Thursday, 25 March 2010

Stations of the Cross at home

We missed our Lenten Stations of the Cross this week.
I looked at the clock 10.40. 15mins to drive there, I wasn't organised, and the rush would have made it too stressful. It started at 11am.
But today on the Annunciation I felt very drawn to walk the Stations.
As we were coming up to lunchtime, I suggested how about we say the Stations here at the kitchen bench. It just seemed the right thing to do- a mum preparing a meal and meditating on the Passion.
It was incredible how moving it was to speak, with feeling in our voices, and it bought several tears to our eyes and lumps in our throats. I could hear Brids' voice quivver.
Whilst I was listening or reading, I was drawn to Our Lady in the Passion of her Son. Her sorrow. Her grief. It brought me to a place of my own struggles and sorrows, but it also gave me strength in a strange way, and a new clarity on our present situation.
Amazing how a Devotion that I say often, can have a different meaning, just when it is needed.
Thank You Lord for this moment.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


I have blogged about Brid and her triumphs and some of her struggles.
I think we have reached a time of maturity, where it is finally coming together for her.
Timestables is one of these areas. 'Times clocks' was a method I was shown many years ago with our eldest daughter. So naturally this is where I went with Brid as well, but it didn't work with her.
We have used various methods since, with Brid, but nothing seemed to work. We started getting nervous, why isn't this clicking for her? What's going on? So I raised this with Dermot. He suggested we challenge her to 'PB'-personal best herself. So I implemented it.
I drew up a chart with the numbers 1 to 12 across the top and 10 ruled vertical rows, making a box chart. Each time she PB's herself, she puts the scote in the appropriate box.
I have marked 3 circles onto A4 paper and numbered around the circles randomly. Its best to do it randomly, so they learn the answers out of order.
The challenge is for each timestable time to be under 40 seconds.
So we began 3 times clocks / day. we would put x11, x3 ,x7, for example and time her.
She was a little disheartened at first, because her times where high, but we encouraged and perservered. She is now down to just over 40s with most tables.
It has made a huge difference to her Maths equations.
So the success for us, was when we heard the words 'Timestables are fun, can I do some more'.
Smiles all around.

We have has similar success with Spelling. When Brid writes on the computer, I ask her not to spell check, but work out the spelling first herself. I know this is because our approach has been very relaxed. So again Success. Great Job Brid!!!

Our journey in NSW

What a journey this has been. It has been lots of fun looking at landmarks and places we have visited. Such places as Sights in Sydney, the Hunter river, Blue Mountains, Fitzroy Falls, Goulburn. Brid is reviewing NSW this week and has enjoyed her discoveries.

Our favourite book is My Place- Nadia Wheatley The best part about it is just travelling in the same area and watching it grow, and then discovering that it was the place WYD08 held many of its events in that week. I volunteered for this week, and as I was stationed at Barangaroo, I got to see it fairly empty in the mornings @ 8am or so.

We were both very delighted to be able to google this area of Barangaroo, and to see the 'Big Tree', still growing. It was the landmark that positioned us, the reader, in every new decade and page that Nadia took us too.
This is what Barangaroo is famous for of late.The main sight for WYD08. To the mid left of the photo, would be where the big tree would be located.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

ST Patricks' Day

Well today, is a great celebration of the Irish, and what St Patrick did in Ireland-driving out pagan ways.
But my aim is not to get theological on you all...
On a secular note, its just a day to let your hair down and enjoy the music, the food the Guiness.

What will we be doing???

Quitely celebrating until, we head to Sydney to see an awesome Irish Band -The Saw Doctors.
Brid will go to my parents home before hand. She herself has a celebration at her Irish Dancing school, So my Dad will take her along to that.
So The Saw Doctors it will be, @ a little venue with lots of Irish people and people of all cultures as well, all celebrating A FEAST DAY. Enough said. Thats my tongue firmly in cheek comment today.
Have a wonderful St Patricks Day and may he Bless you and your families.

Monday, 15 March 2010

A Book of Virtues

A couple of years ago, a dear friend was selling this book. 'The Book of Virtues' - William J. Bennett. Dermot & I read parts of it, and it sat on our coffee table, for general reading.
I remember a blogger friend writing about virtues.
I thought how can I implement this into our homeschool day?
Penny dropped.
A virtue a week. We start at the beginning, and read an entry or two a day. They are fairly short entries. This week is Self Discipline.

Now to see how it all fits together.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Our week in Queensland and other stuff

You may ask, how are we travelling with school? You may not.
But my answer would be, pretty good.

Brid is becoming more and more self motivated, as the term goes on. I think you call it maturity! I spend less and less time teaching, as she is on cue with each subject. It actually makes me feel a litle guilty, as once shown the guidelines and expectations, she is fairly capable of keeping the momentum going. I did spend a lot of time with her in the early years helping, planning and developing her skills. So it is finally paying off. Am I spouting off - maybe, but we have journeyed to a new place, an exciting place.
This freedom for me allows me to work on virtues a lot more closely. As I am not in the thick of books, I can see what needs affirming or correcting.
Today at the end of lessons, Brid thanked God for fun lessons. Was I taken back, yes, but thankful in her enjoyment.
So what has this to do with Queensland.
Last week, I resourced several books including Australian Traveller books and we are in Queensland in its heat, rainforests and its reefs. This is an area Brid has taken on herself. She is happy reading to herself, but occasionally we sit and read together.
So today, she put pen to paper --or should I say hand to keyboard and began. Drafting her ideas was yesterday,
Tomorrow will be using IEW to critique her sentences her paragraphs and dress up her work.
It looks pretty good so far.
This year, we settled into a 3 day week. These 3 days are very full, but we make sure we have plenty of breaks.
Earlier in the year I purchased Latina Christiana with the DVD. Great purchase.It is a nice way of finishing of Mondays.
Classics for Kids completes Tuesdays. It's relaxing and often Brid will either listen further or inspire her on the piano.
Sports, Irish Dance and Music is Wednesdays. So we limit this day to Maths and Bible. This means its fairly stress free- and no 'hurry up, we will be late', from me.
Art completes the week, on Friday. Its a 40 min drive away, so just Maths & Saint reader.
It has been easy settling in to the school groove.
Beyond the school day, we just as most homeschoolers do, take the time to have teaching moments. I now strongly believe everything can be a teachable moment, its just a matter of embracing that moment.

Stations of the Cross

On the weekend, I noticed a brief message on our bulletin. Stations of the Cross @ 11am,.

The intention was for Priests and Vocation.

At our previous church our PP could often be found saying the Stations at around 3pm.- either in the church or the chapel. At times we would join him.

It is a very different feel at our new church surroundings, but we are constantly reminded by Jesus to make the most of it.

So today was a lovely feeling saying the 'Stations' with others. There were very few there never know what God has install.

I was however, expecting our PP to preside, but to no evail. One of the lovely older ladies, lead us beautifully. Brid helped her read every second station, and afterwards we had Adoration and the Rosary.

It was a very holy hour, and we both came away afterwards feeling much uplifted.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Well, it was a lovely day for a birthday yesterday.

Our gorgeous eldest daughter, Louise, turned 22 yesterday.

We had a beautiful day and just relaxed and enjoyed celebrating the gift that God gave us all those years ago. Our beautiful sweet intelligent kind but very determined Daughter.

Louise always gets very sentimental around her birthday, and never likes the day to end.

She decided to spend the day with family and a couple of close friends.

Louise loves cheesecake and I was not surprised when she chose this as her birthday cake. So with lots of love, Dermot & I made her cake the night before.

It turned out really well and I was rather proud of our efforts.

So after a BBQ dinner, we cut her cake celebrating 22 years.

Louise was born in the evening, and as a youngster, we always made a fuss about that time of her birthday, and it takes you down memory lane every year. She still likes this.

We all reminisce about it all.

God Bless you Sweetheart. Love you always,

Mum & Dad.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Precious gift

Today Brid & I finally attended Latin Mass for the first time in months. It is celebrated every 1st Tuesday of the month, at our local Cathedral. Various reasons has prevented us from attending.
Today was a special day.
As I had said previously, we are slowly making connections in our new parish.
Two dear ladies from our parish spoke to us after Mass. They are both very sweet women. One of the ladies, remembers us from when we had our older ones at the local Catholic school. In fact, my eldest dd was in her eldest grand childs class. So the connection is there.
She is always concerned for us. How are you settling in??
The other dear lady, had a book in her hand, and began explaining it to me. I was very interested as it was reflecting on the wounds of Jesus. Then she placed it into my hand, and said 'I want you to have it. I know you need it'. I was so touched by her generous heart and how she was spirit lead in her gesture.
And here I am thinking, we are not fitting in. Will we ever fit in here?
Why do I worry, God has little angels around to do his work, like these women. God Bless them.

Oh by the way, the little book is called " By his wounds you are healed."

Praise God In this day.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Australia in depth

This term we are focusing on Australia, and we are using Australian Traveller as a spine.

We have travelled to the Northern Territory and we are so far enjoying the sights.

We are preparing to fly to Queensland. The books have been purchased from the library as well, as a few extras. Before we leave, however, we are reporting our findings. Since we started using IEW, this has become an easy task.

Today I asked Brid to write a page summarising this state. I was surprised at her joy in doing this.

Brid suggested that we place Australia in focus this year. Usually we focus on several countries per year, for geography. We have achieved this in various different ways throughout the years, From lapbooks, to posters, to notebooking, a book series- My australian story.

Last year, we chose to write each country up in an exercise book. Several countries were covered, in this way.

So as an offshoot of this, we will pause and study AUSTRALIA in depth. There is so much we can discover.