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July 26, 2010

How To Build A Solar Oven

Sometimes it's interesting what you can find via google! I came across how to build a solar oven a few weeks ago. I would give a link, but I couldn't find the original source I seen and after several hours of looking, we just decided to wing it from what I could remember. We knew we basically needed a box inside a box, the void between the boxes filled with shredded paper, and lots of aluminum foil!. The "original" designed I seen a few weeks ago had a funnel coming out of it. Seeing I couldn't remember exactly how to do that part, we just lined some poster paper with foil.

  • 2 large boxes (one must fit inside another)
  • aluminium foil
  • shredded paper
  • 2 large pieces of poster paper
  • turkey size oven bag
  • oven themometer
  • black pot to "cook" food in
  • several pieces of black construction paper
  • non toxic tape and non toxic glue
So the basic design is a box inside the box. The interior box is completely lined with aluminum foil. We used glue and tape to help secure the aluminum foil to the box. After it was completely lined with aluminum foil we placed black construction paper over the aluminum foil on the bottom of the interior box.  The void in between the interior box and the outer box was filled with shredded paper.  Be sure to place a inch or so of shredded paper in the bottom of the outer box, before placing the interior box inside it.

We then lined poster paper with aluminium foil. Again just like with the box we secured the foil to the poster paper with the aid of glue and tape.

The pieces together look something like this:

You'll notice that when we lined the interior box we made it go over the shredded paper and taped it to the outer box. You should also note the box under it that is helping to angle the box to face the sun. You want to angle in such a way that there is NO shadow inside the box where your pot will sit.

After the oven is made you just put a small oven safe pot (black or dark color is best) inside a oven bag. The bagged pot goes into the "oven". We also placed a oven thermometer inside the oven bag on the lid of the roaster pan we used. This was so we could see how hot it really got. We decided to test it first, before we tried to cook anything.

Within 10-15 minutes the oven thermometer was reading 200 degrees! Not quite hot enough to do a roast , but hot enough to heat up some hot dogs.

So I removed the pan with pot holders and placed some hot dogs inside.

I didn't remove the pan completely from the oven bag. Just the lid and thermometer. We slipped the hot dogs in, place the lid and thermometer back on, and twisted tied the oven bag closed.

The kids at first decided to sit and watch the oven.

However that only lasted about 5 minutes. They realized that it was really like watching a pot boil. It was no fun! So they asked me to let them know when it was done. Once we go the oven up to 200 again we left them for about 30 minutes. I know a microwave is so much faster, but this was fun! The hot dogs came out heated. They could have been left a little longer to be a little bit more hotter, but either way the kids enjoyed their solar cooked hot dogs for dinner.

NOTES: We may not have needed all the foil on the box, but in the original I seen the funnel didn't go all the way into the box. We just did that way because we used the poster paper. The poster paper on it's own wasn't strong enough to stay up. So we had to stick it into the box to help give it strength. The kids would also like to thank Oma and Grandpa for giving us the boxes we needed to to this project.

So this was our solar oven. Solar oven 1.0! LOL! We are are trying to figure out how to get it hotter! So there might be solar oven 2.0 in the future! One thing we got the oven out there at 4 in the afternoon. So we also wonder if it will be hotter if it was noon time! We also wonder what tweaks we can do to get it hotter.

July 22, 2010

Update: WP-Kidney

I really don't have anything to share. Other then the 2nd CT scan has left us a little confused and questioning what the next should be. A 3rd CT-scan has been suggested, but we are not sure if that's the right direction. So we are asking lots of questions right now.

We were told that there was NO change from the 1st CT scan and the 2nd CT scan. Last week the term cyst was used to describe what was seen on her left kidney. Today it was the terms mass and infection. We basically were told today that radiology did not know if it's an infection or mass on her left kidney.

That is all I have to share at this point....as our questions are answered I will share.

How To Homeschool?

It's that time of year again! Time to think about the children's education and the options that you may or may not have available to you. It's the time of year where random people at the store, doctor offices, and everywhere else begin to ask the kids "Are you ready to go back to school?"

The question really should be "Mom, are you ready to take on another year of homeschooling?" How do you homeschool? I wish I could say it's easy. Well it's not difficult but it does have it's ups and downs. Picking out a curriculum, coming up with a scope of sequence, and over all goals that you would like to see your child to accomplish over the course of the "school year".

Even though homeschooling has its up and downs, I think the how can be broken down into a few simple steps.

1) Learn Your State Laws! Every state has its own laws. So learn the laws for the area you live in. Learn them, understand them, and be sure that you can follow them. Some states require more out of homeschoolers then others.

2) Outline YOUR reasons for homeschooling. Every family has its own reasons. So take time to outline what your reasons are.

3) Before you even beginning to look at actual curriculum sit down and think about what you want the curriculum to do? Think about what it is you are looking for in a curriculum. Not only that but set a price point. Decide what you want and what you are willing to pay before you begin to shop. I firmly believe it's much easier to find choices that fit within your goals and price ranges then to trying to make an over price curriculum fit into your budget and goals.

4) Once you know what your goals are, what your price points are, then set out to find materials that fit within your goals and price point. Through out the process don't under estimate your local library system. I've been able to borrow curriculum, workbooks, etc from my local library.

5) Don't be afraid to change things! Of course you want to give everything a fair shot, but don't be afraid to admit when things are not working out!

6) Trust yourself!

July 21, 2010

From Cell Phone To Porche

The video is having issues beyond my control. If you are having issues with the video please visit CBS site.


I just learned that the state of Illinois has implemented a Holiday Sales Tax! If you buy school supplies and/or clothing during Aug 6th-16th, 2010 will will NOT have to pay a state sales tax on the items. Please see the PDF from the STATE for what items qualified and for more details!  This is the first year that the state of Illinois has done something like this. Other states have been doing it for a few years.

July 20, 2010

Perparing For CT Scan

Web-princess will have her 2nd CT Scan tomorrow morning. We had to run up to the hospital to get the EZ-Cat that she has to drink tonight and tomorrow morning. Each EZ-Cat package has to be mixed with 2 cups of water. She needs to drink it @ 8 pm, 10 pm and again tomorrow morning before the CT scan. The paper work said that she will also get another cup of it when we arrive at the hospital in the morning.

July 19, 2010

This is why we don't tip chairs!

As if Web-Princess week wasn't enough! Yesterday afternoon we had to go to the walk-in clinic so that she could get 3 stitches put in over her right eye. 

We aren't exactly sure what happen, but we have our ideas, espeically seeing I caught her tippin' a chair AFTER getting the stitches put in!

Tippin' chair means she was sitting in it and tipping it so that only the 2 front legs are on the floor.  Seeing her tippin' the kitchen chair, made us realized that she most likely was tippin' the office chair, the chair with wheels, while she was sitting at the computer desk.

We have a feeling that she was tippin' the office chair and it rolled out from underneath her and that she hit her head on the desk  or file cabinet.

July 17, 2010

Cyst on the Kidney

We seen our doctor today for a follow up regarding Web-princess's ER visit. Our doctor today shared with us exactly what the CT scan found. It found a Cyst on her Kidney. Exactly what the means is going to be explained to us by an pediatric urologist.

The urologist's office will be calling us sometime next week and an appointment will be made. In addition she will need to have 2nd CT scan done. I will be calling central scheduling Monday afternoon arrange for that to be done.

She's responding okay to the medication, of course the 2nd CT scan will tell us exactly how she is responding to medication.

For the most part her fever is normal to 100. It is responding to ibuprofen. She does in the late afternoon-early evening have a fever spike where it gets to over 103, but again that is responding to ibuprofen. As long as her fever is low she is cheerful and her normal self as far as behavior goes. If her temp starts to spike she becomes whining, tells me she's going to vomit, and that everything, especially her tummy, hurts.

She's not eating the greatest. She's been eating mostly crackers, but I have gotten her to drink about 4-5 oz of soup in hand today, a bite of banana, and 1 slice of pizza. I know pizza is not the greatest, but she doesn't want anything else at this time.

Last night she ate a whole pudding cup, a bowl of ice cream, and a slice of pizza. She does not have a diet restriction at this point, and I'm willing to give her anything she wants to eat at this point. I rather her eat ice cream and pizza then no food.

Abortion Clinic Owner uses Radios and Chainsaw

If egging a priest car and putting a bumper stick that reads "I rape children" wasn't enough, the owner has resorted to using an amplified sound system and radio show to drown out and annoyed the pro-lifers.

For weeks the owner has been blasting the radio playing station WNTA. Well WNTA took a phone call from one of the pro-lifers and allow them to speak. The owner realized this was happening so what does he do?

Does he turn OFF the amplified sound system and stop blasting the neighborhood with sound that could be heard for blocks away? NO!

Instead he resorts to even MORE noise. He brings out a chainsaw in hopes to drown out the pro-lifers as they speak over the radio (or at least that is my understanding). In this video you can see him in the parking lot with a radio and chainsaw trying to drown out the pro-lifers as they are speaking.

It is my understanding that the abortion clinic owner and staff became even more frustrated when the on air personality, Doug McDuff, of WNTA, the same station that has been blaring over the clinic's amplified speakers, said "God bless the pro-lifers".

Listen I share all of this here because I live in the Rockford IL area and I know thanks to statcounter, and sitemeter that several of my readers and visitors live in the Rockford area too. I think it's only far to help inform the of what is going on in our area seeing it's never on our local news! You of course can do your own research on this and draw your own conclusions on the topic!

The chainsaw took place on July 9th, 2010.

July 16, 2010

ER Visit-Long, tired, hopeful

First, please forgive any errors grammar or spelling. I know I make them all the time, but I'm afraid this will be more then the usual. I'm running on just  a few hours of sleep.

Web-princess yesterday was running a fever; a fever that I thought for sure would be no big deal and we would be able to leave on our trip today as planned. Long story short I was unsuccessful in getting her fever down, despite 4 hour intervals of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and several lukewarm baths.

At 4 pm yesterday afternoon, WP temperature was over 104. I threw her, figuratively, into the another lukewarm bath and called my doctor's office.  They told me to take her to an walk-in. I took her to the walk-in down the street. I told them what her temperature was, before the bath, and they immediately rushed us to the back. The doctor examine her and immediately told to go to the ER to rule out appendicitis. They gave us the option of driving her there so we drove.

We got to the ER, I gave them the paper work from the walk-in and they immediately took us to the back and put her in a room. Once in the room, the doctor examined her and sent her to x-ray.  After x-ray they put an IV in, that took 3 different tries.  Through the IV they got the blood they needed and gave her some fluids to get her to pee.  They gave the fluid via the IV because at home she was also vomiting.

In addtion to all of that she was given a strep test and flu test. Both of test were negative. Her urine show trace infection, but not enough for them to say yes it was an UTI. It was at that time we also learned that her x-ray showed and air pocket on the right side, which could be an early sign of appendicitis.  So they order up an CT scan.

She had to drink this juice before the CT scan which was nasty and hard for her to do. Because she had difficultly with the juice we weren't able to get the CT scan done until 1:00 am. When we got to the CT scan room we learn her IV was bad and it took 3 people, including myself, to pin her down for a new IV. They need the IV to inject the dye for the CT so it was a must!  The CT scan shown it was a kidney infection.  They prescribed us some medicine and sent us home at 3:00 am.

When they sent us home her fever was still 103.5. She just woke up, she still does not want to eat or drink much and her fever is still high. She can stay home as long as she does not vomit. If she starts to vomit then we MUST go back to the hospital and they will admit her. This is because they will then have to give her the antibiotics via IV. I'm hopeful that she will not vomit, because going back and having another IV is not something I want to do.

To top it all off Superstar has been a real trooper.  When we realized that we were going to be there for a long time, DH took SS home. When we learned that she need a CT scan I called DH and told him.  DH then shared with SS and was trying to explain to him that depending on what the CT scan said that DH may have to go back to the hospital. He told Superstar that it meant that he may not be home when Superstar woke up.  He also told SS that he would have a sitter. SS didn't fully understand what DH was saying, because by that time it was nearly 10 pm and SS was tired.  SS response to that was okay, if I wake up and you aren't here I"ll just get myself breakfast, stay in the house, and wait for you get back.  We think that SS thought he would have been home alone. I assure you we would NEVER to that , he just miss understood what daddy was saying because he was tired. At the same time we thought bless his heart! What a brave boy!

July 7, 2010

Free Concert in The Park

Our local park district has several free concerts, events, at the outdoor music shell. On Wednesdays' afternoons they have a FREE program called "Imagination Station" that is geared especially for kids.  Today's performance was put on by ScribbleMonster.

It was really, really, warm today, but the kids still had a good time watching and participating in today's concert. Afterwards we went to BK with our friends for some water and indoor out of the heat play.

I was able to find a YouTube Video of one of ScribbleMonster's songs. Enjoy!

Next Wednesday's FREE performance is going In Capable Hands Juggling Company. Below is a demo of In Capable Hand's that I found on YouTube. (I think it's so cool to be able to see them live for FREE)

July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

We did a bit of a "pre-4th" show tonight! Just a few fountains and sparklers. These in my opinion were less spectacular then the ones we've had in years passed, but the kids enjoyed them especially when viewing the fire works via their 3-D fireworks Glasses.  We have more for tomorrow night!

Sparklers with NO glasses:

Sparklers WITH Glasses:

Happy 4th of July! 

July 1, 2010

Food Coloring Fun!

It's interesting what the kids find "fun". Today they on their own asked for the food coloring. When I inquired why? I got told "We want to use our science kits (the droppers) to move colors around".

So I placed a few drops of each color on some paper plates. The kids then used the eye droppers and a measuring cup (also from their kits) to add or remove water/food coloring from the paper plates.  Clean up isn't horrible, other then the dye has stain my table some. Of course that could have been avoided if I places a table cloth down on the table before hand!

This kept them busy for a whole hour!!!
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