Growing Lady Bugs and Painted Ladies

Painted Lady CaterpillarLady Bug LarvaWe ordered a set of young larva of Lady Bugs and Painted Ladies.  This is our first year for Lady Bugs, which made for some work not having the right house for the larva to mature inside.  Karen is very resourceful and quickly came up with a Lady Bug house.  The caterpillars were less than a ¼ inch in length and quickly grew to about an 1½ in length.  The lady bugs were about the same length, but were much more active and quickly spread all about their little house.

Painted Lady ReleaseIn about 2 weeks, we had Painted Ladies and Lady Bugs ready for release.  The release was so quick that I didn’t get a photo of the Lady Bugs being let go.  Sadly, two of our Painted Ladies had a misshaped wing, but we put them on our flowers.

Adult Time with Lovely Wife

Karen Allen, WifeKaren and I had a wonderfully evening helping Joan and Jim Trolinger celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. It was fun seeing friends and making new ones, but it was my time with my wonderful wife that made it special. 

Hiking Around Paul Ronning’s Land

Karen Allen Pausing before jumping creek During our visit to the Birmingham area, we stopped by Karen’s brother’s land to help him find his property’s survey markers. We were down in the area for a rock hounding trip for Karen and Katie Beth. 

Paul’s land is 40 acres that is mostly woods with small creeks running here and there. He is slowly clearing the land of undesirable under growth.  He has some really nice trees on some parts of the land and the land is mainly flat with a ridge line on one side. 

We took our GPS units preloaded with waypoints for the corners of Paul’s property.  We had visited Paul’s land before and had found one of the markers, but Paul didn’t believe it was correct. Today, the GPS confirmed the location and helped us find the other interior corner of the property. 

All of the hiking around had sure tired Paul. Katie Beth would like to explore more of the land, but she may have enjoyed Paul bringing her wafer cookies even more so. Karen really enjoyed helping her brother. 

Compose Yourself: FREE Family Concert

We had a fun morning with Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as they put on a free concert to introduce child to the symphony entitled: “COMPOSE YOURSELF: An interactive introduction to the orchestra”.  The event started with many musically activities from musically chairs lead by the string instruments to meetings the conductor.

Katie Beth liked the narrator that danced as visual interpretation of the music while describing it.

You can see more photos here. Remember, the username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”.

Lego Fun at Riverchase Galleria

Lego Liberty Bell and Katie Beth AllenWe visited Karen’s sister, Sharon Ronning, for her 50th birthday party.  While in Birmingham, we made a whole day of it by going to the Lego Club build and toured the LEGO® Americana Roadshow that was on display in the Galleria.

The big builds of the capital building and similar are cool, but the smaller builds are even neater with all of the details.

You can see more photos here.  Remember, the username and password are “Friends” and “Photos”.

Community Celebration of Fiber Arts

Hand SpinnerWe all headed to the Community Celebration of Fiber Arts at Lowe Mill.  It turned out to be pretty cool.  Katie Beth got a hand spinner and made yarn with it.  While Katie Beth was doing that, Karen and I learned how to operate a loom and added a few courses to the work in progress.  Karen Allen working loomKaren and I really appreciated Sarah’s patient with teaching us how to work it.  We never really knew that a loom could be so busy with both arms and legs working the loom.  The Huntsville Fiber Guild put on a fun event with something for anyone looking into this craft.

Christmas Morning and Snake!

Our Christmas could be summed up with one word and that word is “Snake!”  Katie Beth has been wanting a snake with every request given to Santa Claus in person or via letter.

This morning when Katie Beth came down stairs and assessed the Christmas tree and the spread of gifts, she didn’t see anything that jumped out at her. She proceeded to a gift that had been under the tree for many days. She asked if she could open it and with quick concurrence she was off to opening.

Meanwhile, Karen is videoing and I’m snapping photos. In the background, animal sounds are heard and Katie Beth moves onto the next present while asking can she continue. “Go ahead”, we concur.

The animal sounds continue, but louder without Katie Beth noticing anything. At this point, Karen is unable to hold the video camera steady due to giggling so much.
Katie Beth asks to proceed to the third gift all the while the animal noises are getting very loud. Finally, the light bulb of curiosity goes off in Katie Beth’s head.

She focuses her attention on the large covered gift in the corner. With a little delay, she uncovers the gift to see a pet carrier.  Her face lights up with a glowing smile that doesn’t stop.

She starts to open the carrier to have a kitten pop his head out the top.  From this moment on, the kitten is the focus even while other activities are proceeding. Katie Beth is beside herself and can’t stop smiling.

The rest of the morning is a almost a blur.

Ah, the snake. Here is how that came about?

Karen: “Is this what you asked for?”
Katie Beth said, “Yes.”
Karen: “It is? So, this is what?”
Katie Beth: “What I asked for.”
Karen: “What did you ask for?”
Katie Beth: “I asked for a pet, basically.”
Karen: “What kind of pet did you ask for?”
Katie Beth: “A cat or a snake.”
Karen: “I only heard one pet from Santa. Santa said you only asked for one pet.”
Katie Beth: “A snake.”
Karen: “So, this is? What you asked for? Did you get what you asked for? So, is this snake?”
Katie Beth: “Are you blind?”
Karen: laughs, “So, is this Snake? Is this what we are going to call this cat?”
Katie Beth: “Yes.”
Karen: “We are going to call this cat ‘Snake'”.
Katie Beth: “Yeah.”
Karen: “Because, you got what you asked for.”
Katie Beth: “uh, ah.”

This went on for a bit, but you get the idea.  So, our tabby is called “Snake.”