Our morning....

Since I'm still on my phone I thought I would do a pictorial of our morning.  (Please excuse any typos, it's harder to pick them on a phone!)

We got William ready for school and then set to our usual morning tasks.

There is bread to bake.  I'm firmly in the " I love my bread maker camp."  Due to its ability to give me fresh bread and me be able to concentrate on other things.  One day I'll play around with sourdough again.  Mine was an utter failure! Haha! 

There is washing to put on and clean nappies and cotton flannel bum wipes taken off the line waiting to be folded.....

There are eggs to collect and chooks to feed...I have spinach coming out of my ears and the boys are not fans.  But the chooks love it.  I'm planning on making a chicken and spinach pie tomorrow.  Hopefully that tempts them!  I have some stock I boiled down to concentrate which when thickened will make a lovely gravy base.  

Time for a chat with the chooks....Boys will be boys.... If there is something to climb they will! 

And yes.... Gus is wearing a towel over his head.  It's actually a cape if your wondering, and apparently it has excellent flying abilities! 

Max is letting me know that apparently it's not yet time to sit down and have a cuppa while I flick through this pamphlet....

And there is the usual playing to get done while I water the herbs and veggies...

Soon it will be nap time, both boys have a book, and a nap at about 11am.  I'm very much looking forward to working on my current waldorf doll.  

Her hair is hand spun by a friend of mine and it has been so much fun to work with! 

She is going to have a little ring sling to carry her dolly in and she will be available to buy in my little Etsy shop when she is done.  I'm thinking she needs a hippy name like "Blossom" or something!

Hope your having a lovely morning!


Quiet blog....

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know I accidentally fried my computer.  Apparently technology really doesn't like water..... Or coffee...... Or washing machines.....or any kind of liquid......who knew?  Apparently it is a lesson I'm slow to learn.... :/

So I am stuck with my phone until we update it.  We have ordered a re-conditioned iPad from a large online company which should arrive this week or next so until then the blog might be a little quiet.  We will also be saving for a desktop computer.  That is more technology then we have ever had in the past.  Poor old grant is struggling with the concept - He would be quite happy to live in a cave I suspect!  I have some waldorf dolls to make and sell to fund the technology upgrade. ;)

But even though the blog might be quiet I am here, with my boys pottering about and I might post a few photos of our days. 

Angus after his bath "My hands have donkeys on them"

We still have no idea where he got donkeys from.  He is referring to the wrinkles but he insisting they are donkeys?? 


Moments that make up our days....

Our days are made up of many moments.  Some good, some not so good.  But by slowing down and capturing the good ones we can feel like we are living a good life.  I often look around at my comfortable little house, with its up-cycled cupboards, mis-matched furniture, shoes spilling out from the designated shoe rack, dogs sleeping on the doormat and wonder "how did I get so lucky?".

Truly I feel so rich.  My house is small, quite often looks like a tornado has gone through it, too often our dinners are a hodge-podge of what is in the pantry and garden, and some days the weight of motherhood, the continuousness of it rests heavily on my weary shoulders.

But then there are other times when I can see the beauty in all of it.  When the house is still as messy, and still just as small but yet I feel enriched, blessed and joyful.  Its funny how the only difference between the two is ME.  Its my perspective.  Sleep affects this very heavily.  It is a massive factor in my ability to feel peaceful and in the moment.  And the other thing I think is ensuring I take the time to stop and count my blessings in the small things, to slow down a little and remember how lucky I am to have clothes to wash, food to cook, how much of a blessing it is to have a family to care for.

I used to see housework as a chore.  Something to "get done" but since having children I realize more and more each child it is never done.  And that housework will always be here to do.  Its a matter of prespective.  For me looking after my home is an extension of looking after my children.  It is a gift to my family and it may sound old-fashioned but it is a gift to my husband.  Grant goes to work and financially provides for our family, he has a huge amount of weight on his shoulders, he works so hard for us all.  I want to make home life a soft place for him.  He helps out happily if its needed.  We often hang a load of washing together or tidy up together at night.  But Im ok with being "team home" and him "team work".  I dont feel "trapped" by my traditionally female duties.  Because I believe they are the most important work I will do.    

I have worked part time for many years after having children.  Currently I am not.  I may again one day if the right job takes my fancy.  Currently I'm volunteering through church which I love.  But I will most likely still be the parent with the most amount of time at home and don't see my homemaker roles changing.  We have worked so hard towards the life we value and we both work hard to keep me home.  He works hard to bring in the money, I work hard at being resourceful, thrifty and conscious of where our family spends our money.

Despite the fact the boys drive me crazy at times.  I love this life, I love being at home with them.  Where else do you get breaks like this?.....

I hope you can find the blessing in your day! 


This week....

I came to the conclusion the lack of motivation and energy I have have had over the last few weeks was my body needing a rest.  I think with Angus starting  Kindy it was the end of a parenting chapter of him being a "toddler" and entering "pre-schooler" and it has been an amazing and all consuming few years of parenting!  Thankfully Henry has recovered well.

It has been hot here, and the weekend is going to be another scorcher.  Considering it has been such a mild summer I cant complain but I am feeling a little sorry for my garden and itching to get into it.  I'm ready for Autumn.

When Grant was driving William home from guitar lessons he did a little detour through the surrounding farm land, as we often do.  He discovered council had graded one of the roads that day and in the process had heavily pruned the gums that were over hanging the road and left the firewood.  He came home, grabbed the tailor and we all quickly bundled into the car.  A few locals had noticed it too and when we got there they were loading up their trailers.  It would have been all gone by that night, you gotta be quick!  We got a full tailor of wood which is worth about $250, so that's an awesome find to help fuel the wood fire.  We will let it dry over winter and hopefully it will be ok by the end of the season.  Usually we let it dry for a year.

There was the usual baking, house work and family life things this week.  I caught up with some good friends who I have not seen properly for a few weeks which was the highlight of my week!

A chocolate cake to share with friends over a cuppa!  It had a couple of "brown" corners but real friends don't judge! (well that's what I tell myself anyway!!  Besides icing hides a multitudinous of sins ;)

One of my very closest friends came to do a bit of sewing, she is a beginner sewer and wants to make her kids library bags and cushions for their rooms which is lovely.  So she came and we pottered about cutting/sewing over a cuppa.  She asked me to make her son a Waldorf doll a while back but I have convinced her we will do it together and I will teach her how to make it and help her along the way!  I have another friend who wants to learn as well so it will be fun to share my skills in this way.  I am really looking forward to it.  I also finished a custom cuddle doll and have sent her to her new home too which I always love.  I hope her new little owner lover her!  <3  

One of the things I love about being a "homemaker" is the ability to have an open house.  I love being able to invite people over, that living this life gives me the time to listen and stop my day to be fully present with people.  I find it interesting sometimes some of the people God brings into my life.  Often people come and open up about their hurts, their life.  I'm so humbled that they choose to talk to me.  That for what ever reason they choose to trust me and lower their wall.  I have some deep and serious conversations at the kitchen table over a cuppa and an open biscuit tin and I am so blessed in this life to be able to share my time with others.  I feel like so much of whats truly important in life is discussed in the kitchen, over a cuppa.  I often think to myself the "village" that we are meant to have around us has disintegrated in this fast moving, modern world.  There are so many people struggling, who just need a bit of love, support and someone to listen.  Which takes time.  You cannot buy it.  You know they old saying a "burden shared is a burden halved."  I think there is truth in that.  There is a lot of power in giving people the gift of time.  This is something I have come to understand at a deeper level in my simple living journey.

Anyway we as a family have to nip out and visit family, and hopefully have a swim in their pool!  so I will have to cut this post short as grant is giving me the "hurry up" look!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and manage to keep cool.



simple library bag tutorial.

You will need....

Sewing machine set on straight stitch
"pretty" fabric for front of bag
"lining" fabric
two strips for handles.


Cut x2 rectangles of "pretty" fabric for the outside of the bag 36cm x 42 cm

Cut  x2 rectangles of plain fabric for the inside of the bag 36cm x 42cm

Cut x2 strips of fabric for the straps 12cm x 68cm long.

Place the two "pretty" sides together and sew the two long sides and the bottom using a straight stitch ensuring the pattern is the right way up.

Do the same for the lining.  You will have two half bags that look like this....

iron your handles flat

Fold 1cm from the edge and press fold firm the entire length of fabric like this.

Repeat and do on the other side like this....

fold in half and press again so both edge folds are tucked in the inside.

stitch the open side closed with your machine and repeat with the second handle.

You should then have this.....

Then turn "pretty" fabric right side out and slide other bag inside.  If you look at it the pretty side will be on the outside and all the messy seams will be between the two bags, therfor making the "neat" sides on display on both the outside and the inside of the bag.

Fold the entire top raw edge of the outer bag about 2cm and iron the fold firm all the way around.  Repeat for the process for the inner bag.  Make sure all the "messy" seams stay on the inside.

Measure where you want handles to be and pin them in place like this....

Pin the top of the bag and handles in place securely all the way around and zip around with machine.

The top will look like this...

And it's done! 

Chose your a fabric related to something they love and it makes a great little home made gift.  I have used off cuts for all the bags I have made, but you could easily add applique or embroidery.  You could use a thrifted pillowcase or anything that takes your fancy!  If your a beginner sewer I highly recommend a project like this, it will boot your confidence no end.  

Hope you have a lovely weekend!



Today will be a quiet home day.  I have healing chicken broth simmering, I might make some egg custard for dessert and perhaps some quick baking.....

Henry is much better, he is still having Ventolin 2-4hrly and is on steroids to help open his airways but his chest is much more relaxed, and his breathing gentler.  The poor fella is feeling quite angry and agitated because of all the medication but I'm so happy to see him breathing better.  It never gets easier when you watch your child struggle for breath.  I will never get used to it, despite being here many, many times before.  Every time I give thanks to the fact I am a mama in Australia, with access to good medications and health care.  We are so very fortunate.

We were meant to hold our little bible study group last night, but we didn't do the study part, I was too tired from the night before.  They just came around for a quick cuppa and a chat.  Then a little later on a couple of friends from church came around with a lasagna for our family and some chocolate.  I love these people, a reminder that family can take so many different forms.  How did we get so lucky?


Library bags and sewing stuff.

Im loving sewing library bags, I think all the children in my life this year will be getting library bags for their birthdays!

Such a useful thing to have a cute bag, for kids to take a toy or some bits in for the car, or for books, or even for keeping pjs in.  I whipped up this one for a gift for a very special little guy in my life for his 4th birthday.  My friend said 'no gifts' but I couldn't quite handle not bringing anything.....we had a lovely morning tea with them, celebrating his birthday.  Nothing beats homemade cake and good cuppa I tell you! 

A bag like this is a great thing for beginner sewers to practise with.  I will whip up a quick tutorial this week I think. It's very simple but good for building basic skills and it's a useable practical item at the end which is great for boosting confidence! 

I had a cuddle doll out ready to finish this morning....looks like baby Henry is interested in the concept of doll making.  It's pretty cool to see him trying to imitate me, though it's a little more "Frankenstein" then "waldorf".... :/

Henry is unwell today with a tight chest and quite wheezy.  We spent many hours in ED last night.  We are off back to the Dr shortly.  If you could please keep him in your prayers and thoughts that would mean so much to me.



So after the initial shock of the offer for our shop as we were about to take it off the market has worn off we have had some time to come together, talk, and process the situation.  We have been crunching numbers, discussing finances and all the practicalities.  

We have put in a counter offer and we will work from there.

And then, as Grant and I do best, we have been dreaming.  Sometimes I wonder how we can possibly have a child like William who is such a dreamer but then I only have to look at Grant to realize the apple doesn't fall from the tree! 

Our dreams are far and wide - I guess the key to having a crazy adventure is being open minded, yes?

 This place is really cool, I LOVE old Queenslanders, and we love to put our stamp on a place.  The polo field would have to go, its an hour away from a huge center which is awesome for a farm stay thing which is something Grant and I have talked about.  Grant has not had a huge amount of experience with cattle, though he has had a little.  Most off his experience has been with pigs, sheep and chickens. 
Queeensland property

Grant likes this place as it has a water license...That house looks like an old tin hotbox to me......I'm not so keen....
 Tin hotbox

This place is interesting, just out of Taree which is a nice town.

This place is interesting, though perhaps of a bit of a tourist property.....Though it has land which is cool.
Cold NSW


An offer....

I debated weather to blog about this or not,  but when starting this blog I wanted to share and honest and open account of our days and our journey towards a more simple life so with that in mind I decided I will.

I have not even discussed this with my family and friends properly yet.  I think the anonymity of the internet makes it easier.  To be honest I have not told many of them about the fact I even have a blog!   I guess I feel a little shy that they will think its silly.  I have only told one or two people in my life.  Im a bit odd like that.  Im quite private which begs me to ask why did I start a blog in the first place??

As I have mentioned before we have our shop on the market.  Originally 12 months ago we put it on the market to sell and then to buy a farm as agriculture is actually Grants background, it is what we have spent the last 12 years working towards.  After little or no interest we came to the conclusion we would keep it, and buy a few acres to simply potter about on.  There were things we could do on a few acres that would tie in with the shop.  For starters Grant has his bug business which he was intending to expand, grow fruit and veg to sell in the shop, and also the possibility of storing bulk stray/hay/grain to package ourselves and expand into "fodder" out the back of the General Store which would have fitted well into the area as there are lots of little hobby properties, and once upon a time the shop did have a full hardware and fodder range.

But there has been a Chinese couple looking at our shop.  We didn't think too much of it, its a tough economy, our shop is priced on the high side and it is a good, solid business and we had gotten used to the idea of keeping it.  We recently employed one of our staff full time and life suddenly became much easier.  We had a life plan that we were excited about.

But sometimes it seams no matter how much we try to plan God throws in a few curveballs.  Yesterday the Chinese couple put forward an offer for the business.  A good one, which on the surface seems to have good financial backing.  It is not quite where we need it to be but it is certainly at a good starting place, and truth be told it would be very hard to walk away from.  The husband is going back to China on Monday, possibly to talk to family about finances as the Chinese are good business people and often share money amongst family for these kinds of ventures.  They already own one successful business so this is certainly not unfamiliar territory for them.  

So now our minds are churning.  If this goes ahead we will be potentially in the position to buy a farm, not just a hobby property!  A basic farm, that needs work but hard work does not scare us. (actually sometimes Grants projects scare me just a little but not him, and since he is running them that's the main thing.  I have faith in him, mostly....;) Most things in life worth doing require hard work.  But it would mean a move interstate, possibly to NSW.  There is far more high rainfall land there which makes it more affordable.  And there are many more large rural centers with good facilities, many even have universities.  Something SA is generally lacking.  The economy here is SA is also a bit frighting.  I would miss my family, friends and church family so much though..... 

But there is also risk.  Grant would be out of work completely, its a tough economy to find work in.  There would still be plenty of expenses to pay.  It could quickly eat into what we gain if we manage it badly.  If the sale of the business goes through and it will take every penny we own to buy a farm and move us in.  That's a scary concept!  Homeschooling might become a real option for a couple of years.  Whilst I know we are thrifty, resourceful and have a few things up our sleeve to tide us over part of me is cautious.  Its like I have a little person on each shoulder.  One is saying "don't throw it all away!", "it's too early!", "prepare better"!  And the other is saying..."Go for it!", "how much is enough anyway?" "Life your life with adventure in your heart!".

So my mind is filled with dreams, fear, caution and the practical side of me which is saying "it's early days", its not a done deal", "don't get ahead of yourself", "it might not even sell".  

So my poor old brain is pulling the entire thing apart from every which angle and will do so until it is settled.  I am a thinker.  Its how I process things.  I pull it apart and then once I understand every aspect I put it back together and move on, if I cant put it back together it weighs on my heart.  I try to hand it over to God by prayer which helps.  It is a tiring way to be when something big comes up, like this which is essentially out of my hands and negotiating will take as long as it takes.  But then it means I am attentive and learn a lot from situations too.  Its funny how our weaknesses are often our strengths.

Anyway that is me today.  And I am tired, Henry was up a lot overnight.  He is getting a new tooth and dropped a small table on his big toe which bled and his toenail has now turned black.  I suspect was sore and throbbing overnight and he kept bumping it in bed.  I know as I dropped the same table on my toe and thought I had broken it and howled considerably at the time.  This was Henry at some absurd hour last night for about the 5th time.....I love sleepy smiles, I know they say you shouldn't engage with them at night but I'm too soft for a sweet smelling, sad baby not to have a snuggle and a quiet chat.....shhhh......don't tell Grant...;)

Hope you have a lovely weekend. 


strawberry jam and our garden progress....

 Do you ever have something small on your too do list that for what ever reason you just don't get too?  I am the queen of procrastination!  Which is rarely a good thing.....One of the many of mine is Jam.  I even knew it was easy to make, I knew strawberry jam doesn't require pectin as it is naturally occurring and I was sure I could vaguely remember seeing a recipe with strawberries, lemon juice and sugar.

So yesterday I was sorting out my fridge and having a bit of a cook up using the odds and ends.  I made a big pot of soup, vanilla custard for dessert and I had stack of strawberries from the weekend markets to make into jam.  I ended up with two big jars and a little left over - its delish! And no added nasties.   

Here is the link to the recipe.  
simple strawberry jam

One of the things that prompted us to buy this house was its large block.  Its a 1300sq/m block.  The house is small and plain.  But the block was amazing with established Gums and shade in the heat of the day.  We wanted to produce some of our own fruit, vegetables and herbs, have chickens and also have lots of room for the boys to play and the dogs to run.  I wanted to be able to cook and preserve from our own home grown produce.  We are getting there in some areas but in others it has been slow.  With 3 small children and a business to run we do not get as much time out in the garden as we would like. 

It was bare when we bought it, and the soil was neglected.  Well it was not quite bare.  It has about 8 or more tailor loads of rubbish/wire/scrap metal and junk on it. 

I was going through some photos the other day and thought it might be good to share some.....

This is some of the junk that was about the place when we moved in.  There were no sheds, not even a clothes line.  Grant put up the little silver shed first as storage and we built the large shed when we could afford it.  


We got a bob cat in to shift about some soil.  We are on a hill here and there was some steep drop offs.  We got him to move the soil to create more gentle slopes and also prep the area where we put the big shed. 

 The boys are always part of the work we do around here.  Grant is amazing at including them. 

 The brand new sand pit the boys built.  three years later they still spend hours, upon hours in there.  Its due a fresh load of sand to top it up. 

William drilling holes in the bottom of a wine barrel to fill with herbs.  That's Gussy in the background, he was so little.  You can see where behind William we fenced off areas to the children and the dogs bit by bit to grow lawn.

The first garden bed we planted out.  We have about 12 espalier fruit trees growing among the trellis that goes from the front to the very back of the yard creating a screen.  We have apples, pears, peaches, lemons, oranges, olives, nectarines.  There are veggie beds behind it fenced off from the dogs and a gravel path for the kids and the dogs to run up and down on.  Dogs like to patrol the boundary, so we designed this into our garden when we planned it.  

Here is an example of one of the espalier fruit trees.....in the heat of summer the dogs tend to claim this area as a cool spot to lie much to my frustration. Despite having other cool, damp areas.  I have even planted carpet roses to deter them.  We will bring in some manure, straw and I will replant some bits throughout sometime in the near future.....

This is the same garden bed a few years on.  It's so pretty when it flowers. 
Grant built the pergola too.  We bought it off Gumtree for a few hundred dollars and the entire thing has cost us about $600 and some time.  Grant pulled it down and then slowly rebuilt it here with a few adaptations to suit our place.  Its in the process of being painted now and it looks as good as new!  

Currently we are working on "green walls". To cool the area around the paving, shed and iron fences.  This is a new trellis for our hybrid berry.

This is the fence next to the sandpit.  We have decided to grow jasmine up a trellis and a lavender hedge in front of it.  It's a hot area in full sun and cops the outflow from the sandpit.  

And here is the trellis complete.  We need to bring in several loads of soil and pea straw to prepare it for planting at the end of March/beginning of April.  Once it's covered in jasmine with a thick, informal lavender hedge it will be very pretty.  The boys love being able to pick bits of lavender to make "wombat stew" in their sandpit. The slate paving was all here, we just pulled it up and re-used it to extend the paved area around the sandpit.  It doesn't all match perfectly, but I think that's the joy of gardening.  It can be a mis-match, and re-claimed materials can add to the quirkiness.  It gives it more of an organic feel I think.  And also saves money.  Its a clear visual separation from the "entertaining area", to the children's play area.  The water can also run off into the ground from the herb beds too and the out flow of sand from the sandpit settles into the gaps happily.   

There is more to show, perhaps in another post.  There are the large veggie beds which are resting during summer, the chook yard,  the wood shed, the giant cubby with stepping logs Grant and the boys built.  It's all been done slowly, over time. There have been failures, and trial and error.  But it's all been a learning curve.  

Hope you have a lovely day!

Thankyou and reality!

Today I just wanted to say thankyou to the people who are taking the time out of their day to read this little blog.  I feel like your reading out of kindness, and with care and interest towards our little family, which really warms my heart.  To know that people are thinking kindly towards our boys and wishing us well is just beautiful.

When I decided to start blogging only a couple of months ago I wondered who would would ever read what I had to say, especially in the beginning.  I read an article or two that said the time of people leaving comments had passed, due to the abundance of blogs today.  So every time someone comments on a post I'm filled with excitement and joy!  I love to hear about others lives too.  If something I write helps someone clarify something in their mind then I'm so pleased to have been able to be a voice in their process, no matter how small a voice it may have been.

One of my very favorite blogs is here.... Down to Earth. Rhonda is an inspirational Super Granny!   I love her calm, sensible voice of reason.  

I'm going to be honest, I'm really struggling with motivation at the moment.  I don't know exactly what it is.  Its summer, so in the high 30's to mid 40's degrees here and the beginning of school and Kindy has gone back and Angus has started for 2.5 days a week.  For the first time in years I actually have some time to myself, Grant is home for dinner now from the shop 6 out of the 7 nights of the week and finally he is working a pretty standard working week.  Here is where Grant spends his days, our little country General Store and Post office......

So for 2.5 days a week while the big boys are off at school and Kindy its just me and this little guy....

I would never have let my eldest crawl all over the table.....or eat a sweet biscuit at 8:00am....Each child I have I get softer.

I feel like I should be filled with energy and motivation!  That I should be cranking through my jobs and doing the things on my "one day when I have time" list.  (we all have one of them right?!)  Because truth be told I actually have time!!  But all I want to do with it is lay here.................

Note the unmade bed....just keeping it real!

Yep, I have the time I have been dreaming of and all I want to do is sleep.  For a week, maby two?!  I'm a little concerned poor old Grant thinks I have turned into a sloth.....He made me go for a walk with the dog last night in the aim to help me get my sleeping patterns into some kind of normal.  I have been rejoicing a little too much in afternoon naps and then up half the night not being able to sleep.  Grant in his gentle manner is giving me a kick up the bum.  I'm trying to embrace this time of rest, I'm sure my motivation and drive will come back. 

But I did finish "Holly", I'm really pleased with how she came out.

My sewing skills have improved so much and I'm really proud to be making my own patterns and designs to be creating truly original dolls.  I also have a few more orders to get stuck into.  I'm hoping to get a cuddle doll done this week too.  I remember when I first saw Waldorf dolls.  I instantly fell in love with them.  I never thought I would be able to make one but over time, with practice and little steps I'm creating dolls I'm pretty proud of.  I still see things to improve on but I think we are always our own worst critics.  Sometimes I think doll making is a bit "un-cool"  But I just love it.  People look at me oddly when I say I make dolls.  Granny's love it, and crafty people do too, but some times others look at me like I'm a little strange.  But that's OK.  I always joke I'm a Granny at heart.  Sometimes I feel its the generation I 'fit' better with but I think 'fitting in' is over rated anyway.  I'm not sure I actually know anyone who feels like they 'fit' in.  Its a strange concept really.  

Anyway, that's enough of me rambling for the day,  Happy Wednesday! <3


Waldorf doll "Holly"

I have loved the opportunity to get stuck into creating a new doll over the last few days.  I have not had a chance since Christmas.

I think people are ment to be creative.  Wether it be sewing, crafting, knitting, building, painting, gardening, cooking or whatever else takes your fancy.  All of them can be an outlet for creativity and it's a really valuable thing to take time for in your life.

It's been fun to be able to have a play with making my own pattern and also try button joints.  I'm not totally happy with the pattern yet but I think she will be quite sweet anyway.  

I think her shoulders need to be a little higher? Or a different shape? Same with her hips.  I'm not quite sure yet...

Hope your managing to keep cool! 

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