Reflections on Sunday #8

Just before the new week starts, I like to go through the old one. Our family life in little snippets, plus some great finds from around the web. Have a great Sunday!


cuddling and playing inside
cuddling on the bed – playing inside

Last week was rather rainy and grey. It involved much time inside and while that’s appreciated once in a while, Little Boy isn’t made to spend the days between walls. Luckily there were a lot of cuddles on the bed, and he rediscovered his workman’s gear. He has been playing with it the whole week!



baby elephant soap bubbles
visiting baby elephant Qiyo (photo credit: – bubbles

Sunbeams had to be enjoyed. Even a cloudy sky was signal to go out. Our trip to the Zoo made us meet the recently born cute-as-a-button baby elephant. And in our own garden, it was trying to fight the weeds in the lawn (it’s completely useless, but I find it therapeutic) and making soap bubbles. They are this summer’s discovery and Little Boy is getting quite good at it!



instagram songsofhome pictures
I’m on instagram as @songsofhome now!

I have been playing around a little on Instagram, and created an account for my blog. Participating in prompt challenges here and there. (#fmsphotoaday is my favorite) Mainly being completely in awe of what people manage to shoot. There are some very talented people in this world!



redcurrant jelly blueberry muffins
playing around in the kitchen – redcurrant jelly and blueberry muffins

I’ve been making redcurrant jelly and blueberry muffins. More on te redcurrant jelly later, I hope to turn it into an interesting post. Of course, I always think of those things when season’s almost over, but hey, I have my jelly!



library books
“War” was a really good read – picking up some more!

Reading around, finished a good novel (It’s in German and has been translated in Dutch, not in English. The link is to a book review in Dutch on the site of the author) and then went straight to the library to pick up some more goodness. They recently installed self-scan desks and changed there household rules. No you can take 15 materials on one card, without having to pay for any of it. You can keep those for 3 weeks (or longer, you can manage your accounts online). Penalties for being late went up, but everything else has become cheaper (read: free). I love it and I’m splurging on children’s movies and CD’s.



interesting reads


Some good reads on the web too. Being home alone often lately with Little Boy, there were three posts that particularly resonated with me.


  • I came across this one before, but now I can totally see the point in it. Calling it ‘babysitting’ when my husband cares for Little Boy is something I have made myself guilty of right from the start (especially the first few months) and it doesn’t do justice to me nor my husband. Thinking that way creates patterns that are hard to break.  If we would decide a second child would complete our family, it’s something that I will keep in mind.


  • Another thing I will keep in mind, is this beautiful and honest post. It’s about the comments and reactions a little girl with a severe skin condition gets. Children can be really straight-forward, and sometimes brutally rude too (albeit not always with that intention), but the way we respond to that behavior as a parent can make a whole lot of difference. I love the advice the author is giving here, and some specific examples. I know I will need them one day


  • And as much as I love my kid, I appreciate nap times. So even if it’s not very polite to smile when someone’s having an embarrassing moment, I think it’s completely justified when she shares it with the world herself. Plus it’s a fun read. Plus it’s totally recognizable. At least I’m not feeling alone anymore. Never trust a jellyfish, but go ahead and read her stories.


How was your week? If you have any great finds to share, please do so in the comments. Have a nice Sunday!





Reflections on Sunday

  • First week of school and boy, it’s over already. Time flies! I have lovely groups this year and I feel like this is going to be a very good year. I feel motivated and enthusiastic, both things you really need as a teacher. I know most of my senior students from two years ago and honestly, I’m glad to have them back to write this last chapter before they go to uni.


  • My husband encouraged me to choose a me-time-activity for this year and I have been looking for yoga classes. I did that one year and I enjoyed them thoroughly, although I dropped out after a few months. This time I went for something less cheap to make it a real treat for me in a nice accommodation. It’s a very different kind of yoga. I’m used to hatha yoga, more focused on static poses. This is a Vinyasa yoga class though and boy, I can assure you I feel every muscle in my body.


  • It was my dad’s birthday today and as he asked me to cut. Time for my pasta machine to get used for the first time! I made ravioli with a great butter-walnut-sage sauce and invented a spicy pumpkin-chicken meatloaf to go with it. I think I still need some practice making my own pasta, but I was rather proud with how it turned out.




  • One of my intentions for this year is to finally get the whole breakfast muffin thing – and actually bake decent muffins. I’m proud to tell you I managed to nail this lovely blueberry muffin recipe. There are six of them waiting in the freezer for next time. Next on my list would be a banana muffin, I think I’m going to go with the same base and just add bananas instead of blueberries.


How was your week?

Reflections on Sunday

  • I went to the library to pick up some more books to read at the beach, where we’ll be spending the next few days. Probably it will be snuggled up at the couch because weather will be not cooperating, but anyway… I already finished one of the books. I’m afraid only Dutch-speaking readers will benefit from this tip, but hey, I know you are there! I’m talking about Alle bessen kun je eten, alleen sommige maar één keer by Gemma Venhuizen. (Translated: You can eat all berries, but some of them just only once.) It’s about a student trying to find her way in this world, written with lots of time lapses and a really adequate tone of voice. I liked it.


  • We have a new cleaner and I forgot how good that feels! She came for the first time, just to meet and make a start, and will come back every Friday in September. My husband, coming home from work, usually cleans up a little, mostly arranging things, doing some dishes, making good-looking piles, and was surprised he was done after five minutes already. She’ll be our new best friend, I’m sure of that!




  • Little Boy is changing so fast! He’s really a toddler, can look a bit older just by the day and understands a lot, which makes things a lot easier (or not). He loves bringing me the stuff I ask for, he plays with the dog (who is happily surprised someone is playing with her again), he cooperates (if he’s in the mood) when I am putting his clothes on by raising his arms. He makes me proud!


  • Lately I barely dare to open a newspaper or turn on the news. The situation in Gaza shocks me. I know there are way too many conflicts in this world and a lot of them are not getting the attention or do not provoke the indignation that they should, but this whole Gaza mess? My heart gets cold. Really cold. With fear and with pain. I remember a dream that I had often as a kid: the tower of Pisa was falling and wherever I ran in this world, it would fall right on top of me. I knew that it technically was not possible, but boy, I hated those nightmares. The feeling of not being able to find a safe haven. Knowing that you simply have nowhere to run to. How can we continue to accept (by doing nothing) that UN schools are getting bombed? Or hospitals for that matter? It has nothing to do with choosing sides. But what if you have fear for your life and that of your loved ones every minute? Parents on both sides are afraid they’re children won’t get back from school. Except, the statistical chances of having to cope with the worst imaginable news possible are undeniably and remarkably a lot bigger on the Palistinian side. Why on earth is no one standing up?


And, at the risk of making this look futile after what I just mentioned, I still wanted to share with you some good reads I had last week…




  • Rhonda from Down to Earth wrote this beautiful post on her all time favorite topic: living the simple life and all that comes with it. I think if you find this interesting, you certainly should read her blog as well on the comments on each posts. I’ve learned a lot from those as well!


Do you have a weekly roundup of interesting posts? Please share in the comments, I’m always looking for good things to read!

Reflections on Sunday

  • Participating in SITS Summer of Social Love has learned me a lot about Facebook and pages, but I feel like I’m losing connection to this blog along the way. That can’t really be the point of this, so I’ll have to figure out how to turn it around.


  • It would help if Little Boy left me some time doing my things, but alas. He’s a whirlwind and asks for attention all the time. I know some children who can play happily alone for about an hour straight. Mine is not one of them. Oh well, we make a lot of fun little trips together and he’s a happy kid, but my house is a mess. Two more weeks, then a trip to France with my family and then daycare is open again. I may sound like a bad mother, but he’ll love to go back and I’ll be happy to bring him three times a week. He loves having his playmates around and the whole place that’s adapted to his needs and wants.


  • I love how he talks and calls a koala a ‘lalala’. It makes me laugh every time, so today we went to the zoo and we visited the koalas. Joy all over!!


  • I’m reading again! This week I’ve finished The haunted house by John Boyne. I already read The Boy in the striped Pyjamas and loved it, but it was only after having finished this book that I discovered it was actually the same author. I liked this book, it’s a good, old-fashioned ghost story that reminded me of one of my favorite authors when I was a kid.  It’s very predictable, but still a page turner and the last lines… I didn’t see that coming!


  • I was hoping to find a good fantasy series to read this summer and decided to do a reread of something I read about thirteen years ago: the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. It was a disappointment and I didn’t even want to finish the first book. Bizarre, ’cause I didn’t recognize a thing and in my memory, I think I liked it the first time. I brought it back to the library and now I’m rather enjoying The Thief’s Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna.


  • In the Worldcup, Belgium has left the building. It was the first time in ages that we had a good team again that showed promising things. One would thing to gain back some control over television then, but no. There are other teams to be supported and games to be seen. Oh, and the Tour de France has started.


  • One of the beautiful blogs I discovered, is Embracing the Spectrum. It’s a mommy-blog, mainly about parenting children with autism. It’s beautifully written and I learn a lot from it, because setting boundaries and the struggles that come with it are recognizable for everyone who is somehow involved with kids, as a parent, teacher or any other way…


  • I already told you plenty of times my house is a mess. But yesterday I did some ironing. And this very moment I’m baking bread. Maybe there’s some hope for me.




Reflections on Sunday

  • Finally! It’s there! Summer vacation started. Phew.


  • Thursday evening there was the goodbye ceremony for our seniors. I was responsible for the ‘spiritual’ part of the evening and everything went well. It was beautiful, with music our students chose and played, others that volunteered to read a text and a general feeling of togetherness, topped of with a personalized little gift for each one of them. I was focusing on the parallels between the classic story of the stone soup and the bible story of how Jesus feeds a crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish. And when they entered, I played the intro of Game of Thrones on the piano, just as a little joke. Some of them recognized it and came telling me afterwards. I loved to contribute to their big moment.


  • Speaking of which, I really want to give a shout out to Jules and her wonderful site The Stone Soup (LOL, it’s only preparing this post that I finally realized where she got the name from. Guess I’m not a really quick thinker). I’ve loved her blog since the day I started blogging, I love the healthy, simple recipes and her focus on a minimum of ingredients, her clean and humorous style of writing. A few weeks ago, I took the leap and I subscribed to her meal planning service. Not because I need a meal planning service, but because I would like to instill a new habit in our eating schedule this summer: replacing one bread meal by a more veg-oriented one. I think a lot of her recipes would work great as a lunch in my family, so I’ll try to implement some of them this summer. She’s a very accessible and kind person and I her way of communication makes you feel loved and welcome.


  • I’ve signed up for SITS Summer of Social Love and I’m focusing on Facebook as a social medium to complement my blog. I love playing around with it and I learn heaps of new things, but I find it very time consuming. So I’ll do what I can, keeping in mind that I want to spend a lovely summer with Little Boy in the first place. But if you would like my Facebook page, and/or share any post on this blog that spoke to you, it would be appreciated enormously.


  • And this video made me smile. Even after watching it seven times. It made me wonder how they managed to make it too. That baby has to be an awesome sleeper if they had the time to shoot so many great pictures. But the result is beautiful…




Reflections on Sunday

  • A new month, and I realize I have been blogging every. single. day. in the last month. For me, that’s huge. Scheduling posts ahead is what works for me. And my Big Book of Everything is what helps me doing that.


  • While I have a lot of ideas jotted down in that book, and there are zillions of prompts that sound interesting, I do get the feeling sometimes that I just don’t know what to write about, or how to put it exactly. And I’m still working out that whole blogging community thing. I love comments, but to get them, there’s a whole lot of work involved.


  • I’m planning on shooting some personal stock photos, and to do that, I’m looking for inspiration in photo challenges. I’ve always liked the one on Fat Mum Slim, but the one on I heart faces is a nice one too. I won’t take up the challenge on itself, but I hope to get some lovely, inspiring pictures I can use for my blog posts. And maybe have some post ideas along the way.


  • I came across many christian blogs lately, mostly through blog challenges. While I’m very hesitant to share my personal ideas about my religious beliefs on my blog, I’m a christian. Catholic. And teaching about religion, catholic religion in particular, is what I do for a living. Even in my own society, there are lots of people rolling their eyes when they discover that (for two reasons: teachers have lots of vacation AND everybody has an opinion on religion…). I’ve learned to live with that, and I think it makes me a better teacher. But the idea of a controlling God, who was a Big Plan for everyone and for the whole world, that’s just not my cup of tea. And I don’t feel less catholic for that.


  • Anyway, on a lot of those christian blogs, while there are ideas that I don’t share, I’ve found also very beautiful, well-written posts about subjects that concern me too. Like this one, on how we forget to teach children about how to cope with failure, so busy trying to value each child. I think it’s important to value each child for his own talents and personality, that’s no excuse to just make everyone a ‘winner’. Many of my students struggle with that, and it’s happening more and more. And when there’s a parent meeting, I can see where it’s coming from. Not judging the parents, it’s hard to be a parent these days… but if children never hear anything but how great they are and the things that need work are covered up… it’s just not OK. It needs some perspective. That also resonates in this post.


  • And strolling the internet, I also found the lovely blog of Iris: the colored married life. While its layout is not completely what I’m naturally attracted to, I have a thing for organizing blogs, even if my own house would be a huge mess if it weren’t for the cleaning skills of my husband. She and her husband just had a cute little girl, Rachel, so it might be a bit quiet over there the next few days (in their house not so, I suppose…)





Reflections on Sunday

  • I schedule most posts ahead, but today I had to anyway. Because at the moment this post goes online, I’m counting. Yes, counting. Counting votes, to be exact. There are elections, and I was elected (gnagna) to count votes in the afternoon. People have warned me that I would be in for a very long afternoon. The kind that lasts til midnight. *Sigh*


  • Last weekend I had lost my voice for some reason and I’m still feeling that it isn’t the same. It doesn’t hurt though, it just gives me a sexy, low voice. And some extra attention from my students. Which is nice. I should do this more often.


  • In a few groups I have given the last class of this year. Somehow that’s quite a special feeling, especially if it are senior students. I’m going to miss them and without a doubt, remember them. They were good students, smart and eager to learn. Open-minded, polite and kind. They asked me for a little speech and I told them that often teachers learn more from their students than the other way round. And they were one of those groups that made me realize every day how I love this job…


  • Little Boy is starting to talk. The one word he keeps repeating is our word for ‘car’. So sweet, as there are cars everywhere!


  • On my quest to be a better blogger, I stumbled upon these 25 quick WordPress Tips for beginners. I really loved this post and I immediately implemented the first tip (about linking to your own blog).


  • I decided to try a few link parties and I’m thinking about creating a link party page to my blog, as a reference to myself and maybe you are also interested.


  • It was in one of those parties that I found this heartfelt post on PND. I’ve been blessed not having to go through this, I can only imagine the pain, the guilt and the despair. It’s a post really worth to share, in my opinion.