Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cuboree 2011

                                                Home tired and dirty after a great weekend!

Euphemisms and their overuse

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another visitor with wings

This parrot visited our yard today. It was very friendly with our love bird and not overly nervous around humans.

We wondered if it had escaped from an aviary nearby.

 But as it seemed to be managing quite well on its own we decided to leave it free rather than attempt to catch it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tchaikovsky and other Russians

My second cousin Kora always spoke well of Danny Kaye when she met him in conjunction with her UNICEFF work. I remember listening to a record of his songs at home. And of course watching him on tv. Wow I must be old!
Anyway just in case you want to practice singing this. According to the Word Spy, 54 Russian composers are mentioned in the space of 38 seconds! Impressive!


Trolley Song lyrics
With my high starched collar and my high top shoes
And my hair piled high upon my head,
I went to lose a jolly hour on the trolley,
And lost my heart instead.
With his light brown derby and his bright green tie,
He was quite the handsomest of men.
I started to yen, so I counted to ten,
Then I counted to ten again.
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
Ding, ding, ding went the bell.
Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings,
From the moment I saw him I fell.
Chug, chug, chug went the motor,
Bump, bump bump went the brake,
Thump, thump, thump went my heart strings,
When he smiled, I could feel the car shake.
He tipped his hat and took a seat.
He said he hoped he hadn't stepped upon my feet.
He asked my name; I held my breath;
I couldn't speak because he scared me half to death.
Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer,
Plop, plop, plop went the wheels,

Stop, stop, stop went my heart strings.
As he started to go, then I started to know
How it feels when the universe reels.
The day was bright, the air was sweet.
The smell of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet.
You tried to sing, but couldn't squeak.
In fact you loved him so you couldn't even speak.
Buzz, buzz, buzz went the buzzer,
Plop, plop, plop went the wheels.
Stop, stop, stop went my heart strings.
As he started to leave I took hold of his sleeve
With my hand, and as if it were planned,
He stayed on with me,
And it was grand just to stand
With his hand holding mine
To the end of the line.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food webs and other curiosities at the zoo

At the zoo: we looked at Food Webs - learned about the relationships between plants and animals of the South East Asian Rainforest
 and the outcomes of changing just one small factor....using string!!!

And no trip to the zoo would be complete for ds without a quick viewing of the reptile house .

Friday, November 04, 2011

At the Food Forest

We had a great time at our local organic farm. Because the farm is "on the plains" it was a rather warm afternoon! Amazing though to still see everything green and lush.
The boys enjoyed a chance to sample some dried fruits and crack a few nuts!

 Viewing some of the more unusual plants was next on the list, including a palm that looks like a banana palm but grows potato like tubers underneath the ground that would make a good source of carbohydrates according to the owner. They have yet to be harvested!

As the farm is situated by the Gawler River, a walk to view it was organised.

The farmer commented how unusual it was to see it still flowing at this time of year. Native plants were in flower.

We spotted geese and gosslings, but this time no bettongs!

It was delightfully cool inside the straw bale constructed buildings(query: is this a cheap form of construction compared with regular forms?)

Finally the house was home to an assortment of large spiders and I couldn't resist taking this photo of wasp nests!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Pig Latin

"Fun fact about this scene; in Ginger Roger's autobiography she talks about how she had been rehearsing this song for a very long time and started singing it in pig latin because she was so bored. Well Darryl Zanuck, Warner's production chief came in and Ginger thought that she was going to be fired for fooling around in rehearsal, but he had her sing it in pig latin again and decided to put it in the number. So Ginger Rogers is to thank for the pig latin part of the song."

Saturday, October 29, 2011


We are enjoying our readings from "The Word Spy" by Ursula Dubosarsky. After today's reading we found a u-tube video of this song.Here are the lyrics:
, man, am regal a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I'm Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see God?
"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men," I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won't lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa's a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton
No "x" in "Nixon"
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
"Naomi", I moan
"A Toyota's a Toyota"
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh, no! Don Ho!

Nurse, I spy gypsies -- run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Chasing Vermeer"

We have discovered a new readaloud author! Not only does she write thought provoking prose but we get to do art history and maths at the same time!As one reviewer comments:"
Secrets, lies and mysteries surround the work of one of the greatest artists of all time. Moonlit chases, hidden hiding places, and even a secret code help to solve the mystery."

 There are clues in the art work that help you solve the mystery. The art work itself is worth close investigation.The author has her own site with games and puzzles and even downloadable pentominoes for you to work with! 

The book also has plenty of scope for writing projects:"Is writing the most accurate way to communicate, investigate",  "Research letter writing by asking people to describe a piece of mail that changed their lives and then,write me a letter I won't be able to forget ". "At the beginning of chapter three Petra "window gazing" from a train is described, write about a changing scene you have observed on a journey." Then there are descriptive writing examples including the children's narratives of famous paintings(but not just these!) that beg to be used as jumping boards for further discussions/projects.     This is a book we will remember for a long time. And the good news? The author has two more in the series along similar lines. No we haven't read them. Yes we are looking forward to doing so!                                                                                                                              

Mathilda knows my name!

Someone can say my name! And its not the easiest name to pronounce when you're just learning to speak.But its a handy tool to have if you want someone else to do you bidding!" A....come, a... sit!"
I think she looks very cute!And very like her older siblings: now isn't that a surprise!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Someone came to call!

Another type of visitor: small but with bulging,starey eyes decided to visit late at night. Sorry but it wasn't invited inside!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Apostles visit us!

Well not in person. But on Sunday afternoon we were privilaged to be visited by two mysterious birds.

Youngest son spotted them first through his bedroom window and was allerted by the srange noise they were making.I quickly dismissed them as starlings or blackbirds only to be assured that a more thorough investrigation would negate both these assumptions.

Two older brothers were called in plus our bird book but it was my daughter plus google that settled the matter. They were apostle birds, so named for their characteristic of flying in large flocks or groupings.

These two appeared to have had their wings clipped and we were concerned they may have escaped from a cage perhaps having been hand-reared. However no ammount of attempts to catch them bu us or some of our neighbours was successful so finally we had to thank them for sharing some time with us and leave them to continue their journey!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

"The Genius of Leonardo" picture book find

I love to use picture books as an introduction or summary of a particular topic. I was surprised and delighted to find this at our local library. As part of our readings for history we are reading "the Second Mrs Gioconda". This book is a fictional representation of the life of Leonardo de Vinci. (Now I have heard some negative reviews by homeschoolers of this book because it mentions one character's unfaithfulness to his wife but again I think if you are reading this to older children it can give you a good opportunity to discuss such topics as trust and commitment. Again I don't think a book has to ascribe to my world philosophy for it to be worthwhile in our homeschool. )
I enjoy reading books by E.L Konigsburg for myself but I think she is a fabulous author for older children.Books by her always encourage lots of discussion!
However back to my picture book find. It is described as being written by Guido Visconti with quotations from the notebooks of Leonardo. The artist's illustrations are supurb. one reviewer says:"When I first saw the cover and title for this book, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it. The illustrations did not remind me of Leonardo Da Vinci. I was ready to be disappointed. Instead, I was surprised when I found myself enjoying the book.

I like the portrayal of Leonardo and his apprentice. The genius of the man is portrayed while still keeping him imperfect. Leonardo doesn't have answers for all of life's questions. Still, the book reminded me how fascinating math and science can be while reminding me why the Renaissance is such a fascinating time in history.
All around, this is a wonderful book."
another states"The illustrations by Bimba Landmann are amazing, making the book a work of art. The text is meaty, telling us a lot about Leonardo and his ideas (with direct quotes). Kids will relate to the mischievous character of Giacomo, Leonardo's 10-year-old assistant, who frequently annoys his famous boss. I would recommend this book for anyone age 6 to adult!"(reviews from Amazon)I think this is a book worth re-reading long after our history study has been completed.