Thursday, May 31, 2007

35 Years!

Today marks the 35th year that Father Edmund Morelle has been the parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel church. He administered my first Penance and First Communion. He was there at my Confirmation. He married my husband and I 21 years ago. He has baptized our ten children and has given 6 of my children their First Communion. He has overseen the Catholic education of 8 of my children and prepared 3 of them for their confirmations. He has administered the Sacrament of the Sick to me on more than one occasion.

Please say a prayer for him today, especially a prayer of thanksgiving, because he has served his parishioners so faithfully over the last 35 years.

May 1974
Father Morelle and myself on my First Communion
Father, may God bless you always.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Home-Made Learning

Over the last couple of days I have made two new learning games for Grace. I found them at Hands-on Home Learning. They have many, many free printables.
The first game is a file folder game about different animal habitats. We also got out our basket of plastic animals and found where they would live, along with the cards that we printed.

Next is a spelling/reading game. I printed out control cards that show the picture and the word.
Then, Grace matches the pictures and words that are cut out. Right now she is using the control cards to find the correct match. Eventually, she will be reading the words on her own and matching them to the pictures.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Patriotic Craft

I made these patriotic flags to decorate the front of the house. They are cute. I need to make a few more for the other two front windows. I think that we will keep them up through July.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Smalltown Americana

It was a glorious Memorial Day today, and as in many small towns, a parade marched down the main street.

Anticipation is a wonderful thing, adding much excitement to the day.

We had brothers and sisters,

and sisters and brothers waiting for the parade.

You know that your in a small town when there are more tractors in the parade than bands.

You know your in a small town when goats are a main attraction in the parade,

and we love the fire dog even though he is not a dalmation. You also know that your in a real small town when the parade passes you once, and then turns around and comes back from the other direction.(no kidding)

Candy was tossed to us and everyone enjoyed it very much.

You know it was a very good parade when you have to carry your candy back to grandma's like this.

This was my favorite part of the parade, Luke and his daddy enjoying the day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day we want to thank all the men and women who have served their country, in years past, as my father did during the Korean War,

and at the present time, such as my nephew,

who returned from Iraq within the past few weeks.
We want to remember our family members who have gone ahead of us and who will always be in our hearts.

We want to remember our country, especially in our prayers, and take pride in the "red, white, and blue",
and we especially want to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives for our freedom.
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

by: Samuel F. Smith
3rd verse of My Country tis of Thee

A Blessed Pentecost

I want to wish everyone a very blessed Pentecost. Becky made us this Pentecost cake to help us celebrate the birthday of the Catholic Church.
Luke enjoyed it very much, as we all did.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

He's Growing Up

It took a few days, and Becky to give it the final yank, but it finally came out.

Pentecost Craft

Inspired by Dawn's Pentecost windsock the kids and I set about making our own today. We used foamie for the blue and for the dove, and ribbon for the streamers, and as always, it wouldn't be a craft if we didn't add a little glitter to the tongues of fire. Tomorrow we will have a birthday cake to celebrate the "birthday of the church".

Friday, May 25, 2007

An Artistic Day

Last night we enjoyed the book Painting the Wind , so today I thought that we would paint our own wind. I am not particularly blessed with any painting ability, but I think it is important to expose my children to different types of art. This book described still life, landscape painting, and portrait painting. Mark and Grace enjoyed it alot, and they looked forward to our own "painting the wind" today. Here are results.

Gracie painted a very nice tree in the wind, with apples.

Mark's painting looked just like a tree in the wind, but being a 7 year old boy, his painting turned into a lumberjack(the brown guy on the left) chopping the nicely bent tree down.

I like my trees, my most artistic ever, but I am having a hard time seeing any wind here.
Next, we made very patriotic frisbees for Memorial Day. We found the idea in the book, Star-Spangled Crafts, by Kathy Ross.

They are very colorful, and very messy to make. I guarantee that we will be finding patriotic sequins, stars, and glitter for many days to come.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Unexpected Discovery

We visited Grandma C. today and had a wonderful afternoon. We were quite surprised on the way home, while taking the "long" way, to discover a farm that had a field of ELK. We have never seem that before. We never know what to expect on our nature drives.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Still Schooling

I wanted Grandma H to know that there is a little schooling going on over here in the past week or two.
Of course, I count nature study as a very big part of our schooling, so if you count all the nature we have been enjoying lately, we have done a real lot of school.

But, a more concrete academic proof is this phonics file folder game I made for Grace a few days ago. I think it is Montessori-ish. Montessori is a learning style which I am learning alot about at the 4Real Learning forum. It seems to fit our learning lifestyle very well.

Luke also enjoyed weighing his vehicles on our scale today. It is never to early for science, even for a 2 year old.Becky took these pictures yesterday when she noticed the afternoon sun coming through the window. They are just beautiful.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Beautiful Afternoon.

Pat, the children, and I spent a wonderful afternoon at my parent's house today. Our schooling has definitely taken on an unschooling look lately, nature study being our biggest subject recently, and we are all loving it. As I was growing up, my dad sitting in this position was a common sight. The birds were a constant interest, but there were also the many bugs and critters that he would bring home that kept things lively. (He does know how to pet bumble bees and has done it many times. He has also helped many of my children do the same) Our love for nature has certainly come from him.
My mom and dad's backyard is a wildlife haven. We spent just about two, peaceful hours sitting outside and enjoying the sights and sounds.(As peaceful as it can get with 5 children along.)

This is a house wren who definitely didn't like us near it's nest.

A bleeding heart flower is in full bloom. It was a gift from my brother.

This double purple lilac came from a bush in the backyard of my Uncle Lee and Aunt Pat.

These are goldern ragwort, spotted at the creek. We haven't seen these before this year.

A beautiful honeysuckle is in full bloom.
Below in Bishop's weed or "snow on the mountain" as my grandfather called it. It grew at our camp in the Adirondack mountains. Mom transplanted some into the backyard here.
I spotted the first Baltimore Oriole of the year this afternoon. I got this picture and then continued watching and soon saw a female. I followed it and found it's beautiful nest in a maple tree in the yard.

Baltimore Oriole nest

This robin must have been feeling a little grimy today because we enjoyed watching it take a nice long bath.

One of my biggest hopes for the future is that this little girl, and all my children, grow up to have the love and appreciation of nature that their Grandfather H. has.