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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

March 13, 2009

Brighten Academy Day 3 - Merritt Island

What a beautiful barrier island. We saw a lot of it yesterday going back an forth between Cocoa Beach and the Space Center, but we got to see the National Wildlife Refuge today.

We started with a presentation on Manatees, Florida's protected "Sea Cows." They so ugly their cute and we got to see three of them at the Manatee lookout. We learned that the Manatee cannot exist in water colder than 68 degrees, they live an average of 14 years in the wild and they do not produce their first offspring until about age 5.

Then we stopped at a picnic area where we had lunch and spent the afternoon testing the water quality and temperature and then seining the Indian River Estuary for tiny fish, crabs, jelly fish and sea squirts among other strange plants and animals.

The kids had a great time with their nets in the brackish water and even more fun examining and playing with their sea life before returning all the creatures to their natural habitat.

I had no idea that Horse Shoe Crabs have not evolved in 200 million years and that they don't even mate until their 20 years old. No wonder their crabby!

So, tomorrow, we are off to Orlando to spend the day at sea world before heading back. I probably won't have an opportunity to upload tomorrow's photos until Sun night, since I plan to crawl in bed at 2 am when I get home Sunday morning and not get up until dinner time.

So I'll Catch you Later!


P.S. For all the dedicated parents at home reading this blog, you can order a picture CD of the posted photos at the spring fling. All profits will benefit Brighten Academy.

March 12, 2009

Brighten Command We Have a Problem. . .

The kids are having toooooo much fun and the chaperons are exhausted. Well, this one is at least. Look at the slide show and read my last 10 tweets above and you'll see why.

Not to mention the fact that I just uploaded today's pictures and its 11:30 pm.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have more time to talk about today.

Tomorrow we go to Merritt Island and it promises to be beautiful and hopefully slower paced.

For anyone who's actually up reading this blog at the moment.



March 11, 2009

Brighten Academy Cape Canaveral Day 1 - The BUS

After spending 11 hours on a bus with 60+ middle schoolers, I have learned that they have an entire world of their one: language, technology, speech. . .you name it.

True, one of these kids is my 13-year-old daughter, but she is autistic, so this was my first real dose of Middle School 101.

As you can see from the pictures, they are a lively bunch. I expected to have to listen to my I-pod non-stop at full volume. I actually only had it on for 2-3 hours total during the trip.
It was a beautiful sunny day, the kids were relatively well behaved, on and off the bus, I learned that Nintendo DS allows wi-fi chats between buses (which is not necessarily a good thing), even on the highway, and I re-learned the meaning of the word patience.

No, I'm not talking about the kids. I'm talking about the most awaited event of this trip:


I was so psyched to photograph and videotape the launch tonight, only to find out at 3 pm that the mission was scrubbed for today and rescheduled for tomorrow.

That was a real bummer at first, since Kennedy Space Center is closed for the launch.

Then we got word that Kennedy agreed to let us come, because we already have tickets, and said we can stay and view the shuttle from there, if it launches tomorrow night.

I'm thinking it's providence. Surely I can't be this lucky and have the rug pulled back out. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for these kids.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE launch tomorrow night.

At least we get to see the shuttle on the launch pad. Unfortunately, I think that means that we will not be able to go to Merritt Island, since it will remain closed.

As they say, tomorrow is another day and an exciting one.