Thursday, December 29, 2011

Packed Out

So, what had been estimated to take three days only took one. Our house is completely packed. The crew was very fast and claimed they never have to return for a second day of packing. It seemed they did a good job, too, although we shall see once our goods arrive in Utah for unpacking.

We tried to set things aside we thought we really needed. It's funny how little we actually need, but also how much we could really use. I told Wingnut, as I tried to wrangle some kind of breakfast this morning, that I feel squatters camping out in our home. LOL!

Today, Wingnut is finishing some painting and I'm keeping the kids out of the way. Tomorrow the movers come to load. Things continue toove right along. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Do You Say Goodbye?

This has been a very difficult month.  We have had quite a few lasts; last CCD classes, last ballet classes, last co-op class, last Oritory with the nuns, last parties.  I'm not good at lasts.  Most of these were lasts for my children and I was the one that got choked up over saying goodbye. I'm a cryer and having to say goodbye breaks my heart.

How do you say goodbye to those who have shared in your very personal and often private tribulations and triumphs?  These dear friends have been with us through losses and additions.  They have been with us through pregnancies, births, baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations. At some point, friends become family.  How do you say goodbye to family you know you may never see again?  Let's not kid ourselves, Utah is a world away, and as much as our friends here love us, coming that far to visit is just not a reality.

I hope each and every one of our "family" here knows how much we love them; how much we've appreciated their friendship; how much we will miss them.  May God Bless each and everyone of our dear friends here in Maryland.

Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.  ~William Shakespeare


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

YEOW!!!

The movers come tomorrow!  Where did the time go?  Saint Anne, pray for us! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 23, 2011

Subdued Preparations

With the impending move just days after Christmas, our Advent and preparations for Christmas have been, to say the least, very subdued.  You know what?  I've been fine with that.  In fact, this has probably been the least stressful Advent I've ever had since becoming a mother 19 years ago.

We did not deck the halls and we didn't get a Christmas tree.  It just didn't make sense decorating for Christmas and then having to pull it all down 2 days later so the movers can pack us out.  We set up the nativity and hung our stockings.  Saint Nicholas visited on his feast day and we had Mexican fare on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That has been the sum of our celebrations.  We've quietly observed Advent and believe it or not we are nearly ready for Christmas to arrive.  Even with the stress of the move, it has been a very peaceful 4 weeks.

I'm hoping I recall this sense of peace next year. While I'd like to do more to observe Advent next year, I need to remember sometimes less is more. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Conspiracy

It never ceases to fail, on mornings we manage to get the trash and recycling out to the curb before 7:30 am, the collectors do not come until the late afternoon.  This leaves our trash to the mercy of the monsterous turkey vultures, who then strew our garbage across the neighborhood.  Of course, this morning I awoke to the unmistakable sounds of the trash men coming down the street before 7:30.  Wouldn't you know it, Wingnut and my biggest helper are out of town for a basketball game, and we certainly couldn't expect my teenagers to stir.  I threw on a jacket and with Lil' Lamb on one arm, we dragged both cans and the recycling to the curb just in the nick of time, in such a comical fashion I'm sure we provided some wonderful morning entertainment for the neighbors. I really do believe the refuse industry is in a conspiracy against me. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{P,H,F,R} 12/15


round button chicken



{Pretty}

Our pretty ballerina pensively stretching before class.



She has a pretty little ballet foot, just like her ballerina sisters before her.



{Happy}

Happy little feet peeking out from beneath the drapes.

Peek . . . 


Peek-a-boo!



{Funny}


Our lil' one is a stair climber.  We've tried (without much success) to keep him from climbing the stairs.  He's already had several tumbles down our smaller flights of stairs (three stairs).  He is none too happy about the new blockade in front of the main stairway.



{Real}



This was our last visit at the Aspirancy.  It may be four years before we get to visit again. Oleander will get to visit us several times a year, but it was so comforting knowing we could just pick up and visit every other weekend if we wished.  It was a real reminder that our sweet Oleander will be leading a very separate life from us.  I'm not liking this reality at all! :(


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Magic Formula

Don't get me wrong, we love, love, love Lil' Lamb.  He's cute, chubby, and funny.  He's also a handful!  He's into everything, especially trouble. We spend most of his waking hours chasing after him, protecting him from falling down stairs and sweeping his mouth for choking hazards.  Yesterday alone, we swept his mouth for a bead, a lego, a nerf dart tip, and a raw carrot.  He has us on constant alert.

He's also a horrible sleeper; one of my worst.  I can't seem to figure out his schedule.  He does have a definite morning alarm clock that goes off at 7:00 am every day, but I have no idea when he will nap, or for how long.  We also can't seem to figure out what time he will go down for the night, and when he finally does settle down, it's never for long.  He tosses and turns, kicks and scratches all night long.  I've probably had only a handful of good night's rest since before my second trimester with him.  I'm too old for this.

I thought I had this baby thing all figured out with Lil' Wingnut.  I exclusively breastfed, practiced attachment parenting, took a nap with him every day, and we shared a family bed at night.  He was the best little sleeper and always happy and content.  I always knew what time he'd take a nap and for how long.  His bedtime was very consistent every night and he slept mostly peacefully through it. After six kids I believed I had finally found the magic formula for nurturing a happy baby.

Lil' Lamb is God's little reminder that each and every one of us is a precious and unique human being.  There isn't a formula for the perfect baby, child, teenager, or adult.  Each one of us needs to be loved for who we are as individuals.

And off he goes.  My ramblings will have to stop here for now. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 12, 2011

Move Update

Things are moving right along.  Wingnut will have his "Fini-flight" this week and his distinguished Air Force career will come to its close.  We are hoping to skip the traditional retirement ceremony in favor of a nice luncheon with little to no fanfare.  Wingnut's service was never about the recognition and a big ceremony would be completely out of character for him.

We close on our home in Utah on the 28th of December and the military has scheduled the movers to pack us out beginning December 28th through the 30th.  We'll clean and finish up around here on the 31st and hope to be on the road on the 1st of January.  4 long days on the road with Lil' Lamb trapped in a carseat is NOT something I am looking forward to.  It will be a relief to spend a couple days in Colorado with dear friends and decompress before pressing on to Utah.

A nice family came to look at our home yesterday and they have decided it is perfect for them and have put in the application to rent.  They are willing to do some of the work on the house themselves and if all works out, they may buy the house in the future.  Saint Joseph has interceded for us, big time! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Back by popular demand:  Dominic Makes Me Angry


We actually know Dominic and he has friends with very wicked senses of humor who write almost daily posts venting their frustrations regarding Dominic ;)

Check it out for a laugh, but beware, some humor is a touch ribald and not for children. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 12/8


round button chicken



{Pretty}


My mother-in-law gave us a lovely telephoto lens for Christmas.  I'm learning to use it.  I love how bright and cheery the holly bushes look this time of year with their festive red berries.

{Happy}

 We had some lovely warm days this week.  Lil' Lamb loves to be outside.  In fact, nothing makes him happier than a nice walk to the park and a little push in the swings.  Can't you tell by that face? LOL!


 {Funny}

Wingnut was demonstrating one-armed pull-ups to the children at the park.  Special K climbed right up to the monkey bars and showed her daddy that she is the one-armed pull-up queen!

{Real}


I used to resist the whole breakfast for dinner idea until Wingnut won me over.  It's now one of my favorite goto-dinner-in-a-pinch meals.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lil' Lamb at 10 Months

Lil' Lamb turned 10 months on Sunday.  One of the reasons I cannot blog as often as I'd like is I don't get much computer time because I'm constantly chasing the curious guy around.  He's never satisfied staying in one place and will wriggle off my lap and crawl away within seconds. He loves to climb stairs, get into cupboards, and pull things off the tables.  He's a handful, but we are having so much fun watching his active little mind and active little body motoring all over the house.




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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas


In our attempt to keep Christ in Christmas, we have implemented several strategies that help us tone down the frenzy by spreading out the celebration and gift giving throughout the season.  Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas.   Below you will find a post I wrote for a series entitled: 


How to Make Advent More Like Advent and Less Like Christmas 


Celebrating Advent Saints

Some of our family's favorite Saints' feast days fall during Advent.  I am not always on top of celebrating Saint's feast days during the rest of the year but I'm pretty good about it during Advent.


December 6

Our children hang their stockings the night before December 6th, in anticipation of a visit from Saint Nicholas who will leave trinkets and treats in their stockings if they've been good little children all year.  Santa does not visit our house on Christmas Eve, but Saint Nicholas visits on his Feast day instead. Celebrating this feast has helped take much of the focus off gifts on Christmas.

December 8

Catholics take a break from the stress and press of the commercial Christmas season and head to Mass on this Holy Day of obligation.  This is a beautiful Church feast celebrating the conception of the Blessed Virgin.  

December 12

Our family has a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We have a lovely "pilgrim" image given to us by our friends from our time in Oklahoma.  This is another beautiful Marian feast. In the Southwest there are often elaborate celebrations with plays, Southwest American Indian costume and dance; all culminating in a special celebration of the Mass in honor of Our Lady. One website I came across suggested serving Mexican food in honor of this feast.  Hopefully we'll be able to do that one year.  This year we will be at a Nutcracker performance and I won't be able to make Mexican food, but I'm sure we'll celebrate this wonderful feast in other ways.

December 13

My family is of Scandinavian descent and my girls are fascinated with this feast day. They have all dreamed of getting up early, dressing in a white dress with red ribbons and a wreath candelabrum, while serving the rest of the family breakfast in bed.  Somehow this plan falls flat with the getting up early part.  I think I recall Karate Kid helping her younger sisters do this one year, but none of us really likes to get up that early.  Instead, this is the night we have breakfast for dinner to celebrate Saint Lucy.  Nothing is better than pancakes, sausage, bacon and orange juice for dinner.


Does your family have favorite Advent Saints? What traditions do you use to celebrate? We are always looking for more ways to celebrate the Saints in our home.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

iPad Dreaming

Wingnut was on his way out the door to take the girls to the Apple Store.  Skoshi A needed a new charging cord for her iPod and the girls wanted to buy an iPod for one of the needy children from our parish Angel Tree for Christmas.  Lil' Wingnut decided he would like to go along, because Daddy usually makes a stop at our favorite little coffee shop on trips to the Apple Store, which means Lil' Wingnut could possibly score a treat if he went along.

As he was putting on his shoes, the little guy dreamed aloud of the iPad his Daddy should buy him at the Apple Store.  I put a stop to that by letting him know the only iPad he would be getting would be one he bought himself.  At $500+ it really is just a pipe dream for a 5 year old who's monthly allowance is only $5-10 a month, depending on how well he does his assigned chores.  Lil' Wingnut was convinced he had enough money in his piggy bank to purchase an iPad.

"I've got 50 cents!" He exclaimed.

"You'd need 1000 of those 50 cents to have enough for an iPad", Wingnut explained.

"I've got 1000 of those!"

"No, you don't," I said, "You don't have anything close to that amount.  Why don't you come here and I can show you exactly how much you have in your savings account."

I showed him the money I'd put into savings, months and months of allowance built up to $245.

"See, you only have enough for half and iPad," I told him.

"Ok, I'll just get half an iPad!" He declared happily.

For now, I'm thankful Apple doesn't sell half an iPad.  When he has finally saved enough for that elusive object du jour we'll have to resort to the old fashioned, "No, you aren't buying that."

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} December 1, 2011


round button chicken




{Pretty}


 I managed to capture some great photos of the kids while shooting for our Christmas card.  I don't blog very much about Karate Kid, but this photo was so stunningly pretty of her, I had to post it.


{Happy}

This happy little guy just makes me smile.  You've got to love that hair!


{Funny}


Lil' Wingnut is such a little ham for the camera.


{Real}

This is the reality for our mobile and very curious Lil' Lamb.  Life behind bars :(
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shutterfly Love

Bound and determined to not have a repeat of last year's Christmas photo fiasco, I took the kids down to our local park this morning and snapped photos at the gazebo.  We came home and it took less than half an hour to create this year's Christmas card.  I'm extremely pleased with the results and also thankful for the 25 free cards I won from Katie at Blessed with Full Hands!
5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Email to the Teacher




I'm teaching photography to a group of students in our co-op.  They are a fun group and very excited to learn how to take better photographs.  This last week, their assignment was to take a portrait of a single person and try to convey some sort of emotion or expression in that portrait.  One of my students emailed her photo with a long explanation that absolutely cracked me up and I got her permission to post it here. I did change the names of those involved and didn't post the photo (as much as I'd like to, it is absolutely hysterical).  Kids will say some of the darndest things!

Hey Mrs. Mayerle,
 
 
 
     This is my picture. It's not very good, I know. Its kinda blurry, and out of focus. I'm actually a little disappointed in it. First, my camera broke and it was finally fixed this morning. So that gave me today only to take a picture for photography. My mom was teaching, my dad was working, and my brother and sister were at school, and I didn't have anyone to take picture of. Then, my sister came home first so I asked her if I could take a picture of her. She was really annoyed but said yes. Then I needed to find a back round that would work. Then I needed to fix my lighting like 30 times and my sister was not very cooperative through it all. This pictures "emotion" is "interested" cause "C" said that if I was going to take a picture of her it had to be near the tv so she could still watch her special tv show. She was pretty interested in that! Pretty amazing...yup, shes a keeper! The pictures also took forever to upload. Sorry I didn't get it in till really late. Thanks alot!
 
P.S. I don't know what a mug shot is and I forgot to ask my sister. So I don't really know what I was supposed to avoid. Sorry.
 
 
                      "K",
 
Your favorite photography student:)
 
 



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Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Have a House!

Wingnut put in a bid on a house in Utah on Wednesday and by the evening it had been accepted!  I want to cheer, but I'm also feeling really nervous.  We have two mortgages.  That's a scary, scary thought!  Today we get to work on listing the Maryland house for rent.  I'll feel so much better once we get that going, I'm sure.

So the new house, surprisingly meets many of my Dream House Mauri ideals!

2 full plus 1 3/4 bathrooms--check
Fairly spacious kitchen with walk-in pantry--check and check
A gas range--check
A covered 3 car garage--check although I'm not yet sure the 12 passenger will fit, we shall see
Land--not the 2 to 3 acres, but 1.09 acres will do for now--check
Not just one, but two laundry ROOMS (one will be used as a mud room)--check and check again
6 bedrooms--not only will our girls have a room of their own when they come to visit, but we can have guests staying with us as well!--check
Three living areas that will work as a formal living, a family room, and an exercise room
A walk in master closet--check

The house is convenient to base, school, monastery, and work.  There are 210 acres of community property with running trails, parks, basketball court, and barbeque pavilion.  It should just about suit our family.  God is Good! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Progress on the Big Move

This is just a quick update on where we stand on our big transition.

Wingnut's start date is January 9th.  We anticipate having the house packed up right after Christmas. Thankfully the military will be doing this for us one last time!  It's just about 36+ hours to Salt Lake City, and we are trying to determine the best route.  It would be nice to find a way to stay with family and friends along the way, or at least stay on military posts, which would save hotel costs.  Yes, Tonya@Life in Our Zoo, we are looking at passing through Colorado :)

We've decided to list our house here for rent rather than try to sell it in this poor market.  We can actually make money doing this as we can feasibly charge more for rent than our current mortgage payment.  We've hired wonderful friends to manage the property for us.  This was a huge load off my mind, as I could not see how in the world I could get this house "show" ready while homeschooling, taking care of our sweet yet demanding baby, and meeting the needs of the rest of the family.  The house will list hopefully later this week.

Wingnut is in Salt Lake City as I type looking at several properties we are interested in.  To answer Natalie's question from yesterday; yes most do meet many of my Dream House Mauri ideas ;) .  Some have asked if I trust Wingnut to make the choice without me and I must emphatically say that I do.  He has chosen every place we've lived except the first one, which I chose and it was an absolute disaster!  He's already driven around the properties and checked out distances and traffic and so far all look good to go.  Today he hopes to get some interior photos for me and we hope to make an offer on a house before he leaves Utah tomorrow.

So that is where we stand.  Things are moving along and I anticipate the pace will only pick up from here on out. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, November 14, 2011

Joy in the Pits of Despair

On a morning when I doubt everything I do and everything I am, it is a relief to have a bit of homeschool humor.  My darling girls provided two separate episodes that lifted me from my wallowing self pity and made me smile.

Sometimes instructions are not crystal clear to 9 year olds.  These are the instructions Special K received:


Change each addition problem to a multiplication problem


a) 3+3+3+3   b) 9+9+9  c) 7+7+7+7+7+7

This is how she interpreted the instructions:

a) 3x3x3x3=81 b) 9x9x9=729 c) 7x7x7x7x7x7=117,649

She did admit to having used a calculator to find her answers. She had to have been thinking, "Holy, cow! Math has sure taken a jump in difficulty!"



Skoshi A is learning to write Haiku in literature and writing.  One of the two she wrote today absolutely cracks me up:

A Haiku has five
Seven and five syllables
Whale, chicken, pie, why?
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 11/11/11


round button chicken



{Pretty}

 We attended 1st Profession of Vows for several Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara.  Afterward, there were photo ops with Cardinal McCarrick.  I love this photo from the back with the Sisters' arms entwined around each other.

{Happy}

 Lil' Wingnut could not be happier to be a big brother.  He's so loving and gentle with Lil' Lamb.


{Funny} 

 We were able to visit with Oleander on Saturday for family day at the Aspirancy.  Oleander wanted to provide entertainment and convinced her classmates and the Sisters to sing for us.  When going through the photos from the weekend I came across this one with Special K in the back holding the "microphone"(really and ice cream scoop) and the crazed expression on her face and I chuckled out loud.  No one had noticed at the time how silly she was being.

{Real}





Lil' Lamb is completely mobile and photo shoots with him are becoming more difficult as I try and keep the camera away from his little paws.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cherry Limoncella Cobbler

I made this for a dinner party not too long ago and our hosts asked me to post the recipe.

Cherry Limoncella Cobbler

Filling:
4 14.5 ounce cans sour cherries packed in water; drained (this is not pie filling, but actual cherries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Limoncella (freshly squeezed lemon juice may be substituted)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping:
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the filling.  Toss together to combine and pour into 9x12 baking dish.

In a small bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Set aside. Beat butter approximately 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.  With mixer running, slowly add sugar to the butter, add the lemon zest and beat for another 60 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the bowl.  Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing to just combine.  Spoon the batter over the top of the cherry filling and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lil' Lamb 9 Months

That face takes my breath away.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Do They Give Out Awards for Bad Parenting?

In 19 years of parenting, I've made some mistakes.  No, really, I have.  I also tend to be the type that beats myself up over the mistakes, real or perceived, I've made.  I certainly do not need my 16 year old son to help me out by pointing out some of the stupid parenting he's been the victim of, but he's here to oblige.

Years ago, when my older three were just old enough to tell lies and know they were telling lies I thought I had a very clever solution to their dishonesty.  I used to tell them when they lied I could see the devil dancing on their tongue.  This was particularly effective with our now 16 year old.  He could not stand the thought of Beelzebub jigging for joy in his lying mouth.  In hindsight, this now seems like an incredibly stupid idea, especially when my 16 year old darling boy pointed out that I told a lie to teach him not to lie.  I'm sure I've scarred him for life. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Italy and Paris


round button chicken






Wingnut, Skoshi A, and Special K just returned from their pilgrimage to Rome, Notre Dame, and Rue du Bac.  I'm using Skoshi A's photos from their trip for today's {phfr}.  She did a fantastic job documenting their travels and came home with over 200 wonderful photos.  I'm hoping to post more here over the next couple days.



{Pretty}



Love, love, love this shot of the Eiffel Tower.  

{Happy}

 Here are a couple of very happy girls awaiting a Papal Blessing following the Sunday afternoon Angelus.


{Funny}

 Can you pick out the girls from this crowd at Trevi Fountain?


{Real}

 Real foot bones protruding from their volcanic ash encasing in Pompeii

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bad Theology

Your family doesn't celebrate Hallowe'en? I can respect that.  There are a myriad of reasons to not celebrate it.  All I ask is that when you tell your children why they don't celebrate Hallowe'en, don't teach them bad theology.  Hallowe'en is NOT the devil's birthday.  The devil is a spiritual being created by God, who chose not to serve and became a fallen angel.  The devil was not born and therefore does not have a birthday.


And now for some Hallowe'en cuteness:

 Lil' Wingnut as Jango Fett.  One of these days we will have a halloween costume that is not from the Star Wars universe.  Right?



Lil' Lamb as Obi Wan.  He was supposed to be Yoda, but I couldn't find Yoda's head.  


Lil' Wingnut had practiced his trick-or-treat etiquette all day long.  He aced it.

You may notice our girls are conspicuously absent.  They spent their Hallowe'en eating chocolate in Paris.  Yeah, I don't think they missed being here at all. More on that in a later post. 
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Feast of All Saints

Saturday we got a leg up on celebrating All Saint's with the Sister Servants at their annual All Saint's Party.  It was a cold, damp, rainy day, but that didn't stop the festivities.

 Lil' Wingnut dressed as Saint Benedict.  It's great how many of the Star Wars costumes can be repurposed as saint costumes.  Lil' Lamb was dressed as Saint Dominic in a repurposed Yoda costume.  I don't have any pictures of him because he pretty much clung to me the entire party.  He's terrified of the sea of blue nuns that often baby-nap him on our visits.  He did hang with his godfather for a good period of time, but only if he didn't see me.



 The Sisters organized carnival style party games.   This was pin the sword on Saint Michael, the Archangel.



This game is by far Lil' Wingnut's favorite; Go Fish.  One of the sisters hides behind the sheet and pins treasures (rosaries, holy cards, medals, candy, stickers) on the fishing line.


Lil' Wingnut hung out with Brother Jonathan.  Here they are cheering on their buddies during a rowdy round of musical chairs. Brother Jonathan will be ordained a transitional deacon with the IVE this coming year.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Co-op Classes Fall 2010

We are three weeks into our fall semester of co-op.  I know I've blogged about our wonderful, laid back, homeschooling co-op in the past and I like to post here the classes we offer as ideas for folks searching the web for ideas for their co-ops.  We have 4 separate age groups and offer three classes for each age group, with the exception of the youngest group.

The youngest group is comprised of our nursery babies and toddlers, as well as several preschoolers and kindergarteners.  For this group, one mom is teaching Cathechesis of the Good Shepherd.  I observed in this classroom this week and was floored by the organization, structured play, and peace that permeated the class.  It is a truly wonderful program and the children not only seem to really enjoy it, they are learning a new depth of appreciation for sacramentals and the sacraments.

The next group is our 1st -3rd grade group.  Being a flexible group, several children in this class, including our own Lil' Wingnut, are actually kindergarten age.  This age group has three classes. The first is a science class using Detective Science, in which students use science to solve mysteries in class. Their second class is a unit study of North American Native Americans.  They are putting together lap books as a finished product of all their new knowledge. The third class for this group is a study of wild animals native and unique to Maryland.  Lil' Wingnut is having a blast in his classes and is really hanging in there with the older kids, as long as he has a little help with cutting with scissors.

We have a nice group of 4th and 5th graders.  They are taking art lessons from Ginger Hime's Simply Art DVDs.  So far they have focused on drawing animals.  Special K's notebook is filled with cute little realistic looking bunnies and deer.  She is so excited to be learning to draw in a more realistic style.  Their second class is also science using Detective Science, but with a little added difficulty.  This group's final class is a study of Meso-American culture.  So far, I think the final offering is Special K's favorite.  It's taught by one of our most gung-ho teachers who is just as excited to teach as the kids are to learn in her classes.

The final class is made up of 7th-9th graders.  They are learning about our neighbor to the north, beautiful, diverse, Canada.  In order to adequately cover the material in this class, it was decided to extend the duration from 45 minutes to an hour or an hour and 15, depending on the extent of the day's material and the endurance of the instructor.  This shortened the length of the second class to 15-30 minutes.

Unable to completely decide what to offer in the shortened class, it is a miss-mash of sorts.  We had some very definite opinions from a couple of the students to consider.  More drama was a desire for a few, while others threatened mutiny if drama was offered again.  Some kind of phys ed or P.E. would be a good choice for this group, except we couldn't call it such, due to some strong student prejudices against P.E. of any kind.  We decided to leave the title and what is finally taught up to the teacher.  She opted for a little yoga the first couple of classes and then this last week she taught them to fold paper footballs and they happily played the associated for the duration of class.

The final offering was a popular student request that has been offered on at least three other occasions to their older siblings: photography.  This is the only class I'm teaching this semester and is also the last class I will be teaching this particular co-op group.  This is a fun class to teach, and this is a great group of kids to teach it to.  Several of the students have great eyes and some real talent.  We've had a couple truly stunning student photos and I'm looking forward to seeing what else these kids have in store. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, October 27, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Instagram Edition


round button chicken





I really have enjoyed using Instagram to edit my phone photos.  All of my submissions this week were taken on my phone and then put through Instagram.


{Pretty}

I think autumn has to be my favorite season.


{Happy}
Two weekends ago our oldest was home from college and Oleander was in town for a visit with the Novitiate sisters.  We were able to all get together (minus Wingnut who was in Utah for his interview) and I was able to snap a rare shot of all the children together.  I like this photo and might use it for Christmas cards this year.


{Funny}

This shot of Lil' Wingnut peering at me from a playground structure cracked me up.

{Real} 

I wasn't sure if I should use this photo as happy, funny or real.  Real won out.  Lil' Lamb has nearly outgrown baths in the kitchen sink.  He is too splashy, wriggly, and has been trying to stand in the sink. Oh dear, at least he's downright adorable.



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