Saturday, June 30, 2012

Judith Ann Inn

My last two photography posts from our Ocean Shores trip are about where we stayed: Judith Ann Inn.  We drove up late at night to a most welcome site - a huge white house with pillars, blue accents, and lights glowing everywhere.  We thought we were in the wrong place!  Greg went up to check our room and came back speechless.  It was much nicer than anywhere we've ever stayed.  They had left the stereo on, filling the place with music and making it feel more homey.  I half expected someone to walk up and greet us!  Being completely exhausted, I barely had time to take a few pictures before we "moved in."  I was disappointed in how they turned out with the poor lighting until I played around in photoshop.  Thankfully, I got something I'm not embarrassed to post!

We stayed on the top floor in the Marietta.  It had a vaulted ceiling, skylight, elevated jetted tub (in the living room!), balcony with panoramic ocean view, and gas fireplace.  The bedroom and bath were beautifully decorated Victorian style.  I absolutely loved the pedestal sink!


Friday, June 29, 2012


Kite Flying

Ocean Rentals

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Light and Shadow

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Didn't think I'd stop with just a flower, did you?  No way!  One more today.  =)

The Ocean - Photography

One of my interests is photography, and though I don't have time to pursue it seriously, I do occasionally get the opportunity to snap away like a madman.  One such opportunity arose during our short trip to Ocean Shores last August.  Katrina's post inspired me to put up a few favorites, which I will divide based on theme.  I'll begin with . . . a flower!  Makes perfect sense among ocean pics, no?  Actually, it does!  One of the things I love about that area is the gorgeous hydrangeas.  This one was taken in my dear friend Kris' backyard on the way over.

Blue Hydrangea

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Super Heroes

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Makes Me Smile

Well, actually the first half makes me cry; the second half makes me smile: "Yodeling in Heaven" by Beth Williams.  (Lest you were wondering, I don't yodel.  Do you? ;-)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Homemade Sweet Vinaigrette

I love greens with fruit, glazed nuts, blue cheese crumbles, and sweet vinaigrette; but a problem always arises with that last ingredient. I'm the only person in the house who appreciates this combination, and my taste buds bore quickly. Failed attempts at finding a small bottle at the grocery store has resulted in a lot of dressing down the drain. It KILLS me! This week I finally decided enough was enough and did a search on the net. Almost immediately found a recipe that sounded promising, purchased the ingredients, made a tiny batch that same evening, and was thrilled with the results! Better tasting than store bought!

Homemade Sweet Vinaigrette
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 cup white sugar to taste
1 - 2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 - 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 - 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients. Shake well.

You would actually call this "raspberry vinaigrette," but I think other jam flavors would taste just as good. I've had delicious huckleberry and pear vinaigrettes at restaurants. The original recipe called for raspberry vinegar, but I couldn't find any. White wine vinegar and seedless raspberry jam works great!

Toppings I Like
Blue cheese crumbles or Feta
Dried cranberries or cherries
Glazed walnuts or pecans
Canned mandarin orange segments, fresh apple chunks, or strawberries
Onion sometimes

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Strawberries are Ripe!

Just Picked!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cool Little Career Videos

One of the subjects homeschoolers in Washington state are required to teach is occupational education. I haven't given it much attention up to now, figuring we'd wait until the higher grades. So I was excited when I recently came across a yahoo series called Second Act. There are 49 uplifting little videos ranging from about 2 to 4 minutes each. They are inspirational stories about people who took up new careers/hobbies or made life-changing decisions, often late in life.  It focuses more on the arts than technical jobs, but I've really enjoyed watching them with Kylen. We skipped a few (one about tango and one about an actress from Desperate Housewives - there may have been a couple others), but most of them were very interesting and educational.

Here's the link!  Tip: we seem to see fewer ads at the beginnings if we click on the next video before the current video is completely over.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top Summer Activities

At the onset of summer, we usually like to discuss which activities are top priority to each of us before inclement weather sets in. It usually looks something like this:

Hike on Mt. Spokane (Kylen's fav)
Visit Green Bluff farms
Swim in a lake
Take the raft out (Greg's fav)
Visit the farmer's market
Visit Riverfront Park
Visit Manito Park
Eat outside at restaurants

If possible, I like to try something new on the water. A few years ago we rented jet skis, and this year we'd like to rent a boat with friends or go parasailing. Then there are the regular usual activities such as bike rides, tennis, and scenic drives. We'd also like to go camping at least once.  Anyone else up for posting a list of their family's "must do" summer activities? I'd love to see it!

After about a week of rain and cold, we FINALLY got the perfect weather today.  It was in the 70s, sunny, and gorgeous. Greg took the opportunity to play tennis with Kylen during lunch, and I was happy to tag along with my camera.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice it was set to low lighting (ironic on a day that was anything but), so the pics ended up smaller and probably lower quality than they should have been.  Hopefully I'll get another chance before summer's end.

Through the Net

Kylen does the tennis dance!
Poor Greg had to play in jeans.

Artistic Liberties

One Bucket Later

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Day/His B-Day

I wanted to do a quick post about our May holiday and b-day!

I spent the morning of Mother's Day preparing for my art class, but my hard work was rewarded with a wonderful lunch at Old European.  It was incredibly cool seeing all the other moms, some of whom posed happily with their kids for pictures, just like us!  Add in a little shopping, scenic driving, a couple of cards, and you have the ingredients for a lovely day my way.  Oh, and my present is always getting to pick out flowers for the front yard, though that usually gets put off for another week to two.

We were in good company!  Moms all over the place!
 Greg's birthday ended up being on the same day we visited my grandfather's grave with my uncle's family and Grandma.  We got to share memories and enjoy all the flags and flowers.  Then we went out with them for lunch, came home a few hours for cards and gifts, and finally headed back into Spokane for dinner with Greg's parents!
Kylen got Greg a jumbo card!
Greg and His Dad Perusing the Menu

WHAT is he doing?


Are you even SERIOUS?!  He is NOT my son!