Here’s a sneak peak into our Catholic Charlotte Mason Year 2 – Term 2. We just finished up this term and are began term 3 this past week.
Here’s a recap of Year 2 – Term 2 in our home. You can view our Year 2 – Term 1 here.
Comparison can get the best of us.
While I was growing up, I constantly compared myself to others, it seemed there was always someone better, prettier, more accomplished than me… the list could go on and on.
As I got older, I still have to fight with the voices inside my head telling me I’m not good enough, pretty enough, strong enough…
It doesn’t stop, and in reality, it probably never will, but that doesn’t mean I have to let it take over my head and heart.
We homeschooled over the summer so we are almost finished with our Charlotte Mason Year 2 Term 1, but I thought I would share with you what we have used for this term. We use Ambleside Online with a Catholic twist. I have added and subtracted a few things to make them more fitting to our faith and have really loved the way it has been working for our family. Here’s a peek into our curriculum.
As you probably know, we homeschool year round. So planning and organizing our homeschool for the year, begins around Christmas. This allows me to plan the entire next year and be ready to begin it when we finish the previous year.
Basically, over the Christmas holiday when my hubby is home a bit more and there are more down days, I take a few days to focus on the next year’s schedule. This year we were in the middle of Year One of Ambleside Online and so I was scheduling out my Year Two of Ambleside Online over the break.
It’s been a year since I began to write about my journey in the NICU. It sure doesn’t seem like a year ago that we were sitting at Sugar Plum’s incubator, praying and watching her through the ups and downs.
We’ve come a long way since those long, hard days and nights in the NICU. To this day, I feel like I am still growing stronger in my faith because of our struggles we endured those few months.
One major thing that still stands out today is “Let go. Let God.”
Our time in the NICU made me learn to, “Let go. Let God.” and even today I am still following this train of thought. There are so many things in life that we need to let go and let God take control. So many moments when we feel things are spiraling and while we try with all our might to keep control, it’s those moments we need to let go most of all. Those are the hardest moments, though.
I’m not saying drop everything and give up. I’m saying pray and ask for help in your journey. Instead of making decisions on your own, ask God to guide you and then listen to his guidance.
It’s difficult to put a task into another persons hands, but we are not putting them in someone else’s hands we are putting them in the one and only, God’s hands. He knows what’s best for us and will help us through.
So next time you feel like you can’t do it alone, pray, listen and have faith. It’s hard but He knows what you need. Let go. Let God.
In the craziness of motherhood, it seems there is hardly any time to breathe.
Sometimes, I feel completely overwhelmed. When my to-do list keeps growing and the normal day-to-day activities continue to pile up, I may not see an end in sight.
But there is an end, there is always a way to make a change and take a breath. You may have to look hard to find it, but when you do it can be the reviving you need in that stressful day.
One way that I make sure I have a second to breathe during my day is by setting an alarm. Actually five alarms. I have set my phone alarm for 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm. When my phone alarm goes off, I take a deep breath and say a prayer.
It has been the restart so many days when I have been struggling. It gives me a second to calm down in a moment of struggle. And as always, it seems God finds me in those crazy moments. Then my alarm will go off and remind me to pray and breathe. With that quick step back, I can see past the cloud in front of me.
Someone asked me if after a while I will get used to the alarm and just turn it off without taking that second to breathe and pray. For me, this hasn’t happened. I have been using the alarm system for over six months and so far every time the alarm goes off, even if I am busy with something else, I find myself saying a prayer and taking a deep breath.
The beauty of breathing and praying is you can always do them. Even when your hands are full doing ten things at once. A prayer and breath take nothing, but your mind, to accomplish and they can be the centering point for the next few hours.
One thing I have noticed, I find myself taking a deep breath and praying at many other times throughout the day, unprompted by my alarm. It has become a habit to do this when I am stressing out or having a hard moment. I love that this has become a part of my day, the reminder that He has it under control and there is nothing to worry about!
I was born and raised Catholic, and while I have had my ups and downs with my faith, I have always come back to the Catholic Church. There are many reasons, but the main one is that I love the mass itself and the traditions of my Catholic faith. My faith has grown over the years and the older I get, the more I want to find new ways to experience and celebrate my faith. In addition to my own faith, as a homeschooling mom, I am in charge of teaching my children religion.
Even I am learning new things daily about our Catholic faith, which is why I am so excited to tell you about the latest book I read, The Catholic Catalogue by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating. The mother – daughter team has been running their blog – www.thecatholiccatalogue.com for many years and their advice and ideas have been helping their followers find their Catholic faith in their daily lives. The book is a compilation of their ideas and a field guide to making the most of our Catholic lives.
This book was exactly what I needed to find new ways to celebrate our faith for both myself and my kids. The Catholic Catalogue, helps to guide you in your journey with ideas and explanations for things you can do and see in your daily life that will bring you to a better understanding of your faith. I enjoyed reading about the seasons of the church and ways to celebrate them, blessings for our home, new ways of praying and so much more. The book is a very practical guide to living our faith in our daily lives, and gaining a better understanding of Catholicism.
The great thing about The Catholic Catalogue is that it is an easy to reference book. It is broken down into three parts and those parts are in sections with subcategories for each section as well. The only thing I wish it had was an index, I think that would make it even easier to navigate. But regardless of that missing piece, I found the book to be a great read. It had many great ideas and is something I am sure I will be referencing many times.
If you are looking for ways to get more out of your faith, The Catholic Catalogue is definitely a book that should be on your shelf.
Yesterday, our sweet daughter, Sunshine, made her First Communion.
She has been counting down the days and she could not have been more excited.
It was a beautiful ceremony with our parish priest and seven other children and their families.
Our priest is especially good at making these special ceremonies very personal and memorable. It was no different yesterday.
It was a wonderful, personal ceremony, one that we will never forget.
We are so proud of our little angel in taking the next step in faith! Congrats Sunshine!
The masses of Holy Week are always a joy for us, although they can be a bit difficult with the young children in tow.
This year we will have three little kiddos (7, 5, and almost 1) with us for the Holy Week masses. With the masses lasting longer and happening in the evening (right around bedtime, of course), keeping kids happy and quiet for the whole mass is difficult. Here are some of the things we plan to do to make Holy Week masses with our young children a bit easier.
This can be as simple as reading the readings for the evening. You can even make this fun for the kids by printing out coloring sheets and letting them complete them on the way, while you wait for mass to begin or another time that day. Catholic Icing and Catholic Mom have some great printables and resources to choose from. We’ve used both resources many times and have already printed out a few things for this week.
We only let the littlest one have toys and snacks at mass. The other two are old enough to pay attention to the mass and participate. In Sugar Plum’s mass bag we have snacks (cheerios at the moment), water, a few bible/devotion board books, caterpillar hand manipulative and a teether toy. She only gets these toys at mass, that way they are exciting to her each week. Another thing we always try to do is keep her entertained as much before mass without the items from her bag, that way she is not bored with them by the middle of mass. This tends to work well, but each week it’s a little different.
All of the Holy Week masses are at Sugar Plum’s bedtime. This makes it really difficult to keep her happy. My plan is to get there a little bit early, wrap her in the carrier and bounce her to sleep before mass, that way she will be sleeping through mass… hopefully. If she does not, I’ve got my mass bag full of goodies (see #2).
This has been such a blessing for us, the kids pay much better attention when they are in the front row. They can see everything that is happening, the priest can see them and there are less distractions.
Things will never seem to go as planned, but planning ahead can make it a bit easier in the moment. If your kiddo has a meltdown, know you are not the first person this has happened to, you will not be the last and you will probably not be the only one that night. Take a deep breath and know that luckily most of the people in the church understand what you are going through too. The important thing is that you have made the effort to attend and as our priest often mentions, the cries are just their way of praising! It’s all about perspective.
What are your tips for heading to mass with your young children?
My morning routine has been undergoing a few adjustments lately. Sugar Plum has been sleeping through the night (Woohoo!) and getting up around the time I normally start my morning – 6am. It’s been great getting extra sleep and she tends to go back to sleep most days after nursing, however, there have been many days where she decides to stay up. This has been a great way to spend some one-on-one time with her before the big kids wake up, but it has cut into my morning reflection and prayer time, something I need to make it through the day. As a homeschooling mom, those few hours are an important time for me to reflect and prepare my heart for the day.
That being said, majority of the days, I have gotten a chance to get in at least a little bit of reflection time before everyone in the house is up, and the crazy day begins.
This morning, was one of those mornings. I nursed Sugar Plum, gathered my morning supplies (books, computer, etc.) and poured a cup of coffee. As I sat down in the silence of the room, all I could hear was the chirping of a bird outside the window. It was a beautiful sign that reminded me that spring is around the corner.
As I listened, I started to think about my life. How the spring of my life is beginning as well. Sugar Plum is hitting another milestone; sleeping through the night. This is a big change in our lives, it is also time to reflect on the days and how everything will change because of that milestone.
Spring brings so many beautiful things if we open our eyes. Just as this spring in our home is beautiful, as long as we see the beauty of the moments and make the changes we need to adjust to the new chapter. But, it’s sometimes hard finding beauty in the changing seasons of motherhood. When it seems like you just got into a good routine and things were going smooth, it all changes in a flash.
That’s my goal this week, as I listen to the birds out my window, I will be reflecting on how my days have been and what can be done to make them even more beautiful. From my heart – listening and letting God guide me in the direction He has chosen for me to live this part of my beautiful, wonderful, crazy life.