Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Pretend {phfr} - Fritter's Adventure

Can I do a {phfr} without pictures?  No?  I have a good excuse though.

Dan and Fritter are off on their first (of many, I'm sure) adventures without the women-folk (and they took the camera with them, which had all my possible {phfr} pictures).  They left early this morning for a plane ride to Salt Lake City, where they took a city bus to the car rental place (it's cheaper to rent a car off-site of the airport, but it also takes some logistical planning to pull it off), and are now, as I write, driving five hours to Dan's hometown in Wyoming to visit Grandma.  I didn't cry.  Honest.  ;)

I wish I did have a picture of the two of them walking into the airport terminal together.  Big boy Fritter walking, no strutting, next to his daddy with a backpack stuffed with books and toy airplanes and clothes.  When did he get so big?

Because they had to leave so early this morning (think 4am) we tried to get Fritter in bed early last night.  But the excitement was too much to bear, (and he had lost another tooth, which was also SUPER exciting) and he was worried that no one would wake up to get to the airport in time.  I assured him that the alarms were set and the airplane WOULD NOT take off without him.  He finally fell asleep around 10pm, and at 2:57 this morning woke me up wondering if it was time to go.  I sent him back to bed for 3 more minutes of sleep (for me, not him) before the alarm went off.  Cruel, I know.

But, anyway, they are off, which leaves me with alone with the little girls.  I honestly don't know what to do with myself.  I rented all of season 2 of Downton Abbey on Netflix, and maybe I'll finally get Ladybug's quilt finished.  The girls and I are going to have a little toe-nail painting, ice cream eating session tonight, and maybe we'll watch Cinderella.

Perhaps this will be the weekend of finishing up projects.  Could be fun...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis

I really wanted to like this book.  I really tried hard to use it as my "deep" book.  I couldn't.  It sat and it sat, and I would pick it up now and then, read a few pages, get maybe one good insight but be struck that something was just a and put it down.  I truly got to page 7 and put the book down.  As soon as this review is finished, the book will be put among the box of things on their way out of my home.  Here is the first quote that turned me off, though I couldn't put into words why:

Space-time seems to have a hidden relationship with consciousness.  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said that the whole process of evolution is an unfolding of consciousness, as matter becomes spirit.  From the Big Bang onward, consciousness is part of the material world, the "withinness" according to Teilhard, of the material "withoutness."  The symmetry between light and consciousness evokes the idea that mind is in matter....

A simple Google search told me there was controversy in the Church surrounding Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and that the author of Compassion, Sr. Ilia Delio, has been interested in his works and writings.  That is enough for me to back away from the book.

As another reviewer said, there are plenty of good, quality books on the subject of Compassion and also of our beloved St. Francis.  Why waste your time on something that verges on New Age theology?

*This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis. The Catholic Company is also a great online store for all your Catholic gift needs, such as baby baptism and christening gifts. You can also find a wide selection of Catholic Bible Studies for both parish groups and individuals, as well as a variety of other Catholic Bible study resources.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Outdoor Exploration Fridays

Our science curriculum this year is mostly geared around outdoor exploration, with a few science experiments thrown in when I remember to do them.  In other words, we plan on observing, recording, touching, exploring, and getting dirty. 

Fridays for us are now our un-school days (using that term in probably not it's fullest sense), which includes errands if we have them, Blue Knights twice a month, and outdoor exploration.  However, August in Arizona is not a nice time to be outside.  Not.  At.  All. So last week, when the temperatures climbed to around 117, we ended up at the children's museum.  We got lucky today.  A cold front came in last night (cold meaning less than 105 degrees) bringing with it blessed rain.  And this morning we saw a low of 80 degrees!  As fast as I could, I packed the children in the van, and all but raced to the Riparian Preserve.

We went on a field trip here last year, but I realized this time that we had not come close to exploring it.  This place is huge!  Lakes, streams, marshes, bugs, birds, butterflies...  Everything our little suburban hearts longed for.

Science is so much fun Mom!

Lesson here: Mesquite tree seed pods float, and make great little boats.

A deep scary swamp forest in the desert?  How can that be?

 At our designated snack spot, we did a little recording.  Fritter drew pictures of the dragonflies and butterflies and bees he saw, and then narrated our trip, while I wrote it in his science notebook.  I also printed a basic plant parts sheet from Enchanted Learning, which they colored and Fritter labeled.

Drawing in his Science notebook.

The bulk of our education today was spent enjoying God's creation.  There was also a small lesson in tree climbing.  If  you fall out of the tree, you must climb back up it.

When we left it was lunch time, and we were all hot and tired.  Now that's what I call a great day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} The Anniversary Edition

round button chicken

Our dear friends took our children last Saturday so Dan and I could go on a day long trip just the two of us.  It was really a heroic effort on their part, as they also have three children, the oldest of which is four.  Six children, five and under for the whole day.  They are earning their way to sainthood.

Anyway, so Dan and I really enjoyed ourselves.  This was our first trip like this alone, since our honeymoon!  We had breakfast alone, skipped lunch just because we were too full from breakfast and we could, and had dinner...alone.  After a very heavy breakfast, we visited a few shops and around lunch time, decided we needed to take in some exercise in the form of a hike.


I think this may be the happiest anniversary yet.  They just keep getting better!


For dinner we went to a steak house where the servers are also the performers.  I think they are singing Under The Sea right here.  It's so funny to have your server drop off your food and walk away singing.  When we first got there, they were all singing Tradition!  So fun...ny.


This is a Catholic chapel in the town we were hiking in.  Some, I'm sure, think it's a little bit of an eyesore, and maybe it is.  And really, the gift shop contains some things that should not be in a Catholic gift shop.  We wanted to visit it while we were here, anyway, so we did.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is a tabernacle with the Real Presence inside.  Is it orthodox?  Probably not, but people of many different faiths and backgrounds come to visit this chapel.  Which means it is actually a pretty great opportunity to get them close to Jesus.  Ideal? No.  But Jesus is really there, regardless.  And, in some ways, it is kind of pretty.

 It was a great day, just what the two of us needed.  And it seems our children had a pretty fun time as well.  I definitely missed them all, and on the drive home, couldn't wait to snuggle them all close.  They are the fruit of our love.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gift on the Feast of the Assumption

ALL of my kiddies are still sleeping and it's 3:30pm.  This never happens anymore.  Fritter no longer naps, and Ladybug and Sunflower are up the moment 3:00 graces the clock.  I'm loathe to wake them up.  Though, I do have a small craft for our feast day today, and I really should get rolling on dessert.  And this could feel like not such a gift around bedtime.  But the silence!  The blessed silence!  Hmm...maybe I'll wake them at 4...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First Day Of School

This was actually yesterday's event, but our anniversary post trumped it.  :)  We did officially start school yesterday, and I can't tell you how excited we were.  It feels like I've just been pretending to homeschool (we've done preschool since Fritter was 18 months old.  Every time I see the pictures now, I shake my head at my old self.) but now we are doing it for real.

Welcome to Kindergarten (or Olive Garden) Fritter!

Hard at work.

Ladybug has her own work, which includes whatever I can find to keep her little hands busy.  Yesterday it was lacing beads.  Today, she had her very own phonics workbooks.

As promised, we started a tradition of having breadsticks on the first day of school.  I made them using Jennie's pizza crust recipe, only I used 1 T. yeast instead of 2 t.  They were SO good.

And to top off a very exciting day yesterday, we fed the kids a nourishing meal of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and plopped them in front of a movie.  Meanwhile, we enjoyed steaks, quiet music and a chance to chat over dinner.  I'd like to say we didn't have to get up for anything, but that would be asking for too much.  ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

7 Years Later

My dear husband suprised me with this video he made for our anniversary. We've been through much together in these past seven years, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's to more history in the making!

*For some reason the video is not showing up in Google Reader, so if you want to see it, you will have to click over.  Sorry!*