I just loved this story and had to share it. I wonder how we, as home schooling Mums, would describe ourselves?

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the Motor Registration office, was asked by the counter clerk to state her occupation.
She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
‘What I mean is,’ explained the counter clerk, ‘do you have a job or are you just a ..?’
‘Of course I have a job,’ snapped the woman. ‘I’m a Mum.’
‘We don’t list ‘Mum’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,’ said the clerk emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare office.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like ‘Official Interrogator’ or ‘Town Registrar.’
‘What is your occupation?’ she probed.
What made me say it?  I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
‘I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.’
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
‘Might I ask,’ said the clerk with new interest, ‘just what you do in your field?’
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, ‘I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.’
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than ‘just another Mum.’  Motherhood!
What a glorious career!
Especially when there’s a title on the door.


The Birds & the Bees


We are fortunate to have a fairly large garden, and live in an area that is reasonably well populated with large trees. As a result, we have always enjoyed a good variety of bird visitors to our garden, and have recorded some 50 different species over time.

We do not employ a gardener, and with added responsibilities this past year, the upkeep of our garden has slipped somewhat, and we have “allowed” the back part of our garden to grow wild.

This troubled us somewhat until we realised that we had begun seeing previously unrecorded bird-life in our garden, culminating with visits from two different owl species.

Although we did not actually see the Marsh Owls, we on two different occasions found feathers belonging to them in our garden, and heard their calls at night.

Then one night in August, Einstein and I awoke at 2am to the distinct and echoing hu-hooo of a Spotted Eagle Owl.

We lay for while listening until, overcome by curiosity, Einstein went to investigate. “Come look here!!!”,  he called urgently a minute later, and I sprang out of bed and joined him at the sitting-room window to gaze in awe at the perfect profile of the large owl perched on the tip of our neighbour’s rooftop, outlined against the night sky and hooting mournfully.

Deciding that this was an event too special to be missed, we woke Little Einstein, and the three of us crowded together at the window.

We were rewarded a moment later when the owl spread its wings and swooped silently down to land on our fence, literally a couple of metres from the window where we were transfixed.

A moment later, a second owl softly landed in the spot on the neighbour’s roof vacated by its mate and there they sat hooting at each other.

We enjoyed this spectacle for several minutes before they flew off, leaving us grinning delightedly at each other from this special experience.

Well, following this unique moment, we decided to leave the back garden wild, and have since been further rewarded for this decision.

During the past three years or so, a small swarm of bees have regularly returned to hive under Little Einstein’s playhouse, and we have left them to it and stayed clear during the summer months.

Since our decision to leave the garden wild, two more swarms have “moved in” – one into the hollow trunk of our birdbath, and another into an old tyre lying under our apricot tree.

Inspired by our visitors, Einstein (an inventor at heart) began to research bees and took to his design programme to design a hive.

This weekend, he began to build the hive.

And so begins a new and exciting chapter in the life of our family … bee-keeping!