Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR

It’s 6:30pm on New Years Eve 2009.
Another night to indulge
Go on – Eat too much
Drink a little
Celebrate all that was
Dream of all that can be
Most of all
Enjoy the good times
With those you love
Hold them deep in your heart
But keep room for new friends
The ones you’ll make this year
New journeys
New adventures
Extravagant possibilities
Set off some crackers
Pop a bottle of bubbly
Smile, Laugh and cheer
At midnight I wish you all
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Homeschooling for 2009



It’s the end of another Home school year for our house hold. We’ve chosen to keep in line with the mainstream school year so it’s a six week break. We finished up early December and I’ve been looking at a pile of books that I didn’t quite get to that need to be checked and another pile of books that are finished and need to be filed.


That was this week’s task for me, mummy and teacher. While the kids have been playing with all their new Christmas presents I’ve been sorting through their books. This being our second year I’m still not sure which books I need to keep, filed away just in case and which books I can off load or throw away.

Boxing and sorting, reminiscing on the year that was, the highs and lows. When we started just over 2 years ago 1 boy could read, now I have 3 children who can read. That’s achievement, I’m very proud of them. My boy has advanced to multiplication though he struggles with new math concepts. We are enjoying the flexibility of home education along with many other advantages and look forward to starting with a new distance ed school in 2010.

But what do I do with all these books? Please tell me how much school work you keep, I know I need to keep samples because home education is not set in concrete in this house. If anything drastic changed, I would send them back to school tomorrow. But on the other hand I’m sure I keep way too much.

Hints, tips, seasoned homeschoolers – I’d love to hear from you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Girlz Just Wanna Be Loved - book review





‘Girlz Just Wanna Be Loved’ by Liz Walker is one of the best books for teenage girls that I’ve ever read. It’s the kind of book I wish was around when I was discovering myself and acting crazy. The target audience points towards girls who’ve had sex, whose friends are having sex or someone who is just thinking about it. Which is pretty much any teenage girl.


The design of the book is attractive; poetry, diary entries and letters are intertwined throughout. Girlz Just Wanna be Loved reads like a warm, loving conversation. Liz has also included blank pages to allow thoughts and feelings to be written down.

There are two things about this book that I absolutely love. The first is that Liz covers all the heavy subjects. With beautiful tone she discusses alcohol, masturbation, lesbianism, sleeping around, abuse, self-esteem, pornography, lust and many other teen topics. There is no condemnation and no judgment. Liz writes with a guiding hand, offering much friendship through her book.

The second thing I love is towards the end, there is a love letter which bought a tear to my eye. I’m not going to explain it to you - you’ll have to read the book yourself to understand what is so amazing about this love letter.

I bought this book thinking it won’t be too long before my niece will be at this age, and just around the corner my 8 year old will be a teenager. It is absolutely something I hope they will both read.

Girlz Just Wanna Be Loved is unashamedly Christian, although the Christian content is minimal yet undergirding which makes it a great read for any belief or religion. Liz weaves the perfect amount of personal disclosure into an informative resourceful tool.

For more information on this book and tools attached with the book click here .

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Saturday

My Saturday was…

We have many plastic bins with lids to sort the kids’ toys. One for Lego, one for Barbie, one for Polly Pocket etc.

I walked into one of the bedrooms and the door knocked over one of the plastic containers… Hmmm bits and piece of everything spilled onto the floor…

Grrrr kids! [outside playing] I’ll do it then… Start sorting… Polly… Barbie… Clothing that needed a wash…

Take the dirty dolly clothes to the basket, basket overflowing remember I was going to do a couple of loads of washing, begin to sort dirty clothes…find some clean shirts… shake them out…

Take the clean shirts to my daughter’s cupboard to hang them and notice its bulging. Check the sizes and pull out all the size 4’s (miss 6 has finally grown those ones)…

Make 2 piles one to put away for miss 2 to grow into and one pile to give to a friend… Take one pile to box… box is full… find a new box… notice a pile of books on the floor…

Pick up books and put them on the shelf… where was that box?

Kids come in and are ready to start making toilet roll nativity thanks for the idea Squigglemum :)

Get them to clear their desks and pull out the bits and pieces needed… the box…

Go back to full box, seal and label… notice dish drainer full…

Clear dish drainer ‘Cut this please mum, stick this for me, hold this while I glue it’ … notice sink is full…

Start to wash dishes, stopping regularly to help the little crafty ones...

Back to the dishes… now, where is a new box?

Find a new box to put size 4’s into. Place clothes for friend on table… see a box of hand-me-downs from big cousin - hair bands, clips and jewellery….

Begin to sort big cousin’s pass ons between three girls… OH the dishes…

Return to finish washing dishes… middle child has crafty meltdown … put her in timeout… MIL rings…

Chat chat chat…bye… remember I was doing a load of washing…

Go back to sorting the washing … oh, I was thinking about visiting Mum today – my sister’s kids will be there…

Ring Mum, while putting the washing in the machine. While chatting, notice more books on the floor…

Hang up, pick up books and put on the shelf, see hair bands which have now become bangles on my boy????? See sealed and labeled box …

Pick up the size 4 box and put it… well somewhere to get it out of the way… see the computer…

Check email, sit for a minute or two… Dad rings…

Mum had to rush to her mother (my Grandma) – she’d pressed her emergency button…

I pretty much drop everything and head out to Mums incase I need to sit my niece and nephew if Mum has stay with Grandma…

Arrive… Grandma OK… Mum home…

RELAX…see boxes that need sorting at mums…

Size 2’s for my miss2…while I’m at, it sort through all the girl boxes stored at mums…

Return home at dark to… what I’d left…

Which would be OK if this was a one off … but this is how I live… multi-tasking not finishing much…starting lots…


2010 Goal… become a finisher…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DIVE!

Friday Flash Fiction

Take one deep breath. I can’t put it off, I have to go now. Take another breath. Relax, shake loose the muscles. Now, this is it, breathe in, in, in, and hold it. Go! Deeply shooting like an arrow. Water is gushing past my ears. Pressure building, murky transparent water becomes opaque and darkness surrounds. Kicking furiously, determined to reach the bottom. I’m aware of small fish in my peripheral and push the thought of sharks from my mind.



How could this have happened? How did it fall into the water? But it did, it slipped out of my hands and I tried to grab it. I got my fingers to it but it slipped again and splash.


It’s dark, so dark, pressure pounding on my ears, my brain starting to go fuzzy. Still kicking, spiraling slowly, nearing the bottom, looking constantly.


All my breath exhaled. Nothing left, must find it, can’t give up now. Searching quickly with head pulsating, searching with eyes darting. Hands on the sand, trying not to fluff it up. Gently touching all, everywhere patting softly thinking this must be what it’s like to be vision impaired.


Nothing left, no energy, not knowing how I’ll reach the top, about to give up.


What’s that, it’s not sand, it’s smooth, I reach for it again. I link my finger into it. I see it sparkle with the fine slither of light that makes its way through the depths of the ocean.


I find energy from no where and push off from the bottom, sand sprays with my legs kicking and arms flapping. Pressure releases, it’s lighter now, counting down, five, four, three, two, one and … breathe, I made it.


‘Yes,’ I pant for breath. Again I say to my love, ‘Yes, I will marry you.’


We embrace knowing that nothing will ever be lost now that we have found.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Workspace

A week ago I was fed up with my messy work space .

I was inspired by mum toddler babe's revamped little workspace. Inspired not only to tidy my desk but to create something lovely for where I study, write, teach, read, tweet and facebook. I gave myself four days and at the end of the third day I realized I had a lot more to do but I was going to be out for the next 3 days!



So this is my little bit of lovely.







And this is what I see mostly as I sit at the computer.












And yes there’s still filing to be done and a recycling box to be emptied and a few other bits and pieces to do but over all I’m pleased with the result.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Date

FridayFlash - Fiction
WARNING… Contains Adult Content


Susie was so excited. She’d been asked out on a date by Ross who worked in the office one floor below her. She showered using her White Diamonds shower gel then layered the effect with White Diamonds moisturizer and a squirt of perfume. Grabbing her hair from beside her eyes she twisted it towards the back fastening loosely with a flower clip. She was ready; the reflection looking back was ready for her first ever real date and perhaps her first boyfriend.

 
Ross arrived 20 minutes late.


‘Boy you sure have some perfume on.’ He said winding his window down while driving. Susie wasn’t sure how to take his comment and wished he’d left the window up, her hair twists were blowing out. Once in the city centre he took her to a café down a dark ally. Susie had never been in this part of town before, everyone wore black, had dreadlocks, and were studded with metal. They sat on cushions at a coffee table with menus. It was a dark, smoky, incense filled, multiple room vegetarian café with beads draped in the doorways and graffiti type pictures around the walls. She looked at the menu horrified at the lack substantial food choices. Ross lit a cigarette. Susie tried not to show her disgust, inside she churned. She was uncomfortable, insecure and awkward.

‘So they tell me you like Madonna,’ she said.


‘Sure’


‘Holida-ay,’ she sang.


Ross curled a corner of his lip so she could almost see his teeth, it melted her heart.


‘You could be my lucky sta-ar. Oh yeah and Borderline, you just keep on pushing me to the Borderline,’ she hoped the tune and words were right. Susie’s eyes focused into the menu, her face wouldn’t relax, the corners of her mouth curled towards her cheek bones.


‘You sure like to sing.’ Ross looked through the dangling beads, ‘What do you want to eat?’


‘Ah, I’m not that hungry.’ She closed the menu then sprang back into song. ‘Papa don’t preach, I’m in trouble deep. Cause we are liv-vin in a material world, and I am a material girl, ya know…’


‘Yes, could we please have a plate of toasted pitas and dips to share?’ Ross cut Susie off when he caught the waiter’s attention.


‘What’s your favorite song?’


‘Don’t have a favourite.’


‘What about an album? Her self titled, Like a Virgin,’ Susie realized what she just said and blushed, then rushed on, ‘or um, True Blue, You Can Dance or um Who’s that Girl?’


‘Wow you really are a fan. I guess I got into her stuff when she put out her ‘Sex’ book.’


Susie was silent. What book, I haven’t heard of that, that sounds horrible.


‘You haven’t read it have you?’ he laughed, ‘You can come back after dinner and I’ll show you some of it.’


‘Ah, no thanks.’


‘After I found ‘Sex’, I really got into her music but the more moddern stuff like, Erotica, Bedtime Stories, Immaculate Collection.’


‘I don’t think I like where this is going.’


‘What? I’m answering your question about Madonna’s music.’


‘But you are… just…’


‘What?’


‘Talking a lot about sex and it’s just our first date!’


‘What is it with you? Are you stuck in the 80’s?’


‘No, I’m just a wholesome girl thank you very much and I’ll catch the bus home.’



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Random or Game?

Random Acts of Kindness v The Generosity Game.

In the past I have loved the idea of random acts of kindness. There is something special about the word kindness but I think it loses some of its luster when teamed with the word random. How often is random? For me I felt like it has been as little as once a year.

Recently (a year or so ago) my pastor, Vanessa Hoyes introduced me to the concept of The Generosity Game. I love it. I play it continuously. Sometimes I tell and sometimes I’m anonymous. I guess I’m a little competitive so when I think of playing a game I think of winning. So I’m always trying to win. Against whom you ask? Well that’s kind of the fun part it’s a game of solitaire in many ways and I find original ways to win.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the radio (which is normal), and I heard they were giving away a car service. My hubby is excellent at winning things off the radio so I sent him into the bedroom to listen to the radio and win. As expected he did. We had no intention of using this win for ourselves; we are blessed to have a great mechanic and money to pay for it. A solo parent friend who doesn’t have the cash and needs a car tune up wins the prize.

When I play the game, I get focused, I look for opportunity and I am very purposeful, nothing random about it.

Are you ready to play the Generosity Game with me? Or do you prefer to be random? Do you call it something else when to give to others?

Please leave a comment if you play or blog about it and send me a link.

Note - Please don't read this as an ego inspired piece. I am not bragging here. I just recieved a tweet from someone that made me realise you might read this in that context. Please understand I live humbly with overflow, an abundance which my God showers me with, it is out of God's goodness that I love to be generous. I want to encourage you to be more generous, don't hold onto things tightly, loosely carry what is in your hand and look for opportunities to let what you have flow through to someone else.

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Work Space in 4 Days

While reading some blogs of which so many inspire me I stumbled across http://mumtoddlerbabe.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-revamped-little-workspace.html this new work space looks so lovely. I sat looking at my mess which today is at its absolute worst and I made a decision.

I WILL HAVE A NICE, FRESH WORK SPACE BY THE END OF THE WEEK

This is where I study, where I write, where I sit while the kids do their school work, where I read amazing blogs, world news and encouraging stories, where I tweet, where I face book, where I check email, and often where I open my snail mail.

So I guess deep down inside I’m hoping an interior designer will come my way, take over and create something beautiful but I’m doubtful that will happen, so I guess I’m it. There’ll be a lot of cleaning and culling to make my space favorable for the amount of things going on here. My life is cluttered I don’t need a cluttered workspace – right?

I welcome your suggestions, encouragement, help… etc.

ps Promise to post another photo Friday whether finished or not LOL

Sunday, December 6, 2009

She is Beautiful

beautiful

Signs of beauty ringing loudly
Hair, make-up, hand bag and shoes
Signs of beauty as she breathes
A thought, a concept, an attitude

Signs of beauty illuminates
Every step she takes, she smiles
Signs of beauty rule her life
Sounding loudly in her eyes

Signs of beauty through all she does
Hands and feet, worked and worn
Signs of beauty in her heart
Emanate radiance since she was born

Signs of beauty bare and barren
Yearning, disheartened, abandoned
Signs of beauty in her soul
Rich, prosperous, passionate friend

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Miss 6's Foldable Car


For the not so crafty mums…

I have had feelings of inadequacy come and go in relation to craft and creation with my children. I have also had so much pleasure watching my children direct their own craftiness and bring me the most amazing creations that they make pretty much all by themselves.

Recently a delivery arrived from
www.onlyoz.com.au, once the box was empty, Miss 6 asked if she could use it. She had all the ideas in her head and just needed a little help cutting the cardboard. Because I’m not crafty and don’t enjoy craft, I allow my children to tell me where and how and what if they need me to cut or help with something. My daughter had so much fun making this, and it was something she did behind me while I was on the computer chatting to other home school mums!

As they grow I feel less inadequate and more proud – at what they can accomplish when I empower them to do it themselves.

Friday, December 4, 2009

French Toast

Yesterday we made French Toast for afternoon tea - inspired by Playschool.

You'll need...
*2-3 eggs
*1/2 cup milk (approx)
cinnamon (optional)
Butter to cook with.

Get the kids to crack the eggs into a cup and pour them into something just larger than a slice of bread.
Measure the milk and pour it in.
Sprinkle in a couple of shakes of cinnamon.
Whisk or mix with a fork.
Heat a teaspoon of butter in a fry pan.
Place bread into egg mix let soak for a about 15 seconds turn and do the same on the other side.
Place bread fry in pan until golden on both sides.
Add a little more butter to the pan for each slice.
Serve with maple syrup or honey.

We used normal grainy bread and gluten free grain bread.

2 eggs was enough for 4 slices of bread.

Simple, quick, easy, yummy ... enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hibernation is Over

Friday Flash Fiction

‘Would ya just get me out of here?’
It was dark and musty.
‘I’m so damn hot!’
The stifling summer heat had arrived.
‘All year long I hibernate,’ he said blinking his eyes. ‘But I’m awake now, I’m ready for my month in the lime light.’
Sweaty and smelly it seemed hotter this year than other years.
‘What’s that? Footsteps? Could it be? Hello! I’m here, yes it’s time come and get me.’
Seeping through the zip he could see flecks of daylight. Slowly sliding out, being dragged along the floor and then quickly unzipped and almost blinded by daylight.
‘Ah, that feels better.’ Squinting he said, ‘Now feet first thanks, go easy, go easy.’ The carpet soft and comfortable under his feet.
‘Longest limb first thanks, yes that one, and now another, spread me out a little first please.’ Stretching after hibernation seemed to feel better every year.
‘That’s it, that’s the last one, yes that’s the way, ahh. Now for some clothes, I’m feeling a little naked right now. Hang on lights first, now baubles, now the specials pieces and last, ah yes, that delightful star.’

And there he stood, in all his glory, ready for the presents to be placed underneath.

15 Fun questions

I’ve cut and pasted this from moments for mum. I thought it was a fun idea and I’d love you to play too.

15 questions Narelle posted on Friday play along here, via your own blog or just to reflect on them somehow. Please send me a link or tweet so I can read yours. Here are my answers…

1. What are the most important values in your life right now?
Integrity, Compassion, Unconditional Love, Friendship

2. The best thing about your family is?
Love

3. Things that make you angry are?
People who abuse others, especially children. Poverty when most of us have much more than we need. (that’s actually Narelle’s answer but it is very me!)… Also liers.

4. The biggest dream you have for yourself is?
To be a published writer and then use my books for significance.

5. Your favourite hobby/thing to do?
Just one? I love to read, write and I also love to chat with friends

6. 2 things that make you laugh?
My family(kids and hubby) and friends

7. 3 of your favourite possessions are?
My pool, my tarago and my books


8. Your least favourite thing to do is?
Ironing – thankfully I have an ironing angel living next door to me
9. Your best 3 qualities?
I am honest
I am compassionate
I am a loyal friend

10. The achievement you are most proud of is?
Right now the fact that I wrote 50000 words in November – I wrote a novel in a month!
11. A mother you admire is?
Single mums – I think they do an amazing job.

12. If you could go back and change something in your life, you would change?
My low self esteem – I missed out I so much because I didn’t think I was worthy. Argh!

13. How have you showed love to someone else this week?
I gave a new mum to be a small gift that seemed to mean a whole lot more than I could have imagined.

14. Something you wish you could change about yourself?
(excluding physical attributes)
Confidence – need to not get so overwhelmed.

15. Your favourite quote?
‘The best is yet to come’

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Basic but lovable Party/Lolly/Loot Bags

Quite a few years ago now, I remember stretching the budget to put on a birthday party for our boy. Party/Lolly bags seemed to be just another expense so I used brown paper sandwich bags. I would either write the children’s names or draw smiley faces on them but basically they were pretty basic.






Well the idea has stuck! Now when we have a party coming up I ask if they would like the brown paper version or if they would like me to buy a pack of loot bags and every time they choose the very humble brown paper bag.









But now they take over the decorating…