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i am a stay-at-home mom living, learning and loving by the bay!I love to take pictures. I love to crochet cozy things for my family and friends.

April 24, 2009

drinking water from salt water

This is so easy and so fun! All you need is a sunny day, 3 cups of water, 1 1/2 tblspns of table salt, saran wrap, a coffe mug, large bowl, a spoon, and a small stone or two.

First, pour 3 cups of water into a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 tblspns of table salt and mix until dissolved completely.

Place the coffe mug in the center of the bowl, in the salt water, without getting any in the mug.
Next, cover the bowl with saran wrap. I placed a rubber band around the edge of the bowl to keep it sealed tight.

Now place the stones ( I used two small stones) on the saran wrap just above the coffee mug. This creates a point for the condensation to drip into the mug! Now all you have to do is wait! It takes several hours, but comeback from time to time to watch the condensation form on the saran wrap and start dripping.

Now it's time for the taste test! We all took a sip and were amazed by the fresh, clean, unsalty water! The kids really liked doing this. We have been talking about matter and how water changes from a liquid to a gas to a solid. Science is always a hit in this house!
We have been working on the Periodic Table, after finding that great book Lisa at 5 Orange Potatoes suggested we just had to, and today we are looking at Boron. We are going to make some homemade cleaners with Borax I found on The Artful Parent. There are some great body products on her site as well. We started spring cleaning yesterday (a little late, I know) so these cleaning products will really help a lot!!!

April 23, 2009

a change of plans

We decided to go out on our own yesterday and clean up our neighborhood!

Goose and Binky grabbed the litter-picker-uppers and we headed out.

We went around the block and down one more street and this is what we picked up! Pretty amazing that so much trash was on the streets. Cigarette butts topped the list of trash they picked up. When we got home they both made a list of all the things we found. Two passersby said "Thank you for cleaning our neighborhood!" We keep these tools in the car so the kids frequently pick up litter when we go to the park, etc.

Goose's poem
Everything is earthy.
Always love the earth.
Remember how our planet is great.
The earth is special in so many ways.
How do you treat the earth the right way?
Binky's poem
Yes, that does say "analysis." That was the word Binky came up with for the letter A. He said we need to do an analysis of how we are living on earth. :) That's my boy!

April 22, 2009

Purple Stripe Test

Goose and Binky tested for their purple stripes last night. They were a little nervous! But they practiced a lot and did a great job, even in the heat! After they receive one more purple stripe they will begin testing for a purple belt. Then we will be going three days a week! I am so proud of them for taking this test seriously and working so hard to get to this point. I love watching their focused little minds!

April 21, 2009

"It is frightfully difficult to know much about the fairies, and almost the only thing known for certain is that there are fairies wherever ther are children. Long ago children were forbidden the Gardens, and at that time there was not a fairy in the place; then the children were admitted, and the fairies came trooping in that very evening. They can't resist following the children, but you seldom see them, partly because they live in the daytime behind the railings, where you are not allowed to go, and also partly because they are so cunning. They are not a bit cunning after Lock-out, but until Lock-out, my word!"
"Lock-out Time"
from "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens"
by J.M. Barrie
We are having lots of fun with Periwinkle Fairy and Easter Gnome!! It's going to be 90 degrees today!!!!!!! And with Goose in a cast, no swimming with friends I'm afraid! I think if I wrap it up really well, we can run through the sprinklers, though. I was born and raised in Southern California, I grew up at the beach. But now, the older I get the more I really dislike 90 degree weather. The wonderful thing about spring in the Bay Area is the day to day changes in the weather. Tomorrow it will be in the 70s and by the weekend it will be in the 60s and raining!
Can't wait! Oh, yeah, tomorrow is Earth Day! We are cleaning up a local Berkeley park with our homeschooling charter and enjoying a locavore(locally grown food) potluck to celebrate!
How will you celebrate?

April 15, 2009

b e a u t y all a r o u n d

Gnomes and Faeries

This Easter Gnome and Periwinkle Fairy were in Goose's Easter Basket on Sunday. Aren't they sweet?! We just love them! I found them at The Magic Onions blog. She has an etsy shop and will even do custom orders. I posted a photo and link in my sidebar. I think we need to head out into the woods for some more faerie fun!

April 13, 2009

Academy of Science

Binky and I spent most of the day at the new Academy of Science in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It seems fourth time's the charm because we have tried 3 other times to get in! This is a picture from the "living roof." There are 9 different species of plants from strawberries to California poppies.
This is the Rainforest dome. We were not able to get inside. But I've heard it's pretty cool! It looks cool from the outside!

And this beauty is a Honeycomb Ray. Isn't he beautiful? I've never seen one before. They are so graceful!

Here is the albino alligator! The kids were in awe of this amazing creature!

We also really liked these "Upside-down Jellies."
I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the new museum. There used to be a whole lot more to see and touch. We had a good time, though, and Goose wants to come next time!

April 8, 2009

pink, sun and rain

Well, we finally got a cast put on that fractured arm. It turns out she has two bones with fractures! And the color of choice was pink this time. Last year it was purple. I'm hoping we don't complete the rainbow!!
Binky and I had a picnic the other day. It was so warm we had to be outside. We grabbed some books, some snacks and our solar radio. It was great to slow down and relax. And now it is raining!! Just when I bring out the shorts and sunscreen the rain reminds us that Spring is here and April showers bring May flowers!!

April 4, 2009

Drawing by Binky

Binky copied this Manga character from a drawing book he picked out at the library. He sat in his room for at least an hour drawing this guy. He was not interested in writing or drawing until he was 5 years old. But once he started he wouldn't stop! He can picture something in his mind and create it, either with paper and pencil or any other medium he can find! He did not get this from me!!:) Daddy is an excellent artist. I know I am his mom and everything, but I was so impressed with this drawing! Daddy is going to show him the basics for drawing figures. I love watching the two of them together. They are so alike... cute and creative!

April 2, 2009


Today we made fishbowls with conversating fish! We drew a fishbowl and colored in the sand, rocks, plants, coral and fish.

Then we painted over the bowl with blue watercolor paint.

I cut out some conversation bubbles and the kids filled in the conversation!

This is Goose's fishbowl. They are quite chatty little creatures!

This is Binky's. I love the electric eel, who says"Boy that's a shock!" So funny!
I am trying to come up with fun ways to get Binky writing. He does like to write, but it's always the same topic: Star Wars. Don't get me wrong, I like Star Wars! But I think we need to broaden our horizons a little.