May 18, 2013

Fly, Be Free!

We ordered Tomas another batch of caterpillars to raise (is that the correct word?) into butterflies. All of them made it. We even got to see one of them actually emerge from its cocoon. On a warm afternoon after school, we released them. This breed of butterflies are called Painted Ladies. As with Lady Bugs, I wonder how the males feel about that.

The last time we did this, the butterflies tended to hang around for quite a while before taking off. This batch of butterflies wasted no time. Two of them paused momentarily on a bush and a tree long enough for me to get a quick photo but then disappeared off into the distance. Raising and releasing butterflies is always a great experience.

Jeffrey joined in.

I love having a camera that can pick up all kinds of details. Look at the butterfly's tongue.

The final one to go. He stayed on Tomas' hand for only a split second.

One of God's many beautiful creations.

Tomas Goes the Distance

Westridge Elementary had it's annual 5K fundraiser. I ran it several years back when Liam attended the school. But unfortunately, I am currently not in the shape I would need to be in to complete a 5K without having to be taken away in an ambulance.

Tomas, however, had been talking about running the race for weeks. Every time he brought it up I would say, "Oh, really. Sounds fun," and then hope he would forget about it.

Well, he didn't.

Thankfully, he didn't put any pressure on me to run it with him. He was content for me to play photographer.

I was actually amazed he was happy to run it by himself, and he came in with a very respectable time of 34 minutes. I'm positive that's way faster than I could go.

Maybe, I'll run it with Tomas next year. He was pretty inspirational. He even offered to be my training partner to help me get in shape. And, I'm sure he's lots cheaper than a personal trainer.

High fives for Tomas!
Nearing the end and still going strong.

Rounding for home.

The principle ran with the kids.

Crossing the finish line.

Yep, Tomas, you are awesome.

May 15, 2013

Elder Connor Enters the MTC

Good times are always to be had when our Canadian friends come for a visit, and this was an especially happy occasion. Shauna brought Connor down to enter the MTC. He's on his way to serve in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Unfortunately, poor Connor had what I'm pretty sure was strep throat. He put on a good face though, and luckily, no one got sick after he left. And, I haven't heard about any epidemics in the MTC since.

I learned my lesson from when Chloe entered the MTC a couple months back. From the time you drive onto the MTC grounds, you've got about three minutes before your missionary is gone. Taking photos can be problematic. They strongly suggest you do all you picture taking before leaving home. Well, I really do understand the reasoning since hundreds of missionaries enter the MTC within a small time frame each Wednesday. However, I also know as a parent of missionary and the keeper of the family blog, I completely wanting to document the final goodbyes and capture that all-important missionary-walking-away shot.

When we took Chloe to the MTC, a very obedient elder came to assist her. He strongly discouraged me from taking any photos, so I only got one picture. To help Shauna out, I decided to go along as a photographer. I stayed completely out of the way all the while snapping photos for Shauna. I promise I did not slow down the process in any way, and Connor was off in record time.

I'm thinking this might be a great new money making scheme.* People could hire me to ride with them in  their vehicle and jump out and madly shoot away. I think I could photograph at least six missionaries per hour. It'd be a nice way to supplement our income. And, it would be easier if the MTC would just let me stand there and take photos as the missionaries and families arrive and take photos a la Disneyland. But, I don't think that'll ever happen.

*Even though I'm just kidding about the whole idea, I just realized what a terrible plan it is. I can totally imagine all the gazillions of amateur photographers in the area trying to get in on the act. Can you picture the nightmare it would create for the MTC having the missionaries walk the gauntlet of photographers. I sort of imagine it like the red carpet at the Academy Awards. So, while I was more than happy to take pictures for our favorite Canadjuns, I think my days of missionary paparrazo are over—that is, until Liam goes on a mission in a few years.

My favorite.

And here's a bonus photo of Sister Chloe and Elder Connor back in the day.


May 06, 2013

Happy 24th!

24 years later...

My mom asked Katie if it seemed like 24 years. She responded that it felt like a LOT longer.

I obviously lucked out and got the waaaay better end of the deal. Katie is loving, kind, brilliant, spiritual, thoughtful, and funny. And then, just take a look at her. Twenty-four years later, and she's still just as beautiful.

I, on the other hand, am a fatter, older, goofball.

1989                                                             2013

Happy anniversary, Katie. I love you and thank you for putting up with me. Let's start planning now to do something big for number 25.

Sunday Afternoon Photo Walk

Spring is always a bit crazy in Utah. One day, you'll have the absolute most perfect weather, and the next day, you'll have snow, hail, wind, and rain all at once. On a recent Sunday afternoon, it was one of those beautiful days, so Katie, Tomas and I decided to take a walk on campus. I brought my camera along and gave Tomas my point-and-shoot to use. Here is what we came up with.

For a nine year-old, Tomas is getting pretty good. See if you can guess which photos were taken by Tomas and which were mine. The answer key is at the end.
















1. Curtis 2. Tomas 3. Tomas 4. Curtis 5. Curtis 6. Tomas 7. Curtis 8. Curtis 9. Tomas 10. Curtis 11. Tomas 12. Tomas 13. Curtis 14. Tomas 15. Curtis 16. Tomas