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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Love Sunday

I love looking at little packages of matching quilting fabrics but I've never actually quilted more than a cushion.

Blog Plug

I found this great blog for crafty people. I love her style and her family values.

Self settling

It's been a couple of weeks now since I started getting Em to try and settle herself in her cot. I don't know if my last couple of blogs made much sense as I was severely sleep deprived and depressed but the self settling techniques I have been using seem to be working.

When Emily was a little baby I was planning on blogging about how I get my babies to settle themselves without much fuss, I was just going to wait until I actually had her settling to write the blog. Well that didn't happen. She had reflux and cried so much. I gave her a dummy and she still cried. We walked around the room singing 'Jesus Loves Me' to her and she still cried. That was what she got used to so even thought her reflux may not be so bad anymore she still wanted to be cuddled off to sleep and sung to, even when she woke up in the middle of the night. Luckily for me I had so many helping hands to hold her when she needed or to do jobs for me if I was holding Em. And then the pinching started, and boy did it hurt. I had bruises all over my neck and my underarms and as the weeks went past the pinching was hurting more. That child has strong little fingers.

At a home school mums get-together I was talking with another lady about how difficult it was to get Emily off to sleep and that she only slept in her cot for about 5 min's and at the most 20 and that she still needed to rocked and sung to in the middle of the night. This lady had a similar issue with her daughter, who is a couple of months younger that Emily. The lady had been at breaking point and ended up taking her daughter to 'Sleep School'. She told me a little bit about sleep school and what they did. It sounded very much like 'Controlled Crying' which is kind of what I used with my four older cherubs (I'm just such a softy now). I thought to myself I've done this before I can do it again, but I was going to wait until after Christmas.

My sanity had other ideas about the timing, though, and I reached my breaking point 2 weeks ago. I googled controlled crying because I just wanted to have some back-up, I could tell myself that these people did it and it worked for them. Also the info I googled let me know that it would take about 3 days and if it took longer then there was something else that was the problem and to see a doctor. The first day Emily took over 2 hours to settle every time I put her to bed. I only went in a couple of times to check on her, I also had the baby monitor on. The second day it took under an hour each time and the third day we were down to 5 min's for the most part. It was hard, very hard and I hated doing it but I had reached that point.

2 weeks later and she is settling after only a couple of cries most of the time and she has even slept through the night twice. I'm able to get stuff done because I'm not as tired from holding her so much, although she is still going to sleep for the night a little bit too late for my liking (11:30 pm) but we'll get through this too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pre-Christmas Post

I'm so frustrated. Last night I was almost finished writing a post but then got sidetracked by visitors and forgot all about it. It was only auto-saved so I don't think I can get it back. Damn!

Anyway lots of things are going on here, I'll share some of them in point form:

  • Emily has her first tooth.
  • She is also walking around the furniture and has taken 4 steps.
  • She loves standing up at the furniture and then letting go to clap.
  • She gets cuddled to sleep and has been pinching my neck and arms as she goes off to sleep.
  • She also is really hard to settle so we pace the floor and sing Jesus Loves Me to her even at midnight.
  • This has drained me so much and is starting to affect my relationship with her so I've put my foot down and we are now in our second day of getting her to go to sleep in her cot.
  • We've finished up our schoolwork for the year.
  • I'm looking forward to getting together with family for Christmas. I don't go so much for the commercialism and we don't have santa or a christmas tree but we do have some presents and a kris kringle for our family get together.
  • Rose is being toilet trained. The weather here has warmed up really quickly so I've been letting Rose and Christian run around in their undies. Rose doesn't have many accidents but she still has to master doing poos in the potty.
  • Josiah got mostly A's with a couple of B's at TAFE. He'll be doing year 12 next year and has decided her wants to be a helicopter pilot.
  • The main reason that I haven't posted much this year is that every time I try and post something I have a sooky child wanting my attention and now is included. Rose is sitting on the floor at my feet throwing a temper tantrum and Emily has been crying because I walked away from her....Rose has finally gotten the hint and walked off but she'll probably get into mischief.
Hopefully my next post will have a bit more meat in it. I have all these ideas floating around in my head but I never end up posting them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What a Wonderful Life

This is my post that I thought I had lost:

Emily is now 10 months old and has gotten her first tooth this week. Today she even took 4 steps. I'm hoping that she might be walking by Christmas so I can brag about it but she won't even be 11 mths old yet so I'm not holding my breath. Last night I cracked it with her and put her into the cot to sleep. I've tried this several times but each time her heart breaking cries made me cave in and I got her up. Lately she's taken to pinching and scratching my neck and arms as she goes to sleep and she REALLY hurts but my neck can take NO MORE and she will now have to go off to sleep on her own. She has been the most fussy of the lot of our children when it comes to sleep. Our usual thing is to cuddle her to sleep singing 'Jesus Loves Me' and pacing the floor, when she was younger this was the only thing that would settle her and she's grown used to it.Of an evening she'll fall asleep while I feed her, I would then take her to bed with me. Not long after that she would start to squirm and groan in her sleep. If left there she would eventually wake up and not go back to sleep until after midnight but I would get up and pace the floor with her. So now we're doing the controlled crying thing. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nearly School Holidays

It's amazing how you feel after a few nights of decent sleep. I've actually been in the frame of mind to sort out the kids homeschooling curriculum for next term and even next year. I've been going through all of the workbooks we already have and seeing if they're suitable for passing down. The kids have been flying through some Spelling and Vocab workbooks that I was hoping would last until the end of the year so I've found some Spelling and Punctuation ones that were barely touched when we first started out and the kids can finish them next term. Kahlia can start on Writing Strands next year. It should be good for her as she loves writing. It wasn't good for Elijah, though, he's a reluctant writer and isn't very good at spelling. I've just found out about a Young Writers Program called NaNoWriMo, it's about writing a novel in a month and I'm signing the kids up to do that. They have a workbook that you can print up to go with it so we'll be doing that next term. They have an adult section so I'll sign up and do it with them.

I want to take on more of a mentoring role so I'm thinking of organising a playgroup out this way for mums who have decided to homeschool their preschoolers. This also gives my preschoolers the opportunity to play with other little kids. They're really bored at the moment and Rose is getting into so much mischief lately.

Elijah wants to be a chef and because he's a reluctant writer I'm getting him a special folder for him to write his recipes in. He'll be able to write his favourite recipes and also the one's he's made up. I'll also put in something that'll let him write how well they turn out.

Daniel is obsessed with xbox games and wants to be a game writer so I'll be focusing on what he needs to do that as well as giving everything a gaming spin. For example his writing activities will be ideas for games, his art and craft can be graphics for his games.

Kahlia does all the work I set for her and more but she's very creative. She'll love the curriculum I write up for teaching Christian his colours and will probably help me implement it. I have a classical art curriculum in the draw that I haven't had time for. Hopefully we'll be able to get into it soon, if we can't get into it as a family I'll get Kahlia to study it on her own.

I haven't really got anything planned to do over the holidays. We might go into Melbourne a few times, maybe to the museum and the aquarium. The kids have been going a little stir crazy because of the illness that's been going around our family. I haven't wanted to go out and pass it on. But we seem to have gotten rid of it at last so I think we might try to get a bit more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homeschooling Update

I realise that I haven't written anything about our schooling for a while. I must admit I've been remiss in almost every area since before Emily was born, I'm only now feeling like I'm getting my life back together after her birth and she's 7 months old. I think I'm just getting used to the lack of sleep.

Over the last 12 months or so I've really struggled to get the kids to do any of their school work without me on their backs but with our tax return we bought a new printer so I was able to print up planner pages. My favourite planner pages are from the Joyful Steward Combo from Notebooking Nook, you can get these from Currclick. This time I made books out of them, one for each school kid, as before I would just blutak the pages to the wall and then I'd have them just hanging around after I took them down, they would never make it into my folder. This seems to be working as the kids know exactly what they need to do for the day and can get on with it on their own, they just ask for help when they need it. I've also implemented a new rule. As they aren't allowed on the xbox until after 1:30pm the first one finished their school work is the first one to have a turn on the xbox. After implementing this rule Daniel, my most reluctant student, started getting up in the morning, before me, and getting his work done before breakfast.

Christian is going to turn 5 this Christmas and he still doesn't know his number, letters or colours. I'm not too worried as he's not getting any further behind and doesn't seem to be showing most of those Aspergers type signs that we worried about when he was a lot younger. I think he may just stay about 18 months behind. Tim and I were talking about that and we wondered what the difference would be. When Josiah was 15 he acted like a 13 year old and we never worried about that. But we do need to focus on some things so I've signed up for an online reading program called Reading Eggs. He loves it and asks to do it every day and now he's starting to point out the familiar letters in everything. I've bought some 'educational' placemats from Aldi to help reinforce what he's learning. I'm also putting together an intense, hands on, program for teaching him his colours, which I'll post when I get it finished. Most children pick these things up through the course of their everyday lives but with Christian we really need to spend time helping him to 'get' it.

I've also made new job charts for floors and the kitchen. Josiah has changed some of his classes at TAFE and so some of our previous jobs weren't applicable to him. I've changed the charts to accommodate his days home and to make it fair on all of the children, I like them to have roughly the same amount of jobs each, but try to make the jobs suited to their ability. They can't have morning tea or lunch until their morning jobs are done and can't play the xbox until their floor jobs and lunch jobs are done. Elijah gets a special reward for vacuuming the tiles after dinner without us reminding him but I've had to tell him that it needs to be started within 1/2 an hour after dinner or I will remind him because he was leaving it until almost bed time. Emily is already crawling so we need to stay on top of the floors.

We were having a 'student of the week' award but that wasn't really working. Daniel never deserved it and I felt sorry for him and he felt like it wasn't an achievable goal. Other times it was too hard to pick between Kahlia and Elijah. They also didn't really take it seriously and still cruised along so quite often we couldn't honestly give it to anyone. So I've change that to the 'over and above' award. Whoever does over and above the set work I've given them for the week gets a special reward, normally a chocolate bar, if they just do the set work they get a smaller reward but they all get rewarded. This seems to be working well. They are all motivated and feel that it's achievable. As I said earlier Daniel has been getting up before me to get his work done, he's also been doing more of the work than I've been setting for him.

Daniel has still been talking about going to school. I really don't think it'll be good for him. He has a coloured view of school because the only year he went was Prep and they don't do much except play and learn the basics. He mainly wants to go because he wants friends, while there's nothing wrong with the homeschoolers we meet up with we haven't met any boys his age, or that he can relate to. We've signed up for an XBox Live gold membership and he's having a lot of fun talking to the kids he's playing with online so I'm hoping that that fills his need for friends for the time being. We're also starting to get a bit more involved in the local homeschooling community. I'll be setting up a get together at a local play place in the next week, if we're all well that is.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lots going on

We've been really busy here. Nearly everyone in the family has had a vomiting bug and then when we thought that had passed we got it again. Now I've lost my voice, but in the mean time I've been racking my brain for a way to have a vegetable garden that's not permanent and isn't too expensive to set up. Pots can be expensive, especially the big ones or if you need lots of them. Styrofoam boxes are good but not for root vegetable and some of the bigger veggies that have big roots. So I thought of bath tubs, especially the older ones, they're deeper. I checked out ebay, but I didn't want to travel too far, I may as well spend more money if I'm going to use too much fuel, and I went to the local recycling centre. They had a bunch of tubs for only $10 each so I bought 5 of them. I googled bath gardens and didn't find a whole heap of info so I've decided to start another blog The Green Bath chronicling my attempt to set up a garden using mainly baths and recycled material. The idea is to keep the cost and the impact on the environment to a minimum. While I was at the recycling place I saw a huge wooden outdoor table and chairs set, it needs a bit of a sand and oil but it's not in too bad a condition and there's plenty of room for everyone, for only $90. Something new would cost me around $1000 I reckon. While I had the trailer, picking up the baths and table and chairs we also picked up a fridge from my sister in-laws, they got a new fridge months ago and said we could have their old one and it's been sitting in their house waiting for us to pick it up, now it's in our garage waiting for me to get better and put it in the kitchen.

Emily is sitting up now and starting to interact with the other children. Christian and Rose have her cracking up, when they're not over-loving her, making her cry. Rose is into mischief all the time, if she's not getting totally naked for a bath 5 times a day she's getting changed into a new outfit every 10 mins from the bag of her cousins hand me downs that she finally fits into. She uses the hand wash soap as moisturiser so we're constantly having to wash soap off her hands, she climbs onto the bench to get her own drink of water, getting water everywhere, she got into my bathroom and opened up every pad from 2 brand new packets of pads. Christian is starting to talk a lot better, though we still have trouble understanding him, but at least we're starting to be able to have short conversations with him. He's also nearly always a super hero. Whenever he's wearing his super hero clothes he's a super hero and we have to call him by that hero's name, even Rose calls him superman when he's in his superman clothes.

No don't take my photo

My Beanie Kids

Sitting up now

Checking out the new chairs and table

My little helper

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Emily is 6 Months Old

Can you believe that 6 months have passed already. Emily is a bright, happy baby. She's nearly crawling already, getting up on her hands and knees to turn around but still moving backwards on her tummy. She's a Mummy's girl and is already starting to throw temper tantrums when someone takes something off her. She still sleeps in bed with me of a night, waking up only for a quick feed before falling asleep again, and sleeps in my room during the day, although now that Rose has decided she doesn't have to have naps during the day I could probably put Emily in the cot in the girls room during the day. I've started Emily on solids, with the hope that it helps settles her tummy and helps her to get settled before midnight but it hasn't so far. She says 'Dad, dad' already, and the occasional 'mum, mum' with lots of babbling as well.

We've had two birthday's in the last week or so. I made Daniel a special Star Wars AT-AT cake for his 10th birthday and am in the middle of making a Left 4 Dead scene for Josiah's 17th birthday. For those geeky people like us it's the house at the end of Blood Harvest hopefully surrounded by zombies and the characters (if I get them done in time).

With spring just under a month away I've been thinking about my garden. With the owners of our house only offering us a 6 month lease I don't feel very secure here so I'm not going to plant up a vegetable garden, I'm just going to use pots and styrofoam containers. I've put some strawberries in the garden but I'll move them into a styrofoam container. A friend has given me some berry canes, mint and lemongrass and I've planted them in pots. I'll keep you updated on how it all goes, plus I've joined an online gardening community called Folia for some planting ideas and support.

Well that's all I have time for. I hope all my blogfriends and family are doing just as well, or better than I am.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Update for July

Hi everyone. Sorry I haven't been blogging much. This week we've been getting the house ready for an inspection. I've been scrubbing walls and floors and moving furniture. The inspection was this morning and it seemed to have gone well. The owner came through as well. It was a little strange as I expected him to come with his wife, who I've met, but he came with a different woman. I'm hoping that it's not a new wife and he wants this house for them to live with, but I'm such a pessimist and always looking at the worst case scenarios. The real estate agent said that the place looked great and that the owner was happy so here's hoping for another 12 month lease. Whilst cleaning this morning I slipped on the wet tiles and scraped my elbow and landed hard on my backside, but I also hit my head on the wall. I thought it might have gone through the wall I hit it so hard. So I'm off for a rest and some panadol. Hopefully it won't be so long until the next post.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chocolate Biscuits

I haven't posted a recipe in ages so here's my new favourite biscuit recipe. I've mentioned previously how I LOVE my mum's old Commonsense Cookery book and am so thankful she passed it on to me when I bought her a newer version. I'm not known for liking change and trying new things but every now and then I will try another recipe and reading through this cook book once more I noticed this chocolate biscuit recipe. It asks for grated chocolate and I don't have any in the cupboard so I used cocoa.

4oz. (125g.) butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons condensed milk
Vanilla to taste
1 cup self raising flour
4oz. (125g.) chocolate (grated or chopped)

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add condensed milk and vanilla. Beat well.
3. Add flour and lastly chocolate.
4. Place in small spoonfuls on a greased slide.
5. Bake at 300 degrees to 350 F. for 10 to 15 minutes. (150-180 degrees C.)
I have a fan-forced oven so I went with 160 degrees C. and they took 15 mins. They puff up and then flatten. When they come out they're still soft so I let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. I made a double batch of chocolate biscuits using a few tablespoons of cocoa instead of the chocolate and then made a double batch of custard biscuits, replacing the cocoa with custard powder. They were a real hit with everyone. The next day we were going over to my brother and sister in-laws new house for dinner and the whole family was going to be there so I made a double batch of both chocolate and custard biscuits and they were all gone by the time we left to come home. The next time I make them I might try substituting the cocoa or custard powder with some lemon juice. I can see so much potential for this great biscuit recipe.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Darling Husband

It was Tim's birthday yesterday and now he's the big 4 0 . Time seems to be going by so quickly now. Just a couple of weeks ago we found out that he has type 2 diabetes, which didn't really surprise anyone, but has kick started him into looking into the science of diabetes and how to beat it through diet. The Doctor Mercola website has been great for this. I've also cleaned out my fridge and it's filled with fresh fruit and vegetables from the market, most are safely tucked away in my Tupperware fridge containers to help them last just that little bit longer. I have to admit I've been a bit lazy with my preparation of fresh veggies over the last little while, especially as at dinner time I nearly always had a baby who wanted my attention, but now that she's a bit bigger she doesn't need my constant attention as much it's easier to cook a decent homemade dinner. I don't buy a lot of pre-made stuff normally but I need to take it that one step further.

Now if only I can get permission from our house owners to put in a veggie garden. I haven't wanted to ask because the husband came to check the carpets about 5 weeks after I had Emily and wasn't too impressed with the state of things. The real estate agent explained that we had just had a baby (she was sleeping, for once, while he was here) and that I had problems with my stomach muscles so I couldn't do a lot. We have invited them to come to the next inspection so they can see that the house is normally taken care of well. I guess that's the problem with moving into a brand new house, while it's been really nice having a house that no-one's lived in before, the owners expect it to look brand new forever.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Heading Image

I love this photo so much that I thought it would make a good image in my heading. It's a photo my husband took at cricket. The little boy is my youngest son, Christian, holding his big brother, Elijah's, hand.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A New Cake

I don't want to blog about cakes on this blog now that I have a specific cake blog but I just have to show you this cake I made. It's the first time I've made a 3 tiered cake and I think it turned out really well.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

A time of order

It's so nice going to a church where I can actually understand the message that's being preached and has everyday value to our lives. The church we were going to previously was about breaking stuff of lives and going into the background of things and not much of it was taken directly from the Word and teaching us how to use God's Word in our everyday lives, or at least that's what I got from it. It appears that what I'm going through now is a time of order, not only in my physical life, my home, my family but also in my spiritual life. Taking time out to pray over my family and friends is something I haven't done for a long time and I'd forgotten the importance of speaking out loud what I would like God to do. For so long, when it came to prayer, I've felt disconnected from God, and couldn't find the words I needed but now they just come pouring out and I even want to start getting more involved with church stuff and making a difference in other peoples lives when normally I'm struggling with my own life.

One part of the message on Sunday was that it's like having a chocolate bar. It's harder to share the last part with someone, you've eaten most of it and you're down to the end and then a loved one asks for some and it's really hard to share that last bit. But if you share the first bit it's so much easier. And our life is like that. We try to do it on our own and let God have the last bit and that's the hardest way to do it. We need to let God go first and then we can do the rest.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Rose

Yummy! Left over cake never lasts long in this house.

Update on Church Search

We've decided to go to the only church we've been and visited. With children having hand, foot and mouth disease and then colds and asthma we haven't had a chance to go and check out any other churches. Elijah, our 13 year old has gone to this churches weekly youth group 3 weeks in a row, which I'm really happy with as out of all of them he's the one who doesn't really like church. Their youth is broken up into age groups for their 'connect' groups, but they get together as a whole quite often. It seems like a good mixture of bible learning and fun (not that bible learning can't be fun). It's an 'Assemblies of God' church, which we didn't really want to go to, but I grew up in an AOG church so can't quite give you Tim's reasons for not wanting to go to one. I know we should communicate on this subject more, but sometimes I don't have time and need to just trust Tim on these things. (Just to note, we also met at that same AOG church and was married by one of the Pastors there).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Looking for a Church

We went and checked out a church this morning. It's been about six months since we've had a church we could call 'home' and I've been missing it, but I wasn't able to go regularly half way through the pregnancy of Emily because I'd come home feeling unwell and not right. I decided that it was too much for me to deal with, two littlies and being pregnant, the big kids are okay. The church we went to this morning is an AOG church but it has me thinking what is it that I'm looking for in a church?

1. It has to have a Youth Group. I feel it's important for my teenagers to have some Christian peers that can validate their beliefs and ideas. Most of my kids friends are non-Christians and while I don't have a problem with that I feel that there needs to be friends on both sides for balance.

2. It has to have a children's program. I like my children to stay with us for the first half of the service but also like for them to go out with other children and have some fun, while learning about God's Word.

3. It has to be accepting of larger families. (This is where i get a little opinionated so I apologise for offending you now) The heart of the Pastors needs to be open to the fact that God commanded us to 'be fruitful and multiply'. It is my belief that Satan is laughing his head off at the attitude most Christian people have towards families. We are so deceived into following the world on this. We have to send our children to school, we have to immunise, we have to earn so much money to afford big screen TVs, game consoles, brand name clothing, we have to only have 1 or 2 children because, you know, the world is overpopulated as it is (sarcasm intended). (On a side point I've heard that the entire population of the world could fit into the state of Texas. Each with a family home and a yard) To be honest, I've had enough of people saying that I must love kids, or I must be special because I can cope with so many. God made us all to be able to do this and for women to say they can't they're selling themselves short and disobeying God. (I also believe in the Grace of God and am not saying I think these people are damned and going to hell but I am saying that most Christians have it wrong. I know I did). I find there is not much difference between going to church and not going these days because the attitudes that are in the world are also in the church and our church leaders are included. Which brings me to my next point.

4. Their home groups must be family friendly. The last few churches we went to we needed to get the kids babysat to go to home group (indicative of the people's attitude of children). When I was growing up the kids went everywhere with the adults. I went to home group and either played in a bedroom, or playroom with other kids, or sat quietly in the group and listened to what was being said. Little ones would stay with their parents and possibly even fall asleep. One church we went to a few years ago (when we only had 4 children) suggested Tim and I take turns attending, Tim one week, me the next. So we just didn't go. I would really like to start going to home group again, but I would also like the option of bringing some kids with me if I need to.

There are probably a few other boxes I'd like ticked but I can't think of any at the moment. I am prepared, though, to choose a church where most of my boxes are ticked and pray to God about the rest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

5 Minutes

I love www.flylady.org and their 5 minute room rescues. When the kids all chip in to do a room rescue we get done in 5 mins what would take one person nearly 1/2 an hour to do. These days I feel like all I have is 5 minutes at a time to do anything. As I may have mentioned before, Emily is a reflux baby and therefore only sleeps long periods of time in my arms and almost as soon as I lay her down she's awake, because of her milk coming back up. Even propping her up doesn't seem to work. I have a feeling that she might be one who sleeps on her tummy but that won't be happening until she can roll over and do it herself.

Getting back to 5 minutes I've been thinking about all the things, besides blogging, that I could fit into 5 minutes and thought I would put it down in my blog. I think that at least once a week I should come up with 5 things that I could fit into 5 minutes, and the occasional 15 minutes that my hands are free.

So here goes:

1. Take a load of washing out of the machine, put another load in and take the wet clothes and put them in the dryer. (At the moment I'm using the dryer a lot, as I said....5 mins)

2. Quick tidy up of one child's bedroom. (With the child/ren helping of course)

3. Tidy up a 'hot spot'. (According to FlyLady a hot spot is an area that stuff gets dumped on all the time, such as the kitchen bench, or the bedside table)

4. Clean the ensuite.

5. Dust the lounge room.

Now if only I had more that a few 5 minute breaks from holding a baby to get this done.
My Mother in-laws birthday cake. I haven't made flowers for what seems like ages so I was very glad to make some.

It was supposed to look like one of those fresh flower arrangements in a box, that's so popular these days. I probably didn't get it 100 percent right but it was still very effective.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lots of Kids

Check this out:


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Blog

I think that I already stated in a previous post that I was starting a blog just for my caking journey. Well I finally have it going and have written a few posts. You can find this blog at http://cakeartistry.wordpress.com , so if you're interested in finding out a little more about my cake journey check it out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is modesty?

We went to church for the first time in six months, yesterday. For reasons I'll probably post later Tim's Mum and Dad are now going to a different church and Tim is redoing this church's web site. So we went there to help boost numbers for the photos. I struggled to find 'decent' clothes to wear, as most mum's of new baby's do, I can't fit into my non maternity clothes, yet, but my maternity clothes look really stupid, plus it's church and so you need to wear something nice, not trackies and jeans and t-shirts. Which had me thinking about the whole modesty thing. I know a lot of Christian women out there refuse to wear pants altogether, but a lot will wear pants at home but dresses and skirts to church functions. I remember when I was younger and played the flute on stage, at church, the women were told that they weren't allowed to wear pants on stage. Getting to my point... I think all the women up in front, yesterday morning were wear pants. Not jeans or tracksuits, but slacks. They looked nice but I've got to wonder about old values (these women were pretty much all older than me so I would have thought they'd have more values than me)... but then that's had me thinking, who made it that women had to wear skirts and dresses, especially to church. In the beginning we were all naked before God. Then we were kicked out of Eden, because of sin, and covered our nakedness. I understand covering up and not tempting men, but how do skirts and dresses fit into that, they can be very revealing too. I have no answers, I love my jeans and trackies, but I do have skirts in my wardrobe that I wear sometimes. I do like to look feminine and feel uncomfortable showing too much skin in public.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What is a large family?

I've been looking at a web site called Lots of Kids. It's a very interesting read. Which had me remembering when I first had what was considered and abnormal amount of children. I had my 4th child and I felt like the freak that society has labelled us. I was on the lookout for any family with more than 3 children to make me feel that we were not alone.

Now, almost 10 years down that track and 3 kids later I look at our family and it doesn't seem 'big' or strange, or freakish. I feel fulfilled, loved, a part of something bigger (no pun intended). I can't imagine life without any one of our cherubs, it would be a lot duller, we probably wouldn't be any better off financially, I've learned so much about myself these last 5 years, since our decision to continue our family. I like the road I'm walking and I feel normal.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Halo Birthday Cake

It's my sons 13th birthday today and I wanted to blog about his cake. He originally wanted a cake with guns but my husband and I talked about it and didn't really like that idea so he then said he wanted a Halo cake, not just the head of a halo person but the shoulders too. So I've made a bust. I will soon be starting a blog just for my cakes and will include photos of the process of making these cakes. I really would like an air brush for the colour but all in all the cake turned out pretty good.

My oldest son has pointed out that this is a SPARTAN-II with scout armour.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our favourite meal at the moment: stir fry

I haven't posted a recipe in a while so I thought I'd post our latest favourite meal, stir fry. We've had many different kind of stir fries over the years, it's so versatile and you can change it anyway you like. Lately we've been buying C's salad or stir fry mix, already made up in the fresh food section. This recipe is for ordinary (small) families, for our family I double it.

1 packet of C's salad or stir fry mix
1 packet of Singapore noodles
1/2 tsp of garlic
1/2 tsp of ginger
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 nice big steak (however much and whatever kind you can afford) cut into strips

Follow the directions for the noodles.
Stir fry steak on a high heat in a couple of tablespoons of oil with garlic and ginger. Stir through the oyster sauce then add the vegetables. Cook for 2 mins then turn off heat and add the drained noodles.

Next time I post a recipe I'll try to post photos too. I always prefer to see pics of what I'm about to cook.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some new photos of Emily

Emily will be 7 weeks old tomorrow so I thought it was time to post a new photo and was lucky enough to catch her smiling.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Given up and a new wrap is made

Yes I've given up and given Emily a dummy. For the first time in weeks I haven't had a crying, upset baby at 10 or 11 at night last night. She took her dummy and drifted off to sleep so easily. I was asleep with her before 10 o'clock. Unfortunately that means she's awake and smiling now at 5 o'clock in the morning but, hey, I'm not absolutely exhausted physically from walking around the loungeroom with a squirming, sooky baby. Since giving her the dummy (or pacifier for the American readers) she is nowhere near as chucky, because she's not using me as a dummy and getting too full, and she's going to sleep easier and sleep longer, which means she's having longer, happier awake times.

Unfortunately yesterday I misplaced the dummy I had been using (actually I think Rose or Christian may have run off with it). I just knew that if I didn't have one she would be crying with a tummy ache when I was at my tiredest and wanted to go to sleep myself. Tim and I searched to house for it but it was nowhere to be found, but I did remember that I had another one like it somewhere, so I ended up searching through all the boys baby clothes bags looking for an elusive dummy. I eventually found it in a box of toiletries and makeup that I don't use anymore. Whoever said hoarding was a bad thing?

I managed to get my new muslin-type wrap sewn yesterday. I couldn't believe what happened. Emily had some very happy awake times yesterday so I put her in her rocker and cut my material in half. Rose was in bed asleep and Christian was occupied with the XBox so it was the perfect time to get the sewing machine out. As soon as I had the sewing machine set up and then put up the ironing board Christian did something to Emily to make her start crying. I couldn't believe it, I hadn't even started to sew. Thanks to the older kids holding her I was able to complete such a simple jobs as sewing a few edges over and within minutes of putting Emily in her new wrap she was sound asleep.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No Sew Baby Wrap

Before Rose I was born I spent a lot of time on the internet researching 'babywearing' and the different tools i.e. slings and wraps. I went for a ring sling because you can adjust the size for when you're big from pregnancy to being small after you've lost the weight or extra big for the dads, the other slings are made to measure. I also went for a wrap. These go by different names which I won't mention, but they're basically all the same but with a different brand name. I decided to make my own and this is how.

4 1/2 to 5 metres of stretchy T-shirt material 150 cm wide. I chose the thickest kind which is quite hot in summer, and 5 metres is probably too big for a small person but I wanted a big one in case my husband needed to use it. This material doesn't fray so all you have to do is cut it in half or even thirds lengthwise and maybe sew on something in the middle to help you find the middle and there you have 2 or 3 new baby wraps. I kept one and gave the other one to my sister in law.

Because my wrap is so hot I recently bought some muslin type material, which isn't as stretchy and will need to be sewn as it frays. I haven't had a chance to complete this but i'll let you know how it goes.

www.thebabywearer.com is a great place for wrapping instructions and youtube has many tutorials.

New Baby Update

Emily is now 6 weeks old and is a smiling, happy baby....most of the time, but she doesn't like to be put down when she goes to sleep. She wakes up almost straight away. I don't go for the whole controlled crying thing (which doesn't mean that I haven't let them cry at some stage or another) so I am going to try something new before I get tendonitis in my wrists like I did when Kahlia was a baby. I am going to make Emily's bed with the t-shirt I've been wearing most of last week. It hasn't been washed and so should smell like me. I'll let you know how it goes.

By the way I do have a ring sling and a wrap and I LOVE them but there's only so much babywearing you can do and I would just like a break, and that doesn't mean passing her off to the other children, which I do anyway.

Our current homeschooling path

I find that our homeschooling journey is changing all the time. When we first started we were living with another family and then house sitting so we were using the homework like books from the bookshop, then I went and bought some work books from the homeschool board as well as the homework like books, then I changed those books. So far I've had 2 babies while homeschooling and each time we relax the workload around the birth of the baby (which has been early in the New Year anyway) but quickly get stuck back into it within a few weeks of the baby being born.

We do most of our work in the morning, I find it hard to get them motivated again after lunch so tend to let them follow their own path then. I'm very fortunate to have two living areas so I normally have a couple of kids at the kitchen table doing their work (although I'm not strict about where they do it as long as it's in an area that the little kids aren't in and distracting them) and someone in the loungeroom. I try and keep the little ones in the family room. Kahlia and Daniel like to do their maths at the kitchen table and then in loungeroom to watch their maths lesson on DVD. Elijah likes to do his maths alone in his room, although he's playing catch up with some of the questions he didn't understand and decided to miss so he's been doing them in the family room watching his lessons on video. Daniel and Elijah both like writing their stories on Daniels computer, which is in his room. Kahlia likes writing her stories on my computer in the loungeroom. Elijah's started reading his book at the kitchen table, while he drinks a cup of tea. Kahlia reads her book when she goes to bed, she says this helps her get to sleep. Dan likes to read at bedtime too and this encourages Christian to stay in bed and read also as they share a room.

I try not to put the TV on for the little ones while the older ones are doing their school work as it's too distracting for the big kids, so I get out toys for them to play with. At the moment they're interested in playing with the dinosaurs and playdough, sometimes both together. Yesterday it was a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine Trains and cars. I even have two little desks for them to sit at and draw. I like the pencil like crayons that you twist the ends to get the crayon bit out (I can't remember what they're called). We change what they draw on all the time so they don't get bored and start drawing on the walls and furniture. They have photocopy paper, scrapbooks and coloured paper. Even though I said I try not to put the TV on I must admit that it does go on a fair bit, Rose absolutely loves Hi-5 and is asking for it all the time and if Christian is in an especially annoying mood I'll give in and put a movie on that he likes.

Our current homeschooling curriculum is:

Kahlia and Daniel (11 and 9 years): Math U See
Copywork (freebies from Currclick)
Lapbooks (freebies from Currclick)
Creative writing (on the computer)
Learning Page (more freebies)
Cooking (whenever they're in the mood)

Elijah (13 years): Math U See
Writing strands
Creative writing

We're still reading Wonderland of Nature together as well as Exploring Creation with Astronomy but we haven't really started back at these yet.

Josiah is at TAFE this year, doing his VCE. This was a big decision as he could have started a certificate course straight away, but as he hadn't done any study in a formal environment for a while he felt more confident doing this. His marks, and motivation have been excellent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So Cute

I just had to blog about this.

This morning Christian (4) and Rose (2) hopped into bed with me, while I was feeding Emily. They were drinking from my water bottle and whenever Rose passed it to Christian he said 'thanks' and Rose said 'you're welcome' and then when Christian passed it to Rose she said 'thanks' and he said 'you're welcome'. They kept doing this for a few minutes. It was so gorgeous.The best way to teach kids manners is to use manners yourself. I've never really insisted on the please and thankyou's like I've seen some parents do but I still have really polite kids.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our new little one finally arrived

Well Emily Mikayla finally made it, 5 days late. She weighed 3660gms and was my fastest labour. After 2 false starts I woke up on the 1st Feb with some pains but they were an hour or so apart so I didn't want to say anything. At about 6:30 pm I decided it was the real thing but they were still 20 mins or so apart. Then they stayed around 10 - 15 mins apart for a couple of hours. I thought, here we go again, another slow one, all my other labours have lingered along for around 8 hrs, then all of a sudden the contractions were 4 mins apart and REALLY strong so I told Tim to ring the hospital and let them know we were on the way and to ring his mum and dad and ask them to meet us at the hospital as I knew we wouldn't have time to pick his mum up on the way there. We were out of the door in less than 5 mins and we had a 35 min drive to the hospital. Of course the freeway exit we needed to use was closed for roadworks, but thankfully we were able to take the next one without adding too much time to the journey. We got stuck behind a really slow driver doing 80km in a hundred zone and Tim didn't have time to overtake him before we had to get off and the slow driver got off at the same exit and slowed down to 40km. Tim was so stressed, my contractions were coming hard and fast and I was praying that we'd make it to the hospital before the baby started coming out. When we got to the hospital there was an ambulance in the 5 min parking spot so Tim parked in the ambulance bay and thankfully the ambulance people were there and got me a wheel chair, but they couldn't push me up to the delivery suite, we had to wait for a midwife to come down and get me. The contractions were almost on top of themselves at this stage I knew it wouldn't be long until I needed to push and I thought I was going to break the armrests on the old wheelchair. We finally made it to the delivery suite and I had barely gotten onto the bed and wasn't even comfortable when I felt the need to push. With that contraction my waters broke and the baby's head started coming out. With the next push her head came all the way out and the next she was out completely. Emily Mikayla was born at 11:47pm on the 1st of February beautiful and healthy and only made a little squawk, she didn't cry at all.

Unfortunately for me I've had a separation of the abdominal muscles and am not allowed to do much for the next month, while I wait for them to strengthen and the relaxing hormones to stop being made. I ended up back in hospital again with extreme pain after hanging clothes on the line and getting my bowel pinched in the muscles. I have never been in so much pain, even in childbirth, so I really need to take it easy, which is so hard after not being able to do much while pregnant.

All the family think the baby is adorable and fight to take turns holding her. As soon as Emily's eyes are even the slightest bit open they cry out: "She's awake! Can I get her up?" First thing in the morning Rose and Christian come into my room saying: "Emily! Emily!" I haven't had any sibling rivalry with any of the others and we don't seem to be having any this time either.

We have been so blessed with our little 'Chipmunk'. She's so placid and barely makes a sound. Thank you everyone for you prayers for a safe delivery and healthy baby.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Due date has come and is it going?

Well today's the day the baby's due. We thought that she might be here about 3 weeks ago but nothing eventuated from that. It was really strange, I've never had braxton hicks contractions that made me think I was in labour before, but I've been having them regularly for the last 3 weeks. I'm kind of hoping that the baby won't come for another couple of days because I have had a bit of a cold and now have coughing fits. The last thing I want is for the baby to come now and get sick from me. Everything is pretty much ready, though, and it's just a matter of waiting.

I've really been struggling with the housework, lately (no surprises there). The kids have been doing their fair share but it just seems to be getting out of hand. I was reading another blog last week and this lady gets her children to clean up and vacuum every morning so I've been trying that over the last week and it's made a big difference. It only takes a minute if all of them get involved and, especially as Tim's been having clients come into the house, it's been really nice having a clean loungeroom and family room. Now I just need to work out a roster for the dishes so that we have clean dishes at dinner time, but I won't really worry about that at the moment. We'll deal with one habit at a time.

Rose has been a bit of a sooky la la lately, I think she can tell that something's up. Mummy can't give her cuddles the way she likes them and she's started getting up from bed with her dummy and blanket. Last night she was so cute. I told her it was time for bed and she got her dummy and blanket and layed on the couch. I didn't have the heart to put her to bed straight away so she ended up falling asleep there. She's such a good girl.

Christian is turning into a tormenter. As Rose is being so sooky and bossy he's starting to try and push her limits. When she throws a temper tantrum she jumps up and down on the spot, it's so funny.

Josiah is now enrolled in TAFE and will be doing his VCE (year 11). He's a little nervous about it, I think he's been spoiled at home for the last 3 years. I'm definitely going to miss him being around all the time, he's a great helper.