Monday, February 16, 2009

Girls' Weekend!

This is an out of the garden post with a lot of rambling on my part. Or as the description of my blog says, 'a journal of my life as it pertains to family...' As many of you know, we get 3 of our granddaughters once a month on the 3rd weekend. Fudging just a little this time, we had them this past weekend. We normally have them from Friday evening to Sunday evening. But since this Monday was a holiday we had them an extra day. Hooray!

Friday night is usually our night to spend alone with them. As much as we enjoy having the rest of the grands and all the family over on Saturdays, we feel we need some time with just them -a chance to connect a little deeper. Saturday night is a free for all with any and all the grands (now numbering 8 girls and 1 boy!) spending the night. Sunday morning, Papa fixes a big breakfast of all their favorites and by mid afternoon parents come around to collect a few of them. This week the 10 yr. old from the other set stayed Sunday evening too.

While always a busy time when the girls are here, this weekend was filled with activities more than usual. We celebrated a birthday and did Valentine oriented projects.

The birthday girl actually turned 10 last week, but she didn't mind having a second party with us. This is Andrea's oldest and I cannot believe she is 10 already. Where does the time go when you are watching your grand children grow?

A budding tradition (just started last year) on or close to Valentine's Day is to decorate cupcakes. We made 6 dozen this year.

A long table was set out with icings, candy conversation hearts, Twizzlers, gummy bears, red licorice ropes, and pink and red candy corn. There were no rules except no arguing and all were allowed to decorate their cupcakes to their hearts' content.

This is the youngest showing off one of her creations.

And the birthday girl with one of hers. Each grand gets to keep the ones they have decorated and take them home. I put the cupcakes on a paper plate and slide them into a gallon freezer bag with their name on it. The kids love doing this and really it's not as messy as you might think. I'm fortunate to have help with some of the parents standing by with wet cloths.

I was surprised this year with Valentine presents. Usually Hubby gets me a box of chocolates, but this year he also gave me a book I have been wanting. Wilbur Smith is an author I found just about a year ago. I have enjoyed reading several of his books, Birds of Prey, Golden Fox, and Eye of the Tiger. This one is the 4th in his Egyptian novel series-River God, The Seventh Scroll, and Warlock. I have always had a fascination with ancient Egypt and even more so after having seen the "King Tut" exhibition in Chicago a couple of years ago. I will let you know how much I enjoy reading this book!

My daughter surprised my with this beautiful bird feeder. It's made of glass and metal and I am hoping the squirrels will leave this one alone. They have eaten 2 of my feeders this winter. Well, maybe not eaten, but chewed on them enough that they won't hold seed any more.

It is decorated with butterflies and dragonflies! I was very touched by her gift. She gave her dad a big box of chocolates and of course being the generous soul that he is-I will also have even more chocolates to enjoy. :)

The last gift was one I gave myself. You see about a month ago, I lost my camera. I know where and the parking lot of a WalMart. As I got out of the car my purse fell to the ground. But it landed open side up and I thought nothing more about it until that night when I went to get my camera out of my purse to download some pictures. My camera should have been right in the top where I always keep it for easy access. That's when I realized that even though my purse landed upright, the camera had bounced out and under the car unseen! I was heart sick. I had developed a love-need relationship with that camera. Of course I wanted to run right out and get another! Finances were a little tight, though and I decided to wait until after tax time. So this past week I finally have that extension to my right hand. It's a Canon Powershot A470 with 7.1 mega pixels, macro and super macro, and a 3.7 zoom. There are a lot of other settings that I haven't had time to learn yet-that may take a while. But it will do pretty much what I want and was well within my price range. I am happy with it.
The picture of the hawk was taken from across the road. Not a great close up ( I'll never be the photograper that Mary and Robin are!) but much better than my old camera could have done. I am pleased. Now what kind of hawk is it??
Hope you had a great weekend and are keeping spring in mind!


Rose said...

Beckie, when I saw the title I thought we were going somewhere:)

So delightful to see all the grands enjoying themselves at "Mama's". Looks like a few of them like to decorate like Ems does:)

Things are going well here, but I am sooo tired--I don't know how you do it with 5 or more for a few days! Blogging minutes are few and far between.

So glad you got your new camera! You're going to enjoy all those new features.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beckie, when I saw the title I thought I was going to read about you and Rose going someplace fun.

What fun to see all the girls. I feel like we had a great visit. Wish I could be there sometime to witness the chaos first hand. It always looks like you have such fun.

Your camera sounds just perfect. I know you will enjoy it. My latest appendage is the A630, a little older model but I like the swivel viewer.

The hawk in the tree is a Red-tailed hawk.

tina said...

I am like Lisa and Rose, I thought you were going somewhere-with Rose. A perfect post and it looks like those grandkids are having grand time. I think the best blogs are the ones that share themselves and life is certainly for sharing. Just my view. And who ate 6 dozen cupcakes?? Wowser!:)

flydragon said...

Hi Beckie,
Good to see that all your grands got those icings and toppings on the cupcakes. That wouldn't work here. I'd be popping those toppings in my mouth and sticking my fingers in that icing, forgetting all about the cupcakes:)

Love that feeder. Looks like the squirrels are going to be foiled this time.

Also love that pic of the hawk. That camera must be great to get a picture from across the road!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

That looks like a fun time you had with your granddaughters. I don't have kids, but spent a lot of time with my niece and nephew when they were little... and now they're 23 (nearing 24!) and 20. HUH?! Also, I'm so sorry you lost your camera but glad you got another. I love your description of "love-need"!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

What a lovely way to spend your Valentine's weekend! It looks like a wonderful time was had by all. I had the grands too. We made sugar cookies, which was quite messy and I think more dough was eaten than baked.

I can't wait to look for the book you got. I am always looking for a good book to read. We went to the Tut exhibit two years ago in Chicago too! Our anniversary is on July 4th, and we spent a few days in Chicago to celebrate, but the main reason was to catch the exhibit.

Your bird feeder is a very special and thoughtful gift. Good luck with your camera. Let us know how you like it--I am having camera fever for a bigger and better one--I am convinced it's the cameras fault that I take fuzzy pictures, and not any failure on the part of the photographer! ;-)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Those cupcakes look good.

Valentine's day is like Christmas at your house. A book, chocolate, a bird feeder and a new camera. Not bad;)

Sorry to hear you lost your old camera but it's great you got a new one.

Susie said...

Oh how nice, more memories being made. It looks like the girls had a great time. The cupcakes turned out really cute!

I'm sorry you lost your camera. I can only imagine the stab in your heart when you realized what had happened. Glad to see you got a great replacement though.

joey said...

Like Rose, I thought Thelma & Louise had another big adventure to share :) What a delightful weekend with your dear grandchildren ... they must adore you, Beckie! Have fun learning your new camera, an adventure in itself! (Sorry 'bout my crazy post this AM ... meant for next week and now deleted ... oops!)

beckie said...

Rose, I should have put grand girls, weekend. In a couple of weeks we will have our weekend to post about though! Luckily I didn't have to work Sun. or Mon. and with my cold, I needed the time to recoop. The camera is going to be great if I can learn all the settings. :}

Lisa, I knew you would identify the hawk. But I didn't see any red so thought it was a different kind. I liked your camera with the swivel screen-much easier to get a close up of flowers or critters. :)

beckie said...

Tina, once in a while I like to share what else is going on in my life. And I like to read that in others' blogs too. Afterall we are much more than gardeners. :} I sent all the cupcakes home with the kids. Ne need to have temptation sitting around.

Flydragon, I'll invite you next year and you can opo and stick all you want! The kids do have fun and I enjoy seeing their creations.

beckie said...

Monica, there is nothing like spending time with little ones. You learn so much about life from them-like eating desert first in case you get too full. The camera is fun, it just has a lot more bells and whistles than I am used too. Since starting blogging, I keep my camera handy. With out it I felt naked. :}

MG, I can't bake cookies so we go with the cup cakes. Sounds as though you had a great time too.

We went to Chicago in Sept. that year for the 'Tut' exhibit. I'd been waiting for almost 2 years for it to get close enough to go. We spent several hours there and I could have spent longer, but Hubby had indulged me enough. :} Wasn;t it wonderful? You should probably read the first 3 before this one.

beckie said...

Marnie, it was like Christmas! I was tickled to get such great gifts. I am having fun learning on my new camera. It's a good thing I can delete photos-not like wasting film. LOL

Susie, I hope memories were being made. Several are old enough to remember and with pictures maybe the little ones will remember too.

It was a stab in the heart when I realized my camera was gone. I was upset and mad at myself for being so careless. But the new camera will be lots of fun and I am putting a bungee cord on the carrying handle to keep track of it. :}

beckie said...

Joey, Thelma and Louise are planning a weekend soon-will let you know how it turns out. :) I missed the deleted post, but don't worry. I loaded pictures one time palnning on going back and adding the narrative at a later date. Instead I hit publish and didn't relize it Til I got an email from Lisa! I showed your protein salad to my granddaughter and she is making it tonight. Thanks again.

Wendy said...

What a wonderful weekend! Grandkids are really special and fun. I love watching them decorate, whether it's cookies or cupcakes. Yours look so happy.

A very Happy Birthday to dear Andrea's eldest child. Ten years old already. I think Mommy was nearby, sending her love....

Your books sound intriguing! I also like to read about ancient egypt. Will check them out.
Enjoy your new camera. Especially now that gardening season is just around the corner.

Sue said...

Hi Beckie,
I'm so glad you got a camera in time for the grandkids fun Valentine's and birthday event! I enjoyed seeing the pics.

I didn't read the other comments, so hopefully someone was able to ID the hawk.

I still need to study my manual some more for the camera I got recently. I don't think it has the extra macro setting. I hope it takes as good close ups of flowers and butterflies as it does pics from far away.

Have a great day!

Gail said...

Hello! I must admit that I thought you and Rose had another adventure! This was a good one, too...Your granddaughters are adorable. I miss having young kids around me. Time to visit the nieces and nephews.

You are going to have the best time with your camera...having more megapixels really helps and a super macro is perfect for the bug shots. Now that you've gotten more comfortable getting up close and personal with them.


beckie said...

Wendy, we had a lot of fun seeing them decorate in their own styles. I do think Andrea keeps an eye on her girls. She always was very close to them.

I am looking forward to garden season and catching some great shots of bugs and flowers.

Sue, I was detremined to have a new camera in time for the girls' weekend. I knew I wanted to take pictures of the decorating and the birthday. Good luck with your camera!

beckie said...

Gail, thanks. I think they are pretty special. :} So far the camera is winning-I am still in the very early learning curve. But by the time the butterflies are back I hope to have it down pat.

Kathleen said...

Oh Beckie, what a fun time you had! Those cupcakes look yummy ~ I'd like to come over and decorate some too! Maybe I'll try this with my daughter? Glad you got a new camera. If you took the hawk photo from across the road, you picked out a nice one. Doesn't it make you sick when you lose something? ugh. Happy belated Valentine's Day! I looks like you had a nice one.

Kathleen said...

I forgot to say what a pretty birdfeeder you received! Perfect for you with the dragonflies!!

perennialgardener said...

What a nice way to spend the day Beckie. Looks like your granddaughters had fun too! :) Congrats on the new camera & birdfeeder. I have a birdfeeder identical to yours. :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie....lovely to see you with all your beautiful always seem such a happy family, it is a joy to know that there are still families that come together regularly......

I love the bird feeder and the dragonfly, with its associations, makes it so very special......

How are you liking your new camera? They take some getting used to, don't they.....

Lovely photograph of the hawk.....well done you. It is such a thrill when you take a shot like that, isn't it???

beckie said...

Hi Kathleen, the camera seems to be working out great. I was so happy with the hawk picture. Now if some pretty birds would just come to the new feeder. :) I am still trying to learn the super macro. Thanks! I love the new feeder.

Racquel, isn't it a great looking feeder? And hopefully no squirrels. :)

beckie said...

Cheryl, so good to hear from you! We are a close famliy that's for sure. Of course it's not always fun and laughter. :}

The new camera is fun-it's just taking a while to learn all the settings. I was thrilled to get the hawk and have it look so great.

Have a great time on your holiday!

beckie said...

Cheryl, so good to hear from you! We are a close family and have a lot of fun most of the time. But there are times.... :} I am enjoying the new camera, still getting used to all the settings. The hawk picture was a thrill! Now I can't wait for bees and butterflies.

Have a great time on your holiday.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Beckie--Aren't new cameras fun? I'm still learning mine and I've had it for 6 months! and what a great weekend--your little girls are adorable (re the gender split--I have 12 nieces and 1 nephew--so with my son factored in, my mom's grandkids are 12 girls, 2 boys--but all 5 of her great-grandkids so far are boys! I know it's coincidence, but it's a weird one). Anyway, I know you must love that beautiful, dragonfly bedecked bird feeder. What a great weekend.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Beckie--Aren't new cameras fun? I'm still learning mine and I've had it for 6 months! and what a great weekend--your little girls are adorable (re the gender split--I have 12 nieces and 1 nephew--so with my son factored in, my mom's grandkids are 12 girls, 2 boys--but all 7 of her great-grandkids so far are boys! I know it's coincidence, but it's a weird one). Anyway, I know you must love that beautiful, dragonfly bedecked bird feeder. What a great weekend.

beckie said...

Cosmo, I am having fun with the new camera. This is the first one I've had that is more than point and shoot so it's taking me a while to learn. :}

Hubby came from 6 boys and 1 girl and granchildren are 8 girls and 2 boys. Great are 9 girls!

queenofseaford said...

I am new to your sight, saw your posting on Cosmos. As I read down your post I saw the Wilbur Smith book and had to write!! I really enjoy so many of his, but the favorites are River God and Seventh Scroll. On that note- you should visit my blog...saw some King Tut stuff (replicas) yesterday.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Beckie:) It looks as if you've been busy since my last visit! Great fun, it sounds like. Those grandchildren are the joy of your life, I'm sure. Part of your soul, really. The birdfeeder is lovely. I love the butterflies! The dragonflies are perfect for you, too! Camera wise, we'll never match some people's photos (!) but I think they may have better and more powerful features than we do! I have a nice camera, but not as powerful as Robin's. Can't afford it!! I just have fun-if they come out great I'm lucky! If they come out good, I'm happy! If they come out half-way-decent, what more can I ask for!!!

Mary said...

Beckie got a new camera! Yay! You'll love it. A new camera is also better than the last, yes?

Those photos of food at the Girls' Weekend made me head for the pantry! LOL!

I'll be back to see how you like your Canon. It has very good reviews.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I haven't read Wilbur Smith in years, I used to love his books, I had kind of forgotten about him, I will have to check him out again.
Thanks for the reminder. I bet you were heartsick about your camera, congrats on the new one. I treated myself to a new camera for my 60th birthday in Dec but have not had much of a chance to play with it.