Wednesday, September 17

Ready, Set, School...

Before we started the 2008-2009 school year, I talked my sweet husband into helping me paint our kitchen/dining area. So on a whim, on a Sunday afternoon, we ran to Walmart, had the wallpaper border scanned into their computer to come up with the perfect color. We REALLY like it.
Truthseeker and Thumbody working on their papers for the first day of school.
New maps for our school wall.
Plus all our old stuff...
Our schedule and our school cabinet.
Houston we have a problem... Our floor no longer matches. That is definitely next, along with the counter top that no longer matches.
More Learning fun stuff. Our first day of school was September 2.

Sunday, September 14

Our Vacation-- Day 3, Part 2

After we left the Cozy Dog Drive-In, we decided to go to the Illinois State Museum. We had a slight problem finding it however, as it was smack dab downtown. We looked at the map, and parked in a lot, that looked as if it was somewhat close to the Museum. Well, we walked, and we walked, we passed the State Capital, we passed the IRS building, we passed all sorts of things, but no museum. After about 10 blocks, we asked someone where it was. Only 5 blocks ahead they said. We didn't tell them that we had already walked 10 blocks. Did I say that it was 98 degrees out? It was, but we finally made it there. Whew!!!

A nice photo of the State Capital building, while on our long walk to the museum.

Truthseeker and I in the exploration room, at the Illinois State Museum.
Truthseeker looks at some different kinds of fish that are native to Illinois.

The boys play an interactive educational video game about sharks.

The highlight of the afternoon was going up and down the escalators.
Truthseeker stands in front of an 1980's "teen" bedroom in the Journey through Time section of the museum. I pointed out quite a few things that reminded me of my "teenage" bedroom. I think this person was a bit younger than me though, because a lot of the music tapes were popular when I was in college. Oh well, it was neat for him to see, anyway. I don't recall my bedroom being that messy though. Was yours?
Skaterboy is grinding corn into cornmeal the old fashioned way in the Exploration section of the museum. There were a lot of areas in this particular museum where photographs were prohibited. I kept thinking about Night At The Museum, as we walked through here. I don't ever think I will look at a museum in the same way, after seeing that movie. We loved it!
When we returned home, we had a new friend waiting for us. Earlier in the week we had went for a walk down our street to pick wildflowers near the woods. We found a little caterpillar crawling down the middle of the road. I picked it up, and thought.... hmmmm... nature study project, we'll see if we can hatch a butterfly from this little critter. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take, but I was willing to give it a try. So we put the little caterpillar in a large jar with some of the wildflowers that we picked in there, and a tiny bit of water. Thank goodness there was some nettle in with the flowers, because the caterpillar loved them, and started munching right away on them. A few hours later, we noticed that our caterpillar was hanging in a "J". I knew that soon it would be turning itself into a chrysalis, which by morning it had formed. Imagine how surprised we were when we returned home this day, and found the caterpillar hatched (so quickly), into a beautiful butterfly. The wings were dry, and it was ready to be let free. So we said goodbye, and opened the window, and away it flew.

We identified this butterfly as a Common Buckeye. Here is some more interesting facts regarding this butterfly:

Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Chrysalis

Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Where do they live?
- Illinois State Map
- National Map

Buckeye's year-round range includes Mexico, the Caribbean and extreme southern parts of the US. During Warmer months, Buckeyes migrate northward to the midwest, sometimes as far as southern Canada.
What do they eat?

Buckeye Caterpillars eat Plantain(above), Snapdragon and Toadflax.

What is their habitat?
Buckeyes prefer fields, dunes and other open areas with flowers, especially where the vegetation is short.

Friday, September 12

Our Vacation -- Day 3

Sorry I have been MIA for awhile. We started school last Tuesday, and ever since we have been busy little beavers around here. We are also busy getting ready for the Lincoln Railsplitter Festival this weekend, and getting over a bout with the flu. Glad to be back though. Hope you didn't miss me too much. Well, I wanted to continue posting about our fabulous educational vacation we took this past August. So I will continue there. After I am finished, in a few days or so, I will catch everyone up to what we are currently doing. Our third day of vacation, we took everyone to the Lincoln Mansion, where he lived as a lawyer right before his presidency.

Here is an actual photo of his home. The Lincoln's never sold this home when they moved to Washington, because they had fully intended on moving back here, after his presidency terms ended. Unfortunately, you all know the story, and because of the tragedy and loss of the president and his sons, they never returned to their home in Springfield. Mrs. Lincoln was declared insane soon after her husband died, and sent to live in an insane asylum the rest of her life.
This is not a picture of where Abraham Lincoln took his daily BM. No, I would never take a photo like that. I wonder how many decisions and speeches were thought up, while on this very throne?

Skaterboy and Thumbody, outside the Lincoln Manson, waiting for the tour to begin.

Truthseeker and Thumbody chatting as they walked along the wooden sidewalks that surrounded Abe Lincoln's neighborhood.
Here is a picture of my grandma reading a sign on a cart that we believe to be a slave wagon.
Here is a parade float, advertising Lincoln's run for president. I think it's pretty good, considering the times. A log cabin with Lincoln's picture on it. Not at all like the floats of today, huh..

After our tour of Lincoln's home, we drove across town to the Cozy Dog Drive-in. The restaurant has been around since the 40's, and supposedly invented the first corn dog. Truthseeker stands in front of the original sign. Thumbody enjoying his meal at the Cozy Dog Drive-in. One thing we found to be an extreme treat was that they had cherry and vanilla syrup that you could add to your soda pop.

Truthseeker eating his Cozy Dog. The Cozy Dog original menu. Pretty neat, huh? The restaurant sits on the old Route 66. So it was a pretty hopping place back in it's hay day. Tomorrow I will continue our saga of vacation day 3. It was a busy day, and continued our journey after lunch. So I will post that tomorrow.