Friday, 28 May 2010

Fun in the tree tops

My treasures up in the tree tops

Thursday, 27 May 2010

childcare Kitgum servants

Early this week, we were privileged to catch up with an amazing women, Irene Gleeson, who sold up her home in Sydney 20 years ago, to feed, wash and cloth children in Uganda.
It was an honour and delight to sit in her presence and listen to her story. She started under a tree, lived in a caravan living in fear of her life, now she has a complete township, several schools, and has saved 1000s of childrens lives.
She is completely reliant on The Lord for providing for these children.
She has no government sponsorship and somehow seems to get all types of works completed, including buildings built, a church, bores dug for fresh water, supplies come in the children.
She has an amazing vision and is always open to the plan Our Lord has for her ministry.
She is in Australia til the end of the week, and will return in December and is bringing with her Exodus- he is a Chritian rap artist, one of her children from Uganda.
Have a look at her website.
I am insoired by her determination.

Then and Now.

I have been pondering, our Homeschooling journey of late.

What we did in the early years is very different, to what we do now. Everything was so set in a timetable. It was so ridged.

When we first began, Brid did a lot of question and answer, fill in the blanks and had pretty of structure . We also tried to have lots of fun by doing art and craft. Brid made a skirt and learnt to sew in the first year.

I chose a very Catholic Curriculum, which actually made it very easy to say no to suggestions offered to us. I could then think about what was needed for our schooling journey and Pray about it all.

My main aim was to teach good values, and to instil a love of Our Lord and Mother Mary by reading good Catholic books.

We had 2 other children – teens, who were doing mountains of book work with ACA. It was restrictive in a way as well.

We had music lessons for 3 children and so much overwhelmed me.

I couldn't look at Curricula websites without feeling either overwhelmed or a sense of "Am I choosing the right one for us"!!!

As we continued our journey, I became more relaxed.

I found peace in settling on one Curriculum Mater Amabilis, for our consecutive years. It gave me the comfort in having the subjects laid out and the resources I needed to teach it. I tweaked it a little with my work book approach of Seton English and Singapore Maths.

So began our Catholic Charlotte Mason approach. I still refer to this site and love the richness of the books suggested. Brid's favourite history study would still be Egypt. We read everything together. All our subjects were readers from science to history to faith, everything. It was a lovely time of really connecting on a mummy / daughter relationship. Often I had our older children coming to listen to the read- a- louds because they were rather captivated.

Today, I use a more relaxed style. After years of grammar, composition and spelling, I have abandoned it, as a formal subject. We now use IEW, with nearly all subjects. Brid is reading and report writing independent of me. She writes a lovely report and has the freedom to do so, with my guiding hand- at times I need to steer, but very rare.

Maths we use Saxon maths, and have done for 2 years, and still practice times tables daily.

History has us delving into Rome and our Catholic roots. We began our school year using botany and have branched off into nature study. It's a nice way to explore our garden and look out for various plants and birds. Brid writes an entry usually in her journal.

We explore our faith with studying the saints and reading about and opening our bible, our catechism and continuing to celebrate specific saint days.

Books are enjoyed by Brid enormously, so we have many types of books from history, faith, saints, and classics.

In the early days I tended to want to include Brid in every activity, so she wouldn't miss out on a friendship, and although this was and is important, We place emphasis on just a few activities. I was exhausted taking her from this place to that. So we talk about what is coming up and make our decisions as a family.

When we first started homeschooling, I was governed by the clock. Now if a school takes from 9am to 2.30pm, it takes that long. We take opportunities for learning any time, they come up. I suppose, now it is a lifestyle.

Where to from here? Don't know, God will guide our journey.




Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Uluru and the flies!!!!!

On our way to Uluru-
The next day we travelled 4 – 5 hours to Uluru- but we would stay, with all other guests at Yulara- 8 kms from Uluru. On our way down the Stuart Highway, we saw a sign saying 130 kms / hr. Dermot & I both looked twice and thought, Ok, you beauty, we'll do that. It was so flat and the roads so straight that it was safe. We saw a few road trains- Heavy trucks all linked together. We were warned of these. I was surprised at how green it was along on the road side, and beyond, but the Landscape did begin to change to a more rocky outlook.
Mt Ebenezar was where we got our first real taste of real aboriginal art work. The people around this are the emu people. Everything is associated with the Emu.
We first caught a glimpse of Uluru before Mt Connor lookout, but this was a place, you could take your photos. It was Amazing. I was excited and overcome with its enormity already. Particularly as it was still 120kms away!
We arrived At Yulara and after having a quick look around the complex- which was massive, we decided to see Uluru by sunset. Why not, everyone else was. There is a sunset carpark!! We arrived and there were so many cars in the carpark. We found our vantage point, the girls climbed onto the cars roof, and sat and drew and watched the sunset over this massive rock. Next day, it was a bright idea by someone- umm not me, to see this massive rock by sunrise!!!! I am not a morning person, so It was a huge challenge, but achieved and It was amazing to watch the rock change colour as the light fell upon it. This was also the day we did the 10.4kms walk around the base. The indigenous people asked us not to climb the Rock, and we respected that. It was the most spiritual feeling, to be present in this part of Australia. The walk was expected to take 4-5 hours, we steadily walked it in 2 hrs 17 min. We stopped for water and break stops and sat in awe of this great Icon. On the four corners of the rock, where men's and women's sacred sites. You could only just imagine the significance of these places to the indigenous people of our land.
There was a very informative cultural centre, which really told the story of the dreamtime animals associated with this area. The lizard and the black snake.
Dermot and our friend Garry, decided to go to The Olgas. Myself, the children and Bev, his wife, decided the pool, and a rest with a possible glass of wine was a nice idea. We knew we had a long day the next day beginning before day break, at 5am, so we paced ourselves, as wise women do. It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours, and it recharged our batteries.
We headed back to Alice to catch the plane home, and finish our most wonderful exciting, never to be forgotten holiday. So I share this with you. I hope you all enjoy my rambling. Oh I didn't tell you about the FLIES. They were very loving- lots and lots of them- everywhere.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Mary woman and mother

The last few weeks Broken Bay Dioceses has been advertising its latest e-conference. Mary- First Disciple. I was thinking, how can I do this. I just didn't want to go somewhere and sit uncomfortably and watch a presentation on a screen. Well, I saw my regular news feature and the advertisement yet again, and after consulting my live in computer whizz- my dear hubbie, I thought why not, lets view it. Problem was we had appointments and scheduled activities.
After getting all the 'stuff', out of the way, we sat and watched the conference. It was brilliant. Fr Francis Moloney was the keynote speaker. He discussed Mary in context of the writings of the Gospels and the 1st century, he talked of the geneology and its importance, and unpacked Luke and Johns 'gospels very well.
Sr Margaret Ghosm a Maronite Sister from the order of The Holy family, discussed Eastern Icons. Fascinating.
I truly recommend viewing this while you can Mary first disciple.
Mary has played a huge part in my walk with of Faith, so I know she was pushing me today.
Ava Maria.


Its only Tuesday, and already it feels like its Thursday.
We have been preparing photos and storing them on disc for our friends o/seas.
This then made me realise, how many photos need to be placed in correct files and others to the bin.
Brid has her own file of her photos and 'silly vidoes', as she calls it.
We have arranged them all according to year and then break that down into months and events.
It is easy to find photos now, great job leanne.
So I have spend 2 days printing and cropping photos. Rearranging photos in our home and thinking of how to store our photos- as they are taking up tooo too much room on my hard drive.
One suggestion is to copy them to an external hard drive, another is to copy them to discs.
Well I like them being on my computer so I can easily assess them for family functions and blog work. I also like them on my computer as a screen saver.

So where is this leading, just questioning how to store these large files effectively.
I couldn't help but put a photo in of my dearest most adorable man. Love of my life.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Central Australia- Alice Springs part 1

We flew into Alice Springs after stopping in Melbourne overnight, courtesy of Qantas.
It was an amazing week, and I still pinch myself to think that we have been to this awesome place. Firstly we were surprised by the green landscape –we were expecting a red dust bowl. One of the airline hosts told us that the residents needed to buy lawn mowers, and after using them only 3 times they are sick of them.
Secondly, It was around 28-30 Celsius. Pretty comfy, nice temperature for us Aussies. I thought to myself, this is easy to cope with.
So we hit the ground running, trying to fit in as much as we could in every day we had in this outback place. So we needed invested the help of The tourist info for some very helpful advice. We viewed the Alice from Anzac Hill and could see the West & East MacDonnell ranges. Massive. We were asked by the hire car company, not to drive on dirt roads, so it meant lots of roads were unavailable to us. We just would not risk the insurance, if something happened.
It was suggested to us to drive through the East of ranges first, as we only had the afternoon. Amazing dry riverbeds was where- the gorges had their backdrop.
Next day, we took the Lippinjita Way and drove for about an hour or more, to reach the furthest Water gorge, Emmersiton, that way we could drive back slowly and see each sight, knowing we were driving toward our destination. It made sense at the time.
Before we did this, we needed to get food supplies, so while the other family attended to this, we chose to see the School of the Air. It was very interesting and the staff where very helpful. As most Aussies are aware, it was set up using the radio, by a nurse working for the Flying Doctors, now it is all done via internet satellite dishes now. The teachers have 138 students all throughout Central Australia, including 3 aboriginal communities. The students get private teacher time, class time and tutorial times on the air. I am so glad we took the time to see this.
The waterholes were full as it had rained in the last few months. It was cold and deep, but did it stop us lot, NO. Dermot & brid had a ball in the water, with rocks edging into the water. We saw an Ochre supply- where the Aboriginals got there ochre for their ceremonies to paint themselves with. There are so many different colours. We were asked not to take any from the walls, but there was some on a concrete path, so I dipped by finger to the dusty surface and pressed in into Brids' nature journal.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


Now that I have my blog private, thanks for you help Erin, I have taken off the comment moderation. So please feel free to comments.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Its been a very trying few days

Hello everyone,

Thank you for joining me again on my blog.
I am saddened though that I have lost the USA viewings. I am sure in time all will be well.
Its been rather a nice relaxing week, apart from this blogging issues, and yesterday with being both The Ascension and Our Lady of Fatima, it was a lovely prayer-filled day.

We have been doing photography in our Art Classes, and I thought I would put some photos up.
Brid has taken some & so have I. Today we learnt about texture

Through a post

These are mine, sticks and a rusty trailer
Brids muddy shoe

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Blog closing until further notice

Hi Everyone,

Due to a few spamming issues, my blog will be closed until further notice.
I love blogging, but I need to think of security as well.
I will re invite all my friends when I have this issue sorted.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Friday Art Class

All year a couple of ladies and myself,  have been gathering with our children, at a very talented artists home/art studio, on a Friday, to study Art Design. Did I mention she is a homeschooling Mum as well. So us Mums' work alongside our children, and create and design our own artwork. Neat hey!
Each term has been broken into 4 areas of art design.
Last term we discovered the colour wheel, shade charts, used paints in such a new way, learnt about different art mediums- gouche', charcoal, graphite, to name a few,  and how to embellish and bring out different aspects of our work.
This term is photography. It is week 1 and I am excited about how to use our cameras to a whole new level.

Bernie majored in both photography and printmaking in her degree, and her work is beautiful. She has taught us to look at how a piece of art needs to be thought about and set up before plunging in and beginning to create.
I love to draw bold big designs, and now I can see how to balance my wotk more. I am definitely not the little tiny flowers and detail girl, but I still can use these concepts to emhance my deisgns.
Bernie has a website I would like to draw your attention to it , just to see her work. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Today I was reading through my daily vitamin and it lead me to this.

The month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of May 2010

General: That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended.

Missionary: That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care.

I liked the Intentions of Our Holy Father.

A Time of Grace

The world is resplendent with Spring's increased light and new growth. It is Mary's month in the Easter season and all of nature rejoices with the Queen of heaven at the Resurrection of the Son she was worthy to bear. During the remainder of Easter time, let us endeavor through the prayers of the Holy Liturgy and the Holy Rosary to deepen our gratitude for the mystery of our Baptismal rebirth in Christ.

Pentecost, the birth of the Church, is also among the celebrations of May. Though sprung from the side of Christ on the Cross, the Church marks as her birthday the descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles. At the 'birth' of the world, the Holy Spirit — the Breath of God — was the "mighty wind [that] swept over the waters" (Gen 1:2); at the birth of the Church He is present again "like the rush of a mighty wind" to recreate the world in the image of Christ through His Church (Acts 2:2).

We, the members of Christ's Mystical Body, are the present-day disciples sent by the Holy Spirit to bring Christ to the world. May we go forth as did Mary, who set out in haste to assist St. Elizabeth (feast of the Visitation, May 31). Come upon us, O Holy Spirit, so that, with Mary, we may proclaim the greatness of the Lord who has done great things for us — for his mercy endures forever!

"In the hierarchy of holiness it is precisely the 'woman', Mary of Nazareth, who is the 'figure' of the Church. She 'precedes' everyone on the path to holiness; in her person 'the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle'". — JOHN PAUL II Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988

Karen Doyle From choicez made reference to the document above- Mulieris Dignitatem. It is one i have part read, but now feel invigored to read it in its entirety.


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Term 2- weeks 1 & 2

What happened to week 1 and 2 of Term 2 .?? Well maybe I should explain. During the Easter school holidays, we attend a Catholic Homeschool camp in Fitzroy Falls, in the southern highlands of NSW. It is a week spent with many other Catholic families immersed in everything Catholic. Daily Mass, Adoration, Confession, Rosary, Eucharistic procession, Talks for all ages, sports, walks, this year canoeing for those who dared the cold water!, dining with the masses and lots of chatting & fun.

It started me thinking, this is really a school week, so this was week 1 of Term 2, in the holidays.

I could continue to rattle off, how it fitted our school week, but....I won't. So we swapped weeks around, not that I am that strict, but why not. It ticks all the boxes. Only in homeschooling can you be this flexible.

So where is week 2??

In the Northern Territory. !!! It was a week of excursions, all types of travel, PE- swimming, walking, hiking, nature studies, writing, reading, maybe maths!!, geography, history, Aboriginal culture, music and art appreciation. I think we covered it all. As Dermot says it was a very expensive excursion!, a great school week.

So here we are in week 3 back home and attempting to 'get back into it', after such a fun and jam packed month.

Rejoicing in our womenhood

Last weekend I attended the 2nd SISTERHOOD weekend in Sydney. It is underpinned by the Disciples of Jesus –Canberra branch, and it was an amazing weekend. The focus being Rejoicing, Hope, Celebrate. Rejoicing in our womanhood, hoping in her humanity and celebrating her individuality. It was filled with talks, praise and worship, fellowship, confession, adoration and committment, and of course ending with Mass.
The first presenter for the Saturday was Sr Mary Madeline from the Dominician order of St Cecilia, here in Sydney. She spoke very eloquently on how we can live a life like Mary. She spoke on the virtues Mary needed to live the 'Yes' that God asked her. The hardship she would have endured and the trials she went through, in order to live her 'Yes'. Her first words where - 'Rejoice in the Lord always, surrender to his plan'. God needs our permission to work in us. She spoke about God being with us through all our difficulties.
I loved the way Sr Mary Madeline intertwined how Mary needed to Love those who did not love her Son, Mary was gentle and at peace in the way God provided for her. She was patient, in it being Gods 'timing not hers. In all this she was kind and good, looking beyond herself. Our Lady also had much Joy, just like we have much joy, we can be joyful in our hard times
How are we modelling Our Lady in our lives? Loving others, trusting in his provision, awaiting for his timing not ours, being other-centred and being true to our word. This all gives us tremendous freedom. This is a reflection, as I mediate on the role Our Lady has played in my life, particularly in this month of Mary.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Mary Our Mother

This is Our Ladys' month, I read these words today in my 'Mary Vitamin'. They really resonated with me. They are just such simple things. I know I don't get to do all the Marian things every day, so this gave me great comfort. Our Lady has played a huge part in my walk of faith. She has always been there guiding me to her Son, so this is posted in her honour.
' If we want to imitate Our Lady's true clients, we must not fail to take a part in the special veneration that the Church then pays to the heavenly Mother.'
It's time to take advantage of the graces available to me during the Month of May. I will make one small effort to do something Marian for this month, every day. Even if it is something as small as keeping a vase with one flower in front of my image of the Blessed Virgin or one extra Hail Mary a day.