Made New {Spring Photography}

Hello, dears!

Today I have even more spring photos for you! Are you shocked? I thought not. But spring is my favorite season and it’s just so photogenic… *sighs happily*

I went through the past few weeks of photography and picked my favorites from several different mini shoots to combine into one post. I love these photos, and I hope you do too!

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Macro Raindrops

Hello, dears!

A couple of days ago I ventured out into the miserably cold and rainy weather to take some pictures for you guys. It wasn’t very comfortable, but the results were worth it! 😛 I mainly used my macro lens extension tubes to get lovely close-ups of the jewel-like raindrops that coated everything like frost.

If you’re in need of some spring-y, fresh green in the middle of a dull winter, read on! 😀

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Honeybees & Spring Blossoms

Hello, dears! I was hoping to do a “Recent Art” post or maybe a post about the old letters, but unfortunately I don’t have enough time (or Wi-Fi) for either. But don’t worry, hopefully those will be next! Until then, I have some more spring-y pictures for you! I absolutely LOVE this photoshoot and I hope you will too. 🙂

There are a ton of redbuds at our new farm and the surrounding country. Sometimes the side of the woods looks pink with all the blossoms! We also have two gorgeous redbuds in the yard of the big house and the one especially just looked perfect this year… maybe it usually does? But this is the first year I’ve seen it, and it’s gorgeous. ❤

AHHH IT’S SO PRETTY.

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I got a few pictures with my macro lens. This one is one of my favorites from the whole shoot!

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It’s neat to see how complex the tiny blooms are close up.

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The look kind of like slippers with huge bows on top or something. XD

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There were absolutely a ton of bees buzzing around the blossoms, which was a bit, um, scary, especially when I used my macro lens and stuck my camera inches away from my subject. O.o But no worries, I didn’t get stung. 🙂 I think they were too focused on the nectar.

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Their wings are so delicate!

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Heh heh, this guy looked a lot less delicate than the rest of the bees.

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You can see the pollen sac super well in this one.

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I don’t know why there’s a spot in the middle of its “fur,” but I thought it was interesting.

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I love how you can see the bee getting ready to land in this one!

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The 50mm lens I have makes such amazing bokeh. ❤

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I tried to crop this, but it ruined the nice composition, so I didn’t after all. Oh well. 🙂

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And we’ll end with these two pictures. I don’t know WHAT happened with this photo, but I think it looks kind of neat? Too bad I didn’t get a clearer picture of the bird, though. :/

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Ahh, so pretty, don’t you think? ❤ I can’t WAIT to move in!

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And that’s all for now! Thanks for reading, dears, and I hope you enjoyed the photos! Do you have redbuds or other blooming trees where you live? What’s your favorite part about spring?

***Allison***

P. S. Speaking of photography, you guys should check out Kalea’s blog! She has some beautiful spring photography on there as well as a review of the macro lens I used for part of this post. 🙂 (Also if you’d like to see my macro lens review, click here.)

Macro Photography + Lens Review

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Hello, dears!

Well that was a rather unanticipated mini-hiatus, huh? I think this is the longest break from blogging I’ve taken in… I don’t know, a very long time. 😛 As usual, it was because of our agonizingly slow internet and hectic moving schedule. *sigh* Anyway, I won’t elaborate on my excuses anymore – must make the most of fast Wi-Fi while I have it! XD

Today I am excited to present a review of this Fotodiox Macro Extension Tube Kit, plus some close up pictures I got with it!

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I got the kit for Christmas but have only lately really learned how to use it. It definitely has its quirks and difficulties, but overall I LOVE it and I’ve had so much fun playing with it.

The kit comes with five pieces…

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only three of which are the actual extensions (the other two attach the extensions to the lens and camera body).

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The extensions are 28mm, 14 mm, and 7 mm: the higher the number, the more macro the photo will be. You can screw them on and off individually and in any combination. The pieces all seem very sturdy. It IS a little hard to screw the normal camera lens onto the respective attachment, but it works okay.

Here are some variations of… um macro-ness? XD

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The amazing thing about this kit is that it’s only $12.59 on Amazon! Isn’t that incredible? Considering how high lenses – or really anything DSLR related – usually cost, I think it’s a huge bargain.

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Now granted, it isn’t the easiest to use at first, as aforementioned, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty fun.

For one thing, you have to use manual mode. This isn’t a problem for me because I always do anyway, but it’s something to consider.

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You also have to manually focus the lens, by which I mean move your camera back and forth until you get just the right distance away from it that the subject is (mostly) in focus. This makes it practically impossible to get a clear picture of a moving subject or an object that’s spiky or generally not very flat, like these:

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Not surprisingly, the longer your lens extends, the closer up it gets. Also basically the closer up you get, the harder it is to take pictures. Because besides the things I just said, one, it will require pretty bright light (or high ISO/low shutter speed) to compensate for the zoom; and two, it will have a TINY f-stop/aperture, which means the portion of the picture in sharp focus is very small, like the first picture below.

(By the way, this EXTREMELY WEIRD thing is called a cedar apple – and no, it’s not edible. XD You should look them up – they’re so strange!)

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You can see how much more subject area is in focus when you use a 14mm versus a 28mm:

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And I believe this is just with the 7mm, although I’m not entirely sure what extensions I used for any of these pictures because it’s rather hard to keep track of. XD

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I prefer to use something like the 7mm + 14 mm instead of all three together. Even the 7 mm by itself is a lot of fun, though it isn’t super macro. However, you can still get some super neat photos with the full extension, it’s just a bit harder to work with:

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One thing I love about these extensions is how soft and dreamy they make the lighting. ❤ They’re also super good for bokeh, although this specific picture isn’t a great example of that…

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The colors are also usually quite vibrant, as you can see here. I didn’t edit this at all!

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And there you have it! I hope you guys found the review helpful and interesting. 🙂 Before I go I wanted to show you a few more macro photos I’ve taken recently. Enjoy!

Weeds are great for macro photography because they look a lot prettier closer up. 😉

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I also love how the extensions work with water drops! (Well let’s be honest – I just love water drop photography in general. XD)

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Another photography subject I love is eyes. ❤ I tried to get some shots of my own eyes, but it was pretty hard to do as a selfie. :[] Oh well, I think the blurry ones still actually look pretty!

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Ahh, I really like this last one! Se the reflection of me holding the camera? It looks like my pupil is the lens. 😀

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OKAY OKAY I LOVE THESE NEXT ONES TOO EEP. I’ve always wanted to get a good picture of a cat’s eye, and I finally did! Ahh, the color and texture is just gorgeous. ❤

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Good thing Tom was sleepy or he would have moved around way too much. XD

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Hee hee, isn’t his nose cute?

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This is an ear, in case you were wondering. XD I actually like the softness of this picture too.

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I could go on, but this is a long post already, so we’ll stop here. XD *sigh* That was fun.

So tell me. Would you consider buying this extension kit? What was your favorite photo? Do you like taking close-ups, or do you prefer a different genre?

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a wonderful day! ❤

***Allison***

P. S. I was going to do photography tips in this post, but then I was like, “Clara has done such a good job saying what I would just repeat, so…” XD Click here to read a super helpful and beautiful post with lots of great photography tips! And follow her blog while you’re at it – IT’S ABSOLUTELY WONDERMOUS. ❤ 😉

If you DO happen to have any photography questions left over afterwards, by all means please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to answer them, perhaps in a later post. 🙂

~ Winter Stroll ~

Hello, dears!

*sigh* I’m getting rather tired of the freezing weather we’ve had here lately. Winter is kind of boring and cold and hard to photograph, am I right? But I DID get a few good non-snow winter photos here recently that I thought I’d show you! Winter is hard for photography, but not impossible.

 

One recent Sunday we took a family walk after church to explore our new farm a bit. Well, it was more like a walk/drive/ride combined because we took the truck and the fourwheeler too.

I love this picture because of the pink and purple shirts. XD Jeff’s shirt used to be more blue but it got kind of faded.

Maggie adores going on rides with us. 😀 She’s so cute and happy and smiley!

For some reason what looked like a bunch of old tuna cans were nailed up to the wall in one of the sheds? We were puzzled. It’s kind of funny though.

I love this picture for its rustic character and texture. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the house we’re moving into or anything. XD XD It’s just an old shed.)

More rust, and more neat-ness in an abstract kind of way! This stuff went under the concrete they poured in Dad’s “new” shop.

Isn’t the bark on this tree super strange? It’s all flaky and weird – even on the twigs. It kind of looks like lichen, except completely covering the whole thing.

The kids wandered down to the pond while Mom and Dad drove around another part of the farm. Jeff was trying to convince Maggie to take a swim, but she only likes water she can wade in, not swim in, for some reason.

This is Carmen and her prize feather. XD

I absolutely LOVE the pattern the sky and clouds make on the water! It looks so neat, don’t you agree? It would make a neat painting too.

I love the cattails all around the pond!

  The light was gorgeous. ♥The boys went crazy with the fourwheeler – spinning around doing burn outs and driving through puddles and over tiny trees and stuff. -_- Boys, boys… *shakes head* XD Ah well, it is pretty fun to drive.

For some reason I really like this picture too. Probably because it’s winter and I’m eager for green and sunshine like this. Ahhh, so pretty! 

LOOK AT THE LIGHTING! *happy sigh* It was sooo gorgeous up there, but really hard to capture too. It didn’t look quite like this, but you can imagine how pretty the sun looked on the golden grass.

The fun thing about moving to a new farm is that we now have hundreds of acres to explore for the first time, and I LOVE it. The sun was out and it was such a lovely day for winter and we got to wander down paths we’d never been too… ahh, it was great. 🙂 *happy sigh* Walks like these are some of my favorite things!

The lighting here was SO pretty again, and again so hard to capture! I also didn’t want to tell them to stop walking because I wanted to get a candid picture, so most of them turned out blurry. XD At least this one is alright!

 I have no idea what kind of tree produces these strange flower thingies.

HEH HEH. Megan and I were doing photos like in movies when the characters are barely holding onto the edge of the cliff, and then she actually almost fell into the water. XD XD  A sturdy fallen tree over a creek is basically irresistible to young boys (and girls).  Heh heh, see here? Maggie doesn’t mind wading. Her expression… XD 

I love the smooth, curved edges on this ice!

OH I LOVE THIS PHOTO. For some reason I just find it really neat. 😉 I saw this little exposed knob on a tree and had to stop for a picture! Also it really reminds me of an avocado seed somehow? Don’t exactly know why… XD

Oh, funny story. I often randomly spot hawks when we drive somewhere or go on walks. I don’t know why I see them so much more than the rest of my family, but I do, and it’s gotten to be a sort of joke. I’m always like, “HAWK” when I see one, and Megan groans. XD She gets annoyed because I say, “It’s really strange how I always see hawks,” almost every time I see one. Well that’s what she says, but I don’t say it every time… *shakes head* XD

ANYWAY. I found a hawk that day too (it’s in the tree if you look close), so I took a picture for Megan as evidence. 😛

And I shall end on that note. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our winter stroll and seeing for yourself that there ARE things to photograph in winter after all, if you look close enough. 🙂

What was your favorite picture? What was your least favorite? (I want to know! Don’t worry about hurting my feelings – as long as you’re not intentionally mean or rude you won’t. Constructive criticism really helps!)

Do you enjoy winter (or spring or summer or fall) strolls? Do fourwheelers look fun, and have you driven one?

***Allison***

~ s n o w y ~

Eeeeek, I’m so excited to show you guys these pictures! 😀 It snowed 6 or 7 inches while we were up at the new farm, and it was GORGEOUS. ♥ Good thing I brought my camera, heh heh. I also brought the macro extension tube set I got for Christmas and it worked splendidly for taking pictures of individual snowflakes! Sooo pretty.

Anyway, I guess I’ll let you see for yourselves now, huh?

I love this little snowdrift sculpture on the roof. 😛

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Isn’t this neat? It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s snow on a wooden staircase.

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Dripping icicles are great fun to take pictures of. 🙂

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I think this one’s neat too. ♥ It kind of looks vintage to me – does it to you?

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There were some cute birds by the hay rebaling barn and I got some… okay pictures. They wouldn’t let me get too close, and I was only wearing tennis shoes in the snow so I didn’t WANT to get too close or my feet would get completely soaked. XD

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Ohhhh for some reason I love this picture. ♥ REMEMBER THOSE DOUGHNUTS?

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Snow + Cows = Photogenicness. Sadly I took this out the car window so it isn’t as photogenic as it could be.

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I quite like how you can see the snow falling so clearly in these pictures!

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The falling snow… the wooden fences… the covered trees… ahh, I think I can safely say snow looks even prettier down there than up here, and that’s saying something. XD

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Alright, now for my favorite part – the close-ups!

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Look, you can see the invidual snowflake(s)!

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Snowflakes are incredibly beautiful. ♥

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And now for my pride and joy… ta-daa!

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Isn’t it so beautifully delicate? I just LOVE zooming in and being able to see the intricacy of each snowflake. ♥ So far this is definitely my favorite part about that lens set. I’ll hopefully do a review of them once I take more photos with them and figure them out a bit more, but they’re quite neat so far!

One thing I will say – you have to use manual focus which is difficult when taking such close-up pictures. Even a tiny movement can make the subject blurry. But other than that, I love them!

I hope you enjoyed these pictures, dears. 😀 Which ones were your favorites? Did you get snow where you live too?

***Allison***

P. S. Guys, if you love photography too, you should definitely check out Roxanne’s photography challenge! I probably won’t be doing it since, as I keep saying, we’re pretty busy with the move, but it looks super neat and I’ll bet it will be great fun!

Moving On {Part 1}

Heyyy there, guys!

Wow, I haven’t had this long of a post gap for a long time. Okay, a week really isn’t “a long post gap.” XD But like I said, posting is going to be somewhat irregular because we’re moving! Before we do, there’s a good bit of work to be done in both the houses and the new farm in general, and that’s what we’re doing right now. Going down there for a couple of days a week keeps us pretty busy, phew!

Anyway, I thought I’d make a series of posts showing our process, with pictures that we can look back on as a sort of “before-and-after” of the whole project. Today I’ll be sharing our work on this house so far, which we call the Cedar House:Isn’t it cute? This is the second house on the farm, and the one we will use as a guest house (and possibly an Airbnb later!). We’re fixing it up first so we can stay there while we fix up the main house, which will need more big-picture repair, like the roof and ceilings.

But before we get to the renovations, I wanted to show you these pretty pictures from the drive there. I love mountains. ♥

This one is probably over-edited, but I like it. 🙂

The walls were marked up pretty badly and in definite need of a fresh coat of paint. Heh heh.It looks so much better now! We painted it “Intense White” from Benjamin Moore, but the name is rather misleading because it’s more like a nice, light gray. My grandmother (in the picture below) is super good at painting and she comes up and helps us often. 🙂 I rather like this picture. ♥Oh, and speaking of painting, we painted this popcorn ceiling (you can kind of see it in that picture) in an upstairs bedroom, and the next day, it was coming down. The popcorn texture was just peeling off the ceiling, so we had to scrape it all off and sand it down. AND THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN in the living room. It was awful, especially the fact that plaster dust gets seriously everywhere. The house was coated in it after we were done, and we had to clean hard and long to get rid of it. Woohoo.

The dust doesn’t just get on the house, it gets on YOU. See? Poor Megan. XDMoral of the story: NEVER PUT UP POPCORN CEILINGS.

I, thankfully, didn’t have to sand because I was… um, very busily employed in doing other things. XD But don’t worry, I was working. My little sister Carmen and I cleaned out the kitchen and arranged and organized the few utensils and glasses and such that we had.

It’s so funny, but we both love organizing – and cleaning too, when we’re in the mood. That day we were so much in the mood that we went on to other parts of the house and cleaned windows and swept the deck and all sorts of things. It was quite satisfying. 😛We got creative and decided to decorate a jar and tin can with painter’s tape. XDIsn’t this next picture so cute? I just find it amusing that my seven-year-old sister would do this in her free time. :’)Strangely enough, there are ladybugs all over the house, especially in the corners of the walls. But hey, I’m not complaining – I’d much rather have ladybugs than flies or spiders or stinkbugs. *shrugs*One evening when we were getting a bedroom ready to be painted, we found these strange round stickers on the wall. We all wondered what they were there for, because they were scattered all over the room and kind of blended in with the paint – they didn’t really seem to serve a purpose. But then one of the kids (I think it was me 😛 ) thought to turn off the lights and it was beautiful! The stickers were glow-in-the-dark, and it felt like standing in space because there were so many “stars” on the walls.

It was REALLY hard to get a good picture of, which is probably why I didn’t. Heh. It was much more impressive in real life, believe me. 😉Since we (the kids) thought they were so neat, we peeled off all the stickers and put them on a basement wall in the main house. 🙂

Speaking of stars, you can see so many here! Even though we live out in the country at our current farm (well obviously XD), you can see seriously like five times more stars here! It’s less like individual pinpricks and more like a whole pot of silver glitter spilled across the sky. I love it. 🙂 And yes, I did take a picture, but it’s even worse than the one of the fake stars, so I’ll save it for… uh, never. XD

How ’bout a picture of frost crystals instead to end the post? Guys, it is SO cold at both farms. How’s the weather where you live?Well, that’s about it for this part. I have several more pictures and adventures for later, so stay tuned! 😉

Has you or your family ever renovated a house? Or maybe repainted a room or bedroom? I’m excited to decorate our new bedroom in the main house – and don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll post about that when we do. XD

Well, see you later, dears, and thanks for reading! Have a lovely day, and stay warm. 😉

***Allison***

Bits & Pieces #1

Hello, my dears! Welcome to yet ANOTHER random photography post, where Allison dumps all the miscellaneous orphan photos that she couldn’t fit in any other post. XD I am waaay backed up with extra photos so I hope you’re ready for a lot of photography posts! 😀

Ahem. Let’s begin.

The Eclipse

I still haven’t shown you my pictures from the eclipse? Dear me, I AM behind. XD Anyway, I didn’t get any spectacular pictures, but I did get a few through welding glass to at least document what happened. The welding glass made everything look green, but I managed to edit out most of the color except that one green guy over there. XD As you can see, we weren’t in the path of totality.

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I thought the eclipse looked really neat through clouds!

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And here’s just a bonus picture I took that day. So pretty!

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The Enormous Bonfire

We occasionally burn a heap of brush or extra wood piles and such on our farm, and I got these pictures from one of those times. Dad pushed the pile around with the telehandler which made the bonfire practically explode in a column of glittering orange sparks. It was breathtaking!

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Bonus picture of the cows that watched the bonfire with us. XD There were a bit confused about what was happening, as cows usually seem to be.

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There were actually a few bulls in the pasture, and one started sort of stomping and bellowing. O.o Thankfully nothing bad happened. Isn’t it funny how he has a heart on his forehead? You can’t see it too well in this picture, but he really does!

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Megan’s Birthday Party

We had a lot of fun decorating the front porch and outside table for Megan’s party. Aren’t the colors pretty?

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We used zinnias from our garden for some of the decorations, and I got some lovely pictures of the bouquets. ♥

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Megan wanted to have doughnuts instead of cake, which was quite a good idea in my opinion. 😉 We made the doughnuts the previous day and I also made a little happy birthday banner for the top.

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Yum, fresh lemonade!

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Grandma brought Megan a beautiful rose from her house along with her gift.

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We had a water balloon fight for one of the party games. It was so fun, AND I didn’t get very wet, which was good since it wasn’t that hot. XD

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A bonus picture of the gorgeous spreading maple in our front yard…

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Bonus picture #2 of an adorable fuzzy caterpillar we found before the party.

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Isn’t it cute? 😛

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Moving a Piano + Another Bonfire

One night we went to our grandparents’ house to help move their piano from the basement to their room. 🙂 It was quite hard work… well actually I didn’t do much but stay out of the way and document it for posterity, but it looked like hard work. When they finally brought it to my grandparents’ room, it wouldn’t fit through the door. But then they tried turning it on end and thankfully it just fit. Phew! The poor piano.

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I also got some super neat pictures of the piano without its top on. I love them, especially after they were edited!

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After we got the piano all figured out we had a bonfire and picnic. Fire is so fun to watch, isn’t it?

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I got a really good picture of my grandpa smiling when he didn’t know I was taking a picture. I edited it a good bit, as you can tell, but isn’t it neat?

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Freshly Picked

I took these photos for my sister’s photo contest, BIBPC. I think they turned out rather pretty!

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Also isn’t this tomato HILARIOUS?! It looks like it’s sticking out its tongue at you.

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The Rest of Them

THESE COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS! I took pictures of them because I wanted to submit the recipe to Olivia Bell’s wonderful magazine. Be sure to check it out (and make it) when the next issue comes out here soon! You can subscribe to her magazine through the contact form in this post.

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Random picture of the details on one of my Sunday dresses…

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I edited this one a LOT to get rid of the power lines crisscrossing it, but this is the view from one of our upstairs windows. 🙂

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There we go! That was pretty much a whole bunch of mini posts smushed into one huge one. XD I hope you enjoyed! Which topic was your favorite?

***Allison***