Thursday, June 28, 2012

everyone has change for a $20

Post by my wonderful husband Loren.  (his wife was 2 weeks late in posting it...)

Reflections on culture after my first week back in the USA.
I just can’t flush the toilet paper.
It feels weird to take a shopping cart out of the store and to the car.
Everything food-like is premade and comes out of containers.
Drinking out of a tin can while mowing the lawn with my shirt off gives me a sense that I’m fitting in with the natives.
Water is instant and hot rather than waiting 30min for the tank to heat up and then having only 10min to shower before it gets cold.
I haven’t heard a car alarm since I left Quito and I’m still deciding whether that’s good or bad.
Everyone has an iPhone
Everyone lives in a ridonculously nice house.
Everyone has change for a $20
Food is expensive and electronics are cheap.
We rented a car for the first time in our lives when we got to Miami.  It took some time to find the trunk latch.  Once we were ready to go, to our surprise the car had no key hole... or key.  It just had a start button.  

That took a long time to figure out.  We felt a little uneducated at first, but the folks in the car next to us could not figure it out either.  

Using only a GPS we found Wendy’s and had a “small” meal. Which is bigger than the large in Ecuador.  

This is probably the first trip I’ve made back to the US that I have been excited and ready to be here.  Having friends and family that are eager to receive us has made a huge difference as well.  
We have been in the United States for just over a week... stay tuned to more adventures coming!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Generational photo when not in the same place...

How to make a generational photo when all of the family members are not in the same place at the same time.  Idea originally found on Pinterest!

Gather the youngest member of the family.
Find a black curtain for the background. 
Have grandma comb little guy's hair... or smooth down the peach fuzz. 
Put on him a nice shirt and have him smile by dangling a toy... no matter how old he is he should smile at that.  ;-)  I think I even made you smile.  
Get that picture printed as a 8x11 size.  Put it in a frame.  
Tip- buy 3 or 4 of the same frames depending on how many will receive the final project at the end.  That way they can display it in their house with the same frame that is shown in the picture.  
Now hopefully you have better studio than we do- this particular shot was taken in the wall mart parking lot in our car... so we wouldn't have to go back home before we ordered another picture... ;-)
Give that framed picture to the dad of the boy.
Print this photo 8x11
Go to Grandpa's work.  Don't forget to bring the black curtain and newly printed picture that you now put in the frame.  Take a picture and get that one printed 8x11.

Then have some fun.

Can be a cute idea for a family photo as well!
Make sure to remember your NOT in the photo your holding!
cheesy senior photo pose

 The last step is to get great-grandpa to pose with the last photo printed.  Go to G-grandpa's potato farm.  Talk with the Grandpa to find out that the potato cellar with the doors open makes a perfect black background for a photo.  He has some skills when it comes to photo taking and ideas.
looking out of the cellar
change to black and white
 The final product I added a verse by using  It is my new favorite user friendly free picture editing online tool sense Picnik left.
And one reason I like it even better than Picnik is you can choose to save the photo's you edit as high resolution.  This lets you print them!  I printed this picture as an 8x11 and it has perfect quality!

Happy Fathers Day!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Australian Tim Tam Slam

Chocolate.  Make that a lot of chocolate.  Equals a good Tim Tam Slam party.

Let me introduce you to a tradition from down under that has made it to south of the Americas.
We threw our friend Jessica a birthday party at our house.  Our friends Rachel and Wesley were able to join us and introduce us to an Australian tea drinkers adventure.

Choose a delightful tea of your choice.  Grab a Tim Tam.  And experience the joy of eating chocolate that will literally MELT in your mouth deliciousness!

Here is how it works.

 Find a friend who just got back from Australia and can bring you some of these treats.
Bite small opposite corners to get a taste of the chocolate.
Rachel showing us how its done  

 Then stick one chocolate corner in the wetness of your steaming tea.  Proceed to use the Tim Tam as a straw.  Act quickly now because the dark sweetness will proceed to break down into a soft mush.  Fast! When that happens you must stuff the whole cookie in your mouth.  Tim Tam Slam.

Chocolate Straw

 What you can't truly picture here is the difficulty I had with stuffing the whole Tim Tam in my mouth all at once.
Play a game, blow out a candle, and eat more chocolate to conclude the night of birthday fun.