Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tips for Delayed Flash Photography

I recently had a lot of fun playing around with the delayed flash capabilities of my camera. The basic idea is that the camera takes a long exposure and then flashes at the very end to capture the action and give you a crisp picture, with the most pronounced lights being blurred. If you have ever seen a photo of a car that is in perfect focus, but you see a trail of light from the brake lights, you have seen the results of this trick. I thought I would have some fun and try it out by giving my son a bunch glow bracelets, and letting him jump around on the bed. The result is something like this:

Experimentation With Light Part 2

If you want to do something similar, here are some tips that I learned in the process of doing this:


  1. Use a tripod. Since you will be taking a pretty long exposure, using a sturdy tripod is essential


  2. Set your camera to use a delayed flash. On Olympus E-Series cameras it is called slow2. Most DSLRs should have this capability so look at your instruction manual to find the right setting.


  3. Find a very dark area. We tried it at first outside, but there was enough moonlight for this to not be effective. Using a dark backdrop also helps the colors pop out.


  4. Open up the aperature. A higher aperature (lower number) will let light in easier and help your light source (in this case glow bracelets) show up better. Most of these shots were shot at f2.8.


  5. It is okay to overexpose your shot in these instances to get longer exposure times. Most of these shots were shot at +1ev - +2ev to give Charlie more time to jump around.


  6. Turn on noise reduction (if you have it) on the camera. Long exposures will most certainly add a lot of noise to the photo. Using noise reduction will get rid of most of that noise.


  7. You can buy a canister of 15 glowsticks at Michael's for $1! :)


  8. Have fun!

Glow Stick fun and Wallet Update

Experimentation With Light Part 2

Well, last night's photo shoot was a lot of fun. Charlie has a blast, as you can see...

Experimentation With Light Part 2

And my personal favorite:

Experimentation With Light Part 2

Last night I had a hard time getting to sleep, thinking about the wallet situation. I've always been very forgetful and have lost many things in my life. But this time I just felt kinda violated. Yet I thought about how if someone was purposely using it, how desperate they must be to resort to that. I prayed for them a lot last night, to know the peace of Christ and be free from such desperation. Anyhow, before I could sleep I had to go through the car one more time, just in case it was in there. It wasn't. Then I woke up this morning from a dream that I went back and found it.

The reason I say all that is so you can imagine my relief when I get a call that someone had found it! It looked like it had been flung out of a car, and was laying in a ditch about 5 blocks from the store. Everything was in it except my driver's license and debit and credit cards. I'm so thankful for the guy who found it, and started calling various places (blockbuster, cool cuts for kids) to see if they had my number on file, and if they'd call me to let me know how to get in touch with him. So sweet! It kinda balances out the situation...the thief, and then the act of kindness from a stranger. It's a wild world we live in!

By the way, here are a few lessons I learned, if this could help you in case your wallet's ever stolen:

1. Don't carry social security cards or numbers, or any account numbers, passwords, etc (or pictures you can't replace)
2. If your wallet is lost, of course you need to call your bank and cancel credit/debit cards, but also be sure to get a police report filed. This helps cover you if any charges are made, and can help catch the perpetrator.
3. You can go to www.experian.com/fraud and fill out everything for a fraud alert to be put on your credit history. That way if anyone tries to open an account/ loan in your name, you'll be called first. And it also means no credit card offers in the mail for 6 months (I'm totally excited about that!!). Experian will contact the other 2 big credit companies.
Helpful links:
Gov't list of what to do
Annual Credit Report's List
Texas' List of what to do
Equifax or 1-877-576-5734
Experian or 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion or 1-800-680-7289

Anyhow, to get my mind off of everything, I spent some time this morning playing with some photo editors (these are free for anyone who wants to use them, and they're online... www.picnik.com, www.phixr.com, www.wiredness.com). Here are a couple that I liked...

charlie wiredness.com

Little Feet picnik.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lost Wallet

The last couple of days have been smooth and uneventful. Last night Chuck took some neat pics of Charlie with glow stick bracelets:

Experimentations with Light Experimentations with Light


But we decided we really needed a dark backdrop, so I went to the cloth store today, and that's the last place I remember having my wallet. I checked out, put my items in the small basket of Chance's stroller, and...it's gone. I've canceled the debit and credit cards, and I'm about to go to the police station to file a report. Has anyone been thru this before? Any advice on what to do, or not to do? My main concern is that I had a list of our social security numbers in it. Everything else can be replaced...

So, at least I have the cloth and we're going to redo the photo shoot tonight. It's been fun to have a hobby that both Chuck and I are into! Stay posted for more glow stick fun ;)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Outdoor Adventures

The health issues have subsided and the fun times are here again...

~Is it just me, or are boys just more prone to dirt?! The boys were playing (in between rain storms) outside in the mud, when I realized Charlie was getting handfuls of mud, rolling them into balls, then squashing them into Chance's hair. Here's what I mean:

Muddy Hair

~We've had a few adventures here at home. Yesterday as we were walking, I finally realized how to keep Chance happy instead of wanting to jump out of the wagon: a constant supply of pebbles! Then they could throw them into the puddles and laugh in delight. We also found a butterfly that I think had been hit by a car. So we brought it home and Charlie displayed some amazing hospitality to it. As we walked home, I would hear him say "It's gonna be ok butterfly. We're going fix you up!" Then he was very careful with it as he brought it in the house. He often just peered over the container and watched it. He even told it "night night." We gave it some banana and hoped it could recover, but by morning, it was a goner. It was a bit disappointing to Charlie that "his" butterfly didn't make it :( But I think it was a good experience, nonetheless.

Wounded Butterfly
[The Wounded Butterfly]

2 Cowboys
[The boys in their wagon, as we endeavored a walk through the neighborhood.]

~Today we all went to a nearby park that had a neat rock wall. Charlie fearlessly climbed it with Daddy's help:

Rock climbing Family

Rock climbing Charlie

~Chance has been displaying some great climbing skills as well. He's overcoming his cautious nature and beginning to scare me from time to time. For instance, here's what he did on the playground a couple of days ago:

Little Monkey

~While Chance is exploring his boundaries, Charlie is exploring his emotions. Today he told me, in a very angry tone, that he was mad at Cheecha (an imaginary friend) for taking all of his toys. Then awhile later at the grocery store when he asked if we could get something, I told him no, and he said "Mommy, you are making me mad right now." It was so funny.

~One fun one...This morning Chance was enjoying his cinnamon roll so much I just had to get a picture:

Cinnamon Roll Lover

~And one serious, in honor of Memorial Day. May we remember those who've gone before us, the heros who've given their lives so we can live in freedom and safety.

Life & Death

Thursday, May 24, 2007

They're Dropping Like Dominoes

To update the recovery, yesterday I woke up feeling much better, and it's been improving ever since. I was actually excited when I could change diapers again--go figure! So, the worst has definitely passed...for me.

Then I found out that Nana (my step-mom) realized by Tuesday that she had strep. We were thinking it was good that the boys came home from her house so they wouldn't get it. But then Chuck came home early from work and went to the doctor and found out he has strep, too. I can't help but feel a bit responsible. But at least it's over...I'll not pass it to anyone again, I hope! Tomorrow, although they don't show symptoms, I'm taking the boys to the doctor to get checked. I'm looking forward to having a healthy family! :)

Chuck's parents have been here since Sunday and I don't know how we would've survived without them. They've been a HUGE help. I'm just hoping we don't pass the strep on to them!

I'll close with a funny story. For dinner I got a rotisserie chicken. As I pulled the lid off, Charlie exclaimed, "That's one big frog, Mommy!!"

--------------------------------------------
I wrote that yesterday, and to update, I took the boys to the doctor today....they both have strep as well. So everyone's on antibiotics together!

Also, some picture catch-up...

The River last weekend:

Sisters and future nephew
[My sisters Desi and Anna. Anna's pregnant with her first baby boy!]

Chuck, beach style
[My handsome husband, and his funny hat.]

Chance Loves His Nana
[Chance, loving on his Nana.]

Sick Charlie, Mute Mommy
[Charlie was sick here, we just didn't know it yet.]

This Week:

Grandma and Grandpa Visit
[Chuck's parents, Chuck, and Charlie, watching a movie.]

Little Feet
[I'm not sure what I think of this one yet, but it was an attempt to get a pic of Chance's little feet.]

Charlie Swimming
[Charlie's big feet, while he's swimming.]

Chance Stuffs His Face
[Chance cracks me up when he eats, because he always stuffs as much as possible in his mouth...I guess so Charlie can't get it?!]

And one artsy one...

Waterfall at La Cantera
[Last night we went to La Cantera Mall, which is a beautiful outdoor/landscaped mall. We let the boys play on the playground then Grandpa & Grandma took them to the ice cream shop. Here's a waterfall that overlooks their playground.]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Here, Fishy, Fishy!

Ok, so to follow up with my last post about water, here are three videos dealing with another creature that depends on water for life: fish!

First, Charlie has made a fish friend at the zoo:

Charlie's Fishy



Second, Chance saying "Fishy" for the first time:

Chance says Fishy



Third, yesterday Charlie pretended to catch a fish in our kitchen yesterday:

Charlie Fishes


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Miracle of Water

Cascade

Have you ever thought about what a miracle water is? There would be no life without it. I've heard scientists say that it is extremely improbable for hydrogen to form, yet the Earth hit the lottery, and here we are. I dare say, we're no accident. But without water, there would be no us. And without a constant supply of water, we wouldn't last very long. For those of us that live in Central Texas, we're quite aware of our dependence on water, with all the droughts our land goes through. Yet, we have been blessed to have a great supply of it running through our faucets, hot or cold. So, thank You God for water...

Come to find out, water has been my issue this week. I finally called the doctor's office today, and the nurse told me that this fatigue I'm feeling isn't because I'm getting older, or because of the surgery. It's because the antibiotic is now attacking the good bacteria in my digestive system which is causing me to be dehydrated. And my dehydration (lack of water) = fatigue. The good news is, I can quit the antibiotic, and my body should replenish itself within 24-48 hours! Thank you, Lord!! (And I keep wondering, why didn't I call sooner?!)

So, I'm off to bed to help my body heal, but I wanted to post the update, so you can rejoice with me, in the importance of water!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Things are Looking Up!

So, the Lord ministered to me in my ranting, and sent some dear friends/sisters in Christ to clean my house. It was so sweet, and a little humbling. I'm so thankful for their sacrifice and service. Also, they (my friends Elo and Melony) brought Rachel, Melony's daughter, and I felt energetic enough to take some pictures. It was fun! And the whole act of kindness really got me to thinking about how it all works. First, God showed us kindness in while we were still sinners/enemies, He died for our sins so that we could be forgiven. Second, when we think on this act, we can't help but be grateful, at a God who meets all our needs, and more. Third, that overflows to the point that we want to serve and love people, even those whom we may not even be directly responsible for. Fourth, when we serve, they are feeling the direct effect of God's love. It's the Body of Christ, which I studied so much about in Ephesians, at work. Coincidentally, that's where I met Elo and Melony, in the Ephesians study. It's nice when "the Church" does the right thing, even going the extra mile. So all that to say, their visit was refreshing! (And isn't God good?!) Thank you, Elo and Melony, for showing me God's love...and cleaning my dirty house!!

Rachel comes to visit
[Rachel, Melony's daughter and Elo's granddaughter. Isn't she just the cutest?!]

Today we got the boys back! I missed them so much. We met at the Guadalupe River, and to my delight, Charlie actually wanted me to just hold him. At first I thought he had just missed me...but pretty soon I noticed he was sick. He's running a fever and has an upset stomach. So poor Chuck, now has to take care of 2 sick people!

The good news is, Chance is our comic relief. He's been so happy, and has been surprising me with all his new tricks. It's amazing how much he can learn in a week! He climbs up to the fish tank, and laughs as the fish runs from his finger. Then he says, "Fishie!" My stepmom also informed me he said "Chance" this week. Then he sits in Chuck's lap and puts his finger in Chuck's eye, and says, "Eye, Daddy eye." Then he shows us where his eye is...and proceeds to show us nose and mouth! I'd been trying to teach him these before, but he'd never gotten it. I have a feeling he was taught at Nana & Big Daddy's house...

=======================================================

I wrote all that yesterday, and intended to post once Chuck gets his Guadalupe pictures on the computer. But that still hasn't happened, so it'll have to wait til another day.

Last night Charlie did begin throwing up. Pretty soon I followed. But the good news is, Chuck and Chance didn't get it. That was definitely the grossest experience of my life, with everything swollen. But thankfully it's over. Only happened once, and somehow it helped. Since then my energy level has slowly been creeping up. Charlie's lasted through the night, but his joy came in the morning, literally. He's been back to his normal self today. Chuck's parents have come in to stay a few days and help out, which is so wonderful! I was worried about Chuck, since he was up a lot last night with Charlie, and had to stay up all day caring for all 3 of us. He's been such a trooper, and hasn't complained once! It seems like the worst has passed, at least that's what I'm hoping! It seems like I've complained so much about something that's only lasted a week. I am thankful this is just temporary, and I'm looking forward to a life without strep! And I'm really enjoying the time just watching the boys play, not worrying about the house. It's still clean! That's a miracle right there! haha! So this has been a "good" trial, although I'd rather not repeat it ;) I can definitely see some good things it's done in me.

The clouds have parted, and I think the storm is winding down at the Thier home.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This is Harder Than I Thought it Would Be

Well, Day 1 was pretty rough, but Day 2 went really well. My stomach settled, my energy levels slowly rose, I even switched off the pain meds to just tylenol. I felt so good, I walked to the mailbox and back. I had hopes that this was just going to keep progressing, and maybe I'd be up to having the boys back home by the weekend. Day 3 (today) has knocked me on my ear. I don't really get it. I don't see why yesterday went so well, but now I'm too tired to walk very far at a time. The pain is managable as long as I stay on tylenol every 4 hours. It's just my strength is gone. I got up to take some pics of the beautiful flowers I've received, and had to stop in the middle of it because I was zapped. It's not like I was trying to run a triathlon or something?! Anyways, enough ranting. I guess I'll be "resting" awhile longer. Bedridden's the best word for it.

P5174576
[Flowers from Chuck. He surprised me with these in the post-op room at the hospital.]

I have to brag on Chuck for a minute. He's been up and at'em every time I need anything (and even when I don't). He's working from home, and caring for me. That's a lot. Yesterday I had to show him how to use our washing machine, which was kinda funny. I didn't realize he'd never used it before. So our house isn't the cleanest and I think that's the biggest trial for me. To not have the kids and have so much time on my hands, and not be able to clean house is torture. Maybe God's showing me some things I need to work on. I've always struggled with balancing the important things in life with housework and organizing. Not that my house is usually emaculate (more like rarely), but it's always bugged me if there are chores to be done. It's hard to relax when there's lots of work to do. So I guess this is what I'm supposed to learn while I heal.

P5174564
[Flowers from Chuck's work. Isn't that sweet?!]

Also, it seems like anytime I lack time for God, things like this happen, and "Voila" I have lots of time for Him now. Just like when my ankle broke before my wedding, I feel like this is an opportunity to get into the Word and prayer more. And even just contemplation...in a time when life isn't going a 100 miles an hour, like usual. I know it's a good thing to be bedridden when I can just think and pray and not be running thru life...but that's so contrary to my personality, it's stretching. But stretching is good. And truth is, things could be a lot worse, so I really have no room to complain.

So today's blog is really more a venting than anything. Thanks for enduring it with me. And may you make time in your life to slow down and reflect...without having to go thru something medical to get you there! Hopefully I'll learn that lesson this time too. ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Latest Find and a New Project

Angie hits the nail on the head when she talks about how much I love technology. I have what seems to be an endless array of projects. So many things that I would like to do, and so little time. So what does one do? Add another project! Why not? :)

A couple of weeks ago Angie and I went to a community wide garage sale. Angie and I have been perfecting the art of garage saleing. Its all about the hunt, the possibility that you might find that one thing that makes getting up at 5:00 in the morning and driving all over the place worth it. Sometimes you find it, and sometimes you come back empty handed. This time I struck gold.

For the longest time I have wanted to make an arcade cabinet that is actually a computer that emulates all the old arcade games. I never really got started, since making such a cabinet from scratch is quite a task, and I have just never had the time.

As we drove down one of the streets, it was suddenly like one of those scenes from a movie, where everything goes into slow motion as a girl walks by and looks at that guy. I glance over into a garage and see an arcade cabinet! We quickly pulled in, and I almost fainted when the guy told me that I could have it for $10! But we had a problem. The morning had already been quite successful, and the car was quite packed with junk. It's not every day that you have an opportunity like this, so we totally unpacked the car, put the arcade in and re-packed the car again. I couldn't believe that we got everything in there. I would have taken a picture but my camera was somewhere in the middle of everything. I have to thank Angie for being such a great wife for not just letting me get it, but for finding a way to make everything fit -- even to the point where she had to ride all the way back with a child's couch sitting in her lap.

So now I have a Rolling Thunder arcade cabinet that is in pretty good shape. The game even works thanks to a friend at work giving me a power supply and a little tlc. And now my next project begins! The plan is to turn this cabinet into a MAME cabinet. There is still a lot of work to do, and a lot to figure out. Off to the drawing board!

Before I go, here are some photos of the cabinet in all of its glory:



Rolling Thunder Arcade Cabinet

Rolling Thunder Arcade Cabinet

Rolling Thunder Arcade Cabinet

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Wonders of Technology (surgery update)

So I had my tonsillectomy today. Everything went smoothly, thank you, Lord! My doctor said we definitely did the right thing because my tonsils were so saturated with Strep that it looked like cottage cheese. Sorry if that's too much info. I know I've had strep for 2 years, maybe longer. Unlike most strep-sufferers, my symptoms and cases are usually mild. I usually only know by the swollen glands under my jaw and "pus pockets" in the back of my throat (again, sorry if that's too much info). As the nurse was asking me about it, she was so sympathetic, saying "Wow, I know that had to hurt." I told her I didn't deserve much pity, since it never really hurt. She was amazed, saying normally that should hurt. Chalk it up to high tolerance for pain, I guess. At least that's Chuck's theory. So thank you God for a high tolerance to pain! :) Since I'm not much for running to the doctor every time my throat is sore, I never realized what a big deal strep was. I think I've learned my lesson today.

Anyhow, we're home now, and I'm so grateful for a husband who waits on me hand and foot. My throat is very sore, of course. Think "swollen, almost like there are stitches in the back." Everything is fine though, until I have to swallow or talk. And the anesthesia has zapped my strength. All this to say, I'm so thankful Chuck is such a techie. (Can't you just hear the song from Napolean Dynamite, "I love technology, but not as much as you, you see, always and forever"? ha!) I told him this morning that his ears might get some time off this week...ah, but not his brain. I can still make myself heard, thanks to technology. If I need him, the traditional bell to ring is replaced by our cell phones. If I need to have a conversation, we have instant messenger with our laptops. And of course, I'm not cut off from you, because my fingers can still type out this blog :)

So THANK YOU to all my friends and family who have been praying. It has been a great comfort. And for those who've offered meals and visits, we'll be ready tomorrow I think. I can eat only soft foods, which Chuck is skilled at making me from my last jaw surgery, but I'm sure he would appreciate some real food. He's so busy caring for me, I doubt he's able to eat as well as he'd like. And THANK YOU to the grandparents (Nana, Big Daddy, Grandpa and Grandma) who have the boys. It was so hard to leave them in Austin yesterday, but it's so comforting to know they're in loving and capable hands. I miss them dearly but I'm glad they don't have to witness this. And in the long run they'll have a healthier mom...what more could I ask for?

Angie Update

Angie is back home after having her tonsils removed this morning. The surgery went very well, and without problems. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and please continue for the next two weeks as she recovers. I'm off now to get drugs and ice-cream and I'm sure Angie will post more once she wakes up later and is feeling a bit better.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happily Exhausted

I know I've been lagging in posting...

This week my sister Randi and her boyfriend Dan came to visit. It was so much fun. I was telling her how much it means to have her visit, because outside of cyberspace, visiting is much harder than it used to be. Going there to visit is hard, because the boys don't sleep well away from home. Phone calls are difficult, because the boys are usually pulling on me the whole time. And as great as technology is, nothing beats hugs and conversation. So, needless to say, it was a great visit. The boys had fun as we played around the house and at the zoo. Chuck rented a Wii game, and we all had a lot of fun with that, too.

Randi & Dan VIsit
[Dan and Chuck play wii...this pic makes them look like they're almost hugging! LOL]

Randi & Dan VIsit
[Randi does the "wii hula."]

Randi & Dan VIsit
[The gang at the zoo.]

Randi & Dan VIsit
[Charlie at the zoo.]


Also this week, I took my minivan to the dealership because the passenger door wouldn't open. The bad news is they ended up having to break the door to get it open, so I'm without it for a week. The good news is I have a loaner car, so it's no big deal. I have this little 4 door sedan (a hail-beaten Mazda 6). Although I miss the room of the minivan, it doesn't drive like a brick (like the minivan), so it's been a fun change. Taking curves and starting up from the red light has given a small pleasure I've forgotten about over the years of driving SUVs and minivans. Just this evening, as I rounded a corner, Charlie said (in this cute little Southern accent) "Whew, look out everybody! My mommy is driving! Woohooo!" It was really funny.

Chuck was able to play bass at church this weekend, which is always fun. Chance got to see him on stage for the first time, and he thought that was really cool. I wish it wasn't such a big commitment for Chuck, because I know he enjoys it so much... but it requires being at church from 12:30-8 Saturday and 8:30-2 on Sundays. So I don't get much of a break, so he doesn't do it often... I keep reminding myself this is just for a season. Someday he'll get to play all the time... Lord willing! :)

Oh, and to explain my title, Chance has returned to waking up around 7 am each morning. Isn't that sweet? (not!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bye Bye Strep Throat

For over 2 years now, I've had recurring Strep throat. At this point, it usually returns within a week of finishing antibiotics. In December when it came back I was so aggravated with it, I just ignored it. By March I realized that was a selfish decision, as I was exposing my loved ones to it. So a month ago I went again to the ENT (for the millionth time, it seems), and he gave me the ultimatum. A strong antibiotic for 3 weeks and if it returns, tonsillectomy. Well, I finished it on a Thursday, and the strep was back by Monday. I felt like a kid getting called into the principal's office as I went again to the ENT yesterday. My surgery is planned for next Tuesday.

I know this is something that must be done. Last month I also had the boys checked and Chance had a "mildly positive" result for strep. I definitely don't want to give it to them over and over again. I also know eventually the antiobiotics won't work anymore. Plus, I had a friend whose strep went into her blood stream and she passed away (leaving her husband of 2 years with their first baby- 6 weeks old!). And as I was told in April, I can't just let this go...it eventually attacks kidneys, heart, etc.

But I'm nervous. Maybe it's because of the last (jaw) surgery and all it took to recover. I know this is not nearly as intense (1 hour instead of 3 hours of surgery), but I'm really dreading it. Really I'm dreading the recovery. The 2 weeks of soft foods isn't the bad part. Even if my throat "hurts like hell" as the doctor put it, I can handle it. It's the rule that I can't strain myself or lift anything for 2 weeks that will be perplexing. If I do strain myself within 5-10 days afterwards, I could bleed too much inside and things could get deadly fast. Just thinking about it makes me feel faint. And not lifting my kids is just about impossible. Thankfully, I have family that will be helping.

If you think of me next Tuesday, May 15th, please pray that God would speedily heal me, that I might not have any bleeding problems afterwards. And that I would have peace, and trust in Him instead of worrying. Health issues are much more stressful now that I have a husband and children that need me to be healthy! But my joy is in the fact that God is able to control all these things, and His will is perfect (Romans 12:2).

Sunday, May 6, 2007

"Choo-Choo!"

Oh, so much to report...

New Train

First of all, the "Choo Choo". This weekend Chuck and I went to a neighborhood-wide garage sale, and found a ride on electric train for the boys. They LOVE it! It made it worth getting up at the crack of dawn and scavenging. It can run on tracks or on the floor. Both Charlie and Chance can drive it, and they both love it. We set it up at Chuck's parents' house, and Chance spent hours just going around and around the track.

New Train New Train


Also, Charlie received a couple of books which he loved, and kept asking everyone to "talk it" (read it to him).

New Train
[Charlie reads his Nascar book with Nana]

New Train
[The boys read the Big Truck book with Grandpa Thier]

We did have another great find, in that Chuck got an arcade game machine...You know, the old school, tall wooden game box? Anyhow, it's been a dream of his to get one of those and build a computer into it that will play lots of old arcade games...and now he has it. Well, sorta has it. We couldn't fit it in the car with the boys, so we had to leave it with his folks. But he'll make another trip soon and bring it home...and then we have to find a place to fit it! Ahh, but still, a good find. hahaha.

Secondly, last Thursday afternoon the boys went to Austin to the grandparents' house. It was a last minute decision, so Chuck and I went on a date...at midnight! We saw the first showing of Spiderman 3. It was awesome. But the reason I'm blogging about this is to remind myself that I'm not as young as I used to be. Going to bed at 3 AM has more effect on me than ever before. It's Sunday and I still haven't "caught up." I'm definitely feeling old.

Here are a couple random pics I've been pleased with...

Random Charlie & Chance Pics Random Charlie & Chance Pics

And lastly, most importantly, this week our family was blessed with a new member! Chuck's cousin had her first baby, Elijah, and he is an absolute doll! I got the privilege of taking some pics of him...here's my favorite:

P5050286_processed-1