Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas

I let this feast sneak up on me and found myself scrambling to make this day special. Saint Nicholas is special our family, especially my middle son, who is his named for this wonderful saint. The kids forgot to lay their shoes out last night, a tradition that is hit or miss around here because, its still a bit early in Advent for me to think of having special treats on hand. We made these cookies. We read Demi's book on Saint Nicholas. And I found this encouraging story in my email.

Father Victor Brown's daily reflections, shared with permission:

CDM for the Feast of Saint Nicolas (6 Dec 2012)

Today is Saint Nicholas’s Day, and it’s especially meaningful to me this year because I have been fortunate to be able to visit the city of Bari in Italy, where the body of Saint Nicholas lies surrounded by the veneration of the faithful for centuries. When you have visited the tomb or shrine of a saint, he or she always means more to you after that. Today I want to tell you my favorite story connected with Saint Nicholas; if you have listened or read these daily messages for over a year, you’ve probably heard or read this before. But it’s a true story that I love, so forgive me for repeating myself.

When I was in college and the boys and men were returning home from the war zones of Europe and the Pacific, I met a man who had served in the Army during the last terrible winter (1944-45) in Europe. On December 6, he and his outfit were encamped just outside a little town in southern Holland which had been liberated from the Nazis. But after almost five years of Nazi occupation and war, the people of Holland had been reduced to near-starvation and they were living in abject poverty and a lack of nearly all material that makes life liveable. Some of the American soldiers knew of the traditional Dutch custom of having the children put their shoes outside the door, and finding them filled with goodies on Saint Nicholas morning.

The soldiers mentioned this to some of the local Hollanders, and were told PLEASE not to mention that to the children, since they had nothing with which to fill the shoes of the hopeful children. They had simply never told their little ones about Saint Nicholas at all.

The soldiers to whom this was told went back to their outfit and spread the word. “Can we do something to help the parents in the little town bring back the lovely tradition of Saint Nicholas?” The commanding officer gave his okay; the cooks could bake lots of cookies, many of the men were willing to give up the oranges and apples supplied by the mess hall, and the men in the machine shops were able to come up with home-made toys fashioned from unusable munitions, jerry-cans, mess kits, canteens, and so on. So the G.I.’s passed the word among the villagers: tell the kids about Saint Nicholas. Have them put their shoes outside the door the night before. Let’s bring back a ray of light and happiness after the hell of occupation and war.

Excitement and anticipation ran high that night in the little Dutch village. And the next morning, the shoes outside the doors were filled and surrounded with apples and oranges, chocolate, hard candies, and such toys as some clever metal-workers and whittlers could produce from the instruments of war.

Sacred Scripture speaks of people in the Messianic kingdom beating their swords into plowshares. Well, in this case they converted their armaments into toys to make the eyes of children shine. And why not? Our Lord Jesus Christ was a little boy one time. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message in the past.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Month of the Rosary - Making Rosaries to Share

For October's art project, we decided on making rosaries for missions and people who live in my mother in law's home. We made rosaries years ago for missions, using the chord rosaries, and enjoyed sharing our rosaries with many people. I knew this next set of kids would get into the fun of designing patterns of bead colors.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Prayer Booklet for Sunday School

I have a few kids that memorize everything easily, then some others that need a little help. A visual aid can be a big help. I made flash cards last year, but thought I would send home something more tangible with my Sunday School kids to work on this important prayer.
Every Catholic should have a version memorized for nightly review of their conscious, and prayerful recitation in their confession.

O my God,
I am heartily sorry for
having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven,
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because
they offend Thee, my God,
Who are all good and
deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace,
to confess my sins,
to do penance,
and to amend my life. Amen

We have been discussing how sin dirties our clean soul (white and sparkling from baptism) so I am going to have them smudge up this shirt for effect.
 For this page, they are going to red circle with line through the sins.

The rest they will color. *
Most the kids in my class this year are good with their handwriting.
Since writing something helps get into memory, I will have them copy mine.

*Most of the color pictures are from St. Anne's color pages
which I use most Sunday school classes
you can see some of the free download pages here

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012-2013 School plans

This years homeschooling theme is Renewed Commitment

I have been so distracted the past four years trying to balance working (at home) and schooling. This year, is my renewed commitment to our homeschooling success.

Max will be heading back to college mid August, I won't have control of the school room until he goes, as it is his space for now. We have continued working on catching up in our math books, literature studies with Shakespeare summer, piano and music classes in full force, so we aren't starting from neutral.

2012 - 2013
Molly: 11th grade
Religion: help with Sunday school, Apologetics study
English: Dual credit class at Lone Star for Eng 1301. I an not sure what she will want top take in the spring, maybe Government (hopefully 6 hours) (and hopefully she will be driving herself)..
Math: Advanced Math with Ms. D's class
Literature: Greek Homer's Iliad, & Odyssey, and Greek plays
History: Ancient Greece:
Science: Chemistry & lab
Music: Piano, theory & performance & Violin including orchestra
Community Service: Sunday School, Kleb Woods Nature Days
She will take the PSAT for real this tear, and then SAT (& ACT, if needed). She has her drivers permit and will be able to take the test in late November, provided the online course work is done.
She is looking into getting a job, probably after the license, because I don't want to add any more driving to my schedule.

Nicholas: 7/8th grade
Religion: Sunday school - Confirmation class, serving, Ad Alteri Dei
Math: Saxon Algebra 1/2
Literature: Ancient Greece with Molly
History: Ancient Greece with Molly
Language Arts:
  Grammar: Voyages In English, Editor in Chief
  Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
  Writing: Ancient history
  Handwriting: continued HWWOT
Science: HMNS classes, Anatomy study and general science experiments here; Nature Journalling
Art: still working on formal plans
Logic: Building Thinking Skills
Music: piano theory & performance
Community Service: Working on church property, Boy Scout events, Kleb Woods Nature Days
Goals: improve spelling, & writing. Scouts: move up to LIFE rank, earn Ad Alteri Dei Catholic badge
Memory : Horatius
*update - adding German w/ Miss Linda @ Kleb

Euly: 5th grade
Religion: Sunday school - Confirmation class
Math: finish Saxon 54, start 65
Literature: Ancient Greece with Molly
History: Ancient Greece with Molly
Language Arts:
  Grammar: Voyages In English or PLL, Editor in Chief
  Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
  Writing: Ancient history - Classical Writing
  Handwriting: HW w/o Tears
Science: HMNS classes, Anatomy study and general science experiments here; Nature Journalling
Art: still working on
Logic: Building Thinking Skills
Music: piano theory & performance
Community Service:  Kleb Woods Nature Days
Goal: get up to speed in math, writing skills, dedication to work
Memory: Hiawatha's Childhood
*update - adding German w/ Miss Linda @ Kleb

Ceci: 2nd grade
work on reading and spelling
work on math up through second grade requirements
Literature & Religion: 5 in a Row & Catholic Mosaic
consider piano lesson taught by Molly
Religion - Saints & Sunday School
Music appreciation with Music Masters
Community Service:  Kleb Woods Nature Days
*update - adding German w/ Miss Linda @ Kleb

Lilly: 2
will be a challenge to keep busy and happy to not interrupt others.
She likes to be read to, watch Barney & The Wiggles videos, clay, play dough,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Feast of the Transfiguration

Happy Feast of the Transfiguration

from long oop Crusades Magazine

We enjoyed our first Monday lunch time tea honoring the feast.
 Ceci enjoyed setting the table including my anniversary roses and fragrant rose pedals strewn about the place settings.
 We had a delightful lunch with egg salad sandwiches, watermelon and cantaloupe balls, strawberry banana jello, chocolate chip nut cookies, and sweet Lipton tea.

Ceci & Euly enjoyed making this window catcher

We read aloud the article "Jesus shows His Glory" and discussed how it could have felt to witness such a miracle and hear God's Voice from heaven.
And coloring this color page

I remember a conversation about the feast of the Transfiguration with our priest in Georgia. He marvelled that it was the time Jesus stopped the miracle. All the time on earth, He hid the glory of who He is, since we humans couldn't handle looking upon Him in all His Glory. This feast celebrates when He showed His glory, the apostles were awe struck to the ground.

Then came the voice of God from the heavens:
"This is my beloved son. Listen to Him."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Busy Bee

Our Magnolia tree usually stops blooming at the end of May, so I was happy to see one blooming this morning, and noticed many displaced stamen on the pedals
Then a busy bee showed up  and pulled one off, and placed neatly on the pedal.

 The Bee
by Emily Dickinson

like train of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flower goes,
Their velvet masonry

Here he is pulling off one stalk...

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

 The Pedigree of Honey
By Emily Dickinson

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sacred Heart of Jesus

First Friday coming up this week - June 1
Feast of Sacred Heart - June15

Promises of His Sacred Heart to help those who honor His Sacred Heart

Twelve Promises of

1. "I will give to My faithful all the graces necessary in their state of life."

2. "I will bring peace to their homes."

3. "I will comfort them in all their sufferings."

4. "I will be their safe refuge against all the snares of their enemies in life, and above all in death."

5. "I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings."

6. "Sinner shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy."

7. "Fervent souls shall mount to high perfection."

8. "I will bless every home in which an image of My Heart will be honored."

9. "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."

11. "Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced."

12. "To all those who receive Communion. On the First Friday of the month, for nine consecutive months, I will grant to grace of final repentance."

check out these recipes to enhance your celebrations

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Garden

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth-
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

-Dorothy Gurney

So true especially when you add the heavenly scents of lilies, gardenias and roses. Even the bitter smell of a tomato plant is nice. The nurturing mother instinct helps to love a garden, to bring for food to feed her family and see new life grow.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Come into my Parlor...

A collection of strange items in my daughter's room, others might find strange, but we like the stories behind them.

I should explain why all the pictures were taken in the hue of orange. Molly had rearranged her room and added Christmas lights across the ceiling. It is a warm and festive place. Her siblings know it is a treat to hang out in their big sister's room. I stopped in for a visit after I gave good night kisses to the other sleepy heads, and noticed the fascinating collections in her room.

A painting inspired by the poem, "The Spider and the Fly"
This was a early water color by Molly - dating back to second grade. The spider is dreaming of all the neatly wrapped flies in her pantry:

"'Will you step into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly..."
    Molly does most of her painting at night, when the house is calm. This one is Kitty's bad dream:

Bacon & Cheese crickets and Mexican Spice Larvets - yumm....? don't know
From a trip to the Museum of Natural Science.

From Biology assignment of a model of the results of mating two species.Pig/Lizard: Piggards & Ligs

Ok, I don't have a story on this guy - just thought he was fierce and worthy of notice:

Molly's glow-in-the-dark crucifix we've had since she was very young. And rosary beads given to her after Mass on her first Communion day by a sweet stranger.

Bloody Arm Flag - Courageous moment in the turning point of the Texas Revolution
Copy of Flag designed and flown over the fort in Goliad, TX where decisions were made not to remain a state of Mexico but to fight for independence as a Republic
Resolved that the former province and department of Texas is a free, sovereign, and independent State...[with] all the powers, faculties, attributes, and immunities of other independent nations.

We "Remember the Alamo", we should shout "Remember Goliad" for all the men slaughtered by Santa Anna in their quest for Texas's Independence.

Max's high school geometry tessellation project:. Started off as random shapes, some turned out to be Jack Sparrow and Squidward

I love the warm glow of Christmas lights - why not enjoy their glow year round?

Except without my contacts, this is what it looks like to me:
This British Sentinel was a cheap or free garage sale find (from our neighbor that travels to England). It was given to Molly by a younger sister who thought it was pretty creepy. I agree. At first glance, it's just weird. baby doll face, with black hair painted on the back, strange misshapen hands, but....

look how angry the face and eyes are...creepy

just a few other random weirdness on shelves: (mostly gifts from her sister who thought they were too creepy. The thumb is from a magic kit.

Since most of the finds are kinds creepy, I'll leave you with the grizzly poem by Mary Howard:

    Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
    “’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
    “O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
    “I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
    Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
    “There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
    And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
    “O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”
    Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what shall I do,
    To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
    I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
    I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
    “O no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that cannot be;
    I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see.”
    “Sweet creature!” said the spider, “You’re witty and you’re wise!
    How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
    I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
    If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
    “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
    And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”
    The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
    For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
    So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
    And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
    Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing
    “Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
    Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
    Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.”
    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
    Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
    With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew
    Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
    Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
    He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
    Within his little parlor; but she ne’er came out again!
    And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
    To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
    Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
    And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.