Hello everyone! Today is my 11th birthday! I woke up extra early, because I was so excited to celebrate. My parents surprised me with a balloon bouquet and we went downstairs behind our building to take a photo. Aren't the balloons enormous and awesome? Hurrah! After a delicious breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, we hung up paper chain and bunting in the living room and waited for my guests. Soon they arrived (except for my new friend Chihiro, who let me know she'd be a little late.).
Soon, Piper, Coral, and Violet were around the table singing me the birthday song. Piper had come all the way from Washington, DC to celebrate with me; I was so pleased she could make it!
As I blew out the candles, I made a secret birthday wish. I'm not going to tell you what it was- or it won't come true! My party was later in the afternoon this year, so the photos are a little dark. I hope you don't mind!
Next, it was time for a game- my mama made me a Totoro piñata! I spun around and smacked it as hard as I could, but Totoro just spun and spun in circles.
Then it was Violetka's turn! She whacked Totoro right on the head! Go Violetka!!
It was Piper's turn after Violet. Thwack! Piper hit Totoro right in the middle of his belly and he cracked a little. Luckily, Chihiro walked in just then.
Chihiro grabbed the stick, spun around three times, and hit Totoro as hard as she could!
She had hit Totoro right off the rope! Down he went and candy scattered over the floor. We all scrambled to fill our laps with it. (Don't worry, the candy was in plastic wrappers!)
After the piñata, it was time for presents! My friends had all stacked their gifts on the table and I had two presents from out-of-town friends as well.
First Coral handed me a big brown box with a blue bow. I shook it- what could be inside? Coral had told me that my present had come all the way from England!
It was the Sylvanian Families Sea Otter Family! They are so cute! I love the little shell necklace and purse! Thank you Coral!
Next, Piper gave me a Calico Critter silk cat baby and boat. She knows I have the silk cats, but not the baby. Thank you Piper!
Chihiro brought me a kosodoro neko- a cute stuffed kitty toy from Japan! Arigato Chihiro!
Then Violet came to the table with a giant green box with a pink bow! "My dad got this for you in Japan Inky! I hope you like it!" she said. Violet and her parents know me just as well as my own moms, so I knew it would be a great gift!
Wow!! It was a Sylvanian Familes breakfast set with the cutest little bunny waffle maker!! I love it so much- isn't it awesome?
Then Violet handed me an envelope and a blue box with a Totoro on the front! These presents were from our mutual friend, Sophie! Wow! I was so happy that Sophie had sent me a gift, even though she couldn't be there to celebrate with me and my other friends. Thank you Sophie!
When I read the card, I smiled. Sophie always sends the sweetest messages! Then it was time to open the box. It had two smaller gifts inside. Inside the first packet was a Lisa Frank pin! I laughed and laughed- Sophie and I both love Lisa Frank and we both like to gripe over how our parents won't buy us all the Lisa Frank supplies in the world. Thank you Sophie!
The other present held an assortment of adorable little toy animals! Wow! They were so sweet and tiny! Thank you Sophie!!
Then it was time for my very last present. This was a special package that came from my friend Danica in Canada! Her bright green package was decorated with a rainbow pin- how festive!
Inside the package was a birthday card- so pretty- and a long letter that Danica had written very carefully. Wow! I tucked it away to read after my friends left. Then, the best- a panda sketchbook!! Wow! I love it so much! Thank you Dani!! What a thoughtful gift!
What a great birthday! I'm glad Chihiro, Coral, Violet, and Piper were there to celebrate with me! Thank you for all your kind birthday wishes too! К сожаленью, день рожденья Только раз в году! (It's such a pity that birthdays come only once per year!)
Today I'm going to share some beautiful knit clothing with you! My friends and I love Steph Wylie Knitting Patterns, so today you will see us modeling some of her Steph's designs. If you are interested in purchasing any of the patterns, they are sold at Steph Wylie's etsy shop, Qute. There are several more patterns that aren't featured here, so make sure to check out the shop!
Without further ado, here are the sweaters and hats!
This is me in the Eva Cardigan. I love the design- doesn't it look like peacock feathers?
Hello everyone and Happy November! November is my birthday month and you are all invited to my birthday party on my birthday, the 23rd! I'm really excited because my birthday is on a Saturday this year, which means it's on the actual date of my party- that rarely happens!
Hi everyone! I know it's been a long time since I posted. I've been busy with schoolwork and playing. I am homeschooled, but my family is doing something new this year. My parents signed me up for a homeschool cooperative group- I call it homeschool co-op- where I get to learn about science and math!
My favorite kind of science, at least so far, is biology. I love learning about different animals, especially red pandas and giant pandas! That's why I was so sad when the National Zoo's Panda Cam was down during the big government shutdown. Luckily, my parents were right there with an answer: toy pandas! My dear friend Alaina sometimes sends me packages from Germany. Last winter, she sent me a big package of toy pandas. My moms made me wait for a special occasion to open it and I guess the shutdown counted, because they gave me the box!
I spent the whole evening putting together the set and playing with it. I'm so thankful Alaina sent me this wonderful panda set. Thanks Alaina!
What's your favorite animal? Have you ever seen it in a zoo or even better, the wild?
Can you see the building behind me? It's Saint Paul's Church, the center of Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site! This afternoon my family drove to Mount Vernon, New York to see the church and the cemetery surrounding it. The weather was cool and crisp; fall is on its way!
The first thing we did at the site was pick up my Junior Ranger booklet! Then I explored the little museum at the entrance to the site. There was a lot of important information to learn there. I learned that the church served as a field hospital during the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Pell's Point also took place about a mile away. Another cool thing I learned was that three presidents attended services there! We went inside the church too, of course. Can you see the interior of the church behind me in this photo? There is a pipe organ inside that was built in 1833. There is also a bell that was installed in 1758; it was made in the same foundry in London that also made the Liberty Bell!
After I explored the church, I wandered around the cemetery. It has headstones that date back to 1704! We saw some that marked the resting places of children, soldiers, and families. It is a beautiful, quiet place.
The Junior Ranger booklet at Saint Paul's Church really taught me a lot about the site! I sat down behind the church and worked on it. There are a few trick questions, so if you go there yourself, keep an eye out!
After I finished the book, I headed back over to the museum to have my booklet checked. I did pretty well- except for the trick questions I mentioned! Oops!
When I got back to the museum, my Junior Ranger badge was waiting for me! I was so excited, because I really worked hard to earn it. You should definitely visit Saint Paul's Church if you are ever in the New York City area! I had a great time.
In this entry I'm wearing: a tee from American Girl Place with a custom decal, shorts by Pleasant Piper, and sneakers by American Girl.
This weekend, I had the chance to visit another National Park Service site- General Grant National Memorial. It's usually called Grant's Tomb and it's the resting place of Civil War General and US President Ulysses S. Grant. He was a great man and I felt honored to visit his resting place. The memorial is very large, white, and beautiful. In fact, it's the largest mausoleum in North America! Did you know that President Grant also created our nation's first national park? He signed the act creating Yellowstone National Park in 1872.
In order to do this Junior Ranger program, I visited the small museum in the Visitor Center and walked through the memorial itself. I learned a lot about General Grant and his wife, Julia. I didn't take any photos inside the memorial because I thought it would be disrespectful. The interior of the memorial is very beautiful with mosaics and a rotunda. I really enjoyed seeing it and was proud to be a visitor. Can you believe I've lived in New York City for so long and hadn't visited General Grant's memorial until now?
Here I am wearing my latest Junior Ranger badge! After the ranger pinned it on me, I went outside to look down over the Hudson River. It was such a beautiful day and I'm glad I spent it at General Grant National Memorial!
Yesterday I had the good luck to go with my family to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Sandy Hook is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area! Sandy Hook is a barrier spit that juts into New York Bay. It's beautiful! My family goes there occasionally to visit the beach and ride bikes.
The water there was so beautiful! My family rode bikes around Sandy Hook- this picture is from when we stopped for a rest in Fort Hancock. I loved climbing on the rocks! There were lots of people with giant kites that I loved watching while we rode along the shore.
Can you see the buildings of Fort Hancock behind me? During World War II, the guns at Fort Hancock helped guard New York Harbor from German U-Boat (submarine) attacks. These days, it's a great place to picnic. A cool thing about Fort Hancock is that there are goats there who eat poison ivy! They are kept in by an electric fence. My family rode our bikes along the electric fence, but sadly we did not spot any goats.
What would a trip to a National Park Service site be without trying out the Junior Ranger program? I had done the Junior Ranger program at the old Ranger Station a few years ago, but now they have a new program at the lighthouse! You get to walk around the keeper's quarters and lighthouse and answer questions about the structures. The lighthouse at Sandy Hook is really nice. There are even tours if you are interested in learning more about it! We didn't go a tour because we did so much biking, but perhaps we'll try one on our next visit.
Here I am with a nice ranger getting my badge! Sandy Hook also has a cool patch with a lighthouse on it that you can purchase. I made sure to get the patch to add to my collection as well.
Here I am with my badge! Overall, it was a great day at Sandy Hook. I had been feeling sad that summer is almost over, so I'm really glad my family went to Sandy Hook to enjoy a summer day. If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check it out! Sandy Hook's website is found at http://www.nps.gov/gate/ .