Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Wonderful Life

Three more sleeps to Christmas, yay!

I was watching the old black and white classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" on Saturday night with Ron. If ever there was an encouraging movie this would have to be IT don't you think?

I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. It's a little on the corny side but it was just what the doctor ordered for me last weekend! I highly recommend you watch it if you haven't already and you'll see why I love it so much.

You see, I was in much need of some encouragement. The last couple of weeks have been a little tough, just sorting out some issues of the soul:)
Leading up to Saturday I had been talking with a friend who was going through similar things and it helped me realise I was not alone. In fact, are we ever alone? NEVER but it seems like it when we're going through something!

Anyway I had recently connected up with an old friend on Fakebook, oh sorry I meant Facebook ( I have a love-hate relationship with that thing!) :)
I had met this girl some 18 years ago in very different circumstances to what she is today. God used me quite a bit in her life to encourage her and stand with her through some difficult circumstances. And today she is happily married with a child and her husband is in a very prominent position in the city they live in. I was so blessed to find this out. To think that I had some part to play in her journey was so encouraging. I was thinking of all of this last Saturday and then it turned out this movie I mentioned was on TV that night. It's one of our favourites so we just HAD to watch it.

It's amazing how perspective can change everything in life. That to me was what I got out of the movie last Saturday. Once George Bailey's perspective changed it didn't matter what he had to face, it changed everything for him.
I was in much need of some "perspective adjustment" and I got it last weekend through this movie.

My life is SO blessed. Sure I've had my ups and downs like everyone else and things are not always the way I would like them to be or wanted them to be at this stage of my life but when seen with the right perspective I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's EVER! I have a very blessed life indeed! It's a wonderful life that I have!
With that note, I want to wish you my dear friends who read my blog (and have been a great blessing to me) a very blessed Christmas and I pray that God will encourage you and bless you very much in 2011!
And leave you with a recent picture of my two greatest blessings with me:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Wreath, Independent play and Patience

What's with the 'patience' you wonder?

First, I've got to tell you that Rebekah has not been doing much school (well not the book work-ish type of school) as she's been a bit under the weather with a bad cold, cough etc; she is on the mend now though and we MAY open up some books tomorrow and finish off school for 2010 this week, yay!

In the meantime, she's been reading poetry, listening to Christmas carols, doing some craft, listening to her story cd's I burnt from librivox, playing with our guinea pigs, watching ants, blackbirds, our palm trees flower and we even made this wreath inspired by Rebecca (not my Rebekah):)




















Rebekah's didn't quite turn out as pretty as Rebecca's but still, it was pretty good for our first attempt I thought!


Homeschooling an only child
has it's challenges though I still take my hat off to homeschooling mums of many kids, I just don't know how you do it, honestly!

One of the biggest challenges for me has been Rebekah not playing independently much and me having to teach her. Yes, I said "teaching" because it had to be taught!
Rebekah was glued to me for the first three or so years of her life and around the age of 4 she very slowly started to play by herself. It was a very very slow process! I started by finding something for her to play with, putting the kitchen timer on for five minutes and telling her to go play by herself. Sounds cruel but I had to. I knew I had to teach her to play independently (with the security of having me around) or it wasn't going to happen.
I'd heard and read about all theories relating to why she wasn't, including too much tv (no didn't do that one) or that she needed to go to pre-school as it would help (no I didn't think that was the best option) etc.
I gradually increased the time with the kitchen timer to probably about 15 minutes. I believe this definitely helped (a bit).

Then somehow just this year, after she turned six, something changed in her and she has become so much more better at independent play. She will now spend two or so hours at a stretch just playing and keeping herself entertained.
I think learning to read may have contributed or may be it was just that at the time that reading clicked in her mind she might have reached some developmental stage where independent play also clicked in her brain and became easier as well. I am no expert but my feeling is that it was partly a developmental thing, partly that she had no other siblings, partly her just needing the security of her mum and partly her personality - she is not a very strong willed or independent child, quite the opposite in fact.

Now that you've read this far so patiently and indulged me by reading more stories about me and my daughter, here's the part about "patience":) I taught Rebekah how to play Solitaire yesterday and she is SO excited!
Being an only child, she has to play either with me or her imaginary friends. Yesterday while playing "go fish" with her imaginary friend she said it was so easy to cheat if she wanted to but she wasn't going to:)
After secretly smiling at her comment I remembered the card game Solitaire that I used to play when I was young except we called it "Patience". Did you ever play that under the same name or did you call it Solitaire?
I was amazed that something so simple as this card game could bring so much joy to my little one. Her face was beaming, her eyes lit up and she said she just LOVED it (once she got the hang of it!). I think the prospect of being able to play a game designed to be played alone is what excites her. I'm sure she must tire of putting on many hats and taking her imaginary friends turns when she plays her games with them.
So, here's to more independent play for my daughter.
Are there any other games you can suggest for an only child involving cards?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Most productive day???

I'd heard some years ago that a study on working people concluded that Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the most productive days in a week.
It makes sense - Mondays we are just getting into the working week and by Tuesday we've settled in, so Tuesdays and Wednesdays brings out the most productivity from us. By Thursday we're a bit more tired and then Friday everyone's too relaxed looking forward to the weekend so not as much work gets done:)
What do you all think?

Anyway, yesterday being Tuesday and me having such a productive day and feeling so satisfied and proud of ourselves, I thought I'll tell you all about it, but hesitated because some of you are already on holidays and probably don't want to hear about it!

You see we started off with play at the park for an hour or so (before the heat set in). (We've been doing that for the last couple of weeks, because have I mentioned before I almost live in a desert? yes it's HOT in summer and COLD in winter!) I can't believe I'm still living in Sydney. We moved to this suburb just over two years ago. It is SO different to the other suburbs I've lived in! Anyway back to what I was saying...

We then did all our school work (well Rebekah did and I taught and supervised), we did domestic chores - all the EXCITING vacuuming, cleaning, tending to our guinea pigs, washing etc.

We then had lunch and some more reading and singing. Yes, singing! Rebekah is just now learning the Christmas Carols, so we sat on the couch together and read from a book on Christmas and sang some of the carols together. It was such a precious time together! I will remember it for a long time as we've not done anything like this before!

Rebekah had her mandatory (!) two hours rest time while I did some reading, praying, emailing, working (my paid work that I do at home) etc. (while she only came out of her room a couple of times)!

Rebekah and I then had afternoon tea together - yes we've been getting into it here. Charlotte Mason had some wise words to say about having "tea time" with our kids!
And thanks Amy for that teacup from Ava's birthday last year, you'll be pleased to know Rebekah is putting it to full use!
I've been enjoying these afternoon teas together, lovely time to chat etc.


















p.s. that tea in her cup is "rooibos" tea, lest you think I'm a terrible mum and give her caffeine at such a young age:) Mind you I DID drink real tea at her age but then again I grew up in a different country and different culture:)

Then we played a game of cards together (yes I'm her sole play mate so I have to do these things daily):) I'm not complaining, just saying...:) Then came bath time for Rebekah. After this I started preparing dinner while she watched her rationed 30 minutes of TV.

Then off to pick up Ron from the station, dinner, bed time for Rebekah around 7 and Ron rushed off to meet one of the guys he's mentoring from our church, while I did some home school admin work.
Ron got back a bit after 8 pm and we had a conference call via skype with our pastor and some of our church leaders (which we do regularly).

Cup of tea and chat with Ron and bed time!

You see, that's why I was feeling so satisfied. Our days don't always flow so smoothly and I don't always 'feel' like we've had a productive day (though they may be productive in different ways but I don't always 'feel' like it). Take today for example: you see, sometime overnight, Rebekah's sneezing from yesterday became much more than that and she (and I because of her waking me up) had a dreadful night's sleep:(

So, today we cancelled school, much to Rebekah's delight (she is not well) and I have been listening to the "Sound of Music" in the background which she's watching, while I catch up on some more home schooling administrative work and (tell you about it of course)! The 30 minute twice a day rule of TV goes out the window when she's sick!

All this record keeping of what she does for school takes up quite a bit of time and I'd been postponing it for some time, so I had to catch up!
Productive day today? Maybe? Actually YES, if you consider being a stay at home, home schooling mum's life productive, which I do!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

Like some of you ,we've been busy this past week getting into the Christmas season and it's been a very exciting time for us.
You see, we only celebrate Christmas once every two years in Sydney as we spend the alternate Christmas with Ron's family who live in Victoria.
And even when we are home for Christmas we miss out on the whole build up to Christmas because we've often been visiting Ron's family / been on holidays and get back just a few days before Christmas. Our Christmas tree only comes out of storage once every two years:(

It's been different this year as we took a much shorter break to visit them as I mentioned in my last post and we are postponing our annual holiday till early next year. The last Christmas we had in Sydney Rebekah was 4 and 1/2 and a couple of years makes a big difference when you are a child doesn't it? That explains our great excitement here!

We started off early last week, collecting some pine cones and painting them in Christmas colours (don't ask me where I got this idea from:)) I must have read it somewhere because it popped into my head when we were out on a nature walk early last week!
They are pretty small pine cones but it was fun painting them with Rebekah. (sorry this picture is not great quality)






















Then we got out our box of Christmas decorations as Rebekah was eager to look at them. She couldn't wait till the weekend (when Ron promised he would set up the tree with her).














































I've even been thinking of baking some shortbread for Christmas, never done this before, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope they turn out ok and edible!
In India, the traditional Christmas baking was called "kul kuls"















and "rose cookies",
















both of them involving flour, sugar, eggs and lots of oil for deep frying!

I have a lot of fond memories of cooking them each Christmas with my mum.
So, you see we did have some family traditions that I'd forgotten about when I did my post on family traditions some time ago. Sorry about that!
In fact after I did that post I remembered that we did have a couple of family traditions (besides the afore mentioned one) which I will need to tell you about another time as it's a digression! I just had to get this off my chest as it had been bothering me since then, lol.

Anyway, I may even make a few rose cookies besides shortbread. I've got to nurture and cultivate Rebekah's Indian heritage (wink) :)
So, here's our Chritmas tree, unfortunately they set it up on Saturday night while I was out so I couldn't take pictures of them setting it up.





















It's a small one as we live in a small place and it's not real either! But we like it!

Rebekah has been loving seeing the Christmas tree light up every night and I've even been turning it on in the mornings as it's such a novelty at the moment:)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where have we been?

I wish I could say I've been to London to visit the Queen (as in the nursery rhyme!) but nope, we've just been plain busy, busy with Rebekah's extra curricular activities and busy visiting relatives inter state.
Ron's dad had a BIG birthday so we went over to their town to celebrate. We squeezed our trip in between Rebekah's rehearsal and end of year concert!
Once again, my heart swelled with pride and emotion as I watched her perform on stage. (We didn't go down the path of Irish dancing but we cut out jazz and she only did ballet and tap this year)






































Was she shy? Was she nervous? Nope! She said she loved being on stage and dancing with everyone watching her! Why - because she felt 'famous'! :) My shy daughter loves being the centre of attention! Are the two compatible? I wouldn't have thought so but she has proved me wrong!
To top it off she got a trophy for being the "tap" student of the year in her class and also she got a high distinction for her tap exam she had earlier in the year. We are so proud of our little girl!


I'll be over at your place soon to catch up on all your blogs:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Year 1 Term 3

Ok, so I know that some of you that read my blog are not homeschoolers, so if that's you and you are not interested just skip this one:)

We started this year behind the NSW schools and we have been going at a slow...pace, so this week we started term 3!

I am finding that I am becoming less and less "tied" down to the curriculum I am using, so we are changing things a little this term.
I am still using Living Books Curriculum Year 1 but am changing the schedule to use their science book at a much slower pace than is recommended.
I love this curriculum but I am finding some books are a bit too fast paced for my liking so am even considering changing things around to another curriculum next year...watch this space:)


Also, I have revamped our schedule and taken out some of the things that are not part of LBC but ones that I added (like hymn study and folksongs, not that we ever did much of it, it was just there on my schedule to remind me:)). This is to allow one day a week to be a lighter day which will also serve as a catch up for anything we've not been able to do during the week.
I want to keep this term and next term more focused on the important essentials as we try to catch up a bit. Some might argue that hymn study and folksongs are essential of course:) Anyway, here is the link to my schedule:


Year 1 term 3

By the way, the science book I mentioned above is called "Growing Strong and healthy" and is in the public domain under a slightly different name. It is an older book of course but some of the information is updated by LBC in the ecopy I got. It is a charming little book to teach younger kids about health and nutrition. It has already won Rebekah's interest:) If you are interested, check it out here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Seven ( + seven) questions

Well it's been a hectic couple of weeks here and lest you forget me, I quickly did this post the other day for you all:)

Amanda tagged me a few weeks ago and asked me if I could answer seven questions. So, here goes it....

1. Where did you meet your husband?

At church.

2. What is one of your most favourite movies?

Sound of Music

3. If you could have any career you'd like, what would it be?
(besides wife/mum lol)

I'd love to work for my church (though I already do that part time:))

4. What character in the Bible do you really relate too the most?

David - because he was far from perfect but God called him a man after his own heart.

5. Where did you get married? ie what city/town?

Sydney, Australia

6. What makes you laugh easily?

The embarassing things I do sometimes!

7. If you could live in another country, which one would it be?

I love living in Australia!

And in case you didn't get enough of me, Val tagged me also with another seven questions:

1. If you could wear any dress from one era for one day, what would it look like?

The pretty long dresses from Jane Austen's era, not sure what that's called, lol.

2. If you could go on an all expense paid vacation for 2 weeks, where would you go?

I'd love to go to Canada.

3. If you could live in a book, which one would it be?

I'd have to say the Bible around the time of Jesus, wouldn't it be amazing to see first hand all those things He did like multiplying the loaves and fishes and raising some one from the dead!!

4. Do you play any instruments? If yes, which ones?

None, zippo, zilch!

5. Where were you married?

Sydney, Australia

6. If you could own one museum quality piece of antique furniture, what would it be?

A lounge suite / sofa set (not sure what they call that in the U.S Val)


7. Do you speak any languages besides English? If yes, which?

I can speak a little Tamil (an Indian language), though I'm very rusty for lack of practice.

Hope you enjoyed this trivia from me!
Enjoy your weekend!

p.s. edited to add: this is one embarassing thing I need to laugh at : I seemed to have posted this twice while I was "editing it":) which will explain the older post behind this one:)))

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seven questions

Well it's been a hectic couple of weeks here and lest you forget me, I quickly did this post the other day for you all:)

Amanda tagged me a few weeks ago and asked me if I could answer seven questions. So, here goes it....

1. Where did you meet your husband?

At church.

2. What is one of your most favourite movies?

Sound of Music

3. If you could have any career you'd like, what would it be?
(besides wife/mum lol)

I'd love to work for my church (though I already do that part time:))

4. What character in the Bible do you really relate too the most?

David - because he was far from perfect but God called him a man after his own heart.

5. Where did you get married? ie what city/town?

Sydney, Australia

6. What makes you laugh easily?

The embarassing things I do sometimes!

7. If you could live in another country, which one would it be?

I love living in Australia!

And in case you didn't get enough of me, Val tagged me also with another seven questions:

1. If you could wear any dress from one era for one day, what would it look like?

The pretty long dresses from Jane Austen's era, not sure what that's called, lol.

2. If you could go on an all expense paid vacation for 2 weeks, where would you go?

I'd love to go to Canada.

3. If you could live in a book, which one would it be?

I'd have to say the Bible around the time of Jesus, wouldn't it be amazing to see first hand all those things He did like multiplying the loaves and fishes and raising some one from the dead!!

4. Do you play any instruments? If yes, which ones?

None, zippo, zilch!

5. Where were you married?

Sydney, Australia

6. If you could own one museum quality piece of antique furniture, what would it be?

A lounge suite / sofa set (not sure what they call that in the U.S Val)


7. Do you speak any languages besides English? If yes, which?

I can speak a little Tamil (an Indian language), though I'm very rusty for lack of practice.

Hope you enjoyed this trivia from me!
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

House bound

Rebekah started off with a cold last week which progressed to a cough and since whooping cough is going around at the moment we decided to have her tested for it and have quarantined her at home (till we find out one way or another) so it doesn't spread!

So, what have we been up to at home for the past few days? I've indulged her with lots of "craft":)

I know Charlotte Mason says and I'm paraphrasing here, that kids would be better off learning a 'handicraft' (something useful that they could use later in life). But, I think there's a place for some good old craft that's messy and gets glue and sparkles and paint all over you:)

So, this is a sample of what we've been doing:

"bake a frame" - picture frame made out of dough and baked in the oven:




















"clay porcupine"
























that's the baby porcupine on the left, lol,



besides other painting etc.

Also, inspired by Richele and that's something Charlotte Mason would definitely approve of (wink), we started out with "brush drawing / painting" in our nature journals and here's Rebekah's painting of a bottle brush, I need to find out it's proper name, lol:)

























and we even did our second lesson from "Drawing with children" by Mona Brooks! "woohoo" says this artistically challenged mum! Mona Brooks says everyone can draw, so I'll let you know how Rebekah, I mean, "I" go with drawing lessons later!


We're off to the doctor this morning to get the results of her swab done over the weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're back to school, yay!

If you had told me a year ago that school holidays can be busier than school days (even with home schooling) I never would have believed you! But there you go, that's been one of my biggest things I've learned this year (well, not really, but you know what I mean!)

Our school term here in NSW has officially begun this week and so Rebekah is back to school - home school that is:)

One thing I've learned about myself this year is that I love routine and I don't function well when my routine is thrown out or when there is no routine. So, the school holidays are a time of adjusting to this no routine time! I find it difficult to manage my time without a set routine. Anyone else like me?

Well, anyhow, these past school holidays as with the past couple this year have been one great big time of socialising for Rebekah and me. It's been great to catch up with her friends and their mums (who are some of my dear friends too) as some of them go to school and don't get to see Rebekah much at other times.

Oh, another big milestone was also achieved during these holidays. Rebekah had her first full day away from me ever (or at least since she was a baby but not sure if that counts):). Anyway, for the past couple of years she has been attending a "kidsfest" at one of the big churches around here. They use that day in the school holidays to record a worship cd/ dvd for the kids and combine it with fun rides, fun shows etc.
In the past as she was not officially a 'school' age kid, we were able to stay with her the whole day there. But this year we couldn't do that. Rebekah was quite tentative at first at the thought of being away from us for a whole seven hours and she kept changing her mind about it right until the week before it was on when she decided to go. I am so pleased she did because it was truly a fun day for her. I think I was more nervous about it all than she was and it got me thinking that this is what it must be like for parents dropping off their kids on the first day of school.
I mean, I woke up a couple of times during the night and kept worrying about things like, "I hope she remembers to go to the toilet" (we've had some incidents when she gets carried away and forgets:)), how will she know when to eat her "morning tea" and "lunch", I hope she remembers to put her hat on when they are outdoors etc etc:)

Well, it all went smoothly and she was fine! I was so proud of her!

Anyway, we are back to school this week and I am so glad to have my routine back! Also, I love the one on one time with Rebekah that I get during the week.
Play dates and outings are not conducive to that one on one quality time that we usually have and I miss that when it's too busy! So, I'm glad to have that and my routine back! (and Rebekah doesn't mind having to do school work either, well, not much!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

She finally gives up her afternoon nap:)

Ok, I can hear you say "what, did I read this title right?" yes, you did:)

My 6 and half year old Rebekah finally gave up her afternoon nap a couple weeks ago!

You see, she kept sleeping and I kept encouraging it and she kept sleeping and I kept encouraging it and then she started resisting but I still kept encouraging it, so she kept sleeping....until recently one day she didn't sleep and started crying and telling me it's boring to sleep! Point taken! I gave in and now she no longer naps, boo hoo! No not really, I'm really ok with it:)

It's amazing how a couple months ago I noticed a real change in her and others started commenting too that she was starting to "look" more grown up. Well, I think she reached some sort of developmental milestone and so the nap going out the window was part of it I think. I also noticed along with this that she has become much more independent in her free time, being able to keep herself entertained much more etc.
Children do indeed come with their own time tables don't they! I mean I only have one but when I compare her to other kids, it's easy for me to see how they are all so different to each other!

On the upside, with all this "growing up" that's happened, I feel I have so much more energy now. It's taken me this long to figure out that a lot of my tiredness was emotional - you see as I've told you before, I'm the classic introvert. Add to this a highly dependent child (in terms of companionship, being her playmate and being very clingy when she was younger etc) and it all makes for one tired mum here!
I have a lot more energy now at the end of the day, hallelujah! (That explains my frequent blogging and commenting at your place!)

So, we've transitioned now to the "quiet time" or "rest time" in the afternoon as some mums call it:) And I now need to go google and find out when they give up their "rest times" :(

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blessed to be a blessing!

Ron is out this afternoon and will be home a bit later this evening. So, I thought I'd let you all know a bit more about my hubby and about something he's involved in right now:)




















He is actually out right now spending time with a young teenage boy that he is "mentoring" through a charitable organisation - a very well known one!

This organisation runs a program where they get kids referred to them from DOCS (Department of Community Services) and as an early intervention type program, they started up a "mentoring" program to help these kids out. I believe this program has only been running for a couple of years but they have already seen tremendous results with the kids.

Ron had to do a six week training program , a police check and provide a few referees who could vouch for his character before they would let him become a mentor.
The mentors are people from the general community and once trained etc they are "paired" with kids that this organisation feels they would be best suited to, having similar interests etc. Also, they are in constant contact with the mentors and mentees and this program is very closely supervised.

Basically what he does now is spend time with this kid every couple of weeks, doing stuff that interests him. Today, they are at a skate park and apparently this is one of his favourite things they've done so far, so he asked Ron if they could go back there.
They've done bush walking, going to the movies etc in the past.
Ron tells me that whenever he goes to pick him up, even if it's at 7am on a Saturday(which he's had to do sometimes) this kid is dressed and ready to go! It makes me emotional just writing this because it tells me that this child just loves to get out and spend this time with Ron and that it's something he looks forward to!

When Ron signed up for it, we knew it would be a sacrifice for all of us but hey, we have been so blessed with the life we have that this doesn't seem like a lot to sacrifice for another child!

And oh, the program runs for twelve months, in case you were wondering:)
Ron says that there are mentors he has met that have loved it so much, they have come back a second and third time to do it all over again with new kids!

I hear the term "blessed to be a blessing" so much and I was pondering it the other day, how often, this is used in the context of financial giving.

But I don't believe that it's the only way we have been blessed to be a blessing.
Often I think about the fact that I have been so blessed with a wonderful husband and married life, a beautiful daughter who is a gift from God. I have received so much from God in terms of emotional healing etc. All of these are blessings in my life and I can now out of that be a blessing to others! So....Ron is out there today being a blessing to some one that is in need....making a difference hopefully in another person's life!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday night is movie night!

I thought I'd start blogging about some of our family traditions as I think of them.
Being Friday today, I thought I'd let you all know what you would find us (mostly) doing on a Friday night:)
I say "mostly" because sometimes we have our small group on Friday nights and occasionally we have the odd social event!

I reckon it's good to establish these traditions, I'm told it helps build in our kids a sense of security, belonging etc, connection within the family etc, not to mention great memories they can take with them in to their adult lives.
The only tradition I had growing up was church on Sundays (a good one I might add), because mostly my childhood was unpredictable - but that's another story that I won't bore you with tonight!

Anyway, a couple of years ago we started a "Friday night is movie night" tradition with Rebekah. We actually got the idea from a couple that used to be our pastors in the past and they did it with their kids.

When I say "movie" it's not necessarily always a "movie" but just something that we can watch together that's wholesome and entertaining as well.

We started off with seasons of "The Brady Bunch" that Ron had got as a Christmas gift one year. We carefully select which episodes we will watch together as the show changed as the kids got older (so I'm told - because I was not alive when this show was around - no just kidding - I was but I was in India and we didn't even own a TV at that stage let alone be watching "English" shows!)

Anyway, from "The Brady Bunch" we then watched some episodes of "Skippy" and now we are onto family movies, once again carefully selected. We usually only watch for 30 minutes, occasionally longer - if we've been able to get going earlier in the evening - and continue the next week where we left off previously.

We have watched "The sound of music", "Mary Poppins" etc to name a few.

I told you all sometime ago about that Lifeline book sale I went to - well, they had all these videos for $1 each! So I bought a whole bunch of them!

Tonight, we will be watching one of them - the movie "Babe". Do you guys remember that one? I watched it at the movies when it came out and loved it. I am hoping Rebekah does too! I remember there was a sequel that wasn't as good though, they usually aren't are they? :)

So around 7pm tonight if you were at our place, you'll find us snuggled up on the couch, popcorn in hand, maybe a lolly or two, watching "Babe".

Enjoy your weekend!

p.s. (we've also been known to pass on this tradition to other young families we know:))

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten years on.....

It was ten years ago tomorrow that we had the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I know it's a cliche but really, how fast has this time gone!

To commemorate it, Ron and Rebekah are over the next few nights going to watch some of our home videos that we recorded of it (from the TV). No dvds back in THOSE days :)

Right now they are watching the opening ceremony. Boy does this bring back some memories....memories of life bc (before child/ren), etc etc.:)

We were blessed to be able to go to a few things (more Ron than me). In fact, my claim to fame, be it known - Tony Abbott was seated a couple of rows behind us at one of the sessions we attended! :)

Ron got to go to some basketball events and we went to the heats of the athletic events including Cathy Freeman's heats. Now that famous race was a race that stopped this nation if ever! I remember standing up off our couch at home as the race got going, it was just too "off the edge of your seat" to be sitting down, lol!

Anyway, what a glorious time in the life of this city and nation. The whole city was buzzing wasn't it! I think during events like these we get tiny glimpses of what heaven will be like...people so happy and loving:)
Pray tell, what are your memories and did you attend any of the events?

I wonder if Australia will host anything like that again....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

She's part Indian, part Aussie and speaks with an American accent!

Just so you all know a little bit more about us!

Someone asked me recently if we get "second" looks when we (Ron and I) are out and about because we are of different races.
I remember in the early 90's (we've been married a while you know!) we used to get second looks. But these days it's become more common to see people of different races being married that we don't so much anymore. However, it's our daughter Rebekah who gets "second" looks now! When the three of us are together I have noticed this and it's probably human nature to be curious about how Rebekah looks being the offspring of two different races!

Anyway, so, besides being a mixture of two races, which I'm sure will have people guessing as she grows up and goes out on her own, just to confuse everyone, she speaks with a bit of an American accent:)

The only explanation I can offer is that she has a few close friends that are American (from church and our home school group) and she watches Sesame Street occasionally! I have been asked on numerous occasions if she grew up in the U.S or if one of us was from there! :)
On the other hand, she has a very good ear for sound, she was a very early 'talker' saying her first word at eight months of age, so it might just be that she hears words pronounced differently by others and picks it up. I guess it will be some what of a mystery to me for now!

So, there's a bit of trivia from our household to yours on this cold September night!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Never say "NEVER"

One thing that getting "older" has taught me is that I should never say never (as the saying goes)!

Looking back on the last couple of decades of my life, there have been some situations and circumstances I've found myself in that I would have previously said I'd never do!

One great big thing that springs to mind is living in an apartment.
I remember when we were newly married we lived in an aparment for a few years and then moved to a house way out in the outskirts of this city. Oh how liberated I felt after living in cramped quarters. I remember when we would drive past other apartments I would say to Ron that I could never live in an apartment / unit again! You can guess what happened:) A few years later, yep, we moved back into an apartment! And you know what, the grace of God was on us for that season!

So, you see, I've learnt to never say never!

Ah the wisdom of getting older!

Anyway, as a homeschooling mum (and those of you who read this who are homeschoolers will know this one:)) the first question one gets asked by others who want to know more is "socialisation". Well, they don't always come out and directly ask that question but more in a round about sort of way of course! The very next question I've found myself hearing is "so when are you going to send her to school?". Now, that implies that perhaps they think I'm only doing it for a year or two (I don't know what gives them that notion) or maybe they think homeschooling is only for "little" kids - who knows! Anyway, my standard response has been "we're taking it one year at a time".

For you see, I have been researching homeschooling since Rebekah was 2 (she is now 6) and I remember reading a book by a homeschooling mum (who had a few kids and quite a few years of homeschooling under her belt) say that they still take it one year at a time!

This stuck with me and so even though Ron and I feel called to homeschool Rebekah and have since she was 2, I know that we are not "locked in" to homeschool her till she finishes year 12. You see, I've learnt to never say never!

We decided to homeschool Rebekah not because we had bad school experiences or because we think school is bad. It's because we feel called to do this. The more I read about homeschooling and it's benefits, the more I felt we needed to!
So, we're taking it one year at a time (as I read that wise older mum say).
If we feel at some point in the future that God would want us to send her to school, we will (though I don't want to think about that now as we are absolutely loving and enjoying the homeschool life):)

So, I'm off to go finish cooking dinner. I wish all your husbands a wonderful Fathers day for tomorrow and remember to never say "NEVER":)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Keeping my heart warm this winter....

Winter has almost come to a close so I thought I would look back and share with you some of the things that have been keeping this mum's heart warm this winter:

1. When we visit bookstores now, within a couple of minutes of entering it, we find Rebekah doing this:


















2. Rebekah has taken to "saving" up out of her pocket money to regularly buy her friends presents. She still gets $2 per week pocket money and I'll have to share with you another time on the "system" she has in place for this:)

3. She absolutely loves listening to classical music now and even asks for it to be played when she's having breakfast!

4. She loves getting out her nature study book: "The wonderland of nature" and looking up things out of interest! Just yesterday, she got it out to look up ants, as she saw a different looking ant in our yard and while doing this she found a section on "plants that eat animals" which she found very "fascinating" as she put it:)

5. Last but not least in any way, she is learning to sleep in!!! (by sleep in, I mean not waking up before 6.30/6.45am). This started a few months ago but then along with this, she of her own volition, a few weeks ago, started having a "reading time" when she wakes up. It all happened one morning when she came out of her room close to 8 am. I thought she must have been having a long sleep in so asked her when she came out. No, she was not sleeping but reading she said. What was she reading I asked. Well, "my devotional!"
She got out her Bible Story book that we read to her from last year and started reading it along with the scripture references. Yes, she's reading the Bible we got her for her 6th birthday, all by herself now!
Anyway, this "reading time" (as she calls it) came as a surprise to me and I didn't make much of it. And I can tell you that now a month or so later, she has kept this up, with not much / very minimal encouragement on our part. (We still do a devotional together each morning - as before - which is now in addition to this). It's something she "wants" to do each morning and will not come out until she reads the story for the day along with the scripture references...well for one exception like a couple of days ago when she came out before she finished because the reference was three chapters and it was taking too long and she was hungry:)

Care to share some things that have "warmed" your heart this winter? :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our daily / weekly schedule

In one of my previous posts on our year 1 curriculum, I mentioned I would post about our weekly schedule.
So, here's the link (as I'm not too tech savvy, it's a link to my google document) and hopefully this will work for you:


Year 1 term 2 schedule and plan



In reality, the time's I've allocated are a general guideline only! Sometimes we are done much earlier and sometimes later than I've noted on my schedule! It's purely a "guide" for me!

We follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy of 1.short lessons(reflected in the schedule) 2. a liberal education (she likened it to spreading a feast before a child) so Rebekah is exposed to art, music, foreign language etc from a young age, 3. our language arts component is also different to more traditional curriculums; for instance at this age, we don't do "spelling" as such, nor grammar, etc, among other things:) (they begin at a later age with her method)4. I placed "habits" in the schedule to remind me to work on them as I need to be in the habit of working on developing good habits in Rebekah:)

For a good introduction and explanation of her method (if you're interested) you can check it out here: http://www.charlottemasoneducation.com/overview.html

Back to us: in term 1 we did 1 week of our curriculum over 1 and 1/2 to 2 weeks but as Rebekah has grown a bit over the last couple of months I'm finding I'm speeding things up a bit and we probably cover it in 1 and 1/2 weeks now. I know this will speed up even more as she gets closer to 7. (That's the beauty of homeschooling isn't it:)) That's why we are currently still in term 2!
Also, on some days, we throw out the schedule altogether and go to the park / for a nature walk / a play date! :) (Learning doesn't only happen with books or at a desk but that's a topic of it's own!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Resources for Aussie book lists

We were at our home school park day the other day and a lot of our discussion (doesn't happen that often) was about the curriculums we are using etc. I guess having a few newer home schoolers brought about this discussion. So, this post is for them(Vicki in particular) and anyone else that is interested.
I (as you would have figured out from either meeting me in person or from the pictures on my blog) am not originally from Australia though I am an Aussie now!
Not having grown up here, I've had to do a lot of on the job learning to teach Rebekah some of this country's history, literature, art, poetry etc. So, where do I turn to for my information. I'll let you in on our secrets: I get them from blogs and websites mainly:)

Here in no particular order are my well referred to sites for my information:

Jeanne - her blog was one of the first blogs I started following - is a wealth of information for me as she is an Aussie mum using Charlotte Mason's methods to homeschool her daughter.
Her blog is: http://ohpeacefulday.blogspot.com/

Michelle - another Aussie homeschool mum who has a blog and a website for her business, both of which I refer to. In fact she has some amazing resources on her website at: http://www.homeschoolingdownunder.com/
She also has some great posts on the Charlotte Mason method at her blog:
http://www.enduringprize.com/

This yahoo group for Aussies and New Zealanders:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMandFriends-ANZ/
This group has great lists for Aussie living books as well as history in chronological order etc.

This website of an Aussie mum with many kids which is a wealth of information:
http://wonder.riverwillow.com.au/

I've listed other general book lists on my blog and you'll find it on the right side under the title: Curriculum and helpful sites for a Charlotte Mason education.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our curriculum for Year 1

Well, it's about time I actually posted about our home school curriculum! This may or may not interest you but thought I'd post it just in case:)

We are following Living Books Curriculum which we also used last year as a "kindy" year for Rebekah and I posted about that briefly here.

We decided to stick with LBC again for Year 1 as I liked what I saw for year 1 and I love all the "help" they give you in the Teachers Manual. I am not a very "creative" person when it comes to thinking up some of the hands on type activities etc (that they include in the Teachers manual)that most other mothers find easy to do. The more I use this curriculum the more I find how close to Charlotte Mason in a package it truly is and also it is definitely in my opinion Charlotte Mason for the 21st century (as they say on their website). The only bits I changed was their Geography (I will be using an Australian book to focus on Australian geography), also I decided to substitute Australian history for American history and add some Aussie books for read alouds and poetry.

You can read all about it at their website under year 1 but to make it simpler I'll break it down into subjects as follows:

Language Arts:

This is broken down as follows:

READ ALOUD:
Adventures of Bobby Raccoon, Thornton W. Burgess
Adventures of Grandfather Frog, Thornton W. Burgess
Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack, Thornton W. Burgess
Adventures of Prickly Porky, Thornton W. Burgess
Hey, Listen to This: Stories to read aloud, Jim Trelease
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Treasure of the Snow, Patricia St. John
Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis

We will be adding many more books to read aloud to Rebekah this year from our personal library!

STORYTELLING:
Aesop's Fables, Sheila Carroll, ed.

POETRY:
A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson

PENMANSHIP:
Italics: Beautiful handwriting for children, Penny Gardner

For Aussie read alouds and poetry, I added for this year:

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs,
Dot and the Kangaroo by Ethel Padley,
The animals Noah Forgot by A B PAterson,
Stories of Henry Lawson and
The way of the whirlwind by Mary Durack.

Science: There are a list of living books and activity books here:


A House Is a House for Me, Mary Ann Hoberman
First Guide to the Universe, Usborne
Christian Liberty Nature Reader, Volume 1, Florence Bass
Usborne Book of Science Activities: Volume 1, Various
The Reason for a Flower, Ruth Heller
A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison: Young Inventor, Louis Sabin
Wild Places: Mountains, jungles & deserts, A. Wilkes
What’s Alive?, Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Nature Study:
Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Botsford Comstock
We also use: The wonderland of nature by Nuri Mass and various field guides for Aussie birds, flowers and trees.

Art:
Little Hands Art Book, Judy Press


Picture Study:
Come Look with Me: Animals in art, Gladys Blizzard
Come Look with Me: World of play, Gladys Blizzard

Music:
Stories of Great Composers (Book and CD),
June Montgomery

Geography:

Are we there yet by Alison Lester

World History:
The Story of the Ancient World, Christine Miller

Australian history:

My place by Nadia Wheatley
You and Me Murrawee by Kerri Hashimi and Felicity Marshall
Greatest events in Australia's history - Boardman and Harvey

We also are doing Spanish as Rebekah has taken an interest in Spanish from watching "Dora"!
For this we are using: Play and learn Spanish, A Lomba


Next I will try to post our weekly schedule and how we do "school" here:)

p.s. How embarassing - just goes to show, I shouldn't be trying to do any blogging late at night (which is when I was working on this - late last night!)
Anyway, I forgot to include our "Bible" component and "maths".

For our Bible study we use the one that came with this curriculum - "Early Reader Wonder Devotional Book" by Lynda Pongracz but we also use "Leading Little Ones to God" by Marian M Schoolland which is a much better one in my opinion!

Maths does not come with LBC, so we are using (and absolutely loving) Singapore Maths!

Monday, July 26, 2010

While everyone rushed home to watch the finale of Master Chef....

Our church meets on a Sunday afternoon, so last night, while everyone was rushing off home to watch the finals of Master Chef (:)) we rushed off home to watch the debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott!

Boring some might say, but this excites us around here:)

Ron and his family are so into politics that on his frequent phone calls to them (they live interstate) politics is sure to rear it's head into their conversations!
Being married almost 16 years to him, I've become quite interested in it too!
In fact being able to understand and follow politics has enabled me to better obey the scriptures about praying for our leaders and those in government.

Rebekah also watched the debate with us, as did she watch the world soccer cup with Ron, even waking up early some mornings with him:) I was wondering how much of it (the debate) she truly understood but it's funny, she was pretty attentive almost the whole time!
We then got her to bed and watched some of the finals of the Master Chef show....but boy I was glad she was in bed because I don't think I would have liked her seeing some of those commercials they aired in the breaks!
I know some of my friends and family watch it with their kids, I need to ask them what they do when the commercials come on.
With us usually when we say "close your eyes" Rebekah knows it's because we don't want her to watch / see something inappropriate either on a billboard or tv etc. Not that we watch commercial television much around here, it's usually the ABC.

Talking about the ABC, Rebekah watches an hour of TV each day - that is her allotted time, and she usually watches half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. She only watches the kids programs on the ABC, in fact she doesn't even know that there are other kids shows on other channels, shhh...it's a secret:) She has no idea that hi-five is on channel nine! I've kept that a secret from her for two reasons, one is I don't personally like that show and secondly I don't want her influenced by the commercials that come on!

I have read about the damages of TV to young ones etc and while I agree that too much TV is not good for their little brains or bodies, I find that I need this break from her during the day.

A lot of people would think that having an only child is easy and yes, while they are right in some aspects, I find that our relationship is also more intense as we are usually home by ourselves for about 12 hours in the day while Ron is at work! Just the two of us:) I wouldn't have it any other way but I've had to come to peace about this situation of letting her watch TV so I can have a break during the day.

I know some families have no TV at all and while ideally I would like Rebekah to not watch TV this is what we've come to do in our home:)
What do you all do?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our "school holidays"

I put school holidays in quote because even though we never planned to have holidays when the schools did, we've definitely been on holidays, especially this past week!
I started year 1 in March so our breaks have not lined up with the school terms. I am now rethinking how we will go from here. You see, Rebekah has many friends that go to school and so she's been doing a lot of this:






































as well as going to a great bookfair! Yes, we went there two days in a row because it's just so "awesome" in Rebekah's new lingo!
We still have more playdates planned for early next week so it will be a few days before we get back into "school" again! Not that we mind too much:)

Here's a picture of some great bargains we scooped up recently:


















Hopefully my next post will be about what we do around here for "school", it's been a long time coming I know:)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spreading the love of a fruit....

My lovely blog-y Amanda just posted on her blog about a type of bean she has recently tried and loves. It spurred me on to post about this fruit that I fell in love with a few years ago and been meaning to tell you all about for a while!

One of my friends from church introduced me to them a few years ago and I just love it! I have even been known to pay upto $1.50 for a single one at times! (I wouldn't even pay that for a mango and I absolutely love mangoes - like most other people!)

I can't tell you that it tastes something like a cross between a mango and an apple or anything like that, I'm just not that "tuned" in to tell you that nor articulate enough to explain the taste to you so you'll just have to go out and buy one for yourself if you want to taste it to see what you think! All I can say is that it is absolutely yummy, and that it is quite sweet. I love it both when it is just ripe and also when it is over ripe and very soft and mushy!

It only comes out in autumn (though I have seen it at my local Coles even recently albeit at a very expensive price which I am not willing to pay!)

So, what is it? Have you heard or seen of this fruit before:














It's a Persimmon!

So, have you had one of these before? Let me know, if you did and if you like it?

You can read more here about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persimmon

One word of caution: do buy them from a fruit shop or supermarket as I did buy them once at a fair from a farmer (a whole bagful) and had to throw them all out when I got home and tried them, as they were just terrible - very stringy or something and not sweet at all.

Look forward to hearing all your thoughts on this!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Do you love this piece of music or is it just me?:)

In the last few few weeks, I've been listening to a cd of Rebekah's called "Ballet music" (another $1 bargain at a used book sale:)).
It has some great selections of music that my aspiring ballerina loves to dance to (all day if she can!) including this one that was love at first sight/ sound for me:

"Saint-Saens Carnival of the animals - Swan"

You can listen it to it here on you tube:



My dad was a cellist and so was his dad....this maybe why I love it!
I love hearing the cello. It is one of my favourite instruments to listen to!
In our previous church we had a girl who sometimes played the "cello" in the worship band. It often brought tears to my eyes when she played....I think it brings back memories of my dad....My hope is I will see him again one day (he died when I was 18).
Sadly, I did not inherit the "music" gene! But I have a strong sense that Rebekah has, as she loves, just LOVES, all things musical and is actually a quick learner on her recorder (that Ron's teaching her to play, not me:))

What do you think of this piece, do you like it? if not, what's your favourite music / musical instrument?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Slim pickings and other things...

How are you all doing in this chilly weather? I've got three layers of clothes, two pairs of socks and slippers on at the moment but I still need the heating on! It's absolutely freezing at our place!

This morning Rebekah was looking for a phone that she plays with, my old mobile phone to be precise! Who wants a toy phone when you can have the real thing! I had to help as she couldn't find it among her myriad of toy boxes and shelves! I being ever so opportunistic thought I'd try to "cull" some of her toys. My serious attempts in the past haven't gone very far as she unfortunately seems to be a hoarder! Well, after I successfully talked her into parting with some of her toys, this is what we came up with:




















4 measly items!

I suppose it's better than nothing:)


Yesterday we saw "Toy story 3" at the movies in 3D, woohoo! I've told you before I've had a deprived childhood, well, I've not told you that I think I've also had a a deprived adulthood because this is my first ever 3D movie in my whole life! :) It was GREAT. I was a bit apprehensive of the 3D factor at first as I've heard people say it gives them a headache, makes them nauseous etc but thankfully I didn't experience any of that. Now..... I've heard that they're making 3D tv's, hmmm, not sure about that though, I think I'd rather have the novelty factor at the movies than in my home everyday. What do you think?

And in other news, we've successfully finished term 1 of year 1 with Rebekah doing very well with her end of term exams. I should really post about our curriculum shouldn't I, I'll try to soon....

In the subject of "handicrafts" though, I must say, we are not doing too well:( Charlotte Mason will definitely not be proud of me in this subject! Just take a look at our project below. I thought we'd start off with something small, well, it's still very small:).....the picture of what it should like is on the right and our attempts on the left (which we've been working on for more than a year) (insert embarassed grin here)! Is there any hope?





















Well, I'm not one to give up too quickly, so we persevere.....I'll definitely show it to you when it's completed. I promise!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The best toys came cheap!

Rebekah asked me the other day to get out her set of mega blocks that I bought when she was much littler and had packed away because she had grown out of it! Or so I thought! Anyway, while she was having so much fun playing with them the other day it occurred to me how a lot of the toys she loves to play with didn't cost much at all! She has toys ranging in price from $1 or to $100 and yet who would have known that these things I picked up for next to nothing give her the most fun!

Aforementioned mega blocks set cost me $1 on ebay:



























This toy piano cost me $2 at a garage sale:
























And this keyboard set me back by a whole $5 at an op shop!!!























The above two provide Rebekah with endless music making fun!

Who would have thought.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spontaneous nature study and education

I was feeling like a hen in a coop waiting to be let out after all the rain we've had and also being under the weather a bit (both Rebekah and I) of late!
So at the first glimpse of sunshine yesterday morning we seized the opportunity to head out to one of our nearby nature reserves.




















It turned out to be a very educational morning (though I didn't plan for it to be that way!)

For instance on the drive there, we were listening to the classical radio station and a piece of music we recognised came on, so we spent some time trying to guess the composer. I don't actually think that either Rebekah or I got it right but we tried never the less:)

(On a side note, we recently flew down to Melbourne for a wedding and guess what Rebekah listened to on the plane - the classical channel - she went through a few of the channels they had and chose that herself - she actually loves classical music, hallelujah!)

Anyway, back to my day yesterday:

This nature reserve has a lake with ducks and up until a couple of years ago, a duck was a duck to me.
I did not realise that there were so many "types" of ducks with their own separate names...I know, I'm a city born and bred, nature ignorant person.
My favourite I think is a "chestnut teal".


Anyway, Rebekah was having so much fun feeding the ducks when I decided to get out our field guide for birds (which I always carry in our outdoors bag) and try to identify some of the ducks we saw in the pond.
I didn't manage to get pictures of them all but here's some pics I took.









































We then collected some feathers and thanks to Anna Botsford Comstock, I am now learning that ducks have different types of feathers on their body that serve different functions. We collected some to take home and study.

We then did some tree climbing after lunch and yes with Rebekah being an only child, I have to "join in" on Rebekah's play many times, so don't laugh:





































We then observed some of the fallen leaves and as we headed back to the car after a couple of hours, Rebekah said to me that we should have "drawn" something in our nature journals!


Then later at home, Rebekah called me to our back yard to check out some "cute little creatures" that were swimming in a unused pot of water.
I told her they were some type of worms!

This morning she went out to our back yard again to check out the worms and I decided to use the opportunity to actually find out what they were.






















Turns out that these little "worms" that I would have previously called them and even referred to them as late as this morning are actually young mosquitoes...once again Anna and her "Handbook of Nature Study" came to the rescue and we spent some time observing and learning about Mosquitoes. The wonders of nature are truly amazing if we just have our eyes opened to observe them.

Rebekah then proceeded to get out her "Christian liberty nature reader" and found a chapter on "mosquitoes" which she read herself. She then proceeded to tell me why the little wigglers or larvae stick their tails up at the surface of the water...it's because they have little hairs at the end of their tails that they breathe with.

So, there you go....all of this education happened spontaneously with Rebekah and this city girl is enjoying and learning alongside her daughter:)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Miracle of Reading

I'm sure all mothers ahead of me would relate to this but it is such a "miracle" I had to blog about it!
Last year I began some gentle reading lessons with Rebekah(when I thought she was ready for it) using two letter words like "at" and then adding consonants to make other words a la Charlotte Mason!
We did them as and when she was in the mood for them!
I blogged about that here when it seemed like the penny dropped and she "got it".
Well, after these gentle, informal, "when in the mood" lessons which were few and far between last year, we went on holidays over Christmas and New Year and didn't do much then. Well, a couple of months ago, it seems like another penny dropped and she started picking up books and just reading them. I mean books with much longer and more complex words like "believe", "special", "garden", etc....anyway, you get the picture:)
It was like watching a miracle unfold.
It was much like witnessing a child's first smile, first steps etc.
I could not / cannot believe my eyes!
Is this a miracle or what! Kids just do things when they are developmentally ready don't they!
She has really taken off in her reading and has become an incessant "reader" of books. As my husband Ron said to me the other day, "all our years of reading to her is paying off" and I can truly say that maybe this was the secret ingredient to all of this because I certainly can't take credit for her reading skills other than teaching her a few three letter cvc words!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mummy's day!

Hi my online bloggy friends who are mums - just wanted to wish you all a Happy Mummy's Day!
My darling daughter Rebekah wrote out a card for me for the first time, all by herself and as she didn't know the spelling of mother's day, she wrote "mummy's day"! How cute!
So, I hope you all have a wonderful Mummy's day:)
Enjoy all the pampering and blessings on your special day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Now we are six....

Rebekah turned 6 recently. It was a great week leading up to her birthday with presents and cards arriving in the mail from friends and family.
The highlight for her and one that she had been waiting for for almost eight months or so was this:





















She got her very own Bible - full length, unabridged etc:)




We had told her about it not long after she turned 5 (or maybe she saw it at Koorong) and fell in love with it. So, we promised it to her for her 6th birthday, along with this:
























The night before her birthday we had a family dinner with my side of the family and then on her actual birthday she had a ball at a local wildlife park with three of her closest friends where you could pet the koalas, feed the kangaroos and even pet the kookaburras, can you believe that!





















































I am so glad that the NSW Board of Studies doesn't need you to register your child for homeschooling until 6 because that lines up with CM's philosophy of no formal academics until that age. So, you can guess what I've been busy with...these past few weeks!
We officially started Grade 1 the week before she turned 6.
We had our interview with the Board of Studies officer today and guess what, guess what! We've been approved for two years! Praise God! We are so excited!
He was impressed with the records I kept for our trial year last year and also our program of learning! In fact if I can brag some more - he said on his report that the approach I was taking to documenting Rebekah's program could well serve as an example for other home schooling families! (Please don't hold that against me my home schooling friends:)) In fact a special thank you to Michelle and Helen my fellow homeschooling friends without whom I couldn't have done it!

Now for nostalgia, here are some photos of Rebekah on her birthdays aged 1 to 6.
























Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clean Up Australia Day

I know this is a bit late....still! I got to tell you, I've lived in Australia for longer than "Clean Up Australia" day has been running and I'm ashamed to say that this year was the first time I took part in it.
Our church is wanting to be more involved in serving our community in a practical sort of way, so we thought this would be a good way to do that!


















Mind you, the place we chose, didn't need much cleaning up. All we found were a few cigarette butts and a few popped balloons and lolly wrappers. But, the kids were all excited, not sure why? maybe it was because for the first time they were not being told off for touching rubbish? :) or maybe it was the gloves? :)




















The whole thing was very well organised and there was even a lunch bbq put on by Clean Up Australia day for all the volunteers which we unfortunately couldn't attend.
It was a fun day out! I think we'll be doing it again next year for sure!