Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home Schooling Resources

I'm trying to put together a curriculum and my friend Crystal shared her fav sites from her blog so I looked at each and added my own favs and here's the list that I liked.
Fonts for Kids! (this is the cached version at
Sonlight- Has great reading suggestions!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jam melon and ginger jam

Inspired by eldest efforts, I have 1kg of jam melon, 300g ginger and 1kg sugar sitting overnight waiting to be jam tomorrow :o) I hope it is as successful as Eldests!

The inside of a jam melon.
Here's it all chopped up with sugar.

I kept the seeds of course! Next years jam melons :o)

I've got this large so you can see the moisture that is formed from leaving it over night.

Bring to boil for 10 mins and wait for fruit to go clear-ish then add juice of 6 lemons and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Boil 10 mins until it sets on a saucer in the fridge. I decided to put the bamix (stick blender) through it too puree it a bit, I thought it was a tad chunky, I thought it would break up more. Bottle. This made 4 250ml jars. and here they are.. TA DAAA!

Tangello & Lemon marmalade

Eldest chopped up 24 tangellos and 8 lemons and soaked them over nigh in 7 1/2 litres.
Next day 6 kg of sugar, 2 sachets jam setter and it turned into 31 jars of marmalade! Clever boy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Post 5 from the challenge: Cleaning, all home made, cheap as!

I've posted about cleaning before but like all things your habits change over time. Currently I use hot water and tea tree for mopping the floor. I use Window/mirror cleaner and multipurpose cleaner from this thread:

I use Planet Ark sensitive for our clothes washing which is bout $7 a box. I use 1TBS and that gives me 1000 washes.

For the dishwasher I use Aldi Tundra which is $2 or $3 I can't recall exactly. I use 1 tsp.

This thread has the idea of printing out the recipes so anyone in the family can make them :o)

I must confess piles of paper are my down fall. I think the problem is just not making the time to deal with the papers in the first place, instead I pile them up and nearly weep at the size of it! LOL I have developed a few systems, like folders for specific things. This works brilliantly when I use it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Post 4 from the challenge: Clothing

Well, I said de-cluttered and barest minimums and I have to say this isn't anyways the case! We are very blessed to receive 'hand-me-acrosses' and I go to the awesome op shop ever. So our clothing does wax and wain, however I try to keep to minimums.

For me, wife, mother and secret hippie I think I need:

2 pairs Jeans                                                                few shirts 
2 pairs of snazzy pants                                               few dresses
2 pairs of trackie pants

6 tee shirts                                                                    4 jumpers 
6 singlet tops                                                                2 vests
4 shirts

1 runners                                                                       1 slip on shoes 
1 sandals                                                                       1 buckle up shoes
1 boots                                                                          1 thongs

7 undies, 3 bras, 7 socks  (all black and identical) Spencer and long johns, 3 pj's and 1 dressing gown                                                                various scarves

I find it a bit difficult to restrict clothing as it depends on how I feel! I can't look like I've crawled out of woodstock and go to church. I can't go sensible all the time because it's not creative enough :o-  One day balance will come... or not!

The little children
7 undies, 7 socks (always less because they disappear!) few singlets

4 pairs on long pants
4 shorts
7 tee shirts
4 long sleeve shirts
2 church shirts
4 jumpers -2 knitted and 2 fleece
1 vest
1 jacket
3 seasonal pj's +1 dressing gown

summer hat and beanie

That's about it. If you have too many clothes you have too much to look after and you don't wear it all, it is a pain. Keep clothes washed and repaired. It helps if you can, and sometimes you don't have a chose but try to stick to plain pants and patterned tops. Don't do checked pants and patterned tops for example. Everything plain makes it easier but most things, especially for boys have printed things on them.

Post 3 from the challenge: Telecommunications

This areas needs checking all the time. I'm finding it hard to keep up with all the changes and gadgets available!

We found Exetel to be ok. Much cheaper than Bigpond. We get free voip service with good rates. All in all our internet 12gig peak and unlimited off peak: $45 + phone calls- usually $10 and  homeline is $19.95. And no contracts.
Our mobiles are getting used more than they used to be so we have changed plans and they are prepaid. $30 every two months. This has heaps of freebies, SMS and chat time etc.

To find great discussions on Australian providers check out
Very helpful stuff in there :o)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Making Calendula Oil

At tafe we had to prune the roses and remove the calendula plants. I was allowed to keep the flower heads so I could make calendula oil :o)

I washed them as they were a bit dirty.

Then they went into the dehydrator. 

Here they are after two days in the dehydrator. How's the colour change!

No need to worry about the dirt, it appears to fall to the bottom.

Here's how much that first pile made.

I'll have to buy more sunflower oil. This is 750ml but basically you leave it in a sunny spot until the colour of the oil goes yellower and it's then infused with those wonderful oils :o)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Post 2 from the challenge: Housing is being paid as quickly as possible

I guess this is sort of obvious, after living expenses, every sent goes into the house. We used to put all income into the loan and use the credit card, but we spent more than we should have. *blush* So we came up with the idea of a house keeping account. It really just an electronic envelope system. Pay goes in and automatically a set amount goes into a card account and that's housekeeping. It works very well for us. Sometimes we have money build up and then cam do some bulk buying and even fabric as the post below indicates ;o)

Have a play with home loan calculators and you'll be so shocked at what a difference a few extra dollars to each payment make. It's quite inspiring.

Something like this will get you going: