September 21, 2009

Rubies, Sapphires, Diamonds...oh my!

Quite honestly, I thought the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History would be boring. I only went because of the dinosaur bones that I thought might hold the interest of my dinosaur-smitten toddler.

He could have cared less.

But the girls and I fell in love with the gemstone collection. We saw the diamond necklace given to Marie Louise by Napoleon Bonaparte after the birth of their son:
Though the bluish hope diamond was grand, I much prefer the pure blue of this mammoth 423 carat Logan Sapphire:
And rubies (which, by the way, are really sapphires; but since they are red, we call them rubies)--all 31 for a total of 60 carats--are gorgeous:
The twins didn't know their birthstone is so lovely. My birthstone is an amethyst, which the museum had plenty of in various displays, including this monster from Brazil:

Though all the gemstones were absolutely breathtaking, my favorite piece was this crown also given to Marie Louise by Napoleon. Apparently when Marie Louise wore it, it held 950 diamonds and 79 emeralds. The emeralds were sold and eventually replaced with Persian turquoises:

Who knew history could be so beautiful?

September 18, 2009


Last week we took a vacation to Washington DC and Philadelphia, so, like all good homeschooled students, this week the kids get to write a report on what they saw. Earlier this summer I purchased Easy File Folder Reports to make reporting a bit more fun and manageable for my distractable kids.

Kenna chose to write about the Washington Monument. One of the highlights of our trip was going to the top of the 555ft monument. From the observation windows you could see all of DC! The elevator took 70 seconds to arrive at the top, but it slowed on the way down to showcase the engraved stones that make up the interior of the monument. Organizations and states commissioned special engravings to pay tribute to George Washington and placed them inside the monument. Very unique, I thought.

As part of Kenna's report, she had to display the monument. She carved it from soap:

She also had to create an ad to encourage others to come visit. She could have drawn one herself, but since all of our pictures from our recent trip are on the computer, she just made a digital one:

It's been a blessing to see the kids write about their new found knowledge from the trip. We could have spent more time in DC but only had a week. So this week we got to relive it all through conversations and fun report forms.

September 14, 2009

Summer '09 Highlights:

(Just in case you are interested...)
We joined the state's aquarium.

The girls learned to swim.

We read a lot--even when the electricity went off for a few hours.

We traveled back in time to New Testament Rome.

Cayli Grace found her passion for homeless people.

Mabry and Kenna turned 8.

Micah began talking and hasn't stopped.

The girls twirled at the Celebration of Liberty.

We visited Washington, DC.

We had fun together!