Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Science Is Fun

Do you know what makes science fun? Vinegar. 

That's a little known fact. With enough eggs and vinegar you can pull together enough pictures and observation notes to create an excellent science fair project. You can also make your house smell really ... really ... really like a second grader's basketball uniform after it's been worn for both a practice and game on the same weekend without washing it. Also, if you stuff a dirty washcloth in the bottom of a laundry basket and forget about it for 5-7 days, it kinda smells like that, too. Anyway, they don't call it the smell fair.

Should you think the discomfort of preparation for this event was limited to an odiferous acid, let me also describe for you the contents of a birds' nest that we found in our yard and preserved for 8 months. Did you know, for instance, that baby birds actually crap all over the inside of the nest for approximately 30 days? As it turns out, 8 months in a sealed plastic bag turned that little bowl of sticks into a scientific marvel all its own replete with spiders. That my friends IS science.

I myself have never been a presenter or contestant in a science fair. That is why I am so particularly proud of these two. They had to go head-to-head with the judges. No mommies standing in the wings, no daddies helping with answers. Frankly, they really did know the concept of the scientific method and explained their hypothesis and conclusion on their own. The boys did it. They loved it. And they did great.  

I love this picture. Also, did I mention we tried to set fire to eggs? Mason wrote in his notes, "Burned Eggs Stink!" 
Here is Mason explaining his experiment to a friend. Read into his body language anything you want.  You are probably spot on.

The morning of science fair.

All I did was finance the poster boards, binders, folders, picture reprints, about a dozen eggs, two gallons of vinegar, and button-down shirts. Well, as long as we're patting ourselves on the back, I did a pretty good job as Mrs. Moneybags. Where's my medal? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Best Vacation Ever

Let's face it, our kids have a way of romanticizing family vacations to the point of unbelievability. But it's nice to bask in their superlatives. Our short sojourn to Steamboat Springs was a success, even if we didn't ski the slopes. 

At the close of our long weekend, Mason and I waited patiently in the warm car while Steve and The Coop ran inside to checkout of the condo and grab a donut. Mason murmured, "Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye." 

His voice was so sweet and on the verge of emotional and I asked him why he felt this was true. 

"Because I had so much fun." he explained. I reached back with my Amazonian arms and patted his knee then realized it was the leg that was hurting after a day of sledding and playing rough in the snow so I said, "I'm sorry your leg hurts."

He replied while blinking back tears, "Maybe it's sad to leave, too."

Some pictures from the trip: