Friday, April 24, 2009

Good Sports Rock!

This is a picture of Kalli's first grade teacher. She played in a teachers vs. 4th grade basketball game (she was by far the best teacher player out there) and it was great because her daughter is in fourth grade and they played against each other....

At half time, there was a pie toss. Holy Smokes my children LOVED smashing this woman in the face with plates of whipped cream. I cannot imagine how it all got cleaned up because it was so crowded we left after we smashed her. I love things like this to raise money for a good cause...  you can sort of see Chris in the background (in the wheelchair). The event raised money to buy him new equipment to get him into bed because his broke. Things like this make you even more thankful for your healthy children. I hope Chris gets into bed easily soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Dance with me daddy!!"

I love when I am working in my office and I hear one of the girls yell that out. I immediately run for my camera. This is what I saw when I stepped out of my office today. So grateful to have the camera in hand.
"You aaaways end the dance with a kiss you know." Man, this kid rocks my world. So much love in such a little body. Being the Mom in this family is just cool sometimes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Do you like see food Mommy?"

She does this to me like 10 times a meal, and I say "YES, I love it!" every time! It still makes us laugh on the 10th time she does it. I had not heard that in years. It just cracks me up. I feel so lucky to be this kid's Mom.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fun Fiesta Food

Just wanted to show a few details from the party we had for the Rotary for my dad this weekend. It was a progressive dinner and we were last stop...  dessert! YUM! I used all my WW flex points, but I did pretty well considering all the YUMMY stuff we had.
I thought this punch looked so pretty. I borrowed this picture and stirring stick from my friend Mari and it just made it perfect.
I made this one....  it looked so cute, tasted SO GOOD and was only three points!!  It is just strawberries tossed with a bit of rum and pure maple syrup and a dash of black pepper (odd, I know). Then you put in a scoop of Fat Free Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and top it with a mint sprig. It was great and it looked so fun!

I had to quit being in the Rotary with my dad when I started teaching since I can no longer make it to the meetings. I miss it. I miss the people and I really felt like they needed younger women in the club. Maybe one day I will be able to join again. Best part about the party is MAN, my house is nice and clean right now. I LOVE A CLEAN HOUSE more than almost anything besides my family. It makes me happy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life is good....

I saw something today on line that was pretty cool. It made me think about the fact that even though life if not always fair, it really is good. Here are a couple shots for my project 365 that made me realize just how simple and good life can be (by the way, I print my 365 photo every night before I go to bed and it makes me so happy). I love that project.
I find extreme peace in taking a photo everyday. I love just knowing that I am capturing so much stuff I might have missed without this project. I love having a camera with me pretty much everywhere. I am even looking at finally getting a new camera bag so I can carry my 70 - 210 lens around this summer. I hope you notice and capture the little everyday things that make you realize LIFE IS GOOD.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Pages Now Have a Home

I posted that I won a spot in Tania's on-line class In Loving Memory.

Well, it is fantastic and I feel honored and grateful to be a part of it. I know it makes me sound like a freak... but I think that SOMEHOW my Mom helped me win that spot.

The album I am using for the class arrived today (12 x 12 American Crafts Binder in this excellent Sky Blue that my Mom would have loved). I ran to the basement and opened one of the rubber maid tubs that we packed up at the funeral home (3 1/2 years ago). I had made a bunch of pages that were on display during her wake and almost all of them were 8.5 x 11. After about a year of having them on boards in my office to break my heart every time I walked in there, I took them apart and placed most of the pages into a nice binder. Well, I made two of them 12 x 12. So I had no where to put them.

Now because of this class... they have a home and it made my heart feel so happy to simply see these pages again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kalli's party is totally sneaking up on me

But I got the invitations done tonight. Now I have all the planning to do. And, I started teaching full time again today because the other teacher decided not to stay. And I am not planned for the week. Oh, and my house is a mess and we are having a big Rotary event here on Saturday for my dad. Shoot me now. :)
I am all over these clear envelopes right now. I think I purchased them in 1998 or something. See, I am sooooo not cool. My brother Matt got all that. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

My brother got all the "cool"

I am a firm believe that God gives each family a certain ration of funny, and of cool and of other desireable personality traits. It would not be fair to give ALL the cool to one family in the world you know....  In our family, everyone knows my brother got ALL the cool (yeah, yeah, I know I did not get ANY of it). Here are a few pictures of his awesome home. He sold it and needs to be out on May first. I know he is doing the right thing, but as a hater of change...  it all makes me sad.  He did SUCH an amazing job filling this funky space with things he loves.....

My brother even has Cool friends....  My children both love Rahul, but Kaya thinks he hung the moon. And, Busia has always loved Matt most. He is just about as cool as it gets. Lucky me for being his sister...  because he totally would not want to hang out with me otherwise.

He also is the COOLEST uncle on the planet, and all the kids know it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

We had a great weekend. Different than before, but we enjoyed it.
I always feel like my Mom should be in photos like this. I even see a space (between my head and Mindy's head) where her happy face belongs. I close my eyes, imagine her in that space and open them and I sort of really expect to see here there. In lots of my pictures it seems like I leave a space for her. I miss her.....  But, to move on, here are just a few of the 378 shots I took yesterday and today.

The yearly Rotary Egg Hunt (It lasts from 9 - 9:02 AM - if you are late, it is over)

My Dad's last couple months as the President of his Rotary Club.
The girls hunting for eggs. Our last year in Uncle Matt's awesome home. He sold it and closes on May 1.

Mindy and her family joined us for Lunch on Easter Saturday this year. It was fun.
My brother's block makes my heart ache to take photos...  lots of photos. I have tons of the kids. This is one of the MANY where I tried to get them all to jump. Tara Whitney makes this look WAYYYY easier than it really is. :)

This is just a typical shot at my brothers....  an egg hidden in a classy setting of high end booze. :)

Taken from my brother's loft.
All of us....  Matt's place not only is funky and TOTALLY cool. It has the best natural lighting for photos ever. I love portrait type shots there with no flash. They all come out great.

Anyway, I hope you all had a relaxing and blessed Easter weekend.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A new chapter...

I started teaching full day full time Kindergarten on accident back in November. It has been an interesting journey. I took over for a teacher on emergency bed rest....  well, she is coming back on Monday, so Thursday was my last day as the teacher. We had a Hawaiian Laua to learn about a totally different culture within our own country and to really have an excuse to have an all day party!! 

I have enjoyed the unique challenges of teaching. It was the hardest job I have had in years for the least amount of money I have made in 20 years....  but I loved it. I loved simply being a part of the educational journey of these 12 amazing little people. I loved it. It was never boring and I learned SO MUCH every single day.

And, in the end, we had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I am a winner and BOTH fish lived 24 hours in my home....

Dominic came close to dying...  Neil found him swimming sadly and slowing on his side. So Neil changed out the water and added more of something and Dominic seems to have picked up speed a bit. I dread looking in that bowl in the morning!!!  I need to make the next one a Beta because you guys are telling me even my family will not kill a Beta!! 

And, I am SO EXCITED! I entered a contest on Jody Ferlaak's Blog late last night (right before they drew). I had not heard of this class before, but I fell in love once I read it and totally wanted to take it (it starts tomorrow). I really do not have the $25 (and we already just spent $20 this month on the darn dying fish) so I went to bed hoping that if it was time for me to start a book like this for my awesome Mom, maybe, just maybe, I would get picked. Now, I have never won anything (unlike Kaya who wins fish that die) so when I logged in this morning to see that I won, I was so excited, I actually got teary eyed! I feel INCREDIBLY BLESSED to get this push to create a simple, meaningful place to store memories of my Mom. I have started a tribute type album for my Mom where I sent out cards with different questions to our family after the funeral and I am putting them in this nice album...  but that was not the whole story. I wanted to do a little of her life, and what she taught me, and I was never sure how to do that. I also have ached to create a page about the accident because one day, I will not be here to tell the story, and I need to know my kids know how suddenly life can change...  this project will not only allow me to do that, it will show me the way. I am so excited. I even made a simple start to my title page tonight because I had a small story I needed to tell about my Mom. So, I feel blessed and cannot wait to share this journey with you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Bye Abigail.... Hello Sophie

OK, the first 24 hours with the stupid fish did not go so well. I woke up to find only one fish...  I am not kidding. Turns out little Abigail got stuck under the rocks and did not make it back out. It was not the best start to our morning needless to say. The girls handled it quite well and went on a mission with daddy this afternoon to go get Abigail 2. Well, they came home with Sophie (not sure how the name got changed...  but it is much better that way because at this rate we would possibly be up to Abigail 6 by the end of the weekend). They also came home with a bigger bowl, a pathetic little bag of rocks (we actually need more rocks), a plastic plant, and a bigger fish. So now we are about $20 into the FREE fish. One dead. Two to go. Oh, and to buy the new Sophie to replace dead Abigail was only 19 cents. 19 cents!!!  Nothing costs only 19 cents. Not even a gumball. They get you on the accessories!

These girls love these stupid fish. Please Dominic and Sophie. Make it through the night. Please???

Monday, April 6, 2009

She won a fish....

Those of you who know me know I am NOT a fan of pets, plants, or messes....  we have made it this far pet-free and I have loved it. Well, we went to the elementary school Fun Fest on Friday and wouldn't you know it, Kaya won a fish. Ugh. It was sad, but as she played the toss the pingpong ball into the fish bowl I hoped beyond hope she missed. Neil and I knew she would not miss because she is that kind of kid. Yep, she won. BUT, happily, it was a coupon for a fish, not the real fish. I thought she would forget. I stalled the best I could. But both of them asked over and over when we were getting the free fish. Even me, being tight on funds, can you really tell your kids they cannot have a FREE fish? Ugh. So, they went to get it today with their dad.

And it is in an old vase, so it only cost the food so far. And, the guy at the store was trying to get the one they wanted and accidentally got two - one girl and one boy - so now we have two fish. Abigail and Dominic (they each named one of them). I am stunned and they are so excited. We had to carry them into Kal's room for family prayers,"Because you know they are part of the family now, right Mommy?" Oh, please, do not let these fish die tonight. I am not sure I can take that in the morning. :)

I think they both could have stayed up all night watching it. They even made me leave a light on for them so they did not get scared. Come on Abigail and Dominic. Please Do not die on me.