Sunday, September 30, 2007

1 week and counting

One week and counting till my marathon debut! I've had several people ask me what I'm running for. When I started training last April I didn't realize I needed a cause. I think it's okay to just run and have fun. However, after some thought I've decided that I'm running for... moms and their struggle to find time in balancing mind, body and spirit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

new hairdo

chasing... tears... screaming... mom yelling to sit still

I'm crossing my fingers that those days are gone. Bryn has gone "Posh Spice" or as we like to call it at our house "The Devon Haircut."

It's been a dramatic change from curly blond baby girl to straight brown grown-up girl (in more ways than one.).
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Shiver me timbers! I can't believe I forgot today was "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Thanks Kelly for reminding me. I was going to save this post for Halloween month (I mean October) but what a perfect day to talk about a mild obsession of mine.

I think it all started about two years ago when I discovered Captain Bogg and Salty who are actually one of my favorite bands now (Yes, I know it's meant for kids.). It started as an interest because Hunter was into it and then as each child grew older and they were also interested in pirates it became a family affair. Don't worry you won't see me parading my kids around and traveling to monthly pirate festivals. I do know the difference between fun and craaaaazy! However, a strong interest in something family friendly is fun and the band is definitely worth checking out. You can check out their first music video online and they can be seen this weekend at the 2nd Annual Portland Pirate Festival. Since I'm plugging them they also wrote and will perform the music for the upcoming Oregon Children's Theater play "The Ghosts of Treasure Island". I've been dying to read Treasure Island with Hunter but I'm going to wait until a few weeks before we go see the play next April.

Here's a picture from last Halloween of Aunty Lulu with the Stephens Band of Pirates: Graybeard, The Dreaded Elizabeth and Captain Hunter.

Yes, I do own two pairs of Jolly Roger shoes made by Mia Shoes.

This test will scientifically determine your pirate name. I'm Dirty Mary Flint.

Less scientific but you'll still get a great pirate name.

How to decode Pirate Talk.

How to talk like a pirate.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Opening Day of Halloween Season

The next 12 days of Halloween prep include:
1. Go to the house of the old guy on oxygen.
2. Snag free wood.
3. Find more black feathered friends.
4. Tip over some outdoor furniture.
4. Superhero adjustments.
5. Find size 7.5 women's roller skates.
6. Find bustiere (that fits).
7. Enjoy Martha's new tricks and treats.
8. Finish reading MAKE (where I got my Halloween inspiration this year).
9. Start a Halloween Phantom this year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"The White Fizze"

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Lady Sedona

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Mint Molasses

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Black Fish

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Ann Burns

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The White Fizze

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Gerald Edward

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Lovely Skor

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Ellen Clinton

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Nelson Naples

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Lily

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Raspberry Undie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Granola Pine

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Collage Thunderstorm Tour

Because everyone is doing it. Go ahead it's fun!

I love you flickr.


L Ouest V E


c_McElman_070718_3106 A n D as in candy y

I love love love playing with fonts. This is definitely eye candy for me. Have fun playing around on their site. As a font amateur my most used freebie font site is Fontface.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"The Best Day Ever"

My first ilife and editing project. A music video recap of our Gearhart, Oregon trip with friends this summer. I've barely scratched the surface with ilife and I'm having so much fun. I see an ilife addiction in my future.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Bryn just left with Sean to a birthday party for a new friend in her class at school this year with her first ever personally sewn pillow (almost all by herself). I freezer paper stenciled the cupcake onto a white t-shirt for a nice compliment to her sweet sweet pillow.

Bryn is so loving fabric and is fascinated by the sewing machine right now. Hunter even peeked in the other night and is now constantly asking to make his own pillow and he also mentioned something about a cape last night.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Back to School

The youngest of three is off to pre-school. I expected "don't go mommy," tears and never ending hugs. After not getting any of that I think that I didn't expect it but that I wanted it. What can I say... he's my baby and I have an ego that needs to be stroked. I'm so grateful that he can and is willing to approach every new adventure with great enthusiasm.

I now have 2 hours and 45 minutes to myself Monday through Friday. What did I do with myself the first week...

Monday - Sean stayed home in the morning and we hung out.

Tuesday - Pedicure

Wednesday - Caught up on email.

Thursday - Doctor appointment. Bought new pair of running shoes. Shopped for new coffee table.

Friday - Early morning get together at Petit Provence with some moms from Bryn's class. Then I headed over to Carolyn's new backyard for a back-to-school mom's brunch where we sipped our drinks, ate a wonderful meal, visited and soaked in the new hot tub until it was time to pick up the big kids.

Lady of Leisure for a week was great. Now it's onto organizing and cleaning the house.

"Bryn in Brown"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Good-bye Summer

It was the most wonderful memorable summer I could have ever imagined and I'm having a hard time letting go. We had to jump from summer mode to school mode with hardly any time to say good-bye to summer. So, officially here I am saying good-bye to summer so that I can start dressing Bryn in brown, watch the squirrels bury nuts in my yard, search for the best fallen leaf, savor the anticipation of Halloween (my favorite holiday) getting closer, and cozying up in a big sweater.

ABC recap of our summer the kids and I wrote on our road trip home from California.

A - Apples cut like rabbits that Hunter would eat in Japan but won't let me make for his lunch box now.

B - Birthdays! Birthdays! Birthdays! All 5 of us from May 21st to September 4th! There is also Cousin Cyan, Aunt Cathryn, Aunty Lulu, Cousin Elliot, Grandma Yvonne, Grandad Charles, Grammy, and many friends. It makes for one fun summer.

C - Camping with friends. Cabin. Comic Book Class. Canoe Trip. Card Tricks.

D - Dance Dance Revolution (XBox 360) with those who shall not be named (you know who you are). And someday I will beat you.

E - Emerson and Elliot our cousins who we had a great time time with at the cabin.

F - Fruits family whom we all love so much.

G - Gearhart. Grandma T. Grizzly Bear Gulch at the SF Zoo.

H - Helvetia Half Marathon. Hula Dancers. Harry Potter.

I - "It won't be long now" - Grayson's catch phrase of the summer.

J - Jones Family. We had a great time hanging out.

K - Karaoke Party. Korbel Winery Deli.

L - Lulu's 80th Birthday Celebration!

M - Miniature Golf with Colleen. Bryn mastered the Monkey bars. Mosquitoes or lack of all summer (not that we're complaining).

N - Nippon (Japan)

O - Oaks Park for our amusement and Aunty Marion's Oak Park for swimming and relaxation in Santa Rosa. Odd Fellows Recreation Club.

P - Pirates! Pirate Birthdays all summer. EAT A LIME !

Q - Queen of Drama or Drama Queen? Yes, we mean Bryn.

R - Russian River. Road Trip with Grandma T.

S - Shuki. Swimming. Sunscreen (3 big bottles that is).

T - Trillium Lake with Adair/Zwierzynski family and Kirkeby family.

U - Umbrellas in Japan.

V - Vancouver 18-mile run.

W - Wigglees Wonder Worm(don't waste your money).

X - X-rays! Both Sean and Bryn got zapped this summer for a hamstring and the other for a foot.

Y - Yellow Watermelon we ate in Japan straight from the garden.

Z - ZOTS! The kids tried for the first time and loved them. We are a suck the fizz out first kind of family.

Autumn here we come!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

For the love of fabric!

I just have to share two great sewing projects that came my way last week. Here's is a better photo of Kelly's apron that she made and sent me for the Back to School Swap. I am loving taking pictures of it as much as I love wearing it around the house. She did a great job and I have been swooning over it ever since it came in the mail.

Meegan made me one of her Cute Skirts from the Favorite Things Pattern and I want to wear it every day. Complete strangers ask me about the skirt and fabric every time I wear it out of the house.

With all the sewing love coming my way I have been inspired to dust off the sewing machine (which was not used all summer) and get going on some October skirts for Bryn and some new curtains for the house.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm soooo lucky!

I just completed my first swap ever and I'm sooo excited. Kelly has spoiled me for sure. I don't think my kids have ever seen me quite so excited to get a package. With the kids all peering in the first thing I saw an apron made with Amy Butler fabric. After a squeal of delight I uncovered a treasure box full wonderful delights. My beautiful apron was full of sticky notes, pens, colored pencils, a wonderful one-minute organizer book, 3 little journals and the rest of the box contained push pins, rubber band ball (immediately confiscated by Bryn), beautifully colored storage boxes, crayons and markers for windows or mirrors. I couldn't have imagined how fun it has been to get to know Kelly and to receive her beautiful package.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Family books this summer...

WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum
I have never read Wizard of Oz before. It was a fun story and the kids couldn't wait to hear more. I love the story of the flying monkeys (they really can be good) and Dorthy's shoes were originally silver. No joke! I recommend the abridged version published by Penguin Puffin Classics.

We listened to the book on the road trip down to California. Hunter loved it and started it over when it ended. I had fun catching all the little details that you get the second time around and the knowledge of everything that is to come for Harry and friends.

RAMONA QUIMBY age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Who doesn't love Ramona. Her parents are struggling to make ends meet, she doesn't like going to her after school care, she thinks her teacher doesn't like her, she fights with her sister. She's so real. Beverly Clearly was a Portland girl and we live off of Klickitat Street so it was fun for the kids to hear references to streets nearby and Mt. Hood.

BONE by Jeff Smith
Who knew that those three bone brothers could capture our entire family's attention. It's got humor for both kids and adults and enough drama to keep mom reading even when I'm bone tired. Kudos to Jeff Smith!

What Sarah read this summer...

Loved... loved... loved this book. I loved visualizing her beautiful story of an elderly man looking back on a short part of his life as a traveling circus veterinarian. Sara definitely did her research and most of the side stories of life on the traveling circus are true stories. I especially loved the elephant that only knew Polish. If someone doesn't adapt this book for the big screen I will be so sad.

BROKEN FOR YOU by Stephanie Kallos
I thought this book was just going to be about how two unsuspecting women of different ages and lifestyles coming together and and finding friendship. It's way more than that. You fall in love with all the characters and really care about what happens to them. Redemption. Family. Love.

Okay.. so who didn't read this over the summer? It was wonderful entertainment. What I love more is that Hunter and I started reading them from the beginning and I'm catching so much like when Hagrid borrows Sirius's bike to deliver Harry to his Aunt's home when he was a baby or when Professor Dumbledore uses the magic lighter in the first book that he gives Ron in Deathly Hallows. I love little details like that.

SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carolos Ruiz Zafon (translated by Lucia Graves)
Forcing everyone I know to read this so I can talk about it. I'm not sure it's a story that will stick with me through the years but it's a great book to dissect human nature and emotion. So much happens in the book. There are basically two stories going on. One story is of Daniel and his life struggles while he tries to unravel the mysterious life of a man named Julian who wrote a book that he loves. I've never had a book where I had to stop at the end of the chapter and take a deep breath before reading more. A lot is happening and every so often I needed a moment to digest it all.

*I'd love any other great suggestions. I'm having a hard time getting into a new book.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Gray!

Naked boy realized that sometimes clothes are okay.
Little photographer.
Loves shoes and brushing his hair.
No fear of peeing in public.
Eats macaroni and cheese, soup, spaghetti and Popsicles.
A smile that melts his mother's heart.
The best snuggling around.
Plays Star Wars Galactic Heros, Pokemon, Legos, and blocks.
Rides a scooter.
In the summer loves to swim and dig in the dirt.
Has been told he resembles Curious George.
Not yet sure if he's left or right handed.
Not yet sure if he's a cat or dog lover.
Wonderful imagination.

What Bryn says....

Bryn: "Mom I had a baby"

Me: "Congratulations"

Bryn now looking at me very seriously and so matter of fact...

Bryn: "You know you are a mom which means you're closer to being a grandma"

Me: Just staring. "Yep, you're right"

The comment came only days after finding gray hairs. UGH!
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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Cigar smoking poker players

I was going through my trip pictures and I found it! They were in the background of another picture. Not sure who really cares that I have a picture of the elderly cigar smoking beach faring poker players. The nostalgic side of me seems to be very satisfied to have one.
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

End of Summer

Here's the view from under my umbrella while the kids enjoy the river and we all just kick back. It really is my favorite two weeks of the year. Our cousins Emerson and Elliot came for a long weekend this year...

Elliot and Hunter card games
Sleeping outside
Piggy Park
A.R.M. (algae rescue mission)
The Maple Syrup bet
Korbel Winery Lunch
8-mile Canoe Trip
Ice Cream Cones
Bingo:Hunter won $20 and Sean won an $18 store credit)
Kid art projects
Owl Puke/Pellets
and Peter Pan

Most of the Cali kids were back in school so for the last few days we had the beach to ourselves. Except for the 4 retired men who smoke cigars and play poker from 2pm to 6pm everyday at their picnic table they have anchored to the beach. Shirtless I may add. They really are sweet and next year I must get a photo of them. I almost feel like the beach wouldn't be the same without them year after year.

The kids are so excited to be home and for school to start in 4 days!
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