Friday, June 27, 2008

Rockclimbing and Whitewater Rafting Adventure

For about the past 5 years I've chaperoned our church youth group on a trip to West Virginia. We go whitewater rafting on the New River for one day and can choose from a list of activities what to do the other day. I volunteer to be the rockclimbing chaperone. This year we had a wonderful day with perfect weather and 2 fabulous guides. We did 7 different climbing routes and a 100' rapell as well. I had so much fun. I suprised myself by finishing every route they gave us including doing the hardest of the day, an 85' climb twice!! I did better than usual on the rapell also. Usually I am a bit intimidated at the first time stepping off the top of that 100'. This year I didn't even hesitate, just stepped off and stopped myself about 15' down to look around and enjoy the incredible view of the gorge. All in all I held up pretty well physically and did 4 rapells and 8 climbs.

The following day, we rafted the river. The New River is a fun time with rapids ranging from 2 to 5 on the scale. The water was slightly low this year and the rapids not nearly as big as they've been in years past, but we still had a great time. We were able to swim through one of the smaller rapids, and purposely flip our boat on another one and that increased the excitement a bit. The adults on the trip had a much more relaxing time than usual as we only had a group of 21 as opposed to the 70+ we had 2 years ago. Its always a great group of kids and an easy trip to accompany them on. It seems we get pulled aside every year and complimented on their behavior. Its a joy to be able to spend some time with them away from church service.

The first picture today is at about 1/3 of the way up the biggest climb of the day. One of the guides was awesome and took my camera (with my permission) and literally tied in and hung out over the cliff edge to get these pics. The second is about 2/3 of the way up. This was the first time I had ever followed a crack and climbed in that manner. It was actually easier than some of the other techniques necessary. The last photo is when I was at the very top and starting to be lowered. Can you see the ground WAY down there?

I hope all of you are living your adventures to the fullest.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June Honey Moon

I'm late for the party due to being slow on finishing my art and having commitments for the entire morning, but I have finally arrived for the wedding festivities. Tinker has decided to honor love and marriage by hosting a fun day of memories and sentiments. Can you think of anything better to celebrate on a beautiful June Saturday? The weather here is absolutely beautiful and I'm imagining many young ladies smiling into the sun, dressed in their gorgeous gowns, and laughing with abandon. I was wed in November, and it was the first snowfall of the year. It was just barely coming down and beautiful. I love snow so this seemed like the perfect start to my marriage. We had a 5:30 ceremony in the church I grew up in, and now am the organist for. We lit the aisle candleabras and dimmed the lights. My old piano teacher was our organist and we were surrounded by our friends and family. I married my best friend. We were high school sweethearts. We dated for 6 years, making it through a long distance relationship period while I attended school 500 miles away. We were and are in love. This year we will celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss. Craig always jokes of the importance of us being able to make each other laugh, so my humorous art is in reference to that.

It reads - Having been told to "Marry someone who makes you laugh" She wed the clownfish.

The canvas is covered with torn pages painted with a blue glittery wash of ocean. I painted the mermaid, and fish on cardstock and cut them out like paper dolls.

I also cut out the tiara, top hat and bow tie seperatly and later glued them in place . I used a piece of lace tucked under the tiara for her veil.

I embellished her with a sparkling "diamond" necklace, emerald belly ring and bracelet, and the handsome groom is holding out the diamond ring she will wear to honor their union.

Dont you think the groom looks very handsome? He was a nervous wreck before the ceremony, but as soon as she began swimming down the aisle, his face lit up with love for his blushing bride. Have you ever peaked at the groom when he first sees his bride coming down the aisle? Most people miss it because their attention is on the bride. It is usually quite a site to see the look of nerves switch over to complete happiness. I hope you'll take a glance the next time you attend a wedding.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Harppy Days

I have the harp and I've finished one lesson. Its very weird for me to feel awkward at an instrument. Its been a very long time since I started learning a new instrument from scratch. I'm finding my posture unsure and strange, but I am really loving trying things out. I've played through the songs I was assigned so many times and was to eager to move on so I went to the library and checked out another book of music and I'm challenging myself to do more. I hate being bored when it comes to music. Music should be inspiring and soothing, not boring and tedious. Anyways, I am having fun with the challenge. The only down side to the instrument is that I'm spending all my free moments at the harp instead of making art. It will balance out after the newness of the instrument wears away. I have sketched some things, but haven't finished anything.

Its been hot here. Really hot. We've also had some horrendous storms with winds like I cant remember ever having before. They actually were strong enough to blow a train off the tracks the other night. I'm thankful that we've not been one of the many who has lost power lately. I'm also thankful that the new fence has withstood the winds in its incomplete state. Having the fence up for about half of the yard so far has made an incredible difference in the atmosphere out back. It feels very secluded and private already. We are loving it and have returned to eating our meals outside which we did not do at all last year because of the new neighbors and their yelling. You can see the fence in the background of the rose garden. Wow are the roses ever in bloom. I just love how thick and lush they are this week. They smell fabulous too!

That's about all I've been up to. I haven't even made time to visit anyones blogs this week. I have a softball game this evening but I'm going to try to do some visiting before I leave. I hope all of you are doing well. Thanks so very much for stopping by.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The rewards of nature

The neatest thing happened yesterday. I started to work on this garden sign as soon as I got home from church. I found it at the craft store and it had the ugliest picture of a life preserver with the quote "Welcome Aboard" on it, but I loved the idea of painting on a garden stake. I quickly covered up the ugly and started sketching a butterfly. I was using a picture from a magazine I picked up early this spring. I worked on the painting all afternoon while my hubby and FIL worked on erecting a privacy fence. I stopped occasionally to talk with my SIL and nephew, but mostly painted for about 5 hours. It was a beautiful day here and I set up everything at the patio table and enjoyed being out in the sun. Anyways, after working on it all afternoon I was finally finishing up putting the sealer on when a butterfly flew over me and into my garden a few feet away. It was the one and only butterfly I'd seen all day and it landed on my purple weeds that I love and let stay in the garden every year since its a "pretty" weed. I walked over to look at the butterfly and nature rewarded me by sending a real yellow swallowtail to match the one I had just finished. It even landed on the purple flowers like I had put in the background of my painting. What a neat moment. I had to run in the house and get the camera so I wouldn't loose the memory. Even my husband thought it was pretty cool. My heart was so happy with the whole thing.
My piano finally was moved on Friday. It was a moment of mixed emotions watching it being loaded up and leaving. I was sad yet excited at the same time. My harp will be arriving on Wednesday along with my first lesson. I'm hoping that having a new instrument to play with will ease the seperation anxiety of the piano being gone. I'm sure I'll be relaying updates on the piano as they come, and also progress on the harp.
It's going to be another busy week here. I started out by playing a funeral today and have many other tedious things that must be done soon. Luckily there are some fun things thrown in to lighten my days. My nephew graduates from Kindergarten on Friday and I'm going to go watch. I think that will definetly be the highlight of the week. Its such fun to be an aunt! I hope all of you are doing well and having fun. Thanks for stopping by.
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