Saturday, September 27, 2008

A cameo of homeschooling

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got up at 5am every morning and said our prayers and did our studies and everybody grew up to be happy, successful and well educated. 
And wouldn’t it be nice if we could guarantee that all members of our family would always share our vision for life, faith and learning 

Home schooling I have come to discover is not about guarantees or formulas that you “better get right”.------ we parent why? Because there are no guarantees----WRONG; the only guarantee is God. 
No matter how our children’s lives are acted out on earth they are written in infinitely large letters in God’s love. The only expectations we need to live up to are those set by our loving Father in heaven; all else pales in significance.

I thought I would share some home school cameos. Recently my four youngest and I spent an afternoon with home schooling friends by a river. A rope swing, a fallen log as a bridge, and green pre-summer vegetation completed the scene.This was a universal picture of childhood. While the players in the scene could have just as easily been school children, not being at school gives our children more opportunity to experience moments such as these. 
The older two and I discussed it on the way home. They thought the wide range of ages(7 to 19) means there is a place of acceptance for everyone to just be. Same age pressure is eliminated and with it unrealistic competition and "one-upmanship". As my friend put it 'our children are free to be dags ', I would add to 'just be themselves'. I watched as my younger children gradually became more confident, this day was a platform where everyone felt accepted. 

Move the camera back to a day fairly early on in our home schooling. The phone rings, it is dad to say Vivaldi’s “four seasons” is the free lunch-time concert at Elder Hall.
What do we do: literally drop everything we were doing and in almost the time it takes to say lets go, get a toddler, 7 year old ,9 year old ,11 year old , and 12+13 year olds in the van and meet dad outside the concert chamber. Ah sweet success as we all listened spell bound to that magical piece of music by that famous red-haired monk. Forever after we have ‘owned’ this piece of music as a family.

Did I mention that our second son bought me Nigel Kennedy’s rendition of it one Christmas? 

Move forward in time. An April evening, cool. A toddler with a bow tie and braces, three handsome young men in black trousers, two beautiful young women in velvet dresses (blue for our lady with roses in their hair).Picture a darkened church, candles burning and the magical scent of immense. 
Yes it is the Easter Vigil. Yes this is the night that forever after will be a night like no other a night of eternal blessing. On this night all our family joined Christ’s beloved Church and came home. 

Picture children (ours and our friends) in a large back yard (no not ours), sitting under a towering tree on tree stumps reading Shakespeare together. Hear delighted giggles as “the players” within a play act out. See small elbows nudge small arms to remind them of their time to read.  

“What is a family” by Edith Schaeffer says, “there are no beautiful mobiles, works of art in the form of families, which have never been in danger of being broken.
  Frustration, anger, impatience, the feeling of being misunderstood, the giving in to daydreams of perfection; these or other dissatisfaction invade every human relationship for at least minutes, if not hours or days…people throw away what they could have, by insisting on perfection which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will not find it”
Our families are a mix of symphony and cacophony,
laughter and tears, joy and pain, learning and ignorance but they rest in the hands of the master builder who is perfecting them through to eternity.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunday Solo concert

here are some pictures of three star performers at their annual solo concert. They all played well as did all others present. Special thanks to our wonderful accompanist who plays so sensitively with each student and is so positive in her gentle encouragement.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saint Joseph of Cupertino

A friend made this wonderful cake for us to celebrate this feast day with.We had it for dessert with this lasagne..mmmm yummy

Monday, September 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Mary !

What do you do when you have two boys with sore scratchy throats and prickly tempers? Throw a birthday party of course. Today is the feast of the birth of Mary. They boys coloured pictures of our lady on clear plastic to put on our schoolroom sliding door. Next they went on a flower search and helped me take photos of our spring garden and picked bunches to go on the altar and around the house. 
They designed a new spring nature table and finally they made
 these cupcakes. 
Of course with scratchy throats they couldn’t eat more than half of one but the message that we celebrate even/especially when we don’t
feel like it(prickly tempers) was worth the expense of the ingredients(they freeze well anyway! And older siblings were generously able to sample more!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

More on Mother Teresa

To celebrate the life of Mother Teresa, Hannah cooked this wonderful meal. The recipies came from this blog ( thanks Barbara) and Hannah decorated our altar and presented the table in her own special way. Duncan is back with the Capuchins in Melbourne. He starts his ministry work this week. No surprise to find him working with the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

The Marian devotion of Mother Teresa

“The following quotation is taken from a general letter Mother Teresa wrote on the day of her death:
‘Stand near Our Lady to listen to the thirst of Jesus and to answer with your whole heart.’”

“The Missionaries of Charity’s mission is to ‘quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls’ by ‘laboring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.’”

In her writings, Bl. Teresa of Calcutta shows her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Like Mary, let us never be ashamed to do humble work. Like her, let us always accept the cross in whatever way it comes.”

In each of her convent chapels, Mother Teresa wrote the words “I thirst” next to the crucifix. In passing the crucifix, I will remember the devotion of St. Teresa of Calcutta to slake the thirst of Christ for souls and I will pray to stand near Mary at the foot of the cross and to pray for the conversion of souls.

Mother Teresa sums up the meaning of the Marian vow in these words,
"Mary, my dearest Mother, give me your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of Love and Humility, that I may receive Jesus as You did -- and go in haste to give Him to others"
Thank you Charlotte for your beautiful colouring pictures.