Thursday, January 25, 2018

Traveling Thursdays~ Fort Frederick, Maryland

This past summer, we participated in a field trip with our local homeschool group. We visited Fort Frederick in Maryland. The fort lies just south of a town named Big Pool. It's actually is located near the Potomac River. 

The star-shaped, stone fort was used during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. During the American Revolution, it was a prisoner of war camp.

During the Civil War, the fort was used as a gun emplacement to help protect the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. After the wars, the fort was no longer used.

In the 1920's, the fort was bought by the state of Maryland. It became Maryland's first state park. The walls of the fort had deteriorated, but through archives and archaeological digs the fort was completely restored to its former glory. 

While there, we were able to tour various buildings and see how the men and their families lived there. 

The kids participated in drills, were bale to dress up in period time clothing, and performed various chores they were requested to do. It's a lot harder to carry two pails of water than you think.

Fort Frederick currently offers tours, displays, and exhibits to explore. You can even camp there! The fort sites next to Big Pool Lake. You can picnic, fish, and hike a few nature trails.

Till Next Time,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

CCD Week 9~ Sacrament of Baptism

This was a busy week in our classroom. We took all 16 kids into the church to learn more about the sacrament of Baptism. We explored the church and then headed over to the baptismal font for a hands-on example of this special sacrament.

Saint of the Week~ Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in America. She wasn't born Catholic, but was drawn to the Catholic faith. She helped found the first Catholic school in America. She later became known of Mother Seton. She was the first American to be canonized a saint. The kids colored in a picture of this American born saint to take home with them.

Virtue of the Week~ Hope

Hope is trusting in God's loving plan. We talked about how Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton trusted in God's plan for her life. She allowed God to work slowly through her life. She worked hard in the plans God wanted her to do. She was an amazingly strong woman.

So up this week is the sacrament of Baptism! Before heading to the church, we talked about the importance of this sacrament. We let the kids know that this is when we become part of God's church and family. It washes away original sin and lets us start our life with a clean slate. We did ask the kids what was our original sin and almost all the kids were able to tell us about Adam and Eve. We have such a smart class this year.

After our brief talk, we headed off to the church! We went over our church rules before entering the sanctuary....No loud talking, no running! We practiced blessing ourselves upon entering the sanctuary and genuflecting as we entered the pews.

After a brief prayer, we headed over to the baptismal font. Here I went over what the priest would do and say. One of my little girls had a stuffed animal, so we pretended it was a baby and baptized it. This caused a few giggles, but it brought one even more questions on what and why the priest does certain things. It was exciting to see their eagerness in learning about this sacrament. Before leaving we stopped by the Mary statue, prayed a Hail Mary, and headed back to class.

We ended class by working on a Baptism mobile. I found the craft years ago, but sadly I can't find the link anymore. It has the word Baptism at the top and has a candle, water, and oil hanging from it. It's a simple coloring page the kids color, cut out, and create the mobile with. If I find it, I'll come back and share it!

Another craft I've used in the past is one I found over at Catholic Inspired.

Till Next Time,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Traveling Thursdays~ James Monroe's Home

The kids and I were lucky enough to visit James Monroe's home Highland this past fall. James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States. Did you know that Virginia is called the mother of presidents? We've had 8 presidents born here.

The grounds are stunning! 

We enjoyed a tour of the main house, the beautiful grounds and garden, and a few other buildings.

We saw a bust of John Carroll. He was the first bishop and archbishop in the United States.

The kids even got to ask a few archaeologist about the area they were excavating. Currently, the foundation is working on excavating an area of the land where slaves lived. They are recreating smaller buildings to help visitors see how the lives of the slaves were during James Monroe's time there.

Till Next Time,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

CCD Week 8~ Moses and the Burning Bush

Our saint for class this week were all the Saints in Heaven

Saint of the Week~ Saints in Heaven

We talked about who the saints are in heaven and how they got there. We talked about we all can become a saint and make our way into heaven. We asked the children what type of things they can do to help them get into heaven. We received a variety of answers.

Go to church
Help others
Be nice to others

The kids colored in a beautiful coloring page for All Saint's Day.
Here a few of options for coloring pages.

Virtue of the Week~ Diligence

Diligence is doing your best and working hard until you are finished with your task. We talked about how all the saints in heaven worked hard during their daily life o lead a holy life. They never gave up. We then talked about how they could all practice this important virtue. Again we received a variety of wonderful hard, complete your homework and projects, and work hard to complete all your chores.

Story~ Moses and the Burning Bush

We read the bible story of when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. We talked about Moses must have been scared to hear God's voice. Many of the children were amazed that the bush didn't burn up. Most of the children said they would've been frightened to see the burning bush and hear God speaking to them. A few brave boys said they would be very curious about the bush. I think they may have gotten closer to investigate. 

The children worked on a craft to go along with our bible story of Moses and the Burning Bush. For the craft, I give each child a piece of construction paper. I then have them trace their hand on the paper. Each child is then given a coloring page with an image of Moses on it. They color Moses and then cut him out. They then past Moses onto the page. To create the fire, I have the kids scrunch up red, orange, and yellow tissue paper. They glue the colored tissue pieces onto their traced hand. This brings the burning bush to life. I found most of the idea online here. I added the picture of Moses because I wanted the kids to remember who he was and I thought that would help them.

Till Next Time,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wordless Wednesday~ The Sleeping Cat Edition

Cats seem to sleep anywhere.

There's nothing like a quick nap...especially if it last all day.

Till Next Time,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Happy New Year! 

O.K., I know it's a little late. We have been busy with the holidays and then right after New Years we had that horrible cold with the cough that never stops hit our home. So 2018 hasn't started off all that great for us, but it can only get better from here. Right?

Christmas was fairly low key around here. We attended Mass on Christmas Eve. Mass was beautiful and was packed of course. I really wish all those people that only attend Mass on Christmas and Easter would see the beauty of attending Mass every Sunday. Mass and receiving Our Lord every Sunday helps me with my daily life. It just adds a peaceful presence to my daily schedule. We sang  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel in Latin and it was divine. Therese sang with such beauty. She has a beautiful voice. She just gets a little nervous when others are listening to her. I wish I could sing that well. Michael didn't altar serve at Mass, he ushered instead. He is a busy young man at church.
On a side note, he passed his test for his 2nd year confirmation prep class. He is well on his way to receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. 

After Mass, we headed out to our annual dinner at the local Chinese restaurant. The past two years it hasn't been that good, so I'm trying to come up with a different alternative for next year. 
What do you do for dinner on Christmas? 
The kids suggested the good, old stand-by of PIZZA!

I actually got to sleep in on Christmas morning. Now that the kids are a little older and no longer believe in the Big Guy, there's no made rush to get up. The actually sleep until 6:30. Yes, that is sleeping in on Christmas morning in this house.  

The kids were thrilled with there gifts. For there big item, Therese got a Fitbit while Michael got an XBox One. I got an Instant Pot and a fantastic pair of Ecco boots. I love them!

For dinner, we had the normal Christmas food...ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, and pie. My in-laws were are only guests this year, so dinner was simple and pretty low key. 

For New Years, we stayed in and celebrated with the kids. I made Chicken lettuce wraps. They have become yearly thing on New Year's Eve in our house. We played the kids new Star Wars and Harry Potter Trivia Pursuit games. 

School was supposed to start back on the 2nd, but with the germs floating around we postponed till the 8th. I didn't hear any complaints from the kids though. 
I just love the flexibility of homeschooling!

So that's what we've been up to the last few weeks. 
I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas!

Till Next Time,
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