October logbook

the latest trick on the swing

the latest trick on the swing

Outside my window…

The grass is all gone, and the trees we want to remove are lush and full and shady. We are getting quotes and finding out how much longer it will be before we begin the next phase of our backyard renovation project.

Giving thanks…

the joy of hard work paying off

the joy of hard work paying off

Nikki got a 100% on her Australian Music Examinations Board Grade 2 Theory Exam. She told me, “I wasn’t trying to get a high score – I just wanted to get them all correct!”

I am thinking about…

Planting flowers suitable for cut-flower arrangements. I have no idea where to begin…

In the Schoolroom…

The kids’ days look roughly like this: wake up, water plants, sing Psalms, Youth Catechism, breakfast, music practice, 15 minutes of each reading child reading aloud to another child + Jolly Phonics for David, online math for Nikki and Michael + online language arts for Nikki, free play, lunch prep while listening to Classical Conversations memory work, lunch, quiet rest time reading books or sleeping, wake up and listen to Story of the World, Volume 1 while playing quietly, dinner, then sleep.

The kids have asked me to resume spelling and math drills. I also want to do some better language arts than what Nikki is getting on the computer. But John is feeding very frequently during the day and I’m just not ready yet.

From the kitchen…

I keep plugging away at the Whole30 diet. I eat what our family normally eats, but without dairy. Unfortunately, two weeks of doing this has not wiped out my memory of how much nicer everything tastes WITH dairy…

Part of the rules are that you aren’t supposed to create Whole30-compliant versions of treats, like banana pancakes, coconut cream ice cream, or gluten-free muffins. Not that I have time to make those things anyhow, but after a couple weeks on this diet any sort of treat has growing appeal.

I am creating…

hello, bean sprouts

hello, bean sprouts

… little seedling starters out of cardboard egg cartons. And I’m also trying to get a sweet potato to sprout so I can plant it out and grow more sweet potatoes!

I don’t ever want to forget…

David wanted the camera closer

David wanted the camera closer

The “lumpy cushion game”: one or more kids gets under a blanket, and I come over and start talking about how comfortable the cushion looks. Then I lay against it and of course it’s all lumpy. So I announce that I need to “make some adjustments”. Then I start poking/tickling the blanket, which moves around vigorously, starts giggling, then asks me to stop… before urging me to try resting there again.

I am working on…

Skyping with Sister Jessica to kick off the 5th centenary of Teresa of Ávila

Skyping with Sister Jessica to kick off the 5th centenary of Teresa of Ávila

… incorporating prayer into my daily tasks. I chose Teresa of Ávila as my patron saint when I was confirmed in the Catholic Church because of her struggles and perseverance in prayer. When I went to a talk recently to kick off the 500th year since she was born, I was able to ask a nun what she thought Teresa might recommend for incorporating prayer into my busy days. The response was so helpful, that my work as a mother is a prayer, and that in addition to that even a five-minute time of wordlessly focusing my thoughts on Jesus during the day could be a productive time of prayer for me.

One of the ways my grief over my dad’s death has manifested itself, is in my having fewer words on the tip of my tongue. So the “wordlessly” part was particularly what I needed to hear. My soul can be near my Saviour while the Spirit intercedes for me.

I am reading…

Fundamentals of the Faith by Peter Kreeft. The book cover is boring, but I enjoy Mr Kreeft’s writing, which I find engaging and relevant.

I am praying…

three months old already

three months old already

… that John will be able to tolerate dairy.

I am struggling…

… with a pile of to-read books that is much taller than I can realistically make it through in a reasonable amount of time. Like, the next year. Yet I keep buying more books! I’m thinking I would benefit from a book-buying fast. Maybe until I’ve read all the ones I’ve bought? I wonder if I would read what I have any faster… Hm.

I am hearing…

My kids singing Christmas carols from their choir practice leading up to a few performances at local nursing homes. I remember enjoying singing in church choirs growing up. I am so happy that my kids have that opportunity, and that they are loving it just as much!

Clicking around…

lots of diodes inside our burnt-out keyboard

lots of diodes inside our burnt-out keyboard

… for a replacement piano keyboard. Nikki’s first violin teacher kindly gave us hers when she moved to Singapore and it served us well for two years. Then last week a power surge killed it with a bright spark and loud pop. The old one was a Casio and now we have Yamaha’s version of the same thing, for a good price thanks to our local online classified ads!

Around the house…

rag

We upgraded our kitchen rags (which were cut up pieces of Ben’s old t-shirts) to microfiber cloths. They look nicer, which is a plus, and they also make my sink very shiny!

One of my favourite things…

… stumbling on an unexpected sale. I went to the shops hoping to buy a breastfeeding top with the money we would have paid a music teacher who cancelled. Because of a sale I had no idea about, I was able to get two tops and a dress for that amount. Woohoo!!

A few plans for the next week…

Meet with a friend for a weekday chat. Attend the second in a year-long series of hip ultrasound scans for breech-baby John. Help Ben finish filing our taxes and work out a new budget – we would like to increase our computing category since we’ve nearly exceeded our internet allowance again. I will have to stay mostly off the computer for the rest of the month, but I’ll see you back here in November!