"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Read Alouds

Alvin Fernald, Foreign Trader by Clifford B. Hicks

Alvin Fernald, Mayor for a Day by Clifford B. Hicks

Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman

Dog Training for Kids by Carol Lea Benjamin

Once upon a Time Saints and More Once Upon a Time Saints by Ethel Pochocki

Petite Suzanne by Marguerite de Angeli

Secret Agents Four Donald J. Sobol

The Tales of Olga Da Polga by Michael Bond

2011 Personal Reading

I found this book informative, but it was also shocking in places (I did not need to know some of the information). I thought that the last couple of chapters were the most interesting/helpful.

Growth In Holiness by Rev. Frederick William Faber

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition) by the Monks of New Skete

How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With by Clarice Rutherford and David Nell

Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman
I enjoyed reading this book. It is full of beauty and love. At times, I found myself saying, "Oh, I/we do that." (Assign children to a day of the week; child checks mail, etc. on that day.) At other times, I thought, "What a great idea!"  Although this book's title suggests that it is for large families, I think that home educators can benefit from it regardless of their family size. I haven't implemented all of Mrs. Brenneman's suggestions, but I have implemented some of them (folding laundry with my children for 15 minutes each day).  I really appreciate Kim Brenneman's candid sharing. Yes, I do know that Mrs. Brenneman is writing from a Protestant perspective and recommends some Protestant catechisms in one of the chapters of her book. Alternatives to these recommendations include: reading the bible, using the Baltimore Catechism with your children, trying to assist at daily Mass, frequenting the Sacrament of Confession, studying history, and teaching your children  history. "To be steeped in history is to cease to be Protestant." (Cardinal Newman) Kim has given mothers a wonderful gift with this book.

Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

My Daily Bread by Fr. Anthony J. Paone

Thy Will Be Done: Letters to Persons in the World by St. Francis de Sales

Victory Over Vice by Archbishop Fulton Sheen

A Year with the Saints: A Virtue for Every Month of the Year translated by A Member of the Order of Mercy, Mt. St. Joseph's Seminary

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
I read this book in order to discuss it with one of my children.

Friday, December 30, 2011


On Tuesday, my five eldest children went to see The Adventures of Tintin with their dad and their uncle. I was happy to hear that they really liked it and that they are looking forward to hopefully seeing a sequel. Like their grandfather and me, they have grown up with the Tintin comic books and they enjoyed seeing him "brought to life" on a movie screen. I am looking forward to eventually watching the movie on blu-ray.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

Once again this year, my husband gave us the greatest Christmas gift possible by taking  us to Midnight Mass. As usual, Elizabeth and Finnian slept through the lessons and carols and the Mass. Patrick, however, surprised us this year by staying awake. After Mass, he told me, "Mommy, I think that I am definitely ready to receive my First Communion. I actually stayed awake for the whole Mass!" I enjoyed being able to give my full attention to the Mass.

After Mass, we headed home and some of the children wondered whether or not St. Nicholas had visited. When we went into the house, they were not disappointed. I wish that I had had a video camera turned on to capture Elizabeth's amazement as she exclaimed to me, "Mommy, St. Nicholas came!"

The older children guided the younger ones over to our manger and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Baby Jesus. (Bernadette did so privately later as she had to attend to Heidi.)

After they finished singing, the children started to open their presents. Each of them had their favorites.

Catherine was happy to receive a calligraphy kit.

Shortly after waking up on Christmas morning, Bernadette was heard playing music on the violin from the Lord of the Rings. She has continued to do so each day.

Brendan was very happy to receive tube balloons and an instructional booklet. He has been able to blow up tube balloons for a long time, but making figures out of them, like his great uncle does, has proven to be a little bit more challenging. His youngest sister and brother were delighted to be the recipients of dragon flies and parrots. I think that I am going to have to purchase this book for him soon.

Theresa likes the The Adventures Of Tintin Game for the Wii that her grandfather gave all of the children.

Patrick was delighted with the LEGO Kingdoms King's Castle that he and Finnian received from St. Nicholas. He also really likes the Nxt Generation crossbow that he received from his godparents.

Finnian was thrilled with his Buzz Bee shotgun that he received. He has been wanting one ever since Patrick received one for his birthday. I liked the fact that it was available for less than $10 at a couple of local stores. Both boys think that these shoot better than their Nerf guns.

Elizabeth has been spending hours playing with her Little People Nativity Scene (she received the Wisemen and their tents this year) and her Playmobil Castle.

All of the children are very excited about the Wii that their uncle gave them.

Once the presents were opened, we were all ready to head to bed to sleep for a little bit. Patrick and Finnian were up around seven, playing with their toys. The other children slowly meandered out of bed. My husband and I were surprised and thankful to receive breakfast in bed around 10. My feet hit the floor shortly after I finished breakfast.

At some point during the day, Catherine made pigs in a blanket, and some salamie and crackers were opened. While my husband and children played with the Wii, I prepared our Christmas dinner. Children occasionally wandered into the kitchen to help me, and to get a little something to eat and drink.

After eating our "Christmas feast" and praying our family Rosary, we went to bed happy and thankful for such a wonderful day.

I pray that everyone is enjoying the Christmas season.
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