Friendship Friday: My sister, Robin

Robin's Family

The Cunningham Clan, from left -> Right: Brett, Stephanie, Leslie, Jim, and Robin.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life.  Family, friends, I have have learned that some of the best moments in life happen when we are willing to let God take over, and just “be” in the moment.  Today’s Friendship Friday tribute is in honor of my sister Robin, both the little girl that annoyed the crap out of me, and now the woman that has a very dear place in my heart.

Robin is my only sister, and she is the oldest.  Born a couple of years before me, I don’t remember much about my sister until we all moved to Sterling when my parents bought their first house.  I have a lot of memories of my childhood, and almost all of them are good memories.

Robin was a tom-boy as a girl, always out and about getting into things outside.  Unfortunately for Robin, this came back to bite her on more then one occasion.  For example, Robin lost both of her two front top teeth in separate accidents.  She lost the first one by having a board come loose as she propped up the neighbors sandbox so I and other kids could look for salamanders.  Thinking back on that, it’s kind of amazing that she didn’t have a concussion too as the board slipped out of her hands and hit her square on the chin.  Ouch.

Like all little girls I expect, Robin was a Daddy’s Girl.  She loved it when Dad would come home from work.  If memory serves me correctly, Robin lost the second tooth by running down the hallway to welcome home Dad, and slipping on the tile floor.

Add to those two accidents the time she had to have a tetanus shot because she stepped on a rusty nail in the woods, the teeth she had to have pulled for her braces (I think), and the time she egged me on enough that I put my fist through our storm door glass insert (I’ve still got the scar from that on my thumb!) — and it truly shows that God had a plan for her simply because she made it through childhood in almost one piece!

Robin and Jim were married on May 25, 1985, with Robin being just 19 years old — two months to the day before she would turn 20.  Their first child, Brett, was born in June, 1986, just a month before Robin would celebrate her 21st birthday!  So Robin grew up in a hurry.

Really, it wasn’t until Robin moved out of the house that I began to appreciate her good qualities (yes, I’m a slow learner.)  Robin isn’t afraid to try anything once.  Proof positive is the fact that she has gone back to school, and is *thisclose* to finishing her work to becoming a full-fledged teacher!

The biggest compliment that I can give anyone is the one that I have for Robin.  She knows Jesus, and Jesus knows her.  Robin and Jim have had three children in their almost 28 years of marriage, Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie, and the surest evidence of the success of Jim and Robin lies in their kids.  Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie have been raised into adulthood by two loving parents, and are making their own mark on the world in which they live.  Their success is a direct result of the role that Robin and Jim have played on nurturing, mentoring, and leading them on the path they are meant for.

I hope that I have conveyed in my post what my sister Robin means to me.  It isn’t always easy writing about a loved one, and I wanted to capture as best I could the love I have for my sister.  In the end, I think the last thing I have to say is this:

I love you, Robin.


Photography contained in the TimeStream Software Walt Disney World apps


Mike from TimeStream Software sent me some of the pictures that he especially liked that you can find in the Walt Disney World apps that they have produced.  In addition, he has given me some details to help explain the setting so that you can recreate the photo yourself!

The first picture (above) is one of Mike’s favorites, and was taken during “Holiday Wishes” at the Magic Kingdom.  At this point I’m going to take a back seat and share what Mike had to say about this and the other photos:

I shot this one of Holiday Wishes, and I like the timing of the huge explosion behind Cinderella Castle just as the 5 bright rockets fill the dark space to the left.  A lot of action in this photo.  If I recall correctly, I spent a lot of time standing in the pouring rain to get this shot.


A classic Cinderella Castle photo.  As much as I like the photos included here, a lot of credit goes to Disney for creating the subject matter.  It was they who chose the castle and fireworks color at that very moment, as well as the number of shells to explode.  They definitely know what they’re doing.  I’ll take credit for capturing the explosion at the right moment.


I really like this photo of IllumiNations in that it captures the full array of fireworks exploding above “Planet Earth.”  This shot required waiting in line for over an hour to get a critical position for the photo.  If you notice, if you were to take the photo anywhere else around World Showcase Lagoon, you wouldn’t be able to see the “earth”, since the smoke surrounds it, save for the very “front”, where it’s clear of smoke.  What made the waiting even more fun was I had to sit in the pouring rain for quite a while to get this shot, as well.  I like to think that my apps provide guests with the images they would’ve like to have captured but couldn’t because they were busy having fun, as they should be.


I like this photo, as it captures a really cool IllumiNations explosion in crisp detail and motion.  I also really like the color.


One of the things I like about my apps is the number of “on-ride” photos.  As I mentioned, some apps have only a small thumbnail of the sign out front or perhaps a “common” photo they lifted from Disney, but all the photos in my apps are original.  I like how they capture the memories so many guests are fond of.  In the two BTM photos, I think they do a great job of capturing the emotions guests feel while riding BTM.

I love this shot.  It absolutely captures the speed and thrills of diving into a tunnel at full speed on BTM.  The gal in the second row back has raised her hands, but no so much as to hit the mine walls which she perceives are rushing by so close to her.  Full speed fun!  The challenge in photographing BTM and many of the rides at Walt Disney World is keeping the camera steady while framing the image as you’re being tossed around.  As you can imagine, you get only one chance at the shot below, and in this case, it turned out great.


Christmastime on Main Street, U.S.A.  Shot with a telephoto lens at the train station balcony.


Had to include this one…


I like this photo because of the subject, his animation and the colors.  In addition, it captures a moment which happens only once a day, Mickey Mouse welcoming guests to the Magic Kingdom.  If guests arrive after Mickey leaves, then they’re out of luck.  In this case, my app allows them to experience and keep this moment.


A classic photo.  Again, Disney creating and telling the story, and doing an outstanding job of it.


Most images of The Tower of Terror are from the front, but here’s a perspective of the Tower of Terror which doesn’t get a lot of looks.  I like the color, the gradient of the evening sky and the ominous lights at the top.  For some reason, it makes me think of Zurg.


Looks like the standard photo of the Tower of Terror from Sunset Blvd., doesn’t it?  But look again and you see that the perspective is directly opposite, if not slightly higher than the “13th” floor.  There isn’t anyplace on or near Sunset Blvd. where guests can get this shot.  Most are taken from street level looking up.  So, where was it taken from???

{Editor’s Note: Mike, where did you get this shot from?  Why not leave us a comment and let us know!}


Another photo I really like.  This is more excellent Disney storytelling.


Shooting Soarin’ is a bit tough, in that you’re required to put your camera under your seat.  That and it’s a running film, so there is no static image appearing on the screen at one time.  It’s always moving.  Here’s a great shot which captures the slow bank over the Golden Gate Bridge.


I love the composition and colors of this shot.  Puts the viewer right in a fun Magic Kingdom Halloween night.


I think this shot captures the whimsey of the parade.  Who doesn’t like the grim grinnin’ ghosts?


This is another shot which required standing at a light post on Main Street, U.S.A. for somewhere between an hour or two before the parade began just to ensure I got the front row perspective I wanted to bring to my app users.  I don’t recall if I got rained on before this shot or not, but based on how wet the street is, I’m sure I did.


Here’s another great shot of BTM in action.  What make this shot kind of fun is that it’s shot from the Liberty Belle Riverboat, which makes it a bit less common.  Great timing as the boat came around.


Another great “on-ride” photo…


This is an excellent shot of the Kali River Rapids attraction.  It requires a bit of risk and a lot of luck.  As you’re no doubt aware, you get SOAKED on this ride, so having your camera out is risky, indeed.  I went for it and was rewarded with some great photos of the entire attraction.  I also got lucky by picking the best seat to photograph the big drop.  I like how the photo captures the waterfall drop and the raft, complete with life ring, in the foreground.  This is an excellent “on-ride” photo!


It was a rather cool day when I captured this photo.  The bat was out using the sun to warm himself, and I happened to be there at the right time.  I love the sunlight through his wing and the “talon”.


This is a great shot of a stately tiger and his cool demeanor.  I threw in a photo of his yawn, which occurred only moments later.  Check out those fangs.

Maharajah_Jungle_Trek_Tiger_Sun_101_310 Maharajah_Jungle_Trek_Tiger_Yawn_100_310

This is a rare photo, indeed, and one of the toughest to get in the entire park…the Yeti on Expedition Everest lit by a flash and in focus at full speed as the runaway train races down the mountain. They yeti is usually seen only in flashes as guests fly by, so not many guests get a look like this.


A fun shot of a harrowing moment on Expedition Everest.


Got to love Wishes.  The difficulty in getting this shot?  Waiting for over an hour at a spot in which you can get Walt Disney in the foreground.


Thank you for stopping by and enjoying the photographs from Mike at TimeStream Software!  The beauty in these photos is captured in the apps that he writes, so if you haven’t experienced some of these moments before, you can still see what it was like by looking at the apps!  I hope you have enjoyed our photos, don’t forget to enter to win our contest!