Friday, July 31, 2009

When it rains

I am posting this not because its been raining(which it has)but as a thank you to two special friends, one of whom now lives quite a distance away and the other who came originally from where the former now lives(!) because your friendships mean so much to me, as does your support and encouragement just now.Thank you.

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom.
It was pouring outside--
the kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so
much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down
the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just
inside the door .

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because
nature messed up their hurried day. I am always
mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of
the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.
Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came
pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic
trance we were all caught in "Mom, let's run through the
rain," she said.

"What?" Mom asked.

"Let 's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom

This young child waited about another minute and
repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain."

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this
morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the
rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy
about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this,
he can get us through anything!'"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't
hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one
came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she
would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for
being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this
was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time
when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom
into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the
rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed
washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and
laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the
puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads
just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed
by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the
way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material
possessions, they can take away your money, and they can
take away your health. But no one can ever take away
your precious, don't forget to make time and
take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To
everything there is a season and a time to every purpose
under heaven.

A friend sent this to me to remind me of life. Hope you
enjoy it.


They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour
to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire
life to forget them.

So my friends I've posted this little story for you. It's a
short message to let you know that I'll never forget you.

Don't get in a hurry. Take the time to live!!!

Keep in touch with your friends, you never know when
you'll need each other -- and don't forget to run in the rain!
God makes everything but unbreakable hearts

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have been tagged by Sybille Thank you for giving me the award Sybille.rather than adding a list of people to pass it on to; if you are a regular visitor of this blog consider yourself tagged! Conditions of this award are: Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true.Now to the list.

1.My great grandfather was a lighthousekeeper
2.I have homeschooled people outside my family, including two children from Iran
3.I taught preschool and preschool teachers how to teach preschool in Tonga
4.Chocolate is one of my favorite foods!
5.I do not appreciate sharing my home with free-range rodents(ds sugested putting that one in as we have a tiny mouse problem just now(no pun intended)
6.I love to go for walks with my family and close friends(as opposed to any other form of exercise!)
7.I am unashamedly, proud, thrilled, awe-struck.....etc to be called home to the Catholic church
8.I like to make lists(ok ds's idea with that one too!)
9.I am learning maths along with my children and discovering there is truth in the saying you are never too old to learn something new, and enjoy it
10.I am enjoying reading books by this author for relaxation at the moment and tend to agree with him that the world would be a much nicer place were there more people like Mma Ramotswe

This was just a quick list, so appologies if you were wanting something deeper !

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Schoolroom re-vamped

Here is part of our geography centre. I like to set up learning centres. (must be the ex-teacher in me)and this one gets a lot of use. It also doubles as a spot to place art work/displays like these clay representations of the tower of Babel.

This couch is never normally this tidy!! It is where we read many of our readalouds. Plus I decided in a room with many shelves and windows it made sense to use any free wall space “creatively”. Hence the current picture study behind the couch.This picture also demonstrates the mutifunctionality(is that a word!!) of our room. Please note herbs and flowers hanging to dry, and silky bantams cheeping and eating busily in the foreground. We know now ,sadly, that one is a trainee rooster and we will shortly be finding him a new home.This is another reading corner. Mostly where “interest” books are placed. Note the ancient weaponry (Celtic double sided axes) so essential to a good read!

Here is our friend’s Murray river long necked turtle which is on long-term loan. Her name is Gertie and she loves to dance, for her food, or/and just when she feels excited….Actually after a visit to a wildlife centre we're pretty certain “she” is a he.

And finally here is one child’s work area which he shares with our resident rabbit, Pipkin. We like to have lots of candles burning while we school!!
Note: a couple of residents not photographed as the camera was fast running out of battery were our budgies and lovebirds, please mentally add two bird cages near the door!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

but where are all the birds?!

We went on a walk to a wetlands close by with some fellow home schoolers.One memorable moment which I wasn't quick enough to snap was when a large coco cola transporter whizzed by behind us(...i don't know something about the bright red logo and all this "nature" in the foreground.) Anyway it was good to catch up with friends. We saw lots of yellow everywhere...but as you can see not many birds.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Because Dd has her mid-year exams for Year Twelve ds baked her these delicious cupcakes! They were super rich but also super yummy...wonder if you can guess the author of the recipie!!

Chocolate cherry cupcakes
1. Melt 125gms butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. When nearly melted stir in 100gms dark chocolate broken into pieces
3.Leave for moment to begin softening then take off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until they are smooth and melted
4. Add 300gms morello cherry jam, 150gms castor sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 large beaten eggs
5.When all is well amalgamated stir in 150gms self-raising flour.
Put into muffin papers and bake in mod.oven for 25 mins.
6.When they are cool.break 100gms dark chocolateinto saucepan with 100gms double cream. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and beat until thick + smooth.Ice cupcakes and decoarate with cherries.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"I learned that people who live in artificially complicated situations call such a life “simple”. I never knew anybody, anywhere I have been, who found life simple. I think a life or a time looks simple when you leave out the details, the way a planet looks smooth from orbit."
Ursula K. Le Guin

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I asked ds to take a few photos from our watchtower and these are what he came up with...very different from my original, or from how I expected the project to pan out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Africa study :Kenya and Tanzania

Today we read some books set in East Africa. The boys enjoyed learning some Kenyan vocabulary, adding some art work of the masai people to their notebooks and colouring the Kenyan flag. The readaloud for this part of Africa is definitely not a great work of literature but like the picture books it has reinforced our knowledge of this part of the world. I find fiction often does this "better" for Africa as it doesn't have so much of an agenda!...and can anyone guess what we are having for tea tonight!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Africa study

We have been really enjoying listening to this cd as part of our African study. We were so pleased to find it locally.And talking about local purchases this book is also by a local author.The colours used in the illustrations throughout are vibrant and it has really enhanced our study of the Masai people.
Here is a review of the story"Set in Ngoro-Ngoro, Tanzania, Ndito is a story of a little girl's life in Africa.It is about dreams, courage, determination and a little git of attitude.
On her journey to fulfill her life long dream of meeting her favorite birds. The Marabous, Peacock and Flamingos, Ndito is faced with many obstacles."
The author, who now lives locally spent her childhood in Tanzania before moving to Sweden to study law.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You see, God knew, however high they reached, people could never get back to heaven by themselves. People didn’t need a staircase, they needed a rescuer. Because the way back to heaven wasn’t a staircase; it was a Person.
People could never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven would have to come down to them.
And one day it would.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Above is our geography corner with some of our African resources displayed. Below are close-up shots of our basket of flags and a basket of African art.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Earth from the Air

We are really enjoying pouring over this book. Here are some examples from the book that relate to our current study on Africa. As well as nice clear photographs the book also features interesting art work of people.I think it is giving the boys a fresh look at photography, and although they have always enjoyed taking pictures with our camera I saw ds's eyes gleam in a way that might mean he has something a little more interesting planned. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

What's going on up here!

Yes I know I've named my blog homeschoolingdownunder; but as you can see there is a lot that happens up here in the land of downunder!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Jesus of the scars

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow;
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars we claim Thy grace.

If when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know today what wounds are; have no fear;
Show us Thy Scars; we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Edward Shillito (1872-1948)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Just to share

"I believe that children in this country need a more robust literary diet than they are getting.... It does not hurt them to read about good and evil, love and hate, life and death. Nor do I think they should read only about things that they understand.... a man's reach should exceed his grasp. So should a child's. For myself, I will never talk down to-or draw down to-children."
Barbara Cooney on her receiving the Caldecott Medal in 1959
Someone shared this quote here and I thought it was too good not to pass on in case you are not a member of this site!