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Issue #20 - As We Wind Down the Year
In this Issue:
From Laura's Desk: Hello Again, It's Been Awhile
Homeschooling Tips and Ideas: The Changing of the Chores
Book Recommendations: "The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic"
New Product Announcements: Life of Fred Intermediate Series
Our Favorite Recipes: Hot Sandwiches
From Laura's Desk
I really was shocked when I saw how long it had been since I last sent out a newsletter. Let's see, we celebrated: Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Years, Lent, a new Pope and Easter. That is a lot of ground!
Now we are nearing what is for most of us the end of the school year and some much needed time off. It always amazes me that I can be looking forward to the end of one school year and thinking about the next school year all at the same time. It's right about now when I start pondering what next year will look like and what we'll cover.
I'm hoping to make it to the nearest homeschooling convention this year; it is essentially right in my back yard and I have yet to make it. I think this year it just might work.
We have a big spring ahead of us, too. In addition to finishing up our work, my oldest son gets Confirmed and my youngest son makes his First Holy Communion. This, by the way, is our LAST First Holy Communion. Kind of sad and glorious all at the same time.
In addition to that, my husband and I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage (woohoo!!) and we will graduate another daughter from our high school program and one from eighth grade. Like I said, a lot is going on and a lot will be changing.
I hope your year is progressing along nicely and, if you take the summer off, that you are nearing the end of a successful year.
Enjoy this time of homeschooling, and thank God for the freedom to do it. Let's pray that this is a freedom we can continue to exercise for a long time to come.
If you'd like to keep up with all the latest info, you can always follow me on facebook!
Homeschooling Tips and Ideas
It's getting to be that time of year when I like to change things around a bit in the chore department. I usually do this around summertime because it allows me a little more time to teach new skills and bone up on some old ones that the kids have gotten a little sloppy on.
The main chore that I switch a new person into for the summer is the laundry. This gives me a few months of good focus time with the new person to learn all the ins and outs of doing the laundry. This year my 10 year old daughter will be up to bat.
Most of our chores rotate on a monthly basis, so everyone gets a chance to do each of the chores fairly regularly so as not to forget how to do them, but not so regularly that they completely forget.
My three oldest are venturing into the job market, some of them on a full time basis, so that means the younger ones will have to take a more active role in the chores around the house. I'm glad that they are just the right age (8 and 10) to really start participating.
If you need some guidance or ideas for chores and your children, check out the chore page on my website.
If you have some great chore ideas that you would like to share, please contact me. I love to share ideas with others.
This time around I have to recommend a fabulous book I read called "The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic" by Matthew Kelly. Although I haven't been much of a fan of his in the past, this book is spot on about how we can help to turn our Church around.
In the book, Kelly tells about how his organization has done extensive research to find out what the saints and committed Catholics have in common. They found four things: prayer, study, generosity and evangelization.
Each chapter talks about how we can begin or improve on what we are doing in that area. The book ponders what would happen if just 1% of the people in each parish became more committed Catholics. How would that change what the parish looked like? What it could accomplish? The souls it could draw in and save?
Kelly's company also has a program where you can buy this book and others in bulk for incredible prices to hand out to the families at your parish at Easter and Christmas. I was so excited to see that our pastor had already heard about this and had purchased and handed out hundreds of this book this past Easter. If only 1% of the people read the book and follow it... Wow!
I highly recommend this book for reading and for handing out to others. You can get it at the Dynamic Catholic website.
New Product Announcements
I realize that I'm a little slow on the draw here, but I finally have the information and ordering page up for the new Intermediate Series for the Life of Fred math books.
It really is hard to put a firm grade-level on these books, but my guess is that they are a good fit around the third and fourth grades. Of course, if your child is either fast at math or slow at math, they are very adaptable to whatever pace you set.
If you haven't decided on a math curriculum for next year, or you're looking to change things around, I would highly recommend checking out Life of Fred. You can see the contents of each of the Intermediate books here.
Our Favorite Recipes
Just the other night we had one of our easy meals that we fall back on when we're rushed for time or just feel like having an easy meal. We call them, simply, Hot Sandwiches.
What we do is to buy two of the large Italian loaves of bread that most grocery stores bake fresh. Cut it in half lengthwise and spread Dijon mustard all over the two halves.
Next, take whatever combination of lunch meats and cheese slices your family will like and layer them on the bread. This last time our layers were: ham, provolone cheese, turkey, mozzarella cheese and roast beef. You could have all the same meat or use different cheeses; whatever works for your family.
After that, if you like, you can slice tomatoes and onions and put them on top of the last layer of meat.
Next, wrap the sandwich in tinfoil and heat in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
We like these sandwiches because they're fun to eat and they travel well, too. When we need to pack a lunch or dinner to be eaten easily on the road, these fit the bill. They also make a nice change of pace for lunch, too.
I hope you enjoy these sandwiches as much as we do! And did I mention how fast and easy they are!!!
I would like to draw your attention to the wonderful Catholic owned companies who are advertising on my site. Please take a moment to check them out and patronize them. It is so important to support other Catholic, small business owners. I hope you'll join me in doing that.
Also, if you have a product or Catholic company that you would like to advertise on this page, you can fill out the form on this page and I'll contact you with the information you need to get started. The price is just $10 per YEAR and the perks are many! You'll get your listing on that page for one whole year, as well as at least one promotion on my blog and facebook page and a link to this page in all the newsletters I send out.
It is so important to support good, Catholic owned companies! This is one way to help get the word out about where to find them. Please share this with others you know who have a Catholic business or product to sell.
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Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!