Tuesday, February 23, 2010

R is for Run!

R is for Rules to live by and St. Rose of Lima

R is for rabbit and red rectangle!!!

R is for Ring around the roses and Red Light, Green Light!
R is for raisins on a running gingerbread boy!
We read the Gingerbread Boy book and made an actual gingerbread boy decorated with raisins (just like in the book). The kids had a blast watching him cook and quoting the book while eating him until he was "ALL GONE" just like every other gingerbread boy that every came out of an oven. LOL! Here are some pics of the process...


Here are some of the "R" books (for the 2nd lesson):


I did two lessons on "R". The first lesson we focused on rabbits and the color red. We read books about colors and I had a few from the library that combined the themes. We then painted with red and blue paint and did some color mixing (a review of another theme we used for C is for color). I wanted her to make a basket using the different colored fruits in the book we read about colors (also has a rabbit asking questions all through the book) and she had a different idea so, trying hard to let go of my "plan" I went with it! She made a basket using all of her red rectangles, some triangles, a lacing string and then proceeded to find fruits of different colors from our kitchen to place in the basket. She informed me we made the basket for daddy and needed to leave it for him until he gets home. I was amazed. I mean...here I wanted to make a basket out of construction paper and glue stuff and she had come up with something much more innovative and all using her imagination. I was reminded why I homeschool and why I'm so glad I didn't push to do things a certain way during our lesson. Sometimes things are more structured and sometimes we find a new way of doing our lesson and perhaps that is what I love most about this journey. I'm learning so much.

We did a brief review of who St. Peter is and what it means to be called ROCK in scripture. As I thought given it was the feast of the Chair of St. Peter...and R is for rock too...it worked :)

Lenten Blessings!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Fall and Fail


Lent. A time of remembering how human we are. How often we choose wrongly and turn away from HIM. Jesus never left us and even came back to the Apostles after the fact...and stays with us in the Eucharist. Yet we cannot watch with him for even one hour.

How simple and easy a journey down back to the earth.
Choosing to follow you means to fall and fall again, to fall thrice.
I am not strong.
Weak and small.
Dust and gravel.
Again walking with you
Nothing I do succeeds without
Lift and transform me once more.

So I walk again. Try again.

Like a little child learning to ride a bike.
Only feeling like she'll never learn...

Thank you Jesus for always catching me and loving me in my scraped and bleeding condition.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Lenten Calendar 2010

"Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment."

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I don't feel prepared. Well, I do, but I don't feel as prepared as I did for Advent. I suppose that is the beauty of Lent. It doesn't take much to put a lot into it. Most of it comes from within. Here's our Lenten Calendar:


This year I opted to cut out squares and number according to actual days of penance to simplify the understanding of the actual 40 days of fasting and prayer. This took about 15 minutes and could be done with a cereal box, construction paper, white glue and a sharpie. That simple. I have no idea where I got it into my mind last year that it would easier to draw all of the squares. SIGH. Much easier this way. The other calendar can be found in my blog on Lenten preparations last year, along with pics of my decor. I'll spare you a repeat entry so these are just pics of the new additions.

Here's the felt board display:


And here's a brief summary of our Lenten homeschool plans:

1) Lenten Adventures through Holy Heroes (www.holyheroes.com)
2) Lenten prayer before bed and sticker on the calendar
3) Pray and talk about one Station of the Cross each Friday (for the kids) and Stations of the Cross matching and numbering on Fridays. (We have little cards that I've glued to cardboard. 2 sets for matching and 1 set to put them in number order)
4) No special baking or cookies/desserts for the kids during Lent, excepting Sundays, or feast days.
5) We will spend less at the grocery store and put aside money for the homeschool giving jar. Any other money we save eating less will be put into the children's offering envelopes for mass. Hopefully this will be a great learning opportunity for them in what it means to give to others in need as this is the first year we've tried this with the kids.
6)A prayer tree. I don't have this made yet, but I'm hoping to use the time during Lent to assemble and make a prayer tree with symbols of Lent and different intentions on each prayer ornament. Once I get this together I'll try and post an entry about it.
7) Hide the Alleluia card again and hunt for it first thing Easter morning.
8) Lent box of toys to put away til Easter (saw this on another blog).

I will avoid mentioning any thing else that I'm doing personally as I don't really like the whole "what did you give up for Lent" dialogue people always throw at Catholics. The whole point is to do it for Jesus. Usually that should mean keeping it private and making it a true sacrifice in that no one knows but you, the saints, angels and God himself. BUT, I try and think of one thing I can say...something simple to encourage conversations on Lent and the gift it is to our family. Because, it truly is a gift to us and I always have felt that each Lent my life is changed, moved more toward Christ in one way or another.

Wishing you the holiest and most joyous of Lenten Seasons. May we all be made into His image and take up our crosses...to die to self in order to live in Christ.

In His Wounds,


Friday, February 05, 2010

N, O, P

Well...I've decided I stink at blogging. It is so hard to make time to brush my teeth let alone update weekly. So monthly will have to do. Or whenever I can. Such is motherhood.
There they are! Adorable as usual...and the reason I don't blog much! :)

We recently did Letter N and Letter O. Right now we are in the midst of finishing up Letter P.
For letter N week we did nose, numbers, nine, and Noah's Ark.


We did some simple addition using her numbers puzzle. I'm amazed at how giddy she gets when she realizes counting all of them gives her a completely new number of animals. Very cute!

We focused on what numbers add together to get the number nine. We also counted up to nine several times. She's been doing that for a while, but it was a good thing to do over again. We talked about the five senses and I found a great book with pictures and descriptions that we read a few times. She spent much of letter N week walking around with a flower to her nose! I suppose she got the message!

Letter O week we did octopus, opposites, and orange.

We acted out opposites (run/walk, quiet/loud, sit/stand, hot/cold) and talked about the different opposites in the many books we read on the subject. We talked about octopuses and how many arms they have and what they look like and where they live. She was more interested in watching Nemo and seeing the little octopus squirt than doing a craft so we watched Nemo too.

Right now we are working on letter P. My printer is out of ink so I've been doing a lot of hand cut projects instead of pre-printed handouts. Her big love of the week is having me draw a picture of an animal that starts with the letter P, coloring it, and having me cut it out so she can play with her new "paper" friend. We've made a paper princess (this was how it all started as I found a book called "The Paper Princess"), a panda bear, a macaroni penguin, a pig and a poodle. We've had pancakes for breakfast 3 days in a row and we did a day on penguins. We watched bits of March of the Penguins and discussed the roles of the mom and dad penguins and hatching their eggs.

It's been fun! Now we are going to do a review week before we move on to the letter Q. She has begun wanting to write all the words she learns so we did some of that this week too. We wrote "PENGUIN" and "PANDABEAR" (she's not quite sure what a space is yet!) and she's also obsessed with writing out her full name! She even wrote a letter to daddy for N week. N for NOTE. :)

Hope this finds you well!