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My Daybook: 14th April, 2016

Outside my window…

it’s early morning, I love the soft light of the morning. Outside my window I see a mob of kangaroos grazing nearby, closer to the house chooks free range searching for bugs, swimming on the pool are several wild ducks, we’re having a running battle with the ducks to keep them off and the pool clean

dybk apr 1

I am thankful…

for the generosity of a sweet family friend who gifted us this week with ten patchwork quilts, yes ten!!!  A king sized one! a double, several singles and a cot quilt. Thousands of hours of love, effort and expense invested in these quilts, we’re rather stunned and honoured to receive them.  Everyone loves them, the children build cubbies with them, they snuggle on the lounge under them and spread them on their beds each night. Thank you Wendy!! Do check out her talent at Prurty Quilts, the quilts shared there aren’t ours though, those pics are coming.  Hopefully she’ll soon be launching into the world of etsy

I am thinking…

about how much we are affected by our environment, more than we might realise. We’ve been working our way through a huge yard clean up list, little jobs here and there add up to a much improved look. Interestingly I feel so much happier and yet I didn’t realise it was bothering me as much as it was. Our environment is important

Learning all the time…

it’s school holidays here in NSW at the moment, meanwhile I’m percolating ideas for next term. I’m inclined to trial a couple of new approaches for our learning. I’m considering assigning; individual projects and a ‘sparking interest question’ daily.  Projects have so many benefits; research and reporting skills, independent learning and the knowledge and hopefully interest gained. My ‘sparking interest question’ stems from my desire for my children to be eager to seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake and yet they are not, I blame laziness.  We read, discuss a topic and I wonder aloud, they ask a question and I wonder aloud, I suggest cracking a book open to seek the answer, to ‘ask google’, no follow through, so now I’m going to resort to assigning those questions.  I’m thinking whenever I wonder, they ask, I’m going to jot the question down, each day a ‘sparking interest question’ will be pinned on the corkboard to be researched, answers shared at dinner. Somehow I’ll kindle that firedybk apr 2

Celebrating the liturgical year……

after sharing our saints picture books for April and wishing we had a more satisfying St George book, I deliberated for about half a minute, then purchased Saint George and the Dragon – Jim Forest, it’s arrived and I can’t wait to open it but I’m restraining myself until his feast

From the kitchen…

I made my first beef stock yesterday, it was a hit, the children far preferred it over bone broth.

We begin building our new kitchen next month so our kitchen energy is mainly focused on kitchen designs. I’m a bit concerned that the kitchen isn’t large for a house our size, although I do feel it will meet our needs. After considering many plans and talking to various women about their needs and wishes I’ve come to the conclusion that many designers overlook a vital factor, the reality is that each family has different needs and uses their kitchens differently, I believe this needs to be stressed as much as the ‘work triangle.’ For example a family who buys grains in bulk will need a walk in pantry with sealable storage, a family who eats a lot of processed foods will need a large pantry, as we predominately eat fresh fruit/veg and meat our need is more focused on a large fridge and freezer

I am creating…

a photography challenge for May. Four years ago I hosted a challenge for the month of May and at the begging request of a dear blogging buddy I shall be hosting a photography challenge again.  I’m keen to take my photography up another level, to encourage myself to take the Nikon off the ‘point and shoot’ settings and to delve into photography with an iphone 4S.  I’m hoping some of you would like to join usdybk apr 3

I am working on…

yesterday I re-organised our shipping container, it tends to be a regular holiday project. During term time the children often dump ‘stuff’ just inside the door, during the holidays I clean the passageway of ‘stuff’, sort the clothes into sizes and correctly bag, shelve boxes of books correctly and assess what perhaps could be ‘moved along’.

After tidying I then ‘changed over’ the three youngest children’s clothes, moving them all up a size. This meant bringing down bags of clothing, packing away the smaller sizes from their current wardrobe and culling and culling. Some clothes aren’t worth storing away, some should have been culled previously, three garbage bags of clothes out the door

I am going…

clocking up plenty of hours as supervisor driver for Michelangelo, he is close to having driven seventy hours. Soon he will undertake the Safe Driver’s Course, which will grant him another twenty hours, then he’ll only have thirty more hours to complete.  Our target is to have accrued all one hundred and twenty hours by July, I’m confident we’ll make target

I am hoping…

we make great progress on floor preparation for our library on the weekend, first we need to clean our recycled floorboards, then cut them. Next weekend we lay them over the sheet flooring, then sanding. Can’t wait to move our books into our new library

I am praying…

for the needs of our adult children. Parenting adult children means a lot of ‘stomping on your tongue’, practicing patience, stepping back and praying. They’re good ‘kids’ they really are, but oh if only they had our wisdom…dybk apr 4

I am pondering….

how I can cut our monthly grocery bill in half for the next three months.  Due to circumstances reducing our grocery bill short term is a necessity, PC thinks in half isn’t achievable, perhaps not, but I will drastically reduce it. I’m planning on ‘shopping in our pantry’ and cooking plenty of soups and stews, timely with winter coming. Thankfully when I announced to the children there will be no more cereals only porridge for breakfast they were rather happy

I am reading…

according to my goodreads I managed to read thirty books last month. Included in my round up were:

I am listening to……

creating a playlist of free podcast/audio books for the children. They’ve fallen into the habit of having an hours play on the computer after lunch, I’m wanting to break that habit and think audio books will be a great way. I’ve a beginning line up:

  1. Story Nory
  2. Brains On
  3. Roam Schooled
  4. Librivox, Read by – Mark F Smith, Meredith Hughes, Elizabeth Klett, Kara Shallenberg, Karen Savage

I’d love to hear any further recommendations you may havedybk apr 5

I am hearing…

early morning sounds of the children playing around me on their computers, they’re versing each other on Terraria

I am struggling…

to remember wisdom learnt.  It’s council’s annual kerbside pickup next month and PC needs my help in cleaning his shed, he truly does he just hasn’t acknowledged it yet 😉 I know venturing into his shed could be a recipe for trouble, but isn’t it rather fortuitous that the collection is next month, when I’ve just wandered into his shed and seen how much I could assist him…

Clicking around…

Listen Up: The Best Podcasts and CD’s for Families over at Parent Map

mostly though I’m kept busy with my feedly collection, checking out a few new book review blogs

Around the house…

we’ve sheeted, plastered and painted our library, next up is flooring. After that is the kitchen remodel, once again it will be a gutting and rebuilding job before we even begin installing benches etc. Reality is this will take a few months at least, meanwhile I need to consider where to set up my temporary kitchen, PC is suggesting the library but I’m not keen, really I’m not

dybk apr 7

One of my favorite things…

this girl, she’s messy, busy, hard work and gorgeous, in other words she is two years old. This week the three youngest girls and I had a ‘girls’ day out’.  We went op-shopping, shoe shopping and were ‘ladies who lunch’, great memories. Some of the memories include Bella stripping off in the op-shop, squeezing herself into too small clothes insisting they fit.  After trying unsuccessfully to convince her they didn’t I had to resort to wrestling them off her.  By the time we got to the third shop and she tried yet another selection on, I simply waved my hand towards Bella and said to the shop assistants, “and I need to pay for those clothes too”, they thought she was most entertaining. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear Bella changes her clothes literally ten times a day

A few plans for this week…

this week’s nearly over but next week’s plan is to take advantage of our library’s school holiday activities and attend a slinky workshop and a mime workshop. Also fitting in a couple of social visits with friends.

Much to the children’s resignation we’re starting our lessons again next week, early compared to their school peers, after all we began holidays early

A little peek at my day…

to finish the day with our daily walk in the bush. For the past week I’ve been encouraging everyone to exercise daily and much to my pleasure after the first few days of grumbling, most have been heading off on bike rides and walks without reminders. Forming healthy habits

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  • Angela

    Well, we cut our grocery bill almost in half for the month of March, mostly because I still had a bunch of freezer meals in the freezer to rely on and Andy was the one running out to pick up “just the necessities” from Aldi every week or so, and then we made do with what we had. Unfortunately, we have also been relying on packaged bread, tortillas, and cereal for the kids as life with a new baby happens. And this month I had to restock and therefore will definitely not halve the budget!

    • Erin

      most impressive, I suspect I’ll also find the first month easier, due to pantry shopping 😉
      Totally understandable your diet has changed with new baby!! Thank goodness for cereal and bread in these situations {{}}

  • Kate - An Everyday Story

    I really like your idea of a sparking interest question, it’ll make some great dinner conversation 🙂 And you know how much of a fan of projects I am.

    You have so many wonderful and exciting things happening at the moment. The library is looking incredible. You must be so excited to see it all coming together!!

    Your ladies day out sounded lovely. Sarah and I used to do that too for a while but stopped for some reason. I really must take her again. And I can imagine you made those lovely ladies in the op-shop’s day with little Bella 🙂 🙂

    • Erin

      No surprise you’d like the sparking question idea 🙂 😉
      Upon reflection I think we always have something exciting happening, though sometimes many happenings. The library is exciting!!
      Smiling to think of you and your Sarah having a day out, special memories we’re creating I believe. Bella is priceless, she’s highly entertaining.

  • Sherelle

    Funny how often I find myself nodding yes as I read. Yes, to tidying up the yard and decluttering. Yes, to zipping the mouth when talking to adult children, or in my case making a point and then shutting my mouth to let God take over. I tend to harp too much. Yes, to the grocery bill. Yes, to the driving hours, though here in Qld we need 100. Yes, to my littlies being way too attracted to computer time, even though it’s limited to the weekends.
    I am staggered at the number of books you read. You must be able to put them down when you have to, great self-discipline.
    Your photos are lovely.

    • Erin

      I think we are ‘kindred spirits’ 🙂
      Parenting adult children takes parenting to a whole new level!!
      Grocery bill was reduced by a quarter this month so rather proud of myself.
      In a way I only have to do 100 hours as he’ll then do the course that will bring him up to 120.
      Well you’re doing better than me regards little ones and computer but we are making big progress.
      I’m a speed reader, but yes I’ve had to learn to put them down, though occasionally, such as when PC is away (rarely) I’ve read into the wee hours of the morning.
      Oh thank you for your encouragement re my photos, I’m prove that a hopeless case can improve.

  • PC

    I really like your front page! Some great picture snippets too.
    Your photos really bring the stories alive and they have captured some great moments and a beautiful young family in their daily activities.
    What an inspiration! I love reading the adventures almost as much as I love living them with you!
    Keep up the great work sweetheart.

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