Monday, May 28, 2012

Willingdon Kids Worship

Sing praises to God, sing praises;
   sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
   sing to him a psalm of praise.
Psalm 47:6-7

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backyard Nature

What we stumbled upon in our neighbourhood in the last 48 hours:

A fallen bird's nest right outside our house. Serena ran back inside in the house and tried to identify its owner with her library book "Hatch!" by Roxie Munro. We can't be sure but Serena has many conjectures...
On our post-dinner walk we found this abandoned little blue speckled egg that has likely been carried off by a predator. We thought it was a robin's egg but after some research, we think it's more likely a sparrow egg.
Serena with her eagle-eye spotted this "pretty little bug" on one of the bushes in our garden. We looked it up and are glad to report that it's a good bug called green lacewing.
This was a total surprise: 2 barred owls at a park we frequent after art class. Serena knows her owls so we didn't need to look this one up! We're mystified though as to why they would let themselves be so exposed in the open, perched not particularly high up in a mostly residential area.

'Tis all a sure sign that spring is upon us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hugo Cabret & Georges Méliès

The book The Invention of Hugo Cabret looks like an intimidating piece of brick but once we flipped through the opening pages of a sequence of illustration, we were seriously hooked. Serena & I finished the whole book in two sittings and became completely absorbed into the world of the fictional Hugo Cabret and the real life Georges Méliès.

We watched the movie "Hugo" after we were done the book. We read and learned about the interesting world of automata; we watched the original "A Trip to the Moon" by Georges Méliès; we read up on the 1895 train wreck at the Gare Montparnasse in Paris. The book took us on a fantastic journey of discovery. If you haven't yet read the book, you may not want to read our little book discussion below - spoiler alert!

Serena, can you tell us something about Hugo Cabret?
He's a boy who lives in a train station with his Uncle Claude.  He runs the clocks in the station and he needs to steal food because he's so poor.  He meets a girl named Isabelle while spying on a toy booth.  He's good at fixing things.  He has an automaton and he needs to fix it so it can write a secret message.  He needs to steal parts from the toy booth so he can fix the automaton.

What about Georges Melies? Who is he?
He owns the toy booth and we discovered that he's a real person and he made early famous movies like "A Trip to the Moon"!

Do you like the book or the movie better?
The book!  I like the book because it's half pictures and half words and I don't know a lot of books like that.  I like Hugo in the book the best but I like the Station Inspector in the movie because he is so hilarious!

Is Brian Selznick a better author or a better illustrator in your opinion?
I like both the story and the illustration.  I really like his pictures because they look really real but I also really like his story.

So what is "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" afterall?
Hugo invented his own automaton that can write books!

Which is the most memorable part of the story for you?
The part when Hugo got caught by Papa Georges and when he had to fix a blue wind-up mouse.

What happened to Hugo Cabret in the end?
He became a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas.

The characters in the book have many secrets.  Can you tell us what they are?
Hugo has many secrets about his father and about the fire and the museum and the automaton.  Isabelle, her secret is that she stole the key from Mama Jeanne.  Mama Jeanne keeps a secret that she was in movies that Papa Georges made.  Papa Georges' secret is that he was a magician and a movie maker who's stuck in a toy booth.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ballet Recital

Hard to believe this is Serena's 5th ballet performance at the Gateway Theatre. She's been dancing at the Richmond Arts Centre since she was 3. She's been a pixie, a twinkling star, a tight-rope walker, and a Japanese dancer. This year she's playing the part of a sailor.

The theme for this annual recital is "Let's Go To The Movies".  Serena's class did a dance number based on the movie "On the Town", a 1949 musical starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. See if you can spot her in the video!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tomatosphere (Part II)

They have sprouted!  24 out of 31 seeds in Group S, and 38 out of 40 in Group T.

It was fun tracking the germination process daily. We were quite confident initially that Group S was the "primed" group since the seeds all sprang out first. But a couple of days later the seeds in Group T grew fast and furious, and we weren't so sure anymore.

We submitted our results after the last seed germinated, and the secret was revealed to us: Group S was the "primed" group afterall!

Let me know if anyone wants a tomato plant...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For life's been anything but calm,
Since you called on me to be a mom.

Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with building blocks.
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes,
And other stuff that children lose.

Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs.
A stack of last week's mail to read,
So where's the quiet time I need?

Yet when I steal a minute Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of your grace,
I see them in my small one's face,

That you have blessed me all the while,
As I stop to kiss that precious smile.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nippon 日本

Serena collaborated with her buddy Claire for this year's International Dinner project. With minimal intervention from the moms, the girls had a less elaborate project but made up for it with a lot more fun!

The country they picked was inspired by the current exhibit, Edo: Art of Japan's Last Shogun Age, at the Richmond Museum. The two kimono-clad girls performed a short skit, sampled food from different countries, collected stamps in their passports, commented on their friends' projects, and had a most cultural evening!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Report Sandwiches

Great tip from another homeschool blogger: sandwich book project!

"Lettuce" summarize the story, which part of the story made you smile (say "cheese"!), describe the "meat" of the story... you get the gist. Put the slices together and you get a book report sandwich!

Serena made her first sandwich on The Spiderwick Chronicles, a 5-book series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Our deli is now open for business!