Ask and ye shall recieve! hehehe   I didn't think too many people would be excited by the old school heroes these days, so I didn't add them to the post.  But here you go!  You'll note Sam looks slightly perplexed.. he had NO idea who these weird men in spandex mum had him pose with were lol.. but he knew they were super heroes so that made it ok!    Man, have costumes come a long way or what?!?!?  Although I must say, these two guys looked fairly confident despite being wrapped in the most unforgiving fabric ever lol.

 Ok ... just couldn't resist sharing my personal moment with Austin Powers hehehe.   They were very entertaining dancing their way along Main Street :D    (you'll note the massive cover over the whole of Main St. there... mega  high skin cancer rates = an immense shade sale industry lol) 

Yesterday we had our home ed group excursion to Movie World on the Gold Coast.  Movie World is the ONLY motion picture oriented theme park int he Southern Hemisphere apparently.   They also film movies,  a couple of the batman movies were filmed there as are many other Warner Brother flicks.    About 100 people, give or take, turned up bright & early for a day of fun and boy was it!  

There was Shrek, and Bugs bunny & friends, Scooby Doo and the whole gang, Batman, old school heroes like the Flash & the Green Lantern.. and even Cat woman was caught lounging in a shady spot (I suppose all that leather would be a tad hot in a nice sun beam ;)  The Harry Potter shop was a huge hit, and Sam & I rode a Batman adventure ride... and HE handled it better than *I* did!  In my defence though, it was one of those 3d movies in a rockin-n-rollin' pod!   Not my forte!!!!  Photos will tell the tale of this day better than words, so here goes!

 Here's the boys & their cousin hangin out with Scooby, Shaggy & Fred.  The guy that played Shaggy did the BEST copy of his voice, it was great!

 For Sam, it was ALL about the BAT!  He got to see the REAL batmobile from the Batman Returns movie and was giddy.  Then he watched adults get flung into the sky on the batshot, Frodo looked mortified.. Sam looked like he was thinking 'where do I sign on for THAT!?!'  lol  Somewhere at that moment, a grey hair sprouted from my head.

 Here's the two boybarians on the mini version of the Batshot, called Sylvesters Pounce &  Bounce.   They LOVED it and did the requisite screams the whole time hehehe.

 And here is Frodo in his first driving experience... don't ask what's up with the hat brim, I have no idea what he was thinking LOL.   They had quite the time bumping each other around the room.

Austin Powers & company danced their way up Main St. at one point, and I managed to get a 'yeah babaaaay' and pose from him for a pic lol.   

All in all it was a great day, and today I'm left with achy knees and legs and am glad it's over.  Wonder how many kilometres we logged walking around that massive place..


Because after MUCH oohing and ahhhing over their new bedroom, and talk of how excellent the bed was itself... I walked into their room around 9pm to discover that Frodo had climbed down from the top bunk and was sleeping soundly next to Sam.    

See, for about 2yrs now they have shared the same twin bed, by choice, despite having a 2nd twin bed in the room as well.   Eventually we gave up on the 2nd bed, and dissassembled it for the extra play space ;)  We even put a queen sized bed in their room at one point, but they didn't like th bigness of it and asked for their old bed back.  lol   

We rather thought that after all the bickering and such after they went to bed, that maybe Frodo was just ready for some 'space' of his own.  I think he is, but as the post title says... old habits die hard!   Ah well.. they are rather cute sprawled across each other :)

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Oh wait, wrong pirate!  Yesterday we made the trip to Ikea and loaded the van up with our handy shopping list from the Ikea site (and we even managed to only leave with 2 items that weren't planned!  major accomplishment really lol)   It was a lovely day out for hubby & I, we stopped off at a shopping centre to hit Border's books, as last time I was there I took a HAHA photo of a couple of books for dh's dad... and he said hey, next time pick me one up and I'll give ya cash! lol  (I'll just say they are rather specialized gardening books and leave it there ;) Scored dh a new pair of work sneakers at a reasonable price,  his were way way past their prime.  And picked up an iced creme brulee at Gloria Jeans,  my favourite coffee haunt, for the road.

Then off to Ikea for lunch & shopping.  Dh has never had their meatballs with cream sauce & lingonberry jam,  he was hooked at first bite.  Seriously tasty lunch and at least as cheap as Maccas' (McDonalds) if not cheaper!   We managed to find everything we were looking for fairly easily... and had a ball going the WRONG WAY through the showroom floor hehehe.  I defy you silly arrows painted upon the floor!  I defy you!!!!  Before heading downstairs to the markethall, I spied  a very nice dining set that I'll becoveting for a long time ;)

It was rather hilarious when we got to the self service area... DH being the master of loading up a vehicle, packed that flatbed trolley like a pro and managed to get 2 desks, one bed, one bookcase a trofast storage shelf and a mattress... all on one trolley LOL.  Steering was a bitch I'm sure ;)

DH spent the night putting the Kura bed together, and I spent the evening drinking vodka cruisers and painting a few cute themed items for the bedroom walls (ok, I shared a cruiser or two with dh.. I didn't drink 'em all!~)  And THIS is the result:



The very cute door sign and pirate treasure map, were painted by yours truly (and are awaiting a coat of varnish as the propellant is gone from the can it appears!).  The uber cool flag on the wall is courtesy of Nan who always finds the coolest stuff.  And how CUTE is that pirate doona (douvet) cover!?!?    

The boys arrived home a bit ago, and they are thrilled.  Sam just informed me 'mum if you need me, I'll be in my bed'  LOL

Now.. to convince dh that flat pack is not the devil so that he'll come build me a REAL desk!

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One could swear it was summer today.  It's not that hot (only about 85F ish), but that'll come in time.  One sure tell tale sign that spring is not long for this world, is when you take a drive and the landscape (fairly urban) is just dotted everywhere with the most amazingly vivid purple you can imagine.  Yep,  Jacaranda season has come to South East Australia.  Brisbane is particularly famous for our Jacarandas apparently (so sayeth the Wiki :) and when I went out yesterday to do a few errands I could see why!   THIS is what I saw everywhere I looked!   

 Isn't that colour just surreal?   They are huge trees.. and they flower naked so there is no green to compete with that stunning electric purple-blue.   Some people moan and whine because they make an equally stunning mess as they drop their flowers en mass (still beautiful if you ask me!) But I say they don't know how to appreciate life.  Jacarandas will be done flowering within a month, and a month or so with purple all over your grass, and the foot paths (step carefully! they get slippery) and then in one fell swoop you can sweep them up and be rid of them.  But for now... why not revel in the signpost that mother Nature has sent letting us know loud & clear that summer is on it's way!?  

The wheel of the year is turning far too rapidly towards summer for my taste,  so I think I'll stop & smell the jacarandas ;)


Today was a good day :D  Gotta love those.  On the 12th (2days ago) I placed an order for Frodo's Math U See Beta program, Sam's Primer set, and a nifty box to hold our blocks... the original cardboard one is a bit dodgy now.  And I like organized,  although I hold no delusion that it will last all that long!   Back to the topic,  I placed this order on the 12th, just after lunch.  I came wandering out of bed around 830 to find a parcel on my doorstep.   I am pretty sure MUS Australia has a time warp or a tardis in their warehouse.   Either way it was cool, because nothing motivates my kids like NEW school stuff.  I could barely get a cuppa coffee into me for all the nagging to watch the dvd and do a lesson!   They both loved it and Frodo had a look through some of the lessons and approved of the new and interesting looking stuff :)   Sam was just stoked to have the same thing has his big brother has!

I was slightly depressed because the spiffy box for our blocks won't be here for a day or two *sigh* The organizing geek in me pouts even as we speak.  *pout*  

Sam did a few pages of the writing readiness program I found, he's really loving it.   It started out with straight vertical lines to trace, then circles, then slanted lines in either direction, then humps, and U's.  It's going a LONG way towards getting him comfortable making the movements needed for real writing :)    After these first few packages of basics, he gets to move on to tracing more intricate things to work on his fine motor skills.  Samwise is all about the LARGE motor skills... he's forever running & climbing & kicking etc... piddly things like writing never interested him until now.  Although he does hoard the play doh when we make it! 

Speaking of doh :)  as part of our Halloween craft & fun, today we made salt dough ghosts!  The uber cool paper bag trees shall have to wait until after my trip to the craft store tomorrow (where there is conveniently enough, a 20% off storewide sale woot!).   We ended up not doing any of our lapbook pages today... we were just too into working with the clay and then painting our creations.  I realize I'm being a fail blogger, because I have no photos of these yet... but they aren't quite done.  Sorry, I couldn't help it.. I had to share the link!  

And TOTALLY not related to homeschooling, although I suppose it is as it's a fortnightly outing I take to keep myself sane lol... I had my nails done today lol.  I had them painted a nice deep purple, and my ring fingers have awesomely wicked spider webs with little redback spiders painted on them especially for Halloween :D   I tried to get a pic of that with my phone, but no dice.  Suffice it to say the web is silvery and the spider is creepy!   And the boys think their  mum is uber cool.


(have I started  a post with that title before? with all the sick this year, I'm not entirely sure.  If so, forgive my lack of creativity ;)  

I figure a few people probably started to wonder. I'm on what I hope will be my last round of antibiotics. I have been sick now for almost 4weeks... I know this because I got sick on a Saturday just before the belly dance school I attend started a 2week holiday, and last night I missed the 2nd class back. *sigh* I fear the mysterious world of veils will be lost on me next Monday (this is me being optomistic that I will even BE there Monday ;D Anyway... if this Augmentin doesn't kill me, (with it's headaches, dizziness & crampy guts), it will surely make me better ... or possibly turn me into a mutant. In the latter case, I have dibs on invisibility as a mutant power.

Schoolwise the monsters are having a good run so far this week! Frodo is doing a review mathbook (well the part he is doing right now is review, it probably gets harder :) until we get his new math program in. He's also been mad libbing like crazy, practicing his parts of speech. This week in science we are learning about Fungi! Tomorrow we start growing our own fungi (damp paper towel in a zippy bag + 1)slice of bread or 2) piece of vegetable) to see which grows mold first. I suppose I could just dig the ever present forgotten something from the bag of the fridge... but that doesn't 'really' count as a science experiment lol. We also read about the Babylonians and how they had the first written laws (the Hammurabi code) and how they worked out that the earth went around the sun in one year. They took that a bit further and divided that into 12 months..and then worked out how many days were in a month as well as that the day was 24hrs of 60minutes. I'm guessing they used different terminology of course, but Frodo thought it was very cool.  

Sam has been cruising through Headsprout episodes and acing the printing readiness program I found online (it's really more a series of worksheets... but program sounds much more flash hehe) It really is helping him though, because the other day I wrote his name and he copied it VERY WELL several times! And he's been practicing on our white board, since mum saw fit to score a package of crayola dry erase markers :D EIGHT colours of low odour, dry erase fun woohoo! He has not stopped writing since I got them, seriously.  

Today we started our Halloween lapbook project (which sadly I cannot find any info on the mama in the states who created it so I can't get permission to share it! waaaaaaaahhh) and I think the kids would have done the whole darn thing if I'd let them. As it was we talked about the history of Halloween & Samhain (and went through the whole pronunciation thing.. although far too many adults mispronounce Samhain so I should cut a 7yo some slack eh?... it's actually Sow-in for the non pagans about.. it's Gaelic I think?) and we learned some of the symbols of Halloween J Heaps of fun, and I have laid the project out so that it takes us right up to the 31st.

And totally unrelated to anything… we just scored a nice bit of cash back from the govt, so a trip to IKEA is in order! This weekend the boys will be spending Saturday night with their Nana & grandpa so we are sneaking to Ikea to buy them a Kura bed (to be used as a high bed, with bed underneath for Sam) and a new ‘theme’ bedding. We’re kinda hoping to find some rockin’ pirate themed stuff, or maybe castle/knight. The idea is Sunday afternoon when they come home, they find an AWESOMELY cool bedroom. I always wanted that bedroom when I was a kid, but mine was always boring and functional… this little bit of magic I can give to my kids I figure! Of course photos will be forthcoming.

As pretty much everyone who has visited my blog in the last month knows, I'm sick... and I feel like I'm going to be that way forever!  And before *I* was sick, one child or another was.   I've been thinking a lot about what would have happened if I was a typical mum with 2 kids in school at a time like this.  I can imagine lots of calls from principals over missed days because mum couldn't breathe to get the kids to school, nor could she find someone else that could take them.   Or me ending up in hospital because I tried to be supermum and take them anyway... or worse, us having an accident (as it's hard to drive when one is coughing up a lung!)   

Needless to say, these thoughts have me greatly appreciating the freedoms that we have because we homeschool!   For these last few weeks, we've been doing little bits of schoolwork here & there... more or less as I feel up to it.   There have been a few days where there was absolutely nothing done, and even one or two where I managed to sit with the boys and do almost everything I had planned (before I got sick I might add lol).  Granted, I required a nap immediately upon hubby's arrival home on those days!

Getting around to the conversations mentioned in the title...  Last week I had a 'good day' and we had to pick up a few groceries and ran across a reptile show.  Somehow standing amongst all those school children (it was holidays) and their parents... I managed to find a lone parent who had homeschooled her children for their high school years!   A lovely chat was had about all the odd looks, and sometimes rude comments, that you get as a homeschooling parent if you dare enter the shops during those sacred school hours.  

Yesterday afternoon I had my docs appt (4th round of antibiotics *sigh*)  I again had to pop into the supermarket & newsagent for a few things.   The lines were long and I had to get a replacement on the ice cream sandwiches that had melted significantly while I waited to check out.   I commented that the young man who came to get my melty treats didn't look thrilled to be at work.  The lady in line behind me (who had the most excellent Irish accent btw!) commented that she'd been a sahm for 15yrs and couldn't handle having a boss, so she'd have looked grumpy if that was her lol.  

So, I of course shared that I was a sahm & a home educating parent as well so I totally agreed.  She was so jealous!  She had wanted to home shool her kids but was always told she couldn't, that it wasn't 'allowed' etc.   It took several minutes for the kid to come back with my ice cream sammiches so we had a reasonable chat while we waited... I'm sure the young girl working the check out (who I'm sure is still a high school student) was not real sure what to make of it.  Either we were weird, or she was jealous ;)

And just this morning we had a real estate inspection.  Madelyn, our agent, is a nice young lady and as far as real estate agents go.. is super!   She's understanding of smudges on walls, not so clean floors and such.  When I was taking her through the house  pointing out wall cracks etc, she happened to stop to watch Sam practicing his writing on our whiteboard.  I picked up some neat crayola coloured whiteboard pens, so it's like having a box of crayons to write with on it ... Sam approved and has been at it for 40minutes or more!   He was practicing the number 2 and the letter C.    On the way out she asked if I hs'ed them and when I said yes she shared that another tennant in the neighborhood homeschools as well.

I feel the need to add here, that inside of about 10minutes of practicing on this whiteboard, Sam can now write his name (which is obviously not Sam, but is 6 letters long) pretty darn well!   I think I have found an answer to penmanship woes ;)

She also commented how cool it is that every time she is here for an inspection, my kids are studiously working on something worthwhile all on their own, without even having to be asked to do it.   THAT is what homeschooling is all about.     

Now...  I need to find a couple of smaller personal sized whiteboards this weekend!!


I was getting rather blah about the fact that I couldn't find a decent freebie Halloween template and then I noticed that Delightful Dots had just put a few up!  Happy dance!   It's simple, but enough to make lil ole me happy (and the boys rather liked it too!)

Off to go do a little Halloween decorating with the kids, after the all important lunch of course.  We already did Halloween math pages today to the boys delight, so the festivities are off to a good start!


And Mrs. B is at it again!    She has the best giveaways going... look what's on the list for today!

Adorable witchy embroidery from Tea Towel Creek  and a years subscription to Circle magazine!  

So far I'm loving the Haunted Halloween tour she has going as well, so hop on over to see some spoooky blogs!   Not going to bed early and missing out on all the great treats ... suppose it'll be late nights for me this month ;)

Our house has had a rather sad couple of days.   As some of you know, we are keepers of pet rats... or we are owned by rats..not sure some days ;)   Our boys are quite spoiled, we have built them a rat condo and they get fresh fruit & veggies and all manner of healthy good food.  They get toted around on shoulders all day long by Sam (who almost invariably is sporting a rodent on his person if we are home lol) and incredibly rat play grounds get built for their enjoyment.   Some people like cats, some dogs... we love rats.  

Our boys (the furry ones) are Nibbles, Latte, Mocha, Peaches, and Cream.  We lost Tickles to a respiratory infection several months back.  Well apparently it was a common issue and is able to hang around for some time as Friday night hubby & I noticed a commotion in the cage, and when we went to check,  Mocha was still & not breathing.  It was fairly obvious he had just passed away.   He was an adorable rat, with a wonderfully playful & loving personality.   His holy grail was popcorn and grapes... oh my did he love some grapes.    We found an appropriate container for him so Sam could help bury him the next day.

Well the next morning when the kids woke, we called them into our room to let them know what had happened (as Sams' first stop in the morning is the condo to say good morning and check water containers... he's a VERY good rat keeper).  Sam rushed out to check the cage and found Peaches was dead as well.   Oh no.   We had noticed he was rather subdued the night before but wrote it off to stress over the death of a cagemate.   So a double funeral it was.  They were buried just as the full moon rose  in the sky, which the boys thought was rather special.

The three remaining boys (Nibbles.. the old guy, Latte, and the youngest Cream) were very subdued, and I would swear depressed! the next day.   Lots of attention and treats seems to have pulled them out of their funk  a bit.  And Sam is surprisingly doing very well... I guess he understands the rat life span is only 2ish years at the best of times.  But that's ok.. he will be barraged with little furry friends many many years from now when they meet him at the Rainbow Bridge.

Here is a piccy of the boys playing with Latte & Mocha  when they were just a few months old :)

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Today was kindy for Merry,  so since I had to drag myself out of the house anyway, I thought I'd take the boys to the shops for something from the bakery (and to pick up a steam mop because I'm afraid I've killed the enjo mop head and am ready to try something new).   I also had a free coffee on my frequent sippers card at my fave coffee haunt, so we stopped in there.  

After our bite to eat, we hit the store to pick up our few necessities (ok, do construction paper & new crayons count as necessities? hehe)  we came out to see a crowd of children sitting around an arena that had been constructed out of little wrought iron fencing.  Inside was a guy (cannot remember the exact name of the company, but it was Dragon something .. Kylie shout out if you know him I think he's the same guy that you arranged earlier this year) doing an awesome reptile show!  Samwise was instantly hooked.  They got to pet a turtle and a roughly 4foot long & 4yr old salt water croc (whose mouth was taped shut, sad, but necessary for safety cause he looked PISSED OFF).  The crowning glory of the visit however, was Sam HOLDING a python around his shoulders!   

How cool is that!?!?   He practically jumped up and down to get to hold this snake (then again, this is the boy who loved the naked mole rat), so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this :)   Big brother was not quite as keen on the snakey love, and passed on the chance to hold him lol.   

Oddly enough I was chatting with a lady who was watching the show, she must have been about 50 or so, and I happened to mention that we usually come up every week and that I'd forgotten it was school holidays since we homeschool.  And would ya believe SHE said she homeschooled her kids in high school lol.  That was a shock, and we had a nice chat about this & that and all the commentary homeschool mums *usually* get about WHY aren't your kids in school!?!?!  (although I've not gotten any snooty responses to hs'ing as of yet, more surprised 'wow, you can do that? ' or 'well it's gotta be better than public schools!')

Sam also scored a rockin pirate hat from a halloween display at the newsagent, but my phone is being a fascist and won't mail it to me GRRRR,  so his day was totally made!  He didn't even want to go to the playground, which is good, cause mums' lungs were just about done for and we had to make a hasty retreat home so I could rest.   All this in only 2 hours ;)   Ooops, sorta never got around to the schoolwork I had planned *sheepish* 


I grew up in the states, and Halloween was only beat out as my fave holiday by Christmas by the teeniest of margins. And that was BEFORE  I became pagan in my 20s… after that my love for Halloween/Samhain overtook Christmas almost immediately. Samhain is the 31st of October in the northern hemisphere, where I became pagan and set my internal sabbat clock apparently, because no matter that I’ve been here nine years in Australia, or that it’s hot as Hades outside by the end of October… it will always be Halloween/Samhain in my heart!  

Samhain (pronounced Sow-in for the non pagan readers hanging around ) is all about honouring those who have gone before us, remembering the special and honoured dead and keeping their memories alive. Although it seems like it’s centred on death, it is really a beautiful holiday. Every year I look forward to having our dumb supper, which is a meal eaten in silence with a plate set for special people who have died (I try to do absolute favourites, for my momma I make her mothers fried chicken recipe… although it will never be as good as Mema’s! and she gets a glass of white wine) For hubbys’ Pa, it’s sweets, as he was diabetic and couldn’t have them. But oh how he loved them! For us, we have my thai pumpkin soup usually (although I made a pumpkin and sweet corn soup recently that might overtake!) 

For the more secular side of the occasion, we decorate a bit around the house, pumpkins & cauldrons and witches abound. And there might be skeletons lurking in closets, and ghosts drifting about! I’ll try to come up with fun costumes for the boys, and we’ll all head over to the bay where they have a Halloween street party that’s quite impressive. The children get to ‘trick or treat’ the shops and vendors, there’s a spooooky parade even. I’m like a great big kid, I can’t wait! 

On the home schooling front, there will also be plenty of Halloweeny goodness! I have a Halloween & pumpkin lapbook planned (I would link it, but I went to the site & it appears to be gone now.. If I can locate the mama that created it, I’ll try to share it) and assorted Halloween themed worksheets (the kids love ‘em), and crafts throughout the month. Unfortunately this just passes on my rather schizophrenic brand of paganism to the kids, but sorry, can’t pass up Halloween!)

Technically, it’s coming on Beltane here, and seasonally you can’t miss that! The earth is alive, my veggie patch is starting to bear fruit and even in the coolest parts of Australia, mother earth is waking from her slumber getting about the business of Springtime! 

We will  do a bit to honour Beltane, I’ll set up a separate altar to herald the coming of summer (which I will then bemoan a month later lol).  I wish there was to be Maypole dancing, but alas we are solitary pagans so none of that.  Otherwise Beltane isn’t a holiday I’ve ever gone all out for, despite it being labelled a ‘high’ holiday!  So we’ll probably have a nice summery bbq, deck out an altar somewhere with flowers and summery cheer and call it done. Well…aside from the most traditional way two adults celebrate Beltane… but that’s not for a public blog ;)