Monday, December 23, 2013

Looking Back.

Sometimes I look back on this blog to see what was going on in my life in 2008, or 2006 or whatever.  I mostly like the pictures or videos that I posted of the this classic.

It is funny to see how the kids have grown up over the past few years and there is a couple of photos that when I see them remind me why I love being a parent...and they both involve punching.

One is from a camping trip and the other is from Christmas break about 5 years ago...I'm not sure who got the last laugh, but for 2 boys that get along really well, these are great images of their youth.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mending Knees and Broken Fingers

Our house is more like a doctor's / physical therapy office lately.  I was sick for about 2 weeks trying to battle Strep.  Brecken is getting over pink eye.  Kolby's nose is like Niagara Falls and I think the dog has a sleeping disorder.

Steph is still recovering from knee surgery and has various therapy contraptions around the house, and now Maxim is the latest to end up at the Dr. office.  He either severely sprained his left pinky or there is a bone chip in it...only an x-ray would tell the difference and the treatment is the same so I opted not to have him get x-rayed.  Beware if you play any form of dodge ball your left pinky is at risk of dislocation or bone damage.  (He and one other boy on the hockey team have left pinkys that are messed up from this.)

Steph is making good recovery, but it was a major surgery.  Turns out Olympic swimmer Dara Torres had the same surgery and is now the spokes model for this surgery.  Watch her short commercial here.....

It has been a very eye opening experience to act as a "single parent" while Steph is laid up...SHE DOES AN AMAZING AMOUNT OF WORK OUTSIDE OF RUNNING LAKEHAUS!  Who knew the laundry doesn't put itself away?  Speaking of which we now have a "jeans get worn 3 days policy at our house".  Cleaning, schedules, picking up kids, etc.  If I didn't have Steph's mom and my mom I don't know how this would have worked.

That being said, any single parent has my utmost respect after this little session of my life.  I am pretty amazed that all of the Christmas presents are under the tree, the seasonal LakeHaus work is mostly caught up and the kids are not missing scheduled events because of my lack of experience with schedule juggling.

The one thing that did fall by the wayside...a family picture...a Christmas card and there are about 87 socks that have been sitting in a laundry basket for 2 weeks.  Other than that everyone is breathing and somewhat walking around normally, with crutches and a brace or without.

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your family time.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Remember When We Didn't Go?

Our daughter has an amazing memory of things that happened, and things that didn't happen.  Last year I promised Kolby that we would go to the Butterfly Ball...the father/daughter dance that our local Catholic school puts on each year. 

She was going to wear a fancy dress and I was going to wear "my coat that isn't for the winter" AKA a suit coat.  We planned and planned for that day, and practiced our dancing, Steph ordered her a flower corsage that looked like a butterfly.  Then came the was snowing and windy as the day began, and the snow piled up and piled up.

About an hour before we needed to leave for town Steph and I thought it would be a bad idea to drive the 15 minutes to town, so I broke the news to Koko and she was OK with the choice.  She mentioned that we had to "cancel" the Butterfly Ball a couple times the next week, and then for the most part it was a non-issue.

UNTIL about a month ago.  Steph had left the corsage in the fridge on a top shelf that Kolby can't even see...but one day she found it and started wearing it around the house.  A couple days after that the guilt trips began.

One evening she snuggled up to me and said, "Daddy, do you remember when we DIDN'T go to the Butterfly Ball?" 

I was like, "yeah???"

She said, "I just remember that we didn't go cause we cancelled it."

That was the first reminder of the missed opportunity, and the rest of October the reminders piled up.  It seems like the only thing we could talk about was missing the Butterfly Ball.  Then yesterday to cap off the shame...she dressed Brecken up in a shirt, tie, and fancy boy vest with jeans and dress shoes and then she put on a fancy dress and her Butterfly Ball corsage and proceeded to tell me that SHE was taking Brecken to the ball this year and she was going to, "practice him on his dancing with a girl."

We got a good kick out of it, but deep down I couldn't help but feel a little bad that I didn't try to drive through the snow that day to dance with my daughter...WE WILL NOT MISS THE BUTTERFLY BALL this year...I will drive through anything to be there with her.

BUT I wonder if she will still be talking about it 6 months after the event if we actually go...sometimes the best memories are of the special events that didn't happen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Black & White

Our oldest son Maxim sees things differently than most people...he sees the world in black and white.  No he is not color blind, I am talking the figurative black and white.  If I tell him it will be 5 minutes before we can do something, that means in 5 exact minutes I had better be doing what I promised him.  If I tell him that my head is foggy....he asks how the fog got into my head.  OK I am stretching that last one.

Just for the record Brecken and Kolby have very immense grey areas...5 minutes might mean 2 hours later to them, and clean up your room has a different meaning to them than it does to Maxim.

The cool thing is, with the black and white in the world you have to have the grey to make it work....and in photography that is true.

I LOVE to shoot in black and is in my opinion the most true form of photography.  In a world of over-saturated, cross processed, grunge overlaid photoshop pictures, the essence of the human face in a black and white is like photographing the soul of a person...or nature...just ask Ansel Adams.

If you like to take pictures don't be afraid to flip that setting to B&W every now and then...get rid of the color and look for the soul of your subject.  Sometimes having no color at all is the most colorful picture you will ever take.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Fear Isn't There Yet.

Do you ever wonder why you don't take chances?

One word...failure.  As adults most of us know what failure brings...pain, surgery, financial loss, embarrassment, etc.  Stepping out of our comfort zone gets harder the older we get.  Every day I try to push myself to new things, taking chances on opening a photography business 5 year ago was one of them.  We were nervous earlier this year when we took the steps toward opening the studio in town.

Would it work, would people continue to come to us.  Well, so far we have been blessed, BEYOND MEASURE!  Yes, we have made mistakes, screwed up orders, angered customers and each other, but the bottom line is we took the chance and have had a successful family business that has given my wife full time employment, and our parents full time custody of our children! (I joke, but they are a HUGE part of what we do at LakeHaus.)

Every time I get a person in front of the camera that isn't sure of what I am wanting them to do...I ask, "Do you trust me?"  The answer is usually "yes", and then I try to make the image work the way I envision it.  Don't tell them, but for the most part I don't know if the look I am going for is going to turn out or not, but 9 times out of 10 it works, really well.

Last night I was reminded of "taking chances" when Brecken was on his dirt bike.  The first 3 times he hit the big jump, he had the throttle pinned and he sailed, I MEAN LAUNCHED...I would guess his head was 10 feet off the ground a couple times.  People were stopping on the road to watch him jump his motorcycle...which added to his desire to fly.

Brecken has no idea what a crash at that height or speed would feel like...but I am sure it would stick with him.  He really has "No Fear".  YET.  I am sure at some point he will come crashing back to earth, in life and on a motorcycle, and I want that to happen.  I want my children to have to pick themselves back up of the ground, out of the water, out of a bad grade at school, or a bad job and put the pieces back together again to start over.  It makes us stronger.

So whatever fear is keeping you from taking chances don't be afraid to grow some "wings" and give it a some point you will succeed and it will look at beautiful as the picture below!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skipper Is Waiting...

Yeah, the blog has suffered one of it's longest dry spells, but I have an excuse...several in fact.  I received a simple email from my Uncle Skipper today...something to the effect of, "you are behind on your blogging."

So I will try to keep Skip entertained a little more regularly now that summer is gone.

Our studio is up and running and we are busier than we have ever been...the move was a great one and I am so proud of the work Stephanie has done to grow a business from nothing to a successful family business.

We have progressed our brand in the past 6 years and I think the work speaks for itself.  Go to our Facebook  page and you push the "like" button.  You will be entered into our Facebook feed and see all the great images we have been making.

On to family matters....the kids all started school on Monday, Maxim is in 5th grade, Brecken is in 2nd and Kolby is in Pre-K (3 days a week).  We celebrated the first day of school by going out on the lake after school was over.  Maxim and Brecken have been progressing with their skills behind the boat and I get less and less time on a rope!  I guess that is what I have been waiting for, so I will enjoy it!

There you go Skip, I completed my assignment, and will continue to blog more consistently again!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

4th of July

The 4th of July around our house is a flurry of activity...completing projects, cleaning everything, fixing everything, cooking anything, eating nothing and then everything, trimming things down and then blowing them up.

This year has been way crazier, with the late start to summer and opening the new studio in town, the last few nights and mornings before the 4th have been packed.  It is amazing how much you can get done in 1.5 hours if you have some motivation.

I even did dishes last night at 1AM.  I sure hope the repair guy gets there today at some point to fix the dishwasher!

We have our typical Cowboy Bob breakfast on the 4th and then the water fun all day and I am sure the Fast boys will almost blow up the West Siiiiide of the lake with an arsenal of fireworks that evening.  A few photo shoots are scheduled and I am sure I will be editing, but for all practical purposes LakeHaus goes on vacation around 4 this afternoon.

So enjoy your 4th of July and stay safe.

Monday, June 17, 2013

11 Rotations Around The Sun.

Happy 11th Birthday to Maxim Thomas!

He got the eyes and lips from his mom, 
The Rock Chalk Jayhawk shirt if from my sister....
But those ears, he got those from me!!!

This boy is an amazing creation and every day he amazes us, makes us laugh.
he cares more than anyone, for everyone,
He loves to read, skate, swim, run and golf.
He can watch ants for hours.
He now beats me in video games, and knows every Transformer by name.
If something has a roof, he will climb on it.
And he can dance like a wild man, if nobody is watching!

Happy Birthday...we love you!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Kolby Capri And Me!

Kolby and I were messing around in the studio last Friday night and Steph got this shot...I love it for one little thing...she loves to stand on my feet like this and I love it when she does it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

MAY I Blog Today???

May is almost over????  Yeah it has been a month like that!

We have some exciting news....LakeHaus Productions now has 2 different sites to serve our customer base.  We just finished up moving into our new studio space located in the oldest building in downtown Huron.  The old masonic temple building is over 100 years old and is going through a very extensive upgrade.  A friend of ours told us about the space and we did a little tour one night and about 2 months later we are now in a 2 suite space.

It is beautiful...old wood floor, super detailed wood work and 16' ceilings.  We will still work out of our home office at the lake and continue to photograph customers at our different spots around Byron, but this just made sense and the business has been blessed to the point where we out grew our current arrangements.

Please feel free to stop in and say "HI" but be sure to call Stephanie first, because we are not keeping set hours at the studio in the summer.

If you want to keep up on our specials and see who our latest "model" is then go to our Facebook page and click on the "Like" is kind of like "Friending" a business.

YOU ALSO CAN SEE PICTURES OF THE STUDIO...IT IS MY WAY OF GETTING YOU TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!  (Even if you are not a Facebook user you can still go to the page)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

She Tells That To ALLLLLL The Boys.

Last night after spending about an hour listening to both of the boys read to me Kolby wanted to cuddle on the couch for a we made a little nest and she got one of her dolls and we all wrapped up to watch the news.

As we were laying there Kolby said, "Daddy, I love you more than the rest of the family...I love you more than mommy does, I love you more than Maxim does, I love you more than Brecken does and I love you more than Kia and Lilly do (our dogs)."

Of course I was smitten and thought, "Ohhh I have finally made it as the Dad Of The Year!  My daughter and I are really connecting!"  I had to say something back, so I took the politically correct route and told her that I loved her too, and that she is my favorite and most special daughter.  (That way in 10 years she can't rub it into the boys and say, "Daddy says I am the favorite!")

Within minutes she fell asleep and I dropped her in her own bed.

This morning I told/bragged that story to Steph about how much Kolby loved me compared to the rest of the family unit.  Steph laughed at me and said, "She says that to me all the time, that is her way of getting what she wants!"

Well, I am a sucker for her and I will pretend that I am the most loved, but it is pretty smart on her part too, to realize that you can use your words to get what you want!  Even if it is a little late night cuddle with your daddy when you should be in your own bed!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Brecken!

This post is for the Breckster...he turned 7 at the exact same time both of his front teeth started to wiggle.  He is energy, passion, rage and love all in the same "somewhat smaller than his classmates" body.  He loves his brother, adores his little sister, cuddles his mother and talks his dad into doing things he probably shouldn't.

Like his birthday present...but then again what kid doesn't want a dirt bike for their birthday.  Well, we finally found a bike for him, it took like 7 months to find the right one and we found it like 10 hours before his birthday and it was only 1 hour away from our house.

The only thing he didn't get for his birthday was good weather....he had to ride on the road in front of our house all weekend, in snow and rain and freezing rain...went through a tank and a half of gas!

Thought I would add this video of Robbie Maddison to the blogt as well, because he will like to watch this one.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Singing Her To Sleep

Kolby use to go to bed really would just put her in bed and she was out.  Then she discovered that she could climb out of bed, and go do what she wanted.

Several times we have found her sleeping on our floor, on the steps by her room, or just playing at 12:30 A.M.  She uses every excuse to not stay in bed...UNLESS...I read/sing her to sleep.  There are a few old John Denver songs that a publishing company turned into children's books...and she loves them.

So I sing/read the books, Country Roads, Grandma's Feather Bed, and we always end the night with Sunshine On My Shoulders.  She usually asks about John Denver because there is a photo of him and his son Zach in the back of the book.

Last night she wanted to know if John Denver wrote the song for a way, I told her, "yeah, he did."  She thought that was cool and then promised she would stay in bed.

10 minutes later she was sleeping with Steph on the couch.  So I hauled her off to bed when I went to sleep. This morning I woke her up by singing, "Sunshine on my Shoulders"...she said, "Daddy, guess what...I stayed in my bed all night."  Well, kind of....and I threw her up on my shoulder and sang again, "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.......

Monday, March 18, 2013

Books With Bad Words In Them.

Maxim, our oldest, has a "good and bad filter" that is set to the highest level of modern society...which I think is a great quality to have.  He sees the world, and good and evil, in black and white...there are no grey areas.  Brecken on the other hand pushes the envelope.

Our world might be different than see at our house:
the "s-word" = Stupid
the "d-word" = Dummy
Hate is a word that must not be uttered
But ironically if you are playing anything, no matter what it is, we will blow you up with a laser, cut you in half with a sword or beat you up with a Chuck Norris-like death chop.  Kolby's American Girl doll has even been threatened with a toy Kolby.

So with that as a background for the principals of how our kids see the world, Maxim has been reading a lot of books that are not assigned to him, and did you know that if you read a book not assigned by your local Christian school teacher, it could have a bad word in it?

Maxim has been reading books like "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" and novels of the sort...and on Friday he picked out a new book called "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda".  On Sunday he got his new book and dropped into his bed to read away...Brecken and I were out in the living room going through his subtraction flash cards (only used his fingers for 8's and 9's, YEAH!) and all of the sudden Maxim came out yelling for Steph.

I assured him that whatever his problem that I could help him and he showed me his new book, and he said, "Dad, I am not sure I should be reading this sort of book."

"Why?" I asked, expecting the worst...I assumed that Steph kind of gave it the once over parental review before she bought it and that it wouldn't be something really bad....but you never know these days.

"Look, right there in the 2nd paragraph!"

I took a look and sure enough, the h-word was right there.  Plain as day.  So I explained to him that I was proud that he was concerned about what he was reading, and told him the author of the book was trying to get a point across to the reader that the boy in the story really "HATED" what his parents were making him do.

Maxim thought that was a good enough answer and then went off to his room to read more...about 20 minutes later I heard him laughing out loud, and I asked what was so funny.  He brought out the book and showed me where the same boy was talking about how fat his teacher was, and that he looked like Jabba The Hutt.

So all those of you wondering...I guess, according to Maxim, it is OK to make fun of people's weight struggles, but not "hate" vegetables.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Under The Covers Gaming.

You know we make a big deal about kids being on electronics too much these days, and I agree that it needs to be limited...but each night when we tuck the boys in, and I slide my hand under their pillows checking for iPads, iPods or the occasional book and a flashlight, I think back to my childhood and remember playing countless hours of LED Football.

You could go forward and backwards and when you scored a touchdown you had to bury the thing under your pillow cause it went off with a bunch of whistles and beeps like a crazy R2-D2 unit.  Knowing what I know now as a parent, I assume my folks knew I was gaming in bed, but if they are in bed they are starting to fall asleep, right?

Fast forward to kids are playing the same exact game, but on the iPad format, and they are still trying to hide it under their pillows at night.  This morning I "caught" Kolby gaming under the covers....she had come into our room around 6:00 am for a little snuggle time and fell back to sleep.

I took a shower and was getting dressed and heard this loud sound from under the covers of "plop, squish and water running" and then I heard it right away after, so between the TV noise and my non-total alertness, I thought she was puking in our bed!

I went to the bed ripped back the covers expecting to see my little princess all hunched over in a pile of vomit, that Steph would have to clean up....INSTEAD I busted her gaming under the covers.  She was a little sweaty and all smiles playing Where's My Water? on my iPhone...I was a proud father.

So if you are feeling nostalgic and want to download your favorite old Matel handheld game...just go to iTunes and type in LED Football, or Hockey or whatever...BUT one little piece of advice, if you do get the football game get this one...It is waaaay better than the original version (the one I had growing up).  You can pass, and go was a much better game play design.  My cousins Brent and Jon had that one...I was always pretty jealous that they could pass the ball and I just had to run, forward...ALL THE TIME.

But then I got this beauty below for my birthday!  1980 was a good year!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


On Sunday after Brecken's wrestling tournament we got to the house with about 2 hours of daylight left, and Steph wanted to take a nap.  SO we took the party outside to snowmobile for a while.  

The boys ran the sled around in front of the house and then we decided to take it to the lake.  We went down on the ice and hooked up one of our tubes that we pull behind the boat, and the crazy ice tubing session began.

We did this in the past, but the boys were pretty little...needless to say we almost went through another tank of snowmobile gas, but to see their red cheeks and snow all over their hats, it was worth it.

The boys liked when I whipped them around in circles and then they would fall off and go rolling across the snow.  I am pretty sure if you asked a parent if they would let their kid come over to the Glanzer Boy's house to play a game of "jump out of the car at 15 to 20 mph" they would say you are crazy...but put the kids on 12" of ice and another 5" of snow on top of that and you have a game of "stuntman" that any kid wants to play.

It is amazing how much fun you can have when grandmas and moms are not around!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Blizzard Named Kolby - ADDED A FEW MORE NAMES -

So in the whirlwind of weather we had in the last couple days I did not get the chance to blog about a special little girl's birthday that was on Monday...we actually started singing and celebrating her birthday early on Sunday, so it was like a 48 hour affair.

For her birthday she got what every little girl on the prairie wants... three huge snow piles and a day off from preschool to play outside ALL DAY!

Kolby Capri is now 4, and she is in charge of the house.  Her brothers know she rules the roost and her dad is smitten by every little thing she does....kind of like the old Sting song.  "EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES IS MAGIC...".

Since she is our baby Steph and I often say, "could you imagine life without Kolby?".  Well, we can't and most people that meet her fall in love with her right away as well.  Her awesome personality is probably the reason she has a ton of nicknames.   So I thought I would list them and who is responsible for calling her by that name.

KoKo - Steph and I came up with that one right away
Kobilicious - Grandpa Roger's name for her
Kobo - Maxim calls her this
Capriski - another variation I made on her middle name
Peanut - Steph calls every child that is little this name.
Peanut Butter - Steph again just a more formal name of Peanut
Kid Capri - I use this one once in a is also the name of a rapper from the '80s
KG - I like the Celtics so every once in a while I give her the Kevin Garnett
Capri - if I call her this in public nobody knows who I am talking to
Bug - Steph calls her this when she wants her to do something


Meatball - Her Uncle Brad started this one...and she loves it.
Beaner Buns - Another one of Stephs
KoKo Bean - Steph
Bean Dip - Steph (I am starting to wonder if Steph ever calls her Kolby???)

You might notice that Brecken doesn't have a nickname for Kolby...usually when he says her name it is really LOUD and if you would spell it would look like this.


They play so well gentle as a polar bear plays with a baby seal.

Happy Birthday, KOKO!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stephanie's Bday Blog

So like early on in our marriage I missed Steph's birthday, truthfully I was a day late...for some reason I got it in my head that the 31st was her birthday and it has never fully gone away.  I still have to think for a second and then I come up with the Jan. 30th date.

This morning was another one of those times I forgot to tell her happy birthday...I have been messing around with fevers over the last couple of days and this morning I woke up pretty out of it.  I basically just existed for the first hour I was awake.  Then about a mile out of town, it dawned on me...TODAY IS THE 30th!

We called Steph and sang her an off-key version of the song and her reply was, "wow, you really know how to make a girl feel special."  So we will be making up for it tonight.

Steph is such a blessing to life would be a wreck, LakeHaus Productions wouldn't exist, and the kids would be sick of eating cheese tacos and frozen pizza.

So if you see Steph today or tomorrow go ahead and wish her happy birthday...we celebrate her birth on both days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Look Out Wrestling World.

To answer your first question...NO, I wouldn't let Kolby wrestle!  At least not until she turns 4.  She came up from playing in the basement and obviously had gone through the laundry for some reason and found Brecken's singlet.  She put it on and came upstairs to show her mom.

This girls makes life interesting.
Her Vital Stats
Wrestling Name:  Koko Capri
Hails From:  Parts Unknown
Weight: 28.4lbs...after second breakfast
Height:  Not big enough to ride the big kid rides at the fair, and STILL MAD ABOUT IT
Age: 3 years
Wrestling Style: Anything to get the job done on the 2 brothers tag team (Has been known to throw good punches)
Finishing Move:  Wet Willie to the ear, and then uses her beautiful eyes that hypnotize opponents and then they do what she wants.
Motto in life:  If mom and dad don't work out for me, I am moving in with my Grandmas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do You Run Or Walk?

This morning when I dropped the boys off for school at 8:13 a.m., (2 minutes to spare before they usually go inside) and the students that were already at the school were lined up and ready to go in for class.  This meant that the boys wouldn't get to play outside before they started the day.  Not a big deal because it was minus 4 outside, but they usually get 5 or 10 minutes to mess around outside before they go in.

Today, they got out of the car and got in line...but it was their response to the fact that their classmates were already in line that made me laugh. 

Maxim jumped out of the car, single strapped his backpack and in a panic said, "Brecken, come on we have to go now....we are going to be late!"  He slammed the door and sprinted to his line. 

Brecken, on the other hand, slid out of his seat, flung his backpack on double strap and closed the door...then sauntered in the general direction of the school and the line of students that awaited him.  They both got to school on time and didn't hold up anyone's progress.

It was interesting watching Stephanie's personality and my personality come through in our children while they were in a "demanding" situation.  I'll let you guess which of our kids takes after which of their parents in this case, but I called Steph right away and we got a good laugh.

I will give Brecken a free pass on why he might have been a little more laid back today than usual....he played 3 hockey games and had 5 wrestling matches yesterday.  I probably wouldn't be too excited about running to a line the morning after a day like that either.