Saint Teresa of Avila for Every Day.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Saint Teresa of Avila for Every Day.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
From A Continual Feast ~ " The pretzel is a very ancient bakery item, which traditionally was eaten only during Lent. It appeared each year on Ash Wednesday and disapeared on Good Friday. It goes back at least to the fifth century: there is a Roman manuscript in the Vatican Library dating from that period which shows a Lenten pretzel. As to the shape: it is made in the form of two arms crossed in prayer. The word bracellae, 'little arms', became in German Bretzel, then Pretzel. These early Christians ate no dairy products in Lent, so the pretzel was made of only flour, salt, and water: it was as simple as it could be."
And Anthony and I are making a salt dough wreath for the Lenten table - a Crown of Thorns. Similar to our Advent Wreath.
Elizabeth shared her ideas on this at the 4 Real Learning Forum.
We are hopefully braiding three ropes of salt dough, forming them into a crown, adding toothpicks or similar for thorns, and then varnishing. On Easter Sunday, we will fill the crown with flowers.
This will be extra nice for our Easter Sunday, as that day we will be celebrating our wedding anniversary !
I'll try to post pics of our products later...
I realized, too, that this post fits in with the new Fair - the Loveliness of Baking.
I don't do a lot of baking but I do cook with my sons - mostly with Thomas and Anthony. Looking at our blog, I see that these have been some of our recent baking activities -
St Basil's Bread - recipe here.
Irish Soda Bread for the Feast of St Brigid
A picture of our home baked St Lucy's bread or crown...
Coconut Macaroons for the feast of St Thomas a Beckett
Cinnamon Crown Cake
Devil's Food Muffins - Feast of the Archangels
The Loveliness of Baking in our home is that a) it is rare and therefore special; b) it is often tied to the liturgical year and gives us a chance to remember the saints and the feasts, the Ordinary Time and Lent and Advent; c) it is a time for me to spend with one or two sons, doing an activity and chatting and laughing ( at our failures!); d) it passes for school work in my log!
Check out Cheryl's blog for the Loveliness of Baking Fair.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Came home and read this reflection on Maria's blog.
It just fits.
“We want to shut the doors to the messy rooms, so the guest doesn’t see the disorder. But this is not what we should do with Christ. We must open up the messy rooms of our hearts to him, because those are the ones that need some work.”-- Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher of the Papal Household
Thursday, February 22, 2007
A lot of the time, the kids read and talk. Anthony draws and both and he and Jonathon write.
Nine times out of ten, we listen to music. Lately, its been Gregorian Chant, Carly Simon (You're So Vain!), Blink 182 and The Divinyls. I know, a weird mix.
We start our journeys with prayer.
We go through stages of listening to books on CD in the car - last year it was The Series of Unfortunate Events, the Narnia series, a Harry Potter and another book by Eion Colfer.
Sometimes, I ask for a bit of silence in the car - impossible to imagine, huh?
But yesterday's carschooling made me smile. We drove 45 minutes to my work meeting. Then the 45 minutes drive to homeschool Group Learning. We dropped off and picked up Jonathon from work.
Part of the work journey involved carschooling - yep, set by me.The kids did a medieval Crossword puzzle, that another mum had sent and asked children to finish before Group Learning that afternoon. Then Alexander read from "Understanding the Scriptures", his religion book. He complained about the style but I said he should focus instead on the content! lol!
Thomas and Anthony worked on memorizing the Confiteor and the Agnus Dei. Last week, they wrote these out for Latin prayers and learned a little bit about the Dative and Accusative cases.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
A new background for our computer - we change the background to reflect our current study/artist and the liturgical year.....Currently, we have on one computer, an icon of The Last Judgement. You can see an image
Attending Mass this evening, after what looks to be a VERY busy day today.
"The Christian Church has observed the weeks before Easter as a time of penitence and spiritual self-examination.Self examination means looking back at our past deeds analytically."
From the holiday spot website.This site has info, free wallpaper ( see above for one example), colouring in sheets on Ash Wednesday and on other feasts and other "holidays".
We are having a prayer focus for Lent , and the children are learning more Latin prayers - the Anima Christi is one of these.
"Prayer is a 'vital and personal relationship with the living and true God'". - CCC#2558
Off now to workout, drive to and attend a work meeting with the kids in tow, and teach medieval crafts at homeschool Group Learning!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Always Learning Books asked me to write a review of a new book in their catalogue - The Homeschooling Trail...A Journey of Faith.
I think this is a book that will speak to many, and so I am sharing the review....
“The Homeschooling Trail…a Journey of Faith” by Michele Hastings
“We don’t adhere to any particular curriculum or scope and sequence – our homeschooling recipe is an eclectic blend of styles and theories. Mary Griffith, author of “The Homeschooling Handbook” refers to eclectics as ‘balancing exploration with basics.’ As much as possible, we allow our boys to follow their interests, as we consider any interest of educational benefit.”
And thus author and homeschooling mother, Michele Hasting, describes her homeschool. After reading her journey, a description of one year in their “unschooled” life, I feel it is an apt description. It also probably describes the homeschooling journey of many others – and is precisely why the book is a satisfying read. We see ourselves, our doubts, our experiences in Hastings’ description of her homeschool.
Hastings is a Christian homeschooling mother of two sons. Both Hastings and her husband are drawn to the unschooling end of the homeschooling spectrum. They believe that children, growing up in a loving and responsive home, will reach their full potential as adults.
This is, however, not another book about picture perfect homeschoolers. Instead, the author invites us to “be a fly on our wall for a realistic day-by-day glimpse of homeschooling life”, including sports, video games, chores and some angst over covering academic basics.
Michele Hastings reminds us that ordinary people, living ordinary lives, can homeschool. Indeed, can provide a learning atmosphere for children surrounded by ideas and learning and growth, even in the midst of financial and other concerns.
The intimate details of Hastings life are strangely reassuring – we see that others have “good" days and “could be better” days; we see the importance of free time and exploration in the growth of children; we see the individual differences between siblings and how unschooling can address these differences.
Most of all, the book is about trust. Trusting children to learn. Trusting ourselves as parents and as mothers – our intuition and our personalities are important in our homeschooling adventure. And, for Hastings, the importance of trust in God – she quotes Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Hastings discusses her research into homeschooling and the resultant belief that it important to pay attention to not only a child’s individual learning style but to his/her timetable for growth. She incorporates activities into a daily “table-time”, where she and the boys work on reading, writing, and mathematics. The children are fee to choose the aspect of these skills that they may wish to tackle that day, and to accomplish such work in ways that make sense to them, and at their individual pace.
In addition to table-time, the family works together on chores and then the bulk of the day is free – typically her children choose to attend homeschool activities, to play sport, to play with friends, watch television, play computer games….
Doesn’t this describe the homeschool day of many families? Even in our differences there are similarities and this theme of familiar companionship along the journey of homeschooling/unschooling makes the book an easy and enjoyable read.
I left it in the book box by my bed and read a bit here and there – the book is easy to pick up, read and digest; it made me smile in parts, grimace in others and wryly commiserate at some points.
Upon finishing the book, I felt sadness at parting with Hastings and her family – the sharing of their life throughout a year of homeschooling made them seem like friends. I also felt renewed and refreshed as I continue my own homeschooling trail. This book is a good companion for the trail.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Someone sent me this prayer this evening.
Jesus I trust in You!
Since Tuesday is busy for us, we will have our pancakes for dinner tomorrow, Monday.
Care to join in? Anthony ( youngest son) and Gerry ( dh) are making pancakes, to serve with fruit, ice cream and syrup. Hopefully, when I and the others get home from work, the pancakes will be ready!
This feasting is in preparation for the fast and abstinence of
Ash Wednesday and for Lent.
Lent is a time for reflection. A time to do things differently, to think more of spiritual matters, to pray, to attend an extra Mass or two, to ensure we make amends and attend Reconciliation. to re-orient ourselves spiritually.
Whether this be by "giving up" foods or activities or by adding new spiritual practices or reading into our days and weeks, is a matter of discussion here.
Daily we will be reading the reflections from Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II. Well, I hope we will - I have been told that the book will arrive on February 23!
We will look at Lent as part of the liturgical year with activities from
100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Anthony will probably have some fun ( and hopefully learning - although one can't be too sure with Anny!) with this book.
And there are more Lenten ideas here.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Right now, I am printing some of the maths activities for Valentine's Day.
I think Thomas and Anthony will have fun with these.
Would your kids like to do Maths on Valentine's Day?
More about St Valentine here.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Christ the Lord by Anne Rice.
Why it is in the box: I heard a review and then the reviewer loaned me the book. Riveting.
Excerpt: This new introduction appears in the paperback edition of the book, released November 1st, 2006:
This book seeks to present a realistic fictional portrait of Our Lord in Time. It is rooted in the faith that the Creator of the Universe became human in the person of Jesus Christ and “dwelt among us.” The magnificent mystery of the Incarnation is accepted and affirmed as fact. Scripture is the inspiration for the emotions and powers of the Child Jesus as they are envisioned here. History as well as the gospels is the source for this picture of a world in which Our Lord might have lived, as a little boy, in war and in peace, from day to day.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Why it is in the box: I am re-reading the novel in preparation for seeing the movie , that is due to be released in July...
Excerpt: Snape: You won't last two seconds if he invades your mind. Harry: I'm not weak! Snape : Then prove it!
Our Moral Life in Christ, a book in the Didache series of high school religion books.
Why it is in the box: I am reading through some of this series to see if they are books I'll pass onto my children.
Excerpt: The word morality refers to the standards by which we judge our actions to be good or evil and moral law is the phrase used to describe the objective standards authored by God and taught by Church authority.
Body For Life for Women by Dr Peeke
Why it is in the box: I wanted to re- read it for continuing fitness tips and motivation.
Excerpt: The take home message? For maximum benefit, cardio combined with weight training, not to mention a healthy diet, is the obvious path to achieving and maintaining an optimal body composition, including minimizing disease-associated, intra-abdominal fat.
Firm for Life
Why it is in the box: I like some of the FIRM workout videos/DVDs and had heard mixed reviews of their older fitness book. I saw it on special at an Amazon seller so bought it for myself! I like some parts - others I can take or leave.
Excerpt:In the same vein, there's no doubt that following through with an exercise program--especially if you're doing it at home with only yourself to report to--requires a large measure of enterprise, dedication, and resolve.You visualize a goal, you vow to achieve it, you're willing to discipline yourself for it, you work on focus and commitment, and you build up the drive to keep going through the early rounds until you see results.That The FIRM shows you those results so quickly is a major motivational plus, as is the compelling nature of the videos, but you still must develop commitment within yourself. Is it a breeze? No. Is it worth digging deep into your nature and coming up with a mental strength you didn't know you had? Ask any Firm Believer whose life has been transfomed by doing just that.
And what are the kids reading?
Jonathon ~ Witness to Hope; Moving Beyond the Game: Social Virtual Worlds
Alexander ~ Shield Ring by Rosemary Sutcliffe; Understanding the Scriptures , in the Didache series
Anthony~ My Story - A Tale of Two Families ; Hood by Stephen Lawhead.
Thomas ~ My Story - The Bombing of Darwin; Merlin by Stephen Lawhead.
The Times Book of Saints - A Year of Reading
Saturday, February 10, 2007
"Women's dignity has often been unacknowledged and their prerogatives misrepresented; they have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude. This has prevented women from truly being themselves and it has resulted in a spiritual impoverishment of humanity."
Fr. preached on sin and on original sin at Mass on Friday. He mentioned that the sin in the Garden of Eden was not the sin of a woman but a co-operation in sin; the co-operation of both Adam and Eve in sin.
I thought this idea and the above quote fit together...
Fr. also mentioned that the root of sin was pride. Ouch!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Family and marriage are important. And both need time - not just quality time but also quantity time...
This afternoon dh and I got to spend an hour together at home, alone. A very rare occurrence! Of course, we easily found things to do - oh, and things to talk about!
This article discusses the sacrament of marriage and faithfulness in marriage as "a commitment to grow as a couple in mutual support and affection."
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Today I have prayed this litany, for the intentions of an internet friend and her situation with an adolescent son. I have also prayed for our family's intentions - Gerry ( dh) is unhappy with some recent turn of events and worries about our family and sons.
I thought I'd share the litany here, as our family has a special fondness for St Anthony of Padua. Maybe you'd like to pray along with us?
There is value in both liturgical, traditional prayer and in spontaneous prayer. C.S. Lewis wrote about mistrusting spontaneous prayers in church. How can you pray along with someone, he asked, when that person may be spouting wrong theology?
We can recognize that for most of church history, Christians have relied on liturgical, memorized prayer. And, in fact, most of the prayers included in the Bible, including all of the Psalms, had a liturgical use.
Just as we ask others to pray for us, so we can ask these saints to intercede for us. These particular saints are helpful intercessors , especially during times of adversity, sickness and peril.
The Fourteen Holy Helpers are invoked as follows;
Achatius, against headaches.
Barbara, against lightning, fire, explosion and sudden
Blaise, against diseases of the throat.
Catherine, by philosophers, students and lawyers.
Christopher, by travellers.
Cyriacus, against maladies of the eye.
Denis, against headaches and rabies.
Erasmus, against cramp and diseases of the intestines.
Eustace, by hunters and sometimes to save us from fire of all kinds, including eternal fire.
George, by soldiers and sometimes against skin diseases.
Giles, against epilepsy, insanity, sterility and cases of demonic possession.
Margaret, by pregnant women and during childbirth.
Pantaleon, against phthisis and other wasting diseases.
Vitus (or Guy), against epilepsy and against the ‘dance’ bearing his name.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
It is interesting to read a "typical homeschool morning" from a young teen's perspective.
If you'd like a peek, you can read at Thomas' blog.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Now, friends , stop laughing about the notion of me and housekeeping~ :-).
Aprons – Y/N?
Nope, not unless I'm doing something really messy or wearing good clothes. Then I'll drag out an old apron - I have one, maybe two, tops.
Baking – Favorite thing to bake:
I used to bake a lot. Don't bake much now - too fattening and I have kids who like to bake. But bread was probably my favourite.
Clothesline – Y/N?
Yes - doesn't everyone? :-)
Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Yep - in my baking days. We liked them but way too fiddly. Maybe made them twice?
Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:
Tidy up. I spend my whole life tidying up!
Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes - a small chest freezer, currently in the laundry.
Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
Not in this house but we did have one in our last home.
Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Don't really have one ( blushes). I do have an old Mrs Beeton's Housekeeping Book that I love to read now and then - its such a scream and such a good picture of a middle class woman's life in the UK in the 1800s.
Ironing – Love it or hate it?
Don't have feelings either way. I can take it or leave it - but I never get to iron. Maybe twice a year? Everyone says I am such a terible iron-er that they won't let me! Dh and older boys mostly iron here.
Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
Second and third drawer in the kitchen.
Kitchen: Design & Decorating?
We are renting - its all in white.
Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Umm. Umm. Think Leonie. I think I like organizing and doing flowers or making things look better/different.
Mop - Y/N?
Yes - and also wipe down on hands and kness - we have white tiles. That explains everything, doesn't it?
Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
Washing machine. And they're usually a winter thing here and mostly black or patterns, occasionally skin tone - even my fish net stockings that I wear to parties, go in the washing machine.
Oven - Do you use the window, or open the door to check?
Both.I get to burn food a lot!
Pizza - What do you put on yours?
No cheese, lots of veges, including olives and jalapenos.
Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Read. Go on the internet. Sit down and chat to the kids.
Recipe card box - Y/N?
Style of house -
We are renting a two story, five bed, two and a half bath newer house - its nearly 2 years old.
Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N?
Yes, but not for every meal...
Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?
Semi - organized.
Vacuum - How many times per week?
Mostly daily - either me or one of the kids.
X’s - Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?
Definitely - can't live my life without my To Do list. Not many housekeeping things are on the list, though - its mostly work and homeschool and appts and phone calls and...
Yard - Who does what?
Dh does a lot of the gardening and all the mowing but its a little yard. I weed here and there - I hate weeds so pull them as I see them.
Zzz’s - What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Usually, tidy up the kitchen and family room and make a To Do list for the next day and write in my homeshool log. Unless I am exhausted.
Whom do I tag?
Saturday, February 03, 2007
I was at work in the afternoon. Gerry picked up Anthony from Kumon when he had finished work and they came home - Gerry to work out and Anthony to make Irish Soda bread in memory of the Irish Saint, St Brigid.
A nice addition to dinner.
And Anthony is putting the recipe on his blog.