Saturday, January 30, 2010

Long time, no post!

Hey there!
So...recent life. Almost done with algebra! WOOT!
And today was a TKD tournament! I placed fifth in forms (and tied with somebody! which means that you perform a different form and get judged again) and first in weapons! And participated in a group musical form, just for demo, not competition. Way fun! We were great, it could have been a leetle tighter but it was pretty darn good for just one practice. :-P
Jack placed first in forms and second in sparring. His sparring group was really tough and he only just got his sparring gear this week, so that is REALLY good.
Maybe tomorrow I'll think of something interesting to post. But the clock reminds me that the dishes should have been done a while ago, and sleep is sort of important too. Tata for now!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association

I have been asked to tell you all about a journal called CHRISTVS REGNAT ("Christ the King"- that "v" is actually a "u", by the way. That's how Latin is if you want to be really accurate ;), specifically the latest issue. Go here to read about it.

CHRISTVS REGNAT is a journal, with two issues a year, run by members of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association, all the way in Ireland! They are a group working for a "...restoration of the Liturgy in conformity with its nature and with the Latin tradition."* They link to several other blogs and websites that promote the Latin tradition, such as the FSSP. Be sure to check out their blog (linked to above) and the journal. I read that blog post that tells about some of the articles and it looks really interesting!

*Quote from "Aims of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association".


The return to school and regular life has left less oppurtunities for painting, but I did some today. Last time I practiced I learned how to use the scruffy brush and the liner brush.

Today, I put those two to use and used a worksheet in the book to create what is supposed to be wisteria on vines...

...resulting in this. Try to ignore all the purple stuff on the side that doesn't look connected to anything. I didn't like this picture so I used the paper to do some practicing before trying again:

This is a bit better, but I'm very unhappy with the curliques. They are ugly and too thick...I need a lot more practice with that brush. Overall, though, I like this one. I'm rather proud of the vines, for some reason.
Stay tuned for more from the aspiring artist!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Take your usual kid-versus-ruthless-pirate story...

Add time travel, Nazis, spies, creepy parrots, cute little girls, the middle of one war, the eve of another, a kidnapped dog, missing children, well-loved historical leaders, and what you have is Nick of Time by Ted Bell.

This book was nothing like what I thought it'd be. But I absolutely loved it. It really does have all of the above in it, plus exploring themes of courage and heroism.

Nick is a twelve-year-old boy who lives on Greybeard Island, the smallest of the four islands in the English Channel. It's 1939 and though many deny it, war is brewing. Nick discovers that his father has been secretly gathering crucial information for Mr. Winston Churchill, keeping track of every German vessel that passes their little island, even though the government still believes that Germany is a friendly nation. This, of course, means that his father is involved in the most exciting occupation of- spying!! He's thrilled. Until he meets a fellow named Billy Blood. This Blood guy has a pretty terrifying companion by the name of Snake Eye, and an evil parrot named Bones. Billy Blood is very interested in a sea chest that Nick and his little sister Kate discovered. Nick has no idea what's in the chest, probably jewels or gold. He gets out of there fast and resolves to hide the chest from Blood and find out what's inside. But the next day, his beloved dog Jip is gone: captured by Blood.

Following is a series of exciting events that lead to the discovery of a time-machine, and the knowledge that Billy Blood is a pirate (a traitor of England in the war with Napoleon, to be precise) who uses another, identical time machine to travel across centuries kidnapping children and holding them for ransom. Nick and his friends embark on a huge adventure, he in one century with old Gunner and the mysterious Lord Hawke, fighting Blood, and his sister in 1939 outsmarting a Nazi captain and a German SS agent with her new friend, Hobbes.

Nick of Time is an absolute blast. Action-filled and suspenseful, it's an adventure book like no other. I only have two complaints against this book.

We didn't see enough of Billy Blood. He's a great villain and I wish there'd been more scenes with him in them. We only really meet him twice, and he'd be far more effective as a bad guy if he showed up in person more often.

Ted Bell has an odd way of switching suddenly from one person's perspective to another's. One minute you're reading about what Nick is thinking and seeing; then Lord Hawke; then Hobbes, with not so much as a break in paragraph to separate them.

That's it, though. Otherwise it's a fantastic book, great fun and a nice break from what I usually read.

So put down your vampire book and grab a copy of Nick of Time. You might think, "I outgrew the boy-fighting-pirates-and-the-like stories a long time ago". Pfft. Trust me. So did I.

Just read it, OK?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Well, would ya look at that?

It's 2010!


The New Year snuck up on me once again. I didn't fully realize it until the 30th, when I looked at my calendar and thought, "Wait a minute...tomorrow is New Year's Eve!!"
My family celebrated by setting off fireworks in the backyard and watching The Return of the King.

While I'm here, I'll tell you all something new and exciting. My good friend Rosemary has started two blogs, one about paintings and one about poems! Be sure to check out The Daily Painting and A True Word.

So, Happy New Year!! Hope it's a good one. :-)