Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Summer Road Trip By Emaad A.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my family went to Mt. Rushmore. It took 14 hours to get there. On the way there, my sister and I watched some movies like Shirley Temple’s Bright Eyes and the Trumpet of the Swan.

After our long drive we got to the hotel. Since none of us were tired my dad decided to take us to Crazy Horse Memorial. By the time my family got there it was 8:30 and there was a show called “A Legend in Lights” where they lit images on the mountain to tell the story of Crazy Horse, the show was at 9 o’ clock. To pass the time my family and I went around the small museum and watched a movie about the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski who had started working on the mountain but died before the face was complete. Finally it was time for the show. We went to our car where we had a good view of the mountain and watched the show. It was amazing how the lights looked on the mountain even though they were projected from the ground. The show told the story of both Crazy Horse and Korczak with different animations.

In the morning I thought I’d be off to Mt. Rushmore, I WISH. First my dad had to find what was happening at Mt. Rushmore and after that my mom made us clean up the car. All in all the morning was a drag. Mt. Rushmore has fireworks on the third of July, that’s when I discovered that not everyplace has fireworks on the Fourth. When we drove past Mt. Rushmore, we saw people getting seats for the fireworks which started at 9:15pm and it was only 10 o’ clock in the morning right then. We could not find a place to park and had to just wave at the presidents as we drove past.

My dad thought we should go to Jewel Cave instead. My mom saw a flyer about the Junior Ranger Program at Jewel Cave National Park. In the program, the Park Rangers give you a sheet of paper that has questions about the national park and if you get them right you are awarded a Junior Ranger Badge. My mom compelled my sister and I to do the Junior Ranger Program. Examples of questions were, how is a forest fire most likely to start? Or, what stone is Jewel Cave mostly made of? You could find answers to these questions by reading the displays or asking a Ranger. When we finished, the Ranger gave us a badge that said, “Junior Ranger Jewel Cave National Park." Then we drove in to the town next door called Custer to eat and get my dad a sweater because the temperature in Jewel Cave is always below 49 degrees.

At two in the afternoon my family and I went down into Jewel Cave. The ranger told us how Jewel Cave got its name. The story is that two brothers were riding their horses in the forest and they heard a whistling sound. They followed the sound and saw that it was coming from a hole, they went into Custer and got some dynamite and blew the hole wider so that both of them could fit through. When the brothers shone their light it reflected of the walls making the cave look as if it was made out of “jewels.” The jewels in the cave are just red rock that reflected light. The sound was air passing through the cave. Even though the Cave wasn’t made of jewels they both devised a plan to make lots of money by giving tours. The tour I went on was amazing, there were many rock formations of different colors and sizes.

After the tour, we drove to Mt. Rushmore. It took us a long time to get there and find parking because everyone wanted to see the fireworks by the national monument. We found a good spot to watch the fireworks just ten minutes before they were supposed to begin. A fighter jet flew above the monument so fast that it shook me enough to loose my balance. Mt. Rushmore’s fireworks are rated eighth best in the nation - I believe them! The fireworks exploded with a boom in all the colors of the rainbow. They looked like colored rain over Mt. Rushmore. It was a fantastic sight to see and I will remember it always.

In the morning we went to Mt. Rushmore again except this time we were able to enter the monument and see it up close from a balcony. We also went to the museum and did the Junior Ranger program at Rushmore. I saw a movie about the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore. In one of the various exhibits they showed a jackhammer that was used in the making of Mt. Rushmore. The most interesting thing I learned was that Lincoln’s nose fell of about five years ago and they had to reattach it.

After that we went to Badlands National Park. We saw lots of animals like bison and mountain sheep and a variety of birds. I even heard some rattlesnakes but I never saw them. The mountains were awesome. Some of them looked pink. Other looked like candy corn with yellow bottoms and orange peaks. There were also small trails with fossils of weird looking mammals. My sister and I both earned another Junior Ranger badge at the park. After Badlands we went to Sioux Falls.

On the way to Sioux Falls we stopped at a place called Wall Drug. Everything at Wall Drug was western and there where many shops selling everything from hunting gear to ice cream to historic artifacts like bones and fossils of dinosaurs. I got drenched at Wall Drug while playing in the water park. We arrived at Sioux Falls late because of our pit stop.

In the morning we went to Sioux Falls, the actual waterfall the town is named after. It was small. So small that I was surprised the town was named after it. I climbed the many rocks and boulders that surrounded the waterfall. It was more entertaining than contemplating the waterfall.

When we returned home I felt like we returned from a great adventure out west. Even though my family had a great time in South Dakota, we were all happy to be back were we belonged. If your family is planning on a summer road trip consider going to South Dakota. The vast Black Hills, the extraordinary sites like Mt. Rushmore and Jewel Cave are all worth the trip.

From the Girl Who Loves Icecream Every Day by Samia A., Age 8

Dear Reader,
Don’t you think that children should have ice cream everyday of the summer? Well I do and here are some tips to get ice cream everyday of the summer.
Ask your mom at the grocery store to get a huge tub of ice cream to last the summer and if your mom says NO say that ice cream is probably on summer CLEARNCE!
You can always beg and if that doesn’t work say you’ll pay for it. You can pay for it by setting up a lemonade stand in your neighborhood.
You can also do something really good and as a reward go for ice cream.
Try telling your parents you need ice cream for a new dessert you want to make.
You can do chores like cleaning the house or workbooks and if you don‘t get ice cream from that say you won’t eat any other food. I don’t think this will work though.
Tell your parents ice cream is a great cool down in the summer and you will get enough exercise to burn of the calories and will brush extra long before bed to prevent cavities. If they say no then ask for fruit bars instead. Its not ice cream but still is cool and sweet anyway.
If you do any one of these things they will probably work so get out there and enjoy your ice cream. If you do all the things you might get ice- cream most everyday in the summer or at least most days.
Samia A. Qadir

Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Feud by Sana Kadir, Age 8

It was a hot summer day and the air was filled with delicious smells of the neighbors BBQ. Jane had nothing to do except feeding the birds some leftover food. It was so boring doing that. Suddenly, Jane remembered that there were some bricks in the backyard shed left over from dad's construction project last year. She had a perfect idea of what to do next. She would make a brick wall and see how high the bricks could go. Maybe she could even climb them to see what the neighbors were grilling, she thought. She picked up a pink and blue brick but because they were so heavy, Jane dropped one of them. The brick fell on the pavement with a loud boom and broke into several pieces and made the birds fly away.

Dad heard the loud sound and ran out yelling "Janette Goodman what have you done now!?!"

"Dad I just dropped the bricks and the birds …"

Just then mom interrupted and said "…flew away!" before adding, "Jane what have I told you about the leftover food that the birds don't eat?"

"Ummmmm...I don't remember," replied Jane.

"The food will rot and ruin our yard and make it smell disgusting like a skunk! Let's go inside", said Mom.

As they walked inside the house, Dad said "remember last time our yard smelled, the neighbors called ROTTEN YARD INC. to complain about our yard. We have to make sure that doesn't happen again."

Just as they shut the door behind them, there was a knock.It was Jake, Jane's older brother.

"Where were you Jake, you are half an hour late!" yelled Mom.

"Mom it's not my fault, Mark took too long to do his HW" said Jake.

"Don't use your friend as an excuse, you shoule have been responsible enough to call me and tell me that you are going to be late," said Mom. Then she ordered Jake to go into his room.

Jane was also asked to go in her room. As soon as Jane got into her room she knew exactly what to do. Spy on Jake with the newest spy gadget, The Spy Fly! It was a mechanical fly with binoculars for eyes.

Jane saw Jake making plans to jump out of his window and head to Marks. As soon as Jane heard this, she ran downstairs to tell mom but, mom didn't listen. Then Jane went to dad but he was busy and didn't want to hear it either. Jane decided to scream the information so loud that mom, dad and even Jake heard it!

Jake got in trouble for the plans he was making and Jane got in trouble for spying on Jake. When she'd apologized to her mom, Jane went outside to play on her red and blue scooter. She also put on her matching helmet. Just as she went on the sidewalk her mom called her and said "Jane, your friend Brianna just called to come over to play. Please go and apologize to your brother before she gets here". A

s Jane walked over to Jakes room she knew her apology would not be accepted but she would try her best to tell her brother how sorry she was for spying on him.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Stream By Michael Scott

The water’s sweet smell fills all of the air,
The water flows past my feet with a chill in the air,
The leaves on the trees around the stream are red, yellow and green.

Jordan's Disastrous Day By Michael Scott, 7

Once my family went to my sister's piano recital. While we were gone my white, fluffy dog Jordan got into a bag of dark chocolate, but we didn't know. He usually is playful and friendly, but now he was limping, shivering and wouldn't play with his toys."Mom, Jordan is breathing weird and acting funny!" I told my mom. But she ignored me, so I went to bed.Suddenly, my sister screamed, "Aaah, there's something gooey and dark brown on my carpet!" My dog had thrown up in four different places in my sister's room! Most of it was dark brown and chunky. While I was sleeping, my mom and my sister Maddie had to clean up the mess, using spoons and a carpet cleaner. Then they had to take my dog to the animal hospital because dark chocolate is poisonous to dogs! Maddie held Jordan with a towel, in case he got sick again in our brand-new car! While they were gone, my other sister, Olivia, woke me up and told me that he was at the hospital. The vet gave him medicine that made him throw up the rest of the chocolate and made him go to sleep after. Then Jordan was able to come home. When he got home, I saw that Jordan had chocolate around his mouth and down the front of his body. Boy, did he smell like a cup of cocoa! So, my mom gave him a bath. The next day a part of my dog's cheek was green. So now Jordan is all white, except for his black nose, red tongue and green cheek. I don't know why but the green is still there. I guess my Mom missed that part of his cheek!


Flow of Life By Misbah Q. ,11

Oh river flowing slow and free
Stretching out as far as the eye can see
Splishing and splashing all around
Making such a soothing sound

River flowing to ocean
Ocean rising to rain
Rain splashing to river
Only to start all over again

An adventure of life
Rapids swirling with strife
Then smoothening in to ease
Flowing with the cool, gentle breeze

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Seeds By Kate W. Age 9, May 2008

When I planted the strange looking seeds they took 10 minutes to grow. Out came a beautiful yellow flower with a large ‘Pop’! The flower was shaped like a sun and it smelled like popcorn. I wondered if the flower tasted like popcorn. I picked off one of the petals. It felt like smooth and slippery like silk. Then, I tasted it and the petal melted in my mouth. The flower tasted like popcorn! Maybe there were more seeds in the package, I thought to myself and there were. I'd discovered something new!

I decided I would call this plant The Popcorn Plant. I planted a whole garden of them and soon I figured I could make lots of different things out of this plant. I made popcorn plant soup, popcorn plant muffins, cookies, air freshner, and even cookbooks of popcorn plant recipes.

I was on my way to buy more popcorn plant seeds at the plant store and walked down the aisle when out of the corner of my eye, I saw another strange looking seed. I brought it home and wondered what that strange looking seed would look like. I wondered what it would taste like. The new seed was a mystery and I was all set to resolve it.

The Three Wishes By Claire W. Age 9 May 2008

Once upon a time, there lived a cute, fluffy husky-puppy named Snowspot. He had an awful, mean owner named Bill. Bill was so mean and unfair to Snowspot even though he was considered the nicest man in the town. Because he was so nice, the town gave him a mansion, farm and a 3 acre garden. He made Snowspot sleep in a foul smelling doghouse that had bugs and spiders crawling all over it, made him eat bland, dirty flakes and whipped him when he did the tiniest thing wrong.

One morning, Bill made Snowspot pull a vast, old, rickety sleigh full of huge pointy sharp boulders. Bill knew that Snowspot was just a puppy and would never be able to manage it without falling, getting hurt or breaking the sleigh. Sunstripe, a golden brown husky, Snowspot’s best friend, was waiting for him at the garden pond and tried to make him feel better. While the two were talking about Snowspot’s troubles, a fairy appeared. The fairy was wearing an aqua-marine long dress, aqua-marine marabou shoes, and had long, brown hair. She asked Snowspot if he wanted three wishes. Of course, he said yes! So, for his first wish, Snowspot wished that Bill would stay in a hard bed all day so Snowspot wouldn’t have to do anything for 24 hours. At least, that was what he thought would happen.

The beautiful fairy granted Snowspots wish and Bill stayed in bed all day, but ordered Snowspot around to get him hot food, clean the messy house, weed the 3 acre garden, and bring him things. He would have never gotten it done without Sunstripe’s help. He almost didn’t have the energy to go back to the fairy. For his second wish, he wished that Bill would go to Hawaii on an important business trip. The fairy granted the wish and sure enough, Bill had to go to Hawaii. Unfortunately, on his trip, Bill met a bad, mischievous fairy who granted him one wish. Bill wished that the house would be messy so Snowspot would have to clean it up. When Bill got home, he made Snowspot clean the house up. Snowspot spent the next four days cleaning up the mansion floor. Since the next day was Sunday, he rested.

The next day, Sunstripe was waiting for Snowspot at the garden pond. For his last wish, he wished that he could talk so he could tell Bill how he felt. When he did, Bill was dreadfully startled at first, and then felt a surge of sympathy towards the sad and tired puppy. For no apparent reason, Bill despised husky dogs. He needed a dog and this was the only one left at the pet store. Once he realized that Snowspot had feelings too, he changed his ways. He became so nice to Snowspot it was almost like Bill was his father. Then they all lived happily ever after.

A Night in the Golden Castle by Obaid A., age 9

One evening, I was taking a break from doing my homework when my mom said, “Why don’t you take a walk in the forest.” I was walking for about 15 minutes when I heard a horse galloping nearby. I wanted to know were it was going but I couldn’t see it properly because it was too dark so I followed the sounds of the horse.

It took me to a castle made out of gold. I saw a huge moat with big and mean alligators. I could see their teeth glistening in the moonlight. The drawbridge opened for the horse and I followed it into the castle.

When I came in, there was a huge feast being set up. There was roast chicken, ribs, wine and a lot of other food. There were also a lot of decorations and banners with "Newborn"written on them. I guess that meant there was a new baby in the castle.

I thought I might get caught so I took a left turn. There were three rooms. One room was full of jewelry like crowns, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and gold. I took as much as I could. Then I went into the other room and saw two thrones with king and queen written on each one of them. They were golden and had a soft, red cushion for the seat. I was thankful nobody was there because everybody was at the feast. I went to the last room, it was a dungeon. The prisoners were hanging on the wall from chains. When the prisoners saw me they shouted, “Thief! Thief!” I ran for it as fast as I could though I didn’t know where I was going. I opened a door into a castle passageway. It was very dark. I didn’t know where to go. I knew I couldn’t go out or I would be caught. Luckily there was light behind me. It was a torch. I also realized that the jewelry was slowing me down. I spotted a window that was the size of a knight’s helmet. I threw the jewelry into the forest so no one could find it. Then I used the torch to find my way. I came to another door. I went inside it. It was lit up. It was a place for the knights to train.

All the knights saw me. They ran after me. They all took a torch with them. I went back the same way I came. But I didn’t realize it. I was too busy running. I came to the same door. I didn’t even recognize that it was the same door. So I opened it and there was the king and the guards. The guards surrounded me immediately. The king asked me, “Who are you? And where are you from?” I didn’t answer the king. After he asked me the same questions several times, I still didn’t give an answer because I remembered that my mom said not to talk to strangers. The king was very mad so he shouted to the guards, “He will be my slave! Take him to the dungeon!”

On our way there, we were passing by the entrance to the castle and the drawbridge was opening for a knight to enter. I took a guard’s sword and slashed it at them. They went flying. The drawbridge was closing because the knight was nearly inside the castle. I ran as fast as I could. I was able to slash the knight away and got on the drawbridge. I had to jump in the moat because the drawbridge was almost closed shut. All the alligators were asleep but one. I swam for my life. But the alligator was too fast and was on my tail. I was able to throw the sword at it and I was safe.

I got out of the moat and found the jewelry and ran back through the forest back home before the knights could find me. I told my mom what happened but she didn’t believe me until I showed her the jewelry. She said, “Remind me to never let us go near that forest again.” My mom also told me that I could keep the jewelry if I wanted to buy any thing, unless we need it for something important.

The End

Jordan’s Disastrous Day by Michael S. Age 7

Once my family went to my sister’s piano recital. While we were gone my white, fluffy dog Jordan got into a bag of dark chocolate, but we didn’t know. He usually is playful and friendly, but now he was limping, shivering and wouldn’t play with his toys.

“Mom, Jordan is breathing weird and acting funny!” I told my mom. But she ignored me, so I went to bed.

Suddenly, my sister screamed, “Aaah, there’s something gooey and dark brown on my carpet!”
My dog had vomited four different places in my sister’s room! Most of the vomit was dark brown and chunky. While I was sleeping, my mom and my sister Maddie had to clean up the mess, using spoons and a carpet cleaner.

Then they had to take my dog to the animal hospital because dark chocolate is poisonous to dogs! Maddie held Jordan with a towel, in case he got sick again in our brand-new car!

While they were gone, my other sister, Olivia, woke me up and told me that he was at the hospital. The vet gave him medicine that made him throw up the rest of the chocolate and made him go to sleep after. Then Jordan was able to come home.

When he got home, I saw that Jordan had chocolate around his mouth and down the front of his body. Boy, did he smell like a cup of cocoa! So, my mom gave him a bath. The next day a part of my dog’s cheek was green. So now Jordan is all white, except for his black nose, red tongue and green cheek. I don’t know why but the green is still there. I guess my Mom missed that part of his cheek!

A Very Spooky Place by Lena A., age 7

One evening, I was swimming in a lake. The lake was in the woods by my house. Eventually I got out because I was shivering and the water was too cold for me to continue swimming. I saw a horse galloping really fast from the mountains. The horse was all white but only its tail was black. The saddle was bright yellow with purple and pink stars on it. I wanted to see where it was headed so when it got near me I jumped on it. I fell off right away because I didn’t land on the saddle and I didn’t hold on to the reins. The ground was soft and grassy so I didn’t get hurt. I still wanted to ride the horse. So I got up and ran after it and got back on it. My heart was beating really fast. This time I held on to the reins of the horse really tight and sat on the saddle. Suddenly it started to rain. The horse jumped in a puddle and water splashed on me. The horse led me to a graveyard with lots of stone people and skeletons. There were children, adults, grandmas and grandpas that were carved in stone. There were cob webs and dust everywhere. The place was interesting but it was also scary and spooky because it was so dark and the stone people looked like they could catch me. I was glad I had my flashlight with me so I could see in the dark. I dropped my flashlight by accident and it turned off. I was scared and I was about to cry. Then some other person entered the graveyard and he had his flashlight on. It was a man with orange hair and red eyes. He was wearing jeans and a green t-shirt with a picture of a ghost on it. He was going to put another skeleton up. He looked mean so I crouched behind a stone person. I was worried he might find me because my teeth were chattering. Then behind me I saw a path leaving the graveyard so I quickly ran and followed the path out but it led me back to the graveyard. I felt scared and suffocated. Luckily I found the horse’s footprints and I followed them back to the lake and went back home relieved. What a nightmare! The End


I'm going to my favorite destination,
A place of complete relaxation,
My source of purification.
I smell the air.
How could this be?
It smells like perfume to me.
It's a wonderful place.
The cool breeze on my face,
Makes me calm and gives me peace.
I hear the birds chirp like never before,
I see the kids running and playing
Laughing and swaying.
I love to sit beside you
And watch the waves oh so blue.
You clean my body and mind,
You're a gift to mankind,
You're my purification.