Monday, May 30, 2011

hair - day 5

The wet look.
 I washed my hair in the morning, so naturally the first part of the day I had the wet-but-getting-drier look.  I was going to use that as my style for the day but I thought that might be cheating.
So shortly after lunch I "styled" it.

Whose dumb idea was this anyway?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

hair - day 4

I think Eric's sarcastic comments motivated me to think ahead about my hair.  So last night I braided my hair before bed and woke up with wavy hair.
Then I went super crazy and put a clip in it.
Oh, and I put on eyeliner and mascara.
Got real fancy.
A close up.... sort of.
It makes me want to perm my hair.

his and hers nightstands

I did this a long time ago and just haven't posted it.
Probably because I think I want to paint these night stands.
But I really do like the stenciling that I did.
I think it's fun.

But the night stands still do need a little work.  We'll see what happens with them.

Oh, and that white lamp?  It's a work in progress.
It was brown.
Maybe I'll finish them (there are two of them) in fall.

Speaking of finishing in fall, here are just a few projects that need that to happen:
 Bottom blue, fabric for curtains in dining room.
Middle, fabric to cover outdoor chairs.
Top, fabric for curtains in living room.
 Cardboard squares, cut and taped way back in August (more of our appliance boxes) and white pleather for a white padded "leather" headboard.
But since we still have our mattress on the floor, I figured a headboard doesn't really make sense.
Frame first, headboard second.
 Aqua frames for kids' art display in the aquarium.
 Black frames for living room photo display.
And remember these beautiful pieces of wood from the wedding?
I finally decided what I want to do with them.
Make a side table.
It looks good in my head but we'll see if it really turns out.

There are still a few other things too - painting a design on our master bedroom wall; bean bag chairs for the kids, painting the side tables in the aquarium and I am sure I am forgetting stuff.
I always have suffered from chronic more-ideas-than-I-have-time-and-money-and-energy for.
We'll see if it all actually happens.

And then, a confession.
Back in Costa Rica I told a few friends about an idea I had to make a chandelier out of recycled plastic soda bottles.  When we moved here, I set to work making this charming display of beauty for Maddy's room.  I spent hours and hours and hours cutting out pieces of plastic bottles, piercing them with holes and tying monofilament (a pain in the booty to work with as far as I am concerned) to hold them together.  Maddy also spent a fair bit of time helping.  I finally had enough, or so I thought, to make this little beauty, so I started assembling.
I didn't have enough, so I decided to make it smaller - I had started off making it quite large.
I realized that I would still need a lot more to really make the impact I was going for, so I took a little break.  Like, for 7 months.
And now, even though I think it would be dazzling, I am going to trash that baby and start over.
I can't bear to cut more plastic and go through more of that pained process.

Instructions for making faux capiz chandeliers are all over the place and two friends from bible study are working together on making some.  It is so very much easier how they are doing it, so I am going to dump all my hours of work and start over, following their lead.
Yup, its not my original idea.
Yup, its not making beauty out of old, used stuff (what I really love to do).
Yup, it is wasting much effort and work.
But, it will probably take me less time to do it this way as it will to finish the one I've started, and it will be much less frustrating.

That's a lot of writing about my silly chandelier project.
I think I am mourning its loss a little.
But I'll come out of it okay.

So in fall I'll have, bearing health, time and energy, a whole bunch of stuff to show you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

media free day

This morning I declared the day to be a media free day.
(obviously that ended once the kids were in bed!!)

While there were a few moans and groans, everyone handled it quite well and even had decent attitudes for the majority of the day.

Maddy hunted through magazines for pictures for a collage.... for about five minutes.
 Did my hair..... for another five.
Took a nap for two and a half hours (that never would have happened without a media fast).
And read.
And helped me with dinner prep.
And complained a little.

The other three played most of the day with Cole, our neighbor and two other friends.
Here Cole and Mia are the judges for jumps down the staircase padded with mattresses, of course.
 And the jumps:  Lucy and the "jump'n'bounce".
I think she got a 8 out of 10.
 Cade and the "city surfer" - or maybe it was "ski town".
And then it was Cade and Lucy's turn to judge.
Mia's jump:  "the Kung Fu Panda".
Eric read.
I made two more dresses for Lucy.

It was a good day.

hair - day 3

My husband said I was pathetic.
Not because I am doing this hair challenge, but as he pointed out - its day three and "that's all you got?".
He doesn't think I can do this for 19 days and should have just committed to one week.
"Even a week is going to be a stretch for you!" he says.

Well, I asked Maddy to help me out today.
All she wanted to do was make me look ridiculous.

 Gorgeous, yes?
Yah, I lost that quickly and just went with her first move:
Front hair back.

Looking at this picture makes me think - it doesn't matter so much what my hair is like if you can't even tell that I have eyes.
I may need to include some make-up in this whole dealy-o.

Friday, May 27, 2011

sports award banquet

Last night the school had an award banquet for all of the middle school and high school sports teams.
We found out about it on Tuesday and then found out on Thursday afternoon (the day of the banquet) that it was for families.
We are still trying to figure out if Maddy didn't know that it was for families or she just didn't want us to know!  We went, none-the-less!

I ended up going even though I was feeling pretty yucky still and I am so glad I did.
At first I was regretting it because I started feeling worse after a while.
But then it happened....

When Maddy's team was called up for their awards, I asked Eric to take some pictures for me.
This is what he did:
I could have done that!
So, he trounces on up to the front to get some real shots.

All very well taken, yes?
Even though they are completely out of focus I quite love them because of how he did it.

My darling husband, to the entertainment of us all and the complete and utter mortification of our lovely daughter, walked up ON THE STAGE, right in front of everyone, stands right in front of her and takes some pictures.  And I believe he even kept a straight face while he did it (he was smiling pretty hard on his way back to the table though!).
I can not tell you how hard we all laughed.
I can not tell you how embarrassed she was.

It was an absolutely glorious evening.

dress for Lucy

Every spring it seems I end up doing a bunch of "refashioning"- mostly for the girls.
Lots of my skirts or shirts into dresses, skirts or shirts for them, their dresses that are too short into skirts or something of that nature.
I love it.
It makes the clothes go further, it saves a bunch of cash and it is a fun, creative and usually quick sewing project for me.  Three things I love.  And the kids are usually quite thrilled with the results.

The summer is quickly approaching and in my fury to get organized and packed for our trip to California and Manitoba I realized that the kids really don't have a whole lot of clothes for hot weather.
Costa Rica clothes are outgrown and/or not grown into yet (the hand-me-downs) and everything for here is pretty moderate.  It is going to be hot, especially in CA (the thing I am definitely dreading about going back for the summer - not excited about the 100 degrees!).

So I have taken to my years long habit of altering clothes.
Lucy has a bunch of of shirts she won't wear (too plain!) or are too small, so I am making them into some dresses.
 I started cutting before I remembered that I wanted to take a picture.  I used one shirt that was too small, one shirt that was too plain and a relatively good but stained man's shirt for some white too.
 Here's what I came up with.

 I initially asked Lucy if I could take a picture or two of her in her new dress and headband.
That turned into a full photo shoot with her definitely being in charge!

 We quickly went from one or two pictures to over 60!
Most of them were her sniffing flowers or standing beside flowers or showing one of the many faces of Lucy.

 We also took several of her sporting some nerd glasses!
Maddy and some friends were making a movie and used these fabulous 3D movie glasses turned geek spectacles for one of the characters.
Lucy took to them immediately.
Pretty cute nerd.

The dress is a little shorter than I would have preferred but when you are making it from little t-shirts and stained big shirts, you are a little limited with fabric.  It will still be fine and last for the summer and then will be great with leggings once we are back here for fall.

There will probably be another dress or two in the future....

hair - day 2

I'm off to a really bad start.
Day one - bed head, day two - bed head put up.
Well, I am feeling a little better but I still am just at home hanging out with the family - no school today (celebration of the Battle of Pinchincha).  But I still don't feel like doing anything so I am shooting my best and most regular "styles" all in the first days.
Maybe I'll get motivated to do something else later.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

hair - day 1

Remember this?  From here?
A few of the Casa G. guys ask me time and time again when I'm going to cut my hair like the wig.
I want to ask them if they are back on drugs or say something like "when that horrific tragical place that is burning in eternal flames turns into one of the northern islands of Canada", but of course I don't.  Generally I smile and say that I am thinking of cutting it in fall.
And I am.
Not like the wig, though.
While cute, sassy, stylish and youthful, a haircut like that involves work.
I am about as lazy as they come with hair.  I wash it, let it dry (sometimes at night while sleeping), usually brush it, and then have it up and down, up and down depending on my current activities or body temperature during the day.
I have always been more consumed with my laziness in personal care than appearance.  
Oh, that's not true - late junior high, early high school were definitely not like this.

I've always had hair issues....  
Constantly debating if I should cut it short or let it grow.  And throughout my youth, I think I cried every single time I got my hair cut.  Even if they only gave me a 1 centimeter trim.  I'm sure my family rolled their collective eyes when it was Carla's haircut day - knowing I'd be back in an hour, sniffling and crying "look what they did to my hair!"  I'm over it now.

Now, if I have a fancy event to go to, say that wedding the other week, I do my standard 3 minutes up-do that my friend Jenny taught me about three years ago, seen here:
Basically just a messy bun.

Boy, I've aged in three years.  Scary.
Maybe its the camera angle.

A few months ago I saw a video on YouTube where someone was demonstrating how to do some hairstyle.  I can't honestly remember why I saw it or how I came about it but it has stuck.
And its made me think.  It really doesn't take that long to do something a teeny bit nicer with my hair, right?  So I am doing an experiment.
I have 19 days before Lucy and I fly home to CA.
Each day, for those 19, I am going to do my hair a different way.  My accountability is this ridiculous blog that I can't believe anyone reads!  I'm going to post a picture each day.  Hope you don't get too sick of my face!
I figure that if I can make myself do it for 19 days, I'll get a real idea if I can work it into my routine (I use that word very, very loosely).  Then I'll either get really attached to doing my hair and having variety or it will instill in my mind my need to keep it simple and plain.  And perhaps it will show me that I should leave it long or cut it.

So, today is day 1 and here is my hair:
Yes, it is my bead-head.
I thought I would be feeling better by today, but I'm not. 

So day 1 is bead-head day.  Now I can't use that one again.
Actually, I kind of like my bead-head, to be honest.

Now, just a warning.  For those of you who are thinking that finally I am going to do something with myself, don't get to excited.
a) it might not stick
b) I'm sure there will be hairstyles that include a mere headband, hat or ponytail

Let's be realistic.
It's me we are talking about.

the return trip

We've been back from the beach for several days.
Karen is already home in Canada.
And we both are sick.

Something we got at the beach?  Not sure.
She is definitely worse off than I am, poor thing.  I don't know if it is coincidence that we are both sick or if I just have a milder form of whatever it is (or, being that I am a near-perfect specimen of womanhood, I could just naturally fight off things better!  hahahaha).

In spite of the results, the trip was delightful.

Have you ever had someone come and visit you that you haven't seen for about 16 years?  Or pretty much not even talked to for at least 10?
Well, I must say, and I told her, I was a little nervous.  She was coming for almost three weeks.... how in the world do I manage my life and family and entertain someone for three stinking weeks?
Well, I needn't have worried - and she told me that.
First of all, when she came, it was like those 16 years melted away into 16 days.  Other than the natural catching up on each other's lives, we bounced right back into fun friendship.  What a blessing!
Second, she does not need entertaining.  Another blessing.  In fact, we almost had too little time together (part of that being my fault taking the first trip to the beach - but it was so good to go and she completely understood).  She was on the go from the first full day she was here.  I think she saw more of Ecuador than I will in several years!

The town, Same (Sah-may) was considerable more active than my previous visit.
It made for fun people watching and culture investigation.

But if we headed back to our hotel, it was still nice, quiet and relaxing.
A great combo.

While I have never been much of a seafood lover, I did enjoy the shrimp (camerones) here - fresh as can be!  Ceviche with popcorn (they use popcorn like we use crackers in soup):
Camerones en cocado (shrimp in coconut sauce) with rice and patecones (squashed and fried plantains):
Quite tasty - although I wouldn't choose to have it very often.... still awed by the fact that I had shrimp at all!
The crazy thing is that we almost had a celebrity encounter....   Look who has a Cevicheria, right on the beach!
I had no idea Chuck Norris had ever come to Ecuador, never mind opened a restaurant in humble little Same!  The place was complete empty.  Chuck probably gave a nasty customer a round-house kick to the face and no one ever came again - too afraid.

On friday we went for a nice, long beach walk.  We walked right to the "end" of the beach where there was a large resort looking place.  It ended up being condos.  And it looked like the place, quite large, was completely unpopulated.
There were three beautiful pools that were clean and unused, so, being the thoughtful folks we are, we decided to use them.  We are awfully nice, I know.
Here Karen is modeling the infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
And myself:
This whole place was gorgeous and well kept (a rare find in Ecuador).
This is the complex from a distance.
They probably would have been more grateful if we had broken in and used one of the condos as well, but we decided against it.  Swimming in their pool was blessing enough for them, I'm sure.

Some of the people observing we did involved someone make a sand sculpture of a woman.  To keep this PG, I gave the poor lady a bathing suit.
She was amply blessed.
There were also many, many hearts, love messages and names written in the sand.

One of our favorite parts of the trip, I think we would both agree, was watching a young boy playing in the water.  He played by himself for a long time, two mornings in a row.  And he had a blast.
He was playing one morning while I was having my quiet time with God.
I wrote in my journal "Pure, unadulterated, reckless abandon.  Thrill, sheer delight, uninhibited, carefree, anxiety free, no concern for the observations of others.  Playful, no worry of safety.
This describes a young boy - maybe 8 or 9 years old, playing at the beach - all by himself - having a great time."
This is how we are to be in Christ.
All those words to describe him?  We can be that way if we are in right relationship with Jesus.  All the time.  He says we are supposed to come as a child.
Help me Lord to live that way in You.