I greatly enjoyed attending the local IHM homeschooling conference at Belmont Abbey last weekend. The talks were inspiring, the book-shopping was a delight as always, and I got to socialize with various friends, including dinner out with one friend on Friday night and lunch out with two other friends on Saturday.
When I took only the baby on Friday, it was tough because he's too old and active to be happy in a stroller or on my back for long. Come Saturday, I got the bright idea to take along Thomas' Second Mommy, as we call Mary (7). She kept him company, fed him bits of food, helped him with his sippy cup, and generally smiled at him so I could catch a couple of talks.
Simultaneously, she devoured a book!
Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)
- "Baltimore Catechism No. 2" (originally published 1885)
- "Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints" (Loreto Publications, originally published 1894)
- "Under Angel Wings: The Autobiography of Sr. Maria Antonia" (originally published 1949)
- Children's version of "Midsummer Night's Dream" (audio CD)--plus the children grabbed Usborne's "Illustrated Shakespeare" and read "Macbeth," "Hamlet," and "Romeo and Juliet" in their free time
- "Animals of God" Vol. 1 by Susan Peek--These Bible stories are written from the perspective of animals who were present. I read these specifically to Margaret and Josey, tucked under blankets on either side of me on the sofa, and they simply loved them. This book is great for ages 3-5 or so. Also, it comes with black-and-white coloring pages in the back, which one could photocopy and let the children color while they are listening.
- Many picture books to the younger children
- "The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good" by Sandi Mann
- "Guidance to Heaven" by Cardinal Giovanna Bona (written in the 1600s)
- "St. Francis of Assissi" by Michael de la Bedoyere (2011)
- "Simon Brute and the Western Adventure" by Elizabeth Bartelme (2012)--This is a children's living fiction book and I devoured the hundred pages in one day. It was excellent!
- "Witchcraft Goes Mainstream" by Brooks Alexander--I read the first 70 pages last night, which says something. I will have to write more about this book when I finish it.
- "Blessed James Alberione: Media Apostle"
- "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (1950)
- "Lad, a Dog" (original published 1919)
- "Robert Schumann" by Opal Wheeler (1947)
- Various books on science that I purchased at the homeschooling conference
Outdoor Occupation . . .John finally convinced his siblings to play football with him! Yay!
|Football, moments before Mary got injured|
One of the nests at our music teachers' home is now home to baby birds. Bird Watch continues for the second nest full of eggs.
|Baby birds, upper right|
Drum roll please . . . The rope swing is back!
This week, a tree man came to remove dead limbs, so we were able to hire him to re-hang the rope which we had had to remove months ago after it had frayed due to years of good use.
Thomas (10) months is so close to walking. All this week, he has been standing more and more, up to twenty seconds. Now when I set him on the ground, instead of him going straight into a sitting position, he stiffens his legs and has met set him down into the standing position.
|Clapping at his own accomplishment|
|Naked because he threw up in the car when Mama hadn't packed an extra outfit|
Moments in Music . . .Competition season is over! Did you hear me?
COMPETITION SEASON IS OVER!
Until November, that is.
So, we enjoyed one week of "light" practice and at this week's lesson, began choosing new songs off of the coming year's competition lists. Did you hear me? NEW SONGS!
Oh, it is so good to hear strains of new songs in the house. The goal for each of the 'big' kids is to pick three songs for NCMTA, one concerto, two for Federation, and along the way four more that can be used to round out having ten pieces for Guild.
So far . . .
- Margaret is finishing up "Chimichanga Cha Cha."
- John is starting Sontaine (in C Major) by Johann Andre.
- Mary is starting Prelude in b minor by Alexander Morovsky and Invention 8 by J.S. Bach. And in violin, Mary is learning Suzuki's Minuet No. 2.
During her reading lesson one day, Margaret (5) encountered a dash, which indicates a pause. She looked at it and said out loud, "Hold." I asked her what she had said.
"Hold. That means hold."
Indeed, in music theory, that does mean hold! Sweet girl learning to read music and to read English simultaneously . . . I was able to show her that a dash indicates a 'hold' of silence, like a hold of a note in music.
Meals of the Week
- Chicken Parmesan(from Pasta and Provisions)
- Chicken patty sandwiches for picky children
- Mesquite BBQ Pork Tenderloin (thanks, Aldi's)
- Corn on the cob
- Turkey breast (thanks, Aldi's)--some kids made this into sandwiches for dinner
- Roasted corn (frozen)
- Garlic bread
- Poetry tea supplied most of our calories
- Smoked sausages in hot dog buns
- Mac & cheese
- Eggplant Parmesan (pre-made frozen)
Points about Prayer . . .
Below is the best picture one can get when one asks Margaret (being all sweet and smiley) for a picture showing her using the rosary flip photos. Ah well . . .
|Margaret is not one to pose for a photo.|
Nonetheless . . . last week, Margaret (5) graduated to joining the big kids praying the rosary with Daddy! For years, we had prayed together as a family . . . slogging, miserably, angrily, with so many punishments because tiny toddlers and preschoolers cannot pray five decades of a rosary or even be quiet. I no longer feel at all qualified to give advice about praying the rosary except to say somehow, Just Do It!
Anyway, for better or worse, who knows, in the last year, Daddy began praying rosary with the older children while I keep the three youngest occupied away from them (while I'm doing bedtime routine). The rosary has become quiet, peaceful, and lovely because of this change. Last week, Margaret wanted to join her Daddy and she didn't just start in gradually but suddenly can manage all five decades! Each day in the morning, she has been asking me what the mysteries are going to be that night, so we get the first one all ready on the artwork flip chart. She has been leading many decades with her siblings! It is just a delight to see this 'graduation' up to a new level.
This week I gathered my scattered holy reading books into a tiny basket I had on hand to make them neater and make my short time more focused and efficient. I write in my morning prayer journal and do my holy reading while I drink my coffee first thing in the morning, and I can give that only 15 to 20 minutes time.
I write 'only' but I realize that that might seem like an grand stretch of time to other mothers in other seasons of life even more limited than is mine. Of course, it is to be remembered that even for me, right now, some children are always awake with me. I might be reading while I listen to children chatter over cereal, or I get interrupted due to a fight breaking out ("I have more milk in my cereal bowl than you do! Ha ha!", or someone is asking me where the such-and-such is located.
- Prayer Journal (5 minutes)
- "The Holy Mass" by Dom Gueranger (written in the 1800s): At 193 tiny pages, my goal is to read this over the course of one year. Since my participation in Mass is really just a focus on keeping my loud baby quiet, I am attempting to (re)learn more about the Mass outside of Mass. (2-5 minutes)
- "The American Martyrology" Compiled by Holweck and Salvucci (2015): I picked up this interesting book at the homeschooling conference. Each day of the year offers a tiny paragraph on martyrs of North America. One reads the paragraph, and then one can say four sentences that are the rubrics to pray daily for the intercession of a blessed or saint, or a different sentence to pray that a servant be counted among the saints. (1 minute)
- "Guidance to Heaven" by Cardinal Giovanni Bona: Written in the 1600s, the words sound entirely fresh and applicable to today's world. For example, I took solace and humor in a paragraph I read on anger:
"If a good man ought to be angry at every evil deed, his whole life would be spent in anger and indignation. For in what moment will he not see things worthy of reprehension? His powers would fail him if he were angry as often as there was cause for it. Being gentle and mild towards the sinner, he will cherish the same affection towards him as the physician does to a patient affected with delirium."
Excellent advice. Now for the humor, read it through the eyes of the parent (the 'good man') thinking of her brood of children ('sinners' and 'patients with delirium'). (I give myself about 5 minutes of this, but enjoy it so much I could just keep reading and reading.)
|First fifteen minutes of the day|
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.