Blessings and Challenges


Today had definitely had its ups and downs. I’ve been blessed by:

  • see Eric run his hardest in the 100 m and 60m hurdles in a the junior pentathlon
  • seeing Eric thoroughly immersed in reading
  • great company and conversation at my social knitting group this afternoon
  • Anthony tidying up the living area and vacuuming to give me a head start on the housework for the night
  • Scribing a letter for Daniel to his new pen friend in California

However there are also some challenges:

  • A very strained conversation about my work (or lack thereof) and how we can manage just on one much smaller income
  • The great unwillingness and mini tantrums being thrown by one son whenever he is asked to help out with anything.
  • Piles of laundry everywhere that must be dealt with before Thursday (when I’m leaving on a jet plane, la la la la la la la la)
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The Week That Was October 31




I think the “moral of my story” at the moment is that I need more structure in my days because I haven’t got much done at all this week. I worked one day and drifted through the rest. Yesterday I had a routine dr’s visit and was offered a swine flu vaccination so I decided to have it. I had a really sore arm last night and today I have had a few flu-like symptoms but I’m keeping up the fluids and trying to take it easy.
Of course, throw Halloween into the mix and I was creating two very “last minute” costumes this afternoon. We have a family in our street who come from Canada so they organised trick or treating for the street. The boys have a nice haul of lollies and we’re having a late dinner. We’re lucky to live in a very friendly street where we know a lot of our neighbours.
Tomorrow is a Pentathlon for Eric and in the afternoon he is going to a Sacramental workshop in the afternoon. Anthony is taking him to the work shop so that I can go to my once a month knitting group. I’m really looking forward to it.


Blessings


A friend wrote on her blog today about things that she is thankful for or “blessings” and she was able to add some photos. What a great idea! This has inspired me to take more photos of everyday things and to “count my blessings” at the end of the day especially on a day like today when not much has gone right!
So no photos today because it is 10:27pm as I write this (after a Little Athletics meeting that ran LATE) but the following is what I am grateful for tonight:

  • My sore left arm because it means I’ve been vaccinated and am now safe from swine flu
  • The little boy curled up on the bed behind me watching his favourite Scooby Doo cartoons – his Prep class did an assembly item today about all the LetterLand characters they have learned this year and it was excellent!
  • The wonderful teacher that Prep boy has this year.
  • The other, almost 9 year old boy who has already passed out in his own bed and his wonderful love for reading. He’s up to the 4th book in the Harry Potter series and just can’t put it down. He was in the athletics clubhouse reading when it was time for his 400m tonight!
  • The Wii Fit because it meant I could squeeze in 15 minutes of exercise this afternoon even though I didn’t make it to the gym.
  • The help that I get with recording at Little Athletics. I was really frazzled when I got there tonight because we were running late, I’ve mislaid the age patches that I’d ordered in the mail and the boys couldn’t find their gear to put on but once I’d been there for about half an hour and had a chat to few people, registered some new athletes and started recording sprint times everything felt much better.

Learning in Communities



I’ve scored a couple of days work relief teaching. I did a day on Friday and I’m doing another day tomorrow. It isn’t a lot but it is a start and I’m hoping to get my foot in a few doors.
In the meantime, I’ve been on another learning journey altogether. When I was a child we were taught to knit. We made coathanger covers out of horrible nylon yarn using metal needles. I think my sister was more successful than me and she went on to teach herself how to crochet but I just had that bit of knitting experience.
Since then I’ve taught myself to cross stitch and I’ve become reasonably skilled in that medium. I started going to Threads and More when they opened their store in Sherwood and doing cross stitch but the siren call of the beautiful yarns and materials they have there worked its magic and soon I was signing up for my first knitting class. I’ve done a couple of classes since then (last year) and alternated knitting with cross stitching.
I’ve learned and in some cases re-learned:

  • cable cast on
  • cast off
  • plain knitting
  • purl knitting
  • stocking stitch
  • moss stitch
  • knitting into the side of a knitted piece
  • changing colours
  • weaving in ends
  • assembling a garment
  • knitting “in the round”

I’ve made a garter stitch geometric blanket, a patchwork Noro top, a face cloth, a hand towel amd I’m currently working on the bath bag. And it has all been a pretty painless process. So what contributed to this being such a positive learning experience? And can this be replicated in schools?
Learning environment – I can go and do a class or participate in one of the social groups that meet at the store. There’s good coffee on hand and the staff and fellow knitters are always friendly and helpful.
Just in time learning – I can ask a question almost any time. I’ve waited till Saturday morning but I’ve also dropped into the store during the week and there is always someone who can point me in the right direction. If I really can’t wait I’ve been pointed to the Ravelry community which is like Face Book for knitters.
Encouragement for new ideas – there are lots of different people doing lots of different things and they are all willing to share what they are doing or what they have learned.
Empathy when mistakes are made – everyone has ripped things out and tried again and apparently I am becoming a “real knitter” if I can do so.
I’m eagerly anticipating new learning and thinking about how I might pass it on to others. I might teach Eric to knit but he’ll have to tie his shoelaces first!


Waiting…Waiting…

What Works for Me this week is trying to be patient but it isn’t working all of the time.
Ok, I’ve had my time at home and now I’d like to split my time before home and school but I need ot have some schools ring up to ask me to work. I’ve mainly been hanging around at home, procrastinating about doing housework and not making too many plans for the day. Now, I’m thinking that if Murphy’s Law is in effect I should plan some things for next week, especially my birthday! and then I’ll be called into work.
I’ve got my bag of tricks packed up, a work outfit picked out ready to go and I am ready but them the phone doesn’t ring.
So I need a very definite “Plan B” to follow around here so that things get done. Who knows? I may havea sparkling house with all the laundry up to date by the time the Christmas Holidays come around. Or maybe not.
And while we’re on the subject of earning money, feel free to click on my Google Ads or I may never be able to buy any yard for knitting ever again!


Connecting


I find the days much more enjoyable when I get to spend them with people so I was glad to connect with three different people for coffee at different parts of the day today as well as to spend some time outside school chatting with the other Mums. I’ve also finished a small knitting project which is the first in series of three. I’ve done the wash cloth and next comes the hand towel and the bath bag. They are knitted with Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton which feels absolutely delightful. I’ve decided the housework can wait till tomorrow and I’m going to start the hand towel tonight while I’m on a roll. I bought a book today called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination so maybe that will cure me!


The Beginning of a Journey


I haven’t got much today because I was cursed with a migraine once again so most of the day wasa write-off. Tonight A and I attended the first parent meeting for the Parish Sacramental Program. Eric will make his first Reconciliation in November this year and then receive his first Communion and Confirmation on June 6 next year. And so it begins. Tonight was a lot of information about upcoming meetings and some things to do with our children to get them more acclimatised to the Church, Prayer and Sacraments. We have been very slack with attending Mass and we really need to improve in that area. Luckily there are two really good Masses we can attend in the school parish so that is encouraging. The program leader advised making it more of an occasion by going out for coffee afterwards or going to visit friends etc. She also discussed many ideas for bringing prayer into the home – something we are sorely in need of. So this will be another project for me in the coming weeks. I’ll leave you with the parent’s prayer that we shared tonight because I think it applies to all parents, teachers and people who havea role in the lives of children.

Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. May I never laugh at their mistakes, or resort to ridicule when they displease me. Bless me with the confidence to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm. May I not rob them of the opportunity to think, to choose and to make decisions for themselves. Make me fair and just and kind. And fit me, O Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children Cary C. Myers