Wednesday, September 29, 2010

distractions and dead arms

Is it cheating the plan if instead of old photos, I post some of the videos Shawn and I have been watching while I've been working?  No really, I am! I am sitting here on the floor (because my computer is currently residing on the coffee table -did I mention one of the projects on my list is getting my stinkin' desk re-finished and back in here?!) and I am surrounded by cd cases and hard drives and lists and well, acorns and the memory game and library I guess I do have a few distractions.  No wonder I'm so behind.
Also, my arms and legs keep falling asleep.  This is a really bad way to work.  While I move around to restore circulation to my limbs, I enjoy these...

By the way, there is also some good music in the sidebar over to the left just above a list of fun places to visit -you know, if you need a break or whatever.  Like Mila's Daydreams for instance.  I could stare at those fun shots all day! Oh and Today's Letters, of course.  And habit always gets me...
Oh, what?! Work?!
Right, ok. Back to it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

flowers on a rainy day

red zinnia
{red zinnia ~ previously posted here}
It has been raining for the past two days making for some real lazy time inside.  It is gray, gloomy and quiet and I tend to take that as an excuse to do not-a-whole-lot. I've sorted through some picture files and taken an inventory of what's there, but all I've really accomplished so far is realizing how much I miss my North Carolina garden.  These are two of my all-time favorite flower photos.
 dahlia among zinnnias
{white dahlia ~ previously posted here}
I have never before or ever since managed to take such a clear, crisp picture of a red flower.  Red has a way of blowing out in digital photos -a phenomenon I have yet to really understand, so I don't know what I did right with this one. I just know I could stare at the color and depth in this photo for a good long while.
I bet that white dahlia is blooming right now in its little corner of the back yard (that is if the renters haven't killed them all...but I really shouldn't let my mind go there).  My sister in Washington state recently sent me some photos of the enormous "dinner plate" dahlias that grow there.  Maybe one day I'll actually be able to go out and see them (the flowers and the sister).
Here's one more while I'm at it-
orange cosmos
{'bright lights' cosmos ~ previously posted here}
Now let me see what I can dig up that I haven't already posted...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

the plan

I'm trying really hard to catch up on all the things crowding my ever-growing project list. Like the things piled up on my sewing machine (where they have been since I pulled them out of the moving box), and the things sitting in the garage (but I bought paint today! and a wire brush! and mums! No, the mums have nothing to do with the project in the garage, they were just pretty.) So, maybe in the coming week or two I'll make some real progress. Most of the other items on the list involve my photos. The photos that are taking up entirely too much space on my hard drive. The photos that badly need to be backed up on disc. The photos that need to be printed in photo books or hung on the walls or sent to friends. Those photos. I have a lot of catching up to do but I have a plan to make myself do it. What's my plan?
I will not allow myself to post ANY new photos until the catching up is done. Nope, not one. Until I can report that my hard drive is clear, my photos are stored and prints are in the mail (and maybe a Blurb book or two) I will only be posting photos taken before September 26, 2010 that I come across during all that hard work. Like this one-
It's actually two photos that I accidentally-then-on-purpose put together. I'm kind of excited to see what else I come across this week...stay tuned!
I've put my plan out there, so I certainly can't back down now.  This could be fun!
Or torture.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

at summer's end

glowing trees
The earth was their classroom -a forest trail, a canopy of glowing green and pockets full of nature.
Virginia trails
They ran together through the woods, laughing, smiling, not stopping for pictures like us mamas, but I did catch a few of them.
They heard acorns falling from the tree tops (we pictured squirrels up in the branches making fun and keeping score) and smelled them (I never thought to smell an acorn before -it was minty!) and filled pockets and bags with them in all shades of green, yellow, black, even red.
moss carpet
kate on the trail
the gang
Today, Autumn arrived. Welcome to our classroom. We can't wait to see what you have to show us.
summer sunshine

Monday, September 20, 2010

the tree wall

Remember the family tree photo collage that graced the wall of my old dining room? It has appeared in many a family picture as the backdrop for craft projects, school days, celebrations and garden bouquets.  It was the one showcased in a Domino magazine web gallery (which is no more since Domino sadly went away).  It was the one so full of our most special photos, I nearly cried as I began taking it down to be packed up by movers, thinking I would never be able to replicate such a display again.
Well, I was wrong.  And I like my new "tree wall" oh so much more!
the tree wall
This time I created a tree theme, lending to it a collection of art such as the west Texas landscape painted by my dad, the pair of cherry blossom paintings found in an antique store owned by my elementary school principle, and in the center, an embroidered family tree. It couldn't have come together more perfectly but it will be an ever-changing work of art as we continue to add memories to it.
the tree wall
This week I added the beautiful trees made of birch bark and shells, a gift from our Ukrainian friends.  Every piece of that wall holds a special memory or bit of our family history and I realize now that it is not something that will ever be finished. Reasons to change it, move it and add to it, mean we will always have reasons to celebrate family.
the tree wall

Thursday, September 16, 2010

kids at the park

This week has flown by! It has been full and busy, but mostly just with a lot of this...
the neighborhood biker gang
kate's shades
sweet Katya
campbell kids
I'm certainly not complaining.

Monday, September 13, 2010

here lately...

We are seeing much more dirt and band aids and grimy fingernails at the ends of days spent outside where trees are just beginning to change and the air is cool and fresh.  The neighborhood has come alive with children, bicycles, barbecues and stops for conversation on every corner.  We love it here. 
team Argentina
We are spending a lot of time at the soccer fields with one super coach and a bunch of excited kids.  A great sport is being learned, much fun is being had, and friendships are being made.  Go team Argentina!
kate loooves her yogurt
I never stop doing laundry.  Ever.  But sometimes, watching her make a mess is so worth a pile of dirty clothes. Sometimes.
vwodka & wvords
We are having a great time getting to know our new Ukrainian friends.  They are staying with us until their house (right across the street!) is ready for move-in.  I have learned a handful of Russian words, enjoyed a steaming bowl of borscht for dinner tonight and have truly enjoyed the company of our newest neighbors.
Did I mention how much we love it here?

Friday, September 10, 2010

lessons to learn

"I would send you a box of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
-Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You've Got Mail
a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils
Today as we dashed out the door for our first day of Classical Conversations, we found ourselves dashing back in the door for light jackets, singing all the way over the cool weather.  A first day of school, a chill in the air, reds and yellows beginning to dot the woods and to top it all off? One grande pumpkin spice latte, please.  (These bits of goodness more than made up for the parts of the day we will just put behind us, like being surrounded by crying children in a too-small nursery or the gallon of milk dropped on the kitchen floor...)
Even though we have been "doing school" for the past month, today marked a big beginning as the core of our schooling will be the Classical Conversations grammar curriculum.  I love this program so much, and I'm sure that when friends ask about it I probably gush just a bit about how wonderful it is and I probably offer them more information than they were really asking for and I probably come off like a completely over-zealous home schooling crazy lady.  I've come to terms with that.  I do need this excitement to keep me motivated for the next 24 weeks after-all.  Especially on days like this...
character lessons
Yes, it says "KENNA IS STOOPED" just above the scripture he was copying, Psalm 139:4.  I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Oh my, son. Do I address the spelling first or the obvious need for a character lesson and apology? Right. Gotta love those days when the plans are tossed right out the window but the lessons learned are worth so much more than what was planned.
So, school is in, and as always, I make plans that our days rarely follow as I hope or think or expect them to, but always, good lessons are learned.  I am continually reminded that I am doing so much more than teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.  I am, more importantly, helping to shape their character, nurture their souls, and lead them to a place of understanding so that they can one day on their own discern beauty, goodness and truth.  This is the goal but I'm sure it won't be an easy road for any of us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

some wednesday links

~I have played this video around eighty-seven times since my sister sent it to me last week.  Oh wait, actually, she sent me this one which is also awesome and then I found the other one posted with it.

cookies too cute to eat
~My sweet friend, Lacy, sent these adorable hand-made cookies recently, and Kenna's daily picnics and tea parties have never been cuter.  Lacy is one of the most creative people I know.  She is confident, positive always wearing a beautiful smile and not afraid to go for it.  I know she has some big projects in the works and I am proud to say "hey I know that girl!" (Also, I am SO jealous of the hike she went on this week.)

~I can't get enough of Today's Letters.  One of the best blogs EVER! Go! Go there! Read it!

~Pioneer Woman's latest photo assignment is "funny" and the submissions rolling in are providing endless entertainment over here (especially those of the "silly animal" variety. Kids eat that stuff UP.)

~It's not easy to video yourself light saber fighting with a toddler but I had to do it so I could catch her using her latest catch-phrase...

...did you catch it? "Aww nice!!!" Oh my -only out of the mouth of a third child.

What are you enjoying this week?

Monday, September 6, 2010

it's labor day!

OK, I am so sorry for the completely awful pun but I couldn't help it.  As far as I know, there was no labor for this lovely mama-to-be just yet, but hopefully soon Janel and Dave will be welcoming their little one!
I just thought I'd direct you to their recent portraits over at KC Photos -such a beautiful couple!

Friday, September 3, 2010

dad's birthday

fishing with dad
There was good barbecue, homemade cards decorated with "marine stuff", fishing and spicy chocolate cake.  Sounds like a good birthday kind of day to me. Hopefully Shawn felt the same way...
spicy chocolate cake
About that cake.  By spicy, I mean spicy.  Chipotle, cayenne and cinnamon chocolate cake, covered in chipotle, cayenne and cinnamon chocolate frosting covered in dark chocolate ganache (by the time we got to that step, our mouths were burning so we decided to go with at least one not-spicy layer!)  Biting into this cake is one crazy experience but Shawn declared that it "just might be my favorite cake you've ever made!"  Score.

Happy Birthday, Shawn!  I love you!
Here's to another thirty-something-ish years full of crazy, spicy fun!
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