Plans this week

*Add in more workouts – yesterday was a FIRM, aerobic weight training and today was Turbo Jam – kickboxing. What to do this week?
*Follow more rabbit trails – Prince Caspian and Narnia, Blue Planet

* Put up new pics for July’s bulletin board

*Have a friend and son over for morning tea and a homeschool kid, my sons’ friend, over for the day…

*Cook for and celebrate Alexander’s birthday on Tuesday. We’ve had discussions this morning about what to eat, what to make. We’ll eat after the St Anthony Mass on Tuesday evening.

*Have our final French class with Greg as teacher, with a French morning tea celebration for all students and mums to follow
*Work on an article I’ve been asked to write, to include in an unschooling book to be published later this year

* Hopefully have others share lunch with us on Wednesday

*Celebrate Thomas’ feast day on Thursday, the feast of St Thomas the Apostle

*Finish off our parish newsletter Heartbeat.

* Organise re agenda for parish council meeting

* Work at Kumon and at home! And laundry. And cooking. And cleaning.

*First Friday Mass

*Homeschool Teen group outing at Chinatown and Paddy’s Markets. I’m buying a wig! Should I go blonde or black or??

* Attend a birthday party for a family friend and make trifle for same party. Karaoke!

*Morning tea at church, serving, music roster

*BBQ and friends at our house, for a farewell to Greg, as he heads off to the UK

*Finish watching the last episode of fracky Battlestar 1980 and continue with series one of the newer Battlestar Galactica

*Continue reading Splendour in the Ordinary – Making Your Home a Holy Place by Thomas Howard, Prince Caspian and the last Harry Potter book.

*Do my own Kumon maths and encourage kids to do the same…

I think that’s it. I could be wrong .
Postscript ~ I also need to remember to phone dh’s Dad, before he goes off on an overseas holiday. And send cards to two priests – one in remembrance of his ordination day, the other for a birthday. Don’t forget Leonie!
Post Postscript ~ Dr Who, series 4, is on this week. Woo hoo!

Taebo and Discerning God’s Will

Yesterday I got to do one of my Taebo workouts ~ with my doctor’s permission. I did Taebo Ulitmate Upper Body –

Kickboxing with an upper body focus, for 60 minutes. Upper body focus = less pull on my abs and post surgery area.

I loved it! I could have worked out for another 30 minutes, but I showed restraint. And who has the time??

Sadly, I couldn’t do my usual full push ups – they hurt my abs. So I did the push ups on my knees. But I know I’ll work back up to full, big boy push ups eventually.

At the end, Billy gave his little motivational talk. Get Fit-Have Fun-Be Strong – Remember the Spirit.

Billy Blanks is a Christian. And his motivational talks reflect this. I was jumping around, dancing and smiling at Billy at the end of the workout and during his little talk.

And, so, yes, my workouts remind me of not doing this, my life, on my own strength but of relying on God.

How do I discern God’s will? A friend recently posted, at the 4 Real Learning forum, some relevant excerpts from Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons.

God’s Will in Your Life (page 62)

People often ask me, ‘How do you know whether something is God’s Will in your life?’ I say, ‘Ask me next year, and then we’ll know whether it was God’s Will.’

The Lord isn’t going to come down and say, ‘Now, look sweetie, I want you to do this little thing for me’ He’s not going to do that. He gave you a brain. He gave you a memory, an intellect, a will. Do you realize if you’re a Christian, you have Sanctifying Grace in you? The Holy Spirit is in you. Pray. Move forward in His grace, and you will discover His Will for you.

Discerning God’s Will for You (page 62-63)

You judge God’s Will as follows:

(1) Does it violate any of the Commandments? Is it against the precepts of the Church?

(2) Will it give God honor and glory?

(3) Will it benefit my family and my spiritual life?

“That is how you can judge what God’s will is for you. And sometimes we don’t have clarity even with that. I would pray more at that point. I would ask Our Lord to give you light. If somehow along the way we miss it, He will make good out of your mistakes. You can depend on that.

Postscript on discerning God’s will ~ dh has decided not to move but to stay in Sydney. 🙂



And another school day of game playing ~ here the kids are playing the Wii with a homeschool friend who visits us most Wednesdays. They also played a very active, very noisy outside game with dart guns and teams, in our garden and in our cul-de-sac. Everyone else from the street was at school or work, so the cul-de-sac was theirs’ for the taking!
Don’t worry, we don’t play games all the time in our homeschooling unschool. We do talk and we do read – Anthony is really in to that Battlestar Galactica novel I mentioned yesterday, and he keeps giving us updates on the characters, the relationships, the mystery, the plot, the glossary.

The kids also did Wii Fit – pilates and yoga and strength training was on the menu for yesterday. And practised their piano pieces. And read in their religion books ( on how God is the source of all Grace, of the story of Jacob and Joseph, on the moral conscience ). They did some Kumon maths and I think Alexander did some university work ( Italian). He also ironed the tablecloth and serviettes for dinner, for me!
The kids delivered junk mail and helped me with setting the table for visitors.

Next week is the birthday of one of the friars from our parish and we finished our day with a small birthday dinner party for Br. L. last night.

Yet another unschooling homeschool day ….Live and learn and laugh…


The Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist. Christmas pudding and custard for dessert tonight – I’ve allotted enough calories for me to eat some! – Christmas in June. It is exactly six months to Christmas and St John was the precursor to Jesus.

In French class today, Greg had his brothers and other homeschoolers make
Fondant au Chocolat. They had to read and follow the French recipe. You can see the yummy results above.

Post French, the kids have been playing Mario Cart on the Wii and games with Yu-Gi-Oh cards. An educational school day… Thomas is now at work at McDonalds. Alexander is going to work at Kumon. Anthony has junk-mail-for-delivery to fold. I’ve sent emails and made WYD phone calls. Have errands to run and Kumon paperwork to do as well. And Mass tonight..

Oh, I went to the doctor at lunch . Yay, I am healing well! I am back to normal duties and working out tomorrow ~ but I have to take it slow. And the doc said I can stop the daily injections (little does he know that I stopped them two weeks ago. I thought enough was enough. I didn’t tell him that though. I pretended to be the model patient).

Finally – look what arrived in the post. A used copy of one of the Battlestar Galactica novels, based on the original series and by the original actor who played Apollo. I am excited…I’ve ordered another used novel, too. Dh said – You didn’t buy those Battlestar books, did you? My reply – No – well, not brand new, anyway!
I am not an addict…I am not an addict…

On volunteering

Last night, late last night, when every one else was asleep, I was up reading. One of the things I read was a health and fitness magazine. An article extolling the virtues of volunteering, titled Take a Walk on the Kind Side. Shades of Lou Reed?

And extolling the virutes of voluteering? Right up my alley!

Apparently, doctors working on a long term study in the U.S. have revealed that one secret to living a more successful and contented life is to help out. Women who take on volunteer or charity work enjoy dramatically better health and self esteem than their non-volunteering counterparts.

An excerpt ~ From tree-planting to puppy washing, it seems that the feel-good buzz we get from helping others can make as much of an impact on our health as factors like nutrition and lifestyle.


Good things about kids

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve heard some negativity around towards kids. Towards having children and being a parent. From parents about their own kids and own vocations.

I admit to being a bit guilty of this myself. Seeing my kids do some annoying thing or my young adults do some dumb thing , I blow off about it to another. Not good.

In the spirit of promoting a kid friendly culture, I’d like to share some positives about kids.

Promoting a kid friendly culture? Isn’t our culture kid friendly?

Well, yes and no. Kids are often tolerated .

They are taken out, brushed off, shown off and tucked away. A bit like little Christopher Robbins robots , taken to kid events and then put away.
From the article linked above ~

A look at how parents are portrayed in the media gives us more clues about current societal attitudes. In sitcoms, parents are typically presented as buffoons, bumbling and fumbling their way through life. “In the late ’90s, the mass media bombards us with negative stereotypes of moms and dads. It seems that every time we turn on TV, watch a movie, or read a magazine, we are confronted with yet another dismissive put-down of the parental role and function,” say Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornell West in their recent book The War Against Parents.

But why do such negative feelings about parenting come out in public situations?
One answer may be that many of today’s parents are unwilling to compromise their freedom and are, therefore, taking their children out more often and to more kinds of places. Moreover, people in general tend to spend more time in restaurants and other public spaces.

These recent trends create conflict. After arguing over a seat for my toddler with someone at a very noisy antique auction in upstate New York, an nearby older woman turned to me and said with vehemence, “I never took my children to auctions!”

Also children are very honest. Their emotions and frustrations are right there for all to see, which can be intimidating to adults, especially those who would prefer not to be in touch with their own, often difficult emotions. “Kids have a way of putting us in touch with our own vulnerabilities,” says Dr. Cancelmo .

They certainly do! I speak from experience, of having to confront my ideas and emotions and notions and beliefs upon dealing with and living with and enjoying children.

Why is it important to create a kid friendly society?

Kid friendly societies are family friendly societies.

And kids learn who-they-are by how-they-are-treated. Treat kids with respect and interest and they are more likely to exhibit this respect and interest themselves. They are more likely to grow up to become respectful adults..

It is necessary to go back to seeing the family as the sanctuary of life. The family is indeed sacred: it is the place in which life — the gift of God — can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life.
Pope John Paul II, The Hundredth Year, (Centesimus Annus), 1991 [#39]

Back to sharing the positives of kids ~ here is my emerging, evolving, off the cuff list. I’ll probably add to it later. And would like to see your litany of good things about kids, too.

Good Things About Kids

– kids keep me honest and humble – they make me keep things above board and ensure I don’t try to escape from unpleasantness

– kids make me smile – the things they say, the things they do

– getting involved in the lives and interests of my kids expands my own horizons and learning

– kids help me grow; they , inadvertently or not, push my buttons and make me question myself

– kids bring me closer to God, especially through the sacrament of Confession. I confess my failings, my impatience with my kids. How selfish would I be if I didn’t have my kids around?? And the kids keep me on my knees, keep me praying. They keep me at extra Masses, with special intentions…

– kids are fun – I say this while watching Anthony’s phone video of their plane flying adventures this afternoon

– kids give me some one extra to talk to – I am a social person and I love talking. We had a good discussion today on selfishness and on choices, me and some of the kids, based on a Battlestar Galactica episode. Hey, I'[m never lonely ( I’m never alone!).

– kids keep me current – yeah, I’m into some of the bands and clothes because of my kids

Off for a walk

Here I am, ready for my morning walk. Today I am walking with a friend. She is meeting me at my house at 7.;30 a.m and then we will walk for an hour, around a nearby lake and up a hill.

Have a happy day! And keep my dh in your prayers, too – for a special intention. Thanks!