Saturday, October 29, 2011

Miriam's ABCs

Miriam is excited to announce that she has learned her ABC's.  Luke likes to dance to her singing.  We hope you'll enjoy her ABC's and sing along :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phil turns 35

On October 19th, Phil celebrated his 35th birthday.  The kids had fun making the day special for him.  
Decorating the cake - it was a chocolate cake with ice cream in the middle
 He had to work all day and we had planned to celebrate on Thursday but we got everything ready on Wednesday.

We decorated with m&m's - Dad's favorite

The cards, cake and gifts were ready when he got home Wednesday

The kids got to stay up a bit later to wish him a happy birthday

He got to open his presents too

Then of course we had to try the cake and sing Happy Birthday!

In case you are wondering - it's Michael D. Obrien's latest book - "A Father's Tale"
We got to celebrate on Thursday, too:-) 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A "Typical" Day at Sancta Familia Academy

As any homeschooling family will quickly point out - no two days are the same.  Yet there is a rhythm to our days so I'll just give you a quick summary of what we do each day using future posts to flesh out the details.

To Organize our day, I use my version of "Workboxes" the rainbow boxes you see above.  I haven't read Sue Patrick's book yet but read what other homeschoolers were doing and adapted the system to meet our needs.  I printed some nifty tags here which I laminated and at the beginning of the day the tags start on the Workboxes and at the end of the day they end up on our "look what we did" schedule (we use sticky tack or Velcro to make them stick). 
I love that I always know what we've done and what we have to do to finish our school day in case I'm interrupted while teaching a lesson.

Since Miriam and William are too young to work independently for a long period of time - we do the lessons together and I use learning videos and books on tape for the times I'm attending to Luke. 
Or they have play time which is an important part of learning :-) 

Generally each day we
"Get ready for school"
and either go to Mass (Tuesdays and Thursday when it works out) or begin with a Prayer

Circle Time and Religion - Saint of the Day, Religion Lesson, Bible Story
Phonics and Writing

The stressful part of the day ;-)

Music/Art/Language (Sign language, Latin and Spanish Vocabulary words)

Physical Education
Reading Story Time

We also go for a walk/bike ride or play outside,

have a snack, eat lunch and have nap time to break up the day as needed.

On Wednesday we like to go to our Library for Story Hour

We can finish the planned learning in about 2 hours or so each day.   Most subjects last about 15 minutes but can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on the attention span of the children and what I have planned.  That's our "typical day" and the kids love it so far. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Princess' Tale

Last night instead of watching a movie we made our own!  We hope you enjoy this Epic tale. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

September in Review

We had a busy September here.  We began homeschooling, Phil entered formation for becoming a deacon with the Diocese of La Crosse and we took a family trip to San Diego for my brother's wedding (which entailed my flying alone with the three kids).  All three were major (and some even life changing) events for our family and required a lot of preparation and time.  Of course every day with three little ones goes by quickly;  I feel like I blinked and September was gone!  Before any more time gets away from me - here's an update from our family:

Major Event #1: We officially began our homeschooling!
Getting ready to go to Mass on our First day of school
William and Miriam began kindergarten and preschool respectively at Sancta Familia Academy (our homeschool) on September 6th.  We began our day with Mass at St. James Catholic Church which is the closest church to our house. I feel like I've been preparing for this day since before William was born so it was so exciting to actually officially begin formal homeschooling though of course the learning never ends.
Miriam in front of the work boxes that help organize our school day.
Look for a post soon that describes a "typical" home school day for us.

Major Event #2: Phil begins formation for the Diaconate for the Diocese of La Crosse
Car packed and ready to go
This one is going to require a separate blog post to explain the discernment journey up to this point but in the mean time you can go here for more details. Technically, Phil began his formation as a deacon aspirant in August.  However, in September we packed the whole family up, including the dog, and went on an overnight trip to La Crosse to participate in a retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for men in formation to become a deacon and their wives.  It was an exhausting but grace-filled trip for our family and God took care of all the details for us, including helping us find someone to house all of us including the dog and a babysitter to care for the children for part of the retreat.  If God is truly calling Phil to the diaconate now at this stage in our lives-and it sure does seem that way- this is definitely a life changing journey and we are learning to surrender to God's plan for our lives as we walk this path.  

Major Event #3: A Family Trip to San Diego for Uncle Steve's Marriage to Aunt Rosie
Luke traveling in style through the airport
This is Phil's busiest time of the year at work but since my brother was getting married it was time to head to San Diego.  Since I wanted to spend at least a week with my family - who knows when we'll be back again - it meant traveling alone on an airplane with three little kids (ages, 5, 3 and 1).
William puts car stickers on his tray race track
 Thanks to many people's prayers and a little bit of preparation the traveling went very well.  The only major mishap was I lost my drivers license on one of the flights.  We had an amazing time in San Diego.
The kids enjoying Uncle Steve's Pool

  The wedding was beautiful,

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Gomez

and we have some amazing memories from our time with my family.
A huge blessing was spending time with my 101 year old grandfather.
I am so grateful that my children could get to know all their family in San Diego and I hope we'll be able to go back again soon. We miss everyone already!

All the Grand-kids together