Friday, October 10, 2014

Science Rules! Or is it Rules for Science???

When you've educated your children at home for 25+ years (Oh my! Really- Has it been that long?), there comes a time to replace expensive textbooks with more modern, expensive textbooks. And I am happy to do so. Shopping for school supplies gives me a strange sort of rush. Probably what other women experience when they redecorate their homes. Can't explain it. I LOVE BOOKS! Today's excitement brought to you by: Apologia Young Explorers Science Curriculum. Immersion learning, Charlotte Mason style, is the focus; rather than the typical elementary science textbook which is more of a general science survey.  The note booking journals and textbooks are loaded with experiments which really help young minds remember the concepts learned. And then, there is the notebooking aspect. All of the printables are in the notebook. No searching on the Internet for resources to supplement a dull textbook. I. LOVE. IT.

Last week's lesson - making lava lamps out of old bottles, oil, vinegar, Alka Seltzer, and food dye. What kids wouldn't love that mess? 

I don't know about you, but smiling boys during school hours makes my day.  And yes, we did discuss rules for science. Do NOT eat or sniff or otherwise consume the science projects.  Not even if this week's pan of goo looks like marshmallow cream.

Non-Newtonian liquid or amorphous solid?

Or is it simply a huge mess that will clog the sink? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chicken Run

Remember  when we came home from the Halbert Hacienda after Memorial Weekend, with a Life Science Experiment in tow?

Well, it turned into a fun summer project.  Three little chicks survived the incubation and brooding period.  
The boys named them: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Luckily veto power goes to Mom.  I call one Benedicta (as in Eggs Benedict). Bene for short, because it's Italian. And because she is a she, which is very Good!  It also goes with the name of our pet dog, a Border Collie named Bandita.  Chicken #2 is called Scholastica, since that is Benedict's twin. Abbreviated Schola, in honor of our Classical Homeschool and focus on Latin hymns this year. 
I couldn't think of a name for the third hen, until bright and early one morning- it came to me. PETER. Nuff said.

Dear Husband helped me transform the playset into a chic condo for the "girls."
With three nesting boxes, a rear door for gathering eggs,
and a front gate for easy watering, feeding, and cleaning.
Only problem is, the girls aren't all so girly. Two roos and a pullet; or two pullets and a roo? We are still not certain. But Peter definitely started crowing on a regular basis; so we sent him to live in a more rural area (with my farmgirl friend who currently supplies us with eggs). Natalie is boarding him until we can decide what in the world to do. Should we go with the boys' original idea of "Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner?" Not quite sure we are ready to go there. When my Lil Sis shows up for our big canning experience, she is supposed to bring a laying hen to trade out for the roo(s). But I don't think she really wants to transport the crower back home.  We may bite the proverbial bullet and butcher the little guy. After all, organically fed chicken sells at a premium price in the groceries. And my little friend from the country has a few roosters of her own to "relocate." We could build one of these……..


………………... or not. You will just have to wait for a future post to find out. 
I know- the suspense, right?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Garden of Weedin

The weather is finally taking a turn from stifling humidity to bearable heat.  Time in the garden is back on the schedule. It has grown considerably over the years, although the produce is not as abundant as I had hoped. Still, it is a quiet refuge from the daily grind. The patio is now enclosed by a simple, light weight fence to keep out rampaging football players and stray soccer balls. Having that visual border has made a huge difference. I am back to morning coffee with a family of cardinals, a scurry of squirrels, and a few moments with God, as seen through the eyes of Fulton Sheen.   Very nice. The Blessed Mother watches over the roses and blueberry bushes. St. Joseph is guarding my olive tree. And St. Anthony is posted in front of the orange tree.  

The trees are in pots this year, so I can scoot them into a green house when the frost threatens. We lost 2 citrus trees to hard freeze last winter.  I still need to replant some sugar snap peas and broccoli. Both bolted in the heat when I planted too early.  Amazingly, I still have a watermelon and a cantaloupe to harvest pretty soon.  It isn't quite the Urban Homestead, or even a Suburban look alike, but it is my little corner of Eden. The plan is to learn, little by little, until the garden at least pays for itself as much in produce, as it has in satisfaction. 
The peppers are still hanging on, and there are even some grape tomatoes ripening on a bush. Cucumbers and squash are starting a second run. But everything is trickling in slowly. Not like my sister's garden. She has canned enough produce to last her and her dear husband quite a while. 
She is headed this direction in a couple of weeks to teach me how to fill my pantry with wholesome soups and pasta sauce for the winter. I'll be grinding flour to make bread and English muffins to go with it.  It will be a  Little House on the Prairie weekend, with wine. And lots of laughs. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Break and Birthday Celebrations

They are coming home for the weekend- los tres amigos. A rare occasion to have all three come in at once.
In honor of this young man's 13th birthday.
This has been the year for landmark birthdays. One hit double digits in July and another turned 13 today. 16 was in August, while 18 and 21 spent their summer birthdays at camp. Six of us had a little preview cake tonight- but the rest of the birthday party arrives tomorrow. Time for a family dinner out. Lookout Southside! We are coming for your steak special. Then in November, the pushing 30's & the 30-somethings will join us for an early Thanksgiving celebration.  Hopefully we can get Vince off the boat long enough to join us. Imagine the WHOLE family together, grandkids included (and there isn't even a wedding on the schedule). I plan to get a quick family photo before they all scatter back into the busyness of the world. One.Happy.Mamma.

New Projects Derail Blogging

ClassicallyCatholic@blogspot has been on the back burner for quite a while, as new projects have piqued my interest. A season for everything I suppose. Currently I am enjoying time spent in the garden while listening to the Edel Talks on Conversion Diary.  Extra-specially the third audio clip on mortification given by HALEY STEWART entitled "My Children Are Killing Me." Highly recommended, if you have half an hour or so and need an attitude adjustment.  She's a kick.  I've also been painting, reading, over-seeing a Classically Catholic Homeschool Co-op, baking, volunteering with the Good Samaritan Ministry in our parish, and of course, teaching the last 3 kids at home. But blogging-- not so much. Hope to get back to it, at least on occasion.

For now I will leave you with some recommended reading:  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Flying Under The Radar

Wow! It has been a very long time since the last Classically Catholic blog post. I have been reading more than writing lately. Honestly it has been kind of nice keeping a low profile and flying under the radar for a while. Here is a recap of the past few months….

May was chaotic as the college crowd came home, exploded all over the house  dropped off their gear, and headed off to work in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the summer.

It was a quick turnaround, but they didn't head out before Giordan produced his annual summer movie:

Shortly after the college crowd headed to camp, the house was restored to some semblance of normalcy. Then we headed to the Lone Star State.  My sister and her husband hosted a Memorial Day Bash in true Texas style. Never a dull moment at the Hacienda.

 Can't beat live music...
Lively Chicken Fights in the pool,
And live crawfish.
Of course the crawfish were better after the big boil. 
The excitement continued after the party, because Dear Sister sent us home with a living summer project.
More about that later.

The next whirlwind for the summer was the 
never-ending All-Star tournament circuit.
They finished dirty and exhausted, but they also finished champions. While the guys traveled every weekend, Regina and I mostly chilled around the house. We read, and painted….
(and no, this isn't anyone I know. Just an exercise from an oil painting book to help me get past the flat cartoon look of the Madonna and Child painting that I hope to master in the distant future).
 (See- flat and muddy looking. One day though!)

In between painting sessions I put together a do-it-yourself home retreat. Thanks to some fabulous, old Fulton Sheen videos, I was able to wrap my mind around some of the mysteries of the faith with renewed enthusiasm. Any of his videos or publications are worth the time to view. I look forward to his canonization in the near future. 

Next on the agenda was a girls' weekend getaway.  Gina and I invited Grandma to join us on a road trip back to Texas. We had a peaceful weekend floating in the pool and canning tomatoes. *Learning a lot from my younger sister about canning and dehydrating. Trouble is that my garden doesn't produce like hers. So I am also learning a thing or two from her husband about soil amendments.

Finally it was time for my baby girl to join her brother and sisters at camp. It was her first year as a junior counselor. Then, I was the lone female in a house with 2 restless boys. It rained and rained and rained. Thank heaven for back to back VBS at two different churches.

I also had an opportunity to fill in for an audiologist at my ENT's office for 3 weeks. They call it work; but after homeschooling, keeping the house in order, and the kids under control, it was more like a dream vacation. I love my kids- but a break is a break, and this one came with bonus pay. I am pretty sure the boys needed a break from this mama, too. Grandma stepped up to take the boys out for some summer fun. Putt putt, summer movies, and lunch dates with grandma = happy grandsons.

Gina should be home tonight- and I fully expect her to sleep nonstop for the first two days home in her comfy bed. Then the college kids should be arriving within the week for a short stay before moving into their new apartment. We will rearrange to accommodate everyone and just deal with the chaos for the fabulous short time that we can all be together. How I have missed having a full house! Late night conversations, laughter at the dinner table, and hugs all around. I can't wait. It will all happen so quickly- then back to the homeschooling grind.

How did you spend your summer?

New Page for New Issues

In an effort to maintain focus, a new page has been created with emphasis on promoting the Culture of Life and exposing the Culture of Death in our society. Share your take with us:
Classically Catholic Current Issues - Culture of Life and Death.