Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Natural Egg Dyes:

Here are the results of our attempt to use natural dyes....

Onion skins produced the most vivid orange colors.....blueberries, coffee and tea produced the next best results....beets produced a very light pink and the spinach was a dud, hardly any color at all, maybe I needed to use more, cumin was another no go, it didn't produce much color and it smelled funky! Despite my inital urge to add food coloring to the dyes to boost the intensity, I left them as is, so the results are geunine! Can't say I would do it again, but the kids really seemed to enjoy the process! We left the eggs in the dyes for about 20 minutes, I am sure with a longer "bathing" time the colors would also intensify!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Star Systems Schedule:
March 31 & April 1, 2007
Columbus, OH Schedule
Doors open 1 hour before competition begins.
Saturday, Mar. 31
8:30AM Mini Solos
9:40AM Junior Intermediate Solos
10:45AM Junior Advanced Solos
1:15PM Awards (Mini/JR Solos, Photogenic)
2:30PM Mini Duet/Trios
3:00PM Junior Intermediate Duet/Trios
3:35PM Junior Advanced Duet/Trios
4:10PM Mini Small Groups
5:00PM Junior Intermediate Small Groups
5:45PM Junior Advanced Small Groups
6:45PM Mini Large Groups/Lines
8:00PM Junior Intermediate Large Groups
8:40PM Junior Advanced Large Groups
10:00PM Junior Lines
10:30PM Awards (Mini/JR D/Ts, Gps, Lines)

Sunday, Apr. 1
8:00AM Teen/Senior Intermediate Small Groups
8:45AM Teen/Senior Advanced Small Groups
10:25AM Teen/Senior Intermediate Large Groups
11:00AM Teen/Senior Advanced Large Groups
1:00PM Teen/Senior Lines
1:30PM Awards (Teen/SR Gps, Lines)
3:00PM Teen/Senior Duet/Trios
4:15PM Teen/Senior Intermediate Solos
4:35PM Teen Advanced Solos
6:15PM Senior Advanced Solos
8:15PM Final Awards (Teen/SR Solos, D/Ts, Photogenic)

OK, so the schedule for this weekend kind of sucks! Em has to be there early for her solo and then we don't dance again until 4 PM (and later) and then awards are at 10:30 PM and that is if they are running on time! YIKES....I am going to be totally wiped out! Hopefully baby cooperates or it is going to be a really LONG day!

At least Sunday isn't going to be too bad...we can head out after the first set of awards at 1:30 PM. Maybe if I am feeling up to it, we can stop at the outlet mall before heading back home!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2nd Annual Homeschool Geography Fair and POTLUCK!!
When: Sunday, March 25, 2007 3 PM
Who: ALL HOMESCHOOLERS (preschool to teens and anyone in between)
Cost: None
Where: Jr. OUAM Hall in St Bernard (directions sent upon RSVP)
What to Bring: Your project, stamp/sticker for marking passports, a dish to share (no NUTS or POPCORN please, due to food allergies!).

Come bring your family to an afternoon of “visiting” other countries in a fun way. At the start of the geography fair, we will hand out passports and each “traveler” will get their passports stamped as they visit each country/display.
Last year the following countries were represented: Austria, Australia, China (2), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmar, Egypt (3), England (2), Galapagos Islands, India, (3), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico (2), Netherlands,
Norway, Peru, Philippines, Scotland, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine (2).

To participate: Each child (or family, it can be a group project) choses a country and makes up a presentation on that country. Let your imagination be your guide: Cool things to share/explore about your country would be postal stamps, Currency, Embassy packages, Flags, Costumes and Folktales. The great thing about this opportunity is that any age child can participate and present their research to the best of their abilities. No competing! Certifi cates of participation (and possibly ribbons) will be given to each participant. The hall has plenty of electrical outlets so feel free to use one (or more)! Each participant must bring a stamp or stickers to use to mark the “visitors” passports (plan on stamping about 45 passports).

Projects can be set up from 3-3:30 PM at which time we will give each participant a chance to present their project to the group. At the conclusion of the presentations, certificates (and possibly ribbons) will be given to the participants. Similiar events have run until about 5 PM in the past.

We are also asking that participants bring a dish representative of their country to share(this can be as simple as chips and salsa or as elaborate as your cooking abilities allow!). We will have an international potluck as part of our event. Drinks, plates, silverware and napkins will be provided. Remember no nuts or popcorn please!

Families who do not want to make displays but still want to come and participate and “travel” are welcome, consider bringing a dessert or some kid friendly (nut free) munchies to share.

This year the following countries were represented: Peru,
Australia (2 ), Mozembique, Scotland, Ireland, Greece (2), Holland, The Netherlands, Japan, China, France, Costa Rica, Mali, Israel, Cuba

The kids had an absolute blast! Will insisted on doing a project too! He loves elephants so we chose Mali because we found an article about their migratory elephants! Jacob chose Israel because the country is named and fathered by his biblical namesake, Jacob. It is so neat to see the effort the kids put into their projects and the pride they take in presenting them. One little girl even presented an authentic Japanese tea ceremony! We had 3 families cancel at the last minute, I suppose the 80 degree weather and sunshine was a bigger draw! Sophia was so proud of her participation certificate that she fell asleep with it in her hands!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Contemporary Art Center tour
Friday, March 23 at 10am
cost: Free

This is how our tour is set up:
The toddlers and pre-school age children will tour the Un-Museum, children K-6 will tour the fabric exhibition and un-museum, teens will tour the fabric exhibition. After, we will all gather in the A-Z Art Lab for a hands-on art project. (They will have a couple of different ones to choose from, geared towards older and younger.) The whole program lasts about 1 1/2 hours. When our tour is over, families are free to explore the rest of the museum on their own if they choose.

After the tour, if the weather’s nice, we may head down to Sawyer Point to play and eat lunch.

I am not responsible for these directions. They come from their web site and are provided as a convenience.

Contemporary Art Center
6th and Walnut Streets.Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio 513-345-8400

From the northeast [In Ohio coming south on 1-71]
I-71 south to Third Street exit.
Follow Third Street to Main Street.
Turn right on Main Street.
Proceed three blocks north to Sixth Street.
Turn left onto Sixth Street.
The Contemporary Arts Center is at the corner of Sixth and Walnut.

We have visited the CAC two other times and each time it is a new and exciting experience. A few new families joined us, it is always great to meet other homeschoolers! It was great to meet another pregnant mom (due in June) working on baby #5, there seems to be an automatic kinship amongst those of us with larger families! The kids had an absolute blast, I was tired and spent a lot of time just sitting and socializing, so Emily took charge of taking pictures. Here is the museum through her eyes!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Natural Egg Dyes:

With baby's arrivial right around the corner, I am trying to get all my ducks in a row. I am in charge of the craft for our gardening program, and we decided to dye eggs in celelbration of Easter. Here is what info I found, it looks like this will be FUN! I'll try to remember to post pictures of our eggs!

Natural Dyes For Easter Eggs
Dyeing eggs with vegetable material takes more time than using commercial egg dyes, but it is truly amazing to see the colors hidden in the plants around us.
General directions:
Wash and rinse eggs before dyeing to remove any oil or coating which may prevent the dye from taking.
Boil eggs .
Boil the plant material until you have a good rich color.
Strain the dye, discard the plant material, return the dye to the pot.
Use an enamel or teflon-coated pot for dyeing.
Metals such as tin, aluminum, and iron will change the color of the dye.
Remember that natural dyes can also be toxic.
The safety of the following dyes was verified through the Poison Control Center.
The colors:
A soft, robin's egg blue is obtained by boiling red cabbage. SAFE
Slice the cabbage.
Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes.
Let the cabbage dye cool.
This dye will look purple, but will dye the eggs blue.
Cabbage dye does not work when it is very hot. It will only dye the eggs when it cools.

Orange and a rich, reddish brown are obtained from onion skins. SAFE
Gather the dry outer skins of onions. It takes several cups of skins.
Cover with water and boil for about 30 minutes.
Add the eggs. Watch the color.
You can dye various hues of orange to brown depending on length of time in the dye.

A clear, bright yellow is obtained from the inner bark of apple branches. SAFE
Prune a few small branches (not limbs) from an apple tree.
Scrape the bark into a pot.
Cover with water and boil for about 30 minutes.
To roughly 3/4 cup of bark and 2 quarts of water, add 1 scant teaspoon of alum. The alum will bring out the yellow dye.
Please remember that some dyes are toxic. If you experiment with other plant material, please do not eat the eggs without verifying the safety of the dye.

Natural Easter Egg DyesBy Brenda Hyde
Families have been dying eggs since the medieval times. Of course, they didn't just pick up some food coloring or dye kits at the store, they used natural items to dye their eggs beautiful colors. This year try creating your own egg dyes!

You will need:hard boiled eggs boiling water white vinegar

Any or all of the following:red onion skins, yellow onion skins, lukewarm strong coffeered, cabbage, cranberries, beets, blueberries

Hard boil your eggs ahead of time, or as the dye is boiling. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of boiling water. Add your natural ingredients and boil for about 20 minutes. Strain the dye and cool to warm.

This is not an exact science! The kids will be surprised at the end result because what you see is not always what you get! You can also try placing rubber bands around the eggs before dipping.

For nicer colors you will need to soak the eggs for at least 5 minutes, so have a station set up with bowls just big enough to immerse one egg and the kids can be dying and preparing the eggs at the same time in a little assembly line.
Be sure to have the kids work on layered newspapers and have everyone wear OLD clothes. I am sure we have all had blueberry stained clothing at one time another.

Have fun and be creative! These dyes take a little more work but it will involve the entire family in making memories!

Here is the preferred method for using natural dyes:
Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.
Add approximately one teaspoon of vinegar.
Add the natural dye. Use more dye material for more eggs or for a more intense color.
Bring water to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
If you are pleased with the color, remove the eggs from the liquid.
If you want more intensely colored eggs, temporarily remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter (unless you want speckled eggs). Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and let them remain in the refrigerator overnight.

Lavender: Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice, Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Violet Blue: Violet Blossoms, Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Blue: Canned BlueberriesRed Cabbage Leaves (boiled)Purple Grape Juice
Green: Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Greenish Yellow: Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Yellow Orange Lemon Peels (boiled), Carrot Tops (boiled), Celery Seed (boiled)Ground Cumin (boiled), Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Brown: Strong Coffee, Instant Coffee
Black: Walnut Shells (boiled)
Orange: Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Pink: Beets, Cranberries, Raspberries, Red Grape Juice, Juice from Pickled Beets
Red: Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)

Easter Egg Dye(from foods found in the kitchen)
Red cabbage leaves produce a robin's egg blue color.
Orange peels create a tender yellow
carrot tops yield a smoky yellow green
yellow Delicious apple peelings dye eggs pale lavender flecked with soft rust.
Brown (not white) onion peels dye orange.
Fresh spinach gives you a pinkish color with gray-green buffs.

To dye eggs, place in a pan and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and dye material. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently 20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dance Competition, KAR Louisville:

Sophia competed in her first REAL competition, she was just so adorable on stage! I can't believe she has such self confidence at 4 years old!

Emily and Hannah did really well! Wish I could say the same for myself. By early each evening, I was battling some pretty intense contractions, travelling 2 hours from home a month before your duedate when you have a history of preterm labor is probably not a good idea! I looked so bad, that I ended up heading home Sunday afternoon as soon as Sophie had finished her routine/awards ceremony. Catherine (teacher and family friend) stayed and brought Hannah and Emily home at the end of the competition!

Crazy thing is, I plan to repeat this in two weeks.....Columbus isn't quite as far, but I will also be 2 weeks closer to my duedate!

Send baby sticking vibes our way!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Louisville Slugger Museum
Submitted by Deanne

When: Friday, March 16th at 10:30am
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
800 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 588-7228
Cost: Adults $8 - Children $4 (5 and under FREE)
Who: Homeschoolers of all ages
RSVP to Deanne

We only need your rsvp so that we know to look for you or to let you know if anything changes. If you choose not to rsvp or decide to come last minute that’s great too. Guided factory tours begin at 9:00am and continue every 20 minutes until the last tour of the day at 4:00pm. Factory tours last approximately 30 minutes. We cannot guarantee you will see full bat production on any tour. Visitors normally allow an hour and a half to 2 hours for the entire museum experience. Everyone will receive a miniature souvenir bat on the tour!
Directions: (scroll down to the bottom)
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is located on the corner of 8th Street and Main Street in the heart of downtown Louisville’s historic West Main district. You can’t miss us – just look for the world’s tallest bat!
The museum itself left a lot to be desired, but the factory tour was absolutely wonderful! It is amazing to realize all that goes into the making of one bat!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Park Program: Making Maple Syrup
When: Thursday. March 15; 11 AM
Location: Pattison Lodge, Owensville OH
Who: ALL ages
Cost: $2 per person to cover supplies
Organizer: Laura Riesenberg

Join us and learn about what goes into maple tree tapping and the making of maple sugar! The program promises to
be a tasty one! Since we will have access to the lodge, we’ll picnic following the program to help fi ght CABIN FEVER!
Directions: Take 275 to the Rt. 50 exit (Owensville), follow Rt. 50 out towards Owensville (you may see signs for the Clermont County Fairgrounds, the park is before the fairgrounds), Pattison Lodge is on the left hand side, with
Pattison Park on the right. If you get to the Owensville IGA you have gone too far!

The kids declared this the best park program ever!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14 is Pi Day!

Lesson on circumference:
The Pi-Dye T-Shirt Shop:
Pi Day Activities from Mr. Herte:
The Exploratorium's Pi Day Celebration Page:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What: Wheel Throwing Pottery Class (and tour of facility if we have enough time)
Where: Annie's Mud Pie Shop Hyde Park; 3130 Wasson Road Cincinnati, OH 45209 (For directions call 871-CLAY or Mapquest)
Date: Wed. March 7, 2007Time: 9:00 -1:00
Ages: 8 -up (Usually these classes are geared for older kids but the lady said younger kids can do it if they have an adult to be with them and help them at their wheel.)
Cost: $25.00 a person ( includes lunch unless you have special dietary needs)Each family pays individually that day.
Rsvp to Deanne

*Dress appropriately. Our facility is a warehouse and gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
*No skirts
*Students should dress in something they can get dirty
*Long hair MUST be tied back.
*Bring something to transport your pottery pieces on. (box, tray,etc.)

1) Each student will be stationed at their own wheel to practice the techniques showed during the demonstrations.
2) Instructors discuss our safety policies followed by a step by step demonstration on how to make a cylinder on the wheel.
3) After the step by step lesson the instructors will do another demonstration and the students will practice making pots. We have plenty of clay so everyone will have several opportunities to make a vessel.
4) Lunch followed by additional practice on the wheel.
5) Details of clean-up procedure given.The students are required to clean up their work space and each participant will have their station inspected by an instructor befor being dismissed.
6) After clean up, if time permits we will tour the studio, shop and warehouse.

7) Finally, students gather their pots and we will wish you thanks.

Hannah and Emily went with Deanne, Sarah and Chris to take this class. Emily had a WONDERFUL time, she is even hoping that maybe we can set up a wheel class at CRC, she enjoyed it so much. Hannah had fun but found it frustrating!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House
When: Thursday March 1, 2007 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
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 Riesenberg

We have changed up the menu for this month. Also this is the last month we will be going down until June (the previous coordinator has offered to take April and May for us!). 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:
5lb groud beef:
5 lb ground beef:
sloppy joe mix for 20 lbs of beef
20 lb of potatoes (for mashed potatoes):
4 dozen eggs for devilled eggs (boiled and peeled):
potato chips(2 large bags):
coleslaw (large container from GFS, maybe 5 lb)
Macaroni salad (large container from GFS, maybe 5 lb)
mac and cheese (6 boxes)
green beans (6 bags frozen)
seedless grapes (5 lbs)
hamburger buns (72 minimum)
brownies: (2 boxes, will bake at RMH)
Rice Krispie Treats: (2 9x13 pans)
cookies: (break and bake 6 dozen)

What great fun and what an AWESOME group of kids! We had one new girl join the group this month and she caught on quickly! The residents seemed thrilled with the meal, and the kids did just a great job, I was able to sit once most of the meal prep was finished. I tend to forget how hard it is on a pregnant body to be on your feet nonstop for hours at a time.

The next time we go back to RMH will be in June....hard to believe that the baby could be almost 2 months old by then...depends on how much longer it decides to keep baking!