Tuesday, March 31, 2009

30 Day Shred

Wednesday, March 31

OK, here is a little extra post for you. I just found out about this giveaway sponsored by the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I think I need to win this exercise DVD, so I can be motivated to workout 20 min a day for 30 days. My jeans feel like they're shrinking. So if you want to join you only have until April 1st, 1pm PST, to enter the contest. Good luck!

Kyla is 8!

Tuesday, March 31

Yesterday was Kyla's birthday, but it was just too busy to post. I'm happy to report she a had a great day and here are a couple shots that I took of her. She says she didn't feel any older though. I can't believe I've been a mom for eight years! I'll probably be saying that every year - adding one to the number of course. Kyla had some friends meet her at the pool for a little celebration - both my girls love to swim. Then we took her out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. We hadn't been there for a year and it was just like we remember - Yum!

This last shot was taken through one of the prisms in their big glass doors.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reflections - Part 2

Friday, March 27

OK, for all the regulars here are a couple of reflection pics of some people you may know. There is Sydney rescuing a Kung Fu Panda from the puddle and the second on she is actually mid-jump. If you look closely her feet are not on the ground and you can see a blooming tree in the far puddle. Too bad I was so busy looking at Syd that I didn't notice that huge piece of litter.

Here are more of Syd trying to help me out. Kyla was too busy reading to be included. Can you see her rolled up tongue in the bike fender?

Here is my self portrait.

Vote for your planet

Saturday, March 28

Don't forget tonight at 8:30pm your local time is Earth Hour. Vote for Earth by switching off your lights for one hour. Show your support by voting against global warming.

This shouldn't be too hard for me. The girls and I are visiting some Grandparents today and they will be spending the night, so I won't even be home. I just have to remember to shut down the computer before I go. Hubby would encourage you to play a boardgame by candle light.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Capture - Reflections

Thursday, March 26

This week's photography challenge was, well - a challenge. I saw a lot of reflections, but none that really looked great. So I left out all the silly self portraits, reflections found in framed art, and car windows and review mirrors. Also all the ones I made my youngest daughter pose for. I'm sensing a part 2 post for the regular readers. I was going to use this for a shadow pic, but then decided since the sand was wet, it was really a reflection, right? I wish I knew this family so I could send them a copy.

I got this one on a school field trip to some ponds last week.

It seems like all the reflections I saw were bare branches and cloudy skies. I guess we can't all live near pretty pools next to awesome architecture. Here is the Alhambra Castle in Granada, Spain. We were in walking distance to this for a few months.
A cistern in Seville, Spain.
And a couple old pics from a modern art exhibit at the Pompidou in Paris. (That's me in the middle.)
Sydney insisted that I include this one of her from a mirror maze in Prague.To see more reflections go here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet Potato Love

Wednesday, March 25

Sydney was helping me with dinner last night when she fell in love with a sweet potato that according to her looked just like a baby seal. So I started recording a few things I heard her say because is was so darn funny. After she was done peeling the other potatoes she was playing with her new seal and looking for a place to hide it. The following are all quotes from Syd:

Oh, it looks like a seal, I don't want to peel that one, let's peel one that looks not so seal-y.

Can we never peel this seal?
Is there a place that daddy has never ever gone in our house?

If you can't find it you can't peel it.

He has a yummy body.
Then, she accidentally dropped the sweet potato, I mean, seal right on his nose. She got a very sad face and actually started to cry.

Oh no, now he's cracked and we'll have to peel him.

Now he won't be a seal anymore.

He was so special and cute.
I want a real live seal for my birthday, we can get a blow-up pool for him.

Today I have returned the potato to the vegetable drawer and so far she seems to have forgotten about her seal. I wonder what will happen when we have leftovers?

Friday, March 20, 2009

My First Field Trip

Friday, March 20

I still don't have the beach pictures posted, but I do have pictures from Kyla's field trip to Whitaker Ponds this week. It was my first elementary school field trip, since Sydney was in preschool that day, I was able to tag along. We got to ride the school bus, which is exciting for the kids that live close enough to walk (that's us). It turned out to be educational and fun. I'm sure I missed some of the talk as I was busy taking pictures, so don't quiz me. I did learn that the ponds filter water from the storm drains of Portland. The kids learned about lots of plants and birds. My camera batteries died right when we spotted a great blue heron - darn!
So glad I found Kyla some boots at a second hand store recently - it was muddy! Here they are learning how to properly plant some water tolerant shrubs called Spirea.
Here's Kyla digging a hole for her plant. She ended up using her hands, those gloves will never be the same.After planting it was time to study macro (don't need the microscope to see them) invertebrates. First you have to catch them.

Then you suck 'em up and separate them into ice-cube trays and identify them using provided cheat sheet. A pair of boys even caught a tiny fish. Sorry, it was too hard to take pictures of the water bugs.At the end they returned their water and surviving bugs to the pond.Here's a bonus picture for getting to the end. I did a little editing, but willow trees always look so dreamy don't they?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You Capture - Shadows

Wednesday, March 18

This is week 4 of the You Capture photography challenge. Let see, I need shadows, that means I need light, as in sun, but wait, I live in Oregon - no sun. Every time I think I've found a shadow, it turns out to be a refection because everything here is wet! OK, well it was very sunny at the beach last week, but I still had a hard time. Enough talk, here are the pics.
Here I caught a little fairy.

With the kite holders help we also lured in Pegasus.

Here is an old favorite, not sure if it's the picture I love or the place. If you ever go to Córdoba, Spain you have to visit the Salon de Te. It was a friendly tea house with lots of atmosphere and comfy cushions.

Happy St. Patrick's Day & Art

Tuesday, March 17

I know Paddy's day isn't about Leprechauns and pots-o-gold, but they are Irish - hence the rainbow. Next time I cross the Atlantic I hope Ireland will be on my itinerary. For now we're wearing green, even though we haven't left the house today. Kyla has a little cold and I really encouraged her to go to school after missing three days last week, but I just couldn't make her knowing she would be wiping her nose every 5 seconds and sneezing her germs all over the place. She's been walking around with a tissue stuffed up her nose and I'm resisting the urge to share a picture. I'm happy that the no one has even requested to watch a show today. So far they are happy playing and making art. Here is the art work Kyla did at school after reading Dogs in Space.
At the grade school they had family art night where Sydney painted this ice cream cone.
Sydney is showing a little spring spirit here.
Kyla made these cute little flowers out of construction paper, tape and cotton swabs.

Also the girls and I enjoyed this YouTube art video which was shared on a few blogs I read recently.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunny Seaside

Sunday, March 15

We're home from the beach and I can't believe how great the weather was. So nice to have a break from the wacky weather of last week. On Monday we saw every form of precipitation: snow, hail, sleet, rain and slush. Did I miss any? I was amazed to look back at the pictures and find that these two were next to each other. Here is the last pic I took Tuesday afternoon while driving through the coast range on the way to Seaside.

Here is the first one I took Wednesday in Canon Beach, right after we shared a family size bucket of clam chowder at Mo's. Yummmm.The skies were this clear the whole time we were there, see the squinting. It seems like we packed more for three nights at the beach than for two months in Europe. I guess that's what happens when you have a car and pack bikes, food and a kite. You never know how many layers you will need to protect against the Oregon coast winds.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Capture - Texture

Wednesday, March 11

Here are my texture photos for the You Capture photography challenge, week 3. It was to temping to go through all the Europe photos, but I resisted and took a couple new shots during the last week.

I was hoping to get Sydney looking through or over her fan from Spain, but she wasn't in the mood.

OK, this last one I took on the way home from South Carolina after Christmas, but I love this picture.

I also had some
frost pics a few weeks ago that would have worked.

Brace yourself

Tuesday, March 10

I can't believe it, Kyla hasn't even turned eight yet and she had her first visit to the orthodontist and they're ready to start. Be thankful that they haven't sent me the pictures from the visit because I would have been tempted to post them and I think they might look pretty scary. Kyla didn't look very comfortable as they stretched her mouth as far as they could and stuck mirrors inside in order to take pictures from every angle.

It's no surprise that both the girls will need braces as Kevin and I both had them. Kyla's got all sorts of things going on: narrow upper palate, cross-bite, and an ankylosed molar (I'll explain that in a second). Things have sure changed since I got mine 20+ years ago. They do them in two phases now, which makes sense to start early to prepare the way for the permanent teeth yet to come in. Are you ready? The bottom line is 5-6k, x 2 girls = ouch! It's a good thing we weren't thinking about this last year or we may have spent that sabbatical right here at home.

For all you relatives here are the gory details. It's all starting now because Kyla has an ankylosed 2nd yr molar, which means that is it fused to her jaw bone and the permanent tooth underneath isn't growing properly. The more she grows, the more the tooth is sinking back into gums. This means that the first step is to have the tooth extracted by an an oral surgeon. Then she will have a spacer there to keep the other teeth from moving into the empty spot. Next they will put a metal arch across the roof of her mouth to expand her upper palate. She will also get some braces on the front four teeth to help make room for her canines. Phase 1 will last about a year and phase 2 starts around 12 years old. It will be nice that she may be totally done by the time she starts high school. I didn't even get my braces until I was fourteen.

For the rest of the week we're going to forget about all of this and head to the beach so I better get packing. Check back on Thursday to see the photo challenge on texture.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fly with dragons

Saturday, March 7

Today is the first day of Kevin's spring break - Yay! The last couple of weeks have been busy and we're looking forward to some family time and a trip to the Beach on Tuesday! We haven't been to a beach since last September and I honestly can't remember our last trip to the Oregon coast - I'll have to look back at my pictures to see if we even went last year. Syd and I were at Costco and I could resist this big dragon kite.

I truly tried to convince the girls not to take this kite out the box until we got to the beach, but they were sooo excited and not to be reasoned with or bribed. Well, yes of course they wanted to fly it and were very disappointed when I told them it was absolutely not possible. They don't care that kites skies free of power lines, space to run and one more little thing called wind! For now they are happy just running in circles in the back yard. I sure hope they don't loose any parts or break it before we get there. Now let's all hope for some decent weather! Look, there is Kyla's right arm without a brace - her broken arm is now a thing of the past.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Photo Storytelling

Thursday, March 5

Lately I've been fascinated with taking pictures through my peep hole. I know it's kind of weird, especially since you can't really control what's on the other side. I found another photography challenge posted by Scott Thomas Photography where you try to tell a story in just one shot. I actually found this kind of hard, but this one does a pretty good job. Not only are my parents coming over for dinner, they are bringing the food (notice the cooler and various bags they are carrying). I'm still having troubles getting my non SLR to focus correctly through the hole, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You Capture - Perspective

Wednesday, March 4
This weeks You Capture photo challenge is perspective. I know that new photos were encouraged but this pic Sydney on her bike is my favorite and I posted it the day before I found out about the perspective theme. Sorry for the rerun. OK, now for some new ones.

Sydney rather looks like a giant here helping me in the kitchen. I wouldn't even mind a giant in my kitchen if it meant someone else was cooking dinner. Too bad I got such a bad glare off the cabinet.

We don't have a train track at home, but I got this shot at preschool, I think the kids thought I was a little crazy. How did that get there? Well, I couldn't leave out this one of a staircase we saw while in Prague last summer.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week end wrap up

Sunday, March 1

The week (and month) has gone by so fast and I feel like I can't get out of first gear. It seems like I've had something on the calender everyday for last two weeks. This post is for certain grandparents who wanted more pictures of grandkids and less of teapots - but I won't name any names (mom). It was kind of nice to be forced to take a break yesterday while playing nurse to Sydney whose who suddenly got a fever and needed snuggling and blankets and water and books and a long nap. I needed that nap too! Yes, so sad that I have given them up after needed/wanting them for seven year. Wow - seven?- I guess kids will do that to you.

We took a field trip to the Central Library with preschool. That place is huge - the kids section is almost as big as our local library. Here is Sydney acting appropriately impressed at the sight of the card catalog that we found up on the third floor.
I overslept that morning so we missed the opportunity to explore public transportation, but I think during the last year we've experienced every form of transportation there is. OK, we haven't traveled by submarine or hot air balloon, but there is still time.
Last weekend it was Kyla with the fever. Since I had just spent a day helping a few preschool moms put together a quilt for our annual auction fundraiser, we decided to spend her sick day sewing. Kyla had been planning a sewing project for a while and she was really excited to use her sewing machine.
Here she successfully sewed a straight seam.
Thanks mom for teaching me how to sew. It's great to be able to pass something like that on to my girls.