All The Rivers Run

All The Rivers Run

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Friday's Encouraging Expressions

 And when the floods came, and the roads were closed once again, we did indeed dance - on the highway!


And by golly gosh, we certainly enjoyed ourselves!

Have a good Friday - smile, and if you can - dance!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fun With Family.

You would think that moving 2000 kms away from your lifelong home would also mean leaving all your family behind.  Not so, it seems!

Since moving to NSW, we have managed to have a Family Christmas lunch:

A visit from Granny and Aunty Carmel, complete with the traditional 'mother and son' card game:

The winners, I'm sad to say, were Jean and Bill (next time, next time, Daniel and I will have you!):


And we even had a surprise vist from my nephew, Andrew, and his family, who decided to sell up in SA, and move north as well:

Last Sunday, we took a day trip to Bryon Bay  to once again catch up with Ida, Kylie, Sarah and Zoe for a family lunch.  The visit also invovled some future planning for one serious girls' night out (just you wait for THOSE photos - they should be GOOD!):

Technically, these two lovelies are my 'nieces', however, they are well aware that calling me 'Aunty Linda' will most likely earn them a punch in the nose - given that they are only just younger than I am.  :)

So it seems we are certainly 'not alone' up on the NSW north coast.  Lots more family visits planned, and we look forward to catching up on a few lost years!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Here We Go Again....

And just when we kept hearing how rare it was to have four floods in four years........

How about two in a month?

The first one show our little tree, which usually sits on the egde of the river bank, about to go under completely.

The second shows our neighbours trees - now completely submerged as well.

The river peaked this morning at 5 metres - 1 metre short of the top of the levee - so, all is good as far as that goes.

Sure is a whole lot of water, though - again!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Music and Drama - Again! :)

Last week saw our 18 and 17 year olds head off into the 'big wide world' as they began their lives as students at the local TAFE.

Daniel, 18, is completing a Certificate IV in Sound Production, and Helena, 17, will be studying Certificate IV in Music.  We rocked up for the orientation day, handed over the cash, and they were ready to go.

Their first week has been full of wonderful, exciting possibilities, including several people offering to record Helena as she plays the pieces that they have composed.  And Daniel is very much enjoying learning about the physics of sound waves and how to use the sound boards.

We have also started back at the conservatorium, with four of us enrolled for private lessons as well as signing up for several ensembles and bands.  The Con tells us we win the 'Frequent Flyer Points' for attending the highest number of groups - typical - we do tend to do that!

The Conservatorium here is absolutely marvellous.  I can't tell you what a delight it is to walk in, hearing music pouring out of the rooms.  They have the most wonderful, welcoming staff, and fantastic teachers.  We are indeed very blessed to have found them, and look forward to all they have to offer.  

Sing Australia - Our SA Group (We miss you!)
So what else?  We began back with Sing Australia, and each week, attend to belt out lots of our favourite tunes.  They have a most marvellous repertoire, and if there's a group near you, I'd highly recommend that you check them out - you do not have to be a great singer - in fact, you don't have to have any abilities at all - it's all about having fun!

The Grafton group certainly lives up to this reputation, and we're enjoying being a part of the group.  The only 'downside' is that it may clash with rehearsal times in our 'latest' activity, the drama group.  And speaking of drama, the next thing on our 'list' was the audition evening.

The Criterion Theatre held their first auditions for the year - for 'Rockin' Robin' - a musical, and shall we say.....   'entertaining' version of Robin Hood.  Several of us auditioned for speaking parts, while others were keen to help out behind the scenes with sets, costumes, etc.  It was a little nerve-wracking for some, but naturally, others felt right at home on the stage!  I must admit to having one of those 'proud mummy moments' when my children stood up with total confidence and happily rattled off their chosen songs as well as reading through the script with confidence and enthusiasm.  And then, we were done.  We headed off home with the group saying they would let us know.

Fast forward a few days.....   and yep, we have our parts!   Several of us did score a major speaking role, including myself, who, for whatever reason, was given the part of the 'magic mirror'.  Why they thought I'd be good in that role I'm not sure, but I get the honor of sticking my head through a prop to become the mirror, and will be rolled about on stage, rattling off funny lines like, 'Yeh, right', 'Wow!  Check it out', and 'I am not cracked!'.  While dear hubby, who is playing the part of the sorcerer, tells me to 'shut up' - twice! 

Some of the children were also offered speaking parts, and some will have a stack of lines to learn.  And of course, we all will be joining in with the chorus as they rattle off some great old songs like 'Rockin' Robin', 'Johnnie B Goode' and 'Rock Around the Clock'.

Yep, it's going to be a fun, fun, year.......

May God bless your day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

With Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease!


A Slight Change of Plans – Excellence in Writing

As you may have seen on my previous post, this year I had planned to use IEW’s ‘Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons’ with my three youngest girls.  We’ve had a change of plans.  Last year, the girls completed SWI (Student Writing Intensive) Level A, but unfortunately, with travelling, moving, the fire, and all the other ‘minor’ things we went through, I wasn’t exactly able to supervise as well as I’d like, so a few things were… shall we say….  not exactly completed to their fullest potential. 

So, instead of moving onto a theme-based book, we’ve decided this year to begin with SWI B, which will cover the basics again, but at a higher level.  Another advantage with using SWI B is that the girls will watch Andrew himself on the DVDs, which as many of you will appreciate, is always a hit!  We organised the new folders and pulled our DVDs from  the depths of the yet-to-be-unpacked boxes, and soon we were ready to begin.

Last Wednesday was ‘the day’.  After presenting the girls with their new folders, we settled down in front of the television for their first session.  As always, there were smiles and chuckles as Andrew ‘did his thing’ and taught them all about key word outlines and how to re-write a paragraph.  The source text was a paragraph on ‘Sea Wasps’, which are found in the oceans off the coast of Australia.  I’m always very appreciative of this particular lesson; it’s lovely to begin the year with some Australian content, and to know that Australia has some of the coolest and most deadly creatures in the world! 

As is typically the case, we soon found that we ‘were not alone’.  There’s something special about Andrew Pudewa, and he manages to grab the attention of whoever is about.  Even though our Daniel has finished his homeschooling, once he saw what we were watching, he happily settled himself of the couch to enjoy the lesson as well.  It’s wonderful to have such a programme; one that the older children can simply watch and enjoy, and yet, they are therefore having a review lessons themselves.

Once the DVD reached a certain point, it was time to press ‘stop’ and have the girls re-write their paragraph.  I was pleased to discover that they tackled the task easily, and remembered several things from the lessons of last year.  It was good to know they had retained some information, despite my failings!  The next day involved writing up another paragraph before moving on to the next section of the DVD.  Although the course was originally an intensive, 4-day presentation, IEW now offer lesson plans for 15-30 weeks, meaning we can take our time and allow plenty of opportunities for practicing the various skills learned along the way.

It’s wonderful again to be working through SWI B – I think this is my favourite one of the series.  Next year, we’ll use the Continuation Course, but we will probably use Speech Boot Camp first – another one of my favourites.  For now though, I’m looking forward to using these DVDs again and enjoying the giggles as Andrew takes the girls through their lessons.  We’re off to a good start – just the thing to keep a busy homeschooling mum happy!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Lady of Lourdes

So I thought I’d write a post on our homeschooling day – because y’know – that’s what we supposedly ‘do’.

Yesterday was February 11.  As my Catholic friends would know, that means it is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.  We really do love the story of St Bernadette, and several times now, we’ve completed an activity from Seton’s ‘Art For Young Catholics’, Grade 1. 

I love this book!  Sure, it’s grade 1, and my girls are a bit beyond that now, however, it offers such lovely art projects that we do them anyway.  And I figure if I can get away with a Grade 1 project rather than a complicated Grade 6 or 7 project with lots of materials and complicated instructions, it’s all good!

We set ourselves up outside on the patio.  It’s such a lovely spot for art projects, and of course, tackling art projects outside certainly saves the carpets and other floor coverings.  I photocopied the necessary pages, and we were ready to go.  It was a lovely afternoon sitting there with my girls as they coloured, cut, and glued.  The project was to make an ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ picture, complete with tissue roses and vines.  The idea is so simple – the roses look wonderful, and yet, to make them, all you do is cut a small square of red tissue paper, crumple it up, and ta-da!  One rose, ready to be glued onto your picture.

I was so excited that this was all going so well, that I just had to take some pics:


I even called Bill away from his work to witness it!  He just smiled and gave me ‘that look’ as if to say, ‘Wow!  You guys are actually doing schoolwork today – how about that?’  And then wandered happily back to the office.

One thing about working outside is the animals.  During the day, one of our cats turned up with a lizard in her mouth.  We’ve been told that the cats should not eat these particular kind of lizards, as it can do something strange to their eyes, so I stamped my foot, startling her and making her drop it   The lizard took off as fast as it could go – right in the direction of the doghouse.  At this, the dog, spying a free snack, flew into action, and sprinted after it.  The lizard reached the doghouse and scurried straight underneath, but as for the dog….

Well, let’s just say that if it were possible for a dog to have a massive headache, she’s got one!

Anyways, back to the school work…

After a little while, the projects were completed, and the girls proudly displayed their masterpieces:



They then headed inside to watch the CCC video, ‘Bernadette’, to finish off the afternoon.  This is another series I highly recommend for young children:  we’ve had the videos for years, and I think they are the most commonly played videos in our home.  Other titles include St Francis Xavier, The Day the Sun Danced, and even The Odyssey.

Our check list for the day:

Art and Craft – tick!

Religion – tick!

History – tick!

Hands-on activity – tick!

Quick, simple and effective – just the way I like it!


Pope Benedict XVI

Please join us in prayer for Pope Benedict the XVI, who has just announced his retirement due to ill health. 

The news tonight has come as a shock to Catholics across the world;  and closer to home, it is certainly a shock to our family.  You just never know what’s around the corner, do you?

Pope Benedict is an amazing man, and has led the church since 2005.  He is the first Pope to retire in nearly 600 years.

We pray that God’s will be done, and we pray for those now responsible for electing a new Pope.  May the Holy Spirit guide and protect them.

God bless,


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Be Back Soon.....

Spending three nights in a row with family and friends dancing, playing and singing has taken its toll......

Have a great week!


Friday, February 8, 2013

The Criterion Theatre

Friday night saw the opening of the new season for 'The Criterion Theatre', one of Grafton's drama groups.  Their opening consisted of a 60s Dance Night - so, we put on our dancing shoes, and headed into town to join them. 

We arrived early and organised a table. Soon, the conversation and the drinks were flowing, and everyone was hyping up on sugar, ready for a great night on the dance floor:

I must say, we are begiining to feel quite at home in Grafton, and found we already knew several people at the dance:  we knew a band member, some of the audience, and some of the theatre group.  And others were coming up to us and introducing themselves;  they'd seen us around town at church, choir, and other places, and wanted to say hi.

And then, it started.  It began with Daniel's fingers, dancing away on the table:

But all too soon, we were all up and having a ball:

Hanging above our heads was a 'Ned Kelly' pinata, and when the time came for the band to take a break, the children gleefully took a hold of the stick, and beat poor Ned to death:


Of course, he was chock-o-block full of sugary foods, and my girls soon had a wonderful collection to keep them going. 

I was just thinking to myself that it was probably quite enough sugar, when this happened:

During the night, there were door prizes and prizes for costumes, dancing, etc.  The first prize was the door prize.  We all had our lucky tickets at the ready, and ours was the first one called!  Lizzie went up to to receive the prize which was, naturally, a whole bunch of sugar.

The real funny thing about this prize was this:  When we first arrived in Grafton, we attended a celebration at our church.  A part of that day was a raffle draw, and mine was the first ticket drawn - I quickly selected the bottle of red that was on offer.  This time, we won the wine glass!   What DOES that say???

Anyway, back to the dancing.  The live band continued to do their thing, with lots of Rolling Stones, The Doors, and of course, The Beatles. 

There were some very fast songs, and some slow ones, which allowed for a bit of walzting as well.  As one of the slower pieces came on, I commented to my children, 'now watch, as your Mum and Dad show you how we can't waltz'.  And so we did! 

Now, I'm not sure if the organisers truly selected a random couple of if they simply felt sorry for us (we really aren't the best waltzers in the world), but next thing I know, we were presented with this:


Another prize - More sugar, of course!

And then, it was back to more Rolling Stones and Beach Boys, and we were all rocking it on the dance floor once again.  I must say, I was most impressed with my guys;  although we all love to dance, we've not been to many events, but, they know how to move, and what's more, we all knew many of the songs, too.

All too soon, though, the night was over, and it was time to go home.  We took the info sheets on the auditions for the first production of the year, and look forward to meeting up with everyone again soon

And the really good news?  I managed to climb out of bed the next morning without an issue!  I did wonder if I would be literally 'crawling' out in agony, but nope, it's all good! 

We're all looking forward to being a part of the Crieterion Theatre, and attending more dance functions in the future. It's wonderful to be made to feel so welcome and wanted;  and we are beginning to feel right at home in our new town.

Have a great day,


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Night on the Town

On Sunday, Bill and I took some 'time out' for a quick trip to Brisbane.  For my birthday, Bill had purchased tickets to see Cliff Richard live in concert - and February 3rd was the date!  So, despite our busy schedule with the business, music lessons, choirs and so forth, we organised the children and ourselves, and hopped in the car to head north.  I'd never been to Brisbane before, so this was to be a new experience all round.

We left early to ensure we had plenty of time and because we needed to find the venue.  As it turned out, we left WAY too early, as we didn't take into account the time difference - meaning we had and extra hour up our sleeves. This turned out to be a good thing, however, because after driving around Brisbane and finding the Entertainment Centre, we suddenly realised that the concert was actually at the 'Convention Centre', meaning we had to then turn around and return to South Brisbane (duh!).  Still, we had plently of time, and even after all that, and stopping at a Chinese Restaurant for dinner, we arrived an hour before the concert was due to start.

In our seats and waiting!

Cliff was absolutely fantastic!  Our seats were eleven rows from the stage, right in the centre, so we had a great view.  Despite his 72 years, Cliff's voice was as wonderful as ever, and he sang, danced, and went up and down the stairs more times than I could count.  If I can move half so well as he does when I'm 72, I'll be one happy camper! 

Of course, he has a wonderfully wide range of songs, but as we sat bopping along to them, one song that struck both Bill and myself was this one:

            Some People

1st half of the concert

Some people they tease one another
Take pride in themselves
Keeping the other one down
Well I'm not like that at all

Some people they hurt one another
They love to see
Hurt in the other one's eyes
Well I'm not like that at all

Some people are born for each other
They love to walk
Holding the other one's hand
They always understand
Some people cry
Some people know why

Oh ah ah
Some people they use one another
So aimlessly
2nd half
Not like lovers do
Well I'm not like that at all

Some people they long for each other
They love to walk
Holding the other one's hand
They always understand
Some people cry
Some people know why

With a word unspoken
With a voice unheard
When a thought is broken
By a tender word
When a heart is moved
When a heart is thrown
The silence tells you
You're not alone

And he can still play the guitar, too!
Some people are born for each other...

(Some people are born for each other)
They love to walk holding the other one
(Some people they long for each other)
They love to talk holding the other one
(Some people are born for each other)
They love to walk holding the other one
Holding the other one
Holding each other

We were sure tired by the time we arrived home at 4am, but it was worth it.  We're looking forward to more concerts in the future, and have found one more reason why we are delighted with our decision to move and start a new life in Northern NSW.

Have a wonderful day!