Thursday, May 31, 2018

100 Days of Science #27-- Soil Samples

As part of my husband's job he often runs all sorts of tests on soil samples.  One day a few weeks ago he knew we were home and he asked if the boys would like to learn a bit about what he does so we met up with him at the shop and he showed them one of the tests he does. 

We started with a large bucket of soil.

We dumped the soil into a pan and weighed it.

Then we heated the soil up on a hot plate to cook all the water out of the soil.  We re-weighed the sample to see how much moisture had been trapped inside the sample.

Once the soil was all dried we put the entire sample into the top tin of a series of stacking tin; each with a progressively smaller and smaller weave to catch the various sized particles of stone, sand, and clay.

We put the lid on the stack and placed it into a machine that vibrates and shakes the stacks.  We set the timer and settled back to wait.

Once the timer went off we had to weigh each individual tin of the stack and after subtracting the weight of the tin we knew how much material we had of each size rock/ sand/ material.  We recorded our findings on a piece of paper with each size of stone.

The amount of 3/8" stone in our sample

The first number on the tin refers to the size of the stone and the second number is how much that tin weighs alone

It was really neat!

Others in this series:

2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 
3.  Learning About Air Molecules
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Virtual Refrigerator-- Fabric Covered Pots

Thanks for stopping by and joining us again this week as we host another virtual refrigerator arts and crafts link up.

Alec and I made some fabric covered terracotta pots last week. 

We found some cute fabric scraps at the craft store and rolled our pots out on them getting the basic shape we needed to cut.  We cut out all three fabrics while we had the scissors out. 

 We made sure our fabric pieces fit and then began slowly coating the pots with some waterproof Modge Podge that said it was "for all materials."

After we coated an area of the pot with Modge Podge we would pull the fabric tight over it and add another layer of Modge Podge on top of the fabirc; sealing it to the pot.

We tried really hard to make sure we kept it wrinkle free.

Once we had all the sides done we turned the pots upside down and coated the bottom of the pots with the Modge Podge before folding the fabric down around the edges, snipping any pieces of fabric we needed to with scissors to make sure it would lie flat.

We turned the post right side up and folded the fabric around the top rim of the pot again applying Modge Podge under and over the fabric.

We set our pots aside to dry for a couple of days and then filled them with some dirt and transferred some of our tickle plants into them.

Now without further ado I invite you to grab a "magnet" and link up your arts and crafts posts below and visit some other bloggers to see what they shared on their refrigerators.

Your art project doesn't need to be a stand alone post, nor does it need to be a tutorial.  We love day in the life posts or homeschooling wrap- ups that show art work too!  

So what do you have to share with us?

grab button for Homeschool Coffee Break
<div class="homeschool-coffee-break-button" style="width: 300px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="Homeschool Coffee Break" width="300" height="300" /> </a> </div>

Linking Up With:

Lucy At Home

What's Up Wednesday-- May Edition

I have stumbles upon many bloggers who participate in What's Up Wednesday and while I've always wanted to join in I am so awful about remembering to write my post.  This month I added it to my blogging calendar so I'd remember.  

Here is the list of questions if you'd like to join in:

Let's dive right in!

What We're Eating This Week:
Sunday:  We grilled chicken legs and served them with rice and Italian herb roasted zucchini
Monday:  We had pot roast with roasted potatoes and peas
Tuesday: We had BBQ pork ribs with couscous and Caesar salad
Wednesday: We're having tacos with salad (or in my case taco salad)
Thursday: We're planning on grilled kielbasa with egg noodles and corn
Friday: Homemade macaroni and cheese with salad (though I will be reworking our favorite recipe to make it a bit lower in calories so I can enjoy it too)
Saturday:  Baked fish, baked potatoes, and cole slaw with salad

What I'm Reminiscing About:
I was looking through the boys' scrapbooks for some photos of our one and only trip to Hershey Park when they were small as we're heading back there real soon and none of them remember much about it.  I can't believe it was 8 years ago (back before I was blogging so the pictures aren't the greatest as I'm taking a picture of a picture but look how tiny they were!).  

What I'm Loving:
Friendly's Black Raspberry Ice Cream Bars.  That mix of black raspberry ice cream with the crunchy milk chocolate coating.

What We've Been Up To:
We finished up our school last week so this week we're enjoying a more laid back summer vacation schedule.  We're spending lots of time hiking, with friends, and kayaking.  I even got the boys to try a few art projects with me.

What I'm Dreading:
Nothing really.  

What I'm Working On:
Our "new" gardens!  Over the long Memorial day weekend my husband, my boys, and I tackled a few of the gardens.  We pulled out all the old stone and weed blocking cloth before adding new cloth, a new plant or two and a new color of stone.  I just love them!  We'll continue working on switching over all the other gardens as time and funds allow.

What I'm Excited About:
I just can not wait for long, sunny, summer days.  I'm dreaming about days where the boys swim and I get to sit lakeside reading.  I'm excited about all the summer grilling foods, cookouts, and time spent with family. 

What I'm Watching/ Reading:
I FINALLY finished up Parenthood last week and am continuing to work my way through Grey's Anatomy.  I just finished up Come Sundown and am trying to finish up Match Making for Beginners.   You can read about ALL the books I read this month here.

What I'm Listening To:
My boys and I are currently listening to Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Book 2 in the Gregor the Overlander series) whenever we're all in the car together.  We often try to have a book or series going.  

What I'm Wearing:
Other than flip flops there has been nothing consistent in my wardrobe.  Saturday we had temps in the upper 80's/ low 90's and then Sunday morning temps hovered around 50.  Our weather has been crazy unpredictable like that all week but I pretty much wear flip flops no matter what the thermometer says. 

What I'm Doing this Weekend:
I'm hoping to catch up on my blogging before heading out on a quick family road trip! I've had two whole weekends in a row where I haven't even so much as touched my computer and while it was so nice to have a break it has made for very hectic weeks trying to catch up on all things bloggy.  

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
Our Trip to Hershey Park!  Now that my boys are old enough to ride most of the rides I think we're in for a real treat.

What Else is New:
Well, while working in the garden my husband taught both my youngest son and myself how to run the excavator.  I can honestly say I'm not that great at it but I had fun learning.  It's amazing how easy he makes it look and while I pride myself on multi- tasking I could not get the hang of trying to do three different things at once with the boom and bucket.   

Linking Up With: What's Up Wednesday, Dream, Create, Inspire,

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Love to Learn-- School's Out!

We finished up the last of our official lessons on Thursday and are enjoying an early summer vacation.  Of course, just because our lessons are done and our books are set aside that doesn't mean we aren't learning.

My boys are spending lots of time outside, we're kayaking, hiking, and biking.  We've hung out with friends and they're learning more self- help and life- skills.

Just this weekend, Alec learned how to use our mower and mowed the lawn while Evan got a lesson in using he excavator.  They both did great!

My boys are all still doing a bit of reading too!  Here is a list of all the books they've read this past month.  

What have you been up to?  I'd love to hear from you either in the comments or by linking up your own blog post!  Please join us!

Love to Learn blog hop | link up | linky | blogging | homeschooling | education | kids activities | kids craft ideas

Welcome to the Love to Learn Blog Hop

A collection of educational activities to instill a life long love of learning in our children.

Enjoy learning through play, nature, crafts, and many other educational activities.

Love to Learn blog hop | link up | linky | blogging | homeschooling | education | kids activities | kids craft ideas

This is a PIN-IT PARTY

Your hosts will pin our favorite posts to our Pinterest boards! I encourage you to do the same!


Follow your Host & Co-hosts

We work hard to share all your fantastic content! Click on our badges to follow on Pinterest or scroll down to the social media link up and follow on your favorite channels.

If you leave your link, comment and pin on at least two others.

Hosted by

Natural Parent Guide

Our Unschooling Journey Through Life

Natural Parent Guide Our Unschooling Journey Logo

Want to be a co-host?

email lmastilock(at)gmail(dot)com to co-host a future hop


Get seen by a wide audience of moms
(view Sponsor Page if interested!)

The link up is open all month long, with a new one

beginning the 1st Tuesday of every month.

Join at any time and even come back to add new posts.
    Grow blog followers, gain views and comments, and find other great blogs here.

Adding your link here grants permission for the host and co-hosts of this blog hop to feature any image from your linked post on our websites in a future blog hop. You also grant permission to be notified of future hops via email, which you can opt out of anytime.

Featured Favorite

The Best Family Read- Alouds by Stuffed Veggies

Grab the Blog Hop Button and Share the fun all month long!

Love to Learn blog hop
<div class="Love to Learn hop-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Love to Learn Blog hop Natural Parent Guide" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>
Thank you for Linking up to the Love to Learn blog hop!

get the InLinkz code
Linking Up With: