Tuesday, February 18, 2014

365 People Photos: Nos. 65-68--The Power of Black and White

In one of my favorite photography books, Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids, author Stacy Wasmuth, owner of Blue Candy Phtotography mentions the power of black and white pictures to draw attention away from superfluous elements to the emotion of the moment.

Here my 81-year-old father's concentration as he fights the effects of congestive heart failure to inhale deeply enough to blow out birthday candles becomes the focus when I convert the photo to black and white.

In this photo, the black and white image seems to emphasize the sweet intimacy of the bride and her mom. When the image was in color the crowd behind the two women was the focus of the picture.

This is another favorite black and white from the same wedding. The bride's grandfather was widowed several years ago. Now, however, when his friend Jackie is at his side his smile is unending. Again, when this photo is in color, the emphasis becomes the busyness in the room rather than the happiness of this sweet couple.

This photo, was taken in a Tajik Teahouse in Boulder, Colorado, of all places. The room was full of beautiful Central Asian art. The many colors, however, distracted from expressions on the cousins' faces as they enjoyed ice cream on a hot August afternoon.

Some stunning black and white images can be seen at Marla and Shane Photography.

Monday, February 17, 2014

365 People Pictures: No. 64.--Dance of Love

Our family attended a wedding last summer in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. The ceremony took place in the early afternoon, but the celebration carried on until dusk. Warm sunshine kissed the afternoon as those in attendance ate and fellowshipped and danced. I was captivated as I watched the brother and sister in the foreground gracefully sweep the gravel dance floor. Their bond as friends was evident in the unison with which they moved. Then something caught their eye and the pair paused, watching their father dance with their little sister. The thin waif of a child is a former Russian orphan, now doted on and enveloped in the love of a family. Now she has a daddy! Now she has a daddy who wants her as his dance partner! Adoption is beautiful!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

365 People Photos: No. 63--Stars and Stripes

Our granddaughter, Brielle, in the arms of our daughter, Jaynie. We visited Brielle's family in Ohio last summer to celebrate her first birthday. I love the joy on both their faces. Having our grandchildren and children take such delight in each other is a thrill that defies words. God has richly blessed us. Our cup overflows!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

365 People Photos: Nos. 59-61--All in a School Day

Many of you may have guessed that we educate our children at home. This time when I pulled out the camera, I tried to take pictures of our "typical" school day. These three photos only do a so-so job of representing what school looks like in our home. I didn't catch much action. I'm posting the pictures any way because they will always remind me of our routine.

In the first picture our eleventh child, Amy, is listening while one of her siblings is reading the Bible. Each morning we read a Psalm, followed by the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month (Today, February 12, we read Proverbs 12.)

In the second photo, Amy is being taught multiplication by her dad.

Finally, I caught Daria just as she stood up from the lunch table. We eat both breakfast and lunch as a family, and the fellowship is a highlight of the day. We have to eat at our dining room table because nine of our twelve children are still being homeschooled, and that is far too big of a group to fit around the kitchen table!

We began educating our children at home when we moved to England in the fall of 1997 when our oldest daughter, Anna, was a first grader, and our twins, John and Lissie, were in kindergarten. At that point we only had the three kiddos. We did much of their schooling cuddling on my bed. Now if all my students climbed on the four-poster with me, we'd fall through the floor! This year we have three in high school, two middle schoolers, and the youngest two are in elementary school. All nine were adopted from Russia between the ages of three and almost 16. None of them spoke a word of English when they joined the family. God is so good; all of them are dedicated learners. With the exception of the youngest, our adoptees have caught up with their peers after starting their schooling in orphanages! And nine-year-old Eliana is progressing at a happy pace. Isn't our Lord amazing?

Friday, February 7, 2014

365 People Photos: No. 58--Kindred Spirits

On the rocky path that is life there is that rare person who brightens your world from the first moment. You somehow just click. For our daughter, Jaynie (on the left), Rachel is one of those special gifts from God, a precious kindred spirit. The girls live several states apart so they were overjoyed last summer to be able to spend a day together at the wedding of Rachel's brother.

There is an unusual bond between the girls. We adopted Jaynie from Russia at age eight, while Rachel's family has adopted three preschoolers from that country in the past couple of years.