Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feast of St. Andrew

Today is St. Andrew's day. It is also the 3rd day of Advent. Tomorrow we will be able to start using our advent house/calendar. Till then we've burned down our advent candles to the number 1.

I learned something new that I didn't realize before concerning St. Andrew. I knew that he was the brother of Peter and that they were fisherman called to be disciples by Jesus. What I didn't realize was the timeline of events that occur when you put several gospels together. I was always a little amazed that the two just left to follow this poor carpenter without a whole lot of information. Today I realized that when they were called, they had already spent time with Jesus. In John 1, Andrew was introduced to our Lord by John the Baptist. Andrew spent the day with Jesus. After this,he told his brother, Simon (Peter) about Jesus. It was after this that Jesus called them to follow him and become fishers of men (which was the reading for today in Matthew). 

Why I never put these two gospel passages together in such a way, I don't know. I've always wanted to read the four gospels to put them together chronologically, historically and spiritually. 

Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory MastersWell, the boys and I read the passage in John about Andrew and then set out to memorize the 12 disciples. I used the book Memorize the Faith! by Kevin Vost to help us. His method works like a charm. We still remembered them all by lunch. 

Speaking of lunch, since St. Andrew was a fisherman I thought it would be fitting to have fish. So, a greasy breaded fish and french fry lunch was enjoyed by all. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

For the Love of Birds (and Squirrels)

garland and two pinecone feeders
 Nathan and I attended a program at our local Environmental Center. It was all about feeding the birds by making your own natural feeders. 
Tufted Titmouse
 We made suet and applied it to pine cones and made garland for the trees out of cranberries, cheerios, raisins, dried apples, peanuts in the shell and cranberries.
Black Capped Chickadee
 I hung everything on our tree which is in front of the dinning room (and school room) window. It didn't take long to see the wild life.
Tufted Titmouse, rear
Once the squirrels found the stash it didn't last very long.
Tufted Titmouse, upside down
The tree was bare a few hours after decorated. It made for a very enjoyable morning.
  We saw several Black Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmouse (Titmice?), one sparrow and one woodpecker. 

fat gray squirrel

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Day of Advent

image taken from Salford Office for Liturgy
Happy 1st day of Advent everyone. I just wanted to share a few links to help you if you haven't made any plans for the season. Because we homeschool we do a little more here than I would if my kids were in school. I've also learned that my boys (almost 13 and 14) love a good story, enjoy cooking and baking and hate crafting. I also know that they aren't too old for the traditions of their childhood, even if those traditions involve Playmobile. So, think about what your family enjoys and pick one or two things to do with them this Advent season as you anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Lord.

These are just a few places to get ideas. The web is full of many more. Don't overdo it. Keep it simple. Have a peace filled Sunday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Advent Decorations

Every year at Advent I like to stick with old traditions and make new ones. We've had advent boxes filled with candy and the Playmobile nativity for probably over 7 years. This year I made some advent houses from a pattern I found in Quilting Arts magazine. I was able to use my stash except for the ribbon and the beads.

The pattern called for the numbers to be put on the pocket which is on the back of the houses. I prefer the numbers to be on the front, so I bought wood beads and wrote the numbers 1-24 which I then sewed onto the doors of each house. Sort of a door knob of sorts. I filled the pockets with the nativity, candy and a few messages. I've got a few other fun or educational pieces up my sleeve for the holiday season. I hope to keep you informed of them as the days go by. Have a great start to the advent season tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It's been quite a while since I've blogged. I found this school year to be somewhat difficult, demanding and draining. To be honest, I almost gave up. But (I always tell the boys not to start a sentence with that word.....glad they don't read my blog), I persevered. I think perseverance is a wonderful quality to cultivate. We need it in our lives so many times. So, Nolan is persevering with Latin, Nathan is persevering with Algebra and I'm persevering with it all.

I hope to write quite a few blog entries this Advent. I have a new sewing project completed for the season which I'll share soon. I love making Advent plans each year in anticipation of Christmas. It is wonderful to take the time to prepare our hearts, minds and souls for Christ. Click here for last year's plans. Keep posted for this year's.

And finally, today is Thanksgiving Day if you live in America. Our family is doing something a little different today. We're heading out to Washington D.C. to the Smithsonian. We've been in need of a little family togetherness. We spent some time with my parents and Mike's family this week so that lessens my guilt a little

Today, I'm thankful for our families, extended and nuclear. I'm thankful for cars that are paid for and work just fine even if they are ugly as sin. I'm thankful to be teaching my children and learning right along side them. For museums that are free, roads that are paved, jobs that provide paychecks, heat that warms my feet, cats that sit on my (very ample) lap, music that blesses. And. So. Much. More.

Take some time to think about your blessing today. Have a great Thanksgiving.
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