Wednesday, September 30, 2020

St. Jerome and the Lion


"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 
Til your good is better and your better is best." 
- St. Jerome

Our leftover Michaelmas Cupcakes are always turned into lions for the Feast of St. Jerome... 

The kids and I were laughing at how much my decorating skills have improved over the years! ;) 

St. Jerome, ora pro nobis! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Celebrating Michaelmas


Michael, prince of all the angels, While your legions fill the sky, 
All victorious over Satan, Lift your flaming sword on high; 
Shout to all the seas and heavens: Now the morning is begun; 
Now is rescued from the dragon She whose garment is the sun!

I tried adapting our Michaelmas Blackberry Cobbler recipe using Cassava Flour and Coconut Sugar... 
Didn't turn out wonderful but I enjoyed having a refined sugar-free treat!

St. Raphael, St. Michael and St. Gabriel from Naturally CatholicOstheimer Dragon

St. Michael Saints 'N Stitches from Waltzing Matilda

All decked out to celebrate his patron saint! 
St. Michael Socks • St. Michael T-Shirt from Catholic T-shirt Club • St. Michael Coffee Mug

Mighty champion of the woman, Mighty servant of her Lord, 
Come with all your myriad warriors, Come and save us with your sword; 
Enemies of God surround us: Share with us your burning love; 
Let the incense of our worship Rise before His throne above! 

The special little gift I purchased hasn't arrived yet...
but the younger kids were so excited when this
Special Edition Saints Around the World Box arrived! 

I was just (unsuccessfully) looking for our copy of The Great Battle for Heaven! Perfect timing.

St. Michael Statue, another My Holy Cards Holder, and all sorts of other goodies too!

The Great Battle for Heaven

The Children's Book of Angels

Gabriel, messenger to Mary, Raphael, healer, friend and guide, 
All you hosts of guardian angels Ever standing by our side, 
Virtues, Thrones and Dominations, Raise on high your joyful hymn, 
Principalities and Powers, Cherubim and Seraphim!

Blackberry Bubly and Izze Sparkling Blackberry Drinks

I had planned to make our Apple Chicken to serve with Angel Hair,
but changed my mind after seeing Ruby's Chicken Scampi... Yummmmmmmmm!

Our annual Michaelmas Cupcakes are always a favorite! 
Devil's Food Cupcakes with swords for "stabbing the Devil!" 

3 Archangels Saint Block Set from Almond Rod Toys • Playmobil Swords

Happy Michaelmas!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tooth Trauma {Take Two}

If you've been reading along for awhile, you might remember the Tooth Trauma we had way back in 2012... Well, this past week, as we were getting started on the first experiments for Zoology 2 (the first time we've revisited the topic since 2012-2013... So ironic!) I joked with the children saying "Let's not break any teeth this time!" On Wednesday night, after I was tagged a couple times in a Christendom post featuring one of our boys, I also joked in a comment saying "Such good looking students!" ;) 

Sigh... I know better than to joke around like that! 

Thursday night, after soccer practice, I received a text message with the following photo... 

"Soccer practice" 

It was bound to happen eventually... and honestly I'm glad it held together for 8 years and survived braces before breaking again... but it would have been nice if he wasn't 2500 miles away from home and our family dentist! He popped it in some milk, put it in the fridge and headed to his evening classes. 

(Note: He did give me permission to share pictures with you all.) 

"A true Christendom intellectual" 

So proud! Toilet seat and all... I think he was having way too much fun! He did have me laughing with the photos and stories of cheesy grins to friends in passing on his way to class. 

Meanwhile older brother was making plans for this year's Costume Dance...

Friday morning I started trying to find a dentist. I reached out to an online friend in Front Royal for recommendations, but all the dentists I called were either closed on Fridays, not accepting new patients, or didn't have the best reviews online.  At 9:45 my time (which was 12:45 Eastern) I finally found a young dentist, a preferred provider with our insurance, who could see him. However, she was a little over an hour away and scheduled to close shortly at 1PM, but offered to wait for the boys to arrive. I had to have our oldest son skip his 1:00 literature class, but thankfully they at least have a car with them this year. Whew!

She did an amazing job putting the tooth back together! It actually looks better than it did before. Eventually he will need a crown, but hopefully this will hold for another 8 years... 

And no more soccer without a mouth guard! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Our 2020-2021 Curriculum

This year I'm once again (officially) home educating five of our children. We have a 12th grader, 10th grader, 8th grader, 5th grader and a 3rd grader ... plus two college students, a toddler and a baby. Life is full! 

After three challenging years, with difficult pregnancies, new babies, and a move to a new state, I'm really excited about this new school year! Even though we just celebrated the beginning of our school year the week before last, on September 8th, we are actually now in our fifth week. We got started as soon as the older boys left for college last month, in an attempt to get a jump start on some of our subjects (math, Latin, writing) and have some flexibility to take a longer break when the boys are back for Christmas break. Our high school girls had online classes (Latin, writing) begin in August anyway. We've slowly added in additional subjects as backordered books (science, more writing) finally arrived! Now that everything has been fine tuned, and we are working on a consistent weekly schedule, I wanted to record and share what we are using this year. 

"Next, Catholic home schooling must be schooling. There must be organization, administration, a pattern, a schedule, and a program. Somebody has to be in charge. Mother and father must cooperate in the home schooling. Home schooling must be sacramental. In other words, the Church that Christ founded is the Church of the Seven Sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confession. You, yourselves, should receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confession. Train your children to live a sacramental life. Finally, to be authentically Catholic, home schooling must be prayerful. The single most fundamental thing you can teach your children, bar none, is to know the necessity and method of prayer. You must pray yourselves. Without prayer, all the schooling in the world will not produce the effect which God wants home schooling to give, because home schooling is a communication of divine grace, from Christ to the parents to the children. And the principle way parents communicate from Christ to their children, the grace upon which those children will be saved, is prayer." 

- Excerpted from a speech originally given by Fr. John Hardon, S. J. 
at a home school seminar in Oct. 1991 

.: High School :. 

Twinkle Toes :: 12th Grade

Technically she only needs to take Chemistry+LAB, Theology, and just one elective to complete the requirements for the Summa Cum Laude diploma from Kolbe Academy! 

Theology: (1 Credit)
Our Moral Life in Christ
with Our Moral Life in Christ Student Workbook

Science: (1 Credit + LAB)

English/Literature: (1 1/2 Credits)
Muse on the Loose: Survey of Greek Literature in Translation (Fall)
Muse Re-Loosed: Survey of Latin Literature in Translation (Spring)

She has really loved taking Dr. Fisher's Latin 1 & 2 the past two years (completing Wheelock Latin) but, rather than move on to translating, decided to take her Literature course this upcoming year. 

Additional English/Literature:  (1/2 semester each) 
The Illiad by Homer with Joseph Pearce
The Odyssey by Homer with Joseph Pearce
using the recorded courses at Homeschool Connections

Mathematics: (1/2 Credit)
Foundations in Personal Finance (Fall)
Possible dual credit Math course in Spring 2021, still undecided

History: (1 Credit)
Government, Democracy, and Citizenship with Ed Rivet (Fall - 3/4 semester)
American Elections:Democracy in Action with Ed Rivet (Fall - Audit Class Oct 1-Nov 5, 2020)
Economics as if people matter! with Philip Campbell (Spring)
using the recorded courses at Homeschool Connections

Fine Arts: (1/2 Credit)

Physical Education: (1 Credit)
High School Golf (hopefully competitive!) 

Chiquita :: 10th Grade

Theology: (1 Credit)
The History of the Church

Mathematics: (1 Credit)

English/Literature: (1 1/2 Credits) 
19th Century Literature (Already completed over the summer)
Mansfield Park, Oliver Twist and North and South 

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Fall) 

The 19th-Century Novel (Victorian Classics) (Spring) 
Emma, David Copperfield, and the Barsetshire Chronicles with Eleanor Bourg Nicholson 

using the recorded courses at Homeschool Connections

History: (1 Credit) 
The History of the Church (Core Text for both Theology and History)

Additional literature chosen from Connecting with History, Volume 2 - The Arrival of the King and His Kingdom, New Testament and Early Medieval History:

One Hundred Saints, Their Lives and Likenesses Drawn from Butler's Lives of the Saints and Great Works of Western Art
A Graphic Life of Jesus Christ
Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome
The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History
Lives from Plutarch

Unit #1: Julius Caesar, Ben Hur (audio)
Unit #2: The Spear: A Novel of the Crucifixion
Unit #3: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem from Josephus, Quo Vadis
Unit #4: Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch
Unit #5: St. Athanasius, St. Monica, Beowulf: Illustrated Edition, Confessions of St. Augustine
Unit #6: Two Lives of Charlemagne
Unit #7: Hamlet, The Ballad of the White Horse

History Through the Ages Record of Time - Timeline

Foreign Language: (1 Credit)
Latin II using Wheelock Latin, 7th Edition
Live online class, Lukeion 

Fine Arts:  (1/2 Credit)

Physical Education: (1 Credit)
High School Golf

.: Middle School :. 

Snuggles :: 8th Grade 
Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood (Book 2 Teacher/Student Combo)
Phonetic Zoo, continue Level B
Writing Our Catholic Faith - Grade 8 Cursive Writing

The Chronicles of Narnia, Part One and Part Two with Kevin O'Brien
using the recorded courses at Homeschool Connections
Chronicles of Narnia Book Set

History & Geography:
Light to the Nations, Part One

Additional literature chosen from Connecting with History, Volume 2 - The Arrival of the King and His Kingdom, New Testament and Early Medieval History:

57 Stories of Saints
Famous Men of Rome
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Roman Britain
Augustus Caesar's World
A Graphic Life of Jesus Christ

Unit #1: Julius CaesarBen Hur (audio)
Unit #2: The Bronze Bow, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Unit #3: The Ides of April, Beyond the Desert Gate
Unit #4: The White Isle, Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
Unit #5: Beowulf the Warrior, St. Helena and the True Cross, The King's Thane
Unit #6: Fingal's Quest, King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills
Unit #7: The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow, The Sword of Clontarf

History Through the Ages Record of Time - Timeline
Maps Charts and Graphs Level G: The World
Various Mapping Assignments, Activities, Puzzles and Games

Exploring Creation with Physical Science (3rd Edition)
with Solutions and Tests and Student Notebook

Foreign Language:

Physical Education:
Self Defense / Martial Arts: Jui Jitsu

.: Elementary School:. 

Rose :: 5th Grade

St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism (with Dad on Sundays)
The Vine and the Branches (Highway to Heaven Series Book 5)
Supplemental Religion Books and Saint Stories from Our Monthly Book Baskets

Saxon 5/4 with Solutions Manual and Tests/Worksheets
Saxon Teacher Math 5/4 Lesson and Tests CDs

Language Arts:
All About Spelling
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1 Teacher/Student Combo)
Writing Our Catholic Faith - Grade 5 Cursive Writing
Supplemental Readers and Additional Literature

The Chronicles of Narnia, Part One and Part Two with Kevin O'Brien
using the recorded courses at Homeschool Connections
Chronicles of Narnia Book Set

History & Geography:
with Workbook and Audio Book

Additional literature chosen from Connecting with History, Volume 2 - The Arrival of the King and His Kingdom, New Testament and Early Medieval History:

57 Stories of Saints
Famous Men of Rome
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Roman Britain
Augustus Caesar's World
Ancient World (Usborne)
Spend the Day in Ancient Rome
Twelve Bright Trumpets
A Life of Our Lord for Children
The First Christians

Unit #1: Cleopatra, CityBen Hur (audio)
Unit #2: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mary My Mother, Good St. Joseph
Unit #3: City of the Golden House, St. Peter the Apostle, The Apostles of Jesus, St. Paul the Apostle
Unit #4: The Roman Colosseum, Gladiator, No Tears for the Bride: A Story of St. Perpetua
Unit #5: St. Helena and the True Cross, Beowulf: A Hero's Tale Retold, St. George and the Dragon, Word to Caesar
Unit #6: St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills, The Silk Route, Life in Celtic Times Coloring Book, Color Your Own Book of Kells, Bring Me and Ax: A Story of St. Boniface, King Arthur: Tales from the Round Table
Unit #7: Beorn the Proud, Hide the Children: St. Bernard of Clairvaux, D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

History Through the Ages Record of Time - Timeline

Various Mapping Assignments, Activities, Puzzles and Games

United States Elections Unit Study

Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
with Audiobook, Lab Kit and Notebooking Journal

Fine Arts:

Bud :: 3rd Grade

St. Joseph First Communion Catechism (with Dad on Sundays)
The Life of the Soul (Highway to Heaven Series Book 3)
Supplemental Religion Books and Saint Stories from Our Monthly Book Baskets

Math Mammoth- Little Blue Series 3

Language Arts:
Structure and Style for Students: Year 1 Level A

Once Upon a Time Saints
More Once Upon a Time Saints
Famous Figures of Ancient Times
Famous Figures of Medieval Times
Time Traveler

Spend the Day in Ancient Rome
A Life of Our Lord for Children
The First Christians

Unit #1: How to be a Roman SoldierCityBen Hur (audio)
Unit #2: Mary My MotherGood St. Joseph, The Miracles of Jesus, Jesus With Us: The Gift of the EucharistThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Unit #3: Pompeii- Buried Alive, Story of St. Peter, Story of St. Stephen, Story of St. Andrew the Apostle, The Adventures of St. Paul
Unit #4: St. Valentine, Story of Agatha, Story of Cecilia, Story of Cyprian, Story of Sebastian, Story of Lawrence, Story of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Story of St. Christopher, Story of St. Lucy
Unit #5: St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, The Saint Who Fought the DragonSt. George and the DragonNicholas, the Boy Who Became Santa (DVD), Brigid's Cloak, Story of St. Blaise, The Queen and the Cross
Unit #6: We're Riding on a Caravan, Story of St. Benedict, The Sword in the Tree, Celtic Treasures (CD), Caedmon's Song, Saint Brendan and the Voyage Before Columbus
Unit #7: Vikings: Dress, Eat and Play Like the Vikings, Margaret, Story of St. Wenceslas, Leif the LuckyD'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

History Through the Ages Record of Time - Timeline
Various Mapping Assignments, Activities, Puzzles and Games

United States Elections Unit Study

Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
with Audiobook, Lab Kit and Junior Notebooking Journal

Fine Arts:
Meet the Masters

Physical Education: 
Self Defense / Martial Arts: Jiu Jitsu

The rest of our science books finally arrived and these two (three?) are so excited to dive into marine biology this year!  I had been considering an introduction to chemistry course, since our high schoolers are both taking chemistry this year, but they begged for this instead. Their eldest brother (who got scuba certified this summer) might have had something to do with it... This was his favorite science book as a child

💦🦀🐋🐠🦞🐟🐬🐡🦈🦑💦 🦀🐋🐠🦞🐟🐬🐡🦈🦑💦 

Grace :: Pre Pre-K (Age 3)

Catholic Children's Treasure Box Books 1-10 and 11-20
Feast Day Picture Books
Seasonal Picture Books
Lots of fun learning Toys and Puzzles
Occasional Crafts and Baking with Older Siblings
Nothing formal, yet... basically just living life in a large family!

“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery– the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the “material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.” Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.”
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2223)

Additional Resources: 

#1 - Kolbe Academy 

Our high schoolers all work towards the Magna Cum Laude Diploma. I love the flexibility offered by Kolbe and that we can continue tailoring our curriculum to our family's preferences and our children's needs. I submit graded samples twice a year and they keep all the necessary records for the transcripts. We have two students currently enrolled in Kolbe Academy.

#2 - The Lukeion Project 

Charlotte was the one to introduce us to Lukeion and the live classes my high schoolers have taken have all been excellent. After just completing Wheelock Latin, our eldest daughter is moving on to a Literature Course and daughter #2 is taking Latin II. 

To quote Lukeion: "There are many programs now available for younger students. In our experience, however, these programs demand a lot of busy work but deliver very little in the way of learning the functional nuts-and-bolts of Classical languages. Students are not generally prepared to master these languages until they have reached the logic stage. You will accomplish much more in a fraction of the time if you wait until your student is 12 to 15 before you start formal instruction in Latin and Greek. Better still, waiting to start these logic based languages may mean your student will enjoy them more."

#3 - Homeschool Connections 

We're still paying the $30 per month for access to all of their recorded classes which the kids can take at their own pace. Middle School favorites have included science classes with MacBeth Derham and history classes with Philip Campbell. For high school we have loved Joseph Pearce, Gregory Pyne, and Eleanor Bourg Nicholson's literature classes, as well as American Sign Language. My high schoolers can't get the "Kolbe designation" on the non-Kolbe courses, but they still qualify for high school credit (the high school level courses do anyway, with pre-approval from Kolbe) and they have worked well for us!

#4 - Taylor Science 

My three oldest all loved Mrs. Taylor's biology class. This year the older girls are taking her recorded chemistry class. So awesome!

#5 - Institute for Excellence in Writing

After taking a couple year break from IEW's Structure and Style writing classes, I'm so excited to get back to it this year! I was just going to dust off all my old materials, but after checking out the awesome new updated versions, we are making the switch! 

We completed the first three weeks using the FREE LESSONS currently available online while waiting for our package to arrive. It's so well done!  (Note: We are also continuing on with Fix It! Grammar and over the summer we finished up Primary Arts of Language, but I'll eventually get back to that once again once our three year old is a little older. I really love all the products offered by IEW!) 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Back-to-School :: 2020-2021

"The spirit of adventure was rising in them all, and no one really wanted to be back at school." - Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

... but they were all ready for their back to school treats! 

I was questioning my younger self yesterday, as I assembled this year’s Back-to-School Schultütes... “WHY did I start these little annual traditions all those years ago?!?” I just don’t have the energy I had when I was younger... However they really didn’t take that long to assemble, and the smiles on all my children’s faces made it worth the extra effort!

I'm in love with our new school supplies from OOLY. I happened to discover them at my favorite local store, Pilgrim's Market in Coeur d'Alene, and had to get some for this year's Schultütes.



I had to get her the little fox... 
Last week she chased off a coyote, saving all but one of our chickens. 

We also celebrated with Birthday Cake for our Blessed Mother ♥

..Back-to-School Pictures..

Twinkle Toes :: 12th Grade 


Chiquita :: 10th Grade

Snuggles :: 8th Grade  


Rose :: 5th Grade


Bud :: 3rd Grade  

Grace :: Pre Pre-School ;) 

"Mama! Where's mine?!?" 

Our sweet little "Joy" was not too happy that her older sis wouldn't share... 

A is for Angel (not Anger) ;) 

I also had a lovely new picture book for my children... 

... and a beautiful handmade wire wrap rosary from The Rose Picker to send to one of you! 

Update: For all those who are curios, the book, under the rosary, is my Roman Catholic Daily Missal (1962)

To enter the rosary giveaway simply leave a comment on this post! 
I'll randomly choose and then contact the winner on September 14th. 
Thank you to The Rose Picker for sponsoring this giveaway!

**Giveaway has ended - Congratulations, Patricia!**

P.S.  The Rose Picker is offering 10% OFF ROSARIES until October 1, 2020 
with coupon code: SHOWEROFROSES