Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dressing Up

As a substitute for Halloween, we just encouraged the kids to dress up in their clothes from India today.

I think they enjoyed themselves.

A lot.

Can you tell how much they love each other? If Bekah's crying, Hudson comes running over to hug her to make it better. Every time. And she can't wait to hug him when she gets up in the morning.

The joy...

the hilarity...

I think we all had fun!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Making No Promises

I refuse to say that I'm going to blog ____ days in a row. It never works. I just set myself up for disappointment (no idea if anyone else is disappointed by my quitting). But I figured that, since this blog was open in its own tab, and I've written the past two days, let's go for broke and write a third day this week!

Yay me!

So a Pioneer-Woman style list:

1. Josh and I have decided to finally put more emphasis on memorizing Scripture, and on getting the kids to memorize it too. They've already learned the 10 Commandments, the fruit of the Spirit, and the order that God created the world. But it's time to learn some verses as a family.

We're starting with Philippians 4:8:  "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Since I'm trying to use that as my marker for what we should and shouldn't allow in the house, it seems like a good thing for all of us to know the list backwards and forwards!

2. Speaking of that list, we've decided that, at least for the time being, we're not watching TV anymore. We still have a huge stash of movies (mostly family-friendly, plus a bunch we got pre-kids that we just don't pull out without our ClearPlay DVD player filtering out the inappropriate bits) but no more Office, or even Biggest Loser. They seem to be trying to encourage the "drama" I detest, instead of just focusing on helping these people get healthy and giving them their lives back.

3. I'm much wordier than Ree. I'm okay with that. I already knew I wasn't as witty, though Josh thinks I'm funny.

4. No wonder I adore him.

5. I hate drama.

6. So I sold the lens that was giving me far more drama than I could deal with.

7. I'm now eying a new one to replace it...

8. ....instead of buying a new camera body. My current one is getting old but still works.

9. No comments here about my age.

10. buh-bye

I'm no longer dealing with Tamron. Ever. I won't tell others to avoid them, but I won't be dealing with them anymore. I'll stick directly with Nikon (and Nikkor lenses, since it's the same company)

11. Guess who didn't realize when taking that picture that it meant Josh hadn't grabbed it on the way out the door?

12. Guess who's going to make a trip to the post office after dinner???

13. I'm sure you have no idea.

14. I've decided I like pumpkins. They're not easy to cut into, but they make delicious side-dishes.

15. For the super-easy recipe that made these delicious side-dishes, go here. Super-easy and YUM. Bekah and Hudson weren't convinced, but Jasmine approved.

16. I'm ready for the weekend. Should be a fun one. Any day with Josh home is a good day in my book!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

80 percent

I read a couple years ago that most people work at about 80% of their ability. That that's really all it takes to succeed. Doing that extra 20% really doesn't affect the likelihood of changing a failure to a success, and most people realize this.
Or so I've been told.
I definitely have existed at that 80% mark. And done well at it. I graduated in the top 20 in my class, was in National Honor Society, got plenty of academic and music scholarships, and gave the appearance of being a hard worker.
Though my teachers all knew better. I was looking through my old report cards, and a very consistent comment was that I could try harder, apply myself more, or do better with extra effort. But why bother? I still obviously did well.
Lately I've gotten more slack. I need to get back up to that 80% mark. Right now I think I'm at about 60%. I'm getting the minimum done, but not much more than that.
I just need some motivation. Guilt doesn't cut it. Without tests/grades/deadlines, it's easy to just procrastinate indefinitely.
My photography is just about the only thing I'm giving enough attention to. I'm really not sure how to change this, because I don't like that I'm so lazy and unmotivated.
But I figure admitting it will hopefully be a good start to making a change. Proving to myself that this isn't true, or something.

And now to close with an unrelated picture of what I saw from my house this morning:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a few minutes ago

He's awake now, but a few minutes ago I got this picture:
I think he was skydiving on Wii Sport Resort.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Update on 101

A few more things I'll update on the real list soon...

Read a couple more books:
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling
And I'm currently on the last one in the series :)
I've started another book:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to say No to Take Control of Your Life

Also, we got three lawn signs for the upcoming election. There are a couple more I would love to support, but the office didn't have those there. I'll take the three we've got!

We made it to the Farmer's Market last weekend. Got some of the sweetest grapes either of us has ever tasted, as well as two houseplants to make the house look more springy!

Hudson needs more attention than I can give him while typing, so that's it for tonight!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sabrina Complex

When I came back to live in the States after two years in Turkey, I had a serious Sabrina Complex. No, I've never heard it called that by anyone else, but anyone who has seen either version of the movie Sabrina knows exactly what I'm talking about.
I came home with very (very!) short blonde hair, a rather fitted top and platform sandals. Anyone who knows how I usually look and dress knows what a drastic departure this was.

The funny thing was how little I dressed that way when I was there. I had cut my hair in the winter and dyed it for the first time in probably April, but the clothes were all brand new.
I just wanted to look like I felt inside.
Which was someone who had "outgrown" her old life.
Who was metropolitan. Who knew how to hail a cab in another language.

Little did I realize how insignificant that really was.

Not that life in Turkey wasn't life-changing, or wonderful, or anything else. But it didn't mean I was "too good" for life state-side. Or that I couldn't ever fit in American life again.
I really could have adjusted to life here more quickly than I did. I made myself miserable. I'm very sure I didn't make life easy for mom or the rest of the family. I moped. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and really didn't feel like figuring it out.
I'm so glad they put up with me and I finally straightened back out.
and I'm glad Josh didn't meet me until I'd straightened out, or I don't think he would have even given me a second date, let alone married me!!

Good thing God has a sense of humor and gives us a second chance!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Farm pictures

Totally cheating and not sprucing up the pictures like I'd planned. 
But it's either that, or I won't ever get them posted....
They started the day in the straw maze, the part Jasmine remembers from year to year. 
Then over to the pony ride:

And then walking around the horse barn, where they let the kids brush the miniature horse.

The sun was SO cool: That's what I meant.

There were numerous pumpkin fields. This wasn't the one we went to, though:

We took a horse-drawn hayride to the field across the street.
We each chose our own pumpkin...(I like his optimism that he can pick this up with two fingers!)
"ugh. Daddy??"
Ah. this one's more reasonable!

and took a ride back again.

Then more playing, on the old-fashioned tractor:

and one more ride on the pony.

We'll be back again next year :)

Catching up

Last weekend we spent time outdoors...Saturday we went on our annual visit to our favorite farm, and Sunday we went to Letchworth State Park to enjoy the foliage (and to check out the arts and crafts fair. It was insanely busy!!)
I finally spruced up my favorite pictures from the Sunday trip. Maybe posting them will get me inspired to finish the ones from Saturday as well! I took 370 pictures on Saturday. I used to be flabbergasted at Josh's sister, who would take 400-500 pictures on vacation, and I took 370 in one afternoon??? Yeah. Times change.
It's hard not to go nuts when the pictures come out like this, though:

I love it when the girls go along with my ideas for a picture!
Someday maybe Hudson will join in properly too...

Monday, October 04, 2010

A wonderful surprise

Mom called me on Thursday to see if we could go out there on Saturday. My brother Daniel and his wife and daughter were coming up (from Philadelphia), so we changed our plans so we could make that happen.

And then another surprise when we got there: Evan, my brother in Nashville, joined us too!

We went to Kelly's Fruit Farm, a place we used to go almost weekly after ballet class. Fresh (still warm!) donuts, a huge cider press we could watch them do, and just about everyone living in a 30-mile radius. Crowded, noisy, and so much fun.

I had a hard time convincing the kids that we didn't need a pumpkin; we're going to another farm in the next week or two.

I think Daniel had an even harder time convincing Elena. How do you tell a one-year-old that she can't have a pumpkin just because she kissed it??

 Hudson managed to convince her that it was okay.

All five grandkids were under one roof for awhile, but Jabin wasn't so sure he wanted anything other than his Mommy's arms (not that I could imagine having a child who thinks like that), so this was as close as we got to group shots. Sorry, Mom!