Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Easy Potato Soup Recipe:

1 bag frozen diced potatoes (I believe it is a 32 oz bag)...if you want to use fresh potatoes, peel and dice until you have 2 lb.

32 oz broth (I use vegetable, but used to use chicken, only difference seems to be the color the soup is when you are done, it is darker with vegetable broth)

medium onion--chopped (or cheat like I do and use between 1/3 and 1/2 of a bag of the frozen diced onions from Kroger)...I have made this with no onions and it turns out fine

pepper to taste (I like to use white pepper)

1/2 of an 8oz bag of cheese for soup, use the remainder of bag to top soup when it is done

bacon for topping soup if you desire (I buy the precooked crumbled bacon at Sams, makes it easier because I don't have to fry it up)

Place potatoes, broth, onion and pepper in large pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, stir frequently...after about 30 or 40 minutes you will notice that it no longer looks like broth and potatoes, but that the potatoes are starting to break down, decide if you want slighlty chunky soup or smooth soup (we like our slightly chunky), if you want smooth, cook it longer, if not, then add the cheese now (if you want it smooth, add the cheese after you have cooked it about 10 more minutes). Stir until cheese melts, you will see the consistency of the soup change when you add the cheese. Serve topped with cheese and bacon (if you desire). Everyone in my family except Will loves this soup, his has too much potato!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Holidayfest at the Beach Waterpark

A few pictures:

I really think the economy has hit the entertain business hard. Holidayfest certainly wasn't what it has been in the past.Attendance was low despite decent weather (sunny and the upper 30's). The kids had a great time, but many elements were missing like the paddleboats, merry-go-round, berry-go-round, and the best santa around(replaced with a lame skinny santa with a fake beard!)! I was quite ticked off that they wanted to charge me $3 to take picture with Santa using MY OWN CAMERA, so needless to say, I didn't take any! We will just go to the mall and visit a Santa with a REAL BEARD, even Sophia said the Beach's santa was a "phoney bologny" because she saw him pull off his beard to drink hot chocolate! The carriage ride was fun and the kids enjoyed iceskating and who doesn't love the baby animals to pet and feed? We all enjoyed our first hot chocolate of the season!

Holidayfest at the Beach Waterpark
Submitted by Laura Riesenberg

When: Friday, December 4th 10 AM to 4 PM lunch available from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM!

Where: Beach Waterpark Mason, Ohio

Cost: Admission $6.50 ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 3 -12!!!, optional lunch $6 for adults, $4 children ages 3-9, Parking free. Platinum pass holders get in FREE, regular pass holders need to pay admission price! Pay at the gate when you arrive or pre-purchase your tickets
online (see info below).

Organizer: Laura Riesenberg, please RSVP so that I can get a count to the waterpark! When you RSVP please let me know the number of people in your party and if they will be eating lunch or not.

The park has agreed to open the park EXCLUSIVELY FOR HOMESCHOOLERS on Friday December 4th from 10 AM until 4 PM. The offer is incredible (includes all activities inside the park) and we will have the park entirely to ourselves. This should be a great activity for
everyone...toddlers, preschoolers, elementary schooler and teens. There are activities for ALL ages, including’s what your admission includes: Skating and skate Rental, Carriage Rides (pulled by tractor), Toboggan Slide, Live Nativity, Polar Pearl Palace, Holiday Lights and Dazzling Animated Lights Displays, South Pole Petting Corral, Holiday Railway, and Festhaus Pavilion. We typically set up an area with crafts and coloring pages for the little ones, should they need to get indoors and take a break.

Admission $6.50 per person (ages 3 - 12 are $5) , children 2 and under free. Free Parking! Typically, admission and to do all activities at Holiday Fest at The Beach around $25.00 (ice skating alone is usually $6). This special rate is a savings of $18.50 per person. Parking is $5.50 per car on any operating day, but will be waived for our visit. If you chose, you can purchase your tickets online in advance by visiting and entering the store name of “homeschool”.

MEAL OPTION: $6 per person ages 10 and up, $4 children 3-9 . HolidayFest at The Beach Catering Staff will serve the buffet style meal in an exclusive pavilion during a specified time frame (starting at 11:30 PM) which includes Hot Dogs, Chili (with onions and shredded cheese on the side), Macaroni & Cheese, Jumbo Cookies and Beverages. PLEASE let me know when you RSVP if you want the meal or not. Meal tickets are also available for purchase online.

Participants are welcome to pack lunches, but meals will need to be eaten in the picnic area outside the park. The only food that can be consumed within the park is food purchased from the Beach.

All You can drink wristbands $3.00 (they have guarenteed that drinks will be available the entire time, even at the end!). I have been told that coffee will be ready the minute we enter the park!

Santa will be making an appearance!

Don’t let the fear of cold weather keep you away from this wonderful event. We had an awesome time in years past even with snow! It wasVERY WARM in the tents!

Please feel free to share this information with your homeschooling friends, regardless of their group affiliation, but remember that they need to RSVP to Laura becasue I must get a count to the Beach for staffing purposes.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Girl Scout Badge Work:

Sophia had to pose the following question to women in her life. Since most of the woman we are friends with hold less than traditional views, I ended up posing the question to some of the more tradition women we know and on my facebook page and we meshed the answers so that Sophia didn't have to spend the entire meeting defending her answers....poor kid, she really doesn't know just how untraditional we are! Honestly I felt this was a very deep question for a 7 year old to be pondering and discussing, but we gave it a whirl!

The question (in a nutshell): the 3 most important issues facing women today?

Answer (from our friends) that she presented:
1) Equal pay for equal work
2) Access to healthcare for all women and children
3) Dispelling the myth of the superwoman: we can not do it ALL!

Now, for my point here......these are the answers I would have given her to take to the meeting.

1) The devaluing of MOTHERING as a career. I would spend hours on why I think this is important, but do you think my voice would be hear amongst a troop of girls whose mothers almost all work outside the home? I don't want to sound like a grade A bitch here, and I know some woman have to work and some enjoy working, but I think that if we put the same value on the choice of mothering as a career as we do on say being a lawyer or a doctor, that women would be better off.

2) The MYTH that education must come from an INSTITUTION. OK, would you expect anything less from an unschooler? I think this view is harmful to both men and women.

3) And the third issue, not sure how to word it exactly, but it would come out something like this, "women need to quit being so critical and judgemental of other women". I think we are our own harshest critics. I suppose this is similar to the 3rd answer Sophia gave to her troop, we can't be superwomen and we need to quit beating ourselves up over it, but I somehow want to take it a step further. I think we need to encourage other women, lend a helping hand, be willing to ask for help without feeling embarrassed.

BTW, Sophia was only 1 of 2 girls out of her troop of 11 girls that even bothered to ask anyone the question.

So, if you feel up to leaving a comment we would love to hear what you think are the 3 most important issues facing women today?