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Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Solar Eclipse

We drove 12 hours total, not including stops, to see the total solar eclipse. It was one of the most amazing sights in the world. It was so cool to see the world dim around you! It looked like the moon was eating the sun! It suddenly turned dark in the middle of the day. The cornfields around us turned grey.

We placed ourself in Savanah, Missouri for the eclipse. We thought it would be cloudy, so we drove 4 hours total to Concordia, where, as it turned out, we were right. We managed to see a perfect solar eclipse. Our neighbors at Savanah told us that the clouds had blocked the eclipse.

This was definitely worth the ride. It's a once in a lifetime experience. If you missed it, you can go to Chile on July 2, 2019.

 Stay tuned for more blogs with Erin.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amish VS Mennonites

This is a report about the similarities and differences of the Amish and the Mennonites.
We were going into our RV campground when we saw people dressed in simple clothes, and they all looked very similar. My dad said, "They look like Mennonites."  My mom and  I were curious about the religion, so my mom decided that I should research it for my homeschool.

Amish and Mennonites are very similar. They both came from the same sect of Christianity called Anabaptists. They both speak Pennsylvania German and/or Dutch. The population of these religions has grown a lot over the years. The reason their population is growing is because they are still having the same number of children as they did in the late 1800s. But the children are now living to adulthood due to better nutrition and healthcare. Both Amish and Mennonite people believe in a peaceful life.  Despite many similarities, they have a few differences.

Let's start with the Amish. Amish are from Switzerland. They have a stricter separation. They believe in no trimmed beards and hooks in eyes instead of buttons. They use horse and buggy transportation, and do not use electricity.

Mennonites are from the Netherlands. They use more modern conveniences, and they have a less strict set of clothing.

Today, I learned about a religion I would have never seen if I hadn't been traveling. We figured out that the people we saw were Mennonites.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Back In Minnesota

We are in Minnesota again! Finally! I am currently at my grandma's house. We have been visiting all of our friends. I got to see Isabelle Castaneda, Abbi Wood, Owen Hogan, Devan Ballantine, Emily Eagen and Allison Eagen. I got to see a lot of my friends at Jessica Ballantine's bonfire party (It was too wet for an actual bonfire).

We went to a ball game with my mom's cousin in the Twins Stadium. But it was so cold we had to go into the Metropolitan club. That's for season ticket holders only!  So it was pretty cool.

We went to a Greek Restaurant called the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe with my Aunt Beth and Uncle Peter that same morning.

My friends were the same to how they always were. They told me about school, plans, and stuff about their lives. I just really enjoyed seeing them, and I will get to see some more soon.

I am at my grandma and grandpa's house right now and it's great to see them again! I missed them so much! We got to see their dog, Missy, again. Missy loses a ball every day! It was also great to see their 4 cats, Sassy, Leo, Twig, and Lizzy!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed, stay tuned for more blogs by Erin!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bees In Need!

Bees are very useful for many things. They are most known for being helpful. They collect nectar from flowers and turn it into honey. Not only is that helpful to the plant, but it is a food for many animals, such as bears and humans. And the pollen from the plant is used to feed larvae (bee eggs).

Bees can come in all sorts of sizes from the tiny stingless bee who's workers are less than 2 millimeters long to the Megachile pluto, the biggest bee of the leafcutter bee, who's females can be up to 39 millimeters long! The most common bees in the Northern Hemisphere are the Halictidae, or the sweat bees. They are commonly mistaken for wasps or flies.

Bees have a complicated social structure. Bees have different ways to communicate. Honey bees do the “waggle dance talk.” It is used to tell worker bees where food is. The location can be up to 500 ft away! The bee jumps and wiggles on its sisters to get everyone's attention. It then buzzes its wings and wiggles its abdomen vigorously. Here's a video link.

Bees are sadly dying out mostly because of CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder. No one knows quite what it is, if it's disease, mites, neonicotinoid pesticide, or fungal infections. None of these could be deadly by themselves, but combined bees will die out. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

One of my ideas to help them is to make pesticide specifically for certain types of bugs, as not to attract bees. Another idea is that you could plant flowers in your yard. Don't use pesticide to kill weeds or pests in your garden: You could be killing a hive of bees.

 Bees are unique creatures, helping many today. I think that we need bees in this world, and I hope that we can help them thrive. I hope you learned something today. I hope you enjoyed this blog! Stay tuned for more blogs by Erin!

Monday, May 29, 2017

My Special Assignment

I had to write an assignment on my RV adventures for Mrs. Walker, a teacher at Eagle Ridge Academy. The plan is to have her tutor me. This is the assignment she wanted me to write.

Erin’s Adventures

In May of 2016, my family and I started traveling around the western half of the United States. This essay will discuss how we spent that time, things we saw, and family and friends we visited. I will discuss traveling to national parks, museums, memorials and other highlights. We traveled roughly half of the United States. This essay concerns the adventures we had. I hope to give the reader a sense of what it’s like to live in an RV. I also want to give the reader suggestions for places to visit.

My daily schedule is fairly consistent. For my morning routine, I usually get up at around 7:40. I usually play on my tablet until around 8:00-8:30, unless we have to leave early. On normal days, I start homework. I do math, logic puzzles, reading and typing. I use the following programs online to do this work: Khan Academy for math and history, Puzzle Baron for logic puzzles, ReadTheory for reading and vocabulary, FreeRice for vocabulary, DuoLingo for Spanish, and Typing Adventures for typing. Around 10:30, I have an early lunch. By 11:00, I’m usually done with my solo work. I then play until my dad calls me for history and science. We cover these topics with my brother. When we finish that, my mom sometimes has some more work for me, like a book report or essay. On days where we have to leave the campground, we usually just do math, reading, and Spanish. Sometimes we leave early to drive to a museum or historical site. I usually spend the rest of my day playing. I do math occasionally during the day. Between 5:30-6:30, we eat dinner. At 8:00 or 8:30, we go to bed.

There are a few downsides to the RV, and not seeing my friends is one of them. I still talk with them through email and postcards, so I am still in contact. I also see them on Hangouts. Hangouts is a chat application that allows you to see the person face to face and chat with them. We managed to make a few appointments with some of my mom’s friends. Her friends live all over the United States, so it was interesting to see them. It was fun to hear their accents and pronunciations. Also, I have family in California! I saw my grandpa Bill and my grandma Joy. I had never seen their house in California before! They have two Boston Terriers, George and Rosie. We’ve seen my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Even though I don’t get to see my friends in real life, I do get to see family all over the country. Since we've returned to Minnesota, we have seen some of my friends already!

One of the upsides to the RV is that we get to see so many animal and nature encounters. Two of my favorite hikes were to bodies of water. The first was with my cousin, Jake. We hiked one and a half miles to some gorgeous hot springs, with a small cave under a waterfall. The second hike was to Punch Bowl Falls in Oregon. We hiked to a waterfall with a wide but shallow stream. It had a hollow tunnel, and we were able to walk into it. On a different day, my mother and I went to the San Diego Safari Park and Zoo. We bought tickets for the “meet and greet” at the cheetah run. The cheetah run is a program where you watch a cheetah and its dog friend chase after their favorite toy. The meet and greet was where the cheetah comes into the enclosure that we were in with two leashes on. The cheetah was only about a foot away from me! We got to take our picture with the cheetah and the dog. It was looking straight at me! We also saw the ringtail lemurs active, which is apparently pretty rare. They came out on the path very close to us. They dug in the bushes rapidly, with their tiny paws scratching at the dirt. One of them even climbed the wall to look over at the other lemurs in a separate enclosure.

In addition to outdoor activity, we've been visiting many museums and memorials. My top two museums are the mustard museum and the technology museum. The mustard museum talked about the history of mustard and showed all the mustards made by different states and countries. It was silly, because it was more like a shop than a museum. The tech museum is an interactive museum in San Jose. There was an earthquake simulator, a jetpack simulator, spy missions, password testers, and other awesome gadgets. We built a robot that you could customize with lights and hats. That was my favorite museum! My favorite memorial was the Oklahoma Bombing Museum. I hated the actual story of how everyone died, but I liked how willing people were to help. The outside area had the memorial with 901 and 903. 901 represented innocence. 903 represented healing. In the middle, 902 was a lake where the bomb hit.

We've worked pretty hard at some of our activities. We went on an 11 mile hike to the Dungeness Lighthouse in Washington. It took almost 3 hours each way! It was on sand, so that made it worse. We also went on a 12 mile bike ride, 6 miles each way. We hiked up to see the top of Mt. Rainier in Washington. Mt. Rainier is the tallest mountain in the Cascade Mt. Range But it turned out to be really foggy! I drank ice water out of a stream there.

That was my essay on some of the adventures that I had. I hope to have given the reader a sense of what it's like to live in an RV. I hope to have given the reader suggestions for places to visit. I hope to have pleased the reader.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

World War One Museum

Today we went to a cool museum about World War I. I hope you enjoy!

A lot of people didn't like the way things were going. Prince Ferdinand of Austria was assinated, so Austria wanted to investigate. Serbia didn't want them spreading bad news, Austria declared war. It then set off a chain reaction. Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and others started declaring war on each other. And so it started. They brought allies into the war as it got harder. 

Here are some things I learned about the war: People dug trenches to hide from gunfire. The trenches were in the mud. The reason mud is bad is because they got diseases from it and they got buried in it.The museum had exhibits to show what different trenches from different countries looked like. They used cannons and tanks. They had rows of all the cannons and a huge old-fashioned tank. It also showed some of the clothes that they would wear. Women started to get included in work such as nursing and farming. They had a field of poppies at the beginning to honor those who died.
It was horrible as one of your friends died by your side and sprayed blood all over you muddy coat. Bullets fire straight past you. You get knocked out and you wake up on a solid bed with a nurse leaning over you injecting anesthesia into you. In other cases you could be dead. It was hard for the soldiers who were dodging bullets and hiding, not to mention that they also have to shoot back.

We also saw a crater made by a cannon. It was so big you could stand in it. You could probably fit a family of ten there. You could see outfits, trash, and bags all buried in the rubble.

Oh, and we went to the top of a huge tower behind it all. We saw the gorgeous Kansas City, MO. It was pretty with the vast buildings and the faint hills behind them.

Overall, I loved that museum. It was historical but fun at the same time!

If you enjoyed this little blog, then make sure to check out my other blogs. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Oklahoma City Bombing Museum

Today, I am going to be talking about the Oklahoma City Bombing. It was interesting yet horrible.

Someone named Tim McVeigh was the killer of 168 (I think) adults, including 19 children. The bomb hit the Murrah building. Now there were 9 floors on the building. The second floor was a daycare. It was amazing that when the bomb hit, everyone, including citizens, helped to gather injured people. They sent search dogs, bulldozers, helping teams, yet lots of bodies were not found.

Now Tim McVeigh was not the only one to blame. Terry Nichols helped build the bomb. Michael Fortier knew about his friend's plan, but told no one and didn't try to stop him. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and is still alive today.

That's it for this blog so see you next time!