Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Brief Reflection on the School Shootings

I'll keep it brief because, to me, it is sadly simplistic.  Guns don't kill people.  People kill people.  Crazy kills people.  Crazy will find a way to kill people whether or not crazy has a gun.  Before crazy had guns, crazy had something else.  In fact, the most deadly school massacre in history was committed with a bomb.

Wow.  I had actually written six more paragraphs.  I've been writing for the last 30 minutes.  I got a Blogger error.  I wept (metaphorically).  I guess the universe is telling me to keep it shorter.  I'll just add back the part about Fr. Luke Suarez.  Please keep him in your prayers.  He needs them.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How Much Time Off Is Too Much?

One of my big "things" is that we school year-round, but this year we have ended up taking off the last six weeks, and it is definitely likely that we will not start up again until after the New Year.  I'm pretty sure, my friends, that that counts as the equivalent of a summer vacation.  The fact is, though, that I can't get it all done right now unless we take some time off.  The following things are breathing down my neck:

  1. Changing the playroom into Mary-Catherine's room
  2. Keeping up with my edHelper work, my work for my main client, Colby, and my weekly writing for BellaOnline
  3. Trying desperately to free my house from the junk stranglehold on it right now

I love doing school, but I just can't fit it in right now.  I can just hear all of the public school advocates shrieking "A-HA!" triumphantly.  Sigh.  As I've said before, though, I honestly believe learning takes place all the time.  Last night my kids watched a double-feature of Raging Planet and they learned a ton about lightning and volcanoes.  Actually, they were a little peeved because they already knew everything about volcanoes and they were disappointed not to get some new information.  Can I pull out the lesson planner and check off Science for yesterday? Oh...wait a minute:

    4.   Endeavoring once and for all to make lesson plans and stick to them. 

Double sigh. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Opus XIX

Grand organs are a tradition in cathedrals.  We are fortunate in Houston to have a gorgeous cathedral:

A cathedral this gorgeous deserves an organ just as amazing:

The Opus XIX is too technical for me to try to describe, but it is well-worth reading about.  Its FAQ sheet does it justice.  Thanks to a friend of mine, we were able to get up close and personal with this incredible instrument yesterday.  After First Friday Mass, we got a tour of the organ, after which Therese and Nicky got to play it.  Yes, they got to play an organ so special it has a nationally known name.  What an honor and a privilege!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't Look At My Kids Askance Because They're Not in School...

I'm not the only one to whom this has happened...over and over and over! We have been taking it kind of (okay, very) easy with school for the past couple of weeks.  My husband has been off of work.  My twins had their birthdays (and, in the tradition of their paternal grandmother, they didn't just celebrate once; they celebrated many times).  We are transforming our playroom into a bedroom for M-C.  There are lots of reasons.

To that end, we have been out and about in public A LOT during school hours.  At the mall.  At restaurants.  At the grocery store.  Sometimes I *know* people are looking at me funny (although, to be honest, doesn't it seem like there are so many kids out and about in public during the day lately that it feels like the homeschool revolution is in full swing? If the revolution has started, I'll bring the catapults - you know, the ones we've all made to demonstrate either physics, medieval warfare, or something!).

I digress.  My kids may not be doing formal school right now, but this was the scene in my living room last night around 8:00.

Circuits were being completed and sirens were being heard.  I guarantee they didn't think they were doing school.  So, I really don't worry if we are not in the schoolroom at 8:30 of a Wednesday morning.  My kids are learning.

Then there is that tiny matter of the fact that we school year-round, so while all those public school darlings are laying around the pool or the house, we're, um, well, reading great books, watching wonderful documentaries, playing on the iPad.  Gee, that doesn't sound a whole lot like school either.  I think I need to have a talk with my children's teacher.