Friday, May 22, 2015

A Decade In: Parenting

10 years old. My daughter turns 10 years old today. MY. DAUGHTER. 10 YEARS OLD. 

No matter how many times I say it still doesn't seem real. How in the world has 10 years gone by so fast? I remember the moment that they placed Phi in my arms for the first time. I was terrified. I had no idea if I could really be a good parent to her. Fast forward 10 years and really I am still not sure if I am doing this right but that tiny baby is now 10 years old and a really awesome person. We must be doing something right. 

My Dupie, My Lovie,

Your Poppa and I know that being the first born is not easy. (We are both 1st born kids.) We really are learning everything as we go along. Everyday we hope that we are doing the right thing. We know that we have taken a different path when it comes to your education. It has not been easy and we know at times it's frustrating but just know that we do it because we love you so much. Because we want to be around you and with you. We only have so many years with you in our home and we want to spend as much time as we can with you. We got really lucky to have a kid like you. You are so smart, funny, talented and creative and I hope that you know how proud we are of you. We are very very proud of you and we love you so much. All the time. Every second of everyday. Happy 10th Birthday. Let the tween years begin! 

And of course, Happy Birthday to my main squeeze. (That's right they have the same birthday!) My handsome, rugged man. I am so grateful to have been able to spend the last 12 of your birthdays with you. I love you so much and the crazy hectic life we have made. You are the laughter and adventure in my life. I know I can never top your birthday gift 10 years ago but the fact that you don't have to be the center of attention, even on your birthday, is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Birthday!

I love you both like crazy! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Boy Who Lived...

4,224 pages and 2 months later I am finished with the Harry Potter series. I can't believe it took me so long to finally pick up those monstrosity of books and read them. Each book kept me hooked. I don't know how people could stand to wait months or even a year for a new book to come out.

I found myself falling in love with each character and then when some characters meet their demise I found myself heart broken. After book 6 I was in complete denial. I stayed in denial until the end of the 7th book.

I hope Phi picks up the series soon. I know she will love it!

I am even over on HerMamas today gushing about.....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Homeschool Week 33: Smores and Silent Films

Phi did really great at the Suessical the Musical last Friday. She opened the whole show. We were super proud of her.

Language Arts: Phi read another 25 pages in "The Earth Dragon Awakes" and was assigned this really fun "Literacy Devices Comic Strip". She was given the page number and what literacy device to look for. She then had to write it down and draw a picture to go along with it. This was so fun and a great excuse to use the comic book layout pad I had bought her awhile ago. The earth has swallowed them up is my favorite!

Math: For math we worked on lines, angles and shapes. We looked at line segments and how they form angles. We also looked at the different types of angles. We spent one day looking at polygons and another day on triangles and how to classify them. (equilateral acute). Phi seemed to understand the concept but my concern is retention.

Social Studies: We looked at the booming industries in California during World War 1. Some of these included cotton, farming, clothes, oil, cars and because people needed something to take their minds off the war, the movie industry. For her assignment Phi had to make something representing one of these industries. With a little outline, my office and a iphone app she came up with this.....

I think this my favorite video for this year!

Science: We continued learning about different types of energy. This week was about heat energy. We talked about conduction, convention and radiation. The project was to conduct a heat energy experiment. Phi's teacher sent home the supplies to make a smores and a medium size pizza box. So we added foil to the flap and to the bottom of the box. Then we added black construction paper at the bottom to absorb even more heat energy. We lines the front and back of the "window" with plastic wrap to keep the heat in. We used a straw to keep the flap open. The thing that was missing was the sun. Of course the weekend we did the experiment it rained all 2 days. We had to improvise with some flood lights. After 30 minutes on the floor the chocolate was not melting so we moved the oven to a tv tray and closer to the light. 30 minutes after that we had smores success.

We only have a few weeks left of the school year. I cannot believe it's almost over. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Louie the Mini Fashionista

Louie has decided that she wants to pick out her own outfits because, as she puts it...

"I know fashion."

I thought I would document for prosperity a week's worth of outfits. 

Top: Largemouth Bass T Shirt from Bass Pro Shop
Skirt: ruffle denim skirt from Old Navy
Socks: ankle yellow spongebob from Walmart
Shoes: pink croc-like Disney princess shoes from Walmart
Hair by Poppa

 Dress: Pink patchwork dress. Gift from family
Pants: mixed blue cheetah print leggings. hand-me-downs
Hair by Poppa

 Top: Julius and the Band shirt by Paul Frank
Bottoms: purple argyle print leggings from Walmart Halloween 2014 collection
Shoes: light up fuzzy boots by Sketchers
Hat: Bee-do beanie made by Cousin Betty
Hair by Poppa
  Top: Bass Lake pirate shirt. Gift from Tia Picos
Skirt: pink with white daisy ruffle skirt from Target
Shoes: purple crocs. Legit ones.
Belt: purple belt found at the bottom of the closet
Hair by Poppa

Dress: pink with white hearts summer dress from JC Penny's
Top: light grey bass lake souvenir shirt handed down from Phi
Leggings: dark grey with pink and purple guitars. Hand me down from Phi. Gift from Aunt Crissy
Shoes: light up fuzzy boots by Sketchers
Hair by Poppa

I have to say that since then the outfits have progressively got more "interesting". 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Talking about Trips and Homeschool at Citrus Groups Homeschool Network

I am over at C.G.H.N again! This time talking about how we turn weekend adventures into a complete homeschool lesson!

Click the picture below! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Homeschool Week 32: Chinatown Post Quake

Language Arts: Phi read another 25 pages of the book "The Earth Dragon Awakes". The quake has hit San Francisco. What I really love about this book is how descriptive it is. Phi had no problems imagining what the scene was like right after the quake struck. The assignment was to make another diorama but after the quake. I like this one even better than the last one...

Math: This week we looked at different angles. We had a big issue this week again with tutoring. Phi did one page with her tutor on Friday about using equal parts of a circle to figure out word problems. The issue was that 5 of the 6 problems were done completely wrong. I really love the opportunity to send her to tutoring at her school for free, but this time it doubled our math workload. If you have been following along the last couple years you know that math is our toughest subject and set backs like these are hard. The rest of the week was not too bad. Phi seems to grasp geometry concepts better than algebra Just like her Momma. We also made good use of the division flashcards we impulse purchased at Target.

Social Studies: This week was all about how during the early 1900's people in California were demanding change. They were tired of the Big 4 rich dudes taking over everything and people started to ask for reform. We talked about how women fought and won for the right to vote in California as well as fought for a minimum wage and an 8 hour work week. We looked over the posters in my office break room and talked about how minimum wage has been increasing over the last few years.

Science:  This week was about sound energy. We talked about pitch and volume and how we can determine what a soundwave sounds like by looking at the frequency and wavelengths. We looked at a few soundwaves and tried to determine what it sounded like.

A note was sent home with some information about next year and some minor changes they are making with the program. They also asked for parent feedback. So after a 3 page (front and back) rough draft I sent over an email to the teacher and the principal. Over the last couple years there are lots of things that I see could use some improvement and ideas that I think would be beneficial to students and make the program more project based. I hope that my email was received as friendly feedback and not as complaints. We really love this program and feel really lucky to be a part of it.

Next week is the big school play! We are so excited to see Phi in Seussical the Musical! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dirt Road Diary: Butterfly Trail aka 1N12

We finally found some time to pack up the Cruisers and head out for the day. We kept it pretty local and headed to the San Bernardino Mountains taking trail 1N12 to Seven Oaks Dam. The trail was about 6 miles. Here is a google earth view of the trail.

The trail starts here...

It moves up really quickly and then the fun starts. We traveled through some really gorgeous landscapes. The girls and I decided to name the trail "Butterfly Trail" because we saw so many different types of butterflies.

We liked this plant because it reminded us of Phi's crazy shaggy hair-do.

This is a super easy trail. Really narrow roads so we were lucky to only run into a couple of other people because passing is really tight.

We were headed to the reservoir to let the kids play in the water. Except the drought is real people. There was almost no water left.

Of course the mud was still slippery and combine that with my slick flip flop bottoms and you get my ass in the mud.


The girls are still talking about it.

I gotta say though, it was so awesome to just be dirty, and not care if you got even more dirty. 

See this pic of Louie with a walking stick exploring nature with her Poppa. Yea this is the best part of off-roading. Even Phi gets into the adventure... eventually. 

After we found a shady spot and busted out lunch.  This was a great lunch spot. Lots of shade and lots of sand and rocks for the kids. Oh and our phones were 4G'ing so that's always a plus. Most trips are way out of phone range.

You may wonder how well the Cruiser does with all the bumps. It usually does really well, except when your steering column plastic cover is already cracked and you hit a big bump and the whole thing falls off.

Of course the boys had to get their picture taken. They wanted it to be epic. I think the only thing they demonstrated is that they practice the skinny girl pose in the mirror at home.

Okay so this picture is kinda epic.

While heading back down the trail we made one more stop to take in the views.

It was so nice to finally be back outdoors. This was a perfect day trip. I am hoping we can get another desert trip in this month because once the weather gets hot the desert is out of the question. 

Friday, May 08, 2015

My Mom by Louie and Phi

Click on picture to see a larger version. 

Apparently Louie wants me to clean up her playroom. 

Apparently Phi thinks I yell a lot and was hungry. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

#RegaloDeAmorPampers with a Giveaway

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with DiMe Media and Pampers.
All opinion are 100% mine. 

It's true what they say. You don't know how much love you are capable of feeling until you become a mom. This was the moment when I became a Mom...

In the last 11 years since I've been a Mom it's hard to imagine life before my kids were here. 

This Mother's Day, Pampers is celebrating moms and the precious moments of love with their little ones by giving the Pampers Gift of Love to help families capture and cherish those loving moments with baby. #RegaloDeAmorPampers

My girls are past their baby years and as they grow older those little loving moments means just as much as they did when they were babies that fit in my arms.

As a way to celebrate a very special mom in our lives, my girls and I headed to Michaels to find the perfect supplies to make a beautiful handmade bracelet for my mom, or Nana as my girls call her, Mercy. My mom Mercy is everything you want in a Mom and goes above and beyond that as a Nana. She is good. We are talking pancakes that spell out your name good.

I set the girls loose to find just the right items.

The wanted something that really reminded them of their Nana. Their Nana gives my girls so much love and confidence in who they are just by being their biggest fan and supporter. She celebrates all their accomplishments. They girls wanted something that fit how loving she is.

The decided to make her a bracelet. Since time and experience with jewelry making were not on our side we were excited to find at Michaels some "short-cut" jewelry items.  They could pick and choose from different bracelet pieces and mix and match the find the perfect bracelet for their Nana.

The girls picked a leather rope with earth tone green and pink beads and after much debate settled on a little plaque that reads "Be your own kind of Beautiful".  They said that it reminded them of Nana because she is so beautiful and makes them feel beautiful too.

Once we got home the process was simple. They just clipped the plaque to the band and they had a beautiful gift that they are so excited to give to their Nana on Mother's Day!

The special moments I share with my children are the best, but equally as good are the moments they share with their Nana and their Tias. When babies feel comforted and protected, they feel covered in love. It's a privilege for Pampers to be part of those precious moments that mom, abuela, tias and the whole family share with babies. And to celebrate it Pampers is giving them its Pampers Gift of Love #RegaloDeAmorPampers to capture those loving moments this Mother's Day! 

Visit the Pampers website by clicking the picture below.

As part of this wonderful campaign I am hosting a great giveaway! Pampers has created a #RegaloDeAmorPampers gift basket to help celebrate and capture those special moments of love with their baby. 

You can win...
  • $25.00 Michael's Gift Card to create a DIY Mother's Day gift for a special mom, abuela or tia in your life!
  • $100.00  SpaFinder Gift Card
  • Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Wipes
Entering is simple! Just leave a comment on this blog post telling us how you plan on celebrating Motherhood this Mother's Day. Yup that's it!

Last day to enter is May 31st. You must be 18+ and live in the contiguous U.S. Winner will be notified through email so don't forget to leave yours in the comment. 

Homeschool Week 31: Pre-Quake Chinatown

The last 2 weeks Phi's school has been doing state testing so homework has been light. This week we are back in business and we are in the home stretch.

Language Arts: Phi started a new book this week that goes along with what she is studying in social studies. "The Earth Dragon Awakes" by Laurence Yep is a short book and we are only about 28 pages into it but the book is filled with great imagery. The story so far is about 2 different families, one white and wealthy and the Chinese father and son who work for them. From what I can tell this book will tell how the 1906 earthquake brought people, despite race or money, together to rebuild.

Since there is not a novel study with this book Phi was assigned a diorama. In it she had to include what Chinatown looked like before the earthquake and include 2 characters from the book. She also had to give a brief description of what Chinatown was like and list some of its landmarks. Here is her finished product.

Math: This week we moved on to working with tables and word problems. I liked this week because it was real world problems. One worksheet was just about paying for items and change. This week I picked up some division flashcards from Target. Phi is still struggling with multiplication and division. It has made all other math a struggle. The plan over the summer is to get multiplication and division memorized and then review everything from this year. I spoke with teacher and she informed me that math really gets harder next year.

Social Studies: This unit was about Chinatown, San Francisco in the early 1900's. The lesson was all about how the community developed and how hard hit it was after the quake.

Science: This week we talked about sound waves. We learned about how they travel and how to measure them. We looked at different sound waves and tried to determine their volume and pitch.

PE: Thanks to Nina Elaine and Kelly Phi met her required 100 minutes of PE time with a 14 hour day at Disneyland last Friday. Thanks!