Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Update on our winter fun list

I thought we wouldn't have a lot crossed off this week but it turns out we did quite a few things on our Winter fun list!

We caught up on our Saint studies yesterday (finally!) and learned about St. Andre Bessette, St. Hilary, St. Marianne Cope, and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Some interesting take-aways for each of us? *I'm copying word for word what the boys wrote in their notes*

St. Andre Bessette
E: St. Andre Bessette died at 92, despite being sick very often.
A: He died at age 92 even though sick a lot.
Mom: He was highly devoted to St. Joseph, and built a chapel with very little money. Also he was an orphan at a young age, the 8th of 12 children, and sick very often, making it near impossible to work.

St. Hilary
E: St. Hilary was banished from France.
A: He was banished from France.
Mom: Even though he was exiled, he never stopped believing and professing his belief in God. Others tried to get him to renounce God as well as condemn Athanasius, who was a staunch defender of God from the East and he refused!

St. Marianne Cope
E: St. Marianne Cope's generosity did many good things, including taking care of people with leprosy, and opening a school for girls.
A: She opened a house for "unprotected" woman and girls.
Mom: Mother Marianne of Molokai willingly and lovingly took care of many people with leprosy in Hawaii, in a time when it was considered dangerous or awful. Sick people were basically quarantined and left alone and no one would go near them. She went with several others and nursed them, as well as opening a school for girls, a hospital and a home for "unprotected women and girls"! A true example of servitude, if you ask me!

St. Thomas Aquinas
E: St. Thomas Aquinas' feast day is on January 28th. Patron saint of students and universities. He wrote and teached. Lived from 1225-1274. Died at 48 years
A: Patron of students and schools. Born in end of 1225. Died at age 48. very intelligent.
Mom: He renounced the things of this world and decided to join the Dominicans. Even when his family didn't agree and even tried to tempt him, he stayed steadfast! He is a doctor of the Church, and has many great writings.

Mary, Mother of God
E: St. Mary (I know, she's not known as St. Mary, lol) was chosen by God to give birth to Jesus
A: Virgin Mary. Mother of Jesus.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
E: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first American born Saint, and started the first Catholic school in the USA. Died at 46, and had tuberculosis.
A: Made first Catholic school. Husband died when she was very young. Patron saint of Catholic schools. Had tuberculosis.
Mom: She converted to Catholicism.

On Sunday, the boys and I ventured out to the library to get a few books! We found many books on Ohio and Michigan, so each of the boys got to choose one.

Ethan chose the Michigan book and we haven't actually started reading it yet.

Alex chose the Ohio book and we finished it yesterday after dinner.

Since we are also hoping to start a new series together, and finish it throughout the year (it will count towards our 50 books each, also), we chose Anne of Green Gables. I'm hoping to start on it this afternoon, since we are all stuck in the house again today :)

Learning the Rosary is going ok, although we haven't been praying it daily as I planned. Ethan and Alex both know the Our Father prayer, and about half of the Hail Mary by heart. We will continue to practice the Hail Mary, Glory Be, and The Apostle's Creed - Alex knew that it's part of the Rosary, but is worried it's "too hard" to memorize. I told him that it's ok, because I don't even have that memorized, so we can learn it together!

Swimming lessons are still going on, and they are LOVING it. Since they are in two different levels but at the same time, I sit in between where they are so I can observe them. During this time, I've noticed a few things. First, Alex listens pretty well and tries harder when E is not there next to him. For example, when told to lie on his back and use his arms and legs to move but with differing motions/times, even though he had a hard time doing it, he did not get upset and give up! He just laughed a bit and said "wow, that's hard", and kept trying. Second, E's eye contact isn't the only thing he's struggling with right now. His attention and focus are hindering his ability some. I actually intervened on Saturday, because I kept seeing him duck under the water when the instructor was talking and explaining what they should do next. I just walked over, excused myself, and said to him "If you aren't going to listen, and you are going to play in the water, we can leave. If I see you go under the water again, while he's talking, rather than listening to him, you are done for today. What he's saying is important, and it will help you learn." He stopped playing and focused much better, and I didn't yell at him! Proud of both of us. Also I noticed that he did remember how to hold his hands while doing the one forward stroke, and did good with it. He still twists his whole body a lot though, and they are working on that.

A new recipe was attempted yesterday and turned out delicious, if not pretty.

I just replaced the 1 cup of white flour with 1 cup of King Arthur's white whole wheat flour, and the canola oil with an equal amount of (MELTED) coconut oil. Next time I won't make as much of the cinnamon roll "filling" or the icing, as we had a ton of each leftover. I also plan to try and find a "real food" or whole food substitute for the brown sugar and the powdered sugar but for our first time with a new recipe, we were all very pleased with the taste. Jackson ate a good amount for breakfast for the first time in a couple of weeks!

Last but not least, on Saturday afternoon (after swimming and Catechism for the boys and grocery shopping for mom!), since Jason wasn't working, we decided to drive down to the Michigan Science Center for a few hours. While it technically wasn't new to all of us, we are counting it as our "find a new museum" on our list. E and I went there for a field trip when he was in fourth grade and had a blast, and Jason had been there when he was a little kid.

First, we went through the area where they have hands-on factory equipment, and the boys were able to try out a few things, like moving a ball with a vacuum hose, place gears on an assembly line and see Koka, the robot.

They crossed the Mackinac Bridge and walked on some roads with traffic lights while learning a bit about construction in the engineering area.

Musical instruments were played, as well as learning about magnets and electricity with the many hands-on activities.

We also went through the health and fitness area and the boys had fun trying out some of the exercise equipment!

Of course, their kidstruction zone was tons of fun, with toys ranging from lincoln logs to trains to giant foam building blocks to tents and tunnels to crawl through.

Join in the fun over here at Learning Life with 3 Sons!

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