Archive for April, 2012

Instant Chocolate Cake

Spring is here! Hooray! We’ve had incredible weather this week and while it is raining here right now, I don’t feel the weight of the grey like I had been since I’ve gotten so much vitamin D this week. We’ve been working hard on the back yard and have de-thatched the lawn, pulled a lot of weeds, and I’m in the midst of digging up and resetting a stone pathway that had become completely covered in dirt. In gardening news, we have asparagus and kale ready to eat and our pea plants are thriving (if not producing yet). The apple tree and blueberry bushes are blooming. I have yet to dig up the garden beds, though. The other projects are taking up all of my spare time.

In chicken news, we have eggs! The girls are laying six days a week and are almost keeping up with Nancy’s insatiable love of all things egg. Both of the chickens are somewhat naughty and have been going into parts of the yard that they are not allowed, including my flower beds where they have been sunbathing (and dirt bathing, too).

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Clara has taken to collecting the eggs every day herself. The other day, she got an egg, and since it was dirty, she washed it and dried it in a towel. Then the towel became a nest and she played with the egg for a good twenty minutes and became super attached to her “special egg.” I bet you can guess what happenend. Her poor little egg fell and broke and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men and even Momma couldn’t put her “special egg” back together again. She was so upset.

What to do? We made a little chocolate cake out of her egg and then she was happy again. I googled a cake in a mug recipe and found the easiest cake recipe ever! Here it is if you want to try it.

Mix the following ingredients in a microwave proof mug:
1 egg
1/4 C. powdered sugar
2 Table. cocoa powder

Microwave for 50-60 seconds or until done.
Enjoy!

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Microwave Puffy Paint

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We had a very rainy spring break, thank you for asking.  It was almost ridiculous and one late afternoon amongst pouring rain, I broke out a fabulous activity that I found via Inner Child Fun, formerly Frugal Family Fun.
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During naptime, I mixed up three different colors of paint and put them into squirt bottles.  They actually lasted overnight and might have lasted longer if Clara hadn’t been obsessed with painting and used them all up.  I don’t keep self-rising flour in my house, as it seems silly, so I adapted the recipe as follows:

1 C. all purpose flour

1 C. salt

1 1/2 tea. baking powder

1 C. water

Food coloring

I mixed all of the ingredients except the food coloring together in a bowl until smooth .  Then I put a few drops of food coloring into each of my three squirt bottles and split the flour mixture among them using a funnel to control the mess.  Then I shook them up to distribute the color.

 
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After naps, we took all the paints and some white card stock over to the cousins’ house and we painted for the whole afternoon. I had the older kids draw their pictures first with pencil and then go over them with paint, while the little ones just squirted at will. This was a very interesting medium for them to use as they had to do at least think about negative space if they wanted pictures to show up–they couldn’t just fill everything in with paint.
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The best part was the puffing, though! After the pictures were painted, we popped them in the microwave for thirty second or so (depending on how much paint was on the paper) and they puffed up and dried immediately! Super cool effect and immediate gratification. I think all in all, we made at least forty pictures over two days. This was a huge hit! 

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Growing Science

You’ll recall (if you’re one of my ten readers) that I did a little tutorial on how to make a six-page book a couple of weeks ago and promised that I would show you how we used them recently.  So, here it is!

First we set up a little science experiment about growing seeds based on this fabulous pinterest pin and this blog entry from the Artful Child.  We talked about what we thought seeds needed to grow (sunshine, dirt, water, etc.) and then we placed wet paper towels on contact paper (you could use ziplock bags in this step instead), placed pea and sunflower seeds on the towels, then closed up the contact paper, labelled them, and carefully taped them with packing tape onto the window.  We made sure that the tape went all the way around so that no water leaked out of the seed packs.
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Then we talked about what a hypothesis is (thank you Dinosaur Train for teaching Clara this for me!) and came up with one about what would happen to our seeds.
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Then we drew pictures of what our seeds looked like at the beginning of the experiment.
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And we looked at them and drew them a few times before we took them down and planted them in our garden.
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Here’s what they looked like when we decided to plant them!
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We decided that while the plants did not make it “all the way to the top,” they were going to keep growing, so we would continue to check our hypothesis as they grow.