Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Edition 38

- 1 -

I took an unintentional extended break from the blog.

First, my computer died.

Next, I didn't have a computer for several days.

Then, we bought a new computer.

Last, I am finally blogging from my new computer because...

- 2 -

About the time I got a new computer, we left for the beach.

This, my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling. While everyone else is just starting school, we homeschoolers are taking over the beach. It's snowing outside of my window, I want to go back.

- 3 -

The day before we left Kevin turned in his final edits to the manuscript for his next book. It is now completely out of his hands! Yea!

Two books and a baby in less than one year. That is what we were celebrating on the beach. It's been a crazy year and a little downtime to soak it all in was much needed!

- 4 - 

The 1st week of our CCM Delta Year plans are up on the blog! Due to our vacation, I won't be posting the 2nd week until next Monday. Sorry for the delay :(.

- 5 -

The most important news of the week is actually the birth of my newest niece!

She's gorgeous, I know. I love little babies.

- 6 -

It took a year, but I have now blogged about feast day ideas for the entire year. Now to organized it all on the Liturgical Year tab. I'm thinking something with a picture collage for each month, as well as one for each liturgical season. There is so much I want to do with the blog, but I just don't have the time!!!

- 7 -

The current state of our world has been heavy on my heart. So I decided to up my intentional prayers for our world JP II style with a living rosary. Here's my post at on what that means. (P.S. The FOCUS blog has been on fire lately! So many amazing posts have been going up, you really need to check it out!)

Linking up at Conversion Diary!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ideas for Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 1

Classically Catholic Memory: Delta Year: Week 1
I'm blogging my way through our four year curriculum program so I don't forget everything that worked for us! Please feel free to use what works for your family and share in the comments anything you would add. For more on Classically Catholic Memory go here.

Here we go again! Delta year, let's do this!

For the first three weeks of the year our Catechism memorization focuses on the Sacraments. We will be making a Sacraments book during this time by studying two sacraments each week for three weeks. During the subsequent weeks there are several questions that focus on the Eucharist, so we will add Holy Communion in then.

In addition to making our Sacraments book we will be reading a Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and excerpts from The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1.

Lesson 1:
First we did a quick introduction to the sacraments by reading Lesson 23 (pg 111-115) of The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. The kids colored this awesome worksheet from Look to Him and Be Radiant for the inside cover of their sacrament books. To the right of the worksheet they will be writing out the weekly memory work on the sacraments.

As the kids colored they listened to a free sermon for children on sacramental grace called The Penny Man from Angel Food for Jack and Jill. 

The sermons are old school, so sometimes you get old language. In this sermon the phrase "buy your way into heaven" is used, so you'll have to explain that clearly to your kiddos so they don't get confused.

Lesson 2:
The first Sacrament we studied was baptism. We read the section on baptism from Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and did Lesson 24 (pgs 116-119) in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. Then the kids added two pages to their books using this free printout from Sadlier Religion and this free printout from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Finally, they watched Born into the Kingdom from the Brother Francis series.

Lesson 3:
The next sacrament we studied was Confirmation. (Baptism and Confirmation are the Sacraments of Initiation, so we kept them together.)

To learn about Confirmation we read the section on Confirmation from Child's Guide to the Seven Sacraments and did Lesson 25 (pgs 120-123) in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism No 1. Then we added two more pages to our Sacrament books.

On the left I had the kids cut out flames and write down the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit on them. Bean said "Wait, we memorized these!" She was right. Beta Year, Week 8, Religion asks "Which are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit." Look friends, CCM works!!

On the right the kids sealed a letter with the phrase "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit" and colored and cut out a picture of Pentecost.

For the sealed envelope we took a standard white candle and dripped a thin amount of wax onto the paper. Once the wax was almost hard again we pressed a rubber stamp of a bird (dove) into it. I sprayed the stamp with cooking spray before we used it so it wouldn't stick to the wax. It turned out pretty well!

Over the next few weeks we will be memorizing O Salutaris Hostia. The kids will be learning it from the Delta year CD and this youtube... because mama can't sing.


Lesson 1:
Per the suggestion of a reader (I LOVE getting lesson ideas from readers, please email me your ideas!! catholicmissionaryfamily(at)gmail(dot)com) I picked up A Child's History of the World from the Library and read to them chapter 78 on Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. So far I really like the approach the author takes and I think we be reading from it again for future lessons!

Lesson 2:
Next, Kevin read the kids A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar to learn about the George Washington of South America. And we watched this Brain Pop video on him as well.

The first 10 weeks of science, Delta Year focuses on botany. There are several good overview books and movies you can use throughout these 10 weeks, so pick your favorites!

Also, during these 10 weeks we will be creating botany books that we will use as a sketch book and that will be filled with lapbook items. The CCM Teacher Text suggests getting a subscription to for printouts for making a lapbook, but I'm going to see if I can pull it off without one... which means you will be able to also!

Lesson 1:
Here are the supplies we used for our first science lesson of the year.

First I read the kids Seed to Plant and introduced them to the world of botany.

Then we talked about the differences between vascular and non-vascular plants and made this mini-book for our botany books. Use page 4 from homeschool share's Lapbook Templates: Flap Books to print off your own.

We also did the "paper towel absorbing water like a non-vascular plant" demonstration that we suggested in the Teacher Text.

Next we talked about the 3 major parts of a vascular plant. As we discussed each part, the kids filled them in on a free diagram printout from Wikispaces. I reduced the image to 50% when I printed it so that it would fit into their botany books better.

Leaves: We gathered various leaves from the backyard and discussed what makes them important for a plant. We'll study leaves more in depth next week.

Stems and Roots: We read Plants Stems and Roots and then discussed what makes them important for a plant.

We also divided up our plants into taproots or fibrous roots. Next the kids made a mini-book on these two types of roots using page 2 from homeschool share's Lapbook Templates You Can Type On!.

Here are our completed botany book pages!

Lesson 2:
For our next lesson we took our botany books and went on a nature hunt.

Specifically, I had the kids sketch several of the interesting plants that they found, and then label them as vascular or non-vascular. Pal was much more interested in throwing rocks and sticks into the creek, but hey, he's a 5 year old boy.


Lesson 1:
To review the multiples of 2 The kids created these freebies from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (scroll to the very bottom). You can also print them for 1s, 5s, and 10s. She has a few other ideas at the post as well!

Lesson 2:
The kids grabbed 12 pairs of stray shoes from around the house. Then we skip counted them and I had Pal skip count and tell me how many shoes were mom's, dad's, etc. Finally the kids put all the shoes back to where they belonged. School and cleaning up... so great!

For more skip counting ideas check out my post on 20+ games for teaching the multiples.


Lesson 1:
Pick your favorite timeline game from my archives!

Lesson 2:
We pulled out our Timeline Book from last year and I had the kids find this weeks cards in the book.


Lesson 1
To review the continents we read Where is my Continent? and looked through the Beginner's World Atlas. And here's a simple online game from Soft Schools.

Lesson 2
My Discovery Kid's World Map came in handy again this year! The kids labeled the continents...

and then we placed several landmarks on the map. You can buy the toobs of landmarks at Michael's with a 40% off coupon!

Great Words I
This week we memorized "Happy Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The poem can be found in A Child's Garden of Verses. It's only two lines, which is a nice way to feel like you already accomplished something!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ideas for September Feast Days

Here are some of our favorite traditions for the month of September. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather it's my way of creating a resource that I plan to revisit each year for myself! I hope you can find it beneficial as well!

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Other Ideas
September 5th: Bl. Mother Teresa

Other Ideas
*I'm thinking about doing a 5 finger gospel craft (listen to the glory story if you don't know what I'm talking about). Trace the kids' hands and write "You did it to me" the fingers? Shouldn't be hard. I'll post a pic later.

Other Ideas
  • Prayer: Hail Mary, Memorare, Hail Holy Queen, the rosary...
  • Craft: Make a rosary
  • Food: Make a birthday cake for Mary!
  • Decorations: Blue balloons, streamer, etc. 
  • Radio Show: CAT Chat: Mary Leads me Closer to Jesus
September 14th: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (2010) (My 2nd post ever! Wow, I've come a long way :)

Just to clarify:
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion.

However the feast, more than anything else, is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened. Excerpt taken from CNA

Other Ideas
September 15th: Our Lady of Sorrows

See ideas at the beginning of this post.
September 29th: Feast of the Archangels

Other Ideas
  • Prayer: St. Michael the Archangel
  • Crafts: 
    • Draw and Tell Saints (Click on the "Look Inside" feature. How to draw an Archangel is the free preview :)
  • Coloring Pages: Waltzing Matilda
  • Activity Book: The Great Battle for Heaven
  • Food: (um, the amount of food traditions for this feast is a bit out of control)
    • Angel food cake
    • Devil food cake - with St. Michael defeating it (see above)
    • Deviled eggs
    • Gnocchi (traditional in Italy): Catholic Cuisine
    • Blackberries (tradition holds that they are no good after this feast day because the devil spat on them on his way from heaven to hell)
    • Roast Goose (Polish tradition)
    • Gaufres (St. Michael's Waffles - French tradition)
    • St. Michael Bannok: Catholic Culture
  • Radio Show: CAT Chat: Amazing Angels and Saints
Be saints, it's worth it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Baby and Her Graham Crackers

This ones for you grandma.

My poor baby was apparently hungry and started eating grass.

So I gave her a graham cracker because clearly she is deprived of food.

But one 1/2 of a graham cracker was simply not enough.

There we go, that's better.

Be saints, it's worth it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: Edition 37

- 1 -

Check this out...

What, you can't read that? Neither can I, but it's Kevin's 1st book... translated into Korean! So. Stinkin. Cool.

The only words I can read in the book are "FOCUS" and "", which can be found in his bio. If you ever need it, the red part in the middle is "Kevin Cotter" in Korean. Hey, you never know, that might come in handy one day.

Isn't it pretty? I want my english copy to have pink flowers on the bottom of each page.

- 2 -

And while we are on the topic of Kevin's books, he recently turned in the manuscript for his next book, A Year of Mercy with Pope Francis. It'll be out in November, so head to Amazon and place a pre-order!

Because inquiring minds want to know (okay, nobody has asked me this), here is what writing a book looks like.

Five screens are completely necessary, but the donut is a bonus.

- 3 -

On the same day that Kevin's newly translated book arrive, my talent copy of Symbolon arrived. I played a very small role in this amazing new series on the Catholic faith. (Dr. Sri interviews me for about 10 minutes in episode 5.)

Every parish needs to offer this adult education program. It's catechetical and practical... and incredibly well done... and will serve as a homeschool theology class for my children in high school. Go to their website, then send your priest there and make some adult formation magic happen at your parish.

- 4 - 

Can I just say that if it weren't for FOCUS we wouldn't be in a position to do so many of the cool things that we get to do? The above are all works of the Holy Spirit and Kevin and I feel so blessed to be along for the ride.

- 5 -

Back to school!

I'm homeschooling a kindergartner and 3rd grader with a 10 month old this year. Oh, you'll be hearing all about it on the bloggy-blog-Mcblogerson. I'll be posting our Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year plans on the Classically Catholic Memory tab every two weeks (ish).

- 6 -

If you didn't click on the back to school link, here is the tangent that you missed.

Pal lost his first tooth during the homily at mass! It's over, he's now an actual big kid.

- 7 -

Tonight we had a portion of Kevin's team over for dinner. Over the next few weeks I'll be introducing them to you in Mission Monday posts. It's going to be a great year!

Linking up at Conversion Diary!

Be saints, it's worth it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

1st Day of School 2014

Back to school photos by a tree!

It's just what you do.

Bean - 3rd Grade
Or at least it's just what we do.

Pal - Kindergarten

Look at that! Pal lost his first tooth yesterday... during the homily at mass.

Pal: "Here mom."

Mom: "Yes... wait what's that? Ew, gross. I don't want your bloody tooth."

He told Father about it after mass and Father gave him a dollar. I have a feeling that from here on out Pal will save his teeth pulling for mass.

And then there is this picture.

Every kid loves taking "funny face" pictures... I think.

The first day of school is an interesting thing when you homeschool because you don't go anywhere... you just start changing out of your pajamas before noon... on most days.

To commemorate the day we took pictures, went to mass, and ate lunch at McDonalds.

The homeschool fairy (okay, I made that up, it's actually me) also leaves out new school supplies, panda cookies (it's a tradition), and a small gift for each kid.

She also makes cute pendant banners because she really likes making banners. She was also sensitive to the fact that a blank space needed to be filled in the new school nook.

Our hope in homeschooling our children is to teach them to recognized and fight for goodness, truth, and beauty. Hopefully the little banner can be a little reminder of that.

Homeschooling with a mobile baby, here I come!

Be saints, it's worth it!