Sunday, November 22, 2009

Would you just hold still and smile?!

This evening we decided we would try to get some family pictures in our desert surrounding, so we grabbed our camera and tripod and headed for the foothills of the Catalina mountains. There is only a small window of time where you get great lighting during the morning and evening hours, and we were hoping to get enough shots during the evening hours to get something worthwhile.

We'll have to rethink that one. Bells and Erik decided not to listen to their parents' warnings to stay away from the cacti, and as a result, we all had a fairly miserable experience. Even if we had taken a photographer with us, we would have been lucky to get them both to smile at the same time. To add to the problems, I didn't use the remote, which meant that we never were positioned quite right. Oh well! At least with some photoshopping, blurring, and sepia-toning, the pictures are somewhat respectable. Now we just have to re-plan a trip to the foothills for another valiant effort--this time with a remote.

When the younger two would have no more of it, at least we were able to get Gabs to look at and smile for the camera.

And when the lighting was gone--which happened much too quickly, at least I could turn the camera on the desert sunset for a moment while Debs and Gabs herded the whining duo to the van!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I used to always love dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating. Obviously my children feel the same way. This last week we went to a trunk-or-treat activity a few days before Halloween where a lot of people from our local church parked their cars so all the kids could go around and get candy. Bells and Gabs both dressed up as witches and Erik was a little lion this year.

When we tried Erik's costume on him earlier in the month, he wasn't very fond of it.

He seems to have adjusted over the last few weeks.

Scott Evans put his head on a platter and the kids had to grab the candy surrounding his head. The message was clear, "You better not take more than one or he might bite your fingers!"

One lady had a cannon that she used to shoot out the candy.

The kids would then rush to pick it up. There was just one hitch. The cannon kept shooting the candy into a low-lying mesquite tree, and anyone that has been around a mesquite tree knows that they have sharp thorns that can grow to be several inches long.

I couldn't help but laugh at the little kids that would rush over to the mesquite tree and while repeatedly saying, "Ow!" or "Ouch!" they reached and stretched to get the candy from out of the tree. Anyway, it was fun until the kids started to ask an innocent bystander to fetch the candy for them--I was the bystander. After my hands and arms got more scratches than I cared to count, I started to use my feet to pull the candy out, thinking my jeans would protect me from the thorns. Nope! I was pulling thorns out of my pants the rest of the evening.

So let me explain why the candy kept getting shot into the mesquite. The lady wasn't out to get the children, she just didn't have anywhere else to shoot the cannon without having it hit the surrounding cars. If she pumped just a little air into the cannon, the candy would fall on the ground right in front of the cannon and the kids would be bumping into it. Very rarely was she able to find the happy medium that would make the candy land just in front of the mesquite. Gabs' favorite moment was when the candy flew into the tree, scaring a black cat out like it was a horse breaking out of the gates at the Kentucky Derby.

On Halloween night, Debs and the kids made caramel apples, mummy dogs, and cheese-stick fingers. Although it's hard to remember just how much I enjoyed Halloween growing up, I think I enjoyed watching my kids more than going trick-or-treating myself. I'm looking forward to next year!