Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to list what I am thankful for this week and post onto Judy's blog.  This is a wonderful way to stay motivated to serve the Lord in all we do.

1.  I am also thankful for this post with fellow bloggers this week because I really need it.  I have to apologize though because I don't know how to do much with my blog to make it prettier.  Everyone has such blogging talent but me.  I would like my blog to bring peace to your souls with some nice background and images but, I'm sorry for not knowing how to do this yet.

2.  I am grateful that I didn't end up getting the library books I picked out the other day because the library clerk did not give me a break for returning my books two days late.  I think I just came at the wrong time.  By not checking out new books, I eliviated any additional charges that could take place in the future.  This is because this library is further away and harder to get to.  Most of the librarians there know me and know this and understand.  They usually do not charge me if I'm a little late.  This particular clerk I've never seen and did not seem as customer service oriented.  Anyway, I am looking on the bright side of things to feel confident in my decision not to check the new books out.  I need to be thankful for this instead of feeling upset because I was served by someone who was less understanding.  I was not angry by this little mishap, just took constructive action which is not always easy for me to do.  I returned about 20 books so you can see how the charges add up.

3.  I am very grateful that my two college-going sons have been able to attain on-campus housing next year with some good friends to roommate with.  I've heard stories of people who have had bad roommates and it makes things very awkward and difficult.  You do not know how happy I am about this!  It is so important to me that my sons are happy and comfortable while they are away from home. 

4.  I am so thankful that my PTSD that flaired up on Monday did not continue on into Tuesday.  I had a very rough day on Monday and Tuesday turned out to be a great day because I went up on my meds.  As you can see,  rough things have happened to me this week and I'm trying to 'look on the bright side!'  It is so good to be thankful.  Thank you for this meme Judy.

5.  I am very grateful for my National Catholic Reader for my four year old.  He is really starting to take off with reading.  It is funny because he doesn't realize he can read - but once he gets going - it appears to be easy for him.  Don't you love to see your little ones begin to read themselves?  It is so awesome.  He is also such a joy for me.  I asked him the other day why he was playing with daddy's wrench.  He said, "I'm a fix-it man."  I love his little statements through out the day that make all of us smile.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Homeschool Week

Please post to  The Homeschool Mother's Journal to talk about your week of homeschooling.  I am learning how to blog and do not yet know how to post pictures on my blog good yet.  Nevertheless, I thought I would share this from Kolbe Academy years ago when they published my two sons journal entries in their newsletter.  I'm sorry I can't make it larger but if you would like to see my four year old's progress this year go to or see my website at and learn more about my approach to writing.  It is a fun way to teach your children. 

In my life this week:  My two college age sons were home on their spring break.  It is really wonderful to see them and know they are doing well.  This caused a bit of a rift in my younger children's homeschooling endeavors but was well worth it.  I love to see my older sons bonding with their younger brother.  We had an awesome dinner tonight as we bought take out Chinese food.  We rarely do this.  My husband and high school daughter went to a dinner theatre with the Fathers Club at her high school tonight.  All my children have been homeschooled up until ninth grade.  I have two currently at home with me.  Homeschooling has made all the difference in the world for us.  My children are always giving me reasons to rejoice when I see the friends they make and their virtuous work habits to achieve positive academic results.

In our homeschool this week

Math:  We worked on Estimating Answers, Subtracting Fractions from a Whole Number Greater than One, and the Number Line with Addition and Subtraction. 

English:  The Degree of Comparison of Adverbs and the Correct use of Predicate Adjectives and Adverbs along with diagramming. 

Vocabulary: Words dealing with Honesty, Fairness, and Openness (for example:  the word genuine). 

Reading: "A Long Way from Welcome" by Echo Lewis and our National Catholic Primer. 

Religion:  Learning and writing about parables in Luke 10 (The Good Samaritan and Mary and Martha). 

Health:  Learning about nutrients like calcium, iron, and sodium with their functions and food sources. 

Art:  Learning about composition by analyzing artistic paintings of Nicolas Poussin and Antoine Watteau and Using our senses while painting various shapes, colors, and textures by analyzing art work by Martin Johnson Heade.

History:  Various wars during the American Revolution in the Northeast from 1776 - 1777 and the Articles of Confederation in 1777 for History. 

Science:  Hydrocarbons and finishing up a Science project for our co-op class. 

Music:  Piano Lessons

Physical Ed.:  Ballet and Dance and Movement

Places we're going and people we're seeing:  We are taking our dog on longer walks with the warmer weather here.  We walk through 'the boy scout path.'  My four year old loves this.  It is a cut through the woods to a rocky road beside a farmer's field.  We also went to piano lessons and love seeing the families in our weekly co-op.  As mentioned earlier, we were blessed by the prescence of my two college sons this past week.  We were able to see my son's girlfriend a couple of times too.  We also were able to see some of their friends who were home.  One of their good friends broke his leg playing soccer.  They visited him often and we sent our prayers his way.  It was so good to have family prayer time together with them again.

My favorite thing this week:  was the successful class I taught at co-op.  I teach a dance and movement class to the preschoolers.  I love it when things go smoothly in this class and it is such a joy to see the little ones having fun and learning their Faith.  I also loved seeing my college boys at home for a little while.  It is a funny thing that after they use the car, I listen to the radio station they played if I use the car after them.  I think it makes me feel younger.

Whats working/Not working for us:  I need to phase into my homeschool week some Science for kindergarten age.  Years ago I did this with my older sons and it worked extremely well.  I need to make time for it once again.  I can also use some good reading material ideas for kindergarten age and sixth grade.  I would like to sign my sixth grader up for an on-line writing program next year too to learn other techniques in writing.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  I tend to teach writing at an earlier age than many teachers/moms.  I do not understand how so many do not believe grammar is important.  I've always taught grammar concepts along with writing. 

A link, photo, or quote to share:  My link to share is up above.  I do not know how to put photos from my camera onto my blog yet.  Therefore, I will share this quote:

"All the world is a stage" and some of us get stage fright.

My daughter picked this out for me from her 'Attitude in a Jar' - 365 positive attitudes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It's time again to reflect on the blessings of my past week and post them on to Judy's blog.  Gratitude for the blessings in life are the one thing I want to be remembered by after I leave this world.  My blessings are gifts from God and bring me much joy and motivation to persevere as a disciple of the Lord.

1)  I am so grateful to be able to spend time with my four year old son on Thursday outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  We spent some time on our 'boy scout path.'  It is a cut through some woods in our neighborhood.  It leads to a rocky road beside a farmers field.  We often walk the dog here on nice days.  It is so peaceful and private.  Patrick loves playing and exploring on this path.  We were throwing rocks into a big puddle for a little while. 

2)  I am so thankful that my family was able to say the rosary together on our back deck on Saturday.  It was wonderful to hear the birds chirping as we prayed.

3)  I was really grateful to be able to wear shorts on Monday.  The weather is a bit cool today but Monday was awesome.

4)  I am grateful for Tuesday morning when Patrick slept in and my daughter was able to get some homeschooling done and I was able to say the Caplet of St. Michael on EWTN.  It was a time of peace and productivity.  I am also thankful that my two college age sons are home for Easter break this week and we were all able to say Lenten prayers and a Divine Mercy in the afternoon together.

5)  I am very thankful for the energy I had today to teach my dance and movement class at the co-op.  Also for the nice conversations I held with other moms.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to post to Judy's blog for the things I am thankful for this week.  It is so good to hear what others are thankful for because we all seem to experience similarities in our lives.  It is wonderful that we can experience each others blessings and know we are on similar paths to eternal life.

1)  I am very grateful that my daughter has taken the extra steps to study more for her Spanish class.  It is the only class she is having difficulty in this year.  My husband and I quized her prior to her exam.  This class is also a difficult teacher for her which makes it twice as hard.

2)  When I think about the Tsunami in Japan, I am so thankful to be safe and sound in our own country.  I can't imagine the suffering and devestation that occurred there.  I think about this often as I went through my week and lifted them up in prayers.

3)  I am grateful for the Mass for moms they had at my daughters high school last weekend.  I was able to get to know more of the mothers and had a very good time.  The priest had encouraging words for the school as he said he believes the community is a miracle at work on the beltway.

4)  I am grateful for the green icing we licked from the bowl after my daughter made shamrock and Ireland flag cookies for St. Patrick's day.

5)  I was also thankful for the ability to take a break from teaching my co-op class yesterday because my PTSD was acting up.  The moms were very understandable and even watched my children as I came home to take my meds.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tea Talk

I am posting to Ruth's blog today for Tea Talk.  It is a wonderful way to share things with friends that experience life in similar ways yet are so different at the same time.  Different in the way God is using us, yet similar in the end goal of eternal salvation with loving our neighbors as a means to carrying out one of the greatest commandments.  It is a great pleasure to share these moments with you.

I just finished having a skinny caramel maccioto (spelling?) and free petite cake at Starbucks with a good friend.

My mug was the usual Starbucks cup (not much of a nice mug, but it will do).

I was feeling very good to get out of the house for a few minutes on this rainy day.  It just gave me a change of pace for an hour or so.  I had been inside with the kids homeschooling most of the day.  We had a productive and fun day, but it was sure nice to get out and talk to another grown up.  My four year old is reading, writing, and learning mathematical patterns wonderfully.  My sixth grade daughter devotes Thursdays to History, Science, English, and Math and likes to do her work as independantly as possible.  My friend is an amazing person and brought a ray of sunshine into my rainy day.  She is the type that is always encouraging and lifting up others.  I try to do the same for her.

On my mind was trying to find out what good excercise classes were going on in our town.  The Curves in our town had to close.  I'm interested in Zumba.  The only way I can excercise now is with music because it gets me moving.  Otherwise, I am not very motivated.  We also caught up on some items of interest with the parish we belong too.  For example, I'm trying to declutter by getting rid of 40 bags for 40 days during lent.  My friend gave me some names of some people that might be interested in some toys we need to give away.  Therefore, excercising, decluttering, and friendship were on my mind.

I will leave you with this poem by Helen Steiner Rice for God to bless your home:

The Magic of Love

LOVE is like MAGIC
And it always will be,
For love still remains
LOVE works in ways
That are wondrous and strange
LOVE can transform
The most commonplace
Into beauty and splendor
And sweetness and grace!
LOVE is unselfish,
Understanding and kind,
For it sees with its HEART
And not with its mind!
LOVE is the answer
That everyone seeks --
LOVE is the language
That every heart speaks --
LOVE can't be bought,
It is priceless and free,
LOVE like pure MAGIC

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to post what I am thankful for this week onto Judy's blog.  It is so heartwarming to hear what is happening in the lives of others who are trying to raise their families to be good stewards for the Almighty.  Family life takes on many twists and turns and I am filled with joy when I here of the grateful events in the lives of others.  Here are the things I am thankful for this week:

1)  I am grateful for the Calendar Wall Chart and Number Line Math Activity Chart for my four year old.  I purchased them from  I still need wall space for one of them as it is laying on a table instead of hanging on the wall.  Nevertheless, both of these items are wonderful because they utilize small cardboard numbers and items slipped into plastic pockets.  There is no tape, velcro, push pins, etc. that is needed for Patrick to handle.  They are extremely user friendly and help Patrick understand concepts of time and math.

2)  I am grateful that my highschool daughter was off school last Wednesday so she could visit with her homeschool co-op friends.  I know she enjoyed seeing them again. We are a family who care deeply about our friends and are not into leaving people behind and forgetting past memories.  Good friends are hard to come by and we believe in cherishing and nurturing these friendships to last a lifetime.

3)  I was also grateful that one of the other co-op moms was able to watch Patrick while I ran home during lunch to get the Teacher's Manual for class I had to teach middle schoolers.  We had an interesting discussion on the six events that took place leading up to the Revelutionary War:  1) 1770:  The Boston Massacre  2) 1772:  Burning of the Gaspee  3) 1772:  Committees of Correspondence  4) 1773:  Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party  5) 1774:  Intolerrable Acts  6) 1774:  First Continental Congress.  I am so thankful that I had a wonderful mom to trust with Patrick and enough time to retrieve the Teacher's Manual.  There is something to be said about friends who you can trust to leave your children with if you have to leave for some reason!

4)  I am thankful for the warmer weather we had on Monday.  It gives me hope for a wonderful spring time to come.  Yesterday and today were rainey days in Maryland but at least it wasn't snowing here.  My mother said she had some snow flurries in West Virginia.  Signs of warmer weather keep me hoping for the greater things in life!

5)  I am grateful for the little dance and movement class I teach the little ones at our co-op.  The children really enjoy letting off some of their energy as we use bean bags, rhythm sticks, and scarves to dance and march around our excercise mat.  The Lord has lead me to weave in simple lessons about the Faith into this class regarding Creation, Baptism, & Knowing, Loving, and Serving the Lord.  These Faith-based lessons also give the children a breather in between songs that require movement.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to post to Judy's blog today to express the things I am grateful for this past week.  It is wonderful to think about all the ways the Lord has blessed our families. I enjoy hearing about everyone's grateful heart.

1)  I am very grateful that on Friday my daughters, their friend, and I were able to attend the school play at my daughter's high school.  It is wonderful to see my daughter interact with all her friends.  While I was talking to another mom, I glanced back to see all the freshman girls lined up in one of the rows.  It is important to note that it is due to her homeschooling years that helps to give her the convictions and integrity she has today.  Her friends respect her for this and seem to really enjoy her company.

2)  I am thankful that on Saturday I had some girl time for myself.  I was able to eat lunch out with my daughter and her friend.  Then I was able to get my hair cut and highlighted.  I love my hair dresser.  She is so friendly and does an excellent job every time.  My husband also took me to the New Orleans style dinner at our Church put on by the Knights of Columbus.  Some grading was also completed at the library.  I don't know how I had so much time for myself today, but it was a great blessing.

3)  I am so thankful that my four year old was able to stand longer by himself at Mass on Sunday and for the sunshine to come out after a cloudy morning that glitters over the pond with geese behind our backyard.  When I woke up Saturday night/morning from 12:30 am to 3:30 am (insomnia) I was grateful for the free copy of "Homeschool Enrichment Magazine" also.  It really is one of the best magazines I've ever seen!

4)  I am grateful that we were able to get enough homeschooling finished on Monday even though we had a late start.  Our carpool into school was sick and I had to drive my daughter in to school.  By the time I got home, the kids were in 'play mood.'  We eventually turned to the Lord and got organized but it took some encouragement and direction from mom.  We usually get right to our work.  I am grateful that the Lord gave me the energy and insight for this.

5)  I am so grateful to be able to attend the parent/teacher conferences on Tuesday at my daughter's school.  The teachers are wonderful and communicate very well with the parents.  All except one.  It will be interesting to see if this one teacher stays at her school as I think others are complaining about her.  The other teachers are literally spoiling me by helping me educate my daughter.  It is an asset to have Religion class also by such a wonderful woman.  Learning about Our Lord is a requirement around here!