Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blowing Up the Science Fair

I love this quote by Albert Einstein.

Recently, my grandchildren "mopped up the floor" with their science projects at the Northern Illinois Regional Science Fair. (Can you feel the humility in this statement)? All three of them won the coveted grand champion for their age category and they also made the front page of the Freeport IL Journal Standard.  Grand champion winners were: Ella Leverton for kindergarten through third grade; Gabriel Leverton for fourth through sixth grade; and Breanna Leverton for seventh and eighth grade.

Northern Illinois Regional Science Fair

I am SO proud of all of them and also for my daughter Rachel who does an amazing job of organizing this event
and son-in-law Andy 
for helping the kids achieve this remarkable accomplishment. Each of the children had to practice giving their presentation for the judges over 10 times with their dad, Andy.  I'm convinced that this is what helped them connect with the judges.  Go Andy!!!  So Andy, I will forgive you for marrying my daughter and whisking her and all my grand-babies off to the frigid north! 
Ella did her project on ants!  She was so excited to find out we had an ant lab back in November.  
Gabe did his science project called "Fabulous Flatulence".  Yes you heard it, flatulence!!  
I am so embarrassed... It actually was quite scientific.  He really knew his stuff!!  Gabe's presentation to the judges was explosive!

Breanna gets to go on to the Illinois State Science Fair with her project on how sun screen affects the ocean waters.  Recently, she was in Hawaii with her mother and they saw first-hand how the coral is disappearing and dying due to the toxic sunscreen in the ocean water.  I wrote about this in a previous post.  Let me know if you need some organic non-toxic sunscreen that my goats help me make.  
And in case you are an overwhelmed mom who can't find the time to really do justice to teaching science, let me help you.  I am creating online courses and would love to have your children join us.  Email me and let me know you are interested and I will keep you informed.  The next one will be in February.  It is a course called "Me Myself and I, My Amazing Body".  Students will find out how unique and wonderful God created them to be.  We will study their hair, skin, eyes, blood type, pH, and other aspects of their amazing human body.  Join us if you don't live nearby and can't come to the lab!!  Thank you for passing this on to your homeschool friends.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Free Online Aquaponics Class

Did you miss the Aquaponics Lab? No worries. I am doing two live trainings on Wednesday January 16th at 9:30am EST and at 4:30pm EST. And the best part about it is its FREE!
Since this is my first online class, I decided to post it for FREE just to be sure we get all the “kinks” out of the system. So take advantage of this class just in case you missed it. Or, if you came to the class here on the farm and want a refresher come and join us.
I will be using an interactive software called Zoom. You can download it for free on your phone by going to or you can log onto Zoom with your computer. Your children will be able to ask me questions and participate in the class. Zoom is awesome. Your children will be in a virtual classroom. So download Zoom and join us on Wednesday January 16th at 9:30am-10:30am EST or 4:30pm-5:30pm EST.
Please email me at or PM for a supply list for the class and for the meeting ID number. You will get a copy of my teaching slides as well when you contact me. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

All You Need for Christmas

Everyone knows it...  My kids all hate it.  Here is the awful truth.  
I hated Christmas
Growing up in an immigrant family and working in the family business sucked the Christmas excitement right out of me.  My parents and siblings and I worked hard and long.  By the time Christmas arrived, we were all too tired to celebrate much.  It was exhausting.  

But that was then and now I am slowly coming out of the Christmas funk.  Its taken a while but now I can truly celebrate Christ's birth with the rest of the world. Here on the farm we have transitioned from just selling milk and eggs to many other products.  Its been fun creating all these things and getting to share them with our happy customers. 
We have lots of items here in the lab to help you find gifts for your loved ones.  
These soft, felted soaps are made with our finest goat milk then felted with our hand dyed alpaca/sheep fiber.  It's like a wash cloth on a bar of soap.  When the soap is finally used up, the exfoliating washcloth is still quite usable.$6 
pure alpaca yarn, hand dyed $20
These are loofah sponges that are embedded in handmade goat soap.  Great exfoliating properties.$6
T-shirts are always useful.  These are my own design. 
goat milk, coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, avacado oil, apricto oil, non-nano zinc oxide, vitamin A and C, stearic acid, refrigerate
Drum roll please... The finest lavender organic goat milk lotion you could ever find ANYWHERE!  Its so pure you could eat it.   Our granddaughter Ella Bella is our most fervent customer.   4 oz. $10 If you plan to travel to a warm climate over the holidays, you don't want to leave home without this amazing goat milk lotion sunscreen.  Completely safe, organic, SPF 25 $20/8oz.
 Imported "brain cup" $40

The South Carolina Geological Survey has created a rock box that comes with 20 rocks and a booklet describing the rocks and where to find them.  $25
The items below are for those who want to keep themselves free of electromagnetic frequencies.  
$5 cell phone protection

wall outlet EMF protection $89
bracelet $79
bracelet $79

Please contact me at if any of these items interest you.  
And if you are a grandparent wanting to give your grandchild a truly memorable gift, click here and register them for a science lab.  
 Merry Christmas!!
Happy for a Honk and a Wave
My dear friend Janet, wrote this insightful book about autism. It is a fun way to convey an important message of acceptance and understanding of those who seem to be different or misunderstood.  

Click Here to register for classes. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

My Ant Dream Come True

I have dreamed about constructing an ant lab for years and years.  For one reason or another it just never happened.  This school year is the last year that I will be creating new labs.  From here on I will blow the dust off the labs I've taught before every three years or so.  So I had to do it now or never.

Did you know ants share food from their social stomach by kissing other ants?  Most ants have a chemical called formic acid in their gasters. They can squirt the acid out of their bodies when provoked.  Wood ants can even drive off large animals like cows from their colonies. They all group together and spray formic acid into the air.  Most ants are female worker ants.  The queen ant can live for up to 30 years and will lay eggs continually after mating only one time.

(we call her Ella Bella Petronella)
And wouldn't you know it, our granddaughter Ella will be presenting an ant collection in the Northern Illinois Regional Science Fair.  Ella and I plan to have lots of conversations about ants when we see each other at Thanksgiving.

Here is a soda bottle formicarium that I made about a week ago. It took four days for the ants to work their way up through the bottle connector to the top.

This formicarium is evolving daily.  I keep finding new plastic containers in the dumpsters that make awesome extensions to this priceless piece of ant real estate.

This amazing three room mini-mansion has a kitchen, a cemetery, a restroom, and lots and lots of tunnels.  I keep a jar of petroleum jelly handy to smear up at the top of the container.  This keeps the ants where they belong.  They don't want to get stuck in petroleum jelly and I don't want them all over my classroom.     

notice the mandibles extending from the head
This Red Harvester ant is quite hairy.  
This ant has two petioles.
Stinger protruding from the gaster.
We had a great time looking at ants under the microscope.  Ants have six legs, two claws on each leg, a head, mandibles, compound eyes, three ocelli, two antenna. one or two petioles, a gaster and stinger, two stomachs, and much, much more.

I walked out to our pasture and carefully dug up a fire ant colony.  It was cold outside so they were kind of groggy but still moving slowly.  Ants like all insects, are cold blooded. They don't get out much in the cold weather. We found some pupae and larvae in the jar of fire ants.  How exciting!

I can't wait for this summer when the queens and male ants take to the air for their yearly nuptial flight.  You might see me outside with a net trying to catch a queen.  I hope all my students have been stung by the ant bug and are ready to build all kinds of interesting formicariums on their own.

I know I've got the ant bug!