Saturday, December 23, 2006

Olivia feeding the lorikeets


Olivia feeding the lorikeets
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Earlier this week, Olilvia was not feeling well, but by mid week, she was feeling much better, and we had plans to meet some friends at Wild Animal Park. We went to see the Christmas lights in the park, and they also had a snow slope and lots of fun craft activities for the kids. It was their first time feeding the lorikeets. I was surprised how aggressive those little birds are, fighting over the food, and an occasional peck it you tried to move the food away. Olivia had no fear though, and got to giggling so much, while feeding them. Yesterday, we went and saw Charlotte's web. It was really quite good. I don't know how they make those real animals look like they're talking, must be computer tricks. The kids really enjoyed it and we went to Hamburger Hamlet in Poway afterwards. It's a nice family restaurant, with lots of antique type decor on the walls.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

English Christmas Crackers, Tradition - MSO


Christmas crackers
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

A tradition in our home has been to open these English Christmas crackers on Christmas day with our friends and family. We usually have a crowd over at Mom and Dad's, but this year it will be at our home. You pull the cracker ends at each side, usually with the help of another, and it makes a loud popping sound, then inside, you find a toy, or a game, and a everyone gets a paper crown. Everyone wears their crown, at least for a little while. My mom has been buying the crackers for years now. Violet and Olivia opened one each (early) today, and here is what they found.
Another tradition that has developed for Christmas time has been a gag gift game. Everyone brings an inexpensive gag gift. We pull numbers and the last number goes first. They get to pick a wrapped gag gift and open it. The next person can "steal" the gift (as sometimes it is something quite neat!) or pick another. A gift can be "stolen" only 3 times. Then the very last person gets to pick what they like, or steal something (that hasn't reached it's limit) It's a lot of silly fun. An ongoing "gift" that keeps popping up is some paper toilet seat covers, or "a** gaskets, as we sometimes call them!. You have to be weary of the beautifully wrapped gift, as it just may be that something special!!!!

Another tradition, has been our kitty cat tree. I've always loved cats, and have been collecting them since about birth, with my first kitty, a white fluffy one that I received from my Aunt Violet in England when I was a baby. I have been collecting Christmas kitties for many years now, and now have a tree completely covered with kitties! Even the tree topper! I've posted one of my favorites here.


This was written for Mama Says Om's themes, which this week was "tradition".

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Party


Olivia's Christmas cookies
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

We had our science group friends over for a holiday party yesterday. It was so much fun! The kids mostly played, and moms got to hang out and chat and laugh. Everyone brought yummy foods. Dawn brought cookies for the kids to decorate and Marie brought graham crackers, candies, icing to make gingerbread houses. Renee brought lots of yummy fruits, and arranged them so beautifully. The kids put on an impromptu play about snowflakes. They each had two lines, "I am a snowflake, I look like a ......lion" or whatever they chose to look like, then at the end , they said together, "WE ALL LOOK DIFFERENT,BUT WE ARE ALL SNOWFLAKES. WHEN WE GET TOGETHER, WE MAKE A GREAT SNOWMAN!" They made snowflake masks to hold up. They were so cute!

Other things we did this past week:

Went to the Scholastic Warehouse 50% off book sale. Found some great deals there, see Flicker pictures, if curious.....

Went to an unschooling group park day down in Santee. What a great group of friends! I love that we share similar ideas about homeschooling, and that the kids are so varied in ages, but all get along so well. Violet found a treasure map (looked like it was left there from a birthday party), so we went on a little treasure hunt. The kids did a lot of digging in the sand, and riding their scooters.

Violet went to a slumber party at her good friend, Hailey's out in Chino, this past weekend. They've been friends since birth, and mom Tracy and I have been friends since, gosh, I don't know, forever.....we used to work together at Home Savings, before it got bought out by WAMU.

Violet had Brownies last week, and they made some snowflake craft out of paper foam, and some Christmas cards for the city, for letting us use their building for our meetings.

Today, Olivia made a postcard for Nana & Grandpa and put it in the mailbox this morning. She made it from a Dover, make your own sticker postcards book , that we picked up at the library sale a few weeks ago. It's so neat that she wants to do these types of things now. She gets so happy about it.

Violet just put a couple of Batman Tattoos on Olivia's arms, from one of the books that we got at Scholastic. Now they're playing legos and Bratz dolls.

Read a lot of books last few days; Mrs Frizzle Ancient China, Dr Seuss The Sneetches and other stories, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl (we love his books!), Dr Seuss, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Violet's reading The Timewarp Trio, Marco Polo. Olivia loves the Mercer Meyer Little Critters books, so we usually read several of those a day.

Off to make breakfast, then off to a park day later.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

San Pasqual battle of 1846


Husk doll
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Violet made this corn husk doll at the San Pasqual's Archaeological museum's Battle Day re-enactment this weekend. They've been doing it for 20 years. There was a reenactment of the battle between Mexico and America in 1846. The actual location has not been confirmed, but it was very close to this area. It was recorded as one of the bloodiest battles. Check here for more info. http://www.sanpasqual.org/index.html. See our Flicker set for more photos of the activities and the participants in the re-enactment, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandaroo/sets/72157594405492806/

Monday, December 04, 2006

MSO-Smooth


Olivia newborn
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Mama Says Om's theme this week is smooth. Smooth makes me think of a baby's smooth, perfect, soft skin. This photo came to mind, of when Olivia was just 6 days old. So peaceful, sweet, not a care in the world. Who knew she'd be my little Danny (dad), my little superhero, my little king in crowns and robes. If she only knew when I took this picture, she probably would have had me have her in blue, and wearing Superman tennies. For more "smooth" entries see MSO.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Paper snowflake


Paper snowflake
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Was searching for "snowflakes" on Flicker and found this neat craft idea to make paper snowflakes. Violet and I put this one together this afternoon.
See www.flickr.com/photos/perspicacious/72187446/ for directions.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Black Knight


The Black Knight
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Just had to post this! She is so cute (if I say so myself) Here's Olivia in her Black Knight armor. Watch out bad guys!

Ocean's and Whales


Violet's in cold water
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Unit study on Whales and Oceans. See prior post. For more pictures of our science unit studies see Flicker here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandaroo/sets/72157594355846822/

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Blubber and How big is it???

We went to a unit study on Oceans and Whales at our friend Marie's house yesterday. She talked about the oceans in the world, the depths, different types of animals in them. The kids had a yummy snack with blueberry jello and gummy fish in it. We also did a blubber experiment. The children were asked to put their hands in a pail of ice cold water. Brrrr! It was cold! Then Marie had prepared some plastic baggies, doubled, with vegetable shortening between the baggies. She had the kids put their hands in them (like gloves) and resubmerge their hands in the icey water. They were amazed to find that their hands stayed warm. She then explained how whales stay warm by having a protective layer of blubber, or fat on them. They got to see how big a Blue whale is (500 ft) measured out with a piece of rope, which Marie had pre-labeled with all the various lengths of sea mammals (whales) in comparison to a 6 ft man, so the children could see how long they actually are. We were amazed to see that the Blue Whale extended from one side of the cul-de-sac to the other end. The kids had fun drawing the whales in chalk next to the measured tags. Marie asked the older kids to make up a story about the Ocean. So, on the way home Violet was excited to make one up, and told me a story about a mermaid and her ocean friends. We'll have to write it down so that she can share it with her friends. By the way, you see Violet in her "Groovy Girl" outfit. We went by Kmart to buy some wild birdseed, and found they had a rack of Halloween clothes in the garden dept (of all places) on sale for %90 off!!!! So she got this one and a mermaid outfit. Olivia got a black knight outfit, complete with sword and breastplate and shield and another one in brown. I've probably mentioned she has a fascination with swords in the past. It was so funny during the unit study, we she got her chalk, the first thing she says is, "I'm going to draw a swordfish, mommy!"


(Having trouble uploading from Flicker right now, so will post pictures later, but check out my Flicker for photos, under science unit studies)

Marie provided me with the list of resources she used:
Non-fiction:
1) Ocean Life, the publisher is Backpack Books with an arrangement with Orpheus BooksLtd. Text by Nicholas Harris. This book has two panorama type scenes to unfold. Lots of good info too.
2) Whales: Strange and WonderfulAuthor: Laurence PringleTalks about different types of whales including the narwhale, orca,sperm, and more. Also talks about echolocation, baleen, etc.
3) Coral Reef, Author: Barbara TaylorGreat book that tells about and shows different animals that live in acoral reef. It's a DK book with beautiful pics.
4) Killer Whales, Author: Dorothy Hinshaw PatentLots of good info specifically about killer whales.
5) Whales: The Gentle GiantsAuthor: Joyce MiltonThis is a "Step into Reading" book, step 2, grades 1-3. It has similar information as the other books above, but written so children might be able to read it themselves. It has bigger letters and fewer words on a page than adult books.

Fiction:
1) The True Story of Corky, the Blind Seal Author: Georgeanne Irvine Story about a rescued seal who goes blind. Very nice story too.
2) Shamu and the Adventurous Seal Pup Author: Mark ShulmanThis story is for younger kids, but it's a good one. Introduces some of the marine animals at Sea World. Most pages even have a "hidden"picture to find.

Thanks Marie!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Legoland Costume Design

Our girl scout group visited Legoland's Costume Design Department yesterday and learned all about the work that goes behind designing and creating the costumes, uniforms, and clothing that the Legoland employees wear. We learned that they are international, and that they design for other countries as well. They have to consider demographics. Especially weather, and making sure their employees are comfortable in their outfits. Also, the food workers must get their uniforms sterilized everyday for health reasons. It was really quite interesting. Yoli, the dept mgr took us through the whole process, from concept to finished product. The girls came prepared with some wonderful questions. The presentation ended with Yoli giving us all some Legoland caps. It was so nice of her and her staff to take out an hour of their day to share their busy work day with us. Thank you Yoli and thank you Legoland! That's Violet in the front middle with cocked cap, and me and Livie on the far right, second row.

Monday, November 13, 2006

MSO-Outside


MSO-Outside, originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Mama Says Om's theme this week is "outside", which is so appropriate for us, as we are outside on a daily basis. There are so many things to enjoy outside; playing in the sand, whether it be sandbox in the backyard or 45 minute to the beach, or even local park, reading a good book out in the garden, watering our little garden, checking out leaves, bugs, and other interesting outdoor finds, loving on our pets; Bone, our 10 yr old Golden retriever, Max our Bunny, Abby or Domino our kitties, going to local arboreteums, gardens, parks, nature preserves, beaches, mountains, camping at the many great southern California campgrounds, playing sports with our friends at the park on a homeschool parkday. These are just a few of the things we so enjoy doing as often as we can. I feel so very fortunate to be able to spend this much time with my kids, and enjoy every moment of their growing years with them. What beautiful memories we will share together.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Escondido Children's Museum

If you live in San Diego, or even S. Ca, you really need to take your kids to The Children's Museum in Escondido. It's an interactive learning and playing museum, where kids get to make bubbles, with the big bubble machine, climb a treehouse, where they learn about birds, bats, plants, puppet theatre, where they get to make up there own shows, crafts area, toddler area, learning areas about magnets, weather, garden, cultures. It's a really amazing place. There is also a picnic area, if you'd like to bring your lunch. There is a nice park close by (Grape Park) which has giant grapes and grape leaves as play structures, and shops and restaurants close by. There was a very interesting Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead memorial nearby, which we all enjoyed looking at and reading about dearly departed family and friends of locals. Check it out if you're ever in the area. For more photos, see my Flicker group. Afterwards, we had lunch and went to the Goodwill nearby and found some great stuff, see here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Silver Strand State Beach


Silver Strand, originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

I cannot believe how nice it is here in San Diego in November. It was about mid 70s, and the girls were enjoying playing in the water and sand all day. I have always been rather cold blooded, so even with the nice weather, I had on pants and long sleeves, especially in the evenings, I would camp out by the fire to stay warm.
Silver Strand is a 7 mi long strip of land attached to Coronado Island. Hubby says it is a protective strip for the military ships in the bay. Turns out there is a Naval Amphibious Base there as well. We actually saw a navy seal out in the ocean at night. We saw a light in the water, and kept an eye on it for awhile, then saw it approaching the shore. Eventually, we saw a person in full wet suit gear emerge from the ocean.
The camp is a dry site, and only allows self contained RVs. But is well worth the stay. I imagine there's a high demand for the sights in summer time. But, I rather liked staying there this time of year. We met so many nice people. You even meet people from other countries that rent RVs and are traveling all over. The girls made many new friends while there. Many folks there were local San Diegans. There were an unusally large number of little girls this time. We brought Bone our Golden Retriever, and he made many friends as well. A neighbor brought some left over steak for him. He's got a friend for life. One thing I really liked, is that it has a very long slow gradual beach. During low tide, the shore goes out a long distance, and you can find many mussel, clams and sea shells along the shore. One fisherman, used the clams he collected as bait, and would fish at high tide, and was very successful at catching fish.
Hopefully, we will go there again some time in the near future.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dora the Explorer



Dora the Explorer, originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
We had such a busy Halloween week. Didn't do any trick or treating in our immediate neighborhood, but we went to a Brownie party, merchant trick or treating, a friend's church's Harvest Festival, and a Homeschool Halloween park day. So the girls got to wear several costumes. Violet wore, Cleopatra, & rock star, Olivia wore Superman and Dora. By the end of it all, Olivia was saying trick or treat to everyone, and thank you as well. This weekend we spent camping at Silver Strand state beach. It was a beautiful sunny weekend. We met many nice people, and just had an overall great time. Who would think it would be so beautiful in November!?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another fun, busy week!


DSC01032, originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

We had another fun, busy week. It started with a park day with some fellow unschoolers down in El Cajon. It was a really nice day. Violet started up an impromptu game of baseball with all of the other kids. Some I don't think had ever played before. There was a little cutie name Sam who was 3 and from England, who played for the 1st time, and he was pitching and hitting the ball, pretty amazing little guy. The kids all took turns hitting and pitching. They ran around the make shift bases (a jacket, a box.... )
Wednesday we went to another homeschool group's park day in San Marcos and had a Halloween party. Olivia was, of course, Superman, and Violet dressed up as a rock star. We lined up (sort of) our lawn chairs (the mommies) and the kids went through and trick or treated. I thought it funny that Violet was trading candy for play-doh. Olivia had fun playing with a little boy dressed up as Spider Man. So cute!
Friday, we had a science unit study here at our house on Owls. We read about Owls, made a paper plate craft making them into owls. Did a few flight experiments with ping pong balls, and paper, and dissected owl pellets.
Here are some of our resources, in case anyone is interested:
Insectlore (for the owl pellets)
Kids Wings (for flight experiments)
Kids Wings (for virtual owl pellet dissection diagram)
Enchanted Learning (for information about owls and owl coloring pages and owl craft)
Books:
Animal Lives The Barn Owl by Kingfisher Illustrated by Bert Kitchen
Sleep LIttle Owl by Oward Goldsmith
Great Horned Owls Doug Wechsler
The Barn Owl Mike Read and Jake Allsop
Birds of Prey Kate Petty
Owls The Silent Hunters Sara Swan Miller
Owl Moon Jane Yolen
Owls Animal Predators by Sandra Markle
It was a great time learning about Owls.

Note: Featured in December's Unschooling Voices.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apple picking at Calico Ranch


Violet at Calico Ranch
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
Last Friday we went to Juilan to go apple picking with a local hs group. We went on a tour with one of the owners. He told us about the different types of apples they grown there, and he said there are over 10,000 types of apples. He told us how they are grown, not directly from the seeds, from propogating a branch from a "good apple" tree to a seed. It was a beautiful ranch, you could really appreciate the fall colors (not too many in my neighborhood), and again another beautiful, perfect day. The kids each got a bag, and were able to fill it up with apples that they had picked themselves. Yesterday, I got out the caramel and covered a few of the apples they picked for a special treat! They loved them!

Playing at the Pumpkin Patch


Olivia at the Pumpkin Patch
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
We all (Dan included) went to the local pumpkin patch at a working farm at the edge of town last weekend. It was a cloudy, overcast day, with little bits of blue peeking out, perfect weather for pumpkin pickin'! There were these huge boulders that the kids had fun climbing on (hubby too!) and farm animals, corn chucking machine, corn maze, and the pumpkin patch where you could pick your own, or you could pick one out from the barn which was filled with them. They also had dried corn, which we bought a few. You put them in a paper bag, and pop them in the microwave and you have popcorn! We picked up a nice big pumpkin for Halloween.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Batty "Taste - MSO"



Violet made these chocolate cupcakes with bats, spider webs and spiders on them for our science unit co-op. It was our turn to host, and our theme was "Night Creatures". We had a fun time learning about bats. We watched part of a Stella Luna dvd, which has an educational piece at the end of the movie about bat conservation (don't you love the extras that they put at the end of movies?!!). We read from "Amazing Bats" and learned about echolocation, different types of bats, nocturnal creatures, hibernation, to name a few things. Bats are mammals, they are nocturnal, they eat insects, flowers, fruits, frogs, and of course the vampire bats that lap up blood from chickens, & cows. We played a fun game which was about echolocation. A child would be blindfolded and be the "bat" then the other kids were the insects. The bat would go "eek, eek" and the insects "buzz, buzz" and the bat would catch the insects and they would go in the bat cave. Everyone had a great time, and learned alot about bats! Next time it will be owls, and we will be dissecting owl pellets! Fun!
Other fun bat/owl reads:
Owls aren't wise & Bats aren't blind by Warner Shedd
Kratt's Creatures Wacky Animal Facts
Stella Princess of the sky by May Louise Gay
Bats in my Attic by Sydnie Meltzer Kleinhenz
Bats by Gail Gibbons
The Magic School Bus Going Batty (Scholastic)
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Young Observer Vampire Bats and other creatures of the night (Kingfisher)
Creepy Creatures (Eyes on Nature)
Night Creatures by Joyce Pope


See more of MSO theme at http://www.mamasaysom.com/index.php

Note: Featured in December's Unschooling Voices.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Fall Y'all from Violet


Happy Fall Y'all from Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
Have my temp studio set up in our garage right now. Dan is remodeling the barn, so that I'll have a real studio out there some day soon. In the mean time, I'm practicing with my new camera, and studio equipment, and Photoshop. Got a lot to learn! But it sure is fun! And I'll never have to pay for studio pictures again! Wanted to get Livie in the shot, but she wasn't up for it, too busy running around. Will have to get a shot of her later.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Violet's Heritage board


Violet's Heritage board
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Little fairy by Violet


Little fairy by Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Max the bunny's stepping stone


Max the bunny's stepping stone
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Mermaid by Violet


Mermaid by Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Artwork and timelines

This week Violet had a Brownie meeting and was supposed to share about her heritage. First, she was going to take pictures of family, then she decided to make a Heritage board. It came out really nice. Yesterday, Violet pulled out her Brownie Try it book and decided she wanted to work on a few of them. One that she did was making your own mask. She used a paper plate, put some nylon elastic on it, and decorated it with some pieces of pretty pink satiny material. She then made a dress out of the rest of the pink material. Olivia also made one out of blue material. Olivia's is a "Hercules" outfit and Violet's is "Meg's". We also made timelines of their lives. Violet's first year says "Got born", 2nd year "Walking", 3rd year "Dress up", 4th year "reading", 5th year "soccer", 6th year "learn about Egypt", and 7th year "hip hop". Those were hightlights of her year. Olivia also made one, with pictures. Her 1st year was "walking", 2nd year was "climbing" and 3rd year is "playing superheroes and king". Violet also wanted to make another stepping stone for Max, our bunny. She had made one a few months ago for Bone, our dog. She made this one all on her own and it looks lovely in the garden. Another thing Violet likes to do is make up performances. She decided to make a Bratz show. So, she used post it notes (she loves to write on these(can you imagine trying to turn in your writings to a public school on sticky notes!!!). She also recieved a letter from Nana, so decided right away, to write her back. Funny how some days just seem so full of activities and other days, we just relax, or go to the park or library. When I follow their lead it takes us so many fun and interesting places. Their creativity just amazes me. I hope it never disappears. I just read this (on CHN's message board), and showed it to Violet, and we both thought it really sad.

Flowers are Red
> > > >> by Harry Chapin
> > > >> ----------------------------------------------------------
> > > >>
> > > >> ----------------------------------------------------------
> > > >> The little boy went first day of school
> > > >> He got some crayons and started to draw
> > > >> He put colors all over the paper
> > > >> For colors was what he saw
> > > >> And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man
> > > >> I'm paintin' flowers he said
> > > >> She said... It's not the time for art young man
> > > >> And anyway flowers are green and red
> > > >> There's a time for everything young man
> > > >> And a way it should be done
> > > >> You've got to show concern for everyone else
> > > >> For you're not the only one
> > > >>
> > > >> And she said...
> > > >> Flowers are red young man
> > > >> Green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than they way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> But the little boy said...
> > > >> There are so many colors in the rainbow
> > > >> So many colors in the morning sun
> > > >> So many colors in the flower and I see every one
> > > >>
> > > >> Well the teacher said.. You're sassy
> > > >> There's ways that things should be
> > > >> And you'll paint flowers the way they are
> > > >> So repeat after me.....
> > > >>
> > > >> And she said...
> > > >> Flowers are red young man
> > > >> Green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than they way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> But the little boy said...
> > > >> There are so many colors in the rainbow
> > > >> So many colors in the morning sun
> > > >> So many colors in the flower and I see every one
> > > >>
> > > >> The teacher put him in a corner
> > > >> She said.. It's for your own good..
> > > >> And you won't come out 'til you get it right
> > > >> And all responding like you should
> > > >> Well finally he got lonely
> > > >> Frightened thoughts filled his head
> > > >> And he went up to the teacher
> > > >> And this is what he said.. and he said
> > > >>
> > > >> Flowers are red, green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than the way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> Time went by like it always does
> > > >> And they moved to another town
> > > >> And the little boy went to another school
> > > >> And this is what he found
> > > >> The teacher there was smilin'
> > > >> She said...Painting should be fun
> > > >> And there are so many colors in a flower
> > > >> So let's use every one
> > > >>
> > > >> But that little boy painted flowers
> > > >> In neat rows of green and red
> > > >> And when the teacher asked him why
> > > >> This is what he said.. and he said
> > > >>
> > > >> Flowers are red, green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than the way they always have been seen.
> > > >>

Monday, October 02, 2006

La Jolla




Yesterday afternoon, we went to La Jolla Shores (for those out of the area that is La Hoy-yah) to scope out the scenery for some photos, and for the girls to play in the water and sand with daddy. It was about 4 pm, and cloudy, but the water wasn't too cold (for them anyway), but it made for some beautiful skies. Violet made a new friend who was vacationing from Texas. They made some sand hills, where you dribble the wet sand, and it looks like a giant turd! Dan took the girls in the water and played with them. We drove through the cliff area, where the caves are, and it was a lovely shopping and restaurant row. Will have to come back with Dan on a date night some time. We're still fairly new to S.D. so it's really nice to find new places to explore. I got to experiment with my new camera. I'm planning on starting a portrait business, and already have some folks that want Christmas beach pictures, so looking for some great spots. Torrey Pines has some beautiful scenery, but it's either from dangerous, unstable cliffs, or on a golf course, of which I don't have membership. Please share with me any spots YOU may know of in San Diego.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Liv"in la Vida Loca

Here's our innovative Livie getting into her usual mischief!


She scoots the step stool from clear across the house, from the bathroom.....

She sets it just so, so that she can access the freezer.....


Mission accomplished! ICE CREAM FOR ALL!

Batmaaaaaan!


Not sure how to spell the "nu, nu, nu, nu,nu,nu,nu, batmaaaann" song words, but here's Olivia in her latest cape, Batman! She just loves dressing up as superheroes. I found this cape and the local FAll arts and crafts show last Thursday. When you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she says "A SUPERHERO!" She just might be.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.....




Friday, we went to a Weather Unit study Pt 2 at our friend Dawn's house. A few weeks ago we learned about clouds and rain precipitation with some fun activities which included making clouds out of shaving cream, reading a funny story about a town where food rained from the sky, pretended we were rain droplets. Friday, we made tornados in jars, created lightning using foil plates, static, and pencils, and talked about warm air and cold air, and displayed it using balloons on a parachute. What a fun way to learn about weather. Our friends from a hs group invited us, and my girls have really enjoyed it, and made some new friends (as well as I).

Olivia Di Vinci








This week we had some fun painting on the patio. I pulled out a big roll of paper, put some paint on some paper plates, got out some brushes, and sponge shapes and let them go for it. Olivia always ends up with more paint on her body then on the paper. She even fell on her butt and got paint all over her diaper. She loves to paint her hands. Not just to do finger paint, she just likes having the paint on her. I think she wants to be a famous painter like her big sister, Violet. Violet will be having her debut art showing next Friday at our friend, her art teacher, Spramani's house. They will be showing all of the kids from her weekly art classes art work. Will be exciting!

What do you do with a Scurvy Pirate?




Tuesday was Talk like a Pirate Day. We went to one of our local libraries and saw the Jack Straws, a trio of pirates playing pirate songs. The girls really enjoyed watching them play and clapped along to the songs. They were given pirate hats and stickers for guessing answers to different pirate/sea trivia, (they would give them out just for trying, as most were 3 and under (it was during a school day). Afterwards, we went inside, it was a very nice library with a great children's section. Olivia enjoyed doing some puzzles, looking at some books, and playing with a giant stuffed Curious George. Violet picked up a lot of cd-rom games some of which were; The road to Ancient Egypt, The Magic School Bus in Concert, Mulan, couple of Carmen San Diego's, Barbie Horse Adventures, as well as Maia of Thebes 1463 BC (historical fiction) and an Arthurs game for Olivia.
BTW, did any of you get to see Wife Swap last Monday, with Mad Sally, the Pirate mom who swapped with an "rigidly ordered, controlled and controlling family" mom. It was a lot of fun to watch. I really enjoyed the Pirate family, they were such a fun spirited, close knit family. It was good to watch. My family's been saying "aaaarrrr" all week. Read Mad Sally's account of the show here. I really admire her for when she says "I'm talking about having the courage to show the world who you really are, and never apologizing for it" and "When you bow to external standards, you're giving the outside world control over how you feel about yourself".

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Favorite TV Characters-My First MEME

Waya tagged me to do this meme on 10 Top Favorite TV Characters. I have to admit I mostly watch Reality tv these days. They are just plain fun to watch, because they are real people. Even though I did notice script writers in the credits on a reality show once (forget which one), perhaps it was for the host???? Anyway, had to reflect back a little and came up with these.......(in no particular order)


Gilligan (Gilligan’s Island) Bob Denver. He was just so hilarious! Didn’t have to say a word and was very funny!

Lucy (I love Lucy) Lucille Ball. Another great actress who didn’t need to say a word either to be funny. Loved her!

Curious George. Just started watching the series with my kids. Glad they get to enjoy him too! He is just so full of life and has a Love of Learning (the unschooler in me loves this!)

Peg (Married with Children) Katie Segal. I loved her dry sarcasm and how she put her husband in his place.

Samantha Stevens (Bewitched) Elizabeth Montgomery I always wanted to be able to do magic like her, just wiggle my nose and make something appear (or disappear)

Jeannie (I dream of Jeannie) Barbara Eden. Also, the magic and she was beautiful and exotic.

Susan Partridge (The Partridge Family) Susay Dey. Wanted to be her, Loved her hippyness and coolness, and all the boys loved her
I hope this is a joke, but I found it rather funny:
http://www.partridgefamilytemple.com/

Oprah Winfrey (Oprah), okay not a character, but she is one of my favorite people on tv. She is truly one of Maslow’’s Self Actualized People.

Running out of people, but I’ve like David Duchovny as Fox Mulder in XFiles, Sexy-X-Man!

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie in Sex in the City, so sophisticated, sexy, independent, (so not me except that I love shoes!)

Okay, here's the part I get to tag some friends so I'm tagging: Amanda, Cynthia, & to throw in a male's perspective, and because I think he's funny, Kent. Looking forward to seeing all of yours!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Beauty is - MSO

Beauty is....

My daughters' smiles

One mature, yet still childish toothy grin full of a good sense of humor

One mischievous little grin, head tilted, forehead low to one side, saying "watch out world, I'm coming full speed!"

Beauty is....

My daughters' eyes

Laughter twinkles in her big brown eyes. An old soul who's aware of the world around her, yet still full of questions, eager to learn.

The other's big round brown eyes, full of love and confidence.

Beauty is....

My daughters' spirit

One compassionate, sensitive, dramatic, silly, appreciates the arts, enjoys a good story.

One fiesty, energetic, curious, independent, thoughtful, inventive, playful and full of passion.

Beauty is....

My daughters' love

Trusting, affectionate, warm, forgiving. Love for me, for their daddy, for one another, and for family and friends that are in their lives.

Beauty is....

My family.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Helping with the grout




I'm so lucky I have such a handy husband. Not only was he an electrician by trade for many years, but he can do about anything he sets his mind to around the house. The latest being retiling our shower. We bought about a 30 yr old house down here in San Diego, and it has given him plenty of opportunities to do "projects" around the house. Even though he gets a little frustrated at times, if something is broken and needs repair, as opposed to just upgrading something and making it look nicer, I think he really enjoys most of what he does. He's just like a little boy showing off his artwork, when he comes into the room, "honey, come look at this and tell me what you think?" I praise it, and really am quite proud of all that he can do. Especially, when you hear other women complain about what there husbands can't or won't do around the house. Here you see Violet helping him grout the shower pan earlier this week. All it needs is the shower door now.

Today, we went to the local thrift stores in pursuit of props and outfits for an American Girl Play that Violet would like to direct and play in with her friends. It happens to be a play we picked up at a thrift store some time ago. We ended up finding a velvet Renaissance dress, and knights outfit for Olivia, with a shield and some books as well. I found a really great Mexican tin & tile mirror and a wooden elephant mirror for the girls room (which is safari themed). I recently stumbled on this $99 Thrift Challenge at Apron Thrift Girl's blog. I really love her blog, as I love to go "junkin" as an old friend used to call it, going to yard sales, thrift stores, rummage sales. She has mostly a vintage style in her blog, but it's really fun to check out what other people find and what kind of deals that they get. I mostly get things to go in the house, garden stuff, books. Being that we're unschoolers, I'm always on the lookout for books the kids will like, reference type books, games, dress-up, anything they might find of interest, and they really enjoy coming as well. They learn the value of things, and bring their own money (sometimes). I like what Apron Thrift Girl says about being eco-chic, comsuming less, recycling and reusing, and try to apply those principles to my life as well, and make my children aware of recycling, and appreciating "used" items.
You can check out my other cool finds on my Flicker account, just click on the Flicker pictures on the right.

Monday, September 04, 2006

And the fun never stops

Violet has been wanting to make a house for her American Girl doll for awhile now. Dan bought the wood, but has been very busy with home improvement projects, the latest being retiling our shower. Violet loves to browse the AG catalogs, and windowshop on eBay for AG stuff. She found this teepee in the catalog, which by the way costs $60(way overpriced IMO), so we decided to make one instead. She called dad while he was out at Lowe's picking up more grout, and asked him to pick up some 36" dowel rods. When he got home, he cut some plywood into a circle and drilled some holes for the dowels. We then fitted the dowels into the holes and pulled them together with a plastic tie, which I covered with some hemp twine. We then cut some leftover painter's canvas drop clothes, and Violet and Olivia painted some Native American symbols on it, which we had looked up on the internet. Olivia assisted with a red hand print. We had found a little blanket at the thrift store the other day, and she decorated it with some gourds and drums and feathers.