Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to "Schedule" One's Sanity

(1) Write out your schedule for the whole week

(2) Highlight what is written-in-stone cannot be canceled or rescheduled

(3) Cross out what can be tossed if and when necessary

(4) Leave alone (or highlight in a different color) what is necessary but forever flexible

(5) Allot a certain period each day/night for quiet downtime.

(6) Make sure there is one day in your schedule that you are home and uncommitted to the "outside" world.

(7) Guarantee one part of your day (morning, night, or both) for meditative prayer and spiritual reading.

EXAMPLE using my schedule this coming week:

SUNDAY

Church
Prepare for elementary and jr. high history classes
Wash bedding (this got done today because husband stepped up to the plate)
Make sure dance clothes are washed and packed in dance bag
Chicken and potatoes in bacon sauce

MONDAY
Co-op classes (this defines our whole day...usually nothing else is allowed to be scheduled this day)
Soccer @ 6 PM (Only if ride is available---UPDATE: 2 members of family not feeling up to par so we deleted this from our agenda...very nice to slip out of our public face and threads and stay home :-)
Menu---chili dogs

TUESDAY
Kids started with school work
Office  (I try to go in at least 2 hours every Tues., Wed., and Thurs.,...as I make my own hours this is easily changed, rescheduled to morning or afternoon or crossed out all-together depending on my family's needs and activities)
4:30 Ballet (Annie) and Drums (Chelsea)
6 Hip Hop (Annie)
Check over school work (I try to do this daily...3 times weekly keeps schoolwork going smoothly...I am not panicking over it on Tuesday...most of the time it gets done on a daily basis)
Menu---Tamale Pie


WEDNESDAY
Kids---school work
CCD work day (the one day written-in-stone)
1 PM Come, Lord Jesus Bible Study (I love this time...it truly blesses and nourishes me but it comes in 3rd place next to my family and CCD work...I love that it's flexible and I can join in whenever I have or need the time)
CCD classes
Menu---Steak in crockpot (if I forget or don't have time to put something in crockpot, my family blesses me...either husband, one of my daughters or my future daughter-in-law cooks for the family)


THURSDAY

Kids---schoolwork
DRE Meeting 9:30 AM (I enjoy these meetings, learn so much, and get to exchange thoughts and ideas with other DREs...it is only once a month so I haven't missed one yet...not mandatory so I can skip if necessary which means there's no-pressure to attend...I like that!)
Check over school work (if, by some freak occurance, I have not been able to check over their daily work and do corrections, it is now time to panic...this would be the day it becomes mandatory to look over their school work if I have skipped any of the other days)
Yearbook Party (fun with friends) 3:30-5:30 PM (though this could be canceled if I find myself overwhelmed by the end of the day, it isn't a good idea since the children need this outting and, frankly, I need the connection with friends too. :-)

Jazz @ 6 PMMenu---Beef Stroganoff

FRIDAY
Schoolwork with the kids
Movies @ 1:30 (Maybe)
Soccer @ 6 PM
Menu---??? (frozen pizza if necessary)


SATURDAY
Day of Rest

Menu---??? (husband usually anoints his fabulous cast iron pot)


SUNDAY
Church
Godbaby's 1st birthday party 
(cannot miss 1st birthday parties or the chance to see my handsome little man)
Menu---Birthday Cake!
 

Inbetween I do the things that have to be done but, at some point, are flexible enough and can be manuevered and dictated to others so I have changed them to pink-highlight rather than the yellow which cannot be moved or dictated to others.

  • laundry (I can zap this down to twice weekly if need be and the older children do their own laundry which helps),
  • quick clean-ups (extremely questionable...I usually do this at night before going to bed and that holds my sanity but, if I am feeling rushed, harried, or too tired; I have been known to do a one-day-mass clean-up on the weekend and ignore it Monday-Friday though extremely rare),
  • feed and water chickens (strangely I find this a very relaxing chore...love my chickens),
  • supervise dishes (I have a sanity issue with my kitchen sink...this chore belongs to my daughters but I have to stay on top of them as the younger two have an adversity to icky, gooy, slimy, moldy food upon dishes...it isn't practical to go the whole week without baptizing my sink periodically),
  • chauffeur (this includes dealing with the logistics of getting older children to help with the younger ones, where they need to be and picking them up if necessary),
  • shop (delegate to licensed drivers in household if necessary...though truly something written in stone, the reason I've crossed it out is because as long as I get to the store once a week for the bulk shopping I can usually dictate shopping the rest of the week or survive on what's in the pantry),
  • try to keep everyone happy, happy, happy (again questionable...some days just aren't that happy and it's impossible for me to keep every single person in this household HAPPY on a 24/7 schedule...I think I deserve an "A" for effort ;-),
*****

Facebook Status from August 17:

"Sometimes you have to tell your children 'No' simply to preserve your sanity and, while it makes them very unhappy, they need to realize that their need for happiness is co-dependant on Momma's need for sanity."

*****

  • pray, pray, pray (mandatory),
  • before bed always have spiritual reading time (like I said here ----->). Can't live without it!





A Chance to Recreate my Insanity Online

Also a chance to tame it a bit. Seems that if I get it on paper it seems to control the monster and hold him within his boundaries and zones. I hold the pen. I am in control!

SUNDAY
Church
Menu---chicken and potatoes with bacon and sauce
Prepare for elementary and jr. high history classes

MONDAY
Co-op classes
Soccer @ 6 PM
Menu---chili dogs

TUESDAY
Kids started with school work
Office
Check over school work
4:30 Ballet (Annie) and Drums (Chelsea)
6 Hip Hop (Annie)
Menu---Tamale Pie

WEDNESDAY
Kids---school work
CCD work day
1 PM Come, Lord Jesus Bible Study
CCD classes
Menu---Steak in crockpot

THURSDAY
Kids---schoolwork
DRE Meeting 9:30 AM
Check over school work
Yearbook Party (fun with friends) 3:30-5:30 PM
Menu---Beef Stroganoff


FRIDAY
Schoolwork with the kids
Movies @ 1:30 (Maybe)
Soccer @ 6 PM
Menu---???




SATURDAY
Godbaby's 1st birthday party
Menu---Birthday Cake!

SUNDAY
Day of Rest
Menu---???

Inbetween I do laundry, quick clean-ups, feed and water chickens, supervise dishes, chauffeur, shop, and try to keep everyone happy, happy, happy.  I also pray, pray, pray and before bed I always have my spiritual reading time. Can't live without it!

It's a blessed life, but somebody has to live it. :-)

Blessings on your week and the work within it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Adore Lollygag Mornings

Lollygag Mornings are when you don't have to be anywhere. When you don't have to go anywhere.

Lollygag Mornings are when you can stay in your pjs all morning and get out of bed when you please.

Lollygag Mornings are for leisurely pots of coffee and pacing the laundry and the dirty dishes.

There is no hurry or rush on Lollygag Mornings. They are for breathing gently.

Lollygag Mornings are for preplanning supper and remembering to take the meat out early to defrost.

Lollygag Mornings are for quiet prayer time, thoughtful reading, and watching the news. Or writing.

Lollygag Mornings are for enjoying home and hearth and those within it.

Lollygag Mornings are for thinking of what to do the rest of the day.

Lollygag Mornings are for rejuvenation.

Lollygag Mornings are a promise to yourself.

Lollygag Mornings are all yours. Entirely yours. God-given and free!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chelsea's Cupcake Creations

For the past year or more I've worried that I put my middle daughter to work in the kitchen too early. She's been in charge of the dishes and it has definitely wet her appetite towards work in the kitchen. She has not taken naturally to the kitchen the way her older sister did or energetically the way her younger sister has.

But lately...blessedly...all that has changed. I really do want my girls to love the kitchen and feel at home in it.

My 13 year old daughter has finally begun having fun in the kitchen.

~ With cupcake creations ~

These cute little fishbowls are made with blue-dyed icing, goldfish crackers, green fruit roll-up, and chopped nuts.

These buttery cakes were made for a club meeting with friends. Yellow and white jellybeans made these tasty corn-on-the-cob and a yellow fruit chew Starburst made the slap of non-melting butter.

Ideas are from this cupcake decorating book that promises "playful creations anyone can make" and unspeakable fun: Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

It does not lie.

My 13 year old has indulged herself in this cupcake decorating book and the results have been fun and friendly. The creations have worked every time which gives her a great sense of success and style.

And those years of being in charge of the dishes? Seems to have come in handy. She leaves quite a clean kitchen after her creative time there.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Followers of Jesus are on "The Beautiful Adventure"


Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid, Spain for World Youth Day...

"I have come here to meet thousands of young people from all over the world, Catholics committed to Christ searching for the truth that will give real meaning to their existence. I come as the Successor of Peter, to confirm them all in the faith, with days of intense pastoral activity, proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life; to motivate the commitment to build up the Kingdom of God in the world among us; to exhort young people to and so, rooted in his person, to become faithful followers and valiant witnesses.



"Why has this multitude of young people come to Madrid? While they themselves should give the reply, it may be supposed that they wish to hear the word of God, as the motto for this World Youth Day proposed to them, in such a way that, rooted and built upon Christ, they may manifest the strength of their faith.



"Many of them have heard the voice of God, perhaps only as a little whisper, which has led them to search for him more diligently and to share with others the experience of the force which he has in their lives. The discovery of the living God inspires young people and opens their eyes to the challenges of the world in which they live, with its possibilities and limitations. They see the prevailing superficiality, consumerism and hedonism, the widespread banalization of sexuality, the lack of solidarity, the corruption. They know that, without God, it would be hard to confront these challenges and to be truly happy, and thus pouring out their enthusiasm in the attainment of an authentic life. But, with God beside them, they will possess light to walk by and reasons to hope, unrestrained before their highest ideals, which will motivate their generous commitment to build a society where human dignity and true brotherhood are respected.



"Here on this Day, they have a special opportunity to gather together their aspirations, to share the richness of their cultures and experiences, motivate each other along a journey of faith and life, in which some think they are alone or ignored in their daily existence. But they are not alone. Many people of the same age have the same aspirations and, entrusting themselves completely to Christ, know that they really have a future before them and are not afraid of the decisive commitments which fulfill their entire lives. That is why it gives me great joy to listen to them, pray with them and celebrate the Eucharist with them. World Youth Day brings us a message of hope like a pure and youthful breeze, with rejuvenating scents which fill us with confidence before the future of the Church and the world.

"Of course, there is no lack of difficulties. There are tensions and ongoing conflicts all over the world, even to the shedding of blood. Justice and the unique value of the human person are easily surrendered to selfish, material and ideological interests. Nature and the environment, created by God with so much love, are not respected. Moreover, many young people look worriedly to the future, as they search for work, or because they have lost their job or because the one they have is precarious or uncertain. There are others who need help either to avoid drugs or to recover from their use. There are even some who, because of their faith in Christ, suffer discrimination which leads to contempt and persecution, open or hidden, which they endure in various regions and countries. They are harassed to give him up, depriving them of the signs of his presence in public life, not allowing even the mention of his holy name.

"But, with all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord. He did not spare himself in becoming one like us and in experiencing our anguish so as to lift it up to God, and in this way he saved us.

"In this regard, the young followers of Jesus must be aided to remain firm in the faith and to embrace the beautiful adventure of proclaiming it and witnessing to it openly with their lives. A witness that is courageous and full of love for their brothers and sisters, resolute and at the same time prudent, without hiding its Christian identity, living together with other legitimate choices in a spirit of respect while at the same time demanding due respect for one’s own choices."
Full text

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Writer's Critic and Spirit

I have often wondered (and worried) about that tiny self-centered being inside of me who peeks into her inbox to see if anyone has commented approval on a recent blog post I've written, the greedy inner being whose heart beats a flurry whenever another writer or an editor writes me an affirmative message, the egotistical being who feels rejected during times of silence...silence meant to humble me, humanize me, center me back to reality.

I've scorned that voice. Questioned that voice. Rebuked that voice. Threatened that voice. Ignored that voice.

But still...he skirts the margin of my writing.

Not wanting to seem as though I'm drawing attention upon myself, my pace has slown with uncertainty and denial.

Today I realized why writers cannot silence the need for acclamation and affirmation. Seldom does it have anything to do with greed, self-centeredness, feelings of greatness, or a demand for attention. Seldom.

It is because our own writing snears at us, spits at us, glares at us. We see the flaws, the weakness, and the mistakes. Typos and misspellings snarl at us from the page and screen. Our inner voice is deafening and certainly critical enough. Without our readers' approval, acclaim, and affirmation; we die a slow death. Our souls ripped bare. Our spirits wounded.

Our readers' words draw our eyes away from the faulty attire of our human words and refocus them on the spirit within which God desires to impart.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

P.O.P.: Weeding

This chapter touched me more than any of the others have.



One line I think worth remembering is when Carol finds Emma (the elderly lady at Blackberry Inn) weeding in the garden. Knowing she has all sorts of "aches and pains", Carol asks how she is feeling while wondering if she should be doing that sort of work at her age.



"...she smiled and said, 'My dear, much of the work in this world is done by people who don't feel so very well.' "They take a walk to the old cemetery and, while standing in front of the graves of Carol's parents, Emma begins to "weed out" Carol's heart in regards to her feelings about her parents and their deaths. I'd like to share a small section (hope I'm not infringing on copyright...yikes!) for those who don't have the book.

This really isn't Nature Study but I think it's worthy of Charlotte Mason to share:


**************


Emma: "Perhaps, dear, there are some other things you didn't get to say to her. Perhaps you've carried around guilt because you longed for a different sort of life than she had -- a life with less labor -- a life with more to see and do -- a more modern life in the city?"
 Carol: "At first I like being a secretary in a growing company. I liked my paycheck and being able to buy things. That's where I met Michael."
Emma: "But the glitter of it subsided when you realized that what you really longed for was a home and children of your own."
 Carol: "Yes, that's right. I never admitted this to my mother or honored her by telling her how thankful I was for her love and care, for teaching me by example, for pointing out without words what is the most precious thing in a woman's life---her family."

 *Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola*
**************

When the children get back with Michael from their trip to town, the chidlren tell Carol they saw the sunflowers they planted earlier at their old house. Carol is disappointed because the move to the country interrupted their sunflower growth charts.

**************

Plants mentioned in this chapter:


Roses---Rosa

Tomato---Lycopersicum


Woolly lamb's ears---Stachys byzantina

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Technology Combined with Digital Dieting

A friend messaged this article by Joahann Hari to me via Facebook and I found it interesting:

I am beginning to feel like a bit of a dinosaur when I go in public and pull a cold, hard book out of my purse. But I still prefer it. I've tried the electronic formats and found them lacking. Not that I mind other people using electronic gadgets to read.

To be perfectly honest, I dabble on my Smart phone or flip through a magazine while motionless in a waiting room. That's just logistically-correct since when one is waiting you aren't aware of the hour or minute in which you will be called out of your revery. I don't care to get too indebt or reflective in waiting rooms only to be snatched out of my comfort zone.

My husband has discussed with me the gift of a Kindle or Nook for the readers in our family. We've discussed the pros and cons. He has researched both brands. I have inspected those of my friends with interest.

I do love technology. But...


(There's always a "but", isn't there?)


...at night when I peek inside my girls' bedroom to say goodnight, it is only my college-aged daughter who has a cold, hard book in her hands and a stack of them near her bed or in her laundry basket. It doesn't look cold and hard at all. It looks warm and cozy and comforting and more alive than the little beeps of light I see in the hands of my other two girls who...

...will fervently proclaim that they are not playing a game, not chatting, not Facebooking, not surfing but are indeed reading. My thirteen year old most probably is. She is the most absorbed reader of the three girls. I know she reads...lots. Her father showed her the art of downloading books onto her Ipod and she loves the candy craze of that feature.

And I trust that she is reading. I know she is. This child is as rabid as I am in a bookstore.


But while she reads I also know that with one click she can skip over to Facebook and check for new messages (because I do) and then she can hop to her chatbox and chat with five friends at one time (this is totally not me, but my children do love to chat) and still she can pop over to Google to look up information (which is kind of cool), all the while her phone is next to her with text messages beeping every five seconds or so. Her finger is snatching parts of information. Her brain is clicking along invisible lines of words.

This is in relation to what the above article says:

"In his gorgeous little book The Lost Art of Reading – Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, the critic David Ulin admits to a strange feeling. All his life, he had taken reading as for granted as eating – but then, a few years ago, he 'became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read'. He would sit down to do it at night, as he always had, and read a few paragraphs, then find his mind was wandering, imploring him to check his email, or Twitter, or Facebook. 'What I'm struggling with,' he writes, 'is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there's something out there that merits my attention.'

"I think most of us have this sense today, if we are honest. If you read a book with your laptop thrumming on the other side of the room, it can be like trying to read in the middle of a party, where everyone is shouting to each other. To read, you need to slow down. You need mental silence except for the words. That's getting harder to find."


In self-defense, Johann Hari writes:

"No, don't misunderstand me. I adore the web, and they will have to wrench my Twitter feed from my cold dead hands. This isn't going to turn into an antedeluvian rant against the glories of our wired world. But there's a reason why that word – 'wired' – means both 'connected to the internet' and 'high, frantic, unable to concentrate'.

"In the age of the internet, physical paper books are a technology we need more, not less.

"...

"Most humans don't just want mental snacks forever; they also want meals."

Like Joann Hari, I love technology and, as it is here to stay, there is no sense in trying to ignore it. But, as with all things, there has got to be a balance in our lives.

My daughter is correct when she tells me she is reading. I know she is. She isn't lying. But it's shiftless reading. There has got to be a balance. Johann Hari recommends digital dieting becoming vogue:

"The idea of keeping yourself on a digital diet will, I suspect, become mainstream soon. Just as I've learned not to stock my fridge with tempting carbs, I've learned to limit my exposure to the web – and to love it in the limited window I allow myself. I have installed the programme 'Freedom' on my laptop: it will disconnect you from the web for however long you tell it to. It's the Ritalin I need for my web-induced ADHD. I make sure I activate it so I can dive into the more permanent world of the printed page for at least two hours a day, or I find myself with a sense of endless online connection that leaves you oddly disconnected from yourself. "
So, in a feeble attempt to go on a "digital diet" if you will, here goes my plan for a new school year. One in which I have looked over our summertime reading practices and refocused on how we do things. While public schools are upping their relationship with the ditigal word, our small homeschool will be dieting (a bit). Not dieting from words or The Word, but from digital words, the kind that make you hop, skip, and pop all over the place. I'm looking for meaningful focus here.

I don't want to downsize the reality here. I am a writer, a director of religious education, and a homeschool mother; I need my laptop. When I'm away from my kids I need my cell phone. And I refuse to be a hypocritcal mother. If I demand that they diet from digital then I should set the example. So this is a rather slippery slope for me to even begin to crawl up.

Since our homeschooling lifestyle consists of a rather large amount of "unschooling" which is learning at all times in the world-at-large and our actual "school time" (I prefer to call it "table time") is rather small, I think it is important to use that table time to develop the true function of books which is:


"--the paper book that doesn't beep or flash or link or let you watch a thousand videos all at once – does for you that nothing else will. It gives you the capacity for deep, linear concentration. As Ulin puts it: 'Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction.... It requires us to pace ourselves. It returns us to a reckoning with time. In the midst of a book, we have no choice but to be patient, to take each thing in its moment, to let the narrative prevail. We regain the world by withdrawing from it just a little, by stepping back from the noise.' "




The "plan" is...the "ideal" is to...

  • at proclaimed bedtime hour all electronical devices will be handed over to Daddy and placed in a designated spot where only Mommy has permission to retrieve
  • on early morn any child who does not arise when he/she is supposed to will not regain use of personal electronical devise for the day
  • children are expected to rise, get ready and dressed, eat breakfast, do chores, and get on with their school work
  • Mornings are not for television or electronic devises...if a child is up at the break-of-day and finishes their work early they may continue with their reading, do another math lesson, draw/paint, or go outside
  • When school work is done (and the hour hand is past lunch) electronic devises will be give out by the writer of this policy (except to those who slept too late). Children will have them before and after their afternoon activities until Daddy repossesses them for the night.
Check back with me in September for the reality version and the "weigh-in" on our digital diet. ;-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Poverty - Properity - St. John Vianney

 On this feast of St. John Vianney, I realize how much discerning I've been doing concerning poverty and prosperity. 
What does the Bible teaches, how did Christ live, how did various saints live, how does the Church calls us to live?
I wonder about humble priest and little country towns. 
And I wonder where have they gone?

Of course they are still out there.
I live in one such small country parish and our priests are very humble and do not live an upscale life at all.
The rectory in which they live is as old as the wedding bands on my parent's hands.
Our priests live modestly, reverently, respectfully, and prudentially.

Yet elsewhere I see the thickness of money spent while it could be used better elsewhere. There is so much suffering and want in the world. I feel the burden of poverty and the demand for entitlement without knowing it myself. 

Everyone, whether rich or poor, feels entitled to more. More of what?
It's a disturbance without God's presence.

There is something that I cannot put my finger on but it sits like an ulcer upon our world, our churches, our families.

And today I'm looking to St. John Vianney to show me how to live.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

P.O.P. Nature Study: Fireworks and Fireflies

{Chapter 50: pg. 190-193}

The family goes to the village common for the 4th of July band celebration and treats. Upon arriving home that night, they see fireflies everywhere. Emma obtains some glass jars for them to collect the insects. Then, from town, they can see the fireworks display.
Firefly---Photuris pennsylvanicus
A bug jar can be used and reused all summer. Today's child can use a jar of unbreakable plastic.

* * * * *

QUESTIONS:
What did your family do this past 4th of July?
When was the last time you saw fireflies?
Have your children seen fireflies?
Have you ever given bed and breakfast to a bug?
Do you know which state claims the firefly as its state insect? (Answer found at bottom)
Do you call them firefly or lightning bug?
Is there a decrease of fireflies in your area of the country and, if so, what do you think has caused it? Pollution maybe? Have your child do some research.

* * * * * *
 
Personal ramblings:
My daughter found a teeny, tiny frog the other day as we were leaving our neighbor's driveway. Smaller than a coin. She just had to have him. So I caught him and put him in her plastic bug keeper with grass and set off, determined to capture a fly for his supper. Later that night she told me---weepingly--- that he needed to get out of his confines for a minute to exercise. Naturally, the frog disappeared. I believe the broom picked him up.
The next day she found a rolly-polly outside. It is crawling aimlessly, happily around her bug keeper.

* * * * *
I asked naturalist Macbeth Derham if the name Pennsylvania had any relation to the Latin name for firefly!

Macbeth's Reply:

"Actually, the species _pennsylvanicus_ in the Pennsylvania firefly's scientific name refers to the place where it was catalogued and named. It's funny, because my first fireflies were also in PA! The word itself means Penn's Woods...named for the land grant given to William Penn during the colonial era. The Genus, _Photuris_, is Greek in origin, not Latin, and means lighted. The Photuris female is notorious for imitating the females of other firefly species and eating the males who come to check her out."

Question: Do you know which state claims the firefly as its state insect?
Answer: Pennsylvania

Believe ~ Persevere ~ Ask

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives
generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

"But when he ask, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts
is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think
he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways."

James 1:2-8

Monday, August 1, 2011

August, Water, and Paper Lists

School begins in two weeks. Tomorrow is my unofficial in-service teacher day. I plan to sit down with our lesson plans and re-evaluate what worked (and what didn't) and officially make those book orders that I've been clinging to my credit card over deliberating and procrastinating over. Another plus to blog-keeping is being able to find with one click what my original plans were for each student at the beginning of the year. I needed to look at this list to get my mind in gear for planning next year's curriculum.



I'm not sure what I'll end up with. Co-op books are a given. I had a rough draft for CHC and one for Seton for our morning tabletime. I already have what I need regarding MODG used by older siblings.


Then the other day I thought of scratching it all and going with Sonlight suggestions. History will be done ala A Picture Perfect Childhood and a revamping of the PPC history list is in order. So watch for new suggestions.


But today is not tomorrow. Today it's still summer!

Today the carpet inside my French doors is damp. It's the christening of a lovely day filled with sunshine, laughter (much laughter), and friends. This annual anointing does a lot to enhance the first day of August. I'm definitely sure my carpet is much cleaner now than it was earlier. Between the perpetually humming A/C and the heat of August it will dry quickly, I'm not the least bit worried.


It was definitely a blogable day, even if I only had my phone camera for the picture-taking.

Only problem with this picture is that last year's plan, in hindsight, looks pretty boring. What was I thinking?


That's probably why our actual lessons don't end up looking anything like the paper ones in reality. That's another reason to plan frugally while happily following serendipity wherever she leads you during the year. That's why it's best to read these posts and these posts for the truer picture of our educational days rather than looking at last year's plans.


(Beware! They are pretty boring.)
2010-2011 School Plans

Garrett (11th grade): Algebra, Chemistry, ACT Prep, Christ & the Americas, Surprised by Truth, Redcoats and Rebels and co-op classes

Chelsea (7th grade): Saxon 8/7, LOG & VIE, Seton Science 7 and Concepts and Challenges, CHC Spelling, Old World and America, Map Skills G, The World, Bible History, Reading: Our Freedoms, Book of Fortitude, Heritage, Valor, Art Seton 7 and co-op classes

Annie (3rd grade): Abeka 3 Math, Bible Stories & Baltimore Cate., LOG and PLL, CHC Spelling and Explode the Code, Seton Art 3, Cursive Handwriting Seton, Thinking Skills C, Map Skills C, Our Father's World, How our Nation Began, Seton 3 History, Reading: Story Tree, Our Town, Our Valley, Spanish II and co-op classes
* * * * *
The blogable things show the best of our schooling and learning and enjoyment of life. If it isn't blogable then maybe it shouldn't be on our list.
Lists are meaningless if not taken off the paper and into your children's hearts.


Today was a wonderful day! Definitely more blogable than the list of curricula which will be written out tomorrow.

Days worthy of Creating a Sense of Wonder, days with Nothing But Gladness, days for Playing on the Farm, days of keeping in step with a Picture Book Education, days for Bringin' in the Sheaves and definitely days meaningful enough for blogging gives a truer sense of self, a more fulfilling sense of education, and a better outlook on our daily lives than a mere list.
I say this but I admit to being thoroughly excited about the possibilities that our list-making can be a form of prayer. It justifies all those pages and pages of lists I've ever created throughout my lifetime. I think most bloggers are list-makers. It's part of our nature.

Look for postings under 2011-2012 School Year to see our educational plans come alive...despite my plans. ;-)

Speaking of Lists! This is for those of you who like lists and party menus. :-)
  • watermelon slices
  • strawberries and cream 
  • pineapples and grapes
  • carrots and broccoli w/ ranch dip
  • chips and dip
  • hot dogs (for kids)
  • chicken salad sandwiches and tart bites (for moms)
  • bacon and ranch pasta salad
  • Chik-fil-a chicken nuggets
  • pound cake w/ blueberries in whipped cream topping
  • banana and blueberry pie
  • cookies
  • popsickles
{excuse the poor quality of my pictures...some small person in my house accidently left the camera outside under the camper...who knew it would rain that night in the middle of a summer drought?}

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