Monday, July 26, 2010

Fly Away Home: Light Saber Up

Synopsis: After eager developers begin demolishing a swamp area near her father's farm, 13-year-old Amy rescues 15 goose eggs from the wreckage, and hatches them in a barn. The goslings devote themselves to Amy and follow her everywhere, but trouble begins when the local animal control officer wants to clips their wings. A second problem arises when Amy and her dad learn that geese learn where to migrate to by following their parents. Together Amy and her dad come up with a crazy but just-maybe-workable solution that takes them on a 1,000 mile adventure, 15 geese on the wing.

Highlights: Fly Away Home was touching without begin sappy; dealt with issues of grief, anger and reconciliation without going (too far) over our kids' heads; featured wonderful footage of geese and countryside; and was enjoyable for the whole family.

Snags: There were a few words that I would have preferred be left out, but they were few. At one point when Amy was missing her deceased mom, her dad explained that she was all around her, in the geese, in the clouds. A nice thought for a child perhaps, but a bit off base from a Christian perspective. Amy's dad also has a sometimes-live-in-girlfriend.

Conclusion: This film is family-friendly, exciting, funny, beautiful, features a happy ending and is loosely based on a true story to boot. It ranks high on my re-watch list. My only wish is that we could find a TV edited version that might omit some of the few objectionable words. Light sabers up all around!

Strawberry Recipe #5

I spread this light and delicious frosting over a basic yellow cake, but I think it would be divine on angel food cake! Note: I was warned that this doesn't do well sitting on a cake in the fridge overnight, so make this frosting that day you plan to eat it.

Strawberry Frosting

1 egg white
1 c sugar
1 c sliced strawberries

Combine all three ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form (I was told 20 minutes, but it only took me 5, so keep an eye on it). That's it. How easy!

Monday, July 05, 2010


We finished up the school year with a study of insects, and one of the activities was to catch a cricket and observe it for a few days. Well the boys were having way too much fun with this, and started capturing all sorts of creatures, including a red, white and black striped caterpillar we identified as Euptoieta claudia.

I really didn't give the caterpillar much of a chance -- I figured it would die soon like all those I caught as a child and tried keeping in jars -- but alas, it surprised me! After a couple days it attached itself to the cheesecloth top (he kept escaping through the vent holes) and formed a chrysalis! This happened on June 29. And by the way, this was the most beautiful chrysalis I've ever seen (not that I've seen a lot). It was a metallic blueish green with shiny gold spikes. We wondered how long it would take to emerge and hoped it wouldn't happen during a vacation!

Much to our delight it emerged during the night last night, on July 4, and boy is this guy stunning!

Here it is still in the aquarium next to it's broken chrysalis.

And here it is outside as we prepared to release it. As soon as we opened the lid he fluttered away across the yard and into the big blue sky. Watch out for birds, little buddy!