Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lake Cuyamaca

We went camping to Lake Cuyamaca, on a spur of the moment whim. Dan called me at 4pm on Friday, and we were on the road at 6pm. Not a good way to plan.... We forgot so many things, and I had just grabbed what I could from the fridge. I brought some leftover cooked spagetti noodles, and what I thought was spagetti sauce in another container, but was actually left over chili! Yum, spagetti noodles and chili. My hubby ate it though.... There was a little store on one side of the lake with an attached Dutch (I think) restaurant. So, we ate lunch there Saturday, and were able to pick up a few things to get us by. Then, in the middle of the night a pipe under the bath tub in our trailer busted. We could hear the water gushing "somewhere". My husband got up and disconnected the water. We found water pouring out of one side of the trailer the next morning. Hubby was able to fix it. What an exciting weekend! We did have fun though. Violet caught a fish, and we met some nice folks, also from San Diego, who had English relatives camping with them. They had a sweet little 4 yr girl named Sasha. Violet took on her English accent shortly after meeting her. They also met some other little girls in the camp whom they played with for a little while. All in all, it was nice to be outdoors and spend some nice family time together.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chino Children's Museum

Fireman Olivia
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
We went to our friend, Evan's 3rd birthday party at the Children's museum in Chino, CA. There are separate themed rooms which included a Fireman's room (complete with pole, gear, hose, pretend firetruck), a bank teller room, a water dept room, play room, kitchen, farm, and a small stage with dress up clothes. Great fun, especially for toddler-preschool ages, though my 7 yr old and her friends all still enjoy it as well. They have a separate room for the birthday food, and cake which you bring. Not sure about rental fees, but we were there for a couple of hours. Here's Olivia in a fireman jacket and hat. She really loved this place (to bad it's so far away), but I hear there is a good one in Escondido that we'll have to check out.

Monday, August 21, 2006


MSO's theme this week is "scratch". At first it made me think about "scratching" an itch. I thought about my dog, Bone, who has been scratching a lot these last 2 weeks, and my husband and daughter finally gave him a bath yesterday, which looks like it took care of it, because he is now very happy and no longer scratching. I then thought of my cat's scratching post, but would be a pretty boring picture unless I actually got a picture of her scratching it. My daughter just said, "how about we cook something from scratch mom?" You know how often I do that? Ugh, so sad, huh? But then I got to thinking about the old days, "old school", now they call it. I grew up in Pomona (which is about 30 minutes east of L.A.). DJing, poplocking, scratching, dancing in the quad at lunchtime, where they would have poplock contests. Those were the days. Anyway, did a search on "scratching" on You tube, and actually came up with a lot of "scratching". For those of you not familiar, it is actually manipulating a vinyl lp on a turntable t make some really interesting beats. (Gosh, now I 'm really dating myself). Anyway, if you've never checked it out, and you like to groove to the beat, check this out. Peace.

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Fruits of our labor

Okay, maybe it didn't take a lot of labor. The grapevines were already here when we moved here. But, we finally got some yummy grapes to snack on. The small green ones are really sweet, and the purple ones are a little tart, but remind you of what a cabernet would taste like. We still have a lot to learn about gardening, and harvesting, but at least we've been doing okay. Even, Bone, our golden retriever was enjoying them. The last picture is Violet on a contraption our friend had in their backyard, at a birthday party we went to yesterday. It's made of a cable attached from tree to tree, bicycle handles, front forks, a rim, and a strap to sit on. The kids all lined up to ride on this thing all day. Who needs a bouncy?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer Fun

We've had so much fun this summer, I almost feel guilty (key word "almost) My husband called me on my cell yesterday asking where we were, and we were at the beach, to which I heard him say "it must be nice", before cell service disrupted....sorry honey. But, I'm so glad my girls are having a great summer, and I'm grateful to my hard-working hubby that I get to enjoy it with them. Dad will hopefully be joining us for another trip to Wild Animal Park later this afternoon. In the meantime, here's a few pictures (I'm having a hard time uploading with Blogger right now-so copying html from Flicker(big pain in the butt)-if anyone has suggestions on how to fix I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!)from some our recent outings which included a birthday party, where they got to enjoy a blow up pool and slip and slide, helping daddy wash the car, and a unit study with some homeschool friends, where they got to dissect a rainbow trout, some oysters, clams, and mussels, and read about and identified the parts of the fish.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

CHN Family Expo 2006

We had a really busy weekend. We went to the CHN Family Expo at the Ontario Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, which is California Homeschool Networks annual Homeschool Fair. We then proceeded on to the Marriott in Anaheim for a wedding on Sunday at the Garden Room.

Violet enjoyed some children's sessions at the Expo which included; making Polymer Clay Pens, making World Instruments, and a kid's room filled with fun crafts and games to play. Olivia enjoyed the thousands of Legos that they had in the playroom. We ran into quite a few other homeschoolers we knew from the area. So we were able to catch up with friends, and learn about more homeschooling resources and ideas. I really enjoyed a speaker who was a storyteller named Jim Weiss, with Greathall Productions Inc. He told stories about historical figures as well as folktales, all with moral and ethic values. I highly recommend his storytelling on cd. We picked up Egyptian Treasures: Mummies and Myths and really enjoyed it on our way home.

We then headed out to Anaheim, where we stayed at the Marriott Hotel. We thought the girls would get a chance to swim in the hotel pool for a little while before heading out to dinner with the whole family, (all 24 of us; which included the bride party, my husband's brothers and mom and all spouses and kids). Unfortunately, there had been an accident in the pool and it was shut down for the remainder of the evening. So we headed out to dinner, which was supposed to be a "short 2 block walk", but ended up being a rather long walk (escpecially for those of us in heels and non-distance-walking sandals!) at an Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo. It was a family style Italian restaurant with big dishes of food, and a lively Italian decor. It was a lot of fun to get together with all of the extended family members and enjoy a very delicious meal.

The wedding was beautiful. It was held at the Garden Room in Garden Grove. The chapel had beautiful stained glass windows, and the room was filled with white flowers. There was a winding staircase, which the bride made her entrance into the chapel from. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception.

Andrew & Melissa Grajeda, we wish you many years of happiness, hope for a future filled with little pitter-patter of feet running around, and lots of love, always.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 castle is a cardboard box

Yesterday, we spent the day playing inside most of the day. It started with the girls making an "ocean" out of a blue blanket. The "ship" was my laundry basket. And lots of stuffed animals for fish in the sea. It's amazing the number of actual sea animals we had for stuffed animals, there was a giant squid, an octupus, two dolphins, for a few. Livie had her sword, as she was a pirate. We made giant waves by rocking the "boat" around.
Later, Violet wanted to look up some crafts on Enchanted Learning, which by the way is well worth paying the membership fee for. She found a craft to make a cardboard castle and a Kachina doll. As you can see, they had lots of fun playing with the castle, filling it up with Dora people, Fisher Price little people, and lego furniture. The moat was a Finding Nemo book, opened up (see the water and fish!) I think she (Livie) enjoyed it more than she does the Dora talking house that she has...... Violet, then went to work at making the Kachina doll. At first, she said her theme would be "water", but while making it she decided to make it "sun". We used a toilet paper roll, and plastic ball, paints, yarn, stickers and glue. It turned out very nice! We also spent the day painting, drawing, and Violet has started journaling in a pirate's notebook that she got from McD's last night with her dad.
Imagination costs nothing. It provides hours of entertainment. It is an enormous opportunity for learning, interaction, fun. I'm guilty of buying things for my girls which I know will be quickly forgotten, and will have been a waste of money. To keep the imagination alive is to keep creativity alive. I know my girls are creative, and I love to give them the opportunities to keep it nurtured through creative play.
Not having much money when we were kids, I remember making Barbie houses out of cardboard boxes, furniture out of egg cartons, and my mom would make all of my Barbie's clothes. We have the means to "buy" these things today, but why? Children's imagination does not see a cardboard box, it sees a castle.