Monday, March 21, 2011

Adams Brown Recycling Center

I had wanted to tour this facility for quite some time but never managed to get it on the schedule. One of the moms from our 4H club set it up as an outing for one of our meetings. It has been interesting to tour the different recycling centers in our area and see how each place handles the multitude of recyclables that they receive every day. In addition to the standard recycling, this place also recycles glass into suncatchers, it was really cool to watch the glass be melted down and pressed into the suncatchers and to see the red glowing glass!

From Melissa: 4H Monday March 21 is at the Adams Brown Recycling Center at 11 am. We are touring the facility. Dress for the weather as it is an inside and outside tour. If I remember right, there are some muddy patches. We also will tour the Glass ReFactory where they recycle glass bottles into sun catchers. They are available for purchase for $7. The tour is about an hour long. The address is 9262 Mt Orab Pike, Georgetown, OH. If you would like to check out their website it is

Friday, March 18, 2011

Geography Fair: Dream Destination

This year we decided to put a new twist on the geography fair! Each child picked their DREAM DESTINATION and then described their dream trip to the other participants! The Riesenberg children surprised me with where they picked....Sophia chose Hawaii so she could surf and see the volcanos, William chose Texas because he wanted to watch the rodeo and ride a bull, Cade chose Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, which really cracked me up since the kid can't stand crowds or loud noises!, Jacob chose to go to Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA to see a UCLA/USC basketball game and Grant chose Paris.....not for the sites but for escargot! Gotta LOVE my kids! It was great fun to see where the other children wanted to travel and why!

What: Geography Fair--Dream Destination
When: Friday, March 18, 2011 1-3 PM
Where: Symmes Township Library
Ages: Homeschoolers of all ages
Cost: free
RSVP: Laura
What to Bring: Your project and a dish to share!

We have decided to have this year's geography fair will
have a DREAM DESTINATION theme. Pick any place
in the world that you would like to travel and tell us all
about it! Come bring your family to an afternoon of
"visiting" the world in a fun way. At the start of the
geography fair, we will hand out road maps and each
"traveler" will get their road maps stamped as they visit
each location.

To participate: Each child (or family, it can be a group
project) chooses a location and makes up a presentation
on that destination. Let your imagination be your
guide! The great thing about this opportunity is that any
age child can participate and present their research to
the best of their abilities. No competing! Projects can
be set up the first 1/2 hour of the event, at which time
we will give each participant a chance to present their
project to the group. Similar events have run about 2
hours in the past.

We are also asking that participants bring a dish representative of their state to share (this can be as simple ascornbread or as elaborate as your cooking abilities allow!).We will have a potluck as part of our event.Drinks, plates, silverware and napkins will be provided. No popcorn please!

Families who do not want to make displays but still want to come and participate and
"travel" are welcome, consider bringing a dessert or some kid friendly munchies to share.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Our busy day ended with attending Sophia's puppet show! Sophia was invited by her friend Sara to join her at a weekly art class that focused on puppets! Sara's mom picked Sophia up each week and took her to the class over in Kentucky, it was so much fun for Sophia and such a nice break for me when I am so used to being the one who takes my kids places. The puppet show was adorable and we even get to check off FIRE DRILL on our yearly assessment because the fire alarm sounded while we were there and we all had to evacuate the building! I have to say I was EXTEMELY PROUD of Sophia, while the rest of the kids in her class were busy grabbing their puppets and props, the only thing she bothered to pick up was her baby sister and grab William's hand and led them out of the building!

Greenacres class March 11

Following the Invention Convention, we headed to a program at Greenacres. We hadn't attended a program there in over a year (probably much longer!) but it felt like going HOME! We had a GREAT time!

Greenacres class March 11
Submitted by Martha

What: Free Class at Greenacres - Topic: Simple Machines
When: Friday, March 11, 11:30-1:30
Where: 8255 Spooky Hollow Road Cincinnati OH 45242
Greenacres is at the corner of Spooky Hollow and Loveland Madeira
Roads in Indian Hill.
Ages:Grades 4-8
Cost: Free
RSVP to Martha Please include your name, your children's names and grade level. It is helpful if Greenacres isin the subject heading. I will answer your RSVP. If I don't answer, I didn't recieve your email, or I missed it, please email me again. IF
YOU DO NOT HEAR BACK FROM ME, PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP. This is a hands-on class where we will be rotating through stations. CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.

The way the Simple Machines class works is different. The Old Church
Building where parents usually wait with siblings will not be
available because it will be used as a classroom. Part of the class
will be outside, but we will not be doing our usual hike.
It is a Greenacres policy that a parent or guardian stay on the
premises during class.

The first half hour is to eat lunch, packed from home with other
homeschoolers. Class starts promptly at 12;00. Meet at the Old Church
Building, an old stone building encircled by a gravel driveway.
Part of the class will be outdoors. Dress for the weather.

Your ideas for future topics are welcome.

To learn more about Greenacres Foundation, go to,
or do a web search of Greenacres Foundation Cincinnati.

We had a great time today making racecars powered by a mousetrap. Jacob and Cade came up with the best design, by extending the level, more string was pulled out and the car went further. After we ran the cars the first time, one of the boys decided that adding rubber bands to the wheels really added to the traction and the car went much futher with the wheels just spinning in place. All in all it was a great learning experience!

A few days prior I send the following email: Luke and I made some cars...the one that worked the best was a simple one made from: 1 mousetrap 1 paint stir stick 1 4" wooden dowel (5/16" diameter) 4 washers that the dowel will fit through to secure wheels 2 cds/dvds that you don't want to reuse 2 #14 eyescrews (the dowel needs to fit into these....I tested mine at the store) thin sturdy string (I will bring this) Although the original directions called for a pingpong ball I didn't have one and the car still ran far straighter than anything we made with 4 wheels......I think that alternately you could use rubber bands to hold the wheels in would probably need 4 per wheel. They also suggest putting a balloon around the wheels for traction, but I have a latex allergy so I didn't try it....... Remember you are free to make ANY design you like, just bring directions and materials with you!

From: the Riesenbergs
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:58 AM
Subject: Invention Convention--Reminder

Reminder----- Friday March 11 (Symmes Library) 10 AM to 12 PM. We will build cars from 10 AM to 11 AM and then begin "racing" them at 11 AM. Grant and I are working on a couple of different cars and I hope to be able to send you pictures and supply lists for those cars this evening if you want to make the simple cars we made. I will be providing string and glue guns for everyone. Is anyone willing to bring a roll of duct tape to people to use if they would like? Items needed: mousetrap (1 per car) additional items to build your car (please look at the websites and decide which car you want to make and bring supplies and directions with you!) Pick whichever car you want to build, the only rule is that the car can ONLY be powered by the ONE mousetrap! Feel free to find other designs! These are just a few suggestions!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Spring Homecoming 2011

Even though we homeschool, it has never stopped Hannah and Emily from attending the dances at the local highschools as well as the annual homeschool prom. This past weekend was Milford's Spring Homecoming dance. I snapped a couple of pictures before the girls headed out the door to pick up Emily's boyfriend and head out to dinner. I was exhausted from getting no sleep the night before because we were at the hospital with Tori so these are definitely more "snapshots" than portraits!

Stint Removal--3-4-2011

Tori had the stints and hardware placed during her nasolacrimal reconstruction back in November removed Friday March 4th! We are now hardware free and hopefully have experienced our last surgery for her at Children's Hospital!

The surgery was scheduled for 1:30 PM and got bumped back all the way until almost 4 PM. She was miserable and couldn't understand why mommy was holding her and wouldn't let her eat....after all those beautiful boobs were right in sight and leaking that sweet smelling milk EVERYWHERE! She was so excited after her surgery when we walked into the recovery room and she was able to nurse! The surgery itself took less than 20 minutes and much to the doctor's surprise, one of the stints had fallen out of her right nostril. We have NO IDEA where it went, but it was gone!

Her poor little foot is all bruised up because the IV catheter got all bent up (it looked like a lightening bolt instead of a straight line).

We hated spending the night at the hospital, but we survived and ask for prayers that last Friday night be the last time that we are every guests of Children's Hospital!

Tori starts physical therapy on Monday April 4th. We have already seen huge improvements in her using her left side (note in the picture she is turned to the left and sucking her left thumb!) since we started doing her exercises. Hopefully when we go for our first visit they will decide that she doesn't need therapy!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mardi Gras--Party-Gras!

To celebrate Mardi Gras our 4-H club decided to have a party! We came up with games for the kids to play, a craft where they each made carnival parade floats out of shoe boxes, face painting, electing a king and queen, and of course FOOD! Each family brought a dish to share. We ended up with a king cake, jambalya, dirty rice with beans, donuts and baked Cajun Crab Dip. Everyone had a really great time and we already have plans in the works for repeating (and increasing) the fun for next year!

Our KING and QUEEN.....Joseph and Emily

Recipe for the Baked Cajun Crab Dip
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time to Serve: 25 minutes
Servings: 16


1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened in microwave at high for 30 seconds.
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 1/2 oz.) crab meat, drained, flaked, cartilage removed
Slivered almonds (optional) ---I didn't add almonds


1. In small bowl stir together cream cheese, green onion, milk, pepper sauce, horeradish and salt. Gently stir in crab meat.

2. Spread in 3- to 4-cup casserole or 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Bake at 375°F about 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve with crackers.

Does anyone watch "MY NAME IS EARL"? These pictures of Luke just crack me up and made me think of how Earl can't take a picture without closing his eyes...

A short slide show of pictures: