Friday, March 26, 2010

Dynamikum Science Center

No matter where we go, a science museum is one of our favorite places to visit.  The Dynamkium is a museum located in former shoe factory in Pirmasens which is about 1/2 hour from where we live.  It is a beautiful building that houses a science center the perfect size for our kids!  We went on a Friday that Cameron had off and we had the place all to ourselves!
Here is the website if you are looking for more information:
This was the amazing entry/exit to the museum.
What a beautiful room!
The museum is divided into two floors.
The first floor is about moving things.

The second floor was about learning how to move yourself.

Dee managed to find some yellow!
And a really cool slide!
Here are Cameron and Taylor applying the new things they learned about moving.
Any device in science is a window on to nature,
and each new window contributes to the breadth of our view. 
Cecil Frank Powell

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tanz der Vampire with Dennis Callahan

Just a few weeks ago, we went to visit my cousin Dennis in Stuttgart, Germany. 

We were so excited to see him and had an absolutely wonderful time.....after we finally arrived.  The trip getting there was a little hairy and we got lost a few times, and we didn't get to see his rehearsal (my fault for not understanding that we would get to go in the first place) but we got to see Dennis when we got there and went out for dinner with him before he had to go to back to work for the evening.  Before I go on, I need to tell you that Dennis is the choreographer for Tanz der Vampire.  The original production opened in Vienna in October 1997 and was directed by Roman Polanski.  One of the highlights of visiting Dennis in Stuttgart was that we were going to get to go to opening night of Tanz der Vampire the next night!

We met with Dennis the next morning for breakfast and spent some time throwing rocks in the pond outside of our hotel.

Then we took the train downtown and walked around Schlossplatz, Stuttgart which is where New Castle (German: "das Neue Schloss") located. 

We had a fabulous time and it was perfect weather for a walk.

We spent most of our time playing on the equipment they had along the sidewalk.

  At one point, D got focused on the pigeons and had us all in hysterics trying to catch one.  
   The kids were getting a bit tired so we started back to the train.   

  On the way, we walked down to the castle and let the kids play around in the fountain.   

It was a beautiful spring-like day and Dennis was so patient with the kids and they had such a great time with him.  He even got a big kick out of D wanting to go back to the first train station so that we could get back on the train because I had him jump on instead of walk on!

After a bit of a rest, we met Dennis and got to walk around backstage of the production.  It was so interesting to see the dressing rooms and see all the costumes and makeup stations.   I really enjoyed watching the production later and seeing all the props (and people) we had seen backstage. 

Originally, we didn't think Cameron would be able to go with me because we didn't have a sitter.  When we got to the hotel, we asked if they had one available.  When I let Dennis know this might be an option, he graciously said to just let him know.  We were lucky enough to get a sitter and Dennis gave us our tickets and bracelets for the cast party afterward.   Here we are on our way:

When we arrived at the theatre, we selected a place to meet during intermission.  Dennis said that he had to run backstage and take care of a few things.  Being naive, I didn't think anything of it when he said that he wouldn't be sitting with us.  Not until we were sitting in our seats did I suspect that Dennis may have given us his seats.  I realized that Sue, the costume designer, we had run into a few times was a few seats down and everyone seemed to know one another.  After the show began, I was sure of it.  We were dead center in the best seats in the house!  A perfect seat for a choreographer to see all the changes he had made (you'll have to ask Dennis about this).  What a guy!  I will tell you, however, that I truly enjoyed every single moment of the show.  You can ask the current director, Cornelius Baltus, since he was sitting next to us (I had no idea who he was at the time) and gave Dennis a full report about how I was "sitting on the edge of my seat during the dance scenes wishing I was up there".  I won't lie, I was! Cameron loved it so much he says he can't wait to go again.  The costumes were amazing, the music was great and the dancing was spectacular.  Of course it was, what would you expect with a coreographer like Dennis?

After the show, we went to the cast party and we had SO much fun!.  We called the babysitter to ask if she could stay a little later.   Would a couple more hours be okay?  She said that would work and called us at 2:30 AM wondering when we were coming home.  Cameron went back and let the sitter go and Dennis and I partied a little bit more.  It was so wonderful to see him in his element and meet his people.  So many people love and respect him and everyone was so welcoming, kind, and fun to be with.    A few people even asked if I was a dancer.  Dennis kept telling them that he didn't ever remember me dancing but I just told them he was jealous because I am a better dancer than he is.  We had such a good time that I didn't get home until 4:30 AM!

The best part of the trip, however, wasn't the show, the seats or the being in Stuttgart.  It was getting to spend time with Dennis.  What a great guy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Winners

Thank you for everyone who participated and left a comment on my blog.  My husband generated a random number selection in an Excel spreadsheet and these were the winners for our items:

Toymaking with Children was won by Kara
The Picasso Art Activity Pack was won by Marci-Jo
The Degas Art Activity Pack was won by Beth of Pipsqueak, Inc.

I will contact all winners through their blogs if possible.  If one of the above is you and you have not heard from me yet, please contact me at and let me know where I can send your item! 


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Toymaking with Children, Degas and Picasso

Curriculum Choice Homeschool Review Blog

 What a wonderful opportunity to be able to join the Spring Cleaning Curriculum Blog Hop.  It gives us a chance to clean out our shelves and if we're lucky win an item for ourselves!  It also connects us with like minded individuals and introduces us to some fabulous blogs.

For more information, just click on the Spring Cleaning Curriculum Link:

If you would like any of the following items, please leave a comment and let me know which item you are interested in. There will be 3 winners and I will be choosing them Monday morning 10 AM EST by using the site.  Please also leave a link to your blog or an email where I can reach you in case you are one of our lucky winners!
Thanks for visiting and good luck!

First Drawing:
Toymaking with Children by Freya Jaffke
This book came to us used and has label on the inside front cover of the previous owner.  The front cover and first page or two have a bit of dirt on them but otherwise the book is in great condition.  This is the 1987 version of this book.

Second Drawing:
Picasso Art Activity Pack by Mila Boutan
This is an art activity pack that includes a full color art book and six decorated art sheets for creating collages.  We did read through the art book but we used our own materials for collages so it is like brand new!

Third Drawing:
Degas Art Activity Pack  by Mila Boutan
This is an art activity pack that includes a full color art book, an art activity book and coloring poster.  We also only used the art book for reading, the other book and poster are brand new.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, March 15, 2010

D the Conguero

Someone who plays the conga drums is called a "conguero".  Becoming a "conguero" was D's own idea. One day after dinner (you can tell because he hasn't even washed his face), he pulled himself up on the recycling bins and began to play. He loves it!  Rumba anyone?

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