Thursday, July 21, 2011

4H Happenings

Our 4H group has been meeting through the summer. This past meeting the kids learned how to make wet felting, dyeing wool and felted soap.
 We dyed the wool with Kool-aid so the whole lawn area smelled delicious. The kids wanted to bring the extra packets home and drink them but we actually don't allow Kool Aid as a drink in the house. The coloring and sugar content react adversly with the kids.

 The kids were each given a foil pan and chose their Kool Aid color.

 While some worked on wool dyeing, others worked on making drop spindles.

 Tae had a little dye spilled on his hair.
He was kinda thrilled he'd have blue hair.

 On a previous field trip to Swiss Valley Foundation, the kids were able to see sheep being sheared. They got to see how dirty the wool was and then at the 4H meeting see how the wool had been washed and cleaned.

 They dye colors were very bright.

 Tae chose orange for his wet felting project.

Morgan had a bright purple.
 If there was black she would have chosen that instead.

 Some just smiled so cutely.

 Once the dye was poured the kids placed the wool in the pan
 and poked it to get it all colored and soaked.

 The grass was the perfect spot to do this activity.

 The kids also learned how to make drop spindles with the wool.

 We dried the dyed wool in the grass. How pretty.
 Except for that bottom one-it kind of looks like lunch gone wrong.

 Karen showed how to wrap and wet the felt around the soap to create a scrubby. After dyeing all that wool it helped to get the kids hands really clean.

 It took quite a while to get the wool felted.
The kids had great fun getting all soapy.

 Karen's hands turned bright pink from the dye.

 Once the wool was wrapped around the soap it was placed in nylon. The kids dipped it in water and scrubbed away to felt the wool and join the fibers.

Tae really was having fun here.
 His face doesn't show it but he loved this project.

Our next 4H meeting will be a trip to an Alpaca farm.
The kids (and me too!) can't wait.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Family Vacation

Back in June we were finally able to take a family vacation to New Hampshire.

We made the obligatory visit to Storyland.
More on that later.

 We visited Glen Ellis Falls.

The falls were just stunning and the spray of the water was so cool and refreshing.
I had a heck of a time climbing all those stairs back up though, thought we were going to have to call the forest ranger for rescue.

 The Condo we stayed in was just beautiful. It had 2 full pull out beds and a private master. The kitchen was tiny but fully functionable. It was good to be able to cook some meals and not have to eat out all the time.

 When we weren't out seeing the sites, we stayed at the resort and played in the heated pool.
The two jacuzzi's made me quite happy.

I drank some Good Merlot. See? The label says so.

 We drove up to Cathedral Ledge.  I was thankful for that.
There really is a feeling of it being a spiritual place when you are this high up.

 Mountain climbers actually climb this ledge.
Ummmm-no thanks.

 I prefer this view-with fencing to keep me on the mountain.
Stewie, my husbands service dog, went everywhere with us.

 We took another hike to Diana's Baths.
 This was a much easier hike for me as the paths were level and even and no stairs.

 The water was so peaceful to listen to as it trickled over the rocks.

 Diana's Baths is a multi-tierd waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
But the water was so cold.
I mean cold like your feet are in a cooler of icecubes cold.

 The kids found some really cool fossil rocks here. The curve of the rocks from water splashing on them for hundreds of years was just amazing to look at.

 There were lots of shallow areas for wading and exploring.

 Every corner you turned there were these glorious little waterfalls.

 And little holes and indentations where the force of water has made it's way through.

 And at the base of the waterfalls there were basins and swirls of water.

 On the walk back I noticed all these butterflys. There had to be at least 30 of them. I read somewhere that they lick the soil to get the minerals out of it.
 I sat with them and they just flitted beside me and landed next to me.

 I found the rocks and the water powerful yet soothing.

 Such an amazing place.
Ahhh yes, And then there is Storyland. My 14 year old declared he was too old to attend and happily stayed at the condo to swim and read.  We promised him free food but I have to say the vegetarian choices at Storyland are quite limited.

Tae insisted on driving the antique cars. Larry and I sat in the back.
Good thing Tae wasn't really responsible for driving.
My insurance rates would be astronimical.

But life is good when you can share a burger and soda with your big sister.

 Storyland has a great gift store with all of these crazy hats.
I had a blast with the kids!

 We practiced our Buddhism while at at Chinese Food restaurant picking up dinner.

Tae and Larry got a little goofy with the Hagar the Horrible hats.

 These glasses totally freaked me out.
I wouldn't buy these for Tae.
I had nightmares of him standing by my bed in the middle of the night
 chanting Red Rum, Red Rum!


 Cinderella's pumpkin.
It didn't go anywhere but is always a photo opportunity.

 Tae pie.

These are the cool fossil rocks we found. They have leaf imprints on them.

 It's always fun being with the kids.
They make me feel like a kid again.

But at the end of the day my tired and cranky kids needed to learn a hard lesson.
I offered to throw eggs at them but instead we treated them to miniature golf.

Hope you have been able to fit some vacation and family time into your summer.