Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PBS/WTCI TV Station Tour

Today we had the opportunity to take a tour of our local PBS station. I have to say that having toured one of our "big three" channel stations last year, I though I knew what to expect. PBS/WTCI went WAY beyond my expectations.

First, they broke us up into groups. The younger kids went with one tour guide, and the older kids went with anotherr. They took us to a bright, fun room to watch an episode of Martha Speaks. When setting up your field trip, you have the option of choosing what you'd like to focus on. After the show was over the kids did an activity sheet and played some games with the tour guide. She then proceeded to let the kids each go to the small adjacent library and pick out a book to take home with them. All of the books there were from PBS shows. My kids all chose Magic School Bus chapter books.

Next, we got to meet with a designer in his office and he showed us how the promos and commercials are added in. He actually showed us a promo that he had been working on. We saw how the image comes in, extra information is added, sounds and voice overs are added, and finally, the final product. Very cool!

Our guide then showed the control rooms and explained what goes on it them, where the director sits during programs, and finally, into the studio. The kids were all able to play in front of a green screen and make parts or all of themselves disappear by placing a green drape over them. They also got to be on TV (not live), and we got an explanation of the teleprompter and camera equipment used.

Before we left, each of the kids got a goody bag filled with stickers, information and another book. We had such a great time and learned so much! I highly recommend visiting!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What a cutie!

I tell you what, sometimes things happen in your life that you never expected. Take for instance our newest addition, Hershy. I have said for years that I absolutely do NOT want any more dogs in our house. We have two and honestly, that at least one too many. Along comes Hershy. I didn't want him, didn't choose him, and rescued him with the intention of finding him a home. I NEVER planned for him to stay. But here he is 4 1/2 months later. But seriously, how could we not love this dog?

So I guess he's here to stay. Thanks for letting me share some of the fun pictures of him over the last few months.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Venomous or Not?

Okay, in my last post I asked for comments about what kind of snake everyone thought this was. Nobody's jumping it to try to guess so I suppose I'll have to tell. After lots and lots of research, and taking tons of pictures so I could blow them up in my photo editing software to determine whether his pupils were in fact round or not, we are fairly certain that this is a Brown Snake. What a boring name for such a cute little guy, huh? Never even knew there was such a thing. Better yet...he's non-venomous! So, after several hours spent enjoying and learning all about this particular variety of snake, we set him free in the woods behind my house. Watch out garden slugs and earth worms...he's probably hungry!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nature Studies with a Surprise Visitor!

Today we had an impromptu lesson on just how to handle a snake and most importantly, how to identify it and determine whether or not its venomous.

I'm inside trying to get caught up on orders (aka bows), when Haley and Adam come tearing inside screaming about a snake in our yard. We have lived here for almost 12 years and this is the first time we've had a snake in our yard. We've seen them next door, but not in our yard. Apparently, Adam moved something with his foot (no shoes on at the time), and underneath was a small snake. He showed me where he found it and I got a look at its tail as it slithered away. I promptly searched and searched and couldn't find it anywhere. Not to be deterred, I left for a few minutes and then went to look again. Finally, success! I found him all curled up in a patch of grass. Here he is after I picked him up with a stick and contained him for pictures.

After examining him and not being 100% sure of what he was, I placed him in a 10 gallon glass aquarium with lots of leaves for cover. My husband wanted to see him when he got home and the kids were having a great time watching him.

By the way, this snake was only about 9 or 10 inches long. He was tiny! Anybody want to guess what kind of snake he is? I know, but I thought it would be fun to see what you guys think. I'll post what it is (or what we think it is) in a couple days. By the way, he was safely returned to the wild (outside of my yard) this evening.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Geography Fair Fun!

We had such a great time with some of our fellow homeschool friends at our group's annual Geography Fair. We got to take a tour of approximately 10 different countries without traveling far from home. We learned some new things, ate lots of yummy food, and had a nice time with friends.

My children did their presentation on Germany. My father immigrated from there when he was a child. It was a great way for them to learn about our family's heritage. Here's our table.

Here's a picture without the kids blocking the display. We had lots of personal pictures such as the house in Berlin where my grandparents lived, pictures of my great grandfather and great uncle in uniform. Both were killed during or after the war. We also had some yummy spritz cookies for everyone to try, and several wooden pieces that came from Germany. Both of these pieces belonged to my grandmother.

We also had an Usborne book on World War 2, a German book so that everyone could learn some German words, and my grandfather's autobiography which was written after they immigrated.

Here are some of the other highlights of the fair.

All of the kids did an awesome job with their presentations! I can't wait until next year to do it again!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tech Week Fun!

We're down to the final week of practice for the play the kids are in. They've had a fun week of painting tees and dress rehearsals. I am so, so proud of all three of my kids. They have done an awesome job of learning their lines. Ryan didn't want any lines and he got nine! He's learned them all though. Here are some of the highlights so far.

On the school front we're learning about Germany this week in preparation for our homeschool group's geography fair. We chose Germany because my father was born in Berlin. We have several books to read and a video to watch. Then, we'll be putting our display together.

The kids are all finally well, but now I'm sick. I will be so glad when the sickness finally runs its course and all of us are finally well for a chance. We are on our third week of somebody in the house being sick.