Thursday, October 24, 2013


Ever leave the confessional and feel the urge to jump back in line as the toddler picks just that moment to run off, only to scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs once caught, and you cringe inside because you see a few pinched faces around you?

Or attempt to pray after as part of your penance, and said toddler keeps running up to sit on the steps leading to the altar?

Oh boy...

I love Confession. I do. It's an odd thing really. I find the longer I go between confessions, the harder it is to go. A month is usually my limit before an internal dialogue something like this occurs:

"Nicole, you need to get to Confession."

"I don't know. Do I really need to go?"


"But I don't really feel like it."

"Since when do feelings come into play?"

"Whatever... But it's so hard to go."

"Seriously? You have Confession available to you every day. Just do it already."

"Ok, maybe tomorrow."

And then tomorrow comes, and you don't go, and the inner turmoil starts back up again.

Until finally, too many signs point to the fact that you need to go to Confession TODAY, and you go, and it's simple and "easy" (excepting the screaming toddler of course) and you feel so much better after.

I tell you, Confession is beautiful. It's such a lesson in letting go. As an adult convert, it takes much more gumption to confess sins to a priest than to an empty room at bed time, and to me, it seems so much more complete.

And, unlike many things in our culture, the more you go, the better off you'll be (hopefully).

So, in case I haven't yet made myself clear, as Father Z would say, go to Confession!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Roman Feast

I know, I have been super quiet around the blog sphere lately. For many reasons, nothing I want to get into now...

But I did want to share our latest history hands-on. We are so behind my carefully laid-out history plans. I shouldn't feel as surprised as I do. That's the way it's been it seems.

Anyway, we finally had our long-awaited Roman Feast.

We are loosely following RC Connecting with History, Year 2. Well, supposed to be anyway. We're still in the tail end of Year 1.

The last bit of history brought us to the early Romans and on up to the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. We read the little bit written in Land of Our Lady Book 1 Founders of Freedom by Neumann Press (no longer in print unfortunately). I intended to read books recommended by RC's guide, but instead came across this fun and wonderful book, Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster:

We are 2/3 of the way through (it's a big book), and so far I love it. It is filled with the life of the times, the history, the rest of the world, and all in a story format, explaining Octavian's rise to power. It really has brought history alive for the kids, Skipper in particular (it's geared more to his age and above). The author also drew many illustrations for the book, which only add to its attractiveness.

Currently we are hanging out around 23 B.C. and while continuing on with it, we will take a detour to return to the Israelites, Jesus' grandparents, parents, and the coming of the Messiah and on into Jesus' life, with a little more Roman stuff on the side. Stuff... that's what history is made of, right?

Personally, I find reading plenty for history at this point in our homeschooling career (with the odd copy work thrown in for fun), but the kids begged for a Roman feast, and hands-on is fun (if exhausting at times for me). So... ok, after a month of stalling, we did it.

Our Roman Feast

First, the kids had to dress appropriately, or at least modern Roman:

Then we set up our feasting room (aka, the living room) in Roman style. Apparently, the Romans feasted 9 to a table. Cushions formed a "U" around a low table. The people would lie on their left side, three to each side, and reach with their right hand to eat. So yes, they ate with their hands mostly. They would bring their own napkin though. Isn't that nice? They used it to keep the cushions and their hands clean, and to take home leftovers (because 10 hours of feasting wasn't enough time to eat).

Our modern and kid-friendly Roman feast included: "wine" (white grape juice), boiled eggs, honeyed dates (cut up dried dates mixed with honey), cubed cheese, little fat sausages, olives, and apples.

My mom walked in on the kids chowing down (and boy, have they been eating a lot this past week!), and had such a funny look on her face when she saw the kids eating off the floor. Well, that's life in this household for you.

Additional resources I used:
Turn your two eyes
This was and see this people, your own Romans.
Here is Caesar, and all the line of Iulus,
All who shall one day pass under the dome
Of the great sky: this is the man, this one,
Of whom so often you have heard the promise,
Caesar Augustus, son of the deified,
Who shall bring once again an Age of Gold
To Latium, to the land where Saturn reigned
In early times.

--The Aeneid by Virgil (translation by Robert Fitzgerald, 1990)

The kids so loved The Odyssey, it would be interesting to find a kid version of the Aeneid telling the story from the Trojan side (and mirroring the Odyssey in subject matter).

Well, that's all the Roman fun going on around here. Mostly the kids are jumping on the trampoline, reading, fighting, getting along, eating, fighting, not sleeping, and saying, "I love you" quite a bit lately. God bless them.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Afternoon Tea with Our Guardian Angels

My Angel from God

God's angel floated down from above
Coming down on wings of God's love
God sent her down just for me
He knew I needed her, you see.

She whispered and took my hand
I am here to comfort, love and guide
God wants you to understand
I will always be by your side.

Smiling she said, I am here to protect you
Keeping you safe from every harm
And take away all your fears
Making your heart feel light and warm.

I always trust my guardian angel
I feel her love all around
When I feel lonely or alone
I know where she will be found.

God shows love for us in every way
He sent each of us our own angel
Give thanks to Him, as you pray
God's angel is here to stay.

~~Glenna M. Baugh