Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I feel like I've been stuck in a rut. Photography has seemed more challenging...we've been living in our house for a few months and the newness of our surroundings has worn off, the warmth of summer has limited our outdoor activities, and my energy has been incredibly low (I can at least credit the last one to being pregnant with baby #3 and trying to keep up with two boys!).

So tonight I'm pulling out a much loved book that I checked out from the library (for the second time now) to stir up some new ideas and the hope that there is more out there for me to capture.
The book is called Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson (who has another fabulous book all about exposure). The first time I read this book I was so new to photography and was more overwhelmed than anything at all the possibilities. Now that I've been playing and experimenting with my camera for a while I'm excited to see what I come away with.

If you're interested in improving your photography I highly recommend his book. It's an easy read written with the beginner in mind and goes through various things like what makes a striking picture, the rule of thirds ( if you don't know what this is you can find examples on google - this concept alone dramatically changed the way I took pictures) and how to look for different points of view to add interest to your pictures.

I'd love your help in getting unstuck...what inspires you to grab your camera and start clicking away? Do you ever use the rule of thirds when you're composing a picture?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Honey for a Child's Heart

This picture was taken over a year ago of my oldest reading one of our favorite books, The Collections of Beatrix Potter. He looks so little here - and he was sitting still (he's such an active, energetic boy that this doesn't happen much anymore...unless we're reading!).

I think reading has got to be one of my favorite things to do with my boys. But then again, it's one of my favorite things to do with my own free time too, so maybe that explains something. We love going to the library and discovering new authors that we can't get enough of, checking out arm fulls of books, and going to Bookmans to collect our favorites that we don't want to live without.

I'm not a big fan of my kids watching TV. After reading about the American Academe of Pediatrics strong recommendation to minimize TV viewing for children over the age of two, and no viewing at all for ages under two I've been really resistant to make it a regular part of our lives. There's so much research that shows that not only does it provide no benefit, but is actually harmful for little ones that are growing and learning at such a fast rate. All this to say, yes, we do watch 30 to 45 minute dvd's every few days that we've carefully selected. Many times I sit and watch them with my kids and it and then talk about later. TV viewing has it's time and place, just not a very big one in our home.

Sine we watch very little TV that leaves LOTS of time for reading. Something I started doing this summer was reserving books at the library through their website and sending all of them to a location that's only two minutes away from us. We still browse the shelves and see if something catches our eve, but for the most part our books are waiting for us on the reserve shelf ready to pick up. One of my very favorite resources for discovering new books, authors, and age appropriate reading is a book by Gladys Hunt called Honey for A Child's Heart. She is a fabulous writer, passionate about reading, and has had wonderful reading suggestions. I checked this book out at the library before deciding it was a must have (along with her Honey for a Woman's Heart and Honey for a Teens Heart).

How do you pick the books you read to your kids? We're always looking for new books - what are some of the childrens books your family wouldn't live without (or if you don't have kids yet, what are some books you remember from childhood that every kid should read)?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My date buddy

Little man and I went on a date the other day, just the two of us (thanks to my Mom who had older brother for alone Nana time).

He's such a little nut! He spent almost the entire time giving me a running commentary on what the two flies in the window were doing. He's fascinated with bugs, balls, matchbox cars, and pretty much anything with wheels. All boy. This is him posing for the camera. I have lots of close ups of him trying to attack my camera and blurry shots of him wiggling - he's always wiggling.

And this is him with his car. This is another thing about him, he's always trying to bring some kind of car with him. They're all over our van because as often as they make it into the van they get left there, waiting for a new car buddy to join them for the next trip. Life with boys - it's totally crazy and fun and I can't imagine life any other way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Racing and Chasing

He drove his remote controlled car all over the house while his younger brother tried with all his might to catch it as it zoomed by. The laughter was infectious - and it went on for more than half an hour. I love moments like these and, just sometimes, it's not me doing the chasing!