Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thinking about SPRING...

Spring tends to come early where we live... and it lingers. My favorite part about Spring is the flowers. Yesterday morning I spent a few minutes trying out the macro features of my camera. I was able to catch some of the colors of spring from the flowers around the house. I know to some this may be a bit of a boring post, but hey, to those of you still in the winters of what should be Spring - Enjoy!

Tulips are my favorite. When the weather begins to hint that Winter is waining and one is wanting Spring - these flowers poke their little leaf buds through the thawing ground. They endure winters last tries at snow and slowly, oh so slowly, bloom to welcome in Springs arrival.

Meet "Big Red". The girls have named him such. He towers at least 8 inches above the rest of the tulips in the pack. Each day they beckon to him as they leave for school, "Hey Big Red - you're looking tall and grand today!"

The red and yellow flowers are bright and warm. Some have combined the two colors to stand with extra flair.

Bidding the sunrise good morning these happy flowers catch the sun and soak it in. I too love to throw open the shades and let the morning sun flood the living room and slowly warm the house.

Pink is another color found in the garden. The pinks above smell similar to lilacs and its scent lingers in the air. Its my favorite in the garden because it is so hardy and blooms in full shade and full sun and it blooms all year long. Here it is in a bud-like state. Probably two more days and it'll be in bloom. This plant's name has eluded me over the years - does anyone know?

The other pink that is fun to watch unfold are the flowers of the Bleeding Hearts.

These are the leaves of my favorite shrub. They are a bright chartreuse yellow-green in the spring and then fade to a true chartreuse green in the summer. I love the contrast it provides to all the other foliage in the garden.

Lastly are the blues that rise up from this ground cover. Waves upon waves of blue greet anyone who comes to our front door. Soon as summer settles in, the flowers will fade and I'll be left with a leafy ground cover. But for now - I'll breath in the flowers and smile. Spring is in full bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Umm....Info? Oh yeah - The Exciting Info!

First I must apologize for leaving you all hanging for so long. That was a pretty long wait. How rude of me. So I've been going back and forth on how to blog about the exciting news we have to share. Do I just blurt it out? Do I tone down the details and just give you the gist of the story? Or do I give you the play by play of how the details unfolded - its a little comical. Decisions. Decisions. Anyone that knows me knows that I can hardly make a trivial decision if my life depended on it. So to satisfy my need to get the info out there and yet to also get by without having to actually make a decision... Perhaps I'll share the news with you all three ways:

Here's the Blurt:

We're Pregnant! Baby number 3 will be joining us around October 11th. I'm about 16 weeks along and we should be finding out boy/girl mid-May.

Here's the Gist:

So this was a "surprise" for the our family. Usually some minor fertility treatment is involved with us getting pregnant. It was a bit of a shock for Angie. You see I'm a planner - Type A personality. Yeah - it took me a few days to wrap my head around it. You know when you think of your life over the next couple of years and you have your goals in mind... and then... POOF! Something changes and those goals and plans aren't a possibility until several years later. Well my "POOF" took a few days to settle in, but like I said, I'm a planner. So my plans and goals took on a new dimension. A baby changes things. But the excitement of a pregnancy and a new family member caught like fire and plans preparing for this new little one quickly filled my mind and brought joy to my heart.

Joel on the other hand was instantly excited about the news of a baby. He's a great father and he's a great father of infants! He has always felt that we could have another baby and things would be fine.

The girls? They are elated with the news. -B- (also a planner) started making comments: We need to get a room for the baby ready? Who's room is it going to be in? You know I'm a really good babysitter mom... Am I going to be able to feed it? We need to go to garage sales at Grandma's house - we don't have anything baby anymore! I love my planner of a child. She's going to be a great mom someday.

-S- on the other hand (she's my imagination child) woke up the morning after hearing the news and declared, "Mom, I had a dream last night and I know that the baby is going to be a boy and I know what he is going to look like when he's 11 years old. And when he's eleven mom, -B- is going to be 20 years old." I had to tell -S- that sounded like a great dream and we'll have to see if the baby is a boy or girl. Secretly inside - I was cringing. What! I was going to have an 11 yr. old and a 20 yr. old at the same time! This was too much reality for me. Now I know lots of people out there have 20 yr. olds and young kids at home. But lets remember - I thought my family was just going to be the two girls - 2 years apart - high school, college, missions /marriages, all happening within a few years of each other. Yep. A baby changes plans.

Here's the Details Unfolded:

So my sister says that maybe I shouldn't go into detail on this blog of how we learned that I was pregnant. So to honor my sister's advice (and to save any male readers of this blog embarrassment of "girl talk" topics) I won't give the details. But lets just say I seriously thought I had cancer or something because I was sooo not thinking "Baby" when my body was throwing out all these changes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting in a February Post

I just wanted to get a post in during the month of February. It has been a busy month with lots of excitement. I'll be more able to share info with you next week -- some of the details are still being firmed up. I'll keep you posted!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Last weekend we found ourselves at my parents house. The girls love going to Grandma and Grandpa's house. The big adventure this time: Snow. Now this snow was different, magical as one of the girls put it. It wasn't light and fluffy, nor was it the wet snowman building kind. Rather it was about 2 feet of frozen leftovers from the several feet they had in December. Slowly it had melted and then re-froze, melted a little more and then froze again. This process of thaw and freeze made the snow rock hard to walk on. They played all over the acreage without breaking through the snow once. One moment they were playing as if they were on the moon, the next it was dog sleds in the Arctic, and another they were ice queens going to the ball. Oh to be a kid again and play out the imaginations of our inner self. I was actually able to snap a couple of good pictures of the girls. They are hard to photograph. They are both pretty photogenic, however they hate to let me take their pictures. Thus the rare shot of them being agreeable during a photo shoot is... priceless... precious... celebratory... astonishing... well - you get the idea.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Subject Matter

For Christmas my dear husband completely surprised me with a new camera. I was in desperate need of an upgrade, but my 3.1 megapixel point and shoot was meeting our needs and I could get by for another year. So imagine my joy when the upgrade had come much sooner than expected. Can you say, "10 megapixels and 12x zoom baby". Now I don't really know how that rates in the world of photography and cameras - all I know is that my photo taking skills have now reached new potential and I'm pretty excited about that. So here is a shout out to the -J- man - THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

So when one gets a new camera they are eager to take some pictures. The first couple of days, it was all about getting to know the features of the camera. The next couple of weeks I spent trying to catch a good photo of my kids. This was not an easy process. After days of begging, pleading, bribing, I finally got a family member to cooperate with a photo shoot session.

Meet the family dog, "Lucky". I love this dog. Not only is she a good family friend, but she pulls me up the mountain hikes we occasionally conquer. And she loves to play fetch. And she likes our family cat. And she has practically perfect manners. And she swims with the kids... and she poses for my photo shoot sessions... and... well... she is a Labrador. Need I say more?

It may have not been the initial subject matter I was aiming for, but I must say good ol' Lucky came through for me. Now I just wish I could master the editing processes of Photoshop. That will have to be a lesson for another day. But today, I will settle for the pictures of the family dog.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quirky Interests and Hobbies

Quirky (kwrk")
a. an individualizing characteristic or quality
b. strikingly unconventional

So I have this quirky interest that has followed me over the years. I think it started on my Grandpa's farm in Moses Lake. The farm was a great place to visit. There were endless activities that would entertain us grandkids for hours. Some of my favorites were feeding the cows, climbing haystacks, flying kites, walking tight ropes, snitchin' dried fruit out of the cellar closet, shooting BB guns, swimming in the canal, spraying the fire hose, and learning to drive the feed truck (now that one brings back some memories). Yeah, the farm was a fun place - it was a place where cousin bonds were built and memories of a childhood were woven into the fabric of our souls.

My favorite activity that I'd secretly like to do is Archery. There always seemed to be a bow and arrow at the farm. I loved shooting them into the hay bales at targets. I also loved shooting them into the pasture - just to see how far they'd fly. I remember us cousins would always try to out-do the next. I don't think I had much skill in this activity, but I just loved the repetitiveness of it. I loved the ZING of the string as you let the arrow fly and the PLUNK of arrows hitting a target. Oh! And one could never forget the barely audible whisper sound of the WHIZZING an arrow would make when one of the uncles shot into the pasture. Now talk about hang time. Those babies would fly far - amazing what a little muscle could do. I'm sure the uncles loved that us cousins would scatter and go retrieve all those pastures arrows - the thrill of the hunt or something.

Years later the farm has been sold. No one visits it anymore. I, and probably everyone of my siblings and cousins, lock our precious memories and experiences of the farm close in our hearts. I took from it happy memories, strong family relationships, and a quirky interest in Archery.

Here's the proof of the hobby. I took my husband on a date to the local Sportsman's Show this weekend. We wandered all through the booths, sat through a cooking demonstration, and checked out dead dear heads mounted on walls. I know -J- enjoyed it. But for me the payoff came when we hit the indoor archery range. Shhh...Don't tell my husband...but my underlying reason for orchestrating the whole date: A chance to shoot off a few arrows!

Mission Accomplished!

Okay folks. It's confession time. Leave me a comment about your quirky interest or hobby. You know we all have them - so lets just fess up and see what we can learn about each other.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Day in the Garage

-J- had this great idea for Christmas presents for the girls this year. He wanted to give them a tool kit. You know screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches, and so on. You see, whenever -J- is working on a project in the garage, the girls are front and center wanting to be working on projects too. They glean any scrap of wood they can and then the creations begin. With hammers a tappin' they'll create dog houses, cat houses, Barbie huts, and once they even made a full scale floor plan for their dream playhouse out of garden stakes.

So my dear husband furthered the gift by making a wood project to be given with the tool kits that they could assemble. He decided on a "dresser-top organizer". A container to hold books, CDs, and nick-nacks...oh...I mean precious treasures. You know those things that children all cling to: that special rock from the playground, the old gum ball machine ring found half buried in the dirt at the park two years ago, the 50 acorns collected in the fall to feed the squirrels with sometime this winter. The trinkets vary, but every kid has them. As a mother I tend to look over the vastness of my children's precious treasures and I think, "Look at all this clutter!" and then slowly I remember the rocks and paper horses and pig key chains that "cluttered" my room growing up and realize that those precious treasures were forerunners to the things that would later shape the interests and ambitions of my future. Maybe if I peered closely at my children's treasures I'd have a glimpse into whom my children may become.

Wow! Now there were some random thoughts. Back to the wood project. -B- was especially into wanting to do the project. She didn't care if it was only 5 degrees in the garage. She wanted to get started. -J- got the wood stove going (this probably brought the garage up to 25 degrees) and they got started.

Check out the concentration on -B's- face. She is actually quite good when it comes to hammer and nail skills.

Next came some assembly to make the storage spaces for all the afore mentioned treasures.

She chose her colors and the design. Interior dots were all the rave this year.

What an excellent dresser-top storage container. All are feeling good about a project well done.