Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life of Fred Worksheets UPDATED!

Today I added 4 more worksheets to the Life of Fred Worksheets.

Life of Fred Edgewood
Life of Fred Farming
Life of Fred Goldfish
Life of Fred Honey

My kids like them because they help keep them organized when doing their work in Life of Fred and they make their portfolios looks nice!

In reviewing the books, I thought they seemed like a perfect opportunity to do some notebooking in their portfolios of the concepts covered so I started creating some generic Life of Fred Notebooking Pages.  These pages go along with each of the first four elementary books and include a space to draw a picture (or copy Fred's drawings) and write out the work from Your Turn to Play.  I am sharing the sheets here on my blog.

If you would like more information on the Life of Fred Math Series check out my review from last year here!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Celebrating Life

I love the Catholic Channel on XM/Sirius radio and now that I have "discovered" it, we listen to it in the car almost all the time.  It is funny and interesting and entertaining.  Why shouldn't it be?  Should it be boring and serious and critical because it is about religion?  NO.  I do not believe so.  But  my kids have come to recognize Lino and Fr. Rob, Cardinal Dolan, Fr. Dave Dwyre and other's voices and I hope they also have come to appreciate their living spirituality and love for the Church.

Yesterday, on the Entertaining Truth show, Fr. Leo and Tom Leopold discussed how to makeover the pro-life movement and bring a new voice to the people who support and celebrate EVERY life.
So here are my thoughts based on yesterday's episode.

1. I would never bring my children to a pro-life march, mostly because as a young girl I went to one and was shocked and horrified by the images I was exposed to.  This is a terrible process, but one does not need to see it to know that it is wrong.  Thank you to the thousands of young and old who are out in the cold today and praying peacefully for the end to this monstrosity.

Instead I will tell my children the stories and help them to imagine the lives and possibilities within EVERY human being.  Take this beautiful 10 week old child.
Photo: 10 weeks!  Due August 18th!

What will he be?  What are her dreams?  Will she cure parkinson's disease?  Will he discover a new galaxy?  Will he play baseball with his friends?  Will she love a special doll?  Will he marry your daughter?  Is she the perfect spouse God has intended for your son?  The mother to your grandchildren?
Think of the potential hidden inside each child, inside each of us.  All of these possibilities are in EVERY child in EVERY woman's womb.

And what about this 9 week old child?  Is she going to be our country's first woman president someday?  Will he  be your grandchild's favorite teacher?  Maybe he just wants to kick a soccer ball.  Maybe she wants to learn to dance in a ballet.  Should we let them?  Do they deserve the chance?  The chance to succeed, the chance to fail, the chance to love, to learn?

One day 38 years ago, my mother made the choice to offer me a life and the chances I deserved.  It was not easy for her.  It was not convenient or simple, or lovely or fun.  It was hard.  Harder than I can ever imagine.  But she knew I deserved a chance to live, love, and lose.  She could have chosen a different path.  She could have not told her parents.  She could have quietly hidden away the pain, difficulty, suffering and inconvenience in a quick trip to a doctor.  But she did not.  She took the difficult path, that so many young women have traveled and so many more have forgone.  And because of her choice, I am here and free to love, to be my children's mother, to teach, to sing, to dance.

I planned to say something else today. (I know there is no #2). But here it is.  Part of my story of love.  I guess it inspires me to try to live even more fully for those who never have the chance to live at all.  Should you care to read more, I urge you to visit Bonnie at A Knotted Life and Ginny at Small Things.  They discuss it all so eloquently.  I had forgotten how much the song "Zion" meant to me.

Wishing you all blessings on this wintry day.  Stay warm my comrades in DC.  Thank you for marching for me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Presents for God

So, I am not a "craft mom".  I see cute craft kits in stores and think they look great, but once they get home they stay locked in the basement closet, never to see the light of day again.  In addition to the guilt I feel for wasting the money on the craft supplies, I also feel like I am missing the opportunity to teach and learn with my girls. 

Why? You might ask.  Because I don't like the mess, because the project may not be perfect, because it is another spot of clutter to clean up...  recently I realized these were not only not good reasons, but just excuses for limiting me from being the mom I could be... just because of my own fear of failure.
So yesterday, Magnolia and I read a delightful story from  Catholic Children's Treasure Box magazine about St. Therese of the Child Jesus about creating a reminder chain for giving presents every day to God.
There was a craft described at the end if the story that looked like one I could do.  I had the supplies or the close approximations and I could follow the directions, and all the parts were relatively contained in one box.  The girls could do the craft without too much help and best part, I had a babysitter coming who could certainly handle the craft and give them something constructive to do together while I was gone.

Well you know what they say about the best laid plans ... to my shock and dismay ;) they did not decide to do the craft.  They chose to play hide and seek instead... the gall.

So this morning the craft box and directions were still sitting on the kitchen table staring me down over my morning coffee.  (This might be a slight exaggeration.)  But after new revelations, I realized I could tackle this and move forward on my path of the mom I want to be.

I called Magnolia and Daisy in to start our task.  When I found a misplaced St Therese of the Little Flower medal in my purse, I knew we were on the right path.  So we tied a medal onto the middle of the string and threaded on 10 pink heart beads and finished the strand with a crucifix.  Magnolia used a crucifix with Lourdes water that we had gotten last year.  Daisy used one of the turquoise crosses that we had gotten when we lived in Arizona. 

At the end, we had two beautiful beaded chains for them to use to count their daily presents to God, two happy girls who did a craft, and one happy mom who had accomplished something new.

The icing on the cake was when Daisy said "we should start the beads down by the saint medallion everyday because they will help us do the gifts for God, then each time we move a bead up to the cross it helps Jesus as a gift to Him."


Are you a "craft mom?"  If so, how do you do it?  If not, have you found any tips to make crafting with kids easier??

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fun with Felt

Today, while Magnolia was at her weekly montessori time, I took Daisy and Rose for a little felt crafting workshop at a fabulous new shop in Madeira.  It is called the Craft Village Shop and the owner Young Sook is a delightful woman with loads of patience and enthusiasm for teaching felt crafting.

The shop is located on Miami, right next to the Catholic Shop and the Subway/Starbucks strip.

Since this was our first time felting, we did an introductory lesson by creating a flat felt picture.  Here are Daisy and Rose preparing the felt backgrounds for their picture.

After that, the girls were able to use the colored felts to tease images and designs into their picture.

Here were the finished projects to be hung on their walls at home.

We had so much fun, we plan to add this to our monthly calendar!

They are looking forward to making felt fairy babies next!

Be sure to check out this delightful shop if you are local.  www.craftvillageshop.com They have some fun classes coming up including craft ideas for St. Valentine's Day.  She has so many wonderful natural toys and crafts (think Waldorf) and fabulous birthday party ideas.  And go ahead and like their facebook page CraftVillageShop.