Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Answering the Questions You've Been Dying to Ask

Everywhere we go, without fail, someone will stop us and ask the same question....

"How long did it take for you to grow that?"

Of course I am talking about the beard. People are fascinated with the beard. I know that people have so many questions when it comes to the beard, so I thought I would do a quick interview to answer all the questions you have been dying to ask.

E- You are obviously awesome and magnificent and the most popular part of our family. So let's get the first and most common question out of the way. How long did it take for you to get as long and big as you are?

B- I began this current journey on January 1, 2011. A fantastic photographer did a photo series of my first 24 weeks. I would say that it takes me about 2 years to get to my current length. I was about 4 inches longer but gave myself a trim. You know to even things out.

E- You look like you could walk onto the show Duck Dynasty and fit right in. Are you a big fan?

B- Not really. Let me set the record straight. My dynasty began way before anyone knew who those duck people were.  Although it did make for an easy Halloween costume a couple of years ago.

E- Fan of ZZ Top?

B-  Yes I am. Fun fact the drummer of ZZ Top whose last name is beard is the only one in the band without a beard.

E- This might be a rude question but you are obviously very grey. Why don't you dye yourself?

B- I grow, and fast. If I dyed myself today I will have grey roots within a week. That's just a lot of maintenance and the beauty of me is that I am pretty low maintenance.

E- Do you use any product?

B- I have tried a few beard shampoos and oils and even wax for my mustache. On the daily I just use regular old shampoo. I have yet to find a product I can't live without.

E- Can people just come up and touch you?

B- No way. What if I walked up to you and grabbed your 'insert body part here'. Rude right? Things might even get violent . Of course people ask, and that's okay. If you ask nicely and don't look like a total weirdo I will let you touch me. I will even pose for a picture.

E- People like to assume that beards are covered with spilled food and smell bad. Is this true?

B- I can't speak for all beards. But I am very clean. I wash with shampoo daily and use more napkins than the average bear. I even have a system for eating that keeps me clean. I am as clean as the hair on your head. Assuming you washed it today.

E- When was the last time a razor touched you?

B- Besides my bikini line? Just kidding. I wax. It's been 4 years, 3 months and 29 days.

E- How does your family feel about you?

B- The youngest family member was exactly 6 months old when I began so really she doesn't know life without me. How awesome is that? My oldest kid loves me and brags about me to her friends. And the wife, well lets just say she has a slight lumberjack fetish.

E- Obviously you are the hero to many. Are there any beards you look up to?

B-  I do. Jeff Langum. He is the 2013 World Beard and Mustache Champ. I hope to one day be as full as that. I got mad respect for anyone who grows a mean beard.

E- Will you ever shave yourself completely off?

B- I suppose at one time it will happen but it's not something I think about. I don't put much thought into it. Even if I did, in a matter a months, BOOM I'm back.

E- Thanks for keeping it real. Any last words.

B-  I leave you with a favorite quote of mine, "Beards are like boobs. The bigger they are, the longer you stare".

Monday, April 27, 2015

Frost Nixon Play at the High Street Arts Center

Over the weekend Joey and I left the kids with my sister so we could go and watch our niece in her local community theatre play. Chone (her nickname!) is a sophomore in high school. She is active in school plays, orchestra and is on the track team. I like to joke that in her 2 years in high school she has been more involved than my sister and I combined in all our years in high school. 

After her performance as Lucy in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe this fall she caught the acting bug. She wanted to perform more and learn as much as she could. So what does she do? She works behind the scenes in her high school spring musical and auditions for a part in the local community theatre. Yup she does it all. 

The play has been running for a few weeks now and Joey and I were so excited to finally get to see it. 

I swear pride just oozes out of me because of this kid! 

She earned a part in the political play Frost Nixon by Peter Morgan. Well really she earned a few parts! 

We walked into the lobby and this was up!

 We grabbed some popcorn and water and headed to find our seats!

Even though we would love anything our Chone is in, the play was so great. Of course we were aware of Nixon and Watergate but we did not know anything about the infamous Frost interviews.

I am in awe of this girl. I love her so much, Plus she gave Joey and I an excuse to have a little date time! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Homeschool Week 29: Organization Is Key

I have talked about it to anyone who ever asks how homeschooling is going. Being organized is the key. It took us a little while to figure this out and it had made all the difference.

I am over at Citrus Group today talking about how we stay organized. Click the picture below!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Fling Dance

The girls counted down the days until the big Spring Fling Dance at school. A dance just for the homeschool elementary kids. We had bought our tickets a week earlier. Louie was even invited since she had already registered for next year. They were super excited because it was a Father/Daughter dance. They came home from work on Friday and dressed up in their Easter dresses from the week before. Louie added a big chunky necklace and a tiara, because of course. 

Joey being the non-dancing man that he is was not as excited as the girls but he but on a button up shirt and his good shoes. 

They no doubt had the coolest Poppa there...

I got to tag along...

The dance was in the multi-purpose room and the ASB club at the school did a really great job setting up and making it fun for the elementary kids. Complete with cool lights and a photo booth. They had lots of little dance games like freeze dance and limbo.

Phi LOVES, LOVES , LOVES to  dance. Like her Momma. The minute we got there she found her friends and hit the dance floor. That's where she stayed for the next 2 hours.

Louie on the other hand preferred to visit the snack table. Like her Poppa. She had some cookies and a Jamba Juice.

It took a little bit of convincing but eventually both Louie and Poppa hit the dance floor. They did the hokey-pokey, and even the macarena.

 The girls had such a great time......

...and that's what it's all about!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Homeschool Week 28: Ch-ch-ch-changes

Language Arts: This week we finished the book "Holes". I will admit this was not my favorite. I had a hard time following along with the story. Phi seemed to like it. There was a lot of work this week for langauge arts. We did the usual comprehension questions as well as some cause and effect and then a big writing project. The assignment was to write an alternate ending to the book. Phi chose to pick up the story 20 years later. This one was a lot of fun for Phi and I think she did a great job.

Filling In the Holes
          Isabella Yelnats was so excited to go on a Girl Scout trip. Her best friend Maddie Zeroni was in her troop and she was going too. Isabella and Maddie were in the car waiting for their dads.
“Did your dad get all weird when you told him you were going?” asked Maddie.
 “Yeah, he told me he went there but didn't tell me what he did there.” answered Isabella.
“Camp Green Lake looked awesome on Instagram!” said Maddie. “I know right!” said Isabella
Three hours later they arrived. The girls jumped out of the car. Hector and Stanley looked at each other.
“Never thought I’d see this place again Caveman.” said Hector
 “Me neither Zero.” said Stanley. They smiled at each other. Camp Green Lake had green everywhere. There was a shiny aqua blue lake. Cute little cabins were lined up around the lake. Hector and Stanley said goodbye and left. Isabella and Maddie walked around and bumped into their counselor. Her name was Miss Walker. They saw her nails that were painted dark red. They asked what color it was and she walked away without answering. She turned back and yelled at them to stay out of Mary Lou Meadow. They had no idea where that was at so they didn't worry about it. They unpacked everything into their cabin. They started walking around the camp. They were lost and didn’t know where to go. They ended up in Mary Lou Meadow. They started walking back and Isabella fell into a hole! Maddie gasped.
“Are you ok?!” she cried.
“Yeah” Isabella yelled back up. They both walked back to camp.
They got back to camp to talk to the counselor. They asked her about the holes that they had found at Mary Lou Meadow. Miss Walker punished them because she had told them not to go there. She made them scrub tables in the cafeteria. While the scrubbed they thought about how the holes might have got there.
“Maybe aliens were here.” said Isabella
“Nah. Maybe it was huge gophers.” Maddie suggested. Isabella shook her head.
“Oh! What if this place was for bad boys and they had to dig these holes for a really long time until they learned their lesson!” they both laughed hysterically.
They decided to sneak back to Mary Lou Meadow. Isabella looked into a hole and found something in it. She jumped into the hole. She saw a hat that had big letters that said ‘Yelnats’ in blue. They both gasped.
“That’s my last name! And that’s my Dad’s last name. That means this is his cap!” Isabella screamed. “Let’s go back and call our dads and see what is going on.”
A few minutes later they were in their cabin calling their dads.
“Hey Dad.” said Isabelle.
“Hi Sweetie. Are you having a good time?” asked Stanley.
“Yeah! But I have a question for you.” Isabella explained.
“Go ahead.”
“Well, there were some holes around here and there was a hat in one of them that said Yelnats on it.” Isabella heard a beeping sound on her phone. He had hung up. Something happened with Maddie’s dad.
“What the?” said Maddie “He just hung up on me!”
“Next week is parent’s day at Camp Green Lake so maybe we can ask him there.” said Isabella.
A week later it was ‘Parents Day’. Maddie and Isabella were worried that their dads wouldn't come. They both walked outside and looked for their cars. Isabella found Stanley and Maddie found Hector. They all said hi and their dads asked the girls to follow them to Mary Lou Meadow. Stanley and Hector told them to sit.
“This place once was a place for bad boys who had to dig holes for their punishment. There were mean people here like the warden and Mr. Sir.” said Stanley.
“We used to have nicknames. Mine was Zero and Stanley’s was Caveman.” said Hector.
“We had to dig holes every day, five feet wide and five feet deep.” said Stanley. “One time Hector ran away so I went looking for him. We went to a place that we called Big Thumb. We were close to being killed but my lawyer came and got us out.”
Isabella and Maddie were amazed because they were right about the holes.
“That’s amazing!” they said at once. They all walked back to the cabins. They were surprised to see Miss Walker was being fired because she had scratched someone with her dark red nails. They girls were happy.
“Bye Caveman” said Isabella as she said bye to her dad.
“Bye Zero” said Maddie.
Caveman and Zero smiled as they drove back home.

Math: We moved from common units of measurements to metric units. This week started a bit rough with some word problems. Phi hates those. (I love them) but the week got easier when we reviewed metric units of measurement for length, weight and capacity.

Science: We are finishing up our chapter on matter. This week we talked about the difference between a physical change and a chemical change. As her project Phi went with a Powtoons presentation. Of course Bowie was the obvious music choice.

Social Studies: We are at about 1900-1915 in California history. This was a time of lots of immigration into California, mostly from Asia. This was also the start of anti-immigration laws. Explaining how this cycle of immigrants coming into CA, California freaking out that immigrants are stealing jobs, putting anti-immigration laws against a certain country into place, then California freaking out that there is not enough people to do the hard low paying jobs, immigrants coming into CA. See this cycle?

The next 2 weeks will be Star testing for Phi so I am guessing homework will be light. I can't believe we are in the home stretch!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Persimmon Orson Tata

About 5 months ago the girls got it into their heads that they wanted a hamster. They would beg us to take them to the "free zoo" or as it is more commonly know, Petco. Phi spent hours researching the perfect habitat and the different types of hamsters. She practically memorized the little info pamphlet on hamsters from Petco. She made lists and read Amazon reviews on all hamster related items. 

For what we think are pretty obvious reasons (smell, costs, more work for Mom) Joey and I were hesitant and did our best to put it off. The biggest weapon in our arsenal was that they would have to pay for everything themselves. Well it WAS our biggest weapon until good grades and a good blood draw collided with a weekend with Nana and Tata, a cash money Easter egg hunt and a lost tooth. Combined the girls had about $80.00 so on Sunday we found ourselves back at the "Free Zoo" with intentions to buy. 

We waltzed up to the small animal section to find that the teddy bear hamster cages were empty. I could feel the disappointment in the girls. Also the super loud "NOOO!!!!" they screamed helped express it. Until I reminded them that there was another side to the small animal display. The ran over to find 2 dwarf hamsters. They exact type they wanted.

Thanks to Phi's hours of research we knew exactly what we needed. We bought a cage, bedding, food, treats, chew toys, water bottle, vitamins and even a hamster ball. Louie even found a really cute food bowl with a picture of a whale. She insisted on buying that with her own money. I think she just wanted to claim a stake in hamster ownership.

Poppa was not with us on our adventure so when we got into the car I took a photo to send him. I think their faces really capture the excitement and happiness. It almost make the inevitable cage cleaning and hamster hide and seek games worth it. Almost.

We got home and I had to grab and put the hamster in the clear hamster ball while I washed the plastic pieces of the cage. Despite my college education this cage took much longer than it should have to assemble. A good 20+ minutes later I was covered in sweat and the cage was ready for its new resident. They next challenge was getting the hamster out of the ball and into the cage. I tried just leaving the open end of the ball at the cage door but that was not working. I tried reaching it a grabbing her and the little stinker bit me. So I just opened the top and dropped her in.

She seems to like the new digs and the girls seem to really like her.

So we would like to introduce you to the newest member of the tribe...

Is it just me or does she look super shady? 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Aquarium with the Cousins

We got to end spring break, and my niblings got to start their spring break with a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach! We have been to this aquarium a few times but this was the best trip yet because we were there with Lili, Felix, Day Day and Nino Luis! 

Oh these 4 little faces.... 

Louie was so excited to see the sea otters. She even got to introduce Ozzie to some real life otters.
The kids had a really good time. They seemed to be really into everything they saw.

Even Felix had a good time. And if you know my Fel, that's huge!

I think because her cousins were there Louie was finally brave enough to try the touch tanks. Here she is touching a jelly fish!

After the aquarium we headed to Ports O Call for lunch. We really wanted to introduce the CuCoGo's to the awesome shrimp trays but for some reason the place was SUPER packed. The line was out the door and down the sidewalk. It was insane.

Luckily we found another spot to eat there at Ports O Call. We ate, walked a round a bit and ended our adventure.

Seriously these faces...

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Roman Chavez

We should be celebrating his 28th birthday but instead we are remembering him on the 8th anniversary of the day Roman died.

My cousin was a funny guy who loved video games, metal music and wrestling. Every time a new video game system is released I think about how excited Roman would have been. He also has a family who loves him and misses him very much.

Drawing by Danny Rodriguez
This year I felt a lot of the pain of losing Roman resurface. Losing our Tata and spending time in the same mortuary, church and cemetery was hard.


I still miss you so much. I am comforted in the thought that Tata is with you. He must have been so happy to be reunited with you, his beloved grandson. I tell the girls all about you and Sophia brags to Louella that you got to hold her when she was a baby. I love you.

Your Big Cousin

Monday, April 06, 2015

Big Rock, Landers California

After we left Hicksville we took advantage of being out near Landers,Ca. We made a quick drive by the Integratron . Getting a sound bath there is so on my bucket list. I really really want to try it. I grabbed a quick pic and it looks like the aliens are landing. Very fitting. 

We were heading to Big Rock. Last November we stopped at this rock after an afternoon of off roading. It was super cool and then I came home and researched it a bit and HOLY CRAP I became obsessed with it. (You can read a bit about it HERE) Every day since November I have thought about this rock every single day.

You really need a Landcruiser for size comparison.

Louie is Coachella ready.

Just playing on the exact site where a man blew himself up.

I was so happy to be able to visit this crazy place again.