Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our 1st Homeschooling Picnic

Yesterday we went to our very 1st homeschooling picnic. It was organised via CQHS.

This was hubby's first mingle with other homeschooling families, and while we didn't get a chance to mingle per say (we were running a bit late) he was impressed with the turnout. I had a chance to chat to some of the other Mum's about their experiences so far, and everyone has such a positive vibe about homeschooling :)

Mike took the big boys for a walk in the National Park, and he since he had the camera, I've included the best of the pics he took. He was surprised to see so many flowers in bloom, and wanted to pick them for me, but since he was in a National State Park and picking flowers is a no no, he took photos instead.


Friday, July 29, 2011

What am I reading atm :)

Well I've just bought the fallen series and I'm about to start reading the 1st book Fallen. I couldn't resist running out and buying the whole series as I know that once I start I'll be itching to get the rest of the books to read, a good story is hard to let go of!!

Hopefully its as good as the reviews say it is :)

I'll do up my very own review once I've read the 1st one :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun in the afternoon sun :)

Happy Mumma - Means Happy Family :)

"One thing that seems to pull me out of my funk is to spend some focus time on me. When I am taking a little care of myself it all seems to pull together again. I seem to be able to focus on my well being for a little while before the daily grind of 'getting things done' seems to take over. This way I figure that I will be able to look back on my week and think to myself - better take care of numero uno to keep up the family harmony :"

Its MUMMA MONDAY time already, and as per usual the week has flown on by!

But I did manage to achieve some Mumma stuff :)

I had a afternoon sleep on Sunday (nope didn't double up and get the usual morning sleep in)
* Probably TMI but I shaved my legs! (those who know me know that I love winter as I hate shaving my legs, even though I feel 'sexier' for doing it lol!) and waxed my eyebrows :)
*I wore my favourite dress, cause it fits again
* I ate healthier more often then not

I'm a simple girl who is easily pleased by simple things :)

Hope everyone managed some Mumma Time to renew themselves, no matter how simple it may have been.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just a few cute snaps of my day

Kaydence enjoying cuddles with Braith

Kaydence and Braith after bath time

Kaydence pretending to be asleep in Aliya's bed

7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —
And here we are again! Friday (well Saturday, running late lol) and the week has flown by!! Lots of little catch up things happened this week, but nothing big and exciting :(

— 2 —
It seems as though Minx and Bruno might be expecting ! Minx is getting round (but that might be due to all the winter leftovers she's getting) and if my dates are right end of August, beginning of September will be puppy time! I've not had a dog that's had pups so I'm not sure of how to tell if she is in pup. But I'm sure it will be obvious soon enough!

— 3 —
Ticket is book for the Michelle Bridges 12 week body challenge after party. Sharna and I went to the 1st one in Melbourne ealier this year as Sharna participated in round 1 and had fantastic results (she bypassed her goal weight) and Sharna has a friend who is participating in round 2, so we were able to get tickets for this after party, which happens to be held in Brisbane!! YAY!! Another excuse to dress up and hang out with the girls, can't wait!!

— 4 —
Watched Callum play soccer today, and its official! I'm a soccer Mumma, you know the ones jumping up and down, yelling louder then the coach, funny as! I loved playing as a teen (played for 5 years and even referred) and totally miss playing the game! I was wrapped the day Cal switched codes, I endured 3 years of Rugby League (watching the games was fun, but I'm a soccer girl at heart).

— 5 —
My brother Trevor, Sister in Law Taren (waves hello) and their 3 kids are coming for a quick visit this week! I can't wait to see everyone again, its been a long time between visits and is extra special as we will be catching up with each others new babies, Zaylen and Braith!

— 6 —
Sipping my cup of tea, wearing my dressing gown that I got for mothers day, in preparation for some mumma time reading blogs :) (This might have to be my standard #6) and here I am yet again :) and yep here I am again

— 7 —
No over indulging in yummy home baked goodies this week, gotta get this butt into gear to fit nicely into the dress I'm wearing for the after party which is in about 3 weeks, eek!

Other quickies can be found here and here

Small Success Thursday

Small Success Quote:

Baby Steps, Baby Steps....


Discovering, after having 6 babies, that sleep is so very very important, overrated perhaps but very important! lol!
My never ending washing! Bring on summer and less layers!
More Mundane:
chores, chores, chores
Hanging out with Braith at 5am while everyone else is still asleep.
Silas letting me know that I'm the most beautiful Mumma in the world! Awe!
Always a Treat:
Hot Milo and Rice Bubbles :) (not mixed together!)
Good News Even if it's Not Great News:
We have renewed motivation to continue with the renovations! So many different things to do, but as we are doing the work ourselves and paying for it as we go along, its always matter of time and extra money, which is always rare these days!

SST is found over at Chocolate for your Brain and Aussie Coffee Shop and a newie I've found via SST These Things

Op Shop Finds

Inspired by my newly found buddy, I stopped into a Op Shop that was nestled amongst some run down shops. As I hit the brakes to quickly pull a park my brother JJ, exclaimed 'Why?! It looks dodgy as!!' to which I replied 'That's where all the best stuff is!! No one thinks to look at these sorts of places!'.

So it didn't have much stuff atm, but I managed to find a few little some things that made my day...

A wooden tray, a couple of baskets (I'm basket mad! or a basket case perhaps! hehehe) a vase, a ceramic shell soap holder thingie and a filing cabinet, all up for the grand total price of $23. They just need a little elbow grease and they'll be good as new!

I really shouldn't have bought them as its a tight week, but it did sort out my retail therapy!

And of course they threw in some free, mismatched McDonald toys for Silas and Kaydence, which was very sweet, but they did end up at the Op shop for a reason! lol!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote of the Moment

Twelve Steps to Get Shit Done

1. Don’t let shit wear you down. Sometimes, life is a bitch. And that’s okay. Be resilient. Be courageous. Be the solution person, not the problem person. If you don’t manage your situation, it will manage you. Life doesn’t get better, you do.

2. Don’t say shit you’ll regret. You know: empty promises, insults, lies, marriage proposals. That shit will come back to bite you. And besides, it makes you look like a dick.

3. Don’t start shit you won’t finish. Aren’t you tired of almost doing stuff? Either finish it or don’t start it. Talk less, intend less, promise less. Do more.

4. Stop doing the easy shit. If you’re serious about changing your reality, do what’s required. Not what’s easy. Stop looking for the quick-fix.

5. Get your own shit together before you start pointing the finger. Or better yet, keep your hands in your pockets.

6. Don’t pretend shit isn’t happening. If you’re five or younger, pretending is fine. Otherwise, not. Step into reality, Princess.

7. Give a shit about things that matter. Other than you, that is. Don’t just say you care, show it. Be compassionate, be proactive, be thoughtful, be aware, be the change.

8. Don’t ask shit questions. Some people ask questions (why does my life suck so much?) which indicate that they’re more interested in sympathy and pity than they are any kind of practical solution. Better questions produce better reactions, choices, behaviours and results. Smart people ask smart questions.

9. Stop looking for your identity in superficial shit. You are not a bank balance, a nose job, a pair of shoes, a brand or an opinion. Healthy self-esteem works from the inside-out, not the other way around. You’re good enough all by yourself.

10. Figure shit out for yourself. It’s great to learn from and to be influenced by other people (sometimes) but it’s not great to be determined by them. Ever. Be your own person, learn your own truth, think for yourself. Choose your own values, standards and rules. Being a clone of – or puppet for – somebody else is not being you at all.

11. Don’t complicate shit. More often than not, the change process is relatively simple. Not always easy, but simple. Eat less, move more, spend less, say sorry, listen more, get off the couch, do new things, stop giving up. It’s you and me that complicate the shit out of things.

12. Do some scary shit. Nothing is more empowering, liberating or confidence-building than facing your fears and doing what success demands. Being periodically fearful is normal. Healthy, even. Being controlled by fear is life-destroying.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Symbolic Mastery

Silas attends our local Kindergarten and Preschool. He goes 2 days then 3days per week and he LOVES it! Here in QLD we also call it Pre-Prep. Everything is play based learning.

In the monthly newsletter that was sent home there was a little blurb on Symbolic Mastery. Surprisingly google came up with a lot of 'buy this book' references, but I managed to find the following from Julia Gabriel, I've never come across her work before.......

How do children learn? How do they grasp entire language systems, codes of
communication, symbolic thinking, and mastery of the skills they need to read and write?
The answer is so simple that it’s sometimes too difficult to grasp. They learn through play!

How do children learn? How do they grasp entire language systems, codes of
communication, symbolic thinking, and mastery of the skills they need to read and write?
The answer is so simple that it’s sometimes too difficult to grasp. They learn through play!
How can that be? Well, babies learn through play. Do you remember those first games that
they played intuitively with us, the first pretend games of peek-a-boo? The elaborate,
imaginative play of 3 and 4 year olds grows out of this. The give and take of conversation
grows out of a baby’s first playful smiles and our response to them. The manipulation and
solving of puzzles grows out of a baby’s first reaching and grasping of objects we use in
play with him. If we play with our babies in a loving, nurturing, joyful way, they learn to grow
up trusting in people, forming solid relationships with those around them. Knowledge of the
world grows out of a baby’s early play.
When the two-year old begins make-believe play, it contributes to the goals of early
education. Let’s examine these.
Representational Thought
Through imaginary play the child practices many different ways of representing reality, by
creating symbols. He’ll make homes, farms, animals, people, food, or an outing to the zoo
with paint, blocks, play-dough and sand, or by dressing up. His creations are symbols of
representational thought. Symbols are things that represent something else - an object,
idea or event. What’s important is that all later education is based on the assumption that a
child has symbolic competence. Literacy and numeracy are about understanding symbols.
So, it’s crucial to pay attention to this symbolic mastery in the pre-school years. Symbolic
mastery is gained and practiced through involvement in a wide variety of play activities.
Conceptual Thought
Children at play are young scientists and mathematicians. They’re exploring the boundaries
of their worlds, asking what happens if I mix mud with water, red with blue, blue with
yellow? When a child plays with sand and a bucket, or water and jugs, he is laying the
foundations of mathematical understanding. It’s only through experience that he will come
to understand concepts like greater than, smaller than, density, gravity, weight, size and
conservation of liquids. It is only through play that he will gain this concrete experience and
Language and Communication Skills
During play, children’s language is more complex than in most other activities. They’re
practising using the adult language they’ve heard, by using it in role-play. A child “playing”
at being the teacher, mother or father, will recreate the language patterns she’s overheard,
using correct grammar and a wide range of advanced communication skills. I remember my
surprise on first hearing my own words, expression and mannerisms coming out of my two year
old daughter Emma!
Early childhood literacy foundations are primarily about talking and playing with words and
language. These natural forms of learning and development come before reading and
writing or exposure to print.
Physical Development
Children at play are exercising their bodies and mastering physical coordination in the most
natural way. Rhyme games for clapping, jumping, crawling, miming daily activities and
“freezing” the movement are excellent ways to help your child develop mastery of gross and
fine motor skills. He’ll need these for later literacy. A child who can’t sit at a table and cut,
can’t learn to write, so it’s not only fun, but also beneficial, to enjoy cutting and making a
collage together at home.
Social and Emotional Development
Through play, children learn to work cooperatively, solve problems collaboratively and how
to win friends. Social rules are absorbed naturally by observation and practiced through
play. Play can help young children deal with things they can’t put into words: Distress at
Daddy going away, fear of monsters or the dark or going to school. Tension, fear and
anxiety can be acted out in play, and it can be re-played again and again while the child
gradually comes to grasp, understand and master his emotions.
Yet, pressures from society and expectations of formal education encourage us to view with
suspicion an early childhood education based on play. It’s easier for the non-professional to
see the value of the formal approach to learning rather than one with play at its centre. But,
structured activities that are heavily adult directed, such as work sheets and drills, are de-motivating and not the most effective way for pre-school children to learn and develop.
They won’t give children the skills they need to be able to adapt to the pace of change and
demands of the future.
Today’s children are preparing to enter a competitive, turbulent world of rapid change.
What are the skills they need?
· versatility and flexibility
· imagination and creativity
· self - motivation, so they’re able to make their own choice and act on them
· social skills, which enable understanding of self and collaboration with others
· courage and confidence, so they’re able to learn from their mistakes and try again
I believe that helping children to develop these qualities is the education, and that play is
the perfect context for mastering these life skills. What’s the best environment to nurture
them in? At home, within the family. I encourage all families to play hard at their homework,
and enjoy it together!
Julia Gabriel

WW - Wordless Wednesday

Cool? Of course we are Mumma! ( Love you my dorky little men! oxox)

WW also found here and Aussie Coffee Shop: Wordless Wednesday: Gladstone Square

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Mumma - Means Happy Family :)

The last week has been a bit blah to say the least. I've not been the Mumma that I want to be or that my family deserves. Its easy to have excuses to back it up, I'm tired, I'm renovating, the chores are piling up, I have 6 kids (at home), Kadee is teething and Braith is still not sleeping.

My patience has been thin, I have been quick to raise my voice and my manners have been deplorable. To put it frankly I've been a shit Mumma.

One thing that seems to pull me out of my funk is to spend some focus time on me. When I am taking a little care of myself it all seems to pull together again. I seem to be able to focus on my wellbeing for a little while before the daily grind of 'getting things done' seems to take over.

So I'm going to blog about focusing on 'me'. It maybe even more boring then my many posts about nothing but never the less, it will help me to focus and be present when it comes to 'me' :)

So here goes my first ever HAPPY MUMMA MONDAY - even if it seems like a little bit of nothing, as long as its about me then its worthy of a HAPPY MUMMA MONDAY MENTION.

This way I figure that I will be able to look back on my week and think to myself - better take care of numero uno to keep up the family harmony :)

*Last week I really didn't do much for me, but I did get a Sunday sleep-in = HAPPY MUMMA :)

Looking forward to lots of HAPPY MUMMA TIME to report for next week :)

I've never done a linky before but I thought this might be worthy :)

Take Care! oxoxox

Monday, July 18, 2011

Humble Homeschooling Beginnings

This is the beginning of my homeschooling stash :)
I remember using these as a small child learning how to count

I was lucky to have the chance to hang out with the lovely Melissa who was nice enough to show me some homeschooling stuff that she does with her girls :)

After having a gorgeous lunch (which I'm thinking will quickly become a new favourite of mine) we headed out to Brodies where I was unleashed to my own devices while Melissa watched the kiddies :)

The amount of curriculum that is available is amazing!! Especially since I'll be covering prep, year 3, year 7 and year 8!! I could have easily pick something from every section of the store!!

But atm I'm still in the research stage of selecting my curriculum and have a good 6mths to gain valuable advise from those in the know, and of course to check out online reviews :)

Thanks Melissa for a wonderful day, and I know the little ones enjoyed getting out of the house for the morning :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Renovations are on the go again :)

Just a sneak peak on the work Mike has been doing this weekend! He didn't have to work on Saturday so he had 2 whole days to potter around :)

We now have a door hung on the spare bedroom downstairs

and front lights :)

Still lots of do, painting, trimming, rendering but its a start :)

Braith :)

Even with all the sleepless nights Kaydence and Braith give me its baby smiles that get me all clucky again!!

As Braith is getting more settled during the daytime, his personality is really coming out!! He lights up as soon as someone smiles at him.

Love you my littlest man!! oxoxoxo

Lots of hands make light work...

and many little hands make lots of messes, so why not encourage them to help clean up said messes :)

I love it when the younger kids work together to do the dishwasher, and ENJOY doing it!! I had asked Callum to empty the dishwasher, but Silas jumped up and demanded that he be allowed to do it! and then Kaydence started to join in!

Even though Silas is 4 and Kaydence is 21mths they know where everything goes in the kitchen. Here Kadee is passing the last of the cutlery to Silas as she can't reach the draw! Very cute and they are very effective :)

I wonder how long it will take til they learn to moan about the dishwasher like the older kids!

Friday, July 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —
So here I sit, sipping my cuppa tea, which is probably the best tea I've ever tasted! Used full fat milk! And its way to late as per usual, but not because the babies are awake, but because I am having me time!!

— 2 —
Our impromptu holiday with Rob and Kristina, was FANTASTIC! So we got there late as Mike worked late but we were welcomed by 6 boys and a awesome Mexican meal made by Rob and Kristina. And can I say I love their 7 BEDROOM house! So spacious! and only 10mins from the beach! LOVE LOVE LOVE! The kids had the best time and Silas even tried to hid his shoes so we couldn't leave! Thanks again!

— 3 —
Nearly under 70kgs, hoping with a bit of sleep I'll be able to maintain my exercise and good eating and get into the 60's :)

— 4 —
I've been introduced to Flaxseed Oil via my fitness barbie friend Sharna :) so many health benefits and I can't wait to get some to try!

— 5 —
Its raining and its the weekend, 6 kids and a renovating DH, YAY lol!

— 6 —
Sipping my cup of tea, wearing my dressing gown that I got for mothers day, in preparation for some mumma time reading blogs :) (This might have to be my standard #6) and here I am yet again :)

— 7 —
Ate wayyyyy too many Pumpkin Scones, I even went and got some thick cream to have with them! I'm going to hate the scales this week!!

Of course check out here and here for other Quickies ;)

Quote of the Moment

Organising Clothes Storage

So I finally dived into our shed and dragged out all our clothes in storage...

Confession time - I'm a clothes hoarder. Some people collect stamps, some people collect magnets, some people even collect scrap booking stuff. I collect clothes.

I think its a combination of saving money, and also reminiscing on the memories of the older kids wearing clothes that their younger brother or sister now fits.

I have clothes in good condition that Livia and Callum wore, even stuff Jaidon used to wear!

I never really had a system going. I actually used to get rid of all baby clothes (I had to buy all new clothes for Silas and Kaydence as I had given away all the smaller baby clothes thinking we wouldn't have any more babies!)

I used to go through the kids wardrobes at the same time and chuck all the clothes into big storage bags. So they ended up being mixed girls/boys and various different sizes!!

I had one bag labelled boys size 2 - 12!! How practical is that??

But now I have a system in place :) Yay!! Above is all the boys/girls clothes in boxes grouped in sizes ie Girls 1 & 2, Boy 3 & 4 so everything is now separated :) I was hoping to cull everything down to just one 55L box per sizing but I've got 2x girls 0000 - 000 boxes as I have both seasons, summer and winter clothes.......

I have another 8 or so boxes to sort into sizes then back off to the shed it all goes :)

Too busy to blog?!?

You betcha!!

This past week I've had the kids back at school and also back at their sports.
Babies have NOT been sleeping again, working on Braith's routine this week, this Mumma needs some sleep asap!!

Finally making headway into the clothes sorting :) Yay, will post a pic shortly :)

Today we're having a bake-a-ton, did I mention that the kids are home from school today? Sick 'cough, cough' ;)

Lots of chores to be caught up on due to being de motivated because of my lack of sleep :)

Lists are great for my motivation so here goes:

*Finish folding
*Clean Toilet
*Wash Linen
*Continue with clothes sorting
*Hang with the kids doing worksheets
*Bake Pigs in Blankets, Zucchini & Bacon Damper, Pumpkin Scones & some sort of yummy biscuit.
*Sort dinner (still don't know what we're having)

Always something to do, I can't remember the last time I was not busy, BUT I LOVE IT!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Small Success Thursday

Thanks so much to Sherry from Chocolate for your brain for hosting Small Success each week, and to aussiecoffeeshop just because I discovered this over there :)

Small Success Quote:



Realising that some people will never change but I can change the way I react to them.
Breaking my fruit bowl that I've had for 12 yrs on a cold winters morning while up with Braith (4am actually! lol!)
More Mundane:
Breaking my favourite mug and then cutting myself on it, the day after I broke my fruit bowl!! Bubble wrap for everything I think! ;)
Eating Pizza flavoured chips? All by myself! Now I know why I night eat lol!! Naughty!
Braith pulling himself up onto his knees and elbows! Not long now til he is crawling!!
Always a Treat:
Having a 5 hr sleep? oh yes I'm a girl with simple needs hehehe!
Good News Even if it's Not Great News:
Finally got headway on my clothes storage! Its already cost me $80 for the boxes to have everything sealed to go into the outside sheds, but to replace all those clothes for future kids would cost alot more! Still lots to do though! argh!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WW - Wordless Wednesday

My little man Braith enjoying one of his first foods, home grown pumpkin :)

Other WW here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yay for warmer weather this week!

Ipswich 7-day Weather Forecast

Summary Tue
Jul 12
Jul 13
Jul 14
Jul 15
Jul 16
Jul 17
Jul 18
frost then sunny
Frost then sunny
cloud increasing
Cloud increasing
showers increasing
Showers increasing
late shower
Late shower
Maximum 21°C 23°C 22°C 19°C 17°C 20°C 21°C
Minimum -1°C 0°C 3°C 7°C 10°C 10°C 7°C

What am I up to tonight?

Visit Connecting Queensland Home Schoolers

Tonight I'll be hanging out here to chat with some home schooling people who will be offering advice and different points of view :)

So excited :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Braith is 5 mths old today!!

My littlest man is 5mths old :) Already!?!
(Not a glamour shot but I really love this one as Braith and I were trying to pass the time during another night of no sleep)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Follow Me Friday Link Up

SO I'm always looking for new blogs to draw inspiration from and came across this from Molding Minds Homeschool Blog. "This is just a fun way to meet new bloggers and to get your blog out there a bit more. So if you are a FAMILY FRIENDLY blogger and want to participate here are the directions:"

1. Add your blog using the Mr Linky at the bottom of the post.

2. Post a small blurb linking back to this blog post.

3. Follow at least 3 of the blogs already linked (the first few will have to come back later in the day to get 3).

4. Comment on their blog letting them know that you are following from Follow Me Friday at Molding Minds.

5. Follow anyone that comments on your blog.

The last is very important as that is what makes this work! Any type of blog is welcome to participate as long as it is FAMILY FRIENDLY. Have fun and I look forward to meeting some new friends! Be sure to give the linky a few minutes to refresh before putting your info in a second time. It can take up to 5 minutes sometimes.

Friday, July 8, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —
Its nearly the end of the school holidays! Where did the weeks go? Everyone here is getting a bit down as big brother Jaidon is going back to his Mums, and we won't get to see him again til September holidays. But with Face Book and unlimited long distance calls we chat to him on a nearly daily basis.

— 2 —
Impromptu holiday with Rob and Kristina, another 'crazy' large family who also drives a Hiace:) We catch up for park plays (not as regularly as we should!) and they have invited us to say overnight at their place on the sunshine coast :) Beach here we come!! With 4 adults and 13 kids, I'm guessing we're in for a interesting holiday. (Yep a night away with all the kids is a holiday lol!)

— 3 —
Nearly under 70kgs, hoping with a bit of sleep I'll be able to maintain my exercise and good eating and get into the 60's :)

— 4 —
SO many people have/are getting over the flu atm!! Can't wait for winter to end and everyone can start enjoying good health again!

— 5 —
Hoping to have a day of organising the hand me down clothing! Its all mixed atm in different sizes. Still in the works! I have a amazing amount of clothes to sort! Gees is really the 3rd week I've been on this project??? ARGH!

— 6 —
Sipping my cup of tea, wearing my dressing gown that I got for mothers day, in preparation for some mumma time reading blogs :) (This might have to be my standard #6)

— 7 —
Hoping to do lots of school snack baking on Monday in preparation for school next week! Term 3 here we come! Only 2 terms to go before our home schooling journey starts!

Of course check out here and here for other Quickies ;)