Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Make a wish for 2012!
Link to buy the flying wish paper kit:
(thanks to our good friends who gave us these fun kits:)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mt. Moe Academy Awards ~ 2011

Best Movies
Les Choristes
La Belle Verte (can only be viewed on You Tube)
Ukulele Class
Chapter Books
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
The Tail of Emily Windsnap 
by Liz Kessler
The Queen of Water by Laura Resau
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Magic Tree House series
Picture Books
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Favorite Places to Eat
Native Foods * Veggie Grill
Cafe Gratitude * Evolution
Real Food Daily *Kindkreme
Sconeage Bakery * Haggo’s Organic Tacos *Seabirds Vegan Food Truck
Discovery Science Center
Fun & Educational Places 
Discovery Science Center
Muzeo Museum
California Surf Museum
Music Recommendations
*Ukulele classes through Long Beach Parks
 and Recreation
(the teacher is Hawaiian and incredible)
*Music classes with Ms. Danuta for young kids
*Flute or piccolo lessons with Rena Urso Trapani -
*Piano lessons with Karen Peters -
*The Colburn School -

Haggo's Organic Taco
*Mat Kearney
*Kina Grannis
*Bon Iver
*Foster the People
*Eliza Doolittle

Favorite New Recipe
Black Bean Sliders

olive oil
1 onion, diced small
1 14oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 carrot finely diced or shredded
1/2 cup cornmeal                            
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
 Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until tender and caramelized.  In a large bowl combine onions with the rest of the ingredients.  Form mini patties.  Heat and fry patties until slightly crisp on both sides.  Serve on slider buns with mango salsa, tomatoes, and avocado.  Yum! ~From Chef Chloe

Random Fun Thing to do...
The Hot Dog Roll - by Nate & Allie
This is a fun thing to do with your kids! After a bath or shower have your kid lay down on the edge of a towel on the bed.  Tell them to lie really still and stiff (we say “stiff as a board”).  Then slowly roll them over in the towel so they look like a hot dog.  Then take the edge of the towel and pull it really hard.  Your kid will flip out of it and fly through the air.  It is so much fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


post by Micayla
Me and my ballet friends.  Can you guess which bunhead is mine?

I am Young Clara, a Sugarplum attendent and an Infantry solider in this years performance of The Nutcracker at  Maple Conservatory of Dance!!  If you would like to see me, I am performing Young Clara in the opening performance (Saturday 2:00pm) and in the second to last performance on Wednesday (7:00pm.)  I am performing as a Sugarplum attendant on the last performance and the second performance.  I am Infantry on the rest of the days we are performing!  I hope you can come :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mucho Musique!

Post by Carly
Lately we've had some great music opportunities. We saw Colbie Caillat live and went to see a Jason Mraz concert!  The Colbie Caillat concert was at The Grammy Museum in LA.  It's an awesome museum full of information and great photos, videos, exhibits and hands-on activities on music, the Grammys, and famous musicians (right now they have excellent exhibits on George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and James Brown)!  Fun fact: I have the same b-day as George Harrison (February 25th)!

 The concert was in the Clive Davis theatre which is a small (only 200 seats) auditorium.  We barely got in; we waited until the last of the members got their tickets to buy the few leftover tickets.
The performance was soooo great!  Colbie answered questions and then played some songs (did you know her dad was the producer of the Fleetwood Mac albums?).  It was excellent because it was a small show and you could see really well.  She sounds fantastic live, I'm a big fan of her new album "All of You" (although all of the songs are about her boyfriend guhhh).

The Grammy Museum also offers workshops for homeschoolers.  Speakers from the Musician's Institute in LA come and give a lecture and workshop about various things.  I've been to a songwriting workshop, composing music for film, and composing for music videos workshop.  If you are a homeschooler who loves music and lives in the LA area I highly recommend you go to these workshops!  Only $8 for an informational and intriguing workshop about music!

Then, just this week we went to a Jason Mraz concert in San Diego!  He is really my all-time favorite, numero uno musician.  He sounds incredible live (this would be my third-or fourth time seeing him)!  His tour was just him and Toco Rivera (his percussionist) without the band, all acoustic.  Jason sang a ton of new songs, plus the oldies but goodies such as: You & I Both, Mr. Curiosity, The Remedy, Lucky, and I'm Yours (of course:P).  The concert was in downtown San Diego so it was a bit of a drive, but totally worth it.  It took place in the Spreckels theatre which is an old theatre that has tons of amazing sculpture and lighting.  We were in the balcony (meaning tippy-top) so we were pretty close up there to admire the ceiling!

Here are some pics and a video of one of his new songs:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Pie Day!

Today we had our annual pie making day for Thanksgiving tomorrow!!  We made 12 pies in total, including our mini pies for breakfast in the morning!  I made a key-lime pie, Carly made a pecan, Allie made apple, Nate made blueberry, my mom made a pumpkin pie and then we made two extra pumpkin pies.  We experimented and made one with cream and regular milk which turned out super thick and rich. We made one that had no dairy (we used almond milk) and no added sugar, and then we made another that was completely vegan!  Mini pies are amazing for breakfast, and super easy too!  Usually we have extra dough and filling so we just make minis out of it, instead of throwing it out.  Here are a few photos of our pie day!

 Try to figure out fact or fiction with this fun Thanksgiving quiz.  And you might enjoy reading this (our family read it last year before our feast; everyone around the table took turns reading a stanza).

Happy Thanksgiving!
Pie Day Posted By Micayla

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hawk Research

We recently had the opportunity to go on another awesome adventure at Starr Ranch.  This time learned how to track hawks using radio telemetry.  We also got to hear the different calls that hawks make and saw a video of a hawk's nest with baby hawks that were born on the ranch. 

Here are some interesting things we learned:
*Hawks are raptors that are diurnal.
*Owls are raptors that are nocturnal.
*Animals that are awake at dawn and dusk are called crepuscular.
*Raptors have large sharp talons and hooked beaks.
*There are around 7 different kinds of hawks at Starr Ranch.
     -the ones we tracked were Red-tailed Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, and Cooper's Hawks
*Hawks make their nests out of sticks and often reuse nests from year to year.
*Hawks will eat rodents, birds, lizards and snakes. 
*100 Disneylands can fit into Starr Ranch.

We saw these deer when we first got there.
Getting ready to collect data.
Carly using the transmitter.
Nate reading the GPS coordinates of the location of the found hawk.
The girls with Scott, the education director.
Nate listening.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Name This Insect... Again!

I was in our backyard today with my younger sister and brother.  I was doing a photo shoot of Allie when I spotted this amazing bug!  From a distance it looked like a ladybug, but closer it looks a lot bigger and it doesn't seem like it has wings to me.  It is about twice the size of the average ladybug and I found it on our purple cabbage plant in the garden.  Here are the photos, if you know what they are please comment and tell me! Thanks!

Posted by Micayla 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ministry of Dance

My friend Madison and I started a dance group together (inspired from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series) called Ministry of Dance.  We posted our first dance on YouTube today!  It is a dance about Bellatrix and Madison.  Madison was not in the book series but we really wanted to do a dance with a duel between them so  Madison did the choreography and we both danced to it. She is playing an older version of herself and I am playing Bellatrix.  This is a duel because I (Bellatrix) just killed Madison's husband Sirius Black and she is really mad at me so we have this really epic duel!  Here is the link to our Weebly website, there is a link to our YouTube channel on the home page:
Ministry Of Dance
I hope you enjoy it!  To watch more of our dances in the future please subscribe to our channel! We will be doing a dance for every book in the Harry Potter series,  I will post on here when we make another one!  Thanks for watching it!

Posted by Micayla 11/3/11

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Carly told me about this really awesome website for young writers called NaNoWriMo!
I just got an account on it and I am going to enter my story it it!  It is a thirty day writing challenge and on the site you can put your story up for people to read and they can give you feedback and you get to help each other with editing.  It is a really great website!  There are dares they put up on the home page fore people to put into their story, for example today's dare was:  "We dare you to have your main character get terribly lost while sleepwalking".  (I really like that one... I might use it!)  There is also a homeschool forum for homeschoolers to post questions about their story and just chat and make new friends!  There is a word count so you can keep track of how many words you write and you can set a word goal for you to reach at the end of your story!!  Here are a list of vocabulary words that I like to use in my story:

Abhor: to hate
Nefarious: evil or mean
Hector: to bully or talk not nicely to somebody
Discomposed: disturb or agitate someone
Divulge:  to make known

I'll add more once I have written more of my story!
I hope you like this website as much as I do!

Here is the prologue of my story:

~Chasing Fire
Thus you shall think of this fleeting world 
a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream
a flash of light in a summer cloud
a flickering lamp, an illusion... a dream.

The morning songbirds did not sing, on this cold autumn day.  The air was thick with droplets of  dew, alone at the top of a hill a creature was stirring.  A single star emerged from amiss the clotted cream dawn.  If bothering to listen... you could hear the gurgle of a stream from the far mountains.  From the deep above, a light struck atop the hill; the creature whistled as the lightning fell down upon her, she was expecting it.  She reached out a single hand, reaching out to the light, reaching out to the far mountain stream, reaching out to assist the world as she fell.  The light enveloped her and she floated up, joining that light as it flew up into the clotted cream dawn, joining the star as it shines down upon those who would bother to reach out to it.  Down past the hill someone screamed, a lamp flashed, the bulb popped.  And atop that glorious hill... the creature returned for half a moment... to bring on new life, a sorcerer was born.   
Never in their whole life had the people of Catalina Island experienced something so marvelous.  First it started out to be only a regular thunderstorm, but slowly as the lightning began to build it struck the top branch of their favorite picnicking tree at the top of Mount Orizaba. Or at least they thought it was a tree... Mother Orizba screamed as the lightning struck her temple, the people covered themselves and ran for shelter.  As the rain pounded down harder the chief spokes person and his crew made their way slowly up the hiking trail to where the bare stump of their great tree stood helpless.  “I’m Alfred Queensly and this is Midnight News atop Mount Orizaba.”  Alfred cleared his throat and looked at the camera continuing his speech for the news cast.  “Exactly twelve 02 midnight, we are here at the aftermath of this wet autumn storm.  It seems that the lightning came directly down from the high peaks of Mount Orizaba striking the tree that has had the most popular past.  Shall we go down memory lane, Bozard?”  The camera man gave him a thumbs up and he started walking in a slow circle around the tree to make it more dramatic.  “The great tree of Orizaba has been named the islands main tourist attraction for the last 56 years!  Why is this so?  Well,”  Alfred gave a little chuckle into his microphone, “Millions of years ago there was a tale of sorcerers and witches, they came here and planted this very stump... as a seedling.  It was said to have special powers that protected our island and kept us safe from the pirates that used to dominate our coves. “Now that it is only a burnt up stump we are predicting the end of the world on February second in the year of 3017,  good luck folks, keep hope and Good Morning Midnight!”   The camera clicked to off and Alfred sighed and smiled to himself as he brought his umbrella up over his head.  Bozard winked at him and they started down the steep muddy trail of Mount Orizaba.  They had mocked what was left of Mother Orizba.. they were going to pay.  No sooner had they reached the bottom of the trail the spirit of their great tree swooped them off of their feet and swept them away.  They have never been seen since.  An owl hooted, someone screamed, a baby laughed; and atop Mount Orizaba a young sorcerer was beginning his journey to save Mother Orizba, and possibly the world.  

Posted by Micayla 11/1/11

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

by Allie

I made this costume.  I am a 50's waitress.
Haunted House

Making my "trick-or-treat" bag.

This week I've been doing some fun Halloween crafts.  I'd thought I'd share them with you.  I sewed a 50's waitress Halloween costume that I am going to wear trick or treating (I worked on this with Ms. Hilde).  I made a haunted house out of two tea boxes.  I also used glue, paint, tissue paper and brown paper bags.  Every year we make trick or treating bags to put our candy in.  We take a brown paper bag and cut the bottom out of it.  Then paint the outside (I also used some glitter glue) and staple it together when it is dry.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Factory Tour

Last week we went on another fun factory tour;  this time to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Jay Isais, our tour guide, is the "coffee guy" who travels the world selecting and buying coffee beans.  We learned about the where the beans come from, about the coffee bean plants, and how they roast the beans, make blends, and prepare them for selling.

Hairnets required!

Beans roast @350'
Before and after roasting.

Here are some interesting things we learned:
*The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 800 stores worldwide (2/3 franchised, 1/3 corporate)
*Their coffee beans come from 16 different countries (including Columbia, Costa Rica, and Cambodia).
*Each coffee tree produces 1 - 2 pounds of coffee per year.
*They remove all oxygen from their coffee bags and fill them with nitrogen before sealing so that the beans do not become oxidized.
*The beans come from their countries of origin and the roasting and blending takes place at the factory.
*It is a big process from the coffee plant to coffee in your cup.

Here are some things we learned about tea:
*All kinds of tea come from the same kind of plant - different kinds of tea depend on how much oxidation has occurred.
*For example - black tea is oxidized, green tea is not oxidized, and oolong tea is partially oxidized.
*The tea bags at the factory are sealed with sound waves
*One of their machines can make 20,000-25,000 tea bags per day.

A couple other favorite things were the smell of the factory (a much better smell than the guitar making factory) and the sounds of the machines.  The machine that filled the coffee bags had such a cool sound (from air pressure) it made us want to dance; it was very musical.  We also really enjoyed hearing Jay tell us about the different parts of the world that he has traveled to and his relationships with the farmers who grow the coffee beans.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saltwater Fish

 ~Post by Carly~
In the past month I've been working on a new film project!  My latest short is Saltwater Fish, which follows a day in the life of two avid teenage surfers.  I entered it in the Big Shorts From Little Groms surf film contest (which I did last year, and won Transworld Surf Spirit Award:) and I am a finalist!  The screening of the finalists' movies is on Sunday, Oct. 16th at 1pm in Oceanside, and it's free!  Come down and check it out! The Brooks Theater 217 Coast Hwy Oceanside, Ca   It's their fourth annual festival, so the contest is pretty small but it is a ton of fun.  All of the finalists receive awards and an awesome goodie bag, and this year the overall grom winner gets all that plus a GoPro camera!  -which I already have, but it would be great to win another(;

Also another excited thing happened today in regards to my film!  I was given the opportunity to go down to the California Surf Museum in Oceanside (which by the way is around the corner from the theater) to be interviewed by Fox 5 News; live on tv!  And I had to wake up at 5am, by far my record so far.  I was super nervous before being interviewed, I've never really done an interview for tv before and it was gonna be LIVE!  But it actually went ok.  The spokesperson asked me a few questions, and I was on air for about three minutes at most.  I tried not to say 'like' a lot and to speak clearly.  I didn't get to talk that that much (she cut me off a couple times kinda) but that's probably because I don't speak as fast as some people do (i.e. my spastic know which one).

Overall it was a very exciting experience!  I'm so glad I had the chance to be interviewed, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Sunday.

 Here are some pictures...

Julie Cox the wonderful operations manager of the California Surf Museum

Posing by the 1970 exhibit
"We're going live in a second."  !!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anatolian Festival

Last week we went to the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival.  We were amazed by all that we saw and learned.  The art, music, food, and displays helped us come away with a much greater understanding of Turkish culture.  We learned about the Legend of Akdamar Island (a turkish composer is working on a ballet piece honoring this legend with plans unite 100 Turkish and 100 Armenian artists on the stage).  We learned about the Turkish Van Cat that often has mismatched eyes.  These cats love water, swimming, and eating chocolate.  We saw beautiful displays of marble painting, quilting and felting.  We heard music from the instruments we had never seen before and watched a variety of dances including the famous "Whirling Dervish".  We treated ourselves to some of the delicious desserts and even bought a box of "Turkish Delight."  Here are some photos of our adventure:

Nate with a local Trojan

The Bosphorus Bridge - The first suspension bridge to connect Europe to Asia (divided by the Istanbul Strait)

Aspendos Antique Theatre


Turkish Van Cat

Boxes of Turkish Delight