Thursday, September 29, 2005

Me and My Ducklings

Yesterday morning we decided to spend the afternoon at Old World Wisconsin. Things being what they are in busy homeschool families, it took several hours before everyone was done with their "essentials" (Math, Music, Latin and Religion - not necessarily in that order) and we finally left the house just after lunch. Halfway there, it started to rain (I did have an idea this might happen and a backup plan in mind before we left), so we decided to head to The Elegant Farmer - a country market we like to visit in the fall to get apple "seconds" for applesauce and pies.

The children loved this adventure of driving through the countryside listening to Lyrical Life Science while the baby slept. It doesn't hurt that our best stereo system by far is the one in the car.We've been so busy the last few years that we don't take these "adventures" nearly as much as we used to. Special field trips like this can be such great family time together.

There's not a lot to the farmer's market. The orchards are beautiful, but apple picking is only available on weekends (and we have some trees in the backyard to pick ourselves - more worm-eaten than these, though) and it was raining besides.

The place was delightfully uncrowded. Sometimes I think the beauty of these excursions is to spend some unhurried time together. They all rode on the huge wooden rocking horses and walked around and around on the hay bales before we entered the market. Their favorite part of this trip is the caramel apples. They picked out their apples (five different kinds to choose from) and were served by a nice lady who prepared them (on a stick or sliced) as they desired and even cut up a plain apple for my toddler. After I paid for these (she threw in the plain apple for free) and the children each had their paper bowl with their treat, the four older ones followed me and the double stroller around the store in a line from youngest to oldest. It was the funniest thing and far more duck-like than this was.

Funny how the simplest things can be so delightful. We were there for only a few hours, but it was something that all the children loved (ages 12 down to 1) and even the 12 year old enjoyed being one of the children for once. :)

We're not very consistent about saying the Rosary together as a family, but long car-rides are a good opportunity. On the way home, I started in, not sure if everyone in the back of the car (we have two middle seats out at present) would be able to hear. To my surprise the three oldest each begged to lead a decade and then my 12 year old offered to lead the final decade in Latin (they know the Our Father and Hail Mary in Latin, but I had to help out on the Glory Be which I was only able to remember once I started singing it).

Now this idea brought me back to an article I read in high school in my sister's copy of A Treasury of Catholic Digest: Favorite Stories of Fifty Years published by Ignatius Press. (I spent a lot of time during my homeschool years in my sister's apartment upstairs from Ignatius Press in San Francisco - this sort of thing, to me, was one of the real beauties of homeschooling in high school). A few years ago, I picked up this book myself from the Clearance section on the IP website. The article is entitled "Saying the Rosary in Tongues" by Robert Anderson (from the October 1982 issue of Catholic Digest).

The author had made the habit of praying a decade each in Latin, Spanish, Italian, French and German. This was a way for him to remember where he left off when he got interrupted in the middle of his prayers.

But I think - what an interesting idea for children! My children are already interested in different languages and different countries in the world. They might also consider offering those decades for those who speak that language. It might inspire some research into the missions, etc.

Here is the Latin for the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be (might be best to continue the other prayers in English since we don't repeat them so often):

Pater noster, qui es in coelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum; adveniat regnum tuum; fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo et in terra; panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis nodie; et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris; et ne nos inducas in tentationem. Sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Here are some links to prayers of the Rosary in other languages:

Rosary Prayers in Numerous Languages
The Our Father in over 1000 languages
The Hail Mary in over 150 languages

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