Archive for March, 2011

March 23, 2011

Boyanup Christian Homeschool Conference

by livelifewithyourkids

Over the weekend I joined with two of my long time friends, Caroline and Karen at the Boyanup Christian Homeschool Conference.  Caroline was our host – she opened her home to all who wanted to learn about a relationship approach to homeschooling.  Karen and I both spoke.

I was so excited to see the opportunities that Caroline’s kids had because of this step the family took.  Their son took on the technology side of things – he had to learn about recording and microphones and mp3’s.  Their oldest daughter – 14yo helped with the food. The freezers were very well stacked before the weekend.  She very competently encouraged and managed 4 other young girls (her sister and 3 of Karen’s daughters) to get the food on the table at the right time – morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch.  Their youngest daughter proudly told me she cleaned.  And though that wasn’t such an ‘up front’ task it was certainly necessary.

This was the first conference I’ve spoken extensively at and it was very exciting opportunity.  When I arrived home Peter asked me what my highlight was and at first it was hard to define but as I thought over the two days I was able to share the incredible feeling of looking out on a group and ‘seeing’ what it looks like when God touches hearts.  Karen and I were so excited to see how God had pieced our sessions together though we didn’t collaborate together.  It was truly a Christian conference where the word of God was referred to, and fellowship and encouragement was based on our love of Jesus.  Exciting!

Our sessions were as follows:


  1. Knowing our Goals (Belinda)
  2. We touch the Heart (Belinda)
  3. Family Discipleship (Belinda)
  4. My Testimony (Karen) including thoughts on depression
  5. Character Training (Belinda)


  1. Promises of God (Karen)
  2. Wisdom not Knowledge (Belinda)
  3. Co-ops – a relational approach (Belinda)
  4. Q&A (Belinda and Karen)

It was a very full on schedule but we wanted to make the most of the time we had together.  I came home feeling very content – not just because it was over but because I felt very much that I had shared the things God had put on my heart to share, because we believed that the ladies God wanted there were there and their hearts desire was to go home and think about what they had heard, and to tweak a few things as they responded to God’s prompts.

One of the things that one of my friends from Kununurra suggested was that we take note of a priority and a task working towards that priority for each person to work on when we returned home.   I think one of the things that confirms God at work is the diversity of these priority tasks – one lady was going home to hug her husband and tell him how much she loved him, another was going to re-instate character training in her home, and another was going to work on introducing productive free time to her 11yo son.  God works like that – different things for different people.

March 22, 2011

Bits of our week

by livelifewithyourkids

This is a bit late in being posted but for those who like to read the ins and outs of our days… here is last week’s notes.


Our Weekend

Peter and I went out for coffee on Saturday morning – we dropped the boys off for haircuts and the boys joined us when they were done.

Sunday was my birthday!  We had our usual cooked breakfast out on the veranda – it was a lovely morning, very overcast, drizzly rain, and a cool breeze.  The family gave me presents and then we went off to Church.  Pete had to open and close the service, Josh was on sound, Jess on Greeting and Nomi did the kids talk.    After church I watched a DVD with Pete and the girls over lunch, then I pottered here and there doing a bit of reading and a bit of scrapbooking.  We sat up at the table for a simple meal together at dinner time and talked about the coming week.  I had a lovely, relaxed, cheerful day!

[sorry – I had photos for here but trouble uploading!]


After Church Daniel went to a friends place – he enjoyed some play time with the girls and then “Uncle” P took him up to his workshop and they worked on a letter opener with a sandalwood handle on Uncle P’s lathe.  We would like to find an older man who could do wood working with Daniel regularly – it is something we are praying for this year.

Our dog has gone nuts…. He seems to be digging for cutter-grubs (?)– but in the mean time he is digging up our lawn!  Not appreciated.
Bits of our Week:

Nomi is cook’s helper: Monday she helped me prepare the veggies etc for fried rice.  She will be able to give it a go by herself next time.  Tuesday was much the same – she observed and asked questions, so next time she can prepare a roast meat by herself.  We served the stuffed zucchini (as in from last week) and again, she could do them herself next time.

Monday – The girls had piano lessons at 8.30 so we tried to have our family devotions over by then.  During our devotion time we talked about our personal devotions and the traps we fall into which distracts us from meeting with God early in the day.

After Mrs B. arrived for piano lessons I took Daniel off to town for our ‘date’.  We went to a simple café, had a milkshake and a latte and played a game of Sequence.  Danil won!  We then dashed around town buying bits and pieces that I need for going away or that the family needs for while I am away.

The roads are blocked from the South which means our food trucks aren’t getting through.  Coles is out of long life full cream milk so they are flying in milk.  People are stockpiling so it is not being spread around very much.  I feel it is a good time to teach our kids to go without, or improvise, or what is more likely – eat something else which may not be their preference.  There is still so much food in town – we are not going to starve but we are so use to certain things – like fresh milk, sliced bread, and a variety of vegetables.  I had already planned the menu for the family for the time I am away so I bought frozen substitutes for them instead of fresh today.  (Chips instead of potatoes, and frozen veggies instead of fresh).  Like I said, it is still hardly a difficulty!

Daniel and I talked a bit about heart issues on our way home.  I talked to him about habits – that they are something we do without thinking, in that we are so used to doing them.  We can have good habits or bad habits.  I then addressed a particular habit he had fallen into – he could see it was a bad habit.  We talked about ways that I was going to help him address that habit and reprogramme his responses until he formed a good habit.  It was well received.

Meanwhile the girls were left at home and after their piano lessons they continued with their independent studies though at dinner time Nomi informed she spent all her time in her history as she was absorbed in reading a book on the Vikings!  Can’t hurt!  Later in the afternoon she photocopied a ‘viking’ game and taught herself, then her siblings.

Middle of the afternoon I had them brainstorm ideas for some posters I want to make for the Boyanup Christian Homeschool Conference.  It was a good exercise to do together to come up with images that represent concepts.  Now I have to put the posters together!



Josh went off to work today as it was forcasted clear and the business he works for had a ‘big boss’ coming tomorrow so they wanted everything spiffy.

The rest of us had a fairly normal day except I didn’t do any teaching.  On top of Daniel’s math and drawing he had some extra jobs to keep himself occupied (including patching up the grass the dog is so intent on destroying!).  He also had a ‘clean and tidy’ bug overtake him so he spent hours tidying and organising his lego cupboard.

I spent the day getting things together for the conference.  The girls helped me tremendously by hemming two pairs of pants that were too long and then collating papers and other bits and pieces.

Nomi is doing excellent work in her studies of the Vikings.  It is time for her to move on and be independent in this subject.  She was very excited when I told her this.  Over the last week or so she has created an amazing notebook page on the Vikings boats, read a few non fiction books and taken notes, today she sorted out the geographical beginnings and expansion of the Vikings (including representing that on a map), she has found a ‘Viking’ game, reproduced it, learnt the rules and taught her siblings (they are all enjoying playing this together), and today she carved out of DAS clay, a little figurines (which though it looks like a Norwegian god – I believe it was used much like a chess piece.)



We started just before 8.00 with our family devotions.  We talked about ‘seeing God’s face’.  We were left with the challenge that we should be reflecting Jesus so that those who see us see an aspect of Jesus.  Each of the people who have ‘seen God’ in the Bible – Moses and Jacob especially were in God’s presence.  We need to have time in God’s presence if we are to reflect the Character of God.

The rest of the morning was spent ironing and packing my clothes and briefcase.  It doesn’t seem to matter how well organised you are there always seems to be last minute things.

God is so good – I met up with an acquaintance at the airport and she was keen to sit next to me to talk homeschooling as she had said to her mum just that morning that she needed to look into her options.  Our flight to Perth was a good flight though a little delayed in Broome.

It was so good to see our old friends – stayed up too late chatting!



We rushed out of the house to get the thermomix to a friend so she could get it to the workshop for repairs and then drop my friends kids off at school and train station as they were off on excursions.  We then went to a Bible Study which is lead by Denise Glen.  They were working through her study Keeping the Secrets of Jesus though it was taught by another lady.  It was a great time of fellowship though I knew very few people there (I did know another 2).  We had met Denise up here when she came up for a seminar – she was so encouraging, and insisted that ladies gather around to pray for the weekend.

I spent the afternoon at home by myself as my friend had other commitments.  After dinner though my friend had gathered 14 mums together for me to share about heart training / character training.  It was a good night with many questions as we discussed heart issues.

At this stage I have no idea what my family is up to.  No one is telling!



My friend, Caroline, who is sponsoring/organising the conference picked me up and we talked for two hours as we headed for her home.  Once we arrived everything was very much in order so we were excused from any responsibility and headed off for lunch – she took me to a Raw Restaurant which was delish… and very inspiring.  We talked of course 1 hour to lunch, 1 hour over lunch, and 1 hour driving back home!    The late afternoon was spent mainly getting the technology sorted.  We went to bed knowing we had done all that we could.

My family is still not telling what they are getting up to!


To see a few photos check out this facebook link (you don’t have to have a facebook account)

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March 19, 2011

Blog Links and other Online Reading

by livelifewithyourkids


This article about managing emails made me want to declutter my inbox again.  The Curse of the Email


Flylady has you do a 27 Fling Boogie – ditching 27 items throughout the house to help with decluttering.  Great idea but it just seems too big and I never get there unless I’m having a major purge and I’m likely to throw way more than 27.  But for a weekly habit – I like this idea of 7 things.  Ditch 7 things in one zone.  Now I should be able to work with that!
While I’m thinking Flylady – I’m reminded of the 11 Commandments of Flylady.   My habits in many of these areas are a little loose at the moment – time to fine tune and get things running a little smoother!


Words don’t matter – What a heart felt lesson as Jodi shares her experiences of caring for others in emotionally tough situations.


I’m still putting together my thoughts for our Easter studies this year.  I want to find something that is meaningful to our hearts – and taking into consideration the different ages in our family, something that holds to some traditions that the older ones enjoyed so that Daniel doesn’t miss out on these memory making times, and something that cements the meaning of the Cross and Resurrection as Daniel’s and Nomi’s faith grows.  This is series of devotions by Noel Piper is high on my list of choices.


Here’s another list of Easter activities that will fit with Daniel’s needs.  I’m also considering this unit from Homeschool Share on the Three Trees (though I may do this as table time with Daniel in the week after Easter)


Jessica has done something like this in my office cupboard – having little bits and pieces organised in drawers, trays and boxes makes all the difference.  Read about Robyn’s solutions


Facebook makes us Miserable…. I can’t say that I was aware that I was miserable after being on facebook, but after reading this article I ‘watched’ myself a little more carefully and yes, there are seeds of discontent there.  You could say it was a self-fulfilling prophecy after reading this… but I don’t think so.  I’m going to watch how much I dwell in facebook – and watch my heart afterwards.

March 18, 2011

Love God, Love One Another and Building Character

by livelifewithyourkids

photo credit:

I was once asked how do I know what values to put into our children.  My answer was the 10 commandments – I am sure you’ve heard that the 10 commandments can be divided into two parts – our responses towards God, and our responses towards each other.  Interestingly, Jesus when he gave us his commands – he summarised as it where the 10 commandments into 2 commandments – that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength and that we love our neighbour as our selves.

Therefore the first thing we need to do is to teach our children about God and encourage them to respond to Him.  The second thing we can do is to teach our children how to love each other.

When we look at the different character traits that nowadays are easy to find online (though we use Character First as our base line in our family) most of these have an aspect that affects my interaction with other people.  So character training is one way we help our children follow the second part of Jesus’ commands.

The interesting thing is though that unless we love God with our whole heart, mind and soul it is pretty hard to live a life of character (interacting with others in a godly way, ie. Loving one another!)  Everyone can love their neighbour but only those who have the help of the Holy Spirit can love their enemy.  This is where Jesus takes it up a notch.  He doesn’t want us to live good lives – he wants us to live godly, holy lives – living this way can only be lived because of Him and the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.

So though we learn about character it is our reliance on God that makes these attributes a way of life.

March 16, 2011

Waiting Patiently

by livelifewithyourkids

Nomi many years ago!

Reading has a calming affect on our household. I often remember a technique I read that was used in a classroom –

D rop
E verything
A nd
R ead

We’ve used this technique during “off” days, during long car trips, while visiting folk, and even just for the fun of it! Give it a try!

A few months ago when we were studying the trait of Patience we discussed using our spare time wisely. I divided spare time into two different categories –

  1. Our free time – when no one has any expectations on us
  2. Our waiting time – when we are waiting for someone/something.

Reading books is the number one activity in our house when we are waiting. Before we established reading as our “waiting” activity I would come back ready to help someone who had been waiting for me, only to find that they were off in another room or even outside. They thought they were being patient, using their time wisely but in reality their choice was a distraction. Reading can absorb their attention but at least their bodies are where you want them to be!

Taken from Live life with your Kids Newsletter #68


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