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I hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day. My family celebrated by spending some time outside in nature at the lake near our house.

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While we live in Florida, no it was not warm enough to go swimming this weekend.

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This was the result of indulging in cold water fun.

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Once they warmed up a bit, the kids decided that playing on the shore was just as much fun as swimming.

~Gerwerken

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. My family was sick during the holiday, and we are still on the mend, but we still pulled ourselves together long enough for an egg hunt.
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This weekend the National High Magnetic Field Lab had their annual Open House, and it was awesome. It was our first time at the Open House, and we really didn’t expect to see much, other than the 45 Tesla Electro Magnet. What we found was that the entire complex had been set up with different experiments and demonstrations, each designed to get kids interested in science.

Firebeard and Thing 2 visited the Cryogenics Lab and saw the Liquid Nitrogen rocket car, and flash frozen flowers, while Thing 1 and I visited the big magnets in the DC Field Building.

Thing 1 wasn’t very impressed in the world’s largest magnet, because “it looked like a bunch of tubes” (her words), but the other demonstrations in the magnet cells were pretty awesome. She especially like the electric pickle, the cloud made in a bottle, and the thunder tube.

In the end, Thing 1’s favorite part was the exhibit set up by the Sci Girls, a groups of girls just a few years older than her. They were showing the conservation of angular momentum with bike wheels, and making cloud bubbles with dry ice. Thing one didn’t want to leave. It makes me wonder if she will be demonstrating in a few years.

Next year we are planning to go earlier and see some of the demonstrations were didn’t get to see this year, like the MagLev Train in the Applied Superconductivity Center and the hydrogen powered toy car in the center for alternative power systems (Hint, hint, Mag Lag open house organizers). I also hope that next year they will have the robots that Thing 2 was wishing for.

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A few weekends ago the girl and I attended Red Hills Horse Trials, and international horse riding event.  We were able to sit close to the water obstacle on the cross country course, and I took full advantage of the burst mode on my camera.

Burst mode allows me to take several photos in quick succession by simply holding down the shutter button.  It is wonderful for taking action shots when you don’t have a good idea when the cool stuff is going to take place.  For instance; it allowed me to take the following picture in which both of the horse’s feet are off the ground.  Sure I could have taken it without burst mode – but I would have needed to be very lucky.

There is a good chance that your own digital camera has a burst mode, check your settings and try it out.

In other news, the girl loves horses and had a great time.  She got to ride 2 horses;

and she got an amazing horse face painting.

 

I don’t know how common horse trials are, especially one’s of this caliber, but I would defiantly recommend attending one if you are able as it was great fun!

A few weeks ago we celebrated the boy’s 5th birthday.  It seems like no time at all since his 4th.  No really…. no time at.  It prompted me to look back over the world wind year in an attempt so see where the time went.

I am amazed at how much has occurred during the last year.  Considering that it has been some time since I have blogged, and so much has occurred, I have decided to catch you up a bit, rather than jumping in with my latest crafting endeavor.

As I said, it was about this time last year that we celebrated my son’s 4th birthday with a Lego party.  Soon after that we left on an epic journey across the country from Florida to Texas (about 900 miles).  On the way we visited my sister in New Orleans, LA, and ate beignets at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter.  In Texas, we visited some friends who have a cattle ranch on the Colorado River.

   

These friends had a few chickens at their house that Fire Beard was very impressed with, and when we got back he decided it was time for us to get some chickens of our own.  We now have 9 chickens, and are planning to get a few more this Spring.

The girl kicked off the summer with her graduation from Preschool and her first ever Ballet recital.

The summer was spent having fun, and avoiding the heat as much as possible.  The kids spent most of the summer in the kiddie pools we kept filled with cold water, but we did venture out a few times on some amazing adventures.

We started home schooling in the fall.   Science is one of the kid’s favorite subjects.

At the same time Fire Beard quit his job and set off for Law School.  My search for a job became desperate – we had no income.  At the end of October we celebrated the girl’s 6th birthday.

The kids were Ron and Ginny from Harry Potter for Halloween.  I was completely overjoyed about the costume choice.  I wish I had been able to make proper costumes for them, but at around the same time I finally found seasonal employment at Target.

 

Target was part time, and minimum wage, not nearly enough to live on (although my experience there was a positive one), so the search went on.  I was finally contacted by one of the local universities that I had applied to about two months earlier.  They were offering me a job – full time, and including benefits.  The pay wasn’t nearly as much as Fire Beard had been making, but it was enough. I started working full time at the University right after Thanksgiving (after working the opening shift of Black Friday at Target).

The  transition to working full time – or for that matter part time – was difficult, especially with Fire Beard away.  We are still adjusting, but we managed to have some fun this winter anyway.  The county fair was in November.  My family tends to visit the exhibits rather than the rides – although the kids did go on a few rides.  This year the chickens were particularly interesting.  The kids want to enter our chickens next year.

Christmas was very modest, but we enjoyed it.  It was full of handmade goodness (at least as much as I could muster), and 1 long desired gift shared by the kids.

Thus far, this year we are still adjusting to me working full time.  Fire Beard is back home this semester, and is acting as Mr. Mom.  The kids are happy with him home, as his priorities are a bit different than mine – the house is a bit messier, but there is a lot more play time.

I am a bit surprised to report that I have actually been crafting more since starting work.  I have a whole hour to myself every day during which I can craft my heart out (they call it lunch time for reasons I can’t comprehend).  I have already finished a pair of socks (pictures forthcoming).  I have even joined the gym, and may finally loose some of the weight I gained with these kids.

Hopefully my next post will be back to the normal crafty stuff I have tried to provide in the past – here’s to hoping.

Hello all.  My family has been busy of late.  We have been doing a lot of traveling since Fire Beard started law school.  A few weeks ago we stayed at his new studio on the way to visit my parents.  He has done a really good job with his place, and I hope he will let me show it to you all soon.  In the meantime, I would like to show you what we did with my parents.

Here in Florida we have a nature themed theme park called Silver Springs.  It is centered around the gorgeous natural spring flowing onto it’s grounds.  The park have glass bottom boat rides, animal exhibits, and animal shows.  It was the animal shows my kids liked the best.

Years ago, when I was about my daughter’s age, I volunteered to hold the ball python at the reptile show.  After hearing that story my daughter was determined to hold the giant snake too.  They no longer allow audience members to hold the animals during the show because the animals can be hurt by careless, or even aggressive audience members, but the nice young man running the show allowed my daughter to hold the snake after everyone else had left.  She loved it!

I was allowed to hold a corn snake which my son consented to pet (he wouldn’t touch the big snake), and the bird in the above pic got so close it actually pecked my camera.

Have you ever been to a great american park that wasn’t as famous as Disney World?  I want to know about it.

My kid’s have a little craft area adjacent to my own.  Its complete disarray was driving me to distraction.  It was also driving the children into my own craft area.  Something had to be done!

I decided to install 2 small Bygel rails and 8 Bygel containers that I picked up the last time I was at Ikea (total cost around $12 USD).  The containers hold things like colored pencils, markers, and scissors.  I also repurposed some small tin cans to hold crayons.  Under their table 2 cloth boxes I made a while ago hold paper, felt, coloring books, stickers, and other craft embellishments.  The kids started using their newly organized table almost immediately, so quickly in fact that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the table while it was mess free.

Now it is time to brag!  The morning after the kid’s craft table was cleaned up my daughter presented me with a project she made entirely on her own.  She turned her little shopping cart into a horse for her dolls to ride in.  I think she did a really wonderful job, and I just had to share.

Fire Beard is going to law school.  We are all very excited.  He has been working toward this for several years.  But there is a catch…  The school he will be attending is not in our home town.  He will have to move to attend, but the kids and I will be staying here.

 

As you can imagine, things have been rather chaotic around here of late.  I have been preoccupied by “The Big Move,” and my crafting has suffered as a result.  The move should be over as of this post however, and then we can begin settling back into something of a routine that includes crafting!  In fact, I have big plans concerning the kid’s play area, and my own crafting space (which will be enlarged with my husband away).  I may even have a few surprises coming up.

 

In the meantime, I will still be looking for a job (thank you economy), figuring out new ways to save money, reusing what I already have, living naturally, and hopefully telling you all about it.

Sometimes, all you need to have fun…

is your own backyard…

and a Dad that doesn’t break easily.

A few weekends ago this little guy was rescued from the jaws of my SiL’s dog.  Don’t worry, it was just fine, and was later released in a dog free area.  In the mean time, the kiddos got to see a real mole up close.

Isn’t it cute!