I woke up this morning with a swollen throat and so tired. To say the least, I am no ball of fire today. A couple of weeks ago, I started to read Hilaire Belloc's book on William the Conqueror. It was my son's passion for reading about knights and all-things-medieval that got me interested in this period of English history. I just printed out this link to an essay by Frederick D. Wilhelmsen on Belloc. When I am clunky, I often read essays, as you can learn alot in such a few pages. Some learning notes: Jay's five day, 7th birthday celebration has come to an end. He is sitting on the carpet below me (I am under blankets in our leather recliner.) building from one of his new Lego kits. We ate and played and talked, since Wednesday, with family and friends. Lots of art work, reading, writing and problem solving, as well. I continue to be amazed at how the questions they ask, in the context of real-life preparations, drive us to cover the skills they need to master. JB made a movie that I hope to post here soon. She and I started making "memory books," what some call "scrapbooking". Mags is turning a developmental corner; while she is not as involved in book study, as in years past, she is improving herself in other areas. She is getting so much better with her personal organization, which is a big goal for all of us this year. Little man is more naturally prone to being organized, but needs to work on diet and nutrition. A Lenten family goal is to make homemade meals and snacks -- hopefully, sharing with others when we can. Too much take-out, eating out and frozen foods zap the budget and is not good nutrition. We are doing better with our prayers and Bible reading. I am working on a fruitful observation of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, as I have a special devotion to him. To close, I want to note a phrase that Laura Berquist uses in her wonderful book, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum; she encourages us parent educators to provide our children with "a well-furnished imagination." I love that. I am constantly challenged to go back to the "drawing board," and make sure our daily activities match our long-term goals -- which are loving God, loving each other and reaching out to others to the best of our ability. The Lord blesses even our smallest efforts when our hearts are full of love for His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.