Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas, etc.

Thought I better do a bit of an update, before another 5 months fly by!!

* For my birthday our little family went for a holiday.  It was so nice to get away - a real treat.  We ended up going to Australia Zoo, Underwater World and all the touristy things.  The boys had a blast and I felt very refreshed at the end of it. 

* My baby turned 4!!!  I am allowed to call him my baby on the blog because he can't read yet, but I am not allowed to say my baby in front of him.  He gets very put out.

* We have decided to use a registered provider for our homeschooling in the new year.  A few reasons for it - mainly being I don't want the burden of the extensive reporting that the government require and the benefit of having the distance ed school doing the reporting is that the boys will have no gaps in their learning (something I was getting worried about as they progressed).  Also this curriculum is encouraging independent learning for the boys and so I will be able to concentrate on kindy work with Isaac and teaching him to read (I love that part of homeschooling).

* We are supposed to be unsocialised homeschoolers, but no-one has told the neighbourhood kids that because the daily playdates from several of the children in town is catching up with me.  We seriously might need to go for a drive some days or keep the doors closed (actually locking them would be better because one boy just opened the door and walked right in, saying "knock knock".  I told him he's supposed to knock before entering but he said the door was unlocked so he felt it was okay to come in!!  Oh we live and learn).

* We had the Christmas Carols in town last night and it was so great.  I feel like Christmas snuck up on me again this year, so it was lovely to sing some of the old carols and get into the spirit of things.  We went to the carols with our 3 children and came home with an extra two for an impromptu sleepover.  So that is what my day will look like today - keeping 5 children amused - well probably 6 because another girl was put out when I said no to a sleepover, as the personalities of them all would just clash big time, so she will be popping over sometime today - all while I catch up on 4 days worth of washing (broken washing machine), prepare for Christmas lunch that is happening at our house (for 15 or so) and the usual house cleaning.  Good times.

Anyway that is a little of what has been going on in our world.  Hopefully I will be more regular with the blog for the new year.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  I pray it will be a sweet time of fellowship with family and friends and that you know how much you are loved by a Mighty God.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Book Review - Unbroken

I love books.  I am always reading and as soon as I finish one book I am straight onto the next.  But I don't want to do that anymore.  I want to mull over it for a little while and process what it all means and what I need to do about it.

I was talking to my husband about how this latest book I've read has affected me and how I don't want to forget how it made me feel, and he suggested I write a book review for the blog.  So here you go darl...

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a runner who competed in the 1936 Olympics and served as a bombardier for US Army Air Forces in World War II.  Louis' plane went down over the ocean and he and two others were lost at sea for over a month, only to be captured by the Japanese.  I don't want to share too much because once I start I won't stop (just ask Cameron) and I don't want to give anything away, but I will talk about the emotions it stirred in me.

Firstly I was struck by the determination of the POW's  - they never gave up.  How easy is it today to give up on things that are too hard, yet here are men under severe torture (such as we could never imagine) resolved to keep fighting and keep living.  Amazing.

The next thing that stirred something in me was the injustice.  A lot of abusers escaped without being charged for their war crimes and even those who were charged were released early because of national security issues, where treaties with Japan were needed.  Dwelling on the fact that men got away with horrendous acts against humanity will only drive you to anger and hatred and you don't want to go there.  In the past I've usually been someone who sees the black and white in a situation however I am trying to understand the difficult decisions governments need to make and oftentimes (most times?) they are unpopular.  However we fail to see the other side of the coin in these decisions and that is why we must pray for our government.  Also, as regards to the injustice, I must remind myself that our God is a just God and vengeance is His.

This book was an amazing reminder of what can be done with one life.  We all have just one shot - what am I doing with my one life?  I don't want to blow it.  I want to make a difference and I know the little things count.

This book was not an easy read, as you feel emotionally connected to these people and what they suffered, but definitely life changing for me.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Look at Me!

I like control and I like safe choices.  But look what I did?  How brave I am!

I bought yellow shoes (well, "Rust" technically).   Not my typical black, brown or navy.  Go me!


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Homeschooling - It's Official!

I have the paperwork ready to fill out to register our intent to homeschool Eddie.  I'm a bit nervous about it because I have heard some horror stories about the difficulties with the department, but I believe it is best for us and so will proceed.  I guess if we have too much trouble with red tape we can always move to Victoria!  Just kidding (kind of).

Homeschooling really is a great fit for our family and the decision just keeps being confirmed to us as I see our kids blossom.  I guess if I was to label our homeschooling style, it would be Classical with Charlotte Mason leanings.  We are mostly following the plan laid out in Susan Wise Bauer's 'A Well-Trained Mind'.  It is going so well and I love the flexibility and creativity it brings out in the boys. 

Some things we love about homeschooling:

You can be Thor or

Captain America one day...

And wear your dressing gown the next.

Little ones are eager to learn from a young age.

The local hangout for the neighbourhood kids is directly across the road, so we can meet up with friends anytime.

We can interrupt lessons to watch the rubbish truck.  Seriously, this man is so well loved here that he needs to be on the Christmas Card list.

So, my homeschooling friends, any thoughts or advice?  Do you have any troubles with your state department?  Any tips you would like to offer?


Monday, 11 June 2012

Picture Update

Birthday twins

The boys enjoying the circus - part of the birthday celebrations.

The boys were invited to a Garden Tea Party for a sweet 5 year old friend.

Complete with balloon animals...

and yummy treats.

The bush telegraph at work - news spread that Cameron could play the guitar and sing.  Here he is performing at the Wowan/Dululu Mother's Day morning tea!!

Me and my boys, Mother's Day 2012.

Holidays for us now.  Looking forward to 3 weeks of family time and visiting friends.


Saturday, 14 April 2012


I'd like to be consistent with this blog but it is amazing how time gets away from you.  I completely relate to this post from the Grace Full Mama.  So if I am not on the blog, all is well but I am just living life.

Just a few quick links that have interested or inspired me this past week.  Some free stuff, some things I already know, but it is great to have a reminder. 

* The Confident Mom - this blog also has a free 5 day mini-parenting series that had a few good tips.
* Women Living Well - this blog has a great series on discipline.  I'm in.
* Free Homeschool Deals - some great downloads appear on this site.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

And Sasha turns 5

I have been wanting to post pictures of Sasha's birthday celebrations since we returned from holidays, but it feels like we hit the ground running so I never had time.  I decided it must be done before the month changes, because April brings two more birthdays to celebrate.

Sasha's birthday fell near the end of our holidays but we made a special trip to Maryborough and threw him a ten-pin bowling party with friends and family.  He had a blast.

How cute are those little shoes?

We had a great time as a family during the holidays.  We went on three separate trips and home for just a day or so to wash in between.  I was a bit worried at first that it would be too much travelling but I tried to stay positive and it went really smoothly.  It was so wonderful that during these holidays we were able to see all members of both sides of our family (even if just briefly, Uncle Berty!).

The last day of holidays was our 8th wedding anniversary.  Cameron took one of the boys grocery shopping, brought dinner home for us and a surprise present as well (which was just what I wanted, so someone was listening!!!).  It's funny, I have two photos on our fridge of Cameron and I.  The first one was taken when we were first dating and the next one was taken close to 8 years later.  Check it out - we still have the same pose.

Anyway, here's to us.  May there be many more happy years together.

Hopefully I won't be a stranger to my own blog.  I'm working on it.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012


It has been such a busy season for visitors.  We love having visitors and I think we counted about 10 overnight visitors in the 6 months we have lived here!!  That's amazing.  It got to the stage where the boys would wake up and say "who is coming today Mum?"  Funny.  It has been a bit of a struggle to get back to routine though but now we are back to no visitors and obviously we miss everyone and want them to come again.  Such is life.

It's been a while since I posted, so I am thinking this will turn out to be a long post that rambles from one topic to the next and includes heaps of photos!!  Here goes:

School is back in full swing for us.  We are finishing off "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".  The boys are reading well now but we still have about 15 lessons to go before we complete the book.  After that we will move onto First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease. 

We are pressing through with our Math curriculum but we may well switch before too long.  One of my boys really needs manipulatives to help him along a bit.  We've heard great things about Math-U-See so that may be where we go next.  My boys are still so young so I am really letting them set the pace and not expecting them to complete pages and pages of worksheets each day. 

I need to focus on Character Study for my boys also.  We've noticed a few behaviour issues that I really don't want to become a habit, so I really want to focus on working with the boys regarding patience, obedience, not arguing, and also having a good work ethic.  They are old enough now to be able to remember simple chores.  The laziness habit is trying to show its ugly head ("it's too hard", "I'm tired") so we are going to nip that quickly also.

Anyway, on a personal note, I've been reading some great books lately and one which really made an impact on me was 'Reshaping it All' by Candace Cameron Bure.  It's not that I had lots of weight to lose or anything like that but I find that I eat out of habit.  I am not conscious of the things I am putting in my mouth sometimes.  I'm not being religious about it but I am just noticing my decisions and using will power.  For instance I will stop half way through a meal and check whether I am satisfied (not full, but satisfied).  Most of the things in the book I knew already, but for some reason it just clicked with me and it has been the tool for me to change the way I approach food.  I am already noticing a change in the way my clothes fit, so that is a nice extra.  I want to keep this up!!!  So I probably should put some encouraging verses and quotes from the book around the house for me to remember and apply.

Ok, so let the photo deluge begin.

Yay to be able to tick things off the plan!!

Note to self - do not turn your back when a 3 year old has a marker.

So amazed that Eddie was able to complete this.  He had no help whatsoever.

Eddie and Sasha won prizes for the library's summer reading competition.  So proud.

And the mobile librarian knew we had three boys, so asked the library for another prize for Isaac.  Showing off his watch.  Sorry about the scary eyes!!!

Our excitement for the day.  Rescue chopper lands across the road.  Always attracts a crowd.

Cameron has a couple of weeks off after this rotation.  During this time we will be able to celebrate his sister's birthday, Sasha's birthday and our anniversary.  Good times.

Belated Happy New Year greetings to you all,