Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First day of school

I always set the day after Labor Day as our first day of school because it gives us an excuse to go out to breakfast. (I know what you're thinking: "Now, there's a woman who has her priorities straight.")

Here's what I'd planned:

Breakfast out (with two meals free, thanks to "birthday club" coupons)
Nature walk

Here's what we got:


At first, we seemed to be annoying the woman seated directly behind us. I thought she had a tiny scowl on her face, and I wondered if too much whispering had been going on. But, at the sign of peace, she was lovely. She smiled warmly and exchanged a sincere greeting. Then, after Holy Communion, I noticed that she had not gone forward. I wondered if she might be going through RCIA.

Right after Mass, she asked if we were homeschoolers, then explained that she used to homeschool her four boys, "once upon a time." She sweetly offered me leftover curriculum, and then said that she's in RCIA, but keeps wondering if she's doing the right thing. Hmmm ... she was talking to the right person. I explained that both my husband and I are converts, that I was on our parish's RCIA team for about six years, and if she'd ever like to talk more about her questions, I'd love to have her over for a cup of coffee. We exchanged names. God is good.


The coupons could not be honored. The restaurant just dropped its franchise affiliation and would not give us the birthday discounts. (I had a few words to say about cultivating good customer relations during their transition period, but I kept my mouth shut and ordered a muffin and coffee.) The girls enjoyed their unhealthy chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and the like, and we were off for our


We went to the lake and racked up a load of nature sightings. It was a gorgeous morning -- blue skies, 70 degrees. Perfect. The girls spotted a couple kinds of fish, water striders ("Just like in Joyful Noise, Mom," said Anne), a very fat brown caterpillar and the skeleton of something. I didn't know what it was, and the girls didn't want to know. We moved on.


Back at home, we casually reviewed some math facts, just to get back into the swing of it. Ramona has decided she loves math. Not that I make her "do" math ... I think she just likes to be the opposite of her sisters. She chases them through the house, shouting, "I'm a big book of math!" I have to confess that I wasn't thrilled with the water that was sprayed on the table (from someone's mouth) when something funny happened. I did get a little crabby for a few minutes there, but I had to admit that I was glad they were having fun doing math. In light of the big picture, the spraying was quickly put back into its proper perspective.

Read-aloud and writing

We finished our Martha book, and today will move on to Twenty and Ten. The girls also did some writing. They have stories going, are working on blog posts and keyboarding. (When did typing become keyboarding?)

And last night, we did some door-to-door canvassing to help out the woman who teaches horseback riding to my girls. She also runs a therapeutic riding program, and depends quite a bit on her fundraising. The girls were thrilled to collect $30 for her, and I was thrilled to see them so excited to do it. It was extraordinarily cute (if I do say so myself) to see them offer their spiel and squeak with delight at every "yes."

Back at home, we read a little more, got ready for bed, and Ramona dropped off in my arms during prayers.

What a lovely day. But then, with God, chocolate, coffee, and three angels in my midst, how could we go wrong?


Liz said...

My niece does therapeutic riding in NYC and absolutely loves it. Because of that program she gets her riding lessons for free. I don't know what riding lessons cost in your neck of the woods, but around here they run about $20 an hour. In NYC it's ordinarily way more than that which is why Crystal's big sister never got them. Therapeutic riding is a really wonderful cause to support.

Kristin said...

So glad to hear you had a lovely day! --- Thanks for sharing!

Ladybugs said...

Beautiful, Karen!

Karen E. said...

Thanks, all!

Alice said...

Karen, I do so wish you lived next door.

Sounds like a great day. I especially loved the part about the woman at Mass.

Nancy C. Brown said...

I like the way you think. I'd love to do mass and breakfast out with you sometime!

And isn't God good to have prompted you and that woman at mass to sit near each other, so you could connect? I hope and pray that your influence will assist her on her way "home".

Leonie said...

What a great day! Makes me want one like that real soon. :-)