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Showing posts from February, 2011

Beach Clean

I wonder if Grace was inspired by this: Check out the amazing journey this family is embarking on! http://giveeveryday.com/

I added it to her blog roll......
When I read my daughter's blog, I discovered she wanted to plan this:


How cool.


It is not the best time of year for a beach clean up.


It was cold.

But we dressed warm.

Our friends came.

They brought their parents too!

We walked the beach with our plastic bags and non-latex gloves searching for the oddest bit of trash.

I did not think we would have so many items to choose from.

Shoes.
Flower pots.
Shotgun shells.
Tires.
Laundry detergent bottles.

You did well Grace.  You made our part of the world a little cleaner, a little healthier.  You planned, organized and implemented.  You saw a wish turn into a reality.  Your Dad and I  are proud of you.  In fact, we are proud of all of you!

Weekly Accomplishments

This week saw us get back on track in many ways. Our kitchen is coming together.  Three weeks without a stove is a loooong time.  A hot plate is okay, but I missed my oven.  Tuesday night our electrician hooked it up for us.  The major demolition/rebuilding is done.  The crown molding is up, the paint is fresh and the appliances are where they should be.  We are waiting on counter tops, some cabinet doors and lighting.  We need to decide if we are doing a tile backspash or not.  We still have some electrical work to do, a window to replace and siding that needs to be matched and patched.  All in due time.  For now we can get back on track with healthy eating and lots of learning. Grace published her essay on internet safety.  Now it is up to her father and I to decide if we will allow her to have an email account or what age we feel is acceptable.  Many of her friends have email.  I have spoke to the moms, my friends, about how they use it.  For the most part it is to communicate with f…

Portfolios

When Lilah came home last year I began to keep a portfolio of what we were working on.  Originally I thought if this did not work out and she went back to school I would have something concrete to show to her teachers.  It became abundantly clear that Lilah would not be returning to school anytime soon but I kept up her portfolio and have since begun one for Grace.  Keeping a portfolio is not hard, just time consuming.  I use my mac program Pages and the Visual Report template.  When I finish a term (fall/winter/spring/summer) I add work samples. I copy a piece of work from the beginning and end of the term.  For example, I will copy a page from her journal in September and in December. I will print out two math reports, two of her SOTW quizzes, examples of her artwork, cursive writing and science journal pages, etc.  I also print out my weekly accomplishments and add them as an Appendix.  This provides a chronological look at our term.  It is our “report card”.  I work on their portfol…

Humbled and Honored

Sometimes I struggle with what to write about.  I don’t want to become redundant with posts carrying the same topic throughout.  Thoughts have come slowly this week.  Probably because we have been getting back on track since the past three weeks have thrown us for a loop.  We have been enjoying a quiet week at home, with our usual outside activities.  The great thing about homeschooling is just because schools are off, my girls still get their pottery class, piano class and botany lesson with their friends!




Jen at Forever, For Always, No Matter What, notified me today that my blog made the current Top 50 Homeschooling Blogs list, with my dear friend at Frog Creek.  I am honored and humbled.  I did not start this blog to sell ads or become a featured writer on another bigger blog.  I began it to show my friends and family that the choice Greg and I were making to educate our children in a non-mainstream way was viable.  I wanted to prove that they will still be “social”, if fact, more s…

Monocots/Dicots and O'Keefe

Today was not science day but it turned out to be!  It felt so good to do our lessons once again at our dining room table which was moved out of the living room on Sunday.  For the most part our kitchen is done and life is slowly returning to what we consider normal. Today is language arts day.  Grace wrote another essay comparing Strega Nona to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Essay writing suits her.  I gave her my piece of writing as a model and even though she used it for reference, her piece of writing in no way resembled mine.  Lilah also compared the two but not in essay format.  We copied poetry and illustrated the poems for our journals.  We even planned the beach clean up that Grace suggested in her last blog entry.   Next came math.  There was a bit of grumbling but they logged on and Grace had an introduction to decimals and Lilah was introduced to parallel and perpendicular lines.  It was a productive morning for sure. During lunch I told the girls I wanted to read them two page…

Super Size Me

I have many documentaries on Netflix that I would love to find the time to watch.  We were all in a lazy watch tv kind of mood and rather than watch what I call “mindless tv”, I thought we could watch something interesting......I picked Super Size Me.  
Normally I always use commonsensemedia.org before I veer off the rated G or PG movies.  In fact, I think Harry Potter is the only PG-13 movie my girls have seen.  But I figured PG-13, okay, we will talk about whatever comes up........ Immediately Grace was engrossed in the concept of Morgan Sperlock’s idea to document his one-month long journey of eating only McDonald’s food.  We have talked about the dangers of fast food but here was the proof.  Now she would now if Mom was right...or if Mom was wrong.  We watched the pre-experiment preparation, the doctor’s appointments, blood work analysis, nutritional advice and discussed how this will all be a baseline against which the results would be compared.  We talked about how his girlfriend …

Monkey Mind

"I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the 'monkey mind' -- the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl."  — Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) Last year I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Despite criticisms I heard that it was self-indulgent and not realistic, I savored this book.  I would not let myself read it quickly.  I would read a bit, and stop to reflect on how this could be translated into my own life.  If I was  newly single with no children and a career that could not only support me well, but allow me to work where ever I chose, I wonder if I would feel free enough to take a year for personal growth?  Where would I choose to go?  What would I choose to learn?  I love pondering these questions..... One thing that I took away from the book was the purpose of yoga.  I am not a follower of this practice.  I took one class while I was pregnant with Grace 11 years ago.  I enjoyed it but after she w…

A Heart Filled with Love

I have become more faithful as I have gotten older.  As a child I was reluctantly dragged to church every single Sunday where I would sit, pick out the cute boys and daydream.  I attended a Catholic college but not for religious reasons.  At the time very few colleges offered the major I was looking for, International Business.  Occasionally I would attend mass, but it was a rare occurance.   I have to thank my parents for making us go every single week.  It gave me the foundation of a faith formation so that when I checked out as a young adult, questioned my beliefs and doubted certain doctrines, I knew what it was I was questioning.  I knew enough about my faith to be able to choose to stay with it and commit to it, or to leave it and follow another path of spirituality. Back in my twenties and early thirties, if someone told me I would be teaching religious education I would have laughed, one of those laughs that sprays soda over a table or makes the horrible snorting noises that are…

Weekly Accomplishments

Last week was a hard week.  It was hard to live in my house and hard to get things done in it.  I was not going to share an accomplishments post because I felt in my heart that  failed my kids in terms of their education for a week.  But then I was talking to a new friend.  Someone I just met and I was telling her that even on the hard weeks, I write my accomplishments and there is always more to list than I imagine there would be.
Last week we: Painted the youth room at church.  This project has been weighing heavily on me.  I struggled with possibly removing myself from the project because it was the only thing in my life right now that I could cut out.  But Greg disagreed.  He said it is part of me, who I am, what I do.  He was so right.  I love my church.  Being in what is now our Parish Center, what was once a catholic school, brings me peace and joy like few other places do.  The project that I created became more than I could handle.  I cannot possibly paint murals right now.  Bu…

What are my dreams?

Theresa over at Our Life in Words, left me a comment yesterday that got me thinking.....
What are my dreams? What are my dreams? I know I used to have them...
I think I have gotten so busy in living my day to day life, educating my kids, worrying that I am doing the right thing, worrying about the economy, wondering what it will be like when my girls go to college... thinking about what I want to do when my girls go to college...and I have lost my ability to dream...
Thanks for the reminder...Dreaming is big and important... This kitchen project has been a dream I have had for a long time.  It is not about the new appliances, although they are great.  It is not about the nice counter tops I will have.  Heck, it is not even about the fact that I will actually HAVE counter space.  It is about how it will improve the quality of our family life.  If I lived here alone I would not do this project.  I want my girls to be able to sit and see me while I prepare dinner.  Or better yet, I would l…