Clever child

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I was trying to clean up the disaster that was the office yesterday.

Someone felt like playing 52 card pick-up with the Disney's Scene It game, baseball and Bakugan cards. More like 252 pick-up.

Anybody know how to play Bakugan?? What is it anyway??
I told Blair to go upstairs with Trae man for a minute (cause she was in my way, honestly- bad mom.) When she came back down about 10 minutes later, I had it all spruced up and was back to playing Farkle on Facebook.

Yes, it's a problem. My friends from highschool and I have some healthy competitions going on. Must. beat. Jim. and. Teresa.

Or unhealthy - however you look at it...

I digress.

Blair walked in and said "Whoa! How did you did this so quick?"

I said "Cause your momma's guuud..."

She said, "Wow, it's like you're an octopus with 4 hands or something! Wait! Octopus has 6 hands. Or is it 8? Oh well, you're like an Octopus mom."

Clever child.

P.S. I am in 1st place on Farkle, mwahhahah! Dude, I need a life...

The picture that started it all

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Actually it was a picture of beautiful Mt. St. Helens, but it was this picture of Belen Therese that I took when I realized I was on to something.
No one else at the time was doing much natural light photography, following kids around and capturing their sweet moments.
I remember this day so clearly. We were playing outside with "fairy god mothers," holding them up to blow the seeds all over. I thought it would be nice to capture this moment so I ran back inside the house to get my camera. I just followed her around the yard and had to work fast.
My 35 mm was a manual setting camera.

I had a little photography business in Utah for a few years which I started by accident. A friend saw my kids' photos and asked if I could take pictures of her children so I said "sure."
Since I knew how to hand tint also, (labor intensive!) I did that for her as well.
She gave the pictures out to her family for Christmas which her mother framed and hung in her office at work. Her co-workers commented on them and soon I was being asked to take more. Some were brides (a little nerve-racking), a wedding (very nerve-racking) a website (interesting) and a bunch of kids and families (fun).
I never really thought about making it full-time since I had a career that I loved. But the creative side of me, which is most of me, longed to do something like that.
One of my company's clients, with a large marketing firm, gave me some good advice that I locked in the vault in my head.
I valued his opinion; he was the marketing guru to the 2002 Olympics.
So finally, 10 years and 3 more kids later, vault unlocked, I am getting it together.
Stay tuned.

For a few more go here

Small House - Big Projects

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nearly every weekend of our life is dedicated to shuffling one of the kids to voice lessons, sports, church activities or sleepovers. And, being the type (I'm talking both Jon and I here) that are quick to go seek fun rather than work on the house, it seems that our projects get the best of us.
And boy do we have projects.

But, we did finish one!

Jon put down the last plank of hardwood floor in the kitchen/dining area.
Okay, almost finished.
Finished to the point that we were able to put away the saw and all of the materials. So no more death trap! The kids were so used to it they thought it was part of the design...

We bought this house because of the lot size. It has a huge yard.
We thought that we could always add square footage to the house but not to the land. I wasn't crazy about the house - still not, but we saw it's potential. And we thought we were up for the challenge, I mean, why limit ourselves on what we could do? Only our wallet size is limited...Sorry little house - you were not born to rich parents. Creative ones, yes. Rich, no. In love rich, yes.
And we love you but you need a makeover!
Only family and close friends could say that to each other. Awww...

So, seeing she could stand some updating, we pulled out the old carpet and began installing a hardwood floor. We got through the living room and hallway but grew a little tired when we hit the kitchen. Part of the problem was that we used a glue down method, and oh yeah, we've never done this before. And Did I mention we'd rather play than work??

So now, we just have to tackle 3 more bedrooms. (This is where I am really thankful for a small house.) Until we are up for that challenge, the 90's hunter green carpet is welcome to stay.
Hey, if we just wait a little longer, the color should be back in style...

Gratitude: The state of being grateful: THANKFULNESS

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yesterday I was talking with a friend whose father took an 18 ft. fall and is clinging to life in the surgical Intensive care unit. Listening to the story and feeling my own heaviness of heart for her, she still thanked God for her blessings and found a few things that she was grateful for despite the seriousness of the accident.

So all night I was thinking about the gratefulness that I feel in my everyday life. And since it was World Gratitude Day yesterday, I thought I would pay homage to it.

Of course I am grateful for the "big things," those things I think of first and always include in my prayers. Those would include My Savior, family, health, food, and shelter.

But I also think of the "smaller" blessings which, when I sit in quiet contemplation, they become "big things."
These are just random thoughts and are in no particular order...

I think about my husband and how he is so supportive and complimentary. I am thankful that he doesn't mind if I don't always have dinner ready when he gets home. Instead of being grumpy, he happily says, "What can I make my girl for dinner tonight?" I am thankful for any one's husband who does that. It reminds me of my friend Janet, who, when she asks her husband to do something like "Can you grab that jar for me?" he responds by saying, "Yes, with much love."

My children - so happy they are happy. They will never know how grateful I am for them until they have children of their own, just like I was told when I was little.

I am thankful for my "unremarkable brain," a term the neurologist used when an MRI showed no evidence of any tumors, seizures or strokes. I'll let anyone tell me my brain is unremarkable if it means a clean bill of health!

I am thankful for friends who dot the world. We can go months or even years without talking and then when we do reconnect, we take up right where we left off and it warms my heart.
I would rather they all lived on my street though.
I am selfish like that.

I am thankful for parents who liked to dance. Even after their divorce - at our weddings, they still could dance and have fun. It gave me hope that real forgiveness is possible for any one.

When I am in a store with a good song playing overhead and it's not interrupted by that store's commercial...I am so thankful for that. Especially when it was "Let It Be" yesterday.

I am thankful that I stayed in the same small, school district growing up and graduated with most everyone I went to Kindergarten with. It's nice to have that history together.

I am thankful for dexterity.

I am thankful for differences of opinion which allow us to create constructive dialogues.

I am thankful for finding a book in my mom's house after she passed away that was titled "Lady Laura" and the bookmark inside was the photo booth picture strip we took on a mall outing.

I am thankful for the shade the trees give our house and helps save on electricity. It makes me so happy, I think I'll go hug my tree. Being a tree hugger is just part of your DNA when you're from Washington state, you know.

Photographs - I don't think I could be without them.

The list goes on and on just like yours, I am sure...

And at the center of it all and to whom I owe all my gratitude is my Savior.

What are you thankful for today?

Got soy?

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're crazy for smoothies around these parts.

Today's was a nice blend of plain yogurt, chunky peanut butter, a banana, unsweetened soy milk, ricemellow creme and ice.

I like to call it, "The Elvis."
Even though it wasn't a fried peanut butter & banana sandwich, I think even Elvis would have liked it.

It is quite the tasty, low fat treat. If I didn't know better, I would think I was treating myself to a Top Burger milkshake. Top Burger is a crazy good little place in my hometown. We had open campus in highschool and the place would be crowded during lunch hour. But, we don't have that here and so I make my own milkshakes, but without the delicious, super rich, whole-milk, artery-hardening-ice-cream.
The kids love smoothies and don't mind the low sugar content.

Warning: the absence of sugar in these smoothies doesn't make your kids less crazy, though. Healthier maybe but still crazy. Would you want it any other way??

Cheers to a great week!

P.S. Did you join the Fall swap? Hurry up - whaddya waiting for?

Join our Homemade Halloween or Fun In Fall Swap! You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Photos courtesy of Country Living Magazine
Hello everyone!
It's that time again for a swap!

Having had a fun and successful Easter themed swap, Jenny and I are presenting a
"Homemade Halloween"- or "Fun in Fall" Swap!

The two categories are for you to choose which you'd rather join.
Some may enjoy giving/receiving Halloween themed items while others may like a general Fall theme.
You decide and then let us know!

All you have to do is send an e-mail to me at or Jenny at with the following questions answered so we can get the partnerships chosen.
If you have friends or family that would like to join in, send them this way and we'll get them all set up. Remember, the spending limit is up to $20.00. The last day to sign up will be Sept. 27Th and shortly after you will receive your partners.
Then, your swap items should be to your partner by Oct. 14Th.

Please provide the following answers:
*Blog address
*Email address
*Homemade Halloween or Fun in Fall Swap?
*Favorite fall colors
*If you're in the Halloween swap, do you like scary or whimsical Halloween decorations?
*Favorite style (country, shabby chic, romantic, Americana, traditional, modern country, urban, etc.)
*Favorite candle scents
*Favorite Halloween symbol (black cat, witch, pumpkin, skeleton, etc.)
*Favorite confections/goodies
*Any food allergies?
*Would you mind having an out-of-area partner that you had to mail your swap items to?
This should be fun! Thanks for participating!

If you have a blog, please be sure to dedicate a post showing us the fun stuff you received!

And, as I am writing this, a little spider just totally dropped down on his web from the hole in the ceiling (where Jon had to cut to stabilize the new wall)....Halloween is here today!

It makes me happy

Monday, September 14, 2009

to find Blair's self-potrait on the camera.
It's like she's sending me a love note...hoping I'll find it at the precise moment when I need one.
Life's simple things...the best kind of enjoyment.

How do you use this?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Look familiar anyone?

While I was looking around an antique mall last week, my daughter wanted to show me a "really cool vintage phone." She took me over to the shelf where a rotary phone sat looking a little out of place. I told her that was the kind of phone everybody had when I was little.

But then in the 80s, things really started to change and we were starting to get some fancy colors like blue and almond. When the slimline came out, we all thought it was really chic. It even had a push button dialer. No waiting for that so yesterday rotary thing.

She said, "Really?? How did you use it?" like she was an Archaeologist unearthing ancient Egyptian secrets.

I told her you just put your finger on the rotary face and start turning the corresponding number. I showed her my old number, Eiiiigghhht...threeeee...foouuurr....
She said, "It took you that long to dial??! I would die."

Her dad said you should've seen how hard it was to text...