Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of 2009

What a year it's been. I don't have anything to complain about, in fact for all of the bad news and the challenges world wide we as a family have been very blessed. We are healthy, work is good, Kirsten is home, Michael is home (again), Bret is happy albeit a little trunky, Kylie is on track to actually graduate from High School (whew), and we are surrounded by people we love and odds are if you are reading this you are one of those people. I have some resolutions to work on for the new year and they mainly involve my own self improvement in hopes of matching my friends, family and neighbors in terms of their/your kindness, compassion, selflessness, and many other qualities that I admire. It was such a beautiful day today I thought a nice photograph to include with this post would be Kirsten, Michael and Kylie jumping for joy because of 2009 and in anticipation of 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Love The Snow

_MG_6993, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

It just keeps snowing and snowing here in Manti so the only thing to do is make the most of it. It's been a great week here, we've watched movies, gone sightseeing, braved sub-zero temperatures, been visited by our peeps the Christensens, taken dozens of pictures, replaced the washing machine (not planned), gone to bed late every night, slept in almost every morning, and most of all enjoyed a Christmas week with 5 out of the 6 of us together. Next year when Bret is home it will be 6 of 6. Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yeah, It Works

_MG_6963, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

I spent an hour or so talking Kylie into this and I had to make some concessions for the evening like watching 3 episodes of Glee in a row, singing the "Marines Hymn" at the top of my lungs and having a cup of warm water nearby. Totally worth it!!! Her tongue stuck, hahahaha.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Last Glimpse of Christmas

_MG_6841, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

The week after Christmas is much more relaxed and enjoyable. Football games every night on TV, left over food to snack on and time to enjoy a slower pace here in Manti. It's been getting down to at least -10 each night and the days haven't warmed up much, but the clear sky and bright stars make up for the cold.

_MG_6888, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snowball Fight

_MG_6781 copy, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

Everyone went to Walmart, except me and my two friends, so we decided to go outside and kill some time. The cry baby in the middle griped for an hour about snow down his neck.


_MG_6734, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

I have a lot of reasons I look forward to Manti during Christmas week, not the least of which are cold temperatures, fresh snow, clear blue sky with no inversion, and now a new reason. A tractor that can move snow where ever I want it! With a 90' double driveway shoveling by hand is out of the question so I have a good friend here that plows the driveway every storm with his truck. I appreciate it very much and he does an awesome job, there's just a few places he can't get because he can't turn the truck sideways in the driveway. Enter the tractor!!! I can twist and turn any direction I need to on this bad boy and it not only pushes snow like the truck but with the shovel I can scoop and move. Now all I need is a storm to dump 3' of snow so I can really put the Kubota through the paces.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Temple Square

I have a habit of avoiding downtown Salt Lake during Christmastime so my photos of the awesome lights at Temple Square are gettting a little long in the tooth. So what do I do,? Drive downtown on one of the worst nights for travel so far this winter :( It wasn't really my fault because Kylie had her Christmas Concert at the Assembly Hall so while she sang with the choir Marsha and I walked Temple Square so I could update my collection. Marsha lugged my camera equipment backpack so I could swich lenses at will and she didn't gripe once. I'm really glad we made it to Temple Square this year and as the week progresses I'm feeling more and more the way I should have felt all season long. It's beginning to look a lot like .....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Perfection and Reality

I love the little "Richard"s, Olivia, Calvin and Everett, and I try to take advantage of every chance to get a picture of them so when Andrea suggested I drop by for a minute yesterday the door at the church didn't hit me in the butt on the way out. One of the things that makes picture taking fun is all of the outtakes that result in attempting perfection. I don't profess perfection in any pictures I take but the subjects acheive that in their demeanor very often and as I looked through the pictures from yesterday it struck me how many screaming, wiggling, reaching, nose picking, poking, yelling, spit up and otherwise parent-stress-inducing moments I captured versus just few near perfection ones. It's kind of like real life in my mind, so these two pictures I've named "Perfection" and "Reality" in honor of one of my most beloved peeps, Andrea, and her endless patience for all things real.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Final Decorating Details

_MG_6444, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

I like Christmas as a general rule, but I hate decorating. Ok, I hate undecorating worse, but we are exactly one week away from Christmas and I'm pushing myself to get finished (pun intended). I'm looking forward to taking a little time off between Christmas and New Years and maybe I will have a chance to mess around taking pictures with someone other than myself. I've about run out of friends so I'm not sure who I can recruit as victims. Let's see, Kirsten and Michael and Kylie owe me big time so it might not be as hard after all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week Before Christmas Jump

_MG_6399, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

Kirsten and her peeps, Becky and Tristan went down to see the lights at Temple Square tonight and they were so excited they wanted to show that joy by jumping. I reluctantly agreed to take their picture. After all it was 10:00 pm and I was comfy and warm in the house. But since they begged me, I pulled on my warm slippers and trudged outside to capture their talent as a digital image, forever burned on my computer. I think they did pretty good!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ward Christmas Party

Friday night was our Ward Christmas party and I'm sure the part I missed was real good. I just do better hiding in a room with Santa and all the kids. I wish I could post all the photos on this blog but that would take a week to upload them all. Instead I will get all of them posted to my flickr page in the next few days so if you're interested you can link to it from here. I had a blast watching how different all of the reactions from the children were. Some couldn't get enough of Santa and other freaked out even getting near to him. The more mature children like Andrea had been a little naughty during the year so some, like Andrea, were reluctant to face Santa, but with a little encouragement they each relented and left Santa their wish list.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not Enough Help

_MG_6013 copy, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

I never seem to have enough help. Bret is dinking around in Taiwan, Michael is in California, Kirsten is in Logan and Kylie is in her own little high school world. So when it came time to put up Christmas lights in Manti there was only one person to get to help me. Me. At least I put my Christmas lights up this year, unlike dozens of neighbors who seem to think lighting their house for the holiday's is turning on their porch light. Anyway, I survived and the lights look great!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Lights

_MG_5880, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

When we put the lights up Saturday they looked kind of cobbled together. We had some of the grid pattern net lights to put over the bushes but there was no way they were large enough to cover even our smallest bush so we added some strands and tried to make it all match. Not only that but we had to mix polarized plugs with non-polarized and I can tell you from experience that you can only go one direction when you mix the two types. So I figured what the heck, I'm ok being trailer trash and if anyone looks close enough to see my Frankenstein light job, so be it. Then it snowed. Holy cow with the snow covering everything it looks like I spent hours planning and designing the whole thing. I think it's going to be a great Christmas season.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy Body

_MG_5554, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

Ok, last night I wanted to get some shots with my new flash/strobe setup with the moon in the background. It's hard to find a night when the moon is in the right place in the sky and there are no clouds to block the view. I looked around for victims starting with anyone in my house and then scrolling through my call list in my cell phone. Everyone was conveniently busy, probably because it was around 18 degrees outside. Without a willing victim to take pictures of I ended up messing around in the church parking lot with the Yukon. At least I'm easy to entertain!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Primary Christmas Ornaments

_MG_5479, originally uploaded by rtsmithcpa.

Marsha has worked like a dog along with her presidency to get these ornaments ready for all of the Primary kids to put on the tree at the church. I think she knocked this one out of the ball park! It took all the hard work of Marsha, Elaine Earl, Summer Adamson, Brenda Sim and Molly Sparks to pull this off. 56 ornaments later they are done! Oh, Don thought he was pretty special since this post features the Adamson family on the ornament and I didn't dare tell him that "A" is simply the first letter when you have things alphabetized. Ahhh, let him think what he wants :)