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My Daybook: June 11th, 2015

Outside my window…
the sun is setting, winter here so the evenings come early, not my favourite season of the year

I am thankful…
to have our girl home!! Anna Maria arrived home from Ireland/England on Friday and it’s wonderful to have her home, it really is!!

I am thinking…
about how I’m the ‘key’ to ensuring our family reading culture thrives. Not to say reading isn’t happening here, it is, all the time with independent readers but not so much with the under 8 set. Although I need to ensure our independent readers are reading plenty of quality, a little fluff is okay but too much isn’t healthy.
The Read Aloud Revival podcasts have been fantastic in renewing my enthusiasm; picture books, read alouds, quality discussions, many thoughts swirling through my head, now to just ‘do’

Learning all the time…
only 4 weeks till the end of Term 2, am I happy with our progress? Yes and No, which will probably always be my answer.  We’ve made excellent progress with Grammar and have been pretty consistent with meeting for lessons a few times a week, which is major, particularly with our teens. All four older children enjoy the lessons and understand the concepts easily which is most heartening:) A literature based education yields a rich harvest

Celebrating the liturgical year……
still focusing on Sacramental Preparations for two of our boys.  I sent my plans to my step-father who is the Sacramental coordinator for our Cathedral City and he was very impressed. I admit it was rather re-assuring to hear I was covering (and more) all I should

From the kitchen…
getting serious about embracing a grain and sugar free lifestyle again.  We’ve done it before so it’s not hard to get back into the groove. Though I’m paying particular attention to not only the foods we omit but the foods we eat, think plenty of nourishing broths, stews, protein and green vegetables. Found a local farmer who sells organic beef, for the same price and cheaper than my butchers! Oh my the beef stew the other night was the most delicious ever!!

Made a kale juice for breakfast this week and despite it looking so…green it tasted rather nice and not overly green. Lunch on Saturday was spinach quiche with a garden salad, including baby spinach leaves. Jem (6) pulls a leaf out of the garden salad bowl and asks incredulously, “You expect me to eat a leaf!!”

I am creating…
menus that feature nourishing broths and stews, plenty of proteins and greens.  Searching for breakfast ideas of the non-grain variety, particularly warm, nourishing recipes as it’s winter here, any suggestions?

I am working on…
completing my photography course, my current assignment is completely stretching me, initially we worked on learning ‘the rules’, then practicing with our assignments.  Now we’re ‘breaking the rules’ and being creative, it’s the creative part that’s stretching, in a great way

I am going…
well not anytime too soon but we’re talking about taking a trip out to Lightning Ridge to go rock fossicking. Tenting will be the limit of our budget so should be fun;)

I am hoping…
that the next four weeks of our Term 2 are highly productive, but I guess hoping doesn’t get it done, diligence is the key

I am praying…

  • for our adult children; for their career discernment, employment, their spiritual needs, the usual prayers of a mother for her adult children, they’ll always need us
  • for our boys who are making their Confirmation and First Reconciliation/First Holy Communion in a few months
  • for our neighbour, he has cancer with only a 20% chance of beating it

I am pondering….
about how mothering over a 20 year age span looks, it looks different to many other families that’s for sure, it’s a blessed journey we’ve been privileged to travel


I am reading…
The Mood Cure – Julia Ross, fascinating, explains the importance of amino acids and the impact of ‘bad foods’ and ‘good foods’
Gut and Psychology Syndrome – Natasha Campbell-McBride, powerful book, all about probiotics and nourishing the gut
The Monogram Murders: Agatha Christie by Sophie Hannah Sophie Hannah received permission from the Christie family to ‘write a Christie book’ featuring Hercule Poirot but I admit disappointment. Whilst the book was engaging….as a long term Agatha Christie fan I was unhappy with a few non-Christie elements, the immorality of the central figures was never addressed but implicitly ‘lauded’ and in reality the likelihood of the central character behaving in such a manner was unlikely, the book was far darker and unnecessarily convoluted than any of Christie’s books

I am listening to……
still have many Read Aloud Revival podcasts to listen to. I’m currently re-listening to a favourite and planning to again and this time take notes!

I am hearing…
still smiling over a ‘funny’ I heard yesterday, our children are quite amusing. Driving some children to lessons I asked Princess(13) to ring home and check on a dinner item. She rings and says, “Hello Papa Bear, this is Goldilocks.”
I laughed and laughed, but yeah maybe it doesn’t sound so funny when written, reminds me of another funny a few days, I was driving the children to drama when Jelly Bean(10) made a totally random comment, while I was trying to puzzle it out she followed up with, “It sounded so much better in my head.” They totally crack me up!

I am struggling…
to be consistent oh in several areas, though making progress, that’s rather exciting:)
PC and I hosted a family meeting on how we could all find balance in our lives, we then discussed individually with each child their vision of how this looked for them. Plenty of dialoguing, listening, compromising and everyone now has a plan. As each child took ownership, for the first time it’s working, it really is!

Clicking around…
Russian Mother Takes Pictures.. this is incredible, magical, the lighting, incredible!!
Why You Should be Friends With the Oldest Mother in Your Child’s First Grade “I have a child in college, one in highschool, two in middle school and a first grader..I think the other moms might actually be afraid of me. It must be my wrinkles…Or perhaps it’s my, “I don’t have time for this cr*p, I have a million other things to worry about besides whose daughter is going to get the lead in the first grade production of Mary Poppins” (And ..please don’t let it be my child)” Oh yeah totally got this!
How To Be a Cool Mom (And Why You Should Want to Be One) “Choose Your Battles..Stop Parenting Out of Fear.. Say Yes As Much As Possible” Lots of wisdom

Around the house…
our lemon and mandarin trees are totally loaded down with fruit, so blessed to walk out the door, take several steps and eat straight from the tree:)

One of my favorite things…
is when one of our children blossom with their reading, taking it to the next level. This week Jelly Bean(10) graduated from Magic Ballerina to Trixie Belden, oh be still my heart, she is reading real chapter books!!

A few plans for this week…
reestablishing our new routine. Last Friday Anna Maria arrived home and PC’s mother arrived for a four day visit. Over the weekend PC and I finished organising our annual Home Education Sports Carnival, which we hosted on Monday, we had 89 children registered this year! Time though to find our new routine, whenever an adult ‘child’ leaves or returns there is always an ‘adjustment period’

A little peek at my day…
I was thinking, “we have nothing on today! Well except for lessons in the morning” No speech, drama or dance lessons, no soccer practice or orthodontic or physio appointments, a whole day at home! Then I remembered the children’s drama class is to meet to organise costumes for their play which is soon.
On the bright side with our girl now home we can share driving duties for all the extra curricula again.  Having another driver in the house is such luxury:)

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  • deopatriaeamicis

    That Jem quote about salad started my morning with a chuckle. In winter my mother sometimes made baked apples with sausage as a hearty breakfast or side – it was a big treat to look forward to if we'd had a blizzard overnight and she'd shooed all of us out of bed at 4:30 to shovel the driveway before Dad had to leave for work. Proportions can be tweaked to suit your family and stretch the budget further. Preheat oven to 350F. Brown 1 Lb roll of ground breakfast sausage, either completely broken up, or shaped into half inch or one inch pieces. The sausage only needs to be cooked through, not browned, since it's going in the oven. Thinly slice and core about six apples per pound of sausage (you can also peel them – just a preference choice). Stir sausage and apples together in a baking dish. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. My mother always sprinkled over about a teaspoon or two of brown sugar as well, but this is easily left out or substituted for, especially if your apples are on the sweet side. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the dish, cover with foil, and bake until apples are soft, 15-30 minutes depending on how thinly you sliced the apples and the size of your sausage pieces. She was also big on every possible variation of eggs: scrambled, fried, scrambled with cheese, scrambled over pre-browned diced bacon or sausage, baked. We often have yogurt, either storebought in bulk or homemade with this crockpot recipe: We make or buy the plain whole milk variety, then add homemade unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana to sweeten. In our area bananas that are starting to go brown are bagged up and sold for about 1/3 the price of the regular ones. I buy any I can get my hands on, peel them, and stick them in a bag in the freezer for yogurt and oatmeal sweetening as well banana breads. Same goes for any overripe bananas in the fruit bowl that nobody wants.

    I've been loving the Read Aloud Revival podcasts as well. They make great listening during baby feedings around here as our one year old has gotten a bit too athletic for me to hold onto a book, bottle, and baby simultaneously.

  • Cassie Williams

    You've been busy! Such a wonderful family that you have! I love the span of your children and I am jealous in a good way. : ) Such blessings! Oh, to walk out to a mandarin tree would be ideal! Fruit trees are a luxury here. It takes a lot of work for them to be productive. Usually being sprayed with chemicals to keep pest and disease away. (Maybe too humid in the summers and too cold winters are tough on them.) Some years are better and you find someone who has beautiful fruit (usually apple or pear) and they didn't spray them with anything. Good to hear from you again!

    • Erin

      It astounds me at times how fortunate we have been and we are immensely thankful.
      Many yards in Australia sport citrus trees.
      Yes I have been a bit silent, a combination of life's challenges and then nothing to say

  • Cafe Conversation

    Wow, what a gorgeous family you have. I can't even begin to imagine how organised you must have to be. I too love photography all though must admit I've let it go a bit lately. Trying to refind my love.

    • Erin

      I wasn't always organised, but as our family grew I realised I functioned better with organisation and grew to love it. Not all large families though are organised, we're all unique.
      Encouraging you in your photography journey.

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