The pieces of my life's mosaic are many.... family, parenting, unschooling, social justice, community, faith, ethical issues and the environment. This blog will reflect a bit of everything, I imagine, all mushed up together, just like life is. The "glue" in my mosaic is the bit that's not always visible, but definitely holds it all together: the love, joy, peace & faith without which life would pretty much fall apart. The spiral signifies the ebb and flow of life around a central point, which for me is God.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Channel 10 News

Declan's been having lots of fun with the camera today, and it developed into an idea of him being a news reporter that mysteriously disappears while filming the news. I found him, with the camera set up and recording. He was "everything": the camera man, the news reporter and the editor. We all ended up getting involved (well, everyone except Geoff, who is at work, and Travis, who is, as usual, at the beach). Brady masterfully helped develop the script to include himself and Molly and I got the job of doing the filming. (Molly even decided to wear a dress and have her hair and make up done, as part of being a "Channel 10 News Reporter"!) After a few funny attempts, this is the end result. (For what it's worth, Molly gets the "most improved" award for the contrast between her first attempt, which included a very delayed entry of her only line and off-stage giggles during the fight scene, through to a very "polished" performance.) Look out Channel 10, your replacements are on their way! And look out Declan, the Mysterious Masked Man is on his way too!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Self-Initiated Science Fun

Just when I was getting worried about D & M's love of all things "computer" and their seeming disinterest in other activities, they've surprised me today by initiating some fun science stuff all on their own, and independently of each other.

D decided to turn an unused desk in his room into his very own, personalised "science desk", complete with some science kits, science books, a "sign" and all. All he says he needs now is a bin for his rubbish! When I went down there to check it out, he was reading a science book to M. I've attached some photos (hopefully - I'm such a notice at this!).

Miss M, who was drinking a cup of "tea" (milk, sugar & hot water) wanted to insulate the drink as per an activity she'd seen on the brilliant TV show, "Backyard Science". She remembered just how to do it, with a ziplock bag (except she called it one of those "zippy" plastic bags) and some foil (aka "shiny silver paper"). I took it a step further by suggesting a second cup non-insulated, to compare the two. It was so much fun, but hard to get them both started off at the same temp. They both started off at 50 deg cel, and after 24 minutes, the non-insulated cup dropped by 16 deg to 34 deg, and the insulated cup dropped by only 8 deg, to 42 deg. Cool, huh! Guess which one she chose to drink?

Well, whilst typing this blog, D's now also created some yummy chocolate moulds using some carob buttons (unsweetened - hmmmm?) that he found in the pantry, some sugar, golden syrup, milk, rice bubbles & almond slivers. He loves to "make up his own recipe", always preferring the challenge to create something original for him, rather than just follow instructions. Of course, this doesn't translate into other areas of his life at all - NOT!! :)

......... And it continues........ M has just created her own "cake" - well, I THINK it's a cake. She's actually not sure herself. She just keeps saying "I don't know WHAT it is, really!" Anyway, it's about to go in the oven so let's see........ Now D & M are outside playing with bicarb and vinegar. Fun, fun, fun! Busy, busy, busy! Mess, mess, mess! :)

B is sick at the mo, so hasn't got much energy, but he's still managing to download some tab sheets for songs he wants to learn on the guitar. He's currently in computer land, headphones on, guitar going....... As for T? Well, he's hoping to get down to Dick Smith to buy some dubbing software so he can mute out some swear words from some of his favourite songs so we can listen to them in the car. It's so much fun having such a broad range of ages in the fam!

(Oh, for what it's worth the "chocolates" (it sounds silly to call them "carobs") turned out pretty well. They're soft because of the added liquid ingredients, but they taste good! Not too sweet, but nice. T & B haven't plucked up the courage to try them yet! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who Are We?

After living in various locations over the years and having some grand adventures, we moved to the lovely East Coast of NSW at the beginning of 2007. We LOVE it! We're close to the beach, a huge lake and some beautiful countryside, still reasonably close to most of our family, and living alongside some absolutely fabulous people! What a privilege. It's been so fantastic to see the kids forming fantastic friendships so quickly.

Here's "us":

Geoff - working as a psyche nurse and establishing himself as a sought after lecturer in mental health. Also currently studying his masters as well as working full-time and lecturing on the side and setting up his business.....  Busy, busy, busy!

Karen (probably the person who'll most commonly be writing on here) - loving the privilege of being home with my precious kids (well, perhaps not "home" much) even though it makes life pretty tight financially. It seems a million years ago that the oldest two were in school. Our life certainly looks nothing like "school" now! I also enjoy being involved in social justice issues (my local TEAR group, plus I'm starting a Kids Social Justice group this year for home ed kids) & environmental issues (I'm a bit of a greenie!). I can't relate at all to the comment "What do you DO all day?" I can NEVER fit even 10% of everything I want to do into each day! Life is full and exciting. I'm loving developing deep and lasting relationships with some of our friends here, and exploring something of what a relaxed, unstructured urban-community-centred-around-Christian-spirituality might look like!

Mr T - My oldest, first-born son, who's now taller than anyone else in the family, although his "little" brother is hot on his heels!! He's explored a variety of things in recent years including bicycle repair, drumming and ice hockey but has now firmly entrenched himself in the body boarding scene. He usually finds time to go to the surf at least once a day! He's also working at McDonald's casually, but doesn't plan to stay there forever! He has dreams of perhaps owning/managing a bodyboarding shop and perhaps one day becoming a PE teacher.

Mr B - He loves the freedom of "life without school". He's currently developing a strong interest in woodwork, and enjoying the challenge of accruing as many tools as possible to set up his own workshop. (Apparently even a BOY needs his "shed"!) He has woodwork lessons with a friend of ours, who has also become a bit of a mentor. He's also been helping him on "real" jobs lately too! Like his big brother, he's growing taller every day, and has explored a few interests such as electric guitar before settling on body boarding (and wood work). He will be going in comps this year too.

Mr D - Our oldest fully unschooled child. Yes, he's NEVER been to school and he's a very free-spirited, creative child. I wonder how different he'd have been had he spent the past 3 years in a classroom? He definitely doesn't like to do most things twice, preferring instead the excitement of new challenges. He's our first self-taught reader and is an avid reader, particularly enjoying adventure/fantasy/medieval type books! Pretty good for a kid who's never had to do a workbook page in his life, or read a "school reader" type book!! He's also currently loving the piano. He's quite the composer, and is now trying to master reading music, already being quite good at playing. His interests include trampolining, hip hop dance, archery & gymnastics!

Miss M - Also fully unschooled. She's quite the computer whizz and is beginning to ask lots of questions about life in general. She loves to wrestle with her big brothers but also just loves to play with friends, as often as possible!! Singing, drama, gymnastics and Little Athletics are her current passions. Oh, and how could I forget animals of all kinds - particularly DOGS!!!!

You'll get to know us more as we post more about our life. Enjoy!!

After playing around with a few titles, I've decided to called this blog "Mosaic Spiral". My original intention was to have separate blogs for separate things I'm passionate about, but in reality, they all meld into one big beautiful mosaic, made up of various elements, all spiralling around a central core which is God.