Friday, January 29, 2010

Chess Palace

Once or twice a month we make it over to the Chess Palace for a chess lesson. Our instructor, Mr. Anthony taught us how to move the pieces and play the game. Now when we go he introduces different strategies to help us play even better. A homeschooling friend of ours has been taking weekly lessons there for the past three years and he can beat just about anyone in about four moves (and he is only 8 years old)! We don't expect to be pros, but we do have fun learning and playing the game.

Our friend teaching Nate all the right moves.

Learning strategies while playing Dinosaur Chess.

The Chess Palace offers homeschooling classes weekly. If you are interested, call Anthony at 714-899-3421.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy Day Creations

We made these mandalas with beans, corn, lentils, seeds and lots of glue! They can be hung in a room or made as into neckless. I put mine on my dresser. You can also think of them as an amulet - made to ward off evil sprits, and any bad dreams - almost like a dream catcher. They are easy and fun to make!!
Just get glue, colorful beans, lentils, and any seeds (like sunflower seeds).

You can even write quotes under the beans before you put them on (I wrote "Life is full of miracles that happen, life is full of happiness, life, love and peace").

Here are the steps in making a bean mandala:
1#. Get your supplies - glue, beans, and or seeds.
2#. Cut a circle about the size of a CD (it is best to use tag board or card stock), and make a hole punch at the top (if you want to hang it or make a necklace).
3#. Put the beans/seeds on the paper - do not cover the hole, and make sure that, that is how you want your mandala (the traditional way is to put patterns in circles coming outward, with one favorite bean or seed in the center) - do not glue yet. (Or you can just glue one at a time as you create your pattern).
4#. Now start from the center going outward and take the first bean/seed and glue then place, all the way to the outside circle. Do not cover the hole.
5#. Put a string through the hole and tie it. Then you're done!!

We also like coloring mandalas. Here are some of our favorite books you can buy.
Posted By Micayla

Monday, January 18, 2010

In Honor of MLK Jr. Day!

Sam Cooke

Album: Sam Cooke at the Copa
Song: This Little Light of Mine

Folklorist and activist Zilphia Horton did a wonderful thing when she introduced this children's gospel song to the civil-rights movement in the 1950s. In the mid-'60s, vocalist Sam Cooke did something equally wonderful, and much more amazing. He took this song that people were singing at sit-ins and marches and brought it into America's toniest nightclubs, putting the music of The Movement in front of an audience that probably didn't spend much time at sit-ins and marches. Cooke performed this joyful and uplifting version of "This Little Light of Mine" in 1964 in New York's Copacabana.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vision Boards

By Micayla
We made Vision Boards! We cut out pictures and words from magazines and printed pictures from the internet of what our goals and dreams are for this year - 2010, and put it on foam board. It is said that you will attract whatever you put on your Vision Board - like rare pencil toppers!! Some other things that I have on my Vision Board - dance pictures, A quote (Do what you love), some bells I put on the top of it, and a picture of ravioli - I plan to eat a lot of it!! My sister Allie put pictures of gymnasts, Carly put a kitten on hers, and Nate put a guy skateboarding. Our friends put a symbol of world peace and a picture of water! We enjoyed making the Vision Boards and plan on doing it every year! You might want to make one too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Grammy Museum

If you love music like we do, you may want to take a trip to the The Grammy Museum! We recently visited this incredible place with some good friends and had a great time. There are four floors, each with different interactive exhibits. Some of our favorite things were:

the touch screen table where you can listen to different genres of music,

the stage where you can play electric guitars and drums,

the Micheal Jackson light up tiled floor, the mixing rooms, and the songwriters' film.

Some of the kids were filmed for the show Eye on LA which aired on February 6th. You can watch the clip here.