Monday, April 28, 2014

Catholic Mosaic Review

I was very excited when I recieved my review copy of Catholic Mosaic by Cay Gibson.  I had read so many good things about the book study and really felt it was something that would be a valuable addition to our homeschool.  I was not disappointment. 

Cay Gibson has put a selection of quality children's literature for each month, cooresponding to the Church calendar.  There are usually 4 or 5 books for each month, along with a set of questions and discussion points for each book.  Included also are simple activities one could choose to do along with the reading.

Besides being introduced to some very exceptional books, perhaps my favorite aspect of this program is it's simplicity.  Ms. Gibson has done all the hard work for us, and all we are needed to do is find copies of the books.  I have been able to locate most of them used online, and if a decent library is to be found where you are located, you might have some luck finding some of the books there.  I have found, though, that the books are ones I really want to add to our children's library here at home.

Another thing that is great about Catholic Mosaic is that during those exceptionally busy times of life, I don't have to even worry about falling behind.  The program is based on the liturgical year, so if I fall behind this month, or do not have the resources to find the particular books that month, it's ok.  I can pick this book up as I choose and where I find it to be the most valuable.

We used it through the Advent and Christmas season, and it really helped to add a little more depth into our seasons.  Some of the books recommended are Catholic children's books and some are just good classics (including ones that are new to me!)  An example of this would be reading Tomie dePaola's "The Lady of Guadalupe" during the feast of Our Lady in December, and then sometime in January during the twelve days of Christmas we would read "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen.

Catholic Mosaic is a fit for every Catholic home no matter the age of the children.  There really is something valuable to be found in great literature, and this resources organizes it liturgically for us. 

*I wrote this review of Catholic Mosaic for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Catching Up And Getting Help

Every time I think I'm going to start blogging more frequently...I don't.  I suppose that is just the stage of life I am in now and eventually will be blogging more...or not. :)

So what have we been up to here in the land of dust and diapers and please-please-don't-let-spring-be-over-I-don't-want-summer-to-come?  Well, we had visitors, which I mentioned, and then we got sick, and then we got sick some more (this time with the stomach flu), and then my husband traveled...So. Busy.

And....I hired a Mother's Helper to come twice a week for three hours.  Whew!  That wasn't so hard to admit!  :)

Seriously, I realized, like others have as well, that I am not meant to 1) do this job alone and 2) be with my children  I love being a mother.  I love homeschooling.  I love staying home to make a home and take care of my family.  I don't love not having any family around to rely on (I have VERY good friends who could (and do!) help in a pinch, which I am very grateful for).  I don't love having to take four young children to the grocery store every week, because my husband (who usually does/did the shopping is also very busy and it's hard to ask him to do one.more.thing. when he is so tired at the end of the day).  I don't love not having regular breaks (or really just once in a while) to just breath and feel human again.

So one day, after talking it over with my husband, we decided to go for it.  I had someone in mind already who has babysat for us before.  She is 14 and homeschooled, so her schedule is flexible, and her parents drive her both ways.

The only catch is that she is moving the end of May and I'll have to start the search all over again.  But I'm ok with that.  We plan on (God willing) taking a vacation this summer and then when we get back I'll find someone else.  The good thing about this situation is that it is sort of a trial period to see what it is I actually need help with, what works and what doesn't.  So.  Awesome.

Monday was her first day and by the end of the day I felt like I was floating.  It was that great.  When she first comes in I have her doing some catch up work for me, sweeping, folding clothes, ect and a few extra chores that I just wouldn't get to (like washing the sliding glass door or in today's case some zone cleaning a-la Flylady style) while I focus on school with Fritter and then when she is done she plays with the girls.  And when I am done with school?  I get to leave for an hour or so.  Monday I bought a few shirts that my wardrobe desperately needed, and today I did grocery shopping.

Seriously.  This has given me the lift that I needed.  My sister-in-law warned me though that in six months I will have climbed out of the hole that I am in and be tempted to say that I don't need this anymore.  She suggested that as long as it remains a possibility and is in the budget that I should keep with it.  And you know?  I think she is right.

So now I am off to pick up Fritter and Ladybug from Atrium and head out to our new founded Rosary Group and then home for a great leftover dinner.  Because we have leftovers!  Because I've been cooking, (and by that I mean really cooking, not just sloppy joes, which I admit, have their place)!  Which is always a sign that things are looking up.

(And I suppose that this could constitute my April New Months Resolution, right?)