Our New Joy

holy experience

The gift of life is brimming full here this spring. We recently found out that we are to be blessed with baby number 6! Am I ready? everyone keeps asking. Well, are you ever? But we know this is a blessing from God. His timing is perfect even if I would’ve chosen differently. His grace is sufficient even when I may feel overwhelmed. And I know that He promises that there will never be anything beyond what I can bear. He knows my strengths. He gave me children who need exactly what I have to give. He knows my weaknesses. He knows that with each blessing of a child comes visibility of my heart issues and I come running to Him with my vulnerabilities, which is exactly how He designed it. I see the family unit and see example after example of His relationship to us – how He sees us, how He wants to love us, how He only wants what’s best for us, how selfish we are in return, how we completely take for granted ALL He has provided. I see His perfection in our family’s weakness. So I am here today to, again, count my blessings before I am permanently on the couch in full fledged nausea handing out peanut butter spoons for dinner because it is a protein and fat and carbohydrate.

221) New life brimming full.

222) Nausea that means a healthy baby.

223) Morning sickness that doesn’t set in until after lunch allowing me to still school and get a few chores squeezed in.

224) A husband who smiled when I told him.

225) Craving apples.

226) Eating eggs for breakfast and dinner and sometimes a late night snack.

227) Good intentions for prenatal vitamins.

228) Hearing the banter of the kids excitement over boy or girl.

229) Taking communion and wondering whether I can keep it down. (Does it still count if I can’t? *smile*)

230) Realizing my baby is almost one.

231) The beautiful rose that my husband so sweetly bought for me.

232) The husband who can whip up an amazing omellete at 11 PM without complaint.

233) Warm weather for the kids to run in.

234) Making a spring wreath yesterday afternoon.

235) Finally taking down the Christmas wreath.

236) Two garlic shoots that came up unexpectedly from a last minute experiment with store-bought garlic after the last frost date.

237) Hearing my two-year old daughter pray.

238) Hearing the effect her prayers have on the other children.

239) Hearing my six-year old daughter’s prayers maturing unexpectedly.

240) The comfortableness of our house.

241) Brushing with baking soda.

242) A boy drawing his birds.

243) A daughter who wants to imitate her mother.

244) Lennox Easter.

245) A spring garland that’s just perfect that I found free as my husband questioned why we were bringing more junk into the house when we were trying to move it out. But he was wrong.

246) Missing the kids playing “jungle” with this garland and finding missing flowers all over the house!

Happy Spring today everyone!

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John James Audubon Study – Part II

Sorry this second part of the post has taken so long to get to. There are a few reasons that is…the first of which is we actually started the study this week so we have been busy with school. The second of which it is nice outside and we have been trying to get the first of garden preparations done.

Now I have split this up into categories to be user-friendly, but we will actually be tackling the study on a much more interest-led-see-where-the-day-brings-us way. I find we actually accomplish more this way because one thing will lead into another. If I just do a “Well, children, this is what we are doing today,” I get accosted with groans and mumbles. I leave those for our formal math-latin-grammar work! Some of the books fit into more then one category but I tried to pick the category we would most be utilizing it as. And you may think that you have some books that you would add to categories as must haves, especially in the Literature section. That may be. I only listed what I had available to me that we already owned or that I could readily find at the library.

Our Bird Shelves

Activities

  • Learning the history of who John James Audubon was and what he contributed to America. (History)
  • Learning about naturalists ~ who they are and what they do. (History & Social Studies)
  • Narrations on books read (Reading Comprehension, Assimilation & Logic, Grammar, Writing)

  • Learning about the egg and its development from embryo till birth. (Science)
  • Learning about the feather and how flight works. (Science)
  • Learning Bird Anatomy through 3 part cards Download here for free. (Science)

  • Learning to recognize bird calls and songs. (Science and Music)
  • Learning to identify birds by sight. (Science Classification)
  • Playing our Montessori Bird Puzzle. (Good for the toddlers to do while reading bird books to the older children.)

  • Taking nature walks to practice birding skills and look for treasured feather finds. (Science, Physical Education)
  • Practicing sketching and watercolor/colored pencil techniques with drawing birds and eggs. (Art)
  • Playing with our Audubon stuffed birds (also helps in recognizing bird calls) (Assimilation)

  • Reading poetry and children’s literature about birds and other springtime animals. (Literature & Poetry)
  • Memorizing poetry about birds. (Poetry)
  • Copywork on spring poetry, narrations, original Audubon writing excerpts (Penmanship, Grammar, Poetry & Literature)
  • Listening to our For the Birds CD (Music, Poetry, Science)

John James Audubon History Biographies (all preread to be excellent living books although the first two are my favorites!!!)

Birds (References, Field Guides, Science)

Bird Music

Bird Art & Sketching

The basket that holds our colored pencils and sketchbooks.

Inside our Nature Walk basket.

Other Naturalists (Supplemental Reading or rabbit trails – these are just the ones we happened to see at the library, by no means the only good books on them!)

Literature (have included other spring animals as well for the season of spring)

Foreign Languages ~ French (Audubon was sent over from France to avoid the Napoleonic French War ~ Lily picked up on the French phrases in the biographies we’re reading and wnted to know more)

And, last but never least, our Easter selections. They are included here because we will be reading them alongside this study. It goes perfectly with spring and the egg ~ the renewing of life. And we want our children to know that the only reason we get to enjoy all else is because of this most amazing sacrifice on the cross. Would love to celebrate this more formally with Lent but did not have time to research a book I wanted to put the time or money into. We will do that for next year. Am open to suggestions in the comment box.

Easter

Our marbled eggs that the kids love to feel and play with.

Assuaging Screentime Guilt (A 30-Min Blog Challenge Post)

So recently I visited this wonderful ladies site: Steady Mom and found this link: The 30 Minute Blog Challenge that piqued my interest then spoke to my heart. What a challenge it is to balance blogging with real life, especially when you’re trying to live an authentic life of real education with your children. Does blogging even fit in?

Some days I’m not sure. But then, as my dear husband pointed out, we now use all the hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of random photos I take that my husband always says, “WHY on earth are you taking a picture of that?” and I always reply, “Well, one day I’ll scrapbook that!” This used to drive him CRAZY! I get to scrapbook, even if it is online and digital (although I am still trying to find ways to carve out for the other, tangible way as well but I digress…that is for another post). I am keeping a more accurate journal of our homeschooling journey and my family gets to peek in and see what I am doing whenever they like. But I do, as most of us homeschool mothers tend to find, get hooked on rabbit trails of linking in the world of cyber blogs. There are too many good things out there and not enough time to do them all. I have to be picky. I have to pray for discernment. And, most importantly, I have to limit my screen time just like I do for the kids. What better way then to participate in this challenge…thirty minutes to type, upload, and link then Publish wherever I am. I love it.

So on to my first post challenge ~ What better way to start then talk about a positive effect of screen time for our children? We hear the negative all the time. Here is the upside.

Saturday is our movie night and we picked the Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit DVD series based on the book series after digging out all our books for the spring season. If you’ve never seen this DVD series, I HIGHLY reccommend it! They are classically done to preserve the exact style that Beatrix Potter spent so many years trying to get just right.

Watching the movie led to us reading a biography on her.

The next day I found my darlings huddled up in a special “clubhouse” on the bunkbeds and Lily was “reading” in her special way the whole series to Luc and Lilah.

I grabbed this other book we happened to find at the library and the kids were smitten and spent a good hour pouring over it.

Then they went around the house gathering whatever stuffed animals they could find to act out and play Jemima Puddleduck, Peter Rabbit, Tabitha Twitchet, Mrs. Tiggly Winkle, and other dear, dear characters. It was charming to watch and I was amazed at how much of the day was spent playing and reading this wonderful series. Everyday since Saturday has seen more of the same. Now the books are requested regularly and the animals come out faithfully and find themselves niches and homes all over mine.

So, is screentime bad for our kids? In abundance, yes. Used in exclusion to other play, yes. Not monitered or censored by a caring parent, yes. But sometimes…sometimes it just may lead to an unexpected rabbit trail that you did not see coming and the joy of childhood flourished in your home. And that is why as tempted as I am to dump the TV and the computer permanentally, I don’t. All things used in moderation and with proper handling can yield beautiful thoughts and actions.

And to all you other mother bloggers out there…please, give this challenge a try! Go check her out!

Clinging to Hope

holy experience

I’m desperately clinging to a hope in spring right now. While Thursday was a blessing of warmth on my face, the weekend turned my household into a cabin-fever, horomone -spiraling mess! I feel dry and barren and am longing for a resurrection. Church feels wanting. Relationships feel old insecurities rising into new disguises. Motherhood feels stretched. I turn around and feel all that is left undone.

And as I go through this period of darkness, however short or long it rages, I will cling to His promises because it is only as I list out the gratitude that my heart can erase the ugliness I see before me. The downcast will be lifted up. The broken will be healed. New springs will grow in desert places. I thirst and will be filled.  The book of Psalms and the words of Isaiah course through me like a balm. These are the books I return to when my heart cries out.

192) Little boys with their “labor saving device” (a broken bird call).

193) Little girls playing by mamma in the bath and needing bubbles.

194) A hot bath that soothes the soul.

195) The ability to add more hot water before washing diapers for the night.

196) The invention of liquid soup, body puffs, and disposable razors!

197) Throwing the “thinned” broccoli seedlings into my omelet for dinner.

198) Carrots mysteriously growing in the garden. Late/leftover germinating seeds?

198) Unexpectedly finding out the oregano and parsley survived the winter (and that my dear husband didn’t dig them up like I thought he did!).

199) Mint that is already overtaking the garden underneath piles of mulch leaves.

200) Crushing a mint leaf in my hand and smelling a little piece of heaven.

201) Looking forward to mint sun tea this summer!

202) A compost heap that’s been working all winter without my doing anything.

203) Fresh, new compost underneath all that ugliness on top! (I feel there’s a lesson in there somewhere for me!)

204) Rain boots that we managed to buy on time this year before the stores ran out.

205) Reading outside on the porch while watching the kids play.

206) Muddy jeans and having to use Spray and Wash again in the laundry.

207) Pulling out all the spring toys and books.

208) Watching the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit series on DVD.

209) Seeing the kids pretend their animals are Tiggy Winkles and Jemima and Mrs. Tabitha Twitchet.

210) Seeing Lily “reading” this series to Lilah and Luc.

211) Bird playing.

212) Seeing a mama deer and an American Kestrel on the way home from church.

213) Hearing a woodpecker when I opened my windows this afternoon.

214) Seeing the first batch of seedlings pushing up through the dirt.

215) Starting the second batch of tomato seedlings.

216) Finding an old schedule unexpectedly (literally fell on my head) that, as I’m looking over, am wondering why I ever changed it around to begin with.

217) Bills paid and enough money to last until next paycheck.

218) Recognizing the sound of a chickadee outside.

219) Listening to our new bird compilation with the kids.

220) Every last pipe cleaner used to make 20 toy caterpillars.

The Learning Room

March 1-18th, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment to really sit down and list what we’ve been studying. I’ve been trying to jot it – very rough hand – on a piece of recycled paper that generally floats somewhere around my computer. So I’m going to try and make heads and tails of it today and put it into a list. I want to get it down in a permanent place before officially starting our Audubon study. Sorry if this is long-winded.

History

We have been wrapping up the Colonial & Revolutionary War period. I keep thinking we’re done and then I find another great book to read on the topic. I just recently got a paid membership (because I live outside city limits) to the Omaha Public Library and am so excited to be able to resource their books now as well as the Bellevue Library’s.  We also worked a bit of seasonal history in with the study of St. Patrick.

  • Read Katie’s Trunk by Ann Turner (a wonderful story from the oppositte viewpoint of a “Tory” – a heart tugger and written in beautiful literary style)
  • Lily did a narration of Katie’s Trunk and drew a picture to go with her narration.
  • Read Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz (delightfully funny and kept the kids interest despite the longness of the book – wonderfully written.)
  • Gabe read What’s the Big Idea, Benjamin Franklin? independently (also by Jean Fritz) and did a narration.
  • Gabe copied the Preamble to the Constitution in cursive for penmanship and filed it under the proper time in his Book of Centuries. Lily did the same, but only copied the title and date and did it in manuscript.
  • Both copied the title and date of the Declaration of Independence and filed it in their Book of Centuries.
  • Worked some more on colonial paper dolls but they kind of petered out on this.
  • Read, as a family, Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie de Paola and discussed the reason we celebrate St. Patrick’s.
  • Reviewed through their Book of the Centuries notebooks.

Literature

  • Read The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick and discussed the literary style of a legend versus fictional and nonfictional work.
  • Started reading I Samuel from the Old Testament with Dad this week. He wants to take the kids personally through a Bible Study of I & II Samuel and I & II Kings so they can hear the many wonderful stories that most kids don’t hear in church to broaden their view. The kids are enjoying this because daddy makes storytelling come alive and seem adventurous that just doesn’t work when I read.
  • Dug out all the Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit series for the spring/Easter season and the kids have been requesting them regularly. I’ve only collected them when I can at thrift stores because I want the tiny handheld size that the kids cherish. I could easily get a big anthology book of them at any discount bookstore but there is just something about them being pint-sized that the kids adore. Also listening to the collection on audio.
  • Started Funny Frank by Dick-King Smith.
  • Read Winnie the Pooh’s Easter by Bruce Talkington
  • Read many, many poems from My Poetry Book about spring, mud, birds…a little of everything.
  • Gabe and Lily have been doing lots of reading on their own. Gabe is currently on a Roal Dahl kick and picked up BFG and James and the Giant Peach for this week as well as finishing a “Choose Your Own Adventure” that dad has introduced him to as well as rereading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Lily is practicing hard in any spare moment on whatever book interests her. I see her reading improving everyday and she is wanting to be more grown up and read chapter books like Gabe. Her top pick for the week: A Pickle for a Nickel by Lilian Moore (a chapter book she borrowed from a friend.)
  • Gabe has been reading Where the Sidewalk Ends and memorizing his favorite poems.

Grammar & Writing & Phonics

  • Gabe and Lily both did copywork to improve penmanship (see History above). Lily also finished her Kumon: Uppercase Letters book and worked some in her Kumon: Lowercase Letters book. Gabe is doing extremely well with his cursive. Although, he has naturally good penmanship.
  • Lily also used the Kumon letter cards and practice paper to particularly work on the capital ‘N’ (as she is still doing it backwards) and the lowercase ‘g’ (getting the tail below the line).
  • Gabe worked in his Language Lessons book with sentence combining and how to break up run-on sentences.
  • Lily worked in her Language Lessons book with more phonics work, copywork, reading practice, sentence practice, and poetry with picture narrations.
  • Luc worked on phonics intensively. He sat down and practiced Hop on Pop with me and we also played a phonics game together. He worked with the Kumon letter cards and short word vowel cards almost daily. Him and Delilah both watched Talking Words Factory several times and are enamored of the sticky-icky-rama vowel machine.
  • Gabe was asked to do a short essay by dad on 6 things that he will not be mastered by.
  • Gabe dictated to me a first draft narration for his independent history reading and we will be using next week as a chance to practice editing, using editing marks, when to use pronouns, and when to break up paragraphs.
  • Both Lily and Gabe started Commonplace books this week. They are notebooks that the kids can write special book/poetry/music/inspirational passages in, journal in, take notes on nonfiction books in, draw pictures in, etc. It is a pretty open-ended project. We will be doing it officially on Friday afternoons but they spent most of the night with them and then took them to bed to sleep with. What I am hoping to accomplish with this is twofold: 1) to encourage writing, penmanship, grammar usage, spelling practice and promote higher level thinking skills of reading comprehension at pulling and assimilating information from books (a study skill that will benefit them in all walks of life) and 2) to do purposeful work – that is, have a place where they can record or write about things that are not required of them but that they think is important or worthy enough to be recorded on paper. Gabe has already made a science diagram summary after reading a new science book and Lily has recorded two poems and drawn several pictures.
  • Lily has been writing her own poetry and drawing pictures to go with them.
  • Lily and I used a new system to help practice her reading. Will write about soon. She used the system with much success with the book Red Fish, Blue Fish.
  • Lily read Word Bird’s Spring Words and decided to make her own word flash cards (spent 3 hours on this project of her own choosing!).

Math

  • Gabe did chapter 17 and started chapter 18 in his Math U See book (multiplication of 6’s and 7’s).
  • Gabe independently read (3 times at least that I saw – and it’s a chapter book!) Do You Wanna Bet: Your Chance to Find Out About Probability by Martha Weston. He greatly enjoyed this book as it expanded on his dad’s conversation of what statistics are.
  • Lily did her Math U See Primer book about solving unknown equations in addition problems and learning place value with tens and one hundreds. We used her new Montessori number tiles with the place value exercises and these helped out SO much! Loved them!
  • Lily practiced her Kumon Number Flashcards (numbers 1-30 with extra emphasis on 2, 7, 9) in order to master writing the numbers the proper way and to help with number recognition. Still having a bit of trouble turning around numbers like 12 and 21.
  • Lily finished her Kumon: My Book of Numbers 1-30 book and recieved her certificate. She worked really hard at this and did about 20 pages (4-6 hours worth) in two days time of her own accord. This just clicked for her and she wanted to really work on accomplishing the book. She wants to start the Kumon: Easy Telling Time book next so I think that was her motivation.
  • Luc read (with me) Can a Dinosaur Count & Other Math Mysteries by Valorie Fisher – a great living math book that we will come back to. Depending on child’s ability, this book can be used at multiple levels.
  • Luc has also read the How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? book almost daily and practicing counting on all the pages.
  • Gabe and Lily watched Cyberchase videos: Equations ~ A Battle of Equals and Patterns ~ The Poddleville Case

Latin

  • Gabe learned new words: navigo, memoria, fortuna
  • He also practiced his flashcards (with new words and dipthong sounds) every school day.

Science/Art/Music/Gardening – interchangeably life!

  • Gabe has been reading Rocks and Minerals and collecting rocks outside with a specific interest in the softness or hardness of rocks and whether they can write or not (all based on a question he had one day about his pencil).
  • Lily had me read certain portions of Pandas: A Portrait of the Animal World after getting a new stuffed panda with her own money at the zoo gift shop. We learned that there are only 9 pandas in all the zoos and only one of those is in the U.S.!
  • Luc has been collecting “fossils” outside – basically any rock he finds that is jagged, not smooth that looks bonish-sorta-colored.
  • We’ve not really ‘officially’ started our bird study, yet birds seem to be abounding everywhere. We’ve been listening to bird sounds for identification (through some birding CD’s we have and googling those we don’t have). We’ve been reading field guides galore on our favorites (more the kids doing this…especially Luc). The little ones have been playing with our Audubon stuffed birds (Did I say playing? I meant fighting!) from morning till bed time. We’ve taken walks and listened to see what birds we could identify (so far only a Mourning Dove, a Cardinal, and a Woodpecker). The balcony windows have been another flocking place for the kids, especially first thing in the morning, as they are shouting for me to come look and see what bird it is (mainly cardinals – the kids favorite right now – the stuffed bird most fought over). The kids are going crazy with drawing birds, especially Lily. And I haven’t even introduced the watercolor/colored pencil sketching we’re getting to with that. And we’ve been reading lots of bird poetry and listening to songs about birds which inspires more bird drawing. Even made a mixed bird CD (will tell about in the Audubon Study – Part II post)!
  • Read chapter 4: The Robin of Birds at Home by Marguerite Henry (one of the best living books on birds we’ve found. This has been their favorite so far…comes out and stays out all day along with the field guides) and Lily did a volunteer narration and picture of it.
  • Been starting work in the garden, uncovering mulched beds, looking for new perennial growth, planting seeds indoors (our broccoli is the first to sprout).
  • Been looking through DK’s Visual Dictionary on Skeletons (not just human, all kinds!) which is an amazing book and is hard to tear your eyes away from! Will have to own this one…is going on my Amazon wish list. Must see what the others in the series are like.
  • Gabe and Lily have officially taken the sketchbooks outside to start capturing spring.

The Project Room

Gabe and Lily are loving using their project room. They have been in there almost every second of the day making and crafting. The only time they emerge is to eat, play outside, or (for Gabe only) to get his computer time (Lily is more than happy to give her’s up for more craft time). Things they have made:

  • Day One: made goody bags for each other with cards and homemade toys specific to the others interest. Was very sweet really and I tried not to cringe at how much tape was used. That’s what the Dollar Store is for, right?
  • Using recyclable bin to refurbish into new uses.
  • Making caterpillars and “squirmels” out of pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and pom poms.
  • Making mosaic pictures out of the dried beans (suppose to be used for preschool math counters!).
  • Scrapbooking.
  • Reading.
  • Journaling in notebooks.
  • Drawing and coloring pictures.

Field Trips

  • The Henry Doorly Zoo (exhibits: the cat complex and the aquarium)
  • The Rose Theater to see There’s An Alligator Under My Bed (a play adaptation of several of Mercer Mayer’s books).

The cost of food today…

Received this link to my email through Food Declaration.org. Reading the comments reminds me a lot of our own household debates on eating healthy. Go check it out for yourself:

Why a Salad Costs More Than a Big Mac

Some comments I found particularly telling:

From mythago ~

…poverty and obesity are strongly correlated in the US.

If you don’t think so, try being extremely poor for a while (no, not “I don’t have enough to buy BioShock2 till next month” poor). When you have $10 for groceries, you pick your calories based on what’s going to fill you up for the least amount of money – you don’t blow that $10 on a box of organic frisee salad.

That’s especially true when the pinnacle of your local grocery choices is a crappy, out-of-date Safeway, and your most likely options are tiny, overpriced ‘convenience’ stores.

From mizmoose ~

To echo what others have said, Yeah, eating healthy is for people who have money.

I feel lucky when I can get frozen vegetables on sale cheap (& I try to stock up) but fresh fruits and vegetables have become more rare. Meat, when I can get it, is cheap cuts and/or big chunks on sale. Fish is unlikely; maybe shrimp once or twice a year if it’s frozen, on sale and I have a few dollars extra. Nuts are right outta the ball park, except for cheap peanut butter, which we all know is high fat & high sugar. Cheese is store brand. Milk is powdered, bought in bulk and used sparingly — can’t waste money on something that could go bad. Rice and pasta also bought in bulk, along with potatoes and onions.

On the one hand, having no money means I’m not eating in restaurants so I know what I’m eating. On the other hand, I ate far healthier when I could afford fresh vegetables, fish, low-fat cheeses and the like.

From WordTipping ~

Why is it that people view a Big Mac as a cheap meal? Eating a “Value Meal” twice a day is incredibly expensive and twice the cost of buying food that I actually have to prepare and cook…not boxed stuff.

So much for us trying to eat organic anytime soon! Every time we try, we break the bank. Not that we’re giving up the goal of sustainability, but it will really have to come back to doing all the back-breaking work ourselves in our own backyard! And, as we’ve experienced so far, is still not necessarily cheaper…but, OH the taste!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

How many of us grew up celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Most of us would answer yes in one way or another. How many of us grew up knowing who St. Patrick was, what he did, or why it is that we even have a St. Patrick’s Day? Probably not many of us. Of course, we all know it has something to do with the church…with “those Catholics” most are thinking. We know there is a shamrock involved and the color green. Some of us are brave and try the food fare of corned beef and cabbage. Most of us just know it from others around us who use it as a day to party and binge drink.

It wasn’t until I started homeschooling that I really dug into the history. Two of my favorite homeschool blogs: By Sun and Candlelight with Dawn and In The Heart of the Home with Elizabeth Foss are unabashedly (and rightfully so) Catholic. It was through the testimony and daily writings of both of these upstanding Christian women of faith that the scales fell from my eyes concerning all my biases of the Catholic faith that I ignorantly grew up with (along with much prayer and seeking after God). And it was through their wonderful book lists that I discovered my first real St. Patrick’s living history book: Patrick: The Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie de Paola.

And it was through this wonderful book that I learned about a faith that would not be shaken in this Irish shepherd-turn-missionary. Where I learned that a man who loved Christ so much felt compelled to share Him and His grace with everyone he met and found the perfect way to illustrate to the Irish people the mystery of the Trinity through the common shamrock. A beautiful illustration of Divine three in one as he pointed to each leaflet from a single clover leaf and said, “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit… separate yet one.” And, I’ll admit, I cried the first time I read it. Then I eagerly shared the story with my children (who forgot by the next year) and eagerly explained it again the next year (who forgot by this year) and continued the story this year (we’ll see if they remember next year) and will continue to retell every year so that the world’s ways will not become their ways. So that the idea and mystery of the Holy Trinity will continue to grow inside of them as God woos them into relationship with Him.

And as Lily (my deep thinker) is continuing to ask me about holidays and what they mean and continuing to want all the stories (the more fanciful the better) about every holiday legend and myth (she is my storyteller), I will continue to indulge her in the fun, made-up stories of all the seasons and use it as the perfect springboard for discussing what truth is versus a legend or a myth and what the path of righteousness is versus the world’s way of doing holidays. I’m glad they will grow up knowing the real Saint Patrick  – a man who loved God, a man who was sinful because he was human but was a saint because he was a child of God.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

A verse from the prayer on Saint Patrick’s breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

holy experience