Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quiet Time

It has been quiet here the past few days. Words just have not formed. With two children near the ages of the sweet angels of Connecticut, I have been at a loss for words.

Friday was a normal day for us. We did our chores and then headed to a Nutcracker party for Princess P with some of her friends. Lego Man tagged along. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon oblivious to the horror that was going on. We were enjoying the last few hours of innocence. We are not big news watchers, so we didn't see it on the news that night and our evening was spent with family time.

Saturday morning was a different story, My husband and I turned on the TV before the children woke up and were devastated at what we saw. No words can express what we were seeing and feeling.

As we watched the news, Monsignor Weiss was interviewed. He talked about his parishioners and what they were experiencing. The strength he showed was truly a gift from God. May God bless him and keep providing him with the grace to carry his congregation through this tragedy.

At one point during his interview, he talked about a little girl who had been excited about making her First Holy Communion this year. This hit me hard. Princess P is constantly talking about this big event that will be taking place in her life this Spring. I broke down crying and couldn't stop. It made it too real, too personal. I knew what that precious child was like. I had seen it in my own house. I had heard the sweet little giggles, the huge belly laughs, the shrieks of delight, and the soft sounds of whispers to stuff animal friends. I had seen huge smiles that spread from ear to ear, excitement from learning how to read, the pride from riding a two-wheeler, and the joy of life this young girl had. I had witnessed the first steps, the first words and the drama a little girl can bring. I have a house filled with pink bows, baby dolls, bracelets, beaded necklaces, and stuffed animals. I have dressed up my sweet little girl in dresses, ribbons and bows.

Six and seven are wonderful ages filled with so many new adventures. They are old enough to know what they like but too young to care about what others think. They are shy, outgoing, loud, and quiet depending on their mood.  They are wonderful gifts from God. Each one special in his or her own way. How do you let that go?

How do comprehend such destruction? How do comprehend the loss of 20 children? I don't think you truly can.

I pray daily for the parents and community that witnessed this tragedy. I pray for our country. I pray we never see such a devastating tragedy again.

I hold my children a little longer. I spend more time with my children. I spend more time in prayer asking God to help us. I tell my children I love them every moment I get.



If you would like to send a card of encouragement to the priests of Saint Rose of Lima Parish, you can send them to this address...
Monsignor Weiss

Father Luke Suarez

46 Church Hill Road

Newtown, CT 06470


Monday, December 17, 2012

Saint Lucia Day


Feast Day December 13


Patron Saint of the Blind


Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives. Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation -- every corner of our day.  Amen

I was hoping to make this treat for breakfast but forgot the ingredients at the store. Maybe next year.

It looks yummy!  Saint Lucia's Braided Bread Recipe.

I found these Saint Lucia paper dolls from Besty McCall 1972 December.

On a site called Making Learning Fun, I found a puppet coloring page and a song to celebrate the day.

Waltzing Matilda has two coloring pages for Saint Lucia.


I found American Girl Kirsten paper dolls here.

Princess P has Kirsten so she was very excited about these.

I also made Kirsten a Saint Lucia outfit. I am hoping to get it posted on her soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe~ December 12, 2012


We read Our Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaula.


We colored a coloring page of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Waltzing Matilda.

While looking for ideas for this feast day, I found a cute craft for younger ones. All you need is a brown paper bag, glue, scissors, and a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I am thinking of using this for my CCD class next year.

I found this Our Lady of Guadalupe grotto craft from Catholic Child. I didn't have time to order it before the feast day. Maybe I'll get it for next year. I may even try to make it using supplies from our craft bin.


We made tissue paper flowers.





I cut pink and red tissue paper into squares.



Fold the tissue paper in an accordion style.




Pinch middle together and tie a pipe cleaner around the middle.

Make sure it's tied fairly tightly.




Gently pull the different sheets of tissue paper to the middle.



Roses for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Princess P enjoyed this craft so much, she made 16 tissue roses!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10 New Christmas Books We Have Discovered This Advent Season


Our last two visits to our local library have yielded some new Christmas books for us.

This Advent season, we have been reading a Christmas story every night before bed.

1. Saint Francis Celebrates Christmas by Mary Caswell Walsh. This was a pick for my Lego Man. Saint Francis is his favorite saint.



2. Strega Nona's Gift by Tomie dePaula. His stories are a favorite of ours.



3. Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo



4. How Do Dinosaurs say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen. This is a must for little dinosaur lovers everywhere.



5. Christmas Cricket Eve Bunting



6. The Legend of the Christmas Rose by


7. The Log Cabin Christmas by Ellen Howard



8. Cricket in the Manger by Micheal Foreman



9. The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaula. Just another wonderful story from Tomie dePaula that is timeless.

10. Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. A true classic children's story.


Linking up with Angie at Many Little Blessings

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Homschool Mothers Journal/ Weekly Wrap-up

In my life/homeschool this week~ We had our last day of Classically Catholic Memory co-op for the fall session. We are on break until February. The kids are happy but a little sad that they will not see some of their friends for 2 months. We finished up Chapter 11 from Story of the World. The kids even put on a play. You can see the fun activities we did here. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were days off from school because of sick children.  Lego Man came down with a fever first and of course Princess P followed shortly after.I had a few good days for catching up on laundry and house cleaning.

On Wednesday,Lego Man was feeling better, so we headed out to return library books. I really didn't want to pay the fines  for 60 over due books. We dropped off 3 bags at our local thrift store for donations. While there, I found a Ann Taylor dress for me, a Christmas dress for Princess P, a new pair of shoes for me, 15 books we needed for school, a few stocking stufffers, and an American Girl puzzle for Princess P. I got all that for $32!

Thursday~ We celebrated the feast day of Saint Nicholas . We missed our  Saint Nicholas party with our Monday co-op since the kids were sick. We had to let Hercules go.



We were able to watch him for 2 months. Lego Man decided it was time for him to go into the woods so he could enjoy his life. One of our cats had decided to use the fish tank as a litter box. YUCK!

Friday~More resting for the sick ones. Christmas break came early to this house.

What the kids are reading~ Every day, we are reading a Christmas book. We checked out a bunch from our local library and we have a huge selection ourselves.

What I am reading~ I am reading The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie McComber

What I am working on~ I am making everyone in our family a new stocking and making a new tree skirt to go under our tree. I hope I can finish before Christmas Eve.

What I am praying for~ Our country and my family.





Linked with Homeschool Mothers Journal, Weekly Wrap-Up, Live and Learn, and Friendship Friday

Thursday, December 6, 2012

SOTW: Chapter 11 Ancient Africa

This week we have been discussing the people of Ancient Africa.


To further supplement our lesson, we read

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott


and

Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper! A Maasai Tale by Tololwa Mollel


We colored in a map of Ancient Africa.

I found a wonderful site that gives some great information on the Ancient Kingdom of Kush. It provides information on what daily life was like, what and how they traded, and why the kingdom ended.

For fun, we made a geometric turtle to go along with the story of Anansi and the Turtle in SOTW.




I bought the turtles at Oriental Trading.

We created Anansi the spider out of egg cartons.




This is the body of the spider.

We painted 2 sections of an egg carton with black paint.

We added pipe cleaners for legs and googly eyes.

We created geometric hand paintings. They traced their own hands on paper and drew a pattern on the hand using a variety of shapes and colors.

The kids then recreated the story of Anansi and the Turtle.

The created the backdrop using a large piece of cardboard and then made puppets of Anansi and Turtle.





They did an amazing job retelling the story.

Saint Nicholas




Today, Lego Man and Princess P woke up to shoes filled with some goodies from Saint Nicholas.



Lego Man's shoes.

His shoe was filled with chocolate gold coins, tic tacs, a candy cane, and a Nativity sticker book.

Behind his shoes were three books....Good Saint Joseph by Father Lovasik, Padre Pio by Rev. Jude Winkler, and Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon.



Princess P's shoes.

Her boot was filled with the same items as Lego Man's shoe.

Behind her shoe were three books.....Mary My Mother by Father Lovasik, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton by Father Lovasik and The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaula.

There shoes were placed up high so that all of critters couldn't get into the goodies. Some of the excitement was trying to find where the shoes were left.

This is our first year celebrating the feast of Saint Nicholas. I had friends growing up that celebrated this wonderful day, but my family never did.

We read two wonderful stories to help celebrate this day.




We read about the real Saint Nicholas in our saint book.

We colored a picture of Saint Nicholas. You can find some wonderful coloring pages here.

We were going to make some Saint Nicholas cookies, but with two sick kids it didn't work out.

There's always next year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our New Course of Study

I love homeschooling my kids. I won't lie there are days when I question why I am doing this. Last week, we had a few of those days. I just remind myself that I am doing this for them. Every parent has days when things go wrong, but I know I wouldn't trade these days and special moments for anything in this world.

Homeschooling allows me to fix what isn't working or expand on things they love or truly enjoy! So I have been re-evaluating what we have been doing the past few months. I even asked the kids what they have enjoyed and what they have ABSOLUTELY hated. After getting their feedback and adding it to my own thoughts, I have come up with a new course of study for the rest of the year.

Here is what we will be doing starting in January after the Christmas season has ended.

Religion

Saint's Feast Day(daily)

The Bible(Old and New Testament, 2x a week)

Faith and Life from Ignatius Press (we are currently doing 2nd & 3rd grade)

The Life of Our Lord

The Baltimore Catechism(weekly)

English(5x a week)


Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl

Copywork(5x a week)

Copying down our weekly poems

Handwriting(5x a week)

Cursive~ Seton's Handwriting for Young Catholics Grade 3

Phonics(2x a week)

Princess P~Spectrum Phonics Grade 2

Lego Man~ Spectrum Words for Grade 4

Spelling(3x a week)

Princess P~ Spectrum spelling for grade 2

Lego Man~ Spectrum spelling for grade 3

Math(5x a week)

Lego Man~ Saxon 54( this is finally not taken us 2 hours to complete!)

Princess P~ Saxon 2

Science(3x a week)

Weather lessons from Mater Amabilis

Classically Catholic Memory Science...suplimeted with stuff I find at the library and online

Geography(2x a week)

United States~ Scrapbbok of the 50 States (I got the idea from Shower of Roses)

Nature Study(1x a week)

Bird Study~ we use the All About Birds website from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and create a nature journal about birds

Latin(2x a week)

Prima Latina for Princess P and Lego Man

Little Latin Reader: Primer A  Puella Romana for Lego Man (part of our Monday co-op)

Ancient History(2x a week)

The Story of the World Volume 1

Classically Catholic Memory Timeline

RC History

French(2x a week)

Various resources...internet, library, highschool textbook, games, etc.

Art(2x a week)

Various projects based on what we are studying in school

Art History(1x a week)

Follow Mater Amabilis

Music(2x a week)

We will continue to learn patriotic songs and fun silly songs.

Music History(1x a week)

Beethoven

Practical Skills(2x a week)

Princess P~ sewing and knitting

Lego Man~ car models and wood working

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reworking Our Homeschooling Schedule

The past few months have flown by. I am glad to say for the most part, we  are on schedule for our lessons. We started following Mater Amabilis this year. We added it to our already busy lessons. I have enjoyed it but we have found the work to be time-consuming. So I have been reworking our lessons for the second half of the year. We will officially end our 1st semester the second week of December. The only subject Lego Man is behind in is math, so he will have to continue working on it during our winter break. We take off 3 weeks in December/January to focus on Advent and Christmas.

So our second semester will begin December 7th after the Epiphany.

So here is our new schedule...

Monday~ Our Classically Catholic Co-op

Tuesday~ School from 8:30-1:00

Wednesday~ School 8:30-10:00,  violin lessons and then school from 1:00-3:00

Thursday~ School 8:30-1:00, Choir

Friday~ School 8:30-1:00, Church group 1st and 3rd Fridays

Afternoons are filled with art projects, chores, practical skills, science, and fun stuff

I am still finalizing the subjects and lessons we will be using .

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