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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seneca Speaks To This Homeschooler - Quotes

Seneca, the mid-1st century AD Roman Philosopher said...

Of further interest to the homeschooling mother, he also said:

 “If you wished to be loved, love.” 

 “The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.” 

 “True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.

Homeschooling is hard.  I know moms struggle.  I do, too, at times.  These quotes give me encouragement.

LOVE - I love my children more than any one else could and our time together is a time to love.  And when we feel unlovable, love...that's what families need to do.  So when the loving is hard, I seek Love, pray for graces and remember my blessings.  I am grateful for my blessings, those I love and the privilege to spend my days with them.

ADVERSITY -  The struggle against adversity and our bravery getting through will model important traits to our children.  I also remind myself that the Cross leads to redemption and this may be the way God chooses to sanctify me. So if my children see me committed to doing hard things, things that I believe are worthy of my efforts, they will surmise that they, too, can struggle and face adversity in a noble pursuit. That's what I hope, at least.

WORRY - There's plenty of what-ifs and doubts in homeschooling.  They can rob me of my peace, if I let them.  I will choose happiness and try to live in the moment.  As I always tell my children,  "You can be happy or sad, happy feels better."

LEARNING -  My children are learning and I am, too.  Learning so much about myself...taking it day by day.

Today I learned more about Seneca...what will tomorrow bring?

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15 - Stabat Mater, Mary's Seven Sorrows

Today the Church honors The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady of Sorrows.
  1. The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2: 34, 35)
  2. The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13-14)
  3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 3: 43-45)
  4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
  5. The Crucifixion.
  6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
  7. The burial of Jesus.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord's mother, Mary (Lk2:35). LINK

Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of Our Lord's mother, Mary (Lk2:35).
At the cross her station keeping, 
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, 
All His bitter anguish bearing, 
Now at length the sword had pass'd.

Oh, how sad and sore distress'd 
Was that Mother highly blest 
Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs; 
She beneath beholds the pangs 
Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep, 
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain 
From partaking in her pain, 
In that Mother's pain untold?

Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd, 
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation, 
Saw Him hang in desolation, 
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love! 
Touch my spirit from above; 
Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt; 
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through; 
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain, 
Who for all my sins was slain, 
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee, 
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me, 
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with thee to stay, 
There with thee to weep and pray, 
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best, 
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath, 
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound, 
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd 
In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, 
Lest in flames I burn and die, 
In His awful Judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, 
Be Thy Mother my defence, 
Be Thy cross my victory.

While my body here decays, 
May my soul Thy goodness praise, 
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Fun - Our Homeschool Science Show - 2 Episodes

Join us as we experiment with Science!

My little girl likes to make videos for our family, to share with cousins and relatives.  Her shows at first were song and dance numbers, then she helped her brother co-host a backyard nature exploration show and now she's excited to host her own Science Experiment Show.

Look for more!


And, here's Episode 2! These videos are a very interactive way for her to explore concepts...have fun, develop presentation skills ... all while learning.


How It Works  - 

Milk consists of a lot of different types of molecules, including fat, protein, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. If you had just touched a clean cotton swab to the milk (try it!), not much would have happened. The cotton is absorbent, so you would have created a current in the milk, but you wouldn't have seen anything especially dramatic happen. When you introduce detergent to the milk, several things happen at once. The detergent lowers the surface tension of the liquid so that the food coloring is free to flow throughout the milk. The detergent reacts with the protein in the milk, altering the shape of those molecules and setting them in motion. The reaction between the detergent and the fat forms micelles, which is how detergent helps to lift grease off of dirty dishes. As the micelles form, the pigments in the food coloring get pushed around. Eventually equilibrium is reached, but the swirling of the colors continues for quite a while before stopping.  LINK

Are you creating videos? Share them in comments. We'd love to see them.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Helpful App for Homeschoolers

There's an APP that I find so helpful and useful in our homeschooling.  It allows us to bring our learning with us, wherever we are.

There are quite a few educational apps on our i-devices that assist our homeschooling, but today I am specifically calling out FLASHCARD+  to share.

Generous souls have added many of the flashcards we need into the offerings of this app. Today we even found Margaret Hayden's Beginning Latin II vocab flashcards on there! (Mother of Divine Grace)

In the past we have also found other LATIN flashcards:

  • Henle
  • Cambridge
  • Latina Christiana

Outside of Latin, we have used FLASHCARD+ for :

  • Multiplication tables
  • Mysteries of the Rosary
  • States & Capitals
  • Baltimore Catechism
And I am sure that there is more that we could find within their many search categories.  Maybe it's something you'd like to check out, too.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Life is Unpredictable, But God is Constant

I am reminded that days like these, the Labor Day holiday and it's change of pace for a Monday, is the perfect time to seek God....reconnect....and pray for graces to live His will.

Life is unpredictable, but God is constant.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33

Thursday, August 21, 2014

St. Francis Prayer to Birds - "Little Sisters"

The patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi, built bonds of love with all of kinds of creatures in the animal kingdom. 

But Saint Francis had a special relationship with birds, who often followed him around and rested on his shoulders, arms, or hands as he prayed or walked around outside.

One day, as Francis and some companions were traveling through the Spoleto Valley in Italy, Francis noticed that a huge flock of birds had gathered in some trees beside a field, and he walked over to preach a sermon about God's love to them. 
Here's the story of that famous sermon:
Francis told the birds: "My sweet little sisters, birds of the sky, you are bound to heaven, to God, your Creator. In every beat of your wings and every note of your songs, praise Him
He has given you the greatest of gifts, the freedom of the air. 
You neither sow, nor reap, yet God provides for you the most delicious food, rivers and lakes to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys for your home, tall trees to build your nests, and the most beautiful clothing: a change of feathers with every season. 
You and your kind were preserved in Noah's Ark. Clearly, our Creator loves you dearly, since He gives you gifts so abundantly. 
So please beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and always sing praise to God."
The people who witnessed Francis' sermon to the birds reported that the birds listened intently to everything Francis had to say and remained attentively gathered around Francis until he blessed them and they flew away.
I remember the children reading this in a 4th or 6th grade resource from Catholic Heritage Homeschool Curriculum, but this quote comes from this LINK.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Surfing with Scapulars

Catholic ...  E V E R Y W H E R E.

In all circumstances, devoted to Our Lord & Lady.

They swim with scapulars.

People on the beach notice them... mention them... sometimes it sparks conversation.

I pray it is a reflection of  Who is closest to our hearts. 

I have read that this was St. John Paul II's favorite hymn - Pescador des Hombres
Lord, You have come to the seashore
Neither searching for the rich nor the wise, 
desiring only that I should follow


O Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the
water. At your side, I will seek other shores.

Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth 
Will you accept then my nets and labor?  (Refrain)

Lord, take my hands and direct them
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost, 
returning love for the love you gave me. (Refrain)

Lord, as I drift on the waters 
be the resting place of my restful heart.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Learning Can Happen Anywhere

Learning can happen A N Y W H E R E !

We are learning and loving at our favorite place, the shore!

God's beautiful creation reminds us to be be awed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

OCNJ's Assumption Mass Procession to Bless the Waters

St. Augustine's Priest said at Mass today that in some coastal areas, the seas are also blessed on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sea is sprinkled with Holy Water and the Sign of the Cross made over it. It is believed that to swim in the waters blessed on this day is curative.

Here is a 2 minute video - 

This was our 2nd time processing in OCNJ from St. Augustine's to the shore.  In 2005, Father rode a jetski into the ocean.

I enjoyed the look on the faces of those on the streets and sidewalks who wondered at the masses who lined the streets and stopped cyclists on the boardwalk to make their way from the Church to the surf....singing to Mary.

May Our Lady intercede for us today and always!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Soundtrack Sunday - Michael Johns, Q

In the Soundtrack Of My Life, "Q" is on there.

Michael Johns of American Idol died at 35 years old on Friday.  How sad.

He was my favorite that year. I lost interest in the show but I had hoped he'd have a big career.

This song of his, from his time in the band Film, made a connection to me...Q....Film.  

In the iTunes version on my ipod, which is a bit different from this one (lyrically and with a fuller, studio sound) has him singing, "I am soooo alive." 

Wish it were so...Rest In Peace.