Friday, August 29, 2008

Yellowstone Vacation

I've finally finished editing all the photos I took on our vacation to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I took over 1,200 photos total, but winnowed that number down to just over 700 by deleting the not-so-great shots and duplicates. I think I pretty much edited all 700! I've uploaded the best of the best to Blurb, and am making a photo book of our vacation. Here are a couple mosaics of photos from our trip.

And a final mosaic of our time in Cody and Jackson Hole. Love those two western towns!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Overheard in the car . . .

coming home from school:

"Oreos smell soooo good! My nose is in love!"
--Kieran, sniffing Kaden's dessert

"My hands are so focused when I'm doing handwriting."

The kid cracks me up!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Predicting the Future

As the boys get older, I think more and more about what they will be like when they're all grown up. The older they get, the more their likes and dislikes, interests and talents begin to develop and solidify. When they were young, we signed them up for several various sports (soccer, baseball, basketball) and activities (crafts, art, violin, piano). But as they get older, it's interesting to note how their focus narrows to their favorites. Certain activities get dropped in favor of others. That's the way it should be, and I'm just thankful they have had the opportunity to experience so much.

It's also interesting to me to note how much influence we have had over their lives up to this point. What we like and do, they also tend to like and do. But activities we never participate in (horseback riding, skiing to name a few), they show no desire to try, even though they know these activities are out there. We take them to museums, concerts, movies, and plays. They love these things. We start watching sports (baseball, football), they develop an interest. Art classes and swimming--check, check. My favorite bands from the 80s (Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Journey), now their favorites as well. We take them hiking and kayaking. Now they beg to go on the weekends.

While I love the interests they've developed thanks to our influence, it's scary to think what other interests they might have developed had we introduced it to them. Lacrosse and water and snow skiing are two that immediately come to mind. I guess we can only do so much as parents. Introduce them to things we love, and then sit back and let them discover the rest on their own. That's part of the fun of life.

In the spirit of looking into the boys' futures, here's what I see for them:

Kohler. Loves the outdoors, plants, cooking/food, water sports. I see him going to University somewhere like Colorado or Hawaii, maybe taking Biology or Environmental Science. He's pretty passionate about environmentalism, so I could see him working in that field, or in something outdoorsy with a biology degree. I see him living on the west coast, spending lots of time outdoors, hiking, camping, backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

Kaden. Our little business man. I see him starting his own game company. He's full of ideas and imagination. He already designs new games all the time. Very creative, but also likes to make $$. Quite the boss at home! I also see him living on the west coast, in the San Francisco area. Lots of hiking and baseball in his free time. (Of course the above is all null and void if he becomes a pitcher for MLB.)

Kieran. Such an artist. I see him working for Lucas Film, also in the San Francisco area. Maybe an animator or art director. Someplace with a fun working environment that uses his artistic talents and his love of games/comics. An amateur tennis player in his free time.

With all of them living on the west coast/San Francisco area, I guess Stoehr and I better move out there too! Who knows what they will become, but it's fun to imagine! It's a fine line between looking at their strengths/interests and steering them towards careers they would enjoy, and pigeon holing them so they are unable to see other options. Stoehr was encouraged through his childhood to go into engineering. His mom saw his strengths. He did choose that path, and is very happy. I, on the other hand, was never specifically directed, just told I could do anything. Perhaps as a result, it has been very difficult to decide what I "want to do when I grow up". Based on this experience, can you guess how I will encourage the boys?!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I had my first photoshoot the other day, for friends. Great learning experience! It's hard to remember all the things I need to do when I'm in the middle of a shoot, but I think I got some good shots. Of course the fact that these kids are gorgeous sure helped a lot!

Some favorites:

and my personal favorite:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mosiac Me

1. Schloß Lisl Hotel, 2. Boys Of Summer, 3. IMG_1763, 4. Red.Source, 5. Eric Bana, 6. classic., 7. It's full..., 8. Adam And Eve On A Raft, And Wreck 'Em, 9. بــحـط قــلـبـي بــيـن يــديـنـك هــديـه, 10. dVan, 11. 44 / 52: In search of forever..., 12. Apr. 1

Want to play? Answer the questions below, type the answer into Flickr search, choose your favorite image from the first page, copy and paste each of the URL’s into Mosaic Maker(3 columns, 4 rows). Fun!

1. What is your first name? Lisl

2. What is your favorite food? Japanese

3. What high school did you attend? Columbia Academy

4. What is your favorite color? red

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Eric Bana

6. Favorite drink? diet Coke

7. Dream vacation? Japan

8. Favorite dessert? banana split

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? a mom

10.What do you love most in life? my family

11. One word to describe you. searching

12. Your Flickr name. LislS

Monday, August 11, 2008

East vs. West (coasts, that is)

We're home, safe and sound from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Mixed feelings coming home . . . it's always nice to be home again and sleep in your own bed, but it was so nice out west. sigh.

We always dream about moving when we're on vacation. Especially out west for some reason. Part of it is the "grass is greener" syndrome; everything seems like so much more fun when you're on vacation, but real life is probably pretty similar no matter where you live . . . school, work, grocery store, sports, daily routines.

I guess the real difference comes on the weekends and in what you can do in your free time. Where we live it's all about the city: museums, restaurants, movies, sightseeing downtown. We do escape to go camping, hiking, and kayaking every now and then, but it's harder here, and not many places to go. Out west, it's all about the outdoors. National parks, hikes, rivers, lakes, waterfalls. Kayaking, hiking, windsurfing, rock climbing, camping.

So when we vacation our there, we see the possibilities. We taste a little of what life could be like if we switched coasts. In the past, the kids have always been against moving, preferring the security of the known, but this time, coming home, at least two of them are open to moving. So who knows.

It's so easy to stay put. We like our life here. We have friends, activities, routines, jobs, schools, favorite places, all the things that make up a life. It's hard to think about starting over someplace new. Finding a new swim team and Tae Kwon Do studio. A new neighborhood and friends. New schools and a job. But it's also exciting to think about the possibilities. New recreation activities. New stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. Fun places to discover. New school experiences and people to meet.

Which will win out? The new or the old? Honestly, I don't know. It gets harder as the kids get older. But in two years, Kohler will graduate from 8th grade, Kaden will be going in to 7th, and Kieran will be starting 5th. It may be a good time to move. And it gives us two years to prepare and research new towns and neighborhoods. Top contendors right now?? Eugene or Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, and Boulder, CO. Internationally--I'd love to live in Australia or Vancouver, Canada. For now, it's nice to dream.