Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My brother Doug is aptly referred to by my grandchildren, his great-nieces and nephews, as "The Science Guy!" From the time he was their ages, he loved science and enjoyed blowing up stuff! Oh, could I tell some stories! After he retired at a pretty young age, he went to college and got his teaching degree and is teaching eighth grade science in Pensacola, Florida. Doug has done some amazing projects with his students including building a solar powered go-kart! He decided to teach the kids some science on Easter Sunday and the following are just a few of the MANY photos we took of his "science lessons! He also threw in some "magic" tricks including this one. He had the kids draw a replica of a dollar bill. If they did a good job, he had them feed it through a roller device.
Just look at the concentration on Clara's and Sasha's faces as they fed their replica through the rollers! Will it turn into a real dollar? Are they "true believers?"
You betcha! It worked! They said it even smelled like the crayon replica they drew. Aidan and Ryan also got a turn and one of them asked if they could draw a $100.00 bill! . . . .on to the next project!
Another project that the "Science Guy" had them make was a catapult. These were so cool! The kiddos got to pick their wheel colors and assemble them.
Aidan was particularly fascinated with building an electric "motor" using a battery, wire, etc. You can see how engaged he was with the whole process. Imagine a room full of eighth graders having fun learning about science - you rock, Doug!
Before launching the rocket - yes, we had a rocket launch! - Doug did another magic trick using a card, a magic box, and matches!
When the card Aidan picked was set on fire, imagine their surprise when Sasha opened the empty box she had been holding and there it was - intact! WOW!
Rocket Launch!!! One of the special activities Doug's students do is building and launching rockets. It is quite a production! He brought along a rocket to launch and before setting it off, he had the kids put jelly beans in the payload.
Off it went! It went so, fast, this is the only shot I got of it launching. It soared into the beautiful blue sky and when it landed, it came crashing down into the middle of a large pine tree!
However, we were able to recover it and to the kids' surprise, the jellybeans were still in the rocketship!

We were so lucky the weather was beautiful for all the activities for the kids.
Our morning started off at church and our annual Easter photo with Nana and Pap (that's us!). Trying to get all of the kiddos looking at the camera without goofy faces is no small feat!Check out Jayce in his Easter finery! He is such a cutie-pie!
This was Emme's first Easter and she was very serious about finding her egg!
The Easter bunny hid 120 plastic eggs this year and the kids had a blast finding them!
On Saturday we had a big celebration of Dixon's second birthday. He wore the overalls that his dad wore when he was a little boy. How adorable he was!Dixon is obsessed with Thomas the Train and his cake was a big hit!
He also got lots of different Thomas the Train sets, T-shirts, pj's, and swim suits. He will be all decked out in Thomas gear this summer! Happy Birthday little guy! Choo Choo!
Although it was a hectic weekend, it was a wonderful one. We feel so blessed to have been able to share the weekend with the entire family. Although we are a quirky bunch in many ways, we love each and are grateful to have one another to share life's special moments.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This semester I was the recipient of a Learn and Serve grant, which paid for two bus loads of my students to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in March and also sponsored "Surviving the Holocaust: One Woman's Story," an event we held at our high school last Thursday evening. Dutch Holocaust survivor, Ellie Chapman (pictured here signing programs), was a hidden child in Holland. She and her mother were betrayed to the Gestapo and narrowly missed being taken in a round up to meet the same fate as fellow Dutch Jews: death in Auschwitz.
Over 400 people from the tri-state area attended the event and were mesmerized by Ellie's story. Her father was a victim of the infamous Dr. Mengele's medical experiments in Auschwitz. He died of blood poisoning after butane injections in his arms. It wasn't until after liberation that she and her mother discovered his fate. Ellie's entire family perished during the Holocaust.
Prior to Ellie's presentation, Eric Epstein (one of my mentors), author and Penn State professor, gave an overview of anti-Semitism. I also honored the Reverend Doctor William H. Harter (on the right) for his recent award for his lifelong work in building Judeo-Christian relationships and his work in fighting anti-Semitism, racism, and genocide.
These are some of my students who took part in the eveining's events. Aaron (2nd from the left) was selected as the winner of the Schwab Holocaust essay contest sponsored by the Jewish Foundation of the Greater Harrisburg Area. He read his award winning essay and will be reading it again May 1st at the Holocaust Memorial in Harrisburg as part of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. I am so proud of him. He didn't think his essay good enough to enter, but I insisted. I love telling students. "I told you so!" It was a wonderful evening and we also collected a sizable donation for the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council.
This is just a random photo of one of our two felines, Legend. Our two cats are spoiled and think they own the place!
On Saturday we celebrated my middle daughter, Annisa's 34th birthday, and my son-in-law (Becky's hubby) Barry's 31st birthday. I love a reason to make cupcakes, so that's just what I did!
Don't they look yummy !?! They were.
We sang Happy Birthday and they were all smiles!
And of course, they had to blow out a candle!
Okay - so what about "moose?" Here he is! This is my two and a half month old grandson, Jayce, aka "Moose!" He was less than 7 pounds at birth and just a little peanut. Not so now! Take a look at those chunk-a-munka legs!
"Moose" is now over 16 pounds and still growing! Can you see the orneriness in those eyes? And check out the cheeks and chins! Can't wait to squeeze those cheeks in a few weeks!