Friday, August 28, 2009

St Augustine

“Late, late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

St Augustine

Monday, August 24, 2009

Building Community

I found this somewhere on the internet and thought it was too good not to spread it around!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunrise,just a few!

I've always enjoyed watching the sunset. Dh knows this which is why he took photos of some spectacular sunrises when he was working at Woomera recently! Not sure how early he had to get up to see these though, probably too early for me!

Because its Sunday

The Magnificent Treasures of the Holy Mass Transubstantiation. This is the belief from the beginning of Christianity that when you take and eat this bread you are actually consuming God himself. A great gift. When this was taught to Jesus' followers many rebelled and left as shown in the accompanying passage from the Bible. Interestingly when Martin Luther helped bring about the Protestant Reformation (although he isn't entirely responsible), he still believed in Transubstantiation. That was about 1517 about 490 years ago.So for more than 1,500 years this belief persisted and still today resides in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Magnificent Treasures of the Holy Mass

From John Chapter 6
6:54. Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
6:55. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
6:56. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
6:57. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.
6:58. As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
6:59. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever.
6:60. These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
6:61. Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard; and who can hear it?
6:62. But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?
6:63. If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
6:64. It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Lady of Knock

"And the Lamb will conquer,
And the woman clothed with the sun,
Will shine her light on everyone,
Yes, the Lamb will conquer,
And the woman clothed with the sun,
Will shine her light on everyone.

Golden rose,
Queen of Ireland
All my cares and trouble cease
As I kneel with love before thee,
Lady of Knock,
My Queen of Peace!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just for fun

How do you cream butter and sugar...with a potato masher of course!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saint Hyacinth

We read about this saint earlier this week. Here is a picture taken from the book we read. On our altar we placed flowers we had made. What kind of flowers are they...well here's a hint: the name of the saint; yes they're hyacinths of course!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Some days , like the photo above, can't be explained, or described clearly, you just had to be there to know that yesterday afternoon was one of those magic moments of childhood that had to be lived to be believed.Or like the photo below, do these children demonstrate the best of homeschooling socialization or do they not!!

Signs and wonders!

We had a "grand time" at the tram and trolley bus museum yesterday!The weather was superb for a homeschool excursion. And thanks to our two hosts we came away with a large amount of information, concerning this part of Adelaide's history. I couldn't help getting some shots of the rather interesting notices in the trams...and may yet find a use for some of them at home!!

Before setting out on a tram trip one needs to ascertain whether it is carrying passengers!

As we discovered sometimes tram journeys could be rather windy! But the seats were certainly interesting!

We learned a lot and put we learned into practice in a real tram trip!

And this is what we saw on our journey...fields of OXALIS!

Tram employees must:.... And what do you think of this trolley bus, care for a ride?!

Lastly here are some photos of pictures and signs historical plus a very happy young man of learning!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Artist of the Month: Helen Bradley

We are reading her wonderful book"In the Beginning said Great Aunt Jane". It is a fabulous commentary of Edwardian is also very funny! We have learnt a little about English weather, it rains a lot in ...especially when God leaves Lees, near Oldham, Lancashire(where he lives in a shed on the moor) and goes to Manchester and forgets to turn the tap off! Throughout the book we are transported back to a different time, a slower pace of life, when afternoon walks were the norm. A time when extended family lived close by. And again all this panorma is told through the eyes of the children. It is their perspective of an adult world, and here lies the humor.

"In the beginning," said Great Aunt Jane,"God was young and lived in foreign parts called 'the Void'. The Void was very dark, just like blue velvet. God lived in a shed but he wasn't happy because it was always dark.....So he made a mixture in an old barrel, rolled it into balls and lit them with his matches. They gave out a beautiful white light....'I'll call you stars'.But still they didn't give him day. So he made a big star wit a bright yellow face which he polished with Brasso until it shone .Then he threw it from the highest point in the Void.. It disappeared but soon it peeped over the rim and its light and warmth delighted him .'You are great and shall be called Sun.'He laughed and was well pleased.
'That is enough now,'said Great Aunt Jane,'it is time for you to go home.'"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Assumption

'The Rose is a mystery' - where is it found?
Is it anything true? Does it grow on the ground?
It was made of the earth's mould, but it went from men's eyes,
And its place is a secret, and shut in the skies.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Find me a place by
thee, Mother of mine.

But where was it formerly? Which is the spot

That was blest in it once, though now it is not?
It is Galilee's growth; it grew at God's will
and broke into bloom upon Nazareth Hill.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall look on thy loveliness, Mother of mine.

What was its season, then? How long ago?
When was the summer that saw the Bud blow?
Two thousands of years are near upon past
Since its birth, and its bloom, and its breathing its last.
I shall keep time with thee, Mother of mine.

Tell me the name now, tell me its name:
The heart guesses easily, is it the same?
Mary, the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the Mystery, she is that Rose.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall come home to thee, Mother of mine.

Is Mary that Rose then? Mary, the tree?
But the Blossom, the Blossom there, who can it be?
Who can her Rose be? It could be but One:
Christ Jesus, our Lord - her God and her Son.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me thy son, Mother, Mother of mine.

What was the color of that Blossom bright?
White to begin with, immaculate white.
But what a wild flush on the flakes of it stood,
When the Rose ran in crimsoning down the Cross wood.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall worship the Wounds with thee, Mother of mine.

How many leaves had it? Five they were then,
Five like the senses, and members of men;

Five is the number by nature, but now

They multiply, multiply, who can tell how.
In the Gardens of god, in the daylight divine

Make me a leaf in thee, Mother of mine.

Does it smell sweet, too, in that holy place?
Sweet unto God, and the sweetness is grace;
The breath of it bathes the great heaven above,
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory divine

Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Friday, August 14, 2009

St Maximillian Kolbe

"Although not everyone loves the truth, only the truth can be the basis of enduring happiness. There is no one to be found in the world that does not search for happiness; indeed, in all of our actions happiness presents itself to us, in one form or another, as the end toward which we naturally tend. However, a happiness which is not built on the foundation of truth cannot endure, because everything else is a lie. The truth can be and is the only the unshakable foundation of happiness, for individuals and of all humanity."
Saint Maximilian Kolbe

In 1938, the Nazis invaded the Polish City of the Immaculate. They stopped the wonderful work going on there. In 1941, the Nazis arrested Father Kolbe. They sentenced him to hard manual labor at Auschwitz.

Three months after he arrived at Auschwitz a prisoner managed to escape. The Nazis became very angry and decided to punish the rest of the prisoners.

They decided to choose ten prisoners and put them in a bunker without food or water so that they would starve to death. All the prisoners stood straight, while ten men were pulled out of line.

One prisoner they chose was a married man with a family. He begged and pleaded to be spared for the sake of his children. Father Kolbe, who was listening, felt deeply moved and decided to help that suffering prisoner. He stepped forward and asked the commander if he could take the man's place. The commander agreed.

Father Kolbe and the other prisoners were sent into the bunker and they remained alive without food or water for many days. One by one, as they died, Father Kolbe helped and comforted them. He was the last to die on August 14, 1941.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Place of Lions

"The pride had hunted that morning. Prey was plentiful now. The wildebeest were migrating and long skeins of them filled the skylines, a million gargoyle shapes on a strange pilgrimage to nowhere."
"Somewhere below the cubs were playing. He could hear their mock hunting snarls and the soft growls of encouragement from the lionesses. They were learning to hunt for themselves. Already the lionesses had taught them enough to survive. They were almost fully grown and deep inside of him the old lion's instincts were giving him unease."
"For the briefest moment their eyes met. As the split-second click of a camera shutter captures and freezes a nick of time, so a picture flashed from eye to eye. Momentarily, two vastly different creatures, each storm-driven, harried in his separate circumstances, touched minds as they read the eyes of the other."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Celtic Studies

Our Celtic axes are moving closer to completion. The boys have added several shades of colour to them. What you can't tell from the photos is the effective wood grain they added to the handles. The next decision to make concerns realism(?!)Older brother favoured blood splattering on the blade, very easy and lots of fun to spray the paint about.Another option is to paint some Celtic knots or other Celtic art on the blade or handle.The difficulty is deciding how realistic one wants to get.As Aunty Mary is discovering in her whirlwind study of British history with her class this term, these were barbaric times...but the question real do we want to get!! The torcs were much easier to design.stay posted for the final outfits...the broaches and cloaks are still on the drawing boards.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our focus board for August

I know this is a bit late as we're 1/3 almost of the way through the month but I thought I'd post anyway. We have a large bulletin board above our dining table. As its a place we use every day(!)I thought it would be a good place to emphasize some of our learning that takes place. It usually contains something from all he areas of study that we are currently focusing on. So for English we'll put up our current greek or latin roots for that week. For literature and the seasons there may be some poems.There will usually be an aspect of our geography study plus something on history too.If the boys are interested in something in particular fro nature or science that will go up too.Lastly we add something about the saints we are reading about this month. because each month has a faith focus above the main illustrations will be the dedication for the month.
This month is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. However I wanted to emphasize to the boys that Mary only ever points us to her son and the mercy and redemption that is found in His most sacred heart.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Schoolroom activity

Although dh has made a long desk that runs the entire length of our schoolroom we much prefer to work like this. Here we can spread out our reference books, in this case Atlases and African resources. We can tip out all the textas to find just the right colour.And we can work here,sharing ideas, trying out our thoughts and learning together.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

the Place of Lions

Continuing with more "too good to miss" quotes from our current readaloud.
Mount Kilimanjaro:
"The mountain seemed to take up the whole north-east horizon.
At the nearer end the foothills rose out of the plain, gently first, then in great thrusting folds higher and higher until suddenly, out of the folds erupted the huge sculpted dome of snow and ice. Rearing massive and blinding in the morning sun, brilliant against the pale blue sky, the eternal snows of Kilimanjaro glinted and winked fire. A long long saddle high and barren drew the eyes eastwards until they rested on a harsh outbreak of vicious tooth like peaks of brown rock, snow-speckled. A frightening place of towering pinnacles, sharp points and precipices, vertiginous,aweinspiring,dangerous.'

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Africa study

We've been doing a little sewing as part of our African studies. The boys really enjoyed this. They had to "think out of the box" in parts too as we just used shapes from coloring books which they then had to transfer/make patterns from.Finally they couldn't always rely on the stitch mum had taught them to sew their animals. But they now know how to do buttonhole stitch and running stitch. plus how to thread their needle and finish off. So hopefully when they reach adulthood they will not be helpless males unable to look after themselves. ie they will be able to sew on a button, mend a small tear etc.And as a fun craft they are keen to make more animals. Master 8 suggested a zebra but Master 12 is very keen to sew a bongo.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Place of Lions Pt 2

more quotes:
Mount Meru.
Rising to over four thousand five hundred metres, symmetrical and quiet against the vast African sky, it is one of the world's most beautiful mountains.It's lower slopes are covered in dense rain-forest of immense age, a cool fairy land of ancient trees decked out in swathe upon swathe of hanging green mosses.

Here, in this lovely, manless place, baboons and Colobus monkeys pass the day's news back and forth

in harsh, chattering screams; azure and gold lizards dart up and down the damp trees, quick brilliant jewels in the forest gloom; chameleons hunt with their strange rhythmical dance, rocking from leg to leg until moths and insects are mesmerized, then, in an eye-blink,flicking out a whip-like tongue of astonishing length to haul in another luckless meal.

Here two great crashings and splinterings warn of the presence of the world's most destructive beasts,elephants,as they smash their way through the forest ripping whole trees apart i their constant battle to keep their great bulks nourished.

And looking down , over all from unimaginable heights, circle the great birds of Africa, the eagles and buzzards, the harriers and bright bataleurs.

This then is a magical place. Yet it is a neglected an ignored place. A place unknown to most of the world. And the reason it is so lies to the east. Overshadowing Mount Meru and all of Africa is a mountain everyone knows. A colossus so high, so vast, so unlikely that wise men in Europe laughed in disbelief at its discovery. Kilimanjaro, the wise men said could not exist. Snow in the tropics was impossible. These foolish missionaries in Africa were seeing cloud, mistaking it for snow and should get new glasses...."

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

African Readaloud

The boys and I have discovered a "new" readaloud for our African studies.
This one belonged to Duncan(do you remember the story Duncan?)and we only found it when we were trying to make order in some of the bookshelves....How do others cope with the great numbers of books homeschoolers collect?
We like to try to put all those titles of a theme together, then we try to find all the books by a particular author and put them together. Thus Historical fiction is in the hallway near the front door and all historical fiction by Barbara Willard, for instance, is put on the same shelf.
The difficulty arises when you have less shelf space for a theme than you do books...but I digress, back to the find!

We still have 7 more chapters to read but so far we are very happy with our choice. I am reading it to an 8yo+12yo(boys). Be warned though it is not a book for the squeamish: there is a plane crash and all that involves plus they are amongst wild beasts, some of whom(poachers) happen to be human!!But the language is rich in descriptive prose, we have been able to follow the journey of the characters with atlas and google maps and it is a very exciting story!

And without further ado here are some quotes:

"The map helped. It sped the days. Every day he would unfold it carefully and look at it, scanning its greens and browns and blues, savoring its names.
And such names!Names that sang of strangeness and smelled of Africa. Serengeti, Loliondo, Kilimanjaro, Massai Steppe. Names filled with sun and space, and warm winds carrying the tang of loping giraffe."

"A parting. A parting not just of two people who had grown to like each other. More than that. Much more.A parting of generations, which they both recognized. The eternal parting of the young from the old. The old regretting the times gone and the opportunities missed; the young fearful, but eager for the future. The old heart sinking to see the hopes of of his youth made flesh in another; the young heart burning to fly away. When the old look at the young they see time made flesh and bone....Chris smiled. Then he stepped out on the road to Africa."