Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Cassia requested a family gathering for her birthday.  That may no seem like a whole lot, but with our schedules it takes some major finagling.  We were able to pull it off the day after her birthday, though!  When asked what she would like for dinner she gave me a pretty quick reply - Salmon!
Being in Montana makes it kind of scary buying fish.  Costco has come through for me more than once and they did again.  We enjoyed Wild Pacific Salmon, Baked Potatoes, Green Salad and Cran-raspberry spritzers. 

Our family isn't much for cake eating, so we are always poking candles into other things so wishes can be made over them.  :) 
We could not be more proud of our firstborn.  Sensitive and compassionate, kind and warm.  She can let go of things rather well, but not people.  Once she has them in her heart she is tenacious to hold them, pray for them, minister to them. 
I wish I was still at home full time to be able to really make these days as special as we used to, but that is not the season we are in right now.  Right now I'm thankful we could gather; all at one time, in one place, for one purpose - in celebration of a beautiful life, being well lived, fully enjoyed, and treasured by many.  The 21 years of the life of Cassia, our daughter/sister/friend.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Love him like crazy
James and I celebrate 22 years of being friends and lovers, having 2 to tango, knowing one another inside-out, being each other's significant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Making of a Dream

Having your son move thousands of miles away from you is bad enough; having him move to North Hollywood really makes you uncomfortable.  Then you pray and hear God saying to let him go and trust Him.  
Then He begins to move.  Money needed comes quickly.  A friend, who is a believer, calls to say he has just moved around the block from the dance school your son is trying to go to and wants to give him a place to stay.  Plane tickets are arranged & so is a ride to get there.  
Then he arrives.  He's chosen his first day at school to dance back up with a rising star.  He goes to  a good church.  He and his roommate begin writing music together and making tracks of ones already composed.  They pitch one to an agent, who pitches it to a producer. 
Then 3 weeks into a new home, new church, new classes, the producer says, "Let me hear more of your stuff, Tofer".  And just like that, just like only God can, your son is finding himself in the middle of a dream becoming reality.  Not just for himself but for the man of God who gave him a home, and even more, a friend to lean on. 
 Learning the board and the equipment of a major recording studio.
 Arranging harmonies.
 Laying down tracks.
 Finding favor with major players.
And loving the journey - keeping it real - letting God lead.
I'm still praying.  Still asking Abba to hold his heart, keep him safe, keep his focus centered, and bring him safely home.  ... I am still the Mama, after all.

Haunting of the Hollows

Minda has had a vision to dress up and haunt the grave yard for a couple years now.  Wandering amidst the headstones in a long white gown and me photographing it.  We had just been to the cemetery however, and I wanted to try somewhere else.  So we headed to our old "haunt", The Hollows.  We were hoping it would be snowing but instead just ended up with freezing temps!  Minda was brave.  To remove one's down coat and stand in chiffon sleeves just for the purpose of capturing brilliant photos... maybe I should say crazy instead of brave!

What do you think?  Worth braving the 30 degrees Fahrenheit? 
She keeps pushing my creativity.  I love that. 

Come to Life

James and I have made a tradition out of being in the audience whenever Jeni releases a new CD (and sometimes in between).  We've been getting to know some of our neighbors better and wanted to share this night with a couple of them.  It was a great evening.  Jeni had a cold and struggled through the sets but it didn't detract from the vibe. One of our favorite things about Jeni & Jake is the love and respect that they have for each other and the community.
 We know we are going to sigh, smile, laugh, and feel at home in their presence.
We are never disappointed!  

A little moment.  Not the best moment.  Someone (for the first time in my photography career) told me I was being distracting.  Not sure how - no flash, no sound, not even getting up and walking around- but I wanted to respond kindly, so I stopped until the very end with all photos or video.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

First Snow of the Season

 There's a hawk in that there tree.  I had my prime lens on, so I couldn't zoom.  It was intently watching for breakfast to 'hop' by.

 Handsome snow fella - Waitin' patiently for the Mrs., I'm sure.

Malinda says the wonder will wear off, but right now she thinks it's magical.  And it is.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Send off

The past couple months we've had to say goodbye to some people it isn't easy to let go of.  I know God has seasons, tides, bridges, batons, seed sowing, ... and any other metaphor/simile that describes transitions in life, that are healthy, but sometimes I really don't like what 'is good for me'.
Stefan left for Iraq.  Josh left for Boeing. Both were so excited about the doors God is opening for them.  Both had a hard time leaving James and the rest of the Summit fam.  I feel like I'm letting go of sons because they have really taken root in my heart.  
I'm sad we didn't get photos of our Kung-Fu Panda night with Stefan and Danielle.  Noodles, dumplings and, of course, the Wooshi Finger Hold and the fabulous 5! 
Josh's departure gave us a bit more time & therefor, photo ops.
Eating cookies, watching the Hawks lose.
 Basecamp Jenga!

Move day.  Hooked up at his place.  He wanted shots of the view he'd had for 2 years; this gigantic Maple in the backyard.

 Michael and Paul (dad and little brother) came to help him move.  We had some breakfast together before they took off to play Old Works one last time.

 James gave Josh a Housh Jersey too.  He has the "Home" colors, James has the "Away". 

There were tears.  Both Stefan and Josh are the kind of guys you just love to be with.  Easy, relaxed, funny, family oriented, & kind.  I miss them both so much.  Can't wait for when they return - whether from war or from the land of Boeing.  There will be hugs, and warm cookies, and a pint waiting!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Dressing Up

 Malinda still loves to play dress up!  This is her 2nd year going with a group of friends to do a food drive instead of getting candy.  It's called Trick-or-Treat So Kids Can Eat.  Everyone still gets to have the fun of putting on a disguise, & it really blesses the people whose doorbells they ring to be able to give more than a candy bar!
At the ELC, where I am a teacher's aide, they had a dress up day too.  I didn't, but check out Dani (the teacher in my class) and her trusty sidekick!
 A few more of the kiddos. 

James and I spent the evening playing cribbage amidst the ringing of the bell and handing out sweets to the kiddos of the neighborhood.  :) 
For those of you who know me from when the kids were growing up - this is WAY out of character.  I'm still not an advocate of the holiday, but!  I am an advocate of giving those who are a safe, fun avenue to enjoy it.