Monday, December 22, 2008

Some of our last week in pictures, homeschooling and Christmas

WARNING: HUGE post ahead!
Starting from yesterday and working backwards...

I cooked a safe version of chicken schnitzel which is a huge hit here. It is not a very healthy option but considering our kids are chemical/preservative free, we allow them some foods every now and then that are a bit special! If anyone wants the recipe, I'm happy to share it. Just leave a comment so I know :) Oh and those wedges are fab - from Coles they are the 'Steakhouse Cut' and are a great safe option for a quick addition.

Yesterday arvo was spent at the park... seriously, all being there together with me reading a new homeschooling book and watching brett and the kids all playing - does it get much better than this?! i love it!

Brett setting up the mound for Ethi to kick off...

the kids enjoying the swings...

the moment just before the ball hit me (lucky it is a soft one!) but i love this shot!
Morning tea yesterday was so moderate, red delicious apples peeled (salicylates are in the skin), trying some papaya with a little soy icecream and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar...
enjoying it on the lawn at the kids request...
A very special friend's birthday here on the weekend with about 15 people from church...On Saturday we went to Bundeena Beach (where i spent alot of time as a kid on family outings) and we took my mum and dad with us. We enjoyed sitting in awe of God's creation. I love it there and can't believe it's been about 15 years since I was last there! On the way home we stopped at Audley and had some afternoon tea and sat with the cockies...
all of us...

i remember this part of the beach so well....walking across that bridge with my red bucket and yellow spade as a child...

the little bay around the corner is called Bonnyvale and that is such a beautiful spot. The kids (big and small!) all enjoyed swimming there - me included!
Mum looked on...
Dad kayaked (and so did we for the very first time!)...
it was awesomeand when they weren't in the kayak the kids were collecting shells....Arriving at the beach was probably one of the highlights for the kids - lots of squealing with delight!!!And before we got to the beach, we spent some time at Audley Weir where we also picniced when i was a child... i ask you is there nothing better than being picked up and thrown into the air by your big strong daddy???!!!Liji found this fabulous palm frond with spikes on the end and pretended he was a warrior sawing through trees.
No wonder our kids enjoy sport so much!I was playing around a little with the manual setting on my camera and i really love this shot of the kids...Baseball after lunch and Bible cards was a big hit too!I just love watching the look of anticipation on the kids faces when they are all waiting for the ball to come towards them...Enjoying a beautiful picnic together. Mum went over to talk with the people in the camper trailer and they turned out to be travellers from Switzerland - Christians - who were so glad to meet 'family' in the middle of the National Park! It was lovely to meet them too.On Friday I made safe sausage rolls from scratch and Brett baked them while I chatted with Anth on the phone which was wonderful. It makes me so happy to hear her voice! Love you Anth xOur first lot of potatoes from our little patch! Yay! The kids were MEGA excited about these :)
We've been reading aloud so much and Stassi has been enjoying reading to the boys. The kids completed their first ten read-a-loud books on their Summer Read-a-thon through the local library and collected their first prize yesterday. Stassi got a calculator, Ethan got a rubber sensory ball with lights inside and Elijah got a thong keyring (which he asked BRett to turn into a necklace when he got home from work!) and a little pencil sharpener too. Liji enjoyed playing with his favourite doll Mia who he had lost for a while there. He said, 'I love my Mia' and when I asked him why he replied, 'Because she is so beautiful like my mummy!'

What else? Well we have almost finished all of the prep for homeschooling and although it is late, i finally got my registration faxed off last week. We have ordered all the books now (yay!) and thanks to everyone who has emailed me with text suggestions and help because it REALLY DID HELP! Thanks especially to Mishell, Sal, Sharon & Christine ;)

Finally, I've had a few emails from lovely people asking about Christmas and why we don't observe it. If you are a new reader to this blog you might not know that we have not observed Christmas for the past 7 years. It is NOT a salvation issue or one that we try to blow out of proportion. We firmly believe that many celebrate this occasion unto the Lord and we abstain from it unto the Lord too (see Romans 14:5). We believe there is freedom in the Lord to seek Him and see what it is that He wants us to do. We did do that and in obedience to what He showed us, we choose to not celebrate it on that day. We do usually see our families because that is very important to them. We don't exchange or recieve presents (and believe me when i say our children have more than enough anyway and do not want for a single thing!) One of the best ways I have read it summed up is in this post on Ken Symington's Christian Restoration website which he kindly emailed me the link for recently when I couldn't find it. I especially like Ken's final comments. It's HERE if you would like to read it. Basically in a nut shell, there is no where in the Bible that tells us to do it, it was instituted by man hundreds of years after Jesus died and it was popped over the top of pagan celebrations. We also could never stand the commercialism of it all. You may have your reasons as to why you DO celebrate it and that's fantastic> just like these are so of the reasons that we choose not to.

Like I say, this is in NO WAY SHARED TO CONDEMN OTHERS but simply to share our heart and give an idea to those who wonder why we do what we do. Remember that we must each seek the Lord and see what He wants for our families.

So what do we do around this time of year?

In many ways, it is like other times of the year to us. We make every effort to have Jesus in the foremost of our hearts and minds every day. We enjoy the days Brett has off work spending time together as a family. And we seem to do a fair bit of culling/organsing in anticipation of the year ahead.

We do have a family party day each year as a family celebration to give thanks for His wonderful blessings. We have been planning it and the kids have really enjoyed the planning part. Our theme this year is 'love' and the symbol is of course a love heart. It will take place sometime next week. It has games, favourite foods and lots of reflecting over the wonderful goodness God has shown to us with many opportunities for the kids to share their hearts too.

We have really enjoyed looking into the feasts that God did ordain in the Bible for His people which in so many ways not only tell the story of God's hand over Israel but also foreshadow and point to our Saviour so beautifully. We are still seeking Him as we learn more and more about the feasts.

We love the birth of Jesus because without it, we wouldn't have had a Saviour able to die on a cross for us to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. How incredible it is that He came as a baby laying aside all of His majesty to be humbly born to live and eventually die for us. So we share this story many times throughout the year with our children so that as they grow older they too will understand what an amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us.

We make 'Thank You' cards to send to family and friends to say thank you for all the love and support they have shown us throughout the year and sometimes include a recap of what has happened in our lives in the past 12 months.

We enjoy the End of Year celebration which our mother's group has and like i shared in another post, we give a simple token family present to each family to say thank you for the love they have shown us throughout the year. This usually takes place in Nov some time.

So they are some of the things that we get up to around this time of year. I do not get offended when people say 'wishing you a merry christmas' or anything like that just like we are thankful when people don't try and force us to do things that we don't choose to do. It's very freeing to live 'to the Lord' in whatever He calls us.

Well, that's about it from me. Not sure if I'll get much more posting done before the end of 2008 as we have some cleaning to do, one of my sisters is coming up which will be fantastic, and we want to completly finish the end of the homeschooling programming. So if i don't get back here before 2009 begins, THANK YOU for your support and encouragement during a tough year for us and one which we look on as mircaulous in many ways. Thank you for sharing your life with me too because it is so lovely to know we don't walk through things on our own isn't it?!

May the Lord, the God of life, love and freedom be with you each and every day.

God bless you all and be safe!

Love Lusi x


Kristine said...

Hi Lus - so lovely to scroll through your blog and see you enjoying so much time with your family. :) I love the look of those schitzels (and your sausage rolls!) and would love the recipe when you have a spare minute.


Gail said...

Thanks for the link about Christmas Lusi. A friend and I were discussing this issue yesterday, and it's been weighing on my mind as we prepare for our celebrations. Tomorrow night I have been asked to share my new view of Christmas, as well as my testimony,at church, so my reading of this article is timely.
Love to you, Brett and your beautiful family.

Diane said...

I'm interested in your recipe, to see if we can have it too. I'm always on the look out for failsafe recipes. :)

Sal :-) said...

So beautifully put Lus :-D

I had been searching for Ken's article too, so glad to find the link here :-D

And thinking of you, not long now till school starts. All our books arrived and I've been madly planing the year and weekly school schedule. I bought all the pencils etc today and the kids asked if they could start tomorrow lol. I compromised and said "monday" which is still two weeks early :-D

May your 2009 be a very blessed one Ohhhhh and LOVE the bedroom !!!

Sal :-) said...

So beautifully put Lus :-D

I had been searching for Ken's article too, so glad to find the link here :-D

And thinking of you, not long now till school starts. All our books arrived and I've been madly planing the year and weekly school schedule. I bought all the pencils etc today and the kids asked if they could start tomorrow lol. I compromised and said "monday" which is still two weeks early :-D

May your 2009 be a very blessed one Ohhhhh and LOVE the bedroom !!!


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