Week’s Roundup: April 20-April 26, 2015

Whew, what a week, once again. I will probably write these words over and over all the way until the end of May…

Picture of the week:

How glad I was to see it was raining today, something about the rain is always soothing and being indoors on a wet day when there are no places to be is refreshing

How glad I was to see it was raining today, something about the rain is always soothing and being indoors on a wet day when there are no places to be, no people to meet and we can just be warm and cozy in our pjs, read and play and bake…

How was our week?

  • School at home went well, we got most of our work done. The most memorable even was a tiny Spring Astronomy Day celebration that we did as a part of our science lesson. We looked again at the way our Solar System is built (by watching Space School video) and talked about Hubble Telescope (which was put to work 25 years ago), this video on the telescope’s Deep Field was especially fascinating to D. We read books on Planets, looked at some space objects in cross-section and talked about the universe in general. Little C. wanted to know if there are definitely any aliens out there 🙂
Eyewitness Universe, Cross-Sections Space , The Planets by Gail Gibbons

Eyewitness Universe, Cross-Sections Space , The Planets by Gail Gibbons

After reading and watching we did a little art activity. I asked kids to draw the first thing that came to mind when they think about our universe. D. drew a parade of planets, using oil pastels on black drawing paper.

I especially love his galaxies and the Earth

I especially love his galaxies and the Earth

C. being a true Earthling thought about things closer to home, and painted a fish and a horse head in soft watercolors

I love how she chooses the colors

I love how she chooses the colors

We planned to stay up late and look at the stars, but it was overcast, unfortunately.

We also learned a lot about Genghis Khan for history and talked about Persia as a part of our Silk Road study, I will try not to forget and put it in a separate post later next week.

  • There was a difficult moment of loss too, C. was raising butterflies for her  class in co-op, and one butterfly got hurt at some point- we aren’t sure how. C. had to let it go, we were able to transport it alive on a lilac bush and it was alive next day, but poor C. was very upset she didn’t get to look at it for long. Second butterfly wouldn’t drink sugar water from the orange and we released it too. I should remember to get new caterpillars for kids sometimes in May.
  • Outside of home, activities are going well, we are almost done with swimming, C. rehearses for her ballet, D. had a rehearsal for a big concert that is coming up.
  • We said goodbye to my parents for the next few months, as they have left for Motherland and are currently on the way to their town from Moscow. Kids were a little bit sad the day grandparents left, but they are also looking forward to getting their own spaces, as we are planning to convert the guest room to C.’s bedroom.
  • We went to see the doctor again and were relieved to find that C’s condition greatly improved, we will continue treatment and hope it goes away forever.

In the kitchen:

It’s funny to be planning and cooking for only us again. I did a full pantry overhaul and re-stocked my spices and herbs. Recently purchased mortar and pestle are waiting to take part in new culinary adventures too.

Today I tried to make apple-puff pastry “roses” as my facebook dashboard is full of these, so I had to. They are very easy to make, spread some jam (I did gooseberry) on a 2” (5-6 cm) wide stripe of puff pastry, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, lay out thinly cut apples along the upper edge, fold the lower edge over and roll a “rose”. Bake in a muffin tin until golden. Gobble up. My roses aren’t very pretty, but, boy, did family inhale them!

Apple puff pastry roses

favorite side dish of the week is roasted cauliflower : florets mixed with some olive oil, italian herbs blend, crushed garlic and salt and roasted for about 20 minutes at 450 F.

Roasted Cauliflower

What are we reading- Books of the week

  • D. reads Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, or should I rather say, attempts to read again. He started this book earlier in the school year, but dropped it when it got too dark. We’ll see if he can handle it this time around. He also read the second installment of Amulet Graphic Novel: The Stonekeeper’s Curse. He loves it so far

the stonekeeper's curse

  • C. also got her first graphic novel, a wordless one, the firs book of Korgi by Christian Slade, adorable wordless fantasy with the cutest and bravest protagonists -a girl and her dog.


  • In Russian: Д. наконец дочитал “Голубая Бусинка” Марии Крюгер, эта книга долго “не шла”, но в этот раз довел до конца. Жду когда напишет отзыв в дневнике читателя своём. С К. читаем “Лоскутик и Облако” Софьи Прокофьевой, читали и раньше, но К. подзабыла что да как, слушает как впервые.
  • Mama continues her many ongoing reads.

What did we watch?

We managed to watch two new movies together this week, considering how busy we were it’s quite an accomplishment. We watched The Tale of Princess Kaguya, stunning animation, reminded us a lot of Russian animation masterpieces, children weren’t satisfied with the ending, which got me thinking on how there should be sad fairy tales in their lives also, and not typical Disney “parents are dead-huge loss-but all is well in the end” little bits of sadness, but that sometimes everything goes wrong and you can feel like a stranger in this life…I think I should read more Andersen to them too, just let them experience a variety of emotions, so if they get hurt later in life it doesn’t come as this big shock…Anyway, the second movie we watched was another Oscar contender and ultimately the winner “Big Hero 6” (man, are we behind on our movies). Children enjoyed it very much and I did too, but I couldn’t help noticing all of these Disney cliches that I mentioned above. I am not even sure about the message, changing someone to fit your needs concept. The bad guy was wreaking havoc, but if he didn’t, nobody would have even attempted to bring his daughter back. The letting go of Baymax was so Titanic-like I actually cringed…no offense to those that loved this movie, of course. I would absolutely recommend it, I just don’t think it was as amazing as the hype around it. And when it comes to action/friendship story, I still very much prefer “How to Train Your Dragon”. On my own I watched another Studio Ghibli movie “From Up on Poppy Hill”, it came out in 2013 and I only just got around to watch it. Such a simple, sweet story, innocent and honest. Stunning animation as always, that is why I adore Japanese dramas and this type of animation- even if the story is mundane, it somehow ends up being warm and sweet.

Lots of plans for the week to come, hope it is fun for everyone!


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