Archive for fun – Page 2

Glendi

There is a local Greek festival in our area called Glendi. I thought it would be the perfect place to go with my dear son as he begins studying Ancient Greece in history. We went and enjoyed many different Greek foods, art done by local Greek artists, Greek music on the bouzouki, and a variety of Greek products in the vendor market.
My son loved the diples , the baklava, and the pastitsio or “Greek lasagna”.

That Resource Site

Wow! A friend posted about a science resource on one of the email loops to which I belong. When I checked out the page, though, there was so much more than just the Famous Scientist cards that she had sent the information about.
There are faith formation printables, science printables, book report printables, and the list goes on!
To top it all off, they are having a contest for an Amazon gift card.
Check it out!

Eventful!

It has been an eventful 24 hours. My daughter came home from camp last night. Her camp is about 7 hours away, so parents car pool. The car my daughter was traveling in was side swiped. The initial impact was right next to my daughter. Fortunately, she was the only one hurt. The mom who was driving managed to keep control of the car which was no small feat since it was dark, raining and thunder and lightning. My dear daughter was taken to the hospital via ambulance an hour and a half away from home. She is only bruised, though. God was looking out for her.
My dear son came home from camp today. When I went to pick him up I ran into a friend I know through homeschooling. Her 2 boys were not only at camp, but in my son’s cabin and group! I came home to a message from another friend who said that her son made a great new friend…my son! We are already planning to get together!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for keeping your hand of protection over my children while they were away from me. Please continue to watch over them. Please help me to be the mother You want them to have.
Amen.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

We have reached the end of our homeschool “year.” This means taking a break from formal schooling for a couple of months.
Our homeschool support group just wrapped up the 3rd New England Catholic Homeschool Conference. This confeerence came into being after several of us traveled to the CHAPLET conference in Berlin, NJ five years ago. It is hard to believe that it has been five years. There is a HUGE homeschool conference that lasts several days here in Massachusetts where we live, but it is not a Catholic conference. It is a Christian conference, but there are no Catholic vendors. As Catholics, we longed to have a venue where we could begin with prayer in the way Catholics do, “In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We longed for history books that did not paint Catholics as evil, or ignore Catholic contributions entirely. We wanted to see and touch the Catholic curricula before we bought it. New Jersey was the closest Catholic conference, so we went. It was a long drive.
I don’t travel well. I have severe motion sickness when I travel by any means. Short rides are usually fine, but long ones, not so much. We were blessed to have a place to stay with the sister of one of the dear friends with I whom I was traveling. Their hospitality was so wonderful. I think I was a bit green when we arrived. My girlfriend’s niece was so solicitous. She brought us a snack and tea. Her father offered us wine. The other friend with whom I traveled has a sister who lives in New Jersey, as well. She lived in Massachusetts for years before moving there, though, and we missed her. We called her and she came to see us with her newest baby.
In the morning we had coffee and breakfast before setting out for the day long conference. We were too late for the opening Mass, but we were on time to hear all the talks. Rob Evans, the Donut Man, talked about his conversion to Catholicism and shared a couple of songs with us. His talk is the one I recall most clearly. There were two other talks that I attended, but their content has slipped my mind. We browsed the vendor hall. We met the leaders of the group that runs the conference. We gathered ideas and contact information. On the way home, we discussed what we liked and disliked. We wondered if we could do something similar. We wondered if God was calling us to put together a conference.
After we returned, we called other homeschool friends and we had meetings to discuss the feasibility. We tried to find a venue. Our diocese had precious few places available, those they did have were either too expensive, not available to a homeschool group, or not really appropriate for what we had in mind. We contacted a few folks at the Diocesan level and the leaders of our group went and met with some folks to discuss the idea. I was not one of the “leaders” at that point. It was another year before that happened, and it was really a bit by default. We had more meetings. People fell away from the group for one reason or another. There were many life changes that occurred.
We finally located a venue that was in a decent location and was affordable. We set a date. We contacted vendors. All the while we continued to pray. In June of 2009, we held that first conference. We dedicated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was small, but it was successful. We were grateful to Seton Home Study for taking a chance on our fledgling conference.
In 2010, we had to change venues due to “pastoral planning” and the closing of many churches in our diocese. We were blessed to be able to use St. Stanislaus School, an active, local, Catholic school as the new venue. It was handicapped accessible and air conditioned. It was a win-win situation. We paid for the use of the school and their Parent group provided food to raise money for the school.
This year, we also used St. Stanislaus School. Our conference was later, though, and there were fewer vendors who could or would travel to our conference. One of the larger vendors was to come from California and they decided it would be fiscally irresponsible to fly out. We had some new vendors this year, though. We also had fewer advance registrations. We had numerous registrations at the door, but our total number of attendees was still down from the last two years. We still had wonderful talks and information. I have no doubt that God brought those people who needed most what it offered.
This year’s conference was bittersweet. We have had numerous changes in the core group that has worked on the conference since its inception, and fewer people seem willing to step up to help. It is simply not feasible for our group to try to put together this conference again next year. Through prayer and discussion, we approached another homeschool group to possibly take over the conference and move it toward the Boston area. In exploring this idea, we approached the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. This college has been a huge supporter of the conference the last three years. The president of the college, Dr. William Fahey, was our keynote speaker at the first conference.
Our contact at Thomas More is a young man named Mark Schwerdt. It became clear to us in conversation that God was calling the conference to another place. It is God’s conference, after all. The support of the college means that the conference can continue to serve Catholic Homeschoolers with authentically Catholic books. It also means that we who have worked on it to this point can back away a little and pray for the conference to be successful. We can ask God to bless those who are taking over the running of the conference, and to bless those vendors who have supported Catholic homeschoolers in our area. Prayer is the most powerful “work” we can do for the conference.
Other changes are happening in my family. My dear 15 year old daughter is spending the summer babysitting. She has one week when she will attend Srodowisko at Quiet Waters. She will be working on reading and math with two of the girls for whom she is caring. She will be the “teacher” for the summer.
My dear 11 year old son will be attending Montfort camp for the first time this year. It is an overnight camp, not a day camp, and they are not allowed to call home. That may be more difficult for me than for him. His best friend will also be attending camp. I hope they are still best friends at the end of the week.

Dear Lord,
So many changes all at once. My children are growing up and turning into fine young people. Please help me to loosen the apron strings where they should be loosened and to know when to still hold tight.
Amen.

Favorite Tools

This is a Mega Thatsa Bowl from Tupperware. It holds 42 cups and is the perfect tool for many of the big jobs around my kitchen. I use it when I am mixing up a batch of baking mix that starts with 5 pounds of flour. I also use it for mixing things like triple batches of scalloped potatoes with ham and cheese like I cooked for dinner tonight. If you have a large family, it is an awesome tool for your kitchen.

This is a tool that is new in my homeschool. It is a GBC ProClick. With it I can bind pages together in a spiral binding to make books. I won this recently in a drawing from NotebookingPages.com. Debra Reed of Notebooking Pages uses on in her homeschool and wanted to share this tool with others. I am so excited to have it. I had been eying it online at Amazon for a while. I have already bound several things that I used to keep in binders. It is amazing how much that has opened up my shelf space. I am looking ahead to the end of the school year when I will bind together some of my children’s work to save for future reference.This is what the binding spines look like.
This tool is used to close the spine once the punched pages are laid into it.
Here are a few finished books.

This is already becoming a favorite tool! I am really looking forward to using it to put a new “spin” on our lapbooks.

Dear Lord,
Thank you sending me this wonderful tool through the contest on Notebooking Pages. May it become a blessing to others as well as to my family. Please show me how both of these tools can be used to help others.
Amen.