Friday, 25 July 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 200)

July through to October for us has no less than ten major events!! Last week we survived four; 3 children's birthdays, their birthday party, our niece's engagement party 6 hours away and our Deacon's Ordination.  Now though it's time to focus energy towards the next 6, all of which involve far more details, planning and execution.  In two weeks we co-ordinate and host our local homeschool sports day, in five weeks we host our annual Catholic homeschool camp, and Anna Maria's 21st, in eight weeks we all attend my brother's Wedding (one son is in the Groom's Party) this will be held 7+hours away, and in eleven weeks we all attend our nephew's Wedding 5 hours away and at the conclusion of October the oldest four/five attend a Pilgrimage 3 days travel away.

This morning I realised I could procrastinate no longer on preparations for these events.  To this end I wrote out a major 'to do' list and began working my way through it, I am no longer hyperventilating, as I completed many major 'to dos' today:)  One item to do and now done was finding accommodation for all 12 of us whilst attending our nephew's Wedding.  Outfits for both Weddings are still on the 'to do' list, fortunately both dress codes are formal and as they are for different sides of the family they can be re-cycled.

Contributing this week to my feelings of 'being overwhelmed' was the fact the washing had backed up severely, due to a combination of several factors including wet beds a few days in a row.  On Wednesday I hung 16 loads of washing which really is insane and definitely sets the top record for the largest amount of washing undertaken in one day.  I give thanks that I didn't live in the days prior to electric washing machines, I consider the invention of the washing machine the most pivotal invention of the Century.

Maturity is a wonderful process, it really is. Jack Jack our 8 year old has moved back into a bedroom with his younger brothers, as part of this move he has voluntarily taken on the role of mentor.  He encourages the younger boys to clean their room and leads the way.  Today, unasked he sorted 6 baskets of washing (from Wednesday's wash) into separate piles for each boy, and then into clothing piles, ie jumpers, jeans etc, this made it all a 'tackle able task' for me to fold. His maturity has happened overnight and I'm bemused as to how he has learnt these skills and made this transition.

Thinking maybe I should teach him how to iron;) with his enthusiasm and energy he may just manage to scale that insurmountable, towering pile. Actually I'm sure if I put a monetary value on each item needing to be ironed I'd have some takers, tackling the mound in no time at all.  Yep the electric iron was another important invention.

Fantastic news, thanks to my eating changes I've lost weight, 2kgs (4.4lbs) in just one week!! Sticking to the plan of, cutting out all grains,(except oats) all sugars and white potatoes.  The potatoes have been the hardest to eliminate, they are rather a staple here.  The first three days were tough, I really, really craved sugar and might have ahem indulged in an undignified pity party.  Once however I sugar detoxed I've been doing much better, I even went to a Sisterhood meeting last night and cast nary a glance at the goodies.

In my efforts to learn more about nutrition I have been reading about fermenting food. I'm soaking oats the night before for breakfast the next day and have begun a sour dough starter with rye flour and can't wait to make a sourdough loaf using rye and spelt flours.  I've made bread lots of times before but never sourdough, looking forward to tasting that loaf.

Visit Carolyn Svellinger, this week's hostess for more 7 Quick Takes

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Interview With A Husband

Introducing you to a very special guest here on my blog, my husband PC, my Prince Charming himself. PC is my biggest fan, not only does he read all of my posts and all of my comments, he complains pleads for more posts when I take 'too long' between posts, then supports me in practical ways so I have time to write. The 'man behind the scene', he's rather awesome, anyhow Renee's interview with her husband, was so entertaining I thought I'd ask PC if he was willing to play along.  Unlike Renee I didn't spring it on him as he walked in the door;) I emailed him at work

Erin: Hey interested in doing a blog interview with me tonight? Renee (you know Renee, she always leaves me lovely comments) anyhow she threw out a challenge, you might enjoy it
Good sport that he is he agreed and I finally interviewed him a few nights later.

Erin: What is the best part about being married to Erin?
PC: Dinner on the table when I get home from work, usually it's edible (* he has a smirk on his face, I don't take the bait, I roll along)

Erin: What is the worst part about being married to Erin?
PC: Hockey pucks for afternoon tea (*he laughs, he's in a mood, I can tell, sigh)
Erin: Okay I admit I had some failures when we were first married but not lately.
PC: Yeah you're better now, but we used to have 'the bricks' we could have built the house with them (early attempts at bread making) and the 'hockey pucks' (scones)
(*I move it along, he seems to have some food obsession going on??)

Erin: What is Erin’s most endearing habit?
PC: I don't know, what's do you mean by endearing and I don't know if it's a habit?
Erin: What's a habit?
PC: Well I don't know if habit is the right word
Erin: For what? 
PC: Endearing....endearing
Erin: How about we move on and come back, you can check the thesaurus if you don't like the word habit, I can change the word if you want.
PC: But don't you have to stick with Renee's questions
Erin: My blog, I'll change the wording if it makes you happier, moving on
* At the conclusion of the questionnaire, we come back, he has his answer
PC: Well it's not a habit (still the wordsmith here;) but it is endearing. Your love for babies, your love for children.  When you've just given birth you have a glow, when you look at our baby I just fall in love with you more. You know that's one of the things I really was attracted to when I met you, the love and time you had for your siblings, you were family orientated. 
Erin: Well the amount of babies we've had we could say it's a habit;) 

Erin: What is Erin’s most annoying habit? 
PC: Annoying..annoying. I don't know what's your most annoying??
Erin: Just give me one
PC: But I can't think of any
Erin: Well they mustn't be that annoying then
PC: Let me think
Erin: We'll come back, moving on
*We answer this question after all the others too
PC: I've thought of one, your inconsistency with the housework.  Sometimes you are on top of it, sometimes no where near and then, when it bothers you, you irritate everyone because they all have to help right then, regardless of plans they might have made. Maybe it's endearing though, at least you are flexible, you don't annoy everyone all the time expecting a perfect house. Annoying and endearing.

Erin: What do you admire most about Erin
PC: Your ability to talk to anyone, anywhere and listen.

Erin: What was the first thing that attracted you to Erin.
PC: You're a great conversationalist
Erin: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?
PC: Seeing the children develop their personalities, their skill sets, their interest in the world around them whether it's learning to walk or learning to drive
Erin: What do you least enjoy about being a Dad? 
PC: Disruptions (*wink wink*)
Erin: This is a G rated blog and our children often read this blog! Moving on
Erin: What was your favourite thing to do with Erin pre-kids? 
PC: *laughs and laughs*
Erin: Moving along now, stop laughing
PC: *still more laughter*

Erin: What do you miss doing with Erin now you have kids and limited time?
PC: I miss the spontaneity, it's not really children, it's more because we are building a house and have other commitments for time and money, but I miss being able to just decide to go out and then go.  We just don't have time.
Erin: What is your most disliked household chore? Do you even do any household chores? 
PC: I love them all  
Erin: (*I roll my eyes, then prompt him) What about washing up
PC: Not my favourite, I don't like wiping the bench either
Erin: What is your least disliked household chore? 
PC: I like packing the dishwasher, it's easy and if I pack it I can make sure the dishes are washed properly (and if it fits in I don't have to feel so guilty leaving it on the bench for someone else to hand wash)
Erin: What’s your favourite thing to cook? 
PC: Bacon and eggs 
Erin: What do you think Erin loves most about you?
PC: My soul, my integrity
Erin: Too true

Erin: What do you think annoys Erin most about you? 
PC: My Dad jokes
Erin: Dad jokes?
PC: My lame jokes
Erin: Yes they are very lame. Actually that Kermit the Frog face you pull anytime the camera goes near you annoys me, I can hardly ever get any decent pictures of you
Erin: Why do you think Erin is lucky to be married to you? 
PC: I'm one of a kind
Erin: What do you think is the secret to a happy marriage? 
PC: Patience and love, wanting the best for the other person and working towards that. Love is best summed up in the reading we had at our Wedding. 

Though I command languages both human and angelic -- if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.
And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing.
Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned -- if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,
it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.
It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.
For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly;
but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.
When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.
Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.
As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love. 
(1 Corinthians Chp 13 vs1-13)
*PC can't quote all from memory but thought I'd include it for frame of reference

Thanks Renee, and to Kylie who started the whole ball rolling with the questions and idea of hosting this fun interview:)  PC and I read their interviews after writing ours, we were fascinated and surprised at how similar some of their answers are to ours, lots of fun:)

Friday, 18 July 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 199)

Well I did it, I deactivated my facebook account (yes again) Facebook is so not me, not really sure why cause all my fb friends are lovely(all 16 of them, and mostly family) but it was just one too many social media to keep abreast with.

When I went clothes shopping earlier this week I convinced myself the mirrors were unkind, when I weighed myself later in the week I realised the mirrors were reflecting a truth I didn't want to see.  I am 10kgs (22lbs) overweight.  With two weddings to attend in two months it is time to get serious.

Quite timely my reserved copy of Trim Healthy Mama has arrived. This book has created quite a stir amongst mamas, eliciting strong feelings of yea or nay, I had decided to take a close look as a friend and her daughter are 'on plan' and enjoying great results. Already it has prompted lots of research on my behalf, I'm really not comfortable with Stevia, thinking I will substitute with honey. Actually PC and I have already had lots of discussion regards the book, I need to read further and come back and share thoughts.  

I seem to be on a food theme as I'm also currently reading Food Inc and have Nourishing Traditions and In Defence of Food on my to read pile. Einstein(17) suggests perhaps it's not such a great idea to read books about food when I'm trying to lose weight, I understand his point entirely, I feel so hungry;)
(My friend Angela has inspired me to read these titles, she's often chatting about food books)

I discovered a couple of great editing tricks in picmonkey this week.  All the pictures taken of the Ordination showed up distinctly yellow, many of the chasubles were gold coloured hence our camera reading them as yellow vestments. I tried to play with the colour shading but it wasn't quite right, then I discovered black and white looked good.  I also discovered you can rotate those uneven snaps so they are even:)

When the clutch on our van went this week, it died in the most fortuitous place, right across the road from NRMA, road assistance only 30 metres away! However the tow truck couldn't drive straight across a major road but had to drive down to the roundabout and back up. So we've been vanless for three days, pleased to pick our van up tonight.

After reading Chareen's review of the online photography class she undertook at Please Don't Say Cheese I was keen to participate.  Imagine my excitement when I was accepted to take part, I begin next week, hopefully I'll finally learn how to do some of those 'tricks' I've long wanted to know.

Visit Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes

Thursday, 17 July 2014

What To Do With The Picture Books?

Last week I finally tackled the toppling piles of books in our library which had been accumulating for months. Once I accepted I couldn't fit all those books onto the shelves, I began a ruthless cull, tossing books that I had considered treasures yet no-one else did. Thirteen boxes of books departed the house making one friend extremely happy and liberating me to enjoy actually having space on my shelves!:) The culling still didn't enable all the books to fit onto the shelves, but pulling all the picture books out of their bookcase did.

For so long I haven't been happy with having the picture books in a bookcase, I felt that the small visual of skinny spines wasn't encouraging the children to browse and select. I was certain if I could only find a way to visually present the front covers of books the children would be more aware of what was available and would enthusiastically browse and select. To this end I placed two small children's tables in the library, scrounged around the farm for boxes that were not too tall and sorted the picture books into various boxes.

Each box is collated by category; Australian, History/Geography etc.  The children can easily flip through a box and see what is available, they have been happily discovering old and new favourites.

 Aesthetically they aren't pretty nor are they the final solution, I still hope to win the book bins at our town library's auction, failing that we will build our book bins ourselves. But for now this is working, Jem particularly is drawn to the new layout, every night he races into the library and carefully selects what books I am to read. A win!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Celebrating Father's Ordination to the Priesthood

Last week we headed to our Cathedral City to celebrate the Ordination of our dear Deacon to the Priesthood. Watching priest after priest stream into the Cathedral gave me goosebumps, 50 priests in all had come to witness and celebrate with their fellow Brother. The Cathedral was packed, around 200 parishioners from our parish alone had traveled North and the Filipino community was there in strength.  

In the Bishop's Homily one of the topics he discussed was the need for a Priest to have an active prayer life.  Our dear friend and assistant Parish Priest (to the right) was Master of Ceremonies, it was only a few years ago we attended his own Ordination. 

There are many stirring moments during an Ordination, the laying of hands obviously is The Moment, but when the Priest lays prostrate before Our Lord, that is thrilling, so evocative.

Another special moment is when all the priests individually lay their hands upon the newly ordained Priest, shortly after they again file around and each give him a brotherly hug. 

Our new priest Father B, sharing words of thanksgiving to many who supported him on his journey.  The children were so excited when he was clothed in his stole and chasuble by our parish priest, they whispered to me, "Now he is Father B, not Deacon B".  

The smile of joy on Father B's face, it's worth a thousand words. It is humbling to realise this special young man has now dedicated his whole life to God and to ministering to His people. 

*Photo credit mostly goes to Jelly Bean(10) and Anna Maria(20).