Friday, January 14, 2011

Starting the New Year with Our Rule of Seven

I had fantasies of having at least the upper part of our home clutter-free and our play-and-learning room back in order by the first of this year.  But, um, life is what happens when you are making other plans.  Fortunately, even if my intent to have a clean and orderly home has yet to come to fruition, life has provided plenty of opportunities to keep living and learning by our Rule of Seven:

Love God
We have started the New Year off by continuing our habits of prayer, Mass and other faith formation.  Admittedly, Mass continues to be a challenge since the kiddoes rarely behave there.  But, we are steadfast in going as a family on Sundays...  The kids and I have also been enjoying First Friday Mass, Adoration, Reconciliation followed by a Music Club for the kids with Our Lady Queen of Saints.  We are so blessed to be a part of such a strong Catholic homeschooling group.  And, of course, at home, we continue to celebrate feast days - including the Epiphany, complete with a simple liturgical breakfast tea.  Plus, we have begun the year with a commitment to actually keeping the Sabbath -- avoiding unnecessary work, taking time for prayer and spending time appreciating our gift of family.

Love Others
With a five and a three year old in the house, loving others is something we are still working on in many, many ways - the biggest of which is learning how to consistently demonstrate love (not head butts, tackles and other forms of mauling) with siblings!  Kisses, hugs, compassion and service do happen though - praise God! - both within our little family and with others.  One way it does is through hospitality.  And, boy, can't that be fun!  We absolutely loved extending the hospitality of my brother and family, who hosted our annual family New Year party to our neighbor, who was to be alone on New Year's Eve.  Granted, we had to explain to her that not all Americans celebrate as we do -- with loads of games, plate after plate of appetizers and a midnight toast followed by a case of confetti and silly string let loose!

Love Moving
If we had to pick one thing that I think we are all going to focus on this year it would be movement!  It's so vital for the kids' growth and development and so important to physical and mental health of Mom and Dad.  So far, one of our favorite movement experiences came last Sunday when we went skating for the first time as a family.  Luke had been asking to try it, so it became our Sabbath adventure.  Our little boy is hooked!

Love Beauty
We started the New Year with a snowy hike and have been enjoying the beauty of nature with every snow fall that we can -- and there sure has been enough of that lately!  What a master the Lord is for painting the canvas of our world with so many different seasonal delights.

Love Work
Although not yet completely consistent with our efforts at family work time, we are becoming more strongly committed to the habit.  And, sometimes it is a true delight - such as the other day when Luke got some "heavy work" in by clearing small furniture and things from the floor of his and Nina's bedroom by piling it onto the beds so we could vacuum while Nina happily sorted diapers, cloths and stuffers.  And, of course, there's all the shoveling we've been doing.  (Okay, Nina works at the shoveling with us while Luke, more often than not, gets distracted by simply playing in the snow.)

Love Playing
Playing is huge in our home, and it's been such a delight to see the imaginative and cooperative play between Luke and Nina increase in frequency and depth lately.  Sometimes, I just marvel at how their ideas unfold and build upon one another's.  Equally fun to witness is when they play with Jack, getting him belly laughing.  And, for Daddy, Luke's new interest in hockey is a boon.  Hallway broom hockey, anyone?

Love Learning
As a part of our Free Christmas Exchange, Luke and Nina received Leap Frog videos.  And, while we are not big on lots of screen time for the kids, we do cuddle in for some at times.  These two videos - along with Jack's Hermie one, have been the most requested.  And, I have to admit:  They are a decent catalyst for literacy learning.  The kids love them and have been motivated to learn and study letters and word building, both on their own and with Dad and me, as a direct result of watching the videos.  Plus, Luke is getting more and more into wanting to read on his own -- especially to brother.

This post is being shared at Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes.


Angela said...

Thanks so much for the comment on my blog! Love "meeting" other Catholic homeschooling moms :) And I just found your Three Part cards for the life of Mary! LOVE THESE! So cool! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following you!

Eileen @ Ordained Praise said...

Love the hockey! I'm also busy teaching my four year old how to read and write. You might like my website Really like your 7 points.

Elle Belles Bows said...

Love your rule of seven! Great post! Kerri


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