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 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:

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:
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.

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, 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!?