Thursday, April 23, 2015

Stop Hunger Now

Numbers Six and Seven and I helped for quite a while at church yesterday with this project... It was a fun experience! The project's website is here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Madeira Island Embroidery on this Brazilian Discovery Day

Today in Brazil we celebrate Discovery Day, the day Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered Brazil in 1500 using a fleet of Portuguese ships just like this one in the embroidery below. A couple days ago I took a guest visitor to the local museums, and we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the small room where these Madeira Island embroideries were displayed! I happen to have a little girl's dress that I found once, quite accidentally, which my dear Mother restored by hand, that has some of the same butterflies like the ones below! Also look at the little Portuguese ships that I learned to draw as a child, these graceful ocean travelers captivated me at the museum the other day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Unexpected Poem

Update, around 10 PM: As it happens, this poor poem sprung just like that, the way poems do... and later on this same day, at a woman's group meeting at church, I was told that a poem I wrote for Catholic Daughters won first place in State and went on the Nationals. I cannot publish it here yet, will be able to do it after the national conference. The poem I wrote for CD was on the theme of Charity and it also sprung just like that, based on a experience I had recently with a homeless man in Lincoln, NE. 

They say God hides well.
That if He is,
then He should show Himself.

Are they blind?
Do they not run errands at sunset?
Do they not stop at traffic lights,
and, blinded by the light,
look sideways?

And have their breath taken away,
so unexpectedly?
Do they not take the minute to record it?
Trying in vain to make that fraction of a moment

I wonder where they think
unexpected Beauty
comes from.

Another Lovely Post by Number Six

I wanted to post about her Homeschool Dinner/Dance, but she did it and I will just copy her post! I noticed on the blog sidebar that this is her "about me" text:

Maria B-HI am a Catholic homeschooler, a musician, and an aspiring novelist. I am a member of the best family on earth, and have the most wonderful people for friends, all my very own!

(Wow, to be part of the best family on earth!)

Now to her post:

Earl Grey Soliloquy

Monday, April 20, 2015


Saturday, in addition to being the ACT, was the annual homeschool dinner-dance. (Yeah...I'm sleep-deprived.) It was tons of fun, even more than last year!
A bunch of the girls went to Nicole's house to get ready. Tessie and Hope plus Hope's sister Annie and Katie were all there just to help us. We spent about three hours getting six people ready...but hey, getting ready is one of the best parts! I brought a batch of chocolate-chip cookies for sustenance.

Ten minutes before we left, Mrs. Gerdes got some photos of us. We would have gone outside, but it was raining and most of us had way too much hairspray in our hair to risk it.

We actually ended up getting there a bit early, which was cool because we were the first people they let in. The theme this year was the Academy Awards, so they had a red-carpet-looking entrance, and all the adults were pretending to be paparazzi with their phones, cameras, etc. The whole room was decorated very impressively.
We had a lot of fun, laughing, talking, playing games, and dancing. I am sore now!
I will post some photos Mrs. Scott took (she was there) once I have access to them.
I can't wait till next year--Tessie will be able to come!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hannah's Piano Recital

What a delightful musical afternoon! My confirmation-goddaughter Hannah Gerdes shone again on the piano playing an array of beautiful pieces! She played on the same stage Number Five played for her own senior recital. Husband wasn't able to attend so I did take a few short videos plus took photos of the program for him. There will be a professional recording available later! Congratulations, Hannah! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Record the Earth!

Number Four, Husband and I attended a lecture by this professor/scientist from Purdue. He has an interesting project recording "sound landscapes" and we can all join in with our iPhones.

Check about the project here:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Life with Number Six

With her long-time friend Katie!
Number Six and I spend our days together while Number Seven walks back and forth to the school across the street for part time classes. Number Six will take her first ACT this morning and is well prepared. She is a diligent, disciplined student. She takes Geometry, Advanced Fiction Writing, French 3 and History online from three different online providers. She has piano, voice and organ lessons, and she works daily on her own fiction romance novel. She sings at church and enjoys long walks. Her home subjects are Theology, Conceptual Physics and Classical Lit. And she writes a blog, from where I copied her last entry:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring...and essays.

The warm weather is glorious. There's been much taking of walks and other such activities. For me, there has also been much writing of essays.

First of all, for literature I just finished reading Milton's Paradise Lost. Now I need to write an essay on it. There was an interesting point I thought of. At one part, all the devils in their new home, Hell, are having a meeting regarding the creation of the world. Satan says something about the humans who are about to be created. It reminded me of last year reading Dante's Divine Comedy. In the Inferno there is some discussion about the "foresight of the damned." The idea is that those in Hell can see into the past of earthly events and into the future, but are unable to know what is going on in the present unless informed by someone else. Thus, when Dante speaks with the damned, they often ask him about the political state of Italy. Back to Paradise Lost. Satan, by mentioning the people about to be created, demonstrates just that foresight. He can see into the future, and into the past, but can he see the present? It is to be doubted.

Another Essay I'm writing is for the Jane Austen Society of North America essay contest. The prompt this year is:

Examine a single Jane Austen novel or several and show different ways characters engage with their culture, views, mores, or living conditions. How does participation in their world affect each character’s development? You might look at how a character approaches material culture, physical or emotional space, interpersonal relations, social class, wealth, or gender. You may consider elements of Jane Austen’s world that have inherently negative or positive influences on characters and events in the novels.

I'm doing my essay on Emma. Emma is the only one of Jane Austen's heroines to be a member of high society and not in need of any money. The novel treats a lot on class distinction. Think of Ms. Bates, the argument with Mr. Knightley regarding Harriet Smith and her potential marriage to Robert Martin the farmer, Mr. Elton's ill-bred bride, the Coles' party, Jane Fairfax's obligation to become a governess. There are so many examples in Emma of how her view of the world is shaped by the society she lives in. There is an essay at the JASNA site about the possibility of Emma being the novel about "ordination."
I also just finished an essay for my French midterm, which was comparing the writings we have translated of Victor Hugo and Jean de la Fontaine. It was quite easy to write!
And now the 70° weather is calling to me. Off I go!

Posted by Maria B-H at 10:53 AM
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Labels: Books, French, Online Classes, School, Writing

Friday, April 17, 2015

A wonderful book!

The book I recently wrote chapter for will be printed soon by Behold Publications. I have been reading and loving all of the chapters. They are wonderful and persuasive. Do not miss this book! Take a look "inside" on the kindle edition on Amazon. I am receiving printed copies very soon!