Friday, September 21, 2012

Third Grade Curriculum

My third grader is gobbling up fiction books faster than I can keep her supplied, but I make her occasionally do actual school work too. Here's her book list:

She's just started taking piano, and as I said about her sister — we get to art and sewing occasionally.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Growing Up

My oldest daughter will be turning ten soon. Recently, her interests have been turning more and more to fashion and messing with her hair. Until recently, she was growing her hair out as long as possible. Then she decided she wanted it all cut off. And after a trip to the hairstylist and a donation to Locks of Love, she seems suddenly even more grown up than before. Sniffle. I'm not ready.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Five Years of Catholic

Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of our family entering the Catholic Church.

It was a smaller family then. My now Kindergartner was not quite one, and my three youngest children were not even on the horizon. I suppose it is rather ironic that unlike the many women I know that are drawn to the Church because of its teachings on contraception, that was one of the hardest parts for me. In some ways, it continues to be.

I love my children and marvel that had I had my own way, three of them would not be here. That's reason enough to appreciate the Catholic Church's teachings. Yet, having seven children is a huge task, one I often feel unprepared and incompetent to handle, and thus far NFP hasn't been all that easy either.

Though life is a struggle one way or another, being Catholic and having access to the sacraments frequently, is a great and amazing blessing. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Fifth Grade Curriculum Choices

Around here, fifth grade is the beginning of middle school -- which puts me in the position of having two middle schoolers. I sometimes can't believe my oldest daughter is that old, although with her new found love of fashion, skinny jeans, and doing her hair, she is trying hard to look as old as possible.

Here's her booklist for fifth grade:
She's also taking piano, and we get to art and sewing occasionally.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Favorite Books about New Siblings

We have been through the addition of a new person several times now. Although, I don't actually think kids need a ton of preparation to welcome a new sibling, we do have some favorite books about new arrivals in the family.

1.The Berenstain Bears' New Baby
I don't normally like the Berenstain Bear books. They are too rhyme-y and too preachy. They also tend to portray the dad as a moron and the mom as a genius. However, I make an exception for their new baby book. I love it. As an added benefit, the dad isn't a moron. He's an expert craftsman, who can whip out a new big boy bed for Small Bear in a few hours.

2. Julius, Baby of the World
In this book in Kevin Henke's series about Lily the Mouse, Lily is frustrated by all the attention showered on her new brother, until her cousin insults him. Lily is hilarious (and reminds me a great deal of one of my daughters). "You'll regret that bump under your dress!" says Lily. The drawings are also hilarious.

3. Hello, Baby!
I love the pictures of fetal development. I love that they show the mom breastfeeding. I love that the big brother is excited to have a new baby sister. It doesn't hurt that the new born baby looks just like one of my kids. My two year old loves to flip through this one, point to the big brother and say, "That's me."

4. A Baby Sister for Frances
All the Frances the Badger books are favorites from my childhood, but this one is interesting, because in some ways it touches very little on the new sibling. Frances doesn't think the house is as fun any more now that her sister Gloria is around and she runs away from home to under the dining room table.

5. The Baby Sister
One of Tommie dePaola's, at least semi-autobiographical, picture books. I love the excitement he has about the thought of a new sister and I love his drawings.

Friday, September 14, 2012

School Time -- Eighth Grade Curriculum Choices

My oldest is in eighth grade this year. Time flies! We are ending our sixth week of school, and this is shaping up to be a challenging year for him. The work is hard enough that he can't breeze through it without paying attention. I figure this will be good practice for high school and beyond.

So what is he studying this year?

He also is taking piano, and we're hitting some art history watching Sister Wendy.

    Thursday, September 06, 2012

    A Comeback

    I never meant to close up shop and disappear. But a wall-writing/wall-climbing toddler, an exhausting pregnancy, the end of the school year, and a lot of depression, sent me into a spot where I wasn't in the mood to blog or think or do much of anything. I've spent a lot of days putting one foot in front of another. Getting done what must be done. Faking it rather well -- most of the time -- but something had to give and blogging was it. The children, after all, demand to be fed.

    Since my disappearance from the blog-o-sphere, we've had all sorts of excitement around here.

    My seven year old had her First Communion.

    We had another baby. The girls are now in the lead, and although my five year old declared that he was going to call her "Stupid Baby" when he found out she wasn't his hoped for brother, he quickly fell in love when he met her. My two year old loves her not wisely, but too well. We try to keep him from squishing her with his great out pouring of love.

    Another school year has begun, with a brand new Kindergartner -- along with an 8th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader and the four and two year olds running amok -- the baby insists that if she is awake she should be eating.

    I'm trying to get by. I don't love the post-baby flab that never seems to go away, the sleepless nights or all the things I should do and am failing at, but many things are getting done and I try to focus on those as best I can. Someone clearly thought I needed an extra dose of patience and sanctification through diaper changing and large family life. Or something like that.

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