30 October 2008

Photo Programs

I've been doing some more studying on labeling photos and have found some neat programs.

I was concerned because I read an article that said Picasa didn't support IPTC, but it was an old article, this article explains the Picasa upgrade. It also led me in search of some other programs.

Foto Tagger is a neat little program that allows you to identify individual elements in your photos. Take a look.

These programs are not for the feint of heart - I'm mostly including them here for future reference.

Photo Freeware.net

29 October 2008

Mom, Don't put down that Crochet Hook yet!

No, this is not an announcement, well, it is, but not that I'm pregnant. It's another sort of a afghan milestone that we have reached. Yep, that's right, Kevin is now, or nearly, potty trained! I read this post by my friend a few months ago -The Potty Training Diaries - and was reminded that eventually I should potty train Kevin. He is now closer to 3 than 2, but my girls didn't train until much closer to 3, however, Isaac trained himself a week after he turned 2. It happened so fast I didn't do anything other than go shopping for boy underwear.

For some reason last week I decided it was time. We put Kevin in underwear and set the clock. He did great - if we did.Today however, we hit a big milestone, he tells us and we go with him!!!! He's not all the way there yet - but - it will soon be time to choose colors for Kevin's big boy afghan!

Note: My Mom makes each of my kids an afghan when they are born, and a bigger one when they are finally potty trained.

Labeling Photos with Picasa

I was so excited when I finally found this website All About Digital Photos and found out that I could label my photos digitally. YEA! Just like labeling the back of snapshots, your photos can now be captioned for posterity's sake.

Picasa is a FREE program that you can download from picasa.google.com and is most useful for adding captions to your photos and and for its ability to search. It is important to know that when you add the captions in Picasa they are saved as an IPTC standard caption, and are now part of the file.

Installing Picasa
· Double Click Picasa Icon
· Click Run
· Click I Agree
· Click Finish
o This step may take awhile – Choose Only scan My Documents, My Pictures, and the Desktop the first time so you can learn to use the program. Later, you can set it up to scan more files. This may take awhile.

Click this button to set to Folder Tree Structure.
By clicking the arrows next to the folder names you can see what is inside of the folders.

Adding Captions
Double click on a picture.
Underneath the large view of the picture it says, “Make a Caption.” Click there and type your caption.
Remember, these captions will now stay with your picture, they are saved as part of the picture file.

If you can't see where is says, "Make a Caption" you may need to click on the icon that the arrow is pointing at.

Searching for more pictures.
Click on Tools – Then Folder Manager.
Using the tree structure choose which folders on your computer you would like to have Picasa scan. If you choose "scan always" Picasa will update when you save new pictures or projects to your computer.
Beware, you don’t want it to scan all of your computer, just where you save your photos, and your projects. This may take a really long time – depending on how many pictures you have, mine took at least an hour.

Picasa is indexing your pictures and making it so that you can search through your pictures ( well, eventually.)

Picasa searches file names, directory names, and captions. You may need to spend some time organizing your photos and adding captions before it is very helpful in searching.

Laughter, Joy and Sorrow

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

I've been reading this book outloud to my to my kids for the last month for part of our study on Native Americans. It is the story of a young girls adventures over the course of a year. She is a member of the Ojibwa trip that lives on an island in Lake Superior. Smallpox came to their village and many people died, including the baby Neewo, and then there was the recovery and the extremely hard winter. They were finally saved from grief and depression when Pinch ( young boy) stood to close to the fire and then sat in the water bucket.

The great deer had saved their bodies, and Pinche's asurd jump had saved
their souls, for Nokomis said shortly after that her own grandmother had
believed that the soul of the Anishinabeg is made of laughter. If there is
no laughter, the soul dies. Pinch brought laughter back to life. He brought
their souls back into their bodies. The harder they laughed the more they
knew, now, they would survive.

I can relate to this experience, only a few days after our baby died we had a day that brought joy back into our life and lifted the grief and sadness. We had an entire dinner full of deseret. I had been decorating cakes, we had leftover brownies, ice cream, pudding, M & M's, and I don't remember what else. I just remember taking being silly and laughing again. Although this wasn't the type of meal I typically set before my family, it was exactly what was needed that day.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:45-46 says

"Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.

And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for
it shall be sweet unto them; "

We had felt sorrow and grief, and peace because we have a hope in the resurrection, but we needed to again feel JOY. Isaac's favorite scripture, maybe not at the time, but shortly thereafter and for a long time was, "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." Kyle will always be remembered in our family with JOY, for he brought joy to all who saw him, with sorrow, for we wish that he could have stayed to be part of our earthly family longer, and as our strength, for our testimonies of joy, of love, of the resurrection, and as an eternal family were strengthen through his short existence her on earth.

16 October 2008

Digital Scrapbooking: Preserving History in the Digital Age

I taught a class this week on Digi Scrapping to a couple of women from church. I had a lot of fun putting together the presentation and I also learned a lot of new things. One of the very first questions that I was asked was, "How did you learn all this." Honestly, I don't remember not knowing how to use a computer. We got our first computer, a 8088 in 1988 I think, I was about 12 years old. My Dad and I spend a lot of time working together on that computer, learning how it worked, and ever since I've become more and more dependent, and independent on a computer.

I think that digital scrapbooking is one of the amazing reasons that computers have been invented. You can read my other posts about Digi Scrapping here and here. Preserving our heritage is so important and I'm so glad that I've been able to use the computer to tie these two loves of mine together. I want many more people to be able to learn to save their history, on the computer, and from the computer, so I'm offering to teach anyone that wants to learn more about the computer, and how to save their family history for future generations.

You can request the handouts by posting a comment.

11 October 2008

House Numbers and Water Barrels

We finally have house numbers on the front of our house. I lived here for about a 18 months before I even realized that we didn't have house numbers, and since then we have had at least 2 ambulances, 2 fire trucks, and a wide variety of other people coming to our house. It's not like we've never been to a hardware store, Lowe's was almost my second home last fall when we where in a state of major remodeling on our house. The numbers just never got bought, until last night. It only took Brad 10 minutes, and now our house is no longer "unplottable."

Another project that has been in the wings just off stage for the last year was filling our water barrels. I got a great deal about a year ago on 2 large blue 55 gallon drums for water storage, and during the construction and organizing phases they just sort of floated around, waiting for the perfect home. (Once filled they are very very heavy). After my trip to Lowe's last night we finally had the missing part, the coupler that connects house water to the hose to fill the drums, and after only a slightly damp catastrophe we know have 110 gallons of drinking water ( not counting what water is in the 2 water heaters.) The next step is learning how to turn off the water to the water heaters to protect our water in case of an emergency.

We had a very busy and very productive day, we also restocked our 72 hour kits, (I have a shopping list), rehung the curtain rod over the sliding glass door, fixed Brad's recliner, filled the dumpster, loaded Brad's truck with cardboard, and made room in the garage to park a vehicle. It's that time of year, we had snow already this weekend.

08 October 2008

LDS General Conference October 2008

I stumbled upon a couple of great websites with some fantastic ideas for getting more out of General Conference with Kids.

Mormon Mamma - Making Conference Memorable has some great ideas on ways to prepare kids for conference, and then to wrap up afterwards.

Linking from that page I found this great matching game of current LDS apostles, I did it in 1:00.3, that's one minute and a tiny tiny bit, with no mistakes, on my first try! Can you beat me? Match the Apostles - This comes from the LDS Greats website and it looks like they have a lot of great stuff.

04 October 2008

Apple Butter

The other day I was reading some blog - somewhere - about applebutter. I thought, oh yea, I need to remember to do that with my apples, then I almost forgot.

The whole family pitched in this afternoon to make applesauce from the jonathan apples we picked last week. We would have gotten about another 16 quarts, but all of the sudden this evening I remembered, apple butter. I did a quick search, found a few recipes, and then let Brad choose his favorite. He chose . . . Crock Pot Apple Butter from Southern Plate. Of course, even though I've never made this recipe before I am adapting it to fit the ingredients I have on hand.

General Conference with our Kids

We had a wonderful day watching to general conference today. I had planned on making applesauce this morning while listening to conference, but we weren't ready, the kitchen was still a big mess from breakfast. The kids all quietly gathered in the tv room with the notepads, coloring pages, and began watching conference. Even Kevin played quietly throughout the session. Rebecca took notes, lots of notes, and the spirit was in our home. I just couldn't bring myself to interuppt such a peaceful setting, so the applesauce had to wait until between sessions.

I really enjoyed Elder L. Tom Perry's talk about preparedness. Although I was able to listen, I wasn't able to take notes, so I look forward to being able to read the talk, and listen to it on my mp3 player. It is so wonderful that the church has the talks on the website within days to read and listen to again. I'm looking forward to using this talk to organize our family preparedness. It will be a great one to use for famiy home evening next week.