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.