Saturday, June 28, 2008

Welcome to a New Blogger!

A friend has just begun blogging, and her blog is looking good! Check out A Homeschooling Thespian!

Granny's House

No matter how old the kids are, they enjoy visiting with Granny. Today was no exception!

They took a dip in the pool.

The horse-next-door came over to say "hello," and to nibble on the day-lilies!

They had a bit of target practice...

"Lock and Load"

Clothespins make great targets!

This one is shot clear through.
(A rifle-woman should always keep her nails well-manicured for close-ups.)

They thought wind-chimes might be excellent targets too, and they were!
Wind-chimes give you a nice melodic "ping-dong-ding" when hit.

And no trip to Granny's is complete without running out to the ice-cream man ;)

There is no Frigate Like a Bird...or a Boy?

So, which is it??

Here is a photo (from of a frigate bird. When Don and I were honeymooning in Mexico 20 years ago, we saw many, many frigate birds. We were impressed by the male's display of his beautiful, inflatable red chest pouch.

Today, Paul inflated his chest pouch (really his surf shirt), reminding me of those carefree days of birding south of the border:

German School Awards

Annika receives a merit award for outstanding achievement.

Trip gets a certificate for completion of advanced studies in German. He also received a certificate of recognition from the German consulate.

Just a Pretty Picture

Of the beach at sunset tonight. Note the tern near the break in the clouds.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meanwhile, back in the Kitchen...

Paul made "Pearly clay" using one of our favorite resources,

I'm not sure what this stuff does yet...

Fun with Electrophoresis

Who says lab science is a problem for homeschoolers? Soap dish trays, alligator clips, some 9 volts, a bit of agar, buffer, natural dyes from plants (we used peppers), and there you have it...after several trials and some burned runs: Electrophoresis at home!

Idea and directions from:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Confirmation from Alice's Pew

Head over to Cottage Blessings for more photos and videos, too. DON"T miss the first video of the impromptu choir performance.

Decompression -- A Photo Essay

They say that when a child is taken out of school and homeschooled, he often needs a period of readjustment, sometimes called "decompression." Similar, I think, is that transformation that takes place when school lets out in the spring. Trip has just finished his sophomore year in high school after having been homeschooled through 8th grade, and he has taken decompression to heart. Yesterday, he spent the afternoon at the Bonnie Blue House relaxing and getting back to the real world by helping the younger homeschoolers out on a zip line, and swimming with several homeschooled remoras on his back. By the end of the afternoon, a cheerful, cooperative Trip had been restored to us. At least for the moment, captured in this photo essay:

Trip began by helping the little ones on the zip-line.

Then his brother and friends got him wet.

When Trip jumped into the pool, the little ones were forlorn.

So Trip got Out...

Ran over to the line...

Brought it back up to the launch-ladder...

And jumped back into the pool...

Where two remoras disguised as children attached themselves to him.

And he didn't mind one bit!

Live from Aspen!!

Hey folks! The Aspen Festival Orchestra will have their performance broadcast live online tomorrow night on Medici TV. This is a free program, if you tune in at 6pm eastern time, 4pm mountain time! Look for Libby--she'll be sitting third stand in the second section (I think).

The theme for the Festival this year is "Fairytales". Music for tomorrow evening includes a world premier of The Great Gatsby Suite by John Harbison.

Other music, like tonight's performance by the Tak√°cs Quartet, will also be webcast, and includes Schumann's Fairy Tales, and more.

Here's a sample of the festival's offerings from last year's promo:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When They Grow Up

Libby's new room.

With Libby gone, Annika is taking advantage of her new-found space. First, she moved Libby's bed to the hallway, calling the hallway "Libby's new room." "After all, "Annika continued, "Libby will only be here a few days before she goes to college." There is just enough space for the bed, and it has a nice closet. Annika decorated the wall with a sarong from Bali. There is a window and an overhead light. A small desk attaches to the side of the bed. She made the bed, and put pillows and stuffed animals on the end. It actually works. The puppy likes it.

Then she went through the clothes, choosing which of Libby's things she likes the best. She has promised to keep all borrowed items in good condition. Extra blankets and sleeping bags are hung neatly in the cedar closet, along with winter sweaters, recital dresses, and other rarely-used items.

She organized all other items, and set up a desk for herself, with an electric keyboard for composing nearby, and plenty of room for school work. Pencils and pens, art supplies and manuscript paper are all organized well. She has a recorder collection, and I heard the sound of recorder music wafting through the house every time she took a break. She hung scarves on either side of her doorway, left and right, on sun and star curtain rod holders, for a very elegant entryway. There are maps and original artwork on the slanted walls (it's an attic room).

She organized the two built in book cases with dolls on one level, and books on the rest of the shelves. But after all the books were organized...There was no room for the CDs and tapes. This is how I can tell she is growing up: She filled her old wooden doll cradle with the CDs. Well, they fit...sort of, and it's a bit of a design statement.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congrats to all Confirmandi!

The Long Island Catholic has a nice piece (it should, though, shouldn't it??) about our local confirmandi being confirmed in the traditional Latin Rite. Nice is too tame a word. This was sublime. Thank you Bishop Murphy!

Hard Work Pays Off--Musically

Last weekend Trip made his first appearance as principal cellist with the NY YME. Yay Trip! There he is on the far right. Congrats to all the members!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mulberries for Dinner!

Unfortunately, the hot weather we had last week has made the mulberries a bit dry and miserable-looking. I am hoping for a lovely cobbler tonight, though.

But there are enough mulberries for more than just a cobbler, so I decided to look up more recipes. I found a great website called Mulberry Madness. It has some interesting recipes to try, for sure. Tonight, though, it's cobbler.

Meanwhile, I am in the middle of a laundry dilemma. My dryer is not functioning, so I have been hanging out the clothes. Unfortunately, half of my clothesline is under the mulberry tree, so I have to be very careful where I hang the clothes, both because of the staining properties of the berries, and the droppings of the birds who love to eat same.

While hanging out the clothes this morning, I noticed the tell-tale signs of a visiting paper wasp:
Yes, wasps are eating my clothespins. I must be very careful to avoid the painful sting of these inhabitants of my back yard. I'm not allergic, but I don't like to be stung--laundry is a dangerous business!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cue Hall & Oats

She's Gone.

(No, don't. It's a dreadful song.) ;)


An early drive to the airport for a flight this morning, a quick "goodbye" in the car, and that's it. She should be nearing her destination 'bout now.

Sometimes motherhood is so bittersweet. This is her third year going to the music festival, but this time, when she comes home, she'll be coming home to her college dorm room, not her bedroom at home. I think that's the difference this year. Also, she turns 18 while she is away.

So we sit here, considering the price of gas vs. seeing her sometime over the summer.

I think I'll go clean her room.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Snowing...

in Aspen. Or at least it was this morning.

I'm rethinking Libby's packing plan. I hear they are keeping the slopes open through this weekend, and she wants to go snowboarding. Somehow, I think that snowboarding might not be compatible with a music festival.

It's a pretty place either way...see? Aspen Live Cam.

Poor Reading Related to Bad English Spelling, Study Says

"Don’t blame kids for having a hard time reading. Blame the English spelling system, says a new study.

Words like foreign, rhinoceros, vomit, tourist, heaven, spinach, ghastly, and tongue are among a long list of words that confuse children because they contain letter combinations that are more commonly pronounced in different ways..."

Read the rest in School Library Journal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Feel Like I am Being Watched


3 Pairs of Shoes. And Boots.

It's that time of year. Libby is heading off to play at a summer music festival. Last year, she packed 29 shirts. She took Annika's new-and-never-before-worn shoes. She ordered boots online to be delivered to her apartment. In all, her luggage was 20 lbs. over the limit. This year we are helping her to pack less. Yeah, it'll mean she'll have more laundry to do this year, but I think it'll be a good lesson.

So...1 pair of hiking shoes, 1 pair of flip-flops (@2 for $5 at Old Navy!!), one pair of concert shoes, and those boots she ordered last year, and that's it for shoes. Wait...are those gold shoes I see? Those are not on the list...

Note: Packing is best done with coffee.

More Twelth Night Photos

at Alice's.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Twelfth Night

The Front Lawn Players put on their annual Shakespearean production. The actors, from extras as young as 3, to the 17 year old "Sir Toby" (most were in the 10-14 range), worked hard and long to pull this production together. Behind the scenes, adults directed, designed, built, prompted, prodded, watered and fed the actors.

And the costumes? Our designer and seamstress is 16, and it looks like she might have quite a career ahead of her!

Viola and Olivia


Sir Andrew hides in the Garden.

Sir Toby and Fabian chat while Viola considers her plight.

Malvolio comes smiling and cross-gartered to Olivia.

Malvolio is jailed and the fool teases him.

Sebastian takes on Sir Toby

Orsino confronts Antonio

Viola Revealed!

Remember the rehearsal photos? Is it possible that this is the same play?

ETA: See the rest of the 200+ photos here. Video soon!