Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Phase I - Before & After

Tuesday, June 30

I think Kyla was both excited and dreading the beginning of her day yesterday, but she survived getting braces on her top teeth. She was a little sore in the afternoon. Today, she already seems used to them and they are not too sore. She is still getting used to the amount of food that gets stuck in all her appliances. She has a lot of metal wires in the roof of her mouth that are part of the palette expanding process. She got a goody bag with all kids of cleaning supplies and soft foods so that makes it all exciting. Here she is just before her appointment.

And after.

I think they make her look older. Maybe 'cause back in my day kids didn't get braces until they were about 12. I didn't get mine until I was 14! Did you need to see them closer?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Peace & Quiet

Sunday, June 28

Last week was the most peaceful week that I've experienced in the last 8 years. Today, not so much, but now at 8:30pm the girls are already asleep reviving themselves for adventure tomorrow. Kevin and I stayed for three nights in an upstairs room in this little antique shop in Ashland.
Here was our comfy bedroom, complete with private bathroom, coffee cart, and small fridge.
There were fresh flowers while we had breakfast of scones and tea.
It was only a block to the Shakespeare Festival . We got to see Don Quixote and Much Ado About Nothing and both were great. The one time we drove to go see a movie, we returned to find this little deer in our parking spot.
We had a quiet picnic while watching this pond at Lithia Park. I kept feeling like something was missing. No one was yelling or whining or hanging on my arm. For a few days my name was Deanna instead of mommy. Ahhhhh.
Thank you Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Ken for keeping the kids so happy! They had a great time and now complain that our yard is sooo boring, no riding lawnmowers, no fishing poles, no cousins and no swing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Capture - Summer

Thursday, June 25
As I'm writing I've got 52 more minutes left until midnight Pacific time to get this weeks photo challenge posted. I haven't missed one yet. I have spent the last four days without kids, and the last three without internet. I missed them both! This last week was a great way to start out the summer. It involved a road trip...
A very scenic 18 mile bike ride (Bear Creek Greenway, Ashland, OR).
While the kids enjoyed time with their cousins and uncle at Gma & Gpa's house.

To see the other summer shots,
click here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Macro Monday - Stalagmite

Monday, June 22

How does this sort of thing happen - stalagmites in my freezer? Maybe I should ask a chemistry prof.

The girls are going to VBS with grandma and grandpa in Salem this week. Kevin and I are headed to Ashland. That is 4 nights without kids! A first for us - ahhh the peace and quiet. Almost two years ago we had 2 nights . . . and we went to Ashland. Someday soon they will be old enough to go to the Shakespeare festival. I'm going to go pack now!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Molecules and more

Friday, June 19

For some reason Sydney has been really scared of goblins lately. It has really surprised me since this is the girl who has never been scared of anything before, besides bugs, flies, and bees. Last night I was trying to reassure her that there was no such thing as a real goblin.

Syd: Well, what if someone invents one?

Mom: People can't invent something that's alive, only machines and robots.

Syd: Are you sure?

Mom: Yes, but you can ask Dad about it in the morning.

Syd: Aww, but all he know about is molecules. Or, does he know everything?

Mom: Not everything, but a lot of things.

(Just in case you didn't know, Dad is a chemistry professor)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You Capture - Emotion

Wednesday, June17

There's nothing like your baby growing up, graduating and moving on to make you feel emotional. Here is my baby graduating from preschool.

Last week my little brother graduated from college. Here are my parents with their "baby" at his Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony.
My brother walking with his neices at my grandpa's funeral a couple weeks ago.

On the lighter side, here is my grandma trying to get her dog to show a little emotion for the camera. Who knew a dog could do that?
She normally looks like this.

Oh, and you don't have to thank me for not posting the shots I took of my daughter when she was crying. She can get emotional, but you don't need to see that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Macro Monday

Monday, June 15

Here are some more nature shots that I got using the new macro lens. I think they're a little too macro or at least not enough depth of field. What do you think?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rock Around the Clock

Sunday, June 14

It's been a busy weekend, but I just wanted to post the video of Kyla's piano recital yesterday. She's been taking lessons for two years now and seems to enjoy it.

Here is the second song.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Capture - Nature

Wednesday, June 10

So much nature! I had about 20 pics I wanted to post, especially since I had access to a new Canon Rebel with a macro lens. I still need some practice though. I narrowed it down to 6. I'll save some of those really macro shots for my Macro Mondays. The first two were all taken with my Canon S5 (fancy point & shoot).

Here is the inside of the flower above.

The rest were taken with the Rebel. My daughter spotted this damsel fly in our yard and luckily it took a little rest on these weeds.
More weeds, yes this is from my yard also.
If this isn't second nature to a kid, I don't know what is.
Well I had a lot of fun visiting my friends' gardens and admiring their flowers this week.
To see all the other nature photos,
click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The garden

Tuesday, June 9

Here is part 2 of going local, this time in our own backyard. We ordered 8 organic veggie plants from a preschool fundraiser: 4 tomatoes, 2 green peppers, a cucumber and a zucchini. Sydney is organizing and singing to the plants although she looks more like the conductor here.

We planted our garden in mid May it is so tiny the plants already seem a little crowded. The storm last week almost knocked down our two biggest tomato plants, but they are recovering nicely. We now have tomato blossoms.

And squash blossoms. Sydney is excited about the progress and want to be the first to try our zucchini.

While we're on the topic of local food, I happened to find this at the grocery store the other day. I've heard local flour can be hard to find, but there it was at Safeway. Stone-Buhr flour, made from Sheperd's Grain wheat, grown in the Pacific Northwest.
I also found some great Oregon Marionberry jam at Costco, made by Columbia Empire Farms in Newberg, Oregon. It's sooo yummy and less than $7 for 64 oz. I can't forget to mention that we are also supporting my local part time farmer (and brother) by buying some home grown ground beef. Tomorrow I'm hoping to make it down to the farmers market to see what other goodies we can find.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Going local

Friday, June 6
I recently finished this book, the first non fiction work by Kingsolver, and it was great. I was very inspired. It was all about how her family lived off local food for a year. Here is a quote that really blows me away.

" If every US citizen ate just one meal per week of local & organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels... of oil every week."

The day I finished the book I found out the Kyla's 2nd grade class would be taking a trip to a farm on
Sauvie Island to learn how food gets to our table. I was so excited to share what I had learned in the book with her.

Well, it's taking me forever to get this posted. For some reason blogger wouldn't save my work, so now a week later I'm recomposing. It was a clear and sunny day, perfect field trip weather. From the bus, we could see all three mountains (St. Helens, Adams, and Hood). Here is Mt. St. Helens peeking through the trellis.
Kyla learned to listen like the owls and sneak like a fox (see her making the fox sign).

First stop was the compost pile, where we learned what dirt is made of - mostly worm and several other kind of bug's poo. At first the kids were grossed out, but then they started digging, holding worms and identifying bugs. There were also some veggies growing out of the compost pile, we tried some kale and arugula. The pic on the right show the lovely greens they were growing at the farm.

Next we headed out to learn the life cycle of plants and plant parts. We also identified some seeds. That was tough - don't think I've ever seen kale or turnip seeds. Here are the kids, walking down a row so they can plant some turnip seeds. They also tried some of those purple flowers on the right, chives. Oooh, a little too spicy.
After lunch, we went to a shady grove of pine trees and learned about the food chain and what kind of animals you find on the farm. We searched and found a lot of evidence that owls live on the farm. We also learned that owl pellets are not poop, it's vomit. Owls eat their prey whole and have to get rid of all the indigestibles. Here is the vole skull that we found.
It was a great field trip. Look for part 2 about going local in our own backyard later this week.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You Capture - Feel

Thursday, June 4

I'm not sure why she has to feel this piece of bark on her cheek. Personally I just love the feel of those soft cheeks. Why do kids have such perfect skin? - they'll never appreciate it.

Sydney is showing me the way to feel the grass. "If you go the other way, it doesn't feel right." Please try to ignore her nails, she had been playing in the dirt.
I'm not sure whether to feel proud or ashamed of growing the mother of all dandelions, at least I think that's what this is. In case your wondering that's my size 9 foot so you can see how monstrous that thing was.
I feel joy to have a kid that likes to pull weeds. She told her friends yesterday, "I love pulling weeds, it's so much fun!" She is holding the weed hound, works great for dandelions and as you can see she has mastered it pretty well.
OK, this last picture is of nothing special, I was just practicing my sun flares. I think it kind of shows the feel of summer evenings. It felt like it was still 80 degrees at 8pm last night.

Click here to see all the other feel photos over at I Should Be Folding Laundry .

Monday, June 1, 2009

Macro Monday

Monday, June 1

I took this photo on a field trip with Kyla, hopefully I post the rest of the pics soon. If you're wondering, I had to get very close to this bee and I like bees even less than I like spiders, but he looked pretty busy so I just tried to hurry.