Christmas morning, interval shooting mode

Right before Christmas, I read a blog post about the stress of mom-photographers documenting Christmas morning–never being in the pictures and barely feeling part of the action.  They suggested using the interval timer setting–it worked wonderfully.  They aren’t the best technically perfect pictures but we’re all in them and best of all, I got to enjoy watching and participating in the action:)  I set it to take a picture every 30 seconds for about 30 minutes.  I got rid of a lot but I like the feel it gives:)  Here is a sampling

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“They are making s’mores in the back yard”

Obviously still from last November.  I come home from a photo shoot one Sunday afternoon and the house is super quiet . . . “Where are the kids” I say to Kelly “They are making s’mores in the back yard”.  Oh, cool, I love s’mores I think to myself, what a cool dad they have.  Then it hits me, um, how are roasting the marshmallows?  He made a fire from our teepee branches in the sandbox!  Now, to his credit, he was in the house for only a minute, not lounging around while his young children were playing with fire.  But, really, I wasn’t prepared for the blaze I saw.  There wasn’t much to fear, it was super hot and they were too afraid to get close to it.  I did however point out the dried up dead weeds that were all over the sandbox, the fact that it hasn’t been used as a sandbox for a couple of years (thus, not much sand), and that the wood frame is pretty dried out!

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It’s a pretty big fire, isn’t it!  You all need to understand something about Kelly–he’s rather a boy scout, he can make a good fire and is pretty safe about it, but, he loves fire and he tells stories of nearly setting the woods near his house on fire as a junior high aged kid so I don’t completely trust him.  The best part came when he decided to throw the dead tomato plants on it, there was lots of smoke;) and then we heard a siren. I think he panicked a bit then because he quickly put it out:)

Sunflower meal?

Ezra planted a sunflower (from school) in the middle of the garden-last year, I’m like, oh, ok that is a great spot (in the bed that I have cleaned out, planted a hedge, made herb garden, spent literal hours redoing), yes, a giant sunflower will certainly go perfectly there!  Being the cool mom I am, I let him do it thinking it probably wouldn’t amount to much–WRONG, it was HUGE, over 6 feet tall and quite a conversation piece.  We actually had to stake it, and then a storm came and we gave up on rescuing it.  I had intended on researching how to harvest the seeds but as with many of my ideas, it never happened.  This squirrel was glad and the kids thought it was so cool to watch him, I was pretty impressed too.  And, you know it, we’ll be planting more next year, although maybe in a more supportive and less conspicuous location.

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Pumpkin carving

It’s been a tradition to carve our pumpkins with our friends Rob & Becky — whose daughter happens to be Marian’s very best friend since they were 3.  We’ve had pumpkin parties in the past but it just didn’t work out this year.  We managed to sneak it in just in time, the day before Halloween.  And, it was a beautiful night . . .

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Ezra & Caleb were out playing soccer much of the night, even after it got dark.  It was late and I was putting Ezra to bed when I saw his feet!  Ughh, better at least get those feet washed (the boy never wants to wear shoes!)

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Garden harvest

As I’m thinking about what to plant & where in this year’s garden, here are a couple of pictures from our 2013 bounty . . .

I wanted to try broccoli last year, I had been to a clients the fall before and they were talking it up (and we eat a lot of broccoli!).

Did you know that you can harvest broccoli well into the fall?  Like for 2-3 months!  Here it is flowering at the end, it was hard to keep up with it.  Now that we know what we’re doing, we’ll do a better job.  I’ll probably encourage the kids to just go out and eat it whenever they want to also, it was delicious and we will be doing it again in 2014

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The other huge success . . .

Carrots!  I’ve tried them before without any luck but this year with Kelly building that raised bed off the deck, we had perfect soil for carrots to flourish.  Kelly would send the kids out to pick carrots for dinner a couple times a week and some of them were huge (and still tasted good).  I planted them zig-zagged between the red peppers (which didn’t fare very well) and the tomatoes.

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