Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh I Love Musical Theatre!

If you know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that music and theatre have both played a huge part in my life since I was a little girl. And musical theatre is my absolute passion! I am thrilled to say that Stuart has also embraced musicals in a big way over the last 10 years, and is pretty much as passionate about them now as I am. :D Which means this house tends to be filled with recorded or live, spontaneous music just about constantly! It is not unusual to hear our youngest babe singing songs from Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, Mary Poppins or Wicked.

We have a beautiful theatre in our town, which is turning 10 this year. And to celebrate, we are having a musical gala concert made up of medleys of songs from each of the six community musicals performed at the theatre thus far. The director is lacking a few key performers who have since moved away or are unavailable.... so I've scored 'Maria' in the Sound of Music segment, and 'Laurie' in the Oklahoma section! This makes me very very happy!!!! I'm also singing in the Les Mis medley because I couldn't possibly not. :)

Today was our first rehearsal, and it was so nice to have our whole family involved. Stuart is back to reprise his role of the Lion in Wizard of Oz, Saraya is once again a munchkin, and Elijah too is a munchkin!! He is one of the Lollipop Guild boys. So cute. Elijah tends to be a bit shy in public (NOT at home!), but today he sang out and surprised us all. William seemed happy to be there. I can't wait until he's old enough to join in too.

It was a looong day, and there will be several more weekends like this, but it will be worth it. July 10th is the performance date, matinee and evening shows - so if you're local or feel like trekking up here, please do!!

So nice to share my passion with my family. I am so grateful for music in my life!! :D

Happy Sunday friends.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just Wanted to Share

Saraya is reading her first chapter book independently!! She hasn't shown interest in doing so until today, when she picked up a copy of The Boxcar Children. We have read countless chapter books together, but this afternoon she began her own reading adventure. The tale of four orphaned siblings making their way in the world, all alone, captured her imagination! She is stopping every few pages to look up, breathless, and share all the details with me.

Baths out of the way, she was at it again. 5 chapters in and very excited!! I pray this is the beginning of a great love of reading. :D

Made Me Laugh

Yesterday I was washing the lunch dishes and heard the children squeeling in glee outside. I glanced out and noticed some beautiful galahs on and around the bird feeder.

After photographing them, I took one of the children playing. Elijah is being a horse, pulling Saraya in a wagon. She is heavy!!

Suddenly it started pouring rain. It had been raining on and off all morning. The galahs flew up into the gum tree. Can you spot them?

Saraya ran up onto the verandah, and I called to Elijah to come too.

"I CAN'T!!!!" he screamed to me - and then I realised he was tied up too tightly to get free! Poor little guy was getting soaked - but it really was funny. :D

I sent Saraya back to untie him (after all, she's the reason he was there in the first place...), and together they took their 'wagon' back up undercover.

And two very soaked children was the result. After drying them with towels, I tucked them into bed for rest time. Nice to get cosy after all that!

William found the whole thing pretty amusing. Isn't my big 2-year-old boy adorable? :D He has had 2 very big milestones this week. He's gone to wearing training pants through the day, consistently. Accidents are getting fewer! And the really big one is that he has weaned himself off his bottles! Anyone who knows William knows that this is a big deal...... he loved his bottles. I have had it in mind to wean him, just waiting for what seemed like the right time, and earlier this week he began rejecting his bottles. He kept saying they were too hot, or too cold. After about 24 hours I realised that both his remaining bottle teats had tiny splits in them - no wonder he was rejecting them. :( Rather than replacing them, we've just gone to sipper cups. He is coping beautifully. He asks me for a bottle, then reminds himself that they "don't work" and are "all gone". He takes the cup pretty happily, but only drinks a few sips of milk. It really was the sucking he loved about the bottles!

Anyway, I'm proud of him and thankful that the perfect opportunity presented itself for weaning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just Swingin'

The weather was so beautiful yesterday, we took everything out on a rug after rest time and spent a couple of hours in the sunshine. Autumn is lovely in Queensland!

We read Saraya's science lesson, drew in our nature notebooks, watched the kookaburra's laughing over our heads, the ducks on the dam, and so on. So nice just to be outside. And after all that learning and resting, Saraya jumped on the swing for some fun. And I photographed her!

Love watching my girl just enjoying her childhood. Precious!

Monday, May 24, 2010

William is Two!!

My sweet baby boy is 2 years old today. My littlest one. Two. How can this be?!?

I remember him being born like it was yesterday. His tiny tender body in my arms. His little sounds. His newborn scent. :)

But, here we were on Saturday, my children and I, shaping wool into soft felt balls for his chubby 2 year old hands to roll and play with...........

And so the rooster crowed early this morning, just before six, before the sun popped it's head over our hill.......... and we were all on the big bed, cuddling him and kissing him in the early dawn light, and wishing him a happy birthday! He knew, he understood. There was going to be a cake today!!! A chocolate cake with "mowers on top, Mama!" :D

Stuart showing William his cake

One of the mowers on top had to come straight off.. He was so excited!!!!

blowing softly..........

he did it!!
Yes, we did eat cake for breakfast.... along with other things :D

unwrapping his felt balls......... wrapped in a blue playsilk!
I've been wanting to buy one for so long.... could only afford a little one but he still liked it

hiding, and singing his favourite hiding song......

his own special beeswax crayons

this boy loves to draw, and so does his big sister.........

she presented him with a book she had made him..........
a mowers 'colours' book! very cute........

and a mower to hang above his cot

and a finger-knitted bracelet....... which he flatly refused to wear, to Saraya's dismay

later on, drawing again

icing and decorating biscuits for morning tea

William's birthday flowers picked from the garden.
I presented them to him yesterday, and he beamed!!! He loved helping me put them in water.

We did little today other than eat, and read, and cuddle and draw.

He also requested a walk, so we did that too, right down our hilly road.

And when Papa got home the best surprise of all happened for our birthday boy.......

A big long ride on the mower!!!!!!

Happy birthday my beautiful bouncy boy. You are so very very loved by us all!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Stillness

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

We had a picnic lunch together in the beautifully cool autumn sunshine today.

Togetherness, resting, listening, savouring, soaking in the stillness.......

And preparing for William's 2nd birthday, tomorrow!!!!!! Who can believe my baby will be 2 years old? How I love that boy. Preparing to make his day special has been such an honour. :D

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Words We Love

""So this is my new boy? I am glad to see you, my dear, and hope you'll be happy here," said the lady, drawing him to her, and stroking back the hair from his forehead with a kind hand and a motherly look, which made Nat's lonely little heart yearn toward her."

"But after the evening talk was done, the evening song sung, and the house grew still with beautiful Sunday silence, Dan lay awake in his pleasant room, thinking new thoughts, feeling new hopes and desires stirring in his boyish heart, for two good angels had entered in: love and gratitude began the work which time and effort were to finish".

"Words could not express how pleased and touched Dan was by this confidence and praise. No one had ever trusted him before, no one had cared to find out and foster the good in him, no one had suspected how much there was hidden away in the breast of the neglected boy, going fast to ruin, yet quick to feel and value sympathy and help".

"Could I see anybody's soul with this microscope if I looked hard?" asked Demi, who was much impressed with the power of the bit of glass.

"No dear; it's not powerful enough for that, and never can be made so. You must wait a long while before your eyes are clear enough to see the most invisible of God's wonders. But looking at the lovely things you can see will help you to understand the lovelier things you can not see," answered Uncle Fritz, with his hand on the boy's head."

"The gardens did well that summer, and in September the little crops were gathered in with much rejoicing".


Words we love. :D A tribute to the wonderful "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott. We are nearly finished, only 2 chapters to go!! It has been a wonderful journey. We will surely miss Plumfield.

Saraya has especially enjoyed it. The cuddle-time, the story, the memorable characters, the giggles, the adventures, the old-fashioned beauty of simpler times. We sigh in unison. She dons her "Laura dress".......

Photos of her and her kitty Molly spending time in the garden - these two are inseparable!! :D

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Few Encouraging Links

"Clearly there is an appropriate kind of sheltering.
When those who are opposed to homeschooling accuse me of sheltering my children,
my response is always "What are you going to accuse me of next?
Feeding and clothing them?"
R.C. Sproul

Fantastic post put up by Rebecca. The above quote is included. If you have been wondering about this issue, particularly from a Christian perspective, do yourself a favour and go and read Rebecca's wise words. She is a seasoned mother with 5 girls ages 2 to 13 - she knows her stuff!!! I found it very encouraging.

I also wanted to share the link to Ann's blog. If you have never visited 'Holy Experience', you must!! :D Ann's writing is wonderful. Just allow a bit of time, have a cup of tea beside you, because you won't want to leave her world once you enter into it!

This post on how to make homeschooling consistent, contagious, about curiousity, and a continuum of your real life, was very helpful to me this week.

I hope everyone's having a lovely Friday. We are fortunate here, it's a public holiday for the local show! Only we're not going to the show, so we've just had an extra weekend day together. I've been reading, tidying, washing and working on Will's birthday present. Photos to come!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homeschool Happenings

Yes, I did coin this phrase from you Amy - I hope you don't mind!! :D

Well, I have a sick little boy who is demanding cuddles 24/7 this week (and rightfully so, he clearly feels awful) so all else seems to be falling by the wayside. I am striving to read to and pray with the children each day, and if that's all we achieve, then so be it! I'm also trying to keep the house clean and tidy and feed us well so we don't all come down with the cold.

Despite all this a few good things have been happening on the homeschooling front and I've taken a few photos so I thought I'd share them. My focus right now is on little achievements, noticing the little things, striving for contentment through simplicity. It's easy to notice the things I don't do, so minimising my to-do lists and taking note of what I do do is keeping me sane this week!

we made playdough last week, and it's had a workout this week! Will especially loves it. Nice to find something which keeps him amused for awhile....

the children had a long painting session on Monday

colouring, cutting, and putting in order of size - Eljiah enjoyed this activity, thanks Sarah for the link!

I caught this one this morning! Nice to cuddle your kitten whilst practicing handwriting... :)

ticking more words off her self-composed spelling list

look, cover up, write, look, cover up, write....... this system is working well. 2 new words each day, plus more being added all the time...

Elijah is learning to read! Teaching him his phonics is working well. He is frequently blending letter sounds on his own now, the beginnings of an independent reader, yay!!
Today we did 'Ff' and all joined him in a fun fish activity!

William 'stuffing' his fish (please excuse his runny nose...)

cutting strips of paper for the sea

all done! Our fishy mobile. William loves it and it's brightened up our living room....

the children have displayed their collection of coral on top of the library shelves - it's kind of turning into a sea theme in here now!

Hope everyone's having a great week. Blessings!!


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