Saturday, September 8, 2012

Starting the Year off Right...

Well, first, today is the day that we celebrate Mary's birthday.
Our beautiful Blessed Mother has a wonderful cathedral, built in her honor, in Baltimore.
We were very blest to attend the annual homeschooling Mass, and Brendan and Paul were honored to be asked to serve!
We had left the house earlier than we expected, and I thought that would work out well because we would be able to explore the Cathedral a bit and I would be able to take some pictures.
We got there about half an hour early and I started taking pictures of the side altars. I really like how they put information about each saint at each altar.
 There are about six altars, in honor of different saints.

  When we got to the Adoration Chapel, we all knelt to pray, and as we were getting ready to leave, another mom approached and asked if our boys could serve.
 They were surprised and very pleased!

They did a great job!

Brendan got to serve at the altar

 and Paul got to hold the crozier.

The Mass was so beautiful. The homily was so good!

Archbishop Lori gave us so much support and encouragement. He spoke of our place in our children's lives as the first and primary teachers. He spoke about our homes as schools and domestic churches. He spoke to the kids and told them that they also have a place in God's world to share the gospel with those that they come in contact with.
He said: “… your parents love you so much that they've chosen to educate you well and raise you in your faith."
We do indeed!

What a special time it was! We even found St. Brendan at the Irish saint altar. Brendan liked that a lot!
I had to post this because every time I look at it I burst out laughing...Love this guy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Philly Field Trip!

Today we ventured up to Philadelphia to visit the National Shrine of St John Neumann, and the Franklin Institute.
This being First Friday, we were Blest to have a tour, given by a wonderful Redemptorist priest, Rev. Matthew Allman. He gave such a heartfelt history of the order, from St Alphonsis to St John Neumann.
St John Neumann had such a heart for simple people, and there are many miracles attributed to him.
One of the really beautiful stories that Father Matt told was about a young boy who had been in a coma from a brain aneurism and had woken up asking for his friend "John", a boy of about his age that he said he had been playing with. His family didn't know of a John, that he had ever played with. After he recovered the family visited the shrine and saw a picture of the young John Neumann. The little boy looked at the picture and said "That's my friend, John!" The young boy, Julio, made a complete recovery.
St Alphonsis Liguori

St John Neumann

The Upper Church looking to the back....

Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Mosaic Of St. John Neumann

St John Neumann lies in the lower church.

We enjoyed our time at the shrine, where we visited the upper church, which is not much in use these days, and the lower church, where the Saint lies in rest.

After the Shrine we headed up to the Franklin Institute to let the boys do Science!

Ben and the Boys

Kevin Hoppel

A Shocking Experience

Good One!!

Getting to the heart of the matter...

A heart attack looking to happen


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Good Day!

Well, we all survived the first day of the new school year, and it was actually a very productive day!
The boys are all familiar with the routine, and so they grabbed their books and got right to it.
There is tougher Math, better literature, and some serious music study going on this year. Very exciting.
Brendan and Paul had their first piano lesson today with their new teacher, and I was so  impressed!
They both came home with binders of theory and music history. I love John's teacher too. He is just really taking to the piano, and it has become his "first love" as far as school goes. If I just let him play all day he would be a very happy guy.

I also found a couple of nice desks for Brendan and Paul's room. They will have a place to study and keep all their stuff! We have to drive about an hour to get them, but the price is right.

Tomorrow is going to be a nice quiet day. Nowhere to go but to Religious Ed. later in the evening.
I am so glad I have such cooperative young men for students!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Last Day of Summer 2012...

...and it's hard to say good-bye.
I am really excited about starting the new school year, but I will miss the warm days by the pool and the quiet mornings. I have a hard time adjusting to that.
I know we only have so much summer to enjoy, and there is a good reason for that.
We definitely have to start making real progress again, but I could use a few more weeks!

We are going to head up to the pool in awhile, to close it up for the season. A bit more swimming. Another picnic dinner. Gathering up our belongings. Cleaning out the pool bag.




We're all set! Tomorrow our 2012/2013 school year commences!
I am way more excited than a few other people around here....