Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unlikely Twins

This is the most unusual set of twins you ever did see! I promise you it happened spontaneously and accidentally!

Reds today

Greens (with greenback allowances in hand!)

Field Trip Number Eleven - Space and Rocket Center

Today we took another field trip.  This time to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  And wouldn't you know, the Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, was there to talk with local, regional and national business owners and managers.  (See this link to find out more about it).  And yes, we saw, and walked amongst, the (very distinguished looking) crowd of people in the Davidson Center. (We did NOT help ourselves to the buffet!)

Again I refer you to photos to tell the story.

We planned on getting there soon after opening time - forgot we were gaining an hour in central time - so were 20 minutes early - a nice surprise!  Actually the place was already open so we didn't even wait.  Prolly open for the special meeting mentioned above.

It's hard to tell the size of these from the picture.  This engine on the bottom left, for example, is at least 15 feet in diameter!

Big whoop-di-doo....Standing by a moonrock.  "No big deal", says C, "I have a meteorite from possibly Mars or somewhere!"  She refused to be excited by this moonrock!!

Well, here they are ON the moon.  And all this time I thought the moon had really soft, deep and dusty stuff covering it.  In THIS area the ground was as hard as asphalt!

A race between Solar power and battery power.  The Solar powered vehicle won - but only because it went faster when the sun was shining.  Unfortunately clouds were quicky blowing in and everytime the sun disappeared, the buggy would stop dead (no stored energy!).  But in the end, the sun prevailed and helped the solar one to win. Reminded me of the rabbit and the tortoise race - except the rabbit won.

Powering a lunar buggy in an earth race, with bicycle power! (pretend).

C helping in a science demonstration.  Here, she is trying to knock the cup off the lady's head with moving air.

This is what air is made of.

Trying out the Mars rock climbing wall.  They climbed it at least 7 or 8 times.  I'm hoping that'll help with sleep tonight!

Two people trying out space suits while building something, gloves and all.  Plus, the chairs moved this way and that as they worked, simulating the movement outside a space shuttle, in space.

The space shuttle Pathfinder.  You've never heard of this one?  It was the prototype built to measure sizes, weights and other details related to moving the shuttle around on the ground and in the air. 

The Hubble space telescope (in miniature).  There were an extreme amount of models throughout the center which I didn't always capture on "film", although they WERE most interesting.

One of the rockets as we say good-bye.

A little about the weather - it seemed to get colder as the day went by.  Started out with clear skies and was moderately cool (7:30am is cool anyway).  By the time we left, as you can see in this photo, clouds had moved in and it was definitely jacket weather.  As they say, March came in like a lamb, so is prolly going to leave like a lion!  Frost expected tonight!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Field trip number ten - to Tellus

depending on how you count them.  The trip up to New England prolly counted for at least 5 by itself!  Anyhoo, we'll count that trip as one field trip so this one is number 10.

Another trip to Tellus - well worth the trip!  Tuesday, the day of the trip, was cold and rainy.  A nice day for an inside museum trip, although we had to travel an hour each way in the rain and "weather".  It seemed to be an ideal day for several other groups too - we saw at least 6 school buses parked in the lot and had many groups going through the various exhibits.  We noticed they seemed to focus on one main area  ie: geology; paleantology; - perhaps they're local groups that get to come often and get to focus on one area at a time - nice!

Since this was our second trip here within a year, I'll try not to duplicate TOO many photos, other than the one measuring against the large truck tire!  You can see how the girls have grown over the last 10 months.
I'll add this one to the previous one so you can compare the heights, too.
We were at Tellus only 4 days after the Japan earthquake and tsunami.  The big red circles indicate earthquakes (greater than mag. 4) TODAY, and the orange ones YESTERDAY and yellow, from the past 2 weeks.  Pink are <4 earthquakes in the last 5 years. What you hover the cursor over shows the magnitude and region of a specific one, hence the PNG one highlighted. Looks like they had a 6.6 two days before the Japan one - I didn't even hear about that one, did you?

An interesting looking malachite.

They had fascinating facts about each vehicle - unfortunately this particular section didn't interest the girls at all - they went on to the space area while I browsed here.  But then a museum curator wondered where their mother was....they keep tabs on you, don't they?  (I'm surprised they didn't ask where MY mother was!)

A cute astronaut.

Caption below describes this one.

I can't help including these little snippets of riveting information.

Ah yes, why didn't they include some of these in the gem mining area!!??

Here again in the gem mining area.  It's really neat that they let the children (and adults, thankyouverymuchwepayquiteabitmorethanthechildrentobabysitthemforyou!!) collect real (little, teensy tiny) semi-precious stones.

Blending in with another group.

And so, around 3:30 or later, we headed for home, hopefully with heads filled with all kinds of useful knowledge!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Clustrmaps what?

Maybe someone can enlighten me on the "stats" story.  This week people from the following countries visited this blog (or photos from it) according to google:

United States
United Arab Emirates

I'm MOST disappointed, to say the least, that on Clustrmaps, some of these countries don't show up!  I'm especially disappointed about the UAE not showing up as I have a friend there who visited this blog!  Where is it???  I mean, how often do you have someone from these little, out-of-the-way countries making a mark on your map?  I also have yet to see Brazil - they've visited SEVERAL times in the last few months!  Another one that isn't showing up is China.

So maybe someone can throw some light on the subject because I don't understand it!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Our prayers are with you!  Staggering devastation there now.  Also pray that people across the Pacific will be able to escape the tsunami heading their way today.

Here's (hopefully a link) to a video of the tsunami in Japan.

If you're looking for a good aid organization to send funds to, I recommend ADRA.  They have bases in most countries of the world and are usually on site to bring help in the form of basic necessities very quickly.  They also stick around to help people get back on their feet after disasters.

Friday, March 4, 2011

R's new job

Brother R and Ch now have a new job, teaching, near Calhoun.  Their house overlooks the beautiful Hiwassee river valley.  R will be teaching Math and Science at the (reform) school and Ch will be teaching Bible and Social Studies.  We wish them both well and God's blessings in their new work.  I'm sure they'll both do very well.  Here are a few photos of and from their (lower level) duplex on the top of a ridge.

Crystal waves "hello".  This is the view from the front drive.

More of it. The Hiwassee river is to the left and the school buildings are to the right.

Their front entrance

Living room. (They were still moving in). The apartment is fully furnished.

One of the bathrooms.

The guest bedroom.
I'm sure we'll hear more as time goes by.... 

Birthday time again

This past week it was birthday time again. (The week before was H's birthday.)  C's big day turned out to be bright and sunny with temps around 70'F!  The craze right now is American Girl dolls.  So, we took a trip down to Atlanta to visit the store, then returned in time for a little party with some friends at 5pm.  A nice busy day!  Thank goodness it was Spring Break.

The big decade! (This is adapted from a photo of the store in Natick, MA)

Interesting clouds on the way to Atlanta

Like 2 cats in a mouse store.
8 little girls partying


An extra bonus - presents!

C and Crystal
All lit up    (C's name was airbrushed out for the blog)

C was ready for bed by 8:30pm and we didn't hear another peep until 7am! Thank you, God, for another year of life!