St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A day in the life.....ordinary

We are bouncing back from being sick the last week, so this was our first day back at our home school co-op.  It went really was nice to be back in the mix of things.

Things I learned today:   FROZEN songs will not die easy!  My Lego Jr group was singing the Frozen songs quite well....and nearly endlessly.  There was much happiness in singing and building with Lego.

Little girls are good guessers!  The one girl in the Lego club today won the Creationary game with no problem!  Her persistent guessing and asking the builder questions won her the five cards needed to win the game.  She was engaged and paid attention, and just did not give up. Good work!

There's a lot of spring fever and teenitis going on right now!  

There were visitor students to our group today, as the local public school is on spring break.  We had a hot dog lunch fund raiser, and the visitors thought this was how we "did lunch" :)

My youngest son loves to look at "moving" life forms under the microscope at science class, as he did today.  It beats "prepared dead thing slides," (like he has at home)....he announced.

It's been a long hard winter here, and we are slooooooowly seeing a break, but the temps are just not jetting up there yet -- it's still pretty cold.  Tomorrow the temps will be a bit higher, but alas, will take until Sunday to hopefully to see a warmer, clearer day.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a lovely evening or bright cheery day, or both!  God bless+

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Days gone by–you can still buy it!


I’m nursing a sick household today, so in between washing bed linens and resting myself a bit, I’ve been internet browsing.  I find the Vermont Country Store so fun to visit and reminisce with.  It really takes me back to the 70s growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I never wore much make-up at all; what I did wear was usually just blush and a lip gloss (Clinique’s Black Honey was my favorite).  But the make-up at the Vermont Country Store is so 70s….I do remember the make-up and hair products ( like Lemon-up Shampoo, something I did occasionally use).  It’s just fun to see the older toys and games, and products of an era gone by.

Vermont Country Store

Latin & Math, fun buddies to help form the mind

I just love how this apologetic article on Latin (and math) is expressed.  Our teaching Latin throughout our home schooling often meets with a furled brow, "why ever for?"   There are SO many good reasons other than it is part of classical studies.  And I can not tell you how enjoyable it is to do Latin with my children.  From the primary grades to the high school ones.  It is probably one of my greatest joys of home schooling.  And I am no Latin expert; (but good materials/resources help take care of that), but my love for substance, depth, analysis, decoding, and good formation, seem to come to fruition in Latin. It just makes sense!  I encourage every one to consider Latin.  There are so many good beginning programs available.  You can start out easy and basic, and and continue to gently build each year. Continuing Latin study throughout the regular course of schooling for many years, creates and forms an informs the mind like nothing else.  A very noble pursuit.

--excerpt from: An Apology for Latin and Math

"Latin develops and enlarges the mind to a far greater degree than math and brings the necessary balance to the curriculum. The study of Latin is a complete education in that it develops the intellectual powers of the mind and, at the same time, develops English language skills far more effectively than English grammar, thus achieving the two most important goals of education at the same time.

Latin, like math, gives the student the experience of studying one subject to a mastery level. This is what is missing in modern education, where we try to teach everything and we cover too many subjects too superficially. The student is always on the surface, always a beginner, just stuffing in a lot of unrelated facts. There are few opportunities to use higher order thinking skills when you are merely a novice. It is only when the student has studied a subject enough to have some depth that his mind can be stretched and challenged with higher order thinking skills. Latin and math give students the invaluable experience of studying one systematic subject to a mastery level over a long period of time, K-12 and beyond. This is a key to mental and character development and is the most valuable academic experience a child can have in school.

Latin and math, when taught to a mastery level, teach the student how to climb the mountain of learning. And if a student climbs one mountain, he knows what it takes to get to the top, and he will be prepared to climb all of the mountains that he will meet in life."

Grateful Hat-tip to classical studies

Some things are worth repeating :)  A post from early January...

I’ve been watching the TV series FRINGE, and I’m already in the final series (Season 5)….but before I got to it, I’ve hung with the four other seasons.  In Season Four, Leonard Nimoy makes his appearance (again), and in one scene he is reciting this:

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there,
a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade." 
(Lake Isle of Innisfree, W.B. Yeats)

It reminded me of how my children have memorized that poem through the years ….a favorite here in our home education, and even with my father (God rest his soul). Classical poetry memorization is part of our classical studies.

It reminds me of how grateful I am for classical education; education that is true and stands the tests of time.  It is not trendy or progressive.  It does not change with each passing decade. It does not spoon feed information for the time being, but forms the mind to receive and retain, and enables it to learn to learn.

In this day and age, when people make no sense…when arguments are not valid or sound, when consequences are not thought out….I am very grateful to be forming my children’s minds, hearts and souls to be receptive to the Truth.

If you would like to read more about something mind bending and forming….just follow this link to: An Apology for Math & Latin

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish folk tune (Slane)

Lord of All Hopefulness
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Madness….

…really and truly, I feel I am afflicted with it!

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered quite as long and hard of a winter as this one we are inching our way out of.  I can’t imagine how our pioneer and pilgrim ancestors managed!  I just know God knows I am a wimp!…and allowed my life span to exist on this chronological time line of some technology and machinery that helps assist to bring some comforts during terrible incredible weather events.


To say the least, hauling up at home has helped us be productive in our school work.  Mark has already finished up history and soon, Latin and science.  Michael is nearing the end with Algebra and Latin; still at least 10 weeks to go for a truly spectacular year for these guys.  I am so pleased with their progress and how much they’ve accomplished and learned this year.

Both boys have also made great progress with their varying challenges; between autism spectrum disorder and anxiety disorder, we have done so much and both sons have made their own personal leaps.

On another note, life just doesn’t stop giving and taking away.   My husband’s employer of the last 35 years passed away earlier this week after a year long battle with stomach and liver cancer.  She was an only child, adopted, and the burial vault family business fell to her when her father, the founder, passed away many years ago.  She left her other job position and took on the business.  My husband and all his brothers and father worked for this company throughout it’s entire existence so far; my father-in-law being a foreman and retiring from the business.  So my husband has put in about 38 years there.  The business can continue, but there are many changes to take place as his employer was the last in line to run the business.  She has left the company to my husband, one of his brothers that works there, and two other employees, to do with it as they see fit. So lots of meetings, and  lots of life changing events.

In the meantime, we await the funeral.  What a special and wonderful person in general, and spectacular business woman we must say good-bye to.  She was an excellent employer and really looked out for her employees supplying them with good medical insurance and profit sharing and was always fair and supportive…..we are so grateful that for 25 years of our married lives with four children, my husband worked under these wonderful conditions.  May this admirable person rest in the peace of Christ and comfort of heaven.  I will personally never forget how good she was to those in her charge. 


Pi or Pie ;) day

I came across this image years ago when first blogging.  It always makes me smile :)   To be honest, this is obviously luscious rich cheese cake – not sure it qualifies as “pie”, but you know it will do!   Enjoy a lovely day!


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sea of His mercy..

The mercy that we must give to others includes that of standing up for the poor, the lonely, those who have no education and cannot stand up for themselves. It means to engage in what we call social justice on behalf of our brother. That involves opening ourselves to being pushed around and crucified. This always happens to those who stand up for others…

Lent is here to remind us that the mercy of God is ours provided we embrace his law of love; provided we realize that it’s going to hurt, and hurt plenty, but that the very hurting will be a healing. That’s the paradox of God, that while you hurt, you heal. That’s true healing.

The sea of his mercy is open before us. Lent definitely and inexorably leads us to it and makes us think about what it takes to swim in it.

~ Catherine Doherty, foundress of the Madonna House Apostolate

Monday, March 03, 2014

Explaining Autism to Children: ASD and Me

New Hope & 40 Bags away from new life...

New hope, new hope,
is what we have been given by the Lord,
New hope, new hope,
is what we have been given by the Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia!  Alleluia...Lord!
Alleluia! Alleluia!  Alleluia...Lord!

I have been teaching this song to our church youth as we travel into the Lenten season with the memory and hope of our Lord and Savior Christ preparation for Easter, and the remembrance of his glorious resurrection!  Life over death... his promise of salvation to all.  This song, along with a Sing Hosanna! song, will crown the end of our Lenten journey.

I give my students many ways, young ways, to prepare themselves spiritually for that experience.  It is so wonderful to belong to a church that gives so much spiritual assistance, and offers so many helps to grow in holiness, and encourages our faith-building journeys. It is so wonderful to be fostering a depth of salvation and spirituality in the young;  I see so many who lack that soul deep grounding and flitter every which way the secular world takes them, where all is shallow and fleeting. Sure, they even call themselves Christian, and read their bibles.  But their actions and words often say otherwise.  One such reason for our home schooling.  We are called to be set aside, light and salt among the others; I am especially disheartened when I see public school ways and practices introduced to our home schooling groups -- I know our family home schools to be free of those kinds of practices and falsehoods that the young are so saturated with these days.

But I digress....and my track is to embrace Lent with HOPE and gratefulness for all Christ has done for us, and to continue to instill in my own children and those I teach, that hope in Christ, that grounding and depth of spiritual nourishment and enrichment that only comes from our great Almighty God.

This year, my own personal challenge includes the 40 bags declutter challenge -- one bag a day for 40 days, beginning on March 5th (Ash Wednesday) and ending on April 19th (Sundays off).  You can read all about the 40 Bags in 40 Days 2014 Decluttering Challenge by clicking on the title in this sentence.  It will take you to:  White House Black Shutters and the adorable Ann Marie.

Whatever you do over the next 40 days as we make way for the celebration of Christian Easters around the globe.....I hope it brings you a change of heart, a change of spirit, the truth, the hope, the love and the salvation that is yours for the asking.

May God Bless You ~