Saturday, December 28, 2013


The Sprouts played in newly fallen snow this afternoon, digging out a quinzee and enjoying warmer temperatures before they plummet again tonight to -33C. Here's a portrait of Fi covered in snow, matted hair and all.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On Christmas Morning...

...I'll wake up bright and early
Be the first one out of bed
With the mistletoe above my head...

Guess who was up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed very, very, very early this morning?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Watch & Listen: Angels We Have Heard on High

Courtesy of the youngest Sprout, the most played track this Christmas season in our house (as in all the time), played and sung by the Piano Guys:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Older Sprout

Watch: Misunderstood

I have several thoughts about the following video, but will post them at another time so as not to influence your viewing pleasure.

Here's the full length "A Harris Family Holiday":

Friday, December 20, 2013

Watch & Listen: Chicago's Magical Piano

"Papa, can we watch the magic piano again?" asks the youngest Sprout repeatedly. He especially likes the angry man scene and Santa shushing the piano. See for yourself:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Watch: The Bear and the Hare

I watched this advert video over on Scott Kelby's blog this morning. The animation is beautiful, the story simple yet meaningful (a writing lesson here somewhere). Watch first, then continue reading the post:

While I thoroughly enjoyed the advertisement, it was the behind the scenes video that blew me away. The combination of 2D drawing and 3D sets was simply stunning. I had no idea that lasers are used to cut out figures. Note the care and craftsmanship with which the sets were created. And did you see what they used to film it? A DSLR! Watch the behind the scenes video, "Once Upon a Time":

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Watch & Listen: A Hallelujah Christmas

Psalm 146

Note to self:  Recite verse ten today. A lot.

Psalm 146

1-2 Hallelujah!
    O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God,
    singing songs to my God as long as I live.
3-9 Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
    who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
    when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
    put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil,
    sea and all the fish in it.
He always does what he says—
    he defends the wronged,
    he feeds the hungry.
God frees prisoners—
    he gives sight to the blind,
    he lifts up the fallen.
God loves good people, protects strangers,
    takes the side of orphans and widows,
    but makes short work of the wicked.
10 God’s in charge—always.
    Zion’s God is God for good!
The Message, Eugene H. Peterson

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cone of Shame

I watched how-to videos on YouTube. Downloaded and printed templates. Asked other teachers for help. To no avail - I could not make a proper paper cone. My class was asked to make Christmas tree and teepee paper cone centrepieces for the annual Christmas concert next week. So, before asking my students to make them, I had to practice on my own to get it right. By late afternoon I was tired and frustrated. I walked down the hall with the latest template in my hand, wondering how I was going to solve my cone problem. My son came up, noticed the template, said, "Cool, what is that Papa?", took the template out of my hand and made a perfect cone. Sigh.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Isaiah 11:1-3a

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
     the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
     the Spirit of counsel and of might,
     the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
   and ransom captive Israel
   that mourns in lonely exile here
   until the Son of God appear.

   Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
   shall come to you, O Israel.

4 O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
   unto your own and rescue them!
   From depths of hell your people save,
   and give them victory o'er the grave.

6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
   and bring us comfort from afar!
   Dispel the shadows of the night
   and turn our darkness into light.

7 O come, O King of nations, bind
   in one the hearts of all mankind.
   Bid all our sad divisions cease
   and be yourself our King of Peace.

Tune: VENI EMMANUEL (Chant); Translator: John Mason Neale (1851)