Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year! January Desktop 2010

Happy New Year! Alright, I know there are a few more hours, but why deny it? So many things are going on in 2010. The older I get, this year I’ll be 40, the more I find myself saying, “Lord willing I’ll…” (A phrase my mom uses often) So, what’s planned for 2010. January I’ll be traveling to San Diego for a Child Ambassador conference with World Vision. During that trip, we will spend a day in Tijuana visiting an Area Development Program, ADP. It’s a great opportunity to see how things work in the field with World Vision and the child sponsorship program. At the end of February, first of March, I’ve been asked to photograph another World Vision ADP trip, this time in Guatemala. After that, in April or May, Lord willing, Hannah and I will travel to Uganda, Africa to work with Jeff Cash and others at Camp Saka and Faith Quest Uganda 2010. Then it’s back to the States just in time for U2 in Seattle. Junior Teen Camp will be in the first of July and as of yet there are no plans to visit the Navajo Res in Tuba City in August. Perhaps a time to swim in the pool with the kids. September will be Faith Quest US in Oregon and after that, Lord willing, the annual hike to the Enchantments in Washington.

It’s scary to type one paragraph and see 2010 almost gone and 2011 as a light shining at the end of a short tunnel. I think I’ll stop typing about my year. I still have the CHRISTmas tree up and from the looks of the above, I should just keep it up.

Anyhow, this year I’m returning to the simple photo challenge of 52 shots. One photo each week. I’ll try to put a unique spin on it by calling it “52 blessings” a photographical journey of my blessings in 2010. Let’s pray my camera gear doesn’t get stolen this year. I’ve also planned to publish at least one ebook in 2010 I’ve been working on, a calendar desktop for each month and a serious attempt to maintain my blog. Oh and I need to lose some weight too.

So buckle up. It’s going to be a fun year. It will be my 40th year of life and I’m hoping for a great one. Psalm 40 says,

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.

Now, here’s my offering to you. I hope you enjoy this gift to start your New Year. I know you might rather see a beach, sun and some sand, but this is January. You can download the free background HERE.

I love hearing your thoughts and comments so don’t be afraid to leave them. I moderate my comments to help reduce spam. So remember, if you leave a comment, know that I’m checking it first.

Thanks everyone for all your support in 2009. It was filled with joys and hurts. I am truly thankful for the hope we have in Jesus.

peace.
johno~

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I'm not sure why… but I like it.

treetime

I’m not sure why, but every once in a while I’ll take a photograph of something simple, and it captures me. What I don’t understand is this, “It’s not a very good picture. It’s just another… whatever.” Yet, I’m drawn to it. I’m also not sure if anyone else ever created something no one gave a flip about, but deep down inside they just sat back and said, “THIS is good stuff.”

This picture is like that for me. My logical brain says, “eh, it’s a picture of a tree… no big whoop.” However, the other side of me says, “you should print this in a 24×36 canvas and mount it on the wall in your living room. It’s beautiful… as a matter of fact, it would make a beautiful gift for your friends, print more than one.” That’s when the logical side remind the “artsy” side that his wife might just kill him if he did such a thing. (I really want to print this in a 20×30 to see what it would look like… or maybe a 12×18 to start)

I almost considered not posting this, but I wanted to share or confess, that it’s OK to like something that no one else would like. I have had several photographs, that I loved, hanging in cafés and other galleries for sale that NEVER sold. I couldn’t believe that “someone” else didn’t think it was the master piece I thought it was. (Those pictures hang throughout my home now) I had come to realize that some folks just don’t see the beauty in the same things I do. That’s OK, I can live with it.

So be BOLD. Create something you’re passionate about, even if there is no audience for it. If you make a craft, bake a dish, take a photograph or create any other type of art and you like it, good. That’s good enough. Consider it an inside joke with yourself and enjoy your craft. Don’t let the zero comments or google analytics bring you down. Enjoy YOUR passion! When you’re dead, THEN, everyone will want it.

Peace.
johno~

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I’m not sure why… but I like it.

treetime

I’m not sure why, but every once in a while I’ll take a photograph of something simple, and it captures me. What I don’t understand is this, “It’s not a very good picture. It’s just another… whatever.” Yet, I’m drawn to it. I’m also not sure if anyone else ever created something no one gave a flip about, but deep down inside they just sat back and said, “THIS is good stuff.”

This picture is like that for me. My logical brain says, “eh, it’s a picture of a tree… no big whoop.” However, the other side of me says, “you should print this in a 24×36 canvas and mount it on the wall in your living room. It’s beautiful… as a matter of fact, it would make a beautiful gift for your friends, print more than one.” That’s when the logical side remind the “artsy” side that his wife might just kill him if he did such a thing. (I really want to print this in a 20×30 to see what it would look like… or maybe a 12×18 to start)

I almost considered not posting this, but I wanted to share or confess, that it’s OK to like something that no one else would like. I have had several photographs, that I loved, hanging in cafés and other galleries for sale that NEVER sold. I couldn’t believe that “someone” else didn’t think it was the master piece I thought it was. (Those pictures hang throughout my home now) I had come to realize that some folks just don’t see the beauty in the same things I do. That’s OK, I can live with it.

So be BOLD. Create something you’re passionate about, even if there is no audience for it. If you make a craft, bake a dish, take a photograph or create any other type of art and you like it, good. That’s good enough. Consider it an inside joke with yourself and enjoy your craft. Don’t let the zero comments or google analytics bring you down. Enjoy YOUR passion! When you’re dead, THEN, everyone will want it.

Peace.
johno~

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Winter photos

treefrosted-7

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From the Thomas family

To all our wonderful friends and family. We hope you all had a wonderful CHRISTmas this year and want to wish you a blessed New Year. Our family has been blessed with one more Thomas this year, Ms. Rebekah Grace. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, yet, on CHRISTmas morning, Thomas children gathered in front of the tree to find a couple Lego sets and two new Wii games. It’s incredible… Lego boxes the size of a small Yak contain only a few small bags for construction. You would think someone at Lego would think of saving a tree and half size the boxes.

Thankfully, we managed to complete the puzzle of 1000′s of plastic snap together color fun and I can only guess how long these pieces will remain in their original form before demolition brings new birth of imagination. Friends of ours gave us, what I thought would be a wonderful gift, a Wii FIT Plus game. I’m not sure how well I will care for a game that says I’m “overweight” and then converts my Wii Fit Character as an overweight blobby man with love handles. UGH! Time for the gym. I’ll not let a stinking computer game tell me I’m fat. More will develop from this I’m sure.
thomasfampic-8012-2
Anyhow, today was our CHRISTmas Sunday. Dawnette and Rebekah stayed home last week to give them time to rest and build up the strength they would need for today. We all dressed in our special CHRISTmas clothes headed off to a wonderful service. I’m so thankful for my church community… my family.

After church we headed out for Abby’s Pizza. A risk taken since the kids were in there Sunday clothes and we still needed to take pictures in the afternoon. I was just trying not to get anything one me. We finished our lunch and scampered off to get our CHRISTmas pictures before nap time. I must say, there are way better times to gather the family around for pictures. We managed and the kids did well.

So once again, I hope this Advent season is a blessing to you and your family. We cherish each of you and the relationship we have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. May His Spirit be poured out upon you today, tomorrow and forever.

peace.
Johno and the Thomas’

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Happy Birthday Jesus!

Consider your blessings this year as you share with friends and family the Love and peace of Jesus Christ.

Remember, you are blessed and in Jesus you have the opportunity to bless others.
christmascard2009

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The Challenge

I’ve had several challenges come my way in the past few weeks. Spiritual, physical and mental all at the same time and each one seems to have come from a different source.

Today’s challenge was to think in a different format. A friend of mine, Don Wheeler and I took a stroll to Porters Pond down by the Columbia river. At 3:30 PM the sun had already dropped behind the Wenatchee hill line. It was cold and it was getting dark fast. I didn’t expect much… However, just being out with a camera is good enough. I thought I would try to pretend that I had an old 6×6 camera. How would I frame the shot if it was a 1:1? I thought it would be a great challenge for my mind… the artsy side of my brain.

I’ve alway wanted to just take random shots (like many I see on flickr), and see if I could pull anything out of them. They’re the shots that are worthless except to the artist and then when he/she dies everyone has to have a copy. What any good art is. So here’s my attempt at being purposeful and artsy with an eye looking through my “Hasselblad” slash Canon 1Ds and some post work in Lightroom and Photoshop.

All of the images were run through PS using onOne’s photo tools pro. A great program I highly suggest to anyone wanting to move into a more professional level with their photography.
porterspond
Anyhow, here’s my offerings. You can see a larger version of it here.
porterspond-4
peace.
johno~

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One of the nice things is…

There are many, many wonderful things about being a new father… again for the fifth time. The cute little outfits, the giggles and cooing are wonderful side benefits to having a new born, but one thing I’m looking forward to is pictures. LOTS OF THEM. Usually the last kid to come along in a family is the least photographed. Many parents fill out the entire baby book for their first born. They’ve taken the time to visit the local photographer for family portraits, Easter egg hunts, CHRISTmas, etc… that first kid really gets the limelight and they should, they’re the first child. All those that follow, seem to shine in a few of the major events but, it’s old hat. Baby books are not as kept up on and are filled with IOU’s and reminder scribblings on paper inserted as bookmarks on the “baby book to do list” before they get married. Photographs are… well… there’s just not as many.

I’m not saying this is always the case. Many of the younger ones are spoiled in many ways that the older ones were not… I mark it up to parents realize that children are not as breakable as they thought and just don’t care about the little things as they did with that first one. This is why we often hear from the older ones in the family, “you never let me do that when I was that age.” True, we thought you would die. We spoil them, there’s just no photo evidence to support it. However, some folks are like me and pick up am expensive hobby at about kid 3 and just go nuts on taking pictures and it seem as if there are more of the kids that came later than the first one.

I’ve learned that my kids grow up whether I like it or not. When each was an infant, I always desired to get that “perfect baby” shot. You know the kind I’m talking about… The black and white photo naked baby sleeping so peacefully. You always leave thinking, “how precious.” Well, that’s what I’m going for. I’m trying out some lighting effects to try to capture that sweet sleeping baby pictures. However, I have a ways to go.

Apparently small infant newborn babies don’t like big bright lights flashed into their faces over and over and over again. There must be a trick to it. How do they get these little ones so rested and peaceful? I have some ideas but I’m going to have to work on it. For now, I take everything as a learning curve or experience that will make the next one better.

bkgrd-1269-3

All is not lost… there is hope.
bkgrd-2

Peace.
johno~

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Arriving home

Today we were filled with joy that Dawnette and Rebekah Grace were able to come home. It was wonderful. I was able to see overwhelming love pour from the other Thomas kids as they crowded around their new little sister. “Wash your hands first!” I’ve never seen them move so fast to properly wash their hands. “Now, who goes first?” How do you pick which child goes first? All of them have so eagerly waited for this moment as much as the other. The newest big brother Adam would be the first.

No one pitched a fit. The others knew how special it would be for the youngest, now turned “older brother” to go first. How special it was. With the ease of holding the worlds most valuable possession Adam embraced, with a little help, his lil sissy.

Each in turn held Rebekah. This is family at it’s best. It’s the moment when brothers remember to be brothers and sisters remember to be sisters. The same blood connects them all… they are family. They are Thomas’. I’m proud of each of them. I’m honored to be their Papa.

These moments are golden. They are filled in a way we were created to be. Loving one another… Loving God.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
–Joshua 24:15

I look forward to the adventures we all will have. It’s only the beginning of things to come.


peace.
johno~

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Rebekah Grace Thomas – Captivating

babythomas-3160I couldn’t tell you the exact time, but this morning Rebekah Grace Thomas was born into this world. She’s 7lb. 15oz. and 19 inches long. Rebekah means Captivating, Beautiful. She is that. The surgery went well and Dawnette is getting the rest she deserves. I have such a wonderful and strong wife. We’ve been waiting for this moment for nine long months. There are still things to do and I’m not sure you are ever “ready” for a child to come into the world. The rest of the Thomas kids are being cared for by dear friends while Dawnette and I get some rest.

After a bit of a nap, I’ll try to get some video up.

Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and prayers.

peace.
johno~

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Baby Thomas number 5… Thomas number 7.

babythomas-7488

Well the time has come… ready or not. Baby Thomas will be here tomorrow. Boy? Girl? We don’t know, but the Thomas kids are split down the middle. Hannah and Caleb want a boy and Miriam and Adam want a girl. Of course, Dawnette and I know we are blessed so abundantly boy or girl is not the issue.

So I sit here typing away on a blog, I usually neglect, at the most unusual time… hours before our fifth child arrives. You might feel like laughing or you might feel captivated at our story of the Thomas seven, which sounds better than the Thomas six. (we kept getting confused with the Oceanic Six).

I hope to tweet the event the best I can. Technology has come so far in the last 14 years since the birth of our oldest who is now 14. Forgive my misspellings; I will do my best. I will tweet if it’s a boy or a girl after I tell the kids.

This time will be difficult for us. For the first time in all the births of our kids, our hospital will only allow two visitors and no one under the age of 18. Our children are not allowed in due to the N1 H1 flu. Pray for us. We have ALWAYS, had a family prayer before each birth of a Thomas and this time it will be different. Thanks to the good folks at Google for allowing google video chat, we will have a google video chat prayer before we head in to surgery. Pray for a speedy recovery for Dawnette so she can get home in just a few short days.

I so desire for our family to be together. I love them… each and everyone of them.

Keep posted as more will come.

peace.
johno~

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CHRISTmas Tree

thomastree-6661-2


I’m not a big fan of decorating… I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but at CHRISTmas time, I have a hard time decorating. It just seems like extra work and with a little one expecting to arrive in just a few days, I’ve been less than thrilled for the extra task. However, my kids love it and that’s what I love. It’s not the decoration, it’s that my family gets excited at putting up their first ornament on the tree, each in their order, oldest to youngest. It’s a good tradition that I hope, in spite of their grumpy, scrooge father, they will continue the joy of a family coming together and decorating a tree.
Peace.
johno~

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CHRISTmas Tree

thomastree-6661-2


I’m not a big fan of decorating… I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but at CHRISTmas time, I have a hard time decorating. It just seems like extra work and with a little one expecting to arrive in just a few days, I’ve been less than thrilled for the extra task. However, my kids love it and that’s what I love. It’s not the decoration, it’s that my family gets excited at putting up their first ornament on the tree, each in their order, oldest to youngest. It’s a good tradition that I hope, in spite of their grumpy, scrooge father, they will continue the joy of a family coming together and decorating a tree.
Peace.
johno~

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(RED)

redlogoToday is World AIDS day. Many groups like, ONE, (RED), World Vision and others are bringing education to the globe about AIDS/HIV.

Studies show that 30% of US citizens know little or nothing about AIDS/HIV. Even more feel detached since they don’t know anyone immediately who has AIDS, is dying from AIDS or has died from AIDS. So the question is, “What do you know about AIDS?”

I’ll not take the time here to try and explain all the ins and outs of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, but I will say we cannot play ignorant. According to UNICEF, “some 33 million [30-36 million] people were living with HIV as of 2007; 2 million of them were children under 15 years, and about 15.5 million were women.”

An estimated “15 million [13-19 million] children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS.” This increases risk of school dropout, discrimination and hardships that could lead to that child’s illness and or death.

Everyday 1,000 children become infected with HIV because their mothers didn’t have the right care.

With the right care, prenatal counseling, ARV medication (Antiretroviral used to treat HIV), and Hope, we could have babies being born free of HIV even though their mothers are infected.

It takes a simple phone call to your Senator asking them to support the $7.2 billion for global HIV and AIDS program and to vote against any efforts to reduce AIDS funding. In a country that spends $20 billion a year on frozen desserts, I think we can still pick up a phone.

I called my Senators offices and let my voice be heard. It’s simple and ONE voice can make a difference.

Contact your Senator HERE

peace.
johno~

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(RED)

redlogoToday is World AIDS day. Many groups like, ONE, (RED), World Vision and others are bringing education to the globe about AIDS/HIV.

Studies show that 30% of US citizens know little or nothing about AIDS/HIV. Even more feel detached since they don’t know anyone immediately who has AIDS, is dying from AIDS or has died from AIDS. So the question is, “What do you know about AIDS?”

I’ll not take the time here to try and explain all the ins and outs of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, but I will say we cannot play ignorant. According to UNICEF, “some 33 million [30-36 million] people were living with HIV as of 2007; 2 million of them were children under 15 years, and about 15.5 million were women.”

An estimated “15 million [13-19 million] children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS.” This increases risk of school dropout, discrimination and hardships that could lead to that child’s illness and or death.

Everyday 1,000 children become infected with HIV because their mothers didn’t have the right care.

With the right care, prenatal counseling, ARV medication (Antiretroviral used to treat HIV), and Hope, we could have babies being born free of HIV even though their mothers are infected.

It takes a simple phone call to your Senator asking them to support the $7.2 billion for global HIV and AIDS program and to vote against any efforts to reduce AIDS funding. In a country that spends $20 billion a year on frozen desserts, I think we can still pick up a phone.

I called my Senators offices and let my voice be heard. It’s simple and ONE voice can make a difference.

Contact your Senator HERE

peace.
johno~

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December Calendar 2009

Well, it’s been a hit and miss for the calendar this year. I’ve learned a lot and hope to get all 12 in for next year. For those of you who use it, I hope it’s been a blessing and useful tool.

Click here to go to the to visit the gallery. Then right click to download the image.

peace.
Johno~

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