My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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I wrote earlier this week about Rosie's cross country season. It was a long, hard season with a disappointing finish. We debated a little bit about whether or not to let her compete this weekend at the state middle school championship.

But as I was trying to read and understand what was going on, and how to become a better cross country mom for my daughter, I came across this letter by Lauren Fleschman. I had Rosie read it too and I want to share it in case any of you other moms with girl runners are having issues with performance and doubt. I'm emphasizing some of the things that really hit home for me.

You notice what happens sometimes to female athletes. She hits puberty; her times get slower or plateau. She is confused; she is working harder than ever. Clueless adults who are overly invested in her "performance" will grieve as if her worth is based solely on PRs. This makes you scared of growing up.
Me - I'm such an idiot!
Seeing girls go through this is confusing because there is a story once told to you about running: "You get out what you put in." You've heard there is a direct line between effort and improvement, between wanting it more and winning. This is a "truth" written by men, based on the experience of boys and men. Your male teammates are bathing in testosterone, a dramatic performance enhancer. You will not. You are about to bathe in different hormones, hormones that, more often than not, temporarily interrupt that promised straight line of improvement. What you need are knowledgeable coaches and parents who know how to support you during this time, to let you know it is normal, to celebrate you through development, who can zoom out on the big picture, because it is at this time that many girls give up.

You'll see girls react to a changing body in three ways: give up, ride it out, or fight against it. With 100 percent confidence, I can tell you the best choice is to ride it out. The best is yet to come.
I just love that!

Rosie will run this weekend. She's running because she wants to be with her friends, and because she wants to try to get her own PR. She may or may not get a great place. I doubt she'll get on the podium. But whether or not she does, I hope she has a great experience, achieves her own goals, and  has fun with it!!

rosie cross country cyo championships 2017 022

I am teaching General Science to our middle schoolers at my homeschool co-op. We are using the Exploring-Creation-General-Science book. I feel a little shackled by it, particularly since it's a book for a 30+ week school year and we only have 24 weeks to do it!

But I've decided that it's not my job to cram the information in that textbook into the minds of my students. They are supposed to have the book and read it. I did provide a syllabus. My job on our hour together is to make the topic come alive and enrich what they have already read!

OK, it's also to get them ready for high school work, but if they are enthusiastic about science, isn't that half the battle?

This week we are leaving chapter 5, which was about archeology and starting chapter 6 - Geology. So I thought it would be a good time to visit a local cemetery. I thought it would be the perfect bridge between those two topics - seeing the artifacts of man, and how many of those artifacts have been destroyed over the years by time, rain, wind, tree roots and the occasional vandal. We spent the entire hour out there and I think the kids were really excited about it.




This is one of the better- kept graves. It seems that the VFW has some interest in its upkeep because the deceased is a veteran, Colonial Talcott Bates. The lovely inscription reads:
Green be the turf above thee
Friend of my better days
None knew/know thee but to love thee
None nam'd thee but to praise
Tears fell when thou were dying
From eyes uns'd to weep
And often where thou art lying
Will tears thy green bed steep

I did some digging online and found the rest of the poem here:

When hearts, whose truth was proven,
  Like thine, are laid in earth,  10
There should a wreath be woven
  To tell the world their worth;
And I, who woke each morrow
  To clasp thy hand in mine,
Who shared thy joy and sorrow,  15
  Whose weal and woe were thine:
It should be mine to braid it
  Around thy faded brow,
But I 've in vain essayed it,
  And feel I can not now.  20
While memory bids me weep thee,
  Nor thoughts nor words are free,
The grief is fixed too deeply
  That mourns a man like thee.

That verse was written by Fitz-Green Halleck, who was a noted poet of his time, about another poet he had collaborated with, Joseph Rodman Drake. Gosh- given another hour we could have had a poetry and history lesson as well!

We also found the graves of veterans from the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War.

So next week we start geology - meh... I'm about as excited about that as I was about simple machines. Nonetheless, I do see the importance of including that in a general science course and I think I found a way to make exciting!!

Rosie and I will be baking three cakes to mimic the three basic rock forms - what better way to get kids to remember that stuff!!

So, the Apologia book is kind of heavily leaning towards the young earth perspective. 

I used to believe in old earth - with the earth being billions and billions of years old. In fact, I never heard the young earth perspective until I heard Ken Ham speak at a homeschool convention about 15 years ago.

To tell you the truth, it doesn't change my life one way or the other if life is billions of years old or only 10,000 years old. I sort of like the idea of it being younger because it makes me feel closer to God that way.

I was expressing that sentiment to my son, the philosophy major and he said something very interesting.  "Mom, if the earth is billions of years old, doesn't the fact that God sent his son only 2000 years ago let you know that He's still interested in us?"

I hadn't thought of it that way!

So now, I'm really neutral. I could go either way. I think I'll just expose both sides to my students and let them ponder this in their spare time.

When I dropped Izzy off at work earlier this week, one of her managers came up to me and introduced herself. She said Izzy was a very hard worker with a "sweet heart."  I already knew this, but it was nice to hear someone else say it.  She is really enjoying her time working at this store. She likes the co-workers and the customers. She REALLY likes her store discount and I note that her collection of art supplies continues to grow!

This October, Izzy and Rosie are doing this challenge called "Inktober." They have to draw something each day based on a pre-planned theme. Here are some of Izzy's Inktober drawings -



Rosie is also taking her art to a literary level!  Here is a painting she did at art class based on the book "The Trumpet of the Swan"

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