Monday, June 27, 2011

365 Project -- #169-175

Last week, I did say that this week would be flower week!  I'd like to keep this post short and sweet, so here they are in all the beauty in which God has clothed them.

[169] June 18 -- Snow pea bloom

[170] June 19 -- Day lily in the rain

[171] June 20 -- Blooming coreopsis

[172] June 21 -- Variegated beard tongue

[173] June 22 -- Tomato blossom

[174] June 23 -- Back yard daisy

[175] June 24 -- Dianthus

So there you go--more photos, fewer words.  Enjoy a color-filled week!!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Before All Things

For by Him all things were created,
both in the heavens and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16-17 NASB

I find it amazing that He created mighty things such as thrones and dominions, but that He also lovingly created the microscopic details in the tiniest living things.  Visible--from planets to amoeba.  Invisible--dominions through the spirit of man.  Through Him, for Him.  They all hold together in Him.  This evokes one word in my heart:  TRUST.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Macro Garden Tour -- The Front Yard

Over on my family blog, I created a post that gives you a tour of my front and back yard gardens.  With this post, I'm going to give you the up-close-and-personal tour.  :)

Stop #1.  The "new" garden.

After building a few more raised-bed vegetable gardens in the back yard, we had some leftover garden soil.  What a perfect opportunity to create a new garden!  The guys helped move the two rocks we had sitting there, then they dug out the sod, broke up the ground, dumped on the soil (plus some compost my sister-in-law gave me), then transplanted several clumps of flowers from the "Stop #2" garden.



Asiatic lily

Asiatic lily a few days later--blooming!

Stop #2.  The "finished" sun garden.

Yeah--this garden had been complete, but since we transferred flowers from it to the garden above, there are some empty spots.  I've already moved several plants around for spacing, and transplanted a flower (I believe it's dianthus) from my back yard to here.



More coreopsis

Beard tongue -- one of my favorites

Stop #3.  The front porch garden.

This was my very first garden; it's a shade garden but I've managed to find flowers that like this location.  I wrote about this special spot on my family blog so I'll just post images here.  :)

Coral bells -- "Champagne Bubbles"


Coral bells -- unknown variety

Astilbe -- "Bridal Veil"

Coral bells -- "Black Beauty"

Brunnera (Siberian bugloss)

Coral bells -- "Marmalade"

Woodland hydrangea

That's a lot of flowers!  And I haven't killed them!  Actually, my flowers must have the ability to survive with little help from me.  So if your garden-care personality is like mine, and you want to plant a garden, this post can be your handy guide!  The back yard tour awaits another day...

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Monday, June 20, 2011

365 Project -- #162-168

Welcome to another week of images!  I can't believe I've kept this project up for this long.  The funny thing is, all winter long I pined for spring and summer, for photographing flowers and birds and summer and all things green and blue!  And now I feel like I'm running out of things to shoot.  I did experiment a little with camera settings this week.  Plus, I will probably have a few photo shoots in the next few weeks, so I'll have some different images to post--yeah!

I meandered out to my vegetable garden only to discover that my sage had bloomed!  This is its third year in my veggie garden; we had transplanted it to a different spot to make room for snow peas (I'll let you know soon if we actually get a harvest).  The sage took to its new home well enough to bloom in pretty purple flowers.

[162] June 11 -- Blooming sage

Remember the image in last week's 365 Project post showing the preparation of Danny's graduation display?  Here is the wonderful graduation cake made by Keren, homeschool graduate and Cake Decorator Extraordinaire.  This cake graced our fully-laden dessert table, and provided celebratory yumminess for about 200 people.  :)

[163] June 12 -- Graduation cake

My friend's little girl made a mess eating her watermelon--always a great opportunity to take a photo!

[164] June 13 -- Watermelon face

We finally finished digging out and building up a second garden in our front yard.  The guys helped transplant the tallest flowers to the new garden, and since we had TONS left over with no place to plant them, we potted them and stuck them at the curb with a sign.  No one stopped for the longest time, but as soon as I went inside, a lady pulled up and happily took them all.  :)

[165] June 14 -- Free flowers

A sweet neighbor stopped by with a basket full of canning jars for me!  And she gave me a little posy of sweet William which has graced my kitchen counter.

 [166] June 15 -- Gift of sweet William

The image below is my experiment.  I shoot a lot in Aperture Priority mode, but I always have problems figuring out how to get the lighting right when I shoot with sky as the background.  The flower was not backlit, but I wanted the bright orange of this daylily to "pop" as I shot against the sky.  I switched to Manual mode, set ISO at 100 (still bright enough outside), chose my desired F-stop (I think it was f8), then experimented with shutter speed in order to get the lighting on the flower just right.  I did lighten it just a tad in Lightroom3, but I think it turned out beautifully.  :)

[167] June 16 -- Daylily bloom

Though I thought I was running out of flowers to shoot, I realized that my veggies were also blooming!  I captured the below shot of a future green pepper, also shot in Manual mode.  Hopefully this year I'll get peppers that are at least as big as my fist.  Sigh--I'm not the best gardener, but I'm trying!

[168] June 17 -- Green pepper bloom

Hmm--next week's images will surely include a snow pea bloom, a tomato bloom, dianthus, yucca...  FLOWER WEEK!  Hurray for color!!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Strength and Song

The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him:
My father's God, and I will extol Him.
Exodus 15:2 NASB

To me. flowers bring to mind praise and song.  Their bright colors just shout, "Praise Him!  Praise Him all day long!  Praise Him with all your might!!"  That's why I chose this image to reflect my verse for today.  Have a beautiful, praise-filled Lord's Day today!  :)

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Yours is the Day

Yours is the day, Yours also is the night;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
Psalm 74:16 NASB

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Monday, June 13, 2011

365 Project -- #155-161

What a weird weather week last week!  I don't have "weather" photos to show you, but we were close to 99 degrees for a few days, then we cooled off to the low 60s!  Strange, but typical for Chicago weather.  Here are my images from last week...

Wrapping up our state homeschool convention, I snapped this image of my friend Lori who assisted at Diana Waring's speaker table, just a few tables down from my speaker, Matthew McNatt's, table.

[155] June 4 -- At a speaker table

I love getting candid images when I attend an event; this image was one of the few I took, because I did more than attend!  I do have an official title--ICHE Coordinator for Special & Struggling Learners.  But at the convention, I take care of my speakers, attend all their workshops, see to their needs, man their tables if need be, and run around taking care of all the little things that pop up unexpectedly.  If time permits, I also visit the Oasis--a separate area where new homeschoolers can stop by to ask questions of veteran homeschoolers.  Many times, there are parents who have lots of questions regarding their special/struggling children, and it's such a blessing to be able to listen to their stories, answer questions, and offer encouragement.  And to pray with them!

Whoa.  I digressed there!  Back to the week's images...  It's so nice to come home from working so hard to a flower garden that takes care of itself!  The beard tongue below has become one of my favorites in my sun garden.  It is just one plant, but new blooms emerge in purple, then brighten to pink and become lighter as they "age."  There are usually three or four colors among my beard tongue plants, and they're so pretty together!

[156] June 5 -- Beard tongue

On a flower kick, I trotted off to the back yard to capture some daisies in bloom.  Boy, was it HOT that day!

[157] June 6 -- Back yard daisies

There's a little airport across the street from our house (and behind the Meijer grocery store).  I think it's funny that it's called Clow International Airport, but supposedly planes can make it to Canada, so it is an international airport.  They put on an air show each June, and I caught this T-2 Texan flying overhead, with its wheels folded in as it flew around.

[158] June 7 -- T-2 Texan in air show

As I watered my plants, this friendly robin kept coming by to look for goodies in the ground.  He seemed totally unafraid of me, getting to within five or six feet of where I was watering.  Of course, I ran inside, grabbed my camera, and continued watering (and weeding!) with my Ellie around my neck to capture this happy bird.

[159] June 8 -- Friendly robin

The radish harvest has begun!  The image below is my third radish harvest, and I have picked another bunch since then.  They are "hot," too, but taste awesome dipped in my homemade creamy garlic salad dressing.

[160] June 9 -- Radishes from my garden

Then, the better part of last week was spent making preparations for Danny's graduation celebration this past Sunday.  Danny and I had fun going through my scrapbooks, laughing over little-boy pictures--especially the six-month-old with fat cheeks, sitting in a high chair with sweet potatoes all over his face.  :)

[161] June 10 -- Graduation preparations

This week, I'm relaxing!  Well, until Friday, anyway, when Danny has all four wisdom teeth removed.  I need some down time after several weeks of GOING.  I'll let you know how much I actually "relaxed" next week when I check in!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

As a Flower of the Field

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from
everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children's children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
Psalm 103:15-18 NASB

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Friday, June 10, 2011

You Have Made Summer

You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:17 NASB

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Monday, June 6, 2011

365 Project -- #148-154

Exhaustion.  That is an apt word today.  Last week was a blur, with a photo shoot on Memorial Day, preparing for our state homeschool convention on Tuesday, then attending our convention speaker banquet Wednesday, followed by three days of convention activities.  I absolutely love overseeing my portion of the convention--I get to meet amazing speakers, talk to and encourage new (and veteran!) homeschoolers, and connect with people I haven't seen in a while.  Here are the images from my week.

Senior photo shoot, downtown Chicago at UIC (the University of Illinois in Chicago).  This young man hopes to transfer here after earning his Associate's degree from his local community college.  He is on his way to medical school!

[148] May 28 -- Senior portrait at Hull House

I like the below shot because it gives the feeling of walking into sunshine, and a bright future.

[149] May 29 -- Toward a bright future

Not all the portraits will be chosen for prints.  The one below probably won't make the 8x10 list.  Goofing off for the camera every now and then relieves stress.  It's hard to focus on what the photographer tells you to do--smiling, leaning against a wall, or looking this way and that.  Goofy faces take care of all that.  :)

[150] May 30 -- A senior portrait--NOT

In preparation for all of the workshops I coordinate at our state convention, I printed out new "countdown" numbers to wave at the speakers as time runs out in their workshops.  The convention runs like clockwork, and there is not a lot of variance for running over one's time!  So I try to make sure my speakers stay within the time limits.

[151] May 31 -- Numbers

My first workshop!  Matthew McNatt spoke to parents homeschooling their special needs students.  He was very encouraging, and a fascinating person to get to know.  I'm so glad I invited him to speak at our convention!

[152] June 1 -- My conference speaker

My #3 son Danny was able to attend a workshop where the students dissected a sheep's brain.  Me--YUCK.  Danny--COOL.  And, if you wondered--YES, this is the same young man from the senior portraits above.  :)

[153] June 2 -- Picking your brain

That's it through last Friday.  Next week I'll wrap up the last day of the convention, and add some new photos.  Who knows what I'll post!  I'm definitely not relaxing this week--preparations for yet another event are on the calendar!  I sure hope you all have a super week as summer begins to warm things up.

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