Oiralinde

Oiralinde

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Life Update: Preschool and Dancing

Kaelyn had her dance pictures this weekend!

Kaelyn

Kaelyn finished up her preschool curricula this past week. We had fun making all sorts of Alphabet books this year together. Each time we learned a letter we added a page to a few different books: construction letter book, ABC art book, Q-tip letter book, and a "sounds like" book. We had a ton of fun doing crafts together and it was so great to see how much she learned this year. I had tested her at the start of her preschool in July and then again last week. It is amazing to see how much a child can change in nine months. She knows most of her letters (upper and lower case), can count to 13, can easily use scissors and glue, and has gained so much confidence in herself. She is very much looking forward to kindergarten and learning how to read next year.

For the remainder of this year I am going to be focusing on letter sounds, handwriting, reading lots of great books together, and doing art projects. I have already purchased both Kaelyn and Sebastian's curricula for next year, but I don't want to start kindergarten and third grade until July, at the earliest. We are having an easy "wrap-up the school year" for April and May. I hope we can spend a lot of time outside for some health and phys ed!

Sebastian

Sebastian danced at the mall for PRBallet!
I learned a lot this year with Sebastian. Just recently I had him take a test to see how he placed. He is doing incredibly well and I can just calm down! The school approach I took this past year was very parent intense and what was expected out of him was beyond his maturity level. He enjoyed part of it, but we are scraping it for next year. I found a more gentle approach for him that is completely planned out for me.

For the rest of this year I am focusing on getting Sebastian more confident in his spelling and writing. These are his least favorite subjects, so I am trying to make them more enjoyable for him. Right now we are working on a Snow Leopard book as a big research project. He is reading so much about snow leopards and has become quite the expert. His idea is that this book will be a manual that he can give to his baby brother when he is old enough. How cute is that?

Miles

My dear littlest baby is 13 months old!  I cannot get over how he has grown.  He is walking very well now, although he refuses to walk if I put shoes on him.  He will crawl instead.  He LOVES to eat, especially anything pasta. He only says "mama" but it can mean different things. My favorite thing he does is pointing at things. He can get so much across by pointing at things! He still refuses to nap (or sleep at all) so the parents are very tired, but there is no way I can stay mad at that sweet little face.

Me!

There really isn't much to tell about me. I am still plugging away with life. I have been trying to adjust my expectations while I am homeschooling, taking care of a baby, and maintaining a job outside the home. It is impossible to do it all, so I just do the best I can. I like to remember Proverbs 3:6. (NABRE)
"In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths."
At the end of the day, that is all I can do. If I place God first, and make Him a part of every action of the day, than I have done it all. It doesn't matter if the living room didn't get vacuumed or a load of laundry didn't make it into the dryer. This is one season in my life that is full of bodies in my house and I plan on enjoying it. In just a few years these little souls will be out on their own and I will have all the time in the world to keep my house perfectly clean and organized. For now I delight in the fact that we are LIVING and we are THRIVING as a family.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Create in Me A Clean Heart



Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent!  (How is it almost Easter?) Today's responsorial psalm hit me hard. I happened to go to confession right before mass last night, so I had time to read through the readings and reflect for a long time without interruptions. I was there in an almost empty church without children and I had nothing to do BUT to listen to Him, and he didn't hesitate. It amazes me how much God will talk to me when I let him.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

It is so wonderful to know that we have the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation available to us. Why don't I take advantage of it more often?  Every time I go I am reminded of the peace and I can feel the grace in my soul. That pull brings me back to Him. He completely wipes me clean and cleanses my soul! He creates a clean heart in me and in that place he renews my spirit! It is a miracle!  It is up to me to sustain this moment of peace and keep His grace in me alive. It is up to me to teach and bring sinners back to Him.

Yesterday I made a promise to Him, to myself, and to my family. We are all going to go to confession more often. We are going to put confession on the calendar and make it a commitment and a priority.  I am pushing myself to cut out the things that lead me to sin. With earnest determination I am going to focus on things that bring me and my family closer to Him.

Some examples of good habits:
  • Confession monthly.
  • Reading the Bible daily.
  • Praying every morning, every evening, and before every meal.
  • Praying a rosary daily.
  • Memorizing scripture.
  • Using my prayer box daily for focused prayer and intentions.
  • Having a thankful and helpful heart for each person in my life.
Some examples of habits that should be broken. (not necessarily what I am working on because that is between myself and God):
  • Being lazy. (the general concept or in specific things like lazy prayers, lazy Bible reading, etc.)
  • Jealousy/envy. (Do not focus on other people. Focus inward.)
  • Story Telling/ Lies. (Speaking truth only. Not talking when a lie may come out.)
I have decided to work on three good habits and one bad habit for the time being. Bad habits are harder to break than starting a good habit. For me I want to focus on getting the family to confession more often, purposeful prayer by using my prayer box every day, and reading the Bible with focus and purpose. These habits are hit or miss for me, so by putting them in my mind as priorities, I hope to develop more consistent habits for myself.
Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I need, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen. (Origin, 184-253 AD)
 - Bookmark used by Holy Name of Jesus Bible Study in Minnesota
 Indulgence that was granted by Pope Leo XIII in 1898 to all the faithful who “shall read for at least a quarter of an hour the books of the Sacred Scripture with the veneration due to the Divine Word and as spiritual reading, an indulgence of 300 days”.(Preces et Pia opera, 645.)
What about you?  What was your favorite reading from Mass today?  How do you feel after confession?  How is your Lenten promise coming along?  


Other Catholic Ramblings
Please join me on this lifelong journey of finding Heaven by exploring the faith and living out the love.

St. Sebastian, Pray for us. St. Bonaventure, Pray for us. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us. St. Gabriel, Pray for us. St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, Pray for us.  St. Joseph, Pray for us. St. Matthew, Pray for us. Mary, Queen of all Saints, Pray for us. All Holy Saints, Pray for us.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Homeschool Planet Review

How many planners have we all tried?  I think in the last four years I have tried at least six different planners.  Each one is perfect for someone, so I like to show you something different in case you are still trying to find the right one for you.

Today I want to talk to you about Homeschool Planet!  It is an online planner from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. It is fairly new, and I was able to watch some new features roll out recently which makes it a great option for those of you that like the convenience of paper planners, with the flexibility of digital planners.

Creating classes and assignments is a breeze.

What I Like:

  • Easy to input assignments
  • Easy to get started (not a huge learning curve)
  • Can print out color or B&W pages to follow for the day or week (for whole family or individuals)
  • Can get the information from any computer

What I Didn't Like:

  • I couldn't get it to work on my iPad

Who this would work for:

  • Any homeschooler
  • Anyone who like to uber-plan their homeschool (I love that you can put in times to do certain classes, certain days of the week for other classes)
  • Anyone who changes their schedule (It is easy to move the classes around, change what day you do them, or schedule them to happen sooner/later than originally planned)
  • Someone who like a printed paper copy of the day (Printing out the schedule is super easy!)

The online interface is easy to follow. It is nice to use on the computer.

You can also print out a copy. This is a color version for the whole family, but you can do it in black and white or for individuals as well.

You can try it for FREE for 30 days: http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/homeschool-planet-free-trial/

http://homeschoolmosaics.com/homeschool-planet/
Read more reviews of this product at: http://homeschoolmosaics.com/homeschool-planet/

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Resolving to Read

I hate resolutions. Let's be honest. Making a New Year resolution is just asking to let yourself down because inevitable you will break your resolution. Also, who says you have to start on the first of the year?  What if you want to start on a different day?  I don't like the confinement that a New Years resolution gives me.

However, with all that being said, I am lacking in the book-reading department of my life. Last year I only read through one book and partially through a second book. It is pathetic. I used to scarf through books in my pre-baby age.  So... I made a resolution to myself.  I want to read books this year, so I am starting a Book Club on my blog to talk about the books I am currently reading.

I will admit that the thought of reading a book a month seems like a feat I will never accomplish. However, if I think about it, I could get off the computer, turn off the TV, and open a book. I think there are times I can find, if I really put my mind to it, that I have available to read. It is all ablout prioritizing and I want reading to be higher on the list than I have let it become lately.

The books currently on my  day reading list are (in no particular order):
  • 33 Days to Morning Glory
  • Consoling the Heart of Jesus
  • The Lamb's Supper
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
  • Catholicism
  • Out of the Silent Planet
  • Perelandia
  • That Hideous Strength
  • Walking with God
  • The Last Unicorn
  • The Neverending Story
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Last Battle
I look forward to all these books because I have had some of them on my bookshelves for years and have only longingly stared at them. It is time to crack them open and get my brain working again! 

Do you have any book suggestions for me? Do you have a reading list planned for yourself?

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Business

I am very excited to announce that I have started a new business selling the wonderful products at Usborne Books & More.  I made this decision for a number of reasons.

  1. My kids LOVE these books. They are some of their favorites.
  2. We use these books during homeschooling and I am constantly buying more.
  3. I want to share these great books with other people, because I found so much use for them. 
  4. They are not twaddle. They are quality books that are enriching my children's lives. Back to point #3- I want to share this with other people.
  5. I am developing literacy in my own children and in the people I meet. Smart books = smart kids!
 I am very excited to share these products with everyone.  I am doing home shows, Facebook and online shows, and I am going to fund raising events and craft shows too! I am trying to get the word out there that parents can buy quality books at reasonable prices that encourage kids to read, be creative, and develop critical thinking skills while having fun at the same time.

Please check out my website and if you want to book a party or buy something, please contact me! Thank you for all your support as I start this new venture. Your well wishes and encouragement means so much to me.