Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dinner with Walkin and Family

Yes I am still recapping our day in San Diego. 

After spending time in Old Town we headed to Carlsbad to have a late dinner with my handsome cousin Walkin, his beautiful wife Cassandra and sweet baby Isabella. 


Oh how I love my little cousin Walkin. Since he lives in SD we don't get to see him too often. And as a military man he will be leaving again soon. I had not seen little Isabella since she was just a newborn and I loved being able to see this cutie pie!



The girls loved seeing their baby cousin! It's such a trip to see my kids with Walkin's kid. Weren't we just surfing at Emmawood beach like yesterday?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homeschool Week 26: Despereaux Ch 31-35, Solid Figures, National Government and Measuring Mass and Volume

Another great week in the books! Phi is still trekking along with the Despereaux book. She is now onto chapter 36 and is still enjoying the story and is looking forward to watching the movie she finishes the book. 

We have moved away from division and are now working on solid figures, angles and line segments. This is a big shift from division. I really thought that fractions and decimals would come next since they work off division. Introduction to geometry was easy and this made math this week easy and fast!  


For social studies we have moved on to National Government. The assignment was to look at different symbols and monuments, write about it and create it. Phi picks the American flag. She wrote a great article about what the flag symbolized, what it means to Americans and what it means to her.

We went through a few different craft ideas. Phi wanted to make a perler bead flag, but when we went to Michael's they were all out of blue and white perler beads. Bummer. So she opted for a painting on canvas. She picked her colors and found some crystal stickers for the stars.


She is very happy with how it turned out!


For science we studied volume and mass. We talked about the difference between volume and mass. We also talked about how two objects can have the same volume but different mass. The assignment was to find 3 different things used to measure volume and/or mass. It was surprisingly easy to find 3 items in the house. A food scale to measure volume and mass, and a medicine dispenser to measure volume.


We have a couple more weeks of work before the state testing starts! It will be interesting how Phi does having to go to school more than twice a week!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Old Town San Diego


After an hour or so at Chicano Park we headed to Old Town San Diego. Just to walk around and check things out. Apparently we like to pose with statues and murals.



We found that Joey looks like Father Ubach. And Louie got wrangled into posing as the young native kid.


Twinsies!




So much great art.


I had the kids sit here while Poppa was finishing up a purchase in a store. What a gorgeous setting and then they hugged and I got the most loving picture of these 2.


We made one more stop on our SD adventure......

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chicano Park


One of my favorite places to spend some time in San Diego is Chicano Park. Under where freeways meet this little park is filled with amazing murals from artists painted right onto the pillars of the freeway. I love it so much and I love taking the kids there.


This spot always reminds me of this picture....


Look at my tiny baby Phi. It always amazes me how much Louie resembles Phi.

There were people there working on some new murals. This one was my favorite. I love the colors.


And look at the detail on the feathers.


We let the kids run around at the park for awhile.


And we kinda joined in on the fun


Selfies with Zapata.


I just love watching my kids run and play with a giant Frida and Virgen watching over them.




So happy we got to spend a little time here. And our SD adventure continues.......

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ashes On the Sea


Over the weekend Joey's family gathered in San Diego to spread Grandma Watt's ashes in the same bay that her husband's ashes were scattered over 10 years ago. I had never been to any kind of memorial like this and wasn't sure what to expect. It was a beautiful day for the family to just be together and remember thier beloved Grandma Watt.



We were all so happy to see Cousin Mindy. I think the last time we saw her was when I was pregnant with Phi. Of course we have been able to stay in touch thanks to social media, but nothing is better then getting a tight hug from family.




The boat right was okay going out. Once we stopped the boat was small and the waves were big.


Louie and I both got a tad sea-sick. Poor Louie, her face was so pale and she couldn't understand why her stomach hurt.

Phi on the other hand was our little sailor. She did great and loved the boat ride.


After we got back to the dock we watched some dudes trying out this new jet-pack thing. Very cool.


The whole family headed to the Catamaran Hotel for lunch at The Atoll. It was Grandma's last treat and the food and drinks were excellent. We even had a very delicious dessert.  




We said our good-byes and gave more tight hugs to our family. Since the day was amazing and beautiful we decided to spend the rest of the day in SD. Stay tuned for more of our SD adventure!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Being the Best

Last week I was able to take Phi to school and sit in on her class. I went because over spring break her report card came in, and she got her first B+. It was in math and in the comments the teacher wrote "Sophia is having trouble with division". I was concerned because her grade had dropped and the only issue we had run into was with division but there had only been one weeks worth of work. I brought my concerns up to Phi's teacher and I asked her what we would need to do to bring up Phi's grade. Instead of answering my question she said to me....

"Maybe it's time she learns she can't be the best at everything"

I was completely taken back. I think I literally laughed at her and explained that at 3rd grade there is no reason that Phi cannot maintain straight A's. As a concerned and involved parent I wanted to know what we could do at home to help her be successful in math. Her comment felt like she was telling me that we were being too overbearing and should just be okay with the grades this teacher feels are fit. Is it just me or does any grade below an "a" leave a student room for improvement. Grades are important to us and to Phi. She was so disappointed to see that B on her quarter report card. Especially since she had worked so hard trying to grasp the concept of division. I am not pushing my child beyond her abilities. 

This comment by the person who is my kids educator rang in my head for days. I was angry and disappointed. There are a lot of things that Phi is not the best at. In fact, most things she has a hard time doing well, with the exception of academics. At academics she can excel. She is a smart kid and why would we not encourage her to be the best. Why would I ever tell my kids that she can't be the best at everything. I am not delusional. I don't think she can be the best at everything. And guess what Phi already knows that she isn't or won't be the best at everything. There are lots of things she is not the best at. And as a teacher, shouldn't she be encouraging her students to be the best in all subjects?


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Homeschool Week 25: Desperaux, Molecules & Atoms, State Government and Division WITHOUT remainder!

We are back at work and are on week 25 of our 3rd grade homeschooling year. This week we continued reading Tale of Desperaux and working on different worksheets. We are up to chapter 30. 

And then there was math. The last time we had math we had to send Phi to a private tutor. Her class jumped into division with remainders with no really explanation or discussion on what division was. It was hard and frustrating and confusing. This week the math assignments seems to have gone backwards. It was much more basic division with no remainders. In my opinion this worksheet packet should have been step 2 wehn it comes to division. Call me old school but I think kids should learn the concept, practice the basics and then learn more complicated concepts. But that's just me. 


For science we continued learning about the state of matter. We dug a little deeper and talked about atoms and molecules and how they act in different states of matter. Phi made a super good diagram on how a solid becomes a liquid and a liquid becomes a gas. Complete with pictures of molecules for each.


For social studies Phi and Joey talked a lot about state government. Then Phi and I took the info that she gathered and did the assignment of making a state brochure. What a fun project this was! Her brochure came out so awesome it could be used by the State of California!



We are done to only about 7 weeks left of school. Wow how time has flown! 

Monday, April 07, 2014

7 years later



It still feels like you were just here with us. Here on this earth with us. How can it be 7 years since you were taken from us. Everyday I look at your picture and I still feel a physical ache in my chest. I miss you so much. I take a lot of comfort knowing that you are still with us. I truly believe that you are in heaven watching over every single one of us. I know you were there with Karina during her surgeries keeping her safe.  I believe that you get to meet and get to know all the new babies in our family before we do. I believe that you were there to greet and give our Tio Sabino a big hug when he went to heaven.

My memory of you never fades. You are in my thoughts and heart every single day.

Today I will tell my girls funny and happy stories about you.

I love you cousin and I miss you very much and happy early 27th birthday. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Family Goes Wine Tasting


For Christmas my brother Tommy gave us all gift certificates for a day of wine tasting in Santa Ynez. It took us awhile to find a day that we all could go, and someone could watch all the kids. Of course my brother didn't want to come along with us, but he did want to make us dinner for when we got back. There were a lot of things that had to be in place, but we made it happen last Sunday!

I made us reservations for a private tasting at the Fess Parker winery. We were all so excited to be there. Joey and I have been there for our anniversary one year. It is such a beautiful winery! Fess Parker was the actor who played Davey Crockett so the logo is a cute raccoon skin cap. They even had little wine topper caps.



Our pourer was named Luis and he reminded us a lot of our cousin Mikey. As usual we pried into his personal life and spent the next hour getting to know him and tasting some good wines.


 Here is what we tasted plus a few extras.

After our tasting and buying about 7 bottles total. We had Luis open 2 bottles for us and we headed outside to enjoy the weather, wine and snacks my Mom packed.

And yes we brought chicharrones to a winery because we are awesome.


We got to sit and talk and laugh. Or like Cari here, laugh at her own jokes. She thinks she is hilarious.


And then the laughter turned to "tears" for my brother-in-law Luis when she saw a bunch of Mustangs. He had to give up his Mustang when him and my sister had the twins. But Cari was nice and handed him some tissues.

Of course we had to get a group shoot.

Joey, Elissa, Kelly, Elaine, Mom, Pops, Luis, Carissa

The day was still young and we had 2 for 1 tasting coupons burning a hole in our pockets so we decided that a trip into Los Olivos to the Epiphany winery was in order.


A beautiful and modern looking place. We sat in the lobby area near this TV and all the pictures of the laborers working were kind of weird. I think my chicano guilt was getting the best of me.


Kelly doesn't like white wine so Elaine got to enjoy two tasting!




E for Elissa!

Wow, we look almost relaxed without the kids around!


It was a fantastic day that ended with an amazing meal of tri-tip, chicken, salad and a deep fried blueberry ice cream dessert. (My brother Tommy is an AMAZING cook!). Wine tasting is such a great way to spend a day!

A super big shout-out to my cousin Karina from coming up to Santa Barbara to watch all 5 kids for us! You are a rock star!