Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Outta This World Kinda Day

 Some days a girl just needs to play:

Or paint
 And express herself:

Guess it's a good thing we Gatchel girls have an awesome place to run off and do that when we need to :)  Happy Hump day, all!  My morning started a bit rocky (I hurt my ankle/shin on the treadmill the past couple days - had to take the day off today to give it a break.  Seems like a simple thing but leaves me feeling antsy.  Even if it did mean snuggling under the blankets warmed by Morgan's mattress pad for an extra hour...), but I shook it off, got Thing 1 and Thing 2 off to school (thank God!) and took a quick adventure with Amber (*hugs*) to Ann Arbor this morning.  On or way back we stopped at Tim Horton's for some coffee, and I have to tell you, the highlight of my day (week, month, perhaps) was watching Mr. A demolish a box of Timbits.  My kids, thanks to my Dad, adore Timbits, and this was A's first go with them.  He was so excited, trying a bit of one, putting it back, eating another.  I'm pretty sure with just a little help he polished off the whole box.  Seriously Amber, he is a treasure!

Made it home with enough time to transfer a load of laundry (ah, the never ending joy of it) and then go grab the Bean at school before heading over to Colleen's, where all of the above pictures took place.  Thank goodness for good friends!

Noah got home and the kiddos noticed the flag was up

Dear my favorite “out of this world” Detectives,

Since I know you’re nowhere near nabbing me, I decided to take a little side trip today to Huntsville to check out the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.  It is here where the rockets were developed that put the first U.S. satellite into orbit and sent men to the moon; where the power for today's space shuttle was developed; where the modules for the International Space Station were designed and built; and where America’s next great ship – the Space Launch System – is being designed.  I was one of the average 600,000 annual visitors today and had quite the time exploring.

While there I took special interest in learning about comets.  A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when passing close to the sun heats up and begins to outgas, displaying a visible atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail.  I really enjoyed myself today (and why shouldn’t I – it’s not like I need to be sneaky or undercover – you have no idea where I am!) and thought you might like to try a little experiment I did to make an edible comet!  If nothing else it should keep you busy for awhile, which means you won’t be searching for me!  Happy comet making, Detectives!



It also included the following which they discussed:


Comets have sometimes been described as dirty snowballs, snowy dirtballs or something in between. But what does that really mean? It means that these they are believed to be a cold mixture of frozen water, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), and other sandy/rocky materials left over from the early formation of our solar system. In this activity, we are going to develop a comet model that you can eat. 

  • One sandwich size re-closeable plastic bag
  • One Gallon size re-closeable plastic bag
  • Ice
  • Chunky cookies in black or brown (crushed), crushed candies (like toffee or peppermint), gummy bears, coconut flakes and peanuts (comet materials)
  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Evaporated milk
  • Salt
STEP #1: 
Mix into the sandwich size bag 
One-third cup evaporated milk (or cream) 
Two-thirds cup whole milk 
5 level spoonfuls of sugar 
Less than ¼ tsp of vanilla                                                                                                                       Ingredients you feel should be in you "comet"
STEP #2 
Place the sandwich bag into the bottom of the gallon bag. Put in approximately 10 heaping spoonfuls of salt 
Fill the gallon bag (containing sandwich bag) at least 1/3 full of ice.
  1. Close the larger bag tightly to remove as much air as possible. Check for leaks.
  2. Gently shake and roll the bag while keeping it in constant motion for approximately 6 - 10 minutes or until half the bag has turned to water.
    [SUGGESTION: Rubber gloves, mitts, cloth towels or other thick fabric may be needed to hold the bag because it will get extremely cold. Start with bare hands to feel the temperature change].
  3. Gently feel the sandwich bag through the icy mixture. When the milk/sugar mixture in the sandwich bag has hardened into soft ice cream, open the gallon bag and remove the sandwich bag containing the ice cream. Carefully and briefly rinse the outside of the sandwich bag to get the salt/ice mixture off or the ice cream will carry the taste. Scoop the ice cream into cups.
  4. Taste your comet!
(Kristi's Note:  All the comet information we discussed and the recipe came from here today:  - NASA rocks!)

Noah was quick to note that he definitely remembered talking about the space program in Florida and Texas.  Texas wasn't on the possibility list, but Florida was.  They searched for Huntsville and Montgomery (from yesterday's clue) but couldn't find it in Florida.

But, Noah got the wise idea that perhaps it could be somewhere in between them!  So....
That top one is Alabama, which, to their amazement, had Montgomery and Huntsville.  They're not sold on it (Noah says if we get a Mardi Gras clue he's set) so we're going to wait a few more days...

We decided to make the comets after our dinner of BBQ chicken cornbread

This earned a "we'll eat it again!" raiting

After dinner the wonderful Aben's came over to join us to try to make our comets.  Because everything is better with friends:)  Everyone got a job, and honestly, we've tried making ice cream like this before and this recipe worked really really well.

Adding our 'comet' material.  They added sprinkles, nuts, mini marshmallows, coconut and crushed up knock off oreos. 

Shakin it baby!

Hardened up pretty well!

So THAT'S what a comet looks like :-p

Treat time

Oh what a day!  It's been filled with friends, laughter, music and yummy treats - it really doesn't get much better, right?  The Bean and I are planning on going to hang out with some of the MOPS ladies in the morning, lunch with Tess and the adorable Miss A and goodness only knows what else is on tap for tomorrow.  So until then...

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