What’s been happening:
At the beginning of February we started Homeschool study routines. We started early this year compared to other years. Usually we don’t start studying till March as we spend February doing family projects which give the kids life skills. This year our family projects will be more sprinkled throughout the weeks/months and Daniel will take the time off his studies to do those when they come up. Actually his first week was spent doing work experience with the builders on our kitchen – he was exposed to demolition and prep work on a building site, raising a wall, paving, and installing cupboards. We went to the opera. A couple of times a year we get a live-stream telecast from Perth of a free family event Opera in the Park. We’ve done Symphony in the Park before, but this was our first opera. Our town has an outdoor theatre – it is a drive in but we prefer to take our picnic chairs and sit on the lawn. It was a lovely night considering we are still in the wet season – thankfully there were subtitles in English so we could keep up with the story. A fun night out. I went to a Farming Seminar – I know – not the normal kind of thing for me but Peter and I have been to this type of seminar before which is around strategic planning for your agricultural business and have found it very helpful to do it together. In fact the first one we did was in our first few years of marriage and it shaped not only our business but also how we looked at our whole life strategically (ie intentionally and directive – which for those who have been around he for a while, know I use those words a lot!) I’d love to put together a seminar like this but for families – maybe one day! We had house guests – yes, in the middle of a reno. We managed to push aside most of the tradesmen to the outside for the few days, reclaimed our loungeroom, but still cooked either in the ‘laundry/kitchenette’ or outside. We live in a transient town, and have been here for over 20 years, so in one sense you get used to people coming and going, but on the other hand you always miss those people you connected with heart to heart. So it was a treat to have this family stay with us as they passed through town moving onto a new stage in their life.
What I’m thinking about:
Now that the year has well and truly started the kids have all found which sport and activities they are involved in. When my kids were young we didn’t do evening sport – we did one Saturday sport which had a short season. The rest of their physical activity was more individual and done as a part of their every day. Sport messes with family dinner time. So we’ve talked about this conflict – doing sport and finding time to catch up with each other – and we’ve come up with the idea to eat later. Sounds obvious but when I wake up at 4.00am the day is getting a bit long by 7.00pm!! But we are working towards having dinner cooked, kitchen clean before 7.00pm, and then once they all come home and shower, having a quick dinner together. We’ll see how this works. Another aspect that evening sport messes with is the kids’ availability to actually cook dinner – so we have been brainstorming ideas there too. Even thinking this through is a life skill that the kids need to be able to process. If they were living by themselves, or with a friend, and were busy in the early evenings, how would they make sure they ate well. Daniel is going to cook mid-afternoon, Nomi wants to master the BBQ, Jess will cook after she comes home from work on a day she doesn’t have a commitment and Josh will do monthly freezer for the crockpot. I’ve also been thinking about grocery shopping. When the kids were little – even before they could read – they were helping me with the grocery shopping. Then as teenagers the girls helped me more than the boys because it fitted with our weekly commitments better that way. Now Jess does our grocery shopping as a part of her contribution to family life. But I have been aware that Daniel has had very little experience doing a whole shop. I’m trying to figure a way to fit this into our week – considering his schedule as well. One idea I’m thinking about is that Daniel and I could do an extra shop the day before Josh does his monthly prep for freezer/crockpot. Once again we’ll see how it goes!
Things I’m thankful for:
– Friends who share their different perspective and will respectfully listen to yours. We don’t have to agree we do have to get along with respect – My children. Their awareness of my needs is humbling. Their availability to be helpful is a blessing. Their sense of humour is delightful to be around. Their understanding of truths is worth listening to.
- Joshua – has started Masters of Education
- Jessica – has been nominated for WA Young Achievers Award (Newspaper story)
- Naomi – has started as a homeschool tutor once a week and is teaching Five in a Row
- Daniel – enjoying learning from Udemy and Khan Academy
My Goals for 2016:
February has been about a kitchen renovation – and we are nearly done. Hopefully by the end of this week. Today I sit in the middle of dust cloths and drop sheets waiting for the painters to come in early this morning. We are doing well but it is getting tiring. I am ready to live in order again. It is rather ironic actually because my focus goal this year is “order” and yet, here I am living in complete chaos!! But I must admit, it is strengthening my resolve to get things in order so maybe it will be a good thing in the long run. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – well I’m certainly fond of order right now! One of my main goals this year is to stay home in the mornings so that I can focus on the goals and priorities that I have set. There are of course always things that will cut across this goal, but I have found the days that I stay at home, and delay appointments and commitments to after lunch, are the days were both myself and the kids are more productive.