Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Advent

Busy busy busy as always here... awaiting the birth of baby number 7 in april and trying to homeschool three kids, while managing three preschoolers, and cooking for everyone (following the gluten free diet) is no small feat!!

Oh, but I love it.  I'm happier than I have ever been.

We are now in the first week of advent and have been enjoying this change in the liturgical year.


This year, we are doing the advent chain again, but I don't have time to type it up here. There are wonderful all over the catholic blogsphere.  Here are a few links that are worthy of taking note:

O Night Divine (a blog dedicated to advent and christmas activities)

Catholic Cuisine (food blog for catholic feast days... every feast day deserves something yummy at supper!)

paperdali.com (lots of free paper dolls.. both historical figures like ancient egypt and catholic ones)

Catholic Icing  (so many wonderful craft ideas)

Family in Feast and Feria  (she is the liturgical year queen.  Wonderful ideas can be found in her archives)

... and there are so much more! I don't have time to list them all.  It's worth your time to take a look at some of these wonderful resources.

And for today... we are making Nativity crafts so the kids can have their own nativities in their rooms during advent.

Some places we have gone for inspiration:

crechemania.com  (free printable vintage paper nativities and dioramas. These are so much fun to look at. They would be hard for a preschooler, but an older child would enjoy cutting the various layers out).

free printable nativity scene (this is a lovely one which is fun to color and mom can help with the assembly).

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snow Day!

I'm a lazy blogger... I know, I know.  My future self will look back at this blog one day and wish that I had kept writing and telling stories about our little family.  It's just that some days, (or months), I just don't feel like talking to ANYONE... never mind a blog (it's a pregnancy thing.. I get extremely anti social LOL).

Today, there is fresh white snow everywhere.. the first big snow of the year.  Today feels like a good day to blog.

Of course, we had to call off school in favor of a SNOW DAY!

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 Isn't that one of the privileges of homeschooling?  Actually, we'll get a bunch done this afternoon, but it's nice to see the kids running around in the fresh clean snow just... being kids.

Even not-so-baby-anymore Sammy got to join in on the fun for awhile.

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And then... the obligatory hot chocolate.

 (imagine beautiful picture of six little kids clustered around the kitchen table with rosy cheeks and a warm mug in their hands... ignore the spills on their shirts and all over the table)

(and of course I forgot about the milk heating on the stove... and of course it boiled over and made a huge mess...  but that's a whole other story).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Four!

IMG_7679
2 weeks old
The twins turned FOUR yesterday.
It is hard to believe we were ever a family without them.  They are so much a part of who we are and who we will always be.
Four is very big.  Four is little boy. Four is preschool, and ABCs and learning to do up buttons and jackets.  
I love four. It's running to mommy to get a kiss and a bandaid... sitting on her lap with a story (or five)...  laughing at jokes on Veggie Tales... racing to see who is the fastest... 
Four is still falling asleep in the car, but staying awake for family movie night.  
Four is old enough to ride bikes!!
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The boys were very excited to get their own big boy bikes.... we all pooled our money to buy them some new run-bikes.  (basically little bikes without pedals, so they run with their feet and then glide on two wheels if they can go fast enough).  
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They spent all day riding on them. In fact, they were outside with their helmets and shoes on before I even got out of bed. (the big kids were helping them).  They are so proud and having such a fun time being big boys.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Week ONE!!

Wow, we officially started school this past monday and have already made it to the end of our first week of school.

It's hard to believe I will have three to teach this year: Grade 5, Grade 2 (and preparing for his First Holy Communion) and Kindergarten.  I also have two very interesting preschoolers and a little monkey crawling around to keep it all in perspective.

The week went surprisingly well, considering I started it with a cold and my homeschooling room in complete disorder (we are painting).  Here is a bit of what we accomplished:

math: easy peasy.... there is always lots of review the first few weeks in math

grammar: nouns (review... so it was super easy)

phonics:  Even though Z didn't do much reading over the summer, he has really grown in his reading skills!! I'm so happy to see him reading much more quickly, with confidence.  There is hope yet!! ... and little H is progressing very fast in reading!! I think she just wants to keep up with the big kids.  She is a delightful student so far.

handwriting: The twins LOVE doing school stuff. They ask to do their 'letters' all day long and get so excited when I bring out their 'official' papers each day.  THey learned the letter E and F with H this week.  It's fun to watch all three of them working together.  I can't believe they are all getting so big!

Z is learning cursive this year, and we started with one of the easiest letters: c.  He did great! I told him, since his dad never learned cursive, that he is already smarter than him, now that he knows 'c'. LOL. (sorry sean!)

Z also did some dictation (where I read him a sentence and he has to memorize it and then write it down... this helps with expanding their temporary memory, and helps them to hold their own thoughts in their head long enough to write them down as they get older).  He did surprisingly well.  We are using Writing With Ease level 2... a great slow, incremental program.  Thanks to my filing system, we hope to get through most of the book in a reasonable pace.

Latin:  we reviewed the present tense conjugation of the verb to love, and learned a handful of vocab words.  Z is having a much harder time memorizing things than E.  She seems to magically just soak it in and retain it.  He needs a lot more repetition.  I have started using an online flash card program called Anki which I really love, so I'm hoping the kids will see some improvement in their memory work this year.

History:  History  Odyssey is going to be a real success this year. I love that the sheets are written straight to E and she has little check boxes to tick off when she completes each task. This frees me up to help with the littles and with Zs history.  We learned about the fertile crescent, entered dates in a timeline book and organized the kids binders for the year.

Science:  We started reading the apologia Zoo 2 book on Swimming Creatures.  The kids love the chatty visually rich style that the author has.  I hope we are more consistent in getting to science this year.  I have all of it filed in our weekly files, so it should go much more smoothly than last year.

Read Aloud:  Madeline Takes Command.  The kids loved this book and insisted I read it every day. They were enthralled by the story of the young siblings (14, 12 and 10) who defended their little fort in New France against the Mohawks.

Now to plan out next week...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

What are we up to?

Well, we've been having a lovely lovely summer here.

Ever since I did my 40 days internet fast during Lent last year, I have found it hard to return to regular blogging.  I don't spend nearly as much time on the computer as I used to and I rather enjoy being free to do other things with the kids like build train tracks and make princess crowns.

Here's a little bit about what we've been up to over the summer:

We almost went camping on the May long weekend... but chickened out at 10:30 the night before when we were packing and it was cold.  The only problem: the kids had already gone to sleep and were dreaming of how much fun we were going to have in the morning... so we quickly phoned around and booked ourselves into a lovely condo in Canmore for the weekend. :-)  It was so much fun! We had 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, eating area, DVD player, washer/dryer, balcony with BBQ and even a swimming pool.    We enjoyed our trip so much we want to make it a yearly thing.  Going up to the Nordic centre and challenging their orienteering course they had set up was a definite highlight. We rented a compass and a map and had to bushwhack through the trees to find the hidden checkpoints.

We went real camping for a few days at a catholic family conference in July where the kids stayed up until the sun set (around 111:30pm!) and we had marshmallows every night... SO much fun.  We've been to Drumheller to visit the dinosaurs with the kids and enjoyed another visit to Boston Pizza (they now serve gluten free pizza, thanks be to God).

VBS has come and gone, we went to a horse race Palio event that our local diocese put on where the kids enjoyed the bouncy castles for hours on end, and  we even got in a few afternoons of tossing around a ball in the park.  I even learned how to catch a football (and THAT is a big deal).

The baby is the -sweetest- baby I have EVER had. He sleeps through the night (for months now), hardly ever cries, laughs at my jokes, plays with his siblings, and eats whatever I give him.

We always joke that we got the 'Buy 5 get one free' special with Sammy.

On that note, we thought maybe God would throw in another perfect, happy baby if we were crazy enough to try... so we are happily awaiting his little brother or sister sometime next april :-)

In schooling news:  I'm up to my eyeballs in planning for next year.  Now there is a real sense of importance in getting my files done so I can school without having to use my brain too  much LOL. (pregnant brain PLUS nursing brain is really dopey).

Next year, we are looking forward to learning about:

math (if we have to) (Horizons)

spelling (AAS)

writing (Writing with Ease, Classical Writing Homer)

handwriting (HWT)

history (ancient history ala History Odyssey, Connecting With History and Story of the World)

science (Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: swimming creatures)

Latin (first form latin).

Crazily enough (is that a word?) my favorite subject is Latin and I am enjoying working ahead of the kids trying to grasp the grammar of that very strange language.  There is a fabulous book for teaching language using an inductive approach that I have come across. It's called Lingua Latina, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Wow that was a mishmash of a post if I ever read one.

Now back to filing LOL

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More on the homeschool Filing System

Isn't it fun to get organized?  For me, it's actually MORE fun than doing the work you I carefully organized over the summer ;-)   It's one of the biggest reasons I started filing our school year, because I would have so much fun making these wonderful plans over the summer and then never use them past the first month or so of school.  I needed everything concretely laid out for me.

Here are a few more tips about filing, and some answers to some questions I have received:

1) Add a file for yourself for each week or each month:

-This is a perfect place to store library lists, craft lists, feast day craft ideas, recipe ideas, supply lists for the next week.  Some people have even suggested taking apart the Teacher Manuals for various courses and filing them in your own weekly folder.  To make them last longer, some have put them in page protectors.

-Maybe this is the year you are finally going to get to doing all those wonderful Ambleside Online study ideas:


-You could even include a weekly menu plan if you were super duper organized :-)  (but then, super duper organized people aren't even reading this blog, because they are smart enough to know that reading online is really just a form of procrastination from doing all those things that we like to -talk- about instead of -do-.)

2) What about the preschoolers and toddlers?

One of the things that I did last year with my filing system was to think about the littles as well. I had a 4yr old, and two 3 year olds, as well as my school age monkeys . Often when the big kids had a fun worksheet or coloring page to do, the littles started to demand to do school too.... So I decided to add a folder for them as well.

In the preschool folders I had:

-copies of certain sheets the big kids were doing that week
-watercolor paper for the weeks that the bigs were doing painting in artistic pursuits
-worksheets printed from starfall
-kumon books ripped apart
-rod and staff preschool series ripped apart
-a few file folder games I actually had the time to make once upon a time

Other ideas you could try:

- coloring pages themed to the history or science your big kids are studying
- printables from the toymaker.com
- plans for doing FIAR or BFIAR. (wow, now this is something I would like to try as I always felt like I just didn't have time)
- recipes for play dough or cookies etc... To remind you to have fun with the littles


3)  What happens when you get behind in one subject? Does it mess up your whole system?  Aren't you losing the flexibility of homeschooling by filing everything ahead of time?

. The very fact that you can be flexible with your speed at which you accomplish subjects caused me to fall behind every single year. Not necessarily because the kids needed time on certain tasks before it clicked for them (so we worked at their own pace), but because after things 'clicked' we didn't take the time to catch up so we would reach the finish line at a reasonable time.

Basically what I discovered about myself, is that I was great at being flexible enough to SLOW DOWN our work, but I wasn't so good at being flexible enough to SPEED UP our work when I needed to.  I seemed to be more concerned about doing every. single. page. in the book, rather than getting to the end of the books in a reasonable time.

If you don't have the end in mind when you start, then you will have a harder time getting there.

I still believe a little bit every day is far more beneficial than the spurts and stops that I was doing before. That being said, if the kids do need a bit of time for the material to 'click', or want to work faster, than there is nothing stopping you from pulling out the math from the next week's folder. It's not as though the pages are glued on there right? For me, the inconvenience of having to do that helped me decide if it was really worth it to go off my planned schedule. It was almost like a check and balance.

As well, having all 36 weeks filed helps you see the big picture, so you clearly see that delaying math for a week will delay your end of school date. At which point you can either decide that you are ok with that or try to find some way to skip some easier math down the road so you do end up finishing on time.

In my mind, there is a big sense of discouragement for both teacher and student when you get to the end of the year and see that all other subjects are done except the last 78 pages of math. In our experience, it has led to a viscous cycle, because we get burned out on math and then end up starting the next year already behind.


Remember the Flylady craze? One of the things that really stuck with me, even though I don't follow her system anymore, is that 'housework done poorly still blesses your family'..... I take this to mean that doing a little bit regularly is so much better than not doing ANY because you don't have time to do it perfectly. 

I apply this to our school work: if all we have time for in a week is to do the history readings and have a very good discussion about them, then we just leave it at that and move on. Just like math, it's better to skip a few projects/mapwork or writing here and there than to come to the end of June and still have 1/4 of the year left.

It took me three years to get through ancients before I figured out that I could let go of the idea that it all had to be perfectly done. You don't have to be perfect and you don't have to do it all! Why not give yourself a break and give yourself permission to let stuff go here and there throughout the year, instead of feeling like quitting at the end when you aren't even close to being done.


4) On that note: Don't be a perfectionist!

The All-or Nothing attitude is what caused me to always fall behind in the past.  It had to be PERFECT or we wouldn't do it at all.  Don't let that attidtude creep into filing your homeschooling. Get what you can get done now and know that whatever you do, even if it's just one subject, you will be further ahead than you were last fall.

You don't have to have the PERFECT folders (oh, and there are so many beautiful ones out there), or the PERFECT case to hold them in.  You don't even have to have history or science filed if you are running out of time, or it is causing you stress.

In the end, any system you use should be tweaked to work for you. Don't feel like you are doing it 'wrong' or anything. There IS no wrong. It's simply a tool for you as a teacher to help you get to the end of your school year and feel like you accomplished what you set out to do!

When trying out any new system, always ask yourself if it is something that is going to make your life EASIER or MORE DIFFICULT, because if it's the latter, you will likely not be following ANY system by the time Feb rolls around and it's a struggle to keep going even with the BEST system.

5) What about courses that you don't have concrete things to put in the files like All about Spelling or SL read-alouds?

For our non consumable subjects like All About Spelling, I am still trying to plan how to work that in. We didn't include it in the system last year because we ditched spelling workout halfway through the fall in favor of AAS, so it was too late in my one track mind to work it in. As a result, we got really behind in it. I think what we will do this year, is include blank templates for his written seeking practice each week so I have something tangible that reminds me to pull out the tiles and white board.   Here's a link to a very rough sheet I made for that purpose next year.  I will also be moving the AAS progress sheet from file to file each week.(level 2 and 3 ... see thechatterbee for more)

6) What do you do about long weekends and other short weeks (i.e. dr appts, sick days, 'I just don't want to do any schoolwork today' days)?

Yes, this can be a problem, but it is easy to solve.   For us, we decided it was worth keeping the simplicity of the system to squeeze 4 days of work into 5, which usually meant that we picked the work that was the most important and tossed the rest LOL. It sounds awful, but it was so freeing to be able to keep moving forward each week.... (And this was our best school year yet).  The other way to do it, is to fit one week of school work across two weeks of real life.  We did this a few times too.  Just keep in mind that every time you do it, you are pushing back your finish date.  In my yearly schedule, I left a bit of wiggle room for that (meaning we started a few weeks before the school kids so we could have that flexibility.

Any more questions? Give me a shout and I'll do my best to help you out!

Feast of saint george

I took quite a break from blogging as I seem to do every year, (especially since i was fasting from the computer for all of lent)but since my husband bought me my new iPad, it's easy to quickly type out a post here and there, and I miss having this online record of family life.

Of course I've shill been enjoying many of the wonderful mom blogs out here that tempt me daily with ideas for meals, crafts and whatnot, and this is why at 3pm on the feast of st. George, I was phoning my husband at work to ask him to bring home a few things for supper.


"honey, could you please stop at the store on your way home from work to pick up a few things for me?"

"Sure, what do you need?". (I often request things like salmon or eggs or milk)

"oh, just a few things... Fruit rollups, a toblereone bar and some Hershey kisses"

"uh.. What are you up to???"

" oh nothing.... Just reading those inspiring catholic mommy blogs again. How could I let the feast of st. George go by without making a fantasticDragon cake for the kids?"

And we ate at close to 8pm that night... But boy did we ever have fun stabbing the dragon with our knives and eating the sweet cake.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Homeschool Filing System

Wouldn't it be nice to have a personal assistant in your homeschool?  How about an administrative assistant who would hand you everything you needed for the week pre-photocopied and organized by child... including lists for shopping and the library.  Maybe she would even hand you a pile of fun coloring pages and games for your littles to do.

Perhaps she could help you get all the things you wanted to do in your homeschooling but never get to because you didn't have time to get it ready.  Like what about that FIAR study that you always meant to do with your littles, or the fun lapbook units that pass by your email box.

This past year I was determined to be organized in our homeschool.  I had 2 toddlers, a preschooler, a baby due in October, and two school age kids to teach.  If there was any hope of us finishing the year at all, I knew I HAD to do something to keep me sane... so when I cam across a few ideas for organizing  (thank you By Sun and Candlelight,  Sunflower Faith, and Trivium Academy), I started tweaking it to fit my own life, and got busy filing.

It was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.
I was tired of always finishing math in august instead of may, and it dawned on me one day that we always fAll behind because of all of the extra unexpected things in life that take over like sick days, etc...

In the school system, if one person gets sick, the teacher doesn't stop teaching while that child is missing. They keep on going and the child either skips the work, or does only the important parts (even if just orally).

So, I decided to split up all of our work into 36 weeks, and told myself that if the week got away from me, we would just keep on going the next week, by either throwing out the work we missed or doing it quickly out loud. It's ok to miss a math sheet here and there throughout the year. There's enough review etc, that it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal if you miss the last big chunk of your book. This way of doing things helped me to finish the whole year by may with lots of breaks throughout. 


Here's is what I did
I've been meaning to write the post for a whole year, because I LOVE homeschooling this way, and want to share the benefits with everyone, but I haven't had the time to blog.  Finally, due to the crazy long thread on the Welll Trained Mind Forums, I have decided to have a go at trying to explain our system.  If you want other people's ideas read through these threads:



I hope this can help someone else out there who is tired of feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling.


#1


Deicde how many weeks you will do school.  The average is between 30-36.  We chose 36 weeks because some of our books had 36 lessons and it was the easiest way to schedule those ones in.


#2


Now get yourself a yearly calendar and mark off approx which weeks you will be doing school and which weeks you will be taking breaks.  Decide on when you want your last day to be. YAHOO!!  HAving it scheduled out on one page like this really helps with your sanity.  When xmas comes along, you can look at this calendar and evaluate where you are at and peacefully take a week or two off, without guilt, knowing you have the rest of the year under control.  Same goes for easter, thanksgiving, and whatever other breaks you want to take.


I used this calendar from Donna Young.  On the lines beside each week, I would write 'week 1', 'week 2', 'spring break', 'xmas break', etc...  




#3


Plan out how often you are going to do each subject, and exactly what you need to accomplish each week in order to be done by the end of the year.  I found Simply Charlotte Masons planning guide to be super helpful the first time I did this.  Donna Young has some free forms that work well for this too. Let me know if you  need more help with this step.  I made some master sheets for each subject that roughly laid out what needed to be done each week. This is the working list you will use when you start filing the work into each folder.


The sheet on the Left here is donna young's Quarter Planner. It has five columns across the top (one for each day of the week), and 36 rows to fill in for each day.  You use one of these forms per subject.  If you only do that subject 3x /week or once a week, just fill in the appropriate columns and cross the other ones off or leave them blank.


#4  


Shopping Time:


You need to get

  • File crate/ filing cabinet etc.. (anything to store your 36 hanging folders in).
  • box of at least 36 hanging folders (i used letter size)
  • big box of file folders. (pretty ones, boring ones, whatever you want)
  • bin or basket for each child to store their un-fileable stuff like Teacher Manuals, pencil cases, sketch books etc...
  • binder, or pocket folder, or whatever you want for storing their current week's work. One for each child.
I used one crate for all 36 weeks last year.  This year, I think I will use two crates. One for the first semester, one for the second semester.


#5 


Putting it all together:


  • Hang your 36 hanging folders. (you can label them if you want but it's not necessary because I labelled my files that go in them).
  • Place one file per child in each hanging folder.  Label them 1-36 (or whatever number you are going up to).  I color coded the numbers. Green for grade 2 boy, Red for grade 3 girl, purple for PreK girl.
























  • Working from your weekly plans you laid out in step #3, start filing anything you will need to accomplish each week. I did one child at a time to make it easy on myself (except when they were doing something together like geography).  See below: In each hanging folder, I had 3 file folders. One for my PreK, one for my grade 2 and one for my grade 4.  

  • Anything that would make our school pick-up-and-go I included in the folders. This means I ripped out the pages in all workbooks, photocopied anything that needed photocopying, including paintings off the internet, templates for notebooking, tests, nature study sheets, math fact quizzes, etc..

Here is some examples of what I included:
-5 math worksheets
-math fact quizes from teacher's guide
-spelling unit
-5 Writing With Ease pages
-watercolor paper for an art lesson
-scrap paper for doing math work
-All About Spelling checklist and forms to fill out each day
-First Language Lessons Checklist
-vanGogh artwork for picture study
-latin game
-bird seed and instructions on how to make pinecone birdfeeder
-copywork
-writing tales worksheets, story and editing checklists


Basically, think of anything you would need to get ready for each subject that week and put it in the file if you can.  SOTW activity guide sheets, maps, timeline figures, stories printed off Project Gutenberg or the Baldwin Project.
  • Now in YOUR file (if you want to keep one), you can store library lists for the upcoming month/weeks, supply lists for art projects and science experiments, webpage addresses, ideas for celebrating the various feast days and holidays that are coming up, chore lists etc...  I didn't do this last year, but I'm adding it to my system this year.Some moms on the Well trained Mind Message boards have talked about affixing a library pocket card thingy to the front of the folder and writing your lists on index cards to keep in the library card folder.  
  • Anything that couldn't be filed easily, was put in their very own student basket.  Each child has their own basket/bin.  I bought pretty ones, but you could make do with a cardboard box, or those white rubbermaid dishbins as well. 


































I wanted to make school as EASY as possible.  Every time I have to get up and run to find something, the kids get distracted and lost in our house LOL, and we have to start all over again. 


So each child has:

  • pencil case with
    • pencils
    • sharpeners
    • glue
    • scissors
    • erasor
    • pencil crayons
    • ruler
  • Teacher Manuals that I use weekly that go with their subjects. 
  • sketch book, nature journal (if you use one)
  • Notebooks for poetry and anything else i wanted to keep together
  • binder or pocket folder for keeping their current week's work in.

This is what the child works from every week. The big filing crate is in my office and they never see it or touch it.  I don't want all my hard work to become a playground for curious fingers and exploring toddlers LOL.


#6


When you start your school year:


There are many options as to how to pull out the work each week.


1) give the folder to the child. All work must be completed by friday. (this is what we often did because i was lazy LOL).


2) sort the contents of the current folder into a binder with tabs divided by day of week or maybe by subject


3) sort the contents of the current weekly folder into a pocket folder by day of week. (I labeled each folder with the day.   You can get those file folder ones (black one below), or the spiral ones (colored one).  It was fun to include a book list sheet to keep track of what they had read. This just stayed in the folder each week.  I also stuck our daily and yearly schedule into the front pocket so it was easily viewed.








Each week the children knew that they had to complete all the work in their folders by Friday. This helped them to have more responsibility with their work, as well as giving them the opportunity to work ahead if they wanted to.

I was very happy with this approach. It held me accountable to getting enough work done each week, while still being able to be flexible and extend one week over two if I really needed to. Mostly though, if we missed a day or two, we would quickly review what we missed orally and then keep going. 


Before, if we missed a day, we would wait and start where we left off, but this had led to the school year dragging on and on, and me always feeling guilty about not doing enough. Now I fee, though I am the one managing things, not the curriculum. It is there to serve me, not the other way around.

I was also able to get a lot more of the fun subjects done because it was already photocopied and easy for me to pull out each week, and i was finally able to finish a year of Latin and stay on top of the daily review that is so important on learning a second language. 

I am definitely doing it again next year.


#7
At the end of each week, I filed the empty folder back into the numbered folders, and took a small sampLe from each subject every few weeks and kept those in a binder for each child as a portfolio to show our school board. 


For things that I want to keep for the kids to review and look back on like science and history, I will file in a separate binder and keep it in their school bins each week. 


I'm just starting to clean out last year's work and it's mostly just going in the recycling bin. I'll reuse most of the file folders.  


The amount of effort required to set up the system isn't really that much if you have a few days to sit on the floor in a pile of papers. It's fun to organize everything, and very helpful to get your hands on the materials and get a quick preview of what is coming up through the year.

For example, instead of just knowing we will do SOTW and read it with the kids one day at a time, I actually had a sense of what topics were coming up because I had already done the photocopying.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

After an early start to the day with my little sunrise baby,  I have had the loveliest of mornings.

My husband made the most scrumptious brunch yet. He really is a wonderful husband, let me tell you! Crepes with all kinds of yummy fillings, bacon, hash browns, sausages, whipping cream, lemon curd.. yummy!! (and with the various allergies in the family everything was also Gluten, Dairy and Nut free!...and he's presently at the park with all 5 of the big kids while I'm relaxing in my quiet house.  I'm so glad I married this man).

Elizabeth helped him out, and also made us a beautiful chocolate cake.  My mom and dad, my sister and her family and my mother in law all celebrated with us.  

I helped out by looking pretty, making a some cards, and organizing his menu on my new iPad with my new favorite app Corkulous.  



At least he offered me some too...

Sweet little sam (now an unbelievable 6 months old) couldn't wait to wish me a happy mother's day. So when his personal alarm clock went off at 5am (the birds outside his window), he called for me to come and get him.

I brought him back to my room to see if my warm cozy bed could entice him back to sleep, but he just wanted to lay there and make cute baby noises... Which subsequently woke up his daddy, who promptly got up and started rummaging around in his drawer for something.

At this point, I got excited, because I thought he might be getting me some treat he had saved just for mother's day! But no such luck... He quickly pulled out some earplugs, sleepily offered me some, put them in his ears and went back to sleep with a pillow over his head.

Luckily I was born with a great ability to be easily amused instead of easily offended, and decided to let the poor man sleep. Too bad Samuel doesn't know how to cook yet. I was hoping for someone to make me something yummy! (I guess there's always the chocolate chip stash I keep in the cupboard for moments like these)



Happy mother's day everyone!


P.s. Small addendum: he redeemed himself and came downstairs to find us 15 minutes later. I can't go back to sleep now though... I'm having too much fun playing with new iPad that he bought me last week for my birthday. (thanks honey! That's got to redeem him for more than a few earplug mornings).

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!!



Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

May the morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. R. Amen.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

My valentines

E made us a pretty one that didn't scan well at all due to it's 3-D nature. (and i'm just too tired to take a picture, so this is all you get LOL).  She spent a long time on it, and I just love it.

H is starting to draw quite a bit now, and her valentine is a picture of me and her in the rain with our umbrellas.


Z made my favorite one of the year.  Definitely a card from a boy (although not much can beat his 'man with a his head that fell off' card when he was 3 years old).  This is a pirate valentine, with me and him in our respective pirate ships.  So cute!

The twins also made some valentines for our two priests and the choir director at church who hands out suckers after mass every sunday.  

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I'm off to sleep for an early bed, trying to not get strep throat again. I just finished my 3rd round of antibiotics yesterday and am praying it doesn't come back this time.

Golden Valentine's day!!

While not the most romantic valentines day I have ever spent, this certainly ranked as one of my favorites. We spent the day as a family, enjoying chocolates and flowers from daddy, valentine making, mass, a scrumptious brunch at home and Olympic watching all afternoon.

The kids are such a delight to me.  It has been fun to watch them get excited over the Olympics and cheer for our Canadian athletes. They were THRILLED to see a Canadian get a GOLD medal tonight in men's moguls.  It is our first Gold in our home country.  I could see how proud the kids were when he won.  While the canadians were racing, I even saw Z cross himself and say a prayer that we would win.

We are also having fun keeping track of who is winning the most medals on a big wall-chart beside our tv.

GO Canada!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

opening ceremonies

While watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics last night, our eldest son (age 6) got really excited when Mongolia was coming into the stadium:


"MOM! They are going to have Pope as a figure skater!!"


My husband and I get this very amusing image of our dignified little, 82 year old Pope on ice skates twirling to his favorite Mozart....


"Uh, I think the announcer said they have a 'HOPE" in their figure skater for a medal, honey".


Later on, while trying to guess who was going to light the cauldron at the end, we couldn't help joking that it would be very cool if His Holiness Pope Benedict skated in with the torch in his hand and did a triple jump in the air to light the cauldron before he landed. .... the conversation quickly became very silly with talk of flying fire-breathing hippos and other silly elementary school humor.


Needless to say, if you saw the opening ceremonies too, they were pretty disappointed in the actual lighting of the cauldron.  (although the lady singing the olympic hymn almost made up for it).


Dear world: Canada isn't really as crazy and unorganized as we appear on international television!