An entire year!

So, not going to lie.  An entire year has passed since I’ve even THOUGHT of this blog.  That’s awful.  Especially since I was using this as a way to keep track of our activities, fieldtrips, and just awesome news.   So, here’s a year in review of what we did for Transitional Kindergarten for Green Bubbles, what Little Miss and our family has been up to, and our newest addition, Megatron!

We went on the greatest hike ever in June!  We got to meet Joel Robinson with Naturalist For You  and went on a new to us hike to Canyon Falls.  I really want to do this hike again but it’s just not possible for me now with a toddler and a baby.  There were large rocks, bigger then my kids, to climb over.  Fallen trees to duck under.  Small pools to wade through.  We saw new bugs, tiny frogs, salamanders, and a 50 foot water fall.  The kids loved it.  It was rural, the path was hard to see, and I honestly think I wouldn’t be able to find the trail head by myself if I tried.  And it was awesome!

 Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach has got to be one of the coolest places to go in the summer.  I remember visiting this place when I was a kid.  We used to call it Mud Park.  I’m so glad I’m able to share it with my own children.  Or at least Green Bubbles.  It’s designed for the 5-12 year old crowd and its not really a safe place for babies and toddlers so I left Little Miss at home.  They have rafts the kids can play on, a really cool water slide into a muddy puddle and even a tree fort area where they have a huge pile of scrap wood and they check out a hammer and nails to the kids to build whatever they can imagine.  And if your over 7 years old, you can even check out a hand saw!

August brings the start of another school year.  We are officially homeschooling this year.  Green Bubbles is hold enough to start Transitional Kinder this past year and we enrolled with Sky Mountain Charter School.  They provide funds for educational materials so we were able to do a lot of things we wouldn’t normally get a chance to do.  Green Bubbles had art classes, swim lessons, a musical theater class,  and tons of science kits.  I have learned so much this past year though such as the fact that I need a real curriculum and can’t just wing it.  We didn’t have a firm language arts or history curriculum and it showed, especially by the end of the year when we also had a new baby to occupy all my time. 

In September we got to visit the kid’s grandparents in Kentucky.   It was Little Miss’ first time on an airplane and she did great!  Although I have learned through the experience that, even though it’s cheaper to have a lap sitter, she really needed her own seat for my own piece of mind. 

Green Bubbles had his very first art class and he did great!  We took lessons at a friend’s house that she had set up through Creative Creatures. He had a lot of fun with this and learned all about primary and secondary colors, blending, tones, and wrote his name for the first time all by himself without any prompting for spellings.

Getting a good picture of the two of them is next to impossible.  Here’s more nature study in October at Nix Nature Center at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.  I love this park and it’s close to home.  There are multiple entrances and parking lots at this park and each one has it’s own unique feel to it.

We were lucky to do so much traveling this year.  Another trip to Kentucky to visit the grandparents and the kids first real experience with snow.  There wasn’t very much snow on the ground but with my Southern California kids, it was a new experience.  They loved playing in it, squishing it beneath their boots, smashing it between their gloves, and knocking the icicles down from the nearby tree branches.  Although Little Miss enjoyed the cold far more then her brother.  She never wanted to go inside.  We also explored a little farther afield this trip and visited Knob Creek, Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home.  The timing was perfect since we were just about to start learning about Abraham Lincoln and the civil war the following week. 

After the snow of Kentucky, January in California is very different.  Another nature study day and coming up on some of the last few ones we did for the year.  I was getting very pregnant at this point. We went to the Fullerton Arboretum and hung out at our favorite climbing tree.  This is probably one of the biggest trees and is perfect for littles to climb up into the middle of, go through it, and slide down the other side.  Better then a playground. 

 Happy Valentine’s Day!  The kids got to pick their own valentine boxes to make and, true to their interests, was just what I was expecting.  Green Bubbles has been really into Super Mario Bros. lately so we made him a question mark box.  Little Miss is showing off her my little pony phase and requested a pink pony box.  They had a lot of fun passing out their special valentines I made for them as well.  Green Bubbles had little plastic bugs on them and Little Miss’ were crayon hearts that we had made.  I had plenty of time to do crafts since we were pretty much home bound at this point of my pregnancy not wanting to get into any new classes or anything that required a lot of walking with me carrying my very heavy toddler.

 Welcome to the world Megatron!   Megatron was born mid-March.  Thankfully the day before spring break so we had a little bit of an adjustment before throwing ourselves back into school.  Although at this point, school had become very lax and not very structured.

 Green Bubbles started playing flag football this year with i9 sports.  He loves it and since Daddy volunteered to coach his second season, he gets a lot of special one on one time with just the two of them.  He’s improved so much from when we first started.  He used to only play center but now he’s rushing the quarter back, pulling flags, and even carried the ball once.

To celebrate the end of the school year we took a field trip to Sea World.  The kids had so much fun looking at all the various animals.  We got to see sharks, sea turtles, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, bat rays, and play in the touch tanks with the feeder fish.   They had a special show just for the homeschoolers as well where they explained how they trained the animals to do all the amazing tricks we got to see. 

And to end this wrap up post.. It’s summer, the perfect time to let loose, have fun, and get wet.  We’re planning a lot of beach days this summer and kicked it off with a trip to one of our favorites, Little Corona Del Mar.  Although this is normally the beach we go to for tidepools, when we went this last time the tide was in so there wasn’t much to see.  Just a lot of fun to be had. 

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