Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween Lia Sophia Party: Better Late Than Never!

Life is busy!  I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of a little get-together I hosted a few weeks ago.  My sister just became a lia sophia advisor so I thought it would be the perfect time to host a party.  This was the first time I've ever had a party like this!  It was a lot of fun.  The party took place a week before Halloween so I decided to make it an Autumn/Halloween party too.

I don't usually use many Halloween decorations, but I found some easy, inexpensive Martha Stewart decorations at Michaels.  This guy was just relaxing in one of the drawers.

 I love using branches from our Burning Bush to decorate in the fall.  A few pumpkins and some creepy spiders crawling up the wall completed the look.

I kept the food simple.  I had a few little cans of soda with some vanilla vodka and some wine.  I served some of my favorite party foods.  Chips and salsa, my special pickle mix, and some homemade pretzels from a local bakery with honey mustard and spicy mustard for dipping.

I also served some hard cider and cheddar fondue, but I forgot to get a picture of it.  Ugh!

My sister did a great job with her presentation.  We played several games and three people walked away with prizes.  It was a successful party, and I think everyone had a good time.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Field Trip: Oktoberfest

Some people like to dress up in authentic German attire when they go to Oktoberfest.  My husband and I don't like to do things halfway.  We brought a real, live German!

A group of German pastors were coming to the United States to learn about the churches in our area because of a connection that has been set up between our region and their region.  We were asked if we would host one of the visitors.  Sunday was a free day so we asked Jurgen if he'd like to go to a local Oktoberfest that was being held at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA.  We had a great time!

Jurgen treated us to a German meal of bratwurst and potato salad.  

Music was provided by a traditional German band from Shippensburg.  Jurgen was impressed by their pronounciation and knew many of the songs they were playing.

There were many contests going on that day.  This contest was for the most authentic German attire.  We really wanted to stick around for the stein holding competition, but that wasn't being held until later that evening.

Aside from all of the great food activities, there were lots of rides and games for kids.

We had a great time at Oktoberfest and enjoyed our time with Jurgen.  He assured us that we have a place to stay if we ever find ourselves in Germany.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Field Trip: Columbia

When my husband and I went on a mini trip for our anniversary, one of the places we visited was Columbia.  It's a little town near Lancaster that is becoming one of best places to look for antiques in Central Pennsylvania.  When we were there, we only visited one shop.  I wanted to go back to explore a little more.  There are stores for every budget.  The first shop I visited was a high end shop, but they had some really cool stuff!

The top floor of the store had a section that was set up like a soda shop.  

The second shop I visited was inside of an old theater.  

I really liked this cute dry sink.

I love this little bench with casters that I found at Burning Bridges.  I have the perfect spot for it too.  It's probably gone by now.

This place was huge! They had all sorts of things.  They even had a little cafe.  If you are into mid century modern, they had a good amount of furniture at one booth.

I probably would have bought this chair if it hadn't been painted.

I had a great time exploring Columbia, Pennsylvania.  I hope you'll take a day and explore it sometime.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Room Tour: My Classroom

We're about three weeks into the new school year, and I thought I'd share some pictures of my classroom.  I can't really take credit for any of these ideas.  I borrowed them all from Pinterest.  What did we do before Pinterest?

You can see my staff rug that I got a few years ago through a grant.  I added some hanging lanterns that were used at my wedding to the reading nook.

We go over to the reading nook when we read a story that goes with a particular lesson or when the kids rotate in stations.  The palm tree was a prop in the musical last year.

If you look in the top corner of the picture you can see the disco ball I used for a musical performance last year and decided to hang it.  The kids really like the disco ball.  The bright posters are the solfeggio syllables.  I've brightened up my chalkboard with chalk markers.

This is my Super Singer board.  All of my chorus members get their name in a star on this board.  Each chorus rehearsal I choose two or three students who were super singers.  They get a certificate and a small prize like a sticker or a music note eraser.

I didn't really use these boards as chalkboards so I decided to cover them and use them as bulletin boards.  I keep a birthday calendar from Plank Road Publishing that the students can check to see if they have the same birthday as a famous composer.  The leaves on the tree have vocabulary words we will be using this year.  I'll be adding more words and branches throughout the year.

I refer to my maps all the time.  We sing a lot of songs from other countries and different parts of our country.  It's so handy to have the maps here that I can point to and show the students the places we are learning about.

This is where I keep some of my musical instruments and my beat buddies.  We use beat buddies in kindergarten and first grade to keep the beat.

These are my instrument guidelines.  Students know that when they get their instruments they must sit in "resting position" until we are ready to play.

Finally, these are my classroom expectations and the guitar I use in class.  I use a Baby Taylor that I can keep at the school and tuck safely away at the end of the day.

I hope you enjoyed your tour around my classroom.  I've already made a few tweaks to my set up that I'll share with you later.  The year has started off really well and the kids love all of the changes I've made.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keister Kampout Part II: Pine Ridge Camp

When we started the Keister Kampout about seven years ago it was a basic camp out with a few tents and some pancakes for breakfast in the morning.  It has evolved from that point.  In the years following my dad made some restroom facilities for the ladies of the camp, we named the camp, families grew, more tents came to camp, and scary stories were told around the fire.  It's always fun to see what Dad will think of this year.

The last two years we have split up into pairs and completed a scavenger hunt that my parents put together.  I didn't get to snap any pictures since I was so busy competing (unsuccessfully), but it included things like: find a bug, catch a frog, locate all of the birdhouses on the property, find a leaf of a sawtooth oak.

After we completed the scavenger hunt, we made dinner around the fire.  We ate hot dogs, foil babies, and different kinds of mountain pies.  For dessert there were s'mores, banana boats, and dessert mountain pies.

The highlight of the camp out is my dad's story.  This year he went all out.  He is very interested in the stories of Native Americans who lived in the area.  He told the story of the Leroy Massacre that happened fairly close to the camp site.  You can read about it here.  My dad was busy making props for this story since the last camp out!

The props for the story were kept in this old-timey chest.

He made wigs for all of the kids to wear and an arrowhead necklace made out of a shell.

He showed some arrowheads that he found or collected.  He found three of these arrowheads near the campsite.

There was artwork to accompany the story that included a map of Pennsylvania Native American trails.  This year the camp antlers had some authentic Native American feathers.

Each little camper also got a handmade headdress.

I think my dad's greatest achievement was his handmade drum!  The pictograph on the front of the drum was also part of the scavenger hunt.

When it got dark it was time to catch frogs.  There were about fifteen in this bucket!  Don't worry.  They were returned to their home.

In the morning it was time for breakfast, cooked over an open fire!

It was a great weekend!  We had so much fun.  I can't wait until next year.  I bet my dad is already working on the plans!  I'll leave you with some pictures of my parents' house.

If you missed Part I, you can see it here.