Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quick Trip to St Louis

Took a quick trip to St Louis last weekend with Mike, Hunter, Blake, Mordecai, and Alaina. It was a great weekend that was jam packed with all that we wanted to do in two short days. We left Saturday morning at 6am. First stop was the Delmar Loop area to do a little shopping and eat lunch at Fitz's Rootbeer.

Blake found another cool tshirt that he just had to have!

After we had lunch we continued our way downtown stopping at Union Station to hit the Cardinal stores and to watch the fudge makers at the Fudge Factory.

Next stop: the Gateway Arch.

•The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet; it is the city's best known landmark and a popular tourist attraction.

•Construction began February 12, 1963 and the last section of the Arch was put into place on October 28, 1965.

•The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape. The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height.

•Each year, approximately a million visitors ride the trams to the top of the Arch. The trams have been in operation for over 30 years, traveling a total of 250,000 miles and carrying over 25 million passengers.

•The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.

•The Arch was built at a cost of $13 million. The transportation system was built at a cost of $3,500,000.

•In order to ensure that the constructed legs would meet, the margin of error for failure was 1/64th of an inch. All survey work was done at night to eliminate distortion caused by the sun's rays. Since the Arch was constructed before the advent of computer technology, relatively crude instruments were used for these measurements.

•The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2".

Mordecai, Blake, and Alaina looking out the window.

Mordecai checking out the view from above.

After the arch we walked over to Busch Stadium and watched the Cardinals play the San Fransisco Giants. The cardinals won, and Mordecai saw his first homerun!

After the game we headed back to the hotel and we were all fast asleep by 10:30pm. The six of us were up and showered, had breakfast, and were out the door by 9:30am. We headed to the St Louis Zoo and spent the next six hours enjoying all that the zoo had to offer.

Blake enjoying a funnel cake!

Hunter & Alaina taking a break.

Mordecai and the ape!

Another wonderful weekend spent in St Louis!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bummer :-(

I didn't win the I Pad but I did receive a $20 gift certificate to Brewed Awakenings!!!
Thanks Lisa for all of your hard work!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thing 13 - Looks like I made it!!!

I have really enjoyed taking part in the Web 2.0 experience. One of the best things about it was that I could do it on my own time and didn't have another meeting or class that I needed to be at... especially during the summer. Thank you to Lisa for all of your hard work in putting this together and of course the great prizes!!! (I hope I win!! Marie, please please draw my name!!!)

Now that I have created my blog and have been posting a bit here and there my plan is to continue blogging. One of the main topics will be blogging about our foreign exchange student from Ghana. He has been living with us since August 11 and will be here through the end of the school year.

Welcome to the United States of America Mordecai!

Wordle: Wordle Blog

Thing 12 - Video Tools

I chose to use Screenjelly since I would not need to download any software to my computer. I also do not have a webcam or microphone on my computer (at least not that I am aware of or have ever used.)

Watch my screen recording at

My video shows you how to request a new password for in case you forget yours. The new password will be sent to your Coe College email account.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School 2010

Blake 14 years - 8th grade
Mordecai 16 years - 11th grade
Hunter 16 years - 11th grade

Monday, August 16, 2010

School Registration

Today was a very busy day for Mordecai. After breakfast our family took Mordecai to North-Linn High School to register for the school year. Most of his teachers were available to meet with him and welcome him to the school. Mordecai's schedule for the first semester includes: Intro to Business, AP Calculus, American History, Chemistry, Government, Word Processing, & P.E. He also wants to join FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) From what I gathered, he is very impressed with our school, although it is much smaller than he is used to. In Ghana, the school that he attends has around 2,000 students.

After lunch Mordecai and I went to the bank in Cedar Rapids and opened up a checking/savings account, stopped at the store to pick up a few things, and then headed home so he could go to Cross Country practice. He also saw his first accident involving three vehicles on Blairs Ferry Road.

I believe he is looking forward to the first day of school on Wednesday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New experiences

Today Mike and I both had to work, so the boys were on their own. Hunter had a three hour football practice and I told Blake and Mordecai to sleep in. They were both up and showered for the day before I left the house at 7:15am.

Blake and Mordecai went for a walk around town today.

Making chocolate chip cookies, strawberries & swimming in a pool (I was a little worried about this one as Mordecai does not know how to swim.) I was assured that he had floaties on and there was adult supervision.

Mordecai also met a couple more kids that will be in his class this school year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mordecai's 1st Day in Iowa

We met our foreign exchange student, Mordecai Botchway at the Eastern Iowa Airport. He is from Ghana, Africa. Mordecai will be spending the school year with our family. Here is a picture of him with the group of exchange students that will be living in the Cedar Rapids and surrounding area.
We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch on the drive home. Mordecai tried the Blazin' sauce (the hottest sauce) and didn't even bat an eye. He is used to eating spicy food in his country.

After arriving home we gave Mordecai a tour of the house and showed him his new bedroom. He is sharing a room with our oldest son, Hunter. Mordecai had been up since 1:00am that morning to make his early flight from Washington, D.C. to Cedar Rapids so he laid down for awhile and took a nap.

We had a nice meal for supper; pork chops, sweet corn, green beans, and strawberry pie, and then the boys chilled downstairs and watched a movie. Mordecai is not used to the air conditioning in our home so he kept warm by wearing a sweatshirt and a winter stocking cap! Mordecai fell asleep sitting up.

I think this exchange will be a great learning experience for all of us. I am looking forward to this school year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RSS Feeds - Thing 11

I love the RSS feeds. I was already doing this... not that I knew what I was doing. I spend time daily reading some of the blogs that I follow and now that I know about Google Reader I feel that it will be much easier and maybe less time consuming to keep up on some of them. Knowing me though, I will probably just add more to follow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thing 10 - Creative Commons

Not really sure about this one. I do not know much about licenses and when and if you can borrow something from a website or time I sold something on ebay and didn't use my own pictures... I borrowed some pictures off of ebay so I wouldn't have to take my own and just used them. I guess I shouldn't have done that because I received an email saying to remove the photos??

Well, here is a photo that I thought was pretty, so I am posting it on my site. I found it when looking at the Creative Commons website and it said that I could share it on my blog. So here it is!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sioux Lookout, Ontario, CANADA

My family went on a 'guys only' fishing trip. They had an awesome time. They ate fish everyday for lunch and were 'unplugged' from all of their electronic gadgets for a whole week. They enjoyed the trip up north so much they want to go back again in a couple of years and take me and grandma along!