All The Rivers Run

All The Rivers Run

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter and Reconciliation

In our church, we are taught that the sacrament of penance is ‘a sacrament instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted”.

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

  1. He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
  2. He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
  3. He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.

Lent is a particular time for reflecting on our sins, and to be willing to come to the Lord to confess them, and to make amends.  It is also the time we look deep within ourselves, question ourselves, and a time we are called to make peace with our fellow man.  And just as the above three things are required to make peace with God, we are also called to follow the same formula for achieving peace with each other – including being ready to listen and make reparation for our errors.  For what applies with our Heavenly Father also applies to each other:  ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us’.  It is, therefore, only through us forgiving others that our Father will forgive us.  If we hold grudges and refuse to forgive others, we will be held accountable;  ‘For as you judge, so shall you be judged’. 

This Lent, our family completed a Lenten Study by Ann Voskamp, ‘Trail to the Tree’.  As always, Ann writes with simplicity, and in a style that is so gentle, yet so powerful.  So much of what she has written has resonated with all of us, and as we followed the trail to the tree, we realised that while it is true that out of death comes life, that forgiveness and reconciliation is always possible, no matter what. 

It is at these times that I am so thankful for the sacrament of reconciliation.  We have the opportunity, right now, to go to our priest and ask God for forgiveness.  This Lent, I have spent some wonderful moments with our local priest, both in discussion and in confession.  I know with confidence that God sees all, and offers us all forgiveness, if we are truly contrite and ready to turn our lives around to live as He asks us to.  To have such a wonderful sacrament available is truly a blessing.

This Easter, let us all work on reconciliation; with God of course, but firstly, with each other.  For if we cannot live side by side in this world, what makes us think we can do so in the next?  This Easter, let us try to live as Christ commanded, ‘To love one another’.  The world is so fractured, and there is so, so much suffering and pain.  Let us try, at least, to bring the body of Christ – His family - together, and to walk with each other for the Glory of God.

Have a wonderful, blessed Easter, and may peace be with you.  


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Separating Egg Yolks from the Egg Whites

Today, we decided to make pavlovas to take along to a dinner outing. As always, when I went to separate the eggs, my 'egg separator' had mysteriously disappeared, and I thought that once again, I'd be separating them by hand, using the shells.

Not so! My 16 year old commented she'd seen a video online, using a plastic bottle. With a big grin on her face, she fetched a bottle, broke an egg into a bowl, and with one, short squeeze, sucked the yolk into the bottle, leaving the white behind! Soon, it was the new craze, and I was most glad that we had 12 eggs to separate - it was a hoot! It worked perfectly, only failing once when I accidentally broke a yolk.

Anyways, I though it may be of used to someone else, so here's the link:

Have a great day, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


For Healing.....

A beautiful video, passed along thanks to my friend, Ann Voskamp:

May God bless your day,


Tutoring - IEW Style

A question we often ask of children is ‘what do you want to do when you grow up’?  It’s one I’ve often pondered myself – and yet, I still haven’t made up my mind.  Actually, I sometimes think my own solution may simply be to not ‘grow up’ at all.  Yet, what to do, and where to focus my time and my energies always remained in question.  Certainly, I always loved to study, and found myself tackling several courses over the years, including a 'Certificate in Writing', and more recently, becoming a Certified Instructor with IEW.

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve had different people approach me to check their writing, or to look over their children’s essays.  Having used the IEW programme with all of my children and as a Certified Instructor, I felt I was able to offer advice, critiques and some helpful comments.  Each time, I began the task with some trepidation, however, as I marked each assignment I not only felt my confidence grow, but I discovered that it was something I truly enjoyed – in fact, I loved it! 

Every now and then, I’d experience a little ‘nudge’ somewhere deep in my soul, that ‘feeling’ one gets from time to time, as if to say that when our homeschooling journey is over, tutoring may be an option.  Then, as our new life began in NSW, so did the tutoring.  This year, I am very much enjoying the start of my official ‘tutoring’ role, taking on several students who submit their essays to me, which I mark, critique and then return to them.

Surprisingly, I am finally experiencing what it feels like to truly love your work!  And with ‘only’ four left at home to homeschool, I find that I now have time to commit to this endeavour.  Of course, I still have those moments of doubts, where I wonder if I’m ‘good enough’ to mark someone else’s writing, but when I sit down with the essays, I find that I can see the strong points and the weaker ones, and find I am indeed, well equipped to offer constructive advice.  It’s been a delightful, yet challenging, few months, and it’s been a wonderful privilege to work with our up and coming writers.  Who knows?  Maybe one day, these young people will be well-known authors.  

I still haven’t decided what I want to do when I grow up (if I ever do) – but tutoring, editing and marking essays is certainly an option – for now, I’m loving it.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Moment of the Week....

Ahhh.. That moment when you're sitting quietly at the back of the theatre, watching drama practice, and your phone suddenly bellows out, for all to hear.... 'Message from the dark side you have'  (Yep, in Yoda's voice).

Everyone - actors on stage, the director, and all others in the room - stopped what they were doing and turned, with amused smilies on their faces, to look at me.

I simply muttered 'sorry' and sank into my chair....... 

Thanks for that, Helena - Just you wait until I manage to capture a photo of you in your gorgeous costume!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friday's Encouraging Expressions

Listen, enjoy - and sing - No matter what life brings, there's always a song to fit - find it!  :)

Have a Good Friday!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Planning and Record Keeping

One question I'm often asked is 'What do you use for Planning and Record Keeping'? 

For many years I made up my own Record Books, which I would type up, print out, and bind.  The books would contain planning pages, my timetables, a space to record each child's daily work, as well as pages in the back for recording such things as reading logs, field trips, and testing / evaluation.  I developed my own Record Book over the course of about ten years, and was finally satistied that I had created a resource that suited our needs.

Then, Apologia kindly sent me a free sample of a new resource in their catalogue:  'The Ultimate Homeschool Planner".  Being a little stressed and short on time, I decided to try it out for our 2012 year.  The result - I LOVE IT!   It contains, essentially, everything I was putting together myself, along with lovely Bible verses, teaching tips and a place each week to record those 'memorable moments'.  And all wonderfully put together in one, spiral-bound book!  Although each week is meant to be used as 'planning pages', I simply use them to record the work completed, and have our plan for the year tucked into the front pocket.  Each week has space to record the work for six children - while that would not have suited me a few years ago, with two of my children now living away from home, it now suits me perfectly!

Here's the Blurb:

"Designed for the busy homeschooling mother, help bring order---and less frustration---into your life. A user's guide will help you set everything up; a one-year planning grid, student goal setter, pre-planning guide, monthly planners, weekly planner, records, teaching tips, and a high school planning guide are all provided. Yearly planning pages provide room for vision-casting with your family priorities, a review of the previous school year, a goal-setter for character and academics, and timing grids. Weekly plans provide room to write in your Bible plan, battle plan, prayers, hospitality/outreach efforts, memorable moments, achievements, and evidences of grace. Schedule pages may be filled in as you see fit-both the vertical and horizontal axes are blank for you to fill in days and subjects as you prefer. Boxes along the facing page include room for notes, supplies, and appointments. The plastic covers include folder pockets on the inside for handy storage. Spiral bound."

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, published by Apologia, is available through Christian Book .  

I hope it saves you heaps of time and energy, and you'll find it as worthwhile as I have!

May God bless your day with smiles and happiness,


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

Last week, we celebrated as our 4th daughter turned sixteen! 

Margaret is the most beautiful girl to have around;  often while I'm running about to band practice, choir, drama group or wherever, our girl will be home, putting on dinner, making sure the household is running smoothly, putting on a load of washing or whatever else needs to be done.  She does all of this, often, I'm sad to say, with very little thanks, as we rush in from one thing, eat, and then head back out the door once again.  So if I've not said it lately - THANKYOU!

I'll often find Margaret sewing, cooking, or drawing on her tablet. Amazingly, she is a completely self-taught digital artist, and for the past few months, has been selling her artwork to an overseas web-site.  The owner has even email me personally to commend her for her work;  he is so proud and honoured to have her as a part of their team. 

Margaret, we are so proud of you - I cannot even put it into words - you are indeed, a blessing from heaven, and it is an absolute honour to call you my daughter.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart!