We are a creative homeschooling family of 3. I have homeschooled my 2 boys from the start and we do lots of unit studies and get out into our beautiful part of the world as often as we can.
As the boys are getting older and we are getting busier I find I am posting less about our journey but will continue to update occasionally.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Something Special for Me!

I have finaly found myself some beautiful spiral earings, I have been looking for some for ages and I found an amazingly talented lady who made me these ones especially for me!
I liked them so much I ordered a pendant for a necklace as well.

I tried to post the pic here but am not that clever so have a look at her store


and you might be tempted as well!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Its raining again

We have been getting so much rain- it is great for the garden.
I have been unwell for about 5 weeks though
and my poor garden is really needing me to get out there and do something!
So hopefully in the near future I will get my hands back into the earth.
But with all of the rain about most of what is in is raging, the corn is absolutely delicious, the cucumbers are powering and so are the tomatoes. And so are the ducklings- here is one of our little escape artists.

We have inherited a second hand trampoline from our very dear friends at Frogsville and Mr5 is simply thrilled to bits with it- as you can see

Mr 10 is loving in as well, but he is actually lucky to get a chance when Mr5 is having a break!

He does get off the trampoline occasionally, but he certainly does not stay on the ground long!

Our little monkey-

And with all the rain there is lots of glorious mud!

Our Mud Brothers

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Cultural Expeience

As we live a fairly isolated lifestyle,
I like to give the boys as much exposure as I can to all things cultural.

So we visited the science centre at the Queensland museum for some hands on, interactive science. They both love science and Dad is doing a degree in environmental science, but too much science is never enough for my3 boys. (including Dad)

The tunnel was amazing but alas, I was not feeling very well so I did a lot of spectating and took the photos.

There were all sorts of different displays focusing on- the human body, the earth and space. They had talks and demonstrations and it certainly wasn't hard to pick the unschooled kids- they were the overenthusiastic kids who simply did not comprehend the concept of holding up their hands and waiting to be asked for the answer to the questions.

Next on the list was a visit to the Queensland Art Gallery
The boys are not as into art as their mother so they just sort of had to grin and bear it.

They liked this one as it was so big and they could imagine it at Hogwarts.

Next on our list was the Gallery of Contempory Art

Here the boys had a fab time
so much interactive stuff happening and lots of kids focus

Cool Down

We had a scorcher of a day on our holiday Brisbane hit 37 deg.
and that made it perfect for a cool down at Southbank Parklands City Beach.

It is a great place to take little ones.
It has different depth pools, rivers, beaches and lagoons,
All sorts of fountains and interactive spraying things.

My boys absolutely loved it there
and would have loved to spend all day and night there everyday
It has lifeguards and is open 24hrs and it is Free!

Our day here has really improved the boys water confidence
and they are both keen to get back to a pool and practice their swimming now.

They also both had the opportunity for the big S word
Our two fairly isolated country boys made friends quickly and easily
all different colours, sexes and ages.

Images of their happy smiling faces also made the Brisbane channel 10 news that night, on the weather segment. Mr5 was shown scrambling up the rocks and running to jump into the water.


We have had a lovely time in Brisbane.
It's such a great place to visit, we loved the covered walkway,

and this is the only way to have bouganvillea if you ask me!

Mr5 made a new friend

and Mr10 who celebrated hitting double digits whilst we were away, spent most of his time hunting and catching lizards and birds, to pat them and let them go. He even cought an Ibis!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Summer holiday

Yes we are all ready and heading off tomorrow! Yippee

I have totally decluttered and spring cleaned- all ready for the house sitters, written up the two pages of instructions on animal feeding for our menagerie and carefully selected highlights of the bookshelf, toybox, yard and area.

That also means I get a holiday in Januaryt as that is when I normally do the big clean/declutter- yay

We are all packed and almost organised and we are going tomorrow, the boys have finally dropped off to sleep, I just need to top up all the animals food and water and load up the car and we are off.....


What type of horse are you?

Some of our friends are doing this quiz on their blogs and we liked the idea- this is who we are

What breed of horse are you? Find out!

Mr9, Mr5 and myself all came up as quarter horse!

LOL I wonder if that means we have a pedigree.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For the love of CHOOKS!

My two boys love animals, they love all animals and our menagerie includes many mouths to feed and arrange care for if ever we want to be away at all.
We have the usual dog and cat, some budgies and fish, we also have lizards and the odd visiting tirtle or snake and we have,

the chooks!

Our Mr 9 has tamed and trained some of our chooks-

For your information here is


Wings of Bravery

(or just wingsie, just for short)

good night chookies.

Wingsie was his first really tame chook and he can get her to perch on his arm or his shoulder, apparently she is being a pirates parrot in that position.
Wingsie is certainly a chook with a lot of personality,
she will eat out of Mr9s hand,
she escapes constantly but is no trouble at all to catch again,
and will really try to catch Mr9s attention so he will come and play with her.
These days Mr5 spends more time with Wingsie
as Mr 9 is busy taming roosters and bearded dragons.

These are his current fascination and they look a bit scary to me,
but he happily picks them up, removes any ticks
and gives them a good feed on banana or egg or peas
and a good talking too about how nice it is to live in our garden
and how welcome they are to stay.

Family Snaps

Here are some photo's of us on the way to an art exhibition-

Lets make Amber

Mr5 arrived in the kitchen recently with his hands full of tree sap from our plum tree.

"Look what I have got Mum"

"MMM that's nice, what is it?"

"Its sap and if we put it in some salt water and in the microwave we can make amber!"

"How will that work, darling?"

"The microwave will make it cook faster so we don't have to wait 64million years"

So on pondering this conversation I can see he understands how amber is created, that it takes time and happens at the bottom of the sea. OK he missed the bit about it being pine resin, but he has come up with an idea about how to bypass the eons of time needed to produce it, which is certainly an example of creative thinking- something I am rather big on! It also shows how much natural learning happens in a free mind- children are truly amazing!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A stroll through my garden

Here are a few snapshots of what is happening in our garden.

some new baby ducklings

some more baby corn with some of our ducks in the background

a beautiful echinacea flower in the herb spiral

our painted boots and some of our succulents

and walking back up the yard you can see the kids little pool, the paulonia wih the bird feeder and the shade cloth structure is sandpit downstairs and cubby house upstairs.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snakes in the Garden

We are having a few reptilian visitors lately.

Mr5 had a close encounter with a green tree snake, they are often seen rapidly climbing up the she oaks, sometimes green sometimes brown. One year when Mr5 was a little baby The boys and I were playing on our lounge room floor when one meandered through the house, I swear our big boy levitated that day, landing safely on the lounge behind his Mummy and instinctively reaching around and grabbing his baby brother to shield behind me as well. I quietly slid the screen door open and we watched the snake silently slither between our two sleeping dobermans on the door mat. That was a very exciting day, and DH got a phone call at work a few minutes later to bring home cement and weather strips to keep snakes out of our house.

We have had a beautiful red belly black snake hanging around for a few days. The boys were on full alert, boots and jeans in the garden- I see it as a great learning opportunity. They can learn to be careful instead of just tearing around heedless of everything else.

They can learn to look and listen quietly- this is one they both need a bit of practice on- LOL. We watched its slow and careful progress from down the back , up through the trees, the garden, it even visited the sand pit, next it was spotted in the logs in the frog pond garden and a couple of day later DH spotted it up at the front fence. We get lots of red belly black snakes visiting our place on their journeying, they all come from down the back paddock and make their way towards the river through our land. We joke about being on the red belly black snake highway and find lots of snake skins in the gardens and all around the house, we have done for years. This year we have new neighbors (after living here for 8 years without neighbors) and the Mr next door fancies himself as a bit of a Steve Irwin so about 10 minutes after DH saw the snake up the front Mr next door decides to 'help' it by picking it up by the tail and carrying it dragging and dangling from his outstretched arm right back up the back paddock where the poor thing had started from. And the poor snake was pretty cranky by then so Mr next door threw it as far away from him as he could. grrr.

So we discussed with the boys how silly Mr next door was and we discussed with Mr next door how the snakes have been travelling this route for some time without his help, and actually they are going towards the river not back up the paddock, so as the season pans out we will see how many other snakes need his assistance. I might need some tactful way discussing his wildlife handling skills, he had a coucall bird the other day going berserk in his hands while he showed my boys. I prefer they use binoculars or their eyes from a distance and leave the wildlife to do their own thing. More and more learning opportunities.

We have also been getting a few bearded dragons visiting and have picked up a few long necked turtles on the road.

Laying in bed last night I remembered another noteworthy snake incident- last summer we were trying to do some renovations to our house and it rained for the entire uni break- so we were doing as much as we could under the cover of our verandah- hence it was a crowded space filled with secondhand hardwood weatherboards being sanded, planed and painted with primer- chaos reigned.

Now onto this same verandah go two sliding glass doors, that get left open with just the screen door closed in summer. One leads into the lounge room and is the main front door and one leads into our bedroom, the bedroom screen door can be a bit tricky to close. One day I was happily typing away at my computer when Mr5 who was then only 4 said oh look Mummy a snakeskin- and he was right a rather large 1.5 m snake had been in my bedroom and shed its skin and gone back out all without being seen.... It took a while to be comfortable in my room again and it was rather scary walking around in the dark at night. We are however very careful about closing that door these days and I tend to keep it locked.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cous Cous Salad

I am so loving this salad at the moment and it is such a fluid recipe-
I love to make a big bowl and keep it in the fridge,
it is a wonderful standby for the perennial-
"Mum I am starving, what can I eat?"
basically whatever is ripe in the garden-
the ingredients coloured orange are the essentials
the rest are constantly changing

cous cous- one or two good cup fulls when dry
(soak in the correct volume of cold water with stock powder,
salt and pepper and lemon or lime or orange juice)

a tin of chick peas
finely diced peeled and seeded cucumber
quartered cherry tomatoes
finely chopped basil, parsley or chives
finely diced red onion
finely diced celery
spring onion
grated cheddar
cooled steamed asparagus
cool cooked peas


The Great Decluttering

At this time of the year, when school is finished an the long hot summer is spread out in from of me I like to do a major declutter. It is amazing how much 'stuff' one accumulates. We are all hoarders in this family as well but all feel the benefits of a clean slate for the new year.

Being homeschoolers we generate heaps of stuff and although some of it can go- like the huge butterfly poster we made when studying insects that almost covered one small wall of our bathroom and was so pretty at the time- it is now a bit tatty and dusty.
A lot of our school work can be added into our lapbooks, where most of it is anyway, and some things like the life size Me Maps we made of both the boys that they want to keep- on the walls of their bedrooms.

As an added incentive this year we are having a house sitter come next week whilst we go on holiday so that has inspired us all to get in and make the house nice for our friends who will be staying here.

So I have sorted and cleaned the pantry, the boys have given the veranda a huge clean up and when I get out there, it will be a much quicker job.

Mr 9 is in his room working away- unfortunately I can't say happily.
Mr5 is just having his 4th or 5th breakfast and will be in his room shortly.
Our little man won't have to do too much as I get in there regularly
but big boy will have a much bigger job as I have not been in there for about three months,
and three months is a long time in a little boys life, lots of time to collect more books and national geographic's from the op shop, more interesting rocks, seeds and birds nests. More creations made from everything he can scrounge anywhere, and just more stuff he considers important. I will need to get in there later whilst we negotiate storage options and capacity. Luckily or maybe unluckily for us we have a big bus that we can use for storage of excess things we need to keep. The bus will need decluttering this break as well, but that can wait till after our holiday.
So still on my list are the laundry and the linen cupboard, my bed room and cleaning the oven and the windows.

A clean and sparkling space is such a lovely way to start the new year. It also gives you permission with yourself to take a well earned break-
something I know I need but sometimes have a hard time actually doing.
Letting go of all of this physical stuff
is also inspiration to let go of stuff that is cluttering up our selves as well.
As we are planning on attending a Summer Solstice Party
with a big ritual fire to let go of these things , so while we are decluttering our home
we are being mindful of what we will be letting go of this Solstice.

One other benefit of the great decluttering this year is it helps me think of other things besides my 2 best friends and their individual battles with cancer, and my upcomiong doctors check up.

Hanging Around

Here is our little Mr 5 he is hanging around up in the cubby house-
Watching the birds in the tree and feeding in our new bird feeder-
It is very exciting, we have the most beautiful visitors arriving all the time, a lovely pair of king parrots- big boys favourite- bright and colourful clouds of raucous rainbow lorikeets, and the beautiful crested pigeons feeding on the ground.

The lorikeets are so noisy and we eat out dinner outside at a table very close to the tree, sometimes we can hardly hear each other over their noise. The bench seat facing the tree has become the favoured place to sit so we can watch their funny antics- they are so acrobatic.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We have 7 new baby ducklings this morning, they loin the 3 that hatched a fortnight ago. They are such cute little babies and it is amazing to see the difference a couple of weeks makes to their development, size and colour. The new ones are so tiny and bright yellow or black, the ones a little older have faded to a pale pastel yellow and are so much more capable. They can run and swim and catch bugs- the little newborns are still in a huddle on their siblings in eggs. We have one more clutch of eggs under another duck and a clucky chook on 6 eggs in the chook dome. Spring is definitely doing its thing around here.

The new frog pond is full of tadpoles rapidly growing, and the young plants we have planted around it are all growing like crazy. Hopefully the giant frangipani cutting I planted out there will take root, it is flowering-

The vegie garden is blessing us with abundance- cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, herbs, corn, pumpkins, artichokes and we will soon be picking melons as well. We have just finished a huge strawberry harvest- much to Mr5s delight, I am amazed he didn't turn into a strawberry! Another highlight of our 5 year olds bottomless tummy was the mulberry harvest- 2 purple boys, up in the mulberry trees every afternoon. I didn't get to make any jam or pies this year, it was all harvested and eaten in the garden. It is very special to wake up at 5 am with my little boy, have a quick snuggle and have him jump out to check the garden for breakfast.


Here are some of my latest paintings, that I exhibited at the recent Jacaranda Festival in Grafton.

I have been enjoying working with different texture mediums and silk dyes for vibrant and vivid effects.
The one with the Boabs is from my itchy feet reminding me of being up in the Kimberley.

The lovely swirly purple and green one is called "The Fluidity of Space and Time"

And the third one is called Women of The Earth - circle around. It is quite large.