divided
2 large eggplants, diced
12 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
8 cloves garlic
2 c. chopped onions
8 c. broth
1 t. salt
2 t. sugar
2 T vinegar
1 fresh chopped basil or 1T dried basil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss eggplant and garlic in 2T olive oil. Spread out on greased cookie sheet and cook on highest shelf of oven. Place halved tomatoes skin side down on separate greased cookie sheet on lowest shelf of oven. After 15 minutes, check vegetables to ensure they aren't burning. Tomato skins should be a bit brown or beginning to blacken where they are touching the sheet. The eggplant and garlic should be turning brown and blackening slightly. Cook another 10-15 minutes, until vegetables have achieved the desired color. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add stock and roasted vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree. Stir in salt, sugar, vinegar and basil. Garnish with 1T shredded mozzarella cheese and basil. 

Oh my!!! After this bowl of soup my eggplant can't grow fast enough!!! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Judging the Fair Queen

Earlier this week I was asked to judge the Fair Queen Contest in our neighboring county. Honestly, judging a queen contest isn't really my thing. I've never been the girly girl that dresses up and parades around singing and dancing. Truthfully, I've always kind of brushed off women in any kind of pageant as some sort of  airhead, I'm sorry to admit. But, I agreed to do this because a friend of mine asked me to help her out. 

And I am so glad I did because I definitely changed my mind about any girl that enters into a pageant of any sort. It takes a great deal of courage to subject yourself to being judged! First we interviewed the girls, then they shared their talent, finally they modeled two different outfits. For most of the girls talking and performing came quite easily; relaxed, intelligent, humorous . Unsurprisingly, these were the girls that won queen and runner ups.

But the girls with the most courage were those who talking and performing didn't come so easily. There was one girl, I remember, that was so nervous she was practically shaking during the entire interview and talent portions. The poor girl. I could have easily been her when I was in high school. Indeed I do remember a speech I was asked to give in high school English class where I shook and my voice trembled the entire time. As a teenager, my entering a pageant like this would have been pure torture. Those few girls who were so incredibly nervous, I was sooo very proud of them! How brave they were to put themselves out there knowing they probably weren't going to win the title. To put themselves in front of a crowd to sing or dance or whatever. That's not something just anyone could do! Surely some of those girls only entered knowing that it would be a good learning experience for them although a difficult one. 

I was so very proud of every one of those girls despite the fact I had never met them before the judging. They put themselves out there to be judged, something I would NEVER have done at their age. Judging those girls wasn't easy because I sure didn't write any sort of comment that would have broken their spirit. I know it's an old cliche that "they were all winners" but really it's true. I'd be happy to judge another queen contest at any time! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 28/29 - Weapon and Edge

I'm behind....again...
I wish I were one of those organized people always knowing what needs done when and having a plan to get it all done. The reality is I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants most of the time :) 


This one was fun to shoot though I didn't get many good photos. My boys and about four other boys have had a water battle at the pool a couple days in a row...it was pretty intense! 

1/400 sec., f14, ISO 400


I'm not too cracked on how the weapon photo turned out but I'm much happier with edge. Yip was waiting on the edge of the pool anxiously listening for the lifeguard whistle signaling the okay to jump in after the break. 

1/400 sec., f13, ISO 400 

This one is cropped way in and edited quite a bit, changing the brightness, contrast and saturation levels. 

Then with a vintage filter and more color saturation. 

Week 30, next week is UP. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

4H Recap...in Pictures

Last week I posted pictures of the boys and their 4H projects. I thought I'd do a quick recap of how they did as I'm sure you are interested. Okay, really, the only people who are interested are grandparents. (I've already been told by my grandmother that I can never stop blogging! That's okay, I'd be happy to blog just for her :) 

I was kind of disappointed in the reds, didn't these judges realize the boys are only 7? But I kept my thoughts to myself and the boys were happy enough. 

Although they did well in Foods, neither of them are interested in doing it next year. Ah, there go my dreams of having a personal chef at home :P 

The crowning achievement was their electrical boards. Sorry for the bad photo but Yip had reserve champion and Yap had champion!! Congratulations boys!! They won't go to the state fair because there is a rule that you have to be 8 years old to exhibit at state. Maybe next year. 

Whew, my summer schedule suddenly lightened considerably! 
What to do, what to do?? 

How was your fair this summer? Do you have any achievements you'd like to brag on? I have some time to cruise blogs now! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ten Things that's prevented me from Blogging this week.

1. Lost my 3 year old daughter at the fairgrounds (she just went to the bathroom, dang independence!)

2. Sucked in and bought the Shades of Grey Trilogy on Monday (I've finished two!!)

3. Cut and cut and cut and glued and glued and glued wedding invitations. (I'm so tired of looking at them I kind of hope she doesn't send me one!!!)

4. Harvest in the garden!! Cucumbers, summer squash, eggplant, oh my!

5. Sat my shift in the 4H Fair Concession stand. (Hey, I got more Grey reading time in!!!)

6. Swimming, swimming and swimming. Hey, it's 106 out and I have the town pool practically in my back yard...you'd choose swimming over blogging too!

7. Trying to catch up my 52 Week Project....I'm behind...I know!!!

8. Cleaned up the church from Vacation Bible School, I'm so glad it's over but the woman who organized VBS is already planning for a Christmas performance....Old Time Christmas on the Prairie!! I'm already excited!!

9. Bought a new pair of Vibram Shoes....

I LOVE that they are pink and kind of girly!!! I've worn them all over town today. (Yes, I realize that buying a pair of shoes in no way actually prevented me from blogging but I like to show them off!)

10. Okay, I can't think of a 10th thing that's kept me from blogging but I'm sure there is something else. I just can't get over how much busier summer is than any other time of year. How does that happen?

So, what's keeping you busy this summer?

Monday, July 16, 2012

4H Projects are done :)

We finished up the last of the 4H projects Saturday night (granola bars...yum!) and we are headed off today to put them into the fair. Yip and Yap graciously (yeah right) agreed to let me take photos of them with their projects. 

Without further ado.....

Dang, they did so well in the kitchen that I'll have to put them to work cooking more often! Granola bars...mmmm, chocolate and s'more! 

We have two art projects to put in this year. The boys made paper mache masks. Yap's is a knight's helmet and Yip's is Batman which is just the beginning of Halloween costumes. 

Clay piranhas they made at school. 

I was sooo proud of their sewing projects! First they painted some fabric and then sewed it up. Yap's is a simple pillow and he's holding a knitted belt over it that he also made. While Yip, well, he went all out and made a Captain America stuffed doll! He was super patient with sewing around every little corner and curve! 

Finally their circuit boards, thanks Grandma for sending the kits. 

4H Fair here we come! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Devotions - Courage in Captivity

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility  young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. Daniel 1:3-7

Our church held our Vacation Bible School this week with the theme Daniel's Courage in Captivity. One of the college age girls from the community dressed up like Daniel and talked to the kid's about 'his life' in Babylon. It was fun for me to see the kid's introduced to this period of history but also to see their awe at all the Daniel endured during his decades of living in Babylon. 

Not only was he taken from his home but he was given a new name and a new language to learn. Then he had the courage to speak up against Nebuchadnezzar's, king of Babylon, royal training.

 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

Next Daniel testified of God's power and strength to the king, an unbeliever, when he was asked to interpret the king's dream under the threat of execution if he got it wrong. 

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; 
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; 
    he deposes kings and raises up others. 
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning. 
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; 
    he knows what lies in darkness, 
    and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: 
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king. 

Then he had to endure watching his friends being punished for worshiping God rather than Nebuchadnezzar's statue and being thrown into the fiery furnace. Surely Daniel knew that their fate would eventually be his fate as well. 

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. 

Finally in the sunset of his life when he was most likely an old man Daniel was thrown into a den of lions, reluctantly, by King Darius. 

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

"I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty." 

For an innocent man poor Daniel sure had to endure quite a lot. I've moved around a lot and I haven't always found it easy to settle into a new home, and that was with my own name and language! I can't imagine how much courage Daniel had! But despite the hardships Daniel was blessed because he always remembered that God was with him, God always keeps his promises, and God NEVER FAILS! What a wonderful testimony to carry throughout one's life and into a new kingdom!! I often wonder how many converts Daniel influenced in Babylon. 

Courage. It's not always easy to have. Imagine if you were followed around everyday by a huge capable bodyguard, like the celebrities have but better. Your bodyguard is equipped with the utmost knowledge and superior fighting capabilities so that you knew that no harm would come to you no matter the circumstances. How brave would you be then? Awfully brave I bet. 

That's how brave and courageous and fearless we can be everyday because we DO have that bodyguard in God!! Hallelujah!! 

Dear God, Thank You for never failing us. Thank You for always, ALWAYS being by my side. Thank You for providing me strength, faith and bravery in every situation!! Life is so much easier to face with You next to me. Amen!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Foody Friday - Crazy Salt Tomatoes

I had a nice bowl of cherry tomatoes that ripened this week. 
And I was craving some Crazy Salt Tomatoes. 
Years ago my grandpa's neighbor introduced me to this quick little snack. 

Throw some cherry tomatoes into a ziploc bag with some olive oil, some Crazy Salt and refrigerate. My grandma would buy Crazy Salt at the Amish bulk food store but I haven't found any around here. Off to make my own! 

I found a Crazy Salt recipe that I mixed up. Yum! 
Now I have a big batch of Crazy Salt that is wonderful on eggs!

1/4c. salt

1 teaspoon each of;
 dill seed, pepper,onion powder, garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon each of;  
curry, chili powder, paprika, sage, oregano, marjoram, parsley

 2 teaspoons of lemon zest

Have you ever used or made Crazy Salt? 
Do you have a recipe to share? I'd love to try it! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Babylon!!! The Vacation Bible School Mural

Right after we returned home from our Indiana vacation in May I got to work painting flowers and vines....

....in preparation for our Vacation Bible School's theme, Babylon: Daniel's Captivity!

Behold!!! The Hanging Gardens!! 
I couldn't get a good picture of this before know because I had to paint it in two separate pieces in a pretty small space. It measures about 21 feet long and about 6 1/2 feet high. 

This was soooooo much fun to do!!! 
And I'm really proud of it considering how much time I put into it. 

I could do this for a living! I just love to paint BIG! 

The woman in charge of VBS already has a backdrop theme in mind for Christmas!! HA! Don't be surprised if it's done by Halloween; I really love painting this kind of stuff! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week 27 - Eyes

Yahoo is always getting complements on our beautiful her eyes are....much to the chagrin of her father DR. He's afraid she's going to grow up to be a teenage girl with beautiful eyes :) 

This week's theme is Eyes and I've tried for a long time to get a good photo of her eyes, she doesn't always cooperate. But just the other night we were in the bathroom, she was sitting on the counter and the light was coming in the window just right, and she was in a good mood, and I was able to snap a couple pretty quickly. 

Original; 1/60 sec., f5.6, ISO 1600 

Edited; closer and a little color boost. 
Geez, I'm jealous of those eyes. 

This one is out of focus but I love it anyway, blurry and all because, I think, it  shows off Yahoo's personality. 
Original; f5.6, 1/50 sec., ISO 1600 

Edited slightly with more contrast and a little more color saturation. 

Next week's theme is Weapon! 
Oh, there's sooo many ways I could shoot that!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Devotions - God's path

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

I truly believe that God has put me on Earth for a purpose and job to complete. I'm more than happy to do whatever it his he calls me to do but sometimes I find it kind of difficult knowing what it is I'm supposed to be doing and which path I should be taking. 

When I graduated college and began teaching I felt like my calling was to work with kids..and I loved it! But after only five years of teaching I met my husband and from there we've moved all over the place and I've never had the opportunity to get back into my own classroom. 

In my years of moving from place to place there were many times I felt clueless about my job on this Earth. Am I supposed to be teaching in a classroom? Am I supposed to be a devoted stay at home mom? Am I supposed to do something specific in my community? What's my job? 

I suppose I may never know exactly what I'm to do for God however if I can live everyday testifying for God, whether it be in a classroom, at home or somewhere in my community then I'm sure to be on the right path. 

Dear Heavenly Father, We both know that You have given me a job to do on this Earth, however sometimes I'm confused about exactly what that job is. Guide me on the right path. Amen. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Yip's Swim Lessons...finally!

Finally, Yip finished his swim lessons! He couldn't take them with Yap during the first session because he thought it would be a good idea to cut a deep gash in his finger. 

All my kids are good swimmers but Yip is a fish. 

Going off the diving board at the end of every lesson was what he looked forward to the most. At the beginning he just jumped off but by yesterday he was showing off and diving headfirst! He's crazy! He thinks it's the coolest thing that he can dive and touch the bottom of the pool at the 10 ft. end. 

I'm so glad for all the wonderful swim instructors that my kids have had this summer. Living a block away from the pool has been a blessing, especially in 106 degree heat, and we've spent about every other day swimming. We've been taking full advantage of it because who knows how long we'll be here and if we'll ever be this close to a pool again. 

I wish that I could have swim lessons too because my boys are far better swimmers than I am. Do you think they'd notice if I slipped into the class with the five year olds next summer? 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Foody Friday - Heritage Recipes and Zucchini Casserole

Earlier this week I came across a website called Heritage Recipes; sharing old fashioned recipes and traditions. Their website states; 

These are more than just recipes.  These heritage recipes - our links with our past and our connections to special people and special events are tied to those scraps of paper.  At Heritage Recipes we are dedicated to the preservation of memories and old recipes.

I don't know about you but I prefer old fashioned recipes to modern ones that call for a number of prepackaged items and I love the idea of a website that shares them. In fact the website is always looking for new recipes to share. I sent in my great grandmother's tomato soup recipe, along with a story about her, and a relish recipe from a family friend. 

Then I started cruising their site. I found a website for zucchini casserole. (Remember my intense hatred for zucchini?) I didn't plant any zucchini this summer but I do have yellow summer squash that I've been sauteing in butter all summer...and I'm getting a bit tired of it. I thought it would work in a zucchini casserole. 

Although, when I pulled it out of the oven I had my doubts. It sure didn't look that appetizing. My kids, of course, hated it. My husband thought it had an odd texture. I, however, ate half the pan. Granted it was only a 9x9 pan but still, I had a stomach ache from eating so much! 

Slice thin zucchini (no quantity given, I used 2 yellow squash)
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
4 large tomatoes (homegrown if possible, I only had 2), sliced
1 green pepper
1 onion (didn't have one)
Salt (no amount given, I just sprinkled some in)
1 T. brown sugar
2 bay leaves 
1 tsp. oregano
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese (I used mozzarella and only about a cup)

Melt the butter, add flour.  Stir constantly until flour begins to brown. Add sugar, bay leaves, oregano and salt.  In a baking dish, put a layers of zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and cheese.  Pour flour/butter mixture over and bake at 350 degrees.  (No time is given. I judged mine to be done after 45 minutes.)

I've learned that old fashioned recipes are more flexible than more modern recipes. Most of the time substitutions or detracting from an old recipe doesn't guarantee failures. 

I was very surprised how good it was! The vegetables had a warm buttery flavor and the cheese was just right without being overwhelming. I ate half the pan and I'm ready to eat the other half all by myself! 

Do you have a favorite Heritage Recipe to share? Why not hop on over to Heritage Recipes and send them an email? And don't forget to send me a copy too!! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 26 - EAT

I'm a week behind but hopefully I can get caught up by Saturday. 

So Week 26, halfway through..can you believe it? 

This photo was taken a couple weeks ago but I love it so much I thought I'd include it today. Not that I took a fabulous photo but I love the way Yahoo's hands are so carefully cradling her watermelon. That girl LOVES her watermelon! 

1/100 sec., f9, ISO 1600

1/60 sec., f5.6, ISO 1600 with flash 

I've found that one of the hardest things about using my camera is using my flash and still getting, what I think, is a nice photo. This morning Yip was sitting on the couch eating an apple and reading, his normal breakfast position, with the light coming in through the window. It was a nice gold light but just not enough to expose his left side but when I turned on the flash it was just perfect. 

Next week, or maybe Saturday if I can catch up...that's the plan anyway, is EYES!! 

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