Monday, February 25, 2013

Science Fair Day

I wish I would have got better pictures because we spent a long time working on these projects and afterwards I threw them all away. But, I did get videos of each of them explaining what they learned. I was really impressed with how well they presented at the science fair-  it was too bad Timmy missed it. From now on we'll probably take turns entering the science fair because having 4 projects prepared about killed me!
Charlie did a science experiment about Friction. We bought a sheet of plexi glass, and put different textures on wooden blocks to see which would slide down faster. We also used soap as a lubricant to see if that changed the speed of the blocks. 

Jane studied Evaporation. She made up 9 jars with different liquids and charted their levels each day for 2 weeks. She also learned about the water cycle.

Jacob continues to be interested in rocks so he made his own geodes and brought some real ones too.

Scarlet was amazing. She learned hers perfectly. She learned the colors of the rainbow in order. We mixed colored water to see how to make new colors. We learned what a rainbow is made out of and how to see one. 

Black Bean Brownies

I've been wanting to try these forever and we finally made them for FHE tonight. My kids all gobbled them up- but they also barely know what a real brownie tastes like so that helps ;) We made chocolate frosting and topped them with strawberries to counteract the beans.

Black Bean Brownies

Servings: 9
Dense, fudge-y and ultra-healthy, these brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies! It's amazing how they taste like chocolate and fudge and not beans! Chef's Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8" pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Chef's Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tangles and Knots

I started this project before the morning sick death hit so then I couldn't work on it for a few months. Finally I finished it but there was just one problem. I planned on giving it to a new friend but it ended up being about 3 year old size??? I don't know why, because I made the large. So I emailed the pattern maker and she said maybe my tension was way too tight. Who knows. Anyways, it will make a great birthday gift for my darling little Belly niece.


I made heart shaped french toast with whipped cream, strawberries and Nutella for Valentines breakfast.

We also made heart shaped chocolate Zucchini cake. My favorite.

Jane made this Valentine garland with all the hearts from our card decks and lots of red ribbons. It turned out super cute.

We made giant hershey kisses for our friends and neighbors. 

Homemade Valentines session. The boys weren't really into this activity.
We stuck real matches on them.
 "We're a perfect match!"

My Valentine

Do you know, I would quietly
Slip from the loud circle, 
When first I know the pale 
Stars above the oaks
are blooming.

Ways will I elect
that seldom any tread
in pale evening meadows-
and no dream but this:
You come too.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tim and I spent Valentines Day in Waterton. Tim is always so good about planning things and arranging the babysitter. We brought out snowshoes and then met friends afterwards for Mexican.

 Waterton in the winter is a whole new experience. It's wild and changing and the best part is getting the whole park all to yourself. 
 The water had 3 parts- flowing water, thick gel-like half frozen water and then crunchy ice shards along the shore. The waves made a tinkling noise like chimes.

 This is where I slipped on an icy rock trying to get a picture. My iphone was drowning so I plunged my bare arm into the heart stopping freezing water and rescued it. I then proceeded to give it mouth to mouth. I'm not kidding. It was instinctive. I began sucking the water out of all the outlets and it worked. I saved it's life.

I was reading about family recreation and took these notes:

I like the term "recreation" as opposed to, say, "vacation". "Vacation" implies an empty, vacant time-a period of loafing, of having out, of passing the time. Recreation, by contrast, reminds us, by definition, that periods of time-out can serve the serious purpose of renewal. At it's best, recreation allows us to re-create ourselves in order to retune to ordinary life renewed, refreshed, and reinvigorated. The highest function of play is re-creation… Let us not only remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Let us make time in a hectic, harried 24/7 world for re-creation.

Dr. John Tanner

How we can intentionally create and protect space and time for recreation:
1. Make recreation and/or family fun a priority
2. Minimize distractions of media and technology
3. Recognize the rejuvenating power of brief moments of freely chosen experiences
4. Simplify life

We are tempted to think that our little "sips" of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation…Connecting in sips doesn't work when it comes to understanding and knowing one another… We expect more from technology and less from one another and seem increasingly drawn to technologies that provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of relationship… We think constant connection will make us feel less lonely. The opposite is true. if we are unable to be alone we are far more likely to be lonely. If we don't teach our children to be alone, they will know only how to be lonely. 

~Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

An immature or misguided spouse may devote an inordinate amount of time to playing video games, chatting online, or in other ways allowing the digital to dominate things as they really are. Initially the investment of time may seem relatively harmless, rationalized as a few minutes of needed relief from the demands of a hectic daily schedule. But important opportunities are missed for developing and improving interpersonal skills, for laughing and crying together, and for creating a rich and enduring bond of emotional intimacy. Progressively, seemingly innocent entertainment can become a form of pernicious enslavement.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pure Heaven

Tim came home early on my birthday so we could go cross country skiing in Waterton. It was a warm, sunny, magical day. It felt so good to get outside in the fresh winter air. It felt even better to get some alone time with Timmy. We had a lovely time.
This is the age 32 pose. 

Quote Oh Ya

Tim says this last night before bed, "You know what I noticed, me and LeBron James have the same walk. LeBron walks like me."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sarra Loves Snow Stars

"How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire them more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat."

~Henry David Thoreau

We've already learned about Wilson Bentley so it was fun to read in depth about snowflakes in this book,

 The Snowflake Winter's Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht

I learned so many things, like that the earliest account of snow-crystal structure was penned by Descartes. Then, I learned that a Japanese nuclear physicist, named Nakaya, created the world's first synthetic snow-crystals. Natural snowflakes form as the float freely in the atmosphere so they have a long distance to develop, but to simulate this in a lab is impossible, unless you have a rabbit hair... for real, read it, it blew my nerdy, science center loving mind. "

After discovering the unexpected value of rabbit hair, Nakaya grew many individual crystals at different temperatures and humidity levels. He observed how the morphology of each crustal- it's detailed shape and structure- depends on the condition of the air in which it grew." There's a chart on
p. 45 called Snow-Crystal Morphology that was interesting with a capital "I", but I'm a chart kind of person. Put anything on a chart, and it's automatically interesting. If you check it out you'll discover that the complexity of snow-crystal shape increases with increasing humidity.

"Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore."
~ Wallace Stevens

Now here is the answer to the-no-two-snowflakes-are-alike mystery, are you ready?

"The precise morphology of each falling crystal is determined by its random and erratic motions through the atmosphere. A complex path yields a complex snowflake. And since no two crystals follow exactly the same path to the ground, no two crystals will be identical in appearance. So where is the creative genus, capable of designing snow crystals in an endless variety of beautiful patters? It lives in the ever-changing wind."

Don't be surprised if you see us outside in the snow this week, with a magnifying glass ;)