Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Last Peek...

...Of my first family session.

All Boy

A few more photos for Diana, as I'm editing the final images from her family's photo session.

A Beautiful Mom

I have just one or two more openings for Mother's Portrait Sessions this coming month.
Email me as soon as possible if you are interested in setting up a time!

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

I can't believe Luke is 5.

He has been waiting and waiting for his birthday to arrive. Arrive, it finally did. And it came with incredible weather for a Lemonade Stand birthday party with friends and family. More photos to come (of course), but I thought I would start with this one as i heart faces had the good sense to choose Happy Birthday! as their photo challenge theme this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So Many Photos...

...So Little Time.

Susan @ Poet's

I have days and days worth of photo editing ahead of me. Today is Luke's 5th birthday (and party). Almost two weeks ago we visited my Eden, and I have yet to post pictures of that day. I have a few pictures to finish up for Diana. Thursday evening was a scrumptious ChocLit Guild meeting in the garden. And yesterday evening I had a fabulous Mother's Portrait Session with the gorgeous and oh-so-photogenic Susan (From the Narrows). I guess we'll start with this teaser and go from there...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Children's Musem

Children's Museum, China

I thought I'd post a few more pictures of the afternoon we spent last week with friends at the local children's museum, A. C. Gilbert's Discovery Village. I didn't even begin to get photos of everything the boys did, but here is a taste. Above, my favorite, the China room. A magnetic board for tanagrams, a panda bear tea party, Chinese writing with water, murals, and more.

The boys shopped until they dropped at the grocery store. They played (and played, and PLAYED) in the expansive outdoor play area.

Children's Museum

The building with trains and dinosaurs was, of course, a big hit. The bubble room, the craft room, the safari stage, the submarine control room, the list goes on and on... It was double the fun with a second family of three boys, all similar ages!!

Children's Museum, Trains

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Holiday Weekend ~ Episode #3


Monday, after a morning of more work around the house, we headed to another friend's home.

Our host, Bob, is co-owner of the company Russ used to work for in the Portland area and has become a good friend over the years. He is larger than life, brilliant, full of outrageous stories and jokes, a lover of good food, and a 'crazy uncle' to our three boys. His home is a fascinating bachelor pad, full of interesting art and treasures, overlooking Lake Oswego.

The food is always incredible (he spends hours slaving over his famous BBQ'd ribs), and the company and conversation even better. We love spending time with two other favorite couples who are usually around to party with us, as well.

Island Bridge

Down at the dock, we bask in the sunshine, staring directly at this beautiful bridge. It is the driveway to an island home... the most expensive property currently on the market in the whole state of Oregon. Next time we visit, we'll be going for a boat ride around the lake. I'll have to snap some photos of the incredible homes in this area and share them with you.

Monday, though, we stayed on shore. The boys pretended to fish and really did jump into the water; even Russ managed a refreshing swim. We enjoyed getting to know our friends' new little baby boy. Definitely a perfect ending to a holiday weekend!

On the Lake

Holiday Weekend ~ Episode #2

Backyard Fun

Day #2: Church, more work around the house, and backyard fun with family/friends.

And roasting marshmallows, of course!

Roasting Marshmallows

One of my favorite people. Maybe next time I'll get a photo of her face!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Holiday Weekend ~ Episode #1

I thought I'd share a few photos of our weekend. I wasn't inspired to try to make these beautiful, so you just get 'real life' here.
Above: what Levi did/does instead of emptying the dishwasher.
Below: Russ took the boys to our hole-in-the-wall, local, rural, red-neck diner for breakfast on Saturday morning.

Now that I look at the pictures, I can't believe we eat here. Hmmm. Maybe this is why I didn't tag along this weekend.
They do have delicious, HUGE pancakes, though.
Yard work. Lots. With little helpers.

And this is what happens when you make two loaves of banana bread and then leave them on the counter to cool while you work outside and little boys come and go:
Unfortunately, my whole house looked like that by the end of Saturday. Sigh.

Monday, May 25, 2009

With Charity For All

Flag on Bridge

With malice toward none;
with charity for all;
with firmness in the right,
as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive to finish the work we are in;
to bind up the nation's wounds;
to care for him who shall have borne the battle...
to do all which may achieve and cherish
a just and lasting peace,
among ourselves, and with all nations.

~Abraham Lincoln, as quoted in April 1865 by Jay Winik

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sharing Another Learning Room

Tera's Learning Room

When we visited our new friends this past Tuesday, I snuck a few shots of the room Tera has set up for homeschooling her boys. I know some of you love peeking into other learning rooms/school rooms, or whatever you want to call them, so I asked Tera if I could share the photos.

She has transformed her dining room space into a playful yet sophisticated space that works well for homeschooling (and is still functional as a dining room when guests come for dinner!). I love the Chinese lanterns hanging in the corner and the beautiful framed map on the wall. The large table and benches really provide room for some serious work!

The room is very accessible to all parts of the house, particularly the kitchen. How handy!

Tera's Learning Room 2

Tera also has beautiful baskets in her living room which hold books and other materials they use mostly at the couch. Each subject is in a separate basket.


Family Silhouette 3

It is silhouette week at i heart faces.
With such a unique theme, the pictures are sure to be fascinating.
I think I'm addicted now to silhouettes and can't wait to try some more!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Watching and Reading

We recently watched The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. Sidney Poitier is fabulous in this movie about an elderly gentleman who lives a very simple, hardworking life as a master carpenter. An out of town developer wants his land, and Noah has no desire to sell. Great family fare. Along the same lines, Sidney Poitier also stars in The Last Brickmaker in America.
Goodnight Mister Tom is a heartwarming, and heartbreaking, story of an elderly gentleman who houses a boy sent to the country to avoid the bombing in London. Their developing relationship is beautiful. Beware: this movie contains some pretty serious child abuse. I'm not sure how I made it through (I tend to be really sensitive to that), and I wouldn't recommend it for younger children, but the overall story is worth the heartbreak.

In the Town All Year 'Round is a wordless picture book full of delightful detail. Children begin the journey in the countryside, through town, and out again, once for each season. There are stories to watch unfold, a cast of characters to identify, and seemingly endless details to discover. The illustrations have a classic feel, yet are lively and fun. I love the similar book Anno's Journey, but this is perfect for a slightly younger crowd.

We've been eating up picture books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (of The Beckoning of Lovely fame). Little Pea is Luke's favorite. Little pea hates dinner time. His parents make him eat all the food on his plate before he can have dessert. But there is a twist. He finally makes it through his plate of candy and cheers when he is served a treat of spinach. Luke happens to love both candy and spinach, so he gets a big kick out of this one.

Another favorite is One of Those Days. I think we can all relate. It certainly brought a smile to my face. I'm inspired to start my own list. I Forgot to Restock the Dr. Pepper Day. Two-year-old Just Put Blueberries in the Laundry Day. It's Raining and I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything Day. I've Played On the Computer Way Too Much Day....
Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole is a lovely easy reader book reminiscent of Frog and Toad. The illustrations are adorable, and the relationship between mouse and mole is darling. Luke enjoyed A Brand-New Day with Mouse and Mole, as well.

I was pleased to find this series about an African boy named Akimbo, written by Alexander McCall Smith (of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency fame). Drawing on his experience living in Africa, the author introduces children to African culture and wildlife conservation through these adventurous simple chapter books. Levi flew through a few of the titles and gave them a thumbs up.

Digory the Dragon Slayer (and Digory and the Lost King) is a humorous simple chapter book, just right for a boy who loves dragons and knights and laughs. It might be just the ticket for a reluctant reader.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Evergreen Space Museum

Evergreen Space Museum 2

We spent yesterday at the Evergreen Space Museum. It was one of those days when everything goes according to plan. Don't you just love those?

It was an early morning for us (we're late risers), but Russ and I got to wake up the boys together and have a cuddle-fest. Everyone got ready quickly, and we headed out (and Russ to work). My angel mother offered to watch Leif for the day, so we dropped him off and headed over to Holly's to pick up her clan.

The sun was shining, the drive was delightful (through the countryside, vineyards galore), Holly and I chatted, and the middle row of three children was silent the whole way. Ilex sat in the back between Luke and Levi (both of them with their heads on her shoulders), reading The Secret Garden with a Yorkshire accent. The whole way. Utopia.

We arrived at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in perfect time. The place is gorgeous. We were in the Space wing for the Astronomy Home School Day. I thought it would be an excellent ending to our astronomy science studies. Our friends, Christina and Jake, met up with us. We spent the morning learning about space and making a comet out of dry ice. Luke was well-behaved and Levi knew all the answers. (Apparently he learned something about astronomy at home. Whew!)

Astronomy Class 2

We ate lunch outside in the sunshine while the kiddos got all their energy out on the awesome play structure.

Play Structure

We headed back inside for a presentation inside an inflatable planetarium. What fun!
We then learned a little more about comets and then made some crafts.

Astronomy Day Class

The classes ended a little early, so we had time to browse the Space Museum. It was incredible! Huge. Beautiful. First class.

Evergreen Space Museum

We made the return drive through the sunny countryside, listening again to Ilex's Yorkshire accent. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

I can't wait to return to Evergreen to peruse the Aviation building and catch an IMAX show or two. I tried to make sure Levi didn't glance at the word 'dinosaur' on the IMAX Theater billboard, or we would have had more than the usual break-down upon leaving the museum....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We Made a Few....

New Friends

We spent the day making new friends.
Thanks, Tera, for sharing your home and hanging out at the children's museum with us!
Our boys are six peas in a pod. What fun for each of them to have a buddy in the mix!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family Photos on the Farm

Roaming the Farm

I'm having the hardest time trying to decide which photos to edit next. So many more great ones. What a beautiful family! I'm so glad I got to be the one to photograph them!

Family Time



Family Portrait

A Family Walk

Family Walk

Here is one more for today... the rest will have to wait until tomorrow (and the next day, and the next....).


Family Silhouette 1

Experimenting with silhouettes.... it is the upcoming theme for i heart faces.
Now I can't pick a favorite!

(Susan, I hope I did you proud. Grin.)

Family Silhouette Collage

Family Silhouette 2

First Peek

Bubbles and Beauty

I had my first family photo shoot (ever!) Saturday evening. They were kind enough to participate in my trial and error (they were great sports!) and also let the kiddos stay up past their bed time. I hope it was worth it! Lots more images coming, but I thought the mom might be as impatient as I would be. Grin. Here's something to get you started, Diana...