Tag Archives: education

Apple Hill 2014

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We waited months for our family vacation, our yearly trip to Apple Hill Ca. This was Carlos’ first time and I was so excited to get all the pumpkins my little hands could grab. The months leading up to the trip, Emery would freak out in the car about her back itching. A 5 minute car ride to Target was a struggle. She would squirm around, freak out, complain, wail and the cherry on top – she would kick the seat behind me. I probably looked like I was having a demon fighting within me, going forward and back violently in the car with an angry face. So many warnings were given about her being good because Grandpa’s house is much farther than Target.
I packed all of the “best of’s” to avoid any problems. I had 3 hours to keep her occupied and one, one year old. Carlos fell asleep right on schedule but woke up pretty early and did good the rest of the way. Emery surprisingly did amazing (shout out time). She had her tablet, a few snacks and she was an angel. I don’t get to say that much often anymore so I’ll say it again, Emery was an angel.

and here we go ...

and here we go …

DAY 1. Thursday –
We stayed at Carlos’ Nina’s parents house in Elk Grove. I hadn’t been to the area in two years, being able to relax for half a day was great and reconnect.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

DAY 2. Friday –
Val (Carlos’ Nina) took us out to eat breakfast, on the way Emery got sick. It was a 10 minute drive (with out traffic) and from that little time she got a fever. How this happened I don’t know, but luckily Super Mom packed meds, a thermometer and a first aid kit just in case (toot toot, that’s me tooting my horn).
We hit up a local hipster coffee spot in midtown and then off to my Dad’s house.
Carlos met his great Grandma Mary for the first time and really embraced everyone instead of being shy and off standing.
At night Victor, Valerie and I went out to Capitol Tap Room to have some brews and celebrate our 7 years of being together. It was our first time being away from the kids, doing something more than a nice fast dinner. Luckily, my family was able and willing to watch the kids. I felt like, “ah, this is what adult time feels like”.

Happy 7 year anniversary  xxXooOX

Happy 7 year anniversary
xxXooOX

DAY 3. Saturday –

Apple Hill!! Valerie came with us, it was her first time and we enjoyed her company. She was our official photographer for our yearly family photo.
Emery found her own pumpkin this year and she was really proud of herself.
Carlos fell every opportunity he could in the patch. The red dirt was all over his chest and back. It was pretty funny because he would fall on the floor and dust himself off not caring at all.
I planned to grab a ton of pumpkins while we were there and I think we succeeded, we walked away with 13 awesome and different ones.

After a long day of walking around and trying different ciders we headed back to my dad’s, where my step mom made a pre-thanksgiving dinner. Perfect for a hunger crew!

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I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

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Our 2014 Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

 

DAY 4. Sunday –

We took the kids to The State Capitol to check it out because, when in Rome. Emery was learning her state capitals a few months ago so she knew Sacramento was the state’s capital, now she was able to see it up close. We went inside, something Victor and I hadn’t done before. Val was our tour guide leading the way to all the rooms available for visitors. We got to see the assembly room, where all the decisions are made. We found a gift shop and picked up two new California children’s books and a magnet for our trip!

At the end of this day I think Victor and I both looked at each other and decided we needed one more day in the city.

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

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looking up at the dome with daddy

looking up at the dome with daddy

Inside the assembly room

Inside the assembly room

When we got home we did some homework on California

When we got home we did some homework on California

 

DAY 5. Monday –
BONUS DAY!!! Also uuber sad day because this was the day we had to leave. We sad goodbye to great grandma Mary and snuck in a few photos. We had lunch with Nina Val one last time. And let me say this, one of my favorite things about the trip was the last meal at The Sandwich Spot. OHMYGAWD so good. so good.

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Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandma Andrea

Grandma Andrea

We said our goodbyes and I stressed all over about the 3 hour road trip home. Emery had to pee 40 minutes into it (how I don’t know because she went before we left), Carlos woke up right away and I was dreading the hours of crying. Luckily everything went smooth and we plan to be back again sooner than later.

Valerie, has a YouTube channel – Valsays and vlogged our trip. So forget everything you just read and watch mini clips of it below.

A day at the Fire Station

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Every year our local Hanford, Fire Station has an open house. Usually we aren’t able to make it, because it’s the same weekend we make our trip to Roseville to visit my Dad and head out to Apple Hill . Because we were not able to go up North this year, I excited to take the kids to this event.
Growing up my Dad would take my brother and I to things like this. I love to pass the experiences down to my kids. Emery has really been asking questions about Fire trucks and Ambulances. Any time we see one on the road we talk about where they might be headed or what the kind of things the vehicle has inside of it. The Hanford Fire Station’s open house is really  a hands on experience. With guidance the kids are able to work the fire hose and put out a “fire” (a red vinyl sheet) in the window. How often does a person get to say they’ve done that! There’s an Ambulance the kids can go in and a Paramedic will talk to the kids about what the different things inside are and used for. Even I learn about a machine that can take a picture of your heart. Pretty cool stuff.
Emery sat in the front seat of a Highway Patrol car, and sat in the Fire Truck’s front and back row. The Fire Fighter’s handed out goodie bags with pencils, magnets stickers and fire safety coloring books.
This year the Fire Station also had, Kid Print. It’s a card with your child’s home address, measurements, photo, thumb print and any birth marks or allergies that he or she may have. The information is then added to the Police Stations data base on record. It was free and totally worth waiting in line for. I’m going to put my daughter’s card in her backpack she carries around.
After we got our card we took a little tour into the Fire Station to experience how a Fire Fighter lives. We saw their living room, kitchen, rooms and gym. Last but not least we had to ride, “Freddie” a little red tour truck, you can see around town from now and now. Freddie took us all through down town and dropped us off at the Carousel. We had no idea we would be getting dropped off. It was a nice little surprise. Despite all the amazing pictures and the fun I know the kids had, for me this was the best part Because, every time I drive down town Emery will always ask and talk about the one time last year she got to ride the carousel. I feel bad that I we don’t stop, but I never see anyone on them or a man standing at the machine waiting for riders. So this was THE PERFECT way to end our day. She was so happy! She was laughing and yelling. A lady in front of us kept turning around because Emery was so happy. Pure happiness from a child is the best thing on Earth for me. This was also the Carlos’ first time on a ride. He seemed to enjoy it as he sat down with his Dad.
I think I will start going to Apple Hill the following week so we can make the Fire Station’s open house every year.

Open House 2013

Open House 2013

 

Just hanging out on Fire Truck

Just hanging out on a Fire Truck

 

Driving the Fire Truck

Driving the Fire Truck

 

Using the fire hose For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram

Using the fire hose
For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram

 

Inside the Ambulance

Inside the Ambulance

 

Taking a ride through town on "Freddie".

Taking a ride through town on “Freddie”.

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel. For the video on this & more check out my Instagram – Gypsywidow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning

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I place a lot of emphasizes on school and homework with Emery. She may only be three but this is the age when children’s minds are sponges and soak up EVERYTHING. I never had that push, and at an early age I hated school. Without even realizing it I was pushing Emery to be something different that I was. Emery saw her older brother going to school and started saying how she went to school, and had homework. Her imagination sprouted having actual “homework” everyday. She sees her brother, Father and Grandmother all doing homework. The idea of doing homework seems (to her) like something everyone has to do.
At the age of one years old she was counting to ten in English and Spanish. She knew some sign language, her alphabet and spoke well. At two years old Emery knew colors, shapes (ones like oval and diamond) and how to count to twenty and alphabet recognition. Its been three months since she turned three and she knows the sounds each letter makes, shes doing sight cards and is learning to write letters and numbers (0-100 with some assistance), she knows days of the week and months of the year, how to spell her first name and last name. Sounds like a lot? It really couldn’t be easier! The key is to take the time and spend it wisely.
Emery isn’t allowed to watch what I like to call, “dumb shows”. Not only do I think they are dumb but they don’t teach anything (with the exception of Disney cartoons). Once in awhile I will put on Power Puff Girls on for her but other than the few random shows here and there shes on educational television. Her favorite program is, Baby First (its, its own channel if you’ve never heard of it), Leap Frog (it really helped enforce certain things while being fun), Nick J.r. (one of her fun programs ,but Dora & Diego have really helped with Spanish and the learning of animals) and what ever learning movies her Father and I have purchased for her.
Target dollar aisle is my weak spot, anytime I go in I NEED to see whats new. Maybe its scrap-book paper? Maybe stickers or cute little socks? If its school supplies I will probably walk away with something. During August and September when the children go back to school and teacher supplies are out is the best time to shop. Emery has a little box full of flash cards, crayons that are made for dry erase boards (so that she doesn’t have to use markers and get ink everywhere), and learning books. Not only will it be used for her but but also for her little brother. Michael’s also has teaching supplies (such as the alphabet or clocks) during the back to school season. I have reward stickers for her when her homework is completed and done correctly. Just a little sticker can make her feel special. I put it up on the fridge for her Father to see when he gets home and send pictures to her Grandmothers.

Dry erase boards found at Target and Michaels

Dry erase boards found at Target and Michaels


Now here’s the trick. Getting them to learn isn’t always easy. There are days when she doesn’t want to sit still for 5 minutes but I force her (err, I mean ask her) for her attention and then her homework is done. I only do 10 minutes a day. If its something like a learning movie or song she can watch or listen to it as many times as she wants. I know Pinterest has some great ideas from other people.
Learning the days of the week and months of the year was a song from the same group on Youtube. I put my laptop in her room and as we played we sang along. It took a week before she could sing the songs correctly without the music or help.  The days of the week song was a little slow for us. We learn better with things that are more up beat so I sang it with the same beat as the months of the year.
Months of the year
I put letters on a white sheet of paper and had her circle and cross out certain letters I asked her to.
Now this is the one thing I’m really geeking out on! I’ve bought Emery writing paper and dry erase boards to practice her writing. I found this website so you can put a single word, multiple word, small sentence or paragraph on a sheet. This way you can teach your child or whom ever a certain word. This site  will also help you practice your cursive! I’ve had many discussions online about the lack or cursive being taught and how its a dying art. Most of the United States have stopped the practice or cursive (this not including California ,yet). Many people believe that its a dying art form and the curriculum is to teach kids typing to keep up with the technological age. I can’t argue with that, computers are the future, however a beautiful hand written note to say, “Thank You” or to simply WRITE should not be lost with our grandparents. Cursive is also a faster way to write. I wont be teaching my three year old cursive any time soon but I’ve been worried about her not picking it up. I would have taught her anyways, but my cursive is not as elegant as the older generation. This site will help teach her the right way to write. This can also be a good homework for summer, when they arn’t in school but to keep them active and learning.

Scroll down

Scroll down

No need to down load anything.  Just scroll down and read the step by step directions and input your information

No need to down load anything. Just scroll down and read the step by step directions and input your information

This turned out crooked but I made a sheet for Emery to learn her First name.

This turned out crooked but I made a sheet for Emery to learn her First name.

Here she is practicing her name. Practice makes you better!

Here she is practicing her name. Practice makes you better!

Each day just a little practice of anything can go a long way. Teaching doesn’t have to be mundane. Singing a song on how to spell your child’s name while in the car, teaching about traffic lights or counting on the way to the grocery store. It all adds up to one smart child.

Learning 911

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When I was pregnant with Carlos, I would get dizzy spells. I would just be sitting down and all of a sudden I would see sparks. I thought about putting a red dot on the number 9 on my phone, and two red dots on the 1. This way if anything happened to me, Emery would know to press 9 once and the 1 twice. I also put her Dad and her Great Grandma’s picture and phone number on my home screen. She already knew how to turn my phone on and mess with it, so it was easy for her to use. She could just press the picture and it would dial the number for her. These were the two people most likely to answer their phone or at least call back right away.
Now that Emery knows her number recognition, I’ve been teaching her how to identify them on the phone in case  I needed her help. I told her if she  found me on the floor and I didn’t answer, she  should check to see if I’m breathing by putting her finger under my nose to feel the air. I practiced this with her the other day, I told her, “don’t forget to check if I’m breathing!” while I laid on the ground. She came up to me and plugged my nose. I jumped up! “Emery I can’t breathe!” her response, “Well Mom, I’m not a Doctor, I’m a patient”. I couldn’t help but to laugh. Of course she’s right, she’s only two.
So, I think we will stick to the basics and save the CPR class for another day.