Monday, April 27, 2009


When:Wednesday, May 13 6 to 8 PM
Where: Madeira Library Meeting Room 7200 Miami Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio 45243
Cost: Free
Who: Adults with an interest in home education, attached infants, interested teens. You do not need to be a HSN member to attend. Feel free to bring a friend who has expressed interest in homeschooling!

RSVP: Deanne at

Are you thinking about homeschooling or just getting started? We invite you to join us as we do our best to answer your questions and help with the basics, such as: Where do I begin?, How and Who do I notify?, What do families do all day?, Do I need to spend a lot of money?, What about a social life?, Does homeschooling work for teenagers?, Can homeschoolers get into college?

We encourage experienced homeschoolers to join us also. Come share what you know about Home Education with others!

Please pass this information onto anyone you know who’s considering homeschooling, or just getting started with it.

From the North:
Exit I-71 at Montgomery Road exit (#12).
Left on Montgomery Road
Right on Hosbrook
Left on Euclid Avenue
Library is on the left.

From the South:
Exit I-71 at Kenwood Road (exit 11)
Right on Kenwood
Left on Euclid Avenue
Library is on the left.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My friend Deanne, her son Chris and three of my boys Jacob, Cade and Grant were heading to a fieldtrip when the minivan they were in was blindsided by a car that ran a redlight, going about 45 MPH......everyone appears to be OK, a little bruised up but OK..... when I went to the accident scene the cop thought I was nuts when he asked me if I was OK and I responded "YES, I am FINE, I am picking them UP from an accident"....I don't think he understood that in my mind, being able to pick them up beat any alternative.....they could have been seriously injured or killed. The woman (I am using this lightly, I am not having very pleasant thoughts about this woman right now) driving the other car didn't even apply her brakes...there wasn't a skidmark or anything in the road and her car went STRAIGHT into the side of the minivan......the van was hit dead on the passenger side, right on the front passenger door and at the beginning of the sliding door, Cade (my 9 year old) was in the seat by the door that was hit.

So if you all could send healing thoughts to Deanne, Chris, Jacob, Cade and Grant I would appreciate it. And pray that this all works out without too much hassle, as the "woman" is saying she didn't run a red light, unfortunately NONE of the witnesses to the accident even bothered to pull over and of course it is about the only intersection without one of those stupid traffic camera. Add a prayer that any witness might decide to call the police and say what happened. Both Grant (my 13 year old) and her son Chris, saw the car coming at them, so he seems a bit more shaken up than the other boys!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grant's 13th Birthday Scavenger Hunt!

We resurrected the scavenger hunt from Emily's birthday and invited all the boys for Grant's basketball team as well as some of his friends for basketball and football and decided to throw a party! We added a couple of new rules (everyone had to be in at least one picture) and gave everyone 1 1/2 hours to hunt and make it back to the house! The winning team was team #3! Special thanks to my neighbor who let one of the teams into his house and into his shower and to all the local business owners and local residents who helped the kids out!

Here is the updated scavenger hunt list:
Take a picture of your team by a police car (10 pt) (10 pt extra is including a police officer)
Take a picture with a total stranger. Your team must be in the classic "YMCA" pose (15 pt)
Take a picture of your team riding a lawn mower (15 pt)
Take a picture of a horse (10 pt)
Take a picture of your team in a shower CAN NOT be the Riesenberg's shower! (10 pt) Collect a sample of play sand (5 pt)
Take a picture of your team climbing a tree (10 pt)
Take a picture of your entire team on a playground slide (10 pt)
Take a picture of your team doing the chicken dance in front of a stop sign (15 pt) Take a picture of your team holding different kinds of balls (10 pt)
Take a picture of your team next to construction equipment (5 pt)
Collect a real estate magazine/book (5 pt) Collect a feather (10 pt)
Take a picture of one of your team mates drinking from a water fountain (5 pt)
Take a picture shaking hands with a bearded man (15 pt)
Take a picture of your team on a fire truck (20 pt)
Take a picture giving an older person a hug (15 pt)
Take a picture of your team mates with paper cones on their heads (10 pt)
Get the following coins from 6 different people (other than team members): $0.01 $0.05 $0.10 $0.25 $1.00 (3 pt per coin) Bonus points if you get them all (10 bonus pt)
Get a picture of some walking their dog can NOT be the Riesenberg’s dog (5pt) Picture of someone in work attire (5 pt)
Picture of someone on your team mimicing a statue (statue must be in the picture)( 5 pt)
Picture of someone on your team knee high in the river (10 pt)
Picture of someone on your team in a garbage can (10 pt)
Picture of a member of your team pumping a stranger's gasoline (15 pt)
Picture of someone with more than 4 children with them, children must be in picture (10 pt)
Picture of your team doing a human pyramid (10 pt)
Trade a piece of clothing with a stranger (15 pt)Must have a photo to prove trade. You DO NOT have to keep the clothing!
Get a random person's phone number (10 pt)
Get a cup from a restaurant and get it autographed by the employee that gives it to you (15 pt)
Collect a shopping bag from a local store (5 pt)
Collect something red ( 5 pt)
Collect a receipt from a local restaurant (10 pt)
Get a piece of sidewalk chalk and write all your names down at the Riesenberg's house. (10 pt)
Find someone who was born in another country (other than someone in your group). (10 pt)
Get a sea shell (5 pt)
See how many signatures you can get. (1 pt per signature)
Get a free informational pen (must have company's information on it) (5 points)
A family recipe from a local resident (20 points)
Take a picture of someone wearing sandals and socks (5 points)
Take a picture of your team making a "G" with their bodies (10 points)
Fit your whole team into one bathroom stall (5 points)
Find a coke tab (5 points)
A picture of your team doing either handstands or cartwheels in a field (10 points) Someone sliding into second base (5 points)
A team member jumping off a swing (5 points)
Get a photo of a stranger dancing (10 points)
Collect a movie stub (10 points) Take a picture of your team reading a newspaper upside down on a park bench (10 points)
A picture of someone riding a bike with training wheels (5 pt)

Hopefully this works....

Friday, April 17, 2009


This program was originally scheduled for last fall and had to be rescheduled.

What: The Children's Civil War/ JAMES A. RAMAGE CIVIL WAR MUSEUM

When: Friday, April 17, 2009 10 AM. Program will last approximately one hour and 15 minutes and include a guided tour of the Museum.

Where: 1402 Highland Avenue , Fort Wright, KY 41011 (directions below)

Who: Program is geared to students of gradeschool age (Grades K-6) but is open to all homeschoolers grade K and above. The maximum number of students is 30. Toddlers CAN NOT participate in the program, but the museum is located within a park.

Costs: $3 per participating student. Adults free

RSVP to: Laura

Note: The museum is located in a park We plan to pack lunch and picnic and play following the program, weather permitting.

The Children's Civil War
Program Description: This program focuses solely on how children's lives in both the North and the South were affected by the Civil War. This is a very engaging program that allows students a chance to relate how their lives today vary so much from their Civil War era ancestors. Imagine telling students about the daily chores and general welfare of African-American slave children. Inquire about what sort of chores children do today and compare them with the chores children were responsible for during the war. Students' faces after learning they were responsible for dumping the chamber pots are unforgettable. Talk about fashion, have little girls try on a hoop skirt and ask them if they see any dangers in wearing this type of skirt, do they like it? Have little boys try to put old fashioned suspenders on and see their reactions. The goal of the program is to allow students the opportunity to learn about the lifestyles and the roles that children played during the Civil War. Discover the sacrifices that had to be made, and explore their daily home life and rediscover what it would be like to observe the warfront in your own backyard.

Program Goals:
Students will be able to compare their lives and the lives of children living during the Civil War Students will observe and gain in understanding of the home front, the
lifestyles and hardships of the average American citizen during the Civil War Students should be able to relate how war impacted the lives of all American
children during the Civil War Era

Suggested Pre-Visit Activities:
Lead a discussion about the Civil War, discuss the various factors that lead to the beginning of the Civil War Brainstorm what roles children may have had in the Civil War, how did the civil war affect their lives? Research children's roles during the Civil War, what were some of theirresponsibilities, did any of them serve as soldiers? Discuss how war has impacted our economy over the centuries

Suggested Post Visit Activities:
Have students write a letter to a solider, students can write letters to a current solider serving in the armed forces today, or they can write a period letter to a Civil War solider Have students discuss what chores they are responsible for today and then discuss how the roles of children have changed since the beginning of the
Civil War Make homemade hand dipped candles or homemade soap with the class

Suggested Resources:
Damon, Duane. Growing Up In The Civil War, 1861 to 1865.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publications Company, 2003.
Herbert, Janis. The Civil War for Kids.
Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, 1999.
Pioneer Thinking, How to make hand dipped candles:

Teacher Resources:
Channing, Steven A. The Civil War Confederate Ordeal
Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1984.
Smith, George Winston & Charles Judah. Life in the North During the Civil
Albuquerque, New Mexico: The University of New Mexico Press.

Museum's website:


From I-75 Northbound take Exit 189 - Kyles Lane. Turn right onto Kyles Lane and proceed 0.3 miles to traffic light and turn left. At first stop sign, turn left onto Highland Avenue. Proceed 0.75 miles to the Community of Faith Presbyterian Church on left. Please park in the church parking lot.

From I-75 Southbound take Exit 189 - Kyles Lane. Turn left onto Kyles Lane and proceed 0.4 miles to traffic light and turn left. At first stop sign, turn left onto Highland Avenue. Proceed 0.75 miles to the Community of Faith Presbyterian Church on left. Please park in the church parking lot.

Handicapped Parking is available at the Museum. Follow directions above, but go only 0.7 miles down Highland Avenue - you will see a driveway to your left, follow that driveway to the top, Handicapped parking is to the left, next to the building.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What a beautiful day for a shoot-out!

I am talking PHOTOGRAPHY! Nancy, Fredrik and I ventured downtown and shot some pictures in and around Findlay Market....

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This cheapy digital scrapbooking program came with the new printer we bought so I thought I would play with it. I created this page in honor of Cade's 9th birthday! It was super easy to make the page, I can understand why people fall in love with digital scrapbooking! I don't plan to give up all my paper supplies anytime soon, but making digital pages to post on the internet might become a new addiction!

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's hard to believe that the FREE summer offers are already popping up! Here is a great offer for FREE BOWLING if you happen to live anywhere close to any of these bowling alleys. We went last year and it was GREAT rainy day fun or a retreat from the blasing sun, the bowling alley wasn't crowded at all...unfortunately it was a bit too far to drive very often!

Check out the Kids Bowl Free Program!

You can bowl free throughout the week, starting May 1 - Sept. 30, with your kids!!!! Includes 2 free games a day per kid! Includes locations all throughout Ohio. Sure wish I lived near one of the participating bowling centers!

Note, you do have to sign-up and pre-register your kids for available spots.

Here's the info from the Kids Bowl Free Website:

" Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever “Kids Bowl Free” program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the particpating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations"

Additional Opportunity
In order to accomodate parents and older children in your family that may like to bowl, the participating bowling centers are offering a Family Pass. The Family Pass provides the same great "2 games a day" package for up to 4 adult family members for a one-time payment from $23.95.
Last night my photo class had a potluck gathering to celebrate (or bemoan) the departure of our fellow classmate Fredrik who is returning to his native Sweden in less than two weeks. We all brought a dish to share and I took my cheesy potatoes. Everyone asked for the recipe and I thought I would post it here as well since it is such a quick dish to prepare and take to those summer cookouts.

Here is the recipe...of course I removed ALL the calories from it before bringing it anywhere!

1 bag of frozen hash brown/diced potatoes
16 oz velvetta cheese (I buy the large package and use 1/2 of it)
2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
onion (I didn't add last night and usually use those dried/minced onions in a pinch, your guess is as good as mine!)

Melt velvetta in the microwave...I usually go about 3 minutes, stir it and then go another 2 minutes. Once it is melted, stir in the mayonnaise and add the potatoes, salt and pepper (and onions if using them). Spread the mixture into a 9x13 pan, cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes and then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to lightly brown the top.