Elf on the Shelf 2013 – Day 23

Life is all about what you do with the hand you’re dealt. Let’s face it, sometimes you manage to draw some really shitty cards, but you just never knew what’s coming next. So, you gotta keep playing. And if you’ve got some good friends beside you, you might even have a little fun.

Both Cadence and Cosette woke this morning, feeling a little better so what better way to celebrate and spend a Sunday than learning to play a little UNO?

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And wouldn’t you know, our little card shark caught on quick and kicked Daddy’s butt in her very first game. Yeah, that’s our girl. 🙂

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Elf on the Shelf – Day 16

After returning from her late night visit to the North Pole, Cosette rounded up the gang for a little after hours game of poker. And by the time Cadence woke this morning, Cosette had amassed a fifty-cent fortune.

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When she came down for breakfast, Cadence looked for Cosette in all the old usual haunts, and was tickled when she found her and the gang in the middle of their game.

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Of course, she wanted in on the action, so Cosette bowed out gracefully and let Cadence have a turn at the table.

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Now, I’m not one to spread rumors, but I’m pretty sure Cadence was stacking the deck.

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And if she wasn’t, she just might be a card counting genius. Either way, by the end of the game, Cadence left the table with everyone’s money and promptly deposited it in her piggy bank. Someday, we just might have to take our little gambler to try her luck in Vegas. 🙂

Elf on the Shelf – Day 4

I’ve written at length before about how much I hate having my picture taken. Truthfully, I don’t even think that “hate” is a strong enough word. I mean, I know everyone goes through an awkward stage, but come on! Between my television screen-sized glasses and a couple of bad perms gone wrong, my awkward stage lasted far too long and resulted in far too many photos like these haunting my childhood…

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I guess I can always blame the 80’s, right?

Even so, I was always more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. I remember having a cheap plastic 35mm film camera by the time I was 10 years old. Mom and Dad were good about buying me film and letting me snap away when we went on vacations or visited family for the holidays. In high school, I finally got my hands on my first SLR camera in the Photography class I took with my Newspaper teacher Mr. Buck. The old Pentax K-1000 just felt right in my hands, and I fell in love with it, and with the magic of seeing my vision come alive in a bath of chemicals in the Holdrege High School dark room.

My Uncle Harry and Aunt Jean were always two of my biggest supporters, cheering me on and hanging my framed photographs of old barns and windmills in their home. They even gave me one of the greatest gifts ever one Christmas, when they sent me my very own K-1000 that they’d found in a pawn shop in Dallas.

I can’t even tell you how many photos I’ve taken since. If I had to wager a guess, I’d say I’m probably closing in on a million. Maybe more. Thank goodness I made the switch to digital photography. Otherwise, I’d likely be living penniless on the streets from the cost of developing all that film.

Yet, whether I’m shooting film or digital, and seeing my images come to life in an old-fashioned chemical darkroom or a digital darkroom like Photoshop, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing that little piece of life I captured and knowing that it has been preserved, timeless, forever.

For the longest time, I feared that Cadence would likely suffer from what so many photographers refer to as Photographer’s Kid Syndrome–a debilitating disorder that makes kids highly allergic to having their pictures taken and causes them to turn and flee whenever they see a camera. to make matters worse, Cadence also had a 50/50 chance of either being a photophobe like her Momma or a total ham like her Daddy.

Thank God her Daddy’s photo genes prevailed.

It’s much more fun to snap photos of a willing (and patient) subject than to have to chase her around and pray that I get one shot out of a couple dozen. And it’s even more fun now that she’s starting to get interested in taking pictures herself. The little digital camera her Granny, Pawpoo, Aunt Whitney and Uncle Collin bought her last year for Christmas has certainly gotten a lot of good use already. And I guess Cosette wanted to get in on the action because last night after sending Cadence off to bed and giving another good day’s report to Santa, Cosette gathered up some of Cadence’s stuffed animal friends for a little photo shoot of her own…

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She took some portraits of Brian…

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A few pet portraits with one of the Pound Puppies…

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She set up an engagement session with Rango and the Sock Monkey…

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Took some portraits of Marvin the Martian…

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And helped Animal update his photos to advertise his band…

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And then a few group shots of everyone before wrapping up the session for the night…

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This morning, Cadence came down for breakfast, and was surprised to see what everyone was up to…

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And of course, she wanted a little time behind the camera, so she asked Cosette if she could have a turn…

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Yeah, that’s my girl! 🙂

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And I have to say, after taking a look through the photos from Cadence and Cosette’s sessions, these girls definitely have the “eye” for photography!

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