I’m thankful for our church. We have had some pretty incredible parishes in the past, who have all really focused on the social concerns aspect of our faith. Thankfully, our current parish is similar and although initially we didn’t love it nearly as much as some previous parishes, it was the best around here. As time has gone on and we have gotten more involved, we have participated in many of their outreach projects. Yesterday, we had our annual Day of Service. A few different churches (ours is the only Catholic one participating) participate in a bunch of different service projects, some out in the community, others at your church. It was so nice to see so many members of our parish community coming together to give back. There were toiletry kits assembled, winter bags assembled for the poor, sandwiches made, cat toys made (for local animal shelters), baby bundled made, birthday boxes for local food pantries, meals for Aid for Friends prepared, decorations for shared meal made, blankets for the elderly made, elderly parish members yards cleaned up for winter, and I’m sure many others I’m not remembering. I’m grateful for the family and young children programs that I have been helping get started, so that my children can grow up in a parish family.
Today I’m thankful that Felicity is adjusting to dance class and today did the entire tap portion by herself. She really, really wanted to take dance this year, but has had a bit of trouble doing the class without a parent or sister (just like every other kid in the class). Today she did ballet with B and then tap by herself!
I always want to be more crafty than I am. I have a sewing machine and can do some basic sewing. I’m really pretty terrible at sewing a straight line, so my options are limited. Last year I made the girls some no-sew fleece ponchos, but really they aren’t that cute. This year I really wanted to make some double layer ones and to add a hat. We happened in to Joann’s on a day when fleece was 50% and I picked up some remnants, which means they were an extra 50% off, so the fleece needed for one poncho ended up costing only about $5. If I screwed it up I wasn’t wasting too much 🙂
Here are the first two I made, one for Beatrice and one for Felicity. I have since made one for Eloise as well, but haven’t taken any pictures yet. Greta’s will hopefully be made soon. I’m pretty happy with them and the girls seem to like them and they are relatively warm. They will be prefect to throw over them in the carseat this winter. Even though you can’t see the lining all that well, they each have two layers of fleece!
At the beginning of the summer one of the blogs I read posted about a new book she had coming out called Give your Child the World. It looked right up my alley, so I impulse bought it and I’m so glad I did. We had great fun this summer reading about all different places in the world. I’ve always tried to find a variety of books for our kids, both books about people like us and books about people living differently from us. The book has book lists for books about each part of the world. While we checked out oodles from the library there are still plenty left for us to read, so we will have to keep exploring as the years go on. Along with the books we read each week, there were blog posts about people living in different parts of the world, so that you could see what a family who lives there life actually looks like. We haven’t read that many of them, but will hopefully catch up soon. When I showed some to Greta, she immediately wanted to write one about us, so here it is! Most is written by her from her perspective, but I did help her along at times. We will be linking up with others who have published a similar post, so we can learn what it is like to live many other places.
– Tell us about your family. – My name is Greta and I’m the oldest of four children. I’m 8 years old and I always have a book in my hand. I’m going to be in third grade this year. My sister Eloise is 6 years old and is going into first grade. She runs faster than me. Next is Beatrice, who is 4 years old and will be in preschool this year. She likes making funny faces. Last is Felicity, who is 2 years old. She is very cute. I live with my dad and mom. My dad is an engineer and likes to do lots of science experiments with us. My mom takes care of us and likes to read us lots of books.
– Tell us about where you live and how long you’ve lived there. We live in Pennsylvania and have lived here for 6 years. We live close to both New York City and Philadelphia, so we get to visit both fun cities. Philadelphia is full of history. We visited the Liberty Bell earlier this year and we love to visit the Philadelphia Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in the country, opening in 1874! We went to see the Rockettes this summer in New York City. We also live a short distance from the Jersey Shore, which means fun times at the beach.
– What do you think is unique and special about living where you do? We live near the Delaware River, which means we see lots of migrating birds, like geese, and enjoy the canal. (our niece is visiting us in the picture below)
– What languages are spoken there? If it’s different from English, can you help us learn a few common phrases? English. Some people have New Jersey or Philadelphia accents.
– What are some traditional foods there? Pizza, pizza, pizza. In our area there is an Italian restaurant on almost every corner, so we get to find our favorite place. Philadelphia is known for their cheesesteaks, but we (the kids) don’t really like them. Italian water ice is also popular here. It is kind of like a slushy, but comes in lots of yummy flavors. There are also lots of farms to get fresh produce from.
– Tell us about the climate where you live. We have four seasons. In the summer it can reach 95 degrees (F) and in the winter it can be 5 degrees (F). It rains and snows here. Sometimes we get ice storms and the occasional hurricane. Fall and spring are beautiful around here with changing leaves in the fall and lots of colorful flowers in the spring.
– What does school look like for the majority of kids where you live? Most kids around here go to school by bus or car. Some kids go to public school, other private schools (like us, who go to a Catholic school). We go to school Monday through Friday for about 7 hours starting in Kindergarten at age 5.
– What does school look like for your family? We go to a Catholic school and wear uniforms. School goes from September – June. We learn about our faith, math, reading, spanish, music, art, writing, technology.
– Are there any special festivals or traditions you’d like to tell us about related to where you live? At Christmas, Santa rides through our neighborhood on a fire truck and his helpers give out candy. On New Years Day, the Mummers Parade takes place in Philadelphia. We always watch it on TV and it is lots of fun to see. Usually it is very cold so we don’t want to sit outside to watch it because it is about 8 hours long (see video below for an act). This week we are visiting the Grange Fair, which is a local fair with art exhibitions and lots of animals. We like to look at the different bunny rabbits, guinea pigs, alpacas, cows and more. This year I entered a few pieces of artwork to display.
– If you ever had to move away from where you live, what do you think you’d miss most? I would miss my school and friends a lot. I would miss our church.
– Do you have a favorite book that takes place in your region/country? We can’t think of any, but will try to find some soon!
During our reading this summer, Greta discovered the author Grace Lin. She really enjoyed the chapter books she has written and is planning to write her a letter. While looking around her website I found this TED talk she did and I loved it. I try my hardest to bring books into our house that help us look into the windows of other lives. Enjoy!