Monday, July 20, 2015

4H Wildlife Competition

The past year the kids have delved into the 4H Wildlife/Forestry/Fishery Project.  It was the first year for our county to have a senior Wildlife team, and the crocodile hunter was in his element.  I am amazed by what they had to learn - the ability to identify 45 species of animals from their skulls/pelts/calls, answer questions concerning the habitat and life of these animals, determine wildlife management practices to manage a piece of land for certain species, and finally - with a team of 4 create a plan to manage a specific piece of property (several acres which they must explore on their own) for 5 to 6 species - writing a two page management plan detailing their recommendations.  They must then each defend that plan orally before wildlife resource management agents.
Dr. Harper teaching the kids about sericea lespedeza

We have spent many hours over the past year studying pelts, learning the differences between a raccoon skull and a red fox skull, discerning the difference between the many sparrows by feather and call!  We trudged through forests and wetlands, we practiced scenarios for management.  The result was our team of high schoolers went to the regional competition and competed against teams who have years of experience - and we managed to squeak in to qualify for state!  

So, off to the state competition where I learned that my bladder can go 7 hours without a bathroom and I became very comfortable with the presence of timber rattlesnakes!

And while they didn't win state, our group of kids managed to place 6th among 11 teams who have all been doing this for 3-5 years!  We are incredibly proud of them, and look forward to seeing how they do next year.
headed out to evaluate the land a create a management plan

Sunday, July 12, 2015


our sweet little one - he has mild hypotonia/muscle weakness (which the little princess also suffered from) which results in delays in gross motor skills as well as contributed to his visit to the hospital last fall.  So it is with great joy that we get to see him taking his first steps as he nears his second birthday!

Friday, June 5, 2015


After a year in the discernment process, I received my letter of recognition as a formation leader for Level I of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd last December!  I have been anxiously awaiting my copy of the formation leaders handbook which was under revision.  It is finally in my hands  :)  I am excited to continue this journey of spiritual formation now with the new opportunity to help show other adults the joys of working with children in the Catechesis.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

CGS Formation Leader Retreat

On retreat in Atlanta this week with fellow catechists and formation leaders
 exploring and contemplating the experience of the 6-9 year old child in the atrium,
 and experiencing the endless gifts of God...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Great Backyard Bird Count

Well, the promise of snow yielded to the always dreaded ice, and so all of our extra-curricular lessons for Monday (violin, piano, karate) were cancelled.  The kids made a valiant effort to sled in the ice, with rain coming down in spite of temperatures in the teens.  Gloves, hats and scarves are all now hanging in front of the fire place to dry while we watch all of our evergreens slowly stoop and bow to the earth under the weight of freezing rain turning to ice heavy on their branches.  We are thankful to have power, since thousands in our area do not.  On a positive note, the kids are all participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count this year, and their observations today have been quite varied and exciting.  So far, they have spotted more than a dozen species visiting our feeders, and the bird count is in the hundreds!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A special visitor

This Sunday we had a special visitor to our atrium.
 Jane G. Meyer was in town and visited our parish, and graciously offered to read to our children.
The children loved getting to interact with her, and were amazed to have the author of many well treasured books take the time to read and pray with them.
What a beautiful moment!  The Level 3 children had just received the presentation of the Story of a Bread, which traces the path of the wheat seed to its ultimate fulfillment as the Body of Christ.  The children set the prayer table with the wheat, and we brought in a loaf of prosphora.  One child brought the rising leaven work to the table, and then added the grains of wheat from the parable shelf as well, and excitedly pointed out that we had all the stages of the bread!  Then we settled in to enjoy a reading of The Woman and the Wheat by the author.