Google Earth in the Homeschool Part 2 ~ Guest Post

Google Earth in the Homeschool
Part II

by Andy Harris

Last month I introduced Google Earth—a truly fascinating tool for exploring the planet. This month we go deeper to learn all kinds of fascinating new uses for this incredible free tool. If you need a refresher, look into last month’s article. Fire up your own copy of Google Earth—you’ll want to play along!

The Layered Look
One of the most powerful features of Google Earth is the Layers feature, which allows you to display various other features on top of the existing map data. There are a number of fascinating possibilities. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Borders and Labels: Select this layer to see state and national boundaries and city names. This can really help you figure out exactly where you are.

• Roads: Prominent roads are featured on the map, along with labels.

• 3D Buildings: This is one of the coolest features in Google Earth, but it does require a higher-powered computer to appreciate. Turn on this option and when you get close to the ground, you’ll be able to see three-dimensional buildings.

Thousands of famous (and not-so-famous) buildings are already included, and you can even add your own house! (See the section below on Google SketchUp for details.) You can turn on full textures for the maximum realism or go for a flat single color for better performance.

• Ocean: Traditional atlases treat oceans as empty space, but Google Earth gives you many options for exploring the oceans. Turn on the Shipwrecks button to see the locations and stories behind many shipwrecks. Ocean Expeditions takes you on a tour of several interesting expeditions. For example, one expedition that starts in Guam takes you on a tour of undersea volcanoes, some with videos! Animal tracking lets you select an animal such as a shark or a whale and see in first-person view where that animal has been swimming!

• Weather: The Weather tab is equally fascinating. Turn on Clouds to see major cloud formations in close to real time. You can also view radar data and view current temperature and conditions anywhere in the world.

• Gallery: This menu features some exceptional content. Especially noteworthy is the Ancient Rome 3D Gallery, which allows you to see what Rome looked like. National Geographic has provided several interesting options, but our favorite is the live WildCams. This feature allows you to view live webcams of animal habitats all over the world. Once we watched elephants come to a watering hole in Botswana while we ate our breakfast. NASA has some very nice imagery, and Wikiloc shows interesting trails. Note that some content comes from the outside Internet, so as always, you should monitor your kids as they use this content.

• More: If you’re not overwhelmed yet, there are even more layers available in the (cleverly named) More section. Among the most interesting options here are Places/Categories, which allows you to place a marker on coffee shops and ATMs, and the Transportation section, which allows you to mark airports and rail lines.

Changing Space and Time
A program as comprehensive as Google Earth isn’t limited by silly things like space and time. There are many ways to modify when and where you’re looking. For example, you can choose Historical Imagery from the View menu to get a slider to pick a time span. For some parts of the earth, you’ll see aerial photos for the last fifteen years or so. In a few places (like Rome) you can go back thousands of years.

You can also use the View Sun menu command to see the current day/night boundaries. This also pops up a slider so you can change the time.

Space is a big part of Google Earth too. If you zoom way out, you can see the stars. You can also turn off atmosphere from the View menu to see the stars from any particular part of the globe. (Note that star positions change constantly, so they may not be exactly accurate.) For more celestial adventures, go to the Explore menu under the View menu. You can explore the sky, the moon, and Mars! Sky View gives you a view of the constellations. You can zoom in on a particular area of space for much more detail. The images are absolutely astounding.

Sky has its own set of layers, which allows you to turn on constellations within the solar system. The Welcome to Sky tour is worth doing if you have any interest in astronomy.

You can also visit Mars. As you’d expect, there’s quite a bit of detail in the Layers menu. You can see place names, satellite images, and paths of the rovers and satellites that are currently exploring Mars. The moon is just as interesting, as it features photos, images, and models of various explorations. You can zoom in to the Apollo 11 landing site and see a model of the lunar lander.

I Believe I Can Fly
One of my favorite features of Google Earth is a built-in flight simulator! Navigate to any location on the planet and choose Enter Flight Simulator from the Tools menu. You’ll be given a choice between two aircraft: a jet fighter and a more manageable prop plane.  If you’re a beginner, you’ll have better luck with the slower plane.

Before you get started, click on the Help button that comes with the flight simulator pop-up window. This describes the keyboard commands you’ll use to control the plane. When the flight simulation begins, you’ll see a heads-up display that indicates the aircraft’s speed and direction. You can use a joystick or keyboard to fly the plane, but I think the mouse control is probably the easiest. Click the mouse button while the flight simulator is running; the mouse cursor will change to a cross, and your mouse will act like a flight yoke. Push forward to push the aircraft’s nose down, pull back to raise the nose, and use side-to-side motion to roll the plane and control its direction.

The aircraft is easiest to manage when you’ve turned on Roads (especially if you’re flying in a place you know) and Airports (from the Layers/More/Transportation) layer. It can be challenging to land the aircraft, but it is possible. You can even fly on Mars and the moon. (I know; there’s no atmosphere on the moon, but still, it’s pretty cool.) The flight simulator adds an entirely new dimension to Google Earth as you try to buzz the St. Louis arch and fly through the Grand Canyon.

Building Your Own 3D Models
You can take Google Earth even further. Google has released a free 3D modeling tool called Google SketchUp. While 3D modeling is never easy, this tool makes it relatively painless. You can download a copy of SketchUp here: sketchup.google.com/download.

You can build a model of your house, models of prominent buildings in your area, or whatever else you want. You can then submit your model to be included in Google Earth. Part of the reason Google Earth has models of buildings all over the world is because they have been contributed by the community. SketchUp is a great tool for talking about 3D geometry, modeling, and architecture.

The Google Building Maker is an online tool that’s a little easier to use than SketchUp. It makes it easy to make buildings, but they are available for only a limited area. You can find this tool at sketchup.google.com/3dwh/buildingmaker.html.

Google Earth Plug-in Fun
One of the other amazing aspects of Google Earth is how it has been extended. The folks at Google created a version of Google Earth called the GEPlug-in, which exposes the Google Earth engine to web browsers. Clever developers have added all sorts of interesting games and add-ons based on this technology:

G. E. Flight Simulator (www.ge-flightsimulator.com)—This is as close to a real flight simulator as you’ll see in a web browser. It adds a few features not in the standard G. E. simulator, including a moving map, multiple aircraft, and multiplayer with chat.

Ships (planetinaction.com/ships15)—If airplanes are too high-speed for you, maybe a boating simulation is a better match. Pilot river barges, a cruise ship, a catamaran, or even a Zeppelin.

Helicopters (planetinaction.com/helicopters)—This comes closer to a full-fledged game, where you control a helicopter and take part in various missions.

Monster Milktruck (earth-api-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/demos/milktruck/index.html)—This simple application allows you to drive a milk truck with monster wheels anywhere in the world. Pretty fun, huh?

Stadiums Sample (earth-api-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/demos/stadiums/stadiums.html)—Take a tour of well-known sports facilities.

For any of these examples to work, you’ll need to download and install the Google Earth Plug-in, available at www.google.com/earth/explore/products/Plug-in.html.

So how does this fit my school? Clearly Google Earth is an impressive program, but it’s not designed as a curriculum. It certainly won’t replace traditional media for geography, science, or history, but it can provide added benefits in all these areas. Google Earth is especially suited to help technically minded students interact with various subjects. Here are just a few project ideas to get you started:

• Look over weather patterns and make your own predictions based on cloud and radar images to the west of your town.
• Investigate a wilderness web cam for several days and log the animals you see.
• Look into the volcano, earthquake, and tsunami layers for information about these geologic events.

• Use Google Earth to more closely investigate areas you study, read about, or visit on mission trips. Look for photos, panoramic images, and videos of your favorite places.
• Build a tour of a country or region you’re studying. Use the Audio tool to describe each area as you zoom into it.
• Investigate mountain ranges, islands, and ocean trenches.

• Use Google Earth to discover shipwrecks. Do more Internet and library research to discover the story behind the wrecks.
• See how far back image data goes for your town. Create a poster or paper describing how your area has changed. (You can print out the results of G. E. searches.)
• Create a tour that describes a historical trek: the Israelites in the desert, Sherman’s march to the sea, or Napoleon’s misadventure in Russia.

• Model your house or some other building, and submit it to Google Earth.
• Locate famous sculptures and statues throughout the world.
• Use SketchUp to build a 3D model of anything you can imagine.

Let me know if you come up with anything else. If you have trouble finding any of the links in this document, please visit my website: www.aharrisbooks.net.

There is so much fun to be had with this app. Don’t tell your kids they’re learning stuff.

Andy Harris is a homeschool dad, father of four great kids, and husband to the greatest homeschool teacher ever. He has taught all ages of students, from kindergarten to university level. Andy is the author of a number of well-known books, including HTML/XHTML/CSS: All in One for Dummies, Game Programming—The L Line, PHP6/ MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner, and Beginning Flash Game Programming for Dummies. For more information about his books, to see where he is speaking next, or to just say hi, please stop by his website: www .aharrisbooks.net.
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Google Earth in the Homeschool Part 1 ~ Guest Post

Google Earth in the Homeschool
Part I
By Andy Harris

Homeschool families are constantly looking for great tools to help make learning come alive. Every once in a while, a tool with remarkable potential comes along. Google Earth is a very interesting atlas, but it is capable of much more than basic geography. Learn how you can use this powerful free tool to explore shipwrecks, follow weather patterns in real time, watch wild animals in Africa, explore ancient Rome, and fly over your neighborhood in a jet aircraft.

Google Earth is a free application available at earth.google.com. The application is available for all major operating systems and is absolutely free. (There is a professional version you can purchase, but everything I describe in this article refers to the free version.) As of this writing, Google Earth 6.0 is the most recent version; please get that version to enjoy all the examples.

You do not need an exceptionally powerful computer to run Google Earth, but some features (3D buildings and the flight simulator, for example) take advantage of powerful newer machines when they are available. You will need an active Internet connection, as the image data is pulled from the Internet as needed.

As I describe Google Earth throughout this article, you should really get in front of your computer and play along. It’s great to explore these features with your family, as you will all be amazed at what you can do together.

Basic Navigation
Basic usage of Google Earth is relatively simple. It’s just a virtual globe. When you start the program, you’ll see the earth in a large central panel. Drag the mouse to spin the globe. If you have a wheel on your mouse, you can use it to zoom closer or farther away. You can zoom all the way down to your street and look at your house! (More on street view in a moment.) While navigating in the main window, you can press the middle mouse button to change your rotation.

The main screen has three primary controls on it. Use the top control (with the eyeball) to rotate your view. You can also drag the “N” to change the overall orientation if you get confused. The middle controller (with a hand on it) controls the rotation as well. Personally, I do not use this control scheme, as it’s more natural to simply grab and rotate the globe itself, which works in the same way. The bottom controller, which looks like a scroll bar, allows you to adjust the zoom. When you’re zoomed in closely, you’ll sometimes also see a little human figure icon, which you can use to enable ground level or street view for the current location.

You may see various icons on the map. You can usually double-click an icon to get more information about whatever you’re looking at. Often in a very detailed area (like a city) you’ll see various objects or buildings highlighted in blue when your mouse is hovering over them. If this happens, you can click on the item to get a popup window explaining what the item is, with links to web pages that can provide additional information.

Just looking around the globe this way is amazing. You can locate islands, towns, and even individual buildings. Depending on the settings, you can have Google Earth display all kinds of features, but first, let’s explore the ground view.

Ground Level and Street View
Note that if you zoom in very closely, you go to a ground-level view, which shows the view as if you’re standing at that spot. Ground-level view shows the general landscape. There’s often a button on the screen that allows you to switch between ground-level view and something called “street view.”

Street view shows actual panoramic photos of your current area. (I can tell it’s really my house, because the street view shows our van door wide open.) Street view is not available in all parts of the world, by the way. You can drag the mouse to change your viewpoint and double-click anywhere on the screen within street view to move the viewpoint to a new spot. If you’re pointing down a street, you can use the mouse wheel to “drive” down the street. Use the “exit ground-level view” or “exit street view” button (the button text changes depending on the current mode) to return to the normal globe mode.

There are many fun ways to use street view. It might be fun to view your current house with your children but also to explore other places that are important to your family. During childhood, I moved many times, and I never got to show my kids where I grew up, but with Google Earth, I can show them the houses I lived in—even when I lived overseas! You can also use this mode to preview areas you’re planning to visit or to see famous places you read about or hear about in the news.

Street view is most useful in urban areas, as the coverage is more complete. Ground-level view is more interesting when you’re looking at interesting geography, such as the Grand Canyon or a volcano.

Exploring the Sidebar
Depending on your settings, you may have a sidebar to the left of your primary screen. If it is not visible, click on the left-most icon or choose Sidebar from the View menu. The sidebar opens a whole new world of opportunities.

The most immediately useful tool is the search box. Using the Fly To tab, you can go from wherever you are to any place in the world. Type in “Tokyo, Japan” or “Grand Canyon” to enjoy some examples. You can use the other tabs to find a business (in a flagrant nod to advertisers, I suspect) or use the Directions tab to get a set of directions from anywhere in the world to anywhere else. Although you’ve probably seen this before, the Google Earth version has a fun bonus feature: you can click on each of the instructions and fly from one point to the next, seeing exactly what each turn looks like.

Managing Places
You can mark places that are of interest to you and view them again later. To mark a place, move the view so you are looking at the place of interest (say, your house). Use the Placemark button on the Add menu to add a new pin to your map. You can add a name to your placemark and also change how it appears. Your new place will now appear in the Places section under My Places. You can then double-click on your place name from anywhere in the world to get to your place immediately.

You’ll also see some great places to view in the Sightseeing tour available under Places. Expand the Sightseeing Tour menu and double-click on Start Tour Here. You’ll be transported to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Wait a few moments for all the scenery to pop into view. Things may look fuzzy at first, but be patient, and you’ll see the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. (You’ll need 3D buildings turned on for the full effect. It should be on by default, but if not, be sure to read the Layers section in Part 2 of this article for tips on how to turn it on.) Feel free to move around and look around the city. There’s plenty to see.

A new control panel will appear on the screen. Hit the Play button, and you’ll fly to the next point of interest (which is the famous “Christ Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Go through the tour and you’ll see several of the most interesting places in the virtual (and real) world, including the Grand Canyon, Mount Fuji, and even the wreck of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean!

If you like, you can record your own tour. Simply use the Tour item from the Add menu. This pops up a little recording box. Hit the record button, and the application will record your motions. Press the microphone button to record your voice explaining your tour. When you’re done with a recording, you can play it back and use the Save icon to save the recording. Your tour will now be listed under My Places. This can be a great way to record things such as historical paths, family moves, and other multi-site activities.

And Much More Next Month 
It’s hard to believe that Google Earth can do more than this, but we’re literally scratching the surface here. Come back next month and I’ll show how to do much more with this great tool. Here are some things to look forward to:

• Working with layers to see oceans, weather, and fascinating third-party content
• Going back in time to see how cities have changed
• Going to the moon, Mars, and the stars
• Flying a jet plane around the terrain
• Constructing your own 3D building models
• Exploring the Google Earth plugin for more fun

Check out the accompanying videos for a few examples of the fun you can have!

Andy Harris is a homeschool dad, father of four great kids, and husband to the greatest homeschool teacher ever. He has taught all ages of students, from kindergarten to university level. Andy is the author of a number of well-known books, including HTML/XHTML/CSS:  All in One for Dummies, Game Programming--The L Line, PHP6/MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner, and Beginning Flash Game Programming for Dummies. For more information about his books, to see where he is speaking next, or to just say hi, please stop by his web site:  www.aharrisbooks.net. 

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.

The Story of Jesus for Kids by Zondervan ~ Book Review

Homeschool mom, are you looking for a Scriptural devotional to use with your children in the morning?  The Story of Jesus for Kids tells about Jesus from His conception to His time on earth after the resurrection.

The chapters in this book are taken from actual Scriptures in the New International Reader's Version so the text is an easy read for kids or for read alouds.  The chapters are not in "chapter and verse."  They are from all four gospels in "one seamless narrative" (says the back of the book).

There are three things that I really like about this book for your homeschool:
1. It's about Jesus!  You can't go wrong when your focus is on Him.
2. The chapters are taken from all four gospels. I love that!
3. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

This is a short, small book.  It's just right for a change of pace in your regular devotions or Bible teachings. It is written for ages 9-12 but can easily be adapted for younger and older kids.  (Homeschool moms are good at doing that!)

There is nothing that you will teach your kids that is more powerful than Jesus.  They can learn about everything under the sun but they must grasp the power of the gospel, Jesus Christ.  That is the teaching that will ultimately change their lives and the lives around them.

Price: $2.99
The Story of Jesus for Kids by Zondervan
The Story by Zondervan

I was given The Story of Jesus for Kids by Zondervan for review. All opinions are my own.


Fall Homeschool Days ~ Creation Museum

 Fall Homeschool Days are now underway at the Creation Museum!
The Creation Museum presents a unique and unparalleled experience, a walk through time portraying significant, life-altering events from the past, illuminating the effects of biblical history on our present and future world.  Be prepared to experience history in a completely unprecedented way.  Our state-of-the-art exhibits, Stargazer's planetarium, life-sized dinosaur animatronics andy beautiful outdoor gardens with paved walking trails and petting zoo make this an exciting addition to every homeschool curriculum.

For the months of September and October (Sept. 3 - Oct. 31), the Creation Museum will be running special pricing just for Homeschool families. 
Weekdays are Homeschool Days! Admission to the Museum is only $12 for adults (13 and up) and $8 for children (5-12).  The Stargazer's Planetarium is also specially priced at only $5

To take advantage of this special Homeschool offer, please present the attached PDF at the Creation Museum on the day of your visit.  This pricing is ONLY available with the PDF coupon.  

** As a special bonus, when your admission tickets are printed, they will be coded with the word "BLUE."  Simply present your tickets in Noah's Cafe or the Dragon Hall Bookstore to receive a 5% discount on all purchases.  The ticket must be presented at the time of purchase.**

If you are interested in receiving the PDF so that you can purchase tickets, email me and I will forward it to you.

homeiscool 4 u at yahoo dot com


Have You Ever?

(Photo Copyright 2012 Janet Powers)

Have you ever asked your kids what would they like to learn about?

Of course, they have to learn to read.
Of course, they have to learn arithmetic.
Of course, they have to learn the basics of education.

But, is there a particular subject or topic that they crave?  A topic that they'd absolutely LOVE to learn about?

Why not let them?

It's quite possible that the thing they want to learn about the most, very well may be the thing that drives them later in life.  It may even be the thing that God has called them to... the very way He has specially wired them.

So, what do your kids want to learn?

My Boys
Double Espresso (13) has been really into art, cooking, baking, and science experiments.

Espresso (16) has been into physics, motion graphics, and visual effects.

(Photo Copyright 2012 Janet Powers)


Once Upon an Inspiration ~ Guest Post on Writing

Once Upon an Inspiration: Making the Dream Come True
Susan Spann
“I had an inspiration once . . .”
You wanted to write a novel, a short story or a play, a bedtime tale for your children, or perhaps a movie script.
It doesn’t matter what followed that word or what stopped you from bringing your inspiration to life. It didn’t happen, and somehow your dream became “what might have been.” Maybe you read this column last month and thought, “I can do that,” and yet thirty days later the pressures of life and family and things-to-do derailed your plans once more.
This month we’re going to change that.
The good news is you’re not alone, and the better news is that your inspiration needn’t falter and die. You may think the dream is beyond you or that you haven’t got the time to make it work. Here’s a secret all successful writers know: nobody has the time. The difference between success and a dream is a choice to “make the time.”
But how?
Let’s take a look at eight different ways successful writers budget time and give substance to inspiration.
1. Carry a notebook everywhere. Jot down ideas on the spot so you won’t forget them or have to re-create them from fading memories. It takes only a few words to preserve inspiration. When you get home, transfer your notes to a binder or file you set up for “ideas in progress” so you can find them quickly when you decide to write.
2. Any sixty minutes make an hour. Don’t let a lack of unified time become an excuse for failure. Many successful authors start out by writing in very small increments. Write during your break or lunch hour. Write for ten minutes before you go to sleep. You can even write during your children’s tests or while they fill in their worksheets. Remember: Parents can have homework too! At first you may struggle to focus, but don’t give up. Little steps still move you toward completion, and writing gets easier with practice.
3. Set reasonable goals. You wouldn’t start an exercise plan with three hours of running a day—why expect to write your first novel in a month? Unreasonable goals at the gym lead to failed fitness, and wildly aggressive writing plans fail too, especially if you don’t have hours to dedicate each day. Can’t manage a chapter a week? Try a chapter a month, or longer if necessary. Find a pace that works for you at first and increase it over time. Meeting your goals will renew inspiration and help you stay on track.
4. Find a writers’ group—or create one. Accountability encourages progress, and authors draw inspiration from interacting with other writers. Your group may consist of strangers, friends, or teenage sons and daughters with inspirations of their own. You can meet online or in person, once a week or once a month. The key is finding others who share your dream to provide encouragement, advice, and honest critique. The best writing groups consist of writers at different stages of experience and progress. Don’t be shy! Writers love to talk about writing, and any contact with other writers is better than walking the road alone.
5. Say something now, and fix it in editing. Don’t worry about “getting it right the first time.” A completed novel takes several drafts and many hours of revision. The same is true of short stories, plays, and every other creative work. Editing during the writing process bogs you down and discourages completion. Remind yourself often: First drafts are for putting words on the page. Correction comes later, in rewrites and future drafts. You can fix any mistake—as long as you give yourself something to repair.
6. Persevere. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Inspiration provides the spark that sends you off the starting line, but that early burst of energy won’t take you all the way to the end of the race. When you reach the middle—and inspiration flags—perseverance is key to reaching the finish line.
7. Stuck? Try research. Sometimes “writer’s block” is nothing more than a lack of information. Your character needs to draw her sword, but you don’t know how heavy a blade she would use or whether a woman could wield that weapon left-handed. That’s where research comes in. Find a book, read the Internet, or talk to an expert in the field. Research doesn’t just answer your questions; it sparks inspiration too. When you find the information you need you’ll return to your project excited and eager to put those new facts to good use. And if research has you flummoxed . . . April’s Inspired Homeschooler column will take you on a “research field trip” and teach you to find all the information you need to bring your inspired ideas to life.
8. When you fall off the horse, climb back on. The road to success is littered with discarded novels and stories that failed because authors allowed a setback to derail them permanently. Emergencies, family issues, and daily life will interfere with your writing progress, and that’s not an “if”; it’s a “when.” No matter how determined you are, at some point you’ll look up and realize that weeks—or months—have passed since you tried to write. Don’t despair. Instead, pick up the pen and move on. Don’t let a setback cost you a dream.
 “I don’t have the time” and “maybe next year” are recipes for writing disaster. In the game of “might have been,” the “buts” always win. Don’t let that happen to you! Grab your notebook and dust off that inspiration.
Make this the year that you decide to make the time and make your writing dream come true.
Susan Spann is a partner in the law firm Llewellyn Spann, where she specializes in copyright, trademark, and corporate law.  Formerly a professor at Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California, she currently teaches business law at William Jessup University. 
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com  or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.


FREE 2012 Blog Planner by Confessions of a Homeschooler!

Confessions of a Homeschooler | free preschool printables
Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler has shared her 2013 Blog Planners.  They are FREE and they are beautiful!

There are two different styles, calendar style layout and line style layout.

Here is a picture:
Don't forget to thank Erica for her generosity!


Copyright © 2012 Janet Powers

The content (including photos) within this blog are not to be used without my permission.

You are welcome to post about this blog with links back to it, please take a moment to leave a comment and link back to where you did so, I'd love to see your blog or website!

If you would like to use a photo in a reference with a link to this blog, please contact me, and I'd be happy to have you do so with my permission. (Please do not use any photos that contain pictures of kids.)