Friday, April 21, 2006

Co-op adventures

We had a rather unusual co-op today. Our normal co-op is getting together with several other homeschool families, singing and Latin classes. The classes usually consist of checking our homework going over new concepts and those sorts of things. But this time was different.
After singing which I loved (we did Easter songs, one with two parts and one with four) we got the awards for the National Latin Exam. I got 35 out of 40 right in the test for which I received a Maxima Cum Laude and a silver medal. I was tied in this score with two others but Adriana alone out of our co-op recieved a gold medal and a Summa Cum Laude for a score of 36 our 40.
After that the three oldest Latin classes got together and we played Charades with scenes from Roman history and mythology. We split into two teams and each team wrote down seven scenes from Roman history of mythology and our team together acted it out for the other team to guess.
Our team did:
Attila the Hun
We split into two groups one at the top looking barbianish the other at the bottom looking Romanish. The barbarians ran down the hill and the Romans ran.
They didn't guess it so then we made a Roman arch one of us was Attila and another was the pope. The two started arguing and then the other team finally guessed it.
The Crossing of the Rubicon
Since I was wearing all blue I lay on the ground as the river Rubicon and everyone else was the army. After some hesitation they crossed.
Hadrian's Wall
Most of us stood right next to each other one paced behind us and another ran against the wall trying to break it finally he did and there was 400 years of history covered in 30 seconds.
The Seven Hills of Rome
There were only six of us on the team so we recruited a younger sibling and all sat down on the grass. It didn't take them toolong to guess it.
Most of us were the dragon and then Gus rid on the shoulders of a team mate and came and killed the dragon.
A Chariot Race
We split into two groups (Girls vs. Boys) with two in front as horses and one in back as the driver. The girls won!
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
We had three people as soldiers marching and two as servants dragging an ''elephant'' with them.

I do not have enough time to post on their acting now but perhaps I can in the near future.
Anyways it was all quite hilarious and everyone had a great time

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Vigil at Scheonstatt

This week we had been planning to go to Easter Vigil at St. Anthony's in Milwaukee but last night that seemed a little far so we decided that some of us would go to the Vigil mass at Scheonstatt (a local convent). But then more and more of us wanted to go and so in the end we decided to all go. It was a really neat experience. We thought the Mass was at 8 but in reality it was at 8:30 so we arrived a bit early, but that was a blessing because we had a chance to visit the little shrine.
Now in case you have never heard of Scheonstatt I will elaborate. Scheonstatt is a Marian shrine but it didn't start that way, it was founded, nobody really knows when, before the 1300s, as a Shrine to St. Michael.
Then in much more recent times a german priest, Fr. Joseph Kentinich, discovered it and turned into a Marian Shrine. Now there are many shrines all over the world but not in many North American locations. So we are very blessed to have one so near us.
Anyways we visited the little shrine which is really the heart of the place then we went back to await the beggining of Mass. The Mass was beautiful, the choir was really good, the music was beautiful, there weren't many people there which made it even more special. The sermon was really good and I learned a quote of Fr. Kentinichs which I will never forget. When talking about how baptism is even more special than your birthday he said, "Every cow has a birthday".

After Mass everyone stayed for a while saying Happy Easter to everyone else. It was such a special Mass I will never forget it.

Well Happy Easter to all, I hope you have a Blessed and Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Chestertonian Easter Egg

Although nearly impossible to read in this picture, this eggs inscription reads,
The men of the east may spell the stars
And times and triumphs mark
But the men signed with the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark.

I was having trouble thinking of Easter Egg designs this morning while we were all decorating them for the Easter Egg hunt tomorrow. I decided that this stanza from The Ballad of the White Horse would be quite nice.
I have been working on memorizing the Ballad of the White Horse and now have nearly fifty stanzas commited to memory but the one above was the first I learned. And anyone who loves The Shadow of the Bear as much as I do doubtless has memorized it as well, as it is quoted several times in that marvelous book.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Madeliene L'Engle

Several months ago I read A Wrinkle in Time by the above mentioned author and loved it. Therefore I was delighted to learn that there were three more books in that series and read them eagerly. I enjoyed them all particularly the third book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, whose extremly intriguing mystery and interwoven plot had me completly enthralled.

It was with great excitment you may guess that a few weeks ago I discovered the first book of a different series of hers, Meet the Austins, at a library book sale. My hopes were not disappointed.
It was a wonderful story about a family, who reminded me very much of my family, and the struggles that occur when a spoiled orphaned girl comes to live with them. I read the second book, The Moon By Night, yesterday which was also quite good though I did not like it quite as much as the first. I will soon begin the third, The Young Unicorns, as soon as possible get on to the fourth, A Ring of Endless Light, which I hear is the best.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

St. Edmund Campion By Harold C. Gardiner

St. Edmund Campion was on his way to being quite high in the Queen Elizabeth's favor when he decided to become a Catholic. He fled from England became a Jesuit and after several years returned to England. Before long he was arrested by the Queen's men, imprisoned, tortured and finally executed.

One thing I learned in this book was that William Shakespeare's father was a fallen away Catholic until he was brought back by a close friend of Fr. Campion. William Shakespeare, aside from being one of the most famous writers of all time was a catholic just like his father.

If All the Swords in England By Barbara Willard, Summary

When his twin Edmund found work in the kings court his twin Simon needed a place somewhere as well. He finds a place with the exiled archbishop, Thomas Beckett through a strange series of events. The brothers are caught up in the battle taking place between the steadfast Archibishop and the changeable King.