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Return of the Green Screen

When our family was on vacation in San Francisco, we happened to pass by a giant green screen sitting on the edge of the sidewalk by Pier 41.  If you are not familiar with green screens, these giant green backgrounds are used by moviemakers to project real actors and actresses onto fake backgrounds, such as in spaceships and so forth.  The kids and dad had experimented with a green screen app on the phone when we were at home but we really didn't have a proper green screen available.  Thankfully we had some toy lightsabers (from Star Wars) in our backpack and the kids had a good time playing in front of the green screen while I filmed them with the app to insert special backgrounds.  Then I plugged the video clips into the iMovie app (which has a nifty movie trailer template) and voila!

Watch "Return of the Green Screen" on YouTube

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Joshua and Caitlin Breaking Boards

For the past month or two, our family has been enjoying learning American Kenpo Karate.  All of us except for John have gotten into it (and John even tries a bit but he is still too little to learn it formally).  During a recent Saturday lesson, Mr. Kellogg gave Joshua and Caitlin the chance to try their hand at breaking wooden boards.  They felt really good and doing it successfully and it was fun to watch as parents.  The boards were not very thick but you've got to start somewhere :-)

Watch "Joshua & Caitlin Breaking Boards" on YouTube

 

Our family with Mr. Kellogg at Kellogg's American Kenpo Karate

 

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You Are Not Allowed to Take a Nap

I'm sure our experience is similar to many other parents of young kids but I thought I'd put this video here so John can watch it 20-30 years from now when he has kids.

The (very short) backstory is that I was semi-successfully taking a nap on Sunday afternoon when Joshua (11 yrs) woke me to find out if a Minecraft book he wanted to read was available online yet, or if I could download something for him from a website. After getting some answers, he went away and then John came in to show me a picture he drew. I affirmed it was a good drawing and he went away. I turned over and tried to get a little bit more shuteye, but before long John bounds in again, which is what you see in the video below. I didn't get much rest after that, but John did succeed in getting me to play Legos with him.

Watch "You Are Not Allowed To Take A Nap" on YouTube

 

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Sledding in New Hampshire

Last year, when our family was planning for our 2017 home assignment in the U.S., one of our kids' top requests was snow.  They wanted to see snow and play in it.  So we planned accordingly and now we are here in New Hampshire enjoying the snow.  God providentially sent a big snowstorm the day after we arrived and we have taken the kids sledding a couple of times.  In fact, I took them to the very same hill that I loved to sled on when I was growing up.  

Below is a video of the kids (and occasionally Mom and Dad) sledding at Mack's Hill in Londonderry, NH.  As you can see, the kids have realized that there is a bit of learning curve when it comes to sledding.  If you scroll down, there are also some regular photos of our kids and family in the snow.

Click here to watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ6pv1e3AcU

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Top 20 Reasons Why My Toddler Gets Out of Bed

Our youngest is cute as a button at 2.5 years old, but can also be completely frustrating when he refuses to stay put after we have tucked him into bed for the evening.  Last night was particularly wearisome and I assembled a list of all his excuses for getting out of bed.  They are rather comical if you aren't the one having to deal with his fussing at the end of a long day.