Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Friar's Van

"In 2008 the Capuchin Friars of Leichhardt saw a need for engaging those who receive food services on a deeper level. The friars at Leichhardt, including the 6 student friars in formation, decided to purchase a van that would be able to cater for handing out hot coffee and tea. Those who have received their food from various services are able to come to the “Friars Van” for a hot drink and a talk. One quiet man, after receiving coffee from the friars, said that “you friars are the only people I get to talk to in my whole week.”
This is a picture of our oldest son volunteering at the Friar's Van.

Look and Learn

Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader
 Never read where your children can see you.

Put a TV or computer in every room. Don’t neglect the bedrooms and kitchen.
Correct your child every time she mispronounces a word.   

Schedule activities every day after school so your child will never  be bored.  

Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They’re for babies.   

Don’t play board games together. Too dull.  

Give little rewards for reading. Stickers and plastic toys are nice. Money is even better.  

Don’t expect your children to enjoy reading.  Kids’ books are for teaching  vocabulary, proper study habits, and  good morals.  

Buy only 40-watt bulbs for your lamps.  

Under no circumstances read your child the same book over and over.  She heard it once, she should remember it.  
Never allow your child to listen to  books on tape; that’s cheating.

Make sure your kids only read books that  are “challenging.” Easy books are a  complete waste of time. That  goes double for comics.

 Absolutely, positively no reading in bed.

Andrew Pudewa, founder of the Exellence in Writing (IEW) homeschool writing program, said in one of his audio tapes, that by listening to audio books especially classics, children can develop an excellent command of the english language and the cadence of  the written word. He also said that when we read, we tend to skim or skip over the some parts of the story, but when you listen to an audio book, you hear everything.

Crazy birds!

We have these really dumb birds in our yard. Yeh I know its not politically correct to use the term dumb any more...even to a bird but this family of doves really beats all! Each year they breed in the verandah roof of one of our buildings. Each year we watch them raise their chicks to a certain level of maturity. Each year I take cute pictures of said birds, until each year some catastrophe inevitably happens and at least one of their offspring doesn't get to be part of "the begats". But undeterred those that remain will be back each year to nest in the same place!

Today youngest son and I witnessed the babies on our out-door shoe-cupboard calling for mamma or pappa bird. Both parents seemed quite unconcerned about their offspring and this necessitated ds or myself dashing out doors to rescue one of the babies when they were stuck behind the cupboard or in a shoe! Eventually one of the parents turned up. Junior then attempted to climb on parent for a piggy-back back up to the nest. Mum/dad were equally certain that this wasn't going to happen."You got down on your own momentum son,you should be able to get up again..." They fed their offspring the yummy predigested food to energize the young ones but carry them they would not."Learn to fly on your own wings,that's what I say". Finally when university wearied son returned home he donned gardening gloves(birds will reject younguns who smell like stinky humans!)and replaced the babies in the nest, where we wait further chapters of this birdy saga,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seen in the hills

 Some more Mathilda Magic!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Graduation Concert: a rose for you mum

One important part of the Suzuki method of learning an instrument is graduations. And an important part of graduations is the Graduation concert. A graduation put simply is where a child demonstrates their ability to play at  particular level. This is the first year the children had to be filmed for their graduation rather than just submit an audio tape.

Being videoed means one can't get away with sloppy stance or other visible technique errors. I will do a post with the boys graduation performances when the dvd's are returned.

This post as I said is about a Graduation Concert where things didn't play out perfectly...or did they?
Oldest son stood to play his piece(he had been a little disconcerted in the car driving here that the ipod with concerto in a minor(1st movement) by Vivaldi had been left at home. Unlike some who can over listen I have learned that he can't listen too much and that right up to playing is just enough! Anyway he began to ply. Not an exceptional performance(which he had done in a previous concert...and that;s not a mummy brag but a quote from his teacher and others!) but ok. Then it happened...he hesitated...he stopped...he felt as he said later " what do I do, do I go back and start over or do I continue, and continue with what". Then all thanks goes to Judy our wonderful accompanist. Truly I have never heard anyone say anything negative about her, she is so patient,so unflappable,so very giving. She stopped accompanying and played Toby's part and he started listening,and then slowly and more confidently playing and right to the end where he finished on a flourish! I was so proud of them!
As well as their beautiful graduation plaque each child received a red rose. Both sons insisted that I have theirs.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Introducing a new family member

Want to play a guessing game? Can you tell what our latest family member is?Hints:he is about 90 days old and furry and cute and adorable. He was found at the base of a tree by one of dh's workmates yesterday. He thinks his pink towel ("pink is the new red") makes him a seriously new age"i love pink" kind of guy. He loves curling up close to other family members(hair and necks are some favorite choices!)Each day he is with us is a bonus.He needs to be fed evey 4 hours(any takers for the 2am feed?).We are thinking of naming him "ringo-you're -a-star"(now that sounds original doesn't it!!) because he's such  a tough little fellow.(He actively sought his 6pm feed...go ringo! Forgot to add one rule to game:Tracey doesn't get to play.(but she knew that anyway,right)Thanks Tracey for the scales etc am off to measure some powder now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Let's celebrate"

let the procession begin!
About a thousand people began the procession which marked Sunday's celebration of the Canonisation of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.when we and unofficial celebrators joined the crowd at Bartell St, the numbers had increased to three thousand. Not a large number but a very positive occasion to be part of. Because we had a baby in our group we were invited to join the walk at the rear which was fortunate as we were blessed to hear the bagpipe played as we marched.

never too young to celebrate!
"Monsignor Cappo said it was a "hugely important" occasion for Catholics.
"This is very much part of history," he said.
"It's not only the first Australian Saint but the first Saint who lived and worked here in Adelaide - who knew exactly where we're standing now around the cathedral, all through the streets of Adelaide - she knew all these streets.
"To think now she's about to be proclaimed a Saint to the whole world is an incredible experience that will be a very uplifting experience for the Catholic community."
we gather to join the marchers

If you did something special to celebrate this wonderful day please share in the comments...don't be shy... After all we are a people who love to celebrate God in our life!

walking with friends

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Derring Do Mary"

As part of our celebration of the canonization of Blessed Mary McKillop, the boys completed this art work. They are not original ideas but pictures copied from other sources. However in copying them,they have added their own style and personality to the work.
Tonight in his homily Father stressed how Mary never became bitter, when life and people seemed to be working against her. She had such a strong desire to live out the Gospel message of love, that judgment and criticism were not options.Her zeal was for the poor and marginalized but in a sense they were not her mission. Her mission was to show forth the power of God in her daily life where God put her and amongst those people and circumstances He chose her to love.

I also learned something new from Father's homily regarding the naming of a person by the Church as Blessed or Saint. apparently when a person is Beatified they are given to the country of their birth as a special person whose life the people of that country can meditate on but in canonization Mary will be given to the whole Church,to the world.More on this can be found at this site.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More of Duncan in East Timor

with Sr Ma'lou 
Bidau orphanage and my favorite picture!
 Firstly apologies to Duncan for the "out of order" sense of these pictures. There are many others with places you visited and people you met. But these are my favorites because they have you in them!
view of Dili
We have certainly appreciated a glimpse into your two weeks time there!

Hmm being your mother i wonder if you were supposed to be climbing in the truck! Sure makes a great photo though!

And I remember you saying how much the kids at the orphanage loved you taking them for rides in a wheelbarrow...I just didn't realise how small it was!

at Laleia
at Baucau

Another picture I have to share with your old young recorder teacher ! I'll bet she'd never have imagined her pupil playing for children in East Timor one day! Baroque?

This looks like some of the games you have played with your youngest brothers,only this time I'd say you were seriously outnumbered!

with the Friars

Br Duncan + Br Ben

And this last picture so reminds me of a village scene from your dad's and my time in Tonga before you were born. In fact change the vegetation a little and I can see a lot of parallels. I know I learned a lot from the villagers of Hofoa, in terms of how to live joyfully and with laughter and fun in spite of the "obstacles" to doing so the world seem to throw at you and it would appear that you have experienced something similar too!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Changeable weather

 Not much to say today apart from a comment on the weather in the title of the post!

I love this picture of swing,nasturtiums and light sabre. It encapsulates the age of childhood,time to gaze and dream on a swing,time to capture kingdoms and vanquish enemies and time to pick bunches of flowers for those you love. I am truely blessed to have participated in the childhood of seven wonderful people.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Geraniums and a walk in the rain

 I think I must have looked kind of crazy today!

Yesterday was unseasonally warm(30C) and I don't think it dropped much below 24 last night.
Today seemed to start off as a "kind-of-can't-make-up-my-mind"day;a few spots of rain early morning, then a little bit of drizzle then fine then about an hour or so ago steady rain.

Don't worry I don't mind the rain! The light today too has given the flowers an almost fluorescent hue,magical somehow.

Anyway getting back to my crazy moment! I decided after playing around with this blog for a bit and sort of getting used to bloggers new way of posting pictures that it might be an dea to take a walk amongst the flowers!

Of course by then it had started raining! But that just made it better for taking pictures,don't you know.
My oldest son says he can tell I'm happy when I post pictures of our garden(or words to that effect)

And so Duncan here are some happy photos just for you....

 Yes I do love being in the garden this time of year,and I do love the flowers that bloom there now. Can't you tell geraniums are one of my favourite flowers.

They remind me that no matter how dry, how hot, and how deserted the garden appears in  our hottest months it will return again to delight me next spring.