You’ve Got a Friend in Me!

The 5th grade program at Sarah and Rachel’s elementary school is tomorrow, and Shelly and I were able to see the dress rehearsal this morning. This is a clip I took on my new Kodak PlayTouch Camera, of Sarah and Ali singing, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me!” The basic plot of the musical is a time machine that is used at the Academy Awards in Hollywood to bring back different actors and actresses from famous movies. Sarah is one of the MC’s of the event.

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5th Grade Colonial Living History Museum

This evening was the 5th grade Colonial Living History Museum event at our elementary school.

Colonial Living History Museum Night

Colonial Living History Museum Night

This is a major highlight for 5th graders, who prepare for weeks to dress and act like a character from the US Revolutionary War era. Our fifth grade daughter was Catherine Barry, known as the “heroine of Cowpens.”

Colonial Living History Museum Night

Our current elementary school in Edmond is pretty huge, with around 800 total kids. This panoramic photo I took this evening of the cafeteria as the event got underway reflects how many students as well as parents are in the five fifth grade classes at our school.

Panorama of the Cafeteria

The students initially paraded into the cafeteria, and performed a short, colonial-era dance together.

Next, students spread out throughout the building and took up their places as characters in a “living history museum.” Visitors (parents and siblings) could “push their button” on their nametags, and students would come to life sharing a one or two minute memorized script about the life and accomplishments of their historical person. After repeating her script more times than she could count tonight, Sarah agreed to let me record her performance after we got home. It was a LOT quieter to record at home than it would have been at school!

It was interesting to notice how many cameras were in hands tonight, and how many of the younger attendees were using smartphones as their cameras!

Colonial Living History Museum Night

This was a great event and one I know Sarah will remember forever. Our son, Alexander, is in 7th grade now and clearly remembers his night as “Henry Knox!”

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Learning about Scratch Basics

Sarah and Rachel recorded this fourteen minute Cinchcast with me today discussing their initial experiences learning how to create with Scratch software from MIT. They discussed learning how to move Sprites, about costumes, loops, coordinate geometry basics, and more. Download Scratch for free from

Scratch resources from my Fall 2010 undergraduate course, “Computers in the Classroom,” are available on

Scratch Hero

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Peppermint Fudge Brownies

This evening Sarah recorded a new episode for “The International Cooking Show,” demonstrating how to cook Peppermint Fudge Brownies for a holiday potluck. The video is 7 minutes, 49 seconds long.

This episode is significant for several reasons. First of all, it’s the first episode we’ve uploaded to a unique YouTube Channel for The International Cooking Show: Sarah is applying for a public magnet school next year in Oklahoma City, and we realized all her cooking videos have not (previously) been aggregated on a single website. She wants to list her cooking show on her application resume, so this is needed! We’ll be uploading past episodes to this channel soon, along with new shows.

This episode is also significant because it’s the first one we’ve not only entirely shot on an iPhone4, but also edited and published with an iPhone4 using the $4 app ReelDirector. ReelDirector is compatible with other iOS devices in addition to the iPhone4 and the 4th generation iPod Touch. iMovie for iOS costs $5 but will NOT work on older devices. Since both iMovie and ReelDirector provide movie editing and publishing features, I figured our money would be better spent on an app which will run on our older iOS devices as well as the newest.

Learn more about “The International Cooking Show,” which was designed to be a collaborative project but still needs other project collaborators, on In 2011 we’re going to list the project on some collaborative project websites to solicit more participation!

Way to go Sarah!

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Photos from New England: December 2010

I’ve published all the photos from the trip Sarah and I took to New Hampshire and Maine last week to a new Flickr collection.

Collection: New England Dec 2010

I still have more videos to publish, but it’s good to have all the photos online. I’ve found if I don’t share photos fairly soon after a trip, lots of other things get my attention and it’s more challenging to do it later. Lots of GREAT memories were made on this trip. 🙂

CMTC Technology Conference 2010

Wells, Maine

Cathy Wolinsky, Sarah and Alice Barr


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Yellow Cards

A nice thing that my church does is we have a concept called yellow cards. What you do is you get a yellow card and write either an encouraging word to ….. or write on the prayer chain. Also in the bulletin they have a special section just for the people who need prayer. I write about one yellow card a week.

One of the people that was in the bulletin multiple times was Kent Wilson. He is a very kind man. He used to help my mother in JAM, a program we do at our church for preschoolers. But he injured his back. It all went downhill from there. He got very sick and was not doing well. So every Sunday I would write a yellow card just for Kent.

But sadly Mr. Kent died. I got very emotional, that I kept on crying and crying. But what got me to stop crying was well I just thought well I know that Mr. Kent is in paradise, and I know he’s loving it! A few weeks later at Gathering (a weekly Wednesday night fellowship dinner) Mr. Kent’s wife walked up to me and said, “All of your notes that you sent Kent just touched his heart and my family and I really appreciate that.” That touched my heart. Every time I think about Kent I burst into tears.

Since that happened I write yellow cards constantly. Just for Kent.

The Best Pork I’ve Ever Tasted

This video is an interview with Dr Brent Benkelman, as he supervised the final preparations of the 120th pig he’s cooked in his life. Brent co-hosts an annual pig roast potluck for friends in Manhattan, Kansas.

See more photos from my Flickr set of this weekend’s festivities, which included the disappointing loss of KSU to Nebraska. It was a great time of family fun, despite the football loss!

Wesley, Sarah and Tom Fryer

Our family at the tailgate

Tom, Sarah and Wesley Fryer

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Jack O’Lantern Carving Fun

Each fall our family looks forward to carving pumpkins into jack o’lanterns in advance of Halloween. This year we did it pretty early in October, and unfortunately the weather was so warm the jack o’lanterns molded before Halloween! These were our creations this year!


As you can see, lots of fun was had by all.



This was Alexander’s design, which was a stormtrooper from Star Wars. I thought this was a very creative as well as challenging jack o’lantern!


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