Monday, August 30, 2010

Odd or Revealing?

In an interview with Brian Williams on Sunday, President Obama was asked why he felt so many people were so uncertain about something so fundamental as his faith. His answer to that question was curious.

"I can't spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead"

Huh? What does his birth certificate have to do with his faith?

Wingnut has a theory about Obama's birth certificate that he shared with us days ago, prior to this interview. He believes Obama's birth certificate may indicate his religion as Muslim. Wingnut is a smart guy. This theory could explain the reason Obama has been so reluctant, actually downright adamant, about not releasing his birth certificate. This theory could also explain why he answered the question about his faith by talking about his birth certificate, an interesting slip, if you ask Wingnut.

Patrick Archbold, of Creative Minority Report, wrote an interesting, well thought out post about the Brian Williams interview, here.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

No Sweeter Sound

A few weeks ago I had what I believed was going to be my first OB appointment for this pregnancy. Instead it was a referral appointment that would send me on my way to receive the maternity care of my choice at still a later date. As I had waited 6 weeks for this appointment I was disappointed and frustrated to a certain extent, but for the most part I was relieved. You see, I wasn't ready to not hear our baby's heartbeat. Wingnut was on a trip, we had just had a bit of family crisis the night before, and I was absolutely terrified I would not hear a heartbeat. If you've ever experienced the trauma of a missed miscarriage, you know the feeling of abject terror of not hearing a heartbeat. I cried all the way to the doctor's office. When the option to listen for a heartbeat was not even offered I was completely relieved. There was no way I was going to stamp my foot and insist. I just could not handle it that day.

This Wednesday I was finally able to get in for our first visit with the nurse midwives at the birthing center we've chosen. This was one of the best prenatal appointments I've ever had. Not a soul in the center batted an eyelash over my age, in fact they said I was a young mom in comparison to some of their clients. Not a person scoffed at the number of children or pregnancies I've had. "7? That's a small family", they said. For the first time in my motherhood experience I will be allowed to have the birth I want for this child. We are thrilled! I was put so completely at ease, I wasn't even nervous when the time came to listen for that little thumpity-thump. It took mere seconds to find this little one's strong little heart beating away. There is no sweeter sound.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School


Today marks a new chapter. We now have our first college student, well at least part time, thanks to dual enrollment :) Congratulations, Karate Kid! We are so proud of you! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lessons Learned Parenting Teens

Parenting teens is a whole different ballgame. Now that we have three in our house, time has come to share what little bits of wisdom we have garnered. For every lesson Wingnut and I have learned there are corresponding lessons that we hope and pray have made impressions upon the teens.

1) What we've learned: Teens are very tech savvy and it takes no time at all for them to master the new media.

What the teens have learned: Wingnut is even more tech savvy. There is nothing we can do using technology that he is not able to track.

2) What we have learned: Teens need to be trusted to choose and do the right thing.

What the teens have learned: Trust needs to be earned.

3) What we have learned: Teens really can't be trusted to always choose and do the right thing. They still need our guidance.

What the teens have learned: It's pretty dang easy to lose the parents' trust.

4) What we've learned: Teens need to be given more freedom.

What the teens have learned: Wow, we really do have more freedom and it really stinks when those freedoms are taken away.

5) What we have learned: No matter how much we protect our children, they will always learn things we wish they hadn't from their peers, and sometimes those things are learned from their equally protected Catholic homeschooled friends.

What we hope the teens have learned: Knowledge of the world is one thing, being entrenched in the world is a whole other thing.

6) What we've learned: We sure have made a lot of mistakes along the way.

What the teens have learned: Man, mom and dad are far from perfect!

7) What we've learned: Confession is an absolute necessary for both parents and teens.

What we hope the teens have learned: Confession is an absolute necessary for our parents and for us.

8) What we have learned: Our teens are becoming really unique and wonderful young adults.

What we hope the teens have learned: Our parents aren't "over" protective, they love us and want the absolute best for us.

As much as I've prayed over all my children over the years, those prayers become more fervent and frequent as our children approach adulthood. In such a short time they will no longer be our young fledglings taking short flights on their own from the protective nest we have provided, but will be full grown adults with the world at their feet. Letting them go has to be the most difficult challenge a mother will ever face. At some point all we can do is pray their feet will choose the narrow rocky path leading toward heaven and offer our guidance only when sought.

So, parents of teenagers and young adults, what jewels of parenting wisdom have you learned on your journey?
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Friday, August 20, 2010

If You Thought Obamacare was About Insuring the Uninsurable

. . . think again! This information is directly from the HealthCare.gov website on PCIP (or pre-existing condition insurance plan) a key aspect of Obamacare. Pay particular attention to the question about whether this coverage will have a cost associated. Let's say you are over 55 and live in the state of Florida and you qualify for the new PCIP. Your premiums will be $773 per month, and that does not include the $2500 yearly deductible, the $25 copay for doctor visits, the $4-$30 prescriptions, and the 20% cost of all other covered benefits. Of course, you will not have to pay more than $5950 out of pocket in a year's time, other than those $773 premiums. Oh, and don't forget, at some point if you decide you will not or cannot pay for the new government insurance plan, you will be paying a fine. Is this looking good to anyone?

What is a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is a condition, disability or illness (either physical or mental) that you have before you enrolled in a health plan.
Will the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) be available in every state?
Yes, every state will have a plan that offers comprehensive health coverage for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. The program name, start date, and other plan details may vary depending on which state you live in and whether the program is run by the state or the Department of Health and Human Services. Check out the State Plans page to learn more about how the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan works in your state.
When will my coverage be effective?
If you live in a state where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is running the program, you can apply and enroll starting July 1, 2010. Generally, a completed application received on or before the 15th of the month will go into effect on the first day of the next month. A completed application received after the 15th of the month will go into effect on the first day of the following month.

In all other states, coverage should be available by the end of the summer but the exact start date will vary by state. Check out the State Plans page to learn more about when the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan begins in your state.
May I apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan if I have existing health coverage?
You are not eligible unless you have been without health coverage for at least the last six months. This includes High Risk Pool Coverage and insurance coverage that may only exclude coverage for a pre-existing medical condition. For example, if you have Medicare or TRICARE, you shouldn’t apply. If you are uninsured and have been told that you may be eligible for other coverage programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you should check out those programs first, as they may better meet your needs. If you have job-based coverage, or individual insurance coverage, you aren’t eligible to apply.
May I apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan if I have COBRA or other continuation of coverage?
No, even if your COBRA or other continuation of coverage is about to run out, you won’t be eligible until you have been uninsured for at least the last six months, and meet other eligibility criteria.
What health care providers are in the network?
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will have provider networks that include a full range of services and specialists.
Is there a cost for this coverage?
If accepted for coverage, you must pay a monthly premium to maintain that coverage. To see the premium rates for your state, go to State Plans.
What do I do if I can’t afford these premiums?
If you have limited income and resources, you may be eligible for the Medicaid program in your state. If you are seeking insurance coverage for your child, go to www.insurekidsnow.gov to learn more about children’s health insurance in your state.

Want to know more? Check out PCIP here.



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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Small Successes: 17 Weeks In


Small Successes for August 19, 2010:

1) Ok, I'm not completely caught up on laundry this week, but I'm getting there. I just have a couple more loads today and then I can take a small breath before starting all over again.

2) The kids and I tackled the "pit of despair", or the basement/wreck room last Friday. It wasn't as bad as I feared, but it wasn't as good as I hoped. I avoid the basement at all costs, but it is the area I store all our school books that we have used and will not be needing for the current school year. Obviously, since I was organizing the school cupboard, a trip to the basement was inevitable. The children cleaned and I directed traffic, as well as reorganized the bookshelves so they will be able to find reading material more easily. Time will tell how long the basement will stay this way, but I shouldn't need to head down there anytime soon ;)

3) Baby and I are 17 weeks into this pregnancy and doing pretty well. I'm definitely feeling movement--hooray! My clothes are feeling a little snug, but I haven't had to dig out the maternity wear, just yet. I know it's coming soon. I did order a "tummy sleeve" which should mean I can wear regular clothing just a bit longer. I know I'll get sick and tired of my maternity clothes soon enough. The longer they stay in the bin, the better!

Have Small Successes to share? Add your link at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Skoshi A


11 years ago today a little ray of sunshine was born into our family. What a joy it has been to watch her grow. She has been the source of laughter since the moment of her arrival. Not only does she keep us all smiling, she has become absolutely indispensable as a caretaker of the little ones. I've come to depend upon her so completely that I just recently offered her our 7th born if she would promise to never leave us :)

A most happy and blessed birthday, little clown. We love you! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homeschool 2010-2011: The Teenagers

One of the most significant things I've learned during our 13 years of homeschooling is that as long as they learn to read, continue to progress in math skills, and develop a love and desire to learn on their own, nothing else in schooling matters until the high school years. We do spend some time during the late middle school years preparing and learning the skills that will make the transition into high school fairly smooth. My two high schoolers have found that high school is at times much less work than the previous school years, partially because they are no longer required to take the total 7 subjects required by the county through 8th grade, and they are allowed greater freedom in pursuing their interests through electives.

All three of our teens have worked above grade level in certain subjects and areas throughout their homeschooling careers. There are a couple ways of handling this advanced work over time. Some of our homeschool friends use the advanced work to graduate their students a year or more early. We have chosen dual enrollment in the local community college for senior year as the option best suited to our family, at least so far.

Oleander will be officially an 8th grader this year.

Math: She will be continuing with Saxon Math Algebra I.

Language Arts: She will use Seton English 8 and Vocabulary from Classical Roots C. As we will be studying Ancient Rome, and early European Medieval history this year, I did not want to continue having her use Hewitt's Lightning Literature as the 9th grade program focuses on American Literature which is so much better suited to use alongside study of American History, which she will study next year. I found a straightforward teacher lead literature study program through IEW, called Teaching the Classics(I purchased only the workbook and not the DVDs) that can be used with any genre of literature and with any age student. It will mean a bit more prep and involvement on my side, but I think Oleander will really benefit from the approach. She has also asked to use the Write Shop curriculum for creative writing. I love that she expresses her own desires for learning.

History: Oleander will be studying alongside her younger siblings using History Links, but she will do much more independent reading, research, and writing based on her studies.

Science: She will begin using Kolbe Academy's science curricula, beginning with Physical Science. Both Karate Kid and Stat Boy have used Kolbe Academy for high school science, and we have been very pleased overall. The texts are secular and are commonly used in honors programs in high schools, but Kolbe's curriculum implements supplemental resource materials such as encyclicals, the catechism, and faithful Catholic writers to express Church teaching on matters such as evolution and human sexuality.

Art: Oleander will be doing some of the projects from Sewing with Saint Anne, but she also asked to continue using Artistic Pursuits. She will begin with Senior High Artistic Pursuits book 1 and work at her own pace through the lessons and projects.

Religion: This is her Confirmation year and she will continue receiving religious instruction through the CCD program at our parish. She's also hoping to spend her Saturday mornings with the Sister Servants.

Music: She will continue her private flute lessons.

PE: She will also continue her ballet instruction as a Grade IV in the Cecchetti Syllabus.

Foreign Language: Our little flower was born in Japan and has an affinity for all things Japanese. She will be using Rosetta Stone's Japanese I.

Stat Boy will be a 10th grader this year.

Math: He will continue in the Saxon Math series with Advanced Mathematics

Language Arts: He will use Vocabulary from Classical Roots D, and will finish Write Shop. For his literature study I've decided the Lightning Literature program is not well suited to him and so we will be trying out the individual literature guides through Progeny Press. He'll be reading C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy as well as varied short stories that I'll try to match to his interests and abilities.

History: Stat Boy will be studying Medieval England and Spain using the lesson planning guide by Laura Berquist. The curricula is literature based and heavy on the writing side. Both Karate Kid and Stat Boy have enjoyed studying history in this manner.

Science: He will be using Kolbe Academy's Biology. We haven't yet decided if he will take the regular lesson plans or the honors lesson plans. I think that will come down to attitude more than aptitude.

Electives
Religion: We'll be trying Laura Berquist's lesson plans for high school religion. Of course they are solid and I'm hoping my teens come away with more than just fundamentals of the faith. Our focus now is to prepare them to enter the world, ready to confront secularism, and armed to defend their faith.

PE: Stat Boy will be continuing taking Taekwando as well as participating in the pick-up sports he organizes with his neighborhood friends. He's really hoping to be a walk on player in basketball in college.

Foreign Language: Wingnut is planning a pilgrimage trip for Oleander and Stat Boy to Rome this coming fall. Karate Kid went with her grandmother several years ago and we really hope to give the same opportunity to the rest of our children over time. In preparation for this trip, Stat Boy is taking Rosetta Stone's Italian I and will hopefully begin Italian II sometime later in the school year.

Karate Kid will be in her final year of high school and as I've mentioned will be taking courses at the local community college in preparation for college next year.

Math: Karate Kid's test scores qualified her for Calculus and Analytical Geometry at the college. She begins online classes next Monday.

Language Arts: She has always enjoyed Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature series. She chose the world literature course for first semester and we'll decide what course to take for second semester at a later date.

History: Karate Kid decided to take a political science course through the community college as it will likely transfer and take care of one of the core curriculum courses she will need to take her freshman year in college. She's taking American Government, taught by a former Maryland legislator. This should be very interesting for her, and for us.

Science: She had several choices for science this year and opted to keep with Kolbe Academy. She'll be taking Anatomy and Physiology. She is also leaning toward taking a college science course in the spring that should transfer.

Electives
Religion: Karate Kid will also be using Laura Berquist's high school religion syllabus.

PE: She will also continue taking Taekwando and may join her dojo's Olympic sparring team.

Foreign Language: Karate Kid has been taking Italian using Rosetta Stone throughout high school. She should finish up Italian III and is looking at continuing studying Italian at the community college. The Italian professor goes to our parish and our teens are friends with her son. I think she'd really enjoy taking more of an immersion type of class than what she has taken so far.

As a final elective I found a great life skills curriculum for high schoolers called, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers. When I was in high school we were required to take a course like this before we could graduate. It covers car maintenance, budgeting, life and health insurance, keeping a checking account, maintaining a good credit rating, paying taxes, etc.

So there we have our plan for the year. I've included links to most everything we use. If a link does not work, please leave me a comment and I will repair it. Hope you all have a wonderful, productive, and blessed school year!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Take Up Your Cross and Stop Whining

The blogs listed in my sidebar I visit or read most everyday. There are a handful of other blogs I visit occasionally. I had a little free time this weekend and so I did a little catch up reading. One blog in particular caught my attention. This blogger, a faithful Catholic, has been in crisis of faith mode for sometime and I've been praying for her as she comes to mind. Her last blog post left me feeling pity and sorrow for her at first, and I nearly left a sympathetic message for her in her combox before I hesitated and thought possibly what she really needs at this moment is a good kick in the backside.

Who here has ever read that our Heavenly Father promised us a happy, pain-free, easy life? He hasn't. Even when we pray and beg for him to spare us from suffering, we have never been promised that he will indeed spare us. His plan is His own. We are not privy to it. Who are we to question his Will? So we've prayed and begged for Him to remove a cross for us and he has not done so, what do we do with it? We stop our whining, pick up that cross, and pray for the grace to carry it to the end. His own Son was not spared the cross, who are we to expect it? It is an act of faith, of hope, and of love. He has asked this of us. Accepting our crosses with humility does indeed lessen their burden. Oh God, help me to accept the crosses I'm given without complaint.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries: The Crucifixion

Last in a series of meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary taken from our family bible printed in the 1950s. On the rare occasions we feel drawn to deeper meditation, we read these meditations just after announcing each mystery. For the previous four mysteries go here.




The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion

"They crucified Him", so simply did St. Mark describe the most important event in all human history. Human life never could be the same after the crucifixion of Christ because He died unto the fall or rise of all mankind. One death and all the world is different. One death for each man and all the difference in the world. More definitive than birth, more serious than marriage, death adds up life into inexhaustible profit or hopeless bankruptcy. No long concern about how or where or whence death comes; our only sensible concern should be about our ability to say, "It is consummated. I have discharged my task. I have been handmaid of the Lord."

Each man has the duty so to live that he may die with God's work completed. There is no general obligation to die old, or rich, or powerful, or learned; there is but one common obligation to die as a son of God upon whatever cross the Father has selected.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Small Successes: Making Forward Progress


Small Successes for August 12, 2010:

1) The school cupboard and shelves have been cleared out of the old and restocked with the new. All our reusable texts and materials have been carefully organized and put into the proper bins. All our new school supplies have been purchased and put in their proper places, ready for the new year. I decided to purchase everything early this year so as not to miss the before school sales. We bought 5 (we were limited to 5) packs of lined paper for 1 cent each! Notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. were also purchased for great prices, plus I was able to get Karate Kid's TI-83 calculator for her college calculus and analytical geometry class in time to take advantage of the rebate.

2) I had a referral appointment this week (did not know beforehand that was what it was) and I did not hesitate to call and make my first real OB appointment when I returned home. I still have to wait two more weeks, but at least we are making progress in the obtaining medical care. I chose a birthing center that looks absolutely lovely. I sure hope I get to deliver at their lovely home in their beautiful and homey birthing rooms rather than at the hospital. We shall see if they balk at my AMA (advanced maternal age).

3) Wingnut was traveling this week and has been on a longer than normal trip. Of course we had some kind of crisis while he was away and I did my best to handle it in his absence. He was there calling and texting frequently making sure I was doing ok. I am so grateful for his long distance support, but I can't wait for him to get home. I know there's a success in there somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it. I'm thanking God I am not a single parent. I really have no idea how I would survive without Wingnut by my side!

Have Small Successes to share? Leave your link at Faith and Family Live. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who's in Charge Here, Anyway?


We don't call him the little tyrant for nothing. Lil' Wingnut is just too smart for his own britches. He's too smart for our britches. His antics either leave us shaking our heads in disbelief and/or laughing secretly.

Recently his newest obsession has been playing Candyland. Woe to the little girl who happens to defeat him in a supposedly friendly game. He's been known to throw the board and all it's pieces in a fit of rage over the "obvious" cheating of his sisters. Ya know, it's near to impossible to convince a 4 year old that his sisters are not cheating and that he just had bad luck in drawing a bad card.

Lately he's been taking over control of the family rosary. He leads the opening prayers, chooses who will pray each decade, and jumps in to pray for the Holy Father's intentions. For now we are letting this stand, as at least he is wanting to pray the rosary and he's learning more of the prayers each day. Is there such a thing as holy tyranny?

The lil' man is very concerned with "who is in charge". When Dad is around I get an earful of why I let him be in charge as I am a full two months older than Wingnut, and shouldn't the oldest be in charge? When Wingnut is traveling all is right in Lil' Wingnut's world, as I'm in charge. How does one go about explaining the concept of wifely submission to a preschooler who has preconceived ideas about leadership?

Ever read Oedipus Rex in high school? We have a slightly less creepy version occurring in our own home. Lil' Wingnut, sweet as can be and in front of his father, innocently asked, "When Daddy dies, will you marry me?" Um, yeah, we've got a bit of a problem.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Say a Prayer Today . . . Updated

. . . for me and our lil' bambino. We have our first prenatal appointment this morning. I'm just a tad nervous. Doctors and I don't get along so well, plus being pregnant is always nerve wracking for me. Hopefully I'll have a more positive update later today. God's Will be done. Amen.

*Update*
Frustration is the word for today. It took five weeks for the clinic to fit me in for an appointment so that they could refer me for obstetric care. No measurement. No heartbeat. I must play the waiting game again. The doctor did laugh as he informed me that only Military Healthcare Services' patients must go through this process. Everyone else can just call in and request a referral. That's government healthcare for you. Hopefully I'll be able to get in early next week to see a midwife at my clinic of choice. Thank you so much for the prayers. Keep them coming! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, August 9, 2010

Homeschool Plan 2010/2011: 6th, 3rd, and Preschool


This will be the third year I have posted our homeschool plan. I'm formatting a bit differently, but I will continue to include links to most all the materials and suppliers we use. I cannot guarantee that the links I am providing will be the lowest cost suppliers so if you find a better price on the materials I am linking please feel free to tell me in the combox, as well as ask any questions or make suggestions. We may be veteran homeschoolers, but will are always open to new ideas for materials and suppliers!

Skoshi A will be a 6th grader this year.

Math: We've been keeping her math skills fresh over the summer using Summer Bridge Activities for 5th/6th grade. She will be more than ready to dig into Saxon 7/6 this year for math.

Language Arts: She will use Seton English 6, Best Short Stories and Best Nonfiction from Hewitt Homeschooling, Spelling Power, Vocabulary from Classical Roots Grades 5 and 6, Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Book G and Story Starters: Helping Children Write Like They Never Have Before. Story Starters is a new resource for us. Amy from Together for a Reason posted some of the work one of her children did last year and I was sold. I think Skoshi A will have a lot of fun with the creative writing projects from this book.

History: Our plan is to continue our chronological study of Ancient Rome and finish with Medieval Europe using History Links: Integrated Learning for Catholic Families; Pax Romana, The Roman Empire, and Early Medieval. Our history study will be supplemented heavily with independently read historical fiction, watching quality historical documentaries, and perusing appropriate titles from Learning Through History. We will expand our timelines and study the historical geography using Knowledge Quest's maps and timeline materials.

Science: The plan for science is still pretty fluid. Over the summer my three youngest developed a keen interest in the butterflies and moths attracted to our Butterfly Bush at the front of our house. They have a butterfly "home" that they keep their caught treasures in for an hour or two to study and then release. I picked up a live moth pupa on a walk recently and we are watching to see what might emerge. Skoshi A also planted several varieties of sunflower this spring and she just noticed they are attracting some very beautiful Gold Finch. The plan I have in the works right now is to continue our enjoyment and curiosity in nature. We might make our own nature sketch books and spend some time sketching and researching just what we see around our neighborhood. I also thought this would be a good year to dig out the microscope and use the Learn and Do Microscope Adventure Unit alongside our nature observations.

Art: I have been promising to teach my girls to sew more competently. This year I'm determined to follow through, especially after they received inspiration from their super-talented-quilting-sewing-knitting-crocheting grandma. We'll be doing many of the projects from Sewing With Saint Anne and we'll also be needle crafting Jesse Tree ornaments from patterns I downloaded from this website.

Religion: We'll be using Magnificat for our morning devotion, and my big goal for this school year is to make it to daily Mass at least once a week as a family.

Music: Skoshi will continue with private piano lessons.

PE: She will also be continuing dancing with our local ballet studio as a Grade III in the Cecchetti Syllabus. She will also likely audition for the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker again this season.

Special K will be in 3rd grade.

Math: She also used Summer Bridge activities to keep her math skills alive. She will be using Saxon 3 for this school year.

Language Arts: Special K will be using Explode the Code 3 1/2 and 4, Seton English 3, Spelling Power, Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting D, This is our Town and This is our Valley Seton Readers, and What do You Like to do. . . Keepsake Journal from Catholic Heritage Curricula. What do You Like to do . . . is a new book for us this year as well. Just looking through it I thought it was a perfect fit for introducing creative writing to Special K.

PE: Special K will continue her ballet studies as a Grade I in the Cecchetti Syllabus

History, Science, Religion, Art, and Music will all be done alongside her 6th grade big sister.

Lil' Wingnut will be a preschooler and while I normally do not do any formal preschool with our children, he is a special case. He has been reading for nearly a year now and can tell time and do very simple addition and subtraction. He is antsy to do what his siblings are doing and it would be a very grave disservice to him if I did not take advantage of his abilities and desire. He is currently working through Explode the Code 1, but without the writing, as he does not have the fine motor skills for writing at this time. He will also continue reading through the Little Stories for Little Folks Phonics Readers and will likely continue picking up whatever book is lying around and attempt to read that as well. I'm not sure what I'll use for math with him. I know I'll need something more hands on with little to no written material. We'll be working on his writing skills using the Handwriting Without Tears kindergarten book and manipulatives. Of course he will join in our nature studies, microscope adventure, and study of Ancient Rome and Medieval Europe. Time will tell how else he chooses to participate.

Within the next day or two I'll post the plan for our older three students. Please let me know if any of the links I've provided do not work, so that I may correct them.



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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Evening Blog Post #1


On the first Saturday of the month bloggers far and wide join the Saturday Evening Blog Post, hosted by Elizabeth Esther. Choose you favorite blog post from your blog from the past month and leave it's link on Elizabeth's host page. It's that simple. My favorite post from the last month was "What I Learned on Vacation 2010". Be sure to check out the comments, as my gem of a brother left his own version of lessons learned ;) Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, August 6, 2010

5 Favorite Devotions

Normally I don't participate in memes, but as this one has real meaning I think I will join in. One of my favorite and one of the most talented Catholic bloggers, the Mom, tagged me, asking what my 5 favorite devotions are. Being a convert I had to think about this a bit, but my thinking is that devotions can really be quite a broad category, right? Anyhoo, without further eloquence and in no particular order:

1) The family rosary
2) Adoration and Benediction (my absolute favorite prayer is The Divine Praises)
3) The Most Sacred Heart
4) Morning prayers from Magnificat Magazine
5) The prayer to Saint Michael

To complete this meme, I need to tag 5 more bloggers. My feelings won't be hurt if y'all choose not to participate :)

Dawn from A Helping Hand
Ute and Maia from Flowers Round the Cross
Katherine from Having Left the Altar

My brother, I know you are not Catholic, but you are welcome to post your favorite "separated brethren" devotions in the comments today. I wouldn't want you to feel left out ;)

*I will post the final meditation from the Sorrowful Mysteries a bit later today, but in the meantime, I must do some grocery shopping at the dreaded commissary :(


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Small Successes: The Summer Does Fly


Small Successes for August 5, 2010:

Wha? It's August already?!

1) School books are ordered, courses are planned for the younger 5, and the 17 year old is registered for her two college courses. All we need to do now is clean out the old and replace it with the new. Hopefully that will happen next week. Be looking for a post or two about our homeschool plan for this coming year very soon.

2) As much as I did not want to, as much as I dragged my feet, the laundry is washed, dried, folded, and put away.

3) We just finished the first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle read aloud and have begun the second. My little ones are really enjoying Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's ingenious solutions to bad behavior. I can't help but smile as they giggle during story hour each night.

Have Small Successes to share? Post your link at Faith and Family Live.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's Cookin' Mama: Dress to Impress

the Mom is asking: What do you cook for company? I have a long list of varied recipes, but this one is a real hit, especially with my Special K. She affectionately calls this dish, "Meat wrapped inside more meat". This recipe is one I've adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe that has more ingredients and is a tad more complicated. Quite frankly I always forget that I need to roast a head of garlic an hour prior to prepping the meat and so I make it without all the herbs and garlic. If you'd like to see his recipe for this dish you can check it out here.

The following recipe is my simplified, yet still "ooh" worthy version.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

1 pkg pork tenderloin (this will likely contain two small pork tenderloins)
1 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
tooth picks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Beginning at one end of the tenderloin begin wrapping bacon around and secure each with a toothpick. Try to keep toothpicks aligned in a straight line.

In a heavy oven ready skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add tenderloins to pan and sear on all sides turning the meat as the bacon browns and crisps. This takes about 10 minutes. Transfer skillet with tenderloins to the oven and cook another 10 minutes or until the center of the meat registers 140-145 degrees with an instant read thermometer. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Using bacon as a guide, slice the tenderloin, removing toothpicks as you carve. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and a lovely spinach salad and you will be sure to impress.



Check out more Dress to Impress recipes at What's Cooking Mama Recipe Swap. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, August 2, 2010

Now That's What I Call Educational

Lil' Wingnut received a new game for his leapster on his 4th birthday. It really came in handy on our trip to Florida in July and he is still playing it. I mentioned to Wingnut what a great purchase the game was. He scoffed and said he believed the boy had figured out that all the other games were educational and that was the reason he loved this game so much.

"No, really, this game has educational activities," I assured him.

He asked Special K, "What kind of educational material does the new leapster game have?"

To which she replied, "Wha?"

"What kind of learning games does it have?" I asked.

"Oh! It has math and matching and how to wash a dog, " she replied.

"Yeah, and doggie dress-up!" added Lil' Wingnut.

Yep, that's educational alright.
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