Friday, August 27, 2010

this is going on your permanent record

I'm keeping the homeschool notes for the year at

so as not to overwhelm this blog with daily "Today we read..." entries. I'll be posting a picture at least once a week of something homeschooly.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

upon this, ah, dirt, I will build my church

Sean's working out at St. Damien's today, installing the pews. Almost done! How exciting! This isn't very recent, but here's a picture.


It's for the Oklahoma City Latin Mass Community - our [Very Own Church](

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mo-om! Abaigeal and Faith are writing fan fiction!

Abby's fic, To Be Human, is in the Phineas and Ferb fandom, and answers these burning questions: What if Perry the Platypus was human? Does Ferb own any other clothing? And, most important of all, what are Phineas and Ferb going to do today?

Chapters 1-9 are [here](

Faith's Warriors fic, Stars of Gray, is also at their blog, but not neatly next-chapter-formatted yet. It features Graystripe, Faith's favorite Warrior cat of that era. [Prologue]( [Chapter 1]( [2]( [3]( [4]( [5](

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

let's call this an outtake

Without further ado, I give you Sean, playing Rhapsody in Blue on the... the muted Gleeson horn*. Yeah, that's it. With bonus helpless laughter from Sean.

*Gleeson horn built from a fill valve and a steel condiment cup.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

color me impressed

This morning, as the children were cavorting in the living room on their weekly sugar high brought on by the Saturday morning ritual of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs (we only consume cold cereal on Saturdays), the telephone rang. Guess who it was?

It was the Social Security Administration. Calling me. On a Saturday. To tell me that they owed Bede money. And could I come in on Tuesday and fill out some minor paperwork so they could get it to him as soon as possible.

I got up off the floor where I had fallen in shock and replied, "Who is this *really*?" No, actually I said "Really?" or something eloquent to that effect. Yes, really, she said. I needed to document how we've spent Bede's SSI back payments and then she would be delighted to release the remainder to me. She was incredibly apologetic that it had been overlooked and she was unsure as to why that was the case.

Calling me! Owes Bede money!

Did I mention it was Saturday?


Friday, August 13, 2010

it's hot, have you noticed?

Another hot one. I hung four loads of laundry. Halfway through I soaked my head in the pool. Here's what I looked like when I came in.


LOVELY! It made me think of


Bede took my picture. I then spent quite a long time flat on my stomach on the nice cool livingroom floor like a basset hound. They don't call 'em the dog days for nothing.

Bede also wanted me to take *his* picture, so here it is.


He's missing three teeth on top. Poor guy! All he wants for Labor Day is his two, er, three front teeth. And a cold front.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Homeschool: Theology, Math, Science and Lit

Goodness what a time. We put up the easy-set pool finally, and have been in it every day since. Except for one day when the actual air temperature was 105 and the pool was 97.

It gets quite hot here.

I am, I hope, ready for school this year. Tentatively. I think.


Once upon a Time Saints
More Once upon a Time Saints
Around the Year Once upon a Time Saints (Illustrated by Ben Hatke yay!)
A Life of Our Lord for Children (Illustrated by Ted Schluenderfritz yay!)
My Catholic Faith

Whew. That seems like a lot. But what all of these theology books have in common is utter charm. They are delightful books. I know many Catholic homeschoolers who use the Faith and Life series from Ignatius. I have the second grade catechism, Jesus Our Life, and I was unimpressed with the layout and writing. They are very much textbooks, which are a distant fourth choice on my list of educational materials. The above books are nothing like that. The saint stories are amazing, written like once-upon-a-time, just as the title says. Life of Our Lord is a biography of Jesus, which I hope will segue quite nicely into reading the Gospels after we finish it. My Catholic Faith is the best teaching catechism I have ever read - it was the book I read as a catechumen. It's like an expanded Baltimore Catechism. (The Baltimore Catechism is written like an FAQ for Catholics, for those among my readers who are unfamilliar with the work.)


Kickin' it old school here. We're going to use the Ray's Arithmetic series. You can get them for free from Google Books or purchase a bound box set (Ray's Arithmetic Series 8 Volume Set) if you'd rather. That's first through eighth grade there, too. Hot diggity! Ray's books are unlike modern math programs in that the focus is on mental math and story problems from the get-go. I'm quite excited about this one too.


The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You! (Everything Kids Series) - an experiment a week.
Nature Study every Friday afternoon


The Random House Book of Poetry for Children - reading poetry several times a week, and illustrating poems the kids especially enjoy.
A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys - this is the hardcover, and worth it!

I think I've overposted again. Best be off to bed. I'll stop being Johnny-One-Note on the schoolbooks soon, I think!

Our friends:
[Ben Hatke]( and
[Ted Schluenderfritz](

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Homeschool: The Middle Ages

These are the history books I plan to use this year. We're covering (mostly) Britain, from the exit of the Romans to Henry VII.


Our Island Story: A History of Britain for Boys and Girls, from the Romans to Queen Victoria. This is our history spine. Faith is All About Anglophilia, so we'll be spending the majority of our time on British history. This should segue nicely into American history.

The Medieval World. The illustrations in this one are really nice. Tends to two-page spreads on a given topic, like 'Hunting and Hawking' and 'Knightly Orders'.

Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed. This has short sections on various medieval vocations, each around 200 words, with clever cartoony pictures.


The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree. I'm so excited about these. They are my favorite books from childhood, especially The Dark is Rising. Arthurian extrapolation, modern day.

Time Cat (Puffin Modern Classics) You can't go wrong with Lloyd Alexander. This one dances through history with a boy and his talking cat.

Tales of King Arthur (Usborne Classics Retold). Modern-language Arthurian legend. The best I've found, very chaste but not babyish or stilted.

Catherine, Called Birdy. A delightful book. First person, diary of a 14 year old girl of minor nobility in the 13th century.

Son of Charlemagne. One of our ventures to the Continent.

Beorn the Proud . Vikings! Grr!

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. This one is unique - it's a series of monologues intended to be read aloud or performed. Everyone in it is a child or teen in a medieval English village. It's really good!

Usborne Time Traveler. The Viking and Medieval sections will be used this year. I read this in fifth grade under a different title and was so happy when I redicovered it.

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page. Be sure you get the large-format hardcover for this one. The illustrations are such a huge part of the book and they don't translate well to small and no color.

Castle. A classic. The illustrations are most often mentioned but the story behind them is great too.

I also have religion, math, and science. Another post!