Friday, October 2, 2009

Science in the Kitchen - The Egg, Part 2

The Translucent Egg.
Did you know you can remove the hard shell of an egg by simply soaking the egg in vinegar? It is so cool! This is your classic acid/base chemical reaction. The egg shell is basically made of calcium carbonate. The vinegar, containing acetic acid, separates the calcium and releases the carbonate as carbon dioxide gas. You can see all the bubbles of gas in the picture below. These bubbles started happening immediately.

After soaking for about 2 days, the shell has completely dissolved away and you are left with a translucent egg. You can't tell by the picture, but you can even see the egg yolk inside.
Now you would think that the egg would be fragile without the loving protection of its hard outer shell. Not so! This sucker is durable. It has the consistency of a rubber bouncy ball. You can see in the pictures below that I'm squeezing the egg pretty hard. Next cut it open and see what it looks like inside!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Science in the Kitchen - The Egg, Part 1

Liam's current interest (which changes frequently) is cooking. Uncle Jeremy would be proud! If I tell the kids they can watch a video, 1/2 the time they will pick a Good Eats video. I might need to give credit to Alton Brown for schooling my children. Even Quinn is coming up and telling me how to pickle vegetables and how to get the seeds out of a vanilla bean. There's one thing I know for certain, these boys will know how to cook for themselves. I won't have a daughter-in-law coming to me and telling me their man can't take care of himself. Next thing they will all learn is LAUNDRY!
But I digress...
With this new found love of cooking, the homeschooling Mom took over (with Dad's creative insight as well!) and decided to take school into the kitchen. First up....The Egg!

Specifically....The Egg White! What better way to teach about proteins and amino acids in egg whites, than Meringue Cookies!! Mmmm...Mmmmm
Here's Liam giving those egg whites a good whipping.

And here are the fruits of his labor, or I should say the cookies of his labor. We may have let them cook a little too long but they were still tasty little numbers. They tasted a bit like a nice toasted marshmallow. The Egg, Part 1....success!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's the small things in life....

It is really the small things in life that bring us the most joy....right? I have been reflecting on my own blog title and realizing that I need to practice what I preach, so to say. Today does NOT seem like a gift. It seems more like a practical joke.

In the past few weeks I've noticed evident spikes in my stress level during certain moments of the day. Unfortunately, those moments are frequent and close together (I was trying to figure out the opposite of "few and far between!) Those moments happen to be........schooling my eldest!!! Particularly during times where he has to actually listen to me! He has a problem with that. We bump heads so many times during the day that it's a miracle neither one of us has a concussion.

So I must turn to the small things in life. Is it possible to find comfort in that cup of Oolong tea? Can 20 minutes of peace compensate for the last 6 hours of debates, arguements and head-butting? Or perhaps my newest addiction, Trader Joe's Non-Fat Plain frozen yogurt, can bring balance to the force. Thank you Jenilee for introducing me to this delightful little concoction. This yogurt with fresh raspberries is a little scoop of heaven. Ahhhh...I'm pretending that I don't hear any kids right now!

We're Back!

Wow! That was a very long hiatus from this blog. I have to admit, I completely shut down from all things "homeschool" over the Summer. It was a much needed break to help rejuvinate and re-energize my mind for these kiddles. I don't mind telling you....these boys wear me out!
But enough of my complaining, we are now back at it with full steam. I'm really trying to let "life" happen this year. If you know me at all, you know of my desire to have STUFF to show that we actually did something. I was this way as a kid. It wasn't enough to read a good book when I was little. I also needed to write that title down in my very cute Hello Kitty notepad so I could show everyone else I had read the book. Even though I still feel it is important to have the kids do WORK...I also want to be content in letting us live and learn through all that surrounds us. Even if it isn't something I can write down in my Hello Kitty notebook.

So here is Simon this morning...making his now famous, Pancakes. But I gave him a challenge. I asked him to make them while adding something NEW to his recipe. After a quick discussion of how Peppermint extract would make a pancake taste, he settled on Cocoa. But no pancake of Simon's is complete until a little food coloring is added. Today he chose blue, his favorite color. Now just imagine brown pancakes with blue food coloring. Yum!

A few weeks ago we blew off school to do a little Letterboxing with friends. It was very fun! The best part was getting lost in the woods. It took 3 times as long to get back to the car as it was to find the letterbox. That will teach the Moms to chat so much and not watch where we are going!

Prior to this trip, the boys took some time to carve some of their own stamps. I already knew Quinn would need a little help since I wasn't willing to let him use a sharp utensil for carving. He gave explicit instructions as to what he would like on his stamp. I personally think I did a fine job!! What do you think?

Quinn's Stamp!

The next week we went apple picking with our homeschool group. We love this group of people! They are fantastic! I feel like the boys are starting to make "Homeschool" friends. It helps so much. Liam is having a very rough start to the school year and making friends is easing his resentment a bit.