Sometime back in April 2023, I started playing around with generating AI (artificial intelligence) art. In a nutshell, you provide a written prompt describing what you want the picture to look like, then the program creates four different takes on the prompt. The initial platform that I played around with was Microsoft’s Bing Create. At the time, Davison and Brock were in a musical theater production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. So, I started by creating some variations of pictures with a prompt something like “boastful young man wearing a long multicolored coat, standing on a hill with wheat bowing down to him, evening, ” and then some basic art styles (impressionism, abstract, anime, etc).

Bing Create has some limitations, the primary two of which are the image size and the ability to iterate on existing images. The image size is 1024 pixels by 1024 pixels. If you are printing on a laser printer, you are probably printing at 300 dpi. So these images would work out about 3.25 inches x 3.25 inches. The second limitation is that you cannot ask Bing to create a variation on one of the existing pictures; you just re-run the prompt or change it slightly. Bing also gives you a limited number of tokens to speed things up. On initial sign-up, this was 25 tokens. But it arose that Bing bumped your account up to 100 overnight each night, so that didn’t end up being a limitation for a dabbler like myself.

I ended up creating a large poster for the Joseph production to have out in the lobby, basically to provide something of interest for folks walking through. It was 6 rows of 4 pictures each, resulting in 23 different takes on Joseph in his multi-colored coat (plus one slide for the show title). Here are a number of the “Joseph” pictures.

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I haven’t posted much here in the past couple of years (so time to get a little caught up). During the year and a bit the boys have been involved in a number of musical theater productions. The latest (which just wrapped up on May 1st) was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Davison had the lead male villain role – Baron Bomburst – along with various dance roles. Brock was one of the Vulgarian soldiers, along with a handful of other roles. I’ll post some pictures and hopefully video here shortly.

No longer just fare for spare bulletin space, the tix saga has graduated to professional size paper. I’m sure this will be a relief for pastors everywhere concerned about how much of their message is being absorbed and retained.

Here’s the latest on the tix front

Well, it’s Tuesday evening in Houston and I thought that I would provide an additional update. Things were fairly dry today, we actually had a blue sky and sunshine late this afternoon. My measure on the amount of rainfall that we received in total is in the 38 to 39 inches range. Lori and I took a short trip yesterday up to the Sprouts grocery store for eggs and milk. On the way Lori took some pictures of the flooding that we observed. I’ve marked up a flood plain map to give you an idea of what we saw. The green star is where our home is approximately located, a pretty good distance from the designated floodplain areas.

Flood plain map of North Houston area
Flood plain map of the area around our place.

Heading north on Hiway 249 on our way to the grocery store, we passed the local Lowe’s hardware store on our right. It is the #4 red star on the map. It looked like it had 1 to 2 feet of water covering the parking lot and the lower part of the store. Sorry, no picture on that one.
Coming home, Lori took some pictures of what we saw.
HP Campus underwater
#1 red star, the western side of the HP campus

picture of hotel with water
#2 Springhill Suites hotel, note truck in parking lot

YWCA under water
#3 YWCA facility

Just to put things in context, here is the YWCA facility in happier times:
YWCA without rainwater

And here are a couple of updated pictures around our place – the detention pond (currently empty), and a view of our house across the green space, again without all of the water.

The empty retention pond
The empty retention pond

a drier looking green space

Texas is currently experiencing Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey which hit the coast near Rockport and is now dumping a lot of rain elsewhere, including Houston. Our house and neighborhood have traditionally handled flooding fairly well, but Harvey is really dumping a lot of rain. At this point (Sunday afternoon), we’re in pretty good shape. Here are some pictures of what is going on.

Picture of water in culdesac
Our culdesac, with standing water on it.

The view from our front yard to the playground (with some water between us and it) and the detention pond in the background.
Another look at the green space (with water) and the detention pond beyond.
Looking across the green space (with a few inches of water) toward our house.
The detention pond that slowly draings into storm sewers and is handling the overflow of water from our neighborhood.
My rainwater gauge. Sitting at 18″ of rain (from Friday afternoon) to 9:00 this morning. Up to 22″ by early afternoon.

Ben:  Before reading Heidi’s post – a quick word of explanation… I’ve been fixing picture links in old posts, and came across this post which was written back in March 2015, but had not been published yet.  Even though it is a little dated (and predates Brody), we can still enjoy Heidi’s writing and pictures.

We were so excited that Layne and Elissa were coming to visit ( especially us kids to get a break from schoolwork) and it turned out to be a great time. Ar first we just had some relaxing family time, but then we went on a couple outings. First we went to the beach which was fun , but there was a festival so traffic was awful and because of this we came home sort of late. Then we went to the NASA space Center that was really fun. Layne and Elissa took each of us kids out for lunch to just talk about what’s going on in our lives, I don’t know about the other kids but I really enjoyed that special time and just being with them. Looking back I know God has given me the best family I could ask for.






This small set of pictures isn’t dated (other than the parent folder date of 1980 01 01 which can’t be accurate). However Davison looks to be about two and the location (for the Davison and Dad pictures) is our kitchen in Calgary before we renovated it.

Now to be a little more current (this news not quite 2 weeks old yet), here is Elissa’s post with an update and 5 month old Brody pictures.

Hope you are all doing well. Our little Brodwin turned 5 months old yesterday, and this last month was full of adventures and lots of firsts:

First (and second) time flying on a plane, and first time out of the country! We went down to Houston for 2 weeks to visit the Huber family. He did very well flying, on the way we were allowed to take our carseat on, as they had an empty seat beside us, then on the way back we held him, as it was a full flight. He had a few fussy moments, but he didn’t seem too bothered by the altitude changes, or the turbulence at times, and was able to nap for short times on my lap.

First time swimming in a pool (or floating anyway). We enjoyed the Huber’s pool a number of times, and Brody got used to the water pretty quickly, he seemed to enjoy playing/screeching at their giant pool noodles and watching the other kids swim.

First time to the Calgary zoo- Mom took him, with another friend and her baby. He slept for a good part of it, but was able to see the penguins and some scenery from his stroller view.

There were a number of other first experiences… I likely wont be able to name them all, but they would include his first time riding his swing on the highest setting, and first time at a boardwalk amusement park, where he rode on a train on Dad’s lap. (see pictures below)

Brody continues to be cheerful and curious, and is now adept at putting his feet in his mouth, and rolling from his tummy to his back. We are excited for many more adventures as soon we will start trying out soft/pureed foods.

Enjoy the pictures,

Love Layne, Elissa & Brody

Layne and Brody at Kemah Boardwalk
Layne and Brody at Kemah Boardwalk
picture of Brody the happy camper
Cheerful Brody
picture of happy Brody bug
Cheerful Brody
picture of Brody ready for swimming
Cheerful Brody
picture of Layne and Brody
Brody and Layne in the pool
picture of girls and Brody
Daelynn, Mikaela and cheerful Brody



Well, this post is long overdue (as Brody turned four back in late April), but as I have another post in the wings as Elissa has posted Brody’s 5 month update, I need to get this posted.  And hey, there really cannot be too many Brody pictures…

To grandparents, great-grandparents, and other great people…

Once again, the 26th of the month has arrived, and this email is brought to you by Brodwin’s monthly birthday… We celebrate by taking note of some of the things Brody likes to do…
As seen in the pictures, he is learning to read books with Dad, play board games with the guys, and enjoys visiting with Auntie Daelynn and Grandparents, as well as spent some time outside on our warmer days, cloud-gazing and exploring the outdoors. He id definitely more aware of things around him, and wants to look at screens – TVs and computers, so I suppose we need to be aware more of what we watch!

He has been laughing more, (he has a number of ticklish spots) and making interesting squealing and dinosaur noises. He is becoming more coordinated to grab onto objects and put most of them in his mouth, and has stronger head and neck muscles, as well as leg muscles now.

On April 17th, he was dedicated at our church, and prayed for by Pastor Glen, which was special. He didn’t cry at all while being held up on stage. Thanks to those family members who were able to be part of that!

Altogether, we are having lots of fun. We are also excited to go down to Houston in May, to see family, and perhaps have Brody try some swimming!


The Hubers

Layne and Brody read a book
Layne and Brody read a book
picture of Elissa and Brody
Elissa and Brody
picture of Elissa and Brody
Elissa and Brody
Brody (running out of witty captions here, not that they’ve been that witty)
picture of Grandma Linda and Brody
Grandma Linda and Brody
picture of cute Brody boy
Brody in his summer duds
picture of Uncle Rett and Brody
Brody and Uncle Rett team up to play a game


Another one of the Lego sets that we discovered in our tub-o-Lego was the Underseas Explorer, part of the Atlantis series of Lego models.    This one was missing a couple of the wheels (there should be three on each side rather than two) and one of the leg armour modules has been repurposed from Lightning McQueen of Cars fame.


the fearsome Undersea Explorer

the ferocious fish
 I have no idea what type of ferocious fish this is; it appears to be pretty much all mouth and tail.

The Undersea Explorer is somewhat of a transformer and converts from its mech/robot form into a more traditional ocean bottom crawling mini-sub.