My First Time.

Using a meat tenderiser. For The Very First Time.

The meat mallet thing was one of my Mother’s Day gifts.

I confess to not using a meat tenderiser for meat. Silly! I confess to using it to smash the potatoes for Nigella’s (Smashed) Speedy Fries, as an accompaniment to open burgers and salad for dinner on Sunday evening.
religion, Unschooling

Sts Peter and Paul

We remember these saints today, on the closing of the Year of St Paul.

I had a goal to read aloud, to the kids , the writings of St Paul from the Bible this past year – had a plan, too! But I only managed to read aloud, to the kids, The Acts of the Apostles and St Paul’s letter to the Romans. Oh, well. We have read a lot about the Saints and the liturgical year and read through religion books so this bit of reading aloud counts. I guess.

I went to seven o’clock mass this morning, a cold yet peaceful start to the day. Will read to the kids about the saints. Then, a day of Kumon stuff, emails and phone calls for me; a lady from the parish over for a cuppa and chat/listen; Kumon Maths, language study ( Chinese or Italian or Latin) for the kids, with their own personal stuff ( probably rpgs and blogs and Arkadian for Anthony!); we will all work at Kumon and maybe dh and Anny can go to Mass this evening for Sts Peter and Paul. Plus, I need to do some Kumon Maths study myself tonight, to reach my goal of completing the programme at the end of the year. Gosh, me and my long list of goals, many of which I never reach in the deadline set…although I do often get there eventually!
Deus, qui hodiernam diem Apostolorum tuorum Petri et Pauli martyrio consecrasti: da Ecclesiae tuae, eorum in omnibus sequi praeceptum; per quos religionis sumpsit exordium.
God, who consecrated this day by the martyrdom of your blessed apostles Peter and Paul: Grant that your church diffused throughout the whole world may always be governed by the teaching of those through whom she received the beginning of her religion.
The thread of the Collect? I see it as the passing on and building on the foundation of the faith that was taught, lived, and died for by the apostles.
religion, Unschooling

Our Reading about Our Lady and the Saints

It is ten thirty on a Saturday morning and I am on a roll.

Did my workout, we all went to mass, I went to Adoration for around, oh, forty minutes, I’ve done laundry and weeding and asked kids to do some jobs and have printed my grocery list and have laminated the Pope’s letter on the Year of the Priest and found a holy card of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and a book about St John Vianney and my Michael Jackson Thriller CD. These last four items form our dining table centrepiece – a truly catholic mix! Part of our unschooling strewing, you know.

I consider my primary function as a homeschooling mom to be Strewing the Path. Coined by Sandra Dodd, “strewing” is a favorite term of homeschoolers, especially unschoolers, which describes the habit of leaving books, puzzles, games, curiosities, and other interesting things lying on tables and counters and in the car where unsuspecting children will find them. Here In The Bonny Glen

And ~ we have read about Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Sts Cyril and Methodius .

The icon depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a dress of dark red with a blue mantle and veil. On the left is the Archangel Michael, carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus. On the right is the Archangel Gabriel carrying a 3-bar cross and nails. This type of icon is a later type of Hodegetria composition, where Mary is pointing to her Son, known as a Theotokos of the Passion. The Christ-child has been alarmed by a pre-sentiment of his passion, and has run to his mother for comfort. The facial expression of the Virgin Mary is solemn and is looking directly at the viewer instead of her son. Jesus is portrayed clinging to his mother with a dangling sandal. The Greek initials on top read Mother of God, Michael Archangel, Gabriel Archangel, and Jesus Christ, respectively. The icon is painted with a gold background on a walnut panel, and may have been painted in Crete, then ruled by the Republic of Venice. The Cretan School was the source of the many icons imported into Europe from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance. The icon was cleaned and restored in 1866 and again in the 1940s.

Saints Cyril and Methodius brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century, who became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title “Apostles to the Slavs”. They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe the Old Church Slavonic language.After their death, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as saints with the title of “Equals to the Apostles“. In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patrons of Europe, together with Saint Benedict of Nursia.



The Year of the Priest .

And I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine. Jeremiah 3:15 Douay-Rheims Bible
I was thinking of having the kids read the letter above..and then read about St John Vianney , the Curé d’Ars.
I was thinking of how and why we need our priests.. promptly being reminded of a paragraph from the book I recently finished reading…I’ve talked about it here, before..Grandmother and the Priests by Taylor Caldwell.
Father O’Connor had always known joy when he said the Mass, and his heart had always shaken in him when he consecrated the Bread, for he was forever awed and was forever wondering why God had chosen him, a starveling young man born in Darcy, to elevate the sacred Host, and to offer It to the Most High in sacrifice. But on this morning his joy and his wonder and his awe almost blinded him with tears and his hands trembled and his heart was one fire of rapture. He kissed the altar and said, “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,” and all his soul was in his words and all his worship.
Don’t these words move you?
I wrote before, in this post about the importance of the Eucharist, of Holy Mass, of liturgy, of reverence and awe in liturgy. Of the necessity for priests in our Church, and of how we should support our priests . And religious. Of the blessings we have, in the form of the friars in our parish.
But some of this bears repeating. For me, anyway!
…we should treat our priests and religious with extra courtesy…..

*Promote vocations .

*Pray, pray for priests and religious.
*Sacrifice for priests. A priest is one who is to sacrifice. The hard part of the priesthood is not the offering of the sacrifice of the Mass. It is the self-sacrifice that a priest is called upon to make and the more priestly a priest is the more the people of God will use him, will wear him out. Priests need the merits of our sacrifices.

*Assist priests.Help, assist, provide services. Help your parish.
*Encourage priests and religious. Our parish women’s group has committed to pray daily for the friars in our parish and we hope to encourage them in their vocation by our talk and by our deeds. Don’t you love it when someone notices something you have done, gives you a gift or says something nice, helps you when you need it or when you are feeling less than happy? How nice to do that for others..


Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son

..And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari’ah after his father,
but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.
Luke 1.
June 24. The Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist. The precursor to Our Lord. Born six months before Christ.

It being six months to Christmas, we had our usual little bit of Christmas in June. Christmas pudding and custard for dessert. Yum!

Basilica del Sto. Niño

I visited this church yesterday. Wow. Jam-packed with people, with prayers, with pilgrims touching the statues and pictures, lighting candles, saying prayers…an example of the faith of the people of Cebu.

I was the only Western woman and gained a few stares..the taxi driver told me to take off all my jewellery and hold my bag close, as I walked to visit the Cross of Magellan and the Basilica..

The church has always been the Sanctuary of the Sto. Niño, under the custody of the Augustinians.

In 1565 with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel López de Legazpi, the image od Sto. Nino was found relatively unscathed. The image was quickly acknowledged as miraculous, and a church was later constructed on the site of the discovery.

Visited Magellan’s Cross – where women offered to light candles and pray for the family, with a small donation..and children asking for money..Magellan’s Cross is a cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu on April 21, 1521.

This cross is housed in a small chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street (Magallanes being the Spanish name of Magellan), just in front of the city hall of Cebu City. A sign below the cross claims that the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of this chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers.

Also went shopping at the SM Shopping Mall, a district peopled by rich Chinese ( SM not S & M!). Security checks at every entrance and at the restrooms..again stares at a Western woman alone ( or it could have been my clothes..I wore one of my short-ish skirts, my longs sock and Converse, my was hot!). And you readers know I am a dag!

Today I’ve been for a jog, going for a swim, catching a plane tonight and flying overnight. The resort is luxurious and service excellent..the people friendly..I have a long list of things I want to change at my Kumon centre, after the conference and talking to other supervisors. Home tomorrow at eleven am and, as a friend said, will have to hit the ground running! As always.

Relieved in Cebu

Relieved? Here at the Kumon conference, at the sumptious ShangriLa Resort in the Philippines?

Well, relieved because my presentation is over.

On helping a child reach potential through reading. Love of reading. Reading widely.

Our wish is to see them (children) develop the ability to think wisely. Language is the key to wise thinking; particularly a high degree of ability in one’s native language. Mr. Toru Kumon.

What else have I done in Cebu? I know you are dying to find if!

Last night, explored the resort, met some nice men from Tokyo who loved that I loved their city, had frozen margaritas and calamari in the bar at eleven pm for a very late dinner.

Up at five am this morning – already hot and humid! Jogged on the private beach, walked around the island, exploring the streets where the locals live…very different to the resort. Another supervisor and I visited the shrine of Lapu-Lapu, and the landmark erected to remember Majellan in 1512. Will probably post pics here or on Facebook at some stage…

Ate some dried fish for breakfast, a Cebu speciality!

Learned a lot about the English programme in particular at the conference, even though it KILLS me to sit still..Talked to lots of other supervisors and staff – some old friends, made some new friends…texted family..worried about looking fat in my presentation talk (others worried about their talk, I worried about my fat stomach!).

Prayed at Mass in the Chapel..tonight is the Kumon conference dinner and then we are hitting the bar and the karaoke! And tomorrow up at 4.30 am to get ready to catch a taxi at 5.30 am mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño – of the Baby Jesus.


Daggy in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, hanging out, exploring, on my way to Cebu for the Kumon conference.

And being a dag. As usual.

I watched Marley and Me at midnight on the overnight flight. And I cried, making the Chinese man next to me look up in concern, offer me a tissue, a drink, a pillow.

It is a film about love, about relationship, about marriage and family, about loss..oh, and a dog features, too!

Arrived in Hong Kong at five am local time..caught the train to Hong Kong central and met a friendly Chinese lady on the trip. Explored the city area, had breakfast at Starbucks, went to Soho, caught the bus to Repulse Beach..where I became even daggier. It poured. Literally. I became wet, bedraggled. But I had drumstick ice cream – something I would never let myself eat at home!

When did the rain stop? When I got back on the bus to return to Hong Kong city. When did the rain start? When I got to Repulse Beach, of course!

Loved the shops and buildings and scenery in Hong Kong. And on my way back to the airport, on the train ( which is where I am now, waiting for the next flight)..I was picked by a train official to complete a survey! On why I chose the train, public transport, and not the airport shuttle bus. On my impressions of the travel. Fun!

Conference registration tonight in looks like I can attend mass there, too, today for the Sacred Heart and tomorrow for the Immaculate Heart. Maybe I will catch up on sleep before my talk tomorrow afternoon. Five Steps of Jet Plane Progress for the Native Language Programme. In other words, five steps to help children maximise their potentual through the Kumon English programme.


Making cookies ~ and maths

Don’t make cookies to teach math. Make cookies because they taste good.
My Five Best Homeschooling Tips
I love this quote. It paints a picture of how I feel I should live, as an unschooler. Interested in life, yes. Learning and teaching naturally, yes. But avoiding those overly contrived situations. Avoiding making everything a teachable moment.

Everything IS a teachable moment. We don’t have to contrive to make it so.

Sometimes, just living together is what we need. What counts.