Archive for November, 2009

Science For Christmas??

November 28, 2009
What do Diet Coke and Mentos have in common?

Watch this video and find out!

NOTE the 24 second mark or you’ll miss the action!!
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I keep raving about how much my little boy is all over anything hands on. He wants project books for Christmas. He begs to look up project ideas online. He won’t let me check out picture books from the library anymore!

Well guess what?
I’ve found the perfect gift idea for my little science geek.

Review: Steve Spangler Science Kits
Price: $4.95 – $19.95 and up
Size: Small… from test tubes to small canisters to 4″x5″ boxes
Mess Factor: can be high, but with supervision nothing 5yrolds can’t handle

PhotobucketAha Factor: What’s NOT surprising and fun here? A Diet Coke Bottle Eruption!!? The teeny tiny frog robot kit (Robotikits) worked great! And look how cute this is? Hop Hop Hop… we found out it doesn’t work through windows only outside. Great observations to be made.

robotikits Frog solar powered steve spangler

robotikits steve spangler science

Something else we loved playing with was the ‘Insta Snow‘. Talk about fun to watch, fun to play with and if you put it in a big enough bowl it wasn’t messy either. And hey if you order any product today from you get a container of Fake Snow free!

The last thing we had a ball playing with were the test tubes full of growing polymer experiments. From color changing beads to growing orbs, to a tiny alligater that GROWS! All with instructions and explanations and ideas for how to chart your ‘projects’. Was my little boy in Heaven?? OH YEAH.

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: The frog kit was seriously hard to put together. Partly because the parts were so small. The instructions were good, but no way even my 12yrold could have done this kit. Plus there were no extra parts, and at one point we lost a little screw… had to use a magnet to find it! (extra science lesson there huh?) The rest of our experments were easy and fast and though slightly messy, FUN for my kids!

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PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think the experiments are priced well. You do have to go buy your own Diet Coke, but the Mentos and tube are provided and $5 is a great stocking stuffer price. The frog solar robot is $14 and so far still working and entertaining us. The Insta-Snow is $10 for a small container but it’s big enough for a LOT of fun, and perfect for stocking stuffing too!

PhotobucketWho is Steve Spanger?
Nobody has more fun teaching science than Steve Spangler. He earned his credentials as a science author, teacher, professional speaker, toy designer and an Emmy award-winning television personality. But, he remains a big kid at heart as he teaches people how to launch potatoes, whip up the perfect batch of slime and turn an ordinary bottle of soda into an erupting geyser of fun. His best-selling science kits and educational toys help to get kids excited about science at home…. (and he) demonstrate his true passion for making learning fun. — website

Disclosure: Product provided by

Wanna Win $250?

November 27, 2009

Teaser Alert!
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I’m excited to share something with you…

Next week I get to be one of the hosts of ToyTuesday!

12 bloggers are giving away $250 gift cards each day leading up to the big shopping discount Tuesday Dec. 8th…


You can enter every day, starting NOW!
Check the blogs listed on the website to see where to enter each day…

Or Tweet me and I’ll let you know where to enter each day!

Find out who’s up for the big give TODAY over at… hurry each giveaway is only up for 1 day!

BillMeLater is the amazing company behind the Giveaways…

#Tweetsgiving Starts Today!!

November 24, 2009

Random Photos of my Random Gratitude.
What are you Grateful for?
Share and Care with the #TWEETSGIVING crowd!!

Pumpkin Cheesecake courtesy of CandHSugar
Oh my freaking yummy…
minus the bourbon and the topping… oh well!

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Learning how to use the Aperture setting on my camera.
I LOVE this crap!
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I kid you not. She created this whole outfit for ‘Pilgrim Day’.
By HERself. She amazes me everyday with her creativity.
When she asked me if we had any ‘pilgrim’ stuff.. I was all,
“Um no? Sorry sweetie?” —she showed me huh?!

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And the 12yrold’s birthday cake. An iPod of course.
We thought about making a book, but this seemed WAY easier!

Come play #Tweetsgiving with me today and tomorrow! Tweet your ‘tude, flickr tag it, facebook it. Whatever!! Learn more at

This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. The celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change, is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. I hope you’ll visit the TweetsGiving site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful.

To view the group wire:
To view the group home:
To view JohnHaydon-12for12K’s profile page:

Kid Science Projects

November 22, 2009
My little boy LOVES the library.

Shocker huh? I’m sure a lot of little boys love the library. My girls certainly still do. But the thing is: He never leaves the little kid NON-fiction area.


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He calls it the ‘projects’ area.
And we nearly have the whole section memorized. Rocks and Mineral books are over here on the right. The planet and space books are up there on the left. The Monster Truck drawing books are down at the end. But oh my goodness the ones we MUST have, as in have checked out twice and thrice and more? They are right there in the middle. THE PROJECT BOOKS.


He is in love with anything science. He doesn’t allow me to check out picture books for him anymore. Our most recent trip scored 2 Magic School Bus Videos and possibly one of the best ‘project’ books we have yet to find. Gizmos and Gadgets! (Translation, the projects inside are easy to do, short lived and work with literally the household items we have on hand at home…) I hate when a project includes: run to the store buy $14 of weird stuff you will never use again, go home & make a huge messy project, ending with mom turning into a monster at the end of the day.

Two of our favorite projects from this book are: Creating a sling shot airplane (above) and a Friction Robot (see the video)!

My Friend Barb showed me the wonder of Steve Spangler Science Kits… And YAY! Can you say 5yrold HEAVEN (Or Christmas presents and stocking stuffers!) I’ll show some of the kits next week…

Thanksgiving With Joshua Bell

November 21, 2009
I’m Thankful for…

PhotobucketPeople who are building homes and remodeling. Why? Because they are keeping my husband in a job and therefore keeping our family warm.

Photobucket20 year olds who make the decision to go to college and become school teachers… even though they know the salary sucks, and benefits are getting worse. Why? Because they are teaching my children and sharing their dreams with mine.

PhotobucketA country of freedom, where immigrants are welcome. Why? Because my great-great grandparents didn’t grow up in this country… instead they immigrated here and I DID.

PhotobucketReligious bigotry in a country built on Religious Freedom. Why? Because the founders of my religion were likely made stronger as they were forced from their homes, banded together and eventually walked across the plains to create a new home. In the process deepening and solidifying their own beliefs, laying the foundations and organization of which my family is benefiting.

PhotobucketAll the changes and uprooting and moving during my married life. Why? Because I know literally hundreds of people all over the country I call Friend. Thank you for being part of our lives.

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May your life be filled with blessings and may you realize the story behind your blessings.

Here’s a Thanksgiving Treat for you.

joshua bell at home with friends violin music for Thanksgiving

If you click on the image above it will
open a pop up live streaming window!

Joshua Bell’s new album:
At Home With Friends

It’s great music for Thanksgiving Turkey Making!
The music is calm and moving and perfect for family time on a holiday.
(Plus, I am so in love with the Sting song…)
We will be putting up our Christmas Tree on Thanksgiving Day to this music.

When do you decorate?


Sony Music is offering one copy of Joshua Bell’s CD
to one GoodNCrazy reader!


REQUIRED: Please leave a comment…
Tell me at least one thing you are grateful for!

OPTIONAL: Click the tweet message below and share the giveaway with your friends! (Leave a second comment with your twitter time stamp)

Joshua Bell’s New CD is perfect for Thanksgiving! You can livestream it plus enter to win your own copy!

NOTE: Contest is closed.


Entries are due Thanksgiving day (November 26th) by 9PM PST. No purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be selected by me via You may enter your twitter option once per day. Entries are invalid if there is no email attached.
The winner will be notified and have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If no response is received within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to participants 18 years and older.

*disclosure: Sony Music provided a copy of Joshua Bell’s CD for my family.
*photo credit: yeragh

iVillage Has A New Look: New Launch!

November 20, 2009
Hands down the best part of the NEW launch of

The Food section!
iVillage new Food recipes

The recipe section will blow you away, easy to search, fabULous pictures, and the Kitchen View is perfect for grabbing the lap top and bringing it into your workspace! Another thing I really like is the TWIST feature. Check out this over-the-top WOW-factor Sweet Potato Ball Recipe? Note at the bottom of the recipe how someone has already uploaded their own twist on it?!

One more really cool thing is that they encourage your interaction and comments (they call them ‘Chimes‘). As in Chime in your thoughts here! You don’t even have to be signed in to join in -I mean Chime in.. Easy, Fast and MOM ready!

iVillage recipes sweet potato balls thanksgiving

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I searched the Food portion of the site with the word Thanksgiving. Here’s a sampling of what came up:

Wow look at this. A whole section of Thanksgiving how-to recipe VIDEOS!!

I was all over the Thanksgiving on a Dime Video, but check out these how-tos:

iVillage food recipes videos tutorials thanksgiving

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And what about leftovers?


31 Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers…

  • Corn Bread and Ham Muffins
  • Turkey Calzones
  • Turkey Tortilla Soup
  • Ginger and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Want to see the rest of the leftover list?
I know you do!

Regal Rose

November 18, 2009

The Last Rose
It snowed a bit.
An early cold, gray day.
I wondered if my pictures would do them justice.
They looked lonely and sad
hanging there in the mid-morn drab.

Yet kind of regal.

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winter rose


Thanksgiving 4-1-1

November 17, 2009

From my Foodie Friend Chris Perrin…
I have an announcement!
Wild Turkey in display.

This November 26th you have a job.
It’s Thanksgiving and for one day, it is your duty to stuff yourself silly with all the turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, and pies you can eat.

Thanksgiving Dinner Table

There’s only one problem. Someone has to cook it. Someone has to bake the turkey, make creamy mashed potatoes, stuff the stuffing, dress the dressing, fill the pies, and maybe pour a cocktail or two. Or ten, depending on your family.

If last year’s turkey turned out a little less then perfect, if you are bored with regular Thanksgiving fare and want to try something new, or if you are on the eve of making your first Thanksgiving dinner, then’s Thanksgiving 4-1-1 is for you!

PhotobucketTHIS THURSDAY EVENING 7PM Central!!
Email or DM Chris to be included!

It’s an hour long (maybe more) conference call about all things Thanksgiving cooking hosted by founder Chris Perrin. Best part: it’s free. Just dial in and ask away!

Also, all Thanksgiving 4-1-1 attendees can sign up for Thanksgiving 9-1-1, personalized consulting to get you through any Turkey Day challenge. Hurry, slots are filling up!

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Done Turkey!!!

I am giving my personal testimony of Chris’s long distance skillz. Last year I was part of his Thanksgiving Turkey Talk. Get this… He walked me through BRINING a Turkey! Not sure what that means… ? Then ask Chris… he’s the expert after all!

photo credit: flickr, flickr, flickr

Church Chat: Grace Defined

November 14, 2009

Fill in the Blank:

_____________ is a Virtue.
Here’s how my list sorted out.

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Charity
  • Humor
  • Trustworthyness
  • Forgiveness
  • Loyalty
  • Candor
  • Balance
  • Self-Respect

But recently I read an article about Grace, by Clyde Williams. Grace as a virtue. Hunhh? I hadn’t really thought about that. I’ve often thought about the word grace.

In the LDS religion we definitely believe in the version of Grace that generally means Christ’s loving sacrifice and Atonement, or Saving Grace. But we also believe that ‘Grace’ alone is not enough. We tend to emphasize the DOING part.

A scripture from the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture we believe to be another testament of Christ) says: “It is by Grace we are saved, AFTER all we can do.” Service, charity, our own humility…

Another definition of Grace is like the beautiful graceful dancer. Or one with proper etiquette. We joke when someone trips: ‘Way to go Grace!’

But Grace as a virtue kind of has me intrigued and confused.
This definition goes something like:

PhotobucketGrace is a sense of what is right and proper. It is a disposition to act with kindness, courtesy or clemency. —Webster online dictionary

So here’s my question:

Do you know someone like this? Someone who employs this kind of Grace? A person who Fills in the blank of their life with Virtues?

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Deep Thought Time.
I kind of think it’s a bit like comparing the word Smart vs Wisdom.
Is a smart person necessarily one of wisdom?

How about:
(Insert virtue here) vs Grace.

Is a kind person gracious? A courageous person, or patient, or honest….
Talk amongst yourselves.

Reusies: Re-use Reduce Recycle!

November 13, 2009

Review: Reusies Fabric Sandwich Baggy
Price: $8.75 (save 10% when you buy 3)
Size: 7.5″x6″
Exactly what it looks like! A fabric reusable sandwich bag. Can you say a green baggy?
(I mean orange… )
PhotobucketAha Factor: I stopped using any sort of throw away plastic in my kids’ lunch bags 2 years ago. But the bulky hard plastic sandwich containers take up a lot of room, leaving no space for the carrots and apples and such… I love that these fit in more spaces. And the AHA! part is that you can use the sandwich size Reusie for only a half a PB&J, it folds down over the whole thing and wraps to the extra piece of velcro on the back! (Bonus for my 5yrold.)

Plus you can throw the baggy in the dishwasher or clothes washer to clean after use. I know it seems like a fabric baggy would let the sandwich dry out.. but so far no complaints from the munchkins!

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PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: From a seamstress perspective, these are pretty basic in design, should be easy to make your own? But from a mom of three, keeping up with everything perspective, how nice to have a few of these on hand as gifts to give??

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I’d have to go with feeling like these are a bit expensive. I’m wondering if they could bundle 3 or 6 up for a bit of a discount on the current pricing? I think I would be more likely to pay $12 for 3 or 4? What do you think?

PhotobucketReUsies™ are a re-usable alternative to sandwich/snack bags, each one has the potential to eliminate hundreds of plastic bags. ReUsies™ are 100% cotton lined with leak-resistant nylon and are secured with Velcro® closures. -from website
Disclosure: Product provided by as part of campaign.