Sillouette Art

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Awsumb Kenneth Hardy - May 2010

Kerry Cook sillouette artist visited my sons school recently. A true sillouette artist simply looks and cuts, using no shadow or tracing. I LOVE sillouette art as it is so classic. Freehand cut sillouettes are really a lost art. I think this artist did a wonderful job at capturing my little boy. If you have the opportunity to have your child sit for a sillouette artist don't miss out!

Jennie Elizabeth Awsumb 1940

I believe my Great Uncle Kenneth Awsumb, who recently passed away may have cut this sillouette of my Grandmother. Kenneth Awsumb was well known for his handmade greeting cards, which we looked forward to every Christmas. Even if he was not the one who created this image of my Grandmother, I know he would appreciate the art!

15th Wedding Anniversary

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Grandfather, Ardin W. Awsumb died just before my 10th Wedding Anniversary. The funeral was bitter-sweet because although we lost Grandpa, during that week I made new memories of my little boy and my own father as they worked with my Uncle C.K. preparing to close up my Grandparents house. After the funeral we were numb and the day of my 10th Anniversary was pretty quite. The day after, however we decided we needed to pull ourselves together and we spend the day in Disneyland with our little one.

This year Kenneth and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary in the San Juan Islands. This was the first trip in 15 years that I have been on with Kenneth - WITHOUT a laptop! We didn't even have a cellphone connection while on the island. We rented a log cabin, which Awsumb begged for us to stay in every summer here after. And although the accomodations at Lakedale Resort were pretty nice (a full kitchen, electricity, a master suite, and a loft bedroom for Awsumb with his own bathroom) and the brocure called it "Glamping" I still can hold it over Kenneth's head that he took me CAMPING for our 15th Wedding Anniversary!

We had the most spectacular dinner at The Duck Soup Inn, which is worth the drive including a 2 hour boat ride to San Juan Island just for dinner! Open only on the weekends and serving organic, local, fresh ingredients... this is a true gourmet meal!

We spent the afternoon of our Anniversary picnicing at Lime Kiln Lighthouse and watching for whales. It was a wonderful weekend to just get away and be together and have nothing to do.

Check back for more photos!

When we arrived home we found out my Great Uncle, Kenneth Awsumb had passed away.

(Memorial continued in second post...)

What's for dinner? RESERVATIONS!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You know you have raised your child right when you go out to dinner and he demands his own order of king crab! That's right, at not even nine years old Awsumb has pretty grown up and expensive tastse.

Our family has always enjoyed eating out. All those years before we had children, as Kenneth always likes to say every night was date night. When Awsumb came along things didn't change much. I admit I can be somewhat of a food snob. When Awsumb grew old enough to order off the child's menu I was less than impressed with the offerings. Even specialty restaurants all have the same menu for kids, chicken fingers and fries - yuck!

My answer was to simply have Awsumb share with us. Before I knew it his favorites were sushi, ahi tuna, crab, etc. And, as Awsumb once told a waitress, "Don't forget the parsley!" Awsumb also learned which garnishes should come with which dishes.

We recently took a friend of his along with us and as the friend ordered the usual 'chicken fingers and fries' Awsumb started lecturing him on ordering the type of food that a particular restaurant specializes in. I am glad he has such varied tastes, but I am not sure I am ready to start regularly paying for his own king crab order!

I prefer to eat at non chain restaurants that use local ingredients. is a great way to try out some of these independent restaurants. $10 buys you $25 at a local restaurant of your choice. Use the code FATHER to receive 70% off your coupons making it $3 for a $25 coupon. ENJOY!

Imaginary Jobs

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Tooth Fairy... just another one of those "imaginary jobs" of Motherhood - love that and totally stole it from a friend! Some times all of these extra imaginary jobs we have to do can be overwhelming. Especially when you feel the need to have a different costume for each one!  (I was recently asked if I had a "Laundry Fairy" costume!)  I don't have a Tooth Fairy costume today, but I was a Tooth Fairy for Halloween in 3rd grade.

You know when you have those dreams about showing up to school or work naked?  I don't have those dreams, but I do dream about showing up for school and not wearing the right cheer leading uniform. Well, my first day on the job as the Tooth Fairy was like that... instead of not wearing the right thing I didn't have any cash!

Awsumb was so nervous about his first loose tooth that he didn't tell me until it was just hanging there. In true "Dennis Awsumb" fashion I said, "let me just wiggle it" and ripped it out! And because I didn't know he had a loose tooth I couldn't prepare ahead. And well, that's about how the next 7 loose ones went as well.

The night I ripped the first one out I only had a $10 bill. And because Kenneth was so mad that I had just ripped the tooth out I felt bad and wrote Awsumb a special note with sparkly pen from the Tooth Fairy... something about being brave. Well, that was a big mistake, from then on Awsumb expected $10 AND a special note. Although I know he loved the money, he really loved the notes too and keeps them in his keepsake box.

Just like so many of the other imaginary and real jobs of Motherhood there is no manual. So of course I learned some of the best ideas AFTER Awsumb had already lost most of his baby teeth ... if you are lucky enough to read this before your babies teeth fall out you can take advantage...

1- Leave a special note from the Tooth Fairy. Use glitter, sparkly pen or special paper.

2- Gold Coins or $2 bills are available at the bank upon request. Get a few now and set them aside. They will be super fun for your child to find and make a great keepsake.

3- Money from around the world. Ask people you know traveling to different countries to bring back coins or a small bill. Explain to your child that the Tooth Fairy travels all over the world and often has the wrong currency. Help your child find the country on a map and take the opportunity to do a little research together.

4- Glitter! Don't forget to leave a trail of glitter! (If you suffer from OCD skip idea #4... cleaning up glitter is just too maddening!)

What do you do when you don your Tooth Fairy costume?

Making The Home A Sacred Place

Friday, June 4, 2010

Through my daily struggle to break the chains of abuse from my own childhood I must be continually conscious of my parenting decisions. This is why I carefully study the women around me and why learning about attachment parenting, positive discipline and the continuum concept have been so important to me.

I was just reading this talk from Elder M. Russell Ballard given to Mothers and Daughters April 2010 regarding the divine role of Mothers.

I would like to share with you a few passages that are significant to my own life...

"I understand that some of you young women do not have mothers with whom you can discuss these issues. And many of you women do not presently have daughters in your lives. But because all women have within their divine nature both the inherent talent and the stewardship to mother, most of what I will say applies equally to grandmothers, aunts, sisters, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, leaders, and other mentors who sometimes fill the gaps for these significant mother-daughter relationships."

He goes onto talk about the importance of being nurturing....

"Teach your daughters to find joy in nurturing children. This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance. Consider in this context President Harold B. Lee’s injunction that “the most important . . . work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.”

Elder Ballard defines a nurturing parent in The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood, a speech from August 2003.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World "teaches that "mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." Nurturing refers to parenting behaviors such as warmth, support, bonding, attachment, recognizing each child's unique needs and abilities, and attending to children's needs. Nurturing in and of itself is more important in the development of a child than is any particular method or technique of child rearing. It hardly needs saying that nurturing is best carried out in a stable, safe family context."
And finally my complete objective as I strive to be a good mother...

"A mother's nurturing love arouses in children, from their earliest days on earth, an awakening of the memories of love and goodness they experience in their premortal existence, Because our mothers love us, we learn, or more accurately remember, that God also loves us."
To my Auntie Laurel and other women in my life who "fill in the gaps" to help me feel God's love - Thank you! When we strive to provide a place for our children to launch from and return to each day, where they know they will feel God's love... what more can we do?