Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I have always believed in the magic that is Christmas, but this year, I was overwhelmed by the giving, generous spirit of so many around us, friends and strangers alike,  it truely made this Christmas the best one we ever had!  Grant might disagree, he still remembers the Christmas about 7 or 8 years ago, when we had NO HEAT and the temperature in the house was 48 degrees and were all huddled under blankets in the living room, in our winter coats and gloves, trying to keep warm with the help of one very small space heater as the best Christmas ever, but this one definitely gets my vote!  Believe me, it could have been the worst one ever, literally we could have been on the street, hearing recited over and over again "there is no room at the inn" but through God's grace and the helping hands of so many, we have a cozy space to share and our beautiful family is together.

I also was able to breath a small sigh of relief as the "curse" of Christmas past chose not to rear its head...10 years ago we lost my Grandmother on Christmas day, 5 years ago we lost my Dad...the clock has struck midnight and we are all still here....not that I don't long for my heavenly home, but today I am so happy, so blessed by my present "home" here on earth!

I hope this Christmas has found you surrounded by those you love and that you have fond memories to look back on!

This past year has been one heck of a ride, one that I never thought I would be forced to take, but it has now become part of our history and legacy!  Looking forward to see what the future has in store!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great Oaks Option for Homeschoolers!

Thought I would share this here in case any local families are interested!

Our daughter,  Emily, returned to school this year and many people have asked about our experience with Live Oaks (and the Great Oaks system) and how it works for homeschooling families.  Sarah Taylor, one of the counselors at Live Oaks, has set up an evening for families to explore the option of attending any of the Great Oaks Campuses for homeschoolers.  Feel free to bring your student with you and come prepared to ask questions.  She will also discuss the opportunity for your student to come and spend a day at school exploring the labs that they are interested in.

Please feel free to pass this information on to any homeschooling groups that you are part of or to any other homeschoolers.

When:  Thursday December 15, 2011 7 PM
Where:  Live Oaks 5956 Buckwheat Road Milford, OH 45150

From Sarah Taylor:
Would you like to find out more about the option of your son or daughter attending a Great Oaks Career Campus?  If so mark your calendars to attend a parent/student information session at the Live Oaks Campus in Milford on December 15th at 7:00 pm.

You’ll hear from a home schooled student who attends Live Oaks, get information about the career programs available and be able to get your questions answered.

Great Oaks might be a great choice for your son or daughter if they want to:

·         Get a head start on a career or college through certifications and college credit they can earn

·         Make new friends who have the same interests they do

·         Learn about real-world conditions from  career technical teachers who are experienced professionals in the various career fields

·         Explore a career field while they are finishing high school – a much less expensive option than taking a year of college then changing majors

We hope you can join us to explore career options for your son or daughter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember as far as anyone knows, we're a nice normal family.
-- Homer Simpson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Invention Convention- Straw Towers

Could you build a tower using only 50 straws and tape that would support a tennis ball?  How tall could you make your tower?  What would be the key to building a tall tower that would support weight?

These are the questions we set out to answer and conquer with this month's invention convention!  It was great fun seeing how everyone set out to solve the problem and although Jacob and Grant were upset that they couldn't wear their tower as a HAT to make it the tallest tower, we all had a great time!

never too young to tackle a challenge!


2nd tallest tower, he removed the top level or it would have been the tallest!

tallest tower!

my sample tower, I haven't gotten any better at making things "square" since the bridges last year!

email sent to group prior to the event:
What:  Invention Convention Straw Towers
When:  Wednesday November 2, 2011 12 PM
Where:  Miami Riverview Park

Who:  Homeschoolers of all ages.  Children 12 and under will be expected to have a parent/responsible adult on premises with them during activities, Teens 13 and up may be dropped off.
RSVP:  Laura Riesenberg
What will be provided:  tennis ball for tower testing, scissors (although I am not sure that they will be needed)

What each family needs to bring: 
*50 drink straws per tower you wish to build (children can work individually or as a team)

*lunch or snacks/drinks for your family if you plan to hang out afterwards.

The object of this project is to design/build a tower out of straws and tape ONLY that will support a tennis ball!
Please let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trunk or Treat

We had an absolute blast at TRUNK OR TREAT!  River Hills Community Church hosted trunk or treat followed by an amazing pig roast and bonfire and we were so thrilled to be part of it all.  COOLEST PART--our family won the prize (a $50 movie theater gift card) for the BEST DECORATED TRUNK.  I had no idea that you were even supposed to decorate your trunk until the Sunday before the event and really didn't give it any thought until Friday night when Grant told me he wanted to wear his clown costume and hand out the candy for sparked an idea....a "BIG TOP" CIRCUS theme and I started to think about all the costumes we had in the basement and figured we could probably pull it off....we had 2 gypsy/fortune teller costumes, a clown, a lion, an elephant, a "trapeze" girl outfit and a monkey (OK, I think it is really a gorilla, but Luke thinks it is a MONKEY so a monkey it is!)....I easily made a "ring master costume" by snagging a free pair of pants at a local clothing exchange and a white shirt out of Jay's closet, I made a red bow tie and we asked someone we know with sons that wrestle to borrow a wrestling singlet for our "strong man".  It cost me less than $7 to do it all ($6.31 to be exact--I bought 2 disposable table clothes, some laundry line, a 1/4 yard of fabric and a cool plate at a yard sale) and our THEME was brought to LIFE!

I will admit it, I always thought the idea of trunk or treat was LAME and a ploy by some churchs to dissuade children for going trick or treating so I only gave in to the idea because it wasn't on Halloween, but after experiencing it just once, I am HOOKED and we have already decided on a theme for next year....NOPE, NOT TELLING is a surprise!  But we already have at least 2 of the costumes in the basement and we will see how cheaply I can acquire the rest over the next year....


the whole crew minus mom!

Emily and a veiw of the trunk

the 3 ring circus

photo-op with our cutout

Hannah painted the sides of the van

Cade, the STRONG MAN

yes, I know clowns are CREEPY, be happy you can't hear him doing his clown voice!

and Yes, my STRONG MAN is so strong he can lift an ELEPHANT!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Emily attended Milford High School's Homecoming dance with her boyfriend Josh.  Just a few pictures that she liked that I took of them before the dance!  The sun was playing havoc with the shots and I was in a hurry to get back home so that Jay and I could get to our neice's wedding.