Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"What's That?" "It's a Grommet!"

Here is a short movie that I made for the Hot Grom Shorts kids' surf contest, "What's That?" "It's a Grommet!" It was so much fun to make, and I learned a lot in the process. I ended up making it into the Finals! The screening of all the finalists will be on October 10th in Oceanside (you can vote for my film here:)!

written by Carly

Monday, September 27, 2010

International Harpist

I am now taking harp lessons! It is so much fun and the harp sounds so pretty!! I have an awesome teacher named Erica. Erica used to live in England (fortunately she now lives here in Southern California). She has a super cute dog named Charlie, and a beautiful harp!

If you are looking for an excellent harpist for any reason, call Erica Walker @ (949)677-7824. You can check out her website at:

written by Micayla

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Highlights & Happenings

Here are some fun things that we've been up to as summer is winding down and we are attempting to get back into our fall routine:

*We walked the labyrinth in Palos Verdes.
*We checked out the new Homeschool Choir that will be happening on Mondays in Long Beach. If you are interested contact Beth Syverson 714-376-6666. (Carly was invited to intern as an accompanist for Beth).
* Carly and Micayla auditioned for the Nutcracker. This year they will be in performing with the Maple Conservatory in Irvine.

*We went to the Hurley Pro where Carly filmed and interviewed surf groms for a surf film contest she is entering (if you know someone who'd like to enter please note the submission deadline has been changed to September 30th). In the photo above is fellow homeschooler, 9 year old, Griffin.
*The kids tried out a few homeschool classes offered by Great Educational Experiences
*Nate and Allie have been making oodles of ounces of fresh squeezed O.J. in the last week after visiting the dentist, (he gave us a huge bag of oranges from his acreage in Fallbrook).

*A fun way to cool off and get exercise - bouncing on the trampline with the hose!
*Micayla made this yummy dessert.

What we've been reading:
*A Young People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
* Facing the Lion - Growing Up Maasai on the African Savannah
by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton
* Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
* Around the World in 80 Tales by Saviour Pirotta
* Q is for Quark - by David M. Schwartz
* The Periodic Table - Elements with Style by Adrian Dingle
* It's Elementary - How Chemistry Rocks Our World by Robert Winston

What we've been watching:
*The movie Napoleon Dynamite after seeing the All American Melodrama Theater perform Homeschool Musical.
* Families of the World dvds - (we just watched the one on Ghana)
*Periodic Table Videos (just click on an element to see a video - love the professor's hair too:)
* And our favorite that seemed to mesh perfectly with what we've been studying:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not-Back-To-School Week!

To celebrate Not-Back-To-School, Nate and I (Carly) made a delicious Orange Bundt Cake from the Moosewood New Classics cookbook. It is a really easy recipe to whip up, and the glaze is scrumptious. Here is the recipe and a picture of the finished product! :)

Orange Pound Cake
Serves 16
Preparation time: 30 mins.
Baking time: 60-75 mins.
Cooling time: 20-30 mins.

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure orange extract (or orange flavor)
6 eggs
4 cups unbleached white pastry flour
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons baking powder

Orange Glaze:
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan (see Note).

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the orange extract and the eggs. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat well. In a separate bowl, or measuring cup, stir the baking powder into the remaining 2 cups flour. Add to the batter and beat well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-75 mins. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 mins. Invert onto a serving plate, leaving the pan on top so the cake holds its shape. Cool for another 10 or 20 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Stir the orange extract and the orange juice into the sugar with a fork, adding the orange juice a tablespoon at a time; use just enough to produce a thick smooth mixture. Spread the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush, while the cake is still warm, or drizzle it on in a lacy pattern (using a fork).

*Note Not every 10-inch Bundt pan holds the same number of cups. There are differences in shape and the slope of the sides. For this recipe, use a Bundt pan that holds at least 12 cups, or the batter is likely to overflow and make an oven mess.
If your Bundt pan is smaller, spoon a portion of the batter into a miniature loaf pan or a 6-inch round cake pan and bake it alongside your big Bundt cake. Check the small cake earlier: It will bake in less time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Daytripping in LA

We've had a few excursions in LA lately. If you are up for a fun adventure you might want to check out one of these places:

Favorites: The "Passage to America" exhibit and the listening lounge called "Jews on Vinyl" (one of our favorite songs was called "Dunkin Bagels").

Favorites: The Children's Garden, The Chinese Garden, the Rain Forest, Cloud Forest and Plant Lab.

We went to see the costumes from the Alice in Wonderland movie (unfortunately we could not take photos inside the exhibit).