What do parents do when the school bus pulls out of the driveway? One little boy was sure he knew that good times were had by all while he was being shipped off to school. So he set out to find out for himself. I just rediscovered this musical short that I saw at the Urban World Festival a few years back, and I still think it's funny. When the Kids are Away was directed by Jon Chu. Jon Chu has moved on. His latest endeavor is the Justin Bieber Movie.
Update: Jon's G.I. Joe: Retaliation is out in the movies now, and his is working on the He-Man reboot, Masters of the Universe.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning had a very intriguing and wonderful love story. From the Victorian era, comes a story for all ages. Enjoy one of my favorite childhood poems from Elizabeth. I think it is still taught in English lit today. Have a Wonderful Valentine's Day
Sonnets from the Portuguese XLIII
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
They will be celebrating the Chinese New Year in my neighborhood, Flushing, Queens with a parade down Main Street. This is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, which is suppose to be lucky, and be a good time to catch your breath and calm your nerves. Sounds good to me. I think a lot of us could use a breather.
To celebrate the New Year, I have found a wonderful book of fantasy and folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Thanks to Anita Silvey from Book A Day Almanac. Ms. Lin tells the heroic journey of a young girl, Minli who lives with her family in the dull, brown village where Fruitless Mountain and the Jade River meet. Her parents have very little to give her materially but her father shares his wealth of stories and folklore with his daughter. The stories ignite a determination in Minli to change her family's poverty by finding "The Old Man in the Moon" who is suppose to know how to bring good fortune. Thus, begins Minli's adventure, and along the way she meets a talking fish, a dragon, some greedy monkeys and an assortment of other characters. These stories will grab the attention of young readers ages 8 years and older, and provide a wonderful journey into the New Year!
Valentine's Day is around the corner so if you are thinking of making a little gift for someone special, Purl Bee has a great project. I always think of Valentine gifts as sort of crafty and from the heart. This craft project look fairly easy. So if you start now you will be ready for the holiday. I know a couple of little ladies who would love this. For instructions go to Molly's Sketchbook on Purl Bee http://www.purlbee.com/valentine-heart-barrettes/.
Today everyone wants their children to be bilingual so for the new year, parents and children can get started on learning a new language for free. The Queens Public Library is offering free language classes through BBC's website in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and more. You can also follow foreign TV programs and drama to build your skill.
Also for anyone over the age of thirteen, Live Mocha offers online conversation to practice and improve your language skills. They were free but their policy has changed now so check out their site and decide for yourself - http://www.livemocha.com/.