Monday, September 25, 2006

Good morning.

I don't have any photos to post this time, sorry, but I will by next week! The biggest news right now is that I am emailing and blogging from my new MAC computer, recently purchased by WIM for the Media Department!! Woohoo! I'm not thrown by the different keys and mouse so far; right now I'm installing Final Cut and taking the opportunity to blog while it's loading.

Now I have the capability of loading video footage straight from my camera (WIM's camera) to the computer insead of waiting for someone else w/ the needed hardware to find time to do it for me.

I've had a lot of people (here in Texas) ask, "When's your next trip?" Well, I don't know. I don't have any more this year, except going home for Christmas. 2007 is a complete blank canvas for me. I don't know what it holds at all. My daily activities at WIM have increased to being secretary for our org's president, which is interesting work. Also, I've attempted to educate our members on the useful, free tool of blogging. So far I've had one convert. Hallelujah! I'm designing a brochure for our upcoming conference in Mexico (November) and as always, designing and sending out newsletters as they come in.

I saw an amazing thing the other night: Saturday, we had a massive front blow in. Hannah and I had to run to the store for a couple of ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and I was trying to get home before the sky burst open. The clouds were boiling masses of dark, bruised indigo, with the occasional smothered glow of heat lightening, steadily advancing toward our neighborhood. I was delighted. I greatly anticipated sitting with Hannah on the couch, curled up with freshly-baked cookies and a book, reading aloud to her until bedtime, and then sleeping safely in my bed, listening to the deluge outside.

Janelle stopped by to drop off some things and we stood in the driveway, watching the sky. It was amazing! It was almost so dark you couldn't define the clouds anymore, yet the lightening was so constant that it kept each form delineated. Mostly it was the wash of heat lightening, a general illumination, but then it began to get complicated, throwing out fingers of lightening, etching along from cloud to cloud in a slow, gestural sort of way. I was intrigued. It grew more and more intricate, like the gradual finale of Fourth of July fireworks, and the entire producation was soundless. Never a hint of thunder.

And it barely rained at all that night. We got up Sunday morning to find it totally overcast and windy, but still hot and humid. Again it threatened rain that evening, but this Monday morning, I arose to find it bright outside, hardly a cloud left, and a chilly 65 degrees.

So, we didn't get the rain, but we did get the cool. Hopefully it will stay. There was no way to photograph that lightshow without having gone out to a corn field, but I sure did enjoy watching it from my driveway.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wednesdays are always looong days. Why? Because Hannah has hip-hop class from 4:45-5:45, inbetween getting out of school at 3:40 and us getting to church by 7:00. And actually, the dance studio owner told me yesterday that the class time has been moved to 5:15-6:15. Hopefully that's good?

I'd gone home earlier to make dinner, so we had a good meal to suck down in 5 minutes before getting to church. The service was great, and afterwards I was looking for Hannah to get on home. She hadn't even touched her math homework yet and it was 9:00pm.

She ran up to me, saying, "Mom! The youth are going to my school to pray over it! Can I go?" Ryan and other area youth pastors have taken this month to focus on our city's young people. Every Wednesday night after church, they go to different Jr. and Sr. high schools to pray over the campuses.

Here it was, 9:00pm, no homework done, and Hannah wanted to go to her school. I told her no, but in the 10 minutes walking to our car, driving away and approaching our exit, I began to regret my decision. Hannah's tears notwithstanding.

Well, who am I to quench the Spirit? We drove to the school. Parking on the side of the road, we walked across the grass and joined the other shadowy figures near the flag pole. By the time we all joined hands and began to pray, I counted 58 people. A few more walked up, so I would guess about 65 max showed up, from at least 3 different churches.

Hannah was really grateful. She went to bed after 10 with a smile on her face. She was up early to do homework this morning. I kept stuffing her mouth with banana and peach while she worked problems like, "A contest winner must choose between Prize A: $2000 received every year for 15 years, or, Prize B: beginning at 3 cents the first year, the amount is tripled every year for 15 years. Which prize is best?"

Take Prize B. You'd wait a long time, but the payout is exponentially greater. And yes, the pun was intended.

It's a gorgeous, gorgeous south Texas day. It feels like the day before Christmas, there's such an anticipatory feel in my spirit. Why? I dunno. Mayhaps it has something to do with the prayer offered up last night?.....

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hey people! You are again hearing from the person who now has fabulous braces.

Anyway, so middle school is fine and everything is going in order, yadda, yadda, yadda. So I've entered the school's Science Fair for the first time b/c now, as a 6th grader, I'm qualified to enter. My project is going to have something to do with snakes, since they're my favorite animal. The only problem is that I don't know what to do it on, but the Fair is on December 2nd (not any time soon) so I've got plenty of time to think up something and do the project.

So I've gotten some shocked faces
on the subject of braces
which really isn't an issue.
The only one thing
And it's one tiny thing
Is that it's gotten hard to kiss you!
Dedicated to: My family
Well all of this stuff in my poem is true and it really has gotten uncomfortable to pucker my lips. But I'm sure that won't be a problem in a couple of days.

So now you know what my life is like and may I tell you that it's been a wonderful leap into pre-teen-hood. But sadly now I must bid you farewell my good readers and I hope that my life is of interest.

This is Hannah Cowart signing off!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Well, a lot's happened since our last blog, and Hannah hasn't even had a chance to write. Check back later today for her comments and MORE photos (I've been a busy photographer lately!).

These are a handful of shots I got of Grace before she took off for Georgia for a couple of weeks. I'm getting better and better at using my flash (I did think to bring my 550EX this time instead of using the pitiful pop-up flash on the camera).

The one above turned out better than I thought it would. At the time, I thought it was kind of boring, but her blue shirt really looks great. All photos were shot in Gruene (German for "green," and pronounced the same).

Hey, who's that shadowy figure reflected in the window????
This was my favorite shot.

Below, you see three pix taken during our Girls' Night! this past Saturday. Mayhaps we should have called it Girls and One Little Boy Night, because Maximus was there, too. Janelle said we should do Glamour Shots, so we did! I found the coolest fabric ever at Hobby Lobby to use as a backdrop.
Yours truly, a la Elton John, and Hannah and Maddie are posing below.
Maximus loving on his mama. I think Gap or American Eagle should hire me (kidding, just kidding). 'Til next time!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Here are more pictures I shot on Labor Day. It was pretty overcast and I worried it would rain, but never fear--Texas heat kept it at bay (until today, Tuesday). Everything was shot at 400ISO (as were Zach and Cheri's pix).
Krissy, I burned in the corners, vignetting a la J.C. Gotta love those OC photographers! And I used unsharp mask in PS to make the eyes zing.

Lanier took this one of me.
This photo above and the one below used fill-flash. I think they were either -2 or -1.5

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sunday afternoon, my friends Zach and Cheri Walters wanted to hang out. The only thing I really wanted to do was practice taking pictures, and they happily volunteered to be shot!
So, you see our progression of work, taken in downtown New Braunfels. Above, on the sidewalk in the town circle (or square, but it really is a circle).
There are several huge murals painted on the sides of building, all illustrating New Braunfels' German heritage. Since Cheri spent 2 years in Germany as a missionary, I thought it a very fitting environment.

I really liked the concrete ground. Is that weird?
We discovered an alleyway filled with antique shops and restaurants. This was the coolest mural, and I couldn't resist shooting Zach with the Sausage Man. Kinda creepy, huh? Zach totally got into character.

Cheri has the most amazing cheekbone structure in the world. She says her whole family (on her mom's side) is that way. Canadians, eh?

Here I practiced using my flash in bright sunlight to make the subject's eyes "pop," or rather, get rid of the dark shadows caused by the brows. It worked!! I didn't have my external flash, just the camera's normal pop-up flash. But I reduced the flash's power by -2 stops. And I thought Zach's skinny legs in the background were amusing.
The landscaping around this place was incredible!
Zach's a total faker. Such a poser.
Hannah camped out in a cozy spot while we worked.

Love the red door! And the comedian being photographed.
A pirate's life for me.
By then we were dying from the heat. So, off to Starbucks! These are random shots taken by Hannah, or, if I'm in the image, taken by Zach. Do try the Banana Coconut Frappaccino. It's delicious.

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