Relateable Me

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Falling for LA March 31, 2010

I was always told that LA was a smoggy cesspool 75 miles north of my hometown. Perhaps it was during the 80’s, but as I’ve had the chance to visit a number of times lately, I’m falling in love. After living in Europe for about 7 years, there is very little that compares to the cultural cornucopia it has to offer.  Since beginning to homeschool my daughter last year, we have gone to LA for a few field trips; we visited the LA Science Museum and neighboring UCS Rose Garden, the Burbank Library for a one woman Laura Ingalls play, a couple visits to the American Girl Store, The LA Farmer’s Market, Santa Monica Pier and The Getty Museum. At the Getty, my kids brought their art kits and sat outside by a sculpture for about 30 minutes drawing and playing – loved it! My daughter was also able to see the originals of artists that she has studied in her art history class.  Honestly, I feel like I’m alive again mingling with all the cultures and experiences. Even sitting in Friday afternoon traffic on the 10 freeway was relaxing with the windows down and the kids laughing in back.

I can’t wait to visit the market again. It reminds me of the open-air markets of Europe and I long to take my laptop and sit and write for hours. I plan to take my husband to the Getty and enjoy a day of art and beauty. For cultural experience I’m planning to visit some of the ethnic neighborhoods with my kids: Indian, Asian and Mexican. I even saw a sign for the Byzantine/Latino district????? I’m game.

When we visited the Getty, I accidentally went to the Getty Villa instead of the Art Center and had to take Sunset Blvd.  over the hill to the 405. I had no idea such quaint town existed in the hills – amazing. Is this really LA?

All I can say is that I’m falling in love

 

A Weekend of Firsts February 8, 2010

Filed under: Adventures — relateableme @ 5:07 am

I love adventure and lately I’ve had to make my own – my life is not full of wonderful uncertainties like it used to be.  On Saturday I took the kids to a nearby “cheap” theater to see “The Princess and the Frog.” It was pouring rain, so it was a perfect day to hide inside. We had a great time and when we came out it was pouring even worse than before the movie began. As my husband had the car and he wasn’t due back for another hour and a half, I decided to do something I’ve never done before – sneak into another movie. Ok, I’m not a rebel and obviously, most of my adventures thus far have been rather legal, but it was so fun. My son was totally oblivious to what we were doing, but my daughter was so nervous and excited at the same time – very cute. She knew we were breaking the rules and was giddy, wondering if we were going to get caught. We watched about half of the movie, then they got bored and we left. When we came  out of the theater, the sun was out and we walked next door and had pizza until daddy came.

My other “first” was riding a moped. My husband bought one a few years ago to get to work and back when gas was through the roof, but I never wanted to ride it alone – it’s way too big for me. Today we were at my sister-in-law’s for Super Bowl and her family collects mopeds, Vespas  etc. After the guys went for a ride, my nieces asked me to go – it was AWESOME! I wanted to go faster and faster – it was so freeing and now I know why my husband loves his.  Everything just slipped away and I was overwhelmed with joy. It was freezing outside, so we only went out for about 10 minutes, but I can’t wait for warmer weather and may have to consider getting one – very freeing!

 

I’m going to do what? March 30, 2009

Filed under: Adventures,Life chapters — relateableme @ 5:22 am

I find myself really excited about something I never thought I would do – I mean NEVER. I’ve been seriously thinking about homeschooling. My daughter has had an amazing year at public school (Kindergarten) and her teacher is great.  I do not subscribe to the belief that Christians should not be in public school – I think that is very limiting to the work that God may possibly want to do. So far, my daughter has gone to a private Christian preschool (because it was free for us ) and a public school for Kindergarten – both great experiences. Before our kids hit school age, we had decided that we would consider their education year-by-year and child-by-child. My reasons for considering home schooling  are really three-fold – ok, four:

1.We are moving and I don’t know how long we’ll be at the next home, so the thought of uprooting my daughter again in a few years after she’s established herself, seems unkind.

2. Don’t want her to be in the new school district where we’ll be living.

3. Mary really wants to be home schooled and I feel that is the direction God is leading me.

4. Another (and at this point, the strongest) – I’m  beginning to notice in my children the natural progression of learning when they’re interested and able – and not pushing them into a mold that could somehow thwart their personal growth instead of helping it flourish. I’ve noticed this especially in my son, Seve 3 1/2. While my daughter is on a quest to do everything better than everyone else, my son could care less; he is happily following his own path in his own time. This used to frustrate me (control freak) as I wanted him to be at the level “I think” he should be. But, I’m learning, you can’t rush learning or it won’t really happen. This week he sat down and got out a puzzle and did the whole thing by himself. I looked at him in amazement and my husband took a double-take “did he just do that by himself.” My son beamed – yes, he had. I’ve been trying to get him interested in puzzles forever, but he wasn’t interested. Now, he’s not only interested, but him mind is able to go there.

One method of homeschooling I’m considering most is Unschooling. I had never heard of it, but a friend of mine mentioned it and it got me curious. I’ve been busy picking people’s brains about it and doing research and I’m amazed by it and scared at the same time. It’s a very organic approach to learning that traditionally does not use curriculum but instead allows the kids to initiate what they learn and when they learn it, depending on their interests. Eventually it branches out, naturally, into all areas allowing the child to learn with enthusiasm and therefore retain the knowledge. It is really mindblowing and has taken me back to my childhood and bringing to mind how much I loved learning – and how very much I did on my own. I loved to learn and was constantly reading, doing my girl scout projects, looking through my microscope, heading to the mountains with my dad and the Astronomy Club to look at the stars.

I want my kids to have this experience where learning is fun and natural. I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that everyday is going to be one moment of bliss after another, but honestly, I’m extremely excited.

 

Little Red Skates January 1, 2009

Filed under: Adventures — relateableme @ 6:24 am

When I was a kid we lived outside of Chicago in a great little town called Glen Ellyn. We only lived there 4 years, but they were some of the best times in my memory. It was quaint and mid-western and innocent. One of my favorite memories is learning to skate on the local pond once it froze over. My mom had bought me some red ice skates and my dad took me out and patiently taught me to skate. I don’t remember how good I got, but I remember loving it.

Today we took the kids ice skating for the first time. I wish I’d had my red skates to give to Mary, but I’m sure they were sold at a garage sale years ago. Under Half Dome, Mary learned to skate and within a half hour she was going around by herself. Seve, have up after a couple turns and left the rink in bitter tears wanting instead to sit by the fire with Nonna (my mom).

It was great getting out there and enjoying weather. That is something I hate about the Inland Empire, we don’t really have weather. We have Dec, Jan, Feb and summer. We don’t get to enjoy most of the year because we’re trying to avoid sunstroke. It was great being out all day and wearing ourselves out – the kids actually napped they were so work out and Seve turned down an ice cream sundae because he was so tired. Love it!

 

Yosemite

Filed under: Adventures — relateableme @ 6:15 am

I’ve been off-line for a few days and have been busy on our trip. We left San Fran and are in Yosemite. I haven’t been here in about 15 years. We used to come up here when I was Jr.high/high school age to ski every year. It’s been great coming back and sharing this place with my kids and husband. When I mentioned to people that we were going, they all asked if we were camping. My reply 1. you don’t know my mother if you’re asking that 2. it’s 20 degrees out here. (Crazy enough, people are actually camping)

We had dinner at the Awahnee Hotel last night and that was a really fun experience. I’m not into high priced food -I think it’s silly and unnecessary, but my family is, so I’ve been along for the ride. I can say though, that my kids are going to be thoroughly spoiled for ordinary life and will be expecting Shirley Temples with dinner and ice cream sundaes after that.

Today we went up to Badger Pass where I used to ski as a kid my brother tackled the slopes while I went innertubing with the kids. It was great! Two hours of up and down and hills. I was so proud of Seve who didn’t let his short little legs stop him from making at least 30-40 trips up the hill. It was great to get out and excercise after days of eating.

I’ll post some pix once I get home and upload them.

 

San Fran – Day 2 December 29, 2008

Filed under: Adventures — relateableme @ 6:53 am

Enjoying a family trip to San Fran right now. This is our second annual post-Christmas trip up here with my parents and my brother’s family. It is an amazing time that I look forward to all year.
I have to admit that I’m incredibly blessed with it comes to family:we enjoy eachother and look for every opportunity to make a memory.
I love the fact that, God willing, my children will have the benefit of memories – good ones with their family.
I want them to look forward to their time up here and find security and themselves in our outings.
Food is a huge tradition with my family. That is something my husband had to get used to. He says that we can’t just have dinner at my parent’s house, but “every meal is a freaking event!” It’s true.
Our San Fran trip is no exception with most of our time found around the table.
Today lunch at X and Y in Chinatown and dinner at DiMaggio’s. Great lunch and the dinner was a great experience – of “freaking event.” Instead of all of us ordering, my brother did the ordering and we ate everything family style. The butternut squash ravioli in the brown butter sauce was insane!! So was the bill:p