Archive for January, 2007

You know the Bible 100%!


Wow!  You are awesome!  You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader!  The books, the characters, the events, the verses – you know it all!  You are fantastic!    

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

Read Full Post »

Please Pray…

I just got word that my dear Father-in-Law is dying.  He has a heart condition and epilepsy.  His heart is just giving out…he is a very big-hearted man….it is a shame that this has to be the thing to give out on him.  Please pray for Tony Tapp. …and my dear husband Jeffrey and the kids and the rest of the family who could use the uplifting support of prayer!
Thank you so much!
Donna Marie

Read Full Post »

Hands-on work today:

Astronomy Science! ….featuring Mercury!
Using this as our spine…lesson 3
We read this
We used this p 64-65
and we notebooked using these Astronomy pages
We added the first few pages of this that have great Astronomy pages for our notebooks!  Adding a Solar System detective page for Mercury (p 19)

using Download clip_art_mercury.doc

(images imported to a Word document) we cut out and put in a zip-loc sandwich baggie and decorated the margins  and frames of our notebook pages
….the littlies narrated to me…bigguns just jotted their own work down.  The little ones love to narrate to me and use the clip art to illustrate what they just told me.  To them, it is the equivalent of using stickers…just a touch messier….we use a lid with a little school glue in it and a q-tip.  I keep repeating…"just a dot"…"just a dot!"

We start our day with :

Saint of the Day
Character Building Story
Baltimore Catechism Questions …later during the week we illustrate the lesson using stick figure drawings much like those found in Christoper’s Talks to Catholic Children(which worked beautifully last year) or the oop Chalk Talks that were later added to the Faith and Life Religion books…much like what our beloved Helen does!

For the 6 and 7yo…
Concentration on Math today:

  • Played with Math 1 Tackle Box(I assembled a few years ago)..played with odd and even and the teens and tens boards..just for fun!
  • Played with numbers on this abacus…(We made the home made version a few years ago and they are still holding up…everyone has their own colors with pony beads, popsicle sticks and skewers and small binder clips)

100 Ez Lessons (7 yo ds made a pic about the funny story he read at the end of the lesson…great for reading comprehension and an answer to "and what did you just read" questions.
and made a "book" from CHC’s Little Stories for Little Folks
and Spelling time

The older ones:
did copy work
read about knights and castles
and more castles
and they are making plans for a creative notebooking project using this. 
Read Aloud: The Sword of Clontarf

and worked in their Developmental Math books and played Timez Attack
(my #2dd with digital and visual digit span issues is working her way through TouchMath and listening to the Concentration and Thinking Cd’s as she does her artwork.)

Not bad for a mucky Monday.  Would like to do more, but we have to leave the rest for tomorrow.  Mondays are not my personal fav’s because we are still strung out from visiting over the weekend.  We will often have a lighter schedule on those days. 

We have company coming today and I got the living room and the dining room cleaned because I held out a plater of chocolate chip cookies before them…then told them to accomplish a certain amount of exercise and chores for each one (these cookies were made cutting back the sweetener and substituting some of it it with maple syrup  and using whole grain flour so we didn’t totally trash our diets 😉  I first offered them an organic carrot while I told them the "rules".  I "made" them do jumping jacks and told them to pick up 10 things…and then they did enough to purchase one cookie.  For the next cookie, it was more jumping jacks and 20 items…etc.  It helps to make the cookies small ;o)

So we are trying to "do school", clean the house, and cook for company coming for dinner….phew!

Read Full Post »

Bread Starter Help Needed

I had some great links for making bread with a starter.
I also had some great advice as to how to keep it going while homeschooling. 
I lost it all. 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Do you have any favorite links and or advice to share?  Please post away or send me an email at tapp^clan at hot^mail dot com….please take out the ^ and add  @ and .    …hope I didn’t make it too hard…lol. 
I am ready to be a breadmaker that uses a starter all the time for a family of 9 (7dc)!
What is your favorite equipment and pans?  What are your favorite recipies??  I sooo want to learn!!

Read Full Post »

Here I am hopping up and down with my kids as we work out to Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone as recommended at the 4Real Board.  I see that Kim is walking  away too!  Is anyone else joining in the fun??
I am also using Lose Your Mummy Tummy  to help me with the muscle separation from all of the kiddoes that have been under my belly button (I also have the DVD). You can repair that kind of tummy damage no longer how long it has been since you had your baby…how cool is that?!

What is so helpful to me are the videos that help me see the proper posture I need for these exercises while the toddler falls all over me.  My back is feeling so much stronger since I started this past week.  It was not especially weak, but I got tired easily when standing for longer periods of time…like doing the dishes.

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite blogs to visit is Kim’s at Starry Sky Ranch.  It is almost scary how I seem to find there things I am already working on or things that have been in the back of my mind to find more about.  I say scary because I never met anyone like me in my local homeschool circles.  I love to be Hands-On and Montessori-ish and go on rabbit trails and read living books and research great living foods and re-discover devotional things long forgotten and books long out of print.


Last week I went to the Evan Moor site to research what centers I wanted next when I came across their new teacher site  Teacherfilebox.com  It advertised that for a monthly fee of 9.99 you could have unlimited access to many of their teacher materials (over 450 books used) and the first month was only .99 for just trying it out…how could I go wrong??!….but I did hesitate to figure out the details… then I was reading at Starrysky Ranch about this very thing…the centers and the new site as Dani reminded me and I decided to take the plunge.  My printer has been a bit busy today setting some things together for the current lapbooking project the kids are embarking upon for the next few weeks…Astronomy.  I hope to put the finishing touches on my "plan" so we can play with this info tomorrow afternoon after lunch. 

For the past year, we have slowly started using and loving the Evan Moor Centers as part of our curricula.  (I added the links in the left sidebar)  I find that they are a nice compliment for what we are already studying and then some…because many times they are springboards to further exploration.  Since we run the gambit of their levels in our age ranges, I have all of their levels going at the same time.  For even my oldests(13) they get a lot out of the grade 4-6 range centers.  They can be added practice for them or cover a topic that might not have been completely fleshed out for them before…

The first book we purchased was the Geography Centers.  I fell in love with them on line by going to the Evan Moor site and clicking on the individual center and it had a function to view the book page-by-page.  I was sooo happy to find this book because it enabled me to get more Montessori without too much time researching how I wanted everything to be laid out.  It was done for me already.  I have always wanted a partner making materials….so far, no one has stepped up for the job…  (they don’t know what fun they are missing…sniff!)

I do have an inexpensive laminator from Walmart that does an OK job.  I get my pouch laminate from Oregon Lamination…they have a flat fee for shipping (that helps!)  There are times when I just take the manipulatives for the centers and just use packing tape onto index cards.  I have also used clear contact paper over cereal boxes (cut open) which have proved to be very durable too.  I have even just printed on heavier weight paper and cut it out for use.  So, it really depends on your preference. 
When I copy my centers, I do use the lighter feature when I print to save ink.  I also just print the fronts of the cards and not the backs.  If I have to, I will often add a mark with sharpie on the back of the card to make it self-correcting.   It will save you a bit in printing costs and the bulk of the folder if you laminate the worksheet  to make it a write on/wipe off center. 

Next up…..History Pockets and other 3D fun things for notebooking/lapbooking/scrapbooking!

Read Full Post »

The Girlhood of Mary Virgin

Dante Gabriel Rossetti(1828-1882)


This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect,
     God’s Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God’s will she brought devout respect,
Profound simplicity of intellect,
And supreme patience. From her mother’s knee
Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.

So held she through her girlhood; as it were
An angel-watered lily, that near God
Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home,
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear 
At all,–yet wept till sunshine, and felt awed;
Because the fulness of the time was come.


These are the symbols. On that cloth of red
I’ the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
Except the centre of its points,to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The books –whose head
Is golden Charity, as Paul hath said–
Those virtues are wherein the soul is rich;
Therefore on them the lily standeth,
Is innocence, being interpreted.

The seven-thorn’d brier and palm seven-leaved
Are here great sorrow and her great reward
Until the end be full, the Holy One
Abides without. She soon shall have achieved
Her perfect purity: yea, God the Lord
Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her Son.

Poem:Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. The Poetical Works. 2vols. [Ed. William Michael Rossetti.] Boston: Little, Brown, 1913. I, 281-82. American printing of British edition published by Roberts Brothers, 1887.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)


Read Full Post »

Oh, Happy Discovery!  I love this!  Our Lady of the Book is a beautiful devotional meditation.  It is quoted here in part from The Mary Page in an article by Rev. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. 

Symbolism of the Images:

"What is behind the representation of Our Lady of the Book? We find three lessons in the scene:

  • Mary herself reads;
  • the perfect correspondence between what was foretold in the Bible and its fulfilment in the birth and life of Jesus;
  • Mary is herself the ‘book’ in which the Church reads the ways of God.

The first meaning is Mary as reader; she reads in the fullest sense, that is, she searches, she understands, she prays, she opens her mind and heart to whatever message God will send her through his sacred word.

A second sense of Our Lady and the book is the correspondence in her life between God’s promises and their fulfilment in Jesus her Son. Gabriel is quoting the same prophecies Mary is reading, and as she consents to become Mother of the Savior, the forecasts become reality.

A third element in the tradition of Mary and the book is that the Blessed Virgin is herself a book in which the Church reads, a reading that began with the apostles. Early authors call Mary "the sacred book of the divine precepts, in which what pleases God is made known to us, as Jeremias saw long ago…" (St. Theodore of Studion, D. 826). One compiler tracked down ninety titles in which Mary is described as a book.

Our Lady of the book can teach us still how to pray better; we never grow too old to learn from the Mother of Jesus, the gospel woman of faith so well versed in God’s holy word."

Our Lady of the Book

Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.

For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.

And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago.

Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.

For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.

And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago."

~Father Joachim Smet November 27, 1943
Ateliers Brabancons (15th c)

next two images: Rogier Van der Weyden (1399-1464)

final image: Jan van Eyck
Ghent Altarpiece, excerpt, 1432

This explanation and the poem are being added to our Marian Notebooks.  The poem is today’s copywork on paper with the images pre-printed on it in a Word document. If I have time I will post the document later!  It dovetails nicely into tomorrow’s lesson…with another book image for Fine Art Friday’s  Fine Art-spirations!

Read Full Post »

The Virgin Mary Crowned Van Eyck
As a very visual learner, I really do find inspiration in fine art.  As I am the one being homeschooled most days, I especially love it when there is hidden meaning in the art we study like in this Icon of The Virgin Mary.  The inscription reads:

"She is more beautiful than the sun + all the order of stars; 
being compared w/ the light she is found greater. She is in truth the reflection of everlasting light, + a spotless mirror of God"
(Wisdom 7: 29 + 26)

While I was researching some topics for our Fine Arts Friday, I found this Van Eyck painting and it spoke to me in some way.  In the Madonna’s crown are roses and lilies.  (symbolizing her love and purity).   (The funny thing is that she resembles me a bit….hmm a lesson for my heart to ponder….  I know I have much, much to learn from my most lovely patron saint.)  I wanted to know more about this painting  and came up with this from this site:

 "Perhaps the place is in front of Jan van Eyck’s crisply painted little panel that shows the Virgin Mary crowned and standing serenely inside the light-filled nave of a Gothic church.

Van Eyck casts her as a gentle giant who fills the soaring space — a remarkable invention that conflates Mary, Queen of Heaven, with the radiant interior of the church’s otherworldly architecture. The triumph of spirit over matter is paradoxically embodied.

350pxeyckhubertlamb750pix_2OK…I need to know more than that.

Then I went here and I realized this was part of something bigger….so many people may already know this, but fine arts was something passed quickly over in school.  Now I relish it for so many reasons.  It is exciting to find hidden meaning in paintings and the viewer is one like a detective looking for clues as to his own identity…as we are heirs to something much grander than ourselves.    I learned a bit more here

The thing that I argue with people about today is that we are becoming illiterite to symbol which even the illiterate to the printed word in the past knew.  I hate being "dumbed down", don’t you?  Life tastes so much sweeter with all of the seasoning added in proper proportion….we need a feast for all of the senses…a feast rich with symbolism and hints to the greater mysteries they represent…much like the parables were and are today.

I loved reading the explanation here.  I would love it if the kiddoes could create a simple penned drawing like this one, and I will invite them to do so, but I wonder if they would find it to be too complicated….and I know the pics of Adam and Eve may be a little much for a certain child I have…but I can concentrate on the more central images.  Any more ideas for a fun way to represent this information?  I am all ears!
This all came from this site and I will be perusing it in my "free time" for more ideas!  Why is it when I want to do something like this, I think of our dear Alice and I suddenly get more creative?!

About the Artist:

Jan Van Eyck

"A Flemish painter who perfected the newly developed technique of oil painting. His naturalistic panel paintings, mostly portraits and religious subjects, made extensive use of disguised religious symbols. His masterpiece is the altarpiece in the cathedral at Ghent, the Adoration of the Lamb (also called Ghent Altarpiece, 1432). Hubert van Eyck is thought by some to have been Jan’s brother." from the Encyclopedia Britanica

"The Ghent Altarpiece: The Adoration of the Lamb" (interior view) painted 1432 by Jan van Eyck.

Read Full Post »


We are havin’ fun with Dawn’s Leter Meme!!….

Hmmm…the letter F?!  This is a tough one, Dawn!

The Things I Love …brought to you by the letter F!

  1. Food …I love to cook and bake and share it with Friends!!
  2. Filet mignon…dh does a mean BBQ not to be missed!!
  3. Fudge…I looooove chocolate.  I must have an over-active chocolate gene!
  4. Fall…Oh, how I love to walk in the cool crisp weather with the beautiful colors all around!
  5. Flowers …especially roses! I really love roses!!  They make my heart light!
  6. Fun  …especially messy fun with the children….I appreciate it even more when someone else does the cleaning though ;o)
  7. Friday  …creative arts day here…poetry, art appreciation, art expression, music….and tea!
  8. Foaccia and French bread hot from the oven!!
  9. historical Fiction….especially from Bethlehem Books and Hillside education.  We loooove historical fiction for read-alouds…we read till Mom’s voice works no more!!
  10. The Holy Father! …God bless the Pope!!

Thank you Dawn!  This was such fun!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »