Monday, August 31, 2015

August Photo Blogging Challenge


I really enjoy participating in the monthly photo blogging challenge hosted by a 'lilhoohaa.  This month's challenge was "Rule of Thirds."  Apparently this is a basic rule in photography composition.  It was different for me to think about a rule, rather than just eyeballing the photograph.  I'm still not sure I followed the rule precisely, but here are five photos that might at least partially comply: 

Photo:  The St. George Temple, between two trees
Photo:  The front of the St. George Temple 
This next photo could have followed the rule of thirds better, but I still liked the shot:
Photo:  A sunset appears to be just above the road.
Another shot that should have been more off-center:
Photo:  Sunset in smoky skies, with fir trees in bottom third of photo.

Photo:  A tree forms an arch over a path in the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington state.
Be sure to go visit a 'lilhoohaa to see the other photos in the link-up!  

Do you use the Rule of Thirds in your photos?

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Thanks for photography, and learning new things.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: Time for an Oil Change Edition

Two weeks ago, the minivan had an oil change.  Today, it's due for another one.  The past two weeks have been a massive western states road trip:  California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California.  I already told you about the first week, which I spent in Utah for Education Week.  That accounted for the California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), and Utah part of the trip.  This week's thankfuls will cover the second half of the trip, the leaving Utah, then Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California part.  So grab a seat and enjoy (?) the 2015 version of the vacation slide-show of yesteryear!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: BYU Education Week 2015

The challenge for this post:  to limit myself to ten things.  The only way I will succeed will be to not count each thing individually, but instead combine my observations into broad categories, and count the groups.


Photo:  Buildings at Brigham Young University, with a painted Y on the mountain behind


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: Very Short, Hopefully Sweet Edition

I'm writing this from a hotel in St. George, Utah.  Tomorrow I arrive in Provo for Education Week at Brigham Young University. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Six Sentence Story: Reservation

Linking up again with Six Sentence Stories.  This week's prompt: Reservation.

I Believe (Part 6 of a Series): Marriage Benefits Children

The latest data I found on the CDC website says that 40% of births in the United States are to unmarried women.  There are numerous studies that show the disadvantages children have when they are born to unmarried parents.  Princeton and Columbia Universities formed the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and, after extensive research, determined:
In conclusion, children born to unmarried parents are disadvantaged relative to children born to married parents in terms of parental capabilities and family stability. Additionally, parents' marital status at the time of a child's birth is a good predictor of longer-term family stability and complexity, both of which influence children's longer-term wellbeing. (link to source)

Before I continue, please let me say that this post is not intended to condemn unmarried parents.  I am not speaking specifically to anyone's individual situation, nor would I want to judge anyone. I have known unmarried mothers who have placed babies for adoption, others who have remained unmarried but raised their children, and others who have married the father.  It is not for me to say what should happen in a particular situation.  No one is perfect, and we all just do the best we can.  This post is, however, an essay in support of what some would call "old-fashioned" values.  I speak of marriage that precedes pregnancy.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: Wait, is it the Weekend Already?

I am rather strange.  Whenever there is a deadline, or a significant marker in time, I feel the need to have everything organized, in place, completed.  August/September is back-to-school time. Granted, I no longer need to pack lunches or buy backpacks, but there is still a part of me that thinks, "OK.  Changing of the seasons.  I need to settle into a better routine, and it needs to be done now." Never mind that August is one of my least "routine" months of the year; August is the month that my brain tries to remind me of all the little (or big) tasks that are "desperately important".  I should:  organize the foods in the freezer, and write out a month-long meal plan; make home-made Christmas presents; have my walk-in closet look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens; run harder/longer/faster; have blog posts pre-written and ready to post daily. . . . That is just the short list.  

Fortunately, I've been around long enough to realize that life continues even when we eat breakfast for dinner, when Christmas presents are just an idea, when "walk-in" is a misnomer, when a day goes by without a run, and when blogging takes a backseat.  

Breathe, Kristi, breathe.  

There are certain practices that help me focus on what really matters.  Prayer, scripture study, service, gratitude--thinking outside myself makes life rewarding.  Last week, I taught a lesson in Relief Society on Sabbath Day observance.  In preparing for that lesson, I came across the idea that Sabbath Day observance is similar to monetary tithing.  That rang true for me.  I know that my financial situation is seemingly illogically, but truly, better when I donate 10%.  Similarly, my time stretches and I get more done when one day out of the week I set aside the worldly do-to list and concentrate on worshiping and serving the Lord.  

And so, with that long introduction, I'm ready to look back over this week and consider the things that made me pause and count my blessings.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I Believe (5th in the Series): Family Duty


Previous posts in this series have prompted some readers to point out that some children do not live in the best of circumstances.  The Family: A Proclamation to the World  has something to say about how family members are to be treated.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: Bye-bye, July

Seriously, is it August already?  July went by so quickly, and I'm crunched for time this weekend, so I'm going to make this a short-and-sweet, photo-free post.