The papyrus strips have soaked for the last time, so we took them out and laid them side by side, overlapping slightly. Then we added a layer going the opposite direction on top, and pressed again. Then we wrapped some newsprint paper over the bundle and pressed it under a book. It will sit like this until tomorrow. We read about how mummies are made and about canopic jars. We looked at a photo of real canopic jars. Then we started on our mummy project. Our deceased pharaohs were an orange and a half a potaoto connected with a heavy wire. The boys removed the "internal organs"(orange pulp) of their Pharaohs. They put fragrant spices into the cavity. They turned their potatoes into Pharaoh faces. The orange "guts" were put in paper towels with natron (a mixture of salt and baking soda) on them and bundled up. The Pharaohs were placed in a plastic box and covered with natron.
Sam begins work by contemplating the secrets of the Ancient Egyptian languages revealed by the Rosetta Stone's discovery. Alex works on his lapbook where he draws and writes about pyramids while Quentin plays with counting blocks and then works on his E is for Eagle page. James builds with the counting blocks next while Quentin uses bean counters to understand money value. Trampoline time. After lunch we go out for a nature walk to collect wildflowers and we find Woolly Bears and Goldenrod. Back home...James found burrs on his pants and counted as he pulled them off...105 he says. We take the Goldenrod and put them in a vase for sketching in nature journals. Katie makes her own soup using fall vegetables -butternut and acorn squashes, turnips, parsnips, onions and carrots. She uses pureed pumpkin to make a creamy broth. Katie reads Curious George to Quinny and then she helps him draw the pictures in the book which start with drawing the letter it starts with and then filling in the rest of the picture around it. We check on our mummies. The natron was amazingly wet, so we needed to make up new. We will leave the wet natron to dry out and then we can use it again. Katie's soup and fresh baked bread for dinner. Square dancing for Sam and Katie.
The boys started out the day with the Halloween costumes again, taking on all sorts of roles, sometimes making unusual combinations. We listened first to Cello music, and then to music featuring the Violin to compare them. We then added the violin to their Symphony Lapbooks. We then took our papyrus out of its press to find out it did not press into paper. I am not sure why it failed, but projects do fail from time to time. You take what you can get out of the experience. We talked about how hard it was to make papyrus paper and how this explained why the Egyptians did not write much beyond what they felt was necessary, which did not include many fictional stories. We can probably piece together enough pieces of the papyrus "paper" for them to write their own name with hieroglyphics in cartouches. Then we made models of spiders fossilized in Amber, or plastic spiders in amber-colored soap. I was amazed at how realistic they looked! We made shabtis, little statues that were put in the tombs with the mummies, out of clay. The Egyptians believed that they would come to life and serve the Pharaoh in his afterlife. After all this creative activity the boys need some quiet time on the couch, so Katie put Tales from the Book of Virtue on the Roku for them to watch.
The boys wanted an Old-Fashioned, Autumn/Halloween Themed party. The boys insisted on as many different kinds of artificial colors and sugar they could think of. First order of business is cutting out cookies in Halloween shapes and decorating with sprinkles. Next is the cupcakes -blood red cupcakes! (Red Velvet Cake) The boys continue cutting out and decorating cookies while Katie prepares to make Candy Apples. Dad made the coating, flavored with Red Hots. Katie dipped them. When it is time for lunch, we have and Macaroni and Cheese in Halloween shapes. Katie makes Gluten and Casein-free cupcakes for herself and Alex. She makes them orange with green frosting and spearmint leaves to make a pumpkin patch. The Red Velvet cupcakes get a stormy-night colored frosting and spooky sugar toppings. Popcorn balls are next. Each was able to pick a small plastic Halloween toy or candy to put in the middle. They were all put in a bowl, so that no one knows what treat they will get when they pick a popcorn ball. Now we are ready for celebrating!