Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray for Thanksgiving! We're taking five days off school! Last night my niece and nephew spent the night. They're spending the day with us while their moms work. We stayed in our pajamas all morning!

 Here's a peek at some Thanksgiving school work we've done in the past week ---



We loved this book!
It's all about the man who first made the ballons in the Macy's parade.
We can't wait to watch the parade tomorrow!
Ray's 30 Days of Thanks poster
Adam's 30 Days of Thanks poster

Some very cute little Indians

Some lovely pilgrim people! ;)
(Jon is such a good sport!)
 We'll be celebrating with my family first and then heading north to spend time with Jon's family. I hope you have a great weekend of feasting and fun with family and friends... and don't forget to thank GOD for all your blessings.

A preview for Saturday....

 Even the saints are rooting for the Buckeyes to beat Michigan! They're doing Script Ohio on our bookshelf! Go Buckeyes!

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Last weekend we hosted some friends for a little pre-Thanksgiving gathering. We celebrated Thanksgiving the "Charlie Brown" way.

We watched the "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" video.

And we ate the same foods they did!

It was lots of fun to share this childhood favorite with our kids!

We even had party favors!

My own adorable Charlie Brown!



Did you know that this is the Year of the Bat? Neither did we.... until we attended our monthly zoo class. Personally, I think bats are creepy. The boys think they're cool. We learned that bats are important pest controllers, pollinators, and seed dispensers.
I continue to be really impressed with the quality of the zoo classes. This month they played a true/false game that was woven in with a power point presentation. Then they played a board game about bats.
Then we visited the bat exhibit and learned more from the keeper. They gave the bats a special treat -- green peppers. It was fun to watch them eat... and fight over the food too.

Each student got a great booklet summarizing and extending the information learned in class. The boys enjoyed doing the games and puzzles that were included.

 This month's class visitor was a hedgehog!

Another benefit of these zoo classes is that we are actually getting to the zoo a lot more often. We enjoyed a slightly chilly, but sunny afternooon at the zoo. It was practically empty and the animals were very active.

We can't wait until next month's zoo class --- "Super Sleuths!"

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We've been working on a little quilting study in our homeschool.

It started with this book-of-the-week:

It parallels our current study of pioneer times and westward expansion in early America. It has included activities from these great books:

Each day the boys are enjoying completing Math drill pages from this book:

And of course we are making our own quilts! We stitched a few squares by hand.... and then headed off to Mamaw's house for some help.

 I brought out our special quilts that are usually safely packed away in the linen closet.

 The white one on the couch was a gift from my mom at my wedding shower. It's so beautiful --- different embroidered hearts on each square. The big blue one on the floor was made by my grandmother. The small blue one was Jon's baby blanket made by his aunt.

Mamaw made this cool John Deere quilt for Ray for his 6th birthday ---


 The myriad of quilt patterns and stories are so interesting to study. They really have been an important part of our American heritage.

Our Cub Scouts!

 I finally made it to the Boy Scout shop and (with some sewing help from my mom) managed to get our Cub Scouts fully outfitted. They are both part of great dens this year and are enjoying their projects and activities. They especially love their monthly Pack meetings, which they get to attend together.
 Last Monday they attended a Thanksgiving-themed meeting. In addition to making lovely pilgrim and Indian hats, they collected canned food for the pantry, listened to the story of the First Thanksgiving, took part in a tug-of-war contest, and claimed prizes from the popcorn sale. Adam got to help with the flag ceremony.
We're so happy to have them participating in Cub Scouts at our parish. This winter they will be working on the Light of Christ emblem. Adam is already excited about going to day camp next summer!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Life Rushing By

For the past few weeks I've been feeling like life is just rushing by and I'm trying to keep up. I've spent most days with my head in a fog and my body seriously dragging. I finally surrendered and called the doctor. I had a sinus infection, but also have developed some allergies that have really "cramped my style." So now I'm taking a crazy amount of medicine.... but feeling much better and attempting to "get up to speed."

Yesterday I was telling someone that I really hadn't done a thing over the past week. I was thinking about the fact that I pretty much collapsed into bed as soon as I could every night. But as I thought more about it I realized that I had indeed done just a few things, including but not limited to: attending a way-over-the-top party with Jon (for one of his clients), taking a van-load of kids to the symphony, keeping up with the regular school/chores/karate/pottery/Saint Lad's routine, taking the boys for flu shots, helping my mom with errands/meals/house stuff, shopping for Cub Scout uniforms, and surviving the roller coaster election as a voter in a swing State...... OK, so that's a bit more than "nothing." I guess it's ok to feel tired.

Lots of people around me were living in sadness, anger, and fear after the election. I felt those things too.... but my throbbing head and incessant coughing kept it from hitting me too deeply. In the end I just kept reminding myself that God is God and He is in control. Thank you God. I kept reminding myself that this is the Year of Faith (declared by the Holy Father). We are called to practice our faith more boldly... to strengthen it... to depend on Him more fully. We must. So often God has to really "strike me down" to get me to grow in this area. So many bloggers wrote beautiful things this week to encourage us. The most simple and perhaps most wise advice I read was here. We have to LOVE right here, right now. We need to make our homes sanctuaries and love our families well.  That focused me and helped me not be overwhelmed by the bigness of the problems in the world and in my head.

So..... here are a few random pictures of what we've been up to ---

Our photo booth shots from the big party Jon and I attended. It was an 80's theme --- our era! We had our pictures taken with characters from Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. We saw an amazing Michael Jackson impersonator. We had great food and we danced! All on a Monday night!

Jon took Adam to his first OSU football game!
They had a great time!

Adam's favorite part of the game was watching the marching band!
And he loved playing on these giant numbers outside the stadium.
Raking... Raking... Raking
The weather was awesome this weekend.
We did tons of yardwork.
Jon even had Adam up in a tree trying to shake down the rest of the leaves.

We enjoyed a really great symphony concert at the Ohio*Theater.
The funny thing about this picture is that Ray looks so miserable.
He is actually the one who enjoyed the concert the most.

Every Catholic kid plays Mass at some point, right?
This was honestly the first time my boys ever have.
They were so cute.
Adam was the very devout altar boy.
Ray was the very bossy priest.
I'm saving these pictures to show at their ordinations some day!

And lastly... the cats are growing up fast!
They are into everything and insist on being part of all that goes on around here.
Christmas should be interesting!
That's all for now. I hope to be back here more regularly now that things are getting back to "normal" around here. Have a great week!