Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wild Day!

A fabulous day, wonderful weather, marvelous discoveries, wild and happy children.
Enchanting and so happy!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Have Thread Will Travel

She wants to sew, she wants to sew!  So I gave her some thread and scrap felt and before I knew it, she had made a purse.  Later in the week, they both decided to celebrate their cousin's birthday by sewing him stuffed toys.  For the moment, my anti-crafting gene seems to have skipped a generation.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo

My Mom joined us as we met another family to check out the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo. It is an awesome experience, the closest I've been to a real safari outside of Africa. The males weigh up to 5,000 pounds and when one charges another... watch out!

We watched massive males fighting in the surf, which was amazing. The girls most loved the 40-day old "weiners," which were quite adorable; however, I think I was most impressed with the massive, ugly bulls just because of their sheer size and persistent personalities. They gave us quite a show with all of their attempts to "woo" females. And at one point, we had to hustle off quickly when one bull appeared to be driving another right in our direction.

The tour is docent-led and when you are right amongst the animals, we were also accompanied by a ranger. Wonderful company, wonderful day, and we so appreciate the friends who set it up and shared the morning with us!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Marching for Justice

We started the week at a MLK rally and ended it here.  Beautifully appropriate.  My earliest memories are such marches, my mom taking me on weekends or out of school to Sacramento to stand up for those who aren't heard and passing that tradition each year to the girls is important to me. It was a phenomenal crowd, stretching as far as we could see in both directions, thick with a diverse crowd of men and women, singing in many different languages. It was wonderful to see so many friends, too.

With Father Steve (the priest who married us);
such a wonderful treat to see him!
We could barely see the stage in front of City Hall,
there were so many people.

Crowds thick as far as we could see with faces
and perspectives as diverse as can be.  I saw some very
conservative perspectives, my favorite
Seamless Garment ones, and everything in between.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Country Day: Vietnam

I love spending time learning about Vietnam; such a gorgeous country with so much to celebrate through activities. The girls did their presentation together on a book they read about "a typical Vietnamese family" and though they look distressed, that's just bad photography; in fact they did a great job cooperating with and supporting one another. We also had fun with a lion dance, Tet sparklers, and learning about Vietnamese musical instruments (a historical perspective), the largest cave in the world, and folk art. Awesome day.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ways of the Earth and more

An awesome start to spring classes, beginning with Ohlone and native/ indigenous California studies. The kids used native products to make arrows, complete with sinew and sap and then followed by a plant identification walk. Then our culture studies, where we learned about the Vietnamese Tet festival and made crafty dragons (I thought that they were awfully cute!) Science finished our day, with Charles as "the best science teacher in the world" according to one of the kids. They made ooblack and the kids were thrilled.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SF History: Chinese Poetry at Angel Island

We didn't take a trip there this week, but watched a video about how the Immigration Station was saved for historic reasons and read some of the poetry that had been inscribed on the walls by those who were imprisoned there for a period of time - at least several days and for periods up to and exceeding a year.  The stories were poignant and sad.

(Most of the Chinese immigration that resulted in the detention and poetic reflections about it took place in and after 1910 - a bit ahead of our Bonanza Period studies this month.  But the topic fit with the issue of discrimination against the Chinese that manifested in violent attacks in the 1870s and so complemented our last study unit.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

We went to a local celebration and the girls made posters. K's said, "Freedom" and G drew the Rosa Parks story. Definitely something I will save!   A beautiful day for memories, stories, lessons, and resolutions.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Hike

Big sister wanted to help her little sister.  Not so easy when she's as strong and HEAVY as she is!

My ornithologists got excited when they spotted a red tailed hawk.  We watched it for a long time at the top of a tree (we had a nice Golden Gate Bridge view, too) until we saw another hawk join it.  The two of them flew over us for a long while, apparently showing off.  It was quite elegant!  G said, "wow, it's like watching a movie!"

View from the top

Our destination
Ike is not supposed to sleep on the couch.
But he's so cozy and cute!
And he loves his girls...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chickens and More

After seeing the Monarchs, we discovered lots more to do at this historic (and very beautiful) farm, but nothing that entertained the kids like catching the chickens. We were also enchanted by a peacock showing off his plumage and a very agitated gobbling turkey.
Yep, that's the "more" in the title
LOVE this photo.  Chicken girl.  :-)
She tried and tried to catch one.
Big sister handed her this one....
Chicken for lunch?  As vegetarians, this carried
new meaning.
Oh, they REALLY wanted to take this
chicken home.  Nice plan, but mean mommy
said no to stealing chickens from the park.
Plus, imagine the poop in the house!  Nope...