Monday, August 22, 2011

The National Zoo

Den had a meeting at the Pentagon first thing Monday morning, so we all took advantage of the free hotel room and drove up Sunday morning. The girls have been dying to go to the National Zoo, so we took the Metro on over.

This pretty much sums up our day at the zoo. A huge line of angry red radar blobs spent the majority of the afternoon marching its way through Washington DC.

We managed to squeeze in a few of the outdoor habitats before the rain started. This is a statue of the Sloth Bear that was being, well, sloth-like and I couldn't get a good picture.

This is a Fisher Cat. I had never ever heard of a fisher cat before, but the name IS pretty self-explanatory. They are cats... who fish. Check them out in action here.At this point the panda bears were nowhere to be seen, so we had to settle for this one.

We never did find an actual anteater

Shortly after the tasty snowcones above, the heavens opened up and we very quickly sought shelter in the Ape, Small Mammal, Reptile, and Invertebrate Houses.
Hee hee. Gorilla Yoga

This is an anaconda. If you think he is big, you should have seen his pond mate. I am pretty sure that it must have eaten the anteater and that's why we couldn't find it.
Hands down the fattest iguana I have ever seen
I seem to have a strange fascination with Komodo Dragons. To me they are the great big poisonous labrador retrievers of the reptile kingdom.

Excuse me madam, but your squishy parts are showing.Who doesn't love a good giant octopus?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new camera!

We finally got a break in the rain and decided that we had better start the hike back to the metro station. We ran across this photo op along the way.

As we were heading back through the park, we ran across a small hidden sign that said Indoor Panda Viewing and low and behold, look who we found! One last shot before we headed for the train
This is not actually from the Zoo. It is from a random rest stop between here and there. Don't you just LOVE it?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach Day

Sad but true, the summer is winding down. In a couple of weeks, it will be back to the books - in MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! By some miracle, Paige and her buddies all had a free day, so off to the beach we all went. The girls wore themselve out in the water and we moms got a chance to catch up after a summer full of travels, and baseball, and this, and that. If summer has to end, this was a good way to do it.

Emma, Paige, Lexi, Christy, and Kaylie. This one may be a framer.

And... here it is in color. See what a beautiful day it was? It was 85 degrees and the offshore breeze was wonderful.
They did take breaks from their boogie boards to dig a massive pit in the sand.

Paige and Kaylie

It's a whole pile of trouble!

The waves started picking up after lunch, so they abandoned their boogie boards and jumped around in the waves for about an hour.

And here's their good sides - Paige, Emma, Lexi, Christy. and Kaylie


While Paige was wielding a paintbrush, Summer tied on her cheer shoes and went to cheer camp at a nearby Competition Cheer gym with her besties, Ashlyn and Madison. She had a BLAST!!!

Audrey, Madison, Ashlyn, and Summer

I am not real sure what she was doing here, but I liked the way the picture came out.
All week they worked on a dance routine for the parents.

They worked on stunting some.

Getting ready to tumble

Art Classes

For the last 2 weeks, Paige has been taking some art classes through Poquoson Parks and Rec. She really had a great time, and, although I may be a little biased, I think she may be showing some takent. These were the first formal art classes of any kind that she has taken.

My budding artist - please ignore the bruise on her shoulder - she got it boogie boarding.

The first week, she took a Beginner's Watercolor class. The kids learned how to mix the paints and how the different brushes work. This was her painting from the first day. It's a coral reef.
This class was on color washing, I think.

This is one of my favorites!

This one I am getting matted and framed for my office. The background was done with a water gun!

In this class, the instructor showed them what would happen if they sprinkled salt on their paint while it was still wet. I think it makes kind of a neat effect.

The peacock is still a work in progress. I will have to post about it again when it is finished.

The second week was a Superhero drawing class. The kids were taught about drawing facial expressions and things like that in the first two classes.

Paige's super heroes. Not sure what she is calling them.

I think she was trying her hand at a Japanimation here.

I know that she is planning on adding more details to these drawings and coloring them in. I guess I will blog those along with the peacock.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cheerleader Boot Camp

With the tolling of the church bells... cheerleading season has begin. This year Summer had moved up to the next division, the Mighty Mites. I signed on as Team Mom again this year. What can I say. I like spending time with these kids. Plus, after doing it the last 2 seasons, when Coach Barefoot asked, I just couldn't say no.

Week one is Boot Camp around here. Back to Basics fundamentals, for everyone, not just the new girls. Everything is broken down into individual movements and perfected before moving on to the next one. I honestly have to say, that if Coach Barefoot had been coaching when Paige cheered on Mighty Mites I think she would have liked it A LOT better.

The first practice started nice and easy with a sharing circle so the girls could get to know one another. The team is composed of Mighty Mites returners, Mites who have moved up, and quite a few new faces.

Time to get physical. At every practice the girls get a good, thorough conditioning warmup

Time to start cheering!

During the last two practices of the week, Coach Barefoot started introducing stunting. Summer was REALLY hoping that since she was going to be one of the younger girls this year, she might get a shot a being a flyer. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that is going to happen. She's a little disappointed, but is getting over it pretty quickly.

At the end of the week, the girls had several cheers pretty much down. Like this one....