Saturday, November 17, 2007

On Calvary

Of all twenty Mysteries of the Rosary, Joyce's favourite one is the Crucifixion. This drwaing was done by Joyce last Tuesday at the Atrium (Catechism of the Good Shepherd). According to her, Jesus is talking to the people there, including Mary, Joseph, and Mary Mother of God (on the right). Everyone is sad.

We thought it was John there with the letter "J". But Joyce insisted it is Joseph, Mary's husband. We didn't correct her on the spot. But we'll be sure to read more with her in the Bible on what happened there on Calvary.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reflections on the First Month

It has been a month already! Well, I've been pleasantly surprised by a few things.

  • Matthew has a longer attention span than I expected, and is willing to spend at least 1 hour with Joyce and I in the learning room before asking to play somewhere else.
  • Joyce enjoys narration! I had thought she'd be very reluctant to try since she's a perfectionist and hates to make mistakes. But after we made sure she understand that she doesn't have to re-tell the story word for word, she found it fun and often wants to do more than one story at a time.
  • I actually find myself enjoying this... I hope I haven't jinxed it by admitting it :) I enjoy watching them learn; I enjoy being with them during their "Ah-ha!" or "Look! I did it!" moments; I enjoy talking and playing with them; I really enjoy sharing great picture books with them; the list goes on. If you had asked me even half a year ago whether I would enjoy homeschooling, I'd have said "No, but I'm doing it because I feel very strongly that God had called me to do this."

I thank God for the graces He has bestowed on our family during this journey. I remember that one of the biggest doubts I had about homeschooling was my lack of patience. Then, I read
passages from this wonderful book that helped me cast away this doubt:

"The particular circumstances in your life that are trying your patience might be precisely the means through which our Lord will teach you to be patient and to rely on Him more instead of on your own power." ... "So, does it take patience to home school? Well, yes, but you don't wait until you have it to begin homeschooling; you learn it along the way." ... "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13 (all from p.101 of the book)

I'm still not as patient as I'd like to be, but objectively speaking, I must admit that it has improved (at least DH agrees :)

There's one aspect which has taken me off guard completely, and it's the fact that I am now the most influential role model for my children. I must have read this a dozen times in different books, yet they were just words on a page to me until I notice how quickly my children pick up my words and actions. When they are impatient and loud, that's because I've been impatient and loud. When they are courteous and polite, that's because I've been courteous and polite. At first I felt really bad about this because I know I have a lot more bad days than good days. But then, I somehow convinced myself that this can be a good thing if I get my act together. So, I actually had a heart-to-heart with Joyce that went something like this:

"Joyce, Mommy knows that you are doing your best to be a good girl, to love God and others."

Joyce nods in agreement.

"Mommy is trying to do the same thing. I have noticed that at this point, the most important thing for us to work on is your obedience, and my impatience. So, Mommy is going to try extra hard to be more patient and polite and not yell at you two. At the same time, will you try extra hard to be more obedient?"

"Yes, I will," she said simply.

I wasn't sure if she would take this seriously at all, but I needed to say it out loud and make a committment to myself to be a better role model. But somehow, it must have touched her heart as well because very shortly after this talk, she became a lot more obedient and willing to help. And she would even be my little guardian angel and remind me, "Mommy, I think you are getting loud. Remember that you are trying to be more polite?" And she says it with such
authority too :) "Yes, Joyce. Thank you for reminding me."

I truly believe that God wants to cleanse me and mold me through this vocation. And I'm so glad that my children are together with me on this journey.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Slow Week

Matthew and I have been sick - he has a fever and I have a sinus infection. So it has been a very slow week here and I haven't had much time or energy for blogging at all. Interestingly enough, I found more time to read and also to reflect on our first month of homeschooling. I'll post more on that another day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 5, 2007

First Narration

Tonight, after we got DS to bed, we sat down with DD and started her very first narration session. We haven't done this before, so we were not sure whether it would go well or not. We started off by explaining to her that Mommy is going to read her a short story (we picked one from The Early Reader's Bible), and then she will tell the story to us in her own words.

Mommy read the story slowly with frequeny pauses, with a formal attitude that properly drew her attention into the work at hand. After the story was read, it was time for her to repeat the story back to us. Being a somewhat perfectionist like mommy, she was a little bit frustrated at first, wanting to start the story off exactly as she heard it. But we reassured her that we wanted to hear the story, in her own words. We wrote down her first narration word-for-word:

God Made The World
Long time ago, there was no world.
There was no sun. There was no moon.
There was no stars.
God said, "I am going to make a world."
So God made a world.
"Now I am going to make a sun," said God.
"Now I am going to make a moon, and
I am going to make some stars," said God.

God made the fish in the sea.
God created big animals and small animals.
Last of all, He made one man and one one girl.

She had so much fun hearing us read her story back to her, we narrated two more stories. Thanks be to God that this went off so well. Mommy now plans to do this with her everyday.

-- post by Lorraine's DH

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'll get the water

Last night at dinner...
Matthew: "Can I have some water?"
Daddy gets up from chair...
Joyce: "No, daddy, sit down! You didn't get to rest today at work. I rested so I'll get the water."
Daddy and Mommy (melting inside): "Oh, thank you so much Joyce!"

Monday, September 24, 2007

Novena to St. Therese

Thank you Elizabeth for posting this novena which starts today! Joyce's baptismal name is Therese and we are very thankful that she has grown quite fond of her saint. She is looking forward to the celebration on October 1! Which means I need to figure out something really good for us to do :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

St. Padre Pio

For the past couple of years, I've forgotten where I had placed a third class relic of St. Padre Pio. Lorraine's parents, who received the relic almost 20 years ago from a family friend, gave it to her, so I feel really bad about it, and the parable of the servant who buried his talent came to mind. I know I could not have purposely thrown it out, but must have put it in a place so safe that I could no longer find it. After learning that it is St. Pio's feast day today, I resolved to ask him for help. And guess what, the first place that I looked, I found the relic. Thank you St. Pio!

Here is a prayer found inside the prayer card that the relic is attached to:

O Jesus, full of grace and charity, victim for sinners, so impelled by love for us that you willed to die on the cross, I humbly beseech you to glorify in heaven and on earth the Servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who generously participated in your sufferings, who loved you so much and laboured so faithfully for the glory of your heavenly Father and for the good of souls.

With confidence I beseech you to grant me, through his intercession, the grace of ... which I ardently desire.

Glory be to the Father ... (three times).

-- post by Lorraine's DH