One on One?

Simply Lovely One-on-One is a new homeschooling blog fair. The blog fair has many great ideas on spending one on one time with kids.

At first reading,however, I winced at the title. Finding time to simply be with my kids, to simply be even with my dh is, well, hard.

I felt like a bad mum. Like Rachel felt.

Only Rachel is not a bad mum. She chats to her kids. She snuggles with her kids.

And, in my own way, I am not so bad at mothering. Or at finding alone time with my dh.

Yes, I tend to be more of a management person than a Love person. I do love and show love in my own way, however..

As I look at my weeks, I see that I manage some alone time with my children and with my dh, but in different terms. In snatches here and there.

I rarely go shopping or on errands or anywhere by myself. I take dh and/or one or two children. We talk. We joke and laugh. We listen to music. Yes, sometimes we argue. But we also get to spend that time together.

Things come up. Sometimes important things.

Sometimes we pray.

Little bits of time alone occur naturally. I tend to grab hold of these, to snatch and use these bits and parcels of time, as they arise.

For example, Tuesday night I was sleeping and missed the St Anthony Mass ( I have been unwell). When I woke, the house was empty. Most were at Mass. I got up, tidied up and then son Luke arrived home. We made tea and sat together, talking, in the sitting room. An unexpected snatch of time but an important one, time to talk about decisions this week.

Another example. Last week, I was hanging out washing and saw that the garden needed some weeding. I called Anthony to help and he and I made a few jokes, he asked a few questions, we had time together talking while weeding.

More examples? Dh and I went grocery shopping together last Saturday, no kids!, sharing a drink and some chat at a coffee shop on the way.

Our family times may look different to the family times of other homeschoolers . At least, it seems that way when I read homeschooling blogs…. We pray ( Anny is learning the Anima Christi right now, in Latin). Yes. We read. Yes. But we also watch TV/movies together A LOT and sing lots of Singstar. And watch 80s music clips. And listen to music. And all talk at once.

And have people over. We love having people over, as several of us tend to be a loud, social bunch.

The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you. ~Kendall Hailey, The Day I Became an Autodidact


The Chair of St Peter

February 22

The feast of the Chair of St Peter has been celebrated in Rome since the fourth century. The chair is a symbol of authority, as in a throne; as a king rules from his throne. St Peter was the first Pope and the Pope is the visible head of the Church.

In Matthew 16:18, we read how Jesus told Peter “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”

Today we read about this feast. We discussed papal infallibility. And we made Igneous and Sedimentary Rock Cookies, after reading about the three different classifications of rocks, and of how igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are formed.


Third Sunday in Lent

..And Thomas decided to use his “Chocolate” cookbook, to make a couple of special desserts.

Sundays are not days of fasting. You can tell that from these pics, can’t you?
Thomas made Frozen Expresso Mousse and Rich Chocolate Tart.

Truly rich and decadent. We had a visitor for dinner and he seemed to enjoy the fruits of Thomas’ cooking. After our meal of takeaway pizza.
( I couldn’t eat any. Sigh. My stomach is still not right. I’m off to the doctor on Wed for a check up…)

Update on "OMG! Should I Share My Journey?"

Friends have asked about weight loss – how did I get from there to here.

I wrote briefly about this at the 4 real learning forum but thought I’d cut and paste it here. Permission to Skip if bored. ( Hey, I know I am boring).

Basically, I started with little steps – I realized I couldn’t go on a diet, been there, done that. Instead, I worked on ( work on) body image and healthy eating and healthy exercise. For me, it was a five year journey, but at least it has been lifestyle changes. Six years ago, I was obese, now I am “normal” and this is now my way of life. I remind myself -It takes time and is a process so don’t beat yourself up over slips along the way – this is for life, right?

My first step was walking. I had just come out of hospital, after a messy miscarriage and deep vein thrombosis, and had been on bed rest so could only walk 15 minutes a day. But I started where I was.

Same with food. I knew what I needed to do – I researched some low fat meal ideas, made a list of ideas for meals and snacks and “treats” and tried to watch portions.

And I read ( still read) books like “Intuitive Eating” to work on the mind stuff often associated with food and body image and diets, for women.

And then I gradually added in changes from there.

I used to weigh only monthly at the beginning. To break the scale and number addiction. Now I weigh once or twice a week.

And I continue on step by step. It is life, there is not an end but simply what I do each and every day that makes a difference. Some days are great. Others are not so good. It is okay, I keep on moving on. Working on my health and fitness and weight and body image neuroses.

Neuroses? When you have been obese, it is hard to see yourself as normal. Even when your BMI says that you are. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window and I wonder who that person is. That person who looks a normal weight, well, maybe a bit chunky. Then I remember it is me!

And because of my anorexic history I know I need to avoid diets – a dictum like no carbs is likely to send me over the edge.

Little by little. Step by step.

Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself. Saint Francis de Sales

( And that really IS a St Francis de Sales quote. ) Family joke.

P.S. The Superhero pic? I am the Geen Lantern according to this Which Superhero Are You? Quiz.


Son , Greg, is having his wisdom teeth out this morning and also having a bit of his jaw removed. So prayers most apreciated.

And I have had a bad bout of, well, diarrhoea ( blushes) this week and it just won’t go. I can’t eat normally and when I eat it causes problems. Happy healing thoughts please~!

Thanks, guys.


A crappy week, schoolwork wise….

…but, hey, we are unschoolers, so who cares? We learn from everything, as a toddler learns while exploring life.

Monday I was still very sick so the kids worked on Maths and English on their own, helped around the house, exercised, played computer, played piano, watched a re-run of “Life on Mars”, with Greg who missed the episode last week. Before work at my Kumon Centre. We read about the Seven Servite Founders and prayed the Dolors Rosary.

Tuesday was a meeting of Catholic homechoolers at my house. So , the time prior to 10.00 a.m., was spent cleaning house for mum who felt ill, general tidying, buying something to serve f0r lunch, while mum organized stuff for the meeting.

The morning was the planning meeting for we mothers, play for kids, then the Rosary and prayers and blessing , with two of the Friars of the Conventual Franciscans. Three mothers couldn’t make the day but we still made a nice group of four, with someone bringing in another friend’s son.

We shared lunch , the kids began a brief cleanup and then French Class mums and kids arrived. And, yes, some of the earlier group of people stayed. Greg taught French class and we mums chatted. French is schoolwork, right?

Cleaning up , more computer, reading, part time work for Alexander and Jonathon, Mass, Singstar and visitors concluded the day of schoolork. French and music and housework and socialization are schoolwork, don’t you think?

Today the kids are folding pamphlets and delivery of same pamphlets, having a friend over, I have work for Kumon since Head Office is visiting next week and I have lunch with the previous Parish Council Chairperson. Alexander is working at McDonalds and Jonathon has a work related interview. I want the kids to do their Kumon study (Maths or English), too, and dh and I will share some Lenten reflections tonight after our parish Lenten programme earlier this evening.

Maybe tomorrow will be our saving grace, schoolwork wise. The kids will throw in some Latin and religion amongst their Kumon. And before work. ‘Cos Friday is another busy, non schoolwork day -Mass, Homeschool Teen Group at our house, music lessons, part time work for Alexander, work at home for Jonathon, Youth Group, Stations of the Cross.

All the while, the week has involved, to date, the filling in of little furrows here and there, with reading and music and Lenten reading.

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
— C. S. Lewis

I take heart in this quote of Lewis – my hope is that our life is irrigating deserts, inspiring learning. Not just schoolwork for the sake of schoolwork.


Reaching a Weight Goal.

Yep, I reached a goal weight. A tentative for now goal.


I’ve had food poisoning, after eating prawns in Adelaide. And I’ve been SO sick.I don’t dare start eating again – my tummy is still achy and not normal.

Got on the scales this morning and, in spite of feeling sick as a dog, I smiled at the numbers. I lost 3 kg ( about 7lbs). I know,yeah, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s only fluid loss and it’s only numbers.

Health and fitness are way more important.

But seeing the number on the scales was still fun!

This means I have lost a total of about 37 kg ( about 80lbs) – I think. I didn’t really weigh myself at the beginning of my lifestyle change, five years ago. But I am basing this on a weight I was in 2001.

I feel like Diet Girl . She rocks!

And, yes, I am not glad I’ve been sick and feeling like death – but, hey, every cloud has a silver lining, right? And I’ve been able to pray and offer this up – good Lenten sacrifice.

Hopefully, I am back to normal, eating healthy and working out hard tomorrow. I didn’t workout yesterday (unless you class passing out in the airport toilet as a workout! ).Today I just did a 22 minute upper body workout from the FIRM – very easy normally but I couldn’t face Taebo, jumping around or using my (sore) abs. And, man, those 22 minutes were hard.

Hmm, probably shouldn’t have worked out, even a light workout, on a sore and empty stomach. Oh, well.

A Book Meme

Tagged by Rachel….

Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Well, I am sitting in Nick’s study, in his townhouse in Adelaide. Next to me is one of the books I have bought while here in Adelaide. “How To Eat Like a Hot Chick” by Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent.

Deep and meaningful, right ?

But I have to play the meme exactly as I have been tagged. Don’t I? I can’t run to my bedroom and select a different book ( “Finding Sanctuary : Monastic Steps to Every Day Life” or “Cardinal Galsworthy” or “The Adventures of Diet Girl”).

I have to reveal my more shallow side ( well, the Diet Girl book could share equal shallow space here.).

Woe is me…. There are only five sentences on age 123. Obviously the Hot Chick book is extremely erudite. So, I can ‘t post the next three sentences on that page.

I know. I will turn over a page and post the next three sentenes there.

Uh oh. Hm. Do I really want to? Should I edit?

No, be brave. Play the meme game properly.

The next three sentences, after the fifth sentence on page 123, are ~

Some foods, though, are just plain sexy, and it’s totally easy to look unbelievably hot while eating them. We asked around and observed many women, and here for you now are the hottest foods you can find. Eat away bi#$%es.

Very educational and illuminating, I am sure. (And if you want to know the hot foods, they are – fruit, meat, ice cream, french fries and lollipops. Enough said.).

I think I’d better redeem myself and my reading and post the next three lines, after the fifth sentence from page 123, from “Finding Sanctuary”. This describes the experience of Pachomius, an early desert father, in creating a community ~

He allowed this to go on for several years, hoping that his humility would inspire them to change their ways but they only abused his kindness all the more and, as the years wore on, they came to despise Pachomius. He finally realised that something had to change, so he gave them a clearly stated description of the way of life he expected them to lead. He laid down clearly how each monk shoud live and in this way created the first monastic rule for community.

This chapter is obviously on communtiy , community as sanctuary and how we must overcome obstacles in community with both love and discipline.

Oh, the final part of the meme states that I must tag five others. I tag Maria,
Cindy , Catholic Mommas, Marie and Hopewell Mom School.