Friday, November 13, 2009

The Very Fat Caterpillar

Last week our neighbor brought this to us and we were giddy. Seems it doesn't take much to make us happy around here. He was the biggest, fattest, coolest caterpillar we've ever seen.

We couldn't identify it with complete confidence. It looks a lot like a Lunar Moth caterpillar, but not perfectly the same (based on Internet descriptions).

We hung out with him for awhile. I took a bazillion photos and was basically entranced. I loved watching him walk. I even videotaped him walking and then pooping (a bonus!). I'm sparing you that little video. Let's just say, we didn't know caterpillars pooped such big poopies (I just use a form of the word poop four times, aren't you happy?)!Such beauty. Seriously. What a creative Creator we have. After an hour, we let him go. We don't have the best track record with caterpillar to chrysalis to moth/butterfly experiments.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cardboard Castle

The Boy and Princess had to make a castle out of cardboard for an assignment during our study of the Middle Ages. They enjoyed the work and the chance to be creative. I got a kick out of seeing what they felt was important to "tell" about castles. This was their first real 'project' (so shoot me). Pretty good for a first and for no parental involvement, don'tcha think?

Royal Tower

King and Queen with their pet peacock

One of the peasant hovels from the villages near the castle

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Artists

Princess and Faith won first and second place, respectively, in the county fair for their art. We made these canvases to hang in thier rooms this past summer (using Crayola Twistables Slick Sticks). I was proud of their work and their effort at the time. Now I'm thrilled they were recognized. Many smiles when the ribbons were brought home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Creatures I

Faith and Cutie Pie spent a lot of time looking for animals this past week. They collected two kinds of caterpillars, a praying mantis, and a lizard. We didn't have anything to keep the lizard in, so he was set free pretty quickly. We can't find our insect reference book, so we have to use the Internet for identification, which is not as easy as I thought it would be. Feel free to suggest a good insect identification reference book for us to keep on hand.

(Excuse the poor photos, I'm having camera issues.)

Caterpillar #1: Currently unidentified, found Nov 3, released Nov 5

Caterpillar #2: Currently unidentified, found Nov 3, released Nov 5

Praying Mantid: commonly called praying mantis; adult; grayish brown; 2 and a half inches long; eats flies, crickets, honeybees and moths; has compound eyes; can turn his head almost all the way around; found Nov 5; released Nov 5.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Coat of Arms

The Boy had to design a coat of arms for an assignment. He decided to put it on a shield. I'm proud of his design.

Here are his reasons explaining the symbolism:

Peacock Feather= beauty, knowledge and power
The Wheel of Catherine= ready to endure trials for the Christian faith
lances= honor
dragons= protection
lightning bolts = swiftness
blue edges= water (I just like it)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ye Ol' Renaissance Festival

(This post is different from the one posted on Mama's blog)
We had one of our best field trips ever last week! We went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. It was a wonderful way to start wrapping up our study of the Middle Ages. We'll be starting to focus on the Renaissance (which actually started at the end of the Middle Ages [the High Middle Ages]... if you didn't know that, consider it a free lesson from Morning Star Academy) in two weeks.

Here's what each student thought about the day and one thing that was new or reinforced about the Middle Ages:

HB: I liked the unusual and exciting experience of seeing real people dressed up as people would have back in the Renaissance, and talking like it too. It was always "Yes, Milady"; "No, Milady"; "This way Mi'lady"...Mi'lady was tacked onto the end of almost every sentence. Unless you were a boy. Then it was Mi' lord. Or occasionally peasant. I also liked that almost everything sold in the shops were made by hand. If they weren't made by hand, then they were unusual and looked as if they would have been used in the Renaissance. One thing that wasn't quite reinforced but not quite new was that I realized that they were actually quite "modern" back then. They had books, they had clocks, they had pottery and glass. Admittedly, these things were not as good as they are today, but still...they had them.

The Boy: I knew that if someone fell off jousting, they wouldn't sword fight, even though that's what they did when we watched. I knew that the Ren Fest didn't do the jousting right because jousting matches happened as separate events and were sponsored by nobles. It was still my favorite part of the festival. I thought that all the people were really good actors. I thought Tartanic was awesome (said in a great Scottish accent).

Princess: I thought it was really fun. I liked how all the stuff was really cool. I learned that they made clocks work by weights. I liked the rides the best.

Faith: I really loved the jump. And the swings. And the fight. I liked the big guy with the stick thing. Going there was fun. Seeing the Big Bad Wolf was really cool. It was a human dressed up. I got in front of Daddy. It was sorta scary. I liked the pioneer days field trip better.

Cutie Pie: I really like the rides. I wanted to ride all of them. I danced a little bit on the stage with Tartanic but then decided it was too loud so I sat down with my ears covered. I had so much fun. I don't know what the Middle Ages are. Is that when you turn eight?

Wee Babe: Elephants are super cool! I learned that they have trunks. I loved having an elephant trunk slurp be on the face. Mama thought it was disgusting, but I couldn't have enough of it. There was lots of room to run, but my family seems to have control issues because I wasn't allowed to dictate the walking plans. I have no idea what the Middle Ages are and I couldn't care less.
Well, there you have it. The summation of The Texas Renaissance Festival through my students' eyes.
What say ye? Was ye' ol' Renaissance Festival worthy?