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Showing posts from July, 2010

{This Moment}

Enjoyed lots of friends this week. Here's a little scene from the local sprayground. My Big Job is typed, saved, and printed, and now all I have left of the job is the fun, crafty stuff...and a little shopping to do. My goal date is to be done by August 9th. Random, but I'll make it, which is a very nice thought.
See ya' next week!

Music

Both of my children have celebrated music uniquely most of their lives. I remember singing Norah Jonessongs to Lukka when he was an infant, that calmed him right down, and having peaceful lullabies & soothing steel drum music play through both of their naptimes when they were smaller. Since Anikka turned 1 year old, she will clap along to music, dance, and even bobble her head enjoying music, and Lukka just dances like an uninhibited hippy. He is even able to relate musical instruments as he hears them in songs; his favorite thus far being the trumpet. Like father, like son.
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Stefan is known for his bass skills, but recently decided to get out his guitar and play for the kids who sit in rapt attention. I'm glad he is showing this side to them early on, while they are very interested.
Of course, children under the age of 3 (16?) have the attention span of a fruit fly, so mischief is always right around the corner...
and of course, who can forget my little lady's obsession wit…

Welcome to the Cute Club

Cute Club 2010 at Trago Sprayground. :)
These days have just been going so fast. I feel like we are on the go all the time, and yet, at the end of every night I'm rested, content, and ready to have a good full night's sleep. I'd say this is a summer well spent in every moment. We've been getting together with old friends, older friends, new friends, and best friendsand it's been good for me and the kids.
I know I have time to do home-based activities once the school year is underway, and although the routine & committments coming up in a short month look daunting at times (remember that 1/9 of a projectI'm working on...yeah...it's a honker!) but I know I have to enjoy it as it comes along. What else can you do but bend without breakingduring the season of life with small children.

I get my daily inspriationaround my frequenthauntsand I'm ready to get up and start my day with the best of them. Something I've really tried to do more of this Summer is…

{This Moment}

Enjoying This Moment along with Amandaagain.
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I know I skimped out a lot this week. I'm still working on my really BIG projectand unfortunately only 1/9 of the way done. Eesh! Still, this week I loved having my little lady play 'washing dishes' with me at our kitchen sink.
I'm hoping for one of thesesomeday so both my kids can be in there and she isn't at risk to fall (unfortunately, already happened with two bodies on that little stool, there's just not enough room and she got squeezed off--not a good day).
In other news I finished this book(excellent), got a subscription to this magazine, signed up for this class, and read this book(meh). And cooked this and baked this(then ate).
See you soon!

Long Weekend? Quick Weekend.

I thought after the excitement of the zoo + train rideI might get a very quiet, laid back weekend. This weekend was anything but quiet, but very, very fun. We got together with some great friends that we haven't seen enough of in the past few weeks, played in their pool with the kids, and enjoyed a BBQ between the three families. Excellent food and company shared, even if it was a steamy 105 (heat index) outside.
Lukka has never really taken to the water until Saturday. He loved being in the pool with Anikka, dad, me, and M., his little sweet friend. He did great! He fell down under once, (he still definitely needs to be supervised around pools) but when I lifted him back out he was fine, if just a bit shocked. He quickly hopped back onto his floating toy and was happy!
Here is a picture of Stefan with Ani. This is the first time she's been a body of water bigger than the bathtub. The first 5 minutes she was pretty whiny, but quickly got her face in the water to blow bubbles aft…

{This Moment}

Quiet today, after a long, hot week. Joining Amandathis week with a favorite memory from the past few days...a train ride at the zoo.

Review: Betty Crocker...Gluten Free?

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Yup, you heard it. Betty Crocker now has a line of Gluten Free baking mixessitting pretty on most shelves in your local grocery store. Finally. Apparently, they figured out there's a market for it! Now, let me be frank and tell you that out of any of the independent, expensive GF baking mixes you can buy at health foods, they don't taste that great. They taste...different. And different is not what you want when you want comfort food...like chocolate cake.

I'll also get out of the way the fact that every single gluten free bread (from a mix, or from scratch) and most cookies & muffins I've made gluten-free from scratch have also tasted weird. A bit too egg-y. Too dry. Too crumbly. Too...whatever.
Betty, you've outdone yourself. This cake was so good, no one else knew it was gluten free until I told them!

Now, keep in mind, I am not a box eater, I'm a from-scratch eater. I do not like eating from boxes, mixes, bags, and trays of premade, then frozen…

Books I've Read This Summer-Blurb Style

I've been reading a lot this summer. I have three favorite hobbies, and reading happens to be one of them. The other two, are knitting, and sewing. I have learned about myself that I go in spurts with each. There will be a chunk of a year that although I may knit one small item, sew up a baby gift or make something for the kids, the main focus of my free time is dedicated to reading. Then I get the itch for being at my sewing machine, and the rotation flip flops; again with knitting. This summer has been declared The Summer of Reading! If I read a book that I think will appeal to most heavy readers, then I do a post just for that specific one. Others, just are generally not as high on the priority list, but you may like to hear about them. Enter the blurb style:

photocreditDeep Church by Jim Belcher was a very quick read, at just over 200 pages. This spiritual-non-fiction work is devoted to finding a 'third way' of church; an in-between of a Traditional Church Model and the…

Movie Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Hello there! I'm back with a movie review (and another one coming soon...)! Recently Stefan and I watched Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Now, to give credit where credit is due, this is actually a story by the fabulous children's author, Roald Dahl. He's also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ring a bell? This stop-action clay story is chock full of all stary Hollywood A-listers as the cast of voicessuch as Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson, and George Clooney. It's a bit of a dark comedy, although set to a child's storyline...as most Roald Dahl features (books & movies) are. The timing, creativity, and dialogue in this movie are very good. I was entertained watching it and Stefan even picked up a monologue of Mr. Fox that he thoroughly enjoyed. The story is funny, yet odd, in keeping with Dahl's whimsical yet realistic taste in chatacter development. Probably not suitable for children under 13 due to it's adult humor (think a…

5 Years & Some Crazy Thank Yous

This past week Stefan and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary! Since it landed on the Friday we got back I assumed grandparents would be tired, and wasn't going to even ask if we could go out since our whole family needed rest. Apparently Stefan had set everything up and the kids stayed overnight at Oma & Opa's (THANK YOU!) house and we went out to eat and to some friends' concert at a local coffee house. We were even given a little help to enjoy the night (THANK YOU X2!).
We headed over to Indigio Bridge Booksand every first Friday of the month, our quirky little art town puts on a free Art Walk event, giving everyone who comes out free access, food, desserts, and sometimes wine to peruse the new, old, and upcoming artists & galleries, and, in this case, bookstores! A few of our friends from Grace Chapel own the photography business LOVE EQUALS. They had some of their recent Haiti photography up on the walls and some other friends had a 2 person band with great lyr…

Day 6: Vancouver BC

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Our last days in British Columbia were spent in White Rock before leaving for home. White Rock is a small little town right on the south-western coast of the lower mainland. It is quite expensive to live here, since it's so close to the ocean, but our friends L & D work down here and have been able to pull it off quite easily with finding great rental deals.
The ocean coast here is not sandy, but still rocky, but with all the tree-lined mountains close and off in the distance, it is really pretty.
The last day we went out for smoothies in the morning, and just had a relaxing time cleaning up, washing clothes, etc. before heading over to Stefan's aunt's house.
She made us a wonderful GF soup + biscuits, and spending time with her and her 3 children, one whom I hadn't met yet, was a good way to spend the last lunchtime we had there. We all enjoyed seeing everyone and our only regret is that we didn't have more time.
That evening, once our friends got off …

Day 5: Vancouver BC

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Well, it seems that after our busy Saturday, we didn't take any other pictures, so you'll just have to do with the scenic ones from the internet coming up. Here is a view of Mt. Baker, a picture taken in Abbotsford. That's a small town/city/township? in the lower mainland where we stayed with some friends on Sunday. We went to their church The Bridge (can't find a link) in the morning, which met outside in a walnut orchard before having a small bbq with friends.
Unfortunately, that day was quite gloomy and even rained on us a bit both outside for the service and for lunch. The rain, though, was barely spit, and although it made it wet & cold, it wasn't as if we were standing in water or shivering, I just wished I had an extra coat.
It also pushed our bbq to inside, but the food was delicious. This whole trip, other than a few meals, were all supplied by friends or family which was so great, since I hate eating out for every meal while on vacation. Not …

Day 4: Vancouver BC

Day Four, Saturday, was a really fun day for us. That morning we all woke up, made a huge lunch for 4 + snacks, packed the towels into the car and headed to beautiful Widgeon Lake. Here is a view of the canoe rental area, but this lake is quite expansive nestled in between the mountains. Off in the distance you can see where it curves around the land, becoming a river, but we took the 'left' route to get to the glacial falls.
After an hour + of canoe-ing down the pristine river (literally, you could see all the rocks on the bottom) you stop at a small cove to haul up your canoe onto land so you can take the hour + hike up the mountain. Here are the guys in the back of the canoes. We tied our boats together so we could chat the way there, on the way back it was every man for himself.
The trip up the mountain was interesting. What starts as a fork in the road with the "road" being a gravel 1.4 km 'easier' walk and the sweet little dirt path being a 1.5 km path, w…

Day 3: Vancouver, BC

Day three, Friday, started off as a really nice relaxing day. The Thursday evening, we spent the night at our friends' house, D & C. D was also the pastor who married Stefan and I, and they are very close friends. Both of them had to work Friday morning, so we took the opportunity to sleep in, do some laundry, play with their sweet cat, and take a long-much needed walk around town. It seemed at that point, that we had been in a car or plane a lot, and we needed to stretch our legs. If Americans have Dunkin Donuts, the Canadian equivalent (yet, much more popular) is Tim Hortons, affectionately called Timmy's, by most. We always have to stop there to get some TimBits(the.best.donut holes. ever.) and some chocolate milk. Even though they aren't gluten free, I make exception for their sour cream ones.
We spent the rest of the morning walking back the mile or two to their house, chatting with D as he got home from work early, then went back to our other friends' house fo…

Day 2 : Vancouver, BC

Thursday was supposed to be an all day trip up to beautiful Peachland, BC, where Stefan's paternal grandparents live. It is situated in the Oakanagan, and the 3 hour drive is a scenic mountain highway. When you get there all you can see is a sweet little town snuggled in between cherry & peach orchards, a huge lake surrounded by mountains. Unfortunately, we never made it up there...

Yes, that is the truck we were driving, and yes, that is it's tire laying next to the highway barrier. Our car made it about an 70 minutes to Peachland, when we heard a loud noise. Stefan and I looked at each other, quite shocked, and saw our front driver's side tire rolling across the highway! We quickly stopped on the side of the road, while seeing that the wheel had hopped the barrier and was rolling into oncoming traffic (110 KM/H or about 80mph)! It hopped the other barrier and went into the ditch, or so we hoped.
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After realizing what happened, we were both quite shook up when we knew i…

Day 1: Vancouver, BC

Stefan worked a pretty full day Tuesday, and that afternoon we left for the Omaha airport. With two flights very close to each other, we literally hopped off one to get on another (while feeling sick, ugh) and got into Vancouver by 11:30 Pacific Time (1:30AM). That night was a bit rough, but we were glad not have to waste 2 whole days on travelling. Without the kids it was much easier to do so.
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Our first day in Vancouverwas Wednesday. In the morning, we woke up and took a long walk around the First Nation reserve which is what the first two pictures are of. Our friend took her dog and it was very expansive. Quite poor, unfortunately, in that area. The ocean, as always, was beautiful. Here is a huge bald eagle just sitting on a post while the tide was out.
A view of the millions of clam/mussel/snail shells that litter the bottom of the ground. Of course, you have to remember it is all under water half the day when the tide is in during the afternoon. Tons of algea made it a bit slimy &a…

Gone...Canoein'?

*Be back soon. I have plenty of posts for every day we were in Vancouver coming daily starting...tomorrow. We got back early (early!) Wednesday morning after 7 hours of delays and were so glad we decided to take off an 'extra' day after we got back to enjoy the kids and get back to normal life. I'm sad to be back in the Nebraska heat but very happy that the Grandparents and kids had a great time while we were away. This is my 'signature' photo of every vacation spot and an explanation is coming about this particular scene from beautiful British Columbia. Stick around.*