Friday, 31 December 2010

A Blessed and a Very Peacefilled Year

To all the Blogger Friends, we would like to wish you all a Blessed and Peaceful New Year 2011.
We have been very busy over the last few weeks with lots of Christmas preparations and get togethers. I haven't had the time to formulate a proper post.
We have taken loads of photos though, so I shall post some up soon.

We have however, been following the 12 days of Christmas closely, using the song and the meanings behind each day to use as a talking point around the table, when we have friends over.
We have used words this year for Advent and Christmas and several people have commented on them. We will continue this in 2011.
May God Bless you all

Friday, 24 December 2010

Holy And Happy Christmas...

To all my Blogger Friends, We as a family would like to wish you all a Blessed and Holy Christmas.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Irish Dancing Concert

Last weekend we were given a real treat. Our eldest and our youngest daughter dancing together. They are just beautiful dancers. They both worked very very hard and it showed in there dance routines and there faces just shone all afternoon. There dance school has grown from just a few students to over 50 in 3 years.
Brid and Louise

Well done girls.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Protect Traditional Marriage

To all Aussie Families, I urge you to write to your Local MP and defend traditional marriage.
On Friday, 3rd December, Bishop Michael Malone sent the following request to the Maitland Newcastle Diocesan Clergy.

“On the 15th November 2010, a motion was tabled in the House of Representatives by the Greens Party member, Adam Bandt.
This was successfully amended by the Government member, Mr S P Jones, as follows:
‘this House calls on all parliamentarians, consistent with their duties as representatives, to gauge their constituents’ views on ways to achieve equal treatment for same sex couples including marriage.’
The Catholic Bishops of Australia request that all parishioners be encouraged to sign a petition or send a personal letter to their local Federal Member of Parliament using this suggested wording:
Since Parliamentarians have been asked “to gauge their constituents’ views on ways to achieve equal treatment for same sex couples including marriage” it would be remiss of us not to give our views.
I would appreciate your urgent attention to this very important matter.
The following link will assist in determining Federal electorates and the applicable member:”
You are encouraged to write to your Federal Member or print and send the attached petition to your local Federal Member by Monday, 20 December. Please change the petition wording to suit your relevant parish or Christian group. The Greens will be relying on our apathy to win this debate – we must make our views known to our parliamentarians now.
You may also like to consider joining the Australian Family Association to help stay abreast of this and other important topics related to marriage and family. For $40 per year you can subscribe to the best in pro-family reading, including six issues of the Family Update and three issues of the 48 page journal, The Australian Family, invitations to special events and access to regional meetings.
You can contact the NSW office at 32 Rickard Rd, Warrimoo NSW 2774 or PH 4753 6097 or email
In the current issue of Family Update supporters are asked to write to the PM to tell her you oppose changing the meaning of marriage. That marriage is the basic unit of society and bears most of the cost and effort of caring for those who are dependent (i.e. the young, the elderly and the sick) and is the healthiest and safest environment to rear children. It should be protected and promoted not redefined out of existence. You are also encouraged to write to your sitting MP or visit them to put your position to them.
Another useful website is
You can subscribe to their newsletter for free.

I would encourage you to write and Defend and protect the natural definition of Marriage, and maintain the marriage act in its current form.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Yesterday, we celebrated The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We got up very early, for us, and drove to the Monastery of the Holy Redeemer for 8.30am Mass. It is a 35 min drive for us through some pretty aussie farm land. There is a group of cloistered Nuns who live in the Monastery, and we knew they would be attending Mass with us.
Mass began and I had to adjust my ears to hearing these voices coming from behind a opaque glass wall. The Mass was said beautifully By Fr John. It was a very special Mass and it was lovely to celebrate Our Ladys feast day at this Monastery.
Afterwards we shared morning Coffee and yummy foods at a homeschool families home. It was great to just be able to sit and enjoy the presence of these Mums, while the children made up imaginary plays.
We were entertained at the end of our morning by Jack and the Beanstalk narrated play. It was very busy and animated. The kids had been practicing during the morning.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Film Review from Cath News

Film review - Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of Dawn Treader

Published: December 07, 2010This is the third film in the seven-part epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis and brings to the screen the book of the same name, published in 1952. Narnia is the fictional realm where animals talk, magic abounds, and good battles evil. The Dawn Treader is the ship captained by Caspian, who was the key character in the previous film, The Prince of Caspian.
Three children, Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Lucy (Georgie Henley), and Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter) are drawn into a painting of an old ship, The Dawn Treader, which is a majestic sailing vessel, whose look is inspired by dragons.
The three children come up in the ocean near the ship, and are taken on board where they meet the new King of Narnia, King Caspian (Ben Barnes). The ship sails to mysterious islands with marvellous names and they are islands that are full of creatures, which convey the riches of children’s fertile imagination.
There is a new distribution company behind this movie, and a new visual effects supervisor (Jim Rygiel) and cinematographer (Dante Spinotti). All of them contribute to bringing a fresh look to the series that substitutes lightness for some of the darkness that was in Prince Caspian.
The film returns us to the magic of the first film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which deserved its popular success. Here, the special effects never overreach the strong story line and the moral messages that lie behind it.
The movie successfully conveys optimism and hope, and as temptations are resisted, growth occurs and true character emerges. Laying aside its scary moments, and there are some, the movie is excellent fantasy-adventure fare for Christmas viewing - Peter Sheehan, Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.
Starring Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Will Poulter, Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson (by voice), Simon Pegg (by voice) and Tilda Swinton. Rated PG (Mild violence and scary scenes). 112 min.

Monday, 6 December 2010

The school year is coming to a close

Well its been a huge year for us homeschooling.
Brid has had a huge learning curve and I feel the curricula we have invested in, have been worthwhile.
Brid understands that it makes her Dad and I very happy when she completes her work and turns her work in to us on time.
We are at a crossroads or are we?
Brid will progress into high school next year.
Several of the curricula used this year has been high school level. So there will be a natural progression and not a jolt.

So what has changed and worked for us?
We have followed the liturgical year much more closely. Maybe, we haven't posted about various feast days, but we have journeyed in our own way- but that's another post.
1 IEW has made a big difference to our English and writing program. With this, Brid has been able to write her first Essay. Her essay was about one of her  favourite Composer, Beethoven. We used this book as a reference and  using the IEW techniques and dress ups she wrote an informative report.
2 Saxon Maths continues to impress me with its explanations and its lesson plans.
3 Nature study and botany has been fun this year. It has been quite hands on and we have all learnt a lot about our beautiful plants in Australia, and how they have adapted to our Climate.
Our topic approach has certainly freed us up to explore and delve into an area of study for a longer length of time. It has taken the bite out of watching the clock to fit lots of subjects per day.
American Indians was a great success. We spend 3 weeks discovering these people and their land.
Catechism in the lounge room with Dad has been a great success. Once a week we get together and discuss learn listen. Its been a great experience, especially for Dermot & I,  who were not taught the catechism as children.
We have delved in Bible history and enjoyed the discovery of the Bible. Alongside this a dear friend has lend us several Saint books. thanks. They have been fun.
Art was covered every week, by a very kind and sweet friend Bernie. We drove 40 minutes each way, and observed the changing scenery throughout the year. We have experienced a year long Art course, designed for high schoolers, but adapted for young Children as well. It was excellent, and boy did we learn a lot. It certainly was a great in depth Look at Art Design.
We are so proud of Brid, her commitment to her studies in well noted.
We will change things next year a little. We will introduce more Classical Literature. We have purchased our Religion, History and  Science syllabus and will purchase everything else we need as the year progresses.
There are definite advantages to educationing only our youngest daughter. We have more time, We have been there done that, fought the battles and now we choose the battles which we know are important. We know God has Blessed each of us.
So a well deserved break, very soon is in order for us all. Phhewww!

Happy feast Day. St Nicholas pray for us.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Narnia, The voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Yesterday, we saw the latest Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Brid has been patiently waiting the release date for the movie. Another aussie Mum took her older children on the release day. It was my hope to do this, but we wanted to see it with Dermot.
Brid was first introduced to The Lion the Witch and The wardrobe when we first began homeschooling several years ago. She really enjoyed it and Her big sister, Louise bought her the Chronicles that year for Christmas. It is a well used book, and one day may need replacing.
Back to the movie, Brid chose the 3D movie and I am not sure how much difference it actually makes to this movie. We have been watching the other movies in anticipation, and Brid has had her head in her Chronicles of Narnia book, trying to work out how they would do this seen, and visit all the islands. She was curious how they would introduce Eustrace, their Nephew. There have been great conversations on the hows and whys of what will be in the movie
Brid and I sat together and whispered to each other, as each scene revealed various characters and scenes from the book. She laughed at the jokes and took the whole movie in, and of course would love to see it again. So Yes we all enjoyed the movie, although Dermot did loose about half an hour- The lights go down, and he dozes off. I, occasionally tapped him to keep him awake.
We finished our afternoon off with ice cream and cappuchinos for us adults. It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Do you Believe?

This year Brid officially told me that Santa wasn’t real. I having been wanting to explain this for several years ago, but Dermot wouldn’t let me. So as it happens, Brid and I were talking about our Advent plans and she tells me very gently that she has known about Santa not being real for about 3 years. I knew in my heart that she knew the truth, because she is a Christian. I knew she had worked it out.

Dermot however, wanted to hang onto his own childhood and he was doing that through Brid. So who was upset when Brid broke the news to him, when he came home that afternoon? Dermot.

Quietly away from Brids earshot, He blamed me, saying “you couldn’t wait to tell her!”

My reaction was, “Sweetheart she is nearing 13, she has known for years”. When he saw reason, He told me that he wanted to share this childhood dream with Brid. My heart broke for him at the time.

His little line has always been to all the kids, “Well if you don’t believe you don’t receive”. Brid said to this recently,“ I do believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ.... and continued to resight the Creed. She had played the game long enough and was respectfully seeking her Dads' understanding.

He teases us now by wanting to put up Gordy Santa decorations. He looks at them all in the shops and says my presents will be from Santa. He is such a tease..

Because we can...

My friend over here, mentioned her daughter being the youngest and it started me thinking, or rethinking.

Our youngest has been by herself in the family home for 2 years now. It was through terrible circumstances that this happened, but we have made the most of it- once we got over some of our grief. It resurfaces at the time you least expect it.

Brid is 6 years younger than her next sibling and is a special unique gift from Our Lord. (I must qualify this- all our children are special, but she was given to us for a specific reason).

It took a long time to get it in our heads and hearts that we were a family- even without the older children there everyday.

I grieved for her loneliness and reduced interaction with siblings. I craved the times when they were all very young and they were all nestled under our arms. I know she craved to hug and be close to her siblings. She grieved too. We had many nights of tears. Many sad prayer petitions by her.

It has been an adjustment time, but a time to really know each other and we as a family have become very close. Brid and I do nearly everything together, as many of us homeschooling Mums do.

I now count us to be in a very unique and privileged position.

We as a family have been at many cross roads and have been placed in extremely difficult situations. We have had huge highs and shocking lows. We have had a full house and now a quite house. We have seen the worst in people and the best. Its taught us many lessons.

Brid has always had a strong love of Our Lord. When she was at school in Kindy & Yr 1, I would often find her at the end of the schoolday- after I was finished speaking to the teacher or friend, in the Church close to the Tabernacle or sitting close to the Alter. This got me thinking, how can I leave her at school, she needs to be at home to be nurtured by her parents. I need to instruct her in her faith- or will she instruct me !! This love of Our Lord has blossomed, and she tries to spread His love where ever she goes. Its infectious, and this sunny disposition, of hers in the light of family sadness has been like God smiling and blessing us.

I see some similarities with Sues’ youngest. Brids' siblings saw Brid as spoilt, but why not, I say. Brid was a terrible terrible eater as a littlie. I remember many many meal times where Brid ate very little, having to introduce formula high in Iron, because she refused to eat meat or anything with enough Iron in it. Brid is very slight and often clothes her age don't fit. But Brid reached the time of siblings not being present in family home daily at a very young age.

So I agree with Sue, we will continue to spoil Brid, and her older sister Louise, and shower them with our love and cherish every moment together, because why not.

I would ask you to pray for 2 of Brids’ siblings Kristie & Kieran. They are in continued need of the light of Christ in there lives.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

What Fun- Dads and there daughters

Yesterday Brid was doing the first lesson on Geography through Art- we got it as an E book. One of the things she needed to do as part of map work was create a treasure map.
So Yesterday afternoon she spent time rhyming and planning each place in the yard that he would visit. At each place he was asked to do a specific task, like collecting snails, star jumps, skimming the pool, collecting various items he leaves around the yard. It was a real scream to observe. I was hard pressed to stop myself laughing.
She had it planned to a tee.
At the end of it Brid presented him with The Best Daddy award. 

I must admit I liked her sense of humour and Daddy played along beautifully.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day.  
We remember our fallen brothers and sisters today in all the wars, particular WWI.
We used this resource to help give us more understanding of this day. We found activities print outs and useful information here.

God Bless our Men and Women who have died in all wars. Bless our soldiers in battle today.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

wordless wednesday

Outside St Marys 17th October.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

American Indians -part 3

The last 3 weeks Brid has been researching and reading about American Indians. The last part of her project was to complete a report. Here is the link to my post on the lesson plan. Brid not only did this project solo, but typed every word and made the typed word fit and match the shape of the image. 
Brid has learnt about Blessed Kateri Tekawitha and St Isaac, and we have added them both to our All Saints Poster.

adding finishing touches

work ready to be pasted

now lets sort them

Sticking the lapbook together

The proud girl and her work

Showing off her hard work.

All Souls day

Last evening Brid prepared and read the Litany of Saints, and she added some of our special names as well. That was a special time.
This morning, we joined our parish community at Mass. In preparation for this month, we have been writing down all our deceased family & friends on a sheet of paper, to take to Mass with us..  I sometimes have memory failure of those I would like to pray for, but today we were organised. It was nice to view this list before and at appropriate times to prompt our prayers.
Apart from these people dear to us, on our list, we will be especially praying for people in need this month. aussiecoffeeshop and I must have been on the same wave length when we were preparing our posts.
Our parish priest again put together a homily, that spoke to me. At one point, he spoke of the 'Book of the Dead', he has in the parish office and how he needs to write final details of a persons live. He spoke of how he used to dread it, now he calls it his book of hope, as he scans the pages of the people in the book, and remembers there life and the families.
God Bless you all today.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Love Our Lady and make her loved...

In my Mary Vitamin meditation today I read these words and they resonanted with me.
"Love moves people to speak of the one they love. We know that the Church's greatest Saints, orators and writers have spoken, written, and sung Our Lady's praises with tireless zeal and love.  But there has not been a Saint and there will never be any true devotee of Mary who does not feel a need to share his love of Our Lady with others. In big ways or small, the true devotee does all that he can to accomplish this in accord with the inspirations and talents he has received."
So Today, I will pray for the opportunity to share my love of Our Lady with others, I will be particularly careful to cultivate joyful and pleasant demeanor.
"In order to move souls to love Mary, St. Maximilian ventured to make great, self-effacing personal sacrifices. … But he went ahead undaunted, carrying on with hard work and privation. He never stopped. His love for the Immaculate would not let him rest from his feverish activity."

It was Our Lady that has drawn me ever closer to Our Lord and I will always honour her for that. It was a Statue of Our Lady I was given as a gift long before we had a family Bible, Long before an image of Jesus. It was the Rosary I first heard before I could recite The Lords prayer, It was Our lady who lend me to her Son, and I will do my best to bring honour to her at all times.
A few months ago, a sweet women send me a large Blessed Miraculous Medal, and I love wearing it.  I feel Our Lady is constantly surrouding me.
Just recently while looking at how to incorporate the Family Saints into our daily routine more effectively, I was thinking, we could do the same with Marion feasts. So we have two photo frames, one has an insert of Red (Saints),and the other an insert of Blue( Marion).

Our Lady and the Saints pray for us.

All Saints Day- happy feast day

Today at Mass our Priest started his homily talking about the celebrities on the front of the magaazines and how shallow the life is.. people make them there heroes.. he ended his homily by saying the lives of the Saints are so rich.. we should be aspiring to be like these Holy people, because they are in Christ...
Praise God for his words.

Late last week we made a family poster of all the Saints who intercede for us in various ways.
We added them to the Litany of Saints we will say later today.
they include St Mary Magdalene, St Elizabeth of Hunguary, St Nicholas, St Therese of Liseux, St Teresa of Avila and St Paul. These are our Saints we chose for our Confirmation, and then there are Saints dear to our hearts.
There are others we ask to intercede for us for our various childrens needs.
We asked St Joseph to help find us a home last year and he did.
We will honour each of these Saints on there feast days throughout the year. I hope this image is clear enough for you to see and recognise our family Saints

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Last week....

It was an unusual week. Firstly getting over the very late night coming home from the Canonisation events.

Dermot was sick with a Flu all week. So between looking after him, running the business in his absence and schooling Brid, it was a big week.

Our Unit study on American Indians is going well. Still enthusiasm and enjoyment. We are now putting together the Lapbook, and it means lots of cutting sticking and creativity.

We began our next Saxon Maths book, with Brid wanting to attempt 2 lessons for the first week. That was Ok with me, but by day 3, I could see her concentration waining. Now when I say 2 lessons, they are fairly easy, as they review the last book, so I choose some questions from the lesson for Brid to complete. So maybe 20- 22 questions in total. But then we were back to one lesson a day.

We have a new piano teacher and she has certainly inspired Brid. She is teaching her some new skills and motivating her to play harder pieces. Brid is up for the challenge. Brids 'last piano teacher was lovely and we have only moved on because her Hisband has taken work in another city.

I am continuing to tackle the yards and getting it straightened out by summer.

We are watching our plants grow in our pots. I am going to add more this rained so this didn't happen.

We watched Brids ballet rehearsal on Sunday. Very sweet.

Louise popped in and we made bags for her Irish Dancing shoes.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The off shoot of American Indians

Brid has had a lot of fun exploring the American Indians and as lots of children do she has created her owm teepee and camp space.
But I had an idea. I will get my hiking tent out and see what happens. Firstly to find it. Search party.!!
Ok found, Well it is a hiking tent and wind resistant and it was the top of the line when I was a Caving and hiking, and I haven't been able to give it away. And thank goodness for that...
Otherwise we wouldn't be having a sleep out in it tonight. Brid is all ready and has claimed her land and is enjoying the freedom to play in it.
So Here are a few of the preparations. Wonder if we/ she  will manage to sleep in it all night!!!!!

..............she did stay in the tent for a short time the first night...It was raining, The next day was a beautiful day and Brid was keen to sleep in the tent overnight again. So again, we said yes, and well she lasted an hour. Her excuse was it was noisy and the wind was howling. Bless her, she came in and slept soundly in her own warm bed.

Monday, 18 October 2010

whats happening in this part of the woods

Its been a pretty quite 2 week school holiday after 2 homeschool camps. We just stayed low and 'hung out' at home.
But I have put some muscles to work and weeded all our gardens and gotten rid of some of the weeds in the lawn. It has been very difficult to get outside with workmen in our yard for several months, and the amount of rain we have had this last 6 months.
So now its time to reclaim our land.
So I have found the BBQ cover that was hidden under lots of rubble, and wow I found some useful aluminiun corners left over from the shed building.
So this week, I can report to weeding 3 long long gardens with Brid. We now can see where we need to plant some shrubs. They have been waiting for 12 months in there pots. Hope they will be OK.
We have discussed and designed our vege garden. I got a little ahead of myself and planted several herbs in pots. Couldn't wait.
So would you like to see what I have found.
the weeds from some of the gardens
some of the plants pottted

my BBQ cover drying and ready to place on bbq
one of our water tanks required by council

Our Lady overseeing all the Work

This is what the builders were building

A jump in together

Saturday, 16 October 2010

new homeschool look

The last few months has been driving me crazy with storage issues with all our homeschool bits and pieces. After reading one ispiring blog or 5, I thought I need to do something. But what. I had craft stuff in 3 different areas. OH and S would have had a feild day here!.
Anyway, I had a custom made shelves and drawers made for one young boy some years ago, and its not needed anymore. It was sitting looking lifeless in our Spare room.
So Brid and I unpacked it and moved it to our school area. We don't have a school room, but what we have is effective were it is.
So here are some pictures of our new storage with our Missals, Saints books and Prayer space on top.

Our family Alter in the lounge room.

 I won't show you Brids' desk. Its a little messy, but a good mess. Its a creative mess.

Friday, 15 October 2010

American Indians

These are the resources we are using at the moment for researching and exploring the Native American Indians. We have also downloaded this for extra resources. Its been a lovely change from the usual school day. I have left most of the setting out to Brid, and again she has put together a framework for her work to be completed. I have used a very simple lesson plan. I also have sourced a book by Holling. The book of Indians. A very good book, easy read aloud, and thank you to the ladies on 4 real for suggesting it. It covers the main tribes of North America, in a story. Wealth of information.

The framework for a teepee
One book I forgot to put in was Pocohontas. It was completed very early on and was very enjoyed. Thank you to all the people who helped me source resources for this study. We will update soon, but Today we are looking at our soon to be 1st Australian Saint. Mary of the Cross. Have a Blessed Day

A most Special Evening

Just recently we as a Catholic community were in for a treat in the grounds of The Holy Redeemer Monastery- a cloistered order of Nuns, in the Hunter Valley.
It was the Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, Fatima.
We were asked, as a dioceses, to gather around 6.30pm for a picnic tea in the grounds. It was a lovely gathering as many of our homeschooling families travelled from all areas of the hunter to be there.

Some of our homeschool friends
It was then time for The Rosary Procession. Several Priests lead the Procession, two homeschool boys were candle bearers and Brid was asked to carry a banner of Our Lady. The Our Lady Statue was surrounded in flowers and was totally gorgeous. Each Priest took his turn to read a scripture and a reflection on the Glotious Mysteries of the Rosary.
Its she just beautiful
The Samoan Choir sang several hymns and also 2 in there native language.
After a Reflection on The Fatima story and how it purtains to today, we were asked to gather before the Cross for Benediction. All the traditional hymns were sung and it was a very special evening enjoyed by all.
 It took me back to my childhood at another Monastery in Newcastle were I vaguely remember Rosary Processions. I pray we may further be Blessed with more regular Processions.
Ready and waiting for the Blessed Sacrament to Arrive

Monday, 27 September 2010

Homeschool camps

Well we have been Blessed enough to have attended 2 homeschool camps in the last 3 weeks. One was in the glorious sunshine provided by Our Lord- 7 hours drive north, the other was in the cold crisp air also provided by Our Lord, a few hours south of our home.
We had an awesome experience at both Camps, and neither could be compared.
Fr Terence Mary is a Franciscan Priest who provided the Latin Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Benediction,  Rosary Procession and Confessions for us at the first camp ( Northern Rivers). He also provided great spiritual direction and gave us adults and our children great talks.
We played on the beach and caught up with friends and made new friends.
We had wonderful games and concerts in the evening.
We had the Bishop of Lismore attend the local church for Confirmations and Holy Communion. That was a beautiful Mass and the Girls including Brid sang in the Choir.
An opportunity was provided for the Mums to have a Mums only night and the Dads to have a Dads only night. So we talked homeschooling, exchanged ideas and encouraged each other at these nights.
The beach was the scene for lots of fun and sandcastles and sculptures. Lots of competition between the kids.
A Sports day was a lot of fun with MacKillop, Assisi and Bosco being the 'house names'. There was lots of support and encouragement for each other. Fr Terence was there to encourage the stranglers who may have given up, that was a blessing to see.
Each Day Fr Terence fed us Spiritually and each day our tummy's were fed as well. Our hearts were fed with encouraging warm supporting homeschooling Mums and Dads. Wonderful experience.
And our bank accounts had the opportunity to be debited by resources freely available. Especially the divine Gifts in support of the Carmelite Order- Lismore.
Lennox Head Beach

The next camp was one we attend twice a year- Easter and September. Its were we have several friends, and a place that gets so cold, but its atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. The best bit was that Dermot attended with us.
Fr Perry, from Wagga Seminary, Provided our Spiritual Direction and Our Mass, Adoration and Benediction daily. He was also there for our Confessions.
Food was provided by 2 very gorgeous and pregnant young Ladies- God Bless you both. They are sisters- there Mum organises September camp, so lots of helpers where in the kitchen to help them out. It was great food and lots of networking happened in the dining room meal times.
We had several talks during the day by several parents and Our Priest. The children were broken up into age groups and had catechism as well as practical talks. Brid learnt about Relics and Hospitality, in her group. Her group had a high tea to celebrate what they had learnt in Hospitality. We had discussed Relics in our History earlier in the month, so it was timely.
The Sisters of Charity were available on Monday to spend the day with us. It was Mother Teresa 100th birthday and they wanted to talk about her. It was a brilliant opportunity to talk with this order.
The kids had lots of free time. The girls around Brids' age found a cabin free and played and chatted in there.
Did I tell you that there was a book store as well. yes, but the prices were so outrageous I didn't purchase very much.
There is a bed time curfew for the kids and as the cabins are away from the main dining areas, its easy to sleep. Usually I would go off to bed early, but with Dermot at camp with me, it meant I wasn't responsible for driving, so therefore we stayed up chatting.

I loved both camps, and as they are spread out next year I think we will go to both again. I loved spending time with my blogger friends from both camp, namely, Erin, Tricia, Linda, David & Gil, who did I forget.! I loved spending time with my 4 real friends at Lennox head - Erin, Tricia, and Linda. My only regret was not getting a photo of the hunter valley mums- Tricia, Jane, MaryRose at Lennox head.

Now its official, its school hols in this state~!!

Fitzroy Falls chapel

Tricia, me, Erin, Linda- Lennox Head

A cross

Todays thought

"If you pray and pray and your Cross is still there that Cross is what God sends you to help get you to heaven. "
It definitely was not what I was expecting to here from a play, but it was exactly what I needed to hear right at that moment.
So Thank you Lord for sending me those words.

Friday, 17 September 2010

My Grandfathers Birthday

My sweet lovable Grandfather was born today in a little town called Clarencetown. Grandfather was born Arthur Sullivan in 1914, and married his beloved wife Audrey in 1943. They were blessed with one goegeous daughter, the apple of his eye- my Mum.
He was always a very quite private man and kept to himself, but had a huge heart.
I remember when I went overseas in 1985, he gave me all that was in his wallet. $20.00. I knew it wouldn't go very far, but you know what, I came home with that $20.00 because of how he handed it to me, with such generosity.
He would always take to do the chores with him on a Saturday morning 'down town'-  I remember the butcher having sawdust on the floor, and on a Sunday he would cook my Nanna and myself breakfast after we came home (in a taxi), from 7am Mass.
Grandfather kept Orchids and they are in bloom right now. We still have many many pots of Orchids and every time they flower I remember my Grandfather.
Grandfather died in 2004, just before his birthday. He was a widower for near 20 years, My Nanna died 3 months before she could get a chance to meet Dermot- my dear sweet husband.
I will always love you and remember you my dear Grandfather. God Bless you

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The way we approach our school day

Recently I was asked to talk about how we approached our day, at a Homeschool camp, It was very late, so I skimmed through my notes and picked the most important and relevant parts for that evening. It did make the talk a little jumpy, so I decided to share it here. Some of this has been shared before.

A few months ago, Brid was feeling very tired and after all the usual good food, rest, reducing activity etc., and these were not effective, we decided to take a break from the usual book work. ( she had grown 8cm in a few months, looking back on it).

I searched homeschool share and others for inspiration, for a lapbook/ notebook and saw one on Ballet. Brid loves to dance, so I knew she would love this. Brid entered into the spirit of the project with zest and got out all her old ballet books, picture books and used them as references as well. It was interesting to see her style of learning, how she organised her work, and worked her way around her project.

So my mind started working overtime,why not trial this approach with all her topics we cover? All we would keep from our current timetable would be religion/devotion, saint reader, cursive writing practice and maths. This meant after morning tea @ 11ish, she was free to embellish her topic.
So what topics would we do like this?
Science, History, Geography, Music, Art, Latin, Virtues, everything.

So what’s so good about it?
Brid gets momentum, there is no stop/ starts. I see it as a preparation for high school work. (in Australia high school starts from 13). She is free from scheduling as such. I know she can stick to task as her concentration has increased. We are seeing much more work completed and being put on display more often. So Brid is very much encouraged by this.

So what about subjects she isn’t keen on? Well that is why we created a newspaper. It can be quite a fun thing to write a newspaper and all those areas that you ‘have to do’, can become much more alive.

So will we continue? Yes we will in one form or another. I can see a place for it. I know Brid has matured in her studies, and on reflection, we had moved away from a bookwork, schoolie approach a while ago.

So in the future we will tweek it as I need to. Next term, we are looking at American Indians- we haven’t studied much American history, and although this will only be a snapshot, we can spend lots of time unpacking and discovering so much more. Its been fun researching and purchasing/ borrowing great literature and references, knowing it will be a source of fun. Thats a whole post ofits own.

So from the mouth of the Brid “ I don’t feel so rushed”. “ When I start something I want to be proud of it, by doing it thoroughly.”

Friday, 3 September 2010

Skirt making

Recently Brid and I have been sewing and creating. She has been making presents for Fathers Day and I have been Embroidering. My Nanna taught me to embroider as an early teen.
This began to inspire me to finish off making Brids' skirts. I found a lovely pattern that suits my slightly built darling a few months ago, and it never ceases to amaze me how good it looks on her. I have made a couple of skirts from this pattern.

this one looks heavy, but its very light and so pretty on.

As most are aware it is very hard to locate modest wear. The only real alternative is to sew. So what I did was convert 3 dresses that I couldn't give away as they were gorgeous, into skirts. I have been avoiding this, as I didn't want to make a mistake. So led by inspiration, I have now completed them all.

This was the easiest to alter, and it gave me confidence to tackle the next two

I just cut the bodice and used it to make the waistband

So now we have 3 fresh skirts ready for spring and summer.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Irish Dancing

Last Weekend two of our darlings entered there first Irish Dancing Competition- Feis with CRN. It is a traditional approach and the first 3 grades can not be changed. Each Grade is written and spoken on Gaelic.This means the girls are learning some ofthere heritage.

We were privileged to have 2 Adjudacators from Ireland at this Competition. They gave fantastic feedback, and were very encouraging.
Louise is not new to a Feis, but it was Brids 'first'. Brid did very well and scored highly. Louise also scored highly.
We are so pleased and proud of there diligent efforts.
Well done Our darling Girls.