River Rafting

20140728-150311-54191192.jpg20140728-150311-54191962.jpg20140728-150311-54191729.jpgAbout a week ago, we went river rafting with Gordon Grant. We had a great time doing the Stack House run and I got to go in my own separate ducky boat. I did all the rapids and didn’t even flip! I learned all about running the rapids, paddling the ducky looking for submerged rocks and eddys, paddling upstream, and lots of other things, too. There was also a great rock to jump off of into the water! We had so much fun we almost forgot to have dinner! Here are some pics.

Volunteering at Hall Fletcher

We volunteered at Hall Fletcher Elementary to help clean it up for back-to-school. They had thought that the garden out front was going to get torn up because new cement was being poured, so they let it go. So anyway, it turned out that the garden didn’t need to get ripped out, and so we went one day to clear the weeds out of it. There were a lot of weeds, but we ripped out every last one in the front garden. Later that week, Gordon and Dad went to help get a crooked sign out of the garden. -Lillian.

Gordon and Dad digging out the crooked Hall Fletcher sign.
Gordon and Dad digging out the crooked Hall Fletcher sign.

 

 

 

PS. Here is a link to an NPR article about the year-round school program that Hall Fletcher is starting this year:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/07/21/333399980/in-asheville-nc-summer-vacation-lasts-just-a-few-weeks

The FtF Summer Scavenger Hunt

 

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This summer Mrs. Travaglino, who started Fulltime Families, is hosting her 2nd annual Summer Scavenger Hunt. The grand prize is $250.00! Gordon and I are working hard for it, but this is a hard hunt. There are four weeks of it, with 25 new things to take pictures of every week! It is currently the second week, and going great. I will put up another post in two more weeks as soon imageas I know who won.

I can't believe we all fit in here!
I can’t believe we all fit in here!
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An employee of our favorite cafe-Odd’s!

imageDuring the first week there were things such as: “Picture in a fountain”, “If your family was a family band”, “The parents in the kids’ play area at a fast food restaurant”, “With one of those little car rides outside grocery stores”, and even, “I can’t believe we all fit in here!” (AKA lots of people in a small space.) You probably think that a few of these are ridiculously easy. For a picture in a fountain we used a water fountain, although I must admit that other people did that first. The family band pic was easy, and, surprisingly, so was the Parents in kid’s play area pic. It was really hard to find a ride outside of a grocery store, but eventually we found one. One of the most clever pictures we did was the “I can’t believe we all fit in here!” We didn’t have many people to use, neither did we have a small space to cram us into, so we decided: What is a better answer than Legos? A Lego RV filled with Lego people was just right.

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I could only get Gordon to take off his arms. Not his head.

When we saw the week two list, I wondered how we could get half the stuff on the list. There’s always easy things, like mannequins, 12″ shoes, a reflection, and someone hanging upside down, but then there’s the hard things like a business card that says “John,” the receipt and gas pump showing that you bought 10 cents of gas, a picture with a character from the Muppets, a four-leaf clover, and a picture with the manager, an employee, and a random stranger from a restaurant. We went to such extents for the hanging upside down picture, trying to find a place that would be cool to hang from. image

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The manager of Odd’s Cafe!
On the other hand, we just found a book with a picture of Kermit the Frog in it for the pic of us with a Muppets character. Books are the key to this hunt. We also found the four leaf clover in one, and it was sooooooo much easier than finding a real one. (The odds of that are 1 in 10,000!) Mom actually went and bought 10 cents worth of gas. One of the contestants working on the scavenger hunt had a $50.00 gift card and used it, and they got $49.90 shut down for a whole month!

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Here’s the four-leaf clover! Down at the bottom middle of the book.
Anyway, you can see all of the pictures from us and our competitors on the Fulltime Families Summer Scavenger Hunt Facebook group! Please root for Gordon and I! (But of course if you’re working on the hunt I can’t blame you for rooting for yourself.) -Lillian.

Going on a Blackberry Hunt

IMG_4299There is a great trail near our RV park that has blackberry bushes all the sides. I have gone out picking them several times, and most  of them are really good.

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(Step 2) A red patch like this.
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These are good.
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(Step 4) Grab blackberries like the darkest ones here.

4 easy steps to getting good results from a blackberry hunt.
1. Walk around looking for blackberry bushes. It is helpful if you are somewhere where you have seen blackberries before, so that you can be sure that you will find something. Oh! And keep a long stick with you, and a small-ish bowl.
2. When you spot a red clump in the bushes, go up and check. It might be blackberries. If it isn’t, move on. If it is, stay for step three.
3. Hit the blackberry bush with your stick. This is to check for snakes. If one comes out, move aside. If it hisses or, if it’s a rattle snake, rattles, it can be good to repeat step 2, and find another bush.
4. Now that you have found a bush and checked for snakes, it’s time to get down to business. Look all through the bush. If you see any black dots, look closely and see if the berries are fairly easy to get. Check the whole bush. Once you’ve done that, put them in your bowl and repeat steps 2 through 4.

Things to remember.
1. Snakes don’t usually come out of hiding, meaning that they’re too lazy and won’t hurt you, or not there. If a snake comes out and it’s all black, it’s just a black snake and will only bite you if you scare it. If there are no snakes, move on.
2. You don’t have to get all of the ripe berries. Blackberry plants really want to protect their fruit, and when I say really, I mean really, really, really, really. The stems are spiky, and the leaves are spiky. Look at the berries and ask yourself these questions:
“Can I get to the berries without touching the stems or leaves?”
“Am I sure that there’s no poison ivy growing in there?”
And, if the answer is no to one or both questions, “Is it really worth it?” You can decided whether or not the berry looks good enough to get poked, but beware. Blackberry pokes sting for a while after you get them out. IMG_4296
3. Look closely at the bush. How dark colored are the leaves? Are they darker closer to the ground? Blackberry leaves are leaves of three, so they look like poison ivy, but they are lighter colored.

Have fun picking blackberries!

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These are blackberry leaves.
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This is poison ivy. It is a little darker, and does not have the tiny spikes at the edges that a blackberry leaf has. – Lillian.