Horticulture vs. Botany?

I felt like we got a lot of great things accomplished today! Luke has three more Math worksheets before he is finished with his Math U See “Beta” book. Once he is finished he and I are going celebrate by going out for sushi. We are the only ones in the family that like sushi (I think Luke mostly likes it because they line the sushi up to look like a catapillar or dragon.) So anytime he got distracted while doing his math today I would yell at him, “I WANT SUSHI, GET BACK TO WORK.” Joking of course….(and so very very serious.)

Isabel and I have learned the alpha bet in Sign Language (ASL), counting to ten, and today we learned father, mother, family, brother, sister, boy, girl, grandfather, etc. We are using a book we rented from the library, Learn to Sign the Fun Way! by Penny Warner. She loves it and is very quick to memorize.

One of the things Luke wants to be when he grows up is a horticulturist. He has also heard of botanists, so last night he asked what the difference was. This morning I scrambled around on the internet trying to find the answer. I couldn’t find any great “Horticulture vs. Botany” websites (gee, you’d think there would be tons.)  I went to dictionary.com and got simple definitions for both. There is a lot more to it than this, but let’s just say horticulturists work on/improve/cultivate plants, flowers, trees, etc. and botanists study/analyze/dissect plants, flowers, trees, etc.

I then read to them out of our read aloud book, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingles Wilder. My kids are loving this book and I find that we are having to stop at least every few paragraphs to have a big discussion on covered wagons, cabins built out of logs, wolves, etc. It gives them, and me, a glimpse of what life was like back then. A great history book for young children.


Hook Ups

Disneyland was great. We only had to pay for one ticket since my parents neighbors hooked us up. We just stuck to the little rides and yet Safety Nerd would still read the “Motion Sickness Warning” signs and flip out.

My soon to be sister-in-law hooked us up with tickets to the Natural History Museum. We could have spent another few hours there. We checked out the African and North American Mammal exhibits, the bird exhibit, the Stones and Gems section and upstairs we were able to watch scientists working on the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.



Also, my lovely soon to be sister-in-law gave me a huge bag of random things (mostly school things) that she got just because she thought of us. Books, Play Dough, coloring books. My favorite is The ANTI-coloring book by Susan Striker. An example of what the Anti-coloring books is: one page will have the words at the bottom “You have been asked to design new playground equipment for the park.” Then it will have a border like a bench and tree and the child needs to draw and design the playground.

Vacation slash Field Trip

No, I haven’t died. Last week we went on a vacation slash field trip with my mom and dad up to Utah. Then this week I have been struggling to get my house cleaned and organized so we did very little school, and now tonight we are going to head to California to visit my family and on Monday go to Disneyland.

Here is a summary and a whole lot of pictures from our trip.

When my parents were here in Las Vegas we went to Red Rock and took the Children’s Discovery hike. In the desert plants we saw many catapillar nests like this one and at the end of the hike there was a waterfall! A very small desert trickle of one, but nevertheless, A WATERFALL!



First of all, when we got to Utah, it SNOWED. The kids sure thought it was fun, but I was just cold.



We visited Wheeler Farm which was very impressive and FREE! They had goats, cows, horses, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs.  They even had a tree house!






We also went to the planetarium and watched a movie about mummies. Next we went to the Children’s museum. I really wouldn’t recommend it. It was very overpriced and all it was was a cute little play town. The girls loved it, but Luke was bored.

The kids also had fun having a tea party with their great grandmother Kay!


Here is Sylvia eating Arby’s.


Fairy Party


Isabel will turn six on Sunday so this afternoon she had a Fairy Party with her friends. Once Isabel’s three friends arrived, we first had to put fairy dust (glitter make up powder) on our cheeks. Before learning about fairies, I sprayed fairy spray (lavender air freshener) in the room. To teach them that fairies are not only pretty but kind, I read them the story, A Fairy Went a-Marketing by Rose Fyleman. I then read the poem A Fairy in a Jar by Margery Stockseth and they each drew a fairy in a jar. Here is Isabel’s.


Since fairies like to play games the girls colored butterflies and played pin the butterfly to the flower. We then ate fairy cakes (pink cupcakes). Fairies love to dance, so each girl got a magic dancing wand and pranced around the backyard to music.



Today we learned about the lungs.


Here is Luke’s body.  I love it how his bladder is falling out the crotch.  Isabel’s is pretty funny too since she used girly decorative scissors to cut out her lungs.  Sylvia has only one of her lungs for some reason and she drew a happy face on it.   As you can see we still have some more main body parts to go but we are getting there.

Today Luke finished his Super Bouncy Ball Two and is already planning a third Bouncy Ball story.  Who knew a bouncy ball could have so many adventures.  Isabel takes forever to do her math, the sole reason being she insists on drawing each number in a pretty bubbly way.  I still need to do more reading with both of them today.  Maybe Joey will be up to it.  Does anyone have any suggestions on books for boys?  I have trouble keeping Luke supplied with books to read.  He is too fast.  He likes fantasy or adventure.  Let me know.

School at the Car Dealership

Our van had an appointment today for a lot of service that I knew would take a while. Having Joey take the van in, taking the van in without the kids, or going home while the service is being done are all not options. To make the most of our situation, we bought some Costco hot dogs (I think I have mentioned Costco hot dogs way too many times on this blog) and brought our bag of school with us. For two and a half hours, we ate lunch and got our school done. It was great and I didn’t even come close to strangling anyone (“anyone” includes my children or the service people!)


Even More Safety Nerd Proof

Last week, somehow it came up that Luke and Isabel didn’t know about the Titanic, so while we were eating lunch I told them the story (my own very brief and general knowledge about it.) Then, today Luke read on a Nevada license plate “The Silver State” and I explained that Nevada is called the silver state because they used to mine for silver in the Nevada mountains. I then told them (more of my very brief knowledge) about the 1849 California Gold Rush. Realizing that they had never heard these stories before, made them seem new to me as well, and I felt a sense of reappreciativeness (absolutely not a word.) But do you get what I mean?

Okay, so here is the safety nerd part: This is all Luke gets out of the historic stories I’ve recently told them….

“Things that happened in the past really make you not want to do things, like ever go on a boat.” –Luke a.k.a. Safety Nerd

In my opinion, that is taking “learn from the past” a little bit too far.