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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7-Quick Takes

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Adobe Spark (21)

It's hard to believe, but in just a few weeks, we will be entering the season of Advent!

A Gentle Advent is an online course with PDFs and videos to keep your children focused on Advent and prepare for Christmas. I am happy to be one of their new affiliates.
Everyday Graces

Let A Gentle Advent guide your family on a beautiful exploration of the season.

Daily scripture journaling to draw your hearts into the celebration.
Charlotte Mason inspired studies and activities to delight and inspire.
Time to reflect, to sing, to learn, and to grow in this season of expectation and beauty.

I applied to do a guest post this month on a popular homeschooling blog. The blog owner is very professional about her blog and how to take advantage of things like search engine optimization and fitting with a theme.

I've learned about these things over the years, but I'm not as trained on these things. I ended up submitting three posts before one was accepted. On my third attempt, I was fretting about all my hard work going to waste when my daughter gave me some perspective!

"It's not a complete loss, Mom," she said. "You'll get at least two and maybe three blog posts out of it, plus you'll have a good story to tell on your own blog!"

How right she is! One of those posts is scheduled for later - and I've just written the short story here in my Quick Takes!!

4. One of the moms in my homeschool group advertised that her neighbor was selling a gently used bed and bedstead for $50. I quickly contacted this lady who said that she had received four calls on the bed, but if I could get there and pay her, I could have it. As it turns out, this lady lived about 5 minutes from my home, so Miss C. and I quickly (or as quickly as you can with a pre-schooler in a car seat!) hopped in the car to drive over there.

It was an enjoyable sale. The seller was moving out of a century home with a handsome tiled front porch and beautiful wood work throughout. It was a lot of fun visiting with her too. With generosity and kindness, she gave little Miss C a nice little plastic box to keep her crayons and other crafting things in.

I was able to buy the bead frame and headboard, box springs, mattress, nightstand and lamp and a huge wall mirror all for under $100.

That night Gabe and Noah helped me and Mr. Pete move it over to the flip house. Everything was in excellent condition.


This was my early Christmas present to Gabe! He had been sleeping on this really old and rickety futon when he first moved into the flip house. Then we let him use our air mattress which was also not giving him a lot of support. He was waking up sore and stiff. I finally found the twin mattress that I grew up sleeping on and Gabe has been using that for over a month. So I knew that he would really appreciate this nice new bed and all of its coziness!

He said it was wonderful! He fell asleep right away and felt supported with just the right amount of comfort and softness. Then Miss C. came in to cuddle with her daddy and proceeded to throw up over the whole thing at 1 a.m!

I just. couldn't. believe. it!.

Gabe got it all cleaned up though and says he still loves his new bed.

Miss C. is feeling better!

And now the new bed has been baptized too!

5. Last year, I bought my married son Calvin, and his wife Sarah, a nativity set. I thought they should have a starter set and that way I could add to it every year.

So I texted Calvin and Sarah to ask them what they wanted first to expand their set and Calvin texted back-

King Herod!

 I knew he was just kidding, but then I wondered if I would be able to find a King Herod figurine for a 5 " scale nativity scene - and it turns out that you can!

This will actually be a great memory maker and a keepsake because of something that happened to Calvin when he was a very little boy.

When Calvin, Sam and Gabe were very little, we went to a local church to see their Journey to Bethlehem display!  Basically, this church had turned their entire building into ancient Bethlehem. The entire floor was covered with straw, there were sheep and other livestock including camels outside, and all of the church folk were costumed as natives of Bethlehem. That idea was that you would enter the church and be greeted by Isaiah in his long white robe with a long white beard and hair, and then travel through the church building until you came to Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus!  Then you got some hot chocolate and a Christmas ornament.  It was wonderful!

That year, we made it past the Prophet Isaiah only to find our way to a throne room where sat none other than King Herod. The King looked down on my little blond son Sam, and said, "You're such a good boy. When you find the baby Jesus, will you come back and tell me? I want to go see him too!"

Sammy was so mesmerized by this guy in his fancy robes and this wonderful display that he was slowly nodding his head up and down in agreement.

Calvin, who had to be about six years old at the time started shouting, "NO SAMMY NO!!! He's the bad guy!  UGH!! Don't you remember anything!!"

He quickly dragged his brother out of there and we were off to search the building to find the baby.  I'll never ever forget it!

So for that reason, King Herod is a perfect addition to their little nativity scene!

6.   Rosie is learning a dance to perform in the Fa La La La Lollie that my parish is doing. Mr. Pete picked her up from practice last night and she ran into the living room to find me.

"Mom!! How come you never told me that you danced in Chicago and New York!?  I never knew that!"

Well apparently, Mr. Pete told the nice lady choreographing this little dance about my dance history and said that I could help if they needed it. I hadn't realized that Rosie, my youngest, hadn't heard a lot about my dancing lessons and experiences, other than my repeatedly telling her that running was a better activity because it was objective instead of subjective.

But what I hadn't realized was that Mr. Pete was so proud of my past life as a dancer. This isn't the first time he has bragged about me this way. Maybe it's because early in our relationship he was my #1 fan, following me to performances and picking me up from rehearsals. I guess I just didn't realize that it had made such a big impact!

nutcracker of old canton ballet 005

7.  Friday Freebie - from the Home Scholar - one of my fine affiliates!
The 12 Keys to High School Success

Every Friday I post the Friday Freebie with invaluable information about homeschooling high school from the Homescholar. This is the information I first looked into when I started to homeschool my children during the high school years. The things I learned from Lee Binz, The Homescholar were invaluable in getting my son Noah into college with a handsome scholarship. You really have nothing to lose by at least taking a look at the free Friday presentations!

It is normal to be concerned about starting high school. The stakes are high and you want to do your best and "leave it all on the field." The great news is you are NOT a homeschool pioneer! There are many thousands of parents who have already graduated their children from home high school successfully ... and they have the scars to prove it!
That's what I want to help you avoid ... the scars. There is NO REASON for you to make the same mistakes others who have gone before you have made. Yes, you will still make mistakes, but let me help you downsize those mistakes and avoid the really ugly, costly blunders. 
Each moment we spend together will help you identify and side-step these most common missteps..