Monday, January 31, 2011

Tennis Lesson

I have had some wonderful moments playing tennis, and I want to share them with you.  Every weekend, my sister and I play tennis with coach Anthony.  Some of the tennis moves that I have learned are:             
  • forehand
  • backhand
  • volley
  • overhead smash
  • serve
  Tennis can be played with 2 players (singles) or 4 players (doubles). Below is a diagram of a tennis court. The size of the court changes depending on how many people you have playing.  Tennis was first played in England in the 19th century on the grass.  Today people play tennis on the grass, hard court and clay court.  I play only on hard court.

Here is a video of my sister and I playing tennis. We always enjoy playing tennis with our coach, and we also get some rigourous (harsh, severe) exercise. 

Do you play tennis?

What sports do you like?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tree Blossoms- UPDATE

It has been in the mid 70s these past two weeks in Southern California.  As we drove up our driveway this afternoon, we noticed two beautiful trees blossoming in front of our home.  There were white blossoms all over the two trees and they looked magnificent.

Fallen leaves

In late September the trees started to become very colorful.  The leaves turned yellow, red, and brown.  The leaves also have uneven edges.  After the leaves turned colorful, they slowly fell off and left the tree bare.  Since the weather has been so warm, the trees started to blossom.

Tree Blossoms

Does anyone know what type of trees these are?

Answer: Mrs Yollis and I contacted a local arborist (tree specialist), named Mr. Mortimer, who works for The Acorn. He kindly let us know that the tree is an ornamental pear tree. Thank you Mrs. Yollis and Mr. Mortimer.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was a cold and rainy day and we decided to make chocolate chip cookies.  First, we found a recipe and bought the necessary ingrediants that we didn't have at home. We chose the following recipe:
1 cup butter, softened                         
1 cup white sugar                             
1 cup packed brown sugar                
2 eggs                                              
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

First, we creamed together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Then we beat in the eggs one at a time.

Next, we dissolved baking soda in hot water, and added it to the batter together with salt, vanilla, and flour.

Wow! Look at all that chocolate.

Then we added 2 and a half cups of chocolate chips which was everyone's favorite part.  We all tried the chocolate chips just to make sure they were good.  

Finally, we preheated the oven to 350 degrees and baked the cookies until the edges were slightly brown. The whole house smelled wonderful and the cookies were delicious. 

What do you like to do when it rains or snows?

Do you like to bake? 

What kind of special recipes do you have?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Acids and Bases

Introduction to Acids and Bases
Every liquid is either acidic or basic except for water.

Acid comes from the Latin term acere, which means "sour". Acids such as lemon juice and vineger, taste sour, are corrosive to metals, and change litmus (a dye extracted from lichens) red. Another definition for acids is a solution that has an excess of H+ ions.

Bases taste bitter, feel slippery and change litmus blue.  Another definition of a base is a solution that has an excess of OH- ions.   

Scientists use something called the pH scale to measure how acidic or basic a liquid is.  A very strong acid will have a pH of 0.  A very strong basic solution will have a pH of 14.  Water has a pH of 7 because it is neutral.

The table below shows examples of some acids and bases.

Acids1 X 1000HCl
1 x 10-11Stomach acid
1 x 10-22 Lemon juice
1 x 10-33 Vinegar
1 x 10-44Soda
1 x 10-55Rainwater
1 x 10-66Milk
Neutral1 x 10-77Pure water
Bases1 x 10-88Egg whites
1 x 10-99Baking soda
1 x 10-1010Tums® antacid
1 x 10-1111Ammonia
1 x 10-1212Mineral lime - Ca(OH)2
1 x 10-1313 Drano®
1 x 10-1414 NaOH

Taken from

Cabbage Juice pH Indicator
Red cabbage has a pigment called anthocyanins.  The pigments give it the red/purple color.  Very acidic solutions will turn anthocyanins red and basic solutions will turn anthrocyanins green/yellow.   

We can determine the pH of a solution by adding it to cabbage juice.  An acidic solution will turn the cabbage juice red and a basic solution will turn the cabbage juice yellow.

  • red cabbage
    Red Cabbage-chopped
  • 12 glass containers   
  • ammonia
  • lemon juice
  • vinegar
  • antacids
  • seltzer water
  • HCL (hydrocholoric acid)
  • NaOH (sodium hydroxide)
1.  Chop the cabbage into small pieces and boil in water for a couple of minutes until the liquid turns a dark purplish color.
2. Pour a little bit of cabbage juice into 6 empty glass containers.
3.  Prepare the 'test' acid/base solutions into 6 glass containers.
4.   Pour a few drops of the test solution into the cabbage juice containers and write down what happens.

Cabbage juice in glass vials

NaOH- turned the cabbage solution yellow

Antacids added to cabbage juice

Ammonia- turned the cabbage solution yellow

Antacids- turned the cabbage solution bluish-green
Seltzer water- nothing happened.
Vinegar- turned the cabbage juice red
Lemon juice- turned the cabbage juice red
HCL- tunred the cabbage juice red
Seltzer water added to cabbage juice

Vinegar and Lemon juice added to cabbage juice

NaOH and Ammonia added to cabbage juice

HCl added to cabbage juice


We found that NaOH, ammonia, and antacids are bases.  Vinegar, lemon juice and HCL are acids.  The seltzer water is neutral.

At the end we mixed a base  (NaOH) and an acid (vinegar) together.  When we poured a little bit of the basic solution into the acid, we got a violet color.  When we poured a little bit more of the basic solution, the violet solution turned green.

Adding NaOH to Vinegar

The result of NaOH added to Vinegar

Adding more NaOH to vinegar

The result of adding a lot of NaOH to Vinegar

Can you explain these results? 

Happy New Year!

My aunt and me

New Years Eve is a big celebration at my grandmothers house every year.  In addition New Years, we also celebrate aunt's birthday.  She was born on December 31st.  A lot of family and friends come over to celebrate with us.  My great uncles and aunts, grandparents and great grandparents as well as many other friends, all come to my grandmother's house. It is really nice to see everyone. 


My grandmother makes a lot of delicious food like stuffed cabbage, pirogy, potatoes, and a big fat turkey. Everyone eats and talks and waits for the clock to strike midnight.  A couple of minutes before midnight, all of the family gathers around the television and watches as the famous ball drops down at Times Square in New York.  Then, everyone wishes each other a Happy New year!

My favorite part of the evening was when all of the children got presents. This year, I got an electric scrabble and a book, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. 

How did you celebrate New Years?

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Little Bit About Me and My Blog

My name is Miriam and I am the oldest of two sisters and one brother. 
I also have a dog named Romeo.

I have a lot of hobbies and enjoy going to different and interesting places.  My hobbies are playing the piano, running, and dancing.  Right now, I am practicing for a piano competition and I have to learn three songs by April!  That is a lot of songs to learn.  Here is a link of me playing the piano.

On my blog, I will write about my experiences and places I visit. On my blog I have a daily puppy and a adopted pet lion, Simba.   I also have a voki of my dog, Romeo, a miniature Schnauzer.

I would like to get know my visitors. 

Please tell me a little bit about yourself?

What are your hobbies?

How do you like to spend your free time?