Thursday, March 26, 2009

Key West, Florida

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.

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

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


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

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!


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.

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 …………! 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.