Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thursday May 26th at 1:00 pm.

Korin writes: Please e-mail me if you want to come, and how many of you will be coming.Noah's Ark Farm is very much like a giant petting zoo, except that there are many odd animals who all get along together, that you wouldn't normally see.... let alone get to hold. We should have a general tour, get to see and hold many animals in the small handling barn, then after we see the >horses, goats, water buffalo, zebu and 1000 lb. hog we will be offered pony rides (much longer ones than parky's farm!) after that we are left alone to enjoy ourselves for as long as we want. They have food you can scoop out >into cake cones to feed the sheep/goats for 25 cents (on the honor system.... there is just a jar to put change in). One of the things I liked about this place, other than the ODD assortment of animals, is that after Wanda has shown you everything, and what animals you can hold touch etc. she goes away to work.... you can hold and touch whatever you want! All the >animals in the handling barn are not only tame enough for handling, but get along with everything else in the barn so they can all run around at the same time. I found it a bit surreal to have a baby pig, 4 rabbits, a ferret, kittens, a duck, turtles and a south american cavie all hanging out together! They also have llamas, emus, a giant long-horned steer and buffalo.

Noah's Ark Farm is located in California KY ...... 3269 Koehler Rd. 41007 if you want to mapquest. It is off the AA highway which you would get to via 471/US 27. To give you an idea.....I will send a detailed set of directions to those of you who will be attending.I would suggest carpooling for those few of you who can as I don't remember a lot of room to park, although I'm sure they don't care where you parkalong their road.

COST: 5$ per person. I'm not sure if this includes 3 and under or what.... I'd say you should plan on everyone paying (even little ones) when you make your decision to come and hopefully they won't have to. Also, you should probably assume you're going to do the pony ride.

Directions from Mapquest:

4: Merge onto I-275 S via the ramp on the LEFT toward OH-32/KENTUCKY.
5: Merge onto AA HWY/KY-9 S via Alexandria Pike
6: Turn RIGHT onto CALIFORNIA CROSS RD. 0.8 miles
7: Turn LEFT onto KY-10. 0.7 miles
8: Turn RIGHT onto KOEHLER RD. 0.1 miles

It took a while to get to the farm,but it was worth the drive. Unfortunately I forgot Will's sling and there wasn't a stroller in the car so I had to "beg" my homeschooling friends for a stroller or a sling, I still can't carry him because my arm is still sore and swollen over a month after the accident.....a wonderful mom lent me her stroller that I used while Will slept and then another mom lent me her sling when he woke up.

The farm hosted a large assortment of animals...the beautiful long horned steers among my favorite (I had never seen one in person before). The kids got to feed baby goats bottles and handfeed the adult goats (they put the feed in an icecream cone). Cade even rode the pony. I took a bunch of pictures with the regular "film" camera, so it will be a while before I can scan them into the computer (I can't find the charger or USB cable for the regular camera since the must be buried in a box!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Girl Scouts:
Monday, May 23
10 AM

Just wanted to remind everyone that I set up a tour of the UNMUSEUM for MONDAY May 23 at 10 AM (90 minute tour). The Unmuseum is part of the Contemporary Art Center downtown and is a wonderful exhibit (and hands on so we will have no problem with our toddlers...Sophie loved our last visit). It is FREE!

Check it out:

The trip downtown is always trying, parking is hard to find and I don't particualarly like walking with the kids on the busy streets, but as things go the journey was uneventful. The docent met our group (my kids, the Malott family and the Ridiman girls) and took us on a tour of the exhibits, talked a lot about art and interpretting it and then turned the kids lose to work on some art of their own (collages). The kids had a GREAT TIME!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Long time, no update!

So much has happened here in the last 4 weeks...almost too much to comprehend!

The Tuesday after our van wreck, my mom called from the hospital saying she was in the ER with my dad and that they were running test on him. I got to the hospital about 10 minutes later (ironically I was in the van heading home and was one exit from the hospital). Within the hour they were telling us my dad had multiple myeloma, an incurrable blood cancer. They sent him up to ICU because he was in kidney failure (as a result of the throws the calcium from the bones it destroys into the kidneys, causing them to get blocked) and because he was suffering from confusion. Today is day 26 and he is STILL IN ICU!!!! Turns out he also had a stroke (only took them 2 weeks to figure it out) and then he got pneumonia. He was on a ventilator all last week and was finally weaned off of it Thursday! Dad is undergoing chemo for the cancer and dialysis for his kidneys so those of you who are the praying kind, please add him (Dave Hanks) to your prayers! I try to spend whatever time I can each day at the hospital. My mom and I are like oil and water, but I am TRYING to be patient and supportive. Somedays are harder than others!

My arm is still VERY SORE and it is hard to hold or carry anything! I can't even carry my purse, it really sucks! I still have a lot of numbness and get sore when trying to type or when driving. I was going to see a chiropractor, but things have been so hectic with my dad that I haven't been able to keep up with the visits. Hannah still complains of knee pain occassionally. Emily, Sophie and Will seem to have healed physically, but emotionally it is still hard. Sophie talks about the wreck all the time. The van is STILL in the shop (they decided to repair it to the tune of almost $10,000 because bluebook on it was still so high). The damn rental van they gave us ended up with a shattered passenger window, luckily none of the kids were hurt by the flying glass....I have NEVER known a window to just "explode" by simply shutting the door (and I mean shutting, not slamming!).

I also managed to get a UTI that the first antibiotic didn't clear up at all. I honestly think it is a remnant from the UTI I had back in early April, it never felt like it cleared up quite right. I finally got a 3rd antibiotic last Sunday and am feeling much better.

The older kids have finished up their Monday co-op for the schoolyear. I was disappointed to have to miss their ending day preformances (because I was at the hospital with my dad). Grant and Jacob still have one more week of their reading class and then we will fall into our "summer" schedule! I still have to turn in our "assessment"letter along with the paperwork for next schoolyear, probably will try to get that done here in the next week or so.

We attended a wonderful class yesterday presented by the Ohio River Foundation. I will post the details in another entry!

Will is growing like a weed...still cruising and momentarily standing on his own. I am wondering if he will start walking before his first birthday or not. The kids have been pretty evenly divided ....4 walked before their first birthdays and 3 walked after.

Baseball is in full swing. Grant's team just finished up the first half of the season with a perfect record! They will be heading to the gold division for the second half of the season! It should make for some really exciting games. Jacob is enjoying playing for the Tealtown Dragons (coach pitched) and Cade LOVES his first year of t-ball. He came home from practice the night they got their uniform t-shirts with every players name and number memorized!

One final bright note, we have found a wonderful new home, but the chaos of moving only adds to the hectic pace I am keeping!
Ohio River Foundation Field Trip
Friday May 20th
Fernbank Park (located on Hwy 50 close to Sayler Park Schools)9:30 AM to 2 PMCost: $6 per child (payable the day of or check) kindergarten through highschool
Program held rain or shine!

Remember to bring a picnic/brown bag lunch and sunscreen.

Here is the most updated list for Friday's Ohio River Explorers Fieldtrip. If your name isn't on the list, please email me at and let me know:

Michelle age 11 grade 5
Ben age 11 grade 5
Deanna age 12 grade 6
Erica age 13 grade 7
Andy age 16
Courtney age 11 grade 5
Shannon age 6 grade K
Hanna age 11 grade 5
Michael age 12 grade 6
Steven age 12 grade 6
Brendon age 11 grade 5
Matthew age 9 grade 3
Zach (age 10)
Levi (age 5)
Jeff (age 10)
Nathan (age 13) grade 8
Jacob (age 11) grade 5
Spenser (age 8) grade 2
Robbie (age 10)
Raquel (age 8)
Sarah (age 16)
Chris (age 9)
Tabby (age 10)
Mandy (age 17)
Miles 2nd grade
Noah6th grade
Brett (age 14) grade 9
Emily (age 10) grade 5
Grant (age 9) grade 3
Jacob (age 7) grade 1
True (age 8) grade 3
Liam (age 6)
Josh(age 14)
Gaige (age 10)
Daniel (age 12) grade 6
Lillianna (age 7)
Jessica (age 14)
Kelly (age 9) grade 4
Lauren grade 12
Malcolm age 6
Alexander age 5
Anthony(age 13) grade 7
Xander (age 7) grade 2
Erin (age 8) grade 3
Jessica (age 7) grade 2
Jessica (age 6) K
Richard(9yrs, 3rd grade)Sam (6yrs, K)
Olivia age 11 grade 5
Patrick age 10 grade 4
Amy (age 8) 2nd grade

Directions to Fernbank Park (6601 River Rd. Cincinnati , OH 45233) Fernbank Park lies between River Road and the Ohio River in Sayler Park. From the looks of things, you get onto Rt. 50 WEST (River Rd.) in downtown and go out about 11 miles. If anyone is familiar with the park and this seems wrong, please email me and let me know so I can update everyone. Check out and scroll down page for additional maps.

Recap of fieldtrip:

Note: this program is usually geared for grades 4-12, but she will be working with me to have the programs meet the needs of our diverse group. Our hope is to divide the kids in groups by ages (say K-3, 4-6, and jr. high and up) to rotate through the learning stations. Here is a link to the Ohio RIver Foundation's webpage:

Field Trip Timetable : A typical field trip lasts 4-5 hours with a 30 minute sack lunch break. Lunch is not provided by Ohio River Foundation and should be brought by the student. All students will rotate through each of the learning stations for 1 hour per station.
9:30am: The group arrives and is greeted by the Ohio River Foundation leader, who discusses the day's plans and safe behavior.
9:45am: Learning Station 1
10:50am: Learning Station 2
11:55am: Lunch Break
12:30pm: Learning Station 3
1:35pm: Closing Activity
2:00pm: Group Departure

Learning Stations:Below is a description of the 3 learning stations that will be presented at this activity. Generally, program participants rotate through the available learning stations for 1 hour per station. This format allows us to connect with students in small groups where hands-on learning is easier to facilitate.

Mussel Mania : Did you know there are monkey face and pig snouts in the Ohio River? Just what does a baby bi-valve look like? How many eggs do mussels produce at one time? Discover the unique life cycles of the mussels of the Ohio River and see how they have evolved to survive as a part of the river's ecosystem. Learn how the mussels' well adapted anatomy helps them resist attack from most predators. Did you know the Zebras are attacking? This exotic invasive species is muscling its way into the ecosystem, destroying the native populations, and has made species such as the pink mucket, orangefoot, fat pocketbook, clubshell, and fanshell endangered. Learn how these interlopers starve the natives and what can be done to stop them!

Fish Factor: What can you tell about the way a fish lives by how it is physically structured? The answer is… everything! Don gloves and examine preserved and live fish specimens to learn about fish morphology, life cycle, and population levels. Biology at its best!

River Chemistry: C.S.I. team needed! We found some dead fishes and we need a top notch investigative team to figure out why. Our prime suspect is the water. We need you to test samples of river water for oxygen, temperature, and more. Learn why these parameters are so important to river health and fish longevity and vitality.Through discussion and hands on activities, all modules will explore what changes, small and large, can improve the environment and the Ohio River. By learning about their individual roles in the environment, students will be empowered to live in an ecologically friendly way.

Please RSVP to Laura at . I will need an accurate count to pass on to Annie (the education coordinator) by Wed. May 18th. Please include your children's name(s), age(s)/grade level(s) when RSVPing. Also feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information.

Remember to bring a sack lunch for your child/family.

I am asking that a parent/responsible adult stay with all children under the age of 10 (it is fine for younger children to come with a friend as long as they know they have an adult around should they need help). Children 11 and up are welcome to be "dropped off" for the program (provided you pick them up when the program is over!)