Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Captured!

We finally caught the villain who's been writing on the walls with pen, pencil, Sharpie, and highlighter! Justice has prevailed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Is Coming!

I've been trying to keep the blog more active recently, but will be quieter during the Christmas season. Hopefully we'll all be busy with Christmas and Epiphany celebrations. May God bless you this holiday season and in the coming year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Listening Loop: Kansas and Patriotic Songs on the Range

I wrote about our loop scheduling a few days ago. You can read that post here.

First Daughter is in third grade this year, which means she's studying her state (because I studied Georgia when I was in third grade and for no other reason). Originally, I had not intended to "teach" the state song, Home on the Range, but decided it was a good year to have a patriotic playlist for our listening loop.
Like the other playlists, this one lives on Spotify. For a few weeks there, my recommendations were filled with army bands and old country. I also discovered Old Chisholm Trail has a wide variety of verses, the majority of which seemed to be inappropriate for my five year old to learn. The version I finally selected includes drunkenness, but in a relatively instructive way.

I think it's likely we'll have new lists science songs and folk songs every year, but I may save this list for years in which one of the children is studying Kansas.

The italic print: Links to Amazon above are affiliate links. If you click on one, put something in your cart, and make a purchase (any purchase) within Amazon's time frame, I receive a small commission. My checking account thanks you!

Links to the Spotify are not affiliate links. I receive nothing from them, but I highly recommend the paid subscription to Spotify as some of the commercials are not family-friendly.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Nature of Kansas Lands: All About the Photography

The Nature of Kansas Lands with essays by Elizabeth Schultz, landscape photographs by Edward Robison, and wildlife photography by Kyle Gerstner. Biologist Kelly Kindscher also compiled facts relating to each of the essay topics.

I found this book at the library and thought it might be a good idea to read some nature essays set in Kansas aloud to the children. I thought it might give us some language to describe what we see on our own nature walks.

The essays are mainly set in the northeast, I think, with only a few talking about areas in the west. I don't know much about nature writing, having mostly read bits and pieces of John Muir. He is, perhaps, a difficult wordsmith to follow. Repeatedly, I found phrases awkward and word choices odd. Words like "circumference" and "intricacies" appeared with surprising frequently. Often, too, there would be a list of trees, vines, or flowers, but little indication what any of them looked like. I suppose we could search for images of them online, but it's an interruption to pull out my computer while we're reading aloud.

The photography, however, is amazing.

I always read the facts aloud, though many of them contained information uninteresting to the children or simply too focused on numbers to register. I am always astounded when the numbers of bison are repeated.
Approximately 50 million bison roamed across prairies of North America before European settlement.
Only 250,000 bison graze grasslands across the United States today.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Listening Loop: Folk Songs of 2015-2016

imagine she's learning a folk song
You can read about our listening loop here. Today, I'm just going to write about our folk song list.

When I decided we needed to add folk songs to our school year, I turned to the wise members of the Mater Amabilis facebook group and asked for a book recommendation, something that would provide a good list of folk songs from which I could choose a handful to learn along with the children this year.

They recommended lots of wonderful books, many of which I was able to check out from our local library. The ones I found most helpful were:
I knew I needed a playlist because I cannot sing, so therefore, I cannot teach my children to sing. I spent way too long on Spotify, searching for versions of the songs I wanted. Some of them were completely new to me, but I was pleasantly surprised at the number of "folk songs" that appeared on our Making Music Praying Twice CDs. Because we were continuing those CDs, I chose other songs for our folk songs list. I wanted a playlist twenty to thirty minutes long, a balance of male and female voices, and songs that would appeal to my boys and my girls.

So...here's our final list of folk songs for 2015-2016. We listen to them together at the appointed time and the children enjoy them. I've heard them singing some on their own, too, so I know they're learning at least some lyrics.
The Cat Came Back is far and away their favorite song in this list. I think my favorite is All the Pretty Little Horses, mostly because it was my favorite song on the lullaby CD we played for First Son every night for something like three years (though that was on Bedtime Prayers: Lullabies and Peaceful Worship). Of all the artists above, I think Elizabeth Mitchell is my favorite (Blue Clouds).

Any favorite folk songs we should learn next year?


The italic print: Links to Amazon above are affiliate links. If you click on one, put something in your cart, and make a purchase (any purchase) within Amazon's time frame, I receive a small commission. My checking account thanks you!

Links to Spotify are not affiliate links. I receive nothing from them, but I highly recommend the paid subscription to Spotify as some of the commercials are not family-friendly.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Favorite Picture Books: Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

If you're looking for a book to read to encourage quiet contemplation of nature, look no farther. In the book, a girl waits and watches outside with her sketchbook and is rewarded with glimpses of animals preparing preparing for winter. Time passes as the pages turn and we see fall (September) turn slowly to winter.

Immediately after reading it, my girls wanted to make a place outside where they could just sit and watch the birds and animals. We have sketchbooks in which the children grudgingly draw when I insist they must before having a snack on our nature walks. Drawing and the sketchbook are never mentioned in the text, but the girl carries them everywhere and sketches appear in her hand. A book like this is more likely to encourage drawing in nature than one that specifically directs attention to the activity. She doesn't draw because she should or she must but because she loves the world in which she lives.

The italic print: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. As an affiliate with Amazon, I receive a small commission if you follow one of my links, add something to your cart, and complete the purchase (in that order).  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Listening Loop: Science Songs of 2015-2016

unrelated to our science studies, but taken at a science museum
I wrote about our loop scheduling a few days ago. You can read that post here.

The Science Songs of our Listening Loop grew out of a regret. I purchased the book and CD for Lyrical Life Science Volume 1 (used on Cathswap) but we didn't listen to it for a full year. That sort of thing is typical in my experience. We might not do everything on my list, but I rarely remember resources that aren't in the lesson plans.

To rectify that omission, this year, I pulled together some science songs, songs that suited the science for First Son and First Daughter, and we play them at the appropriate time in our loop. Here's our science playlist for 2015-2016.
I purchased The Elements (new, directly from the author) and Lyrical Life Science Volume 1 (used on Cathswap), copied them to my computer, and then imported them into Spotify where this playlist lives.

First Son (sixth grade) is following the Level 3 Year 1 plans at Mater Amabilis: astronomy and plants. First Daughter (third grade) is starting the year with The Elements and then moving on to other chemistry with a conglomeration of materials I cobbled together because I like them. Second Daughter's science (first grade) is Birds so she only had the one contribution. They are also all studying some form of geology this year, but I didn't look for any geological options. These were songs I had or knew already. If you have other suggestions, please share them!

The italic print: Links to Amazon above are affiliate links. If you click on one, put something in your cart, and make a purchase (any purchase) within Amazon's time frame, I receive a small commission. My checking account thanks you!

Links to the Basement Workshop Store and Spotify are not affiliate links. I receive nothing from them, but perhaps you'll find them useful. I highly recommend the paid subscription to Spotify as some of the commercials are not family-friendly.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Loops for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful on the Range

I'm trying something new this year: loop scheduling. I read about it first at Amongst Lovely Things and after some consideration decided it might be the perfect solution to our Friday-problem. Our problem was that there seemed to be a day or two of the week that was always being "missed." Fridays, for example, seem to be the day-of-choice for organized field trips. Mondays or Tuesdays seemed to be appointment days. Given a few of those weeks in a row and I'd find us woefully behind where we wanted to be in something like Shakespeare (scheduled for Fridays) but comfortably moving along in other subjects.

I've developed loop schedules for my preschool student (Second Son) and my first grade student (Second Daughter), both of whom need plenty of "you-and-me" time. (The independent work seems to get done even when we're running around like crazy, so no loops for that yet.)

I call our main loops the Cultural Loop and the Listening Loop. After reading this post over at Wildflowers and Marbles (a fantastic blog, but be prepared for serious food for thought!), I realized these loops include the Good, the True, and the Beautiful of our homeschool plans. Other than our read-alouds, these are the subjects around which we gather at the dining room table, often with food or handicrafts in front of us.

Second Son not memorizing Shakespeare
The Cultural Loop
Fairy Tales
Poetry
Picture Study
Shakespeare


Every day, we begin our lesson time with morning prayer and read a psalm. Then I see what's next on our cultural loop. We started the year with Fairy Tales. On the second day we read some Poetry. On the third day we did a picture study. On the fourth day we memorized some lines from a Shakespeare play. Then, we started all over again. If we have time for our cultural loop five days a week, we double up on one of the subjects. If we have a bunch of appointments or illness or craziness, we may only get through two or three of the subjects but no single subject is suffering from a lack of attention. Or, rather, we're not suffering from a lack of any one subject week after week.

The Listening Loop (2015-2016)
Composer Study
Science Songs (not during Advent)
Making Music Praying Twice
Folk Songs (not during Advent)
Patriotic Songs (not during Advent)
Songs of the Liturgical Year (Advent, Christmas, and Lent only)
[updated later to add links to the posts for each playlist]



Using my awesome speaker, I'm able to fill our home with beautiful and sometimes playful music from my laptop, but we don't always have time for listening. On days when we're all working on chores at the same time or are all at the table with busy hands but available ears, I'll check my list to see what's next and start a playlist. If we don't finish the playlist before it's time to move on to something else, I make a note of where we stopped and we pick it up again the next day we have time. The only one that doesn't always fit into the schedule as neatly is Composer Study. If the scheduled composer study for the week is listening to the composer's music on Spotify, we often do that during dinner instead of during the school day, so we might listen to a bit of it every night.

We're a few weeks into our second term of the year, and I love the loop schedules. If we're home and at the table, we always have a bit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful to share together. If all goes as planned, I'll share our listening loop playlists over the next week or two.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Favorite Picture Books: Miss Twiggley's Tree

Miss Twiggley's Tree by Dorothea Warren Fox

I'm almost certain I first read about this book at Afterthoughts, though I can't find it there now. Our wonderful library bought the book at my suggestion after I requested it through inter-library loan and loved it.

Miss Twiggley lives in a tree. Her shyness compels her to hide whenever anyone comes to visit. She even sends her dog to do the shopping, which delights children reading the book. The mayor's wife starts to stir up trouble for Miss Twiggley but is interrupted by a hurricane that devastates the town. Luckily, Miss Twiggley lives in a tree and has room for everyone in town. (It's a very big tree house.)
And Miss Twiggley found out
Something wonderful, too:
When emergencies come,
You don't think about you.

You help all you can.
And you never ask why.
Then the first thing you know,
You forget to be shy. 
The italic print: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. As an affiliate with Amazon, I receive a small commission if you follow one of my links, add something to your cart, and complete the purchase (in that order).  

Monday, December 7, 2015

For the Child Who Loves Scissors: Cut-Crease-Create


Second Daughter loves to cut...anything and everything. The worst time of this phase constituted weeks of finding cut items all over the house nearly every day: curtains, sheets, clothes, carpets. You can imagine my frustration. Finally, I indulged her desire to wield those scissors by giving her the grocery advertisement every week. Our living room was full of tiny cans of soup, boxes of macaroni and cheese, and cuts of meat, but almost everything else in the house was safe from her wandering scissors.

While at a conference earlier this year, I discovered Melissa and Doug's Cut-Crease-Create booklets. Here was an opportunity for Second Daughter to combine her love of cutting paper with some folding (perhaps leading to origami for handicrafts) and practice envisioning and executing three-dimensional work (perhaps supporting her math skills).

I'm just making excuses. I knew she would love them and I wanted to buy them for her. So I did and assigned one page each week for school. She's been completing two or three. I allowed the extra pages, as long as she understood there were three books for the year and when they were gone, they were gone. Even at a few a week, the books should last her most of the school year.

There are three different books available and I bought a copy of each one: Cut-Crease-Create - Snowflakes, Cut-Crease-Create - Pink, Cut-Crease-Create - Blue. Each book has twenty "sculptures," all in vibrant colors. Second Daughter is seven and has been able to make nearly all of the creations without any help.

She chose the Blue book first. I didn't save all of her work, especially the ones that were more three-dimensional like the finger puppets, but in addition to the dinosaur and octopus on the cover, there were a volcano, a bat, a snake, and strings of things like palm trees, robots, cars, and buildings. There was even an upright and a little football you could make.

She just recently started the Pink book. The projects include butterflies, birds, hearts, a circle of ballerinas, flowers, a rainbow, a castle, a fan, and a crown.

The Snowflake book contains 20 snowflakes, most made with other shapes (frogs, butterflies, hearts, flowers, fish, crabs, leaves, penguins, mushrooms, stars, and others). Just from looking at the projects (there are sheets on the backs of the books showing all of them if you find the books in-person), I think the snowflake one is the most intricate and probably the most difficult overall.

The Amazon links above are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you click the link, add something (anything) to your cart, and make a purchase in whatever time frame Amazon currently assigns. I appreciate every little bit. Personally, I bought these from Rainbow Resource Center and the current price there is cheaper than at Amazon. It looks like Melissa and Doug is selling them even more cheaply. I don't receive anything if you purchase these or anything else at Rainbow Resource Center or Melissa and Doug.

Friday, December 4, 2015

People Get Ready: St. Nicholas Is Coming!

I'm updating this post to add a link to Like Mother Like Daughter where there's a link up for living Advent. Click over there to see how Advent can be wonderful and simple.


Our reading bench has been transformed into our Advent bench. I suppose it would be better if the drawers and wrapped books were in pink and purple instead of red and black, but we go with what we have.

We hung our stockings on the first day of Advent because St. Nicholas is coming on the eve of his feast day, December 6th. On Sunday morning, we'll wake up and find our stockings full of little goodies. It took a while, but in the past few years I have finally gathered enough stocking holders I really like for all six of us. I'm also still incredibly happy every time I see the stocking I made for First Son. (Apparently, I need to post some close-up pictures of it finished in a stocking shape.) First Daughter's is well under-way. She has high hopes it'll be ready by next year but I doubt that unless I pick up the pace.


The other stockings are all just mixed and matched. We have enough of the glittery green and red ones for everyone, but I let them choose. Second Son insisted on the doggie stocking which is supposed to be for our dog.


For some reason, Second Daughter decided she wanted to make her own stocking. She cut some fabric the girls had in their stash and stitched it together in a semi-stocking shape. It's hard to tell in the picture, but she then stitched on a block she cut from a sunflower fabric. It is simultaneously awful and wonderful. Let's hope it holds up to her gifts from St. Nicholas.

Last year, St. Nicholas brought "Christmas coupons" for all the children. Good until his feast day this year, they were gleefully received and redeemed. Here are a few of the favorites from last year and some new coupons we expect St. Nicholas to bring this year. I'm pretty sure he just created them in Word, printed them on his home printer, and cut them apart.
  • Choose the movie and snacks for a family movie night (rentals accepted) - This was one of my favorites!
  • A grocery list addition (with a maximum value)
  • A batch of homemade cookies of your choice
  • Choose the first game on a family game night
  • No meal chores today
  • One chocolate milk
  • Go out to dinner with Mom or Dad
  • Stay up 30 minutes past bedtime (specified nights only)
  • Eat dessert when it's not a dessert night
  • Choose a book or app (cost limit) for the Kindle or iPad
  • Bonus 30 minutes of screen time
  • Be First Day (when the coupon holder will be able to choose first for where to sit, which cup to use, and whenever else there are choices during the day)
  • Choose a book from any source (used or new, with a maximum value)
  • Enjoy a post-bedtime movie with Mom and Dad
  • Choose what's for dinner
  • Choose what's for dessert
  • One cup of frozen yogurt at our favorite outing spot
First Son appreciated that there were twelve - one for each year. Because I'm that kind of person, I wrote on the back of each coupon when it was redeemed and for what, if it was a movie or grocery item.

We also made St. Nicholas cookies. I always make this recipe and nothing says Advent has begun to me as much as kneading this sweet spicy dough on the counter until it's smooth. (I use lard instead of shortening so it's soy-free and this year I omitted the cloves for a friend who is on the Feingold plan.) I made two batches - the first with my almost-three-year-old goddaughter while all the other kids played outside (joy!). The second batch I split four ways and let my kids have free rein with cookie cutters on the kitchen table.

First Daughter made a good mix of different shapes. Second Daughter made a whole tray of gingerbread man cookies. (I like to make whole trays of the same cookie, too.) First Son made only a handful of really thick cookies. Second Son made fewer cookies than the others because he ended up with a handful of dough too covered in flour to be molded into a shape, but he had fun. The girls "branded" their cookies with initials so they would be able to tell which they had made even after they were baked.


The kitchen and two of the four children were a complete mess, but we now have lots of St. Nicholas cookies to share. They are especially delicious for grown-ups when dipped in tea. Children generally prefer to cover them with icing and sprinkles.


We'll decorate a few on the eve of the feast (Saturday night) so they look more like St. Nicholas. Here's First Daughter with the one she made last year.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November 2015 Book Reports

Editha's Burglar by Frances Hodgson Burnett is the story of a little girl who confronts a thief and foists upon him her own treasures in a courageous effort to prevent discomfort to her mother. It's a short book and sweet in its way. First Daughter (in third grade) will probably want to read it. (library copy)

The Diary of John Wesley Powell, Conquering the Grand Canyon edited by Connie and Peter Roop is an abridged and edited version of Powell's diary of his first expedition through the Grand Canyon. The editors claim to have remained faithful to Powell's meaning when adapting the text. From what I can tell, his writing would have been well served by better editing before his original book was published, so I wouldn't be too wary of sharing an edited version with my children. This book was created for young readers and I would expect First Daughter (in third grade) to be able to read it easily. I am considering reading this aloud to all of the children in anticipation of a hoped-for trip to the Grand Canyon ourselves. The natural world is portrayed in glorious and exciting language and the real risks of the expedition are clear. (library copy)

Francie on the Run by Hilda van Stockum is the second book in the Bantry Bay series. I read the first, The Cottage at Bantry Bay, aloud to the children last year. The one finally made it to the top of the pile. Though my mother's heart stopped at the thought of a six year old boy wandering Ireland, his adventures lead him to kind and generous hosts and all turns out well. I loved reading in my pale imitation of an Irish accent, too, and the children did not complain. They all loved Francie! (purchased Kindle version directly from the publisher)

Good Poems ed by Garrison Keillor is a book Kansas Dad and I picked out with a gift card on a visit to a bookstore on our anniversary. Oh, how exciting we are! I enjoyed reading the variety of poems selected. Well-known names like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are mingled with new poets. A book like this is a good one from which to read a poem a day, which is what I did. (purchased copy)

Laudato Si -- On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis in an encyclical which teaches the important of being good stewards of the earth and how that stewardship is intertwined with care for all people, most especially the weak, the manipulated, and those trapped by poverty. We read this with the adult education class at our parish. (copy provided by our parish)

Don Camillo and His Flock by Giovanni Guareschi, translated by Una Vincenzo Troubridge - Read my review. (inter-library loan copy)

The Education Of Catholic Girls by Janet Erskine Stuart - Read my review. (free Kindle version)

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare - I have the Shakespeare Made Easy version. I like these editions because I can read the play as Shakespeare wrote it without interruptions unless I want to check my understanding. Then I can glance at the other page to see a contemporary version. Often I turn to the modern words for the comic scenes. The puns and allusions are the most difficult to understand. The children are memorizing lines from Twelfth Night right now with How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare. (received in a swap on PaperBackSwap.com)

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden - Read my review. (library copy) 


Books in Progress (and date started)

The italic print: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. As an affiliate with Amazon, I receive a small commission if you follow one of my links, add something to your cart, and complete the purchase (in that order). I like to use the little I earn on the blog to purchase birthday and Christmas gifts. Links to PaperBackSwap could give me a referral credit if you follow the link, establish a new account, and post ten books. Links to RC History are affiliate links. Other links are not affiliate links.

These reports are my honest opinions. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Let Them Be Saints

Our parish has a fabulous Trunk or Treat All Saints party every year.

While talking with other parents at our parish, I realized some of them were avoiding attending because the thought of another set of costumes the same weekend as Halloween was overwhelming. I've always encouraged them to just look around their house. The dress-up bin, which every family with children should compile as a basic source of imaginative play, is the first and best resource for All Saints costumes. A simple prop can be enough to make a costume: a bit of lace for St. Zelie, a watch for St. Martin, a hammer for St. Joseph, a stuffed bird pinned to the shoulder for St. Francis. One of the easiest costumes for All Saints was a doctor costume I bought at an after-Halloween sale for pennies on the dollar and paired with a baby doll for St. Gianna Molla. An old white shirt of Dad's over regular clothes would work for a doctor's coat, don't you think? If you have a toy stethoscope, all the better!

Here are our delighted and excited saints on the day of the party in 2015.

Second Son (age 5) is St. George. He's wearing pieces of the Armor of God costume which First Son received when he was even younger than Second Son is in this picture. It's been worn by every child over and over again. Every family should have a knight costume floating around. We did buy a new sword because Second Son wears them out faster than most kids go through shoes. He's stomping on his defeated dragon, First Son's Folkmanis Tyrannosaurus Rex Hand Puppet, received on another birthday. It's still beautiful after years of use and abuse.

Second Daughter (age 7) is St. Elizabeth of Hungary. We've had a St. Elizabeth more often than not. She's a queen who carries a basket of bread so is always an easy and pleasing choice for girls. Any fancy dress will do. For at least three parties, one of the girls wore a sparkly pink dress we inherited from my nieces. I bought this one at Goodwill a few years ago for about $3. It's been in the costume box the whole time and has suffered quite a bit of wear (multiple pieces fell off during the party), but is still cherished by the girls. We've had many crowns over the years but they were currently all broken, so we bought one at the grocery store. It happened to come with a ring and earrings, so she wore those, too. Last year, she made her own crown out of paper, but the purchased one did stay on better. We made rolls for her to carry in the basket. I left her in the kitchen to shape them (while cleaning out her summer clothes) and she made crosses out of them. She distributed them throughout the party, replacing them with candy from the trunk or treat. The rolls are wrapped in a blue table runner I bought at Goodwill sometime in the past and kept in the saints costume box.

First Daughter (age 9) is Our Lady of Sorrows with her salt-dough crown of thorns. Over the years, I've found basic shirts, skirts, tablecloths, and pillow cases in white, blue, black, and brown (all at Goodwill) which can be put together to create a facsimile of nearly any nun or angel so most of her clothes came from my stash. She did spy the blue scarf at Goodwill this year and requested it as a sash around her waist. Big sizes are the most useful, especially in skirts, and can easily be pinned to fit lots of different sized-girls over the years. The ladies' skirts are long enough to be at ankle length for most girls. Wimples are easily faked by pulling a white shirt over the head and then pulling it up partway to cover the hair. Pin the sleeves and cover with a black or brown pillow case (why else would you want one in black or brown?).

First Son (age 11) is Bl. Jose Sanchez del Rio. He's wearing the same white shirt and tan capris we bought at Goodwill last year for his Tintin costume for Halloween. Those capris were huge around his waist last year; we just put a belt on him and called it good. It was great this year because he could wear them again! We added a red sash (a scarf) and his father's good brown boots. He made the flag himself (Google is good for something) and taped it to an old broken broom handle.

For 2015, we bought a grocery store crown (which now lives in the dress-up bin), a sword (also in the dress-up bin), a basket at Goodwill (because she wanted one with a handle and which she now uses for toys in her room), a blue scarf (put in the saints costume box), and a red scarf (which I will wear). The total was probably about $20, but if pressed we probably could have managed without any of the new items. Dressing as saints is not about buying or making another costume; it's about envisioning ourselves as saints and delighting in their love of God.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In This House of Brede

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

This book follows a widow as she leaves a prominent government position to enter a Benedictine monastery. Though Brede is a fictional monastery, the author lived in close proximity to a real one to gain insight and knowledge of the order. The pace of the novel is measured, like the life at the abbey.

The very first words reminded me more of my life as a mother than of what I thought a monastery life would be.
The motto was 'Pax,' but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Pax: peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort, seldom with a seen result; subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands, short sleep at nights, little comfort, sometimes scant food; beset with disappointments and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love. "It is My own peace I give unto you." Not, notice, the world's peace.
The monastery walls enclose a community of prayer, but also of mystery, creativity, industry, jealousy, sin, forgiveness, fear, anxiety, and courage.