Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Broccoli Salad

This one comes courtesy of my dearly departed Aunt Yvette. She was experimental with her cooking, and a lot of the time it didn't turn out well... but this one is a keeper.

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch of broccoli chopped into very small pieces
1 bunch of celery chopped into very small pieces
1 bunch of green onions chopped small
1/2 cup raisins cut in half
1 can water chestnuts cut into slivers
2 cups raw sunflower seeds

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Mix dressing in a small bowl, set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dressing, toss to coat.

the little dutch dancing queen

Maria does this... crawls over to me and then climbs up my legs and looks up. Sometimes she screams, other times when she's perfectly content, she just looks... or dances. funny little girl.


I think that my Dad's Dutch heritage is coming out in her pretty strongly. She's still got the blond hair and the blue eyes, and lately she's been having fun practicing her guttural sounds... "dadagh"

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Red Book

I have this little red book.


Inside of it I have written down a bucket list of sorts. Every once in a while I will go through and update the list; adding new items and checking off things that I've done. I started the list when I was in college. Some things I came up on my own, others were inspired by friends or books I have read. Some things on the list are things that I can and want to do over and over again, but it also has a lot of things that I probably will never do, because I do try to be realistic, but it helps remind me of the more adventurous person that I once was. I encourage everyone to make their own little "bucket list"... and don't be afraid to put some "crazy" things on it.
It is a long list.... but it is by no means all-inclusive.

  • take off now for a spur of the moment vacation
  • design, build, and decorate my dream house
  • milk a cow
  • get a massage
  • achieve more than is expected of me, faster, more efficiently, & at less cost for greater impact
  • pass up the next chance to criticize
  • give my lover a thousand hershey kisses
  • adopt a baseball team of hard to place children
  • keep exotic tropical fish
  • read all the original nancy drew mysteries
  • drive through a dust storm in the desert
  • learn 3 jokes that get laughs every time
  • run through chicago's buckingham fountain
  • stop craving material things
  • spend a summer in a chalet high in the swiss alps
  • build my own furniture
  • explore a ghost town
  • work out for as much time as i spend eating
  • ride a fire engine
  • raise my IQ
  • drive I-80 from NY george washington bridge to the bay bridge in San Fran.
  • stand on the shore and roar back at the ocean as loud as i can
  • acknowledge my weaknesses
  • be a mentor
  • save a half-years salary
  • study philosophy
  • give money and muscle to habitat for humanity
  • live independently and magnanimously
  • visit a castle in spain
  • learn to repair my own car
  • earn an eagle scout badge
  • cruise the greek islands
  • lie on the ground in a grove of giant sequoias & look up
  • ride an elephant in india
  • skinny dip under a waterfall
  • dine in a five star restaurant in france
  • take my family on a backpacking trip through the grand tetons
  • stick to my convictions even in the face of hostile opposition
  • be a mother
  • travel the coast of the mediterranean
  • dig a pond on my property and stock it with fish
  • commit to something totally
  • spend five days focusing on each of my senses - one per day
  • move into a new house, but wait a month before bringing in furniture
  • improve my grammar
  • stick to an exercise regiment for the rest of my life
  • spend a day watchin the sun move across the sky
  • live in a villa on the italian riviera
  • see summer arrive in antarctica
  • explore west africa
  • visit every one of the national parks
  • overcome difficulties in a relationship
  • spend a stormy night in a lighthouse on a rocky coast
  • spend a summer and fall eating only what i've grown in my own garden
  • overcome my shyness
  • look good without makeup
  • travel with no destination
  • learn to meditate so i can center my mind & calm my spirit
  • taste raw sugarcane on a carribean island
  • snorkel australia's great barrier reef
  • go to london from paris via the chunnel
  • vacation on a pacific island that you can only get to by sailboat
  • have lunch in the restaurant atop seattle's space needle
  • visit the taj mahal, monument to love, with the person i love
  • nap in a field of wildflowers
  • escape to a cabin in the woods for amonth of rest and relazation
  • try sushi
  • learn italian
  • go white water rafting
  • invest in art
  • volunteer at a hospital
  • design a playground with a group of children
  • travel abroad for a year
  • learn the constellations
  • learn to listen & not just hear
  • take one long and two short vacations every year
  • donate my library to the library
  • learn to sail
  • send my mother-in-law flowers on my spouse's birthday
  • snuggle under a goosedown quilt in the middle of wither
  • read every book i own
  • see the northern lights
  • find an oasis in the desert
  • visit all 50 states
  • become a citizen of the world
  • grow my own herbs
  • make homemade icecream
  • make a difference in the life of someone i care about
  • dream consistently pleasant dreams
  • spend a vacation volunteering at a camp for kids with cancer
  • have no more cavities, ever
  • try to lower my expectations of others
  • walk behind a waterfall
  • learn how planes stay up
  • trun feelings of kindess into behavior
  • seek elegance rather than luxury
  • master my tennis serve
  • be sure i know everyone in my office
  • see a comet
  • save enough for a comfortable retirement
  • blow glass
  • cuddle with my lover on a midnight sleigh ride
  • go to a clambake
  • speak gently, act openly
  • volunteer to assist the red cross after a disaster
  • write a thank-you note to someone who influenced me
  • undertake a new challenge every month
  • learn to wakeboard
  • keep a photographic journal of a trip to europe
  • compose a song
  • learn to windsurf on an exotic island
  • raise some eyebrows
  • play the violin
  • do now what i keep saying i ought to do someday
  • learn to tune up my bicycle
  • watch the fountains at the bellagio all night
  • abandon my inhibitions
  • ride a train
  • leave everything behind for a while and spread my wings
  • watch a rainbow until it disappears
  • surpass my own expectations
  • plant a single seed, watch it germiate and grow
  • nap in a tree
  • find the quiet center within myself
  • record my dreams
  • ask questions with the innocence of a child
  • win a game of strip poker
  • be self-confident
  • throw a 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents
  • learn the language of my ancestors
  • beat the competition in my professional & personal life
  • live a year on the east coast
  • work for a cutting edge company
  • drive a snowplow
  • continue my education for the rest of my life
  • keep a notebook handy to cathc my thoughts before they get away
  • plant a tree for each of my children
  • watch the world go by from a sidewalk cafe
  • dare to ask outrageous questions
  • refurbish old houses and then sell them
  • live in a beach house with sand for a front yard
  • stay in bed all day Sunday
  • build a log cabin playhouse for my children
  • live in a house where I fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks
  • instill hope
  • ride double decker buses all over london
  • paint with watercolors
  • meditate in a zen garden
  • get caught in the rain
  • on a summers day take a nap in a hammock
  • take a bubble bath in the middle of the day
  • find my own philosophy of living
  • let myself fall in love totally and completely
  • pubish a good news only newspaper
  • live live with no regrets and lots of hope
  • give each person I love the thing they want most
  • change my worst personality trait
  • design a retirement community for my friends and family
  • donate everything to charity
  • adopt a child
  • design a corporate logo
  • ensure that my children have at least one great experience that i've had
  • find my work meaningful
  • change something in the world that makes life easier for my children
  • ban television for a year
  • develop film in my own darkroom
  • spend a day in the countryside with a sketchbook and pen
  • list 100 good things that have happened in my life
  • learn to do the samba
  • keep in mind that life is short and that dreams cannot be put off indefinitely
  • bike to work
  • create a great resume
  • live in a cabin with no electricity or indoor plumbing for 2 weeks
  • witness a miracle
  • refuse to compromise
  • teach english to a foreigner
  • broaden my perspective beyond the shores of the USA
  • become an american citizen
  • design a public place
  • buy land, design and build a park, donate it to the community
  • let someone fall in love with me
  • like what i see in the mirror
  • pick a topic and then study it in depth
  • visit each of the african countries
  • take a nap in tall grasses
  • plant a forest
  • burn candles in the bathroom
  • get soaked in a summer rain shower
  • stop thinking about work on vacation
  • see my grandchildren play with my old toys
  • take the road less traveled
  • simplify my life
  • have a summer bedroom with it's own porch
  • change what I can change and stop worrying about the rest
  • be surprised by a gift of diamonds
  • build a winterized hide-a-way above the garage
  • remain productive even after i retire
  • make my own soap
  • see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier
  • have the ability to nap anywhere anytime
  • spend a week in london and go to the theatre every night
  • go white water rafting
  • see the world in a different light
  • go on an overnight canoe trip
  • see the beauty in everyone
  • graduate from college
  • complete a triathalon
  • create art
  • paint the sky
  • see a shooting star
  • vacation at the Outer Banks... explore from Corolla to Okracoke
  • see the good in everyone i meet
  • remember peoples names
  • eat a peach in georgia
  • eat an orange in florida
  • eat a pineapple in hawaii
  • eat an apple in washington
  • eat a potato in idaho
  • always live debt free
  • buy a house by my 25th birthday
  • go past the arctic circle near the summer solstice to see the sun circle the horizon
  • explore central america
  • take a train to vermont to go skiing
  • see "Wicked" in NYC
  • make a quilt for each woman in the family
  • play the piano
  • own my own buisness

Sunday, June 28, 2009


While we were in eastern washington I was perusing some of their magazines and came across this one called ReadyMade. I think I'm in love. They had such cute & unique decorating ideas. They also had cool info.... like where you can get your own fabric design printed.

upload graphic or pattern to spoonflower.com they'll print it on 100% cotton for $10/yard

get personalized mini tiles... teenytile.com graphics pictures etc. $5/tile

free floating bookshelves... 8" corner braces turned upside down ... stack the books on them.

make your veggies last longer by putting a dry sponge in the drawer with them... it'll soak up the extra moisture

a dollar bill is approx. 6"... useful information for when you need, but don't have a tape measure.

hate adjusting the temp in the shower to find the perfect temp... adjust it once, then put a dab of nail polish. from then on you'll get your perfect temp.

if you've got a cut finger that's bandaged, and you don't want to get it wet in the shower. put a balloon over it. problem solved.

need that piece of wood you're sanding to be smooth. check it with a pair of nylons. any rough spots will catch on the nylons.

use drop handle drawer handles to hold tools

need something to hold notes... pry off the bait holder of a mousetrap and screw it into the wall.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Little TLC...

Over HERE is an update from our extra long weekend in the middle of nowhere... it was oh-so-nice!!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Lake Roosevelt

We (Papa, Mama, & Baby) headed over to Eastern Washington last weekend to meet up with Nana & Randpa Toyk. Nana was making some curtains for a client of grandpa's who has a cabin on Lake Roosevelt. It took us a little longer to get there because we kept having to get out and walk around to keep this little one happy:


We met up in Ft. Spokane, transferred the load from the cars to the boat and headed over to the cabin. Apparently that is the quick way to do it. The long way includes a 35 mile drive on dirt roads. This cabin was pretty cool, especially for being in the middle of nowhere. It had solar panels, a generator, propane, and a wood stove. It had a flushing toilet and an outdoor shower. There were no telephone wires, no internet service, and sporadic cell phone service.


Maria LOVED the boat ride over to the cabin, being out of her car seat after a 6 hour drive, and the wind in her face. She's like a little puppy when it comes to the wind in her face... she really enjoys it. She also loved riding the 4-wheeler. Whenever she was a little fussy we'd take her for a ride and she'd cheer right up.


We unpacked and took some time to breath in the fresh mountain/lake air. .


bottom left: the neighbors runway. bottom right: the dirt road in.

We arrived there Saturday evening and left Wednesday morning. During those days there was plenty of relaxing, reading, nap taking, curtain making, four wheeling, picture taking, boat rides, fishing, and log cutting.


A few times Marco and I went out riding... sometimes together on the 4-wheeler, sometimes he took the dirt bike.


A couple of times I brought my camera and made him stop so I could take some nature pics:


For one of Maria's naps she fell asleep like this for more than 3 hours!!


There wasn't any real grass around the cabin so it was difficult figuring out what to do with Maria. If we put her down on a blanket she'd be off it in a jiff, and we didn't feel like getting up that often. So we tried putting her in her travel crib... aka. play pen and she loved it. She just sat in there playing with her toys, screaming and laughing. it was great. I think I'm going to use it so that I can garden and she won't eat the grass.


Some points of interest....
if you're using a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are completely ready. steaks that taste like smoke are not good.
if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of a night, when you're out in the middle of nowhere, take a flashlight... it gets dark.
shut the screen door so mosquito's don't get in.
if the men are bored and just can't relax, more firewood might just be needed.
fishing is not exciting.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baby {J}

I've been away for a little bit, but I'm working on editing a bunch of photos...

Here's a little sneak peak of baby {J}. His mama and I went to high school together. I love that our little ones are only a month apart!! He is so sweet and adorable.


More to come...


I love these. And like many of my recipe's I make variations all the time. This past weekend I make an enchilada casserole (which I'll post about that sometime). Sometimes if we have leftover roast I'll use that (beef or pork) or a roasted chicken is always a good standby, but here it is, the basic enchilada recipe.... modify as you see fit.

Chicken Enchiladas

2 tsp oil
1 med onion, diced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chiles
12-14 corn tortillas
1 c grated cheese
1 can enchilada sauce (red or green.... or make your own.)
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese (optional)

Saute chicken in oil until cooked. Add green chiles and mix together. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan that you cooked the chicken cook the onions, until soft & translucent. Add the chicken mixture to the onions. Open can of tomatoes (and cream cheese if desired) and pour in with the chicken/onion mixture. Mix together. Heat tortillas. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture. Place in 9x13 pan. Cover with sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

We're back...

We had a very nice weekend. Full of relaxation, and I only got one mosquito bite!!

But before we get to this last weekend, I thought I'd do an update for the weekend before. (June 13th for all interested.) Marco, Maria and I headed out to the Deming Log Show. We got there around 11. Maria decided it was nap time:


It was a beautiful sunny day, bright enough out that Husband broke out the shades:


It was fun and festive. They even had an auction for truck loads of logs! We watched:
  • trailer backing
  • cable splicing
  • ax throwing
  • pole falling
  • hand bucking
  • speed climbing
  • log rolling
... to name just a few. Here are some of the pictures we got:


Their website has a whole lot more. I think the funnest events for me to watch were the little kids climbing the poles, and the relay's. Some of those loggers have mad skills.

Soon I'll give an update & pictures of our weekend in the "wilderness".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Switchin' up the blog a little bit.

I'm working on changing some things around here. It seems that I'm never quite content with my layouts. So I'm learning how to change them myself.
  • I adjusted my column widths. I widened this middle section, so that I can post with bigger pictures, and adjusted the side column widths to try to make the text fit nicely... still not perfect, but it's better.
  • I also added an "I Believe..." button. I got that off of Leelou Blogs. She makes all sorts of buttons, she's got stuff from Christmas to Twilight.

There will be more happening, but it will take some time. If I find or do anything that I think is kind of cool I'll keep you posted.

**note: the pixel botique tutorial is no longer there.... but over at Three Column Blogger they have some good tutorials.


A few weeks ago Marco found this nest in a tree outside the office:


The end of last week this had happened:


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I forgot to say...

the other day when I was taking pictures of the garden this little gal (or fellow) was running around:


I think we have a whole family of little bunnies running around. We see them all the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Natalie Norton is having another Giveaway over on her website Pics & Kicks. This time it's a *Super Cute* camera bag by Wicked Stitch Designs.
Aren't a photog... that's totally cool, it doesn't have to be used as a camera bag!! It could totally be mult-functional (tote, diaper bag, scripture bag...etc). Everyone should go over and check it out!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden Update

We've added more and more to our garden as the season has progressed. So far we are only harvesting lettuce, spinach, raddishes, and herbs. Today we planted the squash that we started earlier, and when I say "squash" it is a very broad term that contains things from butternut squash, to zuchinni, to cucumbers. Here is a picture of our garden:


and here is the map of our garden... just in case you were wondering:


I hope we like onions and garlic, 'cause I think we might have gone a little overboard in those departments. And the cabbage is encroaching on the spinach... I honestly had no idea that cabbage got that big. I can totally see a doll emerging from the center of one of those bad boys.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Play Date

I love them. This time my good friend Corinna & her son John graced us with their presence. It was so good to see them again. We live in the same county, but don't see each other as much as I'd like... I'm bad that way though. I need to get out more. Anyway... back to the subject at hand... play dates. They came over and we had a great time. John is such a cutie-pie. He's a totally mellow baby.



Maria loved him. I should have gotten the camera out at the beginning, but I didn't... so this the only picture I got of them together before Maria started her meltdown phase.


It took her about 30 seconds after they left to fall asleep... she was one tired baby.
(PS... don't mind the drool all over her shirt.)

Friday, June 12, 2009


The three of us were in the Wal-mart the other day. We were walking by this old couple trying on sunglasses. The man said to the woman as we were passing.... "you can't get those ones, you look like you're blind." I got a kick out of that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Love this song...

I have no idea what any of the lyrics mean, but it is definitely a pretty song.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the {h} family

I had the pleasure of shooting this {BEAUTIFUL} family over the weekend!!
They were so much fun and such a pleasure to work with. I want to share a few of my favorite shots from the session.... enjoy!












It's taking over and I don't know what to do with it, there's so much. I know it's a poultry seasoning... so I could dry it. I've also made a brown butter sage sauce that goes with butternut squash ravioli that's really good. Other than those two things I don't know what to do... does anyone have any suggestions?

I have to admit.....

I'm excited for this to come out.