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Candice Matthews

Homeschool family Finding joy in simplicity Growing great kids Click the link below for some of my FAVOURITE resources for kids


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I have been making more of a conscious effort to go and play with my kids. Sure I take them to the park lots but I usually use that time to take a break. On our last trip to the park I spent a good part of it swinging and going down slides and climbing spider webs. My legs are actually still sore from all that swinging! Can I just say how nice it was! My kids didn’t care that I looked silly because I definitely felt like it trying to fit down that slide. They were so happy to have me playing with them. Auron and I talked about the Space Camp he wants to do at NASA and how he wants to be an Aerospace Engineer. Lili detailed out to me her rather elaborate plans for her birthday this weekend and Ammon just thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread anyways. They are only little for so long I hope they remember that I tried. I may not get it right all the time but I try really really hard. . . . #intentionalparenting #homeschoolkids #ldsmom #christianfamily #faithingod #melbournemum #letthemplay #letthembekids #runwildmychild


We had a loooooong day today. The three big kids and I left home before 8am to drive an hour across the city in pouring rain to Lili’s big Choir rehearsal (they sound incredible). Luckily I got an awesome park. The unfortunate part was that since it was so good we couldn’t leave because someone would take it and I would be forced to parallel park a good 15 min walk away. So we sat in the car for 2 hours. Then we drove another hour to get some lunch then head to the park with friends for a few hours where the kids played in the rain. Another hour drive to the store for groceries until we finally arrived home at 6pm. Auron and Lili made us French toast which was delicious! By 7pm all four kids were in bed and by 7:05pm I was watching Netflix. Also I love this photo I got of Auron and Lili. Auron was so happy to pick her up from rehearsal and held her hand so she didn’t slip in the rain... and break her other arm 😂. . . . #homeschoolkids #intentionalparenting #ldsmom #faithingod #christianfamily #melbournemum #dayinthelife


A couple of week ago the kids had their annual presentation at church. It is where they get the opportunity to stand up in front of the congregation (there were almost 400 people that day!) and share something they had learnt at church this year. They also sung their little hearts out. I serve in the children’s program for our congregation and it was such a joy to see it all come together after so much work and effort was put in to it on everyones part. Every single child got up and did their part with out a moments hesitation even the littlest 3 year olds. The children’s presentation is always by far the best Sunday of the year. They are just so darn entertaining to watch. From the kid picking their nose front and centre or the impromptu add on’s to their parts…like the little boy who wanted to tell everyone how much he loved his mum. I found the photos I took of the kids each year, and it is amazing to see how much they grow and how fast and to see new kiddos added. And yes Lili wore the same dress two years in a row because I ran out of time to go buy a new one. There were actually 4 other little girls with the same dress. That’s because it was on sale for $30 down from $80! . . . . #ldsmom #homeschoolkids #christianfamily #aussiemum #faithingod #frugalliving #intentionalparenting


We are in the process of applying for visa’s to the USA, it is a long arduous process with no guarantee of success since it works on a lottery system (but being and NZ citizen gives us the highest chances) Regardless we are pushing through with a whole lot of faith. I was actually shaking today when I was filling in the forms and pressing submit. This is not something that we had planned for our life but it is something we feel very much led to do so we are jumping off a cliff somewhat. That is kind of the way we roll though. We have been this way our whole marriage and it has served us well. Anyway part of the application was that we needed visa photos to submit. Can I just tell you this was the most painful set of photos I have ever taken. Our kids got passports when they were newborns, then again when they reached five. Newborns and 5 years olds are EASY to take photos of. A three year old and one year old however are little pains in the butts. These are some of the outtakes. After about 40 photos each and a bag of candy we got something that worked. I am just praying that these visa’s are granted so I don’t have to repeat the process next year. . . . . . #expatkids #passportphoto #lifewithkids #ldsmom #christianmom #homeschoolmom #homeschoolkids #lifeisanadventure #seizetheday #faithit #trustgodsplan


I went to the supermarket yesterday and while I was gone Aarahi cut Carter’s hair! I knew he was going to do it. I just thought we would give him a little trim or something! But no, my baby is officially a big kid, with his big kid hair cut. We I came inside he handed me a baggie with Carter’s little curls in. “Here I saved this for you and your mum, seems like something you would both want” lol 😂. When we were cleaning out my Nana’s house after she died we found all our first locks of hair but even more disturbing was that she kept our umbilical cords 🤮. Not just the clamps. They were swiftly disposed off. Do you keep first hair cuts?


We have been extremely MIA the past couple of weeks as we have dealt with several hospital visits. Lili’s fell off her scooter and broke her arm. She’s loving having a cast. Last week Ammon woke up vomiting blood. Not just a little blood but it was like a murder scene had taken place in his room. He didn’t think much of it but I was traumatised. He was admitted to hospital and had test after test but nothing definitive. We were discharged and he was almost back to himself a few days later so we went to the zoo when he went down hill abd started screaming in pain. Hospital again, but no new answers. Currently he is doing fine and is back to normal. We have a meeting with the Gastro specialists in a couple of weeks once all the tests results are in. So it’s been a crazy time here. The perks being there is some really good hospital food around, Aarahi has had plenty of time off work and Lili is over the moon about not doing handwriting! . . . #motherhoodsimplified #motherhoodslens #motherhoodinspired #ldsmom #momstruggles #momstuff #letthembekids #ldsprimary #mormonmom #mytinytribe #motherhoodrocks #nzmum #aussiemum #kidslife #naturalparenting #bigfamilies #homeschoolmom #homeschoollife #familiesareforever #eternalfamily #familiesbelongtogether #mormonmom #iamamormon #raisingboys #raisinggirls #homeeducation #unschooling #worldschooling #motherhoodunited #unpluggedchildhood


Monday again. I always struggle to get going on Monday mornings. It was actually 10am before I left the bedroom today. Thankfully Aarahi is home in the mornings so he takes care of breakfast etc with the kids while I get a break to do whatever I want for a few hours. As soon as I open that bedroom door though it’s free reign. Actually for the last few weeks Auron has come in and woken me up at 6:45 to ask if he can turn the tv on. HIS FATHER IS LITERALLY SITTING ON THE COUCH WITH HIM!!!! I’m like you realise your Dad can answer questions like that?! Apparently Dad makes them empty the dishwasher and eat breakfast first. They are just taking advantage of my being half asleep and agreeing to anything that gets them out of my room. We didn’t actually start school until 3pm today. I have been wanting to try liquid water colours with the kids but I can not find them cheap enough ($25 per colour) So pinterest served me up a great DIY recipe. We spent a lot of our morning painting flowers and butterflies to decorate our Spring window. All the school kids are on Spring break at the moment here so Auron and Lili are trying to get all their work out of the way early so they can go catch up and play with their friends. I am counting down until 1st December when we will officially be done with the school year! Also please tell me I’m not the only one who has kids who think Dad can’t do anything?! . . . . . #motherhoodsimplified #motherhoodslens #motherhoodinspired #ldsmom #momstruggles #momstuff #letthembekids #ldsprimary #mormonmom #mytinytribe #motherhoodrocks #nzmum #aussiemum #kidslife #naturalparenting #bigfamilies #homeschoolmom #homeschoollife #familiesareforever #eternalfamily #familiesbelongtogether #mormonmom #iamamormon #raisingboys #raisinggirls #homeeducation #unschooling #worldschooling #motherhoodunited #unpluggedchildhood


Today was a long day, I am seriously regretting the "let's just watch one episode" which turned into an entire season Netflix binge Aarahi and I started at 11pm last night.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This morning we attended a funeral for one of my best friends sister in law. She was only 31 and had become another victim of that horrible disease cancer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All day...actually the past few months really, I have become acutely aware of how fragile life is. No day is ever promised to us so we really need to make the most of what we have right here and now. It was hard to see our friends having to walk through something so immensely difficult and have nothing more to offer than a shoulder to cry on and our unwavering love for them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After the funeral we headed to our weekly homeschool co-op where there kids had a class on robotics followed by creating their own recycled robots. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Aarahi had the day off work so he could be at the funeral so while we should be having an early night we are popping the popcorn and settling in for another netflix session...because this is what date night looks like these days! .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #christianhomeschool #naturallearning #learningthroughplay #ldsmom #homeschoolcoop #homeeducation #aussiemum #homeschooldays #unpluggedchildhood


Our 7 Day Gratitude Challenge is going great so far! Today Lili worked on her thankful jar for the second day in a row. She wants it perfect and filled right up to the top. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When they first started working on these thankful jars they were quick to identify all the obvious things but the longer they worked on it the more insightful their thoughts became. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It was really sweet to see them thinking outside of themselves and being less “The world revolves around me”. It helped them to think about how blessed they actually are. Soon their jars were filled with not only material things but memories and experience they have had. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is probably our 3rd??? challenge we have done through @thebiglifejournal company. They have a VAST collection of of great resources like this for kids. A lot of the activities are actually pretty awesome teenagers and adults too. I will leave a link to their website in my profile if you wanted to get your hands on something like this. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #growthmindset #biglifejournal #letthembekids #raisingmytribe #ldsmom #homeschoolmom #unschool #naturalparenting #aussiemum


Sometimes there is nothing better than playing in the mud with your brother.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ammon kept running in and out of the house to get cups of water...using my favourite tea cups! There was a clear trail of dirt from the back door to the kitchen sink. I let him go for a while because, well he was happily occupied while I was teaching Auron and Lili. Eventually I filled up a tub for him to use, along with some plastic cups that I have zero attachment too! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It wasn't long before Carter wanted to join in. I love this age, everything is wonderful and exciting to him. He is so blessed with siblings who are patient. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Carter and Ammon played out here for a good 2 hours in the sun. Not long after I took this photo Carter had climbed right in and Ammon was pouring muddy water over him fully clothed. Nothing a good bath can't fix though. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kids need to get muddy, to be given freedom and opportunities to create their own fun instead of having to be provided with entertainment every waking moment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How do you keep your littles occupied while you do school? I am ALWAYS after new ideas. I can only let these two make mud pies with my tea cups for so long!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #unschool #homeschooldays #christianhomeschool #learningthroughplay #naturalparenting #gentleparenting #unpluggedchildhood #naturekids #homeeducation


We started our first Family Day tradition on Saturday and it was so much fun! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So this all began last Christmas when I was out late....3am doing Christmas shopping for everyone. I thought to myself "this is crazy" Christmas has just turned into some massive commercialised holiday where my children are more concerned with what we are going to buy them than the actual reason for the season. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It was then that we decided that this year there would be no big Christmas gifts and stress over the holiday season but instead we would use that time to focus on Christ, serve others, and enjoy the fun Christmas traditions without all the pressure. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ BUT! We actually really love to give our children gifts. Now we have Family Day. It's the same weekend as our anniversary, seems like a good time to celebrate right?! We had decorations and food and gifts. There was lots of games played and memories made. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My ulterior motive was also that at one point we are probably going to have to share holidays with in-laws. I figure that if I have created my own holiday I will at least get them all to myself once a year and not have to share! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We took this photo (a day late), but I think it will be really nice to look back on them in 30 years time and see how much our little family has grown and changed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ldsmom #homeschoolmom #aussiemom #christianmom #christianliving #christianhomeschool #ldshomeschool #motherhoodinspired #raisingthefuture


There is something both terrifying and pride inducing that happens when you see you children scaling rock climbing walls then launching themselves off without a second thought. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Auron received a voucher for a free climb for conquering every wall they had. Lili impressed me with her zero fear and perseverance.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My little Ammon however struggled a lot. This is something that he would usually love but his heart just wasn't in it today. I really felt for him because I knew he was trying so hard but it just wasn't happening. I think I will send him back with Daddy one day soon for a special day out when he is feeling a bit better. He ended up sleeping the whole way home, even missing an entire trip to the shopping centre where I moved him from the car to the pram and back again without even waking him. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Parenting is hard sometimes.....most of the time. I always find it difficult to know when it's time to leap in and save them or when it just let them figure it out themselves and work through it. In the end I pulled Ammon over to me and asked if he wanted to go play with the big foam blocks instead, which he looked pretty relieved about.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What's something you are struggling with as a parent at the moment?


Sometimes school happens outside. The first week of Spring is has been beautiful. It also means that we get to start on the Spring section of our nature journals from @thegoodandthebeautiful I had big plans to head out to a gorgeous park or to the zoo or something today but the car was out of gas and I couldn't be bothered going to get more. Just keeping it real. So we walked across the road to our park late in the afternoon.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We were enjoying the weather so much that we decided to walk the streets of the neighbourhood and see if we could find some kangaroos that often roam the fields at the back of our estate. No luck on the roo's today, but we all got some much needed fresh air and exercise. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I am really excited to work on this Spring journal. There's so many fun activities and it is the perfect weather for getting out and exploring this incredible country. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Do your kids love nature journals? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #homeschoolmom #thegoodandthebeautiful #naturejournal #explorevictoria #melbournemum #unschool #intentionalparenting #naturalparenting #homeschoolkids #homeeducation #naturallearning #gentleparenting #homeschooldays #learningthroughplay #melbourneblogger #unpluggedchildhood


Every Monday we head to the Library for Minecraft and Science Lab. The kids love it! Here’s why I love it though. 1. It’s free. I can’t afford to have kids it lots of different extra curricular activities. Especially when they don’t really have any deep interest in the class/sport/instrument. If they did, I would be happy to enrol them, but it’s a lot of money just to spend for the sake of having them in classes. 2. They see the same kids in every week. They get to develop friendships and work together on projects. 3. They get the opportunity to learn from other teachers and adults instead of just me. This is important to me. I want them to be adaptable to different teaching styles, and to learn in a classroom type setting. 4. There’s no commitment. No ones going to stress if we don’t make it one week. There’s no make up classes or worry about taking a vacation in school term. The library holds different classes each afternoon and we hope to add in more as time permits but it is s great way to get you children involved in the community and making friends. . What kind of awesome things does your library do?


On Friday night my phone went flat and didn’t bother charging it all weekend. It was AMAZING. Sometimes we just need that. We are back into the full swing of school this week after taking a week off to recover from holiday. I have a few things to share with you as we change up our organisation and some fun projects for the start of spring. The weather is getting warmer and the days longer! We may even hit the beach this week, not quite swimming weather but I am sure the kids will try. We are also getting ready for Family Day on Saturday. This is a new tradition we are starting. There will be presents, food, fun, games and lots of memories to be made. . . . What are some of your favourite family traditions?


My ideal dream would be to say “Alexa, feed my kids” and then appears a wonderful meal that they would actually eat... that’s not chicken nuggets. Or “Alexa, pizza and banana shake please” at 3am because sometimes that’s when the cravings strike. Gosh think of the possibilities!!! I don’t think we will ever get downloaded food. What’s one kind of technology you are praying gets invented one day?


Boys. These are my boys and each of them so incredibly different. Not only in looks (see my random blue-eyed blondie right there!) but personalities too. I often find it amazing that children born and raised by the same parents could be so different. Sometimes it is exhausting and life would be so much simpler if they were all clones. Each one needs parenting differently. What works for Auron has little no effect on Ammon, he just stares at me blankly while he continues to do what I asked him not to. I'm pretty sure Carter is set to add a new level of crazy soon. I often get asked why I treat my children differently. The truth is that to be the best parent I can be to them, I need to treat them differently and as the individuals that they are, because that's what they are. Individuals. I know sometimes as parents we can become set in our ways and continue to repeatedly beat a dead horse so to speak. If it's not working something needs to change. I have LOVED reading @caroltuttle book #thechildwhisperer . It changed the entire way I parented my children. Especially my boys. It helped me to identify what kind of children they were, what their personality strengths were and where their weaknesses laid. When I was able to better understand them the more capable I was at being able to parent them. Our house became calmer. There was less head butting on certain issues and a lot more compromise and respect on all our parts. If you haven't read the book yet you really should! Let me know what book you have read that changed the way you think about parenting/life/the world/people. If it had helped you it’s bound to bless another’s life. Sharing is caring 😊


As much as I love holidays and vacations there is something wonderful about coming home and finding that peace that comes from getting back into routine.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ammon struggled a lot on holiday, yesterday he climbed onto my lap for a cuddle and told me he loves being at his home. I knew it too. I have watched him playing quietly with his favourite toys and going about his little 3 year old business with a weight off his tiny shoulders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My bigs have slipped easily back into routine and loving our history studies on Ancient Egypt at the moment. The more I teach them the more I realise how little I actually know. Anyone else experience that?? We have been facninated all day with mummies and the mummification process as well as the Ancient Egyptians ideas about the after life. We compared them to our beliefs and then things started to get a little deep. The more you open kids minds and expose them to different ideas and thoughts the more in depth they begin to think. Seriously sometimes I just give up and say “Go ask your Dad” or I am furiously trying to google and adequate answer, because you know the original answer you give will not be good enough and will come with an onslaught of new questions. It’s a vicious cycle! Or they come and knock on your door (who am I kidding they never knock) at 11pm with a new theory they have spent the entire day theorising about. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Homeschool Mamas what are you using for history this school year? We are using @thegoodandthebeautiful and loving it ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #motherhoodsimplified #motherhoodslens #motherhoodinspired #ldsmom #momstruggles #momstuff #letthembekids #mormonmom #mytinytribe #motherhoodrocks #nzmum #aussiemum #kidslife #naturalparenting #bigfamilies #homeschoolmom #homeschoollife #familiesareforever #eternalfamily #mormonmom #iamamormon #raisingboys #raisinggirls #homeeducation #unschooling #worldschooling #motherhoodunited #unpluggedchildhood #thegoodandthebeautiful #ldshomeschool