K to 8

Today, Ladybug graduates from eighth grade! Here’s a look back at every first day of school she’s had, from kindergarten through 8th grade:

And a last day of 8th grade picture, too:

On to high school!

Fourteen (on Mother’s Day)!

It’s not often that Ladybug’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day (I think it happened once before), but this year, we got to have a double celebration! After church, she got right to opening presents…I think she was pretty happy with the things she received!

This afternoon, we watched a few of her favorite movies, while I worked on dinner. For the second year in a row, she requested cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes…I think my cabbage rolling technique was much better this year, because they really didn’t fall apart in the cooking process!

She asked me to make a mirror glaze for her cake, which is not something I’d done before. Fortunately, I did a test run last month, so I knew what needed improvement, and in the end, I think I may have reached the pinnacle of my cake decorating abilities with this dessert! Yes, there is edible glitter on it!

And here’s a little glimpse at Mother’s Day (although the Oreo truffle bouquet is technically from last weekend, but it was made for a Mother’s Day celebration, so I think it still counts):

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

Sartorial Saturday–Unicorns and Pegasus

Anyone else feeling a bit whimsical?

I love this new print designed by Hope Morrison for Pinup Girl Clothing. The Unicorns and Pegasi bring just the right amount of whimsy, and the bright colors against the black background of the skirt make it so easy to accessorize. This time, I went with a bright Yemak cropped cardigan and stack of Splendette duchess bangles, but black gloves, belt, and Erstwilder brooch.

It’s the perfect outfit for transitioning to spring!

Ladybug also loves this print, and purchased the Ella dress, a style I’ve never worn, but she really likes.

Pinup Girl is also going to be offering a peasant top in this lovely shade of mint, and I’m really looking forward to getting it to wear instead of this Sabrina top as it gets warmer!

Pumpkin Picking in the Time of COVID-19

I was kind of worried about pumpkin picking this year. Actually, I had pretty much given up on the idea of us going, and I was planning on just buying a pumpkin when I went grocery shopping, because there was no way we were comfortable with piling into a tractor-pulled wagon with a bunch of people who would hopefully be wearing masks. But then I found out that most sincere pumpkin patch in the area, Braeutigum Orchards, was not only requiring masks and social distancing, they were also offering the option to walk to the pumpkin patch, and that was something we were all comfortable with! Yesterday was the perfect fall day, so we took a break from school to find the Great Pumpkin.

Actually, in some ways, in addition to being a slightly new and different experience, it was a superior experience. We got to see some parts of the farm up close for the first time ever, and it was beautiful:

There were still quite a few pumpkins left, even though it’s pretty late in the season. One thing I love about Braeutigum’s is the wide variety of pumpkin shapes and colors they offer. Being able to borrow one of their hand wagons was a fun new experience, and made our job much easier, too, which is how we ended up with four different pumpkins in three colors!

We stopped to visit the animals while we were there…we always see the chickens and turkeys, but we don’t usually get to see barn cats…we came across at least six of them!

Taking pictures was a little different this year, what with the masks and all, but it’s a memory.

Did I mention it was a beautiful day?

Of course we picked up apple cider and apple cider donuts to enjoy at home:

This was a really positive experience in a surreal time, and made yesterday feel almost like a normal day!

Thirteenth Birthday, Isolation Style

Today is Ladybug’s 13th birthday! We now have FOUR teenagers in the house!!!

We started the day with cinnamon rolls, per her request. They weren’t homemade, but honestly, the ones that come in the can are pretty good!

Present-opening was up next…I think she was happy with the gifts she received!

We spent the afternoon watching some of Ladybug’s favorite movies (Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spies in Disguise, and Tron: Legacy), while she worked on her new Lego set. We also had a socially-distant visit from our pastor, which really brightened her day, especially since she couldn’t have her grandparents visit or go anywhere interesting.

Speaking of not going anywhere, since we couldn’t go out to the Bosnian restaurant Ladybug had originally been planning to visit for her birthday dinner, I attempted making cabbage rolls for the first time. I think they turned out ok!

Ladybug asked for a guitar cake, and I think it also turned out pretty well. The strings were even straighter than I usually manage! As always, I was tickled that the words “Happy Birthday” have exactly 13 letters, which makes for the perfect candle arrangement on a 13th birthday cake!

This was our third birthday celebration in the time of COVID-19, and at this point, I’m guessing it won’t be our last. I think we’ve managed to find fun ways to celebrate, even if it’s not the way we would usually do things!

Chickadee Thursday

I’ve really relaxed my rules on screen time lately, which I’m sure makes me a horrible mother in the eyes of some, but it makes me happy to see my children enjoying playing games like Minecraft or Animal Crossing: New Horizons together, and let’s face it, there’s not a whole heck of a lot else going on right now!

Lucia Morning in Belleville

Today is one of my favorite days in Advent…St. Lucia Day! We were up bright and early, and the girls donned their crowns and handed out our breakfast of lussekattes, one of my favorite things to bake at this time of year!