Liturgical Year Resources

consecrated life

faith filled days

paper dali

catholic cuisine

catholic icing

Tag Cloud:


Treasures of the Earth

The 19th annual Gem, Minerals, Jewelry & Fossil Show and Sale will be held Friday – Sunday, August 19 – 21.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $2 for ages 6-17.

The show is held at the Bridgeton Machinists Hall, 12365 St. Charles Rock Rd (MO I-270 at St. Charles Rock Rd.)

Times are: Friday, 3 – 8 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 8 pm; and Sunday, 11 am -5 pm.

This gem show features demos, gems, gifts, fossils, minerals, exhibits, jewelry, a youth booth, attendance drawings, and more. These shows are fun for the entire family and especially if you have a student studying earth science. There really is something for everyone!

For more information contact: Jerry Kubat

Backyard astronomy for August

The Perseid meteor shower is the northern hemisphere’s best summer meteor shower and it will peak on August 13. But, this year, you’ll have to fight a full moon to get a good view.

EarthSky.org recommends the following:

  • Start watching now. Although the showers peak on August 13 you can still see plenty of showers if you are in a dark location.
  • Watch on August 9 and 10 just before dawn as the moon will set a few hours before sunrise.
  • No matter what day you watch, your best vewing time will be from about 2 a.m. till dawn.

Barring cloud cover, EarthSky touts before dawn on August 10 as the best viewing night.

Can’t make the Perseids? Check out EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2011.

The Virtual Roach

Ewwww! I absolutely hate roaches, but this is pretty cool.

Budding entomologists are sure to enjoy The Virtual Roach! Orkin has a fully interactive virtual cockroach designed to be used as an instructional tool for learning about insect anatomy.


Meteor showers this week

Star gazers have a chance to see 2010 Leonid meteor showers between midnight and dawn on Wednesday and Thursday, November 17 and 18. If conditions are favorable you can expect to see about 10-15 meteors per hour. The more sky, the better, and hope for a cloudless night. Try to find a dark spot to best view the Leonids. As Balki would say, “get out of the city!”

Meteor showers tonight

Last year, Isabel and I almost fell asleep in our lawn chairs waiting for a glimpse of a meteor. Hopefully, conditions will be more favorable for us this year. The Perseid meteor showers will peak tonight, August 12. Earlier in the evening we’ll should a good look at Venus, Saturn, Mars, and a thin crescent Moon.

From NASA Science:  The show begins at sundown when Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon pop out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects will fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope is required to enjoy this naked-eye event: sky map.

The planets will hang together in the western sky until 10 pm or so. When they leave, following the sun below the horizon, you should stay, because that is when the Perseid meteor shower begins. From 10 pm until dawn, meteors will flit across the starry sky in a display that’s even more exciting than a planetary get-together.

The Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every 133 years the huge comet swings through the inner solar system and leaves behind a trail of dust and gravel. When Earth passes through the debris, specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. These meteors are called Perseids because they fly out of the constellation Perseus.

Swift-Tuttle’s debris zone is so wide, Earth spends weeks inside it. Indeed, we are in the outskirts now, and sky watchers are already reporting a trickle of late-night Perseids. The trickle could turn into a torrent between August 11th and 13th when Earth passes through the heart of the debris trail.

2010 is a good year for Perseids because the Moon won’t be up during the midnight-to-dawn hours of greatest activity. Lunar glare can wipe out a good meteor shower, but that won’t be the case this time.

As Perseus rises and the night deepens, meteor rates will increase. For sheer numbers, the best time to look is during the darkest hours before dawn on Friday morning, Aug. 13th, when most observers will see dozens of Perseids per hour.

St. Louis gems, fossils & fun

The 18th Annual Gems, Minerals, Jewelry & Fossil Show and Sale will be held Friday, Aug 20, 4 – 9 pm; Saturday, Aug 21, 10 am – 6 pm; and Sunday, Aug 22, 11 am – 5 pm.

As always, this fun show will feature national dealers, gems, fossils, youth booth, minerals exhibits, gifts, demos, jewelry, Gem & Mineral Club Information, and more.

Admission donations:  adults, $5;  seniors 62 & up, $4;  ages 6-7, $2;   and 5 & under, free when accompanied by adult. All Scouts and Leaders in uniform will be admitted free.

The exhibit will be held at the Machinists Hall Auditorium, 12365 St. Charles Rock Rd, Bridgeton, Missouri. For more info, contact Jerry Kubat.

‘Journey to the Stars’ with a free dvd

Thanks to SAHMinIL at Catholic Christian Homeschooling for pointing out this freebie:

Are you ready to take a Journey to the Stars? The American Museum of Natural History and NASA have joined forces to produce a planetarium show about the amazing variety of stars that dot our cosmos–exploding stars, giant stars, dwarf stars, neutron stars, even our own star! But you don’t have to go to a planetarium to experience this mind-blowing journey. NASA will send you a DVD, for free!

There are even corresponding activity sheets you can request. All free. Looks like a great astronomy unit and it is suitable for grades 3 – 12. Order yours!

Animal autographs . . .

. . . otherwise know as animal tracks!

For our very last class of this school year, I took my Conservation Frontiers kids out to make casts of animal tracks. It is a simple and fun process. All you need is plaster of paris, water, strips of card stock for the mold form, and an animal track.
cast Mix the plaster of paris and water: 2 parts plaster to one part water. Do your mixing at the site of your track. Place your form around your track, pushing it slightly into the ground. When the plaster starts to thicken, pour it into your form. Within about 10-15 minutes you can remove the cast and peel off the paper. Don’t forget to carve your name and date into the bottom before the plaster hardens completely.

We found raccoon, deer, squirrel, and heron tracks. Give it a few hours before you rinse off the mud.

Have fun and enjoy the great outdoors!

My Conservation Frontiers class


We are winding down the year at our homeschool co-op and my Conservation Frontiers class ends next week. These kids have been lots of fun to work with. By doing a variety of Missouri nature-related projects, the students earned points throughout the year. Our goal was to work towards getting enough points for the Conservation Frontiers t-shirt, and seven of my ten students reached that goal! Congrats, kids!


Segway science field trip

Crozet’s General Science co-op class had an end-of-the-year field trip to the St. Louis Science Center. The Science Center is always fun, but the highlight of this trip was definitely the 5 minute segway ride, and even the parents got to participate!

We also watched an awesome 40-minute dark sky planetarium show and finished our field trip with a picnic in Forest Park.

Missouri nature lapbooks

To wrap up the year with my Missouri Conservation Frontiers students, I decided to have each make a lapbook of their favorite aspect of Missouri nature that they learned about this year. Here is what my 10 students, 4th-7th grades, focused their lapbooks on:

wildflowers • birds • snakes & birds • frogs & snakes
ducks • mammals • butterflies

Each lapbook included a checklist of their subject as found in Missouri. Students checked off the ones they have actually seen, and can go back and update their checklist when they see new things. I also required them to include at least one of their very own nature drawings. This was an enjoyable project. We worked on them at co-op and then the students finished them at home.  Other than the checklist, which I provided, the kids were on their own.

Here are two of our Missouri Conservation Frontiers lapbooks:

St. Louis gem, mineral, jewelry, fossil show

Get ready for a field trip! This year’s 50th annual St. Louis Gem, Mineral, Jewelry and Fossil Show will be held Friday through Sunday, March 26-28, 2010 at the Machinists Hall Auditorium, 12365 St. Charles Rock Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044.

We started going to this show as part of a homeschool Earth Science class field trip. Through the years this event has remained a favorite with my kids. There will be special exhibits from Mastodon State Park, as well as demonstrations and exhibits featuring fossils, crystals, lapidary, jewelry, and minerals.

Hours are Friday, 4 – 9 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm; and Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm.

Adults, $3.50; under 18, $2; under 12, $1 (or free with paying adult)

Meteor showers forecast for Sunday

The Geminid meteor shower could feature up to 140 shooting stars per hour between Sunday evening and Monday morning. The best time period for those in the Northern hemisphere is between 1 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Monday.

According to the National Geographic News blog:

Late Sunday night is the peak of the year’s most prolific annual cosmic fireworks show—the Geminid meteor shower.

The meteor shower has been growing in intensity in recent decades and should be an even better holiday treat than usual this year, since it’s falling in a nearly moonless week.

Meteor shower tomorrow a.m.

leonid meteor shower

The 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower is being called the biggest meteor shower of the modern age. Astronomers are predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas. The Leonid Meteor shower may last up to two days so there should be optimal viewing across the U.S.

From KMOV St. Louis: The Leonid meteor shower peaks in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, November 17th in the Eastern sky. Now, the forecast does have a rain system rolling through, so there is a chance of clouds and rain ruining the event. But stay up to date on the forecast and we’ll let you know if there’s any changes.

Find out more about the Leonid Meteor Shower.

Xplor Missouri nature with your kids

Xplor is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s latest tool for reconnecting children with nature. The magazine is designed to address concern over children’s growing alienation from nature. With six issues per year, Xplor combines the visual, tactile appeal of a full-color magazine with the audio and video capabilities of the internet.

“We want to create a place where kids can go to learn fascinating things about the outdoors that will encourage them to go out and explore the outdoors themselves,” said Conservation Department Art Director Cliff White.

Although my own kids are certainly not alienated from nature, Explor looks like a good addition to their current nature studies.

Xplor is free to Missouri residents. The first issue will come out in February 2010. Subscribe now!

If you live in Missouri, and don’t already subscribe to Missouri Conservationist, I highly reccomend you do. There are some adults out there that could reconnect with nature too!