Friday, May 31, 2013

The graduate... again

Those of you who've followed my blog for a couple years or more know that Courtney has graduated twice already... from Kindergarten Connection (preschool, 2011 & 2012). This morning, she made the big step of graduating from KINDERGARTEN! Here she is below with (most of - I cut some off) her graduating class of 54. She's on the top riser, third from the right. (Once again, it was very hard getting good photos, due to distance and darkness. You should see the ones I deleted - ha!)

Here she is being congratulated and receiving her diploma from her wonderful teacher. (Behind her teacher stands one of the teachers her daddy had in elementary school. Wow, how the years fly by!)

After a short program, we were treated to special cupcakes, and then went outside for some photo opps with better lighting.

The cupcakes were soooo yummy!

Courtney and her good friend, Erin, pose for a photo together on their LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

And graduation wouldn't be graduation without shots with Daddy and Mommy!

It was kinda windy. Oops... the mortar board blew off a couple of times...

... and needed replacing.

Enough pics already, Grandma(s)!

Congratulations, sweet girl! We all love you soooo much and we're so very proud of you!!!

It was kinda fun to look back and see the previous graduation blog posts. If you're interested they're here (2011) and here (2012). She's grown up a lot in the last couple of years. And the photographer seems to have improved, too! ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orioles like to bathe, too

"Ahhhhh... that felt GOOD!!"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yesterday's sightings

I took my camera outside yesterday when I went to meet Courtney at the bus. Below is what I saw. The lilacs are just beginning to bloom. And smell wonderful!

Last week on the way to meeting Courtney at the bus, I discovered this robin's nest, but I didn't have the camera along, and I never got around to going back out there with it. It had 3 eggs in it.

Yesterday I peeked in again, and two of the eggs had just hatched. These little birdies were still pretty weak, but one had its head up with mouth open wide right after Mama hopped off the nest. Unfortunately, by the time I got the camera focused, it wouldn't do it again. So new and fragile.

Then Courtney arrived and immediately decided to pick Grandma a bouquet of dandelions. Notice that she's still using the backpack I made her a couple of years ago. She usually has it loaded with a LOT of stuff, and it has really held up well! The only place showing any wear at all is the corners of the blue outside pocket, and it's minimal. Tough fabric! And it was well worth my time making it.

She found one of very few (so far) dandelion puffs and tried blowing the seeds off as she made a wish. Everything is so soggy from all the wet weather we've had, though, that they didn't blow very well. I'm afraid she's not going to get her wish for a "Kit" American Girl doll (not sure if she wants her own Kit, or mine!).

As we got back to the house, we discovered all these mushrooms (toadstools?) at the base of our hackberry tree.

Quite a crop here. I don't think I'll be harvesting any, though. ;)

That's all the pics I took yesterday. We did visit the kittens, who are just getting cuter every day, but we didn't take time for a photo shoot. Maybe next time!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

American Girl doll capris and top

Not long ago, I ordered the book 30-Minute Doll Clothes by Nancy Zieman. I had watched part of her online videos on making doll clothes, and they indeed looked very simple and quick to make, yet very cute, so I decided I wanted the book. Courtney saw it last week, and she loved all the clothes possibilities! There are patterns and instructions in the book for all of these outfits:

We decided Marie Grace (Courtney's AG doll) needed a new summer outfit, so we picked the capris and top (top row, center) as the first project. I thought the capris looked just a wee bit too baggy and hung funny in the crotch, so I adjusted the pattern a little. Violà!

OF COURSE they took me more than 30 minutes to make. Ha! I always drag things out with all my decision-making, embellishments, etc. But I would say that yes, it's possible to make them in 30 minutes, probably after you have them cut out, and if you don't get too fancy with the embellishments, etc. (And definitely the second time around would go faster than the first.) I would also say that the book is not for beginners. The instructions are somewhat sketchy, expecting that you've sewn before and have some knowledge of how things go together.

Even having sewed as much as I have, I still made some rookie mistakes. One is pretty blatant here. The top is supposed to be all one fabric on the outside, and the other on the inside. Oops! However, I think I like it better this way! Kinda stylish, don'tcha think???

I just used what I had on hand for trim (well, for everything, actually). I cut the little applique flowers out of the top fabrics and fused them on (with just a few stitches in the center to make sure they stay on, even if the fuse comes loose).

When I started, I thought I had some pink ribbon to put on the capris, but I discovered that I didn't, so I just used the ivory and sewed it on with pink thread. Good enough. The ribbon on the top matched the solid fabric, and both just happened to match these shoes that I'd made before.

The fabric on the pull loops is the same as the top fabric. So there we have one VERY coordinated outfit! :) I can't wait for Courtney to see it this afternoon! Too bad Marie Grace won't be with her. But this is the last day of getting-off-the-bus-at-Grandma's... the last day of school is this Friday! So for the summer, Tuesdays will be full days, and Marie Grace can come along every time if she wants. She and Kit (my doll, above) can have lots of fun together. :)

Kit is starting to get jealous. I still have not made anything new for her! I have ideas, though.....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sights of spring

These photos are getting outdated fast. I took them last Saturday, and things have grown and changed a lot since then. But here's what it was like 'then'.


If any of you local friends would like some, give me a shout. I have more than I know what to do with!


Same deal on the rhubarb, although everybody around here probably has their own.

New maple leaves:

Field of dreams dandelions... weeds, but they make for pretty pics:

Same deal as on the asparagus. Heheh.


Come to think of it, if anybody wants hostas, same deal there! I've divided a few, but many more need it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pretty birds

These lovely little goldfinches have been gracing our deck for the last week or more.

They're just so bright and pretty!

Not long after the finches, came the baltimore orioles.

After scraping out the bottom of the grape jelly jar, I discovered I didn't have any more. I decided to give plum jam a try. They seem to like that just as well. It must be lip-smackin' good... you can even see the tongue on the bird below. :)

Yesterday there were a LOT of orioles. There was almost a line waiting to get at the feeder. I even saw one taking a bath, which is unusual. I think the ones yesterday were mostly a batch of younger ones, as their orange color was much more yellowish.

I thought it was kinda cool how the leaves just coming out on the trees had a bit of matching orange to make a nice background for the oriole pics.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rainbow's babies

I'm afraid Rainbow is down to only two babies, after having had four. I think what happened is that the space she had them in is so small, that she must've accidentally laid on and smothered the other two. I found them a couple days apart, and there didn't appear to be anything wrong with them. Sad. 

The two that remain are doing very well, though. They're certainly getting plenty to eat, being the only two at the "table" now... their little tummies are bulging!

Their eyes are open now. They weren't very cooperative in showing you that, though.

I think I should've had my assistant, Miss Courtney, to help perk them up a little.

This one did manage to get kinda sassy.

Well, for a little bit, anyway.

He looks like a "Tiger", don'tcha think?

This one's a tom, too. Any name suggestions?

Are you swooning over the cuteness yet?!

I took those pics on Sunday. Yesterday, my assistant arrived after school, so we did another photo shoot.

She happened to have her LeapPad along, which has a camera, so she took a few photos and videos, too. Look at the cute pose she got from them! ;)

Courtney was trying to get a video at the same time I was. Our subjects weren't cooperating very well at that time, as the orange guy kept getting away. He was so roly-poly that he almost couldn't get back up when Courtney moved him back. Ha!

"I've had enough photo shoot. How 'bout you?"

Rainbow's being a VERY good mommy - hurray for her!