Posts Tagged ‘summer’

June and July: An Update

We’re back from our big family trip to the Philippines and Seattle. We even added a few days in Vancouver, British Columbia. Summer heat, native eats, lots and lots of family time.

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We visited my husband’s family’s pineapple farm. Oh my, the juiciest, freshest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. So tender and ripe, you could eat the center core.

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We stopped for a little afternoon snack at a local resort one day. Super warm and sunny, but once in a while a breeze came by. Bummer that my son and husband broke out with heat rash…

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While much of the Philippines is tropical, Manila is very metropolitan, very big city… and in the middle of the city is a Chinese temple where we visited my husband’s grandparent’s resting place.


We checked out the Oceanarium in Manila. So cool seeing different and diverse ocean life! And the fish were so active in their tanks. OMG, they have a fish spa… amazing. Crazy little nibble fish nipped at our feet.

Bellevue WA at Sundown

Bellevue WA at Sundown

We found ourselves back in the U.S. sooner than expected after a food allergy incident involving our son. (It’s still rough for me to talk or think about – The worst 24-hours for our family.) An emergency run to the hospital in a foreign country wasn’t how we wanted to end the trip, but know that it ended well, we all came home in one piece. And even though we weren’t home-home, it felt reassuring to be back in our home country.

I’d really like to return to the Philippines, sooner than later. So much has changed after (gulp) 24 years. Yeah, my husband was there more recently… 17 years. Yikes.

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We made the most of our time in the Pacific Northwest with a side trip to Vancouver. My two aunts were thrilled to have us visit them. I crossed the Capilano Suspension Bridge this time… I tried about 30 years ago. (The bridge is 460 feet long and 230 feet above the Capilano River. Talk about nerve-wracking!)

Mugshot Monday: Unpacking

Things were a little weird after being away from home for 28 days. Routines were out the window (summer vacation, oy), and it was a major victory when we all woke up before 10 am. Luckily that only lasted a few days.

We’re back on central time. I’m back in the kitchen, helping out with our parish’s vacation bible school. And I can’t wait to get back to the craft table!

If you’d like to see some Mugshot Mondays from the trip, you can head to my Instagram page, and the official Monday Mugshots community page, too. I hope you do. 🙂

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In the Garden: Propagating Christmas Cactus

Continuing with some garden talk from earlier this week

A few weeks ago, I relocated my mother-in-law’s plants to my house.  She has some low maintenance plants, so with her traveling, you’d think they’d be okay. They still need care, and it only makes sense that the plants live with us since I look after them anyway. I know, I look wary…

Cacti and succulents

A rare pic of myself. (The car is parked.) Good thing I have a station wagon.

And, I gotta say, I’ve never dealt with cacti before, but don’t they look sad? Poor plants…

Propagating Cacti

These guys need some care

After some reading and searches for cactus care, I thought I’d start with the Christmas Cactus (far left in pic above) and Jade (not pictured) since they were already shedding leaf segments. (Probably stunned from the move.) By the way, Christmas Cacti don’t live in the desert… they come from the rainforest. Who knew?

First I learned that the leaflets have to callous over, and they end up shooting out roots looking for water. I left them on a paper towel in some indirect light. With the Jade, an empty stem stuck in the soil started to bud.

Caring for succulents

Jade (above) and Christmas Cactus (below)


Keep reading to see how they turned out!

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Fun with Flashlights during a Blackout

A few weeks ago a storm rolled in and down went the lights. It wasn’t even a good, raging storm. I think it was all of 5-10 minutes with high winds – and I do count our lucky stars that there wasn’t much damage.

So in the dark for almost two hours, the kids were getting a little restless. Mind you, it was only 7 pm? It felt like midnight. I thought, OH, let’s have some fun with the camera! They LOVED it. So, here are a few tips for at least an hour of fun in the dark with your flashlights.

  • The only lighting in the room were candles and the flashlights.
  • I used my DSLR on the automatic setting, no flash.
  • Focus your lens on something dim first (you know, when you hold the button halfway first before taking the picture), and then take the picture.
  • Don’t worry about a shaky hand, but do try your best to stay still. The shutter will be open longer than normal.
  • If your photo subjects want to write something in the air, remember they have to write it backwards.

Writing in the dark with flashlights: star

Writing in the dark with flashlights: heart

Writing in the dark with flashlights: squiggle

Writing in the dark with flashlights: spiral

Writing in the dark with flashlights: 2013 (backwards)

Writing in the dark with flashlights: 2013

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Mugshot Monday: Trade

It’s been too warm these days – dog days of summer, maybe? So I traded in my mug today for more frosty options.

Mugshot Monday: Trade

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Summer Scrapbook: Part 2

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Garlic Scapes as an arrangement

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer SCrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013, baking

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Summer Scrapbook: 2013

Summer Scrapbook: 2013, MSI Chicago

Art of the Bicycle exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry

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Summer Scrapbook: Part 1

Hello, friends. We loved every minute of our two week adventure in the Pacific Northwest… except for my week of pink eye. Grrr. But all is well. Consider this just a portion of our memories. I hope one day my kids appreciate the pictures I take – not just of them, but these little landscapes and close-ups. I just think that there’s just so much world to admire and enjoy.

Sitting with my father-in-law
Sitting down to look at my father-in-law’s architectural sketches

View from my brother-in-law's home
Used to be able to see Mount Rainier from my brother-in-law’s backyard. Trees grow, I guess.

Sweet Peas at the Farmer's Market
The flowers always seem so vibrant here…

Rainier Cherries in WA
…and so do the fruit.

Busy at Pike Place Market
See what I mean, vibrant fruit.

Shortbread from Three Girls Bakery, Seattle
Let’s not forget to snack while we walk Pike Place Market. These were amazing.

Elliot Bay Bicycle Shop in Seattle WA
Gratuitous bike shot, sorry.

Chiwawa River, Leavenworth, WA
Quiet time in the mountains.

Our Acura commercial-esque shot of the cars and lodge
Where we stayed. This pic is like an ad for Acura (which we all drive).

Leavenworth, WA
The stores and food, just too much deliciousness.

Leavenworth, WA
And you can’t beat the views.

Museum of Flight | Boeing
We did hit up some cool educational spots, like the Museum of Flight.

Ballard, WA bakery Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Scrumptiouness everywhere in this Cakery!

Are you enjoying your summer?

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