Weekly Highlights 26th January 2014

image‘Books 4 Cambodia’: This week we finished packing the ‘Books 4 Cambodia’ container. In just four months, we obtained, sorted and packed over 33,000 books for children in schools and universities in Cambodia. It has been a great learning experience for Princess and our family but we are glad the container is all packed, ready to be sent. Princess researched and wrote to 100 private schools asking for donations of books and also wrote thank you’s, along with doing a lot of maths calculations and finding out container and shipping information. She has been asked to speak at several private exclusive girls’ schools to motivate the students to look outside of themselves and begin to think about how they can do similar projects. She has also been contacted by someone overseas who has heard about what she has done and wants to find out how to go about doing a similar project.

Now to saving money so that we can visit Cambodia in July.

Thinking of others: This week, Princess took it upon herself to visit an elderly, sick and lonely neighbour. This lady rarely leaves her house anymore. Princess recalled how several years ago this lady used to love painting her fingernails but the lady could no longer take proper care of herself. Princess asked if she could go and entertain this lady and paint her nails. The lady absolutely loved it and it brightened her day considerably. I was proud of Princess for thinking of someone else and how she could help them.

Sometimes allowing the kids to be ‘bored’ long enough without supplying them with ideas and filling in their time, means that they learn to be more creative.

Couple time: Now that our life is getting back to some kind of normalcy after the ‘Books 4 Cambodia’ project, hubby and I are realising that we need to take better care of our relationship. Our relationship impacts on not only ourselves but our children as well. The fantastic thing about the kids doing triathlon training early on a Saturday morning is that we get an hour and a half uninterrupted time to focus on each other and our relationship.

Prophetic pictures & words: Friday night we received a beautiful gift from a friend. This friend lives interstate but was home with her hubby and children over summer. She gave us an amazing prophetic word and picture that she had visualised and then drawn and written down about our family and Princess. This was so special to us. I hadn’t quite realised until Friday night how many times we do this for others but I couldn’t remember the last time we received a prophetic word or picture. This was so special. It came at the right time for us as it was about the Books project and we had just spent an exhausting day packing the container. I encourage you all to practice doing this on a regular basis. When visiting someone, practice asking God for a picture or word for them before you go so that you can give it to them. This friend’s picture and words meant so much to us and were a real encouragement and blessing.

Daddy dates: Hubby has been trying to spend more intentional time one on one with the kids. He took Princess several times to the cinema this week, once to see ‘Saving Mr Banks’ which she loved. We had all gone as a family last week during the heat wave but the local power substation had caught fire and the power went out in the cinema and local shopping centre. Thus, we received four new tickets to use on whatever we wanted. Hubby and Princess had fun going on two separate occasions. They love chatting together about the issues raised and the people in the film etc. On the first occasion, Princess got sidetracked and left the tickets at home. Hubby managed to convince the cinema manager that the tickets were at home and they wouldn’t use those two tickets again so that they could get in that night without returning home to get the tickets. This was a valuable learning experience for Princess with seeing how hubby went about negotiating getting into the cinema without the tickets on him.

On Saturday, Matey and hubby spent most of the day together doing jobs around the house. Washing the car, fixing the watering system, cooking a huge pot of meat pasta sauce, and changing light bulbs. Matey loves to help and I believe it is important that our children learn how to be self sufficient around the house.

Homeschooling preparation: I have begun thinking and praying about our homeschooling journey this year. Usually I have it all planned and organised by now but I have been busy with the ‘Books 4 Cambodia’ project so am behind in my organisation. Last year we began a fortnightly pond study of a local pond but it didn’t really work out. It wasn’t a place we would ever visit if it wasn’t for the pond study plus we never drove that way unless we were going to do the pond study. Thus, it wasn’t easy to incorporate it into our life.  

Whilst I was at the beach with Matey this week, I realised that I could adapt the pond study to a beach study which would suit us better. We only live several minutes drive from two small secluded beaches so it is ideal. I plan to visit weekly (plus other times for ‘fun’) to look at tides, erosion, pollution, habitats, marine life, rock pools, cloud formations, birds, shells, plants, waves, temperature and science experiments. We will have a bag packed to just pick up that has inside it a magnifying glass, binoculars, camera, sketchbook and pencils, butterfly net, books on identifying shells and birds (‘What shell is that?’ and ‘What bird is that?’), a bucket, and a jar with a lid for collecting and analysing sea water at home under the microscope plus for experiments at removing salt from the water, etc. I am quite excited about this addition to our school week. Plus, I always find that spending some quiet time on the beach re-energises me so I will incorporate that into our time there as well.