Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Let's Get Planning: Read Alouds

Whew! It's September 20th already!! Where does the time go?  I really want to get up the rest of our plans.  I have really tried to simplify this year and so far it seems to be working.  I still have to add in a few small study items but otherwise our schedule seems to be moving along swimmingly.



Religion:
Term 1:
See How She Loves Us by Joan Carroll Cruz
Illustrated Catechism by Inos Biffi

Term 2:
Advent and Christmas with Fulton Sheen
Saints and Heroes for Boys and Girls by Doris Burton

Term 3:
Our Holy Father, the Pope by Ignatius
the Life of Christ by American Bible Society

History:
Challenge of Freedom by Neumann Press

Term 1:
Time for Battle by Susan Martins Miller
Children of the Civil War by Candice F Ransom

Term 2:
The Rebel Spy by Norma Jean Lutz
My Brother's Keeper by My America
The Story of the Gettysburg Address by Kenneth Richards

Term 3:
The War Ends by Norma Jean Lutz
Children of the Emancipation by Wilma King

Literature:

Term 1:
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
When We Were Very Young by AA Milne
The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

Term 2:
Pollyanna

Term 3:
Swallows and Amazons

Audiobook :
Heidi
Shakespeare Audio Dramas

Miscellaneous:
Term 1:
The Shed that Fed a Million Children

Term 2:
Life is Precious Unit Study
Come Look with Me Exploring Landscape Art with Children

Term 3:
Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler
G is for Googol A Math Alphabet Book

What are you reading this year?



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prayer Vigil to Stop Irma

When the going gets tough, the tough get praying.  Irma is a monster of a storm. The strongest and largest ever recorded.  We need to pray not just for those in her path but to stop her all together.  Please pray with me!

At 8 pm your local time, pray a flying novena followed by the Stella Maris Prayer.  Please light a candle while you pray so that a wave of light and prayer can sweep across the earth.


Flying Novena
Memorare (pray nine times)

Remember o most gracious Virhin Mary 
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession
was left unaided
inspired by this confidence
I fly to thee, O virgin of virgins, my mother
to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.




Prayer to Our Lady, Star of the Sea

O, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruit of the Vine, splendorous of Heaven.
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin,
assist me in this my necessity.
O, Star of the Sea, help me
and show herein you are my mother.
O, Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in my necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power,
O, show me here you are my mother.
O, Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.
Amen.

I offer three of each: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

And for each of your twelve stars, on twelve beads, I pray:
Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Help and Protect us! Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.
courtesy of Holy League
Thank you so much. May God have mercy on us and save those in peril from the affliction of this storm!  Please share!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Get Planning: 4th Grade

Summer is rapidly coming to a close and I am still working on planning!  Here is my plan for Buddy who will be in 4th grade next year.  It is mostly based on Mater Amabilis but I have adapted and added as I saw fit.  Hope you are having a great week. Linking up with Kelly, again, this Friday.



1

Religion:
Faith and Life 4
57 Saints-- This is a family favorite!

The First Christians: Acts of the Apostles for Children
Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands
My Path to Heaven
St Francis of Assisi
Karol from Poland

2
I am adding a book to supplement Life of Fred this year. It is a very boring workbook, but it reviews all the basic concepts in mathematics.  I am feeling that Buddy needs more practice in mechanics because he has sped along so quickly in concepts. It is an old workbook that I picked up second hand but is solid in practice. 

Math:
Life of Fred Jellybeans and Kidneys
Basic Math Concepts Level E for supplement
How Math Works


3
I know this looks like an awful lot but we are not doing every book, every day Also, many of these books we will not necessarily do every page.  I followed MA's guide and pulled in a couple of more items to round it out.  The four language arts are speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  I wanted to have a full curriculum that addresses each of these well.  The books marked (I) are for independent reading. A (N) means it is for narration.  I have marked read aloud books with (RA). We will be doing copy work, dictation, and narration, along with poetry memorization.  I have a schedule worked out if anyone would like to see how we rotate among them.

Language Arts:
The Ideal Catholic Fourth Reader (I) OOP
The Catholic Youth Fourth Reader (I) OOP
The Harp and Laurel Wreath-- this is a supplement for days when copy work or dictation is scheduled but not in the lesson plan for Intermediate Language Lessons. It also has poems to memorize.
Intermediate Language Lessons
The Good and Beautiful Creative Writing
Shakespeare Audio Dramas from Library
The Children's Homer
The Aeneid for Boys and Girls (N)
Pollyanna (RA)
Heidi (audio book) (RA)
Swallows and Amazons (RA)

3
We always do a family history study as part of read alouds, however, my children really enjoy history so they each do some private history study as well.  Buddy enjoyed the Story of Civilization so much last year, I decided to continue with the series. Our Island Story is also available as a free download through Librivox.

History:
Our Island Story (audio book)
Story of Civilization: The Medievel World (audio) 
Famous Men of Greece (RA)
Herodotus and the Road to History (I)

4
We are going to do some map work and basic geography as part of our read aloud time each day.  In addition, Buddy will be reading/listening to the literature listed to give him a better understanding of the Americas and the people who live there.

Geography:
Map Work
Paddle to the Sea
Seabird
Elementary Geography (RA)
An Illustrated Atlas of South America and Antarctica (I liked this books so much, I bought it 3 times!)
An Illustrated Atlas of North America
Maya Quest: Interactive Expedition (I)
Secret of the Andes (I)
Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampas (I)

5
Last year, Buddy enjoyed Swimming Creatures from the Apologia series so much, he can't wait to do Land Creatures this year. Having the audio book to go along with the program made it so much easier to get through, however it will only play on our computer.  We will still get the audio, even though it wasn't convenient.

Science:
Archimedes and the Door to Science
The Librarian Who Measure the Earth
Apologia: Exploring Creation Land Animals 

6
 As I mentioned previously, Buddy will be helping Little Man with his nature study while doing his own.  I am very loose on nature study requirements, mostly because my children are so intrigued by nature they need very little prompting.  I am filling a basket with nature guides, including ones for younger children and some supplies.  The boys are already excited.

In addition, I purchased two Thinking Tree journals as supplements to the general curriculum.

Teach Yourself to Draw Forest Animals
Thinking Tree All About Animals

7
Lastly, we have "electives" if you will to round out his education.  

Seton Art 4

Latin for Children

Computer Science with Kano computer kit

Abeka Developing Good Health

Guitar instruction at fine arts school

Drama class at fine arts school

Chimes choir at fine arts school

Irish Step Dancing at dance school

Soccer at our parish school

Basketball through local Christian intramural league

This seems like a lot of books, and in some ways it is.  I have managed to get all of them by shopping Thriftbooks and using our local library. It was fairly affordable and still so mcuh cheaper than private school.

How is your planning going?

Friday, August 11, 2017

7QT: Let's Get Planning Preschool

Linking up with Kelly to share my plans for next year. Be sure to check out my curriculum sale post if you haven't.



1
Last year, I shared my Great Books Preschool program for Little Man.  We did enjoy it but never made it through all the books with the new baby and all.  This year we will be continuing with the program, and soon I will be sharing the new additions to make up for the books we have already read 20,000 times.  Little Man surely had some favorites.

2
My new 4 year old want some school work like the big kids, so I have also chosen some fun workbooks for him to use.






3
We are also going to add a time for play dough, painting, and other hands on projects.  I hope to create a rotation to keep him occupied while I work with the older kids. Some ideas to include in this time:
  1. play dough
  2. watercolors
  3. wiki sticks
  4. tangrams
  5. beading
  6. Popsicle sticks and glue creations
  7. scissor projects
  8. stamp work
  9. coloring

4
I am still finalizing a schedule but one thing that will definitely be included is slots for Cowgirl and Buddy to work with Little Man one on one. This will free up time for me to get one on one time with each of the older children while still giving Little Man the attention he needs.

5
 Time with Cowgirl will be spent on simple handicrafts. She really enjoys crafting so this will be a diversion for both of them.  I plan on focusing on the following handicraft skills:
  1. loom knitting
  2. potholder weaving
  3. basic sewing--this is per Little Man's request
  4. cooking
All of these will require some guidance and supervision. I believe Cowgirl is up to the task.

 6
Since I have adopted Mater Amabilis curriculum for Buddy, I hope to school the two younger ones in the Charlotte Mason style as well.  A large part of Charlotte Mason for the early years is Nature Study.  Mason advocates long hours spent outside in any weather and guided nature study.

This is where Buddy comes in.  He is a bit obsessed with nature.  So it is perfect for the boys to explore outside together.  My plan is to get each boy a nature journal to complete. I have a small block of time planned each week for me to provide some nature study guidance  and feedback.  I wish it could be every day but there are only so many hours.

When the weather is inhospitable to going out, as happens here in the northeast, there will be a basket of age appropriate nature books for the Buddy to read/explore with his brother.  I will share the basket's contents soon.  

7
The last part of preschool for Little Man is going to consist of learning to play games.  My older children and Hubby really enjoy board games. Little Man really wants to play along but is still learning how to participate. So, there will be a time each week to play a simple game that we can then play as a family once he has gained understanding of how it works. 

So, not too many bells and whistles, but there it is.  How do you do preschool?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Feature Thursday: Carmelite Scapulars

UPDATE: Aurelius Cabrini is changing platforms. We are in the process of moving the store to our Facebook page.  If you would like to order a scapular, please contact me.  They should be listed in the Facebook shop very soon. Thank you.

I have closely been considering what my shop needs and why it exists.  It is part of my business plan to further its development through careful planning.  In the end, it's mission is the same as this blog, to further God's Kingdom through promotion of vocations and service to the LORD.  This shop is for Jesus, more than for me.  I have fully given it over to Him.  Yes, the profit benefit my family, but I want it to benefit my soul more.

That is why I am so happy to feature our Carmelite nun made brown scapulars today.  These scapulars are lovingly made by hand by the sisters. They are selling the scapulars to earn money and build a special project.








https://www.etsy.com/listing/536421801/catholic-carmelite-handsewn-brown?ref=shop_home_active_3

The sisters are seeking to raise funds in order to build a modern convalescence home for patients with dementia. The home will also provide palliative care, rehabilitation, and assisted living. This home will serve 133 seniors.




At present, the sisters are in desperate need of funds to keep their current mother house open as well as to pursue this initiative.  All profits from the scapulars will be disbursed to the sisters.  I am donating all etsy fees incurred to give the sisters a bit more.



I ask you to please consider purchasing a scapular and supporting these beautiful brides of Christ.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/536421801/catholic-carmelite-handsewn-brown?ref=shop_home_active_3


Each scapular is hand made with reinforced stitching and pure wool backing.  Each scapular has a St Bendict medal sewn safely inside. We will include instructions of enrollment as well.

If anyone has any questions or would like to place a bulk order, please contact me for more information.

Thank you so much for supporting this effort and may God bless you!




Friday, August 4, 2017

#7QT: Let's Get Planning Tips and Curriculum Sale

Linking up with Kelly for some more getting started tips.



1
If you are discerning homeschooling or just getting started, you have no doubt seen the big catalogs full of curriculum and asked friends which curriculum you should choose.  Are you experiencing sticker shock?

Homeschooling can seem overwhelming enough, the the cost of a box curriculum can turn many away.  I am here to tell you that you don't need a fancy, expensive boxed curriculum.  If that is what works for your family, then that is fine.  However if money is an issue keep reading for some tips on saving money.

2
First, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  You don't need textbooks to teach.  Gasp!  It's true.  Historical fiction, quality literature, well done non-fiction, and a good poetry book can give you excellent spines for your school.  Textbooks have their place, but if money is tight, especially if you are teaching 6th grade and below, opting for good books instead of textbooks is the way to go.

If you need help assembling your books into a year's curriculum, I am happy to answer questions.

3
Invest in good, hard covered books and texts that can be used multiple times with all your children.  This may be a little more expensive in the beginning but in the long run will save you so much money, especially since these can usually be bought used and resold.  Workbooks are expensive and consumable.  You will need to repurchase them every year for every child.  While I do use some workbooks, my main focus is durable books.

4
Check out your library!  Your library may already have a number of books you can use.  If you don't see what you need, request an interlibrary loan.  I have even hear of libraries specially ordering books that have been requested.  While that is not a given, it never hurts to ask.  I have found at least 10 books that Buddy is using for next year available at the local library.  That is saving my close to $100!

5
Find printables, downloads, ebooks, and audiobooks online.  I'm not a fan of ebooks, but there are some desirable ones available, often for free.  Public domain books are available as ebooks and audiobooks on several websites.  For example Grammar Land by Nesbit, a vintage grammar books that is on Buddy's school list this year, is available free via ebook, audiobook, and I found worksheets to compliment the book which I had printed for less than $1.

Do a little searching and you will be amazed at what you find.

6
I have written before about the importance of a community.  Find a homeschool buddy or two and split the cost of some bigger curriculum purchases.  For instance, my friend, Mary, and I have built a library of Apologia Exploring Creation books.  By buying them a little at a time and taking turns, we now own all of the books.  We are currently working on purchasing the audio versions.  These have and will continue to be used by all of our children. A little joint investment can go a long way!

7
Shop used curriculum sales, such as the one that Jessica sponsors every year.  Her sale is actually what got me blogging so this is an anniversary of sorts for Veils and Vocations.  Below are my items for sale.  Please comment if you would like to purchase one or more.  Shipping is $4 the first book, $1 each additional.  Any questions, please ask.  Thank you for looking and helping to support my homeschool. Be sure to check out all the other books available on Jessica's bloghop!
Wii game, like new, used twice. $3
Homemade recipes from Amish country, new $2 shipped
Seton readers, good condition, shelf wear, $3 each
These Are Our Horizons--Sold

Mysteries of Ancient America, HC, DJ, some wear, GC $2
How People Lived in the Middle Ages, HC, GC, $1

Problem Solving, sc, gc, no writing $1
Mental Math, sc, gc, $1



Easy Grammar, Like New, no writing, EC, retails $23, asking $10--Sold






Set of New Cathedral Readers, from 1950s.  
Bindings are worn, some more than others. A couple of books have writing on the covers, and a couple of the title pages are damaged. I tried to show this in the pictures.  However, all of the story pages are in excellent condition.  I went through every book, no marks or damage to actual reading pages.  These were in a friend's family for 3 generations, she has decided to pass them on.
Asking $65 for entire set, some of these sell for $20 each!

New Arabian Nights, SC, GC, $1

Lenten Adventure workbook from Holy Heroes, SC, LN, no writing, $3

BJU Spelling grade 1, LN, no writing. Text and workbook. Given to us but we aren't going to use it. Asking $3 for set

Concepts and Challenges set, 2nd edition, EC, minimal shelf wear, asking $20 for set --Sold

Thanks and God bless!
 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Feature Thursday: Printable Stationery

Did you miss Beauty Tuesday?  If so, please check it out.

Today is another Feature Thursday where I tell you more about the items in our etsy shop.  Have you seen our new line of printable stationery?  These were designed by Cowgirl. She has been taking graphic design classes and so enjoying them.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/545627679/printable-stained-glass-cross-catholic?ref=shop_home_active_3


A few months ago, she asked if she could design something for the shop.  After a bit of brainstorming and so intense computer time, she showed me her first set of designs.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/545497561/printable-st-patrick-irish-catholic?ref=shop_home_active_2


These are currently available at the shop and I will soon be adding another batch that she just finished.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/545497561/printable-st-patrick-irish-catholic?ref=shop_home_active_2


Single design downloads are $2.99.  Muli-design packs are $5.99.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/545492767/printable-our-lady-of-guadalupe-catholic?ref=shop_home_active_4

https://www.etsy.com/listing/531689052/printable-madonna-stained-glass-catholic?ref=shop_home_active_6



If you have not joined our Facebook page, please do.  We post secret sales, coupon codes, and more.  In a couple of weeks we will be hosting a giveaway package of several of the stationery downloads.  Please join in on the fun!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/531689542/printable-st-therese-catholic-stationery?ref=shop_home_active_5

https://www.etsy.com/listing/545493781/printable-floral-catholic-stationery?ref=shop_home_active_3


Also, we really enjoy custom orders and the opportunity to serve our customers in that way.  If there is a particular design you would like for stationery, please just drop us a line.  For only $1 more, you can have a personalized download of your very own.  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: Children in Church

I'm pretty late getting this up.  To be honest I have been a bit discouraged with the blog.  My time is so short all the time and the whispers of doubt keep making me toy with quitting.  Is there anyone out there that wants me to continue?  If you do, please comment so I know these words are reaching somebody.



Sunday is a workout.  Getting everyone up, dressed, and out the door is a Herculean effort every week.  It shouldn't be, we get dressed every day.  Why is it so hard to even just find socks and underwear on Sunday?  Why are the same dress shoes that you have tripped over three times during the week now no where to be found? Why?  Why is it so hard?

Then there is making it through Mass.  I regret to say that as much as I love the Mass and thrive on its nourishment, I am often just surviving it until the final blessing.  Sweaty and tired, I silently rejoice when the priest extols us to "go in peace." Alleluia, no more wrangling little ones in the pew praying no one sees the antics that are going on.  How it would hurt my heart to think my little ones are disrupting others' Mass prayers as well.  Gospel?  I think there was one.  Homily?  Oh, did I miss it.  Consecration? There must have been, it's a Mass, but honestly for me it's just a blur.

This Sunday was particularly rough.  We got to the van and the gas light was on, I promise you there had been a quarter tank the night before or I would have stopped.  Little Man was irritable and uncooperative.  Lovie-Lu was clingy and easily upset.  I was tired going in, praying for a good soul quenching Mass. I needed it so badly.  I think I heard the Second Reading, the Gospel I apparently missed because when the Homily began and our priest began to preach on the Gospel I had to figure out which one he was even referencing.

Then Lovie-Lu lost it.  She cried and screamed.  I attempted to nurse her but she couldn't settle and Little Man was suddenly so intrigued by my nursing cover that I use practically every day!  I quickly exited just before consecration. Discouraged that I am not better at managing this.  Fatigued by the lack of quiet in my life.  Standing just outside the baptistry where there are windows to look in on the altar.  I swayed and rocked the baby for the rest of Mass.  At the final blessing, I sighed a breath of resignation and relief at the same time.

That is when it happened.  Our priest hushed the choir from beginning the recessional and spoke to the parish. He acknowledged that there were a lot of children who had not been happy and had been very noisy through Mass.  (Oh dear, the screaming had been one of mine.) He invited all the children who had struggled through Mass to come up to the altar for a minute. 

Fr R proceeded to grant them a special blessing.  He turned to the full church and praised the beautiful sounds of the vocal children.  He thanked God for the blessings of each little one who had come to Mass, and he asked all the parishioners to pray for the parents who had brought them because they were working so hard to just be there each week. Fr R said, "Parents, please, bring your children to church.  This is your home.  Do not ever be ashamed to be here with these little ones.  You belong here and we welcome you always.  Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me!' You are bringing your children to Jesus and you deserve our deep appreciate and love.  Always bring your children to church. We want them here and so does God."

Thunderous applause arose throughout the church.  Those few moments were such balm to my soul, I don't know that Fr R will ever know just how much. After the Mass, I approached Father and thanked him.  I admitted that my little girl was the screamer and he blessed her so tenderly. He looked at me, said he loved hearing her beautiful voice and thanked me for coming.

Children are beautiful. They are little snips of heaven. Each is a gift, a glorious gift from our LORD.  They are His, and we owe it to them to bring them to Jesus at every opportunity. I will most likely miss a good portion of Mass this week again due to distraction and the need to discipline a very active little boy.  However, I know that my fellow parishioners, my brothers and sisters in Christ, love me and applaud my effort.  How sad it must be to have a church with no children.  They are our future and our primary mission in this life to is lead the little one to heaven.  How can we do that apart from the Mass? Let the little children come to Me....


Today is Beauty Tuesday as we have been doing this summer on Veils and Vocations.   If you have a blog post you would like to share, please add it in the comments.  Thanks.

Friday, July 28, 2017

#7QT: Let's Get Planning--the First Steps

The summer is passing more quickly than I care to admit.  Today, I am actually at an IHM conference.  If any of you plan on stopping by, please find me and say hello. Linking up with Kelly who I wish were going to be at the conference, too!  We need to find another conference to meet up at, Kelly!

Wherever you are in your homeschooling journey there are always those nagging questions and worries.  Admit it!  I have them, too.  I wanted to write this post to give you a little boost as you plan, particularly if you are a new homeschooler or still discerning.



1
Homeschooling is a year by year commitment.  Although I never stop planning and often think ahead to get the whole picture, I never commit to more than one year.  If you begin homeschooling kindergarten, you will invariably be met with numerous people asking you how you expect to teach Algebra, Calculus, and Chemistry.

The answer is simple, you don't, because what kind of a kindergarten curriculum would that be?  

2
Referring back to number 1, homeschooling does not mean that you have to be the only teacher your child ever has for every subject.  I don't know a single homeschooler who operates that way. Your child will encounter other teachers/adult leaders in activities, camps, enrichment classes, and co-ops.  Do not feel that you must take it all on.

Likewise, do not be afraid to outsource teaching when you need to and it would serve your family better.  There is a bevy of resources out there including courses on the Internet, recorded on DVD or CD, and through your local library or homeschool co-op.  Do what works for you and your students.

3
Make sure to build a community. Homeschooling never means having to go it alone!  This is much easier now with Facebook groups.  When I began homeschooling, having an email loop was a novel idea.  Finding those email loops to find your community was very hard.

Having a local community is optimum, but not always possible.  If you don't know anyone who homeschools, find like minded parents online and start asking questions. Share your frustrations and triumphs, believe me, your struggles are not as unique as you think.  None of us have super powers, we are all just moms doing the best we can.  Seek the support you need!  If you want some guidance, email me and I can point you to some very good groups that have helped in the past. and continue to help me in this journey.

4
Socialization is always the number one concern of every naysayer you will meet.  The irony is that these same people want traditionally schooled children to have less downtime and shorter recess, so how are they socializing?

Anyway, socialization is very important, I will not lie.  You need socialization, and so do your children. However, school is not the only way to achieve this, in fact it is probably the worse way to do so.  As you build your community, you will find homeschool friends and opportunities to get out and be with others.  Please understand that unless you are locking your family into a bomb shelter and never seeing the light of day, you are socializing.  Even if you were to be locked underground for decades, it would not be ideal, but your children would have each other to play and converse.  Siblings and parents are a part of social networks, and that is a good thing!

5
You do not need a very fancy, very expensive boxed curriculum to homeschool.  If that is what you want, have at it by all means, but don't cave to pressure.  You can do this without experts picking every book for you.  Even if you chose to use a box curriculum, feel free to change it up for a subject or two.  Homeschooling puts you in charge.  The flip side to not having to teach every class is that homeschooling means you make the decisions for your child.  History too boring? Try something different.  Math book not working?  Try something different.

Also, do not be afraid to just follow your gut and make courses up yourself--or steal some of mine!  Call it unschooling, call it fun-schooling, call it whatever you want.  Take a semester or a year and discover what your family needs and what you want to give them. I promise you, their lives will not be ruined and they will still learn something.

6
As a piggy back to number 5, never be afraid to give up on a program that isn't working.  Perhaps it is December and you realize this super-amazing-must-have-everyone-loves curriculum just isn't working for your family.  You didn't fail, you just are choosing a different path.

Do your homework,  research, and review; but ultimately the proof is in the pudding.  Do not bang your head against the wall lamenting that you can't make it work like the reviews said, or feeling defeated because a blogger has lovely pictures and all her children are smiling.  I assure you that bloggers are not experts and those pictures are only a snapshot in time. Every homeschool family has struggles and is working so very hard.

The real expert is you!  You are the expert in your children and in your family needs. You can do this!

7
Write down your plans and formulate a "Why" for your homeschool. You will need a solid reason when the days get long and the dreariness of winter sets in.  Even unschoolers need a bit of a road map.  Having plans written down is not a binding contract but it will go a long way in getting you to where you want to be.

I really struggle with daily lesson plans, however as the children are getting older, I realize that I need them.  I will be doing a post about planning very soon. Particularly planning when you cannot afford the fancy, pricey planners.

Is there anything you would add?  Any questions you have?  Drop me a line, any time! God bless.
 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday Spotlight:European Veils

Welcome to a new feature here on the blog, Thursday Spotlight.  If you missed Beauty Tuesday, there's still time to link up!

I wanted to highlight our European veils because we have two great specials running right now.
First, all the European veils are on sale!  Some are discounted $15!!  Please do just check them out and let me know what you think.

Then there is this lovely opportunity:
I joked that I may have to order a veil from myself just to get the icon!  Isn't that icon beautiful?  St Anne is actually my patron, as well as Lovie-Lu's.

Now for the fun part, let's learn more about our veils.  When you order one of the European veils, you don't just get a veil.  The long veils come in a Fatima Anniversary gift pack which includes a clip, to keep the veil on, a Fatima prayer card, a booklet about veiling, a Carmelite nun made brown scapular, and reusable pouch to keep your veil safe and clean.

Short veils come with a Carmelite nun made brown scapular, clip, and pouch. You see the veil is the main feature, but we are offering so much more!

These veils are crafted in the traditional ways in Italy, Spain, and France.  We have a assembled an inviting gift pack to bring the Old World charm to you at a reasonable price.

Look at all the possibilities:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/528281890/sale-genuine-italian-mantilla-fatima?ref=shop_home_active_9

https://www.etsy.com/listing/541722155/sale-genuine-italian-mantilla-fatima?ref=shop_home_active_18

https://www.etsy.com/listing/527118252/sale-italian-heart-catholic-chapel-veil?ref=shop_home_active_23

https://www.etsy.com/listing/528281150/sale-genuine-italian-mantilla-fatima?ref=shop_home_active_10

https://www.etsy.com/listing/541789715/sale-genuine-italian-mantilla-fatima?ref=shop_home_active_17


So what do you think?  Aren't they gorgeous?

If you would like to know more or be in the loop for secret sales and coupons, like us on Facebook!
God bless!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: A Faithful Community

It's Tuesday, please link up below and link back to this post!

As I sat at our Catholic homeschool group's annual pool party, this post from a couple of years ago kept running through my mind.  I have been striving to respond to the prompts of the Holy Spirit more readily and decided to share this, again, today.  I have been so blessed by our community, but I am most indebted to Our LORD because without Him I am and have nothing!

Thank you, dear Christ, that I have you to worship and praise!

Before our current parish, we belonged to a small, traditional, country parish.  The priest was very devote and devoted, and known for well developed, lengthy, serious homilies.  His homilies contained a good deal of catechism but we're sprinkled with stories to drive the point home.  Decades later, there are stories that my husband and I still repeat and reference.



One, particularly amusing story went like this. (Imagine if you will the following delivered in a strong Polish accent.) There was a man who went to church every Sunday, and then one Sunday he didn't come.  After three Sundays, his priest was concerned and decided to pay him a visit.  The man lived in a big house on the hill over looking the village.  It was dark, cold, and windy when the priest walked up to the house. He knocked on the door and the man opened it and welcomed the priest into his living room where there was a large, warm fire blazing. The man sat down in his armchair and started talking, "I know why you are here, Father. I just don't see why I need to go to Mass.  Sunday is a day of rest, I say my prayers, I read my bible, why do I need to walk all the way to church to worship God?"

The priest said nothing, he turned and picked up the fireplace tongs and took a bright ember from the fire and placed it on the hearth. The ember glowed bright and seemed to grow in size, then it swiftly faded to grey and was just cold ash.  The priest, then picked up his hat and coat and began to leave. As the man showed him out, he said, " Thank you for the firery sermon, Father.  I will see you on Sunday."

 The priest simply smiled and walked back to the Church.

The point is, without a community, worship begins to die out.  You may begin all afire but just as swiftly begin to cool.  Jesus promised that where two or more are gathered in his name, there He also will be.  He realized that we needed support and each other to stay the course and attain deeper worship.  Our present parish has a church "motto" if you will, the begins with the phrase, "a community of believers."

That is our aim, to not be solely a collection of church attendees but a community, a family.  Apart from fellow believers, it is difficult to maintain focus on the narrow path, to keep going when the going is tough.  It is not to say that we go to church for the people, but we go for the collective worship.  We each have a part in the worship, no matter what our role in the Church, if any, is. Our collective prayers are joined to those of the angels to form the highest of all prayers, the Mass.  Even if we were unable to have the Eucharist present, Jesus would be there because we are gathered in His name.

However, we tread a fine line in building community and losing our sacred purpose. While we are a family, our primary purpose of attending Mass is giving glory to God and receiving grace from the Eucharistic sacrament.  Our sight is to be on the LORD, not each other.  It is a joy to have such dear friends through our parish, but social circles are not the aim of Sunday obligation. Our first obligation is to God.  We must remember this and strive to point others toward God that together we may grow in faith.  So please, remember that Church is God's house, come and leave quietly and reverently. Dress in a way befitting of meeting the King of Kings intimately in the sacrifice of the Mass, so as not to draw attention away from our heavenward advance.  Seek to not just get at the Mass but to give your whole self to Him who has given you all, not even sparing His only Son.

Let us be a community of believers striving evermore for holiness and grace.  In little ways, with great love, we can revitalize our churches, but it is not found in greater comfort or ease nor more socialization. It is found in a deeper, collective purpose to worship and exalt He who is above all, the Great I AM, our beginning and end.  For why did God make us? God made us to know,  love and serve Him, to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven. (Baltimore Catechism) Let us show forth His goodness to every member of our worshiping community by coming together for the sole purpose of lifting high the cross and bowing down to our Loving Savior who from all good things come.  God bless you!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

#7QT-A Shop for Veils and Vocations

Did you miss Beauty Tuesday?  If so be sure to check it out!

I'm linking up with Kelly again this week--Hi, Kelly!

1
Anyone who blogs knows that all those ads for getting rich off of blogging are akin to signing your child up for little league at 3 because baseball will make you rich. Can it happen?  Yes.  Does it happen every time?  No way, and there are far more who just enjoy playing the game than will ever make a single dollar doing so.

So, I have been looking for a way to help support this blog and my family while still staying true to my mission.



2
As you may know, I have had an etsy shop for quite awhile but it has only been active on and off.  I never had a good business plan or a clear direction. I knew what I wanted but hadn't figured out how to get there or what it would look like.



3
Well, that has changed!  My shop is now fully stocked, with more items on their way this weekend. I am partnering with some amazing Catholic crafters to create the shop I have always dreamed of having.



4
What does this have to do with the blog?  Well, I don't want the blog to become a billboard for the store.  My reason for blogging is not to earn profit. However, my vision for my blog is a treasure trove of resources for Catholic moms just like me.  Am I there yet? No, but I am on a mission from God to provide those as best I can.

Enter my shop.  It dovetails so nicely with my blog because I offer veils and vocation dolls.  My plan is to expand the shop to provide items I would most like for my family at prices that make them accessible to every Catholic home.



5
All of the products are high quality.  I am to make my customers happy. I know as a mom how much work it is to provide for a family and how tight money can be.  When I purchase something, I want it for be something that will last and be well used.


6
This shop and Beauty Tuesday are my way of spreading light, beauty, truth, goodness, and joy.  I hope that you will become a fan even if you can't buy anything from the shop.  I am an expert window shopper, window shoppers are always welcome in my store!



7
I am going to highlight different products each Thursday over the next few months.  We have some amazing deals planned and many more products in the works. 

Do you own a book shop or parish store?  Do you have a Catholic shop that you frequent?  We are looking for wholesale outlets and are open to group, bulk orders.  Maybe get a group of friends together and order new veils.  You will get quality veils and a discount, and my family will receive the extra financial support we need right now.

Can't buy anything?  No problem--I understand more than you know!  Like us on Facebook and have a chance to enter one of our giveaways!

Is there a product you wish you could find? Please comment below. I really want this shop to be a service to the Catholic community.

Thank you for reading my little press release.  I hope you don't mind.  It is very hard for me to pursue self promotion, but I wanted to let all of you know what is new and different.

Please come back Tuesday for more Beauty Tuesday and next Friday I will have a new Let's Get Planning post! Thank you and God bless!