Monday, December 31, 2012

Sayonora 2012

I thought I might pop by my blog to have a little reflect on the year that was 2012 and to pause for a bit and have a think about what I want to bring to 2013, just so y'all don't forget about me and so I can take stock.

Let's start with the positives, shall we?

  • We had a nice summer, relaxing by the pool and out and about in our nearby National Parks:

  • I tidied up our homeschool space, moving it downstairs:

...which we still use (sometimes!) and occasionally still looks as neat as this!!

  • We had a great trip to our nation's capital Canberra and also to Thredbo in the spring:

  • We found out that Video Boy does, in fact, have ADHD (the inattentive type) and were able to finally put another piece in the puzzle that is my son:

  • I got to meet some other, new (to me) homeschool mums in the area, and finally met Helena and her family from Loving to Learn

  • In homeschooling, we did great maths, some OK writing, some interesting science and I'm sure we did some other stuff too....

Wombat Girl found tea and quadratic equations equally fulfilling!

Turns out they're not too old to enjoy being kids

Board games continue to be a very important family recreational past-time

We did enjoy our paper folding and fractals (and so did you!)

Occasionally I make them do "proper" work
  • The kids did well on their external testing (NAPLAN and UNSW exams), showing progress and reassuring me that we must be doing something right!
  • On a personal note, I took charge of my health and finished the year 5kg lighter than when I started (with a couple of ups and downs in between):

  • The kids grew. A lot!

OK - so onto the not so good things about 2012 - not to dwell on the bad, but to learn from it and move forward:
  • I spent way too much time at work. Paid work, which is nice for $$ and all, but especially toward the end of the year, the balance got out of whack.
  • Consequently, we didn't really get into a homeschooling groove this year. Sure we got some stuff done, but there was lots I had planned that we didn't achieve and I just had an overwhelming sense of "just getting by". 
  • My babies are growing up! I know this is inevitable, but it just compounds the need to spend time with them while they are still at home and still "kids", rather than adults.
So, 2013, what do the fates have in store for me? Well, you never know what's around the corner, but based on where we are now and what we've learned this year, next year I would like to:
  • Work less, homeschool more. My main "resolution" for 2013.
  • Laugh more, say "yes" to my kids and hubby more.
  • Keep on track with my health and later in the year, run a half marathon (gotta have goals!)
  • Go on a decent relaxing, but interesting holiday (longer than a couple of days break)
  • I may post later in the year of big changes afoot, but these things take time and may not even happen, so until then, I will keep on keeping on, doing the best that I can.
So on that note, I wish all of you a very Happy New Year - may you work on it being a good one and may luck smile on you (at least occasionally!).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Hello all you loyal Defying Gravity followers!

Well, the year is rapidly coming to an end. It is the eve of Christmas Day, and no matter what your religious persuasion, it is the time for peace and goodwill.

Defying Gravity has been a bit quiet of late, but rest assured, we are all still here, still well, and looking forward to the festive season (a hot one in Oz) and lots of joyful learning in 2013! January looks a little hectic, but hopefully after that things will settle down and get "normal" again (whatever that is).

In the interim, here's our little geeky contribution to Christmas merriment:

Merry Christmas to you all and our best wishes and joy for the year to come!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another year over...

Well, I know that we still have weeks left in the year, but it feels "over". Or maybe I'm over it. Something like that.

The kids that go to school are finishing up - the private schools are done and the public schools shuffle on until the middle of next week. I figure we are as "private" as they come, so we are just done with "formal" school too (although we all know the learning never ends!). I wonder what the kids will buy their teacher (word is, the private school tiger moms are giving their kids teachers Chanel handbags and Moet champagne!).

What have we been up to, though, I hear you ask?

We have done the tree! I let you know last year that I have difficulty relinquishing control of the tree to my offspring. This year I bought more decorations (like we need them!) and went with a red, green and silver theme. The kids are totally getting more grown up because they totally kept within the theme and the big silver/blue ball did not make a return appearance:

Video Boy is getting too tall - gotta stop feeding him!

So tall he can help his Dad with the star!

This year's tree!
We've also had visits from my sister:

My big sister, my Mum and me!

And we've done some visiting of our own (not to mention socialising!):

8 dear friends being silly!

25 years after leaving school, 8 of us have produced 16 offspring, ranging in age from 14 to 1.

And I've been working. Oh! Have I been working! When I took this little, casual job I did not for one second think I'd be working so much. And now the National Parks holiday program work is kicking in too.

It's a pretty nice office, though...

I feel as if I just have to get through this Christmas business with the least amount of fuss possible, whilst still actually celebrating the thing. Then get through January and it's complicated roster of work appointments. And then...and then...come February, I will be saying "no thanks" to more than one weekday shift a week. Time to get back to the kids. Apparently I have some and apparently I homeschool them. Breathe out....

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Long time, no blog!

Hello there? Anyone still reading this thing?

My poor blog has been sadly neglected of late, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if you'd all packed up and gone somewhere else where they actually write stuff and post pictures!

We are still here, still homeschooling (of sorts). I have been overloaded with "work". You know, the type where you leave the house and go do stuff for which you get remunerated (and I've just learnt, via spell check, that it is not renumerated)! My little casual, a day every so often, job has gone nuts. The library has been shut down and moved up the road and separated from our little visitors centre, so that means they need double the staff. Add to that multiple staff on annual leave at the same time and all of a sudden my skills were very much in demand!

Luckily, Hubby is able to be at home when I'm at work (I get paid more than the casual staff in our shop), but it does mean that homeschooling has been much more like distance ed for my kids and me. I've missed them dreadfully and they've missed me.

We have, however, managed to squeeze in something resembling a little homeschooling Defying Gravity style!

We have done some writing! Not quite NaNoWriMo, but some fun exercises from Write Shop freebies I downloaded:

We been reading about inventions and watching very interesting DVDs on Inventions That Shook The World:

And we've done Christmas craft!! (Just give me the Homeschool Mother of the Year award right now!). I blatantly stole this idea from Stephanie at Ordinary Life Magic. They work beautifully and use up some of my stash of scrapbook paper and ribbon (I knew they would come in handy one day):

We've done some maths stuff too, but that's about it. I've been stressing about the lack of formal work, but I know that in the end, it will all come out in the wash. I've been stressing about working so much, impending Christmas and big life decisions too, but hell, what's a little stress between friends?

It won't last, this business. I hope it won't anyway. I've taken myself off a few shifts for January. But by February I want to be back to "normal". A girl can dream.

BTW, I've lost 5kg since the end of October! Even with all the work etc, I've been exercising/running 6 days a week and eating clean. This has also taken much of my mental energy.

So, deep breath, carry on and keep calm and all that :-)

Embroidery Project - Blue Butterfly

I downloaded this pattern as a PDF from Hoop Embroidery Co on Esty as my first attempt at the technique known as "thread painting"...