Friday, October 24, 2008

A Faery Hunt Fairys in Simi Valley

Twice a month there is 'A Faery Hunt' in Simi Valley. We went recently as guests from some of the actors in it (our friends). It is at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley the 1st and 3rd weekend of the month on Sundays (pending weather and major holidays). Starting time is at 10:30am. Tickets are $10 each (adults and children).

We went and the kids had a BLAST! Little D went into it expecting it to be for 'babies' or really younger kids and for it to be boring. Although he wasn't as enchanted as the younger children he did enjoy it. Baby K, of course, loved the whole thing and actively participated the entire time.

The whole thing has a theme of looking for the queen of the Faeries with a few sub-plots. It lasted about an hour.

Tickets are not cheap but it is a non-profit corporation. We will be going again next month as guests for a birthday party. I'm sure it will be just as magical.

I'll post pictures later. (818) 324-6802 or email is

Update... the reason it is spelled Faery and not Fairy is because the first was is the Gaelic way to spell the word! ;-)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coupon to save $5.00 at Whole Foods

Just in case you shop there. This was posted by someone on a chat group and I thought I'd pass it on!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Bottle Village Art Outreach SImi Valley homeschool groups field trips

I have decided to step up and volunteer with the Art Outreach program with Bottle Village. The president of Bottle Village, Joann Johnson, has been doing so many different things with Bottle Village that this area needs help.

Starting soon, as the weather cools down, I will be organizing field trips and open days at Bottle Village.

The cost will be aprox. $7 per person.

The families will have have a tour of the grounds, learn more information about Bottle Village and get to make a mosaic with misc. small objects that they can bring with them. Beads, old keys coins and other items that are not perishable are great to put in the mosaics. Last time we did it the children each made two. One to bring home and one to leave with Bottle Village for Joann to sell as a fundraiser.

The whole field trip will be aprox. 1 1/2-2 hours old.

Please email me if you are interested in being on the list to be contacted when I get some dates.

For more information you can Google 'Bottle Village'. There is a children's book that Joann has available for purchase too that was written about Bottle Village.


Strathearn Historical Park Ghost Tours Bottle Village Grandma Prisby

Right now through The end of October the Strathearn Historical Park in Simi Valley will be having Ghost Tours.

It is their scary Halloween fundraiser for people to come and see.

It costs $8 per person and guests go on a tour visiting ghosts from Simi Valley's Past.

Including my favorite, Grandma Prisby, the founder and Creator of Bottle Village (a historical landmark in Simi Valley).

The Ghosts Tours is open October 24,25 & 26th. Friday 7-10pm, Saturday 6-10pm and Sunday 6-9pm.

Docent-led tours depart every 10 minutes.

I am planning on going next weekend. Last year I wanted to go but thought it might be too scary for Little D and Baby K but I asked this year and I was told it is a whole-family event and that it is child-friendly.


Strathearn Park is at 137 Strathearn Place (805) 526-6453.

Somis Home Study SPA Days Halloween Homeschooling Open House

Somis Home Study will be starting their SPA (Student Parent Appreciation) Days this week.

They are once a month on Fridays. This one, on October 24th, will have the theme of Halloween.

It will be a fun day for the children K-8th to wear costumes, do crafts and other Halloween activities.

Since we are here today for the K-3rd enrichment classes and we plan to come on Thursday for the tutoring it will be three days this week to trek out here. Since I have been able to use a computer and go online it is making my day more productive but the cost of gas still sucks right now.

Next month's SPA Day theme will be Thanksgiving.

Also, Tuesday of next week, at the same time as the Parent-Child week, Somis Homestudy will be having an Open House. It will be on the 28th at 6:30 pm. Families that are thinking about homeschooling or want to learn more are welcome to come down to check out the classroom and ask questions.



Great free learning homeschooling websites

I'm going to try to make a list of websites for homeschooling. Please let me know if you have an good ones to add. They can be good for teaching online, free lesson plans to print or games for kids to play. This one is not free but they do have a free 3-day trial without using a credit card. Type in 3DAYSFREE (all caps). I have not checked this one out yet but have heard it is great.

Brainpop or BrainpopJr (just add dot com to either). They do have accounts that you can subscribe to as a yearly membership but some of the videos and exercises are free. Great for environment and recycling. Great for reading, spelling, phonics. A few different grade levels. Sign up your children to receive coupons for a free personal pizza each month as part of a reading program. They have a section for homeschooling and for public schools as well. It was hard to navigate but we found the exact same edition of the math books that Little D and Baby K have and there were games and some interactive activities that related to some specific chapters of their math books. They had other sections besides math as well.

The following few I got from a magazine as the 'top five sites for kids to grow on' I have not seen them all but the ones I have previewed were great.

Free Pepsi... customer service

I have called the (800) number before when I have gotten an item at the store that I have a problem with. They are usually very accommodating and happy to help.

When I had a bottle of hair detangler for Baby K and the plastic of the bottle was too thick to squeeze it out once I got 1/2 way through the bottle I called. It was a brand new product and they were very happy to know this. On top of that they sent me coupons. Two were $7.99 coupons for any product they make and a few more were $1.00 coupons.

So, recently I did this with Pepsi. I did not have a problem with their the Pepsi but with their contest. I had a bottle cap that said 'buy one 20 oz get one free' and I took it to three different places and no one would take it. They all said, "We don't participate in that program." Even the place that I bought it from.

The Pepsi customer service rep. told me that it is up to the places that sell the Pepsi if they want to participate or not. BUT.. they mailed me some coupons for the inconvenience.

I got two coupons. Each good for one 2-liter bottle of any Pepsi-Cola product.

Well, this only gets better. I went to Vons to shop and they were having a sale. 'Buy One Get One Free' on the Pepsi products.

So, I got Four 2-liter bottles of Diet Pepsi for free!


Del Taco Free Tacos club

EVERYONE wants your address or email address to try to solicit to you, right? But sometimes it is rewarding too.

Sign up at for their Raving Fan Club and you will get;

Two chicken soft tacos.
1 shake on your birthday.
And coupons for other offers.


recycling for art

We have figured out a great way to recycle with out just throwing something in the recycle bin.

Old tv trays, trays from Lunchables and similar plastic trays work great for art work. Especially the ones that have separate sections.

They can be used as paint pallets. I pour some paint of different colors in each section and the kids can choose to mix them up or keep them separate.

We have used them to put beads in the separate by color.

To squirt some glue in when we are using q-tips to glue objects together.

I'm sure there are lots of other ideas too.

When we are done with them we can choose, depending on how dirty they got, on weather to throw them out or rinse them out to use them again.


Free money and balloon from Toys R Us

On the same thread as the free ice cream, I registered both kids for the free birthday club with Toys R us. This was easy and is actually cute and fun.

About a month before their birthday I got a birthday count down list with ides, suggestions and reminders with a check-off list.

The kids got a gift card for Toys U Us. It says 'Good for $3 off any purchase of $3 or more'.

We had some birthday returns so with the store credit I used this too to save on their new purchase.

Last, they got a post card that said to present it to an employee at the customer service desk for a birthday surprise.

This was adorable! Little D was slightly embarrassed but still young enough to enjoy it. Little K was glowing.

The customer service person gave both of them a birthday crown to wear. Gave them a helium balloon that said Toys R Us and Happy Birthday on it. And announced on the loud speaker both of their names, their ages and a very loud Happy Birthday to both of them!

They got extra smiles the whole time we were browsing the store.


Cold Stone & 31 Flavors Free Ice Cream for Birthdays

Two years ago I went online and registered Myself and both kids for 'a free scoop of ice cream for your birthday' club. I did this with both Baskin & Robbin's 31 Flavors and with Cold Stone Creamery. When I got the email to print the coupon I was surprised to learn that the coupon was for a little over a week and then it expired. Since Baby K's birthday is in August, Little D's birthday is in September and mine is in November it meant we'd be going there too much AND when one kid got a free ice cream the other one wanted me to buy them one. So, I changed the dates of their birthdays. Now both kids get a coupon the same week so they can use them together and both get a free scoop without me having to spend money (unless I want to buy one for myself).

The kids love getting it either way!

Mystery Shops work at home

Yes, you can do mystery shops. They are not all a hype. However, you will not make a living doing them. If you want to do them, consider them an extra perk. A little more money or 'things' that you purchase and get reinbursed for. I like the part of being in disguise. Most pay $10-15 and for restraunts will reinburse about $25-50.

I used to do them with about 5-6 different companies. Furniture stores, fast food, banks, retail stores that are high-end selling clothes, purses, etc. It is a blast to do them.

I have stopped because there is a limited time to sign back on and do the report (which takes about 30-60 mintues). It is more profitable for me to list online to sell rather then do an hour long report that I got $10. for.

If you want to do them, ask around or do a Google seach. Two that I liked were Sassie Shop, and I Shop For You,

My friend, Susan, has done them as well. She told me about a car trip she was going to make and needed an oil change. She emailed a shop that has done oil changes before and asked if they had one and they did (but hadn't posted it yet). She has done that with airport parking as well.

So, she got to do mystery shops that were not even posted by just asking. She got a free oil change and got reinbursed for her airport parking!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Field Trips Week Guitar Factory JPL Painted Horse Pinki the Clown

We went on three field trips in a row this week. WHEW! It has been a very busy week.

Monday we had enrichment classes at Somis.

Tuesday we had a field trip in the afternoon to Larrivee. It is a factory in Oxnard that builds guitars. They make, on average, 16 guitars a day and work M-F. The normal prices are about $1000-3000 each but our tour guide said with special things, custom things and upgrades they can go a LOT higher. He said one sold recently for $45,000.

I will post photos later but overall it was a neat place. We got to walk around to all the different stations viewing the employees sanding, gluing, painting, etc.

The total field trip was a little long for the younger ones and it was hot. Normally it is in the low 70's in Oxnard but on this day it was 86. They have special rooms that have temp and humidity controls but the rest of the places was all open, HIGH ceilings and it was too hot!

This would be a neat place for adults to go and learn about guitars too. They actually make a few other similar instruments but the majority of sales are guitars.

Wednesday we went to JPL and had a tour of the grounds. We went with two other families so it was a nice, small group. We were there for about 2-2 1/2 hours. The kids go to see a new Mars Rover being built, satellites and more. The tour guides were great and friendly. Answered all of our questions and were very patient with the kids. This is defiantly a fun place. In May they have a two day open house that is open to the public too.

Today, Thursday, we went to The Painted Pony. It is in Santa Paula and it is a working ranch. The kids got to pick apples, pick one pumpkin, feed and pets goats, pigs, miniature horses, rabbits, ducks, chickens and I'm sure there are some I'm missing. They had a great time. This was with a group from Somis and it was huge. I guess everyone needed some fresh air and running around. The place is beautiful. Surrounded by lush, green hills and mountains. It was great to be there. In the spring they will be starting a gardening class and in the summer they have a camp for kids (too far of a drive for us but neat to pass on).

I have LOTS of pictures from all three of these places and they are all still on my camera. I will post them soon.

Tomorrow, Saturday, we are going to Lowe's for their free children' workshop and then we might go see Pinki the Clown at the Simi Cultural Arts Center.

On Sunday it is the 18th annual Japanese Festival Day at the Camarillo Community Center. We have made it 3 of the last 4 years and the kids think it is great. They have sword fighting, sumo wrestling, tea ceremonies, children's crafts like origami and they sell a lunch tray that has Japanese food. I'm hoping we make it there this year, after church!

Barack Obama has my vote in Simi Valley

Do you want the next 4 years to be the same as the last eight? Face the facts. The economy sucks right now. The war needs to end. WE need new ideas. McCain wants to do the exact same thing that Bush is now doing.

Barack Obama is the change we need... or it will be, "Same as it ever was." for 4 more years!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Funny blogs cakewrecks why would you knit that?

I have found two very funny blogs that I thought I'd share.

The first is I have, not kidding, been laughing out loud so hard I was afraid I'd wake up the kids from some things that have been written on this one. It is a site of all 'professional' cakes and how wrong, ugly or crazy they can be. The typos are the best!!!

The second is http://www.Whywouldyouknitthat.blogspot.comI just heard about this one tonight. There is not a huge amount posted on it yet but there is great potential. Lots of funny stuff here too!

If it works, here is a video from the Cake Wrecks that is on YouTube right now. I have NO CLUE why someone would make it. A college assignment? The people that made it are definitely disturbed. I be going to bed shortly and I'm sure I'll have this stupid song stuck in my head! LOL!