It’s been two years since we’ve had a homeschool All Saints Eve party, but this year it was announced on Oct 20 that we were starting up the tradition again. I spent Friday and Saturday sewing costumes, which turned out pretty well. Maria was St. Bernadette, Johnathan was St. Anthony, Alexander was St. Michael, and Joseph was St. Juan Diego. Maria and John slipped out the door before I could get a picture of them, but here are the little boys:
For the last couple of months, my friend Jennifer M. and I have been going ballroom dancing on Friday nights when they have teenagers only. It’s pretty casual, and since there’s a shortage of boys, most of the time girls are dancing with girls. It’s a ton of fun, and Jennifer is really good at it and she teaches me more moves each time we go. Sadly, the ballroom is closing down in December, but we’re enjoying the time we have left. Last Friday there was a costume halloween party, and as Jennifer couldn’t make it I took Landon. He dressed up as Frodo from the Lord of the Rings, and I went as Cleopatra.
I cooked lamb again this year for Maundy Thursday, in remembrance that Jesus was celebrating the Passover with his disciples at the Last Supper. I also found recipes for the other traditional Passover dishes. I found a picture of what a dish of Passover foods looks like (there’s a very specific way to set it all up) and Mom and I replicated it:
We got out a light-up, outdoor nativity scene today, and the youngest boys were thrilled, especially Joseph. When I first pulled Mary out of the box, his eyes grew wide, and he knew that there was more to it than just that. He shouted, “Where’s God?” and began to run through the house wildly, not stopping till I had shown him the Baby Jesus.
Sadly, this year there was no All Saint’s Eve party so we decided on Oct. 30 that we would be going trick or treating. For lack of ideas, the boys immediately decided that they would be exactly what they were last year. So, I set The Illustrated Book of World History on the kitchen table and asked Alexander if he wanted to be King Tutankhamun. “Is that a mummy?” he asked, very concerned.
“No, no, of course not,” I answered.
“But he got to be one when he died,” John Paul (who talks too much) put in.
Alexander’s eyes grew wide. “Uh-Uh, I’m not being him,” he firmly announced.
I questioned him about several more historical characters, including Caesar, a viking, a king, and Sitting Bull. He didn’t want any of them. So, I handed him the book and said, “You look through it, I have to go clean the kitchen countertops.” Not five minutes later, he told me he had found something, a Roman Centurion. I though it was a great choice, and began to form a plan in my head as to how to do it.
I wasn’t able to work on it until the afternoon of Halloween, and Alex pestered me every five minutes until then. Finally, I collected materials I thought I would use: a red tunic from past All Saint’s Eve parties, a red turtle neck, a red cape, and cardboard. I put the turtleneck and tunic on him, and then went to look for some string in the All Saint’s Eve box. Instead, I found some shiny grey fabric left over from Maria’s Joan of Arc costume. I knew this would be a perfect substitute for the cardboard. I cut it to the right size, made a head hole, and put it on him. Alex began to ask when I was going to be done making the costume, even after he had been so excited to make it. I told him to give me five more minutes, and put a belt around his waist, a sword in his hand , and a helmet on his head. Voila!
Joseph decided to be Robin Hood, and his costume was easier. Here he is with Johnathan, who made his own costume:
I wasn’t planning on dressing up this year, but after making Alex’s costume, I decided I had to because I couldn’t stand watching the other kids in their costumes for the kids who came trick or treating to the door. With the bed-sheet tunic I used for Shakespeare camp, a piece of brown fabric, one of Mom’s shirts and an hour’s work on the sewing machine, I had a costume! (And I was so glad I did, because it turned out some of my friends were trick or treating in the neighborhood and they invited me along!)
I am dressed as Éowyn from the Lord of The Rings books, which I read this summer before watching the movies.
This Mother’s day, I was in an experimenting mood. I wanted to try to make an iced coffee drink that Mom likes to get from Starbucks. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but if it went the way I hoped it would it would be a nice Mother’s day present. So I got out the blender and put in three cups of ice cubes (I wasn’t sure how much it would be after it was crushed) a cup and a half of milk, espresso, a little chocolate syrup, and some sugar. Then I let the blender crush it up and hoped for the best. It turned out better than I was expecting, so I poured my creation into a glass, whipped up some cream for the top, and drizzled it with chocolate syrup. Mom thought it was delicious!
He is Risen, Alleluia!
My nativity scene set-up is completed today, Epiphany, which commemorates the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. This nativity was a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa on Mom’s side.
This was also the day we opened up presents from Mom and Dad. We didn’t do it on Christmas because with our trip to Florida and the sickness that struck immediately when we got back, Mom had no time for shopping. We have thought about opening gifts on Epiphany for a couple years, since that was the day Jesus received his gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but we had never done it.
Dad handed out the first presents to the four boys. They were small, identical square boxes about two and a half inches on every side. Dad built suspense by making the boys count to seventeen in a painfully slow manner before they could open them. After the number ten, Alexander tried to say seventeen at the beginning of each number. “Sev- eleven, sev-twelve, sev-thirteen,” etc. etc.
Finally, the boys reached seventeen, but not before sixteen and a half, sixteen and three quarters, and sixteen and seven eights. When seventeen was reached, the boys tore into the wrapping paper and opened the box inside. Alexander declared, “Springies!”
“Slinkies,” I corrected him.
“Oh, I knew that,” he mumbled.
Dad has a fondness for slinkies. I remember him showing me how they worked when he found one at his friend’s house a long time ago.
It wasn’t long before Dad and the boys had the slinkies lined up on the stairs for a race. Unfortunately, our stairs are too wide for slinkies, so the race was abandoned and attention was turned to the other gifts.
The first present I opened was a calendar. Dad made me guess what was inside the wrapping paper, but the size and fact I get one every year gave it away. I got it right on the first guess.
This calendar has some beautiful pictures inside.
Well, that’s all for now. I will post more later as I get going on the cross stitch and sun catchers.