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Posts Tagged ‘First Communion’

— 1 —

Today is always such a sad day, even more so as the years go on – I read things I wrote over twenty years ago on life issues and, well, I could have written them today.

 

— 2 —

A couple of examples from the archives – forgive the simple formatting – they are from my original website, and very basic in appearance.

Teach your children well

We can send a man to the moon….

– 3—

As it happens, I penned today’s Living Faith entry. It’s here. 

At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt moved to add a word of thanks. The choir, normally very good anyway, had risen to particularly stunning heights. So he thanked the musicians for their nottheenemydedication. “And,” he added cheerfully, “thanks to our baby choir too!”

That morning, as usual, the baby and toddler voices had echoed through the cathedral as well. I don’t think anyone minded, and if they did, the celebrant’s words of gratitude undoubtedly gave them food for thought.

More

— 4 —

Well, I suppose I will throw in my Thursday Homeschool Daily Report here, since it’s late and it’s short.

The informal homeschool classes that are held at the Cathedral started up again today – drama and history of science – so that was the morning’s activity (for him…me? To a coffeeshop with pad and paper…the only one there not on a laptop…). Then lunch, then just a couple more things – math review sheets and some Writing and Rhetoric – chapter 2, doing more on narratives and copiousness – replacing dull, ordinary adjectives and nouns with exciting, vibrant and enticing words. By that point it was time to do a bit of practice then head out to piano lesson.

Finis. 

— 5 —

Random Lent Prep link: Some Lenten sermons of St. Francis de Sales. 

Maybe if you read them, you can have your best. Lent. ever! 

— 6

Oh, this was good – from Brave Writer. Countering the argument (such as it is) that the best way to make writers out of kids is to put pencils in their hands at the age of 4 and push technical grammar awareness in first grade, with five-paragraph essays mastered by 3rd.

Imagine if you tried to teach your young speaker to talk by correcting every sentence/phrase, by parsing the grammar and commenting on the organization? What if you determined the topics for speaking and deemed certain topics “off limits”? What if speaking were limited to one portion of the day?

Am I taking this analogy too far?

I don’t think so. Speaking is seen as a necessity because it is modeled around us all the time by everyone. We assume that all kids will learn to speak and that every topic is relevant because speaking is about communicating…

Hmmmm. Are you starting to see what we’ve done to writing?

 

— 7 —

Reminder – if you’re teaching First Communion prep…maybe consider this book?

Also, my bookstore is open – I don’t have everything in stock, but I do have lots of the picture books. If you are an administrator or pastor or otherwise generous person and are interested in some sort of bulk deal, let me know at amywelborn60 – at – gmail.

Hey…Lent begins in less than a month….

Time to order your parish/school materials – even if you want to order some for a group of friends or a class…here you go!

A Stations of the Cross for teens:

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Biblical Way of the Cross for everyone:

For Ave Maria press, we wrote John Paul II’s Biblical Way of the Cross. The current edition is illustrated with paintings by Michael O’Brien.

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There’s also a digital edition in app form.

Reconciled to God – a daily devotional. Also available in an e-book format. Only .99.

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Looking for a book study for a group? How about Matthew 26-28: Jesus’ Life-Giving Death from Loyola. 

"amy welborn"

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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For your First Communicant.  For your students, if you’re a catechist, DRE or pastor:

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"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"

More here.

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For those of you in more normal parts of the world, you’re thinking, What? That’s not right…we’ve got a month left!

Not the case down here, where school starts well before Labor Day.

My son will be starting high school, and his orientation is a week from today, classes begin on the 10th.

(The satisfaction comes on the other end – his last day of class will be May 20. Some of you were posting “LAST DAY OF SCHOOL” photos when we’d already been out a month. So there.)

Yesterday I pulled the calendar out and started the ritual Marking-Up of Life.  The high school’s calendar, altar serving schedule, homeschool (5th grader) activities, writing deadlines…and I was thinking about all of this and what parts of the uniform are left to buy and if all the textbooks have arrived and what resources I need to order for the homeschooler and then I thought

IT’S STILL JULY!

And I got a little irritated until, once again, I remembered the merry month of May – we were done with school by May 14 this year and managed to do the Wild West Trip (story still to be finished!) before June.

Our travels for the rest of this summer have been mostly regional – well, all regional.  I had thought of doing a road trip to Philadelphia and Boston for, well, right now, but circumstances intervened, and that won’t be happening. So we are just hanging out here, reading, going to the pool, and getting ready for school. So some notes.

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  • Are you planning adult education? Consider these resources.

"amy welborn"

  • Are you teaching First Communion children this year? Take a look at Friendship with Jesus and Be Saints. 
  • Are you teaching religion to elementary age students? Friendship with Jesus, Be Saints, Bambinelli Sunday, Adventures in Assisi, The Loyola Kids’ Book of Saints, The Loyola Kids’ Book of Heroes. 
  • Can you help catechists, Catholic schools and parish programs?  Consider gifting your parish, school or favorite catechist with copies of these books.  Click on the covers for more information.

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"amy welborn"

I have copies of the picture books on hand – in my bookstore.  In fact, I have a lot of them!  If you are interested in bulk orders, contact me – we can make a deal!

Again – even if catechesis isn’t something you are personally involved in, any catechist, parish school, library or program would welcome a donation as a beginning-of-the-year (no matter when it begins…) gift.

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— 1 —

….a few days after.

The older brother was on an overnight school trip earlier in the week, so the ten-year old and I took the opportunity to go up to the 4th largest city in Tennesse to revisit the Aquarium (he’d been 2 or 3 years ago, but was ready for a return and his brother wouldn’t mind being excluded) and see the zoo, the children’s museum and whatever else we could fit into about 24 hours. (We couldn’t leave until after his piano lesson on Monday)

"amy welborn"

— 2 —

Having lived in Knoville during my teen and college years, I have random associations with Chattanooga:

  • One of my best friends from college was from Chattanooga and taught me all about the prep/boarding school/High Episcopal culture of the city.
  • When I was in high school in Knoxville, our newspaper staff attended a high school journalism convention in Knoxville.  Something I wrote won me an autographed paperback copy of a book by Barbara Walters.  No, I don’t still have it.
  • On that same trip,  some of the senior girls went out after curfew to some bar. (They may have even been 18, so it might have even been okay…remember that was the drinking age then. Wiser times.) One of the girls met a guy there – a guy in his twenties – and Chemistry Happened. She was giddy about it when she got back to the hotel room. We lowly, gawky sophomores and juniors were in awe.   They made plans.  He’d come up to Knoxville in a few weeks and they would go to the Dan Fogleburg concert together.

(And of course)

She waited and waited at the Civic Center…

He didn’t show up.

Longer than….

— 3 —

No such drama or awards this time.  Just animal-crazy kid-centered fun.

First thing about Chattanooga:  the city is a model of tourism development and marketing.  It’s the smallest of the Big Four cities in Tennessee, and probably has the least attention-grabbing cachet.  No blues/Elvis/Mississippi River, no country music capitol, no Smokey Mountains gateway. But it’s taken what it has – the natural attraction and history of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River, as well as its location as the city through which a good chunk of the Florida-bound traffic must pass  – and built on it.

There’s a degree of artificiality about it, but at the same time, this downtown area of Chattanooga, on both sides of the river, is clearly also for residents, and it shows.

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— 4 —

We couldn’t leave until after the Monday piano lesson, but even so, since the Aquarium doesn’t close until 7:30, we had plenty of time to explore.

There are two wings, one devoted to oceans and one to rivers.  The latter is the original, appropriately themed, since it sits right on the lovely Tennessee River.   There is not a whole lot in the ocean wing, but there were penguins and some great rays.

The river wing is well designed:  you ride the escalator up to the top, then wind your way down on mezzanine ramps that branch out into exhibit halls on the sides.  My son’s favorite is the paddle fish – he says it looks prehistoric to him and it does.

I like the Tennessee Aquarium more than I do the Atlanta aquarium, which always seems like such a mob scene to me.  It’s expensive, but then all aquariums are – they are expensive to operate – but it’s worth it.

Then some walking:

The Bluff View area directly east of downtown is lovely, and here’s another great feature of Chattanooga planning:  public art.  It’s a priority for the city, and the placement of all of this statuary adds ongoing interest to an already eye-catching walk up and down hills and over a pedestrian bridge.

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The Walnut Street Bridge – threatened with demolition until a little over twenty years ago, the community joined together to restore and revive it as a pedestrian bridge.

"amy welborn"

"amy welborn"

— 5 —

Tuesday morning, we took a ten-minute drive to the zoo.  It’s small, and half-priced with our Birmingham Zoo membership, I paid a little over seven bucks for us to get in.  It was us with scores of school groups, but most of the time we managed to stay ahead of them and enjoy the animals without too much ecstatic squealing in the background.

My ten-year old is a zoo afficianado, with one of the great regrets of his life being that he was only four when he went to the San Diego Zoo, and he doesn’t remember it.  His favorite so far is the New Orleans Zoo, but he approved of this one, too, comparing it in size and scope to the Montgomery Zoo and he’s right.

So, no big animals here, which is fine – the biggest cats were jaguars, and supposedly there were chimps but we never saw them.  The highlights for us were the Fennec foxes, which are new and very cute, and the sloth

I’ve seen sloths in zoos before (Birmingham has one), but I’ve never seen one do anything but sleep.  We had been through this exhibit once earlier, had some extra time, so we decided to go back to it once more before we left, and it was great that we did: the sloth, previously curled up and asleep was seriously on the move:

Their Edward Scissorhands hook paws are pretty weird.

It was a good couple of hours and walking around, looking at animals, and listening to my ten-year old tell me all about them.

Then back to town, where we spent some time at the Children’s Discovery Museum.  I was unsure if it might be a little young for Michael, and he was right on the edge, and we wouldn’t return, but the music and art rooms were particularly good and provided him some interesting ways to spend his time.

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Then, this happened:

High Point Climbing

— 6 —

You can’t miss the High Point Climbing and Fitness.  The outdoor climbing walls loom high over the riverside area. We took a brief walk around Monday night, and I told Michael that yes, he could do it on Tuesday…and so he did.  For two hours. Indoors and out.  Arms sore at the end, heels blistered from the shoes, but very, very happy.

High Point Climbing and Fitness

High Point Climbing Gym

And he was pretty excited to learn that they are opening their second facility in 2016….in Birmingham.

And then back home to pick up brother at 11:30 pm at school from his trip.

We’ll go back to Chattanooga for a couple of days sometime this summer to do Lookout Mountain/Ruby Falls/Rock City (which my older son said was really kitschy and actually kind of weird) and Chickamagua.  My big goal of this summer, locally, is to get to Cloudland Canyon State Park, which is just a little south of Chattanooga – it looks amazing.

— 7 —

Had a nice chat with Matt Swain on Thursday morning about the two B16 picture books, available here, of course:

"amy welborn"

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And for Mother’s Day:

days

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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— 1 —

Well, that was interesting – and let’s hope that “was” remains the pertinent verb.

No internet or landline for almost a week.  Yes, we had data on the Ipad, but I didn’t want to burn through that, plus I don’t have a keyboard and really don’t like actually typing/working on the thing.

I hope the situation is finally resolved – I thought it was late yesterday morning, but then it went out again last night…and here it is back on again this morning.

It’s been a good – excellent – exercise in patience and priorities and a lesson in putting small (really) inconviences like this into perspective.  Not joking or being ironic here!

— 2 —

Danielle Bean was here!  She was taping a couple of EWTN shows, including At Home with Jim and Joy yesterday, so I ran over during her break and before my afternoon running about and said hello in person at last. 

— 3 —

10-year old started a Kabelevsky piece this week, so we spent some time yesterday listening to the Kabelevsky section at Classics for Kids.  If you’ve never seen (heard) it, check it out – it might be the best classical music-for-children site out there.  It’s centered around recorded radio programs – tons of them – but there are a lot of excellent printables as well.

— 4 —

Finally set up a hummingbird feeder too, and lo – one came!  We had a feeder at the old house, but with zero success, so it’s a good sign that we had it up a day, and already had a customer.  All nature, every animal is amazing, but hummingbirds are something else.

We also put up the regular bird feeder, and I tell you – as a person who’s never had a bird feeder up at any house she’s lived in her entire life  – this is one of the best educational tools you can have.  Up until this point, the only birds we had noticed in our yard were the usual – cardinals, jays, crows and robins.  Now, all sorts of critters are appearing, and books have been checked out, morphologies and taxonomies studies, and a journal begun:

"amy welborn"

— 5 —

"amy welborn"

Ever heard of Sylacauga marble?  Well, it’s one of the major types of marble found in the United States, and it’s found about 40 miles southeast of Birmingham, in Sylacauga.

We had visited the town before, and seen the quarry and toured the Blue Bell ice cream plant, but this time we went down for the festival. (This being last week….I had written this to be pubished last Friday until..well, you know.) 

Perhaps there is more “fest” to the festival on the weekends, but in going down during the week, the major thing we wanted to see were the artists at work.

Thirty artists are set up in tents for two weeks –two weeks! – where they work on their pieces in marble.

As it happens, one of the artists this year is the husband of blogger and long-time commenter Nancy Ewing, and so we were able to meet him and gain some insight into the challenges and fruits of working with this stone.  It was excellent exposure to a new type of artistic endeavor for the ten-year old.

As I said, that was last week.  No travels this week because (not kidding) every day we had to be at home waiting for a tech person.  Five visits this week.  Next week, however, there’s a short jaunt planned. 8th grader has an overnight class trip, so the 10-year old and I will venture out to an another location…

— 6 —

Beast Academy 4D is finally here!  On deck: multiplying and dividing fractions, decimals, and probability.  We’ll stretch this one out as long as possible with other resources and ample Khan Academy.

Have I mentioned this before? I don’t think so.  This is an excellent series – well, we only have one book, but I assume the whole series is good – published by Oxford –  The World in Ancient Times.  It’s exactly what I was looking for: very solid content that’s at advanced kid level but doesn’t repeat what every other book on pre-Columbian cultures say. The perspective is not omniscient-expert-for-unknown-reasons.  Every chapter starts with archaeology and examines what we think might be true from the evidence at hand.  I wish there were study guides for every book, but unfortunately, that is only the case for the book on the Romans.  It’s okay – we get excellent use on the volume on the Americas.

— 7 —

Looking for gifts for First Communion? Mother’s Day? Confirmation?

Got it!

51B8RuM9UaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

days

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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I still have a stock of books signed by Ann Engelhart from when she was here back in November doing school visits and EWTN.  So…if you like, order some!

amywelborn

And for Confirmation/Graduation….

prove-it-complete-set-1001761

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For First Communion gifts….and maybe Mother’s Day?

Go here!

I have a lot of copies of the picture books on hand:

Bambinelli Sunday (thinking ahead!)

Adventures in Assisi

Friendship with Jesus

Be Saints"amy welborn"

At this point, I still have copies that will be signed by both illustrator Ann Engelhart and me.  

Let me say a word in support of the last two books. Potential purchasers and gift-givers might be hesitating to purchase these books because they feature, not the current Pope, but Pope Emeritus Benedict, and hence seem dated.

They’re not!

The content is simply the words of Benedict – in the case of Be Saints  – interspersed with quotes from saints – go to the link to see sample pages  – explaining the Eucharist or holiness.  The illustrations center on contemporary children doing things children do – playing, learning, praying.

So take a look!

Also, if you would are interested in buying any of these books in bulk, email me and we can talk about special pricing.

(Also…new Catholic gift? Confirmation? Mother’s Day?)

 

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— 1 —

Atlas Obscura has become one of my favorite sites.  For example, check this out:

Built as a residential home in 1630, in the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam and bordering the infamous red light district, this particular steep-gabled building holds a remarkable secret. Making your way through the nearly 400-year-old corridors, kitchens, and bedrooms, there is a narrow and steep staircase that leads to the upper floors. Where, hidden away in the attic, is a magnificently miniature, fully-appointed Catholic church.

The clandestine church, known in Dutch as a “schuilkerk,” was secreted away in the attic on purpose due to the persecution of Catholicism in Holland in the 17th century. Unable to hold mass in public, Jan Hartmann converted the attic of his home to a church in 1663.

— 2 —

I think I shared before that my younger sons were going to be serving every single liturgy of Holy Week at the convent. Well, they did!

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"amy welborn"

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And it was lovely.

— 3 —

I read Christopher Beha’s Arts and Entertainments – it had been praised in various faith-n-lit forums, so when I saw it on the library shelf, I decided to give it a go.  It’s a very quick, initially entertaining read – I read most of in one evening.

It’s the story of a youngish man who teaches drama in his own high school alma mater.  He’s a failed proessional actor, whose former girlfriend has gone on to star in a wildly successful television show.  Married, he and his wife struggle with fertility, and in order to pay for treatments,assured of anonymity in the transaction, he succumbs to temptation and sells a sex tape made with his former girlfriend.

Of course the veil is ripped away immediately, and the novel is about the power of contemporary reality-television culture and there was certainly a theological/spiritual observation being made. As the kingmaker reality-television producer (a former seminarian) declares, the audience has replaced God as the arbiter of good and evil, as the motivator for human choice and behavior:

“In the world I used to live in, good is whatever God wants. That’s it. There’s no other measuring stick. There is no good before God. When we say that God is good, all we’re saying is that God is God. In the world I live in now, it’s the same thing. There’s only one criterion. What does the audience want? Does the audience want you to be honest? Does the audience want you to be kind? . . . The audience has only one way of expressing its interest—by watching. They might watch because they love you. They might watch because they hate you. They might watch because they’re sick. Doesn’t matter. Is that good or bad? The question doesn’t make any sense. Good is whatever the audience watches.”

I think this is an astute observation, but I think that Beha actually doesn’t cut deeply enough here.  In confining his characters’ hijinks to the world of television-and-movies celebrity and reality TV, he lets the rest of us off the hook.

I say this because “the audience” isn’t just people who watch TV and peruse gossip sites. The “audience” that must be pleased is composed of our blog readers, Facebook friends, Instagram and Twitter followers…all of which feeds the human temptation to make choices and behave for thGod’e sake of others’ opinions rather than God’s will.

It’s the temptation to perform instead of just live.

So…three stars for Arts and Entertainments because, while it certainly kept me entertained, it did get a bit repetitive and stayed on a level that was just too safe.

— 4 —

So I bought this in Spain.

"amy welborn"

People were puzzled.

Why would you want a sharp carrot?

Well, I finally broke it out and used it this week, and here’s how it’s done.

There’s an edge that functions as a peeler, and it’s nice and sharp.

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And then you use the “sharpener” part to make curls or rosettes.  Nifty.

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"amy welborn"

And if you really want to, you can certainly just sharpen your carrot:

"amy welborn"

As I said before, I got this at a shop called Tiger, which I would love to see in the US: a Dollar Tree with Ikea design sensibilities.

— 5 —

I fell down on the Easter egg stuff this year, but honestly, with 10- and 14-year old boys in the house, the pressure is not overwhelming.  Although this year’s version (I didn’t have the energy to tackle the Ukrainian eggs this year) was chemically and mechanically intriguing enough that the 14-year old  wandered into the kitchen on night and made a couple of his own volition.

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I bought some 100% pure silk ties at the thrift store – darker colors are preferred.  Then you wrap the eggs in that fabric, then wrap each again in a square of white sheet or pillowcase, and boil for fifteen minutes.

The site I got this from recommended not eating the eggs because of the risk from the dye  You can do blow-out eggs in this manner, but you’d need to weight them down in the boiling water.

If I ever do this again (which I probably won’t), I would make sure the silk was more evenly wrapped and every bit of eggshell was in contact with fabric.  We had some blank patches. I’ll also remember to put vinegar into the water next time….

— 6 —

 Alabama:  Where you go from a slight morning and evening chill to three-foot mosquitos showing up in your house all within a week’s time.

— 7 —

Looking for gifts for First Communion? Mother’s Day?

Got it!

"amy welborn"

51B8RuM9UaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

days

"amy welborn"

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

Read Full Post »

For your First Communicant.  For your students, if you’re a catechist, DRE or pastor:

51B8RuM9UaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"

More here.

Read Full Post »

For First Communion gifts….and maybe Mother’s Day?

Go here!

I have a lot of copies of the picture books on hand:

Bambinelli Sunday (thinking ahead!)

Adventures in Assisi

Friendship with Jesus

Be Saints"amy welborn"

At this point, I still have copies that will be signed by both illustrator Ann Engelhart and me.  

Let me say a word in support of the last two books. Potential purchasers and gift-givers might be hesitating to purchase these books because they feature, not the current Pope, but Pope Emeritus Benedict, and hence seem dated.

They’re not!

The content is simply the words of Benedict – in the case of Be Saints  – interspersed with quotes from saints – go to the link to see sample pages  – explaining the Eucharist or holiness.  The illustrations center on contemporary children doing things children do – playing, learning, praying.

So take a look!

Also, if you would are interested in buying any of these books in bulk, email me and we can talk about special pricing.

(Also…new Catholic gift? Confirmation? Mother’s Day?)

*At the moment, I’m running a special – you can get all four off the picture books, signed, for $50…including shipping. Go here to see more (scroll down) and also – if you would like to buy 20 copies or more (perhaps for a First Communion class), contact me at amywelborn60 – at – gmail.com, and we can, as they say, cut une deal. I won’t be able to do that for long, as stock will deplete, but if you’re interested, contact me soon.)

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