View From My House

View From My House

Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden of Earthly Delights... er...I wish cont

Bad news first: My tomatoes and basil didn't survive...
Funnily enough we have a thriving pea patch on our hay that we haven't used yet.

Our surviving baby vegetables. I was really concerned about the survival of seedlings in a Tassie Winter, but these have most definately done so and are thriving. There has been alot of rain, some have died from being flooded, or being thrashed about in high winds. So we have around 9 plants still going, plus the pea patch, so we are pretty happy with what we do have. No where near able to see ourselves eating from the garden any time soon because they still are babies, but we might yield some edible food from the vege patch yet!

Our Jasmine, which I haven't gotten a photo of, is growing very well, and I am sad we'll have to leave it behind to be honest. Thats nearly 3 years of growth on those two plants! But they won't be happy to be moved and I couldn't move them interstate anyways. I guess I've grown attached to it!

As for homeschooling, it couldn't happen again today, as it was their day with their carer. As it turns out though I think we won't be needing her services for much longer at all. She's probably losing her best paying job and I feel sorry for her, but we have some issues - and there is the broken feeling to the week and to their lessons that I don't like and have never appreciated. Having a break from them is all well and good but we've done better in the past without that.

So, that is all really, Q.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A bit windy...

A small indication of how the wind was beating around yesterday morning, only to get worse by night. We had trouble getting a few groceries inside when we got home. When Andrew put the car away, we had to hold back the gates so he could drive the van in, wind was making it difficult even to drive!

I am yet to visit the Garden to see if any of it is left....

I know it could have been much worse, of course... but we do have a contingency plan if the house's roof got ripped off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just a quick update and some art...

First up is Dante's Dragon and next is Labyrinths The Flower and the Butterfly. Dante's was just so good I had to blog it, and Labyrinth's is pretty but that isn't the only reason, it's the type of art she draws for her psychiatrist, is it any wonder he has no clue about her? He probably thinks we are just panic mongering, argh!
Other things on my mind: Just starting to get things in boxes, cleaning the place up in anticipation of making life a bit simpler before we move. That and Tuesday was another day with their carer, so unfortuately no lessons. Sometimes its hard not to resent those two days of lost lessons but they are good (but rarely necessary) breaks. Sometimes its good to be able to put gifts on layby etc so they are unawares, and somtimes a break means I can do my various projects (but Andrew and I are both good for that kind of thing for each other (but still, once in a while it can be good to be just by ourselves... again a rarity as the carer likes to take them out a lot and can't legally take the fifth child...)
Our savings are just under $4500, thanks to the Family Tax Benefit Supplement. Although the green fridge and the eco friendly Sony Bravia TV's looked good, those will be great to get once the house is built. Andrew and I had a disagreement about that actually. I thought he wanted to put the move off for another few years (confused! We sold the big fish tank etc) rather than a few months (the quicker we have the land the larger the grant, naturally). We will do this without a bank loan and construct the house piece by piece, fortnight by fortnight if necessary, but with any luck we might be able to secure a loan and get a larger slice of grant, but really... how much will be offset by the interest we pay?

Off to see a friend who is doing living the dream with any luck on Monday, composting loos and all that, to see how it's working out for them! That is all really, Q.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Things From Today...

Above: Dante's Titan Below: Raven's Monkeys
Below: Monika's Monkey (eyes and mouth/face area?) She said it was a monkey!
Below: Labyrinth's Littlest Pet Shop

Above: Kai's weapons of choice Below: Dante's weapons and bugs.

A visit from Nan's today while we were doing writing lessons, realising Today is the first day back for Semester 2 for me, and lots of organising and chores around the house!

Really looking forward to this semester... A subject that you get to read children's books like Princess Bride, Where The Wild Things Are, Tombs of Antuan.... etc, another with books I like too, sounds like fun!

Other than that Kai is really not wanting to do his writing at the moment - it took him about 3 times as long as it did the other two, let alone his chores. He just wants to play PSP all the time, that is not an option I'm afraid. I did manage to get all of the art above too, without any being destroyed before I could grapple it from toddlers... The eldest three did BOOST Math and read from a chapter book to themselves and aloud to the littlest two. I read Eric Carle books to them as well, a family favourite author. Other than that I'm struggling with my patience and my tolerance of Kai's Desire To Not Study, Labyrinth's Desire To Question My Every Move and two toddlers Desire to Wreak Havoc Over Clean Just Folded Piles Of Laundry. Not to mention Andrew's struggle with all thing computers (well, just the Media Centre and the Children's Beastie.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

In the Life of a rebelling UnSchooling (with basics) Family

Photograpy by Mero Today:Capturing moments...

So I can remember these times forever....

Because soon they will be a child no more. That and I don't have the money to go out and pay someone else to take them for me.

As for homeschooling, we're all good. They are doing handwriting drills just because I think they need to be able to do legible writing and in a decent time frame, mainly as it slows everything else down too much. They all seem to enjoy it, even Raven has his own book. Brought them from Big W for less that $5 a piece. It was a necessary expense unfortunatly. With any luck it will solve all the issues.

Did I mention that Raven had his speech evaluation (as he is/has been very difficult to understand), well the verdict is in... he's more advanced intellectually than he is physically and his vocal cords are not mature enough to speak the words his mind is capable of understanding and using. This is all good because now I can 'guess' what he's trying to say (because he doesn't gesture or use body language he just gets frustrated). Tonight he told me he was cwyt... I asked him to repeat it and he did but it was still too difficult then I tried to understand and realised he was saying 'caught' on a basket in the loungeroom and it gave him a scratch (which was another leap of understanding.) Its great, I can now 'get' his speech!

He's also capable of beginning to write and read, as he shows me constantly. This is huge. He only turned 4 this month, but as it goes this is quite natural really in a homeschool environment, he just wants to be able to do what the other older children are doing so he's jumped ahead.

This can be said of Monika who was devestated that I didn't buy her one of the books previously mentioned, but she is happy to be read to everyday. We all take turns (even Raven who 'reads' to her in his own special way - you know how non readers do it for younger siblings?) She also would much rather do a drawing than watch TV or play with toys most of the time. She is an extreme mischief maker too. Just today she cunningly got the bag of sugar off the toaster which is above the counter top. She must have pushed her high chair over to do it. She never spilt any in the kitchen but took the bag into the loungeroom and proceeded to dump half it on the floor and begin eating and 'drawing' in it. Luckily Dante was in the room and rescued it and set Labyrinth to task to clean the mess while he emptied the last of it into glass canisters. How grown up!

Where was Andrew and I in all this? I was in the shower while Andrew was stubbornly refusing to get out of bed (and didn't until 11:40 am!) That is one of the issues of mental health, you can't push him you can only poke and prod a little and hope he'll take the hint or he might just stay there and refuse to get up at all.

We got ourselves some bargain fish, fruit and vegetables. Checked out some chairs we were considering accepting but now am unsure. Reasons won't be disclosed here. Anyways... that is it for now, Q.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photos & Art

Here we have Dante's pictures from today and yesterday, above his fish, below his bird.
And below is Kai's asian mountain home and para troops...
And Raven's fish... puffer/heart fish/elephant fish. He told us that and it is obvious once we were told, but I did initially think it was people.
Some photos: Kai, Raven, Monika and Andrew, 3 youngest and dad, group shot of the children outside HJs, Dante, Monika and Labyrinth...

Sometimes its hard to shift Andrew out of bed, which means having to either go without lunch or do as we did today... no not eat at HJs, we just get their free refills and grabbed a parcel of chips from across the road. They don't ever seem to mind. They got a good play too.

Also today we went and did pricing for building materials from Bunnings. I know it isn't the rock bottom cheapest place but its there to give us a good ball point figure (and hopefully save even more). We're certainly not against 2nds and 2nd hand building materials, and using what we can provide ourselves. We are bringing this to a bank too, costings and so forth, to get our little project off the ground much faster.

We also trialled so called Awesome Water for a week. It just didn't taste great and if I'm paying for it - it should! So, we will send it back... Also discovered FaceBook and spent far too long on it. Its a great thing but too addictive. Also reading Diana Wynne Jones House of Many Ways...a third installment to the Howls Moving Castle series. Now time to sit back and enjoy my cuppa chai tea and chill after a busy day (after I got Andrew motivated.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Kai!

Yes, it's the season for birthdays... and everything was cut down alot in order to afford his big present, the Resistance Retribution PSP pack... (we didn't have an activity like a family trip to the movies - that doesn't happen... although he did want to go for a laser skirmish or Zone3 activity, again, this couldn't happen... and the other toys given out were quite small really)

Young Monika above with her new Baby Bratz boy (picked up for $5 at toy world)... and she loves it, I was so happy because I wasn't at all sure how she'd take it?
Dante, Raven and Kai all recieved the smallest transformers, this is intended to be both practical and ensure they'd want to play with each other.
Labyirnth got a Littlest Petshop Pet, its a badger.
Kai recieving a gift from the only grandparents he gets to see/have anything to do with as we're estranged from the others. Reasons too personal to disclose.
Birthday party and cake time, with Nan and Poppy, the cake is an army scene meant to 'replicate' the Retribution games ... army mad boy, but he loves yellow and cuddles and he's not violent or harsh, just a great child really, just his interests lie in a place I don't understand, but I accept that it's just him.

That was how we spent the day, just relaxing and slowed right down to just enjoy it. We didn't actually even have a new DVD or anything for him to play with, the only other thing that was special was we all had a steak each for tea, under $7.. Y Bone. Even so, we all had a great time, no one was stressed or rushed and we didn't have to pander to any one elses needs, and Kai went into his birthday fully aware that if he got this PSP that there would be very little else, and a very small christmas indeed. However on the upside, he's got it now and with all our future intentions it will be great during the time we don't have access to the majority of our things and the probable lack of electricity. Anyways, it has to be short today as so much is happening! Q.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Daytrip to Orford and Pizza Night!

Beautiful Orford, and the first beach Labyrinth ever sat foot on, first beach she was taken to to swim at, and the first and only time she was aftraid of the water! She was just an early walking baby at the time... today had some business attached to it though. We got a whole heap of packing boxes given to us from a fellow free cycler. Thanks goes out to that woman and it will probably take everything we plan on taking with us to Victoria . YAY.
Raven running. Could not believe how many of the little black buggers we seen as we travelled up, but only one on the way back. Omninous or just thier feeding times? Below is little Monika, of course, having a great time.
Kai getting into it!
Dante looks comfortable, don't you think???
Monika loves getting amongst it.... she's an adventerous 1 year old, or 22 month old, whatever your take. She loves sliding too... which had me surprised as she didn't want to today, it was a manipulation thing with another girl around her age, me thinkest.
Firstly the Gluten Free Pizzas... you can get a real feel for how big they are, but how tasty? That is one thing you'd have to try on for yourself. Same again, pizza bases from the LifeStyle Bakery. Hey they should start sponsering me.
They all made their own tonight... Labyrinth decided to be different and make herself a pizza parcel... She ate this and asked for more!
Dante only ate half but he wanted to make it look artsy, so the main ingredients are around the owls eyes...
Poor Kai... he ended up being sick from travelling sickness in the car so didn't eat as much as he usually does. I think he liked the fact he didn't have to do anything once he got home though, just do his own thing on the couch.
Raven eating his little creation! He's getting to be a bit cheeky lately... born stirrer.
Even Monika got her own pizza (helped by Daddy to make).

And tomorrow is Kai's 7th birthday, yeah they nearly all happen at once around here, four in 3 months! Generally a poor time. Its cute though how Monika finds it a little bewildering!

I'm off to relax now as I am tired, Q.