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This is my blog AND my website now. Click on the " my paintings" tab to view my paintings. Scroll down to read my blog.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Paper and Bows are Sooo Last Year!

Growing up, my favorite part of Christmas time was wrapping presents. My mom taught me to always wrap gifts beautifully. While attractive wrapping paper and a big bow is a classic way to make a stunning gift, it is not always very economically friendly nor ecologically friendly. Neither is it friendly to your creative juice thirsty brain that is always seeking ways to be sharpened. This year I have been exploring more resourceful ways to wrap gifts while not sacrificing the aesthetic value of its appearance. I have come up with many new ideas and know that I have only brushed the surface of possibilities.
This year I only bought one roll of solid wrapping paper (so it is versatile), but next year I think I will challenge myself to not buy anything at all… except for tape, of course. Wrapping paper is pretty expensive considering it is intended to be thrown away, and there are so many other beautiful replacements available. I found that many retail stores these days give out some really attractive paper bags with your purchase. Namely, American Eagle has really cool bags. Christopher and Banks also has a neat bag, but they would not give one to me without a purchase, and ummm… I had already done all my Christmas shopping for my mother-in-law. Also, magazines are full of great images designed by professional graphic designers- so don’t throw them away when you’re done reading them- use them to wrap. Some other ideas I thought of to replace the wrapping paper are maps, old book jackets, painted newsprint, scrap fabric, and newspaper.
Bows are probably the most expensive part of wrapping a gift, but they add the most character to a present. I always save old bows, so I don’t have to buy new ribbon. But there are also a lot of bow alternatives too. This year I used old cassette tape ribbon to make one bow. You can also use old VHS tape too. You can also make bows out of rope or shredded paper. Last week I made a bow out of toilet paper, but it was kind of a joke.
Besides a bow, there are zillions of other ways to decorate a present to equal beauty! Magazines, old Christmas cards and photocopied pictures are great for cutting out images to collage onto a gift. . Rhinestones can make the gift sparkle. The more you look around, the more gift decorations you will find. I used food packaging to make a pop art inspired present. I also thought playing cards would make a cool gift.
Some might think it is a waste of time to put so much energy and creativity into something that is temporary, but lately I have been concentrating more on the value of enjoying perishable artwork (like decorating Christmas cookies). Even though it might not last forever, the process was more important than the product. And, every time you exercise your creative abilities, there will be one lasting outcome. Your brain will be sharper! If nothing else, you can always take pictures of them, like I did.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

He Sees You When You're Sleeping???
I have learned one new thing about humans this month. I think that babies come into this world instinctively believing in Santa Clause. Unless that innate knowledge is intentionally molded, they will continue to believe in Santa Clause. I have always intended to never lie to my kids. Of course, as I have encountered certain situations, I have made a few exceptions. One of those situations includes when my kids ask, “what are you eating, Mom?”. I am allowed to say “nothing” or “crap” or “something yucky that only adults eat”. That is an acceptable lie. However, to lie to my kids about an illusionary man that leaves you presents at night… that is just ridiculous to me- especially at an age where the concept of Jesus is just as abstract, if not more, as the concept of Santa. Now, I will admit, I haven’t sheltered my kids from Mr. Clause. (but maybe I should have), in fact, they met “one of them” just last week at the mall. However, I have always buffered these encounters by saying “you know, that man isn’t really named Santa Clause. He is just pretending.” But my efforts seem to be useless. Last year Rocket even emptied the soot out of my in-laws fireplace in pursuit of “Santa”. This year, we are not giving “Santa” any credit for the presents we give our children. They are all from Mommy and Daddy. Sooner or later, the kids will come to their senses, and when they do, I will snidely say, “I told you so!”

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Hallo....

Notice the matching pumpkin!

(Sea Lions, Tiger Sharks, and Polar Bears- Oh My!)
On my recent trip to Florida, I began to notice that the older I get, the more easily amazed I am. It's not that anything can impress me- it's just that as I gain more experience in life, I am able to recognize what really is amazing and what isn't and try to focus on the more amazing things the most.
The highlight of the kid's and my vacation was our visit to Sea World. Now even if the kids didn't thouroughly enjoy this place, I sure did. And to say the least, Shamu, and all of his underwater friends, are truly amazing. The problem with my children is that they are so young, and therefore they don't have many experiences to relativate other experiences with. For this reason, their little brains have not yet been accurately calibrated to gauge what is cool and what is not so cool. So sometimes, for them, very mundane things (like the word "boo") seem quite remarkable. And very unmundane things (like a gigantic black and white whale flying through the air) isn't even worth looking at if there is a piece of popcorn on the ground. That is OK, and they still enjoyed Sea World, but mostly only because they both got temporary tattoos and Shamu water bottles.
While I considered Sea World to be extraordinary, what was even more impressive to me, was the way every generation of my family, blindly accepted, and even loved, me and my children. And even my children were able to tell that this was something really neat. This unconditional love was truly heartwarming. Maybe it wouldnt be that way if we actually lived nearby.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mural Website
I recently created a website to showcase my murals. This way I don't have to deliver my mural photo album to everybody who is interested in having a mural done. It also makes me feel really cool, and I can show off to my friends and relatives. Here is the link:
I know it is a very amature web design, but it is a start!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Roxanne turned three years old on Sunday. The day was filled with all kinds of kitty goodness. It took her a while to realize that it was her birthday and not Rockets, because she thought that only Rocket had birthdays. When she saw the cake, she understood that this day MUST be about her. When asked how old she is, she will say "Roxanne" or "present" or "five".... usually anything but "three". If you ask her what her name is you are more likely to hear "three", but you might also hear "hello kitty" or "mommy". For this reason, she will be having her hearing checked on Wednesday. If those results show no problems, we will be looking into speech and cognitive therapy. However, her snuggling, kissing and hugging skills are right on par. She knows when to hold back (most of the time) and when to dish out, which makes her the most adorable little three year old I know! Happy Birthday Roxanne!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Insights on Spiritual Health and Nutrition From Rocket

  • If you eat all of your vegetables, your boobs will go away.
  • Jesus has a hole in his heart that needs to be filled with broccoli.
  • Jesus made drive-thrus and loves them.
  • He also loves vitamins and protein.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An Update On Charlotte
This weekend, we decided it was time to release Charlotte from captivity. Although we enjoyed our time with her and her babies, we thought that she might be happier raising them in the wilderness (actually, to tell the truth, there was one member of our family that wasn't exactly "tolerant" of her differences). So we drove a couple blocks from our house, into the mountains, and set her free. I laid her down on a rock, and we all said our goodbyes. I could tell that even that one family member (I wont mention any names) was getting emotional during the fairwell. Then we walked back to our car and buckled the tearful kids into the car and before driving away, that one family member and I decided to go back and say one last goodbye. But she was gone. I haven't heard from her since then, but I imagine that she is happily carrying around her quickly growing offspring around on her back... occassionally eating one or two... but being a good mom for the most part. Before she knows it, they will be big enough to crawl off her back and start lives of their own. I can only hope that one of them will come back to visit me. And if they do, I will catch them and trap them and release them a month or two later.

This is Charlotte on the evening that we released her.

Hello, Kitty.
While I was in Colorado, with Rocket, for my mom's birthday party, Matt stayed behind with Roxanne. He spent the weekend romancing her in every way. They went on dates, snuggled, and then he bought her a kitten. When I came home, I met the new family member that no one knew much about. No one knew his name, his age, or even if he was a he or she. But Roxanne didn't care, and Daddy was her most favorite person in the whole world now... well, except for Kitty. We still haven't named the little rascal, but here were the kids' ideas. Roxanne came up with: KittyMine, MineKitty, NoNoNotRocket'sKitty, DaddyGetItForMe, and ILoveDaddyMoreThanMommyNow. Rocket came up with: Booty, Jerry, Jack, Booty, Pirate, PooPoo, Hello Kitty, and Booty. Feel free to cast your vote.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Spiders
About a month ago, the kids and I discovered a wolf spider hiding in the rocks in our front yard. She was about an inch and a half long and was carrying an egg sack attatched to her abdomen. At first we thought that she looked scary, but then we put our prejudices behind us and welcomed her into our home. It's a good thing that we did that, because we discovered that she had a fun loving, yet sometimes shy personality. Knowing that she had babies on the way, we tried to feed her well. Usually we would find flies buzzing around in our windows and catch them by spraying them with hair spray and then killing them. Charlotte (that's what we named her) seemed to enjoy the flies and never complained about the taste of hairspray. Sometimes we would feed her other spiders too, but she was not as eager to eat these. After a couple of weeks, we started to grow impatient with the anticipation of babies spiders and began to think that maybe they were never coming. I researched wolf spiders on the internet and discovered that sometimes they will wrap pepples or shells up in an eggsack and carry it around as if it is babies, but really it is not. I began to wonder if Charlotte had done that and faked the whole pregnancy just for the attention. I decided to wait a little longer before giving up on her. Sure enough, sometime on Sunday night, Charlotte had her babies- around 200 of them. They crawled out of the egg sack and now she carries them all around on her back. They completely cover her entire body except her eyes and mouth and legs. She is a devoted mother to her babies. I will probably release her back into the wild soon, because I'm not going to start a spider ranch. On second thought, maybe that could be a good business venture. Anyone interested in a good natured baby wolf spider?
This is a picture of Charlotte carrying around her hundreds of babies-click on the picture to look closer (they are tiny)!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Story of My Mom
This last weekend, I traveled back to Colorado for my mom's surprise 50th birthday party. In honor of the special occasion, I put together this little story and displayed it at the party. Now I am posting it here for you to enjoy too!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Memoirs of an adventure to Oregon

This post is called a memoir because it is going to be that long. But also, because memoirs are the really cool thing right now, so I thought I needed to have one of my own. The post is called an adventure because it is about our trip to Oregon. Don't mistake it for a vacation. The word "vacation" implies that there will be some sort of a break from your regular daily duties, and for me, there was no break. In fact, many of my daily responsibilities only intensified. Also, a vacation implies that you are going to rest, and that rarely occurred on this trip. In addition, an adventure involves exploration, and that's what we did on this trip. I was amazed at all the nooks and crannies that the great Lord included in his wonderful artwork of the earth. And I discovered that within every nook, there is another nook. And inside that crevice, there is another one. This world is like a great big fractal for our bodies and minds to explore.

Our trip began with a lot of driving:

Our first stop was in Bend, Oregon, where we discovered an extraordinary lava cave. It is about a three mile tunnel underground formed by flowing lava, many years ago. We thought that there are probably lots of other caves around there too, but we just don’t know about them because they don’t open themselves up out of the ground. But, who knows. We hiked in about a mile, at which time both kids experienced a panic attack and wanted out of the cave immediately. We tried to explain that the only way out was the way that we came in, no reasoning was useful, and we ended up dragging them out. And, by the way, a screaming child sounds much louder inside an echoing cave. We had to carry in a lantern, as there is absolutely no source of light inside the cave. I imagined that it would be really cool to live deep inside the cave, if there were some way to get furniture and electricity down there. It would be really cozy to have a soft couch and plush carpet up against the stone walls. I would probably hang some fine art up on the walls too. The ruggedness of the walls against the refined linens would give the home a really inviting atmosphere. While we were in the cave, my camera ran out of batteries which really ticked me off, because the way the lantern cast towering shadows onto the walls of the cave would have made really cool pictures. But I did manage to squeeze one last picture out of my camera. This is Matt, holding our lantern:

The next day, we finally reached the ocean, which was so exciting. Like myself, I know many people feel drawn to the ocean. I was trying to figure out why that was. I think that its power gives us a small glimpse of the Divine and its enormity gives us a sense of God's omnipotence. It shapes rock like soft salt water taffy, and you can sense its presence without even seeing it. I thought about this a lot during my time near the ocean.

The kids found a piece of drift wood that they pretended was a pirate ship. They sang, “YO HO HO”.

The next day we visited the Tillimook cheese factory. The best part about this was the free cheese samples.

The next day we drove over the Columbia River into Washington and I had never been so far north before. In Long Beach, Washington, the kids met a friendly clown named Taylor. He was really tall, and the kids looked up to him.

That night we made an enormous bonfire on the beach. The blazes from our fire were almost as big as the flames of hell. It was hot.

On the next day, we went to my favorite place in all of Oregon- Hug Beach. Here, I found the most rewarding geocache I have ever found- not because of what was in it, but because of where it was located. It was on a cliff edge at the top of the water fall that flows down to the beach and had the most beautiful lookout I’ve ever seen. This is Hug Beach:
Hug Beach is the kind of beach I would like to be stranded on. If it were on a deserted island, I would stay there and hope I was never found. I would sleep in one of the caves and shower in the waterfall. I would swim in the tide pools and make friends with the starfish. I would have to become accustomed to eating the little crustaceans that burrow themselves in the sand. Ideally, I would be stranded there with Matt, but I don’t want to ask for too much. Here are some starfish we met:

So, I don’t know how to end a memoir… because honestly, I’ve never read one. But I do know is that you’re not supposed to lie, and I didn’t do that. So, we ended up coming back home, and that’s where I am now. I have some memories and some pictures- but none that compare to the real thing, and that always frustrates me. But hopefully reading this memoir has been interesting enough to give you a glimpse of our adventure to Oregon.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

School's Out!
Today was Rocket's last day at preschool for the year. He was very emotional, and refused to say goodbye to anyone because he said that he would be going back next week. He cried on the way home and then decided he wanted to go back to say goodbye to everyone, but they were all gone by then. The preschool has been a blessing to me because of the love they showed Rocket. I brought the director of box of chocolates to say thank you, and she said "well you shouldn't be thanking me! We didn't do anything for YOU", and I said, "Well, anything you did for Rocket, you really did for me". On the way home I realized that I really understood what Jesus meant when he said "if you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." Becuase we are his children, he feels blessed when we are blessed.
Anyways, as another way of thanking the preschool for all they did this year, I painted a mural for their new classroom. I finished just in time for the end of the year. The project was really fun, becuase no one seems to appreciate my artwork more than preschoolers. I also really learned that doing artwork for a good cause is sometimes much more rewarding than doing it for money. Here are the pictures:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Pirates for Jesus Apparel
I'm just testing the waters here. I never intended to go into fashion design, but here is my first Pirates for Jesus t-shirt designs. What do you think?
This is the front
This is the back

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pirates for Jesus
This is a conversation I had with Rocket last night before he went to bed. We were singing 'Jesus Loves Me' (as we usually do) and when we got to the part that says "He is strong" Rocket asked:
"Why is Jesus strong?"
I said, "Because he made everything."
He said "Oh, did he make pirates?"
"well... he made people, and some people become pirates."
"Did he make me?"
"Yes, he sure did!"
"Oh... then can I become a pirate?"
"Well, I guess you could."
He says, "What do I have to do to become a pirate?"
I replied, "Well you would have to have a big ship and live on the ocean and say 'arrrrrgh'"
"Oh! Well, if I were a pirate I would not love Jesus and he would not be in my heart" he said.
"Why not???"
"cause pirates are bad."
"well, if you were a pirate, you would be good right?"
"Pirates can be good??"
"Yes, they can be good too."
"Ok, than I will be a good pirate- a pirate for Jesus."
What a better goal than to be a pirate for Jesus?? I hope I can find a shirt that says 'Pirates for Jesus'. I will buy it for Rocket.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Rocket Science
This is a picture we had taken last Saturday as we visited Matt's work for family day. It was an incredibly fascinating experience as we all discovered the production involved in making a real rocket. The best part was that we all got free hotdogs for lunch. Refer to the featured picture: if we were standing right there 24 hours before we were standing there, we would have all been incinerated to death (good thing we weren't huh?). That is a real rocket that was static tested the day prior. For some odd reason, they test the rockets horizontally... in my opinion you ought to test something in the same position you plan on using it in. But, hey, I'm not the rocket scientist, right?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Roxanne- The Brighter Side
Last Thursday night, I was being such a bad wife that I didn't even plan on anything for dinner. So, keeping in sinc with my bad wife behavior, I talked my husband into letting me drive down to Little Ceasars and pick up a $5 pizza. He said "OK". So I took Roxanne along with me, and we ran in and got the pizza and then went back out to the car to find out that it wouldn't start. After much anguish and retrying, I called my friend Stephanie to pick us up and take us home, but it took her a little while to show up. So I sat in the car thinking about how much this sucked and how bad stuff like this always happens to me but I deserve it cause I am such a bad wife. As I was having my pessimistic inner dialogue, Roxanne grabbed the pizza box and climbed into the passenger front seat with me. She said "peesa?" and I said "ok I guess so". So she searved us both a piece of pizza and I put the pizza box on the dashboard, thinking "well, atleast I'm not hungry." Then Roxanne starting laughing and giggling. I said "What is so funny about this, little girl???" and she just kept laughing (with a mouth full of pizza). Then she said "car boken. Eat peesa. Funny". And she continued to laugh. So I realized that maybe I should learn something from Roxanne and look at the brighter side of situations. There is something special about having a pizza picnic in the car, even if it does mean that the car is broken down.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Rocket!
This is a story about Rocket's 4th birthdayparty at McDonalds, written by Rocket himself. It is mostly true.
Once Upon A Day, By Rocket
Once upon a day, there’s was a boy named Rocket, and Rocket had a party with all his friends. And once upon a time, he had a really big fat cake, and he had icecream and cake and then he played in the park place and then he was eating dinner, cheeseburger and chocolate milk, and then he was eating apples. When he had a party, he was very hungry in his tummy, "I wish I could have a ten cakes with chocolate milk!" and he was very hungry again, and very hungry again and he had a huge dinner and he turned into a monster. And then he died. And then he wished he could have another cake tomorrow. The monster then he didn’t die, he just scared everyone. Then he turned into another monster. He turned into a green monster that said “Rah Rah Rah, Hoo OOoOOO”. Then he just licked himself. He licked the cake off his mouth. Then the monster is all gone when he was proven himself. Then Rocket opened his present, and there was a skate board and a rocket parachute and he opened all the presents. The End.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Fertility Goddessssssssssss

Ok... so here's a new picture. This is Lydia exactly one week before she had her baby, which was last Thursday. I think she is beautiful, but I promise I'll get back to pics of the children soon... cause that's all you care about huh? Well, I may just trade you in for someone who has an appreciation for art!