Thursday, October 24, 2013

a walk in the park...

Last week the kids were off school on Monday for Columbus Day and Mark was off work because he is always off work on Mondays, so we decided to sneak in some family fun.  We went to one of our favorite local places to walk and run around, Longwood Gardens.  Our family has had so many happy memories made here that it is truly one of our favorite places.

When we got there, Luke looked at me and asked if Ms Jessica was going to be taking our pictures.  Which completely made me laugh because Mark and I were just talking about the fact that it was time to have our family portraits done again.  It is also funny because it was two years ago that we met Jessica there for pictures and Luke acted like it was a regular occurrence for her to be there with us.  Here's a link to the post with our family portraits.  I can't believe how long ago those pictures were taken!

The gardens were decorated for Fall and they had an area with pumpkins and outdoor stuff to do with the kids.  So we headed that way to see the largest pumpkin ever.  I kept trying to get a good picture of Grace but she was being fickle and wouldn't look directly at the camera.  However, she must be getting used to all the picture taking because she walked right over to the pumpkin and perched on the railing waiting for her picture to be taken.  So I screamed for gently called the boys over and had them pose with her for a picture.  The sun wasn't at the right angle but there is no reposing Grace so we went with it.

John was also thinking of family portraits that day and found this spot in front of the fountains that he deemed portrait worthy.  He suggested that we use it the next time Ms Jessica takes our pictures.  He got Grace out of her chair (without her shoes on) and sat her on the wall.  He then directed Luke to sit down on her other side and told me to take their picture. 

Unfortunately, we didn't know or realize that the fountain show was starting so only the first picture worked out.  After that, the kids were all looking above my head at the fountain show...

 Or behind them at the fountains going off...

Once Mark and I realized what was going on behind us we cracked up.  We had been so impressed that Grace was looking up directly at the camera and smiling that we didn't even realize the fountain show had started.  It was made even funnier  by the fact that there were tons of people lined up on the terraces behind the kids watching the fountains go off. 

This year, John is in a discipleship group at our church called Media Arts.  So basically, for the first service he is learning all sorts of photography related things like how to take good pictures, the rule of thirds, centering subjects, videography, picture editing in Lightroom and much, much more.  The team is then going to create slide shows and movies to show the parents what the kids are doing in children's church on Sundays.  He asked me if he could try some of the things out he is learning and took the following pictures with my camera.  He truly loves photography and I'm happy to encourage this in him.  Here's a few of his pictures...

In this picture he zoomed in to get a picture of the bee on the center flower.  He was so excited that he was able to do this.

He stopped to watch someone else take a picture of this praying mantis and then decided to try it himself.  It took him a couple of tries to get the zoom right and the angle but again, he was so pleased with himself.

Here he took a picture of Luke and I behind the waterfall in the Children's Gardens.  We love taking pictures at this waterfall because of the cool effects of the water drops.  Here he blurred the drops to focus on our faces and in the above picture I focused on the drops and blurred Mark and John's faces.

We had such a great day walking around the gardens and building family memories.  The kids keep asking to go back on their next day off from school.


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