Friday, 24 February 2017

Collecting Crumbs

We had a church retreat the other day. When the pastor mentioned it, I think all of us put the word 'conference' in the place of 'retreat'. A lot of us turned up with the expectation that we'd take notes, be inspired and leave feeling exhausted but motivated.


It appears that the pastor actually meant what he said!

Instead of being inspired and motivated, we were invited to relax. We took some deep breaths, prayed and the facilitators even spoke slowly and purposefully.

As a mum of busy children and a sufferer of anxiety and depression, I found sitting there in silence waiting......and waiting very difficult. I found I had to do something - take a few notes, click my pen, bob my foot on crossed legs, make faces at the baby in the bouncer at my feet, look around the room, pop some magnesium tablets I use for anxiety.......

It took me about an hour to calm down enough to wind down. And man, I was I tired when I did! I had a difficult time staying awake!

Thankfully, we moved around a bit in groups which helped me concentrate.

One of the activities we used for 'Going Deeper' with God (the theme of the retreat), was just being with the scripture and putting yourself in the scene by choosing a character we resonated with.

I'd like to share with you what I wrote about my response to the following passage of scripture.

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

I connected to this character because she is a desperate mother. She has found herself at the end of her rope, dangling, like a traveler stranded alone in the desert. All her resources are used up. She is clueless about what to do next. She's helpless and desperate for guidance, for hope, for help.

The woman in her desperation becomes a pest. She's annoying people with her endless searching and crying and seeking. That is me - constantly searching and seeking on this one issue: motherhood is challenging, I'm having difficulty climbing and clawing my way over this challenge. It's relentless, so she becomes relentless in her search. I'm relentless in my searching , my seeking. I, like the woman cry out to Jesus all the time -for help, for hope and for guidance.

Both her and I love our children deeply. Like the stranded traveler in the desert, we can never stop seeking, never rest and never give up. To give up is an option too terrible to contemplate. Everything we have and everything we are is consumed by our search for help, for hope and for guidance from Jesus. In response, my God rewards my persistence with a solution. It's a solution that I haven't had a hand in bringing about. Like this woman, I've simply been a begging at Jesus' feet.

God sees my struggle and how relentless I have to be, just like this woman. He not only sees it, but blesses it. Like refreshing sweet rain, His blessing and provision drench my heart and soul,. As a stranded, lost, dehydrated and helpless traveler stranded in the desert sees help approaching with a bottle of cool water, I rejoice that He has provided in the past and that He has provided in the past and that He will provide in the future. Just like this desperate mum - as long as we keep searching and seeking Him, He will meet all our needs.

Friends, even one little crumb from Jesus' table is enough. "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:12

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Jurassic Ark

I wasn't quite sure what to make of evolution vs creation there for a while. During my public (and perfectly satisfactory apart from the evolution and complete lack of moral education) school education, we were taught that the earth was millions of years old.

It wasn't until the past few years that I started to consider the possibility of literal, six-day creation.

The other day on Facebook, I saw an advertisement for a 'Homeschoolers Day' at Jurassic Ark, a place I had never heard of but very quickly grew interested in!

We travelled up and stayed the night before our visit to Jurassic Ark in a caravan at Goomeri. After much silly playing around with the pronounciation of the town's name, we discovered that it's pronounced "guh'MERee". Very sweet little place, just 45 minutes drive west of Jurassic Ark.

As we rocked up, John Mackay ('The Creation Guy', himself a Christian) was speaking with the students and explaining about the first activity, which was making a replica of a fossil with leaves, chinese food containers and quick-set cement mix. The children lined up while we dragged the newborn, the toddler and our daughter with a broken leg out of the car and into prams and slings along with a zillion bags for lunch, nappy changes and drink bottles!

John then took us around to the experiments he has set up with stalyctites. He is making stalyctites on location at Jurassic Ark and they're growing at the rate of 1cm per month, which is much quicker than mainstream scientists say stalyctites are made. His point is that "It doesn't take time, it takes a process." As in, it's perfectly scientifically feasible for the earth to be young (6000 years is the most common estimate) and to have been created.

We had an absolute blast learning about chemistry, fossils, dinosaurs, Noah's flood and creation. Very hands on, very science-y, very fun. The children dug actual, real fossils with real archaeologists' tools and got to handle petrified items that John and his team are working on. They saw opals being formed and ran little fingers over fossilized dinosaur bones. John and team let the children run through the sprinklers in the Biblical garden from the bottom of the property where we were looking at the fossilized trees.

At the end of a few very hot hours walking around the facilities, we were treated to icy cold water under some gazebos to pick John's brain about creation science. It was fascinating and John is very open, friendly and great with children.

John and team have a variety of reasonably priced resources for purchase that explain all about creation, dinosaurs and fossils. They even sell fossils, which our crew found very tempting!

If you're looking for a wonderful family fun day out that combines adventure, education and science, make sure you visit Jurassic Ark! It's just west of Gympie, Queensland in the tiny locality of Bells Bridge - a beautiful part of our state.

I found that it strengthened my faith because creation is perfectly scientifically viable and logical. I know a lot of Christians don't really care about issues like creation v evolution, but I believe it strengthens your faith by not just relying on pure faith. When you can refer to facts, logic and science to defend or talk about the Christian faith, it helps others understand.

We are definitely going again for a longer visit this time, so family and friends, let us know if you're interested in coming along. It'd be great if we could get a group together!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Valentine's Day

In the past we've done the whole bit: purchased gifts, cards and had a swanky date night.....but that was then and this is now. Seven children, one a newborn combined with shift work makes things very interesting!

I'm not really into the commercialization and materialism of Valentine's Day. But I am into blessing one's spouse as much as possible - so am always interested in things to do to celebrate the ill-fated St Valentine's legacy.

Sometimes we've been overwhelmed and haven't done much at all - maybe just a cuppa on the couch after kiddy lights out! But this time, despite the issues surrounding the logistics of having a chandelier-swinging rumpy-pumpy, I'd like to do something nice for my husband on the big V-day on Tuesday.

My frazzled mama brain can't think around all the hurdles all the moment, so I'm asking you for ideas. Here's the criteria:

1. Budget - it has to be cheap. We have approximately $2.76 spare. Bonus points for a totally free V-day!
2. Romantic - none of this "just get in the sack" business. I mean, it's definitely on the agenda. I'd like some romance and time of blessing each other.
3. Homeward Bound - we can't leave the house, other than to go onto the patio or trampoline. We have sleeping children and a newborn!
4. No time-consuming preparation - I've got a few bits of time spare to plan and make some stuff, but not much. No 'blowing up a zillion balloons with a personalized message' ideas.

Now you can see why I'm floundering a little. You never know - sharing your ideas might inspire others to bless their marriage too!

So, what are your ideas? Do you have any plans to bless your marriage for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, 5 February 2017


Last night and early this morning, I watched 'Minimalism' - a documentary on being minimalist, funnily enough.

It was recommended by a sweet mummy-friend of mine and since I'm awake with baby, husband was at work and as I happen to be sympathetic to the minimalist movement, I decided to give it a spin.

Here followeth my opinion:

I liked it. The two men who wrote the book 'Minimalism' are genuine, scarred and real. I loved that. It was nice to hear from men who are sincere and passionate!

As I got into the documentary, I found myself comparing the minimalist movement with Christianity. It's a habit - probably a good one - that most Christians should adopt, I think! I found myself listening to neuroscientists, professors of sociology, authors, dads, expectant mothers and small-house movement proponents talk about their views on minimalism, materialism, consumerism, the death and fatness of the western world whilst thinking, "Yep, I do that/agree with that - because Jesus says *insert relevant Bible verse in here about prayer, meditating on God's word, not being consumed by money but things of God, etc*."

I was drawn into the film, but got bored half-way through it because I felt that these people are merely swapping what God says to do - pray, meditate on His word, help others, eschew materials and treat them as evil necessities - and replacing them with secular ideas like meditation (the evil, mind-emptying kind), finding out that the six-figure salary isn't as wonderful as it's promoted to be and living in small spaces with simplicity to reduce stress. It appears that God was right on the money when He divinely inspired the writers of the books of the Bibles! How bizarre is it that non-believers are finding out that what God says to do is actually good for us!

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the message in the documentary is good for us to hear - Christian and non-believers alike. But I think if you're a devoted Christian then there shouldn't be too much you can learn from this documentary. I was inspired to keep going with monitoring closely our materialistic habits and what we spend our money on - but the film wasn't a light-bulb moment for me. If you understand what Jesus was on about, then living a simple life in the moment isn't a surprising concept. It's what all Christians should be doing anyway!

Overall, I think it's worth a watch to learn about the startling statistics of our consumerist and materialistic society and to be inspired to live a simple life, as well as having belief in God, the One who knows what's best for us, strengthened.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Keeping it at Home

So the biggest news in our family last year is that we have a new family member. Born on December 7th, our baby is now just over two months old and doing well!

Baby Eden - December 2016

Since our last child was born on the side of the road, we decided to go for a home birth this time. This was met with some gentle trepidation from some, but given that we've had six 'textbook' straight-forward labours before and the midwife we booked is very highly recommended by a variety of friends who had booked her themselves, we figured there was very little that could go wrong.

So, home birth. It inspires many different visions in the heads of people. Some think of powerful and confident post-birth cuddles in a birthing-pool, a mother surrounded by her husband and children, prayer flags hung around the living room where birth has taken place. For some, it inspires memories of trauma or of joy. Others find the prospect akin to jumping out of a plane without a parachute!

I have liked the idea of home birth since about the time of the birth of my second child in 2007. I had a quick, easy labour with her and I felt like my body knew what it was doing, so I could easily give birth at home. My husband, however, despite his profession as a paramedic, felt very nervous about it. So, I followed his lead and we birthed our next three babies in hospital - the last of those three was a birth where we stayed for six hours after delivery then went home.

For this last pregnancy, I felt that going into an appointment in our nearest town for check-ups, was too much for my homeschooling mummy-brain and body, so I asked my husband his ideas about home birth. With six young children, he could see the benefit of a midwife being able to do home visits. Since our last labour had been so quick, we thought a home birth would be safest, to avoid another road-side birth!

We booked our midwife and began our journey together.......

Honestly, private midwifery is the most amazing experience for expectant mothers. I can't recommend it highly enough. It costs a lot of money, for sure - ours was around $3000 for all appointments, labour and post-natal care - but it is payable as you go so you don't have too many big lump sums.......and it was worth every. single. cent.

I loved having ante-natal visits in my home! My check-ups were on my own couch with my curious crew all around me, ooooohing and ahhhhing at my belly or the sound of baby's heartbeat through the doppler or giggling at their own funny comments or enthralled as the midwife drew up some blood!

Our midwife became part of our family, like a special Aunty coming to visit. The children adored her and she patiently answered their questions about babies and bodily parts. It became a family event to enjoy when the midwife came. I loved that.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, with more frequent visits, we would greet and farewell each other with a quick hug and sometimes a peck on the cheek, just like friends. She was more than my midwife, she was (is) my friend! Between her team and I, there was a gorgeous sense of womanhood and togetherness.

Private midwifery care made me feel supported and cared for like I never had before. My midwife asked questions and was genuinely interested in how I answered, not just filling in a form for data collection. I was constantly surprised at the detail and effort she put into her job.....actually, it seemed like midwifery was her favourite thing to do - getting to do it as a job was a bonus! 

The labour was fairly standard - a 2-hour active labour, preceded by 25 hours of waiting - my waters broke 25 hours before labour started! Did I mention that I watied 25 hours for labour to start?

The absolute sealing-the-deal thing for me was the delivery. Kneeling on the floor, bearing down in agony with what I thought was baby's head delivered and the shoulders to come, my midwife asked me to breathe shallow for a bit. I trusted her completely, although I did wonder if baby's shoulders were stuck and that was why she was asking me to breathe shallow. It turns out that her way of delivering babies is to really slow down the passing of the head through the vagina. This minimises tearing and trauma to the perineum.

After six births in which I tore my perineum every single time - one badly - I had not one single graze, tear or any other trauma. Praise God! I couldn't believe how amazing I felt after the initial 24 hours post-birth. In fact, I felt amazing all-round. Apart from a slight bit of nipple damage in the first three days, breastfeeding came together amazingly well (it'd want to after the difficulties of the previous six babies!) and I had the smoothest post-natal period I have ever had.

My needs, anxieties and desires were all taken into account by this loving midwife and her team. I felt so blessed to have her journeying with me through bringing baby number seven into the world. 

If you are thinking about possibly having a private midwife for your birth or a home birth, I can only say do yourself a favour and go for it! Obviously, not everyone can have a home birth or has the funds for a private midwife, but if you can - I highly recommend it. I've found it to be best for my baby, my family, my husband and myself.

In our area, you can check out My Midwives or Nurture Your Birth - both are fantastic. My Midwives don't do home births, but they are your advocate in labour at hospital or can be your midwives for birthing at the birth centre at the local hospital. I had My Midwives for my fifth baby and they were brilliant! Nurture Your Birth does home visits and home births.

Pregnancy, labour and birth can often be traumatic for women and their men - but private midwifery care has the potential to heal trauma and tap into the sisterhood of caring, supportive women (and healing for dads, experiencing their wife go through a healing labour). There's something powerful and amazing about being part of a team to bring a baby into the world. If you get the chance to experience this for yourself, do it. 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Mummy Car Review

We are very blessed to have a new car sitting in our driveway for our use. We farewelled our trusty Hyundai iMax a week ago and we're now in the possession of a Volkswagen Caravelle.

Given that I've always been a bit of a car buff, I thought I'd offer my opinion on what we've found useful for our family. There are general car reviews - usually written by men - but there's a whole new world of potential and mystery surrounding the family car that mothers can shed light on.

So, here goes.

The inside of our iMax, just after we purchased it.

The Hyundai iMax is a great family car! It's very popular and prior to us purchasing ours in 2012, it had won RACQ's 'Best People Mover' for four years in a row. As a hard-core Ford-Holden-Mazda-Mitsubishi-type girl, I struggled with owning a Hyundai because of their reputation for cheap, plastic cars, but the evidence was clear: we needed an 8-seater van that was economical, safe and roomy and the iMax met all those requirements.

Hyundai have now come a long way - and all the mechanics I've ever talked to agree! I have to say that my opinion of Hyundai has improved from deep loathing to fairly tolerant now - all because of the iMax.

For starters, the iMax has a good safety rating. That was the clincher for us. All the other things about it sounded great, but the fact that they could provide a safe car for us to travel in was the cherry on the cake. Everything else we looked at was too expensive, too unheard-of or simply too small.

Secondly, the iMax was a big, roomy, economically-priced car to purchase and run. It lacked the flexibility of a Toyota Tarago with the folding seats and the Volkswagen Multivan with the reversible seating arrangements. However, it more than made up for it with the massive (and I mean massive) boot. There was easily a metre and maybe a bit more between the seats and where the door closes - not including the bumper bar. I loved throwing in the pram any which way in the back, not having to shuffle things about.

For such a big car, it's so easy to drive. We chose a diesel model, which had heaps of grunt. A couple of times we drove a petrol iMax and it was like driving a jumbo with an ultra-light engine! If you're considering an iMax, definitely try a diesel one - we found the difference huge.

It's longer than a lot of 'normal' vans, but it does have rear parking sensors. Parking is the only time when I really felt the size of the iMax. Even then, I got used to it. Whilst travelling, one could easily think that they're driving a sedan. Everything is easily within reach on the dashboard, although I did find the lack of cavities in the dashboard for a phone, purse, etc very irritating. There was a storage receptacle on the top of the dashboard which was unsuitable for some items as it copped full sun in summer.

Ultimately, the iMax is a big, economical, no-fuss family vehicle. I'm happy to recommend it, as long as potential purchasers understand that there are a few down-sides to the economy of Hyundais. The issues I have with the iMax are mainly to do with comfort.

There's a handy handle to grip as you hoist yourself into the driver's seat, but not the passenger seat. Annoying. The seatbelts in the middle row are attached to the wall - limiting your options for seating with child car seats and children to get into the back row. A much more practical option is to have the seatbelts fitted to the seats. Apparently, this has already happened and we just missed out on the model where this was fitted. We only had one or two stretches of a couple of months where we had to unbuckle car seats via the seat belt in the middle row to get children into the back row of seats. It was still really annoying!

With most vans, there are no anchor points for car seats in the back row. We have a car seat that doubles as a baby car seat from six months old to a booster seat for a seven-year-old. It needs an anchor point, though. We find we end up with an older child who needs to or wants to be in the back row who is unable simply because there aren't anchor points in the back. Highly annoying!

Apart from those niggling little things and the lack of storage space in the dashboard, the only other thing I really didn't like about the iMax was the servicing. It was a bit pricey and the service was terrible at the dealership! We ended up going elsewhere to have our car serviced by people who talked to us and communicated effectively.

Overall, I, the world of mechanics and RACQ find the iMax to be a very suitable car for families.

Thus endeth the transmission of my opinion.

Mummy Car Reviewer, over and out.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Voyage Part II

Walking inside the conference room at the Mantra, there was a soft gold glow in the atmosphere. It was immediately soothing. Each table had a gorgeous shabby chic red-and-white lighthouse in the middle. In the top of each lighthouse was a tea-light candle. It never ceases to amaze me how much serenity candlelight emits, no matter how few of them there are and no matter how big the room is! Around each lighthouse was an array of shells and there were two sweet sailing ships made from a stub of stick, wire and newspaper. I was also rather pleased to discover that there were Mentos in dishes, too - perfect for the post-lunch-session-pick-me-ups.



The whole effect made me feel like I was drawing into a safe harbour with a lifeline. The rush of the previous 12 hours slipped away and a great sense of safety and calm flooded my soul - I was with people just like me and I knew that I would receive nothing but good advice and encouragement to re-stock the cargo on my pathetic little vessel!

There were two stalls at the conference, one was the lovely Michelle Morrow from Homeschooling Downunder and the other were women from Southern Cross Educational Enterprises. One was sure to get LOTS of ideas from these areas! Seeing Michelle's stall made me feel like not so much of a newbie-girl, I've been receiving her Blinky Bill Bulletin for months now and have made use of her Homeschooling 101 and homeschool planning resources.

Helen and I chose a seat at a table near the front because a) we had no babies and prams to wrestle and b) sitting close to the front helps with concentration! It was a bit of a novelty, actually - how sad is that! A lady sat beside me and we introduced ourselves. After a brief introduction, she said she wanted to let us know, just so that we knew - she was having a miscarriage. As in, experiencing loss right then and there.

Having suffered a miscarriage in late 2013 myself, it was easy to empathise with this dear lady, who had one child in kindergarten and was obviously a doting mother desiring more babies. My heart broke. I was amazed that immediately this woman was sharing her heart and pain with us so we didn't worry about her when her friend turned up and she had to tell her friend the sad news. What a wonderful connection women share with each other!

But if you think about it, how long does it take for women in a 'safe harbour' - at Bible study, meeting for coffee, at an activity day or sporting event - to start sharing about our birthing experiences, complete with torn perineums, the condition of our nipples during breastfeeding and how big/long/cute/hairy/quiet/loud the little creatures that came out of our vaginas or via an incision in our lower abdomens were? Not long! A safe harbour is a safe harbour and we women know how to unload details of our ship, captain and crewmates without much encouragement at all!

The women at our table immediately got down to business: "Where are you from?", "How old are your children?", "How long have you been on this wild journey of homeschooling?", etc. Cargo flew off the vessels and nets were loosened and unknotted.

Corinna and Julie (daughter and mother respectively) introduced the theme of MumHeart: sailing (if you haven't figured out what the theme is by now, I'm a bit worried!). Julie went from farming to living on a yacht, ministering to the people of the Pacific Islands..........with three young children in tow - one of whom was Corinna. An amazing story.

"Raising Children Who Give Hope to the Next Generation" was the topic of Jacinta's talk. It's a subject close to my heart - I see my children as future burden lifters, not as a burden on society. It saddens me that people see me with my brood and immediately claim that I'm wasting my brain or having children so I can live on government benefits. It's simply not true - not to mention disheartening. Jacinta shared how her family and her live simply so that they can share as much with others as they can. I found her talk to be encouraging, but a bit bored with the popular focus on refugees. Now, don't get me wrong: supporting refugees is a very important ministry. But it's not the only one and it's also quite trendy to be focussed on refugees. If you mention unborn babies? Whoa - sorry, that's a private issue between a woman and her doctor. It's not fashionable to advocate for babies and children. I admire Jacinta and her family for what they do - it's just that I'm not as focussed on the same ministry as they are. And that's OK.

Morning and afternoon teas at the Mantra were AH-MAZ-ING. For a start, I didn't have to prepare it! Secondly, they were healthy with a sweet option if you wanted. Multiple teas to choose from......mmmm, heaven!

The sessions after morning tea were encouraging. The first speaker after morning tea was Kyra. She had thrown in her notes on a sermon she preached to the women at her church previously as a last-minute thing. Lo and behold, she was needed! I can't remember what her talk was on, to be honest. But I do know that Kyra radiates joy, purpose and energy wherever she goes, which is so inspiring considering she has nine children!

We had electives on Saturday which were wonderful - specific to the needs of particular families. I chose to attend the workshop on managing different age groups and a workshop about self-care. Betty and Kyra, with eight and nine children respectively, were a great source of information!

The best thing I learned from Betty is that as women, wives and mothers we are not one-dimensional, we're like a gem - lots of different facets. We're nuanced, unique and different and we need to feed our souls in different ways to keep ourselves sparkling.

After dinner on Saturday night, we had a blast colouring in and enjoying the giveaways and chatting. I really enjoyed that the organisers of MumHeart allowed for such a relaxed session. That and the fact that Helen and I disappeared to get ice cream half way through. Yes, it was rainy and a bit chilly but HELLO - an ice cream enjoyed without interruptions or sharing? It would have been remiss of us to not purchase ice cream!

Sunday morning brought another delightful, filling breakfast and great company. We then heard from Renate, a home schooling mother-of-five with stage-4 breast cancer. I'm not an emotional person, but to hear from Renate about her journey through diagnosis of cancer initially seven years ago to being in remission and then re-diagnosed and now faced with the reality of no cure for her was simply heartbreaking. Renate shared how she initially asked her family, friends and church family to pray for her healing, but now she simply asks them to pray that God's will be done. She's decided that God's ways are best, even when it seems so wrong and hard and sad.

She told us of one day when she was sitting on her bedroom floor crying. Her daughter (around late primary school age) found her and asked her why she was crying. Renate said, "Oh, I'm just sad the cancer isn't going away." Her daughter replied, "Mum, this is God's will for your life!" - Renate and her family are a testimony to trusting God even when it's breaking your heart. The power of this testimony had almost all of us crying. My heart broke when she encouraged us to let go of hurts and anger and bitterness - it only spoils the precious days you have to live on earth. I often have thought about Renate since conference and tried to embrace each day as a gift and leave my baggage behind. Her testimony was so powerful. I wish that she wasn't able to share it and her precious family wouldn't be losing their precious wife and mother. But it's God's will, Renate says.

She's right.

Helen and I both had a little cry into our cuppas at morning tea - being mum to six children with another one on the way (although Helen's baby has arrived in the past week!), home schooling them, managing a household and our marriages is so often overwhelming - usually heartbreakingly so. Renate's testimony really challenged us about living for Jesus and what He wants to do - even if other people think it's wrong and even if we're struggling.

The last two speakers, Anna and Amelia, were gentle and encouraging after such an emotional session with Renate. Anna lives in far north-west NSW on a property and Amelia is a home schooling mother towards the end of her home schooling journey with her eight children. Both offered practical and spiritually practical ideas for coping on this crazy voyage on the seas of home schooling. Amelia particularly, provided a soothing balm for my soul.

All of a sudden, the weekend was over. We packed up and zipped home in my in-laws little car to our lovely chaotic homes, greeted with lots of squealy hugs and shouting (and that's just our husbands!). While at conference, I had time to repair the spots in my worn vessel that were leaking. I took on board amazing useful cargo to help me on the next leg of my journey into semester two of DE (Distance Education).

The organisers even provided directions to the next safe port - MumHeart Conference Newcastle in 2017! It will make the next twelve-month leg of my journey easier knowing that I'll be able to rest and restore for another weekend in June 2017.

I can't recommend the MumHeart Conference enough. If you're a home schooling mum or thinking about home schooling your children, you need to attend MumHeart - it's that simple.

Until next time my friends, bon voyage!