{SQT} Comments, Lesson Plans and Obi-Wan

How is it already time for another Quick Takes? Suspicions confirmed that 2016 will move twice as fast as 2015.

seven quick takes friday 2

1. Thanks to everyone who’s filled out my reader survey! I loved reading the responses and creating neat-o pie graphs with the data in Google Sheets. I’ll probably post the details in a future post, perhaps in my own ‘State of the Blog’, but for now, enjoy these survey comments.

“I think you’re both hilarious and inspirational. My secret hope is to run into you in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area and go all fan girrrl on you. But not in a weird, stalker way. In a totally normal, Catholic homeschooler way.” -I am actually a stalker.¬†

“I hate to tell bloggers what I do or don’t like about their blog. Content from the heart is always the best (even if something doesn’t appeal to me on a given day). I’ve had great fun following your blog–I love getting glimpses into other people’s lives. :)” ¬†– I am also a stalker.¬†

“I enjoy getting to know you and your family through your blog. I know it is just a glimpse of what really goes on. I miss your “What I wore Sunday” posts and your singing :)” -And by glimpses I mean unhealthy obsession. Have you guessed yet that I too am a stalker?¬†

“Can you tell me more about those healthy fats? Like the kind avocados have? If I eat the avocado tree will I get the fats and healthful fiber?” -I am hiding in your closet right now as I fill out this survey….because I am a stalker.

Seriously though, I really¬†appreciate¬†all the feedback. I know none of you are an actual threat to me…except maybe that one reader who commented about underpants…and their importance. All in good fun though I’m sure!!!

2. Tuesday evening, we marked Twelfth Night with friends at our parish around a crockpot buffet before the blessing of the Epiphany water. My husband mixed up a tasty batch of Wassail which I highly recommend making with a hard cider base.

6 Cored apples
2 quarts cider
1/2 cup brown sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of the cider)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 nutmeg
pinch cloves
Bake apples in the oven for 45 minutes. Add apples, cider and spices in large stockpot and simmer. Remove from heat and serve warm. Orginally found on Fisheaters

This recipe probably won’t appeal to the 15% of my readers who are Puritans.

3. And if you’re a Shakespeare / Star Wars fan, I also highly recommend watching Obi-Wan Kenobi as Malvolio in this production of Twelfth Night.

We read the play last trimester and when I came across it on YouTube in its entirety featuring Alec Guinness, all the kids got a little excited. I’m going to encourage Byron to write a sequel¬†where Malvolio comes back to take his revenge on everyone with a light saber.

4. I also like to mark the week of Epiphany by stressing out over second trimester lesson plans. Thankfully, much of the first trimester worked for us and we’re switching up very little. ¬†I adopted Sarah’s spiral¬†notebook method midway through and although I go over work and enter assignments first thing in the morning verse evening, it’s been a huge help in keeping on top of tasks and making adjustments when needed. I also add notes of encouragement or affection/bribery which helps the kids and I both remember I’m their mama first and teacher second (enforcer third).

As a reminder, How To Write Lesson Plans Part 1 and Part 2.

5. ¬†Something we’re adding this trimester is the ‘Annals of America’ series. We¬†acquired¬†a set years ago from my in-laws and thankfully I finally remembered they were collecting dust upstairs. ¬†Each volume contains original documents written from a¬†certain¬†period in American history, so when we study the Gold Rush, we can read articles on San Francisco written in 1849. When we cover Theodore Roosevelt, several of his speeches and articles are included along with a brief introductory paragraph. I’m not sure how easy it is to find a set anymore, but if you can track it down I highly recommend it for students in middle school or older.

6. I blogged my resolutions earlier this week and noted, as usual, I want to make exercise a habit. Like everything I do, I’ve been highly researching (over-thinking) movement, exercise, etc. As someone who often ties in saying the rosary or prayers with exercise (usually walking) I was curious to know what types of Catholic¬†fitness¬†programs were out there. I’m happy to report quite a few, so if you’re like me and always feel like prayers and exercise get shortchanged in your daily life maybe one of these programs could work for you. I have not tried any yet but would love to hear from those of you who have before possibly spending money and enduring my husband’s eyerolls.


Pietra Fitness

Catholic Fit.com

Soul Core

Mamas Movin’ With Mary


Fit for Eternal Life by Kevin Vost

The Catholic Workout: Build Your Body, Build Your Faith by Michael Carrera

The Rosary Workout by Peggy Bowes

AND a personal trainer who incorporates Catholicism into your workouts!

I’ll bet you didn’t even know Catholic fitness was a thing right?

7. Lastly a shout out to a new site dedicated to Catholic Mommy Blogs! It’s aptly titled CatholicMommyBlogs.com. I like the work founder Lis is doing to promote all the Catholic moms out there working to make the internet a better place. I know that Catholic mommy blogs are a lifeline for isolated Catholic moms without a local network of support. So, while I don’t want to ever take myself to seriously, I also don’t want to downplay the importance of Catholic moms blogging, reading blogs and ultimately connecting with one another! Be sure to check out Catholic Mommy Blogs to find some new friends.

How’s 2016 treating you so far? Write it down then link it up below and don’t forget 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 posts!


  1. Regarding Catholic Fitness (writing it like that seems like it is a real “thing”!), there is also a blog post on Restless Press which was helpful. http://www.restlesspress.net/ten-genius-ways-to-bribe-yourself-to-exercise/
    I have read Kevin Vost’s book. He makes some really good points, but for me I just needed to get out and do it. Exercising regularly is a habit that I have only learned in the past 3 years. Would be really interested to hear how you go. Good luck!

  2. If you really want to blow your kids’ minds (and I know you do), look for Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), in which Sir Alec Guinness plays an entire family.

  3. Oooh, I’m so watching that Twelfth Night video later!!!!! Kelly, have your kids read the “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” series? If they haven’t, they need to. It’s a wonderful combination of the Bard and Star Wars.

  4. The American Annals sound kind of awesome. I put it on my wish list for next school year. My husband said I can only get it if he can refer to it as “The American Anals.”

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