Community garden

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The hidden gems in parenting.

Sometimes parenting is tough, really tough.  Its tiring, repetitive, patience testing and messy.  Sometimes we can be working on something with our children for months without seeing any signs of improvement.   Sometimes despite our best efforts to raise well mannered, considerate, kind, empathetic children we hit walls of despair worrying they are too self absorbed and selfish and worry we will never manage to nurture them out of this normal childhood phase.

Until they aren't. 

Until we see a glimpse of pure sunshine and joy from the trenches.  Where our hearts fill with pride, where we fall more in love and more in like with our children and who they are shaping up to become.  Where they stun us with wisdom, consideration and empathy beyond their years and we fill up our hope tanks and keep on going.  Remembering why we work so hard to teach these important lessons.

Despite feeling like we are getting so much wrong, seeing our own imperfections through our parenting, working harder on ourselves then we ever knew possible so we can give our kids the very best of ourselves, in turn trying to bring them up to be the very best of themselves.

It tuns out I have bronchitis and am on antibiotics, needless to say it has slowed me down considerably.  I'm only able to do light chores as I become short of breath and dizzy if I push myself.

And William has stepped up and beyond and utterly amazed me today.  He has helped me tidy, then vacuumed the lounge, bedroom, kitchen, hallway, and indoor porch.  While I folded some washing, re-made our sweaty bed from my fevers, and tidied the kitchen.  He has swept the paths after the dogs dug in the garden, and then picked some flowers for the hall table.


I love this kid, my heart is full, the house is in order.  What more could a Mama ask for?  Ready for a relaxing afternoon together.

Much love,
Emma

xx


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Quilts and craftyness!


Thank you to everyone sending me well wishes, I'm still struggling to shake this flu and feeling rather flat and tired.   

I have however dragged the sewing machine to the kitchen table for the school holidays to potter away on projects while the boys are home and playing.  Its pretty fun, they come up and check out what I'm doing, remove pins and so forth for me before wondering away to resume their games.  And I get to sit and pretend Im being productive.  Excuse my round puffy face, my sinuses are blocked.  But in the aim of keeping it real - here is me, no make up on a home day.  The way these school holidays are shaping up there may well be a lot of those. 

I finished Henry's raggedy quilt for his birthday which I'm really pleased with, so cuddly.  I had just the right amount of woolen blanket as the wadding which was perfect.  In fact I had just the right amount of everything, which is always a pleasant surprise.   

I'm currently making a new Waldorf doll for him.  His was one I bought to test the workmanship against mine and the tricott was a much poorer quality.  He has a hole on his nose, so I decided it was time I make him one of my dolls, filled with my stitches and love.  It has always bothered me I didn't, then I scolded myself for being silly as someone else made it lovingly, but now I feel warm and fuzzy that I'm making a special doll just for him.  Does that paragraph make sense?  It does to me, but that's not always saying a lot!

Grant on the other hand thinks I'm completely nuts on my theory's about dolls and Henry knowing I didn't make it for him so he doesn't love it as much as the other boys love theirs.  But he is a good natured fellow and just lets me go, with only the occasional quizzically raised eyebrow.  

Bits and bobs are still happening around the cottage, The power has been up graded and a new box put out side.  We just installed a split system this morning which will be awesome.  We can finally package up the one in the window and pop it away for the extension.  I will get double the amount of light into the lounge and be able to open the window and let a breeze in again, Im SO excited especially with this flu, fresh air is best.

Well, Im going to try and have a nap to find some energy to start an assignment.

Much love,
Emma
xx

Friday, 15 April 2016

Full days and happy hearts.

As the school term winds up to a close our days here have been full.  The boys are tired, ready for a break, free time and to do what ever takes their fancy.  We are all looking forward to a change in routine!  Henry is unwell and as am I.  But that aside there is still so much to be grateful for this week. 

As any long term readers probrably know we are wanting to establish a "community hub" here in this rural town through the local church.  Including building a community garden to provide food, bring gardening therapy in post the bushfires, build relationships and give people both young and old the opertunity to grow and garden together in a caring environment.  The first step of this was to start a family group of some kind as the traditional church service shut down here a couple of years ago.  There is an older community group who are beautiful people, but we needed some younger ones too.  It's clear as day that God has not left this town and doors are still opening, and its truly amazing to watch.  Its very humbling and inspiring to be a part of.  We have a beautiful group of families already, lovely kids and more wanting to pop along as well.  I wanted to create a lovely kids nook but we have limited funds being a brand new ministry group and a neighboring church just happened to have everything we needed and donated it to us!  A couch, bookshelves, books, a TV unit.  And it all fits just perfectly!  The space has so much potential.  Though I'm yet to do another trailor load.  Its so amazing to see things on your heart begin to take shape. 
The new kids nook beginning to take shape made up from the very generous donations.  God is indeed providing. 

I went to the markets on Saturday, and then swung past Jembella farm to visit Sally who is my dear blogging neighbor, I had a lovely cuppa or two and a tour of the farm.  It really is a beautiful place!  We chatted as if we were old friends and it really was just so lovely, there is simply no other way of describing it.
The beautiful Sally and I at Jembella farm! 

A simple, rustic slow cooked meal of beans, pork sausages and fresh market bread

Upon driving around the Barossa my mind fell to the up coming birthday of little Henry, he is turning three!  I cant actually believe it.  My baby is going to be a proper big boy.  As these children of mine grow up I soften more and more.  I encourage them to snuggle in my bed these days knowing this season will soon come to an end.
Midday naps all round! 

Seeing as are all feeling a little run down and tired at the moment, and our yard is still in the process of demolition and rebuilding of the sheds.  So we have decided against a home party.  I don't really have the energy for it and instead we are going to pack a simple picnic and go to the Adelaide zoo which will be a lovey treat for my animal obsessed Henry.

In keeping with our simple birthday gifts I decided to make Henry his very own raggedy quilt.  On Saturday afternoon I nipped into Spotlight and bought some flannel.  I was lucky there were sales on and the fabric in total cost me $44 plus some thread.  For the wadding I will cut up an old wool blanket I have at home which will make it a wonderful weight.  I will also whip up a new outfit for his Waldorf doll made from some Thomas fabric he choose and make him a little super hero mask and cape to match his own.  Like I did for Angus not long ago.  Though I have all these plans and only about 13 days in which to do it.  So big squares it is, ha!
The fabric for the quilt, bought on sale with a flannel sheet for the backing and re-using an old wool blanket saves money whilst still giving a beautiful gift.

A cutting board and rotary cutter are handy tools to have.

Anyway on that note I best be off, my bed and a cuppa tea is calling.  I cannot work out if I am hot or cold....

Much love,
Emma
xx

PS. Please excuse my typos, As I mentioned I have a virus and despite my best efforts more then usual have possibly slipped.  Xx





Friday, 8 April 2016

Autumn works in the garden!

It feels like things have been moving more slowly in the old cottage as far as renovations and repairs go.  It's not really the case mind you, it's just the jobs that have been done are not so impressive looking compared to a whole room reveal.  We have been slowly chipping away and bit by bit things are still happening here.  

The back fence has been pulled down and replaced.  It's now taller, strong and safe.  The posts are free second hand posts from my parents vineyard.  The wire new as was a little hardware.  We wanted to keep the fence open, the boys love to feed and watch the neighbors animals and no one is over looking us, nor us them.  It means the big old pepper tree is safe to climb now as there are no metal star droppers sticking out of the ground.  Grant has done a double end assembly under it so if they fall on the fence, it will hurt, but they will not be impaled by a star dropper, which is a huge relief!
Ripping down the old fence and putting in the new posts.
Lucy the sheep quite enjoyed having the opportunity to wander into our garden while the fence was dow and snack on all the tender green bits, she was very funny!


The fence for the veggie patch is roughly in place, though needs finishing off.  We will tension it properly when we have re-built the bedrooms/lounge off the back.  For now we have a couple of our chickens scratching about, they were dreadfully picked on by the other chooks so we are happy to have them secure and separate.  One has a funny back of her head.  It is bald and has a flap of skin with feathers on it that continues to grow.  She was badly injured by something, we nearly put her down but she was a fighter and while she continued to eat, drink and scratch about we decided to give her a chance.  We are unsure what damaged her, we never worked it out.  But it has healed now and we keep her separate from the others as I suspect they would bully her.  She is our friendliest chook, she and a little black hen are dear friends.  
The new fence sectioning off the veggie patch from our hole digging dogs!

The old sheds are being pulled down, some of which will be rebuilt with new timbers to suit our needs.  Grant needs to build a secure, well insulated, well ventilated shed to care for, box up and sell his wood roaches from which is the current project before the winter sets in.  

When I look around I see a lot of demolition, it can be a little dis-heartening.  But I know from experience I ALWAYS struggle with this stage of renovations.  The final 10% is the bit that makes all the difference, and the fastest.  When I browse back over old photos I see just how far the garden has come in such a short period of time.  I think we have been here 4 months now?  I have a nice green area near the back of the house now, lawn, fences, a cubby, chook shed.  Its much cooler now, and prettier.

Grant laying some heavy stone found from around the property as steppers to the fountain.  There is no keeping the dogs and the kids out, so best to make it clearly accessible to protect my garden bed.


After the sheds are done there will be a thorough yard clean up, removal of scrap metal, a bonfire of prunings and old timbers and finally we will be ready to start stage two of the internal house.  I'm SO excited about having a well designed kitchen!

All in due time.

Much love,
Emma
xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Becoming a morning person...

I have mentioned before, I am not a morning person.  At all.

But in this season of trying to be more mindful, undertaking study and carving out time for myself among the busyness of small children, mornings are about as good as it gets.  I have tried to find this time at night, but it just doesn't work.  By night time I'm knackered and mindfulness = sleep.  Seriously I can not tell you how many times I have set myself at night once the house is quiet and in order with my bible, a journal ready to read scripture and reflect upon life and what God might be saying, only to wake up hours later with a kink in my neck and a blank page in front of me.

When we look at what we want our days to look like, they are calm, loving and purposeful.  Not rushed, distracted and late.

There are so many "things and stuff" out there to tempt us away from whats important, they are loud and shiny.  TV, the internet, smart phones, apps just to name a few.  All these things are thrown in our faces, they are exughsting if we allow them to have power and priority in our life.  But you know whats a priority in my life?  God, health, my children, my family.

But the daily decisions we make in our lives do not always show this to be true.  If I say my faith is important and I don't manage to carve out time to sit in it, its just words.  If I say health is important and then don't dedicate a decent period of time in my day to prepare good and nourishing food, then my actions are not following through with my words.  If I say patience is something I'm striving for and then don't set my day up to allow time for mistakes to happen and be fixed calmly then I'm not actually making it a priority, you know? 

Its something we all do, we all fall for the temptation of distraction, or the easy route at times.  I don't know a single person who doesn't battle with this kind of thing in some form or another.  I think its simply the essence of being human.  But then the question lies - how do we work with it?  Its all a part of moving the life we have to the life we value.  I'm sure where we are today is not where we will be in a year, and that's a great thought!  

Now I'm not talking about those days that are hell and we are happy to have survived them - we all deserve a deserve a high five for surviving them!  I'm talking about the cumulative effect of a daily ritual and the power it holds in the ordinary days.
 

So, with that in mind, mornings it is.

And you know what?  After 32 years of utterly hating mornings and vehemently defending the fact that night time is the only good end of the day, they are not actually so bad.  There is a stillness that is present in the morning.  A quietness in the air.

The children are ready earlier in the morning, the school run smoother.  All our tanks are a little more filled as we set off the face our days.

I'm no 1950's house wife, though hats off to them.  I awake bedraggled with hair standing on end, bleary eyed as I cuddle my morning coffee.  There is no hot cooked breakfast nor cheerful singing.  BUT there is no longer growling and hissing either coming from my direction in the mornings either...HA! 
 
I have not mastered the art of mornings yet, it still takes me an entire small plunger of coffee to get going, but you know what?  I look forward to this being the way forward as far as daily rhythms go.

So this is a new challenge I have set myself.  To totally flip my day.  I have a feeling it is going to be a  life changing experiment.

Are you a night person or a morning person?  Is there something on your heart to work on?

Much love,
Emma
xx
 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Easter blessings!

To my dearest readers,

I hope you have had a lovely, safe, soul replenishing Easter.  This post is late, a reflection of the season of life we are in, life is full, and wonderful but there are only so many hours in the day and some things need to get put off to maintain cuddles and relaxation, at the moment it seems to be my blog and the vacuuming.....Ha!  And I have chosen blogging over vacuuming at this very moment also, so you all should know you have priority!  ;)

We have had a wonderful long weekend in Robe.  The boys have had all kinds of adventures!  Spending time at the beach, visiting the limestone caves, the sink hole at Mount Gambier, spending time with family, feeding sharks and giant fish.  It's just been lovely and I'm was not remotely ready to go home at the end of the weekend.  I do wish the weekend would have lasted for just ONE more day! 


To spend time togeather, away from the business, away from the house with a never ending list of jobs...my goodness it's a lovely treat.  

Visiting the Great Grandies, going through old photos and eating the entire isle of biscuits I reckon!  ;)

The old vintage van has not let us down, gosh I love spending time in her.  She suits us to a tee!













We have eaten well, all our meals made in the van.  Nothing fancy but simple and easy.  I think we splashed out one one coffee and that was about it!  Normally on holidays we buy a bit take away as a treat which of course adds up.  It's been great to see how our habits and belts have tightened since last Easter in that regard!  Needless to say we all felt better for it.















One thing I noticed was how much easier parenting was.  The boys spent most of their time with the other kids playing when we were at the park.  They were distracted and happy, they slept well at night due to being so physically tired.  They came for meals, cuddles and chats and then went off and did their own thing.  I wondered is this what parenting used to be like?



Like back in the "good old days"  Which I know wern't necessarily the good old days as child mortality rate and life long injury was much higher due to a higher incidence of serious childhood accidents, I have seen some shocking statistics of then vs now.  Though many escaped unscathed, many didn't which is important to remember when looking back in reflection.


But that aside, as a parent, I was relaxed.  I was not drained at the end of the day.  Tired but emotionally there was some left in my tank.  I think it is because the kids had more freedom, they were not under my feet, they had enough freedom in their days that they didn't feel the need to battle me.

We have always encouraged the boys to spend lots of time free playing outside, as we get this yard into shape bit by bit they are naturally heading out more and more.  Its been difficult seeing as there are some safety issues we are working through regarding fencing, building materials and demolition.  

Anyway I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and that you have another one seeing as we are already at the end of a short week!

Much love,
Emma
xx