Sunday, April 24, 2011


Easter was pretty easy going today. It started with the little girls going to their baskets (candy, a movie, and a craft), we don't do huge Easter baskets, and then off to church.

Today, our lovely little church held an Easter Egg hunt before our service. The older teens had hidden a bunch of eggs all throughout the azalea bushes, so the kids had to really work!

Blondie and Cheesie were excited they got to take their baskets with candy into church (no eating the chocolate until later though). The service was wonderful, with a sweet little girl being baptized, and many who don't normally join us, packing the pews. I love how Father Bob invites the kids to the front to decorate a cross with flowers, and also gave them front row seats to the baptism (they stood in the aisle as the baby and her family were up front). He works very hard to involve all of the young people .

After church, back home to a family dinner with all of us, Mom, Natalie, Christy and my neice Cate. After dinner the girls got out the Wii to show Cate the Just Dance II game, and of course we all got involved. SOMEONE (I'm married to) decided to take video of Christy, Natalie and I dancing, but I won't distract you with that visual here.... needless to say, the sister who bellydances beat the rest of us rather easily.

We're ending the night watching a movie before bed, and of course school tomorrow. I love days spent with family!

The things I didn't blog about ...

I finally realized why it seems to be harder for me to blog lately..... BRIAN! Brian is really getting into the professional aspects of his camera, while I still grab it on my way out the door (even though it is VERY heavy) to capture whatever the kids are up to. In downloading those pics, Brian has changed everything up so he can edit (which I obviously don't do to any of these pictures) so now I have to wait for him to reformat everything. Now that I know who to bug, I'll try to get him to do it a little more regularly. When in doubt.... blame the spouse. :-)

Saturday, April 16

Big Al has temporarily (although she hopes permanently) switched over to tumbling so she can beef things up for high school cheerleading tryouts this week. We found a private tumbling coach, who met up with us at the USC field house, to work on back handsprings, etc. with her.

Throughout the week Big Al went to practice. Having never done anything resembling this before (softball, and soccer mostly) this was totally new territory for her and she was quite intimidated the first day. By the second day she had settled into the swing of things, and finally tried out on Thursday of this week.

Sunday, April 17

We have a wonderful neighborhood association, and they hosted an Easter egg hunt for all of the kids. The ladies who organized it went above and beyond this year with a lot of prizes donated from community businesses. Blondie and Cheesie were so excited to do this, and found a LOT of eggs.

Friday, April 22

No school, so the girls were in and out of the house. The geese on the pond have babies now, and the girls spent a lot of time watching them, and feeding them a ton of bread. (Do you see the difference between Brian's pics and mine?)

At noon, Big Al went online to find out that she had made the 9th grade cheerleading squad for her high school next year. She was SOOOOOOO EXCITED. I am simply hoping she doesn't break a collar bone.

Saturday, April 23

Brian took Cheesie out to the Riverfront park and took a bunch of pictures to play around with and post to his various blogs. He is definitely getting better at his wildlife photos. I LOVE the heron below.

That night the girls were helping by making desert for Easter dinner (red velvet cake with a special homemade cream cheese frosting to DIE for).

They finished the evening by dying the eggs, and getting the baskets ready for the Easter bunny.

I'll try to keep the blog posts coming, I know you're looking for them - especially if you live in Texas.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pompion Chapel

This is the group of ladies I met from a meetup group (check out for groups near you). The company I took the girl scouts kayaking with, started this group and last month was the first meetup. I couldn't make it, but hope to make a bunch of them. The goal is to paddle different rivers and waterways in SC. It's always a bit strange to walk up to a group of people you don't know, but once we were on the river we all started chatting. My kayaking buddy Karen. We met last summer in the Master Naturalist class. I'm so thankful that I know someone who can pick up and go when we find a good event. A lot of people will say they are interested in going, but Karen is generally READY to go. View along the river. At some point Quenby Creek meets up with Huger (pronounced you-gee) Creek and create the Cooper River. Then the Cooper meets the Ashley River and goes on to create the Atlantic Ocean (at least according to us here in SC). This is a rice field trunk that was used to let water from the river into the field to flood it. Rice is a balancing act of flooding and drying out. Today it is used for game management. Birds and other animals love the ecosystem back there, I'm sure hunters do too.

Just as I was starting to think I needed a break, we rounded the bend in the river and saw Pompian. This church was built in 1763.

The view of Pompian from the river.

The live oaks and the cemetary. Some of the graves were so old they were crumbling. Others had dates from the 1800's on it. Some were crypts and difficult to read.

We had just arrived at Pompion, and took time to tie our boats up to some trees. The company who sponsors the meetup has permission to stop there and eat on the grounds, but otherwise this chapel is closed to the public except for two services a year. One woman asked how to get information about the services and the warden looked at her and said, "Just add it to your calendar - It's May 15th at noon." We sat down to eat and spend some time looking around when the groundskeepers started burning the brush from the hillside. Smoke was everywhere. Thankfully it didn't last long, and then they allowed us inside the chapel. Oh my goodness, what a treat.
As we sat on the grounds of the chapel the sunlight coming through the trees was tremendous.

The pulpit was built/carved by William Axson. He was one of the masons that worked on the building. Below is his name carved in the bricks outside one of the doors. The other two men credited with helping build the chapel also have their names in bricks, The view from one window. I LOVED this floor. The darker red were bricks??? slowly turning into dust. Absolutely gorgeous with the stone. Amazing symmetry in this building with both sides of pews facing each other. The old cemetary out back and the river down below.

This is the road to Pompion Chapel. With only two services a year it doesn't get a lot of traffic.
I love straight lined architecture - must be a math teacher thing. Lillies found growing on the grounds.

This is a very odd picture, I know, but the glass in the panes have to be original (or at least incredibly old). There are a lot of bubbles and waves in it, and I thought the reflection was pretty cool. A view of the Cooper River from the church grounds. Very symmetrical, each side had the same door, and windows. I'm a sucker for live oaks and spanish moss. This was on the way down a side canal that we decided to explore. At the end of the canal we found this old railway trestle - for a super small train, or handcar maybe, that brought the rice from the plantations around and loaded on to barges. The barges then easily went down the river to Charleston to sell or load on to boats for export. The boathouse decaying in the water. This was a great place for birds. We saw osprey and woodstorks in this area. The railway tracks into the canal. I wonder what they used to actually look like? A house on the Cooper River. Here in SC that is pronounced like the oo in book, not ew.

As we were leaving the canal, Karen took my picture. This was a good one, compared with the one she took as she was spearing me with her paddle. When we got to the end of the canal and started to paddle back, the wind shifted and turned against us. So it was a long hard paddle back to the boat landing. I LOVE the view from a kayak.
After paddling from 9:45ish until about 2:15 we were quite spent....but helped put the 15 or so kayaks back up on the rack. My friend Karen was up in the rigging helping to secure everything. This was such a great way to get out and go somewhere I hadn't known about, and I highly recommend it. Now I just need to get a kayak (and eventually one for everyone else in my family).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

T-Rex at Tartan Day

T-Rex and Brian went to Tartan Day which is a Celtic Heritage Festival that was held here in Columbia for the first time. They had the typical Highland Games activities such as the Caber Toss and Hammer Throw. There were plenty of Kilts and Bagpipes to be seen.

Brian's favorite were the sheepherding and the duck herding. He had never seen the ducks being herded over bridges and through tubes, and was very impressed with the dogs.

The Hammer Throw, this guy was a little off target and amost Brained one of the contestants competing next to him.

T-Rex's fencing coach (on the right) attends a lot of these things and gives demonstrations as to how the swords (etc) were used in that time period. T-Rex enjoyed watching him perform.

But the highlight for T-Rex had to be the owls. It was too windy to fly them, and the falcons, for their demonstrations, but she got to hold the owl.

Don't you just love the look on her face? I was teasing her and asking if she was going to take falconry lessons next. She replied, "I don't know." gulp. I wouldn't put it past her.