Monday, December 21, 2009

So far we have had a wonderful start at Christmas with 3 kiddos. As I type this, G is asking the kids all sorts of Christmas questions. I'm proud of Benny. He can piece together Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Angels, Bethlehem and manger for the real story. Of course he thinks the Wise Men brought Gold, Frankincense and Grandma (G's Mom is actually called "Mur", which sounds like Myrrh). It's quite funny. Benny is still struggling with the concept that the presents actually stay wrapped until Christmas. He keeps bringing us a present, wanting to open it. Everlie is slowly figuring out all this stuff out. She'll get there. Delaney is happy to start ripping ornaments from the tree.

The kids are doing great. Benny and Everlie are getting to the point where they can play for extended times...without any major arguments. Delaney is enjoying having a big brother and sister. She always wants to be around them to play...unsolicited of course. They are all settled as brother and sisters. It's like they've always been together. Now, if we can just get them to sleep all night through...consistently.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Award Winning Photographer....who, me?

I mentioned on an earlier post of 2 entries making it to the finals of a professional/amateur photo contest, called SEEN 2009. This is an annual event sponsored by Studio Altius ( The photos were judged by professionals.

The results are in:

1. "Heartbreak In Ghana" won 1st place in the Editorial category.
2. "Seeing An Abruni For The First Time" placed 3rd in the Travel category.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sometimes my wife and I look at each with bewilderment and amazement.
We constantly ask each other questions like:
A. How can a baby generate that much snot and slobber?
B. Why can't our kids just go to sleep at the same time?
C. Can you believe that Everlie and Delaney weigh the same?
D. Will the day come when our oldest child won't have his hands in his pants?
E. Will we ever be able to take the entire family to a restaurant?
F. Who knew we actually had alot of free time with 2 kids?

We usually try to see the lighter side of having 3 kids, because so many moments are actually funny if we stop and think about it. God has blessed us with Delaney, and we are loving it. She is growing like a weed. She has 5-6 teeth, with more coming in. She is also determined and strong, just like her sister. She is standing on her own and will be walking by Christmas.

My favorite time with the kids used to be bath time. I still like it, but 3 is definitely a crowd. Someone is usually upset about bath toys or space. Now my favorite time is when I come home. It's a treat when all 3 kids rush me shouting "Daddy" and want to hug.

Photo Contest Entries

Last month I entered 2 photos in a contest sponsored by Studio Altius ( This contest was open to professionals and amateurs alike. I was recently notified that these photos made it to the finals in their respective categories. These were taken on my trip to Ghana, for the Touch-A-Life Foundation ( The winners will be announced this Saturday night at their open house, but all 80 or so finalists photos will be displayed at Studio Altius throughout December.

Yesterday I emailed the editor of the St Louis Suburban Journal, informing her of the contest, as well as my entries. I wanted to submit a freelance article promoting local business news, and tying in these pictures to show the work that Touch A Life has done, through the support of many St Louisans. They don't accept freelance work, but the editor forwarded my email to Mary Shapiro. She is a staff writer who wants to do a feature story incorporating these photos, the contest, the studio and Touch A Life.
“Heartbreak In Ghana”
Editorial Category
Lake Volta
Ghana, Africa
August, 2009
This is Thomas. I met him while on a humanitarian mission with the Touch A Life Foundation. Thomas is a trafficked child, who was more than likely sold by his parents. Lake Volta is reportedly home to approximately 7,000 trafficked children, who are forced to fish these treacherous waters. Many children do not know how to swim and eventually drown. It is very common for these children to work up to 18 hours a day. These children are usually viewed as property and business assets by their masters and are not fed well, clothed well, educated or loved. Many times they are beaten severely.

One afternoon, our rescue team encountered Thomas as he was fishing on the lake. After a few minutes of negotiation, Thomas misunderstood the conversation and thought he was being rescued at that moment. He immediately tried to board our boat. At that point, his “boss” (usually a former trafficked child) told him to get back in their boat. He was not leaving. At this instant, all hope faded from his eyes as he rested his tired head on our boat. This is when I took this picture.

A few minutes later the master (via cellphone) agreed to release Thomas the following day. The following day, we made our way to the shores of his remote village to pick up Thomas. He had hope in his eyes and met us at the shoreline. Members of our team escorted Thomas up the worn footpath, leading to hs village, to visit his master and document his release. At that point, his master sent Thomas away and informed us he was not releasing him. We are continuing our efforts for his release.

“Seeing An Abruni For The First Time”
Travel Category
Remote Village on Lake Volta
Ghana, Africa
August, 2009
I encountered this little girl while on a humanitarian mission on behalf of the Touch A Life Foundation, to rescue trafficked children on Lake Volta. Her village is accessible only by boat. Upon seeing me, she shrieked in fear and ran behind her mom. After a few minutes of crying, she finally peeked around her mom’s dress, revealing her bloodshot eyes. I was walking with a young man in the village, who explained she had never seen an Abruni. This is the Ghanaian term for a white person. Throughout this ordeal, her mom smiled in amusement and didn’t skip a beat doing her chores.

I want to thank my wife for putting together a memorable Thanksgiving meal. It's embarrassing that I actually scoffed at her for putting so much time and effort into the production. At the end of the day, the dining room was beautifully arranged and the food was wonderful. Most importantly we were able to share this special time with good friends...while the kids played downstairs.