Friday, November 28, 2008

illustration friday

a collaboration-19mo & 5yob: 'flowers for mummy' with crayons

Thursday, November 27, 2008

december words

We've been having Christmas making & giving ideas sessions. ( Is that even a sentence?) Ideas, yes lots of ideas. I don't know how much we'll actually get done but that's not the goal is it? 

December- a month I look forward to all year. So many reasons to smile into the faces of those we love and those we don't. So many reasons to be thankful. To take stock and see the bounty within our own hands. So many reasons to give

We'll be here most of the month either in the kitchen baking 'shortbread men' (my kids don't like gingerbread), fudge and all sorts of yummy treats or around the table crafting homemade cards, decorations and gifts. Oh, and of course squished onto the lounge reading our favourite Christmas books which are all stored in the Christmas Box. Making memories spending time in creating and expressing our love for others from our hands and hearts.

s l o w       heartfelt       thoughtful       connecting       enjoying       simple       gratitude       l o v e    -     December words    

Monday, November 24, 2008

a fathers gift

its late when he arrives home from work worn out dragging in all that has been his day
children lie asleep house is quiet 
outside the rain heaves down and the song, natures song begins 
as night creeps the song calls, drawing him outside
we smile to each other knowing 
and so he goes 
laying down one part and picking up another
dressed in fishing waders with net and torch in hand he answers the call
time later wet yet smiling , he stands dripping at the door
did you find any?
it was so loud, like being in a chorus, i caught four

in the morning four frog happy children smiled at each other and their dad
'next time can I come to?'

Friday, November 21, 2008

illustration friday

5yob : this is a in the process illustration. I've been loving the way this little guy has been getting so much pleasure from turning pieces of paper into paper planes, puppets and as in this picture an assortment-a snip here a fold there add a bit of tape and his desk and pinboard are now full of these little gems from his 'making heart' as he said in his own words.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

out walking

a walk in the rain to think, shake of the heaviness, clouded thoughts of dreams slipping through my fingers
a walk in the rain to acknowledge my weakness, admit my mistakes and regain hope for the new day
a walk in the rain to reconnect with the Creator, feel the refreshing touch from the skies sprinkle on my face
a walk in the rain to be kissed , loved and known for who and what I am right now -nothing more, nothing less

thankyou for the rain

Sunday, November 16, 2008

my dancing queen

My sweet girl, my 7 year old creative, passionate and loving girl had her dance concert today. After weeks of feeling overwhelmed and nervous she strode in there and you wouldn't of known the anxiety of the past. She looked comfortable and confidant on the stage and when I sat with her as she bathed before bed she smiled up at me and said-' I had such fun on stage mumma'.
Hello!! A week ago she had my heart strings going with- was it right to push her to the finish line and would it really matter .. I mean she's only 7 -its meant to be fun, not something she weeps over. And then today there she was so beautiful helping younger girls with lipstick and shoelaces..and dancing her little heart out on stage..smiling, thriving, having a great time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

something yummy : Blueberry Desert Cake

To improve the health of our family, some of us have been going wheat and dairy free and we are all benefiting from it as you can see from the photo above. Not wanting to miss out in the baking department because of our recent dip into gluten free we have been testing different flours and recipes trying to come up with yummy alternatives to old favourites. And this one was a big winner.  We 're talking no leftovers for mumma with her cup of tea later that night, we're talking the plate licked clean!!
8yo boy chose this one from gluten free and easy by robyn russell.( The photos are beautiful and the recipes really are easy, this book is a great entry into gluten free cooking. It's in the side bar if your interested.) and he did most of it himself with me hanging around  helping when asked. He loved pouring over the ridiculously yummy sauce and licking the insides of the pan as did the others when there noses told them the cake was out of the oven.
So here's  the recipe (let me know how it goes) :- as I'm typing this down I've realised that I didn't quite follow it exactly I'm a 'can't follow a recipe to the t' kinda girl so I'll add my substitutes in brackets.

you'll need-
70g blueberries use frozen if you can't find fresh ones rather than canned. (I always have frozen berries in the freezer so we did the frozen option).
1 1/2 tblspn castor sugar
zest of 1 orange
80g a good gluten free flour
60g polenta 
80g almond meal
2 tspns baking pwdr
1tspn xanthum gum
teeny bit of salt
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
100g butter melted
1/4 cup buttermilk ( i use a mix of half natural yogurt and half full cream milk instead of buttermilk)
75g castor sugar, extra 
1/4 cup apple puree 

1-oven to 180 C & grease a round springform tin
2-mix blueberries, sugar, orange zest in a saucepan and stir until sugar has melted in the berry juice. put aside.
3-In a bowl mix the flour, polenta (instead of polenta as we didn't have any we just used more g-free SRF), almond meal, baking pwdr, xanthum gum and salt.
4-In a seperate bowl beat eggs, egg white, extra sugar, melted butter, buttermilk, apple puree until frothy and then add to dry ingredients. Pour into cake tin and gently swirl in blueberry mixture.
5-bake for 35-40min or until golden and cooked in centre. Leave in pan for 10min. Turn out and serve with blueberry sauce.

Blueberry Sauce-
1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tblspn of  the leftover orange squeezed & 125g blueberries in saucepan and stir until boiling, reduce heat & simmer until berries are juicy. Add I tspn of cornflour to a little of the sauce and stir into rest of sauce. Simmer until it thickens. Remove and stir in 100g blueberries. 
Enjoy on a table laid out all nice with flowers and tea.

And more gluten free goodness to come.

Monday, November 10, 2008

gratitude monday (a quick one today)

:: sisters- determined and delightful
:: from the garden

:: brothers- strong and sensitive

:: homemade iceblocks...a must have everyday.

:: the clean-up after the boys camping this past weekend-- fishing, canoeing, snorkling and more.

Friday, November 7, 2008

illustration friday

5yob: tiger for 'dady'  in pencil

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the natural learning curve

This last year my well planned Charlotte Mason style school plan has metamorphosed into something a little more like - no school plan. I have slowly culled what was necessary for the children to have accomplished/ticked off each day as tiredness has seeped out in anxiety. There are many things I physically can't accomplish and maintain a peaceful atmosphere; so I have let go a bit here and a bit there, and tried to keep up what I deemed as the bare essentials- maths, some form of writing and our read alouds. I've always worked hard to flow with the children's interests on top of what we were doing though lately its been about all we've been doing.
Gradually I have dictated less and less as to what the children must get done each day, and during this I have been surprised at my own schoolishness. My need to see evidence of learning in order to feel we've accomplished something that day. Yet I know that learning is happening all the time and takes many forms.

As no relief in the sleep department has come, and my inability to cope with keeping on top of children's tasks and managing the active toddler, we have gradually evolved into a more organic indicator-less learning environment. Bit by bit I'm learning to trust the children more - trust their innate desire for seeking that which feeds their curiosity.

There are no clear cut lines within the homeschooling family - it's all blended into a mash of needs
- emotional/physical/intellectual/spiritual. Much of my thoughts over the last few months have centred on how to navigate through the varying ideals, expectations, theories of learning not to mention personalities and family dynamics. Things such as unwillingness to cooperate, sibling conflicts, toddler needs, lack of sleep, individual interests, Charlotte Mason and Unschooling etc. all the while seeking to shape "us". At the end of the day genuine and true learning happens where the child makes their own connections and 'owns it' all within a stress free environment, and this has lead me to a more natural learning approach. I hope to be mindful and awake to the breezes that flow through our home. More connecting less correcting. Enjoying the children rather than being stressed about what isn't getting done.

I thought I'd share some of this on the blog - the discoveries we/
I make as we journey towards "us". My own natural learning curve as I question why things have to be done a certain way and as I learn to find a balance in this season of babyhood and bad nights, of tired minds and bodies, and of improving strength and health in our family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

gratitude monday

: for the love and wonder my children show in creatures

: for the remains of play from our littlest one as she stays near me while I prepare lunch

: for the afternoon light that reminds He is the light and he is near

Saturday, November 1, 2008

think of God

When Sleep won't come

think of rivers running slow
through fields of long ago;
think of gardens green and cool,
lilac walk and sunken pool.

think of wind on any hill;
think of moorlands clean and chill
lit by gorse and golden rod;
think of stars-then think of God.

I found this poem in a thrifted old poetry book called 'Poems for a Quiet room'.  A timely and beautiful reminder.