A Family Bonding Fun Chore

Some of my fondest family memories have been the ones where my family sat down in a huddle and turned the pages of our photo album, a real book with real pictures and wonderful memories. If you want an activity that can give you a closer family, this is probably one of the best family bonding experiences. Its one of those activities that gives you one on one time with your family, young or older, and helps you re-live not only your story but theirs, which is an important part of who you are as a family and as individuals. Many times during these huddles, our individual stories would come out. Either mom & dad would expand on how we were when we were too small to remember or, as we got older, we could tell our own perspectives on that day. Often, these times were filled with laughter, fun and the closeness of a family.
Today, computers & TVs play slideshows, but it’s not the same as having those memories in hand as slideshows move on to the next picture too quickly. In my opinion, you lose some of the closeness a physical picture can create. Don’t let your pictures sit out in cyberspace forever, make them real things.

When deciding which ones to get developed, try to remember a few things:
1) Step out of your own perspective for a minute and think about your whole family and which perspective they may want to remember forever before you discard a picture.
2) Try not to be overly critical. A picture where your hair may be slightly out of place when hugging your child may be one of your childs’ favorites as they grow up. You shouldn’t destroy a memory another may cherish because you don’t like the way you look. This one is especially difficult for me as I am not a photogenic person but I have to remember that these aren’t just my memories, they are my families’ too so there is a middle ground that I have to come to when picking which ones to send to the printers.

You may say “Christy, I’m so busy, I have 8 kids, a full time job, a demanding spouse, I don’t have time to get them developed or organize them afterwards!”
To that I would recommend, find the time, its an easy task! Here are some of the photo related things you can do while you are cleaning, showering, cooking, feeding, or doing whatever your busy self is doing. These are multi-tasking opportunities.
– Plug your camera into your computer to upload your photos
– Upload your photos to the site of your choice for backup and future (near future) developing.
Note: You can always go back and edit which ones you want to keep later during those rare few minutes of peace in your life, but when you’re busy, just get them off your disc.
Find a photo developer that is convenient for you. There are developers who will deliver right to your mailbox. If you don’t want to pay the extra shipping, you can order from your local department store and then you can pick them up on your regular trip there.
You say, “Then what? I don’t have time to put them all in a book, organize them, etc, they will just sit in their envelopes and gather in strange places all over the house.” Let me give you an easy solution. Keep one of these

When you pick them up, write on the envelope (be sure to take the pictures out of the enveope first) the occassion inside with a general date or date range and stick them in the box for snowy or rainy days. On the snowy or rainy days, organizing them either in a book or in some sort of organizational order would make a great family moment. You can bring in your older kids to help.
For the older pictures, organize them best you can but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to remember exact dates, just get them in your box or book.
Note: Make sure if you put them in a book, it has acid free pages as the acid in the old books have been known to contribute to the detrioration of photos. Most photo albums made today are safe, but this may be another good reminder to remove old pictures from old albums to save them from further detrioration.
In summary, make your memories a priority. It may not seem important in the everyday ‘busy-ness’ of our lives but the moments when you all sit down together, turn off the tv, and go through those little snapshots of time will create memories in themselves. It will give you together time and you’ll even likely hear others differing perspectives of the same events. Your family will bond and learn more about each other. This is even a great event for older crowds during that Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering! This is one of those beautiful pastimes for all ages, that doesn’t cost a lot and can keep you all entertained for hours on end.

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Flying High……

Ok, so I honestly dont get out much. Well, not too far outside of the midwest anyway.

I just had a whirlwind business trip to San Jose, California. Travel Monday, work Tuesday, travel home Wednesday. It was work, it was a little fun, it was exhausting. I don’t hate to fly, I just don’t care for the confinement of the tiny little space the airlines give you for your hours of travel.

Luckily I had a window seat. Obviously, with loving photography as I do, I’m a visual person. Wether in a car, or in a plane, I love to watch the world pass by me. I love to see the land we are blessed to have and how it changes from mile to mile. I’ve flown a few times before, but this time I was blessed with poofy clouds. Maybe I’m strange… ok, so anyone who knows me well, knows I am a little strange, but I’m actually amazed at the beauty and the formations of the clouds, I always am, even when on the ground. I rarely shoot a scene with sky unless I have clouds. Oh I do now and then, I mean I have to sometimes as I haven’t quite figured out how to instantly summons the atmosphere when needed, but I honestly prefer to have clouds if I have sky in photos.

So me being the way I am, if I see beauty, I have to capture it, it’s a necessity in my mind. Unfortunately, G2 (thats my cameras name, um, yes, I named my camera) was up in the overhead and I had 2 sleeping grown men between me & the aisle. I know, I should’ve taken my camera out of my bag BEFORE I sat down, but theres just soooo little space I couldn’t even see making room for G2. So I pulled out my handy dandy Blackberry phone, in airplane mode of course, and started snapping. I hear the Iphones have a pretty nice 5 megapixel camera built in. Its the first time I wished I had an Iphone.

The following pictures are not the best, in fact, they are pretty pixelated but at the same time I hope it proves to some that its not all about having the fanciest camera, its about seeing & capturing the beauty.

I think this one is my personal favorite. We were literally flying on the edge of a storm.

Yes you will see a few shots with a plane wing in it. There were a few times I really couldn’t avoid the wing but I personally kinda like it, what do you think?

To me, the sight of these clouds bathed in sunlight was a surreal type of loveliness. It seems like a puffy, soft, foriegn  terrain when viewed from above. I think, when earthbound, I’ll look up at the clouds and wonder what they look like on the other side.

This is just outside of San Jose, the morning sun had not yet pulled the blanket of clouds completely away, instead the hills clung on to them like a sleepy child.

I’m not even sure where this one was taken, somewhere between San Jose and home.

I felt like a child snapping pictures all the way with my phone. I felt silly even, wondering what others thought. (I admit, I feel that often when snapping pictures.)

But I was happy, and in the end, that was all that really mattered.

Spring has Sprung!!!!

Well here in Mid Missouri, spring has sprung! Thank God!!!

It was a long winter and as much as I love all of the seasons, I longed for the warmth and the rebirth of the greenery and florals!!! This year, it seemed to go from cold to almost summer in the blink of an eye. Before we knew it, everything was blooming and I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who was disappointed with that (except for maybe the allergy sufferers!)

I found myself down in Forrest Park in St. Louis. What an oasis in the middle of city life!

I had a brief visit to the Jewel Box and here are a few of the samplings of what I came home with.

I LOVE tulips! They are so beautiful! I was in the middle of springtime, tulip Heaven!

This weekend is the St. Charles Spring Art Fair which I have been juried into.

And the forecast of rain this weekend, ALL weekend? AH, doesnt scare me!

 Who would be scared of a little stinkin rain? (right?) Not YOU surely!

So get out your umbrellas, your rain slickers, your rubber duckies & come visit me Rain or shine!