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iSonto #65

Hello from the Drew Patch! Bill was very pleased when he got to have a go with kid-safe scissiors.

We had a train play time with chairs lined up as the train, thanks to our Sonlight P 3/4 Richard Scarry reading. This was the suggested accompanying activity! Mercy is joining in with Nate's Sonlight Core A studies but I am also incorporating some of the preschool fun she may have been too young for when I did it with Nate.

We are also pressing repeat on some crafts, at their request. We did this one last a couple of years ago now. I love my "Crafty Ideas A-Z" book so I'm happy to do it as many times as everyone is happy! This time we not only made the ants but also an ant hill. We painted the ant hill and ants this time, which appeased my home school mummy guilt about not painting as much as might be good!

Mercy is "reading" our Curious George story book to their monkey. He was formerly called Luca, but is now George for obvious reasons!

Nate is showing the number book we are putting together. The rice in the dish in the backgrond was an attempt at tactile help for letters like lower case a and h which are difficult to write correctly when you first start. The idea is that you form the letter with your finger in the rice, and therefore feel the way it is formed.

Our biggest achievement though was our terrarium! It has taken me some weeks to get all the materials together. A jar from the reject shop, appropriate ferns from a garden centre, potting mix and peat moss from Grandad, charcoal and pebbles from our garden.

These are they types of things that seem oh so daunting when I read about them in the curriculum. Where am I going to get the time to organise all those extra bits and pieces I think to myself??? Yet when it is eventually done we learn a lot, have a lot of joy, and it is all worth it.


iSonto #64

We have had lots of good times with the "I See Sam" books available for free download from

You can print them out and colour them in and most importantly, read them!

We are really pleased with Nate's reading progress so far this year.

Our schooling was a bit more challenging to get to when road works visited our cul-de-sac for nearly an entire week! "Dozy" (Bill's word for the digger), and compacter that jumped up and down on the soil, and the vibrator to smooth the soil were all much more interesting than the school books!

Bill has begun to use chalks. So sweet!

We had a fun family apple harvesting time.

It is surprising how much fruit our little tress can give. We have dwarf and espailier trees. There are lots of apples still ripening on the other trees!

Dave took the two older children on a road trip to see the steam fest at Sheffield.

More thankful moments:

  • Cuddling with Bill as he excitedly and loudly names words in picture books. 
  • His satisfied nuzzle when I acknowledge his contributions!
  • Reading books to all three children together
  • A chance to tidy the garden on a warm afternoon under the expanse of the sky
  • Reading 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die for Easter
  • Reading The Wilderness Family aloud with Dave
  • Phone to keep in touch 


iSonto #63

 This week we had some pyjama schooling! Dave is in charge of science experiments and they are done as "family play" after dinner. This week we were learning about hot air rising.

It was delightful to see this experiment. The children cut out snakes from a spiral drawn in a circle. When the "snake" was hung from a thread and placed over warm air rising from the heater, it would twirl. This experiment is part of our Sonlight Science A curricula. I was initially concerned about adding science to our list of subjects so early, but it is turning out really well. Nate has a great interest in sientific subjects, perhaps inherited form his Daddy. Mercy is enjoying the experiments as well.

Bill is looking more and more like a little boy instead of a baby! He loves to say cheese to the camera. We are having "tot school" as part of our school day where we do puzzles or other activities appropriate for Bill. He has also begun to enjoy playdough and painting. His favourite thing at the moment is to tackle his siblings to the ground and climb on them.

Bill is enjoying longer stories now, so all there can enjoy listening together.

We also have a lot of new stories for the older two that are part of their Sonlight Core A. I am reading a lot of them after dinner now, instead of in our morning "school" time, because Elnathan is in Prep now and needs to be doing more reading, writing and maths in the mornings. This is a big change for us and we are still getting used to it.

More things to be thankful about . . .
  • A new pastor at church
  • Dave whipping up beautiful food in the kitchen and loving to do so! 
  • Time out at a cafe on Saturday morning looking at ideas on Pinterest! 
  • Mum making amazing seasonal paintings with the children, just what I wanted them to do.
  • Making playdough wells and remembering the story of Isaac and the wells. 
  • Sonlight instructor's guides which offer good questions and vocabulary explanations for the books we are reading together. 
  • Nate's question: at what time did the knights wear slavery? which made us laugh
  • A string of sunny days


iSonto #62

Mercy opening her presents on her birthday morning last Friday.

Mercy's pancake birthday stack.

Fun building with Daddy.

Mercy's birthday party. Esther gave her a music box and Nate is dancing in the background.

Mercy's birthday cake.

The next day we enjoyed decorating our little Christmas tree.

More happy happenings:

Mercy and bill laughing and chasing each other
Making sock puppets
Mercy and Nate sitting side by side at swimming class, smiling
Mercy singing "Make me Wise"
Nate making a collage for Mercy's birthday
Nate wanting to use stick on letters and numbers
Cloths to clean up spilled milk :)
Music to fill our home
Mercy saying "thank you Mum" for her birthday presents


iSonto #61

We went on a walk to a waterfall. This little person insisted on having her photo taken with her flowers and her shoes!

Family pic!

I continue to love to do the ABC crafts from the book Crafty Ideas A-Z. Mercy loves to colour and cut out, and of course her van is pink! There are only four more weeks until the end of term and the end of our Preschool curriculum.

More thankful moments:
Sweet scent of masses if violas floating in water, picked by eager small boy
Fishing line strung across living room, high, child paintings hung to dry, colour full of enthusiasm and excitement and memories of child-days
Sweet long stem roses from our bush
Dave taking care of children for evening while I sew
Dave explaining natural disasters to Nate
Taking Nate alone to cricket skills session
Mum taking younger children to library
Flowering trees
Block ships built to sail over living room rug
Quiet, still evening
Miracle of expanding dough
Smell of fresh made bread dough
Children eagerly picking and eating tiny, shiny red radishes
Family outing waterfall walk on warm day
Nate loving to paddle in a strem
Able to visit Iraqi family with my three children, welcoming strangers
Nate: "Mum, when you die I want to always remember you and love you."
Nate, of a torn skirt: "Mum, I'm sorry you won't be wearing that skirt anymore because you looked so beautiful and so fair in it"


iSonto #60

Bill is excited about participating in play. He loves Duplo. He is also imitating the instruction "go away" which he sadly hears from older siblings who are afraid he will break their creations!

Bill is 20 months old.

I put up this beautiful rainbow painting, which my sister gave me, over Bill's cot. A beautiful reminder of God's promises.

Elnathan is learning to write his name better. My blackboard wall is not working very well, with it being very hard to remove chalk and paint coming off, so I'm going to need to repaint it and hope it works better.

Mercy is loving to collect eggs. It is one of the first things she thinks of each morning. Often we have two a day. Look at that glowing face!

We had our first science experiment at the kitchen table. Dave is demonstrating the way acidic water erodes rock. Nate is interested in how caves and underground rivers form.

Here are a few answers to prayer I jotted down from this month:

Good physio appointment 8/10
Peace in early morning as reminder came: love never fails
Made it to visit tony twice
Able to purchase new toner that works well and copy without trouble
Dave got some work done while looking after bill with me at the pool
Positive responses to mums group idea
Self control at church and with children 12/10
Dave coped well with redundancy news
Learning room improvements
Time in shed
No negative emotions toward _____!
Moved books
Time to sit with Dave 
Children playing well week of 15th 
No extra pain after physio class
Completed all errands put off due to Dave's sickness 
Mums group advert ready
Nate toileting reliably
Friends accepted dinner invites
Saw friends at park
Social times/opportunities answers!
Sermon on glory of god helps my doubts


South Africa 2014

We have been back two weeks now from our amazing, blessed trip to South Africa! We were in South Africa for five weeks but away from home five and a half weeks due to travel time.

This is what our luggage looked like when all the planning and packing tables were competed! Two large suit cases and one small as check in luggage, two kiddie carry on suit cases, three car seats,
a nappy bag, a lap top bag and that is about it!

Mercy and Nate each pulled a suit case containing all of their clothing, activities, and a single toy.

We stayed first at Ballito where Dave played as a child in these same rock pools! Delightful for little ones.

We were delighted to be reunited with Gramps and Gran and had great times with them. They brought a seventh wedding anniversary cake up to Ballito to celebrate with us and also provided us with lots of other meals and baked goodies while we were in South Africa.

Next stop was Howick where we stayed beside a lovely man made dam where we enjoyed a bit of water sport!

We love the beaded wares on sale. We took lots of day trips with Gramps and Gran Gran.

 Next we went to Johannesburg then to Kruger park. We stayed in lots of different huts and saw many animals, including this rhino Mum and babe.

Another highlight of our trip was seeing old friends. This pic was taken at lunch in Joburg with friends and we also had many lovely social times in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Another highlight was visiting ministries that care for orphans and growing in love for them. There is no place like one's own bed though! Nothing like getting home and seeing all our familiar things and places. We arrived home to catch the beauty of spring blossoms and bulbs.


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