Tuesday, June 28, 2011

365 - Macro Lens

This week our long-awaited macro lens arrived. It has been on back-order for over a year! It was a gift from Panasonic (long story, see the start of it here and here) so it's not like we could complain about the wait (in fact, we still have this wide angle telephoto lens to look forward to)! Anyway, when I came home the first day we had the lens, Rebecca had set up this water-drop photography apparatus:

From Mom's Photos

And she thought she would never use Calculus again (ha!):

From Mom's Photos

Anyway, she had some fun with that, and now we're saving up lightbulbs to break for a cool macro shot (Dad, you're the one who gave us that idea).

So I haven't gotten to use the lens much, but here's a few shots I took with it.

From Mom's Photos

From Mom's Photos

From Mom's Photos

From Mom's Photos

From Mom's Photos

Rebecca says this one is indecent, but I'll post it anyway:

From Mom's Photos

And, finally, this is one I took of the sky. It just looked really cool when I woke up in the morning. Normally I would not take a sky shot with a macro lens, but I would have had to wake up Rebecca to get the other lens out of her room.

From Mom's Photos

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Yesterday Nathan turned 15. I know it's cliche, but it seems like yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital.

Nathan has always been my sensitive one. I have told him many times that he reminds me of the one leper in ten who came back to thank Jesus for being healed. Nathan is the one who remembers to tell me thanks for a good meal, the one who notices if I'm feeling down, and the one who empathizes with others (this may be a mutant gene as the rest of us in the family are sometimes sadly lacking in this quality).

Terry worried about Nathan's sensitivity when he was little. He wondered how Nathan would be able to compete in sports and if they would have anything in common. Turns out, Nathan is a highly competitive athlete and the one who truly enjoys watching sports with his Dad (unless the Vols lose - then the sensitivity kicks in and he has to leave the room).

Nathan is at the wonderful age where he is quite mature and capable (with the possible exception of cooking) but he hasn't forgotten how to have fun like a kid. He's a great son, a great brother, and a great friend. We are very proud of him.

And I've actually had a few Moms in the area tell me that Nathan is the kind of guy they hope their girls grow up to marry. I'm not ready to cut those apron strings quite yet!

Monday, June 20, 2011

365 - Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

One of my part-time jobs is as a mobile notary. I have enjoyed getting to drive to some pretty out-of-the-way spots. Today I drove to Afton, Tennessee and took a route through some countryside I had never seen before. On the way, I saw several signs - some nostalgic, some disturbing and some humorous. I don't know if the photos are that good - I just used the point and shoot for these.

I took these at a gas station on Highway 11E. I assume there's no gas here (check out the price!), but someone sure has taken care of these vintage pumps. One of my favorite lines from a commercial when I was little was "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star!"

I saw quite a few signs for fireworks, but this sign had me wondering whether Wild Wilma was a local celebrity or just a retail chain:

Then I saw this sign which just struck me as funny. It says "Beware of The Dog," but I didn't see a dog - only these goats.

It's not unusual to see Bible verses on barns in Tennessee, but this sign had a message I didn't expect.

I came home and looked up the verse, and we talked about it some at dinner tonight - not a lot because I often feel like I'm in over my head when I try to explain the trinity.

Speaking of Bible verses, I'm enjoying the chalkboard I have in my kitchen now, and this is the message we have up this week:

365 - Random Shots

I've not been able to keep up with my photos for Mommytography as much as I would like. I have returned to work for a few months this summer for the first time in fifteen years. And though I've found some very interesting decor in various cubicles, I somehow feel like I'm violating people's personal space (and probably company policy as well) if I take a picture. I did manage this one - my first self-portrait of the Mommytography project.

From June 2011

The other shots are just random ones I took around the house or out driving. I think Rebecca's random photos are way better than mine, but besides her superior talent, she has the great camera (which I now only get to use occasionally) and lots of time on her hands.

From June 2011

From June 2011

From June 2011

From June 2011

From June 2011

From June 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Memories, Pressed Between the Pages of My Mind

From Milligan Orientation

Well, Rebecca went to college orientation this weekend, so I guess it's about time that I wrote a post about her graduation. I've been doing quite a lot of thinking about this "end of an era" type of feeling that I have - and this sense of urgency to make the most of the time I have left with all of my kids.

First of all, I want to share a couple of scriptures that come to my mind. The first one is a little verse about Mary that has always captured my attention -

Luke 1:19 says "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Mary did not have a camera or a scrapbook or a blog (can you imagine if she had?), but I believe we are kindred spirits when it comes to memories. I treasure the time I have had so far with Rebecca, and I love to ponder what God is doing in her life and what God has taught me through being her Mom.

Sometimes I think it's easy for me to get to caught up in memories and to make an idol of the past. I have to also keep in mind this other verse from Eccl. 7:10, "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For there is no wisdom in this question."

It's not wise to live in the past because it robs us from the experience of the present.

As much as I enjoyed my little Rebecca and treasure those memories,

From small beginnings

I wouldn't want her back because I would miss the Rebecca that I have now.

From Graduation

Thankfully, graduation and getting ready for college is such a busy season that I don't have time to wallow in memories (which is probably unhealthy anyway), but I have had moments to ponder. Even the making of Rebecca's memory table was a memory in itself. I love it how Noah wanted to help.

I have truly loved the privilege of teaching Rebecca. I sat by her on the couch as she learned to read, I sat by her on the piano bench teaching her to play, and I even floated in the water until my fingers were wrinkly as she learned to waterski (got to give credit to Dad for that one, though). I taught her to sew, with my own struggles following a pattern, and then she figured out she didn't even need a pattern and could make up her own designs!

I'm grateful that God sent along teachers and experiences for things I couldn't have taught her. Rebecca had some wonderful art teachers and theater directors. I'm so glad for the extra time that homeschooling gave her to pursue those passions.

But I'm mostly glad for the extra time that homeschooling gave us to have extended conversations and long walks. This time has bonded us together in a way that has blessed us both.

Now it's time for Rebecca to move on to her next experience, and I'm really excited for her. In fact, Terry has accused me of living vicariously through Rebecca on more than one occasion. From Websters,

vicarious: experienced or realized through imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experience of another

Yes, I admit it's true! I have shared her experiences and will continue to do so. However, that doesn't meant that I want her to live her life to please me or that she has to tell me every.single.detail. My prayer is that she will live her life to please the Lord and that He will continue to bless us with a friendship that will only deepen through the years.

I'm so glad she didn't listen to me when I said "Wheaton's a great school! You should really consider it." I'm glad that her "going off to college" involves just a twenty minute drive. It makes for an easier transition for both of us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finally Got to the Prom

This post is overdue, but I wanted to capture my memories of this year's TEACH formal. It was very special this year because Rebecca was honored as a senior and because it was the first time for Nathan to attend (as his sister's date - how sweet!):

From Uploading for Mom

This was also the first time that both Terry and I attended the event (in the past he went as Rebecca's escort and I stayed home) - which means for the first time in my life - I had a date to the prom!

From Formal 2011

No, I'm not bitter that I never got asked to the prom in high school, but let's just say it was on my bucket list.

One of the fun things about homeschooling is that parents are welcome at the prom and get to join in the fun. Our friends, Sally and Mark, decided to have some extra fun with the "1920's Red Carpet" theme:

From Uploading for Mom

And here we are getting down to some music from our era. I think it was "Play that Funky Music":

From Formal 2011

Several people asked me if it was strange to see Rebecca all grown up. You know, it really wasn't. She's seemed grown up for a long time. I'm sorta used to it - though I thought she was beautiful in the dress she made herself!

From Uploading for Mom

It was Nathan that really caused me to pause a little. He looked so tall and grown up. And he could dance!

From Uploading for Mom

I think my proudest moment was the mother-son dance. Nathan came over and asked me to dance. I wasn't sure if I knew what I was doing (I'm better at funky-music dancing than ballroom dancing), and I asked him if he did. He said "Just give me a second to listen to the music . . . yea, I can rhumba to this . . . I'll start on my left foot . . ." and he proceeded to lead me perfectly:

From Uploading for Mom

So, it's never too late to go to the prom.