Favorite Shots 2013 – part 2

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Neither one of these guys is very happy to have their picture taken, so I was extra glad to get this shot.

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I just love the way the snow is gently falling. I remember this day because the girls were FREEZING but willing to sacrifice for the sake of beauty.

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After the party. Tired. Are they ever too tired to play video games? I remember saying, “Make your ‘after the party’ face.”

Perfect.

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What? Just par for the course around here. “What in the world” is our catch phrase.

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 Beauty shot.  It was a dull, left-over day. I was so happy to find this bit of happiness.

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I had to include this because the girl below did it…

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 She has a bit of mischief in her, can you tell?

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I’m not sure how much longer I’ll find a Buzz Lightyear overlooking a town in my backyard….

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But I hope this doesn’t disappear forever.

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Beauty shot.

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This was Tristan’s day. The butterflies couldn’t get enough of him.

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Cheers! I just want to eat up those little cheekies.

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Unbridled exuberance. Summer! Or just a warm day! In Canada!

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I love everything about this shot. The colors, the composition, capturing a simple act, and the expression on his face.

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 I had to include this because of the light shining out of his eyes. This is who I see in my heart.

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Favorite Shots from 2013 – part 1

I took 6,315 pictures this year. Mercifully, I’ve culled the herd.

DSC_0574-47  I’m starting off with a family shot. I like this shot because it’s the only one I have of my family.

Is that sad?

It’s sad.

For being together as much as we are, I sure don’t have the shots to prove it.

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20130811-DSC_0005This one cracks me up because Mckenna was frozen like that for quite some time. I didn’t learn what she was doing until later-

“God told us in the bible to ‘go to the ant”, so I thought I’d better watch them for awhile.”

I love that girl.

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20130528-DSC_0381Poor Greyson. Being in front of the camera is not his favorite thing, but this particular day he was my model. We had to go all over the building to find the best light for some publicity shots for Glorious Films.  He never wavered.  In fact, he kept me going.

I love that guy.

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DSC_0120This picture is a good representation of what it’s like to live in another country. Sawyer wanted to have a bowling party for his birthday so we showed up and found out that this is bowling in Canada.

Who knew?

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DSC_0071When I used to work on a horse ranch I learned that they trained movie horses by exposing them to the loudest sounds and strangest sights so they wouldn’t flinch on camera. They could have just sent them over to our house. Our cats sit calmly through all manner of absurdity.

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DSC_0474 If you had seen the amount of scrambling that went into this– I’m pretty sure Sawyer is barefoot, and I see pajamas and a robe, but we made it.  Daisy the dog even got in as a bonus, I had no idea she was in the shot.

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DSC_0030Shenanigans. If you have left over pumpkins, why not take a sledgehammer to them? This shot represents What’s Going On Here quite well.

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yard, tree, gingerbread house 042Beauty shot. Sometimes I take my camera out when everything seems ugly, just to find something unexpected.

This was a field of cardboard colored weeds against a particle board sky. Until the sun hit it just right.

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yard, tree, gingerbread house 050 These still amaze me. It’s like the color in your crayon box you accidentally use when you reach for the purple and find out you got this instead.

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yard, tree, gingerbread house 041I liked the movement in these lines. Delicate. Graceful grass.

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yard, tree, gingerbread house 118I hope I never get too busy to smile when I find their toys arranged like this.

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DSC_0249Every year we go home for Christmas to America. This is what we see when we turn the corner to Grandma’s house.  There’s always a red Christmas tree in the second floor window.

Can lights say hello?

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DSC_0458When we moved here we had to learn to do long winters. If you’ve never zipped down a hill lickety-split and had the snow fly in your face, this picture captures exactly what it feels like.

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DSC_0009This is permanent marker but I couldn’t get mad once I heard the story behind it. Remember that one? The one with the dreaded….

 

DSC_0013 BOX OF DOOM.

They ought to make that a deterrent to street crime.

After the cops cuff the miscreant: “Okay, buddy, lets go. It’s the Box of Doom for you.”

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 Come back next week for the rest of 2013’s favorite shots. Until then, enjoy this one last shot I like to call:

“CAUGHT”

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Tree Flying

DSC_0024-1 - CopyHave you ever been tree flying? Maybe they call it zip lining. Earlier this summer our kids got to go as birthday guests of a family that I will just call The Christmas Morning Family, because that’s how they make you feel, all the time. They won’t be here long because they hail from Singapore, so we have to soak up every moment we can get.

We soaked up these moments in the trees. First, a trusty guide sees that all your equipment is on correctly.

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DSC_0028-2Then you walk over to get instructions from Tinkerbell.

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DSC_0030-3You think I jest?

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DSC_0031-4I jest not.

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DSC_0034-5It was a very serious session, as serious as a guy in a tutu can get.

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DSC_0035-6Sawyer just couldn’t bring himself to laugh when his very life would be on the line.

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DSC_0046-8“What was I supposed to do with this again?”

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DSC_0182-24It was kind of important to remember exactly what to do. After your instruction session, you were on your own. The guides left you alone and only responded to emergencies.

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DSC_0102-18Somehow in all the hubbub, Sawyer ended up going first on the course with the rest of the kids following gamely behind him.

This was great for a little brother. First? That hardly every happens.

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DSC_0064-10He’d never felt so important in his whole life. I see a hint of fear there, do you see it? I see it.

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DSC_0179-22But if you hooked yourself up correctly, you didn’t fall very far.

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DSC_0201-27We never found out what happened if you didn’t hook yourself up correctly.

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DSC_0084-15I’m kinda glad about that.

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DSC_0120-19We decided that if Mckenna had on pants as bright as her shirt, you wouldn’t be able to see her at all.  It’s a new look for deer hunters this fall.

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DSC_0196-26It’s Wipeout!, Canadian style.

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DSC_0210-28The course lasted 3 hours. Can you imagine being that careful for 3 hours? My muscles would be in tense knots.  The kids weren’t even phased. They LOVED it. Afterward we had the birthday celebration for…

DSC_0259-34The birthday girl, with apples fresh-picked from the orchard.

What did the boys do while the girls ate politely?

I’m glad you asked….

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DSC_0300-39Boys.

Could He Do It?

DSC_0654-56It all started with 10 sandwiches.

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DSC_0738-3Well actually, it all started with 9 pounds, 11 ounces, exactly 16 years ago. The doctor told me we needed to induce labor two weeks early so the baby wouldn’t be over 12 pounds.

I agreed.

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DSC_0758-5Here we are today, looking at his birthday wish for lunch. He asked for 12 Reubens, but could he eat them all?

They were taking bets in a back room, a pool was started at work.

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DSC_0755-4I had my doubts and didn’t start making the rest of the family’s sandwiches until we saw how it all panned out.

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DSC_0759-6It panned out at five.  He is sated.

That worked out perfectly since the rest of us each needed one.  But then somebody took two and somebody else was late to the table and didn’t get one at all, and I was interrupted with a last minute emergency and the one I started on got thrown away. So I ended up frying up 3 more. You know how it goes.

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DSC_0731-2Maybe the Baked Apple French Toast and homemade Eggnog he had for breakfast had something to do with it.

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DSC_0729-1Maybe the fact that his present was almost taller than his brother had something to do with it too.

What age do you stop getting excited over big presents? Are you leery of them as an adult? What could I possibly want that’s that big?

Greyson didn’t seem to mind either way. He got some nice additions to his growing cinematographer’s stash.

And we all got left-over sandwiches so everyone was happy.

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But I’m happiest of all that when I look at my strapping young man, my mother’s heart can still see this face.

 

The Christmas Goose

DSC_0243-1Our tree is up.

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DSC_0261-6Although, I don’t expect it to stay that way for long.

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DSC_0258-1It’s really just one, big, cat toy, isn’t it Pippin?

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DSC_0250-3I can’t say I blame him; it is his first Christmas.

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DSC_0272-3This is exactly where I would be if I were a cat.

I’d climb up there now, if I could. The kids would never find me.

Mom!

Mom!

Mom?

Where’s Mom?

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DSC_0297-1It will be our little secret, okay Pippin?  The napping tree.

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DSC_0265-2 We know how to do Christmas right.

“The Promise” DVD Winner is….

DSC_0060-1It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to give away Todd’s movie today. Like wearing a kitten under your chin.  (They make the best winter scarves.)

And you know I can’t just tell you who won.  At What’s Going On Here, I have to show you.

I tried to get Tristan to show you, but he got impatient…

“Come stand in front of the tree. Wait, no. You have to move forward, forward, no that’s bad light. Try over here.”

“Mom? Can Sawyer just do it?”

Yes, yes he can.

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DSC_0242-4Congratulations, Naomi!  We’ll get The Promise shipped out to you from the studio, pronto.

Thank you everyone, for giving it the ol’ college try. And here’s those links again so you can get your very own copy:

Buy The Promise at Amazon>>>>>>>>>>

But The Promise at Amazon.ca>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’m thinking about kitten scarves for my next giveaway.

“The Promise” DVD Giveaway!

promise-web-03Goody-goody-gumdrops it’s a giveaway!  I’m married to the guy who wrote and directed The Promise; I do his laundry, I fry his bacon, and now I’m giving away his movie.

If you already own the movie you can still enter and use the movie as a great Christmas gift.  To learn more about the making of The Promise you can read my post here,

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How to Enter

  1. Simply leave a comment below and I will have the kids draw names out of a hat.
  2. “Like” us on the Glorious Film’s Facebook page by clicking here.  Tell me in the comments below and I will enter you twice.
  3. Mention this giveaway on your own blog, or share http://www.gloriousfilms.com/ on Facebook. Tell me in your comment below and I will enter your name yet again.

You’ve got a good chance of winning because there’s only a few people that leave comments on my blog.

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. I know the winner and will announce on Monday!

“The Promise” DVD is Available!

promise-web-03Todd’s first movie for Glorious Films is done!  The Promise depicts the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the first two chapters of the gospel of Luke. I’m married to the guy who made it, so you’ve come to the right place for a review:

 Why I like this movie: First, I know Todd. His integrity in remaining historically accurate ruled the script.  When somebody wanted to add a line because it rhymed better he would say, “But that’s not what God was doing here.”

 

centurion_allhailcaesarHow many movies do you know that include the Herodians, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Zealots? Do we even know why those four groups were important when Christ came on the scene? To the average viewer it may not seem important, but to those who love history and the bible, the opening number sets the stage.

simeon_nowyourservantDo you ever wonder what the temple looked like, with the Holy of Holies separated by the curtain that only the priest could access once a year?  Todd painstakingly researched this. What you see in the movie is as close as we can come today.

bethlehem_overheadSo he could be faithful to what God was doing back in 3 A.D,  Todd did such an in-depth study for the script that it led to a 10 week sermon series out of Luke 1-3.  Watch the movie, then read Luke, and you’ll be amazed. (The only thing missing is Anna the prophetess, because of  budget constraints).

liz_blessedissheSpeaking of budget, it is amazing that the animation is akin to Disney/Pixar because those films have $100 to $200 million dollar budgets, and more, with hundreds of animators. Todd’s studio had 7 animators, and a modest 7 figure budget. He pushed and pressed his animators to get the best out of them, and you will see some stunning scenes.

gabriel_glorytogodI do tease him about the angels because that is one of the scenes they could not get the way they wanted to and make their deadline. I told him the angels in the sky look like “clothespin angels”. When you see it, you’ll know what I mean.

magnificat There are also some odd balletic movements Gabriel, Joseph, and Mary make that seem out of place. As a family we laughed, because we know what they were supposed to look like, but it’s such a small part of the movie that the rest makes up for it.

This is a movie we will watch every year, and not just because Daddy made it. It will be a Christmas tradition, and we can be proud to give it away to friends and family. Adults will love the history, kids will love the characters, Broadway buffs will love the music. We sing the lyrics around the house.

mary_welcomebackI especially love the way Mary was portrayed. I am often overcome by her simple submission to what God asked of her. The animators did it, they captured her personality and manner on screen.

journeytobethlehemThe chemistry between her and Joseph (which we can only guess at) was well played. You will be touched. And one last thing. You will want to scoop up that baby Jesus and pat his little back. He’s the cutest little animated baby I’ve ever seen!

You’ll think it ends too soon. It only covers Jesus’s birth and it needs another movie to do his life justice. Don’t worry, Todd’s already in studio working on the next movie!

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HOW TO GET THE MOVIE:

Buy the Promise at Amazon>>>>>>>>>

 Buy The Promise at Amazon.ca>>>>>>>>

It will be a grassroots movement to get the word out because it is a small film with a modest budget. Please share these particular links with your friends as they directly benefit the director and his offspring:

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Wicked Stepmother Winter

DSC_0486-1It’s cold here. Why am I surprised? It’s not  just that we had a cold day, it’s that winter shook hands on it. The deal is sealed. No warm days from here on out.  This is Canada cold.

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DSC_0485-25 Cold in the states is a little more forgiving.  Like Cinderalla scrubbing floors, you know there’s a better end to the story.

Meanwhile, I am stuck with the wicked stepmother.

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DSC_0496-27That’s why I relished our last trip back home to America. The spring birds had flown south, but this was our south.

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DSC_0468-21If you look closely you can see the rarest of winter birds here to make their home. It looks like one needs a little help.

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DSC_0477-23You can do it, little bird!

Doesn’t this bring back memories? Why did we stop climbing trees?  It seems like I went from–just being big enough to reach the first branch– right to not caring that I could.  I care now, but I don’t have enough get-up in my go.  That’s sad.

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DSC_0475-22Sawyer, never stop climbing trees.

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DSC_0649-55Now,  this is something I can do.

Take pictures of people throwing a football.

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DSC_0580-50And cheer them on, “throw it, throw it!”

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DSC_0577-48Go Daddy, go!

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DSC_0578-49 Tristan will throw it…

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DSC_0629-51And take an intermission. It reminds me of my cheerleading days.  Handstands are a habit with Tristan. He also has another habit-

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DSC_0641-53Tristan of the perpetually chapped lips. Tristan, stop picking your lips!

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DSC_0642-54It’s okay, we can forgive him because of the golden glow about his head.

Besides, who can resist those dimples. One of his friends got confused and called them dumplings. Now it’s a running joke in our family; Tristan has dumplings on his cheeks. Fitting.

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DSC_0680-57It was time to go home way too soon. We left fairy land behind and returned to scrubbing floors in the stepmother’s castle.

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evil catComplete with the evil cat, but that’s another post.

She’s Not a Kid Anymore

DSC_0565-43 Something momentous happened while we were at Grandma’s House.

Someone turned 18.

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DSC_0700-58 She got makeup, and curlers, which she is modeling here. Or is she looking out the window at squirrels? I never can be sure.

In any case, now that she’s an adult, she’ll be putting away childish things…

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DSC_0553-33No more tree climbing.

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DSC_0554-34And certainly, no more tree dropping.

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DSC_0557-37 It’s so sad to grow up and leave childhood behind.

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DSC_0558-38Isn’t it, Kiki.

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DSC_0559-39Kiki?

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DSC_0560-40Kiki???

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DSC_0561-41The passing of an era.

Life will never be the same.