Friday, April 27, 2018

After the reflections

Sometimes teaching religious education is a burden, but last week I realized how worth it it was.
After the children shared what they learned I asked
them to share what we could do better.
That's when it got fun.
"Drink less coffee, you guys are hyper"
"Use the spotlight more"
"Rearrange the desks so we sit in a circle more."
"More treats"
"Less tests"
There was no negative comments, and we learned what really reached them.
It was fun to learn how much they liked to communicate with eachother and grow as a community.
Teaching religious ed helps me to dig deeper into my own faith,
frequently I find something I don't know and have to look it up or I am reminded of something
I have forgetten.
Always seek to know God more, always seek to grow closer...

4th Grade Reflections

Sometimes as parents we wonder is their catechism really sinking in.
I know my faith requires me to take them to religious education weekly but does it matter.
These reflections by 4th graders show it matters, THEY GET IT.
They remember our time is worth it, their time is worth it, it's sinking in they are meeting God and Jesus and their faith is building and becoming their own and they feel Jesus present.
A glimpse of what they reflected on last week.


..."My favorite thing we learned this year is parables. A parable is a story told by Jesus to teach us a moral, spiritual lesson."

..."My favorite thing I learned was how Jesus died on the cross for us. I found it facinating that Jesus went through pain just for our sins. I learned that people were excited to see him die and teased him and he did not even fight back. He did not tell them to stop and went through the pain for us."

..."My favorite thing we learned was the seven Sacraments. This is because I did not know a lot about them and what they were. They helped me learn what they are. The seven Sacraments are Baptism, Penance, First Communion/Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders. So far I received Baptism, Penance, and First Communion. I will only receive 6 in my life, because I am not a man and I'm not going to become a priest, deacon or bishop."

..."Works of mercy were my favorite lesson. There are 2 kinds of mercy corporal and spiritual actos of mercy. There are 7 corporal and spiritual acts of mercy."

..."I never knew about Saul when we heard the story about Saul it was amazing because he did not like Christians and one day he got knocked off of a horse. He became blind because of that, Jesus and God had touched Saul. Saul was no longer blind and turned into St. Paul."

..."The 10 Comandments was my favorite thing to learn this year. I learn about the 10 Commandments every year and I learn somethiing new every year. This year I learned that the stone was on Mount Sinai. I knew the stone was on a mountain but I didn't know which one."

..."During PSR, I learned about the Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross describe what happened to Jesus oon the day of his death. The Stations reminds us of what Jesus went through before he was crucified for our sins. This journey shows us how much Jesus loved us."

..."THE BEST YEAR EVER, This year we have learned a lot about our savior Jesus. I have had the two most wonderful teachers to teach me all about Jesus. My favorite thing that I have learned this year is about how God died for our sins and he still to this day forgives us when we sin. And my second thing that I loved was how Jesus has magic to heal the sick and the unhealthy. This year has been a really good year and I hate to see that it has to end soon but I know that Jesus is always with me."

..."Something I liked that I learned is the parables. I always thought they were just little stories, but now I know they were told by Jesus to teach us a moral spiritual lesson. That made me want to learn more. Now I like so many I don't even have a favorite."

..."This year in PSR clas the favorite thing that I learned was the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. The 12 Holy fruits are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, modesty, self-control, chastity, and faithfulness. These were the 12 Holy fruits. This year was the best I have learned a lot about God and Jesus Christ."

..."The best thing that I learned this year was parables. I did not know what parables were become I came to class. I left very excited. I told my mom and dad about parables and they liked them to. My favorite parable  is the lost sheep just like Father."

..."One of the things I learned in PSR this year is about spiritual and corporal acts of mercy. A spiritual act of mercy is something you do mentally like for example, praying. A corporal act of mercy is physical and an example of that is giving food to the hungry or giving things to people who are in need. That concludes todays lesson about spiritual and corporal acts of mercy."

..."What I learned was parables. Now I know parables are told by Jesus and parables teach a moral lesson. And that is what I learned."

..."My favorite part of PSR was learning the Ten Commandments. The help me live a better life and to be nice to my brothers."

..." The best thing I loved this year is about the challenges. You both tested my mind. I also learned a lot about God. This is the best class ever."

..."One thing I learned about in PSR this year was parables. One thing I learned about parables as parables were short stories told by Jesus Christ. Another thing I learned about parables was that parables are told to teach a moral lesson. One last thing I learned about parables was they were told in the New Testament."

..."The best thing I learned was spiritual and corporal acts of mercy. This is my favorite because it's helping people out. For example if there was someone homeless and I had food I could give it to him, that would be a corporal act. A spiritual act of mercy would be if your cat died you could pray for  him."

..."The favorite thing I learned in PSR is the Ten Commandments because it taught me to do the right and good things and to the right way to behave."

..."My favorite lesson this year is the creeds. There are three different creeds, the Athanasius, the Nicene and the Apostle's Creed. I didn't know this until I learned it this year. My favorite one is the Apostles' Creed. We used to use this one in Mass but now we use the Nicene Creed. The creeds help me know my faith this is why they are my favorite."

..."My favorite thing I learned in PSR are the Ten Commandments. It shows what to do and and what not to do. Jesus wrote them on our hearts and gave them to Moses on the mountain. This is the best thing I learned this year."

..."What I learned in PSR this year is that the Church runs on a Liturgical Year. Before the lesson on the Liturgical year I had no idea how many other season there are in the Liturgical Calendar. All I really knew about before this year was that there are Easter and Christmas. But now I know that there are is Advent, Lent, preparing for the birth of Christ and Ordinary Time. I would also like to add the colors, each season has a different color. An example of the is Advent, Advent has the color purple which I had no idea of this before."

..."My favorite thing we learned is the 10 Commandments. I learned that I shall not take the Lord's name in vain. My favorite is I shall not kill. This year was an amazing journey."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hiking Without Phones

Over Spring Break we didn't do a lot as a whole family, Ben was out of town, kids planned different activities with different people. Luke and Owen got to spend a couple of days with Memere and Pappa Lloyd. So before school came back and I lost the opportunity I planned a day out at Sweet Creek Park where some of the third Hunger Games was filmed. That was my incentive to the big kids anyway, encouraging them to check it out with me. It was a beautiful day, we packed a picnic lunch, and drove out there. When we got there I took all the cell phones and locked them in the center counsel. It was fantastic!!! I didn't feel like I might be  needed elsewhere no one was looking at some random anything, we were just there. Beau was reluctant, I didn't have to pry it from his hand but it was close. Overall we had a great day, and just enjoyed facetime together.

He tolerates me.

Mating Lizards, a science lesson on the trail.

Checking out a giant sink hole, Atlanta may be falling apart.

One might think that they are looking at their phones, but no they are each looking at something from nature and talking to each other. These two have always been good friends, but they won't admit it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Ins and Outs of Foster Parenting

As of January Ben and I were officially recognized by the state of Georgia as foster parents. After several calls and then no children entering our home, we received a sibling group into our home at the beginning of March. They stayed for a month, then we received another sibling pair who stayed for a week. We have had three calls this week that were not right for our family, I prayerfully have to remember that not every child will work with out crazy schedule and there are some rules and regulations that we have to follow like sleeping arrangements so we can't accept two boys. Saying no is the hardest thing I have to do.
I titled this post the ins and outs of fostering because part of me feels like we have a revolving door and when the children come in so much is brought to our family. Then they leave and out goes a piece of our hearts. Each child has something to share with us and we pray we are sharing something with each child. I have learned so much these past few months I'm going to attempt to share a little here so that I remember as the weeks go on what the first few months were like.

"Tough love" isn't just a phrase it's an action that takes more of you then you realize, but leaves you with deep hope for what you are planting into the child who is receiving it.

Night time story time is so much more than I ever thought, it's decompression, it's security, it's routine, it's the same book over and over sometimes adding new words to help close the day.

Stopping to remember the good things about the day is important, making the child say them out loud is important, some children don't know how to focus on the good things, it is a learned skill, and one that sometimes needs relearned.

Little feet can fill big shoes and sometimes a 2 year old makes you realize there is a big life out there and you only have this moment.

The same 2 year old can show you that the tall skinny 15 year old has a heart buried underneath all that teenage angst and isn't immune to said 2 year old wrapping his arms around his neck and holding on. This was a moment I won't forget because the toddler had shown very few physical attachment moments up to that time, and choosing to show it to Beau surprised us all.

Sometimes 4 year old attitudes are bigger than you ever thought possible, but take pleasure in the small victories and know when to let go, control isn't real, life is real make it happy.

The feeling when they leave your care is one of emptiness and it's heavy and oppressing and brings you to your knees, right where God wants you.

When new children come you don't forget the old ones, the list just grows and your heart gets fuller.

It doesn't matter what that baby in your arms  look like when you are feeding them a bottle all you feel is that connection, of this is "the least of these" and Jesus is with you.

The unknown is scarier and bigger but God is greater and if you let Him He will take it all in His hands and only give you joy.

There has been a lot of difficult moments in this process moments when I wasn't sure we were supposed to keep going forward and I had intended to write about some of those, but then I started writing and I can only think of the good moments, the ones that will stay forever in my heart and the children that put them there that are forever in our prayers.

These children come with one basic need to be loved, however we have also learned that the extra things that come up can add up so I've started 31 again, every cent goes towards providing for our foster children. Right now we need some baby gates, not something I have used many times in my life but has become a necessity now. Starting tomorrow there is an outlet sale at 31 if you feel inclined please visit my facebook page and you will find a link there tomorrow for the sale. or

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to get better about blogging as life is moving fast.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Owen's Homework

Owen had 11 lists of 20 sight words that he had to be able to read without messing up. He passed list 11 on Thursday so he is done for this year, thank goodness. He stresses way too much about these words. He practices writing them on the white board of his easel, he's a very visual learner so he loves his easel.

Kids Mopping

A few more pictures of the updated kitchen with kids working on their snow (except there wasn't any) day.

We've Been Busy

Before Christmas Bentook all the doors off and last week we took out all the drawers, we stripped them, stained and lacquered and now we have an updated kitchen. Aunt Christine and Uncle Ken gave us the Noah's Ark cookie jar for Christmas which found a perfect home on the open shelf. Aunt Christine filled it with ginger snaps last week but they only lasted two days. I have all the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies so that's the plan for tomorrow. Tonight we have a dinner in the crock pot and all counter tops are cleared and shiny.
In the midst of the kitchen updo we had a great friend in need of a table for her new apartment. We had an oak table in bad shape that could easily be used if it had a little love. Our problem was Ben and I were so busy with the kitchen we had no time to give the table. Beau and Anna solved the problem, cleaning and sanding the table before painting it. They painted the base black and the tabletop white. Our friends found matching chairs and I think it looks great plus I'm really proud of Beau and Anna for stepping up and getting it done with minimal supervision. Guess they have learned something from their dad over the years even though they might deny that. Now on to the next project which is singing the basement.