Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Week with LaLa

This is a bit over-due, and I've got lots to blog, so I'll do one of those quick, mostly-pictures kind of posts. My niece Olivia (LaLa) came and spent her Spring Break with us!

We spent the week mostly talking - about books, school, books, music, books, writing, books, drama, books....and we crocheted a little...and she played guitar with Kenny a little...and we went to the movies!

We met about half-way, in Tyler, to pick her up and spent the afternoon at Caldwell Zoo with my brother Kenny, LaLa, and Sheesa and Nui.

LaLa and Mira spent most of the day like this.

Love this girl!

In the elephant foot print.

We did this last time we visited this zoo (March 2010).

She really enjoyed watching the penguins, and they enjoyed watching her, too!

Surprisingly, she was super-excited to feed the birds. What a difference from last year's bird experience!

Amongst other things, we spent some time at the park while LaLa was here.

Mira successfully flying her kite.

LaLa and I - repeatedly unsuccessful at flying ours.


Ummm, Daddy - this is stupid.

We also visited Chimp Haven for a little while which was pretty cool.

Brody and Mira had fun playing together (not really caring anything about the Chimpanzees).

We saw our first nutria!

Painting a banner for the Chimps!

And, LaLa and I went to Painting with a Twist to paint "Funky Blues" - what fun!

We had a lot of fun this week! So glad to have LaLa with us. Mira was pretty upset about dropping her off the following Sunday. Luckily, we only had to wait a week before we saw everybody again!

Garden Update!

Wow!! Our container garden is going crazy!! Check out the progress:

On March 12th (just 7 days after planting):

Tomato Seedlings

The herbs have sprouted!

Not much going on here with the bell peppers and pumpkins.

Bell Pepper plants are looking good!

Nothing happening with the strawberries - we planted some little strawberry plants here today.

The tomato plants are growing.

The onions have sprouted!

Some new growth on our Japanese Maple!

New growth on the blackberry bush!

Then yesterday, on March 28th (about 3 weeks after planting):

The bell pepper seeds have sprouted! Nothing still with the pumpkin seeds - I gave up and tossed those today.

The potatoes have grown like CRAZY!! We can barely keep up!

Planted some mint from Avi Grace's garden - CoCo swears this will survive - as pitiful as it looks. I hope so because it smells SO good! Mimosas anyone?!?

The bell pepper plants are looking good - a few flower buds have appeared!

We've since transplanted the tomato seedlings - today, I thinned and spaced them.

The blackberry bush is covered in flower buds!

Our Japanese maple, which we planted last year, is so full and beautiful right now!

We recently added the blueberry "bush" (it started out looking more like a twig) to our garden bed - it sprouted leaves in just 2-3 days, so it's looking good!

Look at the onions!!!

Tomato plants have lots of flowers already!!

We'll be protecting everything with nets soon to keep the birds from eating our bounty! We learned about that the hard way last year.

Today we replaced those strawberry plants, transplanted the bell pepper seedlings, and planted some jalapeno plants! I'm so excited that everything seems to be doing so well! We are not exactly known for our green thumbs around here! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything actually produces!!!

Oh, we also got a hydrangea today which I have always wanted and just never got - they are so beautiful!

I love this time of year - seeing all the lovely signs of Spring just make me happy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend in Fairfield

We spent this past weekend in Fairfield mainly because LaLa's theater group was having their District One Act Play competition. It was a fun-filled weekend with everything from Tom Sawyer to Zebras eating out of our hands!

Saturday morning, we gave CoCo her birthday gifts since we won't see her on her birthday in a few days. Of course, Mira wanted to "help" open the presents.

Mira made the gift wrap with her finger paints!

Saturday was the day of the OAP competition, and LaLa was supposed to get an early start. She was running a bit late, and since they live across the street from the high school (literally), the whole crew showed up at her door to retrieve her!

So excited to get going!

The company performed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and did a fantastic job; they ended up being one of only two schools to advance to the Area competition and recieving awards for Best Actress, All Star Tech, All Star Cast, and Honorary All Star Cast! They were super-excited - especially since it has been about 6 years since Fairfield has advanced in OAP!

Mira waiting patiently for the play to start. She was so good and sat through the whole play! She liked pointing out LaLa who plays four different characters - some of which are boys - so, it wasn't an easy task!

Avi is so silly!

Ready for the awards ceremony!

Calling to share the good news

LaLa with their trophy!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of visiting the ranch of a lovely couple, the Galley's, who live just outside of Fairfield. Mr. Galley drove us all over his 800 acres in his Kubota to meet all the amazing animals that they love and dote on! We saw llamas, horses, Shetland ponies, deer, oryx, ducks, zebra, and a donkey! We got to feed the llamas, horses, ponies, zebras, and donkey right out of our hands! I was surprised at how very well-behaved they all were (except the incident of the zebra wanting to eat Avi's hair).

I've never met such polite llamas!

Mira couldn't wait to feed them!

Kenny and Avi fed the sweet llamas, too!

Mira did feed them, but I can't find the picture! Look how happy she was right after!

Having fun!

Having fun? (They really were, but it was a little cold!)

We were all surprised when LaLa fed the ponies - she's not much of an animal person!

Avi loved feeding the ponies!

I'll just help myself, thanks.

What a beauty!

Whitetail taking a rest

Who doesn't have a small herd of Oryx running around their East Texas Ranch? They had two adorable babies running with them, so we couldn't get too close.

More deer/elk-type animals...

And the grand finale....!!!!

Avi feeding Dolly the Donkey.

Avi was the Zebra Whisperer - Ollie wanted to eat her hair and then her jacket.

Mira fed Dolly, too!

She was having so much fun!


CoCo and Avi giving Ollie some love after he got in trouble for trying to eat Avi. Notice she has her hood on now to keep him at bay a little!

Molly, Ollie, and Dolly

We all had a blast, as usual, playing and visiting with everyone! We'll see you all soon in April for the Area OAP competition!!