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A Blessed Lent to You All!

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Issue #3, March 2, 2010

In this Issue:

  • From Laura's Desk: Thoughts on Lent
  • Homeschooling Tips and Ideas: Easter Parade
  • Read Aloud Review: "The Bronze Bow" by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Saintly Corner: St. Katharine Drexel
  • New Product Announcements: My First C2 Page is UP!
  • Our Favorite Recipes: Lentil Soup
  • Used Curriculum Corner: Math, Grammar and Spanish books!
  • From Laura's Desk

    Lent is a time that I have a definite love/hate relationship with. On one hand, I look forward to setting aside that extra time for prayer and reflection.

    I enjoy the challenge of giving up chocolate again for 40 days and then falling right back into the old habit as soon as Easter comes.

    I am moved by the special liturgies and the annual performances of "The Seven Last Words of Christ" that we have been involved in for the past few years.

    However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I usually approach Lent with a bit of trepidation. While I might think I know how I want Lent to go, I'm never quite sure what to expect from the Good Lord! He has sent me a few whoppers over the years, that's for sure :)

    Each Lent I try to find a good meditation book to read through during this time. This year I came across a brand new book called "Consoling the Heart of Jesus" by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. I just received it about a week ago, so I'm not very far into it, but I can tell you that it looks wonderful.

    I am a huge fan of St. Ignatius and his Spiritual Exercises, so this book is right up my ally. The author says this is a great book to read and pray with if you are unable to get away and do a formal silent retreat of the Exercises. Not only does he follow St. Ignatius' approach, the author also adds reflections and spirituality from St. Faustina and St. Therese.

    I'd highly recommend checking it out. You can order Consoling the Heart of Jesus from Amazon.

    No matter what you read, give up or do, I pray that your Lent is truly fruitful for you and that you are able to spend some "quality time" with the Lord.

    Homeschooling Tips and Ideas

    One of my favorite homeschooling activities has to be our participation in the annual Easter Parade. A city near us holds their annual parade on Palm Sunday and we've participated for a number of years. We have been one of only a few floats that holds true to a Christian theme - No bunny rabbits here :)

    I know this might not be something that every group can partake in since not every city has an Easter parade. However, if you find one in your area, grab a couple of families and some holy cards and get out and evangelize. For us it has always been a very moving experience. If you'd like more information, check it out here!

    Read Aloud Review

    This month's Read Aloud review is written about a book we all just loved..."The Bronze Bow" by Elizabeth George Speare

    A Review by Amanda Dominick

    "He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze."

    Daniel bar Jamin is a zeleot, a rebel hiding with a band of robbers in the mountains outside the little villiage of Ketzah. The band, headed by a ruthless man named Rosh, steals from Roman caravans and anyone on the side of the Romans, vowing to one day gather enough strength to crush the invaders forever. Daniel had left his home to be freed from a slave-like apprenticship to the blacksmith. Saved from starvation by Rosh, Daniel has lived with the robbers for the past five years; all the while, filled with a passionate hatred for the Romans. He is content, until one day a chance meeting with a boy from his past and the death of his grandmother changes everything. Now Daniel must leave his beloved mountains to live in the village and take care of his sister who has been possessed by a demon since she was three years old. Though not on the mountian, he still works for the freedom of Israel by plotting with the boy Joel and his sister Malthace. Together, they take a bronze bow as their symbol. His new life-style seems to be working for Daniel, but then he meets Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth. His world is turned upside down again with new doubts and struggles. He wants to follow Jesus... but can he give up his hatred for the Roman Empire? Winner of the 1962 Newberry Medal, "The Bronze Bow" is a perfect pick for reading aloud - or reading on your own. Fast paced and full of excitement, Speare keeps listeners both young and old enthralled in this heart warming tale of hatred and forgiveness.

    You can go here if you're interested in more information about this book, or to purchase it from my Amazon e-store. Help me keep this site going by purchasing items through my store. Thanks :)

    The Saintly Corner

    This issue of The Saintly Corner takes us to March 3rd and the celebration of St. Katharine Drexel.

    By Megan Dominick

    St. Katharine Drexel: Friend of the Oppressed

    Katharine Drexel was born on November 26th, 1858, in Philadelphia. She had an older sister named Elizabeth and a younger sister named Louise. When she was younger, Katharine liked to entertain Louise by doing tumbling tricks. Katharine also loved to hear the stories about the saints that her mother told her and her sisters. Her favorite saint was St. Francis of Assisi. Whenever she heard a story about him, Katharine would put herself in his place by helping the poor.

    Then Katharine started school and had to leave the story-telling behind. She and Elizabeth attended the school run by the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, an order of nuns. She enjoyed school very much, especially religion class. When Katharine was eleven years old, she received her First Holy Communion. It was a very joyous occasion for her.

    The Drexel family liked to travel. Mr. Drexel said that it was easier to learn geography and history when traveling, so the family took a trip to Europe to see history first hand.However, several years after their trip to Europe and other small trips, Mrs. Drexel started to decline in health. At the end of January, 1883, Katharine's mother Emma Bouvier Drexel died. After her mother's death, Katharine and her sisters continued to run a mission for the poor that their mother had started.

    Later on in 1883, during another trip to Europe, Katharine began to feel a call to help the poor as her vocation. Then, in September, 1884, the Drexels took a trip out west. While out west, Katharine and her family met a priest named Father Hylebos, who kept in contact with them after their return. During the trip, Katharine saw first hand the poverty of the Indians. Shortly after the Drexels returned home, Mr. Drexel fell ill and on February 15th, 1885, Francis Anthony Drexel died.

    After her father's death, Katharine went back to Europe with Elizabeth and Louise. Katharine had been receiving letters from Father Hylebos and after each one she became more aware of the needs for schools and churches for the Indians. It was during a visit to the Holy Father that Katharine received her vocation has a nun.

    On May 7th, 1889, Katharine joined the Sisters of Mercy. Some of the newspapers referred to Katharine as "the worlds richest nun." In February of 1891, Mother Katharine, with thirteen other young women, founded the community called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament of Indians and Colored People. She traveled all over America building schools and helping the poor.

    Reverend Mother M. Katharine Drexel died on March 3rd, 1955. She was canonized on the first of October in 2001, by Pope John Paul II. Her feast day is on March 3rd.

    St Katharine Drexel, Pray for us!

    New Product Announcements

    Well, it has taken awhile and there have been a few changes in our planning, but we've finally made a C2 page available for all of my visitors.

    This is really quite a cool thing. What C2 does is allow visitors to participate in the web site. I chose my first interactive page to be my "So you want to start homeschooling page". At the bottom of the page you'll notice an invitation.

    Here is where YOU get your chance to tell your homeschooling story to the world (or at least a small portion of it :) I, and others who visit, want to hear

  • Why you homeschool
  • What you think the advantages are to homeschooling
  • Whether or not you see any disadvantages
  • Go ahead and tell your story. I'm pretty sure there was probably someone there to help you along. Why not be that "someone" for someone else?

    Join in the fun by checking out my Start Homeschooling page. Just scroll down the page and follow the directions.

    I can't wait till you're a part of my web site. I'm looking forward to "meeting" a lot of you.

    Don't be shy now, ya' hear?

    Our Favorite Recipes

    It's Lent and that means meatless meals! We're always searching for new ideas and this one came to us last year. Not everyone was thrilled with it (just because they don't like beans in general!) but others of us really liked it. See if you can tell which camp my daughter Teresa is in?

    Lentil Soup By Teresa Dominick

    Last Lent we had this every Friday night for dinner, it's a favorite with most of the family.

    1 medium onion, sliced
    1 large carrot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
    1 large stalk celery, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    4 cups water
    12 ounces dried lentils (about 2 cups)
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    2 tablespoons snipped parsley
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    1 bay leaf
    1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
    1 cup water

    In a dutch oven, pour a bit of oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook and stir over mediun heat till celery is tender. Stir in 4 cups water, the lentils, bouillon cube, parsley, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until soup thickens, about 1 hour.

    Stir in tomatoes (with liquid) and 1 cup water. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

    6 servings (About 1 1/2 cups each).

    Used Curriculum Corner

    Here are some items that I have in my own home that are used but still in good shape. If you are interested in purchasing them, you can contact me and we can arrange the shipping. The price I have listed is what they will sell for PLUS shipping charges. Of course, shipping will depend on how fast you want the items and where you live in relation to me. We can work all the details out through email. Hopefully this will be a win-win situation for both of us!

    If this goes well, I might consider listing curriculum that other people would like to sell. I'm not sure what the details will be yet, so stay tuned. For now, here are the items I currently have for sale:

  • Life of Fred Fractions - Used price $10 plus shipping. This book is in excellent condition, just a small whited out section on the inside front cover.
  • Life of Fred Decimals and Percents - Used price $10 plus shipping. This book is also in excellent condition.
  • Easy Grammar: Grades 4 and 5 copyright 1996 - Used price $12 plus shipping. Other than a bit of a bent cover, this book is in very good condition. No writing inside.
  • Easy Grammar Plus Copyright 1995 - Used price $12 plus shipping. Same as above, very good condition.
  • Power Glide - Spanish Junior Adventure Pack: 4 books plus 9 audio CDs - Used price: $30 plus shipping
  • If you are interested in any of the above titles, just contact me with your name, email address and which book(s) you are interested in and we will arrange for shipping.

    Remember, you are purchasing used materials. To the best of my ability, I have fairly represented the above mentioned products. All sales are final.

    Comments, Feedback, Questions?

    Here's your chance to send them to me. Just click here and type away! I appreciate your taking the time to read this newsletter and provide me with charitable feedback!

    If you would like to see something in an upcoming issue, please feel free to let me know.

    Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!