Monday, June 24, 2013

Rose Festival Junior Parade

This is my childhood home. It brought back many memories as we parked the car in front of the house to walk the two blocks to the parade route. I loved growing up in this neighborhood. Every year I went to the parade. Some years I was in the parade; my friends and I decorating our bikes or wagons to match the yearly theme. Neighborhood schools let out early each year on the Wednesday in June of the world's largest children's parade.

When my children were growing up I would often take them to the parade. Our most memorable year was when Emilia was about 4 years old and got lost. We were with a large group and by the time I realized she was missing the parade was over and we were on our way back to the car. It was terrifying! I truly thought I would never see her again. But even at the age of 4 she kept calm, found another mom and told her she had lost her mom and aunt Gretchen. This mom took her to a police officer. And when I hysterically flagged down another police officer we were quickly reunited.

This year I introduced the parade to my grandchildren. All five of the kids were able to make it, along with my dear friends Monica, Cindy, Macey and Jean. The kids Cindy babysits and the girl Emilia babysits, Avalon. Tanner marched in the parade with the Alder Creek Band.

The girls: Maddie, McKayla, Avalon, Cleo
I'm pretty sure this is the only time Cleo and Koen sat in their chairs.

Leo LOVED the parade and danced and waved the whole time.

My babies: Mila, Leo and Ryker

These boys! I love them so!

Emilia keeping Koen and the kids cool. It was a HOT day.

Ryker looks hot!

Mi familia!

A View of the Gardens

A conversation with Savannah on a walk lead to a spur of the moment decision to add a large garden to the front yard. The area had been in dis-repair for years. The arborvitae had died from water damage, we finally repaired the problem, a small retaining wall was built and then.... We had no other plans except to plant grass. I was so happy with the decision to make a garden space that we got right on it! 

Two days after our plan was hatched excavation began two houses down to build a new home. Mario asked if we could have some soil dumped in our front yard and few days later it was there! Very rich soil with no rocks and minimal sticks. Savannah and Spencer helped us shovel the soil. Without them I fear how long it would have taken. After the area was prepped Mario and Spencer built the boxes. The next weekend Chial and Nikki helped us shovel again, filling the boxes with soil. We got some compost to amend the boxes and barkdust to surround them. 

Leo was not happy working in the yard!

I got to planting right away!

I have tomatoes and basil. Cauliflower and broccoli. Sweet peppers and jalapenos. Zucchini, cucumbers and squash of different varieties. Carrots in the planter and marigolds, calendula and nasturtium seeds are planted around the edge of the boxes. I have a variety of sunflowers planted along the retaining wall. Can't wait to see how it all looks in a few more weeks.

This is the box I planted entirely with corn. Only 15 seeds sprouted! Such a disappointment as I dreamed of the sweetest corn I have ever tasted. The corn I grew in my very own garden last summer and only ate one sweet ear of. I dreamed of rows and rows of sweet corn to harvest.

I replanted the seeds two days ago. I hope it's not too late and we'll get a good crop. If these seeds don't germinate then I'm putting beans and lettuce in. And that is snap peas growing on the side. We still need to put a trellis up for the peas and beans.

Here is my side yard garden with abundantly growing kale, spinach, chard and cilantro, and peas in the back (and weeds. lots of weeds). I recently planted beets for the first time. Now that we are juicing more I love beets in my juice. I have even tried using them in other dishes and I think I'm liking them.

Here is my backyard garden box. My tomatoes usually do well back here so I have five plants. The rest are in the front yard. I also have some zucchini with some fruit almost ready to harvest. Newly planted cilantro, lettuce, spinach and kale. (I think the chickens may have gotten to some of the newly planted seeds this weekend. I accidentally left the garden fencing open and saw some suspicious holes. We'll see what happens. I may have to plant again.) I also just planted some scarlet runner beans on the right side of the box. I love scarlet runners and they are hard to find, but I just found some this weekend at Naomi's where I get my chicken food. They'll look pretty in bloom near the fire pit.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blogging from my iPhone

I finally downloaded the blogger app so I'm testing it out to see how blogging from my phone will go. Look at me being high tech and getting with the times!

In other news, Leo is on the move and I think we are all going to be busy keeping things out of his mouth and replacing items being pulled off shelves and trying to snatch the dog food away before he gets it in his mouth. So far the dog food is the highest motivator for crawling.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I realized I haven't blogged in over two months. This wasn't intentional. But then I also realized that this may coincide with the purchase of my new iphone 4s. The primary reason I chose this phone was because I was tired of feeling jealous of my 17 year old daughters amazing photos taken on her iphone. This phone takes great pictures and I haven't used my real camera since. In fact, I'm not even sure where my camera is. I realized this fact tonight as above said daughter is going to prom tomorrow night and I actually would like to take some pictures on my camera.

This is all related. Taking pictures on the phone is simple. They turn out great. I can share them instantly on Instagram and facebook. I get the instant gratification of sharing them with friends and family.  I usually blog on my computer and I have no current pictures on my computer they are all on my phone. I need to get blogger on my phone and see if I can load them to my blog from my phone. Getting the pictures from my phone to my computer has had some challenges.

I think for printing photos the real camera wins. The phone pictures turned out fine if they were taken outside in bright light, but the lower the light the poorer the quality of the print. So I'm not ready to give up the point and shoot camera yet. I better get to finding that thing before tomorrow!

So out of the last two and half months of my life I've decided to share a few pictures from my Florida Vacation. One of my favorite vacations of all time. The entire trip was filled with near perfection...the weather, the company, the food, the location. I had some fears about traveling with a group of women, only one of which was a close friend. But things turned out wonderful and I am so glad that I went.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

A few weeks ago, Emilia and I took Leo for a walk.
While sipping our tea at Starbucks I mentioned that I wanted to do this photo shoot that I had seen on Pinterest.  Very wise Emilia said, let's call Cindy and see if she can do it right now!
We walked to Cindy's and laughed because we had no idea what kind of diaper Leo was wearing or if it would be clean! We had nothing with us to keep him happy besides us and the Ergo.

I'm pretty happy with the results!

The crazy part was after the photo shoot when we realized we would need to remove the lipstick!
And red lipstick is not easy to remove.
And Savannah is the type of mom who notices every mark on her kid.
And she doesn't use any crappy lotion on him either.
Oh boy, that was funny!

In our favor, Savannah and Spencer were sick while we did this 
and I guess too sick to notice some faded lipstick on Leo.

(Because this was all a secret valentine for them!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quilting Class

Last week I took my first quilting class. I was so excited for it and the class lived up to my excitement. In the first task I learned a neat trick to quilt straight lines and I was giddy with excitement. I told the teacher if this was the only thing I learned I'd leave happy. 

We had to make a small quilt before we came to class and we were going to learn free motion quilting. Each square of our quilt we learned a new stitch.  Free motion is quite artistic and there is room for individuality. It was cool to see how each of us students had a different look with the same concept.

 The photos above and below show all of the stitch patterns we practiced.

Flower or Rose stitch. This was one of my favorites

Pebble stitch, another of my favorites, but very time consuming.
 I promptly went back to my neighborhood quilt shop
and signed up for another class.

Next up:
Jelly Roll Quilt

And I can't wait!

 Mila's quilt top is done.
I need to do the backing and then baste it.
Then...I need to decide how I'm going to quilt it with my new skills :)

 This is the beginning of a fabric book I'm making for Mila.
I gathered notes from family before she was born
that will be printed in the book, along with photos.
I love the color scheme!

Mila Renee Alba has arrived

Mila made a quick and dramatic entry into the world on Friday morning, February 8, 2012, at 2:55 am. She weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Big sister, Cleo is in love! (As we all are).

Here's a little video I got of her sucking her thumb yesterday.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Month of Letters

I recently saw this link on facebook and was intrigued!

The challenge is to write a letter every day 
(except Sunday's and one holiday when there is no mail service).

I love a good old fashioned letter and although I love the ease of online communication these days, there isn't anything that compares to getting a card, note, postcard or letter in your mailbox. I still to this day love going to the mailbox even though I know it is not likely that I will find something fun inside that box. I still hold out hope. (Kind of like when I found out the REAL Santa story and still woke up Christmas morning with the hope that Santa had come while I was sleeping).

I'm going to take this letter a day challenge with the hope of bringing some cheer to another person, to find a way to communicate with some people that I've lost touch with and to have fun writing,
like in the good old days.

I'll keep you posted!

2.13.13 update: I've fallen terribly behind, but I'm not giving up. I spent today writing some letters and I'm going to do the best I can. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wool Longies

I have yet to tackle knitting some wool longies. I just don't feel that I'm that good of a knitter. But the next best thing is repurposing a wool sweater into wool pants or diaper covers. The wool is a natural fiber that breaths and it also repels moisture (aka: pee).

The good news:
I have a shelf full of wool sweaters!

I've been collecting wool sweaters for a couple of years with the intention of making a wool sweater quilt. I've found the sweaters at Red, White and Blue, Goodwill bins and garage sales.

Using the sweaters now give me something to be on the hunt for in the upcoming garage sale season.


Today's sewing project was easy and quick. I cut the arms off the wool sweater, making sure they were the same length, cut the seam a little and sew them together. The first pair were a tad short waisted so I decided not to make a casing for the elastic. I got some 2" wide elastic and sewed that to the top as a finished waistband. The second pair were a little longer waisted so I made a casing for the elastic. I love both of them! The dark pair are thinner and soft and the light pair are thick and cozy. I also made Leo another wool diaper cover.

So without further ado....
here is my handsome model showing off the comfy wool longies 
I made him today.

This light gray pair is much roomier for Leo's diaper butt:

It's difficult to see, but I added one of these adorable "made with love by grandma" tags.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A woman
in harmony
with her spirit
is like
a river flowing.
She goes
where she will
without pretense
and arrives
at her destination,
to be herself

Maya Angelou

 My new 5 year journal next to my grandmother's.

When my beloved grandma died my dad inherited this 5 year diary she had. She wrote in it nearly every day. She missed most of one year but the years she did write she hardly missed a day. I loved getting to know my younger grandma through her writing. The phrases she used, the friends she had and the movies she saw. I learned that she rode her bike a lot and loved to play ping pong (Grandma and Grandpa had a ping pong table and pool table when I was young). I only wished she'd written more details. My dad and step mom let me borrow the diary and I read every page. When they saw how much I treasured it they let me keep it and it's truly one of my most treasured possessions. My grandma wrote this diary in pencil so I fear that in time I won't be able to read the words as they are fading. 
Do not write in pencil in your journal!
The last couple of years of my grandma's diary is when she met and married my grandfather. They were pretty young and he went off to serve in world war II. It's crazy to think about that time they were living in. I was surprised by how insecure my grandma was about my grandpa, at times writing that she worried he wasn't thinking of her and didn't love her. The diary ends when she thinks she might be pregnant. 
I was like....WHAT? You're going to stop writing now and not tell me if you are pregnant?
But then I realized I could do the math, 
and yes indeed, 
she was pregnant with my uncle Dennis.   
I recently looked at her diary again and was surprised by something I had missed before.
At the very end of the book is a list of pet names and a location.
I am assuming these were written or said to her by my grandpa 
while he was away and she kept track of them. 
But maybe it's something different. I can only guess.
Dumpling.....New Zealand
My sweet darling.....Scotland
And on and on....
How adorable is that!! 
 When my daughter gave me my 5 year journal my for birthday I was excited to begin my own commitment of writing so that my grandchildren will someday read about my life in a fun way. I will try to remember to include details about this time, things we've done and the people in my life who influence me. The movies that are popular, technology changes (boy, won't they laugh at that some day) and the mundane daily rituals we have.  With the journal lying on my nightstand it's been easy to jot a few lines down every night. It only takes a moment. But it has inspired me to take more time to journal write. I wrote in my journal last week and realized that in 2012 I only wrote one time!
One time!
That's terrible. That is going to change.
So though I do not make new year's resolutions, I do sometimes make goals and this is my goal:
To write nightly in my 5 year journal.
To journal at least once a week.