Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deadlines and Almond Blossoms


Today was a little rough at work (again). I have been grappling with bureaucratic paperwork and looming deadlines. It means over $100,000 income to my little town and I would be in deep you-know-what if something went wrong. I went in early and worked through lunch. I had to get the huge stack of paperwork in the overnight mail by 3 PM. I just barely squeeked by with a finish time of 2:30 PM. I have been working on this project for years (even before we went to China to pick up Pearl) and I wasn't the one dragging my heels all this time.

After finishing that up, I had plenty of other things to catch up on the rest of the day, but silly me, I took a big deep breath and left work early. Then we picked Chloe up early from daycare. It feels so fantastic to have one less burden on my shoulders.

Last night I took a picture of the girls playing on the computer. I just loved the way the sunlight was coming into the dining room, lighting up the grandfather clock, and how Pearl's yellow bow matched the yellow flowers on the table. The girls picked those flowers out for me for my birthday.

I also went scampering out into the almond orchards about a block from our home. I will include a few of those photos too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sent to the Principal's Office

I just found out that Pearl was sent to the Principal's office yesterday and she didn't tell me about it.

As it turns out, they asked her to come read "Green Eggs and Ham" to both the principal and vice-principal. I am not exactly sure why, but she was the only child asked to go and she read the WHOLE book (all 60+ pages). Afterwards, they offered her candy and sent her back to her Kindergarten class. I am so proud of how quickly her reading skills have developed. I wonder if they knew that Pearl has only been speaking English for 2 1/2 years. Pearl had no idea this was a special priviledge. The only way I learned about it was through the husband of Pearl's KG teacher. He is in my Rotary Club. I think Pearl was surprised when I confronted her and told her that we were proud of her!

Spring is Coming!


Today was a great day! It was cold in the morning and as usual, I had to turn on the heater at work. By the afternoon, it was hot enough to turn on the A/C, but I just didn't have the nerve, even though it topped 80 degrees INSIDE my office.

I am making progress on my next pattern, but today I sold twice as many of my first pattern, the Forget Me Knot Dress, as I have ever sold in one day. I sold 10 patterns! When Chloe saw me get excited, she also became excited and started bouncing off the walls and was out of control for over an hour. We just laughed and danced and played. It was such a fun evening.

When I came home from work all of our flowering trees were in bloom. Dad was cleaning the pool deck, with help from Chloe. Pearl was raking pine needles at the other end of the yard. When she saw me with the camera, she dropped the rake and began dancing around the lawn. It was too dark to raise my shutter speed, so these pictures might be a little blurry, but we'll just pretend I was trying to show motion.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pearl's New Skirt

I finished a second Diamond skirt. I shifted the pattern to create a different effect from Chloe's skirt, but the diamonds in the center remain the same.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Introducing the Diamond Skirt


I finally finished making a prototype of my next original design. I call it the Diamond Skirt and I hope to prepare a pattern to sell in the next month or two. I will make another for Pearl soon and then make the model for my instructions after that. This skirt is a very simple design, but it incorporates at least three coordinating fabrics in a geometric pattern. Chloe was happy to play model for me today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

After Work

I came home at 5 today. My home is about 1/2 mile from my work, so there is not much of a commute. I looked at the crazy clouds in the sky and wondered if I might be able to capture a sunset with my new camera. As I pulled in the driveway, Dad was helping the girls get acquainted with their new bicycles. The girls have long outgrown their tricycles and we have been putting off buying them bikes. Now I can see, these bikes are almost too small. Maybe we'll get some nicer ones in a few months.

The daylight is lasting longer these days and I had ample time to watch the girls and then dash off to take a picture of the sunset. It wasn't what I had hoped for, but you can certainly tell we had an amazing sky this evening.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Still Having Fun

I have just finished reading the owner's manual for my new camera and now I am reading it again for the second time. It makes so much more sense upon second reading after I have familiarized myself with the camera in general. There is soooooooooooo much to learn.

Chloe and I went outside to take some pictures. After 3 shots, we were both too cold to take any more so we went inside. We have a lot of glass in our home, but it still feels pretty dark. I was totally amazed at how light these pictures came out, with no flash, in our dark entry and living room.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm So Excited

Frost melting

I have been waiting for over a week for my new camera, a Canon 50D to get here. I am a total beginner who knows nothing about shooting manual, so I probably started with more camera than I needed, but I couldn't resist. It came last night and I have been reading the owner's manual ever since and I am 2/3rds through it. I have taken a few automatic and semi-automatic shots and I can already see an amazing difference in the photo images over my old point and shoot. This is more fun than I even imagined it would be. While I still don't know what I am doing, I thought I would post a couple of pictures from this morning anyway.

The girls were also excited to see that Mom had a new camera. They kept asking me when it was time to take their pictures, but I was still reading the owner's manual. Dad broke out some inexpensive kid's cameras that he had been saving for the right occasion and the girls got to play with new cameras of their own too.

Cassie and Miranda's Birthday

Miranda and the cake
Group Photo
Elena works for us and is a friend of our exchange daughter Chris who lived with us last year. She helps us out with the girls sometimes. Here she is with Pearl, enjoying pizza.

February is birthday month in our family. Two of our neices (actually three) celebrated their birthdays this past weekend at Pump It Up, an indoor inflatable bounce and party place. Chloe and Pearl had a great time jumping, bouncing and sliding. It was so good to see long lost friends as well.

Monday, February 09, 2009