Friday, September 28, 2012

Pigs Do Fly!

Now we have proof: Check out our very own Flying Pig automaton!

We first learned of automata through the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Then we found this Flying Pig online store that sells all sorts of cool mechanical paper animation kits. We couldn't resist the opportunity to make a pig fly so we ordered a kit.

The design is quite ingenious. We popped the paper parts out, folded and glued according to instructions, and there's our amazing Flying Pig automaton!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shoreline Cleanup

It's amazing how much garbage you can gather outside in an hour. We were at the Tsawwassen Ferry Causeway for a community shoreline cleanup project organized by Scouts Canada. Serena and her buddy picked up enough cigarette tips, food wrappers, containers, plastic bits, glasses, etc. to fill 4 shopping bags. I had a hard time trying to tally every bit of garbage for data collection; she was calling them out faster than I could find the item on the tracking sheet, and I was shivering cold... We weren't exactly prepared for this grey chilly fall weather because it was like this the day before:

Summer is sadly and officially over.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Planet Narnia Book Club

Author Dr. Michael Ward suggested in his book Planet Narnia that the 7 books in The Chronicles of Narnia parallel the 7 planets of the medieval cosmos. That sets the backdrop for the Planet Narnia Book Club, a faith-based book club for young readers led by a very capable Mrs. Cowley.

For our first meeting this month, we discussed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which embodies the imagery of Jupiter, according to Dr. Ward. Mrs. Cowley took us through a brief history of the Middle Ages cosmology, the Ptolemy's model of the universe, and C. S. Lewis' background as a professor steeped in medieval literature.

Serena is obsessed with Greek mythology these days and has become quite an expert in the gods & goddesses of Mount Olympus. Cracking this Narnia Code with all its fascinating imagery of Roman gods has come at a very opportune time for her!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Taming Of The Shrew

Bard On The Beach - a perfect start to a new homeschool year.  Serena was quick to notice that the actor (Lois Anderson) who played Katharina was the same one who played Rosalind in As You Like It last year. As always, it was a fantastic production with many well executed comedic elements.

With her love for words, Serena enjoyed reading aloud the Shakespearean dialogue with me in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. We particularly liked the interplay between Kate and Petruchio in Act 4, Scene 5, where Kate was finally tamed:

"I say it is the moon."
"I know it is the moon."
"Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun."
"Then, God be bless'd: it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is;
And so it shall be so for Katharina."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer of Guests & Books

We hosted a total of 10 guests this summer, staying from 1 night to 2 months, coming from Oregon, Ontario, Ecuador, and Japan. Had their itineraries not overlapped, it would've taken us over 4 months to host them all. Serena enjoyed the mix of company, and I got a taste of what it's like to run a B&B. I think I'll stick with homeschooling.

With a revolving door of visitors, "school" was out the question but we managed to keep indulging in our favourite thing: books.  Serena polished off two good reads this summer:

Varjak Paw by S. F. Said
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

She is re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia for a new book club starting this month. We are looking forward to our first experience in a book club.

Serena loves her audiobooks so our summer guests had no choice but to listen to these classic stories with us whenever we rode in the car together:

Focus On The Family Radio Theatre: Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" by Paul McCusker & Philip Glassborow
Full Cast Audio: Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano" by Geraldine McCaughrean
Tantor Unabridged Classics: Anna Sewell's "Black Beauty" by Simon Vance

Serena's favourite?  "Black Beauty. I love horses!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A New Beginning

The first time Serena used the expression, "That'll happen when pigs fly!", I fell off the chair laughing. On and off we joke about these flying pigs, that someday somewhere, a pig might just fly.

I once scoffed at the idea of marriage, of kids, of homeschooling. Now I'm guilty of all charges. What we believe impossible one day might just be a reality in another. Never say never!

So this Flying Pig mom is renewing her motivation to tackle the daunting task of homeschooling a free spirit Swinging Monkey, because you never know. That Monkey might just love math, someday.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomatosphere (Part III)

Unlike those gifted gardeners blessed with their green thumbs, I have a black thumb. Plants simply do not thrive under my supervision. My seasonal allergy further discourages my desire to be out in the garden. So imagine my excitement (and shock) when I saw these beautiful tomatoes popping all over our backyard. Not too long ago, they were mere little seeds in an envelope!

"Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how." 
Mark 4:27