Wednesday, November 25, 2015

LA Auto Show 2015

Living in a house filled with girls (even the hamster is a girl) you would think that Joey's weekends are filled with Hello Kitty conventions, princess parties and American girl doll salon appointments. And sometimes it is! But just like the girls share their Mom's love for crafting, baby sea otters and boy bands, they also share their Poppa's love of cars. And me and cars? Well let's just say I was a tad bit into lowrider culture as a youth. I may or may not written to the editor of Lowrider magazine (I totally did and it was totally published). 

And now lots of photos...

Doesn't this look like something out of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon?

Mork Calling Orson.....Come in Orson.....

Their favorite part was the remote control cars.

She needs work on her posing in front of a lowrider like a gangster pose. 

Yes I know. Super hot. 

The girls and I decided that this is a total Fozzie bear car. Wocka-wocka. 

In front of the Darth Vader mobile. Louie's new smile is identical to my sister Ouie's smile at this age. LIKE EXACTLY!

And of course we took advantage of all the photo booths....

 Seriously the best family picture we have taken all year. Is the Mystery Machine appropriate for a holiday card?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Homeschool Week 13:Turkeys in Disguise, Igloos and Stomach Acid


Language Arts: Louie was stoked to have a week all about the letter "Ll". Of course she thought it would be all about Louie! Instead is about llamas. We did our usual worksheets and videos. She worked on beginning and ending sounds too. Louie made this cool llama with orange eyes out of the letter L!

Reading: We worked on remembering details from a non-fiction piece. Louie's teacher always has some great links to books on youtube. This is such a huge help! We listened to a few stories and we discussed and answered questions about the details of the story. All the stories this week tied into social studies and the first thanksgiving.

Writing: This week's project was so stinking cute! Louie was given a turkey and her job was to disguise it and write about his disguise. When we started talking about potential disguises I threw out superheros and princesses and she exclaimed that she wanted to disguise her turkey as popcorn. Genius. No one will ever find him.

Math:  We had a few successful attempts at counting to 30. She is still stumbling over 15 and 16 but she is getting there. We also looked at using shapes to build an object. For this assignment Louie had to follow my instructions to build a scarecrow out of shapes. Mission accomplished.

Social Studies: This week we learned all about the first thanksgiving. Did you know that they did not have turkey! Weird. We read some books and then Louie made her own Thanksgiving lap book. She wrote facts about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. She also pasted pictures of food that they had. And yes she used the FSU logo for her Native American facts. She is now a big fan. Go Noles.

Science: We continued our study about animals. This week we looked at babies. Aww so cute. We looked at how babies animals grow and how they can sometimes look very different than their Mommas. I really wish we lived closer to my sister Elaine. She works at a Vet clinic and a visit would be great for Louie!


Language Arts: We are in between books this week and since the next story is a mystery Phi's teacher gave her a really cool assignment. It was like a game of Clue! She was given a set of facts and using those facts she had to come up with "who done it". She choose to solve the case of the jewels missing from the Titanic. She has a really good time dissecting each characters and looking for opportunity and motives. In the end Phi determined that it was the underpaid assistant and the desperate for money maid that robbed Mr. Astor.

Math: We continued with adding and subtracting fractions. I was glad we got another week to look at word problems using the butterfly method because Phi needs the practice. Once she gets into the swing of it it's not so tough. I did notice that after a 3 day break from math we came back to it and she could not tell me how to simplify a fraction. This let me know that she needs to be doing some kind of math every single day. As you can imagine she was "thrilled" with this conclusion.

Social Studies: Phi studied the Arctic Native Americans this week. She choose to research the Inuit tribe. This was a nice change of pace from the other tribes we have been learning about. We got to look at how they hunt whales, the crazy amount of clothes they wear and how they built an igloo and why an igloo keeps you warm. Since this week was a bit lighter than usual I had Phi do one of the optional projects. She choose to build an igloo out of sugar cubes. Classic.

Science: Onto the next human body system the digestive system. We read and did a few worksheets. Then we watched a great episode of The Magic School Bus. This episode really helped explain how it all worked. Phi took notes during the show and was able to explain to me how it worked. For her project she decided to show how stomach acid works. She put together this powtoons video of her project..

Week 14 is up next and with the holiday we should have 2 weeks to complete the assignments! I was really hoping for 2 weeks off. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grandpa Andy

When Joey and I got married I was not sure if I would keep my last name, hyphenate it or take his. Then during all the wedding planning the topic came up and very sincerely Joey asked that I take his name. He said that it was important to him. Joey never asks for anything and I understood where he was coming from so after we got married I went through all the channels and had my last name changed to Lerma.

Almost 10 years later I don't just have the last name, over the years I have become a real part of the Lerma Family. I love them all and they all love me like I have been a part of them forever. Over the weekend the Lerma Family gathered to celebrate the life of their patriarch our Grandpa Andy.

Andres Jose Lerma was born in New Mexico and lived his life between New Mexico and California. He married Josie, the love of his life and on their last anniversary they celebrated 66 years together. They have 3 children, 11 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and even 1 great-great grandchild. But I can tell you that the number of people who love them and who they love like family is much bigger.

Grandpa Andy was a man of many many words. He loved to give long speeches and tell stories about his life and adventures. And even though the family joked about how long his talks were, we all loved them. He was a very proud man and nothing gave him more pride than his family. He adored us all. When Phi was born he thought she looked so much like my Dad and so he started calling her "Little Gomez". He would see her and give her the 2 thumbs up and they would say "alright!" to each other. When Louella was born he was so in love with her. Because Louie is so little he started called her his little "pinon". He would even introduce her to other people has "my little pinon". And he was very proud of his Joe. He was proud of the man that little skater kid had become and was also so happy to see him and quick to brag about him to anyone who would listen. Grandpa and I shared a love for history and he once gave me a copy of a paper someone who came from the same small town in New Mexico had written. It has a lot of facts and stories that would have been lost if they had not been written down.

Growing up I had one grandfather in my life and 9 months ago I lost him and it was and still is devastating but I was comforted in knowing that Andres loved me and treated me like a granddaughter. I still had a grandpa who was there for me and my little family. Now Grandpa Andy as left us and even though I did my best to be strong for Joey my heart is broken because even though I have only been a Lerma for about a decade it feels like I lost a Grandpa I had my whole life.

Grandpa Andres, we will miss you so much. I hear your voice in my head and I take some comfort in knowing that you were ready to leave this earth and be reunited with your Mom. I hope that you know that the family has been and will continue to take very good care of Grandma Josie.

Until we meet again... 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Homeschool Week 12: The Ultimate Battle: Otter vs Hamster and Tendons


Language Arts: This week was about the letter "Oo". Louie loved this because otter starts with O and this kid loves sea otters. She also worked on ending sounds of words. She also read book 3 of the Bobs book series and did a fantastic job!  We introduced her to the band Ozomatli and she loved it. Then she wa super stoked to see that they are playing near by soon!

Reading: We looked at non-fiction books this week. We tied this in with science and at our weekly library trip we looked up and picked up 2 non-fiction books. One one sea otters and one on hamsters. Louie and Poppa looked over the books and talked about the information you find on the front cover, back cover, spine and title page.

Math: We worked hard on getting Louie to count to 20 but she is just not getting it. When she gets to 14 and then 15-16 are a mess and then she picks it up after 17. We will still working. We also used a number line (ugh Common core!) to look at one number before and one number after.

Social Studies: This week we talked about Veterans and why we celebrate them. This was a great lesson and we got the opportunity to talk about the Veterans in our family. Louie made a little book about Veterans Day and she even wrote a letter to Kelly to thank him for his service.

Science: Explaining how animals can be different and alike. Of course I knew that she would pick sea otters and hamsters. And that is exactly what she choose. She made a venn diagram with a photo of each. She found some great similarities like they both have pouches! Otters in their armpit for rocks and hamsters in their cheeks for food.


Language Arts: Essay time! Now that the novel was done Phi had to write a 5 paragraph opinion essay with 3 quotes from the book. She did her prewriting, rough draft and typed up her paper. It was a good paper. She is getting much better at the writing steps. She also made a book cover for it. She did another grammar worksheet also.

Math: We had our first crying session this week. We moved onto adding and subtracting improper fractions and mixed numbers. There are a lot of steps and lots of multiplication and dividing big numbers. It's all things she knows but she needs to work on her neatness because she has numbers everywhere and it's hard for her to keep track of what she is doing. I hope we stick with this for another week. She needs the practice.

Social Studies: Another week, another Native American regions. This week was about the Eastern Woodland tribes. She choose the Mohawk tribe and researched shelters, clothing and food. It seems pretty repetitive, even the type of shelters, food and clothes are all pretty similar. We did look at their crying ceremony for when a tribe member dies. 5 days of mourning.

Science: This week we looked at the muscular system. We watched a Magic School Bus episode about the muscular system and did a few worksheets on concepts and vocabulary.  She also had to make a model of something demonstrating the muscular system. She made a model of a hand and how tendons work. Very cool!


Since Veteran's Day is on Wednesday this week we had to turn in our work a day early. This gave us a head start on the next week, or a day off. I haven't decided yet! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dirt Road Diary- Joshua Tree / Old Dale Mining Road Part 2

So when we last left off we had been stuck behind an incredibly slow car and had finally made the turn onto Old Dale Mining Road. For about the first 30-45 minutes of the trip the road were sandy but smooth. So much that the girls both fell asleep. We eventually made it to the old cyanide tanks. All the kids woke up and we explored a bit..

We got back onto the roads and our trail went from smooth and sandy to steep, narrow and rocky and it was awesome.

At the top of a turn we saw this. Just sitting there. So of course we stopped for more exploring. We love abandoned buildings. 

Louie was stoked to find this bench with a fire pit. And then we noticed that the pan on the left was a make shift bathroom. GROSS.

So back on the road we go.

This was a fantastic trail. We really loved it. A great mix of easy and medium trails. A perfect birthday weekend adventure! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Homeschool Week 11: Rock and Roll All Night and Party Everyday

This week was special because Momma had a business trip one afternoon was spent with Grandma doing homework. They loved the change of pace.


Language Arts: This week was about the letter "Kk". So naturally the band of the week was..

 We rocked out to a little "rock and roll all night" and of course we "partied everyday". We are still reviewing flashcards twice a day and she is rocking it. She is excited for the new letter each week. She is still doing some simple blending and everywhere we go she is recognizing letters. This week we worked on sight words and I was surprised at how many she knew.

Reading: I loved this weeks lesson on mental imagery. We talked about the images that come up when reading a story. We read a book about monsters and midway we stopped and Louie drew a picture of what she thought what the monster would look like. She also read a Halloween poem with Grandma and drew a picture of the setting. This was such a cute lesson and a great way to introduce kids to imagery from reading. That has always been something about reading that I love, imagining what they setting and characters in a story look like. 

Writing: We continued on with the writing lesson. I think this program would be really great taught by someone who is familiar with it. I am still not sure if I am doing the lessons right. This week we used some sight words in sentences.

Math: Number 10! We are in double digits. Louie is still not great at recognizing all the numbers. Instead she has to write them out until she gets to the number she needs. I think we are going to have to include some rounds of Uno into the mix. This week we also started working on equal to, greater than and less than. To help Louie remember we talked about how the alligator wants to eat the bigger number. We used dice to write down random pairs of numbers and then she had to put in the correct symbol. She did very well.

Social Studies: No social studies this week!

Science: Since this was Halloween week science was all about pumpkins! We were not going to carve pumpkins this year but since Louie was studying them we got one. Louie the little Scientist and Poppa recorded different observations about the pumpkin. She counted the lines, measured the height, counted the seed (there were over 500!) and even did an experiment to see if it would float.


Language Arts: This week Phi finished reading The Sign of the Beaver. She had the usual comprehension questions. She said that she liked this book better than Hatchet. I am so glad that she in enjoying the books this year. I hope that the next book has a great female lead this time. Fingers crossed.

Math: Phi came home this week with a note from her teacher that she needed to work on her math vocabulary. So of course flash cards were made. This week the 8 problems were about adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals. Her teacher gave her some great notes so we were able to get through the week pretty easily.

Social Studies: We are still working on Native Americans from different regions. This week was about Plains Native Americans. The tribe she decided to focus on was the Walla Walla Tribe. We did the same worksheets we have been doing with all the other regions. She researched shelters, food and clothes.

Science: We are still working on the different systems of the body. This week was the skeletal system. I found a great interactive website that helped her learn the different types of bones and where they are located. She did a vocabulary worksheet and comprehension questions. She also had to make  model of something to represent the skeletal system. She choose to make the model of a bone. She used food to make a bone.

Does it look like a burrito with sting around it. Yes it does. Here is what the inside looks like.

 The yarn represents blood vessels. The strawberry jam is the bone marrow, The lady fingers are the spongy bone and the wafers are the compound bone. The tortilla is the membrane on the outside.

So we are onto week 12. We are very close to a break! And I am ready for a break.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Dirt Road Diary: Joshua Tree / Old Dale Mining Road Part 1

Over my birthday weekend Joey asked what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to take a trip out to Joshua Tree. I wanted to see more of the park and do some off-roading. It was my birthday so my wish was his command. On Sunday we packed up to coolers and the Cruisers and headed out to Joshua Tree. It was a great trip with some pretty memorable moments.

The trip started at our house and we hit the road, only to get to the first stop light when we realized we forgot the paper plates so we headed back to the house. Back at the house Joey notices that his radiator was leaking. The hood went up and the guys did that thing where the look at it and stroke their beards and then declare what it's wrong. They were hoping that a new radiator cap would fix it so off to Star Auto they went. They got back with the new cap and by golly, as usual they were right and the crew was back on the road.

Our first stop was the Joshua Tree Visitor Center to figure out where the Old Dale Mining Trail was at. We got some maps and annual passes to the park. Now we have to go back a lot! Then we drove into the park. When you see these....

... you know you have arrived.

Everywhere you look it is breathtakingly beautiful. 

This rock had people rock climbing in the middle of it. So cool. 

Louie as cool as ever....

After getting into the park we turned off the main road to head over to Keys View. An amazing spot where you can see mountains on the Mexican border on one side and all the way to Morongo Casino on the other side. You can see the Salton Sea (and see how low it is!) and even a fault line. Even with the hazy day we had it was stunning. STUNNING! 

After Keys View we headed down to Caps Rock for lunch. A small little picnic area.

  A great place with a parking lot and bathroom. Apparently it is so nice that it is a great place for photo shoots. Photo shoots of girls in thongs. It was ridiculous. She was standing in the middle of the street while her friend took photos not giving a damn that her butt cheeks were out for the world to see. Talk about awkward. It didn't stop there. She actually made a few costume changes.

Anyways the night before we had planned it out so that Joey and I would bring the stuff to make hamburgers. Except Joey forgot the dang burgers. Since we had everything else, including the grill we went meatless and had grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thanks to my camera remote I was able to get a good group shot.
Muddy Buddies Por Vida
 After our vegetarian lunch we headed over to Skull Rock. Just a really cool place to explore...

 We continued on our way towards Old Dale Mining Road and we spotted the Cahuilla Cactus garden. This place looked like it was straight from a sci-fi movie. It was like stepping on another planet.

We got back on the road looking for our dirt road turn off. We were stuck behind the slowest car ever and it helped build the anticipation of those dusty trails. We finally made the left turn and we headed out to explore a new trail......