Saturday, June 15, 2013

And, we're {almost} off!

The days are going by so fast. And every day this week has been filled with packing & sorting & organizing & cleaning. 
The Mr. drives away in the moving truck tomorrow after church. I'm so grateful for the spontaneous help in packing that monster of a vehicle. The leader of the pack was a friend of ours & I'm thinking he would be an awesome Tetris player. 

In between all the packing & loading, we've been taking breaks, getting out of the house for some much needed fun. One night we played mini golf & rode go-karts & bumper boats! It was Pazely's first time on go-karts too. Her first ride was next to me, & as soon as we sped away from the starting line, she squealed, "This is so much fun mom! Thank you!" And then she planted a kiss on my arm.

We've been sleeping on borrowed air mattresses for 3 nights & we'll be living out of suitcases for the next few weeks. 

The girls & will be flying out on Monday, arriving in Washington late in the evening. I'm actually pretty excited about our 3 hour layover in the Denver airport. I can't wait to show the girls the fun toy store there & eat at the most yummy French cafe restaurant where I can order my favorite grilled cheese +  fig sandwich. We'll be greeted in Spokane, WA by Tia. Shenanigans will ensue. And from there we'll have a wacky 2 hour ride to Richland, where mom & dad & grandmother will have beds waiting for us.

Our rental house is not done being renovated, so we'll be house hopping--& very grateful to friends & family who have agreed to let us stay with them! It could be 2 weeks, 3 weeks, a month...who knows...before we can move into a home. I'm not necessarily looking forward to unloading our stuff into storage & then reloading it into a truck, to unload it into our house. Not good times. 

I'm excited about being close to family, but also nervous about moving back home. I don't know why. I just am. I haven't taken the time to sort out my feelings on that subject. It's been 3 1/2 years since we left Washington to move to Nebraska. And to be honest, it's been a rough go in the midwest. I'm going on the record at saying the part of ministry the Mr. & I were involved in is one of the ugliest out there. If I didn't have my Susan friend, I'm positive I would be a wreck. What a special friendship I have with that lady. I will miss her. Immensely.

We are excited to spread our wings & freely use our giftings & talents in this next adventure. 
Is it weird that it still doesn't seem real that we're moving?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pinhole Camera Adventures

Earlier this spring, my friend Susan & I made a pinhole camera. It's something I've always wanted to do. I found a PDF of a pinhole camera HERE. It's the Rubikon 2, by author Jaroslav Jurica.
And, I confess, the first time we pieced this camera together it was too small. The film would not fit inside. 
When printing the PDF be sure to set your printer setting to ledger size 11x17 with no scaling. 

I can say with confidence that making this little camera TWICE meant that, by the second time around, we were pros. ha!

We were bummed to not find black & white film readily available in town. I wonder if I could find it more easily in a bigger-type city? I'm betting I could. Lotsa times the black & white look hides flaws. And it looks more artsy besides. But we had to go with color.

We started putting together the origami-like camera later in the day, so we didn't have a lot of options for shots in the fabulous natural outdoor light. (We only had one day together!) We snapped tons of photos in my house, & then headed to Starbucks for some late-night caffeine & a few more photo ops. 

Sometimes we had to let the light filter through the pinhole for just a few seconds. Other times, like the shot of the two coffee cups above, we left the pinhole open for a length of exposure of 7 MINUTES!! The next picture shows the results of that shot. 

We also set the camera on a shelf in Starbucks.

This is the photo we got, with a length of exposure at 2 minutes:

Here are some other photos we took:

 This photo was a mistake, where we took a picture, forgot to wind the film, & then took another photo. And the extra picture on the right was because we didn't wind the film correctly. I found that I rather liked all the "mistake" photos though.

This is another example of taking a few photos, & forgetting to wind between shots.

The length of exposure was 2 minutes for the piano keys. 

The length of exposure for the mime toast (from a Vine I made) was 6 seconds.

We held the camera on the car dashboard, for an exposure of 2 minutes, while driving home from the coffee shop.
When Susan & I got the film back from the lab, we were so impressed with ourselves. "We made pictures from paper & a hole? WE. ARE. AWESOME."

Playing with the pinhole camera gave me lots of confidence to keep at it. I can't wait to try making different pinhole cameras, & aiming for a more focused, & less blurry, photo. There are tons of tutorials online to show you how to make a pinhole camera. A pinhole camera can be made out of practically anything. All you need is a "box" that is dark & does not absorb light, something to project your image onto, & a tiny hole. I've seen so many creative pinholes out there. (One even made out of a coconut AND a Mr. Potato Head!) I did a search for "pinhole cameras" on flickr, & found THIS. Browse through the photostream for some inspiration. There are even groups on flickr, dedicated to pinhole cameras & pinhole photography.

Click HERE for a wikipedia link about the pinhole camera.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

DIY: Makeovers

Though I'm not doing the "Summer Diary" series this year, I am taking every advantage of breaks between packing & moving to come up with something fun to do with the girls. Today I let my girls go wild with my makeup. More specifically, we gave each other makeovers. The picture at the top is "Before" & "After" the 10 year old attacked my face. As she was applying the makeup, Zoey asked me, "Mom? Do you think zombies are pretty?" 

Then, to keep the fun going, I decided to draw faces on some plain white paper with a permanent black artist marker. A sharpie will work just as well too. As I sketched, the girls had many requests: 
"Give mine freckles!" 
"Can that one have a double chin?"
"Zig-zag hair, please."
The girls spent a couple hours playing the part of makeup artist.

And they made a fine fun mess!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

DIY: Deep Fried Oreos

Have you ever eaten a deep fried Oreo?
I had never even heard of such a thing until I moved to Nebraska. The first time I tasted one was last fall. They are so yummy. And so unhealthy. But it's fun to have a decadent treat every once in a while.
And here's how to make your own! They are so easy to make too. Which could be bad.

First, heat up a pot of oil. (I filled a small cooking pot with about 4 inches of oil.) I didn't have a thermometer, but I set the pot on the burner between medium to medium high heat. I've looked online & seen recipes call for the oil to be anywhere between 335 - 375 degrees F. You can test things out to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a blob of batter. If the batter bubbles & starts cooking things up, then it's ready. If it's too hot, it will cook the batter so fast & burn it.

Ok, now for the batter. I used 'The Ultimate Pancake' recipe on the back of my Bisquick box.
2 CUPS Bisquick mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 TABLESPOONS vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Mix that all together in a bowl. 

Dip the Oreos in the batter, one at a time, coating every bit of the cookie. Then carefully & quickly drop the cookies in the hot oil. When the cookies have turned dark golden brown on one side, carefully flip them over with a slotted spoon until the other sides gets equally fried. It should take about 30 seconds to cook on each side. That's just an approximate time. It shouldn't take 2 minutes per side, that's all I'm sayin'. Then pick up the cookies, with the spoon, & let them drain on a plate covered in paper towels. 
Dust with powdered sugar & watch them disappear!

This is, SERIOUSLY, a difficult activity to photograph. Everything gets eaten up so quickly.
(This photo was taken as we celebrated a friend's birthday. I made a tower of Deep Fried Oreos.) 
BUT, I do happen to have two Vines to show you. The first is a quick 6-second tutorial. The second is Pazely & I eating the dangerously delicious treats.