Friday, May 30, 2008

A Seventh Birthday

I kidded him the seven birthday was a “no go” but Master L. proved me wrong.
The day began the night before when ds18 and dd16 helped put up/draw the birthday theme poster/blow up balloons etc so that when Mr Seven came down to the living area this is what he would see.

Mr Seven and his slightly older brother then headed off with yours truly to a local park. First off we hit the playground. But this didn’t last long as we went on a tour of the park noting the changes since our last trip

here. We used to call this park the “no” park as ball gameswere not permitted except in one small area and the list of restrictions was almost as big as the total area of the park! But things have changed! There are now several small lakes that connect with the main one plus more paths/walks to explore, birds to see etc.
After our outdoor play

we headed indoors to another play area, slightly “wacky” near by.

Then it was home for a special birthday tea menu selected by Mr Seven and

present time followed by a stupendous cake made by dd16. And so ended a perfect day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A mummy moment or were there just too many "mummies"

Brenda has a Keeping it Real meme. A good friend invited me to join!
So here is a "mummy moment" that happened shortly after the birth of our sixth child!!! Yes you heard right, even being an experienced mum can let you down at times! On this particular occasion two friends decided to pay a "see the baby" call sometime around mid-day when baby was a week or so old! My good friend was also there, I'm wondering if she remembers it! Anyway all four mums are baby focused in the living room while in the background is the delightful "hum" of a homeschooled family tidying up after book-work, folding washing and preparing the evening meal. At some point second son appears with a recipie book in hand and mumbles something about the quantities needed to make apple pudding. I smile and nod and he wanders off. Can it all really be this simple. Later while we mums drink our hot drinks close by seeps a rather strange something burning...YES IT IS!! "Mum look what's happening to the apple pudding, its bubbling over and over" screams oldest daughter.(Did I mention this oven was relatively new!). I call in second son and asertain that yes he did follow the recipie exactly as I told him. I look at the book, something about the way the sugar quantity(3/4 cups sugar) is written warns me."um "dearest"how mch sugar did you um add?""well mum I asked you whether it was 3 or 4 cups and as you just said yes I thought it was best to be sure so I added all 4.".
Postscript: the "sugar mixture" was a combination of black sticky tar and concrete and took forever to hack off. One of those homeschool science experiments that you probably don't want to replicate!

Flowers for Mary

I have a very special friend whose birthday is today. This friend has a wonderful sense of humour, a terrific singing voice, a decorators flair. She thinks deeply and cares enormously. She is a wonderful listening ear. Not content to shoulder her own burdens she is more than happy to help you carry yours. I have known her since our fifth child was born nearly seventeen years ago and she was present at the births of our sixth and seventh children. I celebrate knowing her today not because of what she has but because of who she is!

Happy Birthday Mary!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Botany Study

We have begun our study of Botany this year using the resources:Botany in a Day and Shanleya’s Quest.
This week we read about the mint family and the boys enjoyed collecting samples from the garden.

Both boys were quick to use the characteristics of the mint family to help them identify plants that belonged and to dismiss those that didn’t.

Today we used information on making herbal teas using two different methods, infusion and decoction. Infusion is the way most teas are made, by pouring boiling water over the
top of the herbs and steeping them. The decoction method involves bringing the herbs themselves to a boil and simmering for thirty minutes. Toby experimented with both methods and we sampled both.
The boys both enjoyed drawing their own version of the mint guardian.

A drive in the hills

We set off early Sunday morning to collect apples at Cousin Ian’s orchard in Summertown(more about this to follow).
The boys love adventures so we decided to take a circuitous route to get there.

Here then is our first find,Holly in flower in May.

We couldn’t resist these brightly coloured seedpods.(please help us identify them!)

We stopped to admire this fuschia.”Oh ,so that’s what the fuschia fairy would look like!”

Some golden leaves on a back road held our admiration.

And we stopped for a moment to decide where we would build our house next to these trees that glow so wonderfully autumn!

Speaking of houses, we had to take a snap of this tiny little house on the road from Crafers to Summertown.

And its slightly larger and more recent sister close by!

We munched on roasted chestnuts.

And spotted these toadstools close by the gate to the orchard.


This post is a response to the comment posted on my last post. It is taken from one of the links .

Millions and millions of followers of Christ can’t wait to meet Jesus and fall on their knees and worship the King of the Universe.
Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body."
Mark 14:22

This is my Body "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." -John 6:51

Jesus the bread of life is truly present in the Eucharist.

You don’t have to imagine!
Christ our Saviour is waiting for you in the Blessed Sacrament.

I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Stop trying to imagine:

Jesus is waiting for you

Friday, May 09, 2008


I have two links to share. While they are not specifically about Pentecost they fill me with such joy which makes me realise in a very small way the joy of the believers on that special day when the Holy Spirit enlarged their hearts with God's love!

You are my God

I can only imagine

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why the roof is still not complete

This is why the roof on the veranda is still not complete.!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The logistics of our day

We begin our school day early and are finished by lunch. Although there are only six of us at home now, the youngest two and myself are responsible for most of the daily home management.
This is because dh leaves for work at 7am and is not home until after 5pm and because ds18 is in his first semester at uni. DD16 is studying through our local correspondence school completing yr11 and some of yr12 and so doesn’t have a lot of extra time.
And so to the day!
I wake at 6am for devotions (shower, dress etc first). Dd16 showers after me and cleans the bathroom and toilet. Ds 6+10 wake (are woken!) at 6.45. After they breakfast, they begin their chores; feeding and cleaning up after the pets they are responsible for. For ds10 they are the rabbit, 2 dogs and inside budgie. For ds6 they are large black hens, bantam hens (+rooster!) and turtle. If it is too cold (as it has been lately…yippee!) or if it is raining (praise God we’ve had some of this lately too!!) their pet responsibilities are slotted in between school subjects.
At 7am I start up a wash load and get any food out of the freezer for dinner.
School begins at 7.30 with prayer and faith focus and our morning readaloud. Prayer is usually the Angelus and for our faith focus in May we have Katherine to thank.
Ds18 then goes off to uni or to his study in his room. The younger 3 now have violin practice.
They learn by the Suzuki method which I can’t praise highly enough! The 2 older ones practice independently and the youngest completes ½ his practice “independently”(note the quotation marks! As I try to be near to listen should he need help.). In this time I bucket water gardens (hooray no need with this beautiful rain we’ve been having lately!) or hang a load of washing and start a new one.
School subjects follow the usual routine but during this time period while the boys are completing maths problems, writing or colouring a language assignment etc I generally find time to:
prepare the evening meal
fold dry washing
fill the water urn and bottles
hang out more washing
wash dishes
While the boys eat lunch we read from our geography readaloud, Australian history readaloud or some other book.We have maps on 2 bulletin boards in the living area(where we mostly school) for handy reference.
Then I give myself time for lunch and “computer-time”! The boys have playtime now. They also use some of this time to listen to their Suzuki tapes(often they do this while they read or play with leggo/ k’nex etc…which is one reason I love this method; all that listening really does pay off!)
Later in the afternoon I’ll get the 2 boys to put away the folded washing and the dishes in the drainer(which will be nicely air-dried by then!!)
We all come together for the evening meal after which (usually!!)dh and the 2 oldest chn do dishes and clean up. At the same time the younger boys are getting ready for bed, putting out dirty clothes, sorting out tomorrow’s ones etc(often while listening to an audio book, Redwall being the choice at present!)
Next are our family devotions. We try to pray a decade of the rosary every evening. We work through the mysteries praying a different decade each night. We also pray a scriptural rosary so that the children can see the interconnectedness of all aspects of our Catholic faith.
Then sometimes I read another readaloud to the younger 3 or the 2 boys go off to bed after a blessing from mum and dad. Then the rest of us veg! It would be nice to say that we go on to do something intellectually or otherwise challenging but at this point of the day veg time is about all I can handle!
Well that’s it; feel free to let me know what you think of our day!


The Angelus is traditionally recited morning (6:00 a.m.), noon and evening (6:00 p.m.) throughout the year except during Paschal time, when the Regina Coeli is recited instead.

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.

V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our current readaloud

"Jeremy: the tale of an honest bunny" by Jan Karon. I picked this book up last month in New Zealand second-hand. It has been our morning readaloud to date this term. I was surprised the author had written a children's novelette as until then I was only familiar with her adult novels. However I would recomend this one.
The publisher's introduction says;"Jeremy is a handmade English bunny with honesty sewn into his very being. So when he learns that he was made for someone in North Carolina, he hops right off to deliver himself to his new owner."
ChapterOne starts:"Every evening in the softly gathering dusk, John Sweeney appeared on the path that lead through the high meadow..."
There are beautiful illustrations throughout by Teri Weidner. I would like to know more about the illustrator.

quote time again

Following my previous post here is the quote from "Down in the Cellar".
"You musn't mind Bruce," he said gently."It's not easy to see a thing through, when you aren't sure what it is you're seeing. the others have seen some things, and heard. But you just had to go ploughing on doggedly, with no sort of reward,"...
"Kind Julia..." he said,"...and clever Andrew...and Deidre who sees too much...they'll forget all that they've seen...And you Bill, who have seen so little will remember everything."
It really is a very good fantasy read along the lines of Susan Cooper's fantasy series but with the humor of Nesbit's Bastable children. What a pitty its out of print.

A Quote on the Ascension

"You are surely familiar with all those precious, naïve images in which only the feet of Jesus are visible, sticking out of the cloud, at the heads of the apostles. The cloud, for its part, is a dark circle on the perimeter; on the inside, however, blazing light.
It occurs to me that precisely in the apparent naïveté of this representation something very deep comes into view. All we see of Christ in the time of history are his feet and the cloud. His feet—what are they?
We are reminded, first of all, of a peculiar sentence from the Resurrection account in Matthew's Gospel, where it is said that the women held onto the feet of the Risen Lord and worshipped him.
As the Risen One, he towers over earthly proportions. We can still only touch his feet; and we touch them in adoration. Here we could reflect that we come as worshippers, following his trail, close to his footsteps.
Praying, we go to him; praying, we touch him, even if in this world, so to speak, always only from below, only from afar, always only on the trail of his earthly steps.
At the same time it becomes clear that we do not find the footprints of Christ when we look only below, when we measure only footprints and want to subsume faith in the obvious.
The Lord is movement toward above, and only in moving ourselves, in looking up and ascending, do we recognize him. When we read the Church Fathers something important is added. The correct ascent of man occurs precisely where he learns, in humbly turning toward his neighbor, to bow very deeply, down to his feet, down to the gesture of the washing of feet.
It is precisely humility, which can bow low, that carries man upward. This is the dynamic of ascent that the feast of the Ascension wants to teach us. "

Benedict XVI

"I'm forever blowing bubbles"

On the feast of the Ascension we decided to blow bubbles! Why? Just because that's why! Seriously though as Catholics we are never slow to celebrate and surely the Ascension of Jesus back to the Father is a pretty good reason to feel happy about!

Read the Catechism in a Year

Andrea has done a wonderful job of breaking down the Catechism into manageable pieces for personal Bible study and devotion. I have been taking notes and here are some idea I jotted down so far:

"Still the Christian faith is not a 'religion of the book'. Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living. If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must through the Holy Spirit, open our minds to understandthe Scriptures.

"All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and that one book is Christ, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ"
Hugh of St Victor

The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.

Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Shared book

English from the Roots Up

Ancient History
T’s main lesson/L’s reading
L’s main lesson/T’s maths
L’s maths/T’s piano
L’s faith(T extra reading)
T faith

Shared book
Art study
Folk song
English from the Roots Up

Ancient History
T’s main lesson/L’s reading
L’s main/lesson/T’s maths
L’s maths/T’s piano
Toby faith


"More Catholic Tales"
Shared book
Composer study
English From the roots Up

Ancient History
T’s main/lesson/L’s reading
L’s main/lesson/T’s maths
L’s maths/T’s piano
L’s faith(T extra reading)
Australian history or SCIENCE

Devotions buy treasure box
Shared book

Folk song
English From the Roots Up
Ancient History
T’s main lesson/L’s reading
L’s main lesson/T’s maths
L’s maths/T’s piano

Devotions Bliss book
Shared book

English from the Roots Up

Ancient History
T’s main lesson/L’s reading
L’s main lesson/T’s maths
L’s maths/T’s piano
Both boys faith