Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When It's Chilly...

As I sit here listening to the 23mph wind howling and see the snow blowing and recuperate from the trip to Sam's Club in all this, I am reminded to a time only a couple weeks ago when we had even chillier temperatures.

Way back at the beginning of January we were gifted with an EXTRA day off from school due to anticipated freezing temperatures.  I believe the actual temperature was -21 when I woke up that morning.  I don't know what it was including wind chills.  This was our 18th day of vacation.  I knew that my sister had been looking forward to children returning to school (since day #3) and so was probably wanting to crawl into a fetal position by that point.  I also knew that for the most part, my kids and I had been sitting around watching WAY too much t.v. and needed to get off our hineys.  I called her up and proposed outdoor science experiments.  She was all too game!

First up was blowing bubbles.  Tracy and I had both seen pictures online of how regular soap bubbles shattered in such cold weather.  If they didn't break, they just looked like glass balls that you could actually hold.  Unfortunately, it was FAR too cold for this.  The bubble stuff just kept freezing before Tracy could get anything blown through the holder.

While the kids were bundled, faces were exposed and, as you can see above, so were Tracy's hands.  The kids were constantly reminding her that frostbite could occur within three minutes of being outside so we needed to hurry up.

Most of the kids were okay with little respites inside if needed.  Ellie was NOT a cold weather fan that day.  After about 5 minutes she decided enough was enough and headed inside (evidenced below...)

The second experiment was to see how fast an egg would freeze on a metal pan.  You've heard of frying an egg on a hot sidewalk?  I wanted to see how fast it would freeze to a pan that was sitting outside.

It looks like a sunny-side up egg, right?  It's not cooked at all.  In fact, that whiteness happened in about 5 seconds.  And it was sure frozen...

Of course we saved the best for last....the boiling water trick.  I boiled water in a couple mugs and Tracy threw the water into the air.

Instantaneously we had puffs of...smoke?  vapor?  mist?  snow???  We have no idea...but it never fails to be fascinating - no matter how old you are!

After this, everyone was done.  I bet we weren't outside more than 10-15 minutes.  Everyone headed inside where we boiled up some hot chocolate and there was a little game of "Spot It" played.  The girls and the boys split up to play in separate areas and Tracy and I enjoyed a little peacefulness.

Until the next day when we had school off for the 19th day....

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