Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Baby...New Song of Celebration!

Our twenty-third grandchild was born early yesterday morning and he is definitely a keeper. Little Charlie Francis is as sweet as can be and already stole the hearts of his mom, dad, sister, brothers, and grandparents...oh and aunts, uncles, and cousins. Welcome to the family, Baby Charlie!

For the past few grandbabies, I've made a practice of giving them a special song. Here is little Charlie's to the tune of Here Comes Peter Cottontail.  It had to be that song because Charlie's parents gave the next youngest grandson, Max, a singing bunny for his first birthday on Easter Saturday. It is the rabbit from hell in the opinion of Max's mommy. (She didn't say that, but she left it our house and threatened to re-gift it back to the giver.) Max, however, loves it and starts dancing whenever he hears it play.

So here's Charlie's song. No doubt there will be more verses. I think of them while I'm lying in bed at night. Doesn't everybody go to sleep making up verses for silly songs?

Charlie is our baby boy,
And he fills our hearts with joy,
Keeps us smilin' and laughin' all day long.
All his siblings love him so,
Cuz he's the perfect little bro,
And he's the inspiration for this song.

He makes little coos for Mommy
Gives a finger squeeze to Dad.
There's a smile for sister Rachel,
And for Alex, Zack, and Matt.

Oh...Charlie is our precious boy,
And he fills our hearts with joy.
So we'll sing his praises all day long!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time for the Princess (and little prince) Tea Party

The princess tea party was lots of fun, but all the participants agreed that getting ready for it was the best part. I think they are all caterers in training. Nevertheless, everyone enjoyed the good eating and we all talked princess talk. Each of the girls has a favorite princess. Belle got one vote. Ariel got one. Cinderella got two, and there was another princess I never heard of. Guess I just am not up on my princesses.

Anyway, check out the princesses (and the little prince) in their party attire and the tea table in its best dressed splendor.

Welcome to the princess (and prince) tea party.

A tea table fit for a king and his princesses and prince.

Teapots all ready with lemonade and apple juice "teas"

Each princess has her own special and unique place setting compliments of their great grandmother who used these settings for her bridge club. They were hand painted in 1911.

 Ready to pray and enjoy the fruits of all their preparations.

We begin as we begin all good things...In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit....

The little prince was all dolled up and ready to eat cupcakes, the thing he liked best.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prepping for the Tea Party

We've been busy today getting ready for the tea party: making placecards, baking and decorating mini cupcakes, collecting flowers, and doing beautiful napkin folding. The older girls did the baking and napkins and all of us collected around the table with colored frosting and sprinkles to decorate the cupcakes. Tonight they will pick out their princess outfits and tomorrow we will make the tea sandwiches and set the table. We couldn't do the table today because we are gathering around it tonight for dinner. Check out all our busyness today and start planning your own princess tea. We will have one little prince among us, Max the Wild Thing who will definitely enjoy the cupcakes! Check back tomorrow to see the tea party pictures.

 Grace was the placecard maker and napkin folder.

Good job, Grace. They look beautiful!

Mia mixed and baked the mini cupcakes.

Everybody had fun decorating them.

Can you tell Bianca likes pink frosting?

Grace and Grandma got lots of practice folding the napkins. 
This is a lily fold. It's just like origami only with cloth.

And daffodils are the perfect centerpiece. So cheerful.

And here's Max the Wild Thing, the only little prince at the princess teaparty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Craft Fun with Grandkids

I wish I took some pictures during the process of making these pine cone fairies with four granddaughters. But since I didn't I'll just show the results. They are destined to be favors at a princess (or maybe it should be a fairy) tea party tomorrow. Next we will concentrate on the goodies. The girls have requested cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, ham and cheese crackers, jello, tiny cupcakes, scones. and fruit (strawberries and blueberries). They will choose outfits from the dress up box. We have lots of tea parties at Camp Kreitzer, but some are elaborate affairs. Tomorrow is one of those.  Check back later to see the fun we had.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Bee Management: Thinking about Swarm Control

Bees have divided themselves. Swarm on the board is ready to put in a box.
We had three hives going into the winter and one didn't make it. Oddly, it wasn't the weakest hive.

We now have one strong hive and one weak one. The strong hive had a lot of drone cells last weak but no queen cells. This week we saw one uncapped queen cell with a developing larva. Since we keep Russian bees and they swarm easily we are going to keep a close watch the next few days and take action to simulate a swarm. That means either taking the old queen out with several frames of brood and bees and honey/pollen. Or trying something we just found out about -- a taranov split where the bees actually divide themselves.

It sounds crazy, but I checked out several articles on it and it sounds fascinating. Not only that, it seems like a more natural way since the bees choose for themselves whether to go back into the old hive or get ready to "swarm" into the new one.

If you're interested in this you can read about it at these urls: