Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beyond Christmas

I'm guessing you're waiting for pictures, and a report--perhaps?--of the JEDA household's Christmas ado.

In case you hadn't heard, I got a new camera.  It baffles me.  It's taken me this long to work out how to get the pictures from the camera onto the computer. 

I don't really know much about photography, though I'd like to.  I've been thoroughly reading and rereading the instruction manual in hopes that something in it will be magically transformed into lucid sense in my brain.  It helped when I stopped trying to read it in Danish, and downloaded the English version off the internet.  But I'm still pretty lost.  If anyone knows of a decent "Digital Photography For Base Morons" book that can explain to me what ISO means, or how aperture should be related to depth of field, or what any of that has to do with shutter speed and why 90% of what I've taken with the curs├ęd thing comes out looking like a drunk man's blurry epiphany, by all means, let me know.

In the meantime, here's a few pictures of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  All the Christmas Eve ones were taken with my humble point-and-shoot Pentax, and, therefore, should be correspondingly less wonderful than the Christmas Day ones.  Please help me maintain this delusion as it's the only way I can possibly continue to justify the price of the new one.

This year's gingerbread creation:

Being the great designer of seafaring vessels that he is, Mister had his heart set on a boat. So he designed one.  He carefully measured and drew out all the pieces for me to bake.  Then he painstakingly glued them all together with melted sugar.  I know I was supposed to let the kids decorate, but after all that work I just couldn't.  I let them watch though, and the smoke made of Necco chips was EM's idea. 

Mister tells me it's a clipper. A pepperkake clipper. Which gets translated into Missy speak as a peckercocker clitter. Which is, frankly, hysterical, and I refuse to correct her.

Also new this year: decent weather.
No snow, mind you. But no rain either. A welcome improvement indeed. Mister took the kids out on a little hike while I stayed home and slaved away on a turkey dinner.

All dressed up and ready for a dinner I knew they wouldn't eat. My kids have no appreciation whatsoever for the carb-laden beauty of a full turkey dinner. Elder Miss is getting closer. She loves herself a good leg of juicy dark meat, and she nibbled around the edges of the stuffing and declared it...okay. But the other two whined from start to finish. Their loss. I did a superb job on it this year. I hate to say this to all my Thanksgiving dinner attendees, but my Christmas turkey is ALWAYS better than my Thanksgiving turkey. Always.

Christmas Eve is the one night every year that I dust off my cheap white wine glasses and let the kids use them at dinner for their fizzy Christmas soda.  As you can see EM looks forward to this event with much refined and cultivated enthusiasm.

And then it was bedtime:
Some of my fondest memories of Christmas Eve as a child are of spending the night in my step-brothers' room, the three of us keeping each other up into the wee wee hours of the night speculating wildly about what we might find under the tree come morning. As I was reminiscing about this over dinner, the kids eagerly asked if they could all sleep together too. This all being part of my master plan, I poured myself another glass of wine and reluctantly agreed....putty in my hands, my pretties....putty in my hands.

Which brings us to Christmas morning. I plan to upload a full album onto my Picasa site sometime soon, but for now here's three of the better pictures I managed to take with my new toy.

Meh--three good ones out of at least 200. It shouldn't be that difficult.

Everyone left for Rosendal a couple days after Christmas. Everyone, that is, except me. I stayed behind to enjoy a little peace, quiet, and complete lack of responsiblity. I'll catch a ferry and join the others tomorrow.

Happy New Year's everybody! See you on the flip side.


Guitar said...

The pictures are great. I wish we were there to see and enjoy each precious moment. Maybe next year...

Try asking Brent about your photo questions. He is pretty good with that stuff.

Have fun for New Years Eve. I'll have a drink for you, and you have one for me. I don't know if we need to look at the same star and pretend we are all together, but at least have a drink.

Amy said...

I love the picture of the kids on the hike with the lake in the background. Although, that is with the "old" camera...

BTW, school was cancelled on the last day before Christmas break so I'm not sure if the letter from Ethan to Daniel got mailed or if it will have to wait until school resumes on the 5th. Don't panic if you haven't gotten Flat Ethan yet!

Queen LaTeacha said...

Great blogging, JEDA! You have such a talent for capturing the precious moments (in words, if not in pictures with your new toy).

The kids look adorable, and I'm SO glad you're continuing the tradition of sleeping everybody together on Christmas Eve. There just is no magic like waiting for Santa. ("Can you hear him?" "I think I heard him!" "Nah, that was just the wind outside." "What if he doesn't like the cookies?" "He's Santa....he likes ALL cookies." "Oh. Did you hear that?"......and so on.) Love it!

Anonymous said...

If your pix are blurry, up the shutter speed. The bigger the number, the faster the speed, as it is measured in fractions of a second. I think Kodak may have a photography primer on their web site.
Anyway, the pictures are adorable. My 5 year-old marveled at the gingerbread boat, you put us to shame. Our gingerbread houses were broken and nibbled to death within 3 days. Tell me do you eat it or just look at it? I'm not sure what is proper , but it seemed too stale to be given permission for consumption, regardless.
Happy New Year! I toast to you JEDA, my new spot for a smile in the midst of mommyland.

P.S. When does the holy terror phase kick in? Langston (baby 3) has left the lump of sugar phase and is firmly ensconced in charm mommy by cooing so she gets nothing done. I think this might be to fool me into a false sense of control.


The Fairchild Family said...

Me likey the new camera! I have been begging my spouse for a new fancy camera. I can't read any manuals - I think I am allergic to them because as soon as I start to read them, the words get all blurry and jumbled and I start to get really tired. Maybe I need some medication. By the way - the kids are cute! - Jill

Trace said...

Darling photos - I just love the look on Daniel's face... oh and on Amanda's... oh and on Emma's...
I could just squish them and kiss them and eat them up!

Oh, but I get to, don't I?
In just six months and 4 days!

Also, Chad sells cameras all day long, so give him a call on his cell and surprise him that it is you. He would love it!

I am figuring my camera out slowly but surely, and finding that good lighting is my best friend in most cases. When the lighting is crappy, then I have to finagle things.

Is finagle even a word? And if so, did I spell it wrong?

jillybaby said...

I did photography at college and still don't completely get it. Happy accident is my friend.

Well your Christmas looks more chilled than ours...I'm ever so slightly envious. We arrived in Glasgow on Boxing Day (26th) and spent the next week being spread very thinnly between family and friends. We got home tonight and am soooooo glad to be sitting with my feet up watching the usual shit telly that's on at this time of year (Great Escape, Jaws, Sound of Music...).

However, all this said, I do exclude New Years Eve in my groaning. 'Hogmanay' was as always, a rabble of usually respectable family members getting pissed and falling over...after dancing to Sally MacLennane by the Pogues then a few rounds on my niece's Christmas karaoke machine!!! Although this year I'm proud to say I was able to walk home myself and didn't need to be escorted by my 4 year old son (as per 2008). I was even compus mentus on New Year's Day...well there's always a first for everything!!!