February 23, 2009

Preparing for Lent

Lent begins in just a couple days! Are you prepared? Here is what we are doing.... First thing in the morning (well, after 6:30am Mass) I am going to read Lent and Easter, Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi by John V. Kruse. (sample pages on the link) There is a lesson a day from Ash Wednesday to the Second Sunday of Easter. Each day there is a quote from St. Francis or St. Claire, a short passage from Sacred Scripture, a prayer and something to do for the day. I had finished "The Perfect Joy of St. Francis" a bit ago and I miss it, so I hope this gives me my Francis/Claire fix :) I am currently reading "The Spear" by Wohl (I can't think of his first name) for my free reading.

Next, we are working on our daily duties where we have grown sloppy. I made a chart and I simply check everything off as it is completed... properly. We are talking things like, make your bed, put away your pj's, brush your teeth *with* toothpaste, put away clothing, pick up toy room and so on. Little things that are easy to just let go and get sloppy with.

Each child will have some small area to work on, some area that they struggle in. At meals we check the progress so far. 15 minutes a day we are working on some area of the house. Mind you 15 minutes times 7 work-able people is nearly 2 hours of actual manual labor-time . Gotta love a big family :) We may even get a couple minutes out of the little wee men but we won't count on that.

We give up sweets. The children choose saint stories for their free reading. We'll do the Dumb Ox Lenten Calendar for children.

I have my own personal *things* to work on but we won't go into all that!

Idealistically we'll get all these things in order and add on some more things but don't hold your breath waiting! My hopes include simplifying the children's wardrobes and getting rid of all the excess clothing, filling up 3 St. Vincent dumpsters, organizing my office, cleaning out all the kitchen cabinets, scrubbing all the cabinets, table and chair legs, getting my room weeded out, catching up on laundry and keeping that folded every day, planning the garden, trying not to press "send and receive" too often (haha) etc, etc, etc. I won't be bored this lent.

February 21, 2009

International Luncheon

We hosted the IHHers International Luncheon. This Flag was the one that was flown in our homeschooling group's honor in Iraq. (Blogged previously)
Food from Japan.... sushi with out the raw-ness. However I will admit it was the very first time I ever ate seaweed. I had a terrible seaweed phobia growing up so I feel in some small way I got my revenge on seaweed this day.

Guess who brought the German *Potato* Salad?

Some families brought projects they had completed. We have not completed ours. We are working on Spain. I did however get a chicken recipe from one of our good priests.... it was all in Spanish. Cute. Thankfully Barron's has a great Spanish/English dictionary that has gotten to be my very best friend.

Hmmm... I was having trouble with transferring pictures to my computer *someone* broke my cord. I see that not all the pictures transferred as I had some nice ones of the young lady who gave an oral presentation on a couple trips. I seem to have perpetual digi-camera problems.

Happy Birthday Eleanor

Happy 6th Birthday Eleanor!

Happy Belated Saint Valentine's Day

Happy Belated Feast of Saint Valentine!

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God,
That our dearly beloved friends,
Who celebrate the heavenly birthday
Of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr,
May by his intercession be delivered
From all the evils that threaten them.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who lives and reigns with Thee
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, world without end.
With Love from Your Valentines

Ok, so I thought the giant heart cupcakes were cute. And I only got them because they were cute as I do not like frosting and look at all that frosting! I know, I confess, I like my cake bald! :)

We made some Valentine's

Even Bilbo tried his hand at using stickers and shredding paper.... he is ONE afterall.

Merry rather pleased with his project.

Someone gave the little traditional heart candies to the children. My how the messages have changed. I remember "URAQT" and "Love Ya" and "Be Mine".... now we have "E-Mail Me" and "LOL"

February 8, 2009

Thank You Grandma and Grandpa M

Frodo was thrilled with his new Panther's Fleecey and St. George Book!

Bilbo and a Nuk

I have no idea where Bilbo found this Nuk as I have never had a Nuk baby, we are thumb suckers (and 2 that never had anything). Oh.... *we* are not all *still* thumb suckers. :)

Ruffians Bear the Heat Wave

"Can I take my jacket off? It's SOOO hot!" It had finally gotten up to 32 degrees and these cold blooded Wisconsinites were melting.

Bilbo's Cap

Bilbo has a new cap.
Eowynn crocheted it or knitted it or something. They aren't learning these wonderful skills from me. I'm that old dog they speak about that can't learn new tricks. Sigh... Anyway, I thought it was pretty cute!

The Little Prince

Bilbo reading The Little Prince, he's a very early reader :)
Actually, in reality Galadriel announced that she thought Bilbo looked like the Little Prince on the cover of one of our copies of the book

I might add *minus* the Princeling attire!

Gift of the Flag to the IHHers

Back in October or Novemeber our homeschooling group (Immaculate Heart Homeschoolers) sent care packages to soldiers in the Military. I included an envelope with our address in hopes we'd get a letter or two. We received a letter from Iraq and then recently we received a care package with a certificate and a US Flag from a soldier in Iraq.
The certificate says:
The Flag of the United States of America
Is Presented to
Immaculate Heart Homeschoolers
For your Support of Troops in Iraq
This Certifies that the accompanying flag was flown over
the Headquarters of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq in
your honor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
31 December 2008
Signed XXX
Also Signed XXX
Lieuenant General, USA
Here is the full sized flag.

HOW TO FOLD A FLAG! (the following explanation is taken from the link on How to Fold a Flag)
As an Army and Navy custom, the flag is lowered daily at the last note of retreat. Special care should be taken that no part of the flag touches the ground. The Flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, emblematic of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for Independence. In the folding, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, as the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night.
This custom of special folding is reserved for the United States Flag alone.
(I wonder how other countries fold their flags?)

To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.
Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.

Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.
Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.
The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.

When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.
I was very touched by this gift of the flag being flown "in our honor" and then being sent to us. Please spare a prayer particular for this kind soul.
God Bless America!

Bilbo's Gorilla

Frodo received this gorilla for his birthday. But Bilbo claimed it for his very own. Just what I'd have chosen to cuddle with, a nice rubbery gorilla. Is this a boy thing? (we know the lack of matching clothing is a boy thing)


Today begins the penitential season preceeding the Great Lenten Fast. It is a shame this was dropped on the new calendar as it is a great reminder that for the next 2-1/2 weeks we need to prepare our minds and hearts for Lent. Fish Eaters (of course!) has great information on this liturgical season HERE!

(photo taken from www.Amazon.com)
A good friend of mine recommended this book to me... The Perfect Joy of St. Francis by Felix Timmermans and wow what a recommendation! I am about 3/4 through it and I can say I don't think I've read anything so enjoyable, beautiful and rich in spirituality. I love a book that makes me laugh and cry! It gives a nice mix of both the joys and sorrows of St. Francis of Asissi . I highly recommend it!

February 6, 2009

Eternal Rest....

Please pray for the soul of Laurie J. who died very unexpectedly. Please also pray for her husband Brian and their 4 small children as well as her family and loved ones who are suffering deeply at this time.

Eternal Rest grant unto her O Lord,
And let Perpetual Light shine upon her.
May she rest in Peace.