Monday, 31 October 2011

A month of Writing

Brid is preparing to write a novel for the month.  She has the outline in her head and has been busy planning plots and characters.
Years ago, Brid wouldn't put a sentence together, now she plans on writing a novel for the month. We have freed our week up so she can participate.
(I want to join her, but my mind just won't come up with a plot, an idea ......., so for the time being, I will support and assist Brid in her writing endeavours.)
So people from all over the world will be dedicating this month to writing. It should be very exciting to see how everyone fairs.

There are forums and groups springing up from everywhere to support each other in there challenge.
As a Young Writer, Brid can nominate how many words she is going to challenge herself to do. As an adult, it is 50 000 words.

So excuse Brid and myself, if we get so caught up, we forget to post on our Blogs.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Strewing and Tuesdays

A fellow Blogger Faith, posts her strewing each Tuesday. I like to share our adventures as well from time to time.
Recently Brid asked to play Monopoly. She wanted to play against her Dad. Dermot is very competitive, so this was going to be a challenge. As she set the game up, I explained that Dad plays to win. She didn't seem at all concerned.
We have two versions of Monopoly - the normal London Street and Stations, and the Irish- Dublin Version. We set up the Irish one- of course...
Mum and Dad arrived as they were playing so it haulted the game for a while, but they endeavoured to get back to it.
The game proceded with lots of rule looking up- you see as the baby of the family, we all helped brid, so she didn't need to know the rules as such, she just took it at face value what we said.
I helped as Banker  for a while, but brid did all these jobs, including a wonderful negotiation of property that her Dad needed to mortgage.
He wanted her to take several properties in return for one entire street-  ....!! just as she was about to enter that straight on the board. She negogiated well, and did not give in. Oh ok, I had to tap her under the table. She was getting a little generous with her Dad. BUT from  experience, you don't do that, because he is good at climbing back....
Within half an hour, she had her Dad nicely bankrupted and was very pleased at being the Winner....Dermot had to accept defeat.  It was a fun game and boy was Brid pleased with herself.

Our next Strewing was about health and vitamins. and the pronounination of vitamin- the root word. Well it developed into a discussion and fact finding around cells and the components of a cell, various vitamin deficiencies and lots of lively discussion.Brid has been reading Exploring Creation- With Anatomy and Physiology. Great series. A friend and I swapped Astronomy and this one. It a little textbooky, but Brid really enjoys this series. She uses the book exactly how she wishes too. Often this is just reading, sometimes notebooking, some times drawing.     

Thats our Tuesday Strewsday......

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The joy of ereading....

It arrived. Yay!!! We have been waiting patiently for our e reader. I had several books I was planning to download straight away.
We researched and decided that this one, was the one for us.

There was a pre purchase special so we took the plunge.
There was a little hitch with the delivery company. They were unable to leave it without our being there to sign it, but a lovely neighbour was happy to do this for us.
I excitedly opened it up. My first impression, it was a very small thin piece of techno equipment.
We are slowly getting used to how to download, although I didn't do the best job today. I thought I had lost my first purchase.Oh Dear !! My first purchase was this delightful book to the right.
Dermot had downloaded a few books that are in the Literature for Young Ladies recommendations, so I thought I would be OK. I had watched him. I just missed one step. I will be better
 next time.
We still need to configure the Wifi with our Wireless network, but if we can't thats OK. We have several items sourcing the Wireless router so Dermot & I  are reluctant to change the setting to accommodate this feature. When we have added and changed The router in the past, only to find it difficult to reconnect all the other computers and printers etc.
As soon as we had it all sorted we showed Brid. She found a book and  started reading  The Jungle book-taking it outside and enjoying the story.
She also began drawing a couple of unique drawings for me. It has a touch screen.
So there we have it. Our new electronic reader.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Scotts Last Expedition.

Late last week a few families took an excursion to the Australian National Maritime Museum. I was trying to find an exhibition on the Everest Climb, when I stumbled across this one.
I thought, that would be a good one to see. We hadn't studied much on Antartica or Scott for that matter, so we should see it.
I then noted that the Exhibition was soon to be finishing.
So I asked a couple of homeschooling Mums would they like to join us.
We began our adventure early in the morning. We rose early. Dermot dropped Brid & I to the ferry. We caught it and then walked the 5 minute trip to the station. We purchased our tickets and selected our Carriage. We were meeting 2 other families along the way, so we chose a spot in the train that would best suit us all- with 3 adults, 3 teen girls and 4 young men. Each party joined us and our adventure began.
Soon someone was saying are we there yet. Well 2 hours later we were there.
The Museum is at Darling harbour so we walked from Central Station to the Big water playground at Darling Harbour. There the children ate lunch and we chatted and ate lunch. Umm, we had a little incident with a seagull snatching a sandwich from one of the ladies hands. All We saw was a scurry of birds on the ground and wondered what had happened until, " they look that straight from my hand".  It was a little scary.
Anyway, we moved on to the exhibition. It was rather an amazing exhibit. I knew very little about Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his Expedition.
He travelled on the ship the Terra Nova, from Cardiff, Wales stopping several times along the way. His last stop was NewZealand to prepare for the trip to the South Pole.
The food, the luggage thet took was incredible, but nothing could prepare them for what they would come up against.
There was another explorer as well- Amundsen. He had reached the South Pole. Scotts' exploration was regarding the Emporer Penguin. The trip had the best naturalists ans scientists of the day. Many were interviewed but few were accepted. This is what the Maritime Museum wrote up about the Exhibit:
Scott and his companions outside there hut

-One hundred years after its tragic end, the definitive story of British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica is being told in this major international exhibition.
Scott's Last Expedition reunites the artefacts used by Scott and his team together with scientific specimens collected during the 1910-1913 expedition for the first time since their use in Antarctica. When Scott set off on his second journey to explore the Antarctic on board the former whaler Terra Nova, he could not have predicted the tragic ending. He and his four companions died on the return trek from the South Pole two years later, having lost the race to be the first.
To commemorate the centenary of the expedition and celebrate its achievements the Natural History Museum, London, the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand and the Antarctic Heritage Trust, New Zealand, have collaborated to create this international travelling exhibition. The premier venue for this unique exhibition is the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, New South Wales-

It was a very moving exhibit. There were various replicas and originals of the clothes and artefacts of the last journey. There was also a full sized replication of the hut that the 20 or so men called home for 3 years. It had positions on the floor for were beds were the table the heater the laboratory etc.
The part that was most sad were the diary entries, of Scott as he and his companions lay dying in there tent many many miles from the base nut. The weather was extreme, the cold biting and there food had run out. There were found 5 weeks later and there resting place is Antartica -were they died.
He thought there work would go missing and no one would know of there blight or there discoveries.

This Expedition took place for a theory of the embryo of an Emporer Penguin egg. It was many years later discounted.

So we walked away, enlightened , saddened and pleased we had made the effort to see this exhibit.
A coffee and afternoon tea was in order before we walked the 20 minutes back to Central station for our train home- 2 and half hours away.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Girls Retreat..

It was quite a weekend..
We were send out an invitation to this weekend some time ago. It was just what we have been looking for. Teens 13 to 18 were called to a weekend of their journey through teenage hood.
The weekend arrived. There were 9 girls and 2 mums to stay at a homeschool mums home.
She wasn't able to be present, but she felt committed and comfortable to leave us the hospitality of her home. Thank you so much.  Her Son stayed to help us, as we needed.
We arrived a little late, thanks to the long weekend traffic. But Thanks to God we arrived safely.
Now reality check. 9 girls all in the same room. !!! oh my, I was taken aback- me the control freak..
'Ok Leanne its Ok', I said to myself.  I would leave that worry for another time.
There were people to meet and say hello to.
We had the Religious Sisters of Mercy already and waiting for us to arrive. Mums from Homeschool camp to say hello to and a quick catch up with the ones I knew.
The Sisters shared a meal with us all, and took the Girls straight into the comfy loungeroom to watch Little Women. The girls were asked to reflect on this in there lives. They were asked to observe silence and enjoy a good nights rest. .....
Well, I must say, the sleep and rest didn't happen.
the girls were very excited. Some of them don't see each other for many months. So it was a time to come together as young women, but as friends and have a special weekend together.
It also happened to be the weekend of St Therese's feast day, so she was especially central in Brids and my day.
The girls were up very early, leaving lots of time to get them ready for the day. I made sure they were ready, so Sarah could take the girls early to the Sisters residence by train. We were up so early we had mostly prepared the evening meal, so I was left to finish as much as I could.
I myself went off to meet up with friends for the day. But beforehand, I found a lovely church close to were we were staying to begin celebrating St Therese of Liseux and her feast. I was delighted to find that Adoration and Benediction were offered after Mass. What a way to begin my day.
I prayed for the girls and the Sisters. I hoped they were having an inspiring and lovely day together.
My day was filled with news from a family I only see at homeschool camp. It was a great day, ending all too soon.
On arrival  'home', I chatted and waited for the girls to arrive as we completed the cooking of our meal. The girls arrived with many wonderful stories. They celebrated Mass on arrival, were able to attend Confession, Adoration and Benediction were offered later in the day. So Talks, meals, games so much to fit in, and the girls were not shy to tell us about there day. I asked them as we ate our evening meal together to share one thing each they enjoyed.
that photography course came in handy
After dinner the decision was unanimous, Everafter- the movie. There was a lovely atmosphere that evening as each of the girls settled in to watch and explain parts of the movie that way not have been understood by others.
All to son it was bedtime,  and the clocks were due to change to Daylight saving time. Therefore, 1 less hours sleep. We explained this to the girls. 'oh no'..they said. They hurried to get organised and into bed. This time they slept much better, awaking early again, as we had another day with the Sisters planned. This time we were to take them in by car. All the girls gear had to be fitted into our 2 cars. Joy oh Joy, that was  a challenge, but achievable. Did I tell you it was Raining- not sprinkling but raining..It was a 25 min trip, and I was following Sarahs' Husband this time. I was unfamiliar with the roads, but we managed to follow with no wrong turns. yah!!
This time we were able to attend Mass with the girls at the Church next door to the Convent. Beautiful Mass and a Priest so reverent to The Eucharist.
We had been invited to lunch, so Sarah and her husband there little children and myself occupied ourselves drinking coffee and chatting in a coffee shop until the hour arrived.
All the girls at the Sisters

It was a very Blessed weekend. The girls really enjoyed there time together and with the Sisters. They will remember this weekend for a very long time. Thank you so much Sr Moira and your Sisters.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Homeschool camp- september 2011

Every year in September, many families around Australia make a trip to the Northern rivers Catholic homeschool camp. It’s in a little seaside village.
It is a really relaxed and enjoyable camp, and this year was no different.
Its quite a long drive from our home so we stay overnight along the way. This year we stayed with Erin and family.  It was a real treat. In the morning we were up with the sun, and I was informed that my Daughter had found the library.  I teasingly said, “I hope she remembers this is not the camp”.
So after taking two of her girls with us, we drove to our sunny location.
The week was filled with spiritual talks given to various age groups.
Every day there was fun activity that we did in a group, including kite flying at the beach on the day 1.
The exploring of the rockpools of a close by beach was quite a hit, with some of the kids walking along the beach with Fr Rizzo and others choosing to stay and continue exploring the rockpools.
Confirmations and 1st Holy Communions were celebrated with the local Bishop, with a lovely Angelic choir singing the hymns of the day. It was lovely seeing other homeschooling families who were not attending the camp for a short time at the Mass.
Mackillop team
I think the hymns at our daily Masses really added to the serene and peaceful atmosphere in our little Chapel. Mass was of course, central to our week. Adoration & benediction was scheduled daily in the afternoons.
Most evening we had events that the children would play in their teams- Trivia and impromptu games organised by s local hunter young adult were really fun & exciting.
finishing the long distance event
Of course these type of camps would not be the same without spiritual talks. The children were broken into age groups and lead in many areas of church teaching. The mums and dads were not left out. The Mums took an hour in the afternoon to reflect on the liturgical year, while the Dads chatted there men’s business in the evenings. I was not privy to their talk topic.  
This year the sports carnival was changed to the area closer to the cabins as there were birds nesting in our usual spot and they were very protective of their young. It was a fun day and I was so proud of Brid. She ran really well and helped the little ones when they needed to.
The 4 real mums
There was a lovely mix of families this year and it was a very Blessed and happy camp, meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. It was lovely to meet our 4real mums again.
Thanks Lynn and Erin for you enormous effort that you put into each camp every year.

some of the girls