Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Walt Disney Family Museum

Today our family drove into the city (San Francisco) for a day trip to
 The museum is located on the grounds of The Presidio which is a beautiful area in San Francisco.
 We started off in the hands on studio where Kev and Matthew worked on a stop motion video with Kelsey looking on.
 The subject of the movie short, very colorful!
 While they were creating, I took a walk around and found a couple of fun things to photograph. Wouldn't this look great on someone's bedroom wall?
 Kev's dream desk...animation desk at Disney!
 Matthew ended up working on his little short by himself
 One of the very few things I was able to photograph in the lobby area
 A replica of the apartment that sits above the fire station at Disneyland. While we were at the museum, we watched an hour long movie about Walt and his love for Christmas. This was included with the admission price. After the movie, we toured the museum. Like a lot of museums of this type, no photography was allowed.
We learned a lot about Walt's early life, saw a lot of pencil sketches that had been saved, and saw many old family photos. The museum had many different rooms filled with a lot of history and artwork. Toward the end of the museum, there was a large model of Disneyland with a few things that I remember from my first trip a long time ago.
 I was able to take this picture from inside the museum. It was a beautiful clear day!
 Once we were outside the museum, I took just a couple more photos...
Wish I could grow these at my house!
Again, I took these photos in RAW and did a quick edit in Lightroom. I was really hoping that a book that I had ordered would have arrived today to help me to establish a good workflow in Lightroom. Guess I will need to wait until next week.
This trip will be a great topic for my next letter to my Compassion kids! And I will be sure to get some of the photos printed to send to them. Which photos do you think I should send?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A little photography experiment

Today, I did something I haven't done yet with my photos...I shot RAW! This morning, I formatted a memory card (which basically erases everything on your memory card). This way I was able to start with a fresh, empty memory card since RAW files take up a lot of space.
Then I went into the shooting menu on my camera and changed the image quality to RAW. According to my 'Nikon D3100 for Dummies' book, shooting RAW will give you 'greater creative control', 'higher bit depth', and the 'best picture quality'. Shooting RAW requires you to edit them since you can't share them like you can JPEG images.
When you first import your RAW photos into Lightroom, they will look very flat. So after a little bit of editing, here are some photos I took today:
 1/10 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 55mm
 1/6 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100, 50mm
 0.4 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100, 200mm
0.8 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100, 200 mm
I wish I could show the before photos on each of these! Once I figure that out, I will try to post the before and after photos so you can see the difference also.
The January photo list has been e-mailed for the Capture Your 365 challenge. I am looking forward to it! Will you join me?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 24

Going to be playing a little catch up on my December Photo Project posts. This picture happened completely by accident! I am borrowing a 50mm f/1.8 lens from a friend. I was intending to take a picture of our tree, but didn't even have time to readjust the settings on the camera before I pushed the shutter button. After doing a quick edit in Lightroom, I have to say that I just love my accidental picture!
One thing I am considering doing in 2013 is a Capture Your 365 challenge. It is not really a challenge, but in a way it is. It will be a way for me to challenge myself to take at least one photo everyday. It will give me a chance to try some new things with my photography. After all, if I can accidentally capture pictures like the one above, I am thinking the challenge will be a lot of fun!

Monday, December 24, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 23

This year, we changed up the traditional Christmas chocolate fudge recipe. Kelsey thought it would be a good idea to experiment and try to make cookies and cream fudge.
We started out with the basic fudge recipe: sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. So just follow the recipe for heating up those ingredients. I have always used the stove top version of the recipe, so make sure you have a candy thermometer on hand. Make sure you have a bag of white chocolate chips, one jar of marshmallow creme, vanilla extract, and about 16-20 crushed up oreos ready. Once the sugar, butter, and milk mixture has reached the right temperature, take the pan off of the stove top and add the whilte chocolate chips. Stir until the chips have melted. Then add the marshmallow creme and vanilla. Once the mixture is nice and smooth, stir in the crushed oreos. I like a pan with aluminum foil to make it easier to remove and cut up the fudge.
You can leave the pan on your counter to cool, but I really like a nice cold piece of fudge, so I put the pan in the refrigerator to cool.
Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Friday, December 21, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 21

 Homemade Christmas gifts for friends - Sugar scrubs and bath salts
Are you making homemade gifts this year?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 20

Tried a new recipe tonight - Chicken Potpie Soup
Since my husband had two servings, I think this recipe is a keeper... :o)
Have you tried a new recipe lately?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's About Giving

Are you up for a challenge?
I want 10 of my readers to give $10 to the Compassion Christmas Gift Catalog. A gift given through the Compassion Christmas Gift Catalog is a gift that can change eternity for a child and their family living in extreme poverty. Does this mean that you might have to bake cookies for your neighbor instead of buying them a Starbuck's gift card? Maybe...
Take a look through the catalog, together as a family choose a gift, then send the money! Maybe even make an ornament for your tree to remind yourselves of the special gift that you gave this Christmas.
Will you do this today?

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 17

Gifts for Kevin to take to his work
Today I was able to bake some biscotti to go with the chai tea mix. While I was out shopping a couple of weeks ago, I found some cute 1/2 cup containers which I thought would be perfect to give the chai tea mix in. Kelsey helped me bag up the biscotti and get the bags ready. Each bag contains one printed copy of the recipe, one container of the chai tea mix, and 2 pieces of biscotti in a snack size bag. We took some fancy scissors to cut the top of the paper bags, folded them over and put two hole punches toward the top of the bag. Threaded some red ribbon through the holes and tied a bow.
What homemade gifts are you making this week?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 15

 Today was the last meeting of the photography class I have been taking. The instructor brought along a couple of his former students. They helped us with some posing, lighting, and tips on when to use fill flash. Taking pictures of water using a slow shutter speed was one of the first assignments we were given back in August. Well, weeks later, I think I finally got a good one today! The photo above is straight out of the camera.
I did just a little bit of adjusting in Lightroom and came out with this second photo.
I am so glad I had the chance to take this class! Using the manual settings on my camera is not nearly as scary as it was months ago when I started the class. In fact, I hardly ever have my camera set on anything but the manual setting now.
I am thinking a day trip to Yosemite needs to happen soon to practice some photography :o)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 13

Our generous church family has been donating their spare change to purchase treated nets to help prevent malaria through Compassion's Bite Back program.
Are you looking for a way to make a difference this Christmas? Compassion has a whole gift catalog to help you make a gift purchase that will last a lifetime for a family living in extreme poverty. This is one gift that doesn't need gift wrapping or a trip to the mall.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 11

Joseph and Mary are on their way to Bethlehem
Years ago, I found this book, Celebrate Jesus at Christmas, to use for our daily readings during Advent. In this book, you set up an empty stable under your tree (or another area of your home). At the end of the daily readings, you move the nativity pieces around your home as they journey toward Bethlehem and the stable. I looked everywhere for just the right nativity set to use that my kids could enjoy moving around the house. We don't read the daily readings from this book every year now, but we still move around our nativity pieces. Baby Jesus will arrive on Christmas morning wrapped in gold paper and is the first 'gift' the kids open. This has been one tradition we have enjoyed.
What Christmas tradition do you enjoy as a family?

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 10

I just love this chicken enchilada recipe!! It is even easier to make when you have shredded or chopped already cooked chicken in your freezer.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 8

Happy Birthday to me from my family! This will go great with brownies and winter white chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins tonight :o)

December Photo Project - Day 7

Compassion filled day!
Letter from Abner!
New Compassion shirt arrived!
77 Compassion kids sponsored at the MercyMe concert tonight!

Friday, December 7, 2012

And the winner is...

Be sure to send me your mailing address to kymk99 at yahoo dot com and I will get this out to you next week.
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! Stay tuned, because I will be announcing another giveaway on Monday... :o)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 4

My husband and I were able to attend a Lightroom seminar in Sacramento today. At first, my husband thought it was funny that I decided to bring my camera along. I am so glad I did!
This Christmas decoration was between the escalators. I had to do a bit of maneuvering to get between the up and down sections at the top of the escalator to get this shot! Did just a little bit of editing in Lightroom and voila! day 4 December Photo Project photo!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time for a Compassion Giveaway!!

Have you been wanting this book?
When I participated in the Compassion Blogger Blog Month back in September, I was able to earn a copy of this book. Since I already have a copy, I decided to give away this copy to one of my readers! I will also be sending along one of the 'You Can Change the Story' bookmarks that were available at the Global Leadership Summit during the summer.
How to participate?
Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what book(s) you are currently reading.
Entries must be submitted by midnight (pacific time) on Thursday, December 6th. I will draw and announce the winner here on the blog on Friday. Giveaway only available to those living in the United States.
If you are a Compassion sponsor, you will want to add a copy of this book to your library!

December Photo Project - Day 3

Another Pinterest project completed!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Photo Project - Day 2

white lights + canning jars on my kitchen window sill = simplicity
Are you participating in the December Photo Project?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Photo Project

December Photo Project 2012
I just learned about a fun photo project for December! Since I just found out about this, I will start posting a photo a day for this project tomorrow.

Anyone want to join in the fun?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

There isn't anything wrong with this picture, is there?
A Bible opened up to Luke 2, the story of Jesus' birth.
Nativity pieces.
Advent wreath and candles.
But wait, the candles are the wrong color, aren't they?
In the past, this really would have bothered me, the wrong color candles. There is 'suppose to be' 3 purple candles, one pink candle, and one white candle in the center.
My first-born, type-A tendencies would put me on a quest each year before Christmas trying to find the 'right' color candles. But you know what I have begun to realize over the last few years? Jesus doesn't really care what color the candles are. He wants us to take the time during this season of advent to reflect on the miracle of His birth. He is the Savior of our world. That should be the focus of my worship to Him, not the color of my candles.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Countdown winner is...

A couple of days ago, I posted about a giveaway for this cute holiday countdown. Today was the day to pick the winner, and the winner is...
 Yay Jill! Be sure to send me your mailing address to kymk99 at yahoo dot com. I know your family will enjoy this!
I really enjoyed reading everyone's Christmas tradition, so now I am going to share one with you. Years ago, I read in an article in a Family Fun magazine about wrapping up your Christmas books each year at Christmas. Each day, the kids choose a 'present', open it, and then you take the time right then to read the book. Over the years, I have accumulated quite a few Christmas books! Our Christmas books are always packed away and only come out at Christmas time, which makes reading them each year quite special.
 Now that my kids are older and our schedule is sometimes a little busy, we don't always have a chance to 'open' and read every book that has been wrapped. These were the leftovers from last year.
 Since Matthew was at school today, Kelsey went through and picked these books to read this year.
 These are the extras! This is the result of lots of after Christmas half off sales.
Our stack of books is wrapped and ready to be read! I wonder which one the kids will pick in the morning?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snowflake Window Decoration Tutorial

I am not really a winter person, but I do really like snowflakes. And as much as I love decorating for Christmas, I love having decorations that can be up past Christmas. The house always looks so bare after Christmas when all the decorations are put away, so to be able to keep some 'winter' decorations up, helps me to keep the 'winter blues' away.
One of the very first things I pinned on Pinterest was a window decoration using ornaments. This year, I have been pinning some crochet snowflake projects and thought I could use the same concept as the ornaments, but use snowflakes instead.
So I used this snowflake pattern, but instead of making the garland, I made single snowflakes.
 Then I gathered some pom poms, fishing line, a needle and a pair of scissors.
 I tied a knot at the end of a length of fishing line and put this through a pom pom.
 Then I threaded the fishing line through one of the snowflakes. To kind of keep the snowflakes and pom poms from slipping down the fishing line, I looped the fishing line around again and put the needle through the same spot. You can add as many pom poms and snowflakes to a length of fishing line that suits you. Then I made a loop at the top of the fishing line.
 I placed tension rods in the window frame
 Then using ornament hooks, I hung the lengths of snowflakes and pom poms onto the tension rods.
 You can add as many lengths to your window as you like.
I just love the way it looks!
What projects are you working on?