Wednesday, August 31


For our homeschool history we are using "Story of the World" curriculum.  It is a living curriculum, where the information, stories, and characters come to life.  They learn a lot of info and are tested every week, but they still love it so much.  There are a lot of projects and activities.  We are starting at the beginning with the Nomads.  How they moved around to find food until they learned found the "Fertile Crescent" and learned how to farm and live in villages and work together.  BUT our project focused on the Nomads...Here are the cave paintings that we did.  This is the way that these people communicated and wrote about their lives before letter symbols.
 We studied what they painted about back then and tried to make ours look like theirs
 There were only 2 colors of paint red and black
 The kids were surprised to find out that they made their paint from dirt/mud (dark color) and animal blood (red color)
 Here is my Nick deciding what to paint....isn't he so handsome!!
Notice that his tongue is out....he must be really concentrating!!
Here are the cave paintings hanging in our classroom.  They all wanted to paint in a volcano after visiting Pompeii

Monday, August 29


We had our first day of homeschool the day after returning from Europe...what was I thinking?!?! It was a great day, though.  I love having them home.  God is showing us all of the blessings with it and we look forward to the blessings yet to come
 Getting started early in the morning at St. Maria Faustina Catholic School....We dedicated our school  to the Divine Mercy when we homeschooled years ago and decided that we should continue to offer it up for the Divine Mercy
 Notice how happy the teacher is with all of her sweet students and her Starbucks White Mocha (the Chancellor (her hubby) brought it for her
 The kids surprised me and got into the room early and got out their books to start.  My sweet Savannah wrote a note on the board for the class.  She is such a little button!!  She has such a kind heart....we have got some work to do in spelling, though..
My Madi-Bear working on her math.  She is very focused and a great student

Saturday, August 27


 Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities ever!!  We went on these double decker open-air buses and could listen to these earphones while driving around.  The earphones told you everything that you were passing and the history behind it!  Very Cool!
 Madi and Daddy on the bus
 Look at this building...I have never seen architecture like I did in Barcelona
 Stopping at a little cafe for lunch
 Cannot miss trying the famous "paella" for lunch in Spain.  It smelled so good from the street!
 Onto the most famous landmark in all of Barcelona..."Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família" The Basilica of the Holy Family! It looked like a huge sand castle!! It was truly amazing
It was designed by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí and stared in 1852.  He died in a train accident in 1926.  The basilica is being built strictly on private donations and is proposed to be completed in the year 2026.  100 year anniversary of the death of Gaudi. 
 I took about 100 pictures in this gorgeous basilica, so I am posting a few but they do not do it justice at all.  It is overwhelming!
 Mostly neutral in color (seriously looks like a sand castle), there are splashes of color coming from the stained glass windows that reflect off of the walls!  It is truly divine!
 Daddy and the kids!
 It is so tall and hollowed out! Beautiful staircases wind up the side walls
 Here is a picture taken in November 2010 when the Cathedral was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI
After a long day, Nicholas fell asleep on the bus

Thursday, August 25


Here we are on the beach on the beautiful island of Palma!  It was such a relaxing day
 Walking to the beach and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
 Nicholas looking at the beautiful scenery in front of him
 Now it is Madison's turn
 Now it is time for Savannah to give it a try

Here is the beautiful  Saint Mary of Valencia Cathedral  Right by the beachThere are so many beautiful Catholic churches all over Europe (almost every street corner)!  I was blessed to be able to take time out to pray inside of them and just feel the history of our beautiful and important faith.  What an inspiring place to lift up my loved ones to our Lord.  These churches were truly "Houses of God"  Fit for the King of the Universe!! (no gymnasiums)
 Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea
 Splashing in the big waves!
 Sweet Madison
 Nicholas and Savannah digging in the sand making a castle
 Mommy and Madison playing in the waves!
 He is 1/2 fish.  My kids just love the beach and sand!  We had sand in everything!
 Mommy and Daddy pretending to be on a date...just relaxing at the beach!
 Walking across the street for some ice cream
 Perfect snack on a hot beachy day

 Shuttle back to the cruise ship..we were so tired!
 Little Man still smiling, remembering jumping over the waves at the beach
Boy, that Mediterranean sun was intense!! But, what a great of my favorites of all time!!

Tuesday, August 23


We went on a family trip to Europe via a Mediterranean Cruise
Here are some beautiful pics from Italy.  We had such a great time!
 Here we are in beautiful Florence Italy in front of "The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore" (St. Mary of the Flower)
 Look at this beautiful Church....The rounded building to the left is the "Battistero di San Giovanni" (Baptistry of St. John)...can you believe that they built that beautiful building just for the sacrament of Baptism!  it just shows how important the Catholic faith was (is) to the people of Florence
 What a beautiful way to use the talents of these people to give glory to our Lord!
 The alleyways were so tiny and the cars did NOT slow down for people!!
 There was this gorgeous Carousel in the middle of a square in Florence
 These humble artists would all have a square on the sidewalk that they would make a "chalk" masterpiece in EVERYDAY!  They would start over each morning and then at night, wash the image away.  Wow, can you believe that.  They were truly works of art!
 My Little Nicholas
 Another skinny street
 We ate lunch at a beautiful old Palace
 They truly used their blessings to honor and serve our Lord.  Here is a Coat of Arms depicting the Lamb of God over one of the sconces on the wall of the palace.
 This is an shrine in a back alley way in Florence....these were all over Italy!  There were altars set up and holy pictures/paintings on the side of random buildings!
What a beautiful expression of faith.  They honored our Lord in every place and kept His images in view at all times!
 On to Pisa to see the leaning tower!!
That is not snow on the mountains....that is marble!!
   Here we are in Pisa....Everyone just had to do the traditional "holding up the tower" shot
 Savannah's turn
 Now, here is Madison....there were so many people taking this same pic.
 The leaning tower is in "Piazza dei Miracoli" (Miracle Square), next to another beautiful cathedral "Santa Maria Assunta" (St. Mary of the Assumption)
 Inside "Santa Maria Assunta" (St. Mary of the Assumption)
 The pictures just do not do this most holy place justice
 The church also contains the bones of St Ranieri, Pisa's patron saint.  Some relics were brought to the Cathedral during the Crusades
 This is where the Tabernacle, where the holy Eucharist is kept
 You can see the Tabernacle light hanging above the area to show that our Holy Lord is physically present.  It was roped off for special prayer.  We went in and prayed for all of our family and friends.  what an inspiring place to adore our Jesus!

 Sleeping on the way back to the cruise ship.  Such a long and tiring day.  So many beautiful things to see.  We felt like we were in a Social Studies book!
 Caught me taking her picture...such a cute baby girl!
 Daddy and Madi!
 The girls before we went to dinner back on the ship.  The kids had so much fun!

 Woke up in another city....traveled to Rome today and saw the Vatican!
 It was amazing and so beautiful!  we took a TON of pictures
 The "Piata" in St. Peters Basilica (I looked up the word Piata in the dictionary and it literally means "A representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Jesus")
 Some Religious Sisters praying in front of Pope John Paul II's tomb (only priests and sisters could enter this area)
 More Basilica Pics.  It was so breathtaking that we could not decide what to photograph!!  I just kept shooting pics and praying!!  We got to go down into the Catacombs where the popes are all buried.  We could not take photo's down there, but what a special and reverent place.  We were so blessed to have the sacrament of Confession at St. Peters and got to do Adoration in the Eucharistic chapel.  There were people there silently praying from all over the world.  We are truly one Holy united Church! It was beautiful and powerful!!  The roped off chapels were my favorite places.  People were reverent and prayerful there.  The main areas was more like a museum to most.  It wasn't as intimate
 Drinking from the fountain outside of St. Peters..they had these old water fountains in a lot of places around Italy.  They were so beautiful and refreshing
The Swiss Guards protecting the enterence