Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Unbirthday Celebration

There are so many people in our family that we have one birthday every month. In a couple months such as June, August, and September, there are two or three birthdays. But no one was born in April. Being the party-happy family that we are, in April we celebrate our unbirthdays. Mom got the idea from Alice in Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse are always celebrating their unbirthdays (it's an occasion that happens many times because you have 364 unbirthdays a year!). For the celebration, we dress up as a character from Alice in Wonderland, and then we play a series of games (pin the grin on the cheshire cat, anyone?), ending with the mad tea party. The mad tea party is my favorite part, because, well it's mad. :D

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6) 

"Well, in out country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else -- if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 2) 

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5) 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Song

Hear the bells ringing,
They're singing
That we can be born again!

Hear the bells ringing,
They're singing,
"Christ is risen from the dead!"

The angel upon the tombstone said,
"He is risen just as He said.
Quickly now, go tell his disciples,
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead!"

Joy to the world!
He is risen!
     -Anne Herring

Seussical the Musical

Previously, I mentioned we went to Missouri to see Seussical the Musical, a play our friends directed and produced. Seussical the Musical is basically a hashing together of several Dr. Seuss books. I'm sure you've thought, "Well, where are the pictures?" (or even, "Why hasn't she posted anything about the play?"). The fact is, I've just been lazy and haven't posted it yet. Also, flash photography wasn't allowed so most of the shots are dark. Seussical the Musical was immensely fun to watch and I laughed throughout the entire play. The set and costumes were amazing. One of the highlights of the evening was talking to the cast members after the play. I had so much fun!

Friday, April 22, 2011


One afternoon at Rachel's house, Exie and Drew went for a walk. Drew was being very adorable and so Exie kept snapping photos of him. I guess he just loves his aunt.


Rachel made 10 dozen cookies while we stayed with her and we got to eat some. They were delicious. :D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rainy Day

It's been raining cats and dogs here. I was going to jog around our block, but when I woke up and saw how much it was raining, I decided to stay in bed, nice and dry. I think this poem is perfect for today:
Don't you just love those rainy days
They can be enjoyed in so many ways
Listening to the rain as it pitter patters
Calms you down, soon nothing matters

Pounding on roofs with deafening dins
Pausing momentarily then again it begins
While you lay there wondering
If the next lightning heralds even louder thundering

Look at your poor dog as he lies there quivering
He is not cold but still he is shivering
Remember as a child you too were scared of thunder
So you hug your dog while the clouds split asunder

You enjoy the change because rainy days are few
Rain cleans the air and washes everything everything anew
All smells fresh for the next sunny day
To wait again for the arrival of another rainy day.
- Barry Williams

(photo credit:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bento Box Lunches

For our trip down to Missouri, Mara made these lovely bento boxes. Not only did they look beautiful, but they tasted wonderful.
This had sliced jicama (even one in the shape of a heart!), hard boiled eggs cooked in soy sauce, various kinds of sushi rolls, radish, and lettuce to divide the different kinds of food.

This one tasted very good with fake chicken (for lack of a better word), swiss cheese, egg hard boiled in soy sauce, jicama, radish, and lettuce.
Mara got her inspiration from Just Bento, a blog by Makiko Itoh, a Japanese woman born in Tokyo who currently resides in Switzerland. The blog focuses on simple healthy bento lunches. Also, check out her cookbook here.

"Litany" by Billy Collins

I like this poem, but I especially love how this little boy recites it. So cute :D.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Things I Love ....

Pegasus Bridge. One of my new favorite bands.

My strawberry softlips chapstick. The fresh burst of strawberry always give me a bit of energy when I put it on at work.

My copy of To Catch a Thief by David Dodge. I absolutely love everything about the book. The way the outside cover reminds me of an elderly man wearing tweeds. The fact that chapters don't have titles or even numbers but rather are marked with a little star. Chapter one has one star, chapter two has two stars and so on. The faint whiff of mellow cigarette smoke I smell when I flip through the pages. That I bought it for one dollar at Half Price Books. And of course, the writing its self:

"The newspaper headline was: Has Le Chat Returned? Underneath there was a blurry picture of himself, taken in the courtroom of the Cour d'Assises in 1939. The article which went with the picture put a series of questions, only suggesting some of the answers. It was an American paper and had no right to insult the French Surete Nationale. The French papers did that later, when they reprinted the article."

This website about Emma Pillsbury from Glee. So cute and creative!

This golden snitch from Etsy which I want so badly.

This real life Up House. How cool is that?!

A jar of sparkles. I think it's the sweetest thing ever.

This recipe which I will be making for work this week.

This is Naive's, Lo-Fi travel guides . It makes me want to go exploring!

Guest blogging. This has been a fun experiment for me. Thanks so much for letting me share. :-)

This last video, because I love them all and it's just so hard to pick my favorite.

~ Mara

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Things I Love ....

This poem by P.K. Dufault:


I called you because I could not stand alone
looking north to that skyline --
tree globed with its yellow apples
balancing like a fountain of planets
in the bright light and the blue air.

And because on the way there
I looked at a smooth cirque
the brook had worn in a stone;
and nothing as soft as water
could, by taking care,
have so nestled and polished
that granite mortar; only
by a thousand years of indifference,
of aiming elsewhere.

I wish we might do -- or no,
look back and find we had done  --
some unadvertised thing,
overwhelming and un-self-aware
as water streamlining a stone,
or a tree's kindling in an empty meadow
its casual Hesperides.


Hello everyone!

 I'm so excited to be here guest blogging while Qixi and Moxie are away in Missouri. I have neither the creativity nor the perseverance to blog, so I am quite impressed with those who can. I want to extend my warmest thanks to Qix and Mox for giving me the opportunity to write my first blog post. This is fun! And maybe just a teensy bit scary ( I mean, really girls, how do you manage to come up with such interesting and witty topics all the time?!). Also, I feel all ten thumbs and tech awkward so I apologise in advance for any weird blog flubbing that may occur while the girls are away.
I recently came across Eric Whitacre's virtual choir video from last year on YouTube which I think is pretty amazing. Not only did Mr. Whitacre dream up and conduct this virtual choir, he also composed the music.

After the success of his first virtual choir, Mr. Whitacre began working on "Virtual Choir 2.0, Sleep" which was just released this month. So beautiful.

2000 people from all over the world contributed to this video, including Beau Autin who recorded a multi track for 'Sleep'. In this video he sings all 8 parts, from soprano to bass.

How impressive! I think a virtual choir is such a fascinating idea. People from all over the work can "connect" through music and sing "together".
~ Mara

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Weekend Trip

I'm very excited because tomorrow Ian, Qixi, Exie, and I will be going on a little weekend trip. We are traveling to Rolla, Missouri, where my sister Rachel lives. While we are there, we will be attending the last performance of Seussical the Musical which I have been looking forward to these past two weeks. Mara visited us today and she brought homemade Bento boxes for us to eat on our trip down. Also, she made a CD we are not allowed to listen to until we get in the car and start traveling down the highway. I wonder what kind of songs it will have on it? Mara will be guest blogging, so enjoy!

A Lovely Evening

Tonight I have had a wonderful evening. Mara came over and we went to Qixi and Exie's flute recital, which was quite lovely (there were a lot of snacks too :D). When we came home, we ate Chinese food from our local Ho Wa and reminisced. Then, we watch funny videos on YouTube (including this and this). Since then, we've been on three different computers having wild conversations on Facebook. I love my family. :D

I came across these stunning pictures of animals. Take a look!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Other Fellow

Whose luck is better far than ours?
     The other fellow's.
Whose road seems always lined with flowers?
     The other fellow's.
Who is the man who seems to get
Most joy in life, with least regret,
Who always seems to win his bet?
     The other fellow.

Who fills the place we think we'd like?
     The other fellow.
Whom does good fortune always strike?
     The other fellow.
Whom do we envy, day by day?
Who has more time than we to play?
Who is it, when we mourn, seems gay?
     The other fellow.

Who seems to miss the thorns we find?
     The other fellow.
Who seems to leave us all behind?
     The other fellow.
Who never seems to feel the woe,
The anguish and the pain we know?
Who gets the best seats at the show?
     The other fellow.

And yet, my friend, who envies you?
     The other fellow.
Who thinks he gathers only rue?
     The other fellow.
Who sighs because he thinks that he
Would infinitely happier be,
If he could be like you or me?
     The other fellow.
                              -Edgar A. Guest

Monday, April 4, 2011

When we were young, some friends of ours produced and directed plays. One year, they decided upon You Can't Take it With You. Mara and Jonathan had gotten parts in the play and there was one slot left. It was the part of a G-Man who didn't say anything, all he did was walk on stage and then walk off.
But that didn't matter to Ian. Ian desperately wanted the part. He tried out for it, and then spent the next several days hoping he would get it. When the casting was finalized, Ian saw that the part had gone to someone else.
He was very upset. I remember Ian sitting by Mom on the porch crying. Mom tried to console him, but it was no use. She told him that one day she would direct a play and Ian could portray the main character. I didn't believe Mom and neither did Ian. After a couple days, Ian got over his disappointment and the incident passed from my mind.
Several years later we moved to Indiana. Ian became involved in our local homeschool group and he decided to participate in drama. He auditioned for (and got) the part of Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. Sadly, the drama director was retiring. A Christmas Carol was the last play she was going to direct. The board of directors for our homeschool group was looking for a new drama director. So Mom said she would do it.
After much contemplation, Mom decided it would be fun to produce You Can't Take it With You. The auditions came and went and Mom spent a lot of time casting the various parts. Finally, she was able to decide. She cast Ian as Tony Kirby, one of the main characters.
At that time, none of us remembered the day Mom had told Ian she would direct a play he could be in. It was a slight incident that had passed from my memory completely. However, a few days ago I just happened to remember the day when Ian and I scoffed at the words Mom had comfortingly said to Ian, that she would direct a play and he would get a role. I had laughed out loud. I had thought, "Yeah right, that'll never happen." But it did. So I am offering a word to the wise: Never disbelieve your Mother.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bright Star

Bright Star is Qixi's favorite John Keats poem, so I thought I'd post it for you all to see.

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art---
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors---
No---yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever---or else swoon in death.