December Doings, Domestics, Catch Up, Wrap-Up & Random

* Christmas in a box? He thinks he’s a Christmas decoration.

* It’s heating up here where we are. It’s a very different scene in the Northern Hemisphere and I enjoyed seeing Heather’s lovely photography & thoughts on her Canadian scenery at this time of year.

* For the past couple of months we’ve been listening to ‘Walking on Air,’ the music written by Howard Blake in 1982 to accompany the animated movie of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, a wordless storybook. It’s an exquisite piece of music that the orchestra Moozle is involved with had  been working on for their end of year concert. The animated movie is on YouTube & Karen Andreola writes about the book here.

* Breaking news this week: Zana (our third child and second daughter) & her young man announced their engagement. The wedding will be in September next year. I hate shopping for clothes & I already have two dresses I bought for her older sister & brother’s weddings so I asked if I could wear a dress I already had. Can you tell I’m a Scot?

* Benj has finished his first year of a Liberal Arts degree and had his exam results this week. He did well in everything but his highest score was for Philosophy, where he earned a High Distinction. He says it’s logical and similar to mathematics, and that’s his bent.
He’s taking next year off to work full-time because he’s tired of being poor & would like to buy a car. A position opened up for him working with a fantastic not-for-profit organisation that provides programs to adults living with disabilities: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Creative Life Skills. His other job is as a swimming instructor and he commented the other day that the two areas are beginning to overlap. When the manager of the pool where he works heard that he was working with adults with disabilites/special needs, she put one of the swimming students, a young boy with Down’s Syndrome, into Benj’s class.

* Hoggy has finished his Diploma of  Electrical Engineering Technology and is working fulltime in the Fire & Security industry. It’s interesting & diverse work, the only negative being the work commute. However, he has jobs all over Sydney and sometimes interstate, so he doesn’t alway have to drive the hour and a half to the main office each day. He bought himself a motor bike, a 500cc and is working towards getting his licence. Sydney isn’t the greatest place to ride a bike, but he’s been sensible & avoids heavy traffic & I pray lots.

* Nougat is in his final year of his plumbing apprenticeship and he and Hoggy have been working on Herbie, the beast below. We’re having a family camping trip early next year and they’ve been setting up solar panels, water tanks, fridge & other bits and pieces. Just hope the old boy can hold himself together – we’re relying on all the stuff they’re bringing along:

* The Mum Heart Conference audios from June 2017 have been released. The theme for the conference was John 15 – ‘Abiding in the Vine.’ I spoke on ‘fruit that will last,’ – being faithful, putting down roots & trusting God in the journey. I so enjoyed the Conference & the other speakers & the unplanned dove-tailing that occurred between us in the content of our individual talks. It was a great weekend!

* A couple of months ago I started leading a small Bible study for young women who are fairly new Christians. Most of them are Chinese whose first language is Mandarin and they have only been in Australia a couple of years so although they speak and understand English to get by, I have a friend most weeks to interpret & explain idioms, figures of speech etc. I’ve been so touched by these women. Mostly atheists by background, they are so keen to learn how to live in a way that honours the Lord and to teach their children this also. We started with the book of Philippians and are now going through James.
They have some unique difficulties. Their children are picking up the language so much faster and are reluctant to speak Mandarin at home and the parents are frustrated because they don’t have the same grasp of English that their children have. The parents also struggle to know what their children are being taught at school and the recent conflict in Australia over so-called Safe Schools has added to their concerns. I gave them some easy children’s Bibles in English (The Beginner’s Bible was one) for them to read to their children but there doesn’t seem to be much else available. There’s a business/ministry opportunity here for someone who would print some easy books with Mandarin on one page and English on the opposite page.

* My husband’s Grandma is 97 years of age and up until recently she was an avid knitter. I’ve been going through all the clothes she knitted for our children when they were babies and washing them for my new Granddaughter. They were knitted with pure wool and I was so disappointed to find some had rust-like marks on them so I got out my 1948 Home Science manuals I found at an op shop ages ago to see what I could do:

I first used Napisan (not mentioned in the above book but I’ve used it for delicates in the past) in fairly hot water, soaking them with the timer on & making sure the water didn’t get cold. After rinsing, I used a solution of Hydrogen peroxide & did basically the same thing. I don’t have any before & after photos but the marks are all but gone.

This is one of the articles, part of a set knitted about 25 years ago which includes a dress and a matching coat. I had the knitted garment in a pillow case with some mothballs in an outer bag and then I put them in another bag but I think some moisture got in and that, I think, was the cause of the rust stains. I gave the other articles to my daughter before I thought of taking a photo:

* Reading: I’m on to my last book in the Back to the Classics Challenge 2017 & I’ll be posting about that and other challenges and books read later, but this week I picked up a book I forgot I had, The True Woman by Susan Hunt and it’s been a refreshing read. I’ve read another book by the author, Spiritual Mothering, and can highly recommend both. Life Under Compulsion by Antony Esolen and Norms & Nobility are my slow reads – there’s so much to chew on and digest and I’ll be continuing with them well into 2018.

* Current Events – I usually post these on my FB page but here’s one I thought would be good to share again:

Is it Really the Christian Way? Yes, Actually, it is.

That’s no longer the case.

* Look what I found on one of our local streets when I was out for a walk – a Street Library.
Have you seen one in your neighbourhood?

16 thoughts on “December Doings, Domestics, Catch Up, Wrap-Up & Random

  1. Yes, those cute little libraries are popping up here, too. I've not looked in one yet (I usually see them as I'm zooming along to an appointment downtown), but I love the idea.Congratulations to your daughter on her engagement and your son on his exam results!I enjoyed reading about more of your family. As I'm used to the homeschool posts about your Moozle, I forget that she's the tail end of a larger family. 🙂


  2. There are lots of those free libraries in the towns in Wisconsin too, Carol, I live far in the country and haven't seen as many, maybe I should set one up for all my Amish neighbors. 😉 I loved reading your update, especially, about each of your children's lives and I'm excited to join the Back to Classics next year, it's been awhile since I did that one. I am excited to challenge myself a bit. I love that big beast of a truck for your camping trip, how fun and adventurous! 😀 Amy


  3. Congratulations to Zana. It is also great to hear that all your children are doing well. Here in New York it has finally gotten cold. We had a couple of inches of snow the other day.Those street libraries are so neat. I do not think that I have ever seen actually seen one other then on the internet.


  4. 🙂 I am slowly learning how to do CM using AO. It is refreshing to hear how your boys are doing as adults. I assume they were homeschooled all the way through? I have two boys and I have come across a lot of discussions on social media and/or blogs about how their boys ended having to be in regular school once they got into high school because CM style or homeschooling wasn't working for them at that age. Some even say it is beneficial for them to take direction from someone other than mom and that their boys thrived in that setting. My boys are 10 and 6, but I wonder if that is something I will have to worry about.


  5. Thanks, Brian. we stopped in NY on our way out from Scotland to Australia. I remember it was cold & I slipped on the ice somewhere & the airport officials made a fuss of me & my 3 sisters – probably because we were all wearing tartan kilts!


  6. Thank you!I forget sometimes, too! This coming January it will be 25 years since we ‘officially’ started to teach our children at home. The dynamics are different now but lots of other things are similar.


  7. You could have one in the shape of a barn! I was wondering if I should have a break from the Challenge next year but I do like the fact that I will read books I wouldn’t tend to pick up on a whim. I do like the idea of reading the Classics – I don’t feel I’m wasting time!


  8. I have mixed reactions to this idea, Melissa. I think it partly depends on the boy’s personality. Yes, we’ve always homeschooled & my sons, especially my eldest, were hard work at times. I have friends who pulled their children out of school for various reasons & I think that would be much harder. Something I’m always thought of was why would a school environment necessarily be a better option? I’m not convinced that schools necessarily supply boys with what they need, apart from things like sport & if I was having issues with one of my sons I didn’t want to feel I was shutting them off for someone else to deal with the problem. Our 4 eldest were able to work one whole day a week from about the age of 14 & that was good. They also did quite a bit of physical activity & were involved in music/bands. We had a lot of opportunity to see the results of the education system via friends’ children – Christian & public schools & I don’t think their parents had an easier time than we did. Raising kids is hard work whatever you do but I don’t have any regrets now that all our boys have graduated. Anyhow, I wouldn’t worry unnecessarily & forewarned is forearmed 🙂


  9. I'm glad to hear your thoughts on this matter, Carol. We have a 14 year old son and we have no intention of sending him to school. However, it is hard some days, but I echo your remarks about doing work outside the house and getting lots of physical activity outdoors. Anytime you want to write more about this, I know we would love to hear it. 🙂


  10. Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming wedding and all the details on your older children. Sometimes you wonder how the adult children of Christian families are doing, so thank you for giving us some updates, especially on vocation choices.Also, love the idea of your boys working on that jeep. I hope she runs well on your camping adventures!And thanks again for the mention. 🙂


  11. Thanks, Heather. That beast is pretty old but it’s been a great learning curve. Nougat took it out 4 wheel driving on the weekend & had to get a friend with a car trailer to pick it up after the steering locked. Fortunately, the problem wasn’t as serious as he originally thought, so he’s hoping to have it all ready before we go camping. ☹️


  12. Thank you for replying Carol. I tend to agree with you because sending them off would not necessarily fix whatever it was or more importantly, affect any heart issues at play. I am still discouraged to read the number of people who put their kids in public school once they reach high school. I even had a family member do it. I recently read Cindy Rollins' book on motherhood and was surprised to learn she chose to put her youngest son in public school. I think it was partly due to him being the only one left at home and she also mentioned that sometimes it is not good for a boy to have only their mothers voice in their ear and they can benefit from taking direction from someone else. It just made me think about the future and my relationship with my kids. I guess that scenario had never crossed my mind. I am passionate about homeschooling and providing my children with a Charlotte Mason style education I could never imagine them asking to go to school or having to make that decision. Perhaps have I unrealistic expectations about it and why we are doing it? Just things I'm pondering.


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