Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wandering With Family

Oh, this week seemed so long and so short at the same time!! It was a lovely week. The weather, though off and on rainy for the majority of the time, was warm and the final signs of winter (freezing cold nights) seems to have finally left us.
We began our week where I left you in our last weekly wrap up. The Cracker Jack's had their First Communions on Saturday and their cousin had her Confirmation on Sunday. You can read all about it here . For those of you who aren't Catholic and aren't familiar with these terms here's a quick rundown for you. A child reaches their First Communion usually around second grade, this is when they receive the body and blood of Christ for the first time. It's a pretty big deal! In the Catholic faith (though all parishes vary somewhat) children go to religious instruction classes, or catechism, classes from around first grade until eighth grade. Some parishes begin in Kindergarten, while others do not. Anyway, children in second grade (or later once they've received the instruction and are aware of what they are actually receiving) have their first confession and a few months later (again the time can vary here) they receive their First Communion. Every mass they attend afterwards they are allowed to take part in the act of communion so long as they've cleared their conscious with confession, normally children only say confession about once a year or so unless they feel strongly that they should do so more often. In eighth grade a child, if they feel in their heart that they want to remain Catholic, will have their Confirmation. This is where they are blessed by a Bishop and recognized within the Church as adults, the actions they take within the Church are thereafter their own decisions and they are held accountable for them. Parents remain their guides, along with the priests and other members of the Church, for the rest of their lives, but the child no longer attends specific classes as they are considered to be "adults" and can attend other things within the Church.

Monday the girls both had physicals scheduled with their doctor and so we had a half day. They campers all finished their lessons quickly in the morning and then we went off to the doctor appointments. Both of them checked out extremely healthy so there are no concerns there, thank God. YCJ very seldom sees the doctor, she's very healthy and usually only needs to go in for a physical now and again. So, she was a little nervous and worked up about the visit and relaxed once she realized that she was OK.

Tuesday Daddy had a few tests that needed to be run for his knee damage before we can move on to the next step of his care. So, the children and I stayed home and had a full days worth of lessons. All of them finished early and we were able to get a TON of time outside that afternoon. Well, they got time outside while Mommy sat in the sun room with her crochet and worked on a dress for Peanut. The campers cleaned up the yard from the last wind storm, played a lot, and ECJ worked on his skills with cartwheels and walking on his hands (5 whole steps on his hands!). He's done cartwheels for years but has only just started on his hand walking skills. Poor guy pulled a muscle in his side but no serious damage and no harm done, he's feeling much better now.

Wednesday was another full day of school for the campers. And this is how our mornings usually look...

ECJ at the kitchen table, the girls each at their desks, and I'm usually set up with our grade book and lesson plans (along with the ever present cup of coffee) at the coffee table. Peanut finished working through the entire alphabet this past week and is now concentrating on review and her phonics/reading skills. She even earned her first sticker for the Sesame Street books she's working through! 

So, that leaves Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. What in the world did we do? Thursday I'd scheduled us for a half day's worth of lessons as Noni was coming to pick me up for some early birthday shopping and a girls time at the coffee house! We ended up skipping the lessons because it was nearly 80* F and no one wanted to concentrate! We had some informal lessons and ECJ studied for his Apologia Unit 9 test but that's about it. (I enjoyed a wonderful time with my mother shopping and relaxing together with coffee, not having to think about the things at the house for a little while.) Peanut also picked up her new glasses with Daddy on Thursday. Friday we'd had regular lessons scheduled but decided again to skip them and opt for some real life lessons instead. We went used car shopping, and though we didn't end up leaving the lot with anything we didn't already own each of the children took away something different from the experience. Peanut thinks car shopping is boring but the new cars are neat to look at, YCJ thinks that even used cars cost too darned much and that prices should be lowered, and ECJ learned that you can't always trust a salesman (an important life lesson that I'm glad he's learned now instead of when he's shopping for his first car). We also stopped in to visit Grandma and Papa again because we were in their area and *just beat the thunderstorms home. 

Saturday the weather dawned clear and beautiful. The campers and I headed up to the library for some craft/story time. Where all three of them made these interesting spring themed tic-tac-toe boards and pieces...

And then the girls played while ECJ joined with the teens to make "Colors of Faith" bracelets for myself and Noni (I didn't grab a photo of him finishing this because I didn't want to embarrass him in front of the girls he was hanging out with)...

He made a couple of new friends while he was at it, including a girl who thought it was completely awesome that he's homeschooled (she wishes she could be) and that it was great that he likes to crochet and make crafts!! He was entirely over the moon about this fact.

When we got home the campers went out to play with their friends from across the street and then once they came in we all watched Frozen together as a family (a gift from Noni on Thursday, Daddy hadn't gone to the theater to watch it with us when we'd gone).

So, we had a lot of wonderful family time this week. The children all learned, spent time with friends, and had fun. Mommy and Daddy remembered that sometimes it's OK to just let things ride and enjoy the moments. We really had a good week. I was going to show off a picture of the dress I'd finished for Peanut, but it's not quiet done yet (some trimming and final touches needed)... So, if you like us on Facebook you'll see that photo sometime this week. I'm planning on beginning work for a different style of dress for YCJ this week as well.

Well, this happy Mamma is off to finish making supper (while wearing my Colors of Faith Mother's Day gift) and then settle the campers down for the night.

OH! We added another 15.75 hours outside this week to our grand total so far for the year. Which brings us up to 254 hours year to date for our 1000 Hours Outside Challenge !!

Posts you may have missed this week:    
Many Blessings, Busy Weekend
Things My Kids Should Know
How I Choose Some Other Curriculum
Taking Time to Relax

Linking up this week with:   
Great Peace Academy
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Homegrown Learners
Squishable Baby
Faithful Mom of 9

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!


  1. Sounds like a busy and productive week in more ways than one! I'm glad we both seem to finally be over with winter. Although Bethany is having a hard time transitioning through the seasons. It was 70 degrees and she still insisted that she needed her coat, gloves, and boots the other night! Oh well..Happy Mother's Day!

    1. I'm having a similar problem with our son, for some reason he thinks that he needs his coat even if it's 80 degrees... Although, since he doesn't have the same problems that Bethany has it's easier for us to convince him that he doesn't. Meanwhile my girls think 60 degrees weather calls for tank tops!! Children are just strange sometimes. I cannot imagine how much time the weather transitions take for Beth to get used to. It was busy and productive, exhausting and fulfilling all at the same time :-)

  2. Thank you for the explanation! That's really helpful! It sounds like you had a wonderful week. I love that you took each day as it came and adjusted the plan to take advantage of nice weather. I've never heard of the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge, I'll take a peek at it this week.

    I really dislike car shopping! Of course it's become much easier to ignore the salesman pitch as we only fit in 12 or 15 passenger Those real life lessons are important ones to have!

    1. I'm glad you found the explanation helpful! I'm pretty "new" to Catholicism myself (not even fully converted due to some paper work issues) though I've attended with my husband and the children for the last 11 years, so I tried to make sure it was not only correct but made sense to everyone.

      I really like the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge, I got into it about a week or two after they first began it last fall. It's a good way for us to keep track of how much actual time we spend outside enjoying ourselves and being away from the screens that daily life now has so many of. Even if I don't go out and "play" each time they go out I do try to do something else with my time than sit in front of a screen, which is one of my many reasons for loving the fact that my sun room looks out where they tend to play a lot (along with the weather allowing me to use the sun room) and that I can crochet or read while watching them.

      I really dislike car shopping as well. It's hard to do when you have x amount of family members but want something good on gas, are working within a budget, and need to account for all the room you need to have. So, when we go I'm always moving all the seats as much as they can move to see if there's not only enough room for all the people but the groceries and dogs as well! I've joked that we need a 12 or 15 passenger van a lot if only so there's no more screaming of, "She's sitting on me again! She's stepping on me! MOM!!! Get Dad's dog offa meeee!" LOL

  3. It does sound like a busy week. We kinda need to go car shopping but are avoiding it. Not fun. I hope you find just what you need at a price that is doable. ;) I'm trying to find the balance between winding down an "academic" year and continuing through summer without overwhelming him.

    1. We're putting car shopping off again for hopefully (we're praying) at least another year. Our vehicle needs work but it's still cheaper than a new one. Even new used. I really don't enjoy it, nor do I enjoy the strain on our budget. I'm praying, as is Daddy, that we'll be able to sock some money away in the next 12 months to make payments more doable and do the research we need to do to know exactly what we're looking for going into it. We've got a few weeks left of the "official" year here, which means that their text books will be finished in less than three weeks (most of them, maybe one or two not) and then our summer schedule. I'm writing a post on how we do that which will be out next week (Thursday 22nd). Would love to compare notes with you on the subject sometime!!

  4. What a great and productive week. Congratulations to them on the first communion. What a special rite of passage. Thanks for explaining your faith. I have no idea about the Catholic church beyond the wedding Mass. Haha!

    Thanks so much for linking up with us Chrystal!

    1. I hadn't even been to a wedding mass until my sister and law got married a year before I had. I'd only been to a "regular", Easter, or Christmas mass until that point.

      The kids are really happy that they're getting congratulated for their communion. "They haven't really met us Mom, but they still say congrats n' stuff. It's cool. Tell them we say thanks." ECJ direct quote LOL