Sunday, September 25, 2011

 Since it has been a while since my last picture update, I thought I would add a few.  There are just some shots I took of the big kids the other day.





 Thanks Heavens for popcorn.  The kids love it!
 Also, unable to get my own dollhouse over here quite yet, while shopping at Once Upon a Child, I saw this little mini doll house!  They actually had my exact same doll house as well, but it was not in very good shape, and cost $25.  This one was only $5, and is much smaller, and comes apart.  Just big enough for the few pieces we have.

 Jeff's sister Becky was working at an orphanage in Romania for the past few months.  She brought back this adorable outfit for Penny.  She look so cute at church today, I just had to take a million pictures.


 Cuuuuuuuuuute, as Penny would say.

And here's a video of Penny and I having a conversation.  She actually was doing most of her tricks on camera!  It was quite a surprise.

Friday, September 23, 2011

More tangled!

 Here's one more to add to that last post!  I just liked so many of other people's drawings they did in their own style, that I applied a little of my own!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tangled!

Penny LOVES this movie.  She is always asking to watch Punzel (though, lately she has also taken a liking to Beast) and so we let her watch it through out the day.  Mostly, I love that she will sit quietly on my lap while I design for a good hour watching this show while I get work done.  Her favorite line is when Mother Gothel says, "I'm making hazelnut SOOOoouuup!" which Penny enjoys quoting through out the day.  Except it is more like, "thyeewwoup!" 

Anyway, since I end up watching this movie (and never seem to get sick of it.  I love is as much as Pen!) I always am inspired to draw.

I start out with a sketch:
Add a little Adobe Illustrator:
 I'm not saying it isn't a complicated process, but it is fun to finally be able to color things the way I like in such a versatile, me-friendly way.  I am sloppy with watercolors, and don't have a tablet, so Photoshop coloring is out (for now... :).  It has been fun to discover new things about illustrator.

Just for fun, here is the outline version of the picture above.  That shows you all the vectors and layers involved in making such a project.

So, I was in the mood to make another one, and I had already sketched this out at the same time as the previous drawing.



 And here it is today!  Sure there is lots and lots of room for improvement, but I am learning so much with these little studies.  Plus I really like how her dress turned out.

In other news, my Holy Handouts blog has been doing quite well!  In the past three days, I have had over 4,000 views!  And I imagine those numbers will grow as the weekend nears.  I am benefiting in lots of ways, mostly because I have already scoured the lessons, so when I'm up to teach, I am already familiar with the lesson!  You can check out Holy Handouts through the link in my sidebar.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birthday friends!

Happy Birthday Babies!  I guess they aren't really babies, as they turned 2 today.  My word, this year has flown by, as I moved out here right after their first birthday!  These babies are so big and cute and bursting with personality, I am so happy Penny has these fun friends to play with every day.  Anyway, this was my birthday present for the kids.  I hope they liked it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

 We are glad the Robinsons are back!  We were so bored without them.  Also, thanks Em for taking Penny off our hands for a few weeks.  She loved Utah and being with her cousins...
Chill out, y'all, tis photoshopped!

Now back to blogging!

First off, a quick, horrifying story.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a horrible, irrational fear of wild mushrooms.  Something about them makes me want to die a little.  Especially all those little disgusting lines on the bottom, which goes along with my fear of things in the masses.  So, you can imagine my disgust when I saw these spawn of the devil pop up over night in our front yard:


 SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!  They are over a foot wide!  Like, Mario size!  But, the story gets worse...  Yesterday, as I was walking by these horrible things, I noticed they were gone!  Where did they go??  I inched closer for further inspection, and to my absolute HORROR, both mushrooms were overflowing with a maggot infestation, and had completely imploded.  I nearly passed out right there, but didn't in fear of landing on the same grass as the maggot infestation.  Now I can't stop thinking about all those little squirmy nasties.  I constantly feel sick to my stomach.

These summer months flew by pretty quickly, which is crazy because most days it seemed like they would never end with this horrible humidity.  Especially with the rain lately, even inside our house I feel sticky and wet all the time.  Not to mention hot, on top of that. BLECH!  But other than that and maggoty mushrooms, there isn't much to complain about!  We have had an awesome summer for the most part.

One summer highlight was our friends Lacie and Leland Liu came to visit us! (I feel the need to call her Lacie Liu every time I say her name.  I am just still so tickled by that.)  This is one of the great reasons we love living in DC, because it is a vacation destination, so we get to see a lot of people more often that if we lived elsewhere. Just the other day, Jeff's friend Dave popped in for a visit while attending work training. See what I mean?  Awesome!

Lacie and Lee had just arrived on the train from NYC where they had already spent a week touring around!  So hitting up DC too was pretty ambitious, but I think they did pretty much everything they wanted to do in the 6 days here. And of course we joined them for what we could. We visited the Natural History Museum, the National Zoo, we visited several monuments, went to the Amish market, outlet shopping, and ate at so, so many good restaurants. It was restaurant week, so we took advantage of the menu tastings.

We ate at Dino's, Oyamel, Founding Farmers, and of course the Amish market.  I feel like I'm missing some... Oh well.  Anyway, ALL were amazing, I would recommend any of them.

We also had fun playing games, the wii, watching shows, going to church, playing with the Robinsons, making food and reminiscing about good times and laughing so hard.

Also, one of my favorite parts was two other people to help with Penny through the day, and boy did they help!  They were chasing little Penny through all sorts of museum exhibits and primate houses.  Thanks guys!

A great time was had by all indeed.  I think the highlight for me was when just the four of us drove downtown after Pen went to sleep (thanks for the babysit, Em, as always) and went to see the monuments.  It was so fun just to hang out with our friends and leisurely enjoy the sites.  We had such good conversation and I always love taking advantage of our close proximity to DC.  I think if we had lived this close to an awesome city growing up, we would have had a lot more interesting things to do on the weekends :)  Seriously, what DID we do for fun in Utah Valley!?!  I guess company of friends was always good enough.  And still is.

Now, photos:

 

At Dino's for Restaurant week.  The guy who took the picture was wearing a gryffindor scarf, so I knew it was safe to ask him.



Utah peeps.
You can't stand in front of a Utah monument and not take a jumping picture!

A cool picture Lacie took of the metro station.  It looks so pretty, yet smells so heavily of urine.
At the zoo, looking at the birds.
 
 
 
 

We had lots of fun on our empty metro car.  Penny was in heaven, as I normally don't even let her out of her stroller on here.




 Jeff also celebrated his 27th birthday recently.  It was a very modest affair, since the Robinsons were out of town, and his birthday fell on a Monday.  But we definitely made it fun.  I made him a delicious cake, and cleverly made my way downtown with out Jeff knowing, and surprised him at work!  Penny was shy around his coworkers at first, but quickly warmed up to the new faces and soon was flitting around the office like she owned the place.  We all enjoyed some cake, and Jeff left with us to finish working at home.

 For Jeff's big birthday present, we ended up buying a giant sectional couch from Costco!  I went to see if they still had any, and they were taking down the display as I asked if they still had any in stock.  Luckily they had ONE left, and it was marked down $200!  We spend the evening transporting it back from Costco in Em's van (it took two trips...)and piece by piece put it in our tiny apartment.  Our plan was to store half of it in our conveniently large laundry room, and squeeze a few pieces in for more sitting options in our small living room.  We figure when we move in the near future, we will be glad to have a nice, big, modular sectional to fill a giant living room with (any living room will seem giant at this point).  We were SO exhausted by the end of the night, we postponed our plans to cook up strip steak and chicken mango jalapeno sausages, and instead threw together a extremely humble meal of Pasta-roni and canned green beans (that is how tired we were..)

We also luckily got reservations to Graffiato the Thursday after Jeff's birthday.  This place just opened so it was hard to get in, but someone at Jeff's work couldn't make their reservation so we gladly took it.   It was small plate style (could be called Tapas) so we ordered about 5 or 6 things. Here are few, and we unfortunately didn't get a picture of the farm fresh pizza or pepperoni chicken thigh.  Next time, I guess.

The potted can plant wasn't for eating...

This was some carrot date salad with some delicious grain that I forget what it was.

Sugar Snap Peas with goat cheese.

Little corn pastas.  A review on yelp claimed these taste more like corn than corn does.  They were right!  They were just bursting with buttery corn flavor!
I love living so close to downtown!  SO many good restaurants.  But we'll probably go broke from living here.  I can't believe I used to think Brick Oven and Macaroni Grill were pricier restaurants! (Don't get me wrong, I miss Brick Oven ever so.  I miss the prices too...)

In other news, we survived both an earthquake and hurricane all in one week!  Fortunately, Em and I were traveling on a very bumpy road when the earthquake happened, so we weren't much affected.  I can imagine if we had been in the house at the time, I would have had a heart attack over the safety of the babies.  But it was a very mild one, we're glad no one was hurt.  The hurricane was hyped up to the max, the News stations around here were being RIDICULOUS.  Everything was, "Ok, so the hurricane isn't AS big as we had originally thought, but there is STILL A CHANCE IT COULD BE ABSOLUTELY DEVISTATING!!11!!!!11111!!!!!1  Look, here is a clip we have played 50 times now of the same car dealership that had a piece of its tin roof bent back!  THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!"

Now, some people did lose power and have pretty bad flooding, which is terrible.  Also, along the coasts and upper Vermont got hit pretty bad.  But the local news people were just milking this storm as much as they could, it was just sad.  What was just as sad was the mad dash every human in the area did to every grocery store to get supplies.  These people need to get with the food storage program to avoid the hour wait in line at Costco.

We love visiting the Amish Market.  It is only open Thursday, Friday & Saturday with limited hours, so we try to squeeze a trip in every other weekend or so.  They just have such great produce and meat selections, delicious cheeses and pastries and the most amazing soft pretzels you will ever eat in your life. We accidentally ended up buying a dozen donuts, because we ran out of cash, and they only take debit if you spend over $7...
Among the selection were maple cream, chocolate turtle, coconut creme, apple fritter, triple chocolate soopreese, as well as all the classics.  I am please to say we made them stretch through the week, but at the same time, I am horrified that we ate all these donuts between 3 people.  But boy, they were goooooood.


Jeff bought some rootbeer as well.  We mostly  bought it because of the label:

 And lastly, Penny is now in Nursery.  It is weird to think Penny is a mere 6 months away from being 2 years old.  My stars, that girl is big.  And has a personality to match.  I wonder where she learns half the things she does.  She did great for both hours she was in there!  She hardly even noticed when I left, and apparently played nicely the whole time.

She loves taking pictures.
She took this one, I think this one turned out pretty good!  Ignore that half of Jeff's legs.  Penny still has a little bit to learn about composition.
Triple binky or "beebee."  When will the binky fairy come and take these away?
 The other day I bought these foreign treats from a sale at Aldi.  We laughed so hard at the captions on the cookie sticks.  I think my favorite is the whale: biggesy mammal!  The chicken reminds me of Gob from Arrested Development, and the cow seems more appropriate that how we spell it.  MUUUUUUUU!


As a side note, I have taken up running.  It is SO hard to do around here, because our little town is all hills, not to mention the humidity makes it hard to breathe.  It is good motivation when Jeff comes with me. We are training for a race that Jeff's work is sponsoring in a few months, and I am going to finish even if I end up walking (though, we are required to keep 15 minute miles.  That shouldn't be hard at all.)  There are lots of good side effects to running!  I am now a mere 3 pounds away from my pre marriage weight!  I finally fit in all my clothes again!  After Penny was born, I accepted the fact that I may never have my slimness back, but I am catching glimpses of what I used to look like!  Though, a lot of dieting and eating healthy also helped quite a bit. Eating lots of vegetables has really helped me expand my cooking skills as well, and I have really watched my portion sizes.  My stomach was so stretched out from having seconds and thirds at every meal! So that has helped quite a bit.  It is a winning situation all around.