Saturday, June 28, 2008

Farewell Barnes Family and 1st Papercutting

Having a husband in the military means that we have to say goodbye a lot. Today we had to say goodbye to our friends the Barnes' (okay, so they aren't leaving for another month, but today was the party). It has been gorgeous and hot all week, but just a few minutes before the party it started thundering. Still, we stayed dry and nicely cool. The hostess, Rosa, made delicious Mexican food. It was a fun afternoon. As you can see, it wore little Sophia out. And yes, that is MY tanned shoulder that she is drooling on, for all of you who thought it could never happen.
I created cards (a going away card and a birthday card) for the event. I tried my hand at papercutting (see This was my first real attempt at it, so I went for big, basic shapes. They aren't great, but I am fairly pleased with the results.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Rainbow Bridge

Dedicated to Abby

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play
together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt
or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown

(My Aunty Kathleen's dog Abby recently passed. My friend Kelly gave this poem to me when my dog Eva died, and it really mean a lot.)

Lions and Tigers and Bears (except there were no lions)

So it seems that I'm going for a bit of a Wizard of Oz theme. Well, if the Naples Zoo went to the great and powerful Oz, it would have asked for a makeover, some bug repellent, and, um, animals. All I can say is that last time I went to the Naples Zoo there was a giraffe. Now there is no giraffe, but in the giraffe area there is a giraffe sized hole in the ground. I hardly think that the grounds are being renovated. A few years ago the zoo was shut down. The animals were ill and were not being taken care of properly. I still think that it should be should down. I do not have fantastic zoom capabilities on my camera (although I love my camera--I just got it the other day and it is sooo pretty). I am actually that close to the animals. I could have touched a tiger if I wanted to, and I think that if that Emu or ostrich or whatever it is wanted to, it could have eaten me. It had pecked holes through the link fence. Link fence for a crazy creature like that? The only good thing is that it is a fun thing for little kids to do (on the downside, they weren't far from having their cute little fingers nibbled off). The kids don't know that it is a disgraceful zoo. They are just excited to see animals. Worth the trip if you live in Naples and don't have much else to do. Don't go out of your way to go to it though.

I'd Turn Back if I were You!

Castellamare: Also known as the Worst Beach Ever! When Aimie was here this week, we decided to go to Amalfi (a cute little coastal town on the Sorrentine peninsula). Got lost, kids got whiny, and we stopped at what looked from the road to be a really cool beach. Good rule of thumb--if you don't pay to access the beach, the beach sucks (as Grace put it, in an ever-so-ladylike manner). It was rocky and crowded, and had dangerous oversaturation of Speedo levels. Great view of the volcano though......Won't be doing that again!

Negombo Hydrothermal Spa, Ischia

This past Sunday Aimie (my sister who lives in England) and I went to the Negombo hydrothermal spa in Ishcia. Ishcia is an island in the bay of Naples. It is the biggest one, I think. Anyway, the whole area is a volcanic hotspot full of thermal pools. Negombo is a botanical park/spa on the coast of Ischia, complete with a private beach in a little bay. There are 20-something pools, including pools in caves, super hot and then freezing cold pools, and a Turkish bath (for those of you who do not know what a Turkish bath is, it is a room with steam that is 58 degress celcius. I was not even able to enter the room. It felt like an oven.). Negombo is a gift from God, as is my husband, Anthony, who kept all 3 kids all day long so that I could enjoy this little slice of heaven. The best part: the sea water had no creatures and no seaweed. I want to go back again, without the kids and with Anthony. Does anyone want to babysit?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Join the Crew

Joseph received his first invitation to a birthday party. It was construction themed, which thrilled Joseph because he loves dump trucks and wheels and anything that he can put on his head. It's nice for him to have a little guy to play with because he is normally surrounded by Grace and all of her friends (not that they weren't at the party also). It was so hot that day, so the kids were in their swimsuits playing in the sprinkler. The sprinkler was a volcano (see if you can see it in the picture). It would spray mist, but every minute or so it would build up enough pressure to spew all over the place. I tried to capture this on film (you can see where the kids are waiting for it to happen), but as I was waiting, I ended up being the one to get wet! Hope you enjoy the pictures! We had a great time:)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hawaiian Night at the Pool

Last week we went to Hawaiian Night at the pool on base. It isn't anything exciting.....they just dress the place up a bit and are open later. The kids can also use rafts, which they aren't normally allowed to do. Anyway, I got some good shots so I thought that I would post them. Grace has been getting brave in the pool, and as you can see she has started swimming. I have her in swimming lessons four days a week now. It only took Sophia a few minutes to fall asleep in the "Moses Basket" (yes, she is sucking her thumb--it is her new favorite thing). Joseph would not get in the pool. I was only able to start getting him in this past weekend. By the way, it was freezing cold! Hope you enjoy:)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sophia's Nursery

Not exactly
Van Gogh, but....

In a desperate attempt to entertain myself and relieve myself from the endless "Can we go to the playpark, can we go to the pool?", I put the kids down for a nap (yes, I recently learned how to do that) and I painted. Sophia's (see left) nursery, even though she has never even slept in it, requires something extra. So I decided to paint. I have included a picture of her bedding, etc. and then the pictures that I painted (I did not make up the pictures, but simply copied them from her lamp using canvas and acrylics). I am looking for 8x8 frames which are not (shockingly enough) sold at the NEX. Therefore, I will be conducting a massive, widespread internet search in hopes of the perfect frames (none of which I will be able to touch or see in person until they arrive....fuel surcharge added, of course). I hope that you enjoy them, and if you have any ideas for her room, don't hesitate to share them with me. By the way, her bedding is CoCaLo brand--for all you soon to be new mommies who might be looking for a fun company to get your nursery bedding from. Elaine

What the.....Blog?!

What the...Blog?!
That's what Grace (see right), my 4 1/2 year old source of entertainment, just said to me when she asked what I was doing. She will be a big inspiration, I can already tell. Another source of inspiration--the person who sparked my interest in this thing--is CP (see I'm hoping to use this little corner of the web as a place to unleash pent up creativity and to update my friends and family, who are scattered all over the world. At the very least this will be a place that I can speak about whatever is on my mind, and not expect my husband to make eye contact and the well-timed, appropriate nods and uh-huhs. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope that you come back and visit. Elaine