Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Birthday girl

Today we celebrated Alahna's 11th birthday. She has been saving almost every penny for quite some time in order to buy herself an iPod touch; so all she wanted for her birthday was cash, and cash she did get! Even Robert wrapped up his only dollar and gave her a present. She was pleasantly surprised when she emptied out her piggy bank, added her birthday money to it, and counted enough to buy what she has been dreaming about for many months with $10 to spare!

Happy birthday Lahna Lou! You are a beautiful, smart, loving young lady and you amaze us more and more every year with all that you do!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Masquerade

Last night was the most anticipated event. Alahna told me numerous times, "The masquerade is a dream come true." The team of women that were in charge of putting it together really out did themselves, paying attention to every detail to make it a night of refinement and elegance, and also lots of fun. I can't wait to see the pictures from the photographer with all those details.

 I have to explain David's suit.... One of the first things the girls talked about when they got their invitation was Daddy wearing the "baby blue". They have seen it hanging in his closet since they were little and have always wanted him to wear it. At first, I was completely against it, but as I realized how badly they wanted him to wear it and reminded myself that this night was for them, I acquiesced. Lucky for them their dad is a good sport and doesn't embarrass too easily. I just kept reminding myself, it's for the kids, it's for the kids. Hopefully, no one was offended by his seemingly silly attire.

We were able to find dresses that the girls loved and felt beautiful in at a thrift store. Grandma Petersen was an angel and made the boy's vests with some material she had. She then gave me the extra material so that I could make matching bow ties. The masks were our first artistic creation of the year. The kids and I spent hours on them and I think they turned out wonderfully. Each mask was designed by the wearer and is an original piece of art.
 Alahna was hoping for ultimate elegance. She got it. She was Princess Naprilina Victery Tilliana Isilli (Can you tell she is a fan of the Goose Girl?)
 If you look closely, you will notice that Robert's glasses are actually build into the mask using an old pair of lenses. That was Alahna's idea. He is Lord Geric of the house of Gryffin.
 Anna was looking for more of a battle mask. I think she achieved the look she wanted, she is the "Black Cat". Also notice that her and Alahna's masks have no string. They are glued to their faces using spirit gum. 
William's mask had a hard time staying on, but he looked absolutely adorable with it dangling around his neck. He was Sir William of the house of Hufflepuff. Yup, he still hasn't quite gotten over the Harry Potter theme.

 The girls were so excited to find some of their friends from last years Latin class!

After all the families had been formally announced we learned some Victorian dances. And Alahna had done a great job teaching Robert...oh, I mean Lord Geric...the appropriate way to escort his lady to the dance floor.  Now, if she could just teach him to keep his shirt tucked in...
 William was quite smitten with all the little girls in their dresses. I think he asked every single one of them to dance. Unfortunately, most of them said no, but it was probably one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

After some beautiful refreshments that were works of art in and of themselves (hopefully, someone else has pictures of them) we were privileged to have a performance by a classically trained pianist in our group. 
And this is the point of the night, where the children were addressed by the Scarlet Pimpernel and officially inducted into his league. Unfortunately, I have no pictures on my camera of that part of the evening. But believe me, it was amazing.

We seek truth here, we seek goodness there,
We seek beauty everywhere!
by these WE will judge, in these virtues excel. 
We're the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel!

(If you have seen the movie, you have to say this in the Sir Percy style!)

The Touch of the Master's Hand

Mid summer the children received an invitation similar to this...

Then, throughout the remainder of the summer, they have found clues to what we will be studying with this seal on it.

Here is the rational for our school year, written by one of the wonderfully talented mother's in our group.
We are “in league” with the Scarlet Pimpernel, as we learn to identify and champion Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in art, music, and life as we move through the major musical and artistic periods, and explore key historical and scientific events between the Renaissance and 1915.  The Scarlet Pimpernel is a character from Baroness Emmuska Orczy's book who, during the French Reign of Terror, saved innocent lives through his courage, wit, and ingenuity. This year the Scarlet Pimpernel is creating a new league with our children; they will learn to recognize the touch of the ultimate Master--Jesus Christ’s--hand in their lives and the world around them. They will also become “masters” of art and music themselves as they follow in the creative footsteps of the old masters and pursue artistic and musical skills.
As the Master of us all  "refuse[d] the evil, and choose the good."   (Isaiah 7:14-15)  We too must likewise learn to do the same.  Paul’s words found in Philippians 4:8 and/or The 13th Article of Faith, are the overall assignment and guidance the league members must always remember in their pursuit of following THE Master.

  • “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” -Philippians 4:8
  • “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul- We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.  If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. -The 13th Article of Faith

A couple of weeks ago we set up the projector for a movie night. Of course, the featured film was The Scarlet Pimpernel. The next morning the children woke up to find a note from the illusive Pimpernel telling them it was imperative that they meet in person and please meet him at Lord Grenville's masqued ball. Their anticipation for the event grew enormously!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Let the school year begin...

And the fun. Tomorrow night is our opening night of the school year. We will be starting the year be attending Lord Grenville's masquerade ball, where the children will rendezvous with the Scarlet Pimpernel to receive their quest for the year. We have been busy all week decorating masks, altering dresses, sewing bow ties, and somewhere in there I have been trying to prepare for the academic side of the year as well.

I think the masks turned out great and if you know my children really well you will be able to tell which one belongs to each kid.