1st week at Immaculate Academia

What we learned:  Starting slow with Grace, doing “Button Time” (our circle time rug has buttons on it!) with prayers, calendar and read aloud, then something fun!  This week we worked on some Kiwi Crate projects (click here for $10 off a first time crate); learning about rainbows and the human body.  Seriously, these science crates are awesome for a non-craft-mom like me, with everything included and lots of cool information.   We went over letter sounds and Grace practiced writing lower case letters (she know all her upper case already).  I also realized there was pre-math lessons, so we went over those.  Happy to find that Grace has learned so much in the last year, with very little intentional effort on my part.  I am very glad I chose to wait an extra year to start kindergarten, instead of pushing her last year and greatly frustrating both of us.  We are starting Bible history with the Creation story and learning about the Trinity.  Theresa listens, plays and sometimes participates, and I am going over a letter a week with her.

What we read:  Too Many Pumpkins (very sweet fall story), Counting Crocodiles, Chesapeake Rainbow (beautiful book with local “color”), Earl the Squirrel, Planting a Rainbow (inspiration for a flower garden next year!), A Kiss Goodbye (good moving story), Flora and the Penguin (Grace is appreciating the Flora books more this year), Flora’s Very Windy Day (all about loving your sibling). 

What we practiced: Letter recognition and sounds; shapes with Gracie and colors with Theresa.  Practiced days of the week and months of the year.

What we made:  Tie-dyed rainbow bag for Theresa, human body poster and “sewed” organs with Gracie, and worked on silk floral arrangements one afternoon.

Where we went:  Checked out the public library, which had a great, gated playroom.  We also went to Braehead Farm with friends.  There was a huge play area, lots of dirt piles, and chickens, alpacas, goats and rabbits.  Girls loved it.

How we celebrated liturgical feasts: Went to Mass for the Exultation of the Cross.

Fun at other activities:  Second week of co-op.  Theresa apparently was doing much better at the times I wasn’t in her class.  No longer clinging to the other teachers, but getting very involved.  Grace was quiet this week, as she had crashed into Theresa the night before and bit her lip, which was very swollen.  Cecilia was crabby, and ended up with me most of the time, including falling asleep in science class!

Mom’s favorite things:  Getting to the library and getting new books, finding time to read aloud.

Grace’s favorite thing:  Calendar time, drawing, read aloud.

Theresa’s favorite thing: Maracas we got as gifts.

Looking forward to next week:  Not exactly looking forward to it, but we’ll be heading up to the cemetery in Philadelphia on the 19th, to remember the birthday of our eldest daughter in Heaven.  Also hope to do some leaf identification as we celebrate the first day of autumn.

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 3

 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

This past week has been exceedingly busy, as many of the school year activities began.  There was also several feast days important to our family.  For all these blessings, the happy and the difficult, I thank you, Lord Jesus:

  • For the first day of home school co-op.  I think the group will be a good fit for us.  The girls all had fun and no separation anxiety, although they were so happy to see each other after being apart for four hours!
  • For the first day at a women’s Scripture study at our new parish.  I have never participated in a group study like this long term, and I am very excited.  Also, there is free babysitting (!) and the girls were very good.
  • I am very grateful for these new activities with socialization and separation for all of us.  I think its a good thing for us girls to have a little time apart.
  • September 8 we celebrated the Nativity of Mary, and I made a Bohemian poppy seed cake.  This feast is my Marian Consecration anniversary.  I think this year marked 18 years since my first consecration preparation, according to St. Louis de Montford.  I am also very grateful for the new consecration preparation 33 Days to Morning Glory.  The format is easier and in a way, more profound, as you read about the Marian teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Theresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul the Great.  Fittingly, we celebrated Mother Theresa’s feast day while I was reading about her Marian teachings.
  • And I am very grateful for finding the writing of Mother Theresa.  Her words have resonated with me in a profound way.
  • I am thankful for my husband’s help this weekend to get the school room cleaned and ready for the first day of our home school.
  • For the first day for Gracie and Theresa at Immaculata Academia, my name for our home school.  This first day went remarkably well; mostly on schedule and very productive.
  • Finally, I am grateful for my interview with a trained Called and Gifted interviewer, who helped me sort through my Spiritual Gifts Inventory and discern two charisms to explore further.  I confess to a great deal of excitement over this discovery of my spiritual gifts.  It’s like a “super power” to bring people to Christ!  More on this, as several ideas take shape in my head….
  • I was happy to spend more one on one time with Theresa on Saturday, while her big sister was visiting grandparents.  Theresa and I explored the Farmers’ Market, had a snack at Chick-fil-A, chose florals at Michael’s and picked up a few things at Target.  Theresa really seems to like these special dates; she talks more, and I think enjoys the attention.  (I’m trying to forestall middle child complexes…)
  • And thank you, Lord, for the little things.  For a walk by myself today, for cold medicine and tissues (our well streak ended with the change of weather and contact with other people), for beautiful blue sky days with amazing, cool fall weather, for the chance to be home with my girls.
  • I have also noticed the blessing of less stress since I quit my job, as I’m stress-eating and craving chocolate much less.

Lord, you pour blessings upon us.  Please help me to be grateful and focus on these blessings, not on the many things that worry and trouble me.  Amen.