Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chinese New Year Celebration
When: Wednesday, February 28; 1pm
Where: Chinatown Buffet 1015 U.S. State Rt. 28,
Who: ALL HOMESCHOOLERS (preschool to teens and anyone in between)
Cost: $5.79 for adults, cheaper for children 4-12, children under 3 free.

Join us at one of the largest buffets around!! The food is hot and wonderful! Large variety of choices! We plan to have lunch and do some crafts to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Please RSVP to Laura so that we have enough supplies for all of the kids. Those of you who joined us last year know what a fun afternoon the celebration was, lets hope for a repeat of the fun this year!

Directions: Take I-275 to the Milford/ Rt. 28 exit (#57). If coming from points east, turn right onto Rt. 28/if coming from points west, turn left onto Rt. 28 (you will pass a Lowes on your right) the traffi c light that would let you into Lowes, turn LEFT onto Rt. will pass
a KMart, Ameristop, Swifty Gas Station...the Chinatown Buffet is located across the street from the Ford Dealership. If you get to Gold Star you have gone too far!

What a blast! Two new homeschooling families joined us, as well as some families we already knew. The food was GREAT and it was nice listening to and getting to know the new families. It is so interesting to meet new people and hear what it is that lead them on their homeschooling journey. One of the new families had a son, Sam, who was 12 and he really seemed to hit it off with all my boys and Chris, so hopefully he will come to something else soon!

Everyone gorged themselves on the buffet, I was so thrilled that they had the coconut shrimp that I just love (they only have it at lunchtime)! The kids made adorable ribbon dragons (thanks to directions in Family Fun magazine) and everyone got a bunch of handouts to color and work on that they could take home. One of the kids grandma's took tons of pictures, I hope she emails them to me so I can post them here!

Directions for the ribbon dragon can be found here: Just be forewarned that if you have a large group, a certain almost 13 year old who must cut out 6 feet for each dragon is likely to not be very happy!
Em's ballet solo:
One of the dad's at our studio tends to take pictures at the competition, he captured these wonderful ones of Emily doing her solo at Headliners in Dayton. I just had to share them! Her solo is rather lamely named "The Bird" but the dance itself is beautiful and really compliments what a strong dancer Emily has become.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Homeschool library program
Loveland Library (649 Loveland Madeira Rd. Loveland, Ohio 45140)
Monday, Feb.26 at 1pm (program will last about an hour)
Open to all Homeschoolers (geared toward ages 5-12 but all ages are welcome)
Participation limited to 20 children
RSVP to Deanne

Join us as we celebrate the birthday of Levi Strauss (February 26, 1829), the man who created the first pair of jeans. Learn some interesting facts about this German immigrant who created overalls that could stand up to the rigors of the California gold miners. We'll even make a denim craft. Wear your favorite jeans!

Storytime will consist of the reading of one or two books about Levi Strauss, followed by a craft. Additional books and videos will be available for families to check out.

Our first attempt at a homeschool library time was a SUCCESS! The kids had a blast and everyone seemed happy with the program. The books the librarian picked were a bit long and slow but the kids listened and then eagerly got into the craft. The library has agreed to host the program for us once a month and my kids are really looking forward to the next program.

After the story we made jean pockets that you can put on the fridge to hold pens, etc. The kids really got into decorating the pockets!

The next topic is : Ohio becomes a state and we are making time capsules!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I am SO SICK of this weather!

So I am HOME and I can BITCH about this now...we were in Dayton yesterday for a dance competition, just the girls, Will and me...well when it was time to head home, the kids and I got stuck in an ICE STORM and Jay was watching the news here (we were 1 hr north of here) and DEMANDED I pull into the nearest hotel's parking lot and stay for the night (he said the roads here were getting bad and that they had declared a level 2 snow emergency in the county we were heading into).....the kids and I were SOAKED to the core (we had to walk in a downpour of sleet and ice to get to the car at the dance competition, all of the kids, including the 15 and almost 13 year olds were BAWLING by the time we made it to the care it was THAT MISERABLE), we grabbed food, ate and everyone took showers to try and warm up but it took us about 3 hours to even feel warm....bad thing was NO ONE except Will had any extra clothes (and he had them because of the diaper bag) really SUCKED! I am glad we pulled off though, the roads were icy and the mirrors on the van were frozen (in a passenger van you really use your mirrors to drive, far more than with a car or minivan) and the defroster wasn't getting the windows clear (probably because everyone in the car was so wet), but if I never have to stay in a hotel again with NO CLOTHES or NO TOOTHBRUSH it will be too soon!

We made it home safely this morning, they are expecting more rain and possibly ice overnight....I am so sick of this!

The competition itself was great. Emily did beautifully in her solo and Hannah's jazz group took the highest score overall for the entire competition.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Snow Tubing!
Where: Perfect North Slopes (1/2 hour from Cinti.)
When: Thursday February 22th
Time: 4-9:30 (Arrive PROMPTLY at 4 PM as we have to pay as a group!)
Cost: $15 for ages 7 &up, $10 for ages 6 & under. Minimum recommended age is 3 years old! We need a minimum of 15 to get this price.
Required Tubing Waiver: (one per family)
RSVP to Deanne by Friday, February 9th.

There is a heated tent to the left of the snow tubing hill with tables where you can set up a crockpot or leave a thermos or cooler. There is also a snack bar with snack type foods located inside the tent. This year they have added more tubing hills, additional parking, a new restroom facility and more. Best to dress in layers, as the kids often get hot after going down the hills a few times and tend to want to shed some of their clothing! Hats, gloves or mittens and boots are a must!

What an AWESOME time....we had originally scheduled this for the week before, but temperatures were so low (single digits) we postponed it until today. The kids had an blast and Will even made it down the slopes one time! We had one incident, where Hannah went flying over Sophia's tube, but no one seemed to more worse for the wear! The kids stayed on the slopes until after 9 PM.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Competitive Cup Stacking
When: February 19th at 1pm
Cost: Free Ages: 11–18
Where: Loveland Library 649 Loveland-Madeira Rd. Loveland, Ohio 45140

To Register call 513-369-4476. This was set up for homeschoolers but is also open to the public. It’s a track meet for your hands! Snacks provided.

Grant and Emily attended this program with their friend Chris and were immediately HOOKED on cup stacking. Ironically I had already bought a cup stacking kit but hadn't given it to anyone, so when we got home I gave it to Emily and Grant and they have been hosting "cup stacking classes" with the other kids ever since!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Things I learned from my mother's parents:

I can't say that I grew up with an incredibly close relationship with either set of grandparents, but last night as I was laying in bed, the thought came to me of just what I learned from them.

My grandfather was a farmer at heart (not so much a farmer in action) who SWORE by the Farmer's Almanac. I have never purchased a copy but usually listen each fall when they announce the "proclamations" the almanac makes about the upcoming winter on the local news stations. I even comments to a friend the day I heard it that the almanac was calling for a WET WINTER and that our MAJOR SNOW EVENTS wouldn't come until FEBRUARY! Can you say "nailed it"??? I wonder, historically, how often the Almanac gets it right? Guess I should have bought a copy, because then maybe I would know when this awful weather will come to an end! Ice and a clumsy pregnant body are not a good combination!

So my grandfather's gem to me was the Almanac, what was it that grandma left to me?

The best source of news is the NATIONAL ENQUIRER...come one, try to even argue that one!

Dare I even venture to think what my children will say they learned from my parents?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Team Showcase this Sunday February 11, 2007

The team showcase is an event where all the competition teams from our studio get together and perform their routines for their friends and family to see. It is free and open to the public, it is one of my favorite dance days of the season, a bit more laid back than a typical competition, all the routines have kids we know in them, and it isn't a 2 hour drive!

The team showcase is held at Winton Woods High School 1231 W. Kemper Rd. I-275 north, past I-75. Take exit #39 (Winton Rd/Fairfield/Forest Park). The exit branches-go towards Forest Park which is the left branch. After you take the left branch, it branches again! This time take the right branch which says "Forest Park/Green Hills"...this takes you almost in a complete circle and puts you onto WInton Road. Follow Winton about 1/2 mile and turn RIGHT onto Kemper Rd. The school is on Kemper, 1/10 mile on the left.

12:55 Salt Peanuts (Hannah Tap)
1:00 Safari (Emily Acro)
1:10 Pound Puppies (Sophie Acro)
1:45 Special Delivery (Emily Jazz)
2:55 Bird (Emily Ballet Solo)
3:40 Mix Masters (Hannah Hiphop)
3:55 Fortune Teller (Emily Ballet)
4:30 At the Moives (Hannah Production)

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This picture that Emily took of Louie just totally cracked me up!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Tour of EarthConnection a completely "Green" house
Monday Feb 5th @ 10:30am

From Gennifer:
I finally was able to get ahold of the Green House to set up a tour. I set it up for Monday Feb 5th @ 10:30am. This is a tour of Earth Connection a completely "green" house. We will get the history of Sister Paula, who began Earth Connection , the building materials used, tour of the Solar Panels used, and even be able to see how it is connected to the grid. If it is a sunny day we can see how it stores the energy from the sun, if it is cloudy we can see how the stored energy is used! Either way, should be really interesting and add depth to our architecture program.

Location: 370 Neeb Rd (in Delhi twp)Probably easiest to mapquest it, but once you get to Neeb rd most of you will take a Left on Neeb (if coming from the East) then go into the parking lot at the College of Mt St. Joe. You will go to the upper ramp of the lot and park back by the football stadium. You should see Earth Connection directly across from the stadium.

Rsvp to Deanne so we know to look for you.

This morning, at 9:30 AM, when the kids and I headed out to attend a tour of a place called EarthConnection, it was 0 degrees here (wind chill was registering at -15 degrees)! It warmed to a whooping 4 degrees by the time we drove across town (about 45 minutes). At least the sun is out and the sky is clear! Guess I should be grateful for this little heater I am lugging around! Wish that baby heat would go to my feet, they are FREEZING!

Sister Winnie was absolutely WONDERFUL and the tour was so informative. I learned more about solar energy, building materials and reusable architecture ideas in the 1 1/2 hours we were there than I knew in total before I got there! Emily was completely inspired and even took graph paper with her to the dance studio to work on her design for the architecture program. It helped that I showed them the area that they were designing their spaces to fill as we drove through there today! Hannah actually already has plans down on paper! I can't wait to see what the boys come up with!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hmmm....knew I forgot something! My brain is swiss cheese, and I mean the kind with the GIGANTIC holes in it! It didn't occur to me until I was doing some site maintenance that I apparently had never bothered to mention this here!

We are pleased to inform you of the latest groundbreaking news at Riesenberg Inc. Headquarters. Riesenberg version 9.0 is currently under development and is expected to be released around the middle of April 2007. The creators, Jay and Laura Riesenberg, expect that version 9.0 will be every bit as exciting as the 8 previous versions. Since each package is so special and unique, the exact contents will not be known until the final release date (you will receive an update with exact specs at that time.) As with earlier versions, it is expected that version 9.0 will install very quickly and without much effort. Although previous versions are clamouring for an earlier release date, the creators are hoping to keep this version under development until at least the beginning of April.

System requirements: a little patience, a lot of love, keep one end fed, keep one end dry

Suggested retail price? Priceless!

Complaints can be sent c/o
Woman is sued by the Pork Board over her pro-breastfeeding shirts on her Cafe Press site. Apparently the National Pork Board thinks most adults are too stupid to know the difference between pork and breastmilk!

And since there is no link in the article, Lactivist website:

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tour of Jungle Jim’s
Friday, February 2; 10 AM
Cost:$5.00 (includes 12 food samples, $2.00 coupon & tote bag)
Tour lasts about 1 - 1 1/2 hours
All ages invited to attend
No cameras or video inside store
Directions: Call them at 674 - 4000 or
Organizer: Deanne

RSVP by Jan.22 to Deanne (IMPORTANT: I'll be charged for no shows so unless it's an emergency let me know a few days in advance if you need to cancel.)

If your child is participating in the Geography Fair, let me know the country they're doing when you rsvp and Jungle Jims will try to have samples from some of those countries.

What a fun and interesting tour. We hadn't been out to Jungle Jim's in at least 3 years (I was pregnant with Will the last time I was there) and it was neat to have someone take you through the store and show you everything! I don't think I would have ever have noticed that they sold cow heads and sheep heads (apparently a great source of protein) or realized all the recycled materials that were used in the store. The kids had a ball and LOVED getting to spend their $2 coupon (can you say CANDY!). We will definitely make a trip back prior to the geography fair!

You aren't allowed to take pictures in the I snapped this one as we were leaving, it was just of our small group (minus Jessica and Lisa who had already left)....There were over 40 people on the tour!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House
When: Thursday Feb 1, 2007
Where: Ronald McDonald House 350 Erkenbrecher Ave (next to Children's Hospital)
Organized by: Hannah Riesenberg and Sarah Leland
Why: Because it is FUN!
Ages: 13 and up (no toddlers or younger siblings please!)
RSVP: Laura

We ran out of ground beef, lettuce and tomatoes last month, so I have upped the amounts on all of those! Deanne and I will divide up any other items that don't get donated.

RSVP and let me know if you will be joining us, sending food (and let me know if and where it needs to be picked up), or if you will be sitting this month out. I appreciate everyone's help.

5 lb ground beef:
5 lb ground beef:
5 lb ground beef:
5 lb ground beef:
Refried beans: (4 large cans)
Mexican rice:(6 boxes)
20 lb of potatoes (for mashed potatoes):
corn chips for salsa/cheese dip(4 large bags):
salsa (4 jars):
cheese dip for chips (4 jars):
8- 8oz packages shredded cheddar cheese:
4- 16 oz containers of sour cream:
Chichi's corn casserole
lettuce for tacos: (can buy preshredded at GFS fairly cheap)
tomatoes for tacos (about 10):
taco shells (96 shells, 8 boxes):
soft taco shells (72 shells):
sliced black olives (3 cans):
brownies: 2 boxes (we will bake them at RMH)
Rice Krispie Treats: 2-9x13 pans-
cookies: 6 dozen "break and bake" cookies (you can either bake these at home or bring them with you and bake them at RMH)

fried icecream

Great turnout and what a GREAT group of teens to work with! They were great at getting all the food onto the serving line and getting everything cleaned up. There were so many families in the house and all we kept hearing was "thank goodness it isn't spaghetti" and "the food is so good". Apparently they had had spaghetti 4 nights in a row! I have to vouch for the fact that the food was REALLY good, as we all ate dinner once the guest were fed! Maybe we will change up the menu for next month...maybe not!
Unschooler gather at Jumpzone in Florence:

Leslie wrote: Homeschoolers- come to Jump Zone in Florence, Kentucky next Thursday any time
between 10am and 1pm (closes at 1) for open play time. This day is not expected
to be busy at all- you can ask for the homeschooler's discount of $5 per child
(adults are free and they can play too!) Email Leslie to confirm that you are going- we just need 10 children to get the discount. They let all kids play (many of the inflatable places have gone to only letting those who are 6 and under play). They are even letting us bring in our own drinks and snacks!

Despite getting snow overnight, we decided to head to Jumpzone. I was a little disappointed, feeling the website was a bit misleading, but the kids (Grant, Jacob, Cade, Sophie, Will and their friend Chris) had a great time, the pizza was good and I enjoyed being able to socialize with a couple of unschooling moms that I don't get to see very often!