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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books Read in July

Amazingly enough, I read three books this month.

Eclipse and Breaking Dawn were the final two books in the Twilight series. Once I picked up the first book there was no stopping. I loved the series, and although there is a lot of controversy over the final book, Breaking Dawn, I really thought it was wonderful. Other than... well, I won't put spoilers here, let's just say that I'd like to see evil sadistic vampires be torn to bits and leave it at that.

Last month, I also mentioned that I really liked having read the books after seeing the movies because it gave me a glimpse into how much genius it took to change a book into a screenplay. I could read the book and appreciate the need to shrink 200 pages into two minutes of screen time. This month, I finished the series and two days later went to see Eclipse in the theater. I did not have the same "genius mushy gushy" feeling. I was disappointed.

And so it goes that most likely, the book and your own imagination is much better than anyone could translate to the screen-- there simply isn't enough time to get everything from the book into the movie and there were scenes I desperately missed. I have a feeling though that once the movie comes out on video enough time will have elapsed, and I will have had enough time to rewatch the first two movies, that I will love the third for itself. Without comparison to a book series and love story that comes in second-- behind Jamie and Claire from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

The final book, by Judith McNaught, is a reread. Enough time had passed that I couldn't remember every word, so I picked it up again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ouchy Back

The only downfall from being at camp all week is that Short Person injured herself. Ironically, she didn't notice that she'd hurt herself until after camp was over and she was on her way home. She got into her car seat and stated that her back stung, I lifted up her shirt and yelped. The photo below is what greeted me.

At first glance, LJS and I thought maybe she'd been bitten by something, but from the photo you can tell that she simply received one heck of a scratch.

I've always had the weird ability to completely disregard any major injury. Unless I'm bleeding or unable to walk after it happens, the pain doesn't usually phase me if I'm engaged in something or enjoying what I'm doing. I've noticed cuts and bruises on my body the size of softballs with absolutely no idea how I received it. Sometimes I'll have a vague impression of something having happened earlier in the day or week, but I can never place the exactness of it. From this photo and the events leading up to the discovery of Short Person's ouchy, I'm going to surmise that she received the trait of pain disengagement from me.

I wonder if this means mommy needs to give her the once over every night when she changes into pajamas, just to make sure no infections are going on. At least until she's old enough to learn to do it herself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Tilted Truck

Just in case this photo doesn't speak for itself, I was driving to pick up Short Person from her friend's house when I came up to the light. Two cars in front of me was a truck that had blue barrels in the back of it that someone had loaded in a fashion to make the most hearty of fearless drivers pause and say, "What the HECK?!"

From the photo you can already see how tilted it was in the idle position. Let me just say this was nothing compared to when it turned a corner. I watched each time as the wheels lifted off the ground, cringing because I thought for sure it was going to tip over. Wondering what was in the back of that truck.

Amazingly, it never did. I stayed about four car lengths back, even after the car in front of me turned off, I still stayed back, and how the truck stayed upright I'll never know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Week at Camp Tilikum

I have been hyping up camp to Short Person for a month now. Camp, as in... actual get dirty, play in the stream, go on hikes, get suntanned, see bugs kind. Short Person has been giving a wary "O-kay" to it and putting faith in my explanation that she will enjoy it. But this morning, I dropped her off at a friend's house so that she could ride up with them and her friend's big sister mumbled that she needed to go inside and hurry the kids up because they'd been saying, "We don't want to go!"

Poor Shortie. She looked at me with eyes as big as saucers, and you could tell the faith was gone when she said, "Umm Mom? Why are they saying they don't want to go?"

Although I dated this post for the day camp started, and the day that the photos below were taken, the week is now over and she enjoyed the heck out of camp. Every day there was something new to do and see. A new game to play, and new place on the campground to visit. It makes me excited for next year because knowing how much fun it was for her, I will be signing her up for multiple weeks. I'm so happy for a place nearby that she can be a kid, be outside, and enjoy summer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Moon Study Guide

I don't know how many teenagers really enjoy studying for the SAT's. I can't imagine any of them do. I've seen the study manuals and most of the time I just shutter in memory.

Which is why I think whomever wrote the book photographed below is a flippin' genius. Had I read the series-- er, had it been written-- when I was in school, I certainly would have enjoyed turning my newly found vampire fetish into a way to study for the SAT's. I'm tempted to pick it up now just to prolong the ending of this series. Sad, but true.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Short Person and Art Camp

Sometime back in April, Short Person's school sent around a questionnaire about what types of Community School classes we'd be interested in enrolling in should they offer then. One of the choices was an art class and Shortie was enthusiastic about this idea. So enthusiastic that from that moment all I heard was "I want to go to art school".

Since summer was coming up, and as luck would have it she wasn't old enough to take the Community School classes, I set out to locate an art camp or school that she could attend. The first one, and only one, I found that was suitable was in Beaverton-- an hour away! It would have been tough, but I would have taken a week vacation to get her there and back, just because that's the wonderful kind of mom I am. (haha)

As I was muttering about this one day at work, the City Planner pointed out that the city's new Cultural Center had opened and was offering art classes. In a series of events that literally had me waiting until the Friday before camp started, I was able to enroll Short Person in the camp they were offering. It was a mixed media art camp, offered from 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday.

Best I can tell, Short Person enjoyed the classes, but she's very critical of her work so it seemed that every day I'd pick her up and she would be unhappy with the results she'd gotten. I, on the other hand, thought she did a wonderful job.

Here is some of her art from that week.

The first day, the got to throw clay. The way Short Person talked about how well it was going having the clay on the wheel, I really expected that it would be a clump of nothingness. I should have known better. These are the two little bowls she made and a piece of glass she made during that week as well.

The drawing below was the first thing she got to take home. It is of my favorites. I'm not sure why. I just think it draws you in. Anyway, it was the first thing I got to see from camp and I was excited and complementing Short Person on it. She looked at me and said, "I don't like it. It's not my usual work." I responded that I hadn't even known she had a *usual work*. She looked at me, sighed, and said, "Yeah, I didn't know either... until today!"

This was a face she did, Picasso inspired. Again, she is not happy with it, but I am framing it :)

Below are photos she took. The purple, featherish one is actually a pinecone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sentimental Lunch Boxes

The 2009-2010 school year has come to a close. Actually, it came to a close a month and a half ago. So, it is no surprise that high on my "to do" list would be getting rid of two lunch boxes that had been beaten, torn, bruised, and battered beyond their natural life. I actually looked forward to it with great anticipation. Before I could do this however, I needed to find a suitable replacement for summer camps. This eventually happened thanks to an early back to school sale at Target.

I brought the new lunch bag home, gathered up the old worn boxes, and buried them in the garbage thinking my husband would be smart enough to see them in there and whisk them out of the house. Unfortunately, husbands being what they are, the whole Mars/Venus mind bender thing was in effect and he didn't catch on.

After a series of events involving an ice cream truck and popsicle Short Person did not like, she discovered them in the garbage can and burst into heartbroken sobbing. "You just CAN'T throw away my lunch boxes. They were my first ones! I love them and want to keep them forEVER!"

And out of the garbage they came with the promise that they'd be stowed for a lifetime in the attic.

Of course, the attic is really far away and up high, and well, there was the green pail on the way there, sitting outside open and empty... and hey, is it my fault that they just sort of ended up in a box labeled "Newberg Garbage Service"? Yeah, I didn't think so either *wink*

This photo is of the sentimental lunch boxes in question. Ten years from now, I sincerely hope she forgives me for not keeping them...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Short Person's New Bike

LJS was given a bonus at work this week for keeping payroll costs down. Not an easy feat most days as there is always more work than there are people. But, he did it and the object of purchase was not for himself, but for his daughter. A new bike.

The one she'd been using up to this point was toddler size with training wheels, and when she rode, her knees darn near hit her chin. She was in desperate need of an upgrade. So, she and I set off to find a bike that fit her, that she liked, and than mommy thought would be safe and sturdy enough. We found it at K-Mart.

The bike itself was fairly inexpensive so she was able to choose a few things to complete it-- a basket and tassels for the handlebars. We also purchased a new helmet for her head, something I was really happy about since her previous one never seemed to fit her head right.

This photo is one from the day before the purchase, when she and I went looking. The family picked it up as a whole the next day since it would not fit in my car. We needed daddy and the truck.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

...And So God Sent a Baby Kitten

I came home from work and began to cook dinner and as I did so I received a text message on my phone. It was one I had been expecting, but the news contained within was not. What I read was devastating and enough to make me angry. Angry enough to see my patience propelled out any available opening and my ability to be present get put on hold.

Although I was able to carry on with cooking dinner, the attention that needed to be given to the two little girls sitting at the table waiting for it was not... the best it could be. For half an hour I stewed, angry, worried, heartbroken. I remember praying. I remember screaming at God, that is how enraged I felt.

And then, there was a knock on the door.

It was our neighbor, who told me that she'd just watched a baby kitten crawl up into the engine of my car. Since this had happened to her brother, with not such a good outcome, she wanted to let me know before I drove off somewhere. Curious, I went outside to see for myself. Only to be greeted by the neighbor's teenage son.

Indeed, the kitten had crawled up in the engine. He told me that a man had walked into the street, looked around at the people standing there, and had asked if anyone wanted a kitten. When they all replied that they couldn't take the cat, the man dropped it in the street and ran. Terrified, the baby dodged for the nearest hiding spot, which just happened to be my car.


It took an hour for the teenage boy to coax him out, but finally we got him. The kitten was terrified, shaken, and dirty. But the thing that struck me the most was the fear. Just like any baby would have been, he was trembling violently.

I've been a mom for only six years, but it was long enough for me to know that what this kitten needed was comfort. Comfort that I couldn't give if I was still angry and heartbroken myself. I carried him inside to cuddle him and try to figure out what I was going to do with this baby tho barely looked old enough to be weened from his mom, and as I sat there all my feelings disappeared.

I could try to explain why I feel this way, but I would fail. All I know is that at the time I was raging at God, he sent a baby kitten. On that couch holding that trembling one-pound animal, I felt like I was being sent a message that everything was going to be okay.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

365 Project... Ending?

Well, it has now officially been one year since I began my 365 Project. I have to say, it didn't go so well. Out of the necessary 365 days of photos to declare a win, I posted 180. Less than half.

It was an interesting experiment and definitely one I do not regret. The ability to see my days in photos and share them that way was invaluable-- especially since I'm equally behind in scrapbooking.

So, today I declare an end to the 365 Project, but not an end to the photos. I like doing it too much. But, I admit that I will feel monumental relief from the frustration at always being days or weeks behind in posting them.

I admire my friends who always seem to manage the weekly blog posts, on time and full of content. You know who you are =)  I strive for that amount of time and dedication. The absence of needing to hook up a cable to make my post is going to be beautiful. Or, at least that's my hope.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Photo 180 - 4th of July

This 4th of July, Short Person and I headed out to Vernonia to watch the parade that my nephew and Dad were going to be in for Boy Scouts. I was also picking up my niece so that she could spend the week with us. When we got there, I found out that my niece was going to walk in the parade too. They invited Short Person to walk with them, and after some hmm-ing and haw-ing, she accepted.

This is Short Person and Little Bit anxiously waiting for the parade to start.

My nephew got to carry the American Flag at the beginning of the Parade, which I thought was way cool. My dad is helping him get ready and get the weight of the flag balanced. I tried taking more pictures of my nephew, but he caught on to it and started hiding. At one point, he told me that I should tell him when I was going to take a photo and I had to laugh in response because, as I told him, he'd just do a better job of hiding then!

Following close behind were Short Person and Little Bits with my dad. Short Person had the wave down perfectly (I have no idea where she learned it from) and waved the entire route. It was a lot of fun to watch the three of them.

Since the Boy Scouts started the parade they were the first ones finished, which allowed the girls to sit with me and watch the remaining entries and collect candy. The horses won the favorite award from both of them and so when one of the beauties came to stand just feet away it was hard to say no to their pleas to be able to pet him. After walking up and asking politely if they could pet the young horse, and gaining instruction on how to do so (holding your hand down and out and letting the horse move to you), they were allowed to pet him. The poor horse was terrified-- it was his first parade-- but he repeatedly let the girls pet his head and give him compliments.

Once the parade was over and we were back at my dad's house, Little Bits was ready to go! So out the door we went and back to my house where the girls played with sparklers and then lit a few fountain fireworks.

Of course, in my neighborhood a few is all you need because it is way more fun to watch on a blanket in the back yard. There is a 360 view of illegal ones going off in every direction.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Photo 178 - Megan's Fish

LJS actually took this photo. He and Short Person went up to a friends for a few hours and did some fishing. Here's Short Person with her "catch".