Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eileen is Grateful

It is time (a little late) for Judy's Thankful Woman's Blessings to list five things we are grateful for during our week.  What a joy to remember the Lord's blessings!  If you would like to participate, just click on the link.

1)  I am grateful that we found a place to do our homeschooling at a little table outside a French restaurant when I had to bring my girls to school the other day and run errands.  I brought some of my six year old's books.  We were going to go to the library but one had parking meters and the other didn't open until 1:00 in the afternoon.  What kind of libraries are these?  Yikes!

2)  I'm thankful for our homeschool co-op that will start up in September and for the Lord to lead me in making plans for the class I'm teaching.  The class will be held in Frederick.  Therefore, Judy, if you know of anyone interested, send them this link:  There is one mom from your Church that is attending - Beth Reilly.  Her son is adorable.  There are four little boys in the class so far.

3)  I'm grateful for the Blessed Mother statue and American flag we have when we say our prayers in the morning and Pledge of Allegiance.

4)  My six year old is thankful for his power ranger toy from McDonald's!

5)  I am very grateful for the Catholic school my daughters are attending this year.  My middle schooler wants to be in the play.  She is auditioning in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wiggly Patrick

With the school year starting up, I'm sharing some of the things I would do with my five year old to keep him busy and/or entertain him.  He occasionally requests to do a science experiment by mixing some odd things together in the kitchen.

Provide ingredients:  flour, sugar, sprinkles, salt, pepper

Food coloring and water
Let them add the ingredients from little bowls and a spoon
Let them stir 'til their hearts content

Patrick's yucky creation

This is Patrick's 'Science Experiment' while I'm attending to other matters to keep him busy.  He loves to see all the ingredients get mixed together for this yucky creation.

We also took time to go to a local pet shop that has little rooms where you can get to meet the pets.  This is not our dog as our dog, Abby, passed away not too long ago.  We went in one of the little rooms where Patrick could play with a pup while my daughter was at a class.

Just some ideas to help your days and outings go smoothly.  Think ahead in your schedules and maybe there is a pet shop near the location you will be while your out and about.  Sparingly use on hand kitchen ingredients to keep your little ones busy if you have to attend to other matters.

I have not enrolled Patrick (first grade) in any sports yet this year but he will be on the swim team next summer.  My husband will be involved in cub scouts with him, and he will be in a music class with me.  He is wiggly and keeping him active is good.  What activities are your young boys involved in this year?

Eileen is Grateful

I am taking advantage of time to record what I am thankful for this week by participating in Judy's blog at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings.  I need to do this now because our house is quite cluttered with my college sons moving back into their dorm rooms today.  It helps me to see through the clutter.  Just click on the link to participate!

1)  I am grateful that I was able to make Lasagna and freeze it for my sons to have at college.  Unfortunately, I did a lot of sampling my home made sauce - yummy!

2)  The other day I was thankful to be able to attend adoration in  the small Adoration Chapel at a local Church.  I want to find time to go here more often.  It is only 15 minutes away from our house.

3)  My two sons will be a senior and a junior at college and this is the first year they are living together in the same dorm with two nice friends.  I am so grateful for this.

4)  I am very thankful that I've been able to quiz my daughter on her Latin vocabulary words as she will be taking an exam upon her entry to a fine Catholic girls high school where her older sister has been attending for three years now.

5)  I am grateful for and sites I have found for some spiritual encouragement and tracking my nutrition and walking exercise.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Finding Joy in Depression

The Pelsers

Today I'm going to try to link up with Amanda Pelser's blog about Depression at  I am interested in this subject because I've been diagnosed with PTSD from a traumatic event and have been hospitalized in the past around the time of some of my pregnancies.  I've been seeing a psychiatrist since 1986 and on meds since that time.  This has greatly helped our marriage and family because the symptoms I've experienced in the past often made life more difficult. 

I do pretty well avoiding/managing stimuli that reminds me of the trauma but every so often I have to go up on my meds to ensure that symptoms don't spiral out of control like they have in the past.  I don't know why I've been given this cross to bare, but the Lord has been our guide and comfort in times of suffering.  So far, turning to the Lord is the best way to experience real joy if I encounter difficulty with my illness. 

My psychiatrist tremendously helps me relieve my anxiety, but it has been the Lord who permits me to nail my suffering to the Holy Cross.  I've come a very long way and believe we've emerged safely from the worst effects encountered from my illness.  It is important that I continue receiving care to help manage my illness as it can be a very lonely road at times.  My doctor listens and understands my symptoms when no one else can at the same level.

It is important that I do not really reveal much of my symptoms in participating in Amanda's blog.  I would like to join this opportunity to share with others who have had mental illness and need to find ways to cope with it.  I am currently trying to cope with my illness by starting a walking club.  I would like to phase walking into my schedule permanently this year but am having difficulty finding committed partners.  My son and I, of course, can take walks in our neighborhood too.  I am trying to find about 45 minutes of adult time with someone at a brisk moderate pace to walk though.

What are some of the ways others have coped with illness?  Amanda's book was very heart warming.  I would highly recommend it.

2012/2013 School Year Plans

School is beginning soon and my two sons will be off to University of Maryland.  My two daughters will be off to Catholic High School.  It will be my first grader at home with me for homeschooling.  I've laid out a tentative weekly schedule for us.  As you will note, I am responsible for some carpooling also.  Our homeschool co-op will be on Thursdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and I will be teaching this.  If you would like to follow along with some of the things we're doing please join my facebook page here:  

It will be scheduled as follows:

27 Classes
Sept. 13, 20, 27
Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22-off Thanksgiving, 29
Dec. 6, 13, 20-Christmas Celebration, 27-off Christmas
January - February : Off
Mar. 7, 14, 21, 28-off Easter
Apr. 4-off Easter, 11, 18, 25
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
June 6, 13

3 Helpers Each Day (rotate)
1) Set up and Clean up Story Circle
2) Set up and Clean up Game
3) Set up and Clean up Journaling

Daily Schedule
10:00 - 10:15/10:30 am Fellowship and Eileen and helper Set Up Story Circle

10:15/10: 30 - 11:15/11:30 am:  (On floor in living room)
1) Song w/ Sign Language-Dancing Good Shepherd (average time - 5 minutes)
2) Eileen and helper set up Game
3) Game - Stay Out of the Thorns (average time - 20 Minutes)
4) Story (average time - 15 minutes)

11:15 - 11:30 am:  Eileen and helpers Clean Up Story Circle and Game, Set Up for Lunch, Fellowship

11:30 - 12:00 noon:  Blessing, Lunch, Play, Fellowhip, Eileen and helper set up for Journaling

12:00 - 12:45 pm:  Journal Picture and/or Journal Writing (kitchen table?)

12:45 - 1:00 pm:  Eileen and helper Clean up Journaling, Set up Science, Fellowship, Play

Here are my weekly plans:

Weekly Planner 2012-2013


Drive Oakcrest

Drive Oakcrest

Drive Oakcrest

Drive Oakcrest

Drive Oakcrest







Homeschool Co-op

English and Phonics

English and Phonics






Map Skills
Music Class




Pick up Oakcrest


Pick up Oakcrest


Map Skills



St. Francis Religious Educ.


St. John Neumann Confirmation

                                                                                                            Patrick First Grade

Now I can start planning some meals around this schedule.  I pray that all homeschooling mothers find peace and joy in their schedules this year!

Principle of Subsidiarity

Spread the news about the wonderful job Bishop Marino is doing in Madison.

In 1931, the principle of subsidiarity was definitely pronounced by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno. It simply states that a higher entity in the social order may not do for the lower order what it is capable of doing for 
itself. This principle is not relegated only to the social order. It must be recognized as the principle that guides all entities in the spiritual order. There is also a positive role for natural market realities to foster help to the poor without burdensome and wasteful regulation and bring the greatest good for the greatest number of people by letting local entities take care of the poor. I bet there are a great many Catholic families who would love to sponsor a poor American family themselves. I know I would. Why hasn't anyone in the Church asked yet? Or are they not in that much need? I would love to get to know and help support a poor American family myself. Where are they? Does anyone know?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum 2012/2013

I'm putting together my first graders curriculum this year for homeschooling in this post.  My two daughters will be enrolled at a Catholic high school and my two oldest sons will be at the University of Maryland.  Therefore, it will just be Patrick and I at home together.  I have some important activities lined up for him so far:

Mondays - Religion Class
Wednesdays - Music Class
Thursdays - Co-op with Journal Writing.  

Below is his curriculum:

1)  Religion:  Our Heavenly Father, Faith and Life Series and I will be teaching his Religion Class using Finding God - Our Response to God's Gifts 1 (This is a wonderful series that teaches our Catholic faith.  It has a text book and simple activity book to work in after we read each chapter.  It is simple enough to complete one chapter lesson in one sitting.)

2)  English:  Kolbe Academy's English 1 - Ignatius Speaks and Writes Series by Dianne Muth and Homeschooling Coop Class:  NOL Journal Writing which I will be teaching. (The Ignatius workbook is simple enough to complete one or two pages per sitting.  NOL Journaling usually gets dispersed through out the week to include:  reading, dialogue on paragraph development, drawing and coloring chosen picture, keyword search in bible, marking parts of speech in sentences created, and logging bible verses learned.)

3)  Phonics:  MCP A (Modern Curriculum Press) - (halfway through:  This workbook is simple enough to complete one or two pages per sitting)

4)  Reading:  Catholic National Reader - New Primer and Book One (halfway through); Story Time Treasures and More Story Time Treasures Primary Reader Study Guides by Memoria Press;  Best Buy Bargain Books - Reading Grades 1-2 (I'm starting out with Story Time Treasures because it is a bit more user friendly than the CNR, although CNR has great moral stories.  Patrick reads a chapter from a story book then completes the workbook. It takes about 35 minutes to complete.)

5)  Math:  MCP Math A (Modern Curriculum Press) and some simple manipulatives - (halfway through:  This is basic math and we complete one page per day.)

6)  Geography:  Map Skills Level C (This is a wonderful workbook and we complete about two pages per week.)

7)  Science:  Harcourt Science - Life Science:  Living Things Grow and Change, Homes for Living Things; Earth Science: Exploring Earth's Surface, Space and Weather; Physical Science: Exploring Matter, Energy in Motion (This book is extremely manageable.  We complete about 4 to 6 great worksheets per lesson dispersed through out the week and conduct a simple experiment with easy to find items.  I can read the lesson and worksheets on the weekend so I can be prepared during the week.  We do not complete a lesson in one sitting.)

8)  History:  The Story of the World:  Book 1, History for the Classical Child, From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor by Susan Wise Bauer  (This is also very manageable as I can read the teachers manual on the weekend to ensure items to be on hand for history projects.  There are comprehension questions and narration included that get dispersed through out the week.  We do not complete a lesson in one sitting.)

9)  Handwriting:  Universal Publishing, Handwriting (One page per sitting)

10)  Latin:  Prima Latina by Leigh Lowe, Classical Trivium Core Series (We complete 1 to 2 pages per sitting.)

* The four items that take more than 1 sitting to complete are history, science, NOL Journals, and Finding God.  Everything else is in a workbook format except CNR.  The geography workbook, latin workbook, history text, science text, and Finding God workbook have teachers manuals.)

Eileen is Grateful

I'm linking up with Judy's blog at Thankful Woman's Blessings where we share and enjoy together five things we are thankful for during our weeks.  Just click on the link to participate.

1)  I am thankful for the Mass on EWTN on the feast of Maximilian Kolbe yesterday.  I never knew how he used the media to spread the message of Mary and the Gospel in Poland.  I use some materials from Kolbe Academy for homeschooling too.  They adhere to the principle of subsidiarity in the Ignatian method of education which I highly highly admire.

2)  I am grateful for the Feast of the Assumption today.

3)  I am thankful that I will be able to teach my six year old in his first grade religion class at a local parish next year.  Also for my planning for our homeschool coop and the moms and children in it and the music class I signed my son up for next year.  Things look like they are coming together.  Now for!

4)  I am grateful for the wonderful week we had together at the beach house last week.  It was very good to be able to 'escape from it all' before the school year starts.

5)  I am thankful that we will be able to get help cleaning the kitchens and bathrooms once or twice a month.  Finally some beneficial help for house work.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Doctor in the House" by Michael Burgess

I just finished reading Michael Burgess' book "Doctor in the House" where it shows how dangerous it is to permit Democrats to take control of Congress and the presidency with a majority because they are unprofessional and unethical in their business ventures.  There were good proposals and alternatives to Obamacare put forth by Republicans that were ignored, turned down, and lied about to the American people.  I just can't imagine working with people like this because it can cause great suffering and even depression.  Michael Burgess is a Republican in Texas that used to be a doctor.  Here are some of his suggestions that were put forth:

1)  Insurance Reform:  In the spring of 2009 Nathan Deal and Michael Burgess introduced HR4019 and HR4020 to the 111th Congress.

-  HR4019: Limiting Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions in all Health Insurance Markets

-  HR4020: Guaranteed Access to Health Insurance Act

2)  Tax Fairness:  HR3218 was Improving Health Care for All Americans Act authored by Congressman John Shadegg of Arizona and consisted of:

(a)  Refundable tax credits for medical costs

(b)  Expansion of access to health insurance coverage through individual membership associations

(c)  Incentivizing creation of high risk pools

3)  Medical Liability Reform:  Mr. Burgess communicated with Obama on several occasions before the passage of the health care reform bill regarding the success of Texas' capping of noneconomic damages

Idaho, for example, established a pre-trial hearing panel to review pending lawsuits which saves tax payers money and lowers liability insurance premiums.  So there are success stories that are ignored.

4)  Portability - 2005:  HR2355 - Health Care Choice Act (re-introduced twice)  which involves the ability to shop for health insurance plans across state lines.

5)  Medicare Payment Reform:  HR3693 - Future Physician Workforce Act (doc-fix legislation) tackled and solved the Medicare reimbursement issue which is a huge liability to all involved.  Obama's plan just feeds into this problem making it worse.

6)  Create Products People Want:  There is no stampede of people rushing to buy the government's HHS attempted monopoly of an insurance policy which builds a national risk pool (copied from Republican idea) around participants.  Mandates have no place in a free society.  There are some brilliant minds in the insurance industry.  Why would one attempt to shut the ideas of others out?  This is also where health savings accounts can apply too.

7)  Price Transparency:  The Healthcare Price Transparency Promotion Act directed states to establish and maintain laws requiring disclosure of information on hospital charges.  Also, hospitals and health plans had to make information available to the public.  Better informed and more empowered citizens make good choices.

8)  Preventive Care and Wellness Programs:  Under Obama's PPACA the cost curve has been bent upward rather than downward (the opposite of what O previously claimed).  Why can't insurance companies be released from restrictive regulations and be allowed to reward healthy life style choices?

9)  Doctors to Care for Americas Patients:  Michael Burgess repeatedly introduced Physician Workforce Enhancement Act.