Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Old pictures

So, I found these two rolls of film that had not been developed. I was wondering, "What is on these rolls?" and for the life of me, I couldn't remember. So, I went ahead and had them developed. On one roll of film, I had taken pictures of our Spain trip 2005, in celebration of my completion of the big PhD. They were beautiful pictures and made me want to go on another trip, but then again, everything makes me want to go on a trip....I love adventure, relaxing, seeing and experiencing new things and new cultures.

But, the next roll of film was, by far, my favorite. It took me back to the fun and carefree days when I lived in sunny California. Back then, life was simple. No worries. Sharon and I lived in an apartment that backed up to a used car lot (I jokingly call 'the ghetto') and substitute taught in schools in the ghetto. I also tutored after school. Making money/saving money was not a goal, it was just a way to pay the bills. In the meantime, I lived life fully. If I thought I could afford to take a day off from subbing, I would take the day off and go on an adventure. The adventure would be either hiking in the mountains to enjoy God's creation (45 minutes away), going to the beach to surf or read or be with God(45 min away), biking around town, going to the park to read, walking to Whole Foods (about 4 miles away), whatever! It is so easy to forget that life should be carefree and simple like that. Yes, I have more responsibilities now, but I am not going to use those as an excuse to not live a free life God wants me to live, enjoying his presence, his beauty in nature, and his fellowship he wants me to have with others. Living in Boise, ID has made it simpler to get back to the bare basics of life, for me. Here are some of the pictures I found on my roll of film. It was a time that Tia came and visited and Sharon, Tia and I went surfing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Elk, Snakes & Deer

So, I know everyone thinks we live in the sticks now, but seriously, we live in the big city--it's just that the sticks like to come to us. Like last week, for example. I'm riding to work on my bike and I find out that I better beware of a big elk on the loose. Now, the only thing I know about Elks is that they have many lodges in the South where I used to live. But a real elk? I was hoping I would come across him on my morning bike commute to work. That's him in the picture above. He didn't last long before some Barney Fife police officer shot him.

Then on my way home that day, I almost ran over a snake. I say almost because I actually slowed up when I saw him and put my feet in the air like a little girl and squealed. I quickly turned around to see if anyone saw my scaredy-cat act, but I noticed only a couple of squirrels.

Less than a half a mile later, I passed a handful of people acting extremely strange along the banks of the Boise River. I slowed down to see if I could figure out what was going on before I saw a huge deer panting for water in the river. It was great.

OK, so there's still traffic on my commute in the mornings. Those Broncos and Jaguars driven by angry and rude people in metro Atlanta have been replaced by elk, deer and snakes, who have no desire to cut me off or flip me the bird. Now, if I can just find that orange vest of mine ...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Faith's 1st Birthday!

Faith's birthday was actually over a week ago, and I am just now getting to post pictures. Here is a picture of her a year ago. Wow has so much changed in a year! See how much she has grown!

We celebrated Faith's birthday when my parents came into town, so the actual DAY of her birthday, was pretty low-key. In the morning we took her to the Boise Zoo. She loved looking at the animals. Here she is with the leopard and sitting on a baby tiger:)

Ok, so it is not a REAL baby tiger, but she obviously thought it was fun anyway. The main reason we went to the zoo was because they had a special butterfly exhibit. Faith LOVES butterflies, even as a tiny baby she had a butterfly mobile above her crib which would entertain her for long stretches of time. This butterfly exhibit was awesome! Jason had two butterflies riding on him the entire time he was in there. Faith even had a few land on her. Even though she looks serious in these pictures, she really liked the exhibit.

Last, but not least, she opened some boxes that she had been sent in the mail. And, of course we gave her some books (she really likes books). Here is a shot I have been trying to capture for some time now. Whenever I ask if she wants to eat or more to eat, she makes this cute, adorable face.

After capturing the picture of her doing her sign for more to eat, she then decided to change it to sticking her tongue in and out, much like a lizard. What a silly one year old!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Poses & Bees

Our Labor Day weekend consisted of the usual outdoor activity as well as some interesting happenings indoors. In leaving Atlanta, I was happy to escape the Yellow Jacket fans who whine incessantly about how their football program isn't as good as Georgia's because of their rigorous academic standards make it difficult to lure the same caliber of athlete to their campus. The only thing more obnoxious than Yellow Jacket fans are actual yellow jackets, which besieged our Labor Day picnic in grand fashion. I know they may seem like odd pictures, but I had to include them to accurately depict the swarm surrounding our food.

Most of my timidity with yellow jackets surrounds the painful memory in my childhood when our beagle stirred up a nest of the critters which descended upon me like the paparazzi on Paris Hilton. Playing with my dog and my dad a block and a half away from our house, my dad chased me home, beating the yellow jackets off of me with his t-shirt as I screamed in agony. That's one day I'm sure the neighbors looked our their window and thought, "At least we're not rednecks like the Chatraws." I'm also sure that it started a rumor mill like the time my mom pulled me out of a baseball game we were winning by 20 runs because my blood-thirsty coach wanted to squash the other team. By Sunday at church, the word on the street was my mom had cussed out the umpire. (I smarted for a week because I never got my post-game soda.) But in the aftermath of our yellow jacket attack, I never heard any rumors of a redneck pastor whipping his son with a t-shirt for two blocks--so I'm guessing the neighbors were all inside watching Jerry Springer that day and couldn't distinguish reality from the TV.

But I digress ... I tried to highlight some of the yellow jackets so the picture doesn't look so weird. Look for the red checks ... I counted 10 and 3. Can you find more? Pretend it's a puzzle in the newspaper and everyone will think you're really smart if you find more. Just be sure to comment with your description of where the extra yellow jackets are.

Now, on to more fun things
... like family portraits. When I was younger, family portraits were on the same level of going to the dentist. Some strange photographer tried to make me laugh by making jokes about my girlfriend, which I didn't have. However, this time I went with a good attitude and had a great experience for Faith's one year pictures and our family portrait. And I was doing pretty good until the photographer forced me into some cheesy poses. When I walked into the studio, I snickered at some of the horribly cheesy photos some dads took with their children, unbeknownst to me that moments later I would assume those same poses. Fortunately, Faith would not comply as she scuttled away looking for something to put into her mouth. (foreshadowing) You might think I was pinching her, but think what you like. I was just happy there were no such cheesy portraits for us to even consider buying.

Later on that day, Janel took some pictures of Faith in her classic pose: putting something in her mouth. We decided to cool off along the banks of the Boise River from the torrid Labor Day heat when I dipped Faith toward the water. Little did we realize she was preparing to battle Goliath by picking up five smooth stones and putting them into her mouth. Many people have commented about the size of Faith's cheeks--now I believe it is quite possible that there still might be a rock or two in there causing the irresistible bulges on both sides of her face. Enjoy!