Term Two Review

30 Jun

Oh how I am failing at blogging this year.

I have no good excuses.

Blogging just hasn’t been happening.

So what have we been doing this past term?

Well, first of all, we’ve been sneaking in as many visits of my new niece as possible.

Isn’t she cute?

These are a handful of the hundreds of shots I took of her.
125 (2) (Medium)

This is one of my favourites.

She wasn’t a keen model.

She just wanted to sleep and her mother and I just wanted to pose and photograph her.

215 (Medium)

Then she woke up and gave us some more cute shots.

270 (Medium)

She was only a couple of weeks old in these shots

so this isn’t a ‘real’ smile but boy does it look like it.

344 (Medium)

She’s now about three months old

and coming out of that newborn fog

079 (Medium)

and interacting more with the people around her.

083 (Medium)

Her big sister, Miss Two, is also growing.

Growing in personality and attitude.

I love this age.

(And she loved the kidney beans activity I set up for her.)
035 (Medium)

These girls love my boys

and my boys idolise these little girls.

147 (Medium)

Moment like these (below) just melt my heart. 

 075 (Medium)

The other day I had my first school experience.

I took my eldest niece to her first sports carnival.

Watching her run her little race made my eyes well up with tears of pride.


My own not-so-little munchkins have also been hard at work.

We’ve been digging into trigonometry this term.

I like it a whole lot more than I did when I was at school.


The boys (one in particular) are loving their graphing calculator.

I still feel faint at the cost…of two of them!


Of course, it wouldn’t be my house if we weren’t reading.

002 (Medium)

We read lots of books this term (as always) but a highlight was this book about the Lebensborn program.

If you don’t know anything about it, “Hitler’s Forgotten Children” is an informative read.


We also read about Eva Mozes and Dr Mengele.

You have to watch her dvd “Forgiving Dr Mengele”.

It was fantastic.


We also read “Gulliver’s Travels”.

It was our dud read of the term.

I had been really looking forward to it, but, now that we’ve read it, I don’t recommend it to others.

I totally understand why the book has been abridged for children.

Not a fan and I had really wanted to be.


We also read the whole Egyptian Mummies souvenir guide from the museum.

No, we haven’t been to the exhibit yet.

We just always read the guides before we visit.

I know.  We’re weird.

Hopefully we’ll get to the exhibition during the holidays,

which are quickly filling to the brim.


My favourite documentary this term was “How the States Got Their Shapes”.

It was fascinating.

I learned so many new things.


Oh and I read this delightful little junior fiction novel to myself.

I totally loved it.

Reading bugs, lots of great book references and a library to save – what’s not to love!!

Hubby is going to read it to his grade two class next term.


Actually, there’s been lots of book action this term.

I’ve been book culling, cleaning and shuffling again.

I got rid of a whole pile of junior non-fiction that the boys had grown out of

and that I didn’t love enough to keep in the house.

Don’t panic, only one of those six empty shelves were left totally empty by the time I was finished.

I haven’t totally lost my mind.


Of course, a book decluttering means that there are spaces to fill

so of course I have been to the Lifeline Bookfest.


I didn’t buy a huge amount though.

I bought a bag full for my nieces

and this tidy little pile for our own shelves.


I don’t tend to buy much at the Lifeline sales anymore.

I prefer to buy exactly what I want from online bookstores.

For instance, these Richard Maybury books that complete my collection of his books.


Or this lovely new book from Living Books Press.

I just love how they present their books in brown paper, twine and a wax seal.


Or any one of these glorious books that are in my ‘to read’ pile.


Oh I have to recommend this title – “In the Land of the Blue Burqas”.

I just finished reading it last week (and another of the author’s books, “Farewell, Four Waters”).

I had to rush out and buy a paperback copy of it to read to my boys next term.

It’s brilliant.

It’s about a Christian aid worker who goes to Afghanistan and her interactions with her Muslim neighbours.

If you want to be reminded of how good our God is, read this book.


This term I’ve also been busy with schole for the mumma.

Yes, the homeschooling mother should also be learning and stretching her mind.

I’m almost finished “Saving Leonardo”.

I highly highly recommend this book to fellow Christians.


Check out the view from where I sometimes meet with friends to discuss books.

How distracting is that view!


The boys have also been to more QUT Stem workshops.

This last workshop was on robotic arms.

The boys loved it.

We have several more of these workshops in coming months.


Plenty of technology has been happening in our home this term.

The boys have been steadily working through Arduino tasks.

Ethan does the programming and Brayden does the electronics.

006 (Medium)

Yes, yes, I let my homeschooled kids out of the house sometimes too.  🙂

I let them mow the backyard at least fortnightly!!  🙂

018 (Medium)

And we head to different parks to let them run wild with friends every week.

The other day we were at this park (below) for six hours!!

It’s just trees and space to run and play but we love it.

I had a dear U.S. friend visit and we sat at this park and talked and talked until the sun was on the way down

and we were concerned that our husbands might send out search parties.


Ah, it’s been a very good term.

And next term is going to be huge.

We have more travel planned.

Nothing overseas this time

…unless you count the Bass Strait as ‘overseas’.





Posted by on June 30, 2018 in Family Life, Homeschooling Days


9 responses to “Term Two Review

  1. Emma

    July 3, 2018 at 7:39 am

    So glad you haven’t fallen off the face of the blogosphere! 😀
    I love, love, love Living Books Press packaging, but it makes it so hard to force myself to open them.
    What didn’t you like about Gulliver’s Travels? (asks she who has never read it). Is it just too long/wordy? Would you recommend a decent abridgement? Or was there something in the story in particular you objected to?
    Haven’t seen a “fly on the wall” post in a while. I’d love to see a day in the life post now the boys are older: how much independence/control the little (maybe not so little anymore) men have over their own learning, and what is still teacher directed at their age.
    Hmm…off to look for books for my own little man 🙂

    • Tracey

      July 3, 2018 at 8:56 am

      Agreed. Opening Living Books Press parcels is hard. I left my last one unopened for two weeks just so I could show people how pretty it was. 🙂
      For kids I would suggest a good abridgement of Gulliver’s Travels. There are some inappropriate elements. One instance – when Gulliver is in the land of the giants, he is placed on the bare nipple of one woman. Aside from those sort of off moments, and there are a couple of them, the first couple of lands were great for kids (and I think they are the ones that end up in the abridged versions) but the last couple of lands turn very political. It’s almost like two different books in one – the first is adventure and the second is highly political and harder for kids to grasp. We don’t mind difficult books but this one was just odd.
      A fly on the wall post sounds like a good idea. I’ll see what I can do after the holidays. Maybe I can cover a week of work.

  2. Lynda

    July 4, 2018 at 6:47 am

    I love the sound of In The Land of the Blue Burqas. My daughter and I love reading books about Christians who have faced great adversity and persecution and have had their faith strengthened as God’s handiwork was in evidence sustaining and uplifting them throughout terrible ordeals. Here are some of our favourites which are definitely worth checking out:

    “Things we couldn’t say,” by Diet Eman. LOVED this book! It is about the underground Dutch resistance movement during WW2, written by Diet who along with her much beloved fiancé and friends undertook extraordinary underground work to save Jewish people in Holland. Most Christians know about Corrie Ten Boom, not so many about Diet who served time with Corrie in a concentration camp. Be prepared to bawl your eyes out at the end. There is also a DVD that is excellent dealing with the Dutch resistance movement called “The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance.” Both are truly inspiring.

    “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell: A young Jewish girl discovers the Messiah’s faithfulness in the midst of the Holocaust,” by Anita Dittman and Jan Markell.

    “A small price to pay,” by Harvey Yoder. The story of Mikhail Khorev who grew up when the communist Soviet Union was at its worst, persecuting Christians in horrendous ways. His faith throughout extended imprisonment for preaching the gospel is remarkable.

    “God knows my shoe size,” by Silvia Tarniceriu and Harvey Yoder. This is the story of a little Christian girl growing up in communist Romania where God again shows his faithfulness in the life of this girl who grows up to be a Christian woman persecuted and imprisoned for her faith. We got a great audio book version of this and my kids and I loved it.

    • Tracey

      July 4, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Wow, what a wonderful list of books to chase up and read. Thank you.

      Toddling off to Book Depository now…. 🙂

    • Tracey

      July 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Just thought of a title you might like Lynda. Have you read “If I Perish” by Esther Ahn Kim? I haven’t read it yet but it’s been recommended to me a number of times. It’s on my ‘to read soon’ pile.

  3. Lynda

    July 5, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Thanks for that recommendation Tracey, I’m keen to check it out. I thought of some other great ones (I’m an avid reader ;-D):

    “The Gospel in bonds,” by Georgi Vins. This is the story of Georgi Vins a pastor living in the USSR during the height of Communist persecution. He serves 8 years over a period of 13 years in the Soviet gulags including in Siberia for refusing to stop preaching the Gospel. He eventually played a huge role in letting the West know about what the Communists were doing to the Christians in the USSR. His refusal to become bitter and lose his faith despite horrendous prison treatment is so wonderful.

    His daughter then wrote a book from the children’s perspective of the period of time when he was imprisoned. That’s called “Children of the Storm,” by Natasha Vins. It was good to read them one after the other as you get both accounts – a father in prison and the subsequent impact on the family.

    I’ve also read two good books about Christian persecution in North Korea. I don’t think enough people know just how bad things are in Nth Korea, especially if you are a Christian stuck in that miserable, rotten place. These were a real eye opener for me:

    “Escaping North Korea – Defiance and hope in the world’s most repressive country,” by Mike Kim.

    “These are the generations – The Story of how one North Korean family lived out the Great Commission for more than fifty years in the most Christian-hostile nation in human history,” by Mr and Mrs Bae, as told to the Rev. Eric Foley.

    I can’t begin to tell you just how beneficial reading these kinds of books has been for my faith. The things these Christian people went through is heart breaking but the fact that their faith only got stronger and the ways they relate how God was there helping them in the big and in the little ways (because sometimes those little ways are just as important) is so encouraging. It also helps puts all your own grievances and problems into perspective. And I’m earnestly hoping it has had the same impact on my children.

    • Tracey

      July 5, 2018 at 12:39 am

      I have “Children of the Storm” and didn’t know that the author’s father had also written a book. I’ll definitely get his book.

      These titles are perfect for our studies (and faith). Thank you. We’ve been reading a lot about communism and life under their oppressive regimes. These are places where faith is growing exponentially (as opposed with the Western world who, if they haven’t denied His existence altogether, all but ignore Him).

      Another title you might like is “God Spoke Tibetan”. This title was very popular with my boys. 🙂

  4. Lynda

    July 5, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Thanks Tracey, love lots of faith building recommendations. Do get the Georgi Vins book, it’s great and I’m sure your sons will get a lot out of it. These kind of books are great for homeschooling read alouds because first and foremost they are terrific for faith building – if God can help these people in extremely dire situations He can certainly help us in not so dire ones. They show He answers prayer, time and time again.

    They are also living books and cover an array of different subjects – they are history lessons, they usually deal with other religions and political systems, they are geography because they are set in all sorts of different countries with very different ways of life. Georgi Vins also loved poetry and wrote his own that are included in his book. I’ve learnt more from reading these types of books than I could ever expect to learn from reading a huge pile of dry, factual textbooks. I often think how differently children at school would view history if they were exposed to books of this nature.

    • Tracey

      July 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

      I do nearly all of my teaching through living books. I couldn’t imagine teaching content subjects with textbooks. Living books help you connect and care, textbooks just give you the valueless facts to learn. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: