Thursday, October 8, 2009


I've been playing around with my camera a little recently. On our family walks I have been trying to work on panning. In order to achieve the desired effect one should set their camera shutter speed fairly slow and move the camera at the same speed of the object you are trying to take a picture of while snapping the picture. In theory this will result in a background that looks to be flying by while the moving object you are taking a picture of will remain in focus. Out of roughly 200 shots recently, I may have 4 or 5 keepers (thank goodness for digital cameras). These may be my best.

Plano Balloon Festival

Parking at Balloon Festival: $10

4 Tickets to the festival (even though we could see the balloons from our parking spot): $20

1 bag of cotton candy and a drink: $10

Finding the best spot at the festival to see the balloons fly directly overhead: $0

My kids missing the entire experience because they were too busy doing exactly what they wanted to do (something they could do at home for free!): $$priceless$$

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Life has been pretty busy for the Palmer fam since the last time I wrote on this blog, so just to recap: We went to the big island of Hawaii for a week and a half at the end of August. We had a great time with my parents, brother and sister and their spouses. Our kids loved being on the beach. Jessie is still asking that we move there one day. Jessie loved snorkeling with the whole family and I was very surprised that the salt water didn't phase her. I think she was too interested in looking at the fish and turtles to even realize that the water was salty. We also took the kids on a submarine ride and to a luau. They loved both of those activities immensely. As we were packing for the trip it was funny to realize that we were taking three different cameras to Hawaii. Of course I couldn't leave my nice camera home, the problem with this camera is that I prefer to actually do things and not just be the photographer so I hardly took any shots with it the entire time we were in Hawaii. We also brought our scuba diving camera which I used on only one of the dives we went on because I got tired of carrying it around while I was under water, and then we also brought our all around workhorse indestructible waterproof Olympus point and shoot camera. This one got by far the most usage even though it probably takes the lowest quality pictures out of the three cameras that made the trip. We all had a really fun time and hopefully we can go back to the big island. Who knows, maybe a job will open up there soon that I just can't resist.

Jessie loved snorkeling, even with the water almost filling her mask.
We were able to snorkel on a daily basis with many turtles which made both Jessie and Payton really happy.

Jessie loved learning the hula at the luau we went to. Payton had a good time seeing the fire dancer later on in the evening. When the fire dancer first came on Jessie yelled out as loud as she could "Look! He's playing with fire!" This of course made the entire crowd laugh and the dancer stopped and had a chuckle too before he continued on with his routine.

Jessie and Payton had a great time together.

Payton and Jessie loved any chance they could get to either be buried in the sand or bury anyone else in the sand. They loved playing on the beach.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We played an intense game of kickball this evening with the kiddo's (at least as intense as you can get with a 2 and 4 year old), and after the game the kids were driving their four wheelers around the yard. As Lisa and I were helping Payton get around on his since his battery was dieing Lisa noticed this large spider getting comfortable in the back corner of our yard.

Just imagine this thing crawling around while you sleep at night...

Well, I hope everyone gets a good night's rest.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aquarium Trip

On Saturday we decided to blow off Payton's nap and go into Dallas to the aquarium. It had been a couple years since we last went there so we figured we were due, plus the kids were finally getting bored seeing the same fish at Petco, Petsmart and the Bass Pro Shop. The workers at those businesses are probably getting sick of seeing us too. We go into one of those stores every few weeks, yet I don't think we have purchased anything from any of them ever. If anyone knows our kids they will know that our kids love anything associated with the ocean. I guess it helps that their parents scuba dive and have lots of fish pictures from our adventures. Jessie was excited to be going to the big aquarium and Payton didn't know what to expect, since the last time we went he was only a few months old. Payton and Jessie loved looking at all the fish. Payton thought it was great to walk around holding the souvenier program. After we had a great time at the aquarium we went and had dinner at the Twisted Root Burger Company in Deep Ellum. We had seen this place on the Food Network and it is always rated as one of the best burgers in Dallas. We thought it was ok being it was just a burger, but it just added to the fun day in Dallas.

Jessie was excited to be at the Aquarium. She is now set on being a marine biologist.

The weedy sea dragon is one of Jessie's favorite sea animals.

Payton and Jessie loved watching the manatees, sea turtles, and giant catfish in this tank.

This was a double sided tank so I was trying to get a picture of the fam watching fish swim by.

Here was the highlight of the afternoon. The shark tank has a tunnel that you have to walk through so the sharks are swimming all around you. For Jessie this was just old hat, but for Payton it was the time of his life. I think everyone got a kick out of the excitement that Payton showcased. At every passing shark Payton would yell SHARK!!! at the top of his lungs. He was so excited he had drool flying out of his mouth by the end. After this exhibit now all he can talk about are sharks. (Click on the picture to see it larger)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Over the Fourth of July weekend we went and picked blueberries at a farm about an hour and a half east of Rockwall. We got off to a later start than we wanted. We knew the day would be hot and we thought our kids weren't going to last very long in the fields. We started picking around 11am and we picked for about an hour which was 50 minutes longer than I expected my kids to last. We got about 15 pounds of berries and both Jessie and Payton had a good time and contributed to our cache. Payton had a lot of fun playing in the dirt and only realized with about 10 minutes to go that he should be picking the berries and not getting dirty. Jessie followed me around and she would pick the low berries and I would get the high ones. We had a fun time driving through the small towns of east Texas and stopped at a peach orchard for some homemade peach ice cream.

This was dirt that Payton was playing in, not blueberry juice.

It was a real hot day and everyone got really red and sweaty.

Most of the day Payton played and everyone else worked.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Pictures

Kevin Parker was kind enough to take family pictures for us before he leaves for Germany later this week. We went out Father's day evening to Harry Meyer's park and were able to catch the best light of the day (I need all the help I can get). The problem with the best light of the day is that is either happens at around 6:30 am (good luck getting my family up at that hour), or it is around 8pm (which is generally after the kids bedtime). We opted for the 8pm start and so the kids were on the tired side, but Kevin managed to get some really good shots of all of us smiling, and sometimes we were all smiling at the same time. In addition to the picture now at the header of this blog, below is a picture that turned out really good. I'll be adding more as I get the post processing done.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ballet recital

Jessie had her first ballet recital in May. She loved ballet, but didn't love the long hours of the recital. Payton had a good time at the recital, at least the parts that had people doing fun dances. and as long as he had treats.

Here is a fair attempt at stitching together Jessie's entire ballet class. I need to work on this, or better yet, I need Kevin to work on this before he goes to Germany.

Kevin Parker made me do it

Since Kevin and his family are leaving town soon and it is his fault that I have made an investment in photography equipment he has talked me into blogging as a great way to show off the multitude of pictures that were taken with a great camera but currently just sit on my hard drive. One of the selling points Kevin made to me as a reason to have a nice camera is that a camera is a fun toy my wife will support since what wife doesn't want nice family pictures. I try to put the toy to good use so here are a couple picture that show my family in a field of blue bonnets on the side of the road here in Texas and also of my cute little girl, Jessie, who loves to pose any time she gets a chance.

Palmers Blog est. 2009

So I finally did it. I am officially launching my blog today. Enjoy.