Monday, 25 April 2016

My blog has changed

Hi all, just a reminder that I have made a new blog and I now blog at 2 Punks Had A Bunch Of Kids. Make sure you click on the link so you don't miss out on any of my new posts.

Monday, 7 March 2016

My New Blog!!!

I'm testing out my new blog: 2 punks had a bunch of kids! I have a pregnancy update up on my new blog for you to read. I haven't finished the 'about' page yet but I was testing out writing a post on there. 

So why is my new blog called 2 punks had a bunch of kids? Well it has to do with how Luke and I started off as a very young (18 and 21) year old newly married couple. Luke was in a punk band when I met him in the city and I followed him around to all his gigs. We were carefree and clueless about responsibility and God has used a handful of children being entrusted into our care to completely transform our lives for the better. I will write up more of our story on my 'about' page. 

Blessings, Peta

Click here to be directed to 2 punks had a bunch of kids and see my pregnancy update! 

Thursday, 3 March 2016 want to start homeschooling

 I'm writing this post for the Aussie mums blog hop,

 mum's encouraging mums blog hop

Week 3:  Advice to a friend who wants to start homeschooling

wow...there is SO much to consider when thinking about beginning homeschooling. If I had a friend wanting advice for starting out it would be...


It's going to be great. You'll see. 

When it comes to considering homeschooling I am finding that there are too many options. Home education is not a 'one size fits all,' there are many different styles and ways to do it and it can be easy to feel a little confused or overwhelmed. 

I have only been homeschooling for a year (officially) but before I began I spent 5 years researching it. I knew with all my heart that I wanted to homeschool my children right back when I was pregnant with my first born baby. 

I knew all the reasons why I wanted to homeschool and Luke was enthusiastically supporting the idea 100 percent.

But then began the next question...


How do I homeschool? What do I need to do exactly?

There are SO many ways to homeschool, I'm not overly experienced so I can't go through them all but I can share what I have done so far and other ideas I have:

1. Only do 'preschool' of you have a child who seems to really enjoy it. My first born son loved doing activities at the table and naturally has always had a long attention span. I ordered the 'Rod and Staff' preschool curriculum from Light Educational Ministries. When he was 3 years old we sat down together while my baby and toddler were napping and did 3 pages around 3-4 days a week. He loved it! My next son preferred to do puzzles with me, so I didn't push the book work. He was happy and I was happy and he learnt and grasped concepts very well.

2. When I felt like my child was ready to progress to more challenging work I began the LEM phonics workbooks. We borrowed easy readers from the library and slowly worked through a maths book by 'Rod and Staff' also ordered from Light Educational Ministries. 

3. Most other subjects at this age can be covered by reading non fiction books aloud. I borrow all mine from the library. 

4. Read aloud everyday. This alone is the backbone of a great education. 

5. We read Bible stories together every morning and pray. 

6. A subscription to ABC Reading Eggs and Maths Seeds is well worth the money! I have found this online program absolutely fantastic for my young children. 

Just before your child turns 6 you can register yourself as a homeschooler. You'll need to be enrolled in a school and get an 'exemption for the purpose of homeschooling.' I found the paperwork a little daunting but once it was done it was done and the home visit from the education department was positive and nothing to worry about. 

Don't worry about people who disagree with your decision to homeschool. You and your husband know what's best for your child. Many people don't 'get' homeschooling. Stay confident in your decision and just be polite and quietly go about your business.

 There are many different homeschool facebook groups you can join too where you can write questions and many experienced homeschoolers are more than happy to answer them. And even better; get to know some real life home schooling mums

Blessings, Peta 

    Monday, 22 February 2016

    Home schooling and managing a household while in the 3rd Trimester

    Caring for children while heavily pregnant is a hefty task in itself whether you are home schooling or not. For me; I'll have a range of ages all with different needs to be met during this third trimester. I have one son attending school outside the home, one son being home schooled, and a pre-schooler and toddler both at home too.

    During the first trimester we took an early school holidays while I felt the sickest between weeks 6-9. Then I continued home schooling my 6 year old with the basics of going through his phonics and maths workbook and listening to his reading. Then he spent the afternoon completing online lessons of ABC Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs while I occupied my favourite recliner. For more on how I manage morning sickness see this post.

    I breezed through the second trimester feeling fantastic and full of energy, at times forgetting I was even pregnant. Now here I am, a few weeks into the third trimester and already feeling my body wanting to slow down. When I'm in the third trimester I try to push myself...but I find I just physically can't. And the bigger my baby belly gets the more I slow down, get sore and find myself making a dash (or waddle) to the nearest chair or bed, whatever I can find to sit on, every time I enter a room. If I drop something on the floor I get so frustrated because it's soooo much effort trying to pick the object back up again. I'm known for picking toys and clothes and things off the floor with my toes to avoid having to bend down! But by far the hardest thing for me to deal with in the third trimester is the fatigue that plagued me in the first few weeks of pregnancy makes a come back. Some days I'm yawning and feel so tired like my head may roll off my shoulders all days long. I lose motivation to do anything much at all; cooking, dealing with the children's needs, and even having a shower can seem like such an effort. And all I really feel like doing during these last few months is curling up in bed and having a big long snooze.

    Here is a list of some of the strategies I have in place during the 3rd trimester to help me make it through. 

    1. Get enough sleep at night. 
    Usually I need a good 8 hours sleep every night to function well the next day but while pregnant I find I need 9 hours or more. It can be hard to have a good nights sleep because of the discomforts of carrying a large precious baby upfront but also we have always had a toddler while I'm in the 3rd trimester too. We can be woken up by our teething toddler or one of the older children up to three times a night. 

    So the best way to get enough sleep even when being woken in the night is to go to bed early. 

    I'm writing this for myself because I do struggle to discipline myself to go to bed early but when I do it makes SO much difference to how I function and how much I get done the next day. It even helps me to feel better emotionally the next day too. I feel like I can be a greater blessing to my family when I go to bed early and prepare for a good nights sleep. 

    What time is early exactly? That's up to you. A good way to work out when to go to bed is to count back the amount of hours sleep you need from the time you need to wake up in the morning. I set my alarm a little later while pregnant to help me get enough sleep too. If I plan to wake up at 7am I will need to be asleep by 10pm in order to get 9 hours sleep. It takes me a little while to wind down and prepare for bed so between 9.30pm - 9.45pm I need to think about switching lights off and preparing for bed. If you are still tired in the morning or completely had it by the afternoon keep going to bed 15 minutes earlier until you are feeling well rested and energetic throughout the day. 

    2. Plan rest into your daily schedule.  
    When in the 1st and 3rd trimesters I need to rest in the afternoon. In order to bless my family by having the energy to cook a healthy meal for tea I find that I must spend the afternoon resting or napping. This means that I won't get as much done as I was previously and this can get frustrating sometimes. But I find if I don't take time to rest in the afternoon by tea time I am physically exhausted and cannot even stand on my own two feet any longer. You are carrying a lot of extra weight in the 3rd trimester and it's important to take some time to put your feet up. If I'm feeling frustrated about not being able to get much done during this time I just remind myself that 

    pregnancy is only a short time really and wont last forever. I'll be back to my old energetic self again in no time. 

    I plan my rest time after lunch while my toddler is having her nap. First we have 'quiet time' where everyone is required to sit or lay down and do something quiet without speaking to each other. Preferably in separate rooms (though not always). This gives us all a time out from being in each others faces and calms the atmosphere of our home. The children usually do a puzzle, build LEGO, read books or sit and play with a toy of choice. I will sit in my chair and make the most of the quiet house and have my Bible reading and devotion time. After quiet time I ask the children to tidy up their rooms and get ready to use the computers.  I'll set up them up with their online ABC Reading Eggs or Mathseeds lesson. While I continue resting. If I am very tired I'll shut my eyes for a while or just read or do some writing or planning. When resting I try to stay away from social media and web surfing because I find these things don't serve me well and can leave me in a negative mood. 

    We do discipleship, book work and read alouds for home school in the morning, while we're all still fresh.  

     3. Delegate.

    Learn the art of delegating. When everyone in the household are working together, life for the heavily pregnant mum can go so much smoother. Young children can pick up all the toys. Older children can help with laundry and cleaning and heavy lifting. My children are not quite old enough to help with cleaning yet, though there are little things I could teach them to do but haven't got around to doing this yet. Luke has taken over our weekly cleaning jobs which he is quite happy to do on his days off or in the morning before he leaves for an evening shift at work. 

    When grocery shopping I kindly ask the checkout operator if they could pack my bags very lightly so not to hurt my back and most supermarkets are happy to send a worker to push your heavy trolley for you and even unload any heavy items into your car. 

    4. Don't forget to pray

    Philippians 4.6-7 says; 
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (emphasis added mine)

    This is profound. Our 'to do' lists may be larger then we can accomplish and some days we may not feel like getting out of bed and facing the day. But we don't have to worry about anything. Anything at all!! Prayer will change everything.

    If we will just surrender ourselves to God and bring our heavy hearts and jumbled minds to Him in prayer. He will give us peace. Guaranteed. 

    5. Slow Down
     During the third trimester we may naturally lean towards slowing down because our bodies are physically getting tired quicker. But just because we need to slow down doesn't mean all our family members will slow down! I think the best thing to do is to stay home as much as I can. We don't go out for as many outings during this time so I don't over exert myself. If I've had a stressful few days where doing a lot of running around has been unavoidable then I'll often take a few days recuperating and regaining energy at home. Try to find your pregnancy rush/rest balance. For example later this week we had to get the house ready for an inspection and I had some appointments and errands to run. By the weekend I was so exhausted that it took me the whole two days to recover. We had to cancel an outing that we had planned but it was vital that I didn't go out if I wanted to have energy to manage my household in the week to come. And we had a lovely weekend relaxing together and by Sunday evening we were feeling refreshed and ready to take on another week. 

    6. Eat and drink healthy and nourishing food and drinks.
    If we are filling our bodies with sugar, deep fried foods and artificial additives them we wont feel or function at our best. To serve our families well and to feel as energetic as we can we need to eat natural whole foods. I'm a big fan of 'The Makers Diet' books by Jordan Ruben. It lays out the foundation to a Biblical approach to healthy eating that is not 'faddish' and doesn't leave out any food groups. Just eat the best you can within your own budget. Organic foods are a bit expensive for us but I make sure I drive out to our local fruit and veg shop that has great specials on local produce. 

    Try drinking raspberry leaf tea. I drink 2-3 cups of it during the third trimester. It contains vital nutrients that are all beneficial to your body (including your uterus) and your growing baby. Click here to read about the benefits of raspberry leaf during late pregnancy.

    I make sure I take a good pregnancy multivitamin as well as magnesium and calcium and vitamin D3. 

    Most of what I have written has more to do with caring for yourself during the third trimester then managing your household. But I have found that when I take care of myself I can be a greater blessing to my family and am more likely to be able to manage life well during this time. 

    Blessings to all the pregnant mothers out there, may God keep you and your baby safe and healthy!
    Peta xo  




    Wednesday, 17 February 2016

    Why I began blogging

    I just can't stop writing! I have been writing regularly in my own personal journals since I was 11 years old. I still have them all. A whole stack of them. Years of my story, my inner thoughts, prayers and slowly over time I have watched my writing mature and my faith increase. I've written of some very low lows and some exciting highs.

    Six years ago I began reading a blog by a mum from America who had four children. I soaked in her every word and cherished all the sweet pictures of her family. I began searching the web for more blogs from large family mums. I desired a large family myself and was fascinated by all the logistics of how such families can function and even thrive in this modern age. I stumbled across one mother who at the time had just had her 15th child! Here is a link to her blog. She posted tips on how she stays organised and manages her hefty household and how she also home schools them all! I was amazed and felt a connection with these women. Like they were speaking to my heart and had many of the same thoughts and views about family that myself and my husband had. I sought out many more like minded women and in a way some of these women became my mentors.

    After our second son Arrow was born,  I toyed with the idea of starting my own blog. One thing was for sure, I loved writing and continued to write pages almost daily in my personal journal. I felt God speaking to my heart about beginning a blog to be an encouragement to other mums. And to spread the messages that are dear to my heart. Messages about family values, being pro life, and spreading the gospel message by being a living example of God's word. I wanted to direct mothers hearts back to their homes in a gentle and positive way. Being a mum caring for little ones at home can be isolating, so connecting with other like minded mothers online is a great way to make some social connections. Not as good as face to face relationships but it's still good

     My blogging began slowly; I first wrote a personal journal complete with photos on my computer. I wanted to blog but I didn't quite feel ready to go online. I did this for around 6 months or so. Then after our first daughter Savannah was born - our third child - (2012) I was just bubbling over with so much to say and I couldn't contain myself. I HAD to start blogging and share what I wanted to say with the world! I wanted the approval of my husband Luke and he encouraged me to give it a go so I began blogging with his blessing in 2012. We discussed what information would be okay to share online and what would need to be kept private. I set up a blog on blogger, which I'm still writing on. Luke edits and read my posts for me before I publish them. Luke has even started his  own blog too now. He writes about theology, church culture, family and biblical truths. Click here to check out Luke's blog.

    My blog has had some dry patches where I haven't typed a word for months. Other times I have posted weekly. I began by posting up articles that I had written on some controversial subjects such as the Biblical roles of men and women, and why we had chosen to get rid of our TV. I now write about home educating my children, family life, nutrition and fitness, parental topics and I still write about Christian issues that I feel the Lord directing me to write about. I want to be a blessing to mothers everywhere and a source of encouragement. Blogging hasn't been all positive though, I have come so close to deleting it and giving up blogging a few times as I felt my blog was becoming a way for those who know me to 'spy' on me and use what I say against me to put me down. But I must keep blogging for now because I believe God is using me in a positive way to encourage many mums across the globe. I've had some really lovely and exciting emails and comments from other mums from Russia, America and Australia, some encouraging me and some giving me some lovely uplifting words. All the lovely mums out there keep me wanting to write. 

    If you are wanting to go back and read my past posts, I apologise, but I removed them. I am very excitedly working on a new blog with WordPress. I will put most of the old original posts back up on my new blog. My new website looks clean cut and professional and I'm super excited! I'm still trying to figure out WordPress though, and with all the time I spend caring for and prioritising my family, my work on the new blog is slow. I don't usually blog during my children's waking hours but in the evening when they are asleep. I expect it to be ready later in the year. 

    I love blogging and I still continue to write in my personal journal too. 

    Blessings, Peta 

    Thursday, 11 February 2016

    When your children make you so so angry!

    It had been a long day and I was tired. An exciting, yet LOUD (and apparently scary) thunderstorm had woken us all for a few hours the night before and we had been up and down with a particularly scared 4 year old and a grizzly bub who had a cold. I woke up and decided to face the day with a positive attitude despite the lack of sleep and carry on with the days plans. Luke stayed home with the crowd and I headed off to the next town for my big grocery shopping trip with my 3 year old daughter in tow. The older 3 kids take it in turns going shopping with me and we have some quality one on one time together and I usually buy them a yummy treat just for them. When we were home, it was the usual, prepare lunch for everyone, eat, clean up, unpack all the groceries. Luke left for work for a late shift in the afternoon, I still had so much to do and was getting tireder...and a little grumpy. I realised that there will always be more on my to do list that I can accomplish in the 24 hours I'm given so I decided to ignore the laundry and muddy passage way and get started on tea. Tea was finally ready. 

     I was feeling pretty proud at myself at this point, we were only having fried rice but it did look quite spectacular with the bean sprouts and omelet mixed in, plus I managed to get it cooked and plated up with a squawking baby attached to my leg and at times with only one arm, I must be a pretty amazing mum. My leg attached baby had caused my stress levels to rise though. The minute I called tea, my 6 year old says he's feeling sick and can't eat ( he was getting a cold too). The thought of more sick kids makes me panic a little and I'm getting grumpier. I excuse him to go lay down on the couch and look at books. I sat miss 15 month old on her booster seat and my 3 and 4 year old make it to the table at snail pace. They are extremely tired by this time of the day from being up the night before. They are super grumpy. I am super grumpy. 
    And the war begins...

    Master 4 year old "I will not eat THAT, I will not eat this, this is YUCKY, EWWWW.
    He's yelling by this point and emotional, my voice goes up a notch and I'm getting angry. We begin an immature tattle. Back and forth it goes. I go on about the starving kids in Africa, I go on about being thankful and grateful, I make sure I TELL him how I've just been cooking in the kitchen for the last hour, and how I put CELERY in the fried rice instead of peas because he likes celery and doesn't like peas. My voice is getting a little loud...okay I started to yell too.  I go on and on. My 3 year old joins in with the wining and complaining, which fuels my fire. I take one look at my son, who I already know is sensitive. I've gone too far. I've blown it. My boy's crying and is still yelling and comes out with "I DON'T LIKE YOU!!!" It's gotten personal and I shut my mouth. 

    That night as I'm tucking him in bed I realise that I need to treat this sweet boy with gentleness. I need to get a hold of anger in my life before it erupts. As I was later laying in bed, I was praying and reflecting on my day. The Lord began speaking to my heart about anger. I realised how much I love my son, even when he doesn't like my food. But I needed to show him that. The rules of our house still apply to him - if he refuses to eat his tea there is no food until breakfast the next morning. But surely there is a gentle, more loving way to get this across. 

    The next morning I opened my 'Word For Today' devotional before I was even out of bed and began reading. It was titled 'Control Your Anger'!
    God couldn't be clearer now. 

    'Don't sin by letting anger control you.' Ephesians 4:26

    'Be angry without sinning. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the devil opportunity [to work]. Ephesians 4:26-27

    And this verse sums it all up nicely for me:

    'A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.' Proverbs 15:1

    I then asked to Lord for help and decided that from that very day onward I would be sweet and gentle with my children. If they are angry I will not respond with anger, but rather, with a gentle word instead. 

    I had a good opportunity to practice this that same night when I was feeling tired again and was also feeling drained and unwell and coming down with the cold some of the children had. We all sat down for tea, I had made potato and zuchinni fritters. All my children begin eating and seem happy, except one. My beloved 4 year old son. He's not happy. "I DONT LIKE THIS I"M NOT GOING TO EAT IT!!" 
    I was sick and tried. I could of given myself these excuses and responded with anger but instead I smiled sweetly at him and quietly told him that that was ok. And ignored any further comments from him and went on eating. In the end he just watched his siblings eat and was quiet as a mouse. I served up the children their dessert - but master 4 year old did not get any - he had not eaten any tea. When he began protesting I quietly said in a nice voice that he must eat his tea if he wants some mango and yoghurt. Watching the others eat must have been too much because eventually, he took one bite and said " I don't like it." Then he sheepishly grins and eats more and says  "actually I DO like it!" He eats, and then happily gets his dessert. We had a peaceful, happy tea. 

    That was scripture in action, a gentle answer really does turn away wrath. I thank the Lord for these lessons I need to learn. I have read these verses over and over again throughout my life but when I put the word in action, it breathes life into my life. We are meant to be doers of the word and not hearers only. I was guilty with being a hearer right there and the Lord in his wisdom dealt with me so gently also. 

    Blessings, Peta


    Monday, 8 February 2016

    Back to school for the Goddard's

    The summer holiday's are coming to a close and school is just over the horizon. The summer holidays for us has involved settling into our new home and learning the ropes of our new town and exploring the surrounding area. We made a few trips to the beach and many trips to the library. We also had a lovely, refreshing 3 days spent back on the farm staying with my parents. We came home loaded with mulberries, boysenberries, apples, apricots, plumbs, greens from the garden and tomatoes. As well as my mums apricot jam, mulberry jam and dried apricots and dried mulberry leather. Gardening has become my parents full time hobby now they are retired, and we are all enjoying the fruits of their labour!

    This year I'll have two school boys! Here is a little snapshot of our two big school boys. And what our two little princesses will be up to also.
    Francis (6) - Year 1 at our local primary school. He has had his first piano lesson with his new teacher too.
    So...he's thrilled about going to school this year, hopefully the weeks get better as they go along

    Arrow (turning 5 next month)- Reception at Goddard Home Academy. I'm thrilled about home schooling Arrow this year. Arrow is excited about his weekly swimming lessons too. And drum lessons with an experienced and excellent drummer - his dad! 

     Here is a snapshot of the decided curriculum for our reception student:
    • English:  Rod and Staff preschool books, moving on to LEM phonics program. Daily read aloud, basic readers and ABC Reading Eggs. 
    • Maths: Rod and Staff preschool book, Boost Maths books, ABC Maths Seeds
    • Bible: Gospel Light 'Big Book Of Bible Stories. Monthly memory verses, Family worship songs
    • History/Geography/Science/SOSE/Health: Books borrowed from the library on a topic chosen by Arrow and I. The next few weeks we are reading books about trees and rain forests.  
    • Music: Drum lessons and family worship songs together
    • Physical Education: Weekly bike rides and swimming lessons
    • Art: Drawing and colouring in. 
    • Character: Chores, make bed, tidy his room, put PJ's away.

    Savannah (3)- Pre-school with her mummy at Goddard Home Academy. As well as beginning ballet lessons. 
    • Rod and Staff preschool ABC series. 

    Holly (17 months) -  will be pulling all the books off the bookshelves, practicing her walking and being extra cute :)

    Blessings to all the mums doing school this year. Pray lots, it's what gets me through every moment.