Monday, November 28, 2011


Happy Liturgical New Year!   We are excited to be entering the season of Advent and beginning to prepare our hearts and home for Jesus's coming at Christmas.  Here are a few things we are doing in our home to get ready for Our Lord's coming:

We are practicing the New Mass responses and learning about the Mass using Magnifikids great resource for Sunday Liturgy.

We have our Advent Wreath hung and ready to be lit with our family meal each night.  We say a special prayer and sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel as we light the Candle.

We have our Jesse Tree up and ready and each day we read from the Bible and learn about the history of God's people waiting for their Savior to come.  Then we hang a simple ornament with a symbol to help us remember a main point from the Bible story.

I have wrapped enough Christmas books (in the Christmas Tree bag) for each day of Advent and so we will unwrap and read a book each day.  

Here's a peek inside - I used newspaper since it's easier, more economical and the kids are just happy to open the books:-)

I also wrapped the figures to the Nativity set we own and each day we'll add a figure to our Nativity scene for the children to play with and get ready for Jesus's arrival.  The children will be able to add straw (we're going to shred the yellow construction paper) to Jesus's cradle for each act of kindness towards others - so they can prepare a bed for baby Jesus. 

There are so many great ways to celebrate Advent!  I love reading blogs (check out my side bar for some great ones) and checking out ideas on pinterest for inspiration. How does your family celebrate Advent?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


When Phil said snow was in the forcast, I pictured a typical "first snow" where it snows a bit, doesn't stick but melts as it touched the ground. Instead we got this:

LOTS of snow!

Enough to go for a sled ride.

Enough to build a snow-leaf man

And plenty of fun for everyone.  Also, the craziest driving conditions I have ever driven in!  Thankfully the snow should all melt away next week - it's too early to have so much snow!

Prayer, Pledge and CalendarTime

Here is a more detailed description of our "typical" homeschool day.  Look for more posts soon!

Our Homeschooling day begins with a prayer.  Right now we say a prayer, the Consecration to Our Blessed Mother,  that the children would say at the Dominican Sister's of Mary's Spiritus Sanctus Academies each day - where I worked while in Ann Arbor, MI.   I love this prayer because who better for little ones to entrust themselves to each day than their heavenly Mother who will bring them closer to Jesus and because its short, beautiful and has clear imagery for the children to understand.  As the children memorize prayers we'll add or alternate prayers so they can memorize new ones.

When I was in kindergarten, my favorite"job" was to hold the flag for the pledge of allegiance and I loved to sing  "You're a Grand Ol' Flag."  So each morning we sing and march to "You're a Grand Ol' Flag." followed by saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag held by one of the kids.  All three children love this part of the day. 

One of my favorite parts of the kindergarten day while I was teaching at St. Joseph's Academy was "Calendar Time" and it's a useful time to teach certain skills that need to be practiced daily in a fun way.  Each day we sing (in English and Spanish) the "Months of the Year Song" while pointing to the names of the months and when we get to this month, they jump up and down or put their arms in the air.

Then we add the day's date to our calendar and a Popsicle stick to our "place value" envelopes.  Though I haven't explained "ones" and "tens" formally yet, when we do learn about them they'll have had experience through Calendar time. ( I may make envelope's to help count out days of school as well to help with numbers above 31 but I haven't yet.)  After counting to today's date, we sing the days of the week song (in English & Spanish) and finally we construct our sentence for today's date and read it together:

We also check out the weather outside and record it on a graph and count to 20 by ones, 100 by 10's and mark how many days of school with a star using our number chart.

And so begins our day - this little routine takes about 10 minutes or so and it's fun for everyone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma from William, Miriam & Luke

 Happy Birthday Grandma (Lawson) !

May you be blessed with many more birthdays!  We hope to see you soon!

Fall Fun

Phil informs me that the forecast has snow for tomorrow so as the beautiful fall weather fades away, I just wanted to share some of our family's fall fun:
Fun in a leaf pile!

William and Miriam made a scarecrow
The scarecrow greets anyone who comes to our door.

We made a trip to our pumpkin patch:-)

Enjoyed "Tractor Rides" with friends
Here's the harvest from our Pumpkin patch
Miriam's Rosary - we prayed a decade of the Rosary each week for the month of the Rosary and added a bead for each prayer to make a "crown for Mary"  Here's a link to the book I copied the Rosary page from; it is a great coloring book on the Rosary and has a coloring page for each mystery that we'll be using when we learn about the mysteries of the Rosary in the religion text we are using. 
William's Rosary

William was St. Michael the Archangel at our All Saints Party
 Miriam was Saint Jeanne de Valois for All Saint's Day
 William wanted to carve a blue Dinosaur Pumpkin for the All Saint's Day Pumpkin contest - he won 1st place!

Trick-or-Treating with the Hagen Family