A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How we celebrate Christmas

Hi. With Christmas almost upon us I thought I would blog about how we celebrate Christmas. We used to have the whole Santa and Christmas tree thing happening with 4 older children but each year we struggled to have enough presents from Santa and us, as well as the fact that Santa seemed to give them the best presents. Christmas just seemed to encourage selfishness and commercialism.

So a few years ago (when we only had four children) we cut out Santa Clause. Our 3 oldest children knew that there was no such person anyway and our 4th child didn't really notice or care. Since then we've also gotten rid of our Christmas tree. We usually put our presents in the portacot, anyway, to stop little kids from unwrapping them. Since doing that Christmas is more focused on Jesus being born and that receiving gifts is a privilege and how we celebrate Jesus birthday.

In the coming years we will be working on filling the Santa and tree voids with more Holy things but I'm so glad that I don't have to worry too much about that this year. We spend Christmas lunch with Tim's family, taking turns who's house we'll be at. My family are all interstate so we normally try to ring them during the day, though I'm the first to admit that I usually forget and end up ringing after Boxing Day, or my parents ring me.

I know it may sound like a very boring and uninspiring Christmas to some people but to us it's more about remembering why we have Christmas in the first place and spending time with our family.

I pray that everyone has a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Catching Up

It's been nearly a month since I last posted. We're all doing fine here, enjoying the beautiful weather. Our house has turned into the social place for the local littlies. Every weekend we have a bunch of the local kids turn up on our doorstep wanting to come in and play. A couple of weekends ago I even had six extra kids here. Only 12 more weeks until the baby is due, I'm counting down as I'm sooo uncomfortable, but at least she's turned around now. Over the last 2 -3 months I've been putting on a kilo a week, which I'm not too happy about, but I'm finding that whenever I push myself to do too much I pay for it the next couple of days. I'd rather be safe than sorry so I rely on the kids to do a lot of the cleaning up, they make the mess anyway.

Little Rose is giving me kisses and saying I love you. It's so strange having a child go through the normal milestones of talking after having one who didn't, every new word they say is a miracle. Rose will be catching up to Christian, in the speech department, very soon. After the new year and the baby being born we'll take Christian to another Paediatrician. By then he'll be four and it'll be easier to diagnose any problems. I was very disillusioned with the last paediatrician as I went there regarding Christian's speech delay and all this man wanted to do was discuss any allergies. I expected him to sit down with Christian and maybe look through a book with him to get an understanding of any delays but he asked mostly about allergies, made an appointment for Christian to have an allergy test and another appointment for us to come back and see him. I felt like it was a waste of time, energy and money.

I've been talking to Josiah about what he's going to do next year. We're thinking that he'll go to TAFE and either do his VCE or a certificate course. I need to ask Tim to make an appointment with the careers councillor at TAFE so that Josiah can discuss his options with someone who know the best way to go down his chosen career path. He wants to work with Native animals and we're looking at the Certificate II in Conservation and Management. This seems to focus more on the landcare side of things but can lead to working with injured native animals. Apparently once he's done a certificate course in anything he can get into any other course he wants, if he finds something more suitable. TAFE does have an animal course but it's too far away, especially for a sixteen year old.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gorgeous Photos



Aren't these the cutest photos ever?




Monday, September 21, 2009

Latest Cakes and an update


It was my mum's birthday last week and even though we couldn't get over the Western Australia this year I dedicated this cake to her. I entered it into the Doveton Show and won first prize and a high distinction.




This Xbox 360 Halo 3 cake I made for Josiah's 16th birthday a couple of weeks ago. I can't believe I have a 16 year old. It seems like yesterday he was a little kid and now his voice is so deep I can hardly tell the difference between him and Tim talking when I'm in the other room.





I started this blog originally to let family interstate know how we were doing and hopefully to offer advice to interested people about large families and homeschooling, but lately all I seem to post are my cakes. I'll have to start a blog just for them one day.

As an update I am 21 weeks pregnant with our seventh child and it appears to be a girl, from our ultrasound last week. That will make 4 boys and 3 girls. It will be strange having 2 girls in a row. I've been warned about them fighting when they're teenagers, but when I was growing up I would have loved a sister to swap clothes with. My little sisters were too little to do this when I lived at home, though I loved the couple of weeks I was able to when my youngest sister came and stayed with us. Our homeschooling has been sporadic over the last couple of months but we've still been getting through the work and learning lots of stuff, even if it isn't on paper. We've finally registered but I've given up all thoughts of Josiah getting Youth Allowance from Centrelink until next year, when he'll probably go to TAFE to do his VCE. We've been getting to know some other Christian homeschooling families, thanks to my sister in law, who has invited us all to her house once a fortnight, for get togethers. She's such a wonderful, sweet person. I wish I could be more like her. I rarely see her raise her voice to her children. We have a new friend coming over tomorrow. My kids instantly loved these other kids, when they first met, like they are kindred spirits, so I hope they have fun tomorrow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aunty Lesley's Birthday Cake


I forgot to post a photo of this cake that I made a few months ago.


Daniel's Birthday cake


Cupcakes for the kids party.

A big cake for the family party.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Update

I think we've finally got rid of the headlice. Olive oil is fantastic and I'll use it again instead of the chemicals. Dan turned 9 on Wednesday and had some friends over last night. We're having family over tonight so I'll post some photos later. I've made it to 14 weeks. Had a bit of a scare a couple of weeks ago and so had a scan and everythings fine, the baby was certainly active. I can't wait for the 18 weeks scan so we can find out what sex the baby is. Rose is getting an eighteen month olds temper, she's such a drama queen. She's finally gotten a 3rd tooth, poor thing, I think they'll be coming along fast now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The End of School Holidays

The kids have had a pretty boring school hols, this time round. They haven't been able to go anywhere because of the head lice thing. I want them to be completely gone before they spend time with other kids, for 2 reasons: 1)I don't want the other kids getting them and blaming us and 2) I want to know where they come from so if they get them again soon after going to the neighbours then I'll know they got them from there otherwise Kahlia probably got them from her old school friend.

Kahlia made a banana cake last night, after dinner. I sat on the couch and directed her each step from there. While I was doing that I was reading some the other recipes in my book and realised how much I miss baking (or is it the eating the baking?). The banana cake turned out beautifully and I don't have a photo of it because it was eaten within 5 mins of coming out of the oven.

We have an inspection coming up and I really am not up to giving the house a thorough clean up so I'm going to pay the kids $20 each for their help. Today I need to write up a chart to let them know who does what on which day. I'll be making them earn their money that's for sure, mind you most of the mess is theirs anyway.

I'm already starting to take iron tablets, as I'm feeling so drained at the moment and sometimes even walking from one end of the house to the other makes my heart beat a bit too fast and makes me out of breath, so I'm assuming that it's an iron deficiency like with Rose. I'm only going to take them every second day though because I don't like their other side effects and I don't have the money to go buying a different brand at the moment.

I want to do a major overhaul of our shopping in the next 12 months. I've always agreed with the idea of growing our own food, though in rental houses it's not so easy if there isn't already a garden there, and I recently heard about keeping quail instead of chickens for eggs and meat. Quail are quieter than chickens and in a suburban area with small backyards you want quiet. They also take up less room than chickens so I'm hoping to get permission from the owners of our house to be able to keep quail. I don't know if we will because they were really specific in the lease about no animals whatsoever, but they might be persuaded to change the next contract if we give a good impression this inspection. We've been here for 10 months and our lease is a 12 month contract.

Also, in researching the care of quail, I've come across something called aquaponics, which is basically growing your own fish and using their water to fertilise plants and the plants cleaning the water which goes back to the fish. I've never got into the who hydroponics thing but I can see the benefits of this, which also uses less water than usual methods of gardening. So there's another thing I need to get permission to do. This won't happen for quite a while as we need to save up. On the scale that we'd need to do to feed our family regularly it won't be a cheap thing to set up, but the day after I first found out about it I also found out that Tim's brother has already been researching it and is planning on putting his research into action in a few weeks. We'll be watching him eagerly to see if it's for us.

I also want to buy a whole cow for beef, instead of purchasing our meat fortnightly at the butcher, but that's a long way off. It's about $1000 for ordinary beef or $1500 for organic but we spend nearly $2600 a year on meat anyway. By mine and Tim's calculations we could save ourselves around $200 or more a fortnight growing our own veggies, fish and poultry, but the outlay is a bit beyond our reach at the moment.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was mine and Tim's wedding anniversary. We had organised for all the kids to be looked after for the night and we were going to have a night in. Tim was going to cook me a spectacular 3 course meal as well. Well the kids have head lice, don't they. So no one went, they were all home. I got my spectacular meal, but I had seagulls there the whole time saying: that looks really nice, I like calimari, can I help cook?, I can't wait until desserts cooked..... and so on. Oh well, this would have been our first night with no kids at all for over 4 years, maybe next time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hi everyone,

I think I'm going to have to take a break from blogging very much as I'm really, really sick. I normally get bad morning sickness but this is the worst I've had in a while and I really struggle to do more than I absolutely have to and sitting at the computer is not very comfortable. I just want to lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself for the next few months. (I wish). I'll try and post updates every now and then, though.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's a crazy life

Just wanted to say sorry to everyone that it's been so long since I've written. Tim's computer died so we're stuck at the moment with a really old linux computer. It doesn't do a bad job but I absolutely hate this keyboard. Hopefully we'll have his computer back by the end of the week, it was under warrenty.

For those who don't know we are expecting another baby so over the last couple of weeks I've been laying on the couch feeling sorry for myself. Babies are good, morning (all day) sickness is bad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twilight

I haven't done much reading over the last couple of months, I've been too engrossed with cake decorating and looking after the kids and house. That doesn't really leave much time for anything else. But last week I borrowed the movie "Twilight" off Tim's aunty. I started watching it at about a quarter to 11 on Friday night, as Tim had a gig I wasn't going to get to sleep easily, and I loved it so much that as soon as it finished I started watching it again. I've watched it 5 and a half times since then, and it's only Wednesday. Those of you who know me know that I don't usually do that kind of thing with movies, only 2 movies have I watched over and over again, and they are Anne of Green Gables and The Matrix. I knew Tim's aunty also had the book so I asked her to bring it with her when she came over after lunch on Saturday and I had the book finished Sunday morning. It's also a quadrilogy so I went out on Sunday and bought the next 2 books, unfortunately even thought the fourth book is published no one has it so I'm going to have to wait for that one, which is sad because I've already finished the 2nd and 3rd books. We're back into the swing of things today, lots of washing cleaning and schoolwork.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Fun

Well I'm finally getting to blog. Here I am typing at 10:33pm, having just gotten home from my sugar flower art course, to put a little girl into bed, who when daddy put her to bed screamed and I now have a little boy in my arms, while I'm typing, resting his head on my arm. We have been so busy here, yet not really doing anything much. A couple of days ago we were making paper aeroplanes and had a competition out the back, with myself, Josiah, Daniel, Kahlia and Christian competing and I won. Yay! Yesterday we went to Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick and had a fantastic time. I can't believe we've lived here so long and I've never been there before. I'm thinking of having a bbq there for Tim's birthday. Today was swimming day so we were out again and tomorrow I've got cooking class with Elijah. He's too young to cook with the class, apparently, but he's allowed to help with the prep so Josiah takes the littlies to Aunty Lesley and looks after them for me, and Elijah and I walk around the corner to the Neighbourhood Centre. 

On a frustrating note. I was supposed to have an 18th birthday cake finished for next weekend and tonight I find out that the lady doesn't want the cake now. I only bought the stuff for it today so even if she had of told me yesterday it wouldn't be such a problem but more than that I've put so much effort into all the flowers for it. I will probably still make the cake but I still have a baby welcoming cake to make for that weekend so that will have priority as that lady has already paid me most of the money. From now on I won't start anything if I haven't had a 50% deposit paid. If they want flowers I need 2 months notice and a deposit then.

On a happy note.  I love the flower course. We made roses tonight and they turned out really well. Roses have been frustrating me so much. They never turn out the way they look in the book so its good to have someone to watch and copy from. We also have half made our orchids and will wire and colour them next week. 

Here's a photo of a lily that I made and some of the cooking I've been doing.




Shortbread.



Rock Cakes.



Cake Pops.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More on Mother's Day


I just wanted to post some pics of the three cakes I made for Mother's Day. The pink and white one is mine, that I made just for me, the grey and purple one I made for Tim's Aunty and the last I made for his Mum.








Monday, April 27, 2009

Latest cake


Tim's course has him doing a website and he's basing it on my cakes so I need to make some more. This one is my best yet.




Monday, April 20, 2009

Rosemary's Birthday Cake



Vanilla butter cake with white chocolate and rasberry ganache filling and white chocolate ganache around it, surrounded by a layer of white chocolate, with buttercream forming the dome for the flowers.



Some photos.


Here are some nice photos taken over the last couple of weeks.









Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter

We've had a lovely Easter here. The kids got their Easter Egg hunt and lots of eggs. We don't have the Easter Bunny come to our house but it has become a tradition that on Sunday morning Tim and I kick the kids out of the house or into a bedroom and hide all the eggs. With so many kids it could get a little crazy so we have to tell the kids how many eggs there are for each of them so it's even otherwise the littlest ones don't get very much. So it's actually a race of who gets theirs first and who gets to start eating theirs first. The kids have spent the weekend and most of last week playing with our neighbours from over the fence. On Saturday I made Easter bickies and we all iced them, even the two kids from over the fence. They turned out really well, except that there wasn't as many at the end as when we started off.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Elijah's Birthday Cake



I just finished making Elijah's cake for his birthday, tomorrow. Here are some pics.






Some pretty cupcakes




Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review of the last term

Well it's the end of the term and I should probably take a look at what we've done over the last term. Academic wise the kids have only really done Maths and reading regularly. They've all found books that they're getting right into, which is a big step. I haven't had to bug anyone to do their reading. We're just starting to get into Reading Strands for our English, next term it'll be done 3 days a week. Kahlia has finally gotten her Math u See work book, she's been doing Mammoth Math for the last year and a half, which has helped her with her multiplication, but I really wanted her to do Math u See like the boys. I wasn't able to get her workbook second hand so I had to buy it brand new. We have just gotten the Artistic Pursuits curriculum and will be starting that next term. I think I'm more excited about it than the kids, except for possibly Kahlia, who loves everything arty. 

Elijah's cricket team made it to the grand final, but lost that by one run. We were really proud of him, though, he has learned heaps this season. Elijah, Kahlia and Daniel are doing swimming lessons and will continue them next term. Elijah and Kahlia have moved up to the older class and I can see so much improvement in Dan's swimming, he doesn't even use the back bubble before and after class anymore. Kahlia and Daniel still play tennis, although sometimes I think that Kahlia's not into it too much, she seems distracted during the lessons and doesn't seem to be trying too hard.

I received an email with all the homeschool activities in the South Eastern Victorian area but they all seem so far away so I don't know that we'll be doing much more with the homeschoolers, which is a pity because they could use some more activities with homeschoolers. I could use some time spent with other homeschooling mums.

But all in all I'm very pleased with our progress.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Baby Shower Cake

I had a really bad week, last week. I had some tummy bug that kept me in bed for 3 days straight and I didn't eat for 5 days, pretty much, just the occassional piece of toast and enough water to swallow some panadol. But thankfully I was well enough in time to make my sister in laws baby shower cake on Sunday. I already had the cake in the freezer from Tim's dad's birthday, that I didn't end up using then, so I didn't have to scrounge the energy up to bake it. I would have liked to have had the cake finished the night before but I was still dizzy and didn't have any energy so I decorated it completely on the day. I already had about a third of the flowers made so I only had to make the yellow and blue ones and the leaves.










Monday, March 16, 2009

My first attempt at a baby (modelling)




It doesn't look as cute as I would like but I'm quite proud of my first attempt.






Sunday, March 15, 2009

Photos of Tim's Dad's cake


After posting the photos in my last blog I realised that the quality was too high, it took forever to upload those four photos and I could only put those  four photos on the blog, so this time I scaled them down. This is Tim's Dad's cake and Christian and Rose.










This last week...

We finally got our new camera this week. It takes fantastic photos and we've already taken over 500 just from Elijah's finals cricket game, which they won and so are now in the Grand final, and Tim's dad's birthday party. As I'm typing this blog I'm importing the photos off the memory card onto the computer and the computer is not keeping up with my typing.


I made Tim's dad's birthday cake and it turned out really well. I hadn't made enough chocolate panels to go around a three tiered cake so I had to use the you'll love coles brand of cooking chocolate to make some more but it didn't harden properly again after I melted it, so I won't be using that again, even though it does taste nice. Everyone loved it. I think that perhaps I should have made it out of mud cake or added some cream in it .... or something. It was just ordinary chocolate cake, but I'd love to do a 'death by white chocolate' one with white chocolate mud cake and white chocolate panels and curls of white chocolate on top, or even one with flowers made from white modelling chocolate.




I took some more photos of those teddy bears that I made and some flowers just to test out the camera so I'll post them on here too.