Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 2011

Since a month has pasted since my past post, I thought I'd share a photo mosaic displaying some of things we've done during December. Enjoy.......

1. Swinging on a vine during our search for a yule log 2. Family holiday breakfast 3. Letter from Santa 4. A visit to the Chapel where Dean and I married 5. The girls on Christmas morning (note that Grace is wearing summer pj's, as it was too warm for her Christmas nightgown) 6. Our tree on Christmas Eve 7. With Grandpa at breakfast 8. Henry, our "Elf on the Shelf" 9. Letter and cookies to Santa 10. Dressed as an elf, ready to deliver holiday gifts 11. Making gingerbread cookies 12. This years advent calendar - Playmobil dinosaurs 13. Our favorite cookie - "cinnamon bun pinwheels" from King Arthur Flour 14. Frozen forest at Lowery Park Zoo 15. Mama-made elf slippers 16. A reindeer sans antlers at the zoo 17. Piano concert 18. Sophie searching for lizards 19. The yule log cake we made for Winter Solstice 20. A button tree made by Grace 21. Sidewalk art 22. Washing the car - the number one thing Grace wanted to do on her vacation 23. Santa Grace 24. Painting gift bags 25. Mad Lib fun during family Christmas dinner 26. Part of the gingerbread scene we made 27. Lost tooth and Santa dollar 28. Grace's holiday story for school 29. Table at our Christmas dinner 30. Piano playing at Meme and Pop's 31. Tie Dye project 32. Christmas dessert 33. Playing her golden harp for family (this was the number one item on Grace's Christmas list) 34. Pouring wine for Pop 35. Christmas stockings 36. Christmas breakfast

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week 47 - Thanksgiving

Just dropping in to share some pictures of things Grace has been working on (both from school and home) to celebrate the holiday. She's had quite the crafting bug, I tell you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 45 - Halloween 2011

For Halloween, Grace (after much indecisiveness) decided to be a Flamenco dancer. As in previous years, I found myself making her costume from a sketch that she created, amending the pattern as needed to make the finished dress come as close to her drawing as possible.

Needless to say, she was smitten with the results - spending the night twirling and whirling about, clicking her castanets all the while.

It was a "totally fun" night, spent under the light of a dragon's eye moon!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 44 - Spooky Piano Music

Here's Grace (although difficult to see), all dressed-up in her Halloween costume, playing some spooky piano music with added spine-tingling sound effects (not to mention a jingle from Sophie's collar).

Happy haunting!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 43 - Adoption Day Happenings

This past weekend we celebrated Grace's adoption day. It always seems as though we head away from home to share this special day with her. But this year we stayed close to home, allowing her to choose the activities she wanted to do most - which happened to be camping in the backyard and finding her way through a corn maze.

In order to fulfill Grace's desire to get lost in a life-sized maze, we headed to Hunsader Farms for their annual Pumpkin Festival. The weather was perfect, making it tolerable to wait in long lines for such things as hayrides and a bag of freshly popped kettle corn. Long lines and crowds aside, we had a great time.

Being lost in a maze of corn, while watching pumpkins being shot from a cannon sounds like a perfect way to celebrate an adoption day don't you think? We certainly do!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 40 - A Week in Fall

We've just finished off a pretty productive week around here. Perhaps it had to do with cooler temperatures or the fact that I had five days off in a row from work - regardless, I'll take it. Here's some of what we accomplished....

The fall decorations are up and a few new projects were completed too - like the colorful leaves above.

The cooler weather garden is nearly finished. Grace and I worked each morning and afternoon adding compost, sowing seeds, watering, etc. In the photo above she's sowing the peas around the bamboo trellis we made.

While gardening, Grace became the backyard lizard charmer. Two small lizards have made their home amongst our eggplants and Grace got each of them to climb upon her arm. To say she was excited is an understatement.

Thirty five pounds of apples were made into applesauce. I must say that all the peeling, coring and slicing was worth it - you just can't beat the taste of homemade.

And lastly, there was a fair amount of quilting done. Since I didn't take any pictures while sewing, I thought I'd share a photo of Grace surrounded by pumpkins instead - happy autumn everyone!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week 36 - Making Moon Cakes

It always seems as though the Mid-Autumn Festival sneaks up on us - this year was no exception. The holiday is officially celebrated this coming Monday, but with a full day of school, the associated homework and open house night, we opted to celebrate early.

Grace and I spent our morning making moon cakes. We follow the recipe from this book, with the exception of the filling. Since the traditional fillings not considered edible around these parts, we fill our cakes with chocolate fudge instead (as seen peeking through the baked cake in the last photo).

A dinner of Chinese take-out, finished off by yummy homemade moon cakes made for a happy celebration indeed!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Week 35 - Horse Love

While searching for a lost memory card, I came across these pictures of Grace from her wee days.

Perhaps her love of horses dates back farther than I remembered!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 34 - First Day of School

On Monday Grace started back to school. To say she was excited to begin first grade is an understatement. But now that the homework has started, I do believe she wishes that it was still summer vacation. Overall though, everything is going along smoothly and she appears quite content with the new routine.

So here's to another wonderful year of learning!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week 33 - Kentucky

We're just returning from a wonderful week-long vacation to Kentucky. In my efforts to share as many photos as possible (I believe we took over 200) I created my first ever photo mosaic. Despite a few oddly cropped photos, I'm happy with the results.

Descriptions of photos from left to right......

1. A barn located at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, where we stayed for two nights 2. Grace weaving potholders in the car to pass the time 3. On a tour of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery 4. The paddocks of Three Chimneys Farm, where champion racehorses are bred 5. Feeding a carrot to one of the retired racehorses at Old Friends Farm 6. On a riverboat ride along the Kentucky River 7. With the chickens at Country Girl at Heart Bed and Breakfast - Grace even got to collect their eggs 8. Crawling through Mammoth Cave 9. Dipping bottles of Maker's Mark Bourbon in the signature red wax as souvenirs 10. My favorite dessert while there - bread budding with bourbon sauce 11. At the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory 12. Watching an early morning training session at Churchill Downs 13. Sketching a group of goats on the hillside 14. A family photo in front of one of the many limestone walls we came across 15. A horse animal cracker 16. One of the local restaurants we ate at, this one was in Hart county.

Ah yes, it was a fun filled week indeed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Week 31 - Hat Making

Grace had been waiting all summer long for the release of the new Smurf movie (which she saw yesterday with Meme and Pop). I'm not quite sure where her interest in those little blue creatures came from, but she was excited none the less. In fact, she was so excited that she had her outfit selected weeks in advance. There was an issue however, a vital piece of the ensemble was missing - the hat!

After much discussion related to the lack of a proper Smurf hat, I suggested we attempt to make one. And believe it or not, she was quite smitten with the idea.

So with an old white t-shirt and a bit of creativity, Grace made herself (with just a little help from me) a hat that she couldn't have been prouder of.

Here she is working away......

And the result of all her hard work......

Ah yes, the proper attire makes all the difference, right?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week 30 - All a Flutter

Our themed weeks are still going along strong around these parts. Grace's latest selection was butterflies. Here's some things we did and saw.......

.....Witnessed a "butterfly" resting on one of our sunflowers.

.....Made a bouquet of tissue paper flowers.

.....Watched a caterpillar munch away on our carrot leaves. With a bit of research we discovered that it will soon turn into a Black Swallowtail - how exciting.

.....Made wildflower cups to toss over the bridges in our neighborhood (a project from Volume 1 of Alphabet Glue)

.....Lastly, we planted a small butterfly garden.

Ah yes, things were certainly a flutter around here!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week 29 - She Lost a Tooth

Over a month ago Grace discovered that she had a loose tooth - her first one! She had been waiting quite awhile for this to happen, as many of her classmates already had their fair share of loose teeth and to top it off, many of them had lost a few.

In preparation for the day that the tooth actually came out, we made a tooth fairy pillow together. It was a snap to make. Grace selected the fabric from our scrap bins, drew a tooth template (which was later cut out of felt and embroidered with eyes and a smile), I stitched a few seams, Grace stuffed it "full to the brim" and viola the pillow was ready.

Now fast forward several weeks and visualize Grace walking around with a tooth dangling by a thread - oh yes, Dean and I predicted this would happen. It dangled for days despite eating, brushing , flossing and the like........ until Friday night. That's when, while flossing her teeth, it literally popped right out of her mouth and landed on the floor in front of her. A bit of drama ensued (due to the sight of blood) but then all was well.

Now she can join the ranks of her semi-toothless classmates!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Week 28 - Our Friday

I spent the bulk of my day at the sewing machine, attempting to piece my largest project yet - a queen sized quilt for our bed. I have a deadline you see..... and it's this coming Tuesday. That's when I've scheduled time on my quilt shop's long-arm machine, a necessity for a quilt of this size, as it would be nearly impossible for me to feed all of that fabric through my personal machine.

I usually have a "helper" (nope, it's not Grace) when it comes to quilting and this project was no exception. No sooner did I have the blocks arranged, when Sophie came along tossing her bee around, finally deciding that a nice stretch would feel quite comfortable atop the squares. Thankfully, I'm prepared for these sorts of things and had the blocks numbered, so no harm done.

And where was Grace during this sewing frenzy of mine? Well, she was happy as could be spending her day at camp with the horses.

After dropping her off, I stayed around awhile to watch her interact with one of the ranch's miniature ponies. After a bit of a rocky start (the horse decided to pull a sit-down, as seen in the picture below), she got the horse not only to cooperate but to jump over a gate too!

Quilts and horses equaled a fun filled Friday indeed!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 27 - Tomatoes

A week or so ago, the bulk of our homegrown Roma tomatoes were ready to be picked. Grace eagerly headed outside with a berry basket that she had squirreled away (oh how this child loves to keep things that I see as material destined for the recycling bin or garbage can) and picked away - an entire basket full!

After peeling and chopping the said tomatoes, I added a diced sweet onion, fresh basil (both from our garden), a couple cloves of garlic, salt and olive oil. Viola, we had sauce for spaghetti.

Thankfully, we've had one success out of this little garden of ours. We'll certainly take what we can get!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Week 26 - Red, White and Blue

Just dropping in to wish you a happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week 25 - Trees, Trees, Trees

During our week learning about trees Grace and I were highly focused on watching a mockingbird build a nest in one the small oak trees in our backyard. One afternoon (thanks to cloud cover) we had a picnic lunch outside and enjoyed watching the busy bird build away. It was really quite fascinating I tell you.

There is one slight concern however in regards to this bird taking up house in our tree - mockingbirds have an aggressive side. We surely don't want our sweet and unsuspecting Sophie to be on a lizard hunt (don't worry she never catches any) one day and come up missing a patch of fur. Needless to say, this will be one situation that we'll being monitoring closely.

While reading the mountain of library books about trees this week, we came across a proverb that was quite fitting.......

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps
the singing bird will come.
~Chinese Proverb

We encourage you to step outdoors and enjoy the trees that surround you - you never know what you'll find!