Sep 4, 2016
Wizbanger Times- September 4th
Hello, everyone! Just finished an enjoyable week of seventh grade! To hear more, check out Section A! Speaking of Section A, I'm going to give you the lay-out for the articles I'll be doing this school year. They are a bit different from the summer's. I will be retiring Rotten Cucumbers, my movie review column, since I probably won't be seeing as many movies during the school year. Five Facts About Fillmore will become Fillmore Friday Facts, which as you might've guessed will be posted every Friday. I will also be adding three new columns; Monarch Monday, a column that shares about the reign of one of England's Monarchs every Monday; What're the Dolls Doing, a column that includes a picture of my dolls and what they're doing in it; and Comments About Comments, where I will choose a "Comment of the Week" from the previous issue's comments. So make sure to leave a comment full of interesting information, so that yours might be chosen! To help you with that, at the end of the blog I will make a summary of which questions we've asked, due to a helpful suggestion from Ms. Kathy Berken, so that you can compose your comments with one quick glance. As promised, here is the lay-out:
Hope you enjoy the new additions!!!
This past week Mark and I went back to school at New Hope! It was a lot of fun! We both think all our teachers are terrific and we were very happy to see our friends! We are so excited for what the rest of the year will hold.
I had a great time decorating my locker with lovely magnets and wallpaper (scrapbook paper laminated). I also put in a locker garbage can (always comes in handy), a calendar, and space for the books that inevitably pile up in my locker! :-)
Please Comment: What is your favorite thing about the start of school? The back-to-school games? Seeing friends every day? Decorating your locker or desk? Make sure to comment and if it's awesome it may be chosen as comment of the week next week!
Perfect in PJ’s
On Monday, the day before we had to drop off school supplies, my Mom, brother, and I had a very refreshing pajama day. It began with some delicious Death Star waffles, thanks to our ingenious Death Star waffle maker, and continued on to be a relaxing and refreshing day. My only complaint was that it was so fun I wanted to do it every day!
Please Comment: Do you like pajama days? Tell about what you would do if you had a whole day without anywhere to go.
Grandma's Great Party
On Saturday night, our family hosted a party for Grandma! It was her birthday and we made a delicious "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" with purple frosting flowers! It definitely turned out better-looking than our last cake, a delicious caramel cake with frosting that tasted great but just wouldn't go on!
Please Comment: What kind of decoration would you put on a cake if you could? What would you try to make it look like?
What're the Doll’s Doing?
This week Claire's dolls had their first three days of school!
From left to right… Maryellen, Rose, Molly, Lilyanna
The results of the last survey are...
This week's survey is… What grade of school was your favorite? Why?
Comments About Comments
This week's best comment was by... Ms. Kathy Berken!
In response to last week's question about Crazy Camping adventures, Ms. Kathy Berken told of some crazy sounding times!
2. Crazy camping adventure. Once we were camping in Tennessee and during the night, a tornado came through the camp area and we decided to just sleep in the car. When we awoke, the tent was ripped out of the ground, the stakes were everywhere, our sleeping bags were soaked to the dripping stage, but we were safe. This was BK, before kids.
The other crazy experience was when Aaron and Erica were little. Camping at Peninsula State Park in Nicolet Bay. A giant tree fell about 50 feet behind our campsite in the woods one day. We heard the creaking sound, turned to look, and there was the tree falling over. Good Grief., Nobody was hurt.
but a few years ago, camping in the same site, a storm blew a huge branch down and it landed on Erica and Aaron Koller's tent. Good thing they weren't in there at the time
Thank you for a great comment! Those were some very interesting stories!!
Everyone- remember to leave a fun comment, and it might just be chosen for Comment of the Week!
Choose Your Own Adventure
By popular decision, Gwen will stand by Tabitha and defend her.
"Why would you do this!?" I said to Rachael, confused. "Leave Tabitha alone!"
"It's none of your business!" said Geraldine haughtily.
"I'll be back in our room..." muttered Tabitha, turning to go.
"Wait!" I said, grabbing her arm. "Guys- someone tell me what's going on!"
"I guess you deserve to know," said Rachael, reluctantly. "Via, you tell."
Via told me, without any trace of the humor her stories were usually peppered with.
"Gwen," she began, "You probably didn't know this, but we go to the same school as Tabitha."
"Okay," I said. Inwardly, I was thinking there are a lot of kids in that class!
"We were all big into volleyball, and were planning to go to volleyball camp, and Rachael's dad said he'd sign us all up so we'd get rooms with each other. And he accidentally signed us up for basketball camp instead."
"I know," I said slowly.
"Well," she continued, "at school Tabitha was so mean! One day, out of the blue, she says her friends told her that we stole her gym shorts! And we said we didn't, because we didn't! So then she got mad and threw a pencil at Kate, and then we squirted her with Geraldine's water bottle, and then she dumped her pencil sharpener in my locker, and then... it got really crazy. And it's all because she started it!”
"You took them!" Tabitha said. "And my gym grade went down to a C- because I didn't have them!"
"Let me get this straight," I said. "So Tabitha's shorts went missing, and her team told her you guys took them. What proof did they have?"
"None," said Tabitha slowly. "But they said they saw you guys rip them up!"
"Well," I replied, "I trust your word, Tabitha, and yours too, Via, Geraldine, Kate, and Rachael. I know neither of you would lie, so... I think it could be your teammates, Tabitha."
"No!" Tabitha said, with a surprising ferociousness. "They were my only- they wouldn't- no! Don't say that, it- it's not true, it's not!"
And with those emphatic words, she sprinted down the hallway and out of sight.
At the evening session we sat on the baseline again, listening to the coach's instructions until they told us to go get balls and head to the field house.
We all jogged down the stairs and into the field house. Our team's coach, Kaylee, instructed us on our drill, a difficult passing weave with five people down the court. We paired up with the other teams and started to make our way into the line, which was very long. I knew I would be waiting a while, so I might as well try and solve the gym shorts mystery by talking to Tabitha (and my, I guess) teammates. Looking over I saw the girl with brown braids, who had been rude to me when I tried to sit with the team at dinner. She seemed likely to be involved in a prank; and a quiet girl with long, white-blond hair, who might not be as likely to be involved in the prank, but more likely to talk to me. Who should I talk to?
Thank you for reading, everyone, and have a great week!
What is your favorite thing about the start of school?
What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?
What is your ideal way you'd like to decorate a cake? Would you make it look like something? What?
What grade of school was your favorite, and why?
Posted at 11:51 am by sjwisnie
Aug 28, 2016
Wizbanger Times- August 28
Hello, everyone! By this time next week my brother and I will have completed a full three days of school! During the school year I will be changing the outline for articles a little bit just to change things up... if you have any suggestions, please tell me and I will consider them!
On Monday I had the pleasure of going tubing with one of my good friends, Ava Gullickson, and her family! We drove to their lake home for an awesome day of swimming and tubing! We played on their water mat, a huge, blue foam mat that floats on the water; water trampoline, a small trampoline that sits on a big inner tube; and of course went tubing!
The tubing experience was unlike any I'd ever experienced, the only other time I'd went tubing was behind a pontoon boat and a little behind a jet ski, so the fast movement and jutting waves the Gullickson's fast boat created were all new to me. Sometimes Mr. Gullickson, who was driving the boat, would swing our tube outside of the wake on turns. It was one of these times that I fell off.
I was on the outside of the turn, and we had swung around very quickly. My fingers uncurled from their tight grip on the red handle, and suddenly I was flipping through the air and down into the water. Thankfully I was not hurt, just a little sore the next day!
Please Comment: Have you ever been tubing? What's your craziest wipe-out?
Fun at the Fifth Quarter
Just earlier today I returned from a fun weekend at the Fifth Quarter, the boat owned by my Aunt Katy and Uncle JJ, on the Mississippi River! We had a great time cruising and catching up with each other. We saw my Papa there too.
We camped at Great River Harbor Campgrounds and Marina and didn't arrive there until 10:30 on Friday night. It took us an hour or so to set up our rented camper and get the door to work, and so we didn't end up going to sleep until around Midnight! We slept in very late the next day!
Please Comment: Have you ever had a crazy camping adventure?
On Thursday night Mark and I had the fun opportunity to sleep over at the Berken's house! We had lots of fun, Mark and Isaac with LEGOs and the wii, and the girls and I with dolls and dress-up clothes. At night we watched the awesome movie Minions, which was as funny and sweet as always.
In the morning we had to drop Ava off at her second day of 4K, and take me to the orthodontist, but afterwards Anna and I, after an interesting experience attempting to make pink slime (long story) decided to try out a recipe with her easy-bake oven. We decided on "Ooey-Gooey friendship cookies," which were more like soft granola with a huge quantity of brown sugar, that no one seemed to like very much. They only cooked one at a time, so that took up most of our morning. Oh, well, fun anyway!
We had an amazing time at the Berken's, and we hope to do it again soon!
Please Comment: Have you ever attempted a baking project that totally and epically failed?
Five Facts About Fillmore
This week's president is... Zachary Taylor!!!
He was a military hero in the Mexican War.
Prior to his bid for the presidency he never voted, he believed his position in the U.S. military required him not to.
His nickname was "Old Rough and Ready" due to his habit of dressing casually on the battlefield.
Though a slaveholder, he threatened to take military action against the Southern states if they seceded.
His legs were so short that he needed help mounting his horse.
Please Comment: Do you have an idea on which president I should do next?
This week's movie is... Nine Lives!!!
Editor’s Rating: 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9%
Editor’s Comments: Upon seeing Rotten Tomatoes give this movie a 9%, I was really shocked. You may have noticed that my movie ratings have never dropped below 70%, so I’m surprised when they put a movie at 50%. But don’t be fooled: Nine Lives is an amazing movie about a man who gets turned into a cat, a cat with the voice of Kevin Spacey. It’s a great family movie, and I would definitely encourage you to see it!
The results of the last survey are...
At waterparks, people like to use the wave pool, go on two-person slides, and watch other people go down.
This week's survey is... What kind of school project do you prefer,
A Group project, or
A project all by yourself.
Choose Your Own Adventure
By popular decision, Gwen will go with Tabitha, and then invite her to join Kate, Via, Geraldine, and Rachael!
"Um, yeah," I said. "Sure, Tabitha."
In our dorm room I sat on my bed, swinging my feet back and forth. Tabitha was taking her dirty socks off and tidying the room. I felt the way I had the one time the teacher asked to see me after class and I was scared that I was in trouble but really all she'd wanted to do was wish me a happy birthday. Tabitha made me feel like that, nervous and tense.
"Sooo..." I began, and with that she rushed into her sentence.
"I'm sorry everyone on our team was rude to you today."
"Oh!" I said, surprised. This was nothing like I'd expected, I'd thought she'd wanted to talk to me about missed layup number six, where the ball had soared right over the hoop and into the hands of a player on the opposing team, who had barreled down the court and scored. "That's alright, Tabitha. It's not your fault."
"I know," she said. "But I still feel bad."
There was an awkward silence, in which we both studied the blue shag carpet intensely. Then she said abruptly,
"At school, everyone makes fun of us. We spend every recess playing basketball, and that's all we talk about. So we've all become rather... inhospitable."
"Oh," I said. "But you're not like that, Tabitha. You helped me."
"Well, I didn't exactly want to," she said, mumbling a bit.
"Yeah, I could tell," I said, a little drily, but then impulsively leaped over to sit by Tabitha. She winced a little as I crinkled the sheets, but didn't say anything. "But the important thing is that you did. And anyway, you're not like the rest of the team. You're helpful, even if a bit... glacial. But now that I know you, you've opened up and are really nice."
"Thanks," she said, wiping her eyes, which were a bit misty. "That's a really nice thing to say."
"Hey, d'you want to come and hang out with some of my other friends?" I asked. I kind of thought she'd say no.
"Sure," she said, surprising me. We gathered our things, not planning to come back before the next session, and walked over to Rachael and Kate's room. Via and Geraldine were already there, chowing down on some crackers. They all stopped when they saw us.
"Um, hi..." I said, unnerved.
"Why'd you bring her?" asked Kate, wrinkling her nose and pointing at Tabitha.
"Don't you come in here, Tabitha Cameron!" said Rachael, folding her arms.
What should I do? Should I walk away with Tabitha, or should I tell them that they're being really unkind, and ask why they're doing this?
Thank you for reading, everyone, and have a great week!
Posted at 09:31 pm by sjwisnie
Aug 21, 2016
Wizbanger Times- August 21
Hi everyone! Trying a new font this time... it's called "Special Elite." :-) Anyway, this week is all the same old stuff... enjoy!
A Perfect day at Pollock Pool
On Monday, the Wisniewski's and the Berken's, (minus the dad's, who were at work) had a fun afternoon at Pollock Pool! With a diving board, slides, and lazy river, it was the perfect recipe for a wide age range, and we had all kinds of fun! Claire, Mark, and Isaac all passed the swim test and therefore had access to the shoot slide and diving board, both of which were very enjoyable.
Please Comment: Have you ever been to a waterpark? What do you prefer, indoor or outdoor?
On Friday night, as a "welcome back" to Grandma and Grandpa Wisniewski, who just returned from vacation in Germany and Poland, we traveled to the Triple J fish fry in Brillion! The fish was amazing, and so were the fun drinks, like a Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers that were drunk by Claire and Mark, respectively.
It was a long drive, but totally worth it! The fish fry was an unforgettable experience, and we hope to go back again soon!
The results of last week's survey are...
Lost and Found, TobyMac, and Chris Tomlin are people's favorite bands!
This week's survey is...
What is your favorite waterpark activity?
Five Facts About Fillmore
This week's president is... George W. Bush!!!
His election in 2000 was one of the most controversial in U.S. history, and the winner had to be decided by the Supreme Court.
During his presidency the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows began to be sold, on July 21st, 2007, and in 24 hours it sold 8.3 million copies, making it the fastest-selling book in U.S. publishing history.
He was the 43rd president of the U.S.
His father, George H.W. Bush, was our 41st president. This is the second time in American history that a father and son have both been president, the other time was when John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, who was our 2nd president, became the 6th president.
He married his wife, Laura Welch Bush, three months after their first date, which was a round of mini-golf.
Please Comment: Do you have a suggestion of what president I should do next? If so, please comment!
This movie is... The NEW Pete's Dragon!
Editor's Rating: 96.5%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Editor's Comment: An awesome movie, made even better by my first experience with recliner chairs! The plot diverts from the original, but it's still really cute and sweet. It's lost none of its old charm!
Choose Your Own Adventure
Gwen will be sitting with Tabitha and the Cougars!
I decided that I'd better be loyal to my team, especially since I'd missed about ten lay-ups in our scrimmage at the end of our session. I walked over and sat down. Tabitha was the only one to look up, the rest of them didn't pause for breath and continued their enthusiastic re-play about our scrimmage, discussing "the free throw" and "that box-out."
"Um, hi... " I said.
"Oh, hello," said a tall girl with long red hair, in a tone of voice that implied she had clearly not forgotten my missed lay-ups.
"I'm Gwen," I said, unsure whether I'd introduced myself to them or not.
"Roxanne," replied the tall girl.
"So, you guys all go to school together?" I asked. If I'd hoped to start a conversation, I was disappointed.
"Yeah," said a girl with spiky black hair and freckles.
Considering I'd gotten about six syllables out of the team, I figured I was doing pretty well, until a girl with brown braids spoke up.
"If you don't mind, we're having a conversation just now."
"Okay, bye, then," I said, deciding not to force my company upon them. I walked over to Rachael, who was sitting with the rest of her team. She smiled and made a spot for me.
"Hey, Gwen!" she said. "Guys, this is Gwen- the reason I can dribble!"
They all laughed.
"Gwen, these are some of my teammates- my roommate Kate-" A girl with bubble-gum pink hair waved at me- "Via-" A skinny girl with very pale skin nodded- "and Geraldine." A rather chubby girl with dimples and honey-colored hair grinned.
"Okay," I said. "Cool."
After a dinner with these four girls, I found myself laughing the most I have in… as long as I can remember. Geraldine did the most hilarious imitations of people, Via could tell really funny stories, and Rachael had a quick wit that made me giggle at the end of every sentence she said.
As we gathered our things and prepared for the walk back, Tabitha caught my elbow and asked if I’d come to the dorm with her. I didn't know what to say- she looked for once like she really wanted me there, but Geraldine, Via, Rachael and I had already made plans. What should I do?
Thanks for reading, everyone, and have a great week!
Posted at 06:50 pm by sjwisnie
Aug 14, 2016
Wizbanger Times- August 14
Hello, everyone! I hope your week is going well! Before I start the blog, I thought I would give you all a quick reminder on how to comment, so that those of you who don't know will have the opportunity to reply to surveys and questions.
Scroll to the bottom of the issue.
Click the gray word "Comment" at the bottom. It's very small, so it's easy to miss!
The blog post will pop up in a small box to the left of your screen. You will have to scroll all the way down.
At the bottom are a few gray boxes in which you can leave your name, homepage, and comment.
Once you are done writing your comment, click the orange "Post" button.
I hope this is helpful!
The Queen of Aquistel, continued
As all of you who read the last issue will know, this past week I held a filming party at my house to film the original play, the Queen of Aquistel. It went amazingly well, with amazing costumes and, of course, some real, pure talent!
I have almost finished editing the movie on our computer. It will be open for viewing to the general public after it premieres.
Please Comment: If you could be in a movie, what part would you like to play? What type of movie would you like to be in?
Our State Fair is a Great State fair…
On Monday of this past week, the Wisniewski family, along with Callan Prentice, Mrs. Larson, and Kallie and Clara Larson, along with the Theis family whom we saw there, attended the Wisconsin State fair in Milwaukee. It was a very enjoyable time, with a cookie dough fondue stop, two very fun rides (a yo yo twice as high as the one at Bay Beach, and hang glider's that went around in a circle), and of course some of the famous Cream Puffs!
After a fun day spent eating and riding our way through the fair, we went and watched an exhilarating concert featuring Francesca Battistelli and the Newsboys. We were on our feet, dancing and singing- though it was a bit more like screaming to make ourselves heard, for even our loudest voices were reduced to whispers.
Please Comment: Have you ever been to a state fair? What kind of fair food is your favorite?
This week's movie is… Ender's Game!!!
Editor's Rating: 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 60%
Editor's Comment: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors and I really loved it that he was in it. I thought that the plot was very good, and it's great for anyone who likes sci-fi.
The results of last survey are…
100% like swimming and diving, and
50% like running. (this is possible because everyone had multiple favorites, which is great!)
This week's survey is… Who is your favorite Christian band?
Five Facts About Fillmore
This week's president is... Benjamin Harrison!!!
His grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was also a president.
His two terms were sandwiched in between those of Grover Cleveland.
He was the first person to have electric lights (which he was too scared to touch) and a Christmas tree in the White house.
He was our 23rd president.
He served in the Civil War and rose to the rank of brigadier general.
Choose Your Own Adventure
By unanimous decision, Gwen will choose to share her knowledge!
"Yeah, Tabitha," I said, cutting short a long-winded speech about the art of jump shots, "I think I'm gonna go over by that girl, there… with the blond hair. You can come too."
"No, thank you," she said. If she was offended she hid it well. Or maybe she was happy to leave. "I'm going by the rest of the team."
She sprinted off, not wasting a moment. I jogged towards the girl.
"Hey," I said, giving her a smile. "I'm Gwen."
"Rachael," she said, giving me a little smile back.
"Can I give you a couple pointers?" I asked, trying not to sound bossy. "I mean, not that you're bad, it's just I happen to know a couple tips."
"Oh, that's great," she said, sighing with relief. "I'm sure you're much better, I'm the worst at basketball… honestly! I'm great at volleyball, but my Dad's accidentally signed me up for this instead. I barely even know how to play!"
"Well, here's how you want to shoot..." I began, and for the remaining time we had fun playing together and talking. Every so often I looked over at Tabitha and saw her staring back at me. I could be wrong, but it seemed like she was a little jealous… what a crazy idea!
When it was time to sit down on the baseline Rachael and I sat next to each other. It was with reluctance that I left her when I had to go with the Cougars, and she with the Black Bears.
After our first session, which was a total blast, we walked about a half mile to a park for dinner, which turned out to be Subway. After getting my food, I was faced with a difficult decision- should I sit with Tabitha and the Cougars, or Rachael and the Brown Bears? Thank you for reading my blog, and have a great week!
Posted at 05:27 pm by sjwisnie
Aug 7, 2016
Wizbanger Times- August 7
Hello, everyone! This week is nothing new, I don't think... we are just getting back into life at home after our vacation, so it's been pretty low-key. Also, I will not be doing Rotten Cucumbers because I haven't seen any movies lately. Enjoy!
Coolness at Core
At New Hope, where my family goes to church, there is a wonderful middle school youth group called Core! During the school year it meets on Sunday from 4:30 to 6:00 in the C room at NHCS, and during the summer it hosts amazing monthly events. This month they had a Slip and Slide on the hill, that was certainly an adventure. Everyone came out very wet and smelling like baby oil!
They also had a slip and slide kickball, where the baselines are little mini slip and slides and the bases are baby pools, which was very enjoyable to play with a jumbo-sized, rainbow polka-dotted ball, which unfortunately got kicked a little too hard and ripped open. :-(
Please Comment: Does your church do anything super-cool and fun like a slip and slide?
The Queen of Aquistel
On Tuesday of this upcoming week, the Wisniewski family will be hosting a filming party to film an original fairytale screenplay written by Yours Truly. With awesome costumes and set, and of course amazingly talented actors, we are confident that the resulting movie will be a success. After the party we will hold a movie premiere, after which the movie Queen of Aquistel will be available for viewing. I will keep you posted on when that time will come!
Please Comment: We are already looking for an idea about what to write our next play on. Which genre would you suggest?
Five Facts About Fillmore
This week's president is… John Tyler!!!
He was the first vice president to complete a president's term
He was born on March 29, 1790.
Two of his grandsons are still alive today- Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. (b. 1924) and Harrison Ruffin Tyler (b. 1928), due to the Tyler men's habit of having children late in life. They are the sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Tyler's son born in 1853.
He was nicknamed "His Accidency"
He was our nation's 10th president.
The results of the last survey are…
This week's survey is… what kind of Olympic Sport do you think is the most fun to watch-
Choose Your Own Adventure
Gwen is going to go with Tabitha and see what happens!
"Okay," I said, grabbing my ball and jogging to a separate hoop with her. "Thanks."
"Now, when you take a shot you want to make sure that your dominant foot is slightly in front, like this." She demonstrated.
"Okay," I said, adjusting my feet slightly.
"When you shot your left foot was quite a bit in front of your right, and from your shot I know that you're right handed- though it was a bit hard to tell since your left hand and right hand were doing almost the same amount of work. Your left hand shouldn't be doing anything but giving support to your right."
"Yeah, right," I said, adjusting my hand a little.
"And don't stick your elbow out to the side, have it be at a right angle."
"Okay, now jump and shoot."
I did. It missed, but at least this time it hit the backboard. "Hey, shouldn't that have gone in?" I asked. "It hit inside that little box on the backboard. Isn't that, like, a shot guarantee?"
Tabitha gave an exasperated sigh. "Everyone always thinks that, but no. You hit the backboard way too hard, that's why it bounced off. You need to give it a gentle tap, like this." She grabbed the ball from my hands and executed a flawless shot that swished satisfyingly. "See?"
"Great," I said, not meaning it. Was she better than me at everything?
As Tabitha and I continued our lesson, the gym started to fill up with people. Eventually I noticed a girl with short blond hair out of the corner of my eye who kept missing shots. I felt like I should go over and share some of my new knowledge, but I didn't want to sound bossy and besides, even though she had been less than warm thus far, Tabitha was my roommate, and I really didn't want her to think I was ditching her. What should I do? Thank you for reading my blog, and have a great week!
Posted at 08:36 am by sjwisnie
Aug 2, 2016
Wizbanger Times- July 24 and 31
Hello, everyone! Do I have a lot of great news for you this week! Our family is still rocking it Out West! We have seen many National Monuments, such as Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower (which I guess is a monument but it doesn't really feel like one), plus the great scenery of mountains that you can see from 40+ MILES away, and the unique beauty of the Badlands. Please enjoy!
Hiked it Liked it!
While on vacation, my family and I managed some amazing hikes, such as Harney Peak, an extremely strenuous hike to the highest point in South Dakota; Jenny Lake, a fairly easy hike up many cool rocks that you had to take a ferry to get to; and Lost Lake, a peaceful hike through the grassy hills of Yellowstone to a peaceful lake.
We all enjoyed our hikes very much. We certainly Hiked it Liked it!
Please Comment: What hikes have you ever done?
Snaking Down the River
On Friday, July 22nd, our family had the unique opportunity to go Whitewater Rafting! We went on a raft that was just us four and our nice tour guide Molly and we braved class two and three rapids, including the "Big Kahuna", the largest one there was; rapids that stretched on for a quarter mile; and many more! My brother Mark and I also got to "ride the bull", which is where you sit on the front edge of the boat with your feet dangling out, hanging on for dear life!
Our very nice tour guide Molly also showed us an… interesting game called the wheel of misfortune, in which one person stands on the very front edge of the boat while the other rowers paddle and back-paddle and try to make them fall off! My Dad, brother and I all tried it, with very funny results!
Please Comment: Have you ever fallen off a boat?
Hot, Hot, Hot!- Springs
When we stayed in Thermopolis, WY, my family and I went to the World's Largest Mineral Hot Springs! How would I describe it? Five words. Hot. Fun. Hot. Stinky. Hot. So yeah, it was pretty hot. Also very fun. But stinky?
Yes, the hot springs were pretty smelly. They smelled like sulfur, which smells like rotten eggs. Why? That's because the water in the hot springs comes up from the earth, and when it does sulfur dioxide gas escapes into the air. So that can be your trivia fact for today.
Back to the fun part. Mark, Claire, Dad, and a friend that Claire met named Charlotte all enjoyed playing a game down the waterslide. First Mark, who is notoriously slow on the waterslide, would go down, then Charlotte or Claire, who are both pretty normal, and then Dad, who is extremely fast. He claims this is all from lying on his back when going down. Anyway, we all try to catch each other and it’s really, really fun!
Please Comment: Have you ever been to a Mineral Hot Springs? How did you like it? Would you recommend it?
Five Facts About Fillmore
Before I share with you the unique facts about this week's president, I would like to take the opportunity to tell you about a wonderful thing my family and I were able to experience: The National Presidential Wax Museum in South Dakota. It was amazing to see all 43 presidents of the United States as incredibly lifelike wax figures displayed creatively in such scenes as Mt. Rushmore, a ball, and the Blue Room of the White House, while hearing unique and accurate facts about them. I would definitely encourage you to visit if that sort of thing appeals to you!
And finally, this week's president is… John Adams!!!
He served as the United State's first Vice President.
His son, John Quincy Adams, served as the nation's 6th president.
He died on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the same day as Thomas Jefferson.
His last words were "Thomas Jefferson still survives," but Jefferson had actually died earlier that day.
He was the 1st president to live in the White House.
This week's movie is… The Spongebob movie: Sponge out of Water!
Editor's Rating: 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 80%
Editor's Comments: A fairly good movie, as Rotten Tomatoes says you have to be a fan of the Spongebob TV show to enjoy it, but very enjoyable and funny.
In answer to our last survey, of where would your ideal vacation be, we have…
This week’s survey is… do you have a watch? If so, does it tell
b. Digital time??
Choose Your Own Adventure
Since we were at a tie for responses, we flipped a coin and decided that Gwen is going to go early!
While I stood for a moment, hesitating, Tabitha was already halfway down the hall. At the last minute I made my decision.
"Tabitha- hey, Tabitha!" I yelled. She turned to look at me, barely slowing down. "Wait up- I’m coming too."
I thought I saw her give a tiny smile, but it quickly left. "Alright," she replied. "Hurry up, then."
We walked at a brisk pace down the hall, down the stairs, and out the building. Finally I gave up trying to walk so fast and broke into a jog. We arrived at the gym in less than two minutes. I saw six, seven- eight girls already there, practicing lay-ups and jump-shorts with amazing accuracy.
"These are the rest of the team," Tabitha told me. "We all come from the same school, so our mother's arranged that we'd all be on the same team."
"You all- know each other?" I said, my voice hardly above a whisper, though inside my head it was like a bunch of tiny people were running around screaming "AHH! AHH! AHH!"
"Yes," Tabitha replied, and without another word she grabbed a ball and jumped into their drill.
I watched them for a second. Though they moved with deadly speed and accuracy, they never bumped into each other, never got hit on the head with a ball. Well, I thought, there's nothing to do but jump right in.
Bad idea. My attempt to "jump right in" resulted in a ball bouncing off my head, three girls down, and a wild shot that missed the back-board entirely and hit the wall forcefully. I stopped and surveyed the damage. The girls picked themselves off the floor quickly enough, but all eyed me apprehensively.
A coach who had just walked in and saw the entire scene shook her head and laughed. "Well, Cougars, you could certainly use a major destructive weapon like that on your team!"
"But we sure can't use those four fouls and wild shot," hissed a tall girl under her breath.
"C'mere and I’ll give you some pointers," said Tabitha reluctantly. She seemed to feel it was her duty to make up for such a disappointing roommate, or so I thought savagely.
Should I go with her? It was obvious she didn't really want me to. But if I stayed here I'd just get pushed around. What should I choose? Thanks, everyone, for reading my blog!
Posted at 10:14 am by sjwisnie
Jul 17, 2016
Wizbanger Times - July 17
Hi everyone! I am currently in Mitchell, South Dakota! We had to drive EIGHT HOURS yesterday to get here, and we are renting our very own camper! I won't say too much here, you'll have to check out Section A of the Wizbanger Times for more news about our big Yellowstone Trip!
Anyway, as some of you know Ms. Kathy Berken commented in our July 3rd issue about how her family is connected to William McKinley. Instead of our usual Five Facts about Fillmore article we will be doing a special article about William McKinley and Mark Hanna. Why? You'll have to read to find out.
Little Camper on the Great Plains
After eight hours of driving, endless preparations, and a couple bathroom stops, my family has finally made it to Mitchell, South Dakota. We arrived last night, on July 16th, a little after five, eager to stretch our legs and set up our new, rented camper!
Yes, folks, we are renting a pop-up camper, and so far it is wonderful, despite the fact of no running water due to a leak that caused a small flood… but never mind. Our camper is still amazing. My brother Mark sleeps on a table that can be folded down with cushions, and the popped out sides serve as a wonderful twin and full bed for me and my parents, respectively.
Our car ride was very enjoyable, with special packages to open upon entering each new state- so two of them yesterday, hooray!- fun conversation, and plenty of great books. Upon arriving we were very anxious to set up our camper, which Mark and Dad did most excellently, and equally anxious to set foot in the campgrounds public pool, which was very cool and refreshing on such a humid day.
We awoke this morning refreshed and rested, and we are excited for what the day will bring!!
Please Comment: Do you have any questions about our camper, campsite, etc.? Don't hesitate to ask!
Ca-boom, boom- CRASH!
Last night I was startled to awaken to the loud noises of a raging thunderstorm! My eyes popped open in the darkness, to be greeted with a blindingly bright flash of lightning and the groaning sounds of a metal support on my parents bed creaking loudly.
I huddled under my blankets and reached for my doll, who was sleeping peacefully on the countertop next to me, and held her very tightly. I was quite terrified, for the wind and the rain were pouring down and swooping around and us, and I could feel the camper shaking.
But eventually, after asking my Dad if we had a lightning rod (no!) but being assured that somehow we would all survive because of rubber tires (huh?) I fell back asleep.
I think we can all agree that this was an exhilarating and terrifying experience, scary and thrilling at the same time.
Five Facts about Fillmore
And as promised we have an article on William McKinley and Mark Hanna:
Great Politicians… and Friends
By Claire E. Wisniewski
Two great men: William McKinley and Mark Hanna. History remembers them as two great politicians. But they are also remembered, by Louis M. Greif, grandfather of Ms. Kathy Berken, as two great friends. Before I tell you about his connection to them, let me first tell you a little bit about both William McKinley and Mark Hanna.
William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843. He served as a major in the Civil War. He was was elected as president in 1897 and then in 1901, but was shot in Buffalo, New York, at the Pan-American Exposition. After Spain had destroyed the Maine on February 15, 1898, it was he who kept the country out of the war until April 25, 1898. In the Cuban War we were ceded Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
Mark Hanna was born on September 24, 1837. He was a businessman and a Republican politician. He was the senator from Ohio. He served briefly in the Civil war, and by his 40th birthday he was a millionaire. He attempted to secure the election for the Ohio senator at the time, John Sherman, but when that failed he turned his attention to McKinley. He was offered a cabinet position which he declined, preferring to serve instead as senator.
And finally- how was Louis M. Greif connected to these two men? Well, when McKinley was running for president he wanted some friends to help with his campaign, so he enlisted Louis M. Greif to help him. They became very good friends. Mr. Greif also befriended Mark Hanna. To support McKinley, Mr. Greif attended the Pan-American Exposition, where he bought a letter opener that is today in the possession of Ms. Kathy Berken.
Another treasured heirloom is a table used for the card games Mr. Greif and President McKinley played together. It is now in the possession of Ms. Kathy Berken’s cousin Tom.
I hope that this remarkable story interests you as much as it does me!
The results from our last survey are…
66 2/3"% prefer washing dishes, and
33 1/3"% prefer to dry them!
This week’s survey is…
Would you rather go
Out West for a vacation,
Out East for a vacation,
Up North for a vacation, or
Down South for a vacation?
This week's movie is… Close Encounters of the Third Kind!
Editor's Rating: 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
Editor's Comments: Though I do think it's a little slow getting started, it really picks up and makes you feel suspense and shock like no other movie.
Choose Your Own Adventure
By 2/3" majority vote, Gwen is going to be on the COUGARS!
"Uh, Cougars I guess," I replied, going with my gut feeling. "Cougars sound pretty cool."
"Alright, then," said the big man. "We'll pair you with Tabitha Cameron, she's on the Cougar's too and needs a roommate. Room 213," he added, handing me a key and meal band on a purple string. "And don't lose that meal band, otherwise you won't get any food. And believe me- you'll want this food!" He mouthed Ice Cream Machine. I smiled nervously.
Realizing that we were all kind of waiting for him to go, he mumbled something about needing to do paperwork and went into the bathroom.
"Bye, sweetie," said my Mom, giving me a tight hug. "You're sure you don't want us to help you set up?"
"Yeah," I replied. If they do I might start crying, and that’s the last thing I need my new roommate- Tabitha or whomever- to see me do.
"Bye, Gwen," said my Dad, giving me a quick hug. "You'll be okay."
And with that, they turned and headed out the door.
I climbed up two short flights of stairs and walked in circles until I found 213. My roommate was already there, her stuff neatly folded and put away, doing sit-ups.
"Afternoon," she said briskly, not pausing to look at me. "Tabitha Cameron."
"I'm Gwen," I replied nervously, setting my suitcase up on the empty bed. And then, feeling the need to say something else, I asked "Where are you from?"
"Fond du Lac," came the crisp reply.
"Oh," I replied, starting to clumsily put my sheets on the bed. I've never been that neat, and next to my pristine roommate I felt as though I was all thumbs. "I'm not too far from there, I live in Appleton."
"Let me help you with that," she replied, springing up and taking the sheets from me. She briskly tucked them in so that there wasn't a single wrinkle. Thankfully she didn't go back to her sit-ups. She sat down on her own bed, but even then she couldn't keep still, she had to do leg exercises, by spinning her legs around and around as though she was on a bicycle.
"Uh, thanks," I replied.
"No problem," she replied, offering me a small smile. "Would you like to go and get to the gym early?"
"Isn't it a bit early?" I replied, questioningly. "Practice isn't supposed to start until 1:30, and I still need to set up all my stuff…" I gestured wildly to the items behind me that needed unpacking.
"Suit yourself," she replied with a shrug. "I'm going to."
Should I go early- like, super early, it's not even 1:00 yet, or should I wait?
Thanks, everyone, for reading this! I'm sorry it got out so late, we didn't have WiFi in the Black Hills. So this issue only contains news as recent as July 16. Sorry for the inconvenience. Next week we will not have WiFi for a while, so I'm going to combine the July 24 and July 31 issues. It will also give you time to answer all the questions in this issue! :-). Thank you for reading!
Posted at 08:59 pm by sjwisnie
Jul 10, 2016
Wizbanger Times - July 10
Hi, everyone! Hope that you all had a good Fourth of July! I will be doing the same articles as usual, pretty much... Oh, and here is the answer to the puzzle in Flea Market Matching: Claire got the bag, Mom got the earrings, Mark got the rock, and Dad got nothing! Congratulations to Ms. Kathy Berken for getting them all right, and thanks, Mom and Dad, for not answering. :-). In Old and New, St. Germain we heard about a lot of awesome traditions. Thank you for sharing, everyone! Anyway, I'll get on with the blog.
Fun, Fireworks, and the Fourth of July
This past Sunday the Wisniewski's, along with many friends and family, went to the Appleton fireworks in Memorial Park. It was an amazing time, complete with glow bracelets, popcorn, and, of course, fireworks!! There were all kinds of neat colors and designs in this year, including some that crackled like static, were so huge they seemed to illuminate the sky, and even one that looked like a smiley face!
Please Comment: Describe what kind of firework you like best and tell us what your family does for the Fourth!
Condo, Condo, Condo!!!
Just a few hours ago, the Wisniewski family returned from a memorable adventure at Papa's condo, that included a long (emphasis on long!) bike ride where we got to go through a fascinating, (though a little creepy) very cave like and mysterious train tunnel, visits to the pool, and a fun trip to the lake where we had a great time diving off the pier.
Mark Wisniewski says that his favorite activity was watching the Parent Trap (The 1961 version, the best one in our opinion!) which is a timeless classic that will be watched for generations. You can hear more about it in Rotten Cucumbers, but "I'm not saying a word, not one single word!" (Parent Trap quote :-) )
All in all, our weekend at the Condo was all kinds of fun, and we can't wait to go again!
Fiddler on the Roof
Sorry, musical-lovers whose ears perked up when they read that, this is not an article about that breathtaking Broadway Production and movie, though it certainly deserves one. (Hmmm... think I'm getting a Rotten Cucumbers movie idea right about now... ) This is an article about a cake.
But not just a cake. A mouth-watering, jaw-dropping concoction that was DELICIOUS. I think that has a unanimous vote on that from everyone who ate it.
Made for Mom's birthday, this Bundt cake that's swirled with chocolate and yellow cake and then frosted with Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting was irresistible. It's supposedly known as Fiddler on the Roof Cake because you'll feel like a rich man (or woman) when you dig into it.
It was made last Friday, when our babysitter Mrs. A was watching us. She helped supervise the making of the cake, which was done by Yours Truly (me). It was very enjoyable to make a cake on my own, and I hope that I'll have the opportunity to do so again sometime.
Please Comment: What is your favorite dessert?
This weeks movie is... The Parent Trap!!!
Editor's Rating: 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
Editor's Comment: I truly enjoyed this movie. Full of things to laugh about and lots of fun characters, this unique story will make you want to watch it again and again!
The answer to our last survey, about which type of camping you like the best is...
50% like to camp in tents
50% like to camp in a camper
No one went for option three, which was not liking to camp at all. Thanks for participating, everyone.
This week's survey is...
What kind of dish-cleaning would you prefer,
#1- Washing the dishes- bubbles!
#2- Drying the dishes- this way I don't get all wet.
Five Facts About Fillmore
This week's president is... Dwight D. Eisenhower!!!
#1- He was a qualified and licensed pilot
#2- His favorite sport was golf.
#3- He was an accomplished cook.
#4- He and his wife, Mamie, often held barbeques on the White House roof.
#5- He served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II.
If you have a request for who you would like me to do next, please comment!
Next week I will hopefully be doing an article on William McKinley and Ms. Kathy Berken's connection to him. For more details, see the comments section on last week's post.
Choose your Own Adventure
By unanimous decision, our main character Gwen is off to basketball camp in Whitewater!
Basketball camp, I decided, would be better. Distance wouldn't be an issue, if I could call my parents. It would comfort me to hear the sound of their voices.
The next day we started to pack up my things, since we had to leave the next day. It's crazy how much stuff you need for just three nights! And with each item I placed in the huge suitcase my parents had provided, the lump in my throat only got tighter.
I sat in the backseat of our dark blue impala civic, parked at Whitewater University, refusing to budge.
"Gwen, please," Mom said, sighing. "You have to go get checked in!"
"Look at where you'll be staying," my Dad said, pointing out the window at the large, brown building that loomed menacingly in front of us. "Clem Hall!"
"Gwen," my Mom said reluctantly. "How's this for a deal- if you do this camp, I promise I will never make you do a summer camp again, ok? All I ask is that you go into this with a good attitude."
I looked down at my hands and sighed. "Fine," I mumbled. "I'll do this."
I stood in front of the manager's desk, where my parents were busy talking to a big man in an ugly red vest. Apparently since I was registering late, my parents still needed to do some paperwork. I was leaning against the wall, wondering how long this was going to take, when their eyes swiveled towards me.
"Since you registered late," said the big man in an even bigger voice, "We haven't put you with a team yet. There are two teams with open positions- the Lions and the Cougars. Who d'you want to go with?"
What should I choose? Thank you for reading my blog! I love hearing your comments, so please do some more of them! See you next week!
Posted at 07:55 pm by sjwisnie
Jul 3, 2016
Wizbanger Times- July 3rd
Hi everyone! Sorry the summer blog is so late in starting! Here's a list of the articles I'll be doing this summer:
Section A- News
Section B- Regular Columns
Section C- Literature
Note: This year I'm posting this all as one issue, so you will be able to comment at the end of the entire issue. I hope this works for you!
Old and New- St. Germain
As many of you know, every summer my family and I go "Up North" to St. Germain for a week. We have some traditions, like the annual Flea Market, where we always make great purchases and going out to see a movie- (Finding Dory this year, if you want to hear more see Rotten Cucumbers!), and some new things we've done this year, like canoeing seven miles on Wisconsin River. Every year we make great memories.
Please comment- what's a fun thing that your family does every year? Or something new that's just starting?
Flea Market Matching
Many great treasures were found at the Flea Market Up North this year. See if you can match the buyer to the object! If you can, please comment!
Your choices: Claire Mark Mom Dad
1. a pair of sparkly turquoise earrings accented in gold.
3. a cool bag in lots of different colors.
4. a useful (???) teal rock that vaguely resembles a crayon.
Answers will be posted in the next issue.
What movies should your family see?
This weeks movie is... Finding Dory!!!
Editor's Rating: 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
Editor's Comments: Finding Dory was a great sequel to Finding Nemo, with a totally cute Baby Dory, lots of funny parts, and a totally heartwarming story that might make you cry (If you're the kind of person who likes to do that). Totally a must-see!
This week’s survey is... Which kind of camping do you prefer?
1. Tenting is the only way to go! My house in the trunk of my car!
2. I love using a camper. Like my own little house!
3. Ewww... camping? How about no...
Results will be posted in the next issue.
Five Facts About Fillmore
The president for this week is... Grover Cleveland!
1. He was the first Democrat in the White House after the Civil War.
2. He wrote 18 articles for the Saturday Evening Post, more than any other president.
3. He had jaw surgery secretly on a yacht, because he was worried that the country might panic if they knew their president was undergoing a dangerous operation.
4. He was the only man to be elected to two nonconsecutive terms, as well and the only president married in the White House.
5. His daughter, Esther, was the first child of a president born in the White House, and his daughter Ruth had a candy bar names after her- Baby Ruth.
Please Comment- What president do you think I should do next?
Choose your own Adventure
This summer I will be writing a Choose your own Adventure story on my blog! At the end of each issue you will be able to cast your vote for which turn the story should take!
Choose your own Adventure:
I laid on my bed listlessly, staring up at the flowers painted on my ceiling. I've done this so many times that I've memorized them all- the curve of each petal, the complex pattern of the different colors. I've probably pondered on it a thousand times when I can't sleep. Eventually it always works. My gaze fixed sleepily on a rose or daffodil, I'll drift into a peaceful sleep. But not tonight. And I know why. It's because I am being made to go to a summer camp. I can remember the conversation at dinner, when my parents revealed the dreadful news.
"Gwen," my Mom had began, placing her hand on mine, "Your Father and I have been talking..." "We think it's time you went to a summer camp," Dad finished.
"What?" I exclaimed, drawing my hand back quickly and overturning my glass of milk. Dad jumped up to get a paper towel and, I suspected, to escape the storm that followed. "No!" I protested. "Mom, Dad- you know how that scares me!"
It was true. Being away from home terrifies me so much that I can't even do sleepovers. I don't know what about it it is that freaks me out so much, but there's something about it that makes me want to curl up with my stuffed animals and scream.
"I know, sweetie," Mom replied, nervously avoiding my gaze. "But we all need to face our fears, and besides, there are so many good things about summer camp!" She started counting them off on her fingers. "You make a bunch of new friends, you really develop a lot of independence-"
"Yeah, I know, Mom," I interrupted. "But there's just one small problem- it completely petrifies me!"
"Well, Gwen, you're going to go," Mom said, in a tone that I knew meant she had made up her mind and wouldn't change it. "Right, Dillon?" she asked my Dad, who was still carefully selecting a paper towel for my spilled milk, pointedly.
"Yes, of course, dear," he mumbled. "Ah, new friends, independence, all that."
"Now, since we're such kind parents-" my Mom continued. I snorted. "We're giving you a choice- would you like to go to basketball camp or art camp?"
So now I'm lying in bed, pondering my choices. Mom had showed me websites for each of the camps. Basketball camp was far away, in Whitewater, but they'd allow cell phones, so I'd be able to talk to my parents, while art camp was only a half hour away, in Oshkosh, so I'd be close to home, but they don't allow cell phones, so I couldn't call Mom and Dad. Bot are for a whole three nights! What should I choose?
Please comment- Should Gwen choose to go to basketball camp, or art camp? Thank you for reading my blog! And Happy Fourth!
Posted at 09:48 am by sjwisnie
Feb 2, 2016
Rotten Cucumbers- what movies should you and your family see? (Possible Spoiler Alert)
Our movie we'll be rating is...
Star Wars VII: the Force Awakens!
Editor Rating: 97%
Wizbanger Family Rating: 95.5%
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Editor's Comment: I thought that The Force Awakens was an awesome addition to the Star Wars series. It carries on the theme of the first three movies (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes, and Return of the Jedi), and though it may repeat the plot a little bit, it's still a great movie that upholds the integrity of Star Wars.
What Star Wars movie is your favorite?
Posted at 08:08 am by sjwisnie