It is all happening!!

Merton Manor is on the market! The photographer took some amazing photos and we are doing our best to keep it looking great for the open house inspections twice a week . Check it out here. We have our eye on a few properties in the Samford area, one in particular, and we are all so very excited about moving before Christmas. Especially if the new home has a pool!
Meanwhile I have been doing my best to keep the children's lessons going so they don't miss out on too much during this time of transition. I must admit it is not easy to keep the house beautiful and wrangling three active children!  It is a good time to teach cleanliness and personal responsibility for their possessions.  They now understand that if something is not tidied up and put away, it gets put away for good (in the bin) or until we move. It has been nearly a month now since we de-cluttered and moved the rest of our stuff into storage. I don't miss anything and probably wouldn't be that upset if everything stayed in storage. The children don't miss any of their toys that have been put away so I will be rethinking bringing it all back into the new house. Though it would be an extra cool Christmas when the children get all the toys back they have forgotten about :)

This month Henry decided he wanted to learn to read so we have been helping him learn the alphabet and sounds. One game he liked was Lily or Zoe calling out a letter and Henry throwing a toy or bag of rice onto the letter (Bunnings paint chips come in handy!). From that game Lily made up another one involving charades - the girls would act out something and Henry had to guess the beginning sound. I struggled to guess what they were acting out so I recorded the one above. Yes that is me cackling at the end of the clip! I am constantly amazed at how fast Henry is picking up new concepts and his excellent retention of information. There is something to be said about waiting until a child is cognitively ready to learn. 
Most days we do some kind of book work. Some days I get a photo of all of them working at the same time and enjoying themselves. These are the images I need to etch into my brain so I know that it is possible! 
We discovered a new show called Snake Boss about a woman in Brisbane who catches snakes for a living. The thought of this show sends shivers down my spine but I forced myself to watch it with the children. It was horrible - I am not a fan of snakes - but very fascinating and it spawned hours of play for the children. They made 'snakes' our of lycra fabric and conduit and practised catching them and putting them in bags. They do know never to go near a real snake and the show has prompted many discussions on what kind of wild life we are going to encounter when we move to the country.

Last week Lily discovered poetry. It might have been when she overheard Zoe and I doing a Latin lesson (we were learning the difference between poéta and poétae) and she began saying something that sounded like a haiku. After only a little encouragement she came up with
Beautiful sunshine
lovely leaves on the trees
The bees are flying
and then illustrated it. Since then she has written quite a few little haiku and I am doing my best to just encourage and not suck the excitement out of it by teaching the theory of it! ( A bad habit of mine;) 
Some days the children lean together by baking a cake. They learn to take turns talking and stirring the mix, not to scream over each other and not to spread flour all over the floor. They learn that three children baking one cake can be messy and noisy and that Mummy would rather be drinking hot tea on the front deck away from the noise and mess.  Other days we have great fun making a mess (in the sink!) while we learn about molecules and atoms. And sometimes I just need a break so I send them downstairs with a couple of rolls of tape and see what they create before it all descends into cranky low blood sugar madness because Mummy forget to get lunch out on time!
NannyO and Uncle Tas (my bro) stayed with us for a few days and the kids loved the extra attention. Every time NannyO is here they want to know when she is staying forever and now we can say very soon! If we are able to buy the right property at Samford there will be room for NannyO to have a little granny flat house built on the land. It will be a relief to have her close by so we can take care of her (and she can take care of our mending ;) but also so she and I can create some art together in our soon to be built studio... and sew some things.. and weave some things... and play Rummikub every day with her - oh the ideas are endless! Did I say we are excited?

Now that most of the children's toys are put away, the Lego is getting a really good work out. I am looking forward to putting together a purpose built Lego table when we move. I love Lego almost as much as the children so I want to be comfortable when I play, not sitting on the floor!
I will leave you all today with some funny and interesting things the children have said lately - 

Lily - Look! There is one gecko on top of another one!
Heath - Oh they are wrestling!
Lily - No they aren't! They are mating.

Me - Oh Lily you don't have to jump over the back of the lounge to sit on it. You can walk around.
Lily - That's not my style.

Lily - Mummy some day I am going to risk my life to save someone else's.
(I didn't know what to say to this or where she got the idea. I wonder if she is going to want to be a part of the emergency services.)

Zoe - Mummy did you know you will never see your own face directly with your own eyes? You can only see your face in a photo or in the mirror. Unless someone takes your eyes out and turns them on your face... that would be messy!

We had finished reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Zoe came up with the idea that the Nautilus could stay under the water longer if it had trees on board to clean the air.

Henry - Do Chinese people know they are Chinese? 
(I had no idea how to respond to this! Where do these kids come up with this stuff??)

Henry - Hey Lil! You have to say 'Hey nice car. It looks like mine.'
Lily - Hey nice car it looks like mine!
Henry - It is! Bwhahahahah!! (runs away cackling!)