From the Coalface {SQT} Chicks and Lenten surprises

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!


Ash Wednesday got off to a good start with Mass and the mandatory ash application.

This video by Nick Alexander was a good mood setter to the season for those of us growing up listening to Police.


Mid-morning saw things take a real nosedive as my stomach began to gurgle and the kids behaviour deteriorated.  I was just saying the day before how I wish I knew why, “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones” as the song goes.  Various theories were thrown around, including the concept of morning Mass or praying together to start off the day made all the difference.  But what about those times when you do all those things and the day is still pretty rotten?


I have come to the conclusion that it is not dissimilar to the lessons I have learned in my health journey that there is a concept called “Breakdowns and Breakthroughs”.  Sometimes we are pushed beyond our capacity and it is in these moments that we can make a decision either to back down or rise to the occasion.  The kids’ behaviour often deteriorates when I am asking more from them or they are doing something which takes them out of their comfort zones.  This is pretty well a constant occurrence when homeschooling, as all learning stretches us a bit, just like a good physical workout or a fast day in Lent.

I usually don’t see the learning breakdowns coming, as I am not a 9 year old having to learn to hold a pencil, or a 13 yr old boy having to sit still and read something when I’d rather be doing pretty much anything else.  I am taken aback, assume I have failed yet again, and spend the night lying awake wondering if I need to call family services due to having my children do something they hate.

The thing that has hit me this week, however, is that the next day, the very next one, if I have stayed firm during the breakdown phase, we have a real breakthrough.

And the day after the Ash Wednesday meltdowns was one of those times.  It was one of the best so far this year.  They got up early, and actually got all their work done early, with no tantrums, tears or hissy fits.  Truly astonishing.


In some ways I feel like Easter has already come to our house, as we were given 4 new additions to our chook house this week.  Caring for day-old chicks is an awesome way to take the focus off self and it has worked wonders on all of us.



Everyone, that is, except for the dog.  She is going insane not being able to eat these chirpy little balls of dinner.  Needless to say much of her week has been spent in solitary confinement, locked in the laundry / “sin bin” in disgrace due to her excessive salivation and yelping whenever we take the chicks out of their cage.

Her preferred pose.. being Queen of the whole world
Her preferred pose.. being Queen of the whole world


Thursday did, however, see me select a Lenten sacrifice card with “Fast from whingeing”.  We have a deal that we pick a different card each day, and don’t take it down until it is done for the whole day.  I had to keep mine up for an extra 24 hours as my husband had to keep reminding me not to whinge.. mm.. gotta work on that one.


Finally, I just wanted to remind you to go to the Catholic Conference 4 Moms and use the code “coal” to get $4 off your registration.  What are you waiting for?  See you there!


Have a great week everyone!



  1. Go, mama! We are plowing through the breakdown of dealing with tantrums in the middle of sickness, when Netflix is the easiest go-to but really correction of those bad habits needs to stop. I am looking forward to the breakthrough when everybody feels better. 🙂


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