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Friday, October 28, 2011

Posts in the pipeline

Hello everyone!

I am just popping in quickly to say that I have a few posts in the pipeline, but we have been super busy lately.  Two little princesses are extremely excited about what tonight has in store.  It will all be explained in time.  :)


Love this moment

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Guess what we have?

Back in August our neighbour decided she wanted to remove the hedge that grew along the fence line.  As the hedge was holding up the fence, it was only natural that the fence would be replaced.  The hedge was removed and Michael saved the old palings; using some of them to create a new run for the chooks.


Today, the new fence was completed.

 

Now don't think the builders sloppy for leaving those cut-offs you can see to the right.  They were left deliberately for the children.  The rest had already been gathered up.

 

I see lots of potential in that lot, don't you?  ;)

Now we're just waiting to see what can be done about the fence on the other side.  We had someone back into it with their car...

 
 
...and no, it wasn't one of us.  ;)
 
The other thing we have is LOTS of bubble wrap!

 

Fun and free.  Yes, FREE!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Daylight Savings Begins


It's that time of year again and since I'm still up with Lydia (losing more than just an hours sleep ;)) I thought I'd remind you all to adjust your clocks.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Injury

Naomi is a very active 3 year old.  She is always bouncing, running, dancing...  She is just so joyful much of the time.  But she can also be clumsy and this results in bruises and scraps appearing on her on a regular basis.

Yesterday she was happily dancing away - spinning actually, when she fell backwards and hit her head on the coffee table.  She cried and I gave her a cuddle but didn't really think much of it.  After all, she had done it a number of times before!

She decided she needed to sit down on the couch with a pillow.  After a moment she asked, "Mummy, what's this?"  It was a couple of drops of blood on the pillow case.  Nothing serious and again I thought nothing of it.  Then she said, "Look Mummy, Ellie has blood too."  (Ellie is her toy elephant and Naomi had dressed her it an old baby shirt.)  It was then that I thought I should check her head a bit closer.  (Okay, so I was little slow on the up-take!)

Sure enough, she had cut her head.  She must have hit the corner of the table.  I looked closer again and realised she had a small gash in the back of her head.  Nothing overly serious, but enough to take her to have it glued back together at the hospital.

Looks worse than it is with the blood that had run down

Of course, in typical child-like fashion, it didn't bother her at all.

Here she is in the children's play area in the waiting room

The doctor glued it together, reminded me that it needed to be kept dry for at least 24 hours, suggested we let her stay up a little later than usual to monitor her for the recommended 6 hours after a minor head injury, and sent us home.

Naomi has been her usual bubbly, bouncy self today.  Can't keep them down for long can you?

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Peaceful


Tonight all the children all went to bed without fuss and it is so peaceful right now.


I am enjoying:

The comforting stillness of the night.

The familiar rattle of the heater as it warms the room. 

The light ticking of the clock as it marks time.

The gentle breathing and occassional murmur from Naomi. 



I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
~Psalm 4:8

My heart is satisfied, for I know that God is in control and we are held securely in the palm of His hand.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welcome

"Lydia Faith"


This sweet girl joined us at 11:23am after a very short labour on July 20.  She weighed in at 10lb 9oz (4800gm) and was 51.5cm tall.


I had a large blood loss after this birth and as a result have had a few new experiences - one of which was the delay of my milk coming in.  It didn't make a good appearance until about day 6.


And even though I now, over a month on, have a really good supply, this precious girl is not yet back up to her birth weight.


Having said that, her feeding and sleeping is much, much better than it was and we are beginning to 'normalise' (whatever that means!) our life again.


So even though we have had a somewhat difficult first month we are rejoicing!  We have a wonderfully sweet, perfect daughter to add to our family.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17


Unfortunately I haven't managed to take family photos yet, but hopefully we can take some soon.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

As Naomi loved the Handy Manny Tot Book so much, I decided to make another for her.  This time I added a few more activities.  Again I got my base materials from 1+1+1=1 and the other bits and pieces were linked from Carisa's Brown Bear page to this website.

So, without further ado, here is Naomi's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" Tot Book.

 Cover

Open to...


...a colouring book and Heads and Tails pocket on the left

 and a "Looking At Me" reading book on the right.

 Inside

On the left is a Silhouette Matching Game and shown are Size Sequencing Bears

On the upper right is a Colour Word Flip book and two Alphabet books - Uppercase and Lowercase

Lower left is a Count With Me pocket and storage pocket for the Silhouette and Size Sequencing pieces.


Naomi enjoying her Silhouette Matching

 I still laminated everything, but only single-sided this time (except the silhouette pieces) - even the colouring book.  My thinking was to pick up some dry-erase crayons or similar so she could reuse it as often as she likes.  The only problem is that, so far, I haven't been able to find any locally.

I also stuck the colouring book, reading book and fold-out alphabets in with hook-and-loop dots so they can be removed from the Tot Book for ease of use.

 It has been another success.  And not only with Naomi.  Both Bethany and Jeremiah have enjoyed it too.  They have taken to matching two different animals from the Heads and Tails pocket and creating a new animal - like a 'shog' (sheep head, dog tail).  You get the idea. 

Only by His grace,
~Amanda. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When...

...you want a photo of the toddler's teeth, ask your seven year old:

Thanks Elijah!

And when the principal decides to take charge of some art supplies:

video
...Ahem...

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quickly

Just wanted to let you all know we are still kicking - especially baby!  Only 4 weeks to go.  YAY!

I have been meaning to update for a while, but things just seem to pile up and I don't get to it.  It is on my "to-do" list though.

I'm hoping to have time this week to sit and blog for you, but until then, be blessed!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our first Tot Book

Remember our Resurrection Eggs and Easter lapbooks from April last year?  I had intended to use lapbooking in our homeschool on a regular basis, but that just hasn't eventuated.  I did do an "Are You My Mother" half-size lapbook with Bethany and a "Courdory" lapbook with Jeremiah but I didn't blog about them at the time. (If you are interested, I will put them in a post for you.  Just leave a comment!)

However, I recently (re)discovered Tot Books, and since Naomi is constantly asking for 'school work' I thought these might keep her occupied enough until I can be a bit more 'formal' with her.  Carisa over at 1+1+1=1 has graciously made lots of her work available for FREE!  This Handy Manny one was found here on her site.

I printed off the sheets and cut them into sections for Naomi to colour.  Then, because I thought it was a clever idea, I laminated them all for keepsake durability before making up the book.  The only problem with this was that the lamination made everything a bit too thick for staples, and as I didn't have any rings, I had to get a little creative.  I ended up simply taping each page to the one before to create a flip style book.

Here are some photos for you:

Working happily alongside her sister at 'school'

I printed a couple of colouring pages from here for the cover

Inside:


Top left hand corner - shapes pocket

Bottom left hand corner - Name accordian book

Middle flap - colour book.  Naomi coloured each tool box the correct colour.

Right hand flap - "The Tools" book - Naomi coloured each page while learning what tool each character is.

The Tot Book is made up in a foolscap manilla folder, cut in half.  I used the other half of the folder to create a pocket on the back for any related worksheets (Carisa recommends this).  Not only is it good for storing the worksheets, it also makes the whole Tot Book a bit sturdier.

Worksheets printed from here and here.  See the maze worksheet?  I thought this might be a bit tricky for her, but she surprised me!

Naomi thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though portions of it were too easy for her.  I'm glad because it is a great way to keep her happy with 'school work'.  The only problem is, if she had her way, she'd likely make two or three of these each week!  ;)

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Abigail's teeth

Yes, I said teeth!  She now has two.  The second came through the gum just today.  I have decided it is almost impossible to get a photo of a toddlers bottom teeth!  However, because I promised, I will post this very poor quality one for you and keep trying.

Taken 2 days ago

And just because it's so cute:

 Church today just proved too much for the little munchkin


 I hope you and yours are well and blessed!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

God's skeleton

Do you ever have those 'from the mouths of babes' experiences?  I seem to have them on a regular basis and many of them come from Jeremiah.

A couple of days back he came to me and said, "Mum do you know that we are God's skeleton?"

As he had caught me off-guard, I replied with a very sophisticated, "Oh?"

"Yes," he replied.  "We are His skeleton and He lives inside us.  And I know, because I asked Him to come there."

It was such an adorable, sweet, precious moment; and it was one of those moments that left me contemplating.

We are reminded in Acts 17 that it is God who "..gives everyone life and breath and everything else" (vs. 25) and that "...in Him we live and move and have our being" (vs. 28)

So we know that it is God who gives us life and ability etc.  But Jeremiah's comment got me thinking that, in a way, the reverse is also true.  In us, God lives and moves and has His being.  We are the vessels He uses to accomplish His purposes upon the Earth.  We are His hands and feet.  He uses us, in our fleshly, physical form to do His work.  We are commissioned in Mark 16:15 to go out and preach the gospel.  This verse, and others throughout scripture, implies action and action (in this world) requires a physical body.

How much do I allow God to do His work through me?  Am I so caught up in my own life that I forget that I am here for 'such a time as this'?  He has put me here to accomplish His deeds - not my own.  Please note that this is most certainly not to say that we must work in order to earn salvation.  No!  The Bible makes it very clear that we are saved by GRACE alone!  Nothing we do can earn our passage to Heaven.  I have been saved BY GRACE ALONE.  I cannot earn it.  I don't deserve it.  And yet, His grace provided for me!  WOW!

And it is because of His saving grace that I WANT to do His work.  It is not an obligation, but a privilege. We are here for such a short time and then there is all eternity.  Am I allowing Christ to accomplish His mission through my life while I am here?  It is what I want, but my sinful flesh wishes to live for me.  Saint Teresa of Avila is quoted as saying:

"Christ has no body on earth but yours;
No hands but yours;
No feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He is to look out - 
Christ's compassion to the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless others now."

It is my prayer that God is able to use me for His purposes.  That, in Him and for Him, I am able to accomplish the purpose for which He placed me here.  I pray, like Paul, that I may decrease in order for Him to increase.  Yes, I pray that I, truely, become GOD'S SKELETON.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Did you remember?



I remembered.  

And I am so, so thankful for my sweet Naomi who turned 3 today!


And for my Dad who, for three years now, has shared his birthday with one of his granddaughters.


Naomi went out with her Daddy this morning to pick out a cake from the Cheesecake Shop to share with her Poppy.


And Daddy chose some special decorations for his princess.




 
It took many blows to get those candles out!

Cheeky Poppy, however, blew his out before Daddy was ready with the camera!

Naomi spent time occupied in a favourite activity.

With Nana and a new book


Happy 3rd Birthday, My Sweet Naomi!!!

Happy Birthday, My Dear Dad!!!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recentness

I have mentioned before how hard it is to really 'catch up' on lost blogging time.  Life just seems to fly by and my thoughts etc just seem to get lost somewhere along the way.

Before I try and put something down for you, I would like to ask you to join me in praying for this sweet sister.  She is going through a very difficult time.  It is one I have been through and I feel for her.  I believe 100% that restoration is possible.  We are living proof.  Will you pray?

Now, where to start?  Hmmmm....

One young woman turned 23 early this month.  I'm sure your birthday was a hoot, Beckee!

Beautiful Birthday Girl...

Those of you who facebook will already know, but Michael decided to cut down his workload at uni to just one subject this trimester.  And then he decided to defer instead.  He may defer for next trimester too, or go back to just one subject.  The aim will be for him to go back full-time again next year.  The reason he decided to defer is to support me during this last stage of pregnancy.  I have had major back pain (some days to point where I can't move) and lots of fatigue.  Actually, Michael is pretty fatigued too.  I feel very blessed that he has done this.  I doubt it was an easy decision for him and I pray that I am able to be the support he needs when he gets back to full-time study.

Staying on the pregnancy train, I am now 31 weeks.  At my last clinic visit, my blood pressure was up a little bit and we found that the baby is lying transverse (horizontal instead of vertical).  I have had this situation before and it is a little early to jump to any conclusions yet.  We'll see what happens over the coming weeks.

As you can probably guess from the above information, school is on the 'basics only' cycle.  Maths and English bookwork daily and just doing life together.  Elijah is devouring reading books quicker than I can supply them for him (he is currently on book 4 of the "Sugar Creek Gang" series by Paul Hutchens - I only have the first 6!) and the other children just love to be read to.  Puzzles, games, cutting, pasting, crafting, helping, music, singing, laughing...it's all worthwhile!

Naomi is begging for school work too.  Always asking for her 'sheet' or 'school book'.  Her favourite thing at the moment is letters.  I may as well take advantage of that right?  I do suspect she will read early.  If she is not sitting with her head in a book, she can often be found in my shadow, with book in hand, and the "Mum will you read to me?" question on her lips.

Abigail has been reintroduced to the play-pen and is learning to enjoy her own company for short periods - especially during school time.

All the children are doing well with their swimming, and Bethany is still enjoying her ballet.

It is getting colder, the leaves are starting to turn and fall all over the backyard, the heater is being turned on more evenings and my dryer is working much more often than I'd like!  We are moving things around in the house and trying to get more organised before baby arrives.

Well, that's all from me tonight.  It's late and I'm exhausted.  Swimming lessons are on the agenda first thing tomorrow, so I must get some sleep.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Monday, May 23, 2011

National Day of Thanksgiving


 In his official statement, Mr. Tony Abbott says, "Saying thank you is a simple act, but one often overlooked."

I think he is right. 

May 28 - this Saturday - is National Day of Thanksgiving.  Let's remember to give thanks to God, and to each other!  (And just as an aside, it is also little Naomi's 3rd birthday, as well as my Dad's birthday - but I won't mention how old he will be ;) )

Of course, saying thank you shouldn't be limited to one day a year.  I think we all ought to take a page from Madame Blueberry and learn to say thanks EVERY day!



I thank God for this day
For the sun in the sky,
For my Mom and my Dad,
For my reasons not to cry.
For my friends that all care
For His love that's everywhere
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart
Is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have
That's an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers
That's why I say thanks every day!


Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

                                                                                                            
Song taken from Madame Blueberry Learns to be Thankful

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finally!

Yes I'm here.  I've kind of had an unplanned hiatus, haven't I?  And you may be disappointed as I won't be doing a full update tonight - I'm too tired.  BUT, there is some news I just have to share with you.

Ready for it?

Okay, here it is:

At 16 months, 18 days Abigail has (finally) cut her first tooth!!!  Yay!  WooHoo!  I thought the other children cut their teeth late, but Abi most certainly takes the cake!

I haven't got a photo yet.  You probably couldn't see the tooth in a photo even if I had taken one.  The tooth has literally only just cut through the surface of the gum.  But I will take a photo over the next week and post it for your viewing pleasure.

I have actually been pretty slack in the whole photo department lately.  I must rectify that...

Only by His grace,
~Amanda. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.  Loose them and bring them to Me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, "The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them."

All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken to the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
Behold, your king is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey."


So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  They bought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

"Hosanna to the son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!"

And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying. "Who is this?"  So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."

                                                                                                                                

Last year I was so organised for the lead up to Easter, with lessons and activities to take the children through Holy Week.  This year, not so.  That, however, does not diminsh the above record of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  ;)

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confessions Giveaway!

Remember this wonderful alphabet I printed up?  Well, it was the work of Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I had actually meant to mention that in that post, but it seems it slipped my mind (sorry Erica!).

Anyway, she has created some amazing resources and has just finished developing a K4 curriculum as an expansion on her Letter of the Week preschool curriculum.  And to celebrate, she is giving a pack away!

So, if you, like me, have a little one at a K4 level, pop on over to Confessions and enter!


Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guess the Species

Tower Hill State Game Reserve is one of our favourite places to go.  Sometimes we go there and simply drive through, and other times we stop and walk.  We have a favourite walk - one that is easy for the children (and the parent pushing the pram ;)) and that they know well.


They enjoy looking out for the various animals that make Tower Hill their home - kangaroos, koalas, and emus are the 'usuals', but there are many others to find if you look.

I'm sure the changing seasons mean changes in which animals are around, when they are out, and where they are in the park.  For example, as Autumn has come the dragonfly population has dwindled to nothing and the snakes have become more visable.

This past Saturday we saw three snakes, basking in the sun off the edge of the boardwalk.  The children have enjoyed seeing them and watching them slither off to hide out of sight. And as you can well imagine, seeing snakes so close to the walkways has sparked great 'snake safety' conversations with the children. 

Can you see it?

How about this one?

This one you can't miss!

Three snakes - three different types.  Exactly what they are I'm not sure.  (Please post a comment if you know!)  The middle one looks like a tiger, but I really don't know my snakes so I shouldn't speculate.  Maybe we are due to visit with Mr. Barber again.  He has lots of information on reptiles of all sorts.  Or maybe I should just ask the ranger at the information centre at Tower Hill.

Ahh, I love having the world for a classroom!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.