Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
- What's important in our school - sort of where we've been before we we can figure out where we're going.
- Knowing I'd need to start all over again for Ds#5 in 4 years or so, I didn't want to forget what/how we've done school so I had to reinvent the wheel all over again.
So, I created a visual overview of our school for K-8th grades. I polished it for our local Curriculum Share last January (so, if you were there, just skip this post) but I really made it for my ever-forgetful mind.Highland Dove Curriculum Overview
I'm guessing this won't help you as much as it helps me, but I'm pretty pleased. Now....marching on to wrapping my mind around high school plans......
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Lenten Lessons #4 1/2 - Exercise is God's Will for me -- so it's His job to make it possible for me to accomplish.
So...exercise is about the blechiest thing I know. One of the things I hate about it is the futility of it. What a waste of energy when I need all the energy & time I can get my hands on.
So, what can I do to exercise that helps me accomplish my goals rather than drains my much needed energy?
I found this set of articles -
I read about half of them and figured I could do it. I left the other half for when I lack motivation.
So, along with paying myself to exercise, I've also found a way to do it that helps me do my job.
Doing what God wants me to do and finding a way to like it.
Links - Lenten Lessons #1 / Lenten Lessons #2 / Lenten Lessons #2 1/2 / Lenten Lessons #3 / Lenten Lessons #4
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Back Row :
- A cup with : pens, pencils, highlighter, sissors, scrap paper, Burt's Beeswax foot creme, diaper rash creme, an often read Elizabeth Foss article After the Nativity , thermometer, and baby lotion
- Mary Kay facial lotion, baby powder & a candle (high enough that Dave won't think the flame is in danger of the other stuff on the nightstand
- A Handbook on Guadalupe
- The Once and Future King a library book to be read when we're done with Phantom Tollbooth is done as a read aloud.
- Founding Of Christendom: History Of Christendom Vol 1
- Theology Of The Body For Beginners
- CD's of workshops from the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention that a friend attended and let me borrow her CD set. (I've had them for a year, now. I think it's time to return them. *BEWARE of allowing Jenn to borrow things.*)
- The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Second Edition and lesson plans to substitute teach for a 7th grade CCD class -- the book is really excellent for a year of religion class. It's deeper and a little more challenging than Faith & Life.
- The God Who Loves You: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling This isn't one of Peter Kreeft's usual chatty books. It's been a a little dry but just as deep as anything Kreeft explores.
- Imprimis the free digest magazine of speeches from Hillsdale College
- Memoria Press Catalog which is also full of articles, entitled The Classical Teacher
- Mater Eucharistae the newsletter of my FAVORITE, WONDERFUL Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
- Institute for Excellence in Writing Catalog
- 2 rosaries - one for me and one for the next kid who can't sleep. Praying a rosary does wonders for not being able to sleep.
By the way, this is Dave's night stand. A sound machine and an alarm clock. Never anything else. What does that say?? (Utility and order are more important than self-expression? He doesn't find the luxury of lounging in bed exciting enough to hang out there?) I'm just saying, it's worth pondering.
What's on YOUR nightstand?
Monday, April 19, 2010
about sweating in front of people, not about the fact that I shouldn't have to pay someone to do
something I should be doing on my own, none of it. I continued to pray about it during my
bad cold (in which I couldn't have exercised, anyway) and came up with this -
It might not look like much to you, but I'm hoping it will represent obedience to God and the motivation to take my bitter pill and exercise. I've wanted the Fontanini Life of Christ pieces for YEARS! I want the Good Friday scene most of all. I'd love to get the Easter scene, Holy Week Scene, Wedding at Cana scene, & Last Supper scene eventually. They cost like $100-$150 for each scene. It's just an extravagance I can't justify. I've put it on my Christmas and birthday list for years -- still don't have it. So...I thought I'd pay myself to exercise. I got the idea while reading Carol Brainer's watermelon book (serious Lenten lessons -- 'ya wouldn't think it.)
If I pay myself 5cents a minute, and exercise roughly 30 minutes a day, I'll be able to buy this scene in around 5-6 months. Exercising regularly for 6 months would be reward enough for some people -- I'm thinking I'll DESERVE to buy myself something extravagant after an accomplishment like that. So... that's my Lenten revelation.
Do what God wants me to do and find a way to like it.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Lenten Lesson #2 1/2
Since St. John Chrysostom insists that I need to go to the scriptures for patience...I did.
My question to God:
Where do I get the STRENGTH and resources for patience?Proverbs 19:11 A man's wisdom gives patience.
I took that to mean that my patient response to the frustrations of my family comes from or is drawn out of the well of my understanding of the situation. Not my understanding of the situation as it exists in reality, but in eternal terms.
One touchstone I use to gain an eternal perspective is death. (Weird, I know, but it works for me.) How would I view this situation in retrospect if tomorrow I was at the hospital worried about my child's well-being? Sometimes I determine that the child needs the knowledge that his behavior (for example lying) breaks our relationship down and my anger is helpful, therefore the most loving thing I can do to teach the child. Other times, I see that I'm just venting my frustration about a previous encounter with a different kid and this kid doesn't deserve/need my anger at all.
So, my understanding of the situation, not in the heat of the moment, but with an eternal perspective, gives me the wisdom to exhibit patience -- no matter what my emotions at the moment. (Let's just see how well I live that one out.)
Links - Lenten Lessons #1 / Lenten Lessons #2 / Lenten Lessons #3 / Lenten Lessons #4 / Lenten Lessons #4 1/2
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
I could have snapped the "before" pictures -- but I didn't want to embarass Dave if he happened to read this on his 43rd birthday. He's a little touchy about our messy house.
It's time, again. It's time to re-discover and appreciate living in the moment. I've put on the hat of Martha and learned some of her skills, but I need to find my Mary-ness.
When are times when the rest of the world fades away and I am captivated by the moment? When do I find joy?
- Having a conversation with a baby who's barely talking and figuring out what they're "saying" by their non-verbal cues.
- Noticing a gentle response from my child during an annoying situation.
- Being able to soothe a hurt just by nursing a crying baby.
- A cup of coffee with a friend and finding that it's an hour later than you expected.
- Starring so deeply into Dave's eyes when were engaged that the checkout girl said, "Wow. You really adore him, don't you?"
- Watching a child I've taught to ...(read, cook, sew, etc.) reading to a younger child just for the enjoyment of the other child.
- Noticing please and thank you coming from my children, even in play.
I think the first step is knowing what joy I'm looking for. Finding it will come with prayer and seeking.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
The interuptions to my day feel like they're killing our time. When I have a full day of work ahead with planned teaching and grading and housework and errands, the interuptions (a kid asking me the 7th science question that I don't know the answer to, someone else wanting to plan their birthday party in 4 months, is there life on other planets?, ...) - these interuptions cause me much frustration...but they also help me "become." They transform me from using Martha's very helpful checklist and workload to living like Mary in the moment. They allow me to be swept away by the wonderful. This is truly siezing the day - Carpe Dieum.
Delight Driven Homeschooling is not something I usually strive for. I try and make my lessons fun, but if they choose not to have fun in them, that's they're choice. I'm the teacher and set the agenda. I'm the adult and have decided the body of knowledge they should be exposed to. However, in my effort to find more balance and live in the moment, I can see value in striving for some of the child's delight to lead some of the decisions. Delight Driven Homeschooling teaches the unspoken lesson that learning is fun and exciting, how to research & follow-up, that information needn't be spoon-fed and regurgitated but attacked, discovered and pursued with delight. It teaches an enthusism for life and study. Waht a gift to give our children.
So, first of all I see the need to lessen the interuptions to our school day.
- We will not answer the phone unless we're on lunch break or done with school
- I will turn down the answering machine.
- I will continue to remind the children when they've walked into a room talking rather than waiting to see if a conversation is already taking place.
- I will continue to insist that the children not yell for me from another room -- (see above.)
- I will have a "Save It For Later" notebook for the kids to jot down un-school, un-chore related conversation that we can have after our work is done
Then, I need to figure out how to obtain some patience and allow the children to participate in some of the leading.
The scriptures enable patience - CHRYSOSTOM:
These things were written so that we might not fall away, for we have many
battles to fight, both inward and outward. But being comforted by the Scriptures
we can exhibit patience, so that by living in patience we might dwell in hope.
For these things produce one another—hope brings forth patience, and patience,
HOMILIES ON ROMANS 27.– From: Bray, G. L. (1998). Romans. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT 6. (354–355). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
So, I'll memorize a bible verse on patience :
James 5:7-8 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
What this verse means to me - the precious fruit I desire is virtue; the land I plant in is my children; making my heart firm is the act of will I exert in acting gentle and patient whether I feel it or not; the coming of the Lord is the fruition of my desire, the reaping of my investing in my children.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Lenten Lesson #1 - Becoming
Like George Washington writing his Rules for Civility, I've tried to remake myself.
When I was a teen I wanted to have friends. I was quiet and book-ish and very niave. I had little social skills and was the kid who got picked on at school for it. So, I remade myself into a party-girl. Not the drinking kind, but the TP your friends and go back the next morning to help clean up kind. The hang out with the geeky kids and have fun doing it kind of party girl.
When I was single I wanted to find and become the wife and mother that I thought I should be, not what I'd seen -- so my ears would perk up and I'd pay close attention when I'd see a happy family to see what they had that I needed to get. I always wished I could be a mouse in someone's pocket so I could view the inner workings of a healthy family. Now I'm living the life I only dreamed of.
When I had my first child the work of housework and figuring out how to organize and run a house was sooo overwhelming. I was in a foreign country and didn't speak the language. For the last decade I've immersed myself in how to accomplish this job I'd be doing for the next several decades. I'm not a pro, but I've developed enough checklists and survival strategies that although my house isn't always clean, it's usually not more than an hour away from being presentable. I can lay my hands on my schoolwork and systems are in place that keep me from drowning in work.
Some people mistakenly even think of me as a "Do-er, Organizer, Planner." They're mistaken, it's just this hat I've put on that makes me look like it -- really, I'm just a party-girl at heart. Or maybe I'm naturally the insecure kid at school. One of the cool things about transormation is that you don't really loose the parts of yourself from before -- you're more than you were, not just changed, but transformed.
It's time, again. It's time to re-discover and appreciate living in the moment. I've put on the hat of Martha and learned some of her skills, but I need to find my Mary-ness. I used to be great at blowing dandalions. I looked forward to having a life like I have, but I'm not allowing myself to live in the joyful moments.
In reading Carol Bainer's book, If I'm Diapering a Watermelon, Then Where'd I Leave the Baby? I found some surprising answers. This humor look at motherhood doesn't sound like a Lenten Journey book -- but it was. I love her concept of doing what you can to make up for your weaknesses, but appreciating the person God made you ... limits and everything. It was a beautiful reminder to not loose myself in the remaking.
I also love the idea of becoming. Yes, I have many weaknesses. Yes, I haven't arrived. Yes, I probably never will arrive until I'm in heaven with Jesus. However, when I'm becoming something more than I was before, I'm on my way there! It's exhilerating to view my weaknesses and sins in light becoming.
Links - Lenten Lessons #2 / Lenten Lessons #2 1/2 / Lenten Lessons #3 / Lenten Lessons #4
Sunday, April 04, 2010
The kids' Easter basket this year. We have one family basket. I made the switch from individual baskets when I hit 4 kids. It's been a great switch. I made the boys sweater vests this year. It was my first attempt at crocheting vests. Ds#1 turned out ADORABLE. Ds#2 turned out passable. Ds#3 is NOT GOOD, but he REALLY WANTS to wear it to our Easter activities. I feel guilty letting him look like such a goober, but guiltier about saying the gift of love he wants doesn't stand up to appearances.
Dd#2 got a cross bracelet and a blank journal book. Aldi's, All Saints book store and Dover's clearance section is where I shopped for easter gifts this year.
My friend Amy was recieved into the Church last night -- BEAUTIFUL Mass!!
I can BLOG!
I can Facebook!
I can ignore my kids -(just kidding)
I ate candy this morning...not feeling so well just now.
I've got so much to share...here's one of my favorites!