Life at The Living Desert

October 29, 2010

On Wednesday we piled the Monster Van full of people (2 adults & 8 kids, to be exact) and drove off to The Living Desert

Hard to see all of them here as two are rear facing and one is blocked by another carseat.

We stopped by the Garden Railroad and saw the new Mt. Rushmore display.  It’s so realistic, I never have to go to South Dakota.  Well, that’s the excuse I’m gonna use.

We saw the zebras.

Rode wild boars.

Looked at the giraffes.

Found the hidden ostriches.

Banged on the drums.

Learned just how serious animal rights activists are about their cause.  (ie leave people in poverty & squalor for the sake of the preservation of an animal)

  And caught a cheetah.  Don’t worry, we released it.


Life on All Saints Day (or Thereabout)

October 23, 2010

We’re not Catholic, but when a friend at ballet invited us to her Catholic homeschool group’s All Saints Day picnic I was happy to go.  As I shared on FB, just to be able to go some place new & meet new people without being innundated with rude comments about the size of our family was extremely appealing.

On Thursday we did a mini-study on All Saints Day since, of course, the kids know nothing about it.  That night I was talking to some people at ballet about the party & one of the women brought us a box of costumes since, of course, we have none.  I used the costume pieces that I thought could be washed in a machine, cuz with my luck…lol. 

DB2 used the borrowed costume.  DB3 used part of a costume for his shoulder wrap.  It was supposed to be on his head, but I forgot that piece of twine.  I bought a large white t-shirt for DB3’s costume.  Twine for the belts on both.  DB4 is wearing a shirt of his dad’s, inside out, sans twine, cuz I forgot that piece too.


Life at the Insect Fair

October 21, 2010

So we finally got to the Insect Fair at CalPoly this year.  I’ve wanted to go for several years but we’ve always been busy with Nutcracker.  Obviously, that will not be the case this year (a subject for another post), but even before that knowledge I had decided we’d make it this year since we are studying bugs this term in Ambleside.

It was pretty fun.  They do need to add to their program so it looks more like a fair and less like a swap meet. (Hmmm, didn’t I just think that about the LA County Fair?) But there was one exhibit by some Entymology majors at UCR (if I remember the school correctly) where we got to let the bugs crawl on us.

This is DB2 petting the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.  Yes, that’s right, DB2. He is quite the Entymologist wanna-be.  I never would have guessed but he absolutely loves all the bug stuff.  He did, however, beg off letting it crawl on him.

DB1, taking a walking stick in hand.

That’s me, trying to impress my kids, or at least show them there’s nothing to be afraid of.  Note, it’s the walking stick, not the cockroach or the tarantula.

DB2 checking out all the flying bugs that probably sting and give me hives.  I have been assured, though, that I should be OK if they are dead.  I’m not planning on taking any chances.  Tweezers and garden gloves for me.

I took this pic for DB4, cuz at this point he was still too terrifed to even be held up to look at dead bugs.  He heard they were butterflies though so he wanted to see them at some point in the future.  He loves butterflies.

DB1 petting what I believe is a skink. (?)  It was there because, uh, it eats bugs?  Actually, there were two bug/reptile associations there.  It seems that a love for cold blooded creatures & one for creepy crawlies goes hand-in-hand.  Who’d-a-thunk?

Now, here are some bugs DB4 is willing to touch, play with, dance with, sing with.  Poor kid.  I guess in hindsight it’s better that we didn’t buy the tarantula, the scorpion, or *sniff* the hissing cockroach.  Gosh, but I did so want a hissing cockroach.  (Really, ask DB1.)

There are many more bug things forthcoming as we spent the week studying bugs.  When they will come forth remains to be seen.  I seem to remember now that time was a factor in my quitting the blog before.  Of course, I suppose if I gave up my Frontierville habit…nah.


Life on 9-28-10

September 29, 2010

We interrupt our previously scheduled photo blog of last week for something more current…

The day started normal enough.  We had decided to meet my in-laws down at Belmont Shores to “escape” the heat.  Not much escaping done as it was hot and muggy down there, too.  But the kids got to get into the icy cold Pacific while I sat with the baby and wished he wasn’t going through his “fear of strangers” stage. :-D

DB5 spent his time checking out the many leaves on the beach. Quite a few due to a Juniper tree that shades part of the beach here.

The kids had a snack on the nifty table my in-laws have that can either be regular height or kid height.  DB5 also spent a lot of time cruising around it, at least where the blankets were.  He wasn’t too thrilled to get his feet onto the sand.

He also played, briefly, with some of the toys we brought for him.

I got myself a new profile pic for facebook. :-)

DB3 had quite a lot of fun…well, after we washed off the sunscreen which caused an allergic reaction.  He used his grandma’s collander to create an under-water “sink” in which to wash his hands which kept getting muddy for some reason.

DB4’s hands kept getting muddy, as well.

DB1 & DB2 played frisbee with their grandparents.

This was as deep as DB4 ever wanted to get.  Forbid he should get his clothes wet. 8-O.

DB1 took a break to read.  I’d love to credit my great example & his Charlotte Mason education, but, really, he’s just reading HP7 so he can critique the upcoming movie.  OK, well, I guess we can credit my example for it. :-)

Lunch time. We are so enjoying our Udi’s bread.  Now we can have picnic lunches again.

As we were driving home it we decided it was time to meet the guy driving behind us on the freeway. :-( We were on the 22E interchange to the 5 & 57, right before the 5 splits off.  Needless to say, this is one of the more “brilliant” examples of freeway engineering stupidity.  In less than a mile, people who want to get from the street on-ramp to the 22E, have to cross three lanes of California traffic.  I emphasize California because I’ve driven all over the country and I’ve found California drivers to be the most rude of all drivers.  People have to shove their way into the lane they need to get in.  Then traffic must come to an abrupt halt.  We started with more than a car’s length between us and the person in front of us…we nearly hit them.

This is all that happened to us.  I love, love, love, big cars.  This is just like when our ‘Burb was hit while parked on our street.  The little car was totalled, our car had inconvenient dings that needed to be hammered out.  The inconvenience here is that we can’t open the back so getting to the strollers will be nigh impossible right now.

Years ago a friend convinced me of the safety of having a child ride rear facing until much older than required.  Yesterday I was so glad she did.  DB5 slept through the entire incident.  This is where his seat normally rests…

This is where it ended up after the accident.

I feel bad for the guy who hit us.  It was just a true accident.  I was only kept from hitting the car in front of me because I could see way ahead and was able to figure out,  just in time, that I needed to stop quickly.  He couldn’t see that in his little car. It was the type of accident I think I avoid on a regular basis not from any skill of my own, only by Providence.

I’m thankful to God for keeping everyone safe.  No one was injured in either car.  The biggest concern in our car was whether we’d make it to any of our dance classes that afternoon.  We did make it to two, out of four. :-)

As for our little Honda…it’s days are numbered…


Life at the LA County Fair

September 17, 2010

Today we loaded up the Monster Van and drove on down to the LA County Fair. It was our now annual homeschool trip.  It’s free, just the way I like things.

DB2 & DB3 getting ready for the trek across the parking lot.

Everybody stopping at the fountain for a pic.

Then everyone decided to go see the dinosaurs.  Well, everyone except DB3 & DB4.  So I got to sit out again this year.

DB4 doesn’t seem too upset by that.

We played in a boat for a while.

DB4 has a few bugs on his grill, too.

DB2 taming a bengal.

Butterflies.  This was DB4’s favorite part.

DB2 & DB3

There were no chess pieces, so the kids decided to use themselves as chess pieces.

A nice pic of DB4.

Yes, that is a person holding a scorpion.  He assured us they are non-venomous.  I’m still not touching it.

DB4 wanted me to take a picture of this barn with a green labrador.

What, no rides?  No, we only go during the school portion, thereby saving us time, money & a whole lot of whining. :-)