After much deliberating, thinking, boggled mind, etc. over the last about three months, I have final come to the conclusion of exactly what direction I want our homeschooling to go in. As soon as I said to myself “Self, this is what we should do” and I replied to myself “Self, we sure do come up with great ideas,” I felt such an immense relief. Details coming soon. Even though I have come to the conclusion of what I want to do, I do not have the exact plans thought out yet. But making that decision had to come first.


I think I have seen enough snow to last me 6 lifetimes. It is unusual for us to get a whole lot of snow at one time. This weekend was one of those times. Now it can all melt and we can move on with our lives and not see snow like this for another three or four dozen years.

Almost Christmas

How is that Christmas is a week from tomorrow? I am one who is usually all done and ready for Christmas by the end of October. Not this year. I haven’t even managed to buy Christmas cards, let alone send them out. I think people will be getting New Year’s Letters again (did that once before). I have some presents to get and make still, too. Time is just going by way too fast!

Learning to Read With the Scriptures

I’ve read before that missionaries who are struggling with the language are sometimes encouraged to help their learning along by reading the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon. There is a scene in The Other Side of Heaven (the movie and the book) where Elder Groberg did just that and afterward was able to speak the language.

My oldest son is not trying to learn to speak a foreign language, but he is trying to learn to read English. He reads a couple verses aloud at night when we read scriptures (currently New Testament) as a family. He is also trying his best to read his scriptures to himself. Neither are easy for an eight year old still struggling to learn to read at all.

But I’ve noticed something quite amazing. Since he started really trying to read his scriptures, his reading in general has improved greatly. I can totally see now why missionaries are sometimes given that advice. It really can work.

Christmas Movies Counting Down to Christmas Movies

During November I found evenings on ABC Family to be very odd. They were counting down to the 25 days of Christmas which is when they show Christmas movies (which apparently now includes Harry Potter) each evening. What was odd was while they were counting down to the 25 days of Christmas (which started December 1st), they were showing Christmas movies each evening.

So I’m not really sure why they were counting down. The only thing I can figure is they played older movies last month and are playing newer movies this month. Except that doesn’t hold true for everything. Regardless, we enjoyed the movies while they were counting down in November and we’re enjoying the movies during the 25 days of Christmas. Christmas movies just make me happy.

Fritz’s Favorites at 3 1/2

What’s your favorite color? blue
Favorite TV show? Dora
Favorite movie? Dora
Favorite person? Dora (see a pattern here?)
Favorite place? Tightrope
Favorite veggie? Carrots
Favorite thing to eat for dinner? Pizza
Favorite breakfast food? Pizza
Favorite fruit? Pizza
Favorite dessert/treat? Ice Cream, no pizza (see another pattern here?)
Favorite snack? Pizza
Favorite place to eat out/restaurant? Chuck E. Cheese’s
Favorite animal? Elephant
Favorite toy? Fishing ABCs
Favorite book? Nutcrackers
Favorite letter? O
Favorite number? 8

Diet Coke and Mentos

The Fall 2009 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a really great article on page 102 by Dr. Jay Wile detailing how to do a very complete experiment making soda fountains and a nice commentary on why it works. It just so happens that doing that experiment fits nicely with the science experiments we are in the process of doing so I decided to do it. It ended up being probably the best science experiment we have ever done!

First we did the control. We knew that Diet Coke and Mentos would produce a nice fountain. We’ve seen videos of people doing it, though we had never done it ourselves. The resulting fountain was quite a nice one.

Next we tried Mentos in cold Diet Coke. The resulting fountain was good, but not great.

Then we tried Mentos in regular Coke. The fountain was a little less than the cold Diet Coke.

Next we tried Mentos in Diet Dr. Pepper (or, rather, Diet Dr. Perky since Ani insisted on using the exactly correct name – it’s generic Diet Dr. Pepper). The fountain was better than the cold Diet Coke, but nowhere near as good as the room temperature Diet Coke.

Then we tried Mentos in regular Dr. Pepper. The resulting fountain was quite similar to the regular Coke.

Next we tried mint LifeSavers in Diet Coke. The fountain wasn’t impressive at all.

Next we put salt into Diet Coke. We were all surprised that it made a fountain, though it was a small one. The kids had tried the remaining soda for each of experiments and Cameron had even discovered the smaller fountains were great for leaning over and drinking right from the bottle. Even though they were varying degrees of flat, he enjoyed all of them. Drinking the fountain from the salt in Diet Coke bottle proved to be absolutely disgusting, however.

The little boys very much enjoyed watching the fountains. Adrian kept wanting to drop a rock into a bottle. After all, the big kids were putting something in them, so why shouldn’t he?

After we cleaned up, we sat down and talked about exactly why the experiments worked the way they did. The kids were fascinated. Finally, we went on youtube on the TV and watched a couple videos from