Norton Simon Museum

May 22, 2011

I arranged a field trip to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. Here are some pictures of our time in the sculpture garden.

Mishy by the lily pond, eating her red apple.

A mother duck with her ducklings.

Mishy with Y and J watching the tadpoles.

Mishy and I love going to art galleries. I let her decide what she wants to see and then we talk about what we see in the paintings and sculptures – the different colors, shapes, what she sees in the painting, what the painting might be called, what do you think the artist is trying to convey or not, any feelings that come out of seeing the painting? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, because art is subjective and it’s just fun looking at art together and also be in nature. The Norton Simon Museum has a beautiful and peaceful sculpture garden.

Details:

Norton Simon Museum

http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Mishy inspired by a Rodin sculpture.

Mishy showing Babba the long horned cattle.

A couple of weeks ago, on a very hot Sunday in Los Angeles, the Autry Museum, which is located near Griffith Park hosted a fabulous Earth Day Celebration, which was sadly not well attended. We received free tickets via Goldstar and that’s how I heard about the event. There is an upcoming Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl on July 23rd, 2011 and if that day is anything like our day during the Earth Day Festival, you will probably stay all day long and still find more fun things to do and discover at the Autry – including some delicious food. I had some very tasty vegan chocolate chili. My daughter loved it too.

Here is a photo essay of our time there and it doesn’t cover everything the Autry Museum offered that day. They really know how to create a wonderful day for families. The Autry Museum is known for showing a complete picture of Californian Cowboy and Native America cultures, as well as Chinese American’s contribution during the time of the gold rush and railroad construction.

Pretending they are in jail.

Babba riding the pretend horse.

Mining for gold. They let you take some fool's gold home.

Playing in the Family Discovery Gallery - inspired by Lisa See's family history.

Pretending to eat the food Mishy made for Babba in the Family Discovery Gallery

Reading in the Family Discovery Gallery

Watching Peruvian music as part of The Earth Day Festival

Mishy and me painting a mural.

Dancing to a Native American drum circle

Petting a goat from the Moorpark Animal Teaching College.

Feeding a goat.

Dancing to Brazilian music.

Resting and hugging.

Releasing ladybugs.

The mural Mishy and I contributed to by helping paint it during the Earth Day Celebration.

Details:

The Autry Museum

http://theautry.org/

The Autry Museum Day of The Cowboy and Cowgirl

http://theautry.org/programs/family-activities/national-day-of-the-cowboy-and-cowgirl

Goldstar – where we received our free tickets. Goldstar offers discount tickets to several cultural events in America, including complimentary tickets. You just pay the service charges.

https://www.goldstar.com/join?p=F1627103RP

Mishy holding on to her Media Pass as people set up to break the world record.

How many people can fit under a bubble? On Monday, April 4th, 2011, it was 118 and a new Guinness Book of World Record for Fan Yang, Bubble Master extraordinaire at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Mishy and I were invited to be one of the many people inside the bubble. When we arrived after the quota of children under five feet tall was already filled, we became part of the Press. Mishy wore her own Media Pass. It’s a different perspective being part of the press. We were treated differently. Instead of waiting in line to get inside the Bubblefest tent, we were able to walk right in and there was food for us to snack on. Mishy had a bit of a sandwich before she mingled while photographers took pictures of her. They called her cute.

Fan Yang being interviewed.

Being a reporter felt like being on a movie set. There was a lot of waiting. The photographers waited with their cameras sitting on the seats, while newscasters and reporters interviewed Fan Yang. I opted not to interview him, because I felt kind of funny being surrounded by reporters from major news stations. Instead, I interviewed a mom, Olga, who had been going to see the Bubblefest shows for ten years and was extremely excited to be part of the world record with her son. Olga said she found out about the event by the Discovery Science Center’s website and would have arrived earlier to check in if she parked in the other Macy’s parking lot. Unfortunately, the mishap caused her to arrive later and her daughter didn’t make the quota. Her youngest daughter wasn’t able to participate inside the bubble due to her size. She sat with us as the 118 walked on stage to take their place in history.

Pricilla, the host of Bubble Fest.

Priscilla, the host of Bubblefest appeared and started the proceedings. Groups of people made their place on stage and waited as others got into position.

Fan Yang preparing the bubbles for the Guinness Book of World Record.

Once everyone was on stage, Fan Yang, fluffed up the bubble solution which had already been placed around the edges of the stage by his assistants. He then attempted three times to break the world record. Once the world record was confirmed, more bubbles filled the stage as we all celebrated.

118 people inside a bubble to break the Guinness Book of World Record.

Mishy playing with the bubbles.

Fan Yang and his co-workers with the owner of Discovery Science Center and the representative from Guinness with his official certificate of his achievement.

After the celebration, Mishy and I headed inside to play. Discovery Science Center is a fun, educational experience. Currently, the temporary exhibit, Sesame Street Presents: The Body, is one of the highlights for us. Throughout the day, visitors are able to meet Elmo. I wrote about our time at the exhibit in another blog post: Elmo, Idolatry, and Never Let Me Go – http://wp.me/pN7Op-iu

Mishy lying on a bed of nails.

After visiting Elmo, we naturally lay on a bed of nails. Mishy went first and she gave me instructions – “Put your arms around yourself like you’re hugging Momma. Put your legs together and don’t move.” She said the nails tickled a little. I told her the nails hurt me. They were sharp. She didn’t find it so.

We then spent time in the earthquake room, took in the Bubblefest show and went back home to Santa Monica. Well, first, Mishy picked out a large T-Rex dinosaur figurine. She hugged it while she dozed off in the car as I drove and missed most of rush hour traffic.

Need more information about Bubblefest? Here’s the link: http://www.discoverycube.org/programs.aspx?q=74

* Natural Traveling Momma is excited to be giving away 4 tickets to see Bubblefest 15: A Mega Dose of Bubbles as well as entry tickets to Discovery Science Center – a retail value of over $100 to one lucky winner. The tickets are for any Bubblefest show on April 21st, 2011. To enter, please comment below. To gain an additional entry, click on to the Discovery Science Center and comment below again. The contest ends on April 12th, 2011 at midnight. Good luck!

www.discoverycube.org

The Madrona Marsh Nature Center in Torance, CA is a nature preserve devoted to letting people experience nature in the last remaining vernal marsh in Los Angeles County. From it’s website, “A vernal marsh is a depression flooded by runoff water from surrounding upland slopes. Vernal means spring, thus by connotation the marsh is fed by winter and spring storms. After the rainy season passes, evaporation, percolation and transpiration reduce the water depth by about one fourth inch per day. By the end of August, the wetland is dry and remains dry until the next rainy season.”

The Madrona Marsh Nature Center offers family hikes, homeschooling tours, school tours, bird watching gatherings, senior strolls, habitat restoration opportunities as well as others in programs for the public. The programs at the marsh are by donation. Here is the link to their calendar:

http://www.friendsofmadronamarsh.com/calendar.htm

On Friday mornings, Cindy Reid hosts a program for 3-6 year olds called Friday Fun. We’ve had the pleasure in participating in two Friday Funs. Friday Fun consists of an overall theme regarding nature. After the children find their name tags, they sit on a carpeted area while Cindy reads them a book related to the theme of the day. When we went, the themes were the marsh and springtime flowers.  A fun learning activity such as demonstrating the food chain follows and then a puppet show, an art exploration and finally, a hike in the marsh. The teachers are incredibly dedicated to letting the children learn and experience in their own way and it reminds me of the science camps I loved attending when I was younger. Here is a photo essay of our days there.

Cindy Reid reading a story.

Carol demonstrating the food chain in nature.

Cindy Reid performing a puppet show about the food chain while Carol and the children watch.

Mishy creating nature inspired art.

Looking at the marsh on our hike.

The group of children, parents and teachers on the trail.

The clouds on the day of our hike.

By the marsh to look for insects.

Looking for insects in the water.

Mishy standing by the marsh.

Looking at gopher or mole holes.

Looking for the FBIs - fungus, bacteria, and insects.

Mishy points to a mole hole.

Details:

Madrona Marsh Nature Center

http://www.friendsofmadronamarsh.com

Bonus photos:

Mishy watching the turtle after it's eaten

Mishy touching the snake skin on display inside the nature center.

Cindy Reid showing Mishy the seeds in the spring flowers.

Lori, M, and Mishy looking at the young blossoms.

These photos were taken with my new camera – the Panasonic Lumix. I love this camera! I bought it when I thought my former camera was lost. While it turned out I didn’t need to buy another camera because my husband found the other camera, I am happy to have purchased this one. It has a Lecia lens. Most importantly, I bought it used on Amazon.com. Here’s the link for more details on amazon with reviews:

<iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=natutravmomm-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00395WIXA” style=”width:120px;height:240px;” scrolling=”no” marginwidth=”0″

Nadine, an amazing homeschooling mother for her varied and fun field trips, organized a field trip for fellow homeschoolers to visit The Da Vinci Exhibit in Hollywood. It’s an interactive exhibit with replicas of many of da Vinci’s inventions. It includes a military gallery, a transportation gallery, and a mechanical gallery. His inventions include a glider, bicycle, water shoes, and a chamber of mirrors – which was Mishy’s favorite invention. (She loved saying hello and good bye to her and my many reflections.) It was fascinating to go through the galleries and see how his inventions are used today – his mechanical pulley invention for elevators, for example. The exhibit isn’t big and we were able to see the entire exhibit in an hour. There is a short film about Leonardo da Vinci – which we missed – Mishy was more interested in pulling the various levers of the inventions and trying to figure out how they worked. The people who work at the exhibit were incredibly enthusiastic and enjoyed having the museum filled with homeschoolers. One even mentioned, it felt like the best part of Thanksgiving – when all the family is there to play.

Parking is inside the Hollywood and Highland Center. It’s $2 for 4 hours of parking. Be sure to get your tickets validated before exiting the exhibit. There are plenty of places to eat in the area – including Chado Tea Room at the h.Wood – I love the simple elegance and restful quality I feel at the various Chado Tea Rooms in the Los Angeles area.

Details:

The Da Vinci Exhibit

Hollywood and Highland Center (across from the Kodak Theatre) 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90024

For additional information and tickets, call: 888 998 4624

The exhibit runs until December 31st, 2011.

www.davincihollywood.org

I just saw that for the next four days, the exhibit is on sale at perks daily. Here is the link to get $6 admission. The regular price is $18.

http://www.perksdaily.com/

Chado Tea Room at H. Wood

http://www.chadotea.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chado-tea-room-hollywood

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.

We were invited to a special media event to celebrate Elmo’s third birthday at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Currently, they have an exhibit – Sesame Street Presents: The Body in support of Michelle Obama’s stance on healthy eating and exercise to prevent childhood obesity in America. We were given a VIP pass where we could meet and take pictures of Elmo. Mishy didn’t want to leave. She loves Elmo. We don’t have a television, but we let her watch some DVDs and Youtube videos. Two Youtube videos she loves is Pizza Elmo and Elmo on the potty. Her time with Elmo and pure delight in seeing him made me think that celebrity idolatry starts young.

The exhibition itself is hands on and interactive that supports ways to eat and exercise to help a child’s healthy growth. Mishy loves to sing the Raffi song right now, “I’m wondering if I’m growing,” so this exhibit has special meaning to her.

This was our first time at the Discovery Center. While it is far from us, there are several exhibits at the center which are worth the drive. Their earthquake room – with three buttons to push that stimulates difference earthquakes and a video monitor that explains three different earthquakes was fun for my daughter who loves shakes. She laughed while she was sitting in the room while some adults were clearly nervous. Their outdoor rocket exhibit where children can launch rockets into space by using different methods was a particular favorite of mine. I also enjoyed the hand pump which stimulates how blood flows, that is located on the second floor.

Parking is $4 and it is located off the 1-5. Elmo will be visiting every Saturday and Sunday during the run of the Sesame Street Presents: The Body exhibit – which runs to April 2011.

Details:

http://www.discoverycube.org/