Wednesday, June 19, 2013

photos, father's day and a full quiver

my family would tell you that not every occasion or holiday requires a full on photo shoot.  they might, in fact, attempt to passionately persuade you of this opinion -- but they are wrong. simply mistaken. because...of course it does! holidays and occasions and celebrations were specifically designed to give women and men like me the opportunity to pull out our cameras.  

you cannot argue this with me.  

it's my blog.

anyway, that's what i did last sunday -- father's day. i took me some pretty good pictures of my kiddos and their awesome dad. let's be honest here, y'all know i did it for rick.  because we all know that every man wants nothing more than to pose in front of his wife's camera multiple times a day -- father's day especially.  it was my gift to him.  i knew he was much more excited about his photo shoot than he was to watch the masters or drink a beer or play with his kids in the pool or read a book on the porch.  you're welcome, honey! 

we'll see if he reads this.

anyway, i liked what we captured (it's a joint effort, i assure you).  this first one of the oldest literally melts my heart.  i think it is my absolute favorite picture of them since she entered her teen years. 

this picture is, in my humble opinion, the very essence of father's day.  

yep, i said that.  

the very essence.  

i mean just look at the love between them.  look at those smiles.  and if that's not enough, at the very least, marvel at the fact that she is the spitting image of her daddy.  

one friend on facebook commented, "it looks like he made her all by himself."  

well, er... exactly.  i need more than photo credits here folks!  if i remember correctly,  it seems i had a pretty substantial role in the moment of her arrival.  but truly, good grief!  they could enter and win a father-daughter look alike contest.

does one exist?  (i'm kind of hoping no).

then there's oldest son. i had to snap this photo of rick and tyler late on sunday because he had been gone for the weekend.  ty had traveled to northern minnesota with the awesome verdoorn family to their cabin.  fishing, shooting, four-wheeling, motorbiking, campfires, fried fish...pretty much his dream weekend.  he made it back in time to assemble his dad's new grill, install a fishing pole wall rack in the garage and enjoy a cookout with our family on sunday evening.                    

i snapped this one of middle daughter and rick at dinner saturday night.  we took the family to lola's, one of our favorite restaurants on the water.  it was a picture perfect evening at the lake.  this photo is pretty picture perfect too! all those brown eyes. sarah elizabeth loves her dad!

and then there's connor. i could just eat up this little guy's smile. he moans and groans a bit when the camera comes out -- what 10 year old boy doesn't?  but i'm sure glad he cooperated and we didn't have to photoshop him in to the family.

i'm not sure if bella will ever not look tiny in her dad's arms.  she's just such a peanut! she may be an itty bitty thing, but this girl has a huge amount of love for her daddy, that's for sure.  for father's day she made rick a book (multiple pages hole punched and tied together with ribbon...filled with items she had cut from magazines).  in addition,  she made him a "special meal."  this meal consisted of froot loops, sunflower seeds and some kind of unidentifiable ingredient she claims to have found in the pantry. rick ate it. (well, sort of...)

typical in our home, we usually have an extra kid or two around.  father's day was no different. emily's friend, maddie, from atlanta, is spending the week with us -- so she celebrated father's day too.  we didn't make her pose with mr. mcnatt,  but i did get a few pictures of these two sweet girls.  they are a whole lot more willing to cooperate for my camera.  lovely girls, inside and out.

i know it was father's day, but thanks to maddie, i got to sneak into a picture with my girlies. love, love, love my daughters and i don't need an occasion or a holiday to feel grateful for the gift of them! girl power!

okay, final picture.  this one we had taken the week before father's day to frame for rick's office.  he needed an updated family photo.  between the dogs and the rain drops, it was a dicey photo shoot to say the least, but we did it!  thank you diana rouse for balancing precariously on a chair and making this work. mcnatt kids, thank you for finding something in your closets which sort of matched and for brushing your hair at 4 o'clock on a summer's afternoon.  minne and cooper, you were amazing.  i can't believe how well the dogs did with this. 

seriously, this picture kind of reminds me of psalm 127.

you know the verse:

"behold, children (and dogs?) are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
how blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;" ~ psalm 127:3-5

i'm not sure about rick's quiver, but my kitchen is certainly full of them! 
and i can't exactly say they resemble a bunch of "arrows in the hand of a warrior"---  but  maybe that's because i know what "the behind the scene" looked like on this photo shoot day.  oooh baby.  i know what it took to get these kids moved into position for this ambitious father's day photo,  and let me tell you, i could have definitely used some arrows and a warrior or two to help me get this quiver in line.  no, they may not be perfect arrows, but they certainly are a gift and rick certainly is blessed. and camera or no camera.  pictures or no pictures, we certainly had something to celebrate last sunday.   


Anonymous said...

I cried when I read your blog about Bella's finding note. I have spent the last couple hours using my elementary school Chinese (I immigrated to Canada when I was 12 years old) to perhaps give you some more colour into Bella’s finding note.

I transcribed Bella's finding note into Traditional Chinese by using Google Translate. Some words look different from the finding note because the note was written in a combination of Traditional and Simplified Chinese (and I transcribed in Traditional Chinese only), but they are the EXACT same Chinese words.

If you cannot see the Chinese text below, you need to install Chinese fonts on your computer.

Form for information left with abandoned baby (child)

姓名 (Name) 張雪竹 (Zhang Xue Zhu) 住院號 (Hospital room number) 080567




The note was written on a hospital printed form for baby/child abandonment. The abandoned baby would have a note with the baby’s name and birthday written on it and the hospital would transcribe this information onto this form.

Bella’s note had 3 different persons’ handwriting. The admitting nurse wrote Bella’s name and hospital room number. The bulk of the finding note was probably written by the birth mother (based on nicer handwriting) and the last sentence was probably written by the birth father.

Bella was found at The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (aka No. 1 Hospital of Zhongshan University), one of the largest teaching hospital in China. It is also very likely that this is the same teaching hospital where Bella received her heart surgery a year later (not that many pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons in Guangzhou).

Bella's birth parents probably did not live near the hospital, but in other parts of Guangzhou. Bella's heart conditions meant that there is a small chance that Bella's birth parents were sent to the largest teaching hospital in Guangzhou for consultation. It also meant that there is a small chance that the hospital has Bella's medical files before her abandonment with her birth parents' addresses and other contact information.

Since Bella’s note did not contain her name and her birthday, there must have been a separate note pinned to her clothing or that Bella was an existing patient pre-abandonment. Bella might even have been abandoned with the hospital’s help (i.e. somebody at the hospital providing the birth parents with the hospital printed form to write the note and telling the birth parents where to put the baby).

As you have already known, Bella's Chinese name is Snow Bamboo. Bamboo is the third of the four "noble plants" in Chinese arts.

The order of the 4 noble plants in traditional Chinese arts is (1) plum blossom, (2) orchid, (3) bamboo and (4) chrysanthemum.

Chinese siblings and cousins of the same generation (of the same gender) often share the same "middle" name. For example, the Soong sisters (the youngest sister being Madame Chiang Kai-shek) share the same middle name "Ling".

If Bella has any older biological sisters (assuming Bella's birth parents broke the One Child law) or older female first cousins, they COULD share the same middle name "Snow". Since Bamboo is the third noble plant, the older sisters/cousins would be Zhang "Snow Plum Blossom" and Zhang "Snow Orchid".

I do not know whether or not you plan to find Bella’s birth parents (and I am not going to put in my opinion here). But one thing I should say is that Guangzhou is the third largest city in China and growing rapidly. There is no such thing as NIMBY or environmental assessment in communist China – whole neighbourhood can be demolished in 10 years time thereby making finding Bella’s birth parents impossible.

Simply LKJ said...

Beautiful family photos!!

Aus said...

Absolutely love this!! And the new "family picture" - without a shoe to be found - speaks much and speaks highly - I love that part!

And rest assured that 1) Rick loved this and 2) he's a lurker on your blog!! ;)

hugs - aus and co.