Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Charming Chimpazees

Amelie and I did a study on chimps, and we created a lapbook, which was so much fun. It covers topics like where chimps live, type of habitat, what they eat, how they can speak in American Sign Language, and a section on Jane Goodall. We also wrote a poem about the chimps she studied. We learned about chimps for a week, reading poetry about great apes, watching an IMAX dvd about Jane and the wild chimps, and read a childrens book about an orphan chimp named Rickie, whose mother was killed by hunters for bushmeat, and who ended up with a kind man who rescued him, and while he was gone on a business trip, the man's dog befriended the baby chimp, and they slept together, and little Rickie rode around on Henri's (the dog) back, as baby chimps will do with thier mothers.
So, this lead us on a learning about the bushmeat trade, and how it is destitute people who hunt the chimps so that rich city-people can eat thier meat in fancy restaurants--they think if they do they will gain special powers from consuming thier flesh. It‘s awful. Chimps are so like people, and have been proven to have emotions, and to be self-aware, they are social and live in family groups and communities, can use ASL and learn at the same rate as human children do until they are about 3 years old.
So, Ami is now on a mission to raise enough money to help take care of a chimp named Petit Prince, --he is in a chimp orphanage/sanctuary, in Congo, Africa. She chose him because he was found at 2 mos old, tied in a bag with his leg nearly severed from a snare injury. He is ok now, but like Petit Prince, there are new orphans arriving at Jane's sanctuary's all the time, victims of the bushmeat and pet trade.....and because chimps live to be about 50-60 years they require expensive lifelong care and looking after since they can never be returned to the wild.
To raise money, Ami is making bookmarks and asking for donations! The bookmarks have little pictures of chimps that she draws, and a saying she writes on the bookmark, it’s then glued to construction paper, and laminated. She is trying to raise $250 for Petit Prince and has already raised $125.00. She donated $10 of her own birthday money and has been saving change, as well as receiving donations from anyone who comes to the house.

Once she raises the funds she will send the money to the Jane Goodall Institute and they will disperse the funds 100% to the orphanage—the money does not go to pay administrative stuff, it goes directly to the needy chimps in Africa. She will then be a “Chimp Guardian” and receive information, certificate, stuffed chimp doll, and a signed photo from Jane Goodall.

Please email me if you would like to donate to Amelie's Chimp Guardian Fund to help the orphaned chimps at the Tchimpounga sanctuary.

Click Here for Chimp Guardian Info at Jane Goodall Institute

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Ocean Beach

There was a nice East Wind recently and we headed to the beach. The kids had a blast. Chris is the only man on the beach with a full sized garden shovel digging trench mazes and crater sized holes for the kids to play in. It keeps them in one place. Eden is fitting right in--she slept to the sound of crashing waves and didn't eat any sand. Noah wouldn't keep his pants on and shreiked and ran at the waves rolling in--he got knocked down once and from then on announced to anyone who would listen (or not) "WATER! WATER! IT'S GONNA GET YOU! WATER! WATER!" and on and on.....Ami was really watching the other kids, how they were riding boogie boards and jumping into waves--she really wanted to do it, but I told her she needed swimming lessons first. She's asking for lessons now.

School's out for Summer!

Ami is officially done with her Kindergarten Year. Actually, she is telling everyone she is already in First grade, because she has been doing First grade work at least half the year. That's the thing about homeschooling, working at the individual's pace. She has been doing first grade level handwriting, math and reading curriculum. Her last day of school was the day she finished her Reading Lesson Book, which, when completed reading is at the second grade level. Tomorrow is the start of the library's Summer Reading Program, so it's good timing. I think we will be homeschooling next year as well, although we haven't officially discussed it. It's fitting us pretty well I think.

John Weller came to Town

John Weller (the kids call him this in full) and his girlfriend Emily came for a visit recently. We had a great time and very relaxing weekend. It was wonderful to see them. We plan to head to thier place soon. They live in Greensboro, about 4 hours from here, near the Asheboro Zoo, a great farmer's market, goat dairy farm, children's museum, etc. We'll get away for a while, visit our nearest "family" and have some fun. I hope we don't drive them too crazy!

Chicken Tractor

Chris built a chicken tractor which housed our broiler chickens (until recently when they were butchered). This was our first experience slaughtering on a large scale. We killed 21 birds in one day. I played shochet (kosher killer). We assembly lined the birds with me killing and plucking, Michael plucking and gutting, and Chris gutting and finishing. It was a bittersweet day. Nothing lives forever, and everything has a purpose. Miriam and Elana helped pluck and also looked after the younger kids, who played in the pool most of the day while we worked. Now that the broilers are out of there we have loaded it full of turkey poults, rare-breed egg layers, guineas and a peachick. We plan to make raised garden beds with this chicken tractor. That's the deal, the chicken's do the work of a tractor in creating your beds. Turning up the soil and fertilizing it as it's mulched into a deep bed. We are going to have an awesome garden next year.

4H Talent and Fashion Show

Ami is a 4H Cloverbud (5-8 y/o's). There was a Fashion and Talent competition earlier this year and Ami made a skirt. Here she is showing it off with her friend Layah. They both used the same fabric. Ami wanted a unicorn appliqued on the front of hers. She added details like handstitching and a button eye. Ami refused to let go of Layah's hand on stage :).

Come Here CHICKEN!

Noah had a thing with a chicken a while back. He loved this bird for a day or two, carting him around everywhere, holding like a big kitten. That bird was patient. He got dropped

into a shallow bin of water I don't know how many times. I guess it gave everyone something to do for a while, even the chicken. Well, don't tell Noie, but that chicken is destined for the pot. He scared some ladies in the street and couldn't free range around the Fauth house any longer....and life in a cage was not possible...so what are you gonna do? It was fun while it lasted.

Aviation Day

We went to Aviation Day at the Manteo Airport a few weeks ago. It was a fun event for kids/families--they had flight demos, helicopters flying around, Forest Service firefighting demos and $10 pp planerides. Ami and Chris took a ride in this Bi-Plane. Ami was a little scared at first, but she had a great time. Noah LOVED seeing the planes, he got to sit in one and steer the controls. He likes anything that goes...

Just cute kid pics

Woodpecker Beach

We took the kids to the Woodpecker Beach on the Sound recently. We went for a really long walk along the beach, navigating along the shore through plant growth and cypress trees and over fallen logs. The kids always find something exciting to take home: duck decoys, crab pot buoys and driftwood. This time we found an aluminum leg band, which we called in the the banding lab. It was from a ten-year old pelican, banded back in 1998. The first picture is of Chris leading the kids on a raft ride--when we go to this beach there is usually a short kayak put-in deck, but this time we found it in two peices--there must have been a storm--it was washed down the shore about 60 feet, so Chris dragged it in the water, gave the kids a ride, and ten put it back togather again. He's always fixing something. :)

Wolf Pups

No explanation needed? Chris had a busy denning season, but thankfully it was a cool spring and relatively easy this year. Things are heating up now and the wolves are laying low in the shade. He'll go out this fall and try to catch these guys again to get radiocollars on them.

She's a Popular Girl....

Everyone wants to snuggle with and hold her.....

Belly Laughs

This pic is getting old by now, but it's still cute as heck. Here's Miss Eden whooping it up with her dad.

Father-Daughter Dance

The Girl Scouts hosted a dance for fathers and daughters. Ami was very impressed with Chris in his suit! She was sort of speechless, you know Chris is always covered in dirt and wearing his Service uniform so this was quite a change. Also pictured are our friends Michael and two of his girls, Elana and Ruthie.


We went to the Fauth's for Passover this year again. We had a great time--the kids all color pages of the ten plaques and the account of the Exodus is read and when each of the plagues is described the kids each hold up thier picture. Ami got the plague of locusts. Chris is reading in this pic, and the other pic you see Miriam and Ami at the table and the seder plate and all the yummy homemade matzah. What a fun holiday :)

Lovely Lapiz Lenses

Noah's new glasses! He got these approximately 2 months ago (when this pic was taken) but only recently started wearing them again--literally about an hour after this pic was taken he demolished them and they had to be fixed by two professionals, and still need fine-tuning. Thankfully our warranty replaces them first time for free, but we figure there will be another time soon enough, so we tried our darndest to fix them. They work now, and he likes to wear them. He doesn't have to wear them all day. He is far-sighted, and the doctor thinks this will help him to avoid developing Ami's condition, which obviously requires more involved treatment. We think he looks like a movie producer now.

Dance Recital

Ami's second dance recital was at the end of April. She did great! Last year we weren't sure if she was going to go out there because of her stage fright (it's actually more of an anxiety about things just being different, rather than an actual fear of the people in the audience). She was a little nervous at first, but Miss Paula had her stand near her so she just carried on like normal.

The recital is very informal, the kids can wear what they want, and thier is no actual specific performance, it is more of a public lesson, with each group of kids performing the dances they have been learning over the last year.