Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Backpack Service Project

At the end of each August we always make time to help out with the St. Vincent de Paul Backpack Project.

The parishioners of St. Matthew have donated school supplies for over a month now, and St. Vincent de Paul had taken names of over 80 kids who are in need of full backpacks.  It's so much fun every year to be the worker bees for this worthy cause.  This year we only stayed to fill the packs; in years past we also distributed them to the clients.

Good job, kids!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Field Trip to Pittock Mansion

A typical Portland sight-seeing location is Pittock Mansion, but despite living here for 18 years (and hosting numerous visitors), I had never been there!

Since I am a big fan of "intentional living," I purposefully planned a date in August to make a fun field trip for all of us.

Pittock Mansion is on a large parcel of view property above Portland.  It was built by Oregonian (newspaper) owner Henry Pittock and his wife Georgiana.  I thought it was interesting how they each individually came across the country by wagon trains, and how Henry started as a lowling at the Oregonian and worked up to be owner in only a short time.  He later was a successful businessman in the booming late 1800's.

Sedric stayed with grammae and papa after Sunday Mass, since this field trip was not exactly geared to an active 4-year-old boy.  ;o)

beautiful view

After our visit to the Mansion, I did another Portland first...I ate at a real food cart!  I seriously cannot believe I have never done this, since not only is Portland famous for food carts, but I am famous for eating.  ;o)  We choose a pod on Alder, and while Marcus was getting the kids their food at a Grilled Cheese cart, I chose "Steak your Claim" for their outrageous fries and house-cured pastrami.  Bunny chose a neighboring Mac & Cheese cart.

(if you look real closely, you can see all the
homeless people in the background...another
famous Portland experience)  ;oP

 As if all THIS wasn't fun enough, we ended our trip with a visit to Finnegan's toy store:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Catholic Women Rejoice!

This past Saturday, Bunny and and I went to the Catholic Women Rejoice! conference. 

This is the first year that Bunny was able to go!  (I think last year the age range was 18 and up, but this year it was 14 and up...she's just a few weeks away from 14 years old, so I let her go.  Do I need to go to confession for this?)  ;o)

The conference was held at St. Anthony in Tigard, which is only 20 minutes away.  A lot better than Vancouver, which is where the conference was held the last few years!

We sat at the Hillsboro table with Auntie Meghan, Lisa F.,
Fanny, Katie R., Stacy W., Monica W., Katie B., etc.
I didn't know Mary Lenaburg before the conference.  OMG
what a hoot she is!!!  She also was the only speaker who made
me go into my "ugly cry." 
We changed rooms and listed to Rebecca Frech.
Bunny said that she reminded her of me...only
in shape.  Thanks, Bun.
 The other two speakers (no photos of them, oops) were Hallie Lord, author, and Jenna Guizar, the founder of Blessed is She.  They were great, too!

It was a fantastic, inspiring, challenging day...and the best part was sharing it with Bunny.  <3

Friday, August 19, 2016

School curriculum haul

A lot of homeschool vlogs and blogs post their "Curriculum Hauls" so I thought I would be cool and post one as well.  :o)

Luckily most of our books are reusable year after year, but I now have to buy all new books for Bunny (before I had a good stock of used books from my friends) and some consumables for the younger grades.

This year I ordered from Amazon,, Rainbow Resource, and Mother of Divine Grace.

Bunny is learning medieval history this year,
and while some of her books are very challenging,
there are also some "picture" books to aid in learning
as well.  The map skills was supposed to be for
Mariposa, but when I opened it, I recognized it as
the workbook she did LAST year...oops!
I couldn't find my math tests for James (Saxon87)
so I had to buy a new copy.  :o(
ABeka math for the younger grades is consumable.
Gemma is working on Grade 2.
Wordly Wise is an EXCELLENT program--Bunny's
vocab has excelled because of this simple workbook.
The Henle Latin is daunting but supposed to be
top-notch.  We'll see....
Good luck with that, Bunny....  ;o)

I have a few shipments not pictured, but these 3 came on one day, so I set them up for the photo shoot.  I have been especially impressed with Mother of Divine Grace's offerings and their prices, too.  To see "He Went With" series in reprint is so inspiring!  (In past years I've had to do an Inter-library loan and get the books from some obscure college down south--ancient copies to boot.)  I have also been impressed with "Preschool Art" which came in hard-back to my surprise, with gorgeous artwork and creative questions that Sedric really enjoys.

The beginning of school is so fun!!  Let's pray we can keep this enthusiasm all year!  :o)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Some August happenings

Marcus' work travel has increased, but at least he gets to
go to some awesome places!  (Lake Tahoe) 
We went to another dollar-movie, and this time
I took 2 cousins as well.  Me and 8 kids--luckily
most of them were old enough to go potty alone.

(we saw Shaun the Sheep, which is probably my new favorite
movie)  ;o)
Got a trip to the dentist in before school started.
I can't believe we are in-and-out in one hour!
(this time they saw all 6 kids, too)

Mariposa can get sad when daddy is gone, but
we are making our way through!
Baby found out she loves My Little Ponies.
Burby loves them, too.
Bunny made Ebleskivers (Danish pancakes) for Sunday brunch.
We were all wondering where Celeste was one afternoon....
I am in HEAVEN during peach season!  And this pie did not
disappoint.  There goes my diet!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First day of school

Yesterday (August 15th) we had our first day of school!

We follow the umbrella school "Mother of Divine Grace" which provides all levels of assistance from preK through high school.  A mom can choose simply to follow some aspects of their curriculum (which is considered "Classical Education") or a mom can get full support from counsellors and even online classes.

This year, like last, we are fully enrolled, and we do choose to follow the MODG curriculum.  Bunny is now taking 2 high-school level classes and the support from my MODG counsellor has been invaluable!

So here we are at the start of school, and amazingly I was ready this year.  :o)  We will run for 32 weeks with an extended Christmas break, and will be done before May 1st, which is my ultimate goal.  We also take one-week breaks in Fall and Spring, and fit in travel whenever we want.

Here are some pics of our first day:

Seddy is in PreK, which I don't really subscribe to,
but when he sees all his siblings do something, he
wants to do it too!  We just do workbooks etc.
I get most of my materials re-bound.  The people
at Office Depot are now my close friends.  ;o)
Mariposa (gr4) is entering into more writing
and reading.  Her history reading this year will
be very demanding, but I know she can do it!

James is now mostly independent.  I discuss
everything with him, and grade his papers.
I also teach Latin and grammar, neither of which
is independent this year (grade 6).

Gemma is in 1st grade and just loves her work.  She needs a ton of extra worksheets so she feels she is doing just as much independent work as everyone else!  In reality, all her learning is with me, but the worksheets are fun for her.

Bunny is easing into 8th grade since 2 of her online classes don't start for 2 weeks, and I don't yet have books for science.  (I'll get them this week!)  She jumped right back into Algebra and will finish mid-year, then go straight to Algebra II.  She's a looking forward to doing her Art class via FaceTime with grandma!  :o)

The oldest 3 took standardized tests as requested by Oregon law, and I am so proud of their excellent scores.  :o)  Sure, I knew they were awesome...but it means something to know that they are also awesome by public standards as well.  ;o)  I guess this homeschool thing works, who knew!?!