Friday, February 22, 2013

Return to the Manila American Cemetery

Like I said in the previous post, Marguerite is taking classes at the Fort, so our Saturdays are spent exploring the area. Last Saturday, we went back to the American cemetery in the hopes of spotting squirrels and pretty birds. Also, we just really like the place The other visitors were mostly foreign tourists. There was even a group of Japanese, which made me wonder, of course, what their perspective is, visiting such a place (the American cemetery is burial ground to many - try 17,000+ - American soldiers who fought and died in the Pacific during WWII; it also holds a memorial to the more than 35,000 missing from that period). There was a group of Spanish tourists near us when we were checking out the hemicycles. Looking at them and not understanding the language, you'd think that the lady who was rambling on and gesturing at the mosaic maps was explaining the actions taken by the US Armed Forces in the region. Only, of course, I could understand them and knew for a fact that she was just mapping out their road trip itinerary. That Saturday, a group of Eagle(?) Scouts had a little flag lowering ceremony. I'm not sure if the young ones (teenagers, they seemed to me) live here or if they're all just visiting. In any case, we got to stay past five o'clock (closing time) as the admin let the visitors witness that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Art and Valentine

So how did your Valentine's Day go? We don't usually pay the day any attention in our family, but this year most of us felt like doing something relevant to the date. My mom gave Marguerite and Cameron heart-shaped cookie pops while Mark had Cameron give all the ladies in the house (myself, Marguerite, my mom/Nannie and my sister/Aunt Chip) a red rose each (didn't take a picture, tsk). He gave me a big box of chocolate mousse cake as well. Marguerite and I worked on a couple of Valentine's Day-related projects. We tried making gluten-free cake/brownie in a mug (mix was part-cocoa powder, part-powdered sugar; add one egg then nuke), which was a hit with Marguerite (I'm not sure that she really liked it or she was just proud of what she'd made herself), but was nothing the rest of us cared for. We also made fortune cookies with Valentine messages inside instead of the usual fortune or maxim. They were not the prettiest, but they were easy and fun to make.

Marguerite started taking art classes at Kidzart at the Fort, so our Saturdays have been spent around that area. As for her other lessons, she's not going back to ballet until after summer, but we're looking into another form of dance (like tap or hula - something that she can study short term). We're also thinking of switching to karate from taekwondo, but we'll see. I'm not sure if she'll go back to the swimming clinic either. Anyway, it's one summer and she's only 6. We'll go with whatever's fun for her.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Postal System Fail and HK Part III

This is probably the last installment of the HK pictures -- I've shared pictures from the camera and from my phone (which is dead for some reason -- Do not rest in peace, phone! I want my files!) and now I'm sharing the ones from Mark's phone.

When I was a young girl, I joined an international correspondence club. I remember how exciting it was to get something in the mail. Now with the Internet, we're using snail mail less and less, so I thought as part of Marguerite's writing lessons (she reads very, very well for her age, but penmanship just doesn't seem to be as relevant these days - I find that sad...), she could exchange letters with other kids her age. I contacted two other homeschool moms I know and set up an informal penpal exchange with them. The thing is, the first letter Marguerite wrote to one of her penpals was returned to us (it had the correct address and everything). I thought maybe we should address the envelope to the mom, so we wrote a 2nd letter -- it's been almost a month and they still haven't gotten it. Meanwhile, the other girl Marguerite is supposed to write got her letter returned to her as well; it bore the correct address too. What gives, Philippine Postal System?