Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Books, What's working and What's Not

--- 1 ---

I discovered Matthew Kelly last summer when a great friend sent me a copy of 4 Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. It was interesting and a well thought out commentary about the current state of our Catholic family. However, it was vague with not a mention of some key words like Jesus, Holy Father, Mary, or anything specifically Catholic. I brushed it off as it was just summing up the dismal current mind set of Catholics in America. Then, I attended a speaking engagement in Ogdensburg with Matthew Kelly; he is a wonderfully dynamic speaker. I purchased his book, Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children. This was a vague book providing little if any direction on what actually to do for your family. It gives broad sweeping themes which is a great start but does not assist the reader with how to apply that knowledge long term. Again, there is not Catholic specific vocabulary which bothers me. There is no mention of religion specifically at all but again a vague spirituality. I would not recommend this overall or to a large number of people.

--- 2 ---

Pondered in My Heart is a wonderful blog about Catholic family life; one that keeps me going when my house is peanut butter sticky and all I want to do is lay on the couch watching Netflix. The peacefulness emits off of the screen giving me hope that I can overcome my preferences for the Greater Glory. Her daughter illustrated this book! A interesting coincidence, the day after I ordered this book, we picked patron saints for the year. Bubba our youngest daughter choose St. Felix of Nola out of our Saint bag! So, we celebrated her saint this past week by reading this lovely book. My husband is a painter who loves watercolor, and he just love all of the details that were painted. In fact, I think that Lydia's lovely watercolor illustrations inspired him to pick up the brush again.

--- 3 ---

We started back to school officially this week. Unfortunately, it was a week later than I wanted but ear infections and a teething toddler kept us from starting earlier. Right now, I am very happy with our curriculum choices overall. The PAL system from the Institute for Excellence in Writing had been life changing for my oldest.

--- 4 ---

The Magic School Bus: Back in Time with the Dinosaurs Kit from Amazon was a really fun way to enhance our science lessons during this winter weather. This trimester we chose to go with the Human body kit which I got for 15 buckaroos.

--- 5 ---

One thing that has not been working for us is my lack of sleep. I am the black sheep of the family. I love the night life but I loathe the mornings. I have not been as diligent on my wake up time as I need to be. Right now, its not too big of a deal; later on, I am going to have to be on the ball. I need to have breakfast made by 7:30 in the morning (my soul hurts).

--- 6 ---

Designated times in which the chickadees can use screens (leap pads, tv, computer) has been a great way for me to create accountability, time management, and for me to show that I am willing to work with the chickadees. We had a family meeting (ok really it was dinner and the Bubba was eating crayons naked while everyone screamed ideas at me)to determine how much time they wanted to use the devices (turns out ALL THE TIME. Weird, right?) We (meaning me with husband approval because I'm a meanie pooper just ask around town)decided screens could be used only during quiet time (1 pm to 3 pm) which is when the baby naps, and I read (or watch Acorn TV).

--- 7 ---

Read Aloud times have not been happening. Usually I attempt 30 minutes every hour; however, lately its been only 30 minutes everyday. They still have audio books for bed and during art time but I miss reading to them! So, we just have to work it back up. Have a great weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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