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Root Beer Float Science

What kid wouldn't love a fizzy, foamy (drinkable!) science experiment?

My kids were certainly up for this extra curricular science project. =)

Objective:  Discover what physical and chemical changes occur when ice cream is added to root beer.

  • Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Tall plastic cup or drinking glass 
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Measuring cup

Add a scoop of ice cream to a tall plastic cup or drinking glass. Pour a cup of root beer over the ice cream and observe the reaction.

After making a prediction, we added the root beer to the ice cream in the first glass, and added the ice cream to the root beer in the 2nd glass to observe the difference (the first way foams more than the latter).

Questions for the kids:

The solid and the liquid form a gas. Is this a physical or chemical change? {chemical}

Draw and label the solid, liquid and gas produced when making the root beer float. What happened and why?

If you have a high school student, you could have them explore nucleation. ;-)

For more great science experiments, check out Science Sunday @ Adventures in Mommydom. 

Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach Review

I wanted to try this for laundry stains, but when I read the list of all that Tropical Traditions Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer can do ~ I knew I needed to try this.

Here are a few uses that caught my eye: {Check out the link above to see the complete list and instructions.}

  • In the laundry Oxygen Bleach is used to destain, deodorize, and whiten ~ even cloth diapers!
  • For stained plastic ware, dishes, dish rags and dish towels.
  • To keep your drains and disposals clear and smelling fresh.
  • For septic systems.
  • To scrub toilets.
  • For mildew stains on shower curtains.
  • To clean the bathtub and shower.
  • To destain and deodorize carpets.
  • To clean mops.
  • For mildew removal. 
  • To clean and deodorize cat litter boxes and urine stains on upholstery.

So far, I have used it to whiten whites, scrub black sharpie marker and dirty handprints off the white hallway banister, scrub the bathroom sinks and to wash the white trim around the doorways and along the floor. Phew! nothing like reviewing a household product to get me motivated to clean! =)

My next big project was going to be the infant car seat that has been in storage uncovered in the dusty garage for quite awhile. I tried to sell it at a garage sale, then tried to give it away and then must have forgotten about it. And now I need it! However, the general recommendation is that a car seat has a life of 6 years ~ and we will hit the 6 year mark when baby is born, so I will have to buy a new one.

Do you have any marker stains on the wall? Cloth diapers that need freshened and destained? Whites that need whitened? What would you use this for? Let me know in a comment for a chance to win a 6lb container of TT Oxygen Bleach! {a retail value of $30 ~ on sale for $23}

Giveaway has ended ~ Congrats to commenter # 73

Thanks to all who entered and to TT for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

For additional entries:
  • If you subscribe or follow my blog give yourself an extra entry.
  • Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Sales Newsletter. {Watch for the free shipping coupons!}
  • Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a link to your status.
  • Do you have a favorite Tropical Traditions product? One you would like to try? Share!
  • Blog about this giveaway for 5 entries.
  • Place an order with TT as a first-time customer ~ see my referral pageto read how. This is worth 10 entries, so please leave me 10 separate comments if you do this! Note: I am not paid for referring customers, but I will receive a free jar of coconut oil!
Your comment is your entry. You will then have 48 hours to contact me with your information or I will choose another winner.

This giveaway is open until Wednesday September 8th {I will select a winner using random.org the next day and update this post} and is only open to US residents.{TT will ship internationally, but not for giveaways.}

Thanks to TT for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

First Week Back to School: 2010-2011 School Year & New Curriculum

Lots of random delightful learning this week ~ planned, unplanned and life. =)

First day highlights:
  • The first thing we did was harvest potatoes.

I was going to leave them in the ground a little longer (to keep cool), but the chickens got out and dug them all up. They made quite a mess with the hay ~ and as we were picking up the potatoes we found what they were after ~ worms and slugs!
We put all the small ones in a box between layers of newspaper for winter storage ~ these will be our seed potatoes for next year.

So we are off to a great start ~ this is real life. And home-school is life. =)


  • Cleaned and organized boxes and I handed out school supplies, materials and textbooks
  • Bible, Think of Me (a daily encouragement journal written for a sibling)
  • Language Arts
  • Put chickens away again

We thought they flew over the fence and were due for a wing clipping, but the bungee on the back fence broke.  Yes, we all have to run out to put the chickens away ~ but really they are easy to get back in. ;-)

  • Mali 5K
  • Mali and Elli: Row Carrot Seed {boys independent work}
  • Math
  • Science
  • Lunch
After lunch, I did "my school" with the boys.
  • Wormbin-ology 101
Remember E is for Earl the Earthworm? (Click to read all about our first adventure with earthworm composting). Well, I put Earl, and offspring outside, forgot about them and they froze. I was sad that I killed them, they were multiplying nicely. But the worm castings and organic matter made wonderful compost for my tomatoes.

This time, we bought a vermicomposting kit from Azure Standard with 1,000 red worms. Our intent is to have them to process our organic waste, produce fertilizer for our garden, feed the chickens. . . and the best part ~ the boys are staring their own home-school based business/project. They will sell worms for bait (and probably use a few themselves!). We will need to buy at least one more kit, but this was to get us started.

We covered set up, maintenance and worm feeding ~ so very simple.  They just have to keep the bin moist and feed the worms. To feed them, they dig a hole, put the worm food in, and cover it (to prevent flies). Worms don't like to be disturbed, so we bury the food in a new spot each time. 

  • All About Spelling orientation: Since I was not ready (all set up), our first day of AAS was "orientation." =) The kids separated the cards while I read to them. (Elli is doing Match It! Shape Shuffle at the table with us and Malachi is playing cars or army guys in the play room upstairs.)

(The older boys will cover levels 3 and 4 this first semester and I will start level 1 with Malachi next semester.)

Continuing on:
  • Nutrition 101: We read Unit 2 Intro, did an overview of Unit 2, planned the projects we would do, and made a shopping list
  • Read Aloud: My Side of the Mountain
  • Jordan worked @ the YMCA from 3-6 {Jordan's first "real" job!} This means we have to be done with school by 3:00 pm and Jordan has to get up early to take care of the yard and chickens. By our state law, at the age of 14, he can work 3 hours a day on a school day, or 18 hours in a school week, and not past 7:00 pm after Labor Day. He has been working with the maintenance department staining the fence and mending soccer nets (for Luke). Next week he will start working with Luke as a facilitator for Itty Bitty Soccer. I love that he will be working with his dad! =)
  • Made a special dinner for The Carrot Seed with Mali and Elli (will share about this in our B4FIAR post coming up).
It really was a great first day of school and taking time to do "orientation" and first day type of school stuff really saved the day! 

First week highlights:

New curriculum!

I have made a few changes to what we are doing:

AE Human A&P

Nathan and Dylan really wanted to do the next book in Apologia Elementary ~ Human Anatomy and Physiology. I ordered the book, the journals and bought the science supplies kit that goes with the book and I am so happy I made this choice investment! I love the high quality of the journals, the schedule in the front and love that all the supplies I need are on hand. Well worth the money for me.

Activity ~ make an edible cell:

The boys did a notebooking page and drew a diagram of a cell in their notebook . . .
and then we made an edible cell.

Elli and Mali's cells were square since we were rowing The Carrot Seed and plant cells are square. =)

I reviewed this for the Crew last year, but with the heavy load of review products I was not able to use it. This week we picked up where we left off with Unit 2 ~ the digestive system. The timing really was perfect with N&D studying A&P this year and Jordan covering life and the human body this year in General Science. We did Unit 2 Chapter 1 this week ~ one chapter a week/ two days a week will be perfect for us.

{Digestive System} Power Recipe ~ Raw Fruit Salad:

About half way through our week, we started rowing Blueberries for Sal ~ so this tied in perfectly! We also watched "Rainbow Salad" from our Signing Time video - Story Time Volume 1. We were all singing "Rainbow Salad is my favorite treat to eat" and even watched it again while we ate.  =)

Chapter 1 Activities:

(Working on a Salivation Experiment and seeing how much food our stomach can hold.)

Story of the World:

I was so overwhelmed with trying to tie Biblical History in with what was going on with the rest of the world that I decided to keep them separate {somewhat}. We will continue with History Revealed and Grapevine's OT Overview, but we will use SOTW and make this SOTW lapbook to go along with.  We started this towards the end of the year, so this week we reviewed chapter 1-4 (listened to them on CD) and got caught up in the lapbook ~ which honestly, wasn't hard because this is a very easy, kid friendly {for those who don't LOVE lapbooks} lapbook!

Bible History:
  • Grapevine: Lesson 22 ~ Ruth
  • Victor Journey Through the Bible ~ The Story of Ruth

My Side of the Mountain:

This is our current read-aloud and we are doing some hands on activities to go along with the book. We are using Woodsman and His Hatchet: Eighty Years on Back Country Survival as a companion book. The boys all read the book over the Summer and I bought them each a new hatchet once they finished it. The hatchet is one of the most important back-country survival tools ~ and we were happy to see that Sam brought a hatchet (small ax) with him when he ran away to the Catskill Mountains. Woodsman and his Hatchet is about survival in the mountains in Montana, which is a much more practical book for us!

We read chapters 1-5 and our activity was to try a new edible plant.

I grow borage (to attract bees) in my garden, but I have never harvested it. We read in our Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, that borage leaves, stems and flowers taste like cucumber. The leaves should be harvested when young, otherwise they are fuzzy/prickly. Ours were fuzzy and prickly but we tried them anyways. :D They do taste like cucumber! Borage is grown for its medicinal value, but the seed is what is used for medicine. {I do not intend to harvest the seed} The cool thing is that borage will naturally reseed itself ~ this plant came up from last year! I pulled several plants this Spring not knowing what they were, but decided to let one grow to find out ~ glad I did. =) 

I also grow nasturtium. I started growing this a couple years ago because it is edible and pretty, but have never harvested it. We took a sample to taste and it tastes just like the book says ~ peppery. The younger leaves are less spicy. The nasturtium flowers are edible and spicy too. The leaves would be good in a creamed potato soup. 

Mali's 5K:

Malachi begins his official 5K year ~ we will continue with what we started in the Spring. (We made it 3 weeks into his 5K year, but I will start over counting).

(Working on finishing up his Kumon math book)

We did the first lesson in Writing Strands 1. This is an oral language manual with fun activities to encourage oral language development.

The first lesson is called "Making Up Words." In this activity, we invented new words that we could use in place of familiar objects. 

Here is a few that we came up with:
  • crayon --- color writer
  • chair --- bottom holder
  • desk --- think harder (loved this one!)
  • calender --- date holder
Tot School:

I do not normally blog all that we do in a week ~ I was partially up for that challenge since this is our first week back to school and I took a lot more pictures than usual. Usually, if it ties in with our B4FIAR lesson, I include it ~ otherwise, I don't for time's sake. Below is how Elli stayed occupied during school time this week (when she wasn't playing outside, doing a planned activity or playing with her dollies). 

She and Malachi both love to do the Kumon cut and paste, color and paste, sticker and paste, mazes and tracing books.  They have 6 books total and I have kept them high on a shelf over the Summer just for this reason! They are convenient for keeping little hands busy with fine motor skill activities. 

Elli initiated the puzzle time ~ she did a couple Melissa and Doug puzzles like this one and we reviewed the shapes in the puzzle. She did a color one, too.

All of our other activities focused on our B4FIAR books: The Carrot Seed and then Blueberries For Sal. 


Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I decided that life will go on even when school starts. . . and it did. We canned nectarines this week.  {We also made blueberry jam for B4}

We will not do a raw pack next time. We did not get all the air bubbles out of them. But they taste so yummy blended in the blender with a container of plain yogurt.

We also dehydrated more zucchini . . .

. . . and harvested our first buttercup squash. I baked it upside down in a pan with some water and then turned it over, filled it will butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Even Dylan {Mr. Won't Eat Veggies/Fruits} liked it! It should have been dessert instead of a side dish. =)

In the Scriptures:

I am doing my own version of the B90 challenge ~ using the Scriptures version from the Institute for Scripture Research. It is a literal translation with the restored name of God, and uses the Hebrew names.  Anyways, I was 13 days ahead in the challenge starting this school week and I am so glad because I only managed to read an average of 2 chapters a day this week putting me at day 65 of the readings on day 57 of the challenge (so still technically ahead where I need to be to feel that I can do this). Luke is on day 53 in the readings and is moving up fast behind me! Nathan is on day 30. =)


Looking at our "school room", I can see that there are still several things that I wanted to get done before school started, but they will get done soon enough and we still had a wonderful week of learning together. I am so blessed to be able to homeschool my children and appreciate every minute that I have with all of them ~ even when, especially when everything is not "perfect!"

Delightful Links:

The Feast of Trumpets {Ideas for Little Ones}

Kindergarten Morning Board

We started school this week! I did not think I was ready, had not finished organizing the school room (dining room), but finishing up this project was a huge motivator for me to just do it. (I debated waiting a week or two until I was "ready." Well, I figured life will go on no matter what, so we might as well jump in.) We have had a great week so far, so I am glad we did!

Here is how we are starting our day:

This is geared towards Malachi mostly. I started homeschooling when Dylan was in 5K (he is now in 5th grade). 


I made a calender for Dylan and Nathan (1st grade at the time) much like the one below:

I made this one on foam poster board (just like the Morning Board below) and added a border that I picked up from Dollar Tree. The apples came from Dollar Tree too ~ I wrote the number on with a thick Sharpie, laminated them and attached them with velcro dots. I made the days of the week and months cards and laminated them too. 

We follow the Biblical calender as well, so I included both. On months that we remember the Feast days, we will track the Biblical days on the calender with smaller numbers that I will make. (I'm thinking little worms with numbers on them would be so cute! and then I could place them in the upper right hand corner above the apple). I have until the 10th of next month to figure it out!

I also bought various borders and cards so I could change the calender periodically.

To help learn the days of the week, I sing the "Today Is" song in English, while I point to the day on the calender:

And then I added some Hebrew to the song.:

Today is - Hayom
Yom - day
Etmol - yesterday
Machar - tomorrow

Maybe we will add more Hebrew as we learn some more! 

I bought this apple pointer to go along with our apple themed calender. =) I use it to teach Malachi, and then he uses it to show me what he remembers. 

The Morning Board:

The idea and inspiration for the Morning Board comes from:
Check these sites for links to printables! 

I added a few of my own elements to the board ~ below the "Days in School" spot, I added plastic cups to hold ones, tens, and hundreds straws (little coffee straws). As soon as he gets to ten, I will add the tens cup. The ones are green, the tens are red and the hundred are blue. (I love the visual of this!)

I added a spot for Character Quality cards that I printed from Sarah's Sweeties (thanks to Jolanthe for the link!). Rather than printing them full size, I printed them 9 to a page. Each day, I let the little ones pick a new character quality. I read the card to them (the card includes the quality, the definition, and a Bible verse) and we talk as a family about how we can display that quality throughout the day.

Eliana does the weather (she checks the sky and then hangs the card while I sing the weather song), and Malachi does the temperature. I decided to not have him fill the thermometer in all the way because dry erase marker does not erase well on the laminated pages. 

I also added a "Let's Learn Hebrew" spot and a Telling Time spot. I will add Hebrew vocabulary words once we learn the Hebrew on the Board. I ask Malachi for the time in Hebrew, repeat in English, he looks at the time on the stove, then tells me the time (I say "the time is" in Hebrew ~ hasha'a ~ so he will learn) and then he sets the time on the clock. (He can read digital, but is learning to use an analog clock). We also count by fives to 60 on the clock each day so he will learn. 

Then below the Telling Time spot, I have a Signing Time spot labeled with Numbers, Letters, and Words. We are using Signing Time videos and flash cards to learn American Sign Language. We are all learning these.

Below the Calender and Morning Board, I have a rain gutter book shelf that is only for B4FIAR books that we are rowing and any accompanying books.

Next to this (just in case you were wondering), is our All About Spelling white board.

Right after Calender and Morning Board time, Malachi does his 5K work.  Then we do B4FIAR while the older boys do their independent work. This works great because the younger two are content to play afterwards while I do school with the boys. 

I am not usually a "routine person," but I am loving our morning routine and it has gotten us off to a great start this week.

Have a preschooler? See our Preschool Morning Board!

The Big Green Pocketbook {Before FI♥AR}

In The Big Green Pocketbook,a little girl takes a bus ride to town with her mom to run errands. She brings along a big, green pocketbook and fills it with memories of her morning.

Make a Memory:

Since we don't have a regular city bus, we took a "bus" ride on the "Big Green Trolly" ~ a trolly car "bus" that operates in the Summer for local transportation and historic tours of our town.

I laminated the green pocket book that I printed from Homeschool Share, punched holes for a lacing activity and then brought all the items the little girl collected to put in the purse. I read her the story on the trolly and gave her each item as we got to it in the story. (She loved this!) I even brought along a few surprises like a yellow and purple (organic) sucker for each child ("one for now and one for later"). =)

Waiting for the trolley ~ everyone wanted to go!

Here comes the Trolley!

All aboard ~ 

They sat at the very back for awhile and then wanted to be by the big, open window. 

Mali and Elli were so surprised to drive past our house. =) They had never noticed the trolley drive by before. Now they see it all the time (it drives by every hour) and each time they think it is a different trolly (ha ha), even though I've tried to convince them that it is the same trolley we rode.

We rode past an original trolley car at the museum.

The trolley ride was one hour long and the older boys got a historic tour of our area (community history!). Afterwards, we ran our errands in our own vehicle.

We tried to go to similar places in the book for fun, but ran some real errands too.

We went to the candy store and bought Pop a treat:
We passed by a jewelry store on the way:

Made a special stop for ice cream ("just like in the book" as my kids said). . .

. . . then stopped at the grocery store to pick up some limes. I had Eliana do all the shopping for me ~ she loved it! (I had to put the limes within her reach). 

It was such a fun and memorable morning. =)

Lap Journal and Activities:

Make the Color Green:

We mixed blue and yellow powdered tempera and added water to make green paint. 

Lollipop Activities from Home Grown Hearts:

Lollipop math ~ recognizing numbers 1-10, patterning, and a puzzle. 

Tracing the Letter L:

Ice Cream Cone Math:

I printed these from HSS. They painted their ice cream scoops, I labeled them 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. and had them put the scoops in order. 

My Box of Crayons:

(The little girl gets a box of crayon in the story).

Another printable from HSS (see link below). 

Do-it-Yourself Chalkboard:

This project was inspired from Part Two of the Before Five in a Row manual: the "Parent's Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness." 

The manual suggested that the board be "as large as you can afford in terms of both space and cost." So, we turned our Make-Your-Own White Board into a chalk board. The thrifty panel we used was getting old (it lasted us 3 years!) but it was time to replace it. 

We painted the surface (smooth side) with chalkboard paint (about 3 or 4 coats), followed the instructions to prime the surface (I am not sure the good it did because as soon as we did I wiped it clean with a wet rag), grabbed a piece of chalk and started creating! 

"A chalkboard is a lot like blocks in the sense that it stimulates use of the imagination, provides large and small motor exercise, and grows with your child with need of any monitoring on your part. . . chalkboards, like blocks and boxes grow with your child for years to come." ~ Lambert, p. 138 

Delightful Links: