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March 31, 2009

Poll NOW closed!

The poll regarding the feed is NOW closed!

The results are as follows:

6-85% - full text
0-0% - preview text
1-14%- I don't care

Thank-you to everyone that voted and gave a voice to their opinions on this matter!

As a result I will leave the feed as is (full text).

Sincerely,
SAHMinIL

PS: Seeing the poll is closed and has served it's propose I removed it from the site. I also closed the comments to this post, just because I don't think comments are needed. :) Thanks Again!

March 29, 2009

What is America?

By law one of the things that I'm required to do is to provide eduction regarding the Constitution. I came across this youtube video on the blog: Forward To Liberty.



If you have found this video informational then be sure to check Forward To Liberty.

March 28, 2009

First Communion

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while know that my DS has been preparing to receive First Communion. Today and yesterday we have been doing those final preps that needs to be done, buying outfits, clothing, shoes, stockings, etc. We also made it a point today to stop in at church to receive reconciliation. So we've been busy the last few days.

My DS picked out his own clothing and I must say I'm happy with his choices! DD even got a new dress for the occasion. I'm going to be wearing some slacks that I already had, but I went and bought myself some new shoes and shirt to wear with my slacks. Luckily for us, DH wears "dress" clothing for work, so he didn't need anything NEW. LOL

I have added a picture of the children's outfits for the day. I got DS outfit a 4 piece shirt, pants, vest and tie at JcPenny's for $20. I got DD dress at TJmax for $10 and my new shirt/blouse at walmart for $15. It really sucks when the shoes cost MORE then the clothing! Shoes today (3 pairs) cost $55 at playless. However we are all ready now, especially seeing we also went to confession today!! DS, even decided it was best to receive reconciliation today as well!!! (He had received his first reconciliation in January)

So we are now officially counting down the days to DS's first communion. The first communion Mass is going to be Saturday April 4th @ 2:00 pm @ our church!!! Congrats to my DS!!!



The one thing you may have noticed about the outfits is that DS's shirt is NOT white. It's blue with a white collar and white cuffs. To be honest, I'm okay with that. It looked really nice on him and he's going to look just fine when receiving communion.

DD dress looks more yellow in the picture then it really is. Her dress is actually a green. It also has flowers (white) and darker greens along the bottom and flowers around the waist. For whatever reason no matter how I took the picture the dress came out yellow. Oh well.

My blouse that I'm wearing is going to be blue, DH has decided that he's going to wear his green shirt. So we are going to be very "spring-ish" next weekend! :)

It's public television!

It's public television, or at least that's what my DD was calling it. It was a real hoot last night!

Yesterday we spent some times at my my grandparents house and they gave an OLD portable 5 inch black and white TV with AM/FM radio. We were not able to get the TV to pick up our local channels due to the DTV switch. (We had a feeling that it would be that way seeing all of our local channels have already switched)

DH had a bright idea to hook up the PS2 to the TV seeing it had audio/video port. We did it really as a joke but the kids ATE IT UP! They had a blast sitting in front of this little TV and playing their PS2. My DD (7) kept calling this TV the PUBLIC Television! Once the PS2 was hooked up to it she was no longer playing PS2, but PUBLIC games!

She kept saying over and over again "I'm playing PUBLIC games on the PUBLIC Television". Oh, my gosh DH and I had a HUGE belly laugh over this one, seeing we know what public television really is!!

For whatever reason she had it in her head that this was "public" television. Perhaps, because it's portable?? I don't know really but it was a great laugh.

Pictures of this moment can be seen on my website.

March 27, 2009

curriculum for 2009-2010

As I was saying at the end of Feb I was going to be buying our curriculum for what will be our 2009-2010 school year. The new school year will actually start July 2009. I have decided that we will homeschool ALL year. Our school year will consist of 34 weeks with 6-8 weeks off in-between school years. (Of course there will be breaks/vacations during those 34 weeks)

Living in Illinois I'm required by law to teach the following subjects: Language arts, biological and physical science, math, history and social sciences (which shall include a course in the U.S. and Illinois Constitution), fine arts, health and physical development. So I thought that I would give a run down of what I've decided to use for the new school year!!

First there is some some subjects that I'm going to do together.

Devotionals/Saints (For Both):
  • Devotionals Stories for Little Folks
  • Devotionals Stories for Little Folks 2
  • Great Saints In World History
Language Arts
  • My Catholic Speller Level B (for my 3rd grader)
  • My Catholic Speller Level A (for my 2nd grader)
  • Language of God Level B (for my 3rd grader)
  • Language of God Level A (for my 2nd grader)
  • Hooked on Phonics (1993) (for both)
  • Literature~me reading various novels to the kids~ (for both)
  • Literature ~them reading various books to me~ (for both)
Science
  • Science Easy 1, 2, 3 (Both)
  • Behold and See 3 (for my 3rd grader)
  • Science 2 for little folks (for my 2nd grader)
Math
  • MCP Math Level C (for my 3rd grader)
  • MCP Math Level B (for my 2nd grader)
  • Math Facts NOW~PC game~ (for both)
History
  • Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas (for my 3rd grader)
  • Our Father's World (for my 2nd grader)
  • Maps, Charts, Graphs C (for my 3rd grader)
  • Maps, Charts, Graphs B (for my 2nd grader)
Fine Arts
  • ???
Health and Physical Development
  • Homeschool Family Fitness (for both)
  • Sports and/or classes such as dance, swimming, etc (for both)
All the material that I'm using can be bought either at CHC or Seton. The only subject area that I do not have covered is fine arts. I'm just not sure what to do there yet. Perhaps some of my readers will be able to offer some ideas!!!

March 26, 2009

What are they?

ME: If something is a meat eater what is it?
DD and DS: Carnivore

Me: If it eats plants?
DD and DS: Herbivore

Me: If it eats plants and animals?
DS: Carn-herbivore
Me: No
DD: I don't know
Me: Omnivore
DD and DS: Omnivore!

DD: What if it eats toys?
ME: I don't know?
DS: A BABY!!!!

LOL, I just had to share!!! Love those kids!!!

Questions about the feed?

I've noticed that my readers and followers have slowly but surely grown over the last few months and I just want to take a moment to thank-you all for being here!

For those of you that are subscribed readers (subscribe to the feed) I wanted to know if I should leave the feed as a full text as it is now? 0r if a preview would be better?

I know whatever I do with the feed I WILL NOT add ads to it. I personally find feeds with ads to be annoying! So I won't go there. I'm just wondering if a preview might be better? Or if I should leave it full text as it is now? It's just something that I've been thinking about. So instead of just making a decision I thought I would get input from the subscribed readers. After all you are the ones reading so the change would effect you more then me!!

I've added A POLL to the blog just for this. It is located just ABOVE the posting here on the blog, so please take a moment to vote in the poll.

Seeing I just want votes, I'm closing the comments for this post.

Thank-you, everyone, for taking a moment to vote. Thank-you for taking a moment or 2 out of your busy days to even read my blog! I feel truly honored to have each and everyone of you here! After all this is just one small corner of the WWW, and well with everything that is out there it's humbling to know that there are people here too!

God Bless You All
SAHMinIL

Accepting me for who I am

I think one thing that homeschooling has done for my kids this last year is given them a VOICE and the confidence to say what is on their mind without the fear of being rejected.

So many kids when they go to school worry about fitting it, be it the "right" clothing, "right" hair styles, "right" shoes etc. It was those things that helped influenced our decision to homeschool our children. After all our DD last school year was in Kindergarten and we were appalled that she came home wanting to know when she could have a bikini waxing and an eyebrow waxing. Why was our kindergartner wanting these things? Simple that's what her PEERS (i.e. the other children in the class) were talking about and doing. She wanted to fit in. Oh and this may be more "common" then most may think!

I may live in the mid-west in a mild of a metro-cornfield, but seriously we are seeing the same things here as in the large cities. Don't be fooled into thinking just because you live in a small town that it won't come your way! It's down right scary!

Fast forward to today. Well the kiddos have come a long way. They are less and less worried about what others think when it comes to clothing, looks, etc. I didn't realized how much so until we visited a local homeschool group recently.

Currently we belong to what I would label as a "secular" co-op. It has been a good thing, but DH and I have felt the draw to join something a little bit more faith based. So we have been visiting co-ops. Most of the co-ops we have visited have been very welcoming and very open to allowing us to come for a day or two and just get a feel of the group.

We visited one group recently. It was a really nice group. The kids enjoyed spending time with the kids. We enjoyed our time with the adults. The cost was a little pricey but we thought perhaps we could work something out. That was until DS learned of the dress-code.

DS has longer hair. (pictures of the kiddos can be seen on my website). One of the dress-code requirements besides moderate dressing had to do with the boys hair. It basically could not touch the collar and go over the ears. Well if you look at the pictures you can see that my DS hair does NOT comply with this code.

Once DS learned of this requirement he looked at me and said "I'm NOT joining! I am NOT going to cut my hair just so I can belong to some group. They should just accept me for who I am, not how my hair is!" WOW! That came out of my soon to be 8 year-old mouth! Whose kid is he and when did he became so wise?? Now if only more kids would be like that!!

March 25, 2009

A post worth reading

I came across a post today entitled "What I Love About Catholicism: The Lack of Artifice" from True Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter. I think it's worth reading!

Do you? Do they?

Well we are wrapping up our first year of homeschooling! WOW that just blows my mind, I can't believe that it's been almost been a whole year. Just thinking about that just blows my mind!

The main questions I have been getting besides how do you handle being with them all the time: Is do they get spring break? Vacations? What about testing? (I did a post earlier about testing, so I won't address that again.)

So yes they do get vacations and breaks! Why anyone would think they don't is beyond me. The major difference between homeschooling, PS (public school), and private school is that when it comes to homeschooling and vacations I as the teacher, superintendent, and school board president can set the school days and vacations as I see fit!

Of course I have to be sure I follow my state laws, but truly I have the ability to set the days as I see fit. Daddy is home from work, then we are off of school. We feel overwhelmed with the schooling then we take a day or two off. No big deal!!

The schools here are on spring break, but we are still plugging away with school. Mainly because the kiddos want to be done by the end of April. They don't want to stop! Yes, we are going to be done by the end of April. One whole month then the schools here. However we started one whole month before the schools here!!!

March 24, 2009

economics and homeschooling

It's no secret that homeschooling is not always easy especially on the income end of things. Granted money is not everything, but a yet a certain amount is needed just to maintain the BASICS in life, food, clothing, and shelter.

At the beginning of the month I read several news reports that stated despite the economic down turn homeschooling is on the raise and families are finding a way to make it work. It's no secret to those that have been following my blog for a while that this is my first year of homeschooling. It's reassuring to read those kind of stories.

However some of my friends haven't been as lucky! I had a friend that also decided to homeschool this year as well. So we were figuring things out together!! Well her husband job went south, (he worked for one of the big auto companies), the lost their home, had to move in with relatives, and just this month had to send their children back to PS (public school) just because she had to go back to work. They just aren't making it any more.

Her children are doing well and the teachers have expressed that the kids are "above" what they need to be for the year, so there is no worries there. Of course I'm sad that she can no longer homeschool, but I'm glad to hear how well her kids are doing in PS. Only because her and I have pretty much have been doing the same thing, so it really was in a way reassuring to me that I am doing what I need to do.

I know that it's perhaps crazy to compare public school curriculum to homeschooling, but I can't help it. I'm just curious especially seeing that I just recently pulled my kiddoes out of PS. I'm sure over time it won't matter any. I know that things are hard for a lot of people, many are being hit hard by these economic times. We have been hit as well, but luckly by the grace of God we are still able carry on with the homeschooling. I pray that it's the same for all my homeschooling readers as well.

March 23, 2009

retreats, breaks, finding myself

This Lenten Journey hasn't gone exactly as I have planned, but sometimes the unplanned can be a good thing. I have over all have reduce the total amount of time that I spend on the internet, but I have introduced more things! Weird I know, but that's how it has worked out.

Thanks to Judy @ benmakesten and her website Daily Blessings I've started my own website. (A link to my website and be found in the side bar) The website host my lesson plans, list of my favorite sites, my favorite music, among other things. It's nothing fancy.

The other thing I've done is I've joined twitter. Through twitter I've been able to follow Greg Willits, he's the producer of that Catholic Show. I've posted some of those videos here previously. I also have been able to follow Patrick Madrid and his blog. I also have found Fr. Bartenuk and his blog. They along with other sites have been a great help to me this Lenten season.

I've also have started to read the writings of St. John of the Cross, especially The Dark Night of the Soul. A dear friend of mine has sent me a personal email recently. Her email has really helped me. When I was browsing my local public library's e-book list I came across The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. The title of St. John's writing reminded me of my friend's recent email. So I've decided to read it. I'm glad that I am and I'm thankful to have a friend that cares enough to email me.

So where does this leave me with homeschooling, blogging, and all the rest? Well I have figured out how to delay postings. So I can write things at night and have it post new in the morning. This will help me, because I don't want to be on the PC during the daytime, but at the same time I want new content on my blogs in the mornings for my readers!! So figuring out how to delay the posting is going to be a great help!

I'm in the middle of trying to change my "habits"; that is harder to do then said, but I finally feel that I'm on the right track. I still have a long way to go, but little steps at a time.

Oh and homeschooling is doing well! We have about 5 more weeks to do before we are officially done for THIS school year!!! Yay, we can't wait!!! I've also decided that we will homeschool all year, so July will be the start of our NEW school year!!

March 17, 2009

Lost!

This blog is about my homeschooling efforts as much as it's about my life as a Catholic-Christian. Part of being a "good" homeshooling mom is teaching the kids about God, faith, trust, hope, grace, etc.

Can I just be honest and say I just don't know anymore! I've felt the distance and disillusion for a while now, and I've just been going through the motions. I know in my "head" what all the answers are, and I've been good to spout out those things for others that are in my state of heart, but seriously there is a difference of knowing something in your head and feeling it in your heart. My heart has felt empty from some time now.

Sometimes, I lay in bed at night question if God is real, mainly because I feel so empty. I wonder in my head and propose things like well if he was real then xyz should happen, almost as if to dare God to prove his existence. Especially seeing my heart feels so empty now. I have read the many conversion stories of the saints and conversion stories of the unknown saints. Can I just say that at times these stories brings me sorrow, because I wonder what makes them so special that God shown himself to them in the way THEY wanted, and I'm left feeling in the dark.

I'll be honest; I know that's it's "bad" for me to think that way. After all I'm sure God has his reasons, after all every child NEEDS things differently at different times. We don't always get what we want, we get what we NEED and at times our wants and needs are the same. See that's the logical side coming in and rationalizing it for me, but in my heart I'm still wondering why, what's so special about them.

In the truth of honesty I haven't been to confession for a good 2 years now, and I thus I haven't received communion in this last year. Perhaps the lack of receiving has caused my heart to feel so empty. I don't know...

I've come close to going, but I haven't gone. Back in January my DS received reconciliation for the first time. It was a family event and the parents were encourage to be there and go AFTER the kids gone. As I blogged about it earlier, I was going to go until I learn there would be treats for the kid. Well honesty, I used the "treats" as an excuse not to go. I also never went the following week, nor have I taken my DS to confession. DH has but I have not.

The next closest time I came to actually doing a confession was this past Sunday. Our parish offers coffee and donuts after the 9:00 am Mass. Fr. B is always good about popping in at coffee and donuts and greeting the people. He's a good priest in that regard.

When he approached the table I was sitting at I thanked him for making my son's day last Saturday. You see my son had his first communion retreat this past Saturday and was making his banner when Fr. B stopped in to say "hi". He told my DS that he like his banner. So I shared with Father how that made my son's day. We went home that day and all my DS could say was how Fr. B liked his priest. (DS put a priest on his banner, I would add that DS was the ONLY one to have a priest on his banner; Is that saying something?)

Father, started to talk about parenting and I made a comment how it's hard because you are reasonable and scary because they (the children) call you on so much, and make sure you follow the "rules".

Father B, looked at and asked, "You do go to confession regularly don't you?" I didn't vocally give my answer, I just hung my head and shocked my head no. Fr. B immediately sat down and preceded to tell me it's not that hard, I don't have to go in the confessional, we could do it in his office, etc. He basically said everything he could, just short of telling me to do a confession right then and there.

I listen to everything he said and with tears in my eyes and I just sorrowfully looked at him and said "I know,I know, I know; I just don't understand what's stopping me, and it's so frustrating, because in a few weeks my son is going to receive and well I want to be able to too." At that very moment my DD (almost 7), who had been off playing, jumped into my lap and said "Mommy!!!" Well DD being there changed the mood. Father said a few words to my DD and then turn to me and said well I have to talk to the other people and left. So close yet so far way!

My just so lost! I know in my head what's missing, it's just getting my heart to follow and take action. I know it's NOT my church! It's ME!! Going somewhere else is not going to "fix" it; I know that....Please pray for me, because I don't know what else to do any more.

March 12, 2009

FREE Webinars

Webinars are online seminars. It seems late winter/spring is the time for homeschooling conferences, seminars, state gatherings etc. The homeschooling community seems to be buzzing with activity. However not all homeschooler can make it to these gatherings. That's why there are webinars and it's even "cooler" when the webinars are free.

Check out LOVE 2 LEARN BLOG for more information about Homeschool Connections webinars (online seminars) and how they are now free of charge.

March 9, 2009

Connectict, Raised Bill 1098, and the Catholic Church

Last Thursday the Connecticut General Assembly introduced a bill banning bishops from controlling Catholic parishes.

If enacted, state law would require parishes to be controlled by lay boards elected by the congregation.

Our sister site National Catholic Register, quotes....

Read More @ Faith & Family

March 1, 2009

DVD-Come What May-Pro-Life

This movie-Come What May- is set to be a DVD release on March 17, 2009. It is a PRO-LIFE movie that has been produced by 40 homeschoolers.

I've previewed the previews and movie clips from the movies website. It looks like it is something worth watching!
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