Thursday, December 24, 2015

Taekwondo Brown Belt

Newly minted brown belt, woohoo!

Serena has come a long way from her white belt 5 years ago. She's recently passed her promotional test and received her 8th level belt. Now there's only a red belt in the way of her goal to black belt!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Reads

I recently read a book called Last Airlift by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. It is about a Vietnamese orphan Tuyet who was rescued by the last Canadian airlift operation. She is one of 57 kids rescued from Saigon, Vietnam. It is a true story with many cool archive pictures and based on an interview of Tuyet as an adult now living happily in Canada.

I find the story very uplifting and parts of Tuyet's first experience in Canada very humorous. She thought that the lawns in front of all the houses were rice paddies!

I also read Stolen Child by the same author as Last Airlift.  It is about a girl named Nadia who was stolen from her Ukrainian family because of the secret Nazi project "Lebensborn".  The children stolen were believed to have "Aryan" traits and were brainwashed to be "superior" Germans and placed with German adoptive families.  It is a historical fiction that is both interesting and very sad.
As well as Stolen Child, I read a book that I couldn't put down, The View from Saturday by E. L. Konisberg, while on vacation in Hong Kong. It is about "The Souls", a group of four very unusual grade 6 children who compete in the Academic Bowl, a knowledge competition between schools, with the guidance of their coach Mrs. Olinski.

I love this book because of the wonderful personalities of the characters and the touching friendship of The Souls.

E. L. Konisberg is also the author of two other books I like a lot: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver.  

Happy holiday reading!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Shakespeare Fun

Our annual pilgrimage to Bard on the Beach landed us at a fantastic performance of Love's Labour's Lost set in the Roaring Twenties of Chicago. As much fun as the musical was though, I enjoyed even more so the presentation of Henry V by the South Delta Homelearners!

Serena was one of four thespians playing the title role of King Henry V. The clips here include her rousing speech to the English soldiers and the wooing of the French princess Katherine.