WindyCreek Times

Our Homeschool Newsletter,
published every blue moon

Special Québec Edition
Impressions, activities, mishaps, and the fun of our family trip to the town of Val-David in the Laurentian Mountains of Québec, Canada. Val-David is about one hour north on Montréal which is the capital of the French province of Québec. We chose to visit here because it was in the mountains, to practice speaking French, and because it would really feel like we were in a different country.
Written, of course, by all of us!

20 Year Anniversary
by Neil
We went to Québec because Mom and Dad were married for twenty years and because we were learning French. At the hotel there were lots of bikes for the people to ride, but there were no small bikes. There were lots of bike trails near the hotel. One of them was on the side of the road and had lanes. One lane was for bikes going toward the town and the other was for bike, walker and roller bladers coming back from the town. The trails looked so fun that I wanted to ride too. There were also trails on a rock road next to the river that used to be the railroad tracks. That trail went all the way to Mont Tremblant. Since I really wanted to ride my bike on them, I asked if we could rent a bike for me and Kevin. We went to a shop and asked them. I got a mountain bike and Kev got a small two wheeler with training wheels. I rode my bike on all the trails for a real long time, almost the whole way on one of them and a quarter of the way on the other one. The one I went almost all the way was the one that was on the side of the road. I also got to ride around near our chalet and at our friend Lulu's house.
Every night at dinner time Kevin asked for an apple instead of soup or salad or duck pate. One night they cut it shaped as a bird, one night he got it shaped as a flower, one time it looked like a chicken, and one time it was just real fancy but I don't know what it was. Every night he got a pomme, which means in French an apple. And it was not even on the menu! He just really liked to eat apples on the whole trip.
The hotel had really great desserts! Better than Mom's desserts. My favorite dessert was a white cake with red raspberry stuff on the top. For Mommy and Daddy's 20th anniversary they got sparklers on their cake and they got all kinds of cakes including cheese cake. Everyone sang Happy Birthday because they didn't know how to say it the other way! I thought if we come back again I would order a cheese cake and see if I get sparklers.

Lake Placid
by Katie
On our way to Québec we stopped in a beautiful place in upper New York State called Lake Placid. It was full of pine forests, cliffs and streams, lakes and rivers, some with waterfalls. It had a nice quaint town and its lakes were so wonderful because they shone all the time, even during the night. We went swimming and boating in Mirror Lake. The different kinds of boats they had were paddle boats, row boats and canoes. I liked the canoes best because they are the most fun and the most exercise. I hope to go back again.

Parlez Français!
by Katie
When we went to Québec we tried to speak as much French as possible. Every now and then at home we try to speak French, especially when we eat meals and we ask to have food passed! "Papa, passe la viande, le pain et le fromage J'ai un couteau. Merci." We can not talk in too many whole sentences but we just can say a few things. Right now, I am also teaching myself Pennsylvania Dutch. I already know the whole alphabet--how it is pronounced and how to read it in old German script. I also taught Neil to say it but not to read it yet.

Leaving Canada?
by Brian
While in Québec we learned more about Québec wanting to succeed. One of the main reasons was because of immigration. Now immigration is a problem because when people immigrate from one place to the other they bring their customs and/or language with them. For the people living in Québec this is a problem since Québecan's all speak French, and that is the way they want it. But alas, the Canadian government has open immigration. The people of Québec are deciding whether to succeed from Canada by popular vote. Luckily Canada isn't a militaristic country so there is no fighting. The Canadians will have to decide if Québec will stay a province of Canada, no mater how much they disagree.
The people of Québec have a very strong link with their French heritage. They wish to keep their identity which is kept alive mainly through their language, songs, and customs. They feel that if they lose their language, all else will fall away also.

Wonderful Loulou and Réal
by Katie
Also when we were in Québec, we met two people named Lulu and Réal. This all happened because we were in a chalet next to their house. At night, they had a light on the side of their house facing us and mom liked it a lot. It looked like a yellow glowing star burst or glowing sun rays. So the next day, she went over to ask them about it and say how much she liked it. She went over and told them all this in French only to find out that they speak perfect English! When she came back, she said how much she liked them and that they were real nice. They had also invited us to their house. Two days later we went and had such a fun time. They said that we could use their boat and their yard anytime that we wanted and that we also could come over any time. Their house was so nice and big and lots of sun could get in. Then, a few days later, they showed us around their land (they owned a mountain!) and we also looked at houses with them that were for sale. We liked them a lot. They are going to visit us sometime around Christmas when their daughter will star in a play in Lancaster. We can't wait to see them again.

The Beauty of the Lake
by Kevin
At our chalet near the Québec inn there were two lakes and we rode in all the kinds of boats. Everyday. And one night when we went to bed I looked out the window and I said, "Ahhhhh...the beauty of the lake!" So Neil land I got up and started dancing on our bed and then we started saying "the beauty of the lake" over and over and over. Then Brian also said "the beauty of the lake." Pretty soon, the whole family was saying "the beauty of the lake." Then later I opened up the door to tell Brian something and I said, "Bri, could you say the beauty of the lake again?" I made a song that said "the beauty of the lake." (I sang it a whole lot on the big long way home in the car.)
When we went on the lake we went in a boat--Bri and I did. We both went on the ride in the canoe. Just us. We went around about half of the lake. We saw the hotel, the other houses, some ducks, rocks and sand.
Jacquès was my best friend at the hotel in Québec. Jacquès was one of the office men and he had gray hair. He gave me some gum and a pin. Neil and I wanted to do work for the pins so he gave us some work to do. We took off tape from the floor after game time and then we got doilies out of the basket and put them in a pile. At dinner when he went past us at dinner all the time, I said hi to him.
Mommy knew some people who lived right near our chalet because they wrote a chapter for her book. We went over to visit them lots times and there was a boy named Jesse. He was my friend. There were Bill and Leslie who were the dad and mom and the other kids were Adrienne, Brennan and Zachary. We played there, watched "Beethoven," played cricket, ate lunch, and played games inside and outside. We went in the woods and when we got there we played. We also played Monopoly.
There was this other family we made friends with when Neil gave the kids his balloons. They were from Paris, France and couldn't even speak any English, so I said "bonjour" to them. They were nice and we played with them too. We played Go Fish and we had to say it in French, like "avez vous un sept?" and they had to play in English. That was very fun to do. There names were Antoine and Cécile. We went hiking with them on a big mountain that was the biggest one there.The hike was too long for me. Mommy carried me on her back down the steep part. I kept bumping her shoulder and her arms hurt my legs. I just wanted to sleep and I couldn't. Then later when we got up to Daddy he carried me. I walked at the end and that is all. Except that Daddy got me some ice cream cause he said he would when I walked all that way down.

Mont-Tremblant and the Hour and a Half Hike
by Brian
(!Warning, article is not politically correct and the spelling is not correct ether.!)
Ah it was a wonderful day for a hike at a ski resort. The bugs biting and the voices of tourist like us in the distance was great!
We had decided to go on a hike with some French friends we met in Québec just for fun. We got to Mont-Tremblant a small resort and ski area where the Japanese have taken over Québec.( No! not an army of soldiers but an army of business men armed with briefcases and checks.) The Japanese have actually built a European style city there. Yes, using their God-like powers, in two years they have erected a city!
Anyway back to the hike. We took a ski lift to the top of the mountain with my new friend who would rattle on in French while every time he said something I would nod my head as if I understood. Example: Friend (in French): I am going to kill you! Me: (nodding my head): Uh huh or yes.
Using my extensive knowledge of the French language I tried to communicate with him but later someone informed me to what I was saying. I thought I said " Look how high the mountain is" when I actually said in French "I am going to jump of this cliff." This may explain why he pulled me onto the ground and dragged me away from the cliff. But I really don't think it was necessary to pull me to the ground, jump up and down, and yell a lot over his disagreeing with my thoughts on how high the mountain was. Those French!
We ate lunch at the top of the mountain where the hamburgers were $4.00 and hot dogs $3.50. I offered my friend some fries in French but he looked at me in a strange way like I was crazy. "Would you like some fries?" Translation: "I like to eat flies".
After lunch we began the hike. Most of the hike was in the forest and for the first five minutes the hike was beautiful. But then it got hot and steep. But I took it like a modern day American white straight male and fell to the ground and started to cry. I got myself back together again and hiked . At one point we lost the trail even though it was just ten feet in front of us. Being lost did not disturb me but then I realized that if we were to be lost for 30 or more minutes we would miss our French cuisine for dinner. I broke down again and tears rolled down my face fast enough to create a small canyon and river.
Then, accidentally, we found the trail. All was fine then. But, out of nowhere, MiG 27 biting bugs appeared and attacked with the ferociousness of the Russian army during the Battle of Berlin. My mom pulled out her secret weapon and put bug spray on us. But alas, nothing could save us from these savage beasts. We pleaded for mercy but no they had no mercy. By the time we got out of the forest or 3/4 of the way down in about three or four days our clothes had been tattered and we looked like one of the Mongolian Hordes.
Finally, away from the forest and bugs and after hiking at full speed for three hours, we were on a trail in the sun. In about two minutes my glasses started to melt and my clothes caught fire. In an attempt to save myself from burning I rolled down about 1/6 of the mountain. Contrary to popular belief, I was not being clumsy and did not trip over a four foot high boulder. You know, stop-drop-and-roll!
Then four hours after we started our one and a half hour hike we arrived at the bottom.
At the bottom, hundreds of people came over to help us and to try to keep me on my feet. They all thought I was in pain and agony. Some thought I was a savage and tried to see what language I knew, but they were wrong. That day was the day I had conquered the mountain!

By Outdoor Correspondent Brian Lande
One of the great things about the hotel we stayed at, was that it had canoes. This was great fun. One of the major problems though was that the rocks in the lake would, as soon as they saw me coming, and as a practical joke, would swim in front of the canoe in an effort to show that I was not as good of a canoer as I was. So, using my lightning reflexes, I maneuvered my craft out of the way and used some colorful words to scare away the rocks. (Though later I was told that those rocks didn't move and that I was just not a great canoer. Yet I knew that they knew that rocks were really possessed by demons but were too embarrassed to admit it.)
A few days later some of the people from the hotel had arranged a day long canoe and bike trip. The group biked to the river, but first we had to go through town. The biking in the town was very dangerous and hard. It required lightning fast decisions such as, whether or not to crash into the fruit stand or the brick wall in order to stop. Of course the logical thing to do is to crash into the fruit stand. As I got off of the ground, the man started yelling at me with an apple in his hand. He kept shaking it at me so I kindly assumed he wanted me to take an apple so as to regain my strength from the fall. Thanking him, I got on the bike with the free apple and biked away.
A few seconds later I noticed a bunch of police cars coming my way. Someone had committed a crime and was speeding away from the crime scene with the police cars in pursuit. The strange thing was that there were no cars on the road and the road was a dead end. At the river, I got into the canoe and stated to paddle away when the police started to jump up and down and wave their hands. Being courteous I waved back. I took the front of the canoe for the first ten minutes and then Katie wanted a turn. I then moved to the back to steer the boat. There was a current so the boat was forced to run aground many times and every now and then the canoe would tip. But using my fantastic steering and colorful words I was able to keep the canoe from sinking. Father was so amazed at my steering capabilities that he turned to the sky and prayed to God to thank Him for such a great outdoorsmen as a son. That was just before he ripped the oar away from me and pushed me forward onto the floor of the canoe in jealousy, just as we got to the waterfall. Father paddled so hard and fast you could not see the oar and, amazingly, we began to hover in the air. Then suddenly we, yes, we flew, to the fork in the river which lead back to where (as dad thought) "we should be."
As we neared the end of the journey it started to rain. Now I had packed just about everything you could manage to pack into my small back pack, but the one thing I forgot to pack was rain coats. But HEY! pneumonia can build character. We canoed to a lake where the bikes had been ported to. But just as soon as we got to the lake, lightning struck. Yes, we were stuck in the middle of a large lake and we were the tallest objects in the lake--not to say the only! Dad and I paddled so hard and Katie yelled FASTER, FASTER!!!!!!!!! We got on shore at that point in .0345 seconds and got on our bikes while still in the canoe and headed off for the hotel at the speed of light. While Dad and I peddled, Kate, (for the extra speed) paddled with the oars. We got home with eyes and blood vessels bulging out. We were so red that people kept yelling out INDIANS!, INDIANS!.
But I took it like a sportsman who truly loves the sport and reminded myself to bring an on-board motor next time.

Real Horses Don't Go Baaa!
another funny installment about Québec by Brian
Yeeaahhh, "we are going horseback riding!" I shouted. Yes, after asking the whole time we were on vacation, we were finally going horseback riding! The hotel had arranged to go take a one hour trail ride nearby and we had signed up for it.
We were to meet with the group at the hotel parking lot but we were late. In a panic, we got directions and drove off to join the group. We drove and drove and when we finally got there, nobody was there! Wow, could we have been that late? Could they have possibly left with out us. NO! (Actually they got lost and we stood for 20 minutes in the rain waiting for them.)
Not even started yet, we were already soaked to the bone. I was looking at the horses and saw a few big ones and one small Lamb. Sure everyone else was fooled into thinking it was a small horse but I knew that the Lamb had its wool sheared and had its skin painted brown. Katie had said that she wanted to have the small horse(Lamb). But NNNNOOOOOO! she got a big one! AND I GOT THE LAMB! THE SMALL LAMB! How could they do this to me! What had I done to deserve anything so humiliating!!???
Here I was, going around on a lamb in the middle of the rain, up trails and under trees. I was the only one who, because of the small size of my horse, did not get the privilege of getting knocked on the head by a low branch. Other than that the ride was fine.

The Great Cricket Match,
Another Self-Glorifying Story
by Sir Brian Lande of Britain (Har! Har! Har!)
Bill and Leslie had invited us to play a game of cricket with them and some other homeshoolers. (This is weird but all of the homeschoolers spoke English!)
We were a bit late but that didn't stop me from learning the game. The side I was chosen for was up to bat. Dad was also on my team, and mom and Kate were on the opposing team.
It was my turn to bat. I stared the bowler in the eye. I could see the hatred in his eyes. I knew he was either going to throw the ball at me or at the wooden dowel behind me. I brought the bat (or paddle?) into place. He started hopping around and then threw the ball. It was a close one but I hit it with everything I had. I ran back and forth at least ten times before I was tagged! Then it was dad's turn. He went up to bat. The fielders moved back. The bowler threw the ball. Dad made contact. Yes, it flew! But then IT happened...the ball rolled up to MOM! With the ball in hand she went to tag Dad. Knowing this could lead to a divorce, she threw it to another player instead.
It was my team's turn in the field and I was chosen to pitch. The first player came up. I threw the ball and WAM! the ball was hit, and hit far. That was the only good hit the other team got. Now I was warmed up and angry. I could have taken on a bear, but I was not near a forest so I didn't. I threw the ball and WHACK!! I knocked down the dowel and got an out. This happened against their best players. Yes, I was a great bowler. At that moment, I decided to become the grand champion cricket player in America, and the ONLY one.

by Brian
Before I write my article I would like to make this clear. I DID NOT WANT TO NOR SAW THE RELEVANCE OF WRITING AN ARTICLE ON A CHEAP RESTAURANT AND VIDEO STORE! Niko's was the only cheap place we could find to eat lunch in all of Québec. Otherwise, a hot dog would cost more than 4$ Canadian and you could imagine the bill for six of us to eat lunch. That is, till we found NIKO'S!!
The questions that we will be asking in this article and exploring are: Who the heck is Niko? And who care?. Sure, he has a small and cheap Greek restaurant and next door he has 1$ hot dogs. Alas, all I wanted from Niko's was a video in English!
We will now study the history of Niko's. In 1492 Niko sailed the ocean, and came to the New World. There in the New World Niko established himself as the most famous Greek chef in North America. He was also the ONLY Greek chef in North America. For the next several hundred years he traded with the Indians and shot squirrels. By the 20th century, Canada had become a country and really muffed up its economy and the best way to get money was to be poor and have lot of children. (Did you know that in Canada, parents actually get paid for having children, and the more children, the more the money goes up? This is to grow new little French speaking Québecers in a place where they are becoming an endangered species.) Knowing this, Niko lowered the price of his food to almost nil, had 16 children and retired a rich man even though he only had customers who were earning a lot of money and therefore were taxed to death and could only afford food from Niko's. So that was the story and the history of Niko.

by Brian (Again)
The food was so good that we always tried to figure out what ingredients were in everything that gave special flavors. There was something on the menu alot that we kept thinking was veal but it was actually cow brains. No thanks!
Since I like to cook so much and create such magnificent dishes, I wanted to watch the chef whose name is Étienne Savard. My mom asked and when he said yes, she made arrangements so I could watch. He said his English wasn't good enough so he would get someone else to translate. At 3:00 one afternoon, Mom, Katie and I went back to the kitchen. We were shown all the different cooking areas. There was a separate pastry chef who did only desserts. There was a chopping area, a meat area, and a few cooking areas. There were huge refrigerators and freezers. It was amazing how small the kitchen was for such grand meals. It's amazing how HOT it was too.
We saw the fresh bread in the ovens, some hot appetizers for a wedding party, and then the chef gave us a lesson. He showed us how to make scallops and how to decorate the vegetables. The scallops were sauteed in butter, garlic, oil, and then a sauce was made with white wine, shallots, cream, and vanilla sticks. The vanilla really made the difference in the taste. He decorated zucchini and red peppers around the plate and let us cut them also. Then he let us eat the scallops. Katie and I don't like them so much, but Mom had a feast.
We found out about different culinary schools, how chefs can travel around the world, and what long, hard work it can be to serve up all those artistic meals.

Tailpipe Breakdown
by Katie
On our way to Québec, our tailpipe sounded really strange and was hanging a little. We tried to get it fixed in another town, but to make a long, sad story short, it never got fixed. Mom and Dad tied it back on with blue rope that looked so horrible we were sure we'd be stopped at the boarder! So once we were on our way back home, our tailpipe was hanging so low that our dad had to take it off!! We stopped on the side of the highway, and dad got out and just took it off. But, while bending down under the car, he found that because of the heat, the nylon rope had had turned to plastic!! We had a fun time playing with the PLASTIC on our way home but a few minutes later, after dad took off the tail pipe, I heard a funny noise. Dad said that the muffler was probably loose!! Before we had even left on our trip, dad had taken our car in to the shop to make sure it would not break down. But it did!! (Also, when Dad took the car into the shop in Québec the mechanic said that it was not even a Volvo muffler even though it said VOLVO all over it! So on the rest of the way home, the tailpipe was at our feet.

by Brian
So what am I doing? I got braces and am looking forward to having nice straight teeth by the time I am 18. I am mostly looking forward to learning how to shoot rubber bands when I get my lower braces in two months.
I am hard at work on the saxophone. I am taking lessons with a professional saxophone player, Robert Landham, once a week and study theory and composition once per week still with Don Rappaport, old faithful!
Tucker has been a great addition to the family and she makes sure I get plenty of exercise. She usually takes me on at least two walks per day. Her best friend Cassidy has recently returned from her vacation in Maine (some dogs life, huh?) and they happily play together.

by Kevin
When we go on car trips I call out "tower" when I see a tall tower. We go past them and everyone looks. Some of them hold up phone wires, some of them are radio towers, some of them have radars, They have red and orange blinking lights at the top and you can see them at night.
My favorite towers are Watts Towers. They are in Los Angeles, the same city where Mommy was born. Mommy read us a story about Sam (Simon Rodia), the guy who made those towers. He looked on streets and sidewalks and near the trolley tracks for all different kinds of broken glass and bottle caps. He took them home in bags. He worked at a tile making place and brought the broken pieces of times also. He built the towers at his house in the backyard. His neighbors didn't know what he was doing. He was building towers with cement, glass, tiles from where he worked , shells, neat junk and boots that he found. There was steel inside. It took him a lot, lot , lot of years (33) to finish. When he was about 80 he moved to his family and never came back. He let his neighbor have his towers. Mommy brought us a movie about Watts Towers. I liked to see the way the towers really looked, cause they looked so good. Then Mommy called up the Watts Towers and they sent us some real pictures of them. And guess what? Mommy even WENT there herself and saw them for real. I want to go there and see them for myself too.

Spider Webs!
by Neil
One day I found a spider web. There was a spider spinning it in sort of like circles. I called everyone to the spider web so that they could see the spider spinning the web. to make its web, it used it's rear legs and spun the silk and its front legs to measure out from the circle inside. It used it's legs to make the circles all even.
Then Mommy said, "Look!" and when she pointed, her arm bumped the tree that held up the web. The spider curled up into a ball for about two minutes. Then it went back to spinning more web finally. We all got into the car to go somewhere then, and ducked down under the web because it was over the back steps. Then when we were ready to go, Daddy forgot where it was and that it was up there and just walked right into it. That is the end of our spider story.

Making Charcoal
by Katie
We went to visit Hopewell furnace. Hopewell furnace is a stove making industry with Hopewell Village built around it. Everybody there helped make the furnace run by taking different jobs. The women would take food and water to the men and encourage their work, the boys took jobs as a apprentice and the girls helped around the house. There was also a school but no girls were allowed to attend. The men worked as blacksmiths, ironworkers, molders, and so on, helping the furnace work by doing what they could. They had set up displays in each house or shed and sometimes they even had people dressed from the old and pretending that it was really in those times. We got a few pieces of charcoal and slush. Slush is the left over's that they had from the pouring and when it hardened it turned into stone.
Charcoal is a black permanent substance with a high carbon content. Charcoal is made by heating wood or other organic products with no connection to air while burning. Temperatures greater that 1000 degrees Celsius can easily by made with charcoal. Charcoal was originally made in the forest and from there, it would be delivered to it's destination on wagons. The first kind of method to make charcoal is called the "pit kiln." I find this method very interesting by the way that every thing has to be just right to have the charcoal turn out. You also have to have just the right technique. The site is carefully chosen, the soil can't be to wet, or to dry. The form of the kiln is quite simple actually but underneath, there are lots of complex rows of wood. In Brazil, south east Asia and other places without large supplies of mineral coal, charcoal is the main fuel used in the smelting of iron and the refining of steal. Being porous, sterile and chemically inert, it was one time used for wounds, and suppuratine lesions. It was taken as a remedy of stomach and intestinal disorders.
In a video, we saw how they actually put together the chimney. First they started with three pieces of split logs put into a triangle. They built up the triangle to about 5 feet tall. The wood that was to be turned into charcoal was packed down inside of the chimney. Then they laid split pieces all around the outside into a circle and laid pieces on top until it looked like a wooden tipi. When the structure was built, they put leaves from the surrounding all around it and then packed mud on top to seal off any air holes. The fire was lit with a smoldering piece of coal and was left to slowly burn for 7-10 days. Charcoal, because it was burned so slowly, still has its fibers and keeps its shape--it just looks like blackened wood--that's why it can be burned again. Charcoal was something that I had never thought about before, either what it actually was or how it was made and what it was used for besides charcoal grills!

The Hopewell Furnace
by Brian Lande
As we drove down the PA Turnpike we noticed a sign that said the "Hopewell Furnace". Wondering what it was for months my mom, Kate and her friend, Neil, Kevin and I decided to go see the Hopewell Furnace. The Hopewell Furnace was started in 1771 and was last used in 1883.
First I should mention what the Hopewell furnace was. H.F.(Hopewell Furnace)
A Cold Blast Furnace melted down iron ore into a liquid state in which it could be used for making pig iron(they call it big iron because it looks much like a sow with a litter of suckling piglets) and moldings. The H.F. had gone through many economic problems and many times changed owners hands. By 1812 the H.P. had finally established itself in the founding business. The actual furnace used charcoal as fuel. The charcoal burnt at a higher temperature than plain wood and with air being pumped in could reach temperatures of up 3000 oF. The iron ore would be poured down the chimney into the blazing fire and the iron would separate from the lime stone which would then turn into sludge. The iron from the furnace was then let out through a hole or plug in the furnace and was then used to make molds for stoves, pots, pans, and pig iron. Some was even turned into steel. During the Revolutionary War canons and cannon balls were made for the continental army!
The History of the H.F. started back in 1770 when Mark Bird bought several large portions of land. Mark Bird the son of an iron master was familiar with the furnace business and in 1771 opened his first furnace which he called the Hopewell Furnace.
Mark Bird is thought to have gotten the name Hopewell from his father's Hopewell forge. Hopewell was also a popular name at the time. For his new furnace he decided to place it at French Creek PA. During the war, Bird made cannons and shot for the American militias. The government gave Bird $2,000 of advances on the cannons but by the end of the war the government could not pay the sum owed to Bird. Bird asked for the iron chain spanning the Hudson river which was used to wreck British ships as payment. He was denied and from then on the Hopewell Furnace was plagued with financial problems.
A few years later Bird sold his properties to try to get out of debt. The H.P. passed through several hands before being bought by the Buckley family and the Brookes family in 1800. By 1830's and 40's Hopewell finally started to prosper by mainly making parts to stoves. This success is mostly by the part of Clement Brooks, manager and ironmaster from 1816-1848.
By the 1870's newer ways in production of iron were introduced but the Hopewell furnace could not keep up with the times and the flames of the furnace were put out for the last time in 1883.
Now, for what I did at my visit at the H.F. ... The First thing we saw at the H.F. was a replica of the charcoal making chimney that they used to make to turn wood into charcoal. It was stacked up first in triangular rows and then wood was put up all around it and it looked like a wooden tipi. The next place we visited was, you guessed it--the Hopewell Furnace. The Furnace was about 30 ft. high and the outside looked like a barn with a chimney coming out of it. There was a water wheel to that pumped the air into the furnace to super heat the charcoal. Inside the building was the molding shop, where the molders made molds for stoves. The process in which they did so was interesting and here is how they did it: The molder takes a piece of wood which is going to be the mold. The molder then fills up a wooden box with no top or bottom with wet sand. He then puts the mold on a table underneath the sand. (The molder then takes a kind of hammer and compacts the sand.) Then he takes the wooden mold out and repeats the process but does the back side of the mold. He then puts a hole in the sand for the iron to fill in the imprint of the mold. For the demonstration, the two men used aluminum because they used just a small furnace and aluminum cools off more quickly. We watched them take the stove door out of the mold and saw the finished product!

We got to watch the people who acted out to people who lived in the 1800's and spoke of the times in present tense. We then went to a tenant house were the workers at the furnace used to live or rent rooms for a dollar a month! Here two some women acted out the parts of people who lived there. One of the people was a woman named Miss Buxley and the other was a girl of about 14 who took knitting lessons from her. Now Miss Buxley can talk.. She talked and talked and talked about the social life and courtship rituals of the village. The house we were in was a four room house with a kitchen a room with a table and other things used around the house. There was also another room on the firs floor that had a fire place for cooking and a bunch of stuff the men might need to use./ On the second floor were two bedrooms. She offered the rooms to rent for $1 a month. Mom said we'd take two rooms for a year! We left Miss Buxley and all her gossip and went to the Big House.
The Big house is the house that the Iron master stayed at ant the cooks and servants slept and worked. The workers also at their on occasion. The Big House also served as an inn to business men who were interested in iron. The Big house was laden with fancy furniture and other neat stuff but most all of the rooms were closed off.
Some of the other things that we had seen were, the school house and some of the other furnaces. The Other furnace was a more modern furnace. This was built to speed up and advance the iron business but it was already too late for the Hopewell furnace. The furnace didn't even function correctly and was left to ruin. There was a;so the store which was interesting. At the store money rarely changed hands because most of the workers had credit or bartered. The store carried most of the basic thing such as food and tools. If there was something that somebody needed that the store did not have it was ordered from town. The clerk ran the store and all the finances of the H.F.. The clerk even acted as iron master when the real iron master was away. The clerk did not have to be well educated but had to have good writing and math skills.
I thought the H.F. National park was one of the best I have ever visited. It had well made exhibits. I thought it was amazing the way all the buildings were made to look as they did over 100 years ago. The detail into which the exhibits went was fascinating. All the little things were there. In the houses for instance there were clothes that would be fold neatly as though the wash had just been down, or there might be dishes that need to be put away. The exhibits were so real. even the demonstrators acted as though they lived during the 19th century. There were videos about casting, mold making, pouring, and kinds of products produced. There was also a short film about the history and manufacturing at Hopewell Furnace. A small but interesting exhibit was set up, showing many of the tools, products, artifacts, clothing, games and other things that were part of the life there.
Yes this is a park I would visit again and I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to do site seeing.

A Bone a Day Keeps the Vet Away
by Brian
About a month ago I was lucky enough to visit Dr. Madara, the veterinarian that performed the post mortem for the 4-H Veterinary Club. Dr. Madara's clinic had a basic surgery, dirty surgery (surgeries such as neutering and spaying, surgeries that will get infected.). There was also a pharmacy, kennel, x-ray room and examining room. The surgery was a small white room that consisted of a heart monitor a respiratory monitor and anesthetics and IV fluids. All the major surgeries are performed there. The dirty surgery was in a somewhat larger room with cabinets full of bottles, surgical equipment and other useful items.
The first thing I watched was the neutering of a cat. I was surprised how quickly the operation went. The cat didn't even need stitches. Dr. Madara explained everything to me and answered all my questions. Next I watched her give a dog a flea bath. After the bath Dr. Madara started seeing patients in the examining room. That day I saw five cats and one dog. The dog had trouble walking and was not able to get up and one of the cats was not eating. Though silly I thought the most interesting patient was a cat that came to get its nails covered up in plastic. That is unfortunately all I could remember about all patients. I had a good time and look forward to going back someday.
We take our pets to the Ardmore Animal Hospital. Dr. Bianco and Dr. Hyde have allowed me to watch their client's pets on Saturday mornings. Since it is nearby, I hope to go there often. I've seen animals that need to be put down, who are critically ill, who needs shots or tests, I've looked under the microscope for parasites, and the regular check-up sorts of things.
I was admitted to the Vet Technician Seminars at Labs and Harcum College. The first seminar was just last week on the topic of exotic animals. He gave a lecture and slide presentation on how to take care of and handle, lizards, reptiles, amphibious and snakes. Some of the main topics talked about were, what temperature to keep the animals at and how to. The other main topic was restraining. Restraining is done to in order to put lets say a snake into a position that it can be examined. One other reason might be to protect the vet from being bit by a venomous snake.

Our family took a trip to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton large animal hospital. We took a tour around the whole facility, watched videos of various procedures, looked at specimens through the microscope, saw cow and horse fetuses, a cow with a tube going to his stomach where you could see him digesting, and many other things. One of my favorite things was a vet truck that had a whole pharmacy and surgery set up right in the truck. This truck would travel around to farms or zoos to take care of animals that couldn't be brought in. New Bolton is the second largest facility of its type in the country, but it is first in amount of yearly patients. I am very interested in this aspect of veterinary care also.

Tucker the Semi Wonder Dog
by Brian Lande
The savage wild dog lies crouched in the grass waiting for its unknowing pray to walk by. At the sound of foot steps the savage beast rises and gets ready to pounce. Then without warning the beast leaps into the air and attacks the helpless rawhide bone with ruthless efficiency.
Tucker is a great dog when she's not jumping up on people or eating food off the table. Really she's a good dog. Case closed.
For 3 years I have wanted a dog and after much begging, nagging and groveling at feet we got a cute (hahahahaha) little yellow Labrador Retriever and this is what life has been like since getting her.
The day before my dad's birthday my mom went to talk with a breeder about a little pup she had decided to keep. Tucker was pick of the litter so we thought that we might just get her (we at first wanted a black male). So we sent Mom off with a Polaroid camera so we could see what the puppy looked like. After about 6 hours of suspense, our mother came home. She came in empty handed but told us how playful, friendly and pretty she was. We asked her where the picture of the pup was and she said she left it in the car. She went to the car and came into the house with a little puppy in her arms. Finally I had a dog! The best present in the whole world. The day after we got her the little angle grew fangs and for the next 3 months we lived in constant fear of having one of our arms chomped off.
Tucker is a really smart dog. She picked up sitting and coming within the first week we had her. She hasn't rescued any one yet but I still think she's the best dog in the whole world. Though I am pretty sure that if we had gotten a collie and named her Lassie she would spend her day chasing crooks and rescuing little children instead of loafing around all day waiting to eat.
By the time Tucker had Turned 9 months she had a very predictable life style. She sleeps, eats, chews on her rawhide, chews toys, sleeps some more, goes on a long walk and plays with another Labrador named Cassidy for an hour.
I'm not sure if Tucker is really smart or just likes to get into trouble but one day I was reading the newspaper on the floor but at the same time Tucker pulled an open newspaper off the table and onto the floor, then laid down next to it and started to lick it. Tucker is also very sneaky. One day my mother was making lamb chops (a real treat for us!) and my mother went outside to turn on the barbecue. W,hen she came in Tucker was on the floor chewing on a lamb chop that she had pulled of of the counter! The other odd thing Tucker does is when we're at Cassidy's and I sit down with Cassidy to give her a good pat on the head or if Cass just comes and sits next to me, Tucker charges her and won't let her be with me. I can't tell if she's jealous or wants more attention. Another odd habit of hers is dunking her head all the way into her bowl of water when she wants a drink.

Fire Station Fritz!
by Kevin
We went to the Bryn Mawr Fire Station so I could give the chief a letter. The letter said that I want to be a fire man when I grow up. I put on the phone number and address. He took it and put it in the file and he said I could work there when I grow up and I can visit lots of times. He said he would call me if he needs me to help them. He showed me the fire trucks and let me go up on them but said not to touch any of the buttons because they will break. He told me to pick the fire truck I want so I picked the hook and ladder one. They have no fire dogs. He showed me the coats and hats and boots and I tried them on. They were too heavy and too big. I picked number 1 hat and number 1 jacket and number 1 boots. It was at the number 1 hook. He said I could have number one when the other number one fireman stops working. When it was time to go, the chief gave me a fire picture and a fire coloring book. The reason why I want to be a Bryn Mawr fireman is because one day when we were at the library were looking out the window, Neil and I, and I said "Mom, there's a fire!" And it was the Bryn Mawr firemen that put out the fire. It took them a long time to put out the big fire. It burned right out through the roof and the windows! We stayed and watched them blow it all out and then they cleaned it out. They dropped stuff through the window and it all broke up when it fell down cause it was upstairs.
I call out "fire hydrant!!" when we go past them on walks or car rides or when we buy things. Also I call them out when we go to a restaurant. Our fire hydrant. Down the street we have a mailbox and next to it we have a fire hydrant and another one near the corner house the other way. So, that's the end.
Every time at morning I would ask Mom if there is a fire page in the newspaper. Then I would cut it out and keep it. I would put it in my fire folder. In my fire folder I have pictures of fire trucks, fires, firemen and fire dogs. I even have some recipes from different fire houses. On the recipe page there's a picture of a fire dog on a fire truck. I asked Mom if we could make a firehouse recipe with sweet potatoes and chicken. She said not today but maybe next week. I will keep it. When I grow up I'm going to be a Bryn Mawr fireman. When I grow up I would ask if they want a fire dog and I would name the fire dog Fritz.
I have some Dalmatian dogs, but they're not real. I have Fritz and Fritzi. Fritz is Fritzi's daddy. Both of them have on fire hats with badges. I have three other Dalmatian dogs too. Their names are Sunshine and Tucker but they don't have fire hats.
Sometimes I put up the ladder that Neil made for me and I bring up the hose and pretend I'm putting out a fire. It is so fun!

Cricket Attack
by Katherine the Great
We have a new rule that has been in order for half the summer. This rule rule is not a bad rule, it is not a fun rule, but it is a great rule. You see, every summer, we get millions of crickets in our house that chirp away very loudly, and my dad absolutely hates them. So, he said that for every cricket we catch, we get a dollar!! That was easy since Bri and I both have good ears. Now, you know that when you hear a cricket, that it may sound like it is coming from the left side, but it can be just an echo from the right side. They are rather hard to locate by their sound. However, it was a very different story for Neil--not so easy. The only things that he could kill were those flies that get lose in you house and "bug" you all day long. So, Dad said we would get fifty cents for every fly that we catch. We have kept a posted up list of our trappings.So far I have $6.50. I got two less flies than crickets. How many crickets and flies do I have?

by Katie
We were in Amish Lancaster County (again) when a big question from Kevin came up. "Why are some people called men in tights?" At first we had to all think of what he meant. Then Dad started laughing. Then everyone but Kevin started to laugh. Kevin thought nothing of why we were laughing but I guess that since we were laughing, he himself laughed too. When we stopped, my dad told Kevin that those people were "Mennonites" not "men in tights!"

Paper Towel Summery
by Brian and Katie
What does it mean to be a great paper towel?
We defined "the best quality paper towel" as the one with the best combined functions of absorption, strength, and durability.

What method did we use to determine which towel was the best?
We did not know the name of the different companies (so that it wouldn't influence our results) but used color coding to represent each type of paper towel and kept the list hidden from view.
To find absorption we submersed the paper towel in water. We then held up the paper towels and let them drip. We waited until the excess water slowed to a single drip before squeezing the water out of the paper towel. We then squeezed the towel and measured how much water each paper towel had held . We scored them from best to worst.
To find strength we a wet paper towel and then squeezed it out. We then weighted it down with pennies, holding the four corners taut,until it ripped. We recorded the amount of pennies it took for each brand.
To test for durability we wet and then squeezed out each paper towel and rubbed them on a carpet (for friction). We rubbed back and forth over the distance of 15 inches and measured which towel could be rubbed the most inches before ripping.
Separate from the best quality paper towel be also decided to figure out what the best value was for price. To find the best price we determined the price per square foot. The five brands that we used were Bounty, Sparkle, Brawny, Scott Clean and Capri.

Which towel won and why?
The results for quality (combined absorption, strength and durability) were scaled from 1-5 for each brand, with one being the best for each quality tested. We then combined the three scores and scaled them from first to last as follows:
Bounty #1
Sparkle #2
Scott #3
Brawny and Capri #4
The results in price per foot were:
Brawny #1
Capri #2
Sparkle #3
Scott Clean #4
Bounty #5

Clearly, Bounty had the best overall rating for quality. However, Bounty was also the most costly. We decided that best value would be the highest overall quality AND a good price. This turned out to be Sparkle which rated 2nd in overall quality and 3rd in price.
We didn't test it, but we've heard that Viva might be even better than Bounty, so we'll do another test between the two. We'll let you know next time which one of those we choose.

A House or a Hole?--That Is The Question
by Kevin
Neil were building a big hole and then we decided to make a house and then we decided not to. Then we decided to make a floor and put the dirt in the hole first. Then we took some big little pieces of wood and we put them over that hole right next to each other after we filled up our big hole that we were digging all year. I put some dirt in the cracks of the floor so there are no cracks any more.

Making Things
by Katie
From Friday until Monday, I stayed at my friends house who's name is Lillian Stoltzfutz. On Sunday, we went to Sunday school and then had two large families come over for lunch. Lillian and I were making each other recipe boxes and when she gave me mine, she also gave me a craft that she had made. I liked it so much that she and I made two more. Then we decided that maybe we could sell them. So we figured about how much the flowers would cost, along with the ribbons and glue. We figured that we could sell them for about 75 cents each. Some other things that we did were hanging the laundry out and collecting it, watching the baby Sammy and making 4 year old Johnny a birthday cake. We had a lot of fun and I hope that I may stay there again for even longer.

Canning Fruits and Vegetables
by Katie
When our whole family visited at the farm on a Friday, we helped to dig up potatoes, pick black berries, apples, tomatoes, and a few pears. Digging up potatoes was the most fun because after the potatoe tiller came over each row, we'd run and pick up all the potatoes and dig a few out. It was like treasure hunting. There were so many potatoes, tomatoes and apples, that Anna said we could take home a bunch. We also picked a bunch of blackberries that we made into a pie and ate just plain because they were so ripe and sweet. We also bought two bushels of great peaches.
All day Saturday at home, we washed, peeled, cut, and cooked. We took our art table outside and the whole family was working, some cutting, some peeling, and some mashing. What's that, you ask? Well, we got this masher/strainer called Victorio Strainer that you can put cut up tomatoes, apples or pears into, when they're only cut into quarters. That way you don't have to peel or core them, and they come out as sauce. Mom got one for me for when I am grown, because they were such a good sale price.
With the vegetables, we did some canning. And I mean some canning! Mom's friend Judi came over and they canned 96 jars altogether. There was apple sauce, pear sauce, vegetable soup, stewed prunes, peaches, and spaghetti sauce. But...well, the spaghetti sauce burned on the bottom of the pot. We canned it anyway, but when we opened up a jar of it to use, it smelled so BAD that we threw them all away.
Since then we have canned more peaches, apple sauce, pear sauce, and dill pickles. I love to can things and we have so many pretty jars sitting on the shelves in the garage.
The way we can is to buy LOTS of jars first. Then clean them with soap and water and leave them in a sink filled with hot water so they stay warm. Then you boil what you are going to put into the jars and pour it in with a speciall jar-sized funnel. Next, you have to stick a spatula or knife all down the sides in case there are any air bubbles. Then you wipe of the jars, put on the lids and put them into a giant (22 quart) pressure cooker and fill it a little with some vinegar water (so the pot doesn't stain). Next, you have to bring it to a boil till the steam comes out really fast and leave it for about 10 minutes.. Then you put the pressure weight on and wait until it really jiggles and then turn down the heat until it jiggles only about four times a minute, and keep it that way for about ten minutes. Then you let the pot cool down until there's no pressure left, open it, take out the hot jars with the jar tongs, let them cool, check the vacuum seal, wash them off, label them, and put them on the shelves. That is, if you don't want to right away just open one up and eat it!
People can fresh foods as a way to preserve them for the winter. All the heating and pressure cooking kills any bacteria that had been in the food and that might have grown. The vacuum keeps the air out so that no new bacteria can grow. It is important to keep the pressure even, and to let it rise and lower steadily. This way, we can buy summer fruits and vegetables at good prices, and still eat them during the winter. It was especially fun this summer, because we picked most of the food that we canned. I love to help everytime that we do it. So would you.

Kevin's Favorite Joke
How Long is a Chinaman. Wanna know? Well....that's his name!!!
and How Fat is his wife!!!

The 50 Foot Long Rubberband!
by Neil
I used to collect rubber bands and put them on my rock climber tool and then hook it onto the loop on my pants.. I got them from our mailman, Frank, and from Irene Bender who works at the school district building. Now, I've got tons of rubber bands. I made them into a chain by connecting them by tying knots and knots and knots and knots and knots....
It's about 50 feet long now. I ask people to hold it so I can see how big it is and then when it's stretched out really big, I let go and it scares them to death. But it doesn't hurt because it goes right past them. It just flies past. I've stretched it from my room upstairs to the living room door downstairs!

Hand Truck
by Kevin
Neil and I had an idea of making a hand truck. We nailed some handles on, we drilled some screws in for the wheels, then we had to change one side because one wheel was too close. We fixed that by putting two wheels on each side. One wheel broke, so we took it off and gave it to Neil. When it was finished we took it into the backyard and worked it out. Neil put a chair on it and we played Paws. We were the order men and took orders for pet things. We asked Dad for a big box so we could put stuff in that people order. We made the cat's house into Paws store and then we set it up and asked everyone to come to our store. We even climbed up on the roof of the cat's house--Neil taught me how to climb up there. We played up there and up the leashes up there and put them through that crack and then they hung down into our pet store. Bri took Paws apart when it was time to put the cats in at night.
When I was helping Katie we were going to trick Neil about moving Paws inside, but we haven't done it yet.

by Katie
I am sure you have all heard of dummies. I am not sure if we are thinking of the same kind of dummy but here is a story about how stupid dummies can be.
There was once a family of dummies that came back from a factory and from there went out to seek their fortunes. The father dummy decided that he would be a test crash car driver, you know, the kind that gets in cars and crash into the walls just to see if the air bags worked and to see if was safe? Well, he went to a car factory and went to the office to apply for his job. The secretary asked what he wanted and the dummy told his story. It was then decided that yes, he could. As soon as the dummy left the office, the secretary thought to herself, "oh, what a Dummy!!"
The mother went to a department store and was happy to be put in the window, all nice and dressed up. But what she didn't realize is that when it's time to change the clothes, there she was all bare for all to see. What a dummy!
Then the grandpa wanted to learn to play bridge. So he spent seven years trying to learn. And he did learn. But when it was time to play, in every game they needed a dummy. Well, I guess he came out all right!

Bible School
by Katie
For one week we went every night to an Amish Bible School. It was quite interesting. Whenever everyone got there, we waited outside until it was time to go into the barn, which was set up as the church with all the benches. The males go in one door and the females go in another door. The old people sit right up in front, the children sit behind them, and then the mothers with babies sit in the back. The fathers also sit in the back and take care of the babies until they cry for their mothers.
After we sang some songs and listened to some lessons about the bible, we separated into different age classes. I was in a class with kids my age and we worked in a Bible study book. We would read the lesson, then discuss it, and then fill in the answers. For one of the nights that we stayed, I stayed at my friend Lillian's house. At the end of Bible school we got a candy bar, a dictionary and the books that we wrote in from our teacher.
After Bible school was over, a few nights later they had a singing for some visitors from Minnesota that we went to. A lot of people went and it was really exiting and beautiful.

Grandma and Grandpa
by Neil
Grandma and Grandpa came to our house. They slept over for four nights. I did some of my school work with Grandma and Grandpa It was a fun visit. I always like them to visit and I wish they could come over more times.
My Grammy came to visit while Grandma and Grandpa were still here! Grammy was here for four nights also. It wasn't so much fun for me when they were here all together because they talked and talked to each other, but I know they had fun with each other. When Grammy was here we played with Tucker, our dog and she helped me with my work also, especially with my spelling words so I could get a prize from the Treasure Box.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Dana
by Neil
Uncle Dan and Aunt Dana came over to our house before Grandma and Grandpa and Grammy did. Uncle Dan took us out to dinner to a Chinese restaurant. He got me and Katie each a whole plate of dumplings!!! I ate them all but one. When I was finished I had the worst stomach in the world.
Another day we went together to the pool cause it was really hot out. Uncle Dan picked me up and put me on his shoulders. When I was sitting on his shoulders I said, "Stop now, I'm going to fall off your shoulders by leaning back." So I fell back. Splash!! Then I stood up on his shoulders and we went into the deep water, very deep water, and he made me dive off of his shoulders. I was starting to dive and I lost my balance and did a belly flop. That was the worst belly flop in the world. But don't worry, it didn't cut open my stomach or anything like that. I was doing that for an hour--standing and sitting on his back. Then finally we went home. And guess what else? Aunt Dana is going to have a baby in the spring, around March I think. I don't care if the baby is a boy or a girl, but I hope it's a boy. Brian and I like the name Anna if it's a girl, and I'm still thinking about what boys name I like. What do you think they will pick?

A Couch!
by Kevin
We got a couch and we put it in the kitchen. It has farm pictures on it cause we all like to go to farms.

Kindergarten Child
by Kevin himself
I am in kindergarten right today. I just wanted to start so Mommy said I could. Aunt Ruth was here on the day I started. I will start new French words and new English words. I will do my Raceway book which is my good work book. This is my first kindergarten and then I will do my second kindergarten.
I started my first day of kindergarten. I did my raceway book, some stickers and cutouts, counting, and French. I was talking French words to Brian, Katie, Neil and Mommy. I tried talking French to Tucker but she wouldn't listen. I also got new, new hiking shoes on my first day of kindergarten. I use the computer and the first day I was happy when he had ham. Daddy got me a new CD that I call Busy Town. There is every kind of thing, like work trucks, a bakery, a farm, music, and how they all work.
My first day of kindergarten was really good because even after all that we got to watch the "Sound of Music."

by Katie
I liked the book Upon the Head of the Goat so much that I lent it to our friend Ali who is away at college. When she sent me the book back she wrote about the book. So, instead of writing about it myself, I will be happy to let her tell you her reactions to the book!
"I had never actually read any personal accounts of the holocaust, a subject really lacking from my realm of knowledge, and I thank you for opening my mind to it. It really makes me feel my Judaism, even though we have always celebrated Christmas. Being a Cohen, I would have been like Piri. The most amazing thing about it is the love and humor that survived even when the family was in the ghetto, when Piri and mother are laughing about her new haircut, and a real paradox with the love between Gan and Judi and Piri and Henri beginning at the very time when death seemed so imminent. It was like their love and their dancing in such a horrible time of war is an affirmation of life, a defiant show to the Germans that they will LIVE no matter what those evil people throw at them. The title of the book is absolutely wonderful, I think. The German's are using the Jews as the scapegoat, putting their sins on the Jews and disposing of them. But even more, the use of a biblical passage there is completely ironic. First of all, Jews believe in this old testament story and it is being used against them. In this context, they are the goats. But at the same time, the Germans, the Christians, are absolving themselves of sins and sending them away, as the Jews did in the biblical passage itself. In this way, the Germans put themselves in the positions of Jews!"

by Katie
After our last newsletter, Hope and Phillip sent us a letter. In it was a Turkish coin for my collection. The man on the coin is Attaturk, which means Father Turk and he was the man responsible for making the changes in the 1920's that led to Turkey becoming modernized. His picture is everywhere there. Most of the money they use though is paper money. Here are a few facts about their money. As of 1992, 6-7,000 TL=$1.00 (bread was 500 TL for one loaf then and 1000 at the end of the year). As of June 1995, the exchange rate is 40,000 TL to one dollar. The value of money changes so rapidly here that coins like my 100 TL one becomes extinct quickly. Bread is now 8,000 TL!!!
Also in the package was a tape of Turkish music and a recipe so that we could make a Turkish meal and listen to the tape at dinner time. This is the recipe: Roast up a few eggplants and mash them (skin thrown away) with garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Make a pot of rice with minced tomatoes and onions cooked in the rice water. Make a side dish of cacik (pronounced jajik) yogurt and water with shredded cucumber and chopped mint. We thought the dinner was very interesting and we all loved listening to the Turkish music. It sounded similar to Arabic and Israeli, but a little combined. Mom wore her Turkish clothes too. Thanks for a great way to learn more about Turkey!

What Fence? Zaaaaap
by torturer of dogs, Brian Lande
It was a quiet and sunny day in Wynnewood as Tucker the calm dog checked out the yard. Completely unaware of the small pain (in real life the small pain is only a small jolt of electricity. Believe me it's not painful, I tried it myself!) that was about to be inflicted upon her. As Tucker came near to the invisible fence she got the shock of her life. Yes she got a shock, and I was even nice to the guy that installed it! Yes I am a traitor to the dog world!
In reality we did Tucker and the cats a great service by installing the invisible fence. Instead of getting an ugly and expensive fence to keep Tucker in our yard we decided to get an invisible fence. Surprise! The company's name is Invisible Fence ( I will abbreviate it to I. V.). On the 26 of July, Joe our installer and trainer came to install the fence. He brought with him three machines to do the work. One was a special machine that digs through driveways so that he can lay down wire there and then cover it over. Another machine is used to lay and bury wire in the ground. The third was himself, just in case the machine could not install the wire behind bushes, then he would have to.
Well, after a few days of going up to the flag, Tucker realized that the beep would soon be followed by a zap! Or, I should say, she almost realized. Sometimes she would go too close to the driveway but after just a few days, if she got close or heard the noise, she'd just lay down and not move. She wouldn't move even if you called her or pulled her. She was just plain stuck to the ground. She soon knew that it didn't pay to go out of the yard.
Now, how is this a good thing you may ask? It's a good thing because now Tucker can go outside all by herself to play. She can play out back. She can play on the side of the house. She can play out front. But does she go out to play???? NNNNNooooooooooooo. She only wants to be with us. If we go out, she goes out. If we come in, she comes in. If she goes out and we come in, she barks! And barks....
Well, let's just say this. The fence works great for the cats. They can stay outside all day and they won't go anywhere to meet the danger of other savage beasts, killer cars, or mean people. They don't bark.

Deep and Wide
by Kevin
Rich gave us swimming lessons so we know how to swim. All of the kids in our family and some other kids too. I learned to jump in the deep end and even to dive sometimes. I learned to swim across the pool without stopping. I learned to blow bubbles and breath on the side when I'm turning my arms. Sometimes it was getting cold so I would wrap myself up in a towel until it was my turn again. When it wasn't lesson time I liked to play games with Bri and also play Marco Polo. I sometimes went in the pool for all the afternoon, but I would get out when it was almost time to go. This year I didn't leave anything at the pool but Neil left his goggles there one time and Bri left Tucker's leash. When Tucker came to the pool, she just barked if no one sat right next to her. Brian took her for walks and we brought her water to drink. The pool was lots of fun. At swimming lessons I did two dives when I put my arms up over my ears and put my chin down on my chest. Then I bent over and over and went in the pool with my head first, then I popped back up again. Then I went across the deep end swimming and using my arms.

The Story of My Name
typed by Neil
My full name is Neil Robert Lande. I have 3 names so you no who I am. My name means champion. I like my name. Mom and Dad gave me my name.
Sum people call me Neily. I would rather be cald Neil. Elva calls me Neil Robert. That is ok for her to call me that.
I got my name from another boy. Mom rote my name on an envelope first. Mom says my name the most. In my workbooks I find my name written the most. I like to hear my name when I am called to go to Langcaster County.

by Neil
Since I was little I always like to say the numbers on the tunnels that go under the train tracks that tell trucks how high it is. I just like looking at the numbers. They are big black numbers on yellow signs. They tell the feet and the inches. I don't know why I always like them but I do. I wanted to know why they have the numbers and Mommy told me cause the trucks have to know how big they are so they don't get stuck under there.
A couple of weeks ago I wanted to remember all the signs so whenever I called one out Mommy wrote it down on a piece of paper she kept in the car for my bridges. The bridges all go under the train or trolley tracks. We wrote down 19 of them!!!! Mommy made me a great big huge long graph to color how tall each bridge is. It's called a bar graph. She made me another one, not as big, to put dots and lines for all the bridges and it's called a line graph. I get tired of coloring all those squares for the high bridges! The lowest tunnel is 8'10" near Adam's shop and the cars have to go under one at a time. The highest one is 14'1". Most of the tunnels were in the elevens, tens and twelves. If you want to know, I will tell you all of them later.
While we were doing all my bridge work, Mommy jumped up during breakfast one day and yelled, "Neil, Neil, come here!" So, I came to her and she showed me what was so neat. It was a picture in the newspaper of a big truck that was stuck under a train bridge!!! Can you believe that? Then I wanted to know how do they get the truck out of there? The newspaper said that they had to let the air out of all the tires.
Then when we were visiting another family that homeschools, we were talking about my bridges when one of the other moms said that there was a tall truck that went under a short tunnel so fast that the whole top just came right off of it and the truck kept on going. The top of the truck stuck up to the top of the tunnel and they had to get it off. But I don't know how.

by Katie
I have started collecting pictures, facts, and stories about all animals--the main ones, dogs and cats. I bought a big four inch binder and stickers and separated them into different categories. The first one is dogs, then cats, then wildlife wonders, which had a bunch of different animals, and so far, the last part is animal facts. On the things that I can pull out and read, I put an animal sticker on it. I enjoy collecting things about animals and I can't wait to see what I can get next. Everyday I look through the newspaper and whenever anyone else in the family finds an animal picture they cut it out for me. Neil is also making an animal book. We copy pictures for each other if we both want it in our book.

by Neil
We went to Harrisburg for a homeschool fair. It was called Homeschool Excellence Day. It was inside the capitol building in the round part called the rotunda. Early in the morning before the legislators go to work, we had a breakfast in the hotel for them. We thanked them for all their work and told them about homeschooling. The breakfast was good, especially the sausage and the eggs. We sat at the same table as another family and Lita Cohen, (our state Rep). She was really nice and fun to talk to. She was interested in homeschooling and asked lots of questions.
Then we set up the fair projects. I put my drawing of Mars in the art exhibit and I won second prize for it. There was a science fair and Brian and Katie put in their battery experiment and they won first prize. There was also a social studies fair and I put my train project in. It had two kinds of graphs--a line graph and a bar graph of the different heights of train tracks that go over roads. We took pictures of some different bridges also. I got zero prize.
Then after that four different men (legislators) got up to talk while all of the kids sat of the big steps in the rotunda. We were holding signs about homeschooling and it was crowded. It was so crowded that when Jacob won his prize he couldn't even get down. Lots of people took pictures and it was in the newspapers.

After that, we went to the Museum of Scientific Discovery. We went with the Richmans and the Hall Family. I walked all around and played with different things like magnets, air pressure holding up a ball, there was a rubberband that was connected to a stirrer in a container and when it was pulled it made a whirlpool. There was a place about virtual reality. We stood in front of a wall that was painted blue and there was a video recorder. There were underwater scenes with dangerous things happening. You had to move out of the was when you saw yourself on television. It seemed like you were floating because the blue turns invisible. I had to get out of the way of sharks and catch the treasure chests. A lady took a picture of it for me to keep. Then we went with a lady and she told us how caves are made and we did some experiments about crystals and told us about stalactites and stalagmites and took us on a tour of the cave. But one thing...the cave wasn't real! We were really hungry after that and it was almost dinnertime. Before we drove home, all of us, and I mean 16 of us had a snack in the little mall in front of the museum. We were sad to say goodbye to all our friends. It was a fun day.

by Brian
Back to turnpikes! Since our first visit to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in Harrisburg, we have since received even more goodies. Mrs. Magill sent us a video, some coin holders, bumper stickers, pencils, keychains, and lots of other great things. After asking for turnpike tickets to keep all the time (they can't let you keep them because they need them for their daily receipts) she actually sent us one! What a great day it was.
As a matter of fact, our Turnpike is being repaved between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, planting all of those fast growing conehead weeds, all bright and orange along the roadside. Speaking of the roadside, have you ever wondered about the people who work in the turnpike booths? We call them booth guys. You know how Kevin always wants to be a fireman when he grows up? Well, we wondered how many of the booth guys dreamed of being a booth guy from the time they were little boys. Did they dream of going to booth guy school? Did they crave the booth guy uniforms? Did they have dreams about their own special little booth to call their own? Do they get "booth guy elbow" from reaching in and out all day? Do they wish to form special booth guy unions to protect their rights and their culture? Please, if any of you out there is a booth guy, could you write in and answer these pressing questions?

Money Exchangers
by Kevin
NEIL and I were money exchangers. We would get money and everyday we would ask our family if they wanted to come to our money exchange. They always did, except sometimes for Katie. When they came, they gave us their paper dollars and we gave them metal money back. Neil knows how to make the right kinds of coins for dollars, so he helped me know what to do. We made our money exchange like a bank. We had our boxes with some money and pencils and papers and checks and receipts and well, just everything! Anyone can come to our money exchange. Once Daddy brought us five whole dollars!!
The Story of My Name
by Neil
My full name is Neil Robert Lande. I have 3 names so you no who I am. My name means champion. I like my name. Mom and Dad gave me my name.
Sum people call me Neily. I would rather be cald Neil. Elva calls me Neil Robert. That is ok for her to call me that.
I got my name from another boy. Mom rote my name on an envelope first. Mom says my name the most. In my workbooks I find my name written the most. I like to hear my name when I am called to go to Langcaster County.

Amazing Grace
by Katie
Come here for a minute. I want to tell you something. Just sit here across from me while I tell you about my cat Grace and all that she does. Now, don't squirm so much, just relax and listen. Hey! You remind me of Grace, so really, just sit still for a minute while I tell you.
My family has five of the most beautiful cats in the world universe. My favorite cat is of course, my own cat, Grace. She is velvety black, with some pure orange and a bit of white on her face and belly. She is a calico. Now, she may seem like a nice, ordinary cat, who purrs all the time, BUT, you are wrong. You are minus right. In fact, you are anything but right. When she was a very little kitten, she would play with me and sleep in my lap. Now, she will scratch anyone that she does not like. When I say scratch, I don't mean a little rip in your skin with a dot of blood, but a scratch down the whole side your leg or arm that can really bleed. If she wants to get down, she will stick her claws into your shoulder for balance then jump. Then, if she is afraid of you, she might just decide to get her claws stuck in your neck. Believe me! I happened to have experienced it first hand from her and her mother who is just like her.
Now that I have been spending hours a day with her, she has begun to like me and meow if she hears my voice or sees me. One minute I will walk up to her and she will roll on her back wanting a scratch. I sit down and the next minute she has her toy mouse in her mouth wanting me to throw it. I trained her uncle to sit, stand, and come and figuring that if I teach it to Grace, it ought to calm her down. So far, she knows how to sit and believe me, she is not a bit more calm then she was from the beginning.
She is still a kitten but when she first started to use the litter box as a even smaller kitten, she would eat it, get it stuck in her mouth, and even up her nose. A few times, I have put my smallest finger in her mouth to clean the litter out!
If my cat were a person I am sure that she would be the most curios and strange person that I ever would see. Let's see..... "Grace, where are you?" "Out here Katie." I walk outside and there is little four year old Grace playing in the middle of the mulched part of the yard digging, rolling around and chasing the cats and playing with Tucker (our dog) as if she was a cat herself. I go to her ask if I may play but she says no because at that moment she would much rather play with the animals. I guess that I got angry because when I told her she should let other people join in her games sometimes, she got right up and bit me. That was enough so I went inside and watched through the window as she played her silly games.
She is really a strange person, has no friends except those of a few animals who she loves and they love her as if they were her own family. I guess I should describe what Grace looks like. She has gold hair so that when it shines in the sun it looks almost orange. Her eyes are pure black and her skin is pale white-- if she did not just come in from playing in the mud. We share a room above the kitchen so it is the warmest room in the winter. We have three windows, all that let you see into the back yard and of which Grace made sure she could see the animal house which was a little log cabin. On her side of the room she has nothing but her bed, pictures of cats and dogs, sculptures and lots of other things that have to do with animals......
Yike's! that is almost a scary thought, Grace being a person and not a cat. But, then again, things could be much worse. Suppose she were a book for children learning how to read!...........


Come, come see, come see Grace. Come see Grace play. Look!
Look at Grace play. She is funny. Look! She is biting me! Help, help stop her! Ouch! Ouch!
This is Mickles. This is Grace's uncle. Look at him play. He is nice. He is funny! I think that he likes me. Look, he is playing with Grace. He is good. He is purring. Look! He wants me to pick him up! He is my friend!
Look! Look at that cat! Her name is Maggie. Maggie is Mickles sister. Maggie is a mother. Her kittens are Grace Hobbs and Marble. Look at her. She likes her kittens. She likes me. Look, she is playing with Mickles. I love her. She is my best friend!
Marble! Look at Marble! He is up a tree. He will come down soon. He is not like his sister Grace. She will go up but she will be scared to come down. He is down now! Look! Look!
Come here. Come here Hobbs. You like to purr. So dose your brother Marble. Your sister Grace does not like to purr. Look! Hobbs is gray and white! He looks like his Uncle Mickles! He does not look like Marble. Marble is black and white. He dose not look like his mother! She has gray with a lot of white. He does not look like Grace either! He is not all colorful! He is so nice.
I would not like to have Grace as a book or as a person. I love her just as she is. A scratchy kitten who meows all day. But she still is MY kitten that I love like my own sister. (Oops! I forgot! I only have brothers!)

by Katie
a crunch in the leaves ahead
makes me crouch with a tail straight up
a bird tweets above in her nest.
my ears stand alert
a gray mouse stops to sniff
I sway back and forth
the mouse looks up a me
then pouncing
I grab his neck
one, two, three
he's dead
I pick him up from there
heading home
to my own kittens asleep
waiting to eat

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