Powered by Blogger.

Search This Blog

Welcome to the hectic years

Hi, I'm Mindi.

And this is our Hectic Life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God's Grace and Parenting


I recently picked up a book about applying God's grace to parenting. And marriage. And I have to say that it's opened up a whole new world for me. For a long time I've rebelled against the train of thought that my children should 'obey' me, simply because I'm the parent. Because I'm bigger, and stronger, and I pay the bills. This book shows through scripture why this doesn't have to be the only train of thought when it comes to parenting your children. Although I'm not finished with the book yet, so far I love it. It applies to us, our family, and to me personally. Today, while in the grocery store, I started applying some of it's principals when we had a sticky situation in the pasta aisle. A situation that could have ended up with screaming children and an angry mommma. And it worked for me, enough to diffuse the situation and give us all a chance to breathe. And still finish the grocery shopping without further incidents.
As I was saying to Kevin the other day - we're not bad parents. We're truly not. But we're also not the best parents that we can be. There is so much more we can do to help us raise kids to love God, each other, and themselves. So in the midst of the holiday rush, the Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, cookie baking and craft making, I'm trying to apply God's grace to daily life. And coupled with my resolution not to be so judgemental, it's making me a happier person.

And a better mom.




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the winner is . . .

Before I mention the winner, I have to say that comment number 14 had to be the most interesting of the lot.

I've been looking for a good gift for my dog. The Mystic Valley Traders Custom Colefax Sheets and Pillowcase Set at CSN stores is perfect. Snuffles will be so happy when he curls up in his doggy bed after it has been lined with these $9,999.99 sheets! What a small price to pay for canine bliss.

Not sure about Snuffles, but I do wonder what it would be like to fall asleep in $10k sheets. I'm sure I'll never know.

And to the point of this post -

I used a random number generator to determine the winner, and the winning number is

No, I didn't send paypal money to Scott for his number generator, but it did come in handy for this giveaway - LOL!

Comment #15 is the winner!! Comment number 15 is Liz B!! Congratulations Liz, you won a $35 promo gift code to CSN stores. I'll be sending an email your way shortly.

And if you didn't win, stay tuned, I have some other giveaways coming up in the near future.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Learning to Accept Imperfections

Last week, while in the hospital waiting room, I picked up a magazine to pass the time. Near the beginning of the bright red glossy pages, there was a passage that made me pause.
Learning to accept your imperfections
That's a hard thing to do, isn't it? Accept the things about yourself that you like least? What makes this even harder is the world that we live in. A world full of people who judge you for the very imperfections that make you cringe when you look in a mirror.
Unfortunately, it pains me to admit that I'm part of that world. Part of the large population of people who feel better when they compare themselves to others, and find the others lacking.
It's so easy to do. Feeling a few pounds overweight is nothing compared to someone who is three times your size. When you feel like a bad parent, all you have to do is look down on all the parents around you who are obviously not doing their job. At least, the ones that you feel are not doing their job.
Think you're a bad housekeeper? When you see the house with faded plastic toys in the front yard and trash bags piled on the front porch, you can't help but believe that you're doing a better job.
For me, I believe that this judgement stems from not accepting the parts of myself that I like least. For believing that, due to these imperfections, I am somehow less in people's eyes. In God's eyes.
But God doesn't work that way. He doesn't judge us based on our imperfect natures or our flaws. At least not now. The handsome President of the Company isn't placed higher than the aging janitor. God values them both, loves them both the same. Just as a parent loves each and every one of their children with all their heart.
Although I've often heard the phrase, "We are all perfect in God's eyes", I think that it should say
In God's eyes, we are all equally imperfect
Every one of us has our flaws, our imperfections, that separate us from God. And somehow, I know I need to learn to accept the flaws that I see in myself. If I take that first step I can accept what I perceive as flaws in others around me. To accept them for who they are, and not judge them for who I think they should be.

I've been taking baby steps - from not judging the driver who cut me off in the snow, to smiling at the guy who failed to hold the door open for me when I had my hands full. We all have our bad days.
And it's not my place to judge someone on what might potentially be the worst day of their life.

God knows what is in their heart, not me.

And perhaps there is a reason I like having these guys around.


And I have four of these.


They love me no matter what - imperfections and all.

Giveaway Deadline Moved Up!!

I'm moving up the $35 gift card giveaway to CSN stores to
Wednesday 12/15 (TOMORROW!) at 10pm. The winner will be chosen randomly after the contest closes. I'm moving it up so that Christmas delivery might still be possible.

To clarify contest rules-
One entry per person, please
Leave an email address so I can send you the promotion code
Choose any one item from CSN stores that you like (does not have to be $35 item)

And that's all there is to it! Good luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

$35 Giveaway for CSN Stores!

This is so exciting! A giveaway that is just in time for Christmas. You have a chance to win a $35 promotional code to CSN stores. Remember, CSN stores has everything from modern bar furniture, to glassware, to plastic toy kitchens.
Here is what you have to do -
Visit the link above and browse through CSN stores (they have over 200 of them) and leave a comment telling me what you would like to buy. I'll choose a random number from the list of comments, and the winner will get a $35 promotional code to use at any of the CSN stores! Remember, right now most of their items ship for free. Be sure to leave an email address where I can contact you.
That's it! It's easy, and could leave you with some extra holiday cash to find a gift for someone, or pick up a special treat for yourself.
The contest runs until Wednesday 12/15 at 10pm EASTERN.
Good luck!

(HERE is another link to CSN stores)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Giveaway from CSN Stores!

I have a upcoming giveaway to announce, just in time for Christmas!!
It's from CSN stores - they have everything available from modernbar furniture to dollhouses, to dog boots. And right now, they're offering free shipping on most items!
The giveaway post will be up soon - be on the lookout for it and you might just be able to get the perfect Christmas gift.

In other news, we've had some cold weather here in the midwest that included snow. And when you have little ones, snow is awesome. The boys disappeared outside for HOURS. They build a snow fort, had a snowball fight (after which Lex came back in crying because Hunter hit him in the face), and tried to build a snowman. Unfortunately, Gwen was sick, so she stayed inside with the 'girls'.





But she felt better when we pulled out the cocomotion machine. I love this thing, and it mixes up some great hot cocoa.


This is Lex's 'I love hot chocolate!' face


We're slated for more snow tomorrow, and the kids are doing their happy dance. I'm doing mine as well. Only four more working days until I start my Christmas break . . .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Crazy is the word I would use to describe our life right now. Certifiably nuts.
And for some insane reason, we're refinancing our mortgage RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Just to add to our already overloaded schedule.
But that's okay, I'm remembering to breathe, to feel the joy that this season brings. And you know what?
I love my family. I really, truly do. I love having Kevin home, here with us almost every day. I don't take it for granted.
This morning we woke up late, and in the middle of rushing around attempting to get ourselves and four kids dressed, Kevin grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. For a mere minute, time stood still, and I no longer cared about getting Callie's hair put up or Hunter's homework log signed. I cared only about that moment, a moment in which my husband made me feel needed and loved.
That's something we all need sometimes, in our lives that are so filled with the chaotic mess of life. We need that moment where time stands still, and we remember what brought us here in the first place.
He took me back to a time where it was just the two of us, learning to be together, live together, and truly love each other. A simple time.
But as we stood there, in the kitchen, reality set in fairly quickly when I heard Gwen from behind us.
'Ughhhh. Daddy's kissing mommy, again.'

One of these days, she'll get used to it.

And a photo from September, to remind me of a time when it wasn't 7 degrees and snowy. When we could walk outside without losing feeling in our fingers.
Ahhh, those were the days . . .


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The List

This time of year consists of many checklists.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, but they can get very chaotic and demanding.
There are just so many things to get done before Christmas.

For example, there’s the simple task of getting out Christmas cards. The very first year we were married, I used a wedding picture and printed cards from home using that picture. Once Hunter was born I started making the card using a picture of the kids, or at least including one in the card. Then I designed my own Christmas cards using a photo taken specifically for the occasion.

See how it can escalate? Last year I made such a big deal out of getting a good photo, that when I didn’t get one I didn’t even get cards printed or mailed.

And that’s just the tip of the ice-berg. There are decorations to put up (check), gifts to make and buy (check), cookies to bake (check), parties to attend (check), Christmas programs to watch and videotape (check) . . . The list goes on and on. So much to do, and less than 4 weeks to do it in.

But in the midst of the checklist, the celebration is getting lost. Not just the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, but the enjoyment of the holidays. Giving to someone else because it makes you feel good to see the smile on their face when they open their gift. Feeling the Christmas magic as you stand in church, surrounded by sparkling boughs and wreaths as you sing carols of hope, peace, and love. Catching the children’s excitement as they count down the days until that one enchanted morning when they wake up to find their stockings filled and presents under the tree.

It’s not about the things to do, it’s about doing them. It’s not about buying the gifts, but about giving them. It’s about spending time together with family, and letting others know that you love them by handing over a plate of freshly baked and decorated cookies that were made with the help of eight little hands. It’s sitting down at the table to construct craft with the kids, and gathering around the tree to hang ornaments while listening to Christmas songs.

Yes, I still have a checklist.

But years from now, I’m not going to remember all the things that I ‘checked off’ my list.

I’m going to remember the laughter, the togetherness, the giving, and the feeling of being loved. I’m going to remember the peace of knowing that no matter how many mistakes I make every day, God gave us His child to fix my mistakes. And my children’s mistakes. And over the Christmas season, we celebrate that love and selfless giving for an entire month.

I’m not going to get lost in the ‘checks’. I’m going to get lost in the joy.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I wasn't looking forward to my birthday this year. It fell on a Monday (yesterday), and I had to work.
I was turning another year older, when I already feel old enough. I mean seriously - I have two college degrees and four kids. I don't think I can claim to be 25 anymore!!
I honestly thought that the day would go by fairly quietly, with a simple Happy Birthday and a card or two.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Though unheard of in Indiana, in the winter, it was almost 70 yesterday. It was awesome. The kids woke up immediately telling me Happy Birthday and acting super excited. It was adorable.

Kevin surprised me by sending flowers to work. Totally unexpected but greatly appreciated.


They picked out a cake for me.


And the kids were jumping for joy when they got a chance to eat it. Seriously, the even cleaned the house first. That was awesome.





Even Apollo hung out in the kitchen, waiting for crumbs to drop to the floor.


After work we headed south and ate at Texas Roadhouse (my favorite place to eat out with the kids), and then stopped at Kohls to buy me a new outfit.

Unbeknownst to me I already had a birthday gift waiting at home.
A shiny new bread-maker that I can't wait to use! My old one, that was a wedding gift over 12 years ago, stopped working this past weekend.

Kevin and the kids spoiled me, and made me feel loved and appreciated. Having another birthday was totally worth it.

Even if it DID mean turning another year older :)

Friday, November 19, 2010



I've written and deleted a few posts this week. But my writing always reflects what I'm going through, and they were coming out kind of depressing.
So I'm trying again.
Although I'm facing another birthday (Monday!), I think I'm too old to be concerned about my health. Initially it was the exhaustion, and that led to blood work and a thyroid check. They found nodules on the thyroid and they need to determine if they're cancerous.
I'm okay with that - I know several people with thyroid issues that don't have cancer. I'm sure that test will turn out fine. And even if it is cancer, I read that thyroid cancer is very treatable.
But then I started getting these 'ice pick' headaches. They were accompanied by hearing issues, and weakness in my hands. I've also had spasms in the heart area. Sometimes I get dizzy, and feel a bit detached.
Kevin is telling me I have a brain tumor and I kept waving him off. But the headaches were so odd I finally went to a doctor. They want to do a CT scan to rule out any 'head issues'. By that they mean tumors. Ughhh.
I'm sure everything will turn out fine. That my issues and headaches will go away, and the scan will show nothing.
But there's that little piece inside of me that says, what if?
There are people all over the world who get brain tumors. People just like me, and I'm sure they thought there was nothing wrong with them, either.
But I'm not going to think like that. I have four birthdays to celebrate in the next week or so (me, my mom, Gwen, and Lex) - and Thanksgiving coming up. After that, Christmas.
Still, I think I'll be praying extra hard for the next month or so.
Just in case.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Competition

Gwen had her first gymnastics competition this weekend. I learned a few things.

1 - My zoom lens was not fast enough for good pictures inside a dark cavernous gymnasium.
2 - The scores they help up were not 980, they were 9.80
3 - My daughter, the one who can trip over her own shadow when at home, is very good at gymnastics!

It was a rough afternoon herding three bored children while we waited for Gwen to compete, but it was worth it. Now I know why she loves it so much. Unfortunately, the only pics I have to share are of her on the beam, but they'll eventually go in the scrapbook.







When she is working on her gymnastics routine Gwen shines from the inside out. She doesn't complain at all, even after 5 straight hours of practicing.
She's found something she loves.
And at the end of the day, watching her on the podium with her medals and the biggest smile, I realized that all of the practices and driving to and from the gym was worth it.
Seeing her so happy was definitely worth it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010



Then Lex decided he wanted a picture with me.

20101111_4461 copy

Notice Callie crying in the background? She wanted to climb up a tree and we wouldn't let her. Her big sister ran to get her before I even had a chance. Gwen loves Callie and every night tries to get her to sleep in her room. One day, maybe.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flash Secrets

With winter coming, the sun sets around 5:30 this time of year. Which means that I have three options for photos:

1 - Use my on board flash
This creates harsh unflattering shadows and washes out the kid's faces. I don't go this route unless I'm out of options.
2 - Use no flash
Using this option means that although I almost always shoot wide open, I'll have to crack up the ISO. This gives me very noisy photos. I also get lots of shadows from the overhead lighting. Not the best way to go, either.
3 - Use my off camera flash
If used correctly, this yields nice even lighting and natural looking photos.

Although I've had my flash for a couple of years now, but I just haven't used it that much. Once evening this week I decided to pull out my flash and snap some photos.
With the boys off to Tae Kwan Do (Kevin and Lex watching Hunter),the girls were my models.



Should have opened up aperature for this one, but it's still cute.


I learned the secret to natural looking flash from a photo message board. It sounds odd, but the settings to these photos were as follows -

ISO 200
fstop 2.8
Shutter 1/50

Yep, the shutter was that low. This is due to the fact that the flash freezes the action, so you don't need a fast shutter speed. Lowering your shutter speed lets the available light into the photo, which eliminates the harsh shadows. It's a win- win formula that works for me. I also bounced the flash off the available walls. Behind me in one, to the side on the others. Using the ceiling isn't the best option because it gives shadows below the eyes / nose / chin.

Now you know the flash secret. Give it a try and you might be surprised at how well this method works!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday!

Although it's November (is it really?) the weather feels more like late spring. Callie is wearing a sweater simply because it was cute, not because it was cold. The kids and I went outside this evening and headed to the playset. Miss Callie was getting a push from her big brother in the swing, and enjoying every minute of it.


Not my best technical shot of the night, but definitely my favorite emotion. Pure joy.

And another of the little Miss in the woods.


The white shape way behind her is Brandi the horse, waiting for her dinner :)

For more awesome photos check out the link below!

Sweet Shot Day

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Dream


I have a lot of plans and ideas swirling around in my head. Dreams are my constant companion. Last night after tripping over the dog, Callie, and bumping into our kitchen island for the 100th time, I re-designed the counters and cabinets in my head. I created more counter space, storage space, free space. I went with granite counter tops that complement my new antique-white cabinets. Of course remodeling the kitchen costs money, so I started thinking about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Plan, and how we need to make our envelope for house maintenance larger. Or start a savings plan for home remodeling. And how our gift giving envelope isn’t big enough for the next two months, with two birthdays and Christmas coming up.

That line of thinking deflates me, so I dream of something else. Of gaining additional income through another means, such as publishing a book. Yes, I’m one of those. I want the ‘American Dream’. I love to write, at any given time there are 3 story lines meandering through my head. When I start to write a story, the characters become real to me. They evolve into living breathing human beings with hearts and souls, until even I wonder what is going to happen to them next. I can close my eyes right now and see Ana sitting on the beach, listening to the waves pound against the sand. I can feel her desolation at finding her husband of fifteen years with another woman. Her fear of the unknown, her confusion and agony at knowing that one moment her life was normal when the very next her heart lay in shattered fragments at her feet. She knows she’s going to make it, there was never a question about that, but Ana doesn’t know if she’ll ever be truly happy again. And as she watches the ocean flow and ebb, a cycle that has been repeated for thousands of years, she can’t understand how life can appear so normal (why are the birds singing?) when inside the chaotic desperation threatens to overwhelm her. If yesterday almost destroyed her, what will tomorrow bring?

I need to get back to that story, to Ana and her kids, I need to understand what will become of her. Though I’ve never been in her position, I can imagine what it must feel like. And to write about an imaginary life brings me great joy and happiness.
But to write takes time, something that I have so little of.

The real point is that I have lots of dreams, and I’ve always said that maybe one day God will decide that it is time for the chips to fall into place. Maybe one day, those dreams will come to fruition. I have to believe that they will, or else they aren’t worth dreaming about.

However, this time I’m going to set a goal and stick to it. In six months I will have a chapter drafted and ready with a synopsis to be sent to a publisher. One year from today, November 5, 2011, I will finish Ana’s story. It will be done and ready for outside review, whether or not the first chapter is accepted. Because not matter what, it’s a story I have in my head, and if I don’t get it down on paper, it will always remain in there. Just banging around, a dream unfulfilled.
It won’t be easy, but nothing worth it is ever easy. Think natural childbirth with a 10lb baby. In six months Kevin will be away training for Afghanistan , and a year from now, he’ll be gone. Still, I’ll get it done.

In the scheme of things I know my dream is just one in a million. Doug wants to open a bed and breakfast, a castle bed and breakfast. Tim wants to open his own winery. I know two others who want to be pilots, and still others, who want to be in a Broadway play.
But some people are able to work hard and turn their dream into reality. I want to be one of those people.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My New Toy!

Yesterday evening I took my new white balance toy outside to test it out. I knew that it worked well indoors, but what about using natural light?
Even with using ISO of 1600-3200, and cloudy conditions to boot, I was pleased.


This is with NO COLOR CORRECTION whatsoever.
Anyway, the device is called a white balance lens cap. You can get them for upwards of $60, but I chose THIS one, and it was only $1.95. Unfortunately, I can't actually use it as a lens cap, because I use a lens hood. Plus, they come in different sizes, so you might have to get a different one for each lens. But I simply chose one that would work with my largest lens, and instead of putting it on as a cap, I just held it up to my lens and snapped a photo. You point it towards the light source you are shooting (since I was taking a picture of Callie, I pointed it towards her). You have to turn off auto focus and make sure your exposure is correct. Then you set your custom white balance using your image.
But it's really that simple. It's plastic, so it doesn't break easily, and the next time I'm placing an order with Amazon, I'm stocking up on these caps. I love the color it gives me, and I might not even have to adjust in post-processing.


Callie was playing peek-a-boy using her hood. What a child will do to amuse herself.


In the next few days I'm sure I'll test this out in sun / shade (providing we see the sun) and I'll report back if I have any issues with varying conditions. But for now, I'm pleased, and you can't beat the price.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More Color

I still need to fix my previous color post, and explain how I did it, but for now I'm going to quickly show the results of a new 'toy' that I got from Amazon. I heard about something similar through a friend, a tool to use for custom WB. I decided to go the cheap router and only paid $1.97 for this neat little device. I'll give more detail on it tomorrow or Thursday, but here is a quick bath pic to show before and after. These are both SOOC, with no adjustments.

Here is the BEFORE photo, auto white balance. See how nasty and yellow? Our current bathroom has no natural light.


And this is after. Again, no adjustment save for switching to custom WB and taking a snapshot through this new item.


The color isn't perfect, but it's a WHOLE lot better. So far it was worth the $2 I spent to get it :)

I have to add a disclaimer here, since it's obvious that both photos are the same. I shoot RAW, which means I can choose auto WB from adobe camera raw. So the first shot you are seeing the choice of auto WB through camera raw. The second shot is using the custom white balance set to my new tool.

Confessions of a Working Mom

It's been one of those work weeks - and it's only Tuesday. I've had these thoughts about motherhood/work bouncing around in my head and figured I had better put them down to purge myself of angst.

I’m a mom who works outside the home (shields head from flying objects). Trust me, I’ve been told such things like if a woman works, she should never have kids. Or that today’s problems started with women being allowed to work outside the home. Yes, these statements are coming from college educated people.
Anyway, I have a good college degree that I use out of necessity. No, we don’t drive new cars, and no, we don’t have a brand new home. We eat out about 1 time a week. I clip coupons, and watch for sales. We buy lots of things used. Our home was a foreclosure, and at the time we thought it was a great deal. It probably was, but we’ve chosen not to pursue debt in order to renovate it, so it’s basically in a state of livable disrepair. Still, it takes quite a bit of money to house/feed six people. We’re big fans of Dave Ramsey.
See how I’m explaining myself? I feel like I owe an explanation as to why I get a paycheck every two weeks. I shouldn’t feel that way, every family is different. Ours is quite different. But it’s still a sore spot for me.
In any case, I work outside the home and get paid for it. Not quite full time since Callie was born, but enough to cause people to stare at me in shock. I’ve heard these common misconceptions from moms and dads alike, over and over again. I'm putting them down in case someone might see things from a different point of view.

It must be a stress reliever to drive to/from work in silence.

Somehow, driving into downtown Indy during rush hour has never been much of a stress reliever for me. I’m not fond of accidents, back-ups, and those who feel red lights are a suggestion instead of a rule. In the morning I often fight to keep my eyes open and on the road, or pray that the moron in the gigantic white SUV doesn’t mow me down on his way to work. I'd take a school drop-off, complete with flying shoes (Callie never keeps her shoes on and flings them at the first opportunity), over a work commute any day.

But you get a break from the kids.

What I get is a jam-packed stressful morning as we all get ready to leave the house, a demanding workday interacting with lots of different people, disagreements over important issues, and the worry about whether or not my performance is up to par. I’m a woman in a traditional man’s world (my chosen degree), and it’s not easy. I would much prefer to be home with my kids. Plus, when I pick up the kids it is utter chaos. Four little ones needing me all at the same time, while I’m trying to make dinner. Not exactly the break everyone expects me to get.

Your house must be so much cleaner, since you're not there 24/7.

This I have to laugh at. My kids are little tornadoes, and I have about 10% of the time to clean it as one who stays home. I am never, ever, caught up with the housework. It is my new personal challenge to change this and get my house organized and cleaner. When I get home in the evening I still have breakfast dishes sitting on the counter because of our mad dash out the door. School papers the kids decided to pull out at the last minute are all over the entryway, along with several pairs of shoes, since Gwen never knows which ones to wear. And the little ones will grab a new toy every morning to drag around the house and drop wherever they may be.
I have just as much laundry to do, with so much less time to do it in. I have almost as many dishes (minus lunch on work days), and we had to buy more spoons because we were always running out of them.
Nope, my house is not cleaner. Not at all.

You’re only a part time mom.

This one just makes me see red. Are moms who have children in elementary school only part-time moms? I’m available at all hours of the day for my kids. Be it at 2am or 2pm. I’ve had to leave work numerous times to get them if they were sick, take them to the dentist or doctor, or attend a school function. I make their lunches, attend their field trips, and help out at school holiday parties. I've spent more sleepless nights than I can count caring for my children. They are always on my mind. I am, if nothing else, a full time mom.

Your kids must not be as attached to you as mine are to me.

If this weren’t so funny it would make me mad, too. Anyone who knows me knows how attached my kids are. So much so that they follow me from room to room. I’ve had issues dropping off every single one of them in the morning. So much so, that I have had women at Bible Study mistake me for a SAHM. ‘But, they’re so attached to you that I thought you must stay with them all the time . . .’ Even before I cut down my work week my kids have loved to be with me. Sometimes the lack of privacy is annoying, but at least I know they love their momma. And I’m just as attached to them, as they are to me. Try taking them from me for a week and see what happens.

Though I no longer work the usual 40 hour week / I'm still a mom working outside the home. But I love my kids, just as much as a mom who is with them constantly. I have a son who wants to be an engineer when he grows up so he can work with me all the time. The kids think I have an awesome job (well, it sounds awesome), and Kevin is proud of me. Though I'm still hoping to be something else when I grow up (think artistic and creative), for now, this is what I am.
And I'm proud of me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Driving Mr. Lex

The conversation I had with Lex on the way to a Halloween Party yesterday afternoon:

Lex - "Where is the birthday party?"
"ummm, you mean the Halloween party? That's why you're wearing a Buzz Lightyear Costume."
"Yea, where is it?"
"Where's that?"
"South of here."
"Where's Bouncertown? Greenwood?"
"Yes, but if you remember, it closed."
Silence for about two seconds.
"Yes, but there are other bouncer places still open."
"Is Chuck-e-cheese still open?"
"Yes, we just went there last week."
"I want my birthday there."
"Well . . ."
"Who is that lady in the car next to us?"
After waiting about 1/4 of a second.
Seeing a lady in the mini-van beside us, I shrugged.
"I don't know, it's a stranger."
"Where's she going?"
"Not sure. We'd have to follow her."
"Let's do it!"
I made a noncommittal sound and tried to go back to my own train of thought. Then I had genius idea.
"Teach Callie her ABC's!"
"Okay! A, " (loud farting noise), "B" (another loud farting noise and a bunch of giggling), "C" More of the same, but this time Callie is joining in and they're laughing and she's spitting all over him. I sighed and shook my head.
"Look at that red tree buddy!"
"Wow, it's red. I want Lightning McQueen for my birthday."
"If I were Lightning McQueen wearing Buzz Lightyear wings, I could fly over those leaves."
"Yep, you could."
Quietly, "I want to walk up those hills." Then louder. "I want to walk up those hills! Do you?"
"Uhhh, sure, why not?"
"Where's the water?"
This one threw me for a loop.
"The water?"
"Yea, where is it?"
I tried to come up with a good answer that wouldn't inspire more questions.
"In lakes or streams or ponds."
"Where's the sharks? In the oceans? Do you like sharks? I want to find baby sharks."
Now I'm really getting lost.
"Okie Dokie."
"I don't like big sharks. Does dad like big sharks?"
"Uhh, not sure. Probably not."
"When they bite you do you get a band-aid?"
"Yes, you probably do." (he has an obsession with band-aids)
"To stop the bleeding."
"Where's Indy's?"
"Back home."
"Are we far far away?"
"Not really."
"Will we get there soon?"
Knowing that we had twenty more minutes to go, I just smiled in the mirror at him.
"I sure hope so buddy, I sure hope so."


Friday, October 29, 2010

Recognizing Color Casts In Photos

Since I recently learned how to do this properly (before this I was always guessing!) I thought I would put together a post so others could learn how to see their color casts. The next step in this tutorial will be how to fix it, and also, the result of using various methods for custom white balance.
First, I have to point out that if you use photoshop to adjust photos and upload them to the internet, you should be using a color managed browser to view them. Or, if you simply want to *see* better photos, considering downloading safari or firefox. If you use firefox I believe you have to change settings to be able to see the full range of color, but when I downloaded safari, the change was instantaneous. Now I won't use internet explorer again :)
Anyway, to begin seeing the color cast, we're going to look at this photo. Note that this is RAW, straight from camera, no photoshop work whatsoever.


The first thing I'm going to do is look at the histogram channels for the various colors. Here is the image for this photo.


Notice the red in the histogram on the right? Although there are some red bricks, there isn't a lot of red (the baby isn't wearing a red shirt, for example), so seeing the red take over the right side of the histogram is my first clue. But to be sure, I created a hue/saturation layer, and then chose the RED channel from the drop down box. See here.


After choosing the red channel, I slid the bar to 100% saturation. The image lit up like the fourth of July. See this image below.


I can be pretty confident that this photo has a red cast that needs to be corrected. But first, I want to use another method to see exactly what color is taking over the image. To do so I duplicated the background layer - then I went to Filter - Blur - Average. This will give you the average color in the picture. This color is shown below.


This shows a reddish-brown color, which is not what I want.

Next up, sometime this weekend, I'll get to the part about fixing the color casts. But for now, I have TWO MORE Halloween parties to get to!!

View My Stats

  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP