Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 228-239

Day 228 – Jake the Dog. Look at those eyes!

Day 228 2016

Day 228 2016

Day 229 – Bachelor Button

Day 229 2016

Day 229 2016

Day 230 – Zane on a Rock

Day 230 2016

Day 230 2016

Day 231 – Sunset Bay State Park at Sunset

Day 231 2016

Day 231 2016

Day 232 – Southern Oregon Coast

Day 232 2016

Day 232 2016

Day 233 – Sandpiper and those gorgeous driftwood greys.

Day 233 2016

Day 233 2016

Day 234 – Mount Thielsen

Day 234 2016

Day 234 2016

Day 235 – Tree

Day 235 2016

Day 235 2016

Day 236 – Pine cone on the sidewalk

Day 236 2016

Day 236 2016

Day 237 – When he says he wants to talk, you have a talk. Thankful for my chats with this sensitive, deep young man.

Day 237 2016

Day 237 2016

Day 238 – Obsidian Flow. Newberry Crater. It amazes me that a tree can put down its roots in a rocky outcropping in rock dust and live and grow.

Day 238 2016

Day 238 2016

Day 239 – My Boys.

Day 239 2016

Day 239 2016


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Campfires are Magical

005 CampfiresCampfires create a special sort of magic. I have no idea how many campfires I’ve sat around with family and friends over the years, but I know they have been filled with laughter and conversation and shared secrets and jokes, and history.

We’ve just returned from 3 nights of camping on the Oregon coast and it was lovely. Adventures and beauty and fun.

We had a campfire every night and on a couple of mornings. I love how we gather round and all get involved. Jude has learned a lot about campfires from Grandpa and he has become a master at making wood shavings to start our fires. We try very hard to not use any accelerants and it’s a fun challenge for us all to make it happen.

006 Campfires

One night around the fire, we told a one word at a time story where everyone gets to add one word to our story. The stories are usually odd and funny – this night was no exception. Smokey Bear was actually a chicken and then Donald Duck and Donald Trump were causing trouble, so they were sent to a town in Iceland called Hawaii. Barrack Obama came along and saved the day and then he agreed to stay on as president for a while longer. There was a bunch of other stuff that happened, but I can’t remember it all.  No idea where all this was coming from, but we laughed so much. It was magical.

004 CampfiresAnother night, we had a wide-ranging conversation that began with a question about lawyers and the law – we discussed the justice system we have in the United States, its flaws and the many good things about it. We moved on to family and vows and had an amazing time talking about the ways we are similar and the ways we are different and how cool that is. Jude and I are so much alike, but there are also ways in which Colin and Jude are alike – they are both good debaters and would make great lawyers. Zane and Colin are very much alike, but Zane and I are alike in ways too. Zane and I both are peacemakers and very empathetic.

001 Campfires

Making cool shapes in the smoke with flashlights.

We are all working hard to earn our next belt in karate – blue, so we went around and each said what we thought we needed to work on so that we would be ready to test.  Me – Japanese and kihon drills, Colin – kihon drills, Jude – kiais, Zane – stances!

We talked about empathy and the importance of thinking about how others feel and what circumstances they might be coming from. We talked about lying and being trustworthy.

003 CampfiresThen, out of the blue, Jude said that he thinks of life as a journey and there are times when you are at a petrol station and you get fueled up and then there are ramps and jumps and those might be hard and scary, but they can be exciting and fun too.

Then Zane said he thought about the good times in life being filled with light and like day time and the sad, hard times being dark and night time. So we talked about how even at night, there are cool things like campfires and stars and fireworks – so there can be joy and light in the darkness.

I cried when I thought about these amazing 9 and 7 year old boys  – how thoughtful and deep, how the whole conversation had flowed and how blessed and full I felt.  And then things got silly again and we laughed and played. And I’m telling you, campfires are magical.002 Campfires

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Thankful Thursday – Lunch with Zane

Thankful that today, in the middle of a busy day – work, meetings, school – I got to go on a little lunch date with my Zane. At his request, we went to his favorite lunch spot – a little supermarket that has a café – to have macaroni and cheese.

Jude’s almost finished with school for the year and the Summer will look quite different than the past 9 months have looked. We are excited for the months ahead, but the special time I’ve had with Zane will be missed too. Thankfully, I have another full year before he starts kindergarten.

Love my sweet, funny Zane.

Zane at Rays

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Tasty Tuesday – Easter Feast

My family usually plans at least one great, celebratory meal when we get together. Between my Mom, my Sister and me, we come up with a menu and divvy it up. This year for Easter, my Mom found some amazing recipes and we had so much fun putting this meal together.

March 2013 653March 2013 810Grandma and the boys had a great time making and decorating cupcakes and sugar cookies.

March 2013 648Zane may have enjoyed the cookie making more than the others!

March 2013 811Our Easter table.

March 2013 744I made Scotch Eggs. I’ve only seen Scotch Eggs one time in the States. In an English pub and they were asking $9! So glad to find this very simple recipe. Instead of frying them, I baked them at 325F for 30 minutes – even better! They were so yummy and I can satisfy my craving for this UK food. They may be almost too easy to make. The Pickled Eggs and Beets that my Mom made were so good. They were a nice counterpoint to the saltier foods we had – I loved them with the ham.

March 2013 809My Mom also made Artichoke and Egg Dip. It was lovely – would be great for a party!

March 2013 812The Asparagus and Ham Stuffed Potatoes were amazing. Just amazing.

March 2013 813March 2013 814There was also ham and super greens salad from Costco.

March 2013 742My sister works at a bakery and they made some amazing hot cross buns which are one of my favorite Easter traditions. So good!

March 2013 815Here’s to good food, celebrations and time with family!

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Happy Spring

It’s been a bit quiet around these parts. March has been and continues to be a very busy month. I’ll get back into the swing of things soon.

In the meantime, I thought I’d talk about the first day of Spring here in Central Oregon. Wednesday, March 20th was the first day of Spring. We had wind, rain, sunshine and snow all in one day. It was wonderful. This amazing rainbow also showed up.

March 2013 405

I celebrated by wearing my floral flats and bright blue tights with some stripes. I totally blanked on getting outfit photos, but I grabbed this shot of my shoes.


It was also my 14th wedding anniversary. Yay! It was very low-key as we had taken a trip to Ashland, Oregon in February to celebrate. We had a fun evening with our boys eating Mexican food and shopping for a new washing machine – ours went kaput a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t terribly romantic, but we really did have fun together as a family and that’s one of the best things about our marriage – the laughter and the fun. A good celebration.

Here’s our lovely new washing machine that we got a great deal on!

March 2013 441We’re still having quite cold weather around here, but the sun is shining and we’re spending more time outside. I am thankful for the changing of the seasons and the love of my family.


Mawwiage…That Dream Within a Dream

“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.” The Impressive Clergyman, Princess Bride

My husband & I just celebrated 13 years of marriage a few weeks ago.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long and at the same time, it seems like we’ve always been together. It’s been a wonderful thing sharing life with my Colin. However, being married ain’t all gum drops and slow dancing! Especially being married to me. There are times when marriage is hard work, there are times when it is boring, there are times when it’s not much fun at all. Nothing has challenged me to grow like being married & I was kicking and screaming a bunch of that time.

My husband and I were friends before we started going out. We had both had previous relationship experiences that made us want to enter into our own relationship with honesty and openness. We have a lot in common, but plenty of differences to keep things interesting. I believe we had a great start to our marriage, but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. We have had some incredible disagreements, arguments, and fights. There have been slammed doors, unkind words, painful silences and I can tell, you the sun has definitely gone down on our anger!

I just said "Yes"! Near Tower Bridge, London

There is also this amazing shared story. The private jokes, the pain that no one knows but us, the secrets we keep for each other, the respect that we have for each other, the love that no one else can match for our sons. There is no doubt that we have seen each other at our worst and we have shared one another’s joys and triumphs.

Lake Victoria, Uganda

In recent years, I have actually felt our relationship deepening and maturing. The greatest contributing factor in that has been learning to communicate. There will always be things that come up that need to be worked through, but I believe that if you learn how to communicate, the battle is mostly won. Styles of communication are unique to every couple, but when you know your own hang ups and your spouse’s quirks, it makes things so much easier.

A few days before our wedding, London

We disagree regularly, but we resolve things so much quicker than we used to. We are able to laugh at ourselves mid-argument (randomly laughing or making fun of each other doesn’t always work, but it will occasionally do the trick!)

My parents have always said that if you are committed to staying married (and we are, for better or for worse, the D word isn’t a part of our vocabulary) then you might as well enjoy it. Be nice, be kind, be polite. Nurture your relationship. The boys see us disagree, but they see us resolve those disagreements. They see us laugh (a lot), they see us play, they see us love each other.

We said "I Do"!

I count it a joy and honour to be married to Colin. I’m thankful that we found one another, each thousands of miles from our own countries. Someday soon, I’ll write down our love story – I think it’s a good one.

The Blacketts

I’m looking forward to more adventures, more of everyday life, more growth and more laughter together. I believe that a healthy marriage is the greatest gift we can give to our sons and to ourselves!

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Cardboard Fun on Creative Night

Last night we had a Blackett Creative Night. I try to do this once a week, it doesn’t always happen, but I don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t. When it does, it’s really good. I come up with an activity for the whole family to do that is creative. It might be painting, dancing, making music or some fun craft that I found on my interweb searching.

This week, I came across this idea for a Cut Up Cardboard Sculpture. During the day Jude & I got prepared by drawing shapes on cardboard & cutting them out. I chose not to paint the pieces beforehand because I intended to just spray paint the whole thing when it was done. This didn’t happen, I’ll explain why in a moment.

After dinner we cleared the table & laid out all the pieces and started on a base. We cut slits into the shapes & started fitting them together. We built a fun sculpture & everyone enjoyed it.

Things we learned:

  • Just cutting a slit is okay, but actually cutting out a gap (I just cut a long, narrow triangle) works much better.
  • It’s not going to be a long-lasting, secure structure. This is why I decided not to paint it. It’s pretty precarious & falls apart easily.
  • It was a lot of fun!

An easy, fun activity to do as a family.

They're part of the sculpture too!


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Challenge #4 Passover

It’s Good Friday. I love this Easter season – the idea of Spring, the candy, the eggs, the kid’s excitement, but most especially the reminder of life & resurrection. Tonight, my Mom organised a Passover meal for us. My sister, my Mom & I all prepared various dishes & my Dad led us through the words & ceremony of Passover. Mom had prepared some packets for the kids & they loved participating in the recitations & tasting the different foods. I think we have a new tradition in our family. An amazing opportunity to reflect on freedom from slavery & Jesus’ sacrifice. It was just a great time for our family. My Dad wrote a bit about our celebrations here.

For details of this challenge, click here.

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Busy Day, Comfy Clothes

Super busy day today, so I dressed comfy & casual. I also realised when I took my photos that I have no accessories on today – shocking! I really love this outfit though – so simple & off the charts comfortable. I always love wearing my bright pink flats – so Springy.

I am so excited for this coming Easter weekend. We have a full weekend + of family times & activities. That’s why I am so busy today – preps. Time with family is the best & I have the best family!

I will do a report on my Lent challenges after the Easter Weekend.

Shirt/Dress: Angie
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Dollhouse

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Challenge #4 Pi Day!

March 14 (3-14) is Pi Day! We celebrated Jude’s Pi day when he was 3.14 years old. It was a great day – pie for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Colin taught Jude what Pi means & they had a great time. I’m glad that Pi Day comes around every year.

For Pi Day this year, I made red velvet whoopie pies from a mix I got on clearance after Valentine’s Day. So yummy!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

We had dinner at my Mom & Dad’s house that evening so she & Jude made us a chocolate banana cream pie. Probably my favourite pie ever, and that’s saying a lot because I love pie!

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Since I wasn’t cooking dinner, I didn’t do any kind of meat pies which I love. There’s always next year! (Or next week).

For details of this challenge, click here.