Emily M. DeArdo



Seven Quick Takes No. 100

7 Quick Takes, writing, CatholicismEmily DeArdo3 Comments

Yes, It's a long time I've been doing these guys, and if I was on Top of Blogging Life, I would've had some giveaway today. But no. Sorry! I'm thinking about having another giveaway soon, though. 


NaNoWriMo 2015 is upon us! I really love NaNo time, even though this year it took me a long, long time to decide what I wanted to write about. I have now decided, and I'm ready to go come November 1! I'm hoping to use some of the 9 hours I'll be in the car this weekend to do some brainstorming for my characters, but we'll see what happens. (I'm going to an out of state wedding) If the brainstorming doesn't happen in the car, it can always happen in the comfort of my hotel room (maybe with Room Service? Girl can dream.)

I will try to post regular NaNo updates here, so you can keep track. Previous "finished" novels (meaning I got to 50K words and "won) are listed above in  the Writing menu. 


Yes, Indiana is the third stop of Emily's Crazy October Tour. Boston, retreat, and now, Indiana. I've been to Indiana before, but only to Indianapolis and Richmond, so it'll be a chance for me to see more of this state. 


I was back to my CCD kids for the first time in a few weeks last week, and I missed them! They learned a lot of stuff while I was gone. Last week we talked about Adam and Eve, and this week my co-catechist is going to take them through Noah, Abraham, and Moses. You know, nothing difficult or important. ;-) I'm sad I'll be missing 10 commandments week, because I love teaching the kids about that. Explaining adultery to first graders is always  a lot of fun. (I'm kidding. Their faces, though, are a lot of fun--they always look like, 'why would anyone want to do that?!')


So, ST. John Paul II's feast day was yesterday, so Quick Takes V, VI and VII are just gonna be JPII quotes. You ready? :) 


Seven Quick Takes No. 85: Things I teach my CCD kids

7 Quick Takes, CatholicismEmily DeArdoComment

CCD started last week, and I've realized that a lot of folks I talk to don't know the things I teach my kids--as in, they were never taught these things.  So, for your edification--and since all of you can't make it to class--here are seven big things we teach them during first grade. 


God loves them. God loves us all more than we can possibly imagine. He created us because he loves us--and so that we can know, love, and serve him in this life, and be happy with him forever in the next. God loves us no matter what we do. However: 


That doesn't mean you get a free pass . We teach the kids the 10 commandments early on. God loves us so much that He gives us rules for our happiness. He wants us to go to Heaven to be with Him when we die--but we have a choice. We don't have to do what He asks of us. 

At our parish, the kids receive First Confession and First Communion in second grade. So we have to make sure the kids are ready for these. So that means emphasizing that God loves us, but also, that our relationship with God is hurt by sin. Confession restores grace (God's life in our souls) and our friendship with God. 

We don't want them to be scared of God, as in, terrified that He'll send them to Hell for taking an extra cookie. (Fear of the Lord is something different.) But we do want them to know what sin is, and what it does. 


On that end, we teach them about Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, and that everyone in Heaven is a saint. They may not be a canonized saint, but they are saints.  


Prayer is talking with God. This week, we're going to talk about how God loves them, why God created them, and what prayer is. I know a lot of times we get hung up on formal norms of prayer and the "best" way to pray. But at its heart, prayer is just talking to God. That's it. You talk to your friends, right? God is your best friend. (Or He should be!) How will you get to know God if you never talk to Him? We also briefly touch on the different kinds of prayer--petition, intercession, thanksgiving, praise, adoration. 


Since we're a Dominican parish, we teach them about the Rosary, as well as Dominican saints. Our classroom's patron is St. Hyacinth. 

In that vein, we also teach them about the Church year, especially the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and we teach them the Stations of the Cross. 


They learn about the Real PresenceIf I'm teaching that week, I am absolutely nuts about this. I love teaching kids about the Eucharist. When I tell them that they will receive Jesus--Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity--when they receive communion, their faces just light up. It's such an awesome part of our Catholic faith. We make sure that they know what it is before they leave. 


Finally, we teach them about the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. I became really big on this after a priest at our parish told the catechists during a meeting that he interviewed a sixth grader who didn't know what the trinity was. I vowed that would never happen in my classes. 

So, those are some of the most important points we teach in first grade. Did you know all these by the time you reached second grade? 

Daybook No. 101

Daybook, writingEmily DeArdo1 Comment

Outside my window::

It's "partly sunny". All the kids are back in school, and the weather is in the low seventies, but will be in the 80s over the weekend. 


A robin's egg blue t-shirt and my tiered, gray skirt. Basically, my summer uniform. 



I finished A God In Ruins yesterday. I'm sort of torn about it. There were parts I really enjoyed, and then there were parts that I skimmed. I didn't really care about the WWII stuff, even though I know that was important for the protagonist. I'm sort WWII'd out in my fiction and movies. (That's probably awful) But unless it's really creative, like The Book Thief,  or a part that hasn't been done to death, like Life After Life, I'm sort of "eh" about it. 

Still reading Middlemarch and What Matters in Jane Austen

Around the house::

Well I've had a cold ontop of the sinus issues, so for the past few days not much has been going on around here. After I got back from teaching CCD on Sunday I pretty much crashed. But I'm feeling more human today, so we'll see what I can get done. At the very least, I need to go out and provision a bit more. 

In the CD player::

Cassie and Maggie, Sterling Road


Well, see above, I guess. At least I don't eat a lot when I have a cold. Hahah. If today goes well, I'll be back to the gym tomorrow. 


We have 28 kids this year. That's not bad, given that they can all write their names without help, and make the sign of the cross correctly. Having kids who already have a pretty good grasp on their letters is an excellent thing. We're giving homework this year. Not difficult homework, but still, homework. Mom had the great idea of having a drawing at the end of the year for a prize--every time the kid comes to class and completes homework (and brings it back), the kid gets an entry in each jar. "Truly, a little bribe never hurt." Right? 

The first week is always the introductory stuff--here are the books, here are the rules, here's the fire drill procedure, etc. Next week we start chapter 1, on prayer, and why God made them. 


I'm getting ready to send the manuscript out to another publishing house. This house wants it completed, and as a hard copy, so yes, I will actually have to print out the Behemoth, and mail it. The USPS is going to love me. Really. 

I'm also thinking about new writing topics for here. So, what do you want me to write about? Do you have questions/burning topics you'd love to see me talk about?