Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Its been a while..

I can't promise I will be able to stay too long, but I needed to tell you of our adventures...

WOW its been busy.

Last school holidays Brid entered an Eisteddfod - festival for US friends. She performed a Solo she had been working on for some time.

It took quite a while to perfect it because Brid has been en Pointe at the Barre' - using a barre', and not in the centre. Because of her age, she needed to do this solo en pointe..
Brid has moved rapidly with the greatest care of her Ballet teachers, from Ballet flats to Pointe shoes.
This has not been without injury though. Let me explain, as Brid has advanced so quickly, it meant that her muscles and joints needed to catch up.
She performed her Classical Solo to lovely classical piece, which showed her ballet style off beautifully.
Before the performance Brid had the opportunity to warm up and use the dance studio to go through her dance again. This was a very special opportunity that her teachers had given the students. It really showed how much they care for there students. The venue was quite close to our dance studio, so we drove there, got Brid settled and prepared for her solo dance.Miss Kristy had a chat to her and then it was up to Brid.. and some little friends who waited with her..
I only have one picture.. Yes I forgot to take photos. I was so nervous for her that I forgot to take photos. Her ballet teacher, Miss Kristy took a photo..
Her hair was twisted at the and placed in a bun. She had flowers in her hair rather than a tiara or head piece.
Her tutu was redecorated by a friend, it sparkled and shone with the lights of the stage. We nervously waited for her to be announced on stage and then we proudly sat and watched her dance en pointe. I had seen the routine twice, but it wasn't until that evening that I saw her dance to her full potential.
She executed every step and presented herself very well. Her teachers looked around at me when she was finished and stated, "Its the best she has ever danced this routine." They were very happy. I couldn't ask for more. Dermot & I were happy, Her teachers were happy and Brid was happy.
So that an amazing night..
She can't wait to perform again...soon...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

How am I going to cover....


Will it be interesting. ?
Will It keep Brids attention and mine.?
What one shall we begin with?

These were all real concerns for me.
When I studied Shakespeare, it was in a class room full of teens my age, with an enthusiastic teacher, and books and essays.

Well that wasn't going to be the case with Brid. So where do I begin. I just knew I wanted it to be alive.
I was having morning tea with a friend and we both aired our concerns about this topic. We both said
"Let's have the girls do it together"
Great idea.
I had a few ideas of how we would do this and proposed them to my friend. We chose to start with Romeo and Juliet.

Firstly we would meet fortnightly for 2 hours.
Brid and I drive over each fortnight -as its on our way to Ballet.
We have hot drinks and morning tea snack while we read and do our work. It doesn't seem like work though..Its relaxing and enjoyable.

We have chosen to read the story first. This would give the girls a real understanding of the story before we began on the 'Old English'.
our lesson plan is quite loose.
Week 1. read the story and chat about the time place and anything else that comes up.
homework. - where is Verona.

Week 2. Continue reading the story and use the Socratic list from Teaching the Classics to stimulate further discussion and grasp a greater understanding of the story, its time and place, characters, protagonists, antagonists, themes etc. This was quite a lot of fun. some real serious questions were discussed.

Week 3. Read the play aloud. Use a new English version to interpret as necessary.

Week 4. Continue reading the play.

Week 5.( This maybe a night time activity). Craft activity. Decorate Masks. watch the Ballet or drama.

We are putting no pressure on the girls. They are coming up with there own ideas. We are hoping to have the last lesson as a night time fun activity that will embellish the whole Shakespeare play.
Its turning out to be a great adventure.

They are already asking, what one will we do next?
Thats a good indication of its success.
This lead Brid and I on a discussion regarding literature on our way to Ballet.
Brid has a great list of literature books, she is reading her way through. I haven't asked her to write a review or a report for a long time. It creates tension and as Brid says, it makes the novel dead from the beginning.
Les Miserable - Is her latest novel. She has several that she is wanting to read, so I can't ask for anymore than that can I.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

what are you reading? What are you covering this year?

This year has been filled so far with so many good books.

Brid has read
The Scarlett Pimpernel

A heart for Europe
We are on A mission from God

A Distant Prospect- Annette Young ( A friend of ours).
The story of Van Trapp family singers
Her next book is The diary of Anne Frank. I read this book after visiting Amsterdam and seeing the house. It is the Pan Books edition.

Now I don't bother with book reports or notebooking.
I know she has enjoyed the book because she explains the book to me. I know many would say this would not be how they do it, but its less restricting and allows flow in our day. Often Brid will have several books on the go...She has plans to read Les Miserables this term too.

I waver between formal learning and child directed learning.
It works best for us.

Brid is working her way through Australian based History Writing IEW. I was going to ask her to read several books along side it. I changed my mind as I wanted her to make that decision. Well she has. She asked if she could buy a book on the Cobb & Co..Of course I was delighted and quickly directed her to my proposed Australian history reading list.
She is looking through the list deciding what she'd like to read.

A lesson in Poetry & short stories by Australian poets, has been a rabbit trail today. Henry Lawson- A drovers wife, A look at various poems like the Bush Girl and reciting A Sunburnt country.

Next week we wil be beginning Romeo & Juliette with a friend. Using this book as a translator. It will be simple but effective. We will look at a play or a Ballet once we complete it.

Our other subjects covered are
 Maths. using teaching textbooks -Algebra I
IEW - fix it Grammar
Biology- Using Apologia.

Of course Brid has been researching and writing about various Ballet companies, Dancers- male & female, choreographers and Ballets. She listens to Ballet as she works and its rather energising.
I was worried at the beginning of the year, that we wouldn't have enough time for all of this but it just seems to flow.
As oiur AP said, if the child has a passion this will flow over to there school work as well.. It certainly has been the case with Brid... 


Friday, 3 May 2013


During term 1 this year, Brid asked if she could make a special meal for us. She always helps me cook, prepare and serve and she is quite capable. We gave her our Blessing to go ahead.
She went about her planning. She sat with several recipe books around her, trying to locate the perfect dinner menu.
She sent us both invitations in the mail... and added the date to our calendars and diaries so that we would not double book it.  Not that we would Wednesday nights are our home nights.
She then drew up a list of required ingredients, shopped for them, decorated the table, and began preparing her feast.
It was adventurous.
She had never used oil to pan fry before, so a little help from me was required.

After that Dermot and I vacated the kitchen and enjoyed an evening together, being served by our sweet teenager
Would you like to see the photos..? Here they are

It looks good, company great as wel

the mood was set..
Chicken parmigiana

Ice cream, jelly and chocolate- simple but yummy.

It was quite a feast and we could let her sit alone, so we asked her to join us.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Our Lady- The Virgin Mary

                                   This month is a month we dedicate to Our Lady.

I look forward to this month every year.
I sit our statue of Our Lady at the dining table surrounded by a blue cloth, flowers and a candle and our rosary beads.
This year I can proudly add our candle from Lourdes. Its 60cm tall at the moment.
Its wrapped neatly with a blue ribbon
It is Our Lady I turn to in times of trouble, She directs me to her Son.
I turn to her when I am happy and joyful, she again directs me to her Son.
I love her simple prayfuness.
So serene and gentle, yet very strong and powerful..
I am reading a book at present. ' Spiritual Warfare: Attacks against the Women..Its a very good read, easy and not too heavy. A strong component is Our Lady- as you would imagine.

It was my grandmothers devotion to Our Lady that first drew me to her. I have shared this with you before. My Nanna would sooth me to sleep as a little girl by rubbing my back and whispering rhythmic  words. It was when I learnt the Rosary that it occured to me that this was what she was reciting. Our Lady has had her hand on me since I was a little child...

My favourite prayer would 'Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recource to thee''..I pray this often, very quick and simple.

This month we also honour our mothers, with Mothers' Day. Such a beautiful time to spend with family and our mums, remembering and just being.

How will you spend this month? How will you be spending Mothers 'Day?



That's right Umbrelli...

It was a word we heard all over Europe..Particularly Rome, Paris, Venice.
If it was drissling, the umbrellas would be brought out by the street traders.
If it was sunny, the hats, the water bottles and sunscreen would come out.
In other areas of Rome, there were sheets layed ot with bags on them...all ready for purchase.

The ones that annoyed, amused and followed us the most were the street traders with practical useful items or souvenirs.
Interesting prices.

Several days in Rome, it was , drissling, raining heavily, or showering. Umbrellas were everywhere. The street traders often followed tourists to buy there product. We had our raincoats and we were set for any weather.
We didn't need the 'umbrellis'

On our last night in Europe- Paris it was drissling. "Umbrelli, Umbrelli". We heard.
As the rain stopped, we were bombarded with tiny souvenirs of Eiffel Towers.
The further away from the Eiffel tower we walked, the lower the price became.

We would soon be gone, but there are many memories, and at times little things like an Umbrella at a shop or a street trading van would remind us of our wonderful memorable holiday.

Umbrelli Umbrelli...


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The visit..

Early this year, we had a letter from the Board of Studies. Registration was now due..I was fairly prepared. I knew what was expected of the interview.
I began putting the documentation together in anticipation of the phone call that precedes "the visit'.
The day of registration came and went. No phone call, no contact. 'How come?". I wondered.
Then I remembered. OH I need to print the document from the BOS website..
After I did this, sent it away and I had a letter arrive rather quickly.
I then just needed to wait.
On Monday, I heard from the AP- Approved Person, who would be out this week.
So today was the day..
I dressed early, tidied the house and organised all the school work into subjects. Placed everything onto the dining room table, the documentation of my current plan, my proposal for the coming year seperately displayed. I just needed to wait for her arrival.
She was early, so instead of leaving her outside in the car, we asked her to come in. It didn't matter if  she was 15 minutes early. It was neither here nor there.
It began... all the niceties were over.
Brid made a brief appearance, she had 2 extractions the day before, so was resting in her room. The AP knew this and encouraged her to rest. I was then left to explain our schooling plan, past and present...
explaining how this works,
 how we do this,
why we choose this.
It was rather a smooth easy interview.
Just two people chatting. She was quite delighted in my choice of literature books for Brid...

 As she is Catholic, she was delighted and interested in all our Catholic books. Our Catholic culture books. Our living Saint and Catechism books.
We spoke of our trip to Europe, She spoke of hers.
It all ended too quickly, but with me acquiring 2 years registration.

So I would say it was quite a successful day. A nice parting and our AP onto her next visit....


Saturday, 27 April 2013

St Anne

Sorrento..Its a beautiful coastal town on the cliffs of Italy..It was a 'must see city' as we wanted to see Pompeii last year.
Brid had been studying Cambridge Latin and reading about a family and there adventures using this series of books.
We saw Pompeii on a hot day. Well it seemed that it was as it is so exposed.
It was so fascinating and Brid took a mile of photos.
Dermot wanted to see Mt Vesuvius and I just wanted to see those spectacular views along the coast line...And oh those drivers....I think we lost our a heart beat quite a few times driving on those narrow roads. I mean narrow. We wouldn't drive down a road like them in Australia...but they didn't just drive, they sped..Those bikes, they were lethal and dangerous....I lost a heart beat every time on got tooo close.
Anyway, not far from our little hotel accomodation was a little fishing village. As we walked along the sea on the foreshore, we noticed a church and children playing outside. A priest casually talking to the kids and hanging out. A few ladies sitting on a bench as we wntered the Church.
It was called Santa Anna
Gorgeous little obscure church, not on the normal route, but just beautiful inside.
We spent quite a while before Our Lord in Thanksgiving of our holday and our safety and his provision..
I also prayed for one of my friends whose name is Anne...Adorable sweet women.

These are a few photos of this church..

St Anne and Our Lady

Friday, 26 April 2013


Roses would have to be my favourite flower. They remind me of my Grandmother and Our Lady..
We planted our first rose garden in our first home many years ago.
We visited the nursery and selected Roses, Camellias and Azaleas. All my favourites..
We had been watching a program on TV called 'Burkes Backyard'. He had a special segment on Roses and disease resistant Roses.
From this segment we wrote down the names of each Rose we liked, if it had a fragrance and if it was was disease resistant.
Before watvhing the program, I had in mind several I liked, but they wouldn't be the ones we would be planting in our gardens.

I thought you may like to know which ones we like to plant. so the names of these roses are :-

Reds- Mr Lincoln.
mr lincoln

Pink tone - double delight, Princess de Monaco.
princess de monaco 

double delight

Yellow / Apricot- Joey.


We have added a few others since. Namely John Paul II- Beautifully white and Mother Daughter, is a lovely aroma and a pretty strong yellow.

At present we are in the process of building a rose garden- planning stage only.... We will be planting each of these roses shown above, as well as small border plants.
 At present all our rose are in pots, and doing beautifully...Many people suggest Roses are hard to look after.
We would only have a few tips.
1. prune lightly in February and a complete prune in June.
2. spray for thrip or blackspot as necessary.
3. cut the blooms to enjoy them in your home.
4. water arround the plant, not on them- reducing black spot...
5. Enjoy..
Hope you enjoyed viewing at our selection.

 What Plants are your favourite?


Queen...Our Lady

Late last year we were Blessed to be able to do a pilgrimage through some cities of Italy and France. We travelled to Lourdes in a hire car- that is another story, and had a wonderful experience. Every night there is a procession in honour of  Our Lady. These below are just a few shots of the procession.We stayed for 3 nights. We attended and walked the procession the first night and sat and participated  the other 2. Beautiful experience.


Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Have I ever told you how inpatient I am?
Well I am very inpatient..
It is a virtue I have had to learn...
I have a very patient husband who takes his time in doing things....
ME.. I want things done now....

When we were first married he would do everything at a snails pace...No he didn't it was me...I was just super quick, because that's how I am...Inpatient

Our first home was a renovators dream....and we had lots of projects. The basic ones of painting were most annoying.
The people who owned the home before us had used oil base paint over acrylic meaning it bubbled on all the woodwork...
Dermot just patiently stripped each door way down. I would come home, from a high pressure job in Delivery Suite and expect a lot  more to be achieved.
I was so inpatient, so ungrateful..He was trying his best and I was expecting something he couldn't deliver...
As a new hubbie and Dad he was learning everything all at once and I was expecting TOO much..
I have become a lot more patient over the years and appreciate all those little things he does, because they are always done with love patience and care..

I had a lot to learn about this virtue..Dermot was given to me to learn the ways of patience. With Patience comes peace, love joy, so many beautiful gifts...

So what a Blessing my dear Dermot is to me.....such a gift...


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

NBT Open WEEK...

At the end of each school term, our Ballet school has an open week. We are able to sit and watch our children’s ballet classes.

These are just a few photos of her open week.

Monday night class

Saturday open class

saturday open class

A look for Dad

Ready to close the combination

I thoroughly loved watching Brid and her class. There teachers are amazing...oh and did I say patienr and loving and kind and interested in each student........ 

Monday, 15 April 2013


.........A cute little finishing village about an hour from Avignon, France....
We drove to the sea so dermot could swim in the mediterranean.
Here is this cute little town...but no sand or beach for Dermot..
Its a fishing village..and this statue is in the main square

Brid took a great fancy to it...

dipping his toe in.....

Saturday, 13 April 2013


Wow, Our first little sweetheart..
She is 25 now. How the time flies.
She was the cutest little baby.

When she was born she knew she was the centre of everyones attention.
There was only her. First Grandchild  for both our Parents.
She was completely doted on.
She would talk with her eyes.
She grew and her vocabulary was brilliant. Lake Macquarie at 18 months, I was impressed.
When Louise was born she was born with gastric reflux.
I would wear her feed every time she was fed. She would wear it too.
Apart from these difficult times when she was uncomfortable, she was quite an easy baby. I just needed to remember to have several changes of clothes if I was away from home.

Don't you just love looking back at photos..So cute, even covered in vegemite.

Friday, 12 April 2013

My koala

When Brid was little, We called her mummys little koala.
Why I hear you say, or maybe you know why!
Brid used to cling like a Koala when she hugged me.
She;d wrap her little legs around my waist and her arms around my neck. I wouldn't even need to hold her.
It was amusing.
It got me thinking ,.
She must have had absolute trust in me that she was safe.
Of course she was.
She would cling like this for ages. Brid loved to be carried and as she was the baby, this continued for a few years.
Thank goodness, she was light.

She loved what she called 3 people hugs. When Dermot Or I would hug each other,there would be this little person squeezing in to get into the middle and "up Up", she'd say for her hug, and her Koals hug.
Rather lovely memories

Thursday, 11 April 2013


Jete in French is to leap....
For a ballerina it is something they perfect and love doing.
Grand Jet'e are fun..

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ITS nearly.........time

Its nearly School holidays....
Its been a long term...
What are you doing in the school holidays?
Brid is Guess what Dancing. Yes you are correct.
She has an open class with The Australian Ballet at the Opera House this Sunday lunch time. We are going to stay on in Sydney for the week after this.
We booked an apartment on the Northern Beaches.
Mum Dad and Louise are all staying for various lengths of time as well..
Should be a lot of fun...
We have friends we will be visiting.
You see its my birthday and Brids birthday next week. We wanted to go to somewhere different but close to home, so family can travel and stay overnight or a couple of days.
At the end of our week in Sydney, we have tickets for The Australian Ballets' Don Quixote. Brid is really looking forward to this.
We are looking forward to our relaxing week.. to sleep ins......Family Fun. ....Walks around the beaches......Coffee times in cafes..
We will visit a ballet shop or two but mostly just connect as a family.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Its a safe place

I began thinking about this post a few days ago...the letter H... ummm.
The one word that comes to my mind is


Others are humility, helpness, but every word I think of has the word home in it.
working at Home
Home Mass

Why is home such a warm word for me. It my peace, its my private place, the real place where I can be me and my family can be just as they want to be. Warts and all.
Its where we learn, Its where we are safe, its where life begins.
I suppose this brings me to why our home is sacred.
We live in such a fallen world and there is a lot of destruction in the world. At home we as a family counter that. We are able to sooth each other and talk issues out.
There is a real sense of peace in our home. Even when tensions rise, its a nice cosy safe place to be.
Its where our Church begins.
Our Domestic Church.
Dermot & I have on many occasions opened our home  to church groups, to Lenten Groups, to talks from various Priests, to meals with Priests, marriage groups, to youth Groups, and Home Mass.
Its a beautiful think to do, to open our home to Community and live the lives of Jesus' disciples, by saying YES to his prompting.
I love the safeness of our home, and if it is violated I feel very uneasy and threatened. 
I like to keep the world out and allow us to be strength and growth for each other.

We have been Blessed enough to have birth 3 of our children at home. This is inself is special. Tiny babies born in our home, no bright lights, no busyness, just peace and working it out ourselves. Our children waking up to a new little life. Special times.
Our life is at home.
Dermot has always worked from home. Its his workplace. His safe place. He still goes into the world and shines his light at the workplaces of clients. He doesn't hide it under a bush.
None of us do, We are asked to be wirnesses to the world and its the safety and serenity of our home that gives us strength.

Tell me about your Home?


Monday, 8 April 2013

The Great game

My Dad and Dermot have a special little bomd. They both enjoy going to see the football team, The Knights..
They meet up at the Home stadium before the main game to watch the juniors and the reserve grade.
Its there thing, and I encourage it.
Dermot doesn't have any family here, so its kinda nice that my Dad and Dermot enjoy the Great game of rugby league together
When Dermot arrived in Australia, back in 1987 the Knights where just about to form there national team.
Dad asked Dermot, " What team will you support?"
The answer " I suppose I will support the local team".
So from then on .........
Dermot and Dad got memberships, jerseys and the like and sat together on the ground on in the grandstand to watch there team.
There was a wane in interest with my Dad after a few years, but Dermot would attend every game, some in the rain.
When the kids were little he would take them with him in there Knights gear to see the Game. It was an exciting day for all. They would sit on the hill and watch the game.
We even had a Footy tipping competition. That was fun. There was enough of us. Dermot would write out the draw on a sheet of paper and everyone would fill theres in and we would be given points for the teams we had marked down, that won each round. The Kids played for a book gift voucher. So every year we would hand out a winning book voucher to the winner of the comp...
A couple of years ago,  Dermot and Dad bought Grand stand season passes.
So now every game they get together at there seats and watch the beloved Knights play the opposing team My Dad takes a packed lunch, dinner  or afternoon tea for them both. Its a great way for them to spend a few hours.

Do you have a sport you follow. ?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Free to educate...

Recently, I was chatting a Mum.about educating our children.
She was telling me about school kids just studying for the Test.
This started me thinking, we have been free to Educate Brid just the way that suits us. No studying for just a test. We have educated her to learn and to enjoy learning.
What a concept.
The best example of this would be history. Brid has been formally and informally studying history since she could read.
We have used so many fun ways of learning history.
We haven't timelined either. She has put it all together with a little help from me. I tried timelining, it just wasn't for us.
At present Brid is reading US History using Seton Press. It has a chapter of reading and questions to answer. I didn't want to bog her down with lots of writing.  I asked her to write answers to 4 questions, not the 10 or so they suggested. If there is something of interest she reads it out to me and we discuss it and at times she will research it further.
Catechism is the same. She reads the chapter and with answers in my hand, we sit and discuss the questions. Its been a lot of fun,.
I know that this way of learning suits us well.
I have taken the pressure off and Brid has wonderful general knowledge. And afterall isn't that what we want.
Brid loves Ballet as you know and there isn't a day that goes by that she is either listening to, You Tubing a dance routine or choreographing a new 'variation' of a Ballet. She looks up various dancers, ballets and knows so much about them. Thats how you learn.
 F is for Freedom to educate Brid  as she desires, and as we know works for us..


Friday, 5 April 2013

E is for Easter.....

Ok, this one is Easy.

What did you get up to this Easter? How did you celebrate it?
Well we headed to Cataract Park in Appin to a Easter Youth Pilgrimage. Light to the Nations.
It follows the Triduum from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
There were around 800 people booked on the weekend. Pilgrims were accomodated in either tents, cabins dormitories or stayed overnight offsite.
It has been held at Galong near Yass for the last 16 or so years. This year was the first year at Appin.
So we packed our car and headed to first, our accomodation, unpacked and then to meet friends new and old at the venue.
It began to sprinkle.. I am sure pleased I kept the rain jackets in our car. I looked at the umbrella and decided against it. It was there if we needed it.
So we headed off to register and line up for dinner- a sausage sandwich. A lovely catch up with many friends and into the massive circus tent to begin the liturgy in three parts.
We met our 9 Priests, many brothers and religious sisters. Wow. It felt really special and I knew it was going to be a wonderful Blessed weekend.
The music was just beautiful, Fr Bonny had spent weeks preparing the liturgy. Wow. He is so Amaziing. Every detail. Everything youwould expect from any usual Holy Thursday in your local church.
Our journey had begun..........

So the Easter  Triduum had begun......

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The dining table

Finally caught up.
today is D day.
I sat with brid and we mused over what I might blog about.
Dinners., the dining table..was the conclusion...
You might think, what a weird topic to blog about.
I assure you its not.
How our meal times change.
When we were first married we had a makeshift table. The table wobbled, so all drinks needs to go on the floor, or else risk having them spilt.
We got given my parents dining table at one point. It was stable and we were able to share many a meal using this table. When we built our home, we bought our first dining table. Its the one we still have and many memories have been collected around that table. If only it could talk.
When the children were little we would have our meals very early to accomodate them.
We sat with children on our knees, Breastfeeding babies at the table or holding babies was the norm.
I never thought we'd get rid of the high chair. at one point, we thought we'd need 2. At another point we almost needed a new one.
Meal times have always been very important part of the day for us. We would always gather to pray and eat as a fsmly. It would be our daily catch up. A time to share or discuss something important.
When visitors were eatung with us, they soon learnt pray first, then eat.
Meals with visitors can take hours, as we share a conversation. Children playing by our feet or in the next room.
dinner time is a family time. We used take the phone off the hook and we have always turned the TV off.
As our children grew up, our meal times and together time was 6.30 at the latest unless we had a child at sport.
As our family has gotten smaller we have kept to our routines and adapted where we needed to.
Now its changed yet again. We sometimes have our evening meal quite late. 8-8.30pm.
Wednesday is a sacred night, so we usually have something really special. A roast meal of some description.
The changes we have needed to make to our evening meal times, with Brids ballet have been just another change in the journey of family.
I suppose ther will be more changes to come, but we are savouring these moments together. We often get into lots of interesting conversations together. Friendly banter.
The Dinner table is really the heart of the home. Its where we break Bread and be serve as Jesus served. Its Eucharist, Its communion, Its family, Sacred and wrapped up into one


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

C is for

Another interesting one.
It could be anything really.
It could be for our Cat, Bailey and Our Rabbit Cinnamon.
Well how about both.
We have 2 lovely little furry friends.
Bailey our Cat and Cinnamon our Rabbit.
Bailey is 9. He sleeps lots of the day. He is adorable. He is a tabby. He was bought for our eldest daughter Louise. She decided to leave him here with us, when she moved out, as we were all attached to him anyway.
He gets pestered by naughty miner birds who seem to think they can squeal and try and pek him.
I get very defensive and will shoo them away. He is only sitting on the chairs asleep.
He is a very polite well trained Cat. When he was very young Louise trained him to sit for his food. He sits completely, tail down and puts his paw out to be shaken. He then eats his food. After he has eaten breakfast we let him out for the day.
He likes his little home in our laundry, but he hates the sound of the dryer-this is hardly used anymore,  and the washing machine. It did restrict when I could wash, but as he has a little seat in the family room next to the fire, he just lies there until the noises have stopped.
So you now know a lot about our little Bailey.
Did you know that when we moved to this house we kept him inside for a few weeks. We set up a bed, his litter and his food/water area in the laundry and he stayed there until he was comfortable enough to move and roam through the house.
He can be a little fragile- I say with my tongue firmly in cheek. whoosy. I would say.
When we moved here, he started loosing fur and shaking. I took him up to vet, to have him checked out. They suggested he stay in a small cosy room so he can readjust to his surroundings. Exactly what I had been doing.
I was being told, by other extended family members that it was cruel to keep him in the laundry.
I was doing the right thing all along.
We very slowly introduced him to the outside world.
I was very scared that he would run away as I had that experience from my childhood with my Cat.
So Bailey is now very well adjusted to our house and its surrounds. Everyday he does his "patrol of the Property".
I look back on photos of Bailey when he was tiny and think how adorable. He is now 9 and in cat years, thats 63.. He sleeps for 20 hours or more a day and is getting rather heavy. He isn't overfed, but older cats can put on weight easily.
In the past, when we would go away on holidays we have him boarded  in a kennel. He wasn't very happy when he came home and it took days to readjust. He wasn't a happy cat. Now we put him in our garage. It has a window, a ledge to sit on, and a screened backdoor. He has plenty of room to roam and sleep. A little lonely, but he is used to the surroundings, the smells, the noises. Our neighbour checks on him and feeds him. But once we are home, he follows us and talks to us for days. He won't leave our sides. He is particularly attached to Dermot.
There is so much to tell you about Bailey. One more little story, most cats won't go near water. We have a pool,  if I am sitting by the pool, and call him, he just squeezes himself under the pool gate and waddles over to me. He makes sure there is no water on the pavers and then will sit with me. So cute and adorable.
I have run out of room to tell you about Cinnamon. So thats for another post.
Brid and Bailey.

The pool was very close, he was very tentative- he is with Kieran


So Cute


A to Z Blogging....Busyness.....

Ok. Blogging has been a struggle of late. Its been really busy in our family life. Chaos would describe our week at times. This term has been trying a few ideas to juggle the busyness. Reason -Brid has increased her hours at the ballet school to 13 hours a week. So you may see its been a real struggle to fit in everything.
When we are home, its sacred time, so the computer and blogging take a backseat.
So how does this busyness look.
Monday- bookwork- English and Maths. Australian history based IEW. ready ourselves to be at for Ballet  1pm
Home late that evening with a 1and 1/2 hour break midway. Brid doesn't do any schoolwork at Ballet as her first classes finish as the other schooled kids arrive.
Tuesday & wednesday are scared. We go nowhere, except Mass & Youth group Tuesday evening.
Thursday - Brids school day off. Sleep in day
Friday - complete our assigned work, catechism and any reading subjects until 1pm.
Saturdays- Ballet from 9 til 4pm.
Sunday. Our Lords day.

So its pretty busy. So when I am not driving 45 mins each way, I am cooking our evening meal to have that evening or preparing the meal for the next day. Dermot usualy completes the meal once we are on our way home.
I have a scheduled housework list I tick once complete each day. Its been a Blessing. I am so pleased I started setting this up last year.
We have timetables and whiteboards to remind Dermot our comings and goings.
Internet access is limited while we are at the Ballet Studio, so blogging and such doesn't happen.

We are pretty happy doing this. Brid is 14 and this season of our life will change. So its do-able for a short term.
Schoolwork wise, we sat down at the beginning of the year and broke her assigned work  into manageable chunks. Brid has been able to do extra topics, like the Papal election and Conclave etc. I thought it maybe too much for her, but she has commented its not nearly as much to do as she thought it would be.
How do we fit pray in?
Brid gets up early, Dermot & I do the reading in the mornings after breakfast and Rosary ,novenas are at night when we are all here.

I am sure everyone has busy times and we handle the busyness the best way we can.
There is a lovely church nearby that has the Blessed Sacrament exposed 24 hours a day. Its a haven.

So This is B....


Monday, 4 March 2013

Record keeping

I am usually a reader with the Homeschool Highschool Carnival, but this time, I thought I needed to contribute.
We have only Brid we are homeschooling, she is a high schooler.
For years I have had a statement running through my head, that an AP (approved person) said on his very first visit.
How are going to assess and record keep? Everything else was well presented, but I wasn't ready for this question.
As a new homeschooler, this puzzled me and honestly still does.
I figure that she'll learn what she needs to, take it in, absorb it and we will move on.
So after this churning over in my head for years, I try to keep accountable to it. We have a student planner that is ticked off as each lesson or subject is complete. Everything goes on this planner. It even has the Saints and feast days for each day. It has been a document in progress that has gone from a pencilled hand written page, to an computer written document to now Brid writing her own, with my input.
Brid in 2006. just began her homeschool journey

So how have I kept records. To be honest, not well.
A couple of years ago, we chose to unschool. It was a very creative and learning curve for us all, but we eventually got into the rhythm of our own style of homeschool.
When we unschooled, I kept a daily record of everything learnt, in a book. I was very surprised how much was learnt in a day. We still follow strewing principles and they generate lots of discovery.
We have always kept Brids work in a folder to look through, and written term and yearly reports to show her progress. It is always a nice record to keep and have her family look over. Especially as it is still, after 8 years, foreign to some family members.
When Brid began high school, we began doing tests on some subjects- Science and Maths. These are filed and kept.
I have years of planners in my folder, that I just want to keep until she is finished school.
Each year we fill a folder with each new subjects work and it is kept. Its easier to locate it for the use of a portfolio, when it is required. It nice to be able to put my hands on a years work straight away id need be.
This year had been completely different.
Brid has increased her hours at Ballet. This cuts into our school day. I was unsure how it would all work and whether the school work set and her Ballet would be too much for her.
I devised a plan.
I knew the days and the hours she would be doing at ballet, so to fit our life and school around that. It wasn't an easy fit.
So to make sure she was progressing I have a folder call "brids working folder". This includes an excel spreadsheet, work set, work in progress and work not yet commenced and a work completed documents.
Its been a wonderful tool. We can all see Brids progress and I can see at an instant that She will be able to get through this years workload.
We have it printed out, in our view so it can be ticked as we go.
Celebration night 2013 -certificate of achieement
This is how we record keep, Its evolved over the years as is totally distinctive to our way of homeschool.
This is linked to the Homeschool Highschool Carnival. Hosted this month by creating with wisdom

Friday, 25 January 2013

Its that time of year again ....

                                       Well our holidays are nearly at an end.       Sadly.
As you would have been in the post above, We have worked pretty hard to get a plan for 2013 school year together.
Brid and I throw a few ideas around and then we had to see how it would all fit together.
This was important, but couldn't be done until we had our ballet timetable.
So now we are set.
Next week Brid will begin her Ballet classes.
The following week, our schooling will begin.
But you know, learning still goes on, as many of you are aware, Brid just chose different types of learning. Art, drawing, reading, watching history programs and documentaries.
So after two intense weeks, one with Our Lord at a Retreat and this week at a Ballet summer school, we will return home ready to enter into our new year refreshed and invigorated.