Friday, July 29, 2011

Always wear your #googleshades for safety...

Always have your #googleshades on for safety

Here in Klamath Falls, OR, we are surrounded by nature and all her wonders. We are minutes from lakes, rivers, high mountains and deep forests. And if you're up for a short drive, we are only an 90 minutes from the US's deepest natural lake, Crater Lake. At nearly 2,000 feet deep, Crater lake is a breath taking view for grandeur and tamed ferocity. What was once a violent volcano is now one of the most picturesque national parks you'll ever visit.

Speaking of volcanoes, have you ever wanted to walk in one, or least walk where its lava used to flow? If you travel in the opposite direction of Crater lake from Klamath Falls, for about the same amount of time, you'll end up at Lava Beds National Monument in Tulelake, California. Filled with over 700 caves, Native American paintings and historic battle fields, the Lava Beds are a favorite for visitors and residence alike. Because the Lava Beds contain so many caves (and counting) they always ask you travel in groups. Not all of the caves are public, but if you're lucky, they'll take you spelunking down some of the deeper ones.

When you can't make it to either of these places, your front yard can still provide you with countless opportunities for exploration and discovery. In the above picture, my two oldest kids are using a ProScope Mobile, along with Dad's iPad 2 to take a closer look at all the wonders in their very own yard.

So put on your #googleshades and head outside to see what you can find. Whether your exploring the depths of Crater lake, the maze of caves at the Lava Beds, or box elder bugs, leaves and alyssum in your front yard, there is a world of infinite learning waiting for you.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rocking the Rock River

This picture is of my oldest son Tanner while boating with my younger brother on the Rock River inDixon, IL. Dixon was the home of US President Ronald Reagan and has a rich history as a trading post and military encampment during the Blackhawk Wars in the early 1800s. It was the first time we had been out on my brother’s new boat and we all had a blast. One of Tanner’s favorite things to do is hang out with his uncles and his cousin Cole who is just a bit younger than him. On this particular day we spent time swimming, tubing and watched my younger brother do some wake boarding. We even pulled up to a large sand bar and spent some time swimming there while watching a guy on another boat pull in a large bass on a fishing line. At the end of the day, Tanner was chilling up on the front of the boat and my older brother, who was also with us, snapped this picture. I hope to have many more days on the river with my brothers and our kids enjoying the water and fun times. 

Head West

The Platte River originates in Colorado and flows across the state of Nebraska before emptying into the Missouri River. The Platte was an important route for settlers heading west on the different trails, including the Oregon Trail. After Lewis & Clark completed their exploration of land acquired during the Louisiana Purchase, many settlers used the Platte as a guide to help find new land and opportunities. What they also found were many different tribes of Native Americans. This picture was taken near the spot where Lewis & Clark met the Oto Indians, south of present-day Yutan (names for an Oto chief) and west of present-day Omaha.
The Platte River is not nearly as wide today as it was when settlers were heading west. It is rarely more than seven feet deep at any one spot, but depths regularly change because of the sand on the bottom of the river. Because of sandbars (small sand islands) that dot the river, the Platte River hosts hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes, as well as the endangered whooping crane, during the migration seasons.

Learn more about the history of Nebraska, including information about the Platte River, at the Nebraska Studies website, developed by Nebraska Educational Television (NET), Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska State Historical Society. Information is also available via Encyclopedia Britanica and the Platte River Wikipedia page.

Intro to Mrs. Peters' Students

We live in Ralston, Nebraska. It is a city next to Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha is on the east side of the state and is right next to the Iowa border. Ralston is a city by itself and has not been annexed by the city of Omaha. There are about 8,000 people who live in Ralston.

Ralston Public Schools is one of the smaller school districts in Omaha. There are 6 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school. We will not add any schools to our district because other school districts surround Ralston. So we will always be small!

Mockingbird Elementary School has about 350 students. We are the only school in the district and in the city of Omaha to offer an optional calendar where students start school in July and follow a year-round schedule. The rest of us start school in early August. We have P.E., Music, Library, and Art for specials. Our school has a courtyard with a garden/outdoor classroom in the middle. Each grade level and class is responsible for taking care of a certain part of the garden. Sometimes we get to have class in the garden.

Mrs. Peters doesn't have a classroom of her own students because she works with students in 1st grade through 6th grade. In total, there are 79 students that work with Mrs. Peters throughout the week. She also has two paras that help her.

Take me out to the ballgame with Google Shades

Baseball is an important pasttime in the United States. In Omaha, baseball is especially important during the month of June because the NCAA Men's College World Series is held here. While there isn't a major league team here in Omaha, there is a AAA team for the Kansas City Royals called the Omaha Stormchasers. This AAA team used to play at the famous Rosenblatt Stadium, but have moved to the new Werner Park this year. While many people were sad about Rosenblatt Stadium being shut down because of its history, two new ballparks were built to create new memories. Werner Park is just down the street from my house. I haven't had the chance to go to the games as much as I would like to, but it is a great place for families and baseball enthusiasts. It is an important place in my community because of the people it attracts, the business it brings in, and the fun memories that are made while there.

My photos of Google Shades at Werner Park show just the main entrance of the ballpark. It is a very modern ballpark that is sunken into the ground, so you walk down into your seats. The park can hold about 9,000 people, including the berms where people sit on grass. There is even a play area for children that get bored with watching the game. Oh, and there are tons of concession stands that have normal ballpark foods like popcorn and hot dogs, and even local foods like Omaha Steaks hamburgers and La Mesa Mexican food.