By stef

What Nino Read, April 2017

Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment
Viking Raiders
The Wishing-Chair Collection
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Space (DK Eyewitness)
Knute Rockne (COFA)
The Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt
How to Draw Spider-Man
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (for dictionary work)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Mike Venezia)
On My First Holy Communion (Angela Burrin)
George Gershwin (Mike Venezia)
Henry Ford (COFA)
The Land of Stories (Colfer)
The Black Book of Colors
The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
The Tale of Mr. Tod
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
The Tale of Two Bad Mice
The Great Brain
Boats (Gallimard Jeunesse)
The Rain Forest (Gallimard Jeunesse)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (COFA)
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
Homer Price
Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors
The Beginner’s Bible
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (IP)
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (IP)
Tell Me About the Catholic Faith (IP)
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Green)
Dr. Dolittle (IP)
The New Junior Classics: Stories of Wonder and Magic (IP)
The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia (IP)
DK Eyewitness Books: Ancient Egypt (IP)
Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle
Drawing From Memory (Allen Say)
Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage
A Boy Called Dickens
Rock and Roll Highway
Nick and Tesla’s Solar-Powered Showdown
Peter Kent’s Big Book of Armor
Journey to Easter
The Story of the Cross
An Introduction to the Liturgical Year (Lent)
The Way of the Cross (Inos Biffi)

New noteworthy skills this month:
– biking on two wheels
– long division
Also enjoying his weekly gymnastics classes soooo much.
Current favorite game: Dominion and Pokemon. Ugh. Pokemon. 😛
Working on Life of Fred Honey for Math.
Also continuing to prepare for First Holy Eucharist in May.
Eats green beans, spinach, carrots, and mushrooms. Not voluntarily, except maybe the carrots. Horrified to find out I put avocado in smoothies. :/

What Nino Read, March 2017

Track Team Titans
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!
Peter Kent’s Big Book of Armor
Who Were the Vikings?
King Jack and the Dragon
How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
Can You See What I See? Once Upon A Time
A Wind in the Door
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
It’s Off to Camp, Charlie Brown
The Planet of Puzzles
Wilbur and Orville Wright
High-Voltage Danger Lab
St. John Bosco and St. Dominic Savio
Weather (Gallimard Jeunesse)
Cautionary Tales for Children
The Story Hour
The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
Favorite Norse Myth
175 More Science Experiments
Snowflake Bentley
Who Was King Tut?
Science in Ancient Mesopotamia


Done with Life of Fred – Goldfish and onto Life of Fred – Honey
Started Gymnastics again.
Narrates well.
Still working on his book — he is now up to 16 pages and 1953 words.
Still doing origami all the time and had me get this book for him:

Also working on comics and had me get these:

He gave up Lego for Lent, so he plays on Sundays.
Recently went camping with Dad at Trail Life.
Has gone to Confession twice and preparation for First Holy Eucharist is going well, though work on the portfolio has slowed down because he’s doing the book given by the parish instead.
Still climbs all the openings in the house and can touch the ceiling.
Favorite games: Dominion and Apples to Apples and Sequence.

What Nino Read, February 2017

175 More Science Experiments To Amuse and Amaze Your Friends
A Lime, a Mime, a Pool of Slime
A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink
Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal Na Hari
Ang Prinsipeng Ayaw Maligo
Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Cross-Sections Castle
Dearly, Nearly, Insincerely
DK Visual Italian-English Bilingual Dictionary
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Hairy, Scary, Ordinary
I and You and Don’t Forget Who
Ibong Adarna
Joan of Arc
Lazily, Crazily, Just a Bit Nasally
Maghapon Ni Bong
Mary Todd Lincoln
Miro’s Magic Animals
Quirky, Jerky, Extra Perky
Revolution News: Power to the People!
Rome and Romans
Samuel F. B. Morse
Slide and Slurp, Scratch and Burp
The Cozy Book
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Eagle in the Chicken Yard
The Hairy Fruit
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
The Last Battle
The Love of Lam-ang
The Magician’s Nephew
The Silver Chair
The Tribes of Redwall Otters
Tintin in Tibet
To Root, to Toot, to Parachute
Unang Unggoy
Under, Over, By the Clover
Who Was King Tut?

Argentina Unit Study

Living Books:

Other resources that may be helpful:

Argentina Booklet: A Country Study – $3.50 digital download

Animal Habitats free download

Christmas Around the World: Argentina

A unit study here from Homeschool in the Woods

Can’t forget the food!


Start at 6:00 to see them try Argentinian foods:

The Chocotorta! Very similar to Italian Tiramisu, but you don’t have to make zabaglione.

What Nino Read January 2017

Abraham Lincoln (COFA)
Buffalo Bill
Eyewitness Science: Light
For the Love of the Game by Michael Jordan
Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales by Theoni Pappas
Henry Huggins
How We Learned the Earth is Round
I Did It With My Hatchet: A Story of George Washington
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (Roger Lancelyn Green)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (COFA)
Mathematics (Life Science Library)
Millions to Measure
My First 100 Words: An English/Filipino/Cebuano Pictionary
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab
One Odd Day
Ronald Reagan: An American Hero (His Voice, His Values, His Reason)
Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
The Art of Figure Drawing
The History of NASCAR
The Man Who Lost His Head (Bishop & McCloskey)
The Most Beautiful Thing in the World (Brindle & Brennan)
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
The Way Things Work
Usborne Pocket Nature
World and Space (Childcraft)


– still working on Sacramental Preparation portfolio.
– memorized Spiritual Communion prayer
– went to Confession twice
– working on memorizing the Memorare
– been DRAWING a lot the past couple of months. started with the I Can Draw books and progressed from there.
– Science and Latin on back burner. Need to stock up on experiment materials, and start doing Latin again maybe in March. ]
– “graduated” from Singapore Math and starting Life of Fred 3rd grade.
– Favorite games: Dominion, Sequence, Apples to Apples
– still into Star Wars origami

100 Books Every (Catholic) Woman Needs To Read


Inspired by this post, 100 Books Every Man Needs to Read, I tried to come up with my own 100-book list. I got up to 65, then 118, and then cut it back down to 86, then back up to 112, down to 91, and so on…. I’m at 96 now and tired of trying to decide what should go on it and what shouldn’t. I’m trying to achieve some sort of balance, I suppose — genre, history, voices, etc… but I don’t know if it’s realistic to put a limit on myself, though it’s a good question to ask: If I could read ONLY 100 books, what should they be? I may tweak pending input, or not. 🙂

33 Days to Morning Glory – Fr. Michael Gaitley
A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Mother’s Rule of Life – Holly Pierlot
A Return to Modesty – Wendy Shalit
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Mosseini
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – Betty Smith
Abandonment to Divine Providence – Jean Pierre de Caussade
Adam and Eve After the Pill – Mary Eberstadt
All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Anne of Green Gables (series) – Lucy Maud Montgomery
Apologia Pro Vita Sua – John Henry Newman
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Catherine of Siena – Sigrid Undset
Christian Self-Mastery – Basil Maturin
Come Be My Light – St. Teresa of Calcutta
Covenanted Happiness – Cormac Burke
Divine Intimacy – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene
Essays on Woman – Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)
Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
Fire Within – Thomas Dubay
For Better, For Worse, For God – Mary Jo Pedersen
Forming Intentional Disciples – Sherry Weddell
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Getting Things Done – David Allen
God Has No Grandchildren – Leila Marie Lawler
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
In This House of Brede – Rumer Godden
Interior Castle – St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Freedom – Fr. Jacques Philippe
Introduction to the Devout Life – St. Francis de Sales
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Joan of Arc – Mark Twain
Joseph of Nazareth – Federico Suarez
Kristin Lavransdatter – Sigrid Undset
Left to Tell – Immaculee Ilibagiza
Life of Christ – Fulton Sheen
Life-Giving Love – Kimberly Hahn
Love and Responsibility – St. John Paul II
Making Sense Out of Suffering – Peter Kreeft
Man and Woman He Created Them – Michael Waldstein
Married Saints and Blesseds – Ferdinand Holbock
Maurice and Therese – Patrick Ahern
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Mulieris Dignitatem – St. John Paul II
My Antonia – Willa Cather
My Name Is Asher Lev – Chaim Potok
Nudging Conversions – Carrie Gress
On Food and Cooking – Harold McGee
Out of the Silent Planet/Perelandra/That Hideous Strength – CS Lewis
Particles of Faith – Stacy Trasancos
Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water – Susie Lloyd
Poems and Prose – Gerard Manley Hopkins
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Silence – Shusako Endo
Simplifying Your Domestic Church – Abby Sasscer
Something Other than God – Jennifer Fulwiler
Splendor in the Ordinary – Thomas Howard
Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child – Anthony Esolen
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
The Art of Eating – MFK Fisher
The Authentic Catholic Woman – Genevieve Kineke
The Betrothed – Alessandro Manzoni
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor – Flannery O’Connor
The Dark Night of the Soul – St. John of the Cross
The Fairy Tale Novels – Regina Doman
The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
The Gorgeous Nothings – Emily Dickinson
The Great Heresies – Hillaire Belloc
The Hidden Power of Kindness – Fr. Lawrence Lovasik
The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
The Holy Bible – God 😀
The Imitation of Christ – Thomas a Kempis
The Lord – Romano Guardini
The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
The Privilege of Being a Woman – Alice von Hildebrand
The Reed of God – Carryl Houselander
The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur – Elisabeth Leseur
The Sinner’s Guide – Luis de Granada
The Song of Bernadette – Franz Werfel
The Soul of the Apostolate – Jean Baptiste Chautard
The Spiritual Combat – Dom Lorenzo Scupoli
The Story of a Soul – St. Therese of Lisieux
The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson
The World’s First Love – Fulton Sheen
The Wrinkle in Time Quintet – Madeleine L’Engle
Till We Have Faces – CS Lewis
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
What’s Wrong With the World – GK Chesterton
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

What Nino Read, November 2016

How To Write A Thank-You Letter by Cecilia Minden and Kate Roth
What’s So Yummy? All About Eating Well and Feeling Good
A Gebra Named Al
Si Pilandok, ang Bantay-Gubat
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Don’t Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth (Could You Survive Medieval Medicine?)
Guinness World Records: Fun with Food
Anno’s Aesop
Blaze Finds the Trail
Comeback of the Home Run Kid
Young Lancelot
Dirt Bike Racer
Blaze and the Lost Quarry
Karate Kick
Blaze and the Forest Fire
Good Work, Amelia Bedelia
Come Back, Amelia Bedelia
Slam Dunk
Hot Shot
The Home Run Kid Races On
George Gershwin by Mike Venezia
Millions to Measure
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil
The Little Prince
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green
Poppy and Rye
The Chocolate Touch
More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls
Albert Einstein: Young Thinker
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Tell Me About the Catholic Faith
Snowflake Bentley
Basketball for Young Champions
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
Kids Gardening
Polar Express
Stuart Little
Julius the Baby of the World
Children Just Like Me
King Arthur’s Knight Quest
Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales
Favorite Norse Myths
Karol from Poland
Mirette on the High Wire
Alexander Graham Bell
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Kings and Queens
The Book of Three
The Miracles of Jesus
Pish Posh Hieronymus Bosch
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
Myths and Legends (The New Junior Classics)
The Creation (Paul L. Maier)
The Story Hour

What Nino Read, September 2016

A Child’s Book of Manners
A Gift of Gracias
Atoms and Molecules Experiments Using Ice, Salt, Marbles, and More
Bard of Avon
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Mayo/Malone)
Buffalo Bill
Bugged: How Insects Changed History
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chemical Change from Fireworks to Rust
Chess for Kids
Clare and Francis (Visconti/Landmann)
Days of the Knights: A Tale of Castles and Battles
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander
Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Manners
Eyewitness Science: Light
Fortunately, the Milk
Gandhi (Demi)
George Gershwin (Venezia)
George Washington: Young Leader
Guinness World Records 2008
Guinness World Records 2011
Harry Houdini
Henry and the Paper Route
Henry Ford: Young Man With Ideas
Homer Price
Horns to Toes and In Between
How We Learned the Earth Is Round
I Did It With My Hatchet
It’s Off to Camp, Charlie Brown
James Herriot’s Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children
Joan of Arc (Stanley)
King Jack and the Dragon
Leonardo da Vinci (Stanley)
Little Bear’s Visit
Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt
Mary Cassatt (Venezia)
McDuff Moves In
Michelangelo’s Surprise
Molly Pitcher: Young Patriot
Mother Teresa (Demi)
My Very First Mother Goose (Opie/Wells)
Myths and Legends (The New Junior Classics)
Once Upon a Time Saints
Our Presidents
Pablo Picasso: Breaking the Rules
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
Poppy and Rye
President George W. Bush: Our Forty-third President (Gormley)
Return to the Willows
Revolution News: Power to the People!
Riding the Pony Express
Rome and Romans
Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”
Simeon’s Gift
Sina Elephas at Estegodon Noong Unang Panahon
Stars and Galaxies
Stories that Never Grow Old (The New Junior Classics)
The Beginner’s Bible
The Boxcar Children
The Boy Mechanic
The Bungalow Mystery
The Cartoon Guide to Physics
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Andersen/Lewis/Barrett)
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Glorious Flight Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot
The Hobbit
The Horse and His Boy
The Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
The Matchbox Diary
The Moffats
The Monk Who Grew Prayer
The Neptune Fountain
The New Way Things Work
The Penderwicks
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
The Secret of the Caves
The Secret of the Old Clock
The Silver Chair
The Sinister Signpost
The Squire and the Scroll
The Tattletale Mystery (Boxcar Children)
The Triple Hoax
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
The World’s Best Fairy Tales
This Is Rome
Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor
Tim and Ginger
Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales
Who Were the Vikings?
Why Things Don’t Work: Race Car

Notes on the Journey:

He’s getting used to ~4 lessons a day. Usually my pick, except on holidays — like yesterday — when he gets to pick. He likes all his lessons and doesn’t really exhibit anxiety/resistance to doing them. I did have to explain last week that he would have the rest of the day to spend as he likes if he did his lessons early. Got his assessment test results last week and he’s pretty much at 3rd-4th grade level in Math/Reading.

He knows the Rosary well enough now and prays with us more, leading his own decade and saying his own prayer intentions, usually for Papa and Mama (grandparents) and for the defunding of PP and for all of us to get to heaven. I’ve added My Catholic Faith Delivered to his curriculum, just so I make sure we have all our bases covered (anal mom) while we continue work on his Sacramental portfolio. Father says he probably will get to make his first Confession before we leave on our trip.

I’ve also introduced him to planning, so he writes out in his journal/planner his lessons/chores/plans for the day. Piano is of greater interest now, and he practices at least once a day without prompting. Also LOVES his art lessons and would skip and do the ones that most interest him (sculpture) if I let him. Had to go back a bit and retrain handwriting for some letters. Have to do the same with numbers. Still LOVES playing basketball with dad. AND BUGS. And trying to scare mommy with bugs. >.< On weekends he spends much time with Dad outside in the yard or tinkering in the garage. Yesterday Dad tried to teach him how to show his work (in Math) but he wasn't very receptive LOL. All in good time. Will enroll him again in swimming lessons when we get back. And maybe gymnastics. He wants to do soccer but I'm not sure I'm ready for that. 🙁

What Nino Read, August 2016

26 Fairmount Avenue
A Kiss for Little Bear
A Spider Story
Abner Doubleday (Dunham)
Alamat ng Ampalaya
Billy and Blaze
Blaze and Thunderbolt
Blaze Shows the Way
Charlotte’s Web
Daniel (Animated Stories Activity Book)
Edward Hopper (Venezia)
Extreme Machines
Eyewitness Books North American Indian
George Washington (Illustrated Lives)
Horse Heroes
Hot Air Henry
I Spy Gold Challenger
I Want to Be an Astronaut
Lou Gehrig (Riper)
McDuff Goes to School
Millions to Measure
Mouse Cookies
My Amazing Book of Egypt
Pigs Will Be Pigs
Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
Riding the Pony Express
Roman Britain
Samuel FB Morse (Latham)
Sophie’s Stuff
Tales of Ancient Greece (Blyton)
The Beginner’s Bible
The Boy Who Drew Birds
The Chronicles of Narnia (Official Illustrated Movie Companion)
The Cozy Book
The Emperor’s New Clothes (Lewis/Barrett Trans/Ill)
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
The Most Beautiful Thing in the World (Brindle) – for Sacramental preparation
The Rain Forest
The Story of the Great Depression
The Story of the Oregon Trail
The Trojan Horse (Hutton)
The Usborne Rainy Day Book
The Usborne World of Shakespeare
This Is Rome
Tim and Ginger
Tim In Danger
Tim to the Lighthouse
Tim’s Last Voyage
Where Do Sharks Cross Mountain Peaks

What Nino Read, July 2016

A Boy Named Giotto
A Little Pigeon Toad
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
A wind in the door
And Then It’s Spring
Are You My Mother?
Attack of the Clones
Basic Aid Training
Basketball for Young Champions
Brian Jacques The Tribes of Redwall Otters + Badgers
Cam Jensen and the Wedding Cake Mystery
Cautionary Tales For Children
Charles Dickens: The Man Who Had Great Expectations
Chasing Degas
Clara Barton
Click, Clack, peep!
D’aulaire Book of Greek Myths
Dave and the Giant Pickle
Draw Really Cool Stuff
Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods & Heroes
Eyewitness: universe
Farmer Boy
Fortunately, The Milk
Fractals, googols and other mathematical tales
Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment
George Gershwin
Good Morning, Gorillas
Guinness World Records 2015
Henry Huggins
Joseph from Germany
Julius: The Baby of the World
Keepers of the School
King Arthur’s Knight Quest
King Jack and the Dragon
Leif The Lucky
Long-Arm Quarterback
Mission to the Moon
Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
Officer Buckle and Gloria
One Small Square: Cactus Desert
Pink and Say
Rome & Romans
Room For A Little One: Christmas Tale
So You Want To Be President
Squire and the Scroll
St. Martin de Porres
St. Paul the Apostle
The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport
The Boy and His Lunch
The Boy Mechanic
The Case of the Shipwrecked Tree
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Home Adventure Library
The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
The Parables of Jesus
The Piece of Resistance
The Planet Of Puzzles
The Reader’s Digest: Children’s Atlas of the World
The Secret Of Red Gate Farm
The Secret of the Old Mill
The Sinister Signpost
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
The Usborne Rainy Book
The Way Things Work
The World Almanac and Book Of Facts 2015
The World’s Best Fairy Tales
Tintin in Tibet
Treasure Box 2
Usborne Knights & Castles
Usborne Rome & Romans
Usborne World of Shakespeare
Volcanoes! Mountains of Fire
Wilbur and Orville Wright

– catalogued by Ate Yena and Kuya Migi

A Rationale for Latin


Just a quick note — Latin discussion at one of my homeschooling moms’ group and the question came up:

Why Latin? What are your end goals?

My answer:

My end goal was simple: for my kids to develop an appreciation for Latin since it’s where the Romance languages came from…

  • So that, should they decide to learn any of those it would come easier to them. When we lived in Italy for a bit it was fun for them to learn Italian kasi many of the words were already familiar to them
  • So they’re comfortable whenever they attend any Mass where Latin is spoken/sung
  • So that if at some point they’d want to read any of the Latin documents of the Church they wouldn’t be intimidated and might even have fun with it
  • For a better grasp of the English language and grammar

Beyond those, whatever they want to do with it. There are people in my kids’ circles who are Latin fanatics.

One of my daughter’s best friends was an atheist who used to compete in national Latin competitions. Side note, he is now an agnostic — rapidly becoming Christian in his thinking — and has even started reading St. Augustine. Pray for him!

Our family’s favorite Latin materials:

Lingua Angelica:

Latina Christiana:

Prima Latina:

Henle Latin:

500 Latin Verbs:

Minimus Latin (though this is NOT ecclesiastical Latin)

Our 14-year-old also used the course Visual Latin and enjoyed it.

The book that helped me to decide to include Latin in our homeschooling curriculum:

Climbing Parnassus

(For some reason my Amazon links are not showing up, so I’ve edited so you at least see the names of the books.)

7 Benefits Latin Offers Today’s Students

Oh, and lastly, my PERSONAL reason for incorporating Latin into our homeschool: I just LOVE botanical names! 😀

So I Lost My Planner/Journal Today….


I got to Kroger and as I stepped out of my car, I reached for my journal on the passenger seat and WHOOPS! IT’S NOT HERE. I had left it at Costco, probably on the baby/toddler seat plastic thingie on the cart, because my journal’s pink and I might not have noticed that I left it. :O

So I went ahead and grocery-shopped and then called Costco. Whew. Someone had turned it in and they had it at their office, so I’ll go pick it up sometime.

But as I shopped all kinds of thoughts were popping in my head, which I’m sharing here.

Of course I was upset that the planner/journal was lost, because it holds precious memories I wanted to remember/treasure, BUT I was also very thankful that although that journal holds some of my most private thoughts I wouldn’t necessarily post online, there was also nothing there that would possibly embarrass the person reading it, or me, or my spouse, or my children.

What I have in my planner/journal:

– project lists
– to-do lists
– grocery lists
– notes on homilies at Mass
– Scripture passages
– foods I want to eat
– saint quotes
– sections of the Catechism
– prayers
– prayer lists
– poems
– “processing”, like when I’ve got a particular thought that I’m trying to explore
– lyrics of songs that move me,
– lyrics of songs I’m working on
– mind maps
– notes on essays I’m working on

The journal pretty much contains the thoughts I have from day to day, but what a relief to know that I don’t have any deep, dark, hidden secrets that could scandalize others if they were exposed to light. And while there are things that are rightfully just between my Lord and me, as I continue to work on my salvation, what a relief to know that even if I were to lose my journal, it could potentially end up blessing, not harming, the person finding it.

Resources for Drawing Comic Superheroes

We were just at Michaels to pick up stuff for Nino’s sacramental preparation portfolio (will blog that at a later date) and he found a book on how to draw comics, except it wasn’t on sale, and the “50% off any item at regular price” coupon we had couldn’t be applied to it — guess it really wasn’t “any item”. I didn’t want him to spend $10 on a book that looked mediocre to me, so I had to say no and he was all upset on the way home (character building moment).

I’ll let him have the figure drawing book given to me by the hubs when I was taking fine arts classes in college, but I also found him a few resources that might be helpful to other kids with similar interests:

How to Draw Step by Step Drawing Tutorials (images and videos)

How to Draw – This one isn’t really for kids, but I thought I’d keep the link for when he’s older.

I’m also ordering these two books, but will hold off on handing them to him until I’ve checked for, uhm, unsavory images. Hopefully they’ll be clean enough. Worst case scenario I can tear off pages if need be.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist

Making Sense of Islam and ISIS (2 of 2)


Way past due compilation of news items and commentaries. Treating this like a homeschooler and educating myself. I’ve bolded the articles that I found most helpful to me. Note that inclusion on this list doesn’t mean I agree with the author or the article.

ISIS believes it is destined to fight “the armies of Rome” outside of Jerusalem. The Catholic is a member of that selfsame Army, fighting “the world, the flesh, and the devil” in and through the unity of the entire Church, a unity sacramentally re-presented in its earthly shepherd, the Pope, successor to the Apostle Peter, whose Seat is at Rome.
Quite like ISIS, we believe that we are destined to a Last Battle. But much to the disappointment of the easy, carnal convictions of ISIS theology — that bloodlust which attracts the moronic “gangster” culture to their ranks as much as believers — this Battle is not merely a temporal one. It is the daily struggle for holiness, the true “jihad” which ISIS-style worldliness renders stupid. – from BadCatholic

December 2015

4 Insane Reasons Why Liberals Admire and Romanticize Islam
100 Years Ago, Americans Talked About Catholics the Way They Talk About Muslims Today (Liberal) … ’cause you know, 100 years ago Catholics were beheading people, etc.
All Schools Shut Down in Virginia County Over Islam Homework
AP Source: Woman In Shooting Pledged Allegiance to ISIS
Cleric Denies Ties to San Bernardino Killers as Phone Records Surface
Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? (Francis Beckwith)
French Kicking Down Doors, Closing Mosques, Findng a LOT of ‘War-Grade’ Weapons
Hard Sayings About Terror
House to Probe Claims of Intelligence Manipulation
Members of the Female Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) Brigade Mutilates, Kills Breastfeeding Mom
Muslims in America: More Latinos Converting to Islam as US Population Grows, Report Claims
San Bernardino Eyewitness Account: Chris Nwadike (LA Times video)
San Bernardino Killers Illegally Modified Their Rifles to Carry More Ammo and Fire Bullets Faster
Search Underway for Afghan Trainees Missing from Air Base
The Terror This Time
Dr. Kashif Chaudhry on Pakistan
‘We Are Coming’: Threatening Pro-Islamic State Messages on US College Campus
What’s Worse: Banning Them or Bombing Them?
When A Mother Chooses Jihad Over Life


January 2016

About that Mosque President Obama Will be Visiting…
The American Taliban and the Assault on Memory
American Folk Singer Hopes Peace Concert for ISIS Will Win Over Terror Group
Bibi Wilhailm — Ihr macht Deutschland kaputt! Aufklärung einer 16 jährigen über Asylpolitik!
Boy’s Response to Blasphemy Charge Unnerves Many in Pakistan
Could Paris, Cologne Terror Attacks Happen in America?
David Garrison speaking at the Finishing the Task 2015 Conference at Saddleback Church
In Europe, Muslim Extremists Turn to Sexual Terrorism
On the Reformation of Islam
Priest: Pray for Jihadists’ Conversion — One of Them Could Be a Future St. Paul
Saudi Arabia’s Swan Song
Saudi Prince Picks Fight with Donald Trump on Twitter
Sweden to Expel 80,000 Failed Asylum-Seekers: 163,000 Refugees Applied for Asylum in 2015 (Ukraine Today video)
Twitter Fury After 1000 Muslims Sexually Attack Women: Germany Censors Media
Why Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God (Francis Beckwith)
Yes, Muslims Should Be Asked to Condemn Islamic Terror

February 2016

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
Genocide is Also Killing Cultures and Destroying Communities
Ibn Rushd vs Ghazali: Did the Muslim World Take a Wrong Turn?
ISIS Beheads 15-year-old Iraqi Boy for Listening to Pop Music
ISIS Extremists Stone Four Women to death on Charges of ‘Committing Adultery’
Islam — Facts or Dreams?
New York High School Holds World Hijab Day
Two Turks Arrested by Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department for Gang Rape Robbery
Yazidi Women Tell How They Escaped Their ISIS Captors

Quote from a friend:

Much online commentary oscillates between two extremes: one side refuses to say anything against both Islam and Muslims, another side refuses to make any distinctions between the worst of Islam and all Muslims. I wish to have no part with either extreme. As a traditional Catholic I have strong opinions against the tenets of Islam — and “against” is an understatement. But as a Christian I cannot condemn all Muslims. I have little patience with those who refuse to make any connection between terrorism and some Islamic beliefs. I have the same impatience with those who say that there are no moderate or anti-extremist Muslims.

March 2016

393 to 0: US House Unanimously Declares ISIL IS Committing Genocide Against Christians
A 60 Minutes Crew Met Muslim Refugees. Things Went Really Wrong. Here’s the Tape.
Christianity is the Answer
Muslim Migrants Attack Australian News Crew in Sweden (video)
The Coming ISIS-al Qaeda Merger
The Pope and the Mongols
The Quran’s Deadly Role in Inspiring Belgian Slaughter
Three Sikh-American Soldiers File New Lawsuit Against US Department of Defense
To Maintain Supply of Sex Slaves, ISIS Pushes Birth Control
The West Won’t Even Defend Its Own Values. How Can It Be Expected to Defeat ISIS?
Two Women Risked Their Lives to Capture This Chilling Footage of Life Inside the Capital of ISIS

April 2016

Female Arab Journalist: Muslims Who Say Extremists ‘Do Not Represent Islam’ Are ‘Hypocrites’
First, Let’s Get the Facts on Saudi and Iranian Involvement in 9/11
First Syrian Family in Surge Resettlement Program Arrives in US
ISIS Fighter Numbers Drop in Syria, Iraq Amid US Military and Cyber Attacks
ISIS Taps Tech for Web Radio
Jordan’s Muslim King Abdullah to Fund Restoration of Jesus’ Tomb in Holy Sepulchre
Meriden Mosque Shooter Seeks Forgiveness From Muslim Community
Muslim Newscaster Shares Her Devotion to St. Charbel, Urges Peace
New Poll Finds Young Arabs Are Less Swayed by the Islamic State
Refugee Converts: “This Could Be My Death Sentence”
Syrian Government Takes Back al-Qaryatain from ISIS

May 2016

Blessed Anthony Neyrot was Catholic, Then Muslim, Then Catholic, Then Martyred
ISIS Sends Parents Body Parts of Daughters, Video Showing Their Brutal Rape and Torture
Meet the Kurdish Female Warrior Who Battles ISIS
The Crusades Were A Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression
Tom Rogan discussing ISIL Operations in Europe
What ISIS Wants (PragerU Video) (funny “bag-daddy”)

June 2016

How Can We Prevent Another Attack Like Orlando?
Iraqi Christian Details How ISIS Fighters ‘Married’ Her Only For Rape
ISIS Burns 19 Yazidi Women to Death in Mosul for ‘Refusing to Haave Sex with Fighters’

Other helpful thoughts for pondering:

Archbishop Sheen’s Prophetic Warning of 50 Years Ago: Mary and the Moslems; The Significance of Fatima
Flying Hijacked Planes into Glass Houses
The Road to Peace?
How Christians Deterred Me From Leaving Islam
The Sunni-Shia Divide (from the Council on Foreign Relations)
20 Answers: Islam by Prof. Andrew Bieszad
The Muslim World Needs Conversion, Not Understanding

Prayer Resources

30 Days of Prayer

Making Sense of Islam and ISIS (1 of 2)

Way past due compilation of news items and commentaries. Treating this like a homeschooler and educating myself. I’ve bolded the articles that I found most helpful to me. Note that inclusion on this list doesn’t mean I agree with the author or the article.


June 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Gives Fantastic Answer to Muslim Woman Claiming All Muslims Are Portrayed Badly

August 2014

You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

September 2014

Christianity and Islam: Are We At War? (Fr. Mitch Pacwa)
Regensburg Redux: Was Pope Benedict XVI right about Islam? (Analysis)

October 2014

Obama’s Former Pastor: I Helped Obama Accept Christianity Without Having to Renounce Islam

November 2014

How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?

January 2015

From Napoleon to Bin Laden: France and Modern Terrorism

February 2015

The Atlantic’s Big Islam Lie: What Muslims Really Believe About ISIS
The Truth About the Islamic State and the End of Days Prophecy
What Is “Islamic”? A Muslim Response to ISIS and the Atlantic

March 2015

Ideological Foundations of Islamic Extremism (from Mindszenty Foundation)
What ISIS Really Wants

June 2015
Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists? (PragerU video featuring Haroon Ullah, senior State Department advisor and a foreign policy professor at Georgetown University)

August 2015

Germany’s Muslim Demographic Revolution
Islamic State: The Dutch Teen Who Maps the Jihadists

September 2015

Before Clock Incident Made Him a Celebrity, Ahmed Mohamed “Racked Up Weeks of Suspensions” and Clashed With Authority
For Christians and Yazidis Fleeing Genocide, the Obama Administration Has No Room at the Inn
For the Record: It IS About Islam
A German Town in Decline Sees Refugees As Path to Survival
Germany’s Plan for Migrants Will Reshape Its Future
Muslim Brotherhood Extremists Attack Journalists on the Streets of New York City
Why the West Turns a Blind Eye to Saudi Arabia’s Brutality

October 2015

The breaking of the Oslo Accords (Jordan Sekulow)
Can Islam and Individual Freedom Coexist?
The Confused Person’s Guide to the Syrian Civil War
Evangelist Franklin Graham Doubles Down on Shocking Proposal About Muslim Immigration
For the Record: Europe’s Migrant Crisis Could Put America at Risk
How to Defeat Religious Violence
ISIL Child Training Camp Discovered in Istanbul: Report
ISIS: What the “Do-Nothing” West Is Doing
Migrant Violence Increasing in Germany as 30-year-old Woman Attacked and Man Hospitalized at Student Football Match
Ministers Approve Mandatory Arabic Studies from First Grade
Pres. Obama’s Disastrous Consequences
Russia, Syria, the US and Israel
Stunning Interactive Map Shows the Thousands of Migrants Flocking to Europe Every Month and How 680,000 Have Arrived This Year Alone

November 2015

27 Iraqi Christians Face Deportation in US While Obama Offers Asylum to Thousands of Muslims from Syria
3 People Arrested in Belgium in Connection to Paris Attacks, Officials Say
‘A Shocking Truth Is Unfolding’: Matt Drudge Teases Bombshell Claim ABout US and Islamic State
A Thanksgiving Meditation on Freedom and Its Enemies
After Paris: Five Things We Need to Do Now to Protect America’s National Security (Jay Sekulow)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama’s Strategy on Islamic Extremism ‘Has Failed’
Ban the Burqa! This European Country Will Now Fine Women Up to $10,000 For Wearing a Head-to-Toe Burqa
The Barbarians Are Inside, and There Are No Gates (Mark Steyn)
Breaking: Putin Reveals ISIS Funded by 40 Countries, Including G20 Members
Can Muslims and Christians Coexist? ‘Of Gods and Men’ Offers an Answer
Catholic Schools Rule Out Islam for Religious Studies: Muslim Leaders Hit Back
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Gives Surprisingly Brutal Review of Obama’s Islamic State Claims at G-20 Summit
Do The Rest of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Need to Die?
Egyptian Cleric: ISIS Grows Out of Islamic Mainstream
Emails Show DOD Analysts Told to ‘Cut It Out’ on ISIS Warnings; IG Probe Expands
Exclusive: Islamic State Fighter: Kill Women Who ‘Provoke Sexual Desires of Men’

I believe ISIS is partly due to Christian sins of omission. #EvangelizationFail – from Sr. Helena Burns

Exclusive: Islamic State: ‘The Threat to the United States’
The Fear of Being Called Phobic
Fears ISIS Could Poison Paris Water Supply
Former CIA Director Tells TheBlaze TV: Would be Surprised If Islamic State Didn’t Strike US Homeland Soon

Back in August of 2014, as the Islamic State was emerging on the world scene, I launched a petition calling on our government to lead an international effort to destory ISIS as a fighting force. Joined by friends from across the political spectrum, from Dr. Ben Carson to Professor Cornel West, I warned that ISIS was better equipped, better funded, and even more determined, ruthless, and brutal than al Qaeda. We warned that this terrorist organization could not be contained but must be destroyed. We further warned that a failure to destory it swiftly would permit it successfully to recruit terrorists who would carry out mass attacks in Europe and eventually in the United States. We further warned that with every passing day ISIS would grow stronger and more difficult to destroy. We pleaded for immediate and decisive action. Our plea went unheeded. What we got was too little, too late. Alas.

Here is the petition in full, from our website at – Excerpt, from Prof. Robert George

Gov Rep McSally: There are 10,000 IRS Agents for Charity Deductions, But Only Two Dozen People Focused on Countering ISIS
A Humble Plug for Refugees
I’m A Gay Man and Mass Muslim Immigration Terrifies Me (Milo Yiannopoulos)
‘I’m Coming Home’: Ahmed ‘Clock Kid’ Mohamed Meets With President Accused of War Crimes, Orchestrating Genocide
Iraq: 300 ISIS Militants Surrender to Peshmerga
ISIS, Liberal Democracy, and the Holy Catholic Church: A Call to Arms (Marc Barnes)
The Islamic State Wants You to Hate Refugees
‘It Is A Little Frightening’: Glenn Beck Reveals Little-Known Theory that Attempts to Explain Current Events
Maher: ‘Islam is a Problem,’ Saying Syrian Refugees Have Values at Odds with Ours ‘May Not Be Wrong’
Obama’s Intel Scandal
Obama, Speaking from the Ruins of His Own Policy
Paris Attacks: Many Arrested in Raids Across France
Paris Terrorist Was Migrant Who Registered as a Refugee in Greece
Pentagon Expands Inquiry Into Intelligence on ISIS Surge
Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism
Scandal: US Christian Groups Prioritize Muslim Refugees Over Christian Ones. Here’s Why
School of ISIS (PBS Frontline video)
Submission: A Novel
The Underground Revival in the Middle East That Might Take Down Islam
‘This is Looney Tunes’: Media Mocked Glenn Beck’s Caliphate Prediction
This Muslim TV Host Gave An Incredible Speech Following the Paris Terror Attacks
The World Is United Against ISIS, So What Do We Do? (Stephen Colbert with Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs
Two Major Victories for Christians
Why Hillary and Obama Prefer Islam to Christianity (Ben Shapiro)