Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge for November

I've been invited to participate in a Gratitude Challenge for the entire month of November. 

It is so easy to complain about what is going on in our lives, about things that aren't 'right', about the lack of money, 'stuff', etc., etc.

Starting the 1st of November, I'm going to try (with Brend from Garden of Learning) to post something I'm grateful for every day. 

A couple of years ago our family started doing this at the breakfast table: while having breakfast we'd take turns to say what we are thankful for that morning - this is a good reminder to keep on doing that and to do it every day!

Now I'll extend the invitation to you too : )  Why not join us in being thankful? Simply go to the original post HERE and follow the instructions.

Hope you'll join us :)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Black day at Church

It was Sunday. 

A not 'out-of-the-ordinary' day for attending church. Except, it was Sunday night close to 9pm. Several figures dressed in Black were moving around the main auditorium looking for a seat. A sense of anxiety filled the air....




in the

The Rugby World Cup Final!

Two teams.
One winner.

Yes, our church hosted screenings of several of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) matches as a different option to the pub scene, but still have the atmosphere of a crowd cheering for their team. 

It was fun, it was stressful, it was ... the final!

I must admit I thought to myself that I'm taking rugby a tad too seriously as I was sitting on the edge of my seat ... nearly biting my nails (yes, I had a finger pressed firmly against my lips) ... feeling way to anxious about this game - nearly dreading the possibility ... no, I wont say it! ... mmmm... Yes, maybe a tad too seriously.

Be it as it may ... it was time. Two amazing teams going head to head - The Men in Black and The Men in White ... (as France kindly gave up their colours so 'we' can play in our Black Jerseys) 

The National Anthem was sung - loudly!
The Crowds (at the stadium, at church and I'm sure everywhere else) were swept up with emotion.
The whistle was blown.
The game was on!

I am an ALL BLACK supporter ALL THE WAY, but I must say France was a worthy opponent! I think BOTH TEAMS are to be congratulated. It was a CLOSE game. Really, how much closer do you get than a one point difference? 8 - 7

After all that though, the ALL BLACKS walked off the field as the winners of the Rugby World Cup 2011! Well done boys! 

Oh, sweet victory.

Now ... I should BREATHE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
Right now it's dark so I can't see much : )

I am thinking...
Of Starfish... our foster baby who, after 6 1/2 months is with her 'new' mummy

I am thankful...
For my amazing family and friends.

From the learning rooms...(if this applies)
Kids are building a mechanical car from Mechano with Daddy.

In the kitchen...
It is clean (thanks to my mum tonight) ... that reminds me, I need to turn on the dishwasher! 

I am wearing...
Jeans and a sweater - October in NZ and it's raining and cold :(

I am creating...
A painting for a friend of mine

I am going...
To go through the clutter sitting on my lounge floor at the moment ... soon... I promise ;)

I am wondering...
If I will ever be as organised as I want to be.

I am reading...
Diary of a Bereaved Mother and Treasure of the Snow.

I am hoping...
That tomorrow will be sunny so I can take the kids for a picnic at the park.

I am looking forward to...

I am hearing...
'Living next door to Alice' by Smokie and DH and the kids chatting about their project.

Around the house...
It is quiet (apart from the above mentioned sounds) as it is nearly 10pm. 

I am pondering...
Where will everyone sleep this weekend as we've got a guest coming and my kids already share a room as mum lives with us... : )  A full house with lots of love! Maybe I should pitch the tent ... in the rain ... or maybe not ...

One of my favorite things...
My family.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...
Getting ready for term IV of NZ school year.

Watching the RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL on Sunday night! GO THE ALL BLACKS!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

We hand reared this sparrow (2009). It is a wild bird so did not keep it as a pet, though it still flies into the house looking for seed : ) He's called Harry.

If you'd like to join in on 'The Simple Woman's Daybook', visit Peggy's page HERE

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My 'Now-that-I'm-40' list (in progress)

On September, 29th I officially turned the big 4 0.

My birthday card from my daughter included these words: 'Even though you are the big 4 0, you are still very young to me'. What a sweet girl she is :)

I've looked forward to turning 40 for at least 2 years, so I had great expectations of what it would be like - big party ideas and everything. However, life does not always go as planned (Yah I know, big surprise there).

The day was bitter sweet. We were in the process of farewelling our foster girl whom we raised from birth. It was stressful, but my amazing family made it a special day.

A lovely, lovely breakfast was made for me while I received my cards and gifts. I know they love me as I got plenty of chocolate! (Lindt which is my favourite). Got a stunning pair of earrings from the kids and a trip to White Island (Active Volcano here in NZ) from the love of my life. (I will blog more about that a bit later). My friends treated me too with all sorts of amazing gifts. One of our friends came around specially in the morning to make me a cup of coffee :) If friends are the riches of life, I am a very wealthy woman!

Since I'm 40 I thought I'd make a list of some things I'd like to do or do differently. As I was pondering this (and I still am) I stumbled onto this post HERE by Tasha. It is her response to a list of things to do before 40, however, I might add some of that to my own list : )

OK, so back to my list. What is on it?

Well, as I said it is something I am still pondering, so it's a 'work-in-progress' (like me).
This is my list for now:  (Please feel free to leave me a comment with suggestions - even outrageous ones!)

1. Be more fun 
2. See the bottle as half FULL (yeah, I'm a bit of a pessimist) 
3. Learn another language (busy learning LATIN)
4. Stop multi-tasking and do and finish one thing at a time! (see this post of Tasha HERE)
5. Learn more about politics ... (does that counter no. 1?)

Ok, I'm off to go and play with my kids!


Visual Latin US$10 off!


If you've read my review on Visual Latin then you'll know that we loved it. You can read it HERE.

Visual Latin is giving away a US$10 gift.

This is from Dwane Thomas (the teacher of Visual Latin).

"I love getting money in the mail (don’t you?) so here’s a gift for $10 you can use on any Visual Latin product. If you haven’t purchased the Visual Latin series yet, this will help you start; or if you’d like to get the first set of Latin 2, use it that way. Just use it quickly: it’s only good through Friday, October 21."
Gift Code: OCT$10 


Monday, October 17, 2011

E Amoris 'Visual' Latinum - TOS Review: Visual Latin


WHY would anyone want to learn Latin?

The question without a doubt should be:


Latin is the basis of what is known as the Romance Languages. It is said that there are 25 of these languages. Amongst them are the 6 most widely spoken languages which include: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian and Catalan ... then there is also Walloon :)
Latin paves the way to so many languages. As it is either the basis of a language or influenced another language, learning Latin can only help if you want to learn other languages and/or to better understand English that is heavily influenced by Latin. 
Apart from Latin having influenced MANY languages, Latin is also used in the medical and other sciences fields.

So, speaking of learning Latin... here is a great quote (borrowed from Visual Latin's FB page) - 

‎"I would make them all learn English; and then I would let

the clever ones learn Latin as an honor, and Greek as a 

treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

DISCLAIMER: Recently I was fortunate enough to have received a free downloadable version of the first 10 lessons of Visual Latin for review purposes. In exchange for this free product that I've used with my children, I provide Visual Latin with an honest, personal opinion of their product. 

Quid hoc 'Visual Latin'? (what is Visual Latin?)

Visual Latin is a:

Visual (as in video clips),


... way to learn Latin. It is a full Latin Curriculum that caters to various learning styles.

Meet our teacher - Dwane Thomas:

Well, I say OUR teacher, because I've been enjoying this with both my children (11 & 8).

Dwane is a passionate, inspiring, friendly and fun teacher who you would love to have in your home teaching your children Latin. He is passionate about the Latin language and can speak 4 other languages. Dwane  has a relaxed teaching style, speaking directly to the viewer as if he is right infront of you. He makes jokes throughout the videos and is very easy to listen to.  New concepts are introduced in an easy to understand manner.

To learn more about the Teacher (Dwane Thomas) and the Producer (Thomas Purifoy) of Visual Latin, visit this page HERE.

Currently Visual Latin has 40 Lessons available. Latin 1 has 30 lessons and Latin 2 has 10 lessons at present. These lessons include 3 videos (Grammar, Sentences and Reading) and 3 PDFs (Instruction, Worksheets and Answer pages).

The first video in each lesson has a grammar focus where Dwane introduces a new concept.


In the second video Dwane uses the new concept in different Latin sentences.

In the third video Dwane reads a passage from a Latin book while the words are on the screen, then he reads it again slowly and the student repeats it after him. This way the student hears, sees and repeats out loud what was learned.

Each video is approximately 8 minutes in duration after which there is a worksheet to complete.

The worksheets are short and my kids enjoyed completing them. Both of the children had a huge sense of satisfaction after completing the worksheets, in particular Worksheet C. Completing Worksheet C means that they understood and translated the passage from Latin into English! WOW! "Mum, this is sooo much fun!", is what I've often heard form my 11 year old daughter.

If you want Dwane to tell you about Visual Latin himself, then just follow THIS LINK to watch a video clip of him explaining what it is.

How did we use it ... and did we like it?

We tried to do three lessons a week. Sometimes we could not quite make it, however, other times we did two full lessons at a time.

During each lesson we would watch the first video while my kids sat with pen and paper / e-pads and write/type up the Latin concepts and phrases that Dwane introduced. (They did this on their own volition). After the video they did the first worksheet. The second video and worksheet followed. In between this I sometimes had to pause the video while the kids tried to string new Latin sentences together with the new words and concepts and what they remembered from the previous lessons. It made for some very fun times. We also tried to guess what some words might mean before Dwane gives the translation of it. Sometimes we were even correct : ) and we had to celebrate with a loud: "OH YEAH!"

We liked it so much that I purchased the next 30 lessons! So it gets a HUGE THUMBS UP from our entire family.

Quanti constat? (How much is this?)

Visual Latin is available in downloadable format as well as DVD format. The DVD formats are also available as a single/family licence or as a group/class licence.

For the first 10 lessons pricing is as follows:

Download version single licence: US$25

DVD version single licence: US$30
DVD version group licence: US$150

We've received the downloadable files for single/family use which retails for US$25 for a 10 lesson package.
The downloads are available as an HD zip file as well as an iPod zip file. 

Check out the other products (including an online class) which are available HERE - both products you pay for as well as free products.

As always I appreciate when people are so confident in their product that they are willing to give some of it away for free. Visual Latin does not disappoint: to download 4 Intro lessons plus 2 regular lessons for free follow this LINK.

If you need to see more, you can go to the YouTube Channel:

Visual Latin also has a FaceBook page over HERE.

The website is easy to navigate and full of information.

As I'm aware that this review is turning into a mini novel, I'd stop here and let you go and enjoy browsing their site on your own. So go and grab a cuppa, put up your feet and get excited about learning Latin!

To read what my fellow Crew Mates think about this product, please visit the Crew's website HERE.

Benedictio Dei