Friday, March 30, 2012

Ministering to the sick

            “Mommy, Mac is sick,” my two year old informed me, “he needs a spit-up bucket.”  We have had a lot of experience with “spit-up buckets”.   A few weeks ago, three of the kids came down with stomach bugs and their little sister watched with wide-eyes as they got sick repeatedly, sometimes not quite making it to the bathroom.  Ever since then she has a sort of strange fascination with “spit-up buckets”.  She was drawn to the plastic bag lined buckets we used for emergencies while the older kids were sick and we had to chase her away from them a few times, lest she catch the germs they were filled with.  It was a few days later that she asked for one, complaining, as she often does, that her belly was hurting.   

But, this?    This was a new one, even for her.  This time, she insisted that I prepare a spit-up bucket for her beloved Mac.  So using one of her plastic toy cooking pots and a plastic sandwich bag I made a miniature version of the spit-up bucket her siblings had used during their illness.  Then, I watched as poor Mac, a slightly shriveled blue balloon with a face drawn on with a sharpie marker, got sick into it, over and over again.   Poor Mac continued to suffer even after we gave him a few cups of ginger ale and a lot of snuggling.  Eventually my daughter’s limited attention span took over and Mac was tossed aside in favor of playing with her doll house and big sister.   

It was about 15 minutes later when poor Mac was discovered, popped in the corner of the kitchen.  Apparently his illness was much worse than any of us ever suspected.  What could we do?  We buried him respectfully in the trash can and have moved on in life as we best we could.

When I first started blogging, I promised myself I would write only meaningful posts that would help others in their faith journey.   I was excited to share all about God’s work in my life and my own journey to holiness.  But as the years have passed, I have found there are a lot more days like the one with Mac, or like this, than like this.   I could certainly not share about them, after all how can ministering to a sick balloon encourage or inspire anyone?  But, this is my life, crazy as it is.

I have to confess a balloon WAS harmed in the making of this blog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A lot of LEGO fun and a little LEGO disappointment

For months, our family has been anxiously awaiting this week.  This week we had marked on our calendar, “field trip to Legoland!”  

I am pretty sure, my children are the biggest Lego fans in the world.  And, Legoland Florida opened back in October.  But because the cost for a family of 7 to go to an amusement park (any amusement park) is way out of our budget, we could not go check it out.   

Then, we heard about the amazing field trip opportunities Legoland was offering.  For only $5 per person they would gladly welcome school groups into the park for a day.  One of our home school group members called and set up a date for our group to go.  That was back in the fall and the date chosen was not until the end of March.  It was a looooong wait but finally, our field trip day arrived!

Tim took the day off work to join us, as did many other dads from our group.  We had a blast exploring the park all together with all our home schooling friends.  We took literally hundreds of pictures--  of the rides, the Lego creations all over the park, the life-sized Lego mini-figure walking around the park, even the entrance and exit and signs along the way.   It was all so cute and so exciting!  

 Then there were the pictures we took of the kids enjoying their day-- their joyful smiles, their exuberant expressions, the fun of experiencing it all with their friends.  I had planned to document our whole day here on my blog, sharing our fun with all….but then I noticed a copyright section on the back of the map.   It says:
I am guessing that even my humble little blog would count as “publishing in any medium”.  I am guessing that even pictures of my own children with Legoland creations in the background would count too.   So I cannot share any of our awesome pictures here.  :(

To make up for the lack of photographs, I had my children draw pictures of their favorite Legoland memories.  Their pictures turned out very cute, but don’t exactly do justice to the real experience.  Still, they’ll have to do…..

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fabulous family field trips

            What a very cool weekend we had.  Well, actually, our weekend was sort of quiet and boring (for once) but the days leading up to it were pretty great.  

Thursday evening we got to tour the printing plant for our local newspaper.  Now, Tim and I joked that we would never, even if they paid us, read or support the local paper, as it is MUCH too liberal for our tastes, but we were more than willing to tour their facilities.  It was a cub scout “Go See It” (which is the fancy cub scout term for field trip) for our youngest son but we all went along because it sounded like such an educational experience.  It turned out to be that and more.  We learned a lot about all that goes into the printing of the paper each night as we sleep, and we had a lot of fun.   

We even went ahead and bought the paper this morning so the kids could see how it had all come together.  When our son pointed out that we had said we would not read or support that paper for any amount of money, I explained to him that we were not doing it for money.  We were doing it for our children, who are much more valuable to us than money (or anything else for that matter).  So, I was able to give him an extra little lesson, or at least a reminder, that hopefully meant even more than the field trip itself.

BIG paper rolls all loaded onto the printing machines
Printing out ads on metal plates, these will be used to print the papers

About 460,000 inserts just waiting for Sunday's edition to come out

The papers rolled by overhead on their way to be bundled for delivery to the distribution centers

And the completed paper being read in our very own home

Friday evening, we went to the practice session for the Honda Grand Prix, a car race around the streets of St. Petersburg, FL.  The tickets came to us free through cub scouts.  We took the kids and a picnic dinner and some ear plugs and we headed down to St. Pete right after our Friday co-op classes were over.   We were treated to an amazing opportunity to watch Indy cars, and street cars, and Ferrari’s race around the track zooming past us so loudly and so quickly we could hardly believe it.  

We got to see the Budweiser Clydesdales, a little taste of our St. Louis roots.  And we got to get an up-close look at the various cars and even watch the crews working on them.   We saw one car spin out right in front of us.  No one was hurt and, after a moment, the driver turned the car back in the right direction and took off again.   That was the boys' favorite part, I think.  We have never really been race car fans before, but today, when the actual race was televised, we all curled up around the t.v. and watched, a very rare occurrence at our house.    

The kids and I watch the cars zoom by

The "street cars" practice for their race
The crews hard at work on the Indy cars

My favorite of the Ferrari's

Tomorrow we have another exciting adventure planned, but I will share about that later……

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Be careful what you wish for.....

Before I started home schooling I was sure it would be the magical solution to all sorts of problems.  I was sure it would make my children get along wonderfully, erasing all signs of sibling rivalry and transforming them all into the closest of friends.  I was sure it would make them all adore learning, turning them into eager little geniuses always looking for more knowledge and full of gratitude for the opportunity to grow in wisdom and aptitude.  I also thought it would make me unendingly patient and calm.  

So far, seven years into this home schooling journey, we have yet to achieve any of my original goals of perfection.  The last two days, however, I have seen some promising signs that, at least, one of my goals may soon be reached with, at least, one of my children. 

My two year old is turning out to be a VERY eager learner.  If the past few days are any indication, she will most certainly be the diligent, zealous, hard-working student which I have always dreamed of.

Let me illustrate.  

 She starts her school day by climbing up to the table and finding some paper, any paper will do because she is that enthusiastic to get to work.  She will then proceed to cover the paper, completely, with her signature swirls of color.   This is her journal- and if asked, she will even explain her picture in great detail.   

Every day, she insists on working with the math manipulatives.  She loves to use dice, dominoes, and counting bears in her math work, making sure she understands perfectly the concepts of sorting, dumping, scattering, and losing. 

 Her favorite lately, seems to be her “belling dests” (spelling tests) though.  She asks for them repeatedly all day long.  Even after the other children are all done with their work and have moved on to playing she follows me around saying over and over, “Mommy, I’m ready for my belling dest.  Mommy, I’m ready for my belling dest.  Mommy, I’m ready for my belling dest.  Mommy, I’m ready for my belling dest…….”  (You get the idea) Ironically, her belling dests, when I do find a minute to “play school” with her, look an awful lot like her journals.  

It’s funny, I finally have the eager little learner I always wanted yet, now that she is here, nagging and nagging begging and begging for more work…… my patience seems to be wearing thinner than ever…….

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pondering death while celebrating life

            Saturday was an interesting day.  It was St. Patrick’s Day, of course.  We had bagels for breakfast, with green tinted cream cheese and cucumber “shamrocks”.  We all dressed in green and listened to Irish music, dancing like leprechauns for a little while.  

          Then Tim checked our e-mail quickly because we had big plans for the day.  St. Patrick’s Day is my grandmother’s birthday and this year was extra special because she turned 90.  She came to Florida to celebrate and we were going to attend the party at my parent’s house.  All my grandmother’s children would be there, my mom and her two older brothers, also my dad, an aunt, my brother and his family, and all 7 of us.   We had gifts and cards and food to bring along.  We were excited about the day.

But, first the e-mail.  In our inbox were the normal ads and coupon e-mails.   And there were a few e-mails from friends.  Strangely, three of the 11 e-mails we received, contained updates on friends of ours.  Updates on how their cancer treatments are going.  We have a fourth friend also suffering from cancer, but there was no update on him.    As we drove the hour and a half to my parent’s house and my grandmother’s 90th birthday party, I could not help but think about our 4 friends with cancer and their suffering and the fact that they are all too young to die.   Some of them are worse off than others but all of them are suffering, all of them must think about and face the reality of their mortality, all of them must fight this devastating disease when they should be enjoying life with their young families and friends.  

I know we cannot begin to understand the will of God and, certainly, we should not question it.  I know we are called to simply accept and trust in His plan but sometimes it is hard not to question.  Sometimes it is hard not to call out in fear and frustration, “God what are you doing?!?!?!?!?”

I am so very grateful my grandmother is alive and healthy at 90 years old.  She had a very close call back in November and we were sure she would not make it, but she is here to celebrate with her family and snuggle with her great-grandchildren and rejoice in her life surrounded by those who love her.  

I wonder what the future holds for my friends who wake up each day to chemotherapy treatments and interferon and doctor’s visits and tests and pain and fear.  Will they get to see their children grow up?  Will they get to celebrate their next birthdays, and the next after that and the next after that, and maybe someday their 90th?

I know God has a plan and I know His plan is for good. I believe that, even in my questioning and my worry.  I can only pray my friends who are suffering will believe in God’s goodness as well and that they will allow God to comfort and strengthen them through their journeys.  Cancer stinks.  It really stinks but God is great, really, really great.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easter ideas...found!

So....I've spent the last few days looking for great ideas for a more holy, Christ-centered Easter celebration.  I was hoping for a deluge of ideas in my comment box.... but no such luck.  Taking matters into my own hands, I turned to the "net" and found a few ideas I like.  I thought I'd share the ideas and links I found......

First, and my favorite, Stations of the Resurrection.  I found something about them at both Shower of Roses and Catholic Icing.  My family really enjoys attending and praying the Stations of the Cross and these are the Easter counterpart to that traditional Lenten devotion.  As soon as I saw them, I knew we had to incorporate these into our 50 days of Easter.

Second, Holy Week/Easter banners found here.  In the past, we have always decorated for Easter in the midst of Lent.  Understanding the error of our ways we stopped doing that in more recent years.  However, last year we never got around to decorating at all.  This year, and in the future, I would like to decorate, and decorate big, making our home reflect the joy and beauty of the Easter season.  These banners seem like the perfect starting point, and maybe we will add a few bunnies and eggs to the shelves too.

Third, also found at Catholic Icing (though I found them through Pinterest), adorable Easter breakfast treats (made from donuts) celebrating the Resurrection.  I do not know if we will make these a new tradition for every year but we are definitely going to enjoy them this year!

I'd still love to hear how others honor the season in their homes but for now, I am looking forward to a more meaningful and more sacred celebration of the holiday holy day at our own house this year.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wanted: Special Easter traditions

        A friend recently asked me if my family had any special devotions or traditions for Easter.  I was surprised as I thought about it, that none came to mind.  We have lots of special devotions for Lent.  We have, always in the past, acknowledged Holy Week with a few devotions and activities, but not consistent ones year after year.  We have lots of traditions for every other holiday and celebration throughout the year, but Easter?  The most holy day of the year, the greatest celebration we, as Christians, ever participate in?  Nothing really.

        Our Easter always starts with Mass, of course, (the children all dress in their special Easter outfits), and with Easter baskets overflowing with candy and treats, and an Easter egg hunt all over the house.  But that is all.  No special devotions, no special Easter prayers, no special traditions unique to our family.  Nothing that sets the holiday apart as more sacred and more significant than any other holiday.  I have just never been able to figure out a tradition or devotion quite special and significant enough.  

        So, I'm wondering, what do other strong, Catholic families do to celebrate Easter and make it holy and special and sacred?   I would love to have my wonderful readers and faithful companions in the blogging world (and real life) share with me their ideas and traditions.

        Please leave a comment and share with me all about your family's Easter traditions.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I am as changeable as the weather as my grandmother would say.   One day, I am spouting off about how I will not make my parenting decisions based on what everyone else is doing and that I don’t care if so-and-so is allowed to do whatever, we will do what we believe is right and not just what everyone else is doing.  The next day, I am beside myself with worry that my children will be left out and lonely.  That they really will turn out to be the weird, unsocialized, home schoolers we always joke that they are.  

One minute, I’m telling my kids to get used to the idea that life is not fair because life is not supposed to be fair and it is not all about what we want to do, the next I am getting upset about how unfair my life is when I have to wash another sink full of dishes or referee another disagreement between my children.  

One minute, I am complaining about all the messes all over my house and the clutter I feel I am drowning in.  The next minute, I am tossing another bit of junk on the mounting pile of papers on my kitchen counter or adding to the jumble of useless stuff in my junk drawer.

I wonder, sometimes, why is it so hard to practice what I preach?  Why is it so hard to follow through on doing what I know is right?  Why do I struggle so much to live the life I know I should?

            Maybe it is ironic that I am thinking all about this at this time of year.  We are right in the middle of Lent.  And Lent gives us such a wonderful opportunity to look at our weaknesses and struggles so we can bring them to God. 

My family has attended the Stations of the Cross at a local Catholic church every Friday during Lent for years now.  The “Stations” are all about Christ’s journey to Golgotha and our yearly participation in praying them is something we look forward to each year during Lent.  

As we follow and pray through the Way of the Cross and truly reflect on Jesus’ Passion, I am always touched by it.  In the Passion, I see weakness and perfect strength meet face-to-face.  I see real sacrifice and real suffering, and Christ’s amazing love and mercy that are truly unending.  I see that life is not fair- even for Jesus- yet there is so much to be grateful for.  I see the value of facing and standing up to real unfairness in the world.  I see Jesus never faltering, even as He fell over and over again.  He was never inconsistent in His determination to see His mission through.  He never lost sight of serving His Father, or of saving us from our own sinfulness.

            I was really looking forward to this Lent.  I knew I needed this season.  I was not necessarily anticipating a time of contemplation though.  I was mostly looking forward to the opportunity for greater self-discipline.  I knew I needed that.  But now, I wonder if maybe Jesus is using this time to give me an opportunity to grow in wisdom and understanding as well.  

As much as I was looking forward to Lent, when finally Holy Week ends and Easter is upon us, I am sure I will be just as anxious for the end of my sacrifices (and I am sure I will be desperate for some chocolate).  Maybe, I will also be a little wiser for my own (little) journey of sacrifice and contemplation.    Maybe, I will even be a little more consistent in my thoughts and my choices.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A healthy debate

            I love a good debate.  Tim does not.  In fact, he avoids conflict at any and all costs.  I think there is something wonderfully engaging and educational about looking at issues from different perspectives.  I’ve even been known to play “devil’s advocate” and take the opposite position of others just to be able to enjoy a good discussion.  Tim hates that!  But I believe debating is a very valuable skill to have and since my children were not going to learn that one from daddy, I seized a recent opportunity in life to expose the family to a little healthy debate. 

            It all started when a friend offered us one of her pets.  We don’t have a pet.  For a few months, we have talked about getting one.  We have discussed all the great pet options out there- turtles, snakes, maybe an aquatic frog.   Then, quite unexpectedly we were presented with that opportunity to adopt my friend's pet......a baby iguana.  I used to have an iguana and really, they are so, so cute and, as babies, not much trouble.  Part of me wanted that adorable little lizard, but part of me didn’t.  My children all wanted it.  Tim, definitely, did not.  We had to make a decision and we seemed to be at a crossroads.  

So, I announced we would have a formal family debate.

            I explained to my children that they should each prepare a written essay presenting their opinion on the pet matter and be prepared to share their thoughts with the family at dinner time.  I sat down and wrote out my own thoughts, deciding to offer an argument against acquiring the iguana, mostly because I was pretty sure the children would all fight for it.

            At dinner, Tim had the privilege of listening to everyone’s arguments and weighing
 the facts presented.  I was right about the children all wanting the lizard.  Our 10 year old had a long dissertation prepared, listing the many reasons we should adopt it and promising repeatedly that he would care for it.  Our 7 year old read one carefully written sentence saying he wanted it because it was cute.  Our 9 year old even drew a picture of an iguana on the bottom of her essay, painstakingly filling in all the scales on its back.  Our 13 year old shared that the iguana would be a perfect compromise between the turtle she had been wanting and the snake her brother desired.  Then I read my essay, pointing out my previous experience with an iguana that had grown aggressive and stinky over time.  Afterwards, we all discussed the issue.  

            Ultimately, we decided against the iguana, and for now, against any pet.  The kids are still a little upset because they felt they did not really have a chance against Tim and I, and they may be right, but the experience was a fun one, and hopefully valuable.  And, hopefully, I will not regret teaching my children the art of debate, when they inevitably try to use it against me every time I say “no”.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blessed salt and a holy home

               We had never blessed our house.  

I had always wanted our house blessed but I thought you needed a priest to do it.  My house is never really clean enough, or my life organized enough, to invite a priest over to bless our house.  So, we had lived here for eleven years, and never blessed the place we call home. 

Before we purchased it and moved in, our house had quite a colorful history from what we’ve heard from neighbors.  One of the previous owners had left the state giving the home to their son who invited his friends in to live and party with him.  They would sit up drinking and blaring loud music into the wee hours of the morning (according to a neighbor who witnessed it).  The house, though it had been rehabbed by an investor before we bought it, showed signs of abuse and neglect when we moved in.   

Even under our ownership, things have been less than perfect here.  There have been disagreements, misunderstandings, and even fights. We have been known to snap at each other impatiently, to grumble and complain when we are feeling less than grateful, to give in to laziness, gluttony, greed, selfishness, etc....  I know, it is hard to believe but we live a less than virtuous life, at times.  Have we allowed evil in?!?!?!?!  Perhaps, upon occasion.  

Needless to say, these walls needed blessing.  

A few weeks ago, after a particularly bad day, I vented to my spiritual director about how hard life had been.  She suggested blessing our house and then proceeded to tell me how to go about it.  She said not only was it okay for the head of the house to be the one praying over the rooms, but, as the head of our domestic church, it was actually best for Tim to be the one presiding over our home blessing ceremony.  She instructed me to get some blessed salt and holy water and, while Tim led the prayers, to sprinkle the rooms generously with both.  

Blessed salt?  I had never heard of blessed salt.  My spiritual director assured me it was a legitimate sacramental and that it was also quite effective in driving out evil spirits.  

Still a little doubtful but very curious, I went home and did some research.  Here, here, and here is some of what I read about blessed salt.  It all sounded good to me.

We got some salt and had it blessed by our pastor.  Then, with our children, some holy water and our newly blessed salt, we prayed over and ask God’s blessing on each of the rooms of our house.  Here are the prayers we used.

I would like to say that since then our home has been a place of beautiful peace. That now freed of all evil spirits, the atmosphere of the house, and those living within its walls, are more holy, more pious, and more righteous but that is not quite true.   Things have been just a little bit more peaceful and our conflicts have been resolved just a little more quickly.  Luckily, we still have lots of blessed salt left, and lots of holy water around….

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nine years ago....

             Nine years ago, March 5th happened to fall on Ash Wednesday.  When I woke up that morning, all I had planned was attending Mass and going to a doctor’s appointment.  I was pregnant with my third child and the doctor’s appointment was supposed to be only an ordinary pre-natal visit.  

Mass was fine, quiet and uneventful.  I received my ashes.  I’m sure I prayed for my unborn baby who was due in a few weeks.  Like so many things in life, and especially parenting, nothing else that day went according to my plan.

Off I went to my appointment, as Tim stayed home with our 4 year old daughter and 1½ year old son.  My pregnancy had been relatively normal up to then.  I had had not one, but two bouts with the stomach flu, probably due to the germs my oldest daughter picked up at pre-school and brought home to share with us all, but I had recovered from both illnesses pretty quickly.  The second one had been just a few weeks before and at the check-up following it, my doctor had noticed my belly measuring a little less than before.  Of course, babies (and bellies) are supposed to grow during pregnancy so she was a little concerned but I was not too worried.  They had done an ultrasound and found the fluid levels low and the baby a little on the small side but still active and healthy.  It had been a few weeks since then and baby had continued to be active.  I was not overly concerned about it as I entered the doctor's office that March 5th, nine years ago.  My doctor decided to do another ultrasound after measuring me again and finding the results not to her liking for a second time though.  There was some mention of intrauterine growth retardation and dangerously low fluid levels but what I remember most was the doctor coming in after that ultrasound and announcing, “That baby needs to come out now, he or she will be safer on the outside than on the inside.”

I drove home instead of straight to the hospital despite my doctor’s initial instructions.   I had to get my older children settled with a sitter, and get my bag for the hospital stay, and prepare myself emotionally to welcome my baby three weeks early and under unexpected, worrisome circumstances.  

My mom was supposed to be in town for baby’s arrival but her flight was not for two and half more weeks.  My neighbor who had agreed to be our back-up childcare was out of town and though she would be home that day, I wasn’t sure what time exactly.  Tears ran down my face as I drove along full of anxiety and fear.  Thankfully, the neighbor was in her driveway unpacking the car from her trip when I pulled up.  Tim and the kids were there too, talking and playing with the neighbor’s children.  “Better just stay there,” I told the kids, “mommy and daddy have to get to the hospital within the hour and go have a baby tonight.”

So we went.  Once I was dressed in my hospital gown, settled in a cozy room, and hooked up to all the tubes and wires- Pitocin, I.V. fluids, baby’s heart monitor, another monitor for the contractions- I finally stopped crying.  After that, it was actually a beautiful day.  Labor progressed nicely, I got my epidural before the pain was too bad, and delivery was a breeze.  We welcomed a beautiful baby girl with big brown eyes and a full head of black hair at 11:18 p.m.  She was 6 lbs. 9 oz. and was perfectly healthy and so, so sweet.  She spent the first month of her life sleeping almost constantly.  She was such an easy newborn, I decided all my babies should come three weeks early.

March 5th, 2012 finds that tiny, sweet baby a big sister two times over (neither of her younger siblings cooperated with my plans either and I have never again had a baby come three weeks early).  She is now taller than all her friends and quite feisty when she wants to be but she is still a sweetie and still such a blessing in our lives.  Happy Birthday Pumpkin!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Home schooling at home- my favorite way!

            I signed my 13 year old daughter up for her first online class yesterday.  She is well into her middle school years and high school is just around the corner so my role as her teacher is slowly changing.  I suspect in the coming years, she will take more and more classes this way and I will end up doing a lot more managing of her educational options and a lot less actual teaching of her daily lessons.  

Home schooling these days can mean so many different things and home schoolers have the option to follow so many different paths.  There are the online courses like the ones we are just delving into, full virtual curriculums,  countless co-op classes, college courses offered to high school students, private tutors, part-time/hybrid schools, and so much more.  The choices and options overwhelm me at times.  There is a temptation to want to try it all, if for no other reason than to calm my fears that on my own I will never be able to do enough.   

I am an old fashioned girl though, even when it comes to home schooling.  

I am grateful for the opportunity to take advantage of such a wide array of worthwhile educational resources that are available to my children in our community but really, I prefer the old fashioned approach to home schooling.  I like best, the days we just stay at home and do our work all together.  I like sitting all together around the old butcher block kitchen table that has since become our school table and watching my children with their heads bent over their workbooks or notebooks as they learn about the world right here under my own roof where I can supervise and share in all of it.


My favorite thing about home schooling has always been (right from the very start) that it is so family friendly and so family centered.  I love that my children have all done the same science curriculum the last two years and have been able to share their discoveries and delight in learning with each other.  I love that we share our read-aloud books together and all my children sit with rapt attention as I open the world of literature to them.  I love when we get into discussions about the world and how it works and all the amazing things God has created in it.  I love that history and religion lessons can be shared as well and that even my two year old feels like an important part of all that we do in our classroom.  

This has been one of those weeks where we have all worked well together (mostly).  A week where home schooling has truly been a family focused endeavor and I have been able to step back and enjoy the privilege and blessing of having all 5 of my children with me each and every day.  This week we have been working hard on projects for our home school group’s annual history fair.   The older children all have big tri-fold boards that they are busy filling with information about their various topics.  The little one has been watching all the excitement as her siblings do their research in anticipation of the fair in a few weeks.  She, of course, wanted to be included so her sisters took a break from their work to put together a little project for her.  They patiently traced pictures of her favorite Sesame Street characters and asked her what she knew about each of them.  They wrote down her words and then she colored her pictures.  We made her a tri-fold board out of an old cardboard box so that when we arrive at the fair she will have her own project to show off.   Working together, learning together, cooperating and supporting each other-- this is home schooling at its best!

I know as my children get older and their work becomes more and more complex it will be in their best interest to take advantage of the resources that will provide them the most solid educational instruction possible, but I really hope we can still do most of our work at home, as a family, all together.


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