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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Gorillas and monkeys and any type of animal in that class of animals have always fascinated me. I notice that I take many more pictures of these types of animals than any others when I am at a zoo (with the exception of THE GIRAFFE INCIDENT).
Here are some of the meerkats from Meerkat Manor, one of our favorite shows. Oh, wait, that is Carter and Cooper!
None of us had ever seen a kangaroo with an actual joey in the pouch before. I got several pictures of this awesome sight as it is a rare one!!
This is my favorite picture from the zoo!! This goat was sooo funny looking. He looks like he has goat dentures with teeth like that:) I could not quit staring at him. I liked him and petted him several times because he made me happy with his toothy grin!!
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The Komodo Dragon was my FAVORITE exhibit at the Atlanta Zoo this time. I still really like the Panda exhibit (my old favorite), but seeing the Komodo Dragon was really awesome! Carter and Cooper got to ride him! Just Kidding!!
Here are my two monkeys with two gorillas and a cousin! They really like posing on top of the animal sculptures. Just another climbing opportunity!!
AWWW! Baby birds!! That is the reason Cooper has his mouth open like that:) When all of the boys posed in the bird's nest, I asked them all to open their mouths like little baby birds. There are some pictures with all of their mouths open, but this one is the only one that shows their cute little faces!!
We are all suckers for the petting zoo. Carter and Cooper have been to several petting zoo's as children and they never seem to tire of it! They just pick up whatever brushes or pads that are laying around and go to it! They also thought it was really cool when the goats when to pee and poop. They both had really good laughs when that happened near them! Gosh, I love having boys!!
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During the week of July 19 - 27 we decided to take a vacation to Atlanta since we were going to the GHEA Homeschool Conference on July 25th and 26th in Atlanta. Tony and the boys had arranged with Uncle Jeff to fly from Spartanburg to Atlanta with Uncle Jeff. I was driving with nanney! Unfortunately, towards the end of the trip, Uncle Jeff let Cooper fly the plane and due to the back and forth / up and down of Cooper's flying, Carter got VERY, VERY sick (right on Tony's leg and sandals to be exact). He looks to be having a good time in this picture, though!
Here is Tony and Cooper in the plane. Tony is looking a little pekid, but he was hot. Cooper had a really good time. He loves flying the plane!!
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Ottowa Farms is a really cute little farm about 10 minutes from our house. They have pick your own blueberries and strawberries. The day we went they were also selling watermelon, cantaloupe and okra. MMMM!! We asked a few of our friends to go with us and pick blueberries and it was great!! Here is Carter smiling and picking blueberries.
We decided to pick blueberries in the afternoon around 1:00 and it was very hot!! As you can see, Cooper was hot as well! I found him under several blueberry bushes picking the berries from under the bush. He was too cute:)
YUMMY! Between us all, I think we got about 10 pounds of blueberries. All of the children were eating them right off of the bush. I have to admit that I was too:) They were so sweet and not at all tart!
Here is our group of pickers:) We are missing one child in the photo, Ethan, because he had been bitten by an ant. He was not a happy picker. From left to right, Garrett, Cooper, Chloe, Carter and Emeline. I think the kids had a good time even though it was hot. When we paid for the blueberries, the lady at the farm showed the children a bull and several goats as well. They were excited!!
We have made many blueberry recipes with our fresh picks! We have made
blueberry cookies, blueberry buckle and blueberry cloud pie. All of which were hits!!
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This is the flag at Fort Pulaski, which is near Tybee Island. We bought a season pass for Fort Pulaski and are trying to go whenever they have special events like Canon / Musket Firing as well as the event we went to in this post. We went to Celebrating America at Fort Pulaski which included canon firings, musket firings, a staff game of 1860's baseball and then a family game of 1860's baseball.
Here is Carter "Batter Up" Smith. As you can see by the picture, the bat is much larger than today's baseball bat and the ball was much different as well. You could tell that the difference affected some of the children (and adults!) who were used to playing with today's lighter equipment!
Here is Cooper "Homerun" Smith. He had a smaller version of the 1860's bat, but it was still a little hard for him to handle. Luckily, we did not have to dress in 1860's fashion, as the staff at Fort Pulaski was wearing!
Here is Tony "RBI" Smith. The family game was adults verses children. All of the children really got a kick out of their parents playing ball with the different equipment!
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Thursday, July 3, 2008



Carter really enjoyed the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Camp he attended in the middle of June. He learned a lot about World War II. The picture at the left is of the dog tags that he received at camp. Even though you cannot see it, the dog tags have his name engraved in them. He was so proud of these. He is still wearing them! Camp was really great for Carter! He drank powdered milk and ate Spam. For those of you who don't know Carter, eating these foods is an AMAZING EVENT! He informed us that, "the P.O.W.'s drank powdered milk and ate canned meat" and that he did too. Once again, too proud for words!
What good soldier from World War II doesn't have a tattoo to remember their sacrifice for their country. As you can see, Carter got his own tattoo for his "service" in camp. The symbol on his arm is the symbol for the Mighty Eighth Air Force group for which the Museum is named. Carter was also VERY proud of this tattoo. He showed it to everyone!
Here is Carter pretending to be a wounded soldier on the battlefield. He had worn this soldier hat out into the yard and I thought that he looked so cute that I asked him to pretend that he was a wounded soldier on a battlefield. This is his dramatization. Pretty good, don't you think?
Ah, Carter in classic form. Here he is with his souvenir purchase from the gift shop at the museum, his Mighty Eighth T-Shirt. He had a really great week at camp and made some good friends. The teacher was really sweet to them all week. On the last day of camp, she dressed as "Rosie the Riveter" and when I asked Carter to explain why the teacher was dressed that way, he informed me that, "when the men were away at the war, the women had to go to work so that everyone in the United States could live". Again, he learned A LOT!! The kids learned how to plot points on a map, the different types of planes and bombers used in World War II and played many interactive games. It was a great week!
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So, we began astronomy with a book called Exploring Creation with Astronomy, graciously loaned to us for the summer by a leader at our co-op. At left, our first experiment. The point of the experiment was to learn that the planets are different sizes in relation
to one another. We tried to follow the instructions for the experiment and we were close, but the boys really did get to understand that some planets are larger / smaller than others. They were amazed that Earth was not the largest planet and that the last four planets of the solar system are the largest, which was their own independent observation, of which I am most proud!! Oh, just FYI, the first balloon is to represent the sun, then come Mercury, Venus, etc.
Here is our sweet Carter with the experiment from Chapter 2 of our Astronomy book. We were discussing the sun. This experiment used a magnifying glass, which is not seen clearly in the picture to focus the sun's rays on a small part of chocolate candy. We then compared how quickly the part of the chocolate candy that had the focused rays melted in comparison to the other pieces that did not have the focused rays. Of course, nothing is better than melted chocolate, so we cleaned the plate when our experiment was complete! By the way, Carter went to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum for camp during this week, so all science was done with this green soldier's hat from World War II on his head! Carter got to take his own camera to the museum for camp
and hopefully those pictures will be on here soon!

In this experiment, we focused the sun's rays on a small part of the first piece of chocolate and it melted VERY quickly. We then focused the sun's rays over a slightly larger part of the second piece of chocolate and it melted quickly, but not as fast at the first piece. Finally, we focused the sun's rays on an even larger part of the third piece of chocolate and it took it a noticeably longer time to melt. The point of this portion of the experiment was to show that the more focused (smaller) the sun's rays, the hotter the point of light! Once again, we cleaned our mess by licking our plates! I love science!
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