Monday, May 30, 2016

On the Feast of St. Joan of Arc

French Vanilla Fleur De Lis Cake (baked in this pan)

Recalling St. Joan of Arc's banner, "bearing at her request, the words, "Jesus Maria," along with a figure of God the Father, to whom two kneeling angels were presenting a fleur-de-lis, the royal emblem of France," we decided to bake a simple French Vanilla cake in my favorite Fleur de Lis pan for today's feast of St. Joan of Arc!  The kids also spent some time reading The Story of Joan of Arc

The Story of St. Joan of Arc by Maurice Boutet De Monvel • St. Joan of Arc from Naturally Catholic

Our son was given this beautiful book (an unabridged republication of the edition published by the Century Company, New York, 1912) following his First Holy Communion last summer at St. Joan of Arc Parish where his uncle is currently pastor.

"Maurice Boutet de Monvel's simple but moving retelling of her story features a series of imaginative illustrations that won the artist international fame. All forty-five of the images from his 1896 deluxe picture book appear here in full color, reflecting the saint's enduring symbolic power as well as her deep humility." - The Story of St. Joan of Arc

According to this picture book St. Joan of Arc and I share a birthday ♥

It's worth purchasing this book just for the captivating illustrations. So beautiful and inspiring! It's such a lovely addition to our collection. You can find the rest of our books about St. Joan of Arc listed in Our May Book Basket.

In the face of your enemies, in the face of harassment, ridicule, and doubt, you held firm in your faith. Even in your abandonment, alone and without friends, you held firm in your faith. Even as you faced your own mortality, you held firm in your faith. I pray that I may be as bold in my beliefs as you, St. Joan. I ask that you ride alongside me in my own battles. Help me be mindful that what is worthwhile can be won when I persist. Help me hold firm in my faith. Help me believe in my ability to act well and wisely. Amen.

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Meet the Masters :: Rembrandt van Rijn

"Practice what you know, 
and it will help to make clear what now you do not know." 
~ Rembrandt

It's been quite awhile since I've shared pictures from any of our "Meet the Masters" unit studies and art projects. The kids look so much younger in that last post on Claude Monet! I'm sure I will think the same thing when I look back at this post in a couple years... I have pictures to share eventually from the past seven or eight artists we've studied, but I'm going to start with our most recent which focused on highlights and shadows inspired by Rembrandt. 

Rembrant is the fourth artist featured in Track C. We used the lesson for ages 10-Adult, which worked well for all but our littlest ones. I ended up helping Rose with her art. So fun! 

.: Master Artist Introduction :. 

Rembrandt van Rign (REM-brant)

Dutch Painter (1606-1669)

Rembrandt developed a painting style using light and dark that is unlike that of any other artist. This "Rembrandt Lighting" creates beautiful contrasts in his etching and painting. He painted more self-portraits than any artist in history - a visual autobiography of his life in 17th Century Holland.

Art Activity Emphasis: Highlights and Shadows

Media: White Chalk, Black Oil Pastel, White Oil Pastel

Vocabulary: Light, Dark, Highlight, Detail, Portrait, Self-Portrait, Background, Shadow, Composition, Etching, Profile, Luminous

.: Art Supplies :.

One 12"x18" sheet of newsprint (placemat)
One 12"x15" sheet of black construction paper
White Dustless Chalk

.: Practice Technique - Shadows, Highlights & Rooftops :.

.: Art Project - The Mill :.

.: Additional Reading :. 

Chiquita also pulled out her Rembrandt card from her set of Usborne Famous Paintings
(The cards are currently overpriced at Amazon but you can order them directly from one of my current sponsors who is an independent consultant here if you are interested.) 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Burning Down the House

A historic house in the heart of our little town was used for a "Burn to Learn" training this weekend. We headed into town to spend some of each day watching the burn.

The back, left, upstairs window was where my desk was located once upon a time, when I worked preparing taxes as a young pregnant and then nursing mother (with our firstborn rocking in his swing right next to my desk!) over fifteen years ago.

Downstairs was our favorite local restaurant. They had the best Grilled Burritos, Pesto Chicken Wraps, Raspberry Chipotle Chicken, amazing salads with homemade Cilantro Pesto dressing, and so much more.

Yesterday firefighters from a number of districts took turns lighting small fires inside and then more crews went in with hoses to put them out. Later in the afternoon the engines pulled up to the house and treated the training as if it was a real 911 structure fire call. Today it was burned down completely. It was sad to see it go but neat that it was used to help train firefighters!

"I want to be a FIREMAN when I grow up!!!" - Bud, age 4

I'm hoping I can find some extra time this week to pull out our fire themed picture books and maybe create some new Fire Safety Lap Books with my little ones.  It's been almost 7 years since I made those with the older children... Time flies!

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life with Like Mother, Like Daughter. ~


...Raindrops on Roses... 

This beautiful St. Therese doll arrived in the mail from Dolls From Heaven. I'm planning to give her to our youngest daughter later this year for either her birthday or Christmas... If I can wait that long! 


Now both of the older boys have been featured as "Athlete of the Week" in our local newspaper!

The last two months our schedule was packed full with golf tournaments and other prior commitments, but this past Wednesday we were finally able to attend the Kiwanis Club meeting and the boys were each presented with their "Student of the Month Award" for March and April.  


I told our high schoolers that if they were somehow able to complete and get As on their "Persuasive Speeches" by the deadline their language arts tutor gave them (despite their schedule the previous week which included three long days at golf tournaments, including the Regional/Districts tournament, daily team practices, other schoolwork, getting braces off for one of them, hosting Father Boyle for dinner on Saturday, and serving at our every-other-month Extraordinary Form Latin Mass Sunday evening) they might be able to persuade us to take them to a movie they wanted to see... 
I think they even surprised themselves when they pulled it off! 

We took them to see it last Sunday night, after celebrating a birthday. So much fun!


Our amazing tutor reading Focus on Elementary Geology to the three little ones. ♥
She is such a blessing! I don't know how I'd keep up without her help each Thursday.