Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Homescool 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:On Thursday my high schooler stayed home with us because there were tornado warnings and watches in our area.  Therefore, we were in our basement for a while and watching the weather channel.  We sent up some prayers for all the people that were impacted by the devastation of tornadoes this past week.  On Friday we took a field trip with our co-op to Ft. Frederick to see a fort that was used during the Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War.  It was a really awesome looking fort.  Two rows of housing flanked the sides of a large courtyard surrounded by a high stone wall. The lay out was very similar to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore.  It made me desire to live in that time.  Each room had a large fireplace for heat and cooking. To live in quarters like these, I could imagine people were very close - like family.   There were tents set up with colonial clothing and items for sale and people walking around dressed for colonial times.

You will notice that we didn't get to do some of our work due to being out and about this week.  Also, my daughter who attends Catholic high school was home for two days and lent some time for the kids to bond with each other.  We also had a lesson in organization because my daughters had to straighten their room up together.  It was the perfect time for it.

In Our Homeschool Week:

Religion: 1) We read the story of Zacchaeus.  2) - The Preaching of the Kingdom

English: Possessive singular and plural nouns and watched Pride and Prejudice

Vocabulary:  No Vocab. this week.

Writing:1) Completed first draft of book report.  2) Preschooler wrote journal sentence.

Reading: 1) Catholic National Reader and library books.

Math:1) Area  2) Corrections

Science: Alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes (3 major types of hydrocarbons made up of only hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms.)  Also constructed a propane molecule out of Styrofoam balls and toothpicks.  The fireplace in our kitchen was my example of something that runs on propane.

History: 1)  Researched Hamilton and Burr duel;  2) Read about the War of 1812;  3) Researched General Henry Harrison and General Andrew Jackson

Art: 1) Journal drawing and coloring.  My four year old colors patterns on peoples clothes now.  He must have a mathematical mind.

Music: Piano Lessons and practice

Health: Organization and keeping sanitary.

Physical Educ: 1) Ballet  2) Dance and Movement

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing: Our homeschool co-op families and Ft. Frederick in Frederick, Maryland.

My Favorite Thing this Week:Watching Pride and Prejudice with my daughters.

What's Working/Not Working for Us: My homeschooled daughter thinks she can have off when ever my daughter that attends Catholic school is home.  I let her get away with it this week but she is going to have to realize that she is on a different schedule than my other daughter.  Why do my homeschooled kids try to bargain with me so much?  Do yours?

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have: Does anyone have a child age six or younger that can not stand to get hurt (for example:  fall and scrape their skin)?  My four year old got a pretty big cut that will heal but had a really hard time getting over it.  He wouldn't let me put him down for a long period and I had to carry him around the whole time we were on our field trip.  Why does he over-react so much?

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: "Love with insight beats love at first sight."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tea Talk

It is a joy to be able to post to Ruth's blog today to share part of our days together.

I am having Raspberry Zinger Celestial Herbal Caffeine Free Tea.

My mug is white with blue and orange flowers.

I'm am feeling glad to be home from a fun time with our homeschool co-op's field trip to Ft. Frederick.  There is a fort used in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War still standing there.  It was wonderful to walk around with the other moms while our kids explored and played together.  Unfortunately, my four year old wouldn't let me put him down because he got a large scratch on his leg.  He wouldn't forget about it.  Therefore, I left my daughter with another family and we had to leave a bit early.  My arms are aching!

On my mind is whether or not my four year old will be fussy this evening because of his 'big booboo.'  He is relaxing on the coach right now and let me apply some neosporine to his cut. I hope he forgets about it.  

I'm also wondering if my daughter had to use the note I gave her to excuse her absence from school yesterday.  We had tornado warnings and watches most of the morning.  Therefore, we stayed home and stayed safe.

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

"To look at setbacks with serenity takes courage."
(Serene - marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SOAP - Week 6: Sirach

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

S - "My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.  Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.  For great is the power of God; by the humble he is glorified." (Sirach 3: 17-19)

O - Humility inolves recognizing that God and virtuous others are actually responsible for the achievements in our lives.  When someone is truly humble, they do not start every sentence with "I."  "I did this" and "I did that..."  They have a true desire to put others first as Christ has taught us.  Some people are aware that being a 'giver of gifts' wins over affection from others.  We have to be wary of those who are kind to the poor for the sake of popularity - by drawing extra attention to themselves.  It is the true 'giver of gifts' that loves because it is their whole way to life.  They do not try to help others with selfish attention-seeking motives.

A - If we remain humble in our affairs, we will glorify God.  God is love and we will be remembered for the love we poured out to others in our lives.  We do not need to take the most important seat every where we go.  It is better to take more of a back seat at first so that with one's dedication and commitment through time will be seen in the light of day (transparency).  They will be able to earn respect and more of a leadership role in affairs through their actions and good deeds.  Our track record can speak for itself.  Our past accomplishments speak loudly as to what our future can hold.  This is why it is so amazing to me why so many arrogant politicians have attained office.  How are people/voters blind to those that are too proud?  It is a mystery/dilemma.  Although, I believe it is more of dilemma than a mystery - if you have ears, please hear and vote wisely!

P - I pray that all Americans will be committed to keeping arrogant politicians from holding office.  We need to bring a committment to serve others back into the spotlight of our country.

C - Curriculum: 6th Grade & Preschool

I thought I would try to join the ABC's of homeschooling for the letter C - Curriculum.  I do not know how to get the button grab code so if anyone can tell me directions - thank you!  I thought I would post this article that was in Kolbe's newsletter with my two sons journal entries in it.  I'm sorry I can't make it readable but you will see that when my kids are young, we do journaling.  To see my website you can go to  If you would like to join this meme, just click on the link title above.

Religion: We are enrolled in a Religious Education class at a local parish.  They use material from Loyola Press called Finding God: Our Response to God's Gifts.  Loyola Press has some very good material.  We started a notebook with some of LP's black line masters.  They give quizes, fill-in-the-blank, crossword puzzles, simple crafts, questions to answer from research performed, etc.  It is good for us.  We also use  My sixth grader takes a small quiz at the end of each session and works at her own pace which frees me up.  I occasionally ask her some verbal questions about her studies on the site.

Faith for our family is not about remembering facts.  It is about knowing and serving God in everything we do.  It involves a committement to put others first by serving those in need.  It is a way of life.  We often refer to the Bible through out our day as we accomplish some of our other subjects, especially writing and prayer time.

English: We utilize Kolbe Academy's course plans with Voyages in English 6.  My daughter keeps a notebook with all her sentence diagramming in it.  I love Kolbe's course plan because it keeps me on task and doesn't follow along in the book in order.  They focus on the important areas your child needs to learn for their grade level.

Vocabulary: We utilize Vocabulary for Achievement Introductory Course by Great Source.  I really like it because it groups words that have similar meanings together.  It also give various forms of words.  There is a short story included where your child has to choose the correct word that gives the closest meaning to the vocabulary word used in the story.  My daughter keeps a notebook with all her Vocabulary quizes in it.

Writing: We use Institute for Excellence in Writing and Nucleus of Life.  IEW is a wonderful extension to NOL.  We start with summarizing and phase into incorporating opinions or facts from the Faith/Bible into our writing by 4th grade.  My sixth grader keeps a notebook of all her drafts and final copies of her papers.  She has compiled twelve writing assignments so far this year.  For seventh grade I will be using Write At Home to bring in other methods of writing.

Reading: We utilize Seton's Reading 6 for Young Catholics/Thinking Skills and Reading 6 for Young Catholics/Comprehension along with various literature for Historical knowledge and development in virtue.  The Seton readers focus on the Saints.

Math: We utilize Saxon Math 6/5.  My sixth grader is on her 4th notebook for the year.  I really like Saxon as it builds a wonderful work ethic into the life of your children.  I just have to keep up with grading and corrections in a timely manner.

Science: We use Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Robert W. Ridlon, Jr from Bright Ideas Press.  This is a homeschool co-op class and the book seems to be very good and very user friendly.  The teacher/mom has given three tests so far.  She also found a good project description for a Science Fair the kids put on.

History: We use All American History/Uniting America's Story, Piece by Piece by Celeste W. Rakes from Bright Ideas Press.  This is a very user friendly text and workbook for middle school.  The Teacher's Manual has a lot of good ideas too.  This is also a co-op class that I assisted teaching the first half of the year.  The workbook has great ideas in the For Further Study section too where the children can give oral presentations if desired.  We've played jeopardy in class and brought in colonial food too.  My sixth grader read Madeline Takes Command and The Witch of Blakbird Pond and wrote some very nice reports on them.

I find that having two major subjects like Science and History for co-op classes help me tremendously with my homeschooling because the other teachers eliminate too much planning time.  They come up with very good ideas and the Bright Ideas material is very useful.

Art: We've been using the National Gallery of Art Activity Book/25 Adventures in Art by Maura A. Clarkin.  This book is wonderful as it exposes children to various artists and their special techniques with simple activities.

Music: A wonderful parishioner teaches my daughter piano lessons once a week with a recital and participation in guild at the end of the year.

Health: Health is a natural part of life and on-going skill for homeschoolers.  Keeping sanitary, eating right, staying neat and organized are part of our daily routine.  To help with documentation for the county, I've been using Developing Life Skills by Debbie Radliff.

Physical Educ:  We attend Elite Dance Studio for ballet lessons once a week.  The teacher used to be a Rockette!  She is very good and makes the class fun even though she works the girls hard.

Pre-schooler:  See We utilize a wall calendar and number line every day.  We do daily devotions from The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers; Catholic National Reader: New Primer and Book One; MCP Math; MCP Phonics; flash cards and counting pennies; dance and movement class.  I plan on purchasing some other readers from Usborne books and Catholic Heritage Curricula in the near future.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time again to post to Judy's blog for her wonderful meme where we can share our many blessings with eachother.  Just click on her name to participate.  Here is my list of thankfulness this week:

1)  I am so thankful that we had great weather on our vacation last week.  We were able to enjoy the beach and spend a lot of time just 'chillin' together.  Our vacation was a much needed wonderful break from the usual routine.  Our four year old developed a little cough so we had to be careful with him.  He was o.k. - just needed to wear a jacket sometimes and limit the amount of time he was out on the beach.  Everytime we went up to our hotel room, he went running down the hall to our room.  He definately still had energy.  I'm glad to say his cough is cleared up now.  (Thank you Marriot rewards points!)

2)  I am grateful for the Easter celebration we had at our house.  Unfortunately, we were trying to keep use of the water to a minimum because we had a small leak in one of the pipes to our water heater.  Therefore, we ate off paper plates.  My college son's girlfriend understood and didn't mind at all as she was our guest on Easter.  We got the $2400.00 work done to get a new pipe and water heater yesterday.  Yikes!  This brings me to #3.

3)  I am so thankful to be able to take showers and flush toilets to have clean running water and sanitary conditions.  Can you imagine what it would be like not to have this?  I worry about those in poor countries that do not have this.  It is so extremely important.

4)  I am grateful for the time I was able to spend yesterday in prayer on my back deck while my 6th grader was doing her History research.  I was watching my four year old write with chalk, ride his bike, kill ants and bees, play with sticks, etc.  It was a beautiful day to admire God's Creation and spend time in prayer while watching my little boy at play!

5)  I am so grateful for my son's sweet girlfriend.  She has a strong committment to service as she helped my four year old find the Easter eggs and assisted me when I had a homeschool math question.  It is wonderful to see my son and her together and I hope it works out for them to have a future together.  Am I wishing for too much?  I hope not.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nucleus of Life

HHH Hip Homeschool Hop   4/26/11

Please see my method to teaching children how to write and teaching the faith at the same time.  They produce beautiful journals.  I'm trying to devise a way to post pictures of children's work but I still have to learn.  Anyway, here is the method at  It is short and sweet and to the point.  I hope you like it and can utilize for your young ones.  My four year old already has about twenty journal entries now.

Sunday, April 24, 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: We just returned from Hilton Head Beach in South Carolina.  This picture should remind you of the clear blue waters we experienced on the beach and at the pool.  It was wonderful to take a break from the usual routine and be able to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery we had in SC.  On the way there, we saw a small area where the tornado went through in North Carolina.  We had a great time and left most of our homeschooling for when we return home.  Please go to "Faithful Followers" at to view my Easter experience with my family.

In Our Homeschool Week: We just read our novel and library books while on vacation.

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing: As stated before, we went to Hilton Head, SC and my son's girlfriend joined us for a peaceful Easter celebration.

My Favorite Thing this Week: It was such a joy to be able to spend time and fellowship with the family just relaxing and enjoying the beach.  Also, to see my college sons on Easter.

What's Working/Not Working for Us: I'm glad I was able to get an answer to my question last week on fractions cleared up by asking my college son.  We needed further explanation because we are more visual learners and our text did not compensate for this.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  Do you experience a sense of joy when you meet the friends of your older children?  Also, I know how challenging it can be when mom and dad have lots of little ones.  Please know that you are choosing the better path in teaching your children the ways of the Lord when hard times come!

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: "People might doubt what you say, but they usually believe what you do."

Friday, April 15, 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: We are getting ready to go to the beach.  Therefore, I posted this picture here because this is what we're busy doing:  packing, organizing, laundry, bringing the dog to the kennels, etc.  Our minds are thinking of the coming warm breezes and sunshine.

In Our Homeschool Week: We did a smaller amount of homeschooling due to our responsibilities for packing and organizing.

Religion: 1) Daily Lenten Devotions 2) - The Coronation & The Finding in the Temple 3) Finished reading parables of the Ten Lepers & completed Lazerus with my preschooler.

English: 1) Use of the semicolon 2) Antecedents of Relative Pronouns w/ diagramming 3) Distinguishing between compound and simple sentences w/ diagramming 4) Wrote two sentences in journal & built new sentence w/ letter tiles w/ my preschooler.

Vocabulary: 1) Study 2) Written Quiz

Writing: 1) Revised first draft of paper 2) Completed Final Copy of paper 3) Preschooler wrote sentence about Ten Lepers 4) Preschooler built new sentence with letter tiles & wrote it in journal on Lazerus.

Reading: 1) Catholic National Reader & read library picture books w/ preschooler 2) Read and finish novel "A Long Way from Welcome."

Math: 1) Corrections & Test  2) Pattern Recognition  3) More corrections and Fractions, Decimals, & Percents  4) My preschooler continued to work with the number line and flashcards while counting pennies to learn simple addition and subtraction and completed some of workbook.

Science: Took Test (Teacher not at co-op).

History: 1) Reading and Workbook on the Federalists and Jeffersonians.

Art: 1) My preschooler drew & colored two journal pictures.  2)  Marian Grotto Art:  Our Lady of Fatima

Music: Piano Lessons and practice

Health:  Healthy snacking and keeping sanitary

Physical Educ: 1) Ballet - Mock Recital 2) Dance and Movement

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing: Our homeschool co-op classes and a meeting for teachers/moms for planning purposes.

My Favorite Thing this Week: Getting an important phone call regarding an idea I have.

What's Working/Not Working for Us: We need some additional help in determining when to turn whole number into fractions when we add, subtract, multiply, and divide certain math problems.  I have to remember to ask dh or does anyone here know?  I also thought I could do Science with my preschooler but it will have to wait a little longer.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  Do you do any homeschooling when you go on vacations?
A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share: "Take time to laugh, it is the music of the spirit."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SOAP - Week 5: Sirach

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

S - "For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering - it will take lasting root.  In time of tribulation it will be recalled to your advantage, like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.  A blasphemer is he who despises his father; accursed of his Creator, he who angers his mother."  (Sirach 3: 14-16)

O - Why would God give us such a strong command to show honor to our parents in this verse?  Doesn't it point out that children and parents are intimately and intricately connected to love and guide eachother for all their earthly lives?  Of course, it is the parent that chooses to give this love to their child initially.  It is the child that learns from their parent how to return that love.  This love is all learned in the midst of important family relationships and environments.

A - I would urge all parents to know their children extremely well to determine when the best time is to encourage more independence and to strengthen the bonds of love between parent and child.  Too many children grow up blaming their parents for all their problems.  This happens when children have been put into environments at too young an age that does not strengthen parental relationships and a strong faith life.  Analyze when the best time to let your young child enter a school environment and be sure they have a solid foundation that proves a committment to putting God and family first.  Homeschooling has become a viable option for our family and has given my children very strong characters that can not be swayed by detrimental factors.  We all start out young and partake in a delicate growth process to adulthood.  These earlier years are critical in establishing important virtues for our success and happiness.  As parents, we need to nurture these early years in the lives of our children.

P - I pray that all parents take the time and opportunity to establish a strong loving bond and strong faith life for their children.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It's time to post to Judy's blog which is a wonderful way to look back on our week and remember times that uplifted us and spoke to our hearts.

1)  I am very thankful for my haircutter.  She cut my daughter's and four year old son's hair before we leave on vacation.  It was the first time my son got an official hair cut as I have been trimming his hair for him in the past.  She made it loads of fun for him by letting him sit in a fun spinning chair and showing him the items she would use beforehand.  We tried a few months ago at Hair Cuttery but he was too upset.  I'm really glad we have her for a hair cutter.  She works out of her home.  I will miss all of you next week.  Remember my thoughts and prayers are with you.

2)  I'm grateful that I was able to attend and help out at our homeschool co-op meeting to plan next year's classes.  Most of the high schoolers are choosing to utilize other learning programs and we may be loosing some moms.  Therefore, we had to compensate for this and come up with a plan.  All the moms did a great job and it was wonderful to spend the evening with them while some of our kids had fellowship together.

3)  I am thankful that last night I was able to just sit and curl up with my son as we watched the Backyardigans and Blue's Clues together.  My son is so warm and cozy to snuggle with and I love for the times I can be close with him.  I don't have much down time for t.v. but these shows are wonderfully done and I'm glad I took the opportunity to snuggle with my son while they were on.

4)  Yesterday I was grateful for the gentle spring rain we had but today it is still raining and I have to go out in it.  Hopefully, it will let up.  Anyway, it was nice to be able to answer my son when he asked why it was raining so much with an answer related to God pouring out his love to help the flowers grow.  When it rains, it is also a bit of a motivator for my children to do their work.

5)  I am grateful for the friends my high schooler has as she shares stories with me of the goings on at her school.  It sounds as though the girls really get along and are bonding in holy friendship.  It's nice to know they can have a little fun during their down time at school.  For example, one of her friends tied her shoes together the other day just for fun.  They are so close that they are like sisters now.  My high schooler has maintained and strengthened her relationship with her own siblings at the same time.  I'm glad for this.  It was all in fun and the girls are creating warm memories together as they go to their classes and learn.  She is now reading Pride and Prejudice for her English class.  They focus on a lot of the classics and it is an area that is so helpful to me.  I am so thankful for this little miracle of a school on the beltway surrounding WDC as we know WDC isn't known for good things all the time.  Especially now!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SOAP - Week 4: Sirach

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

S - "He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the Lord who brings comfort to his mother."  (Sirach 3: 6)

O - It is so important for children to honor their parents.  Children should put their family before their friends.  When children put friends first at too young of an age, they lack the God-given wisdom that comes from parents to lead and direct them.  It is natural when a child is older to start becoming more independant.  Nevertheless, I observe too many younger children who think they know it all when they are too young.  Children need to know what their duties are toward their parents as Sirach 3 explains or they can be mislead in life.

A -  No wonder teachers in the school system can have a hard time teaching children when the children lack the discipline that only a parent can instill in their young child.  God has designed parents to be the primary educators of their children, especially while they are young.  If the education system takes up too much of your valuable time with your young child, try another approach where you have more time with your young child.  For example, homeschooling is a wonderful way children learn to have a valuable work ethic.  Anyone can teach academics to elementary age children.

P - I pray that all parents realize how precious their children are and know that God has given them their children because he believes they are the best suited to teach them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sabbath Moments

This is a great meme on Colleen's blog to share one's sabbath moments with each other.

1)  My preschooler and I observed a bright red cardinal chirping away in our neighbors tree the other day.  It was a quiet time so one could really focus in on how clear and loudly the cardinal sounded.  I love birds as they bring so much peace and happiness.  Moments like these with little ones instill in them an appreciation of God's creation.  We get so busy sometimes that we need to step away from the work for moments of peace like this. 

2)  Reading part of the Gospel of John where Jesus goes to the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles).  This is one time Jesus actually told others one thing and he did another.  He told others that he was not going to the feast and later he went alone in secret.  Jesus, I believe, was feeling alot of stress at this point.  Oh, how it must have been agonizing mingling in this crowd which had so many opinions about Jesus' character.  Oh, it must of been getting harder and harder to teach the crowds.  I love you sweet Jesus.  Thank you for teaching us about the Kingdom of God!

3) We were able to say the family rosary together on Sunday together.  This is always a sabbath moment for me.  The rosary is the most powerful prayer there is!  Even though my four year old was rolling around with a beach ball on the rug and laughing, we were able to ignore him most of the time and focus on the prayers.  What is it about little boys and energy?  He kicked the leg of a chair once and almost started to cry.  My husband started mimicking him and his tears quickly turned into laughter.  We all started to laugh and found our prayer places immediately afterwards.  Even though he did not appear to be praying, each beginning of a decade we would quiz him on which mystery it was for the new decade.  He was learning even though he appeared to be 'in another world' at times.

Friday, April 8, 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:  I was blessed to be able to communicate with my college sons on my birthday.  I am so happy they remembered me.  It was a great day as I got to eat chocolate cake and have wine.  It is always a joy to read the cards the kids make for me.

In Our Homeschool Week:  I'm glad to report that things are progressing nicely.

Religion:  1) Daily Lenten Devotions  2) - The Agony in the Garden  3) Read and discuss the parables of the Prodigal Son & Ten Lepers.

English:  1) Punctuating and diagramming compound sentences  2) Making compound sentences from simple sentences  3) Diagramming with conjunctions connecting clauses  4) Distinguishing between Direct and Indirect Objects with diagramming  5) My four year old completed some excercises in his Phonics workbook.

Vocabulary:  1) Study  2) Written Quiz  3) Completed lesson on new word lists dealing with amounts (Ex: comprehensive)

Writing:  1) Write first draft of paper on short story  2) Revise first draft  3) Preschooler wrote sentence about Prodigal  4) Preschooler built new sentence on Ten Lepers with letter tiles.

Reading:  1) Catholic National Reader  2) Read about Fr. Heindrichs who was a recent martyr in the United States  3) Read more of novel "A Long Way from Welcome."

Math:  1) Writing Tenths and Hundredths as Decimal Numbers and Corrections  2) Naming Decimal Numbers  3) Fractions of a Second and Comparing and Ordering Decimal Numbers  4) Writing Equivalent Decimal Numbers and Writing Cents Correctly  5)  My preschooler worked with the number line and flashcards while counting pennies to learn simple addition and subtraction.

Science:  Study for Test (postponed for next week).

History:  1)  Review quiz for Southern victories in Revolutionary War.  2) Researched three famous artists' paintings during the Revolution  3) Found all the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle"  4) Study  5) Read about life after the Revolution (1783-1789) and complete workbook review and lesson on states and capitals.

Art:  Talked about and analyzed Edgar Davis' paintings and how he experimented w/ viewpoints.  Cut out frame and viewed item to draw w/ chalk.  My preschooler drew and colored picture of Prodigal and drew picture of Ten Lepers with assistance.  He also made an apple tree for a craft at co-op.

Music:  Piano Lessons

Health:  More meal planning - talked about color, flavor, shapes, texture, and temperature of foods.  Chose recipe for yummy pasta salad to make.

Physical Educ:  1) Ballet  2) Dance and Movement

Places We're Going/People We're Seeing:  My good friend is coming over this afternoon to relax and hang out for a little while.  It will be nice to take a break.  We were also able to hear a graduate from my daughter's high school give a speach on "Educating the American Girl."  We were pleasantly impressed.

My Favorite Thing this Week:  Seeing my four year old attempt to draw his own picture of Jesus.  Also, the fact that my husband helped me declutter our basement which set a positive tone for homeschooling in the beginning of the week.

What's Working/Not Working for Us:  It has been very beneficial for us to record the work my sixth grader does each week.  This has ensured that we do not skip over important areas for too long a period and we keep a steady pace and attain a broad exposure in educating the whole person.  Also, I am so grateful for IEW.  It is really working well for my sixth grader.

Homeschool Questions/Thoughts I have:  How many subjects does your high schooler do on-line or on their own and how many high school subjects do you actually teach them?  Or do you just come behind them in their subjects if they have questions?  Do you know of a high school curriculum that is exceptionally user-friendly to be involved on the teaching end of the spectrum that you enjoy?

A Link, Photo, or Quote to Share:   "Imagination balances us, and a sense of humor consoles us."

SOAP - Week 3: Sirach

SOAPScripture verse, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

S - "Let us fall into the hands of the Lord and not into the hands of men, For equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows." (Sirach 2:18)

O - We are so blessed to have a God with the greatest sovereign power, authority, and dignity over all creation because, as sinners, we need his mercy too which is equal to his majesty.  When his mercy is equal to his majesty, it brings us to the realization that having true sorrow for our sins will help us receive an over abundant pouring out of his forgiveness and kindness.  Just as God's majesty shows us with every new day how loving he is, knowledge of his mercy gives us the greatest opportunity to come to him in humility.  This mercy is as sure as the sun sets and rises when we express true repentance and sorrow.

A - We should honor God's greatness and splendor found through knowing and loving Jesus Christ every day along with confessing our sins for the wrong we commit.  When we understand that his great majesty can never be diminished, we also see that his great mercy can never be diminished.  The sacrament of Confession is one of the greatest gifts given to us as poor sinners.  It is in this sacrament where God sees our sorrow through the experience encountered by his Son in being our Holy Savior.  The love between the Father and the Son is so strong that we receive graces poured out to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Try to make going to Confession a ritual to be cherished and utilized often.

P - I pray that all sinners will attain the knowledge of how great the mercy of God is and come to confess their wrong doings for true repentance.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tea Talk

I am posting to Ruth's blog today to share part of my day with you and to remind mothers with small children to try and take things a step at a time.

I am was having my usual morning coffee with a hint of hazelnut creamer.

My mug was a University of Maryland mug.  Go Terps!

I'm was feeling relieved because I just calmed my four year old's tantrum of getting too upset over little things from escalating.  My little son had a very good early morning routine of doing some fine homeschooling.  Suddenly, the late morning brought a fussy attitude on when I had to complete some work with my sixth grader.  Initially, I wanted to punish him with a time out.  Instead, I got down to his eye level and spoke calmly to him.  I had a big conversation about his attitude with him while he was eating his lunch.  Afterwards, I found a short little story about not getting angry and choosing to control yourself.  He was much happier and calmer afterwards.  I am grateful for the Lord for leading me in this direction while teaching my son.

On my mind was our conversation at dinner time last night about an article which said "The Antichrist will come as one helping the poor, but ignoring moral principles and God himself."  My husband also pointed out that Pope Benedict brought this same subject up in his book.  How many leaders do we have today that use helping the poor as a means to get personal attention?  The article also says:  "Jesus said, 'The poor you will always have with you.'  In saying this he is quoting Deut. 15:11 where we read...'the poor will never cease out of the land...'  But Jesus counters with '...but you will not always have me.'  This is why it is appropriate to build magnificent churches to give glory to God, even when there are the poor to feed."

I will leave you with another saying my daughter picked out from her 'Attitudes in a Jar.'

"Contentment is hoping for the best and making the best of what you get."
(Let's hope for good virtuous leaders and smarter knowledgeable voters.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

SOAP - Week 2: Sirach

SOAP - 1) Scripture Verse  2) Observation  3) Application  4) Prayer

S - "Among wisdom's treasures is the paragon of prudence; but fear of the Lord is an abomination to the sinner."  Sirach 1:22

O - In order to be truly wise we have an great model of one who 1) has the ability to govern and discipline themselves by the use of reason 2) has sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs 3) has skill and good judgement in the use of resources 4) and uses caution or circumspection as to danger or risk.  The ultimate model is found in the God-man himself, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Christ used  much prudence in leading his disciples to truth and did not require technology to begin his life long Church which would guide humanity through out all time.  Today, we are spoiled in comparison by being able to accomplish much in a short amount of time with the use of technology.  We need good leaders who will direct others to unite in virtuous causes to bring about a just society like Christ envisioned.  We do not need leaders who will take the lives of others for their own political purposes or get us involved in frivolous affairs.  It is bad when leaders see virtuous means as an abomination and clam up to pretend they are nuetral.  We need leaders who communicate with transparency.

A - We should try to spend our time wisely by attaining mostly that which we need and tithing as a means to serve the poor.  I believe it would be beneficial for every well off family to adopt a poor family to communicate with and help out.  Large service projects directed by bigger entities can do this but an individual family also can have a profound direct impact in teaching and influencing those others who need it.  It would create a bond and unity among members of society that is honored and long lasting.  We should also try to use technology to spread the Good News given to us by Jesus Christ.  It is in thanksgiving and praise that we become virtuous and spread the message of love.

P - I pray that all mothers who care for their families can become beneficial influences in society as they live out true humility in search of wisdom and that others who see their lives as useless (an abomination) can no longer belittle them nor prevent them from spreading their love for the benefit of others.

Eileen is Grateful

It is time once again to post to Judy's blog to list the things I am thankful for this past week.  A grateful heart is worth listening to because it instills in our minds the realities and truths of our lives to be put in their proper perspective.  This week I am grateful for:

1)  I am thankful for the dirty dishes I have to clean in my sink.  I can complain about this but know some day when the kids all move out of the house I may not have this responsibility.  Will I miss it?  Right now I don't think I will.  Nevertheless, I try to think of the future and having a clean sink with no kids in the house.  I may miss this, and therefore will turn my complaining into praising!

2)  I am grateful that I was able to see one of my older sons yesterday because he had an orthodontist appointment.  He is in college now and it warms my heart to see either of my older sons as their maturity and wisdom always shines through to rest my heart at ease to see that they are thriving and safe at college.

3)  I am thankful for family members that remembered my birthday.  My four year old was so excited for me.  The chocolate cake is gone now but it was nice to enjoy a piece with a glass of wine.  It is truly a blessing to be remembered on my birthday.  I would trade this in for all the fancy presents in the world. 

4)  I am grateful for the opportunity my husband and I had this past week to declutter and organize much of our basement.

5)  I am grateful for my other blog I thought of creating.  Only I can't figure out how to do things on it to make it work right.  If anyone has extra time on their hands (yea right) to help me - let me know.  I would be very grateful.  I just need to make a header or introduction page and learn how to use Mr. Linky.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SOAP - Week 1: Sirach


This is a wonderful blog, but I'm having trouble linking to it.  I have to learn how still.  SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

S - "Heaven's height, earth's breadth, the depths of the abyss:  who can explore these?"  Sirach 1: 3

O - What would we do if we knew the answer to everything?  There is so much beauty in our world as a gift from God that we have the opportunity to feel the grandeur of wonder and awe about.  Have you ever heard someone talk as if they knew everything?  Does it hurt your ears?  Don't worry if it does because you may be normal.  Oftentimes, Science is the source that is 'used as a crutch' to bring about false situations to lead others astray.  Science and Religion should compliment each other and work together to bring the realities of our world into better focus.

A - When others speak as if they know everything, do not encourage their boasting but "take it with a grain of salt."  Let them speak if they must, but we should not let them use our system of laws to force their outlandish ideas on others.  Be active politically when you know someone is trying to claim they have knowledge of the unknown just to establish monetary business effects in society to support their cause.

P - My prayer is for leaders everywhere to believe that truth and beauty are found with the realization that God is the Author of all life, and therefore must be looked to in establishing just scientific and business practices that uplift the traditional family which God designed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Simple Woman

Peggy's blog has a wonderful meme to share the simple pleasures we feel in life.  I thought I would post this picture as I am using a different computer.  As the sun rises and sets, know that the simple things in life can bring you joy.

Outside my is bright and sunny with a nice mildly cool breeze blowing.  Finally, the kids are playing outside on the swing set for an hour.

I am thinking...about my mother in law wanting to sell her beach house.  It will be a big mistake if she cuts off her children from inheriting this valuable family vacation spot.

I am thankful two oldest college-going sons who called me yesterday on my birthday!  It made my heart melt!

From the learning rooms...All the children are progressing nicely.  See my blog for My Homeschool Week.

From the Kitchen...We have a luxury tonight which will be salmon filets with crab and lobster stuffing, rice, and beans.  My husband usually barbeques the salmon as we FINALLY have good weather for it.

I am wearing...jean shorts, a green tee, and black flip flops with my hair pulled back in a pony tail.

I am creating...a new blog - help!

I am pick one of my sons up from college for an orthodontist appointment tomorrow.  It will be good to see him.

I am reading...the April/May issue of Living City magazine.

I am hoping...that it does not rain when we plan to vacation in Hilton Head, SC during my daughter's spring break this month.

I am hearing...the sound of my children playing outside and the nice breeze.

Around the house...we did a major decluttering in our basement this past weekend.

A few plans for the rest of the week...attend a Princeton scholar's lecture on "Educating the American Girl" at my daughter's high school.

A picture or thought to leave you with...points to the beauty of believing in eternal life.

"Life becomes a bore only if you lose your appetite for the future." Bette Davis

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Homeschool Week

Please join the conversation and learn what other moms experience during their homeschool weeks by going to The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  I chose the crucifixion for my picture this week because I experienced some minor discomfort from my PTSD this week.  I believe the Lord helps me through these rough times to continue to persevere in homeschooling my young children.

In my life this week:  I invited a couple moms that have their own business helping others clean and organize, oftentimes during a move, to see if they can help me organize my basement.  I would really like to use their services as they get me motivated to declutter and I can tell they do a good job.  Their website is

In our homeschool week:

Religion:  Read Session 19 on Sacraments of Healing and Session 20 Review.  Made poster of three Old Testament prophets and their messages and displayed some of the problems and solutions they dealt with in the Bible.  Found newspaper articles that reflect these problems and solutions and put them on the display.  Also read the parable of the Lost Sheep to my 4 year old.

English:  1)  Choosing between adjectives and adverbs and diagramming them in sentences.  2)  Diagramming compound subjects, verbs, and direct objects in sentences. 3)  Diagramming independant clauses in compound sentences.

Vocabulary:  Oral Quiz

Writing:  Read short story and chose bible verse to support it for preparation to SAAC (see my website here).  My four year old wrote about the parable of the Lost Sheep in his journal.

Reading:  Read five Chapters in "A Long Way from Welcome."  Also completed daily reading with my four year old in his Catholic National Reader.

Math:  1)  Using Money to Model Decimal Numbers  2)  Decimal Parts of a Meter  3)  Corrections and Test  4)  Reading a Centimeter Scale.  My 4 year old did simple adding and subtracting by counting pennies.

Science:  Worked on Science project and did oral presentation on it at our co-op.  My daughter came in second place at the Science Fair.  Also studied for Science test on States of Matter.

History:  Read about and completed workbook on Revolutionary wars in the South and East.  Also did oral presentation on project for Ben Franklin's invention the Franklin Stove.  Also studied for History exam.

Art:  Analyzed painting of Napoleon Bonaparte by Jacques-Louis David and painted a portrait of someone we knew to include important clues in the painting about their life and job.  My four year old colored a picture of the Lost Sheep.

Music:  Piano Lessons

Health:  Meal Planning

Physical Educ:  Ballet and Dance and Movement Class

Places we're going/People we're seeing:  Moms from The Last Re-sort, Co-op Families, Doctor Appointment, Piano teacher, Dancing teacher, trying to arrange a sleep-over with friends but it fell through at the last minute, Parish family.

My favorite thing this week:  Driving my ninth grader to her high school and evangelizing on the whole 45 minute trip with her.  Afterwards, having confidence that she is around faith-loving and virtuous people and friends at her school.

What's working/Not working for us:  Everything is working except a faster speed to study and complete work assignments.  My sixth grader seems to let things go to the last minute sometimes.  I am trying to break her of this habit by having her fill out a form with the subjects she completed every week.  Therefore, she has a better mental picture of what needs to be done.

Homeschool questions/Thoughts I have:  Has anyone ever set up a blog where some students can share their work with eachother?

A link, photo, or quote to share:  

Let life's difficulties make us better, not bitter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tea Talk

I am going to post to Ruth's blog again to share my quiet moment with friends.

I am having Crystal Light Iced Tea with natural lemon flavor.

My glass is a see-through thick plastic beige color with an elegant white swirl-type design on it.

I'm feeling a bit stressed from this day as I made a new recipe in the crock pot and my two daughters didn't like it.  My four year old did like it and I thought it was good.  I'm wondering if dh will like it as he is getting home late from work.  I hope all goes well.  The chicken may have cooked a little longer than I had intended it to.  My day actually went well today, this nervousness just snuck up on me.

On my mind I am wondering if the other moms in our co-op will like my idea for a class to teach next year.  We are meeting at someones house soon to discuss ideas for next year.  I am also wondering if my sixth grader will make enough time to study for a Science and History test next week.

I would like to leave you with this bumper sticker I saw and a bible verse to follow it:

Bumper Sticker said - "The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth."

Apparantely, this person may not be aware of this bible verse or the meaning of subdue:

"And God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

Subdue - 1)  To conquer and to bring into subjection:  vanquish  2)  To bring under control esp. by an exertion of the will:  curb  3)  To bring under cultivation  4)  To reduce the intensity or degree of