Monday, August 30, 2010

Garden Journal

I have decided to journal our garden adventure. We have recently ploughed up a section of our yard for our veggie garden. We used our small tractor (not the toy one) and a little plough to make life easier. We don't really have a good plan for this garden, just growing things. Not really sure what will end up where in the long term but for now it is a place to grow and have fun together. Over the next year we will experiment and modify with location of plant rows, walkways and the size of the garden as we see the need. Then we will start to buy those long term plant like berry bushes and asparagus that I am sooo looking forward to. Having trouble having the patience waiting for those ones.
So now for the journalling part - on Saturday we prepared a section of the garden and planted potatoes. Hopefully we haven't planted them too early and won't get any frosts now. Our last potatoes life were cut short because of frost so hopefully these will do better. We kept another box of seed potatoes to plant in a couple of weeks so we get a staged harvest. Will let you know when they pop their heads up out of the ground!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Woolshed

Today we went to the Jondaryan Woolshed. It is a working museum just 15 mins from home. This week was the heritage festival so there was heaps of action. After reading a book that talked about sheep giving wool to make a blanket, it was the perfect time to go see the shearing at the woolshed. Both the boys were enthralled by shearing.

It was a fun day out with so much to see.

And right at the end of the day, I discovered a group that meets once a month at the woolshed to spin wool. They were really friendly and said I can go and have a turn anytime I want to. I can just imagine the fun that is going to be - making my own wool and then knitting it too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Fort

Our fort is still growing - this time it is the addition of a new sandpit. It is under the fort for shade and has two large lids that keep all the leaves and flowers out of the beautiful clean sand and create a wind block against our cold southerly winds. These lids also then become a great stage (when they are down) where I envisage lots of 'shows' and performances. Both the boys are loving this space. I often look out the kitchen window and see them playing happily out there together building roads and other fun things.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cool pants for cool kids

I have been collecting old chenille bedspreads for a few years now. I've found them in op shops, had some given to me and even got one at an antique shop. Well, after getting all my sewing things gathered together in one place and sorted, I have finally done something with all this fabric. I bought some dye in various colours and made some fun creations for cool kids.
I love the tassles/fringe on the pocket of these pants. The second pair are really cute, they have a panel in the back that almost looks like he is wearing a pair of chaps. So cute.

I am still working on the design and construction of these. The stars need some work but overall I am so happy to be creating cool things with really old fabric that used to have such a different life. I'm already planning more creations and more trips to the op shop for fluffy fabric!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend FUN

We went for a walk on the farm yesterday afternoon and the boys ended up playing in a ditch, sliding down the sides, 'sleeping' and having a great time. Isaiah also threw lots of sticks into the water - after fighting with the dog to leave his sticks alone.

Just after this shot, Isaiah tried to take a step, left his gumboot stuck in the mud and was standing in the mud in his sock. I thought this was very funny but he was a little distressed about the mud on his feet. Of course, as I tried to take a photo of this, the batteries went flat.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

My Motherhood Mission #1

I spent a day with a friend yesterday and we spent maybe 80% of our time talking about mum stuff, parenting resources and how we do different things with our kids. It made me start thinking about how we, as mums, talk about our role so much and if there should be more to our conversations. Then I thought - motherhood is my profession. It is what I do for a job/career. If I was working out in the 'real' world, as it is known, I would be talking to others in my field about what I was doing and what resources I used and found helpful etc - we call that networking. So why is it weird to do that as a mum. It isn't, or maybe it shouldn't be.

I love that in our family we have chosen for me to be a full time carer for our children. Being with my kids makes me happy. Not that loving it makes it easy but I still love it. As I continue in my job, I spend time on professional development - reading parenting books, gathering resources etc. And as a result I have different focuses along the way. So I've decided that I am going to share what my focus is in my motherhood mission.

At the moment I am reading (or I should say rereading) a book by Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood. I love this book. It encourages me in my daily activities with my kids and what I can teach them along the way. But more so, what I can learn with them. Here is the section that really touched me recently.

"I have often met well-intentioned parents who think they must be harsh and demanding to their young children in order to secure their obedience and good behaviour and to build their characters. Too often, I'm afraid, they fall into the trap of simply lording it over their children rather than truly reaching their hearts.

I'm not saying that obedience and behaviour and character aren't important. In fact, I think that teaching our children these qualities is essential. I believe, however, that Jesus showed us plainly the most effective way to do this: by modeling obedience and right behaviour and good character. And this requires us to do what Jesus did for his disciples - to lead our children not by telling them what to do, but by showing them.

When we chose to graciously overlook our children's messes and accidents, we are teaching them to be patient and forgiving with the mistakes of others. When we react sensitively, thoughfully and patiently to them, we are helping to instill these quality in their lives. As they benefit from our unconditional love, they learn to extend it to others as well."

How is that for a challenge?? But it has helped me so much to respond calmly when my three year old makes choices that aren't good - again! Or my one year old squeals to get his way. I might not be calm on the inside but with practice I am able to be calm on the outside and I think with time, my inside might be able to reflect that calm outside too.

What are you working on??
Is there something you've read that has helped you in your parenting journey?

Monday, August 16, 2010

What's that??

Today I put a table cloth on the table. This seems like a normal thing to do although with two small boys I don't often use a table cloth. I realise just how un-often when my three year old ask me 'what's that mummy?' Oh dear, has it really been that long since my table cloths have seen the light of day?? Apparently it is!! Well, now I have decided that although it means more washing, we are going to use table cloths much more often. WHY? I hear you ask. Simply to make the table pretty.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly Planning

Do you plan your week?? I have tried heaps of different ways to plan my weeks and days. I've had a day-to-a-page diary, daily dockets and a few other things but I find that my days aren't full enough for these to work for me. We have a general routine for our day so I don't really need a daily plan.

Now I am trying a weekly plan. The sections I have in my plan include

  • lunch
  • dinner
  • activities
  • task
  • weekly jobs
  • weekly focus

Last Sunday I grabbed 30mins when all my boys (big and little) were playing outside to plan our week. I used a time that I could think clearly - without interruption -

  • to look through my recipe books and plan the meals of the week
  • to work out what activities we would choose to be involved in this week
  • to work out what tasked needed to done when
  • to think about what is important for us to focus on this week with training the kids - where are they at, what needs the most work etc.

This plan then went on the fridge for the week. I'm so glad I did it. It gave me stability in a busy week. When people ask me what I was doing or when I needed to think about dinner, all the thinking was done, I just checked the plan. It turned out that the weekly plan worked really well for us.

It doesn't mean that everything on there happens as per plan - life still happens and interrupts the plan but when we are wondering what is happening next we have a plan to go back to. I love it.

I am going to try and spend 30mins sometime over each weekend to plan for the coming week.

Here is a terrible photo of this coming weeks plan

As for last weeks plan - some of it happened, some of it didn't
it was a great week.

In our Garden

We have so much joy in our garden at present,
  • freshly planted seedlings,
  • fully grown crops,
  • much awaited beautiful flowers and
  • a boy who has just discovered dad's old camera and a love for 'taking' photos.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In our kitchen today

Today in our kitchen we used up lots of things that were purchased cheap because they were nearly off. We had cream, strawberries, lot of carrots and sweet potatoes and many other vegies. So we made ice cream, vegie stock and roasted chips. Isaiah had great fun helping me with the ice cream. We made a double batch of strawberry and one batch of cookies and cream.

Here it is in my Thermomix (TM) about to get smashed.

Here is Isaiah smashing the cookies
(I could have done it in the TM, but where's the fun in that)

Here is Isaiah eating it for afternoon tea

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rain, rain, rain

It has been raining here yesterday and last night - we love rain. It makes all our crops grow and my vegie garden grow, so there is no complaining about the rain around here.

But it does make for children with lots of energy and no outside play to help get rid of it. So yesterday I decided that races up and down the hallway, around the kitchen, lounge, dinning room were in order.

Everyone to their bikes/cars.
Ready, Set, Go.

We had so much fun and made lots of noise cheering.
It turned out to be a great way to get that energy out and play together,
as well as learning about being careful and not crashing into our brothers.
How great is it that we can use such fun times as non-conflict learning times.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hallway of Happiness

I love doing craft with my kids. I have a big box of craft stuff and always need to resist buying more when I get into that section in the shops. It is just so much fun - all the things we could make. I watch playschool for ideas, read blogs for ideas and am on newletter mailing lists too. We don't do it all the time but we do enough that we end up with all sorts of creations that just can't be thrown out and need to be displayed.

But this is the part that drives me crazy - all the pictures that end up on the fridge get pulled off or the magnets holding them get played with and the pictures all end up on the floor for me to trip over or the youngest one to rip and distroy. Aarrrgghhh. How could something that is so much fun and brings such joy in the making, end up being so frustrating.

Well, a couple of weeks ago it all got the better of me - most of our art ended up stacked in a pile on a desk. But I now had a plan - thanks to Ikea, I found a way to hang them up for everyone to enjoy, out of the way. We created our Hallway of Happiness.

It is a simple wire cable, that took my husband just two ad breaks to put up. Yes, thats right he did it in between watching Top Gear.

I love it because it is a happy place to walk past and Isaiah woke up in the morning and stated that it was 'COOL'. So we are happy all round - tidy, hanging art. When it gets full, I'll just remove one of the older ones to add the most recent creation.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stage 2

This week Scott finished off another part of our fort. It is a balance beam with a few steps to help get there.
Isaiah was very excited and keen to try it out. He loves balancing on there but isn't quite ready to do it by himself. He gets to the top step and bellows 'I need some help please', which is very cute (except when I am inside trying to get dinner ready).
I must admit, dinner often waits and outside I go to help for a while, but sometimes not with the right heart.
I am trying to remember that before I know it, he'll be telling me he can do it himself and that he doesn't need me anymore. I need to make the most of being needed, even when dinner needs me too. There will always be time for dinner!

And yes, he is outside in the middle of winter with only underwear on -
this is the kind of winter I love, a warm winter!