Thursday, July 30, 2009

Storyhill Live

2 weeks ago Tom and I went on a date night. That alone is reason to be excited, as this is not really a regular event for us. BUT we even went on a real adult date, not just out to dinner and walking Home Depot dreaming of home improvement projects. Instead we went to a concert presented by the Firefly Concert Series. Now this isn't your ordinary concert in a local bar or anything, it is an unplugged, acoustic house concert. AMAZING. It was in a home in West Seattle right on the water with unbelievable views. The audience is 30-40 guests at the most so it is about as intimate as you can get. It started out with a fabulous urban potluck (you know hummus, salmon, brie cheese..... no baked beans or potatoe salads in sight YUMMY:-). And the best part of all, it was our all time favorite singer/songwriter duo STORYHILL. Tom went to highschool with them and introduced me to their music in college and we have been HUGE fans ever since. There music is amazing, harmoies are fabulous and the lyrics hold special meaning for us since many revolve around the Bozeman area where our hearts will always be. The concert was fabulous, the photos awful! Although I never leave home without it, I choose not to bring my camera so I just have this lame photo from the camera phone. In theory you should see the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains out the windows but that didn't really work out as I had planned.....
I'm looking forward to keeping an eye on the Firefly Concert Schedule to go to more in the future. It was really an enjoyable evening and a great date night! I have added a very short playlist to my blog to introduce you to Storyhill music. Unfortunately there were only 2 of their songs to choose from, but I hope you enjoy them! (or just hit mute on your computer if you don't)

Ice Treasure

REPOSTING THIS FROM POST FROM LAST SUMMER! We are getting ready for some ice fun to day to try and beat this crazy heat we are having. Hoping maybe it helps someone else too!! I think today we may just pop them right into the swimming pool.
I have looked at this idea on a few different blogs and it was SOOOOO much fun and so easy. Just fill a plastic container with water and add all sorts of little treasures (we did marbles, bead necklaces, plastic dinosaurs, balls....) Then freeze the container. Once frozen pop it out and let the kids try and get the treasure. We started off with toothbrushes and syringes for our tools but the girls' attention spans are not too great so they quickly progressed to hammer, screwdrivers and hot water. TONS OF FUN for a sunny day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Froggy Fun

The girls found two frogs (or are they toads???) in the backyard today and spent over an hour playing with them. Either the frogs were incredibly patient with the girls or not the brightest frogs in the pond. I would think they could have hopped away if they really wanted to but they hung out with them fairly easily.
The girls were quite insistent that Nora's frog was a leopard frog and Madison's was a spring peeper. Not sure where those identifications came from but there was no arguing with them.

The girls especially enjoyed playing with them in the pool. They taught them "tricks" like swimming through a hoop. Then the frogs would climb up their legs to get out of the water. They even took them down the little water slide into the pool.No frogs were hurt in the making of this blog post. Well, they may be emotionally scarred for life but they were able to easily hop away on their own free will. I would recommend they hop far far away!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Here is what the Tooth Fairy will discover in Madison's bed tonight. She wrote this after going to her room for the night, quite to the suprise of mom and dad.
The letter goes as follows:
Dear tooth fairy,
Hi! Please don't respond. It's just 1 thing can I keep my tooth and still get my mony? If not do not take my tooth. If so leve the mony and the tooth.
Just for the record, Madison has ongoing correspondence with the tooth fairy where she leaves letters under her pillow and the tooth fairy leaves letters back during the night even when there are no teeth to be collected. So that explains the fact that the tooth fairy doesn't need to respond to this note. I am off to bed so the tooth fairy can come and make a determination on if she can leave the tooth or must she take it with her?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Bucket List Addition

Missoula Children's Theater
Looking for something fun for the family this weekend? Kent Park and Rec is hosting King Arthur's Quest presented by MCT. The productions are always lots of fun and very kid friendly with songs and dance.
Shows are at 3:00 and 7:00 on Saturday at Kent-Meridian High School. You can buy tickets in advance, but I also know that last year we had no problem getting them at the door.
AND as a special bonus if you go, look for Madison as the MINI Red Squire!! She has been having a great time practicing all week and is looking forward to the big show! Photos to come after the show.......

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Find recipe HERE

Monday, July 20, 2009

Parade Fun (and work)

The girls were thrilled when they heard they could walk in the Covington Days Parade with Nora's preschool. The night before they spent a great deal of time decorating their bikes and helmets. I don't think any of us realized the effort the next day would entail as it was a first for any of us to be in a parade. Tom is a seasoned veteran from his marching band days, and I now see why he gracefully bowed out of attending.

The timeline was a bit as follows:

9:00 - meet at the preschool to gather up the crew.
9:20 - start walking the 4 blocks to the start of the parade, the term "herding cats" comes to mind when thinking of how to make this happen.
9:40 - arrive at start of the parade and stand on hot black asphalt for 30 minutes hearing a crowd of children constantly asking when the parade begins!!
10:10 - FINALLY it is our turn to start walking/riding. By now Nora is a bit worn out so I end up pushing her back pretty much the entire parade. Plus her attention wasn't always focused so I would need to keep a hand on the handle bars to ensure we didn't crash into our friends or go careening into the crowds. Oh, and I should mention I was lugging a bag full of possible supplies we may need (first aid kit, water bottles, energy snacks, spray bottle for heat), had the camera around my neck and was carrying a #@$*&^@* bubble machine that was working fine until the MINUTE the parade began and then didn't work for the rest of the parade. I am sure I was quite the sight to see:-0 To bad I have no pictures of that!! Needless to say, we began the parade at the start of our group and by the end of it were bringing up the rear.
Madison, on the other hand, was making her best attempts to ride her bike in the crowd. I really didn't think through how complicated that would be. Between the very slow speed of the parade, the constant stopping and starting (Madison blames the cheerleaders ahead of us for this) and the large amounts of people in our group it is very difficult to ride a 2 wheeled bike, keeping balance and steering accurately. I was very proud of her for keeping it up for the parade route and not hitting anyone or having a crash.
10:40 WHEW we reach the end of the parade route. GREAT. Oh wait a minute, now we have to walk/ride back to the preschool where our chariot (i.e. mini-van) awaits. And now that the parade is over, any remaining energy and enthusiasm the girls may have had has completely disappeared. So now I am continuing to lug all the above mentioned items, pushing Nora on her bike and pushing Madison's bike that she has decided to abandon.
11:00 We arrive back at the start of this whole ordeal with Madison asking "Mom, next year can we just watch the parade so we can get the candy and see everyone?" With my answer being a resounding "YES"!!!!!!

So, if you would like to learn a lesson from my poor parade planning - do NOT have your children ride bikes. If I were to do it over again we would have decorated the big jogging stroller/bike trailer and the girls could have walked and rode in that. Lesson learned!!!! Really we did have some fun and it wasn't all bad, but it was ALOT of time and work for a 20 minute parade.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gettin' Crafty

I have been feeling the "itch" to get crafting lately. The last few months of school were so crazy with obligations that I didn't have much desire. And Madison didn't have much interest in organized crafts after being at school all day. Now that we are done with our big summer travels I am hoping to dive into the disaster known as the Scrap Cave and get busy. And I am also looking forward to fun crafting with the girls (bucket list edition coming soon) so we attempted this project that has been on my "must do list" for 6 months. So much fun and simple as can be. I am seeing all the many possibilities we can do with it.
Click above for tutorial with a cricut die cut machine, if you don't have the machine HERE is a link for you
So the girls picked out some designs from the cricut options I had. They decided they wanted to be the "beach sisters" so found beachy themed items. I cut the designs out onto Reynolds Freezer Paper (found with the foils and wraps at the grocery store) with the SHINY SIDE UP and then you iron it onto fabric with the SHINY SIDE DOWN.
The girls then painted over the stencils with fabric paint and VOILA!! At first we planned these to be pajama shirts but now I am thinking they can be fun swim cover-ups at the beach and pool.
The options are endless and I am thinking it would be a fun and easy activity to do during playdates or even a birthday party. I am imagining some cool pillow cases that could be made during sleep overs. FUN!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Bucket List - SPLISH SPLASH

Fun in the water is always a big hit at our house. I grew up spending my entire summers at the local public pool. I sometimes get annoyed that we don't have just regular outdoor public pools in the area but there are so many other options and most are free - BONUS!!!!
Today the girls had fun at Kent Plaza and Kent Station in the fountains and sprinklers. I didn't realize the Kent Plaza one is so extensive. Definitely a fun stop in the summer heat and then you can just walk across to Kent Station for shopping or dining.
Other spots on our list for FREE water fun are:
  • Mud Mountain wading pool - Enumclaw
  • Les Grove Sprinkler Park - Auburn
  • Fountain Fun at Seattle Center (did you know there were 6 plus the ones at the Science Center??) - Seattle
  • Lake Fun - including Lake Washington, Sammamish, Wilderness, Meridian and more. I will be using this article for reference on different spots to go to each week
  • Camping at the Pacific OceanMudd Mountain - summer '08

The not-so-free items on our water fun list are:

One definite for this year is I am keeping a set of beach towels and extra clothes in the car at all times since it seems we often find water fun when we aren't fully prepared for it and this will ensure I don't have to be the mean mom keeping the kids out of the fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reason #1 for scrapbooking

This is the journal/scrapbook my great-great aunt Nora Harbor (who my own Nora is named for). It was created by her mother starting on the day of her birth in 1894. The things it documents are quite amazing:
Here is my favorite photo of her at age 4.5, all most exactly how old my Nora is currently.

It includes some of her primary school report cards along with class pictures.

And it ends with documentation of their trip from Fort Benton, Montana to Liverpool, England in 1903 including the boat ticket and menu along with many photos and postcards.

This book is so incredible to read. Documentation of trips, weather, parties, illnesses and more. Whenever I think about my scrapbooking I try to remember this and what memories it includes for the future generations. It helps me to remember to not get so obsessed with the embellishing and to really try to put more of an effort into the journaling, which is not my strong point.


Well, attempt #4 finally brought some results. I now know how to add a mask onto a photo and hand tint a photo for a vintage look. Still failing miserably at getting a new brush loaded onto my program. Seems like it won't support the brushes. GRRRR. Still making attempts.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Madison at the Madison

We always try to stop off at the Madison River during out Montana travels to photograph Madison at the river we named her after. Here are some highlights from todays visit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Truely Old School Photo Shop

How great is this Christmas card that my grandparents sent out in 1974??? Way before photoshop or Shutterfly came around. No need for extra embellishments. This is what I try to think of as I work on my photos: "What will my girls want to see 20 years from now when looking at the pictures and albums."
I'm the cute baby on the top right:-)

Photoshop or Old School - the internal debate

I was prepared and excited to take my online photoshop class through Jessica Sprague to maybe get more of a handle on improving and embellishing upon my photography. I have dabbled with photoshop type programs over the past 5 years with mixed feelings. I will spend hours learning a new skill to then not use it enough to get it stored in my long term memory so six months later when I go to try it again I have to start from scratch. I always leave wondering if it was really worth the time I put into it. I also have self-conflict with the desire to mess with my photos. I really enjoy my pictures to tell me the story of what was going on and I am not sure I have a desire to distort them. Or adding color to the sky or water when it really wasn't there..... is that really what I want?
SOOOOO.... I decided to take this class with some friends to perfect this digital art. Well, not perfect but at least improve. Mom took the girls to the zoo so I head to the local coffee shop for some free wi-fi and a chai tea to immerse in my lesson. 20 minutes later I have the elements downloaded and unzipped, 15 minutes later I am cursing at the video that is frozen half-way through and I can't make it continue, 10 more minutes of not being able to paste a frame onto the photo (a simple task I have done many times) Finally I have stopped with the above half-complete assignment. Was an hours worth of time really worth a distorted background and the cute "sassy" embellishment? I am thinking not.......
The jury remains out for me. Not sure if my wi-fi signal effected the video, my different photo editing software didn't like the frame or what. I will continue to dabble and attempt these classes. I do think it will add some excitement to my blogged photos and is always fun for a different spin in some layouts but I really question the time factor for the learning curve that I may never get to top of when I am fairly happy with my photos as is.
Thank you for reading the Ramblings of Lisa - the July edition! If the above made any sense to anyone I will be shocked and amazed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Montana Musings

We are 4 days into our Montana trip and it has been fabulous so far. Here are some highlights
And we are off! We were backing out of the driveway at exactly 8:00 a.m. as planned. The first hour of the drive was a bit painful and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Madison was weepy and tearful that she would be homesick and would miss daddy, Micah, Mercedes, Beemer, Fanny, Sunset and Blacky. Oh, and her room, the house, the garden....... you get the picture yet? Nora started 15 minutes into the drive with "Are we there yet?". Luckily they got all that out of their system the first hour and the next 11 hours were fairly painfree.
Fourth of July Family Celebrations

We enjoyed our family barbeque with all the younger generation keeping us entertained with balloon rockets, swimming pool fun and rolling fun down the hill. The best was when the red and blue frosted cupcakes were brought out. Here are the kids modeling their patriotic tongues!

Hiking Excursion

6 children ages 7, 6, 4, 3, 3 and 2 on a 3+ mile hike up Drinking Horse Mountain Trail. We were at least wise enough to have more adults than children (7 total) to make sure we had enough backs and arms for hauling them out. Amazingly, all the children did exceptionally well and were able to do the entire hike (minus the final summit switchbacks) without adult assitance. Even the 2 year old hiked up the mountain under her own power. It may have been a bit more than we signed up for but it really was a great hike and an enjoyable day to spend with family.Nora and Uncle Bob