Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Fence That Sean Built

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Many moons ago we bought our lovely, fenceless home. Many moons after the purchase we began putting up a fence to keep our children in and the multitude of visiting soccer players out (we back up to several soccer/lacrosse/football/track/insert-favorite-sport fields). Today we finally finished it. It has taken over a year to put up the perimeter fence. In all fairness to my sweet husband, I had a baby and threw out my back last year dumping any and all burdens squarely onto his shoulders.

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A little twist in our story is our once-lovely arborvitae hedge. It was not doing any favors for our neighbors and so, in the interest of keeping everyone happy, we ripped it out a few weeks ago (I was very sad to see it go, and looking at the difference in the pictures above and below is making me even sadder).

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It is all finished with cedar fencing now, but I forgot to take a picture(you can see bits of it behind Lu). It looks the same as the other side of the yard.  The silver lining to that part of the story is we gained some square footage in the vegetable garden to put in another raised bed. Yea!

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My dad has given up two Saturdays in a row to come on out and help put this little beauty up. I was even able to help hold boards and things and actually contribute to a family project. Yippee!

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Erik worked his tail off most of the day.  Djeryd has been sick, so he was kind of hit-or-miss, but he tried and I’m grateful he was outside with us.  (All the swimming suit pictures were taken last weekend, when it was actually kind of warm.  They are totally random pics.  The kids were on an impromptu Easter egg hunt and I was just snapping shots at anything that moved.)

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Above is our yard sans fence.  Below is privacy . . . at last.   I sat down in one of the chairs for just a few seconds today and I couldn’t see anything except my own yard and house and family and it was heaven.

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Yea Sean!!!! (And all of the other contributing hard workers!)

P.S. The yard is our big project this year. There will be many more pictures and stories documenting our transformation over the next few months.  Make sure you pop in for a looky-loo.  I hope it will be nothing short of amazing.  ;>

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daddy’s Magic

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As of late, Anna has become convinced that Daddy is magic.   

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And why would she have any reason to think otherwise?

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Daddy can make a quarter drop from her ear after he makes it disappear.

I have known Sean was magic for quite some time.  He can tidy our house with lightening speed.  He  can bring sunshine into our home when it is filled with rain or storm clouds.  His strength grows to Superman-size when he works in the yard.  He makes me smile and he makes me laugh, even when the feat seems impossible.  And the most magical thing of all: the man seriously know how to clean a bathroom (that’s a trick he learned from his mother, I’m sure).  Thanks for the magic, my love.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Fresh Air

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Is it possible?  Do my senses deceive me?  Or has spring finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest?  I think my vegetable garden is beginning to dry out enough to actually plant some lettuce.  Although it is not warm, the sun is shining and the rain is supposed to leave us alone for the rest of the week.  The girls and I celebrated by spending much of the day outside.  We went for a very long walk (Anna was a trooper), and then played in the backyard.

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The landmark moment of the day was this little one wearing tennis shoes for the first time.  She was so cute and absolutely loved it.  ( I do not push shoe-wearing at all when my kids are learning to walk – it just complicates things.  Once they’ve got it figured out and can motor around pretty smoothly in bare feet we introduce footwear.)

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She walked all over that yard, falling down plenty of times, gritting her little teeth and getting back up every time.  I was so impressed with her determination and with the pure joy on her face.

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Little Miss Anna is in love with this dress that we found in her baby sister’s closet.  Anna has taken it as an old-fashioned blouse for herself. 

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I love the drape of the fabric, the cotton lace and the design elements, like all the gathers.

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Oh, and isn’t that camellia gorgeous?  Although it pales in comparison to the little girl holding it.  ;>

Enjoy the sunshine!

OMSI: Lost Egypt

2011-03-20 OMSI

During Spring Break we took a trek up to OMSI with Sean’s side of the family.  They are currently hosting an exhibit entitled “Lost Egypt”.  I was very excited to see this for a couple of reasons.  Number one: Egypt is cool (duh).  Number two: My daughter is named after the Library at Alexandria (which was in Egypt).  Number three: Djeryd and I just finished reading a book about a mystery that takes place in the Valley of the Queens (39 Clues - book 4: Beyond the Grave).

My very favorite part of the entire day was walking through a small room with a placard outside it that said: “Caution: This room contains actual human remains.”  The ribbon of placards and pictures told the story of a young Egyptian girl whose body hundreds of thousands of people have stared at through glass over the past several years.  It was  . . . oh, I cannot think of a word . . . awe- inspiring, reverent, peaceful, intriguing, fascinating . . . is there a word that means all those things?  I was enthralled and entranced wandering through the entire exhibit.  As with the Leonardo di Vinci exhibit I could have spent hours in the hall all by myself being immersed in history.  It made me want to write a short story or a novel or anything just to fall into that world for a while.

We had a wonderful day starting with breakfast all together and packed full of fun times just being together and exploring the world of science.  Thanks everyone – we had a great time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Movie Review: Ramona and Beezus

For Alyx’s birthday we watched Ramona and Beezus, the 2010 release starring Disney golden girl, Salena Gomez.  I cannot say enough good things about this movie.  It was charming, funny and touching.  It is a great family film in that my entire family loved it, big brothers, little sisters, Mom, Dad and grandparents.  The last time we saw a movie we all enjoyed that much was the first National Treasure.  I, unlike so many others, did not grow up reading the Ramona books.  They somehow slipped under my radar of interest.  However, since watching the movie, Erik brought home the original book Beezus and Ramona from the school library and we have been gobbling it up as a family.  The stories are hysterical and the boys love hearing how much trouble one little sister can be (Anna has nothing on Ramona – thankfully).

Back to the movie.  A great thing about the movie right off is that the family actually looks like a family, including Aunt Beatrice; they just look like they go together.  I felt the family relationships were realistically portrayed, and because of that I could completely relate to the characters, from Ramona up through Beezus and even both parents.  It was full of hope and forgiveness and the best kind of intentions.  The only thing I had a hard time with was the wrap-up of the film.  Without spoiling the ending, I will just say that I thought the father’s final job choice was unrealistic due to wages, pure and simple.

In short I highly recommend this film whether you are a Beverly Cleary fan or not.  It was fun and sweet and made me oh, so grateful for my wonderful family.  I love movies like that.

Kids’ favorite line of the film: “I’m gonna say a bad word . . . Guts! I hate guts!  Guts! Guts! Guts!”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pink Pants for Alyx

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So here’s my latest and greatest.  I made these pants from the same pattern I used here.  I had these almost done for quite a while, but my brain started going  into hyper-drive with all the alterations I was going to make to the pattern and I go overwhelmed.  When I came to my senses I realized I just needed to tweak a couple of things from the last time – not reinvent the wheel.

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I also took better notes this time so I don’t make the same mistakes twice.  I took an inch off of the top of the waistband which eliminated the saggy drawers problem we were having (this all happened quite by accident), but I forgot to shrink up the channel for the elastic around the cuffs and I was too lazy to tear it all out and fix it.  Hence the reason to take notes, so I don’t screw it up again.

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I LOVE the black.  I love those striped ruffles and the satin bows!  I love the little scallop detail at the bottom side seam on the cuffs.  Love, love, love!

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And I don’t know if you can tell, but if you look really carefully at the bottom partial purple-and-white flower on the photo above and the flower on the right hand side in the picture below you can see little sparkles.  I did some pick-stitches with metallic embroidery floss to add just a teeny bit of sparkle to these little babies – for my little baby.

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Oh, and I do so love those toes!

Alyx’s First Birthday

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Our sweet Alyxandria celebrated her first birthday earlier this month.  It was the most laid back first birthday we’ve had in our family.  Djeryd’s was a brunch consisting lots of delicious homemade fancy foods, but for Alyx we served store-bought pizza and a store-bought cake (which turned out adorable).  We invited grandmas and grandpas, drank strawberry pop, watched Ramona and Beezus (wonderful movie), and opened a few presents.  It was so very low key, but so comforting and happy.  Alyx was way too tired by the time we sat down to cake and ice cream so she basically bawled through the whole thing (is it bad that we all laughed?).

To my sweet Alyx:

You are loved!  You are adored by each of your brothers, sister, mom and dad.  We love you!  You make our family complete.  We love to watch you toddle everywhere.  We love your little “o” face.  We love how you try to make us giggle at the dinner table by making funny noises and then smiling when we all look your way.  We love how you chew the corner off of any cereal box you can get your hands on (or any book, for that matter).  We love cuddling with you and giving you raspberries on your tummy while you wriggle and squeal. 

I love snuggling with you in the middle of the night (I know you will sleep through it soon enough and then I will miss nighttime feedings terribly).  I love that you gave Anna the chance to be a big sister.  And I love that you have given me another chance to be a better mom.  You are my sunshine.  I love you, Lu.

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