Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas

Tomorrow we are leaving for New Jersey to spend Christmas with our relatives. We will be leaving Thursday morning after loading up the car and taking Neo to the kennel and will be returning Tuesday. We are taking Lily to New Jersey with us and my Aunt is bringing her dog whose name is Lily also. My aunt is also bringing her Wii and we are bringing our Xbox so we are going to have some competitions at setting new records. This year when we went to the beach she brought the Wii and we were trying to break each others records.
All three of us kids have finished our speeches for speech class. So on the three to four hour drive to New Jersey we are going to start memorizing our speeches.

So till Tuesday,
--Philip

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

The Thursday before this past one (the 10th I think) Peanut our gerbil died. We have had her for about three years. Anna buried her somewhere in the woods. Now we only have one gerbil left. But I am pretty sure we are not going to get another one because we have 46 chicken and ducks to take care of.
This Friday, the same day it started snowing we lost two of our younger chicks. One was a chick that our hen hatched and the other was a Welsummer rooster.She was a Speckled Sussex (brown with speckles) mixed with a Buff Orpington (golden).
The rooster on the right with the smaller comb is the one who was eaten. But since we had 10 roosters which is way too many for us we were going to eat him anyway.

After dark dad and Anna went to lock up the coop when they discovered that two of the chickens were missing. After looking around for a while our dog Neo found the carcasses. The heads were missing on both of them and some of the guts were eaten on one. We think either a raccoon or a possum got both of them. But next time if I see something is eating our flock then I shall proceed to shoot it with my air rifles.

--Philip

A movie and snow!

This past Friday (the 18th) we went and saw Avatar in the theater. The reason we went is because dad got free movie tickets from his work place. So Dad, Anna, and I went and saw the new movie Avatar (Thomas did not feel like going). We chose to watch it in 3D which was pretty cool. The movie itself was pretty good and the graphics were absolutely stunning. It took a while for me to realize that everything except for the human parts was done on a computer.
After the movie we brought home some pizza. But at about four or five o'clock it started to snow. And it kept on snowing all day Saturday also. The snow built up to about a foot high everywhere: on the deck, on the cars, on the coop, and even in the woods it was a foot high. It built up so much on the coop sombody would have to go out there every couple of hours to knock off the snow because we were afraid that the coop roof would collapse since it is only made of PVC pipe.





The cars


Lily had to "swim" in the snow.

The snow was up to your knees and was very tiring to walk in.

Sadly the snow was too powdery to make snowmen or have snowball fights :( . But my dad and I still were able to have a snowball fight, but technically it was a shovel fight. We were shoveling the steps when we started heaving shovel fulls of snow at each other :p .

Well that is all for now,
--Philip

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Summary

A lot of things have happened in the past couple months and we've been pretty busy so I am trying to put everything in a nutshell in this post. Every Tuesday I have science class. The teacher used to teach physics but now he is teaching me and two other kids science. He give us quite a bit of homework on top of my regular schoolwork so that keeps me busy. Another thing that keeps all three of us kids busy is debate/speech class. We posted about it last year when Thomas was doing it but now Anna is also doing it. This year's topic is on water pollution. I shall once again try to "summarize" debate the best I can. In debate there are two teams: an Affirmative and a Negative. The Affirmative team basically tries convince the judge that the status quo(way things are now) needs to be changed. And the Negative team tries to convince the judge that the status quo does not need to be changed. There are many more details but this is basically what debate is.

I am not in the same class as Anna and Thomas. I am in the junior varsity class with kids twelve years of age and under. The junior varsity class does not debate. Instead I am participating in Impromptu and apologetic speeches. Impromptu is basically a improvised speech where you get a quote or topic, two minutes to organize your thoughts, and five minutes to give your speech. Apologetics is a speech defending the christian faith. It is almost the complete opposite from Impromptu time-wise. It is a prepared speech instead of an improvised one. There are four or five different topics to chose from. I chose "what makes Christianity different from other religions". The whole speech can be eight minutes long. After I finish writing my speech I then have to memorize all of it(yikes! 8-O). I almost forgot to say this but Anna and Thomas' class does all of the other events too. So as you can see we have a lot of stuff to do.



Alright now I shall try and catch you up on the happenings at Lockwood Woods. First off the same week we got our stumps removed mom had her birthday and we got a wood burning stove. Now I could tell you all about mom's birthday but this post is called "Summary" so I am just going to "summarize" it. We went out to eat, opened presents, and ate cake and ice cream (yum yum).
Now a wood burning stove has always been on our to do list so we finally got it. And it is wonderful we are enjoying heating our home without having to use our expensive propane. Okay moving along. I do not know if I am going in order but we planted grass in our clearing now that we got the stumps out. BeforeAfter


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Sunshine


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We found this praying mantis on our door one day. For the past two or three years we have hatched praying mantis egg sacs. We would buy two or three egg sacs off of Ebay (go figure) each containing hundreds of babies. We would release them outside hoping that they would grow up and eat all the pesky bugs that munched on our garden. We would keep ten or so for ourselves inside. But this year we didn't want to have to take care of them so we just put the egg sacs outside and hoped for the best. So I guess this proves that they hatched. The above picture is an adult Asian mantis.
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On November 7 we went hiking on the Appalachian trail with our friends the Middletons from church.
I will post pictures from our trip some other time but for now here is one picture of a waterfall.(click on so it will "blow up")
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On November 13 Thomas turned 18! He was just recovering from being sick though. That day we had debate and speech class. So after debate we ate dinner at Chipotle. They have really big buritos that are as my uncle put it "like eating footballs". We were starving after eating a light lunch so we were able to scarf down the whole thing. After dinner we went home and opened presents, we did not however eat cake right away after eating those big burritos.

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The ducks and chickens are doing fine. The chickens are slowing down a little bit in production since it is getting cold. We only get nine or ten chicken eggs per day. But the ducks are still going strong at five or six a day. A chicken egg on the left and a duck egg on the right(notice the huge difference).

We sell our eggs at dad's work place and Lavender Fields Farm. We are just keeping up with the demand between dad's work and Lavender Fields.
Here are the Welsummers and the Americana getting bigger.Here are the Light Brahmas. They are going to be bigger then all the others in our menagerie of chickens.

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One day Thomas came into the house with a turtle that he had found somewhere in the yard. After showing everybody he put it back outside.

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For Thanksgiving we just stayed home. We cooked a turkey, made mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. After we gorged ourselves we laid back and watched the Dallas Cowboys play.
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On December 1st Dad had his birthday. For dinner he chose the restaurant at Bass Pro Shops. It was really neat because as you were eating you could watch fish swimming around. The food was pretty good, we ordered calamari(squid) as an appetizer and dad got some Alligator that we all tried. It was good except that it was really spicy. After dinner we did the usual cake, ice cream, and presents.

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A couple of weeks ago we bought a buggy. We saw one for sale one day driving to church. So on the way back we stopped by and the nice lady told us about it and let Dad drive it while I sat in the passenger seat. Long story short, we have a buggy and we love driving it on our dirt road and drive way. Now instead of riding my bike I can just take the buggy.
It's top speed is 38 mph.

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A couple of weeks ago we got some two or three inches of snow that lasted two days. But yesterday(18th) we got a foot of snow! I will get some pictures later.


--Philip :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Victory!

After countless hours of building, and years of collecting sets and parts I have finally gotten something back.
The datacard
The contest was to create a new vehicle set in the HALO universe.
Proof it fits a minifig (a requirement for the contest), the nose is similar to one of my previous projects.
I hadn't built much leading up to the contest and was experiencing symptoms of what we call "builders block." However after seeing the prize for first place I found it much easier to build-incentive is a powerful thing.
The bottom of the craft, with the missile bay closed
Third place received some very well made decals, and some custom made weapons from brickarms (THE place to go for accurate lego weapons).
The bay doors open and the missiles rotate inside the missile bay
Second place got the same decals already applied on a minifig, and some more brickarms.
3-point thrust vectoring allows maneuvering in space
And first place received the same customized minifig as second place, even more brickarms, and finally the new HALO videogame.
Suffice it to say I did some extensive research, before I started building (I like to keep it as real as possible) and eventually settled on building a jet for reasons explained in the backstory farther down. I got some excellent input from many people and finally ended up with the winning entry out of 48 other vehicles.
After hearing the many reports of pelicans crashing and getting shot down, the UNSC employed a new fighter to fulfill the role of escort.
This fighter was cheaper and smaller than the Longsword fighter bomber, and took some of the work load off the over-worked Longswords and allowed them to focus more on bombing.
A thrust vectoring engine provides the Wasp with excellent maneuverability in vacuum as well as atmosphere.
Designed and armed to be an escort, the Wasp is also capable of performing quick attacks on enemy targets, unleashing salvos of missiles and machine gun fire.


Thomas

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stumps

Ever since we got an acre of trees cleared there has always been the stumps. We didn’t remove the stumps because the county didn’t allow us to do that many, so instead we just ground them down. But finally we decided to rent a stump grinder because the stumps prohibited us from planting grass and also make for a very bumpy bike ride. So on the 28th of September Dad took the day off so he could operate the machine. Mom let me (Philip) off of school so I could mark the stumps with flags that came with our invisible electric fence for Lily. Without it she would run off chasing some squirrel or something. Dad let me grind a couple of stumps down. When Dad was done with one side of the clearing he let me smooth it out with our little box blade on the end of our tractor. Because when you grind a stump down it makes a hole where the stumps was but leaves a big mound of wood chips next to it. So there were tons of holes and mounds of chips all over the clearing.Some of the mounds
Also notice all of the wood chips covering the ground.
A ground down stump




After thirty minutes or so, the machine would run out of gas, so we would have to go through the whole process of driving to the gas stations and refueling our tanks two or three times. But luckily we discovered a gas station that carried diesel that was much closer to us. But eventually the machine shut down and not because it was out of gas. So we called the rental place and they sent a guy over to see if he could fix it, but it turned out that something had gotten clogged. So they swapped out our machine for one that was slightly smaller.An armie of flags.
(This is the second machine at the top)







Here's a video of the actual grinding part.
When grinding you had to lower the arm a little bit, swing it to the side and lower again and continue "sweeping" the stump until it was to your desired height. But if you lowered it too much it would stall when you would try to sweep it to the side.
video






We were hoping we could grind all the stumps in one day but it ended up taking two. So the next day we finished the other half of the clearing in the afternoon. We got most of them except for two or three that we missed.

As always I hope that I did not bore you with this post.
--Philip

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The cube

This has been my recent occupation. I had seen several people do it, and determined to learn how to solve the cube. So after a couple weeks of looking at online guides I finally committed the sequences to memory. Once I had done that I started working on speed, with a goal of solving the cube under a minute. Now I need a new goal. :D I will never need a gameboy again (not that I used them much anyway), and take it with me everywhere I go.

video

Here I solved it in 57 seconds, today on the way home from church I was able to set a personal record of 52 seconds. I have also gotten several people from church into rubik's cubes. Here is the site I used to learn how to solve the rubik's cube.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I’m really behind on my posting, but I've had a lot of homework and big things just keep happening before I can post about the big thing that happened before that, so settle in for a catcher upper post=) Firstly I started candling Buffy’s eggs with a flashlight almost every day from day 3 of incubation. At first all I could see was a speck, then a spot with gossamer like veins branching from it, then a pulsing blob with veins over most of the egg, then… you get the picture till the entire egg was black. We removed 2 eggs that never developed specks, spots , or blobs, which left 6 potential hatchers. On the evening of the 20th day we apprehensively called our house-sitter and found that all 6 eggs had hatched. I was very excited, and thankful, because on day 15 Buffy tired of her maternal duty got off her nest, jumped the divider, and mingled with the rest of the flock for an hour or so before I came in and found a motherless moving box full of COLD eggs. Luckily she resumed her maternal duties after I threw her back with her eggs and thankfully all the blobs survived their chilly experience.

They are truly adorable little balls of fluff, now 3 weeks old, and getting big. We let them out to range with the rest of the flock, and enjoy watching momma hen unleash her fury on any hen unfortunate enough to get too close to her brood. This is her fluffed up like a bowling ball warning me to back off, she has since gotten used to me and doesn't mind when I cuddle the chicks.They are a cute mix, 1 speckled Sussex x Buff Orp , 2 Rhode Island Red x Buff Orp and 3 pure Buff Orps.

If you counted the little heads in the above pic you may have noticed that there are in fact 7 little chicks under momma. On the day of our return our neighbor offered me a lone americauna chick from her own flock. How could I say no? The Americauna breed is known for it's tinted eggs, green, blue, pink, or just plain old brown. She is the same age as our own chicks so I thought I could smuggle her in with momma's babies, so I wouldn't have to brood her inside. But the momma bird knew that something was amiss, and chased the poor thing from her own babies. So what do I do, but brood her inside. She was lonely so I gave her a stuffed animal and a mirror to keep her company.

A few days later was the day of the biannual livestock sale. I had been looking forward to this for a while. So I got up early on a Saturday morning, now that is sacrifice, with both my parents to peruse the hundreds of cages full of critters. Chicks, chickens, bantams, ducks, quail, doves, puppies, turkeys, geese, guineas, llamas, donkeys, miniature horseys, sheep, goats, piglets, etc. We did not come home empty handed. I bought 4 light brahmas and 5 welsummers both breeds I've been interested in for a while. These are all in the bathroom, and have been for a whole week. the younger welys have taken over the mirror's job of keeping the americauna company. On a warm afternoon I took them outside to run around and eat some grass and bugsthe big whitish ones are the brahmas, the browny ones are welsummers, and the bluish one is the americaunaIsn't this one adorable.
Unfortunately that is not all that's new. We lost one of our ducks to a predator =( We suspect a fox. It was in the middle of the day, when we heard the roosters sounding the alarm like crazy, we ran outside and the female rouen , mallard looking one, was missing. We never found any trace.
I've been much more carefully about when I let them out now.
--Anna




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Beach

Last week we went to Delaware for our beach trip. Sunday even though the weather was nice we didn’t go to the beach because it was way too crowded. Monday it was overcast and windy which made the rip currents (when the water pulls you out to the ocean) bad, instead of going to the beach we went to the pool, but throughout the week it was freeeeeeeeezzzzzing. Every time we get together with our relatives we work on a big puzzle, so that kept us busy. Also since our house had a pool and ping pong table my Uncle Bernie organized a double elimination tournament. My dad ended up winning pool and my Uncle Richard ended up beating dad at the ping pong championship. On Tuesday we went to the beach but the sky was again overcast and the waves were rough so dad and I ended up getting pummeled by the big waves which was not a very pleasant experience , yet I was able to body board the rough waves. Wednesday through Friday the weather was bad so we played pool, ping pong, and worked on the puzzle inside and toughing out the swimming pool outside, shiver. Until Saturday we saw, could it be SUNSHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We then put on our bathing suits jumped in the car and went to the beach and it wasn’t even windy.A jelly fish had washed up on the beach.
When we got there it was cloudy again but every now and then the sun broke through.
When we (Anna, dad, and I) got in the water we got past were the waves were breaking so we could jump over them, when a huge wave broke way deeper then the other ones and right on top of us (that’s how dad and I got pummeled Tuesday) but luckily we were able to dive under it at the last second. After that I wasn’t going to take a chance of reliving Tuesday so I went closer to shore a safe distance away from the pummeling and surprisingly consistent huge waves. Dad and I were still able to however, body board the waves without getting pummeled.


video


LOL, we just missed that big wave.

After surfing for awhile we took a break and played frisbee on the beach.I got a neat picture of this wave curling. I like this picture because I got the wave breaking in the back.


After that we left.

I was sad that we only got one good day at the beach, but grateful at the same time that we did get one day at the beach and that God had a reason for it. So the next day we took our group pictures, said goodbye and were on the road. When we got home me and Anna sprinted out of the car and into the coop and saw our mama hen walking around with six little baby “chickis” :D.

Anna will post about them later.
So that's all for this post.
--Philip

Friday, September 4, 2009

This year for science I studied about plants and how butterflies and bees pollinate them. So for an experiment I (Philip) planted a butterfly garden. We got our plants from Lavender Fields Herb Farm. We got Parsley, Bee Balm, Hyssop, and Bronze Fennel.Here is a chrysalis on the fennel.A visitor



. We are leaving for the beach (at Delaware) tomorrow YAY :D, we got a house that has a ping pong, and a pool table so we’re going to have a little family tournament ;). So we’re busy packing and taking care of the animals before we go ,but I was able to squeeze this post in, phew.

--Philip

Friday, August 21, 2009

Teen Camp

Greetings people of the Internet, last week all three of us kids went to our church’s teen camp. This was probably Thomas' last year to go before he would be too old. So we decided we should all go with him. We got there Sunday afternoon and left Saturday morning.
7:00 am was rise and shine then we had our morning devotions.(At the waterfront they had some benches so that's where I did my devotions most of the time)


After devotions we had breakfast which was always delicious.After breakfast we would clean our cabins. Then we would have our first Bible study. After our first Bible study we had an hour of free time to play ping-pong, air hockey, phoos ball, basketball (which I did most of the time), volley ball, soccer, football, or fishing.

(You can click on the picture to enlarge it)

After free time we’d have our second Bible study, then lunch.

After lunch we would go and have activities for about three or four hours. Like a giant swing, Archery, rock wall climbing, kayaking, sailing, and a high ropes course including a tight wire and a big zip line,

Me (Philip) shooting a bow and arrow.

Thomas on the rock wall.

They had two sides, a easy side and a hard side. The hard side (shown here) had a bulge at the top so you had to do a pull up to reach the top.

The giant "V-Swing" they called it because it looks like a V.

People on the ground had to pull you up with a rope. After pulling on the rope all day everybody's hands were red and blistered.

Anna in a harness.


video


Here is a video of me on the V-Swing.

Me about to step on the high wire thinking "This is crazy."

"This is still crazy" 8-O.

video
Here is a video of Thomas on the zipline.

After activities we had an hour and a half of more free time then dinner. After dinner we had an hour of swim time. Then our third Bible study, night devotions were we talked about the day and what we learned about it, an hour of free time to get ready for bed then lights out at 11:00 pm. After lights out there was always talking, but the councilors hushed us, so then we came up with the idea to get in bed at 10:30 so we could talk till 11:00 then at lights out we had gotten all of our talking out.

the last couple days it thundered during swim time so we couldn’t swim, instead we played a lot of fun games inside, and lots of great fellowship with one another and making new friends.

It was raining so much that it made these huge puddle you could wade in :D.

I thought this cedar tree looked cool with all it's knots.

Group photo.

--Philip