Constellation Crunchies

Found these star-shaped tater-tots at Target for 3 bucks and just had to put them to use. The boys had been drawing the basic outline of the 12 main Zodiac signs on index cards already so I had them copy their drawings using the star-tots and ketchup on a plate. Nothing like being able to eat your own homework!

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Friday’s Factoid 25 (by Titus, Joel and Nate)

This week we learned about galaxies like the Milky Way. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. Only spiral galaxies can support life and only on the outer arms. That is where our solar system is (Titus, 9 1/4).

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We learned about the different shapes of galaxies. We made our own galaxies with glitter and glue. Mine was a spiral galaxy and so was Ti’s. Nate’s was a barred spiral galaxy and Sam’s was an irregular galaxy. There are also elliptical galaxies but nobody made one of those (Joel, 7 1/20.
We made Sombrero Galaxies out of tortillas and beans and sour cream and cheese. Our friend Sei made one, too. Then we rolled them into burritos and ate them (Nate, almost 6!).

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Teacher’s Two-Cents (by Mom)
Great place for a messy project.

Great place for a messy project.

With a house full of boys I don’t have a whole lot of glitter in my life. So when I planned this galaxy project I thought we were safe doing it outside on the picnic table. All of you glitter veterans out there are probably laughing at my ignorance. That stuff is a true scientific wonder. The makers of germ warfare should use it as a model. I’ve never seen anything spread so quickly or so thoroughly onto and into every square inch of our persons and household. And showering doesn’t help either. It even showed up on the Sombrero Galaxies we made later. One of our neighbors joined us for that project. The boys taught their friend, Sei, all about galaxies and Sei’s mom gave them their Japanese lesson in return. A great trade off, I think. I started out teaching the boys German with plans to move onto Latin, because that’s what I knew. But the Lord moved us all onto an island in the middle of the Pacific and now they are learning Hawaiian and Japanese instead, two languages I know nothing about. I have no idea how God is planning on using these languages in their future but I’m sure He has something in mind! Oh, and by the time Sei and his mom left they had glitter on them, too.

Space Snacks

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Galactic Goody post so I thought I’d share one of our old favorites. When Target has these in-stock AND they are on sale I like to pick up these little space-themed goldfish crackers for a fun snack on the go. IMG_6428
We have also found a fun generic substitute at our local Longs/CVS pharmacy for almost half the price. Their box of crackers only consists of stars but we jazz it up a bit by adding our own “asteroids” (dried cranberries) and “orbits” (cheerios).
A quick astronomy-themed snack for a busy schoolday.IMG_5146

Friday’s Factoid 12 (from all of us!)

A Hawaiian Thanksgiving

On the morning of Thanksgiving we went down to the bay
and watched Daddy paddle with the crew.

Did some paddling of our own to start off Thanksgiving day
so we’d have big appetites for all that food.

Mom wrapped the turkey up in a big banana leaf,
while it cooked we went to church in Kona Town.

Then we set up pretty tables for our friends down on the beach
and ate there while we watched the sun go down.

This year we’re really thankful for our friends and family
and for all of you who read this blog each week!

Tsunamis, Star-gazing, and Celestial Soup

Arrived home early this morning after a tsunami evacuation pulled us out of our beds last night. Battled some pretty crazy traffic to get to a friend’s house were we camped out on her fourth floor balcony which happened to have a lovely view of the now deserted Kailua-Kona harbor. Also an even lovelier view of a beautifully full Hawaiian moon shimmering on some VERY CALM WATER. So yeah, false alarm. No tsunami, not even an over-sized ripple on our side of the island. But a sleepless night out-of-doors at least yielded some lovely star-gazing and two more constellations checked off our list. Our little adventure left us all pretty out-of-sorts today and in need of some soothing comfort-food. My boys’ all-time favorite soup is a home-made version of Italian Wedding Soup made from spinach, chicken, and those tiny Acini Pepe pasta balls. However, in keeping with our astronomy theme I substituted the pasta balls for Stelline Pasta Stars. That, and a long afternoon nap should have us back to our old-selves.

Celestial Soup Recipe

1. Boil your left-over $4.99 Costco rotisserie chicken carcass in 8 cups water till it falls apart and you have a nice chicken stock. Let cool then pick out ALL the bones leaving all the little chunks of chicken in the stock (a great job for little hands).
2. Boil 1/2 box of Stelline Pasta Stars (or Acini Pepe Pasta Balls) in 8 cups water, drain.
3. Add 1 cube chicken bullion, 1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg, 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
and the pasta to chicken stock and chicken.
4. Chop up and saute in 1 TBSP Olive oil a good sized bunch of Kale, spinach or chard with a little sea salt just till tender then add to everything else.
5. Add water to desired thinness. We like it thick rather than brothy.
6. Serve with baguette and butter or in this case Costco Parmesan bagel halves smeared with homemade macadamia nut and basil pesto topped with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella then toasted in oven till cheese bubbles. Yumm.

Countdown Cupcakes

In honor of this week’s SpaceX rocket launch (and my birthday) we made Countdown Cupcakes using a recipe I got from Aunt Lois, who called them “3,2,1 Cakes.”
So easy our pre-schooler made one himself!

Mix 1 box Angel Food cake-mix with 1 box any other cake-mix.
Now for the Countdown.

3…TBLSPs dry cake mix into microwave safe mug or ramekin.
2…TBLSPs water into same mug, stir
1…Minute in the microwave, top with canned frosting
Blast-off to Planet Yumminess!

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It’s Winter in Hawaii

Guess what? We woke up this morning and it was raining! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but I can literally count on one hand the times we’ve woken up to rain since moving here. Since we live leeward by the water our showers almost always come at night, though we might get a few sprinkles in the afternoon. So a cool, rainy morning is the closest we get to a blizzard and that makes it cause for celebration.
When we lived in the mountains and it snowed, I would always make Snowballs for breakfast (Aebelskivers covered in powdered sugar). We’ve done the same thing here on those rare rainy mornings like today. Only I was out of buttermilk and my favorite substitute, coconut milk, so we had to celebrate with Space Monkey Bread instead. I also added Flying Saucer Sausage Patties and Shooting Star Fruit to the menu. What makes Space Monkey Bread and Flying Saucer patties different from normal monkey bread and sausage patties? Just a heaping Tablespoon of imagination and cup overflowing with fun! Now hopefully it will clear up later for those solar experiments we’re supposed to be conducting today.

Blast-Off Breakfast

To celebrate the start of our astronomy themed school year we had a hearty breakfast of “Stars and Planets.” I made Aebelskivers (Danish pancake balls) sprinkled with star-dust (Trader Joe’s new cinnamon-sugar grinder) and sliced up some star fruit. Served it all up with some Hawaiian coconut syrup and guava jam and thanksgiving to God for His abundant provision.