School’s Back

It’s official - all the grandkids are back in school so summer must really be over.

Leanne is starting 2nd grade (she has Leia’s old 2nd grade teacher),

and Leia is starting 5th grade (she has sister Naia’s old teacher!)

Addison started middle school (!!) last week.

She’s on the school swim team and placed 3rd in 50-meter backstroke during her first meet. Yay!!

And last but not least, Travis started first grade earlier this week. Hope they all have a spectacular school year!


Front And Back

I’ve been on a mission lately to get stuff done. In addition to binding Firefly (just need to hand stitch it down) and adding borders to Kingfisher, I resurrected this quilt I started well over a year ago. 

 Final size is 50 x 73”. 

I had goofed it up badly, ordered more fabric, then let it sit in favor of other projects. But it’s done and headed to my favorite long-armer on Thursday. (Just looked it up. Seems I re-ordered the fabric in July 2016. Eek!!)

I don’t usually like a variety of fabrics on the back of a quilt, but I had all these space-related goodies (and more!) and wanted to use them somehow. 

 The gray fabric is the moon’s surface.

I think it turned out ok. Just hope Addy thinks so too!



Donovan had his 4 month checkup today and the doctor confirmed what we already knew - he is a big, healthy youngster.

Donovan weighs 19 pounds - at 4 months!! - and is 26” tall, which puts him in the 75% for height and the 95% for weight (and head size). 

The doctor was impressed with his growth and his awareness - she had trouble examining his ears because he was so interested in the light on her otoscope that he kept turning his head to follow it - and confirmed that he definitely has his first tooth coming in.

So glad he’s a happy, healthy baby!


End of Summer, Part 2

Friday’s End of Summer Celebration, Part 2, was all about baleen, boats, and binoculars.

This was Leanne’s first trip out on the ocean. We were a bit concerned about her getting seasick but she handled the waves like a champ. 

She (and Leia) were much more interested in trying out their new binoculars - which made their first appearance while we were still tied to the dock - and in seeing what was available in the on-board snack bar.

Getting their sea legs, heading for the rail to watch the 40-50 dolphins that raced and played alongside our boat.

Elsa goes to sea.

Approaching Anacapa Island’s harbor.

This isn’t whale watching season, so most of the people on board got off on the island for a day of hiking, starting with this climb from the boat dock. The boat was a lot less crowded when we cast off for the return trip.

Still loving the binoculars.

The island is part of Channel Islands National Park.

The captain took us around the south end of the island, with great views of the arch, lighthouse, and the dozens of pelicans nesting on the rocks. (Fortunately we weren’t within smelling distance; that’s a lot of bird poop!)

We saw sea lions, seals, lots of different birds, and possibly an otter (Leia disagrees with me), before we turned around and headed back toward Channel Island harbor.

This trip was advertised as a “wildlife viewing” cruise, rather than whale watching, but the captain said if he heard of any whale sightings within a reasonable distance, he’d head that way. He didn’t need to bother - the whale came to us!

The water was so clear we could see the outline of this gray whale as he cruised directly toward us, 

eventually stopping about 50 yards away. 

That’s the boat’s railing at the bottom of the photo above. The whale was so close we could see the barnacles on his skin.

The crew had expected this to be a humpback, since gray whale migration happens in November, but this guy surprised them.

Heading home, tired and happy. Leanne says seeing the whale was great but the dolphins were still her favorite.


End of Summer Celebration, Part 1

The big girls go back to school next Wednesday (how did 3 months go by so fast!??), 

so we’re celebrating summer’s end with a 2-day grandgirl party.

Part 1 was today’s trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo, one of our favorite places.

A lot of area schools are already back in session, so the summer crowds were gone and the atmosphere was much more relaxed.

We visited Chadwick, who is 85 (in human years) and the only lion currently in residence. His mate died a few years ago and the zoo’s 2 younger females have gone to other zoos. Jackie was pretty excited to watch the “kitty” climb up onto his rock and make himself comfortable.

The big girls fed Michael ⬆️

and Audrey (or is that Mary Lou??),

hung out in the wind tunnel,

and tried to feed the sheep but this pushy guy kept chasing everyone else away. I thought he was coming over the fence to make sure Leia wasn’t holding back any food from him. 

Jac played us a concert (see video below)

and had her first ride down the girl’s favorite ant hill (video below).

All in all, a very relaxing and pleasant way to spend the day. The party continues with a sleep-over tonight. Everyone needs to be well rested - and up bright and early - for tomorrow’s Celebration, Part 2.






Done And Dusted

Look what I made!!

I’m sew excited to have it finished. The class was fun and my sewing skills were up to the challenge. Hooray!

Can’t wait to make another Range backpack and other Noodle-head patterns.