30 years, depending on how you count

We celebrated together, another year together.

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A fun dinner after a busy day.

DSC_0011 Some cheese fondue.

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And chocolate too. DSC_0032 DSC_0034DSC_0021

We’ve changed and learned and grown up so much in all these years together.  As a couple, as adults, as parents, as friends… I never imagined we’d be where we are today, 30 years from our first “I love you.” I love this thing called life. I love it every bit, every twist and turn it comes my way.  As for most of us, I am sure, it’s not always easy.  Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes very hard, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but I am so lucky that most of the time, it’s just plain beautiful.  Even more beautiful together with these three people I love so much.

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A sample of what the swim meet was like this weekend

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Last few weeks…

… we opened an Etsy shop!  We’ve had it for a while, not really updating it or making it work very well, but this time Siena is in charge and it’s been much more fun.

… my mom sent me these photos of her garden at the lake house, in Villarrica.  Oh summer,  I know you will return so for now I am thoroughly enjoying this rain. unnamed-2 unnamed-1 unnamed

… I heard Siena say to Mark “How can you not like this rain?” with a tone in her voice of disbelief.  And I cannot agree more with her.  I do love this rain too.  Maybe it’s because I was born in a city where just like in Portland, it rains a lot.  I love the sounds it makes at night when all is quiet and I hear it falling.

… I heard that one of my youngest Chilean nephew got accepted in College.  They are growing up so fast.

… saw this beautiful video.

… I read this knowing already that knitting was awesome.

… she’s made some re-decorating.

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and I love it that there is always coloring books and pens and other craft projects happening in her room. DSC_0042

… Lucas made two knives one day in his blacksmith day Trackers (I need a better picture of the knives…)

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… heard people talking about sites and people actively not recruiting people to move to Portland.  About moving to Portland and funny to read this one on why it sucks.  How to apologize for moving to Portland. And why you shouldn’t move here, including the Don’t move to Portland, Oregon website.  Even that the drinking water here doesn’t fluoride made it to one of the lists.  So funny to read.

And also about current events

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Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland.

… I’ve enjoyed so many cuties mandarines lately.  They taste good in January.  And it’s a good color to help brighter those gray skies this time of the year.

… I want to find this picture of Ruth Wakefield, who we just learned invented Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We all agreed here at home, she needs to be in a frame in our kitchen.  So the search begins…

Ruth Wakefield. I found this photo here.

Ruth Wakefield. I found this photo here.

And of course, a little online search and we can find her recipe.  Did you know about her?

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We might need to try her recipe soon!  I know someone here at home who’s been baking cookies lately who would love to give these a try.

… have enjoyed learning more about Dr Jane Goodall as we learn together with the kids, and especially love this photo that I found from a post on her Facebook page (Roots and Shoots) about her from a photo take last year by Annie Leibovitz and showing in her new exhibit New Portraits, opened until few more days in London. 12662611_10153917636052171_5497767465872540340_n

About Jane Goodall… “Inspiring, determined, patient, hardworking, passionate, trailblazer, observer, explorer. Dame, peacemaker, primatologist, conservationist, changemaker, hero, activist, vegetarian, mother, grandmother. A global citizen. Saving species. Healing our planet. She walks the talk. She’s the giver of hope.” (Take from here.)

And of course, from there I read about Amy Schumer’s tweet about her almost clothes-less portrait of her in the exhibit.  So many beautiful photographs… I wonder if we’d be able to see this exhibit somewhere in the world, while it tours… San Francisco is the closest city, but I’d take any city!

… there’s been lots and lots of building.  There always is.  but this one is especially fun because it relates to what we are studying… it’s Jane Goodall’s house in their Lego City (more to come later.)

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… both Siena and Lucas got a fit tracker thingamajigger.  They each chose their own style, with what they needed them to do.  they are excited about seeing how many steps they do.

… there’s been some basketball but we are getting ready for baseball season.

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… we’ve had lots of swimming, and even more exciting meets to come this month.  I can’t wait to see what happens. Her wall getting more covered with ribbons each month.

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An exciting time around here. So much happening with these growing kids.  I am always amazed at what they can do.

Hope your February is a fun month too.

 

Posted in family, right now, winter | Leave a comment

A winter walk and some reminders

I’ve said it before, and I say it almost every day, I love where we live. And I love the rain too.  It makes where we live, the beautiful place it is.  I am glad I took my camera.

DSC_0004 We were lucky to go for a walk at a park we don’t usually go to, with a good friend and two happy dogs.

DSC_0010 DSC_0014And two happy kids.

DSC_0012 Green.

DSC_0008White. Snow. Berries.

DSC_0017 Winter sights are there, waiting for us to discover.  Dormant.

DSC_0020 Bare.

DSC_0021 Colors.  Textures. Delicate.  Subtle.

DSC_0025 DSC_0027 Brown.

DSC_0030 Shapes.  Sharp.

DSC_0032 DSC_0033 Red.

DSC_0034 Water.

DSC_0035 Black.

DSC_0036 Gray.

DSC_0037 Clouds. Rain.

DSC_0038 Orange.

DSC_0041 Yellow. Life.

DSC_0044 Levels.

DSC_0046 Open.

DSC_0047 Happiness.  Freedom.

DSC_0050 Dried.

DSC_0054Wet.

DSC_0052 New.  Alive.

DSC_0055 Space.

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Mud.

DSC_0060 Water.

DSC_0065 Work.

DSC_0066 Life.

DSC_0068 New.

DSC_0074 Air.

DSC_0076 Sky.

DSC_0078 DSC_0079 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0088 Green.

DSC_0087Thankful. Friends.

 

Posted in friends, homeschooling, locals, Oregon + Washington, outdoors, winter | Leave a comment

The other Paris quilts

As I was making our Paris quilt, Siena asked me to make her one too.  I found a few Paris fabrics that were a little brighter colors, and she fell in love with them.  Lucas was right there also, asking for one for himself.  And that is my friends, exactly what a crafter mom wants… a heartfelt request that I can oblige happily.

I made her a tote bag first, and I made them both a pillow case.

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With an easy folding in the back.  A simple pillow indeed they’ve enjoyed all year long already. DSC_0019 copy

The quilt they asked me for took longer to make.  Much longer!

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They each picked the fabrics and the colors.  I made the top last winter, so about a year ago.  As soon as I finished the one for our bed.  It didn’t take me long to decide the pattern.    I wanted both of them to be about the same pattern.  And even with that similarities, I think they both look so different.

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So these tops were done for a very long time (a year) before they were completed.

To be continued…

 

Posted in France, Handmade, Sewing, travels | 1 Comment

We have ETSY!

Let me tell you a little story.  I’ll try it to make short-ish, but the truth is that is so full of love that I can’t keep my words short.  But I will try.

I’ve always liked to do crafts and learn new things.  I learned to knit when I was about 7.  My mom sews, knits, crochets, embroiders, cans, etc.  She’s amazing. So was my Omi, her mom. She knitted, crocheted, and while all my friends had bought clothes for their dolls, I had handmade ones done by my Omi.  I still have them and my kids have played with them too.  (She also taught me to play cards which I will always remember.  You know, the card games we used to play with real cards, in 3D?  Even though I think she would have loved the solitaire games in the computer…)

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And I think maybe by seeing my mom and my Omi, make all sorts of things at home, I learned to appreciate that too, and to continue the tradition.  I cook, can, crochet (I know the basics), knit, spin, sew, quilt, and also play cards!

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So when we had kids, canning, making our own baby food, sewing and knitting their clothes and toys and blankets, was what I did, because I could, and mostly because I loved making them for them, and I loved even more when they wear and use what I make.

When Siena and Lucas were old enough to pick up a pencil, we’d draw and write together.  They had crayons, markers, paints, watercolors, from their early years.  We especially loved our Art Nights that we had weekly, an evening dedicated for us all four to gather and do art together.  Drawing, painting, coloring, whatever felt right that day.  We got this idea from Amanda at SouleMama many, many years ago. We have fond memories of these evenings.

We’ve done lots of crafting (we still do!) over the years.  When little friends would come over for a play date, they were enjoying what we were working on, or always wanted to do a craft project when they’d come to our house.  So, for our littler friends, we’d make a kit of some sort.  Watercolor, Puppet Making, Letter Writing, Hearts, The Writing Robot, Planting Seeds, Fairy House making, Sewing to name a few.  All of these were welcomed with happy faces and the showing of their results.

Friends suggested selling these.  I wasn’t sure how.  I didn’t think Etsy was for us then. In stores? Word of mouth? Fairs?  Yes, we tried a little of everything.  But I think the one that we can say it’s been the funnest of all (I know that’s a word) has been a Winter Faire we’ve gone for 7 years.

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We started when Siena was 6 years old, and Lucas was  3.  We had a couple of tables with lots of handmade goods.  All of our craft kits, some fairy items, and holiday decorations I made just for this event. We had no idea how to set a display at a fair but we did our best.  Siena convinced me to go back the next year.  She’s the one who pushes me to make things for the fair.  She loves it so much.  She likes talking to the people, showing her work, explaining how she does something, sharing what we’ve made and have worked on for months.

We had so much fun that first fair!  We never thought we’d make enough to pay for the table ($65 I think it was), but we did! …and some more.   Being part of it once at that age, was all it took.  It is a beautiful fair at a Waldorf school here in town where they turn their school in a magical winter land, overnight.  We’ve been there six more times, and every year with different hand made goods, Siena and Lucas growing into different interests, and learning new skills, making new things to sell there.  It is amazing how much they’ve changed and learn in all these years.  I don’t need the fair to know that, but that day having all their things laid out, it is a visual reminder of what they’ve learned the past year.  A reminder for me but mostly for them to see what they are making.

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And so it started.  All year long we talk about what to make and what to create for next year’s fair.  We create and craft, we learn a new skill, we talk, think and dream of new things to make with our hands, to sell on that one day.  It is really, so much fun.

A couple of years ago Siena came to me asking to go to a second fair.  We already had our things made, better take advantage and sell them somewhere else, right?  So we did.  We’ve tried few different places, to add to our Winter Faire schedule, and I think we’ve found another one we enjoy as well.

This past holiday season, we not only did the two fairs we had the previous year, but added a third one, and all of them, with different goods, and each one with its own characteristics.  Incredible how each one can be so different from each other.  They were all fun for us.

And you probably could guess that this is not it.  Yes, she convinced me to do another one. We are actually going to be in our first spring (non-holiday season) craft fair (Art Show & Sell.)

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Siena is still the one who pushes me, us all, to get things ready, and create something new, and get us going, all year around.  We still talk about what we could make new for this year’s fair, and how we can improve something, and how it would be fun to make this or that.  This girl of mine, I love so much.  Besides the normal stretching of my parenting skills, she pushes me in ways I never thought I could.  She encourages me, gives me ideas, feedback, makes me a better person and a better crafter by working together with me.  By learning together, side by side, many days each week, almost every day we create together.  Sometimes making something together, others, each on our own.  Lucas and Mark go along happily, but Siena is our guide.

 

She’s so creative, motivated, organized, skilled and just an amazing person, that we enjoy working on this together and look forward to spending our days filled with magic, in a table filled (so full!) with our handmade creations.  It is amazing really, and I am sure you can see it in our faces at the fairs, how proud we are of all our hard work all those months.  Showing and telling you a story on how we came up with something new, or how we learned something new.  It is a great feeling.

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I am so proud and so excited each year of what we can make and create as a family.  It is a family endeavor for sure, we couldn’t do it without any of us, because it’s all year, it’s all day, couple of days, it’s carrying heavy tables and boxes up and down stairs, it’s buying the supplies late at night, or after work, it’s watching a video one more time, or asking one more question about what looks best.  It’s the way we live, always learning together.

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We put some things on sale on Etsy few years ago, but I didn’t really know how to do it.  This year, yes you guessed it, Siena convinced me to start the Etsy store back again.  But this time, I am helping her set it all up.  She’s the one who’s posting and making things to sell online, with my help, as we learn together.  And because she, as a minor, needs to have an adult receiving the payments.

She’s created so many beautiful things every day, it’s time she shares them with the wider world, beyond us, and those who meet us at the fairs.  This time, I know there will be someone we have never met yet, but will enjoy what she makes.

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A combination of her love for Greek Mythology and crafting.  A perfect way to spend her days. DSC_0035 DSC_0052

Please do go see her handmade beauties in her new Etsy shop.  I know, I am her mom, but I do believe they are beautiful and very well done.  She spends so much time thinking, changing, and creating each one, and learns from each one.  She loves creating, and I think this might be a great venue for her at the moment.  She’s jumping into the real world in more ways than we think, I am sure.  We’ll go ahead and go for the ride and learn with her.  That’s how we do things, that’s how we live.  Let’s get our feet wet and start something new.  Once again.

Posted in family, Handmade, Shop | 6 Comments

Moda Center in Portland

Last year we went on a tour to the Moda Center, where the Trail Blazers play.  We got to visit the place when the team was good, and had lots of players liked by my family.  I’m glad we went then.

DSC_0081 copy DSC_0084 copy DSC_0085 copy DSC_0086 copy DSC_0088 copy DSC_0089 copy DSC_0090 copy DSC_0094 copy DSC_0098 copy DSC_0100 copy DSC_0104 copy DSC_0108 copy This is the visitor’s changing room.  Limited space, not comfortable chairs, so they don’t like to stay, said our tour guide.

DSC_0109 copy DSC_0112 copy DSC_0113 copy The large pictures on the wall towards the changing rooms and the court are amazing.

DSC_0118 copy DSC_0130 copy DSC_0133 copy RoLo’s shoes, size 20.

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Robin Lopez was a favorite Blazers, and he got to sit in his chair and put his feet next to his shoes.

DSC_0136 copy DSC_0137 copy DSC_0139 copy Damian Lillard’s shoes. DSC_0142 copy DSC_0143 copy Chris Kama’s shoes.

DSC_0145 copy DSC_0146 copy Wesley Matthews shoes.

DSC_0149 copy Matthews the one we actually  ame to see I think. And so very sad he was injured last year, and even more sadness when we heard he was leaving Portland.  So this season, we gave Lucas for his birthday tickets to see the Blazers play Wesley Matthews with his new team, Dallas Mavericks.  It was fun to see him play again, and got a big ovation when he was introduced.  Portland liked Matthews.  We miss seeing him play for Portland.

DSC_0154 copy DSC_0153 copy DSC_0156 copy The Blazers get a much nicer space than visitors.  Funny to see the difference.

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A stop at the (empty) showers, with the shower heads so very high up in the ceiling almost.  Got it… these are all tall guy ins using it.  And the funny thing… a Kirkland shampoo laying around…. with the many thousands of dollars these players get paid and using Costco brand shampoo… funny.DSC_0163 copy This (also) tall seat in the treatment room, if they get injured playing.  The kids had to jump high to be able to sit on them.

DSC_0201 copy DSC_0208 copy We then walked to the court.  the day we went they were getting the court ready for ice hockey.  I had no idea how they did this.

DSC_0187 copy They put water over the floor and cold. Right now they were painting the field.

DSC_0210 copy DSC_0214 copy The drawings and logos were amazing!

DSC_0255 copy After painting all the signs and logos and sponsors, they put another layer of water, to cover these.

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It was so much fun to watch them get the court ready.  So that night they had a hockey game, and the following day there was a Blazers game, and they said that they put the floor on top of the ice and have the basketball game.  The players and coaches and people sitting in the front row notice that there is ice underneath, because they have to keep the court cold enough to keep it frozen, so it makes it for a much cooler sitting.  Which the players (playing) actually enjoy.

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DSC_0224 copy DSC_0234 copy DSC_0245 copy DSC_0252 copy DSC_0254 copy DSC_0257 copy DSC_0275 copy The VIP sections are cool too.

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It was a real fun tour.  If you live here, I recommend it.

Posted in locals, Oregon + Washington | 1 Comment