Nov 24, 2009

I <3 Faces Photo Challenge - Sun Flare

{click on the picture to view full screen. It looks way better at full resolution.}

I love faces is a photography site where they hold contests in a different category each week. This week is Sun Flares, and this a picture of my little brother that I took on halloween.

Oct 9, 2009

My April Snow

I recently found My April Snow's etsy shop, which was 100% the inspiration for the earrings I made, (posted this past week). I had forgotten where I found this treasure, but I just remembered that it was from this fantastic giveaway!

My April Snow GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Yay for Grosgrain. Always inspiring!

Oct 8, 2009

Problem... solved.

I was home, holding down the fort this morning, while my dad took my mom and brother to the airport... I made a nice little lunch and the kids then had a nice little dessert of vanilla wafers with leftover whipped cream on top. Seeing that the canister was nearly empty, Nathan had the sudden urge to shoot it with his pellet gun and witness the foreseen explosion. He forthwith took his pellet gun and target outside, and all the little one watched as the can fulfilled his expectations.
The girls who hadn't liked the idea to begin with, set up a loud wail, crying "He wasted all the whipped cream!" Bethany even went so far as to say "I could have made a meal out of that!!" *sniffle* ...and believe me, they were serious... crying over spilled milk? The figurative idiom was manifested quite literally before my eyes.
I figured the best solution would be to let them burn off some steam, rather that beat them over the head with common sense. However, as the boys continued to play outside in their midst, the girls found sufficient fortitude to carry on for quite some time.

Now I thought to myself, "Is a tablespoon of cream such a precious resource? We have sitting in our fridge at least a quart of the stuff, with no immediate purpose."

I then poured a tablespoon of the heavy whipping cream from our fridge onto a pretty little saucer and called my resentful little sisters inside, saying, "Here on this plate is the same amount of cream that was 'wasted'. Eat it, then go outside and play."

Problem? Solved.

Oct 3, 2009

What to do on a free day...

On Thursday of this week, I had a day at home with no little siblings, or parents... only free time! I sat down to make some jewelry, greatly inspired by looking through My April Snow's etsy shop, and these are what I came up with!

The curly-que is made from an unwound and rewound paper clip...
The chain is a segment of necklace chain...
And the beads and earring hooks are just out of the supplies that I've accumulated over a long time.

What do you think? Would you wear them?

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Sep 29, 2009

An apple pie a day, keeps the doctor away...

Yesterday I made a candy apple pie. And today I made another candy apple pie! They are super easy and one of the best recipes for our orchard apples. I'm sure I will make a few more this apple season.

These apples are fresh picked straight from our orchard!

Apple corer, peeler, slicer. Thank goodness. Such a time saver.

Dripping with cinnamon sugar. (measurements for about 8 apples - aprox. 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup Brown Sugar (I used white sugar with molasses because we didn't have brown)
3/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Butter (one stick), melted

I also like putting some cinnamon in the topping.

Mix these together thoroughly and spread evenly over apples in a 9x13 pan.

Bake for 1/2 an hour at 400 degrees.

You will end up with just such a beautiful dish of goodness...

Though I have to add... that one of the best parts was my dad's homemade vanilla ice cream... nothing compares.

Sep 11, 2009

Rich & Vivid

When I think of Fall, I think of breathtaking freshness and crisp clean air. But most of all I think of rich, vivid colors. This is my aunt's chrysanthemum, which is probably left over from summer, come to think of it, but the richness of it's hue is inspiring to me. I can't wait for fall...

Sep 2, 2009

Photos: Cloudy and Bright

Yes, an oxymoron. But sometimes the days with cloudy skies (in a most literal sense, no drama implied) have a brighter sort of feeling to them! You must at least agree that the light has a whole different aesthetic.

That being said, my title was referring more directly to the brightness of the beads in comparison to the aforesaid cloudy day.

Hopefully I will do this 'photo-that-I-randomly-decided-to-capture' thing more often for you, my blog. (I really have been thinking about you, even though I was silent for a little bit of a long while...).

Hope you enjoyed these!

Sep 1, 2009

Tuesday Dinner

This Tuesday evening, there happened to be a mere 4 Kauk's at home. After whipping up some Macaroni for the two youngers, my big brother and I got creative for ourselves. As he began to cook up a pot of couscous, I figured it would be one of the easiest things to dress up a little... like so:
  • I first added some lorn bell peppers who desperately needed eating, but who looked extremely handsome in our dinner...
  • Then I finished off a bag of sundried tomatoes, which added yet another bright color and tangy flavor...
  • I then spied an appetizing tin of peanuts, and beamed just thinking about the crunch they would provide...
  • Lastly my brother, with a taste for the exotic, pulled down a lovely looking red spice (which really didn't have any flavor to speak of, but was exceptionally pretty). After serving up our portions into nice little bowls, he garnished the top with this redness.
The product of our efforts was one of the prettiest meals seen by myself for some time. Not to mention the fact that it was delicious. You really should try it sometime.

Aug 11, 2009

Bobby Pins

Today my littlest sister, Mackenzie, and I made colorful beaded bobby pins! She loves creativity, but its often hard to find things that are easy enough for her to learn and do without too much help. This project was perfect! She made her whole pretty rainbow hair pin with just a little bit of help and she caught on right away.
While she did an orderly pattern, I went for the random scheme (is that an oxymoron?) but now, since we used the same beads, we have a matching set!

Isn't she pretty?

Jul 25, 2009

Hap Birth t M !

Ok, that's a ridiculous title, I know. But... It's suppose to be half of "Happy Birthday to ME!" because today is my half-birthday! lol I sort of forgot about it but, my big brothers called me into the kitchen and there was a brownie in a cup with a candle. But, oh! this cup. haha. Jared just bought it in NYC and it is a half of a coffee cup! It has a handle and one side is curved out, and one side is flat. Very Alice-in-Wonderland-esk, like someone cut it in half, and it says sarcastically on the flat side "You asked for half a cup of coffee..."
Then they all sang happy birthday, but halfway through the song Adam said "Stop, thats half of the song!"
So happy Saturday to you and

Hap Birth t M !

And, here is a couple of pictures I took the other day for your viewing pleasure:

Jul 20, 2009

Let not the sun be vacant from the sky

The sun too quickly took its place

Behind the silhouetted peaks.

I followed it with desperate gaze

And mourned the warning late to keep:

Let not the sun be vacant from the sky

While yet within you harsh impatience lies;

For reckless words will pierce into the heart

But reconciliation grows

From pure and righteous blessings of the wise

This is a lyrical idea I laid down this evening. I already had a musical idea to work with, which always makes it easier, but this is also something I have wanted to express for some time. May it bless you.


Jul 16, 2009

Blackberry Pie

Today I made a blackberry pie. We were kindly sent home from somewhere with pie crust pastry and my siblings had just picked a tub of blackberries, so everything converged into a nice round pie pan. The convergence of these ingredients is displayed below.

Jul 7, 2009

For Better or Worse

My six-year-old sister, in a fit of the "nothing-to-do's" this afternoon, finally sat down a drew some pictures. I have yet to figure out what the inspiration was for this little assortment, but she must have been very inspired all the same.

This is the first that she showed me. It says (in Mackenzie Speak):
Translated, this says "What is your favorite story? Bible, Great!"
I'm not sure exactly how even her way of sounding-it-out turned "great" into "get"... lol.

The next one is a hammer thinking about what it wants to build.
He thinks that he wants to build a church.
I think that's a great idea.
He has extra nails just in case he needs them.

The last one was my favorite. It is about marriage. I love the swirlies around the edge, and the laser-blue eyes, and the cat ears on the veil. (I don't think they are suppose to be cat ears, but thats what they look like to me).

For better or for worse!

Jul 4, 2009

The little things

Its the 4th of July, a day so like and yet so unlike all those surrounding. The small portion of my family that is home, took a little trip down into Cupertino for a beautiful fireworks display. I came home full of joy and so many thoughts that I am wondering how I can possibly process them all.
Most prominent is the reveling in small things, and not being ashamed of it. I am watching my siblings grow up and walk the paths that are familiar to me, being older. It is easy to let that become a reason for scoffing at their "silliness" but today I strove to consciously choose the opposite.
I ate a snowcone. It was deliciously disgusting. It turned my lips and tongue orange. I couldn't finish it, so I dumped it into Asher's (also unfinished) red one. It got spilled onto our blanket. But you know? That's ok!
My favorite part of the night was hearing my sisters scream. After every firework. Eventually I joined in. I was dazzled, as they were dazzled. They picked their favorite kind of firework. My favorites are the ones that go up and fall down like streamers. Especially when they do five at once! Oh yes, they were amazing.

I've always imagined the 4th of July as being such a romantic holiday. But mine was so much better than that. I didn't spend the day with one person, but 6 other extra special unique and growing and precious people! I didn't snuggle with someone who loves me very much as I gazed at the lights, but I held on my lap a little four year old cutie who I love very much and who was so very happy about the fireworks. He told me "whenever I am sad, fireworks cheer me up!" haha. And although I didn't have a strong and protecting hand to hold, I became a strong and protecting hand myself as I took a sister on each side and walked with them, tired, to the car.

I had the simplest day, but well spent and precious in its way. I sat on a lawn filled with people, and saw the beauty of it all, even while it was tinged with irony in ways. After the grand finale, I stood up and swung Asher around and around. He cried, "do it again!" and I spun the other way.
The last song I listened to on my ipod during the wait kept ringing in my ears...

"I can feel something different for the first time. Heaven makes sense. All the words rhyme."

It made sense, and it was beautiful.

Jul 3, 2009

Diminished Population

After having an exceptional number of people here, there was a change today. This morning, early, Jared's orchestra departed for the Big Apple. They will be playing two concerts in New York City over the course of this week. So Jared and my mom left this morning and are now safely in NYC.
Unfortunate thing... Jared got sick the night before he had to leave. It was almost inevitable for he was the last kid in the family who hadn't caught it, but nevertheless it was a very un-called-for tragedy. (Praise God that there is no one left to catch the flu. The bug has hopefully been laid to rest for good now.) All that notwithstanding, my mother and brother are now occupying Times Square, leaving us all at home sorely missing their presence.
Our granddad also left this morning, headed towards my aunts/his daughters house. This brings the full house of a dozen occupants down to - imagine - a mere 9 people. Tomorrow will further diminish our population by sending Brady back to Virginia. Ah, life; you do carry on.

(if you would like to follow the NYC trip, my brother has promised to blog the week on

Jul 1, 2009

Full House

Monday the 29th was my brothers birthday. He is going to school in Virginia and this year for the summer he was blessed with an internship with Generation Joshua. As a result of this he is staying on campus all summer. But for this week, starting on his birthday and ending on July 4th, He is home!!! It is great to have him around again, even for this short time.
In addition to Brady, Adam is also back at our house for the week. He is living up in Berkeley at our grandparents house. He likes to stay up around there for his church, but for this week he is home.
And finally, my grandfather on my moms side is in the area for a short time! He lives in Arizona and likes to square dance. So when an international square dancing festival brought him to so-cal he opted to come and pay us a visit as well.

With these three visitors we now have 12 in the house! It is a change from just a mere 9... after all, 9 is so much less that 12... We have every bed in commission, plus two mattresses in the boys room and a makeshift bed in the family room for our Granddad.
Benefits to this setup include: Barbecue on Monday! And pancakes Tuesday morning! Movie night on Tuesday night! (we watched A Beautiful Mind.... crazy movie.)

I love my family :D

Jun 16, 2009


Hey everybody,
Guess what!? I started a flickr page, for the fun of it. I have picasa and all, but I wanted a place to display my favorite pictures I've taken, rather than just document events. The link to my photostream is here:
Stop by if you will :) I'd love to hear from you.

May 19, 2009


When it's six o'clock in the morning and it seems like you're awake for the day, what do you do? When you don't have plans for the day and it's already warm outside, when it's bright and inviting... where do you go?
These have been my mornings of late, waking up early and bringing my thoughts outside with me.

The first of these early mornings I baked a batch of scones before my family woke up. I read outside as the sun rolled over the hill into the canyon and the breeze stirred my hair across my face.
I ate my scone in the soft morning light... it was irresistible eye candy so I ran in for the camera.

The last few days I've been back to waking up at eight o'clock, and I miss my sunrise moments. Time to re-adjust my body clock to preserve my precious mornings. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse and taste of my serenity.

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May 18, 2009

My Oh! so creative Mama

My mom is so creative. If you've ever been to Paper Source (wonderful store), you have heard their motto; "Do something creative every day." My mom lives up to this so well! She embarks on a project and dazzles me with her ideas.
This sweet collage is focused on a picture of her as a baby. It is a page from a mini scrapbook she made her mom on mothers day. Isn't it cute!?
She inspires me to try stuff like this... but all my efforts are dimmed next to her lovely works of art.
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May 13, 2009


Inspired by all the artful people in the world, and by the spring weather that keeps playing peek-a-boo with nor-cal, I decided to take a shot at a sewing project. I pulled down my moms box of patterns which was filled mostly with dated McCall's, and children's rompers... but from her small collection of maternity patterns, I came across a simple springy dress pattern that I thought would suit my whims.
I mulled on this idea. For a couple of days, actually. I don't usually embark on these sorts of adventures, you see, and am inexperienced as yet.
The main problem was that I didn't have easy access to large amounts of fabric. I mentioned fabric shopping to my mom, who would be my ticket to said fabric, but only in passing and without the necessary desperation. But finally a much more viable and exciting option set itself before me.
Kept down in our garage we have an old and sizable wardrobe, in which we store the clothes which are outgrown or unused or off season or just plain too old. I remembered seeing on a few occasions jumper dresses of my moms that she no longer wore.
"If," I thought to myself, "If I find a large jumper with fabric to my liking, it will be easy enough to alter it with my nifty maternity dress pattern."

I found one!

Unfortunately I didn't take a 'before' picture of this dress... but picture with me an x-large April Cornell, sleeveless dress, ankle length with a deep contrasting strip at the hem; the neckline bedecked with a square collar that would be large enough for a baby's bib... but sewn in a cute pink small gingham/plaid print! This was my playing field.
It remained only for me to take apart nearly every piece of this dress, cut them to resemble my beginning pattern, and sew them together again.

Behold my creation!

May 8, 2009

My Morning

I threw on some clothes in the late morning and ventured out into the garden. The freshness enveloped me as I opened the door, bible in hand, to read outside. In the still shady pathway the dew felt good on my bare feet. Picking my way through the rocks and weeds I situated myself on a rickety old bench that always threatens to collapse (but never does). I sat motionless, soaking up the sun like a dry sponge placed under a faucet.
An orchestra of sounds rang in my ears; a thousand bees circled me, restlessly alighting on every flower in sight. There was gentle rustlings from the ground, as seemingly invisible creatures brushed along the plant stalks and dry leaves. The katydids clicked like castenettes on a Spanish dancer, as they whisked over my head. Bird songs from all directions meshed themselves together before reaching my ears, creating a sporadic yet harmonious melody.
But better then these sounds, was the tangle of sunshine at my feet. The orange poppies rose from the gravel walkway in hosts, tumbling over each other in their excited clamor towards the sun, swaying in the slightest breeze and nudging others to do the same. Stretching tall in solitary clumps grew yellow bursts of flowers that royally oversaw the surrounding blooms. And like tiny reflections of all this glory, baby white blossoms climbed up their own stalk like children sitting on a ladder, and brought a cheery and lighthearted variance in hue.
These colors closed me in on every side as I settled onto the old bench, pondering the words of Paul to the Ephesians.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. V3

Does that include flowers and bees?

Vs 12 ...for the praise of his glory...
Vs 14 the praise of his glory...

Now... I know that he was referring to people in this, but I began to isolate those words and think to myself; if weeds and poppies can be to the praise of his glory by sedentarily sitting in the gravel... what is keeping us from consistently being the same? I don't have the answer.

Enjoy my pictures, interspersed with lyrics.
(All pictures taken by myself)

I look out the window, the birds are composing... Not a note is out of tune or out of place.

I look at the meadow and stare at the flowers; better dressed than any girl on her wedding day...
~your love is strong - jon foreman~

I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity... but a certain sign of grace is this; from the broken earth flowers come up, pushing through the dirt...
~wholly yours - david crowder band~

Creation's revealing Your majesty, from the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring... Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim; You are amazing God!
~indescribable - chris tomlin~

Lord, search my heart,
Create in me something clean.
You see flowers in these weeds.
~dandelions - five iron frenzy~

You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty!
~wholly yours - david crowder band~