We’re off school this month so, in theory, I should have more time. I should be able to catch up on house work, read, and spend more quality time with my children. But, it never seems to work out that way. So what have I been doing besides not taking down my Easter decorations?
1. Lesson plans. Our third trimester starts May 2nd and while we’re just chugging along with what we’ve got, I still need to write out everyone’s weekly assignments, order a couple of books and, in general, have some roadmap so I don’t spend every waking hour answering the “Maaaaaaaaaaammmmmmaaa, What should I do next?” question.
2. We school year round, so this year doesn’t wrap up until July for us, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already thinking about next fall. (Thank you ALL THE GLOSSY CURRICULUM CATALOGUES.) Mostly though, I’m just totally stoked about Tan Books new ‘The Story of Civilization, Vol. 1, The Ancient World’.
I’ve used ‘The Story of the World’ series (From the publishers of The Well Trained Mind) since we started homeschooling and I’ve always wished there was a Catholic version. Now, as I prepare to teach the ancient world for the third time (we do a repeating four-year cycle) I realize my prayer has been answered! The series includes a text-book, test book, activity book, teacher’s manual, audio dramatizations, AND video lessons. Confession: I
hate strongly dislike reading aloud. I’m excited to let my older kids read the book, while the younger ones can enjoy the material from someone else. (Samples of the audio and video HERE!) It’s currently on pre-order but when I get all the materials I’m going to do a full review. Thus far, I’ve got the text and test books and it’s easily on par with ‘The Story of the World’. In fact, I think ‘The Story of Civilization’ goes into more detail on many key early civilizations. Plus, they’re scheduled to release at least one more volume a year meaning I’ll have a thoroughly Catholic text-book when we study the Middle Ages again!!! #worthitsweightingold So stay tuned for the full review early summer, but if you’re considering investing in ‘The Story of the World’ for your family, hold off and consider investing in ‘The Story of Civilization’. A complete Catholic history program for grades K – 8? Yes please!
3. This week I started hosting a new club in my house for Fulton and Teddy. I call it the “Science and Adventure Club” so clearly it counts for school. It was born of my desire for the boys to make more friends. Think of the 5 to7 year old boys in your life; do they sit still and play for long? Do they slow down and wait or do they just GO? It’s been hard for me to find opportunities for Fulton and Teddy to sit and get to know boys their own ages, and when they are out somewhere accessible where kids are playing, everyone is running around. Sometimes, kids will stop and try to play with the boys, but it’s been difficult. And it sort of breaks my heart to know I’m never going to be able to just drop them off at a friend’s house for an afternoon or a sleepover. So, I decided to do something about it and I opened my home up to however many boys wanted to learn and play. We do an hour of activities, interspersed with some video clips, around our table then an hour of outdoor games and running around. The first meeting was small, and none of the boys knew one another, but by the end, no one wanted to leave. I hope it’s the beginning of some lasting friendships and maybe some time in the near future, we’ll figure out a way to host a sleepover here, at least, that’s Fulton’s hope. I hate sleepovers, but I might make an exception.
4. This is also the month of SACRAMENTS! Addie gets confirmed on Tuesday evening and Fulton receives his First Holy Communion on Saturday the 30th! Plus, we’re traveling to my nieces Confirmation on the 23rd. Even though we’ve had Addie’s gorgeous Confirmation dress for months I’ve waited until now to hem it, because, for me, sewing falls into the same category as sleepovers and reading aloud. Fulton is wearing the same suit as Byron but I had to cut slits in the back of his vest and jacket to accommodate his wheelchair’s chest harness. The black straps were totally cramping his style! They’re both going to look great; so preemptive apology for the forthcoming social media photo dumps. I still need to buy waterproof mascara because 1. Addie is so big! 2. Fulton is reaching a milestone I didn’t know we’d see when his diagnosis was first handed to us. Probably gonna have to write a big blubbery blog post all about that. #FUSMA
5.We’re doing a large joint party for them both in early May. We’ve tried to get a contractor and painter out to the house for months and we finally said we needed the work done by the party. So, in addition to everything else, we’re having people in the house painting the downstairs, installing trim and doing work in our only full bathroom. It should be great. I’m sure I’m not going to be stressed AT ALL about hosting a large party here immediately following home repairs.
6. Of course, over the last week, all our closet friends, you know, the ones whose kids have the most contact with my kids, have been posting the following statuses on Facebook:
“All you sick folks, how long is this stomach bug lasting?”
“2nd day in bed…this is kicking my butt! I’m the mom, I can’t be sick! This stinks!”
“Man oh man. Celebrating my birthday taking care of two sickies. This stomach bug is harsh!”
Of course, Edie is congested, has a sore throat and occasional tummy aches, plus Byron and Fulton have developed stuffy noses. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! It would be the cruelest of all jokes to have everyone fall sick NOW. Addie is doing her part by reminding everyone to “WASH THEIR HANDS!!!” or yell at them to not touch anything.
So please, prayer hog here, pray, pray, pray and pray some more that everyone stays healthy and our Sacraments can go off without a hitch. As thanks, I will offer my prayers for you at both special Masses.
7. I try to be really tech savvy and stay on top of all the new social media trends. I’m on Facebook, the blog has a Facebook page, plus I’ve got accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope. (I’m even on Snapchat though I deleted it from my phone because WHAT IT SNAPCHAT?? I don’t even want to know. I couldn’t look at my face framed in that ghost logo thing so it had to go.) I try to “interact” with my fans/readers/ stalkers regularly through all these forums, but admittedly, it’s hard. Now, just when I’ve finally gotten the hang of live streaming on Periscope, Facebook comes out with it’s own Live feature. And all the other bloggers are insisting it’s great for connecting so I was like FINE damnit, I will do this live thing on Facebook now, but that is it! That is the last way I am reaching out and connecting with you people!!!! Next thing I know, they’ll be a social media app that sends you the address of your favorite blogger so you can just show up at their door and really connect on the next level and get to know the REAL THEM!
“Hi! I found you through the STKLR app! I was wondering if I could come in and sit on a chair in the corner of your dining room and watch your family eat breakfast? Do you mind if I live stream this conversation? Wow I really love that robe and slippers combo! Is this your dog? Oh my word I love her! This is so REAL! I feel like we’re really connecting on a deeper level!! Your brand is so authentic!!!!”
How was your week? Write it down then link it up below! Remember to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your post!
I just have to say the obvious: you are doing a great job at this momma stuff. From over here, it looks impossible, but God gives grace to the weary that I myself have seen beyond measure, and I pray pray pray pray pray that His grace will get you through the Sacraments in hopefully good health. What an exciting time it will be (in GOOD WAYS)! 🙂
So I’m not allowed to randomly show up on your doorstep the next time I’m in New Jersey?!?!?!? You’re no fun!
Lol…STKLR app! Seriously, these computer screens are just SO LIMITED. I want more authenticity and connection, Kelly!!!!
A few of us got sick but I was pushing the vitamin C hard on EVERYONE and trying to keep people away from each other (which is kind of futile but maybe it helped). Only three of us got it and it wasn’t that bad. I really think the ridiculous amounts of vitamin C everyone took helped.
Thank you so much for the history recommendation! That is exciting!
We are in the same boat of “get the house all fixed up and remodeled and finished before Maggie’s First Communion Party on May 1” and it’s totally stressing me out! Good luck to you!!
We’ve been using RC History (Roman Catholic History ) this year and love it! It’s also divided up like Story of the World but includes Church history. I’ve been learning new things about the Old Testament too, and telling my daughter to ask the priest when I don’t have all the answers.
Natalie, do you have a link for that book? We’re on the modern history four year cycle but I was looking at Tan’s book for when we start over. But I would like to see this RC History too but can’t find it online.
Thank you, Jen! For some reason, I kept pulling up adult books about the Church’s history.
Thank you so much! I have been looking for a good classical history curriculum to replace Story of the World–inevitably we have to explain things or skip over things, depending on the age of the child–and this site looks amazing.
Prayers everyone stays healthy….especially for their special days! Here I was whining to my husband because I had to clean more than usual in order to have a playdate here…..and you’re up there organizing an actual class/playdate!
Haha the STLKR app is hilarious-just wait and someone will take that idea and turn it into a real thing 😛 I think your idea for Fulton and Teddy’s club is so cool! Good for you. You are all in my prayers! 🙂
I am so happy for you guys and all of your upcoming sacramental excitement! Stay away ridiculous illnesses! Also, #7 made me laugh out loud. I do not understand snap chat either.
I object to the joint party (#5). I realize marijuana is becoming legal everywhere, and perhaps it has medicinal value for SMA…? But I suggest baking it in brownies instead. Probably more enjoyable that way for a 5 and 7 year old.
I’m a random stalker of your blog but thought I’d actually comment today. 😉
That Story of Civ from a Catholic perspective sounds awesome. Is it only for homeschooling families?
And on #7 – yes!! A few years ago I told my husband that one day there would be Facebook “channels” – you tune into your favorite person’s channel to see what they are doing Live and then surf through people’s lives all day. Sounds like Periscope and now the Live Facebook status are pretty close to that prediction. Maybe one day we’ll add holograms and then we’ll really feel like we’re connecting. 😉
Any idea when volume two of Story of Civilization will come out?
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