Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hey You

Yeah, you.

The little blond-haired, chocolate milk moustachioed boy.

I think you should know that I love you. For a bazillion reasons, I love you. I love your sweetness. I love your smile. I love your spirit and your orneriness. I love your crookedy teeth and the crazy cowlick in your hair and the dimples in your cheeks. I love how you can't get enough snuggles. Or books. Or cookies. Or baths. Or friends. I love how much you enjoy playing outside and digging in the dirt with me (until you see a snail, and then it's every man for himself).


I love you, even when you are being so naughty that I lose my head and holler at you and send you to your room. I love you, even when you say, "Hey Mom?" 42,625 times in a row and then act all hurt when I finally say, "WHAAAAAT?!?!?!?". I love you, even though you pick the very second I start talking on the phone to pull all your worst stunts, like pushing your sister down, taking out every toy you own and tossing them around the room, pitching a giant fit over nothing...you get the idea.



I love your amazing problem-solving skills. I love your incredible, vivid imagination. I love your ability to turn anything, and I mean ANYTHING, into a toy car. I love watching you learn. And dance. And sing.

I love how much you adore your sister (except when she's getting into your stuff), and how you idolize your daddy. I love that when you fall down, you only want your mommy (because, come on...how awesome is that for my ridiculous ego?). I love how thrilled you are whenever we do anything "all together as a FAMILY!".

I love you for making me a mommy.


Most of all, I love you just for you, the precious, blue eyed, tender hearted, obstinate, wonderful little whippersnapper that you are.

And I just guess you're pretty well stuck with me, kiddo, because I always will.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sometimes

my kids


sleep


in


odd positions.

And then I take their pictures.

Because I'm that mom.

"You Live In A Zoo..."

We really enjoy the Oregon Zoo and visit frequently, including on or around my birthday, every year since we moved to Oregon. This year was our 7th annual "Geneva's birthday zoo trip", and it was a lot of fun as usual. My mom, who does not care for zoos, asked me why I like going so much and whether I don't just get bored with it. I never do get bored with it though. I love the wonderful, scenic walk in the fresh air, looking at the animals with my children, who LOVE that, and being together as a family with no TV, no phone, no computer.


This is, for whatever reason, one of our favorites of the little sculptures around the zoo.




See? We did the same silly thing with the J-bird in 2008 ;)






There's tons of fun, interactive things for kids to do, including this little tunnel-and-dome setup, where they can feel like groundhogs (or something). The J-bird loves it and pops up to peek through every time.



With my two little buckaroos, "riding" barrel horses in the barn.


We moved to Oregon for the clean air. I have asthma, and it had become life-threatening where we were living in California. Being here has been a tremendous thing, as far as the asthma goes. Over the years, I've been able to gradually reduce the amount of medication I need from "excessive" (something like 4 medications, plus twice weekly allergy shots, and I carried a portable nebulizer with me everywhere I went) to "negligible" (I only have medication for emergencies, and I never need it). This is nothing short of a miracle. I'll never forget how it felt when we first moved here and began to explore - taking giant, deep breaths of this clean, clean air. I felt like a new person. Silly as it is, walking around the zoo, one of the first "Oregon-y" things we visited when we first got here, reminds me of that, and I remember to be grateful for the ability to breath - among all the many, many other things I have to be grateful for.

Friday, May 13, 2011

M'Birfdee

(Thanks to my Father-in-law, Jim for sending me a copy of the original!)

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.


This was my morning greeting.

That's my greeting almost every morning.

I know. It's awesome.


The kids and I had a good day together, pretty low-key. We read lots of books (as usual), took a nice walk, and I worked in my garden a little while the kids played and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. It was great. They even took long enough naps for me to take a shower with no one banging on the door, jerking open the shower curtain or crying and needing me! Talk about posh! James brought some supper home for us, and he gave me some awesome birthday gifts, including a fantastic new lens for my camera!


Have I ever told you how much we love birthdays around here? And James is the KING of gift giving. If it were a contest, he would win every single time.





After supper, we went out for a meander, so I could experiment a little with my new lens. The J-bird brought his camera too, a little photo safari around the neighborhood, if you will.

I love to see the photos my J-bird takes:


He takes lots of deliberate shots of the ground



and every single manhole cover and utility grate he sees. I don't even notice these things, but he sure does!




I love this one.

I try not to direct him too much, but just let him see what he sees. I do remind him to hold the camera still, if he wants the picture to be clear, instead of blurry. Sometimes he listens ;).



He was very interested in our shadows.



and took lots of close shots of flowers



and then he'd turn to the sky and take a shot of a jet contrail





or grab a fun snap of our neighbor





or a cool shot through a fence






I know this photo is blurry, but I looked at it and thought, "WHO is that big boy?!?!". I'm re-adjusting to shooting manual, since I've been using a (FANTASTIC) lens for several months that is a fixed length, auto focus only. Needless to say, I'm so excited to add this new lens into my arsenal. I'm loving the challenge of learning all about it and how to use it.




I got a few sweet snaps of Miss V, delighted with life, as always.




My take on some shadows.





and flowers




my precious family (James was pulling the stroller backward to keep the sun out of Miss V's eyes.)

Have I mentioned that I adore this man?





The J-bird would often excitedly say, "Mommy!! Take a picture of these tracks! Take a picture of this stop sign! Take a picture of this light!" So I did.






I'm a very, very amateur photographer. I know that, but I love taking pictures and learning how to be better at it, and it's so fun to share this hobby with my sweet boy, who is fascinated with the whole process. I loved our evening, start to finish!


After our walk, I had a practice with the band at our church to go to. We ran through our songs, and then my dear friends in the band surprised me with cupcakes and birthday wishes. Thanks, you guys!


It was a wonderful day, and I'm so thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. For all my friends and loved ones who wished me a happy day on Facebook or with calls or cards or emails - it was overwhelming and just lovely. Thank you so much. Thank you SO much.