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“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”  Oprah Winfrey

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“I have noticed that youngsters given to the climbing habit usually do something when they grow up.” Elbert Hubbard

I climbed trees when I was a young child.  I remember getting to the top of a particularly tall tree (to me anyway) when I was about 7 or 8 years old.  I was absolutely stunned by the view.  We lived on the North Shore of Lake Superior at the time on a ridge about two miles from the lake.  There was no development of any kind between us and the lake.  Climbing that tree and seeing that completely unobstructed view made a huge impression on me.  My world was quite small until that moment.  It really hadn’t occurred to me that there was a lot more “world” out there.  But here was my proof!  

In that tree – I could see “everything”.  I was on top of the world!  

And here is my Grand Daughter learning to do the same thing!  She’s a natural climber – just like her Grandma.

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“I just think that giving a child a chance and sharing what you have with a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, as well as a child.”  Hillary Clinton

We arrived at my Son’s today.  

I promised Chloe that we’d spend New Years with her, and have a fondue party.  We did that last  year at our home in Canada – she remembers it and wanted to do it again.  Since we didn’t spend Christmas with them, we opened presents shortly after we arrived.  I have to say that I think this particular present was perhaps the most special one I’ve received this year.  Her Mommy said that she did this all herself . . . no prompting from her at all.  She wrapped a sheet of stickers in kleenex, taped it up with more stickers, and wrote Grandma Beth on it.  I love it!  

Truly from the heart.

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“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does.  Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.”  Dwight L. Moody

Lighthouses are one of my very favorite places to visit.  

There is just something about this lone sentry sitting on it’s rocky promontory, strong, silent and steady – shining a light far out to sea to steer ships clear of the dangerous rocky shores.

This one sits on the Oregon Coastline – the Umpqua Lighthouse.  It has been raining all day, and I captured this shot just before dusk.  It’s completely overcast, so no chance of a sunset today.  

Let YOUR light shine on!

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“My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, or the camera’s eye may entirely change my idea.”  Edward Weston

We’ve headed for home via the Oregon Coast, with a stop at my Son’s for New Years Eve.  

At one point during the drive along the coast, I looked down to see that I had two camera’s in my lap, ready for any photo opportunity that presented itself.  I tend to see everything as a photo op now . . . though I am becoming more and more selective in what I shoot.  A year ago, I would shoot frame after frame of the same thing.  Now I am quite a bit more discerning . . . and try to find the not so obvious beauty in the frame.  I’m not always that successful . . . but every once in awhile a really, really good shot sneaks through!  

I’m excited for where the New Year is going to take me in my Photography journey.  I’ll be starting a 52 Week Challenge that has Monthly Technique Themes.  Check out Michael The Maven’s Forum for more details if you’d like to participate as well.

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“Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky.”  Fran Lebowitz

And Sticky she is!  

We decorated Christmas cookies which, of course, ended up more on her than in her.  I love the look in her eyes as she’s licking the frosting and sprinkles from her fingers.  It would be very interesting to crawl inside her little head and see the world through her eyes.  

And she loved bath time as much as she did decorating the cookies . . .

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“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”  Burton Hillis

This is baby girl’s second Christmas . . . she still doesn’t quite get what is going on but it sure was special for us to be here to experience her joy in “her party”.  She loved opening “her presents”.  She didn’t wake up until 8am . . . and even then was only interested in watching Dora on my iPad snuggled in bed with Papa G and YaYa.  By time Daddy and Mommy were up and moving around . . . we checked out stockings.  As per our tradition, we had our traditional Christmas Breakfast of Hungarian Bubble Ring, scrambled eggs and bacon before opening the regular presents.  I took this shot after all the presents had been opened, in the midst of the chaos.  She was more excited to rip the paper off the packages than she was in what was inside.  

So cute, and so much fun!  

The amazing thing about this shot is that both she and her Daddy are smiling . . . and at the same time!

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“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  Charles Caleb Colton 

I love this shot.  

We got Ella all dressed up to go around to the neighbors delivering Christmas goodies.  When we got back from charming everyone completely, I had to get a few shots of her all dressed up.  She was fine at first, but then wanted my nice expensive camera to play with.  I found my little point and shoot for her instead . . . and this is the result!  

Not only is this a DNA shot, but she is completely imitating what I am doing as I am shooting her!  Every time she pressed the button to take another picture, she would look at the screen and say “Perfect!”

How much more adorable can you get than that???  

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“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  Charles Dickens

Merry Christmas to One and All!  

We’re back in the Bay Area for Christmas with our family.  Not much to write today as we are are trying to get organized for Christmas, and suffering from jet lag!  

Wishes for wonderful celebrations with family and friends . . . 

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“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”  Bern Williams

We got up bright and early this morning hoping to catch the sunrise on our way down to the airport in Lihue.  Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs so we missed the sunset.  We did however find this really neat spot near the airport with this old pier that is mostly in ruins.  The rain stopped and the sun even came out quite briefly while we were there.  We spent some time wandering and watching the surf crashing on the levy.  Fisherman were out with rods in the surf, and turtles swam in the bay.  We finally had to pack up the camera gear and head for our flight back to the mainland.  Three and a half weeks on this Island = bliss.  We’re going home well rested and ready to take on whatever the New Year has to offer.  

Bring it on!

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