Saturday, December 28, 2013


The Sprouts played in newly fallen snow this afternoon, digging out a quinzee and enjoying warmer temperatures before they plummet again tonight to -33C. Here's a portrait of Fi covered in snow, matted hair and all.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On Christmas Morning...

...I'll wake up bright and early
Be the first one out of bed
With the mistletoe above my head...

Guess who was up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed very, very, very early this morning?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Watch & Listen: Angels We Have Heard on High

Courtesy of the youngest Sprout, the most played track this Christmas season in our house (as in all the time), played and sung by the Piano Guys:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Older Sprout

Watch: Misunderstood

I have several thoughts about the following video, but will post them at another time so as not to influence your viewing pleasure.

Here's the full length "A Harris Family Holiday":

Friday, December 20, 2013

Watch & Listen: Chicago's Magical Piano

"Papa, can we watch the magic piano again?" asks the youngest Sprout repeatedly. He especially likes the angry man scene and Santa shushing the piano. See for yourself:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Watch: The Bear and the Hare

I watched this advert video over on Scott Kelby's blog this morning. The animation is beautiful, the story simple yet meaningful (a writing lesson here somewhere). Watch first, then continue reading the post:

While I thoroughly enjoyed the advertisement, it was the behind the scenes video that blew me away. The combination of 2D drawing and 3D sets was simply stunning. I had no idea that lasers are used to cut out figures. Note the care and craftsmanship with which the sets were created. And did you see what they used to film it? A DSLR! Watch the behind the scenes video, "Once Upon a Time":

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Watch & Listen: A Hallelujah Christmas

Psalm 146

Note to self:  Recite verse ten today. A lot.

Psalm 146

1-2 Hallelujah!
    O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God,
    singing songs to my God as long as I live.
3-9 Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
    who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
    when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
    put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil,
    sea and all the fish in it.
He always does what he says—
    he defends the wronged,
    he feeds the hungry.
God frees prisoners—
    he gives sight to the blind,
    he lifts up the fallen.
God loves good people, protects strangers,
    takes the side of orphans and widows,
    but makes short work of the wicked.
10 God’s in charge—always.
    Zion’s God is God for good!
The Message, Eugene H. Peterson

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cone of Shame

I watched how-to videos on YouTube. Downloaded and printed templates. Asked other teachers for help. To no avail - I could not make a proper paper cone. My class was asked to make Christmas tree and teepee paper cone centrepieces for the annual Christmas concert next week. So, before asking my students to make them, I had to practice on my own to get it right. By late afternoon I was tired and frustrated. I walked down the hall with the latest template in my hand, wondering how I was going to solve my cone problem. My son came up, noticed the template, said, "Cool, what is that Papa?", took the template out of my hand and made a perfect cone. Sigh.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Isaiah 11:1-3a

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
     the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
     the Spirit of counsel and of might,
     the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
   and ransom captive Israel
   that mourns in lonely exile here
   until the Son of God appear.

   Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
   shall come to you, O Israel.

4 O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
   unto your own and rescue them!
   From depths of hell your people save,
   and give them victory o'er the grave.

6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
   and bring us comfort from afar!
   Dispel the shadows of the night
   and turn our darkness into light.

7 O come, O King of nations, bind
   in one the hearts of all mankind.
   Bid all our sad divisions cease
   and be yourself our King of Peace.

Tune: VENI EMMANUEL (Chant); Translator: John Mason Neale (1851)

Saturday, November 30, 2013


My camera has been tucked away in its bag for most of the month due to illness (me, not the camera). I'm finally feeling healthy enough to take a few pictures, though I must admit that they lack creativity and inspiration. Here are three from this week that have some merit.

  1. Tabletop Adventures
  2. School Bus. My students and I went on a field trip to Winnipeg this week and were thoroughly entertained by a performance of "A Christmas Story" at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
  3. Josiah enjoying two of his favourite things: hot chocolate and Foxtrot comics.

2013 11 30 Tabletop Adventures
2013 11 28 School Bus2013 11 27 Josiah

Friday, November 22, 2013

Overhead in Our House Today

Big sister to little brother, while playing a game:

"Jo, stop being so OCD about it!"

Monday, November 18, 2013


Hooray! It was a snow day today!

2013 11 18 Minion

Though not my best effort I thought the minion's expression said it all (I think I need to revisit this image at another time). I'm also on the mend after two and a half weeks of being very ill. So hooray for that, too!

Younger Sprout

2013 11 18 Josiah 024.jpg

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Year of the Dog

My daughter has been "feeding her brain" with Uncle John's Electrifying Bathroom Reader for Kids Only!. Last night she informed me that I was born in the Year of the Dog. Oh, the irony. I have been having difficulty adjusting to life with a dog. Though I won't say more about that subject, I did take up the gauntlet of building a doghouse (and no, it wasn't for me).

My biggest fear wasn't so much building something, but that I had to use a circular saw (of which I am now an owner - more money in the DeWalt coffers). I haven't used any kind of powered saw since my early teen years when I chopped off bits of fingers on my left hand (another story, another time). But now I had to come to grips (no pun intended) with the dog situation.

Well, I faced my fear and built the house. Some of the wood used was recovered from the local dump, while the plywood was purchased from the lumber store in town. I loosely based the design on one my spouse found online. A neat feature was the space between the inner an outer wall which allows you to put some foam in between for extra climate control (necessary for those cold winter months up here in the north). It still needs to be stained and shingled, but at least it is built. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. Yaay?!


2013 10 27 Ladybugs 005.jpg

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


It rained and snowed yesterday. However, the sun peeked out in the late afternoon with some gorgeous light, so I asked Jo if he could help me with my photography. I wanted to practice rim lighting (placing the sun behind the subject). Jo readily agreed, so we hustled outside, positioned ourselves and I snapped away. After taking a number of shots, I sadly noticed that Jo's hoodie was not a good choice of colour. Oh well (black and white conversion, here we come; see previous post). I couldn't convince him to change his hoodie, so we went back into the house. Two minutes later, Jo says, "Let's try again." He quickly changed into a collared shirt. Out we raced, but the amazing light was already gone. Sigh. I still managed to capture this image, though.

2013 10 21 Josiah 026

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Older Sprout



The Sprouts played Hangman while waiting for lunch at a local restaurant. The younger Sprout was intensely focussed on creating a puzzle that would stump his older sister.

2013 10 20 Hangman at Casey's

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bad Breath

The light was amazing late this afternoon, perfect for capturing a portrait of the Sprouts. Only it didn't happen. They stood together, picture perfect, when the younger Sprout turned to his older sister and breathed on her. Hilarity ensued as said sister exclaimed, "Ew, gross, bad breath!" Once the Sprouts get going, especially Jo, no amount of cajoling can bring them back. Oh well, there is always tomorrow (after the brushing of teeth and a mint or two).

2013 10 11 Sprouts

Older Sprout

2013 10 11 Fiona

Younger Sprout

2013 10 11 Josiah 005.jpg

Monday, October 7, 2013

Watch: Toy Boats

I needed to take a break from lesson planning, so went to Vimeo and typed in "time lapse" in the search box. I scrolled through the resulting videos and came across "Toy Boats", a tilt shift video shot in Sydney, Australia. I like toys, I like boats, so I clicked on the video link and watched the short film. I like the miniature look created by tilt shift (whether using a tilt shift lens or done in post). Enjoy!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Water & Oil Abstract

2013 09 28 Oil and Water Abstract 023

A rainy Saturday, so experimenting with indoor photography projects.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

kleine oranje boot

kleine oranje boot

Who knew folding tiny paper boats could be so hard? The Dutch title is a nod to my dad.

Update: this photo was featured in the 500px Weekly Monday Contest: Paper.

Monday, September 16, 2013


2013 09 16 Telephone 001.jpg

Overheard at Our House

During family devotions this evening an unexpected answer came from the younger Sprout after the introduction to the week's catechism question.

"What are the decrees of God?"

"Oh, oh, I know one!"

"Yes, Jo?"

"Do not text while driving."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Featured: "Planets"

My photo "Planets" was featured this week on the 500px blog as part of their Monday Weekly Contest: Abstract. Check it out here.

Planets by Laurens Kaldeway on

Sunday, September 8, 2013


2013 09 07 Kiwi 003.jpg

Portrait of a Cubebot

2013 09 07 Cubebot


I was shooting kiwi slices to continue my fruit in soda water series when a slice slipped off the clothespin. I took this shot which ended up being my favourite of the shoot.

2013 09 07 Kiwi

Monday, September 2, 2013

C is for Camera

2013 09 02 C is for Camera

For a photo challenge: Three(s)

The letter 'C' is third in the alphabet. In Scrabble, the tile is worth three points, and, of course, you might be lucky to place it on a triple letter score.




2013 09 02 Outdoor Macro 028.jpg