King Tut… and an electrical shock

The Saint Louis Science Center has an amazing exhibit… King Tut!

We all enjoyed looking at replicas of the great Pharaoh’s tomb! Each station had a recording to listen to that explained the artifact. (Very interesting… a bit long for the two squirrely boys.)


After the King Tut exhibit, the kids played at the Science Center…

When we realized there was going to be an electricity class- we excitingly went to the free classroom to participate!

Edison was the first volunteer…

he touched the “magic static electricity ball” and got “a hair raising experience”!

The best part (according to Eddie) was when he got to shock me (at the end of the video…). 😳

Me getting a shock!
Eli volunteered also – he was able to light up a lightbulb with the extra electrons!

After the show was over, Andre wanted his hair to be raised too! 

The instructor also let him shock his siblings!!

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Making elderberry syrup… burning my smudge sticks and going raw for a month

What a beautiful morning it was today!

The weather was cloudy and cool so the windows were open and the kids were working on their school assignments (with the help of a bribe… hot chocolate!


I enjoyed a tart glass of kombucha tea with infused blueberries!

Elderberry Syrup

This morning I decided to make someelderberry syrup. 

I boiled and simmered elderberries for an immune-boosting tonic!


I got the recipe from the Wellness Mama. Basically it’s just elderberries, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, water, and honey!

Well- while the berries were boiling, the kids kept asking what the smell was and why was I making something so stinky!

I even found them covering their nose with their shirts and bandannas!


I thought it smelled amazing – sweet and spicy!

After the berries simmered for an hour, I strained the juice…

 … added honey 


… and then gave the kids their first dose (about a teaspoon).

They over-reacted about having to take it- but they decided it wasn’t too terrible!!

If we take a teaspoon a day, hopefully the doubled recipe will last a month… so I just need to make this a few times this flu season and pray for good health!!!

Burning smudge sticks 

I decided to smell test the smudge sticks I made a month ago- I mean why not- the kids were already complaining! πŸ˜†

And… The kids didn’t like these smells either LOL!

I think they all had a grass burning kind of smell- which I liked… it made me think of being outside in the fall when someone was burning leaves. I will say burning basil is quite slinky!!

However- the kids’ amazing swim coach gave me two bundles of dried lavender to burn… and let me tell you… that smelled good!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œπŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

Raw Food

When it comes to food- I feel like a spoiled child in a candy shop except I’m an adult – at home- eating all the ice cream!

I have to stop bad habits!

I want to reset my tastebuds and cravings!

I want to fuel my body with amazing food!

I’ve been slowly easing into a full raw diet, starting with fruit for breakfast and veggies for lunch… but I’m making the commitment to go full raw for 30 days!

I got a surprise this morning when I cut into my snack… a beautiful yellow pepper…


…see the little guy? I was a bit startled… but then I just cut the piece off with him on it and tossed it outside! Good luck little guy LOL

So if that’s a sign for how this month is going to go… I’m ready! This is going to be fun and challenging!! πŸ˜‰

 πŸΆ 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢


I also am committing to walking our dog Daisy everyday for the next 30 days. 

I was immediately put to the test today-  we ended up having to walk her in a thunderstorm! β˜”οΈ which was actually fun and enjoyable and just a little damp!!

Monarch taggingΒ 

We got to be citizen scientists today! 


We went to The Weldon Springs Interpretive Center where we learned how to catch a butterfly so it can be tagged!


Edison caught the first butterfly… in fact he caught two at once!



Simone was overjoyed when she finally caught her butterfly!!



Andre was sneaky and quiet which helped him catch his butterflies.



Eli caught an imposter butterfly (one that mimics the monarch) which he thought was exciting!


But when he caught a monarch, Eli was very proud!!



I was ecstatic when I caught a monarch! It was a thrill knowing it would be flying all the way to Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½!!!



We even got to see a monarch caterpillar in the wild!!!  πŸ› 

Craft fair

Simone had been busy all summer making Shrinky Dink Jewelry – necklaces and earrings…

… and today was the big day- where she sold her creations at a craft fair!


She designed all her jewelry… some earrings she drew free-hand like the emoji’s and PokΓ©mon, others she traced like the Mickey and Minnie combo!


She hung the earrings on an old chicken-coop gate!

The necklaces varied from flowers, to ice cream to super hero logos!


Simone’s hard work paid off as she made about $20!! πŸ€‘

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The boys wanted to get in on the money-making… so they did magic tricks for tips!



They made almost $10 in tips!!!

And now I am exhausted… and the kids have money burning a hole in their pockets LOL!!

Bird banding and bird releasing!

We went to the World Bird Sanctuary this morning for a bird banding demonstration.


Nets were put up this morning near bird feeders to catch song birds. 

We saw a cardinal and a mourning dove get caught.


The net doesn’t hurt the bird… here’s the cardinal in the net…

Then the bird is checked out and certain info is recorded. Wing measurement, sex identified (or not), age (hatchling or older), molting or not, and weight.


 The bird is banded with a number… its an aluminum band- except for the cardinals who can crimp the soft metal… they get steel!


We watched as the birds were examined! They gave the young cardinal a coffee stirrer to bite on because otherwise he was looking for fingers to chew on!



The real highlight was being able to hold and release the birds!!!

Simone releasing a Chickadee…

Edison releasing a Tufted Titmouse…

Andre and Eli releasing a Tufted Titmouse…

Me… releasing a cardinal…

This was such a great hands-on experience to watch scientists studying nature!

The kids LOVED it… and so did I!

πŸ˜„ πŸ¦πŸ˜„πŸ¦πŸ˜„πŸ¦πŸ˜„πŸ¦


Smudge sticks… incense from herbs 🌿 

Smudge stick (according to Wikipedia):

A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs, often bound with string and usually rather small. The herbs are later burned as part of a ceremony or ritual. 


(I plan on burning mine while meditating and praying, studying for my ASL classes and  cleaning the house. I would like to light candles to set the mood and to give off good scents but I don’t trust what’s in candles… I think using organic plants is a much better option!)

I’ve been wanting to make smudge sticks all summer but I was intimidated.  

What if I did it wrong and wasted a bunch of herbs? 

I was also overwhelmed with the choices.

Which plant should I use? How many? Should I combine them? What if it smells bad together? What if it smells great together but I did it wrong and wasted the plants?

You get the picture… I was overthinking the process and procrastinating!

Since Josh was off yesterday, I asked him to help me… so he Googled it and walked me through the process 😍 it was quite romantic 😘


My first smudge stick ever made… mint! (Because we have an over abundance and it smells amazing!!)

Making smudge sticks is so easy!! I need to say I haven’t burned one yet so… that will be another experience! 

I’ll show you how to make one (or more) but we have to wait about 7 days for them to dry out. So in a week I’ll post about burning a smudge stick because I’m quite curious how it’ll work.

🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿

Now go cut some herbs! 

  • Some common garden varieties… Mint, Sage, Basil, lemon grass, Rosemary, Oregano, Catmint, Lavender…

I’m going to demonstrate making a smudge stick with Rosemary and catmint.

I’m choosing Rosemary because it improves memory! I plan to burn this while I’m practicing my ASL!



I’m choosing to pair it with catmint because I have lots of it, it smells sweet, and it has calming qualities!


1. Cut some stems off your plant. 

(Tiger 🐱 discovered the catmint immediately!)


2. Trim the stems to be around 7 inches. I’ve got about 12 catmint stems and one Rosemary.


3. Cut some hemp twine and tie a knot around the bottom of your bundle. The hemp length is about 4x as long as the stems.


4. Wrap the twine up and down the bundle… ending with another knot.


5. Let it dry for 7 days before lighting it!

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

…post to be continued next week when we light it!! πŸ”₯ 


Kombucha vinegar toilet bowl cleaner 🚽 

I was gifted some kombucha tea that had been brewed waaaay too long and it had turned into kombucha vinegar.

And boy did it stink to high heaven!


I didn’t want to just throw out the vinegar, so I decided to try to use it as a cleaner…

I strained the vinegar –


– And put it into a spray bottle! I also added some germ-fighter (aka thieves) essential oil into it for two reasons… to make it antibacterial and to smell better! πŸ˜†


I tried it as a window cleaner… fail.

I couldn’t bring myself to use it in the kitchen because the STRONG vinegar smell is quite unpleasant!


So I thought, “what’s worse then a vinegar smell… oh I know, the only working toilet in the house! (Remember our other bathroom is being worked on!)

I’ll spare you the pictures of our tiny downstairs bathroom 🚽 but let’s just say- the kombucha vinegar cleaned it very well and cut through the stinky bathroom smell!

I found a natural solution that actually leaves the bathroom smelling… well not like a bathroom! 😊

πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

Brewing my own Kombucha Tea 

I’ve made kombucha tea in the past- but wasn’t currently brewing any. I was super excited to get a healthy scoby to make my own tea!

  • First I brewed black tea and green tea- 5 bags of each with 1 cup of sugar. (You could brew the teas together, I jut didn’t have another large jar to do it it)

  • I combined the teas into a glass jar, and after it cooled I dropped in the scoby along with some “mother”.
  • “Mother” is original tea/vinegar 

 

  • I ended up pouring some tea into a smaller bottle with a piece of the scoby so I can ferment it longer to make more vinegar!
  • Finally I tied a dishcloth over the top

Now I wait!

I will put them in the pantry and wait…

… about 2 weeks for the tea and a month for the vinegar!


The eclipse and other August happenings

The month of August has been BUSY and I haven’t blogged much- so I’m going to cram this post full of things we’ve done!

🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺🌸🌺

We drove two hours to Fulton Mo to watch the eclipse… and it was sooooo worth it!

The anticipation was fun- watching the shadow cross the sun… and when we got totality- we were clapping and cheering LOL!! Spending the eclipse with my family was so special- definitely a homeschool perk!

πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

I saw a blue heron while walking my puppy-dog!


🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰

Clover is HUGE and needed to be moved from Simone’s room to outside. Simone helped put together a bunny hutch with some power tools!

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Clover loves his new home!

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Simone learned some carpentry skills and got power tool experience through Girl Scouts! She helped build a compost for the church where the meetings are held.


β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️β›ͺ️

We joined a new church – Simone stood on  her tippy toes so she would be taller then me in our “new member” picture! πŸ˜†

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The kids got haircuts!


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I started my ASL classes… I was super nervous- but my fellow students and teachers are awesome!

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The biggest thing happening around the house is we are getting a bathroom remodel! There was a leak that could only be fixed with a total pipe replacement which meant getting into the walls which meant tearing out the tile! 😳

Just a few more days and the bathroom will be finished!!!

Then I’ll show all the before and after pictures!! 😊😊😊😊

🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱

I’ll end this post with adorable cat pictures! We love our Tiger!



Hummingbird: Sir Falcon Fighter

Journal entry #2


We walked out the front door – and saw a battle in the sky!

A hummingbird was flying after a Prairie Falcon right overhead! The Falcon flew into our neighbor’s tree where the hummingbird continued to harass the Falcon- dive bombing it a few times before squeaking at it and flying away!!

Seeing a tiny hummingbird chase, dive bomb, and yell at a much larger Falcon was AMAZING! I quickly got my binoculars and watched the Falcon in the tree before he flew away!

I got my nature journal bag out of the car and immediately sketched the experience!

Eli was surprised at my drawing and he sang sweet praise to me 😍 and then he drew his own picture!

Today was full of surprises!! This morning while the boys were out fishing, I saw something else unusual!

Journal #3 

A moth flew into a spiderweb. I moved closer to watch… when a wasp flew at the spiderweb… snatched the moth and flew away! I had no idea wasps robbed spiderwebs!!


The wild is full of amazing surprises! ❀️️

Fishing success!! 🐟 

We went to another fishing class this evening and we had success!

Fishing is much more fun when you catch large fish!!




Andre caught the BIGGEST fish of the evening!!


This video shows just how heavy this fish was…

Andre’s video

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