Virginia FEW Conference 2018

Hello All!

Here we are in the van, nearly to New York! Annabelle’s at the wheel while Mom gets some rest. To cut the boredom, Skit (Karen) and Omi (Naomi) are attempting to write a report of this weekend’s trip!👩‍💻💻

So…this weekend was Family Encouragement Weekend in Virginia! 😄

Early Friday morning we girls and Mom finished packing the van and headed out!

A quick stop for chocolate milk and gasoline. Wait…those don’t go together very well!!! 😝

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Parfitt Family News…

Well, hello, y’all!

It’s been much too long since I had the chance to post anything, but I haven’t found any time for such an undertaking! But at last, I have squeaked in some time to dust off my photos!

Trevor, my third-oldest brother, got married in May. From left to right…

Hannah, Gideon, Elliott, Grandma Karen, me (Naomi), Mom, Trevor, Katie, Karen, Dylan, Emily, Lenny, Reese, Annabelle

And my second-oldest brother, Elliott, passed away suddenly a week later from heart failure. Then two days later, Rachel Jane Parfitt was born. Sadly, Elliott never got to meet his daughter.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support during this difficult time! The Lord has abundantly blessed us beyond measure, and the church families around us have held up our hands!

Before Hannah left with her family for Washington State, I was able to get some portraits of my adorable nephew, Gideon!

Mabel was sure she was going to be part of this photo shoot!😌

Perfect Canon advertisement!😉

Annabelle and Gideon

Mom and Rachel

A full-fledged phone conversation between Karen and Gideon…😉

Reese and Gideon

Gideon and me

We had so much fun with our niece and nephew while they were here!

Hannah and her little family

 

Thank you all for the encouraging comments! They remind me to keep posting!😂🤭

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” ~Psalm 37:5

Until next time,

Pleasant Photography

by Naomi

 

Surprise Guests!!!😁

Mom burst into our room on Thursday morning and said, “Girls, I have really exciting good news!” I couldn’t think of what it would be and Mom announced, “James and Jonathan Staddon are going to come this evening and stay the night!” We bounded out of bed and soon our day of cleaning began!😅

At last, around 7:40 P.M. Mom said she saw them walking to the front door! We greeted them in the front entry and caught up a bit. Then we scouted around out front for good places for Reese’s Bible graduation picture.

While we did that, Jonathan took his drone up and got some great videos of the house and sunset!

Them we got some pictures of the pink sunset.

Once the sun was set, we trooped to the garage where Reese started grilling chicken.

We had a hilarious time and Jonathan made some funny videos.

Eating supper…well, actually just before we ate supper!

After supper we had a lively game of Bible Taboo!!!😂

It looks like James is about to buzz Jonathan!😳

Don’t die, Reese!!!

Once we were all worn out from laughing, we decided we must have burned a few calories and were ready for ice cream!

Reese and Jonathan getting a quick selfie…🤭🤫

 

When we were done with dessert, James showed me how to make a professional watermark using Photoshop and Lightroom. It looks like we are all having a blast…I think some of that was for the camera!🤔😁

I’m not miserable; just concentrating!😂

We got to bed after 12:30 in the morning!

The next morning Jonathan took his drone up again and got some morning shots of the property and the house. Then we had a relaxed breakfast of cereal and went to the living room to sing a couple of songs. I really enjoyed the singing.

Jonathan showed us a few things about Premier Pro which we were very thankful to learn!

All too soon they had to pack up and say good bye.

We got a quick picture…

After a bit more chatting, they left.

We were very thankful for the fun time we had with James and Jonathan on their quick surprise visit!😄

 

~See you next time with Pleasant Photography

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Trip–Day 4

Day 4, August 21

NOTE: To view the pictures full size in full quality, click on each picture to enlarge. They are now linked to the original files. Some are phone pictures, so of course they aren’t top quality anyway! Also, you can scroll through them this way!😁

When my alarm woke me, the first thing I thought was, “Today is the day of the total solar eclipse!” We had been planning and preparing for it for months, and today was the day! We ate a good breakfast and some people left to go pass out tracts in town where the crowds were. James, Jessica, and I went out on the Neelys’ front lawn and James helped us go over the settings and everything we needed to know for photographing the sun and the eclipse. It was so hot!😅 I used our Canon 80D with a 112-480mm lens.

 

It was hard to imagine that the great big, hot sun up there was going to get covered up in a few hours! Amazing! Do we look hot or what!!??

Here’s the sun as I found it on that fine August day…notice 5 or 6 sunspots.

A cloud in front of the sun

We helped gather up food and got our gear ready. Then we hiked up the road to an area behind the Neelys’ house where we would view the eclipse.  Neighbors of the Neelys started arriving and the team that had been out tracting got back. Soon they were grilling and getting the food ready.

James explaining the solar filter.

Mrs. Neely and some others made fancy little plate holders for the eye protectors we had to wear to look at the sun. They cut out two holes for the eye part of the glasses to match up to, and a triangle for your nose to stick out. You just glue the glasses to the plate and you’re good to go! They were pretty creative!

I had my tripod and camera set up with Jessica’s and James’s.

We popped our solar filters on and soon we were ready! I ran back to the house for something and soon I heard someone exclaim, “It’s starting!” Susannah and I ran up the hill as fast as we could and I started getting pictures. It took a long time for the sun to get covered! After the initial excitement was over, people started eating. I got food, but I was so busy monitoring my camera that I really didn’t eat anything until after the eclipse was done! 

Notice the plates of food by our tripods!😅

Mom was videoing, too. She also held an umbrella to help keep me from getting burned.

Mom, Jessica, and me

Every few minutes I would snap a picture. James and Jessica were also getting pictures, and Mr. Neely and Jonathan had their drones going.

The more the sun got covered, the cooler it got. And soon the lighting was so strange. It wasn’t like a sunset at all, in that the sun was still over head the whole time, and the shadows and rays were like normal afternoon rays.

Here are a few pictures of the progress…

Are you sure that isn’t just the moon?! Oh, wait! The moon has craters, not sunspots!

 

As it got closer to the time of totality everyone sort of gathered around the cameras. All of a sudden it got eerily dark and I heard exclamations of, “Wow!!” “Look at that!” “It’s all black!” Soon I heard James say, “Filters off, F/22, and bracket!” I quickly slid off my filter and soon I was snapping away.

TOTALITY!!! If you look carefully, you can see a planet about an inch or so from the sun!

Then I looked up. I had almost forgotten to look at it in person! Wow!  What do you say to describe the feeling? There is no sun; just what looks like a black hole in the sky with light surrounding it.

It wasn’t totally dark; there was light along the horizon. And there was a strange glow in the air like I’ve never experienced before!!! Red flame curled away from the sun as solar flares came off of it.This picture is underexposed, but you can see flames coming from the sun!!!

 

At one point I accidentally did a 30-second exposure and this is what I got!!!😂 Unique you could say? And the planet is a line, now!

All too soon James said, “Filters back on! F/22,” I got my filter back on after a little trouble and I barely got to capture the diamond ring after re-focusing. It was just completely amazing!

It got light again so quickly and the moon moved away again. From there it was just like the beginning of a solar eclipse backwards! 😀 And it got hotter, too. I continued to take pictures until the end, and then I shut off the camera, and went to eat and join a game of Signals in the shade. 

I think I felt a little more disappointed than I cared to admit that I didn’t think my diamond ring pictures didn’t come out right. I wouldn’t know for sure until I saw them on computer. I was afraid they were all blurry. I was thankful that they weren’t as bad as I thought in the beginning. I was able to use only one battery for the entire eclipse. I even had wifi on in my camera the whole time, and that drinks battery like nothing else! The reason I had wifi on, was because I had it hooked up to my mom’s iPhone in the Canon app. From her phone I could adjust all my settings and snap each shot from the phone itself, cutting down on tons of camera shake!  That was really a blessing. I don’t think that I would have done half as good a job if I hadn’t been able to quickly and smoothly change my settings for bracketing each shot. And I’m really thankful that Mom let me use her expensive equipment; camera, lens, phone, solar filter, and phone! 😊 And I would have never turned out with the pictures that I did, had it not been for James helping Jessica and me  know exactly what settings we should bracket off of, and all the white balance and everything! That was a real blessing! 

Some of the guys were overviewing some pictures or videos I think, which produced some very hilarious faces!🤣 Notice the plate with solar glasses that Daniel is holding. That is what the finished product looks like.

We all helped clean up and all the neighbors and friends left. We all were hot and tired and we kind of drooped back at the house. 😞

Poor Mom was so hot!

Some people took naps, and I think I watched James edit pictures on his computer to see if I could learn some more about photography! We played a few games and we had supper. What a great time we had singing around the table and sharing our favorite part of the day. Mom, Reese, Annabelle, Karen, and I went out and got the van travel-ready. Finally everything was neatly in the back once more, and we went in. I got to play the pedal harp one last time. 😊 We girls played Skip-Bo in the living room until about 1:00 in the morning! So we resigned and went to bed.

~Naomi

by Pleasant Photography 

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Trip-Day 3

Day 3, August 20

On Sunday morning we got up bright and early. Well, at least I did! I read my Bible while I waited for everyone to get up. People’s alarms were going off, but no one was getting up!😌 At last we all were up and running! We all helped make breakfast in the kitchen downstairs.

We ate and fellowshipped until time to leave for church.

We left and drove to church, about 20 minutes away. We enjoyed the good service and fellowship. We got back to the Neelys’ and helped get lunch ready. Mr., Daniel, and Hannah Wilkes were there. They would be staying at the Neelys’ for the eclipse as well. The lunch was so good! All we girls were discussing what to do for the afternoon. Some people took naps, and Victoria, Annabelle, Lauren, and I played harps.

I had always wanted to play a pedal harp, and that was the first time ever! (We have a lever harp.) What a blast we had! Victoria and I played the pedal harps and Annabelle and Lauren played the lever harps. That was one of my highlights of the trip!!! It was so nice of them to let us!

We then got this idea that we could get everyone together to play instruments!  The girls got up from their naps and we got enough violins together.  They even brought a pedal harp down to the living room to join the growing orchestra! Reese and Annabelle played flute; Jessica played viola; Daniel played cello; Victoria, Susannah, Samuel, Karen, Hannah, and I played violin; and Lauren played harp. Then Lauren and Victoria switched harp and violin, and then I switched with Victoria for harp. We played for the rest of the afternoon. It was such a blessing to be able to use our instruments for God’s glory!

 

 

At last we stopped. I don’t usually play harp for hours, so my fingers were getting sore!😕 We ate a good supper and the work began. You should have seen Mom, Mrs. Neely, James, Jessica, and Daniel trying to make solar filters for James’s, Jessica’s, and my camera lenses!

Our solar eclipse film…

Daniel Wilkes and James Staddon were making it somewhat fun!!

I was helping at first, but I soon got out of the way and let the “professionals” finish! In fact, they were anything but that! You don’t have solar eclipses of the sun every week! Jonathan was taking some videos and I took pictures. Very interesting, indeed. Except for the fact that I got very bored!!!😜😂 So Lauren and I played the piano!  Mr. Neely, Mr. Wilkes, and Reese were writing a tract to pass out about the eclipse. We also got a Dutch Blitz game going. After we tired of that, we played Skip-Bo. It got so late that we finally retreated to bed.

 

Reporting for the Parfitts,

Naomi

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Trip-Day 2

August 19, 2017

At 5:30 the next morning, my alarm woke me with a start. I got up and started getting ready for the day. It was Reese’s 21st birthday!

One of the first things I did was get the camera battery and charger and get them put in the camera bag. I got to it before Annabelle’s phone alarm went off!😉 At last some people made their way to the living room with their stuff. We warmed up and ate our pre-made breakfast sandwiches that Karen and I had made the night before we left.

At Aunt Fran’s house in the morning.

Reese on a walk down the street.

Before….

 

….I played around with it in Lightroom!!!

We got going after saying good-bye to Aunt Fran.

This was the sunrise as we drove.

First we stopped for gas. I read my Bible before drifting off for a nap. I had gotten up an hour early! From Ohio we drove on through Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

 

But wait. It’s not that easy! It took us FOREVER to get through Ohio! Anyone who has driven through it knows it takes way too long. When we traveled when I was younger, I would ask, “Are we out of Ohio yet?” Always, except for the last time, the answer would be “No.” Now I just say, “We’re still in Ohio, right?”

When we were nearing the Staddons’ house in West Virginia, I stopped reading and looked around the town. We drove until we got to Buffalo Calf Road. That was the Staddons’ road!

 

We had only met James Staddon before and that was when he stayed at our house about 8 years ago! But we never met the others except on Skype many years ago. Needless to say we were nervous and excited! We drove on Buffalo Calf road for the longest time. It is a very narrow one-lane road with a ton of drop-offs, lots of curves, and more curves. It was different from the roads I’m used to in New York, but it was beautiful.

We pulled in at the Staddons’ house around 10:00 A.M. Faithful, their dog, came out to greet us.

 

David got her and put her into a side building. We were glad to get out and stretch. We met Mr. Staddon, Donald, Esther, Jonathan, and David. Then James and Jonathan loaded their stuff into the van while we talked with Esther and drank some cool water. She took us for a walk down their beautiful long lane to get all the kinks out of our legs! Faithful took a water bottle out of my hand and Jonathan tried to get it back from her for the longest time! We didn’t know him really at all, then, and I was feeling bad. But then he finally got it! 😌 When we got back, they were ready to take off. After a prayer, we all piled into the van.

Esther waving good-bye.

For the first two hours, James drove.

Our chauffeur
Reese and Jonathan
And the girls waaaay in the back.

We stopped at a McDonalds and got $1 ice cream cones. 🍦It was a really hot day, after al!😁😋 After we all ate our cones under a tree and chatted, we girls got bread, cheese, lunch meat, and mayonnaise from the cooler that was now covered with stuff in the back of the van. At last we found everything, including a knife to spread mayonnaise with. We made sandwiches and passed them out as we drove.

An electronic billboard had a count down for the eclipse.

After another while, we stopped at the New River Gorge Bridge spanning the New River. We all piled out and, of course, James and I grabbed our cameras. We walked on a board walk to a place where we could view it.

It was massive and very impressive.

We went to another lookout where we could see down over the bridge.

This is the view from that look out.

We then headed to the building and found Jonathan. We got some pictures of the river from an outside porch out back, before heading back to the van to continue on our way.

We continued to travel all afternoon. We went through Tennessee and got to North Carolina. James and I compared cameras and he taught me a ton of valuable photography knowledge! (He’s a professional photographer and a great photography teacher. If you ever want some good training or inspiration and encouragement in photography, go to lenspiration.com!!!)  I learned a lot on the trip, even though at the time I was having a hard time digesting it all! We sang and told stories and they told us the names and ages of the Neelys. And, of course, we slept!

A huge tunnel through a mountain.

 

When we came out, we were in Virginia!

We stopped to switch drivers every 2 hours. Once, we switched at a place that was a reststop/butterfly observatory. It was pretty.

The last switch was at a gas station. James was driving and somehow we got into a neighborhood that was all up or down with lots of curves. We finally found our way out!😄 Soon it got dark and we were on another curvy road. It was hard to tell exactly where the next curve was going to be!

Finally we pulled in at the Neelys’ house. We got out and walked up the walk to the door. We Parfitts had never seen these people, let alone met them!  Mr. Neely came to to the door and when he saw who it was he said, “Oh, it’s you,” and closed the door.😄 After a bit, he opened it again and let us in!😂 We met them all in the kitchen while we had a snack. The girls all looked so alike at first, I was having trouble remembering the differences! At last we all went out and got all our stuff from the van. After we all had our stuff, we went to bed.

 

Pleasant Photography

by Naomi Parfitt

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Trip

Hello everyone!

We went to North Carolina back in August for the Total Solar Eclipse!

So I’ll try to write about it now, even though it’s been a few months since it happened.

Day 1, August 18

On Friday we girls packed our last-day things into our garment bags and all. Reese was at work that day, because we planned to leave in the evening. Mom had to go trade vans down at our other house in Geneseo with some missionaries who were borrowing our van and staying at our house.  After lunch we started packing stuff into the van. I had to go out with the tractor and mow a strip of the front yard that didn’t get mowed earlier that week because of a hornets’ nest that had been in a tree. (Annabelle found the nest the hard way and got stung.😟😢 ) So when I was done, I helped get the last few things gathered up and packed into the van. At last we were on our way!😄

It was quite a warm day and we had the air-conditioning going as we drove to where Reese works. (He works at Lakeshore Metal for the Amish, driving truck and making trim.) We got there after 3:00 P.M., the time we had tried to arrive. They were having their afternoon break and we got to meet everyone. About 45 minutes later, Reese got in the truck and we drove to a place where they were going to fix our truck for us while we were gone. Well, they were supposed to fix it…Anyway, we finally left and we got on the interstate! Now we were really traveling!☺

We drove for several hours. I read a book while we drove. We got to Pennsylvania!

For supper we stopped at the best place to stop for food while traveling: Chick-fil-A!

 

We didn’t have it in NY yet so it was a treat. After we were done eating, we got a move on. We got to Ohio after it was dark and pulled in at my mom’s aunt’s place around 9:30 P.M. After greeting her we got our things from the van that we would need for the night and got ready for bed. I plugged in the camera battery and set a reminder on Annabelle’s phone to get it in the morning! Annabelle and I slept in the living room.