Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Science Activity

We recently made alum "crystals"!  It was a very simple and enjoyable science project.

If you look really carefully, you can see the "crystal."

Rocks and alum "crystals."

If you are interested in making your own alum "crystals", you will need the following items...
  • Alum (at least 4 ounces, can be found at most drug stores)
  • Two small glasses
  • A spoon
  • Water
  • Pot or some way to heat some water
  • Thread
  • Two weights (we used washers)
  • A large plate
  • Dark paper (we used black construction paper)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Heat some water in a pot until hot, just before boiling.
  • Attach the thread to the weights. (the thread needs to be 2 1/2 times as long as the glasses are high)(Tie a weight to each end of the thread)
  • Pour the hot water into one of the glasses until halfway, mix in alum until you can't get anymore to dissolve.  You will know when you have reached that point when the water remains cloudy no matter how much you stir.
  • Let the mixture stand for a few minutes and the undissolved alum will settle to the bottom of the glass.  Once the solution in the glass is pretty clear, pour some of the liquid into the empty glass.  Be careful, it will still be pretty hot!  Pour as much as you can without disturbing the alum at the bottom of the glass.
  • Put your thread in the second glass and let stand undisturbed for several  hours.(One weight will be in the solution and the other will be outside the glass, on the plate)
  • After several hours observe the thread and you should find "crystals"!  (We put ours on the black paper with rocks, they showed up well that way)
Some options to consider are using sugar instead of alum, this will make edible rock candy!  You could also add food coloring!

*We found this experiment in the "Exploring Creation with 
General Science" book from Apologia.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas 2012

White Christmas
We had a really nice Christmas.  Christmas day was spent visiting and having dinner at our uncle and aunt's home.  The day after Christmas my Dad and brother came for a visit.  It was snowing a lot, we ended up getting over 8 inches.  I'm so glad they were able to come and visit!  We all enjoyed having them here.  The boys really enjoyed having their uncle play out in the snow with them!
Opening gifts


Dad with the blanket I crocheted for him. :)


New cologne!

My brother playing legos with my sons!

New coat!

Daddy holding the "baby"!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Road Not Taken


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.