Monday, April 28, 2008

Tetris with a twist

Got this link from an email list I am on and just had to share it. Of course I was a HUGE tetris fan back in "the day", so I found this game to be so much fun, despite the fact that it took me over 7 minutes the first time I played, I certainly don't have fast gamer fingers! from their website: Statetris is an interesting game mixing aspects of the popular game 'Tetris' and geography. Instead of positioning the typical Tetris blocks, you position states/countries at their proper location. Fun, challenging and educational!

Nothing to download to play, just click and go using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
Virtual Fieldtrips:

OK, so it has come down to this...but for those who can't or won't venture out or for whom these places are too far to go and visit, this is a cool, free site!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Luke's first year...a little late, but cute!

Click to play Photo Mosaic
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

What: History Hunters
When: at least one fieldtrip per month on a Friday, possibly other outings on different days. Most fieldtrips will start around 10 AM, a firm starting time will be sent to all participants when confirmed with each location
Who: Homeschoolers/unschoolers of all ages
Organizers: Laura and Deanne -- please RSVP to let us know you are coming or with any questions

Each year when we notify that we intent to homeschool our children for the year, we assure that we will cover Ohio history with our children. What better way to tackle the topic than with hands on learning adventures geared to stimulate and engage the participants? We plan to organize fieldtrips to many local historic sites. As part of the club, each child will have the opportunity to create their very own scrapbook that will document their adventures.
We are encouraging each member to purchase an 8"x8" scrapbook (available at places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Target, Walmart) and to take pictures and collect memorabilia from each activity. We will offer opportunities for the participants to get together and create their scrapbooks, basic supplies will be provided.

Tentative Calendar (see bottom of email for more details about sites being visited):
May 23 Fort Ancient
June 27 Waldschmidt Homestead Historical Site
July 25 Tri-State Warbird Museum and Stonelick Covered Bridge (the last covered bridge in Clermont County).
August 22 Ulysses S. Grant Historic Sites
Sept 26 Ranger Guided Tour of Wright Cycle Company Comples Dayton, Ohio
Oct 17 Salt Fest at Big Bone Lick State Park
Nov 21 Promont House
Dec 19 Isaac M Wise Temple and St. Peter in Chains Cathedral tours
Jan 23 William Howard Taft National Historic Site
We will wait to plan outings for Feb on until after the club has had a chance to get input from all of the members.

Fieldtrip details/websites if available:
May: Fort Ancient: Fort Ancient features 18,000 feet of earthen walls built 2,000 years ago by American Indians who used the shoulder blades of deer, split elk antler, clam shell hoes and digging sticks to dig the dirt. They then carried the soil in baskets holding 35 to 40 pounds. Portions of these walls were used in conjunction with the sun and moon to provide a calendar system for these peoples.
The site offers beautiful vistas along hiking trails as well as the remains of the prehistoric mounds for visitors to see. Convenient picnic areas can be found along the road at the site. The Museum at Fort Ancient contains 9000 sq. ft. of exhibits, including many interactive units, focusing on 15,000 years of American Indian history in the Ohio Valley. The Museum also contains a classroom, a research area, and a sales shop with many fine American Indian items

July: We will begin the day by visiting the Tri-State Warbird Museum (4021 Borman Dr. Batavia OH 45103) and then stop by Stonelick Covered Bridge (the last covered bridge in Clermont County). If participants are interested, they can visit the Clermont County Fair following the mornings activities.

August: Ulysses S. Grant, We will spend our day studying Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States. Our day will begin at his birthplace, just outside New Richmond and then after eating a picnic lunch, we will head about 20 miles to Georgetown to visit his boyhood home and schoolhouse.
Grant's Birthplace
Boyhood Home:

September: The Wright Cycle Company Complex

November: Promont House Museum
906 Main St.Milford, Ohio 45150(513) 248-0324
Promont House in Milford, Ohio, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. It is an Italianate Victorian structure, built in 1865 by William Megrue, and purchased in 1879 by John Pattison, who became the 43rd governor of Ohio in 1905. The house, named the "finest house in Clermont County" when built, was received by the Greater Milford Area Historical Society in 1984 from the estate of James Kirgan.
The museum is named Promont because of its location "high on a hill," situated on five acres overlooking the village of Milford. Small gardens, labeled native Ohio trees and benches provide a restful view of the grounds and house. The interior of the house has been restored to the magnificence of the Victorian period when it was occupied by John Pattison. A large stained glass window on the front stairway, varied moldings in each room, Italian marble fireplaces, and a four story tower offering a panoramic view of the town, provide a trip back to the elegance of the Victorian Period.Hours:Friday through Sunday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Group tours are available.
Pricing:Free; donations welcome

December: Tour of Isaac M Wise Temple 726 Plum St Cincinnati, OH 45236 Tel: 513-793-2556 and tour of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral

January: William Howard Taft National Historic Site 2038 Auburn Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wild, Wacky, Wednesdays!
Where: Miami Riverview Park in Loveland, Ohio
When: Every Wednesday April 30 – May 21st
Time: 11-2pm
Who: Homeschoolers/Unschoolers of all ages
Cost: Free

Come join us for some wild, wacky park days before the school kids get out for the summer. Miami Riverview has a great play area with climbing equipment, slides, swings, a great big sand box, a baseball field and a big, open, grassy field to run and play in. We plan to pack lunch and eat under the picnic shelter or one of the many shaded tables. We’ll have a bat and tennis ball for a friendly game of baseball. Remember to bring anything you might want to play with – sand box toys, balls, etc. and don’t forget the sunscreen! We hope to see some of you there! Clean restrooms with running water.

Directions: Take I-275 to exit #52 (Loveland/Indian Hill) and turnLEFT at the bottom of the exit ramp. Follow to the first road on theright (Hopewell) and turn RIGHT onto HOPEWELL. Follow about .3 mileto Branch Hill-Loveland Rd (you should see a small brown sign on theright hand side of the road pointing to the park) and turn LEFT ontoBRANCH HILL-LOVELAND RD. Follow about 1.5 miles to the park entranceon your RIGHT. MIAMI RIVERVIEW PARK. We will meet near theplayground, most likely in the large shelter behind the playground.

more information about the park:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

OK, so I am a day early! But I can't believe that my baby boy will be 1 year old in less than 24 hours! I had to share this adorable tag that my friend Tracy made for him for his birthday!
Tomorrow I will share his birthday pictures and some reflections on my little monkey's first year!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Clowning around and ringing in Jacob's birthday!

What better way to celebrate Jacob turning double digits (the BIG 1-0!) than with a clowning activity with our 4-H group! All of the kids in the group decided what kind of clown they wanted to be (we did some research and discussion of clown types prior to deciding!) and then sketched out what they wanted their face to look like. After we got everyone's face's painted (thanks to help from Hannah, Deanne and Laura K.) the kids performed skits for everyone in the group.
10 years ago, Jacob was a very sick newborn, laying in the NICU at University Hospital. They thought he was septic and strep B positive. They started him on IV antibiotics. Despite his fragile state, he was the most beautiful baby I had ever laid my eyes on. I remember the next day, his brothers and sisters coming to visit. Grant couldn't even stand to look at him! It took Grant over a month to actually TOUCH his baby brother! I often remember that when the two of them are playing and clowning around!
Jacob opted for a bike and dinner at Golden Corral for his birthday celebration. It is hard to believe he is 10 years old already!
411 on Jacob:
Middle Name: Zaren (for the midwife Karen that stayed with me through 36 hours of labor)
Favorite sport: basketball
Favorite team: USC Trojans for football Xavier for basketball Pittsburgh Pirates for baseball
Favorite color: hot pink
Favorite food: steak
Place he wants to go for vacation: China
Favorite sport's player: Willie Stargell

Friday, April 11, 2008

Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Tour
location: 44 E. 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (downtown Cincinnati)
When: Friday April 11 1PM- 2:30 PM
Cost: free
Group #1: ages up to grade 6
Group #2: jr. high and high school aged students
RSVP: Laura with the names/ages of participants

Group #1: 1-2:30 in the unMuseum (45 minute tour and 45 minute activity)
Group #2: 1-2:30 in the other CAC galleries (all or selection of three exhibitions: Daniel Libeskind, Sol LeWitt, Space is the Place)

For more information about CAC:

The UnMuseum® represents a groundbreaking new concept in museum education for children, schools and families. Occupying the entire sixth floor of the new Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center, the UnMuseum is a gallery of participatory art designed to offer children and parents an enjoyable experience with the most innovative art of our time. Introducing audiences to contemporary art, the UnMuseum reaches far beyond gallery guides and learning stations by commissioning first-rate artists to create works of art especially for young audiences. Children, along with their parents, can experience and interpret works of art on a multitude of levels.

We had an EXCELLENT time! There were about 25 students in the younger group and 10 or 12 teens in the older group. I wanted to go and see the galleries with the older kids, but I ended up having to go to the unMuseum with the little kids. It was exciting and engaging as always! Grant, Emily and Brett enjoyed touring the other galleries.

After the two groups got back together, we worked on art projects to take involved paint and straws. The kids were thrilled with their creations!

When we left CAC it was POURING but that didn't deter us from wandering across the street to my favorite candy store MURRAY brings back found memories of being a kid and going there with my dad. He was always a sucker for a candy store!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Cade!

Cade's wish for his birthday? Lunch at the Chinese Buffet and a new bike! Easy enough to make his wish come true. Lunch was delicious and he looks so "cool" riding his new bike.

It is hard to believe that has only been 8 years since the longest 8 1/2 minutes of my life. Labor with Cade went relatively smoothly until I pushed his round little head out and his shoulders got stuck! He spent 8 1/2 minutes trapped, without oxygen. Finally the OB, who was sobbing by that point, reached in and broke his left arm to free him. She thought he was dead. I guess, technically, maybe he was. They has to reccesitate him. His apgar scores were worse than Brett's, who was born over 10 weeks early! I can't even bring myself to imagine how my life would have been had things turned out differently that cold April night. I can't dwell on it, I prefer to remember all the wonderful times we have had during the last 8 years.

Here is a little 411 on Cade:

Middle name: Zavier (a variation on Xavier, his father and grandfather's alma mater)

Favorite sport: baseball

Favorite tv show: Family Guy

Favorite professional sports player: David Ortiz

Favorite number: 2

Favorite color: blue

Favorite food: steak

Someplace he wants to go on vacation: Boston

Favorite time of the year: Christmas