Friday, November 5, 2010

Losing a child

One of the hardest ways to lose a child is when you have fostered a child and they unexpectedly have to go back to family. I was talking about Katie earlier this week. Here is more of Katie's story from another blog I follow

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October catch up: Mt Cootha

New sunglasses:

Look out:

The only photograph out of about 20 where someone was not sticking out a tongue, hiding behind someone,  giving Granny bunny ears or sticking sunglasses into their pants(Jarryn)

Everyone sick, what we do on a day off.

I have had everyone off school yesterday and today as they all have horrible sore throats and temperatures. So what do homeschooling kids do when they are sick and relaxing?

Emma and Tim have been doing art, pivot (a basic stick figure animation program), chess, Zoominis (a logic game) and yesterday Tim could not resist doing his computer spelling program just for fun :-)

Erica and Jo have been lying around the lounge, listening to Treasure Island again (classic literature studies?) and have started the Hornblower on CD too.

Jonathan and Josh have been watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. ( Media studies?) And the big boys only stopped 'proper school' because they looked half dead after half a day of school. Jonathan having completed his final uni assignment yesterday.

I think most of them have played the piano/flute for fun in the last two days. Everyone will need a sleep this afternoon - if I can get them to stop doing 'school' on their sick days ;-) 

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that learning is life, a lifestyle choice; where the demarcations of school and relaxation merge.

Oh, I nearly forgot, the younger kids and I enjoyed the new Velveteen Rabbit movie yesterday too, it is sooo lovely.

And what does a homeschooling Mom do with no pupils to teach? I have been researching new distance schools for next year, new curriculum and of course catching up on blogging!

Who will hear their cry?

More than 140 million orphaned children in the world cry out; 13 million have lost both parents ... who will hear their cry? It is not a government matter, the Bible quite clearly teaches it is a church matter - what is our response?

You cannot change the world but you can make a world of difference to one child at a time! 

We need to do more, we need to hear their cries... Are you in Brisbane or Australia and wanting to do more, please contact me with your details, I would like to establish a list of people with a common burden who can get together, talk and pray about how we can make a difference!

Here are some of the things that are being done from America.

Happy Birthday Jessica

It a bit late in coming but it comes with all my love...a tribute to my oldest daughter who hit her twenties last month.
Giving presents to Jessica in the early morning before she goes to TAFE.

Family Birthday chaotic fun in the evening
Blowing out candles with the family.. too many to fit on the cake! Traditionally, in our family, however many candles you do not blow out, that is how many boyfriends you have; so in order to prevent any brotherly teasing, it is of utmost importance that you blow out all your candles. And that Jarryn does not blow out candles for you! Happy Birthday sweetie!
Jessica is our pied piper when she is not buried in books studying. The little kids adore her, she has the energy I had with the big kids when they were little...Jessica climbs playground equipment with them and runs with them, and plays energetic games with them. Jessica talks to them as sweetly as can be, "so Jarryn how did you wake up this morning...grumpy or happy?” “Me happy", he chuckles back " (for once his me happy really means he is happy, often he will say that when he is grumpy in order to prevent the inevitable much needed sleep)They love her as a second mother but it is different to a motherly relationship as Jessica has none of the motherly responsibilities - there is more freedom to just enjoy the kids...undistracted adoration, bliss, fun - truly the only way to describe it is to say there is nothing better in the whole world than a big sister who adores you. Recently the two little girls had moved into Jessica's room when Granny came to visit. When they moved out of her room Jessica moved into their room as she missed them so much.

What about the big boys, how do they see their big sister? A delightful bundle of 'gullible', who falls for every dot of teasing they dish out to her! What boy could want more in a big sister? But more they have! A sister who bosses them when they don't read their Bible or comforts when they feel down, who insists on the headphones going off so she can talk to them and be their friend, a sister who insists that they are too shy and need to practise talking to girls now while they are young otherwise they will be awkward when they want to find a wife...." so when last did you actually talk to a girl properly?"

Jessica is studying child care this year. She has completed her certificate level and has just started her diploma, which she is trying to do by the end of next year, instead of over two years. It is very intense but she is managing. I admire her guts, her fighting spirit, her determination...she has fought against hidden disabilities and conquers far more than she ever thinks she is capable of conquering. She is my best friend right up there with my parents and dear hubby.

She is passionate and compassionate. I admire her smooth transitioning from homeschooling to secular on campus studies. She befriends the underdog; she is a fearless but fearsly kind evangelist. She is a pro-life activist; she has a prayer support group on face book for 'our orphanage' in South Africa. She is a pray-er, who has fought against the odds to prove that she can do what many thought she could not do. She has faced trials I cannot imagine, and has come out stronger and closer to God. I know I am her mother but I think she is the most wonderful daughter a mother can have. We have prayed for her from before conception, and will continue to pray for her for as long as we live. She has truly risen up to bless us abundantly!

Here is her blog

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bethany Farm, South Africa

We don't watch much TV, just not enough time in our lives...But this DVD was thoroughly delightful indeed and well worth watching! The story of a South African homeschooling family who  moved from Cape Town city life to a self sufficient farm. This is just the trailer, there is a lot of talking about self sufficiency, bring up children etc.

Immigration 2

PS: On the positive .... (1) This is home! This is a lovely home for our children and we are very happy here. To leave would mean that our children would go through the same as we went through in leaving South Africa.

(2) Having lots of children we have the opportunity to do lots of fun things least they have each other, even if they are away from cousins and second cousins etc.  We are also especially blessed to have a Granny and Grandpa around the corner from us. One does especially treasure family when you are separated by immigration, and finances do not allow visits.

(3) Friends, all sorts of them, have been 'adopted' to be as family to us and for that we are very grateful and very blessed. After I had written about Immigration this morning a friend popped in, who we had not seen for a long time. My little ones gave this South African 'Tannie/Aunty' a big hug, quite spontaneously. We have seen each others children grow up as we were both in NZ together and immigrated to Australia too. We are very blessed with friends of many ages and nationalities here.

(4) I know if we went back South Africa would not be as it was before, as we knew it - we would be starting all over again. It is a matter of calling really, if God has a purpose and reason for us to be in any country, then He will make it clear....we have only to be willing to serve Him.

(5) And in the long run it is a reminder of our eternal home, where we will be perfectly 'at home' and never homesick - forever!And re-untied with our loved ones in South Africa forever too.

Immigration 1

Beloved Aunty Hazel and Granny M. Some of our South African family captured in moment of time.

I have said it before, I am sure - immigration is tough. It takes away your identity, your history, your family, your network of friends, everything that is familiar to you. It is makes you a nobody with nobody to call on in a crisis. Of course there is the sense of adventure, the growing into a new community, a new identity, new joys and blessings....but then years later when family visit you, you are hit with the reality that as close as you have been to family from overseas, as much as you love them - your children barely know their own family. They have lost a part of their own identify, their own culture,  a sense of well being and of being loved and prayed for by family ... you can only weep. In giving for them, you have taken away more than you ever imagined. And you have to make do with 3 weeks out of 16 years of being apart. And pray that in that moment the children may grasp a glimpse of how much they are loved by family in another land, of how much you love them to give up 'home' and your own family for them. And you pray that memories of your precious 3 weeks together would be sweet and long lasting.

Doug's Mom and his sister, Hazel, have just been to visit us. Mom we have seen once in over 16 years (about 5 years ago.) Hazel we have not seen since we left South Africa in 1994. We have never been back as we have not been able to afford to go with a large family. We left when homeschooling was illegal in South Africa, and someone had been imprisoned for homeschooling. We left to be able to exercise our freedom to educate our children in this manner. Of course the violence must have scared us at the times: my sister was in the St Jame's church massacre, we had lived in Jo'berg for a number of years, where we heard gun shots regularly from the near by township of Alexandra. I remember the despair of a continual stream of beggars at your door, of Monday morning statistics of how many were dead due to violence - to the point that I no longer listened to the radio on Monday mornings. One's biggest fear is for the protection of your girl's purity. I think when you immigrate your South African community here in a sense exaggerates it's fears- subconsciously guilty at leaving behind their homeland and in need of justifying their guilt. For we have family and friends who live there, the same as before, not that it is easy - but one just gets on with life if you are there.

As I flew out of Cape Town nearly 17 years ago now, I prayed I would never forget the women and children who suffer in South Africa, for they are an intricate part of my love for my home. There is a lot more than that that I have not forgotten, not least a sense that I have another home, another identity that belongs to another world that my children do not understand or know.

Happy Birthday Granny Murray

Jarryn sings to his beloved "Curry Murray" Which for some reason was the name he kept calling his 'new Granny' .

 Sharing a birthday with Granny M. on the 10th of October was an enormous privilege....we have not shared her birthday with her for over 17 years! I don't know who enjoyed it more, but the children had a whale of a time making cards, gifts and giving them. And I enjoyed shopping with Hazel to find some things she would like too. What happy memories we now treasure!

Kisses from Katie: I still love this blog! 
It makes me cry each time I read it. It challenges me way beyond my comfort zone each time I read it. Go on take some time to read as well!

And these are the people to help support Katie