Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Pancake Day

Did you know today is National Pancake Day at IHOP?  What can this mean, you ask, it means a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes!  In return for the free pancake patrons make an equivalent donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  I think IHOP has raised over $8 million dollars for the Children's Miracle Network to day, and this year's goal was an additional $2.7 million. 

Just silliness, but how many times do you get an excuse to eat pancakes for charity! And, we combined International Cultures and International Pancakes in the same day!  I wonder if a side of ham would make us internationally cultured swine?

International Museum of Cultures

26 translations for the Tzeltal "carry" word

music also big part of linguistics
many countries still today
Abs with a traditional
Japanese attire

Nothing makes learning more enjoyable than hands on learning, that's home school speak for 'field trip!'   Today we ventured out with a few other families to the Dallas International Museum of Cultures. It really seemed odd that such a museum was located on the campus of the International Linguistics Center, but the museum really is a great way for those pursuing their Masters to have a hands on look at various cultures.  

the Solomon Islands
The Museum works with Wycliife to study languages and translate the New Testament for each culture.  Currently there are 6,900 languages spoken throughout the world!  Of those languages only 4,700 have a New Testament translated into their native tongue!    One of the languages we looked at was the Mayan language, Tzetal, spoken in the Mexican state of Chiapas.  There are 26 translations for the Tzeltal "carry" word.  This makes translating even a simple passage like 'carry the gospel into all the world' very tedious to translate.  On top of that the Tzeltal forms, together with the Tzotzil language, a sub-branch of the Mayan languages, called Tzeltalan, which again forms a sub-branch called Cholan-Tzeltalan, together with the Ch'ol languages, Chontal, Ch'ol and Ch'orti' are spoken Mayan languages in Chiapas today, along with 100+ lesser known languages! 
Wycliffe Bibles in 4,000+ translations! 

On average they said approximately 7 years for a group to learn the language and then another 7 years to translate the New Testament into the new language.

It was funny to me that before the tour, we were asked if we were a Christian home school group, and when we responded yes, the docent said, 'good, then I know which tour to give you.'  The tour was focused on the work of Christian missionaries and the museum's work with Wycliffe.  Their website gives no reference of the Christian background of this museum, no reference to the Bibles or the missionaries.  It has been sanitized so as not to offend anyone.  It's sad because, I would have gone much sooner to support such great work here in our backyard!  The website does offer virtual tours along with teaching guides for K-2 and 3-5

He proclaimed the kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ
—with all boldness and without hindrance!
Acts 28:31

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Collide Retreat

Abigail's Team

This weekend the 4th and 5th graders from chuch headed to Mt. Lebanon Encampment in North Texas for a Collide with God Retreat to include a challenge course and zip line.  Abigail was so excited about the 35' climbing wall and jumping off the 55' Alpine tower!  The youth met up with other congregations for challenge events and Bible study.

Midnight in the Cabins! 

Worship Time

They approach and come forward; 
they help each other and say to their companions, “Be strong!” Isaiah 41:5-6

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dallas Opera - Tristan & Isolde

Lisa & Jon

The 3 kids

My girls

Tonight we  took in Dallas Opera's performance of Tristan & Isolde.  This is one of my favorite tales.  It is thought to be the inspiration to Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.  It's the classic tale of star crossed lovers.  Variations of this story differ, but it is always a tragedy!

The four hour plus opera is one of the most challenging operas to perform, because the leads in the play are 'on' for almost the entire four hours. There aren't many vocalist with those chops!  The vocals in tonight's performance were outstanding! 

This is THE opera I have waited to see since it was announced to be in the 2011-2012 line-up!  With that said, what could go wrong?   I walked away feeling cheated!  There was NO set!  REALLY!  It was a let down!  Being an artist, I truly appreciate the elaborate set designs and the creativity of artist who bring you into the story with the props and design, and there was NONE!  They used giant projections that shown from the top of the theater onto the background and stage.  The projections were usually gray scale to add to the tragedy of the story.  But it was almost a separate movie running in the background.  Many critics are  hailing this a technical, cutting edge, blah, blah, blah wonderfulness.  This live theater goer didn't agree. I was left feeling that if there are less than a dozen players in this opera, they could have  spent something on scenery.  Also, knowing that this is a tale of not only two fated lovers, but two countries at war, I was disappointed that this did not feel  grand.

The music to this opera takes a marathon symphony with an amazing conductor.   The symphony was phenomenal!  Down right crazy good!!!

Now, my second complaint,  the costumes were horrendous! Picture with me, Tristan and Isolde donned medieval wear, while King Marke wore a WWI German costume.  Tristan's army also looked WWIish, even carrying guns instead of the sword that Tristan carried.  In an interview it was stated the goal was that the opera should 'transend multiple time periods.'  But it came off looking like at $25-$200 a ticket they still couldn't afford sets, or costumes!

Little Momma

All in all , it was an enjoyable family night.  Any night at live theater is always fun, and we were joined by friends from church, which made it even more special.  I hope that this won't be the future in operas!  

Oh, on this post I am actually in front of the camera, and yes, Abigail is almost as tall as me.  Frankie and I are in flats, and Abigail is wearing boots with a heel.  My kids have started calling me 'Little Momma.'  

from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Psalms 22:10

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Laura Numeroff has written a number of pre-schooler's books that Caleb and Abigail enjoyed. Her works include If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, and If You Give a Pig a Party.  All of the stories are the mayhem that can happen when yourt mother is away.  They are similar to the Cat in the Hat and the shinanigans that Thing 1 and Thing 2 create. 

The first book If You a Mouse a Cookie was the youth performance at the Dallas Children's Theater.    It is the story of a young boy, home alone and warned not to make a mess, when he discovers if you give a moluse a cookie . . . anything can happen. 

The young actor playing the part of the mouse was superb.  He had over the top stunts and great visual sight hgags including a hilarioujs recreation of the the Marx Brothers' famous "reflection" scene in Duck Soup.  His antics would rival any circus performer. The Boy, in the story played a wonderful comedian's straight man!

It was amazing how a small children's book could be transformed into a full-fledged show.  We went with our younger home school friends and sat in audiance full of pre-school kids who laughed, giggled, and hollared throughout the performance.  I went with just Abigail as a Mom Date, and she snickered thru the silliness with sheer delight  on her face. Shakespeare, it wasn't --- but it wasn't intended to be!
Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him
Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sixth Floor Museum

To commemorate Presidents Day, The Sixth Floor Museum hosted a discussion titled The Vital South and Presidential Elections, 1960 – 2012.  Tonight Caleb and other members of the Sixth Floor's Yourth Advisory Council passed out materials and assisted in the evenings events.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House in one of the closest contests in American electoral history. The South was instrumental in this victory. Kennedy won the popular vote in seven states of the former Confederacy, including Texas. Tonight, Professors Earl Black and Merle Black, brothers and authors of several books on Southern politics, discussed how Southern politics have changed since 1960 and the growing importance of the South in presidential elections and national politics. The discussion was moderated by Dennis Simon, Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University.

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Psalm 2:10-11

Monday, February 20, 2012

Doctor Miracle Opera

Center stage of Doctor Miracle

Winspear Opera House

In October we saw  sneak peak at this year's youth performance by the Dallas Opera, Doctor Miracle.  It is a witty  one act opera about a young man's quest to marry his true love, the mayor's daughter.  He disguises himself as a servant who makes a "poison" omelet, and as a doctor who save the family all for the sake of true love. 

Performer Meet n' Greet
Today we went to the lovely Winspear Opera House and saw the performance with several PEACH home school friends. This was the perfect youth opera, mainly because it is just one act and only 45 minutes in length, and because it is in English.   I would love to do a back stage tour of the theater one day.  It is absolutely beautiful  from the white gold that surrounds the theater to the ceiling lights that emulate constellations seen from the Hubble telescope.
You have forgotten God your Savior;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.

Therefore, though you set out the finest plants

and plant imported vines,

. . . .yet the harvest will be as nothing

in the day of disease and incurable pain.

Isaiah 17:10-11

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

One of the great things about having so many families from church who home school is that we always have great holiday parties!   Today six of our families got together for Valentine's Day.  The kids exchanged cards and enjoyed lots of great treats.  Abigail made pink cupcakes for the occasion! 

 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ben Hur

This post may fall under the ‘you might be a home schooler if. . . ‘ category.  The kids and I have had today’s event on the calendar for four months!   For one day only, today, Cinemark theaters around the country are showing Ben Hur.   Think of it, the visual splendor, thundering action and towering drama of this record-setting Academy Award-winning film. Charlton Heston, in his Best Actor Oscar-winning role, is Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman in Palestine whose heroic odyssey includes enslavement by the Romans, vengeance against his tormentors during a furious arena chariot race and fateful encounters with Jesus Christ. Best Director Oscar-winner William Wyler masterfully grips the reins of an enduring and spellbinding spectacular. With 100,000 costumes, 15,000 extras, 300 sets and a $15 million budget that, at the time, was the most expensive in MGM’s history.
Ben-Hur is widely considered to be one of the most accomplished Biblical-era epics ever made. Based on Lew Wallace’s best-selling novel and adapted by Karl Tunber, Ben-Hur stars Charlton Heston. The film ranks #13 in all-time box office when adjusted for inflation. No computer-generated effects, and excellent cinematography all make the scene one of the most memorable in modern cinema. For this release, Ben-Hur has undergone a $1 million restoration – frame by frame from an 8k scan of the original 65 mm camera negative, making this the highest resolution restoration ever completed by Warner Bros. studio.

Today we enjoyed the chariot races in XD, meaning ceiling–to-floor and wall-to-wall screen, custom sound and leather, reclining seating.  This movie is one that we have watched a dozen times at home and remains one of Caleb's favorites.  Having been to Rome, and Jerusalem it is a movie I have always loved too!  It was four hours of awesomeness!!!!!

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.  Psalm 59:16