The holidays are over...

It seems we have been on official holidays for months! I decided a few weeks ago we should start our lessons in a gentle way and take a week off (official study) when the schools return for the year. I had plans to get quite a bit done in the last three weeks of school holidays and the children were ready and actually willing to get back to work! However, life doesn't always got to plan. Zoe had her first real life experience in dealing with an emergency in the home and handled herself quite well. I fell sick very suddenly and couldn't get off the bathroom floor. I asked her to run and get Daddy and Heath returned to find me not able to move my head without pain and vomiting. An ambulance took me to the Mater where I spent the next few days vomiting. The CT scan was clear so it wasn't a brain bleed or cancer. Even through my hazy vision I can still remember the look of relief on the young doctor's face as he told me he was sure it was cancer and so glad he was wrong. Yes, we are quite glad too! So after most things that can be tested for were ruled out, that left a viral infection probably in my middle ear. Something that can't be confirmed with a test. I had been feeling a little off for a few days before but when it hit, it was like a brick to the back of my head. I am told it will take some time to get over the dizziness and now, three weeks later I am still dizzy and walking slowly. Goodness knows when I will be able to drive again but I am hoping it is really soon. The children start back at Little Athletics and Spanish in the park in a week or two and I really don't want them missing out because their Mummy's head is spinning all the time! 

While I was in hospital and for the first week or so after I came home, the children and Heath spent a fair bit of time on Minecraft. Yes, we are late to the Mincraft party and I am kind of glad the children have only just discovered this digital phenomenon as they are so addicted! Heath built Henry a new computer now they each have their own Linux (Ubuntu) PC that works very well and they are all happy! Henry's old computer was causing him some frustration as it was slow and kept freezing when he was in the middle of something.  Heath also built a Minecraft server so he and the children can all play on the same maps together. Heath spends time at night building them awesome things like castles and follies then they populate the map with animals and other structures. I won't pretend to know much about the game but here are a few things I heard them talking about while I was recovering - 
Zoe - I am about to build a bunny house. Any advice Lil?
Lily - Oh yes! Make sure you fill in all the gaps so the bunnies can't escape. That should hold half a dozen.
(I am not sure Lily knows how much half a dozen actually is but Zoe told her six and that made her happy)
Zoe - There is a wild bunny who keeps wanting to go in my cage! No bunny! You are wild! Look at all the bunnies hopping around. Do they look happy?
Lily - Oh yes they really do!
(Seriously, they talk like this!)
Henry - I am making lily pads everywhere. Not Zoe pads.
Lily - There is no such thing as Zoe pads.
Henry - Yeah, only lily pads.
Zoe - Awwww!!! No Fair!
(I got the giggles at this conversation!)
Lily - They are breeding!
Henry - Make them breed more!
Lily - Oh no! What is happening to them?
Henry - Maybe they breeded too much...
Lily - My chicken got out!
Henry - Oh yeah! Make the chickens breed now!
Lily - They are going to explode soon!
(I did ask them how animals are bred and they told me they all come from eggs and a right click of the mouse. Phew! I am glad I don't have to have that chat just yet!)
Now that I am back a semi functioning state they are back to their allocated one hour a day of free time on the computers. They are allowed to play any (approved) game but they usually choose Mincraft. Yesterday they were debating how many horses they could breed before they crashed Daddy's server.  The best thing about this new obsession is Henry's new style of drawing and story telling. Below are a couple of examples and the stories he tells with them are so cool and usually involve some kind of lava. Such a boy.

First week of term one we took it easy. The girls decided how much book work they wanted to do each day and I was surprised it was quite a bit more than last year. I made the mistake of buying a new maths curriculum thinking they wanted a change, only for the three of them to tell me they wanted Easy Learn maths again. At least I was able to have a look at the workbooks used in schools and how they align with the national curriculum. Easy Lean is a much better approach and my three really enjoy it. Each chapter is a different concept and they are long and diverse enough for the children to fully understand each concept before moving on to a new one. And yes, as maths is not my strong point I am leaning quite a bit too! 

We usually take the week off when all the other kids are going back to school. It is a good time to go to the movies and on other excursions that would normally be over run with school kids. Not this week though as I am still not driving. We did get to see Big Hero 6 and we all agreed it was the best movie we have seen in a long time. It was seriously awesome!  The children are not doing any book work but they are still learning a lot. We had a look at geopanes and I was amazed at the results, perhaps more so than the children. Zoe and I made 3D shapes and dipped them in soapy water. I was expecting the soap to form along the sides of the shape but it met in the centre. Zoe and I were having such a good time together that the other two joined us and marvelled at the bubbles. Of course it turned into a bubble blowing activity and lots of clean up when they were done but it was worth it.

On Australia Day I had a few different activities planned but the children ended up just colouring in most of the day while I read Our Sunburnt Country to them. NannyO had a bad drug interaction with the chemo and her blood pressure medication that had her admitted to hospital. The next day we had some fun with Aboriginal x-ray and dot painting and NannyO was well taken care of at the Mater. Once she was 150% she was able to come home to prepare for chemo and radium next week. It is good to have her here and the children are all used to having her around already. They even try hard to be quiet when NannyO is resting. Of course I wouldn't mind if she stays forever :)

Today was gardening day. The children helped clear up the cuttings from the overgrown tuckeroos and had a ball! It was really good to watch them and listen to their chatter. Lily said she knew she was being a slave but she didn't mind. Good thing!
The last month or so has been rather ordinary for the family but we are getting through it together. It really is wonderful to have the whole family together at home to support each other and I just can't imagine life another way.

Alexis