Thursday, September 29, 2011

See The Difference?

This is one of those pictures that is worth a thousand words and so much more...

 Mother Teresa Quotes:

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters"
And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign." (Mother Teresa -- "Notable and Quotable," Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. "

"Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!"
February 1997 - National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady. "What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another."
"Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants."
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dolphin Tale: The Movie

I think this is a first for me...I went to see a movie on its opening day! I usually wait for movies to come out on DVD or Movies on Demand before I see them.

Today I took my children and met other homeschool families to see the movie, Dolphin Tale.  We went to the matinee showing at 12:30 and even with the matinee prices I still paid $34.50 for 1 adult and 4 child tickets!  But, it was worth it to see such a great family friendly film.

There were several other homeschoolers at the theater and one of the employees at the theater asked me if school was out today.  I told him that today is Homeschool Movie Club day where homeschoolers are encouraged to attend great films like "Dolphin Tale" to get the message across to Hollywood that we need more family friendly films like this on the big screen.  I told the theater worker that there were several schools represented at the theater as each family is its own school!  What is great is the character, "Hazel" in the film, mentions that she is homeschooled while speaking with the actor named "Sawyer". 

I highly recommend any family to see this movie.  It's touching, inspiring, uplifting, and delivers a great message of hope and courage.

For a great review from Patti Armstrong, Catholic author and homeschool mother of 10 children, click HERE.

Here's a trailer for the movie:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balloon Planets

We've begun our Astronomy lessons using the Apologia text and Notebooking Journal and last week we made the planets out of balloons and hung them from our ceiling.  This suggested activity was done after we read the first chapter in the book.  I think my children had more fun blowing up the balloons and releasing them to watch them fly all over the room during the lesson, however!   But, we now know the relative size of each planet compared to other planets and the order of the planets from the sun.

Here are the balloon planets lined up in order from the sun.The sun is the big white balloon in the left corner then there is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.  We will read in Lesson 12 about the controversy over whether or not Pluto is really a planet.  

My children labeled each planet and this is the "sun" though it's hard to read the word because of the glare.  We read today that 1 million earths would fit inside the sun.  I knew the sun was big, but I had no idea that it was that big!  And did you know that Earth is 92,935,700 miles away from the sun?  Another fact that we learned today was that the sun is usually about 10,000 degrees on the outside and millions of degrees on the inside!  My kids and I found this information fascinating!  It is fun learning all these interesting facts with my children during our homeschool days!

Some of the balloon planets look deflated and very small, but it was very difficult to blow up a balloon and make it 1 inch around like the planet Mercury!  But, at least we have a visual reminder of the relative size of each planet compared to the others. My children and I are gaining a deeper appreciation for just how perfect God made the solar system.  It is truly amazing how the universe was made and we look forward to learning more about our Creator and his wonders as we continue our Astronomy lessons! 
Psalm 148
Praise the Lord from the heavens; give praise in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon; give praise all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens, you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the Lord's name; for the Lord commanded and they were created,
Assigned them duties forever, gave them tasks that will never change.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deep waters;
You lightning and hail, snow and clouds, storm winds that fulfill his command;
You mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
You animals wild and tame, you creatures that crawl and fly;
You kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all who govern the earth;
Young men and women too, old and young alike.
Let them all praise the Lord's name, for his name alone is exalted, majestic above earth and heaven.
The Lord has lifted high the horn of his people, to the glory of all the faithful, of Israel, the people near to their God. 

The New American Bible

Monday, September 12, 2011

LEGO Quest Kids is Back!

After taking a break for the summer months, LEGO Quest Kids is back starting with Quest # 42- Design a custom made aircraft.  Submissions were due today by 6pm PST, so if you missed this Quest, go to LEGO Quest Kids for more information and subscribe via email to get future Quests in your inbox.  My kids really like building the different challenges and they also enjoy looking at kid's creations from all over the world in the archives.  So here is what we submitted to Sam at LEGO Quest Kids:

My daugther, age 11, built this aircraft.  
“This aircraft is used for traveling around for fun.”

My son, age 9, built this aircraft. 
“This is my RF 83 Fighter Jet.  It has two laser guns and an escape pod.”


Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago Today: My Memories of 9.11.01

Today's date is Sunday, 9-11-11.  I don't remember what I was doing yesterday 10 years ago, but I remember exactly where I was 10 years ago today.   

Where was I when our world and country were forever changed with the tragedies that occurred on September 11, 2001?

I was living in NC and our first child was only 16 months old and I was dropping her off at a Mother's Morning Out program.  I was 8 months pregnant with Baby #2 (we didn't find out that our 2nd was a boy until his birth) and I was looking forward to going on errands for a few hours while my daughter enjoyed some play time with children her age.
When I dropped my daughter off,  I remember my friend mentioning that a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NY.  My initial thought was this was a terrible accident.  Then when I was shopping in a children's store everyone was talking about the news coverage.  By this time I called my husband who happened to be home sick from work and I'll never forget him telling me all that was happening so close to home.  "The towers just collapsed," he exclaimed, and like most of the country we were in shock, disbelief, confused, and saddened by what was taking place. 

I remember thinking that I was about to bring another child into this crazy, disordered, and suffering world as the events of 9/11 unfolded.  But, I  know that with new life comes new hope.  I  thought that when my children were old enough,  I would have to tell them what happened on this dark day in history.  But how? 

A few years ago, I found a great children's book about this sad day that Elizabeth Foss at In the Heart of My Home recommended. It is called The Little Chapel That Stood by A.B. Curtiss

Here is the product description from Amazon:

Product Description

St. Paul's Chapel, dwarfed by the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center right across the street, stood strong after the "giants around it had come to a fall" in 9-11. Not a pane of glass had been broken. On 9-11 St.Pauls became a service dept immediately. Firemen hung their shoes on the old iron fence as they "pulled on their boots and raced to the Towers, climbing melting steel to flaming showers. Oh, what gallant men did we lose who never came back to get their shoes."
This historic chapel was built in 1766. When George Washington was inaugurated the first president in New York City, he walked down Broadway to St. Paul's to offer his prayers for the new nation. Alexander Hamilton lies buried in the churchyard nearby. 

So if you have children that were too young at the time to even realize the sadness and severity of 9-11, I highly recommend this beautifully illustrated book that takes such a heart-wrenching and complicated topic down to a level that children can grasp.

We remember and pray today for all the lives that were lost on 9-11 in NY, PA, and at the Pentagon.  We especially remember and pray for the victim's families and friends whose lives have been directly affected and have never been the same. 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths For His Name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
For you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord My whole life long.
[Psalm 23:1-6; NRSV] 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Mary-Our Edible Rosaries Continued

In the Catholic Church, our Blessed Mother's birthday is traditionally celebrated on September 8 each year on the Church's calendar.  One of the many reasons I love being Catholic is that our Church celebrates Mary throughout the entire year with lots of  Marian feast days.  Mary did have such an important role in salvation history by having the privilege to cradle Jesus in her womb for 9 months and raise our Savior, it's always nice to give her honor on more days than just at Christmas time when we celebrate Jesus' birth.

There are so many wonderful Marian Feast Days in the church throughout the year and celebrating Mary's birthday is one of our family's favorite.  My children love birthdays and celebrating our Blessed Mother's special day is definitely a birthday party our family doesn't want to miss!   Each year our homeschool group gathers for Mass on September 8 and then we have a birthday party for Mary.

Each year we create an edible rosary, which is always a hit with the children.

We say a decade of the rosary with the children and parents then sing "Happy Birthday to Mary!".

Here are some photos of the rosaries our homeschool group has made for Mary's September 8 Feast Day:

On Sept. 8, 2009, our rosary was made with the traditional sized "Our Father" cupcakes and small "Hail Mary" cupcakes.  We put my Mary statue/vase in the center with flowers in it.  Then we placed candles in the "Our Father" cupcakes.

On Sept. 8, 2010, we simplified our rosary by using Hershey kisses for the "Our Father" prayers and cupcakes for the " Hail Mary " prayers.  We gathered at a local park for this year's celebration and  it was windy so we couldn't light candles as we sang "Happy Birthday".  We did say a decade of the rosary together and as each child led a "Hail Mary" prayer, they took one Hershey kiss away from the rosary.  After praying and singing everyone loved eating the extra cupcakes parents had made and the Hershey kisses.

Today, Sept. 8, 2011, our homeschool group met at a local church for Mass, then we went to a park to enjoy the beautiful weather and eat another edible rosary after we said a decade of the rosary and sang "Happy Birthday" to Mary.  This year our rosary was made from donuts and donut holes.  Thanks C.V. for the idea with the donuts! The kids loved how delicious it was and the parents loved how easy it was to assemble!  Thanks M.S. for picking up all the donuts :)  Here are some pictures:

You can check out how others celebrate the Nativity of Mary (Mary's Birthday!) HERE at Lacy's Blog at Catholic IcingHERE are some more edible rosaries via Lacy's blog too!

As mentioned in the first link of this post, "the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church at least since the 8th Century."  Wow! since the 8th century!?!  I didn't know this! Our family and homeschool group will continue to keep this special and fun tradition alive each year as we gather around our edible rosary and sing "Happy Birthday to Mary!"


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