Sunday, June 12, 2016

Volunteering at the Orange County Animal Shelter

We have spent every weekend over the past month training at the local animal shelter. It's been an emotional, challenging and rewarding experience. The first week was the toughest for me - I cried over 'Sadie' all weekend after I left (she was adopted a week later:))

Maddy is a total natural and passed her exam to become a qualified volunteer before we did!

We get to exercise the dogs and introduce them to their future owners. So far, we are really enjoying it and are hoping to be able to make a difference for this important cause. Ideally without bringing a dog home:)


Noun[editnibling ‎(plural niblings)

  1. (uncommon) The child of one's sibling (in other words, one's niece or nephew), especially in the plural or as a gender-neutral term.
I so love my niblings! Between my birthday weekend and Mother's Day we got to spend some QT with my precious new niece, Rowan...

..and her brothers already love her very, very much...

We caught up with Milo and Mabel too!


And the following week we saw Mya do a fantastic job at her recital:)

I love my huge and beautiful American family:)

Maddy the artist

Maddy has been doing such an amazing job lately with her IB art! She has an incredible imagination and is so uniquely creative. For her surrealism project recently, she wanted to highlight the fact that big cats are losing their natural environment (using an iceberg as symbolism)
So here's the original photo of the iceberg...

And here's her lion (see the globes in its eyes)

But here's the crazy part - she actually painted this in inverse. So here's the actual painting! Crazy, right!!?

She also does beautiful sculpting...This photo is a tribute to her love for her cousin, Declan (and their shared love of all things "Star Wars") - the hand is making the American Sign Language word for "Star":)

And here she is presenting her beautiful work at the Windermere Preparatory School Art Show - we are so proud - great job Maddy!!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Twitching and Shutterbugging...

I think my camera has become one of my all-time favorite gifts ever.  I still have so much to learn to be able to use it properly but I particularly love the fact that I can combine my love of photography with my passion for bird watching:). Gatorland is a perfect place to get some great shots, particularly during nesting season. Here are some of my favorite shots so far...