Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun in the Snow!

Wow! I can barely remember the last time we had similar snowfall in Portland--probably because I was probably younger than five! It has been a fun week, though. I had mentioned to my mom that the thought of being snowed in at my house with Grandma did not sound appealing, so when snow started coming down last Sunday, Mom suggested Gram and I pack up and come stay with the family for a few days. We've been vacationing at the fam's ever since--sleeping on their couches by night, playing games, eating good food and playing in the snow by least I've been playing in the snow. Gram's stayed inside. :-)

On Thursday Tracy and I hiked up Powell Butte to sled in a drainage ditch up there. We rolled giant snowballs (like the bottom of snowmen) into the ditch to make a steep fast-starting ramp for pushing off. Not only was it a blast--but it was soooooo beautiful! There were dark clouds and thick clouds, and swirly clouds--and snowy clouds and icy clouds. But then sometimes half the clouds cleared and there was this gentle, blue sky to the NW or a fierce, bright sun lowering to the SW. It was one of the best afternoons I've had in quite some time. :-)

Look at that sky!

As a Christmas gift to me, Eric put up Christmas lights on my house and him and Tracy helped me acquire, set up and decorate my tree! Unfortunately...since I've been at the fam's all week long, I have barely seen my beautiful tree. Last night, four of us made the slippery drive to my house to get more meds for Gramma and to pick up my Christmas gifts for people in the family. Here's my dad next to the tree.

My house in the's covering the curb...awesome.
My car after sitting for 24 hours in front of my parents' house.
Looking past my car and down the road.
Christmas lights shade and patterns in the snow.
Last night after midnight I was out with Tracy playing around. It was so cold I was tearing up!

If you'd like to see more of our snow day adventures, peruse my picasa album at

My House

When I moved a friend asked me when I would be posting pictures of my house on my blog. I told her that I would have to unpack first, so it would probably not be for a week or two. Ha! I'm still unpacking, but here are few pictures...finally. :-)

If you want to see them all...go to my Picasa album:

This is the living room, right when you walk in the front door.
My bathroom--make sure to notice the lovely medicine cabinet I installed. :-)
The dining/kitchen area.
The kitchen/dining area.

My bedroom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's here!

For several years I've been toying with the idea of creating a website to promote my photography and/or other skills and hobbies.

This year I was trying to think up a good gift idea for a white elephant gift exchange with adults from my church. Since I just threw out all the strange junk in the move, I figured I should give something nice, but inexpensive. I decided to make a greeting card set using pictures I have taken and coupling them with scripture. The finished product was very nice.

As I'd recently been trying to think of ways to supplement my income, I decided to try selling sets of greeting cards. Each card is 5" x 7" and is made on partially-recycled, linen-textured cardstock and comes with a matching linen-textured envelope.

So, this is the project I've been working on all week long--designing and launching the website. If you're curious to see the site, interested in looking at some of the pictures I've taken, or maybe even interested in purchasing a set of greeting cards, check it out at:

Snippets of my life the past few months.

Well, sometimes it's hard to find the time to write. And sometimes it's hard to find something interesting to write about. I make no claims as to this being particularly interesting, but I just thought I'd show you a few snippets (okay maybe more than a few) of what my life has been like in recent months.

Meet the boys: Gavin (4) and Carter (9 mos. currently; 6 mos. in the picture below) This are my handsome nephews and I'm blessed to generally have them at my house twice weekly. On Mondays I watch the boys while Trish works and on Fridays Trish hangs out with Gram so I can do...whatever it is I may need to do. The boys call Gram "GG" (Great-Grandma). Here Carter and GG take a nap together.

So for some reason Carter loves playing with my Nalgene bottle. One afternoon he was seeming fussy so I gave him my water bottle to distract him while I went to the bathroom. As I was washing my hands I heard him crying. When I reentered the living room there he was sitting in a giant puddle of icy water! Poor kiddo...I left him in it while I went to get the camera.
I have no clue how he managed to get that bottle open! But it turns out he didn't even mind the ice-water. He just was bummed because the bottle had rolled out of his reach (this was before he started crawling.) Once I gave him the bottle back, he was content again.

Ha! if only he spilt water on the floor every week instead of...juice, throw-up, poop, play-dough, cheerios, etc.

I've tried (inconsistently) to always have a special project or activity for Gavin and I to do during Carter's afternoon/evening nap. I had hoped that this would give him some needed one-on-one attention. It's hard when Gavin's always being told to wait because the baby is screaming and hungry or GG fell and needs help. Sometimes it feels like he always comes last. On this particular day we made picture frames with magnets for the fridge, and then took pictures to put in the frames. Gavin wanted his frame to be in the picture in his frame.
We did some with the frame and some without. This was supposed to be his strong-man, showing the muscle pose. It cracked me up!
The ONE picture I got Carter looking at me and smiling in... One...two....SPIT UP/click. In the end I laid him on his back and stood above him to get the second picture, he was very easily distracted outside.
Besides spending time caring for Gram and the boys, I've been slowly finishing unpacking. Since my bathroom lacks storage space, I purchased a medicine cabinet off Craigslist and installed it (with some help from my brother, Eric--thanks!). I'm definitely going to make you take a closer look....I worked hard and LONG on that. I even replaced the knobs to make it look nicer than it did before.
To finish the job I had to purchase newer, better drill bits. Here's the new set. It rolls up all real-contractor-like. It makes me feel awesome when I use it.
I've also put up more decorations. Here are some of my favorite pictures which are in the living room. Yep, I got a photoshoot with the nephs!
So, now that I'm more unpacked and decorated, I've tried to have more guests over. There was a streak of four out of five scheduled visits where the invitee was a no-show. It made me sad. :-( This one was when we tried to use the new goblets for the first time, but our guest never came, so the place setting just sat empty. Thankfully, the streak seems to have ended. Thanksgiving weekend alone I had 9 guests!
I've baked pies several times this fall. I found out why crusts were so difficult for me: I had the measurements written down wrong and was using way to little shortening. I had high expectations for the first pie with the corrected crust recipe. But alas, I seemed doomed to fail! Here was that one... Since then, though, I've made 6 more successful pies!
Sometimes on Mondays, between the boys and Gram, the most rest I get in a day comes when I lock myself alone in the bathroom for five minutes to....well, you know. On one particular Monday Carter wouldn't be consoled without me, so I brought him in with me. I put him in the dry tub, but he managed to open the shampoo, drop the conditioner on himself, and then pull himself up to standing and fall down! I had to rock him and sing to him while I was sitting on the toilet, and then he finally drifted to sleep. I waited until he was sleeping deeper and then laid him on the floor so I could finish up. I couldn't resist taking a couple pictures before moving him onto the bed.
Poor silly kid on the bathroom floor!
Only one of my cousins was able to be with us on Thanksgiving, but it was a treat to have Chelsea and her family stay overnight at my place. Plus it gave GG some extra time with some of the great-grandkids she doesn't see as often. Here she is with baby Jezzi.
And here she is with all the Berglund-Ramirez family: Andres, Jezzirayah, (GG), Tayvan, and Chelsea.
Here's the family without the GG. Thanks for the company, guys!

Okay, so there's a few of the things that have been going on with me--at least the photographed ones.