Archive for August, 2006

LOL…I know…I sound like a salesman again!  But seriously…this is a great deal if you have ever dreamed of setting yourself up to sell Usborne Books…either to yourself for a discount or as a business.

The reason I ask is that Usborne has a great deal for the month of September….For the start-up kit you pay only $25.00 and as an added bonus from me I will give you $25.00 in books (your choice)  It truly is an easy business to get into…look, if I can do it…anyone can!

511406A business start-up kit worth $215.00 total value ($82.70 in great books + $25 in your choice of books + supplies, website, and more!  See complete details here.)

Includes 10 Usborne Books (see list below)*

Includes business supplies
Includes 6 months online store website

Includes 6 months OrderPro (our online ordering system — no paperwork!)

Your shipping is FREE

Books included in the kit:

502202Animal Stencil Book (h)

Big Bug Search (p)

Fox on a Box (p)

Gladiators (h)
Pirates (Beginners, h)

Playtime Baby (board book)

Spooks’ Surprise (p)

That’s Not My Bear (board Book)
513328Things to Make and Do for Christmas (p)

Under the Ground (h)

This kit offer is valid only until September 29, 2006 at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

Please share this bargain with your friends and family!  Our company is looking for the biggest month in their history and they’re giving us incentives and a great kit to do just that!

If you have ANY questions….drop me an e*mail!

Read Full Post »

Mary_jesus_and_children_3 I am a little late for the Feast of the Queenship of Mary….computer woes…but we are adding the following to our Marian Notebooks:

I bow before you, Virgin of virgins,
resting-place of the divine Bridegroom,
temple of eternal Wisdom,
sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
palace of the Blessed Trinity,
Mother full of love and tenderness,
fountain of beauty,
wellspring of wonders,
golden key of God’s kingdom,
you are the admiration of angels,
the joy of the human family.
Who can ever do justice to your glory,
to your Queenship of grace?

Blessed are you, O virgin Mary, for you carried the Creator of the world in your womb.

0531From: Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary~

Morning   I love to pray this Little Office each day….there is so much to ponder and so much motherly comfort Our Lady offers through this special devotion! 

A song to learn:

Bring flowers of the rarest,
bring flowers of the fairest

From garden and woodland and hillside and vale;

Our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling

The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.

:0 Mary, we crown you with blossoms today,

Queen of the Angels,
Queen of the May.:

Our voices ascending,
in harmony blending,

0, thus may our hearts turn, dear Mother, to you.

0, thus shall we prove you how truly we love you;

How dark without Mary life’s journey would be. (Ref.)

The flower that honors Our Lady’s Queenship is the Bachelors Button.



""Mary’s Crown" (Centauria
cyannis) reminds students to pray to Mary for her mediation of
the graces prompting them in their contributions to the building of
God’s Kingdom, of which she is Queen.

The gold rose, Flpeacerosethe Marygold,Images and other golden flowers, symbolize
Mary, the "Queen in gilded clothing", who, from the interior of the
Heaven of the Trinity, "comes forth as the morning rising, fair as
the moon, bright as the sun and terrible as an army set in battle
array", with her Divine Child, to minister in love, as our Heavenly
Mother, to us, her spiritual children on earth.

Mary’s Gold

The marigold was called Mary’s Gold by early Christians who placed the flowers around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins. It was told that Mary used the blossoms as coins. A legend says that during the Flight into Egypt the Holy Family was accosted by a band of thieves. They took Mary’s purse and when they opened it, marigolds fell out."
..from mgardens.org

The Cornflower or Bachelor’s Button became known as  "Mary’s Crown" because of the flower’s resemblance to a feathery cap. It was elsetimes said to have been Mary’s cushion, upon which she rested her pretty feet.

More on the Marygold

Carlo Crivelli  "The Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Saints" (Marigolds depicted on the throne in the painting)
Also seen in Bernardino Luini’s "Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John"
They are also found in the Unicorn Tapestries of the Late fifteenth century
~above information from "Mary’s Flowers Gardens Legends and Meditations" by Vincenzina Krymow (link in the sidebar)~

Marigold Coloring Page
Rose Coloring Page
Bachelors Button Coloring Page
smaller image Bachelor’s Button
Cornflower Border Paper  (Bachelor’s Button)

French Marigold Border Paper
Rose Corner
small roses

Some random ideas:

We will place our copywork on border paper and decorate with clip art of other Queenship flowers.
Copywork will include "Hail Holy Queen"

Fold a piece of cardstock to look like a purse….copywork about the legend of the marigold on the front and open the flap to reveal clip art of marigolds….include the poem "The Marygold"

Color picture of Our Lady as Queen and decorate border with queenship flowers.

"You are a living paradise
    Of gloriously colored flowers." ~Konrad  Wurzburg

Decorate a Crown for Our Lady with Bachelor’s buttons….or place them at the feet of Our Lady!

Read Full Post »

Castles_1Do to some excessive pleading from certain friends…*ahem..(.you know who you are 😉  We are extending the Book Party ( more book party info) for one more week!  Please feel free to order books from my site following this link and take a chance in our free book drawing.  Remember the top purchaser will receive FREE SHIPPING…Thank you so much for all your kind words and support!  I love to hear from you all! Enjoy  perusing the site and feel free to ask any questions!!

If you are interested in hosting your own on-line book party…please contact me!  They are very easy and fun and you can get DOUBLE free books during my first 12 weeks!  What a great way of adding painless learning to your school year!  Yippee for that! 

Read Full Post »

How do we clean?  …With little toddler steps!

I love reading and learning about Montessori activities…I don’t know what the pull is for me…but I think it has to do with the fact that Maria Montessori really KNEW children and observed very well how they develop and teach themselves.  They have this sense of order within themselves as well as this deep sense that they must learn and keep at so many of these learning activities till they fall asleep soundly at night.  This is just an amazing drive to tap into!

Jean_monti_my_little_sunshineLast week as we were making Potato Pancakes for our meatless friday dinner, I asked dd (19mos)…"Would you like to help Mommy in the kitchen?"  She grabbed my pinky finger and marched me into the kitchen,  got out the step stool, opened it up, and climbed up by the sink waiting for something to wash with wide eyes.  I grabbed the bag of potatoes and opened it up a bit and put it on the pull out board as my dd was watching every movement very closely, like she was memorizing me…I took out a bowl and placed it next to her.

At this stage, my dd is working on whole hand movement and transfer.  So with her whole hand she picked up each potato and handed it to me to scrub….she leaned over watching my every movement again.  I then handed her back the potato and she placed it in the bowl

…I then asked her…"What do I do next?"  She looked at the bag and then at me and then we proceeded to do the whole bag together.

When it came time to add the eggs she loves to carefully pick them up …again…whole hand movement….and hand them to me.  She likes to re-arange the eggs on the flat (2.5 doz. eggs on a flat) and transfer the eggs from one side of the flat to the other.  Once in a great while she does break one…She does NOT like that.  I hear an "Oh -oh…mooom!"  …I then show her how to fix it.  Mommies make it all better, you know.

When we were done she sighed with a smile of satisfacion and got down from the stool…I asked her "Where does this go?"  She then proceeded to close it up and put it away where it belongs even though the thing is bigger than she and awkward, she learned how to do it and loved to do it. 

I use very few words when instructing, and the words I do use I make count.  I make eye contact wherever I can and sometimes use where or how I am looking to direct her attention to what needs to be done. 

Most of my day is spent with my 19mo glued to my side, like she is MEMORIZING everything!  She NEEDS a part of what I am doing…If I am wiping the counter, I give her a washcloth to help too.  If I am quick spritzing the fingerprints off the back door, she is ready…cloth in hand! I make sure the cleaning items have a permanent place for her to "help me find…" and put it AWAY…(I like that word…away ;o)

When I do the laundry, she will help push the clothing into the dryer and pull out the clothes into a basket when they are done.  I am in trouble with her if I wait to bring it upstairs to fold…she pulls on me and says "Ma!…Ma!"  (followed in scrambled baby code by something that sounds like.."upstairs, fold, now!"

I teach her to fold the washcloths and her older brother (3) is learning how to fold pants and shirts.  We fold on the dining room table…the workplace is clean, clear and uncluttered.  I very carefully and deliberately show the movements needed to complete the task.  If ds makes a mistake, I ask him what he thinks about his work.  Most of the time he says "it does not look like yours" and I ask him, "do you want me to show you again?"  and most times he is very eager to learn.   After the piles are formed, they both help with putting it away in the same place every time.  There is a place for everything so they learn WHERE it goes.  If T shirts are placed in drawers randomly or stacked on a dresser top, they are less likely to ever put it away where it needs to go as they grow older.  Most likely it will be thrown on the floor! 

When it comes to ds learning to fold clothing, with his whole self he is interested in making this his great work.  How can folding a T shirt be a Magnum Opus?  He is ready to learn…and I have to make sure I am ready to teach him.  I find that my biggest obstacle to this is being consistent with my own chores …so working on the teacher is always a work in progress, but being AWARE that I need these precious teaching moments in my day makes me more apt to look for and find them and find time for training each of the dc.  I do get rewarded for this…my ds throws his arms around my neck in a huuuge hug and with a huuuge grin states…"I DID it Mom!…I am proud"!  :o)

Wheretheheartis_montiIt may be a very awkward thing for an adult to SLOW DOWN and allow the very young to have a part in things.  It may take longer to get done, but they need to know NOW how to do it.  Your patience will be rewarded ten fold…and you will see your little flower blossom and feel your own contented feeling because you were there  every step of the way….with little toddler steps

Read Full Post »

Book Party Reminder!!

Please consider buying books from The Book Party….there is only one week left…I will be good to you, I promise!

  I had a great many people tell me…"great site, but you lost out to Amazon".  How is the little guy expected to make it competing against such a big guy?  Let me just say that dealing with Usborne is more than just what meets the eye.  You have a wonderful opportunity with this family friendly company and your money will not go toward unsavory investments.  I know that my site needs to be more user friendly for the discerning homeschooler…I will try to make it very homeschool friendly in the future. I kid you not…we are using many of these books this year.  I have never seen my sons (most especially) so engaged in schoolwork …ever…that is why I thought it would be a good idea to take Usborne books on!  I have soo many ideas about how to incorporate fun activities with many of these books…talk to me and tell me what you are looking  to do this year.  I would love to share our love of learning…I love to share!

I would use  Usborne Books even if no one purchased anything…to sell to myself and give as thoughtful gifts.  The start up kit alone is worth signing up…as a matter of fact one of my newby perks includes half price sign-up kits…I only have one left…If you are interested in this kind of opportunity let me know! 

Being a hostess can be very rewarding too!  Any book order over $250. (during my first 12 weeks) in sales you can earn double free books as a hostess…that would be $80. in free books!!…if I had any extra book money this year I would do it for myself!  E shows couldn’t be easier to do!  You just supply email addresses and we open up a link just for your show….very easy!

Please go to my site and sign up for the free book drawing…you don’t have to purchase anything for this!  Get on my mailing list…and I can keep you advised of these and other great specials.  Don’t forget…Christmas will be here before you know it!!

Also, If you would, please consider linking to my store from your website or blog.  I certainly would appreciate that kind of friendly cyber-hug!   Thank you so much for the blessing of your company today!

God love you all!

Read Full Post »

Late Summer Field Day!

Field_day_button_2Get a sweet cuppa tea and get moving because summer is fleeing fast!  It is time to savor what it still has to offer!  And so… go on! Get yourself over to Dawn’s Late Summer Field day and enjoy her hard work!  It is just lovely, Dawn!

Read Full Post »

Hiddengarden_1The plans were laid, the seed catalogues were dog eared and marked…my Em’s were brewing…the grass seed was ordered, bookmarked gardening books littered my nighstand, and the help was lined up…After a few years of waiting, I was finally getting my garden!!…My garden would be a prayer…it would pray. I would fall asleep at night taking in my imagination the lovely days of rewarding hard work that lie ahead and dream of the feel of the warm sun on my skin, dirt under my fingernails, and wind through my hair.

Then it hit…the van was dead…the one day we were actually able to use, we leveled the yard and threw down grass seed and in an unexpected turn of events, the straw was not delivered…the rain fell in buckets and washed part of the yard away…with it a days work and lots of seed… Extra bills came rolling in and over our garden fund…the Marian project was shelved. 

How could this happen?  It was the best laid plan!…It would give praise to God!…would He not want this?   

Ever hear that saying…if you want God to laugh, tell him your plans?   Well…at least God can be in good humor this summer…MY plans did not work out…but HIS did….it wasn’t in the big picture of a manicured lawn and a beautifully arranged garden that praised God this season.

…it was the little 3yo boy covered in dirt trying to find out what grew under the dirt…what kind of rocks God planted there….GOD  PLANTING TREASURED ROCKS?…yes, and so He did!

…Was it in the myriad of dandelions that some call weeds drooping over half filled glasses that adorned my home in many places?  …Yes, and so it was……it was a gift of love from this three year old to his mother….”Mommy, I picked this bea-u-ti-ful flower for YOU!!  Mommy, I love the yellow sunny ones!”…lovingly chanted with the  biggest smile and a heart so full of love that it overflowed from his heart and in trails all about the place…flowing out alll over his dusty fingerprints and footprints wherever he skipped.   

I wanted a garden that was welcome with open arms to children…and so it was…even with the half gone jungle gym in the back yard….The kids put their immaginations together and strung up their own rope swings.  It was a garden of catapults and exploding volcaones and gallons of vinegar and baking soda mysteriously missing… Kuck_my_big_sister_002 It was a place where a creative older brother fashioned  a home-made kiddie pool complete with a water slide and around it lie many sets of wet footprints especially those of a small pudgy-footed toddler next to the larger wet footprints of her 5yo older sister.   It was a garden of dust covered smiling faced children creating their own outdoor track for their bike races where the littlest ones always won.  Airshipadventuresolsen It was a garden of artistic creation and the historic adventure of sailing ships and of Robin Hood, kings and queens, knights and ladies,  daring feats of heroism, and pioneer survival.  …and a garden of paint and cardboard and duct tape and bubbles and ice cream.

Precious_in_his_sight___by_greg_olsen_smIt was a garden of observations of nest building birds, collecting fireflies in the deepening dusk while trying not to smoosh them too tightly in little fingers, and flitting butterflies that shook some of their joy down on us.   It was also the sight of a marvelous discovery by my 10 yo ds of a huuuge bug skin that was immortalized a digital photo in the nature notebook…  A discovery by a boy who doesn’t “like" to draw…but God drew him in anyway…

God has a way of doing that with us…in the sweet simple ways, He draws us in and nourishes our whole being with His presence.  It isn’t the physical that is the reality, it is the disposition of our hearts.   If it takes the removal of all of the trappings of life to get our attention, God will do it…to bring us back to the basics…He instructs our intellect and our will.   He molds us not only with his hands, but within His heart.  In the smallest, in the least noticed things…He is present in all His magnificence. 

There are those that will pass this way without noticing the love He has strewn so generously in our paths. He wanted us to notice this summer.  He wanted an attitude from us that would allow Him to  move in and amongst us…maybe that is what we needed more to learn.     I surrendered my will in a little way and God blessed us in so many ways. 

Right now in the area I wanted to plant this wonderful garden are two gifts from God…one, a 2ft tall statue of Our Lady of Mt Carmel ~an unexpected gift given to us by a friend who was prayerfully trying to find someone to give it to that would love and care for it.  It has one hand that needs to be re-attached.  The other, a prize won at our annual parish picnic…an Our Lady of Guadalupe rosebush!  ~Thank you, God!

Mother_and_childGOD supplied what we neededA HAND…Mary held out Her hand to us…  I took that hand in trust and climbed up into my mothers lap with wide eyes and begun my lessons.  Here in Her lap the school of Mary began for us this summer….to beome child-like and with me and all of my children to play in Her garden.  To Jesus through Mary…as scripure says:

Olsen_kingdom"But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them for to such belongs thew kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."  ~  Luke 18:16-17 

In our play we make our hearts pray…and God is glorified in that. 

~The sacrificial giving of our dreams in an attitude of thanksgiving??…yes! 
~An attitude of play is an attitude of prayer??….Yes!

Kuckautumnangel And in the small, in the little, we find an abundance of consolation and abundance of awe and wonder and creativity…in the ordinary…with this attitude…all things become extra~ordinary.  And God’s presence brings a certain kind of heart-warming joyful peace.

In today’s Second Reading, St Paul exhorts us “Play to the Lord in your hearts”, and this summer we have had our mission …to focus on this experience of play in the world around us…to enjoy the presents of God’s presence in the little things and in each other so that His magnificence may become manifest in us. 


Read Full Post »

Book Meme

I have been tagged…quite a few times ;o)

1) ONE HOMESCHOOLING BOOK YOU HAVE ENJOYED Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss….the courage to think out of the box and feel like homeschooling is more of a way of life and perspective…not just something we "do".

2) ONE RESOURCE YOU COULDN’T BE WITHOUT I ditto what Jennifer said…"As a family who loves to Homeschoogle, how can I say anything but Google?"   As mentioned before…Google Images is the greatest thing…for projects and very visual Mothers!!  :o)

3) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH YOU HAD NEVER BOUGHT Latin is Easy…it is just sitting there on my shelf easily collecting dust.

Christoper’s Talks to Catholic Children from Neumann Press and Life of Our Lord For Children by Marigold Hunt…sorry that is two…;o)

Brave Writer

All of the Catholic Mosaic books to be embraced by my book shelves..for me…the children…the grandchildren…

7) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH EXISTED A printed source of how to Montessori Homeschool full of all of the directions as to how to use the official apparatus and make the materials…and most importantly all of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from 3-12 and beyond…I am learning from so many different places now, I am starting to get dizzy…but there are the bills to pay and the actual doing of the work…I get sidetracked doing so many different levels and I need a FOCUS MANUAL!!  I think it would have to be 3 feet thick though…..

I loved the old bywayofthefamily.com print catalog…it had some great Montessori homeschooling articles in it for the beginner!…ooh Micheal Olaf Montessori catalog too!

4RealLearning Forums

So many of you have been tagged already…if you are reading this…consider yourself tagged!

Read Full Post »


As I mentioned in this post, I am now selling Usborne books to help my family make ends meet.  In order to help pay for my kit, I am going to hold an e-show book party at this link for 10 days. All you have to do is click on this link, and order.   As a special surprise to those who order from me from this special link,  between August 17th-27th, will have their name put into a hat for some free books!  How many free books?  It depends on how many people order.  If enough people participate, I will have three drawings!  This is a great time to stock up for Christmas or as a special gift to your homeschool shelves for the year.  If you have ANY questions, please feel free to email me from my site at the email address you see on the top of the page.  And to top it off…the leading purchaser will win free shipping from me. 

I use many of these books in my homeschool.  My sons especially, eat these for breakfast and it is hard to get them to read what we would consider a regular course book.  What we decided to do with them this year is so very different.  We are working from the Usborne books as a springboard to further study.  My one ds(7) is very interested in Sharks  and Ocean Life(among other things).  We will be watching movies about sharks, doing activities involving sharks, visiting an aquarium and notebooking/lapbooking many of our AMAZING discoveries! 

My older ds(almost 11) is interested in so many areas of Science that we are using the Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of Science and exploring many new topics this year, resting on those subjects he is most fascinated in and doing experiments and throwing in as many living books on each subject as he wishes.  He is so motivated that he started already.  When he is engaged in something, there is no stopping him.  I have given him the reigns on this project and he is doing Usborne1_1waaay more than I ever would have assigned to him in the first place…..see? I AM learning….a bit slow…but I am catchin on….HE is educating ME…BIG TIME.  This same child used to tell me…"Stop teaching me Mom, I am trying to learn something."  Now don’t think this is any miracle child, if he isn’t engaged he is harder to motivate than a beached whale!  It is just that when he has more of a say in what he does he somehow thrives…if only he felt this way about the dishes!


The older children are FINALLY going to be compiling a Timeline of the Centuries Notebook this year.  We are using many of our studies against the Usborne Book of the Ancient World (INTERNET LINKED) and the Usborne Encyclopedia of World history Internet linked.


For our World Studies projects, we are using the Internet Linked World Geography book with Atlas, The Children’s Picture Atlas , World History Sticker Atlas and the Children’s Internet linked Atlas…some of the sites they link up to are awesome for teaching geography!  Each new topic will have entries in our Geography notebooks….I have so many ideas and I am excited about sharing them!

I just got my kit last week, and I hid the box under the bed in my room….wouldn’t you know it?  The kids have been in there with the door closed sneaking into that box learning behind my back!  What do you think of them?! 

These books are great conversation starters.  One such book that we are eager to look at is the book of WWII  There is so much to explore in there…I NEVER learned about that era in school.  What I do know came from old John Wayne movies and a few other living books that we read last year.  So this book will add another level to the knowledge we already have.

PlantsI love all of the  Internet Linked books.  There are so many wonderful sites that they link up to!  Nothing like putting some fun into the day…Who said school had to be booooring??  We are proving them wrong!  Challenging yes!  Boring?….nah!  not here!  How natural it is to re-tell something that you have encountered  that you actually enjoy….aaand in the retelling it seems to come alive in you  again!  After all, we are lighting fires here…not filling buckets!

Knights_armorI am planning on a big rabbit trail history year.  One place we will linger is with Knights, Castles and Armor!  We are saving cardboard and duct tape as I type!  We have books put aside for the little guys and meatier ones for the big guys…and truth be told…dh couldn’t be happier with the subject matter!  I can share those titles too, if you wish!

Telling_timeSo this is why I decided to start with this company.  I have never felt like I could do anything else with my dc about me as easily as I can do this at home.  Even if you can’t purchase something now, you can get on my mailing list of specials and have your name put into a free book drawing.
DrawI will be sharing future rabbit trail ideas as we go along!  I want to build up some special notebooking pages for those trails too…after all…notebooking is a great learning tool and re-telling tool…the kind of cement that makes learning STICK! ;o)

Please spread the word!  If you would like to have your own e-show, please email me because as hostess you can earn double free books during my 12 week incentive period.

Read Full Post »


Young Edison(10) is very interested in bridge building and architecture  lately.  A dear friend on Magnum Opus sent me this link and ever since I clicked on it to ck it out, Edison has had his nose plastered to the screen observing the unique details  and pondering the possiblities in his brain….meanwhile….my other ds(7), my large motor boy, took it upon himself to empty out a large jar of pennies I have been saving all over the hardwood floor in my bedroom…..and put this link into practice!  Two kids…two different approaches.

They like my bedroom because:
#1…I have cool stuff (or so the dc think…what could possibly be cool is beyond me)
#2  they can hide out in there and be alone behind a closed door away from the toddler
#3  because they aren’t supposed to be in there in the first place…it has a mysterious air about the place…so why not go?

Arg…Time to teach large motor boy the wonderful feeling in your heart that you get AFTER cleaning up your messes.  He is a hard sell, unfortunately….haha

If I can ever get my digital camera to work I am going to post some other bridge images. …got to talk to my tech guy….oh, little brother……;o)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »