Monday, July 27, 2009

West Sand Lake, New York

We arrived at Albany late at night and immediately went to sleep after some VERY short greetings to our cousins, aunt and uncle. The next morning we got up around 7:30 and went inside to see Tucker. We didn’t get to talk with him for long because he left for a week-long summer camp called Sky-High Adventure Program Experience, or S.H.A.P.E.. Then at 5:00 he would come home and play with us for the rest of the day.


In the meantime it was not all play and no work, quite the opposite actually. We would paint, mend, and untangle fences, clean stables that have been horseless for almost 5 years, and other odd jobs. Ben and Sam were let off easy of course, but after all they’re just lazy, overly childish boys who get on the brim of tears when it’s their turn to wash the dishes. This went on for 2 more days until the camp was over for the week.

We were told on Saturday to participate in an off-road triathlon that Tucker had been preparing for all week. We checked in and lined up and raced off, swimming, biking, and running. For my first triathlon ever, I thought I did a pretty good job. For a while in the swimming stage I was in first place, then fell behind a little. During transition my number ripped off my shirt and I fell behind the leaders by a whole 20 seconds at least. On the biking stage I had a problem with the chain on my bike and that cost me more time, but I caught up with Tucker on the running stage and beat him by half of a second! I was pretty proud of myself but it was hard to feel proud when your head feels like its splitting down the middle!

Then we were told that Tucker would be doing another week of SHAPE and so would we. On Sunday we went to a local church and didn’t like it too much. On Monday we drove to the SHAPE premises and got introduced to a lot of friends I would soon make. The first day we played get-to-know-each-other games but after lunch we swam and played a game very similar to “capture the flag.” It was a lot of fun. The second day we swam some more, biked some, and completed a half mile run. The third day was almost exactly like the second and the fourth was a 30-mile off-road bike ride. I think I did well, and when I finished I swam half a mile in a pool bigger than a football field. It was a very tiring day.

That night at about 2:00 in the morning, Uncle Eric and his children pulled in at Nana and Poppa’s house, right down the road, and they brought a present! Friday morning we went out to bring in chicken eggs, and in the stall that we were told to clear out were two beautiful horses! They brought them from Maryland and put them in the stables before they crashed. We rode them after the last day at SHAPE where we went river rafting down some river with a long name and an attitude. Our guide was really funny and we shot streams of water at each of the other rafts. It was a lot of fun and Erin came with us.


That Saturday we did more chores and Sunday we did more as well, after going to church that is. We liked this church more and on that day we finally decided where we were going to live permanently, Albany, New York! It is official and we are moving into my Uncle Fred’s house! We were so excited and my Mom and Dad have been on the phone and on the computer for hours looking for houses and jobs and stuff like that.

It’s been real, and it’s been fun, and this trip has been REAL FUN! I’ve learned so much, seen so many places, and probably met four thousand faces! I’ve loved this past year dearly and maybe when I’m an adult I may bring my wife and kids on a trip like this one. I’d just have to get a cooler R.V., just kidding. But I really have made memories that will last with me for the rest of my life. I still think back to how lucky I am, probably always will. But life goes on and now we’ll finally start to have a stable, boring, life with schedules and piano practice, and real Boy Scout meetings with qualified Scoutmasters! It’s been a great year and two months and I’d like to thank my parents, Calvert teachers, and all the readers, and viewers that made comments and checked up on how we were doing. Good-Bye!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New York, Indiana, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado

7/15/09 – Indiana, New York,

We arrived at Nappanee, Indiana about two hours after we were supposed to. We had dinner with Mr. Larry, Mrs. Marlene, Michael, and Kari. We enjoyed our time and made plans for just the 4 of us kids to come over tomorrow and work on the farm. So we did! We cleaned stables, weeded weeds, picked green beans, and some other stuff but none of it was really hard. I told Michael that if he wanted to wear us out he was going to have to give us a lot more work! We saw our waitress Amanda at the Corner Café and even met up with Mrs. Sara again.


It was fun, and then we left and drove for two days to Buffalo, New York and stayed in a Wal-Mart Parking lot. The next day (today) we were tourists and drove across the Canadian/American border to see the Niagara Falls. We saw them all right, all the millions of gallons of bluish-greenish water falling off the 13 ½ story cliff and just plummeting into the misty abyss below. It was really pretty.




Then we walked to a daredevil museum and read about the 15 people who jumped off the Niagara River Falls in contraptions, or parachutes, or birthday suits. It was just the most bizarre thing! We saw a video about a guy who did make it out alive while in a 1,500 rubber ball that was sealed inside two feet thick of solid steel. They were just crazy…jumping in with pets, wives, wills, and all sorts of other junk! A 63year-old lady (who claimed to be just 43) threw off her cat first to see if it survived and then jumped off in a barrel.

You’d have to see it to believe it. Then we ate lunch at a Canadian Subway and crossed back over the American border to start our 5-hour trek towards Albany, NY where we’ll see our cousins again! That’s all for now; bye!


7/11/09 – Golden, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska

We had a fabulous 4th of July and the Galvins visited us during that time. Ben was still in the hospital at the time, and we watched the fireworks from the Central Park in Golden, Colorado. The Galvins and Will, Sam, my mom and I walked around Clear Creek for a while and then watched the fairly short, yet well put together display of fireworks. We enjoyed it thoroughly and Will and Olivia even more so, because they both bought some silly string spray and ran around chasing us and incessantly spraying us.

We visited Ben again the next day at the hospital. The next four days were a blur of tennis, swimming, rock climbing, and river rafting. But on July 9th I was walking down a sidewalk picking up trash for an hour and a half for a requirement for Boy Scouts when I met a very nice lady pruning roses. I thought that if I came back later and helped her on the city’s flowers, then I could get some more credit.

Turns out her name was Ms. Jean and she was part of 3 gardening clubs that do volunteer work in the city. She came to the R.V. and we set up a time at 6:30 the next morning to prune a rose garden belonging to the city. I got up early the next day and we set out pruning, sheering, pulling weeds, and dumping buckets full of dead plant matter and weeds into enormous trash bags. Ms. Jean was very nice.

When I got home not only did I get the two hours of volunteer service work, but I also received an invitation to her house that night to play board games and watch movies and stuff. Ben got out of the hospital and we all went over. My parents left to go ballroom dancing while we went on a walk, had lots of angel food cake and ice cream, watched movies, and played dominos. We had a good time.

The next day we spent touring the Coor’s beer factory, geology museum, and the Galvin’s neighborhood in Evergreen. They REALLY want us to live there. Shelby and I had something between us that could have developed into a relationship, but with the R.V. trip we are limited on such things. Oh well, she’s probably better off without me.

We left the next day and where we camped out, there was a movie theater down the road. We watched the new Transformers; one word, AWESOME! Everything is fast paced, funny, with lots of things that blow up, new good guys with cool powers and also new bad guys that do happen to have a better sense of fighting skill than the old ones. It was definitely the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.

We also stopped at a really neat tourist ranch where we went horseback riding and fed pigs, sheep, alpacas, ostriches, peacocks, turkeys, chickens, cows, bulls, camels, and ponies. The next day (today) we drove almost 6 hours so far with about another 2 to go. Our goal is Nappanee, Indiana and we SHOULD arrive by tomorrow night, but nothing is for sure. Bye!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Golden, Colorado



7/3/09
We left the Air Force Academy and drove to a city called Golden. It’s a great place Golden, Colorado. Tomorrow is my third favorite day of the year. It’ll be the Fourth of July! I love it for being the day that we won our independence, and, yes the fireworks.

Not too much time has passed since Ben’s last orbital cellulitis episode and yet it is happening again. He has been in the hospital for three days now and he has gone through one surgery already. Hopefully this will be the last attack from this bug but if not, we’ll be prepared. He’s doing great because of the antibiotics.

We went to the Galvin’s and hiked for about 45 minutes in their woods. Shelby is a very enduring hiker and Cameron (who was also visiting) was fairly impressive. We sat in the hot tub telling stories at 8:00 at night and watched a movie about ghosts and spirits and paranormal activity. It wasn’t scary but we had a good time. That’s all we seem to have now, apart from Ben’s eye activity, good times.


We went swimming yesterday and they have a waterslide and a Rock Climbing Wall. Our R.V. park is right next to a beautiful set of river rapids that’s just calling us to ride down them. Yep, we’re outside and active and almost the only time I’m on this computer now is to blog and learn Spanish using Rosetta Stone. The park next door is really nice, and the community center is a pretty fun place. School is over and I kind of miss it now that I have hours and hours that I never knew existed. Summer is……………. interesting and it will be exciting to see how it ends; hopefully in a new, big house with Dad having an environmentally friendly job that he enjoys. I’m going to leave now, since there are fireworks outside and we’re watching a really funny movie called Norbert.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Air Force Academy, Colorado

6/27/09
Wow that was fun! We just came back from horseback riding and loved it! I got a white horse named Voodoo and it was a good horse. Sam had a short little,dwarf mule donkey thing. It was fun and we rode for two hours.

But the really great thing is that my school is done! I am completely done with the school year! I finished yesterday! The first 5 days after I last blogged was strictly school and then we would either watch a movie at night or go swimming or bowling with the Bailey boys. I finished my really big nuclear proliferation project for history and it couldn’t be much better. We’re having fun now that school’s over.


Since yesterday I have gone horseback riding, swimming, and visited Barnes and Nobles, and the Royal Gorge. Yep, I have walked over the highest suspension in the WORLD! I saw one historical movie, 2 gunfights, and three of my brothers dropped from 1,200 ft up in the air to free fall 200 ft. To hear more, go to Will’s Blog. The number of breathtaking sights was infinite. It was a lot of fun!


We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and came back with 2 more cap guns to add to our collection of souvenirs. We watched wide-eyed as cowboys rode longhorns with saddles and as a tourist threw a tomahawk, badly. Oh yea, we also saw a rare white bison in a pen with other bison as well as rams, mules, big horned sheep, and elk. As I said earlier, we truly did enjoy ourselves and my mother will enjoy nothing more than to upload about half of the pictures she took onto this website. She took about a thousand. That’s all for now; dinner will be ready soon. Bye!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Air Force Academy, Colorado

I am out of cheesy openings so I’ll cut to the chase. Lately we have ventured out of the Academy and to a city-funded park that looked like a national park. It was called Garden of the Gods. This park has hundreds of natural sandstone mini-mountains that have gradually been eroded by rain. We could climb most of them but some of them had signs that said DO NOT CLIMB! ROCKS UNSTABLE! But nobody got hurt so we kept on riding our bikes that we brought with us and climbing stable mini-mountains. It was fun and peaceful and beautiful. I noticed while I was there that I really wouldn’t mind living in Colorado Springs. Anyway, we enjoyed our time at the Garden of the Gods and have been doing school for the last couple of days.





The greatest thing that we’ve done has been to go on a five mile camping trip with the Baileys. It was the very same hike that we went on last week to the Stanley Reservoir. I carried one of the heaviest rucksacks and set up two of the tents with Clayton before we went and played, unlike some of the other campers. We set up camp and started a nice blazing fire with enough firewood to keep it going all night. We explored and went on a moonlight walk, and Clayton and I talked about what’s happened since we saw each other last. We spied and shadowed Sam, Ben, and Spencer for hours and laughed silently at the hilarious stories they would tell. Will, Clayton and I had so much fun exploring and claiming parts of the forest for our Realms and Domains while the Rebels would do ridiculously unorganized hit-and run attacks. Let’s just say that the Shadow Empire (us) won.


We definitely had a good time, until Will sprained an ankle jumping from a height that I would never jump from. But I don’t think it was his fault entirely and he wasn’t badly hurt. The next day all of our aches and pains were felt again as we agonizingly hiked down the two and a half mile trail, but it was worth it. Anyway, that was yesterday and now we’re leaving to the library to do more school. Bye!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Colorado Springs, CO

6/15/09
Hello. I’m at the same library as the last time I blogged at the Air Force Academy. We’ve just been doing one day of school after another and taking two days off per week. One of the days when we were here, we went off base to visit my old friend from Alaska. His name is Clayton and we have already seen each other since we have arrived, but this time we went to his house and had a sleepover. We mainly talked and played at the park but we also stayed up watching STEALTH and THE DARK KNIGHT. We had a great time and it felt good to see my best friend again.
Four of the days we just did school and watched a movie when we went back to the R.V. The movies we saw were Speed Racer, Part of I am Legend, Amadeus, The Sting, and Get Smart. The 6th day we were here (yesterday) we went to visit another of our Alaskan friends who moved here after Fort Greely, the Kiraly’s. We played with their 10-year-old son Zack and his much younger brother Amman. We had an early Father’s Day celebration and ate Carrot Cake, my favorite! Anyway that’s about it and I have to go do more school. Bye!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Leavenworth, Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado

We went to Kansas and stayed for 4 days. One was a school day at the local library, and one was visiting the house that I first lived in when I was born. One day and one night were spent seeing our old neighbors the Galvins, and the last day was leaving Kansas. The first day isn’t worth mentioning but the second and third are! On the second day I went to the first house that I ever lived in, I never remembered it but my mom has lots of baby pictures of me in the house. It was very small but I didn’t have 3 brothers back then. I thought it was pretty cute. We even met our old neighbors that lived next to us then too. I don’t remember them but they sure remember me!

The third day we did a full school day and were driving over to our Texan friends, the Galvins, when we came to a train crossing just to see the locomotive pull in front of us. So we waited for this 2 mile long train to pass and right as we saw the third to last train car about to pass we heard this awful screeching. The train had put on its brakes and come to a complete stop right before it was about to pass the crossing! We were going to be sooooooo late and waited and waited for it to start moving again. After 20 minutes of waiting we gave up. We phoned the Galvins and went back to try again. This time the train was gone and we got the R.V. and drove back.
We visited our old friends and played with their kids, Olivia and Shelby. We took a tour of the local museum and took a walk to the maximum security prison. We left my birth town, Leavenworth, later the next day and drove to Colorado Springs, Colorado where my dad did more job searching and I did more school and we all did more visiting.

The first day we met our friends, the Bailey’s. We lived on the same Army base for 3 years and their oldest son Clayton and I were best friends. Spencer was three years younger and he played with Will, Ben, and Sam while Clayton and I caught up on the last year. He’s home schooled with Calvert too so we compared essays and lesson manuals and our teachers (parents).

We had a lot of fun, but I had a fall in a game of Cops and Robbers while in pursuit of a cold hard criminal (Ben) and had a large area of my elbow and knee skinned clean off leaving a bloody, dirty, and painful mess. Clayton, my trustee partner of justice caught up with the convict and caught him. He was the very last criminal except for Will who had found refuge about a mile away (way out of bounds) and laid low for about two hours. Anyway I had a lot of fun with the Baileys and will see them later this week.

We went to church at a place where my Dad’s old secretary’s husband preaches, so we went to church there after driving an hour. But they had cake so I’m not complaining. We stayed for the service and stayed a little while longer and visited in the back of the chapel. It was his last sermon so he went out with a bang, a long 2 hour bang (service about change). But we enjoyed it and it was almost as if it was directed directly at us because we are going through change and a time of transition as well. We enjoyed our time there.

Then we drove to a good friend of my dad’s ranch. He disappointingly didn’t have a whole bunch of work that needed to be done, but we did get to dig a flower bed, plant a hundred strawberry pants, bring an extra strawberry plant home (to my great enjoyment), walk horses, ride horses, feed horses, clean horses, and help eat an incredibly messy lunch that was literally poured on the table and eaten without plates or silverware but with our hands (to my brothers great enjoyment). But still I don’t think we got to help out enough.



The next day we did a full day of school and went to our old friends from Alaska, the Bowens. We visited for over 4 hours and played with their daughter, Carmen. We ate a delicious dinner, played monopoly, and wore out their greyhound in the backyard with much chasing, fetching, and unsuccessful racing. That dog is fast and broke over 40 miles an hour easily. We greatly enjoyed our time visiting and now are doing school at a local library on the great U.S. Air Force Academy Base where about 1,000 senior students graduate each year!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Iowa; Liberty, Missouri; Leavenworth, Kansas

6/2/09
We left Chicago after 2 more days of school and w/ all green tests completed; I’m trying a new method of getting everything done in school. Instead of going by lesson I’m going to do things by subject. I’ve already finished science, geography, reading and I’m almost done with history. Anyway, we left Chicago and went to a campground called Country Campgrounds in Iowa and went ice skating at a nearby ice rink.

The next day we continued to Liberty, Missouri where we stayed in a friend of my dad’s driveway. We stayed at the Conge’s (That’s their last name) house for four days and three nights. The first day we pulled in and saw my friend that I played with when I was two or three years old: Christine Conge, age 13. Her brother Mac, age 12, and their mom and dad who said we could call them Mrs. Susan and Mr. Mike were there too. We had fun playing with water balloons outside, and blowing each other up in turns on Halo 3, and playing Werewolf. They were a very nice, kind, outgoing family and we were very thankful and enjoyed being with them. The first night we slept over at their house with Mac and stayed up telling ghost stories. The second night we slept over and stayed up playing video games, and the third night we slept in the R.V. with Mac.

The second day we went to another really nice family’s house. They were the McCloskey family, the parents were Mr. Bryce and Mrs. Michelle, and the kids were Bryce Jr. age 17, and Dylan and Taylor. They’re twins, but fraternal twins. That means that Dylan is a boy and Taylor is a girl. They are both age 12 but are very mature for their age, especially Taylor. We had fun playing in the back yard and watching Taylor with wide-eyes as she’d do all these incredible gymnastics routines. I liked Taylor a lot. We really hit it off, and mainly talked about the R.V. trip, school, and what it’s like to have two or more brothers. We had a good time in short and we all went and watched a good Shakespeare play called “A Mid-Summer Nights Dream”. I wish I could have seen Taylor again, and told her how I really felt about her, but that’s the R.V. life, and the next day I was some 30 miles away in some dumpy campground feeling glum and wishing I was back in Liberty. Bye.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grand Rapids, MI and Chicago, IL

5/25/09
Ok, so for those of you viewers that are not regulars of this site let me fill you in on its purpose. The Besch Family (that’s my last name) is taking a cross-country tour of the United States and Canada in an R.V. The R.V. is a Mountain Aire by Newmar with an 8 of a kind floor plan and paint job. In other words there are only 8 or 9 R.V.’s exactly like this one made. And who knows how many have disappeared since. So this R.V. is a very unique and special model.

There are 6 members of the Besch family (not including our extended family) in this R.V. and we do not own a house or stay in hotels on our journey. We are seeing the world as we say, and “roughing it smoothly” in style. Although our life may sound somewhat fascinating it is also very rustic. Ex. We eat grilled hamburgers almost once a week, and in the first several months of our trip 3 times a week. We usually have sandwiches for lunch and cereal for breakfast. Although sometimes we splurge and have scrambled eggs for breakfast or go to Subway for lunch.

My father is retired from his job in the Army after 26 years as a full colonel. He currently has no job but has several job offers from the Military and Boeing but really wants to go into the Wind energy business. He has a master’s degree in business and this has always been his passion.

We see just about every museum we pass within a hundred miles, and have been seeing a lot of civil war monuments. Some of the best things that we have seen include, but are not limited to: Lincoln’s Tomb, Washington D.C., Chicago, The Everglades, Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Prince Edward Island, and The End of The Famous Alaska Highway. As it seems that we are taking a year off we also do a lot of school. In fact my loving mother went out of her way to get us the most challenging home schooling program she could find, and let me tell you, she did a heck of a lot of research.

And now the latest news on the Besch’s travels. The Besch’s left Grand Rapids, MI after getting our over-due engine tune-up. They we proceeded back to Newmar headquarters where we got a tour of the Newmar plant that was scheduled for 10:00 but it was canceled. So we all stuck around for the 1:00 tour. “It was enlightening,” quoted Robby, the most brilliant and handsome of the Besch boys. “We saw where they paint the chassis, add the roof, and wire over 3 miles of wiring that weigh over 1,000 pounds!”


After we said what is thought to be our final Good-bye to Newmar, we headed to Chicago. We stayed at a previously seen Navy base and all the time doing school every day. Here we met our friends from Florida, Alex, Sophie, and Mr. and Mrs. Runtee and enjoyed Chicago to the fullest all through the night, or at least until our bedtime. We enjoyed playing in the fountains and taking an architectural tour of Chicago by boat. We also took a 3 mile bike ride on the beach and watched fireworks. We even met Forrest Gump sitting on a bench outside of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Corporation & Restaurant.

That’s all for now. My mom says that I have to get off this computer and do some spelling!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grand Rapids, Michigan and Nappanee, Indiana

Hello, I’m kind of bored at the moment so I’ll fill you in on what’s happened. We went back to Mrs. Marlene’s house and showed them the R.V. The others and I shot off most of my bottle rockets, one of which tipped over and shot into the audience where no one was hurt. We played with the dogs and the horses and the cows and then we acted like we were the animals. Sam and Sam pulled the buggy and Will and Joe moooed and I chased them all as the dog. We played our favorite game: Cops and Robbers and I, as usual, played the cop.

We went to dinner at an Amish fundraiser and played with Kari. We went to a movie and an Amish horse and buggy auction. I liked both. The movie was called Planet Earth and was about the migration of amazing animals. I think I liked the marine part most though. We enjoyed our time thoroughly but unfortunately never strayed from our school schedule library time. It was lugubrious but productive if I may say so myself. Now I only have 5 more subjects and twenty days of school to go.

We said our solemn goodbyes to the Wahl family after hosting another sleepover and said that we hoped to meet again somewhere along the trail of R.V. life again. It was good to socialize with Joe and Anna, just the fact of knowing other people your age who are going through the same thing that you are is calming and helpful to know. Usually we only stay in a place long enough to briefly explore its exterior and get a feel of the town and then travel on without a second thought or even slightly missing it unless it was someone we really like and there are plenty of examples too. But leaving the Newmar campground was different; it was hard leaving the Wahl family behind and good Amish people who we enjoyed being with and spending time in their company.



When we left Newmar it was different, like moving all over again, and it was sad. I know it sounds a little silly but I already miss them. I’d spend more time on the subject but I’m running on critical battery power and need to move on. We left the Wahl’s and The Newmar Corporation behind and drove to Michigan where we stayed at The Spartan Corporation for a day to get the engine checked upon whilst we did school at the local library. On my break I read every plant-related book and magazine in the library. Any way now we’re driving to a place in Grand Rapids where we’ll get the diagnosed problem with the engine fixed. That’s all for now folks.

5/14/09
We are back at Newmar Headquarters and doing lots of school. Recently we met a family, the Wahl’s, and they are doing the exact same thing that we are doing, traveling in an R.V. They don’t know where they are going to end up and Mrs. Wahl is retired military. They have an All-star and we have the Mountain Aire. We just found out that the New Essex has the same floor plan so technically we own a crowned “Essex”, one of the nicest R.V.s available. Anyway the two parents Mr. Thom Wahl and Mrs. Marie Claire Wahl have three kids that are close to our ages. Joe is 12, Anna is 10, and Sam is 7.

We’ve has a blast, literally. We lit up half of our fireworks arsenal last night. It was fun. We’ve also been getting up really early and going to the Corner Café again. We head to the library and do school all day until our R.V. comes back, and on our breaks we play with our friends. On Mother’s Day we went to an Amish restaurant and had a Threshers dinner. Then if we buy tickets to an Amish play we get another dinner free. So we bought the tickets and saw the most Hilarious Play called “Plain and Fancy.” It was great and at the end my sides hurt from laughing.

Well, finally we went back to Mrs. Marlene’s house and ate an Amish dinner. Mr. Larry and Mrs. Marlene have a wonderful farm. We had fun playing with their kids too. We got to do chores, which aren’t that bad on the farm and got to ride a miniature horse. We rode our R.V. to another Amish family’s house and let them see it while we saw what an Amish wedding setup looks like. Yep, the daughter of that family was going to get married so we got to see how it all looked before the wedding. We saw where they prepared the food and where the bishop stands on the raised platform. We also played cops and robbers. With all the Amish kids playing we had a total of 10 kids getting arrested and making arrests on each other. It was so cool. We learned all sorts of things and really got a glimpse of what an Amish lifestyle really is. That’s all for now!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicago

5/9/09
Well, we have had quite the adventure since I last blogged so let me fill you in. We kept on driving to Chicago, looped around it, and put it on a Navy base next to Lake Michigan. Then we drove into Chicago. We saw all sorts of beautiful parks and flowers and less beautiful old buildings and I’ll tell you one thing, Chicago is a very old but historic city. We drove to McCormick Place, a giant convention center where my dad would take the train for the next 4 days.
So for the next three days we did school at that navy base. Our entertainment was renting a movie from the library and watching it at the coach. We just finished all 32 episodes of Andy Griffith season 4; it’s been a great set of movies, lots of fun came out of those discs.

Anyway, on the 4th day that we were there, we went into Chicago to this really cool museum that we heard about from some friends. It’s called the Museum of Science and Industry. We saw all sorts of really cool exhibits. The whole thing was geared towards kids and we learned so much. Then in light of the 6th Harry Potter movie coming soon, they set up a brand new Harry Potter exhibit with all the props from the very movie. They had sculptures of dementors and people that made the movies and fans everywhere and the gift shop, ohhhhhhhhh. There was a toy or wand replica all over the place and people were buying the overpriced stuff like crazy! Kids with wizards’ hats ran around your legs and couples bought hourglasses. It was very cool though and I was put into the Ravenclaw house for being one of the smartest and the truest.


Then we went to the Wind Convention and met Dad. He paid the five dollar entry fee for us to come as visitors to the convention for 2 hours. We saw sooooooooooo many incredible inventions and other things related to wind turbines. We met the people who make the bases, and the people who make the rotors, air lights, generators, bolts, screws and even 40-ton floating platforms for the ocean. Amazing! Dad met lots of people and I asked lots of questions. The next day we did school, took a dip in the pool, and then we packed up and headed back for Newmar’s headquarters where our ordered parts will arrive and be attached to the coach. Bye!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nappanee, Indiana and Springfield, IL

5/2/09
We just slept in for the first time in three days! Every day for the last three days, we have been waking up ridiculously early so that the folks that work at Newmar can take it away to fix it. The big population around here is the third biggest Mennonite and Amish population in the United States. About a third of them work in the R.V. industry. So because the Amish wake up really early and take away the R.V. we had to wake up really early every day for three days. We would go to a café in this little Amish town and eat Amish food for a really great price. Then we would go to the public library and do school for about 5 hours and play on the computers and read books on our breaks. We had a lot of fun. We got a lot of stuff fixed on the R.V. and dad is really happy.

Yesterday we went to an Amish Family’s farm after my mom met and got invited by a very nice Amish woman named Sara. We did chores at the farm and ate Amish homemade cupcakes. We had a lot of fun with their boys too. They took us on an Amish buggy ride because the Amish are a very religious people and they believe that modern conveniences like cars take away from the simple, humble life that God wants us to have. We saw their horse get new horseshoes, and we saw an a chicken lay an egg in the street in ten seconds. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the Amish.

We also went to an old fashioned soda fountain and met a guy who is Mennonite and owns a farm with all the cows and huge farm equipment and stuff like that. Like the Amish, Mennonites are also a very religious people and although they believe many things that the Amish do, they use the modern conveniences. As long as they think of God, they think that modern conveniences don’t take away from their religious life. We got to take a nice ride in a 30 ft high monster farm vehicle at 25 miles per hour, which was its top speed. We had a great time there at Mr. Ron’s and Mrs. Colleen’s farm.

Now we’re leaving to Chicago to go to a wind convention. My dad wants to get a contact so he can get a job in the wind energy field. We’re all hoping he’ll get what he wants, the perfect job, and be happy and settle down in Colorado. That’s all for now. I have to go put stuff away. Bye!

4/28/09 - Springfield, IL

Alright, we haven’t done much but I’m bored stiff. So, two days ago we left the Piatak’s house in St. Louis, MO after many goodbyes and fixing stuff on the R.V. We left and drove to Double-J Campground in Springfield, Illinois. In the morning we went to an amazing museum that was all about President Lincoln. We saw his tomb and what he went through when he was young. There was so much about President Lincoln that he is the fourth most written about human being in the World! The first is Jesus.

Anyway, we saw three amazing movies about Lincoln’s eyes, artifacts relating to Lincoln and the presidential election of 1860. All were amazing and we got in to the museum for a very reasonable price. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it much moreso than my brothers. Then we got back in the R.V. and are now driving to Indiana. I’m done with my school day and am still bored. Well, that’s all, bye.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nashville, TN and St. Louis, MO

We went to the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville,Tennessee. It was like a mini-concert with the live country music and stage and lights and dancers. By the way, the dancers were the audience, including me. Yep, I got out on the dance floor and line danced with 20 other people.

We went to Lookout Mountain and saw the highest incline railway in the world, although we didn’t ride on its mile-long journey. Tucker left us 5 days ago but it seems like a month since he left.

We went to Fort Campbell and stayed there for 3 days doing nothing but school, school, school, and shotgun shooting. Yes, it is not the first time that I have shot a gun but the first shotgun that I have ever shot. I caught on quickly and soon passed Will, Ben, and Sam in the low tower, and high tower. Will shot better at doubles (which is both) and I tried once but could only destroy the first. The clay pigeons that we were shooting usually were obliterated, except when Ben or Sam was shooting. Even though the 20 gauge makes a bigger cloud I seem to shoot better with the 4-10. It kicks less you know, and is easier to hold than the 20 gauge.


Now we’re in St. Louis, Missouri at the Piatak’s house. Mr. and Mrs. Piatak have 4 girls and no boys. Their names are Kelly age 9, Nicole age 11, Catherine age 13, and Mary age 14. We’re staying at their house for another day, and today is the 3rd day. We’re having lots of fun with the girls playing basketball and wii.

We went to the St. Louis Arch and rode all the way to the top in a capsule that most people would get claustrophobic in. Kelly went with her mom to a soccer tournament for the weekend and will come back soon from Kansas. We went to a really nice neighborhood in St. Louis. Everything was Red, Green, and White. The whole neighborhood was Italian. We ate at a really nice Italian restaurant and waited an hour to get a table, and then another hour for a waiter, then another hour for the food but it was worth it because I had a good book to read and the food was great and we got to socialize with the girls for a while. They’re all very pretty and look much older and mature than most other girls their age, in a good way. Anyway we’re having lots of fun and it’s getting so warm that we sleep with the air conditioner blowing on full in the R.V. They let us sleep in their house last night. Bless their hearts. Because it was HOT OUT HERE!
Bye I’m going to go play Mario Kart racing with the girls now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama

4/19/09
Ok, a lot has happened since I last blogged. I’ll start with Tucker’s arrival. He flew in at 6:00 PM and we drove home to Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee. We stayed there for two days leaving the first day to explore a mountain called Lookout Mountain. We saw hang gliders, rich folk’s houses (or castles), and Civil War battle statues.

Then we left (and to Tucker’s great enjoyment) drove all the way to Huntsville, Alabama in the R.V. Just to fill you in, I got a scholarship at Space Camp in Huntsville three years ago and stayed there for a whole 5 days. It was like a boarding school for astronauts if you ask me. This time we had a blast too(he he get it, blast?), running around on that nice sunny day, going on rides, movies, and climbing walls as well as seeing that very familiar museum. All in all we had a good time.

While in Huntsville we had dinner with one of my dad’s friends Mrs. Ronda at our coach. The next night we had dinner at Colonel and Mrs. Lamb’s house. It was a deliciously cooked meal. We went to Mr. and Mrs. Scott Campbell’s house and had fun at their home away from home on Smith Lake. It was a very nice little cabin and we enjoyed ourselves greatly, as did they.


The next day we had lunch and dinner with Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong and his wife and kids at a lake. We also fished, played with their dog and smashed anthills for thrills. Today, we just left the Gargulinski’s house. Mrs. Gargulinski worked with my dad in Missile defense and we played with her boys touring their farm, shooting their air soft guns, all 7 of them, and shooting metal plates with a .22 on their shooting range in the rain. All five of us played Halo 3 with Tony and Chris at the same time! I totally smoked everybody except for Tony.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Madison, FL

4/12/09
Yea, it’s Easter! And the “Easter Bunny” came with all of his stolen bird eggs. My mom woke us all up at 6:00 in the morning to go to an early bird church outside! We’ve gone so far north that we were cold! It must have been 50 degrees outside.

After the gator park in the Everglades, we went to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground. There we stayed for the next 3 consecutive days. We got full hook-ups and we met Yogi and Booboo who stopped by our campsite on a golf cart to hug all the little kids and get their picture taken. Yogi tried to steal my sandwich. Stupid Bear. We met some people and my dad fixed the satellite Antennae. Now we have satellite T.V. wherever we go. I enjoyed the shopping trip mom and I did into the cutest little town called Madison. We saw all the little old buildings and the old grocery store while we shopped. The prices were probably the greatest I have seen so far on this trip. Giant 2 liters of soda for $ .99, not that we got any of them Nana. (She doesn’t like Soda). But we did get watermelon and a whole bunch of fresh fruit for the arrival of my cousin Tucker who is flying in from Albany to stay with us for spring break, as well as Will’s Birthday. We’re driving to Nashville, Tennessee today to pick him up tomorrow.

4/6/09
We had a great week in the last few days; I’m on lesson 119 and 114 Algebra. The reasons I didn’t say week was because on the day after I blogged, Sam and Ben rode Will’s and Ben’s bikes to the front of the R.V. They parked them resting on the very front of the coach while the R.V. was parked for a whole 15 minutes while we waited for the previous occupants of the slot where we wanted to go were still departing.

By the way, do you know those yellow strips of plastic on the front of school busses? The ones that fold in and out while kids have to cross the road to the bus or their house. Well the reason that is there is because the driver can’t see over the dashboard and see the kids. That is there so the kid doesn’t walk too close and the driver doesn’t drive over the kid. Well, the bikes that my complete idiot brothers parked in front of the R.V. (one of which was not theirs I might add!) were in that area and when my dad did not see them HE DROVE OVER THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND IT IS ENTIRELY BEN’S AND SAM’S FAULT!

Ben cried out of stupidity and self-pity and Sam was so cold hearted that he only wimpered and didn’t even shed one tear. Will cried, I cried, Dad swore. By the way Will’s bike is $380, and is a 21 gear mountain bike with gray chrome finish. The mechanics said it would cost $100 to repair but it cost more around $250. Ben’s Bike cost $50 and was a mongoose. Both of them were expensive and totaled. AND IT IS COMPLETELY BEN’S AND SAM’S FAULT IF I MIGHT ADD. Of course as soon as it happened Ben tried to find someone else to blame.


Otherwise our week was fine. We visited Judy and Pascal and played with Luc and Lea and had a blast. We also went to the Earnest Hemmingway Museum and went on an Alligator air boat ride. There were lots of cats at the Hemmingway House, who by the way had 4 wives. As for the Alligator Airboat ride, Mom was picked on to wrestle an alligator by the tour guide and we had a lot of fun on the actual airboat. We saw a total of 12 alligators.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dry Tortugas and Key West

Ok. It was a great last week. The first couple of days were all very productive school days and you could definitely tell by the green tests we accomplished. I’ve already started test 120 and started a new Calvert book that I haven’t been able to put down. It is called David Copperfield, a tragic story of a young boy in England in the 1800’s and all the clever things he must overcome from infatuation to an evil stepfather to the death of his loving mother. He overcomes the worst and the best with luck and a considerable amount of naïve style.

I set up a large scale Nerf Gun war with the kids at the local CYS (child youth services) so we had a lot of fun attacking and shooting at each other the next day. We had the most fun snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas National Park on Garden Key which is 70 miles west of the main land. So we packed up our stuff 2 days before and were going to call this a camping trip because we were going to camp there in tents because we obviously couldn’t take the R.V. out there. Finally the day came and we boarded the Yankee Freedom ll, the name of the ship, at 7:30 in the morning after we woke up at 5:30. We were very drowsy except for my parents who were quite ecstatic about the whole idea of camping on an island with an abandoned Fort Jefferson that held the 4 tyrants who helped John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Lincoln. We went out there watching Coral Reef movies and looking for sea turtles and dolphins on that very large 2 story catamaran. While out there I ate a complimentary breakfast and lunch and read David Copperfield.


There was a real character named Tortuga Jack, real name no joke even if it is April Fool’s Day. He told jokes, stories, and the history of the Fort, island, and inhabitants. What a day! When we arrived we set up camp immediately and went snorkeling. Visibility: terrible for that hour. So while it was cloudy and cool we explored the Fort. And I myself explored the moat, island, all three stories and all three sides of the hexagonal Fort that was available for me and me being alone to explore. I read every history board, every sign and listened to every park ranger who told me about the Fort.
Then we did sea glass collecting, big hall echoing, and lots and lots of snorkeling as the weather got brighter and hotter as the ocean got clearer and clearer. Oh the things we saw, and the fish we met, and the coral we discovered! It was like the commercials and tourist trap advertisements. Come to think of it, they might have been telling the truth, huh. Well, we saw people fishing and sailing and kayaking. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of fun things and that is how I spent my Monday and Tuesday which was technically my weekend.



That’s the great thing about homeschooling. You can catch up on the weekends when you’re doing nothing, and do fun stuff on the weekdays when everybody’s at school or at work. You can take a recess whenever you want (If you’ve earned it and your teacher says so) as long as you work up to it and then catch up to it. For my break 4 days ago I went snorkeling in Key West and loved it! Where else in the world can you find a school system where you can do that! Well we have to move our R.V. to a different slot. The R.V. office says it’s time for someone else to get full hook-ups. Bye.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Key West, Florida

3/23/09
We’re just doing school, lesson 107 to be exact, and decided that while I’m waiting for Mom to finish with Will so she can finish review with me, I’m going to blog. Recent studies, my studies, show that I’m doing very advanced work. For example, for each lesson I get a mix Algebra 1, reading, grammar, History, Geography, vocabulary, spelling, science, and composition. For one subject, I received the following assignment; Write a five paragraph book summary on a non-fiction book that you have read recently using examples of why you thought it was a good or bad book and why. That is for ONE subject in ONE lesson, and it is NOT the only subject in the lesson. I also have Algebra, reading, spelling, History, vocabulary, and science. So those of you who think I’m slacking off or falling behind, start changing your mind please!


Now it’s time for some more pleasant news on our lives. We are currently in Key West for our fifth day, and we enjoy it greatly, even though we have to use expensive diesel fuel for the generator because we are in a military campground. Nonetheless it has no electricity or water or sewer. We are right on the Gulf of Mexico, but people pronounce it MEH-HE-CO. We rented a boat 4 days ago and went out snorkeling in the United States’ only living coral reef. The things we saw, oh! We had so much fun with no dive instructor and got to see all sorts of animals. We saw purple sea fans, which are not plants but animals. As I am interested in plants I took much surprise to discover that the purple color in the translucent fan is from a different formula than the Animal uses for photosynthesis. In other words, because it is an animal that adopted the use of the plant’s ingenious photosynthesis technique and it is not a plant, it must create a different formula to keep itself alive because the old formula (carbon dioxide + sunlight + water = sugar) couldn’t apply to the animal because it is not similar enough to the plant to use the same formula. So it devised its own, the new formula (sorry, I don’t know what it is). It’s strange enough being underwater; makes the plant turn a brilliant dark purple.



We also went on a bike ride to Fort Zachary Taylor State park. There we snorkeled, played in the sand, rode our bikes, and saw very strange art and a breathtaking sunset. The next day we came back to get some key lime pie and stayed for the sunset at Mallory Square, where there just happens to be about a thousand street performers. We saw dogs walk on tight ropes, men walk on tight ropes, men jump through hoops of fire and cats jump through hoops of fire all in hopes that you’ll leave a buck or two in their hat, guitar case, or bucket. We saw a guy get out of a chained straight jacket, and another juggle flaming torches. We went to the southernmost point in the US, and saw gold and treasure at Mel Fisher’s Museum. I held a finger bar of stamped Spanish gold that was lost at sea, and probably saw the world’s most expensive 3 ounce rock. It was an emerald and was worth more than three of our R.V’s and all of our stuff inside. Oh, my Mom’s ready for me now! I’ll save the rest for later. Bye!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Key Largo, Florida

Yesterday after I blogged we went snorkeling! It was in the United States’ first underwater state park! Usually state parks include lakes and ponds but not huge acres of the Atlantic Ocean. The state park is called John Pennekamp state park and it has a charter with a private diving/scuba/snorkeling business that brings tourists (that’s us) to the coral reefs and watches us as we safely snorkel around the coral shelf. We saw all types of coral that I had studied in a previous grade of school like Brain coral, Fire coral, and many other types.

The scariest fish that we saw were the barracuda, long menacing looking fish that can dart at speeds up to 60 miles an hour making it one of the fastest and deadliest fish, but none got eaten by the 3 foot long monsters. We saw beautiful parrot fish, with so many colors like the parrot and brilliant ones at that: green, blue, red, and yellow. What a sight! The water was slightly chilly but we had a great time swimming in the 72-74 degree water. Everything from fish like sticks, to conch shells, to the most graceful flying fish… everything was absolutely amazing!





After an hour and a half (but it seemed like 20 minutes) the captain’s mate sounded the horn and we all came in. Sam got in last and the dive master started making jokes about the last one back buys the first round of drinks at the local bar’s happy hour. But as I said, it was a joke. Then we went back and when that boat hits 30 miles an hour (fast enough to water ski behind) the bow tips up about 20 feet and you feel like you’re flying. When we got back we thanked the crew and went back to the R.V. park and went to bed. Well, back to school.

3/16/09
Alright, I have finished my green test for math and I am currently on lesson 101 in all my subjects except for reading, which I am on 103. Everything seems to be in working order. We pulled into a large county park with a driving range, (Yes Mrs. Clark, keep reading, for I know you will enjoy the following part about our two periods of G.E….Golfing Education of the year), water park, and sewer hook-ups right at the slots! That’s a treat not having to go dump black water (sewage) and greywater (dishwater, shower water, and sink water) every other day. I’ve taken a liking to Harry Potter books and finished the Half Blood Prince in two days.

The next day we went to the driving range, did school, and went to a local “Relay for Life” promoting how we should, wait, need to find a cure for cancer. We enjoyed every minute of it. Then we went back and watched a blockbuster movie called August Rush. Good movie, kid got separated from his mum and dad and got sent to an orphanage, musical genius follows the music in his heart and you’ll find out the rest if you watch the movie. The next day we went to the beach and I was introduced to the nicest family that my Dad and Uncle Clipper know. We played in the ocean with their adorable little children Luc and Lea. Mr. Pascal and Ms. Judy talked with my mom and dad while my brothers and I surfed and what not. When they left we stayed an hour or two longer and then explored South Beach. Those of you who know the place know that the strip of land is covered in expensive condominiums and girls in bikinis. Afterwards we went home and it was dark outside.



The next day we went to that water park and had a blast for about 4 hours, and then we went to the driving range with my dad and four brothers. We rented a 5-iron, 1 driver, and 2 large buckets of balls. (We originally bought only one bucket of balls, but the machine wasn’t very smart and gave us two!) We went to the bottom of the two levels and started taking lessons from our dad. After he was convinced that we were both good and safe enough to try by ourselves, or that we were just a lost cause, he turned us loose and I believe from the look on my dad’s face that I was doing better than he expected. (Unless he just set his standard really, really low). Finally, I got to try something other than a 6 or a 9 and tried a driver. I hit it pretty close to a chip and a putt from the blue flag out yonder; it was next to the 125 yard mark. I thought, my algebra teacher would be proud, because she loves to golf.

Then we met up with Colonel Tio, A friend of my dad’s. He and his wife had the most beautiful house and the tiger tail lilies matched the orange walls and everything. Gorgeous. We had dinner and met their children who are fully grown and have their own children, Ali and Gabe. We played in their pool and had a great time at dinner watching “Meet the Robinsons” and half of “Arthur and the Invisibles”. When we eventually went home after 9:00 we immediately went to bed. Today we left the park and came to our friends’ house, the family that we met at the beach. We are having fun playing with Lea, while Luc is off at school, and the lunch was spectacular. Well off to do more school. Bye!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pembroke Pines, Florida

3/12/09
I know that I haven’t blogged in a long time and I keep using this as an introductory sentence, but I also know that I’m getting so bored that I’ve listened to the Mary Poppins soundtrack from my iTunes at least twice a day. That sentence was long wasn’t it? Oh a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine - oh forget it; I can’t type as fast as the song any who. I just finished putting the RV slides out, helping cook dinner, helping eat dinner, and finishing my green tests, Oh I’m just bored! School all day and the most fun that we had was washing the R.V. and jumping in the intercoastal waterway. It was actually warm though.

Now I’m blogging and the rest of my brothers are watching pinokeokeeo, did I spell that right? Can someone email me a comment? I want to do something other than the dreaded, dreadful green tests. I only have one left and it’s math. Actually it’s advanced algebra and I loathingly detest it! The Space Shuttle got delayed again today and everyone is disappointed. Can someone give me something to do or a flower to trim? I’m passionate about plants and it relaxes me to be around them and do them good, or well. Whichever is the correct term of grammar usage. I’m off to do more school, anyone going to stop me? (Imitating Robin Williams). No, No, don’t go, you’re going to drive yourself mad with all that school, you don’t have to be ahead of your brothers in a more challenging curriculum, don’t stress yourself, give yourself a break, not even a little rest? Nobody? Typical, I’m just wasting my time anyway. My eyes are brimming with tears, I’m going to sign off before I start to cry. Bye.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Long Point County Park, FL


3/4/09

We really haven’t done a lot since I’ve blogged last but lots of school. My mom wants to make it very clear that we aren’t free-loading this year and taking the year off. My school day is typically shorter than a day in public school, but I learn more each day, and I work at my own pace, which is above average. I get plenty done every day and because I have 160 days of school and public school has 180 it automatically becomes more challenging right? Well that is true but I wish it wasn’t, and plenty of times Ben or Sam burst into tears and tantrums wishing that they could give up school even if they had to give up the trip with it.

As much as I disagree, school is hard, and much more so than public school. Will’s learning about space, aeronautics, and atoms, as well as fission, fusion, and energy in just the 6th grade. I have to admit that I’m a little jealous but I’m learning American history and get a research paper about twice a week. Yesterday alone I had three! But I did four days of work in about a 9 hour period. I’m learning as much as I could at the moment, and find it challenging but exciting. Every bend around this crazy highway of life leaves something to explore, something to learn, something to discover, or something to enjoy.

P.S. Last night we went on a camping trip for Boy Scouts on a deserted island surrounded by water. We loaded all of our camping gear, and made trips back and forth across the windy lake to the bank on the other side. We had an enjoyable experience. It was just me and my brothers doing this, and my parents got to have some quiet time back at the R.V. I cooked Top Ramen for dinner along with some canned fruit, and Will cooked oatmeal this morning. We had a fun time and went bird hunting the next morning with a bb gun and high velocity pellets. We came back empty handed, but we had fun and I taught Ben and Sam some gun safety. And isn’t that what scouting is all about? Yea, well we had fun except at the end of the morning when Ben started yelling about Harry Potter and how Hermione’s parents are muggles and dentists and stupid things like that. He seems to be going through a phase where he can just argue about the silliest things. I hope that he’ll stop soon and Sam won’t end up like him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sebastian Inlet, Florida

3/1/09
And we’re still in Florida; we’re just having less fun. We’ve done nothing but school, and move the R.V. every other-day to a new slot, so is the campground’s policy. We’ve gotten ourselves up to lesson 96 and I believe that we’re going a little faster than the other students, or at least I am. I always seem to be ahead of my siblings. Except for Sam of course but he’s actually supposed to be in second grade. I got my green tests back today, and Mrs. Clark you did a wonderful job grading my tests. We enjoyed reflecting on all of our subjects and I have received my best grades yet! A’s and A-’s in all of my subjects. My mom is happy and my dad is happy and Ben isn’t, but nothing pleases him anyway.

I’ve explored the depths of my computer and have come across a wonderful gaming program with only the most fun and interesting games I’ve seen in a long time; none of the slow, rune-scape graphics on any of them. I’ve had a lot of fun doing them on my breaks and my dad says that I need to do more Piano, Boy Scouts, and Rosetta Stone. So it looks as if I’ll never get all the work done now, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m not like Ben who’ll say, “But I never get to do anything I like to do,” which you start to hear after awhile living with him. I can appreciate Mom and Dad’s caring and thoughtful capabilities and wanting us to get outside more, but Mom has really begun to detest anything electronic like game boys, (which I don’t play at all) Will’s Nintendo DS, (which I play very few times a month) or my computer (I can admit that I play this but not as much as other kids my age). We have no Play Stations, Xbox, or anything of the sort, but computers. I think a little bit a day is reasonable, don’t you? I played Port Royale 2 too much and I have about 2 hours of cumulative hours left of it so I’ll be playing for about two weeks. Not a lot of computer time. Everywhere I go I see kids playing games on their I-touch, or things like that and it makes me realize that I’ve been kept from all of that. I see how they’re obsessed with it and if it was up to me, I probably wouldn’t be much different. But my parents kept me away and I’m partially glad that I did and they did. Yet less than 25 minutes a day, while I do more school than a 9th grader, doesn’t seem fair. I’m probably boring you so I’m going to stop and do a lesson of Math. Bye!

2/26/09


Hi! We are still in Florida and just sent off Nana and Papa at the Airport. We’ve had so much fun. We walked on the beach and had barbeques. We went to The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida and Aerospace travel is an interest of mine. We went on tour buses and saw the real crawler in the flesh! My NASA cyber class teacher would be so jealous. We saw real SRBs and ETs; not extra terrestrials or aliens, but External Fuel tank. We saw the Orbiter, or shuttle, Explorer. As well as the Pathfinder, the Fueled and valve-broken Discovery, and the Saturn V rocket, Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo space craft. We had a blast. Literally, we got to feel what a real shuttle launch experience felt like in their free simulator.


We did a lot of school and my dad had to fly to Baltimore for some post–Army stuff and VA or Veterans affairs stuff. But now he’s back and we’re driving to another campground off of Patrick Air Force Base, FL.

2/20/09
We left to a nearby Walmart for the night and got booted out by some security rent-a-cop. So we set off to another Walmart and got sent out of their too. We finally got to a third Walmart and didn’t get sent away till morning. Then we went to a campground on a military base called Patrick Air Force Base and stayed another night there. We drove around all day the next day looking for a good acceptable place where our grandparents could stay. We got one at a place called Royal Mansions.It has a cute small sized condominium with a pool, Jacuzzi, and beach access.

Then we stayed two nights at a county park called Long Point, with a river running through it and the ocean surrounding it. We tried fishing and failed, and I blew up our inflatable canoe and set off exploring just to find a bottle-nosed dolphin, to my mother’s great surprise. I fed the seagull’s some chex cereal for my break and set off some fireworks after dinner. But don’t forget school, school, and more …………..school! Then we went back to Patrick Air Force Base and then off to Royal Mansions. Nana and Poppa met us here later that day and we’ve been here ever since. We’re doing school, playing in the freezing ocean, and having fun.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Orlando and McDill Air Force Base, FL

2/16/09
The next day we all went to Magic Kingdom, We got to ride the monorail from the parking lot and it was a really fun ride. We walked around until we decided to go to Space Mountain for fast passes. We played around in Tomorrow Land until we got bored, then we went to Adventure Land and waited in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for 20 minutes. We did some other minor rides, and got more fast passes and had more fun. Then we had lunch, boarded a train and rode to Space Mountain. We all had a blast, literally. It was supposed to be like a space launch, and we screamed as much as if it were the real one. Finally, we went back to the places where we had got our other fast passes at Splash Mountain and got really wet! Then we went to main street USA and watched Spectro Magic a show about all other Disney classics. Then we boarded another monorail and went home.
The next day we stayed at our condo with Matt and Julia. We played a complimentary miniature golf game, tennis, and raced in paddle boats that looked like swans. This was our last day with our friends at Disney World and we had so much fun with them! The next day they all boarded a plane that took them back to San Francisco. We miss them all dearly, and I wish that we never had to go back to school and our friends didn’t have to leave and we got to stay in our condo with an automated ice maker! But all dreams don’t come true, do they? Oh well, we left the condo the next morning and moved back into the coach. Then we went to Blizzard Beach, Epcot, and Disney Quest for one final bang and left Disney World for this time around.

2/13/09
My sore throat still hurts but I seem to be feeling better. Yesterday we didn’t do anything but school, a quick swim, and a visit with our friends from Alaska. Yea, The Hoseltons are from Fort Greely, the same place that we’re from! Mr. Hoselton is an amazing guitar player, and writes his own songs on the road. He played new songs for us, and we played at his hotel’s pool with his sons Parker and Jackson. Mrs. Tammy, Mr. Roger Hoselton’s wife, talked with my mom about Alaska. We had a really fun time. Then we packed up, said our goodbyes, and went back to the timeshare. See you later!

2/12/09
We haven’t done a lot, except for going to the greatest water park in the WORLD! There are two of them at Disney World. One of them is called Blizzard Beach, and the other is Typhoon Lagoon. We went to Blizzard Beach with our friends. The story behind this heated water park is that a freak snow storm blew in and made 8 feet of snow. With all that snow what do you do? Build a ski resort of course! So while the chairlift was built up, so did the temperature, and it’s now one of the world’s most gushiest slushiest water parks that looks like a ski resort in the world. We had a lot of fun on the double dipper and summit plummet, the only place in the world where you can travel straight down for 250 ft and go 64 mph sliding on your bottom. It was scary yes, but I’m not one to be afraid of heights. There were a couple of other rides that we went on but not nearly as good as that one. My bottom still hurts though. And that’s why I now prefer passing people on the lazy river. I’ll keep you posted.

2/11/09
Ok so even though I haven’t done a lot since I blogged yesterday my mom says that I have to blog everyday we’re at Disney World. So here goes. When I finished blogging yesterday we loaded up in our car and drove to EPCOT. We saw everything thing that we didn’t see last time we were at EPCOT. EVERYTHING. And some things that we had already seen last time we were at EPCOT. We had a lot of fun with our friends Matt and Julia, and their kids Alex and Sophia (But we call her Sofi). Then we stayed around for the fireworks and all in all, had a lot of fun. My favorite ride is still MISSION: SPACE but the most interesting ride is “living with the land.” We’re going to Blizzard Beach today even though I’ve come down with a sore throat the last few days and have been tough enough not to show it. I’m taking Ibuprofen now and seem to be feeling better, but let me tell you that I still stay as far away as I can from the stuff! Blizzard Beach is a giant water park that you can ride up to 60 mph on some of the rides before you can say “UUUUUUhhhhhhhhhh Where’s my bathing suit?” Time to go! Bye!

2/10/09
On February 8th our friends Matt and Julia came with their children, Alex and Sophia. We switched all of our food from the coach to the apartment/condo, and switched again because the people at the front desk made a mistake. So after we got settled in, we moved again…. pain in the butt by the way. My mom bought an extra carload of food for our friends and we couldn’t even ride in it because it was so stuffed. So while we walked to our new apartment, which was the same as the first, my mom drove off and we almost lost sight of her once or twice. Next, our friends arrived from the airport late at night and we went to bed earlier than we wanted to. The next day we all went to Hollywood Studios theme park in Disney World. It is my second least favorite of 4 parks. Although it has Rock and Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith (that can go 0-60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds) and the Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror, it still doesn’t beat Epcot (My first favorite) or Magic Kingdom (My second favorite). But it is a hair above Animal Kingdom because of nightly fireworks. They’re omitted in Animal Kingdom because it “scares the animals.” It also has Fantasmic, half fantasia and all fantastic. It’s a show where Mickey Mouse battles evil in this magic duel with fireworks and a water projectile screen. Dancers dance on boats and Ariel, Beauty, and Snow White fall in love, conquering all, the end. It was great. Today we’re going to EPCOT with our friends, and we still have 5 days on our tickets! See you later!

2/8/09
Of all the Disney theme parks that we have went to, none of them even compare to how amazingly great EPCOT is. EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow. And a small city it is! It has restaurants, lodging, roads, and parks. Even though they don’t have cars in the park, they do have Monorails galore and some things that a city doesn’t have. I’m mostly speaking of all the rides they have. And they aren’t based on a movie like in Magic Kingdom. No, these rides are there because they are the most high-tech, futuristic, and thrilling rides of all the rides at Disney. A perfect example would be MISSION: SPACE, an amazing ride where you get to feel the thrills of being in a real-life astronaut simulator. Everything is dazzling and razzling, especially at night during their IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth. This is where hundreds of fireworks are shot into the sky and synchronized with music to create a truly amazing experience that you’ll most likely never forget. Then after all of the fireworks burn out and there’s nothing but smoke in the night, they shoot laser beams through the smoke and you see a beam. Well actually you see hundreds of them as well as lights on the side of the lake, but whatever I tell you isn’t as good as seeing it yourself. There are all sorts of cool plants and fish in the LIVING WITH THE LAND ride. You get on a boat and slowly glide through all the exhibits of agricultural progress since farming was invented.

Everything is awesome and clean and beautiful. Frankly it’s too good for words and that’s without talking about the mind-boggling world showcase: 13 amazing countries, one after another, bordering a lake. All the cultures of Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China, Morocco, and even Canada are all within a small square half-mile. And each countries’ gift shops, restaurants, and street performers are manned by people from that country which is really cool too. So far my favorite country is China, and my favorite ride is SOARIN. We just left the Disney campground and are moving into a temporary hotel that my parents’ friends Mr. Matt and Mrs. Julia and their two kids, Alex and Sophia were kind enough to give us for one week of their timeshare. Mrs. Julia is also my God Mother and my Mom’s maid of honor at her wedding. Everything is wonderful, except for all of the school that we’ll have to do when this is over, and all the longing we’ll have to come back. But one of the greatest things about being here is that I’m here! You don’t understand? Let me explain. Everyone I know practically has gone to Disney World one way or another. But finally I’m here at the famous Disney World that is world famous. If you don’t believe me, talk to the multi-lingual people from China, Spain, and even Russia. There are 5 languages written on all the signs here so everyone can understand the message. All the games tell you to choose your language out of twenty, some of which I can’t even understand! It’s so cool and everyday I thank my parents for bringing us here for ten whole days! That’s all for now! See you soon!
P.S. The temperature has gotten up past the 60’s and into the 70’s, so we can go outside in shorts now!

2/6/09
We arrived at Disney World late at night and checked into Fort Wilderness Campground Resort. They have a heated pool…………….that’s heated a whole 40 degrees or something. We already figured that out. The first theme park that we went to was Magic Kingdom. It’s not the most interesting park, or the newest edition to Disney World, but definitely the most classic. We went on “it’s a small world” and Mom loved it. Sam’s and Dad’s favorite was Splash Mountain. Ben liked Tom Sawyer’s Island, and my favorite was Space Mountain. It’s an indoor roller coaster that’s in the dark. You keep on thinking (as you round hair pin turns) that some giant metal beam holding up the ride is going to come out of nowhere and take your head off. Nobody dares to put their hands in the air on this ride. We explored Tom Sawyer’s Island and had fun there. We saw bears sing, got wet, rode the big thunder mountain railroad, and even flew on a pirate ship. We took a lot of the tips that Charlie gave us in Maryland such as “get up early” and “go to the popular rides first.”

It rained on us and apparently it’s their value season, or opposite of peak season, so a usual 3 hour wait in line turned into a whopping 10 minute wait. We definitely had a lot of fun and rode Space Mountain 3 times. The line was about 3 minutes, and 2 minutes was walking through all the empty lanes. It was hard to imagine all those lanes filled with people. The next day was 2 lessons of school to take the place of the day before and the day, after that was our Animal Kingdom day. This was the biggest park with the fewest rides. We saw the Safari Tour in the Africa Section and Dinosaur from the Dinoland USA section of the park. Everyone’s favorite ride had to be EXPEDITION EVEREST. It was really neat and we almost got eaten by the Yeti. Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh Scary. Forward, Backward, side to side, straight down and straight up. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

When we were done with Animal Kingdom we went home. We planned to go to Epcot but Will woke up with a pain in his neck and the whole day we stayed at home and did school. We did school all right but we sure didn’t stay at home all day long. We went to a cool place called Disney Quest located at Downtown Disney. There it’s nothing but fun and games, literally. It’s a five story building filled to the brim with top of the notch gaming like Astro Blaster where you’re IN the Starship. It’s top of the line and all new, all interactive, and all cool. That’s all for now.


1/31/09
We got to Tampa on the 29th and set up camp at McDill Air Force Base 7 miles away. We met Mr. and Mrs. Miller and one of their 4 puppies, Rosy. While I finished up on my tests, my mom and dad “caught up” with their friends. Afterward I did the dishes and got to be surrounded by Ben and Sam a little (okay a lot) more than I wanted to. The next day we went roller blading into Tampa for a couple of hours and met some more of my dad’s friends. Will has been behind me and just finished up his tests and it’s really nice to know that it’s all behind us. We went sightseeing in Tampa and saw all the Steelers fans in black and gold jerseys. We met the Millers again and their son, Justin. We got to play with all 4 of their puppies and they cooked us a great dinner. We went home at 1 in the morning and got up at 10 the next day.

We drove to Orlando and got our Disney tickets at Shades of Green. We also went to “Body Worlds,” a human body museum that was all about the human body’s limits, health, and how to take care of it. All of the bones and kidneys and stuff were real people once. That’s right! Walking, talking people who died and were dissected and put on display for all to see. It gave me Goosebumps just remembering all the stuff that I looked at. But we also saw an IMAX DOME THEATRE movie called Extreme Sports.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Florida's West Coast

Wow I haven’t blogged in awhile! Well, here it goes. We arrived at Eglin Air Force Base when it was getting dark about a week ago. We set up camp and went to bed. The next day was lots of school, and we watched the inauguration, which happened to be one of my spelling words that day. President Obama made a really good speech. NBC says that millions, almost billions of people were watching on just their station for the inauguration. If you think about all of the stations filming this momentous occasion there probably were billions of people watching.

Anyway we left the next day after doing more school, and got to Panama City, Florida in about 2 hours, doing school all the way. We stayed at a state park for 3 days and in that time we swam in the Gulf of Mexico, watched alligators at a restaurant, went to Home Depot and had a family bike ride on the dunes. On the 4th day we left to Homosassa Springs where we went to a state park and got to swim with the manatees. One thing, in the movies they’re cute because they’re clean but the ones we swam with were dirty so they just looked fat. But it was still fun. And don’t forget school! Lots of it! I’ve done so much school my passion to learn is turning into what my brothers have, the loathing of school. But I try to stay ahead in my studies and not daydream. I am currently taking my lesson 80 tests which means I’m halfway through the school year. I only have one more test, Grammar. In 3 days we’re going to Orlando for a vacation from this vacation at Disney World! WHOOOOOOOOOOO! We left to Tampa and have been doing school ever since. That’s all for now! BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEE!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

South Carolina and Georgia

It has come to my attention that I have not blogged in a while. Within the hour when I finished blogging on the twelfth we went to a museum about Special Forces. We watched a movie about the history of the parachute and its uses in the military. Most of it was about paratroopers. We also had the chance to simulate us jumping out of a helicopter and parachuting to the ground below. We read about Special Forces part in World War 2. Then we drove to my dad’s good friend Mr. Miles Huff. Mr. Huff is a chef and instead of being paid to make one restaurant rich and those people good food, he TEACHES cooking at a university so that all people that those students cook for will hopefully get extraordinarily good food that they otherwise wouldn’t get. Chef Huff is a genius cook and after one meal you won’t ever want to leave the table. I know, I had the wonderful opportunity to try. Mr. and Mrs. Huff have two grown-up young ladies for children, and one of them has a child, so they’re grandparents! But they look so young you can’t even tell! While we stayed at their house for a couple of days we stopped by at a friend from Alaska who recently moved to Virginia. His name is Nick Dueanas, his dad’s name is Mr. Mike and his moms name is Mrs. Cindy but we pronounce it Ms. Cindy, and Adam is his little brother. We stayed for a while and played risk, a board game, in which we didn’t have time to finish. And went to a park, and had dinner, and played with Adam. Afterwards, we watched Bush’s Farwell address and saw the video clips of the recent plane that flew into the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese in an emergency landing. We left the next day and went to Georgia. We there we stayed at another one of my dad’s friend’s house for 3 days! It was awesome and there house was huge! We played with their 2 boys and their other child, Mary Cate, was on a Girl Scout ski trip so we didn’t get to meet her. But we had a blast; we had two sleepovers, a 2 mile hike up the only mountain that snowed in Atlanta and a nerf-gun war. We also played with their next door neighbor’s dogs, with the owner’s permission of course, the two German Sheppard were called Rex and Bushca. We had a lot of fun. We left today and just finished passing through Fort Benning, and should be in Florida in approximately 3 hours. BYE!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Maryland, Virgina, and South Carolina


1/12/09
All right we’ve done more school and have finally left Fort Meade, Maryland. We are currently at Mrs. Juliet’s house in North Carolina. We’ve had a fun time playing with her kids. We went to Mr. Fred’s house and had Fred-mcmuffins instead of egg-mcmuffins. They were delicious. And Ian is really good at Lego Star-wars.

My Dad says that we’re getting more visitors looking at our on-line journals each day. It’s really cool looking at all the e-mails people are sending us when they look at the site. So the more you click on the site the more our counter counts!
We went to the Smithsonian Air and space museum in Washington D.C.. They had a simulator where you land a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier. It was really fun. We also watch a short movie about how air planes take off and land on an aircraft carrier. Apparently they attach the plane to a catapult, fill it up with steam and fire it off the deck of the ship in 50 ft! We also saw the Lincoln Memorial and Washington monument. There’s a great view from the top of the Washington monument. We saw the White House and Korean memorial from the top. They say that on a clear day you can see 30 miles in each direction from the top of the 555 ft tall monument.
We went to a mock-up of a colonial town called Williamsburg in Virginia and we saw the dig site of colonial Jamestown. Both were historical, educational, and interesting. Williamsburg had a lot of people and we asked a lot of questions and were heavily informed. I had questions I had to ask to get my Life scout Rank for Boy Scouts and we also learned much from the experience and have also done a lot of school. The Jamestown dig site had a kids program where you run around the museum finding answers to questions and you get a patch that says “You’re a Junior Park Ranger” I thought I could learn enough without the questionnaire so I didn’t do it, but Ben and Will were all for it. I helped them out a bit though.

We had fun visiting Mrs. Lisa in Switzerland so we decided to see her again in the U.S. We had a lot of fun at her hotel’s pool. We talked about Fargo, and the trip, and Switzerland.


When we lived in Maryland I had a good friend named Charlie. Well, on January 6 we went to his house and had dinner with Charlie, Mrs. Crystal, Josh, and Mr. Mark. We had a fun night of pizza, games, and visiting. Charlie seems to like the idea of homeschooling and I gave him some advice. We talked about Disney World because we will be going there in approximately 2 and half weeks.
We also went to the Mikatarian’s house for a visit another night. They had two very nice daughters named Kendra and Kaitlin. We played some games then went home and the next many days were school, school, and more school! Too much more of the dreaded word and my head will explode!
Last night we went to Mr. Dennis’s house for dinner and played with his two kids Adam, and Hope. Mrs. Karen made a lovely spaghetti dinner. We had fun and I showed them what I could do on the piano. More coming soon I’ll keep you posted!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ft. Meade, Maryland



Nothing has really happened except for school, school, school, and New Year’s Eve! We watched the Ball drop on T.V. and went to the same Roller Skating Rink as last time. We skated till one in the morning and got served breakfast at midnight. My mom tried backwards skating the first time we went. I’m not going to say that she did badly, but she fell a lot. Now she’s a pro. It was a wonderful way to spend New Year’s Eve.
We also had fun going with our cousins to the new Air and Space Museum. We saw all sorts of really cool things, and most of the satellites and orbiters I recognized from space camp. Everything was fun and interesting. They even had a full original of the Enterprise. Not the Columbia that blew up in space. And not the enterprise from Star trek. We watched a fighter pilot movie called Red Flag, in the Museum’s very own IMAX theatre. If I have one word to critique the movie it would be AMAZING. It’s like you’re actually there. But that’s the effect that the producers want you to have. Anyway, I guess that we’ve earned it with all the school we’ve done.
Unfortunately, I was sick yesterday with the flu and practically stayed in my sleeping bag from dawn to dusk and dawn again. But now I feel better and am doing more school today. We also went to the Cryptology Museum. It’s not about crypts, which are where dead people are buried, but a museum about codes, agents, and hiding information. All in all a great place. That’s all for now.

12/30/08
Ok, so we haven’t done much since I last blogged. We haven’t even left the city yet. We went to the bowling alley on post 3 times, the movies once (we watched Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa), the library once, the Muse twice, and Oh yea we went to Uncle Eric’s House for Christmas. I got 4 presents for Christmas. My first present was the Book ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu from my mom. It’s really cool and I read it all the time. My second present was a nerf blow gun from my dad. I can shoot a dart 30 ft silently and accurately. My third present was a couple of chocolates from Santa.
And my fourth was a brand-new Laptop from Santa. Thank you Santa! It’s so cool! It has got all these pre-downloaded games, and no pop-ups. I use it all the time. I don’t need to wait to use the other laptop and I’ve already downloaded all my favorite settings and programs and virus protection. I love it! I’ve even typed and edited 2 reports for Calvert, my homeschooling program. Talking about that, I’ve had plenty of it. We’ve done nearly nothing and way too much school for my likings. I’m ahead of my siblings in school, and do about a lesson and a half of school a day. My dad say’s 10 more days and we’re out of here. I very much hope since so we’ve been here waaaaaaayyyyy too long.