The year of the camera

For the Chinese, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. But for me, this is the Year of the Camera. Remember when my friend Vickie gave me this camera? Well, for my birthday I got two more cameras! Can you believe it? Vickie sent me this Brownie with a box and owner’s manual!! Look at this baby:I can’t wait to get some film and see if it works! Even if it doesn’t work, it’ll be a great addition to my collection. Then, a few days after I got home from my California trip, my other friend Raegan gave me this little number:This is a Metascoflex TLR (TLR stands for twin lens reflex – instead of today’s SLR, single lens reflex).This one didn’t have an owner’s manual but came in this awesome leather case.It has a little window that pops up on top and becomes your viewfinder!And this is probably my favorite picture I’ve taken in a long time. 

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Thank you, friends! You’ve sent me over the moon with your gifts. See guys, I told you I had the best friends anyone could ask for!

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New school building and California dreaming

Remember me? My name is Amber and I used to write a blog called Freckles and Fences. I’ve been a little MIA these days. Eight days, to be exact. I’ve been quite busy but I’m sure you don’t want to hear my excuses so I’ll just get one with today’s post.

Yesterday, the boys’ school (and I attended as well) had a groundbreaking ceremony for their new building. The school has been around for just over 40 years and a new building is long overdue.

Jackson was so very excited. The other day he told me that he couldn’t wait for next week. When I asked him why, he said he was excited for the new building. For some reason, he thought the building would be completed in one week. I had to explain to him that it was going to take a tad bit longer than a week for construction to be completed. Cute, huh? Ethan had misconceptions as well. He thought they were actually going to be knocking down the old building yesterday. Yes, destroying the building that currently houses the elementary school. Yes, destroying the building while all the children were in the parking lot with only Halloween-type construction helmets on. Oh, to be young again.

Here’s a snapshot of some the kids watching the ceremony:

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In other news, this weekend I will be traveling to California! I have been giving the opportunity to interview Roma Downey (from Touched by an Angel) for a new children’s DVD series that she and her husband are producing. I’m thrilled at the opportunity and even more thrilled that it’s in California (the prettiest state, if you ask me). My flights and hotel (for one night) are paid for so I decided to stay a few extra days to enjoy all the photo ops – I even bought a new lens for the occasion. I’m sure you’ve heard me say more than once that I really hate the beach. Actually, it’s the Gulf Beaches that I hate. The Gulf of Mexico is nothing like the Pacific Ocean and I’m unable-to-sleep-excited at the thought going to my dad’s old stomping grounds. It’s been way too long since I’ve made it to the West Coast and I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face.

I’ll for sure be updating my blog while I’m there. Any great places in the Malibu/Santa Monica area that I have to see? Since I’m only there for a short time, I’d really love to be outside for most of the time, so unless there’s a mall that’s to die for, no need to suggest it.

Stepping out

There are two types of boys in this house. One never likes to be naked. Never likes to be without a shirt or even socks. The other one would be shirtless and bare footed 24/7 if he could. He’s the one that has no problem stepping out of his clothes on the way to the bathroom. And he has no problem parading around the house after he steps out of his clothes. I have to admit that his cute little backside makes me giggle.

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The problem is that unless he’s reminded all the time, the clothes would stay like this. Who am I kidding, both boys leave their clothes (and towels) all over the bathroom floor. Am I the only one that wonders if I never said anything, how many articles of clothing would pile up on the floor? Would they end up picking up after themselves because they couldn’t stand it any longer? Has anyone ever tried this tactic? I sounds like a fun experiment to me.

And the winner is…

Oh my, am I ever behind? This last week has been super crazy around here. Nothing major, just lots and lots of little things. We took a trip to Legoland on Friday (pictures to follow soon) as well as a trip to Ikea on Saturday (finally got the dining room set I’ve been dreaming about for a year).

I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to picking a winner for the giveaway. In between the announcement for the giveaway & the actual winner being chosen, it’s possible that the my friend, the mask maker, is now in talks with Martha Stewart’s company to be in an issue of her magazine. I cannot even believe it as I’m typing this. She was squealing at the possibility of being in Martha’s magazine. It’s like the Mother Ship was calling her home. I’ll be so happy for her if this goes through. Nothing is set in stone now but just the thought of it makes me over-the-moon excited for her. 

Now, onto the prize. Let me tell you, we had a very high-tech way of doing this. See for yourself.

We had the names of all our contestants:

A random name generator:

And finally a winner was chosen:
Congratulations, Raegan! I’ll be getting your masks to you in the next few days. This was super fun to do and I hope I have the opportunity to do it again sometime.

On the home-front, Ken has started his new job. Today was the first day and it seems like he’s really going to enjoy working for this company. I’m really glad this lay off didn’t last for months and months as it did last time. On one more home-front note, I will get the opportunity to go to California later this month. I’ll share more about that as the date nears but let me tell you this: I just may never come back home! A (almost) free trip to California? Heck, yes! I’m thrilled at the opportunity I’ve been given and can’t wait to share it with you once I have more info. 

My first giveaway!

OK, I promised a giveaway last week and it’s finally here! (My very first giveaway – squeeeeee!)

Let me tell you about my friend Alisha. She is co-owner of Mahalo. They’ve been getting quite a bit of sweet advertising these days. First of all, they were featured in a magazine. The August issue of Parenting magazine. Yes, Parenting magazine! And then that issue of the magazine was on The Office last Thursday. Then they were featured on Gilt.com (similar to Groupon.com). And just this week, I’ve seen them in two other online publications (here on page 53) and here. When I first started this blog, I told you that I had some pretty awesome friends. Remember this post? That post was about my friend Anna. Alisha is Anna’s mom. Cool/awesome/crafty/nifty/swell just runs in that family. 

I’m giving away both of these masks. I think they’d make a cute little Halloween costume, don’t you? All you have to do is leave a comment & tell me your favorite part of Halloween. Personally, I’m not a fan of the holiday. I think most of the decorations are gross and I’m so not good at coming up with costumes that my boys like AND want to wear. I can make a birthday card. But a costume? Not so much. So tell me what all the hoopla is that surrounds Halloween & maybe I’ll enjoy it more this year. It seems as if I’m the only one that’s a party pooper when October rolls around (except on my birthday).

Oh, and tell your friends and family about the giveaway. They don’t have to subscribe to my blog or sign their name in blood (although, that would be fitting for the holiday, no?). I want to get the word out about my awesome friend’s awesome etsy shop. And I don’t want to host a giveaway and have zero comments. So, go comment and go tell your friends, too.

Edit: Since choosing a winner is too much pressure, winner will be chosen randomly. Comments close on Friday.

 

Say hello to my (new) little friend

Remember yesterday when I told you I received a package in the mail? I’m here to reveal the contents. My friend, Vickie, sent me an antique Kodak Brownie camera! I just love her (yes, my camera is a “her”). Take a little look-see and enjoy for yourselves. 

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And now I have enough for a real collection!

Now I have to find the perfect place to display them. Aren’t they cute little buddies?