Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Photography Workshop Assignment

I'm doing something crazy - CRAZY! I've signed myself up for a photography workshop this upcoming weekend in Tacoma!

I know - it's CRAZY! I'm getting laid off and in these times, I don't know when I will get another job. Money is tough.... but something called me and told me that this is where I need to be.

I've been following a blog Me Ra Koh of an self-taught award winning wedding photographer for a couple of years now and love reading her blog everyday. She hosts beginning photography workshops where it supposedly goes way beyond just the photography aspect of it all and delves into confidence and creativity and all sorts of other areas.

I'm so excited I just can't hold it back anymore!

Our first assignment before the workshop was to take some photos of someone (friend, spouse, kid) where you take about 30 minutes to reveal their personality (and don't take too many shots - maybe about 20 pictures). My first thought was - OK, I can do this. Second thought was - 30 minutes is a long time for only ~20 pictures! We were to really try to capture their personality. We were to write down what came naturally and what was challenging.

Of course, I have my trusty subject Alex to help me out.

I buttered him up by taking him out to a restaurant on Sunday evening (while Lance was working) and we enjoyed a nice meal sitting outside watching all the people and cars go by. He just loves this! He shouts "Mama look - a Motorcycle!" or "Big Red Truck". Then I ask him if he would like to go on a hike to a river or go home. Guess what he chose???

We have a nice trail by our house that has a creek not too far away and a bridge. I thought about where I could do this shoot and this was definitely the place.

Here are the results of my workshop assignment:

I made him giggle!

Running - running everywhere

Playing with my lens cover and using it like a play camera - click click

Running again!
What I noticed that felt natural: I know his personality, he is easy to smile and laugh, always moving, I got on his level, I waited for moments to happen and was mostly able to capture special ones.
What I noticed was challenging: I realized after I looked at photos at home that I had forgotten about ISO and probably should have changed it a lot more, all the buttons, sometimes my focus point was wrong with a low aperture value and therefore the picture didn't come out the way I wanted, I realized that I needed more patience that I usually have with shooting and more time to just look around and take it all in.
Overall - I'm very excited about this upcoming weekend and looking forward to what may learn about myself. Pray for Daddy taking care of Alex ALL WEEKEND LONG! And thanks to him for supporting me in this CRAZY endeavor!

Posted by Picasa

Remlinger Farms Birthday Party

This weekend we went to a birthday party and had such a blast! First it was over to Athena's house for cake and ice cream. Alex was very confused because it was Saturday and we were going to "Preschool house" and both Mama and Daddy were there! Not what he is used to! He kept on say - "No, No - go Birthday party - not Preschool house!" We told him that the birthday party was AT preschool house!
We sang Happy Birthday to Athena - who is now 4 years old! We had cake and ice cream and all the kids loved playing with the balloons.

Then it was off to Remlinger Farms - a big farm in Carnation that has too many things to do in one day - especially for a little 2 year old who still needs his nap! Alex rode on a tractor, got to ride a real steam powered choo-choo train that whistles and goes through a tunnel, ride a canoe, AND ride a PONY!
We had such a good time! We pushed Alex beyond his usual nap time and then he crashed. He slept from 3-5PM and then went to sleep at 8PM. Sunday he took a 3 hour nap, just to make up for some lost time.

L to R: Brandon, Alex, Isaac, Athena

Posted by Picasa

Swing with Mama

Posted by Picasa

A Carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee...

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee... Which one are you?

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about
her life and how things were so hard for her. She did
not know how she was going to make it and wanted to
give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as
one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three
pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon
the pots came to boil. In the first she placed
carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the
last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit
and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.
She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do
you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel
the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.
The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and
break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed
the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to
sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its
rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it
mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had
faced the same adversity ... boiling water. Each
reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard,
and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to
the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The
egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had
protected its liquid interior, but after sitting
through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After
they were in the boiling water, they had changed the

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When
adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems
strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and
become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but
changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but
after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some
other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and
tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually
changes the hot water, the very circumstance that
brings the pain When the water gets hot, it releases
the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean,
when things are at their worst, you get better and
change the situation around you. When the hour is the
darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate
yourself to another level? How do you handle
adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to
keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
best of everything; they just make the most of
everything that comes along their way. The brightest
future will always be based on a forgotten past; you
can't go forward in life until you let go of your past
failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end,
you're the one who is smiling and everyone
around you is crying. You might want to send this
message to those people who mean something to
you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life
in one way or another; to those who make you smile
when you really need it; to those who make you see the
brighter side of things when you are really down; to
those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who
are so meaningful in your life.

The beach

We enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day Monday at the beach in Gig Harbor with Grandmas and Grandpas and all sorts of fun. Here is Grandpa (Bampa T.) and Grandma Judy (Bama Judy) carrying buckets and shovels to hunt the wild geoduck! And Grandma Connie (Bama Connie) was there too!

The tide was very low and the sun was shining and Alex found many sand dollars to play with. He would scoop up the sand and look around at all the living little things you can see when you're a short person, close to the ground and everything is new to you! He saw many little bug type animals and little crabs, starfish, sand dollars, geoduck, and many many more.

We bought him this new "rash guard" shirt and loved it! We didn't have to worry about him getting burnt (SPF 50!) and didn't have to keep slatering him with sticky icky lotion all day long. As you can see - it was full coverage! He wore his sun hat most of the day, too, but I just had to take it off when I was shooting pictures to get his cute expressions.

Daddy caught a BIG geoduck! For those of you who don't know - geoduck is like a relly big clam. We use it in seafood chowder.

Here we are at the top of the beach with all the drift logs and warm little rocks to sit on and soak up the warmth. We brought some really tasty watermelon, pinapple and cheese and crackers and sat up there for a long time playing with all the wonderful things a beach has to offer. We finally headed up to Bama Judy's and enjoyed a wonderful dinner around a fire pit. We pushed little Alex through no nap and he really did wonderfully - I think it's all the excitement of being at the beach and at "Bama's Beach House" that makes it OK not to nap on certain days.
Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by Picasa

Mother's day photo

Posted by Picasa

Pulled pork tacos

I made some pulled pork tacos last week and took some photos because they were just so colorful. Yum Yum!

Posted by Picasa

Mama's gloves

Posted by Picasa

Alex's new bed

Alex never slept in a crib. Not a day in his life. We tried, but he succeeded. So, from our co-sleeping to his own twin mattress on the floor is how it went. We then put the twin mattress on the frame eventually and it worked pretty well. Yes, he did fall off a couple of times, but no permanent damage! Now after about a year of than and going through some more sleeping struggles, after I saw a post on a friends blog (Hi Zoe!) about getting a new full bed for their two year old son and remembering what my Mom would say about having me sleep on a full bed when I was young - I was convinced this is what we needed.

Enter good old Craigslist... I found a really nice bed frame (see above) and like new mattress with two side tables for $200! Lance was a little (means ALOT!) skeptical about spending money after I was just laid off but I had to tell him to trust me. I would sell the twin bed along with some other things and we would be making money!

So, after a little bit of looking around I found the bed and made an offer. Another person had already made on offer and it was accepted but they weren't picking it up for a few days. I convinced the nice people that I was right in Woodinville (they were too) and that I could come pick it up that night! It was a match made in heaven.

I bought a very reasonable new comforter set with sheets and pillow cases from Overstock that I thought would go with the "Underwater" theme of Alex's room. To me, the bedspread looks kinda like kelp. Of course the animals are still up on the wall and Alex loves looking at them and now he even wants to sleep with his Monkey, Bear and Sheep every night. Sometimes there are even race cars involved.

Alex has loved saying "my new bed" and we remind him at night about how he's sleeping in his own new bed. He loves things that are new right now. New vitamins, new shoes, new pants, new bed - anything that is "new" has more of a chance with him.

And of course - the beloved "Dog-Dog" that sleeps with him every night on his new bed with new sheets. The lovey that I forced him to love and now he does. Ahhhh love.
Posted by Picasa

More about the worm

With the BEAUTIFUL weather last weekend (Hope the weather is nice this Mother's day weekend, too!) we were preparing our garden for planting - and it needed it! There were lots of weeds (the left side of the photo is grass, but the right side is pure weeds in my garden beds), but with the two of us working together - it went pretty fast and looks fantastic now! Daddy found a worm and showed it to Alex - he was very curious.

Daddy asked him if he wanted to touch it or hold it - he is very facinated by bugs and creatures of all sorts right now.

He's still considering it

He's holding it! What a brave boy!
He then wanted me to hold it and (I sneakily asked Lance for his glove!) and held it, too! I'm trying to model good behavior - but it's damn hard sometimes! I like my worms in the garden doing worm like things - not me holding them!

This last weekend

This last weekend with the warm and sunny weather I thought to myself, what would be better than a 2 year old boy in overall shorts and a sunhat? Well - that's what I got!

He helped me pick rhubarb and that is what he has in his hands.

Yeah! I asked him if he could put his hands up in the air so that I could take a picture and he did it very willingly - and I must say - a good photo.

Daddy found a worm and Alex held it - and said "sticky". He wasn't quite sure what to think about it.
Posted by Picasa

Springtime is in the air

Posted by Picasa

Random funny things

We've had some random 2 year old funny things happen lately and I thought it would be fun to post a few and get a laugh out of you (maybe!).

In the evenings, when we need to change a "poo-poo diaper", but we don't want to waste a diaper because it's almost bedtime - we've been risking it and letting Alex go "Commando" and he thinks it's so funny! He walks around with his legs spread apart (with his pants back on) and says "No diaper - So Silly".

Speak of the "poo-poo diaper" - Alex is getting really aware of his functions. So, the other day it looked like he was going (or I smelled something - I can't quite remember) and I asked him if he had a poo-poo diaper. "Alex do you have a poo-poo diaper?" He looked at me and said "No, Mama. Just pee". It was hilarious!

Alex is really enjoying hiding and goes hiding by just covering his eyes or actually hiding behind something and then instead of saying Peek-a-boo - - - he says Peek-Pa-Boo.

Alex has had a string of leaking diapers lately and one night not too long ago there was a 2 AM wake up call where he was crying and we went in to see what was the matter. I realized he was all wet and would need a complete change and would have to sleep with us. Alex said to me - "Pee-Wet-Cold" and was it was so descriptive. His brain is as sharp as a tack!

When Alex drinks milk or water and gets finished drinking he makes an "ahhhh" sound at the end. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - it's the very satisfied sound after drinking a cold drink on a hot day kind of sound. He does it all the time and has learned it's pretty funny. So, one day after he did it - I did the same sound. Drink drink drink - Ahhhh! says Alex.... Ahhhh says Mama. He looks at me and says "No, Alex Ahhhh!". I said "No, Mama Ahhhh!" and we laughed and giggled. We still do it to this day and it's so much fun!

My fearless boy - who would jump of benches, stairs, who would do all sorts of crazy things without even taking 0.1 seconds to think about it is suddenly scared of a few things. We have a Buddha face in our house and Alex used to love looking at it's face and pointing out all the features, nose, ears, etc. But, lately he's been quite scared of it and says it's "too scary" and that he is "too scared". He would be waking up in the middle of the night saying "Buddha get you, scared" and screaming. We tried to show him that Buddha was just a picture and that it wasn't that scary, but finally we had to take him down. Now when ever Alex wants to go in the room where Buddha was - we have to say that Daddy took him away and there is a picture there now. There have been other instances where he would normally do something or go somewhere and now he says he's too scared.

Looking at bugs

Bugs are fascinating! There are so many bugs out there - little bugs, really really really big bugs, bugs that fly, bugs that walk on the ground. And sometimes, you just have to get down to their level to really investigate them.

Posted by Picasa