Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Blast" from the Past

On July 21, we went to the Citie of Henricus Historical Park. They have many exhibits that show life in the Colony of Virginia around the time 1611 when the Citie of Henricus was established.

We learned from re-enactors about
wars between the colonists and natives, the weapons used by both sides, and armor used by the colonists. Here, you can see a re-enactor firing a matchlock musket. We all took a turn holding the musket (that's Matthew).

In the Native hut, we saw many pelts that were curing. Victoria took the chance petting a skunk (she swears it didn't smell). Also, onsite, they had a trades/blacksmith building. The guides described the trades and how much training one had to have in order to perform a certain trade and earn a living. We also learned about tobacco: how to farm it and how to process it. Tobacco is still one of the largest cash crops coming out of Virginia, today. Last, we saw the colonial hospital and where colonists brewed medicines from herbs and plants. Victoria even tried her hand at using the mortar and pestle that were made from tree trunks.

Capitalism and Chicken

The object of Capitalism is to get rid of all your cards as fast as possible. Depending upon the number of players, there are up to 5 ranks: President, VP, Citizen, Hobo, and Scum. Victoria was repeatedly Scum, Matthew didn't break above a Hobo, Brady was the most mobile of all, going from Hobo to President and back a few times, and Andy reached President and VP...even Dad was Pres a few times.

The President starts by discarding his lowest card or pair of lowest cards. Play continues in this way down the ranks. The person who gets rid of their cards first is the new President. If only Democracy were so simple.

After a rousing game of Capitalism, we all had dinner with Mim and Pap...one of Mim's world-renown recipes (but Mom makes it better), Jan's Chicken. Mom made a new twist: Pete's Chicken, which is Jan's Chicken with Texas Pete's and Cayenne. Only Andy, Dad, and Mom DARED to try it. Once the holes in their tongues healed, they were able to say it was pretty good.

Harry Potter 6

We went to see HP6 today at Movieland Theatre, Bow Tie Cinemas in downtown Richmond. The theater was really nice, the seats were comfortable, and the food was good. In fact, it was the cleanest and best kept we have ever been to, say MAB & V.

Matthew felt the movie wasn't as good as the book, unfortunately. They had to leave too much out of the movie to fit it into 2 hours. Victoria did figure out that RAB was Sirius Black's brother and that we'll be seeing him in the Deathly Hallows in a couple of years.

According to Brady, the movie could have gone into more detail but was pretty great anyway. Maybe they should hire back the Director who put together Azkban, that one was the best of the series.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jaws of Fury

Today was my last day of science camp. I saw another I-Max movie which was Sharks. It talked about the different types of sharks including whale sharks, and great whites. Most sharks don't hurt humans which can allow you to swim with untamed sharks. We also learned about clouds.

Rain Rain Go Away

Today I had my second to last day of camp. I did a lot today. I did an ocean habitat. It has sand, hair gel, grass, plastic seashells and sea animals. You will also need a rectangular container. You put in half of the lid of sand. Put it in the bottom of the container. Then you get the hair gel and fill up the container leaving the sand where it is. Then you bang the hair gel down leaving half a quart of the container empty. Then get the grass and put 2 pieces of it in. Shut the lid and tape it.

We also learned about weather a little bit. I made a wind meter. Here's how you make it. You need 4 small Dixie cups. One of them different, 1 Styrofoam ball, a hot glue gun, 3 kaebob sticks, and lastly a straw. Gel 2 of the kaebob sticks and brake them in half. Poke all 4 pieces into the Styrofoam ball evenly. Then poke the sticks in the middle of the cup. Glue them securely in. Then get the big stick and poke it in on the bottom or top. Then glue it. Then put the straw on the long stick. Once your done with that its finished. Then go outside and measure the wind. Count the times the different cup passes you. 15x=1 mph, 30x=2 mph, 35x=3 mph, and 40x=4mph

Renaissance Faire

Today the family went to a Renaissance Faire in Gloucester. There were many things to see and vendors and re-enactors to learn from. First, we stopped at the weaponry tent and learned about Medieval weapons. You can see here, Brady and Matthew tried the chain mail on. A man at the table behind them was making chain mail and dragon's scales by hand.

Next we went to see the "Magical Mind of Mad Maggie" who sang songs and did tricks with her pet Richard. Since Matthew wouldn't participate, she made him come up and sing into a kazoo and dance the "Cortez shuffle" (the Hokey Pokey).

There were lots of vendors. We saw a man making Kettle Korn (we had to buy a huge bag). We went to talk with a leather tooler who had lots of different types of Medieval containers for bowls, notepads, combs, and tools.

Then we went to the knife tent where we met a young girl who was, to put it mildly, obsessed with disfigurement. She demonstrated several of the knives for us. No one lost any fingers.

Victoria was met by a dragon in the center courtyard. He made her a princess after she listened to his two pieces of Dragon Wisdom: 1) Never do anything for beads and 2) Shiny is good 2b) someone else to pay for the shiny is even better.

Lady Aela, a belly dancer, performed several dances. Some were to Medieval music and some were to Middle Eastern music. She also taught the crowd how to do the traditional belly-dancer "call." She invited members of the crowd to come up and dance with her.

Lastly we listened to Hither, Dither, and Yon, a singing group of three ladies. One played mandolin, one played lute, and they all sang songs they had written.

Space Camp Day 5

This was the final day that Matthew and Brady would be at space camp. At the graduation they both got certificates with certain superlatives. Matthew's said "most likely to jump the Grand Canyon without a motorcycle" and Brady's said "most likely to win a gold medal at the Olympics for Tae Kwon Do". This was the end to the explosive week of space camp.

Space Camp Day 4

No pictures for today, we went to AEGIS. No cameras allowed. No cell phones allowed. No jokes allowed, they threw Brady out. After everything that happened the counselors took the students to the beach. Matthew played football and wrestled the counselors. Brady sat and talked to the female counselors and cracked jokes the entire time. To end the day at the beach they had smores and went back to their dorms to sleep.

Space Camp Day 3

On day 3 they went to a firehouse, a control center, a launch tower, they went to see remains from a prototype escape pod for the astronauts if something goes wrong, and had some people from a NASA balloon center talk to the kids. There Matthew found out about Joseph Kittenger who is the man who holds the record for the highest skydive. They also found out about their friend who wants to go into the air force was afraid of heights.

Space Camp Day 2

On day 2 after breakfast they went to the NASA Visitors Center. There they watched a 10 minute movie and took a tour of the building. From there they went to lunch and started building there robots which had to do a task. After dinner that night they got everybody together and played a huge football game.

Space Camp Day 1

On day 1 Matthew and Brady woke up and went to a mess hall called the 'Eagles Nest' which was on a Navy Base. Then everybody went back to the classroom and learned about robotics and built bottle rockets. After that they had pizza and their group the Eagles stayed and played the name game. Then they went back to robotics, had dinner, freetime, and went to sleep.

Space Camp

Last Sunday Matthew and Brady went to the Virginia Space Flight Academy. That day they had a picnic for the families. Afterwards they got all the campers together to introduce themselves and have a civil engineer mini project which they won. After that they did whatever they wanted until they had to go to sleep.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wizards of Weather

Today I had my 3rd day of science camp. We learned about static electricity. Static electricity is like on a rainy day a lot of the humidity is the static electricity. We did an activity on static electricity. We got a black rod and a red rod. We got a wool cloth and a silk cloth and charged up the rods by rubbing one of the two cloths on the rods. We got to try out the static electricity in the rod by pouring salt on a sheet of paper moving it. Same with pepper, string, and packing puffs. My group went to the I-max and saw Storm chasers. The movie talked about natural disasters. Here are some examples of natural disasters, Tornado, Hurricanes, Volcano Eruptions, Earthquakes, and Tsunami's.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Victoria the Seedling...Day 2 a Science Camp

Today was the second day of Science Camp. Here's a quick riddle: How is a Tootsie Pop like the Earth's layers?

1) the wrapper is like the crust

2) the hard candy is the mantel

3) the Tootsie roll is the outer core

4) and the stick is the inner core (but it doesn't stick out the bottom)!

Today's subject was PLANT CELLS. I made a DNA necklace with Strawberry seeds (no spit and no urine, DAD!). I'm wearing it right now! I also made a model of a cell with slime, bubble wrap, pipe cleaners, and a marble for the nucleus.

We played on the static electricity exhibit. Why do you think my hair is so frizzy? I stood on the red box and shook my head and VOOOOOM! My hair all stood straight up in the air!

We also did leaf pounding. We collected 3 different leaves. I put the leaves on the concrete and covered them with material. Then I started BAM BAM BAM with the mallet. That made the leaves leave green patterns on the material. You can see the veins and the different colors of green.

I Dig Science Camp!

Today I went to my first day of Science Camp. I made four friends in the first few minutes there. There names are Jordan, Anaja, Arianna,and Dakota (Cody).
Our first experiment was the sediment tube. You make a sediment tube by filling a test tube halfway with dirt and the rest of the way with water. Then you cap it TIGHTLY and shake it up. Turn it upside down (rest on the cap) and watch the sediment and the water separate!

Then we learned about the layers of the Earth. There are 4: inner core, outer core, the mantel, and the crust. We live on the crust, it's too hot in the core and too hot in the mantel which is made of magma, not good for your hair.

We all dug holes out in Freedom Park (next to the Science Museum). The dirt in Freedom Park is over 100 years old. We were looking for different types of dirt.

Then we made edible dirt and it was YUMM-O! We used Oreos, vanilla pudding and gummy worms. Mr. Chris yelled "3-2-1 EAT IT!" and we all ate dirt.

In the afternoon we made a SIM. That stands for the Rock Cycle: Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic. To make a SIM, you need a styrofoam cup, three rocks, glue, and googly eyes and feathers (if desired). First, put a Sedimentary rock in the bottom of the cup, then squeeze a good amount of glue on it. Add the Igneous rock next and the Metamorphic rock on top. Decorate the top rock if you like.

Day one of Science Camp was AWESOME!

To the moon

Nilla Icing and Nilla Swirl took off for Space Camp Sunday. Unforunately on the way there, they encountered an alien species named Victoria!

More on Space Camp to come...stay tuned...

Nilla Icing and Nilla Swirl, Your New Favorite Rap Artists

Featured here, rockin' their new faux-hawks are Nilla Icing (left) and Nilla Swirl, little known (in fact, nearly UNknown) cousins to the famed Vanilla Ice.
We can thank their father, Nilla Wayfah, for the idea...and their mother, Betty Crackah for the ride.

Put Put and Lillyput

Saturday, the boys took Mom put-putting. After the first 9 holes, Brady and Matthew were tied for first place and Andy and Mom were tied for second. That is, until Mom blew it up on the "back nine" taking the course mandated stoke limit of 5 on three holes (rather than the actuals of 7, 6, and 9).
Brady got the first hole-in-one with a miraculous drive down a lovely fairway on the 5th hole, Matthew followed with his hole-in-one on the 7th.
Andy, not to be outdone, took his hole-in-one on the final, 18th hole.
Notice Matthew's unique putting stance; taking after Jose Maria Olazabal...mooning the crowd to make his put.
Meanwhile, back at the Clawson Cave, Lillyput and Victoria were busily helping dad clear out the weeds, limbs, extra plants, brack and foolishness around the grill patio. Lilly took the opportnity to dig a hole deep enough to bury herself (approximately 4 inches deep) and then promptly douse herself up to the eyeballs in muddy water. What a little lady. After a long day of digging, pruning, pulling weeds and stacking branches, everyone needed a little drink!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lions, Tigers, and Bears. Oh My!

Today our father took us to the Metro Richmond Zoo. Most of the zoo was filled with primates and other monkeys. The zoo had lions, tigers, and other cats and most were asleep . In addition to monkeys they also had a large variety of lemurs, bats, and sloths. They had trains and sky lifts which were a rip-off in our opinion due to their expensive nature. To round out the trip we stopped and looked at the African penguin exhibit.

Sewing 101

Today I went to sewing 101. It was a class that I thought went well. I made a V pillow made out of 100% cotton. The main color is red with black puppy paws.

Fly Boys

Happy Birthday Miss America

Caught with their mouths full...and their ears full on the fourth of July.

On the fourth of July we went to Dogwood Dell to watch fireworks. While we waited, we listened to some "rock n' roll" and watched what can only be decribed as a drunk woman dance in her own Independent way (get it, Independent??). Andy and Brady decided to rock their right to be different and had their fingernails painted blue while Matthew pigged out in the background. After 3 hours of waiting, we all enjoyed a fine display of fireworks and cannon fire.

Fiesta Fiesta Party! (Happy 14th to Andy/Paco!)

For Andy's 14th birthday, we had a Fiesta! with tacos, nacos (Mom's invention), sombreros, a pinata and a water battle.To fake Andy out, Dad took him to Dick's to pretend to buy a golf club for an old dude that works with our father. Brady went to party city and bought Fiesta supplies for my brother's party, including moustaches for everyone to wear (mom wore one too). Matthew, Mom, and Victoria were really busy at the house setting up decorations, cooking, and making drinks. Matthew hung the pinata (aka: tire swing) from the tree in the backyard with bungee cord. We thought it was a good idea until it almost came off the branch and headed towards Mim. But you can't wrap up a good birthday party without an enormous water balloon and silly string war that lasted 3 hours.