Friday, December 16, 2011

So long 2011

This may well be my last post for this year, so I thought I'd have a look back at our 2011 (well atleast some aspects of it that I can share online).


We changed curriculums end of last year so this was our first year with Ambleside Online. I must say it definitely is a rigorous curriculum and reading the weekly schedule online does not give you that sense at all! I didn't even attempt to do everything, probably only 80% of what is set out and I still found it a lot busier than last year for us. It was definitely enjoyable though and I am so enjoying reading all the great books it lists along with Rebekah. She I am learning a lot. Rebekah has not baulked at any of the books that I thought might be too challenging proving what Charlotte Mason believed about children: we don't need to water down information and drip feed children, their minds are capable of a lot more than we think!

I'm happy to report that we will continue homeschooling her next year as the plan was to take it a year at at time! She is thriving and developing beautifully and we are happy with the progress she is making.

Motherhood and family:

Rebekah and I continue to share a very close relationship, a by product I'm sure that's a result of not just being an only child but an only child that is being homeschooled. We continue to have some amazing times spent together during the week, snuggled up on the couch reading, being out in nature, shopping together, riding our bikes together, etc. We have such great conversations about life, God, etc that happen at the most unpredictable times. I will always cherish these wonderful moments we have together.
Rebekah is the sweetest little girl and I'm blessed to not only be her mum but to be able to homeschool her, but of course I'm biased!


What can I say about my husband, he is amazing! He continues to be a great support to me, my closest friend, a great provider, a hard worker, the list goes on....Thanks honey, I love you!
We've enjoyed some fun times together this year including a holiday down in Victoria to celebrate Ron's big birthday with his family. While there we caught up with Jeanne and her lovely family. This was the second time we got to catch up with her and it was just lovely to meet her husband this time. Jemimah kept Rebekah amused and the girls had fun together! I'd been meaning to tell you all about this since we got back in April but seeing I didn't get around to it then, here's a wonderful excuse now to show you these pictures:

Ron's and Rebekah's birthdays (combined celebration)

Rebekah and Jemimah:

A koala out in the wild:

A rainbow in the Ocean. I've never seen anything like this before, it was amazing!

Church life: We continue to be very active in our church and life has been extra busy this year for us. Our church hosted a regional conference for the first time and I must say our little church did extremely well and we were all so proud of our achievements. We also celebrated 10 years as a local church in Sydney. This was a big milestone for us and we had a weekend of celebrating with old pastors visiting etc.

Friends: I've been super blessed in this area. God has blessed us with such great friends and speaking for myself personally, I've met some amazing and wonderful mums since I became one. They continue to enrich my life and bless me with their time, friendship, wisdom and generosity. Rebekah also has been blessed with some great friends. Homeschooling an only child is challenging in the sense that we have to be proactive about meeting Rebekah's 'social' needs. We have been blessed with friends that understand this and are so generous in inviting Rebekah to play dates with their kids etc.
In fact, towards the end of last year, even though Rebekah had lots of friends, she really wanted a girl friend who lived on our street, someone she could play with more often. Our street is filled with boys! So, we decided to pray about this and wouldn't you know a couple of months later, a little girl a year older than Rebekah moved in and they've become really good friends, God is good!
Besides 'mum' friends, I am also blessed to have other non-mum friends who continue to enrich my life in many ways!

Family: My mum and step dad continue their work in India that they began several years ago, in the orphanage they run and doing other work there as well. We miss them and are looking forward to their return in under a month's time!

Health: I've had a major breakthrough this year after finding a wonderful holistic doctor who specialises in women's health. Yes, reaching my forties has been challenging in this area, well, it started in my mid thirties really but as with most things, I don't rush into things, hence it took me this long! I can't begin to tell you what a difference the treatment I am receiving has made to my overall health which in turn has been great for my emotional well being! All I can say is GO bio-identical hormones! If you'd like to find out more feel free to email me:)

And last of all, I started this blog to keep an online journal of some aspects of our life that I wanted to pass onto Rebekah one day. It's not the most interesting of blogs in blog land so I'm honoured that the lovely friends I've mad online keep coming back to read and comment and encourage me. To all of you, I wish you a merry Christmas (if you do celebrate it) and a great 2012!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Stories to read - for free, truly!

I've always wanted to have a collection of Christmas stories to read to Rebekah leading up to Christmas (like I've seen so many other mums do in their families) but have never gotten around to it. Well actually I did try to collect a few over the last couple of years but I wouldn't even dare show you my collection as it's quite measly!

Anyway, you all know I use Ambleside Online, that wonderful free Charlotte Mason curriculum. Well, what do you know, it only took me a few years to realise they had a page with loads of free Christmas stories and poems to read. The AO website is truly a treasure trove!

I was so elated to find this out the other day, I just had to share it with you all.

Now that we have an ipad and I'm trying to cut down on buying physical books that are free online, this is just perfect for us.

So now if you've been like me you no longer have an excuse to not read these wonderful stories to your children:)
They'll thank you for it in years to come I'm sure.

Here's the page link:

The stories listed there are carefully selected by the AO advisory (a group of mums who so generously volunteer their time and efforts to put together and maintain this wonderful curriculum, a group of women I've come to appreciate, admire and respect very much for all their hard work) so I am quite sure you'll love this list of stories.

Enjoy! I know we will.