Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Schooling

Monday school-time. It's Monday, as if that weren't enough, and it's cold. No one wants to work and everyone wants to snuggle.

So we're doing schoolwork the Japanese way. We have a little heater under the table, and we are keeping the heat in with blankets.

It's a giant fort, too!


Look who else likes it. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Yarn Along

This is the Yarn Along version of a #Latergram, as in I finished the socks in time for Christmas and the book last week. But I wanted to share both of them, so here they are!

The socks are Sweet Georgia sock yarn which I really like----soft and sturdy. The pattern is just a basic sock using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel (which costs $1 and is totally worth the money for this easy heel pattern and the tips on how to make socks that fit!), Judy's Magic Cast-on (for toe-up socks that don't require any seaming!), and Jeny's Suprisingly Stretchy Bind-off, plus a basic 2x2 rib. I combined all those features for a men's size 12 sock that didn't need a pattern. I love that with toe-up socks you can just keep trying them on to see if they fit----which I did to all the size 12 men around except the gift recipient!

All those tips just might turn me into a sock knitter! Except that there is still the pesky problem of gauge when you want to go a little crazy, knit a little faster, and use a size 3 needle!

My book is The Martian by Andy Weir, which was a Christmas gift. I heard about it (repeatedly) on the Catholic in a Smalltown podcast. Mac liked it so much that he kept talking about it, forgetting that he had already reviewed it once. I put it on my Christmas wish list, and I was not disappointed. It was one of the best books I've read in a long time!

Mark Watney is part of the Ares 4 manned mission to Mars, and on the 5th day there's a disaster that (supposedly) causes his death and the mission is aborted. The other astronauts must leave the surface quickly and don't have time to search for his body. As you might have guessed, he's not dead and the crew has no way of knowing that. Mark knows that he has to find a way to survive for 4 years until the Ares 5 arrives---3200 km away.

The Martian is really well thought out in terms of the scientific realities of what conditions are like on Mars and what kind of gear Mark would have available. It could have gotten dull with just his log entries and long, scientific explanations of what he's doing, but Weir manages to vary the storytelling and keep the explanations understandable for us (extremely non-scientific types).

Now I need a new book to any recommendations? I know, I can just go read all the Yarn Along posts at Ginny's!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keeping the Family Honor Intact!

Hey there!

It was a busy weekend----Monday was Recovery Day and today is was just Busy, so I'm just getting around to blogging.

Anyway, Meg and I went to a Family Honor program on Friday and Saturday. Family Honor is about teaching the facts of life in the context of Catholic church teaching along with emphasis on the virtues of Purity and Chastity.

I really didn't know what to expect, though I knew it was good. I'd heard it "takes the awkwardness out of teaching your kids about the birds and the bees." I wasn't sure how that would work...but they do it by actually telling your kids everything they need to know! That sort of surprised me, but it was fine.

The whole seminar was a  combination of the Natural Family Planning classes and Marriage Prep classes that Don and I taught for years. We learned about communication skills, hormones, women's cycles, and chastity through a mixture of lectures, slide shows, games, and parent/teen discussions. There were several breakout sessions---boys, girls, parents---and the Facts were taught in a single-sex environment. The only time the boys and girls were together was with the parents.

Meg, as the youngest of 6 children, and a very open, talkative child, was much more knowledgeable than many of her siblings at age 12, so it was good timing for her. Other children might do better in 8th grade as opposed to 7th, though several of her classmates were there. It has already made discussions much more open around here!

Family Honor seems to be focused around the southeast, but it you have the opportunity to attend one or organize one at your parish, I highly recommend it! I wish all my kids had had the chance to go.

Have you ever been to something like this?


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