Medieval Times Partners In Education Program

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Did you know that Medieval Times has an educational program?  I didn't either, until we were invited to attend a matinee show along with other schools.

Medieval Times has an educational area on their website here *Medieval Times Partners In Education where  you can read about different aspects of Medieval life and printout pdfs for classroom use.  Schools and homeschools can plan a Medieval Times field-trip to complement their study on the Medieval Ages.

The Matinee program consisted of time to view the torture museum, the horse stables and the gift shop before the show.  We were then treated to a tournament show, interesting educational information on the role of women in the castle, the training of apprentices, the horses used in the show, and a yummy lunch.


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I don't know if Josie or Demi-Sky loved the jousting more.  Josie was definitely a fan of all the sword-play.  She was of the opinion that a great plot-surprise would be a girl as disguised knight.  I have to say that I agree.

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We all know which parts were Meg's favorite, right?  Answer:  all the parts with horses in them :)

The show breeds and trains beautiful Andalusian horses.  {sigh}  I used to be a horse-crazy girl like Meg.  These horses captivated me.

**Homeschool-Mom-Nerd-Moment*** raise your hand if you remember a book about this breed used in a Sonlight Core?

Bueller?  Bueller?

These horses are just beautiful, and are trained in the art of dressage and dance.

Art in motion. No hyperbole.

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Meg just stood, looked and inhaled.  She has applied for a job as a stable-hand here, but didn't get the call.  Could you imagine the scene in the house if she got the call?  Seriously, she would have mucked out all the stalls for free that day, and missed the show even, just to stand in the stalls and inhale the horsey-scent.  Yes, she is that horse-addled.

all in all, it was a great day!  The show was fantastic, the educational parts went well with the story of the show, the food was great...and we got a chocolate chip cookie!  A great day, indeed  :)

*Disclosure: I was compensated by Medieval Times with entry to the show in order to do my review of the program. My opinions and experiences are entirely my own.

7 Quick Takes Friday, the after camping edition

We went camping a week ago ,or so. I hate camping. We've hit on a happy compromise, we go to a timeshare first for a few days, then go tent camping for 2 days. Marriage is all about making
your spouse happy.

We stayed in Solvang for a few days. It's this cute Dutch town in California. Very pretty, lots of shops, lots of snacks.

we are all about the aebleskivers, dessert of Vikings! maybe. but good.

we visited an ostrich farm. They had emus, too. More about this later, I promise.

Solvang is a tourist town, it's small and everything closes early. We caved, and drove into
Santa Barbara to find the Barnes & Noble for an evening.
Or two. Click over here* for a visual example of what I mean.

We got home, to a doodle-dog who missed us very much. I washed our coats, our pillowcases and our towels, which all smelled like smoke. Then my washer broke.

It was very, very windy the first day at Lake Cachuma. We set up camp, the kids played, we took a walk to the lake, had a very windy dinner....and then drove into Santa Barbara to hang out at Barnes & Nobles where it was warmer and no wind, and internet-people! We came back late and had smores and crawled into our cold, cold sleeping bags.
Sky had mercy on me and let us go home the next morning.
I heart my husband!

um, it was very windy, trying to set this up...and we lent it out, and behold, the instructions were missing! I did not fear tho, because Sky is mr. civil engineer-man, and can figure anything out, given enough time. He did!

*7 Quick Takes Friday is Hosted over at Conversion Diary!

American Girl Place, Los Angeles-It's all about the dolls

The American Girl Place, Los Angeles was our destination last Thursday.

we had some good bloggy-guessers :)

Amie's Grandmother promised lunch and a day at the American Girl Store to buy the much-dreamed about doll of her dreams.

Imagine if you can, a huge two-story store- dedicated to dolls.

I was there, and I have to tell you it was real. Very real.
and girly, and fun, and kind of creepy, too. (just a little-did I just say that out-loud?)

Pink. It was very pink. We had lunch in the cafe. They had loaner dolls just in case you needed a lunch date. They even had little special chairs that hooked up onto the table.
The doll had her own plate and cup.
Of course.
I have to say that the cafe was pretty magical. Very pink. (don't drag along the brother..just don't!) The food was dainty and girlish, and pretty good. The dessert was all that, and very good! The day was a magical-memory-day, and having lunch made it more so.

And of course, the reason we were making this pilgrimage...the doll of her heart.
And all the accessories.
As we were nearing the store, Amie told me she was so excited that her tummy was tingly.
oh, to be so little again and so excited!

God bless Grandmother! :)

Show your stuff quiz- Sea World Edition, WINNER!

Answers for the Show Your Stuff Quiz, Sea World edition:

1. Which scientific order do seals and sea lions belong to?

1. Answer: Pinnipedia
Seals and sea lions both belong to the scientific order Pinnipedia. The name literally means “fin-footed.”

3. why are flamingos pink?

3.Answer: Because of their diet-
A flamingo's pink or reddish feather color comes from its diet, which is high in alpha and beta-carotene. People eat beta-carotene when they eat carrots.

2. Penguins live only on Antarctica, True or False?

2 Answer: False
-some penguin species live as far north as the Galapagos Islands. There are penguins off the coast of Australia, South Africa, South America, New Zealand and the Phillips Island, as well.

4. What non-sea animal has an exhibit at Sea World, San Diego?

4. Answer: Clydesdale horses (answer I was looking for, but I will take others, also...Sky pointed out that Flamingos aren't sea type animals, either...

The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales....To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale must be a gelding (neutered male) at least four years of age. He must be 18 hands (6 ft. or 1.8 m); weigh between 1,800 to 2,000 lb. (817 - 907 kg); be bay in color; and have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and tail.

Thank you for playing! The winner, chosen by random generator is:

Michelle, who was number 3 (counting out my reply and a double post)
congratulations Michelle, I will contact you to get your info!

Sea World school part 2

you can read the first half of this trip *here.

So, a good time was had by all during our Sea World educational-day field trip.
The kids loved, loved the dolphin pool. They have a really nice set-up at Sea World, you can touch the dolphins in this pool, and they have two underwater windows for better viewing.
Aww, aren't they cute? Too cute to be legal, don't you think? Cute like lots of sugar....

Do you think they are $6 a tray of fish cute? They have a few special feeding times where you can purchase a tray of food for $6 and feed your new friends. I tried to economize and purchased just 2 trays to share among my 4 kids. Do the math, this was $12
There were 3 small sardine fish in each tray, which worked out to $2 a fish. I warned the kids to be very careful and not let the sea gulls steal one...because it's like, $2 for each little fish....
So, do the dolphins look cute and happy? Yes they are happy, because they get expensive fish...!
(ranting aside, I get it...if they were reasonably priced then everyone and their grandma would feed the dolphins many trays of fish and we'd have fat dolphins..I do get it. It's just, yikes!)
We had beautiful, beautiful weather on this day...which was the day after a big rain-storm in So. California. A bit chilly, but beautiful!
We purchased the half day tickets so I could beat traffic home (it's about a 2 hour trip) and so we could stop for McDonald's happy meals on the way home...instead of buying lunch in the park. And the children were all rendered HAPPY! :) and mom was happy because it was not...all together now,...$2 a fish!

Sea World School and show your stuff quiz!

We were fortunate to attend a Sea World 'education day' last week. It is an opportunity for schools to visit the park and attend special educational exhibits for a discounted rate..and if you sign up for only a half-day, it's a very discounted rate.
(the kind of rate that makes me smile real, real big)

We opted for the half-day; the big draw for me is the thought of beating traffic home, and not having to buy lunch for 5 of us at the's McD's on the way home (and all the kids cheer!)

My favorite moment of the day was seeing the flamingos on parade! They were on their way to their exhibit spot. I know I am a bird person, always and forever because of the draw this event has on me. My favorite part of the day, hands-down.

There is something other-word-ly about seeing tall, colorful birds with their spindle-ly legs cruising down the pathway. I kind of felt like Richard Dryfus in that scene from Close Encounters of the third kind...the part where he walks up the ramp of the spaceship and all the aliens walk around him. Kind of. Is that a weird thought?? Don't answer that...

Amie's favorite spot was the stingray pool. You can feed them here for only $6 a tray...only..
But, secret is, they will love on you even if you don't have any food! They are very optimistic and will come visit in the hopes of getting food. Can you see how soaked Amie's shirt is here?

The stingray pool always puts a smile on my face because they act like a pool full of excited puppies. Puppies that are in the water, have no legs and are covered with a layer of slime...yes, just like puppies...kind of. They made me think of puppies the way they would rush up to you and pop out of the water, trying to get your attention. Very cute. In a fishy way.

Okay, time for a "Show Your Stuff" Quiz!
Answer the quiz questions correctly in the comment section and
1 random correct commenter will win a $20 Target card. I hope you will spend it on yourself, after all this holiday rush is over!

1. Which scientific order do seals and sea lions belong to?

2. Penguins live only on Antarctica, True or False?

3. why are flamingos pink?

4. What non-sea animal has an exhibit at Sea World, San Diego?

good luck!

*contest ends Wednesday, December 16th at 9 p.m. pacific time

p.s. you are welcome to use internet 'help', but if you can do this with no help, mention it in the post and we will cheer for your smartness!! ;)

*special note: if you are not linked thru a blog, please leave an email address I can reach you at if you win.

**new note: Contest is over, Michelle won!!

Nature walking, classically with zombies

Today was set aside for a nature walk with our Classical Conversations class.

The only close venue available? The cemetery. It turned out to be a really good spot. We saw several different types of trees, including huge pines, magnolias and wonderful magnolia seed pods with bright red seeds- which were a revelation to the kids. There were yellow ginko trees, sparkling golden in the sun, a revelation to me.

I love the bark on this pine.

The best part? Not the humming birds, mourning doves, mocking birds or even the hawk.

Not the morning glories growing on a wall, beautiful, full and blue.

The best part

was warning my class of 5 boys to quiet down or risk waking the zombies.


(I'm a quiet soul, so when I come out with a zinger, it has a good effect...!)