Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why I don't pay for Private School?

We have decided NOT to pay for private elementary school. Instead we are saving our money for private school for high school. Also we did some research and number crunching. I don't believe St. James is $6000/year better than Monte Vista. It might be $1000 better, but not $6000 better. Instead we can spend that $6000 (times 4 kids) on educating our children ourselves by introducing them to new experiences. Research has shown that one of the major differences between the really smart kids and average kids is that the smart kids are exposed to more so then can put the things they learn into context. This year alone we took the kids to Phoenix, AZ and talked all about desert climate, Hawaii and talked about tropical climate, saw a real live sea turtle, walked on lava walks and talked about how islands are formed from volcanoes, and we went to the USS Midway last week so the kids could be on a real live aircraft carrier and learn about war and the Navy and boats. We are planing a HUGE trip for next summer to do ALL of CA; Alcatraz, the golden gate bridge, Sacramento, Redwood forest, Yosemite, Angel Island (the Ellis Island of SF), etc. We are planning on spending 3 weeks in our van just driving and touring all over the state. Those experiences will be priceless and there is just no way that spending money on school tuition at Catholic School could ever compete with that. Does that make sense?

UPDATE: Instead of touring CA this summer we have gone to Florida to see a Space Shuttle launch, we went to Disneyworld and stuck to the educational parks like Animal Kingdon and Epcot. We also went to Oregon and visited the OMSI museum and toured a retired submarine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins

15 oz canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar (brown or white)
1 c oil (I use olive oil)
--
3 cups flour (you can use whole wheat flour)
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

*nuts, raisins, cranberries are optional
*I also usually add about 1/2 cup of flax seed

Mix wet ingredients together, mix in dry ingredients.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
Makes 2 dozen

I often double this recipe and just use the large can of pumpkin.
You can freeze the muffins for a treat in the summer without using the oven.
Add a tad of cream cheese frosting for a 'cupcake'.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trip Around California (in progress)

I was born and raised in California, but even so I don't think I know all about California. I can tell you quite a bit about Disneyland though. And I think the same is true for our children. So next summer (2010) we will be taking an extended trip around California. We will be visiting everything north of Santa Barbara. We are saving anything within 3 hours of our home for extended weekend trips or even day trips.

I will be using this blog to gather ideas, destinations, points of interests, hotels, routes, etc over the next several months. I am hoping you will add to it so we can plan a great trip for our kids.

1. Bodie, CA - a ghost town with 200 building standing and no tourist traps

2. San Francisco; Alcatraz, Angel Island, Golden Gate Bridge, Yerba Gardens, Trolley Cars

Hilton Hotel in Oakland - very family friendly including a game room