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Spring is Here! Time to Get Organized!

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Issue #4, April 12, 2010

In this Issue:

  • From Laura's Desk: A Time to Organize
  • Homeschooling Tips and Ideas:Tips for Organizing Your Life
  • Read Aloud Review: "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien
  • The Saintly Corner: St. Julian
  • New Product Announcements: Still looking for C2 entries!
  • Our Favorite Recipes: Grandma's Easter Bread
  • Used Curriculum Corner: Math, Grammar and Spanish books!
  • From Laura's Desk

    Spring naturally gets us into thinking about cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering. With the end of the school year in sight (for some of us), now might be the time when we start to dream of the projects we will accomplish over the summer.

    I always have grand ideas for my summer days. I pledge to be more organized and more on top of things by the time the next school year rolls around. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't :)

    This year we're in a new house, so this spring and summer I hope to become more familiar with my surroundings. When you move during the school year, you tend to just dump and run. I'd like to spend some time re-assessing things and trying to streamline some of my "systems". Maybe I won't be able to, but time will tell.

    I hope that you have some Springtime goals for ways to get more organized and more on top of things. With the weather warming and the sun shining longer, it just feels good to get out some of the crud that has been accumulating all winter long. So happy cleaning to you all!

    Homeschooling Tips and Ideas

    To help you out on your cleaning and organizing adventure, I'd like to point you to the section of my website where I've outlined some of the things that I do that really bring order to our busy lives.

    There are ideas for your prayer life, chores, meal times and your homeschool- both the day and the physical structure.

    Hopefully you can take some time, either now or later, to read through some of these ideas and see if they would help you out. Just click here to get motivated.

    If you'd really like some help on organizing your life, why not consider hosting one of my workshops, "A Plan for Joy in the Home". If this is something you'd like to do, this page will tell you how!

    Read Aloud Review

    This month's read aloud review is one of my favorites. It was such a cute story and engaging story. Here is my daughter's review of:

    "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien

    On a farm owned by the Farmer Fitzgibbons lives a little family of field mice called the Frisby's. Mr. Frisby has been dead since the past summer and Mrs. Frisby lives with her four children in a half-buried cinder-block in the vegetable garden. This is their winter house - in the summer they move out of the garden to avoid the plow. Their lives have been going as well as a field mouse's can and with the approach of spring time comes the planning for the annual move.

    Disaster strikes, however, when the youngest Frisby - Timothy - falls very ill. Just as he is starting to recover, Mrs. Frisby learns that the garden will be plowed in just five days. What can she do? If they stay, their home will be overturned and they will die. If they move now, while the weather is still cold during the nights, Timothy will suffer a relapse and possibly die.

    When all seems lost, help comes in the unexpected form of a group of rats: The Rats of NIMH.

    Readers of all ages will love and enjoy this exciting tale as they wait in suspense to find out how the Frisby's will be saved and learn just who these mysterious super-intelligent rats are.

    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

    Most of us know something about the more popular saints, so sometimes it is fun to find out about those "lesser known" saints. Pope St. Julius would be one of those:

    Pope Saint Julius I Feast - April 12th

    Julius was the son of Roman Citizens and elected to the papacy on February 6, 337 as the 35th Pope. As a Pope, Julius was active in the fight against the Arian Heresy - a heresy which denied that Christ was like God the Father and claimed that he was a creature made in time.

    When Saint Athanasius was deposed by Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian bishop, Julius declared that Athanasius was the rightful bishop, reinstated him and declared that any deposed bishop had the right to appeal to the Pope for help.

    During his Papacy Julius also built several churches in Rome and ordered the Eastern Church to celebrate Christmas on December 25th instead of on January 6th along with the Epiphany.

    He died on April 12, 352.

    Pope St. Julies I, pray for us!

    New Product Announcements

    Okay, it's after Lent now and all of you should be off your Lenten fast from the internet! Therefore, I would like to invite you all again to stop on by my page and share your homeschooling story and thoughts with others who are seeking information and answers to homeschooling questions.

    This 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'd love it if some of you would take a few moments to share your joys and struggles with the rest of us. It is so helpful to hear what others have gone through, isn't it?

    So stop on by and add your story to my website!

    Don't be shy now, ya' hear?

    Our Favorite Recipes

    Every year my uncle and I each make my Grandmother's Easter bread. We like to compare the texture and taste, but he always ends up commenting on how different our braids come out. With five girls worth of experience, you can probably guess that my braid always looks a little neater than his! Here is one of my favorite bread recipes.

    1 pkg active dry or compressed yeast
    1/2 c light raisins - soaked in hot water
    1/4 c warm water
    1/4 c milk
    4 tbls butter
    1/2 c sugar
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    4 1/2 c sifted all purpose flour
    2 egg yolks

    Sprinkle yeast in warm water with 1/4 tsp sugar to soften. heat milk until a film wrinkles on the surface. Remove from heat and stir in butter, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm, add drained raisins and two egg yolks. Now mix in yeast and as much flour as you can possibly stir in. Put remaining flour on a breadboard, dump dough on top and knead in all the flour. Dough should look satiny after kneading. Transfer to a greased bowl, brush surface with additional butter, cover and let rise in a warm spot until double in bulk.

    Punch down the dough with your fist and divide in half. Now divide each half in three parts and roll each part with the palm of your hand into a rope about 23 inches long, with one end of the rope thicker than the other end. Braid the three ropes together and put it on a large greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the second braid of dough and place directly on top of the first braid. Be sure that the thick ends of the braids are on top of each other. Brush the surface of the loaf with a mixture of egg yolk and a little water and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

    Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Brush again with melted butter after removing from the oven.

    Makes one loaf.


    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!