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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  It's the season of rebirth and new life as evidenced by signs of nature waking up from its winter sleep.   I hope you take the time to take your children on walks around your neighborhood to discover all the new spring growth and the return of birds and other living things.  Help them notice and be aware of the beauty around them.

Have a wonderful day today with your family, making memories and enjoying the blessings of your life.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stubborn kids

Aren't stubborn kids frustrating?  Why can't they do what they're told?  Well...let me give you a hint.  Even though it's our job as moms to direct our children and sometimes to even tell them what to do, they like to feel like they are in control of their world.

No one likes to be forced to do something even if it's for their own good.  You will have far more success if you manipulate the situation in such a way that they think it's THEIR own idea rather than yours.  Not fair, I know but if you end up in a power struggle with your kids, no one wins.

I think it's kinda funny how one of my children would tell me this great idea she had and in my head I'm thinking..."Uh huh, I've been telling you that all along."  Instead I just smile.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why do we even bother? :)

Conversation between child (10) and his mother;;;
Mom, "Did your teacher say anything about the email I sent her?"
Son, "What email?'
Mom, "The email I sent about your math homework."
Son, "What homework?"
Mom, "The homework you didn't turn in."
Son, "I turned in my homework."
Mom, "Then why is it on the desk at home?"
Son, "I don't know."
Mom, "Did you do your homework?"
Son, "I didn't have any homework?"
Mom, "Then why did you tell me you turned it in?"
Son, "I don't know."

Sometimes I wonder why Mom's don't go insane before their time  :)
Hang in there!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's cooking? Wednesday - Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie

I'm trying to add more fruits and vegetables in our diet and breakfasts are the perfect place to start!  Playing around with my new blender, I came up with this delicious super healthy smoothie.  Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, I cannot upload a picture today so you'll just have to visualize this cup of liquid sunshine  :)

Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie
2 oranges, cut into quarters
1 banana, cut into pieces
Either one mango or 2 peaches, cut into pieces
2 c. crushed ice
water if too thick to blend properly
Blend everything until smooth.  Enjoy!

Sometimes I add a scoop of protein powder to add a boost of protein if I'm not having anything else for breakfast.  I could drink this every morning!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Funny thing about relationships...the other person doesn't necessarily process things the same way you do.  This applies to our relationship with our children but particularly with our spouse.  I think we understand that intellectually but deep down inside, we assume that what makes us happy will also make our spouse happy.

I was reminded of this yesterday when a friend told me about the day of miscommunication with her husband.  She was in a bad mood.  He noticed the bad mood and figured that she wanted space (because that's what HE would want).  She noticed that he was quiet and seemed aloof so that made her madder.  What she wanted for him to do was give her a hug and be supportive...not tell her what to do but just let her know that he was there for her.  Needless to say, the tension increased.  His "withdrawl" upset her and he couldn't understand why she wasn't getting over her mood...because he was giving her space.  

Luckily, eventually, one of them broke the standstill by asking if the other was still mad.  That opened up the lines of communication again and they had a good discussion about what they wanted during times of stress.  

Sometimes, we have to just come out and say, "Husband, I don't want you to fix my attitude, I just want to vent and I want you to give me a hug."  You may say that he should KNOW this, but why play  mind games with your husband when you're already in a bad mood?  Let him know what you want.  Most likely, he'll appreciate it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I did a post on Momilies so how about a post on kidisms?  You know them...the words and phrases that drive you crazy  :) 
He looks so innocent...:)

I'll start with a few of them, you are welcome to post yours...

"I was just..."
"It's not fair!"
"Daddy said I could..."
"But Johnny's mom lets him do it."
"I didn't do it!"
"I'm bored!"
"You promised!"
"Are we there yet?"
"I have to pee!"
"I'm hungry!"
"I hate you!"
"I don't want to!"

I was surprised how quickly I came up with that list  :)  I wonder why...

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's tough being a kid!

It's tough being a kid!
Peer pressure is alive and well, unfortunately.  No matter how hard we try to teach and encourage our kids to stand up for their beliefs, it can be hard for them not to cave in and follow the crowd.

Ten year old Denny is a vegetarian who loves the food his mother prepares.  When he came home from school though, he was always ravenous.  His mother prodded and learned that he wasn't eating at school.  When asked why, Denny finally admitted that the other kids made fun of his non-conventional lunches.  He told his mom that their lunches had "good" stuff, like packaged snacks and treats.  This wise mom realized a teaching moment when she saw it and they talked about what "good" food really is.  She reminded him about the things he'd learned about nutrition and health.  They talked about fitting in and standing for beliefs.  Denny felt relieved after their discussion and ready to eat with his friends at school.  He said if they don't know what he's eating, he'll offer to share so they can taste different things too.

Sometimes, we adults think that childhood is's not.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Sports Equipment

My triathletes!
Kids and sports.  It seems like they are always getting involved in something that requires uniforms, special shoes and equipment.  No worries!  Because kids grow quickly, there is a good possibility that you will be able to find what you need used but in good condition.  Parents often organize equipment exchanges where you can buy or trade needed equipment from kids who have outgrown theirs.  You can consider borrowing or buying equipment from friends whose kids are slightly older than yours . Thrift stores are another good place to find slightly used equipment.  I've bought dance shoes, ice skates, tennis racquets, racquetball racquets, ski equipment and outerwear, bowling balls, and bicycles, all in great shape and all at thrift stores.

Buying kids equipment used makes sense because you don't have to overly invest in a sport until your child decides he likes it or not.  It can be pretty frustrating to spend a lot of money outfitting your child with everything he needs to play a sport, only to find he changed his mind and wants to participate in something different.  If he loves it, then you can invest in quality equipment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's cooking? Wednesday - Chocolate Frosty, vegan style

Playing around with our new toy  :)

Last week my husband bought a new Vita-Mix blender and we've been experimenting with it, making smoothies and green drinks and stuff that I call glop  :)  We're trying not to use sugar, unhealthy fats or processed products in these experiments. 

I've been researching the internet for recipes that sound both palatable and healthy.  I found the following recipe on Pinterest and adapted it slightly.  The texture is really smooth and it's pretty good, although if I were cheating, I'd add some powdered sugar to sweeten it a bit more.

Chocolate Frosty
1 ripe banana, cut into 5-6 pieces
1/2 ripe avocado, cut into pieces
1 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c. milk or milk substitute
2 c. crushed ice

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy!
Chocolate Frosty made with banana, avocado, unsweetened cocoa, milk, crushed ice.  That's it!  Healthy and tasty!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tidy Tuesday - A blanket chest

Finished blanket chest...holding two comforters, two throws and two blankets!
My family loves to cuddle up with blankets while sitting in the living room, watching tv or reading books.  This is all fine and dandy but it also means various blankets strewn all over the room. I needed a place to contain them.  And then I got an idea...we have two ottomans and really only use one.  What if I converted one of the ottomans into a blanket chest?  I could do that.

Before - worn out ottoman

Easy job...remove old base

Remove old side boards have no support.  Rescrew boards and position new base.

Interior needs restaining.  Done.  Let dry and fill with blankets!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The big food experiment

Sigh...the things we do for our husbands  :)  My dear husband (DH) watched a two hour documentary on getting healthy and losing weight by going on a juice fast and that led into research on juicing, smoothies, raw food, and fruits and veggies in general.  He wants to try it for two weeks.  Being the supportive wife that I am  :)  I watched the film and I'm going to do it with him (ok, maybe modified).  The program WAS compelling and we really don't eat enough fruit and veggies so I figure I should be able to do it for at least one week and then I'll reevaluate.  Sounds wacky to me.

In preparation for this adventure, I went through my cupboards and packed away all the products that had white sugar and/or flour in them (the cake mixes, cornbread mixes, cold cereal).  Out went all processed food.  Next was the refrigerator.  If I am going to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, I need to have room in the refrigerator!  Out went the eggs, butter, condiments and leftovers.  I gave a big box of food to my daughter.  (and I told her that I may come and "visit" her for maybe a snack or two   :) )  I'm still not sure what to do with my beloved chocolate chips...I might get desperate!

A few of our Costco purchases for this experiment!
The kitchen ready, we went to Costco, Winco and Cash &Carry.  DH is not one to do things in moderation...he tends towards being we ended up with far more food than we can possibly eat without it spoiling.  Luckily, most fruit can be chopped up and frozen.  The veggies?  We'll see.

This weekend, DH started playing around with the freshies and his new Vita-Mix blender.  I'll admit, the first green drink was so awful I could barely swallow the first sip.  I think it had large amounts of kale, a lemon, an apple and fresh ginger.  Ugghhh!  I took about 1/4 cup of the stuff, put it back in the blender and added a banana.  It tasted a little better after that but I'd omit the ginger.

Anyway, he got better at combinations and most of his drinks were actually pretty good.  I made some pretty good ones too  ;)

So, now we're at today Monday, Day 1.  Doing ok but missing my chocolate  :).

P.S. The documentary we watched was called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  The guy who made it has a website called (not surprisingly)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Labeling blog posts

Today I finally asked my super awesome son-in-law to show me how to organize my posts into categories.  He showed me how to turn on the Labels function and how to label each post so it will go into a particular category.  It was amazingly easy!  I feel stupid  :)  Now I have the daunting task of updating each and every post and assigning a label to it.  So far, I've completed approximately 1/4 of my posts (100 out of 359)  This is going to take a while...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Three Most Important Things in your Life

If you were to name the three most important things in your life, what would they be?  Mine would be my family, my religion, and my health.

Now that you've identified them, do you make them a priority every day?  Do you let other things get in the way?  Of course, we all have mundane chores and obligations that take our time but what about the discretionary time?  Is the internet more important?  The TV or DVD?  Shopping?  Napping? Does our use of time show what is really important?  Scary thought!

To show that my family is truly important, I'd make time to connect with my husband and children (without multi-tasking) when THEY needed me.  I'd not only tell them I love them but I'd show it.

To show that my religion is truly important, I'd spend at least some time every day reading scriptures, praying and looking for ways to help those in need.

To show that my health is truly important, I'd cut down on the sugar and processed food and eat more fruits and veggies.  I'd make a daily walk or trip to the gym a priority.

Somehow, we have to find time for the things that are most important in our lives.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Follow Through

What's the difference between an effective parent and an ineffective one?  Follow through.  When a parent does what he says he's going to, consistently, a child knows what to expect.  It's especially useful when the parent doesn't give a lot of "chances" for the child to fix his behavior.  Giving "chances" only prolongs the problem because the child knows that he can get away with his misbehavior until it's obvious that the parent is at the end of her patience.  Then, of course, the child complies.

Also, don't make threats that you know (and he knows) you won't carry out.  Don't tell your misbehaving child that you're going to sell him on ebay.  :)  Sure, it's funny but it sends mixed messages.  Mom doesn't always say what she means.

What this means to you, the mom, is be careful what you tell your children.  Your child should be able to know that what Mom says she'll do, she will.  Swiftly.  Every time. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Shelf life

Every box, can or bag of food you bring into your house has a shelf life.  That time might be long (as in whole wheat berries and honey) or short (bagged lettuce).  The problem arises when you are unaware of how long a product is considered useable, or you don't eat it up fast enough before it goes bad, or forget that you even have it.

In our quest to save money, we often buy food in large quantities when it's on sale.  That's truly a bargain only IF we use it before it expires or goes bad.  This is especially true of perishable items.  Saving 10 cents a pound by buying the 10 pound bag of apples rather than individually isn't a bargain if half of the apples rot before they get eaten.  Even cans of fruits and veggies are only good for a certain length of time.  After that time, the quality of the product decreases and the chance for food-borne illness increases.

My sisters, assorted family members and I cleaned out our mother's house a while ago and we were shocked at what we found in the kitchen.  Cans that were rusted and well over 10 years old.  Boxes of cereal and cakes mixes that were 5 years old and worse.  Our mother insisted that everything was still good...that cans last "forever".  Needless to say, everything got tossed in the trash.

This is an extreme example but I'll bet in most of our kitchen cupboards, there are products that are expired.  You might be surprised when you look for that little date somewhere on the product and find you had it much longer than you thought!  It's easy to overlook how long we've had something, especially staples like spices and condiments.  If we buy something, we need to be aware how long its shelf life is and make sure we use it before that time or we're just wasting the food and our money.  Or worse yet, we might make someone sick.

Here's a suggestion - take a half hour and go through some of your food cupboards.  Look for the expiration date on everything.  What did you find?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's cooking? Wednesday - Peach mango oatmeal cookie bars

Now for something a little more healthy in a doesn't even have chocolate!
Peach Mango Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Peach Mango Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. jam of your choice (I used peach mango jam)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8" X 8" pan with Pam or grease with butter or shortening.  Combine the dry ingredients.  Mix in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Press 2 cups of the crumbly mixture in bottom of pan.  Spread jam over crumbly mixture.  Top with rest of crumbs and press in lightly.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool.  Eat!

P.S.  This recipe is adapted from one by

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tidy Tuesday - Pegboard is wonderful!

Before - Ugly!
This week I discovered the wonders of pegboard.  I know, I must lead a very boring life  :)  Actually, I was at Home Depot with my husband and WAS very bored waiting for him so I wandered up and down the aisles and came across a whole bunch of accessories for pegboard.  I liked the idea of being able to rearrange things on a wall without putting more holes in it and I had JUST the place to try it out.  Recently, I lost my utility closet (due to some remodeling) and my ironing board, vacuum and mop were just stuck in a tiny space between the washer/dryer and a former laundry chute.  Perfect!

I went back to Home Depot and bought a 2' X 4' piece of pegboard ($6.70), a package of assorted hooks ($3. 65) and a package of 3 wire baskets (Unfortunately they only came in black. $9.95)

After - Nice!  The top basket holds the dryer sheets.

Today I got to work.  I patched and painted the two adjacent walls.  Then I located the studs (on the wall, duh!) and attached the pegboard with screws and little blocks behind to give a little space between the pegboard and wall.  That was it!  I like how it turned out!

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Look it up."

Mom, "You're persnickety today."
Child, "What does persnickety mean?"
Mom, "Look it up."

The phrase "Look it up" was a common phrase in our family.  We even kept a dictionary in our dining room to help answer questions at the dinner table.   The kids were constantly asking questions.

Children are naturally inquisitive and curious.  How you respond to their questions will determine whether your children learn for themselves or stay dependent on you.  I don't think you want them to be dependent on you so teach them how to find the answers on their own.  Keep a dictionary and encyclopedia accessible (print or online) and refer to it often.  Show them how to look up words and facts.  Use big words in conversations to spark interest.

Teaching your children how to find answers to their questions is a valuable skill that will help them discover the world around them and help them become independent learners.  The next time one of your children asks you a question, tell them to "look it up."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lilly gets into trouble

Not a happy Lilly!
Tonight Lilly (3) got into trouble.  The family was gathered in the kitchen, making root beer floats and something Lilly's mother said made Lilly mad.  She shouted, "I hate you Mommy!".  Silence all around.  Then Lilly's dad (my son) picked her up firmly but gently and said that she couldn't talk to Mommy that way and she would not be able to have a root beer float and would have to go to bed.  Lilly was furious!  She yelled, cried, kicked and carried on all the way down the hall to her bedroom.  But Daddy was firm.  As he closed her door, everyone could still hear her shrieking.  This lasted for about 10 minutes then died down then stopped.  Lilly's mommy went into her room later and Lilly apologized.

I was really proud of my son tonight.  He didn't show anger and he held his ground.  Lilly did not get her treat.  It would have been so easy to give in after she stopped crying and give her her root beer float but he wanted Lilly to know that he meant what he said.  And Lilly needed to know that some things are just not acceptable anywhere, anytime.

Good job Daddy!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A beautiful day to work in the yard

For the first time this year, I went out and worked in my garden.  It felt so good to pull up weeds, gather up dead and broken limbs from winter, plant summer blooming bulbs, and feel the sun on my back.  So what if it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  Today it was beautiful.

Yes, we have slugs too!
Chuck (4), Lilly (3), and Marie (5) joined me outdoors and helped me with my projects. I showed them how to identify the weeds that I was pulling and which plants to stay away from.  They caught on quickly...I only lost a few daffodil shoots.  :)  Then I gave them each a trowel and let them dig in an area where I was going to plant later.

Kids can be good helpers if you give them directions of what you want done, where and how you want them to do it.  They probably won't know the difference between a weed and a prized rosebush unless you teach them.

Outfit the kids with kid sized work gloves to protect their hands and kid sized tools to make them feel like they are doing real work.  Make the job as easy as possible for them.  Kids love to imitate their mommies and daddies.

Who knows?  You might be fostering a life-long love of plants and nature in your children!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Several years ago, I bought a book entitled, "Momilies - As my mother used to say" by Michele Slung.  It was full of all those little sayings, advice and superstitions that all moms tell their children.  What are some of the things you remember your mom telling you?  What do you find yourself telling your children?

Here's what I came up with. 

1. I hope you have one just like you.
2. Eat your broccoli.  It'll grow hair on your chest.  (ok, that was what Dad used to say)
3. Aren't you afraid your face will freeze that way?
4. Don't read in the dark.  You'll hurt your eyes.
5. If you do that, you'll go blind.
6. She doesn't like you because she's jealous.
7. If you cross your eyes, they'll get stuck that way.  (Notice all the threats concerning eyes?  Weird)
8. Always wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident.
9. If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about.
10. If you can't say something nice, don't say nuttin' at all.   (Thumper's rule)
11. You'd complain if you were hung with a new rope.
12. If you're going to kill each other, do it outside.  I just cleaned the house.
13. Because I said so.
14. Don't eat pork.  It'll give you worms.
15. If you swallow a watermelon seed, you'll grow a watermelon in your stomach.
16. Clean your plate.  Children are starving in africa.
17. Because I'm the mom, that's why.
18. Just wait until your father gets home.
19. It's just rain.  You won't melt.
and the ever famous...
20. Children should be seen and not heard.

I'd love to hear YOUR momilies!  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Money down the drain

Turn off that water!
My daughter and her husband recently bought a new house and yesterday they got their first bill for water and sewer.  They were shocked to find that the bill was nearly $100. for a month's usage.  So kids, this post is for you  :)

Ways to conserve on water -
1. Turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, shaving or washing hands.
2. Take shorter showers.  This also saves on your water heating bill.
3. Run your washer with full loads.
4. Install low-flow showerheads and faucets.
5. Fix leaky faucets.
6. If you have a garbage disposal, consider not using it.  Start a compost pile outside instead.
7. Upgrade older toilets to water efficient newer models.
8. Cut down on number of glasses to wash by designating one water glass per family member per day.  (I color coded them)
9. Teach your children to turn off faucets all the way.
10. Teach family members not to flush tissue used for blowing noses and squashing bugs.  Throw in trash instead.  I promise the dead bugs aren't going to crawl out of the trash cans.  :)
11. Consider installing a rain barrel to water plants.
12. When washing dishes by hand, use a pan of water to rinse dishes or turn off faucet while washing.
13.  Most of all, be aware of how you are using water and adjust your habits accordingly. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's cooking? Wednesday - Smashed avocado BLT sandwich

Smashed Avocado BLT sandwich!
When I was a little girl, my mother would occasionally make me an avocado sandwich...a smashed avocado spread on bread.  That was my favorite sandwich!  Now, I've updated it to combine my beloved avocado sandwich with the classic BLT.  If you like avocados, you're going to love this!

Smashed Avocado BLT sandwich -
1/2 large avocado or 1 small one
2 T. bacon bits or 2 slices bacon, cooked well and crumbled
1/2 tomato, chopped fine
1 leaf romaine lettuce
bread of I used Oatnut bread

Remove the skin and pit from the avocado.
In bowl, smash the avocado (I use a potato masher but a fork works too).  Stir in the bacon bits and chopped tomato.

Either toast the bread or leave plain.   Put lettuce leaf on the bottom slice.  Top with the smashed avocado mixture and top with bread slice.  Eat immediately!  Heavenly!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tidy Tuesday - Commercial breaks

I am embarrassed to admit that I like to watch The Bachelor every Monday night.  (I know, I judging  :)  )  Last night I was feeling especially guilty for "wasting" time like that so I decided to use the commercial breaks to be productive.  During the breaks, I folded two loads of laundry, washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, made four dozen cookies, made phone calls for my church assignment, and tidied the living room.  Not bad and I didn't miss any of the juicy details of my show.  :)

We often think that we need large blocks of time to accomplish something but who has large blocks of time?   If you have problems keeping up with the household chores, try seeing what you can get done in little bursts of five or ten minutes.  You might be surprised! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kids and gardens

Hard work pays off!
Kids and gardens go together like...well, dirt and water  :)  This is the perfect time to start planning a garden with your that they can play an active part in.  Whether it's a pot or container on a porch or deck or a part of the family garden or their own little plot, the benefits of letting your children grow something are far reaching.

Children as young as three or four find great enjoyment being a part of the growing process, watering and weeding and watching over their flowers or vegetables.  Older kids can start with the planning stages to choose the plants, prepare the soil, plant the seeds or transplants and see the process through to harvest.

Good plants to start with are radishes and lettuce (they grow really quick),  beans and tomatoes (hardy and most kids like them) and herbs.  Chuck and Lilly really liked growing herbs last year because we bought varieties that smelled wonderful, like chocolate mint and pineapple basil (they were also extremely prolific).

Containers are perfect for herbs.
From their experience growing a garden, children learn stick with a project when the rewards are not immediate.  They experience the natural consequences if they neglect their plants.  They get up close and personal with nature...bugs, insects, worms etc.  Children get exercise and physical activity from working outside in the garden.  They will usually eat the veggies they grow...even straight off the plant.  And best of all, they spend time with their family, tending the garden and beautifying their surroundings.

It's still too early (for most areas) to begin planting but it isn't too early to start planning.  Involve your kids and let them discover for themselves just how satisfying growing a garden is.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A book series your kids will like...

Since I spent the weekend helping my nephew run his booth at the Emerald City Comi-Con, I feel it only right that I should shamelessly promote his work  :)  This is a good forum for that because his work is appropriate for children of all ages (as well as adults). 
Travis with his son, Ian (who was the inspiration for The Bean)

Travis Hanson is the father of 5 children who started writing with his own children in mind.  He has always been incredibly creative and imaginative and had been producing beautiful pieces of art before turning to writing and illustrating.  His graphic (graphic as in picture form) novel series, The Bean, is an epic fantasy ... Plot "In a little Inn, deep in the heart of Darkleaf forest, works a young dishwasher named Bean. While on an errand for shrooms Bean is kidnapped by a chaotic Troll and ends up finding a very special sword that needs to be healed. So his adventure begins one that will be filled with danger, adventure and realization that he is the one that controls his destiny and no one else."  (review of The Bean Vol. 1: Riddles and Shrooms)

Lots of his young fans wanted to meet him this weekend
Travis's work is unique in that it doesn't contain swearing, inappropriate relationships or questionable values.  Instead, it stresses faith and courage, friendship and perseverance without sounding preachy.  If your kids enjoy fantasy, they will probably become addicted (in a good way :) ) to The Bean.

You can find his work at  or check out his one of his videos at

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fun on a dreary March day

Me with my super talented nephew, the artist and author
I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a few days.  I've been taking a crash course in Cultural Anthropology over the last two days and it's been late nights and early mornings.  Really, what I did was help out at the Emerald City Comic Convention, held in Seattle and it was such an enjoyable lesson in diversity and pop culture.   Seattle in March is a pretty wet, dreary place and I think everyone was looking for an excuse to dress up in costume and head downtown to have some fun.  The artwork was amazing, the costumes were sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing and sometimes very realistic.   I loved watching everyone interacting with each other...young, old, mainstream or one cared.  It reminded me that we are all more alike than different.
Even the littlest ones dressed in costume  :)
Some of the really awesome costumes at the show
I was surprised how interested the young kids were in drawing.

Rapunzel had quite a following...
Travis Hanson, artist extraordinaire!