Sunday, May 31, 2009


Alex graduated from 8th grade yesterday!

The school is a Kindergarted through 8th grade school, so reaching the end of 9 years is a big deal. Look at those big feet! And did they all buy the same suit?

Alex is off to high school sooner than you'd think, he's on the freshman football team and daily practices begin June 8.

We started the day with a brunch hosted by the seventh grade and then after the ceremony we had lunch at Gigi's.

We are proud of you Alex! Go Panthers!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Small Town Joys


Not too long ago, we got the urge to take a drive. Gram, Pop, Grace, and I hit the road and made our way up the hill to Three Rivers. It is close to the Sierras, and a nice little hour or so drive from home.

And, ahem, coincidentally there is a nice little yarn shop there, Creekside Yarns. The shop has a very nice selection of yarns, including some very posh cashmere sock yarn at 35 dollars a sock! (I didn't get any of that - this time) I did come away with some alpaca that could become a Christmas present.

We also got treated to some very special scenery, metal farm animal sculptures. Why? Who knows. But it was fun to see.
We then made our way to the little town of Exeter, which is known for the murals they have painted all over their little downtown. I must say I have been in a lot of little valley towns, and this was a very nice example. Here are a couple of the murals:
We had lunch at a little "hole in the wall" place which was very yummy, and then we shopped a little, and then went to Kingsburg, which always must include a visit to Our Stuga, a great little shop.

It was a nice spring Saturday in the valley.

Friday, May 22, 2009

First Communion

May is the month of milestones around here. On May 2, my little Gracie celebrated her First Holy Communion. She had a wonderful mass and was very excited to receive the sacrament.

The Mass was followed by a nice luncheon at a local restaurant, and the cake and presents were popular!

One of the highlights of the day was that her godparents Mark and Jean were able to travel from Wisconsin to be with her on her special day. This was the first time we had seen them since they moved almost 5 years ago.

As my gift to her, I knitted Grace a lace veil to wear with her dress. I used a pattern for an altar cloth from First Book of Modern Lace Knitting. I used the center panel which was knitted first, and then added the border. The border pattern and instructions were found in Victorian Lace Today. It went together very smoothly, considering I was sort of winging it.

Grace looked beautiful. She wore Emily's dress. It was very special to see both my girls wear the same dress. There haven't been many hand-me-downs in our family, so this was a bonus. Interestingly, Grace's friend Brianna is the sister of Emily's best friend Karley. Brianna also wore the same dress her sister did. Here are the two girls together -

One of the traditions is to make a banner that is displayed up in the front of the church. Here is the banner Grace and I made - it coordinates with the banners her sister and brother made. They are now all three hanging in our hallway, Grace is very proud of that! And we are very proud of her.

My little boy

Is all grown up and ready to graduate 8th grade!

At our school, it is tradition for the first graders to be welcomed at the beginning of the year by the eighth graders, and in turn at the end of the year the first graders say farewell to the big kids at the Farewell Mass.

This morning's mass was just as ordered, warm weather, kids in wacky outfits ready for the annual play day to follow, and first grade moms blowing up balloons for the end of mass.

Here is Alex with the little boy who presented him with his balloon, as they walk out to the blacktop for the big "liftoff." I can remember when he was the first grader and that eighth grader seemed so tall.

Here are his real buddies - the first graders he has been paired with as "buddies" all year.

And there they go!

Here he is with a bunch of friends -

So grown up. So rolling his eyes as his mother gets all teary! So proud of our Alex!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


May is crazy time around these parts, so I'm behind in blogging even more than usual. Here is a catch-up post...

Just before Easter Maurice needed to go do some business in Vancouver. He usually asks me to go along, but I never get the chance due to the kids, work, etc.. but this time I was able to rearrange some things and call in reinforcements and actually go along!

I LOVE Vancouver. The gardens, the water, the mountains in the background, the whole package. We had gone their many times before, but not since the kids were little. This was the first time I have gone in early Spring and it was prime blossom/tulip season. Beautiful!! It was a little rainy, but not enough to need to take advantage of the umbrella vending machine!

Knowing Maurice would be occupied with work, I did some advance research on the yarn store scene (thanks Ravelry!) and had one particular store in mind, Three Bags Full. It was charming, and had a great selection of natural fibers. They had an entire wall of Cascade 220 in probably every color, so you can imagine the amount of felting that goes on there.

I had heard that Sivia Harding worked there (she of lace knitting designer notoriety) but of course she wasn't there when I was. However, I did pick up a souvenir scarf pattern.

We also had a little time for regular sightseeing, such as Granville Island, shopping on Robson Street, and the like. My personal favorite was just soaking up the Canadian elegance at the Sutton Place Hotel, where we have stayed many times before. I think that is my favorite hotel of any we have stayed anywhere. Except for the Royal Hawaiian. Maybe they are tied.

Oh, did I mention that they are filming New Moon in Vancouver? And that is was rumored that the actors were staying at our hotel while we were there? We heard that from several sources (including fans camped outside writing Robert Pattinson love letters) but we never actually saw anything. But maybe I breathed air that touched him. Swoon. (Enough to make Emily jealous anyway).

Two nice dinners, one Chocoholic Buffet, and crepes with maple butter and back bacon for breakfast were almost as good as breathing Edward air.

They are having the Olympics in Vancouver this winter and evidence of that was everywhere - from merchandise already being sold on every corner, to a massive makeover of the airport and areas around the city. The airport was very nice - probably the nicest airport I have been to.

Overall, I wish we could have stayed much longer. We will have to not let 10 years go by before the next time.