Friday, February 29, 2008

Peanut Allergies - by Courtney

Do you have a peanut Allergy? I do, and last month, on January 17, my mom came home with a peanut butter smoothie. I thought that it was just a little something from Caribou, but it wasn’t. As soon as I tasted it my mom yelled, “No, that has peanuts in it!” I spit it back out. I could feel the blood rushing to my head, and my lips were swelling up my throat was swelling too. I never want to feel that feeling ever again.
Peanuts are the most common allergy and they often find their way into things you wouldn't imagine. If you’re eating at a restaurant ask the waitress if the food you’re having has anything to do with nuts. Don’t go to Big Bowl if you have a peanut allergy because most of their things have peanut oil in them. Even if the waitress says it’s ok, they could still have a splash of peanut oil.
People allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios, pecans, and cashews. Stay away from all those nuts!

Today is Leap Day!

Our solar year is 365.24219 days. Since our calendar does not deal in partial days, every four years, we add an additional day to February. Therefore, our calendar year is either 365 days in nonleap years or 366 days in leap years. A leap year every four years gives us 365.25 days, sending our seasons off course and eventually in the wrong months. To change .25 days to .24219, we skip a few Leap Days every one hundred years or so.

Do you know anyone who was born on February 29th? If so, they're a "Leaper". Here is a website devoted to Leapers! This is an interesting article if you want to learn more about how February 29th was added to the calendar.


(image © 2003 )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Review - by Josh (and mom)

We finished "Ulysses Moore and the Door to Time". Our family read this book together at bedtime. It features three kids (Jason, Julia and Rick) who work together to solve riddles and puzzles and, ultimately, a mystery! This book is the first in a series and we are looking forward to reading more!

In this book, Jason and Julia move into a house on a cliff. They meet Rick and then discover a door that has 4 locks in it. So they set out to find the keys. Every step along the way there are things that have to be figured out. They find the keys, open the door and find themselves in a grotto where they find a very strange looking boat. There are no exits and they wonder how the boat ever goes anywhere. Once they figure out the mystery of how to make the boat move, they find themselves in ancient Egypt!


We have just started book 2. It is called "The Long-Lost Map". The writing is exciting and well done. The author has kept our interest and used clues to keep us guessing what will happen next - or how to solve the next puzzle. We'll keep you updated on the journey of these three friends!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hockey - by April

I play hockey for the U-10 Richfield Girls team. This is my first year on the team. Many of the girls are from my old school. The picture looks just like the goalie on my team. Her name is Masey. She is really good. At our last game, she only let in one goal against the best team and we won. I am lucky my team is really good. We won first place in our Bloomington Tournament this season.

We all have matching jackets with hockey stick patches on them.

When we got first place this was our medal.

This is me doing a slap shot.
I hope my team wins first place again.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hellcat - By Matt

Watch out for the Hellcat!

The Hellcat was built for three reasons. To destroy, outrun, and show dominance over the Japanese air force during World War II. This little blue plane had its fist step toward wining the Pacific War on June 26 1942, the day it first flew. Before the Hellcat, the Japanese made very good planes, but one plane was the Japanese’s Top Gun. That plane was the zero. The zero’s weapon system was light so it could speed up higher than the lumbering P-40 that was heavily armed. And with its aerodynamic fetchers the Zero could outrun any plane it faced. After Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Marianas raged. Both Japanese and American air craft carriers were there. The Hellcat and the zero both met in battle, and the Hellcat did so well that the battle soon came to be known as the great Mariana’s Turkey Shoot. From the 200 Hellcats that flew, only 25 were shot down. It surely proved the Hellcat's dominance. The Japanese never recovered. The Hellcat was not just the average day fighter, but it was also the navy's preferred night fighter. The young aviators got their wings to the night fighting squad over Okinawa. But after that something happened that would change the war. The last zero was shot down. Then the next morning on the carrier Yorktown there was a speech that said, “Today we are all gathered to the end of war in the Pacific”. After the war in the Pacific, the Hellcat was tested for other reasons, like the first remote controlled flight. After that came the F4U4 Corsair that was much bigger, faster, and more maneuverable than the Hellcat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Egypt - by Saheel

Egypt is an amazing country, and I will tell you every thing about Egypt. In Egypt when a person dies they don’t bury him, they just put the body in their basement. And another thing about Egypt is they don’t put the Mummy in the pyramids. They put the bodies in the museum. Second thing about Egypt if you go out in the night after 10 pm you will get arrested even if you are Americans. And now I will tell you about Egyptian Mosque. Egyptians Mosques are the best. A Mosque is a holy place for Muslims. And an Egyptian person thinks that the best religion in the world is Muslim. And that’s their opinion. The final thing about the Egypt is the queen she was the most beautiful lady in the universe.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Edge Chronicles - by Atom and Josh

We all (Atom, Josh, Jay, Jacob and Garth) have been reading The Edge Chronicles and have really liked it even though we’re two chapters into the book. The main character, named Twig, fought a giant hover worm! Even though that may sound a little weird, the book is great! Click here to see a website for it.

The Story of Cheese - Chapter 2: A Message in Melted Cheese, by Garth

Cheddar was surrounded by darkness. Not the darkness that you can’t see but your eyes will adjust to in a little while. It was pure darkness, like a dungeon. He tried to find his way around, but he couldn’t see anything. He stuck out both his hands and walked forward. Cheddar felt something with his hands and tried to figure out what it was. It felt kind of rough and bumpy. He pushed hard on it and felt his hand sink into it. He quickly pulled his hands out. They felt like they were covered with slime of some sort. Cheddar started thinking of what it could be. After a while he gave up and continued around the cave. Then it came to him. I could have been melted cheese. Cheddar dashed back to the wall and pressed his hand against it. He felt it out and rubbed his hand on it trying to figure out the strokes, turns, and spaced to find out what it says, like brail. He figured out the first word which was THE. He felt around for the next which was --Chedur? -- no, Cheddar! He felt around for the next word and found C-H-E-E-S-E. He thought for a moment. What could be after it? The Cheddar Cheese, the Cheddar Cheese, The Cheddar Cheese. Cheddar kept saying it over in his head. What could it mean? He reached up to find what else was written on the wall I-F Y-O-U P-L-E-A-S-E S-O-M-T-H-I-N-G T-H-A-T M-A-K-E-S Y-O-U S-N-E-E-Z-E. Cheddar thought for a second. “The Cheddar Cheese, if you please. Something that makes you sneeze,” he said to himself. What does that mean? Thought Cheddar.

He searched around the room and eventually found a door. Cheddar got a firm grip on the door and swung it open. He could finally see. His eyes weren’t fully adjusted to the light yet so Cheddar still couldn’t see. He floundered into a wall and drearily stumbled to the ground. Cheddar lay there for about an hour and then got up. He could finally see.

He wasn’t in a room; he was in a new world. There was a giant tower made of cheese. Cheddar knew it was the Leaning Tower of Cheese, he had heard of. There were many people, many houses, and many things worth seeing to see. But one particular person caught Cheddar’s eye. The CHEESE BANDITS were there. Cheddar dashed behind a tree. He peeked out from behind the tree to see if they were still there. He couldn’t see them. Cheddar let out a sigh of relief. But then he spotted them again. He gasped and ran into the nearest building.
It was a small house, it looked deserted. Cheddar floundered around in the house and then sat down by a window. He peered out and tried to spot the CHEESE BANDITS. Cheddar saw them head for the house he was in. Cheddar gasped and descended farther into the house. The floors started to make a creaking sound. Cheddar saw a staircase and quickly ascended it. He was about to go back when he heard the sound of the door opening. He knew he had no choice. He ran up the stairs hoping not to alert the CHEESE BANDITS. It got darker and darker. Cheddar found a light switch but there wasn’t any electricity in the old house. He found a door and quickly went inside. He found his way to a couch that he could sit on until the CHEESE BANDITS left.

Cheddar sat there hour after hour until he thought it was safe to leave. Then he got up but then he heard noises coming from the hallway. “I can’t find him,” Cheddar thought it must have been the first CHEESE BANDIT. “Check that room!” exclaimed the second CHEESE BANDIT. Cheddar heard the creaking of the door as the CHEESE BANDITS entered the room Cheddar was in. Cheddar leaped behind the couch, and held his breath. The CHEESE BANDITS had a candle so they could see. “I thought I heard something,” said one of the CHEESE BANDITS. Cheddar couldn’t hold his breath any longer He inhaled a deep breath. Just then one of the CHEESE BANDITS leaped behind the sofa and glared right at Cheddar. “I found you,” he said in an evil voice. Cheddar scrambled to his feet and tried to run out the other side of the sofa. But Cheddar came face to face with the other CHEESE BANDIT. “Should we cut off his head?” asked one of the CHEESE BANDITS. “No,” said the other. “I have better plans for this one.”
(image by duckiemonster)

Family Book Club - by Cindi (Josh's mom)

We are reading "Ulysses Moore and the Door to Time" as a family. We like it for several reasons. The story has 3 kids in it and they are very funny and yet very responsible. They are all different personalities and we have noticed that they work very well together. The book is about these three kids who are exploring a big house that has lots of rumors and secrets about the previous owners. This is the first book of a series and the main theme of this book is how they find the "Door to Time". We are not at the end yet...but we are really enjoying their journey!


Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the chief voices of the Harlem Renaissance and a noted poet and author. Hughes’ poems gave voice to an entire generation of African Americans and their experiences, feelings, thoughts, and dreams.

Click here to read Hughes' famous poem "Dreams". After you've read it, post a comment telling me what literary device he uses in each stanza of the poem.

Image courtesy of the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project.