Thursday, May 12, 2011

Han on ice 10thMay2011

Han's first time on the ice.
JY was eager to teach him how to ice skate.
Han clinging on to the sides.

JY and Am giving Han a helping hand.
He was rather wobbly on his feet and fell numerous times. He decided he had enough after 50minutes and joined his brothers at the playground in McD instead.
JY said he refused to follow her commands and didn't place his feet the way she showed him.

Stick, Stones, Broken Bones @PJLA 10thMay2011

It was dark when we walked in.
Arian went pale and said "I want to go home to Mummy now" "Get her a ticket so that she can come in to watch too" "I want mummy to come now"
His eyes turned red, he became fidgety and nothing I said could pacify him.
Thinking that hearing his mummy's voice would help, I rang up his mom, told her the situation and passed the phone to Arian.
It didn't help much.....he started sobbing!
His mom told me "Arian is an auditory learner, the eerie music in the dark, might have unnerved him. Just try to calm him down."
Me: "Arian, the show lasts just a while and mom will be here to get you soon after"
A: Sob! Sob!
Me (Wrong technique!!! Don't mention his mom!)
Me( Must find a way to distract him. Think! Think!)
Me: Remember how much we enjoyed the short preview last week, isn't it exciting that we can watch the full performance now"
Me: Look what they have on stage. What do you think will happen later? Remember how Mr Bunk made the puppet dance..
A: Sob!
*The lights went out*

Fortunately, 2 minutes into the show, Arian was laughing with the rest of us.
Fai was a great help. Pointing out the funny parts to Arian and laughing extra loud to cheer his friend up.
The performance put up by Mr Bunk was hilarious. The kids were roaring with laughter. Mr Bunk who hails from Montreal was marvelously creative with his puppets and props.

In his 'puppet yoga' sketch, he used both his feet and hands to portray 2 chess players, he strapped on a gadget that looked like something from a sci-fi movie that enabled him to blow into tubes to control the puppets' tongues and he did the whole scene while lying on his back. Phew! what a workout he must have had.

My favourite part must be the one where he did shadow boxing with a 'volunteer'. I love it when he told the 'volunteer' who kept looking at Mr Bunk instead of the shadow puppet on the screen "He is NOTHING!! Do not look at him, Look at MEEE!"

Mr Bunk was so in his element that he breathed life into his shadows. Shadows became alive.

I have said it once in a previous post, but I will say it again, Mr Bunk is sheer genius.

Do go and watch him perform. Your kids will be enthralled by his shadows. Tickets for the Saturday's performance, 14thMay are going for RM120 for 4pax. Hurry!

After the show, we were stopped by a reporter who wanted to find out how young viewers found the show . I guess we were prime candidates as we had 7 kids altogether.
We will be featured in the June issue of Bravo, PJLA's newletter.

Bionicle May2011

Fai is into drawing robots now - Bionicles in particular. He intends to teach me how to draw one of them.

A winged Bionicle

Shadow Play @home 11thMay2011

Eat my foot!
What do you do with an empty hall and a blank wall?
With all the living room furnishings gone, it was a wonderful opportunity to have some fun with shadows.
JY's hideous creation - Helga the nose picking, foulmouth troublemaker
She was created in Mr Bunk's workshop.

The boys, all set for war.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

JY's preparation for an interview with Sin Chew Daily 7-9May2011

This was what greeted the reporters. The cupcakes are meant for a live demonstration.
multicoloured gum paste roses waiting to be placed on the soon-to-be iced cupcakes
JY spent 3 days on the cake. First, conceptualizing the design on paper, getting the required materials then working on the actual cake.
Full concentration required.
Her brothers have learnt to keep away from her caking area when she has a project on.

A glimpse of JY's new caking room 8thMay2011

Pest-free and fully air-conditioned.
Built to JY's specification - except the marble tabletops that was over our budget, so she had to settle for a tiled top.
It is 80% complete, can't wait to see JY move her stuff in.
A place for her to unleash her wildest cake creations.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

JY's interview with Sin Chew Daily 9thMay2011

The reporter had stumbled on JY's blog while doing research on after-school education.
JY had a hard time explaining herself as she couldn't express herself in Mandarin and the reporter had a limited command of english. So JY resorted to showing her websites and using sign language.
Interview in session.
JY convinced the reporter to try her hand at making a gum paste rose.
The reporter said she didn't know that it was such a difficult task,

Iced vanilla cupcakes. They loved it.
* We had no idea where to place the 3-tiered dummy cake. WL came to the rescue and graciously offered to store the cake for us. Thank You WL :)

Termite Feast @PD 8thMay2011

As we headed back to PJ after ensuring the lorry arrived saftely in PD, DH spotted a flock of birds swooping low and hovering overhead. He slowed down and saw they were feeding on termites.
We spotted a termite mound that had lots of soldier termites crawling all over.
Fai saw its huge mandibles and decided against catching them.
A cat found termites a good meal.
Fai collecting termites for his pet turtle back home. Han wanted nothing to do with the winged insect.
The termites emerged from a hole in the ground in a never ending stream.
The birds perched on a tree and waited for dinner to fly by.
These termites are garden termites, not the type that attacks your house.

Moving....1st lorry load 8thMay2011

Our neighbours for the last 5 years helped us out.
Swathy's mom, dad and uncle came with a lorry and a lot of packing expertise to cart off most of our living room and dining furniture.

To the left a little....
Moving to PD was a hard decision to make but after weighing the pros, we decided that PD had more to offer our young family in terms of outdoor life and fresher air.

Shadow puppet May2011

Fai and his puppet from the workshop with Mr Bunk
On the road...
While waiting for lunch to be served....
Enjoy the show :)

Stick, Stones, Broken Bones @PJLA 5thMay2011

A free preview and workshop conducted by Mr Bunk himself. What a treat!
Thanks to a unschooling mom who gave the heads up on the Malaysian Homeschooling Network, my kids signed up for it.
The kids were spellbound as they watched Jeff Achtem aka Mr Bunk perform.
Here he used his gloved puppet to dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
His performance was pure magic. We were transported into another realm where shadows prevailed.
The kids were giggling at his puppets' antics.
His movements were fluid and even I was carried away by his utter genius!
I loved every moment of it.
After the brief preview, the kids were handed A4 sized cardboards and asked to trace their hands and to sketch a puppet for themselves.
He handled the coaching of the puppet workshop all by himself- 1 man and a stage full of highly enthusiastic kids.
Phew! Should have seen him whizzing around as he guided and instructed the kids.
Han kept asking for help "Excuse Me!', "Where is my pencil? My pencil is gone!" "I need help!"
And Mr Bunk will be at the far end of the stage telling Han "Hang on, Buddy!", "Relax, Buddy!"

The kids trying out their puppets.
They had the stage to all themselves, to do as they pleased.
JY and Fai put up a mini performance and they had a grand time. We were all very caught up in it.
I was so delighted with Mr Bunk and his puppets and the effect he had on the kids that I instantly got tickets for his show.
Having gotten accustomed to asking for workshops from everyone and anyone, I couldn't resist asking Gardner and Wife for another workshop with Mr Bunk. They said Yes!
So come Thursday, 12th May, we will have another session with Mr Bunk. The kids are ecstatic. And so am I.

Monday, May 9, 2011

DIY Fossil and Rock Store carbon @ PSN 5thMay2011

The preparation done by the lab staff at PSN is commendable. Everything was meticulously laid out, neatly in plastic containers, one for each table. We were at PSN for 2 activities.
Activity 1 - to investigate which rock contains carbon
Activity 2 - To make our own fossil from plaster of paris.
This time around the kids got to handle test tubes.
A booklet was given out with detailed step-by-step instuctions.
A lab assistant showing us some samples of fossils that we were going to make.
Fai and Arian rolling out plasticine.
Pressing the cockle shell into the plasticine to make an imprint.
Mixing the plaster of paris with water and blue dye.
Spooning in the plaster mixture into the cockle imprint.
While waiting for the plaster to dry, the kids did a quiz on dinosaurs.
Ean's cockle fossil.
Next, the kids got to do some investigative work - find out which sample contains carbon.
5 samples were given. Cockle shell, charcoal, egg shell, granite stone and coral.
Place a sample into a test tube. Pour in 10ml of vinegar.
Watch for bubbles. The bubbles would mean carbon dioxide is evolved. The acidic vinegar reacts with the carbon in the sample giving out carbon dioxide gas.
Fai and Arian observing the evolution of carbon dioxide gas.
Eggshells in vinegar. See the bubbles being produced?
Bromothymol blue was used to indicate the acidic carbon dioxide gas. Bromothymol blue changes colour from blue to green to yellow when carbon dioxide is bubbled into it.
JY blowing into bromothymol blue.

Science makes my boys hungry. While the other kids were busy with their test tubes, I made an exit and fed their growling tummies.