Thursday, February 16, 2012


Greetings and Peace, I am a little tired but wanted to do this post while on my brain. The Boy's latest science project was snot. He took it with him to a few places and it was a big hit. A few folks asked how to make it so I figured I would just post it here.
What you need:
  • borax laundry booster (no other detergent will do)
  • measuring cup
  • tap water
  • clean, empty 1 liter/quart soda bottle (we used a glass jar)
  • elmer's glue (no other kind will do)
  • tablespoon
  • green food coloring

What you do:
  • Mix 1/8 cup of Borax laundry booster and 1/2 liter WARM water in soda bottle. Shake until most of the borax dissolves (if all of it doesn't dissolve, that's ok). Let this solution cool to room temperature.
  • Place 4 tablespoon of glue into a cup
  • add 4 tablespoons of water. stir.
  • add 2 drops of green food coloring. stir well.
  • Measure 3 tablespoons of borax solution from the soda bottle and add to glue mixture in cup; stir until the mixture looks like a clump of snot in a pool of water. 

Yes we talked about the function of snot and why this experiment works (polymers and cross linkers). I am not sure how much he retained or will retain but he enjoyed it. He wants to make blood next. I am down and a great way to get him to learn about his body.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I started making our own bread, again. It was going well. The children were very excited and happy. Made me feel as if I had been depriving them. Anybody that stepped through the door was getting offered bread. And their neighborhood friends all got a roll a day for a few days. I was pleased and happy that they were appreciative of the effort I was making.
This is a disclaimer. The bread was/is good, but nothing special in my humble opinion.
I was/am playing with different recipes but through all that it was edible and obviously was up to par with the bread i had been buying.
Well life had me not having/making the time to keep producing. Then it hit me. DUH make it in the bread maker. Bread maker or by hand it is great to know what is going into our bread again.  I hope to get back to making the time to do it by hand but in the meantime. I am grateful for modern technology.

If you have an easy recipe with few ingredients for bread maker or by hand that you enjoy please share.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

YOU have so much to BE THANKFUL for

The children and I started the year off keeping a Gratitude Journal for 30 days. We all like the concept but we were horrible at doing it, as a group (this time around). I simply kept forgetting to remind them the first few days. In my mind I was thinking it should be done right before you go to bed. As in a way to reflect on all the happenings of the day. Since I do not go to bed til late it wouldn't be on my mind to remind them. Then I had them put them on their pillows so they would do before they went to sleep at night and sometimes they did sometimes they didn't. I would usually catch the missed entry less than 24 hours later but it didn't flow like I wanted.
Nonetheless, this is what they had to say about the experience:

The Boy: "I didn't dislike it at all. I like how I improved my writing with that. I was most grateful for my chicks, chickens, and my parents. I would be ok with doing it again."

Faith: She preferred doing it in the morning at the table. The hardest part for her was being specific and remembering to do it. (This time around they has to be specific. For instance, they could not just say I am grateful for my chickens. They had to tell why they are grateful for their chickens). She said next time she thinks we should do it in the am in one book as a family, like the awesomeness chart.

Peace: She thought it was fun. She had more to be grateful for than she thought. She enjoyed decorating her journal. Also stated that is was easy to forget to do it.

As for my Gratitude Journal... it went well and was a great way to end the night. As I have heard it said, "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'thank you', that would suffice."

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Cooking Eggshells & veggie enchiladas
To Cook or Not To Cook that is the question?
I cook. I usually just let the eggshells pile up in a bag in the frig until I remember to cook them. And I only cook them when already ready cooking something as not to waste resources (gas/electricity). Oh, I choose to cook them to kill any bacteria, while others obviously do not. I prefer to err on the side of caution. Plus I am not always giving them to the chickens. Wait. Am I getting ahead of myself?

Eggshells have many purposes aside from containing a delicious egg. So once you crack that egg open consider any of the following:
  • Put it in your city's green bin. Anything that can decompose should go there instead of the landfill.
  • Feed it to local birds as the calcium in the shells helps to harden their eggshells and with every species having a less nutritional diet due to all the chemicals and whatnot being used they can use the help. 
  • If you have chickens feed it to your chickens. Same reason as above and they do LOVE it. My chickens aren't too fond of oyster shells but will eat them if necessary. That is what most commercial feeds have in them and/or stores sell. When I give them eggshells they do a happy dance.
  • Feed them to your worms. It is said that the egg shells slowly release calcium, acts as a buffer to prevent acidic conditions from developing, provides grit to help the worms breakdown their food, smaller the piece easier to decompose or be eaten, and calcium boosts worm reproduction. Some think that not rinsing out the yoke is ok for this use as well because the yoke adds nitrogen and probably other good stuff. I won't say I have never done this but I def cook my shells now.
  • Add them to your garden for the the calcium
  • Add them to your garden around your plants to protect from snails and slugs.
  • And of course, you can add them to your own compost bin.
Those are the ways I use eggshells. There are several other uses but these work for me. If you have any others, please share. Or if you have questions...ask away.
I almost forgot to show my process. First I put them in the oven to cook. (see picture above)
I placed a plastic bag over them to prevent flying eggshells while i rolled a mason jar over them to break them in small pieces. This was midway through. I remembered to take a picture.

Almost done. They can be done at this point but I try to get them a little smaller.

This is it. From here I decide where to put them: garden, worms, chicken, or compost bin.

This takes a little bit of effort BUT i feel it is worth it.