Fun Photo Shoot?

So Amanda’s nearing the end of her pregnancy now (she has about two months left to go and thankfully it’s gone pretty smoothly). She had been talking about getting some professional pictures taken before the birth of her bulging belly.  Apparently these are all the rage these days (I couldn’t do it as I was just too paranoid and wouldn’t even talk about being pregnant or the possibility of having a baby until my kids are out, but everyone is different). 

Anyway, because I love Amanda so much and I’m really so excited for her and her hubby, I started looking into different professional photographers in the area and I came across Toor Photo and I really liked what I saw, so I bought her a gift card so that she can go with her husband and get a really fun photo shoot before her little one arrives and she wonders why she ever wanted to get pregnant so badly!

Rain, Rain, Go Away


I wish the weather would improve a bit already. I mean, I know this is what we should be expecting for this time of year and it isn’t exactly a surprise but that doesn’t stop me from wishing it would be a bit drier and warmer outside so that I could get out a bit more with the kids.  So today I checked the weather forecast and it seems that there is a relatively low expectation for rain so I’m going to have to use that to my advantage.  Friday doesn’t look as good but then Saturday seems like it’s going to improve again so if we don’t get around to doing much today (I always prefer to do stuff over the weekends as then we can do it as a family as neither Daniel nor I work), then at least we’ll have that.

Still, Michelle may come by with her two little girls and while it will probably be a tad too cold to play outside, at least she won’t get drenched coming over.  I know Jayden usually likes boys coming over but after a while complaining about Sarah they usually end up playing nicely.  And Ethan is just delighted there is extra company in the house – he’s such a playful little soul, despite me finding him a handful.  So, let’s hope the weather does something nice for us on Saturday and we can go to the park or something as a family.  Maybe even the Portland Saturday Market that we’ve never done yet altogether; we’ll have to see.

New Discovery at the Mall

I’ve always enjoyed the time I spend at the Lloyd Center Mall. And what’s even greater is that I am constantly finding out new things on offer there.  For example, I had vaguely heard whispers about the Momtopia program but never really looked into it.  Until yesterday.  And boy was I happy I did stumble upon this.  It’s all about the importance of being a mom, but simultaneous to that, of being a woman with needs too.  It’s about making extra time for us by either finding easy entertainment possibilities for our kids, or just doing something totally for ourselves.

So when I discovered the online section on some tried and tested ideas for kids on rainy days, I knew that would be perfect for me, as it would be something new to keep my kids busy (and out of trouble)!  One of the ideas was preparing food with the kids.  Now, of course Ethan is a little young (they suggested the youngest age being two) but Jayden is for sure old enough.  He started by cleaning the veggies (and eating some cucumbers along the way – it’s always been his favorite food!) and also measuring the dry ingredients (although much of the flour spilled on the floor but I didn’t make a big deal out of that).  And then, once we’d made a quiche (with zucchinis by the way, not cucumbers!) he was so excited to eat it.  I think he ate more at that one sitting than ever before.  Clearly the advice on Montopia about getting kids involved in food preparation is a good one.

I’m looking forward to learning more about how to take care of my kids – and myself – through Momtopia; another great gift from the mall, this time one that didn’t burn a hole in the credit card!

Looking Forward to Movies

Being the movie manic I am, I’m getting quite excited about the upcoming Annual Portland International Film Festival. Now in its 35th year, there are going to be a ton of different movies to choose from and I’m for sure not planning on missing out!                

It’s set to start in a couple of days’ time and run until February 25th.  Featured films will be from 36 countries and there will be 140 films on show – 93 features and 46 shorts – so there has to be something for everyone.  The trick is, to find something that both Daniel and I will be able to enjoy as a couple; that’s always a bit tough!  But you never know, with all those movies, there must be something!  I’ll keep you posted!  And in the meantime, I’m for sure going to see Breathing (the one that got the Canes Best European Film award).

Charity Begins at Home with Portland’s ‘Super Bowl’

So of course Daniel had to watch the Super Bowl, even though the Steelers weren’t in it (did I mention that he spent the first two years of his life in Pittsburgh?) and I’m not even sure he enjoyed it so much but still, he’s American and the Super Bowl is as much tradition to American men as pie is really.  I didn’t watch it and nor did the kids (although he did get Jayden to watch a bit of it – with a bribe of getting a new playmobil character!

Anyway I got involved in something so much truer to my heart but with a “Super Bowl” theme.  The Souper Bowl of Caring – a charity that began over two decades ago – set up to feed the hungry. I had never even heard of this until this year when I read an article about its humble beginnings when seminary intern Brad Smith said a prayer at a Presbyterian Church in Columbia: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”

It’s come a long way since then.  So many people are involved in its cause; it’s a real equalizer. But how does it connect to Portland?  Well, a guy called Brad Larsen (an ex-Weber State sports information director) started collecting cash for the Utah Food Bank last week at the Weber State-Portland State men’s basketball game, raising over $300, as part of this project.

So I’m wondering what we can do too.  Jayden and I started making cupcakes that he wants to give out to anyone on the street who’s walking by (which I just thought was cute) and I just wrote a check to Souper Bowl of Caring – for $201.2! Get it, for 2012!  Next year maybe I’ll get my act together and do something a bit more hands-on, but for now, this is good.