tOur hearts were set to go and see some amazing dinosaurs at a super cool event in Syracuse. However, we were taking 9 children and two vehicles, and a 30 mile stretch was getting hammered with over a foot of snow. That wasn't our idea of a great time. There were some broken hearts, just for a few seconds and then the were better.
We decided to head out a little closer to home and still be inside. Best yet it was able to be turned into a field trip that was educational, and on a Saturday to boot. Who said learning can't be fun? Loading them all up and head to the Sci Tech Museum in Watertown, NY. It was so nice when we got there. We had the whole place to ourselves for quite a bit of our visit. The staff was friendly and helpful. Plus, plus very patient with our crew. They are a force all on their own.
The littles and the bigs alike enjoyed the different stations that were set up all through the two stories. There was fun with magnets, shadows, music, lasers, pendulums, fossils, old and retro electronics, and much more. They enjoyed playing together. It was great seeing Elliott and Devion play a game of chess together with huge chess pieces.
Even though the day didn't go how we pictured it, it did turn into something that was memorable with laughter and love. That is all we could ask for in the end.
Connor is checking out all the cool fossils, specimens, and slides.
These butterflies and moths are beautiful.
Sophie is listening to the sounds through the pipe. She found them hilarious.
We are surprised that Jazlyn is being this daring. She enjoyed the figuring out what is inside the holes.
Chloe looks a little bit more unsure then her little sister, Jazlyn.
Sophie and daddy are using their hands to heat up the plate and leave their prints. This was really neat to see and do.
This just made me giggle. Don't ask why, because I don't know. Must be the big GRIN!
Normally, i am never, ever in the photos. I took this selfie with the number one love of my life followed by our children and all those I hold dear. Yes, I was being a goober.
We did find a few dinosaurs. See kids I delivered dinos after all.
This was an intense game of chess. I love these really big pieces. It has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it. The boys did a great job with it. The younger ones learned something from Devion and Elliott.
This trip was nice. If you haven't gone than you really should. The Sci Tech Center is a great day trip. It is family friendly and affordable. Great if you want to add to a trip to the zoo, shopping, and lunch or dinner out. I really love how attentive their staff was. Our littles are adorable but they are a whirlwind of energy, and they were so patient with them. If you make it there, let us know what your favorite part is or was. Happy adventures.
With the fact the little ones are so busy and we need to do things that hold their attention for learning. It was a very nice surprise to find this experiment from Playdough to Plato. She came up with this amazing experiment and covered so much of the information that we needed to go over.
The Three Boundaries:
Don't forget about the Subduction Zone.
To demonstrate the different boundaries, the children moved their graham cracker plates in different directions. Each movement had a different result. We stopped after each time and discussed what we had for results and why. Of course, they had to clean off their fingers between each movement.
Transform Boundaries: are places where the plates slide sideways past each other. They will catch and grind together.
Divergent Boundaries: where two plates move away from each other. Magna rises and forms a new crust layer.
Convergent Boundaries: where two plates are moving towards each other. If they are they are the same density they will push against each other and make mountain chain. If the two plates are unequal density, one will sink below the other creating a Subduction Zone.
Connor and Jazlyn are converging on each other. At this moment they are getting along.
All our little scientists.
I caught Chloe in mid-conversation with James. Sophie is just being a little ham. She was ready to eat her experiment.
We did this experiment to go with the first week of home schooling and our volcano unit. Finding units like this are a true treasure. It made it easier for the little ones to learn. I wish the photos were a little nicer but you can see the experiment well enough.
We started our home schooling journey mid school year, right at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. To ease the children into the learning we started part of our studies with volcanoes. To demonstrate the Earth, the little monkeys and I hard boiled some eggs.
We learned that the Earth has different layers. These layers are made up of the Inner Core, Outer Core, Mantle, and Crust.
Clip art of the Earth courtesy of Classroom Clip Art. It is a great model of what the Earth is made of for each layer.
The Different Layers:
We love Bill Nye the Science Guy. He has some great videos with a ton of useful information. The little monkeys soak it all in. At the end we go over and have a discussion and it is amazing what they learned from the video. We will continue to watch, learn, and grow.
This experiment was one that they got to do and eat. Those are the best kind in their eyes. They love snack times. Plus, what child doesn't enjoy playing with their food?
The experiment was a huge success. The kids and I talked about all the core facts tat we learned and the facts about the volcanoes which we were studying. They are little sponges taking everything in. It is fun teaching at their different levels, too.
I am going to be completely honest here . Snow, winter, cold all of that stuff just isn't for me. However, even though I would love nothing better than to hibernate these little creatures to get out and play. It was a nice winter day on January, 20, 2018, and their daddy took them out to do just that. I listened in the house to them giggling and laughing. The cuteness of it did persuade me to come out of my nice, warm den to capture these treasured memories.
The biggest kid of them all. He truly gets them going. I checked the job description and that is part of the deal. Love him through and through for it. Afterwards, the little monkeys helped dad with the chores. It really is a circus here, only with farm critters.
James was hiding for some sneak attack snowball fighting. He had a creative game plan. Smart boy.
Someone already got this little cutie with a snowball. She is armed and prepared to get them back in return. That snowball is pretty big. Jazlyn, is ambitious.
The littest monkey made an ice pop. She was content to just stay there and enjoy her frozen, flavorless treat. This child can spend all day out in the cold. She would probably do well in Antarctica.
Did you get a chance to get out this winter season and make some memories? Are you like me and prefer to hibernate? What were some of your favorite things to do in the snow?
Of course as I am finally able to sit down and do this post it is no the end of February and all the snow is gone. The rains is pittering and pattering on our windows with the chance of freezing to everything. Such is the way of the winter thaw.
Some of the best science experiments are created by items that you find right in your kitchen. For kids inventor day, January 17th, we decided to find something to create using ingredients and materials we had on hand. Now, this can be interesting with five little ones that are very busy and inquisitive. They wee all excited when it was decided we were going to turn milk into plastic. Like the plastic that the milk jug it came in.
We came across the experiment from HooplaKidzLab on YouTube. It is a great tutorial and fun video. Go over and check it out.
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
Heat the milk until warm. You can do this in a pan but I just popped it into the microwave in the measuring cup I was using. Going to be honest, the idea of dirtying a pan didn't sound appealing to me. Then we added the vinegar and stirred it in. This process we took turns with. After it was all blended together sort of, we poured it through the strainer. After straining the mixture it was dried two times with the paper towels. Finally, we patted it out and used the cookie cutter to cut it out.
And stir... And stir... And stir... and Stir some more.
These two handsome little men where great helpers. They volunteered to get the measuring cup, spoon, and strainer. How could anyone resist those smiles?
Jazlyn really got into the stir and mixing part. Though she did say "Ewwww" to the chunks of milk in the vinegar. Sophie is prepared. Double hero-ing it up with Supergirl and Batgirl on.
The conclusion to this experiment is it was a little bit of a flop for us. One, don't use skim milk. It really doesn't work well for the bonding properties. Two make sure to double check your measurements of material. I believe we might have been off just a little bit. Three, that blob you see there next to the cookie cutter is our plastic. It really didn't want to meld together well. Fourth, last but most importantly make sure you capture of a photograph of you lab assistant, Chloe. She was a great help in this experiment and the one photograph I took got lost in a Lightroom clean up. That always makes me upset. The little Einsteins enjoyed themselves and it was something new they learned.
A year ago our the oldest of our second family asked me if we could home school her? At that time it was not an option or a possibility due to different guidelines. Now however many people have asked me and I have said "No. I couldn't do that." Then the other day I saw an event that came across my news feed about home schooling and was an event for current, just starting, and new home school parents. After talking to my other half and spouse, Donald, we thought why not and what can it hurt? Especially with some current behaviors and struggles that a couple of our little ones are having.
So that evening we went to the event held in Watertown and met with Meredith George who was so helpful. Meeting with Jena and Stephan was great because of their years of working at home schooling their own children. Both shared what we need to do. How to go about the forms. That an IHIP is not something that is as scary as it seems. Plus you are able to work your own schedule and all year long at school. It is more flexible then regular school.
We have been looking at the pros and cons as this is not an easy decision. I mean to be honest next year our last one goes to pre-k. On the other hand I am home, educated, and capable. What are the hold ups? I will start with the cons.
This is not an easy decision or one that has been taken lightly. We have atypical children who need more time and more one on one. They are all amazing with their own minds. At first it was thought to just start with the boys. However, the girls could get jealous that the boys are home and the boys because the girls are in school. Then they might throw the routine off if we add the girls a half year later. Not an easy choice at all. The two youngest we would like to teach together. Our "twins" that is. The amazing thing is the support and amount of people that say "you can do it" and are there to help. Thank you so much. At this moment we are both excited and nervous. Any tips, tricks, groups, or sites we are more than happy to listen to and take in. If it is "you are crazy", we will address that with "yes certified" but crazy for love of our children and we will work at what is in the best interest for them.
By: Kimberly Doerr
Another one of those weird holidays that we have is National Popcorn Day. We love popcorn in our family, plain, extra butter, flavored toppings, and popcorn balls are all great. So for January 19th, we celebrated with some popped popcorn and made a cute craft together. The littles loved all of it. Keeping those little popped corn in the glue wasn't easy, though. Did you celebrate National Popcorn Day? If so what is your favorite popcorn recipe?
The craft idea came from www.nationalschoolsupply.com/blog/popcorn-art-craft-for-national-keep-kids-creative-week/ and it has some other great information there.
My favorite popcorn recipe that is good and healthy. Pop up some plain popcorn kernels, add two tablespoons of coconut oil melted with 1 drop of lime essential oil from a trustworthy company, and sprinkle on some sea salt. Yummy goodness!
On January 14th we celebrated National Rubber Ducky Day. The kiddos love those little rubber duckies no matter the shape, size or color. They got a kick out of the Pirate duckies.But for rubber ducky day we didn't have time to relax in endless bubbles in the bath tub (that was bubble bath day on January 8th). Plus with five little ones that is a lot of suds and water. Which as we all know is going to happen when you get any little one near water no matter the age of said child.
Instead of the bath time, we enjoyed some blue jello with our rubber duckies. Each little colored their own rubber ducky in a bath tub that looks just like ours. They love doing crafts no matter what they are. Of course the duckies went swimming in the "water" jello for a couple of the littles. They were singing "rubber ducky your the one". It brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.
There is a really good chance we are going to enjoy this year of silly, fun and educational little holidays. As I know we will be loving the moments that we are blessed to have together. If you celebrate any unique holidays, let us know. We might like to join in on the festivities. Good night all you, Duckies out there.
We started making homemade soaps for our family over a year ago. It all started because we wanted to avoid the harsh chemicals that are found in the commercial bar soaps that are available for purchasing.
These chemicals are:
Phthalates: These have been known to cause cancer, they are used to make plastic too.
Parabens: These lovely chemicals act as estrogen look a likes. The body will think that there is more estrogen in the body then should be and can start causing a lot of different issues, an onset of puberty or reproduction issues in both men and women to name a few.
Sulfates: A lot of soap makers use this to increase bubbles and lather. To help harden a bar of soap faster for cure time. It however, causes trouble for striping the skin of their natural oils. Which is horrible for those with sensitive skin or eczema.
Tricolsan: These are found in antibacterial soaps. Research has shown however, that it promotes bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Our soaps don't carry these chemicals because we believe it is important to offer the healthiest possible solution that we can. In our soap base there is coconut oil, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, mango butter, and cocoa butter. All are made using lye which has been added to the goats milk that has come from our own little herd. Coloring is either natural or in the case of the lavender dreams a small amount of mica was used. Some of our soaps are scented with essential oil while others have no added fragrances at all.
Goats milk is great for people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis. It is gentle for babies and children. It works for keeping a persons skin healthy. Raw goats milk contains cream, minerals, vitamins, and alpha hydroxy acids. These are the reasons we value the raw goats milk our girls produce for us.
Gentle Baby Soap I: this is our gentle baby soap. It contains olive oil, coconut oil, mango butter, castor oil, goats milk, lye, ground up oatmeal and is unscented.
Gentle Baby Soap II with Tumeric: pure olive oil, goats milk, lye, tumeric infused in warm olive oil, ground oatmeal, and is unscented.
Lavender Fields: lard, castor oil, shea butter, mango butter, castor oil, goats milk, lye, ground oatmeal, honey, lavender essential oil, and mica for coloring.
*This is one of our favorites and it is so pretty!
These soaps are all available for sale for $5.00 a bar plus tax. They are a great addition to your daily bathing needs. Pippa and Amber would say thank you for enjoying their hard work that was put worth for this adventure. They will have other herd mates joining in this upcoming Spring.