Saturday, May 11, 2019

My Favorite Photos - April 2019

This was a challenging month to choose photos since we took a trip to Seattle and Alaska as a pre-graduation celebration of Sophia's high school graduation. There also were other highlights from the month. This is a very long post with many photos. Feel free to skim through quickly. I had a hard time cutting down the photos from the 1,000+ photos I took in April.

These are the ones I chose as my favorite ones:

The girls wanted to go to a homeschool prom this year, so we got dresses for them a couple of months ago. April 4th was the day to get the dresses altered:

 

I'm not a fan of having my photo taken. However, this was the annual tea party at the homeschool co-op that the girls attend. Sophia wanted to go, so she, my sister, and I went there and had a really nice time. 


On April 9th, Olivia took this photo of our horses. They are inseparable; and I'm so happy that they have one another. They both came from abuse/neglect situations and met each other on the day they were both brought to our farm to start their lives over. It's been wonderful seeing them develop such a close bond with one another. 


On April 11th, we had a snowstorm that once again brought everything to a halt. The red-winged blackbirds had already migrated back for the Spring. We had a good 200 red-winged blackbirds along with grackles and crows looking for food during the prolonged Winter. We've never had that many birds at our feeder so it was exciting to see them gathered so close to our home.


On the 12th, Sophia played the harp for animals waiting to be adopted. The is one of two dogs brought over from South Korea. His destiny would have been being someone's dinner since he was part of the meat trade there. I'm thankful that there are people and groups who are willing to rescue the dogs from the overseas meat trade.


On the 14th, Olivia and I took a class at the art center. We learned how to paint Dala horse plaques. We will be hanging ours on our barn once it is painted and completed.


We went up to the top of Seattle's Space Needle on April 24th. There are plexiglass windows behind us in the photo below, and we are leaning against them. Sophia was very nervous about doing this. The next thing I knew, she was holding my hand and that gave her the confidence to lean back in the photo below.

There was an immediate flashback to when she was little and wanted and needed to hold my hand - especially when we were in public. Here she is 18 years old, and there's still a little part of her that is my little girl who needs that extra reassurance. It is one of my favorite photos from the trip.


Also on the 24th, we went to Chihuhly Garden and Glass which is next door to the Space Needle. The artistry and diversity of glass pieces shown there are phenomenal. This is my favorite part of the exhibit - the boat room:


Another intriguing part of the museum is that glass is integrated with the gardens. The color of the glass is also the color of the plants and flowers in the garden. The image below, for example, is of all black, white, and gray plants since the artwork is the same colors.


In contrast, here's the purple and white garden. It has a completely different look and feel to it.



Sophia pointed out that the colors are graduated when you look at the tip of some the pieces.


I was excited to see the Space Needle and the glass building at Chihuhly Garden and Glass reflected in a glass ball in the glass gardens.


Another place we visited on the 24th was the Museum of Pop Culture. My favorite part of the museum was the costumes that were worn in "The Wizard of Oz." I was so happy to see Dorothy's dress and what good condition it still is in.


Another part of the museum were items from Prince's life and performance career. Below is a replica of the motorcycle he drove in Purple Rain (I believe). The girls were excited that the museum let people sit on it.


On April 25th, we went on a boat cruise around the Seattle Harbor. We learned a lot about the area, the buildings, fishing industry, and boats. The tour guide also pointed out two sea lions that were pretty close to our boat.


On April 26th, we were in Anchorage. Our first stop was the Anchorage Art Museum. A cute little carving was of a Native American with a raven mask on. The gloves with the fur trim are typical of that area.


The artist who did the bear painting and magpie mobile had a couple other pieces in the museum as well. I like the cheerful colors she used.


We saw a lot of wood carvings and totem poles while in Seattle and Alaska. This is a small version of one that Olivia is standing by.


April 27th was a nature-filled day! We were driving from Anchorage to Seward and Sophia spotted a pod of beluga whales out in the channel. We pulled over (as did many other people) and watched about 25-30 whales. It was particularly exciting when their tails came out of the water!


The scenery - the mountains and water - were so beautiful. 


Olivia spotted mountain goats near the top of a very tall cliff. There were four goats somehow managing to climb over and across the rocky ledges. Below is a picture of three of the goats.


We found a place that did gold panning. It was interesting to learn about the history of gold panning and the gold industry in Alaska. The process to find gold (which all of us did...just a little though) gave us a much greater appreciation of the work involved.


In the afternoon of the 27th, we spent it at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. We were able to feed a porcupine. Olivia is feeding Kit Kat, the porcupine, a grape.


We also got to feed a young moose biscuits. Sophia enjoyed being able to get up close to the moose and feed him. He kind of reminded me of our horse with that big muzzle.


We saw a black bear.


There were two caribou females who had babies.


Some of the caribou were growing antlers so they were fuzzy/had velvet on them still.


Check out this cute baby who is getting more confident on his or her feet.


We saw a magpie. Didn't realize they had such long tails.


Got to see a beautiful grizzly/brown bear up close. It was swimming in the water so that's why his or her fur is wet.


On the 28th, we drove from Anchorage to Seward. Again, the mountains were spectacular. 


We stopped at Portage Glacier and saw a little iceberg. There was still about 8-12 feet of snow on the glacier, so we weren't able to see the blue ice of the glacier...just a lot of snow.


In Seward, we were able to feed puffins at SeaLife Center.


We saw beautiful waterfowl.


Saw ducks and puffins swimming.


And saw gulls up close.


At SeaLife Center, there were seals. It was interesting to see them eat from the bottom of the aquarium. To stay in place, like shown below, they cross their back flippers. When they uncross them, they float up a bit and can start swimming again.


We saw beautiful jellyfish.


The girls and I went on a drive in the evening. It was still light until almost 11 p.m., so our days were long which was nice. In Seward, there's a narrow road that eventually goes to the end of a peninsula. There, we saw about seven juvenile and adult eagles eating, fishing, flying, and watching the water. It was amazing!!


If that wasn't enough, on our way back we saw two otters in the ocean! They are very loud eaters. We could hear them munching away on something from the shore and they were out quite a ways in the water.


On the 28th, we drove back from Seward through Anchorage and then about 45 minutes north to Palmer. On the way, we stopped at McHugh Creek - it's part of a state park. There was a beautiful waterfall and small lake, and rocks we enjoyed climbing over. The wind was rather strong so it felt like it was three degrees.


We went to the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer. Musk ox used to live in the Ice Age so they their nasal passages are complex. It allows the cold air to warm up as it makes its way through the nasal cavities and before it reaches the lungs.


The musk ox horns and skull weigh about 45 pounds.


We were fortunate to see two babies and their mothers. This is one of them.


There are literally hundreds more I could have included as favorite ones. The scenery, the activities we did, and the memories we created were such a highlight of the month...and of the year.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A to Z Challenge - Hairstyles for Sophia's Graduation Ceremony

During the month of April, I will be writing Monday through Saturday; and will exploring crafting, holidays, recipes, travel, and other items I've pinned on Pinterest. Each post will focus on a different letter of the alphabet. Today, I am focusing on the letter "H" and will be looking at my Hair board.



As I'm preparing for Sophia's high school graduation ceremony and party, I'm looking for ways to do my hair. A long time ago, I started a Pinterest board about Hair. As I was looking through the styles, some stood out as ones that I think would look nice at the ceremony:


I like the waves and hair off the face. It may be time to trade in my bangs or having hair that is off my face. I've tried it once before, but with shorter hair. Maybe it would be different with longer hair with more body.

Another one I like is having hair half pulled up and the length curled like this:


Another option is to pull up some of my hair and do a creative-looking bun. I think I would want more curls in the lower part, though.


This one is pretty - with hair pulled up and fastened on top with lots of curls:


As I look at the photos, there seems to be a pattern emerging. The first photo, now that I look at these together, may be more appropriate for a graduation party than the ceremony. 

Only 43 days until the graduation ceremony. Where did the time go?