Precious Autumn Moments

precious moments2

After Shakespeare finished I was feeling very run down and extraordinarily tired.  Last week I came down with a nasty sinus infection which I am only just getting over now.  Usually I am the one in the family who rarely comes down with infections whilst everyone around me flounders.  This time I was the only one to come down with it and it has been a nasty one.  I think I was more run down than I thought.

So for the past two weeks we have been taking things easy.  I don’t think I have been out of bed before 9 each morning and today, at last, I am definitely beginning to feel more like myself.  However, taking things easy in our house does not mean doing nothing.  Oh noooooo.  I hate getting to the end of the day and feeling I have done nothing or achieved nothing.  My go-to solution to relaxing whilst still feeling like the day was well spent is the half-hour-on/half-hour-off schedule.  My children have grown up with this.  Every holiday we work for half an hour and then do whatever we want for half an hour.  It stops lethargy, prevents bickering and gives the children and I purpose.  Yet we are also able to completely relax in the half hour off, guilt free and on the screen if we desire!  It really is win win and I never hear any complaints.

The twins were heading for our fridge undercover. Apparently there was an iffy bowl of beans left at the back which were a bit on the off side!

T was clearing out the cupboards whilst the twins were heading for our fridge undercover. Apparently there was an iffy bowl of beans left at the back which were a bit on the off side!

So, over the past two weeks we have achieved heaps and almost done an entire spring clean!  Here are a few of the areas we have finished:

  • Sorted through the only storage space we have in our house which used to be the house’s tiny hallway.  Before we began all the surfaces were completely covered with boxes as well as a huge pile of ten or more boxes on the floor.  Now only the shelves have boxes and each box is fully organised
  • I completed gutted and reorganised the littles’ bedroom with a couple of very eager helpers
  • T13 cleaned the fridge top to bottom, inside and out.  He also emptied our ‘spice cupboard’ which is the only food storage we have in our kitchen.  He cleaned down the whole cupboard and we are now only having the food we will use on that particular day in there.  The rest will be stored in our pantry (situated in the hallway just outside the kitchen)
  • The girls emptied and reorganised our baking cupboard.  Everything is now sorted into boxes and we now know what we own!  They created a space in one of the cupboards for me to put my coffee-making supplies.  Our kitchen is a tiny cottage kitchen, over 200 years old.  Every inch needs to be used wisely, and as I only use the coffee maker in the morning for my two lattes each day, it takes up a lot of space unnecessarily the rest of the time.  So into the cupboard it will now go
  • Book cupboards were cleared and organised and many books donated to charity
  • CD’s and DVD’s were gone through and organised
  • The two shelves in our dining room were gone through and stuff given away.  They are both finally cleared (Yay me!  How long has that taken me??)  Next week we will be going through the large cabinet underneath the shelves and it will be repurposed into T’s bedroom.  His chest of drawers will be brought downstairs and placed to the left.  This will leave enough room, once the shelves are removed, to create a doorway through to our bedroom:

We have even managed to get through a small amount of school, even though we are officially on holiday.  Last week we did nothing.  This week we have done half an hour of maths.  Next week we will increase the maths to one hour, begin our new English curriculum and add a nature walk in each day.  We have two more weeks before we start back full-time, so slowly moving into our schedule makes sense so it is not too much of a shock to our systems come October.

Sibling love

I have also found the time for one of the most enjoyable activities to ever be invented – School planning!  It’s been so much fun figuring out with Gary our goals for the children this year and how to simplify things considerably.  I’m quite excited about this year.  It will be different, easier than before, with a really lovely balance between the desirable and the needed.  I’ve posted twice this week, the first post outlining our history plans this side of Christmas and the second post sharing how we will be teaching some great home making/building skills this year.  Next week I’ll be posting our science plans as well as  the children’s project based learning.  I’ll probably also include a curriculum run down and my day-to-day schedules.

Ribbet collagepreciousmoments1

Another  fun activity has been pinning with my girls.  I have a pinterest board for each girl, which I pin ideas I think might interest them.  Last night we spent about an hour together (just the twins and I) doing searches and pinning away.  It was fascinating for me because I could really see where their passions lay right now, and gave me lots of ideas for birthday pressies and home-made Christmas pressies.  L12 is heavily into home-made jewelry and has made some beautiful jewelry from simple bog standard dress making pins.  The above photo shows some of the items she pinned.

Ribbet collagepreciousmemories5

A few weeks ago we got some terribly sad news that George our gorgeous Tabby (pictured top left with B4) has stomach cancer.  He is 18 years old and we have had him for almost the whole of our marriage.  I adore him.  We took him to the vet’s because he had put an alarming amount of weight on overnight around his middle.  The vet said she could feel a growth underneath the water retention (it was this causing the weight gain).  He will need to be put to sleep as soon as his condition deteriorates.  We are nearing that time.  It has been a blessing to know because he is living on our laps right now and we are all having ample opportunity for cuddles and loud purrs.

Autumn is drawing in (yay, I heart autumn!) and this means warm nutritious food.  I love cooking in autumn….I love everything in autumn.

A7 received a doctors dress up for her birthday and has spent the week medicating us all with her plasters and bandages, taking our temperature and all sorts of who knows what tests for who knows what diseases.  I’ll say one thing though.  That kid can bandage like a pro.  Seriously.  She may be a doctor in the making, if she could just learn to write.  Oh, wait doctors have notoriously bad handwriting.  This may be the perfect profession for her!!

Busy times, but fun, fun, fun!

Collage Friday at Homegrown LearnersWeekly Wrap-Up


  1. Your children are amazing. If I were down with a sinus infection – mine would take the house apart – but not for a spring cleaning 🙂 And a 200 year old cottage kitchen!?! What a blessing and a curse. I hope you know (and I”m sure you do, because you seem to have such a grateful heart) the truly magical life you are living.

    1. I do. I am living my dream. As a little girl I always said I wanted to live in an old cottage, have a large family and live next door to mum! Dreams really do come true!

  2. Wow! a two-hundred year old kitchen!!!
    I like the 30/30 idea!!! Totally gonna start using that…your ideas are so creative.
    I cried to hear about your kitty…so sorry.

  3. Glad you are feeling a little better now. I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. He is beautiful and I’m sure will be missed. Enjoy your planning time and the remainder of break.

  4. What fun happening in your homeschool (not the infection..) Hope you are all better 8)

    Love the idea you pinned with the girls..great to get ideas for sure!

    Enjoy the week!

    Great pictures!

  5. Claire, I am so sorry to hear you have been sick. That is no fun at all!:(
    When you finish with your organizing and cleaning, send your crew over here. We could use the help. Seriously.
    Such sad news about George. We have been there with our kitties and it is a very difficult time. We are thinking of you all.
    I am sending you hugs and wishing for you a lovely week.

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