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i am a stay-at-home mom living, learning and loving by the bay!I love to take pictures. I love to crochet cozy things for my family and friends.

January 30, 2009

We went on a field trip with our homeschool shelters classes on Wednesday to a site where the Coastal Miwok once lived. The structures were built by the park to show how these native people lived. This area near the coast is so beautiful and rich in resources like elk, deer, berries, acorns and shellfish. These redwood bark "houses" are called kotchas. As I was looking into one I thought about how much stuff we have today that we really don't need. The kids learned a lot about what daily life was like in this Miwok village. Next month we are going to visit another site where the Ohlone tribe lived. These little quail were everywhere! They are just too cute!

January 23, 2009

Breakfast by Goose

Goose has started making breakfast for Binky and I. Pancakes are her specialty! She sets the table and everything. All we have to do is sit and enjoy! Thank you Goose! Cooking is a great way to learn about fractions. She makes half of the pancake recipe so she has to adjust the ingredients accordingly. Homeschooling with pancakes... yummy!

January 22, 2009

art, shelters, and animals

In art class yesterday, Goose worked on part of a class sculpture. I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out!
And in her shelters class they went for a walk around the neighborhood and talked about how homes are constructed and how we use them for storage. This is one of her own photos.

In Binky's animal class they are still studying african elephants. This is a great way to draw an elephant.

And, finally, in his shelters class they heard the story, "The Three Little Pigs" and talked about how people use straw, twigs and bricks to build their homes in different parts of the world. Then they built their own structures with alfalfa bricks and glue. This lovely home has plenty of room for the whole family!
All in all it was a good day. Binky is still asking me to leave the classroom. He says it's embarrassing having me there taking pictures. Sniff, sniff... all I want is to be a part of it all! Yeah, so maybe I can go for a walk during ONE of his classes. Binky is growing up and I have to face it, I know, I know. Today Goose is working on division, cursive, science, and writing. Binky is working on geometry, telling time, writing, and reading. The rain will keep us indoors. Which is fine with me!

January 21, 2009

2nd Stripe

The rain is here, but the past week was so beautiful! This sunset is from Monday night.
Goose and Binky received their second yellow stripe the other night. Very exciting!!

So we had to celebrate!!

January 20, 2009

This morning the kids and I watched this moment we've all been waiting for with bright eyes and eager ears! I could not hold back the tears. Binky said, "George Bush is being kicked out of the White House!" with a big smile on his face. He has been waiting for Obama to become president so he can "stop the wars we are fighting." Even our little ones feel a sense of change and hope!
Thank you, Mr. President!

January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Martin!

Today we celebrated Dr. King's birthday! We started out by reading "Martin's Big Words" and "Paths to Peace." We talked about life in the south during the 1950's and '60's and how Dr. King changed people's minds and hearts. We also talked about Dr. King's assasination. Goose and Binky each lit a candle to remember Dr. King and his life's work. Next, we made a Peace Wall. We cut out different colored hands from construction paper and wrote down some ideas about creating peace. We also talked about ways in which they could each practice peace here at home. They made a list of words that inspire peace during disagreements. The kids really enjoyed doing this! Binky had tears in his eyes during the story. Tomorrow we will watch the "I have a dream..." speech. I am looking forward to that!

January 14, 2009

shelters and elephants

Goose and Binky are back in Wednesday classes and they had a blast! Their first classes were about shelters. This village was created in Binky's class. Goose and a partner made a gingerbread house and talked about the reasons humans and animals take shelter and build their own.
Binky's second class is about animals and their babies. The first animal of study is the African Elephant. We made giant ears, modeled here by teacher Diane!

We also heard a story about elephants and how they use their trunks. After the story, the kids could choose between a few different activities. Binky chose dot-to-dot. He really enjoyed this class.

Goose's second class was art appreciation. Their first project was collage and negative space. I see a face when I look at this masterpiece. All in all, it was a pretty good day. Long, but good. Actually, Goose did have trouble with one boy who was bothering her during lunch. He walked up to her and told her she was weird. For no reason at all. She was really upset about it. I guess he was even telling other boys that she was weird(whatever that means.) After seeing this fellow and watching the way he was looking at her I soon realized that he liked her! Suddenly I was having memories of boys throwing things at me in class and pulling my hair not because they didn't like me, but because they did. Anyway, I explained this to Goose and she said she thought maybe that's why he did it(that's my girl!) But it still hurt her feelings. I reminded her to use her trash can and to throw those words away and not take them to heart.
The day isn't over yet and I am ready for bed! The weather here is incredible!!! Yesterday it was 76 degrees!!! Can you believe it? It's January and we had to pull out our short sleeves and open all the windows. I'm not complaining.

January 10, 2009


What a lovely day yesterday! The sun was blinding! We even met this little guy on our way to the car.

January 9, 2009

mellow day...

This morning Binky worked in his storybook. Do you like his snowboarder? I love seeing his progress in writing and spelling. What I've learned from my children is as long as they keep writing they will improve. I don't correct his storybook so he is free to just have fun and write without the fear of making a spelling mistake. Both my kids enjoy writing. That makes me happy! Goose just wasn't feeling inspired to get any work done today. We've really been hitting the books this week so I let her do a little less than usual. We are focusing on writing, science and math at the moment. She is also learning to type on-line. Well, it's time for lunch and then off into the great outdoors!

January 7, 2009


What is GLOOK? It's homemade sillyputty! Goose made it in science class and brought home the recipe. So, finally, today we made a bunch of it. All you need is white glue, water, and borax.
In the first cup you add one tablespoon each of white glue and water. If you want to add coloring now is the time. A few drops will do. Mix well. In the second cup you add 1/4 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of borax. Stir until completely dissolved.

Now add the glue mixture to the borax. You will see your GLOOK forming in the cup(my favorite part!) Move the GLOOK around in the cup for a minute or so.

Now you are ready to remove your GLOOK. Here, Goose used a stick, but I prefer to pull it out with my hands! Play with the GLOOK in your hands to form it and remove the liquid. It should feel like silly putty.

We made several colors. This stuff is great for sensory issues. Binky does not like to get his hands sticky or messy. Fun stuff like GLOOK inspires him to explore new sensations. GLOOK needs to be kept in air-tight containers.
We had a great day overall. Both Goose and Binky are really into math right now. Binky is reading more and more each day! It's so exciting! Goose really enjoys science and cooking. She has started her own recipe book. They both start classes next Wednesday through our homeschooling charter. Binky is taking a class on animals and a class on shelters. Goose is taking human shelters throughtout history and art appreciation. Should be fun. We always look forward to Wednesday classes.
Time for dinner!

January 5, 2009


Cousin was over on Friday and brought his Mancala game. Goose and Binky had never played before. They all had a really good time taking turns playing. I love the glass pebbles. Well, after Cousin left Goose and Binky wanted to continue playing so Daddy made a board for them out of an egg carton. And the kids used pennies to play. It worked perfectly! They played all weekend!
Pennies are okay, but we are going to try beans today. They might be easier to handle.
Today is our first day of homeschooling after a two week break. Not a full break, but definitely less going on. Let's just say it will probably take this week to get back into our routine. Which is cool with me. Thinking back over the last two weeks there was a lot of learning going on. Just not a lot of documentation. Today is park day with our homeschool group, but it's raining so we are staying in!!!

January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

We've been pretty low key these last few days. Hanging out with friends.
Making snowflakes and people chains.

And wearing them!

And, of course, building with Legos. This particular piece was 800 pieces! It took quite a few hours to put together. And it is STILL in one piece!
Today it is raining. Cousin is coming over to play for part of the day. Daddy is going back to work on Monday and we are all dreading it! He's been home with us for 2 weeks and it has been wonderful! But we have 3 more days to hang out together so I can't complain. Goose and Binky went to Grandmas for New Years while Daddy and I went out for Indian food and a movie. The movie sucked but the food was delicious!!!
Hope you had a Happy and Safe New Year!