Sunday, August 31, 2008

September 2008

Here is an inspiring blog. And, here for the Catholic Culture overview of the month.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heather King's book REDEEMED

....looks like good reading. At a glance, it reminds me of Walker Percy, who has given me some good ole', belly-deep laughter. Click here for an interview about this book.

I saw this book on the sidebar of Amy Welborn's blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Professor Fox-Genovese's posthumously published book and saintly soaps

Just read a book review by Lorraine V. Murray, in The Georgia Bulletin, and will buy the book , Marriage: the Dream that Refuses to Die, by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.

As usual, found a small, lovely bit of inspiration on Elizabeth Foss's blog. Click here for a link to saintly soaps. The candles look so nice, too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My gasoline analogy and firming our schedule, St. Pius X, Pray for us!

I some times tell the kids that I see grace as the fuel that I run on, much like the gasoline which fuels our minivan. So, when they clamor about going to a daily Mass or spending an hour in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I often tell them that Mom needs to "fill 'er up," and that we all need God to be holy and happy. We are switching our Adoration from Monday mornings to Thursdays from 3-4p.m. Here is our schedule for fall:
Mondays: Hit academics hard, M has youth group at the parish from 5:30-6:45, weekly. J and Dad have boys Conquest meetings once a month from 6:30-8 pm (I think).
Tuesdays: Hit academics hard, J and JB have art at the best art studio, weekly from 3-4:30.
Wednesdays: softer academics, schedule doc visits, vet, possible field trip pegged to Challenge.
Challenge meetings for JB and M in the afternoon from 2:45 to 4:15.
Thursdays: Hit academics hard, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 3-4pm.
Fridays: Spelling and math tests in the morning and Mass and TORCH coop.
Saturdays: Everyone in the family to Confession once a month (Mom, more often).
Once a month -- date night for Mom and Dad
Once a month -- Mom spends her "sabbatical" out of the house solo
Sundays: Sunday Mass, Keep up hosting family and friends for special meals,
at least once a month, down time for Dad. We are going camping in Sept. with TORCH, and, in general, hope to take more family, and family and friends, trips to the North Georgia Mountains (esp. Smithgall Woods). We are moving to Cumming, Georgia, sometime this academic year, so we are packing up our "tent" here and getting ready. Like most people we know, we juggle some health challenges in all of this. God is good and gets us through. The children and I said a slower than usual version of our Guardian Angel prayer today. This is simple, yet powerful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My children are torturing each other....

I was going to call this post, "America the Beautiful" and describe how our virtual cross-country drive was going, how we began some good books, made some drawings, wrote some good notebook pages, studied our saint and loved our country by loving our family. But, I thought I'd show the "other side" of the homeschool bubble. (In general, I like our bubble, but there are days and there are days...Really each day, even the best among them, has its fair share of vicissitudes.) It is 5:14 p.m. and everyone is ready for dinner, ready for dad to get home and ready to jab and jeer at whoever is easy prey. At present, J and M are torturing JB. Everyone is taking turns melting down.

Homeschooling allows for a highly vicissitudinous (did I spell that right?) life, which, in the main, is a very good thing. Why? Because it is real. It teaches us tools to cope with crises. I'd argue that living the high and lows, the ins and outs, the down and outs, everyday with your family equips you for...

family life! What a concept!

I am hopeful that truth, goodness and beauty will prevail. In this home. In this country.

God mend thine every flaw. Amen

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our First Day of School

In a nutshell, it felt good to be back in action. We are setting our sights high on all fronts -- academic, spiritual, housework and community. I can hardly write as I am "good tired" from a full day. Maggie made us all dinner -- yummy fried rice, flavored with lots of fresh ginger and garlic. I made us a cool bulletin board yesterday afternoon, which is different from the white board that I used the last couple of years. A couple of hours ago (around 6pm), I was reflecting on the day, and actually read the Pope's Intentions for August (funny how you can be in such a whirl as to put things on a bb and not read them!!!). What caught my eye tugged at my heart, as lately I have been a bit anxious about all the many hats our Lord is asking me to wear (I think of Mary and how active she was on so many levels, for so many sorts of persons.) It was his mission intention that struck a chord with me: That the answer of the entire people of God to the common calling to holiness and mission may be promoted and fostered by means of careful discernment of charisms and constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation.

Jesus, Mary, save souls!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

B16's compelling words and the theology of the body

I was just reading this article written by a college student who attended World Youth Day. Her words are compelling, as are those she quotes by our beloved "German Shepherd". I guess it's been 3 or 4 years since I attended one of Christopher West's 2-day conferences at a local parish here in Alpharetta. I too was moved to tears, and it was one of the most blessed two days of my life.

I too felt compelled to spread the word about Mother Church's authentic teaching on human sexuality, dignity and true freedom.

Here is the quote from Pope Benedict XVI:

"Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises. Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion."This is the work of the Holy Spirit! This is the hope held out by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to bear witness to this reality that you were created anew at baptism and strengthened through the gifts of the Spirit at confirmation. Let this be the message that you bring from Sydney to the world!" (Address at Sydney Harbour, July 17).

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Notes on notebooking

I just found these wonderful free notebooking pages on the Internet. Notebooking works, so far, for 2 of my 3 students. More to come on notebooking (when will I learn to take digital photos and upload them on the blog???).

Yard Sale fun and a spontaneous trip

We are having a good time preparing for our TORCH annual yard sale that will take place this Saturday. Also, very exciting that it looks like the children and I are going to squeeze in one more trip to the seashore before we start our fall coop studying marine life. What a happy coincidence! J-bird is going to help me bag up some sand and shells to present to the TORCH students. I am still working on my booklists for J and JB. I am still "shaking in my boots" a bit at M's decision to enroll in KOLBE, but, at the same time, I realize that the best way to learn is to teach, so I am sure she will teach me and she will learn. I will teach her, and I will learn. Years ago, a friend of mine in the real estate business, would often say, "God is in the details." This reminds me of my little plaque that I bought at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. (Jerry took me and the children there for Mother's Day in 2003, when I was very sick.) I placed this plaque on window by my kitchen sink, as a message from God to me. It is by Mother Teresa, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." This is by a woman who did such great and amazing things for humanity and for God. I think the point is that she did not go about it all at once. She took each day as the blessing it was, and allowed the good Lord and His Mother to help her parse out her mission as a daily mission, powered by the Holy Spirit through personal prayer and devotion. Love is prayer put into action. I think another point that this quote brings forth is that a day without prayer is not a day in the life of a missionary. Parenthood is a missionary vocation. We are all constantly travelling and constantly serving, constantly loving. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your Love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the earth. Amen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Other subjects, other plans

Very glad to report that I am "outsourcing" my middle child's math studies to a private tutor and to the nearby Mathanasium, a place of which I have heard many good things. As a family, we are participating in our TORCH group's fall coop on Marine Biology. They are bringing a mobile lab to dissect a small shark, among other enriching science activities. Just as I did last fall, I am teaching a fourth grade class. I really love 4th grade science. When I was nine, I could not put down my Nancy Drew books or the tomes from my set of Jacques Cousteau encycopedias. I have always loved reading and writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Mrs. Burke, my elementary school librarian and I were great pals. I shelved books and took lots of them home on loan.
OK -- so Maggie, is enrolled in 8th grade KOLBE -- this intimidates me, but I think it will be good for both of us. KOLBE's paperwork is minimal and they are FLEXIBLE. Because of Maggie's KOLBE load, I want to get those creative juices flowing now for J and JB, so I can have us on smooth clip by the week after Labor Day. I want to get us registered for fall classes at a local art studio that has a special mission to Christian homeschooling families.
Next week, I am taking us on an imaginary trip across the U.S., and around the world, to warm up our writing skills through some geography fun. (I usually do this with the morning reading on the saint of the day, but I want to do something different to jump start our brains, then settle back into what works with our Morning Prayers and devotions.)
Last, I want to dedicate a day to Copy work, Narration, and Dictation, probably M, T and Th., then do Latin on T and Th. I need to keep W and F fairly light, with a spelling test on F morning.
We are going to sign up here for the Pizza Hut "Book It" program, so as to get some free food for our reading. I will be more strict this fall about how long J and JB read every day, as, honestly, they tend to slack. I think reading is like this: the more you read, the more you want to read. Likewise, the more you watch television and play video games, the more you want to watch television and play video games.