Sweet Freedom

Monday, May 31, 2010

In remembrance. Jesus Hernandez. Korean War.

Memorial day signals the entrance into summer and a day off from life's grind.

All across our country, family and friends gather for picnics and cook-outs, looking forward to apple pie and homemade potato salad. Kids frolic in the afternoon air and feel the cool grass bend beneath their feet. Parents relax in their lawn chairs savoring life's sweet blessings.

And all this freedom made possible by those like-minded individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for something bigger than themselves.

I thank you.

linking to the survey junkie


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Each morning I step out onto the deck and quietly position myself to my knees. I pull back the outdoor rug and press my forehead to the deck floor.

Peering through the floor boards, I focus my eyes and take a quick scan of the area below; each time a flash of panic races through me. I wonder for a moment if the night's rain has done any damage or if mama bird could find food that day.

Quelling my fears, I see that my little friends are a bit stronger and a little hairier.
Their beaks point upward to me and I gently replace the rug.

My front row seat to the theater of nature is reserved again tomorrow.

No flash was used so I wouldn't disturb them too much.

Linking to Friendly Friday Follow

and Never Growing Old

The Girl Creative

Pick-up lines

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Even C Dog sports the Silly Bandz

What's your sign?

Do you have a map because I get lost in your eyes.

Aside from being beautiful, what do you do for a living?

Are you from Tennessee because you're the only ten I see.

Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?

These and other cheesy pick-up lines may be heard across the country in bars, on college campuses; work even. I don't know why guys resort to these. As ice breakers I guess - a way to bring in humor because no one can possibly take these seriously and think they will work, do they?

I kinda liked the normal approach, "Hi, my name is___." Or "Would you like to dance?" although I guess that would have been weird had we not been at a nightclub... In college it was, "Are you in on or off-campus housing?" or "Where are you from?" or "My roommate wants to know if you'd go out with him."

In my high school there were never any situations that involved cheesy lines. I met my husband in high school and I think it was an innocent, "Would you like to come over and have dinner with my family?" question that cemented our acquaintance to a real friendship. I did have dinner with them and we all played Trivial Pursuit afterward. I felt stupid for answering the Disney and pop culture questions correctly while they answered all of the smart questions correctly. You could tell who watched PBS and who didn't. But I liked them right away and have had many dinners there since.
And I like PBS now. Oh, and I'm better at Trivial Pursuit.

So, the other day as Jon was going through the check-out at our locally owned supermarket, Reese, our 8 year old, noticed the pretty, teen-aged employee.

Jon had to laugh when he heard Reese ask her,
"So what kinds of Silly Bandz do you have?"

Welcome the new Elementary School ice breaker...

Anecdotal Inn

Thursday, May 20, 2010

**DISCLAIMER** If you find that the following situation sounds familiar to you, it's pure coincidence. Names and dates have been omitted to protect the innocent.
(Or rather, protect me from litigation, ahem...)

What I overheard at a hotel's front desk...

The scenario...
A guest's young child went to the breakfast area (alone) to make a cup of hot chocolate. The child couldn't quite reach the bar-height counter. It holds all of the coffees, teas and hot water carafes. While the child was trying to pour hot water into the cup, he/she spilled the water on him/herself. It did not seriously burn but it was hot. The guest, upset that her child may have been burned, went to the manager to complain.

"Do you realize that children cannot reach the hot water and coffee pots?" she asked. "You need to lower the counters so they can reach."

My suggestion to the hotel:
Lower the counters right after you install the toddler knife-sharpening station. And while you're at it, leave the waffle irons on in case they want to make themselves a midnight snack.
The customer is always right, right??

Watch and laugh

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I love a good impersonation and this one is especially good.

I saw The Stones in concert a long time ago when it was supposed to be their final tour. So thinking it was the end of The Stones and wanting to witness this historical event, my brother Blair and I drove up to Vancouver for the show and our mom came along for the ride.
I think they've toured ever since.

But, I did get to see the famous rooster dance.

(commercial is short)

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Mick Jagger Introduces "Stones in Exile" (5/14/10) - Video -

Weekend tornado

Monday, May 17, 2010

The only thing I touched in the house all weekend was the door handle; running in to grab a bite and running out to be at the next appointment. Chores went by the wayside so today I will begin clean-up after the tornado that swept through here. Girl's camp meeting, Les Mis tryouts, photo sessions and church took up the whole weekend but it was good and fun!

We also got a new family mascot which was the highlight of the kids' weekend, maybe month - probably year.

Weekend overview-
Justin, a Senior, did a great job and is such a great kid. The biggest smile he gave was when Jon asked, "Isn't Kim Kardashian dating Justin Bieber?" It was funny.
Josh, another Senior, was a natural with his poses. He and Jon threw the football while I set up shots and checked lighting.

This sweet baby, Ender, has a great smile
and will someday melt more hearts with those super blue eyes.

And introducing...
the new additon to our family, Charli, the Jack Russell Terrier.
He was given to us by some friends.

My second oldest daughter is also named Charley but the family took a vote and decided that the dog Charli gets to keep her name. "Human Charley" as the kids say, will have to change hers.

Sorry, Charley.

Reese asked me to take pictures of them posing alike - such a funny kid.

A good weekend it was!

My goat was gotten

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I love how she dresses herself!

The other day I found myself saying, "that's one of my pet peeves" to just about everything it seemed. How many did I really have, I wondered? I never thought I had so many since I've always considered myself to be pretty mellow and don't get worked up about that much.

Recently my daughter was riding in a car with some friends from church and there was a funny incident involving a hyper kid. The parents driving, not the hyper kid's, asked Belen after the ride was over if it bugged her. She said, "Noo, I'm used to it." And the parent's reply was, "Of course it wouldn't, being from the subdued family." I credit that solely to Jon and his 3rd grade sense of humor and his funny outlook on life.

But, worried that I really do have a lot of pet peeves, I began to mentally take note of the things that bug me.

On my list were tailgaters - not the kind that cook at football games, I like those. The kind who make it look like I am towing them because they drive so close to me. Or maybe they just really want to crash into me and have their insurance rates increase when I stop for pedestrians.

Oh yeah, that was another pet peeve - people who don't stop for pedestrians, especially when they (we) are walking to school. Recently, I saw a girl cross the street and drop her coat in the crosswalk.
She went to move to go back and pick it up.
I said "Oh no!" out loud as I saw a car not slowing for the crosswalk. (I was third in line at the stop sign across from her.) The girl thought better of it and ran to the sidewalk leaving her coat behind. She watched it get run over and then went to retrieve it. It happened so quickly but thankfully, a car stopped to let her cross and retrieve the coat.

I wanted to jump around the cars, hunt down the driver and kick the crap out of them, to be perfectly honest.

Another on my list were people who don't use turn signals.

And then it hit me...
I don't have a lot of pet peeves.

I just have road rage.
Is that all it was?? Well, OK then.

Do you have any thing that just gets your goat too?

A Note to Delta - Post it style

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Joining the crew at Supah Mommy's for Post it note Tuesday

Vintage cupcake picks - craft

Monday, May 10, 2010

For years I have been collecting ephemera. I love typography, old letters, music sheets, calling cards, perfume labels and the list goes on...they come in handy for projects.
For Blair's 3rd and 4th birthday, I made decorative picks to adorn her cupcakes. For this project I used old music books that I picked up for .10 cents. But because they were half off, I only paid a nickel. That was even cheaper than the retail price when the book was published in 1904. I could easily make copies from these but the paper is thin and easier to work with so it's my paper of choice.

I cut (four) 3x3 inch squares from the sheet music. I have also done 4x4 depending on what size rosette I needed. I folded each square accordion style. Easy, easy...

And then when all were folded, I folded them in half and secured them together with tape.
They looked liked tiny fans.

When all four were secured individually, I joined them all together with double sided tape to make one full rosette.

And then with the magic of a printer, I photocopied the perfume label from the *second picture above and cut it out of card stock. Then I made several wallet size photos from one of Blair's pictures and glued her picture onto the body in the perfume ad. I cut wings from scrapbook paper, added crepe paper and using double sided tape again, I secured it all to the front.
I taped a toothpick to the back to make it stand in the cupcake.

And that is how "Fairy Blairs," as said by Blair, were born.
Now I have requests from all of my kids to make fairies for their birthdays. The older ones want really funny ones for theirs so we are working on those images.

I have also strung rosettes together to make banners which look really great on gift packages
or anywhere you want to create a little interest - mantles, bookshelves, on a floral display - endless possibilities. I made one for Halloween last year and downloaded vintage script to make the word Halloween with each letter on a rosette.

It's such a simple adornment which takes very little time and money.
I wish I had a baby shower to throw for someone because I have a fun idea for that and am dying to make picks.
Have fun - you'll enjoy making them!

On Motherhood for me

Sunday, May 9, 2010

From the zoo trip , May 2010, WA DC

Kids of all kinds act up too and its mother's expression made me laugh.
Zoo trip, May 2010, WA DC

Some days I have to remind myself that Motherhood is the highest calling that I can have. Some days I have to search for the energy to look for one more lost shoe, do one more load of laundry and make one more scrambled egg. I envy those mothers who, with great passion, say they honestly can't think of anything they would rather do than be a mother.
Then there are days when I'm reminded that I am one of them.

Like the other day when Reese came shopping with me and I watched him go straight for the craft section to load up on all the things he wants to create, knowing there would be another picture for me to hang.

And the other night when Belen, Charley and I went to a friend's house where we all got manicures and I watched them laugh and enjoy themselves.

And a day ago when Trae puckered his lips and kissed me over and over and over on the cheek.

And last night when Blair wanted to show me her Mother's Day present, I waited and she began to sing two songs she had been practicing all day. When she felt a little embarrassed that everyone was watching, she suddenly moved to hug me. I held her as she sang in my ear and I could feel the vibration from her voice right over my heart.

Last night before bed, I happily collected the little one's shoes to be ready for Sunday, I made sure the clothes in the dryer had been dried thoroughly, and today I awoke with happiness to get the scrambled eggs started.

I do know that my calling as a Mother is a great one and I love it.
I am so very thankful for it and its beautiful, daily reminders.

And it's ok when there are some days that I can't see the forest through the trees because I know that eventually the forest will win out... every time.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Miss you mom...

Red Bull Friday

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lifelong friends.
Jon and some of his high school buds, May 2010
Every year about 7 of them get together for a weekend of reminiscing, and hassling each other, only the ways guys do. This time it was at one of the guy's cabin back home in WA state and involved fishing, golfing, and a big fire.

Ahh, Friday.

Just hearing the word always brings a sense of relief and cause for celebration. Every week on Facebook, one of my friends somewhere, posts the old "TGIF" status and everyone likes it. I don't know why Friday is considered unlucky in some countries. For me, it's been a perfectly happy day. It is such a welcome sight after a long week and ushers in the weekend's possibilities.

Each weekend I make a mental to-do list of projects I want to get done, knowing full well I won't realize most of them. Maybe that's why in Australia, there is a new trend called "Red Bull Friday" where people drink large amounts of Red Bull. I guess they want to speed through their last work day and be fueled for successful weekend activities.
I'll take it a little slower but as long as I get something done and the weekend is enjoyed, I will view it as a success.
And I'm not even on Red Bull.

Happy Friday mates!
*hoping to get the boys' room done this weekend. The primer and base coat of paint is up - now for stripes.

Afternoon images - National Zoo

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Restoration Hardware Art - my way

Monday, May 3, 2010

For those of you that hate to see books destroyed, turn away.

I have a hard time parting with books, let alone rip them apart.

As I was looking through Restoration Hardware's catalogue, I came across this "objets d'art."
They cost $29.00 for each bundle of books. I wondered who in the world would buy this when you can just do it yourself? It couldn't be that hard.

So I decided to try it and the books would have to take one for the team.

I wasn't crazy for the look but I felt challenged to recreate this with thrift store books at a fraction of the price.

This picture courtesy of Restoration Hardware

I gathered up a few books - $1.00 each. Trae enjoyed stacking them on his little wagon. Note to self: old books = cheap toys.

As the RH catalogue says, the books are "liberated from their covers" which must be akin to burning bras or something. I first made sure the books were not going for thousands of dollars on Ebay. The most expensive one was $13.00. No big whoop I thought. So off with the covers!

Next, I took jute twine and tied it around the books. I wanted the lighter shade but I didn't have that and wanted to use what I had so this color would do. It was around $2.00 for the roll.

Five minutes later I had my own "objets d'art." I held them all together with one of Jon's boot laces. See what happens when your husband is golfing and fishing with his high school buddies out in WA state? (our home state) You take his shoelaces...

And then I put it on the shelf and suddenly I kinda liked it. I think it would look better en masse so there will be more on the way. And I'm going to buy leather cords to hold them together.

As a side note, the capiz flower candle holder was only .49 cents at the thrift shop and the name card inside of it was from my 1st grade field trip to the Portland Zoo and OMSI. There was a slide into the petting zoo area and we enjoyed going down it and watching the animals dodge us.

A goat came up to me so I petted him and he started to eat my name tag, that name tag. He was slowly getting closer to my neck when my mom realized I was yelling. She was in a tug of war with the goat but managed to get it out of his mouth.

She saved it for me and now a priceless memory has a place on the shelf.