St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Between the Seasons

Oh, it's that time of year where summer is slipping away very quickly now.  The local school district begins school this upcoming Monday.  *sigh    My senior son begins with Mother of Divine Grace on line learning support classes the end of the month.  Yes, summer is surely slipping fast.....

But what a lovely summer it has been.  There have been some wonderful highlights this summer in the life of our family amidst maybe some disappointments and frustrations.  Young adults and relationships...sometimes there is pain involved.  We did have a share of that -- but I hope and pray for mending of hearts in this area. On a happy note, my daughter became engaged.  The wedding will be this time next summer.  So it's exciting to be looking forward to that.  

My daughter is using my wedding dress -- we are having it refashioned and fitted for her.  It is now sleeveless and will be permantly bustled; it has a very long train.  

For the Fourth of July, we enjoyed the most amazing fire works show my husband and I have ever seen our entire lives!  Nearly in our own backyard -- just a half hour away in our rural setting at a county fairgrounds. Our two younger sons loved it!  I don't think we will ever be able to top it!

We saw a lot of movies this summer.  "Finding Dory" was definitely a winner.   I indulged in some much needed self care and down time.  I realize the negatives of now living on life saving medication daily.  Still, I am not ungrateful for it -- but there are many side-effects.  One of which is strange puffiness in odd areas of the body and some discomforts, and hair loss -- big time.  Still, the medication is helping to prevent further liver damage, and avoiding a liver transplant in the future.   I have a more gentle approach to my life, my schedule, my pickiness on what I'm doing, when I'm doing it and whom I'm doing with it.  No time for stress.  And my diet has changed immensely, which I think it's probably all for the better. 

I did have a lot of consultations for my education job up to July, but then I scantily scheduled July and August (only as needed basis), and took that time off to just relax and unwind before we begin a new school year at home, my families begin, and the Parish School of Religion at our church begins.  In July I spent time preparing for and pulling off our parishes' VBS, Barnyard Round-up!....what a fun time for the children of our parishes.  So that was another bright spot in the summer -- in hot, hot July, although thankfully we missed the REALLY hot week that came later in July with temps soaring well into the high 90s! 

So, here I am now cleaning the house and getting it ready for the new school year.  What a joy and privilege to be able to educate your own children.  With 20 years experience now, and approximately 5 more years to go, I can say that you CAN do it.  Of course you can!  Now that I have older children who have been homeschooled right into college and have since graduated and I have their take on it - their adult input now, I am so pleased to say that they felt very well prepared and confident in college to take on the courses and they did exceptionally well. They knew Latin!  :)  several professors commented on how impressed they were at their ability to translate/know something in Latin because it does come up very often in academic course study.   They came away feeling very successful and one is already talking about homeschooling her own children, that's how good their experience was.  I am so glad for the freedom during this chronological timeline to be able to homeschool and do not just "do subjects" but rather, do the content needed but with a classical methodology and philosophy - where it forms higher thinking and analytical skills that are so lost today on our younger generations.  We need better educated and formed individuals for the future of our world! ...our United States alone! 

The rolling book cart in it's sparse beginnings -- now it is very filled up!

Finally, I have enjoyed teaching American Government and teaching guitar all summer --  For the guitar part, it involves a few of my past students and a current on going student that has taken from me now all year round.  What a joy to play the fun current music -- American Authors, Rachel Platten, Adele, the Lumineers, Phillip Phillips, Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Andy Grammar, Green Day, to name a few.  We do many current Christian artists and traditonal/patriotic hymns as well.  It brings my heart to life - to sing and play weekly all year long and be able to pass on to these young gals what I know - to share that with them.  They can play and sing now.  And they have binders filled with at least 40 songs to draw from.  I am so glad all my band experience in my late teens and early to mid-twenties wasn't wasted.  That the crazy band life with long practices culminated into an experience I could share with others for a good.   So that has been a special highlight!  

American Government & Economics has also been a fun pursuit this summer and so, so timely!  I am teaching this to my son and one of his home schooled friends.  It has been such a great class with these two!  All high students across the United States have to have this course(s), so homeschooled students are no different. Knowing my son has quite a rigorous course load this year as a senior, I thought getting Health out of the way, (also a requirement on high school transcripts) and Government & Econ started sooner, during the summer, would be helpful for him.   He finished Health much earlier in the summer with the Mother of Divine Grade Summer Health course on line.  He got all As, I am proud to say :)   What a wonderful Catholic morality course!   He learned so much.  Just incredible and taught by such great Catholic instructors.   So, we are finishing up the American Gov part of the dual course and in September will be starting the Economics part.   

We celebrate MANY summer birthdays in this house ....mine was just one of them! 

We have not let any moss grow on us this summer, that's for sure, but yet, it was still relaxing and comfortable.  I really needed that! 

God bless!  Enjoy the rest of your summer and may you have a beautiful Fall!  

Friday, August 05, 2016

USCCB Blog: Faithful Witness to Marriage

USCCB Blog: Faithful Witness to Marriage: By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski Questions revolving around marriage and human ...

Monday, July 04, 2016

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY from my family to yours! 

Summer Bliss & This

What more could I want than settling into a peaceful relaxing summer?!  Really, it's all I want :) And I realize now, it's nearly half-over!

After a very busy productive homeschool year and religious education year as director and teacher at our parish,  I need a lengthy, lazy break. I did get a little of that, but now interrupted.  I'm deep in the trenches of Vacation bible school preparations -- the event begins next week.  This will mark our 10th anniversary year of doing VBS on our own as a parish, where previously we had a group come in from the diocese to do VBS for us (Franciscan Sisters, TOR).  I think we have grown immensely from the experience.  It's always challenging, but God seems to find a way to help us along.  

In the meantime, I've been busy selling off books and buying some new resources for our new school year ahead.  Really I don't want to think about school but after 20 years of home education, I know I must -- the more prepared I am ahead of time, the smoother the year goes.  And this year will be very challenging.  I am preparing my senior son for college -- his college won't be the same model his older siblings accomplished, but it will be just as challenging. 

Old family photo at Easter, 2012?? 

I have enrolled my son in as many Mother of Divine Grace LS (learning support on line) classes as possible for the new school year. We have used LS in the past but not as many.  This year, I feel it's important he answers more to others that are teaching, but also that he gets good science and math guidance as his degree will demand it.  He is looking into applying 7 mos after graduation to a radiologic technology program through a branch of Kent State University, that he can commute to. It is very limited, so he may not make it the first time.   It's a rigorous program, and it begins in the summer (thus, his holding off for the next year instead of immediately going into it right after graduation), and it runs year round for two years straight.  He will need to have done job shadowing prior to applying.  I think this year of his accountability going elsewhere will be important especially since he is my one that has anxiety.  He has come SUCH an incredible long ways, and he's even been invited to National Honor Society that last couple years, but this year, he is accepting it and taking the next step.  Still, when under pressure, and when the months of Jan & Feb come around, he can sink his lowest.  This last winter he did amazing -- praise God.   So,  we are preparing well in advance to get him ready this new school year.  He did his college board testing and scored way above the national average -- so scholarship offers have been pouring in.  He knows he doesn't really want to do a 4 year college experience -- and I do think it might be too prolonged and stressful for him.  Still, these plans could change.  I'd love to see him go to a college like Franciscan University of Steubenville, where I feel he'd be with like minded people of faith, but I know God has a special plan for him as he does for all my children and all of us. 

All in God's plan and timing....

Then this happened:  my daughter became engaged the last week in June.  We are very happy and excited for her.  They are looking at a late spring, summer wedding for 2017.   

I will be sure to post our upcoming curriculum for the new year, soon. 

God bless!  

Monday, June 06, 2016

So Much Happens in Between

So what have I been doing?  The better question is, what have I not been doing?  Life has been moving along at rapid fire speed these days.  Just a month ago my First Communion class made their sacrament and it seems like forever ago now -- so much happens in between.  

We have been to a couple weddings, a few graduations, many appointments and I have begun my summer teaching schedule and planning for our parishes' Vacation Bible School. I continue to stay busy weekly consulting for Mother of Divine Grace - which by the way, I love my job!  

We are finishing up our home school..... my youngest is entirely done as of last week.  My oldest is done as of today, and is officially a Senior for this new school season,  and is making plans for college.  I can't believe we are saying that now. He was invited to an honors program at one of our state college branches that is about 30 minutes away.  His ACT score was very good for a first time college board test taker and he was already offered some very good scholarships. He is looking into a specialized program, radiological technician, that is a two year, all year round, program. They only take so many each year, through review and interview.  There is no room and board, so he'd have to commute daily, which isn't too bad, but in the winter, um, it might be.  Still, it seems to be his strongest area of interest.  Maybe something else will appear on the horizon to him as the year progresses, but right now, this is his plan.   Next week we celebrate this one's 17th birthday - wow, and he has grown up so quickly this last year and made remarkable strides (overcoming anxiety) and done very well academically.   As we continue with Modg, he will be signed up for several LS (on line) courses with them this year.  I think allowing his accountability to shift to other teachers is a good transition at this point. 

In the meantime, I'm being slowly being weaned off of the steroids for my autoimmune liver disorder.  I am told I will remain on the immunosuppressant indefinitely.  Yes, I was surprised too.  But it's my best chance of not having my liver continually damaged by the disorder.   I am learning to take better care of myself, and staying strong and optimistic.  I know things happen for a reason and this health glitch seems to have brought about many positives along with the obvious negative challenges. 

AND may I add, it is LOVELY here right now in my part of rural Ohio.  Just beautiful and warming up, in between occasional rain.  We have long needed this beautiful weather and reprieve and I am going to revel in it and soak up every bit of it I can for the next few months -- while it lasts!   The Cicadas have come to make their 17 year visit and are literally every where -- along with their strange humming's made life interesting here and made us more aware of the miracle and awe of nature.  How amazing is our God?

Get out there into nature and make it a great day!  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On Respecting Children When They Make Mistakes - Crisis Magazine

On Respecting Children When They Make Mistakes - Crisis Magazine: Helping children navigate the road to virtue is a challenging task. Thousands of books, articles, videos, and programs present strategies for how to discipline children effectively. Many parents have found tremendous help this way, and the abundance of information available for struggling families can be a gift from God in difficult and complicated situations. Two …