Saturday, January 31, 2009


Speaking of pictures, it's been a while since I've received new pictures of our sweetie, Jadyn. Why? Arlene got a new camera for Christmas but is having trouble with her computer. She did send one, so I cropped it and played with it on Windows Photo. Isn't my GREAT-niece beautiful??? She's not baby anymore.
Here's another that just came this (Sunday) morning. She's wearing the apron I made for her for Christmas. Good thing I made the neck strap adjustable! Arlene says the angelic look is not the norm. I find that hard to believe. :-)

...taking pictures v. photography

After looking at for a few days I have come to the realization that, while I love to take pictures, I'm not a photographer. I take a lot of pictures, and love to share them. But when I get a really cool photo, it's a random happening--not a planned event. Like this one of Maribel's mom making pozole:
Usually I am aware enough of the background to avoid the appearance of odd hats or weird protrusions...this one was an exception (sorry Katie!):
So iheartfaces has inspired me. I played around with the picture of Yaneli a bit to see if I could get her sweet face to come out of the shadows:

But the truth is, I'll probably never spring for an expensive camera, and know I wouldn't use all the editing programs talked about on the website. Windows Photo (already on my computer) has enough gizmos for a picture-taker like me to play around with.

Oh, THERE she is!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...more smiling faces

JOY. I love this picture of my parents!

...smiling faces

I saw this cool link on Stacy's blog and had to check it out. What a fun idea! The theme for this week is JOY. Take a look at (I think the icon below is hot...if I did it right!)

Here's the photo I chose--it is Yaneli, from La Viga, Michoacan, Mexico. Her godmother Candy was my hostess for the week I spent in La Viga. Yaneli was a lively, talkative little girl with a wonderful sense of humor. I loved the faces she made for the camera--reminded me of my own kids!

Monday, January 26, 2009

...testing week

Today was the first day of ELPA testing in my building, The ELPA (English Language Proficiency Assessment) is the test that every student in Oregon who is learning English must take. It tests all four domains--listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Testing week is always a little bit hectic, a little bit stressful, and it helps to be prepared. And I usually am. But I wasn't able to get the computer cart on Friday to make sure the laptops were charged and the internet connection was strong. So, this morning was a mad scramble--the laptops were NOT charged and ready to go, and the wireless connection wasn't working. (Dave, the tech guy, saved the day.) Students are never thrilled about testing so they groan and complain, but then settle in and do their best. I had to smile at an answer I saw Sandra enter. She has only been here since September, and didn't come with a strong educational background. The prompt was a picture of boys eating pizza and the sentence said, "How _____ pizza did the boys eat?" She studied the picture, looked at the sentence, and entered "eating the." Of course the answer was wrong--"much" was the correct word. But "eating the" pizza makes sense--and tells me that Sandra is learning. I wanted to do a little happy dance right there behind her, but that would have been a tad distracting! So tomorrow will be a better day (laptops are charged, internet connection strong, kids know what to expect) and testing week will soon be behind us for another year. Then we can get back to the fun stuff--learning English!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Isn't it fun when you can share clothes with your roommate??
hahaha...I am too easily amused. :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

...a logical equation

Take one old dog (85 in human years), add some snow and cold, throw in a space heater, and see how close she can get to it!Ahhh! It must feel good on those old bones!

...Dad's 77th

Yesterday was my Dad's 77th birthday. When I called to wish him a happy day I suggested we meet halfway for lunch today up at Tollgate. And so we did. It was a beautiful drive, snowing the whole way, and it continued to snow as we sat and visited. It was fun to see all the snowmobilers come in out of the cold for a bite to eat, and we speculated on how much all of their gear must cost. I know what I paid for my bike helmet, so those fancy ones that keep the cold out must be pretty pricey! It was a nice, leisurely lunch (although the food could have been hotter!) and the waitress didn't mind that we sat and chatted for close to an hour after finishing our meal. They had no desserts on the menu, so Dad's "birthday cake" for today was a combo of M & Ms and Skittles on a napkin to share (I should have gotten a picture of it!). I'm glad the roads were clear enough for us to meet and that Mom and Dad were up for the adventure. And now I need to go wash my truck. Happy Birthday, Dad! Enjoy your "real" cake this evening--Mom's famous German Chocolate!

Friday, January 23, 2009

...a weekend in Portland

Last weekend I went to Portland to celebrate Katie's 22nd birthday. We rode the Max downtown, ate lunch at Macaroni Grill (we sat in the bar so we could be by the fire!), shopped a little, and finally ended up in the Sprint store to buy Katie's new phone. Nate came over later that evening, and we hooked up with him again on Sunday at a place in his neighborhood--Da Hui--a Polynesian restaurant. Good food, friendly waiter, fun atmosphere. Later that day we watched a bit of Nate's indoor soccer game, then met a bunch of their friends for $1 margaritas. The whole weekend was a lot of fun--so glad I was able to go. Happy 22nd, Katie!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

...inauguration day

"I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together -- unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction -- towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren." Barack Obama, candidate for presidency, 4/08

What an exciting day! The cable connection at school was fixed just in time for us to be able to watch the ceremony. It gave me goosebumps. I couldn't wipe the big grin off my face. My students didn't really get it--they are unfamiliar with our county's history of civil rights and why it was significant that President Obama used Lincoln's bible for the ceremony. But they get it that we now have a president who cares about everyone in this country. Oh, happy day!

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace." Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States, 1/20/09

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations." Abraham Lincoln, 2nd inaugural address

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ask anyone who knows me well what my favorite color and flower are and they will tell you: cobalt blue and sunflowers. So, it was quite serendipitous (I love that word!) to find a blog skin that combined two of my favorite things AND I was successful in making it mine!