Too Short Skirts and Other Stories of My Week

On Monday it rained and so I hopped onto the treadmill, instead of heading down to the bush tracks for a run. Oh my! Treadmill running is deadly boring. I am sure one treadmill kilometre is much longer than one bush track kilometre. It seemed to take forever to run 5 K. It’s just as well I had something interesting to listen to, as I pounded away. My iPod was tuned into The Catholics Next Door podcast.

The Catholics Next Door… I’ve been turning those words over in my mind. They make me think about our neighbours. We don’t actually have any Catholics living next door. I guess we’re the Catholics living between our neighbours. I wonder what those neighbours thought when they heard we were going to move in right next door.

I can just imagine the news travelling down the grapevine: “Have you heard? A family with 6 children is moving into that house at the end of the road!” Did our neighbours gulp? Did they imagine a house and yard overflowing with noisy children? Did they dread moving-in day? I don’t know. I guess it could have been worse. Our daughter Felicity didn’t move in with us (she lives on the other side of Australia), and of course, nor did our son Thomas

We’ve now lived in this house for 6 years. In a couple of weeks’ time we’ll celebrate ‘Moving in Day’. It’s a day worth remembering. You see, we thought we’d never be able to buy a house. We’d been moving from one rental home to another for 25 years. But then God surprised us and gave us a home of our own. That story is included in Theresa Thomas’ and Patti Armstrong’s book Big Hearted, if you’re interested in reading it.

But back to the neighbours. Do they wish we’d bought a house in some other street? I don’t really think so. We get on well with the people over the fence. I don’t think we’re hard to live with. Being introverted, we tend to be quiet. We don’t like noisy parties or loud music. We hardly ever have people over to visit. Oh, I suppose they might not like the noise Callum makes when he goes to work at 5.30 am. His car has a loud engine that growls like a lion. They might complain the car wakes them up. But then again, they might not. It was the neighbour who sold the car to our son.

Yes, we are a quiet and introverted family. We don’t normally do a lot of socialising. But we have ventured out a bit recently. (We’ll probably now have to stay home for a month to recover.) Last weekend we got together with a number of homeschooling families for a picnic. It was a beautiful spring day. We all sprawled on rugs in the shade of the gum trees and enjoyed some conversation while we ate our food.

I had a great chat with a young 8 year old friend. She was so excited. She told me how she’d read my book, The Angels of Abbey Creek, and enjoyed it very much. Her 10 and 13 year old sisters liked it too. That made me smile and feel all warm inside. It also made me feel like hurrying up with the editing of the sequel, The Angels of Gum Tree Road.

I told my young friend that my daughters Charlotte and Sophie are making paper dolls of the characters from my book. She immediately said, “Oh wow! I’ll be able to act out all the stories in your book if I have some dolls!” Wasn’t that a lovely reaction?

National Novel Writing Month begins next week, and the girls are busy making final notes for the novels they plan to write. I have been tempted to get caught up in their excitement and write a novel too. How can I miss a year, the first in 4 years? If I don’t take up the challenge, I will be the only girl around here who won’t be smiling at the end of the month, as she downloads her winner’s certificate for writing yet another 50 000 word novel. 

Yes, I am tempted to join the girls and write a novel, maybe use all those random words we were discussing a couple of weeks ago. But no. This year I am going to do something different. I am going to finish editing The Angels of Gum Tree Road for my young friend. This book was my NaNoWriMo novel of two years ago. Two years ago? Yes, it’s been sitting around waiting to be finished for a very long time. If I don’t make a move soon, my friend will grow up and no longer be interested in the story.

The other writing idea I’d like to do is putting together an unschooling book. I’ve been mulling this over for a while. I could write an ebook. What do you think? I wonder if anyone would be interested in such a book. Stories about our unschooling family? Why should people want to know more about me and my family? In some ways, that seems like a strange idea.

Did you notice I created a new Facebook page for this blog? A couple of weeks ago when I was recording one of my podcasts, I finished by saying, “You can find me on Facebook.” It wasn’t until later, I realised that anyone looking for me on Facebook would probably type in ‘Stories of an Unschooling Family’. How would they know all my unschooling stuff is on my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page? So I created a new page: Stories of an Unschooling Family, to match this blog and my podcasts.

It wasn’t an easy decision to more to a new page, and leave behind all the people who have been following along with me for quite some time now. Will they move to the new page too? Will we continue to chat and share and be friends? Will they even realise I have moved? If you haven’t already discovered my new page, I hope you’ll come and join me!

It’s Friday afternoon here in NSW, Australia, on a sunny spring day. Once more the weekend is approaching. What are we planning to do? The girls want to go to the library to borrow the next Billabong book by Mary Grant Bruce, Jim and Wally, which is stored away in our library stacks. Of course, we’ll have grocery shopping to do as usual. (Food seems to run out far too quickly.) But the rest of the weekend is free, so I might have time to help Sophie make another skirt.

Last Saturday we recycled a too short denim skirt by adding a fabric ruffle to the bottom of it, after being inspired by this Recycle Blue Jean Skirt Pinterest board. I have similar plans for a pair of micro shorts I bought the other day. (I felt kind of strange buying something none of us would consider wearing.) We’re going to turn them into a skirt by taking the top section and adding a layer of pretty gathered fabric to it. I hope it’ll look good. If we’re successful, I’ll post a photo on Facebook!

Thank you so much for reading this week’s posts, and visiting my Facebook pages, ‘liking’ my new Facebook page, listening to my podcasts, and taking the time to write comments. 

In particular I’d like to thank Lisa at The Ramblings of a Multi-tasking Mama for writing a post called Angels Out and About. It featured my children’s book. The Angels of Abbey Creek went rock climbing! 
Also, Faith of Household Diary, very kindly linked her post, Some Inspiring, Relaxed Homeschooling Blogs, to my blog. Thank you!
The Angels of Abbey Creek
Enjoy the weekend!

You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!


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  1. Reply

    I think there can never be enough unschooling books! Each family's experience is so unique. I'd love to read yours! I say, go for it!

    1. Reply


      There are already some great unschooling books out there, such as A Little Way of Homeschooling, but maybe there's room for one more. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Reply

    We're looking forward to NaNoWriMo, too, Sue. Half of us are first timers and we're doing lots of planning and discussing, at the moment. It's a lot of fun!

    I hope you're all able to keep cool, today. I noticed that the weather warnings have suddenly changed from wild storms to fire hazards – and wind, of course! Might be good to stay indoors and write books 🙂

    1. Reply


      Yes, planning novels is great fun. Our girls are getting excited about NaNoWriMo too. Not only are they counting down the days, they are also counting off the hours!

      It's a bit muggy outside but not too hot inside. I think a storm is just about to hit. The wind has whipped up and the clouds are getting darker. I don't mind a storm but we can do without any fires! I hope you' don't have any severe weather up your way. I think I'd better go and take the washing off the line before the rain appears!

  3. Reply

    I'd love for you to do an unschooling book! That would be full circle for me since I found your blog after reading A Little Way of Homeschooling!

    I like the skirts – the ruffle is a great idea, although it's getting too chilly for that here now, I'm afraid.This Sunday the high is supposed to be 7 C! I am really enjoying the fall here, but it's lovely to see spring unfolding with you!

    I think I've finally realized why we never seem to do NaNoWriMo: November is when we are usually doing gingerbread houses. The show we usually enter has restored the "family" division, so they are all making plans! My kids seem to write more in February, when there is more down time.

    So nice to catch up on your blog after a busy time here: it goes so well with a cup of tea. 🙂

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, my blog seems to come up in the search engine when 'A Little way of Homeschooling' is entered. I guess that's because I've written some posts promoting this book. I like it so much! I told Suzie she could share my blog instead of having one of her own. This reminds me: I was tidying up and rearranging my blog and forgot to repost the links to Suzie's book in my side-bar. I must do that!

      Oooh! It's getting cold where you are. I suppose it will get much colder than 7 degrees before your winter is over.

      If November isn't a good month for writing, your family could try Camp NaNoWriMo. That happens twice a year in April and July. I'll add a link in case you're interested. My girls usually write during all three NaNo months, but I have only ever done the November one.

      It's lovely to catch up with you, Wendy! I need to make some tea and do some blog reading too. I'd enjoy that!

  4. Reply

    Love reading your adventures here Sue and so glad to find the new FB page to match your posts and podcasts there too 🙂 Praying for your little Thomas angel in heaven as well xo

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for your encouragement. Starting a new FB page was a bit daunting. I didn't really want to start all over again and maybe lose the friends who were following the other FB page. It's lovely to know you found my page! I appreciate your prayers. God bless!

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