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So does anyone have any big plans for Cinco de Mayo?  We don’t and honestly I’m not even sure what this day celebrates – lol! Guess I’ve got some researching to do huh? We had a big weekend here in our household – dance recital!  Last year Jaia didn’t want to participate until about 2 weeks before the recital – by then it was too late. This year I signed her up for it  – no questions asked. It would have been easier to pull her out than sign her up to participate if she’d changed her mind so that’s what I did. Since she is loving the performing aspect of Irish Dancing I knew my decision would be fine  – and it was.

Rowan and Pharma - etc.. May 030

Selfie on the way to the recital –

FYI – I’ve been having issues with getting my pictures from the computer onto my blog – grrr…. so I’m hoping that some of the pictures I took I can post on my blog – we’ll see though .   And nope they are not working – I keep getting an error notice. Utterly and completely frustrating for me –

We are in the final  stretch before Rowan leaves for London – sooo much to do. I’ve got to get a few items of clothing for her – you know how teens are they wear the same 3 shirts day in and day out! She should be taking at least 7 days of clothes with her so we need to bolster her wardrobe a bit. Schoolwork needs to be finished up. Her 50 hour project is nearly done but it’s due Thursday and she still needs to fit it on the horse and take a million pictures to create a slide show –  Armor to put together and all sorts of stuff.

Friday was our last home school class of this semester. It was a new group we had tried out this semester to see if we liked it. It was okay – Jaia had a great time in the knitting class but the cooking from scratch class left a bit to be desired. Several baggies of herb mixes, salad dressing mixes etc… were certainly NOT worth the $30 I paid for the class.

Rowan and Pharma - etc.. May 020

Playtime after our last day of classes –

And exciting news! We don’t have to work summer camps this summer! We are all very excited but I’m realizing that I am out that money then. I always use camp money to cover some of the costs of feising – Oh well… I have lots of plans to grow my blog so look for some big changes this summer!

I’m off to start our day and to figure out why my pictures won’t transfer to my blog!

Bright Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I cannot believe that tomorrow is May 1. That means in 14 short, short days my biggest will be leaving for London with a home school group for 2 full weeks.  Am I worried – yes. Am I scared -yes.  Is the world full of unknowns? Definitely.  Am I “pushing” her to take this trip. Yes. At some point in time you just cannot let fear and uncertainty control your life. And I’m not letting that fear of the unknown let her change her mind.  Row is a total introvert and shy to boot and I’ve never made her get out there to challenge that. Maybe I should have. But being a shy, introvert myself…… So I know that she wants to go to London and she’s voiced that opinion many, many times over the year (s) , so I’m “pushing” her to go because I know she wants to. I also know she’s the type of person to not do something because she’s worried of going out of her comfort zone.  I know the group is safe and the teacher has taken groups several times before – once to Japan!  I don’t want her to miss this opportunity and then in 6 weeks, 6 months or next year say ” I wish I would have gone…”. I wish I had had this chance when I was her age.

I think those 2 weeks in Great Britain will change my baby – help her to grow her self confidence, her personality.  I think she will learn, grow, explore and come back maybe knowing more of who she is.  I know it’s just a short trip to London, but it’s the longest she’s been away from us – and we from her – and it’s also by far the farthest she’s ever been!

It’s an adventure and I am so super proud of her for taking this leap.

Bright Blessings

(Sorry for the lack of pictures – I can get the pictures from the camera to the computer but then it keeps telling me there’s an error when I try to get them onto the blog)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday brought us a wonderful, sunny day. Temperature was perfect but the humidity was crazy. Normally our Sunday’s have been lazy, non-productice, go nowhere days but this weekend was the Festival of Nations, and I wanted to go.  The girls and I went last year and had a blast.

The Festival of Nations is just what it sounds like – a gathering  and  a celebration of many of the nations that make up our country.  From Bosnian to the Chinese. Germany to Scotland.

There were no fewer than 30 different food booths, 35 or more different booths selling items from different countries and 3 or 4 different stages where you could see performances from around the world.

Food booth row I called it – Row had bangers and mash “from”  scotland and some mango drink that was absolutely to die for!  Jaia had ribs – American soul food. I had a chicken schwarma pita from? and my husband had a gyro –  I really would have loved to try something from each and every booth – but you know… Can’t have everything we want right? 🙂

The merchandise booths held everything from jewelry to hand made sweaters, to scarves, bags, and even olive oil!  I just enjoyed looking.

We ended up for the majority of the afternoon in front of the main stage to watch the performances.

We saw….

 

African dancing and drumming.

 

Buddhist monks..

 

European folk dancers..

 

Dancers from Hawaii dancing a traditional dance to Pele.

 

Belly dancers.

 

Flamenco dancers.

 

And my absolute favorite. This is who I actually CAME to see – I saw them last year and absolutely loved it.

Cobu – an all female  Japanese Taiko drumming group. The leader is a member of the off Broadway dance company Stomp. So you can only imagine what it’s like. They combine Taiko drumming with dance.

 

I love drumming – any kind really. Okay – not so much the American rock star drumming. BUT  I can feel it – the drumming. It very much rattles me to my inner core and can get very emotional when I hear and feel drumming.

We left shortly after Cobu – we were hot and tired after the day exploring around the world.   We will definitely be going back next year.. I have to try something new at the food booths and of course – I have to see Cobu  – if they come back!

We are off to the barn again today! It’s Wednesday – I know – certainly seems like we live there doesn’t it? I think if my children had their way  we WOULD be there every single day!

Bright Blessings!

 

We had a very crazy busy weekend here in our household. Jaia danced in her very first feis. A feis is an Irish Dancing competition – pronounced fesh.  It is not at all like a normal dance recital. We’ve been there -done that – with not so good results and a little girl who refused to go back onstage for anything. It took her months to decide she was ready and that’s only after we went to watch a feis earlier this year.  A feis, like I mentioned,  is a competition – you register, sign up for the particular dances you want and those are the ones you compete in. Jaia danced the jig and the light reel – and there were 2 other competitors in each dance – 3 total dancers  for her 2 particular dances.. ..  There are dozens to sign up for – hundreds of girls competing and a few boys as well.

She did a fantastic job! and literally bounced back to me each time with the biggest grin on her face! I am so absolutely proud of my daughter. She placed 2nd in each dance. I know there were only 3 but hey… 2nd place! (she’s the blurry one in the middle).  Sorry about that – I was trying to watch, take pictures and NOT cry – Watching her dance makes me very emotional for some reason. She was super pleased with herself, as she should be, and wore both medals ALL DAY LONG. Even out for ice-cream to celebrate.   She told me that her next feis – in September – she’s going to win first place…

Jaia with her medals.

We had a blast and Jaia had a fantastic first experience – I think the next feis will be even better.

Sunday we went to the Festival of Nations – which I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

Today we’re off to the barn – it’s Monday after all.

Next week we start school!  and I’m busy trying to pull everything together.

Bright Blessings! – have a wonderful day!

Tuesday afternoon Jaia really wanted to go to the zoo. Great! We didn’t have too much time since J has dance class in the evening, but we contacted some friends and they were going to go with us.  (our zoo is free! it’s a fantastic zoo) – I drove all the way over to the zoo  and there I discovered the crowd – jam packed! I was so surprised! A lot of our schools in the area had started for the year Monday so I honestly thought the zoo was going to be relatively empty. But! the paid parking lots were full and my usual parking secret was filled to the brim also!  After a quick chat with our friends we decided to skip the zoo and go someplace else. We’ll do the zoo next week..

We ended up a a sculpture park – It’s a neat place filled with trails and HUGE pieces of artwork. Some you can climb on  – some you cannot. I apologize in advance for anything my child climbed on that she was NOT supposed to. Sometimes you don’t see the sign until after the fact..

 

We grew into giants and sat on houses –

 

Walked a u-turn bridge.

 

Discovered a hidden grotto –

Played in a creek –  She looks so thrilled doesn’t she?

Climbed on huge metal balls that snaked off into the distance..

Saw a silver tree –

 

And saw all sorts of sculptures that I didn’t quite understand.

 

 

 

Giant eyeball anyone?

 

This was my favorite – the teardrop tree tent. Can you imagine camping in this! Fantastic –

All in All – we had a fantastic afternoon with some wonderful friends! Next week we’ll do the zoo..

Bright Blessings

 

 

 

Well we made it through our 4th and hottest week of camp so far. Only one more week that the girls will be helping with and then one extra week for me. The girls will have a lovely break spending time with friends and my mother -their Grandmother.  Thursday and Friday of last week were just brutal – with temps hitting 105 + and now we’re on our 5th straight day of 100+ degree weather.  I hope we get a break soon ! This heat is stifling and it’s wearing all of us down. Goodness.

Well, as I posted last week – I visited the Missouri State Penitentiary for all you history and ghost hunting buffs out there. I am one of those who WATCH the ghost hunting T.V. shoes with regularity! Also I love abandoned buildings. They’re so …….. frightening, haunting..etc…The Missouri State Penn has several different types of tours. A 2 hour tour, a 3 hour more in-depth tour and 2 different ghost hunting tours (that I’m definitely going to work up the courage to go do!)  I think I took over 100 pictures so I’m going to narrow it down a bit here and post a few each day this week.  Before you even walk in you have to sign a release form.  And one of the tours you need to wear a hard hat according to their website – THAT will be my next tour.  The Missouri State Penn has a bloody history and was opened 100 years before Alcatraz! And closed in 2004 if I remember correctly.

Front entrance

Guard shack at the entry to the complex. Add added in the 1960’s????? maybe.. All doors in the entry way were controlled by the computers in the guard shack by the time the prison closed.

View down one wing of the main building – we did not get to tour this building. Too bad – I wonder what it’s like!

Cell block we got to tour. Pictures to come!

I don’t remember if that red building was another cell block or if it was a factory. At the height of it’s history, the prison apparently had dozens of factories here – where the inmates worked. A busy inmate is one that cannot start anything right? They had a shoe factory, leather factory, saddle factory, furniture factory and many others I can’t remember right now.

Those cages in front – left corner? They look kind of like dog runs? They were exercise cages for the inmates – I believe for the solitary confinement inmates or the death row inmates? Not 100% sure. But I do know they were exercise cages – I THINK they were something like 6 feet by 12 feet but don’t quote me on that.

Inside cell block. Four stories. At one point these cells housed 6 + prisoners.

Looking down from a walkway.

Cell. Towards the end of the prison’s life – these cells were for the more “privileged” prisoners – those with good behavior. They got to paint and decorate their cells however they wanted. Apparently one cell had a 20? gallon fish tank at one time and many cells had hardwood furniture. They would bring up the pieces one at a time from the furniture factory and assemble it in their rooms.  I had the hardest time walking INTO the rooms. I could stand in the doorway and take pictures but I could not physically walk in the room .

Toilet in the corner for some semblance of privacy I guess.

I’ll post more pictures tomorrow. I promise that after the camps are over I’ll be crafting again!  I have many, many craft ideas – quiet a few of them are horse related 😉

Bright Blessings

Have you ever been to the circus? That huge 3 ring catastrophe of possibly mistreated animals on performance? Can you tell I’m not a big circus fan?  We took the girls to one of these years ago and it was loud and I don’t think anyone of us had much fun. I was too busy thinking about how they treated the animals. We’ve never gone again.

Well, here in St. Louis – we  have Circus Flora! What’s that? You ask – It’s our very own one ring LOCAL circus! Many of the performers are locally trained and I think the horses, or some of them anyway, live locally too. In fact, one very fun horse at Avalon Horse Farm is a retired Circus Flora performer.

http://www.circusflora.org/

Waiting out side for the rest of our group to arrive – we went with Rowan’s Pony Club.

Stilt walker.

Here you can see most of the one ring – and did I mention they have LIVE music? No? They do. It was fantastic.

Each year the circus has a theme. This year it was the Wizard. As in Merlin and King Arthur.  The wizard told the story verbally as the performers told the story visually.  I wish you could have seen it! It is so hard to describe.

They have tightrope walkers, jugglers, acrobats, and Nino. They have majick tricks and dog tricks. And of course the horse act was the favorite part of the show.

It is a family show. The tightrope walkers are a family that have been doing this for years – for years! And the unicyclists were ( I think) a mother, father and daughter (about 9? I would say)

We spotted this performer when J and I stepped out to use the bathroom at intermission. He’s waiting for his turn.

 

All lit up!

After the show, the group got to visit “back stage” – where J snapped a fuzzy pic of this cute guy waiting for his grain.

We had a total blast and I cannot wait to see what next years theme will be!

Bright Blessing!

Well, here I thought that on my break week I would get a whole lot of catch up work accomplished. I planned to clean the house (which has been neglected because of camps), reorganize the basement, clean Jaia’s room and so, so  many other projects were on that list!  Needless to say – very little has been accomplished. I did post some desks on craigslist and the bathroom is nicely scrubbed, the floor has been mopped and several loads of laundry have been washed and folded.  But! She’s only had 3 days of camp so far so there is still time to get work done! Yesterday though I decided that the housework was really not that important and Rowan and I went to the library and then shopping!  She need a few things in her wardrobe so we hit the “teen” resale shop. Geared towards teens and fashionable young adults. Where, I’m happy to say, I found a pair of Lucky brand jeans for $20!!.

Our weekend was once again crazy busy. My nieces birthday party on Saturday. Which in my opinion was a total unorganized mess.  I arrived a little early than stated time and found that F was still asleep- all good. But then she slept for the next 2 hours! So while party guests were arriving and sitting around waiting – she was sleeping. Oh – she’s 2.   There was a cheese/cracker platter and a veggie platter – drinks? not sure I ever had one actually. Pasta – being made as guests are standing around waiting for something to happen. I’m not talking adding the pasta to the sauce but MAKING the sauce! I don’t know about you but I have everything pretty much planned out, food pre-pared and only heated if needed. My poor brother was so embarrassed. People were watching T.V. I absolutely cannot stand being at a party where the t.v is blaring. NOT what I came for if you know what I mean.

About 2 hours after the guests arrived we finally were told we could go swimming and after that the presents were opened – while we were eating pasta and brats. Whew! I truly hope that my daughters’ first ands second birthdays weren’t so scrambled. But that WAS 12 years ago!

Cool tractor my brother uses to mow.

ANYWAY enough complaining! Sunday we went to the St. Louis Renaissance Festival. Fantastic Fun as usual. A lot had changed since we volunteered there. Many of the people I worked with left and there’s been a change of management. Some of our favorite acts have left – but overall it was a very pleasant day.

Jousting

Royalty

Scottish encampment

Pony rides

 

Escaping from prison!

Wow! Can’t figure out how to get that picture normal size again!

Yesterday Rowan made homemade sushi –

 

And I picked the first offering from the garden.

I can’t seem to get this gardening thing down. I have a raised bed garden. I plant lovely heirloom seeds. I water them, I weed them and some of them never come up! Maybe I need to order my seeds online rather than buying them from the local mega mart shop.

Jaia has camp again today so off I go!

Bright Blessings!

Well, here we are, two weeks after our trip to the City Museum – and we have more snow.  We’ve had more snow this year than I can remember having – ever.  But, I refuse to talk about the cold, ice and snow and the fact that now we’ve been at home for 3 days with no end in site – there’s more snow talk in the future.

Our trip to the City Museum was awesome! And I’m forever glad we got to go with our homeschooling group. It made  trip fun and affordable!

Picture of J on a huge turtle

Enormous Lizard?

We had a blast and spend hours! at the museum playing.  There is a 10 story slide somewhere in the building that I did not go search for – but the kids did.  There is a circus that performs in our City Museum – many of the kids in it are homeschoolers and it is run by a homeschooling mom.  Fantastic performance!  There is an are area, and tunnels upon tunnels to climb in, through, on and over.  If you are ever in St. Louis then go!

http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp

On another note – I received my pattern for the sew-a-long a couple of weeks ago – and finally found material that I like enough to use  —- I’m so used to buying material for others and my girls that when faced with the daunting task of shopping for MYSELF, I found it almost impossible to choose and decide.  Finally, with time running out and needing to be someplace after our fabric store stop – I chose this :

Which of course, as soon as I got it home, had second thoughts about.  But you know what?  I have it, I like it, darn it, I’m going to use it!

Now I have to trace the pattern, since I’m behind in the sew-a- long – but I have no tracing paper.  So that means a trip out in this snow and ice – oh well…  Then I’ll get sewing!

Be safe – it sounds like much of the U.S. is covered – Spring will come!

Bright Blessings

S