Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
Love it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

SOAP: Week 8 - Sirach

SOAP: Scripture verse, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

S - "A kind mouth multiplies friends, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings." (Sirach 6: 5)

O - It is so important to build each other up with encouragement.  Have you ever met someone who likes to throw little daggers into their conversations?  I guess it is an attempt to belittle someone or make themselves look the better.  This form of communication is a 'red flag' to rely on a someone else who respects others.  This is why it is so important to reach out and give encouragement to others rather than putting them down.

- Greet others with a friendly hello, good morning, or smile.  Be thankful for your friendships and words of compassion will flow through your veins as you communicate.  This is why I like to write about what I am thankful for during the week on this blog.  It is a great way to build up and encourage with gracious attitudes to have about life.

- I pray that strong friendships can flourish in all our countries virtuous communities so that encouragement is fostered which builds confidence and trust.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Homeschool Week

It's time for The Homeschool Mother's Journal. Just click on the name to go to this great meme.

In my Life this Week: At our homeschool co-op, we had a wonderful colonial celebration.  It was so nice to be able to talk to all the moms enjoying the colonial food and costumes together.  We're usually so busy teaching our classes that we have little time to talk.  The moms are so wonderful and it was a good feeling to have fellowship together.  We also took a trip to a new library.  My daughter finished up her paper and I read Henry and Mudge books to my pre-schooler.  He was playing with some giant teddy bears they have in a reading corner while I helped my daughter.

In Our Homeschool WeekSummer Schedule

Religion: 1) - The Tower of Babel 2) Journal - The Crucifixion

Writing: 1) Revised final draft on IEW summary. 2) Pre-schooler wrote one journal sentence.

Reading: 1) William Bennett's - The Moral Compass and The Book of Virtues 2) Pre-schooler - Catholic National Reader and library books.

Math: 1) Greatest Common Factor (GCF)  2) Properties of Geometric Solids  3) Mean, Median, Mode, and Range  4) Pre-schooler - MCP Math

History:  Colonial celebration at Co-op.

Music: 1) Piano Lessons and practice.  2) Piano Guild

Physical Educ: 1) Last Ballet Class before the recital.

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing: Co-op families and library

My Favorite Thing this Week: My favorite part of the week was definately our co-op celebration.

What's Working/Not Working for Us: Getting up early and beginning math immediately following our Morning Offering is working great for us.  Morning is the best time for all of us to do our work.  In my dance and movement class, I teach the kids that we pray first before we play.  We take on the same attitude in our home life.  We pray and work before we play.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have: The swimming pool is opening up this weekend.  Now that my preschooler is four, he is going to want to go swimming often.  My four older children are on swim team or are lifeguards and will be at the pool constantly.  Does anyone else have a serious committment to a summer sport and how do you manage homeschooling with it?

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: "If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time." Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It's time to post to Judy's blog and list five things we are thankful for this week.  It is a wonderful way to contemplate on how the Lord has touched our lives.  Just click on the name to go to this great meme.

1)  I am grateful for our weekly co-op this week.  Before we left for co-op, I went up on my meds and though my PTSD was going to flair up.  I forced myself into the car to drive the children to co-op.  It turned out to be a beautiful day to have our colonial celebration together.  I'm glad I took my meds and pushed myself out the door.

2)  I am grateful for the dentist who pulled my daughter's tooth out because it wouldn't come out on its own.  He was very good with my daughter and made her relaxed while he performed the procedure.  Now my daughter's adult tooth can grow in straighter.

3)  I am thankful I was able to visit my friend on Sunday afternoon.  What a beautiful family they have and our children play so well together.

4)  I am thankful for finding out Jo Ann Fabrics is having some cake decorating classes in the summer for my daughter and her friend to take.

5)  I am grateful that our homeschool year is coming to an end.  We are phasing out some of our subjects now.  The only things we will be doing in the summer are devotions, reading, writing, and rithmetic (and possibly vocabulary).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple Woman

Peggy's blog has a wonderful meme to share the simple pleasures we feel in life. Just click on the name to go to this meme.

Outside my window...It's a cloudy and rainey evening.  A few minutes ago there was thunder off in the distance.

I am thinking...that I am so grateful that I made it home in time to make my 19 year old his birthday dinner.  Traffic was backed up on my way to pick up my daughter from school.  In fact, they were directing traffic to go another way because of a bad accident.  I know no other way to my daughter's school.  Therefore, I had to meet my husband at a nearby metro so he could take the car a different route to my daughter's school.  I took the metro to our other car and drove home while my husband went a different way to get my daughter.

I am thankful for...a husband that knows directions good!

From the learning rooms...we are making spoon bread and apple pie for our colonial celebration at the co-op.

From the Kitchen...My son requested 'Pizza Caserole with Pepperoni.'  He told me to leave out the onion and throw in some bacon.  Since it is his birthday, he got what he asked for.

I am jogging shorts and matching top with flip flops
I am creating...a book for teaching the little ones the rosary at co-op for next year.

I am the grocery store again tomorrow.  I've been three times today.  We spent much time in the kitchen today making the apple pie, my son's birthday cake and dinner, and some keish.

I am reading...The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I am hoping...that we can renew our wedding vows for our 25th wedding anniversary this year.

I am hearing...the sound of my children playing games together on the computer.

Around the house....there are dishes to wash, clothes to fold, and things to organize.

A few plans for the rest of the week...sign my daughter up for a cake decorating class.

A picture or thought to leave you with...
"People exchange ideas easier than they change them."

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Homeschool Week

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

It's time for The Homeschool Mother's Journal. Just click on the name to go to this great meme.

In my Life this Week: The big news is that my two college sons came home for the summer and already started their summer jobs.  It is wonderful to see my four year old bond with his older brothers again.  We are also starting to wind down our homeschooling next week for the summer.  We will be doing Devotion, reading, writing, and rithmetic (and possibly vocab.) over the summer.  My daughters will be on the swim team and my older sons are lifeguards at the same pool nearby.  What convenience when you have four drivers and only two cars.  The Lord is good!

My husband extended our back yard fence on the side of the house.  It looks much better.  Afterwards, I had a great idea where to create a grotto right outside my kitchen window.  I would like to start on it this weekend.

In Our Homeschool Week:

Religion: 1) - Pentecost  2) Journal - Agony in the Garden  3) Journal - Jesus on Trial

English: 1) Correct verb form and diagramming (WDFS - winding down for summer)

Vocabulary: 1) Written Exam

Writing: 1) Finished final draft on IEW summary.  2) Pre-schooler wrote two journal sentences

Reading: 1) William Bennett's - The Moral Compass and The Book of Virtues  2) Pre-schooler - Catholic National Reader and library books.

Math: 1) Prime and Composite numbers  2) Test  3) Investigation: Displaying Data  4) Corrections  5) Pre-schooler - MCP Math

Science: WDFS

History: 1) Finished preparing report on Samuel Morse.  2) Manifest Destiny (1790's - 1840's), Native Americans (1830's - 1840's), Mexican War (1846 - 1848)

Art: 1) Observed Art that was used to be carried in parades and tournaments from Andrea del Catagno and made shield for my four year old.  2) Two Journal drawings and colorings.

Music: Piano Lessons and practice

Health: Drugs and alcohol

Physical Educ: 1) Ballet Class

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing: Dentist, Carpooling, Craft Store, Shopping, Gym (no co-op)

My Favorite Thing this Week: My favorite part of the week was definately when my two sons came home from college.

What's Working/Not Working for Us: We need to have better literature lined up at the beginning of the year.  I utilized Totally Tailored Reading to receive literature recommendations for my seventh grader next year. 

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have: Next year I will be teaching three classes in our co-op:  1) Middle school history  2) Early elementary journaling/writing  and 3) P-K Dance and Movement.  I hope I will be able to manage all of this.  What is the most co-op classes you have taught in one year?  Has anyone ever taught three outside classes?  If so, how did it go?  We are loosing some of the families from our co-op.  Hopefully, this summer more will sign up and be able to assist in my classes.

Also, how do you get older children to enjoy reading progressively more challenging material?  Some of my friends said their children just read some of the classics even when they didn't totally understand the book.  This triggered a quest to learn and enjoy reading more and now they are avid readers.  In other words, they continued to push themselves.  This is a goal for my seventh grader this summer and into next year.  Does anyone have any good recommendations?

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: "Imagine if enthusiasm were stirred as easily as suspicion."

Eileen is Grateful

It's time once again to post to Judy's blog to share the wonderful ways God has touched our lives this week.  No matter how small the incident that occurs, it is extremely important to be thankful.  Recording events where graciousness touched our hearts helps us to see beyond worldly affairs into the spiritual realm of our lives.  A realm that helps us to remember how God loves us.

1)  There has been a Baltimore Oriole flying around our house this week.  It is hard to catch sight of it, but we constantly hear its beautiful singing.  Yes, this is our state bird and we don't see them every day.  Have you ever heard one?  The sound is so clear and distinct and very high pitched.  When we've heard it, we've often run over to the window to try and spot it.  What a beautiful sound that comes from this bird.  I'm grateful to be able to listen to the beautiful melodies it brought us this week.  What would we do if we couldn't hear the birds?

2)  I am very thankful that I was able to set up a small prayer table so that we can crown our statue of Mary with roses this month.  My daughter also reads a passage from "Imitation of Mary."  This book is beautifully written.  Mary is our Dear Mother in heaven and needs to be honored this month.  If you haven't done so yet, try to put flowers all around your Mary statue this month so your children will come to her.

3)  I am thankful that I was able to send my review into our umbrella school this week.  My reviewer came before we left on vacation.  She is absolutely wonderful as she comes at the most convenient and important times.  It is always a joy to talk with her.

4)  I am grateful that we were able to visit my mom for Mother's Day.  We haven't been able to get up to see her much and we finally made the trip.  She is 1 1/2 hours away in Berkely Springs, WV.  We had a wonderful visit.  Please keep my mom in your prayers as she has bad arthritis.  She had to sit on a heating pad part of the time we were there.

5)  I am thankful that my daughter was able to help out at our Good As New Sale at the parish to earn 5 more hours of community service.  Her hours have to be turned in soon, and we needed to find her something else to put in her record.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Motherhood Limerick

Chocolate on my Cranium has a great meme where you jot down a Motherhood Limerick.  Here is my Motherhood Limerick this week:

College sons now home for the summer

We don't have enough cars - what a bummer!

The carpool can change for one day

So you can visit your girlfriend and say...

"Why don't we get married next May."

Hey - there's no rush!

Tea Talk

It's time to post to Ruth's blog which has a wonderful meme where one can share a cup of tea and experience quiet times together.

I am having Irish Cream Coffee.

My mug is a free mug from the Rush Limbaugh show (don't worry, I won't talk politics today).

I'm am feeling like I really need this coffee. I usually carpool with another family to drive my daughter to school but today I have to do all the driving.  I also had to go to the library to get books for my homeschooler to do a report and a doctors appointment.  It is a busy 'driving day' for me.  I usually do not need to go many places.  Nevertheless, it comes at just the right time because my two sons are now home from college and the younger ones will have some help today.  Before long, my older sons will begin their summer jobs as lifeguards and my three youngest will be participating on swim team.  Our summers can be quite busy at times.  We only have two cars and four drivers.  I can't even imagine how young people afford anything today let alone a car.  We'll need to keep praying for guidance from the Almighty so that our growing children can soon attain necessities!

I will leave you with a saying from our 'Quotable Quotes from a Jar.'

"When nothing is sure, everything is possible."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time to express what we are thankful for this past week and post to Judy's blog.  It is a wonderful meme that reminds me that God touches our hearts during the week.

1)  I am so grateful that my two college sons are coming home today.  I can't wait to see them tonight!

2)  I am very thankful that I had some change in my purse the other day when I picked my daughter up from school.  I was able to buy coffee from McDonald's because I was getting very tired.  It woke me up!

3)  I am grateful that I am able to go excercise on Saturday mornings.  Now if I can just get two more days into the week.

4)  I am thankful that the woman in front of us at the craft store left a 40% discount coupon to buy items needed for my high school daughter's Spanish project.

5)  I am grateful for talking to another mom for carpool arrangements next year.  It looks as though we may be able to have some fine arrangements.

SOAP: Week 7 - Sirach

SOAP: Scripture verse, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

S - "Be not a lion at home, nor sly and suspicious at work.  Let not your hand be open to receive and clenched when it is time to give." (Sirach 4: 30-31)

O - Opus Dei has a wonderful concept called 'Unity of Life.'  This means we do not act one way at work and a different way at home.  We apply Christ-centered love to all areas of our lives.

A - One should never just keep taking from someone without providing them a thank you or some kind of feedback to encourage their efforts to continue and improve their relationship.  When one is too quiet, they become unapproachable and cause relationships to suffer.  This is why it is so important to be giving in our communications with eachother unless, for safety reasons, silence is required.

P - I pray that good friendships can flourish through life-giving efforts in the way people communicate with eachother.

F is for Fidelity

It's time to participate in the ABC's of Homeschooling at 5 Kids and a Dog.  This week I have chosen F is for fidelity.  Just click on this name.

Faithfulness to something to which one is bound by a pledge, by duty, or by a sense of what is right or appropriate is one of the greatest benefits to homeschooling young children.  Let your children be living testimonies of their faith for God, family, and country!  My children are living testimonies of their fidelity to things that are good and beautiful in the sight of God.

We are fortunate to be living in an area where our children were able to homeschool up through ninth grade.  Once they reached high school age, they were showing tremendous fidelity to their family and studies.  My two sons needed something more than I was giving them at home.  They were ready to get out into the world and yes, even evangelize and make more friends.  My daughters could homeschool forever but I can not deny them the opportunities they've witnessed in my two sons' education.  This would be unfair.  My boys seem to need community type settings to help them grow to their fullest potential and experience life.

We found a diamond in the rough at a private high school in WDC near my husbands place of employment.  Low and behold, they've established like-minded friends who have this same fidelity toward their work and family at this high school.  My oldest son even graduated salutatorian!  It is their fidelity to Christ who they took with them into their high school years.  Christ was the cornerstone of their homeschooling years and he remained that way in their high school years.  This would be unachievable had they attended a public school.  Also, isn't it good to know that there exists something good in WDC?!

The same is true for my daughter - only she is at an 'all girls' private school.  For example, there is one friend in her group of friends that likes to gossip and spread rumors.  It is sad but this is part of life sometimes.  She spread a false rumor about another good friend of my daughters.  My daughter helped her wounded friend correct the gossip and clear her good name.  She knows how to choose friends that have fidelity toward their relationships and are true believers in what is good and beautiful in the sight of God.  This gossip problem did not occur until recently.   Therefore, we went all year with loyal friendships and successful endeavors.  We are praying for this young girl who gossips because her parents are taking her out of the school next year to go somewhere else.  If you want my opinion, she needs to be homeschooled before it is too late!!!

They've applied this fidelity toward their work habits also.  They've transitioned into these schools quite well and have remained dedicated to doing their academics to the best of their abilities.  This shows in the grades they bring home.  With homeschooling as the method of education in the beginning of their education, they've been able to meet the challenges that life brings them in mature and Christ-like ways of living.  It is homeschooling that set them on the path with a vision for life that keeps Christ at the center of everything they do.

I still have two at home and it remains to be seen if we will send them to these same schools or not.  One is four years old and a lot can happen in ten years.  Schools can change.  Therefore, it is not always possible to find these diamonds in the rough for schools and homeschooling remains a viable option for them.  I completely understand if a family chooses to homeschool through high school.  God has blessed us to find these good Christian high schools in our area.

Our children have witnessed their parents fidelity to eachother, to God, to their work, and to Christ during their lives.  There is too much divorce in our society today.  This is not a good thing.  For example, why are they constantly trying to point out that it is o.k. to have fidelity in a marriage relationship toward someone of the same sex in our county schools?  This is terrible for children!  Homeschooling shows your children that mom and dad have fidelity for eachother and work together for the good of the family.  This is so important for the growth and development of our children.  It is you that your young children need - not a school where other influences can get thrown at a child.  Keep fighting the good fight and the Lord will bless your efforts!  Fidelity is of the utmost importance in the lives of our children!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Homeschool Week

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

It's time for The Homeschool Mother's Journal. Just click on the name to go to this great meme.

In my Life this Week:  We had a beautiful week filled with lots of sunshine.  We tried to finish our work early so we could play outside after we honored Mary at our prayer table.  It's so nice to see my four year old crown Mary with flowers.  Our statue has a halo on Mary and I just bought some miniature craft roses to wrap around the removable halo.  It worked out very nicely.

We also had a nice visit with our mothers for Mother's Day weekend.  Please pray for my mom as she has some health problems that make it hard for her to get around.  She was on the heating pad for part of our visit to her.

In Our Homeschool Week:

Religion: 1) Bread of Life Work (see Teacher Aid section at  2) - The Visitation  3) The Poor Widow journal entry  4) The Last Supper journal entry

English:  1)  Choosing adverbs or prepositions w/ diagramming  2) The colon and present tense w/ diagramming  3) Determining part of speech w/ diagramming

Vocabulary: 1) Completed lesson on words dealing w/ movement  2) Oral Exam

Writing: 1)  Began first draft of IEW paper on short story.  Incorporated Bible verse into paper (Religion).  2) Pre-schooler wrote two journal sentences

Reading: 1) Seton Readers - St. George and St. Francis Xavier  2) Pre-schooler - Catholic National Reader and library books.

Math: 1) Corrections and Multiplying Fractions  2) Converting Units of Weight and Mass  3) Exponents and Powers  4) Finding Equivalent Fractions by Multiplying by 1 and corrections  5) Pre-schooler - MCP Math

Science: 1) Alcohols  2) Esters  3) Biological Chemistry (nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, fats)

History: 1) Research and begin to prepare report on Samuel Morse.

Art: 1) Balanced Composition - observed balance in William M. Harnett's painting and made a balanced collage   2) Two Journal drawings and colorings.

Music: Piano Lessons and practice

Health: Exercise - Summer Fitness Plan (lots of swimming)

Physical Educ: 1) Ballet 2) Dance and Movement

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing:  Our co-op families

My Favorite Thing this Week:  My favorite part of the week was the special prayer time we had together.  My daughter reads from "Imitation of Mary" by Alexander de Rouville.  These are beautiful readings on the life and virtues of Mary.

What's Working/Not Working for Us:   Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has been a big help to us this year.  My daughter has already completed fourteen papers just this year using methods from IEW to improve her writing skills.  

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  There are so many ways to approach writing.  Do you find yourself exploring different methods and jumping around or do you look for patterns to teach your children?  One can do a little bit of both too.

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: " Actions are the best interpreters of thoughts."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

E is for Easy Meal (that's healthy too!)


I am so grateful when I find an easy meal that is also healthy.  Sometimes the homeschooling lasts a good part of the day and I feel tired when the time comes to make dinner.  It is such a big help to have a nutritious meal that doesn't take all day to prepare.  Therefore, here is my easy meal for this week to share with you.  Please post to the ABC's of Homeschooling to join this great meme.  Just click on this link.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups of water
3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups fresh or frozen veggies
1/2 tsp. onion powder
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:  1)  Stir the soup, water, rice, veggies, and onion powder in a shallow baking dish.  2)  Top with chicken.  Season chicken as desired; cover.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until done.  Top with cheese.

(If you have picky eaters that don't like veggies mixed w/ their rice - cook them separately.  The rice still turns out moist and yummy).

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Homeschool Week

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

It's time for The Homeschool Mother's Journal. Just click on the name to go to this great meme.

In my Life this Week:  We had a productive week and got to visit grandma on Mother's Day weekend.  My daughter wanted to spend her own money to get grandma a gift.  She is so sweet as she wouldn't accept my help.  My pre-schooler wanted to sit in our car with me and pretend to drive.  This is when I found some coins and started teaching him the value of money.  He would pretend to drive to the ice cream store to buy us ice cream as I told him how much it would cost.  Then I would help him count the appropriate coins out to pay for our pretend ice cream.  What fun it was - seeing him pretend to be a grown up and learning at the same time!

In Our Homeschool Week:

Religion: 1) Read Sessions 21-25 in Finding God  2) Resurrection Eggs w/ story  3) Reading for Journal Entry:  Mary Anoints Jesus  4) Reading for Journal Entry:  The Entry into Jerusalem

English:  1)  Correct use of nothing and anything w/ diagramming  2) Distinguishing between nouns and adjectives when the same word is applied differently w/ diagramming  3) Correct verb forms w/ diagramming  4) Present tense, past tense, past participle, and future tense w/ diagramming

Vocabulary: 1) Written Test  2) Completed Lesson 6 w/ words dealing w/ agreement and disagreement  3) Another Written Test (will have to continue or oral exams next week)

Writing: 1) Conducted interview and wrote article for co-op newsletter  2) Finished final draft on book report ('A Long Way from Welcome')  3) Pre-schooler wrote two journal sentences

Reading: 1) Seton Readers - St. Vincent Feirer and St. Francis Xavier  2) Pre-schooler - Catholic National Reader and library books.

Math: 1) Adding and subtracting decimal numbers  2) Converting units of length  3) Changing improper fractions to whole or mixed numbers  4) Test  5) Pre-schooler - MCP Math and value of coins

Science: Classroom Lab on Compounds

History: 1) Finished research on General Henry Harrison and General Andrew Jackson  (Did you know Andrew Jackson tried to give Native Americans their own land west of the Mississippi?)  2) Read Lesson 28 on Jacksonians and Whigs (1825-1849)  3) Started Workbook.

Art: 1) Patterns - designed some stationary w/ patterns and studied a pattern in Gustave Caillebotte's painting  2) Two Journal drawings and colorings.

Music: Piano Lessons and practice

Health: Calories

Physical Educ: 1) Ballet 2) Dance and Movement

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing:  Grandma in West Virginia and our co-op families.

My Favorite Thing this Week:  My Dance and Movement Class at our co-op is so nice when I see the little ones perform the works I made for them.  We do works on Creation; Praying; Knowing, Loving, and Serving; and Baptism.  They are so cute when they sing the songs and do the hand motions.  We do these works in between the songs we dance and move to.  It gives them a change of pace (and me and them a breather).

What's Working/Not Working for Us:   Doing journal entries with my pre-schooler is very effective because we are doing Gospel stories too.  It covers Writing, Art, and Religion all at the same time.  Please see my blog at  for some examples of my 4 year old's work.  My son has me close my eyes sometimes to make me surprised that he can choos the right letter to build words in a sentence.  It is like a game to him sometimes.  I enjoy seeing the expression on his face when I look surprised.  I often tease him and say, "you don't know which letter that is."  This encourages him even more to build his words with the appropriate letters.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  Do your pre-schoolers behave better for you when their not around other little friends?  Sometimes - when we're at co-op - it is harder to get my pre-schooler to cooperate and pay attention because he gets distracted by his little friends.  I am trying to teach him that this is inappropriate during class time.  He seems to focus more when he is at home with only mom.  Does this happen to anyone?

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: " Give people a bit of your heart, rather than a piece of your mind."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tea Talk

Ruth's blog has a wonderful meme where one can share a cup of tea and experience quiet times together.

I am having Raspberry Vanilla Caffeine Free Tea.

My mug is the same white with blue and orange flowers.

I'm am feeling a little achy because my arthritis is acting up again.  I also have a slight headache and just took two Tylenol PM's.  The tea is really soothing my aches and pains.  I am wondering why we have such a cool day today in Maryland for May 5th.  I am also releaved that we had a semi-productive day homeschooling today even though my four year old is going through a tough stage right now.  I think he is a perfectionist.  If the smallest thing is not right to him - he lets you know.  We get into some interesting conversations but sometimes it is sooo tiring.  Well, I'm glad he is talking and expressing his feelings.  He had a priviledge taken away from him today because he had a melt down yesterday when we had to leave our co-op.  He knows better even though part of the issue was that he was tired.  He fell asleep on the coach now.  I will have to carry him into bed.  All that talking wore him out too.  I think I will sleep good tonight. 

I'm also hoping that I have enough time tomorrow morning to check my daughter's math.  We are expecting a new novel to come in the mail for her to read.  I wish it would get here.  I may start her on another book my high school daughter read in the past.  I am also excited because my two college sons will be home for the summer soon.  I am so proud of them.

I will leave you with another saying from our 'Attitudes in a Jar.'

"Sharing part of yourself with others is love."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time once again to post to Judy's blog to list five things we were thankful for during our past week.  A thankful heart is a happy heart.  A happy heart finds more time to be loving.

1)  I am thankful that I'm learning how to post pictures onto my computer then to this blog.  I'm still not very good at it but it is a start.

2)  I am so grateful for my daughter's Catholic school.  It is a luxury to go from homeschooling to a good private school for me.  I love homeschooling but God has blessed us with some wonderful high schools for our three oldest children.  It has also helped me with my PTSD.  I would like to share some of my freshman daughter's pictures with you from her freshman year.

As you know from past posts, I am grateful for the swim team at her school.  The other pictures were from the father daughter dance.  My daughter attends Mass there every day!

3)  I am grateful that I noticed this little acorn seed I planted for my youngest son sprouting on my oldest son's birthday.  "A sprout will shoot from the stump of Jesse."  I want to plant it now but I don't know where yet.

4)  I am grateful that my family was able to visit my two sons in college this weekend.  It was Maryland Day at the U of MD.  My sons will be home soon so everyone went except me so that I could get some things done around the house.  I needed this time to help get organized, clean, and some R and R.

5)  I am thankful for the scrap booking pictures I created to share with you.  I don't have a lot of time to do this but really enjoy it.  If you like my work let me know.  I make them for friends too - for free - once in a blue moon.  So I can probably only commit to the first three who ask.  All I would need is for you to send me about 15 pictures along with any doodads you wanted to include.  It can also be theme based.  You would just need to purchase a standardized frame for the completed work.  It is a way that I give back to others.  Here are the two I created.

D is for Decisiveness


Join me in the ABC's of Homeschooling.  Just click on this link and it will take you to the letter 'D' for this week. I chose 'D' is for Deciveness.

Homeschooling allows parents the opportunity to help their children have the ability to finalize decisions based on the will and ways of God.  "If any of you is without wisdom, let him ask it from God who gives generously and ungrudgingly to all, and it will be given him." (James 1:5)  From the moment our children wake up to the moment they go to bed at night, they are given the time, instruction, opportunity, and example to direct all their decisions towards virtuous outcomes.  Every day they ask themselves, "What would Jesus do in this situation?"  The public schools do not do this because prayer and God's Word are foreign.  This is especially critical during their elementary years because it is here that they learn to incorporate God's love into their lives.  In other words, it becomes the foundation upon which they build their future decisions when they are older.

It is so important to have the quality of determining a subject of deliberation or putting an end to a controversy by relying on the perfect will of God.  Education without faith becomes a burden and a bore.  Education with faith as the nucleus makes daily tasks purposeful, exciting, and life-giving.  It is faith that gives our children the insight to have the wisdom in choosing the best course of action to take in their daily situations, responsibilities, and encounters.  There is nothing more loving and powerful for a young child to experience their own parents help them make the right decisions to do their work diligently and cheerfully.  This valuable work ethic for the correct attitude toward work comes from real graces poured out from the Holy Spirit that is alive and working in our children. 

Our children not only decide to do their work with the best quality but also put the needs of others at the forefront of their endeavors.  They decide to choose like-minded friends who also have virtuous qualities instilled in them.  Every time our little ones loose their focus, parents direct them back to virtuous ends with loving discipline.  There is not time for getting away with misbehaving or following unruly friends.  Our young ones are like sponges soaking up everything around them.  Their lives are too valuable to encounter classrooms where children are like cogs in a machine - all treated the same way.  Parents respect and honor the individuality of each child and know how to meet their needs to help them make all their decisions on a Godly foundation.

Homeschooling helps our children learn that true wisdom in their decision-making is a gift from God.  They learn that they do not want worldly wisdom but true wisdom.  They know the difference and remain safe from the harm of unruly individuals as they grow because they continue to decide to turn to the Lord in all their endeavors.  They become true disciples in following Our Dear Lord.  Therefore, help your children be decisive with the Lord as their ultimate guide!