View From My House

View From My House

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who Do? ZooDoo!

I have been unexcusably slack on this blog, and I apologise, and will be slack over the next week to 9 days as I have my three final assignments for uni due and I haven't begun a single one. I am crazy but somehow I always seem to pull it off with decent if not good results. I have been reading all the set texts though so maybe it is a little OK in regards to Uni. For this blog though, I have been naughty. I have got a lot of housework done, managed to complete one scrapbook page (which I won't share due to it being a bit personal) and begun another. And we've had a wonderful Halloween as well as going to ZooDoo on Tuesday.
I've admittedly questioned my decision to stick by Andrew and his mental illness, and this of late has had some bearing on my stress levels. He has in the last 3 weeks gone completely of his meds, gone back onto one of them and completely withdrawn from that and begun a heavy dose of Lithium. This has been a very difficult time as he's not so much been depressed (he hasn't), he's had one single symptom - incredible irritability. The normal children playing noises was enough for an explosion.
So, I very nearly had enough, was just about ready to clear off but he went to the GP now he's on Lith and he's doing much much better. He didn't go on the slow approach about it either, he copped the harsh physical side effects to get better faster probably because he knew how I was feeling about the episode. But two of the best memories of our married lives happened this week, one being ZooDoo, and the other was Halloween yesterday. Just a simple family day but a good one. I'll put a post up especially on that later.
We loved ZooDoo, we were taken by the baby Marmoset with mum, the Tigers and Lions were sleepy of course, but it was nice to see them, the baby animal nursery was sweet as the children interacted nicely with goats/sheep/guinea pigs etc but the younger two enjoyed the native Australian animal area much more. They were shy to begin with.
The tour was good too, but Raven was quite freaked out by the Emu who snatched his food bag right out of his hand and it made him nervous of the whole lot after that - especially the Ostriches which were surprisingly quite gentle.
The black swans can be found and enjoyed right out our window, so they weren't very special to us, but we loved the albino and coloured peacocks (there were even matching peahens for both!) Peacocks are lovely as they embody my favourite colours of purple and turquoise, so beautiful.
It was really a great day, but I'll be looking forward to a return visit when they have the lizard enclosure up and running. The children got a token stuffed toy of course: Monika a monkey (she loves them), Raven a Koala (he became quite taken with the Koala there, so passive and sweet - I think it was the only animal he touched whilst we were there), Kai got an echidna (he loves the oddest beasts, his all time favourite is an elephant because he thinks they are cute. As an aside it is the strangest thing I've ever seen given away on freecycle - an elephant - true!), Dante got a Tassie Tiger and Labyrinth got a Kangaroo with a Joey in its pouch (she's obsessed with baby this or that, scary).
We took along our own BBQ. As you may be aware I have to eat Gluten Free as I'm a Coeliac, you can see the dramas of that in my other blog. I am only really recently diagnosed by diet and blood, relatively speaking, and Raven shows the classic symptoms/appearance and has the double DNA markers so he's GF too. So I made our own burgers, which I'll probably post the recipe on the other blog as I do quite a few of the recipes we make in the other blog also (however I must warn I update that even less).
All of the children have already blogged on ZooDoo (go into profiles and those links are there) to those blogs.
I have to go as Monika is crying and won't hop off my lap... but one last thing, I included the ZooDooLoo as I was so impressed by it, I love Jasmine, was quite something as an outside toilet, it rekindled my desire to build my own home on a farm. Thats it for now, Q.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crazy last two weeks!

These two pictures are what Raven and Monika get up to. They are most of the way through the first workbook of Reading eggs, and they love it. above is Monika's and below is a particularly good example of how well Raven can write, albeit a poor scan.

Above, Dante's picture... I'll let you the reader decide what he's trying to say (in other words I'm still confused). The picture below is Labyrinth's trippy cat.

This is so cute I had to share. She's changing so very fast! I wish I could remember to be more snap happy, but with everything that's been going on its been a bit difficult!
So this has been our fortnight, we've completely rearranged the whole house, reorganised and reshuffled everything, so far its on a whole been working.
I have my study in the master bedroom whilst Andrew has his in the loungeroom. This has not been ideal for Andrew as the children like to try and use his computer etc while he and I are still asleep! Solution? We're going to have to lock them out and give them a new TV for the boys room.
Yep, that's right the boys have a room, and the girls have a room, both have functioning computers and desks to work at. Friday we'll have a set top box in the boy's room so they can have access to TV in those very wee hours of the morning.
Other than that, we've cleaned out the kitchen/laundry/bathroom. All the bookshelves are now at maximum so we need another of those. No nook and cranny has been left undone... OK we still need to clean out the fridge/main food cupboard then well be done.
As for homeschooling. well for a week that didn't get done, but I did use it to organise the homeschooling much better in anticipation of the THEAC (Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council) visitation last Wednesday. Well that didn't happen. I was glutened that morning and feeling rather worse for wear, and the inspector was ill too. So it's been put off until tomorrow. We've done weeding and kept the watering up to the garden as needed. We've got Raven on a dairy free gluten free diet and keeping a food diary up to keep on an eye on progress/problems. More on that in the other blog.
In the last week we've been back at normal schooling again. This is our daily routine:
Writing, Reading a chapter from a chapter book and reading aloud to the youngest two, Mavis teaches Typing, Clue Finders (for spelling/eng comp etc) and Volcanic Panic/Garfield for Math. That's our morning. About once a week we do a written draft and they blog it, they all have their own active blogs now but only have a couple of posts each. We also do IT lessons, science, cooking, and they see the glenorchy homeschoolers on Fridays for a play in the park. We are still doing our mythical creatures, but I'm going to intersperse that with continuing our units on Life On Earth now that we seem to be going so well. So, that's once a week, as is mythical creatures. Last week we attempted to make dragons from air drying clay, unsuccessfully - so I'll get some Fimo on Friday.
I'm rather pleased that all is going so well, we seem to slowly be overcoming some reluctance (translation: slow writing - hell I know it isn't stimulating but they know good things happen ie they get to play PS3 or surf the net if they get it done well and quickly).
I'll update the blog much more regularly.. there is always something though isn't there? I've got my three final assessments due back at UNE in the next half month so I've actually whenI've got a spare minute been frantically reading to try and keep up! I've read The Changeling by M Mahey, followed by Goldman's Princess Bride, oh such torture, not. I'm loving it, Charlotte's Web is next! But then I've got to go read all the boring academic papers to accompany it... so over that part... but the great news is... next year I'm stopping Uni to write novels and children's books. One of my assignments came back which was a book proposal (genuine one that I intend to do next year, testing the waters so to speak), and I got one mark shy of a HD. Why wasn't it a HD? Because I didn't quote enough of the boring academics (although I included all the readings I had to do anyway). So what! I'm very aware that the overall consensus that the writers who write children's books say about academic writers... and I am a writer not an academic I suppose. (They basically say that its the academic's domain and they have no real interest in it BTW ~ I'll add here my bit... the academics are just making a living squabbling over sucessful writers).
So that's it for now, long I know but I had a bit to catch up on. Q.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There be dragons in these here parts...and Elmer too.

Above Monika is enjoying Elmer in the Snow with Mummy - pure joy.
These are the pictures of dragons the children drew today. To help them have a really good go at it (instead of just slacking off about it) I was naughty and made it into a bit of a competition. Basically what I wanted from them was to push themselves just a little bit, and these were the results. Andrew and I decided that Kai above won the little competition. I was going to give him and all the runners up (ie the rest of the children a chupa chub each) and the winner, Kai, to recieve a chupa chub and some time on the PS3. He shows his generous heart by sharing his time playing a multi player game with all the children. I was so pleased it worked out well and everybody was really happy, so I didn't get the guilts up about making it competitive - even though in this particular case the end did indeed justify the means - everyone ended up happy.
So next runner up was Raven, he did a good effort but in drawing but lost his edge when it came to putting time into colouring it, Labyrinth next, with her very colourful and creative nose diving dragon, and Dante who usually leads the way didn't seem to have his heart in it at all, unfortunately.

Motivating them has been challenging of late. They do their standard lessons mostly happily, they just don't like doing extras (which they view the myth lessons to be). We will be doing clay dragons on Thursday, with any luck the weather will be beautiful tomorrow and we'll be spending some of the day with fellow homeschoolers in a park.
Backtracking a bit, I thought I might add in Sunday. Sunday was fantastic, we went to the local fair in Blackman's Bay to be with some friends. It was a nice hot day too. We didn't really want to spend a heap of money on the one train ride or the jumping castle, it would have cost $15 for all the children to have a bounce for ten or so minutes. Not bleeding likely. But we did fill a bag with toys for $5 - building duplo blocks, a complete wooden Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle, and a soft toy each, a box of Yowie bugs cost $2 and a large stack of books for $4. Was very pleased. Then we spent some time with our lovely friends Jess and Jade, and their children Jaz and Theo. We had a great time chatting, and her mother and psuedo sis in law Charlotte was there too for a while with their son Noah - I haven't seen Charlotte in years, same with Jess' mum. Also tried out SingStar which is a positive for Christmas.
Still haven't decided on housing options yet. Can't seem to think how we could make this space work with seven, five of which are growing at a phenomenal rate. Raven is now Gluten Free, which I'll have to update the Quasior's Recovery From Silly Yaks soon to explain all that. That is all for now, Q.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garden Of Earthy Delights... err... I WIsh,,, cont.

Our Garden is becoming something more now...

So this is how our Garden is Growing! We have salad and stir fry vegies like lettuce and Pak Choy, Cauliflower and Brocolli, Capsicum, Beans, Peas, Zuchinni, Tomato, Basil, Spinach, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Kale for starters. We've all enjoyed the garden so much we've all been a bit tempted to stay put, after all we've been offered to buy the place. But really we haven't come to a decsion, we know we don't want to settle here, but we're keen to get a start, and it might take a while before we've got the money to get our own property. I might have an issue with unsteady electricity too, if I do indeed have sleep apnea on top of everything else. That and we all share one bedroom right now, and if we all had a bedroom each we would have to have our studiy spaces (computers and books) in each room. That would equal much sacrifice - is it worth it? Also I'm keen to get out on the farm so more things get established earlier, like fruit/nut trees. Sure we could have them in pot plants for three years and have the money that we make from selling this house to help set us up a bit. Plus experience from making this house work. Well, we have a lot to weigh up. One really, really good thing that was a deal breaker for us and one where we were keen to go get a property in Victoria was the homeschooling/ our kids getting good friends debate. Well, thats no longer a concern, they are making more friends now and they can see them up to twice a week when we all have our get togethers. Much to consider, but right now I'm keen on our little garden, Q.