Monday, June 28, 2010

Summertime cherries!

Last week we took a mini road trip to Leona Valley to go cherry picking at the 5 Star Ranch. The car ride was worth it though; the ranch had Bing and Rainier cherries, and both were delicious! We left with around 12 lbs. of cherries and probably ate at least another pound our two while we picked.

At home we made cherry pie and chocolate chip cherry ice cream. Yum!!

We had a ball making the ice cream. We used this basic vanilla recipe and added chocolate chips and cherries.

(If you are interested in cherry picking, plan a date soon; the season won't last much longer).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Science Center!

Soooo....yesterday we went to the Science Center up in LA! It was pretty awesome. We saw The Ultimate Wave Tahiti3D IMAX movie featuring Kelly Slater. The movie talked about the history of Tahiti, surfing, and how waves are formed. The 3D effects were astounding; grab that fish! It was neat to go underwater and see the coral reefs and natural marine life. It's pathetic that lots of the coral reefs around the world are being destroyed by global warming and humans. BOOOOOO. Anyhoo, the flick was a hit, and we recommend it for all ages!

After the movie, we explored the new exhibit Ecosystems. It was great (although many unexpected guinea pigs roamed the premises)! They have a two stories with ten different "zones" our favorites were The Poles and Deep Sea Vents. There was so much information, we didn't even get to visit all the rooms! I'll explain a bit more about these "zones". They are rooms with various hands-on activities, animals, and boards that hold much information....


*Did you know that there are deep sea vents, some called "Black Smokers" and one called "The Lost City" because of it's Grecian architecture?

*By 2020 four different dams in the Klamath River (we visited it on our road trip last year!) will be removed!

*Turtles store their pee for long periods of time so that when they're roasting in the desert they can have a cool drink to beat the heat (no, they don't actually drink their urine, the liquid just gets absorbed into their bodies:).

*Honey Ants store nectar in their abdomens and get so bloated that they can't even move! Workers can grab a snack on the go.

*Did you know the color black absorbs much more heat than white; also snow reflects more sunlight than sand which are two reasons why the polar regions are so cold.

We had a terrific time learning about the different ecosystems! It's amazing the amount of life that thrives in the various systems. Go check out Ecosystems at the LA Science Center today!

~written by Carly

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We love this...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fascinating Frogs!

Recently we went to Muzeo to see their "Frogs" exhibit. It was pretty fantastic. There were frogs from all over the world on display including Waxy Monkey Frogs and Amazon Milk Frogs from South America, and Chinese Gliding Frogs from Asia. Our favorite frogs though were the Dart Poison Frogs which are incredibly colorful and incredibly poisonous (one frog contains enough poison to kill up to 10 people)! The exhibit also shows a movie on amphibians around the world and has interactive displays including one of different frog sounds, and one where you can do a virtual dissection (although this one was not a favorite with our clan).

It was fun and interesting to learn about the frogs and how important they are to the ecosystems of the world.
What do you know about frogs?
1. Could a dinosaur have tripped over a frog?
2. What is the world's largest frog?
3. Frogs eat their own skin (T or F)?
4. Some frogs live underground (T or F)?
5. How many eggs can a frog lay?
6. Can you get warts by touching a toad?
7. What is the smallest frog?
8. Frogs drink water (T or F)?

1. Yes
2. The Goliath Frog (weighing about 7 lbs.)
3. True - they shed and often eat their own skin!
4. True
5. Up to 35,000!
6. No
7. Either the Cuban tree frog, the Little Grass Frog (in North America) or the Brazilian Gold Frog (these frogs are all smaller than a dime!)
8. False - frogs absorb water through their skin

Allie & Nate were inspired to read more about Frogs after having gone to Muzeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Ballet Blog

I (Micayla) started a ballet blog called Ballerina Girl. Click on the link to check it out!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 12 Dancing Princesses

I am in Maple Conservatory's 12 Dancing Princesses ballet on June 13th (Sunday)!
I get to be a princess and Carly is a Bronze forest dancer. Our performance is at 3:00 p.m @ the Barclay Theater in Irvine! Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to come, you need to look into it sometime soon! After 12 Dancing Princesses is our spring Showcase; each level does a dance. I am in Hijo De La Luna and Carly is in Ugga Bugga! Hope you can come!!!
(posted by Micayla)

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Clay Creations!

We've been having fun making clay creations at Clay on First! We participated in some homeschool classes with our friends were we did handbuilding and made things on the potter's wheel. We made bowls, vases, candle holders, cups, and more. Clay (who owns the place - and yes, that is his real name!) is great and taught us pottery making techniques that we used to make our pieces better. We also met an artist named Tess and saw her working on an incredible sculpture. Clay and Tess both teach the art of working with clay. If you are inspired to get creative with clay you might want to give them a call or go and visit Clay on First!

Jessica (Clay's sister) helping Nate out with the wheel.

Nate glazing his piece.
Carly and Megan with pieces they made on the wheel.

Clay firing up the kiln!

Tess working on a sculpture!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Last month we bought milkweed plants (here) so we could witness the miracle of metamorphosis - from egg to butterfly. In the past we have ordered larva from Insect Lore which has been fun, but this has been even better. With our milkweed plants we've been able to see: Monarch Butterflies laying their eggs (they are incredibly small, white and sticky - often found on the undersides of the leaves),

the larva hatching from their eggs (they are so small they are almost microscopic),

the caterpillars shedding their skin, growing and eating,

(this one is hanging upside down - between the two pots of milkweed plants - getting ready to make its transformation)

the caterpillars forming a chrysalis (amazing green jewels ringed with gold)

and then finally, after weeks of waiting and watching, emerging from their pupa and preparing to take flight. Science in our own backyard - kinda cool!