Anthony read the book in the afternoon. He enjoyed it ; said it was an easy but captivating read. I hope to read it myself this week.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Anthony read the book in the afternoon. He enjoyed it ; said it was an easy but captivating read. I hope to read it myself this week.
Cut the top off the pumpkin, scrape out the seeds and some of the flesh. Layer thin squares of toast, chopped onion, thinly sliced cheese, salt and pepper in the pumpkin. Replace the top and bake in a slow oven 2-3 hours. Remove top, stir contents, add hot milk and serve with extra milk for bowls, to make a soup consistency. And enjoy.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
My struggles with attitude.
No, don't worry, this won't be a post full of angst. This is not a bleeding-heart-blog. But it is a blog for pondering and sharing and some of us ( Genevieve and me ) seem to ponder best when we write. Or blog.
Thursday was my birthday. Birthdays are always bitter sweet for me. Where does the time go?
Dh and I stayed up very late, spending time together, talking together. We talked of a number of things, of this, of that, of some every day things, of important things.
And dh pointed out that I have become abrupt in my responses to our children.
Ouch and double ouch.
The super thing about being married for a long time is that we can share, honestly.Most of the time.
Thus, dh's words made me both wince and wonder.
I see that I am often abrupt. Partly because of my sarcastic, somewhat wicked sense of humour. Mothers aren't supposed to use this humour on their kids, right?
But my biggest problem is probably busyness.
I get busy. I like being busy . ( What am I running away from, that I have to keep my life so busy? Or is it personality? Is busyness a problem or is it really attitude? One of my Lenten reads, Finding Sanctuary, made me feel uncomfortable when encountering my busyness and the contrast of the monastic life. ).
Regardless of the reasons for this busy life, I do know that, in my busyness, I can be abrupt. A response that could be more loving, friendly, becomes a terse shorthand answer.
In living a go-go-go lifestyle and being efficient, I forget the gentle response.
I am so not gentle.
And so, one of my attitude struggles is a struggle against abruptness and towards "yes-ness".
I prayed about this, at Mass and at Adoration yesterday. Hoping I will be given an epiphany on how to change my response.
You can do nothing with children unless you win their confidence and love by bringing them into touch with yourself, by breaking through all the hindrances that keep them at a distance. We must accommodate ourselves to their tastes, we must make ourselves like them. --------St. John Bosco
I suspect that change will come simply by doing - by my consciously making an effort to be less abrupt. It is the act of doing that makes us become what we are. Repeated acts of niceness, not abruptness; and, I imagine, repeatedy falling down and dusting myself off mentally, will mean that eventually yes will be a more automatic response than the terse alternative.
I've seen this happen in other areas of my life. I have acted as if I was what I wanted to be and over time, a change occurred. The me I wanted to be became the more natural me.
My other struggle of attitude is a body image attitude. Again. (Does this get boring? Is this a woe-is-me post? Horror. I shudder. And yet, in order to think, I write. I share. Yes, I bore...)
One would think that after losing weight, a person would be happy with their body.
It seems that I look in the mirror and all I see is the back fat, the daggy arms, that horrid waist, the saggy b**bs.
I don't expect perfection, yet I find it difficult to come to grips with a slimmer self. I look in the miror and see fat. As if I am the sum total of my looks. As if weight is the all-encompassing, most important part of a person.
Both intellectually and spiritually, I know this to be false. Yet, just as I fall back on a sarcastic, abrupt answer in default when busy, so I fall back into negative body images at milestones, at certain times in my life.
Like my birthday of last week - there comes the thought of being both fat and old.
Sad. I know that who I am is more important than how I look but the negative self talk is default mode.
Perhaps body image takes awhile to adjust to weight loss. Perhaps the living as if philosophy can be applied here, too. Live with joy in my fitter body, as though I accept my body and perhaps I will - accept my normal body, normal BMI . Not model thin but normal.
I said recently to a friend, that I find that working on and with my kids on attitudes is of more importance than working on behaviour or on Maths. I see now that this applies to myself.
No default modes. Acting and living on purpose.
If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way. --------St. Thomas Aquinas
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
And I like Ruth's idea, from way-back-when, of hosting the occasional Thankful Thursday blog.
Today ( Wednesday posing as Thursday), I am thankful that I am an unschooler.
Why? Read Genevieve's post and smile at children learning and enjoying learning, at choices in education, at collaborative learning.
I was feeling guilty about our Easter Octave - work stuff for me, for the kids a little bit of writing and lots of Guitar Hero, Singstar, some reading, friends over. But an unschooler shouldn't feel this guilty for not doing-school!
We are seeking joy and thus, a school week of a bit of reading, a bit of writing, French class, work, lots of fun and play and friends, is cool.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Maybe we can adapt this and have an Easter afternoon tea, during this octave of Easter?
And an interesting book and blog, thoughts on Mary, from a Catholic convert's point of view. From one who struggled to understand the Church's Marian devotions. [I can relate... ]
Behold Your Mother.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Today we are looking forward to the Easter Vigil at church tonight and we start the Regina Coeli. Prayed from Holy Saturday to Trinity Sunday, in place of our usual praying of the Angelus.
I woke up feeling fantastic , it has been over a month since I last felt really well- the prayers of Good Friday, the Stations of the Cross and the three o'clock Passion helped me Find Sanctuary. Eating less yesterday, because of Good Friday's fast and abstinence, was also great for me. I feel fitter and my abs feel flatter.( Am I the only auburn haired blonde? I mean, really, this blend of the religious with diet and body image is very Clueless...lol!).
Visited the fitness forum this morning and found a link to yet another cool blog, the
Fat Free Vegan. Yummy recipes. Maybe I can feel this great all the time, by following the advice of writer and food anthropologist Michael Pollan -- Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Okay, maybe I can only do this 50% of the time but at least I like the sound of the tag line!
Some recipes from the vegan blog, ones I want to try ~
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
[The above pics? William Blake's Holy Thursday ( 1794) and the FIRM workout "Complete Aerobics and Weights" (2003).]
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I did some yoga for light exercise and to clear my head. And had to listen to a philosophical debate between two sons on the psychological benefits ( or not) of yoga, of "blooming like a flower."
Namaste. I am sure. Especially with numerous phone call interruptions - a peaceful yoga mum I am not!
But Anthony and I had some fun with our Prince Caspian unit. We are picking and choosing ideas from the Further Up and Further In book, a thematic guide to the Narnia novels of C.S. Lewis. Today, Anny made a poster on the water cycle and we investigated the differences between oceans and seas.
And discussed the Byzantines and iconic art. Not at all related to Narnia.
And talked on the question of homeschool differences - are homeschooled kids different? This arose out of a complaint from Thomas, about the tone of Dr Wiles' "Exploring Creation with Chemistry" book. A book I found boring, too.
We prayed the Anima Christi, in Latin and in English, for Holy Week....organised stuff for our parish newsletter etc...cooked, folded pamphlets for delivery, had French class, did some errands, took Alexander to work at Kumon, worked on my Kumon newsletter....went to Mass ....
And so went part of our homeschool day...in Holy Week.
Monday, March 17, 2008
A Maronite icon ~ from this website. Fifty Maronite icons, retrieved from the book, “The Maronite Icons: Modern Sacred Art”. Icons of the Maronite Liturgical Year Sundays
and Major Feasts.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Didd a Google seach this morning and came up with sites and ideas.
What's for dinner tonight?
What's for dinner - make dinner time family time
What's for dinner, recipes by email
And a blog devoted to What's for Dinner, put together by another mum
This, too, is another "mummy's blog", with daily recipes ~ I want to try the Blushing Penne Pasta.
Feel free to share suggestions.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Liked this quote from G. K. Chesterton. It fit in with current discussions on Lent and after a Day of Recollection for Young Men, recently held in our parish. Three Young Men from our family attended this day.
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Except my dh nearly killed me . I weeded and discarded what I thought were two unsightly weeds. Turns out these were two of his favourite plants. Oh well. Thank heavens for patient dhs.
Dh pruned some herbs for me and these are now drying in the laundry. Hence the pic above.
My drying of herbs sparked a discussion with Anthony (12). Anthony then searched our bookshelves for a book that he had once perused and now wants to read more carefully ~ "The Illustrated Herbal".
I was reminded once again of how unschooling works, of how the interest of one family member often rubs off onto another.
I also thought about the role that books and conversation and adult company has in my sons' unschooling.
A large part of our educational process, of our unschooling, of our living and learning, is simply sharing our lives.
The kids have always been very involved in our adult lives – in the things dh and I do at church, in the community, my work , our work where possible at home or outside, our interests, our friends and visitors, our lives, our music, many of our movies, our books and reading, our conversations, our choices, our failings, our good and bad times.
The result, arrived at almost inadvertantly, has been sons who love books and reading, who can talk and talk, who form opinions and share opinions, who like learning ( for the most part) and who are often academically inclined.
So, it was interesting for me to read an article on learning and on teacher education,
Making it harder and better: Improving teaching and learning. By Lola Hill, from Deakin University, here in Australia.
I do not believe that these teachers deliberately neglect children's interests. We do not educate our teachers to engage with children intellectually. Like Splitter and Sharp (1995, p. 65), I distinguish between 'schooling' and 'education'. Unlike education, schooling is not renowned for its attention to inculcating reflective and critical thinking and judgement in its learners. Most teachers, I hazard, are more schooled than educated. Consequently, most are not practiced at joining in thoughtful dialogue about substantive issues. Sadly, many appear disinclined towards it.
Intellectual development is a journey requiring effort, not an inherent gift which one does or does not possess. One chooses whether or not to embark on the journey and applies one's intelligence, among many other personal qualities, to the journeying. If we want our teachers to be educators in the true sense of the word, then we must educate them. We must provide them with opportunities, support, and challenge to become reflective, critical, and creative thinkers, to grow intellectually, to engage in a process of constant transformation. Then, in Postman's words: "What this means is that at its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living" (Postman, 1996, p. x).
Friday, March 07, 2008
I love music in workouts.
My doctor told me, on Wednesday, to take it easy - I have to remind myself of this, as I tend to like to push myself in workouts. Esp when I can get ino the music groove!
( I am laughing at myself so its okay,you can laugh, too. ).
March 6 is the anniversary of my Confirmation, and of the Confimation of two of my older sons ~ Nicholas and Gregory. We were confirmed together, in the 'old Rite' and 'old Mass', in 1997.
Perpetua's last words were to her brother. "Stand fast in the faith and love one another."
Not a bad motto for one's life.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Among the characteristics the Salesians say they try to embody are "a welcoming attitude", "optimism and joy", "creativity and flexibility" and a "deep trust in God". They pride themselves on what is called the "preventive system" of education that was devised by Don Bosco and is based "entirely on reason, religion and loving kindness". It is "preventive" in that it "seeks to prevent the need for punishment by placing the child in an environment in which he/she is encouraged to be the best one can be".
ETA ~ This is a nice recipe, that I have used in the past. ( For Mary:-))
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Learning Latin through Mythology.
The book consists of thirteen units, each including a short English version of a myth, an illustrated Latin version with vocabulary explanations, a related Latin grammar activity, plus related writing and open-ended projects.
A nice adjunct to his Latin Primer, Latin Grammar and copywork. And to his memory work ~ of some Latin prayers and hymns...
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
We read today that St David advised his followers to refrain from eating meat and drinking beer.
Well, I don't really eat much meat or drink beer but I hope the Saint didn't mean that one should refrain from all alcohol! Shock!
I made Welsh Rarebit for lunch.
And tonight some of us are going to the Cyndi Lauper concert! Woo hoo!
I am a pretty strong woman. I guess. Or so others tell me.... And sometimes people say that to me, that I am a strong woman, as though being a strong woman is a bad thing. An un-Christian, un-Mary-like, un-motherly and un-wifely thing.
Can one be both strong and holy?
I was heartened last night, when reading "Holy Women of Russia" by Brenda Meehan. In writing of Margarita Tuchkova , the founder of the Borodino community, Meehan says ~
"...the impression left of her (Tuchkova) is of a woman of great residual willfulness. It was will and determination that had enabled her to build a memorial church, a women's community, and a flourishing monastery. Once committed to someone or something, she used every personal resource and every powerful connection she had, to help that person or plan prosper."
Gives me hope.
As do these quotes of C.S. Lewis - part of our bulletin board for March. Anthony is re-reading "Prince Caspian" and we are doing related activities together this month. I found these quotes to add to March's bulletin board.
A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.
The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
Thirty was so strange for me. I've really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult.
You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.