Tag Archives: Birthday

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

This week, the theme for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge from John Steiner is Birthdays. I don’t have fancy birthday celebrations. But I love going to birthday parties, especially my grandchildren’s birthdays. My husband and I just returned from a trip to my younger granddaughter, Nora’s birthday. She turned two.

In the previous years, my daughter had outdoor birthday parties for the girls. When Autumn turned one, we had a party at the park. It started raining toward the end. Many friends helped to pack up things. Last year, when Nora turned one, we had an outdoor party. It was raining before and after the party.

I thought it was a good idea when I found out Nora’s birthday party was indoors. The mask mandate was just lifted. Many people came without masks. A few people were still wearing masks. The outfit has a nice setup of various activities and playrooms. Grown-ups had a wonderful time visiting with each other.

My daughter brought cheese and crackers, fruits, and cupcakes and bought Starbucks coffee. She made the raspberry-filled cupcakes. The staff helped to do the decoration and clean up afterward. It was a lot easier than setting up the outdoor party.

Autumn helped Nora open the birthday gifts

We had a wonderful time with the kids. We went to the nearby school playgrounds twice, but mostly we played with the kids and read with them at home. This is also the time for Mercy and Will to take a break. They had date nights while we fed the kids, bathed them, and put them to bed. Autumn loved to have me read to her at bedtime because she could ask me to read many books. Nora is attached to my daughter and prefers mommy put her to bed. We somehow managed to do the job.

Going to the playgrounds

Playing, playing, playing

Reading, reading, reading

I booked the flights to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter and see the grandkids again. In fact, I also booked the flights in September for Autumn’s birthday. The birthday after that is Mercy’s birthday, the day after Christmas. I enjoy going to these birthdays.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

Happy birthday, John!

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Happy Spring

This is the 3rd day of spring.

My granddaughter Nora turns 2 today. Two years ago this week, California started the lockdown. I canceled my flight to be with my daughter for her giving birth to Nora. We waited and waited. It was her first birthday when we finally got to see her. Her 2nd birthday party will be the first indoor party we’ve had since the pandemic. It’s very exciting. We look forward to spending time with both Autumn and Nora.

My spring garden would like to sing to you.

“The first bloom of spring always makes my heart sing.” – S. Brown

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” – Ellis Peters

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot, and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” – Susan Bissonette

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” – English Proverb

Happy Spring to You!

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #180 is Favorite Images of 2021

The year 2021 was a roller coaster. There were many excitements because we could resume doing things after being restricted for a year or longer. Those moments seemed serene yet felt like wanting to shout for joy. Those were my favorite images of 2021.

My younger granddaughter was born on March 22, 2020. California reinforced the restriction on March 14. I canceled my flight at the last minute to be with my daughter for her childbirth. By March 2021, the restriction of traveling eased a little. We wanted to be there for Nora’s first birthday. I booked the flight with premium seats so that we didn’t have to pass by many passengers. We were so thrilled to see Nora for the first time.

We spent Mother’s Day with my daughter every year except the year 2020. In 2021, we were with my daughter for Mother’s Day and had a wonderful time having three generations of girls together.

Three generations of ladies

The summer of 2021 was my first-time raising Monarch butterflies and there were some casualties, but 20 butterflies made it to adulthood.

This Monarch struggled to open the wings all the way, but it finally made it to leave the cage.

I booked a trip to Banff, Canada in August for our anniversary, but the border was closed. I canceled the trip, and we went to Santa Barbara instead. It was the first long trip since Covid.

Santa Barbara Harbor

We also wanted to take day trips to the beaches, but many beaches were closed during the pandemic. We eventually made a trip to Laguna Beach in September.

Laguna Beach with high tide

We missed Autumn’s 3rd birthday in 2020 but we were excited to go to Autumn’s 4th birthday party in September last year.

Happy Birthday, Autumn!

Last but not the least, we had a white Christmas with my daughter’s family and had fun watching the grandkids playing in the snow and making a snowperson in the backyard. Autumn helped to put the pebbles on to make the eyes and buttons and put the carrot on for the nose. Nora gave the snowperson a big hug.

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LAPC #180 Favorite Images of 2021

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the images!

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Lens-Artists Challenge #167: Colors of Autumn

This week Amy introduced the theme on Colors of Autumn.

Every autumn we enjoy the beauty of the brilliant colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow results from chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer, the leaves absorb the sunlight to transform the energy into the green color. But in the autumn, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their autumn splendor. Other chemical changes may occur which form additional colors through the development of red pigments. Some mixtures give rise to the reddish and purplish autumn colors of trees such as dogwoods and sumacs, while others give the sugar maple its brilliant orange.

Trees in the neighborhood

Autumn is a great time for restaurants and stores to decorate their front with pumpkins and straw figures.

Families take their kids to the pumpkin farms and pick out their favorite pumpkins for Halloween carving or decoration.

My older granddaughter’s name is Autumn. Here are the colors of my granddaughter Autumn. She just turned four. Hubby and I went to her birthday celebration which took place last Saturday, a few days before her actual birthday.

When I talked about Autumn, I mostly talked about her reading. It’s just fair to show some photos of her doing other activities. My daughter Mercy and her hubby are aware of Autumn’s interest in reading. They want her to have a well-rounded development. Autumn is excellent in outdoor activities. She could hike for two miles. Before she turned three, she climbed rocks at the rock-climbing gym by herself, and zipped her hike up and down the slopped driveways on both sides of the street. It scared me when I watched the video my son-in-law took. I’m not opposed to little girls playing dressed-up and other girl’s activities. From the very beginning the kids’ lives, my daughter and son-in-law don’t want to limit the girls into a stenotype of development. I think Autumn can do whatever a boy could do, and more.

She just learned doing paddle boarding by herself since July this year. The background sound is Autumn’s baby sister Nora getting tired and fussing. I took the video in August when I went to Bend, Oregon and a national park with my daughter’s family.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #167: Colors of Autumn

Thank you for reading

Have a Wonderful Weekend

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Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then

Happy Thanksgiving from Beach Ford! | Beach Ford

This week Amy invited us to reflect on our time staying at home mostly due to the pandemic, compared to what happened to our life prior to this situation. What happened then, and what happened now?

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” — Albert Schweitzer

It has been over eight months since COVID-19 hit. Did time go by fast?

It did not; it was like forever. The second week of March was difficult to be confined at home. I wanted to run outside to do something. I wanted to shout or talk to someone. It was boring to do the same things day after day. There were no special events such as travel, movies, family and social gathering, birthdays, or holidays to punctuate the different seasons. As time went by, I accepted the new normal and set up my new routine. In fact, I appreciated the concentrated time to do certain tasks without interruption. Even when the social distancing was relaxed, I was not ready to take risk except going to see my granddaughters with great caution.

On the other hand, time went by fast. This one enormous bubble of a single day was in fact eight months long. Yet, it will not last forever. History told us that this will end. I will do my part to observe the safety regulation. I will stay safe and keep healthy, so when this is over, I can fully enjoy my family.

We had been doing major traveling since 2000, went to Australia, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Germany, Austria, Spain, and China, to name some countries. We didn’t go anywhere except Portland to see Mercy and her family. I spend a lot of time gardening.

Toledo, Spain

Thanksgiving is our major family gathering time. Two sister-in-laws and I took turns to host the Thanksgiving dinner. Mercy and her family came to California to join us. Two weeks ago, California, Oregon, and Washington jointly announced a new restriction. Upon arriving in Oregon, we would have to be self-quarantine for 14 days. The new spikes of cases spread throughout the country, it is worse than March when the pandemic started. Hubby and I will spend the holiday just the two of us, and cook a 15-pound turkey, eat some and freeze some for later.

Autumn had a big birthday party with many friends her age in 2019. We are not big cake eaters. Autumn had a birthday pie. This year, she had a smaller birthday party in the front yard serving a cake to her friends and aunties and uncles. They came in masks keeping the social distancing.

Nora is growing fast. The first two years of a kid’s life is the fast growing period in proportion to the remaining of one’s life. When I visited her in August, she was not sitting up yet. She turned eight months two days ago. She is now sitting up and enjoys eating many mashed veggies.

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Lens Artists Challenge # 124: Now and Then

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