Lost my Winter Coat

Alan had a beard; Jamie started nicely asking when he would shave once the New Year came around.  Alan’s face is cold.


New Camera

For Christmas, Jamie bought me a new digital camera.  Truthfully, she handed me the money and said, “I don’t know what camera you want.”  I knew; for over a year I have been eying a line of cameras with a superzoom, decent low-light performance and video capability.  Given the green light, I placed my order for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35.  Click the link for reviews; I’m sure for most readers of the blog this is getting too wordy already!

So, some first pics.  Nothing fancy; just using the intelligent auto mode; no crops or edits.

Self Portraits

TaeKwonDo.  Pictures turned out noisy but usable at 800 ISO

Another challenging lighting environment.  Not too bad.

Libs, age 8, took this.

So all in all, I am pleased with the results I can get with a point-and-shoot, super-zoom, versatile camera with HD video tossed in.  It’s a great all-in-one toolkit that will fit the hurry-to-the-next-event stage of life. Next step: read the 100 page PDF manual and see what happens when we venture away from full auto.  Stay tuned!


Fifteen years ago, a college freshman girl took a “friend” home for Thanksgiving because he had no where to go.  Three years later they were married.  It’s 2009, and we’re still making the trek to Sulphur Springs, with children of our own.

Playing around.

Lounging (left: Adam & Maigan; right: lazy dog Brownie)

Happy Thanksgiving!  And just for fun, because no day is complete without a tumbling pass:

The State Fair of Texas

It’s become an annual tradition.  School gives kids free tickets to the State Fair of Texas.  Mommy has inservice.  Daddy withdraws obscene amounts of cash and takes girls with their “free” tickets.

Facepainting is always a hit.  Libs was up for the activity but removed it in the car!  Ash enjoyed closing her eyelids to reveal the snake eyes.

This were hasty snapshots that were inspired by better photos.  Having fun with depth of field.

Family Portraits

Ed Brock and I had a running joke.  We could guarantee rain by scheduling a time for outdoor pictures.  Our first scheduled date, 6/11/09, was the date of the Flower Mound tornado.  The second time was rained out, too.

As Jamie reported in her facebook status, on July 16 we overcame tears over ants, 100 degree temps, Ashton’s sick tummy, and in-coming storms (again!)

A few items of trivia:

  • Official high temperature for Highland Village on 7/16/09 was 102°
  • Our photographer, Ed Brock, once won the coveted Golden Egg by the DSVC for his work in commercial design.  Stan Richards writes about Ed in his book (find an excerpt here)
  • He used a Canham field camera and a Horizon panoramic camera (read: not digital)
  • We were a stone’s throw from Super Walmart
  • Our photographer is legally blind

Good bye, e-media

166 invitations

As I drove down the road to worship, I was watching a YouTube clip that was embedded on a friend’s social networking page which notified me by SMS so I could open the Facebook app on my iPhone.  Isn’t it great to keep in touch?  The problem is, I can’t tell you what the video was about or who the friend was.

That morning our Pastor shared two individual thoughts:  a reflection on a time when he avoided all advertising for a few days, and a call to devotion as we approach the traditional Lent period leading up to Easter.  My mind combined the two and I began to contemplate what 40 days without media would look like.

There is an expectation that my employer can still get a hold of me, so I can’t get off the grid completely.  That aside, beginning tonight I am “unplugging” whatever e-media I can.  On the chopping block are internet, TV, and the iPhone.  I will put my AT&T simcard into a no-frills phone.  I will check work email, but leave forwards and any entertainment-related emails unopened.

I understand the irony that I did a Google Search to find an image to put into this post on our family blog, which will be pulled into my Facebook profile (some extensive use of technology to announce I am cutting it all out).   In the meantime, I’m unplugged and will be rediscovering reading and maybe some new hobbies too.  At the prompting of a friend I will keep a journal of the good, bad, and ugly (using real paper!)  See you on Facebook after Easter Sunday…maybe…

If you need me, let’s talk…in real life.


Texas State Fair

While I (Jamie) was at school all day meeting with all the parents in my class, Alan took the girls to the State Fair.  Of course, they had a blast! (I’m not even going to ask him how much it all cost!!!)


Scattered Update: Libs & Ash

This week the Michael family is scattered in three places.

The two younger girls are enjoying a rare “week with Daddy.”

Daddy does hair

Going Bonkers…no, Daddy is doing fine; that’s the name of the place!

A little food coloring, salt, baking soda & vinegar = fun mixtures!

RockPointe Church…

As many of you who read this probably know by now, our family is gearing up for a move. Alan has been called to be the Executive Pastor at RockPointe Church in Flower Mound. We will finish the year here at First Baptist McKinney and begin at RockPointe Jan. 2. We are full of mixed emotions, at this point. We’re very excited about the new position and looking forward to what the Lord is doing at RockPointe and being allowed to be a part of it. At the same time, we are sad to leave our church family here in McKinney. We have had such a wonderful 5 years…and have been so blessed during our time here! Our girls have pretty much been raised here and there are many, many lifelong friends who we’ve come to love like family. Flower Mound is not far away, and we are continuing with our school through next semester, for sure. I’m sure we’ll be posting often in the next few weeks as we flow through the events and get-togethers of celebrating Christmas and saying goodbyes. Merry Christmas!!!

Remember 2006?

Waiting for Santa (2006)

Around this time last year, we cut our teeth on this whole blogging thing with a Christmas blog.  Click to revisit all of last year’s holiday memories: