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.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Keister Kampout Part I: Glamping

I can't believe I haven't posted anything in September yet!  It's been a busy start to the school year. Today I'm here to share my first attempt at "glamping" with you.  Ever since I heard the term glamping,and more importantly found all of the amazingly cute pictures on Pinterest, I've wanted to try it.

I guess I'm getting ahead of myself.  You're probably wondering what the "Keister Kampout" is.  Keister is my maiden name (insert joke here).  For the past seven years or so my family gets together on Labor Day weekend to camp at my parents' house.  They live on about thirty acres of land that includes a few ponds, a small orchard, and a nice camp site.  We camp close enough to the house that we usually make one last trip to the house to use the bathroom at night, but if you have to go in the middle of the night, it's a little too far.  I'll post more details on the camp out later this week.  

Back to glamping.  Most of the information and pictures I've found on the subject are either from high end camp sites or were created for photo shoots.  You can check out some of the pictures I've found on this board on pinterest.  I've love to see some real-life glamping photos.  If you know of any, please let me know!

I only had to buy a few things for this glamping experience.  The first thing I knew we needed was an air mattress.  My husband and I were the only couple at the camp out without one.  We chose a double high air mattress so it would be more "bed-like."  I bought a pack of battery operated votive candles and the little red side table.  I had all of the other things on hand.  

Here are a few tips if you'd like to try glamping for yourself.

1.  Don't go out and buy a lot of extra things.  Use what you have.

2.  Do bring lots of pillows.  It makes it feel more like home.  I love to store all of my bedding in the bags that the bedding comes in.  Space bags are good too.  They keep your bedding and pillows nice and clean when you travel.

3.  Lighting.  Bring lanterns if you have them.  Make sure to use the battery operated votives inside the tent.  Consider using citronella candles outside the tent to keep the bugs away.  Use garden plant stand holders to hang the lanterns and create a nice entrance to your tent.  Don't forget a chandelier for your tent.  This is especially handy as you can turn it on and get ready for bed.  That way you can avoid the trying to hold the flashlight as you look for your toothbrush in your bag.  My chandelier was the one I used outside in the gravel patio.  It was made out of a hanging planter with a tap light, beads from the dollar store, and spray paint.

4. Bring some sort of floor covering.  I had these colorful rag rugs from a previous project.  You just could bring a welcome mat or a small area rug.  You can always find inexpensive rugs at places like Ross and TJ Maxx.  

5.  Skip the sleeping bags and go with a set of sheets and a comforter.  I don't know about you, but I never get a good night's sleep in a sleeping bag.  I brought a comforter to use, but it was so hot and humid last weekend I didn't put it on the bed.  Don't forget a blanket!  If you are afraid you'll get cold without the sleeping bag, bring lots of blankets.  I didn't use the comforter, but I did use the blanket at the bottom of the bed.

6.  Use a side table!  It was so handy to have the little lantern beside the bed and a place to put my glasses. I didn't have to worry I'd step on them if I had to get up in the middle of the night.  I got this cute little red side table at Kmart.    

7.  Decorate your tent a little bit.  I used paper lanterns that I made for a party I hosted this summer.  Not much extra work at all!  I also picked some flowers from my mom's garden to add to the tent.

Here are some shots of our tent at night.

My first attempt at glamping was a lot of fun.  I'll definitely be doing it again!  It really wasn't a lot of extra work.  There are a few improvements I'd like to make for next time.  I think I'll get another side table for the other side of the bed and get some sort of wicker chest to keep at the end of the bed.  Instead of bringing a bag, I'll pack my clothes in the chest.  I would love to have a canvas safari tent like this for my glamping excursions, but I guess I'll keep dreaming!

So what do you think?  Is glamping something you'd like to try?  If you have any ideas please share them in the comments!

Linking up at Suburbs Mama