Sunday, August 31, 2008


Well, after tonight's episode of Dr Who, all I can say is that I am addicted.

Addicted to Dr Who and to Battlestar Galactica.

Hooked. Line and sinker.

Been reading spoilers at the Digital Spy website.

Don't look if you don't want to know what happens!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A trip to Ikea

That was part of today's events..a trip to the Ikea store at Rhodes Shopping Centre...went with three of the kids and one of the friars from our parish.

It was a pretty funny outing. At one stage, I was flying, er, I mean driving, the car up the exit ramp . Saw a minimum height barrier ~ obviously meant for trucks and vans not station wagons like my car. Yet, I instinctively worried about height - would my car fit under the barrier? And I instinctively ducked my head, while sitting in the car driving ~ as if that would help!

The funny, funny, thing is that Br., in the front passenger seat, instinctively did the same ducking ( useless, redundant) motion, at precisely the same time as I.

Gosh, we laughed. And laughed. Tears rolling down our faces.

The kids looked at us in amazement.
And Thomas texted his friend - "I think Mum is blonde".

As if!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

St Monica

Her Feast Day is today.

Went to Mass. Read about St Monica, and about her son St Augustine ( his feast day is tomorrow).

It is the prayers of Monica herself that have been invoked by generations of the faithful who honour her as a special patroness of married women and as an example for Christian motherhood.

We had some wine at dinner, in honour of St Monica , and made Steak With Red Wine. Why?

We are given one episode of her childhood which suggests a possible origin for her firmness of will. She was sometimes sent down to the cellar to draw wine for the family, and fell into the habit of taking secret sips. She developed such a passion for wine that before long she was drinking great draughts of it whenever opportunity offered. One day a family slave who had been spying on the little girl denounced her as a wine-bibber, and Monica, covered with shame, gave up the habit. Soon afterwards she was baptized, and thenceforth seems to have led a life of irreproachable virtue. St Monica ~ EWTN library

St Monia is a great example of perseverance in prayer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to start losing weight

That is what I have been asked. Some people
( thankfully, not the whole world and not everyone I meet) know I have a lost a heap of weight, over a five or six year period.

A heap?
About 35 kg, about 80 lbs. I say about as I didn't often weigh myself at my heaviest, and I know that I was probably a lot heavier and had lost some weight before I first weighed myself.

Well, because it is just way too embarrassing to talk about weight. Putting the truth of my weight gain and loss on my blog this past Lent was like coming out of the closet, I am sure.

Anyway, people want to know how to start. It is often the first step that is the most difficult.

I agree with Lisa Delaney from
Secrets of A Former Fat Girl. She advocates starting with one thing and letting that one thing be exercise. Well, maybe two things ( Would you believe two things? asks Maxwell Smart in Get Smart).

Delaney's advice? Exercise and a mantra. Something that helps you not give up. Something inside that clicks.

First things first. Why exercise? Well, when we are overweight we are often more sedentary so any extra exercise will help automatically with creating a calorie deficit and causing a weight losss. Plus, it makes you feel good - eventually. It changes your image of yourself, from one who hates working out to one who is a fitter person ~ eventually.

All good things come in time, to those who work and wait.....

And exercise makes you fitter, makes your metabolism work faster, makes you feel good, gives you that happy endorphin feeling ~ eventually ~ makes you feel you are finally doing something permanent, long term, feel good about your weight.

For me, my first workout to lose this weight was walking. Yes, I had been a lot fitter in the past, I had been to aerobics classes and done Jazzercise and weights and Jane Fonda and Denise Austin. But those were in my overweight but not obese days, or my thin but trying to be thinner days. Or my eating disorder days...

I have had a problem with food and body image all my life, since my first mother-sanctioned extreme diet at age eight.Probably before that,even...I can't remember a time when I didn't think I was fat, regardless of weight. And those Extreme diets just
so don't work for me , and for most obese people,I suspect.

So this time, it was going to be different. I was starting with small steps, with walking. Started at fifteen minutes, worked up to thirty then forty five than sixty. And then got into kickboxing.

But starting small, with walking, helped me change how I felt, and made me feel good and got me fitter. I walked outside, rain or shine. I walked in the morning, or as soon as I could, given my schedule. I bought some indoor walking DVDs for the days I couldn't leave the kids - I have some Leslie Sansone's if anyone wants to borrow them!

One thing, exercise. Two things, exercise and that mantra. That mantra, that inside saying that lit my fire and helped me keep going, that was important, too. Just as Delaney said. Her's was/is
INO ~ It's Not An Option.

It's not an option to give up. To not go for that walk or do that exercise. It's not an option to think that health and exercise are options in themselves.

Make your positive statement part of your life, your little self discipline, so you won't give up on that exercise. Or on yourself.

For me, my first mantra was -
if she can do it, so can I. While in hospital, after yet another miscarriage and recovering from deep vein thrombosis, I read a Slimming magazine. The Slimmer of the Year had lost a lot of weight , through walking and healthy eating. I thought - what made her better than me? Nothing. If she can do it, so can I. And so I didn't let myself quit.

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

Well begun is half done.


How to start losing weight? Start with walking or some other form of exercise. Make a conscious decision to do this daily or three or four times a week. Work on that mental click, that mental saying or determination, that won't let you give up. Use this exercise time for prayer - I used to pray my Rosary while walking. Develop that self dicipline.

It is not easy. I give you that. I hate it when you read books that tell you - just eat less and move more. Yeah. Right. This doesn't address the physical issues that obese people have, the mental issues, the mind stuff. The feelings. The spiritual connection. Time. Organisation. How to.

Sh*t! If it was easy we'd all be like Twiggy or Madonna. NOW.

By the same token, it is not as difficult as some other books make it. You don't need to make huge changes ,you don't have to give up wheat or dairy or chocolate or God forbid, alcohol! Start small. Work on exercise and mental stuff, then address food and food issues. Lower fat, lower GI, healthy choices 80% of the time, portion control...Stopping ZOMBIE EATING.

One by one, step by step.

P.S. Zombie eating? From the blog of The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl ~

People talk about comfort eating or emotional eating but what about ZOMBIE EATING? I've found myself at the Cookie Table at work, staring down at the crumbs on my chest and thinking, What the hell happened there!? The feet and hands and mouth took over before the brain could make the connection between receiving the stressful email and grabbing the biscuits.

Other times I've been glassy-eyed in line at a coffee shop, fixated on the idea of my hand wrapped around a hot cardboard cup of overpriced beverage to soothe an undefined troubled feeling. Then I'll take the first sip and come back to earth... Shit! What did I do that for!?

Back at McDonalds, I was jolted out of my reverie by the dulcet tones of a lady customer, "Arrriiiight hen, gis a Big Mac meal wi' Diet Coke!"

I took in the spotty lad behind the till and the swaying drunks in the queue. Fark! How the bloody hell did I get here?

I left, walked home in the rain and watched telly.

Most times I have the ability to stop, tune in and realise I'm just stressed or anxious or bored or needing to pull a Greta Garbo - and therefore not shove something unnecessary in my gob. But sometimes I don't even register that I'm feeling anything at all. It happens so fast and mindlessly that I don't wake up in time.

Blog Awards

I was nominated for two blog awards ~ The Kick-Ass Blogger and The Brilliante Blog.

And I have to name some other bloggers, bloggers I think deserve this recognition.

Part of Speech: adj
Definition: very effective

So, I nominate these effective bloggers ~

My son Greg at Antic Hay

My friend Chris

My fellow CM-er Stephanie at What I Know Now

My buddies over at Catholic Mommas

Enjoy reading!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oh, that workout!

Which workout? That puke-in-a-bucket workout - the 30 Day Shred one.

Level one is kinda easy. Level two is more challenging.Level three has a high dread factor for me - who knew you could get a kick-ass, killer, advanced workout in thirty minutes.

I did Level three today, high impact, working out hard - attemped it lower impact last Saturday and did all the workout while coughing my heart out. But today, I only coughed once ( okay, maybe two or three times..) - those meds are working! And I can do high impact again!

The walking planks and travelling push ups are tough on the upper body. The rockstar jumps and plyo lunges are not easy, either, nor is doing cardio with weights.

I don't have a love feeling for this workout but I do it anyway - it is fast, efficient, effective, advanced, push yourself, non stop, in only half an hour. I feel as challenged after this half hour as I do with a Taebo Advanced sixty minute workout. Go figure?

I was really feeling it in the shoulders and arms and legs and butt, when at the grocery store this morning, and after the workout. Woo hoo!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Queenship of the Virgin Mary

And Anthony and I made this cake...supposed to be a crown cake...more like a higgeldy piggeldy lopsided thing...but we hope it will taste nice!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A date night!

Dh and I went out tonight, to a local Italian restaurant.
We went to JB Hifi first - and bought an Abba CD. I am still mad about Abba, after Mamma Mia....Bought the Battlestar Galactica Razor DVD.....And a new Singstar ~ Amped!
I sang Abba songs all night, yes, even at the dinner table. I drove dh nuts!
So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
S. O. S.
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
S. O. S.
A very romantic date night, for sure.

That photo album..and Abba...

That photo album.....

..of unschooling pics... and with music...

Wednesday ~ I began the day with Mass, for St Bernard of Clairvaux. Kids? Computer games, Wii Fit, some Kumon Maths, Alexander reviewed Italian for uni, Thomas and Anthony researched some info on a Saint of choice , then wrote mini reports.Writing and religion! Jonathon went to teach Scripture.

I worked out, blogged, read blogs, sent Kumon emails, talked to kids, cooked for lunch visitors, blow dried hair, then went to play! Went to the movies with two other homeschooling families~mums to see Mamma Mia, kids to see Star Wars Clone Wars. Absolutely LOVED Mamma Mia - we sang in the cinema, laughed and, yes, cried.

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
Thats her destiny

Home for lunch - our family, Jonathon, my friends and their children, Br L. from our parish, after also teaching Scripture class.

And I can chat with you baby
Flirt a little maybe
Does your mother know that youre out?

The children played games of guns and Zombies!! The grown ups talked, everyone left, clean up, delivery of junk mail, laundry, a bit of work for Kumon, some email too, while eldest son Luke cooked dinner and the other boys watched the movie Hot Shots.

And another visitor - how cool! I love visitors!

Ring, ring, why dont you give me a call?
Ring, ring, the happiest sound of them all

A few of us stayed up late, talking. Dh, I, Luke, Alexander, Thomas were up to midnight discussing child development, child raising, parenting, Kumon, kids' thoughts, individual rights, rules or no rules and the Westenberg Model of Parenting and Homeschooling. lol!

Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
Won't somebody help me chase the shadows away
Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
Take me through the darkness to the break of the day

Today the boys will do some more Kumon Maths and some Latin. We have read about St Pius X and looked at the Olympics coverage online. Jonathon is at a meeting. I have a bucket load of Kumon prep and phone calls and folders to do. We will all go to work at Kumon.

I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay
Aint it sad

Then dh and I are going out for a small dinner, together , alone, just the two of us. Probably around eight p.m. A date night! Woo hoo! I've organised this, simply because I've been sick and so we have had less time together. And now I'm getting better...And I want to play...hence the movies twice this week and friends over and now a small dinner out...Small because I want to just spend time with dh and not spend a lot of money or calories!

Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey
Honey honey, nearly kill me, ah-hah, honey honey

Luke will be cooking again, after work, he said he finds this cooking relaxing. He will make Japanese ( it was Italian last night) and the boys are having a SpongeBob Squarepants mini marathon. The five that are home together.

Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - finally facing my waterloo

More unschooling pics for that mental photo album.

So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs Im singing
Thanks for all the joy theyre bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me

[Sorry! After seeing Mamma Mia, I just couldn't resist those Abba lyrics! ]

Night is young and the musics high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
Youre in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen

Makes me want to do Singstar!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Today is his feast day.

I have a fondness for St Bernard. When I became a Catholic, one thing I felt I had to take on faith, not intellectualize, even though I could not yet grasp its depth, was devotion to Mary. The writings and prayers of St Bernard helped me along the way to understanding this devotion.

The Memorare - we try to pray this regularly, in Latin and in English.

“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal” St Bernard of Clairvaux

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Memories and Homeschooling

Remind yourself that each moment we're creating memories. Think of those moments as photos in a photo album.

I put this quote on my blog yesterday - and several friends, in real life (? weird term but you know what I mean..) and in email, have commented on it. On how much it spoke to them. On how it reflects the why of homeschooling.

The why of homeschooling? Isn't homeschooling about education?

Not really.

Gasp! Did I say that homeshooling as not about education?

Well, yes. Simply because it is so much more than that .

Homeschooling, unschooling , is about life.

And creating memories. Memories that are stored away, that make up the child and then the adult. Formation, in other words.

I think that strong positive family memories, exposure to activities and ideas and to other people, are what make a strong case for homeschooling. For the advantages of homeschooling.

You never know what will strike a chord with a child. Ignite an interest. Be tucked away in the scrapbook of memories.

For this reason, we unschool. We live and thus, by living together, we learn. We laugh together, read together, play together , watch movies together, eat together, do chores together, do some schoolwork together, talk together, get cross together, go to Mass and pray together ~ and hopefully build on this storehouse of interactions.

Last night, we prayed the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yes, I was a bit silly during prayers - moving my feet in rhythm and prompting dh, the leader, simply because I have memorised this litany. Sigh. I am bad in prayers...

However, we did pray together, we did smile together, we spent time together and with our prayer intentions. Creating a scrapbook of prayer and family memories.

Today, we had French class at another homeschooler's home. The kids laughed as they listened to the CD and followed along in the French storybook. They tried to learn the Lord's Prayer in
French. They did French copywork, a la Charlotte Mason. And shared morning tea and active outside games.

Followed by going to the movies, meeting up with Jonathon and a family friend.

Lunch at Coffee Club....

A day of memories, fun, conversation and perhaps some sparks of learning.

A happy unschooling photo for that mental photo album.

"Education," said Sister Miriam Joseph, in writing on classical education "is the highest of arts in the sense that it imposes forms not on matter, as do the other arts, but on minds."

The Church clearly notes in the Catechism that parents are responsible for their children’s “moral education and spiritual formation.” This responsibility is so intertwined with the family “that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute” to the parents' involvement (CCC 2221).

To be honest, I am not necessarily the best person to talk about spiritual formation, being still in formation myself ( as my two or three regular blog readers know! ).

I hold, however, that creating memories, positive memories, educational and spiritual and relational memories, is important to the intellectual and spiritual formation of the child. Of the person. And of the family.

This is why I homeschool, why I am glad that we have homeschooled.


Monday, August 18, 2008

On working ~ on oneself

Working on oneself. Just plain working on things, working things out.

Working things out physically- weight and health and fitness. Re-reading The Lazy Girl's Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Fit . I am basically lazy but I continually work on myself and on my tendency to be lazy.

Ajay Rochester writes about the secret to losing weight - the secret?

The secret is I had to relearn the way I lived, moved, ate, thought and felt about myself. Once I did that the weight loss was easy.

If you do the work on the inside, the outside will follow.

It is the inside work that counts.

I find this when working on myself as a mother. I work on who I am and this affects my moments with my children. In a positive way.

My current mantra for my interactions with my family is - Love. Joy. Positive. Acceptance.

Makes me stop before nagging about the messy family room ( hopefully!). Or before automatically barking out a list of things to do, instead of working on the list together, collaberatively.

Remind yourself that each moment we're creating memories. Think of those moments as photos in a photo album. We have no control over which pictures they'll keep. Ask yourself, "Is this a moment I want my children to carry with them forever? Is this how I want them to remember me?" Joyfully Rejoycing

Stop thinking about changing "for good and not just for days or moments." That is just another thing to overwhelm you and you don't need that!
Just change the next interaction you have with the kids.
Stop reading email right now and do something "preventative" - something that helps build your relationship with them. Fix them a little tray of cheese and crackers and take it to them, wherever they are, unasked. Sit down on the floor and play with them..... Okay - so that is one good, positive interaction.
Pam Sorooshian

Working on oneself - now, in the next moment. And if I mess up, as I do, just get up and back to work. Positively.

This also applies to my interior life. Fr. talked about perseverance in prayer, in his homilies over the weekend. Persevering in prayer, in faith, in good works, co-operating with the graces of the sacraments. Working on oneself spiritually.

"Every soul should know that even though God does not answer its prayer immediately, he will not on that account fail to answer it at the opportune time if it does not become discouraged and give up its prayer."~ St. John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle

"Provided that we don't give up, the Lord will guide everything for our benefit, even though we may not find someone to teach us. There is no other remedy for this evil of giving up prayer than to begin again; otherwise the soul will gradually lose more each day--and please God that it will understand this fact" ~ St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

I go through luscious, rich, joyful seasons of being really good with family prayer - with consistency. And through boring and dry, dusty droughts, when I just don't get around to reminding everyone to come for prayers or I get distracted and read something or dance or giggle during prayers.

I know, a terrible example. Work on myself first.
P.S. The characters above? Patience. Perseverance. Endurance.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Reactions to homeschooling

On the Unschooling Catholics email list, someone shared her older daughter's experience of being homeschooled and of the reactions of others to her no school life or childhood. Apparently, there has been some negativity.

She asked - what have been the experiences of others in this regard?

Today was a positive experience for us, in selling the idea of homeschooling.

Selling? Yes, simply because when we go on any homeschool outing we become walking examples, talking advertisements for our educational choice. At least that is the way it seems. Sometimes.

Today I had organised an excursion to the Olympic Park Walking Trail, visiting the venues of the Sydney Olympics of 2000. The tour guide was a very interesting, amusing, witty man, a very real boost for our tour. We loved his little asides, his snippets of information, of conversation, of an inside look at the Olympics.

He in turn, was fascinated by the idea of homeschooling. Asked the kids for their reflections. Asked if it was legal ( I said no, we are all breaking the law today. He laughed and got the joke, thankfully). Asked about career aspirations, finding oneself and one's talents, university, the spiritual aspect.

He was a really funny guy and guide. Our tour, scheduled for one hour, took over one hour and a half as John kept showing and sharing extra snippets.

He asked for my email address, so we can keep in touch. He discovered that Alexander is studying Italian at Open University and asked if they could email, so he can keep up his Italian and Alexander can practise.

He played a prank on two latecomers to our group - two teens arrived late. He asked who they were, had they paid, what right did they have to join the group? The teens were flabbergasted. Flabbergasted until they saw our faces. We were cracking up with laughter. They got the idea.

John, our very entertaining tour guide, had us run through water fountains and run the Cathy Freeman race. Well, I was the only mum who joined in with the teens and although it made me cough more, it was fun, I enjoyed the activities and they were well worth the cough.

John was also very complimentary and, as you know, a little bit of flattery will get you anywhere! He kept shaking his head in disbelief that I was the mother of seven sons (Yes, we got the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers comment. As usual. ). And when I was running the race, he asked Anthony what number son he was. Then proceeded to continue his disbelief - no way could you have a 28 year old son, he said. Wasn't he nice?

He continued his flattery by being very positive towards homeschooling, our thinking outside the box of conventional education and of our whole group of kids. And about my age. Can you tell I liked him? lol!

So, all in all, a very interesting day. The tour was interesting, I learned a lot. Did you know that the old brickworks at Olympic Park is where they filmed Mad Max 3, with Tina Turner? I didn't.

Meeting John and swapping email addys was fun.

Talking about homeschooling and getting a very strong positive response was great.

And the compliments helped too!

We closed the outing with a picnic at the Olympic Park, near the fountain and the Olympic Cauldron. And John persuaded us to play a prank on his co-workers. He wanted us to pretend that the tour was a failure and to complain. He went back first, complained to his colleagues that we were a terrible group, went over time because we asked too many questions, were very rude and demanding. Then I and a couple of teens approached the counter.

I said, with all seriousness, that I was pleased they had allowed our group to attend but that it was a waste of money. That the tour guide was boring and just continually name dropped. That he was rude to two latecomers. The poor girl was shocked. She and the other guides looked amazed and then went to the phone to organise a refund. John interrupted and pretended to be angry, grabbed an umbrella and said he'd meet me outside. The other guides were asking him to be restrained. Oh my gosh, it was so funny - I had to let them know it was a joke. A trick. A prank. Planned by John.

They all died laughing .

A perfect end to our homeschool tour - everyone left on a high note, with laughter and a supportive view of homeschooling!
[P. S. Went to the doctor's afterward and found I have bronchitis. Have meds and antibiotics to take, hoping it will clear before I go to New Zealand and the Kumon Vision Conference in two weeks... ]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

St Maximilian Kolbe. And Maths.

The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers.

No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?
Today I read to the kids about St Maximilian Kolbe - we didn't make it to Mass because of my cold. And I have also been doing some reading about unchooling maths. Learning maths in a non traditional non schooly way.
My boys do some formal maths ( Kumon) a couple of days a week (twice this week!) – but I really see their use of maths all the time in every day life. Anthony with the dice and multiplication of factors for his role playing games. Alexander borrowed a book on mathematical puzzles and another on the history of maths this week, from the library. All of them when it comes to organising money and budgets and saving – and cooking!
But above all speak math. Walkthrough solving problems out loud. (Stick to problems he asks, like how long until Christmas, if you can't help sounding like a lesson when you figure out a tip. ;-) Compare things. Pick some standard of measurement to help him grasp relationships. (It's more meaningful to translate 18 feet into 3 Daddy's for instance. Some of the ones I use are a story which is 10 ft, 3000 miles across the US, 600 miles from Boston to Pittsburgh as units of measurement.)
The reason math in school takes so long is they need to substitute drill for understanding. It's really hard to do pages of problems like 7.5% of 182 when you don't know and don't care what percents are, let alone 7.5% of 182. If the understanding is there first, the details are much easier.
Joyfully Rejoycing, Unschooling Maths

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Puke-in--a-bucket workouts

Yep, puke-in-a-bucket workouts. That's what my friends at the VF Video Fitness internet forum call hard workouts, workouts that may push you a little to the edge, that may make you want to puke. Barf. Vomit. Pass out.

Call me masochistic but I love those sort of workouts. Yes, they have a high dread factor for me but, I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the workout is over. I feel like an athlete, like it is so worth the pain.

Yesterday in the post I received Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred - three thirty minute workouts on one DVD. Level 1, 2 and 3 - with 3 being the toughest.

Internet fitness friends tell me these are puke-in-the-bucket workouts - if you do Level 2 or 3 or two or more levels combined.

I was sad last night - I knew I couldn't do these with my current cold/cough/flu. I bemoaned this fact to Greg, when he called from the UK. I knew he'd understand, fellow workout freak that he is.

But today I had a bright idea! A first, I am sure!

Why not do Level 1 but keep it low impact and use lighter weights ( 2 and 3kg - 4 and 6 lbs).

That's what I did! A perfect short but effective workout for when I am not up to par. Might do the same tomorrow with Level 2..and when I am fully recovered from this can't shake it flu, I'll try the workouts high impact. Truly almost throwing up style, I hope!

From the Collage Video website, where this DVD is rated as advanced -

Three well-structured aero/tone interval workouts led by “The Biggest Loser” trainer. These fast-paced exercises will keep you burning fat as you sculpt muscle. The programs build in intensity; you can start with the intermediate level and work up to the advanced program (it’s tough! — moves like plyo-lunges and traveling pushups). Each workout has three “cycles.” Each cycle starts with three minutes of multi-muscle and isolated strength training. Then it’s two minutes of non-dancy kickbox and athletic-style cardio. That’s followed by one minute of classic abwork (then — no rest — you’ll immediately start a new cycle). Like on the TV show, Jillian is both demanding and supportive .

Three cycles plus a warm up and a cool down, in each workout. And the workouts build in intensity. Who could ask for more??

The aftermath of Catholic Homeschoolers

We had a meeting of Catholic Homeschoolers at our house today. Well, first we had French class with homeschoolers, and a farewell morning tea with our teacher after - our teacher is also a Catholic homeschooler, who is leaving us to live in the UK for five months.

I dashed in and out for French class and the morning tea, leaving my house in the capable hands of my guests - after serving them beverages. I had to get yet another passport photo ( LONG story in the never-ending saga of Leonie trying to get a passport) and I also had a specialist appointment.

Back home to find my guests had welcomed more guests - the Catholic Homeschol group. We prayed, shared lunch, mums chatted, kids played, and then talked about WYD. A post WYD reflection.

What did WYD mean to us? What happened during WYD week? Why have WYD? Are we the same people after experiencing WYD? And what blessings are there in our homes, our communities, our country after hosting WYD?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some really cool Saints this week...

We've been reading a little bit about each, and looking at the corresponding artwork in our book - Saints : A Year in Faith and Art.

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St Maximilian Kolbe

St Clare

And, of course, on Friday we have the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ~ A Holy Day of Obligation.

Anthony's Birthday 2

At Outback Steakhouse - and Anny got his classic Battlestar Galactica figure surprise present. Apollo. These are hard to find - but I got him one from ebay!