Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Over, A New One To Begin!


I was just thinking about the last year.  I was a little in awe of the fact that we have had Chloe for two years come the 17th of January, which happens to be my first Niece's birthday.  It's so strange.  Everything seems to run together, and picking Chloe up from day care leads to picking her up from daycare in a never ending circle that numbs the brain to the passage of time.  And still it passes.

Every day leads incessantly to the next.  Every day someone dies and someone is born.  I forget another detail of my life only to be reminded of it by someone with a slightly longer memory or a slightly different way of remembering things.  The year slips another day further away.

My life slowly but surely makes its way to my final destination.  Depending on the day I feel like either a king, a failure, or just an average Joe.  I look back on my life and see so many things that could have helped me become a better teacher, human, husband, son, brother, or father.  I look forward and all I see is Chloe.  I look beside me and there is the woman I love and depend on so much for everything.  

If someone asked me what i did this year, I would be hard pressed to come up with a solid answer, which got me thinking, that's why I have a blog, right?  Well, I'm going to review my year in a quick post.  Of course, "quick" is relative, since the year took an entire YEAR.

I was given my first class.  That is, the first class that I had a contract for.  I taught for six months.  Three months longer than their previous teacher.  They were mine.

We got a new kitchen stove.

I went shooting with some friends and got to feel the rush of ammunition flowing through a gun faster than I could physically pull the trigger.  I think guns and their use is awesome.  It is fun to target practice.  I love tearing through a bunch of ammo, destroying bottles and cans.  I don't hunt and I don't kill people.  I like my guns and I think I'd like to expand my meager collection, but I don't agree with the horrible shootings we have seen in schools over the past fifteen years.  I think it may have to do with the availability of guns, from parents, brothers, cousins, whatever.  They are a tool, and you can drive a nail without a hammer, but it's not as fast.  

I took word verification off my blog for a few hours and with in five hours got two automated comments.  I put word verification back up.

We went to the Woodland Park Zoo.  Chloe loved the animals.

Bedtime rituals have changed since March, but they remain a painful part of each day.

I turned 38.  I bought a Holga lens, and I got a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens for my birthday.

Spring Break saw Chloe and I visit my sister in Prosser one day.  It was great catching up with my sister and the kids.  Chloe got to see a school bus.

We moved our little shed about 40 feet to the south.  It enlarged our yard just a bit, but, life made it difficult to stick to the goal of a lovely yard for the summer.  We tore out part of our yard and reseeded it.

Chloe began to show an interest in doctors.  Well, she had probably done so for several months, but this is when I show a picture on my blog of her and a stethoscope.

On May 11, I got one of my photos in the local newspaper.  It was of a house burning down within 100 feet of a fire station.  The irony was not lost on most people and fellow teachers and even students congratulated me on my picture.  It turned out to be a "volunteer" station...but no one volunteered to put water on it until the regular fire fighters arrived about 15 minutes later...that was well after the vinyl siding had melted off.

Washington repealed its monopoly on alcohol.

I ended my tour at Wapato High School because someone else took the job.

We got a kitty, who stowed away inside Cora's car.  He started out at about a pound and is now somewhere near eleven or twelve pounds.  

I enjoyed my second Father's Day.  Went to work for the summer as a maintenance/custodian, we moved Terrace Height's Elementary school.

We picked blueberries at a local farm, bought a ton, froze them and then never ate them again.

We went to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo with Cora's uncle and cousins.  We enjoyed a few days in Tacoma and I got some decent pictures from the whole event.  I also picked up a copy of Photoshop.

I bought a new lens!  A Tokina 11-16mm super wide-angle lens.  I used money I got for overtime work I'd done being a real teacher.

I used the same lens to take long exposures at night during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a distant abandoned ranch and came home at 1 AM with a pigeon in my pocket.  I did get a picture of ONE meteor.

I returned to the substitute teacher roster.

We went camping with Cora's parents and enjoyed the entire experience!  Best camping trip in years!

Went to the Central Washington State Fair for the first time in probably ten years.  Chloe loved it, and as a result of that, we did too.

Visited my sister's new house in the Tri-Cities for the first time.  Also, we went to the Prosser Balloon Rally, an annual experience for our family.

We had a great big party in the park for Chloe's birthday!!  She turned 3!

We made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch and got pumpkins and squash.

Chloe dressed as a Lady Bug and got all the candy.

I continued to experiment with my wide angle lens and the photoshop program.

We bought and installed new carpet, turning our house into something we can stand to live in for awhile longer.

We were sick for Thanksgiving, so we didn't really get to go see my family for Tday as planned, but we did have an excellent private little Tday with just the three of us!

Went on our annual Christmas tree hunt.  Chloe got to go sledding and loved it.  We got a giant tree.

We put up lights and Chloe got to see Santa at the Moxee park, driving around on Santa Truck, and at the mall.

We built our first Snowman.  Chloe spontaneously told him "Happy Birthday!"

Cora bought me a Lensbaby Composer Pro with a Sweet 35 lens.  I also got the macro attachment from my in-laws.  I didn't get many presents for Christmas, but that was the one I had been wanting.  I am so lucky that my wife knows what I want and she gets it for me!  I, in turn, bought her a new Bernina sewing machine!

So, that's my year in quick review.  I note that things we do for Chloe have figure strongly into this.  I guess that shows the important part of our life she is, and I cannot wait to spend our third year with her!!  My lovely wife has shown that she is a strong woman and the best wife a man could ask for.  I look at my life, and although it seems to be going by faster than ever before, I think it is because each minute of every day is so much more full and means so much more that I want them to last longer, and that makes them go faster.  I love my life, my wife, and my child.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I leave you with a couple pictures I took last night:
 This is Doctor Chloe, she is giving out patient care to Cookie Monster.

Below is a picture I took using the macro attachment for my Lensbaby!  This is of one of the cameras in my old camera collection.  I had always guessed this one was from the 1930s, but after doing some research last night, which I should have done years ago, I discovered that it is nearly 100 years old!  Others in my collection are older than I initially suspected, too!  Some of them were far more expensive than I expected.  Several, for their time, were comparative to $500-$700 cameras of today!  Keep in mind the majority of my cameras were either given to me or were picked up at yard sales.     
May you all have a happy, enjoyable, and fulfilling New Year!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'T'is The Season!

We have a small family.  It has been created by stitching lives together from across the world.  It has not been an easy way to build a family, but I would never, ever, change a thing about it.  No matter how the week goes, when I come home, my family makes me smile.
We began the season by doing the normal know...gingerbread houses... photos...
...We visited each set of parents...
 ...spent time with family...
 ...enjoyed the chaos of a Huffman Christmas...

 ...both families were part of our Christmas...

 ...Chloe got a tablet...

 ...and showed her cousin how to use it...her aunts got together and did the same thing...with a bigger pad...
...on Christmas morning we awoke and opened our stockings...

We had a SPECTACULAR breakfast!!  Cora made an unwholesome, demonic batch of French Toast that should probably be put on a terrorist list.  It was yummy on about 7 levels that made me think unwholesome thoughts.
 Chloe really loved her presents from Santa and us!
Christmas afternoon, we decided to go for a walk.  Since the snow had been falling all night we decided to use the sled.  We had a fun time.

Today, after a while relaxing indoors, we built a snowman.

...a snowman helped us lose weight...
...we raced...

...we discovered our shadow...
we learned to be a family a little more.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Extravaganza!!

It's the holidays again.  We just got done with Thanksgiving and now we're on to the big ones.  We got the lights up on the house.  Then we went to go hunt down a tree.
 But before we could get a tree, Chloe had to have some snow time.
 The girl is a thrill seeker and thought sledding was the best thing in the world!


 Cora took the following one.

 Daddy bagged a tree and got tired after lugging it a few hundred feet.  He lay down to rest, but was quickly overcome by Chloe!!!
 We tried for a family picture, but Chloe was a little less than cooperative.
 So, we decided to just have a picture of the two of us, but that was "photobombed" as they say.  A Photobomb is where an unintended participant adds themselves to the photo...look at the lower right corner. Yep, that's the PhotoBomber!
 After we got home, we unloaded the tree and then scampered off to see Santa when he showed up here in Moxee!!  It was chilly, but they had fires.

 Then Santa showed up!
 But, rather than stand in line, we opted for a fast getaway.  After Chloe inspected the tree.
I have more pictures, but thought it unfair to make you suffer through more.  I'll try to blog a few more in a couple days.