Archive for the ‘Our children’ Category


July is almost gone

   Posted by: Mark

It really seems like we were watching fireworks just the other night, and now July is almost over. We’ve stayed busy, and have really been trying to get out and enjoy the outdoors and each other as a family. We made it to Seaside early this month just for a day, and the hot weather here was completely reversed out there (of course!). We have only ever been to the coast once or twice in ten years when it was warm enough not to have to wear long pants and a hoodie. We ate too much taffy and snacked on too many pistachios on the way home, but we sure did have a lot of fun.




We were able to reconnect with some old “Beaverton” friends from long ago this month, and as a side benefit we learned about the Salmon Creek Trail and how great it is for kids with bikes. So we loaded up the truck with bikes, a scooter, and a stroller, and enjoyed a five mile walk up the trail and back with the kids (and wow were they wiped out after that!).





I also had the privilege of helping out shooting two weddings this month, and despite my bad shoes at the first one and the heat at the second, had an unbelievably good time. I hope to post some pictures from both weddings on my business site soon, after I work out the permissions with Amy.

And just last night we took a little balsa glider and a Nerf football and visited Orchard Park. And what a fun time we had! Isaiah has an amazing arm, and Jeremiah was fully engaged running around in bare feet chasing a soccer ball. Timothy, Lindsey, and I took turns launching the plane, and Tami played catch with Isaiah. I’ve got to say that it sure is fun to tickle-tackle the kids when they catch (or not!) a football!

It’s been a good month to reflect on God’s incredible grace and goodness, and to enjoy some great time together as a family.



   Posted by: Mark

I’ve been in a bit of a funk with photography lately. I haven’t been taking pictures, but have been talking myself into believing I want to. Well finally yesterday I forced myself to pick up the camera and start shooting. And you know what? It was a total and complete blast. And I remember now why I love it!









   Posted by: Mark

Tami and I are sitting in the waiting room right now, waiting for word from the doctor about Jeremiah’s surgery. We are so thankful for the great health our children have, and fully acknowledge that this good health is completely based on the undeserved grace (redundant, I know) of God.

This surgery today is a pretty minor procedure in the overall scheme of things, but placing a child in the hands of a third party (one with a knife, no less!) is never easy. It gives us an opportunity to realize how blessed we really are in that this is such a rare activity for us, and to praise God for his incredible goodness.

The doctor should be out in a few minutes with news of the surgery, and Jeremiah will sleep off the anesthesia before we’re allowed to see him.

Thanks Amy for taking Lindsey, and thanks Dad and Mom for taking Isaiah!

***** UPDATE 11:23 am *****

Everything was successful, and though there was a slight bit more to do than expected, is all looks great. To God be the glory!

Post-op 2 Post-op 1


Playing with countering direct sun

   Posted by: Mark

Last week I played a bit with trying to balance direct-sun with the AlienBee. I had tried this weeks ago with the Vivitar 285HV, but couldn’t get it to put out enough light to get the effect I wanted. I put the B400 on top of a light stand, added my 54″ umbrella, and grabbed Lindsey for the first round of test shots. I was shooting directly into the sun, so my aperture was up over 20. I had the umbrella set up for shoot-through, and put it about three feet from Lindsey as I framed her against the sun. I adjusted a few things, and then shot a series with Isaiah, too. The B400 was great for this, and the 16-35 2.8 (thank you, Dad, for the loaner!!!!) allows awesome perspectives.

Some things I learned, most of which probably seem obvious:

  • Direct sun, even when the subject doesn’t have the sun directly in their eyes, will cause squinting if there’s too much reflecting around them. Shade may often be better to avoid this.
  • Use a sandbag on the lightstand!
  • (For the results I wanted) be sure the aperture is open enough to expose the ground/grass under by about 2 stops. Much more than that and it gets too dark.
  • Be wary of focus issues when pointed directly into the sun. My Canon 40D choked a bit, though this is not unexpected.





Recent pictures

   Posted by: Mark

Here are some recent pictures from JD’s birthday, Project 365, and around the house.







Leaping lizards!

   Posted by: Mark

Tami has been out of town for almost a whole week. We have never done a “split vacation” before, but this time we couldn’t see all of us flying back to Illinois, so Tami took Lindsey and JD. I took some time off of work, and to ease the boys’ pain of not being able to ride an airplane or see Grandma and PawPaw we stacked the days with boy stuff. Pizza, breakfast for dinner, movies, videos, and all sorts of other things. It’s been a lot of fun, but we sure are anxious to be reunited (Monday evening can’t come fast enough!). And split vacations are a stupid idea; even though we really have had fun it’s a bummer not all being together.

One of the fun places we went was JJ Jump here in Vancouver. Tami has taken the kids before, but I’ve never been. When the boys heard we might go there, that was about all I heard every day: “are we going to JJ Jump today?”

We finally went on Friday. It wasn’t all that busy there, with only three or four other moms with kids, so the boys had free reign. And they ran non-stop for over an hour. JJ Jump is an indoor play area with five or six of the huge inflatable play structures such as slides, obstacle courses, and a ball pit (I think?). Unlike many indoor play areas, this place was quite clean, even requiring use of hand sanitizer before playing! It wasn’t as loud as I would have expected a warehouse with six or more industrial inflation fans running. And the boys loved every second of it.

One of the funniest things, at least for me, was the music they had playing. It was all kid friendly, undoubtedly, but it cracked me up to hear “Ice Ice Baby” (Ice Age), “I Like to Move it Move it” (Madagascar), and others. “Cotton Eye Joe” and a version of the ABC Song with heavy techno beats were awesome. Next time we go I need to find out what they all were.

Lighting for pictures was three steps below horrible, so next time I need to break out an off-camera flash.




A new pursuit for T-man

   Posted by: Mark

Timothy started martial arts this week. The introduction package at the facility he is attending provided two one-on-one classes and the initial group lesson with a uniform and first belt. I have no doubt that the first two classes were focused as much on selling me as they were on keeping him excited, and his instructor did a great job. Timothy thoroughly enjoyed the classes, and I think he may have enjoyed walked around the stores after class in full uniform almost as much.

Our goal for him is to increase his confidence and discipline. He’s a really good boy (in our humble opinion), but tends to have a bit of a lazy streak, not unlike his father. We’re trusting that the goals and motivation associated with this sport will help overcome that, and that he’ll really enjoy himself. If the past two days have been any indication, he’s well on his way to learning some exciting and useful things.

Next week he starts forms with the rest of the white belts. I’m sure there will be more pictures and posts as he progresses!





Christmas card 2008

   Posted by: Mark

We tried for weeks to get pictures of the kids that would be good enough to send out this year on our Christmas cards. And it wasn’t until we decided to have fun doing it that we finally captured some good pictures.

We (I) missed sending out announcements about Jeremiah’s birth, so we opted to do a bit more for Christmas cards this year. I put together a background, found some great resources with Amy’s help, and sent the order off to Whitehouse Custom Color for press-printed 5×5 tri-fold cards on their watercolor paper. We’re immensely pleased with the results!


The full layout above is the inside of the card. The three laying flat are the outside flap, inside flap, and back of the card respectively. The card reads “Merry Christmas! Jesus, the founder of our salvation, the radiance of the glory of God is the One who’s birth we celebrate! Love, the Norwoods”

Despite much proof-reading, we noticed after we received the order shipment that we (I!) forgot to put the year on them. We have the kids’ ages on the back, but not the year!

Here are the full original layouts (click for larger versions):




More Christmas card pictures

   Posted by: Mark

Here are some more pictures from our fun time last night:








Evasive, but persistence pays off

   Posted by: Mark

After three very frustrating attempts at some Christmas pictures for the cards we want to send out this year, I think we finally did it. With some “handling” advice from my sister (“if they’re not having fun, it’ll show”) and some technical advice from my dad (“bring up the [exposure on the] box a bit”), we had a wonderfully fun shoot tonight. The kids had fun eating way too many cookies, and Tami and I had fun making them laugh. I still have some processing work to do on them, but here’s a teaser:


More to come over the next couple of days!

And for those who have been asking and insisting, I do believe we will be including the “take one” picture on our card somewhere. Happy happy joy joy.

UPDATE – here’s one more from tonight:


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