Walking Through Life One Step at a Time

Walking Through Life One Step at a Time

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Walk on the Wild Side...

I have always had a love/hate relationship with nature. 

Things I Love:
1. Warm weather
2. Wind
3. Thunderstorms
4. Starry skies
5. The smell of campfire

Things I Hate:
1. Bradford Pear Trees (or trees of death as I call them since I'm highly allergic).
2. Random bugs flying in my eyes and mouth.
3. Any kind of reptile (especially big ones called snakes)
4. Mosquito bites
5. "Wild" animals (bears, or any other scary animal that attacks humans)

At our school, we have a really cool area out back called the Wetlands.  They built it last year so that as the years go by, we can grow the wetland and our kiddos can enjoy looking and studying the 'critters' and plants that a wetland brings. 

I've ventured out there a time or 2 with my kiddos and my heart is always beating so fast! Going into nature with 17 kids is a big responsibility!  They released a black snake in the wetlands to "take care o' business"...if you know what I mean.  Well, the first time we headed out there, I was met by my friend Ms. Carr and she informed me that our "friend" was out there.  Her kiddos almost stepped on it...YIKES!!!!!  I cautiously walked around with my kids and we saw lots of cool things (fortunately, I saw the snake heading away from the wetlands as we approached).  One of my kids told me with such excitement that this was the first woodpecker he had EVER SEEN!  I was so glad I was there to see that moment!  We also saw some cool silkworm nests high up in the trees.  My kids are such eagle eyes!

Well, yesterday after school I went to a class that was all about the wetlands.  At the end of the class, we went out there to check the traps that one of the teachers had set earlier. 

 *Flashback*....when I was a lifeguard, the scariest part of my day was "checking the traps".  I would take the lid off real fast, jump back, and peek into it usually finding a frog or a pool toy but just knowing I'd find a snake.

So needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled to check the traps.  I planned on staying at the back of the group in case something large was in that trap.  So how I ended up doing this....I'm not so sure.

Side Note: I swear that trap was out a lot farther then it looks, my rubber booted foot got stuck big time in the mud, and yes...I'm wearing pearls. ;)

Hoping and praying there is nothing big in that trap.  I love how our leader is clapping for me like I just won the Nobel Peace Prize or something..ha!  Luckily, there were only fish in there. 

In one of the traps, we did find some extra large tadpoles.  They looked like snake heads with itty-bitty tails.  Noah was fascinated and got to get an extra close look!

This boy loves dirt, animals, and getting messy.  I'm so glad he's mine! :)  He talked about this experience all night long and wants to 'set traps' here at home.  No telling what we would find in these East Tennessee traps!

Get outside with your kids!  We "save" earthworms after a rainstorm by putting them back into the soil.  It's some of the most fun I have with my little creature.

Keep Walking...and Keep Wild!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eyes Swollen Shut & Snakes on a Front Porch (AKA Easter 2012)

Gah....can't anything in my life just be N-O-R-M-A-L??  The answer is no.  I'd be bored with normal. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

I woke up on this glorious Friday morning excited to have the day off and prepare for my family to head to Knoxville.  It was a beautiful day and I was ready to take a longer than 10 minute shower, dress up, and turn into Martha Stewart for the day.

Instead, I woke up with my eyes almost swollen shut due to allergies, a cranky 5 year old who didn't want to leave the house, and the dread of having to go to Walmart on Good Friday (don't do it, people!).  So...I popped my new allergy pill (long story there), forced my boy out the door by bribing him with cheese dip at Salsaritas, and put a smile on my (swollen) face to all Walmart shoppers.  $125 later (still don't know what I bought that cost that much), I headed home to unload my "hostess with the mostess" groceries just in time for my family to arrive. 

SIDE NOTE.- I had bought "no bake" cookies at Walmart and was trying to slap them on a pretty serving tray and pretend I made them...but my brother and his family got there too early and busted me.  SHAMEFUL!!

I'm walking up to my front porch with an armful of groceries and 6 glass bottles of beverage (ahem...)and I see a little "familiar" head sticking out of the crack in my front porch that my husband keeps telling me he's going to have fixed.  I bent down to say hello (and I mean..right in it's face because I'm a lover of all lizards) and about died TWICE when I saw what I saw.  I saw a big ol' snake face with his big ol' beady eyes and big ol' forked tongue looking right at me.  I say I about died twice because A.) I almost had a heart attack right there on my front lawn and B.) I backed up so quickly I nearly tripped over my monkey grass and cracked my head right there on the sidewalk (not to mention I may have yelled a few "choice" words)...sorry...it's just what I do when I'm startled enough to lose my breath.  I believe my brother was only concerned and proud of the fact that I didn't drop the beverage bottles. ;)

Well I did what any Southern girl would do...I called my brother, then my daddy, then my husband to tell them about the snake and demand that they "do something"! 

Brother: "What do you want me to do about it?" 

 Daddy: "Just reach in there and pull it out!" 

Husband: "He's not going to bother you..he's more scared of you".  REALLY???  Really.


So there you have it...not only did I provide food for my family this Easter weekend, but I also provided good ol', free, redneck, snake wrangling entertainment.  My dad even went so far as to pick up a fake snake at the Dollar Store and hide it in various locations outside...help us, Lord!

No...we have not seen the snake in 2 days.  Various explanations?

Me: "He probably realized that wasn't a good place to hide since we come up and down the porch a lot."

Sister-in-law: "She's probably way back in there protecting lots of baby snake eggs." 

Brother: "He probably climbed in your house somehow and will show up in your toilet."

There are no words.

We ended up having a great weekend despite the snake incident...I won't bore you with the details because if you are anything like me...I look at blogs for the pictures. 

Another Side Note:
Matt says I'm "vain" for worrying about it, but I look horrendous in our Easter pictures.  My allergies have been awful this year and my eyes/face has been swollen since last week.  I'm not fishing for "I think you look GREAT" comments...I just don't want you think I'm pregnant or dying. ;)  Ok...I'm finished.

 Mom already digging through my cabinets upon arrival.
 Festive bottles with Easter bunnies on them ;)

 Easter baskets from Nana and Paw-Paw!

 New swimsuits!

 Fake tattoos are fun for all ages!
 Setting up for the glow in the dark egg hunt!
 Glow in the dark eggs!

 Some of Noah's biggest fans!
 Deana thawing out her feet after hockey practice...

 Sticking a shovel in the snake's home = not smart.
 These may just look like eggs...but they are my 1st batch of boiled eggs...ever! :)

 Lola is thrilled about dyeing eggs...
 So is Dad...

 Swearing to the Silly String oath provided by Nana

 Parents Night Out!

 Filling up our candy bucket at Mast!
 Worst Candy Ever...Circus Peanuts.

 The Easter Bunny delivered!

Happy Easter from my crazy family to yours!

Keep Wrangling.....