Saturday, May 24, 2014

Killing time with origami dragons


My kids are bored.  Well, two of them are.  The two that joyfully finished school last week are milling around, stealing my computer and finding things online to keep them busy.


Things like staying up all night and learning to make origami dragons.


I awoke to an army of them littering the kitchen table.  Phoebe made them all.  Then she taught Naomi.  Then she slipped about 20 of them into one of Chloe's school books, who wound up giving them all out to friends at school.  But not to worry, by the time Chloe came home that day they had all been replaced with freshly made dragons..... There's even one in my car on the dash.


Naomi is amusing herself in her usual way.  By baking.  These are her cupcakes.


They were very yummy.... Too yummy!  

Recently we received a letter from Mike's aunt that was written in script.  Naomi was upset because she couldn't read it.  It seems they've stopped teaching cursive writing in school, so I bought her a workbook online.  Both her sisters learned cursive when we lived in Argentina.  In fact when Chloe started school there she was hysterical because not only was everything written on the board in Spanish, but it was also in cursive.  We had to buckle down and teach her fast!  So it's more cursive writing practice around here until camp begins. Just another week or two, by then we'll have so many dragons....

Monday, May 19, 2014

Goodbye elementary school, and "Kids these days"

On Thursday we attended Naomi's "Going Forth" ceremony....

Here she is getting an award for "Academic Achievement"...

... And here she is at the end of the ceremony with her certificates.  So she's done with elementary school, and since she's the youngest that means, we're all done with elementary school!  YAY!

On Friday night we went to "Kids These Days", the 5 minute play festival at the Phoenix Theatre downtown.  Chloe was performing in 2 of the plays  all of which were written, performed, acted and directed by students from the Metropolitan Arts Institute (Chloe's school).


 I got as far as photographing the backdrop before I realized photography wasn't allowed....


Anyway, the plays were really good!  Chloe was quite hilarious in her roles.

In the meantime we're entering the dreaded summer here in Phoenix.  Our temperatures have been up the 100º's again. It's funny because the toughest thing about summer for me is dragging myself out of bed at 5:30am everyday so I can walk the dog in cooler morning temperatures. For anyone who's had to rise early for work or school I'm sure you're thinking, I've done that you can get used to it, but I don't.  Perhaps it's because it's for 4 months straight without a day to sleep in even once.... Oh well, at least we're not actually on fire like they are in San Diego right now!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Butterfly Wonderland

Today I taught 5 year old children how to splatter paint.  It turns out they already had a pretty good idea on how to do that!  What they didn't know was that professional artists, like American painter, Sam Francis, also like to splatter paint, so it was an educational mess.  Fortunately I brought plenty of plastic coverings.

Last weekend was my birthday and Mother's Day, so.... YAY ME!

We ate out at the Olive Garden (courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law... thanks for the gift cards!). The food was abundant and one waiter dropped a massive tray of dishes, much to my children's amusement, so it was like dinner and a show!


On Saturday we headed over to the newly opened local attraction called "Butterfly Wonderland".


For some reason I have many photos of our sunny walk through the parking lot.... So bear with me.


Here's another one!


 Anyway, the event was indoors.


Chloe and Phoebe in the auditorium, before we watched the short 3D movie about monarchs.  I for once really enjoyed the 3D part.  It usually gives me a headache, but perhaps I can only take 15 minutes at a time.


This is the "Emergence Gallery".  When we first walked in we thought it was a display of cocoons with dead butterflies, but it turns out that they stay so still when they just emerge, they only look dead. They were actually just drying their wings.


Next stop was the butterfly garden.


Here's Chloe!


Before we were allowed in we were under careful instructions not to touch the butterflies (even if they land on you) and to move about slowly, watching where you step.


There were, of course butterflies everywhere. It was quite infested.  This one was actually huge!



They apparently like melons and pineapple.


Chloe taking a look at the koi pond.


This massive Atlas Moth had just emerged so he was still hanging out by his sign.


A monarch looking a little creepy now that we'd seen them huge and in 3D.


Naomi looking for butterflies.


Mike in the garden.  The climate was carefully controlled in here.  There were misters running all around to make it more humid and I think they were keeping the temperature in the high 80's (like a rainforest, I guess).


Every 5 minutes someone was asking Chloe to take their photo. Here she is with yet another person's camera. After the garden we were brought into an inspection chamber to be sure no butterflies were attached to us.


The next room was ant, bees and other insects native to this area.  Much to my dismay that included this giant centipede, that was almost as big as my forearm... This is why I don't garden.


An aquarium is coming soon to the complex and they already had some sea life displays.  Here are some fish from the Amazon.


Naomi took the opportunity to pet the baby stingray.


It was surprisingly friendly. Perhaps we'll come back when the rest of the Aquarium is up and running!

This is, shockingly, the last week of school for my 2 younger daughters.  Phoebe for some reason decided to do every other English homework assignment this term and had until Monday to complete all the rest of them (including a research paper!).  At 5:00am yesterday I awoke to find Phoebe still hard at work at the kitchen table.  She was just finishing and I sent her to bed at 5:30am.  After 2 hours of sleep she headed off to school and I waited for the phone call about my unconscious daughter from her school's office.  It never came.  She got all her work in and even stayed late at school to audition for advanced acting class for next year.  At 5:00pm I picked her up and she was downright perky!  It looks like she'll even be getting an A or B in English.  So much for teaching her a lesson about procrastination.

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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