Sunday, June 5, 2016

Learning Notes: May III

We attended the first Mass of Thanksgiving for Fr. Andrew Linn at the beautiful St. Edmund of Westminster Church. 

 Apparently when the Milwaukee Cathedral burned down in 1935, the considered moving it to this church. I was happy to see this in the pews:

After our lovely week of outings, the weather decided one week of Spring was enough and jumped into summer. A week of temperatures in the 80s kept me in the air conditioning and even the kids got too hot outside for long. Admittedly, the fact they broke the sprinkler and we had no pool contributed.  We did manage to get the next chapter in Religion done on the four signs of the Catholic Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. And we read The Roman Colosseum, The Story of the World's chapter on the Punic Wars and then The Story of Hannibal by Johanna Johnson.
When they got too hot outside, they came in for a "block party." :)
We also began going over the Summer constellations, particularly Aquila, Cygnus, Hercules and Lyra and how to find the "Summer Triangle". We also began going over the names and descriptions and locations of the brightest stars in the sky. We continued practicing the Sanctus and Teresa finished through lesson 65 in her reading book.
By Cecilia
I was hoping to get to the Botanical Gardens that week but the thunderstorms and hot humidity just made it sound like a miserable outing with 6 kids, so it was postponed a week. We did though play Multiplication Bingo though and the girls helped me finish fixing up our front flower bed!

The flowers the previous owners had in there were way too big for the space and lopped over covering half the walkway. It had also lost a lot of soil and was in great need of more. Also the drainage plate was in the wrong place. We filled in more top soil and repositioned the drainage piece.
 We have a small herd of deer that pass by hour house regularly, so we needed deer-resistant plants. So we planted some Salvia plants and some Lamb's Ear, which I've always wanted to own!) along side our daffodils.
 Then, in front of those, we planted 3 packets of Texas Bluebonnet seeds. Here's hoping it only looks better as the plants take root and grow!
And finally Mary now protects our blue house. I also finally got our American flag out in time for Memorial Day!
We also discovered a sunflower growing by the bird feeder!

 On Sunday we got to see the Milwaukee cathedral for the first time. It is a very confused building. It has gorgeous stained glass windows with a lovely Romanesque architecture.

 But they tragically removed the altarpiece and crucifix during a "renovation" and so the focus is now on a huge organ with the choir standing in front of it and a Lecturn/Pulpit in front of them. It comes across as very Protestant. The crucifix we've nicknamed "Wishbone Jesus" because of the apparent wishbone in his right hand, though it is supposedly supposed to be a dove. Felicity asked me why Jesus was on a stick.
This was what it had looked like before they renovated it:

 We did get to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Fr. Andrew Linn
 And we got to walk through the Holy Doors!
 I didn't see our current bishop's picture, but I spotted Dolan looking down on us!
 Some of the artwork is classic, beautiful and traditional of Saints.
And then other artwork is like this...
 The tabernacle is off to the side in its own nook (I'd call it a chapel but has stairs leading out of it to another room so it really doesn't feel like its own chapel) but the tabernacle is gorgeous!
We still did school on Memorial Day but it was just enough to get something done and not enough to take away from the fact Daddy was home.  Felicity, Elizabeth and I did the next chapter in religion going over the apostolic succession of the Church. Cecilia joined us to read about the conquering of Greece by Rome in The World's Story and then began reading A Triumph for Flavius by Caroline Sneaker.
And Teresa learned the hard way why we don't throw rocks when she tried to throw one the size of a softball into the sandbox filled with water and missed hitting Brigid on the nose. Brigid's nose turned purple and Teresa sobbed that she didn't mean to hurt Brigid and promised not to throw any rocks anymore.
Teresa fell asleep with Brigid in Brigid's bed.
The girls also began to be motivated by the realization that the end of the school year is quickly approaching and they began trying to finish entire subjects. Felicity finished all her Geography for the year and Cecilia did the same on Tuesday while Felicity finished her English book for the year. Felicity also decided to finish her Spelling for the year. On Tuesday we finished A Triumph for Flavius and went over the summer and fall Zodiac constellations.
Teresa and her pink mermaid.
On Wednesday we went over the Sanctus again. Cecilia has it down quite well and both Felicity and Elizabeth are very close to knowing the whole thing. Elizabeth finished all her book work for the week and we read from both The World's Story and Famous Men of Rome about Cato, the Gracci, Marius and Sulla, doing a brief but decent reading about the period between the fall of Carthage and Corinth to the Romans until Julius Caesar. Afterwards I took Elizabeth to the doctor. She had been coughing for over two weeks. Turns out she had walking pneumonia, so we got her started on antibiotics. By bedtime Brigid would recount to me how she got hit in the nose with the rock with smiles. Her nose was still bruised but she said it didn't hurt anymore.
On Thursday we made our first visit to the Broerner Botanical Gardens. We had never been before. I was surprised it wasn't a bit bigger but what was green and in bloom was gorgeous. Our favorites were the "rain garden" which had a stream running through it. 
Cecilia spotted these lovelies which are called Gladiators. They are an ornamental onion but I think the girls took great fun at the name since we just studied all about the gladiators.
From there we walked around to the rock garden but found that very disappointing. It was somewhat overgrown with the plants covering part of the walkway, which with a double stroller can get difficult. The pond and subsequent brook were also dry with dead things in them, so it was certainly not as lovely as one would have liked. But after leaving there and heading toward the Bog Walk, we spotted these plants with their absolutely HUGE leaves and stems:
I couldn't find a sign for what they were called but we were sure they must be where Totoro lived. Kids would love climbing through their stalks:
The Bog Walk was mostly a boardwalk above many plants and surrounded by plants but there were not many signs and spiders were trying to make webs over the walk, so we didn't linger there although Teresa did spot a caterpillar she liked. A ramp leaving that area had been blocked off so we took the steps up to the Fairy Garden:
And from there went to the Rose Garden. Most of the roses were not in bloom yet, so the main attraction was a large tank with some very big fish. 
The kids loved the fish but I did get a bit nervous the way they were leaning over the water so we moved on but I let Thomas out of the stroller to walk some of the flatter paths with us.
The rest of the gardens were in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous,
Honestly, the gardens had their pluses and minuses, but I'm not sure how often we would go there and their Family Membership is limited to 3 children, so there is also a feeling that larger families aren't particularly welcome. But it was a lovely day and the Gardens were almost completely empty, so we had a nice outing. Unfortunately that afternoon I began to feel pretty sick coughing a lot and with a sore chest and aching limbs. But we still read all about Pompey and Julius Caesar from The World's Story and Famous Men of Rome. I also managed to get some more shelves up for the girls' Legos...
So that the older girls can put their completed sets up high enough to keep the younger ones (ahem, Teresa) from messing them up. 
On Friday we played Multiplication Bingo, much to the chagrin of Cecilia who either wants to stop playing or take my job calling out the problems. I've told her once she knows her sets well enough I would be happy to retire but I might let her take over soon anyway... she will still keep learning them that way right? Then we read the story of Julius Caesar from The Story of the World and the girls got a kick out of a joke my brother sent them through Facebook:
And then we did the Winter constellations going over Orion, Pisces, Ares, Taurus, Gemini and a few others as well as the brightest stars in them and how to use Orion to find the others. 

About two weeks ago my Great Aunt Millie passed away suddenly. Please say a prayer for the repose of her soul and the consolation of her husband Frank. Thank you. 
Aunt Millie and Uncle Frank dancing at my wedding.

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