Thursday, December 15, 2011


We've had the kittens home for nearly two weeks now, and after thier initial this is big, and new, and scary ...they started to make themselves very much at home.

They discovered beds were good for sleeping in ( and wrestling on)

They found the toys, and people to play with them

And when they were too tired to lift a paw in play, lots of sunny places to crash out and sleep again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Patchwork of Days

Outside my window...

Green, everything is growing and flourishing, except the roses which having given their first blooms are waiting for me to dead-head them.

I am listening to...

Silence, almost silence, my youngest if curled up on the couch talking to the kittens, who are pondering whether they are sleepy or ready to play. Somehow these two little bundles of fur manage to sound like a herd of elephants when they start racing after each other.

I am thankful for...

A newly turned 15 yr old and an opportunity to go out for dinner in celebration of our 18th wedding anniversary. Life is good.

From the learning rooms...

We're still working on Roland and enjoying reading a Midsummer-night's dream as a family. After months of half days and tiredness were finally starting to pick up Latin and Greek again..not such good timing but its nice to feel positive about school. the pieces are falling into place for a very different summer.

From the kitchen...

Not much happening. I should be making rose-petal jam fudge and a Christmas cake, and in reality they will happen somewhere in between the ballet rehearsals and the schoolwork.

I am reading..

Roland and a Midsummer-nights dream. Its been fun to get back into reading Shakespeare together, and with the business of this season its good if we have to keep going to be able to drop the after school reading prep, watch a movie with hubby and read together as a family.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

The last busy week for the year. Ballet, ballet and more ballet. The Christmas shopping is almost done, the box for Christchurch family wrapped, time for some baking, some sitting back and watching kittens, board-games unless the weather clears, and some learning. It should be a very good week.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Dress Rehearsals the girls in my daughters class. These are the Chinese costumes that we spent our spring break making. I'm looking forward to seeing how beautiful they all look on the night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Patchwork of Days

Outside my window...

Cloudy and overcast - spring rain, ouch. Tony's was away overnight with his class on a outdoors education weekend. I hope they didn't get the rain as last night they were sleeping out in the bush under tarpaulins.... will have to spoil him when he gets back tonight.

I am listening to...

Rain, birdsong, natural quite, everyone else is sleeping in.

I am thankful for...

Roses, Irises, a garden in full bloom, a tidy desk, space to relax and rest...hope of the kittens coming soon, family

From the learning rooms...

New rhythms are growing, which is good, school these days is a lot more relaxed, not schedule driven but next thing driven. Its nice not to always feel pressured to keep them moving forward. Its nice to be able to admit when we need a break and take time to rest.

From the kitchen...

Not much, its time to spring clean the freezer and use up the frozen last night we had Beef Casserole turned into a pie with a short wholemeal crust..yum.

I am reading..

It's been a while as a family we just finished the Lord of the Rings... its been great having Tony read it with all the voices and well I miss looking forward to our chapter at the end of the day. At least the Gollum voices are still with us.

Alongside that this week we've had Beowulf and Robin Hood. I've enjoyed Beowulf especially with the Veritas motes and questions alongside. Having these books in context to read through makes them a richer than when we have read them as stand alone titles.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Its a busy week ahead... and yet the calm before the storm.

We'll put up the Christmas tree early this year.Each year we add one decoration for the year that has been, and well this year we need to remember Zeke, so it would be good to do that before the kittens arrive. Wonder how they will like the tree... kitten fence needed?

We have government elections on Saturday, that instead of being simple, straightforward they were this time last week have become uncertain and muddy, unfortunately we may live to regret this weekend. God is in control right?

On top of that Christmas shopping for the wider family, and the unceasing round of pre recital ballet.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Pippin - 8 weeks
We got photos from the breeder last week, the first time we've seen them at play and Pippin gained himself the nickname of "Possum" not sure the breeder would be impressed, our kiwi possums are imports who have made themselves unwanted guests...but this one is a keeper!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Merry and Pippin

Realizing we now had a very real gap in our family and no comforting fur to cheer us up ...

We've been waiting for these two lads to grow up and come and join us.  Naming them Merry (the red one) and Pippin (the chocolate)  since they seemed to fit.

We've watched them grow from newborns just opening their eyes to...

Thankfully the breeder has been really nice in sending us photos of them growing up.

And soon, just two weeks we get to go and bring them home!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoying Spring

This year I certainly needed a spring full of promise, and it blossomed with hope out my window.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making sourdough

I've wanted to make my own sourdough for ages, but well it hasn't quite happened.

Then the family pizza maker managed to drop half of his dough in the sink and well half a dough isn't enough to feed us but it gave me the nudge I needed to start a local sourdough.

I found a sourdough recipe over here  and we have been enjoying our own brand of sourdough all winter.

It works well with a crock-pot soup, keeps well and everyone loves it with butter and golden syrup just as it comes out of the oven.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Good-Bye Zeke

There has been a lot of sorrow in the family... our 10 year old Burmese vanished in the middle of Sept. The cat who always waited for me when we went out, sitting at the front of the drive, waited, slid silver round
the trees that mark our drive and disappeared.

Its been a long few weeks getting used to the silence and adjusting to the realization that he wasn't coming back.The question of what happened, the fears, and slowly saying goodbye.

He left a gap, a huge gap in the family. OK we realize that he was an incurable chicken bone thief, and well umm other dainties on the kitchen bench that tempted him, but in his eyes, and to an extent we appreciated him for it, he as our protector, and encourager. He tried his best to keep the neighborhood toms out, and yet  let the local family pets come and drink from his pond.

He knew whenever anyone was sick, curling up on their bed while they slept or simply cuddled him. He found our laps for nearly every story-time, and discussion, complained that he wanted in or out throughout the school day, sat on the table while we worked, or on the keyboard, or curled up in his basket with our other cat - his "girlfriend."

We miss him, soft gentle, loving, ok sometimes downright annoying, but very much and always a member of the family. We miss you Zeke, and seriously pray that heaven lets in cats...because we all want to see you again.

Catching up again.

Its been a while since I wrote, trying to keep up with school-work and following kids skewed the priorities, or maybe overtook them. Its been good over the last few months to dust off my old spinning wheel, making tme to enjoy the snow,  get pulled int sewing costumes for my daughter's ballet recital and enjoying spending time in the kitchen and the garden again. Not so much time spent blogging and recording it all. Lots to catch up on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The post I really needed to write.

I need to say goodbye to our beloved, annoying pussycat. I've tried to write this too many times and stopped, but I think I needed to take time to write it.

I don't think that there have been many moments in the last 10 years when we haven't been aware of his presence.

When we haven't known that somewhere in the neighboring sections he was looking out for us,
keeping watch over us,
waiting for us,

or that on one of our beds,
or beside the fireplace there was a silvery gray figure curled up, half awake, half waiting for someone to give him a cuddle, go for a wander or do something interesting.

I didn't think I ever saw you lift a claw in anger or defense against a person, and yes you should know that at the end of the ten years the baby whose cot you slept in, whose bed you snuck into finally decided that having you there was good.


Well you always knew what he wanted, normally because he spent half of the school days and almost every evening trying to get our attention off the books and onto him.

You could remove him on his desk and have him jump up, back before you re focused on what you were doing.
Often what he wanted was to go outside after hours, stalemate....two strong willed creatures meand him refusing to give way - ok at 3 am sometimes we would give in to the incessant crys, when it was quiet out there and there were no cars of the road. Road sense never was your strong point.

Truly you were always in the middle of things, comforting my daughter when she was sick, putting up with the boys attempts to box you or cage you - umm why were they so slow to realize you would stay put for hours if someone would just scratch behind your ears.

We will miss you Zeke

Saturday, September 3, 2011

And then there was a snowboarder

Every year since my youngest was 5 we've been able to head up the mountain for a few days of skiing, thanks to an amazing package that they put together for the local school kids. I think the highlight of my winter is to enjoy a beautiful blue-sky day on the mountain, and the co-0rdinator of the group is good at waiting for those blue-sky days.

Over time we left the beginner slopes behind and found that we could enjoy racing each other through the snow. Well, they can enjoy, I can hope to catch up with them at the bottom.

But along the way one child has consistently wanted to add snowboarding to his options. To board rather than glide down the mountain. So this year we left him behind in the beginner slopes, and with a little bit of help and a few lessons...

He made it top to bottom of the mountain. Not fast, and totally exhausted each day, but he made it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Snow in the Backyard

Normally snow doesn't fall here. An hour south can be blanketed, half an hour to the east and the roads close on cold winter nights but here snow was unheard of until Monday morning. But this time we had one really really cold snap, and for the first hour of the day enjoyed snow in the backyard...

We got to make a snowman on the drive ..even if it is only 12 inches high!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So why has Gollum taken up residence here?

I've enjoyed working through the Lord of the Rings both as a read aloud and as a Omnibus book this year. My sensitive kids who at 9-13 weren't sure when we started that this series was a safe read ...but as "What hasss he gotss in his pocketssees" took over we've been thanks to Dad's read aloud voices,... we have "niccee fissshheesss, niceee Hobbitssess" ,  now the only pause in how to finish the Two Towers is to see what Gollum gems will bet us past the spider...umm no so easy when some family members still do roof patrols in their room each night trying to rid the world the house of all daddy longlegs...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Long Journey

Its been a long journey to find out how to work this home-school thing. Lots of false starts, lots of work, lots of things I wish I had known at the start. But this year slowly order seems to be growing.

Its not that we have it perfect, its not that I have the right planning system, because I now only seem to use a spreadsheet, and largely wing it.

Its not that we've cracked the secret of homeschooling three kids by lunchtime, and have done lots of cool stuff after-wards. We do get rewarded with dessert if we make it through the days school though.

Nor is it that we have found the perfect most amazing curriculum out, but now I can see how what we have been led to use fits together and its been good, yes in its own way fun and rewarding, but it has been a long road to see how all the pieces that used to seem so competitive for our time interweave.

Slowly I'm starting to drop the pressure and work towards a simple " We will do the work today that God wills." I'm not good at it, but I can see that its a lot better than trying to plan and make that planning happen. Especially for someone with a track record for being way to stressed out about it all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Haiku fun

Teaching my youngest Haiku last term, this is my example, courtesy of a persistent cat.

Zeke's, gray, snakelike tail
Lying across my blank page
Begs my attention.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Please don't take out the trash....

because we love our Zeke

I guess it was really too cold to sleep on the floor in front of the heater this morning.


It might be crazy, but having finally got order in our home-school days for the first time in months ... we have two weeks of swimming. I see Chaos looming, although this time at least we are prepared,

Routine sorted,
Marking pile up to date
Muffins baked,
Togs in the dryer...

Ready for the week...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breathing Space

It's been a while since I've been here. Summer has gone, the Autumn leaves have turned golden and dropped, they've even been picked up, the winter vegetable garden is in, soccer started, and well maybe we are starting to get a handle on how this year will work.

 So hopefully I'm back to the blog again.