Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's day was nice. Jake had an Edible Arrangement sent to me and mowed the lawn (he wasn't here for Mother's Day though so that part was sad). Michael sent me note on Facebook to wish me a good day. Savannah and Charlie made me breakfast in bed and then I went to church and just about cried my eyes out because Savannah and the other kids made the cutest video and sang a song to us mom's. She also bought me a pot of tulips with a balloon and a card. We went to the park and had a picnic and went for a nature walk. We saw a mommy duck with the cutest litte ducklings swimming close behind her in the river. There was also a muskrat he was cute too.

After that we were busy getting Charlie ready to go to Boston so I didn't get as depressed as I would have if we wouldn't have had so much to do. I admit I really felt a little homesick to visit you for Mother's Day, that and I didn't get to be with my boys. But what else can I do - so I enjoyed the day anwyays!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Birdwatching...and such

So Muffers and I spent the afternoon yesterday watching some birds. I also got some beautiful shots of the flowering weeds in our yard and a few critters. I really enjoy close up photo shooting of nature. I also love Muffers expressions as she watched the birds. I've been fascinated with birdwatching lately, well since we moved to Wisconsin that it. There is such a large variety here compared to the desert state of Utah. I am guessing it is because of the abundance of trees and water.

I hope to get a shot of a red cardinal soon - I still remember how excited I was when I found one near our water fountain shortly after we moved here. They are probably my favorite bird right now. We had a couple of large hawks nesting in one of our pine trees earlier this year, I am not sure if they are still there or not. This is odd because we live next to a busy street so I am not sure why they would camp out there with all the other places around.

I would like to get some binoculars as well as a guide book on bird names and other information. Guess it's time to fill the bird feeder!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Camp Winnecomac

Last Saturday I chaperoned Troop 4109 to the "Taste of Camp" at Camp Winnecomac in Kaukauna. It is a good way to get to know what the Girl Scout camps offer not only for me but for Savannah. We all met at the high school where the bus would shuttle us to the camp. I am thinking it would be a long ride up winding roads etc, and I found I was totally wrong. Hello? We are no longer in Utah. No need to go to the mountains to get to the woods. We were there in less than 5 minutes and still on flat ground. That was weird to me but once we were in the woods it felt no different really.

We started by eating lunch, "Taco in a bag" - Frito's corn chips, taco meat, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, and anything else you like in a taco but all thrown together in the Frito's bag! I never heard of this before, so it was fun and a lot less messy!

We next went to the cabin for crafts - the girls made wind chimes out of plastic cups, pipe cleaners, string, beads, and jingle bells. They were a lot of fun and turned out super cute! We also peeked in at the yurts and they were so nice inside it really made us want to stay overnight!
The nature walk was a little disappointing in that we didn't really do a lot of walking and the footprints of the animals were obviously planted there by the staff. I think this was just to get the girls thinking of nature. I get that. But hopefully if it were a real camp they would have a real nature walk. Savannah did manage to find an acorn that was still in one piece and not foraged by animals however.

The girls played a bunch of field games such as sack racing, tug o' war, and parachute games. It reminded me of being little again and having what was called Spring Fling at the end of school year where the kids would put on a show for the parents with outdoor games or dancing. I am not sure if they do this anymore or not, Savannah hasn't had one yet but my boys did. Maybe that is a Utah thing?
Next we headed to the campfire and made S'mores. I like that they had a real camp fire as there is comparable to the real thing. Fires and/or S'mores that is. Archery was next, the line was long as this is obviously a skill that needs to be practiced. Savannah did really well once she got the hang of how to hold it. While we were waiting a beautiful moth the size of a large Monarch butterfly landed on one of the girls heads and then wouldn't you know it but I lifted my hand up jokingly as if it would land there too, and it did! After that the girls were no longer bored waiting their turn and tried to coax the moth to their hands too.

We ended the afternoon with a presentation of what summer camp is about and the girls asked really good questions, including if the camp has a tornado shelter (yes, that was my daughter who thinks all sirens and storms are as a result of tornadoes). Savannah did ask if she could go to summer camp so that is cool. Going obviously alleviated all the fears she had as I am sure it did the other girls'. I am really glad I went with, it was a lot of fun! This is the last activity until next fall and I am planning on chaperoning all that I can.
 Savannah at the bridging ceremony.
Troop 4109 at Camp Winnecomac

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Troop 4109 Feeding the Hungry - NEW Homeless Shelter

I had the opportunity to participate with Girl Scout Troop 4109 served their community project this year at the N.E.W. Homeless Shelter. We fed over 160 people a spaghetti lunch - funny that we got the messiest option out there and fortunately no one was splattered in sauce!

The staff and other volunteers at the shelter were really nice and helpful. You could tell they all love their job and that what they do is important to them. The people who came in for lunch were very appreciative as well and enjoyed seeing the smiles on the girls' faces. I am sure it brightened their day as having children around can do.

We had leftover food too, and it is funny thinking back how hungry the girls got after the lunch ended. I think the most fascinating part was knowing all the food and supplies were donated not only by stores who were getting rid of excess or those bakeries taking their loaves of day old bread off the shelf but those that donated home made items such as banana bread. Of course this was first to go.

I am so proud of how good the girls were and how much they enjoyed this project. I think it really is important that they learn how to serve the community. I believe that through giving it teaches them to have a loving and kind spirit. Prior to this activity, they had a lesson about what it means to be homeless and why people may get in situations like these. Here are some photos of the activity. It was a patch well earned!