18 December, 2011

Great idea, why didn't I do it sooner?

This year, after becoming infatuated with silhouettes, I thought I'd put together some ornaments using silhouettes of my kids for the grandparent's Christmas gifts.  My husband misses one of his family Christmas traditions of  getting a new ornament every year (we even have some, his sweet step-mother kept for him, hanging on our tree).

Heaven forbid I start having these ideas months before Christmas time! Each year I think I will prepare months in advance for the next Christmas. Nope, it isn't until crunch time that I even get the ideas. As I was preparing the grandparents silhouette ornaments I realized I could do this for each of the families. But I also realized it doesn't mean the same to have my children's silhouettes hanging from their trees. So, with the help of some family members, I was able to get profile pictures to work with for almost all the cousins. I worked with Paint.NET (a free product similar to Photoshop) and came up with silhouettes for all the kids. Hopefully each family will enjoy their gifts.

There is always concern that people might not appreciate my simple gifts (or what seems simple to me). This project was not expensive, by any means, for supplies. Black and white copy on transparency paper is $0.70 (at Office Depot*) and I can get about six to a page. Then I lucked out with Micheals selling their Christmas stuff for 1/2 off. The plastic clear ornaments were $0.60 each and glass bulbs were $2.49/4 ($0.63 each). 

I think the only expensive part would be the time it takes to make the silhouette with the photo editing software, but it was a joy. Not only was it fun, but I got better with more experience.  

These are my first silhouettes, I didn't do as much as their hair, but I think they turned out classy. I might have to come up with a few more projects to do with silhouettes.

Here is the photo I worked off of to make one:

1. Take a side (profile) picture of your child. A white background is very helpful for clean lines.
2. Download to computer.
3. Use photo editing program to change the picture to Black and white
4. Adjust brightness and contrast until you get a good line.
5. Trace profile using the different tools on the program, using black for the object you are making into a silhouette, white to clean lines up. I would use a bigger width on the paintbrush for quicker coverage and for chins and noses.  
6. After the silhouette is to your satisfaction use the magic wand tool with a tolerance of about 50, click anywhere in the silhouette for it to select all the black.
7. Create a new page and paste the silhouette into it. Check to make sure your lines are crisp.
8. Print your very own silhouette of your loved one.

To make for ornaments:
Follow instructions above, save on a thumb drive/flash drive/smcard, or print a copy.
Take to Office Depot to be printed on transparency sheet.
Cut into circle (sized to fit into ornament), roll and insert.
Sit back and enjoy the work.

If you don't want to do the work yourself, I may be willing to do it for you. :-)

*Office Depot made better b/w copies than OfficeMax, just an FYI.

28 March, 2011

About time!!

I got tile floors!

Right now I am hearing the sweet hum from 
the SwifferÒ SweeperVac as my daughters vacuum for me (again).

I added something to the official picture on their site, 
can you find it?

I'll post some before and afters, but first
here are my two little cleaners.

Aren't they just so cute?!
Don't judge their outfits! They dress themselves, 
which is one less thing to hassle with them over. 

 I know the cute kids are blocking the way, 
don't pay any attention to the curtains either, 
we tied them up to keep them out of the guy's way while he tiled.   

 This one is the big one!! 
Not only did he tile under the toilet,
we got NEW toilets!! Elongate, wow, what a difference.
Who carpets a bathroom? CRAZY!!

Two weeks later, &
we have one happy Momma.
Thanks to tax returns...maybe this will help with the summer electric bill too 
(one dream came true...how about two).

Day Camp for Cubs

I was released from my nursery calling a few months back, and was given the opportunity to work in the Cub Scouts. Lucky me, I got to attend Day Camp with our boys. This year our theme was "Follow the Prophets" are you ready to listen? At each station we would learn about a prophet, some incorporated the facts into their station's activity (if there was one). I love how much inspiration went into the different activities. We are talking about young boys here, so of course they all loved BB guns and archery. Along with those favorites we also were able to pass off many requirements: there was a first aide booth, cooking station, knot tying, flag folding, obstacle coarse, and another favorite Kick Ball. Oh, and I can not leave out the EGG DROP, next year they should have a frying pan to put all the eggs that made it though the drop. So, on to the pictures!!

23 February, 2011

Fallen off the planet

I'm not sure if anyone is still following our blog. Postings have gotten a little sparse. We have not fallen off the planet (yet) but have been busy with homeschooling and adjusting to Greg's new job and I haven't been able to find the desire to blog. I have been released from Nursery (teaching the 18 month to 3 year olds at church) and called to the Cub Scout program assisting in Joseph's Bear group.

We had a 100 Day Homeschool Celebration where we got together with my friend Danielle Wagasky and her children. Here are a few pictures:

This is our theme based lunch... 100

These are the six little smarty pants!

Danielle did a great blog about our celebrations here (and took lots more pictures than I did). We had load of fun. We tried to have each of the kids do a sample of what "100" looks like. Brianna did 100 kisses (with lips confetti), Kaitlynn did 100 dinosaurs (again, dinosaur confetti), Elizabeth kinda helped me put 100 pennies on a page, Libby and Keagan brought 100 Duplo blocks to play with, and Joe...you wonder what Joe did, well so do I. 
I guess he figured we needed to have something that showed what 100 x 0 would look like. 
We read some books from the "100 picture books everyone should know" list. Did math games with gummy worms and lifesavers (YUM). Popped 25 balloons with a 4 words inside, if you popped it, you had to read the words (that rule didn't stick too well). We went off to the park to get some exercise and wear off some of that sugar! Then we came back and had ice-cream sandwiches. I think they all had a really good time.   

Here are the roses my sweetheart sent for Valentine's day:

And, what my creative daughter made out of the box:
It's a house for her littlest pet-shop critters, 
and the wallpaper is little strips of paper she cut by hand, 
and then glued (using up a whole glue container).
There is a door that opens, and hand-drawn pictures on the wall.

Hopefully I am back and found my will to blog. 

01 September, 2010

Lakie Day (Fisk Family Reunion)

We came back from our Fisk family reunion last week. I have put together a book for this year's event, I was able to catch a 8x8 book offer from Shutterfly and just pay shipping. I'm excited to get it back and see how it turned out.

This year was held at a home called Valhalla (it means heaven in Scandinavian), they even had a room that said Willkommen til Fisk Haven (Welcome to Fish Heaven). Yes, Fisk is Fish is Swedish...go ahead, I know you want to make a joke or two out of that one.  Anyway, we always love seeing our name in print. But, I digress. We went to Bear Lake, UT and it was beautiful! My husband even thought it would be nice to retire up there. Most of the family went to the lake one day where we rented a boat for a few hours. Elizabeth and I did not make that trip, and that is a subject for a future post. Also included in the festivities were tie-dying our own shirts and a RAVE party in our groovy shirts. I will post the video I made of the rave...it will bring back memories for those that were there, and I have talked it up to a few friends who might enjoy seeing it. One of my little nephews (3) loved the party so much that after the party when everyone was leaving the music accidentally got turned back on and he turned right back around for more dancing.  What is it about this kind of music that makes you just want to party??

There were lots of water activities, guns...balloons...needless to say the kids had a blast with their cousins.  Joe thinks that the family reunion should be a week long! Currently we have been averaging four nights, and it seems to be enough for the adults.

We were very lucky to have Jessica and her family drop by for a few nights, they are actually scheduled to be stationed, with the Army, to Germany. It may be a few years before we get to see them at a reunion again.

My talented nephew makes toy guns out of different kinds of things and covers them with electrical tape. Some of them are pretty realistic looking.  This is one of my favorite pictures of the bigger boy cousins and their guns.

Here are a few pictures of the family with all the offspring, this year the kids out numbered the adults!

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and I could never come up with the right works that explain how much I love my family. The shirts turned out great don't you think?!

14 August, 2010

Humor me

Lizzy and I were cuddling one night before going to bed, this is what transpired:

Me: I love...(pause), Joe Joe.
Lizzy: **giggles
Me: I love...(pause), Brianna
Lizzy:** giggling again
Me: I love...(pause), DoeDoe
Lizzy:** cheesy grin
Me: I love...(pause), who did I forget?
Lizzy: Me
Me: I love...(pause),...Rusty (the dog)
Lizzy: **smiles that she gets that I'm playing with her
Me: I love...(pause)
Lizzy: Me
Me: Sarah (the other dog)
Lizzy: ** smirking
Me: I love...(pause again), I know I am forgetting someone...
Lizzy: Daddy
Me: Right, I love...(pause) Daddy
Lizzy: **big grin
Me: I love...(pause with a forgetful look on my face)...
Lizzy: ME.
Me: I love...ME.
Lizzy: **hysterically laughing
Lizzy: no, Me...(pause), Lizzy.
Me: Yes, I love Lizzy!

06 May, 2010

Something to blog about

I reminisce of a few years past, ok, let's not take "few" too literally, it was more than a decade ago, when I was assigned a young lady, Sally, to Visit Teach.*

She was shy to say the least, our first conversation was labored.  Of course in all fairness, I was a total stranger.  The first call was to introduce myself, find out more about her, and invite her to some activity.  Somewhere in our conversation she mentioned she didn't make it to church because she didn't have a way to get there, so I offered her a ride to some activity that was going on at the time.  I picked her up, and again I had to draw things out of her.  As uncomfortable as it was for me at the time, I am glad I made the effort!  We shortly became fast friends and soon she was staying over at my house on Saturdays so we could go to church together.  Our 'tradition' survived a couple of local moves, she even made a big move to Utah for a little while with me.  Once I moved away to California and she got married to a fine young LDS man our 'tradition' ended. Although the over-night tradition stopped our friendship did not.  Though months could pass without calls, and many miles between us, when we did talk or get together it was as if no time had passed between us.  We make many "friends" in our life, but few "life time friends".  Sally is one of my "life time friends."

I have a testimony of Visiting Teaching, not only because it is provides an excuse to have a cleaner house at least once a month when my teachers come to visit me, but because it helps us make friends with people we might not have made friends with on our own.

I reminisce because she called to let me know she has been called to Relief Society** President in her ward!  A far cry from, but not really very shocking of, the young lady I met over a two decades ago!   Congratulations Sally!!

* An inspired program in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where the women members are assigned other women in their local area to visit once a month to care for their needs or concerns and provide fellowship.

** A philanthropic (service oriented) and educational women's organization and an official auxiliary of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Their motto is: "Charity never faileth."  1 Corinthians 13:8 The official purpose of Relief Society is to "assist priesthood leaders in carrying out the mission of the Church by helping sisters [women] and families come unto Christ." 

16 February, 2010

2010 Valentines

For Valentines day this year my friend Stacey and I made our little girls Valentine dresses from shirts we picked up at Target. We added the pink ruffled tutus out of tulle. So simple, so cute! I think mine have worn them every day (off and on) since we made them. Nothing says girly like a little ballerina type skirt! We got the idea here.

I also made the kids school valentines pictures. You'll have to imagine the lollipops in the kids hands. Everyone seemed to love them, especially the teachers. Since Valentines landed on a Sunday we brought some to each of the kids classes. I pirated the idea here.


01 January, 2010

School Rewards and End of 2009 Party.

When Joseph was in the second grade, oh so long ago, he was awarded a party at the local mini gran prix for himself and 5 friends. He said he doesn't know what he did to deserve it, but I think his teacher wanted to award him for the progress he had made throughout the year in becoming a straight A student and focusing more on school instead of playing and teasing the other students. I digress.

I FINALLY gave in and took him, he is now in third grade. We took our friends the Clements. What a great time we all had, although another adult in the mix would have made it a little easier. We had 2 adults and 7 kids. Three of which needed to have an adult on most of the rides (one in need of constant supervision or she might run off and get abducted again, and she is a fast little bugger!). Joseph however was tall enough to do everything by himself including the go-carts which he got 1st place in his race, he was so happy. This wouldn't have been possible when he was in second grade, so maybe I shouldn't beat myself up on holding off so long. He has grown a few inches since then.

He kept reminding me the whole time that this wouldn't have even happened if he didn't get the award. So here is a shout out to my Joe who made it possible to have a fun day with some friends. Here are some great scrapbook pages my friend Stacey made to celebrate the occasion. Thanks Stacey!

Also if you'd like to see her post about the day go here. Also Joe has a blog entry as well.

Good job JOE!! ...and thanks for sharing your award!

27 December, 2009

Dancing Daughters

I really need to get them in for some training, they could really go somewhere... It is always nice when children are getting along. These girls love to dance, and have been trying to come up with new moves. Dancing with the Stars, here we come.


Family resemblences

My sister shared a photo she found the other day in a photo box. What fun to see my cute little apples don't fall far from my tree.


16 October, 2009

Do my best

Joseph started the Boy Scout program after he turned eight and is loving it, he can't wait for each Tuesday so he can go to scouts. It is exciting to see his enthusiasm for a program that focuses on bettering oneself, serving our country, and helping other people.

Joseph, a sentimental boy, loves that we used his father's old boy scout shirt, scarf, slide, and wolf hat. Funny thing is we would have only had to change out one number from the original pack number (Greg's was 415, Joe's is 475). There have been some changes to the uniform since his dad was in over 20 years ago. They no longer have the flag over the right pocket now it is on the right sleeve.
He looks great in his uniform.

Don't you think?

His daddy is almost excited as he is, and when we stopped at the scouting store he just had to pick up a pocket knife, because "every scout needs to be ready at all times." We are holding on to it for a little longer since they don't want them to bring knives to class YET.

Here he is asking "How do I open it?"

Here is why we are going to hold on to it for a while longer.

16 September, 2009

Family Reunion - Fisk side

Every body say "HEY," everybody say "HO!" Going to the Fisk Side!

I'm not sure which "annual" it is, we've been trying to get together every year since my brother Lachoneous passed away. I remember one of our first "Lakie Day" reunions was while I was a nanny for my brother, Dave, and his wife, Jen, back in 2000. We stayed in a few of these (like tents) riddled across the Pacific Northwest camping grounds along the coast line. Those first years we were a small band of Fisks, but look how we've grown! This year there were 13 children and 13 adults in attendance, and not all family members made it.

This year we stayed at a wonderful home in Donnelly, ID, an advertised "stones throw from the lake". I'm not sure who threw the stone they measured it by, but no one in my family could throw it that far...and yes, they tried! We had comfortable living quarters, a room for almost every family. The best room in the house was the "kids room," where I don't know how much sleeping actually took place. They had two queen bunk beds with trundles and another queen bed. It was a huge room! And I mustn't forget the HOT TUB! I think we would have had prunes for kids had we let them stay in as long as they wanted! If you were to ask any of the Porter children what their favorite part about the family reunion in Idaho was, they would unanimously proclaim the hot-tub...and maybe their Aunt Rosie...or their Uncle Calvin's raft...or the playgroud down the street...or the 4 for one Birthday party, hard to say! I proclaim it a success!

I volunteered to be the go to person for next year, hopefully I can do as well as Jessica did this year. Go Jessi!!

For those who might be interested, a break down of the "Fisks," starting with the oldest :

Von Del - "THE Grandfather," yellow shirt (hard to see, but in the back), long haired, semi-retired, dancing man, living in Ohio.

Vera Fisk - "Grandma Fisk", not in attendance. Living in West Jordan, enjoying dating and tending grandchildren. She has been a life saver, many times, for me!

Delvonna and Greg Porter - family in red (except for Greg who wants us to believe he is a rebel, but who truely didn't have a red shirt to wear). Living in Lost Wages (Las Vegas, NV) Greg is currently seeking gainful employment after serving in the military for 16 years, will re-locate willingly! Children: Joseph, 8, Brianna, 5, Kaitlynn, 3, and Elizabeth, 2.

Dave and Jennifer Fisk - family in dark blue. Dave and Jen are some of the only Fisk's still living in Portland, by way of Tigard, both successful at their jobs. Only boys! Dean, 9, and Logan, 7. Jen would like a little girl, but is happy to have nieces.

Ben Fisk, not pictured. Still living in Portland as well. Graduated from Law school and is seeking employment.

Rosetta Fisk, Stenzel, Davis - family in light blue. Working for Verizon, living in West Jordan, UT. Eamonn, 12, and Fiona, 9. Rosie thinks she has three more girls, but they belong to ME!

Zeezrom and Drea Fisk - family in brown. Zeb is working as a engineer, they live in Salt Lake City...almost down town! Their children; Gideon, 7, Thea, 5, Otto and Elliott, 2. They have their hands as full as me, and although we are tied with the "biggest families" of our little clan, Drea got there first...darn twins!

Calvin and Becca Fisk - family in white. Living in West Jordan, both working and saving for a place of their own.

Jessica and Peter Nguyen - family in green. Peter is in the ROTC and pursuing further officer training with the Army, also attending Jessica's alma mater, BYU-Idaho. Zeke, 2, is their only child currently, but baby sister will be making her debut early next year.

15 September, 2009

On a sad note:

This post is for my friend Stacey. I meant to do a blog about our first hamster when we got him, but I didn't. He died an unspeakable death at the hands of my children and the dog on the very day we got him. So sad. Greg proclaimed the children were too small to keep a small pet, I tried to talk him into another one since there was a return policy for two weeks. It took him a few days to soften. I just couldn't see throwing away all the money it takes to set up a small pet in his comfortable (but not too pricey) digs with all the little animal needs for only one day of life with the Porters. So once I got the ok, Joseph and I set out on a quest to find another tiny, fluffy, cute friend.

Stacey knowing of the un-timely death of the first hamster requested a picture of the new little guy so we would have proof of life. Thank you Stacey! We really did have a great time with Night Rider, as Greg affectionately called him due to his incessant night activities on the wheel. The kids were very careful to keep him in his ball, away from the DOG, if he was out of his cage for any length of time. We, ok I, checked on him almost every day. One day after three weeks co-existing with us, I went to take him out and clean his cage and feed him. The cage smelled something horrible. Every ounce of food was GONE! He had died (I'm thinking starvation). I asked Greg what day he remembered NOT hearing the whirl of the wheel. He thought it had been quiet for a few days. Oh sad, sad day. Good and bad news, he made it past the return policy. If there is anyone in need of a hamster cage and all the trimmings, let me know.


I know, I know, it's been a long time.

I should say it has been a long time since I posted, trust me, I have been checking in on ALL my blogger friends and family on a regular basis! It is so nice to be able to keep updated on everyone else's lives, especially when it seems like mine is not so interesting.

Honestly, I use my blog as a way to journal, and I haven't been doing so well at it...could you tell?

Stay tuned, I will TRY and get some updates soon.