Friday, September 30, 2011

Wow! Full rainbow

I watched it develop as I drove, then of course had to call Charles to share. What is it about rainbows that compells us to share them with someone else? Stunning....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Favorite Picture

Oh my goodness, I love this picture! K usually reads to me a bit each morning; today, visiting Tutokanula got the honor of being read to, for as G was showing her one book, K started reading to her from another. This turtle is cool; she SO seems interested! The girls are certainly thrilled to be taking care of her; the second picture below is especially for Mom, so that you can see from Venezuela how much attention and love she is getting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bug Party

Amazingly fun party. The kids actually created their own "puters" to suck bugs in without hurting them, then collected tons of live bugs, now released into our geraniums. Wonderful fun all around; thanks R&B Clan!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Country Day, Indonesia

We heard presentations on the Spice Islands, Indonesian masks, batik making, chimanzees, other endangered Indonesian animals, and Balinesian dance. K did hers on the journey of the Leatherback Sea turtle, which nests in Indonesia and Malaysia and travels to the Farrallone Islands, eating jellyfish along the way. Her presentation included a video of a Leatherback eating jellyfish and fascinating photos that demonstrated just how large they are (the world's largest reptile and often mistaken in the sea for a large whale!)

Gabriana was technical support for the Spice Islands presentation - and very proud of her role, turning the slides. Next!
We enjoyed lots of exotic food; our contribution was a peanut pancake snack (can't remember the name). One kid noted that durian smell like foot odor... I can't agree, exactly, but it is too cloyingly sweet for my taste, even in ice cream form (which we got a chance to try, too).
This is part of our attempt to remake a Sarad, a Balinesian spiritual representation. We worked with another family early in the week, with mom April reinforcing through her creativity just how bad my own art skills are. Oh well; it was fun!
Titukanula was a guest and prop in K's presentation when she showed how the ridged shells of Leatherback turtles are different from the "scutes" found on most turtle shells. She was also an avid observer, propping herself on the side of this basket and seeming to pay close attention. What will Tituk do with this new knowledge of Sumatran tigers and batik making, do you think? Hmmmm....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lucrezia Borgia

Our first opera this school year; a huge hit! The unhappy ending we expected, but the gory suicide... a bit startling. We all enjoyed it, were impressed by it, and had fun. The audience was the most rowdy/enthusiastic I've ever seen at any event, short of *some* baseball games. The ovations went on nearly as long as the final death scene! Long live dress rehearsals and much, much, much reduced ticket prices!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Indonesian Shadow Puppet Making Workshop

They learned a bit more about Indonesia, then made their own shadow puppets; lots of fun and very worthwhile.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tuolumne Meadows

Our ninth camping trip of the year and completely fabulous - gorgeous, cold at night, lots of fun, relaxing, lovely. A chance meetup with friends was the frosting on the cake.

They decided that if it was clean enough to go to San Francisco water pipes, it was clean enough to drink.

Morning! Snuggled in my sleeping bag at the picnic table and enjoying hot chocolate in the meadow.
Gorgeous view!

Fun with friends on Tenaya Lake.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I love it when they help each other, play together, get along. Mostly, they do... except when they don't!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shoreline Birding

This was perhaps the most incredible birding day ever! I trailed behind the volunteer ornithologist leading the group and still counted more than 30 birds spotted.

Some of the birds: White Tailed Kite, Song Sparrow, Nettles Woodpecker, Canada Geese, American Crow, Swallows, Night Heron, Black Neck Stilt, Leaf Sandpipers, California Towhee, American Robin, Black Phoebe, Dowitchers, Sora, Morning Dove, Foresters Tern, Double Breasted Cormorants, Belted Kingfisher, Great Egrets, Ring Tailed Gull, Snowy Egret, California Gull, Ruddy Duck, Swift Scooters, American Coot, Anna's Humingbird, American White Pelican, American Avocet, Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Pie-Billed Grebe, Mallard, and more. (I may have some of these wrong...!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Indonesia at the Cal Academy

We're studying Indonesia this month and finding it everywhere! On our way to a class, we got caught in terrible traffic and so changed our plans, going to the Cal Academy instead. It was a lovely, fun day... no agenda, just exploring together. Butterflies, coral reefs, snakes and more; all deepening our play with Indonesia.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Leatherback Turtle Class

Another class at the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary. Not as comprehensive as the first three (on salmon, sharks, and squid) and therefore a bit disappointing, but we learned a few things nonetheless....

Daddy-o and Abuela and Grandpa (not pictured) came, which was a nice treat.

This type of play afterward made me nervous, but Daddy-o was sure they'd be fine... and these daredevils were!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bookclub September: The Tempest

The Marin Shakespeare Company did a unique presentation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," subsituting the trials, errors, and uncertainty's of a scientist's approach for the certain success of a wizard (whom the director called "dumb.") Gotta like someone with an opinion!

The kids loved it. K recently started another Shakespeare class and she has the role of Puck in "A Midsummer's Night's Dream." She's pictured below with one of her teachers, who was in "The Tempest" (he's in makeup as one of the robot/machines that represented Ariel). I love her smile; this focus on language, story, drama, and plot is definitely her "thing" and an evolving, yet sustained, passion.

This picture, of some of our bookclub friends, shows how universal their agreement that "the plays the thing!" :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

East Side Thinkerers!

G has her own Thinkering class now, a day for four and nearly-five year old friends to learn together. This group is opinionated and very ready, making a long list of the things they want to do together. Nature study, Spanish, cooking, crafts, Country Day preparation, and play, play, play are all on the agenda.

Wilderness Class

Starting a wilderness class with some very dear friends and a few new ones, too. Oh, how this makes me wish I could have been homeschooled, for such fabulous and fun opportunities!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spelling Quiz Time

Daddy's idea. Words are based on K's independent reading earlier in the day. Turns out to work pretty well; I didn't think she'd be able to spell some of those, but she did!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Backpacking again

Well, sort of backbacking. It was a very short hike from the car to the campsite and we could have used wheelbarrows for the half mile trip, but we didn't, so technically we were backpacking. Whatever we call it, the location is quite magical and we had a wonderful time. Hearing the waves crashing all night long was especially amazing.

Getting started:

Waking up the next morning and rushing to see the goats milked. We were on an educational farm located on a bluff above the ocean.

Farmer Sam showed the kids what he was doing, then sprayed willing hands with warm goat's milk, which brought giggles.

Playing catch

Checking out the tidepools. Lots to see, including many sea stars, which ranged in color from magenta to orange.

All in all; great fun!