Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photo of Daughter - Happy at Camp!

Thank you, my friends, again for praying for my daughter (and me) while she is away at camp. I was specifically praying that I'd see a photo of her on the nightly posts that would show me she is making friends and having a good time. I didn't see the post until this morning as they post them pretty late. And, at first I didn't see her picture. I had to open about 70 photos one at a time. But, almost at the end, there was this beautiful photo! Doesn't she look happy? (And, thank you, Lord, for showing me a photo this early in the week!)

I've been crying "silly mommy tears" (as my dh lovingly called them) for the past 10 minutes. I'm praising God that she's having a good time and for answering my prayer so specifically. Thank you again for your prayers and notes of encouragement! My mind is at peace, though I'm still praying for her safety and fun and learning and spiritual growth!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Camp!

I just dropped Alex off for her first week-long camp! Oh, this is hard! But, I know she'll have fun. I actually didn't take any photos... she didn't want me to. But, here is Alex at the same camp back in November when we did mother/daughter camp. (We actually stayed in a boys' cabin that time, so hers looks a little different.) 

She is really excited, but also a little nervous. I would appreciate prayers for both Alex and myself... especially tonight and tomorrow. I think these will be the hardes 24 hours! Alex only knows one girl at camp, one of the girls from mother/daughter camp. But, we haven't seen her since November AND that girl is with a lot of friends from church. So, I'm praying that Alex makes some friends (or a great friend) quickly and that she really feels like she belongs. I'm praying for friendship and safety and that she will learn and grow. I'd appreciate my blogging friends' prayers, too! I think this will be a hard few days! (Oh... and this is a another picture from mother/daughter camp where her arm is in a sling... because she fell off the bunk and broke her wrist! Yep!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Albuquerque Day 3: Museums, Old Town, and Cake!

I am going to try to finish blogging about our trip to New Mexico! It really was a wonderful trip.

On Day 3, we started by going to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. One of their temporary exhibits was on nature journals. I really enjoyed looking at these and would like to start working on mine more often.

Our favorite room had reptiles, amphibians, and fish in it. We spent most of our time here. In this sandbox, Alex & her cousin, Hunter, are making animal tracks.We actually didn't care much for the rest of the museum and went through it really quickly. It was primarily about evolution and space travel.

After lunch, we went to Old Town Albuequerque. We went through the small, but interesting, American International Rattlesnake Museum. We were proud of Nana for joining us - and she actually liked it! 

There are artists who set up to sale along the street. We were told that they get their assigned spot and time in a weekly lottery. There is a lot of jewelry and pottery are for sale, but we didn't buy anything.

This is the San Felipe de Neri Parish, the oldest Catholic parish in New Mexico. It was built in 1793 and is still used for services today. We saw nuns and monks both in the church and walking around Old Town. 

That night, one of my husband's cousins met us at the house for his 30th birthday. We made cupcakes and here is a photo of Hunter (who turned 2 in May) enjoying his dessert! He really enjoyed blowing out the candles and singing Happy Birthday, too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Critters in the Healthy Habitat

While Alex was at camp at our co-op 2 weeks ago, I walked around and took some photos of the summer critters in our Healthy Habitat.
Gulf Fritilary on Turk's Cap - we also found some caterpillars on a passion vine, but my camera's battery was dying
a cool grub! you can see its hairs and spiracles. i also saw 6 legs. and, this is his tail end...
he proved it to me

a female robber fly - you can tell it's a she by her ovipositor that looks like a stineger

this was very tiny, but i'm pretty sure it is some kind of wasp

a beautiful caterpillar i found on the porch ceiling in the front yard - i just used "what's that bug?" to identify this as a White Marked Tussock Moth.
Here is a description by bug guide: “Caterpillars are recognized by the bright red head and broad black stripe along the back flanked by a yellow stripe each side. Two red glands on sixth and seventh abdominal segments, and four tufts of hairs (which may be white, gray or yellowish) on the first four abdominal segments are common to several members of the genus. CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction."

GPS Camp

First of all, thanks again to everyone who is sticking with me through the summer! I really am still having trouble getting motivated to post. And, I'm working out HARD! I'm working towards a 5K in October and a sprint triathlon in April and putting in lots of hours training. I am learning to "run" (jog) and made a new personal best yesterday - I ran for 5 minutes straight! I'm also swimming, cycling, lifting weights, and other types of activities. I'm really feeling great!

Ok... back to the blog! Alex is in a GPS camp at our co-op this week. Well, actually she's home sick today, but we hope she'll be ready to go back tomorrow. (She was vomiting last night, but no fever or other symptoms.) Anyway, yesterday they learned some of the fundamentals regarding longitude and lattitude and satellites. At lunch, he explained to me (and others) some basics about GPS and satellites. Here is some of what I learned:

  • satellites were originally intended for military applications and first launched in 1978

  • there are 30 satellites which each circle the globe every 12 hours

  • GPS receivers compare when a signal was received to when it was sent to determine how far the receiver is from the satellite

  • each satellite has a unique "sound"

  • each satellite is built to last about 10 years, but the oldest currently up is almost 20 years old
Alex's camp lasts 2.5 hours a day. After learning about the GPS systems, they went out on our property (I think it is 4+ acres) to find a site the teacher had programmed. Then, the 3 groups of 3 each were to find a different location where the teacher had hidden a box.

I helped Alex's group and we found this box of goodies. There were instructions telling us how to trail blaze. There were specific instructions, but we basically to use the materials in the box to make a trail (300 paces long!) that the other teams could follow. This proved to be pretty hard for us! One boy on Alex's team led the way and he was out of all of our rocks pretty quickly. We then decided we needed to pick up our rocks and use them more sparingly and mark our team number on them (as other teams would be crossing our path, too). Well, time ran out and we never finished, but we learned a lot! We are both disappointed to be missing today's camp. 

I think today we will watch the following brainpop videos: GPS, satellite, and longitude and latitude. I also borrowed a book from the teacher titled "Let's Go Geocaching" by John McKinney (a DK Reader).

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Albuquerque Day 2 - Explora Museum

On Day 2, we went to an amazing children's museum - Explora. As we were pulling up, I saw this road runner! My first! And, he had a lizard in his mouth! I pulled over quickly and grabbed my camera. Unfortuantely, he was running away so this is the quality of my photo. But, I was thrilled to see this road runner! 

This was my nephew's (Hunter) favorite part of the museum. It was a water feature where you could press and release buttons and make the water shoot out in different ways. We spent a lot of time here, and we all enjoyed it.

Here Alex is creating a stop-action movie! I love how it was set up to make this really easy.

This shows heat. They had an ice bag and we rubbed it on our hands and they turned black. Fun!

This is the largest elevator we've ever seen. It had several chairs, a couch and a table. In fact, we weren't even sure it was really an elevator, but it was!

Hunter LOVED playing with the water. There was a whole area of the museum devoted to water and he loved it.

Here's Alex in the "wind" area building a car. Then, you put the car in front of a fan and see how far and fast it will go. Her car was a lot better than mine!

That night, I went jogging in the park a few blocks from our house while Nana, Alex, and Hunter went for a walk. Alex shot this photo. I am in the white shirt and gray shorts near the left corner. Isn't this a beautiful place? And, as I mentioned, I'm really getting into exercise right now. This week I ran 3 times, swam 2 times, worked out with weights 4 times, did 1 exercise video, and more! I've now lost 5 pounds and I'm feeling great!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Albuquerque Day 1 - the house, biking, and prairie dogs

First of all, it is just hard to blog this summer so sorry for not doing much! Also, I have been working out a LOT and keeping a blog at SparkPeople about my exercise, diet, etc. So, that has taken over most of my computer time lately.

While in New Mexico, we spent the week at a house my sister-in-law was renting while she taught there. She bought a fairly big, blow up pool to use. The first day we were there, Alex, her cousin Hunter, and my sil went 'swimming.' The pool was in the shade and since it gets pretty cool in NW at night, the water was cold! But, they had fun.
There was an apricot tree in the backyard. They looked ripe, but were very hard. Too bad!

Alex and her Nana made dinner that night.

That evening, my sil taught me how to ride a bike... as a grown up. This is not the same as the 5 speed I rode as a teen. And, I've only been on a bike once in the past 20+ years! We went riding 4 miles this day. The scenery was beautiful - we were at the base of a mountain and we were overlooking Albuquerque with some extinct volcanos in the distance. We rode at sunset and I wish I would have had a camera with me on the ride!
While we were riding, Alex and her cousin and Nana fed the prairie dogs! They were so cute! Alex actually had them eating out of her hand, though I didn't catch it on 'film.' They were full, I guess, by the time we got back.
There were quite a few babies and we watched this mom nursing 2 babies! I thought it was pretty funny when she had a piece of our food, though. She was eating it and the babies were trying to get it and she'd just push them away with one hand while eating with the other!

My mil had done some research that said fruit was what we should feed them. This was my best photo and he/she has some kind of fruit. Aren't they cute?

And, here is a photo of one of the mountains. Oh, how I miss New Mexico!
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