Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stage Make-up

I wonder who it is that I put on all this make up for. The morning is spent applying the mask from which I hide from the world during the day. Is it a shield to spare me the pain of freedom? Many years I've wasted putting on a good face for the world. When underneath lies the true beauty that is within us all.

photo by Shelby Koning

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Magic for the Ignorant

I'm sitting here wishing that there was a spell or potion or charm available to make life become simple again. I spent a lot of my early years wishing for time to speed up; to become an adult and determine my own way. Little did I know that things become more complicated as you get older, that the more you know...well the more you know, the more you know. Ugh. Words that used to flow out easily take so much thought to get straight. Words that I used to understand are sounding more like foreign gibberish. How I wish I could put my blinders back on, and enjoy the freedom of ignorance.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Blessed Commute

I saw nature's amazing touch on my Friday morning commute last week. The sun is such a blessing when we get into the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest. I was driving my daily 20 minute drive through rain and fog when all of a sudden, the sky opened up and rays of light punctuated the darkened morning sky. Forgive the mock poetry. It so took me by surprise, I had to grab my camera and try to not cross into oncoming traffic while getting this shot. The beauty is well worth the risk. I only wish I had gotten a picture of my squinty eyes and genuine smile of gratitude.
And then, I caught this on my drive home again on the same day. I love Oregon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Making a Difference

Saturday October 24th was Make a Difference Day. It happens annually on the 4th Saturday of October. The day was started to help promote volunteerism and the power of community. Our family chose to work on a project close to home, helping to clean up the leaves and weed the nature scape at Bush Elementary School. This is our second year working on this project. Last year the group planted trees, shrubs and plants that are native to Oregon. It was fun to get our hands dirty, and then for the months afterward, to see "our" plants maturing and changing with the seasons. Here are pictures of the volunteers from this year's garden cleanup.

Deven enjoyed raking long lines into the leaves.

Olivia did a great job raking, but really preferred using a broom later on as the leaves were wet and "sticky."
This is Ashleigh, the creator and visionary for the naturescape project at Bush. She's also an excellent source for plant information. Here she is showing some of the students from the Nature Club how to properly weed.

"ArtTeacherJill" (as Deven calls her), taking a break from her little patch of leaves to tell me about the art exhibits she saw during her recent trip to Switzerland.

Willamette students, making a difference with their sunny smiles.

Bush' 5th grade teacher Terry, trying to hide from the camera (but not doing a very good job, as I'm a stealthy photographer!)
Another helpful Willamette student.

Ashleigh's husband Tom, who is also the President of the Parent Club at Bush. He arrived to help after a morning of coaching his soccer team to victory.

And of course, Champ was there working along side me. Here he is showing his two-rake technique which really gets the leaves up.

I promise I sweated alongside all of these great volunteers...it was only a little break to take pictures.
This was a picture that Olivia and I took. She pointed out that once you raked away the wet leaves that had fallen on the ground, they left a "shadow" on the wet concrete. Really cool looking layers from the cracks in the cement, the shadows left by the leaves, and the remnant leaves. Very inspiring...now the question: how to replicate this on canvas? Nature is definitely the ultimate artist!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zombies Attack!

Yes, it's true! As part of Culture Shock Community Project's 13 Days of Halloween, October 22 was the night of the Salem Zombie Walk. Who wouldn't want to participate in that? Knowing that my kids love Halloween, Zombies, and anything that allows them to put on a costume, this was the perfect event. Come along with us for our walk through Salem....

First of all, we needed makeup!

No, I'm usually not THIS beautiful.

The kids in their full zombie mode.

The Grand Marshall of the Zombie Parade.

A beautifully dead bride.

A young zombie family. 'Danger' is this baby's middle name...literally!

Deven in full character....her really got into the spirit.

This guy's costume was great...

After the walk, we had fun taking pictures and freaking people out on our walk back to the capital.

Gross! Where are this kid's parents?

Zombie girl and her Mama.

We had a great time stepping outside our usual routine. If you are in Salem, check out the rest of the events scheduled for the remaining 13 days of Halloween. And watch out for the undead, they do indeed exist!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lemons Into Lemon Meringue

Question: What do you do when your bathroom is having some work done, and you are without a toilet or shower for the night? Answer: Hotel time! This was Champ's answer to this very same question last Wednesday night. And off to the Red Lion we went to surprise the kiddos with a mid-week night out.
Little happy campers in their bed.

"Mom, you never let us jump on the beds at home!"

And the best part?
(other than a great glass elevator)

An indoor swimming pool to hide out from the rain!

Champ and I sat poolside while the kids got their swim on....2 hours. Seriously!

And the next morning, up bright and early for "Crazy Hair Day" at school. This is Deven's gelled and spiked 'do.
Libby opted for starfish buns :0)

Sheesh, I need help fomatting! This was Deven going to sleep (obviously).

The pool was so much fun, I had to leave you with this parting shot! So the lesson from all of this: When life hands you lemons, make yourself some lemon meringue!