Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What a learning curve!

Al bought me my camera (Nikon D3000) a couple of Christmases ago.  Several of my friends told me I just had to learn how to take pictures in manual mode.  It seemed way too complicated to me.  My brain just doesn't work that way.  For Mother's Day, Al gave me money to take photo lessons.  I was going to take them on-line, but the class filled up too fast and wasn't going to be available for awhile.  I found out about Gina and signed up with her.

This past week I had a day's session with her.  In the morning we went through all kinds of things.  I learned about ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance.....   Oh my.  Gina is a great teacher!!  I had such a fun day, but this 50+ lady has a hard time wrapping her brain around it all!  It is going to take major practice!  I debated even mentioning it because I do not want people to judge my pictures to see if I've really learned anything.  Oh well.  I will do my best, but there might be times I switch to auto because I can't figure it out!!  Ha ha!

After lunch, my models came so I could practice what I had learned on them!


Here is my try at movement so it won't show up blurry.

Jill called and asked if I would want to take some more pictures of the girls.  Adam's aunt sent some beautiful  dresses and they wanted to take pictures to send to her.   I said I would try.  I first practiced my settings on this doll.

The girls came and here are a few shots I got.

 Claire kept wanting to eat the netting!  Here I captured Jill trying to remove it.


I thought these angels were just beautiful models!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Graber Family Christmas

Our extended Graber Christmas celebration was in Pretty Prairie this year.  We rented out the grade school gym and the senior center.


After lots of play time, we went next door to the senior center to eat.
 Lots and lots of yummy food!!!!

Al gave us a Christmas quiz to see how well we knew the Christmas story.  Questions like:

What does the Bible say the innkeeper said to Mary and Joseph? (Luke 2:7)
A.  "There is no room in the inn."
B.  "I have a stable you can use."
C.  "Come back later and I should have some vacancies."
D.  Both A and B.
E.  None of the above.
The answer is E.  The Bible doesn't mention an innkeeper.  In fact, the word for "inn" means "guest room", like in a house, not a hotel.  Because Joseph was of the house of David, he was probably originally from Nazareth and had relatives who would have put him up.  But there would have been other relatives too and more than likely the guest room was full.  They were put in the "garage" or stable where the animals were kept.

After the quiz, the children opened their gifts.  We "aunties" all went together to fill Christmas bags for each of the children.

Everyone who comes brings a gift for someone of the same sex.  It can be a gag gift, something you have around your house you don't use, or an inexpensive gift ($10 and under).  We all draw numbers and whoever draws #1 gets to pick the first gift.  #2 can steal that gift or open another gift. And so on and so forth.
The ladies went first.  There was a whole lot of stealing this year!

Sid was excited about this movie, until after a second look he realized it was in Spanish.

Russell got this gift.  Sid said he was getting rid of it because it didn't work.  It never did show 126.4!

And of course, we would all like to lose a little weight after these holidays!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas, Part 2

After reading and acting out the Christmas story, it was time to open gifts.  The kids had waited so patiently as we didn't open until January 1.

We begin with opening stockings.  Our fireplace isn't big enough to hang 14 stockings so I string them all along the stairs on the banister.  I love filling them!  Every year each stocking has a chocolate Santa and everyone gets some new socks and lots of other goodies.


When I was a young child, my mother sewed a Santa suit for my Dad.  I can still remember my parents telling us not to peek into the living room - but we did and saw my Mom kissing Santa!
Dad has played Santa for years.  Here he came to our boarding school (in Miyakonojo, Japan) for the Christmas program.  I can still remember that day.  My parents had told me that Santa was just for fun and not real.  We knew the story of Saint Nick.  But when I saw him come to our school, I thought, "Santa is real!"  But then when he got close to me, I saw the twinkle in his eye and realized it was my Daddy!  When they retired and moved to North Newton, he was Santa at Kidron for many years.

Then Mom gave us his suit and Al began to dress up for the grandchildren.  Last year, the suit was coming apart and Al said that was probably the end of that.  But the kids gave Al this suit as his gift  for this year so he could still be Santa!
 The kids loved it!!  Some years they have been sort of afraid of him, but this year, they ran into his arms!

 Love this coffee maker for the shower!  Your own barista in the shower!  (actually just a funny box that had something else inside).  But a perfect box for our coffee lover!

Al and I got eachother gifts that we can take on our trip to Israel.  I got him 2 pair of these though.  I will NOT let him just wear 1 pair of undies the entire trip!!  Ha ha!

Several family members got KU shirts.

 I LOVE this necklace!!  All our grandchildren's names!

What fun it was to bless each person with special gifts!  What a gift our family is to us!