Monday, May 25, 2009

More Amazing Pictures

Since I didn't get any of the birthday boy’s pictures up yesterday I am going to treat you to double the pictures today. It is funny because David doesn’t take a lot of pictures. When we have gone places and spent the entire day, Rich and I will take hundreds of pictures and David will only get about ten. But as you can see—his ten are beautiful.

When we went to Joe and Abigail’s wedding last year David took more then his usual number of pictures. He was waiting for “The Kiss,” and once that happened and he had taken the picture, that was the last picture he took for the day. But we arrived at the church early and David was able to get this beautiful picture of the church empty. He went up to the balcony to take this picture and the lighting is wonderful.

Shortly before the beginning of the ceremony he was made to sit in the pew and he leaned over the side of the pew to get this picture of the votive candle that lined the aisle.

The next two pictures were taken on his eighth grade field trip. Following the official tours we were given free time and of course his desire was to see the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The first is one of my favorite pictures he has taken.

David loves architecture. When he was in first grade he told us he wanted to be an architect until he found out they aren’t the ones that bulldozed the old buildings before they built their vision. In some of his pictures you can see his love of the buildings and their details. This was also taken on his field trip to Washington. Can you guess what building this is?

It’s Arlington House that stands proudly behind the Tomb of the Unknowns. These last three are all from Mount Vernon. You have to admit if I hadn’t told you, you would never have known. You can just see the top of an outer building in the bottom of the first one.

This ornamentation was on a wall in the garden.

This last picture shows different point of view. While visitors are not allowed to photograph the inside of Mount Vernon’s mansion, they are allowed to photograph inside the out buildings. The tour begins inside the kitchen and David is probably the only person who has ever photographed this view at Mount Vernon. Can you guess what it is?

It’s the view looking up from the inside of the fireplace! He stood inside the huge fireplace as the guide explained the rules and gave us a brief history of the building. Rich and I were on the other side of the room (since we are not big fans of standing in fireplaces) and I had to giggle when I saw the flash of light.

When David opened his portfolio that contained these and a few more of his pictures he loved it. It made him realize that his work is good and will let him show it off to others.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Exploring the World

David loves to do close up and unusual pictures. It is interesting to see him get just inches away from a fruit or vegetable and then see the results.
The first three are from our local community market.

This last one is from the garden at Mount Vernon. It is funny watching the faces of other tourist as they happily snap away at the house and outer buildings when they spot David taking 10 minutes kneeling in the dirt to get just the shot he wants of a carrot top.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Budding Photographer

This weekend David will be fourteen years old! I can’t believe how fast he has grown since I still feel like it was last week that we brought him home from the hospital during a terrible thunder storm.

Last year we had a huge birthday party so this year it will be a family celebration. This has always been our plan since I don’t think it is necessary to have a big event each year. What with the packing and house hunting it would have been hard anyway.

One of the gifts we bought him was a Kodak photo album. I had fun making a portfolio of the many wonderful pictures he has taken over the last several years. He has an eye for it and is very creative.

I decided that over the long weekend, each day I would post a few of the pictures I included in his album. I hope you enjoy his work as much as we do.

This picture was taken at Stratford Hall. We had just crossed a bridge and David snapped this one. He was only about seven and was (OK is) in perpetual motion. The effect was one that gives a covered bridge look.

This was one of the many ponds at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The water is so calm and the captured reflection of the clouds and the trees is just perfect in the picture.

David is so observant that he sees things that the rest of us miss. He saw this little lizard sunning himself at his Grandparents’ house.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ROTC Commissioning

One of our regular Wednesday night guests asked us to photograph the ROTC commissioning service at his college. Rich and I were honored to take part in this exciting event. We arrived before 9:00 am and didn't leave until 2:00 pm. We arrived early in order to watch the practice and know where we would need to be during the service.

I have to say that interacting with these fine young men and women gives me hope for our future. We sometimes get so use to seeing young men with their pants pulled down to their knees and being answered by "yeah" instead of "yes." But the young men and women at this event were so polite and respectful it shows that there is hope that manners are indeed not dead. They have been trained and drilled with the characteristics that will serve them and our nation well.

So congratulations to all the wonderful men and women that have been commissioned and are ready to serve our nation. I pray that God will watch over and protect them.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Life In The Fast Lane

Just when I think things will start to calm down they explode! My well laid out plans lie around the ground in bits and pieces. But, yes, even this is well within the plans of God. I may be caught off guard but He never is. This is very important for us to remember right now.

When we moved to where we are living now it was not planned. David needed to be hospitalized for what was to be 9 months and turned into 18 months. So our original plan was for me to be in the area for only a short time. During this time we were able to rent a home and fall in love with our new city. Rich stayed at our old home during the week and only came here on the weekends. Then unexpectedly he was given permission to work from our new home except for one day a week. Such a blessing! So we got rid of the other home we were renting. This occurred just before the fall of the economy, which resulted in Rich losing about 40% of his income due to no overtime. But with tightening of our belts we would be fine.

Now about two weeks ago our landlords have informed us that they have a new use for the home we have been renting and we would need to move. Part of our rent was paid by web site designing for them that Rich did. They have requested that we be out by the end of July so we have been very busy.

Our first question is what is God's will. Are we to stay in our new city or does He want us to move somewhere else? Rich's work now would like to see him more often so we are looking closer to his work. Luckily, Rich won't need to go in every day. But, David needs to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. When we do travel into a heavily populated area you can actually see David becoming more aggressive and agitated.

So we have been doing some online house-hunting and last weekend went to an area that would fit the bill. We found a house that was perfect in our opinion, but not in God's, since when we scheduled to see it we were told it is already sold. So please pray as we seek God's will in this area.

One of the benefits of the area we are looking for is that it is close to my parents. We stayed with them and David and my Dad really enjoyed being together. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a blessing this is. When David was small there was a severe break in my relationship with my Dad since he wouldn't accept David as his grandson. My Dad had always been very prejudiced and the fact that David is bi-racial was a real issue with him.

In order to help with finances I applied for Disability for David through Social Security. Yesterday I spent three and a half hours filling out all the paperwork online—including all doctors and tests that David has received and school information. When I had the actually interview this morning I was told that it sounds that, yes, he would qualify as disabled, but since he is a child he doesn't qualify due to Rich's income. What really upsets me is that they take the family income and only deduct the amount you pay in insurance. They don't deduct any amount of money that you pay out of pocket for medical needs for the child. That means that if a family made $50,000 a year and medical expenses are $45,000. the child is not eligible. David's expenses are not that high, but at $350.00 out of pocket a month for meds and that his issues prevent me from working, the check really is needed.

This amount also doesn't include the additional medical expenses due to his frontal lobe damage that results in his impulsive behavior—such as his fractured knee in March. It also is very shortsighted since when David was hospitalized for the 18 months the amount of his medical care was just over $500,000.00. When I hear that the Gitmo detainees may be getting a government check when they are sent to the US [news here and here] this makes it hard to swallow that we are denied.

But, I know it is all in God's hands and these events have helped us teach David that we must all trust Him. We have also explained that "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose." This means to His glory and that doesn't mean the new house will be bigger or nicer then the one we currently live in, but we need to be more concerned to seek the glory of God. We are looking at purchasing and not renting and this is actually a great time to buy.