Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Russell Military Museum

I love studying history this way. We meet so many interesting people who have a passion for some aspect of what we are studying. Our whole group visited a local museum. No kidding this place is just a couple of miles from us. What a boon for our WW II study. The gentleman who owns it collects things from all the major conflicts. His WWII section is wonderful.

The owner of the museum took us on a personal tour. He knew so much and could answer all the boys interesting questions. Do you know that there is a right way to throw a hand grenade? Do you know why it's right???

We had Gpa Bud and Gpa Sisson with us. They enjoyed it even more than I think we did. Gpa Sisson had to leave for an appointment so I don't have a picture of him.

This is a wonderful poem written by a soldier on the battle front.

This is an extremely rare portable pump organ! (the pedals are cut off of the picture) The Chaplain's wife who sold it to the museum told of his carrying it around with him in his truck always ready to play for the troops.

Lunch in with the planes and tanks.

Jason trying on a gas mask in the museum store. YIKES!!

This is the wing art from the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. This was painted by the original artist.

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I am bound and determined to get caught up with my posting. We have just been having waaaay too much fun this fall and that wonderful busy-ness has taken precedence over my blogging. I apologize in advance for having all these events out of order.

Think back to late August for this one! "wink"

Before we left on our New York trip, we were blessed with a house full of friends. It was Great America's home school day so a bunch of folks came into town.

The Hemmer family was here but we hardly count them as company. They are more like family.

We were blessed to make new friends, the Moody sisters from Missouri. They were good sports and joined right in with what was going on.

After a long and exhausting day at Great America, of course we had to have an evening of fun and games.

The Bruce family gets the award for "Coming the Farthest". They came straight through from North Carolina! Thanks you guys for making the effort!! We loved being able to visit together.

Haley and Kristin share a love for the harp. Kristin has played for about 4 years. You can only imagine the beautiful music we were able to enjoy. There is nothing like the sound of the harp. I know why David was able to sooth Saul with his music.

Since the Hemmers were here we had to do some juggling.

We found that Danielle could juggle as well. So they passed the juggling balls in a circle. Matthew is starting to really progress. Soon he and Nate will be able to work up some routines.

"The Jugglers Five"

I loved having everyone over and find such encouragement in likeminded friends!

Grandview Getaway

This last weekend Haley and I and the grandmothers headed down to the Oakland area to spend time together with Gretchen. Our first difficult job (other than packing up at home) was to kidnap Gretchen.

Once we cleverly replaced Gretchen with Grandpa Bud . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . we headed out to Grandview where we had rented a wonderful B&B House for the weekend.

The house was very private, completely furnished and very beautifully decorated.

There was a large great room where we could all be together, work on our projects and chat to our heart's content.

There was a bed at one end of the room where we could rest and still be in the midst of everything. We also could make use of it when we watched our girl movies.

This bed is too hard.
The other bed is too soft. . . . . . .
This bed is just right!

On Sunday since we were half an hour away from G's church, had only one bathroom and had to be ready pretty early, we dressed and listened to John Piper's message given at the True Woman '08 conference held at Moody. (It was very good and you can download it from their website if you'd like to hear it.)

We brought our own food and cooked fabulous meals. Haley even prepared everything ahead so she could make her famous apple dumplings for us. They were fabulous and we could barely move after eating them!!

Did you notice that we all had on some form of pink? Sunday was pink and pearl day!

Gretchen had a great craft idea. First she read to us from on of the "Little House" books where the Ingals girls had autograph books. Grandma Sisson remembered having had one.

Then we made little books to commemorate the weekend. We each wrote in the other books.

We even made a book for the baby. We filled it with messages for her. Imagine we had four generations there together!

One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
Psalm 145 : 4

Monday, October 20, 2008


Nate recently finished up the sound design on a project. For that project he needed some walla, and we had the fun of helping.

So what in the world is Walla you ask. Good question! The word walla was created in the old radio days when they needed the sound of a crowd in the background. They found if several people simply repeated "walla, walla, walla, walla" it sounded like people talking. The audience did not really hear the words, just the buzz of voices.

Well in today's more technical age you have to be more exact and purposeful in order to get the right sound. The "Walla Groups" (also called ADR groups) now use real words and real conversations. The walla actors (that's what we all were) come prepared. They have been informed of the period and locale of the film and have researched the local jargon and geography so that the background dialogue will be authentic. Our accents were perfect for this film set in the Midwest and we did come prepared - - - - - to talk.

For these scenes the group had to be all adults, 50/50 men and women with about 15 people total.

Nate explained what he wanted and gave us the chance to practice. He moved us around in the room, grouped us in different ways, had us standing or sitting and directed our volume. We did some clapping and some very polite laughing. The hardest thing was when half of us conversed with our partners but they weren't allowed to answer back. =)

Just like other sound effects, walla has to be cut in very skillfully so that it does not sound artificial. The audience does not want to hear too much every time the principal actors pause, so the editor weaves the walla in and out.

Here's Nate's first Walla Group. (It was a first for all of us.)
Thanks to Greg, Mandy, Ahna, Jacob, Stephanie, Bev, Anthony, Mike and Jessica!! You all were great to work with.
Let's do it again sometime. "wink"

Niagara on the Lake

is a beautiful town in Canada. It is about 45 minutes from Buffalo,
NY and about half an hour from Niagara Falls.

All round in this area are apple, pear and peach orchards.
There are also a lot of vineyards.

Niagara on the Lake is any flower lover's dream !!!

Everywhere you turn there are more flowers.

It is a little bit hard to take pictures when it's raining. It's not very
easy to be holding an umbrella and taking pictures with my camera which most of the time requires two hands. Come to think of it though, I was able to manage an ice cream cone and my camera at the same time.

Not to mention stopping to take a picture and then looking up to find
that your family has already moved on.

Lunch time. Yeah!

In some cites you do even want to touch the benches,
but not in this one.

I am SOOOO glad that God made flowers!!!

Getting progressively weirder.
( And this was before the ice cream:)

Despite the weather it was a gorgeous day.

Part of what was fun for us about visiting Niagara on the Lake is,
that Mom and Dad went there for their Honeymoon.

We think that this is the hotel where they stayed.

And they went to this theater more than 3o years ago.

Me and my younger, shorter brother.
(At least he is shorter for now, but not for long:)

Mom liked this statue.
He ( George Bernard Shaw) was an Irish playwright.

Dad and Matthew with George.

A pretty lamppost if I ever saw one.

Niagara on the Lake is a beautiful place to go!!!
(Especially if you like flowers! :)

To be continued. HES