“Night At The Museum” Curriculum

As the title gives it away, the theme of Sara’s Elementary School Curriculum was “Night At The Museum” last night. Katelynn was actually more excited about last night’s event, than Sara. Sara saw it coming together over a couple of weeks. Katelynn knew it was about dinosaurs.

When we got up to the school, we still had to wait to let in. We showed up early to get a good parking spot. Once they let us in, Katelynn wanted to go straight to the exhibit in the cafeteria. As soon as she entered the room, her eyes went wide open. There were so many fossils and bones of Mesozoic Era. Dinosaur George was leading the exhibit. And there was a lot to look at for all of us. Katelynn and Sara could look and touch at a skull from a turtle that roamed the seas, when Texas was still covered by an ocean.

But there was more to see and to try out. After we all had a hotdog, we went to check out Egyptian history in the library. The girls tried to write their names in hieroglyphs. They also learned, that the ancient Egyptians were great Mathematicians, Scientists, and Astronomers. Speaking of astronomy: On the other side of the hallway was a little Planetarium. The students got a template with a constellation and a tooth pick. When they entered the tent, which was a black tarp, they could poke holes in the form of a star constellation. There was light above the tent, and it really looked like they are stargazing. I loved that idea, since it is in my alley. 😉

Since the school is in its second year of the Texas Motor Speedway/NASCAR reading competition, some parents, students and teachers made box cars last week. A lot of them had really cool designs and were funny as well.

The 6th Curriculum Night of Sara’s Elementary school turned out very good. They also seem to improve and have a higher turnout, every year. We really enjoyed it. Katelynn was very excited. And Sara has lots of study material for future school projects.

Texas Independence Day 2018


Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all!

Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 delegates, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Independence_Day)

Chapel of Thanksgiving In Dallas, Texas

A few years ago, Sam (my son) came from Germany to visit family in the USA. We reserved one day to do some sight seeing in downtown Dallas. Since I always wanted to check out the Chapel of Thanksgiving, we walked over to the Thanks-Giving Square. Once we were inside the Chapel, the “Glory Window” looked really impressive. All these beautiful stained glasses in the spiral roof look amazing. The window was created by Gabriel Loire in 1976.

Beautiful February Winter Sunset

“Mom, bring your camera! It’s so beautiful outside.” Sara said to me, when she ran into the house. I looked out the storm door and saw the red of sunset reflecting on my neighbor’s sidings across the street. Quick, I picked my camera and captured several photos. Sara was doing her cart wheels and hand stands while the sunset and the red colors slowly disappeared.

Groundhog Day, Imbolc/Mid-Winter

While we wait for Spring to arrive, Punxsutawney Phil predicted another six weeks of Winter for us in the USA and Canada. Yep, the Groundhog saw his shadow in Pennsylvenia this morning. On the hand we have our own little critter, which predicts the weather here in Texas. Alvin, the Armadillo predicted an early Spring in the Lone Star State. Oh boy! We really could use a few cold weeks and some snow to kill those pesky bugs. And the land needs the water.

Today we also celebrate Imbolc. The days are getting longer. And Nature prepares itself for the emerging of new life. In many places in the Northern Hemisphere, little snowdrops and crocuses peak through the still frozen soil. It will get warmer and life will flourish with new baby animals. It’s the Coming of Spring.


The sunrise over my neighborhood on Groundhog Day.

Travel Journal, Day 6 & 7: From Arizona Back To Texas

December 29 & 30, 2017

Friday was a much better day. I was back to my normal self. After getting cleaned up and leaving the motel, we ate breakfast in a family owned restaurant. At the table next to us sat four tourists from Sweden. They were here to see the canyons in Arizona and Utah, before they would go to the Californian coast. I shared some information, about the Antelope Canyon and the Colorado River Discovery Tour in Page. Back in May 2008, Kevin, Katelynn and I went camping at the Grand Canyon. While we were in Arizona, we also did the above mentioned tours, walked the rim of the Barringer Meteor Crater for half a mile, and looked at petrified wood and mesas along the Interstate 40. This is the reason why we stayed only for a couple of hours at the Grand Canyon, this time. That way Sara could see the canyon, before we drove back home to Texas.

A little bit north of the Barringer Meteor Crater is a rest area at Interstate 40. I let Kevin know, that I would like to stop and capture several photos of the outer crater rim. Katelynn, Sara and I climbed up on some boulders to get a better few of the rim. It is still huge, seen from a 6-mile distance. Since Kevin, Katelynn and I have seen the Barringer Meteor Crater almost 10 years ago, we decided to save the money and move on.


The Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona

At Friday evening we left New Mexico and made it past Amarillo in Texas.  At the rest area we slept for several hours in the car. It was nice and cozy with all the blankets and comforters we were wrapped in. And it was a good decision, we stopped in the Texas Panhandles. Shortly after some dense fog rolled in. But the colder wind blew it out of the area over night.

On Saturday morning, we got some breakfast from a drive thru place and moved on. There were only 290 miles left to get home. We all were relieved, when Kevin drove up the driveway. Lexi, Luis, Joshua and Chewbacca greeted us, as soon as we opened the front door. After a long trip with the van, it was so nice to be back home. 🙂

~ The End ~

Travel Journal, Day 2: From Texas To California

December 25, 2017

It is Christmas. Santa must have made another visit and re-filled the stockings with toys, games and a few walnuts. The girls were excited, that Santa came for a second time. After we had breakfast at the motel, we packed up the car and drove into New Mexico. It was quiet and cool in the desert. Some people took a break and a nap at the rest area. They also must be on a long journey to meet family on this special day.  I used the chance to photograph yucca palms, prickly pear cacti and the San Andres Mountains, before we moved on. The Sun just started to rise on this beautiful Christmas morning. After Las Cruces, we went from Interstate 10 to Interstate 8. The night before, Kevin and I decided to go to the beach in San Diego.

When we arrived in Arizona, we took a short break to stretch out. Katelynn and Sara walked around and checked out some stones. Kevin got some snacks and drinks ready for the road later. And I did a little photo walk around the rest area. While we were driving through the Arizona desert, we wanted to look at the big Saguaro cacti. They are famous for this area, and seen in a lot of the old Western movies. Some of them looked like they were ready to fall over. They had a lot of holes from birds and other critters living in them and try to find shelter from the torching Summer sun. Other Saguaro cacti looked perfect and untouched. Getting a closer look, I had to pass some snake holes and lots of ants. Before I went back to the car, I shook my pants and checked for ants. These little buggers were sneaky, climbing up my legs. But I rather deal with them, than these annoying fire ants, we have in Texas.

In California, we’ve noticed that Sara entered her 30th US-state. That’s a lot of states for a 8-year, young lady like Sara. Yep, she’s been around in the US, quite a bit. We passed the Imperial Sand Dunes. Several people used the opportunity to get out with their dune buggies and ride these dunes on this nice, sunny holiday. I was jealous, a little bit. Because it looked like a lot of fun. The elevation became higher and higher, when we drove through the Rockies. Lots of wind turbines were out in the fields. Kevin mentioned, he like the Texas turbines better. They are taller, but optical it seems their blades seem to be bigger. I don’t know, if they are bigger or if it is due to their height, They just seem to be much larger. And I found out, where the Rocky Mountains derived their name from: They are nothing other than rocks, boulders, and coarse gravel in that particular area. =D But together they look very beautiful in the Californian sunset.

In the early evening, we arrived in San Diego. Kevin got a condo right at the beach for the night. I could not ask for more. While waiting for him to get us signed in, I rolled down the car window to listen to the rolling waves of the Pacific ocean. I couldn’t see it, because it was dark. But the sound was so soothing after a long ride through the desert all day.

… to be continued …