Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rachel's 9th Birthday

Rachel turned 9 on July 22nd. She went to the Franklin Park Zoo with her uncle Noah, his girlfriend Heidi and Carmen.

I gave Carmen and Rachel one of my cameras to take pictures. It is always fun to see what pictures the kids take of a trip. Carmen and Rachel helped me write this blog since I did not go to the zoo with them.

Here are Noah and Heidi:

Rachel had the camera and took this photo of Noah. They had a great time.

Noah and Rachel had a plan to go to the zoo at Christmas time. They wanted to scare the hippos and see gorillas. The Franklin Park Zoo had both.

Well, it had a Pygmy hippo who didn't move the entire time they hung out near it. I hear they yelled at it and did many things to wake it up, but to no avail. A bit disappointing, but I'm sure Rachel and Noah entertained those who were nearby!

The gorillas provided much more entertainment. Not photographed but well remembered was a young gorilla. According to Rachel, he would run across the room sliding on his butt and then rub it as if it hurt. but he continued to repeat these actions over and over again. Many of the gorillas were eating orange peels. the young gorilla did take a break from his sliding to sit in a pink chair for a snack.

Here is the big grandpa dude! He mainly chewed on straw and orange peels and rarely moved. I hear everyone spent a long time in the gorilla area.

Carmen did like the zebras. This picture is quite tranquil.

Until I read this sign Carmen photographed, I had no idea that a giraffe could weigh more than 2 tons! The giraffes at the Franklin park zoo can grow up to 19 ft and live for 30 years. wow!

OK, more zebras and an ostrich.

I liked this picture of a zebra. They are beautiful.

The comedians are posing. They found a sign with Rachel's name on it.

Here is the close up.

And now to compare Rachel's wing span to an Andean Condor. That's one big bird!

Noah and Rachel had fun climbing on these trees. Rachel said that Noah is a better monkey than she.

OK, she's not happy that Carmen is torturing her with the camera.

In the words of Rachel: I know the ostrich. He is a very nice man. He lets you look through his eyes, walk under his belly and climb on top of him without him making a sound. He's so quiet, he's like a statue. PS. He's actually a statue.

This ostrich was so cool. There was a tube that went up the statue's neck so you could see like an ostrich could. It had the same details that a real ostrich would. It let you stand right next to an ostrich without being hurt.

Here is a real ostrich. It is not as nice as the statue one. It yelled at you as if it wanted to talk to you as you walked by.

Carmen was excited to know that there were kangaroos at the zoo. but disappointed to learn it was only a tree kangaroo called a wallaby.

Cat nap time. The lion was boring because he just slept the whole time they were there. Sounds like my cats on a warm day.

Lions are huge and majestic.

I thought this picture was artistic. Poor Rachel couldn't get away from the camera, even in the bathroom. This takes teasing your sister to a new level!

Bird time

This bird landed on Rachel's arm.

The zoo said that flamingos bond by bickering. Rachel says they would squawk at each other. Someone would get mad and peck an other's butt. Then other would start pecking. At some point they'd stop and begin fighting over who could sit in the mud to heal their butts! Sounds loud and bothersome yet entertaining!

Yes there were horses at the zoo too. Fake ones and...

real ones. Rachel has a calm demeanour around animals. She wants to be a vet. She said that the horses were happy to get her attention and then the huge donkeys came in and pushed the horses out of the stall.

This donkey is huge. I must imagine mules when I think of donkeys. Rachel confirmed that the donkeys were huge.

Camel time. There was a mommy and a daddy camel. The mommy ate just right and had nice upright humps. The daddy camel over ate and his hump was floppy. Camel store fat in their humps, that why they stay upright. If you overeat and have too much fat then the hump fat is not stored in the there and flops over.

While Rachel and Carmen were at the zoo, I was able to wrap presents and prepare her birthday dinner: baby back ribs and mash potatoes with skins. She had made her Fun Fetti cupcakes the night before. Mainly so she could like the batter from the bowl! I made chocolate cupcakes during the day.

Rachel asked for Duplo legos for her birthday. She especially liked the collection of families I found for her Duplo homes. She prefers making multi-story houses with Duplos. With the new collection of people we have more kids. Most of the people we had were zoo keepers from when Tobin was into Duplos and preferred all the animals to the building blocks.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

I love the tower of cupcakes.

I had to include this picture of Tobin. He has embraced the Coleman jug so much so that I affectionately call it his "buddy". I offered it to Sarai and Carmen when they were at the Holy Cross camps, but they were too embarrassed to use it. Not Tobin! He loves it since it holds much more water than the average water bottle. It travels with him to practices, side jobs and around the house.

I thought this was an elegant picture of Carmen. She is rarely photographed in this blog since she had the camera much of the time.

Jenna gave Rachel a present of doing a sewing class at a new place in Northboro. It is called Ready Set Sew. Rachel chose a class that taught you how to make pj bottoms. Before taking the class Rachel had a short lesson on how to use a sewing machine. This sewing center has been a wonderful experience for her. After he brief lesson at the store, she came home and was practicing sewing circles I drew on fabric. Circles helps her learn to follow a curve carefully. She took the pj class with 3 other girls. Rachel said that the instructor said she sewed the straightest! the pj class was 4 hours long.

Here are the pjs she made. She did a great job!

Once she had finished her first sewing class she asked to do more. I signed her up for two more classes. One to make a pillow learning some quilting techniques and another to make a messenger bag she can use as her book bag for school. In the time between creating the pjs and making the quilted pillow, she used my sewing machine and made a pillow with a ruffled edge for her bed. I had bought material a few years ago that matched their curtains so I could create pillows. I didn't get too far.

Here's the pillow with the ruffled edge. I created much of the ruffle, but pinned it so she could sew it together. She likes sewing much better than hand sewing because her creations stay together longer.

This is the pillow she made in her second class. She used fleece pieces.

I like the method used here on the back. All the pillows I've created needed buttons or zippers to allow you to take the cover off so you could wash it. I am learning new techniques from Rachel going to these classes too.

While waiting to take classes and learn new skills, Rachel and I purchased another sewing machine. I hope this will free up a machine that I could use to sew my curtains on.

Rachel also went clothing shopping with Grammie. Of course all the girls went and did a bit of shopping too for school clothes. I do believe Rachel had a wonderful birthday.

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