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A is an Acoustic Tongue Drum

Hello! Today, and for quite a few up coming weeks, my writing will be a bit different than normal.  I will be writing an alphabet post like my brothers.  It looks fun!  So after going through many “a” options I decided my first alphabet article would be A is Acoustic and it is about my new tongue drum.

A is an Acoustic Tongue Drum  

 

First, I’d like to share the google definition of acoustic. It means:

a·cous·tic
adjective
  • relating to sound or the sense of hearing
  • (of music or musical instruments) not having electrical amplification.

The picture above is my Tongue Drum. Right about now you are probably asking “What is a tongue drum.”  Well, it is a dome-like saucer that has slits or indentions cut or hammered into it. Each drum sounds different and it depends on the size of the slits or indentions. There are also two types of pan drums I know of, depending on whether they have indentions or slits. The drum with indentions is commonly known as a handpan while a drum with slits is commonly known as a tongue drum.

I was first introduced to a Pan drum when my mom showed me a video of a guy named Daniel Waples playing a handpan, The way he played it was amazing and the music was even better! After I saw that first video I started looking around to see how much they were. We were shocked to discovery that the handpan he was using was $2,000 or more! We started looking for alternatives and found the Tongue Drum. They were $400+ dollars.  For my birthday my mom really wanted to surprise me with one! However, she was scared I would not like the one she picked out, so she asked me to look at it before my birthday to see if I really wanted that and only that for my birthday! The one she found was a beautiful nebula design and I loved its sound. Since it was on Ebay, she bid on it and we watched and waited. We ended up purchasing it for an extremely low price $220 dollars!!

I was surprised by how quickly I could play the instrument. I was literally playing it on the way home in the car. I am really enjoying this instrument and It has a wonderful sound. When I first started I was playing sequences of up to three notes, now I’m playing 3-4 notes at a time! Below is a video of me playing it!  

I hope you have enjoyed my article, and my music!

See ya’ soon

B is for My favorite books!

Hello! This is my “B” article for the alphabet blogging series, B is for my favorite books. I love to read and I read a lot. These are my favorite books that I’ve read this year.

B is for my favorite books

I love reading book series. I have read many this year. I also love adventure novels. Boone is both. When Boone the Forgotten came out, I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning to read the whole book. I loved it! I can’t wait for the next book, Boone the Sanctified to come out.

Boone the Ordinary: It’s about a boy named Boone and three of his friends, Noel, Case and Wayne, and his little sister Kaylee. It starts with Boone and Noel sitting in church together and their Sunday School Teacher mentioned the legend of Elijah Craig.  Noel hadn’t heard it before so Boone told her how a man named Elijah Craig was searching for the Mishpachah. She was fascinated by the story and they, along with their friends, went out searching to see if the legend was true.

Boone the Forgotten: this is the second book in the Boone series.  Boone is in the 8th grade but doesn’t have any classes with his friends.  He is very thankful they still go to the same church.  One day a friend from the garden named Cora came and then another fun adventure began.

Favbooks

If you would like to read a great review of the first book in the Michael Vey series, my brother Chase wrote this one.

Michael Vey book one The Prisoner of Cell 25: Michael Vey looks like a normal fourteen year old student but he has a secret, a special power. He thought he was the only one until he figured  out that Taylor, a cheerleader also has a similar power. Later Taylor as well as Michael’s mom are kidnapped by the Elgen, an organization using kids with powers like the ones Michael and Taylor have to build an army. This book is focused on the search for his friend and his mother.

Michael Vey book two The Rise of the Elgen: Michael and his friends went to a friend named Mitchell’s house and looked through some information to try to find his mother. They find where she  might be and the search for his mother begins again.

Michael Vey book three Battle of The Ampere: Michael and his group of friends,  along with a guide, are starting to divide into two groups “Staying and Leaving”, but they still put their plan to destroy the Elgen’s main ship in work.

These are my favorite books I’ve read this year.  I think children aged 10 and older will enjoy these too. Hope this list is helpful to you!  

See you later!

A: Alphabet Posts and Animals

Do you ever get that feeling when you’re about to begin writing, and you don’t know where to start? In some cases, you could sit there for hours, waiting for something to come to mind?  I know I’ve done that once or twice. But wouldn’t it be great if you could limit it down to a certain number of possibilities? It would certainly make the choice much easier. That’s one of the many reasons I’ve decided to begin writing through the alphabet.

Alphabet Blogging

What do I mean by “writing through the alphabet”? Well, think of it like this. For the next twenty-six weeks, I will write one post a week.  As you can see in the title, today I started on A. Next week I’ll do B, the week after that C, etc. Not only does it help organize your posts, it also helps keep people on a schedule. You also know what you’re going to be writing about next week, so you can go ahead and begin working on it.

So what have I decided to write about for my “A” post? Well, a few things came to mind as I thought about it, but I finally chose to write about animals. Recently, we’ve been doing a lot revolving around animals. From raising chickens, to finding turtles, we’ve done it all.  Most recently, we let some of our newest chickens out into the pen.

A few months back, we bought a lot of chicks.  A good twenty-five or so. You may think this is a lot, but in reality it’s the average batch size, out in the country you can fit a lot of chickens in one pen, and still have a ton of room left over. But we didn’t just go and buy chickens for the heck of it, or for the eggs and meat. We had bought another batch of chickens previously.  They were very fluffy, cute, and tiny, but they had a few other problems. We had to be so careful not to incubate or let those eggs get hatched because if they bred, it would create genetic problems, such as feather loss.  Not to mention they were just so small. And to top it off, half the batch was roosters, so they fought a lot.  It looked to me like this wasn’t their natural environment, maybe they came from farther north.  Whatever the case, we eventually had to get rid of them. These were their replacement and we learned a valuable lesson.

When I first saw these chickens, I knew they were the type I prefer. Not the small, fuzzy, antisocial chickens. These are large, friendly chickens that are almost completely tame. They’ve spent most of their early life away from the rest of the chickens, but now that they’ve grown into larger, more capable birds so we’ve decided to let them out with the other chickens. When I say “Other chickens”, I’m not referring to the ones we got rid of.  We still have a few that we’ve had for years, ones that are beginning to grow old for chickens.  Those, are the ones I’m talking about.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It took as about thirty minutes to move all the chickens out. We would grab a chicken, go to the coop, and show them around inside.  This is so they know how to come in at night. Then I would hand off the chicken to one of my brothers, who would then bring it into the pen. We repeated this with every chicken, then we showed them the water and food. After that, they began testing out their wings. Since we had them kept in a small brooder, this was the first time they had actually gotten the chance to fly. Now, you may be thinking that chickens can’t fly.  That’s only partially true.  They can fly, but only for short distances, such as across the pen (or out of the pen, if they choose to).  And that’s what they would do, fly from one end of the pen to the other.  It was pretty funny to watch, one would fly from one end, and another from the other end, and they would almost collide!

Aside from chickens, we’ve recently found huge turtles in our pool, a snake in the carport, and more.  Sometimes, having all these animals around can get pretty annoying (like the snake, for example), but in general I don’t mind them. Of course, chickens are one of my favorite animals, and a whole lot more fun to play with than the snake was. Right down the street there is a large marsh, so as you could imagine, we get a few snakes.

But like I said, chickens are definitely one of my favorite animals. It’s the one animal we have in the most abundance. Unlike a few other chickens, these are friendly and healthy. They’re great layers, and worst-case scenario, they are good meat birds.  But I don’t plan on eating these chickens, I enjoy them too much!

My First Flight

Flying. Some of us have done it on big planes, others on small planes. Then some of us haven’t flown at all. That was me, until a few weeks ago, when I got to go on my first flight. At first, I was worried I would be nervous, or get sick on the flight (I used to suffer from motion sickness), but once I got up in the air, I had a blast!

My first flight

 

Before I continue, I would like to say that this flight was only made possible via the Civil Air Patrol, and the senior staff of the TN-194 unit. A few months back, my brother and I joined CAP, and since then we’ve written a few other posts about the experiences we’ve enjoyed since then. This flight was possibly one of my favorite experiences so far. If you want to learn more, check out www.capmembers.com.  For information on joining, go to www.gocivilairpatrol.com.

When we first stepped foot onto the flight line, I knew I would enjoy this flight. I had always imagined I would like to fly, but had never had the chance nor the occasion to. Actually, we had to search for a bit to find the plane, at the back half of the airport. When we got there, our pilot, who goes by Andy, was finishing up the pre-flight check. While he was finishing that, I took the liberty of checking out the outside of the plane. At first glance, the plane looked quite heavy, but in reality it was very light. Even leaning on it could have sent it rolling down a hill.

my first flight 2

We boarded the plane right as he was finishing the pre-flight. As he powered up the various systems in the cockpit, he explained to me what each one did (I got to sit upfront first). Finally, he powered up the engine, and the propeller roared to life. Soon we were moving down the runway, about to takeoff. Contrary to what you may believe, while the plane is on the ground, it isn’t controlled via a steering wheel. In reality, there are pedals in the bottom of the cockpit, one to go left, and one to go right. For brakes, simply push down on the upper part of the pedals. At the end of the runway, there was one final check. This is when you check the windows, make sure all instruments have power, and run over a few safety measures, such as the fire extinguisher’s location.

Then, we were off. I watched out the window as we picked up more and more speed, until suddenly, I felt a lurch, and the ground began to sink away. Like everyone says, the takeoffs are always the most uncomfortable, but once we were up in the sky it felt similar to driving down the road.  Soon after, I took out my camera and began getting good pictures. About fifteen minutes went by, and I was still snapping away at my camera, when Andy said something I couldn’t quite understand. When you’re inside a small plane, you have to use a headset to communicate with the other people in the plane. Somehow, I managed to get the one headset that wasn’t working correctly. I could hear to some degree, but I couldn’t talk back to anyone. So throughout the flight, I had to yell to be heard over the engine. Once again, he asked, but this time I understood him. My heart skipped a beat at what I heard!

He repeated, “Do you wanna fly?” To be honest, I hadn’t planned on flying at all throughout this flight. I expected there to be too many legal issues. So needless to say, I was quite surprised. When I first put my hands on the controls, I kinda did a stiff-arm thing, and kept the plane as level as possible without turning.  But shortly after that, I got over my nervousness and began to execute turns, altitude changes, and other maneuvers. Now keep in mind, this was my first time flying. Period. I had no idea of the turn capabilities of this plane, much less any other plane. So I did really small, and rapid turns, in short increments. I did the same when ascending, and descending. I flew for a good thirty minutes, before my brother in the back of the plane spoke out.

my first flight 3

Apparently my brief, shaky turns were making him sick, so we had to return to the airport. Luckily, he did not have any stomach problems during landing. Once we were back on the ground, I asked him what happened. He said that he had begun feeling numb, sweaty, and his vision was graying around the edges (obvious signs of passing out). And thus, my flight experience was cut short. But even so, Gage was willing to go back up if I wasn’t the pilot.  So this time, I was the one in the back, and he was upfront. It is weird being in the backseat, much different from that of a car. It is more disorienting than being upfront. But even then, he still was motion sick. So we had to go back once again, and this time he didn’t feel like going back up. my first flight 4

So it was just me and Andy, and we had a great time. Right before we took off again, he told me we were going to do a few advanced moves. By that, he meant pulling a few Gs, and even going to try “0 Gs”. The first maneuver was a rapid form of takeoff, usually performed on all-grass runways, where you have a much smaller runway. Basically, you takeoff at a much steeper angle, and a higher speed. I could actually feel the G force increase as Andy did this, and I was pushed back into my seat.  And I loved the feeling, it’s weird and fun at the same time. But after we were in the air, we did even more maneuvers like the previous one.

My personal favorite was hard banks to the right and left. The G force is clearly felt, and it becomes somewhat difficult to move your limbs. On the other hand, my least favorite part was the “0 Gs” flight. Now to understand what 0 Gs is, one must first know about Gs. In our everyday lives, we live at 1 G, which is the gravitational force of Earth. As you’re reading this, 1 G is being exerted on your body. However, at the edge of our solar system, there is very little gravity. (What little gravity comes from the sun, and other passing celestial bodies), meaning you would be at near 0 Gs. So 0 Gs is, in fact, what it would feel like if there was no gravity on Earth. This is achieved by briefly cutting off, or nearly off, the engine and letting the plane cruise on it’s own. This is a little terrifying at first, since it feels like your falling. Just as your brain begins to register this, the pilot will turn the engine back on, and you’re back to normal flying. Although you might feel a little lightheaded afterwards.

For the last part of my flight, I got to see how fast a plane can really go. By car, a trip from the airport to one of the nearest cities could take up to thirty minutes by car, and yet it took half that time by plane. Now I understand why everyone travels by plane! After the flight, I later learned that the maneuvers the pilot had done were all the ones I needed. We managed to fit all of them into a two hour flight, when in reality these are usually performed over five hours. Now I can’t wait for the next one. I am “hooked” on the flight experience.  Luckily, in a few weeks, I’ll be going on a C17 cargo plane. I can’t wait, and I plan on writing a post on that flight too!

Our Dog Molly

Hello! I’ve decided that I’m doing a chain of animal posts for our creative writing linkup for June, but this will be the last about animals because I have no more animals to tell you about. The other articles are: Our Turtle, our Cats and now finally our dog Molly.

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

Molly is an Australian Shepherd. She’s black, white and brown in some places. We got her as a present from one of our best friends as a little puppy back in 2007. We named her Molly Grace Corlew… and there is a story about her name.  So, why did we name her Molly Grace? It was meant as a joke because she was NOT graceful at all. She would tumble-down the steps, or she would run really fast and then just plop over on her side and bang right into you. But that was about six years ago now she’s fully grown and is a GREAT guard dog.

Molly Collage

 

Mostly Molly stays around the house and watches. Sometimes she wanders off or follows us into the woods, but she is mostly a stick-around-the-house-dog. She doesn’t know too many commands but she knows some basic ones like: Sit, Stay, and sometimes she will lay down. She doesn’t do roll over or catch but she does respond to “Go get it!” She will run after anything moving. Sometimes Molly goes into “Crazy dog” mode where she runs around wild or flips over on her back and kicks her feet in the air, its funny to watch when she does that.

We also used to have one other dog, his name was Blackie. It was a black dog and it wandered up as a stray. But after a few days Blackie disappeared. We think we know why!  There is a little house we often drive by and there is a dog that looks exactly like him. He even has a red collar like the one we put on Blackie.

Thanks for reading the last of my animal chain posts. Maybe I’ll come up with another chain but until then!

Scaredy Cats Stink

Hello, how are you doing? Today I am going to be blogging about a strange subject. This post is part of my creative writing class in our homeschool. I will be linking it to our June creative writing linkup for tweens and teens. Well let me first start by asking you this! Did you know (Drumroll) that scaredy cats stink!?! No, really they do stink if they get very badly scared. And we found this out the hard way! Let me explain how we discovered this.

Photo credit: By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA (This was a timely capture  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA (This was a timely capture Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For a while now we have been trying to move six of our eight cats outside… Pumpkin, Precious, Tiger, T.J. (Tiger Junior), Salsa and Fuzzy have been going outside to play during the day. Two cats are staying inside, Gracie and Midnight. During this transition period, we have been keeping the doors open for the cats to be able to wander in and out to get them used to being outdoors. A few days ago, when our front door was open for the cats, Gracie was laying in front of it looking out. Molly, our Australian Shepherd dog, was laying on the porch. When Molly saw Gracie she decided she wanted to play and charged our glass door, scaring poor Gracie half to death!

Gracie ran into one of our classrooms and tried to climb the tallest cabinets to get away from Molly. She settled on a large bookshelf and after a few minutes, we started to smell a horrid odor in the classroom around Gracie! After some research we discovered that Gracie had skunked (as my brothers called it)! It turns out that kitty’s have anal glands in their hind quarters that secrete a horrid smell when they are scared as a defense mechanism, just like a skunk! Maybe I should get a book like this to learn about cat anatomy! But after about 2-5 days the smell is barely noticeable. We couldn’t believe it. Even mom, who has had cats her whole life, had never heard of this before. She told me I should write about this topic, so I did!

Now if your cat ever gets scared or frightened and starts to smell really bad, you will know why! I hope you all enjoyed my short but informative post on why some scaredy cats stink!

See ya’ soon!

The Great Kitty Migration!

Hello! This month we can choose our topic for our Creative Writing Link-up Posts. I’m writing about our kitties going outside…. I’m calling it The Great Kitty Migration. I’ll give you the background story of how we got these kitties, etc.

 Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

It all started out when one of our friends in Grand Junction, TN had a litter of four kittens she was wanting to give away. We gladly accepted and brought home three kittens. But when we released them from the carrier one of them ran and crawled under our cabinets in the kitchen. It just so happened that the cat that ran under there was mine. So we went back and got another, he didn’t run under so he was my cat. We named the cats we had Tiger, Gracie, Pumpkin and the one under the counter Precious. Pumpkin and Precious were orange kitties and Tiger was a gray and black striped tabby kitty, and Gracie was a tortoise-shell tabby. We tried every day to get Precious to come out and he would come out eat, drink and crawl back under. But one day Precious came and rubbed up against my brother Chase’s leg and then he started staying out and finally stayed.

So we had four kittens, but soon that would all change. Gracie was pregnant and she had a litter of four also.  We named them T.J., Midnight, Mysterious and Salsa. You might be wondering “Why those names… Salsa and T.J.s?” We originally thought about naming Salsa “S-face”, because she had a brown patch of fur that looked like an S.  T.J. we named Stripes, at first. We didn’t really like the name S-face, and Stripes looked so much like Tiger, we decided to re-name them. I don’t know why we named her Salsa but we did, but T.J. stands for “Tiger Junior” which was going to be a nickname but just like our turtle it became his real name.

Fluffy

After about three years every once in a while a fuzzy cat would come up on our porch and look at us through the glass door, and we would feed her hot dogs. Chase named her Fuzz ball because she was so fuzzy. One day we read the weather and it said that there was a chance of freezing rain, so we were going to let Fuzz ball stay in a night or two, but when she came in, she never went back out.

This year we lost Mysterious.  We already knew she was very weak and was getting weaker and weaker. We took her to the vet and they said she had Kitty Leukemia and we didn’t want her to suffer so we put her down.

Now that you have the background, I will tell you about the migration. The migration of cats is where six of our kitties are going outside. The ones going out are Tiger, Pumpkin, Precious, Fuzz ball, rather Fuzzy is what we call her now, T.J and Salsa. The ones staying in are Midnight and Gracie. Those are all the kitties that are staying and going. But right now we let them roam in and out as they please. In the next two weeks they’ll be outside cats.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my cats and “The migration” see ya’ later!

Discovery Park of America Review

Have you ever been to a museum, theater, or a science fair? I imagine everyone’s been to at least one of those. What do you get when you mix all of those together? Well, you get the Discovery Park of America! Last Friday, my family and I took a day off to visit this $80 million dollar facility located in Union City, Tennessee, very near the Kentucky border. That’s quite a drive from our home in La Grange, Tennessee, over two hours actually. But once we got there, the long drive was worth it!

DPOA1

When we got there, we were actually an hour ahead of our schedule, meaning we had a bit of free time before the first event began. So first, we explored the main building of the park. Honestly, I don’t know what I expected it to look like, but it couldn’t have been as cool as it looked in real life! When we first entered the huge building, the first thing I noticed was the enormous shark mouth right in front of the door. I recognized the sharp, finger-long teeth to be those of a Megalodon instantly. We actually found one on our North Carolina vacation a couple of years ago and I’ve been fascinated with them since then! Although I have seen several of these huge sharks’ mouths over the years, it never ceases to amaze me how big they get!

dpoa slideThe most popular attraction of the entire park was right behind the Megalodon teeth… it was a forty-eight foot metal statue, spanning the two uppermost floors of the Discovery Center. From atop the statue, you can see the lobby of the Center below, but that’s not all. Inside the statue’s head is a slide, that leads down the legs onto the second floor below! I have to tell you, being 14 years old, I don’t spend a ton of time on slides anymore, but this one was one really cool slide! My brother, Gage, took a video going down the slide. It was so much fun, I went down a second time and would have gone down again if we had enough time!!

 

 

helicopterOnce inside, I spent my hour in various places around the building. I began my tour at the aquarium section, a small but immensely diverse part of the park. It was also, quite possibly, one of the most popular parts of the park. There were fish, turtles, snakes, you name it. Across the room was the earthquake simulator, the native american exhibit, and the civil war artifacts. One of our favorite displays was the WWII exhibit. From tanks, to heli’s, to uniforms, to mines, they had it all. We loved seeing the WWII exhibit but the best part was the helicopter (as you can tell from brother Gage’s smile in the picture). There, in the middle of the room, they had erected an actual helicopter.  You could access the cargo hold, the cockpit, and other parts of the vehicle as well. We are in Civil Air Patrol and we all have a growing obsession with all things military and especially flight equipment!

After we had finished touring the WWII area, it was almost one o’clock, which was when the first event began. This event, which just happened to be the earthquake simulator mentioned earlier, was right next to the aquarium. Inside, was a widescreen TV, like a theater. But instead of chairs to sit in, there were rails. I continued to wonder how it worked right up until the movie began. Then, the floor began to vibrate and move around under my feet, as a clip of an earthquake began to play. Throughout the movie, I continued to feel the frequent rumbling, and the occasional spray of water as a wave crashed against the shore. That simulator was something else! I loved how the simulator made you feel like you were in the middle of the action, like you were the one experiencing the earthquake shown in the movie.

After we finished the earthquake simulator, we still had a bit of time to explore the rest of the park. Believe it or not, throughout the whole first part of our trip, I still hadn’t even visited the first floor! So now I took the time to enjoy all the exhibits on the first floor, a lot of which had something to do with natural history. I thoroughly enjoyed the rock and mineral exhibits! I’ve always had a fascination with geology, to the extent of filling up my bedroom with rocks and gems. As much as I would’ve wanted to have a few of these rocks on display in my room, I’m not sure they would fit!  There were huge pieces of amethyst in one of the exhibits that were almost seven feet tall! There were numerous other exhibits on the ground floor as well, such as a library, an automobile exhibit, prehistoric creatures, and more. I had just finished visiting all of these when it came time to go to the next event, The Interactive Starship Theater.

The theater itself looked like just that, a theater with an enlarged screen. But once you get a closer look, you’ll notice that there are controls on the arms of the chairs. These controls are how the players interact with the simulator. Throughout the simulation, there are five separate tasks that have to be completed by either the Engineers, Scientists, or Passengers. Of the thirty people in the simulator, eight people were chosen to be pilots. Against all odds, somehow all of us (well my two brothers and I) got a chance to be pilots. Several of the tasks included studying the sun, repairing a probe, and exploring the rest of the galaxy. We spent almost an hour in the simulator, performing the various tasks required to complete the mission. Eventually, the mission was completed and we finished exploring the galaxy. After we finished the simulator, it was almost three o’clock.

Glass ElevatorThat meant it was time for our final and possibly my favorite event, going to the top of The Tower.

The Tower juts twelve stories out of the roof above the central building, which is also known as the Discovery Center. We took the glass-walled elevator all the way to the top. I had an amazing view up there. I could see the whole park, a highway in the process of being made, and the  landscape far beyond that.  Almost just as impressive was the glass floor. It gives you a weird  feeling, when there’s only three inches of glass separating you from safety and a long fall to the ground. But I really enjoyed it, going up there and getting to see so much of the land.  I almost couldn’t leave when it was that time.

Glass Floor

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Discovery Park of America, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. I highly recommend you plan a trip to the Discovery Park of America! But try to make it a weekend visit! There was so much more to see and do that we didn’t have time to experience… Things like:

  • a tree maze
  • a grist mill
  • a train depot
  • a restored century-old chapel
  • and even more!

Oh well, that gives me something to look forward to when we visit next time!

Discovery Park of America

Meet our Turtle Wurtle!

Hello, this post is part of our creative writing linkup for teens and tweens. It is dedicated to my turtle, named Wurtle.

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

 

His name was originally Kristal when we thought it was a girl, then we thought it was a boy and renamed it Kris. We still are not sure what its gender is, so its nick-name, Wurtle has sort of become its permanent nickname / real name.  Wurtle is a red-eared slider that we found in our pool. My dad was getting the pool ready after the winter and was putting Shock in the pool. After he had poured the Shock in, he found the turtle. He brought it in the house in a container and showed it to us. We were in the classroom doing history at the time and were studying Kristallnacht (Also known as The Night of Breaking Glass). When he told us he had just used Shock in the pool we were scared we might have blinded the poor turtle so we decided to keep it.

 

Wurtle

When we first got Wurtle, he was about the size of a quarter, now he has grown to about the size of my hand. He is a huge eater… eating close to a can of turtle food in a month. My brother, Chase, trained our turtle to bite your fingers. We used to hand feed Wurtle and when he bit you when he was little, it did not hurt. Recently, when I was hand feeding Wurtle, he bit my hand and just wouldn’t let go! I could have dragged him around the tank with him still attached to my finger. That was unusual, most of the time he let go after a few seconds. I have been working on getting it out of the biting stage and now, it won’t even eat out of my hand anymore! So now I put the food in the water and on a fake log for it to eat.

Disclosure

Our turtle is in our classroom, and it just so happens that it is right beside my brother Gage and close to me. The reason why I like this is because it is very calming to watch and hear. Turtle swims around the tank a lot and dives off the rocks. The sound of water is nice and our filter has a waterfall, so it’s pretty to look at too! Since the turtle is in our classroom, it became part of our school work too. Mom wrote a post about some of the works we used to study about turtles.

When we first got Wurtle, we had to do lots of research to learn all about red-eared sliders. We needed to know how to take care of it so we researched things like:

  • What it likes to eat
  • what its tank needed to have
  • how big it would grow
  • how warm to keep the water
  • what kind of heat lamp to use, and
  • many other things about how to care for Wurtle.

These are the books we used to research turtles:

We quickly learned that keeping a turtle healthy and happy is a little bit of work. Not so much that we didn’t want to keep it, but more than we expected. One thing that we found out the first week… turtle tanks get dirty and FAST! That was the worst part of taking care of the turtle in the beginning. We had to clean the entire tank every week to keep the water clean. Until mom bought a Viquarium. That was the best thing we found to help keep the turtle tank clean. Here is a video from the company that makes it.  We highly recommend it!!

Do you have a turtle or other reptile?  Tell us about it!

Divergent Book Review

Hello! Okay so this week’s topic is our choice, and I’m doing something different this time. I am sharing my Divergent Book Review. My brother, Chase, did a review of Micheal Vey Book One: The Prisoner of Cell 25. I finished that series about a month ago, and I’m still waiting for the fourth book to come out. But I also read this series, Divergent. There are three books all in all, and I might still do a review of them all, but right now I’m starting with the first.

There are five “Factions” or divisions of people: Dauntless, Erudite, Candor, Amity and Abnegation. Each division has a symbol. Dauntless has A ring of fire with a flame in the middle of the ring;  Erudite is an eye;  Candor is a scale;  Amity is a tree; and Abnegation is two hands holding each other.

A Book Review of Divergent

 

The book starts with a girl named Beatrice and her faction was Abnegation. She was sixteen, which was a very special age because you are old enough to choose a new faction. This was called the Choosing Ceremony. She had to take a test to see which faction you were supposed to choose. Her results were inconclusive, meaning she was “Divergent” which meant she could choose from three factions: Dauntless, Erudite and Abnegation.

She went to a new faction (I’m not telling which, it would spoil the book) and made her way through initiation. Even though it was tough for her she made four new friends: Christina, Will, Al, and Four. Four was her instructor and her friend. She went through her initiation and faced hard challenges but it was all worth it. In the end she had what she wanted, a faction where she was normal. Some of the reasons I liked this book are

  • Interesting plot
  • Action packed
  • Unexpected twists
  • No bad language
  • I love that it just pulls you into the story!  I couldn’t put the book down!

That sums up about 3% of the book, I tried to leave it a little vague so you can still have the joy of the many surprises in the book. All in all Divergent was a great book, and series. I am going to enjoy watching the movie! But it will be a while because we all read the books before we watch the movie and my brothers are just starting the series.

 

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