April 19, 2010

Birthday Parties & Nursing Homes

Between midterms, collecting books, Jerry's commitments and my own, we've had a busy couple of weeks. Still, we managed to drive up to Northern California this past weekend for a quick trip to celebrate the first birthday of my niece, Layla.

Here's the birthday girl getting ready for the party.
Could she be any cuter? Her mom made the dress and headband.
Here's Layla with her beautiful mom, Irene, getting ready to open presents.
One of her favorite gifts was a doll. She gave it a big kiss.
And a hug.
Look at that face!
There were other people at the party, but I had so much fun taking pictures of Layla, I'm afraid I didn't get many of the other guests. It was a beautiful day, though. Afterwards, Jerry and I went to visit my friend Lindy and her family. We spent the night with them before heading home on Sunday. Our evening was just as fun as the day. Jerry and Lindy's son, Anthony, played Pokemon on their DSs well into the night and Lindy, Scott (her husband) and I drank lots of wine and sat around on their comfy chairs talking all night.

Even the six-hour drive home was enjoyable (if a little nerve-wracking) because we listened to The Hunger Games. What a great book! I can't wait to get the next one now.

The previous weekend I had gone to a nursing home to hear a volunteer band of professional musicians play for the old folks. (I went because I was writing a story about the founder of the group.)
I absolutely fell in love with one of the old men in the audience. Here he is videotaping the band. Note the leather vest.
The fabulous smile.
And the obvious sense of humor.
I don't know his name and he didn't seem to speak much English, but I think I may have to go back to visit him sometime.

In other news, the book drive is going well. I'm up to 269 books (out of 1,000) and still have books to pick up and be delivered. I received a very welcome e-mail this morning that my friend's mom is going to send me a check for $100 to cover part of the shipping cost!! What a relief! As always, you can find out more about the book drive here. And you can even watch the library grow via a Flickr slideshow.

This week I'm on Spring Break and I'll be catching up on two major homework assignments that will be due next week, as well as trying to figure out new ways to promote the book drive.

Summer, Jerry, and I are going on a train trip to Santa Barbara on Thursday with about 120 other homeschoolers. So that should be really fun. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I have canned my first jar of beans (which Jerry actually ate--and liked!) and have made strawberry jam!! Summer and I went to a canning class last week taught by one of the homeschool moms. It was so fun. And so much easier than I thought it would be! I even bought a used pressure canner for $10 on Craigslist. It needs a couple parts, but once I get those I'll be canning up a storm!

Over and out!


Shady Lady said...

Layla is adorable!!

I so want to learn to can and I plan to learn this summer. And how cool that Jerry ate your beans and liked them!!

Julia said...

Oh cuter than cute!

Colleen said...

I couldn't believe he ate them! I have to admit that I did something I've never done before, though. I lied when he asked if they were the usual beans. Desperate times call for desperate measures, though, and if he'd known he never would have taken the first bite. I told him afterward and he wasn't mad. :)

I know, Julia! She's got to be one of the cutest babies ever!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you HAVE been busy! Layla is sure cute, and that old man looks a real character! Definitely worth hearing his story I'd say.

Good on you with the canning - am most impressed.

C x

Sheri said...

What a sweetie! Those are awesome pics.

Gotta love people who exude a zest for life eh? So great to see.

Congratulations on the book drive. If I come across anymore, I'll ship them off to you.

The train trip sounds awesome and congrats on canning.

I love it, though I did get a little saturated with it when I had to make pickles out of all those cucumbers I had two years ago.

Great to read the update.