Posts Tagged ‘personal’

{Camping at Curlew Lake} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

June 1st, 2013

For Memorial Day 2013, I asked my husband to plan a camping trip. He picked Curlew Lake, which is in northeastern Washington. He wanted to pick a place that was far enough away so we wouldn’t be crowded with other campers, and someplace sunny (my requirement). That meant travelling about five hours away to get […]

 

For Memorial Day 2013, I asked my husband to plan a camping trip. He picked Curlew Lake, which is in northeastern Washington. He wanted to pick a place that was far enough away so we wouldn’t be crowded with other campers, and someplace sunny (my requirement). That meant travelling about five hours away to get to the camp site. It sounded fun, we could get there and see some Washington state sites on the way via road trip, right? ROAD TRIP! We haven’t done one of those in a while. Well, things didn’t go quite the way we planned. A bridge collapsed over a major interstate here, one of the main US highways (HWY2) over the mountain passes was closed to one lane, so our trip took a little longer than expected. Once we got there though, Curlew Lake was uncrowded, secluded and looked perfect for some family camping fun. Eastern Washington topography is different than western Washington, it’s more rolling hills and shrubs than evergreen trees and mountains. It was gorgeous though, and beautiful, and the boys had so much fun. I would definitely recommend going up there for anyone in the area. We had such a fun time camping, and having family time with just the four of us.

 

Road trip! These wind mills line Interstate 90. From the ground to the tip of the top turbine, it spans 41 stories tall. These pictures were taken from a rest stop, and don’t do justice to how strong, tall, and majestic these windmills look from the highway.

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This is a really big rock. No really, see the tiny, tiny boat in the corner? It’s called Steamboat Rock, and it’s the middle of the national park ground.

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Grand Coulee Dam! I didn’t even realize this was in Washington state.

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Bug graveyard. Or, what your car looks like after a six hour road trip.

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The drive was worth it though. The lake was beautiful.

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Our campsite was technically a “walk in”, meaning that we couldn’t park next to it. But look at this view!

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Little boy in the big woods.

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Since we were in eastern Washington, we got to see a lot of different types of scenery than we’re use to, such as this white tail deer in the open.

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And boys running in the wild. Yes, they’re actually on a trail.

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See?

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It was amazing to me to be around such hills and sky!

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Curlew Lake is known for its fishing. They had a nice dock for kid fishing. My oldest could have stayed there all day.

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Hey look, it’s my picture from Wordless Wednesday! My youngest is not as much into the fishing, so dad had to help him out.

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Camping is never complete unless there’s a chess game, or two, played.

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The look on my youngest’s face here cracks me up. Angry Preschooler is Angry! Look at those eyebrows!

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When camping, you bring along the simple joys. Such as bubbles.

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Bubbles bring the bestest smiles though.

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Evil villain, complete with bubble wand moustache!

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I am so pleased with this capture. It’s been a while since I got a full, crinkle nose smile out of my oldest on camera.

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Dirty, happy, camper boys having some fun.

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At the end of the day, this was what it was all about. <3

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A Favorite Thing

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{Wordless Wednesday} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

May 28th, 2013

  This post is shared with: Wordless Wednesday at The Jenny Evolution  Wordless Wednesday at In The Moment Wordless Wednesday at Sakura Haruka

 

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Wordless Wednesday at The Jenny Evolution

 Wordless Wednesday at In The Moment

Wordless Wednesday at Sakura Haruka

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{Party Minecraft Style} Seattle Area Child Photographer

May 23rd, 2013

My oldest recently turned eight, and this year, he asked for a Minecraft themed birthday. If you’ve never heard of Minecraft, think back to those old, 80s style DOS games and graphics. Minecraft looks totally like that. Except, this game only came out a few years ago. The good thing about Minecraft is that it […]

 

My oldest recently turned eight, and this year, he asked for a Minecraft themed birthday. If you’ve never heard of Minecraft, think back to those old, 80s style DOS games and graphics. Minecraft looks totally like that. Except, this game only came out a few years ago. The good thing about Minecraft is that it is totally easy to recreate, as everything is made out of pixelated blocks. The basic premise of the game is that the main character, Steve, goes around and digs, or “mines”. There is dirt, coal, and eventually, diamonds. You get a pick ax. There are also monsters like creepers, zombies, ghasts, and these spider things which I hate. All in block form, which kind of make them hilarious. The great thing about Minecraft is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want to, because you can program your own world.  So for kids like mine, it’s a great game to flex out their computer programming skills!

I spent some time on the Internet researching “Minecraft Parties”, and it basically came down to two things. 1) there was nothing pre-made for Minecraft, unless I wanted to pay  big bucks on Etsy, and 2) it’s all about blocks and paper, and I could do it myself. So with three or four days of prep time, lots of printing, gluing, and taping, I put together a Minecraft party for my kiddo. We wanted it low key, so we only invited eight people since he was turning eight, had one scavenger hunt, one craft (freeze paper stenciling their creeper shirts to take home as their “favor”), and lots and lots of fun! I hope you enjoy the party!

Some specifics:

 

Some of the decorations. The happy birthday banner, and of course, creepers and ghasts. The boys cut out the square clouds for the background.

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TNT! aka licorice and juice boxes with red construction paper wrapped around it, and TNT printed in the Minecrafter font. You can see my minecraft paper blocks in the background. They were a huge hit.

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More ghasts. They’re a combination ghost/octopus. I made them from square paper plates, with crepe paper legs. Totally easy!

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These were the creeper plates. The green plates I glued the black construction creeper faces, then I glued a clear plate on top so people could actually use the plates to eat.

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And of course, we had creeper juice (water bottles with “creeper juice” in Minecrafter font on white paper labels) to go along with the food. Renaming the food with Minecraft labels was really fun. The kids totally loved coming back for more “creeper juice” or “coal” or “torches” instead of regular old pretzels and blackberries and water.

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My “coal”, aka blackberries.

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My “torches”, aka pretzels. I was cracking up,  since the kids had a blast with the torches. I also had raspberries on a separate plate. So kids were putting raspberries on top of the pretzels and telling me “look! it’s a lit torch now!” I had three separate kids tell me that, all at different times. 🙂

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What the final food set up looked like. (big thanks to L.Hong for providing me with this picture!) Besides the TNT (licorice), torches (pretzels), coal (blackberries), I also had chocolate cake with green frosting for dirt squares, and green rice krispie squares that they could stick together to make their own creeper. Also raspberries to light the torches. 😉 For the grown ups we had Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, eggrolls, chips and hummus.

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The banner is made of foam, I cut out the squares on top to make it more “minecraft-y”. The letters are felt letters I bought at Michael’s. I stapled the whole thing to crepe paper, and was pretty amazed it held. My kiddo asked for it to stay up all week, and (knock on wood), it hasn’t fallen down yet!

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We also stuck some creepers outside. I made them from square plates. One plate for the head. I cut one plate in half for the body, and half of one for the feet. It was a big hit, different kids would run around with them in the yard, chasing each other.

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My husband had this great idea of making the kids do a scavenger hunt before they got cake. In the spirit of Minecraft, they had to find different colored blocks to make up different combinations. (We had a whiteboard listing all the combinations and rules, but the kids took it over during the course of the game before I could snap a picture). They could trade with each other to make their combinations, and get cake. In reality, we hide 204 of these one-inch foam blocks in our yard and let them go forth and find them. It was great fun! I’m not sure which was more impressive, that they spent so long finding them, or that we actually got all 204 blocks back at the end of the party.

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The kids had to have six blocks in different color combinations in order to get cake. Here’s some of the different combinations they came up with during the scavenging.

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CAKE! I just had the cake made with green grass on top. There is a little Lego Steve and Lego creeper there as well from the Lego Minecraft set.

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Since it was my son’s 8th birthday and not my birthday, I didn’t stress too much about planning games or entertaining the kids. They ran around in the yard, played in our tree house, and fought with the paper plate creepers. 🙂

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Instead of party favors in a bag, we had everyone make their own Creeper Shirts! (we used the freezer paper method). I did two groups, the “happy face” creepers, and the “frowny face” creepers. The shirts were $3 at Michael’s, so very cheap, and the kids LOVED them! It was also a VERY EASY CRAFT to do with a large group of kids.

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Overall, there was a lot of prep work in the few days before the party (especially in regards to all the paper crafting), but it was a lot of fun. Because in the end, it’s just about a bunch of blocks. 🙂 PARTY ON, I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and got some good ideas about any future Minecraft parties!

 

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Inspiration Gallery

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Blog Stalking Thursday

Friday Flash Blog

Weekend Wonders

Flaunt It Friday

Weekend Wander

Hooking up with HoH

Simply Create

Live Laugh Linky

BFF Open House

Feathered Nest Friday

Fabulously Creative Friday

Anything Goes

Frugalicious Friday

Feature Friday

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{Tulip Town 2013} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

May 10th, 2013

Every year, we take a trip up to Skagit Valley to visit the tulips. You can check out our trips in 2010 and 2012 and see how much the boys changed (and how little their love of mud puddles have not changed 🙂 This year the weather has been perfect, so I bundled the boys […]

 

Every year, we take a trip up to Skagit Valley to visit the tulips. You can check out our trips in 2010 and 2012 and see how much the boys changed (and how little their love of mud puddles have not changed 🙂 This year the weather has been perfect, so I bundled the boys up and we went for a day trip. I love going to the tulips because it reminds me of when I was pregnant with my oldest, and waiting, and watching the flowers bloom as I waited for my little guy to appear. Plus, they are just beautiful, and we have FIELDS and FIELDS of them here in Washington. If you haven’t made the trip to visit the festival, it runs through the entire month of April (depending on bloom), and it’s awesome!

 

No, this isn’t Holland. It’s Mt. Vernon, WA, U.S.A. 🙂

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Welcome to Tulip Town! My oldest had to jump in order to be tall enough to be in the picture on the left.

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I spy with my little eye, a hidden preschooler.

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We visit the tulip festival every year, since it occurs around my oldest’s birthday. Look at how much he has grown! :sniff:

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Stand by the tulips and pose, boys. This is the best that I could get.

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Mainly, they were way more interested in the mud, and mud puddles, than the tulip flowers.

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I wonder what made these kid size boot prints…

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If only there was some clue to tell me.

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Splish splash, some one took a mud bath.

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If you are local and haven’t been up here, go! It’s so beautiful, and the festival runs the entire month of April.

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Pretty, pretty tulips!

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Up close and personal with a tulip.

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Sometimes, you just gotta let them lecture you, and try not to laugh at the expressions on their sweet faces.

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Happy, happy kiddo.

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I let my oldest have my camera, and he took this shot! Proud mama right here, such a nice capture!

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My youngest thought he was so sneaky making faces while we were taking pictures.

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My favorite picture all day. I usually only get serious looks from him, I was so glad to be able to capture a real smile for once.

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If you look closely, my oldest is holding up his little brother in order to make him tall enough to fit in the face hole for the picture. Awww……

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They even had face painting inside the barn!

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At the end of the day though, it was mostly two little boys doing this.

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And this.

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{Happy Birthday!} Seattle Area Child Photographer

May 4th, 2013

My oldest son had a birthday recently. How did that happen? I swear, it wasn’t that long ago when I was answering the phone, overdue by almost a week, telling people “no, the baby’s not here yet. STOP CALLING.” Now I look at him, all big smiles and attitude, and think, where did that time […]

 

My oldest son had a birthday recently. How did that happen? I swear, it wasn’t that long ago when I was answering the phone, overdue by almost a week, telling people “no, the baby’s not here yet. STOP CALLING.” Now I look at him, all big smiles and attitude, and think, where did that time go? Last year for his birthday, partly because we were overwhelmed with just the amount of stuff that we have in our small house, and partly because we know that our oldest is very empathetic and caring, we introduced him to charity giving. So instead of birthday gifts, he decided to ask people to donate to The Starlight Foundation (which helps sick kids in hospitals) instead. We were very proud of him!

This year, of his own accord, he asked to pick another charity to donate to for his birthday. We picked clean water, since I come from a third world country where clean water from the tap is not easily accessible. Of course, he also asked for a birthday party with his friends, but in lieu of presents, he asks everyone to donate $8 (because he is turning EIGHT!) to help him reach his goal. So please, visit the Charity Water donation page, and if you feel inclined, please donate and help him out for his birthday wish. 🙂

Charity: WATER – Because everyone deserves clean water.

 

Happiest of birthdays, my sweet boy!

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{Ultimate Blog Party Hop!} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 8th, 2013

Hello party peeps! One of my favorite parenting websites, Parenting with Crappy Pictures, is sponsoring the Ultimate Blog Hop. Now, if you haven’t stumbled upon Crappy Parenting, you must go visit. She’s a mom, with two boys, and she details her life and blog posts through MS Paint pictures. YES IT IS GENIUS AND AS […]

 

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Hello party peeps! One of my favorite parenting websites, Parenting with Crappy Pictures, is sponsoring the Ultimate Blog Hop. Now, if you haven’t stumbled upon Crappy Parenting, you must go visit. She’s a mom, with two boys, and she details her life and blog posts through MS Paint pictures. YES IT IS GENIUS AND AS AWESOME AS IT SOUNDS.

Even my husband agrees, her posts touch something special inside both of us. (Usually something that makes me laugh until we cry). My personal favorite is this spider post. I think my husband is fond of this one about going to the pediatrician’s office.

Anyway! I’m going off on a tangent. She’s hosting a blog hop. If you don’t know me, I’m Alex, I’m a lifestyle photographer in the Seattle/Eastside area. Mainly, I run around all day chasing my two sons around, trying to challenge their minds with science  and art projects, along with maintaining some sanity. This is one of my most personal blog posts, a letter to my sons regarding sexual violence and the men I want them to become when they grow up. Meet my family, and welcome to my blog!

 

The kiddos and myself

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My oldest

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My youngest

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The husband

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{A Letter to My Sons} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 26th, 2013

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**   I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, […]

 

**Disclaimer: triggering subject matter ahead**

 

I usually do not discuss political or current event topics on this blog. There has been a surge lately in the news about sexual abuse, not just in the USA, but worldwide. People are speaking up, speaking out about the violence, speaking out about the silence surrounding child sexual abuse, speaking out about the stigma. Many people have written about it much  more eloquently than I have, such as the blogger Ask Moxie and her beautiful open letter to her sons, and this mom’s piece on what we should be teaching our future boys. But this is my blog, and as such, I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of voice I want my boys to hear. Both inside their heads, and the voice they speak with as they grow older, and encounter these situations amongst friends and peer groups. It’s terrifying to think about as a mother, and as the mother of two boys, that they will be swimming upstream against societal pressures and norms to be perpetrators. Or worse, silent victims. I write this letter to them, and I hope in my heart that this will be the voice they will hear as they grow older.

 

Dear boys: as I write this to you now, you’re wrestling with each other in the other room, it’s on the verge of bedtime, in that sweet spot where everything is giggles, boy laughter, and best brother hugs. I know the fighting and “I don’t want to go to bed” and “just one more story” is going to come soon, but right now, life is perfect. I love you guys to bits, and I want to freeze this moment forever and hold it still, and cherish it always.

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You guys are best friends, as well as best brothers. There is nothing I love more than catching you two curled up together reading, playing, or sharing a moment. I know that growing up is inevitable, but I hope that you guys will look back on your childhood, and remember that it was ok to be kind to each other, to laugh and hug with each other, and to be there for each other. I want you guys to remember that it’s ok to use your words to express how you feel, even if it’s “not cool”, even when you are feeling angry or sad. Especially when you are feeling angry or sad.

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I want you boys to always think it’s cool to have a picnic with your teddy  bears, even if the popular crowd doesn’t think the same as you. I want to hear you proudly declare at 2, or 12 with the same zeal “but mom, the teddy  bears need me RIGHT NOW”, and still believe in the magic of imaginative play. I love that you cuddle, and care for them, and pretend that they need help and you give it to them. I hope that when you’re older, and you see a friend who needs a hug, or needs someone to care for him or her, that you’ll step up and be there for them, just like you were for your teddy bears. I hope that when you’re with someone, and they say “No”, you respect that. And if you see someone who can’t say “No”, you can stand up and be their voice for them. Be caring. Be loving. Be kind.

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Boys, I want you guys to know that, no matter what, you guys are my goofballs.  I hope that you will always go through life with the same sense of confidence and zest that you display now. You guys continually amaze me with how self assured you guys are with both your individual personalities, and how devastating you guys are when you combined together in your Vulcan mind meld to get exactly what you want. I also want you to know, you will always have us, your mom and dad, and you will always have each other. We will always be here to listen to you, no matter if it’s a bad dream in the middle of the night, or a phone call you need to make to let us know that there’s a bad decision going on and you need us to come get you. We will never get mad if you need our help.

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Dearest oldest son, with your infectious laughter, and your empathy that extends for miles and miles, I worry about you the most. You have a keen sense of justice, and a very indignant sense of what is right and what is wrong in the world. I wish that I could tell you that it’s easy to make the bad people own up to their problems, but you already know that it’s not that easy, and that sometimes, doing the right thing means people don’t want to hear what you have to say. But I’m proud of the little man that you are becoming, and I’m proud that you are always there to help with a kind word, and you have the biggest heart of anyone that I know. Speak up if you see someone can’t speak up for themselves, and go against the tide. I know you can do it.

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Dear youngest son, you are my fireball. You are my fight first, and ask questions later. You defend your brother’s honor at all cost, even if you don’t really understand what’s going on, and for that, I adore your loyalty to him. I hope that as you grow, you continue to be loyal to your friends, and that you know when you see a situation that is wrong, that you continue to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. I hope you will help those that can’t help themselves, that find themselves unable to say no, unable to walk away, and fight for them.
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Boys, you have your entire future ahead of you. It’s full of wonder, and joy, and excitement. I know you guys wake up every single day with a can-do attitute, and dreams that you want to fulfill. I hope that every day can be like that for you. But I know that there will be difficult days ahead, as you journey through growing older, and navigate the waters of adolescence. There will be parties, and tough decisions. Friends and frenemies making good and bad choices, and people you may not want to help, but will need your help. I hope that when you’re older, and read through this blog, you’ll remember these words: be true to yourself, care for your fellow human beings. We love you guys, and we are always here for you.

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I love you guys.

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{Snowmen In Seattle} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 5th, 2013

Unlike most of the United States, our region is having (what a local meteorologist calls) the most boring winter in Seattle history. What this means to a seven and four year old boils down to: The Winter Without Snow At The House. This is a major tragedy in their lives, the inability to throw snowballs, […]

 

Unlike most of the United States, our region is having (what a local meteorologist calls) the most boring winter in Seattle history. What this means to a seven and four year old boils down to: The Winter Without Snow At The House. This is a major tragedy in their lives, the inability to throw snowballs, build snow forts, or even make a snowman. To alleviate their disappointment, we’ve been doing some snow and winter themed crafts at our house, to bring the outdoors, inside. We first drew snowmen pictures using chalk (you need dark construction paper for the chalk to show up). Then, we did a more sensory based art project using salt as snow. This was a bit more messy, as both my kids liked playing with the “snow” with their fingers before deciding on what kind of design they wanted to glue.

What You’ll Need:

  • black or dark blue construction paper
  • chalk (we used our regular sidewalk chalk; you can use school chalk as well)
  • salt
  • glue (stick glue was better for the four year old; my seven year old preferred the delicate lines of the Elmer’s bottle)
  • optional: glitter

 

First off, here’s our sidewalk chalk! You could use smaller, school chalk. But who are we kidding, we love sidewalk chalk at our house.The boys were so excited to be able to use it inside the house!

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My oldest working on his snowman picture.

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My youngest working on *his* snowman picture. Yes, pink is his favorite color.

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Snowmen at night!

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Our next snowman art project was much more sensory based, and it included every kid’s favorite, GLITTER!

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I had the boys’ mix it in with some salt to create glittery snow.

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Then, they used glue to outline out their snowman and snow decorations before sprinkling the glitter and salt “snow” onto the paper.

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I thought the salt made very lovely, realistic looking “snow”

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My youngest on the left, with glitter “stars”, and my oldest on the right with glitter candy canes. Overall, fun snowman projects!

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{KaBOOM! Washington, D.C. Trip part 1.} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 3rd, 2013

February came, and the time for our trip for being one of the winners of the KaBOOM! summer playground challenge finally arrived! While I’ve been there several times, my husband and kids have never been to D.C. before, so I was pretty excited to take them on all the sights. Being a naturalized U.S. citizen […]

 

February came, and the time for our trip for being one of the winners of the KaBOOM! summer playground challenge finally arrived! While I’ve been there several times, my husband and kids have never been to D.C. before, so I was pretty excited to take them on all the sights. Being a naturalized U.S. citizen of immigrant parents, I grew up being drilled in the history of the U.S. while my parents studied for their own U.S. citizenship tests, and I’ve always been a big fan of history myself.  This blog post just talks about our sight seeing adventures of the trip. Our KaBOOM! interactions, and my thoughts about outdoor play will be blog post, part 2. Travelling as a family does bring different challenges than sight seeing by yourself, so here are some things that worked well for us:

Travelling with Kids in D.C.:

  • We packed for the weather. I knew we’d be doing a lot of outdoor walking around, so  checked Accuweather beforehand and saw that it was going to be cold and windy. I packed scarves, gloves, and hats for me and the boys.
  • We planned for one major tourist attraction per day, anything else was gravy. With a four year old in tow, pretty much two hours at a museum was going to be his limit. Plus, a lot of places (the White House, the Capitol Building, Smithsonian museums) you couldn’t bring in food, so bringing a snack bag was out.
  • Pre-plan where to eat, so you don’t have a melt down and are blocks away from food. The GPS on our phones were very handy for this, but if you don’t have smartphones, our hotel had lots of good walking maps available in the lobby with restaurants listed as well.
  • Check out KidFriendlyDC, a blog about all things to do in D.C as well. It lists activities for the weekend, plus prices and how to get there.
  • if you want to visit the Capitol building or the White House, email your state representative at least three months in advance to book a tour.
  • we didn’t rent a car, we took the Metro everywhere and didn’t feel like we were missing out on transportation
  • And importantly! Ask your kids what they want to do! My kids are really into spies and ninjas, so of course we had to go visit the Spy Museum. it was one of everyone’s highlights, even the four year old’s!

Highlights of our Trip!

  • The Bureau of Printing and Engraving (tours are FREE, you can reserve ahead with your Congressperson or Representative). Our tour guide was excellent and knowledgeable, and had an answer for everyone’s questions. The bureau runs 365 days a year, 24/7, so it is always printing money. My seven year old was fascinated, and it was one of his favorite parts of the trip. My four year old did think it was boring. Tour runs about an hour, although our tour group had lots of questions, so with a less talkative tour group, it might have been about half an hour long. 🙂
  • The International Spy Museum. Everyone enjoyed this! Kids five and under are free. Right now, they have an excellent exhibit all about James Bond going on, lots of interactive displays, and the best part, my kids learned that spies look like everyone else! We spent two hours in this museum, and my kids kept asking to go back.
  • White House Tour. We got up early (as our tour was slated at 8:30am) but it was worth it. Just keep your kids off the furniture, or the Secret Service Agents in all the rooms will talk to you.
  • The Capitol building tour. This was a personal highlight of mine. For instance, did you know that all the buildings are connected under the Capitol building to the Senator and Representative Offices over at the Hart buildings? So cool.
  • The museums at the Smithsonian. You can’t just pick one, there are so many. One of our favorites was the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. We didn’t go into the museum itself, but the boys did run around the outdoor sculpture garden quite a bit. Also, the fossil lab at the Museum of Natural History had Real Life Paleontologists working! And drawing! My seven year old gave the artist drawing a thumbs up.
  • The lawn at the National Mall. Honestly, this was the best place for the boys to let out some energy, and run around playing spies, secret agents, ninjas, and President. It was nice to relax, sit on the benches, and watch them enjoy themselves.

The Washington Monument and the Capitol building. There is a law in D.C. that there can be no building taller than the Capitol building, so you can see the Washington Monument anywhere in along the National Mall corridor. It’s very pretty and awe inspiring.

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In the spring, these are the famous cherry trees of D.C., but when we were there, they were just pretty  bare branches.

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The Jefferson Memorial.

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On the steps and inside the Jefferson Memorial. The boys’ commentary? “It’s cold”.

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Looking back over the city from the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

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The flag underneath the U.S.A. flag is the one flown for P.O.W.’s and soldiers who are M.I.A. I think it reads “you are not forgotten”.

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The new World War II Memorial. All the wreaths symbolize each state and the soldiers they sent to fight in the war.

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Inside the WWII Memorial.

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The Albert Einstein Memorial outside the National Academy of Sciences. At his feet is a map of the constellations, it’s pretty nifty.

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Did you know you could tour the inside of the National Academy of Sciences? We didn’t know. Check out the awesome ceiling. They also had a pretty cool display about world population.

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My goal this year is to hand the camera to someone else, and get myself in some shots with my kids!

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The Lincoln Memorial. This was majestic and breath taking.

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One of these people is super happy. One of these people is posing like Lincoln. One of these people is four. Can you guess who is who? 🙂

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The National Conservatory. This was one of our favorite places to visit, and I’m not just saying that because it was warm. 🙂

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The Viet Nam Memorial. This is always a tough one for me, and I kind of dreaded bringing my boys’ to see it. It’s a big part of their heritage though, on both sides.

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My oldest looked at the wall and asked, does every name represent a person? When I told him yes, he broke down and sobbed.

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On a lighter note, here we are outside the Corcoran Gallery of Art. My oldest and I really enjoyed the exhibits here.

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 Overall, we had a really fun time, and it was a great family trip. The best part was just letting the kids run around and play (the carousel is at the National Mall near the Smithsonian Museums). I even got to sneak in some history facts while we were touring around, as well.  Thank you, KaBOOM!

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