Thursday, April 30, 2009

daily grace

'She's turning her life
into something sacred:
each breath a new
birth. Each moment
a new chance. She bows
her head, gathers her
dreams from a pure,
deep stream and
stretches her arms
towards the sky.'

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

longing for the country

In particular Northern NSW.

That ain't gonna happen anytime soon but a weekend away with four amazing Mama's certainly fills the spot. Such loveliness in many different forms last weekend that will stay with me for a long time. I'm so very grateful for the company and the surroundings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

playdoh for Bella

Well it started out that way. Zach couldn't seem to find his groove and was wandering, annoying and finally I suggested he help me make some play-doh for Bella which I'd been meaning to do for a couple of weeks. So we got the big bowl out and Zach and the floor were soon covered in flour. We left the dough uncolored and on the table for Bella but she was more interested in Missy. Zach on the other hand was at the table creating-egg cups, moving things, bowls all, he said to be baked in the oven. The next day first thing he was ready to paint. And very carefully spent an hour engrossed in 'his' play-doh baked creations.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

after the rain

the flowers bloom and remind me of of the cycles of life. There will be rain and sometimes it may feel as if we're drowning in it but then one day the sun comes out and we see again, feel the warmth, smile, laugh and shine.
I've been thinking lately in what ways do I bring warmth into our home, into my children's days:

warmth is a smile instead of a frown.
warmth is loud music and a dance around the kitchen.
warmth is an extra chapter of the book.
warmth is tea and chocolate brownies.
warmth is lighting a candle and giving thanks.
warmth is holding my tongue and opening my ears.
warmth is slowing down and living in this moment.

Warmth is soul food. Warmth is contentment and gratitude, an inner joy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

when you're two and you love chickens

Toddling around the backyard with my bag over her shoulder she chats away to Missy ( our Lab) and the chickens. The chickens seem to cluck in response which only makes the wanting greater, when she finally stumbles inside dropping it all at my feet she wails 'I want to hold the baby chick!!'. The chicks don't feel the same way and neither do the three older siblings as the recent history with the smaller animals in the family that is guinea-pigs and baby chickens has not satisfied the animal etiquette committee. There is a strong resistance and rightly so to the little one having a chicken but that does not make the desire any less so perhaps some hard moments ahead for this determined chicken loving, rough handling two year old (and her mama).

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Oh my these birthdays are coming way too quickly and these little ones are growing up faster than the growing this mama needs to be doing. But each day they are unfolding and so am I along with them, all of us learning to be our best selves amidst the bumps in the road and the warmth of the sun we are journeying together. They are my inspiration and this year I see them fresh- they are young and growing, and they are strong, they are full to the brim of energy and life, they are passionate and adventurous. I am truly blessed. Aren't all of us mama's.

This one takes my breath away. Six!
There have been many changes in the little man over the past few months preceding his turning of six. He has been my baby for longer than the elder two and well now he is becoming his own person, drifting further away from those protective mama arms and throwing himself head first into the person he is to become. There has been more of a fighting spirit, more giving things a go, more independence and determination, a sense of his own creativity and interests. He sees and notices the quirkiest & most wonderful things like how the shape of his ear is like a 3, the dark & light colors of a rock, a leaf that is curled around itself and he is always bringing in more for the nature table. He is the one to calm, to care, to love at just the right moment, he helps me to stop and breath.

Happy Easter!

We are just about ready to leave for our yearly Easter camping with friends for a whole blessed week but before we go here are some drawstring bags I made for the kids to put goodies in for Easter morning ( terrible photo I know-it was very late and I resorted to using the flash). We'll be spending the week celebrating a couple of birthdays, swimming, bike riding and plenty of watching the children get as dirty as they possibly can. Maybe I'll get some stitching in. May happiness and warmth surround you and your special ones this Easter.
Be back here in a week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

rock sculpture and hot glue gun fun

Zach (5yob) has been so focused and into the possibilities that a hot glue gun can bring.
Read a story with mama-nah, work on sound book-nah, what about some copywork-nahnahnah. How about you work on your project?- Yeah great idea mum! I need more rocks and sticks!
I love these sculptures Z5 has been making. We are sure to have many more, I can't wait to see the variations when he finds something else from outside to add.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

easter making for friends

The children have been busy stitching these wrist bands to give to friends at our easter camping fest. This activity has been enjoyed by al the kids. The 2yro mainly like to mess, I mean play with all the threads.

project week :: from the young ones

Jett (9yob)- It started out as a zoo and then it was going to be the ticket masters home and garden and then I decided that it would be a animal habitat garden. People still have to pay to look at the habitat. There is lots to see. A Bear Cave, a Lizards Rock, the Dolphin Sea and the green squelchy moss around the pool its called 'Frogs Moss'. There is a slide which also turns into animal shelter for when it rains.

The zookeeper and his family live on cold water from the pool, strawberries and magic golden fruit that when you pick it immediately grows another one in its place.

This landscape became the feature for many animal adventures over the following week. Animal habitats and endangered animals are an area of constant interest. A great area for project work. Jett keeps a Visual Journal after seeing his mama keeping one and in it are pages of pictures, cut-outs from magazines, little notes and print outs from internet research on all his favourite animals. He keeps this himself, its his personal notebook and 'no school work is allowed to go into it'.

Zach(5yob)-I loved going to Reverse Garbage and I want to go back to get more appliances to pull apart. I used the hot glue gun. There is a merry-go-round, and air conditioning. There are stepping stones, all colored.

I have something to play with that I made. I didn't think I could make the people but I did, at first it was hard then it got easy. (Theres a lesson right there for this mama.)
The people fit in the car and the car can fly. The car is made from the inside of a register. The house is made from a video player. I like the pipe cleaner people. I love it.

Jasmine (8yog)-I made the hut from Little House on the Prarie, I made Laura and her sisters too. I put the creek in using blue paper and little clear rocks underneath.

I love what I made, I didn't know I could make this all by myself but I did. I also made blankets with little pieces of material from mummy's scraps drawer. And the ladder to the bedrooms.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

project week :: letting go

Reading Camp Creek in particular Making space for their ideas. I made myself a focus page and placed it on the fridge- I keep referring back to it. It helps me to keep more mentally with it (you know I'm a sleep-deprived mama), to keep focused especially when things get a little hot. This is not a battle of the wills (we have some very strong wills is this little hot house) when difficulties arise its an opportunity for me to help them either look at something a different way or get some fresh air and come back.
Having a dialogue going of what they want to do, finding the energy, the interest, their meaningful work-this is really the starting point. I love words like facilitate, support and guide, they change the focus of my role so rather than me-tell you-do, I'm working along side, with, journeying together as the days unfold and minds open with newness and excitement at discoveries. Sometimes to get to the discovery it takes a little unraveling as in with my nine year old who finds it a little more difficult to be flexible and move around obstacles.
He has a clear picture of want he wants to achieve and usually it is something quite elaborate and large scale. For this project he wanted to build a Zoo that would be as large as our dining table -obstacle no.1. When we talked about that as in where would we eat?, where would the others put their work?, when it was completed where would we store it? He declared it couldn't be done so that was that. After some 'guidance' he decided he would do a garden where the zookeeper lived. This was an achievement in itself, that he was able to move through having to change his original idea and be flexible, qualities that don't come naturally to him.
I keet asking the kids at each phase 'What do you need?' 'Is it going how you like?'.
I feel the energy and contentment when they get into a groove.

I'm learning that I put my suggestions forward more than I realised and in doing so I'm taking away from their own authentic learning. What do they gain if I'm not giving them room for trying out their ideas even if I might be able to see a quicker way or that it probably won't work. We all need to learn these things for ourselves otherwise it isn't authentic is it? So I move aside, don't get too involved, am near enough when those obstacles arise. Sometimes even when the bumps do appear I'm still not needed, this is such delight for a mama's heart. To see the resourcefulness and determination to complete the objective.
The more I'm out of the way the more I see who my young ones are. Their trueness can surface because I'm not crowding it with my ideas and my way or the highway baby which usually only leads to a battle. I see their strengths and weaknesses and can note how they respond and learn best.
I'm noting down in the Project Journals as we go along and I'm referring back to it because I don't remember a thing these days. When there is no energy, a flatness or a wandering I go back to previous notes and remind them of things that they were talking about or wondering.

My 8yo daughter wasn't sure what she wanted to do and seemed to be more interested in what the boys were doing as they were energetic about their projects. We talked about her recent interest in Little house on the Prairie, we talked about animals and landscapes piggybacking on the boys ideas. After a bit she asked to look on the Crafty Crow for some inspiration and she came across a hut. Recently I picked up a few packets of paddle pop sticks to keep the craft cupboard well stocked and so she had all she needed to get on. For the rest of the week she was so focused and excited with what she was doing. And as with the boys once it started coming together more ideas were being born.

I copied this quote down which I just love-
"The challenge is how to help our children find their happy life, their fulfilling work, their connection to what really matters" Camp Creek Blog
because that is so much of what we want as parents. To see our young ones thriving, flourishing and making connections. It certainly isn't always easy, some days feel like a balancing act and some or all the plates are falling. I'm trying to makes sure the least important are the first to go. And usually that means me letting go and letting them.