Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking at the Field Trips of 2011

This year 2011 has been a year with many new experiences for everyone in my family. Early Spring 2011 my family and I  traveled to Central California and had a blast visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Mystery Spot and Dennis the Menace Park.  Along the way up and coming home we visited the Missions that are along the California Coast. Each Mission was rich with history and spirit. One mission was so unique it had a secret passage. We accidentally used it. It was closed off to the public, but we had to go to the bathroom and got lost. By accident we found the secret passage. We completely found that experience amazing. Then Summer 2011 came and we spent days at the beach, gardens and parks enjoying the sun and water. The pool in our Irvine Community was not bad either. We did lots of swimming. (I did lots of watching not swimming.) Then as soon as September came it was back to school volunteering and running around driving kids to and from school. In all that crazy family life I added work and blogging. My family and I have had a successful year full of love, compassion, friendship and most of all of memories. My family and I want to wish you a very successful 2012 full of Love, Compassion, Friendship and lots of fun field trip memories.  Happy New Year!


Olden Days

Mystery Spot not a Mystery any more

Residents of Monterey Bay Aquarium

Call us Farmers

Too Young and Too Old to go on this ride.

We were invited to an exclusive kids playground!

 A few miles from home.

Muy bueno! My new thing...

Can you say Creative writing. Fair winner!!!

Zoomar's resident. Please be nice!!

Add painter and artist to hubby's title.

Greek Celebration in Irvine. You should go once.
Downtown Los Angeles, California



Reviews: One of the most informative guides you will find! Voted Best Family Guide Book by Los Angeles Magazine! A valuable resource for anyone who lives in the area or is looking to visit.
(source: SunBelt Books)

Ordering Options

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pasadena - New Year 2012


This weekend there will be lots of fun things to do in Southern California. One of the most exciting events is the "Pasadena Tournament of Roses". The event is a parade of beautiful floats decorated with roses, flowers, seeds and herbs that are stories high. Image a building walking down the street decorated with roses. These floats are super tall and amazing works of art that smell rich with floral rose fragrance.  In 1890 Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club began the parade to draw people from the East Coast to come to California to see the life without snow and experience paradise. Every year it is celebrated on January 1st except never on Sundays. This year it falls on Sunday therefore it will be celebrated on Monday January 2nd, 2012. It will be broadcasted on Television for the world to see and for those who can not make it to Pasadena. After the parade the floats will be parked for all to view up close. 

We will be going after the parade to see all the beautiful floats. We pack a light lunch and wear our most comfortable shoes and take our time walking around. The kids love just getting out and riding the bus that takes us to the floats. They think that taking a bus is cool and fun. The bus is a short ride through Pasadena. We see all the local shops in our route to see the floats.  Once off the bus you see people. I won't lie. There is a ton of people of walking and looking at the floats.  But because the floats are so fantastic it does not matter how many other millions of people are there as well. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

There are lots of other fun places in Pasadena and surrounding area. Plan ahead and have fun on your next field trip/ travel adventure.  Here is my list of must see or experience:

  • Armory Center for the Arts
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Art Walking Tours around Pasadena
  • Brookside Golf Course
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Castle Green
  • Carnegie Observatories
  • El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Gamble House
  • Public Memorials and Monuments
  • City Hall
  • Kidspace Children's Museum
  • Norton Simon Museum
  • Old Pasadena
  • Pacific Asia Museum
  • Pasadena Museum of History
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art
  • Places of Worship
  • The Pasadena Symphony
  • Rose Bowl

    Reviews: One of the most informative guides you will find! Voted Best Family Guide Book by Los Angeles Magazine! A valuable resource for anyone who lives in the area or is looking to visit.
    (source: SunBelt Books)

    Ordering Options

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Parks and a Large Sandbox!


Living in Southern California means that you can play and have fun 99% of the time. My family and I enjoy playing outside and getting sun by going to Castle Park aka Northwood Community Park. Another place that you will find me is at the OC Great Park that is a few minutes away. There you can ride a hot air balloon for free and have a picnic. There is also free Carousel rides. Not too far is the beach where you can go watch the waves crash and relax while the kids play in the largest sandbox.



This Spring the OC Great Park will be hosting Free Field Trips for the 1st grade students in  Irvine, Tustin and Santa Ana. Please tell your teacher if you live in those cities. It is a great opportunity. Read more...
    Reporting Live from the Orange County Great Park

     Field Trips

    Reporting Live from the Orange County Great Park

    Every Thursday and Friday from March 15 to June 15, 2012

    Cost: FREE, no fee for students to participate
    Open to: First-grade classes from Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin unified school districts.
    Transportation costs are fully reimbursed through support from ScottsMiracle-Gro .
    What is it?
    Reporting Live from the Great Park is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)-focused program for first graders using “disguised learning” to build knowledge of scientific investigation, physical science, geography, earth science, technology, language and visual arts.
    What will the kids do?
    Children ride the Great Park Balloon and tour the Farm + Food Lab, conducting fieldwork and experiments, then articulate what they learn by recording a news report at the OCGP-TV Studio. Garden instruction is conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners.
    How big is the program?
    Last year, more than 400 first graders participated in this program and in 2012 the program is being expanded to host 2,000 students from the Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin unified school districts.
    Space is limited and will fill quickly – register today.
    Registration closes January 20, 2012.

    To register, please contact:
    Gina Staropoli
    Orange County Great Park
    949-724-6593
    gstaropoli@ocgp.org
     
     
    Selling great Resource book
     
    If you are interesting in purchasing a great resource guide for field trips. Please email me directly to get a one delivered to your home for $25.50 includes shipping.
     


    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Traditions, Hope and Miracles.

    Each year around the holidays, we visit La Placita Olvera, aka Our Lady Queen of Los Angeles, in the heart of Southern California. My family and I visit early in the morning and light a candle for our loved ones. This historical place is known for miracles and reviving hope. The birth place of Los Angeles has many more reasons for you to visit. Continue to read and we will share our list.

    We visit the church during the happiest times of the year to offer prayers for our loved ones. This is our way of sending a gift with love to those we care about. Many in the Hispanic community have told stories of miracles taking place after placing a candle in the church while rejoicing in prayer. We think that miracles are possible and this is a holy site.
    Sometimes, we leave prayer requests for friends and families who we know are having a hard moment. Other times, we will light white candles and pray for miracles to shine upon us and others. You could say that it is a religious road trip. 

    There are so many other reasons why you should visit this cultural mecca. The church hosts many special events throughout the year. These events include Virgin de Guadalupe Celebration, Los Posada, Blessing of the Animals and Dia De Los Muertos celebrations. All these events celebrate a rich Mexican history within the Catholic Church. 

    Another reason for visiting the church is the rich history that it holds. La Placita Olvera known for being the birthplace of Los Angeles. It is the first Mexican market plaza in Southern California built and created in 1930. The Market place has now been in business for over 80 years. 

    Nearby, you can also visit other historical buildings that offer a peek into Los Angeles’ past. Within a short walking distance of La Placita Olvera is the Chinese-American museum and Los Angeles’ first fire-station, now a historical museum. It is very thought provoking that everyone can visit a holy site and feel its history. We suggest that you visit this historical place with family or friends.
    The prayer of St. Francis


    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, 

    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

    where there is injury, pardon;

    where there is doubt, faith;

    where there is despair, hope;

    where there is darkness, light;

    where there is sadness, joy;


    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 

    to be understood as to understand; 

    to be loved as to love.


    For it is in giving that we receive; 

    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 

    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


    Source:http://www.prayerguide.org.uk/stfrancis.htm


    If you do decide to visit "La Placita Olvera" look with your heart not with your eyes when you enter. May God keep you well and bring much happiness to you this holiday season.

    Merry Christmas, 


    Alma


    The small business owners of Olvera Street share their beloved holiday tradition annually with all on Olvera Street, preserving the best of both cultures with their children and grandchildren, as well as the public.



    Las Posadas runs on Olvera Street from December 16 to 24. The children's piñata breaking and entertainment begin at 6 p.m. Processions starting at the Avila Adobe at 7:30 p.m.


    The public is invited to participate at our Las Posadas on Olvera Street!
    http://www.olvera-street.com/Calendar/Las-Posadas/las-posadas.html
    Olvera Street
    Los Angeles St. at Alameda St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    12/16/2015 - 12/24/2015
    6:00 PM


    Las Posadas on Olvera Street



    Las Posada is the name given to the traditional way of celebrating Christmas in the

    villages and homes of Mexico and other Latin American countries. This celebration of

    the holiday season is presented by the Merchants of Olvera Street for nine nights

    beginning December 16th and ending on Christmas Eve, December 24th.

    In Spanish, Las Posadas means “the inns” or “shelters.” The journey of Joseph and

    Mary to Bethlehem is depicted each night in a candlelight procession, led by the

    Merchants of Olvera Street. Each night the procession stops at a different shop, or puesto
    on the street serving as the posada or inn where the group asks for shelter.

    The procession starts from the historic Avila Adobe and winds its way around Olvera

    Street with the merchants leading singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in

    English and Spanish. Free champurrado and pan dulce is served after the procession

    as well as a piñata for the little one to enjoy.

    Many of the founding Merchant families continue to preserve this wonderful event,

    sharing the joy of the season with their children and grandchildren. We warmly invite

    you to make our tradition a part of your own Christmas celebration and we thank you
    for joining us and being a part of one of Los Angeles oldest and Christmas events.
    Las Posadas

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    A Complete Stranger Helped Me


    Elle, Brigitta and Me!
    For years I have been part of online moms groups. I mainly began to follow them after my hospital stay while I was pregnant. Throughout the years I used it as a "Dear Abby"  format. I would answer other moms questions or suggest  ideas. More and More I used  the online group to find things to do and get discounts. I was really convinced that there was no one out there listening to what I was typing. As I was going through a difficult moment of regretting my new address move, I reached out to my online moms group. Announcing that to find my true calling and re-inventing my career I had decided to start a blog. I reached out to all the moms in the group looking for a positive response. Immediately the owner of the moms group deleted my post and sent me an email. I call it a rejection email. She had stated that it was against group policy to promote your blog. New to blogging I was confused as to why she would be against it. I felt in one moment so embarrassed and small. I had been a loyal member and now I needed a hand to find my calling. It felt incredibly hard and painful.  I realized I needed to stop being embarrassed and remove myself from the group. I wrote a good-bye email and in that moment I erased years of group participation. I felt very sad to say good-bye to such an interesting group.

    What happen next was not expected. The next day I had opened my email and noticed  several emails from moms in the group. They all expressed their sadness to see me go. Moms I had never exchanged emails with or knew personally. Some of them made suggestions to apologize to the group organizer. It all was so great. Hearing from other moms meant that they had been there the whole time listening to me. It brought me to tears. I was really moved by their kind acts.
    The first person to email me was Brigitta Schumacher-Bradley, she was very kind with her words. Telling me to hang in there and push on. She encouraged me to continue with my blog and not let negative comments get in the way. At least that is what I remember. As I pushed on month after month of getting past the fear of being read. Brigitta Schumacher-Bradley sent me an invitation to a blogger event in August to attend a blogger event at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was another small act of  kindness by forwarding me an invitation to a blogger event that helped me to continue with writing the blog. She has been an angel to me. Brigitta's encouragement and small acts of kindness have changed me.  In a moment of despair I needed a kind word, a gentle push and encouragement. A complete stranger who saw my words on an a message board and replied made all the difference to me.

    I was very lucky to meet Brigitta in person this summer at OC blogger Bash. She was kind, soft spoken and very friendly. Brigitta Schumacher-Bradley who is with MOMSLA has been an inspiration of kindness. A stranger who believed I could and helped me push fear to the side. I am writing this post to tell her how much it meant that she took the time to help me.

     Brigitta thank you for being so kind and sharing your invitation with me. It made a world of difference in my life and my family's life. May you find kind people to help you with you dreams. Know that you have a friend in me always. Thank you, Alma


    Please read her blog:
    http://brighterschemata.blogspot.com/

    She can also be found on MOMSLA:
    http://momsla.com/2011/10/how-to-save-money-at-the-farmers-markets/

    http://momsla.com/

    http://www.aquariumofpacific.org