Ice sculptures

Well, our skating rink has changed to a swimming pool. Or maybe a fishing pond. The kids have been fishing in it anyway.

Here are a few of their catches, which they proudly displayed in a SHADY spot:

They found a guitar:

 

And an ice garden:

 

Louisiana:

 

And the United States: (oops! It’s upside down!)

 

And, of course, with three boys in the hunt, you knew they would find a gun:

 

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What a difference a lens makes

When my husband and I were first married, he would always surprise me with the most amazing gifts on holidays. He would go into my favorite clothing store and find a saleswoman who looked to be about my size and tell her to pick out an outfit for me.

For my birthday or Christmas, he would present me with a sweater with a skirt and tights or a cute top and pants. It would be totally stylish and fit me perfectly. He’s not afraid to buy me a pair of boots. Or pick out a purse — with great success! One word for that guy: Keeper.

In the years since, he has only gotten better at buying me gifts. He must keep a secret notebook to jot down all the clues of things I would like. Oh, wait! I guess when I talk about them all the time, it’s really not that big of an investigative project.

He knows I would be horribly disappointed if he fell for one of those jewelry story ads and presented me with a diamond pendant or an anniversary necklace. In addition to my love of clothing, I’m also an electronics kind of gal. The way to my heart is through computer equipment and electronic gadgets. He surprised me with a new computer the day I gave birth to our third child. He has presented me with iPods and an iPad I would have never purchased for myself.

And now, add to my list of loves… camera accessories.

Before Christmas, my camera-loving friend and I attended a free photography class. We learned about shutter speed and ISO and blah-blah-blah and a few other things I can’t remember. But the main thing we learned from Mr. Veteran Photographer was that our cameras have a really stinky lens. And we should buy a new one ASAP.

Well… the day before Valentine’s Day, I asked CapableDad if he would be OK if we just ignored the Hallmark Holiday. I really didn’t want him to fill the pressure to spend money on chocolate or flowers, and he kindly agreed.

But early in the afternoon, I found a little pink box sitting by my computer. It was the lens.

I will admit, I was a little skeptical about how much difference it would really make. Because despite what Mr. Veteran Photographer told us, I love my camera and think it takes awesome photos. I was putting off thinking anymore about the lens, because, quite frankly, I was still a little miffed at how critical he was about my camera.

But that new lens?

Wow! Talk about seeing into the soul. It makes me feel like I was blind and now I can see. It’s supposed to improve your portrait-taking ability, and I’m a believer.

I’m still getting the hang of how to use it, and I know some of these photos are over exposed. But check out those eyes!

What a difference a lens makes! I’m looking forward to really learning how to use it.
So, tell me…. What kind of gifts make your day? 

dec2010emily

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