Monday, June 30, 2008

Catch Up

So much has happened the past week. Tough photo shoot in NC, near VA, but it was fun to get to use my 12,000 watt light. Lugging it around did make me realize how out of shape I am!

Highlight of the trip was spending time with the McDuffie's and seeing Faith's beautiful new home. Faith's husband Simon, finally here from England, then came down to our house to help with the News Boys' concert. The end of the concert was fun - the drummer's platform lifted on it's side and spun. I thought it must be nice to be in a band and make part of your act riding a tilt-a-wheel.

Also at our home is Elias, in from the Dominican Republic. If you know him, you know we are laughing constantly, especially when he answers calls from beach condo salespeople.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feed Your IKEA addiction

Feed your IKEA addiction, without spending ANY money.

Check out this great link my friend Wade (W√ĄDD, a kitchen chair) sent me.

If you're a friend, I've probably already typed in your name to try it, but feel free to comment and share the fun with all of us.

HEYDDI (I'm a double bed)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Last week was Gymnastics Camp for Sarah and Camp Funtastic for Alden and Zion. Alden made this neat thing as a science activity and is having a challenging time keeping Zion from eating it. They also had cricket races (Alden's cricket won). Zion said the bugs were nasty and scary and she cried. I can only imagine her teacher's thoughts on that day.

This week is Jesus Camp for Sarah and Alden, and Karate camp for Zion. I think the camp has a different name than Jesus Camp, but since watching the documentary by that name, it sticks in my head. The older kids packed today for what will be Alden's first overnight camp. Sarah found a new technique for organizing her clothes in her new American Girl magazine. She tried to teach Alden, but with slightly different results that matched something I read about boys not "awakening" to organization until late teen years.


Alden heard me ask David if he'd gotten any good swag in Vegas. He then asked Sarah, "what is swag?"
Sarah told him she didn't think there was such a thing.

Well, David brought home a carry on full.

Sarah loved her pen and pocket protector combo set,

and Alden was happy with his tape measure.

But I'm wondering if I should be concerned about the choices David made for Zion - and just how "into" them she got.

A shot glass.
Marti Gras party beads.
and a black ball cap.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sarah's Loft

David has done an amazing job of designing a loft bedroom for Sarah using stuff we have lying around, and a space in the living room we never used. My favorite part so far are the ladders set up as a "wall" at the front and back of the loft.

So, while he's gone, I decided we'd try to get some of the room painted, since painting is not David's thing.

One wall is made of OSB, so it takes a lot of paint, but has wonderful texture. We found a great soft yellow mistint for $5, and were going to use it just as a primer coat, but Sarah and I both like the color so much, it doubled as primer and paint for the wall around her desk. The rest of that wall is blue, and we still need one more coat on the upper half.

Today I sprayed the stairs until I ran out of black paint. The stairs are made from 2 sets of old stage stairs the guys at the shop no longer use. David welded them together, and they fit EXACTLY in the space we have. I found a nice yoga mat for a buck at last week's yard sales. It perfectly matches the blue walls, and cut it into strips to fit each tread.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blog Talk Radio

So, my friend Michelle, who works with my dad, is going to be on blog talk radio this Friday at 12:30. You can call in with questions on this number: 347.945.5139

Here is Michelle's blog. I recently shot one of her talks, hope to get a bit of that up soon.

Understanding human capability, the way they define it based on work done by Elliot Jacques, literally changed my view of business, and the world, and showed me how to work, utilizing my full potential. Sounds cheesy, but it's true.

If you like Michelle's posts, check out Peoplefit, my dad's site.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I think I'm being mocked

I commented that maybe I wouldn't use as many pillows in the summer since we don't use the air, and it is hot. And this is what greeted me.

I guess when I make the bed, I arrange them so it isn't so obvious.

In other news, Father's Day was nice. Relaxing. The kids made cards. They wanted to make BIG cards, so we used colored file folders.

Then, we put some water in the pool for the first time since Zion arrived in the family. People seem happy about it.

This week is filled with gym camp for Sarah, camp Funtastic for Alden and Zion, and a trip to Vegas tomorrow for David, who says he will play in at least one poker tournament. My hope is to get ahead on some work and get the first haircut I've had in at least six months.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family visit

On their way home from Florida, David's sister Debbie and her son David stopped at the house for a few days. Young David is Alden's favorite cousin, and he could hardly wait to see him, and managed to stay awake until they arrived at 11:45 pm - 15 minutes ahead of the schedule Deb had sent me 3 months prior. David gave his sister a hard time for her time calculating skills, and said she was getting a tad rusty. She explained that they had been canoeing in Florida earlier in the day and the canoe overturned in the everglades somewhere and they were soaked and then it rained and somehow that was to blame for their early arrival.

We were back on schedule the next day, with everyone waking up before noon. Highlight of the day was a trip to the river where we braved the current under a bridge to sit and talk with our feet in the water, and then splashed around some rocks and skipped stones. At night the kids played Star Wars Monopoly with David.

The next day we all said we would get up at 7:45 and make it to the zoo by 9. Well, I woke up at 8:35 (alarm late somehow) and we still made it by 9:01. The zoo was great and the kids had a blast feeding a giraffe and lorikeets. Alden declared meercats his new favorite animal and Sarah decided her next report for school will be on koalas. Zion pointed out the "daddy" and "baby" in every habitat and went nuts chasing a fish in the aquarium. I'm convinced the fish was into the game or was just taunting her from the opposite side of the glass.

All in all a wonderful visit - hope we can do it again soon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Studying in the heat

In light of prices for EVERYthing going through the roof, we've been trying not to turn on the AC.

As a result, our living room reached 96 degrees one day last week. I felt like we'd been transported back to the Dominican Republic. Yesterday we went for a four mile walk with Alden's Sensei and went to a bookstore afterwards just to cool down before coming home.

Today I decided we needed to work at a cooler 85, since we are doing school and it is hard to concentrate when sweat is dripping on the paperwork. So, we turned on the AC and then discovered it is leaking under the carpet. So, we turned it back off.

But, the kids still had a productive day. Alden made a store, with products alphabetized on every shelf. He would not let me pay with a credit card, so we ended up doing quite a bit of math. He did let Sarah pay with a check, though, as long as she showed id.

Sarah finished up her mini report on clipper ships - including a nice painting of an early clipper.

And Zion, well, Zion stayed busy as only Zion can. She drew faces on paper plates and took over a few shelves at Alden's Grocery Store.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Airline Luggage and Sony Camcorders

Can I just say that this airline luggage mystery fee for the second bag thing is annoying? I say mystery because the airline employees seem mystified by the new proceedures. Are the fees per bag per leg or per direction or per total trip? Apparently, the true answer is a tightly held secret that will probably be revealed when the carriers realize how much they can get away with before mutiny occurs.

According to my friend Allison B, the airlines are punishing women who exercise and must carry multiple bags so they have enough clothes and shoes to dress for business and exercise.

My take is that they are punishing the people who take donations to poor countries and the tourists who come here to shop.

In other travel related news, I'm annoyed that Sony's new EX HD camera has this monster battery charger with it. It is the biggest honking battery charger and power supply I've ever seen on a small camera. What on earth were they thinking? Not only that, it has an attached cord on it, which makes it yet harder to pack. Small is beautiful, guys! Check it out in this photo next to the what-I-used-to-think was oversized Panasonic charger. Those nifty "lights" telling you how much charge? It's a sticker. Just like Lighting McQueen's headlights, folks.

And why is the back of this camera so much bigger than the Sony PD150 - the most ergonomically perfect prosumer camera made - when it doesn't even use a tape? So much for those tiny memory cards that had my heart pounding in anticipation of a small, yet stunning, camera.

My perfect camera does not exist as long as I have to depend on an airline to deliver my luggage. And now, even if I did ship gear, I'd need to pay some astronomical fee to do it. I wonder if you get reimbursed the extra bag fee if your checked gear doesn't show up in time for your shoot? To be safe, it all has to fit in the backpack, which means SMALL IS BETTER.

Isn't the point of having a small, high quality camera so you can TRAVEL WITH IT?

My guess is that Sony engineers and airline fund-raising geniuses are men.

It is a nice camera, though. Adjustable iris rings rock.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Sarah, our journalist, wrote today's post.

For my mom’s b-day we went camping at Dreher Island. It took us an hour to get there.
First we set up our tents and put our sheets and bed stuff out. Lydia (my friend) and I slept in a small tent. We used water floats for our mattresses. My mom my brother and my sister slept in the big tent. My dad slept in the van. We all used fans because it was hot. The first night it was sorta hard to go to sleep because we kept hearing these weird noises and a raccoon came to visit our garbage.

During our camping trip we took a hike in the woods and played hide in seek. At nighttime we made smorz.

We went swimming a lot! Where we went swimming was very fun it was very shallow and then it got deeper. We skipped stones and I skipped some four times! My record.

At the edge of the water we found clay that the Indians used and made pinch pots out of them. My mom found a crystal in the water while we were there. My favorite thing that we did was making the pinch pots, swimming, skipping rocks, and taking showers in the bathroom (it felt good). My favorite meal was the dinner and breakfast.

I hope we go camping there again some time!

How does my garden grow?

Mom was here last week on her way to pick up my brother Daniel at college.

Mom has more than a green thumb, she has an entire green hand.

To the elbow.

So, I took her out to show her our garden and asked her about the beans. See, the beans are taking over. And, they keep growing taller and taller and taller. And they really don't look very beanlike, which was my concern. Seems like they'd have some tendrilly things and some little flowers by now, maybe even a tiny bean pod. I mean, they are more than 2 feet tall already, I'd like to see my future side dish happening.

Mom saw them and said something disturbing. My hyper healthy wunda-plants are not beans . . . they are sunflowers.

I did not plant sunflowers.

I planted beans.

And carrots. Of which there are 4.

And lettuce, which apparently likes the shade of the beans . . . er, sunflowers. Or, did, until we went out of town camping this weekend and it shriveled into nothingness from two days sans water.

The big, TALL question is, why are there sunflowers taking over the garden?

I think the answer is sitting in a cage under our carport. The real force behind all the work that has gone into our garden is furry, and is making sure that she benefits from the use of her fertilizer.

And, Bunny likes sunflower seeds.

Though, apparently, she doesn't digest them too well!