Learning Notes Week of May 7, with Anthony’s First Communion

Bella reads to her dolls.

Singing Lucia

Monday May 7

Anthony: math, copywork, Child’s History. (He’s currently reading the Narnia books, knee deep in The Silver Chair today.)

Ben: math, copywork, Explode the Code. He took a long walk with Daddy this morning.

Sophie: math, copywork, French, Child’s Geography, narrated about the St Imelda book. She’s currently reading Genesis, St Imelda, and The Rose Round.

Bella: math, Latin, copywork, narrated to me about three books she’s just finished: The Scarlett Pimpernel, The Seven Queens of England, An Owl Came to Stay. She’s also been re-reading her Volcano Adventure Guide book after we’ve been watching videos of the recent Kiluea eruption. She and I took a very long walk and she narrated while we walked. Along the way she spotted and identified various trees and plants and gold finches, house finches, chipping sparrows, cardinals, robins, and, most excitingly, we spotted a trio of turkeys, two males and a female. Bella stalked them and got fairly close. We noticed that the male turkey kept dragging his wings against the pavement while spreading his tail feathers and ruffling up his back feathers. The dragging wings made an odd noise. We speculated as to whether it was part of the mating display.

When we got home I worked on a drawing of a toad for my nature journal, using a photograph I took on Friday.

Afternoon stories on the patio as it was a glorious day, 59 degrees and full sun with a nice breeze. Not too hot, not too cold. I did get a wee bit of a sunburn on my neck and shoulders though. We read: St John Masias, Alfred the Great, St Magnus, North with the Spring, Story of the Chosen People. We had some great discussions about moral choices, asking God to help you to want to forgive your enemies even when you don’t feel like you can forgive them and even don’t want to want to forgive them.

Bedtime story: Talking Eggs.

Bella with turkeys.

The turkey was dragging his wings on the ground, making an odd sound.

Bella with turkey

Mr Toad.

Bella’s bird drawing.

Tuesday May 8

Maddeningly, I didn’t record any notes. I think I told everyone to do copywork and math while I took Isabella to the orthodontist. But I didn’t record if they actually did the work….

We did have afternoon stories outside, siting on the blankets that the kids had laid out under the maple and apple trees as a sort of camp.

Spring flowers.

A camp under the trees.

Story time under the apple boughs.

Wednesday May 9

Anthony: math, copywork, Child’s History

Ben: math, copywork, explode the code

Sophie: math, copywork, dictation, French, Chid’s Geography

Bella: math, copywork, Latin

Took Anthony to get some fancy clothes for first communion.

Stories: King Alfred the Great, Book of Marvels.

Bedtime: Gail Gibbons book about the island off the coast of Maine.

At some point in the day the children put on a play outside on the patio, at least until Ben got bored and quit sometime after the second costume change.

Math and guacamole.

The patio players.

Thursday May 10

The Feast of the Ascension is celebrated on Thursday here in the Archdiocese of Boston, so we had a very busy day. It began with Mass and then our pastor met with us by appointment after Mass for first confession for Anthony as well as confession for Sophie, who has some anxiety and needs a bit of hand-holding. While we waited for Father, who celebrated the morning Mass at a different parish in the collaborative, we examined all the stained glass windows and statues and talked about the symbols and their significance.

Then after a stop at home to eat lunch we went to pick up Auntie Tree from the airport shuttle. She was here for Anthony’s first communion. I’m always thrilled to see my little sister and the kids love their favorite auntie.

First confession!

Auntie Tree!

Friday May 11

Cleaning in preparation for Anthony’s first communion on Sunday

Darth Ben.

Sunday May 13

Anthony’s first communion. Such an emotional day. Anthony was so very excited. Quietly excited, but a day or two before he said something about looking forward to what would be the “one of the best days of my life”. He looked so handsome in his blazer and tie. We reused the blazer that Ben wore, but as Ben had lost one of the buttons and I couldn’t find a matching one, I bought a new set. These had a lion’s head on them. Aslan buttons. Anthony was thrilled.

He got a new missal from Auntie Tree, who was able to come up from Texas for the big day. A set with a rosary and mass book and lapel pin from my parents. A Bible from Grandma B. Cards and money and giant candy bars from various aunts and uncles.

This Mass was also the day after the other kids from the parish had made their first communions and the tradition is they all wear their dresses and suits to Sunday Mass and process in and then process out after Mass to do the May crowning. So while it was Anthony’s big day, he wasn’t the only one all spiffed up.

It was also our dear pastor’s last Mass with us. He’s moving to a new parish as of June 1. He was very emotional as he told us about his new assignment and the new pastor who is coming to take his place, a religious order missionary priest from Nigeria. So lots of tears of joy and sorrow. I’m so glad Father Raeke could help us to celebrate Anthony’s first confession and first communion. Such a wonderful pastor he has been for us and he goes with all our prayers and gratitude.

Anthony’s godparents were able to come and his Bettinelli grandparents and Dom’s other brother and his wife. We had a small gathering at our house after Mass with bagels and juice and a cake.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my children draw closer to Jesus in the sacraments. So many blessings on the day.

Looking at his new missal on the way to First Communion Mass.

Anthony with Fr Raeke.

On Anthony’s special day.

Ben loves Lucy.

She’s not heavy!

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