Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hamlet! With SF Shakespeare

A fantastic performance, the accumulation of many months of work with San Francisco Shakespeare's wonderful teaching artists Michelle, Carla, and Carl.  Experienced, knowledgeable, and wonderful teachers whom we have watched with awe perform themselves; getting to learn from them was an honor and a privilege.  

K played Hamlet and G was her mother and the queen, Gertrude.  They both did excellent jobs and developed a lot in the roles - K seems naturally inclined toward the angst-filled teen role and G to the bossy mom.  :-)  My favorite scene was when they were bickering on stage together.  For the final scene, even knowing that they were to "die" didn't keep me from being on the edge of my seat.

Final Rehearsal

Hamlet, punning:  "Not so, my lord, I am too much i' the sun."
Queen:  "Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark."

Hamlet to ghost:  "Angels and ministers of grace defend us!  Thou comest in such a questionable shape that I will speak to thee:  I'll call thee Hamlet, King, father, royal Dane.  Speak, I am bound to hear."

Queen:  "But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading."

Hamlet in the height of his angst (with all of his mixed emotions in the background):  "To be, or not to be, that is the question, whether 'tis nobler...  Thus conscience does make cowards of us all."

Hamlet conflicted over killing a helpless king:  "Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent: When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven." (Our Harvard class on Shakespeare's ghost helped with understanding this powerful scene.)

Hamlet:  "Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge.  You go not till I set up up a glass where you may see the inmost part of you."  Queen:  "What wilt thou do?  Thou wilt not murder me?  Help, help, ho!"  (As a mom I just loved the endless rehearsals of this scene.  Not.)

Queen:  "This the very coinage of your brain.  This bodiless creation ecstasy is very cunning in."  "...Oh Hamlet thou hast cleft my heart in twain."

Final battle. Both are about to die.  Hamlet:  "Come for the third, Laertes.  You but dally."

Her first on-stage death scene ever.  Queen:  "No, no, the drink, the drink!  Oh my dear Hamlet!  The drink, the drink!  I am poison'd."

Hamlet:  "You that look pale and tremble at this change, If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, Absent thee from felicity awhile.  And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.  The rest is silence." 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Entomology Finale - Pinning the Insects

Caught, preserved, identified, and pinned.  They have started their own collections, now.  Our thanks to Dr. Dole for her shared enthusiasm and knowledge!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Learning Anatomy with Clay

A really interesting presentation about teaching anatomy; Dr. Kitt-Hopper is inspiring in her creativity, knowledge, and commitment!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt

This was EPIC!  :-)

First steps:  I hit plastic Easter eggs all over the yard.  They found 46 of the 51, so some candy is missing. Fortunately, they found the one with money ($1) and the eight clues.  Each was a word that spelled out the next clue's hiding place:  "Your first clue is under Ike's paw print."  (The vet made a plaster cast of his paw as a memorial when we took his body in for cremation.)  They had to unscramble the sentence - pretty simple - and then they were off!

2:  Under Ike's paw print was a clue to the next clue's location:  "A bunny travels with a hop, hop, hop.  Go check the bookcase, near the top."  (We have multiple bookcases, but they figured it out).

3.  There they found:  "Easter colors are green, pink, and blue.  See what you find inside Mom's shoe."

4. And in my running shoe: "You see me in the morning and in the evening too.  When I am clean, you see a reflection of ... you!"  (We have two bathroom mirrors, but it wasn't hard to narrow it down).

5.  "Easter can mean lots of nice flowers.  Look behind the item you use to check the hours." They found the clock in the dining room right away.

6.  "The animal in the spotlight is the Easter Bunny.  The next clue is where you keep your money."

7.  The clue that they found with their money was a riddle:  "Why did the farmer feed crayons to his chickens?"  To get colored eggs of course, which we had in the fridge (thanks to Tim).

8.  They found another riddle with the colored eggs:  "Colors of purple, pink, yellow, and white.  No matter your mood, they're sure to be a delight."  Flowers of course, which led to some tissue flowers in the hall.

9.  Under that vase they found: "The bunny is known for his big ears.  Now look in the car where you change the gears."  And off to the car's dashboard they went.

10.  Now on to the more religious ones.  In the car, the clue said "The people waved these and laid them in the streets when Jesus entered Jerusalem."  This led them back inside to the palms we got at Mass the week before.  I had a clue rolled up small on a tiny post-it and set underneath them.

11.  "Mary broke this and poured it on Jesus' feet."  This one stumped them, because when they think Mary, they think Mother of God, not the other Marys... but eventually (with grandparent help) they found the next clue with the perfume.

12.  "Jesus broke this and gave it to his disciples."  Bread, of course.

13.  "Something Judas was willing to betray Jesus for."  I had a small pile of silver coins laid out and after looking for a bit, they found them and the next clue underneath.

14.  "They made a sharp one of these for Jesus to wear."  We have a wreath that when undecorated could look like a large crown of thorns and they found the next clue there.

15.  "The soldiers played with something like this to decide who got Jesus' coat."  K jumped, "oh, I was wondering what that was under the dice on the table there!"

16.  "Jesus carried this himself for a time."  A cross of course.  I had laid one out so that they didn't start pulling them from the walls and they found it on the piano.

17.  "The marks caused by these helped Thomas to identify Jesus."  They found a nail on the bookshelf and a clue nearby.

18.  "What they served Jesus to drink on the cross."  Wine vinegar "just happened" to be out on the kitchen counter.

19.  "What was rolled away when Jesus rose?"  Not hard to find rocks in G's rock collection!

20.  "What was used to prepare Jesus for burial?"  This one stumped me, the girls, and my parents.  The answer was spices, specifically cloves (also set out in the kitchen).  (We were all learning today).

21.  What remained in the tomb after Jesus rose?"  Linen, which led to the linen cabinet.

21.  Back to the bunny rhymes (many of which I got from previewing a pinterest site (couldn't see the whole site without signing in, though.)): "After a long night of egg-hiding and making kids feel groovy, the Easter Bunny just wants to sit back and watch a ____."  Another clue was found with the movies.

Finding the ten online questions and starting to answer them.  No grandparents to help now!
22-25. This clue said: "I'm out of rhymes, as you can see.  Look online, amongst pictures of you... and me!"  They didn't even hesitate before going online to the blog questions below (ten).  The clue included a form for them to fill in, with the code letters in each word spelling out one of the two final clues.  They had to answer the questions, then unscramble specific letters from the answers, then they knew where to look!

 And then they were done; hurrah!  My parents texted back their congratulations and a single word, "finally!"

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt Post

After Mass, the girls will want to find their baskets.  They ask me every year to create an elaborate treasure hunt.  Finding this on the blog is one of the final clues to solve in a 25-step hunt that includes descrambling, searching, riddles, working together, and more.

1. Matthew 27:42 – “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the __________, and we will believe in him. 
2. Mark 14:36 – “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this __________ from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 
3. Luke 22:35 – Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, __________ or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. 
4. Matthew 27:3 – When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of __________ to the chief priests and the elders. 
5. John 19:29 – A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a __________ in it, put the __________ on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 
6. Mark 14:18 – While they were reclining at the __________ eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.” 
7. Matthew 27:59 – Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen __________ 
8. Matthew 26:23 – Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the __________ with me will betray me. 
9. John 20:1 – Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the __________ had been removed from the entrance. 
10. John 19:34 – Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and __________.


(I found the above online at this blog site.)  

Later post:  Here are photos of the girls at choir, which was before the Treasure Hunt.  Such beautiful singing that I was fighting tears most of Mass!

In their "Easter best" according to individual definition!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ukrainian Easter Eggs Round Two

A fun and relaxing day.  Somewhere there is a possy of Ukrainian egg decorators who are laughing at our beginner's efforts, but the results were beautiful and not bad for just learning this long and painstakingly detailed process..


Friday, April 14, 2017

Entomology: Searching for Insects

Fun learning in the park (and in the rain!) searching for, capturing, and cataloguing insects with Dr. Beetlelady.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Our Own Superbloom

I've been seeing photos from space of the California wildflower superbloom and we all wish we had time to drive out to the desert to see it.  (Ah, the perils of homeschooling, when each class/team has a different spring break, and none aligned with mom's school break.  Ah well....)  It rained again, though, and we saw images of our own local superbloom from a different angle:

The last one?  Yep, not a super bloom image.  But gorgeous eucalyptus bark dripping in the rain.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pizza and Trivia Night

This was super fun - all of us (Charles, the girls, me, my parents) participated as a team at a pizzeria's trivia night.  Together, we were adequate, but still pretty pathetic, especially on any pop culture questions (music, movies, or TV shows).  Oh well!  It was a fun evening anyway and we hung around longer than we had planned to find out if our guesses... er, answers (!) were correct.  I didn't get a photo of the whole group, unfortunately, just these two good-looking super geniuses....

Monday, April 10, 2017

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk fun

A great day with few people and almost no wait for rides.  Fun and relaxing; the girls had a great time and an excellent celebration for K's birthday:

That's them, above the Giant Dipper sign.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Track Meet #3

A crazy shot putt personal record for K:  31' 6", up three feet, four inches from last week's PR.  Last week's 28' 2.25" would not have been enough for the win this week and K knew it after the first set of throws.  One of the seventh graders from another team beat K's first attempt by a few inches.  Her next throw was her winning throw and it was so impressive that the whole crowd gasped as it landed.  Her strength amazes me.

Coach assigned her to three running events, too... including two on what she considers to be the longer side. She did so well - and knew it - that she jokingly started complaining, "oh no, now she will put me in this another time!"  Her stride and her speed really have improved and she held her team's lead throughout the second leg of the 4x400 relay.  I was glad to see that she knew she'd done well, even if she did acknowledge it in a backhanded way.  She seemed to have fun, too; if not in the actual run then in prepping for the relay events with some of her silly teammates.

It was good to spend the day together.  We both were sad thinking about Ike and it was helpful to just hold hands and be together in our grief.  How could our big dog be gone?  I woke up with a massive headache from crying so much...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

My Ike

These first three pictures are of Ike the day before he died.  He had a good, long life and was happy until the very end, traveling with us on our two-day road trip, getting in and out of the car with minimal effort, and even happily walking on the beach the day before he died.  He had been slow (but steady) for a long time and there was nothing in his behavior to predict that this would be his last trip.  On the evening of our second day, he did begin breathing in a strange way, he was very still (but upright) and he peed all over himself during the night.  Somehow, I knew it could mean the end; no pain, just indications that his body was giving out.  His last day was spent resting in the car and it was the first day he wasn't interested in food, though he did drink and continued to smile his sweet Ike smile.  When we got home, he got out of the car, walked around the garage, rested for a bit in the grass as I stroked him, then walked up the steps in the front door and lay down.  As the girls and I whispered "we love you" to him, he simply stopped breathing.  I couldn't ask for a better end for such a wonderful dog: a happy trip, painless, and peaceful, with all of us around him.

Look at him smiling.  Hard to believe he is gone.  He's been a huge part of our lives for the past 12.5 years and we're all super-upset.  K has always called him her best friend and indeed he has always been there for both girls.  When K was born, he was still a five-month old puppy and steadfastly ignored her for about five weeks.  After nursing her one day, I laid her down on the bed and she said, very clearly, "Ike!"  I might have attributed this to my imagination except for the fact that he also heard her, jumped up, ran over, and put his head in her tiny lap.  They've belonged to each other ever since.  I remember her as a toddler climbing all over him and he, still really just a puppy himself, so careful and gentle with her.  And when Bubba and Sherpani were puppies too, biting him until he cried, but otherwise never reacting with anything but gentleness.

Love my Ike, my good big dog.

And this one from just last Wednesday, posing with Puck's 'baby.'

And some old photos:

K as a baby; Ike was about one here.

As a toddler, loving her big dog (and he her).

Both girls with Ike when they were about three and five (cutting down the Christmas tree).