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Blog #290



Firestone Park Hike

  Last night we hiked about Firestone Park.  Most of the trails were flat, smooth and wide.  I noted that the main trail would be perfect for skate skiing if it were groomed.  This makes six of eight hikes completed for the Fall Hiking Spree.

























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Blog #289



Pumpkin Farm

  Annika and I went to Kingsway Pumpkin Farm with Treehouse Preschool today.  Not only do the owners run a huge farm, they own a sign and graphics company located on site.  That explains the creative and well crafted backgrounds and decorations located all over the farm.   At the farm, Annika got to pick a pumpkin and two gourds, feed animals at the petting farm, ride a tractor pulled "train" made from 50 gal. drums, and slide down a slide into a pit of corn kernels.  Annika and I had a terrific mother/daughter day together.









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Blog #288



Portage County Hike & Bike Ride

  We went for a family bike ride today and rode from Kent to Ravenna; this was our first time on this trail.  Annika rode on a child seat on the back of my bike; Brigitta rode a little one speed bike.  The round trip was 10 miles; Annika and I sprinted an extra mile and back through Ravenna.  I gave Annika the little pocket Canon; she took 159 pictures and movie clips.  All seven pictures below were taken by Anni.  Most of the movie clips are very short and primarily focus on my rear end.  The girls thought the clips were hilarious so I strung them together and added it to our movie page.

 Also look for a new clip of Brigitta with the hamster on her head.









Time and Shirley Wilsterman Visit  

Bill's brother, Tim, and his wife Shirley are visiting this week.  Below, they are visiting Bill's & Tim's brother, Dick.  They managed to see quite a few relatives during this week.


John and Rose Kelly's Wedding

  Last night Papa, Nana, Joan and I drove to The Club at Brookhill for the wedding of John & Rose Kelly.  Since both the wedding and the reception took place outside we were all happy the weather was beautiful.  The setting, the ceremony and the reception were outstanding.














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Blog #287


Oktoberfest - Friday

  The girls danced again today and I cooked a ton of bratwurst.  Friday and Saturday broke attendance records; the parking lots and all soccer fields at the German Family Society of Akron were completely full on Saturday night.  Pictures below include Annika and Brigitta's Kindergruppe, Svea's Junior Youth Group and the Tanzgruppe.   The Tanzgruppe is the adult group that Joan and I practiced with last year; we (especially I) are not ready to perform since we missed the summer practices, not to mention the fact that I am genetically the exact opposite of Gene Kelly.












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Blog #286


Oktoberfest - Saturday

  The girls danced last night and Joan served schnitzel.  This was Svea's first performance with the Junior Youth Group and she did a great job.  This afternoon they dance again and I'll be cooking German sausage, hot dogs and bratwurst.

























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Blog #285




The Glens Trail

  Last night we hiked The Glens Trail at The Gorge.  This was our first time hiking this trail and we were quite surprised as to how scenic and rocky the trail was.  There were many rocky overhangs and views of the cliffs above us while we were still quite a bit higher than the Cuyahoga River.  The Glens is a short trail, but definitely worth a return trip.  We are now halfway to earning our Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree hiking staffs.








Google Calendar

   I've been meaning to check out Google Calendar for the past few months.  We've used MS Office Outlook at home for years.  It's a great way to keep track of upcoming events and can be programmed to give you reminders with, or without sound.  At school I use Outlook reminders for when my classes are about to end.  When James Brown sings, "I Feel Good" my students know that they have two minutes to save their work and turn it in (if its due).  Often I am helping a student and lose track of time.  With 30 classes a week and different ending times, Outlook keeps my classes on time better than I could any other way.  In an hour I can set up all of my reminders for the entire school year.

   Google Calendar is very much like Outlook, except it's free and online.  The fact that it's online means that I can look at our agenda from home or school.  It's very easy to use/program and it allows you to create and see several calendars at once.  Joan and I each created our own calendars so that we can keep track of when the girls need to be dropped off and picked up at ballet, girl scouts, German Family Society dance practice and Student Council.  Our calendars appear in different colors so it's easier to read.  Our calendars are set to private, so only we can see them. 

   There is a "public" option also.  I've managed my school's website since I was hired.  I've always posted our school calendars as they are distributed in print; yearly major dates and monthly detailed events.  Teachers are also given several calendars.  In total, I counted eight calendar sources for our school; it is somewhat confusing.  Earlier this week I combined as many calendars as possible in Google Calendar and set it to public view.  The fact that Google Calendar can toggle between weekly (showing actual times), monthly and agenda views and public and private calendars can be viewed at once I think it's the most useful and versatile calendar format ever.  Google Calendar can send email or pop-up reminders if you wish.  Sports schedules and national holiday calendars can be imported; any calendar can toggle on or off.  I'm terrible about remembering birthdays and anniversaries, so I started making a calendar just for those.



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Blog #284




  This weekend we hiked at Goodyear Park, Deep Lock Quarry and Hampton Hills.  Single shots from Deep Lock Quarry and Hampton Hills are pictured below.





Blog #283



Anniversary Weekend

  Joan and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary this weekend.  Today we went kayaking and out to dinner at a Thai restaurant (our favorite).  We hadn't been boating in Ohio since June.


  Two years ago in June I built an island on Mogadore Reservoir.  I had found a very shallow place in the middle of the lake and noticed that the lakebed in that area was covered with boulders.  I came back later, anchored my boat, got out, waded around and stacked boulders until I had formed a small island.  Over the winter the lake ice, driven by wind, shaved the top of the island off.  Last summer we made a family outing out of rebuilding the island.  This winter the ice once again removed the top of the island.  I intended on rebuilding it, but our summer in Alaska hasn't left us much time for such things.  Today I was delighted to see that "June 26th Island" had been rebuilt by someone - cool.




Tonight the girls just hung a broom from a tree branch like a swing so that they could fly like Harry Potter. It worked surprisingly well.



We are Getting a Dog

(When the girls know all of their math facts)

  At dinner tonight Joan and I decided that girls can get a dog when Svea and Brigitta have an instant recall of all addition and multiplication facts to 12, and Annika knows her addition facts to 10.  The girls are crazy about dogs and have been begging to get one; we've been begging them to learn their math facts.  It's hard work and the girls have been easily discouraged.  We are hoping the girls will work with each other as a team and drill, drill, drill. 


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