Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Next comes Ashley pushing the Baby Carriage

When we discussed the menu for the shower, Ashley declared that she'd like a watermelon fruit basket. Good Grief, I thought, that's something I've never done before. So I went on the Internet and looked up how to carve a watermelon into a fruit basket. I found other amazing sculptures, including a baby carriage, which totally fit our party theme. I told everyone we were going to attempt to carve the watermelon and I'd blog the results, be it good or bad.

So I began with help from Meghan and Ashley. I began by drawing the cut line on the melon. Oops! I drew past the bonnet section of the carriage and it was permanent marker. Meghan came to the rescue with the bright idea of trying a Mr. Eraser sponge to erase it and guess what? It worked pretty good. Then when I cut the top off to make the basic shape of the carriage, the second glitch occurred.... the watermelon split about an inch past the cut line. Ugh! Well at least it was on the same side as the marker boo-boo, we determined that would be the side facing the back.

Meghan cut the handle. We ended up trimming it a little thinner than it was in this photo, but you get the basic idea.

Here's our finished baby carriage. The hardest part of the whole sculpture was the wheels. The centers of the oranges just don't hold anything. I had to cut a mini square of watermelon rind to put in the center of the orange. It was a little frustrating, but we were able to get them attached and they stayed on well.

Filled with fruit and on display. The wheels were suppose to have strawberries as hub caps, but we used the watermelon rind circles instead, because we forgot to save some out when we cut the fruit for the salad.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Number Four, AVA!

I have a grand daughter who just turned four. A Very Adorable child.

While they enjoyed a celebration of cake & ice cream everyone took a turn saying what they loved most about Ava. She was so thrilled, she requested a repeat performance. Insert (laughing out loud) here.

Gramie couldn't not be present for her birthday, but I would like to put my two cents in. First a look at the cake and what this years birthday celebration held for Ava.

Good choice, Mom & Dad, the cake is adorable too.

In years past the family has had a huge BBQ with friends and coworkers for Ava's birthday and another for her brother the next month, but this year they opted for something new, family oriented & fun for all of them. Here's a great combination - Amusement Park & Christmas combined, which spells Santa's Village in New Hampshire.

What I love most about Ava is her love for her brother & her gift of helping.

One day while I was visiting their house we waited at the end of the drive way well past the time Michael was suppose to arrive home from school. We watched bus after bus going by one way and then returning from the other direction. No Michael. I began to worry that he'd fallen asleep on the bus or been left behind at the school. I didn't know what to do. If I walked back up their long driveway to the house to get my cell phone his bus might come and wouldn't let him off because no one was waiting at the end of the driveway for him. So I asked Ava if she'd run back to the house and get Gramie's phone. I explained that I was worried about him because he was late.

Here's Ava running back with my purse. I dialed her Mom on the phone and as I touched the send button, here came the bus. I was so relieved. I gave him a great big hug. Ava did too after asking him the big question. "Michael where were you?"
She loves her big brother and is always looking out for him, making sure he gets his fair share and is never left behind.

Ava your a great sister and a very special grand daughter!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This is what you get when you make a comment like mine at a baby shower.

What was the comment? "I don't think I'm going to have any grand children this year" The next day the phone rang, it was Meghan. Then a few weeks later came an email from Mexico -- Guess who else is having a baby? Now we are the ones planning a baby shower.

Sisters expecting 6 weeks apart.

These two wanted in on the photo session too. The little leather purse and Sydney have been inseparable since she's been at Gramie's house. The purse is over 30 years old, it was her Aunt Amanda's when she was that size.

After the photosession we went to the Cast Away Cafe. First we tried the little slide and then the big one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Little Bed Comes Out Again

When Audra was just a little tike her Grandpa made her a little bed, so she could move out of her crib. He was a very handy man and owned his own woodworking tools, so it is sturdy and will last through several generations of kids, moving out of their cribs as well. So far we've kept it at our house and put it up for Michael to sleep in when he was visiting and at the appropriate age. Now it's Sydney's turn. It will stay here at Gramie La La's for the all the grand kids to use until Audra has children of her own.

Here's a picture of the Audra's little bed that Grandpa Korte made.

I miniaturized a set of twin sheets to fit it. Yep, those are the Smurfs. Remember those cute little blue guys. That was back when cartoon were still cute and they weren't so violent as they are now. Boo! Hiss! Sponge Bob! and all those other stupid cartoons they have now days. But I digress....

I would like to include a photo of Audra in the little bed, but that would involve climbing into our loft one more time and I've been up their countless times this weeks already for Ashley's baby shower photo project and other things we've had going on. Anyway, I'll leave you with a picture of Audra when she was little.

And the post would not be complete without a picture of the man that made this post possible - Grandpa Korte. He was one terrific grandpa, father and father-in-law and surely we could say the same about Grandma. They are missed by all, but we are thankful for all the wonderful memories we have of them, such as this one.

Month by Month - What a cool idea

I have run across this concept of photo documentation of baby's growth several times and I think it's a great idea. I wish I would have thought of that when I was a young mom with babies growing up.

Here's an example from Harper's Mom's Blog also known as Kelly's Korner. You'll have to scroll down to the bottom of the entry to see the month by month picture. And Harper's mom just put up some really gorgeous new pictures of her. I call her the Big Bow Girl.

And check this out. There are way cool ideas for photo documenting pregnancy, cool birth announcements, baby book and beyond. Click here to get started picaboo. Have fun creating.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You Can Have Your Cake - But You Can't Eat It Too!

The diaper cake is finished with a week to spare before Ashley's Baby Shower.

I tried to keep it unisex - but I soon found out that it's either girlish or boyish they just don't have much in the way of clothing that can go either way.

Ta Dah! Here it is and I'll list all the ingredients below, as I'm sure you'll never guess what I've managed to incorporate as decorations on this diaper cake.

A pair of Robez shoes from Stride Rite is the topper.
3 burp clothes
3 onsies
2 pair of socks
1 wrist rattle
1 pair of booties
6 spoons
2 pacifiers
1 pair of sunglasses
2 teething toys
3 travel size baby products
1 stuffed teddy bear

This would be the Mom-To-Be
She has a cute little baby bump belly at the moment

I even made it a point to get my picture with her. Vacations come and vacations go and I'm always the one behind the camera. I wanted to make sure Ashley has pictures to show the baby.

This is your Grammie and your Mommy

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Waiting for Baby


A baby boy's a promise
of happy things to come-
Building blocks.... a rocking horse...
A baseball glove.... a drum....
Of lots of noise and action
Of a busy, loving, fun filled home
With lots of joy inside

Waiting for Griffin Sawyer. Mommy says he's not done growing yet.

If kisses could help him grow, he'd get here a whole lot quicker.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

FINALLY! Canon Rebel Pictures HOORAY!

Sydney on the porch swing - Waiting for Grandpa to walk us to the bridge

Photo session on the stone bridge - We had so much fun she wanted to go back the next day.

There was plenty of running around between shots. We spotted a turtle, some frogs and sooo many dragonflies.

Can you tell it's a new camera, higher quality? You can bet I'll be taking a camera class if I can find one nearby.

I braided Sydney's hair. Many years ago I took hair braiding lessons when my four girls were young and I'm still getting my monies worth playing around with my granddaughter's hair. I tried to fix it different each day that I was on vacation at their house.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

She's Here! Daughter Number 3 is in the House!

He's one happy Papa! He's trying not to crack up, so it's not the best picture of him, but Ashley sure looks cute. It's so good to have her home. We had Gus's Greek Salad & bread sticks for dinner last night & Pizza Hut Supreme Pan Pizza. Those are two of the things she's been craving since she moved to Mexico. Yes, you can get pizza in Mexico, but it's not the same.... Ashley says they put Ketchup and chimichuri sauce on it, and the toppings are hot dogs and ham (lunch meat style), it's not exactly Pizza Hut.

Today she visited the dentist and had a great report; no cavities and then we went grocery shopping together.

I'll post more pictures as I take them. Tomorrow we plan to go shopping for maternity clothes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A 3 Layer Cake-Waiting for Toppings!

Time to make another diaper cake. This will be diaper cake number four for me, so far they have all been disposable diapers. Here's the supplies I used to roll the diapers.

To begin just tuck the top of the front section of diaper down a little,so when you roll it you don't see Elmo peaking out. After rolling, secure it with yarn to keep it rolled. You want a light color of yarn or string, so it won't show through the ribbon you attach later.

Make up a cake board or buy a cake plate. I put doilies on mine, but you can use your imagination and do something completely different.

In the center of a cake plate place a paper towel tube and stand about six rolled diapers end-up around the tube. Secure the six diapers with another piece of yarn or string. You may want to enlist a second pair of hands to hold the diapers in place while you tie the string around it. Place a second ring of diapers around the first ones you put on and then secure it with yarn as well and then a third ring around the second one. Viola! You have one layer completed. Now proceed with the second layer, but just put two rings of rolled diapers around the tube. And your third layer will have just one ring of diapers around the tube.

Chose a wide ribbon to secure the layers of the cake. You can do a more than one ribbon around in different widths if you prefer. I decided to add pastel bows around the cake this time. They are pinned on with tiny gold safety pins from the back. I have also dangled charms and other items from the ribbons on previous cakes.

Here's the resulting undecorated cake. Now for the fun part. Add lots of baby stuff. Here's some ideas to get you going:

Baby care products like lotion, powder, bath wash etc. in travel sizes
Booties & socks
Comb & Brush
Nail Clippers
Baby bottles
Hat & mitten
Baby sunglasses
Lullaby CD
Barrettes & Hair ties
Baby tooth brush
Rubber duckie

I could go on & on, but you get the picture. I will post a picture of the diaper cake when it's finished. Wish me Luck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I heard a few weeks ago that criminals are using face book as a tool to commit crimes. I certainly didn't think at the time that there would be a hit on someone in my own family. Don't worry the crime was attempted, but it didn't work in this case. This is what happened.

My daughter, Meghan has a best friend named Megan B. Megan B. called our house to tell us that her husband received a notice on his face book page that our daughter had been mugged while on a trip to London and needed to borrow money to get home. Megan B. called my daughter to see if it was true, but the answering machine is all she could connect with, so she called us. Megan B. stated that her first clue that it was a hoax was that the message didn't go to her face book page. We know for a fact that our daughter is not in London. But Megan B. was worried enough to call us and what if she would not have been able to reach us? They've been best friends since Kindergarten and if it were true, well certainly she'd wire the money. See how it works, they are preying on your emotional connection to friends and family.

This is scary business. Unsavory characters lurking everywhere these days, taking advantage of unsuspecting people. Don't think that it can't happen to you. Protect yourselves as much as possible. Believe me I'm going to be more wary from now on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Revealing

I won't tease you or make you wait a second longer. Yesterday I made another trip to Joanne Fabrics ( affectionately called Joanna's in this family ) for ribbon and completed the shoes last night. At each phase I kept telling myself, this is the hardest part. I think I tied one shoe five times before I got the bow right. The two bunny ears method worked the best, for those who are curious.

Just like the invitations I made them in the four colors. Aren't they just precious?

I forgot to take a picture of the mints that are going in them. Darn! They are called mint drops, and are the shape of chocolate chips. The packages are a mixture of green, yellow, pink & white mint drops and they have white beads on the bottoms of them. You'll just have to picture them in your mind, because it's too time consuming to repeat the process of taking the picture, downloading, and posting for one picture.

Here's the whole batch, I made 40 just to be sure I have enough. Ashley may want to take some back with her if she can fit them in her luggage somewhere. If we put them inside a Tupperware container or something else rigid, they may make the trip back to Mexico okay.

Derek, my son-in-law once told me on the phone that my daughter was at Joanna's when I called. When I talked to her later, I asked her who Joanna was, I had not heard her talk about this particular friend. She had been at Joanne Fabrics buying craft supplies for scrap booking. To this day the name Joanna's has stuck.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Styrofoam Cup & All These Supplies = Baby Shower Favor

Can a simple dollar store Styrofoam cup become a really cute baby shower party favor, used to hold mints for the guests???

That's the question. What will the answer be?

My neighbor made these really cute favors for her daughter-in-law's shower, so I asked to borrow the pattern. They didn't look that hard. There were no warning labels, red flags or signs of dried tears on them.

I'd like to rewrite the directions and place a few words to the wise of my own (in big red letters) in the heading of said directions.

Must have a year or two of extreme crafting experience.

Requires previous experience cutting circular objects with scalloped scissors.

be able to dump half a grocery bag of Styrofoam into your local landfill and still be able to sleep at night.

Must be able to squeeze plastic bottle evenly with the right hand while also making an up and down motion with that hand (going over the scallops) AND be able to rotate another object with the left hand in a circular motion. If you can't tap your head and rub your tummy at the same time - FORGET IT!

Must be able to live with imperfections. Read - Blobs, smears and other boo-boos bound to happen when working with craft paints.

I'm now on the third day of making the favors.

Day 1 - Cut all cups to size. Cut tongue of shoes. Cut scallops around the top of shoe. Punch holes for lacing ribbon through to later tie the shoes.

Day 2 - Apply fabric paints to scalloped edges of shoes. This takes forever!!

Day 3 - Punch hearts for decorative touch and glue to shoes. (My neighbor used hearts, ducks & Teddy bears.) Apply iridescent glitter paint over entire shoe and let dry.

Please stay tuned for the unveiling of these unique, easy and impressive looking party favors!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Who says the exposure has to to perfect?

We just returned from a trip to North Carolina and before I download the trillions of pictures off my new Canon Rebel; I wanted to share these photos from my last trip, which I took with my old Kodak.

Perhaps you're one of those people who would say "Why did she keep that? It's over exposed." Who says it has to be perfect to be cool? Not me. I love photos that are a little bit different, a variant of the norm. These are one of a kind, not-so-perfect, unusual and well .... they're mine.

Most of the time, people try to capture the picture of the subject looking at the camera smiling. A picture can be cool even if the subject is not looking at the camera.

I love the sky in this last shot. Ava is larger than life, David (who's practically family) is in the background and then there is a crowd behind him and lastly rolling hills. I love the layered effect.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's been less than a month

It has been less than a month ago that a classmate of Audra's was murdered in Detroit and now a classmate of Ashley's was killed in a rollover accident on I96. It's so sad when people die in their 20's, no chance to marry or have children or do anything with their education. I can't imagine the sorrow their loved ones have to bare.

Karla Johnson was in Ashley's girl scout troop. She was an avid dancer, an excellent student and a good kid. The newspaper article stated she was a passenger in a car that swerved to avoid hitting an animal on the highway. The car rolled over several times and Karla who was not wearing a seat belt was thrown from the car and seriously injured. Alcohol was not involved in the accident, just a failure to buckle up.

In the back of my mind a little voice nags at could have been one of my kids. Nothing in life is guaranteed. I may be one of the lucky ones and live to a ripe old age and die before any of my children do, but there are those who are not so lucky. I do not know what my future holds... but I do know who holds my future and with that in mind I'll say a prayer for Karla's family and thank God for the many blessing he's given me in the form of children & grandchildren.