Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nature Study at the Huntington Gardens

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We recently visited the Huntington Library to see the Gutenberg Bible and were pleasantly surprised to find grounds covered with fascinating gardens.  
The first garden we happened upon were the rose gardens.   The R in E-R stands for these:
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She took lots of pictures of roses when we visited Gardens of the World in October, but afterwards when looking at the pictures, we had no way of identifying the roses.  This time she made sure to take a picture of the name plates after taking pictures of each type of rose.   She is excited to put her rose pictures together into a calendar to share with relatives this Christmas.huntington gardens 124
huntington gardens 141We happened upon this beautiful tree with those unusual flowers.
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Such a pretty little tree—I think I could easily find a spot for it in our back yard.  

Next we visited the Cloud Forest Exhibit.   Not being too familiar with cloud forests, we didn’t expect to walk right into a cloud! 
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Throughout the exhibit were cards that opened up showing what the inside of the plants looked like.   We were than able to find those plants and look at them up close. 

huntington gardens 288 Right inside the pitcher plant were several insects in various stages of digestion.  huntington gardens 289

E-R also found a butterwort plant with several small gnats stuck on its leaves.                               

huntington gardens 296Texture was everywhere—both rigid and soft, smooth and fuzzy.  
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We enjoyed learning about cloud forest and the plants that grow there, but most of all we enjoyed spending time together!
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This post is linked up to Anna-Marie’s Field Trip Blog Hop.
Be sure to hop on over and be inspired by all the wonderful field trip ideas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art Activity

Check out this ingenious art project from our Atelier Art program. 
Egyptian Art is known for its black outlines.   To produce that black outline in this project, first pencil in your design on a large piece of black construction paper.   Next outline that design with white school glue.
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After letting the glue dry overnight,
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I-E used chalk to fill in each space.  
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She than blended the chalk to completely fill in each space. 

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E-R used pastels and had great results as well. 
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Completed project! 
This was a new technique for us and we were quite pleased with the results. 
What new art projects have you tried out lately?

learning ALL the time!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011



 Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection

Tomorrow I will celebrate Thanksgiving with extended family, friends, and strangers. Most likely our feast will start tonight as we finish cooking,  meander through Thursday, and end sometime on Friday.   There will be no formal table set, instead we will browse the buffet filling our plates several times throughout each day and sit where ever there is room-inside or out.   My plates will hold turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potato, gravy, and pumpkin pie as well as lumpia, pancit, ham, turducken, tamales, and candy pie.

It won’t have the Normal Rockwell vibe so many associate with Thanksgiving.   There will not be a formal table set, instead I will eat off of paper plates and sit in a folding chair that sinks into the damp ground  in a slightly catawampus way..  The table will have  a plastic tablecloth, and the person I sit next to could be a distant cousin-in-law or a complete stranger to me.   By the time the prayer is said, many will have already eaten, and many more will have not yet arrived. . 

As I sit outside eating my Mexican, Cajun, Filipino, American mix of food, I’ll take some time to think of the first Thanksgiving, of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians eating outdoors,and of the mix of English style foods and Wampanoag style foods.    I’ll think of the Pilgrims sitting next to strangers that didn’t share a common language, eating mostly  foods that were new to them, but thankful for having any food  to help them survive in their new world.   I’ll think of the Wampanoag Indians willing to embrace a new people, willing to share their knowledge and their foods to a people so different than themselves.

I’ll think of Abraham Lincoln who felt our nation as a whole needed to sit down together and be thankful.   I’ll think of those who have served overseas on Thanksgiving, and of those who ration and do without on a regular basis, but are still thankful for the blessings they do have.    I’ll think of the blessings I enjoy and those who showed me how to be grateful for those blessings.

So this Thanksgiving let’s remember it is not whether or not we eat turkey or gravy that is important, but rather the spirit that we eat it in.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week 10

Anna Sleeping
This about sums up our week! 
We had lots planned.
We didn’t follow the plan. 
We kinda took it easy.
We read lots of books, watched lots of educational DVDS, followed some bunny trails, and built a windmill or two. 
And that’s all, folks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nature Study: Lizard and Dragon Fly

This week our nature study was pretty free form.  E-R headed off with the camera in search of a lizard.   
and found this little guy.   

I-E and I happened upon this guy.   

I never realized how well dragon flies camouflage themselves.

I was also able to identify this guy as a dragonfly instead of a damselfly 
because of the way it is holding its wings.   Dragonflies hold their wings horizontal while at rest.  Damselflies hold their wings vertical to their bodies while at rest.

After going home we researched dragonflies and damselflies, but were unable to identify this guy  
though we learned a ton from our research.  

Two excellent websites we used for research.

What have you found in your neck of the woods lately?

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Little sisters helping big sister stay upright.   I loved that my two little (okay, I know they aren't so little) girls hurried out to help their big sister.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Worst Case Scenario Survive-O-Pedia

When Timberdoodle asked me to review The Worst Case Scenario Survive-O-Pedia Junior Edition, I expected the book to be a bit young for my 12-15 year-old kids, but an excellent gift for my 8 year-old nephew, Merek.    Well, I’ll be buying Merek his own copy because our copy has been thoroughly claimed! 
It’s been enjoyed at the dining room table,

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in the car,

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on the stairs,

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in bed,

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(and since we’re being real here)  in the  bathroom.

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If you want to know how to survive amnesia, a deserted island, flu pandemics, quicksand, riptides, the woods, a lion attack, or, sharks, The Worst Case Scenario Survive-O-Pedia will come in handy.  And even if you never find yourself in any of the 65 life threatening situations covered in this book, you’ll have a lot of fun discovering interesting facts such as:

Visual agnesia is when people mistake objects such as parking meters for people

Surfing the mud in a mudslide is not recommended.

The oil from poison ivy will not affect your pet, but may be passed on to you.

If a komodo dragon’s deadly teeth don’t kill you, it’s drool will.
The facts in this book inspired tons of conversation, as well as some interesting reenactments

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If buying this book from Timberdoodle’s Holiday Guide for a gift, you’ll want to be sure to pick one up for yourself!  

In exchange for a frank and unbiased review, I received compensation for this review. 

 Hip Homeschool Hop Button 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Obsurity Arts

I was privileged to be able to meet the owner and founder of Obscurity Arts , Josif Palmoulsos, on a recent tour of his live/work space.
This plain white warehouse hides a lot of treasures.
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Upon entering the building I was greeted not only by this awesome guy,
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but also by this guy!
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  Josif bought this warehouse with the idea of providing artists not only with a place to work and live, but also as a  place to share information and work together with other artists and was kind enough to share a tour of this space with my friend, Lennie, and me.
Some of his larger than life artwork
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The most interesting part of the tour was seeing how Josif created his sculptures.
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Turns out that Josiph is also an amazing painter
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  Working away in the back studio of the warehouse,
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happily let us invade her studio space.
A few of her whimsical pieces.
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Even the bathroom was delightful!
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Soon this warehouse will no longer be bare and hard to find

For soon
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Trader Joe bags, cardboard tubes, and pizza boxes
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Will soon scream out ART for all to see.
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It was a wonderful privilege visiting Obsurity Arts. 
And just in case you know of an artist looking for a home
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Josif has an empty studio!