Sunday, October 19, 2008

See ya later!

I'm fasting from the internet until after the election. The day after the election happens to be my 20th Wedding Anniversary! So I think I'm going to focus on my family and my prayer life instead of blogging/surfing/googling! It will be a far better use of my time right now.

Pax vosbiscum!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yesterday was a wonderful day.

First we got up and actually made it to Mass! We went this time to our parish mass at 9:15. Father Pat was the celebrant and he was wonderful. Every Friday the school children attend the 9:15 Mass and it is the most heartening and touching thing! All the children were so reverent. The children's choir sang wonderfully. The children lectors were excellent. Father Pat is so good with kids. He taught so many little things in short time he had. First of all he said: Good morning, children! How are you? To which they all recited in reply: Fine, thank you, Father. How are you? So there is definitely an emphasis on teaching good manners! Then he made them all speak up when they said the responses to the Mass. We were all responding and singing in our loudest clearest voices. He told them: say Amen like you mean it!

Then in his homily he taught about how we should be the wheat and let Jesus be the leavening. He taught about St. Ignatius of Antioch and he tied in the importance of respecting life and well, he was just wonderful.

I am going to write him a note to thank him for being such a wonderful priest. A couple years ago I did that and when he saw me next he came right up to me with a smile and said thanks so sincerely for writing to him. The funny thing is for a guy who has to live such a public life, he really is at heart kind of shy.

After Mass, we went over to the activities center because we'd been invited to join with the rest of the school to see Jim Weiss. Well, we were the first ones there and Mr. Weiss shook hands with all of us and made up sit in the very front row. He said homeschoolers were such great supporters of what his storytelling that they had a very special place in his life. He chatted with us for a while. He was so gentlemanly and friendly. All the kids in their little uniforms shuffled in. The principal of the school got up there and did a fun intro and lead them in prayer. What a lovely woman! I had heard good things about her but had never actually seen her. I was really impressed.

Then Mr. Weiss got up there and was phenomenal! He told the story of the Tortoise and the Hare and The Elves and the Shoemaker. He was so dynamic in real life. He is much more sedate sounding in his recordings. He made all kinds of jokes and had the kids roaring with laughing. He had them participating in the storytelling in the cleverest of ways, for example, he the elves trying to read a thank you note written by the shoemaker and his wife. He said the elves were just learning to read so they had to sound out the note and then he did the most wonderful silly imitation of sounding out words. All the children were hooting with laughter. And at the same time he was teaching them such wonderful values. He said that the elves didn't want the shoemakers to know that they were helping them, because, he said, sometimes the best way to help someone is to not let them know. Then they don't feel like they owe you a favor and that is the most generous thing of all. Little things like that.

So it was a very warm and fuzzy morning. We were hungry so we went to Chick fil a for lunch (I really have to get back to fasting from meat on Fridays!). Then we went to tennis. The weather was gorgeous. At first it was warm and sunny, but in the two hours we were there the temperature dropped about 10 degrees and had a nice crisp chill in it. We came home and everybody vegged. I read more in my book An Infamous Army. Georgette Heyer is my new favorite author.

Thursday, Hannah wound up praying in front of an abortion clinic for nearly 4 hours. Our parish is pariticipating in the 40 Days for Life campaign. There was an 1.5 hour gap mid-afternoon, so she filled that in. Then later she prayed with Will. The person who was supposed to show up at 7 didn't so she wound up staying later with Will. I was very proud of William, by the way. His new girlfriend is not Catholic and both her parents volunteer for the Obama campaign. I asked Will what they talk about and he said that they debate constantly. I said, so how come you are going out? And he said, Mom, we never fight, we just discuss! I was really getting worried about him because I feel like there is all this negative influence in his life lately what with being so into rock n roll and hanging out with public school kids and now dating this young girl. But now I see that he is like a lamp shining forth. He had been meeting his girlfriend after their guitar lessons on Thursday but he broke the date to go pray in front of the aboriton clinic. And he did this on his own. I was really proud of him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


  • Got up very early to get Will to PSAT at public high school

  • Came home and listened to my new Leahy cd. Sean and Becky were up and enjoying it and playing with the puppy.

  • Hannh got up and went to Spanish class

  • Read about Rene de La Salle and the founding of New Orleans

  • Sean recited 1st and 2nd (m) declensions and conjugated amo

  • Josh, Sean and Becky and myself said most of a rosary on the porch (in honor of Sukkos!) but then the music teacher arrived for Becky. I had completely forgotten she was coming!

  • Picked up Will from PSAT

  • Sean finished reading My Father's Dragon

  • Josh was supposed to be writing his essay for Kolbe on Old Man and the Sea but found a book of Edward Lear Limericks and started composing Limericks instead with the help of Sean.

  • Becky learned to ride a two wheeler without training wheels on Sunday. Major achievement. Rick has now taught all 5 kids to ride bikes! Anyway, she wants me to take her to the cul de sac so she can practice right now.

  • Talked and read a very little bit about St. Theresa of Avila

  • Afternoon down time: I went up to read An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer (set in Brussels right before Waterloo) and fell asleep. Will read The Scarlet Letter, Josh did I don't know what???? Sean played SSB, Becky watched Ruff, Ruffman and Arthur.

  • Hannah came home, she got a B on her midterm. She thinks she can pull her grades up to an A. She's decided that she needs to get back to daily Mass to help her keep up her momentum. She does better when she prays!

  • Took Will and Sean to vision therapy but forgot that there is no VT today. VT is away for a week. Will did his usual Wed. afternoon thing of walking to deli, eating then going to SOR or Library to do school work.

  • Hannah is busy making up her schedule and doing laundry.

  • I got Level 3 of Hey Andrew and have been looking through it. The coolest thing is they have a copy book in Greek of the Gospel of John. It is a long term effort but you can copy over the entire Gospel of John in Greek. Am I weird for thinking that is the coolest thing ever?????

  • Must plan for Blue Knights tomorrow and Co-op on Friday. We aren't actually going to co-op but I still need to do all the lesson planning and must get it to one of the other ladies to take there. My parish school invited Jim Weiss to speak at their school and they have invited all the homeschoolers in the parish as well. Isn't that mighty nice of them? I appreciate it very much. So we are going to that instead on Friday morning.

  • Josh has been trying to write his essay on Old Man and the Sea. Let me go see how he is doing. Well, he came to me. He wrote a paragraph on courage. It is a start!

  • Took kids to McDonald's for dinner. Hannah went to work at Starbucks. Had nice conversation about what the difference between the common meaning of freedom and what a Christian would define as freedom (freedom from sin). I tried to explain the whole financial crisis but realized I simply don't understand it enough. Need Rick.

  • Sean and Josh went to Karate class which they are loving.

  • Becky and I took a 30 minutes walk through the neighborhood around the rec center. Then came back and she worked in a Sight reading workbook I picked up at B&N. It was 'fun' but she was learning spelling and reading.

  • Rick read some of a Molly (American Girl) book to Becky. Then he read to both Sean and Becky from the second Mary Poppins book, Mary Poppins Comes Back. Sean also practiced piano. Josh read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Domestic goals for this week

In the flurry of activity that September brought, I have completely dropped the ball on anything domestic. And now it is October 12 and I am feeling the fallout! This last week reached a new low in my abandonment of my housewifely duties. I never even went grocery shopping for the week and of course no meal planning. We ate out an obscene number of times; junk food that is obscenely unhealthy for us. I had actually lost 6 pounds but now am back at my old weight of 159.5!!!!!!! When it goes to 160 I fall into a deep, deep depression. The house is also in a terrible state. It is so bad that when Hannah's date came to pick her up for his Homecoming Dance, accompanied by his mother and aunt who wanted to take photos, I wouldn't even let them into the house. So we took pictures out on the front lawn (which needed mowing and the garden is absolutely overgrown and the paint is peeling off the walls; we really need to get new siding but it is so darn expensive!!!!). And then while eating breakfast out Sunday morning, we were all discussing having a party for Hannah for her upcoming 18th birthday. And Josh says, "We don't have to worry about what a mess a party would make; our house comes pre-trashed!" Oh, goodness.

So here are my weekly goals:

1. Rosary every morning. When I start the day like this I feel much more on top of things and I have a better attitude towards the chores in my life I find less than attractive.

2. Eat well. I went grocery shopping yesterday and I have actually planned out balanced meals for the week! Yahoo!

3. Take a walk every day. I have a dog, this should help, right??????

4. Do a load of laundry everyday. We are all suffering because I have gotten out of this very good habit.

5. Focus on a different hot spot every day; even if it is for just ten minutes. Today, I want to clean up the upstairs hall which has become a junk pile as has the settee in our front hall. Rick promised to help (some of it needs to be stored up in the attic.)

Okay, time to get moving!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Two links

Some Catholic unschoolers have started a new blog, named, aptly enough: Unschooling Catholics. The link is I'm too lazy to actually link it.

Also, Will played a Beatles cover concert with his School of Rock band and one of the guys' parents put up the song While My Guitar Gently Weeps on youtube. So if you go to: you can sorta see Will playing lead guitar. You can't see his face but he's the one on the extreme right wearing light pants and a black shirt. Keep in mind that everyone in this band is between the ages of 12 and 16! The singer who really has an incredible voice, I think, is only 15! They've all been playing together for 3 months. This is only Will's 3rd time playing a concert. The bassist (you can hardly tell from the video, but she's a girl! She's right behind the seated acoustic guitar player.) is Will's little girlfriend.

I think Will does a great job on his solo and also at the end of the song. He loves to jam; that is what he's really good at.

Right now Will is away on a retreat with the Youth Apostles. He gets back tonight. I kind of miss him . . . .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blogging this day 10/8

Becky crawled into bed with me at 3:00 a.m. So I laid awake until almost 6, fell asleep until 7:30 a.m. Am very tired and draggy now.

Don't know why but decided to blog this day. It is now 12:00 p.m.

Hannah woke up early and studied for her Spanish midterm, curled up on the couch in the living room. Freezing cold in the house so I put on the heat. She left early to get to class and study there. I think she said she planned to do her lab work today too. Usually she does that on Friday but she wants a 4 day weekend (Columbus Day weekend).

Becky got up next. She's coming down with the minor cold that we all seem to be fighting. She huddled on the couch in the family room for a bit.

Others woke & showered (including myself). I am out of tea. Horrors! Must get more.

After breakfast where everybody ate whatever (Sean had a hot dog!) Becky did her music theory homework. Her piano lesson was at 10:30. Josh decided to go gung ho on his Greek, he is racing ahead of everyone. He's ten pages ahead of me and very proud of that fact. I ordered the next level of workbooks in Hey Andrew.

Seano did a little bit of Greek, as did Becky. Seano also did some cursive practice. Becky wrote a sentence about Tillie in her grammar workbook. She didn't want to write anymore than that. Seano did a bit of vision therapy. Seano read the next chapter in My Father's Dragon. I tried to get Becky to read a Little Bear book with me but she balked. Then she decided she wanted to read a chapter book like Sean so she chose The Littles but then she announced she planned on starting it tomorrow. I had gotten the times tables flashcards out for Sean but she wanted me to teach her the 4 times tables so I did. She was very proud of herself. We figured out that the pattern of the 4x table is just adding 4 each time.

I quizzed Josh on his spelling/vocabulary words which somehow lead to a discussion about Dr. Martin Luther King and what racism is, etc. Good discussion. Now Josh is supposed to be doing some of his Algebra I homework or he could be reading his Christ and the Americas, not sure which he chose to do now.

Will spent the morning reading his American History (I think he's still in Vol II of The Story of US by Hakim.) I told him to read his William Cullen Bryant poems for tomorrow and I believe he needs to read Econ as well. But right now he is reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to Seano. Becky is playing on the computer; some Halloweenish game on Noggin. Hannah just got home from Spanish. She doesn't know how she did on the midterm.

9:05 p.m. Let me finish up this journal here. Okay so what happened after lunch????? I don't think I got to math or Latin with Becky and Sean. I did reread the Christ and the Americas chapter to Josh while we were trying to answer the end of chapter questions. Josh did 1/4 of his Algebra homework. He did this by counting up all the problems he has to do and dividing it by 4! The tutor isn't coming on Monday so he's got a little more work to get done to make up for the holiday.

Took Sean and Will to vision therapy. Becky came with me. We went to Starbucks. I read William Cullen Bryant poetry in the waiting room. Becky loves to watch the VT work with the boys. It looks like fun to her! As usual, Will brought some reading and other work with him. I left him at the VT, he goes second. After his session he walks over to a neighborhood deli joint were he knows some of the kids who work behind the counter (and he's gotten friendly with the owner.) He eats there and then he either hangs out for a bit at the School of Rock or he goes to the library and studies there.

Came home and cleaned up kitchen a bit and moved laundry. Rick is coming home and I thought it might be nice to not have the house in complete shambles. Took Josh and Sean to Karate with Becky accompanying. Hannah by this time had gone to work. Josh and Sean now have ghees (or however you spell it). So they looked official. Becky has made a little girlfriend (sister of a boy in the karate class) so they've been playing together for that hour. Cute little Indian girl. The mom and I have been chatting too.

After karate I took the kids home right away because Rick was expected home from the airport right about then. We got in and there he was, looking tired. Then I dashed off to pick up Will at the library and take him to CLC. Came home again. Rick had finished reading Mary Poppins to Becky and Sean. I think he plans to read Artemis Fowl to them next. We said prayers a bit early and both Sean and Becky are listening to Boomerang CDs in their rooms. Josh is reading Economics with Rick, who is busy planning his class and grading tests. I need to plan my history and lit lessons too!

Yom Kippur began at sundown. Rick ate hurriedly at the airport before the sun went completely down. He always fasts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's Tuesday so I must be able to blog!

I noticed the last time I blogged it was last Tuesday. I do have a moment to breath on Tuesday afternoons, so I guess this can be my blogging time.

  • Rick is in California AGAIN. He's flown out there every week for the past several weeks. He won't need to go next week though. Poor guy. He is now 46 and jet lag takes a bigger toll on him than his younger days. He was soooo tired for his birthday. But he says he had a nice one, albeit very lowkeyed, which frankly was all he was up for. Becky made him a card. He took the kids out for breakfast while I substituted for Hannah in her RE class. She was not feeling well. She got up to sing her solo (Psalm) at Mass a but then came home because she felt so under the weather. Everybody seems to be feeling this way the last few days. Anyway, then Rick's family came over for Rosh Hashanah/Birthday. Oh I made a lemon cake in the a.m. Rick grilled, which always makes him happy! I bought him balloons. . . .We all attended the 6:00 p.m. Teen Mass they have at our parish on the 1st Sunday of the month. Hannah sang in the choir and Will played his electric guitar. It was pretty good. Afterwards Hannah and Will stayed after and helped bake cookies for the prison mininstry with the rest of the Youth Group. Josh couldn't stay because he hadn't gotten his Algebra homework done for his tutor.
  • Saturday, Rick and I went to see The Pearl Fishers by Bizet. It has one of the most glorious duets in it and it was beautifully sung. Shivers up and down my spine! That opera was a lot shorter than La Traviata the week before. Which was good because did I mention that Rick was really jet lagged????
  • Also on Saturday, Will's band, the Hypotheticals, got together for a practice. He's introduced two new members that he met at the School of Rock. One being a young lady bassist who had asked him to go to her high school Homecoming but then they decided to just spend the day together. This was good because I needed Will to babysit and so he and his little girlfriend watched the younger kids. She seems like a very nice young lady.
  • Hannah has been having boyfriend mother trouble, as in boyfriend's mother is crazed overprotective. I offered to talk to her for them; maybe I can calm her down??????? I can assure her Hannah will not seduce her son which I think is what she is afraid of. . . . .
  • All this boyfriend trouble inspired a good conversation though between Hannah and me on just what is chaste behavior in a dating relationship. It's fine to think about this before one enters into a relationship, but I'm discovering this stuff needs to be reiterated fairly often when one's child is actually in a relationship!
  • Hannah is very excited and nervous about going to Homecoming next week. She's somewhat intimidated by meeting all of bf's friends. She's the weirdo homeschooler while they are all smart math and science geeks (they go to a special school for smart kids!!!). She's also thinking of going to a Halloween party as a flapper, bf will be a gangster. At least that's the plan as of this a.m.
  • Nothing much to report on the younger kids . . . maybe I should pay more attention to them, eh??? Right now Sean and Becky are outside playing with Sean's friend. Not sure where Josh is. Will is at Led Zeppelin practice and Hannah is at work.
  • Sean was feeling very appreciative about things yesterday. On the way to his piano lesson he announced that he was very happy God created music. Later on in his music theory class he said the same thing to another student, "Aren't you happy God created music?" The other kid looked at him like he had suddenly sprouted antennae or something and could not even recover enough to come back with any kind of remark. I'm still chuckling at the kid's look of absolute befuddlement. Sheesh, these public school kids!
  • My big plan tonight, on this feast of the Holy Rosary, is to actually say a rosary instead of our usual night prayers. I'm still struggling to say the Rosary in the a.m. It might have to shift to another time of the day. . . . . stay tuned.