Monthly Archives: January 2013

Three: Part Two


Here is the next piece of Grace’s story, “Three.”

WARNING: Contains some dark and/or violent material that you may not find appropriate for the younger ones.



I ran up the stairs to her room. I shut the door behind me, leaning against it to keep that human from entering. I looked around my hideous room. Everything was purple. Purple walls, purple bed, purple desk. It didn’t help much that Sarah really liked sparkles. Of any person to transfer into, why did I have to pick her?

I stood on the purple desk and pulled open the flap on the ceiling. Shoving the box up first, I hoisted myself into the attic. It was dark and quiet, with a small window in the corner. I loved it in there.

I traced my fingers over the side of the box, trying to find the lid. Instead, I found a small button. I cracked my knuckles and pushed the button. The top of the box slowly flipped open, revealing a small foam-filled compartment. Surrounded by the foam was a beautifully sharp dagger. It had a straight, blood-red blade and a silver hilt. I lightly slid my finger over the side of the blade, admiring the craftsmanship. A screen on the inside of the lid flickered on. A small Shadow sat calmly with her hands folded in her lap. She looked like me, white hair and dark red eyes. She didn’t seem to notice me.

We’ve landed,” she said. “They think we’re coming for them. They think we want blood.” She giggled. I set down the dagger, trying to figure out the Shadow’s words. We didn’t want human blood, we wanted human bodies. Perhaps the humans thought the molecular transfer was us drinking their blood? How comical.

Three,” she whispered, “There shall only be three. The rest shall die. You are the first.” An image of Sarah Motes flickered onto the screen, her soft curls of caramel shielding her neck.

He is the second.” An image of a teenage boy appeared on the screen. He had shaggy blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He was stretching his lips across his teeth, apparently showing some emotion called happiness.

She is the third.” I saw a young girl sitting on a rock. She was significantly younger than the other two, with bright red pigtails and small dots of pigment across her nose. I would enjoy turning her.

You will destroy the humans. Earth will now become a colony of the Shadows. None will survive.” The screen cut off, leaving me with nothing but a dagger and the scent of blood in my nose. Wait, blood? The intoxicating aroma filled my body. I followed it down into the kitchen, where the woman was sucking on her finger. She pulled it out, revealing a small cut. She looked up at me and smiled.

Going to school now, are we?” she said, smiling. She saw my dagger and her grin quickly faded. “Where’d you get that?” she asked. The smell of her blood filled me, and I swung the dagger, turning the woman to ash. My eyes widened with surprise. I didn’t know we had daggers that could do that. I stepped over the pile, cleaning my blade with a dish towel. This world will become my people’s new home, and nothing will stand in my way.


An Important Theme in To Kill a Mockingbird


Yep, we’re still working on To Kill a Mockingbird.  We’ve finished reading the book, but there’s so much more exploring to do!  Today, Grace finished up an essay on what she believes is the most important theme in the book.  Of course, there are several themes in To Kill a Mockingbird, but she had to choose just one.  Here’s what she had to say:


I think that stereotypes are the main theme in To Kill a Mockingbird because of how strongly they are used. People seem to have many stereotypes toward black people and women.

A stereotype is when you judge someone based solely on their appearance. If you looked at Scout, you would think that she is very boyish and wild. You would be starting a stereotype towards Scout. What you wouldn’t know is that Scout is very well-behaved because you didn’t get to know her. This shows that stereotypes cannot always be trusted.

One of the most common stereotypes in To Kill a Mockingbird is toward black people. This stereotype was obviously started by the white people. It is believed that black people are not as good as white people, just because their skin is a different color.

Another common stereotype in the book is toward women. This stereotype has been around before Maycomb, but it is highly believed them women should be “ladies.” This means that they should wear dresses, cook and clean, act respectful, and be completely polite in everything they do.

Even though people create and follow stereotypes all the time, they are not always true. “Boo” Radley, for instance, was believed to be a monster, figuratively and literally. But really, he was just a man who liked his privacy. This stereotype was most likely formed on the fact that “Boo” is so quiet, rarely coming out of his home.

Often stereotypes are untrue, but some have some sort of truth to them. For example, Aunt Alexandria is believed to be a lady just because she dresses like one. This is true, because her appearance reflects greatly on her personality.

Over all, I believe that stereotypes are a large part of To Kill a Mockingbird and reflect deeply on the people of the time. I also think that if there were no stereotypes, the book would be completely different. Stereotypes have proven that, even if they are sometimes wrong, they play a large part in people’s lives, then and now.

-Grace ❤

The Week in Pictures


Oh, so much awesome stuff this week. 🙂  Check it out…

What We’ll Be Up To Next Week


Here are our plans for the upcoming week:

Language Arts:  Grace has finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, but we still have a few activities to complete, so we’ll work on completing those.  She’ll also begin reading Crossed, the second book in the Matched trilogy.

Math:  Grace completed her decimal review unit this week.  Now we’re on to the exciting world of algebra.  Algebra is one of my very favorites, so I’m excited. 😀  I think Grace would way rather be playing with algebra than dividing decimals, too. 😉  We’ll also continue reading I Wish I Knew That Math.

Science:  Another thing Grace finished this week?  Her physical science unit in Spectrum Science.  She has started a unit on life science, so she’ll keep working on that next week.  We’ll be forging ahead with Middle School Chemistry, too, with a look at heat, temperature, conduction, and evaporation.

Social Studies:  Grace is still working on creating “artifacts” for her “museum,” but she should have that finished up in the early part of the week.  After that, we’ll be moving on to ancient India.  We’ll be starting with another folder…always great for a thorough introduction to a topic. 🙂

Field Trips:  We had an unexpected trip to the Literacy Council last week.  Grace was an awesome helper in sorting out books for their Book Nook.  We don’t have any scheduled field trips for this week, but we are keeping our eyes on the forecast.  If it really is 70 degrees on Wednesday, we’ll probably head out for some park exploring and geocaching.  There is also a used book store we want to check out.  I’m not sure if that counts as a field trip, but we’re going anyway. 🙂

Grace’s Choice:  Who knows what Grace will pick?  Last week she made play dough, wrote a story, worked on her novel, solved puzzles, and watched a documentary.

We hope you have a fabulous week!  It looks like ours is going to be another great one. 🙂

Adult Conversations


Another assignment from To Kill a Mockingbird!  Grace’s assignment was to think about Scout being in the courtroom during some rather unsavory testimony and whether she agreed with Scout that children should hear adult conversations or if she agreed with some of the adults in the courtroom that children should not hear what the grown ups had to say.  This is her opinion on the situation…if you agree with her or not, I think she’s done a great job with one of her first opinion pieces. 🙂


Children should be allowed to listen to adult conversation, whatever the topic, because they will be adults themselves one day. I believe that the earlier children learn about life, the easier it will be to merge into adulthood. Some people believe that children should be shielded from things such as bad words and violence, and I agree with them to a point. I do not believe that children should not hear a single bad word or see anything that might have gore in it, but there are limits. For example, if someone says something that you don’t want your child to say, you could tell them not to repeat it.


I especially think that children should be told about things that will or might eventually happen to them. I’m not saying that you should let your four-year-old watch The Matrix, but I don’t think they should be protected from life. Some people might say that children wouldn’t even understand things like sex and cursing, so they shouldn’t be exposed to them. But I think that if a child wouldn’t understand something, how could it hurt them?


Overall, I think that children should be told about certain things and see certain things, such as how babies are made and financial decisions, because they will need to know when they get older. Please understand that this is only my opinion, and that I am not trying to force my beliefs onto anybody.

-Grace ❤

Character Analysis: “Scout” Jean Louise Finch


Scout, the main character in To Kill a Mockingbird, is an adventurous young girl who is not like your typical lady. I think Scout is a good person, but sometimes lets her temper, and curiosity, get the best of her.

Scout is forthcoming and bold, saying what she means the first time. She cares about her family and friends deeply and will defend them in a fight. Because of her boldness, she sometimes loses her head when someone insults her family. You can see this when she chased her cousin who insulted Atticus. She also seems to stay consistent under pressure, keeping her head and thinking things through. Unfortunately, her love for her family is the only thing that causes her to lose her temper and act without thinking. For example, she attacks a man who insults Atticus when he stands up for Tom Robinson.

Scout is curious and brave; exploring Maycomb with her friends is one of her favorite activities. When she meets Dill, her best friend, she begins to learn about the Radley Place, making her more curious than ever. She, Dill, and Jem often try to get Boo, a “ghost” that lives in the Radley Place, to come out.

Unlike the other ladies of Maycomb, Scout is not very proper. She wears pants and plays in the dirt, causing the women to look down on her. She likes herself the way she is and has no intention of changing. This is a very important part of Scout’s character. It separates her from all the other people in Maycomb. When Aunt Alexandra tries to convince Scout to be a “lady”, she refuses.

Based on this information, I would say that Scout is a bold, caring person, thinking about her family before herself and willing to break the rules to do what’s right. I would like to have a friend like her, mainly because she would stick up for me.

-Grace ❤

Three: Part One


Grace is back to writing fiction!  Here’s the first part of her new story, “Three.”  I know I’m intrigued…can’t wait to read more!


Boom boom

Blood like fire, burning and churning in her veins.

The beat like a drum, driving me insane.

Her hair on her neck, soft curls of caramel

shielding her from me.

Nowhere to turn, no choice but to burn,

Her soft curls of caramel.

Boom boom.


I wasn’t prepared that day. I really wasn’t. I wanted nothing but to go home. Nothing this loud could have fit in my life there. Oh well.

It just came to me. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t even want it at the time. It was just there. I was leaving for school, not to go destroy the world. A small box was sitting on the doorstep. It was red with three dark crimson lines scratched across the top. It sort of made an upside-down triangle, like this: \|/ . I instantly smelled something salty, something intoxicating. I picked up the box, realizing it was heavier than I had expected. I traced my fingers over the lines, feeling something warm and wet. I inspected my now red fingers and decided what the substance was . Blood. Fresh blood. Hours old. I decided a box covered in fresh blood on my doorstep was more important than school and stepped back into my house. The woman was there again, standing in the kitchen, watching me. She had short brown hair and gray eyes. She looked nothing like me.

Are you going to school today?” she asked. I didn’t answer. I never answered to strangers. Unfortunately, everyone was a stranger. I’m sure the woman thinks I’m a mute. She took a step closer.

I know you can hear me,” she whispered. I stared at her. I could hear her, but she wasn’t supposed to know that. Dangit.

I know you can hear me, and I want you to know this. I am your mother. You are my daughter. Your name is Sarah Janie Motes. You have blue eyes and blonde hair that turns brown at the curls. You ran away as a girl and were attacked. You lost your mind and stopped talking. You think you are someone you’re not. You think you are something you are not.” I smiled. This woman was funny.

She thought I was human, but I am not. My name is Lyria. I am young, and I am lost. I have dark red eyes and blindingly white hair. I am not human.

Ancient China in a Folder


Grace did an awesome job with her Ancient China folder activities.  We’re quite pleased with how it turned out, and we haven’t shared one of these in a while, so I thought I’d throw some pictures around for you. 😉  I love how much information these things pack into one little folder!

The Week in Pictures


Lots of fun was had this week!  So much fun, actually, that I had to hold back on the pictures. 🙂  Don’t worry…I’ll go into some of our activities in more detail throughout the week.

What We’ll Be Up To Next Week


Grace hasn’t been feeling well for the past couple of days, but we still managed to get a lot accomplished.  She’s on the mend now (Thank you, amoxicillin!), and we’ll be back up to regular speed next week.   So, here’s what we’ll be doing:

Language Arts: We’ll be finishing up with To Kill a Mockingbird.  We have a ton of activities and a little bit of reading to complete yet, but I think we’ll get it all done.  As always, grammar will be in our picture.

Math:  Grace will keep moving with her operations of decimals review.  We’ll also keep reading I Wish I Knew That Math.

Science:  Grace will finish up a unit on physical science and start a new unit on life science (Spectrum Science).  Also on the agenda – the next two lessons from Middle School Chemistry and Science Wizardry.

Social Studies:  We started a Hands on History lesson on Ancient China, and I think it will take us all of our social studies time next week to finish it up. Grace is enjoying creating “artifacts” for our “museum,” so I’ll let her take all the time she wants to work on that before we move on to ancient India.

Field Trips:  No planned trips for us this week, but Grace has mentioned that she wants to check out some of the local parks.  If the weather’s warm enough, we might do some investigating.

Grace’s Choice:  Who can say what she’ll choose?  Last week it was all about extra science experiments and writing. 🙂

Have a fabulous week!