Thursday, July 30, 2009


My son has asthma. Not the "I get a little winded type". The, "I am struggling to breathe, I heave and wheeze" type. It's not always apparent. When he runs he gets winded pretty fast and that's the most you see of it, until he catches any sort of respitory infection. A runny nose means get out the nebulizer and mask...hook up the drugs and hope you catch it before he is heaving for breath.

We have gotten pretty good at getting on top of things, catching him before it gets bad and keeping a nice stock of many drugs on hand to deal with any occurance. (I can now talk about ipatroprium, xenopenoix, pulmicort and prednisone like a professional...I can't spell them though.) However, with the CRAZY heat we have been having (90 degrees last night at 10pm in our house), the air quality has gotten so bad and Gavin's brother has a cough and with that...Gavin just got hit. Coughing uncontrollably, unable to catch a breathe and crazy sweaty.

Last night, he was in a world of hurt. We had some friends over and he wanted to play outside, but the air is so poor and he wanted to be active, so we took him in to give him medicine (which he promptly gagged and threw really does taste bad). Then we had to bathe him and get him all settled with a movie. He kept wanting to come out and see what's going on, so his dad finally had to go in and sit with him. We let him come out to have dessert, but then of course he wanted to play again. So, I went in with him for a bit to watch Cars, then snuck back out to our guests. Finally he went to bed, we had to wake him at 1am to nebulize again. He got sick again and threw we showered him and tried to get him back to sleep. It was just rough!

I am sure the his asthma specialist is irritated with me by now. I've called three times since this last bout, just making sure he doesn't need to come in. We have spent too much on emergency room visits and try to avoid them at all costs now. The last time I called about air quality. I never thought I would be a person who cares, but here I am wondering, "Does it really affect his breathing? Am I supposed to keep the windows shut and my kid in doors?" The answer is "Yes". WHAT! You want me to shut my windows at night in 100 degree weather with two kids under three and one mini fan! Apparently overheating outweighs air quality, because she said at night I should probably open the window for the kids, but I think she seriously considered telling me no.

I am getting frustrated as a mom, trying to find the balance between letting his condition control his life and our families lives, but also taking care of his life. Obviously, his health comes first, but there are times I want to let him be a little boy and run around the backyard and I this going to make him worse? His friends are over and we have to sequester him away. Do I send the friends home or just realize, this is part of what Gavin has to do and make him watch a movie alone? We are invited to a friends and Gavin seems to be doing I let him go play with his buddy that he has been waiting to see all week, or tell him no and put him in front of the TV again. Do I open the window at night so he and his brother aren't sweaty and miserable or do I let them suffer for "quality air"? (I can't believe the stuffy inside air is considered the "quality" stuff.)

It's just been a bit much and I want to make the right choices! Gavin doesn't understand what's going on....he can barely breathe and he wants to play his favorite game "Jump Jump Run Run" (you can guess what that entails). I have to say "No" time and time again. It gets old...for him and me. I feel like the meanest mom in the world and he just gets so disappointed.

They say he could outgrow it. I continue to pray he will. I also pray that we will learn what lesson God has for us in all of this. Above all, I pray for wisdom to be the mom Gavin needs me to be and make the choices that are best for him and our family. I'd like to thank God too, for a little boy who does really well with all he deals with and that he isn't having to deal with anything more!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My husband loves adventure...big or little, he loves it. I love the idea of it, but the reality is, I am a planner and adventure usually has more spontenaity and unplanned events than I care to embrace. However, I decided I need to try and embrace it a little more for the family sake.

Yesterday, we had our first (of what we hope to be many) Ryan family adventure days. A day where we took off from the house as a family and didn't come back until bedtime. At first we were going to head up to LEavenworth, but with the heat in the 100s up there and nowhere to nap, we decided instead to head down to Tacoma's Point Defiance and visit our friend's the Rorems.

Out we headed...then back to the house for Mom's phone. Out we headed again...almost to the freeway and then back home again for another item. Out once again...and onto the interstate. We made decent time and fielded way more questions from the backseat than desired. Finally we told Gavin we were going to see a train, hoping that would at least keep him from the "Where we going?" question. But that just started an endless round of "I don't see it mom. Where's train?"

Finally, to the Park. Point Defiance is awesome! It's on a spit and has a five mile loop around the outside. It has a zoo and aquarium (which we don't really feel the need to see, because we go up in Seattle enough...I am pretty sure my kids won't know the difference in elephants and sharks). It also has lots of gardens in the middle. On the outside is a Marina, a big beach area, parks with play structures and picnic tables, a historical museum with people who act out the old days (like bread making, costumes, and what not) and a logging museum with train rides. I am sure there is much we drove the loop I was so excited to visit the places and let the kids play! Get me out of this car!!!

Our family headed straight to the logging museum for the train. The logging museum happened to be at the end of the loop, but we made it. Out we went, to find the train (a kinda rickity old flat with wooden slats on the side and benches in the middle attached to an engine) that doesn't leave for 30 minutes. That's fine, we totally wanted to take our 1 &2 year old on a tour of the logging museum...I'm sure they'll love it (sarcasm intended). About 5 minutes before the train we go to buy tickets, they only take cash. Guess what, you have to leave the park to get cash.

We load the kids up and get out to the Cheveron. I am buying to alligator water bottles for the kids when the guy informs me, we don't do cash back. GREAT...and now I own two alligator waterbottles. On the way out the door he thinks to mention...oh, we do have an atm. Okay, back into the Cheveron to pay $2.50 to get cash and then back to the park and around the loop again. We make it to the logging museum just in time to see the train pull out with one family on it. PERFECT. At least I have some alligator water bottles to occupy our children for the next 30 minutes.

To be honest the kids did awesome with all the driving and waiting and driving and waiting...not to mention the heat was a bit ridiculous. Finally the train is pulling in and it pulls the train whistle/horn thing 4 times. Gavin goes ballistic with sobbing and hands over his ears and he doesn't even want to be near the train. Finally, we convince him the horn is done and we can get on. We get on and wait. And wait and wait. We are looking around and NO ONE is coming to get on this train. No cars are passing by and if they are, they are not slowing down to see the logging museum. But still we wait.

As the engineer goes to pull the horn again, Gavin starts to cry (hasn't he watched enough Thomas to know trains blow horns?). But alas, they have ear mufflers for him and the crying is stopped. (Yes, my train infatuated son had to wear ear mufflers on the train...good grief). We can go. Three times around the little forest area. We're done.

We get off only to find it's time to go to our friend's house and put the kids down for naps. No gardens, no slides, no beach. Apparently they are going to have to wait for another Ryan family adventure day. I think may possibley be the only family on a goregeous sunny day to visit only the logging museum at that park. Did I mention I tend to shirk adventure because things never seem to go as planned?

On a thankful note:

Our kids behaved marvelously. We had a good time. It was fun to see our friends. I got Starbucks. And I think God ushered me into our adventure days with a little reminder, that sometimes even unplanned plans run amuck...and that's okay. Even kinda funny...NOW.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nothing Great

Lately I have had a restlessness that I can't quite pin. I think it comes from not quite knowing what to do with myself, but also feeling like I don't have the time to do anything more! Between the laundry, the playtime, the errands, the diapers, the dishes, etc...I realized there is little time to do something that feels significant.
The other day, I plugged in a CD from a band called Late Tuesday. One of my best friends from college (oh how I miss and adore you Dana Little) was in the band, wrote and sang this song.

"The same old stuff i have to do
over and over and over again each day it seems
nothing great to show off my ability and my worth
show me my purpose in the midst of this routine

because i'm trying to understand why i am here at all.
with so many guesses and too many simple answers.
could it be that life is not what i think at all
it's not the big things but the ordinary in between.
and maybe this is not the time to be waiting for
any better reason to be glad that i'm alive at all
so help me take each day each simple thing that i must do
to bring glory to You

and i could search out a lot of ways to keep me doing things
in attempt to make my mark
but then maybe i'd miss the mark of Your desire for me.
so i will trust in You and in everything i do
do it as for You

and i am learning to understnad why i am here at all.
there's no need for guesses when You are the simple answer
and You show me that life is not what i think at all
it's not the big things but the ordinary in between
and maybe this is not the time to be waiting for
any better reason to be glad that i'm alive at all
so help me take each day each simple thing that i must do
to bring glory to You

and maybe this is not the time to be waiting for any better reason
to be glad that we're alive at all
and we can take each thing, each simple thing that we must do
to bring glory to You."

It so spoke to my heart. NOT to say that my kids are not reason enough to do things...they are. But sometimes through the endless loads of laundry and the amazing amounts of bite sized food I cut, I question..."Am I really doing this again?." Or the millionth time I have wiped snot, spilt milk, berries, or some unknown substance off of a face, a shoulder, the floor or my furniture, I wonder..."Shouldn't I be doing something more productive right now?"
This song reminded me...No. I should be doing what I am doing and doing it to glorify God. The clothes I am folding are providing for God's most precious gift. Maybe wiping snot is nothing great...but the snot I am wiping is coming from someone who has God given potential to be very great! It's not the routine jobs I do everyday that are great, it's who I do them for...God and my family.
A thank you to Dana. Who probably at the time she wrote this, just out of college, was questioning completely different aspects of her life. But look at how great that turned out! Her music and her gift encouraged and spoke to a stay at home mom a decade later!!! How cool!!! Her routine, her work, glorifying the Lord...truly something great and a great encouragement to me. Dana, you continue to bless me and Him by all you do!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Must, Should, Want

Projects. There are so many things, as a "stay at home" mom that I feel I must do, should do, or want to do. These are interesting catagories and I have noticed the items beneath them jumping from catagory to catagory on a fairly regular basis.

Most must dos are relatively obvious:
-feed the kids
-clothe the kids
-bathe the kids (in the summer I will say this is falling into more of a "should")
-take them to doctors appointments
-change diapers (again, in the summer this sometimes falls into a should...or a "did i do" catagory, as we are so busy)
-keep the house relatively clean (to most this may be considered a should, but for me, it's a must to function)

Should do: there are a lot more of these, most are items that sound like what a good mom would do, but is just not my forte. You can see there are excuse to avoid the "shoulds".
-Stimulate their little brains (how?..I am not sure)
-Create that scrapbook that was given to me when they were each born (I did the first year for each of them and I think that's pretty darn good)
-Spend one on one time with each of them (This I manage pretty well)
-Potty train Gavin (quickly moving to the must do catagory)
-Organize and eliminate toys (I also want to do this...but it's definately more of a should)
-Craft projects with the kids (so takes a lot to motivate me in this area)
-Make use of the memberships we have to the zoo and the museum (if anyone has spent time with Brayden they will understand why taking him anywhere is a major workout and a true test of beingon alert at all times)
-Making more homemade snacks (blueberry scones this morning...some of my friends would fall over dead if they knew...I like to cook & bake, but with the three boys around this morning, I proved again to myself why I prefer to buy)
-Take them to the dentist (I am not sure why the dentist is a "should" it just doesn't rank too high with me yet...considering my mouth cost over $20,000 it probably should be a must)
-Make creative meals and find ways to save money on groceries (every now and then, but man this can be time consuming)
-There are many more, but the list already makes me a tad depressed

Wants: These are things you either are doing or really want to, but just haven't made happen yet. Sometimes, quite close to a "should", but you aren't avoiding them becuase they are daunting or laborious, just because time and life sometimes get in the way!
-Daily Bible times (no excuses...I just haven't found a way to make Brayden sit)
-Working on recognizing letters and numbers with Gavin (so far, everything is an O or an E)
-Spend more time sewing (yes, I have taken up sewing and I like it...I am not ashamed)
-Go for more walks (I like the's getting it together and out the door that never seems to happen)
-Dance more (we actually do this a lot and my kids know it and love it, but more never hurt anyone)
-Write more thank yous and notes to those important to us
-Clean and organize the pit we call the "office" (i need at least a week without the kids for this)
-Get on top of and organize the things I have for the two areas I serve at church (also a must and should)
-Take care of the weeds in my garden and bring some flowers in the house
-Have friends over for dinner more often at the last minute
-Work on my own quiet times with the Lord (Definately a must and should as well)

It's a lot. Sometimes, I look at it and laugh....baking, sewing, and cooking....Sounds like a Martha wannabe. Mind you, if I had her staff of thousands, there wouldn't even be lists...I'd be done. Anyway...sometimes these items are moving back and forth from catagory to catagory daily. Must, should and wants can be hard for me to prioritize and balance. I'll measure myself against other moms who have the gift of baking or teaching and wonder why the scones aren't on the table more and my kid isn't spelling already.
I need to remind myself daily that God made me a certain way, to do the work he has for me. There are things I will always be good at and other things that are just always going to seem like a chore to me. I don't think I am ever going to enjoy meal planning and corresponding grocery lists...the end product I enjoy for sure! The process, not so much. To some other friends, it is so natural, they don't even have to pull out cookbooks or look in the cupboard to see if they have celery seed on hand (usless overpriced spice!). On the other hand, my my carpet is always vaacuumed and my kids can dance like nobody's business! And for today, I am okay with that.

"May the God of peace...equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" Hebrews 13:20-21

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A small revelation

This weekend I have only Brayden with me. Shawn took Gavin camping as of 2:45 yesterday and I was left alone with my youngest. So far, we have gone on a major Costco shopping trip, run errands to the fabric store and to pick up Thai food, had cousin Ashton and Auntie B spend the night (so Auntie B could get some sleep and I could help with the night feedings), showered (this is added, because as moms counts as an activity), gone to the grocery store, done two loads of laundry and taken care of all the dirty dishes. It's only 9:oo am. Planned for the rest of the day: a trip to visit our friend where she is selling her new line of baby products, Brayden's first big boy haircut (which I am super bummed that daddy took the camera) and maybe a trip out to visit Mimi.

Oh, how quickly we forget all that can be accomplished when only one child is in tow. Part of me wants to skip going to Mimi's house and work on the "projects" I feel piling up around me. However, I am starting to get a bit of a guilt complex that Brayden's and my date weekend will turn into a carseat bonanza! In order to counter this, I have spent some time with Brayden reading (which he doesn't actually enjoy too much) and practicing his dance moves (which he enjoys way too much....usually to the point of falling down).

It is strange to go back to having just a one year old around. The one on one time, the focused attention, having time to try and teach and work on skills. I love it! The coolest part is, I always thought I would feel bad that Brayden didn't really get to have any time with just his parents but this weekend I realized I don't. Not only is he getting some individual time in here and there...when he gets it, I can tell he misses his brother. He searches the house for him and yells "Bra-ba" (which in my opinion means brother, but probably doesn't). I never considered that Gavin may be the one who missed out in not having a sibling in that first year. Hmmm...interesting.'s been a good weekend so far. Brayden has been in true form his flirty, giggly, fabulously all boy, go go go self and I have had a freeing revelation that his life isn't missing anything. It's just really full of people who love him and that's good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All grows up!

Gavin started "Mini camp" yesterday at church. It's the vacation bible school for 3-5 year olds. He was snuck in, under age, because my friend runs the program and is a softy. He got his little T-shirt (that hangs down to his knees), his name tag, took his bag and off he went. No looking back.
I snuck upstairs to watch him. He was so little among the kids, but singing the songs and trying the motions. I was informed he did well. Didn't quite understand how to play duck duck goose, but can quote me his Bible verse. I am a proud mom.
I am also a tad sad to see my first baby, all grows up. I love that he walks away from me happy and secure, but part of me longs to still be needed. I am so thankful he has confidence to go forward, but my confidence to let him go is shaky.
This fall he'll start his first official class at church...he'll be a cubbie. He gets a little blue vest and his very own book and bag. I have been so excited, after working on Wednesday nights at church for so many years, to see my kids have this chance and learn from all these great leaders. But suddenly, I am a bit anxious about putting on that vest and bag and sending him on his way. It's one step closer to college in my mind. He'll love it and I'll start picturing an empty nest. It's hard to let go.
Tonight as we brushed our teeth for bed, Gavin tried to put his toothbrush back, but told me,
"I can't reach mom. Help please." He then handed me his toothbrush, put his stool away and did his little boy run/hop over to the couch for books. I have never been so thankful to hear the words "I can't" come out of my son's mouth. It was a little thing, but legitimate. It eased my overly dramatic and overly anxious heart. He still needs me and he isn't going to Harvard yet. Thank you God for the baby steps toward independance. It looks like 18 years isn't that long after all.

Friday, July 10, 2009


This week has been a week of folly. It wasn't major occurances, just little things. One, after another, after another. I can't believe how many times I looked at the sky and uttered, "Come on!" or "Really God? Really?" I just wanted to make the plan, take control and have things work out...MY way.
Tonight, I hit the wall. The last straw landed on the camel's back and I went nutso. Had a melt down with my husband and just lost it. Over what, you ask? To be honest, I am not sure. Everything and nothing. I kept trying to put things in perspective, tell myself that there were people starving in Africa, other's don't have jobs, kids are dying and people don't know Jesus, but in the back of my mind, I still wanted to ask God..."Why couldn't just one thing work out right?" I also wanted to ask, "Why, when I know in my head these are all completely petty things...does it still bother me so much?"
The only conclusion I could come to was that Satan was doing his best to "steal, kill and destroy" and I was letting him. He stole my joy, killed my appreciation for what did go right and destroyed my attitude. As I tried harder and harder to control the things going on around me, forgeting to rely on God, praise him in all circumstance and be thankful continuously, Satan took hold and by the end of the week I lost it over who was going to repack a tub to go camping (at least I think that was it...who knows at this point).
Why does it take me so long to sit with God and have a real chat about it? Instead of standing up and shouting at the sky, why do I not fall on my knees a bit sooner and really just hand it over? Maybe then I'd realize, God's doin' okay without me and shockingly enough, has for the past few thousand years. I sometimes wonder if He laughs when I throw up suggestions to Him about how I think life should go, because He knows the would be results of my crazy ideas.
We have reconnected and I am regrouping. It's past midnight and my youngest is waking up on and off with what I am 99% sure is a double ear infection and I am not really phased. It's amazing the peace that comes when you give God control.
I guess if I have learned anything tonight, I should probably get on my knees now and start praying for God to take control tomorrow morning when I have a cranky one year old and am functioning on no sleep.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The first fudgecicle

The convienent killer

Sunscreen. The other day, my sister was putting sunscreen on my kids (which I am horrible at remembering) and was mentioning a website at which you can look up which products are good to use on your children and which have chemicals that are bad for them. So, I asked her about my sunscreens and she looked at the back and named of a few chemicals (of which I cannot spell or pronounce of the top of my head) that ought not to be there.
So, later in the week I gave her a call and asked for the website to check out shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc. My mistake. Apparently the coppertone spray, which I found so convienent has a 10 (as in 0-10 and 10 being the worst) rating in chemically hazardous to children. AWESOME! convienetly I was killing my kids. I might as well let them burn and die from skin cancer.
These are the things that overwhelm me as a parent. We are on a tight budget and I cannot afford organic food and $25 sunscreen. I also cannot check into every little thing my child puts in his mouth or rubs on his skin. After rat testing, there are so many don'ts out there:
"Don't use aything but BPA free bottles"
"Don't give them milk with growth hormones" (although with my height genes, they may need it)
"Don't give them food that have pesticides"
"Don't give your child toys made in china, for fear of lead poisoning" (By the way, what toys aren't made in china?)
"Don't get your child vacinated, they may get autism"
At this point, I can't feed them, I can't give them toys and I can't keep them from getting major diseases. What good am I as a parent?
Dramatic a bit? Maybe. I tend to be an all or nothing person and this is just not an all or nothing situation. You can't keep track of it all and I can't physically (or financially) do it all to keep my child safe. However, I would be unwise to do none of it. I can (and did) get BPA free bottles, I can buy organic when it's on sale and I can pay an extra buck for less hazardous sunscreen.
And so I pray for wisdom and peace...wisdom to be convicted of the things I need to do as a parent to keep my child safe and peace to not worry about the things I can't do.
I also try to remind myself...if anything the mylar balloons my kids ate and inhaled and the woodchips eaten on the playground probably had a worse effect than the unorganic apple. At least I am pretty sure...have they done rat tests on that?

Two lessons from a two year old

Lesson #1
The other day, Shawn went to help a friend at church and Gavin asked, "Dad, where ya goin'?"
"To serve the Lord, Gavin"
"Gavy serve Lord too?"
Shawn and I looked at each other, I was about to tell him he couldn't go serve the Lord, which sounded so bad, when Shawn rescued me...
"Gavin, you can serve the Lord. Let's see, you can take your cup to the counter and help Mommy out and you can share with your brother today, that's all serving the Lord too."
Gavin responded by grabbing his cup and saying, "Oh, okay."
Later that day, he had his "special water treat" from the coffee stand and walked over to his brother and started sharing sips (this is usually a task forced upon him with much whining).
"Gavy serving the Lord, Mom."
"Yes, Gavin. The Lord is very pleased with your heart right now."
It was awesome! I was so proud (and so thankful that my husband took up the teachable moment I was about to shoot down). May I be so quick to learn about the Lord and decide to impliment that lesson immediately and may it last for both of us!

Lesson #2
In the evening, I was reading a book on the couch (as much as one reads with two toddlers using you as a jungle gym and rolling cars up and down your legs) when Gavin climbs up next to me and says, "Gavy read God book, Mom?"
Now what you need to know here is, I had about 20 pages left in this book and I had been working on them for about the last two hours, this is not because I am a slow reader. I so desperately wanted to tell Gavy, "Not now, Mommy is reading another book."
That is when it hit me in the chest...this is what I tell God so often. I want to finish my task, my other book, my to-do list and God's word gets put to the side. This is NOT something I wanted to teach my son or a habit to pass down. And so, I put my book down, walked back to my bedroom and picked up my Bible.
It was so great. Gavin sat with me for about 15 minutes (which is about 2 hours his time, when you consider there are no pictures involved). We read verses, talked about them and even memorized a verse (that we have quoted frequently as he plays with his brother).
"Be humble, gentle, and patient, loving one another." (HV...Holly version, shortened for Gavin.)
What a gratifying time and what a reminder, from my two year old, none-the-less, that it is always worth it to put down what you are doing and spend time with the Lord.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I love you different

This weekend we headed to the ocean with our in-laws for vacation. We stayed in a place called Seabrook, 12 miles north or so, of Ocean Shores. It seemed like a little east coast beach town, complete with old bikes to borrow, a small store and little was really cute.

It was interesting to watch the boys this weekend, at the Ocean. Gavin would play for hours with one tiny bulldozer, trying not to get sand on his hands or toes. He ran from the water and made every attempt to keep clean and safe. Brayden wandered all over, taking in the freedom, played with all his toys, touched everything, covered his whole being with sand and headeded straight for the water, with no fear. At the house, watching them interact with the family was interesting too. Gavin is so eager to please and generally obeys right away. (Note: I say generally in a very broad, he is still two, type way). He is characterized by doing what he is told and going along with the plan. Brayden obeys pretty well, especially for just turning one. But you can see him stop, think for a minute, "is this going to benefit me or just interfere with my plans" before he does what he is told. If it's something helpful to him, like "Go get your blanky," he's on it. If it's something like, "Get off that chair," usually he only obeys if he hears a voice that sounds like discipline is on it's way. Granted, the child is only one and can't communicate very well, so we'll see how it plays out in the later toddler years. However, watching these two, who look so similar, yet are so incredibley different, is amazing.

I pray that God gives me the wisdom to parent each child they way they need to be. I can already tell they respond so differently to instruction, discipline and correction. It's hard. Just when I figure out something to help Gavin learn, I realize it doesn't impact Brayden at all. The stern voice I need to use to get Brayden to obey would just crush Gavin's spirit if I used it first time. I seek God regularly for wisdom to reach these boys hearts and minds.

Thinking about another 18 years of figuring it out makes my brain hurt. So I take it one day at a time and I do thank God for these little individuals who make me smile, make frustrated, make me laugh and make me tired, daily. I would also like to thank my mom and let her know I finally understand when she would say, "It isn't fair because you aren't your sister. I don't love you or her more, I love you different."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The water park

Testing the water
Our friends were up from is Allen and Coleman

Coming back to mom

He loved it...until he fell

Brayden was quite into it

the new camera

So our camera broke. I took it back to costco and of course they no longer sell the one I bought about a month or two ago. But don't worry for $90 more (than the 149 I already spent) I could get the step up. I broke down and did it. Now I am overwhelmed with features and trying to figure out how to use all the "extras" I paid for.
Below you will see my "grainy" and "vivid" attempts with Gavin's lunch box and some of the "pinhole" effect. Not so sure about the latter. Anyway...hopefully I can get some help on this sucker. The one thing I can do is use the 12x zoom and get peoples nosehairs from a very far distance. I guess that could come in handy.