Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4-H Cemetery Scavenger Hunt and Party

For our meeting Monday we decided to have a cemetery scavenger hunt and a halloween party! I think everyone had a great time! The SPOOKY looking pictures in the slide show above are STRAIGHT OUT of the camera, pretty freaky! Do you believe in GHOSTS?????

Here is a copy of the scavenger hunt we used:


Have your participants try to obtain digital photos of each of the items on the graveyard scavenger hunt list.

Grave markers often have pictures on them. Find markers with each of the following:



__________Cross and crown







__________Praying child

__________Star of David

__________Teddy Bear

Grave markers come in various shapes and styles. Find grave markers that are shaped as follows:

__________Cross Headstone

__________Double headstone with 2 vases

__________Double heart monument

__________Garden memorial boulder

__________Headstone with vase

__________Memorial bench

Grave markers sometimes tell more than just the person's name and age. Find markers with each of the following:

__________Beloved husband and father

__________Beloved wife and mother

__________Forever in our hearts

__________In memory of

__________Our loving parents

__________Rest in peace

__________Sleeping with the angels

Grave markers, tombstones, or mausoleums that have the following:

__________Earliest birthday you can find

__________Oldest tombstone you can find

__________Same birthday as a team member

__________Shortest life span you can find

__________Longest life span you can find

__________Longest last name you can find

__________"Saint" appears on it

__________Shortest last name you can find

__________Someone from another country

__________Someone who served in military

Designate a time and meeting place for the teams to return to. The first team to obtain the photos of the items, make it back within the allotted time, and has the most points will be the winner.


  • Each photo collected is worth 1 point.
  • The first team to finish shall receive 5 bonus points.
  • For each minute a team is late, they will be penalized 1 point.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Freely Educate

The link to this website came through a list I am on and after checking it out over the past week, I wanted to share it with other unschoolers, homeschoolers or autodidactes out there.
The website is Freely Educate proving that a high quality education can indeed be 100% free.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WHAT : Niederman Farm Corn Maze
WHERE: 5110 LeSourdsville-West Chester Rd, Liberty Township 45011
WHO : Homeschoolers of all ages
WHEN : Wed October 21st 10:30 am til ????
Cost : $6 for adults and children 3 and up. Children 2 and under are free.

We will start with a hayride through the farm. Each rider will receive a pie pumpkin. Afterwards you are free to go to the playground,visit the animals or head off to the 22 acre corn maze. We are free to bring packed lunch. There are plenty of tables under a large covered area to eat at.

If you would like to check out their website

Despite a rather LAME hayride (explain to me someone, when you have a 22 acre farm, why your hayride takes you over MAYBE 2 acres of the farm? And you stay on the PAVED surfaces rather than taking the tractor out into the actual FIELD...but I digress....) and possibly the MOST DISGUSTING port-a-potties at a place frequented by sober people, the kids had a REALLY GREAT TIME! The animals were so cute and we LOVED watching the pig races. By far the biggest hit of the day was the HUGE swing made out of drainage was HUGE and STURDY, big enough for my entire family plus a couple more and it could hold the weight. It was great fun to watch the kids swing on it and most of the moms (myself included) had to go for a ride!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

For those of you that aren't aware, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day of remembrance for all pregnancies and infant death which includes but not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or death of a newborn. It is recognized in the United States and throughout Canada on October 15th of each year. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle lighting vigils which coincides with an International Wave of Light with participants lighting candles on October 15 at 7:00 p.m. around the world to honor and remember our children. (source Wikipedia). I can't believe that this is the first year I have thought to mention this here.

So to all my dear friends and blog visitors who have suffered the loss of a child, grandchild, brother, sister, niece or nephew to pregnancy or infant loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers today as is the beautiful child that you never got to watch take his first steps, say her first words, or rock to sleep. Today I grieve my angels that have gone before me. I grieve for my brother Phillip and my nephew Jack. I grieve for Gretchen and her family who lost Vivian just a few weeks ago. Tracy, Kas and Valerie, you are all in my prayers. For online friends, too many to name, who have suffered a loss, you fill my thougths today. I grieve the loss of those children of family and friends whose existence I might not have even known about because a pregnancy was so new or those who chose to keep their loss to themselves because the pain was to great to share. There are no words I can say to comfort you, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mill Creek Restoration Water Quality Program

How many of you that live in Great Cincinnati know that you live within miles of the most polluted urban river in the United States? That's right, Mill Creek River, was designated the most polluted urban river in the United States! Despite the cool weather and the rain, we had an AMAZING time at this program. I can not believe how HANDS ON everything is, how clearly the information was presented to the kids, and how wonder Lora from Mill Creek Restoration Project was! We plan to do another water study, possibly of the same creek, in the spring. Still waiting on a few results, I will share them when we get everything computed.

What: Mill Creek Restoration Water Quality Program--FULL!!
Where: Keehner Park West Chester, OH
When: Wednesday October 14th 10 AM to 2 PM (includes a break for lunch, please bring lunch with you)
Who: Homeschoolers ages 6-14, limited to 20 participants
RSVP: Laura

Please come dressed for the weather (rain or shine) and wear boots or water shoes as we will be getting into the water to do the macroinvertebrate study, water temperature and to pull water samples.Our day will start with a 45 minute introduction to the Mill Creek watershed and the purpose of our water quality study presented by Lora Alberto of the Mill Creek Restoration Project( We will then break for lunch. Following lunch we will begin the water quality study which is extremely hands on and includes macroinvertebrate collection, water sampling, and running tests on the water including nitrate levels,water turbidity, phosphate levels, dissolved oxygen, ph levels, water temperature and fecal coliform bacteria testing. Each child will get to participate in running each of the tests, they will rotate in groups through stations where each test will be conducted.

Mill Creek in southwest Ohio is one of the most severely polluted and physically degraded streams in the United States. In 1997, because of its multiple stressors and sources of pollution, the national river conservation group American Rivers designated Mill Creek as "the most endangered urban river in North America." The stream flows 28 miles south from its headwaters in Butler County through the geographic heart of Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati to its confluence with the Ohio River, just west of the downtown riverfront. Its watershed covers southeast Butler County and approximately the central third of Hamilton County and encompasses all or parts of 37 political jurisdictions. Within the City of Cincinnati,over forty neighborhoods are located in the Mill Creek drainage basin.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Emily in the Nutcracker!

Emily will be performing with ballet tech ohio in their production of the Nutcracker. She will be dancing the role of the Mouse King in the 2 PM performance. She will be dancing the role of a Snowflake in Act I and a Flower in Act II and the finale in both the 2 PM and 8 PM performances. The performances will take place at the River Hills Christian Church in Loveland, Ohio on Saturday, November 21st. This beautiful facility seats 600 and visibility is good from all areas. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students/children and seniors. Plenty of free parking. We would love to see you there!

As much as we enjoyed our experience in years past performing with the Cincinnati Ballet, this is far more challenging, since she has to learn numerous routines and dance a key role rather than just spend less than 5 minutes on stage. It will be interesting to see how she enjoys the overall experience this time around since she loved doing the Nutcracker with the Cincinnati Ballet so much! I have to say I love the lower ticket prices for this performance, I just wonder if I can manage to stay awake for the second act, it always manages to put me to sleep!

We have been so happy over the last 6 weeks with our experiences at ballet tech ohio. The instruction Emily is receiving is top rate and she is really flourishing! I can't believe how much she has improved and how much confidence she has gained in such a short period of time!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Some AWESOME apple recipes:

We went apple picking the other day, a tradition for the final week in September. One of the mom shared some WONDERFUL recipes, I took the time to make 2 of them this morning so I thought I would share them here.

No Peel Apple Cake
4 cups chopped unpeeled apples
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix all and pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan. (will be a thick consistancy). Sprinkle top with additional small amount of sugar and nuts if desired. Bake at 350 ro 45-50 minutes. This is even better after it sits a day.

MY NOTE: I didn't have any applesauce and made my own by cooking some chopped apples in the microwave for about 6 minutes with a little water and then pureeing them in the food processer. I also think that next time I will add nuts (walnuts probably) to the mix and sugar to the top!

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings
3 granny smith (or other) apples---I didn't peel mine
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter!!!!!------NOTE: I only used 1 stick when I made this!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 small can mountain dew---I just used 3/4 of a cup since I didn't have a can

Cut apples into slices. ( I do not peel, PW does.) Roll 2-3 apple slices in a crescent roll. Place finished roll ups in 9x13 greased pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over crescent rolls. Pur Mt. Dew arount the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve with vanilla icecream. This recipe is Crazy!!

MY NOTE: UNBELIEVABLE! This was the most awesome apple dessert I have ever had. I am wondering if 7-Up might not work just as well, I think I may try it next time. I didn't grease the pan and they didn't stick at all, could have just been dumb luck!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Jay!

Today marks Jay's 45th birthday! I can't believe I am married to such an OLD man! Wishing you the best of birthdays sweetheart! Hoping I am sitting next to you as you celebrate 45 more!