Sandy Point Dume

May 11, 2011

I am a bit behind in my posts. I started a new yahoo group and quickly organized a lot of field trips. Now that the group is getting solidified and I’ve already organized 18 or more field trips – I’ve lost count, I can get back to blogging!

Mishy and I joined a group of younger homeschoolers on a sandy hike in Malibu at Pt. Dume. My husband and I lived in Malibu at a friend’s guest house for six years and we never went on this hike. We’ve heard of Pt. Dume – of course – it’s a surfer’s paradise and we’re not surfers. My husband says he’ll learn with Mishy. (Mishy and I plan to learn how to drive a plane, if she would still like to when the times comes.)

Point Dume is a beautiful short hike with the ocean breeze following you and smell of the sea wafting in the air as you climb higher and higher along the ridge of the mountains. We heard sea lions, which Mishy said they were calling her name. When we went whale watching, my husband told her the sea lions were calling for her and she laughed then. The sea lions lie on the buoys on the Pacific Ocean. You could probably see dolphins and whales with the help of binoculars during their migration.

Mishy walking on the sand hill.

The hike starts off the side of the beach. In the parking lot, where you pay anywhere from $4-$8, depending on the time of day and season, there were two sand hills sitting side by side of each other. Mishy loved climbing up and down, along it, backwards and forwards while the group of homeschoolers went up the trail. We actually didn’t spend much time with them, since the timing was off. When we were headed up, they were headed down. We ended up doing our own thing, which is fun. It was interesting for me to note that I still felt the pull of the group, even though I didn’t know this group very well. It’s important to feel a part of a tribe.

Firefighters practicing foe a search and rescue.

As we climbed higher, we were privy to a group of local firefighters practicing for a search a rescue rally. While it was serious in nature, it did look like fun when they were repelling down the rock wall. Once upon a time, I did a little bit of rock climbing. That would be another fun thing to do with my daughter. Our daughter. My husband reminds me she’s our daughter.

Mishy balancing on a rock while hiking.

Hiking with a preschool aged child is much different from hiking with my husband. My husband and I used to hike a lot when we lived in Malibu – our backyard had a beautiful hike along the Santa Monica Mountains. The way my husband and I hiked was mainly for the exercise. Hiking with our daughter, we stop a lot and play with the dirt, investigate the plants, and find animals – lizards, mostly. It’s a calmer and more focused hike. In The Moment Hiking, if I were to give it a title.

Our views

Details:

Point Dume Preserve

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=623

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Mishy holding on to a chicken.

Today, through Elsa Inc., a not for profit organization to help rescued animals, I organized a homeschool visit to a rescue animal ranch in Malibu at Big Heart Ranch. There were 80 plus people who joined us today to touch, pet, hug, and learn about animals. Here is my photo journal of our day. What the photos don’t include is the art station and the seed planting station. Mishy and I were very busy relating to the horses.

Some of the group relating to the alpacas, deer, goats, miniature horses, and horses.

All the children and adults were able to go inside the stables to have intimate contact with the animals in their own space and time. The animals at the ranch include: Captain, the grandson of Secretariat, who was bred to be a champion race horse, but had other dreams of his own, two alpacas, two goats, a deer, two miniature horses, many chickens, whose eggs a lucky few were able to take home with them, and many other horses, including Snowy, Big Red, and Brava. After the ranch visit, Mishy sat on my lap in the car and thanked me.

Chickens laying eggs. They had a need for privacy.

Some guests playing on the tractor

E and R feeding Macchiato, an alpaca

Petting Captain, Secretariat's grandson

Brushing Big Red

Mishy picking out a horse brush

Children playing in the sandbox over looking the Pacific Ocean

Picnic tables over looking the Pacific Ocean

Mishy brushing Breezy, a miniature horse

Mishy brushing Breezy's tail

Children feeding Breezy

Children, including Mishy, leading Breezy back inside the stable

Mishy saying one final good bye to Breezy, and thanking Susan

Children saying their final farewells

Details:

Susan, who heads Elsa Inc organizes a few annual events at two ranches in Malibu, as well as classes focused on healthy ways of communicating with animals and getting back to nature for children aged 5-13 years old called, Unplugged Youth Adventure. She is open to organizing events for schools and homeschoolers alike.

http://www.elsainc.org/elsainc/Welcome.html

Bonus photo:

Mishy fast asleep during the car ride home.

By chance Mishy and I walked into a classroom visit of Roy Lichtenstein’s In Process exhibition at Federick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University. The presentation was lead by Regan, an art history major at Pepperdine and it was presented in an amazingly child friendly, informative, and interesting way. We all learned about the style of Pop Art – named Pop Art because it’s using popular items/representations and making it into art – and which artists influenced Roy Lichtenstein’s work and how he played homage to his mentors. He created water lilies similar to Claude Monet’s water lilies in a collage and small studies. Mishy and fellow classmates also discovered which materials Roy Lichtenstein used in his art work – he painted with oils, used cut out paper, paint, and foil in his collage work that was presented in the exhibition.

As Mishy and I make our way into and through the homeschooling world, we have had several opportunities to join regular classrooms and it was been absolutely wonderful to be able to join in on a class and leave a class when it’s time for us to move on to other adventures or lunch or a concert. I love being able to share the world of art with my daughter and not do the teaching sometimes.

Details:

Roy Lichtenstein In Process

January 22-April 3, 2011

Museum of Art – Pepperdine University

24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

Upcoming Family Art Days: Saturday, March 12th from 11AM to 1PM.

When entering Pepperdine, tell the security guard that you are headed to the Museum of Art. He will give you a parking permit and direct you where to park. If you are arriving on a weekend, parking is not a problem. During the week day, when school is in session, you will most likely be directed to a parking lot and told to shuttle your way back to the art gallery. Taking a shuttle may seem daunting, but it isn’t. They arrive frequently on a set schedule and it’s very easy to hop in and out of it and walk a little bit to the gallery. The gallery is located kitty corner to the Smothers Theatre.

There are places we go to because I love watching Mishy play. There are places I love because I get to explore with Mishy and learn things I have forgotten long ago and there are some places I never want to leave and wish I was a child again so I can spend days playing by running in the grass, petting and feeding the animals, listening to music, being in nature, playing ping pong, throwing the basketball into the basket, eating popcorn, making pita bread, trying new and adventurous things, and just being joyful. Shalom Institute is one of those rare places in which spending seven fun filled hours seem much too little. We would have stayed longer except the event we were there for was only five hours long. (They were very gracious in letting us leave slowly.) We have found Mishy’s summer camp – in a few years when she’s six years or older. In the meantime, we will be visiting Shalom Institute at all of their festivals throughout the year and may stay with them for a weekend during one of the family camps. (Their next family camp is in May.) We were at Shalom Institute this Sunday for their annual Tu B’Shvat Festival – a festival to celebrate the birth of trees. Here is a photo essay of our time there.

Feeding one of their two ponies.

Petting a goat while he scratches a tree.

Relaxing together

The animals at Shalom Institute are friendly, yet respectful and you can trust them completely. I felt very safe letting Mishy roam around in the animal stall.

Watching others jump in one of two bouncy houses which were set up for the event.

Touching a Tegu lizard, native to Argentina, brought by Reptile Family

Reptile Family is a family owned business set up to educate children of all ages about reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. They visit schools, preschools, and do birthday parties and corporate events.

Making a wax mold of Mishy's hand - trial run

Holding the wax mold of her hand

Wax Creation’s hand molds were very popular throughout the day. Mishy still cannot stop looking, touching and comparing her mold.

Watching the lemonade smoothie being made by man power

Drinking lemonade

Mishy and Babba connecting while eating popcorn

Watching Robbo perform

Robbo, a Parent’s Choice winner and father was one of the highlights of the stage shows.

Posing with a Burmanese Python

Shaping the dough to make pita bread

Cooking the pita bread on a hot stone

Details:

http://www.shalominstitute.com/

For their camp programs, including an upcoming Women’s Retreat in March:

http://www.campjcashalom.com/yearroundprograms/index.php

Reptile Family:

www.reptilefamily.com

Wax Creations – which makes rainbow wax molds:

www.waxcreation.com

Robbo – Parent’s Choice Winner:

http://www.blanketkid.com/

Investigating the barnacles.

I co-moderate a yahoo group called NaturalParentingLA. It started out as a small group of like-minded moms who wanted to have weekly playdates. We are 9 months old and now have 134 members. My two co-moderators and I plan weekly playdates, toddler yoga classes, toddler art exploration classes, field trips, parental educator discussions, and anything else we decide to do for the joy and desire of community, friendship, and support. The wonderful part of this group, for Mia, is that she knows some of the children from when they and she were 3 months old. I hope we never leave Santa Monica permanently.

Here are some pictures of our time at the Malibu Lagoon State Beach taken expertly by Robert Cadena, AKA Eleanor’s dad. Thank you so much, Robert, for taking these photos! I forgot my camera and it is really nice to have more pictures of Mia and me.

The hike was lead by Kelly of the Children’s Nature Institute.

Smelling the salty ocean air

Realizing she wants her scarf off.

Walking on the rocks.

Wanting to wash the stick in the lagoon

Mishy and Me at the lagoon

A bridge to the lagoon

A lizard sunning

Wildflowers dancing

Seaweed on the rocks

Details:

Natural Parenting LA

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalParentingLA/

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25177

Children’s Nature Institute

http://www.childrensnatureinstitute.org/

Feeding the koi.

Now that Mishy is getting older, Babba has been spending some quality time with her one morning a week – roughly. Give or take a week. Mishy adores her Babba and it has been nice to have some Me Time again. What do I do with my Me Time? Blog! One day, I will go out and see a movie or jog again. Here is a sampling of what Mishy and Babba do together. (I joined them on this one Saturday since Babba had to take a meeting in Malibu and so I was the substitute for the first section of their adventures in Malibu.)

First, Babba and Mishy spend some time at the Malibu Country Mart where she plays on the swings, slide, and sand. Then she has a 1/2 turkey breast sandwich and vegetable soup at John’s Garden. They have huge, healthy, and tasty sandwiches. Their salads are equally  healthy, huge, and tasty. Then they head over to a friend’s house nearby. Mishy and Babba love feeding the koi fish and seeing their heads bopping up from the water for food. Mishy now bops her feet in the bath and pretend they are koi fish.

Visiting Jackie.

Running in the Japanese garden

Mimicking Yogi

Eating wheatgrass at the avocado plantation.

Babba chewing on wheatgrass after telling Mishy about Kitty fighting the coyote.

We used to live on this property – in the guest house. Kitty, our cat had many adventures on this land. Babba fills Mishy on every gruesome detail. Sometimes, we think it’s a bit much…

Feeding the white horse.

Feeding the brown horse.

Finally, they visit another friend’s house – this time on the beach. We didn’t go this time because Mishy got TIRED!

Details:

Malibu Country Mart

http://www.malibucountrymart.com/

John’s Garden

http://www.yelp.com/biz/johns-garden-fresh-health-store-malibu-2

Charmlee Wilderness Park

February 28, 2010

Onwards, hike! A Valentine's Day hike

On Valentine’s Day, Mishy, Babba, and me went for a hike in Malibu at Charmlee Wilderness Park. It is towards the mountains which means you get a lovely view of the ocean on a clear day and still smell the ocean breeze. It is one of our favorite places to hike. Because we go on toddler paced hikes, it means we don’t cover a lot of distance. We did enjoy having a picnic lunch, seeing lizards, and watching Mishy play with rocks she found. She could have stayed there all day. How did we eventually leave Charmlee? I had to go to the restroom so it was up to Babba. He played hide and seek with her all the way down.

Details:

Charmlee Wilderness Park

http://www.ci.malibu.ca.us/index.cfm/fuseaction/DetailGroup/CID/3801/NavID/174/

Mishy having two rocks kiss. She named them too.

Mishy taking a break