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Field Trips with Dad

Wow, this has been a busy fall season. I planned on writing more about our homeschool adventures, but I haven't been very disciplined with writing. Another reason I haven't posted more "Catholic Dad Stories" is I have been taking fun trips with the kids, coaching, and working on exciting new projects. As a result, I have a few unedited drafts in my blog dashboard and many adventures to tell.

We are getting out of the house more this year and having fun. We've gone on two field trips while still in the middle of the Cross Country season. That means I am at the park running the trails three times a week with the "big kids." We meet on Wednesdays with other Catholic homeschool families for outside sports activities and playtime at the playground. We also go to the state park for fishing, to walk the trails, and see the horses regularly.

Our first field trip took us back to the 18th century. At the end of September, we went on a tour of a home preserved by the Historic Odessa Foundation in Odessa, DE. The foundation hosted a special tour day for homeschooled families and some great hands-on activities for the children. We spent most of the trip touring a house built in 1772 by Mr. Corbit.

The children also learned some leather crafting techniques by making their own monogrammed leather tags. Then they completed an 18th-century school lesson which included some bible dictation and handwriting practice with a quill. It was an exciting and fun trip for all of us. I am grateful to the parents from the Catholic homeschooling community who invited us.

Since I felt adventurous, I planned another trip to Philadelphia the following week. A Jesuit whom I worked with at Fairfield University is currently at a parish in Philly, and I thought it would be fun to take the kids to mass at his Parish. We went to Mass at Old St. Joseph's Parish for the feast of the Holy Rosary. The church was beautiful! The kids were excited when I told them their Mama once sang with a choir from the balcony.

Afterward, we ate lunch with Fr. Paul and went to see City Hall and the Liberty Bell. We saw the original chair George Washington sat upon and took a guided tour through City Hall. The kid's favorite thing to see was the "cracked bell." We had a lot of fun together, and it feels great to take them on "homeschool adventures," as I call them. I love being the kind of Dad that takes them out on new experiences. I enjoy spending time with them outside and taking them to see new places. This year, I made it a goal to experience more fun activities and field trips and find a community of friends for them.

Now, I'll tell you about my new projects that distracted me from blogging more. First, I have been spending time on a children's book. I have recently finished it, and now I am working with an illustrator. Once we finish it, we reach out to Catholic publishers. Unfortunately, I can't get into much detail about it now, except that it is Ignatian-themed and teaches (hopefully) children how to pray in real-time. I am super excited about working with the illustrator and the creative ideas she is bringing to the book. I will tell you more about it later!

The second project I am working on is a new website: Our Lady of the Way Virtual Retreat Center. This website has been a year-long project. Our mission is to serve pilgrims in the Catholic Ignatian tradition who are geographically isolated, home-bound, or physically not able to attend a retreat center. Our ministry offers Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats via telecommunications technologies. I am excited to work with these great spiritual directors to make the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola available in daily life. I am also excited because I will now be able to focus more writing on homeschooling and family faith formation.

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