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Showing posts from November, 2011

Our Lady of Kibeho

Did you know that yesterday was the feast day for Our Lady of Kibeho?  Last year I had the opportunity to hear Immaculee Ilibagiza speak at Sacred Heart University.  Catchechists from all over Connecticut as well as Sisters, Nuns, Priests and people who knew her story filled the packed auditorium.  We listened to her harrowing tale of hiding in a bathroom with six women for ninety days while outside a massacre took place, a massacre that killed almost her entire family.  

As she sat huddled together in fear and in hiding she prayed.  She repeated the Our Father over and over again.  But when it came to the words, “as we forgive those who trespass against us” she found she could not say them.  She could not forgive what was happening in her own land by her countrymen.  That is, until she had an epiphany.  She realized that she cannot rewrite the words of God.  To say them is to believe them.  She found forgiveness.  She forgave those who trespassed against her. But this is not why we cel…

Thanksgiving Reprise

I can’t remember when it began, it was so unplanned, just a gathering of friends on a Friday night.  Was it at my house?  I am not sure.  I think not.  Probably at the house down by the river where you can sit and watch the waves roll by.  Or maybe the house on the hill with the gorgeous deck where we sit and watch our girls swim...... The place is irrelevant really.  What matters is that the simple question “want to come over for dinner?” turned into a Friday ritual...well...maybe not ritual..but a tradition.  A gathering of friends around a meal that happens at least one Friday a month.  This is our form of tradition.

Through this I have come to understand the bonding experience that shared cooking creates.  I adore being in a kitchen with these women, my friends.  I love each of us taking a part, whether it is frying the eggplant, whipping the potatoes, making authentic Mexican rice or simply showing up with beer and wine!  We drink, we cook, we talk, we share.  We much on guacamole…

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Week of November 21

In My Home This Week:  The girls are feeling the holiday spirit but quite frankly, I am not.  I am not all Ebenezer, but I feel like life has to slow down a bit in order for the holiday spirit to sink in.  I am working on making that happen.   For the first time since we brought both girls home, I feel like I have my calendar organized.  This is a huge feat for me.  I was missing orthodontist appointments, double booking play dates and not honoring time for ourselves because I was never sure where we were supposed to be and when.  I kept a date book that worked -- when I remembered to bring it with me.  I have tried phone calendars and even computerized ones but I could not find one that worked for my family until I discovered something that was right under my iCal.  I took my date book and transposed all the dates through the end of the year. But I would still have the same issue of not having my computer with me when I was out and about.  That is until I got an early birthd…

Thanksgiving Day

A tradition in our home began on Black Friday last year.  Black Friday requires planning.  An itinerary must be made.  Deals must be sought out.  

Snuck in were a few quick lessons about marketing.  Why do stores show you low price points?  Do they really want you to walk out buying the least expensive item?  If an item is buy one get one free, how much is each item discounted?  If it is buy one, get one half off, how much is each item discounted?  

Thanksgiving morning.  The sale pages.  Coffee.  Dogs curled on my lap.  Children fresh out of bed excited to plan their outing with Dad.

After a stop over to visit with Greg's brother and his family, we headed to my sister's for dinner.  My sister has hosted Thanksgiving for several years.  It involves a huge turkey, wine, loads of veggies and presents.  My nephew and I have birthdays two days apart.  We always celebrate on Thanksgiving.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


I just finished the best book I have read in a long time.  You all know I love YA.  Revolution is a great story: contemporary and intelligent.   The emotions in this book are raw.  Pain, sorrow, grief, love, anger, all simmering in a family torn apart by tragedy.

Basic review: High school senior, Andi is failing.  Failing out of school, failing to care for her mother, failing to maintain a relationship with her father, failing to let go of guilt.  To help  escape her self-destructive environment, her father, a Nobel Prize winning geneticist, brings her on a business trip to Paris where she must complete an outline for her senior thesis on the connections between a French composer and contemporary musicians.  While researching, she stumbles upon a royal guitar, a secret compartment, and a diary of a young French girl caught up in the Revolution.  Amongst her desperation to return to Brooklyn, her desire to finish her thesis, her desperate reading of an 18th Century diary, and her fricti…

At This Moment

How did it happen that just yesterday I was sitting on a beach in Virginia with one of my best friends and now I am sitting wrapped in a afghan at my dining room table wondering how the heck it came to be that Thanksgiving is this week????   Three months passed in the blink of an eye. Sometimes I sit and I wonder what we did with our three months?  What did we accomplish?  I feel like we run and race from place to place every single day, but is all that running and the stress that comes along with it worth it?  I have friends that have chose intentionally to not do one single activity outside the house other than playdates.  They are saving for a huge trip next year.  Their time at home has given them the opportunity to work on some great projects.   Their lapbooks are stunning, filled with facts, pictures, and writing.  The time that was spent creating is evident.  Part of me longs that have time at home to devote to projects and I know I will get more time in just a week when some of…

Progress Report

I was blessed with two daughters who are dynamically opposite.  Fundamentally opposite.  One likes to construct.  The other deconstruct.  One walks while the other runs.  One sees while the other hears.  One wakes while the other sleeps.  One wonders while the other debates.  Such extreme differences. If they were in school not all their needs would be met.  They would succeed because they are both very smart children who can adapt to the norms of the classroom.  But one’s need to move would be stifled.  The other’s need to wonder would be discouraged, or at least confined to the one hour a week that is penciled in for art/music/library/etc.  One daughter would fidget her feet, her pencil, her head to meet her need and the other daughter would get lost in her daydreams and miss what was happening in front of her.   How many children can relate to the Calvin and Hobbs cartoons?  How many children exclaim to their parents that the best part of their day was recess? At home, I try my very …

Roadschooling Reflections

The tricky thing about blogging is that I can post our trip and you see smiles and happy faces and you, the reader, are left thinking that this was the best trip ever.  The reality is that this was not the best trip ever.  It was good.  Many wonderful memories were made.  My favorite memories of this trip were:
wandering through Navy Piertaking the water taximeandering Main Street with Aunt Valmeeting cousins for the very first timespending the day with good friends who we have not seen in too long The harder parts of this trip, the parts not seen in the photographs I shared were: the stress of navigating a city where taxis are not readily available nor are subway stations as accessible as what we are used tothe stress of straying so far from our dietdisrupted sleepbickering childrena crabby Mamapeople on the street that will confront you and your children begging for food and moneywhen you offer food to the people who ask, they scoff at what you offer and say they “already were given th…

Lincoln Square, Chicago

One of the best parts of traveling is learning how to navigate around an unfamiliar city.  We can check off the subway systems of New York, Washington DC and now Chicago.  Not too long ago when we were in DC, the girls were very nervous about using the Metro System.  They were not confident we would find our way.  I reassured them that we can follow a map and figure it out...and we did!   Today I actually had apprehension about taking the "L" to the Lincoln Square neighborhood.  The ticket machines do not give change, the children's pass needs to be validated by a CTA employee, and we needed to transfer lines from the red to the brown.  Unlike our last trip, this time my girls had no anxiety.  They read the map, found our stops, and confirmed we were headed in the correct direction.

As it turned out, the ride was easier than I expected and the end stop was soooo worth it.  We spent the day with our friends who relocated to Chicago late this summer.  Their neighborhood was …

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

If you were headed North out of Illinois and into Wisconsin and saw this sign.....

...wouldn't you stop?

All Greg and I could think of was "cheese curds".  We fell in love with these treats while visiting a dairy farm in Tennessee this summer.  These were not quite as good but then again the ones we had in TN could not possibly have been any fresher having come out of the curd bin minutes before they were popped into our mouths!

Milwaukee!  When we get home, we will put a star on Wisconsin.  Our goal is to see how many states we can fill with stars.  

If ever you are in Wisconsin and want to spend a fabulous day, check out Cedarburg.  The purpose of our visit was to spend time with Greg's Aunt and Uncle.  Since Greg's cousin lives in Boston, his Aunt and Uncle have made many trips East over the past few years and on most trips they pass through Connecticut and go out of their way to visit with us.  They remind me a bit of my Aunt and Uncle in Massachusetts.  I enjoy …

Road Schooling - Navy Pier

I don't think this Mama could possibly have been any more tired today.  After Greg left for work, I fell back into a very deep sleep.  I woke groggy and cranky.  Unfortunately crankiness is contagious.   As a result, we three girls got a very late start.  After walking a mile or more to find a bakery that was literally right.around.the.corner, we discovered the water taxi.  For the cost of a taxi ride in NYC, we traveled the waterway to the Sears, Willis Tower, back to Michigan Ave, and finally, to Navy Pier.  

We spent three hours walking the Pier.  

We watched a charming marionette show.

The girls had their very first caricature drawing.

They spent their own money on some souvenir pictures.

It is amazing how a bit of fresh air, laughter and love can chase away a bad mood.