Monday, December 31, 2007

Bring It On..'08

Fireworks. This is what I think of on News Year's Eve. The anticipation, color and excitement. The booms and blasts and bangs. Bring it on 2008...

More photos. July 4, 2006 Fireworks

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Meeting Sonya Lilly...

The holidays brought Sonya Lilly and her family to town. Good times...I get to see my old friend, KC, about three times a year. I had seen many pictures and was eagerly awaiting the visit when I got to meet the newest addition, Sonya Lilly. Such a cutie! Always smiling and reaching out for fun. So glad to finally meet her in person. Oh and, by the looks of it, her Mama doesn't make milk, she makes cream! Sonya's big sister, Olivia Sunflower, has taken on her role like a champ.

Here is Roxie and Olivia Sunflower when they were babies...Then '04 and Now '07. Olivia is getting ready to open her Christmas present from me, a Memory Match Game. Click here to view the baby blanket I put together for Sonya.

Pomegranate Martini

A new favorite of mine...Oprah's Pomegranate Martini. Let me make a suggestion. Be sure to soak the pomegranates in the vodka or white tequila beforehand. This makes for such a yummy crunchy treat at the end.

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
2 oz. Absolute Citron vodka OR white tequila
1 oz. Cointreau liquor
Cup of ice
Optional: Splash of sparkling water
Optional: Squeeze of lemon

Shake ingredients in a shaker and put in chilled martini glasses. Put pomegranate fruit into glass as garnish.

Posting this recipe in the middle of baby posts to help keep me away from the "Baby fever". Don't know if it is really working though...especially since I had a bit too many martinis last night...they are sooo good!

New Baby!

We have a new baby!!! Gillian Cooper, 8lbs 20 inches. I think most of the 8lbs rest in her cheeks! Good job Mom!

Want to see what I made for Gillian? The "Derrière Bag" and Friendship Star blanket.

Go to Craft-Crazy for more of my current projects. Should explain why I have not been around this space too much lately...

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Rogue the Reindeer"

My Rogue Bear. Now eight months old and moving steadily past 100 lbs...What a ham he is in front of the camera.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


I tried, I really did. I wanted an informal picture of my kids and dogs to share. I was hoping for one I felt was good enough for the Christmas card. It seems I just ended up with a bunch of out-takes. Although no one else will see the fun and laughter had during this photo shoot, I will. The older girls were no problem. It was Roxie who gave us headache. She would be standing there all nice and quiet and as soon as we said "One, two..." on three she would strike some funky pose and we would all end up laughing. Of course this just encouraged our little clown. In the end, I went with the school picture.

Every year I do a large stack of Christmas cards to send out to friends and family. Although I have always enjoyed sending these pictures and holiday greetings, it was harder for me this year. We are trying to save resources and money. So sending out a bunch of cards and using the transportation needed to deliver them did not seem like the right choice. Plans have changed for next year, we will be doing email greetings. Of course there are a few cards I will send out, grandparents who never hit the web wave and such. But when doing this, I will be sure to either make our cards from recycled paper products (like old Christmas cards) or purchase Christmas cards made from Organic and Earth Friendly companies.

Another small way to help "Save the Planet".

Best Gift of All...

Our good friend Alan has blessed us with the best gift of all, the gift of giving. Thanks to Al, we have done a small part to help End Hunger and Care for the Earth.

The Heifer Foundation holds many opportunities for people like you and me to give to someone/village that is less fortunate. Alan gave "us" the gift of geese. Since some geese can lay up to 75 eggs a year even "six geese a-laying" can add up quickly for families in desperate need of protein and a means of income. Geese are easy to care for because they don't require much shelter and can adapt to hot, wet or cold weather. Geese can also find a good portion of their food by themselves, and they efficiently dispose of weed seeds and gobble up insects, slugs and snails.

Thank you Alan.

Photo from the Heifer Foundation.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Morning Ramblings...

Some of my favorite things: being Mama, sewing, painting, walking on the beach, ballet and tap dancing. These truly are my favorite things. I could add more to the list, like being with dear friends, camping, drinking my morning tea. But I think the first list pretty much sums me up. Where is this going you ask? Just wanting to share my favorite things and to kick you over to my other blog, Craft-Crazy. Although I am not showing many of my current projects (they are Christmas presents you know) there are many past ones posted.

As my childcare career is slowing down, I want to find another way to be the PTO Mom and also have an income. Having me at home with the kids is our first priority, so I don't take this lightly. I know many families deal with this as it is nearly impossible to get by on one income these days.

My painting is a hit and I have people asking for my work, waiting their turn. But I don't think I really want to make this my full-time job. It would pull me away from my kids a bit more than I would like. A job here and there, yah -it is one of my favorite things...I am going to share my thoughts here (isn't that what a blog is?) and tell you what I am thinking. An Etsy Shop. Many people are wanting less mainstream (for very good reason) and more collectible items, made with love and hope for a better future. I know I can provide this. Add it to my painting, and we're in business!

So there you go, a bit of Friday morning rambling...Now I am off to finish my morning cup of tea and sit behind my sewing machine. Like I said, my childcare career is slowing down...frees up my time for more creative ventures.

Photo of a November project, Memory Match games.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yer Buns!

When I took this challenge on, my husband asked who he was supposed to "rat me out" to when I failed. Well, he doesn't have to. I caved and pushed my therm up to 64 this morning. I know, I know, you don't have to tell me. I am blaming it on my three year old who has a gross green nose, nasty cough and refuses to put on more clothes. I try, and then she runs in the room with just her dress-up on (this is usually a silky scarf and not much else). I promise to knock it back down, just give me a little three year old leeway...while typing this my brain is saying "Who is the Mom here? Make her do what you want!". Ya well, I am picking my battles...

Lucky Kids!

Ausha and Kaziah spent the weekend with their Uncle Matt and Aunt Kate. They had a full weekend of back country Christmas tree finding, skiing in Ketchum and sledding in the front yard. They were even lucky enough to spy a Bald Eagle.

Photos taken by Aunt Kate and Uncle Matt

Saturday, December 8, 2007


By the looks of the sky, we'll get more...

Spreading the Canvas Love...

Sharing again my favorite youtube clip of Tim Minchin's Canvas Bags.

I am a constant user of my hemp/cloth bags. Many a clerk have things to say. Most are pretty good and I have found it starts up positive conversation. I love this part. The conversation can easily involve the people behind me in line as well. I remember once, as I was leaving the line after such conversation, the woman behind me asked for paper bags. May have just been coincidence and she always gets paper, or maybe it was our conversation. I like to think of it as so. Spreading the word is a way to live. Teach by my actions, being the change I want to see. Hopefully my positive interactions with other shoppers will follow them on their next shopping trip.

Ultimately, it comes down to what I am teaching my children.

Some clerks are annoyed by it. I am one of those shoppers who do not bag their produce and the clerks have to wrestle my fruits and veggies. It's not like I just throw them down, I am a very helpful customer. I had one guy thank me "On behalf of the planet". This was nice, but it hit me wrong. I may have been already getting irritated with all the plastic use going on around me and the wasteful spending. When he thanked me I thought, "OK, that's a better response than I usually get. But wait a second! Why are you thanking me for something everyone should be doing! Do you use canvas bags? Am I really the exception in this mad-house?!"

Yes, I think I was already irritated with the other stuff going on around me. I used to enjoy shopping. Now the smells, lights and full carts send me over a bit. I love to "Treasure Hunt" antique stores and 2nd hand stores, I find much pleasure in it. But my weekly grocery shopping is dreaded. Perhaps if our town had a good co-op, I wouldn't be complaining so much.

Yesterday we went "Treasure Hunting". My favorite is the book section. I immediately start looking for old "Little Golden Book" series. I also found the "Canadian Classic" _Mary of Mile 18_ by Ann Blades.Lovely book._Gus was a Friendly Ghost_by Jane Thayer, is a childhood favorite, and who doesn't love _Leo the Lop_?"
Roxie loves her "new" wooden puzzle of Thumper and Bambi.

My favorite clerk comment came yesterday after our "Treasure Hunt". The clerk said, "I like people like you".

I also found more small kid glasses and a great jar to replace more plastic storage in my kitchen. Besides the old books, the big score of the treasure hunt was a new Carhartt button-up for Lance. "Winner-Winner"

You see, I am not that hard to please...just don't try to take me to Wal-Mart!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What the Flickr!

I have finally gone pro and added My Flickr to this page, and the whole Flickr universe for that matter. I have much work to do with this photo account and little time to do so (holiday craft deadlines, bath remodel, three get the picture). I hope you check it out and enjoy the photos that are there. I have many sets waiting in the wings...stay tuned.

You can get a taste of My Flickr by watching a slideshow on my sidebar.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Too cool to keep to myself! I have started the prep work. The first coat of sealer is on the shower floor tiles and in three hours I will do it again.
I hope you have a great weekend! (Mine will be full of more tile sealing, organizing and holiday fun -the girls are dancing at the Festival of Trees!)

More Blogger Goodness...

With help from ChileChews, I have located the beginning of the Community Blogger Award. This award has already brought the blogoshere community closer together. Giving thanks where we generally take for granted and spreading the love. I have added my nominations to the long list of awarded sites. Thanks to all for your love and support.

You can search other awarded sites, and add your own at RedSultana.

This picture was taken last June in Stanley, Id. It always makes me think of the bigger picture and to be grateful for all I have been blessed with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slate For Me...

Laying all the slate out and picking my favorite for the main focal points; the sink counter, floor and large shower wall. I know what you are thinking, "Why not just slap it up completely random?". We are combining two different orders of tile, (couple years apart too) so this was needed to see the contrast. What I have picked as my favorites will be placed random, but I wanted the most colorful in these main focal points. After putting so much energy into our remodel, I was not about to skip out on the most appealing part. Monday will find us laying tile, Yippee!!! To see more progress pictures click here and here. The bath looks completely different now, I haven't shared my texture and paint work yet...

(Shannon, you can see one of the chests (Kaziah's) my grandfather made in this picture)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pay the Good Feelings Forward, or The Community Blogger Award...

This award seeks to celebrate those people "who reach out and make the blogger community a better one”.

I was delightfully surprised when I checked into Going Crunchy today. She was tagged with the Community Blogger Award. This was really no surprise. She is an awesome writer (children books and a novel!) and I love the way she communicates her musings. She is so real, makes me think of my environmental choices with a bit more scrutiny, and always brings a smile to my face. I have also found myself worrying a tad if I haven't heard from her in a while. She is someone I would have never met if it weren't for the blogger world. So by all means, I second the notion of Shannon being awarded the "Community Blogger Award".

The fact that she put me in her top three to be awarded this "Fun Flag" is heart warming to say the least. Wow! That's all I can say. Thank you Shannon.
I always hope I make someone think about the choices they make with our big beautiful earth, or even just make someone smile. I hope by sharing my concerns I'll be shown a new route or way of thinking. I have a lot to learn in this "green" area and finding people who are equally concerned with their "footprint" size, who are really making a difference, helps with this learning process.

I started this journal as a way to stay connected with friends and family. It has grown so much from that. I think many people under-estimate the blogger world and what it can do. I am continuously inspired to be a better mom, wife, and "earthling". As Shannon put it so nicely..."I think some people question putting your life online.....but if you like to write it's kinda the equivalent of the modern day coffee and snapshots with somebody every day. Just virtual. It's a dialogue and discussion.....and I think it's the NYT for real folks. Undiluted life".

I would love to put a new name on the list of Community Bloggers. There are so many blogs I pull inspiration from, I don't know how I would choose one! Would it be so uncool of me to just point you over to my "Sites to See"?
I can tell you my first blogger trips of the day...

Going Crunchy
Hedges Happenings
Four Mugs and a Crock

I am also enjoying this "new to me" blog, ChileChews

Gosh, this doesn't even include all my other "Inspirational Sites" I check into over at Craft-Crazy.

Well, I guess I did it...These are my Pay the Good Feelings Forward, Community Blogger Awards. Check em out, you're sure to be inspired...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Geeeezzzz! and Phew.....

If you know me well (or you just look at my pictures) you'll know how much I love the ocean. On the beach is where its at for me! Imagine my grumpiness knowing Lance is there without me! Don't get me wrong, he deserves it and is having loads of fun learning about the native plants of Oregon. But Geeeezzzz! Its not fair! Now imagine me stomping my feet. Don't have too much fun without me Lance! Oh, and don't forget my jar of sand, I can at least run my fingers through it...

Also, a shout out to my Grandfather Berry. He just got out of surgery and is doing well. He should be home tomorrow. Always a load off when I get the call and he is OK. Phew...Now we can truly bring on the Holidays!

Photos from our trip to the OR coast Thanksgiving '06. My grandparents Berry and Toni, on their 50th Anniversary (taken by Bre).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Dilemmas...

A tad late, but...Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have been busy enjoying my Holiday time off, sewing to my heart's content. I even abandoned the master bath project. Those tiles awaiting sealer aren't going anywhere.

Holiday Dilemma...This upcoming Christmas season brings up many issues. First off, Christmas has turned into one huge spending fest. For a family trying to live with less, this is a problem. The after Thanksgiving spending makes me a bit nauseous. I did not buy one single thing last Friday, successfully leaving "Black Friday" far behind us.

We are talking to our kids about the reason for the season, showing love, compassion, and kindness. Things that should/are done year around. As for the materialistic part of Christmas...I am trying to do less. Making as many Christmas gifts possible. Thinking of the cookie and bread making to come, perhaps some festive holiday fabric bags to put the bread in. Items made with my hands, showing the love and kind thoughts put into each gift. This isn't possible for all, but many.

Our goal of living with less has seeped into many aspects of this holiday (and our kids). Good example of this: I have a small artificial Christmas tree I use for display in our front porch. I brought it in and let the girls have fun decorating it. Afterwords I asked what they would think of us using the small fake tree instead of buying a real tree. Kaziah was quick to answer, "Ya Mom! That would save tons of money!" (can you tell they know spending less money equals moving out to the country sooner?). I am glad she is happy with this small tree and the idea of living with less...not spending the extra money and also not cutting down a tree. BUT, this is A LOT harder for me. I love my Christmas tree! Fresh with sap and pine smell...What will I do? Will a good pine candle replace this? I am quite doubtful...

To put it simply, we are having a small Christmas this year. Perhaps keeping the little tree is best, the small gifts won't seem even smaller when placed under a large tree.....

I guess I can't put it off anymore...Here I go to ready the tile with sealer...I really want to just plop myself down behind my sewing machine and a good, festive beer...Cheers to you and yours!

Our Christmas Tree '06

Friday, November 16, 2007

Got Dirt?

Anyone need dirt? We have some to spare...Seriously.

Lance comes home this evening after a week away for work. (Yah, I did say something about Lance being home for a while, sure didn't last long) What is he coming home to? More work!

This is what we, I should say he, was doing last weekend. I love watching him work a shovel. Those of you who really know me, know just how true this is...SO, instead of getting my chores done, I spent my time watching Lance work. (Really is one of my favorite past-times, I think it started here)

There are plans for a native (wouldn't have it any other way) drought resistant landscape. Many people think using native plants would be limiting, but let me tell is not! There are so many plants to choose from. Why do people insist on having lush, green lawns when they could have native wildlife habitat in their own back yard?

Another love of mine, watching Lance lay pavers. After a layer of base, the pathway with stepping stones will become a nice walkway of pavers. Easy to shovel snow off and pretty to look at. We also have plenty of river cobble to add, although we're not sure if we will. Don't want too many textures taking hold, probably leave the river cobble in back.

I am really looking forward to the side berm area. It will be packed full of natives shrubs, grasses, and a few large rocks.

I love the picture of Lance contemplating his next move, which happens tomorrow. Fingers crossed the tractor and loader is available for our use. Need to remove more dirt and buy base. Seriously, if you are in the area and need some fill dirt, leave a comment and we'll get it together.

Plans next spring: Area that is still grass will be reseeded with a native turf and a fixed sidewalk.

Also sharing the native landscape Lance did for his parents in June of '06. The plants are rather small in these pictures. If you were to see the landscape now you would be amazed. I'll have to get some recent pictures to share. Lance is very good at this sort of thing and I love showing off his work.

If you are wondering what ever happened to our master bath remodel, know that it is still in progress. Just hit a few design speed bumps. We are back on track and will post pictures soon. Finding the perfect faucet to match the perfect glass vessel can be harder than it sounds...

In case you haven't noticed, Lance is in charge of our landscape and I am the remodel "Queen B". (let your imagination run with that!)