Saturday, March 20, 2010


Last fall the boys discovered the woods across the street from our house, yes, I know we have lived here almost 5 years now, but it wasn't like I was going to let them wander across the street by themselves when we first moved in. We aren't sure who owns the property, it is really just a steep wooded hill with a creek at the bottom, but it is plenty big enough for them to explore!

Thursday they went over and explored returning with a salamander that they had found under a rock! They were so excited and googled salamanders to learn a bit more about their spotted friend! He was returned to the rock they found him under about an hour later!

Yesterday (Friday) I returned from a shopping trip to be greeted by about an 18 inch water snake! They were thrilled with their discover and made "SSSSSSILK" a home in a rubbermaid container. Unfortunately "SSSSSSILK" was a bit smarter than the boys and escaped while they were inside eating dinner. Hopefully he found his way back across the street! Honestly I am surprised no one got bit as much as they handled him all afternoon.

Today, the discovery was a VERY LARGE crayfish (crawdad)! Cade measured him with a ruler and he measures a WHOOPING 4", pretty darn big if you ask me! Neither Jay or I have ever seen one so large. Again, the discovery led to the boys googling what crayfish eat and if they will fight each other. I love watching their natural desire to learn! Learning for the sake of knowledge, not because some teacher standing at the front of a classroom is telling them that it is going to be on some stupid test!

I can only wonder (and wait to see) what tomorrow's discovery might be. A different species of salamander or snake, another macro long as it isn't inside my house, I guess I won't complain!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grant, Emily and I had the privilege to see the African Children's Choir perform at River Hills Community Church in Loveland, OH. All I can say is AMAZING, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! If you ever have the opportunity to see them, don't pass it up!

What: African Children's Choir
When: Friday March 19, 2010 7 PM
Where: River Hills Christian Church
6300 Price Road Loveland, OH 45140
Enjoy an evening of music and dance by this world-renown group. Admission is free. Love offering will be taken. Helping Africa's most vulnerable children today, so they can help Africa tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interactive Passover Event

I attended the most amazing event at the Jewish Discovery Center today with the kids. It was an interactive walk through that explained the story of passover. It was very hands on, each plague had a hands on activity connected to it. Before we began, they dressed each child in a robe (made of felt) and a head wrap to represent how the Jewish people had dressed at the time of the first passover celebration. We started out our tour with the water being turned to blood (drank red juice), then onto the frogs (the kids were given small plastic frogs to have jump around), lice (the kids played in rice with rubber bugs in it and each left with a plastic spider ring), wild animals (everyone made animal mask) and domestic animals dying, boils (popping bubble wrap), fire and hail (firey lollipops to eat), locust (popping ball game) , darkness (sunglasses), death (we colored doors with red crayons). Then we heard the story of the unleavened bread and watched a video about making matzoh and made our own paper matzoh to carry with us. We made a lamb craft (to symbolize the slaughtered lamb) and also had a mock Seder. We learned so much! Sophia and William were so funny, they knew the answers to so many of the questions because they learned the story of Moses last year during vacation bible school! I was shocked to hear them answer the first question she asked "what was the king called" and they answered in unison "Pharaoh" and she said "what did Moses ask of Pharaoh" and they both said "Pharaoh, let my people go"...surprisingly, the also knew most of the plagues!

The woman that led our tour said they will most likely offer the program next year, a few weeks prior to passover. This is the second year they have offered the program. If you live in the Cincinnati area, I would encourage you to attend next year if you have the chance. The only thing that we didn't like was that the space was a bit cramped, but they made the most out of the space they had and made is feel so welcome!

A few pictures....I didn't take very many, but I thought I would share these!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bracketology 101--Riesenberg Style

So the much anticipated NCAA tournament pairings are announced, the printer is set into overdrive trying to spit out enough brackets for everyone to fill out. Every year the prize is always the same--$20 for first place, $10 for second place and $5 for third place. Let the FUN begin!

Luke--colors in the entire bracket with a red crayon, I can almost guarantee that he will get as many right as I do!

William--understands brackets far better than any 5 year old should and knows how to fill them in completely on his own.....he needs some help reading a few of the teams names, but he knows who he thinks will win each game. He is more a name or mascot kind of kid!

Sophia--picks the highest seeded team each time

Cade, Jacob and Grant--a little bit of research and a lot of heart!

Brett--research, research research

Laura--takes most of the favorites, picks a couple of underdogs and then MUST take Xavier (dh alma mater) to make it at least to the sweet 16 if she wants aforementioned dh to continue speaking to her.

Jay--knows each teams record, the RPI, and if they play well on the road with limited fan support (or if they have fans that will sell out the arena). Picks with his head, not his heart, even where Xavier is concerned! Of course is Xavier's cross town rivals (UC bearcats) were to be seeded #1 overall, there is no way he would pick them to win the whole thing!

Let the MADNESS begin! I'll let you know who wins in about 3 weeks!