Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Daddio

In the wee hours of the night all flights were in deed canceled (well delayed till the am), and when Daddio arrived back in this state he had a stack of work and meetings at the office. :-(.

Other than that all is back to normal around here. Things are drying off, the boys are back in normal form, and life continues.


Well, we weathered a pretty rough patch here... I actually got the boys out of bed at 9:00 and had them huddled under one of their mattresses in my closet. They thought it was a fun game, thankfully with help from Mother Mary and my guardian angel, I was able to maintain a fun exterior as we waited... listening to the TV weather when it was on (satellite during bad weather not always the best source of information). I was able to talk with Daddio via cell phone once with the boys, and maintained contact with email (he is still in the airport in Arkansas, where all of our storms ended up going), which helped.

Now the boys are back in bed, I'm relaxing, and Daddio will hopefully be home sometime in the middle of the night.

Did I mention that at the height of it the radar/meterologist showed 4 different rotations... eek gads...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Catholic Mothers Online

I just found an online community that many of you guys will also like. It's Catholic Mothers Online, a great blogroll of women devoted the the Catholic faith and their families.

Please take a moment and check them out!

Stupid Rain *updated*

Because of the crummy weather, Daddio's flight home today has been CANCELED... I'm so mad I could just spit nails.

I do believe I will be throwing myself a little pitty party this evening. :-(

Enough whining for me... must figure something out for dinner.... without Daddio... I was totally counting on having a late and tasty meal with him...

Seriously no more whining, must attend to children.

*Update: The ticket/airport people... or whom ever, found a flight for Daddio for tonight! YIPPEEEEE!!!!If you could see me... you would see an all out happy dance!

Snookie's morning

Today has not been so great.

He has done nothing but cry all day long. You might be asking yourself 'why is this sweet little child crying?' Well, I will give you a run down of events that led to him crying:

1. Time for breakfast
2. Homeschool
3. Mommy reading a book as part of homeschooling
4. The book was finished
5. Gun holster wouldn't stay on
6. Gun problems
7. Gun problems
8. Gun problems
9. Mommy tired of fussing so at 11:45 put him at table to wait for lunch
10. Bun broke
11. Bun still broken
12. Bun is evil and broken and won't repair itself
13. Realized the boys had pretzels and he didn't
14. Impending nap time
15. Impending nap time
16. Mommy telling him that Daddy was going to be notified of previous events of morning
17. Daddy will know
18. Walking to nap time
19. Cause it is nap time
20. On floor crying because of nap time

That just covers the hours leading up to nap time... argggggghhhh

Rain... rain... more rain

That is our day... lots and lots of rain.

Our yard is flooded, so are the streets, so we've stayed inside only venturing out on to the front covered patio to watch the storms.

Thankfully Daddio has done a great job with the boys helping them get over their fear of storms (too bad it hasn't worked that well on me), so we are able to go out and watch it without crying.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

San Jacinto

We made a whirlwind trip to San Jacinto and then home again, to celebrate the battle that led to our independence.

The boys had a great time, and so did we!

Friday, April 20, 2007


I never knew, living in apartments, that I would enjoy gardening so much... here are two lovely reasons that I love to garden.

These are a sampling of the Irises in the front yard. Yellow, dark purple and a lighter shade of purple. These bulbs came from Daddio's grandmother's property, and multiplied in our garden like crazy.

These are from our rose bush in the back. I cut a few new ones every week or so to replace the ones that have lost their luster.
Fresh flowers in your home really do make a difference, and if you have the great pleasure of cutting them from your own stock... well, it warms the heart a little more every time you look at them.

Free Style

For part of homeschool today, I had the kids each work on a drawing page...

'When Mommy says TEXAS, what do you think of?'

Snookie drew a field of blue bonnets.

Bobcat drew a Texas Flag and several Native Americans.

Bubba drew a Texas flag and our family.

All great choices!

Pro-Life Victory

Wonderful news for the pro-life movement! The federal law banning Partial Birth Abortion has been upheld by the Supreme Court.,2933,266789,00.html

Read the entire opinions here:

Here's a quote that I really love:
"...the Court's abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade ... has no basis in the Constitution." (emphasis added)

This is why we voted for President Bush, twice. I don't agree with everything that he's done, or not done. But saving innocent lives is the most important thing in the world right now, and he has confirmed two very good, relatively young Supreme Court Justices in recent years, who will not distort the Constitution to support infanticide.

The next president may be a Democrat, or worse, a RINO (Guliani, McCain, etc.) God willing, we will get one more strict constructionist appointed before the end of President Bush's term. Kennedy is known as a swing vote, and he swung the right way this time - but will he go all the way and overturn Roe? If we're lucky, Justice John Paul Stevens will end his term soon - he's already 84 years old - by retirment or death, and President Bush can nominate yet another conservative to the bench.

(Now, I know judges are not affiliated with political parties. By "conservative" I don't mean "Republican", I mean "not liberal and inventing new rights out of thin air".)

So, that would give us a certain 5-4 pro-life majority, if not 6-3.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests For Life has said that children will not stop killing other children (Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc.) until parents first stop killing their own children.

Let us pray, and praise God for this first step in a long time toward truth and justice!!!


Green Eggs and Ham

Big milestone for us. On Wednesday, Bobcat read to me Green Eggs and Ham. He read the entire book, on his own. I helped with maybe two words. It took over 45 minutes... but he got it done!
I'm so proud, of him for being so smart, and of MamaLlama for being such a great teacher. Just think about that for a minute - she has taught another human being how to read. We still have a long way to go, of course, but I think that's a pretty tremendous accomplishment! Congrats to both of you!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A great article and booster!

Home School Mothers: the Beatrice Brigade

For Reals...

For a few weeks now the kids have been fussy and gripey and altogether grumpy. Most of the time it is directed at each other, and toys that they want/had/stole/looked at/thought maybe... even after all the super fun things that we've done.

I finally reached my limit on Monday so I enacted a new new system around here. You fuss about a toy, steal a toy, or altogether break some rule with a toy... the bucket from whence toy came goes to jail (jail means out of the room and you don't get it back till you earn it back somehow). Jail usually is a half wall in our living room, but this kind of action was going to require more than a small area...

These are two cube shelfs that are in their gameroom... usually each cubby has a bucket with a particular kind of toy (hotwheels, super heros, legos).

Here are said tubs taking up residence in my room! 7 tubs and a few odds and ends that don't generally have a tub of their own to belong to.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So yesterday we shaped the beads out of clay... today we spent the morning painting the beads!

Nice... NOT

Apparently the Mavs decided to phone it in last night... by sitting Dirk, Stackhouse, Howard and the still sore Dampier for the game.

The first 5 minutes were great, but Nellie and the Warriors were too much for the bench and rookies. I felt bad for Harris, Terry, Buck and George though... but for Buck and George this was a good opportunity for some seriously fierce play coming back fom injuries, and for Avery to watch the rookies and see who will be sticking around next season. Personally for the first years, I'm pulling for JJ B... or Chili Pepper as I like to call him. He's got some serious skills, and I think could really benefit from the 'old timers' on the Mavs.

Highlight of the game... double T's on Buckner and Davis... Buck would have totally taken Davis down in a bar fight :-). Buck definitely looks like he is in better form since the knee and nose injuries, he's got his swagger back. Oh and Pops with that sweet dunk and swing was pretty cool as well!

So, tonight is the real dress rehearsal for playoffs... with the Seattle Sonics.

Did I mention that we freakin' stay up till midnight watching last nights game... ugggghhhhh

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Big Game

Okay people... there is a big game tonight... some even say it is a dress-rehearsal for playoffs!!

Who's with me:

GO MAVS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Today we spent time covering commerce of the early Native Americans and others in the Tejas region.

We made our own currency for trading!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Beauty and Artistry

Pearls Before Breakfast

This is the title (and link) to an interesting article, although it is quite long it is definitely worth reading.

To listen to the entire performance click here!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More info on the breakfast

I was asked what questions we asked for the boys that lead them to ask for fish and bread for breakfast... here is a small portion of the gospel reading.

When they climbed out on shore,they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and
bread.Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”So Simon
Peter went over and dragged the net ashorefull of one hundred fifty-three large
fish.Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.Jesus said to them,
Come, have breakfast.”And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are
you?”because they realized it was the Lord.Jesus came over and took the bread
and gave it to them,and in like manner the fish.This was now the third time
Jesus was revealed to his disciplesafter being raised from the dead.

One question we asked was "what meal did Jesus ask them to come and have with Him?"

Bubba quickly answered breakfast... he NEVER misses a food reference, and then they broke into "can we have fish and bread for breakfast".

As far as other questions... once we finish reading it, we simply pick out things that they should've caught. If they can't come up with an answer we usually re-read a sentence or two to refresh their memory.

Native Americans - Texans

We are studying about the Native Americans who lived in Texas first. Here is a small photo sampling of our art project.

(this also includes the fort for our battle re-enactment scenes)

(wrinkling the brown paper back 'leather' for our teepee's)

(our small Indian village complete with creek)

Breakfast of Disciples

Not champions...

Did you read the gospel yesterday? Well in it Jesus appears to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias while they are fishing. Anyway he asks them to come ashore and have breakfast with him... and to bring fish and bread. After we finished reading the gospel and talking about it last night with the boys, they were all excited about it and energetically asked to have fish and bread for breakfast... so this morning, fish tenders and bread. AND THEY LOVED IT, because they were just like the disciples.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mom my ride!

I thought you guys might enjoy this!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This is the day the Lord has made!!!

And let us rejoice.

The sun is shining, there is a gentle breeze blowing, and all seems right with the world... well that is if you are standing in the soft green grass in my front yard and gazing at the loveliness of the flowers growing.

It is a pleasant 72 degrees in the house, and there is the smell of freshness wafting through as the wind floats in from the open windows. The gauzy curtains are dancing in the sun, and the Easter Lily continues to bloom inside as the sun kisses its delicate petals!

Oh, the sweet perfumes of Spring.

Did I mention that Daddio is returning home in a few hours from a trip... that also might have something to do with bounce in my step :-).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I've spent more time getting my songs onto my phone's iTunes thingy!!

It is great during nap time, I can be listening to my music, doing laundry, taking care of stuff in the house, and not keep closing my door or have the music so quiet I can't hear it!!!!

So what do I have on it?

Harry Connick Jr.: Red Light Blue Light
Santana: Supernatural
Beyonce (self titled)
WOW Hits 2006 (disc 1)
Los Lonely Boys: Heaven

In my stack to put on there:
WOW Hits 2006 (disc 2)
Nora Jones: Come Away With Me
Mark Harris: The Line Between The Two
North Texas March Band: Green Brigade

If you haven't noticed, I like a few different styles of music!

The favored set.

Do you have a favorite set of sheets for your bed? You know, the super soft ones that are always the perfect end to a day.

We have a set like that... they are perfect, or they were perfect. In all their years of service they have never pilled up (you know, those annoying balls that form from too much wear and washing), always soft, and perfectly crisp right out of the dryer. And while they are still all of those things, we can now add a new description... they have holes. Two to be exact...and unfortunately not real small ones. They are actually spots that have worn through. Oh the agony. Seriously! These were a clearance center find several years ago, and since then all sheets we've purchased we've hated within just a few washings.

There is a small light at the end of the tunnel, though... a tag that remains and is still readable. I now know who makes them, so the hunt is on to find a replacement set... oh wise internet help me find my perfect night sleep...

Oh and I just finished washing them, and yes they are back on my bed... two holes will definitely not put them out of use... THESE ARE THE PERFECT SHEETS PEOPLE!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Festivities

Here isthe highlight reel from our Easter extravaganza!


Just when you think that things couldn't be more frustrating with family... the other shoe falls. This seems to be a regularly showing movie in my family (ie my parents and sibling and their lives), and also with my in-laws.

I had a long conversation with my MIL last night after I got home from rehearsal. (She was kind enough to come and sit for me while Daddio is out of town on business.) I'm coming off of a very difficult Lenten season with my family, and she has had a rough go at it this year so far. In particular an emotional day (yesterday) that left her feeling out of sorts. For me, out of sorts is the only way to describe where I'm at... there are no other words that can really come close.

While our situations are vastly different, we found common ground in knowing that we are not in control, only God is. This is such a hard thing for me. I find comfort in control, well, in routine and predictability. The unknown just scares me beyond reason. And I end up having a day like today... tired (because in super stress times I have problems with insomnia), emotional, and out of sorts.

How will I handle this kind of day... well, I will probably clean. That is kind of my outlet (when retail therapy isn't an option, and Daddio is out of town so there is no fun adventure he can take me and kids on tonight). It's been a few days since I changed/washed all the bedding, and we've been all sneezy because of allergies... the dogs could use a bath (but it has rained and is all wet out so it would be pointless because they would be kind of smelly after a couple of potty breaks today, so a no go on that)... maybe during nap time I will curl up with my San Jacinto book.

Well, after re-reading this post I sound pretty pathetic... I'm really not a whiner in real life, I'm a pull your boot straps up and get on with your life kind of girl! So no more pity party here... off to do some really fun a cool boy thing with the kids (think think think... something fun, hmmm).

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Field Trip

This year instead of attending the homeschooling fair, we've decided to take a little field trip with the boys. It turns out that on the same weekend as the fair it is also the anniversary of a historical Texas event, the 171st anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment

The most popular event of the day is the battle reenactment, one of the largest in the state. The battle begins at 3 p.m. - complete with cannons, muskets, horses, pyrotechnics and hundreds of reenactors - replicating the Runaway Scrape (Texians gathering the few belongings they could to flee the advancing forces of Santa Anna,) the march of the Texas army from Gonzales to San Jacinto, the cannon duel, and the final battle between the two forces. The reenactment ends with the surrender of Mexican Army General Santa Anna to Texian Army General Sam Houston, followed by the laying of wreaths to honor the sacrifices of both armies. This is truly one of the most important battles of American history. On April 21, 1836 - in 18 short minutes - General Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army, officially securing Texas' independence from Mexico and eventually leading to the addition of one million square miles to the United States. This year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the battleground being the first state park in Texas.

So for the next few weeks around the house we will be learning about Texas history focused on this time period. Seriously what boy wouldn't enjoy a battle re-enactment! This is going to be fun!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Chapel Veils or Mantillas

This is a section from Catholic Online Forums:

Why don't women cover their heads in church??
The story is told about someone asking Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, who during and after the Second Vatican Council "presided" over the "reform" of the Roman Missal and liturgy in general whether women still had to wear a headcover in the churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women’s veils were not on the agenda. The next day, the international press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women must still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil as out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.

The former Code of Canon law (before the revision in 1983) said that women must cover their heads "...especially when they approach the holy table" (can.1262.2). But the 1983 Code is silent about this tradition.

This does not mean that the use of the veil is not to be observed or is simply an outdated custom, for the veil has roots in Scripture and Tradition as well.

Scripture contains reasons for women wearing the veil which, for the sake of brevity, I will omit here. Suffice to say that the veil, in this way of thinking, is a symbol of the
divine heirarchy established in the relationship of men and women in the bond of
matrimony that Paul describes in New Testement terms so beautifully in Ephesians.

If any women balk at this, keep in mind that the vestments of the priest had symbolic meanings as well.

St. Paul says an unveiled woman is a dishonor: "But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven" (1 Corinthians 11:5). Paul also puts this in relation to the holy angels in 1 Corinthians 11:10. The invisible hierarchy should be respected because the holy
angels are present at Christian liturgical assemblies, offering with us the Holy Sacrifice with the honor due to God. St. John the Apostle wrote "And another Angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne." (Revelations 8:3)

I am always pleased when I see chapel veils in church. It is a sign that the woman wearing it has a solid sense of the majesty of the one in Whose presence she has come to pray. I very much hope that the custom will return soon and be widespread, especially amongst younger women who, alas, these days are being taught and pressured by the media especially to dress in a very dishonorable and disagreeable fashion. It is amazing to see what sort of garb (usually unchurched) young women sport when coming to, say, funeral and weddings. In decades past they might have been arrested for soliciting were they out in public. And they come to church dressed that way! Is there no longer any shame? The chapel veil is about as counter-cultural as you can get, in this light. It is therefore a good example. The chapel veil recommends itself on very many levels.

I hope this helps.
Fr Zuhlsdorf

Good Friday

I want to be crucified with Christ, so that I might live.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Great Article

Here is a great article I just read. Instead of just quoting and commenting on a few areas... here it is complete.

Schooling at Home
by Sally ThomasApril 2007 -->
Copyright (c)
2007 First Things (April 2007).

One morning, as the four children and I prepared to start the school day, I consulted the saints’ dictionary, as I habitually do, to see whose feast it might be. That day there were two feasts: those of St. Damasus and St. Daniel the Stylite, the latter of whom particularly captured everyone’s imagination. Saint Daniel’s long tenure on his pillar by the Bosphorus is described in my saints’ dictionary as “mainly uneventful,” an assertion followed by a remarkable catalogue of events, including miraculous healings of the sick, the forecasting of a devastating fire, and a visit from a demon-possessed prostitute. After his death, when the monks, having brought him down at last, tried to straighten his body out of its long-accustomed fetal position, “his bones cracked so loudly that an accident was feared.”

Eeeeeewwww, said everyone with an appreciative shudder, the four- and three-year-olds leaning raptly against my shoulders. The twelve-year-old and the nine-year-old spent some minutes in serious discussion about potential hermitages in the backyard—the top of the swing set versus the fort—until, with the useful observation of monastic writers that some lives are “worthy of admiration, not imitation,” I recalled us all to work.

The night before, we had gone to dinner with old friends, and in the course of the evening the conversation turned to our homeschooling. Our hosts didn’t want to argue with the decision my husband and I had made to homeschool; in truth, people do that a lot less often than we had steeled ourselves to expect early on. I suppose they didn’t ask how we expected our children to be “socialized” because there the children were, in front of everyone, doing their best impersonations of socialized people. The nine-year-old talked to the grownups about Star Wars, the four-year-old helped to carry dishes to the table, the three-year-old played nicely on the floor with our friends’ baby granddaughter. The twelve-year-old, away at a ballet rehearsal, proclaimed her socialization by her absence.

In fact, our friends’ questions had nothing to do with the welfare of our children, because they could see for themselves that the children were fine. But they were curious, and what they wanted to know was simply this: What do you do all day long?

That’s never an easy question to answer. When people think of school, typically they think of a day dominated by a roster of discrete subjects. In English, you do reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. In math, you do numbers. In history, you do what’s been done before. In our homeschool, though we cover all these necessary subjects, the delineations between subjects are often far from clear. For example, this fall my math-tutor brother gave us a book entitled Famous Mathematicians, a series of little biographies beginning with Euclid and ending with Norbert Wiener in the twentieth century. The nine-year-old asked if he could read it, so twice a week, during our math time, instead of doing regular computational math, I let him read. When he finished the book, he chose one famous mathematician to profile and wrote a little
report. As I was describing this exercise for our friends, I kept thinking that we had either done an awful lot of math and given English the short end of the stick, or else had done a lot of English and shafted math. But then I realized that in fact wehad done it all. He had learned math concepts, he had learned history, he had practiced reading and writing and spelling and editing—all by reading one book and writing about it.

In recent years, as homeschooling has moved closer to the mainstream, much has been said about the successes of homeschooled children, especially regarding their statistically superior performance on standardized tests and the attractiveness of their transcripts and portfolios to college-admissions boards. Less, I think, has been said about how and why these successes happen. The fact is that homeschooling is an efficient way to teach and learn. It’s time-effective, in that a homeschooled child, working independently or one-on-one with a parent or an older sibling, can get through more work or master a concept more quickly than a child who’s one of twenty-five in a classroom. It’s effort—effective, in that a child doesn’t spend needless hours over a concept already mastered simply because others haven’t mastered it yet. Conversely, a child doesn’t spend years in school quietly not learning a subject, under the teacher’s radar, only to face the massive and depressing task of remediation when the deficiency is finally caught.

To my mind, however, homeschooling’s greatest efficiency lies in its capacity for a rightly ordered life. A child in school almost inevitably has a separate existence, a “school life,” that too easily weakens parental authority and values and that also encourages an artificial boundary between learning and everything else. Children come home exhausted from a day at school—and for a child with working parents, that day can be twelve hours long—and the last thing they want is to pick up a book or have a conversation. Television and video games demand relatively little, and they seem a blessed departure from what the children have been doing all day. “You know I don’t read all that stuff you read,” a neighbor child scornfully told my eldest some years ago during one of those archetypal childhood arguments about what to play. Our daughter wanted to play Treasure-Seekers or Betsy-Tacy and Tib; her friend insisted on playing the Disney cartoon character Kim Possible. Book-talk was for school, and she wasn’t at school just then, thank you.

At home we can do what’s nearly impossible in a school setting: We can weave learning into the fabric of our family life, so that the lines between “learning” and “everything else” have largely ceased to exist. The older children do a daily schedule of what I call sit-down work: math lessons, English and foreign-language exercises, and readings for history and science. The nine-year-old does roughly two hours of sit-down work a day, while the twelve-year-old spends three to four hours. But those hours hardly constitute the sum total of their education.

We spend some time formally learning Latin, for example, but we also say our
table blessing in Latin and sing Latin hymns during prayers. Both older children
sing in our parish treble choir: still more Latin, which is not a dead language to them but a living, singing one. The twelve-year-old is working her way through an English-grammar-and-composition text, but she is also, on her own, writing a play, which our local children’s theater will produce in the spring. The nine-year-old has his own subscription to National Geographic and fills us in at dinner on the events of the D-Day invasion or the habits of the basking shark. He practices handwriting, with which he struggles, by writing letters to friends in England, where we lived when he was small. Last November, the older children and a friend adopted a project for sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq; they wrote letters, knitted hats, made Christmas cards, and one Saturday went door-to-door around the neighborhood collecting funds to cover postage and to buy school supplies for the soldiers to hand out to Iraqi children. This undertaking by itself was something of a mini-curriculum, involving reading, handwriting, composition, art, math, community service, and even public relations. At their best, our days are saturated with what school merely strives to replicate: real, substantial, active, useful, and moral learning.

Most important for us in the ordering of our life is that our homeschooling day unfolds from habits of prayer. We begin the day with the rosary and a saint’s life; we say the Angelus at lunchtime; we do a lesson from the catechism or a reading in apologetics and say the evening office before bed. Our children have internalized this rhythm and, to my intense gratification, the older children marshal the younger children to prayers even when their father and I are absent. The day is shaped and organized by times of turning to God.

A lot of unscheduled learning seems to happen during these times. In saying the rosary, for example, we exercise our skills in memorization and recitation, as well as in contemplation. The little children practice sitting still; they also practice counting. In remembering our daily intentions together, we practice the discipline of inclining our hearts and minds toward the needs of others. Often, too, during devotions we find ourselves plunged into discussions about current events, ethics, and questions about God and life that have been simmering unasked in some child’s mind until just that moment. The saints, whose dates we record in our family timeline book, provide us not only with examples of holiness but also with insight into the historical eras in which they lived. We have even found ourselves doing geography during prayers: Though I now forget why we needed to know this in praying the office, I distinctly recall dragging out the atlas one evening to confirm the exact location of Chad.

On reflection, if I had to give our homeschool a name, as some states require, I might be tempted to call it Saint Daniel the Stylite Academy. This would be original and memorable—for one thing, we wouldn’t be constantly saying, “No, we’re not that Saint Daniel the Stylite Academy.” Moreover, it captures something of what I believe the essence of homeschooling to be: an integrated life of learning, ordered by and emanating from the discipline of prayer. After all, despite the admonition of the monks, Saint Daniel’s career may be more worthy of imitation than I had thought.

The homeschooling life often feels like life on a pillar: isolated but visible, removed yet immersed in essential undertakings. We have not so far, in our own “mainly uneventful” life, done single combat with sword-wielding phantoms or been shown off as a “wonder of the empire.” And yet, what looks like not that much on the daily surface of things proves in the living to be something greater than the schedule on the page suggests, a life in which English and math and science and history, contemplation and discussion and action, faith and learning, are not compartmentalized entities but elements in an integrated whole from which, we hope and pray, our children will emerge one day so firmly formed that nothing in this world can unbend them.

Sally Thomas is a poet and homeschooling mother in Tennessee.

Well said!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Honey Cake Verdict

Honey cake was a success! It makes a LOT, so if you are needing something for a large group this is definitely an option.

Also, I read on many reviews that honey cake (no matter the recipe) is better on days 2-5 if sealed air tight. This does seem to be the case! For a big party, make this the day before.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What's in your bowl?

Is it honey porridge? That is what the three little bears sitting at our kitchen table wanted... and who am I to tell them that porridge isn't really a lunch food. So off to the pantry to find porridge (oatmeal for us) and the honey bear.

Once the instant porridge was all a foam, it was time to add the honey swirl! Boy, the excitement around that table as they dug into their food... ahhh, sets a Mommy's heart a flyin'!

Now the sweet little bears are tucked away for a nice little hybernation!

Honey Cake

So we had honey porridge for lunch... well, the bears have been asking for Honey Cake for a week now... thank you to a Winnie the Pooh book we have... so I set about this afternoon looking for a recipe. And sure enough I found one with ingredients I actually have in the house! I will let you know how well it tuns out in an hour or so!

Classic Honey Cake

by Spice and Spirit

3 Eggs

1 1/3 cups honey

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup strong black coffee

2 tsps. Baking powder

3 Tbsps. Margarine, softened

1 tsp. Baking soda

4 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325.

Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.

In a large mixer bowl, beat eggs and honey together. Add sugar and mix again. Mix coffee with baking powder, and then add with margarine to the egg mixture. Add baking soda, flour, and cinnamon and beat together well.

Pour into greased cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour.

USE: 9 X 13-inch cake pan

YIELDS: 1 cake

Monday, April 2, 2007

JP2, we love you!

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the death of John Paul the Great.

He was like a grandfather to me.  Seeing him in St. Louis in 1999 is one of my very best memories.  We didn't even get to go inside the auditorium, and the "subtitles" being displayed on the jumbo tron outside were pretty screwed up most of the time.  But still, it was so amazing.  I felt like he was talking directly to me.  We just wept while we watched him.  Mostly it was the sheer joy of seeing him.  Also, his health was declining, his speech was slurred, and maybe part of us already knew how much we'd miss him when he was gone.  But hew was also so strong, despite his physical weakness.  Virile, really, which is an odd quality for a celibate person to possess.  But he definitely had more "children" who loved him than any biological father ever did.  It was so great to see him in the flesh while we had the chance.  We camped out right on the corner and Stephanie got a great picture of him in the popemobile, rounding the corner.

We had really gotten on fire for the Faith by going to Apologetics classes, and going to Eucharistic Adoration and praying the Rosary at the Catholic Campus Center (UNTWUTA).  Before then, we had been somewhat energetic and charismatic, but in a Protestant sort of way.  We had no appreciation of the richness and truth of the Catholic faith.  Just as we were getting totally hyped up about the faith, we were invited to St. Louis, so the timing was perfect.

I miss him.  Within a few months, we lost the Pope, our beloved chaplain Father Bob Lewandoski, and my maternal grandfather.  It's a whole different world without them here.  I feel grown up and alone.  But at the same time, closer than ever to all of them.  Also within a few months, we became parents.  I wish my own "fathers" could be here to see my boys and spend time with us.  But we'll see them again soon.