Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where Has The Summer Gone???

I can not believe that summer is coming to such a fast close. Late this afternoon, when the kids and I swam, the cooler temperatures were very noticeable. It has been wonderful to enjoy the warm sunshine and playing outside much of the day. The thought of winter (cold and windy days) approaching is not too exciting for me or the children. However, the Holidays are so much fun with the kids and I just love the beautiful Fall colors.

The major activity I love about winter time is school. The children have all their new books for this year and are quite excited to begin their lessons. Casey is not so happy about starting the new school year. But, everyone else said they are happy to begin soon. Only two more weeks until we start the new year. Since, we did not finish our work until the middle of June, we will not begin until the middle of September (the 14TH to be exact).

I have been very busy the last couple of weeks getting things in order and going over their new books so that I will know what is going on in advance. My only regret about home-school is that I did not do this for Casey before the public school system in our area failed to give him a love of learning. This is the major difference in my older child/grandchild and my younger ones who have really never known anything other than their Catholic home-school. They really L-O-V-E it.

Though Casey enjoys his time off from school, when I offer to send him to public school, he emphatically shakes his head "no"!!! I also must admit that his grades and academic abilities have drastically improved from his former years in public schools. Trust me...I cut NO slack when it comes to education. It is my belief that when they go to college they will receive no slack there. So, it's best for them to earn that grade by learning the material well.

I also don't believe in allowing a student to experience failure and sadly move on. How unfortunate that many high school graduates are illiterate (Google "high school graduate + illiteracy"). Mastery is very important in gaining confidence in learning. So, I am ever present to explain everything before they move on or test. Certainly, they have no learning blocks or test stress (among the grade school age) and only some stress with the two older children (Casey and Trisha). Again, I think that has a lot to do with the public school system here in our area.

Okay....I will get off my soap box and promise to give you an update on the last few weeks of summer (with new pictures) very soon. Also, I will post in regard to the beginning of our new school year. I do want to acknowledge, for those who are not avid homeschoolers, and are happy with the public school....there are some wonderful communities whose systems are very successful and satisfying.

However, the way we choose to educate our children is such a personal choice. One which I am most grateful to have the freedom of choice. I want to excitedly wish you every success this year and pray for many blessings to you!!! Now...let me change the subject to an interesting perspective from the children this afternoon following Mass.

Duane, the children, and I went to visit my parent's grave. They were such sweet parents to us and we miss them so very much. We find a comfort in visiting there periodically and making sure their grave site is nice. The summer grass was growing too close into their head stones. So, Duane and Weldon took the weed-eater to groom it up a bit. I just have to share this experience from the eyes of the children. Usually, we go to visit just my parent's grave and do not ordinarily go with Duane when he does maintenance on the graves. But, today the kids all clamoured to go out there with us.

I did not want any flying debris to hit them and so we began to stroll through the cemetery. They would run over to a head stone and remark about what it said or the date of birth or a picture of the person. They began to notice that these bits of information gave a brief introduction to that person.

One stone had a German Shepard (Karissa's favored breed of dog) on it next to a picture of the owner, another had the symbol of the Masons on one side and the Eastern Star symbol on the other. Still other stones had military insignias or the rank of a person while in the service of America. They soon began to realize that there are two dates on the head stones.

Christian with wide innocent eyes asked; "Mommy, why is there two dates on some and only one date on others?". He was so surprised to find out that some people had not passed away yet and that this was their planned place of rest. They then began to figure how old a person was which revealed how long they had lived....more information for curious little minds. It shocked them when some were babies, children, teenagers, and young adults. I think they expected elderly people, but the young ones, were a bit much to absorb. As they ran from grave to grave, discussing these people, a car with two women drove up the road and parked.

When they got out of their car and stood with their loved one they watched my children gathering information on people. I kept hoping and praying that this would not be offensive to the ladies. My children were excited, and their little voices calling out to each other about the person they were learning about, was anything other than quiet or mournful.

Much to my surprise...I over-heard the older lady say to the younger one; "It's nice to hear God's children being so happy here. The laughter and joy of's so wonderful to hear." The ladies joined hands (probably mother and daughter...I assume) and got into their car.
It made me feel that bringing the children there, and letting them gather this information was important to not only us, but it lightened the hearts of these two ladies.

Perhaps it was a feeling of the natural process of life in the physical sight before our very eyes. A peek into Heaven...maybe. As we drove home little Mary said; "Mommy, there is just a whole bunch of people there and so I bet there are lots of people in Heaven. Right Mommy???" to which I responded...."That's right, baby!!!" Until next time...Many blessings!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Katie Aunna

Katie Aunna enjoying dinner with Mama and Papa;-)
Here she is waiting for Papa to come home from work.
Surprise!!! A new "big" girl bike for her birthday...LOL!!!
This was Katie Aunna's referral photo...what a huge change has occurred in her since then!!!

I just can not believe that she is now having her second birthday since coming home. Last year we were just getting adjusted when she turned 7 y/o. It absolutely amazes me that she is now 8 y/o!!! She was her usual happy self yesterday getting dressed to go outside to play and swim. Her face lite like a light bulb when I wished her a happy birthday. I think she almost forgot.

The first questions from her were "Can we go out to eat with just you, me, and Daddy tonight? Oh...and do I get a new toy???" I couldn't help but chuckle at these straight faced serious questions. I told her that we certainly would go out to eat and she could get her new toy after dinner. Here a few pictures of the big 8 year-old in our house.

God is so generous and good to give Katie to us. She is a darling little girl and has been everything I have dreamed that she would be. Happy Birthday to my darling little girl;-). Many blessings!!!