Monday, September 17, 2012

Exploding bags

This one is a ton of fun - especially if you have boys (How they LOVE to destroy things!) It's our version of the baking soda and vinegar volcano that you get to watch working, make a pop, and without all that red dye. Once we got this one started, we had to do it about 8 times, so you may want to make extra!
Put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in 1/4 of a paper towel.

Fold the corners into the center of the baking soda and tuck in the edges.

Pour about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar into a zip top sandwich bag.
Add your baking soda packet, zip it up, and lie it on the ground.
The bag begins to expand.

This is the exciting part! It pops and spills the fizz.

Baking soda and vinegar react this way because the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda to form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid falls apart into carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles coming from the escaping carbon dioxide cause the fizzy reaction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pool Noodle Fun - Without the Pool!

Family Fun magazine has been a favorite around here for over 10 years. If you've never heard of it, you should check it out here. It's packed with all the kid stuff you could ever need. Before Pinterest, I had an entire 2" binder devoted solely to Family Fun articles, recipes, and activities. I'm now, slowly, moving those all over to Pinterest. This summer they had a great article about how to make outdoor games and obstacle courses with pool noodles.

I think my 17-year-old and I had as much fun with these as the little ones did. It was super easy and by buying the noodles at the dollar store, under $20. I wish we had been able to play with them more, but with the weather being so hot this summer, we were kind of an indoor bunch. I hope they stand up to the weather and that we can use them next summer.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Plastic bag painting

     I kept seeing this whole hair gel in plastic bag "painting" activity. It looked like fun. I figured my guys would love it. Not so much. I would have better off using the hair gunk on my head. These pictures are of the 2 minutes that it interested them.

Now, maybe it's just my boys and just this activity, but I have a feeling that lots of these 'amazing mom' blogs have lots of these failed experiments posted as great successes. Mom's just can't take themselves too seriously. This whole child-rearing thing, while having some constants, is really just a learning curve for everyone involved - parents most of all. And, as parents of multiple children will tell you, the rules change from season to season and child to child. Just when you think you have this whole parenting thing down pat, BAM! One of your kids are sure to drop a bomb on you. I like the way Rachael Jankovic puts into perspective motherhood in Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches (a read I HIGHLY recommend),
"God...threw me into the rock tumbler. Here it is not easy to feel godly, because we spend our days crashing into each other and actually getting our problems addressed. Here there is very little time for quiet reflection. I do a lot of on-the-job failure and correction. Repenting and forgiving. Laughing. Lots and lots of laughing. Because if there is anything that life in the rock tumbler will teach you, it is that there is no room to take yourself seriously. Like trying to strike "cool" poses on a rug that someone is continually pulling out from under you, self-seriousness in mothering is totally pointless and probably painful!"
 So, fail, laugh, get up, try again, laugh some more. It's a wild ride - blessed, tiring, hilarious, frustrating, and, ultimately, life-giving to your children, those around them, and you. Remember that, if you are a believer, the death to yourself is not the end. Look to the cross. Through death, comes life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY Vinyl Record Table

Inspired by this post over at The Flourishing Abode, I decided that I'd give a record table a go. I actually found the plant stand at Aldi, of all places for $6.99! A word of caution if you try this, be sure that your legs sit flush or below the plant pot ring. I found tons of tables that did not. I found the awesome record at the Goodwill for $1. I chose according to the cover, since I used it as a display. It was way too easy and we use the table all of the time. Not bad for eight bucks!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Creme Brulee Bunnies

I know this is a bit out of date, but, being a big fan of Pinterest, I figured I'd go ahead and post it, that way, if you wanted to save it, you could post it. I LOVE creme brulee - the crunchy caramelized  crust just makes it for me. I am, honestly, unsure of where I first heard about doing this, but, it is genius! If you stock up on peeps when they go on clearance after Easter, you can make creme brulee peeps by toasting them over a fire or make them into s'mores - like the picture shows. We actually did our under the broiler. They taste amazing!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pollock Painting

Did anybody else see that tumbleweed rolling through this blog? Yep. It's time to get those swept out. We love, love, the series Getting to know the world's greatest artists by Mike Venezia, so much so that I actually BOUGHT his books to have here at the house! That is a big deal for this penny pincher. So, when the book on Jackson Pollock arrived it was pure excitement around here. We mixed up some cornstarch paint, inspired by a post I saw over at Domestic Charm, and headed outside. Here is the ensuing mayhem.
You can't really tell, but they were dribbling a Pollock-esque painting on the driveway.

Let the slinging begin...

Wish you could see the "paint" more...

Then they kind of painted each other.

Then they kind of painted the van...wish I'd rolled the window up first!
Really it was a great time - clean up included and the boys remember who Jackson Pollock is so much more with adding in the activity!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dying in the moment

Have you ever had a period in your life when God was working on driving a particular point home? Of course, we should always be growing, maturing, but I'm talking about one of those times when you have the perfect storm, as it were, that opens your eyes to an issue you didn't really see as an issue. I've just had one of those. One of those moments in the rock tumbler, as Rachael Jankovic would call it. My ladies book study group is reading Elizabeth Elliot's Because He Loves Me. It's pushed me a little, but most of it I sort of took as, "I've heard all of this before." I suppose that's where it started. Then we covered women's roles in a sermon at church. That chipped away a bit more. Then I read this article from over at the Femina Girls blog. Ouch. I was getting poked in a sore spot that needs a lot of work.

                                          Woman and a child on a walk through a forest by State Library and Archives of Florida
Woman and a child on a walk through a forest, a photo by State Library and Archives of Florida on Flickr.

That sore spot has turned out to be quite a surprise for me. When women's roles are talked about, I'm right there with you. When loving your family comes up, I'm all over it. When I read or hear of the cruciform life, I couldn't agree more. But, what I've realized is that I've been lined up in the macro line and I've been simply ignoring the micro line. Let me explain. I get the big picture - the macro. Die to yourself. Love your husband and family. Serve them. Sure. Got it. I love God. I go to church. I had quit my job to stay at home, care for the house & my family's needs, and to home school. I bake and make crafts on top of all of that, for crying out loud! I mean, I get it. I was dying to myself. Now, you would think that a girl with a blog by the name of Eating Elephants (you bite at a time) would not have the problem of missing the trees for the forest, but I did. I wasn't striving to die in the moment.

I haven't been seeing my huffiness over the 3rd spilled cup of juice before 10am as sin. I haven't been considering my lack of self-control in staying on the computer "just 15 more minutes" as a problem. Most of all, I haven't been seeing the little people. My tone. My lack of compassion at times. My not treating childishness differently than willful disobedience. The effect has had dire consequences in those little hearts. That hurts.

God is gracious. Not only has He brought me to the place of recognizing this, but He has been patient with my disobedience. What a loving example. And He brings me here knowing that this is what is best. Knowing that in dying, I'll find a more abundant life. Well back to eating those elephants!