Tonight I made my epic Thai Pumpkin soup for dinner.   Well.. I think I did.. but what may have happened is that I planned it and gave incidental assistance as DH made it LOL.  You see, chopping up a whole pumpkin requires far more muscles than I have.. but when he did that much he just kept going ;)    I sought a brief moment of solitude (and quiet!) down the hall as I checked my email.. and THIS is what I came back to! LOL

 Isn't my hunny just the silliest?   (that'd be sour cream btw :D  

Merry even had a few spoonfulls of soup.. which is REALLY something for him!!!  (He really has a VERY limited number of things he will eat.. soup not often being one of them.. as it does not resemble a sammich!)

Yesterday the boys & I had their Bunnings DIY kids workshop with the homeschool group we are part of.  This month the project was a wooden bird feeder.  It went fairly well other than the usual wood being far too hard for kids to hammer, pilot holes way too tiny lol.   We grown ups ended up helping a LOT with the hammering.. but at least they got to paint it all on their own.

 Here are the boys very studiously working.  Merry was VERY put out that he didn't get to do one (not that he could have) so he was very happy when Sam asked if he wanted to help paint his :)   Funny thing that they all ended up in blue that day! (makes for a nice pic though hehe)

Here is Frodo showing off (ok squinting at the flash) his finished project.  There is mesh screening nailed onto the bottom to hold the seed and a loop to hang it with.  MUCH better than the elasticy cord in the last bird feeder project they did there (about a year ago).

We WERE supposed to go to the Art Gallery a bit later for a workshop there.. but Merry decided ENOUGH and completely melted down into a screaming puddle.  I nearly lost my mind as nothing would calm him and he acted like I was beating him!   But in the end, it was simply overtiredness rearing it's ugly head... as he crashed out in the car on the way home.


Last night the Hobbit household joined millions of other families and businesses around the world in flipping off ALL electricity for one hour.   One measely hour reduced the city of Sydney Australia's power consumption by 6%... could have been more, but alas people were not as enthusiastic in their participation this year :(  

This is our 3rd year, I think, being part of Earth Hour.  I don't harbour any delusions that this one hour will save the world by any means.  But what this one hour does, is makes a statement.  It says that we CAN do better than what we currently do.  It says that MY family can live without artificial lighting, noise and entertainment far more often than we do.  

We actually cheated, and held OUR Earth Hour at 730pm... mainly because the Hobbits are without fail in bed by 8pm on a regular night and they REALLY wanted to stay up for it.  They are very aware of energy use, and turn off lights (still working on the tv *eye roll*) and such all the time.  They were super excited to go around and help us turn off all power points, flip off the light switches and grab their torches (those are flashlights).  We had candles going around the living & family room.  We EVEN turned off the pump that operates our rain water tank... that flushes our toilets! lol   So everyone had to go before we went dark hehehe.  

We talked a bit about why we turned everything off and what the point of it was.  The kids played with their torches in the house (and found a huntsman spider in the closet and  insisted it had to go... thanks to DH for dispatching it) and then DH & I sat on the veranda with our iced coffee (premade and in the fridge waiting for the hour.. the fridge/freezer were the only things left on in the entire house) and of course the kids followed.  Despite the nearly full moon, we managed to show them the constellation Orion, as well as the Southern Cross.  Frodo pointed out that "HEY that's on our flag!" lol   The kids played games trying to scare each other in the semi darkness of the moonlight. 

At 830, we tucked the boys into bed (still with their torches lol) and watched a movie (nothing like a bit of Interview With a Vampire while enjoying the darkness! lol)  The only things we turned back on other than our tv (for the movie), were our water filter and our tank pump.  Flush toilets are a modern convenience I'm not quite ready to give up lol

Dh & I talked about the fact that for a lot of the world, the hour of darkness is pretty much a nightly thing.   We also talked about our waste... we got our power bill last week and it was 600dollars (for the quarter).  It was only slightly higher than last summers bill, most likely due to our filter/pump system for the kids swimming pool running for 3months.  But we can do better than that.  Too much air conditioning use (I don't like being hot in my own house, so I won't NOT use it.. but I WILL use it more judiciously next summer!)  

Obviously our power use in Autumn will be a bit less than it is in summer lol... so I'm shooting for about 300dollars for the next quarter.  Pool is put away, air con used far less (only in late afternoon when the sun is coming in under the veranda) and the heat.. well that's a long way off yet!  Wish us luck!


The last week has been UNbelievably busy in the Hobbit house!  We only had 3 days worth of 'formal' school time this week, as we had the last of our art & gymnastics classes for the term on Monday and then Friday was our ALL day long excursion to Dreamworld & Whitewater World!  We still squeezed a fair bit in there though :)

Math:  We had our M&M math graphing lesson, which was an EPIC hit.    The boys also spent a bit of time on Mathletics & Rainforest maths, and there was plenty of daily 'incidental' practice (especially for Sam)  Frodo wowwed me with his money skills on Mathletics! 

Language Arts:   Sam did a bit of Reading eggs and we practiced the sounds he's covered with flash cards (the cards have a picture on them and he has to say the word, concentrating on the starting sound and match it to the letter that makes the sound).  Frodo had a reading comprehension lesson (fantasy vs. factual writings), as well as worked through Grammar once a weeks' next lesson (which was on making plural by adding s).  Both boys did a bit of handwriting practice also.

SOSE/History:  For history, we covered the last of our lessons in ancient history, which was the Aztec/Inca.  Frodo did his vocabulary definition and map work (his favourite part of the whole thing) After learning that the Ancients in the Americas were a whizz with gold/metalsmithing, the boys created their own  Aztec pendant.  (very simple project involving rolling out a 5mm thick slab of play dough, playing a circle of foil on it and 'embossing' your design in with a pencil just hard enough not to poke thru the foil.  Then wrapping the foil over a circular peice of cardboard.)  They were pretty proud of their projects, but I could not get a pic to save my life.  Reflecty foil and all that :P    We also watched a documentary on Machu Pichu, to wrap up the unit.  

Sose this week was mainly online ;)  Our Skwirk memberships came through so the boys have been after me to get on it a lot.. so I gave them a list of which things to do and turned them loose.  Sam learned about community and family groups and Frodo learned about Australia.  He named all of the states & territories (including the ACT, which I  ALWAYS forget lol) and created his own word search using terms from the reading..

Science:  We finished up the rocky planets this week, with Mars.  Sam has decided Mars is his favourite now.  The boys both made 'books' from enchanted learning.  Frodos was quite a big book and had a couple of quiz questions on bottom of each page,  Sams was a simpler book, with big lines for handwriting practice.  They learned Mars has 2 very small moons, is about half the size of Earth (boy I hope I remembered that right LOL, bad form if I did not!) and is considered the most Earth like planet.  They thought it particularly cool that scientsists think that over time they could actually create an atmosphere and humans could possibly live there! (this would obviously take a VERY long time lol)  We also caught a program on ABC about Stars and Space that was very interesting.

Art:   Monday was our last art class with Miss Liz, until May.  Frodo created a 3d face sculptured plaque, which Liz will fire and have ready for them to paint next term.  Sam made portrait prints using his very cool 3d face 'stamper', which was made last week. I don't have pics of the prints, but I do have a pic of the stamper!  Isn't he CUTE!?  I had to help him with some of the cutting, as parts of it are done with heavy upholstery fabric. But he did all the selecting, placing & gluing of parts.  He even came up with a decent way to make a nose :)    

HPE:   Gymnastics class finished up on Monday for the term as well.   One day this week, the boys built an 'obstacle' course around the backyard using plastic stepping stones and other bits for zigging, zagging and balancing on.  Friday we walked like umptymillion miles.. sorry kilometres.. around Dreamworld!  

Technology:   Both boys spent a bit of time on skwirk, Reading eggs and here.  Lots of great learning activities and games there.  

I suppose I should have put this in science ;), but that felt oddly organized for me, so it is going here!  We had our excursion to Dreamworld/Whitewater World on Friday.  All in all, the day went fairly smoothly... the boys had a safari talk where they got to see a Ringtail possum  and a Children's python.  (scroll down a little bit for that one, interesting that it's name is NOT for the reasons you'd think!)  Mery was stoked as he got to pat Kangaroos and drive an antique car (on a track.. and with help reaching pedals lol)  We also got to see a rather LARGE saltwater crocodile in an enclosure that rather squicked dh out by how CLOSE we were.  Until I reminded him that croc's cannot fly, nor can they climb glass walls ;)

After the educational part of the day was done, we had FUN, and lots of it!  Bumper cars were ridden, as was the Big Red Car in Wiggles World, and remote control crocodiles were cruised around.  The kiddie water slides were a big hit, as was the Nickelodeon water play 'thing'.. I have no idea WHAT to call it... but it was a massive, multi-level waterplayground!  There were water cannons, dumping buckets, sprayers and every so often, a HUGE bucket at the very top would DUMP about 1000litres of water down on everyone below lol.  There were also cool waterslides off each side that the kids loved.

Merry's favourite was Wiggle Bay, which was basically a shallow pool (deepest about .5m) with water sprayers and a few waterslides for the younger set.  Frodo was quite put out when they wouldn't let him slide down because he was too tall!

Of this excellent and adventurous day, I have zero photos!  When we got there, we discovered that the memory card was NOT in the camera.. I'd left it in the sd reader on my computer when I emptied it for the trip!  And I was SO organized otherwise! lol  We did take a few on our mobile phones, but haven't found the cord to upload them yet. 

A great week, but I'm totally looking forward to a bit of a break!  We have a friend up from Sydney at the end of the week so we'll probably have just over a week off.  I'll try to pop by blogs then, and maybe blog hop on Monday, but otherwise it may be quiet here at Hobbit central.

Not too long ago, I was reading blogs and saw this idea and it stuck in my head. Unfortunately the person who I borrowed the idea from, did not lol. I've seen it a few times though, so I don't think I'm stealing any intellectual property here ;) M&M math.. man when *I* was a kid I'd have loved to learn to make & read graphs in such a cool way!

Supplies required: 2 small bags of m&ms, plain or peanut is your choice though lol!,  small bowls, crayons, and graph paper.  I made my own graph paper using a website I stumbled across, then promptly forgot to bookmark!!.  Oh you also need kids.. well, not REALLY, I mean I suppose you could do this yourself and eat the evidence... but as a home schooling project.. the kids are helpful ;) Here are Frodo & Sam hard at work (ok, not so much.. especially if you notice the lego creation which appears glued to sam's hand lol)   I was hoping that Sam's orange m&m's didn't end up totalling more than 10 or he'd be out of room!

 A bit better shot of the graph... well, an attempt at one anyway ;)  After all m&m's were on the graph, the boys wrote the # of each colour down and then pulled out their crayons, put their m&m's back in the bowl, and coloured the graph in to save in their notebooks.

 Here are two boys working VERY studiously on their math, because after all is said and done, SOMEBODY has to eat all those m&m's!    They also had a short questionaire about the graph, basically which colour had the most, which the least, were there any 'ties' between colours.  And most importantly... did you EAT any before you got them counted? LOL

For all the fun involved, it ticked off a math outcome for Frodo ;)  And now the boys have a basic idea how to read a graph!

Merry was involved as well... I gave him a small bowl of m&m's and a muffin tin and TRIED  to get him to help me sort them by colour.  Total flop LOL.  ALL he wanted to do was eat m&m's, of course!   I attempted to get a pic of him, but they all came out blurry.. I guess he was moving pretty quickly.  What, with the sugar high and all LMAO.


Hi fellow Blog Hoppers :D    This weeks topic for the hop, courtesy of Kylie over at Our Worldwide Classroom,  is state regulations/laws, etc pertaining to home educating.   What does YOUR state require? 

What does MY state require?  Well, for starters, I live in Queensland Australia... just so we all know where on the map we're looking!  I'll be perfectly honest and say that I'm not *exactly* sure WHAT this state requires exactly.   My first year as a home educating mum I elected to fly under the radar ;)  and last year (as well as this year) I hooked up with a great distance education school that helps me make a LOT of awesome stuff available to my boys that would otherwise be difficult to access.   But on the the state requirements that I DO know about...

I know that you have to send in an application to home educate, with a VERY detailed individual learning plan, listing all curriculum & plans,  for each child you are intending to home school.  I mean so detailed that I remember reading it going, seriously?  Teachers don't have to do that for each kid in THEIR classes!?!?!  

It was a little daunting, but I was also a newbie homeschooling mum, so I'm sure I could kick it's proverbial bum now that I have a few years experience under my belt ;)   Then,  after you've sent this small tome in, and possibly go back & forth a few times with your 'supervising' person to clarify and such, you get a letter in the mail authorizing you to home school for any time period up to 2 years.   I've heard some cases where people were only licensed for 6mos due to the HEU (Home Education Unit, part of Education Qld) personnel having 'concerns'...but I think most people come away with a 2yr cert.    

But since I tossed the ENTIRE pile of papers (ok, so I downloaded it from the web, so I *actually* sent it to the recycle bin... same end result though!) and skulked about the fringes for a year... I have no idea what happens after that lol.  Another mum I met, who is registered this way, said something about writing the annual 10th month report?  I'm guessing that's a narrative summary of what your kid/s have learned & covered over the year...but all I can do is guess ;)

Since that entire answer was almost totally a NON answer.. I'll share what *I* have to do to be all legal and square with the distance ed school we use.   We choose our own curriculum, which was very important to me, and I write up ILP's (Individual Learning Plans) for each of the boys at the start of the year.  This is really just a list of what resources, curriculum, external courses and such that we plan to use during the year.  Easy enough! 

Each term, or about every 10weeks, we have to email off assessments of our childrens learning for the term.  We use the same forms that the state uses in schools, which are broken up into 8 Essential Learning areas (think math, science, technology etc etc) Each of these areas has a list of expected outcomes that covers a 2yr period.  So grade 1 has it's own, then it's 2/3, 4/5 etc.  They are incredibly basic, IMO.  I do NOT teach TO the objectives/outcomes though!  I find that a huge percentage of the outcomes are easily covered by every day 'stuff' and discussions/questions that ALL children ask.  And the rest, it's easy to pick them out as we move through our chose curriculum and activities :)  Honestly, I'm doing our assessments for term one... and I'm having to pace myself to have objectives left to cover later on!

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to get up to in order to enjoy the wonderful world of home educating!

MckLinky Blog Hop
Ok, so I am SERIOUSLY slack about doing my weekly wrap ups on Fridays.. but at least I AM doing them right? lol   And this week it's ONLY Saturday night, not Sunday evening ;)   One of these days, I'll post this on Friday night and the world might just blink out of existence!  We had 1-1.5days off due to food poisoning ripping  through the house, but the rest of the week was pretty productive.

Math:  Both boys did a couple of pages of review on their lesson 18 in MUS.  Frodo is working on column adding up to the 1000's place as well as rounding and estimating.  He's having a bit of trouble with carrying 10's to the next place *immediately* and he forgets to.  So I figured a bit of review was good :)   He also spent a fair bit of time on Mathletics and did really well with it.  Lots of money skills came up through his questions and he did GREAT with them!

Sam is working on adding 10's (as in 10+ 50=60.. with MUS that reads 1T + 5T= 6T or onety + five-ty = sixty) Sam and I also practiced his skip counting by 2's by singing the skip counting song from MUS and by counting coins.  After he counted them, he identified them as well.   

Merry has been watching 'Count Us In', which is an ABC program with muppets all about counting.  He loves it and counts all day long after it's been on lol. 

Language arts:  Frodo did his Catching on to Comprehension all by himself this week, cause & effect was the theme this week.  He also did Grammar Once a Week and Spelling matters as well. He's been doing a fair bit of our reading for history & science as well as reading small amounts of The Belgariad to Sam in the evenings.   He did a couple of his cursive handwriting workbook pages independently as well.  I intended to get around to having him write a new letter to his pen pal, as the last one got coffee spilled on it before it was mailed and DH forgot to inform me that he'd had to throw it out!  (sorry Liz, I didn't know it never went out!)  We'll get on that tomorrow afternoon or Monday after art! 

Sam went through a couple of lessons on Reading Eggs and he and I worked on the letter sounds he's covered so far.  But honestly, he's only half getting it.  I'm thinking he's just not the cerebral type and might be a little later of a reader.  Which is just fine with me because he's pretty on target everywhere else!   He finished a couple of handwriting pages as well, and practiced on his whiteboard.

Science:   This week we read up on Mars, which Sam has decided is his FAVOURITE planet.  I'm quite surprised by that actually, as orange is his favourite colour so I thought the orangy yellow of Venus would win his heart lol.  Frodo is still working on his tab book as well, each page has mini quizzes about the planet in question that he does as we get to it.  Science was light this week as Tuesday is usually a science day and we were dying.

History:  This week it was reading on the Aztecs and Olmecs, the ancient cultures in the Americas (both north & south).  For some reason we did NOT get the map work or vocabulary definition done, so those will roll over to Tuesday or Wednesday coming up.  At the moment we are just wrapping up the Ancients so that in a couple of weeks we can start Medieval history! Now THAT is something I can't wait to get into!   

Art:  The boys both had their art class on Monday and finished up their self portraits!  They are really good, especially as their first art ever actually of a face :)   They were quite proud of them and i think I may find some inexpensive frames and hang them up.  

I'm not sure what the second part of Frodo's class was.. but I know Miss Liz had clay!  So I'm sure they'll get into that this week.  Sam started a printing project.  It's another portrait, this time done in 3d with fabric samples and twine and buttons.. and well, just about anything else bumpy or lumpy!  This week they will roller paint onto it and 'print' it in their art books.  The goal is to do several prints in different colours ala Andy Warhol sorta!  

This is Frodo's self portrait.   With a bit of an abstract background going on there.  He did quite good, his only issue was that his ears appear to be up a TAD high on his head hehehe.  But a VERY good first go at a realistic face!  

Sam's portrait is all dressed up in a police costume and looking awesome.  In the pic up there, he's busy giving himself hair.

Health & PE:   Gymnastics class on Monday.  Both boys went very well in their classes, but you can tell the teacher is not happy to be teaching the classes :(   This monday is the last class for the term, and in May when the kids start up again (long break unfortunately!) they will have a teacher with a lot more experience dealing with kids.  ALso swim class on Sunday morning,  Sam is ALMOST ready to move up to the same class as Frodo yet again!  Frodo moves up and I think it motivates Sam to bust his butt to catch up! lol

Social stuff:   Tons of time on the playground before & after Monday classes with their mates. Trip into the shops to hang out & have a bakery treat and visit the playground there.  The boys also had their cousin over for a small birthday celebration and spent time introducing her to their pet rats hehehe. 

ICT/Technology:  Both boys used their various online membership websites (mathletics, rainforest maths, Reading eggs) They also played a bit of wii as Sam got a very cool new underwater diving game for his birthday.   And a bit of Age of Mythology was played as well hehe.

I know there is more I'd usually write here, but it's been a busy day & my brain is frazzled.  So I got nothin' people.  


*** Total epic fail, I wrote most of this post last night, but got called away and forgot to post it! So here it is, slightly amended, and slightly late!***

Pic:  Sam with a great big cheesy grin as he cut his cake!

Yesterday was Mr. Sam's 6th birthday. It's hard to believe he's 6 already. He's done so much maturing over the last year and has really made the leap from little boy, to big kid. He started the day off with his card from me & dad, complete with accompanying Captain Jack Sparrow birthday badge hehehe and pancakes for breaky.

The boys decided to dive into schoolwork to make the day go faster, as they knew there were presents for Sam and Nan was coming over after dinner for cake! Well that failed, because by 10am they were done lol. Sam & Frodo hatched another plan, CLEAN! They announced they were going to clean a few rooms up, so that by the time they finished it would be lunch time, dad would be home, and presents could be opened! Fabulous, have at it boys! I'll just make a cuppa and locate some bon bons LOL.

Amazingly enough, their timing was spot on too. They tidied both kid bedrooms, the toys out of the family room and pottered around the lounge for a few minutes when they heard the door & saw Dad's very noticeable orange (high visibility) shirt through the sidelight at the front door. They went NUTS! Presents were opened like almost immediately. LEGO!!!! Atlantis theme lego at that... very cool under sea vehicle and a funky shark thingy. There's even King Neptune and divers.. WICKED.

I totally amazed myself, by putting together a particularly difficult looking kit. Faster than dh got the one he was assigned put together. Normally the kids would help, but the spaz levels were just too high for sitting down long enough to do that! So we adults cranked them out.

After dinner, Sams VERY favourite fried ride & yum cha, Nanny & grandpa rocked up with cousin L in tow :) Coffee was drunk, cake & ice cream consumed (NOM was the raspberry swirl cake I baked!) And MORE lego were opened lol. Nan got him an undersea diving game for the Wii, as well as a little lego kit from the Toy Story collection. It's a little Jeep with 4 'little green army soldiers' like out of the movie. They totally rock too. Sam & Frodo were stoked at being told they could stay up as late as they wanted... and they made it till 855pm before asking to go to bed LOL. Not that they really wanted to SLEEP or anything, but Nan also brought them very cool giant (like 3 inches tall) lego men.. when you squeeze their middle, their feet light up. Lego man torches.. is there much cooler in a 6yo's mind or what? Not likely!

There was much giggling and silliness for at least another hour after they went to bed but eventually, silence! Hubby & I watched a cheesy romance movie and just generally enjoyed a nice quiet couple of hours to wind the day up.

Next birthday up.. The Teen!! But his is the end of April, so I've got a wee bit of time!
And I mean ordinary in the Aussie sense of the word "somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre." sayeth anyway. Moving to Australia kinda gave that word a new meaning... back home ordinary simply meant plain, everyday, basic. But ordinary is SO much more discriptive here lol. Our past 36hrs have been Exceeding ORDINARY!

Just after I posted last (and reported we were having our favourite teryaki chicken burritos), those same burritos tried to kill us all. Seriously people. I am never eating chicken again! Frodo woke up at stupid am vomitting and continued to do so until the sun rose, at which point he slept for 4hours and reported he was MUCH better (and could he play age of mythology now since he was still a little sick? lol) DH... oh my.. poor dh. He was SO dehyrated that he looked pale.. dude has the olive skin of an aborigine descendant, so pale is scary on him! Me.. I was very ordinary (there's that word again) I managed to hit the shop for gatorade before the worst of it hit me, but it caught up with me. I spent no more than an hour upright twice during the day. I slept from 11-2pm.. and from 3-6pm..and really I never got up except briefly, until 7am. And needless to say there is NO way dh went to work, and NO way any schoolwork got done.

Our coping mechanism of choice? The Wii! It actually gets put in a bin and up on the top shelf of our closet during the week, else Frodo would think of NOTHING else. But we deemed this enough of a crisis that we hooked it up. The boys were exceptionally good, considering the fact that both of their parents laid around all day like they were dying (in our defence, we weren't sure that was not the case!)

So Tuesday was a total wash. Do-over. Mulligan. FAIL!!!!

Fast forward to Wednesday: The kids were quite obviously BORED, because this morning Frodo pulled out his Catching on to Comprehension without any suggestion from moi, and proceeded to do the whole exercise about cause & effect. Go Frodo!

I was, and still am, slightly dehydrated, thus not feeling 100% yet so I informed the boys it'd be a mellow day. Next thing I know they BOTH have their handwriting practice books and are going at those. *Who are you, and what have you done with my children??* LOL Then they brought their current science books, which were about Mars, to me so we could read them.. this is after I heard Frodo reading a book about the Earth to Sam down the hall even! Frodo did his Mars page in his planets tab book that he is creating. Since they were so amazingly motivated, I rewarded them with a bit of Reading eggs and mathletics time. They totally love these sites.

And then dad came home just in time for lunch. Frodo read, just to me as Sam was off building with lego, the UILE pages on the Americas ancient history. Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs, oh my! lol And even a bit of outdoor time in there. Not such a good idea for me though, watering veggie pots = breaking out in a sweat!

For a 'mellow' day, it sure seems like a lot got done? How'd that happen?! DH & I are still not up for eating anything substantial, so it was soup & toasty cheese sandwiches tonight to the boys delight. I was THRILLED to see Merry dip his sandwich in tomato soup and EAT it. (you'd have to know this child to know how exciting it is. He doesn't eat ANYTHING except sandwiches, yogurt & spagetti.. and cookies @@. So ANYTHING new is good!)

Speaking of Merry, he'll be making a lot more appearances here since Friday is his LAST day at kindy! He won't be 'formally' homeschooling, since he's 3.5 :P But I will definitely have to organize activities for him to do while his brothers work, so that he feels included. EEK no pressure! (suggestions are good, if you've got cool ideas, hook me up in comments!)

This day hasn't been THAT ordinary I guess, the kids got a lot done... the majority of that without much effort out of ME it seems!

YAY!  It's time for another blog hop, courtesy of Kylie over at Our Worldwide Classroom !   I'm loving these because I'm finding TONS of great new blogs to waste time reading... I mean.. to get awesome new ideas from! (gotta make it sound productive ;)  and I DO get great ideas from so many blogs I read!)    

This week we have a  fun hop...10 Random questions!

1. What time is it right now?   It's 6:05pm

2. What are you wearing?  My favourite sorta hippy-ish sundress :)

3. What is your mood?  Great!  (hubby is going with us on a homeschool excursion next week, and we're stoked about it!  Dreamworld here we come!)

4. What is one thing your children learned today?  They had art & gymnastics classes today.  I know that Sam learned about adding detail to pictures and is learning how to use textured items to make a picture (of a face) to make prints with!

5. What did you (or are having) for dinner?   Teryaki chicken burritos with way more veggie stuff than actual chicken.. at least for me ;)

6. What's one book you are currently reading?  The Clueless Vegetarian and One Magic Square (Aussie gardening book, it's terrific)

7. What behaviour (in people) is the most common but also the rudest?   Lying... it just sucks.

8. What can you see out of your nearest window right now?  Our little swimming pool, whose days are just about numbered for this year.

9. What are you currently praying for?   I'm not exactly a 'pray-er' but I'm really really hoping to be able to get my  2nd son down here this year :)

10. What is your favourite hot beverage?  Well, duh.. COFFEE!!!!!!!

Look forward to reading everyone else's random stuff!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Yes, I know I just posted about 5 minutes ago... but today a person I know did something so awesome that I thought it just DESERVED it's own post.  Every year the Leukemia foundation of Australia does what they call 'The Worlds Greatest Shave' and this year the owner of my very fave coffee shop was participating.  For probably the last month or six weeks, every time I went in for my weekly coffee, I would drop any gold coins in my wallet in her donations box.   (usually about 4bucks a week, not a fortune, but hey it adds up!)

At the start of the fundraising the plan was for Jacqui to colour her hair, but IF she got 5k in donations/sponsors, she would make the move and SHAVE!  Well, Thursday I went in for my regular coffee sans children and one of my other favourite barista's asked if I was coming on Saturday?  To what, I inquired?  Jacqui had made the decision, despite hitting only 3k in donations, to shave her hair off.  WOW.  Hell yeah, I'll be there for moral support!  

So today I left the hubby home with the kids, and I went down to the coffee shop.  Jacqui just happened to serve me at the register and I asked if she was nervous.. She laughed and asked if she looked scared?  Absolutely petrified I replied lol.   I told her it's only hair, it will grow back.   She was SO nervous and was near tears a few times during the lead up to, and during the actual clippering.   I told her how when my mom's hair started falling out from chemo, she finally shaved it off to take control of the situation in some small way.    And here she was shaving hers off to raise money to help people who have a disease that may never affect her at all.  

After the shave, she was beaming and laughing.  We aren't like best buds or anything, but afterwards she grabbed my hand and thanked me for being there and sharing my story (well, moms story).  No, thank YOU Jacqui.  For being just awesome.

I'm sure I mentioned my Sam being VERY upset that his turn in the maths workshop ended before he got the opportunity to have a go with a certain item that he had become enamoured with.  He was really  REALLY sad.  And I felt really bad, because he had waited paitently for the workshop organizer to get to him to answer his questions on other games.. and a couple of times it took SEVERAL minutes, which really ate into his fun time!

 I hate that he missed out on something that he wanted to do, merely because he had to wait around on a grown up who was actually there *to* help him.  (mild grumble in that she spent a lot of time showing games to other adults that IMO should have been spent helping the children, or at least showing the adults so THEY could help the children ya know?)  So,  I commenced to searching the web for this particular item.  Not knowing the NAME of said thing really didn't help lol.  But it's amazing what typing ' magnetic geometric construction toy' can come up with!   Almost immediately I found it!  Then I set about finding it HERE in Australia.. again, located it straight away.  

Google, I love you.  

THIS is the object of Sam's affections ...   

 And I am going to buy it for him.  His birthday is this coming week, and he will be ecstatic that mum would not have him miss out because some lady was too busy to help him.   Thus making me the hero!

It can be found here . (and various places on the web in the US, as well as evilbay, of course!)  

I think... that I may just have to slip one of these onto the order as well.  They have challenge cards that you can work through to build some pretty incredible things!  Frodo had a ball with those yesterday, so they'll be a winner around here as well. 

I'm a tad concerned that my house may start to look like an educational store soon LOL.


***Apologizing in advance for the horrid formatting on this post!  It did not look like this in the post preview so I have no idea what version of computer crack blogger is into tonight.  I also apologize that I am just too darn tired to be bothered trying to fix it :(  And I simply promise to try not to do it again! lol

FINALLY, back to normal!  We've sorta slipped back into our groove this week, after our run of illness.  It's nice to have a little bit of routine back in the house!   

Monday was our weekly day out with our local homeschool group for art & gymnastics (for some reason I have no pics of those this week)  The boys started work on their culminating project of Self Portraits!    They did really well for not being there for 2 weeks of how to do faces.  I can't say that their portraits look much like THEM... but they DO look like people lol.  They are really quite cool.  I'll post pics to share after they complete them.   Gymnastics went well, the instructor has sitting duck syndrome I think, there were... issues... and the classes for our group will be done by a different coach next term.  I think in the end it's an issue of maturity and the ability to work with groups of children.. that's something you either have or you don't.   The boys had a great time hanging out on the playground despite it being a tad dreary! 

We also had a couple of days of NICE weather, so there was a bit of THIS!!!  The boys were stoked to get outside.   That's Merry stomping along side his stepping stones while announcing what colour each one is lol.. and Sam is scoping out the cucumber plant to see if there are any snacks in the making there (not today).   Merry has been getting into doing a few little activities while brothers do school... check out his 'man' that he made with the tap a shape!  he had no help at all and did a pretty decent job of it.  He was none to happy about having a photo taken though lol.

Then we filled in the middle of our week with typical schoolwork..

Frodo's week:  Math U see lesson 18 (estimating & adding into the thousands .. with regrouping), Grammar once a week (commas and to, too, two!) which he zipped through.  In reading comprehension he learned about predicting outcomes and did really well with that lesson.  He really enjoys the book I picked out for that.  He reads exceptionally well, but I think has a bit of an issue with comprehension so we're concentrating on it to help him ENJOY what he reads more!  He did a fun spelling exercise as well, all the words were easy for him but he got a lot out of the enrichment part for sure.  He poked around on Mathletics as well, always a hit. 

Sam's week:  He also did MUS lesson 18 (adding 10's) and some skip counting by 2's practice with the cd of songs :D.  He did a few pages of his handwriting practice book... and his q's were awesome if he did say so himself lol.  Reading eggs was done a few times, and enjoyed.  A bonus is that the lessons dont' SEEM so long (even if they actually are) because they are broken up into different sections.  

Together we read a book about the Earth! for science.. we're heading for Mars next week.  We were supposed to get there today, but with the sickies last week our scheduled got bumped ahead.  This week we had our extra curricular day, so all other Friday activities were skipped!  So we stopped at Earth for now.    In history we did the mapwork for Ancient Africa and started on the Aztecs & ancient America.

Today, Friday, was our fortnightly extra curricular day with our distance ed group.  It was a great day for it, although mother nature kept trying to blow my gardening magazine out of my hand lol.  The kids had a  'Hands on Maths' Workshop in the morning, and OH my what a hit that was!  Sam was VERY upset when their hour was up because he was enjoying the math games so much that he wasnt' ready to be done!   It's been alleged that he tried to slip back in for another go, but he vehemently denied it and got very upset that someone suggested he didn't do what he was supposed to!   Not that we'd have been upset at all... who can get angry at a kid that WANTS to do more math!!!! hehehe  They also had dance & played outdoor group games.  Oh, and snacked... A LOT!  I swear they want to create the impression that I am not feeding them except on those days ;)

In no particular order, here are pics of the boys fave stuff from the maths workshop today!


 The big news this week, is that I'm done with kindy.  Merry has attended twice a week for about a year now (although he missed a LOT due to my bad health last year!), mainly to make my life a little easier as the bigger two needed a lot of help 'getting' the group activities thing when we were out.   But it's become very apparent that he's not liking it as much as he was at the start.. he throws almighty fits when dropped off and has now started  not eating much at all when there.  (ALL of this is new stuff, so please don't think I'd have him there for a year that upset!) 

SO starting the first of April, he'll be home pre-schooling hehe.  The group we do our art & gymnastics with is adding activities for the little ones and the distance ed group has a story hour at the library (our days are held at the same park as the library) for the little ones as well!  So hopefully the activities will be enough fun that he'll not feel left out.   I hope he'll be happier to go along (and not throw a tantrum) if he has his own 'school'  So stay tuned for updates on that! 

And with that, this very tired mama is signing off... I hear my pillow calling me.


I think I mentioned previously that I created my own science set up for the boys this year.  We do science together, so I basically beef up activities for Frodo's lvl or lighten them a tad for Sam.   Currently we're doing the Solar System, and as boys usually do, they're loving it!   We usually do science twice a week, unless we have a LOT on in a week, so this unit will last us at least the rest of this term! (term ends Easter time I believe?)  

We use Magic School Bus books as the initial jumping off point because they're such fun, and pack a lot of info into one book.   So far we have read about the Sun, Mercury & Venus, at the rate of about 2 topics/planets per week.  Today was Earths big day :)   Since the Earth & Moon get their own ENTIRE term, today was just a quick fly by covering the same info as we have for the other planets.   The boys & I get comfy in our little reading corner in the family room and they really enjoy all the satellite photography in the books, and Frodo does most of the reading for us.  

I thought I would share the framework of my little 'curriculum' on here, as I've had a few people enquire if I was going to make it available (either free or for pay, really flattering!)  At this point it's just a framework, I'm always adding in new resources that I run across.   For some things I simply have the url and every weekend I check for things that will fit in nicely during the week, and the boys do many of the web based games/activities during 'non school' time whenever!

Without further adieu... Here it is :D  Caz's Magic School Bus Science of the Solar system!!!!

 (I hate to have to say this, but I guess I need to these days.  This is the property & creation of Caz Milton.  Feel free to copy it for your own personal use, but if you'd like to share a link to it, please share the link to THIS post instead of posting this on your own site.   I am offering it here to SHARE it, not for it to be 'stolen'.   This isn't anything award winning, but I put a fair bit of time into it, and still do daily almost to improve it.  So in short, it's not nice to take credit for other people's work, please don't do it!)

*STarter book:  The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
                 Guide to using ‘Lost in the solar sytem’ in the classroom (if I can find it!)

Field trips/projects
 *Enchanted Learning solar system book
 *Planetarium visit for *Passport to the Universe
                                         *Saturday night ‘Live’
 *create a solar system mobile/model
 *web resources for photos of planets, the sun, nebulas, stars etc (

 *book 11 planets: a new view of the solar system Aguilar, David A   (ISBN 9781426302367)
 Beyond planet earth [interactive multimedia] from library

  ***Starting with the Sun/ Sol go through each planet using the solar system book.  
                                     -What is the planets name sake? 
                                     - What is the length of their day & year? 
                                     - How much would you weigh and how old would you be there?
  *Blast off! :Mercury by Orme, Helen ISBN 9781846960499
  *blast off!: Venus Orme, Helen I SBN 9781846960482
  *Eyewitness Mars Murray, stuart ISBN 1405312653
  *Lets explore Mars Orme, Helen ISBN 9780836881264
  *blast off!: Jupiter Orme, Helen ISBN 1846960568
  *blast off!: Saturn Orme, Helen ISBN 1846960533
  * Uranus and Neptune and the dwarf planets Mist, Rosalind  ( ISBN 9781845389659) 
  *Gas giants Knapp, Brian ISBN 1862143676
  * Briefly discuss the asteroid belt and comets.

 * Lesson Pathways  *** excellent resource, free, lots of net based games & activities to supplement with! I’ll be picking from these as we go, so feel free to choose any that look cool.

*solar system ‘cloze’ sheet from EnchantedLearning
*solar system ‘quiz’  

 Magic school bus sees stars
 Magic Treehouse: Midnight on the Moon
  *MTH guide for space

It doesn't LOOK like a lot, but I'm amazed at how many extension activites I find here & there.  We're on week 3 and only just now hitting Earth.  Thursday it's on to Mars & the Asteroid belt.. after that it's on to the Gas Giants and Planet Fart (LOL thanks for that Wendy & Gavin.. I laughed SO hard!  Only a mom of boys would understand I think ;)  

I hope you enjoyed it!

This weeks theme on the Homeschool Blog hop, is Style... homeschooling style of course ;)  (Yes, I realize I haven't done all 5 homeschool blog hops, but I thought I'd number it for continutity sake with the rest of the blog hoppers.)   

I have no idea what I'd call my/our homeschooling style honestly!  I try to be very relaxed, and open to natural learning opportunities when they present themselves.   I like to use hands on things that are engaging, as well as FUN for the boys to learn with.  

We use classical STYLE history (the 4year chronological cycle that repeats) and are just going to start our Medieval period year, but we are not classical homeschoolers.  That just seems like far too much work for me!  Although I like the *idea* of it.

I tested out Waldorf in the beginning.. and while I like the gentleness of it, the philosphy and such behind it is *just* a little too unusual for me I guess.    But we do still keep a nature table and decorate it seasonally :)

Currently we use a hodgepodge of stuff... Math u see, History Odyssey are both pretty hands on.  Then we have workbooky stuff for grammar and such.   We do outsourced classes for art and gymnastics as well as some outsourced LOTE (Japanese) , dance & music twice a month.  Some stuff is done via web based programs as well.  So I really do think I qualify as pretty damned eclectic lol.

However, a blog I read, and the one that hosts this hop even lol, has a fair few links to Montessori information.  I find myself thinking that some Monti materials added into our homeschool would be a good thing!  I like the idea that I can make/get materials that are tied to things we are studying, and can make them available so the kids can choose to pull  them out to work with whenever they want.  So I'll be looking into adding a few bits here & there, as soon as I score a laminator and paper cutter :) 

So, while I'm not EXACTLY sure what my style is, I can tell you very much what it is not.  I do not what my kids to feel like they are in school... just at home.  We're too non traditional in so many ways, that it would feel weird for us! (ok, for ME maybe.  I think it would just feel to 'stiff' for the boys).   

So, in a nutshell.. We're classical in our history, traditional in our grammar type stuff, kinda unit studyish in science & social studies and looking to add some Montessori influence here & there in all areas of study to give the kids more self direction.  

Look forward to seeing everyone else's posts!

MckLinky Blog Hop

This will be short & sweet, because due to everyone being sick (and mum utterly sleep deprived) for the entire last week, sweet bugger all got done!    

Math... I think both boys got one page of a Math U see lesson done, and they checked out our new subscription to Mathletics and Rainforest maths .  Frodo is up to estimating and adding in the thousands and Sam just did adding doubles, 4+4, 5+5  =)

Language.. Our subscriptions to Reading Eggs also came through, so the boys both had a go at this. Even though it said they had levels for up to grade 3/4, I'm thinking it's a bit easy for Frodo.  He enjoys the games though ;)  Sam really likes it, I'm thinking he enjoys it more than Headsprout even, so we may let it take over from that.  Frodo did the high temp & headache thing so he wasn't really up for a good deal of reading so we gave it a miss.

Sose.. we watched a documentary dvd called 'The Kimberly:  Land of the Wandjina'  as a family, I think dh & I enjoyed it more than the kids lol, but they stuck it out with us.  

History.. none this week.

Science..  We did read a couple of our solar system books during the week, and the boys are in love with one of the Usborne books (it has lift up flaps, what's not to love?).  They spent a bit of time on the couch flipping through it with  Frodo reading the captions to Sam & Merry.  

ICT.. the boys spent a bit of time on the web, when they were feeling better (thanks to nurofen for sure), navigating web sites, playing games and doing other activities.

There was also a fair bit of lego building, with a lot of intricate designs that were quite impressive.  And mum baked yummy things, but booted the sickies out of the kitchen for health & hygiene reasons!  Maybe next week boys ;)

Everyone SEEMS much much better, although Frodo still had a headache earlier today, he hasn't complained any this evening!  So I have high hopes that we will make it to our Monday art & gymnastics classes tomorrow, which would be nice since we had to miss 2 weeks now.   

This coming week, we'll be back to it.  I'm not going to try to 'catch up'.. we're just going to move last weeks' plan ahead a week and call it good.  I don't think trying to do twice as much in a week will do any of the kids any good, and honestly, being able to take time without pressure when we're sick is a huge bonus of homeschooling!     

I really do think it's the simple things in life that make me happiest :)  Today hubby & I were cleaning, since not much of THAT has been done while everyone has been sick (and we've been sleep deprived!).  There are a few places that NEVER seem to be tidy.. one of those is our bedroom lol (but no, I did not tackle it today), another is the kitchen bench where the phone & water filter live.   I have high hopes of getting a couple of bar stools for the family room side of the counter, but the MESS that lived there would have made them pointless.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture, but oh well.  There was a fruit bowl there, without fruit... but it DID hold massive piles of CRAP!   In it were: a zillion tiny letters that went to a business stamper, a WAD of christmas ornament hooks (don't EVEN ask how), and those were tangled up amongst an old mobile phone usb cord and one of those silly vertical blind chains!  Add to that many pens, a few crayons, a random spare key and more absurd little bits of paper than I cared to count.. and yeah.  It was a mess.  

THIS is what it looks like now!  The area on the right side of the counter was the offending corner.  Now there is nothing there but a phone :D    Of course, one of the boys came along just a second before I took the pic and deposited his water cup on the bench *scowl*   I left the offending bowl there, but rest assured it will be finding a new home so that it can't play black hole again, and suck in any surrounding items!  

If you enlarge that pic, you'll see my very favourite Fat Cat cookie jar... He's got a tiny crack around the rim, so he doesn't get used.  But he DOES get loved.  I have to smile every time I look up at him hehehe.  Also there are the awesomely cool medieval style wine goblets mum gave us for our anniversary.. love them!  I feel like I ought to slip into one of my renaissance costumes when I bring them out ;)  I think they definitely call for something 'wenchly', don't you? 

 This is another simple thing.  When you have 3 sickish boys, you will do almost anything to stop the whinging and make them forget about being sick... even for a little while!   Nick Jr. to the rescue!!!    As you can see it had everyone rivetted,  'cept Sam, who had to cheesy grin for me.   Oh.. and all that crap you can see on my desk in front of the boys?  THAT got decluttered today too.  Yeah, what can I say, I'm on a roll!  

The most exciting simple thing though, at least for today, was not so simple lol.  I have tried numerous times to add a related posts function to this blog but it never worked.  I've been through numerous tutorials on how to do it and could never figure out what went wrong.  Well, after attacking the kitchen AND my desk, I decided to reward myself with a little time wasted on the web.  I stumbled across another way to add related posts and grudgingly tried it.. and it worked!!!  Go Me! lol    I thought it would be neat to have so that some of my new blogosphere friends can, if they have time to blow ;),  can read other posts and get to know me and my Hobbits a little better.  

So please, have a wander around!   With that.. I do believe I'll crank out a cuppa and go reading some of my favourite blogs myself. 

I'll let you in on a secret,  I love Autumn!   Ok, so it's not really much of a secret lol.   It's rather odd that I am such a fan of the dark/cool times of the year, and yet I end up here in Queensland... land of endless summer.  Oh I love the things that summer brings.. swims in the pool, iced tea, beautiful blue skies that can darken to thunderstorms almost as fast as you can blink.  But about one month of all that is enough for me.  Here in Queensland, that means I make it to about November... not even INTO the 'official' summer season, which begins on December 1 in Australia.   By the time Summer Solstice comes around, if it weren't for the silly season and all the wonderful family gatherings, I'd be well and truly DONE with old Sol for the year!

Autumn officially began on March 1.  I've been yearning for it since the New Year rolled in though.  I'm ready to take down the pool for the year, and wear jumpers and jeans.  I'm ready to drink coffee on the veranda in the evenings with my hunny (if we try to do that now we are confronted with the late afternoon sun glaring in our faces).  I'm ready to rug up on the couch with the kids and read stories, or for them to pile into my bed in the morning for giggles without being so hot we can't stand the idea.  

I'm ready for the REAL veggie gardening to begin (such as mine is, in pots ;) I'm ready for all those lovely things that autumn and winter bring here in Queensland.   I'm ready for soup in the crock pot weather, and baking without having to turn the air conditioner on!  I'm oh so very ready to be able to go to the park with the kids... and stay all day without wilting in the heat (ok, we'll still have to slip, slop slap though!) 

This is what Autumn is like here in Oz.  The grass is greener, the trees may get a tinge of colour... depending on where you live.  Most stay green, as many are Eucalypts and thus evergreen.  But even here in the subtropics... there's something about the air that changes.  That crispness somehow makes it's way even here, where the rest of the year the air feels heavy and soggy.   Autumn has always spoken to my soul in a way that the rest of the seasons don't touch.   And for the last 10 years that I've lived here, I've missed it so much.  But  I suppose I just hadn't looked hard enough.

***btw, This is what happens while a sleep deprived mama waits for the sick little dude that fell asleep in late arvo decide to go to bed.  I noticed a chill in the air and just followed it....

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Don't you just love it when things seem to be a little crappy, and then you get a sudden burst of good news?  I do!  That's me today... I've been feeling rather sorry for myself this week.  I'm exhausted, and tired of dealing with sickness.  My house is a bit of a mess, I have laundry coming out my ears (both dirty and clean as it takes a zillion years to cycle it through the dryer.  Just a few clear days is all I need!!!), we're relatively broke, oh and did I mention that I'm TIRED??? lol

Well sometimes the universe just takes pity on us in some small way, or not so small even.  This morning my lovely DH, who spent half the night with a cranky, unsettled 3yo laying on his chest, called from work to let me know that the boss pulled him aside for a chat.  He thought he was about to get grumbled about for who knows what, but instead he was told he'd have a letter in his mail slot detailing a nice tidy raise PLUS a 35$ per week 'bonus' because he is one of the drivers in the top 20% productivity wise.  All total that's a nice tidy 140bucks a fortnight!  

Can I get a great big WOOT!!!!!!!! 

And starting next payday it will show up.   Let me tell you, the budget is planned out for the next 4months and it's so tight it squeeks.. so this is a very welcome bit of news!   *ponders*  Which also means I can squeek the toner cartridge for the laser printer AND the laminator we need to make some homeschool material into the budget next fortnight! *SQUEEE~!!* lol  

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And I'm just not coming out until everything that is harassing me goes AWAY!!!!!!!!    Sam managed a lot better with his cough last night, but Merry was up and in our bed rockin a nasty temp again at midnight.  He blathers on and on when he's like that.. and he couldn't lay still to save his life (or my nights' sleep for that matter)  In a game of musical beds, dh retreated to Merrys' bed again leaving me to battle it out with squirmy butt.  

This morning it's raining it's arse off again.. no signs of stopping.  I had to rig up a bodgy lint filter replacement for the clothes dryer (we never use it except in dire circumstances... like weeks of rain) so I'm pleased to say when I pull the car out of the garage today, it will not snow little fluff balls of lint as I drive away LOL.    And yes, it's a SAFE bodgy substitute lint filter.. never fear ;)

At 1245 the boys and I are off to the docs.  I think 3 days & nights of a fever that won't stay down is quite enough.  And Sam is supposed to have a follow up anyway, so they are sharing an appt.  Dr. Kenny is pretty good about that (odd, but down here doctors generally prefer to be called Dr. First name ... especially in GP offices.  I'd imagine your avg neurosurgeon might warrant a Dr. HoityToityLastName)  

School got cancelled today, not by me, I was up and ready to go... when I checked my email.  I'll interrupt here for a little backstory, as I thought I had posted about it on my blog... but apparently it was my FORMER blog.  Which no longer exists.   Long story relatively short ;)  In 2007-8 we had an electricity provider than proved to be utterly incompetant.  I spent months calling them fortnightly to try to get a bill, and finally had to bring in the Industry Ombudsman to get them to do their job & bill me (how eff'd is that??).  It took NINE months.  So not surprisingly, the bill was $1297!!!  I set up payment plan, told them to stuff it and changed providers. Last March I gleefully paid the last installment and considered the bill done with.

Well the company went into recievership (bankruptcy basically) and I got a call recently about an alleged 183 bucks owed.  I said no worries, I have documentation of every payment I made totalling up to 1297bucks, which I sent him by email.  TODAY, I get an email stating the last 3payments were never credited to our acct, so would I still be making those payments?  UM HELLO  WTF?!?! 

*DEEP cleansing breath*  So I hit internet banking, cut & pasted the lines from my statement showing the bpay reciept #s (bless you bpay, because *I* lost our paperwork in the move!) and informed him that here was proof that the money left my acct, and went to their acct.  That I did my job, it's just too bad for Jack Green that THEY did not do theirs!  (I closed with, 'In short, no the payments will not be made *again*, as they have already been made and I have proof of this'  ... just for a little snark).   Then rang dh who rang the dude and gave him the run down of the situ, then rang the Ombudsman who can't do much, and am sitting here considering ringing legal aid to find out what my rights are!   I know it doesn't sound like a big deal... but I stressed over this for 9months trying to GET the bill, then paid it off dutifully, and am getting harassed a year later over it.  The amount of stress at the time was immense, and now it's coming back all over again.

So yeah, school is out for the day due to mum having her guts completely tied in knots *sigh*  and doctors appts.    The boys DID, however, find a sweet lego airport set in a sales ad.   Upon my telling them that no, we would not be rushing out to buy it, they pondered for a minute... then ran off saying they could build one, but have to design it first!  So they sat at the table with paper & crayons and sketched out an airplane (complete with individual blocks in a grid) and then proceeded to build something that looked VERY much like their design.   Now they are wii bowling while mum pulls herself together.   This could take a while....@@

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I already have Sam sick and not sleeping well, due to coughing his toenails up.  But was it really necessary for Merry to spike a ridiculous fever at 2am last night, just because I was already half awake?!?!?!   Even the bottoms of the poor kids FEET were burning up.    We did manage to dose him up and he went right back to sleep (something about being in dad's spot on the bed has a sedative effect lol) but poor Strider had to go down to Merry's bed, because bub was just all OVER him in the night.    As he made what he thought was his escape, I told him I'd handle THIS sicky, and he could handle the other one ;)

I'll pause here a second, and make note of just how LUCKY I am when it comes to my DH.  This is the dude who had to get up at 415am to leave for work, yet he still got up to help me get nurofen into the feverish one.  THen he was up twice with the coughing one giving him water and making sure he could breathe etc.

I think it must be the weather.. it's incredibly dreary here, and probably will be most of the week.  We're expecting some 200+mm of rain in the next 2 days as well.  That, combined with the sickies, ensures that we're looking at week #2 of not leaving the house.  

Sam is off the hook for any 'required' schoolwork until his cough is better, especially his Headsprout as it requires talking which is absurd when you can't stop coughing.   He will probably sit in while I read a bit of the Pawn of Prophecy to Frodo though, because he loves it ;) 

Frodo will do his usual work this week though, and Sam is free to join in if he's up to it.  We're up to Earth later this week, in our solar system study and we'll do a quick once over as we've done with the other planets... and then AFTER we're done with the rest of the solar system we'll do our indepth study of Earth.   It's almost a unit within a unit, but it didn't feel right to pause the solar system to go through the entire Earth unit, ya know?   Plus, I guess I like to think our planet is special enough to get it's own term of study ;)  

I shall wrap this up, as I have been interrupted about 20 times to 'reacha cuddle' by Merry, and at least that many by the non sick, sickie running after his brother up & down the hall lol.  I think they require something organized to do before they come undone!