Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Simple Woman

I am able to participate in The Simple Woman's Daybook because I am taking a relaxing break from homeschooling during this Christmas season.  It is a joy to be able to relax and participate in this wonderful meme where we just share our thoughts with each other and do not have to worry about our schedules and responsibilities for a little while.

1)  Outside my is a cold day here in Maryland.  There is no snow this Christmas season and today was bright and sunny.  My children had the opportunity to play outside in the yard for a little while.

2)  I am thinking.....I've been fighting some kind of illness for the past two weeks.  It has been rough going because I've needed more rest than usual while also needing to prepare for Christmas.  I can feel this bug's effect on my system weakening but little bits of it linger on.  I hope I can get rid of it soon.  Tomorrow I'll be going to the doctor.

3)  I am thankful for.....having the opportunity to say our family rosary together today.  It is not often that the entire family is together with our two oldest sons in college.  It was such a joy to come together in prayer today.  I hope my children will always say the rosary.

4)  From the learning rooms.....we are taking a much needed break.  Nevertheless, my middle schooler finished her final draft for her history book report on "Escape from Warsaw" and I continue reading with my kindergartener.

5)  From the kitchen.....lasagna.

6)  I am jeans, a purple long sleeved shirt, and a black sweater with my hair pulled back in a pony tail.  Got my magnifying lens glasses on from CVS.  You know - the eye sights going a little with age.

7)  I am creating.....clothes on my daughter's sewing machine.  I'm tired of the clothes in the stores.  It all looks like cheap, skimpy, expensive junk to me.

8)  I am my mother's house in West Virginia on Wednesday.

9)  I am reading.....Real Change by Newt Gingrich and books from

10)  I am phase in some excercise for my new years resolution.

11)  I am hearing.....three of my children playing and singing on the other computer.

12)  Around the house.....we need to badly organize and declutter.

13)  A quote to share....."I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention."  Diane Sawyer

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time again for a Thankful Woman's Blessings during this Advent season.  We just list five things we are thankful for during our week to share with each other.

1)  We are all very grateful that my college-going sons are coming home tonight for winter break.  My little five year old son has been counting down the days on his calendar.

2)  We are thankful that my high school daughter is on her Christmas break now.  She is home relaxing and sharing time with her younger homeschooled siblings.

3)  We are grateful for the car my mother-in-law gifted us now that she can no longer drive.  It just so happens that one of the cars we've been using is now considered a 'clunker.'   (Not worth putting money into it).

4)  I am thankful that I feel a little better today after about one whole month of feeling under the weather.  I'm still not feeling how I would like to but at least I have the energy to get out and about today.

5)  I am grateful for the publication from Hillsdale College called "Imprimis."  Today we discussed a great article in it entitled, "The Unity and Beauty of the Declaration and the Constitution" by Larry P. Arnn.  It is a free publication.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

I've been having some aches and pains this week which makes it hard to focus on what I am thankful for.  I'm going to try to block out the pain and think about the brighter times during my week by participating in A Thankful Woman's Blessings.  Just click on this link to participate in this great meme.

1)  I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  In John 14: 15-27 the Holy Spirit is called the 'Advocate.'  What joy to know that the spirit supports us and is always with us.  Jesus calms the Apostles down considerably when he tells them that he will not leave them orphans because he will be sending the 'Spirit of Truth' to them.

2)  I am grateful for my family.  Family is so important.  We can support eachother in good times and bad.  Unlike some acquantances who disappear during bad times - our families are dependable and compassionate to all our needs.

3)  It is so nice to have a husband that can drive my daughter to swim team practice and swim meets.  It would be too difficult to homeschool my younger children if I didn't have the help from my husband.  My older children can be challenged in good Catholic communities because my husband helps out and gets involved.

4)  I am grateful for the Christmas Mass and Brunch at my daughter's high school.  During the homily, the priest focused on some words spoken by Pope Benedict.  It is so rewarding when parents hear good things happening in the school environments of their children.  It is very difficult to trust others in this day and age.

5)  I am thankful for our homeschool cookie swap the other night.  It was fun to talk with some of the other moms even though only three of us are actually teaching classes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Homeschool Week

It is time for The Homeschool Mother's Journal again where we can share what has occurred in our week with homeschooling and life in general.  Here is a small record of my past week:

1)  In my life this week...I was able to attend a wonderful Mothers Mass and Brunch at my daughter's private high school.  It was a great experience as one of the mothers gave a speech on women of the bible and referenced numerous bible passages.  I was also able to meet many mothers of my daughter's friends.  We are so blessed to be part of this special school. 

I was also finally able to get my kindergartener to go to his religion class with me.  He learned about The Annunciation and the Good Shepherd.  He was stalling to go to this class and I finally got him out the door to go to it.  I had to stay and help in the class, but this is o.k.  Next week I'll be able to help out if need be again.  We also sung songs around the Advent wreath.  We do this everyday at home with prayers and devotions.

I also am in less pain after having physical therapy for my back and legs.  After my fifth child, I've experienced pain in my lower back and legs.  I just had an MRI done to see if there is anything I should be worried about with this pain.  It may just be that I have to live with it, but now I have learned some good excercises to help strengthen the area.

I was also overjoyed to have my college sons home for Thanksgiving.  They look good and are doing very well.  My oldest is already thinking about graduate school for next year.  He may do graduate work in Philosophy.  His bachelors is in Engineering.  What a combination?!?

2)  In our homeschool week...We had a productive week even though I'm behind on grading and preparation for my middle school co-op class.  We did the following:

Math:  Test; Ivestigating Fractions with Manipulatives; Divisibility; and Equal Groups with Fractions

English:  Passive and Active Voice with Diagramming; Predicate Nominatives, Retained Objects and Tense (Simple or Compound) and Voice; Compound Tense of Verbs and the Indicative Mood; The Imperative Mood with Person and Number.

Religion:  We discussed how Faith isn't just knowing but also loving, helping, and serving the people in our lives.  We referenced the three angels of the bible (Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael).  We learned that Raphael means "God's Remedy" or "God has healed."  Discovered that the virtues are remedies for the seven capital sins.  We also discussed sacramentals which help to remind us to see with the eyes of Faith.  We discovered that prayer is the way we practice speaking the language of Faith.  Just like learning to speak a new language requires constant practice, the more we pray - the more confidence will grow and communication with God will be easier for us.

History:  Read Lesson on "The Second Industrial Revolution" in the Gilded Age and completed workbook.  Learned of various industries which grew rapidly during the Gilded Age, of labor unions, increasing U.S. urbanization, immigration issues, problems faced by farmers and caused by railroads.  Learned about 'yellow journalism' and researched and wrote paragraphs on Walter Reed, Jingoism, Lucy Hayes, and Cowboys.

Latin:  Learned about First Declension Nouns, idenfifying stems, and did some tables with lists of nouns with all the case endings that belong to its declension.

Writing:  Revised first draft on Religion paper "A Trustworthy Remedy."

Reading:  Read for pleasure "All the Lovely Bad Ones" by Mary Downing Hahn.

Vocabulary:  Completed lesson on words related to family.

Art:  My daughter analyzed paintings of Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso and painted a picture of a happy time in her life using colors to help express this happiness.  The happy moment happened to be when her baby brother was born.

Music:  Piano Lesson and practice

Phys. Ed.:  Ballet Lesson

Kindergarten:  Adding and subtracting; journal reading, writing, and coloring; painting; prayers and devotions around Advent wreath; phonics; calendar.

3)  I am inspired by...all the mothers I've met this past week.  Many of them have large families and do a wonderful job raising their children.

4)  Places we're going and people we're seeing...mentioned already above - my daughter's high school, religion class for kindergartener, physical therapy, homeschool co-op (please see some co-op pictures at, and seeing my two college sons.  We were also able to take a break on Friday and go out to lunch together.

5)  My favorite thing this week...was going to Mass with all three of my sons.

6)  Questions/thoughts I have...I love it when lessons permit us, as parents, to enter into dialogue with our children.  It is at times when we hold important conversations where we can learn so much about the world.  Do you have any curriculum that help you to enter into dialogue with your children?

7)  A photo, video, link, or quote to share...Our world will be better when the power of love replaces the love of power.