Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Its spring!

Full of fresh scents
  Are the budding boughs

  (from "Spring Quiet" by Christina Rossetti)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cub Cook Off

Sunday saw youngest son participating in his first cub scout group cook-off.Each team had to present a three course meal cooked outside with minimum adult help. They were judged on cleanliness, safety and of course taste as well as team work. Our team finished second which was really pleasing as the first team was also from our group.Ds surprised his mother at how competently he wielded a knife.
The menu for our group was Minestrone soup with garlic bread, Barbecued chicken with char-grilled vegetables and rice, Pancakes with chocolate sauce and Mango lassi. It was enjoyed by all partakers!

The Assumption of Mary

We went to Mass at our Cathedral on  this  Solemnity of Mary. It was just an ordinary weekday Mass; except that how can any encounter with the Divine be anything but extraordinary....During the homily father spoke about our images of heaven. In his opinion the best description comes from Saint Augustine who spoke of it as "all of time gathered up/together". He then went on to talk on other things equally interesting but I'm afraid I wanted to pause a moment and think about this. All of time...all of the good that has occurred in time gathered together. It would have to be good because only good could see the face of God. But gathered how, as in a sharing of all good, a communal experience that just is. And what of the good that has happened because of the bad  The gore and horror of the crucifixion that results in the glorious resurrection, but without the crucifixion the resurrection would be meaningless. So I'm thinking I probably missed what was meant at Mass. But it doesn't matter, that part of eternity(the heavenly part that is) is probably best left to consider when it is(happens).

Today is a Holy day of Obligation for Catholics to attend Mass in Australia. Apart from Sundays which are always days of obligation, we are only left with this day and two others. Not many days when we are obliged to take part in the greatest prayer, the most powerful part of worship for us as Catholics. I remember when I first came back to the church thinking there weren't enough Holy days of obligation.Now I think , we can't make anyone have belief in  God, we certainly can't coerce people into worship. That would be ridiculous. C.S Lewis said "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses." For most people, today was a very ordinary typically wet spring day. The way I demonstrate love for people (including the Catholics who didn't attend Mass today) will be a more effective witness than dragging reluctant neighbors to church. And still on a C.S Lewis quote though I can't remember it exactly (the quote that is!) but I recall him saying something about how if we saw how glorious we all really are as creations of God, we would be tempted to bow down and worship the very people we slander.

The beauty of a leaf

Finding beauty where you're least expecting it can be very exciting. as on the weekend when we cleared out several years of accumulated manure from our silky bantam run. It was a dirty smelly business but work has its rewards  such as in the fragility of these leaf skeletons. I know there are sites that show you how to make leaf skeletons(something about an old toothbrush and gently scraping away the flesh from a presoaked leaf but sometimes finding ones that nature has made itself can be equally satisfying, a bit like hidden treasure. Anyway we had fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our studies on the brain

Today in Brain Curriculum an introduction to neurology the kids made a hemisphere hat.
 It didn't exactly fit the external dimensions of some people's skulls but then it wasn't meant to!

Later we will look at rebus puzzles which our guide informs us are excellent practice for children who don't like making decisions(think teenagers!!)

For more activities and information about drawing with the right side of the brain,  the guide recommends we use the first four chapters of the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

After completing our brain models it was time to party at the park where we met up with several other families to celebrate two birthdays and have a great time !

Friday, August 05, 2011

Under construction!

 ds has been doing a lot of building recently. he also enjoys borrowing older brothers digital camera to snap some different views of said construction. So builder,architect,designer, whatever he just had fun!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


As part of our study on Japan we have been looking at examples of Japanese brush painting.

We have attempted some of our own.

We don't have traditional supplies so had to "adapt" what we already have.

"If we study Japanese Art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic and intelligent, who spends his time doing what? In studying the distance between the earth and moon? No. In studying Bismark's policy? No. He studies a single blade of grass."
  -- Vincent Van Gogh