Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gingerbread Competition 2010

Shem won the Thompson Gingerbread competition this year!  We held our egg drop at the church on Christmas eve and dropped our creations, made of food, from the ladder to see if the egg inside would survive.  Shem had the brilliant idea of using rice paper (light-weight and edible) to make an upside down witch hat to help his egg float to the ground.

As you can see from the photos below he is soooo excited that he won! 

P.S. Don't mind the sloppy template job...I'm still learning how to use photoshop elements, but so far I like what I'm experimenting with.

Photoshop elements template

Photoshop is so complicated!  I downloaded elements today to try out these templates and I just can't believe how finicky the program is, and there is so much for me to learn!  I will definitely need some kind of a book to get me through this because unlike Lightroom it's not as straight forward; however, I'm excited to learn something new.

Here is what I made today and what I hope to perfect in the future. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baby Boy

This is my baby boy at 20 weeks.  We're currently working on putting some meat on those bones and baby already likes to suck on his hand and sip amniotic fluid every now and then.  He moves a lot and seems to move even more if I eat sugar.  Can sugar harm my baby?  I'm assuming that it's not good for us, but I wonder if in large amounts it could hurt the baby.  Weird thoughts.  In addition to feeling the baby a lot I have also grown a good sized belly and despite my growth I've discovered that I can still wear a pair of my old jeans zipped and unbuttoned.  The zipping is tight around the bottom part of my uterus, so I'm looking for ways to wear them without zipping.  I'm okay with a big belly (it's inevitable with my short torso), but I'm hoping that most of the weight will be pregnancy related and not result in huge amounts to loose later on.

I think Shem is slowing beginning to feel that this baby is real.  After our ultrasound he was quiet and I assumed that he was processing the whole experience and realizing for one of the first times that we really are having a baby.  It made me happy when on our way home he made a joke about me carrying a baby boy and today while we cuddled before getting out of bed he felt the baby move when his hand was on my belly.  I hope that he begins to feel more connected as the baby grows.  He's going to be a great father and I'm sure once our little one is here it will be one of his happiest moments.

I really want to remember this special moments with baby before he is born!  Sometimes I feel like he moves more when we talk about something specific or, like this morning, when Shem was waiting to feel him move.  After our ultrasound he was moving like crazy and I think he was excited to know that we knew that he was a boy.  But that's just my assumption. :)  He and I are already making a great team since from the beginning I had a feeling that he was a boy.  Last Sunday during church that feeling was even stronger.  Is it possible for there to be a special motherly connection between baby and mama?  I'm thinking yes because of what I've felt so far...I love it!

Okay, this post has been much longer than anticipated, but what do you think we should name him?  I'd like his middle name to be Jeffery after his Grandpa Thompson since he's already passed away, so it has to sound nice with Jeffery.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Boy or Girl?

On Wednesday Shem and I get to find out what we're having!  We're so excited and I can hardly wait to finally be able to pick names, fabrics, and register for useful baby gear.  Shem and I made a deal to not discuss names until we knew the sex, and it's been SO difficult to not think about names.  I have one in particular that I like, but all discussion of names will have to wait until Wednesday.

What is your guess?  What will we have?

A. Boy
B. Girl
C. Twins....(one person thinks I'm big enough... but I think it's a far fetched idea.  Shem is a twin though, so we'll see.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Tree ~ 2010

Some early holiday cheer for you from us!  Yeah, we decorated our tree, cooked dinner, watched "Alice in Wonderland", and Shem did some work all in one Monday night.  I think this picture is the perfect reward for a long day and evening of work. :)

Photo recipe: crank your ISO up to "H" or as high as it will go.  Open your f-stop as wide as it goes f/1.4 or 1.8 would be good.  Hold steady and shoot!  No flash was used and all other lights were turned off.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family photos 2010

My sister-in-law, Nikki is also a photographer and since she and my brother were in town for Thanksgiving we did some family photos.  Here are some of my favs. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm back!

Quarter 1 grades have been entered for both Shem and we...are...burnt...out!  I didn't bring home any work to do this weekend because I need time to focus on cleaning my disgusting looking kitchen, mail way over due birthday cards, play some wii, go for a run and lift some weights, and maybe Shem and I will be able to relax...a little.  We totally earn our summers off and I don't even care what anybody thinks because anyone that thinks that teachers are lazy just doesn't understand exactly what we do during the school year.  Shem literally works almost a 12 hour day everyday.

Okay, on to more funny things.  My third period is very special.  They are completely obsessed with the fact that I'm going to have a baby.  During our 10min video announcements today two of my most chatty ninth grade girls drew me this picture.

They call the baby "Fetus" and then they asked me how to say it in Spanish, so I said what I always say and told her to look it up in a dictionary.  Notice how they added the accent mark...yeah, it doesn't belong there, but that's okay.  They have also named my baby Vann...I'm not sure why either.

Did I mention that I teach high school Spanish? :)  I'm going to miss all the personalities, and I hope my little one is just as interesting to me as the 160 students I teach this year...I might get bored otherwise...Shem and I would have almost nothing to talk about over dinner if our child were anything less than interesting.

Anyway, happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not impressed.

-I got a flu shot on Monday...and now I'm sick.  I thought those things were suppose to help you not get sick? 

-I am, however, impressed that on Monday I heard the baby's heart beat. :)  156 beats/ min.

-I really hate being home sick too.  I don't feel like doing anything and so I resort to watching television.  TV is so boring these days.  I kind of miss HGTV when we had cable way back in our basement apartment.  At least it gaves me ideas on how I could spend our savings on decorting my house. :)

-I think I'm carrying a boy too.  My Mom always knew what she was going to have and I think I have that gift as well.  Having a boy first would be great since if my family comes out this summer I've already told my Dad that we are going to go camping northwestern style.  He was a little like: "Uh, we don't have to go camping, I mean, with a new baby and all."  And then I told him that all we have to do is gear up, borrow a tent heater and off we go rain or shine.  As long as baby is fed, warm, changed, and loved baby will be fine and happy.  I think my Dad is secretly concerned about his warmth and comfort while camping in the cold.  He prefers the beach in South Carolina or some place else warm.  I actaully hated camping in the heat in North Carolina 2 summers ago.  It was way too hot!  Anyway, I think baby will be just fine as long as we both have had  time to adjust to one another.

-A boy would also be awesome since I already have a ton of cute boy baby clothes from my sister in law.  She's the sweetest and has always been so willing to do so much for Shem and I.  She buys super cute clothes as well, so this baby will no doubt look amazing especially with Shem's good looks and all.

-No cool photos right now...maybe this weekend I'll take some fall photos to share.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts on being pregnant.

Okay, so maybe this post won't just be thoughts about being preganant because right now I just feel like being a little random.  In the car today on my way home from the baby doctor I had all of these cool ideas on what to write about, but I've forgotten most of what I was thinking so, here are my thoughts anyway.

  • I have been enjoying my life with out any major emotional breakdowns.  Seriously...I had some problems and I blame it on the birth control.  I think estrogen is just evil...being a women and having hormones sometimes just sucks; however, I'm feeling great right now...never better and I feel like I was made to carry a child.
  • I called the baby a "living life form" today on the phone with my Dad.  I have never heard my Dad be so opinionated about something like that before.  His opinions seem to be all about politics, money, the church, and cars, but apparently my Dad also takes this Grandpa stuff seriously and pretty much told me flat out that it is not okay to call my baby anything other than a baby.  I asked him if it would be okay to call it a parasite (since baby will take from my body what baby needs) and that didn't go over too well with Grandpa either.  I'll let him win this one I suppose.  Sometimes we butt heads and I've learned to stand my ground well with him if needed, but he wins this one...maybe my heart has been softened.
  • Last Thursday Shem and I had a great conversation about how we're going to raise this child.  For a while I was thinking that it would be so great to work part-time teaching and hire a nanny to come to my home and take care of my baby.  Our conversation and some recent experiences solidified my decision to stay at home with my children.  I feel very strongly now that money isn't what is going to make this baby grow up to be a well-rounded adult. Consistency will and what better consistency could I offer this child than by staying home with him/her?  Shem loves the idea of being able to mold and raise this child how we want to right from the beginning.  So however messed up or amazing he/she becomes will be in part because of us.  We'll find ways to make the money that we need and I am putting my faith into this plan of mine...the blessings will come when they are needed.
  • I feel like superwomen when I'm not feeling sick.  Shem loves this new me and I'm enjoying my super powers.  I made dinner twice this weekend.  Steelhead trout (which my MIL loved!) and a roast (which wasn't all that great) on Sunday.  We have even kept up on the dishes. :)
  • My new favorite drink from Starbucks is the salted caramel hot chocolate.  The salt is the best and before you think it's too sweet you need to try it without altering it.  I loved the salt at the bottom with the last few dregs of chocolate the most.  Shem is going to try it with some soy milk once those Starbucks cards start rolling in from his students this year.
  • Did you know that whatever the baby needs nutritionally the baby will get?  Yeah, that means that if I don't eat enough protein this baby will steal the protein from my muscles and break them down.  Can you imagine me looking like a fat blob near the end of this pregnancy?  I'm terrified and I have a new determination to break away from my safety net of carbs to conscientiously eating the proper amount of protein that my new body needs.
  • My cardiologist says that I need to do more cardio before my next test.  Well, I need to just do some cardio.  Being sick and tired and busy makes it so difficult to exercise, but I'm going to do it.  I even have a gym membership, so no excuses.  I do miss running...it's been a while since I've ran outside.  Pretty much after that 1/2 marathon I took a break.  I'm working on  about a 3 1/2 month break now.  That should end soon.  I'm actually excited to do some light weight lifting as long as baby and my body agree with me.
  • I love sleep too.  My body needs a lot of sleep these days.  I think it's awesome that I can take a long nap during that day and then still get 8 - 9 hours of sleep on the weekend at night and not wake up because I'm not tired.
  • We have a new addition to our family as of yesterday!  Her name is Fifi and she's a Ficus.  My MIL is an amazing gardener and she created Fifi from another Ficus.  She's perfect for our house since she'll be able to grow up through the open ceiling. 
  • My MIL is also a very wise and observant woman.  After she dropped our Fifi off yesterday she made sure to mention that if we killed this one that she has already started another one just in case. :)  I actually think it's quite sweet of her to mention since Phil the Palm and that cactus plant start that I had in our old apt both died.  Phil was from IKEA, so I'm not sorry he died really since I wasn't really thinking when I decided that I needed a Palm in IKEA of all places.  Anyway, even if Fifi dies she will still trust us with another plant. 
  • In my defence my good friend at work, Rebecca, bought me a lily last year and it's still alive.  I like survivor plants the most.  We get a long well.
  • Fifi was going to be named Mr. Frodo, but Shem didn't like that very much.  I think Fifi is more fitting anyway.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Family Reunion Aug 19-22...Niece and Nephew time.

Shem and I both went around and took a lot of photos of our nieces and nephews having fun on their own or together.  Ensign Ranch provided a nice field and lots of open spaces for everyone to run around.  I think the 3 year olds really enjoyed having a ton of Grandma time and I especially loved seeing Xander play with his baby doll.  These kids are just entertaining and it's fun for us to play with them since we don't see them all of the time.  Shem definitely knows how to make the little ones happy, and I've always loved seeing how they all gravitate towards him at random times.  It makes me think that he'll be a great dad someday.  Well, I actually worry that he won't be that great with our kids because he'll get sick of them day in and day out, so hopefully that won't be the case.

Shem's mom is an amazing seamstress and she can make anything out of fabric and thread it seems.  Here the kids are playing with dolls wearing custom designs made by Dawn.
 Quinae has posted about how Xander loves dolls and I just had to see for myself how much he loves them.   
Grandma hands and Aubrey...so sweet.
 Brynn and Kamry hanging in the hammock.
 Soren playing with two balls and his wooden plane...that's talent, or just being distracted by other cool toys. :)
 I seem to always get shots of Malik running, this is the best one yet probably because Shem took this one.  In fact most of these were taken by Shem (except for the baby pics up top).
 "Now, can someone please explain to me the meaning of life."  Sadie looking very cute.
 Corom and Wendy provided some fun with a parachute!  Look at the happy faces of wonderment and awe.
 I think Liam should play football with that running stance...he could break through any line charging like that.
 "I'm so happy right now I can't even believe it!"
 "We play with parachutes all the time at school." say Corbin as he eats his fruit snacks. :)
 The only good shot of Dallin...at least he's not frowning like in the other shot. 
 Apparently she was eating the flower, but Shem didn't get her biting into it.  Cute photo though.
 Group family shot while camping...don't mind the "campingness".
 Funny group shot...I'm not sure if Jayden got the memo because he looks rather upset...sorry bud.
 Playing with fire.
 The older kids had a fire pit to themselves and they grilled up the most amazing nachos for us to eat along with burning other things.
 The oreo that Brynn couldn't eat...
In time out because she tried and got caught...she needed to finish her dinner.  I felt bad because I'm pretty sure I offered her the cookie...bad Aunt.
 Charlotte sharing her cookie with me. :)
Charlotte enjoying her cookie.
Zia after some amazing yogurt!

Family Reunion Aug 19-21...Shem doing his thing

Ever since I met Shem I have always been amazed at how he just naturally takes on the roll of the funny youngest uncle.  He is hilarious and with his background in theatre he really knows how to put on a good show for everyone.  Here is his rendition of: "Death to a perfectly golden Marshmallow".

 The neices seem to like Shemmy a lot.
 Kiera is now convinced that she has the craziest coolest Uncle ever!
 Scrapping every last bit off of the stick.
 Pucker up!
 Oh crap!  That's really hot, but oh so good!
Look Mom, I did it!  I ate the whole marshmallow!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My new favorite room

My house may be only a mere 1,000 sq ft, but I love it because it's mine.  Shem and I have been working very hard this summer to remodel our place to our likings (aka. mostly my likings) and we're finally at point where we can live downstairs again!  Good thing too because school starts tomorrow for Shem and Tuesday for me and we'll be busy teaching again.

We're not finished, but here is a sneak peak of my living room.  Remember the space ship?  Yeah, it's gone. :)  I hated that thing so much that when we decided to get rid of it for free on craigslist I don't think I fully understood it's worth because we got call after call for it!  A few people even offered us money for it! 

A nice brown paint will adorn the wall with the doorwall.  You can see a patch of "cafe latte" to the left of the doorwall.  The brown will also be in my kitchen with nice white cabinents and a new countertop hopefully by next summer...kitchens are big and take time for beginners like us.
Yes, I am reading Mockingjay and so is Shem...you can see the dust cover on my ottoman.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Check! Three years done.

Can I just say that I'm the luckiest girl ever!  I married a good man and we celebrated our third year of marriage without any break downs.  I don't know what my problem has been, but in the past, well, since our first Valentine's Day together when we were dating, something has always altered our special plans in a big way.  I either have the worst day possible (i.e. waking up crabby, hard day of student teaching, backing into someone car with my massive truck, then getting sick from some sub par Greek food.), or for some reason I'm just in a bad mood.  I think I've learned that for some reason I've had expectations for something amazing and totally different than what Shem had planned.  Finally after being together for more than three years I've learned to not break down.  It's weird, I know, but that was how I used to roll.  Shem has coached me through so many emotional feelings of mine and he's helped me to be a better communicator and he still loves me!

So, for our anniversary we decided to kayak down the cut from Lake Washington to Union Bay and eat at Ivar's on the water.  We did this way back in April of 2007 on a date when I was visiting Seattle before graduation.  Anyway, it is freaking scary kayaking down the cut!  It's a narrow canal with big boats going way to fast and lots of waves from their wake.  I paddled my heart out until we got to Portage bay where you can see the house boats.  I think that I was just nervous because the last time I was in a kayak was at Shem's Aunt Barbara's house in Annapolis, MD and her's were super tippy, so when I tried to get out onto the dock above me I tipped...it was very gross.  Thankfully this time I didn't tip.

Aside from having a fun time kayaking, dinner was amazing!  Shem ate this white salmon and I had some king crab.  I love fresh seafood and I love me some crab!  We also ordered this amazing dessert.  It was a chocolate cake creme brulee of calorie goodness! 

The kayaking, food, and company was perfect...thanks Love. :)

Shem under Eastlake Ave. bridge.
The boats on the dock at Ivar's.

I-5 freeway from below.  I love this pic.
Eastlake Ave.

This bench is made of the most beautiful wood!  Very good craftsmanship.
My meal. :)

Eastlake Ave. again.

The oldest houseboat in Portage Bay.
P.S.  All of these pictures were taken with our Sony point-in-shoot!  They turned out pretty good in my opinion.