Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm back

Apparently I've gone too long without blogging.... my father-in-law has mentioned it to my husband. We've had a lot going on with Blondie's appointments, and the school winding down. As a teacher the end of the year is an insane race to the very last day, so I'll be working madly until Saturday (my last work day).
Yesterday we took the kids to the zoo... again. We went fairly early because we wanted to beat the crowds and see the new wallaby/kangaroo exhibit. It's pretty cool because you walk through the exhibit with them in the same fence. Visitors must stay on the path, but it is pretty neat to think about the possibilities. The kangaroos aren't in yet, but the wallabies were there. They sort of hung out afraid in the brush. I look forward to the whole thing being finished.

We also went to see the Gorillas. Usually they are just hanging around by the windows, but this morning one of them was up on the hill, started beating his chest, and then charged straight at the windows. Quite a few people ran backwards - I have to admit, that was my first thought, but then I figured the building I was in probably had appropriately thick glass to protect us. This gorilla was incredibly fast, and then whipped around and sat right by Brian who started clicking pictures pretty quickly. After a couple minutes the gorilla smacked his hand against the window right where Brian's camera was poised. It cracked me up because its the same thing I want to do when he has the camera in my face.

We swung by the giraffes and saw the three babies, but we didn't stick around to feed them this time.

We grabbed the tram and took it up to the botanical garden and walked around. I got a lot of ideas for my "someday" yard, and Brian took a ton of pictures (which I'm sure you'll see on his photoblog over the next couple weeks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kayaking - Sunday

Sunday, the girl scouts got up and got moving. We were a little sore from paddling the day before, but they were ready for the trip on Wadboo Creek. Wadboo is a totally different kind of water from Charleston. Wadboo is blackwater, creek merging into river one way, and more swampy the other. We started with the river"ish" way first. The girls were apprehensive because I was honest and told them we would probably see some alligators, and within about 15 minutes we saw a few - mostly small ones, but one really good sized one. After that, the girls were really staring down every single log or mudbank to see if it was a gator. The guide was a retired forester (same guy we had last year) and he would tell the girls, "Nope, that's a logigator."

T-Rex (in back) enjoyed going without an adult, and a lot of the girls wanted to go "by themselves." Besides the alligators, we saw turtles sunning themselves, and Ospreys sitting on their giants nests.

We had signed up for a three hour trip, but about half way through we stopped back at the boat landing to get a snack, and some of the girls decided that they had done enough. My co-leader, and another friend took those girls back to the lake, and I took T-Rex and the other ones who wanted to stay on with the guide. Honestly....we weren't thinking too clearly. Leaving the river part, and traveling up more into the swampy area, we were riding the current. Which was great, and easy, especially with sore muscles. Unfortunately riding a current takes you farther faster, so when we turned around to go back, we were fighting the current, with exhausted muscles. The girls hung in there really well though. T-Rex and her partner did a great job paddling around trees that were submerged, or blocking paths, and they did it all by themselves. There was a lot of problem solving involved in some of the places they found themselves, but as our guide said, "The only way you learn to paddle is to do it."

This was T-Rex and her partner following the guide through the swampier part of Wadboo. Overall an enjoyable weekend - I need to get a couple tandem kayaks, and start checking out other paddles around here. I really enjoy this, and T-Rex did an amazing job paddling. I love hanging out with these scouts - they are tremendously sweet, and really up for anything.

Kayaking - Saturday

This past weekend I took seven great girl scouts kayaking in Charleston. Big Al went last time, so this time it was T-Rex's turn.

The first jaunt was out Shem Creek into the harbor. We paddled around the rookery where a ton of Brown Pelicans were sitting on their nests. We learned to identify different birds, watched dolphins running mullet in to eat them, and fiddler crabs running up banks. We picked up mudsnails, and hunted for different types of oyster shells with our guides. Two girls had to paddle by themselves which was tough going because of the winds, currents, and inexperience, but they were absolutely amazing.
Later that day we found ourselves in downtown Charleston, walked through the market, and then went to the local park. One of the girls was disappointed that park didn't mean playground, but they played frisbee, and flew kites for awhile. Later we headed back to the lake house where we were staying.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First tooth lost on the last child

After weeks and weeks of wiggling a stubborn tooth, Cheesie finally pulled lost her first one yesterday. The tooth fairy forgot to come last night, I'll have to have a word with him.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things my kids say

Cheesie: What is conflict resolution?

Me: It's making up with somebody.

Cheesie: Oh, like when Big Al wants to kiss a boy?

Me: NO! That's making out not making up!

Cheesie: Ohhhhhhhh.

Now I need to go find Big Al!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I had a delightfully lazy day! Started with breakfast in bed with homemade cards, and school gifts, and then downstairs to receive my new orange tree (YAY!). I know you're thinking... orange tree.... really? Yes, I love it.

We had a great couple of days with Brian's parents from Texas, and Blondie has been keeping me jumping this week (take a look at the Rasmussen's blog on the right side of this page). Overall very enjoyable weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all of those Mom's out there. Hope it was great for you too.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend painting

T-Rex is our child who likes many different artistic activities as well as the one we have to pull out of the books to get outside and do things. She loves her archery, knitting, making jewelry, cooking, and is willing to try anything hands on.

This weekend she pulled out her paints and got busy on a new painting. I'm biased, but I think it came out pretty well.