St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ten Fascinating Facts about me..

……((insert hysterical laughing here))

Okay, so… is true I have been nominated for a blogging award and part of the deal is to choose others that I will nominate, and post ten fascinating facts about myself….hm hm hmmm……where do I begin?  I know!.. at the very beginning…..


"Rules" for a Sunshine Blog Award?
Here they are :

1.  Use the award logo in the post.
2.  Link to the nominating blogger.
3.  Write 10 pieces of information about yourself.
4.  Nominate fellow bloggers
"who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."
5.  Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

1.  When I was born, I had been prayed for like crazy.  I was the first GIRL born on my father’s side of the family after a 20 year famine of girls!  …I broke the mold :)


2. I was born with a dislocated hip…:(  So, I had to wear a therapeutic hip splint for many months, and eventually other correctives to resolve the problem.

3. I am allergic to penicillin!

4. I have played guitar for 41 years


DENISE wedding Siskie 94(2)

5. I was moved part way through 3rd grade into 4th grade

6. My father taught me to read before I entered Kindergarten

7. I learned to drive in Salt Lake City, Utah

8. I worked for one of the governor’s in SLC Utah

9. I was a featured guitarist/singer of the Wasatch Valley folk scene in the late 70s/early 80s while living in Utah

10. I have lived in the same home in Ohio for the last 27 years.

I would like to nominate the following for the


Jennifer at: Farm Girl Follies

Megan at: True Daughter of Mary

Annette at: Nettie’s World

Cay at: Cajun Cottage

Barbara at: Praying for Grace

And the Nominees are....

Seems I've been nominated for a couple blogging awards lately -- and I'm ever so honored.  Thank you Chris at Campfires and Cleats, long time blogging buddy :)  She is so good to me!

So, I have been very busy with life lately and weaving my blog adventures into it has been a trick. I neglected the one nomination, The Sheenazing Award..You can check that out here at A Knotted Life.

I will try to get back to the official rules of this next nomination, the Sunshine Blog Awards - you can read about it here at my friend Chris's blog, under: Blogging Honesty & Encouragement, The Sunshine Blogging Awards.

I will return another time to fulfill my nominations protocol!  Which is to include TEN FASCINATING FACTS about me!  That should be very interesting, right?!  LOL


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Working at Home, sharing talents, using abilities to serve others

My career background is in executive secretarial functioning, mostly in government and productivity consulting.  Yes, you heard it here: productivity!  I worked for my father’s consulting firm for 17 years during which I did the primary secretarial, data and communications work.  Prior to full time work at the firm, I had worked for one of the governor’s in Utah in state government; I had a wonderful job, in a beautiful building (the state capitol) in the state planning coordinator’s office. I’m not sure why I left that position…in hindsight, I could have and probably should have stayed forever…BUT my entire family had relocated to the midwest, and after a year of being away from them entirely…only visiting during the summer, I decided to take my chances and move out with them.  The rest is history. 

Fast forward to married life and children.  In 1999 I left full time work, when my third child was born and I was heavily into home schooling.  It was the home schooling and having children (although it was mostly the homeschooling) that kept me “home.”  I worked part time typing memos and communications for my family’s company, but really my full fledged work days were over.  I worked for the church – for many years, 22 so far to be exact  -- teaching 2nd grade, helping with youth group, and in more recent years as Director of Religious Education, overseeing all the paperwork for the diocese along with the child protection training (and paperwork, oodles of paperwork), and for that I do get a small volunteer pay monthly.

When I found myself at a point in my life where I could take on part time work again, I certainly looked to where my talents were.  Now, later in my life, with four children and 18 years of home schooling behind us, it made sense  to apply to a work area that would be in line with my background all these years.  I got my resume ready and sent it off.  I had previously been recommended by others working for Modg.  I prayed, God’s will be done.

When I was hired by Mother of Divine Grace as an independent contractor (consultant), it fit me like a glove – all my secretarial background, the work with families, and the experience with home schooling, and being able to work from home, made a perfect pairing.  I am thrilled to be able to use my talents and career skills applied to guiding families with their curriculum, overseeing the record keeping through the marvelous data base functions, and work with others who are walking the same path with home schooling as myself, and higher ups that have been there or are still there – so full of grace and wisdom and encouragement to other mothers.

I know my father, whose company I worked for, for many years, would be proud of how I used my abilities and background for further work.

Lately I’ve been correcting and looking over assessment work from students, and accepting and entering grade reports.  It is very fulfilling to be on the other end of the family, helping to facilitate their record keeping and answering questions, guiding them in this specialized education.  Granted, THEY are the ones that put the work into it.  We are just one of the cogs in the nicely working machinery….when every one does their part, it comes together nicely in a finished product. 

And let me take a moment to add a plug here:  if you haven’t discovered classical education yet in your home school, do investigate.  With all the talk of Common Core alignment and public education …..this education, classical education is ageless…it is not trendy, it is not fleeting, it is NOT secular,…it is an education/formation that transcends the test of time and integrates the most important disciplines of education….and don’t be afraid of Catholic classical, if you are not Catholic – it is solid Christian education.  (a rigorous education heavy on literature, languages, rhetoric and logic….the keys – (a true education is ordered toward God, all disciplines lead to Him ….not just career training).

The biggest blessing I find is that for which you stay open …open to the possibilities.   That God would bless me with work exactly tailored to myself and my family and our lifestyle, is absolutely amazing. I am grateful. Never say never ….with God all things are possible.  And that is TRUTH.  WORD.

Friday, January 24, 2014

from Circe Institute:

Books to read this year….follow the link

I definitely am excited about this book list (for my personal reading), I’m especially interested in these two:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Literature based history and writing

I love the way our classical study program approaches U.S. History and Geography…. 

Being a literature based program, it includes a lot of living literature.  The history for 9th grade covers the following areas spread out over 2 semesters and resulting in 5 papers, all different writing styles:

Colonial Times

Revolutionary War

Westward Expansion

Civil War

Recovery Period

World Wars

The textbook Christ & the Americas is used as spine to the course.  The literature choices are categorized by period studied and there are a couple hundred of them to choose from.  You only need 2-4 book choices per category and the Mother of Divine Grace syllabus for US History Geography contains the day by day break down and lists needed for the course.  A good Rand McNally or Hammond Atlas is also needed.

While the student is learning history through the eyes of fictional characters, or biographical sketches, they are also becoming informed, gathering insightful information that will serve to write their papers; they will be writing a variety of essays for this course.

Colonial period essay is written as a first person account

Revolutionary war essay is written as a conversation between two revolutionary war figures representing opposing sides

Westward Expansion is a narrative essay

Civil War is written using a controversial topic, where both sides of an argument are made and a judgment made about which side is right

Recovery period is a book report type of paper

World Wars paper is written expounding in factual detail on one of the World Wars

These papers range from 700 – 1100 words. 

This unique way of doing this history course really keeps it alive and engages the students at many levels.  It’s not about a dry textbook!  One reason I really like this course.


Between the science essay writing (2 per week), and the religion papers (at least one per week), the 9th grade Modg student is getting plenty of practice in writing papers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Special needs therapy helps for home use

Theory of Mind is a difficult thing to teach –it’s one of those human innate abilities that just comes in the packaging and is activate as one develops and experiences life.  You may be a parent whose child came without that software, such as myself.  And if that’s so, It is a work in progress…it is an every day, every social situation approach; it takes actual teaching and applying.  Besides professional help through therapy, parents do have some options available to them in a home setting.  I always like to share such finds with my readers, because knowledge is power when it comes to helping one’s child in social areas of life.  Another friends recently alerted me to this website, where language pathology helps are available.  Here is a sample of a resource to help forge Theory of Mind:

Practical Theory of Mind Games

There are many other resources at the website that are so helpful for those on the autism spectrum.  You see all available at:


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things 2014

Every year I share some of things that have become my favorites through the past year.  You might remember things like: my Acer Aspire One Netbook, or Newman’s Special Roast Organic Coffee, or KIND Nutritional Snack Bars.

This year I am loving more than ever, candles….doesn’t necessary have to be a Yankee Candle…although those are fabulous; but any kind of luscious smelling, homey comfy candle.  I love to burn these through the winter.

One single electric candle burning in the evening in my kitchen window. A welcoming and warming sight both inside and out.  It brings joy and peace and calm to my heart as I work in the kitchen.

Amish Ham, slow cooked in my old speckled roaster all day in the oven, with nice fluffy yeasty roll dough rising on top of the oven.

A new find in a delightful little champagne (our treat for the new year); just delicious! Barefoot Pink Moscato Bubbly (goes wonderfully with that ham above).

Ponds Facial Cleanser Wipes; I know, cheap and quick :), exactly!  I don’t have a lot of primp time, (and I’m not a hair person either!)

Still a favorite….Covergirl Advanced Radiance Foundation (I use Buff Beige) It is like a moisturizer with easily blendable coverage…great beauty balm.

And a lovely Christmas soap that I also gave away as gifts this year, that leaves the most beautiful fragrance (Snowdrop), whether using in the bath, shower or as a hand soap; I just love it:  Swedish Dream Christmas Soap

And a quick pick-me-up when weary, fatigued or headachey: Peppermint, pure essential oil, to sniff, dab on temples and back of neck.

Shows I am enjoying this January – FRINGE, the TV series that ended with their 5th season earlier this year (that I never got to see…now watching it on Netflix)…..and Downton Abbey, returned for its 4th season.  I find it a bit controversial or Americanized this time around and has watched it previously before it aired here in the states,….but won’t give any spoilers, other than, if you have youngsters watching…be warned, the content becomes quite mature and immoral.

55 Serious Reasons Why You Should Homeschool


Very thorough and thoughtful article on attributes of home education; teaching “sounding out” of phonograms is enough reason for me! (#2 on the list).

Monday, January 06, 2014

Back to it…

Today, in the midst of a deep freeze, we are back to school in our home.  How I LOVE doing this.  There is a delicious smelling ham permeating every corner of the house and yeasty rolls rising on top of the stove.  My children are warm and safe, and comfortable pouring over their school work.  The oldest son is reading a 33 pg document by Marcus Berquist on Good Music and Bad; very Socratic and Aquinian.  We will discuss it in a bit, it is for his fine arts (on-line) course which starts back up tomorrow.  We have semester work to finish up and send in to our educational consultant – I in turn will be receiving such work from others that I consult to for Mother of Divine Grace.

While it is terribly and dangerously cold out today, the sun in shining at this moment.  What a sweet blessing as we strive forward with our work.

May God bless you with the graces you need this day and may you hear His voice and guidance ever more clearly in your heart and soul.

Was there really a star?

I love this kind of stuff!