Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Ballerina Gymnast

Today Nicole had her first class at The Little Gym. Because Nicole so so so so wanted to take gymnastics we opted to leave the Christian organization where she took ballet last year. They just opened a new Little Gym place nearby and they offer a combination gym and dance class for her age. I was sure this would be perfect. She was supposed to attend on Tuesday evening, but because of her throwing up instance we had to reschedule.

She had an absolutely wonderful time! I know she enjoyed ballet last year. I enjoyed it because I felt like this was the "real deal" - real ballet instruction, that is. And I loved that it is Christian. She learned a lot and I liked how they enforced an attitude of respect, discipline and good behavior (Nicole always did all three). But today I caught a glimpse of a joy and lightheartedness in her face as she flitted across the dance floor and bounced through the gym. It was a delight! She exclaimed as we all walked to the van, "I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that class!" I never heard that before. I think there is definitely a need for the other more serious ballet instruction and someday she may be ready for that, but today made me realize that she needs the instruction, but she also needs the fun element as well.

Money well spent!

Now we just need to spend a few more dollars on some much larger ballet and tap shoes. How did her feet grow that much in one year??????

Thursday Tea Time

Today we reinstated tea time. We did this some last year and they adored it! I was always so surprised that they would get so excited when Tuesday rolled around. At some point we fell out of the habit and it stopped for a while. But every once in while Jacob or Nicole would lovingly ask when we would have tea time again. So as I made preparations for this year, I knew I wanted to get back to it. So I chose a day where we would not be rushing around to get somewhere in the afternoon and Thursday has now become tea time day. When deciding what to do while we had tea, I considered a picture study time. But I decided it would be better suited to music appreciation. Each week we will listen to classical music and read something about music or a composer. So today we got out the nice plates and the lovely crystal. Jacob and Nicole made a pitcher of peach tea. I retrieved a few brownies I had stashed in the freezer a couple of weeks ago. And while Andrew and Michael napped we had tea. They so enjoyed it and so did I. We read, we talked and we enjoyed our tea and "cake". They were already planning what we would be feasting on next week.

Brownies, peach iced tea, and a good story about the orchestra.

Jacob and Nicole are ready to dig in! They are so silly about how much they love tea time!

Mommy and Nicole pose for photographer Jacob.

After tea time, we finished the last item on our list for lessons. Yesterday we had read a little in our nature reader. The subject was butterflies. Today our task was to choose a butterfly in one of our books and sketch it. Jacob added his to his nature notebook.

Sketching butterflies.

We had a lot of fun

with this game today! Way fun!

Letting Go

From a little song on the kids' Cat Chat CD.

"Simplify my life.
Simplify my life.
Simplify my life.
Come teach me Lord how to simplify.
Simplify my life.
We have freedom
When we let go of all that doesn't matter."

Thank you Cat Chat.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

7 Habits of Highly Messy Children

1. Wipe hands with cheese from Cheetos, Doritos, Goldfish or other similar powdery cheesy snacks all over shirt and pants.

2. Over sprinkle your Parmesan cheese so that it unknowingly lands on the tile and then slip in it.

3. Cut, paste and create to your heart's delight and then leave little bits and blobs all over the kitchen table and floor while you go find something else to do.

4. Smear toothpaste in places Mom didn't know toothpaste could reach and "forget" to clean it up.

5. Come in from playing in the dirt and wash your feet in the bathroom sink....and around the bathroom sink, and across the kitchen floor and on the carpet.

6. Carry your plate that is really full of toast crumbs to the dishwasher perpendicular to the floor.

7. Eat very dark chocolate ice cream and enjoy it thoroughly, savoring every last drip.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School Days

The day began as many do around here - the night before.

Twas the night before First Grade,
when all through the house
a creature was stirring, but it wasn't a mouse.

Their gift books were laid on the table with care,
in hopes that our first day would start with a flair.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of new lessons danced in their heads.

With Daddy all snug in bed and I still awake,
I was hoping to hit the pillow some time before daybreak.

Oh, OK. I admit - a little corny, but that's about all my brain is good for right now. :)

Our day went swimmingly! Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed early and it got Mommy off to a great start! I had some time for myself and was able to get ready and start our cinnamon twists in the oven. I felt a great sense of readiness and cheerfulness. I wanted to be cheerful. So often that is a choice. So.... I chose wisely. I chose cheer and fun.

I had planned on starting lessons around 9am and it seemed we would make that time, except that I hadn't fed Michael his cereal yet. So I sat at the kitchen table and fed him, while I fielded requests and guided the work of the other three. I started Jacob on something that he was pretty familiar with so that I could finish Michael's breakfast. Andrew decided he anted to color and cut and so I was still hopping fetching crayons, scissors, paper, color books. Nicole was sitting at the other end of the table working on her workbooks. At times it was crazy and chaotic, but in a funny way still busily pleasant. It warmed me inside to have all my little angels crowded around me and the table working away. Spelling. Phonics. Math. Handwriting. It wasn't perfect. But even when Nicole lamented the fact that she had dropped her pencil 2 inches from her foot and pleaded for me to pick it up (I was 6 feet away feeding Michael), I was cheerfully able to say, "Oh, gee. Well, I guess you'll have to pick that up. Now let's see about making this 7 on the page." It was good.

We worked through most of the things on our list, minus the reading parts. I had to leave at 10:45am to take Michael to his 6 month checkup and so they had time to play with Grandmommy and have a little fun. Later in the afternoon while Michael and Andrew slept we were able to read our selections for the day: a tall tale, our Catechism, some history and a few of their selections. After we read we still had time to do our first lesson from Artistic Pursuits. It was fun to sit and sketch with them.

I think we all enjoyed the day. They were so proud to show Daddy their work when he came through the door that evening. And he was so proud of them. I am really excited about all we have to do this year. And so far I think Jacob is enjoying it too. Like I think I have said before, Mater Amabilis is such a rich curriculum. I think it will serve us well. And yet I am still free to work in other things we need or want to do.

Our second day started out a little differently. We got a much slower start. Nicole threw up during the night and so we were a bit zapped from cleaning up OUR bed and her. What a mess! I don't think she was sick. She seems to have a mighty sensitive tummy and we think at times too much of a certain food (sugar, etc.) might trigger her to throw everything up. She never seemed sick in any other way or at any other time, so today she is back to normal. Even with "sickness" throw into the mix (and the 30 loads of laundry I had to do as a result), I was quite amazed we were still able to complete all the items on our list for the day! I wouldn't have expected that! God is gracious!

Today has gone well. I still didn't get up quite as early as I would like, but once again we have done all our work and then some. I was discussing with a friend today about how I had been reluctant in my planning last week to create a schedule for our schoolwork. This coming from me - a very schedule oriented kind of gal. but you see, we already have a general routine to our days. I do have all our appointments and things going on outside this house planned out. I felt like I could not count on things going a certain way. I knew I would be frustrated and short-tempered (to say the least) if I planned to do certain tasks from 10 to 11 during Michael's nap and then Michael didn't sleep for quite that long. Instead I decided I would have a general idea of how things would go. We would do workbooks etc. around the table after breakfast. And during morning and afternoon nap times, I would need to be present, available and undistracted to work with them on our other tasks. Then I would use any other free moments left over. After three days of this, I am happy with it. I am less stressed and the work is all getting done. I think someday I would like a more uniform schedule, but at this point with a toddler and an infant, I just couldn't see it being good for mom or the kids. Frustrated mom makes frustrated kids. I think tomorrow will go just as well.

Here are a few photos from the first day!

Jacob doing an outstanding job on his handwriting.

Here is Jacob holding his Water Fact File - this year we will spend some time studying Rivers and Seas and other water habitats. He was really excited to start this notebook and has even added some more to it today, even though it wasn't on the list to do.

And here you can see Nicole decided to pick up her pencil and keep working. She did a wonderful job today working on writing her numbers and tracing letters with a stencil.

Mom's homeschool stuff. My bucket and my binder. Another entry to explain these two things is in the works. In the bucket I have my books and my file folder system for Feasts and Holidays.

This is the lesson plan section of my home planning binder.

Last week I reorganized our space a little bit and tidied up paper, pencils, manipulatives, etc. The clear holder on the left is Nicole's stuff. The other three are Jacob's. Just so you aren't scared - those are not all workbooks. Many of them are books we read form on a weekly basis. I just wanted them all in one place instead of searching the big bookshelf for them daily.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ready or Not

Here we come!

Tomorrow is our first day of school for the year!

Jacob is a big First Grader. I can't believe it! Where has the time gone?

Nicole is officially Pre-K 4. She is so excited!

And Andrew? Well, let's just say he's just working on being a 2-year old.

Michael will be Mommy's little teacher's assistant.

I am looking forward to all we will do tomorrow, this week and this year.

I pray for patience and the grace to be a good teacher, a good mother and a good listener.

I will post more later with all the details of the plans and of our first day. I have been so busy preparing and finalizing and planning. Now, let's slow down and get to the good part!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy Half Birthday!

Today my little baby boy turns six months old!

I can't believe half a year has already disappeared. It is amazing! He is amazing!

Michael is a happy, smiley, wiggly little baby. In fact, these are the few pictures that were not blurry from all the constant movement. What a joy you are to me and Daddy and to your brothers and sister. It must be great being a baby around here - all the love you get showered with. As well as hits, pats and squeezy hugs! You are loved. You are precious. You are sweet. You are a blessing.

You are loved!

God bless you dear Michael!

P.S. Look at me! I sit too!

New stuff in the kitchen

Head on over to the food blog for a few good recipes!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day of the Ninja

After checking out from the library, Night of the Ninjas, Magic Tree House book #5, Jacob has decided to spend his afternoon dressed as a ninja.

Guess who?

A Little Guessing Game

This afternoon I took these photos of the messes of the day around the house. See guys, it really does get messy over here. Really!!!! I refrained from having the kids help me tidy up after lunch in favor of Mommy having a much needed rest on the sofa this afternoon. I was so proud of myself. Usually, I get the younger two down for naps and then do everything else before I rest. And, of course, then there is never time left to rest. So today I rested first. But it only lasted a short while. I couldn't rest. No. The little ones didn't wake. Nope. Jacob and Nicole playing quietly and asking little questions didn't bother me. No, not even thoughts of evening plans and duties. It was the mess. Every time my eyes would open a bit, it annoyed me. Go figure. Yes, I'm weird.

So let's play a little game. See if you can correctly identify what thing(s) all these photos have in common. What is a part of each little messy spot? The winner gets, well, I don't know. Just have fun!

The stairs

Den, view #1

Den, view #2

Kitchen table

Even the washer and dryer

Well, I am awake now. And as soon as I type and publish, it's time to tidy up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Gamma!

We love you bunches! What a fantastic mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend God has blessed this little family with. We pray for you always.

THSC Homeschool Conference

Last Friday, Brian and I and the children set off early in the morning to this wonderful conference. Closely behind in their own minivan followed that crazy family that lives across the street from us! (he he he) Neither of us had ever been to this particular conference before. Robin and I had attended another conference that is held in June every year. We have gone to see the vendors there and enjoyed it. But I don't think I was prepared to be as impressed by this conference as I was.

We arrived on time and the guys let Robin and I (and Michael) head on inside for the first talk of the day! The conference was hosted at the lovely Woodlands Waterway Marriott. It was a beautiful hotel. We got top floor rooms with an adjoining door! What fun! The talks we attended were inspiring and well done. These gifted Christian homeschoolers have so much to offer! The selection of vendors in the exhibit hall was more extensive than at any other conference I have been to. I was thrilled! The guys spent the morning entertaining the kids while Robin and I attended talks and shopped.

It was a little mini vacation. We had fun at the conference. We also had lots of fun wandering around this part of the Woodlands and eating! Lots of fun! I wish we could have stayed longer.

I bought several things.

Artistic Pursuits

I had been considering this art program and was blessed to spend some time at the conference speaking with the lady who created it. She explained it very well. I am excited about it. It is a wonderful combination of art appreciation, art instruction and creation. I also bought some of the art supplies we did not already own over at the booth for Miller Pads and Paper.

Music Appreciation

I had seen this Great Composers series of books in the Emmanuel Books catalog. After looking at them first hand, I loved them. I bought two of them to read out loud this year - Mozart and Bach.

Other Stuff

I bought Jacob a Hank the Cowdog book (first one in the series) for his first day of school gift. I found a few more of the Little House series used and snapped up those. I also purchased the third packet of figures for the wonderful timeline we are going to begin.

We had such a wonderful time and we look forward to a repeat next summer!

OK, Robin. Your turn. I want to hear your side of the story.

Gail Gibbons Update

Well, we now own this one! :)))

Gail Gibbons Rocks!!!

OK! I love Gail Gibbons! She is a super duper children's non-fiction author and illustrator. I can spot her books on a shelf or in a pile a mile away. I want to read every book she has ever written. I get her books off the shelf at the library just because I like them, not because we are studying the particular subject of the book. I love these books!

We own Cats, Marshes and Swamps and as of today, The Pumpkin Book. From the library we have Sharks and Soaring With the Wind - The Bald Eagle.

After I bought the one about pumpkins today, I thought I would see if she had a website listing all her books. Sure enough I found it! Not only did I find a listing of her books, I also found a nifty 24 page downloadable Teacher Guide to use with some of her books. I printed it off to file and use this year! What a find!

Someday, I want to order this one when it comes out in paperback! Soon I hope!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Head on over to Mixing Bowls and Measuring Spoons for dessert!

Where is your friend when you need her?????

How about Ohio!!!!!!

Once upon a time, about 2 years ago, when hurricane Rita was heading our way, Kris rescued me.

I was at Wal-Mart buying hurricane supplies. I had a huge cart overloaded with two hundred plus dollars of said supplies. I had three cranky, tired children. I was pretty cranky and tired myself.

My purchases had been rung up. And one credit card wouldn't work! Over and over. It still wouldn't work. I had a debit card, but we had forgotten the PIN number long ago. I don't carry a checkbook with me. And of course, I did not have that much cash. They had to move me to another line and ring up my supplies again. I was not wanting to part with my supplies - they were hard to come by! It still wouldn't work! The credit card company was not much help. It wasn't our fault. They had suspended its use because of a possibly questionable transaction. OK. Fair enough, but it wasn't helping me now.

I was about to give up. I couldn't get a hold of anybody to help. As much I hated to abandon my supplies, I would have to. Just as I was about to sit down on the floor next to my fussy children and cry along, in walked Kris. And along with Kris came her credit card. She was so generously willing to pay for my stuff and send me home. What a blessing! What a lifesaver!

I remembered this incident on Saturday as I shopped at Target for hurricane supplies once again. (Probably no hurricane this time, but we did need a few things just in case.) As I rounded the last corner to grab a couple of pizzas for dinner, my cell phone rang. It was Brian, informing me that I had no wallet. I was tired. I felt like crying. Even though I have my card number and date memorized, they needed the card. They held my purchases and Brian had to come back later.

No Kris this time. I guess Ohio was a bit too far to come!

What did I learn?

Someone else can shop for hurricane supplies next time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Edible Rosary Lesson

We talked. We created. We learned. We prayed a bit. We ate!

Celebrating Mary

As I woke the children this morning so that we could zip out of the house to make 8:30am Mass, I told them that today we are celebrating Mary! Today we get to go to Mass to celebrate her being taken up into Heaven. I told them the Church would look beautiful and Father would be "dressed up." What a beautiful thing this Catholic faith is - that the Church is adorned and the priest wears special colors for such great Feasts as these.

After Mass, I read a short page out of a Tomie dePaola book and we set up our Mary statue. Then we had to mourn a bit. As we were setting things up, the book fell down and hit Mary. She fell to the floor with a crash. Oh, how sad it made me. I think I can glue most of her back together, but it was such a special statue that Brian and the children gave me for my birthday last year.

Using another statue, some flowers and our Mary books, we created a Feast day display on our new "altar." Recently, my sister passed on to me this lovely antique sideboard. It now holds our religious library and our religious articles. Right now I have the kids' Transfiguration pictures above it, but I am hoping to have some sort of religious artwork over it soon. I am excited to be able to use this sideboard to house all our religious displays throughout our liturgical year.

Once Michael was down for a nap, I told the children we could make a Mary picture. I had copied some pictures out of a coloring book to color, but instead of using crayons for the millionth time, I opted for paints. We haven't gotten the paints out in a while and even though they are messier, I knew the kids would love it. I almost talked myself out of it, thinking that the paints would only make messy, muddy pictures. But then I reminded myself, it's not always so important that they create great works of art. Sometimes they just need to have fun experimenting with color, etc. And so they did!

Here is Nicole painting (above) and her rendition (below).

Jacob working with his palette (above) and his finished masterpiece (below).

And last, but not least, diaper boy, Andrew (above) and his more abstract creation (below).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Summer of the Magic Tree House

What did Jacob do this summer?

Well, by the time summer is done, he will have read 36 of the 37 books in the Magic Tree House series. He has enjoyed these books like you wouldn't believe. They are fun and interesting adventures. A brother and sister, Jack and Annie, find a magical tree house that takes them to different times in history and places across the globe. Usually they have missions to complete. As they travel from place to place they learn about the history and/or location. They are wonderfully fun and make history engaging and interesting for young readers. Right now I am reading aloud Revolutionary War on Wednesday. Jacob literally devours them. We come home with 6 or 7 from the library and he reads them in two or so hours. Before our trip Brian picked up a few from the library and we had to make them off limits until he was in the car on the road. Otherwise, he would have devoured those too.

The books are great for young readers as their skills develop. The chapters are short enough that they also make wonderful bedtime read alouds. As Jacob began reading, we found a passport activity on the Magic Tree House website. We downloaded and printed the passport booklet and glued it all together. Then, as Jacob completes the books, he goes to the website and answers three short comprehension questions for each book. If he gets them right, he gets to print off a "passport stamp" and he glues it in the booklet. If he gets a question wrong, I make him reread the book. He has so enjoyed this activity! It is great fun.

I am hopeful we can revisit these books many times. There are many we can use in the next years as we study American history. I am sure Jacob will not mind a reread here and there. If you check any out, I hope your children enjoy them as much as we are.

P.S. Thanks Kris for sending Jacob his first Magic Tree House book ever!

Babies and Butterflies

Have I told you how much I despise dusting? Well, let me just say that creating this post is a reward for getting the dusting of the den and study done!


At our recent garage sale, I rid myself of the baby mobile we had since Jacob was a baby. It was a hand-me-across and really sweet. But it was always in the way and no one ever seemed to be too interested in it. So I sold it.

So, of course, recently Michael has fallen in love with this little handmade (by Jacob at age 3 or so) mobile in the kids' room. He talks. He smiles. He coos. He gurgles and squeals. In short, a love affair.

So today we did an activity I have been wanting to do. We colored a few more stained glass butterflies to hang from the shelf over his crib. They turned out so lovely.

See? He loves it already!

My blogging absence

I too have recently felt like Melissa. I have had so much to say and so little time to say it all in. Sometimes it is that I am so busy, I can't spare the time to sit down and create a post. On other occasions I have the time, but my head is so busy that I cannot think coherently to be able to write it all down. There are days when the computer calls to me but I have to make the choice to ignore it and spend more time with my family instead. So many times, I can merely spare time and energy to catch up on other's blogs and write a few comments. Such is the life I lead.

But I love blogging.

This morning Nicole over at headstrong was writing about why we blog and why it is a good thing. She had so many goo things to say. For me this blog is a journal. It is an opportunity to write. I have always loved to write, but did it so rarely. What do I write about? Here I can write my thoughts, both sane and crazy, my frustrations and joys, my ideas and interests, and my life. This is a place where I give help (I hope) and receive help. I hope to always give encouragement and I know I always receive it. As Nicole said, it is a place where I can connect with other women who share so much in common with me. Yes, i have those types of friends in real life, but now my circle is extended. Everyone has so much to offer to one another. In my experience, it has been a place where we "encourage one another and build each other up."

So, where have I been? A combination of busy and really and truly gone. Last week we spent a wonderful day with my sister and her boys, swimming at their Schlitterbahn style neighborhood pool. (OK, it wasn't quite Schlitterbahn, but way fun!) The rest of the time was spent preparing for our trip to visit Brian's brother, sister-in-law and two nieces (ages 10 and 7). We left on Thursday and returned on Sunday.

Without giving every little detail (don't want to bore my readers), here is our fantastic trip in a nutshell.

We drove.
We arrived.
We greeted.
We swam.
We ate.
We swam.
We slept.
We woke.
We ate.
We swam.
We played.
We ate.
We swam.
We slept.
We woke.
We swam.
We ate.
We swam and swam and swam.
We played.
We ate.
We swam.
We slept.
We woke.
We went to Mass.
We played.
We drove home.
We unpacked.
We crashed.

Notice a few common themes on this trip? It was loads of fun! The kids have such a wonderful time together. Andrew is spooked by their dog, but had such a great time swimming and playing. Brian and I really enjoyed the time spent visiting and laughing with his brother and sister-in-law. We don't get to do that often enough!

Instead of trying to post endless photos, I am including a virtual scrapbook like Melissa once did. Enjoy!

So, I am back. We a re pretty much back to normal if there ever was normal around here!

And I was worried about the 2 year old!

Before I continue this post, I must say everyone and everything is fine! No one had to go to the hospital!

When I returned home last night from my weekly grocery excursion with Robin, Brian was upstairs with all four kiddos finishing bedtime preparations. As I set my first bag on the counter, I noticed a yellow sticky note with Brian's writing, a pair of tweezers and a tiny Polly Pocket shoe.

The note read:

"Found this in Nicole's nose"

I suppose she was just trying to keep things interesting around here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When mornings give you cold coffee...


Pour coffee from mug to a tall glass. Add a heaping helping of this or this. Stir. Add ice. Get straw. Enjoy.

Hopefully before the ice melts and you have watered down cold coffee!

(Inspired by a precious post from Kristen)

Mucho Excited

Who? Me?

Yep. You guessed it. Me. And what better to get excited over than wonderfully exciting homeschool materials!

Yesterday, I had a little surprise free time. So while Jacob, Nicole and Andrew stayed home with Gamma and Pappa (thank you sooooo much), Michael and I made a trip to our local homeschool store! When the idea of some time on my own was proposed, I really wasn't quite sure where I "needed" to go. So what better place to spend my time than one of my favorite stores!

We wandered up and down every aisle, searched every nook and cranny. We reviewed a lot of nifty things. And then, of course, we bought a few things. So what am I so excited about?


History Through the Ages

I have heard a lot about timelines over the past several years and I love the idea of starting a timeline that the child can work on and add to as they journey through history. Some families construct a timeline that hangs on the wall around a room. Others create timelines that fold using perforated computer. And the ideas go on. Neither of these two options appealed to me. The first one seemed a bit impractical since I have no room with free walls to hang a timeline upon. I also felt like this made it inaccessible to children to peruse at their leisure. I also did not relish the thought of needing a step stool or ladder to add to it each time. The fold out kind is not a bad idea, but I was afraid it might look too homemade and not hold up very well over time. The other concern I had was the possibility of spending endless hours online searching for little pictures of people and events to add to our timeline. I just don't have that kind of time. So, I have had timelines on the brain this summer, but I just wasn't sure how we were going to go about it.

Then, as I turned the corner onto the next aisle, it was love at first sight. I can't get over how perfectly History Through the Ages meets our needs.

There were three components.

1. The binder with preprinted timeline pages from Creation to now.
2. Three different packages containing HUNDREDS of drawings with captions to be colored, cut and placed on the timeline (and these are not cheesy looking!).
3. A placement guide for the entire timeline.

It is way cooler (?) than I could have imagined! I ended up buying the placement guide and one of the three different packages for the segment of time we will be covering. Then I realized I bought the wrong package. Then Brian said I should just go ahead and buy all three so as to be sure to have them all. I did not buy the binder. It was very nicely done, but it was also $35. Aside from the price the other thing I didn't like about it was the pages. The pages were very attractive and I am pretty sure they were cardstock, but they did not feel as heavy and durable as I would like. Without any protection or reinforcement, I felt that they would wear out way too quickly as we turned the pages on the rings of the binder. So instead I will use a coupon and purchase a sturdy 12 x 12 scrapbook. The placement guide shows you what each page in the binder should look like. So I can create my own base pages on cardstock and put them in the page protectors. I can expand the posts of the scrapbook and add pockets as we go. Another benefit of the 12 x 12 pages is an extra 4 inches in height for adding other peoples and events as we choose. And the way it is set up, will make it something that the children can pull off the shelf and look through at any time.

This is such a wonderful product. I am so excited to use it with Jacob this first year. I hope it will really increase his understanding of history in a way that I never had the benefit of experiencing. I look forward to learning so much about history that I never learned because it was always dull and dry and boring in school. I always thought I hated history. But recently, I have come to find out that I don't. It's just that no one ever made it real to me. Now I love it. I can't wait to explore with my children.

Monday, August 06, 2007

This just makes me smile

The Feast of the Transfiguration

Today is the great Feast of the Transfiguration (even though last night and this morning I thought it was on Tuesday). I had my craft all planned out to do today since we weren't going to be around to do it tomorrow. So we sat down to discuss the feast and work on our craft and I told them it was tomorrow, etc. Then after we were done I got on the computer and, lo and behold, the feast IS today! All is well that ends well.

“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

Luke 9:35 from today's Gospel

I love these words. God spoke from the cloud that enveloped Jesus and Moses and Elijah. He tells Peter, James and John to listen to Jesus. The children and I were talking about how these words in Scripture weren't meant for just these three Apostles. The were recorded so that we might here these words and listen as well. I can't think of anything that might help me more in my day to day struggles in the little things of life. If only I would just LISTEN! It is so easy for me to talk a mile a minute to my friends and family and I really have to think about listening to them. And so it goes with Jesus. I am so busy talking to Him and I spend far too little time listening to Him. So my motto today is "button it up and listen!"

The kids had a great time with their craft, as you can see. It is really fun to be able to include Andrew in our projects at a greater level. He is able to do more than just sit there and scribble now. It is fun. he still requires lots of help, but it is a wonderful thing to watch his joy as he creates. I printed off the picture of Jesus and had the kids color him as we read. Then we cut around the outline and glued it to some blue paper. The children loved the last part. They painted a thin layer of glue all over Jesus and then sprinkled clear glitter all over him. He really does shine like the Gospel says. I bought this glitter last spring and I really love it. Most glitter is so fine and powdery. This one is bigger and easy to use. I love all the colors. I recommend it!