On February 24, 2009, we went on a trip to Yorktown, Virginia. The most fascinating thing for me was that I got to pretend I was a surgeon and take a musket ball out of a man's side. I had to put my finger in the patient's side to feel where the ball was at. When I had found it, I used a tweezer-like tool, with scissor-like handles to pulled the ball out. A cauterizing tool is used next to stop the bleeding. The tool is put over a fire and made red hot. This is the only sterilized part of the surgery. No anesthesia is used during this procedure, so the patient will frequently pass out at this point. To keep the wound clean, I had to soak a piece of cloth in vinegar and pack it in the wound. I'm so glad I saved a life! ;-)
It was a very cold yet sunny Monday we went to Jamestown, Virginia to see what it was like to live when America first began. We saw many interesting things like the canons, the gunsmith and the church, but my favorite part was the God Speed. The God Speed was one of the first ships to land in America. This ship came from England with two other ships carrying one hundred forty-four men. Out of the three, the God Speed is the largest. It has three levels. On the bottom was the storage area where they kept their tools, extra food water and livestock. The next level up is where the crew spent most of their time and slept. The top level was the deck. The cook, the captain, and the ships boys slept on deck in cabins. For a little over two weeks into their journey they would eat meat. When their meat went bad or was gone they ate hard tack. Hard tack is a biscuit that is as hard as a block of wood. Their water lasted about the same amount of time as the meat, and when it was gone they drank beer. This journey across the ocean took a little over four months, but not a single sailor died which was really interesting. It was very crowded. I wouldn't be able to sail across the ocean for that long without getting sea sick.
We're on our way to Colonial Williamsburg and we have a flat! Bummer. We waited a couple hours for the truck service to change the tire on the motor home, and now we are about to be on our way. While waiting, we checked out the little lake near here, and ran around in a field. Some time around 6:30 pm we realized that we have been only about 6 miles from the Monticello! Dang! That would have been a good use of our wait time.
We took a tour of WCQR Radio Station today. It is a beautiful studio, and Tiger Brooks did an excellent job of fielding all of the kid's (and mom's) questions. WCQR is the favorite radio station in our house, and it was great to go check it out.
Everyone loves playing at the Hands on Museum. The stage and grocery store are all-time favorites. Here Alli is dressed up like a wizard. She also did a bit of hula hooping.
Gracie - I was a bat. I love going on the stage. Mitchell and Braden played the guitar and I flew around in circles.
Gracie - I love the grocery store at the Hands on Museum. My favorite part was going to get food. It was funny getting a whole bunch of it. We paid after we got all of our groceries. Alli got syrup and milk and fruit and orange juice.
Lizzie - In the art room, they left out some material and some really fancy paper for everyone to make Valentine's cards. Some of us made Valentine's cards for our parents. Gracie made one for me.
Britany - On Friday we went to the Hands On Museum for a squid dissection. We paired up into groups of two. I was partnered up with Luke. We looked at the fins. The fins are used for direction. When we looked at the spots, we had to check if they were the same size and shape, but they weren't. The spots are used for camouflage to help the squid blend in to the surface that they are on. After we determined what the spots were for we looked at the tentacles. The squid really has two tentacles and eight arms. On the tentacles there are small suction cups. After that we looked at the mouth. The mouth is my favorite part because we get to look inside the squid to find the beak. The beak is a small tooth that looks like a birds beak. This beak helps the squid chew its food. It also helps the squid to digest because it is hooked on to the esophagus. Next, we looked at the siphon. The siphon is used for swimming. It is used like a jet to suck water in and out of its body. When we cut open the squid we looked at the hearts. A squid has three hearts, and they are all in one area. Then, we looked at the ink. The squid uses its ink to fog up the water around it in order to get away from its enemy. Did you know that the squid has a pen? The squid uses this pen to keep its shape. When we found the ink we were allowed to write with it, but my squid's ink was dried up. When we were asked to find the pen I helped a lot of people find theirs. We were allowed to take the pen, eyes, and the beak home with us. I didn't take any home because I already had a pen at home, and Luke wanted to show his brother, so I he took it all home.
Lizzie - My favorite part about the squid dissection was looking at the ink sack. We got to write our names on a piece of paper with the ink. I also really liked looking at the suction cups on the end of the tentacles. We used a magnifying glass and then drew a picture of the suction cups.
Mary - The squid had blue rubber in its veins. It was very stinky, but the got to keep some of the squid parts. I kept the eye, stomach and tentacles. I took pictures with the squid.
Mitchell - The squid dissection last week was cool and fun. My friend Keegan and I dissected a boy squid, and we saw the beak and the tentacles. My favorite part was the beak. I liked it better this time because I had a partner. The last two times I've done dissection my partner had to leave because they fainted or almost fainted.
Ronnie - When I first saw the hissing cockroach it looked pretty cool. It was a lot better than dissecting a squid. I learned that a hissing cockroach can walk up walls, and can talk to each other with its antenna. They live in Australia, and they can have up to 50 babies at a time. They have holes in their back which they suck air through, then blow back out to make a hissing sound. Hissing cockroaches are very cool and I am glad I got a chance to learn about them.
About a week before Christmas our co-op group got together to have a cookie exchange and to make soap. To make the soap we sliced up a large block of soap and melted it in the microwave. When the soap was melted, we poured it into some small molds with cool designers on them. We put a couple drops of food coloring into the soap and mixed it up until it was the color we wanted it to be. Then, we sprayed it with rubbing alcohol so it would not have air bubbles in it when it hardened. We also made a pan full of plain soap with fragrance in it. It was a lot of fun making the soap, and it makes a great gift for the holidays.
I know a little blond girl with bright blue eyes and is very special. She is five years old and missing a tooth in the front of her mouth. Her favorite colors are pink, blue, red. She loves to watch princess movies. Her favorite princess is Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. She loves to play with dolls, dressing up, and rollerskating. Her favorite foods are tacos, pizza, and the only vegetable she will ever eat is broccoli. Although she likes to complain she us still very sweet. Can you guess who she is?
Ronnie - We went on a field trip to the Appalachian Caverns with the whole homeschool group. We went on a tour and learned lots of cool stuff, like
Bat poop is in some beauty products and even Doritos!
That there is acid in carbonated sodas.
There are blind fish and they became blind because of the cave being so dark.
There is 30% more oxygen in caves than on the surface.
Mitchell - During the civil war soldiers went down into the cavern and had a little area where they doctored the sick and helped the injured, because the air in the cave has more oxygen that outside, and because they could hide. Also, there was actually a little place in the wall that acted like air conditioning, because cool air blew through there. We saw a place that had names of civil war soldiers scratched into the cave wall. As they cleared the cavern they found spoons, bottles and things that would help the sick.Lizzy - We learned about stalactites and stalagmites. The stalactites are the ones that go down. We saw a cave pearl, which is not in a clam. :) There was a cliff in the cave that was called the lovers leap. If a couple never fought and were just perfect, they could hold hands, jump, and survive the fall.Britany - We were in a group of 17 people, most of which were little people. It felt really cold in the cave, but really it was 58 degrees. Our tour guide said that if we got hit with cold water that it meant the cave had kissed us, but , but if you got hit with warm water, then a bat just flew over your head! Our tour guide was very funny. It was interesting seeing the bats. They are still in hibernation. They are so small. We learned that some Indians still gather there for meetings. There is a small pond in the cave, but we can't drink out of it because it has parasites in it that will give you diareah. At the end we saw an actual fish fossil in the cave that is really old. Mary - The bats are cute! There are brown and black ones, but the brown ones are the cutest. The caves were very fun, and when it was over we bought rings in the gift store.
We have been reading the book "Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare" by E. Nesbit. This is our first introduction to Shakespeare and we are amazed with how complicated his plays are. We have taken to keeping a pictorial record as we read in order to keep things straight. Yesterday our finished diagram cracked us up and I thought I would share. :)