Friday, September 4, 2015

Collage Friday: Yes, we are busy

I don’t want to be part of the culture that glorifies busy.  “How are you?”  Busy.  “How was your day?” Busy.  When busy is all you are, people stop asking how you are.  They are busy.

I yearn for simple.  I crave peace and tranquility but the reality of my life is that I don’t often have peace and tranquility and I am very busy.  This is of my own doing.  I choose to take a non-paid part time job at church.  I choose to homeschool my kids knowing full well I am the sole teacher in this home since Greg works 2 hours from home.  I choose to get a puppy, underestimating the challenges that come along with an active breed.  I choose to take a risk and open this blog space up to advertising, something I have been toying with for a while.  

So I am busy, however, I am busy doing things that bring me joy.  

Baking for a community dinner serving the hungry
I find such joy in my church work. It is far more work than I dreamed of when I accepted the offer.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be creating a religious education program centered around experiential learning.  Or running monthly catechist support meetings.  Or setting up classrooms.  Or designing a new youth group called Service Corps.  Never.  I would be lying if I said I have it all balanced and in control because I don’t.  However, when I sit at Sister Caroline’s old desk in our Parish Center and reflect on her legacy and how I am continuing it in my own way, all is well in my world.  

Our Not Back To School Day
I find joy in my homeschool life.  Yesterday was the first day of public school in our town.  The school buses rumbled by at 7am taking high school students to a brick building that is in shambles, scheduled to be torn down, with no air conditioning on a 90 degree day and I relish the fact that my 10th grader is upstairs sound asleep in her bed with that ginormous puppy by her side and her air conditioning on.  

One Year Adventure Novel
I find joy in my writing.  Thank you Grace and Lilah for pushing me to continue on with this space that I created so many years ago.  The blog books that line our bookshelves contain all of our family history over the past six years. So much history.  Trips.  Adventures.  Learning.  Lessons.  Projects.  Friends.  Family.   Ups.  Downs.  Laughter.  Tears.  Life.  Our life.  Our teachable moments.

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


On my Instagram someone commented that it is nice that Lilah still likes American Girl at 13. 

I think our society rewards teens who look like women.  "Role models" are Kylie Jenner, who at the tender age of 18, has already had plastic surgery and dresses like she is ready for a nightclub, which she is not old enough to enter legally.  Girls wear shorts so short they are truly indecent, and then complain when school officials ask them to go home and change.  13 year olds I know are wearing so much makeup they are unrecognizable and I cannot connect the face I see with the one I taught the year before in Sunday School.  Then there is Lilah, who does not attend school, and does not have the same influences affecting her day to day choices.  She is a thirteen year old girl who is part child, part young lady.  She wears Burt's Bees lip gloss and yes, still plays with American Girl Dolls and I am so very okay with that!

For her birthday we went to New York City to visit the AG store.  We have been doing this since the girls were pushed here in their double stroller.  It is always fun and it is always an adventure.  This year Lilah brought my camera since she has been practicing her photography skills on her dolls and has taken some lovely portraits of her girls.  She is also blogging again at her blog, A World Of Magic.  

I love watching my girls grow up and will never rush them to grow into what the world wants to see.  My wish is that they grow up to be who God wants them to be, kind, loving, patient, caring, creative, intelligent, respectful girls who find joy and peace and happiness in life.


In the blink of an eye.

Happy Birthday my sunshine girl.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Another year is underway

We have eased ourselves back into the “school year” slowly.  This is what our year “should” look like:

Grace - 10th Grade.  Crazy.  10th Grade.
Math - finishing up algebra (we switched our curriculum from Teaching Textbooks to Key To mid year and we are on target to begin Geometry in January 2016).  We are using Key To Algebra by McGraw-Hill.
Science - Apologia Biology
History - Dave Raymond’s American History (available through Compass Classroom.) She will receive a full credit for American History and a 1/2 credit for Civil Rights studies as an elective.
Language Arts - full credit for One Year Adventure Novel.  
Piano - year 6
American Sign Language - year 3
Horse Back Riding - year 2
Possible 1/2 credit in photography if she completes a few more classes.  We are looking at an online class and walking photography tours of NYC.
Babysitting, book club, and Classroom Assistant for K/1 Religious Education at church which is a weekly commitment of 3 1/2 hours.   This month she received adult certification for First Aid/CPR.

12th Night in early August
Studying the Underground Railroad beginning with a house in our town.

Finding her next piano piece


Working on Biology while waiting for a foot x-ray.  She's fine.  Just a bruise.

Writing Group began!

Lilah - 8th grade.  My baby just turned 13 and is in 8th grade.  I am not one to fret over the process of growing up, in fact, I look forward to them becoming more independent and discovering more about themselves each year.
Math - TBD
Language Arts - she will receive a high school credit for OYAN.
Science - Apologia’s General Science
History - Dave Raymond’s American History (also a high school credit although her work load may be modified and she may have supplementary work to do in the future to complete her credit) and 1/2 credit of high school for Civil Rights studies.  
ASL - year 3
Horseback Riding - year 2
Other involvement with book club, resurrection of a baking club, babysitting.  She also received her adult certification in First Aid/CRP.

This is how we see Lilah lately.

Preparing for 12th Night by watching a BBC animated adaptation. 
Participating in a summer-long artist trading card challenge.


Late night working in her favorite workbook

Learning how to use PicMonkey

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cape Cod Traditions

Sometimes when you flip through Facebook or Instagram you see lots of family traditions from back to school to birthday to holidays.  More than once Greg has asked me if our family has enough traditions.  I’ll admit, we don’t turn everything into a celebration, but we do have certain things that are particicular to just us.  Like on Christmas morning the girls are not able to open one gift until I have made a cup of coffee!  That and my homemade cinnamon rolls.  Or Christmas Eve mass with Grace playing the piano.  Or decorated birthday tables.  Or Not Back to School Days.  And most certainly Cape Cod.

Bike Rides

Family Selfies
 Exploring fun little shops
Time spent with the youngest cousin (these are urchins) 
Handstands.  Always handstands. 
 This is our second year recreating this picture.  First year with the butt dance!
Seals in Chatham 
 Chatham Fish Market

Monday, August 24, 2015


This week away was a welcomed break.  It was slow.  It was simple.  One night Lilah and Greg went on a bike ride and Grace really wanted to take her GoPro to the beach and capture the stunning sunsets we were experiencing.

We went about 45 minutes before mother nature begin her evening matinee.  We staked out of perfect spot.  She was ready and then, just as the sun was dipping, about a dozen other people rushed to the exact same spot we were in.  I was flabbergasted.  Honestly people, with miles and miles of coastline, why would you block a photographer’s view?  It was beyond inconsiderate, but we adjusted and found our new most perfect spot.  

(These are unedited with my iPhone.)

When the sun made its decent past the horizon and left us with a cotton candy pink glow, the crowds cheered.  I guess that made up for their crowding us out of our spot.  It was a special moment that I will forever cherish.  

I love how Grace can capture still moments with a camera meant for capturing the most intense moments.  She takes pictures of sand and surf while others are using it to capture runs down a mountain or the intensity of skydiving.  She captures marine life while others are capturing life whizzing by at unimaginable speeds.  I am so glad we took this moment to just stop.  To just be. To marvel at nature and participate in the moment of glory that was given to us from the Almighty Creator.
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