Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Book Report

The One Thing by Matthew Kelly (a review for The Catholic Company)

Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts ed. by Heather Masri is the main reason I haven't been finishing as many books as usual recently. It is over 1200 pages long. I read all of the short stories in it, skipping the critical context essays and the excerpts from longer stories. I intend to join Kansas Dad as he's co-teaching a course using this book next semester, so now I'm a little ahead on the reading. I enjoyed a great many of the stories but was particularly fascinated by one of the most disturbing stories I've ever read, Octavia Butler's Bloodchild. (Kansas Dad's desk copy)

Patron Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell (a review for The Catholic Company)

My monthly book reports are really becoming a bit embarrassing. I did, however, finish three books on November 30th. I'll be posting about them early in December and will include them in December's book report. (I'm in the middle of four or five books in addition to those three, which perhaps partly explains why I'm not finishing many books. One of my Advent goals is to decrease that pile a little, as unworthy as that may be as a goal.)

Preschool Reading Around the World: Africa

This year, the girls and I are reading around the world. Well, mainly First Daughter and I are reading around the world, with First Son watching over our shoulders. Second Daughter is too busy. (She's probably in the bathroom.)

We had a wonderful time reading stories set in Africa this term. I chose our books by searching the library catalog and tried to select ones we had not read before. Some of our own books set in Africa cycled in and out of the book basket, from which the kids can select a book during quiet time (which is a mixed success, but I'm sticking with it).

My goal was not to teach about Africa's geography, economics or politics. It was merely to read some wonderful books set in Africa and perhaps learn a little of the culture and people there along the way.

A Triangle for Adaora: An African Book of Shapes by Ifeoma Onyefulu showcases lots of cultural photographs in the search for shapes. The girls loved it.

Mama Elizabeti and Elizabeti's School by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, illustrated by Christy Hale (Don't miss Elizabeti's Doll, either.) I adore these books. The girls adore these books. We read them over and over again.

Where Are You Going, Manyoni? by Catherine Stock is another of my favorites. I've mentioned it on the blog before.

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli is a good book about a real person who has made a difference in the world. I didn't think the environmental and peace messages were too forced. My children love reading about real people and they enjoyed this book. I thought the illustrations were wonderful.

Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book by Muriel Feelings was more fun for me than the children, but it does introduce quite a bit of African life.

Ikenna Goes to Nigeria by Ifeoma Onyefulu is a fictionalized account of a real boy's visit to his family in Nigeria. The story was fine and I knew the children would love seeing real photographs. They did.

Happy Birthday, Jamela!, Where's Jamela?, and Jamelas Dress by Niki Daly were well received. First Daughter loved Jamela and was thrilled each time I pulled out another book about her. She's a bit of a trouble-maker, but she loves her mother and seems to get in trouble more because she is impulsive than mischievous.

The Village of Round and Square Houses by Ann Grifalconi was one of the children's favorite books. They were fascinated by the story of this real village in Africa and the volcano that changed everyone's lives. (They wondered if the villagers knew about Jesus, which I couldn't learn, but I think it was sweet they cared enough to ask.)

One Big Family: Sharing Life in an African Village (also called Ogbo: Sharing Life in an African Village) by Ifeoma Onyefulu is a book more focused on telling about life in Africa than a story. My kids liked looking at the photographs, though.

Africa Is Not A Country by Margy Burns Knight was confusing for the children. It seems like a neat idea, following a day in Africa by peeking at the lives of children in different countries at different times of day, but my children were just confused that we never went back to see what happened to any of the children. It's not really a story. It was also difficult for me to read, knowing how it was glossing over so many of the troubles in the continent. (It's easier to read a story about one person or family without feeling like I'm giving the wrong impression about the continent as a whole.)

So this was our tour through Africa. We're on to Asia now and I love having a plan for introducing the children to the world without wading through actual history, geography or culture studies (though those sorts of things will come in the future). Oh, how I love picture books!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quote: Towards a Philosophy of Education

Charlotte Mason in Towards A Philosophy Of Education, Chapter 7:
That children like feeble and tedious oral lessons, feeble and tedious story books, does not at all prove that these are wholesome food; they like lollipops but cannot live upon them; yet there is a serious attempt in certain schools to supply the intellectual, moral, and religious needs of children by appropriate 'sweetmeats.'
My own children have only been homeschooled, so I don't have a lot of experience with what the schools are teaching, but I do know that my youngest sister (who is currently in ninth grade) has come home with some shocking books as assigned reading. The theory seems to be that they must provide something entertaining to entice the children to read. I have nothing against being entertained as we read per se, but our primary goal in education must be to educate. Sometimes, we are educating our souls and hearts to learn to be engrossed in that which is not entertaining. Sometimes, we are training our souls to be entertained by that which is wholesome.

Charlotte Mason quotes A. Paterson's Across the Bridges:
The teacher ready to use the powers that his training and experience have given him works too hard while the boy's share in the struggle is too light. It is possible to make education too easy for children and to rob learning of mental discipline which often wearies but in the end produces concentration and the capacity to work alone...He is rarely left to himself with the book in his hands, forced to concentrate all his mind on the dull words before him with no one at hand to explain or make the memory work easier by little tricks of repetition and association...

Later in chapter 7, Charlotte Mason says:
Their implicit contention is, given a well-educated man with cultivated imagination, trained judgment, wide interests, and he is prepared to master the intricacies of any profession; while he knows at the same time how to make use of himself, of the powers with which nature and education have endowed him for his own happiness; the delightful employment of his leisure; for the increased happiness of his neighbours and the well-being of the community; that is, such a man is able, not only to earn his living, but to live. (emphasis the author's)
Again, exactly! It is our intention to educate our children in such a way as to prepare them adequately for success in competitive colleges and even graduate programs, but our goal is to educate them so they are eager and able to seek out their own growth in knowledge, skills and wisdom, regardless of their career.

What I Loved About Last Week (11th Ed.)

1. Monday and Tuesday I had class for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd all day. It was great to sit and talk with other people about the education of children all day. On Monday, Second Son's godparents were gracious enough to watch all four of my children while I was at class and Kansas Dad was at work. I am so very thankful for their good care, and particularly his godmother, who spent at least part of the day alone with seven kids seven and under. (Good gracious!) Second Son is so blessed to have them as godparents, and even more blessed to have the opportunity to really know them. I am so blessed that they live just down the road from us!

2. Story hour recipes for How to Cook a Turkey. Our story hour teacher asked each child how to cook a turkey and then printed recipe cards to share at the Thanksgiving celebration. I didn'thave time to write them up last week, but I did want to share. (It astounds me how often I can bake with the children and yet they have no concept of how to use an oven or how it works. Sigh. At least the recipes are amusing.)

First Son (a month shy of 8):

1. Set the oven for 20 degrees.
2. Then grab a turkey.
3. Make it die.
4. Take out the stuffings.
5. Then take all the feathers off.
6. Then go and cook it.
7. Then eat.

First Daughter (5):

1. Well, first you can take all the meat out.
2. Then you can, let's see, take out all the stuffing if there's some stuck to the meat.
3. Then cook the meat.
4. Then eat.
5. Set the oven at 53 degrees.
6. Cook it for 20 minutes.

Second Daughter (3):

1. Turn on the oven to 2 degrees.
2. Cook it for 3 days.

Pretty drawers

3. On Tuesday, I stopped at Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies for our annual Christmas ornament. While there, I spotted a cardboard Advent calendar of drawers for 50% off and couldn't resist. I spent Tuesday night cutting and gluing scrapbook paper on it to make it beautiful and eagerly anticipate opening the first drawer on December 1st. Of course...I'm not entirely sure what will be in the drawers. So far I have the little pieces of our magnetic Nativity set and will also probably write a special Advent activity for each day on a folded piece of paper.
Reading for filling

4. I also bought a white candle for the center of our Advent wreath. It, and the small mirrored candle stand were also 50% off. We set out the wreath just before Thanksgiving, because it's pretty and because it was in front of the box of Advent books I needed to pull out anyway. The children were intrigued by all the pictures "carved" around the bottom. Each week has a different set of four images to remind us of something. A pamphlet in the box explains each of the images (and gives Scripture suggestions as well). I bought ours at a local Catholic bookstore, but you can find it online as well. (Here's one.)
Images for the First Week

5. On Wednesday the kids and I cleaned, which is to say I cleaned while the kids complained. I finally figured out how to get my floorboards as clean as I like in the kitchen. (It involves hands and knees scrubbing with an actual scrub brush, which was not so fun, but they were clean!) I was so pleased with my progress I took a two hour break to take Second Son outside (with his older siblings, of course) to play on the swings and run around in the yard.

6. Thanksgiving - wonderful wonderful! Kansas Dad's parents came for the day. Kansas Dad made a fabulous meal. They brought four desserts including a homemade apple pie! At the end of the day, my house was still remarkably clean, which is really saying something considering the dishwasher is temporarily out of order.

7. On the day after Thanksgiving, we did nothing. Well, Kansas Dad worked and the kids and I did little at home. I had considered a trip to a museum or something but decided in the end to just relax. (Isn't it great to be a homeschooling mom?) I did a little Black Friday shopping online at some Catholic stores and (dare I say it?) have almost finished shopping for the kids. We only buy one thing for Christmas (generally a toy, though I tend to the educational ones), but we have stockings to fill for St. Nicholas's feast day and small faith-filled gifts for Epiphany...not to mention First Son's birthday and baptism anniversary.

8. First Daughter and Second Daughter drew some amazing portraits this week. (See how hard Second Daughter is working above. She insisted on finishing before she could eat her dinner.) First, we have Second Daughter's portraits - that's First Daughter on the left and me on the right. She told me I'd have to draw in my own arms. (Was she tired? Or just hungry for dinner?)

Below we have First Daughter's portrait of Second Daughter. Kansas Dad is impressed with how First Daughter's pictures look like whatever she says she's drawing now.

6. The Catechesis children processed into Mass with the new Missal this weekend. I love how our priest always thinks of the children and how to involve them in our parish life.

7. First Daughter, talking to Second Daughter at the dinner table, after Kansas Dad had made a remark to me, "We need a you-know-what tonight; that means we're going to have a bath."

Blessed Advent!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Discussion: Chapter 8 in One Thousand Gifts

Brandy at Afterthoughts is blogging as she reads A Mother's Rule of Life. You can catch up on the series (so far) here. Her third post was still fresh in my mind when I read chapter ten of One Thousand Gifts, entitled empty to fill.

In this chapter, Ann Voskamp continues her exploration of eucharisteo:
At the last, this is what will determine a fulfilling, meaningful life, a life that, behind all the facades, every one of us longs to live: gratitude for the blessings that expresses itself by becoming the blessing. (emphasis the author's)
She realizes that each and every task is an opportunity for her to be a gift to others, that all of His gifts are in fact incomplete unless we reach out to others.
I scour pots and grin silly: I can wash feet here by washing dishes.
Scratching a stubborn pot furiously with a wire scrubby, I remember it again, what I once read of liturgy. That liturgy has its roots in the Greek word leitourgia, meaning "public work" or "public servant." The meaning! This life of washing dishes, of domestic routine, it can be something wholly different. This life of rote work, it is itself public work, a public serving--even this scrubbing of pans--and thus, if done unto God, the mundane work can become the living liturgy of the Last Supper. I could become the blessing, live the liturgy! I rinse pots and sing it softly, "This is my song of thanks to You..." (emphasis the author's)
There's more. We must not think only of the people we serve, the very real crying, moaning, whining, grumpy little people -- or even the homeless, the sick, the elderly.
When service is unto people, the bones can grow weary, the frustration deep.
When we concentrate on serving other people, even people we love deeply and who depend entirely on us as a newborn does, we dwell on ourselves. We think of our sacrifice, what we deserve.
But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone--the bones, they sing joy, and the work returns to its purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness.
I haven't finished the book yet, but I think this is by far the best chapter with only one to go.

Quote: One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are:
While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving...
True saints know that the place where all joy comes from is far deeper than that of feelings; joy comes from the place of the very presence of God. Joy is God and God is joy and joy doesn't negate all other emotions--joy transcends all other emotions.

Our 2011 Advent Books, Week 1

I was hoping to post this earlier, but we can only do what we can do and feeding the children is more important than blogging. (It is, right?) My regular Monday post (What I Loved About Last Week) will (hopefully) appear on Tuesday.

Here's our first week of Advent books. As last year, we'll be reading a picture book a day (well, often two; I have a picture book problem) and I had to front load the library books again.

The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, is just a sweet story of the Nativity. I expect my girls to love it.

Look and Find on the Night Before Christmas When Every Creature Is Stirring. My mother picked this up at Goodwill or someplace during the year and I added it to the mix because I think First Son will enjoy it

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, just for fun.

Peter Spier's Christmas is a delightfully illustrated wordless book. I got our copy from

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo is a new book for us this year. I hope it makes the children think about who Jesus came to save.

Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda. Kansas Dad and I found this on clearance years ago. The children love it every year, but I have to put it up where they can't reach it or the artwork is destroyed.

The Donkey's Dream by Barbara Berger

Good King Wenceslas - Our library copy is the one illustrated by Christopher Manson

A Small Miracle by Peter Collington is one of my favorite books of all time; it's a joy to read each Advent.

Through the Animals' Eyes: A Story of the First Christmas by Christopher Wormell - my kids love all of his books.

Blessed Advent!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Currently from the Library: Some Book Reviews

We have had a run of great luck with library books recently and I wanted to share!

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle is full of the large vibrant illustrations we all expect from this illustrator. The limited text encourages young artists to experiment and imagine other possibilities while painting and drawing. After reading this book, I found First Son copying the pages with his own paper and markers. I actually heard Mr. Carle speaking on NPR about this title and found the story of his experience seeing Franz Marc's paintings for the first time fascinating. (Blue Horse I is shown at the end of the book.)

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra, tells the story of a man who travels through rural Colombia with two burros carrying books, a mobile library for children otherwise without access to a library. It's well-told and vibrantly illustrated. I intend to read it next term during our sojourn in Central and South American for our preschool-reading-around-the-world. (Jeanette Winter has a similar story, Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia, but I haven't read that one yet.)

Perfect Square by Michael Hall explores what a square is and what it can be. Read this book before presenting your child with a pile of square papers and watch what happens.  It's a delightful book. (The cover made you smile, didn't it?)

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell is a little story of Jane, who has a dream to live in Africa with the wild animals, a dream that comes true when Jane Goodall arrives in Tanzania in 1960. The text is simple, the illustrations are delightful and there is much to imagine after reading it. Plus, the picture of baby Jane with her toy chimpanzee is adorable!

Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures adapted by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton is a stunning book. The illustrations glow on the black backgrounds. The text is a worthy adaptation of St. Francis's canticle. In a similar vein, I checked out Tomie dePaola's Let The Whole Earth Sing Praise. It's a nice little book but not quite as good.

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker is a charming romp through the alphabet, illustrated by career peas "(hikers, inventors, and investigators"). It's funny and well-illustrated. I loved it and so did the kids.

Not every week at the library is as full of delights as this pile of books, but isn't is wonderful when it happens?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quote: Towards a Philosophy of Education

Charlotte Mason in Towards a Philosophy of Education:
For the mind is capable of dealing with only one kind of food; it lives, grows and is nourished upon ideas only; mere information is to it as a meal of sawdust to the body; there are no organs for the assimilation of the one more than of the other.
There is but one sphere in which the word idea never occurs, in which the conception of an idea is curiously absent, and that sphere is education! Look at any publisher's list of school books and you shall find that the books recommended are carefully dessicated, drained of the least suspicion of an idea, reduced to the driest statements of fact.
At the end of the chapter (chapter 6):
All roads lead to Rome, and all I have said is meant to enforce the fact that much and varied humane reading, as well as human thought expressed in the forms of art, is, not a luxury, a tit-bit, to be given to children now and then, but their very bread of life, which they must have in abundant portions and at regular periods. This and more is implied in the phrase, "The mind feeds on ideas and therefore children should have a generous curriculum."

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (10th Ed.)

1. Second Son's 15 month well child appointment. The appointment itself was uneventful other than the fact that it happened. Due to various circumstances, it had been rescheduled twice. Third time's the charm. He's healthy and on track (despite not saying Mama yet; I think he can and just refuses). He weights 25 pounds and some ounces (65% for weight and 50% for height). The other kids were remarkably good, thanks to the goodie bag I had left in the van stocked with dot-to-dots, coloring books, and boxes of crayons.

2. Geoboards. First Son made a pirate ship.

3. Second Daughter's creativity. This is a ghost she made for me; it's actually "You, Mom, when you are a ghost without arms." I'm not quite sure what to make of that, so I choose to be delighted in her creativity.

3. Second Daughter's hair styling skills.

5. Messy baby pictures.

6. Second Son reading the Sunday paper.

7. First Daughter's reading lessons, which took a dramatic turn for the better this week. Without whining, giggling, complaining, or dramatics, she read. Just read, and quite well. Let's hope it continues after our Thanksgiving break.

8. Our first week without choir, and anticipating the coming week without choir or Catechesis. In fact, we're taking the week off.

9. Our story hour Thanksgiving celebration, when all the families gathered for the full meal. We have such a wonderful community!

10. Dear friends, who watched our four kids on top of their own five so I could join Kansas Dad for a treat - dinner out with another university couple and a visiting professor. We talked about politics, culture, American and British comparisons, and theology (of course) and generally had a lovely evening. Nobody spilled anything. Nobody fell off his or her chair. Nobody refused to eat dinner. Someday soon we hope to return the favor so our friends can enjoy an evening out.

11. The upcoming Thanksgiving, when I have the opportunity to eat so many of my favorite foods, Kansas Dad's apple herb stuffing being very high on that list. If I'm not too overwhelmed by cleaning before the holiday, I'm going to try to make some cinnamon babka. Mmmm...

12. Christmas shopping. I picked a fun toy for my parents to give Second Son (with the other gifts left to choose). We've also picked some special gifts for Grammy and Paw Paw to give the kids. They are so very generous and our children are going to be thrilled!

Have a marvelous Thanksgiving! When I post "What I Loved About Last Week" next'll be Advent!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Advent Planning Time!

I hate to think past a major holiday like Thanksgiving, but it just must be done. I have our Advent requests in at the library. There are over 50 books and CDs on my list. I noticed a few we won't get in time as there's already a waiting list, so I picked extras to make sure we could unwrap and read a picture-book-a-day. I was hoping to finalize my list so I could write lovely posts about them in time for you all to run out and find your own copies...but I don't think I'll be that productive. I will try to post our final list...once I've figured it out.

It's also time to start thinking about ornaments. We'll be starting ours the first week of Advent, so I really must decide what we're making this year. Do I finally dare the salt-dough-baked ones? Second Son just might let me get away with it this year...

I have a new Advent wreath this year! I'm very pleased with it! (It's this one, though I bought ours at a local Catholic book store.) I'd like to get a big white candle to put in the middle of it for the Christmas season.

For the first time, we're going to read through The Life of Mary and The Way to Bethlehem by Inos Biffi and illustrated by Franco Vignazia. This are beautiful books that will hopefully inspire lofty thoughts in my little ones. We're also going to try reading through Proclaim The Wondrous Birth - Daily Prayers for Advent.

The real question is...will we have a Jesse Tree this year? Every year I say no, then we do at the last minute because the idea of a Jesse Tree is so wonderful...but my children have never liked it. Hope springs eternal, though, and they are one year older...

First Son will have his first confession this Advent. That's certainly something worth celebrating! His birthday and baptism anniversary also fall within Advent.

First Son and First Daughter will see The Nutcracker for the first time this year. I think First Daughter is mostly excited about wearing her princess dress again.

Did I mention Kansas Dad also has a birthday during Advent?

Oh, my, we'll be busy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Missing the Resurrection

Our timeline card for the resurrection has disappeared. Nothing like missing the second half of the single most important episode in history. I'm afraid a certain toddler has run off with it.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


When you teach the boy Daddy's cell phone number, he will convince the baby to relinquish your cell phone, then hide in his bedroom and call Daddy's number, which you will discover when you frantically run through the house looking for the ringing phone and then realize you called it.

Only you didn't.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Catholic Company Review: Patron Saints for Every Member of Your Family

Patron Saints for Every Member of Your Family, Every Profession, Every Ailment, Every Emergency, and Even Every Amusement by Thomas J. Craughwell

I love stories of the saints. It's hard to imagine having too many books on saints around the house. When I saw this one available for review from The Catholic Company, I quickly requested it.

As the title promises, there are saints for (nearly) everything with chapters for the family, for the spiritual life, for ailments, for professions, for education, for the military, for recreation, for disasters, for animals, for unexpected causes and for the nations of the world.

It's not the kind of book I would sit and read from cover to cover. Instead, I've been flipping through it, reading bits and pieces. Interspersed with the patron saints are short articles giving more information on Catholic practices, background and explanations of changes over time in how saints have been approached.

There were many familiar saints in the book and also some I had never seen before like St. John Kanty (a theology professor in the 1400s) and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, the patron saint of vegetarians. He had given up meat. When he was served some roast chicken, he made the sign of the cross and it changed into roasted vegetables. We don't have any vegetarians here on the Range, but you have to love a saint who blessed what he was served. There are also no fewer than three different saints for test-takers; it's nice to know saints didn't always know the answers.

This book would be wonderful for someone preparing for Confirmation, a great beginning for someone choosing a patron saint.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an objective review. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Patron Saints. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (9th Ed.)

1. Second Daughter's rendition of America, the Beautiful in which she sings, "God shed his light on me!"

2. First Daughter's drawing from Sunday School - this wonderful drawing of herself with the words "I am a child of God."

3. Second Son has started making some sounds! He will neigh and baa. He also might have said "cheese," "drink," and "yes." But I'm going to pretend he hasn't because I'm still waiting to hear "Mama."

4. First Daughter's reading. She impressed me this week by reading a word my finger was covering, having glanced at it long enough to see and remember it. She is apparently reading much better than her performance in lessons would indicate. She wiggles, giggles and stares into space, but she is learning to read. We're still using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading but I'm breaking up the lessons because she drags them out much too long. Ten or fifteen minutes is really my limit.

5. Butterflies! All of our pupae hatched beautiful painted lady butterflies. We're feeding them sugar syrup and I'm wishing we'd done our butterfly unit earlier in the year so we could release them. Maybe we'll order some more caterpillars in the spring.

6. Our last choir practice of the term followed by the concert. The children did a wonderful job, except for Second Daughter who stood at center stage and entertained the crowd. At one point she turned completely around and faced the rest of the choir for a whole song. At another time she was twisting back and forth, twirling her skirt, attracting the attention of the little girl next to her who promptly began doing the same. She also left the stage and returned on her own whims a few times. Sigh. The other parents were very kind.

7. A baptism! Our sweet little goddaughter was baptized this weekend. It was a wonderful ceremony. Our priest invited all the other children close and gave the oils and candles and books to them to hold so they all felt like a part of the ceremony. It is such a blessing to have godparents and godchildren in our very own parish; we are truly becoming one family in Christ.

What did you love about last week?