Saturday, January 14, 2017

Week In Review 16/17: Week 11


This week was back to school around here. Yes, it's early compared to the local schools, & yes it's still summer here but we don't keep to the local schedule. By starting back early it allows us plenty of time to ease back into our routine as well as the advantage to take camping trips while it's still warm & the rest of the state is back to normal business. Not only that, we're still working on transitioning to a different school scheduled based on an impending move our family is anticipating making.

While this was our first week back in 2017 it's actually our 11th week of this particular school year. Crazy, I know, but it gets a little clearer as we move along. We have a 7th & 9th grader, both high schoolers in our state which is crazy weird, but there you have it. I shared about our curriculum on another post last year, but things have changed a bit for our 7th grader so I might write about that in another post.

The biggest hurdle, in our home, for getting back into a routine is the wake-up time. We have one who likes to be a night owl, & I can relate because I so use to deal with the same thing! However, we prefer him to be up by a specific time. I know there are countless discussions on this topic, but we do what we feel is best for our home. We have told him that as he reaches pure independence this year he's welcome to set his own schedule in that regard, so we'll see what happens.

We kicked off Monday with a light version of our book basket: Bible, poetry, & a theology book. We're still working through our lovely copy of  A Treasury Of Poetry For Young People, & the current poet is Robert Frost. While Frost has written a few poems we've really enjoyed & are familiar with, we're not as fond as some of his other works. One thing we're really enjoying about this poetry book is that it has a biography of each poet before you spend time reading their poems, & then on a few of the poems there are definitions of unusual words or explanations of some of the poems.

We're currently reading through I Chronicles, all though again following a little guide we've put together. It's been fun rereading about the life of Saul & David as last year we listened to the AIO Darien's Rise which is a modern day telling of this very story. It was one of those awesome stories that had us returning to the passages to verify the truth behind the stories

We started reading God's Will, God's Best For Your Life this week & by the time we got to the end of the first chapter decided the book isn't for us. I'm often very hesitant to state why I won't use a book when it comes to matters of faith as I know not everyone believes the same. It is never my intention to bash another faith or to be a stumbling block for a fellow believer. However, we felt this book was scripturally wrong in many instances, & perhaps that's our interpretation in how we've read into the book & it's likely the author didn't mean to portray facts in such a manner. Either way, we've opted to lay the book aside. We spent much of last term reading a theology book that was uninspiring, dry, & had a whole lot of, to us, nonsense in it. Rather then spend time doing that again this term, we decided to order some books I knew we'd enjoy. We shall anxiously await their arrival & I'll share about them when they arrive.

There was no long break with math, as the boys worked on with math right up until Christmas holidays. Then it was laid aside for 2 weeks until we started back up. Having the two weeks off we opted to do a few review pages to make sure everyone was up to snuff. I have no hand in Morgan's math these days, he & Mr S do their own thing. This has been a great thing for Morgan who likes to "talk math" & do far more with numbers than I do. Mr S has taken it all in stride & goes over a lesson on the weekends & corrects the math each evening when he gets home. The only downside is that Mr S likes to skip around when teaching a lesson & verify that all previous material is still cemented in & that all new material is grasped enough to practice throughout the week. This means that sometimes Morgan is sometimes confused as to what pages he should do in his book because he'll often have done something on every page in his lesson time with Mr S. It's a minor thing, really, but it really made me chuckle when Morgan expressed his concern about not knowing what to do.

Jayden is still lacking the confidence I'd like to see him have with math. He is a logical person & becomes frustrated with some of the steps he needs to take in order to show his math. However, he also loves to argue, so I often tell him to, ".. think of it as proving you are right. Not just writing an answer, but proving beyond a doubt that you are right." He still has a few lessons to wrap up in his current math book & I suspect that it may take us the majority of the term to cover as there are some pretty deep concepts coming up. Mind you, this kid does not stumble at the lessons I anticipate.. ever. It's always the simplistic ones, & that always makes me chuckle.

Morgan moved right back into his normal schedule of taking his workload off on his own to complete & reporting back in at the end of each day. He worked through Week 10 with Sonlight Core 100. He's still very much loving this Core & having absolutely no issue keeping the pace. I was a little nervous as I've heard so many complaints about this core, but that's not an issue for our boy. In fact, this crazy kid is ahead in the literature portion of the Core. I told him if he keeps that pace he'll wrap up that side of things early & I can provide him with another stack of books he might enjoy. I think he actually took that as a challenge!

Jayden is working through BookShark Level 6 History which is the first half of world history. We've made it to the Greeks, & he's spent time this week reading over various Greek Myths as well as Black Ships Before Troy. Yep, we change things up a little, & this was one of the notes I made when the last child went through this particular Core. We also use a different Greek Myths book because it's what we own & it works just as well.

This crazy boy absolutely LOVES reading through the Kingfisher which is required with his history core. He will read the assigned pages & then close his eyes & open to random pages & read those too. He cracks me up because each time I ask him what he read he has some crazy thing to tell me which has no relation to what he's learned. The other day he shocked me by running in & actually telling me information that related to his history lesson!

There were several timelines to colour & pin up this week too. We love our timeline figures & we're using the HSITW timeline figures. While BkSk does sell timeline figures with their cores I didn't think to order 2 sets & rather than pay international shipping for a second set I just printed from our HSITW cd, the upside is that we have more timeline figures for things that we'd normally just put a notation about in our timeline. 

A little mapping from both this week. It's always so fun to watch our maps fill in each year. Morgan has the bottom map for the first time in ages, & Jayden has the top map. His E's are in reference to everything he marked while studying Egypt. He's now labeling things with G for what he's marking while learning about the Greeks. He tends to have more to mark in a week than Morgan as much of what Morgan maps right now is related to the Origional Colonies & all that was mapped out a while back.

Both boys are enjoying reading through books they received for Christmas from their American Grandmother. For Jayde this was super awesome because he'd wrapped up his last assigned book & I didn't realise that! He's enjoying, An Elephant In The Garden, which is the book he chose out of his large stash of Michael Morpurgo books; he really loves Morpurgo's books.

Morgan, on the other hand received a stash of Roald Dahl books which was exciting for him as Dahl is one of Mr S' favourite authors. Morgan loves knowing what books others love & trying them out to see how he feels about them so this was a lovely surprise for him. He hasn't actually finished his assigned book, but it was no where to be seen so he grabbed his copy of The BFG & ran off to indulge for a while each day. He's not impressed that the book came with a pair of BFG ears because, "There is no way I'm cutting up my book to gain the ears!" ha!

We jumped right back in with our IEW Fix-It Grammar. The boys have really fallen in love with Fix-It, & admittedly it's so painless to teach I'm glad they love it. Thankfully it was a review week because they were both a tad rusty after taking 8 weeks off. One of the lovely things about Fix-It is that each student gets a copy of grammar cards, they are encouraged in each lesson to use those cards as needed. After discovering that both kids cards were scattered all over we quickly printed out a new set, laminated them & set to work.

We use Fix-It a little bit differently, on the advice of a Fix-It pro, & our boys type up their rewrites. This allows some typing practice as well as grammar practice. Last year Morgan was very thorough in his typing where as I didn't require it of Jayden, but this year it's a requirement. Interestingly enough Jayden was not only delighted to be required to do this, but has some crazy mad typing skills considering this is the kid who has never done any formal typing in his life. Ignore the medical necklace in his mouth, at least he's wearing it, right?

We also jumped right back in with spelling, yes we still do spelling. It's quick, simple & to the point. Spelling takes us about 10-15 minutes a day & as my boys only got their visual spectral tints after the age one would normally concentrate on spelling it's a requirement for now.

The boys helped Mr S patch his bike tire, & yes that's in the middle of my lounge room. Mr S goes through bike tires at such a crazy rate {road bikes to work daily} that I've told him we should really consider some road side assistance for him. Ha! To hold him over until he could get to the bike shop, the guys patched it instead. Mr S needed help because he didn't put his glasses on before he got his hands all covered in grease & he couldn't find the hole. Why in the lounge room? We were watching cricket..

The boys also did lots of dinner prep this week, including some solo work when I went to find Mr S & his flat tire & bring him home. When we got in the kids had mixed up the burgers, sliced all the veggies & were debating starting the grill. They are pretty handy in the kitchen most days.

We took a trip to the park this week, it was still crawling with many many people as school is out, tourist season is upon us, & all that hoopla. After a bit of fun in the sun Jayde asked if we could stop off on the way home to see the local Greek god. Ha! Truthfully we don't have a Greek god, but we do have a ridiculous nude statue that is suppose to be the Spirit Of The Sea & is as likely to seeing a Greek statue as we'll get this year, thus I was very happy to oblige.

Next week we'll be adding in science & hopefully some art! We'll also be meeting up with friends {hooray!}, &, hopefully, having an interruption free week. We had quite the revolving door as we worked our way through our first week back, including a half day holiday, & a repair man who attempted to fix our reverse cycle heat pump & blew it up instead. Yep, complete with a pop, bang, a bit of smoke, & then the power turning off at the box.

Monday, January 9, 2017

52 Weeks Through The Bible


Last year I was working my way through the Bible & decided to make some simple stickers to use in my planner to remind me of where I was each day. Last year I decided to use the "Variety Method" as I dubbed it. I'm certain it goes by other names, but what it is escapes me!

Instead of reading one book from start to finish you move around reading from various books each week. While it may be harder to determine how much of the Bible you've read at a given time, I really enjoyed this method because it broke down some of the books of Law into more manageable readings. Also, no endless days of begats, which was a delight too.

It also means you'll find some days are shorter reads where some days are longer. While I did type out the schedule into little boxes I could tick off I won't say I followed it top to bottom each day. I worked through each one each week in whatever way worked for me that week.

If you'd like to snag a set feel free to grab them here. I printed mine on full sheet label paper & just cut them out as I needed them. Mine were sized specifically for my Plum Paper planner sidebar, but I'm sure will fit in a variety of different planners if you're so inclined. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 Planners


It's that time of year again when the new planners are coming out, again I opted to purchase one instead of making a new one.  It's not that the homemade planners weren't working for me, but more of a time issue. They do take a great deal of time to make, & so I opted to purchase from Plum Paper again.

They've made a few cosmetic changes to the interior of their planners for the coming year, & added a few new sections one can choose to order if they want. They even had a sale earlier this year when they came out with larger sizes of some of their planners & I snagged all our school planners at that time. I debated the idea of saving money & using the school planner for a personal planner as well, but as the months ticked by & I was adding more & more to my personal planner that using one for school & personal just wasn't going to cut it.

While they did have another sale after Thanksgiving, I ordered earlier in order to get my planner prior to the end of year. I'm so glad I did too. Oddly, I have nearly identical covers on both planners! The one on the left is larger & I actually removed the cover it came with & pulled out a spare one I had with a more educational/family theme to it. I do so love that grey cover, but it seemed a little silly to have my name on the school planner.

I've been slowly adding information to both planners to have them ready come Sunday. It's hard to imagine an entire year has flown by, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cinnamon Memories


When our eldest was 2 I found a fun little recipe in a copy of a borrowed magazine for Cinnamon ornaments. The recipe was super simple & cost very little to make using only cinnamon, glue, & applesauce. We were young & broke but ready to celebrate the holidays to whatever extent we could that year.

This recipe gave me the idea to use our little one's handprint. Something he could even help with. Mind you it was very very time consuming to cut so many little handprints for Grandmas & Grandpas, Aunts & Uncles, but he loved poking the holes with the straw to make room for string. We etched the first letter of his name & worked the year on the front as well. They take a few days to dry & I end up turning them sometimes to prevent curling which can happen. The house always smells amazing from the cinnamon while they are drying too!

The ornaments were cherished around the world, relatives who couldn't be near for holidays loved having the ornaments. In fact, we got please from others who didn't get one that they wanted one too, & the best part is, should they unfortunately break in the mail there's no harm adding a little more glue!

When we moved to Australia in 2006 it was a bit more trying to make these ornaments. Elmer's glue isn't a staple in the shop, & typical clag isn't the right make for this recipe! Cinnamon is far more dear then fifty-cents or a dollar a bottle as well, not to mention we now had two children who's hands were ever growing & resulting in the need for a double batch of our cinnamon mixture.

While it's really sad, for this Mamma & the various relatives who cherished the handmade gift, to not make them anymore, every December we pull out those cute little hands & relish how long ago it seems that we made them, how much children have grown, & how much we wish, at times, we could slow time down.

This year I managed to convince my 13 year old to hold still so I could snap a photo of just how much his sweet little hands had grown over the past 10 years, & while he obliged he doubted, a whole lot really, that those were ever really his hands. I'm not so convinced he was in denial about ownership, as much as the fact that his hands had grown so much.

If you're keen to make the lovely ornaments I do highly recommend Elmer's Glue or something very similar, clag just won't cut it. I have no idea if homemade white glue would work either, all though I was tempted to try the first year I couldn't get my hands on white glue. The recipe we use all those years doesn't seem to be readily available online, so I'll share below:

Cinnamon Handprints

1 c Cinnamon {we've used normal & dutch over the years}
1/2 c AppleSauce {not chunky}
1/2 c White Glue {we've used off brand & name brand Elmmers, no clag!}

We mix the glue & sauce together & then mix that into the cinnamon. Roll out on baking paper sprinkled with cinnamon, or a well dusted counter {cinnamon}. Cut as desired & lay on a baking sheet or cooling rack to air dry. If you want to hang them up you'll need to put a hole through the ornament with a drinking straw before setting them out to dry. If you prefer a slimmer hole you could use a toothpick, but keep in mind the size of the hole & how you'll get the string or yarn through it.

When we did handprints I simply copied my child's hand on paper, cut that out, laid it atop the dough, & then used a knife to trace cut it out rounding any rough edges as I went. Keep in mind that the thicker you roll this out the sturdy the ornament, but also the longer it dries. The thinner the more fragile the ornament & the more likely it will curl as it dries. We tend to to roll these out as thick as you would a cut-out cookie, about 1/4".

Please keep in mind that this is not an edible recipe. As another side note, over the years as we made these we started marking small cubes or beads with holes in them. Grandparents were making a garland out of the handprints & this allowed them matching spacers. Yes, the beads or cubes take longer to dry, but they were well cherished.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Historical Walk


The same day we checked out Highfield House we opted to check out the Historical Walk that was in town too. We'd stumbled upon it the evening before while out for a little jaunt down by the wharf. The idea is that you start at location one & follow the signs around town.

The catch is you kinda need a smartphone or tablet in order to get the most out of this tour. While the plaques at each location have a little quip on them, if you scan the QR code you'll hear a more in-depth speech about the location you're standing at. You'll also get a map to help you find your way around, because there's large spans between some, & smaller gaps between others.

If you enjoy geocaching & history it's likely to be as much of a win for your family as it was for ours! The information provided stated the walk would be a leisurely 60 minute, but somehow it managed to take us  3 hours! We're still chuckling about that because we find that the time offered up on signs around here is rather generous, indeed, & to find we'd taken that much extra time really blew us away.

Perhaps our extra time came, in part, due to the stop-off the guys made at the local chocolate shop where they each bought themselves some sugar laden treat & indulged in it while we debated if the object hanging in the shop across the street was an owl or a bear. It was an owl, if you're curious.

We also spend a large portion of time in the burial grounds, which are open to the public. It was one of the few places that was open to the public. Many of the historical homes are now privately owned or required you to search our a persons in order to obtain keys to gain entry. We didn't take the time to do that, but rather admired what we could from the outside, looking for the various locations that one was suppose to be able to see from where we stood.

One location told us that Matthew Flinders referred to the nut as a Christmas Pudding, & as we stood there gazing up the only words uttered were, "How much brandy was in his pudding?" In fairness it was likely much more dense with brush & trees than it is now, but considering he didn't have an ariel view of it we're still mystified by this comment.

The walk is suppose to loop you back around to your starting point, which it does, but we felt it was a little flawed as we had to walk back past a few key points & our caravan in order to locate our car & starting point. We stopped along the path back at some picnic tables & indulged in the bananas & water we'd packed "just incase", & would you know the same tourists we'd help chased down their map at Highfield house spotted us & came over to say hello again.

By the time we finally got back to our caravan, uploaded photos before we lost more, recharged devices so we could snap more photos & people refueled themselves everyone was a little listless & we decided to hit the beach. The guys had all gone down the day before, but I'd had to sit in the cabin & ice my knees after our hike on The Nut. After walking around the water front someone decided his feet were about to fall off & laid down for the night, we agreed & headed back to our caravan for the night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Highfield House


Saturday morning we hit the "tourist road" early & headed off to Highfield House. This has been our to do last for a while now, & we were set to visit it last year when Hollywood took over the town for the filming of a movie.

Highfield house is an historical home now run by Parks & Wildlife services here. While the house is decked out with some borrowed items, & some that are part of the home, it's history is rich for Tasmania & specifically Stanley.

We ended up spending hours there exploring every nook & cranny, taking a morning tea break & then exploring the grounds.

Upon arrival we had to follow the signs to locate the room dedicates as an office in order to pay our entrance fee. The lady working then took us to this room, handed us a map, & turned us loose. The tours are self-guided, but staff are available to ask questions if you'd like.. & can locate them.

The walls of this beautiful little nook are covered with the history of the people who resided in Highfield house, or had some significant dealings with it. There are dates, quips, & photos all over the walls, which we took plenty of photos of. On the reverse wall there is a mirror so you can see yourself amongst the history of Highfield house, thus Mr S "on the wall".

So many gorgeous windows to look out, & each one had amazing views. The room we started in looked out over the flower gardens, which, when you walk through, are slightly maze like.. unless like myself you are being chased by a bee & being allergic you run like mad while everyone around you is giggling.

The adjoining room was a brightly lit sitting room. All the windows in this room were either doors or floor to ceiling glass. Pretty spectacular, but I imagine also very fly ridden during those hot & sticky summer months. The embroidery in the back right hand corner was pretty impressive, & the table in the front right hand corner was the table that the mistress of the home apparently worked on when doing such work.

One of many pianos within the home. There were some itchy fingers amongst our family who were all longing to play a tune or two upon this beautiful old upright. The sign didn't ask you not to play, but we still resisted the urge.

As well as a second small table which was a gaming table, this sewing machine was in the same room. The boys were curious to know if it worked, but the staff was unavailable to ask at the time.

The next room on the map was an office or study. The wall shows, again, another timeline of events that involved the men of the home & some happenings to the Aboriginal people of the area, a horrific fate by all accounts. The desk has a plate of glass atop it & then atop that are replicas of the paperwork that was found in the office, all though many papers are done by different people who once resided there.

The roll top desk in this photo was on loan from someone within the state, but the handcuffs & gun caught the intention of our war enthusiast. Notice the collection of quills below & either medicine or liquor bottles atop?

On the fireplace in this room was a collection of older books. We could only read the spines of a few & the kids were impressed to recognise titles of books they'd read, for those whose spines we couldn't read, again it took great self-control not to remove them from the shelf for a peek.

The office was the least lit room of the whole home {basement excluded} because the only window was the beautiful door on the side. The other walls were interior walls which prevented other natural light flow. Notice the notch in the shrubs off in the distance which would give a person an ocean view from this desk? It made us chuckle when we noticed it.

We also spotted several of these old clocks that open up & need winding. Oh how one child's hands really wanted to open it up & check out how they worked..

The next room we visited was the dinning room. It was hard to get photos in this room as the light was so beautiful in here that it reflected off many of the shinier surfaces. When we stumbled upon this one & there was still no sign asking us not to touch {some items asked you not to touch or sit upon} a child went off in search of permission to play. They were, unfortunately, denied.

The same room had a beautiful long dining table in it with a long sheet of glass over the top. On the glass were stickers that replicated what a fully set table, complete with food, would have looked like. There was a cabinet in the corner right beside another floor to ceiling window that showcased some items that would have been used in this room including a salt & pepper shaker set that had been "borrowed" from the house in the 1800's & returned, eventually only a few years ago!

Another cabinet, this one had books & a menu on display, but it was very hard to get a photo without the reflection of the beautiful windows behind me. The books were on loan, but again titles we'd read. The menu was very difficult to read due to the handwriting!

All that was left of the China Cupboard were the chips & remains. It was interesting to note we've collected some of the same patterns up off the beach near our home before..

We descended the "creepy steps of doom", as they were dubbed by this cheeky little boy. Admittedly it was a little dark & off putting on the stairs, but I was too busy concentrating on not putting excess pressure on my bum knee. Those steps were steep! 

The basement was empty except for the wee bit of lighting & two signs ahead. There were two rooms down there of equal size & space which were used as the "larder" of sorts. The signs ahead showed what the origional settlers at Highfield felt they needed, & to be honest some of the items on their list had us chuckling. They had an obscene need for butter & bacon, but more importantly butter presses. Unfortunately, the close-up of the sign that I took was one of the photos I lost.

Behind the stairwell for the basement was a small bedroom, with a beautiful window seat in it. The windows in this home were amazing, the lighting was beautiful, & the fact that most of the windows had these alluring seats that made you want to grab a quilt & a good book to curl up in made it hard to resist taking photos of each one.

The room was somewhat empty aside from a bed, this small baby carriage, & a dresser. We couldn't decide if it was a servants quarters or not. The carriage made us say no, but everything else about it, including it's size, made us think yes.

Next we went upstairs which was really really hard on a few of us because the pattern on the carpet was killing our VPD. Not to mention the swirling pattern of the staircase. Ahh, how the origional owners of the home would have giggled at us attempting to climb the stairs. One brave soul took my phone & thrust it over the bannister, while looking in the opposite direction!, to snap this photo. Not bad considering he wasn't even looking!

The master bedroom was at the top of the stairs & while it wasn't as grand as some master bedrooms are today, it was quite grand compared to the room downstairs. Again, the lighting & the window..

This room had some clothing of the day spread out for viewing. The boys weren't incredibly impressed with this dress & wondered why a girl would leaver her dress laying on the bed. Ahh, well you see she wasn't likely to jump around on the bed because that wouldn't have been very ladylike, but they were far more impressed by..

This dress which was hanging on the "ensuite" door & they wondered if I'd love to own & wear a dress like that. Despite Anne Shirley's love for puff sleeves, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a Plane Jane & told them I wasn't too sure about those puff sleeves. 

A gentleman's clothing were hanging on the wall just outside of the "ensuite". Neither of the boys gave it much notice, all though when asked one said he'd wear it if he was in the museum, but that the shirt wasn't his favourite type.

The "ensuite", as I keep calling it, is really nothing more then a small closet with a wash basin & chamber pot. Notice how the chamber pot is set in a wooden box/chair of sorts? 

That allowed the user this view out the window. I'm not so sure I'd enjoy using a chamberpot, much less while staring out a window in which anyone could stare back in at you!

The nursery was down the hall from the master bedroom & was sparsely furnished as well. There was a young boy's clothes hanging from the fire place.

And a grand & unusual version of snakes & ladders/chutes & ladders to play. While the game itself is played in the same manner the ups & downs of the game are based on rules & life during the colonial period. You can actually have a go at this game if you desire, & Morgan being the game & history enthusiast that he is couldn't bear to leave the room without a go. We had ourselves a rousing game before the other two pulled us away to come check out the plaque in the hallway.

The Attic Rooms, or child's rooms are no longer accessable & completely closed off for safety purposes which shed light on why the windows in the hall looked out on roof that seemed to have no access to other rooms. We imagined the thundering footsteps the 12 children who lived here might have caused when having a rousing game of tag in the wet, wild, & wintery months.

The final room we could access upstairs looked out towards the Nut & had a beautiful ocean view. It also had the view of the paddocks, veggie gardens, & town. It was tempting to sit down in the chair & just enjoy the view for a while, but then it was also tempting to use the item laying in the window as well.

We too often had a pair of binoculars sitting in our windows when we lived near the ocean. So much fun to see what one can spy out on the horizon or the birds that are flying around. We did not use this pair, but we did wonder what the user most wanted to see when looking through them.. a ship with news from afar? The happenings in town? The convicts in the garden?

There were several stacks of luggage in this room, perhaps indicating it was for guests who might come & stay with the family, generally important visitors coming to check up on the colony & wonder what was taking so long for crops to grow & other such things in the new land.

Back downstairs we toured the kitchen & found a great many items of interest. Here someone left their pantaloons in the wringer! 

The kitchen view is likely a bit different today then it was originally, but still not a bad one! From this window {there were many} they could look over the goings on in the gardens & work buildings.

From another, while churning butter, they could watch the sheep in the paddock. There were sheep out there, but I'm not sure if they are visible in the photo above.

A small back veranda, visible from the hallway just outside the dry larder. It's now a slightly modern kitchen for the staff that worked there, but not off limits to guests to have a peek. It was a little odd seeing peoples lunches & spare coats, so we opted not to snap a photo.

After a quick break for drinks & fruit we followed the trails outside the home. One leads down to the sea towards The Nut, while the other leads to other outbuildings and a memorial.

Tragically one of the children died at age 2 at Highfield & there is a memorial for her on site. She was, the story goes, riding in a little cart pulled by a family dog when the dog became excited & ran off after another dog. When the chase ensued the little carriage bumped young Julianna out & she whacked her head on a wall {presumably stone} & died instantly. A rather tragic & sad story to say the least..

After exiting the memorial area we stopped in the shade to see how much room we had left for photos when I said, "Oh dear me there's a man in the bushes & he's given me a bit of a fright." Everyone else turned around to look & one by one they each jumped back upon seeing this man staring at us. There was no plaque or information to go with it & we forgot to stop by the office to see if the staff had returned to ask them about it. We opted to presume it was, perhaps Julianna's father looking over her.

After heading back towards the house we decided to peek in on the chapel that resides behind the main home. Heighfield was it's own bustling little community, the home of a family with 12 children. They were also responsible for the welfare of the convicts who were hired to work the land & help with the construction of the home. The small church served not only as church, but also as school.

In the church the boys decided to give us a message on obedience & faith before we went upstairs to tour the little school room. I don't seem to have snapped a photo of the many pews the boys were looking out over. Mr S & I were the only two listening to their message, & once they finished Mr S got up to preach to us as well. He cut his short when he burst out laughing because we were all sitting at rapt attention waiting to hear what he had to say. Unfortunately I lost all the school room photos, which I'm really sad about. I'll have to raid Mr S' photos & see if he scored any.

Next we went back on the trail & followed it all the way down to the sea. We were looking for the old Barracks because our army enthusiast was pretty keen to check them out even though he knew they'd only be ruins. They were not down this way, but the view was spectacular. What a place to have a picnic if you lived at Highfield!

We checked out the threshing barn, stables, & blacksmiths next. All of which were amazing. The Threshing Barn was setting up for a wedding, but we were still able to go in & take photos. We had some beautiful photos of the crates the old wool balers came in, but unfortunately all those were lot in the great "photo loss".

The stables were pretty impressive too & they had mangers which gave the boys a whole new perspective for where Jesus was laid when born. The stables had a gorgeous Dutch Door on it which Morgan was in love with & had asked for a photo of & with. Again, more photos I lost. I may have actually wept over that one. The blacksmith had some lovely old pieces in it & tools, also amongst the lost photos. Such a shame.

I did however manage to salvage the only photo of both kids together on our tour. They were both pretty exhausted at this point & sat down for a rest. We had just finished touring another small house that was on the property, also lost those photos unfortunately, which happens to sit next to the private residence. They were wistful in imagining themselves living there.

After helping another couple who were touring chase down their map we finally walked off to find the barracks. You have to exit the drive, go past the old stables, & down the road towards the ocean. At the corner they'll come into view. This is all that's left & the cows who were grazing nearby were quite confused as to why were snapping photos. When I mooed a thank-you back to them they attempted to follow us back up to the house. Oops!

Another view of the remains. Despite the word barracks these ruins were for the convicts who were made to work at Highfield. There was a small plaque there explaining a little bit about it as well as the book we purchased about Highfield.

After our trip here we headed back towards the stables to check out the old pig stye {also lost those photos} & then, before heading off Jayden had one more stop he wanted to make.

There was a horse across the street at some accommodations. It was just standing between the high shrubbery & the barn in an attempt to ward off some of the wind. It looked rathe forlorn & Jayden wanted to go cheer it up. Leave it to our little animal lover. The horse was delighted with the simple hello, but when we turned to leave kept nuzzling Jayden until he finally turned around to pat it. Then of course we had to wait while he fed it a few handfuls of grass before we finally insisted we really need to go get some lunch.

One last scenic snap before we hit the road. We spent 3.5 hours touring this amazing property & you know, the kids were keen to go back. We didn't, we went to pick up a picnic lunch & headed towards the beach & discuss the historical walk we had planned for the afternoon/evening.

While the rest of us were guzzling water, Jayde decided to offer our lunch to the seagulls, but only if they'd take it from his hand. Absolutely none of them objected to his one condition. That bird happily took the chip from him, & then the next one in line came to get one. See the little fellow on the ground in the right hand corner, he came next. This kid had seagulls all over the table, including a few sitting right next to him, before I told him he had to get rid of them so we could actually eat the food ourselves. It was a lovely picnic to wrap up our mornings adventures.