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Snowflakes, Sparkles & What Makes YOU special!

It’s been winter here for months already, and it seems like all we get is plenty of wind and snow. The boys have been asking me what snowflakes are made of, how they are formed and what they look like up close, so I thought this was a perfect chance to teach them about God’s beautiful and unique creations 🙂

Snowflakes are symmetrical but they are not perfect.
They are ordered but they are created in disorder.
Every random branch, retells their history, that singular journey that they took to get here.
Most of all they are fleeting and temporary. 
Even if they look unique on the outside, inside they are all different!

It’s okay to be smart- Joe Hanson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUot7XSX8uA

I don’t know about you, but when I heard this, It really touched something inside of me!

A Little Bit of History

“Wilson (Willie) Bentley (1865-1931) was born on a farm in Jericho, Vermont, … [an area with] an average annual snowfall of over 120 inches.”
“At age 15 he began drawing snowflakes while looking at them through his microscope – no easy task, because most of them melted before he could complete a drawing. At age 16 he learned about a camera that could be used with a microscope. His parents saved the money and when Willie was 17 they bought him the camera. It took him over a year of failures before he finally achieved his goal – a photograph of a snowflake, the first one ever taken.” 
(Acts and Facts, 12/2011)

After a long time of studying, collecting and photographing snowflakes, Bentely eventually made thousands of pictures for magazines, universities and other forms of media.


“At age 66 Bentley published a large … book of his photographs titled Snow Crystals … Less than two weeks after his book was published, he walked six miles home in a snowstorm, caught pneumonia, and died two weeks later

Snowflake Bentley- Article

Lesson:

There Is No Explanation for the Universe Except That God Made It!

Bentley said:

“…wonders of God’s handiwork are to be found in the tiniest details of all He has made. One powerful example of this beauty is the intricate design of a snow crystal.”


Job 38 – God responded to Job by describing different aspects of creation that prove His right to control the universe.

Verse 22 asks: “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?”

Because we are not the creators of the universe, we have not right to control it! The stunning art, and beauty of snowflakes is just one of the many proofs that we have that God indeed, is the creator of our universe!

God Appreciates Beauty!


Bentley said: “Anyone who’s seen snowflakes under a microscope cannot help but be amazed by how beautifully complex they are.”


Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

All around us we see beautiful things! God’s creations are everywhere, and it’s easy to see the beauty of a fresh snowfall. But for thousands of years, nobody even knew that snow was beautiful! Nobody had ever observed under a microscope the individual snowflake, but God…He saw this beauty all along!

As we appreciate God’s beauty around us, we will begin to appreciate God Himself.

Are we not more important to God than a simple snowflake?!

If God spent so much time, creating something as simple as snow to be so beautiful, than how much time and love do you think he put into creating his most prized creation- His children?

YouTube Movies:

Activities

For our activities we cut out snowflakes together, as well as took the microscope outside to look at the snowflakes that we could find and try to identify their shapes! We also made snow candy to end up the day, because who doesn’t love a good treat at home?

Make Paper Snowflakes!

Here are some pretty printable patterns for snowflakes

Make Snow Candy!

Snow Candy Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS
Only 2 ingredients are needed to make maple snow candy.


– I use 1 cup of maple but you can double it. Just make sure you have enough snow ready.
– Fresh, clean snow. I like to use a rectangular pan with a 2-3 inch depth. Like a lasagna pan.


1.) first you fill the pan or pans with fresh Packed snow and set aside either outside or in freezer where it will stay cold.


2.) pour maple syrup into a 4 Qt. pan and heat gradually until syrup begins to boil. Make sure to adjust temp when it gets to a rolling boil so it doesn’t boil over.


3.) after a very short time on heat just low enough to keep it a rolling boil, the bubbles will begin to change both color and consistency. There is no need to stir at all but you must monitor constantly. Do not walk away and you will be rewarded!


4.) in the beginning it boils with a lot of large bubbles. It will be a light amber color.


If you use a thermometer then heat the syrup to about 234 degrees F. A higher heat will make a stiffer candy. I actually don’t use a thermometer. It’s how we did it growing up and you can too.


5.) as the hot syrup nears the candy stage, there will be fewer and fewer large bubbles and the mass will become more foamy in consistency.
Very quickly after this it should become uniform in consistency and the amber mass will take on a more glassy appearance. This means it is ready to pour – you have attained liquid candy!


6.) grab your pan(s) of snow. Pour the liquid in a thin stream onto the snow. Liquid is very hot so be careful!


Try not to pour too much on top of itself as it will be too thick.
The candy will cool very rapidly on the snow. The result will be a chewy, glassy looking taffy like candy.


You only need to wait 10-15 seconds as the snow will rapidly cool the candy. You can use your fingers or a fork to eat it.


7.) make sure to collect your candy out of the snow if you don’t eat it all right away. If you leave it in the snow too long it will begin to melt.

https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/maple-snow-candy/447094

Make Snowflake Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.

Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe-1914697

Conclusion

It was such a fun today! The kids used so much creativity in asking questions and making beautiful decorations for the windows. It was wonderful to be able to show that the same God who creates the million and billions of individual snowflakes is the same God that creates us! Thanks for joining us!

God, Galaxies & Socrates

So today the kids wanted to learn about galaxies. Since we’ve already spent a bunch of time studying Ancient Greece and Athens, I thought it would be a good time to introduce Socrates to them.

We found this great quote from Socrates, and it’s full size so you can print it out for your kids too 🙂

Lesson

A recent study by Australian astronomers says that there are 70 sextillion stars—that’s 7 followed by 22 zeros, or 70,000 million million million. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
Using two of the most powerful telescopes in the world, these scientists surveyed one strip of sky. Within the strip of sky some 10,000 galaxies were pinpointed and detailed measurements of their brightness taken to calculate how many stars they contained. That number was then multiplied by the number of similar sized strips needed to cover the entire sky and then multiplied again out to the edge of the visible universe.
Only God knows exactly how many stars there are. The Bible says “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4).
Say, if God can keep track of the names of 70 sextillion stars, don’t you think He can keep track of the details of your life as well? Thank Him today that He is bigger than any problem you face. Then go about your work trusting Him to guide you just as He guides the 70 sextillion stars in the sky.

https://www.guidelines.org/devotional/god-is-big-enough/

Videos to watch:

Who is Socrates?

(470–399 bc). Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher. He is respected as a brilliant thinker and teacher with a great thirst for knowledge. Along with two other Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato, Socrates is remembered for developing ideas and thoughts that led to the Western culture that exists today.

https://kids.britannica.com/kids/article/Socrates/476319

Socrates was born and lived nearly his entire life in Athens. His father Sophroniscus was a stonemason and his mother, Phaenarete, was a midwife. As a youth, he showed an appetite for learning. Plato describes him eagerly acquiring the writings of the leading contemporary philosopher Anaxagoras and says he was taught rhetoric by Aspasia, the talented mistress of the great Athenian leader Pericles.

Did you know? Although he never outright rejected the standard Athenian view of religion, Socrates’ beliefs were nonconformist. He often referred to God rather than the gods, and reported being guided by an inner divine voice.

https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/socrates

Many people believe that Socrates believed in only one true God, although his peers at that time believed in many different Gods.

Activities

I bought a dozen donuts from Walmart that were already pre-made. This made the activity a lot easier to do with kids!
Then we made our galaxies:
1. Melt the white chocolate wafers over hot water in a double boiler, until no lumps are visible

2. Drop in a few drops of food coloring

3. Take a skewer and drag the color around the chocolate

4. Dip a donut into the top of the chocolate.

Note: We found that in order to get that bright pretty, swirly pattern, we had to continually drop color into the chocolate before each dip.

5. Sprinkle with silver edible sparkles

6. Cool donut & Enjoy!

Watercolor Galaxy

I printed out these on cardstock at full size and let the kids watercolor the backgrounds in a galaxy- they turned out sooo pretty!

Conclusion

I am so glad that you guys stopped by to learn about God, Galaxies & Socrates with us! Send us a picture if you decide to make your own galaxy donuts!

Carbon Dioxide & The Bread of Life

Early this morning our little troop of students showed up to learn about Carbon Dioxide and Jesus- the Bread of Life.

Our newly baked loaf of bread was the perfect object to keep the kids interested

First we started by talking about different chemicals, & chemical reactions.

The kids blew into their bowls to see how big the bubbles could go

I gave them each an empty bowl and had the following ingredients available:

  • Hot Water
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Citric Acid
  • Straws

We took turns combining chemicals to see what the chemical reactions were with each one. These are some of the things we talked about:

WE ARE SCIENTISTS: During these activities we get to think and act like real scientists. We are going to compare things, ask questions and make observations using our senses.

BAKING SODA: Did you know? A long time ago people used baking soda to help their bread dough rise? They also used it just like we use soap today. Baking soda is used in lots of foods that we eat. It’s also used to clean space ships!

CITRIC ACID: Did you know that citric acid is a substance that is found in lots of fruits and vegetables. You can find it in lemons and oranges and other citrus foods. All acids taste sour, so if you were to taste citric acid it also would be sour. Citric acid is edible, and used in food, so that’s why it’s okay to taste it, but other acids can kill you or burn your throat if you taste them or EVEN TOUCH THEM!

CARBON DIOXIDE: The fizz that is created when we combine these items is called Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas found in our atmosphere. Its chemical formula is CO2, which means it is one carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms. It is a waste product in our bodies and is also produced by burning fossil fuels.

YEAST: Yeast is the thing that make bread dough rise. Yeast is alive all around us in the soil, in the plants and even in the air. Yeast needs sugar to feed it and warm water to make it wake up.

They got to choose several different elements and combine them together to see what they could make, or what chemical reactions they could observe.

So while we were mixing and talking about all these different things we also took a ziploc bag with warm water, some sugar and some yeast in it and sealed it. We wanted to see what was going to happen to our bag when the yeast ate the sugar.

Flat bag of yeast

We also started a loaf of bread. We talked about How Jesus is the Bread of Life. And it’s because of Him that we can be forgiven of our sins and become perfect like him.

The kids were HAVING SO MUCH FUN mixing their potions and learning from the science experiments. This part lasted at least an hour before I told them we need to clean up. Once we had, I put the bread in the oven and took the kids into the other room to watch some movies.

We watched THESE MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

After the bread had finished baking, we checked on our ziploc bag to see what had happened. This is what we found!

Our bag of yeast after one hour!

I explained that as the yeast ate the sugar, it created a gas which was carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide made the bag blow up and feel tight. I was going to throw it away, but of course the kids wanted to wait until it exploded on it’s own!

Once all our things were cleaned up we ate the bread and read stories in the sunshine!

Time to share the bread 🙂

Lions, Tigers, & Courage

Today’s lesson plan was all about Lions, Tigers, Daniel in the Lions Den & Courage! The boys were asking to learn about lions so I put together a fun day full of learning and activities.

When everyone arrived at the kitchen table for our home school class on lions I started by letting them color.

lion coloring pages for adults | Free Lion Coloring Pages | fun
I got this free lion coloring page HERE

After they were finished coloring I read some books I had picked up from the thrift store about lions and tigers. The kids always love it when I read to them.

Next they watched these movies on YouTube while I was busy getting everything else ready.

YouTube Movies About Lions & Tigers

After the kids had watched some YouTube movies and we discussed it together and it was the perfect introduction to faith, prayer and courage as we also discussed the story of Daniel in the Lions den.

Story of Daniel & Lions Den

The prophet Daniel was living under a King who didn’t respect God. Although the King liked Daniel, his advisor tricked the King into making a law made it so nobody could pray to their own God, but everyone had to only pray to the King.

Daniel was a righteous man who loved God very much. Although he respected the King, he didn’t follow the law to never pray. Daniel continued to pray each day as he had always done.

The punishment for disobeying the law was terrible.

Daniel was seen praying to God and so he was thrown into a den of live, hungry lions overnight.

The LORD saved Daniel and protected him from harm all night long.

The king was horrified that his friend was being thrown into the den, and he ran to the cave first thing in the morning the next day.

The next day everyone was amazed by the power of God.

Lesson about Courage & Faith

Just like Daniel, we can trust that Jesus will save those who follow him. No matter how bad the trouble, God has the power to save.

Daniel was COURAGEOUS when he went into the den of lions and he had a lot of FAITH!

What are some things we can do to have courage and faith like daniel?

Activities

No lesson is complete without a good activity. So the boys and I made Lion masks and then had a lion fight, which the kids thought was pretty amazing!

I got this picture for Free HERE:

I love teaching these eager, enthusiastic learners everyday 💗

Image may contain: 1 person

After we did the lion masks, I printed out this paper bag and the kids loved their lion puppets.

I got this lion from HERE
Image may contain: 1 person

I’m so glad that the boys wanted to learn about lions 🦁 today for school! It was the perfect introduction to faith, prayer and courage as we also discussed the story of Daniel in the Lions den. 💕

Today’s lesson plan was all about Lions, Tigers, & Courage.

Comment Below and tell me what you think!

xoxo

Beckyboo

4 Easy Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Easter With your Kids!

I love to celebrate Easter! It’s by far my favorite holiday of the year. But sometimes with all the world around us advertising chocolate, candy and bunnies my kids forget why we celebrate Easter.

So every year, I do a few things that keep us focused.

1. Read the Easter story from the scriptures:

The Last Supper 

Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-23

Judas Betrays Jesus

John 18:1-13, Luke 22:1-6, Luke 22:47-54, Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-50

Crucifixion of Jesus

Matthew 27:1-54, Mark 15:1-40, Luke 23:1-48, John 19:1-30

Resurrection of Jesus

Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20

2. Celebrate the Passover

On the Thursday before Good Friday our family gathers together with a few other families and have a passover meal. The meal is rich with symbolism and tells the story of Moses and Elijah and our Savior in a way that the kids can remember.

Here is a movie of this years passover meal:

3. Good Friday

Every Good Friday I wake up before the kids and take garbage bags to all the windows. I cover them and pull all the curtains and blinds. When the kids wake up the house is dark. Whenever we have guests and they ask ‘why are your windows dark?’ all my kids answer, ‘because without Jesus there is no light’. This easy and simple illustration costs no money, takes very little time, yet teaches a profound lesson. We leave our windows blacked out, even throughout the day until Easter Sunday.

4. Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is our favorite day! When Easter Sunday arrives I take off the blinds and turn back on the lights. It reminds us that with Jesus there is light!

The kids wake up to the the bright, beautiful sunshine. The table is set with our best dishes and pictures of Jesus displayed around the home. We usually have a basket or gift for each child. I like to include a book about Jesus, and a few eggs filled with treats for them to eat. I always leave one egg empty to remind them that on Easter Sunday the tomb was empty because He Has Risen!

Thats it, I’d love to hear what your favorite traditions for celebrating the true meaning of Easter are! XOXO
Becky Boo