Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Reunion

Last weekend was Steve's family's reunion. We went up a local canyon and pitched tents. This was our campsite:

There was a creek that ran right next to our campground. It was wonderful! The kids loved playing in it all day long.

Isn't that the cutest picture?? I don't like putting up pics of other people's kids, but I figured it would be okay since their faces can't be seen.

Jared discovered these cool looking beetle bugs.

I hadn't ever seen any like it before, but there were many more spotted during our stay.

Jared and Josh liked playing horse shoes.

I tried too, but didn't have much success. :)

And here is my dear husband with chips. I was trying to get a pic of everyone, but he decided to do a potato chip ad. lol!

We had a great time! It was nice to get out in nature. Emily and I have had a hard time being cooped up in the house since we've gotten home. :)

Jared got poison ivy on his hands, so he is broken out with blisters that ooze, itch, and hurt. I think he would've rather had a different souvenir from the trip. :)

While we were there, I took Matt to Cub Scout Day Camp. Thank heavens it was close by! He had a good time, but was sad that their group wasn't signed up for the canoes. I can't believe that he is a Webelos and this was his last day camp... at least that I will be taking him to. I have tried to go with each of my boys every year that they attended. I missed only about a total of 2 out of 7 or 8. Not too bad. I hope that Michael is able to attend at some point (I kept him home this year because his CP has gotten bad in his leg and walking too far is difficult for him), but if he doesn't it will be ok. I got teary at closing ceremony thinking that I'm almost done with Cub Scouters. I think after my boys are done with Cub Scouts I'll still sign up as a leader; I love the program and love how excited it makes young boys to do all of the activities.

I'm so thankful for my family. I'm glad that we can get together with extended family to reconnect with them.

To those who commented on last month's photo contest: I am still working on sending your photos. I didn't realize a 4"x6" pic didn't fit in a regular envelope. I'll be sending those shortly; sorry for the delay.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Intent of the Gardener"

GGW's Photo Contest's theme this month is "Intent of the Gardener". First I racked my brain to think of what my motivation and intent of gardening was. I don't think I've ever questioned why I garden like I do before. It has just "become". What I discovered was that the intent of my garden is Beauty with Purpose. But how was I going to show those "why's" and "what's" behind my garden?

I went over my garden in my mind piece by piece, seeing it through my minds eye: In my garden, I have one section that is dedicated to the herbs. One small section is dedicated to my Irises and Roses. The largest section of my garden is dedicated to the vegetables. How was I going to capture all of my desires and longings and intentions of gardening into one frame? Then I remembered the picture I entered last month, and it seemed just perfect!

(click here for an enlarged version of this pic)

My herbs are the epitome of beauty with purpose! I like the swirls in the lavender, the blooms on it and on the sage, as well as the vibrant greens in the sage, lavender, and oregano; I love that it is beautiful and yet so purposeful. The oregano leaves tasted delicious in my spaghetti last night, and it has been a feast for my eyes as well.

Thanks GGW, and especially Judge Rich for helping me to stretch more than I would on my own. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, dear Michael!!

Michael was due September 27th, but was born July 19th instead. The placenta detached from my uterus (placental abruption) and caused me to hemorrhage. He was in the NICU for about 14 weeks.

Here he is the first time I ever saw him:

He has always been a fighter, and I call him my tortoise because he always developed slowly, but surely. :)

Here he is on his 1st birthday:

On his 2nd birthday:

At 4:

On his 6th birthday:

On his 7th birthday:

Last year close to his birthday (I couldn't find any birthday pics! I wonder if I was too overwhelmed to formally celebrate, what with the wedding and my mom's illness and all?):


We'll have cake and ice cream for him when Steve gets home from work. Happy Birthday dearie, dearie Michael!! I love you more than words can say.♥
(UPDATE: here he is with his cake. :) )

Saturday, July 17, 2010

1 Year Wedding Anniversary!!

Tomorrow will make Josh and Karen's 1 year Wedding Anniversary. Here are some pics from the past year:

Happy Anniversary you two!! I hope the next year will bring peace, joy, and happiness for you both!♥

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Yay!! I'm looking forward to yummy, ripe tomatoes very soon!! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Photos: Water Droplets

Fresh Baked Bread

Homemade bread! Yay!! I haven't made homemade bread for awhile... my KitchenAid mixer needed to be tweaked a little to mix properly. But today, I ground the wheat and made two loaves. :)

Nothing smells better than homemade bread, does it?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Header

That's all. I just wanted you to see it. I was trying to think of something interesting to tell to you about, but I had nothing. :) I've just been using the past couple of days to clean, organize, sort, and purge. I found about 10 dresses about 3 sizes too small for Emily in my closet. I didn't even realize they were there! I need to do this more often!! :D

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Have you watched LOST? *spoilers*

I watched LOST, all 6 Seasons, in the space of 2 or 3 months. lol! A crash course, I suppose, but it was amazing to see the series grow and morph into something so epic. Because I viewed it so intensely, there weren’t any gaps in the storyline. It was much more intense, more like reading a book than watching a weekly tv show.

And I loved it. Season 4 gave me nightmares ... lol... so I didn't love that season so much. I think my favorite seasons were 5 & 6.

I love the depth of the characters: the back stories, flash forward stories, and side stories. It really made me empathize and value all of the characters... even Ben Linus. lol

All of the plots of the different episodes were entertaining and helped give depth to the show.

I loved the diversity of the characters. Each was so different from the others, but each was a favorite. If I had to pick ultimate favorites though, I'd have to say that:

I loved Sawyer. I loved his references to books, movies and tv shows. I love how I hated him at first and fell in love with him somewhere along the way. I think the actor was perfect for the character. I loved how this redneck hick was such a reader and thinker; I loved his glasses from the first and second seasons! lol! I loved how he loved Juliet so deeply after seeming to be such a shallow womanizer.

I ♥ Hurley (loved, loved Hurley, dude)! Hurley was great from the start and just kept getting better. I loved that he found Libby. The ending was just so perfect so Hurley.

I really liked Miles and Sawyer being a team. Absolute perfection there.

I started off really admiring Kate, but waxed and waned in my love for her character during the different seasons. Same for Sun.

Jin was an interesting character. I really like who he ended up being (such a loyal friend and husband). I didn't really like his abrasiveness in the beginning.

Sayid was awesome before the darkness got into his heart. I was glad that he redeemed himself by sacrificing himself for the others in the end.

Ana Lucia was so kick-butt that I loved her...even if she was a little crazy. :D

Locke was very interesting. I think his character made me think more than anyone else’s, especially about faith. He was a fascinating character. He had a tough life. The island was really his savior.

I really loved Echo. He was so strong and brutal, yet so gentle and loving. He did what he had to do. His character was full of contradictions, and I think that is what made him so fascinating. He was one of my very favorites; I was sad to see him die.

Ahhh Jack. He is me. I haven’t ever really related so well to a character in my life. He is driven by duty. He has a hard time sitting back and just “being” and letting things just happen. He is a fixer and a do-er. He likes fun, but doesn’t really seek it out. It was interesting that he said he’d be a terrible father, but in Season 6 we got to see him being a darn good one to his own son (How come he didn’t have a son in any other life? That made me so confused!) and to Claire & Kate’s son Aaron.

Ben Linus was someone I enjoyed hating, until I got to see his flash-sideways and got to know him as a high school history teacher. Season 6 really fleshed out his character to help me see that deep down he was a good guy but had been trying to serve the island so much that he had lost himself somewhere along the way. The part that I loved most was when he thought he had to go to the smoke monster because he had been “found out” by Ilana, taken out to be shot, and then let go; when she asked where he would go, he told he that he would go to the smoke monster “because he is the only one who will have me,” he said with a choke in his voice. It really made me sympathize with the misfit that he had become. I’m glad that he turned good in the end.

The pilot of the second plane crash was a great addition, even if it was just for a few scenes. I loved Sawyer’s references to him first looking like Kenny Rogers and then like something out of a Burt Reynolds’s movie. LOL! He did!

“Dharmaville” was pretty cool. So hippy-commune and simply perfect for the island in 1977.

Daniel and Eloise Faraday were simply perfect. Loved both of them for entirely different reasons. Daniel was so brilliant that he spoke above everyone’s head and was such a prodigy in both music and physics. I can’t really touch on why he was a favorite, but he really was. Eloise was simply creepy, wasn’t she? The character and the actress really pulled off this eccentric clairvoyant beautifully; the character was perfectly believable, and the actress played the part exceptionally.

Desmond became such a favorite to me. His determination to do what was right, even when it was hard, was amazing: trying to save Charlie even when it was against Desmond’s best interest, trying to get everyone to remember who they themselves really were and reconnect with each other in the final season, pushing the button for 3 years and then pushing the button a final time without regard to his own well being. Desmond was wonderful.

I didn’t relate well to Charlie or Claire, but their characters added spice to the series.

Jacob and the smoke monster: (Why didn’t the smoke monster brother have a name too??) I was really hoping to like Jacob, but he just seemed screwed up by his adopted mom, didn’t he? I think I had more sympathy for his brother the smoke monster than Jacob. I thought it was going to be easy to know who to like: Jacob=Jesus, Smoke-monster-brother=Satan, but it wasn’t. Jacob was just as screwed up as his brother! And his brother was just a guy wanting to leave the island. After seeing the back story, the adoptive mother (who stabbed the real mother to death!) was the real villain!

I was left with many questions. There were things that I just didn’t “get”, like the thing with Jack’s son in the flash sideways – why did he only exist in Season 6? Did Jack not have children because if he then he couldn’t have been a “candidate”? Was everything really about what the island? Or was it really just what Jacob wanted? If everyone was dead, then what was up with seeing each of the characters doing normal everyday things until they realized they were dead? I’m sure I have more questions, but those were the ones off the top of my head.

I truly get attached to characters as though they are real people, so I am going to miss “hanging out” with those characters an hour or two every evening. What a fun series it was!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Making Memories: July 4th Weekend

Over the weekend we:

watched fireworks
ate lots of watermelon (it is the perfect summer food, isn't it?!)
hung out
went swimming (more like floating)


a floating train (they held onto each other's tube and floated around together for a bit)

Steve didn't really want his picture taken, but Amber took it anyway. :)

Michael fussed about his water shoes at first, until he discovered Emily had some on too. :)

Awwwwww! Can you believe they have been married for a year come the 18th of the month?! Time flies when you're having fun. :)

Absolutely beautiful views

And we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. It was a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I hope yours was too.♥