Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Another Field Trip??

Many photos this time...sorry for those with a dial-up connection. Get a real connection...try DSL I know, not available to everyone. Sorry.

to enlarge any picture, click on it.

I am not a huge baseball fan, but when my homeschool group scheduled a field trip to the Angels' stadium, I thought the kids would enjoy it. Of course, I took my camera, always thinking of you guys.

The tour is a good deal: $3 for adults and $2 per kid. The tour was almost 2 hours long, so I can't complain. We had access to many places that the public can't see, and it was a great experience.

The Angels changed their team colors from Periwinkle blue to red when Disney bought them in 2001. The official reason for this is that red is a lucky color in China. I am thinking it probably had more to do with wanting to sell merchandise, and marketing research showed people liked red. In any case...

Here we are right outside the stadium. The kids have their hands in the cement impressions of Reggie Jackson. He had some big hands!

This is right inside the Angel's Clubhouse. To the right is the Angel's locker room. To the left, the visitor's locker room. It was much more plush than I expected: carpet on the floor, lots of recliners, tv and stereo.

Ever wonder what an Angel listens to? (click on pic to enlarge) I think this is my favorite picture, because, really, when do you get to see this?

This is on the Club Level.(a friend of mine is in the foreground of the picture) Suites on this level go for $100,000 a year. There is a 2 year waiting list currently. Ever wonder what mortgage companies do with all that money they make? There were no less than three suites belonging to mortgage companies.

The Los Angeles Times logo has been a part of the scoreboard for many years. The logo is blue. In 2001, when owner Arte Moreno wanted to change the logo's color to red to better match the colors of the stadium, LA Times said no. When pressed, the word was, tell you what...you win the Western Division and you can change the color to anything you want.

Notice the color now.

As part of our tour, we actually sat in the dugout. I was a lot more impressed by this than I thought I would be.

This picture was taken on the very top step, inside the dugout. We were at field level.

Here are the kids and one of their friends, sitting on the same top step.

JBean, moonlighting as a reporter

Here's a shot that's not available to everyone. I took this while standing in the press box. Talk about a bird's eye view! Wow.

I snapped these pictures of all the headlines of the Angel's dream season in 2002. They went all the way to clinch the World Series.

I have to say, Moreno, and Disney, who also owns Anaheim Stadium, really does a great job. The tour guides were friendly, told great stories, and really made us feel like they wanted to be there and were glad we were there, too. All in all, my impression of the Angels organization really went up a few notches. And they know which side their bread is buttered on. Right after the tour, JBear really wanted me to buy him an Angels baseball cap. I did. Now he says he loves the Angels, and I would imagine in the near future we will be heading to a game or two.

Finally, as told to us by our guide, Hal: "What is the 2nd verse of the Star-Spangled Banner?"
"Play Ball!"

T, who says, Take me out to the ball game

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Yes, I am Abandoning You

but only until Monday. Big plans, sort of out of town. And no Net access sob! But I will be back and bloggin' by Monday.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

T, who is off to the LLL Conference

I Do Believe I've Been Insulted

She took a deep breath, turned purple and screamed:

"You, You, YOU... Peanut Butter and Jelly Head!!"

I tried not to laugh, but really. Someone needs to teach the kid a decent swear word.

T, who loves some aspects of the age 4

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Aloha, Kailani!~ you da kine!

Hey I have a new renter! Please stop by and see Kailani over at The Pink Diary. I chose her because:

1) She is a flight attendant, like my best friend 2) She lives in Hawaii, which, next to So Cal is about as cool as it gets 3) I liked her writing

So go and give her some love, TLC-style. I hope she is quiet and not like those surfer dudes who stayed up all night and trashed the place.

Also, stop by the runners up, too...

The Backyardigans, Jennifer has an entire blog dedicated to the Nick Jr. TV show. I know, huh? Hot House Momma, Becca is a CA momma with a wicked sense of humor Dr. Wickidy's Wacky World, Dr. W. is a blogger from Malaysia, who says his blog is interactive.

Welcome, Kailani! Thanks, everyone who bid, I wish I could spotlight you all!

T, who loves doing this rental thing

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A FANTAStic Thirteen

13 Characters from Lord of the Rings, as seen through TLC's Son's Eyes

My son loves Lord of the Rings. Yes, he is 7. No, he has never seen the movies (do you think I am crazy?) No, he has never read the books. But he has seen pictures and asked enough questions to get the gist of the story. So, I thought it would be fun to show you what he has been up to, lately.You can click on the picture to enlarge, if you want.

  1. 1.

    Gandalf Greyhame..I particularly love his hair.

  2. 2.

    Boromir, son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor. Tries to take the Ring from Frodo.

  3. 3.

    One of the Nine Kings (The Nazgul) who fell into Shadow after Sauron enslaved their minds

  4. 4.

    One of the winged dragon-creatures that the Nazgul ride. These terrorize armies by picking them up and throwing them. In the movie, they are huge.

  5. 5.

    Eowyn, daughter of Eomer and niece to Theoden King. (JBear didn't realize that Eowyn wears a dress, as I said, he hasn't seen the movies)

  6. 6.

    Strider, AkA Aragorn, King of Gondor, Elessar (Elfstone)

  7. 7.

    Legolas, an elf, from Rivendell and member of the Fellowship of the Ring, formed in order to destroy the One Ring. I think this one looks a bit like a Vulcan, what do you think?

  8. 8.

    Gimli, the dwarf, also a part of the Fellowship.

  9. 9.

    An orc, member of Sauron's armies, and Bad News

  10. 10.

    Frodo Baggins, the hobbit who carries the Ring to Mordor to destroy it. He pays a heavy price.

  11. 11.

    Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's gardener and best friend. He proves instrumental in helping Frodo.

  12. 12.

    Gollum, the creature that had the Ring before Bilbo found it and gave it to Frodo. He follows Frodo to get the Ring back.

  13. 13.

    A bonus picture of the Fellowship. These and Frodo are my favorite figures.Yes, he forgot Arwen, and Faramir and Theoden, and a few others, but like I said, he hasn't actually seen the movies or read the book. i think he did quite well, considering.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

PLEASE if you auto-link, leave a comment. I want to know you were here!

T, who loves LOTR, but loves her son's Creativity more

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Huzzah! God Save the Queen!

Last Friday, the entire 6th grade class at my daughter's school put on a Renaissance Faire. Each child was assigned a role, within a few different vignettes. JBug was a woodland faerie, and played an instrument.

This is the parade that started from the assembly hall and made its way to the grassy meadow.

A picture of JBug, in costume

One of the events that the kids participated in was the May Pole Dance. Practices for all events were done weeks in advance.

Can you imagine, 100 sixth graders in costume? There was a live chess game, puppet show, fortune telling booth, the Queen's Court with musicians, a live Shakespearean play and the May Pole Dance. (I don't have pictures of everything because my camera battery was low and by the time I recharged and went back, some of the events were over.

Here are a variety of candids. It was a hot day, thankfully, most of the kids had shade, as well as a steady supply of water.

JBug, with her troupe, playing for Queen Elizabeth. The Queen had just finished banishing Mary, Queen of Scots (and had placed a price on her head!) as well as knighting Sir Francis Drake.

T, who loves the Renaissance

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Who's RIGHT?

image from The Reptilian Agenda..a pretty cool site on brain physiology.

I have always thought I was goofy. I have awful directional skills. Tell me to turn left at the end of an unfamiliar hallway, I will most likely go right. I get on the wrong freeway going the wrong direction more often than I would like. And I have been in O.C. now for well over 10 years, no excuse. I just don't navigate well.

I blame my 2nd grade teacher. You see, I started out left-handed. I wrote left-handed, cut left-handed. But my mean witch of a teacher, Mrs. McCain, switched me. Of course, I had no idea, I just did what she told me to. My parents didn't know until it was too late. So I now write with my right hand, and cut with my right hand, but I do just about everything else with my left. I bat, bowl, eat, deal cards...my left is my strong hand. My son is left-handed, too. You had better believe that no one is going to try to change him! He is quite artistic. I like to think I would have been if I hadn't had my brain short-circuited at an early age. I know that sounds harsh, but honestly, more and more research on the brain is being done, and it might account for why I am an incomparable klutz when it comes to sports!

My doctor told me a few years back that if I practiced, I could write with my left hand, and would probably have better control with it. My penmanship would be better. I have tried to draw, and make better circles with my left hand, but writing is too hard at this point in my life. So I remain, mixed-dominant. But...maybe that isn't so bad, judging from the results of these tests!

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (50%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (50%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?(word test)

So, that's one test...but what if it was wrong? So I took this one:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (55.6%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (44.4%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?(word pair test)

SAME results. Hmmm. One more?
Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (48%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (48%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?

T, who's LEFT wondering...am I in my RIGHT mind??

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Really, Why Would Anybody DO That??

So why am I homeschooling?

(this is a continuation of So Why Would You Do That, Anyway?)
  • I am homeschooling to help my children learn to love learning
  • Learning is more than the acquiring of knowledge. It is a way of life. Learning doesn't just come from books. It comes from a variety of experiences. In our home, we value new experiences. I honestly feel when I go to bed, if i have learned a few things, it was a good day. I want my children to discover how good it feels to learn. Every day is a new day, and the anticipation of learning is something I want to give them in life.

  • I am homeschooling to allow my children to work at their own levels
  • All children are different. So, why then do schools insist upon teaching them as though they are all the same? Asynchronous development is a fact of life. My son is good in Science, not so great in Spelling. My daughter reads like gangbusters, but needs more help in Math.. Homeschooling allows me to tailor our studies: we work ahead in subjects that allow it. And I can slow down and spend more time on the subjects that don't come as easily.

  • I am homeschooling to allow more time for extracurricular activities
  • In a homeschool environment, you can take horseback riding lessons and call it P.E. You can line up a field trip to correspond with the subject, in order to take it deeper. We studied medieval history, and we were able to visit Medieval TImes for a demonstration of jousting, and a lesson on the weapons of the times. My son was enthralled. You can go outside and watch birds and sketch them in a nature notebook, instead of being indoors reading a book about birds. And, don't forget, if you are having a bad day, you have the option of just setting the lessons aside and going out of doors for a change of scenery.

  • I am homeschooling to give my children an integrated view of history.
  • I love the fact that when we study history, we can discuss what was going on in other parts of the world simultaneously. In public school, with the compartmentalized study, that isn't possible. Each grade studies a different period in history, or a different country, but none really integrate them. Integrating them also means I can show patterns as we learn, and where, applicable, step into church history and the history of Christianity.

  • I am homeschooling to be able to spend more time with my children.
  • The time goes so quickly it seems. My oldest is already 12. My middle guy is going on 8, and my youngest is starting Kindergarten next year! I don't want to miss anything. I like to know my kids, I like to know their interests. I enjoy talking to them about what matters in their life. I believe that buliding that relationship with them now will keep us closer during the teen years, which can be turbulent. A good foundation will keep the building from crumbling later. So, though things may be dicey during those years, we will eventually find our way back to one another, I believe.

  • I am homeschooling to help my children appreciate one another and form a strong bond in our family.
  • I have friends that homeschool and their children have a very close relationship. I love it, and want that kind of bond for my family, as well. Already, just in the last year, JBear and JBean have formed a closeness that wasn't there before. I believe when you send your kids to different grades, different schools, all day, they don't really get a chance to know one another well. When they are home together, all day, they have no choice but to get along. And, for the most part, they do!

    So there you have it. The reasons I am homeschooling. I have thought about it long and hard, prayed ferverently, and am completely convinced that, for now, this is the decision we are supposed to make. Mary Poppins had the right idea. She was firm, but fair, and very much fun! She knew that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. School can both be a drudge and it can be a lot of fun. I hope to balance the two, so that the end result is that my children love learning. I am not adverse to the idea that my daughters may be going back to school at some point. But for now, I love homeschooling, and so do my children.

    T, who hopes I explained things well

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    A Christian, a L..Liberal and a.. a SOCIALIST?

    What can I say? Don't hate me. I vote and live my convictions.

    You are a

    Social Liberal
    (65% permissive)

    and an...

    Economic Liberal
    (11% permissive)

    You are best described as a:


    Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

    T, who can't help it if my heart bleeds

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    Go and Give Some Love!

    One of our Thursday Thirteeners has a birthday and a dream! She wants to get 100 comments on her 100th post. Go indulge her, won't you? She isn't paying me, I just thought it would be sweet if she made her goal. It's a small one, but then, you have to start somewhere, right?

    T, who likes the idea of 100 comments, too!

    The Soundtrack of my life

    Thirteen Songs From the Soundtrack of TLC's life
    Okay, 20, but I tried to narrow it down, I really, really did
    1. 1.Green, Green Grass of Home
    2. My mother and I used to harmonize to this song. She played the organ and we would sing together. I remember looking up at her, as the sun shone through the window illuminating her face, and she glowed. She was larger than life. And she was happy, then. I must have been about 5. My mother is so very rarely happy, it is one of the treasured memories I have of her.

    3. 2. Grandfather's Clock
    4. My brother had a FIsher-Price clock when he was a baby. It was red, with yellow hands, and the face turned, revealing interesting pictures. The song it played has stuck with me for all of these years. I never knew what the song was called, but I hummed it all the time. Last year, JBug heard me and she said, "Hey, I didn't know you knew Grandfather's Clock!" I whirled on her, eyes wide: "WHAT did you say that song is?" So she showed me the lyrics, and sang it for me, and she was absolutely right. I told her a piece snapped into place in my world now that I know the name of that song. And yes, I still hum it.

    5. 3. Luchenbach Texas
    6. One of the first songs I ever owned. My father made a homemade tape for me with a home tape recorder. You could hear our parakeet, Happy, chirping in the background. I loved it. The memory of the song still makes me all fuzzy, and I haven't heard it in years.

    7. 4. Hey Jude
    8. I sang this song, over and over and over and over again. Kept coming back to it, even as a teenager. It wasn't even the Beatles' version, which makes it worse. It was from some kids' album. My brother still hates this song because of the way I played it into the ground.

    9. 5. Juke Box Hero

      Foreigner, Baby! When I was a big, bad 8th grader, I would sit at my friend Carolyn's house and listen to this song, and Urgent, too. Carolyn had the best life, I thought. She was adopted, and her parents were older. Her mother was so mild-mannered, Carolyn just walked all over her. She got whatever she wanted, and never was told no. I was jealous. It was years before I understood the implications of that one...no boundaries, country kid. Not pretty.

    10. 6. Rapper's Delight
    11. I know, scary, I know Old Skool. But my friend and I had it memorized. We listened to it all over again. This is the record that started my love of rap music. Or at least, love of Old Skool. I don't do the gangsta rap where women are referred to as "garden implements". I don't like hate. I do like the catchy beats of rap, and always have. What can I say? I'm full of surprises.

    12. 7. Working for the Weekend
    13. Wasn't everybody? This was our anthem, while my girlfriends and I were getting ready to go out and cruise Main Street in our hometown. Yes, I know it is pathetic, but there was nothing to do where I grew up. Now there is even less, a few years after I grew up, they banned cruising at all.

    14. 8. Come on Feel the Noize
    15. Another party song from high school. We would play this one while we partied at Zmudowski State Beach. We called it Hidden Beach, because it was way off the beaten path and you had to park and walk over dunes. It was a great place to party, quiet, out-of-the-way and we never got caught. I only pray that my daughter has more sense than I did. (and I know I spelled the title wrong, I just don't like to write it the other way. It offends my mommiesh sensibilities.

    16. 9. At This Moment
    17. After a fight with a former flame, one of many, I was driving around trying to clear my head. It was late at night, and I was alone, and listening to the radio. This song came on and I started to sob. In an instant, it became clear, we couldn't stay together, I just didn't love him anymore. I knew I was going to break his heart, we had been together for three years, but it was time and I knew I wasn't going to ever feel the same. I can't explain it, because I am not the type of person to just walk away. But that song gave me a clarity of purpose like nothing else.

    18. 10. Here I Go Again
    19. I have always felt that I only ever had me to rely on. And through the years, as things would fall apart, and I would feel sorry for myself, I would come back to this song, as a theme song. "Though I keep searchin' for an answer, never seem to find what I'm lookin' for, oh Lord I pray you'll give me strength to carry on. Cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.." Yes, I have been there and done that. And at the risk of sounding self-indulgent (what else is this, anyway?) I close up when I get hurt, and end up wanting to do my own thing. This song reflects that, yet leaves some hope open, too.

    20. 11. Time Warp
    21. That's right, I am not a Rocky Horror Picture Show virgin. I know, I shock you. But I have seen it well over 100 times. And yes I know how to step to the ri-ii-ii-iiggght. Boy howdy. Some of my best times B.C. (before Christ) were with the gang from the Rocky. We used to watch at the Dream Theatre in Monterey. Sadly, it is gone now, some big developer wanted the land. Those were good times. Of course, I was terminally depressed, making stupid decisions and drinking way too much. But hey, you can't have everything.

    22. 12. My Prerogative
    23. And it, was, too. I went through a stage where I dressed in clothes that were too tight, went out with the wrong men and spent too much time in clubs. Color me Attitudinal. That's right, I was immature. I had just ended a long-term relationship and I was sowing my wild oats. Can you believe Bobby Brown wore that hair?

    24. 13. Crazy Love
    25. The Song with me and J. Just one of those things. We both love Van. And I loved his music before I got old, so shuddap. Else I'll hit you with my cane. Really great song. Brian Ferry does the song, too. Just about as well. The song must work, J and I are going on 17 years of marriage.

    26. 14. Arms Wide Open
    27. The song that was playing on the radio the day that I came out of the doctor's office with news that I was going to be a mother for the very first time. So many questions played through my mind. Would I be a good mother? Would J be a good dad? Will he be disappointed, especially since we said we would just have cats? (so funny to think about now) Another song that still makes me cry. I am so sad that Creed is gone. They showed a lot of promise.

    28. 15. Don't Take the Girl
    29. Newly post-partum, with my tiny baby girl on my chest, I heard this song. Guess what? Yep, I cried. I sang it to her almost every night, and even as she was growing up. (sometimes I still sing it to her, the big girl that she is. Shhh! Don't tell) And my son loves it, too. He calls it the Fishing Song, and he appreciates the lyrics. I love to sing it.

    30. 16. Return to Pooh Corner
    31. "Christopher Robin and I walked along, under branches lit up by the moon. Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore as our days disappeared all too soon. But I've wondered much further away than I should, and I can't seem to find my way back to the wood...oh help me if you can, I 've gotta get back to the House at Pooh Corner by one..." What better song to sing to a child? This is one I still sing.

    32. 17. Tears In Heaven
    33. Between JBear and JBug, I lost a baby at 13 weeks. I have never felt such deep grief. It inhabited me, a foreign entity that was larger than I was. The only thing that helped was crying. I don't cry. Much. So this was very hard for me. I would listen to "Would you know my name if I saw you in Heaven..." and just sob. (You probably get the idea I cry a lot. I really don't) In fact, I probably should cry more often than I do.

    34. 18. Unwell
    35. Around about when my son was 2, I found out I was bipolar. I wasn't nuts, it wasn't me, it was actually a chemical thing. "I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell, I know right now you can't tell, but stay a while and baby then you'll see.." I started medication and felt normal for the first time in my life. I have sense found that I am chemically normal when pregnant or breastfeeding. Otherwise, I cycle, though it isn't as prominent as some.

    36. 19. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
    37. When my third child was born, JBean, she was 9 weeks early and spent a month in the NICU. This song became her theme song, because I realized, what if I had lost her? And, having had two other children, I know how fast the time flies. I really don't want to miss a thing! I would lie next to her in my bed, and just watch her sleep, and hum this song.

    38. 20. Angel
    39. Some wonder what this song is about. Sarah says it is about life on the road. I identify with the tortured artist in it, I guess. It just resonates in my core. Maybe it reminds me of what life was like without Christ...when I was seeking peace and something to quell the vague unrest in my soul. I still love the song though, because she gets it, "glorious sadness that brings me to my knees..." unless you have experienced it, it is hard to explain. But I have been there, and remember.

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! PLEASE if you auto-link, leave a comment. I want to know you were here!

    T, who sets her life to music

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