The Hunger Games

(Image credit: The Hunger Games official Facebook page)

Last night I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing The Hunger Games, like so many others who've been captured by this series.

I first started hearing about them around a year ago. My friends started reading them, but I wrote them off. I'm not really into teen fiction. I'm not really into the futuristic genre either.

However, I finally caved as more of my friends--whose opinions and tastes in literature I respect--read and raved.

I too was captured by The Hunger Games plot. The plot is what drives this book, after all. I can't help but wish that the books wasn't a YA book, though. I longed for the writing to be a little meatier, although I have to say I'm glad the YA slot it holds kept the violence toned down.

Due to an uprising in the nation of Panem, it's twelve districts must each send a girl and a boy to participate in the Hunger Games, which is a fight to the death, televised live for all it's constituents to watch. The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen as she takes the place of her sister as tribute in the Capitol's annual games.

One can't help but view the Hunger Games and it's arena as a futuristic version of Rome's gruesome games at Colosseum. Nor could I shake the image of Katniss and her companion for the games, Peeta, being herded onto the train headed to the Capitol as being not unlike the image of the Jews being carted off to concentration camps during the Nazis regime in Germany. Clearly, this book is a statement about government overreach and corruption.

Also, this book calls our idea of entertainment into question. In a nation that takes in a steady diet of entertainment via reality TV in such shows as The Bachelor, Big Brother, and Survivor, such parallels are also obvious. These shows may feature challenges both mental and physical, but the real entertainment value is in the use of gossip, back-stabbing, character assassination, and false alliances. But it's all in good fun, we tell ourselves. After all, these people sign up of their own free will. Nobody actually gets hurt. But perhaps the real question is why do we find these shows such addicting entertainment?

Most books are better than their film adaptation counterparts. However, I can't help but wonder if a film adaptation of The Hunger Games will add a dimension to the questions Collins raises in her novel that could not otherwise be appreciated. In the book, the games are intended to be televised and watched by the entire population. And so, the movie reenacts this element of the novel. It is true that this story showcases characters who portray humanity and selflessness. And many of us--me included--plan to watch the film with the intention of cheering on these characters, and the good qualities they represent. In the end, Katniss and Peeta choose to not play by the rules of the Hunger Games, instead undermining the Capitol's power to control to some degree.

But wait.

As thousands line up for tickets to see The Hunger Games, I cannot but help to see the irony that instead we could be proving the most chilling implication of all: that we are not so unlike the Capitol crowds that clamored for more gruesome Hunger Games exploits. Instead, we take the Capitol's place as the audience.

And actually, deep inside each human heart we have the capacity to be just. like. them.

Been Busy

Wow, it's been a busy two weeks around here! A photo session. Print design for an event. Photos of the said event. And then of course processing all those photos . . .  Not to mention normal life, doctor appointments, homeschool co-op, and a date night out at a delicious restaurant (review coming on that outing next week).

I'll be sharing the images of the event I covered soon. But for now, click on over to my photography blog to check out a sweet family session.


The Young Family

If you'd have told me that in March I'd be doing a family session in 70 degree weather, I wouldn't have believed you. However, my fears for the weather being too cold for the kids were needless because it ended up being warm and beautiful. I met up with the Young family at the Liriodendron Mansion and look at all the fun we had!

This guy was filled with endless energy! He was very taken with the locked doors and worked very hard to open them. Thankfully, this pause in his energy allowed me to capture his bright blue eyes and his determination.

I love the above mother/daughter moment.

Somebody want to be a drummer--just like his Daddy!

And as you can see, football is a family affair! The whole family is decked out.

Thanks for letting me capture your family at this stage in life and I hope you had fun!

Eyes to See the Wonder

"Sunrise, sunset with no eyes to see it Garnets and rubies ground up in the sand Words from my children with no ears to hear it Where is the wonder?

New tender mercies and infinite graces Woven like threads in the cloth of my days Deep wells of glory behind common faces Where is the wonder, where is the wonder?"

-Sara Groves, "Precious Again" from the album, Invisible Empires

Sophia saw the daffodils and squealed with delight, running over to them and pointing. It's her first spring really interacting with the world around her now that she can walk. The boys are excited too. They pick handfuls of the yellow flowers and bring them to me: "We have something for you, Mama." The stems are usually too short for putting in a vase. I show them that the flowers need stems to drink water and stay alive for a while if I put them in a vase.

Motherhood offers up a gift to see the wonder again. To see the things I'd miss. To see the things I take for granted. The hazy pink mist of budding trees. The purple crocus and yellow daffodils. The airplanes jetting across the sky. The dogs people walk--which creates great excitement for my children.

Motherhood is the chance to see everyday beauty and "infinite graces" through the eyes of wonder.

After Naps


After naps in the afternoon the routine is to watch a DVD and have a small snack while I start on dinner preparations. Sophia has become one of the "big kids" now. She used to hang out in the kitchen with me. Then she sat in a little blue chair with her snack for a while before going off to play. Now she likes to sit on the couch with her brothers. She likes to follow them everywhere now and do everything they do.

The day I took these she pulled the blanket down on herself and cuddled up to me for a while. She became quite serious, furrowing her little brow the way she does these days when she's not sure of something. I wanted to capture that look and remember what she looks like in that little pink shirt.

She looks a lot like me.

Multitude Monday | Everyday Graces


Another week of thanks . . .

583. Two days filled with lots of outside playtime. 584. Time to blog. 585. Duncan and Owen holding hands with Sophia on a walk. 586. A quiet evening to fold laundry and watch a movie. 587. Library day.

588. Afternoon reading and being able to rest when my SI joint pain was chronic. 589. The safe arrival of my friends' baby boy. 590. Figuring out how to create a custom Twitter background. 591. Income to provide for our needs. 592. Crockpot dinner and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

593. Tax paperwork done. 594. A quick visit with Josh's grandparents. 595. Freshly applied nail polish. 596. Sophia sword fighting with the boys. 597. The way Sophia adores her babydoll.

596. Morning worship and a great sermon series on Nehemiah. 597. A Sunday morning "interview" series our pastor is doing with various members and highlighting outreach opportunities. 598. Afternoon lunch with new friends. 599. Helping the boys pick out undies and socks to give to kids in need at a local elementary school. 600. Writing to Beverly, the child I sponsor through Compassion who will soon be graduating!!