9 Days, Worm Guts, A Yak Encounter | Heidi Hanson Photography

This may have been the best weekend of the summer, which is kind of sad considering summer is almost over, well it isn’t officially over until September, but kids are going back to school in 9 days (who’s counting) although I have noticed some leaves are starting to change color and actually fall off.

This weekend was Stryder’s official weekend, as we had promised him he would get an entire weekend this summer because his sister at Pageant weekend.  I had made a decision to not blog about pageant weekend due to personal reasons, however I will give you one quick photo.

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Berkeley in her pageant production outfit

So needless to say Stryder carefully thought out his entire weekend, wrote out everything on a piece of paper, mind you he had enough activities on this list for 12 days, not two!  So it started out with camping! We camped out in the official Hanson campground (our backyard).  Right before that we had s’mores (also on the list). Which is always a fun filled evening.  If you follow my blog you will notice that I don’t sleep, ironically, that was the only night I slept and Justin was up all night!  Perhaps I should officially move to the Hanson campground.  Although my husband wouldn’t like it because we would have a permanent brown spot on the grass, oye. I was hesitant to do it, and the kids almost didn’t want me to sleep out, they know I have back issues, and I think they genuinely didn’t want me to hurt my back, either that or they thought I was going to yell at them for staying up all night.  All I know is last year when I slept in the tent, I woke up with Berkeley on my face, it was not a pleasant experience.

Next on the list was fishing, so out to the back yard to dig for worms.  Luckily Berkeley is an expert worm catcher. That girl can find worms in seconds, and not small little puny worms, I’m talking night-crawlers.  We went to our usually spot in Fairfield, unsure if the fish would be biting this late in the season, but hoping they would be for each kid to catch a fish, as any parent would be, because it has to be even!  First cast out to the running water and boom a hit, Berkeley helped me reel it in and it was nice little brook trout, yeah she was done!  Literally, she lost interest and began digging for more worms, again this girl was destined to this this, amazing how she just finds them!   Stryder kept feeding the fish with his worms!  Luckily we had plenty due to our little worm finder.  We actually had to break them in half they were too big for the hook.  No worry says Berkeley, as she literally rips the worm in half!  After baiting his hook a few more times, luckily he caught one, it had to be the smaller trout ever, but it still counts! Cross fishing off the list!

Then it was off to lunch and ice cream!  (We washed our hands at lunch, promise)! After that we set up his arts and crafts table!  Where we made necklaces, keychains and bracelets from his rock tumbler which was utilized earlier in the week.  Glitter, glue, scissors, construction paper, beads, etc.  everywhere, luckily we did it outside so the mess was easily contained.

Once that was cleaned up it was inside for some technology time, while I got ready for my fun shoot at Silver Hill Hospital, which the family joined me at.  This was an amazing experience where 7 Monks from the Tashi Kyil Monastery in Tibet were creating a Sand Mandala.  Before laying down the sand, the monks drew the design and then applied the sand granules using small tubes, funnels, and scrapers, until the pattern over-top is achieved. Sand mandalas traditionally take several weeks to build, due to the large amount of work involved in laying down the sand in such intricate detail. However, these seven Monks were only here for a few short days and were to finish the design on Tuesday.  It is common that a team of monks will work together on the project, creating one section of the diagram at a time, working from the center outwards.  A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.  This specific mandala will be placed in the Silvermine River with a special ceremony this week.

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Along with viewing of the monks making the mandala, the community was able to “Travel to Tibet” to learn about the culture and religion of Tibet through chanting, song and dance.  The show was amazing, even my kids loved it!  However the show was a little hazardous for me to photograph.  I made the mistake (not once, but twice) kneeling (in a skirt, reason #1,000 why I never shoot in a skirt) of being up front in the aisle to try and get some great action shots of the Snow Lion and the Yak…and um yeah I got ran over by a Yak….bet you can’t say that has ever happened before?  Luckily there was a nice older man next to me that I literally jumped on didn’t mind!  Here are some photos from last night’s performance.  For more information about how to support the monks of Tashi Kyil Monastery please visit www.tmbcc.net/info/tour/tk_index.html

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Tashi Shoelpa Dance – Village Dance of Tibetans. White Beard mask symbolizes long life and good health.

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Giant Panda – special animal of Tibet

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Snow Lion Dance – Celestial animal of Tibet is symbolizes fearlessness, unconditional cheerfulness, the East and the Earth element.

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The Yak Dance – Unique animal is symbolic of the Tibetan spirit of rugged strength and playfulness. And yes it ran me over!

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