Archive for the ‘schooling’ Category

Memorial Day Weekend 2013 at Shiloh

August 9, 2013

We missed being at Shiloh for the Anniversary weekend for the first time since we moved to Tennessee. They weren’t doing living history that weekend like they usually do anyway. When I looked and saw what they were doing for Memorial Day Weekend, I thought it might be an excellent opportunity to go. So, we did! We were not disapponted. They were having military demonstrations from all time periods in the U.S. History, from Revolutionary War to the present day. As as matter of fact, the gun demonstration was probably the best program we have ever been to at a National Park. The soldiers representing each time period came out and talked about their wars (or conflicts.) Then they loaded and shot their weapons. At the end, all loaded and fired. The newer soldiers were finished before the older ones were even loaded. They had a wonderful display of military things, a lot of which the children could touch. They had very knowledgable people there for the visitors to speak to as well.

One of our goals that day was to visit all of the Confederate burial pits (that’s right, pits. The Federal soldiers remains we dug up and properly buried in the National Cemetaries and the Confederates were left in pits…and you wonder why the Southerners still hold grudges!) We had flowers to decorate the pits, honored those brave fallen soldiers and prayed for the repose of their souls. As a side note, we were a bit disturbed to find all the U.S. flags all over the pits. That was not the flag that those brave men died for. It is a pity that our country’s history is being erased due to political correctness. It is also a disgrace.

Please enjoy the pictures.


shiloh may 2013 036MaryEllen “driving” an Army vehicle

shiloh may 2013 038 Some of the demonstrations

shiloh may 2013 039It was a beautiful Day

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shiloh may 2013 052 Confederate Burial pit.

shiloh may 2013 053 One of the Confederate burial pits.

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shiloh may 2013 068 Replica of Shiloh Church

shiloh may 2013 073 What’s everyone looking at in the cannon?

shiloh may 2013 074 A bird’s nest

shiloh may 2013 077One of the Confederate burial pits.  Not a Confederate flag to be found.  So sad.


shiloh may 2013 081 The Confederate Monument

shiloh may 2013 033

shiloh may 2013 034

shiloh may 2013 023

shiloh may 2013 024

shiloh may 2013 027

shiloh may 2013 031

shiloh may 2013 019

shiloh may 2013 045All the soldiers at the firing demonstration.

Papal Lapbook from Shower of Roses

February 25, 2013

Jessica at Shower of Roses has a Papal Lapbook that she designed. It is free, but you can make a donation if you wish. Enjoy!

B is for Bean

November 8, 2012

For B week, the girls made a frame of beans for their big letter “B”s to be glued into.  Here are pictures of Charlotte and Veronica working on them.  Of course, I did not get pictures of the finished work.

I know we did a lot of other B things, but I can’t recall any at the moment.  We were going to do B is for Blanket, but didn’t make it that week.  Luckily the blankets had Cinderella on them, so they fit into C week nicely, which is still going on after 3 weeks, but that is another story!

Kevin’s Project for the ABCs

November 8, 2012

When we started the Alphabet Path, I asked one of our resident artists if he would like a project to work on.  He accepted and has started working on little peg people saints.  For the Confirmation at our parish he also made little peg saints for all the confirmandi.  These are a few of the beginning pictures.  Kevin has done several more, but the pictures are not on my computer.



St. George, St. Francis, St. Dominic Savio, St. Charles Borremeo, St. Bernard, little Mary to go with St. Anne, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton hiding behind St. Anne, and St. Helen.

A is for Apple Pie

November 8, 2012

A few weeks ago we started the Aphabet Path.  This is now several years old and we did this a while ago with MaryEllen and Charlotte.  Now it is Veronica’s turn.  This time it is more in-depth, as I’m taking ideas from several websites.  One of the hits from last time was making apple pie, making the crust with the A cookie cutter.  We did this once again.

Other things we did were read about Johnny Appleseed, made paper Angels, read about and drew St. Ann pictures and Mrs. Applebee pictures.  Hopefully we’ll take more pictures of other weeks’ work.

The original idea for this comes from Elizabeth Foss and company and can be found at the Serendipity website.  More ideas can be found at Lacy’s Catholic Icing in the preschool section.  We have also used many of Jessica‘s ideas, as she has a whole section for Along the Alphabet path.  A great big THANK YOU goes out to all who have added and shared their ideas!

Saints Artist Trading Cards 2011

November 26, 2011

We had so much fun last year participating in Pondered In My Heart‘s ATC saint swap that we were thrilled they were doing it again.  Unlike last year, we made sure we took pictures of everyone’s cards before they went off in the mail.

Below you will find our artists’ works.  First, the process.  We gather a lot of saint books and art supplies and set up at the dining room table.  (John set up in his room.)  Veronica, at 3 years old, was given stickers to keep her busy.  We all went to work for the afternoon.





Now for the cards….(Please remember to click on the pictures for a larger view.)

Veronica’s cards (age 3)

Charlotte’s cards (age 6)

MaryEllen’s cards (age 8 )

James’s cards (age 11)

Kevin’s cards (age 13)

John’s cards (age 14 & eldest child)

Mom’s cards (never mind how old!)

Although I’m not an artist to say the least, it was very relaxing and fun to take the time to create some art.  When we receive our cards, I’ll try my best to get a post up about them.  After all, I still have a half completed post about our trip in May waiting for some attention.  A Mom’s work is never done!

Oh, I almost forgot.  We did take some pictures of Vincent that day.  It is a little challenging to get a good picture of him when  you are holding both the baby and the camera.


A Saint Nicholas Unit Study

November 26, 2011

December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Years ago there was a blog called A Living Education and the author had created a simple unit study. The blog was taken down many years ago, but blessedly I printed this unit out. The reason for this post is not only to share this unit study once more, but to put the links in a convenient place. The original unit lasted 8 days, but I have extended it to last for 9 so as to make a novena out of it. Added to the original unit are a few more books and a novena prayer. Also, the author (God bless her!) originally did this as a Lapbook project.

St. Nicholas Novena

All-praised and all-honored hierarch,
Great wonderworker,
Saint of Christ.
Father Nicholas,
Man of God and faithful servant,
Man of love,
Chosen vessel,
Strong pillar of the Church,
Most-brilliant lamp,
Star that illumines and enlightens the whole world;
Thou art a righteous man
That did flourish like a palm tree
Planted in the courts of the Lord;
Dwelling in Myra thou hast diffused
The fragrance of myrrh,
And thou pourest out the ever-flowing myrrh
Of the grace of god.
By thy presence most-holy Father,
The sea was sanctified
When your most-miraculous relics
Were carried to the city of Bari,
From the East to the West
To praise the name of the Lord.
O most-superb
And most-marvellous wonderworker,
Speedy helper,
Fervent intercessor,
Good shepherd that saveth
The rational flock from all dangers
We glorify and magnify thee
As the hope of all Christians,
A fountain of miracles,
A defender of the faithful,
A most wise teacher,
A feeder of the hungry,
The gladness of those that mourn,
Clothing of the naked,
Healer of the sick,
Pilot of those that sail the sea,
Liberator of prisoners,
Nourisher and protector of widows and orphans,
Guardian of chastity,
Gentle tutor of children,
Support of the aged,
Guide of fasters,
Rest of those that labor,
Abundant riches of the poor and needy.
Hearken unto us
That pray unto thee
And flee to thy protection,
Show thy mediation on our behalf
With the Most High,
And obtain through thy God-pleasing intercessions
All that is useful
For the salvation of our souls and bodies;
Keep this holy habitation (or this temple),
Every city and town,
And every Christian country,
And the people that dwell therein,
From all oppression through thy help;
For we know
That the prayer of a righteous man
Availeth much for good;
And after the most-blessed Virgin Mary,
We have thee as a righteous mediator
With the All-Merciful God,
And to thy fervent intercession
And protection we humbly hasten.
Do thou, as a watchful and good shepherd,
Keep us from all enemies and pestilence,
Earthquake and hail,
Famine, flood and fire,
The sword and invasions,
And in all our misfortunes and affliction
Do thou give us a helping hand
And open the doors of God’s compassion;
For we are unworthy
To look upon the height of heaven
Because of the multitude of our sins;
We are bound by the bonds of sin
And have not done the will of our Creator
Nor kept His commandments.
Wherefore, we bow the knees
Of our broken and humble heart to our Maker,
And we ask thy fatherly intercession with Him;
Lest we perish with our sins,
Deliver us from all evil,
And from every adverse thing,
Direct our minds and strengthen our hearts
In the Orthodox Faith,
Which, through thy mediation and intercession,
Neither wounds, nor threats, nor plague,
Nor the wrath of our Creator shall lessen;
But vouchsafe that we may live a peaceful life here
And see the good things in the land of the living,
Glorifying the Father,
And the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
One God glorified and worshipped in Trinity,
Now and ever,
And unto the ages of ages.



Lapbook or Notebook Entries

Day 1


  • The Real Santa Claus: Legends of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Daughters
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 9-21
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Youth


  • Cut-out figure

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Symbols of St. Nicholas
    • Talk about the different symbols of St. Nicholas and make note of them as you read through the many stories during this unit.
    • Have children draw or cut out symbols and either narrate their significance or create a flap page using them (symbol as the flap with an explanation underneath).

Day 2


  • The Miracle of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Nicholas Ship
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 23-31
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Bishop


  • Make St. Nicholas clay pot figures

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the facts on the country of Turkey. Trace or find a blank map and have the children fill it in
  • Read an explanation of the flag of Turkey and have children dray one or print one out to color
  • Enter any narrations of geography, facts, or flag.

Day 3


  • A Gift from St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Buys a Young Man His Freedom
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 33-40
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Wonderworker


  • Color, cut and assemble pop-up scene

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read various hymns
  • Choose one hymn for copywork
  • Illuminated Manuscripts – Since St. Nicholas was a popular subject in illuminated manuscripts, print out the hymn from the Roman Breviary and the Latin hymn and have children decorate and illustrate the pages. (Print on card stock and they can be painted with Modge Podge or vegetable oil to give a luster when finished. Let dry before adding to lap/notebook.)

Note here that a very good book that deals with illuminated manuscripts is Marguerite Makes A Book by Bruce Robertson.

Day 4


  • St. Nicholas (Tompert)
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Moneybag of Molsch Talpasch
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 43-51
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Traveler


  • Word Search – Level 1

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Timeline on the life of St. Nicholas
    • Read timeline
    • Look at interactive, online timeline
    • Cut out timeline figures and make a timeline using them and include children’s narrations.
  • Map of the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Read about the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Print out map and trace lines of the saint’s travels.

Day 5


  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Russian Icon
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 55-66
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Dreamer


  • Crossword puzzle

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Icon of St. Nicholas
    • Study details of St. Nicholas Icon
    • Try to find the symbols learned on Day 1
    • Color St. Nicholas Icon and brush with Modge Podge or vegetable oil when finished. To make a more authentic Icon, mount on wood when finished. (We ModgePodged the icons right to the wood when we did this.)

Note here that a very good book dealing with icons is Brother Joseph The Painter of Icons by Fr. Augustine DeNoble, O.S.B.

Day 6


  • Saint Nicholas: The Real Story
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Brings it to Light
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 69-75
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Nieuw Amsterdam


  • Color, cut and assemble roll-up figure of St. Nicholas

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the St. Nicholas stories and customs (linked above) from Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 7


  • The Legend of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Stratilates
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 77-85
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Old New York


  • Word Search – level 2

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Russia, Germany, and Poland. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 8

  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Retrieves the Ball
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 87-96
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas and the Children


  • Coloring Sheets

Lapbook/Notebook Entries

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Belgian, Argentina, and Portugal. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 9


  • The Baker’s Dozen
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Finds the Path
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 99-110
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Afterward


  • Feast day baking. Spend the day baking St. Nicholas treats. Recipes can be found at the St. Nicholas Center’s recipe section
  • Watch the CCC movie, Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa.
  • Make a St. Nicholas spoon saint and add it to the children’s lapbook/notebook in an envelope or pocket.

The author of the original St. Nicholas unit study noted that her family planned to continue reading through the many stories of St. Nicholas from The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World throughout the remainder of Advent since 8 days is not enough time to finish this book. Also, I would suggest you check out the rest of the St. Nicholas Center website. There are so many more resources to explore there.

Also, one additional book that we love to look through here is St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas. There are so many wonderful pictures in there. If you have read any others that you loved, please leave me a comment. Also, you can find another novena to St. Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center. Have a very blessed St. Nicholas Day!

Catholic Care Packages

September 13, 2011

Welcome to our bedroom!

 The children are waiting in “line” to start packaging.

Today we took the time to put together several Catholic Care Packages.  We have been doing this about 8 years now.  The organization used to be, but now is Mission Capodanno (same organization, new name, greater outreach).  Soldiers or people close to them request the a package be sent.  Over the years, we have received several notes of thanks.  We understand how tight things are for everyone right now, but if you can spare a little donation, it is a very worthy cause.  Our U.S. Military, both soldiers and families of soldiers sacrifice so much for all of us!

While filling these care packages, the children were questioning me about how long we’ve been doing this and who is in charge, etc.  One child asked if I told anyone who helped me fill these packages.   When they were told that I was going to post these pictures today, one child (no names, but the third boy) suggested that kisses be requested for their service!  What do you think?  ; )  What was also mentioned was thanks to Mom for volunteering because, “we love doing this.”

We are so grateful for this opportunity to give back to the soldiers just a little bit.

There was a post about this years ago and you can find it here.  As you might notice, the children have grown just a little since then.

Please join us in praying for our military and their families.

My Carpenter

January 1, 2011

As you have already noticed, blogging has been slow.   I’ll try to do better, but can’t promise anything. 

This year for Christmas, I did not want to get a bunch of cheap junk that would be swept up and thrown away or anything that I would have to argue with the children to pick up.  Practical things, for the most part, was what we went for.  John received Leather working supplies.  Kevin received painting and drawing supplies.  The girls received sewing supplies and James received tools and two books on building.  That’s where this post comes in.  One of the conditions for the children using their new items was that they had to read about proper care and use.  They wasted no time hitting the books.

A few days ago my husband was able to track down some scraps of wood and items like that.  Yesterday he and James set out to make on of the projects in the book Carpentry for Children by Lester Walker.  James also received the book Housebuilding for Children” also by Lester Walker.  (He loves those books, by the way!)


The project was a workbench.  They did a fabulous job!  Here are some pictures from last night…



This morning they put the finishing touches on the bench.  There is now a vice on there and the screwdriver holder that James made.  James and Kevin were in there working for a while…


An exclamation heard from the work bench:

Kevin:  Holy Cow!!!  You got a really nice saw!

Simple Bookbinding

March 14, 2010

This post is in response to a friend of mine (Hi Jennifer!) who is about to start Robinson Curriculum. Robinson Curriculum comes with several CDs full of books. Several years ago, when we originally started this, we bought a laser printer from Costco. Is is a Brother HL-5250DN. I have never regretted this purchase, even when we switched away from Robinson for a while. It has a toner saver mode and is far more economical than an ink printer. However, we do still have an ink printer for those occasions when we need something in color.

Let me say that one of the wonderful things about the CDs that come with the Robinson Curriculum is the layout of the books. I have taken a picture of a book that I printed from a free book site on the internet. I printed the book out as I would from a Robinson CD, and learned the advantage of the CDs right away. I had to sort of fold all of the pages together in the middle. While it is still readable, it makes for an awkward binding job. 


(Please remember that you may click on any image to enlarge it.)

When I first started Robinson Curriculum, before I owned a printer, a kind lady sold me the first few books that she had printed to hold us over.  She printed them out duplex which made the print much larger and that made each standard sheet of paper have 2 book pages on it.  This is probably a good option for some.  She comb bound them.   The two things that I don’t like about this binding are that you have a hard time writing what the book is on the spine (not that my way is much better for that) and the binding likes to come out of several of the bottom pages.  

When I am ready to print a book from a Robinson CD, I click print and select “Toner Save” mode.  I then go and click duplex and booklet.  This allows there to be 4 book pages on one sheet of standard size paper.  Then I print them out.  

  I then turn the book over and find out how many end pages need to be folded together.  Usually 5 pages at a time make a little “booklet” within your book, but at the end this number varies.  If the book has page numbers, which I am finding that most do, you can see which book page numbers are in order on the same sheet of paper.  If the book does not have page numbers, you need to start from the front of the book, take 5 pages and turn them over.  That is where you should see the page numbers being in order.  I don’t know how to explain this very well, so I took some pictures:

  and five sheets later…

So, now every 5 sheets gets folded together until there are many “booklets” depending on how long the book is. 


   When the booklets are finished, I take a blank sheet of paper and fold it in half for the bottom and the top.  On the top sheet, I write the title, author, and the Robinson number that it is.  After that, I take two sheets of cardstock and fold them in half.  I place one on the bottom and one on the top of the book.   Again, I write the title, author, and number on the top cardstock sheet.      I then stack it pretty neatly, put a rubber band around it and it goes out to the garage for my husband to do the next step.   

My husband tells me the tool he uses is called a jig. It is some kind of a drill and he has a skinny bit to go in it.  He has also made a frame out of wood to keep the book together while he drills the holes.  We have two guides, one for the half-size and one for the full size books.  I’m hoping the picture will show this clearly.  You can tell I’m not really drilling and only taking pictures because the guide that is on the book is backwards!  That is why he does the drilling and not me!


At that point the book comes back to me, being held together by that rubber band.  I then take the sewing things out.  I use heavy-duty thread.  I must admit, I’m looking for something better because there is a difference in quality between the heavy-duty thread that I bought years ago and that which I’ve been able to find recently.  The first thing I do is make a knot in one end to hold the book together until I get a little more sewing done. 


After that I bring the thread to the next hole, put it through and then wrap it around the spine a time or two before moving on to the next hole.  I use a pretty large piece of thread because I want to be able to go up and down the side of the book at least twice. 

This is what it looks like when I’m finished: 


That is all I do.  I had planned on trying to figure out how to put some kind of real cover on one day, but have yet to get around to it.  I wanted to show one of the books that I did two or three years ago.   It has been through 2 boys now and this is what it looks like:


I’m sure there are better ways, but this system works for us so far.  Hopefully this will help someone get an idea of how to simply bind some of the Robinson Curriculum books.

Edited to add…  Monday is our day out.  We have Mass and then class.  The boys are required to spend our long trip in the car reading.  At one point, while we were eating in the car, I looked over and saw how John was keeping his page in his book.  This is the handle on the front dash.  The binding is still holding up, which is a very good thing.  It only has 5 more children to go through!