Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Farmer Market

One of my favorite activities in the summer is to go the Farmer Market. The atmosphere is so relaxing. I enjoy seeing the people and taking in the sights and smells. I love seeing all the colorful fruits, flowers and vegetables and picking out the freshest ones. It's wonderful bringing home all of the delicious produce and enjoying it with my family.

Here are some photos of the beautiful finds at the Farmer Market.

Is your mouth watering yet? :)

Monday, July 13, 2009


I am continually trying to reinforce to my children that for each action there is a reaction, for each decision made there is an outcome that can be positive or negative. I want them to understand that these reactions and outcomes do not just affect them but in some instances everyone who knows and cares for them and even possibly a stranger. It is an ongoing lesson, sometimes easily remembered, sometimes not.

We have no issues with talking about a story from the news to reinforce that listening to your parents, following the rules and thinking through the decision and possible outcomes is what is best for them. There are no topics that are off limit here. We discuss everything within the ability of the child to understand. If they have questions, we answer them or help them find the answer so they understand.

One of the topics that we have discussed on occasion is suicide. My oldest daughter had a friend whose uncle killed himself a few years ago. Kaelin knew him, but not well. She was sad because her friend was distraught over her uncle's death. Although, it was sad that Anna lost her uncle, it was by his choice and not by chance. We needed her to understand that he had made the decision to kill himself, that it was not something that just happened to him.

I could not let my child waste another moment feeling sorry for this man. I wanted her to realize that (her) life is a gift and that each moment should be treasured and lived to the fullest. I wanted her to understand that no matter how difficult the situation or desperate someone felt that there were always options and suicide was not one of them. We discussed how choosing to end your life is indeed your choice, but how this decision affects all the people who know and love you. Each life is entwined with the lives of so many people...family, friends, friends of friends, co-workers, even people you never met. We wanted her to be aware that it wasn't just about her that so many other lives are changed forever in one moment. The impact of this decision affects more than just the person who kills themselves.

It saddens me to hear of someone committing suicide. I honestly cannot imagine the grief, the pain, the unanswered questions of those who knew and loved the person who made this devastating choice. I do not know how a widow would be able to pick up the pieces of her life, to try and heal her heart and continue on. It seems it would be horribly challenging, nearly impossible. Even more challenging, would be to be a widow and a mother. How do you begin to deal with your grief, find peace and care for children who have lost their father and are hurting, too? How do you help your children grow up knowing their father and yet, help them understand that their father chose to take his life? How do you help them grieve, heal and grow up to be all that they can be?

My heart goes out to all who have had a loved one make this devastating choice.

Suicide is a decision I do not understand. :(

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few days ago, I watched several young men across the road practice their routine for several hours. It had to be perfect, each step, each movement...the precision performed was quite a sight. I was more than captivated by their routine. I wanted to go closer so I could see each step, each movement and watch how carefully and diligently they performed. I debated the rest of the day into the evening with myself as to whether or not I would watch the young men perform the following day.

In the end, I chose to view from afar. I wanted to go closer so I could see, but I did not want to be intrusive or disrespectful. These young men had been practicing a burial ceremony for an Army Major who suddenly passed away. They spent hours practicing and although I did not see their actions up close, I am sure they perfected every movement and honored this man with all the honor and respect he deserved. I did not see as much as I wanted, but what I did see was amazing. I will never forget the precision in which the young soldiers moved, the sound of the gun salute and hearing the trumpet play Taps.

My heart broke for the family. I wanted to run across the road and give the widow the biggest hug and comfort her. I didn't know him, I don't know her, but I feel for her. To have the man you love suddenly pass away would be beyond devastating. I cannot imagine the overwhelming grief and sense of loss. I hope their family finds peace and healing in their memories.

Rest in Peace Major

A few of the young soldiers right before the gun salute.

One of the white balloons released by the family.


Here is my entry for the Round Robin Challenge.

My photo was to depict Silence.

Do you hear the silence?

I do. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sweetsauer Photo Hunt #2

I found out about this photo hunt from NicoleB's blog. Hope you enjoy! :)

Sweetsauer set up a website for the photo challenge. It is here.

1. A View from Above (looking down) - a dragonfly on a stump.

2. A Macro Shot - Monarch on a milkweed.

3. Laughter - My darling daughters enjoying the pool.

4. Relaxation - Buck relaxing by the front step.

5. A Celebration (archive photo) - Julia's second birthday.

6. A Sunset

7. Sun/Lens Flare

8. A Bridge - an old bridge for a train.

9. A Shadow - Running puppy. :)

10. A Garden - A little garden, 3 feet by 3 feet.

11. A Park - The Gazebo at the Children's park.

12. A Street Scene - Downtown Lake Orion.

13. Signage -

14. A Summer Activity - Playing catch.

15. A Summer Treat - Mmm, cherry popscile.

16. Earth -

17. Air/Wind - Wind surfing on the lake.

18. Fire -

19. Water - Rain droplets.

20. Something Vintage (pre-1980) -

21. Something made of Wood - Old wagon wheel.

22. Something made of Glass - Antique glass marbles.

23. Something that Floats - A rubber duck in the pool.

24. Something Railroad related - Train tracks.

25. Something Round - Found this pretty little flower by my favorite walking trail. My girls thought the center would be the perfect 'round' photo.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's not November, but Vote. :)

To see all the entries in the scavenger hunt, go to Nicole B's. She has a link for each of the twenty entries if you scroll down to the blog titled, "2nd Scavenger Hunt on Nicole B Photography." If you want to vote for any of the entries in the scavenger hunt, go here.

I would love to hear what your favorite photos were from all the entries in the competition, so leave me a comment or email me.

Happy viewing!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scavenger Hunt

My friend Boo introduced me to a scavenger hunt at Nicole B's when she joined the fun in late April. I hesitated in joining at first, but decided a little over a week ago to join. (Nicole B. - I take part!) I had a lot of fun looking for the items on the list and am looking forward to the next one.

Here are my photos, hope you enjoy!

1. A souvenir - a little pair of wooden shoes from the Holland Tulip Festival in Holland, MI.

2. A fish - I had no luck taking a photo of a live fish, so my daughter found this cute one in a book.

3. A religious building - The Methodist Church of Lake Orion.

4. A fire department - Orion Township Fire Department #2

5. A manhole cover - It's located in my front yard. I like the design on it!

6. A postcard - I bought to send to a friend in South Africa.

7. Water - This is an old mill sight near my favorite walking trail.

8. A communication device - This phone was my mom and dad's first home telephone. I loved playing with it as a child. I broke it when we moved and am still sad that I did.

9. A Life event - My precious little one standing for the first time. She's determined to grow up too fast!

10. A foreign stamp - My lovely friend, Kerren sent my girls a calendar from South Africa with photos of amazing animals in it. These were a few of the stamps from the package.

11. A tree - It sits across the road from my house.

12. The living space of a non-human - I love the swan and her cygnets. I hope to get photos of them all on the lake soon.

13. A street mirror - It was my first photo for the scavenger hunt. I was so excited to have found it!

14. A decoration fixed on a house - I had a hard time finding a decoration fixed on a house, so when I saw this I knew it was not time to be picky.

15. A foreign flag - The German flag.

16. A fire - I love this photo! It's one of my favorites.

17. An antenna - I had hoped to find something more interesting, but luck was not on my side...so just a plain old antenna.

18. A phone booth - This was a challenge. Luckily my daughter saw this phone booth last night.

*What was almost my phone booth photo - My attempt to be creative - a photo of my phone in a booth at McDonald's, just in case I didn't find a phone booth. (Yes, I received a lot of strange looks during my McDonald's photo shoot.)

18. A "verboten" sign -

19. A beach - It's as tiny as it looks. It's in Green's Park.

20. A cityscape - Downtown Lake Orion.

22. Something goofy - We were driving down the road yesterday and I saw him. I had to take as many photos as I could while we were sitting at the stop light. I am not sure why but his head and facial hair are half shaven, but my guess is for Red Wings ice hockey tickets.

** What was almost my goofy photo - a store window display.

23. Something carved - A lovely mask from our friend in South Africa.

24. An eye - My third lovely daughter's eye.

25. Something rural - I grew up farming and all that comes with it. I love taking photos of old barns. I knew this one would be perfect for the scavenger hunt.